Metro archive

November 29, 2012

■   City Rescue Mission to have expanded role -
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown wants to put a homeless day center at the City Rescue Mission's downtown location, an announcement that could be made as early as Thursday. A number of details still have to...

October 22, 2012

■   Making rescue more efficient: Idea would help budget, but firefighters' union is opposed to proposal -
Responding to tightening budgets, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is considering plans to combine some fire suppression and rescue operations in a way that could make rescue more efficient but might slightly slow fire...

October 4, 2012

■   Did waste firm get break from city? Yard waste fees piled up unpaid while Advanced pondered move of jobs here -
A waste disposal company looking for incentives from Jacksonville City Hall may have underpaid the city by tens of thousands of dollars over the past four years, according to internal emails, a situation discovered four...

October 2, 2012

■   With no funding and scant staff, Jacksonville's new Downtown Investment Authority faces many hurdles before it can piece together a plan for future development -
It was his first public appearance after being elected mayor last year, and Alvin Brown dedicated it to explaining to downtown business owners how he was going to transform the area. "The real question is,...

August 6, 2012

■   City pension plan reform specifics vague -
That Mayor Alvin Brown will have a plan for pension reform by the end of the year is clear, with he and his staff both saying the date is firm. Five months before that deadline,...

July 28, 2012

■   Keane has little-known pension -
Since the late 1990s, Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund Executive Director John Keane has been signed up for a pension created for him by the fund with little outside notice. The benefit, which could...

June 12, 2012

■   Ritz director's dismissal draws ire -
When Carol Alexander talks about the LaVilla neighborhood of the 1920s, '30s, '40s, she conjures up a time when the area was the Harlem of the South, a place with a "grand artistic and cultural...

June 10, 2012

■   False hope plagued courthouse move-in -
The May 14 date had been set for years. That was the date the Duval County Unified Courthouse was to be substantially complete, the day the keys would be turned over to the city. Instead,...

May 31, 2012

■   City pulls letter that 'shocked' Khan: Default notice to Jaguars prompts testy response from owner, City Hall retreat -
Last week, Jacksonville City Hall told the Jaguars it had defaulted on its contract with the city. Wednesday, team owner Shad Khan sent the city a blistering letter, saying he was "shocked, " "perplexed" and...

May 30, 2012

■   Fight over children's commission grows -
A behind-the-scenes fight for control of the Jacksonville Children's Commission is spilling into the public, bringing the City Council into the mix. The heart of the matter: Should the agency, which gets a third of...

May 13, 2012

■   Mayor's office lags on records release -
When Mayor Alvin Brown unveiled his plans for new economic development agencies in March, the legislation authorizing the change had been in the works since December. During that time, at least three drafts of the...

May 4, 2012

■   Gay backers questioning mayor's word -
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown won't take a position on City Council legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, although supporters remember candidate Brown strongly favoring such a bill. Brown refused to comment...

April 3, 2012

■   DROP A Good Deal For City Employees, But Adds To Jacksonville's Pension Woes -
When Richard Lundy retired from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department last month, he left with a $5,970-a-month pension he built up over 29 years of service. Those payments were bolstered with a $478,229 lump...

February 15, 2012

■   Mayor Alvin Brown's office releases details of travel expenses -
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown's office released information Wednesday detailing travel expenses picked up by others while the mayor was on official business, some of it coming months after the Times-Union began asking. Mayoral chief of...

January 30, 2012

■   Jacksonville developers tired of delays, object to new regulations -
After waiting months for their money, participants in a program designed to stabilize Jacksonville's recession-hit neighborhoods have been unexpectedly told by the city they must adhere to a complicated clutch of federal regulations or they...

October 9, 2011

■   PTSD's war toll: Buddy system helps veterans battle demons -
It was a blow getting the letter from his ex-wife, the letter telling George Pappas his kids didn't want to see him. Not what he needed on top of money issues and roommate strife, on...

September 15, 2011

■   Mayor Alvin Brown's cost-review measures holding up contractors -
It's been six weeks since Javier Garcia finished rehabilitating the Confederate Point Bridge, and he's still waiting for $131,000 the city owes him for the job. That leads to a tough situation for the owner...

May 10, 2011

■   Alvin Brown's Washington experience extensive, somewhat elusive -
When Patricia Owens heard a reporter was calling about Alvin Brown, she let out a gasp of joyous disbelief: She'd been looking for Brown for years, she said, wanting to thank him for his help...

January 20, 2011

■   Jacksonville planners eye new rules to discourage urban sprawl -
Half a year from now, Jacksonville developers could operate under an entirely new set of rules when it comes to paying for transportation infrastructure around their projects. The result, according to a range of development...

June 23, 2010

■   Jacksonville's Internet cafe issue brings lobbyists out of the woodwork -
When Jacksonville City Councilman Kevin Hyde decided to sponsor legislation to shut down Internet cafes this year, he expected to see people lining up outside his door to talk about it. "I knew going into...

December 6, 2009

■   Iraqi refugees find lack of help, support on First Coast -
When it comes down to it, Haitham Saleem doesn't really want to be here, doesn't want his life to be like this. He's glad to be safe, happy to no longer be in the war...

November 24, 2009

■   Eisenhower Strike Group readies for deployment -
Navy Capt. Dee Mewbourne spoke quietly in the handset, his low voice still the loudest thing on the red-lit bridge of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Five minutes had passed between the launch of the...

November 20, 2009

■   Aircraft mechanics on a mission: Get S-3s skyward -
The S-3 Vikings used to be a common sight in the skies over Jacksonville, a city they called home for decades. That all ended in January, it seemed, when the Navy deactivated the last squadron...

October 7, 2009

■   USS McInerney: Its final deployment marks a milestone -
Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Limbrick just wanted a wet rag. The USS McInerney, upon which Limbrick is stationed, would be under way in a few days, and the sailor needed the cloth to finish...

September 7, 2009

■   Navy gets on board with social media -
Sailors griping about change probably dates back to the days of sailing ships. But when the U.S. Navy's chief enlisted sailor wanted to see how the force was dealing with new uniforms, he turned to...

August 3, 2009

■   Speicher's remains finally found in Iraq -
After an 18-year saga, the remains of downed F/A-18 pilot Michael Scott Speicher have been found in Iraq, the Pentagon announced Sunday, buried in a grave near where his plane crashed on the first day...

July 19, 2009

■   Civilians lend soldiers a helping hand -
Bill Neimes' job might sound fairly typical for a government engineer: Long days filled with bid conferences, site inspections and contractor meetings. Most engineers, though, don't have to deal with explosive devices going off near...

June 5, 2009

■   Military trying to get mental health care right -
Mike Murray got back to Mayport Naval Station from Afghanistan eight months ago, but his experiences there haven't faded. "I haven't had a good night's sleep once since I've gotten home, " said the petty...

April 9, 2009

■   Navy commits to unmanned vehicles in a big way -
The members of Navy Helicopter Squadron Light 42's seventh detachment would be busy enough this time of year anyway, as the pilots and maintainers work toward an upcoming deployment. But on top of the other...

January 23, 2009

■   Mayport sailor gets 3 months in brig -
A Mayport-based sailor who kicked and punched a handcuffed Iraqi detainee he was guarding will spend three months in the brig and forfeit $3,600 after pleading guilty Thursday to charges related to the incident. Seaman...

January 10, 2009

■   Love for tea may end his career -
There's nothing like a nice cup of tea to relax, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Javier Trevino used to think. Particularly herbal tea -- no caffeine to get his hands shaking while he was working...

November 9, 2008

■   Life undone: From service to streets -
By the time Gianna Fimbres washed up in Jacksonville in July, she had had enough. Enough rootlessness after hitchhiking here from Arizona. Enough dealing with emotional problems stemming from her time fighting in Iraq. Enough...

October 8, 2008

■   Grieving the loss of a fiance -
The wedding, Tavarus Setzler had said, should be this Thanksgiving. Setzler and his fiancee, Brittnie Jones, first planned on tying the knot next year, but sometime during the long hot days in Iraq, the soldier...

September 14, 2008

■   Web of contacts emerges in Port case -
Four months ago, the FBI subpoenaed the Jacksonville Port Authority, requesting documents related to board vice chairman Tony Nelson and a handful of other companies and people. The authority reported that it had no paperwork...

August 24, 2008

■   Power outside the spotlight: Tony Nelson -
He quietly rose from elementary school teacher to top spots on public boards. An FBI investigation into companies he runs thrust him into the spotlight. Details of how he gained positions of power and influence...

July 6, 2008

■   Dredger accuses port figure: A private contractor says the Jaxport board member threatened his business -
A businessman trying to establish a foothold for his dredging company in Jacksonville said Tony Nelson told him he could find the company work -- as long as the owner agreed to sell Nelson 70...

May 31, 2008

■   Nelson said to press for favorites -
A Jacksonville Port Authority consultant who complained about the role Tony Nelson played in choosing contractors to build a new terminal was ousted from that job after relaying his concerns to the board. The complaints...

April 26, 2008

■   FBI seizes records of Jacksonville port partners -
The FBI has raided businesses connected to a member of the Jacksonville Port Authority board, seizing records from companies he leads and from companies doing business with the port. In separate raids conducted Wednesday, agents...

March 15, 2008

■   Runway extension: Really about safety? -
Numbers swirl around the fight over the possible extension of a runway at Craig Municipal Airport. The weight of aircraft, the size of crash zones, the cost of construction: Each side has its own figures....

August 3, 2007

■   Area has share of questionable bridges -
There are 43 "structurally deficient" bridges in the greater Jacksonville area, including 18 owned by Duval County, according to federal data analyzed by the Times-Union in the wake of Wednesday's Minnesota bridge collapse. Twenty-three of...

April 22, 2007

■   The perfect storm -
Forget Jaguars teal or Main Street Bridge blue. Spend a little time on the First Coast, and it's obvious the area's colors are the orange and white of the barrels strewn up and down our...

August 11, 2006

■   Water, makeup, liquor land in JIA trash bins -
Mark Adams hauled away his first load of the day around 8:45 a.m. Inside the rolling red trash receptacle, black plastic garbage bags. Inside the bags, liquid-filled containers: Evian. Clinique. Jim Beam. All day...

June 8, 2006

■   STUCK IN TRAFFIC: Would you call 911? -
From his office on Park Street, Orange Park Town Manager John Bowles can tell if the morning commute is bad, as drivers start backing up onto nearby Kingsley Avenue. A block away, the Orange Park...

September 15, 2005

■   Airport fraternity answers Biloxi's call for help -
Kurt Ferguson got the call at 10 a.m. Sept. 1. His instructions were simple: Be on a plane that afternoon. Be ready to help. "I left a note for the missis on the table: 'Gone...

July 15, 2005

■   Port close to signing huge deal with line -
The Jacksonville Port Authority is on the verge of signing a deal with an Asian shipping line that will bring a mammoth new facility to Dames Point and could create thousands of jobs, double the...

March 15, 2005

■   New era dawns in shopping -
It was almost a week before St. Johns Town Center would officially open, but that didn't stop Jason Watkins from being amazed at what he saw. "It's amazing to see Jacksonville grown up like this,"...

March 2, 2005

■   99 sick following Carnival ship's cruise -
When Dean Adams walked onto the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Celebration, the smell of raw sewage, he said, hit him almost immediately. When he walked off the ship five days later, Adams and his wife...

February 7, 2005

■   Now What? -
The Super Bowl is history, the crowds are dispersing and the cruise ships are sailing away, leaving Jacksonville with one question: NOW WHAT? While most of the attention of the crowd at Veterans Memorial Arena...

January 16, 2005

■   Adam's Mark fights an image: Problems from parking to a $2 million plumbing disaster plague the Super Bowl hotel -
As the Adam's Mark hotel continues to prep for its week in the Super Bowl spotlight, it has had to deal with behind-the-scenes issues -- including valet parking delays and room service snafus -- that...

August 3, 2004

■   Spy aircraft to be built at Cecil -
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer will be making the military's newest spy plane at Cecil Commerce Center as part of a team led by defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. Lockheed won the $879 million contract to...

June 11, 2004

■   Leaders bond on Mideast -
SEA ISLAND -- Sea Island's moment in the world spotlight ended Thursday with an ebullient president and a group of once-estranged allies talking about the renewed closeness of their relationship. Along the way, the leaders...

■   Nations ask what, if any, role in Iraq -
SEA ISLAND, Ga. -- The G-8 nations' leaders will have barely shaken the sand out of the shoes they wore on the dunes of Sea Island when they'll have to once again take up perhaps...

June 8, 2004

■   Torrent awaiting Savannah lies dormant -
SAVANNAH -- Georgia's First City settled into a lazy waiting mode Monday, keyed up for today's beginning of the G-8 Sea Island summit. With little on either the official or alternative agendas, security personnel patrolled...

March 3, 2004

■   UNF buys tech park for $14 million -
The city's Research and Development Authority has agreed to sell the First Coast Technology Park to the University of North Florida for $14 million, a purchase that must be approved by the state.

January 28, 2004

■   Shock jock gets shocked -
He had to wait almost two years, but a Jacksonville man appalled by the content of the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show has received the support of the Federal Communications Commission.

October 24, 2003

■   Doctors facing 'painful' ethical issues -
As head of Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital's department of psychology, Cynthia Beaulieu is no stranger to issues of mortality.

April 18, 2003

■   'Everyone went flying and screaming' -
The engineer glanced down at the speedometer. Fifty-six miles per hour. His eyes flicked up, looking out the window, watching the train tracks stretching out before him.

February 14, 2003

■   Retailers pocket less amid gas hike -
The average price for gasoline in Florida hit record levels yesterday, but retailers might actually be pocketing less money as the numbers on the pumps tick higher.

June 5, 2002

■   Prague voters skeptical on national vote -
In this month's national elections, Michal Nohejl will vote ODS - reluctantly. Though Nohejl grants that the conservative Civic Democrats (ODS) may not be the country's most attractive political force, he says "they're the best we have at the moment."

May 22, 2002

■   City Hall cracks down after television report on fare-boosting device -
Miloslav Novak thinks local cab drivers get a bad rap. "We can't get customers. They re all afraid," said Novak, basking in the sunshine near his green Ford taxi, parked on Wenceslas Square.

November 12, 2000

■   Sunnyside Gardens provides "oasis" in Queens -
The stately tree in the midst of the old brick buildings reluctantly surrendered to autumn, holding on to a few orange leaves while sending their brown brethren to the ground below.

November 2, 2000

■   Have you seen this candidate? -
Trina knew the name, she said. It was on the tip of her tongue. She lit a cigarette with a customer's lighter, leaning over the bar to return it. It didn't help. "Nope," she finally said. "I'm not sure who's running."

October 31, 2000

■   The tale of the tape -
By day's end, they didn't even bother shredding the stuff. Not enough time; too much excitement.

October 27, 2000

■   'A legal loan shark' -
She has a job, the woman says, pressing her fingertips against the scarred plastic window. She just can't prove it.

April 22, 2000

■   Neighbor Discovers Woman Murdered -
DELAND -- A 77-year-old woman was found murdered in her home Friday morning, stunning residents in her quiet country club community.

February 8, 2000

■   Thousands pay tribute to officer -
ORLANDO -- His comrades in arms said their final goodbyes Monday morning to Orlando police Officer George S. DeSalvia, bidding him farewell just yards away from where he was fatally shot.

February 4, 2000

■   Pupils preserve the past -
DELTONA -- King Chicken began his journey to the underworld Thursday. After month of preparation, pupils at Discovery Elementary finally laid to rest a chicken -- perhaps one of the most honored chickens in the history of poultry.

February 1, 2000

■   Condo meeting turns into fracas -
DELTONA -- A meeting of the Edgewater Condominium association devolved into chaos over the weekend, with two senior citizens coming to blows in the lobby of the Deltona Civic Center.

December 11, 1999

■   Curmudgeon vows to stay put -
ORANGE CITY -- Christmas is being stolen from the Grinch. While the Whos in Who-ville gather in song, a self-admitted crotchety old man is being forced from his mobile home park.

December 4, 1999

■   'It was like obvious death' -
DELAND -- Four people including two flight instructors, a commercial pilot and a student were killed in a midair collision between two small planes Friday morning over DeLand Municipal Airport.

November 21, 1999

Three more Volusia County residents took their own lives last weekend. Their deaths brought the county's 1999 suicide total to 72, a number that shocks local experts and places the county far ahead of national and state averages.

November 5, 1999

DEBARY -- A marina owner accused of hiring a transsexual trucker to kill his stepmother left jail Thursday after posting a $1 million bail bond.

July 5, 1999

DAYTONA BEACH -- A collective sigh went up from the workers in the traffic operations center at 7 p.m. Saturday.

May 2, 1999

DELTONA -- "Pipe bombs are some of the easiest and deadliest ways to kill a group of people or destroy a few things. First off, we will talk about the pipes. Second will be the explosives and last will be the shrapnel."

April 8, 1999

DELTONA -- The smell grows and mutates, slowly.

February 15, 1999

ORANGE CITY -- File it in the "be careful what you wish for" department.

November 22, 1998

■   NICOLE'S ESCAPE: A teen-age girl's battle for acceptance ends in suicide -
"Dear Mom -- By the time you get this I'll be gone. It's not your falt (sic). It's no one's fault. I was just sick of everything and I needed to get away."


This is a showcase of the work done by Timothy J. Gibbons during a journalism career now stretching back more than a decade.

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