St. Johns County Administration Media Notification


St. Johns County

Administration Media Notification                                     

September 19 – 23, 2013

Datil Pepper Cook-Off Set for Oct. 5

St. Augustine Record

September 22, 2013

The Datil Pepper Cook-Off Festival is Oct. 5 at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center. Top chefs representing St. Augustine’s finest restaurants will gather to compete in the 2013 Sixth Annual Datil Pepper Cook-Off Festival contest presented by the UF/IFAS St. Johns County Cooperative Extension Service. The event will be open to the public in conjunction with the St. Johns County Home and Garden Show.  Click here for full article.
Jaguars President Places High Emphasis on Integrating the Community

St. Augustine Record

September 22, 2013

That’s why Lamping, the first Jaguars president since 1996, has done something uniquely different in attempts to form a relationship with the community. On Sunday, Sept. 29, the Jaguars will host the first ever St. Johns County Day. The Jaguars face the Indianapolis Colts at home and local school marching bands will perform, while athletes, coaches and businesses will be honored. Click here for full article.
County Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.2 Percent

St. Augustine Record

September 20, 2013

St. Johns County followed the state trend and saw its unemployment rate head lower last month. As the state rate for Florida dropped to 7 percent in August, the county’s rate went to 5.2 percent, a decline of 0.4 percent from the previous month and 1.5 percent from August 2012. The total workforce and number of people employed in St. Johns County both increased from a year ago. The statistics were released Friday by U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.Click here for full article.
Pets of the Week: September 22, 2013

St. Augustine Record

September 22, 2013

Theon is a year-and- a-half-old male gray/white short hair cat, current on all of his vaccines, but still needs to be neutered. He is a very loving pet who plays well with others and will lick your hand to get more and more attention. He’s in kennel C16. Nala is a 6-year-old, female Lab mix, current on all her vaccines and already been spayed. She is a very sweet and loving pet who loves to go for walks, knows her basic commands and is house- trained so well that she will try her very best not to go in the kennel. She does need, however, to be the only pet in a house with no children under 10. She’s in kennel D25 at the SJC Pet Center. Click here for full article.
Land Donation May Speed Road Project

But County Road 305 Extension will Still Take Years to Complete

St. Augustine Record

September 22, 2013

The donation of a 71.8 acre strip of pristine forest worth $1 million on County Road 305 from Elkton to State Road 204 in April was a major step forward for Flagler Estates residents, who have dreamed of a shorter route to St. Augustine for years. However, that shortcut is still a long way down the road. David F. Williams, chairman of Flagler Estates Community Redevelopment Committee, told the County Commission last week that Flagler Estates residents require 30 to 45 minutes for the 32-mile, one-way trip to town. “(But) extending 305 (to S.R. 204) cuts 32 miles, or about 15 minutes, off that run,” Williams said. Click here for full article.
Garden Hotline: Datil is King of Festival

St. Augustine Record

September 21, 2013

Earlier this week the datil pepper was proclaimed by the county commission as the official plant of St. Johns County and that the first Saturday of October would be Datil Pepper Day. History is one reason why people are drawn to St. Augustine and the datil pepper is an integral part of that history. It is surprising that a spicy pepper which was essential to add flavoring to dishes, because other seasonings were scarce, has remained popular for hundreds of years. Especially at a time with so much worldly competition from exotic markets near and far. Click here for full article.
County School Budget Increases by $60 Million

St. Augustine Record

September 19, 2013

The 2013-14 St. Johns County School District’s overall budget is up nearly $60 million this year, a sign that the economy is doing at least slightly better, say officials. “Property values are up this year and millage is down. We’ve seen a very slight turnaround, which is helpful,” Superintendent Joe Joyner said. Last year, property values continued a downward trend. This year, they’re up 3.2 percent. Although nowhere near what they were before the financial crisis began in 2007, the upswing is welcome news for the school district. “It’s not going backwards, and that’s a huge relief,” Joyner said. “It’s starting to make a slow turnaround, so we’re not looking at cutting.” More money this year means, among other things, the reinstatement of the seven-period day in the middle school, the return of the teacher planning period within the school day and more curriculum offerings in the middle school. Click here for full article.
Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Heads to St. Augustine

Southern Living

September 17, 2013

Last weekend, Mumford & Son’s Gentlemen of the Road Stopover played in St. Augustine, Florida for two days of musical revelry. The 12-band lineup included headliner Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Willy Mason, and a surprise performance by John Fogerty. The best part: This unique concert series selected only three dates in the U.S.—St. Augustine, Florida; Guthrie, Oklahoma; and Troy, Ohio—a serious win for the South. According to Jacksonville’s First Coast News, the festival was one of the biggest events St. Augustine has ever seen, with about 25,000 tickets sold and an estimated influx of 15,000 out-of-town fans who came to see the bands play on Francis Field. For a small town, this was no small feat. According to writer and photographer Renee Unsworth of St. Augustine Record,the event had a huge economic impact on downtown due to the venue’s proximity to restaurants, hotels, and merchant areas. Click here for full article.
New Craft Cocktail Bar (and soon Distillery) Debut in St. Augustine

Southern Living

September 12, 2013

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: St. Augustine is getting cool. Very cool. We’ve noticed this for a while, reporting about spots like The Floridian and macaroon shop Bon Ami. This weekend, Mumford & Sons takes the Gentlemen of the Road to St. Augustine on one of only three tour spots in North America. Now, one more reason. Today, Ice Plant Bar and Bottle Shop opens in the oldest city in America. Featuring 19 craft cocktails, it’s the first step in a total restoration of St. Augustine’s historic Ice Plant building. Vacant for years, local entrepreneur Philip McDaniel is renovating the building, which once manufactured ice to support Florida’s fishing industry. Click here for full article.
200 Gather in Hastings to Give Peace a Chance

St. Augustine Record

September 23, 2013

As a plane buzzed overhead, people who had gathered on Al Wilke Field on Main Street in Hastings in the shape of a peace sign held up their arms and made a different peace sign with their fingers. Saturday was the annual International Day of Peace, established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly, and more than 200 people celebrated at the first Peace in the Park in Hastings. Members of Pie in the Sky, the St. Augustine Initiative for Compassion and Unity and Peace St. Augustine coordinated the event, which featured music and a peace pole and the building and painting of a miniature “compassionate community” made of cardboard boxes. Around 1 p.m., people rested under the shade of trees as Lonesome Bert & the Skinny Lizards played country, including “Cotton Eyed Joe.” Click here for full article.
Davis Park gets System to Warn of Lightning Threats

Beaches/ Ponte Vedra Leader

September 19, 2013

With the serious threat of lightning to players, spectators and officials at St. Johns County parks, the county recently installed a Thor Guard Lightning Prediction System in Treaty Park, Davis Park, Mills Field Park and Veterans Park to provide advance warning of hazardous lightning conditions. County officials said the new system will allow park-goers enough time to seek shelter in a permanent building or a vehicle. The Thor Guard system continually monitors and evaluates the electrostatic atmosphere and predicts the probability of a lightning hazard in the immediate area of the facility. If a threat is identified, one loud horn blast will sound for 15 seconds. When heard, everyone at these parks should head for shelter immediately. A strobe light will remain active during a weather alert, and the system will determine when conditions are safe to return to previous activities. When all is clear, three short horn blasts will sound and the strobe lights will cease operation. During a weather warning, the St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Department reminds residents to always avoid athletic fields and bleachers, open areas, bodies of water, doors and windows, isolated trees and high elevators. For additional information, call 209-0655.
Nocatee Expands

Beaches/ Ponte Vedra Leader

September 19, 2013

this winter on several new amenities. The amenities are expected to be open to residents in late summer 2014. The new amenities will include an expansion of the community’s popular Splash Water Park to include a new family pool, a children’s spray ground and additional deck space, shade and covered seating areas. The developers will also build a new junior Olympic-size, eight-lane competition pool, including shaded bleachers, restrooms, a scoreboard and an event lawn. “The new pool area has been specifically designed to be a topnotch junior swim competition facility,” said Rick Ray, president of Nocatee’s master development group. There will also be four half court basketball courts, a kayak launch and a community garden. The junior Olympic pool, basketball courts and community garden will all be located across from the Splash Water Park parking lot in the former location of the Nocatee Farmer’s Market. The market was recently moved to the Nocatee Town Center to accommodate the growing number of attendees—now topping 5,000 people. The developer expects construction to last through winter and spring, with no interruption to current amenities, including the Splash Water Park.


Holocaust Drama Recounts Daring Exploits of Heroine Who Save Hundreds of Jews

  The Zookeeper's Wife Film Review by Kam Williams Holocaust Drama Recounts Daring Exploits of Heroine Who Save Hundreds of Jews In 1928, Dr. Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh) became the director of the Warsaw Zoo. Over the next decade, he ran it  with the help of his wife, Antonina (Jessica Chastain), who was something of a wildlife whisperer. The institution flourished under their control until the outbreak of the Second World War in … [Read More its Good for You.....]


The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]


2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity

  2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity by Amy Lignor   Origami. Memory albums. Quilting. What do these have in common? Well, at one point or another in time, they have represented the “hottest” hobbies in the United States. Taking up hobbies are not only a fun thing to do for the “artistic/creative” type, but they also help to reduce stress. Even the AMA has cited the fact that taking up a hobby can produce a calming environment … [Read More its Good for You...]


Whitetail Hunting in Illinois is About Making Memories in the Heartland

  Whitetail Hunting in Illinois is About Making Memories in the Heartland   Whitetail hunting is the most popular area of the hunting universe in this day and age. When it comes to the great state of Illinois, there is one guide that is all about making your trip not only a success, but one of the most memorable experiences you can possibly have. And seeing that most of the dates sell out quite quickly, now is the time to research, … [Read More its Good for You...]


Gonzaga Celebrates the Final Four

  Gonzaga Celebrates the Final Four by Amy Lignor   “Beauty & the Beast” may be raking in the dough at movie theatres everywhere, but it is the Princess Cinderella that appears at the core of the NCAA headlines. We all have our “Cinderella Teams.” Heck, they even made a movie after the Hoosiers who once set the world on fire. But as this weekend winds down, it is the Gonzaga Bulldogs that find themselves ready to put on the glass … [Read More its Good for You...]


How Are Retail Sales in 2017?

  How Are Retail Sales in 2017? E-Commerce Reigns by Amy Lignor   Despite consumer uncertainty, as well as a very sluggish beginning to 2017, the U.S. retail sales industry is projected to increase 4% this year. Headlines show that many retailers and companies posted “soft” holiday sales to end 2016, which caused some notable retailers to either cut jobs or close stores as a result. However, when it comes to 2017, the National … [Read More its Good for You...]


Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

  Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home! by Amy Lignor   We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]