News

Winner, winner chicken dinner


MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – One hundred Chick-Fil-A customers now have something extra to be happy about. They were picked out of 175 customers to be the first at the new Middleburg store. They will get 52 free meals from the popular fast food restaurant. A drawing was held Wednesday for the people waiting in the parking lot to see who would be in the group of 100.

One group of people called themselves the "Gator-eight". They are eight University of Florida students. All eight of them were picked. They started lining up before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, and slept in dozens of tents, braving the cold and wind.

Another couple has been to 105 grand openings. Libby and Jake Knupp traveled from Gulf Port, Florida.

Clay commissioners keep Big League Dreams alive


CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- A multi-million dollar sports park is one step closer to heading to Clay County.

On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners voted in favor of moving forward with exploring the possibility of constructing the sports park. It would be located near Branan Field Road and Old Jennings Road. But it comes with a hefty price tag for Clay County tax payers.

The mega sports complex would include three replica baseball fields, two full size fields, a covered sports pavilion and eight batting cages all situated right outside of Middleburg, a couple of miles away from Bill Chandler's home.

"It wouldn't bother me at all," said Chandler.

He's lived in Clay County since 1970 and has seen many changes. Chandler said he's all right with having a nice sports park nearby, but he's not sold on its price tag.

Teacher of the Week: Michele Hanson


MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- It is Wednesday so that means it is time for our Teacher of the Week! This week we are recognizing Michele Hanson at Wilkinson Junior High School in Clay County. She has been teaching for 12 years.

Hanson teaches agricultural science and has done amazing things with the program at the school. The kids are growing crops like potatoes and corn and raising a cow, pig and even chickens. Mrs. Hanson said she loves teaching kids and empowering them to be all that they can be. She said she doesn't mind putting in the extra hours and even coning in on the weekends because it is all for the kids.

"The most important thing that I think I teach them is work ethic. Work ethic transcends anything we do in life and if kids develop a good work ethic and communication skills and the ability to work in a team, then they will be more successful when they are older," said Mrs. Hanson.

Woman accused of embezzling $57K from elementary school


MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- An elementary school employee is facing charges of schemes to defraud, grand theft and uttering forged instrument following an investigation by the Clay County School Board.

Julie Herringdine, 37, is accused of reimbursing herself for items paid for using a Clay County School Board Credit Card, according to a police report from the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

School Board officials were notified the J.L. Wilkinson Elementary School account was in overdraft in September 2013 and launched an investigation into the school's financial records.

Caught on camera: Auto burglar takes $18 from unlocked SUV

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- Deputies are seeking an auto burglar who took $18 out of an unlocked GMC SUV on November 27 of last year.

The subject, described as 5'10" to 6' tall and wearing white sneakers, dark pants, dark baseball cap and a camouflage jacket, was seen on the homeowner's surveillance video between 3 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Nov. 27.

According to a release from CCSO spokesperson Mary Justino, the subject took $18 out of the unlocked SUV and left the door open.

Anyone who has any information about the identity of the subject is asked to call CCSO Det. Mark Maertz at (904) 264-6512.

Clay County Fire Rescue gets FEMA grant

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- The Clay County Fire Rescue Department is one of five Florida departments seeing part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant. 

The grant is designed to make sure communities have enough protection from fire. Clay will get about $2 million.

The money will be used to hire 21 firefighters. They'll be spread through seven departments across the county.

However, it will be several months before they start work. The extra staff means, according to fire chief Lorin Mack, a quicker response time and less of a need to shuffle staff and equipment when there's an emergency.

Get a free, sober ride home tonight

JACKSONVILLE, FLA-- We want you to get the new year started off safely so put this number in your phone, 885-286-9246.

855-286-9246 is the phone number to AAA's Tow-To-Go program.  You don't have to be a AAA member to use the service, it just gets you a safe, free ride home and saves you from driving intoxicated.

"New Year's Eve is the busiest night of the year for the Tow to Go program because so many motorists seem to be more inclined to use a designated driver but don't always have someone willing to be one in their own party during the biggest celebration of the year," said Gerry Gutowski, Sr. Vice President, Automotive Services, AAA–The Auto Club Group. "We prepare our call center teams and tow truck service providers for weeks in advance, so we can manage the increased call volume that's typical of this time of year."