E-Cigarette Ban Considered
A proposed ordinance banning the sale of electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine to anyone under the age of 18 is before the Orange Park Town Council at its 7 p.m. Oct. 1 meeting. After a public hearing, the Council will vote on the ordinance, which would ban the use of electronic cigarettes in areas where regular smoking is banned. Violators could face a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.
I Believed in Yesterdays
After almost three decades in business, Yesterday's Social Club, at the corner of Park and Dancy streets, will close its doors for good Sept. 29. Olivia Irvine, who owns the Avondale bar with her sisters, Heather Yongue and Audra Irvine, took over the place after their father’s death in May 2012. They are in the process of selling the 63-year-old building.
She’s Back — on Channel 4
In early 2013, anchorwoman Joy Purdy left First Coast News to spend more time with her husband, stepdaughter and two young daughters after six years at WTLV-WJXX. Now, she's returning to the airwaves and her first Jacksonville television home at Channel 4 News. She will anchor weeknights at 5:30, 6:30 and 11 p.m. along with Rob Sweeting. Purdy was a weekend anchor and reporter for WJXT from 1995 to 2000. She left to anchor newscasts at Miami's WFOR, returning here in 2007.
A lawsuit filed by Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County is asking a court to determine if the appointment of Cindy Laquidara as the city of Jacksonville's general counsel was legal. Mayor John Peyton first appointed Laquidara to the post in 2011, replacing Rick Mullaney, who'd stepped down to run for mayor. When her term was expiring in mid-2011, Mayor Alvin Brown reappointed her to a new four-year term, which the City Council approved. At a Sept. 15 news conference, Concerned Taxpayers President John Winkler said the city charter's guidelines were not followed. He would like to see Laquidara removed from office and for the proper procedure to be put in place. The mayor’s office issued a statement saying it supports Laquidara and wants her to stay in office.
Southlight Gallery Finds a Home
Southlight Gallery has moved — and it'll be easy to find during the Oct. 2 Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville. The new location is in the historic Levy Building at 201 N. Hogan St., Ste. 100. The new gallery is just steps from Hemming Park, said Pam Zambetti, director of marketing. The gallery was forced to move after its former site was leased.
Federal Funding for Substance Abuse Program
Drug Free Duval will receive $125,000 a year for the next five years to prevent youth substance abuse. The grant comes under the Drug Free Communities Support Program, awarded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Susan Pitman, executive director of Drug Free Duval, said “there is a solid data link between alcohol use/abuse and poor academic performance in both middle and high school students.”
Education Commissioner Has Northeast Florida Roots
Pam Stewart, the fourth education commissioner to be appointed under Gov. Rick Scott, worked under St. Johns County Superintendent Joseph Joyner for more than two years as the county’s deputy superintendent for curriculum and learning. The 60-year-old educator left the district to become the state’s K-12 chancellor, and she's been serving as interim superintendent since the abrupt resignation of Tony Bennett in August. Joyner said the governor's selection of Stewart is an excellent one, because she understands the challenges of local school districts. Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said Stewart understands how Tallahassee works and has superintendents' respect, The Florida Times-Union reported.