Baptist Nassau improves Emergency Room experience

Nassau Baptist
Press Release
December 14, 2018 1:00 p.m.

ER Improvements at Baptist Nassau’s ER easier to access
Hospital invested $1.5 million to make ER experience better for Nassau County residents

Baptist Nassau has made significant improvements to its Emergency Room, including a large, newly constructed lighted entrance to make it more visible when entering the hospital campus. The new 22-foot canopy entrance includes Continue reading

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Nassau County mourns the loss of former Commissioner Walter “Junior” Boatright

December 16, 2018 8:42 p.m.

Walter “Junior” Boatright former Nassau County Commissioner, District 5

Walter Junior Boatright, 60, of Callahan, Florida, peacefully went home to be with the Lord and his beloved Mama Jean and Papa Gene, Wednesday, December 12, 2018 surrounded by family.

Junior was born October 28, 1958 in Alma, Georgia. He moved to Callahan in 1969 and Nassau County was forever changed for the better. Junior was a proud graduate of West Nassau High School in 1976. While in school he met the love of his life Tonya Bunting. On November 4, 1977 he married Tonya and began a 41 year romance that was truly inspirational. Junior retired from Jacksonville Electrical Authority (JEA) with 31 years of dedicated service. Retirement did not last long as Junior was compelled to run and serve as Nassau County District 5 Commissioner for two successful terms (2008-2016). While serving as Commissioner, Junior had the innate ability to bring people together and make things happen. He was the epitome of a true public servant. Junior enjoyed the outdoors and was an avid sportsman. Most days Junior could be found surrounded by people laughing and telling his infamous Junior stories or jokes. He also enjoyed spending time with his boys and grandsons cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs.

Junior is survived by his beautiful wife Tonya, two handsome and intelligent sons Jeremy and Steven (Melanie)and two loquacious grandsons Brock and Cooper, siblings Mike Boatright, Jerry Boatright (Myra), Terri Riley, Jennifer Geiger (Russell), his favorite father and mother in-law Jack and Shirley Bunting, along with many brother & sister in-laws, nieces, nephews and countless friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Boatright, Jean Williams and Thomas “Gene” Williams.

The family will receive friends on Monday, December 17th from 5:00-8:00 PM at First Baptist Church of Callahan. A celebration of Junior’s life will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, December 18th at First Baptist Church of Callahan with Pastor Keith Foskey officiating. Graveside service will follow at Jones Cemetery. Friends and family are invited and encouraged to gather following the graveside service at Cottonwood Ranch (452039 Old Dixie Hwy, Callahan, FL 32011) for lunch and a continued celebration of Junior’s life.

The family requests in lieu of flowers to register as an organ donor or make a monetary donation to Donate Florida Life.

Condolences may be expressed by signing the guest book at Arrangements are under the direction of Nassau Funeral Home 541720 US Highway 1 Callahan, Florida 32011 904-879-1770.

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City owned North Front Street building coming down . . .

By Susan Hardee Steger
Photos courtesy of Ed Boner
December 13, 2018 5:04 p.m.

Demolition on the former home of “Island Seafood,” located at 101 North Front Street and acquired by the City of Fernandina Beach in 2016, has begun.

According to a November 13, article by Suanne Thamm, “The subject property was purchased by the City of Fernandina Beach for the purpose of gaining riparian rights in order to extend the existing municipal marina northward towards naturally deeper waters.”

101 Front Street

“After the damage to the marina, plans for the marina expansion have been put on the back burner. The uplands portion of the property was always anticipated for destination business that offered complementary use to the activities within the surrounding area.”

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The Amelia Island Bed & Breakfast Association, part of Take Stock in Children Family of giving and caring

Take Stock in Children
Press Release
Submitted by L. Dee Torre Kaufman, Ph.D
[email protected]
December 13, 2018 11:00 a.m.

Photo Left to Right: Ron and Lisa West, Tereasa Hamilton, (TSIC)Bob Henderson, Dee Torre Kaufman (TSIC) Marie and Chris Page and Bill Hamilton

In this season of giving Take Stock in Children of Nassau, Inc. would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who have supported us during 2018. Your generous gifts of your personal resources and time have helped us keep the promise of mentors, scholarships and hope to more than 557 students in the past 22 years.

We would like to share a wonderful story with everyone this holiday season. When the Cookie Tour took a hiatus this year the Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association generously offered discounted room packages to benefit Take Stock in Children. A couple of days ago the Association honored us with a donation that will help another promising low-income achieve the dream of a college scholarship and a brighter future. This donation comes with a special story of three inn owners who give every year to our community and help keep the spirit of the holidays alive in their historic homes.

Theresa and Bill Hamilton at the Fairbanks House have been leaders in the B&B Continue reading

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BOCC rejects zoning appeal, continues study on infrastructure grant

By Cindy Jackson
December 12, 2018

The meeting of the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners on December 10, 2018 was one of the longest in recent memory. The agenda was lengthy but it was just two topics that took the meeting to almost 10pm before adjournment. . . having started at the customary hour of 6PM.

Attorney William Murphy and Joseph Amellio listen to discussion at BOCC meeting.

Consideration of a zoning appeal filed by attorney William Murphy on behalf of landowner Joseph Amellio was up first. The issue: the paving of Davis Road in Callahan. Interim county manager and county attorney Michael Mullin recused himself from the discussion because he had represented the landowner many years ago, prior to becoming county attorney.

The issues debated included consistency and continuity on the part of the county and whether or not the claimant ever filed the final plat. William Murphy, attorney for the claimant, made several mentions of a “total lack of even-handedness” while comparing and contrasting the treatment of Hawks Landing (owned by Mr. Amellio) and another development on Davis Road known as Willow Farms.

Former county commissioner Stacy Johnson took to the podium in support of the applicant’s position and expressed empathy stating, “I understand the frustrations Mr. Amellio is feeling.” Ms. Johnson confirmed that Mr. Amellio had been granted a paving waiver and further stated that she did not believe it was fair that he was denied in 2018 what he had been granted in 2009.

In 2009, Molly Garrett was the county attorney and Scott Herring was the director of public works. Danny Leeper was a commissioner in 2009 as well and that he remembered the discussion and the decision made by the BOCC.

Taco Pope, current director of the Department of Planning and Economic Continue reading

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Thoughts on possible election changes for Fernandina Beach: an opinion

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 12, 2018 2:53 p.m.

As a New Year approaches Fernandina Beach voters have put to bed one more contest for seats on the Fernandina Beach City Commission.  Is there a better way to conduct city elections?  One that will achieve higher voter participation?

With 24.94 percent of Fernandina Beach’s 10,873 registered voters turning out to vote in the December 11 run-off election for Group 4 seat on the City Commission, Mike Lednovich emerged the winner with 1,414 votes (52.14 percent) over Bradley Bean who garnered 1,298 votes (47.86 percent).  This means that Mr. Lednovich will serve to represent all the people of the city, even though only 13 percent of all registered voters  voted for him.

This is by no means meant to challenge the legitimacy of Mr. Lednovich’s victory.  He ran an excellent campaign with a message that resonated with enough voters to give him 116 more votes than Mr. Bean.  That is a clear, legitimate win by any definition.  He deserves our congratulations on his successful campaign and our support as he assumes his duties on the City Commission. Both he and his opponent ran clean campaigns.  Mr. Bean, who stuck his toe into the political waters with this race, is certainly young enough and capable enough to continue seeking elected office in future elections.

But with such low voter turnout in a run-off election, one must wonder whether a run-off is truly worth the costs and efforts for both the candidates and the government.  The level of interest among the general electorate does not seem apparent or inspiring.

Lower the threshold from majority to a percentage of 40

Perhaps it is time to revisit the City Charter with respect to the portion dealing with elections. Instead of a guaranteed Continue reading

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Amelia Island Club breaks ground on $10 M renovation

Amelia Island Club
Press Release
Contact: Donna Bilger
December 12, 2018 10:29 a.m.

The Amelia Island Club broke ground today on a $10 million renovation and expansion of its Ocean Clubhouse. The member- owned club was formed in 2010 and serves approximately 1,200 members with its Ocean Clubhouse, adult and child swimming pools and large pool scape.

A second Clubhouse is located at the Club’s Long Point property, adjacent to the Club-owned private championship 18-hole Tom Fazio–designed golf course, two expansive practice areas and a pro shop.

“We are embarking on a ten-year strategic plan designed to make us the premier family-oriented club in the region,” stated David Shepler, general manager and chief operating officer. “The first phase is our Ocean Clubhouse and surrounding areas. We will be increasing our clubhouse interior from 16,000 conditioned square feet to 23,000,” Shepler added.

Financing for the project is being provided by member Continue reading

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Holiday events presented by Nassau County Library System

Nassau County Insider
December 12, 2018 12:01 p.m.

Over 100 people were in attendance at a Holiday Celebration last night hosted by the Nassau County Public Library System. The event featured caroling from students of Sonshine Christian Academy and Gray Gables Church, as well as character appearances by Santa, Frosty the Snowman, and Pete the Cat. A great time was had by all!

If you missed last night’s event, don’t worry! There’s still two more events you can attend:

Holiday Pajama Party
Monday, December 17, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
Fernandina Beach Library
25 N. 4th Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
This event will feature seasonal stories and music with characters. Don’t forget to Continue reading

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