Around town . . .

Submitted by Gerry Clare

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Jingles” watches other dogs; Mary Miller & Rusty; Dog talk

Roving Reporter


If you were downtown in Fernandina Beach Tuesday night, you may have wondered if the Green Turtle Tavern was going to the dogs.  Big dogs, little dogs, tacos, and a great band made the evening at the Tacos & Tails event, sponsored by the Nassau Humane Society to raise money for their great programs. (See  The weather was marvelous, the dogs were friendly and the company was just fine.  Raffle tickets also delivered some great prizes from local businesses.



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Bobby Carswell, sponsor (top)
Bobby Carswell, Barbara Halverstadt, Sheriff Leeper

The AIFBY Chamber of Commerce held its quarterly luncheon on Tuesday at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club.  It was sponsored by Mac+PC Tech Pro and the guest speaker was our own Sheriff Bill Leeper.  Barbara Halverstadt from the Chamber introduced both the sponsor and speaker and highlighted some upcoming events.

Leeper featured a long list of objectives that he has implemented or plans to implement including putting crime stats on the website and doing a crime analysis, a countywide citizen survey on the department’s effectiveness, streamlining public records release, a special unit concentrating on drug and synthetic drug use, increasing traffic safety/reducing traffic deaths, working and cooperating with other organizations in our area like  police and fire departments, having school resource officers (sro’s) provide information rather than just waiting for “something to

Sheriff Bill Leeper
Sheriff Bill Leeper

happen,” employee fitness training, changing the organization chart, firearms training, expanding the community volunteer resources, restructuring the evidence storage, and expanding the training program, the first conducted in several years.

His priorities include upgrading the firearms range, developing a new 911 dispatch center, and construction of a new sheriff’s facility (from the current “trailer park”). In regard to the new facility, he is hopeful that the pledge of $500,000 by the Florida Senate and $100,000 by the House will be passed and signed by the Governor.  One of the conditions of this money from the state has already been implemented by our County Commission: putting the project on the county’s capital improvement plan. The second condition would be building the facility within five years of receipt of the money or having to return the money.  Leeper and his committee are currently revising and creating a plan for this facility based on current needs.

Finally, Leeper listed a series of savings, adding up to around $400,000 for now and in the upcoming years by examining current expenses and making changes as needed.  He was very optimistic that after only four months in office, he will be able to accomplish most of his objectives with the help of our citizens, organizations and business community.

Gerry ClareEditor’s Note: Gerry began free lance writing for fun and is the author of a published book (available on Amazon and at Books Plus) about funny real estate experiences.  Gerry is a longtime member of our local American Business Women’s Chapter, a volunteer cancer driver and church deacon who loves to read, travel and meet interesting people.

May 2, 2013 6:32 a.m.