News

Clay County Emergency Management updates on Andrea

CLAY COUNTY, Fla.-Emergency Management Officials are watching progress of Tropical Storm Andrea as it crosses Florida today and will closely monitor conditions throughout the evening.

Emergency Operations Center is currently at Level 3 activation and will continue communication with state and local agencies.

Clay County is currently under the following cautions:
• Tropical Storm Warning
• Tornado Watch
• Flood Watch

Isolated flooding in low-lying areas may occur from the anticipated rainfall, and residents are urged to remain aware of conditions and take protective actions as needed.

All residents are advised to take this opportunity to prepare for what might become an active storm season. Preparations include:
• 3 days' supply of water, food, personal needs items and medications
• Collection of important documents if evacuations become necessary
• Family emergency plan

Clay County boy killed in tragic accident

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- A 4-year-old in Clay County died Thursday in a tragic accident.
    
According to a report from the Clay County Sheriff's Office, Lucas Colley was sitting on an electric reclining chair and using a control system to raise and lower it.
    
Then his mother and a family friend heard him scream. They ran into the room and found the chair closing on the boy's head.

"Yes they did try to stop it. They tried to use the functions on the remote. According to the mother, she said the buttons didn't respond then physically they tried to pull the chair apart which they were unable to do," said CCSO Detective Jermaine Boone.

We spoke with Clay County detectives, and they told us the boy's mother needs help paying for his funeral services.    

If you would like to help, you can contact the Aaron and Burnet Bivens Funeral Home at 264-1233 to donate.

Sudden death cancels cruise and possible refund

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. -- Carnival Cruise Lines has seen its share of problems this year, but that did not stop Frances Prince and Mollie McCall from booking a seven day cruise.

"She wouldn't go without me and I wouldn't go without her," said Prince. 

But on May 9 Herb Green, McCall's fiance', was killed in an accident on State Road 16 near Starke. Prince is still trying to cope with the loss. 

Prince, McCall and Herb Green were good friends. 

"Tragedies happen," she said. "You can't schedule them."

On May 10, the day before they were to set sail, they contacted their travel agent with the bad news.

"Their big suggestion was see if you can find somebody else to take your place," Prince said.

Prince said she also called Carnival Cruise to try and reschedule the cruise.

Marching to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Friends and family of Melissa Boyett marched in her honor to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

Melissa passed away on April 23, but lived a life full of joy and experienced more than most people ever will in her short 23 years.

Team "Marching for Melissa" met Saturday at the Orange Park Kennel Club.  They walked to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research.

You can donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Melissa's name here.

Board Chairman: Superintendent told us not to talk to staff

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- The combative relationship between the Superintendent of Clay County School and the School Board has reached a new level.

A new directive laid out by Superintendent Charlie Van Zant has many upset.

Clay County school superintendent Charlie Van Zant and the school board have been at odds over several issues since Van Zant's election in the fall. So much so the Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter to both parties asking them to cool it because it was hurting the reputation of the county.

The latest salvo fired by the Superintendent this week: If you are a member of the Clay County School Board and want to ask a question of the school system staff, don't.

That is what school board Chairman Carol Studdard said she was told this week by a staff member. She said she was told if she or any school board member had a question, take it to Van Zant.

Studdard doesn't like it one bit.

Clay County floods recede, clean up begins

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- The waters have receded in Clay County, but now, the clean up begins.

Clay County remains under state of emergency

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Clay County is still under a declared Local State of Emergency. 

Clay County Emergency Management (CCEM) extended the declaration as a result of continued flooding of homes and roadways in the county.

Damage assessment teams will conduct check homes in affected areas beginning Monday morning. 

Residents are encouraged to contact the Emergency Management Office at (904) 284-7703, to ensure their damage is included in the complete assessment report after the storm.

The CCEM says the Black Creek readings at 7:45 p.m. were reported at the north prong at 15.49', and the south prong was at 15.04'. 

The creek levels are predicted to be below action stage by Monday evening according to the CCEM.

The shelter at the Middleburg First Baptist Church was closed at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

No residents checked into the shelter during the time it was opened.