SnapJAX Stories: Joy and Freedom in Nature with Candace Watkins
In this week's episode of SnapJax Stories, you never know what you'll find in the wilderness. Well one of our snappers Candace Watkins knows she's always going to see something wild on her 30 acre farm and she's going to have her camera ready.
Local woman makes Positively Jax difference with pet pantry, animal rescue during pandemic
Jessie Shekels noticed one of the pandemic struggles in the Keystone Heights area where she lives was that people who have four-legged kids had needs that weren’t being met. That’s when “Keep Pets and People Together” was born.
News4Jax Super 6 softball: Rankings hold steady as teams hit midway point
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school softball season is in full swing and so are our News4Jax Super 6 rankings. (1) Oakleaf (11-1, Class 7A)Notable wins: Clay, Creekside, East Ridge, Episcopal, Gainesville, Keystone Heights, Providence, Ridgeview. (2) Ridgeview (13-3, Class 4A)Notable wins: Bartram Trail, Clay, Episcopal, Fletcher, Keystone Heights, Oakleaf, Paxon, West Nassau (twice). (5) Episcopal (8-4, Class 3A)Notable wins: Clay, Fletcher, Middleburg, Paxon, West Nassau. To cap their 2-0 Super 6 week West Nassau beat a solid Providence squad 8-2.
JTA’s ‘Green Line’ will connect Clay County riders with Middleburg VA clinic
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will cut the ribbon Thursday on the Clay Community Transportation Green Line, which will provide direct transportation from Keystone Heights and Penney Farms to the VA Clinic in Middleburg. The Green Line will make three trips each day. It will also connect to the Magenta Line, which offers two trips per day between Keystone Heights and Gainesville. Clay Community Transportation also offers a Blue Line that runs from Pier Station in Green Cove Springs to Fleming Island, Middleburg, Orange Park and NAS Jacksonville, as well as a Red Line that runs from Middleburg to the Orange Park Mall. AdMORE ONLINE: Clay Community Transportation routes and stops
JTA opening ‘Green Line’ to connect Clay County riders with Middleburg VA clinic
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will cut the ribbon Thursday on the Clay Community Transportation Green Line, which will provide direct transportation from Keystone Heights and Penney Farms to the VA Clinic in Middleburg. The Green Line will make three trips each day. It will also connect to the Magenta Line, with offers two trips per day between Keystone Heights and Gainesville. Clay Community Transportation also offers a Blue Line that runs from Pier Station in Green Cove Springs to Fleming Island, Middleburg, Orange Park and NAS Jacksonville, as well as a Red Line that runs from Middleburg to the Orange Park Mall. AdMORE ONLINE: Clay Community Transportation routes and stops
Psychedelic drugs, explosives, lab found at Keystone Heights home, sheriff says
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Hallucinogenic drugs and enough explosive material to make seven homemade hand grenades were found at a home in Keystone Heights, Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook announced Monday. On March 19, officers went to the home and found a “DMT extraction lab” inside a shed on the property, Cook said. They can be dangerous to those who are producing the drug, the community and for our investigating officers and detectives,” Cook said. AdDetectives also found chemicals that can be used to create other psychedelic drugs, five guns, 2,000 rounds of ammunition and chemicals that could be used to build destructive or explosive devices. Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked together to investigate the lab and clean up the hazardous chemicals that were located there.
News4Jax Super 6 baseball: New team at No. 1, plus a newcomer this week
(4) Clay (11-1, Class 4A)Notable wins: Baker County, Baldwin, Keystone Heights, Ponte Vedra, St. Johns Country Day, Trinity Christian. 1 St. Johns Country Day in a 3-0 gem last Friday night. (1) St. Johns Country Day (9-2, Class 2A)Notable wins: Baldwin, Bartram Trail, Bolles, Glynn Academy, Spruce Creek, University Christian. Bolles’ only other loss came to St. Johns Country Day in the second game of the season. They beat Bishop McLaughlin Catholic (7-1) and St. Johns Country Day (6-3 in 9 innings) and lost 5-4 to Ponte Vedra.
News4Jax Super 6 softball: New team at the top and a newcomer in this week’s rankings
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school softball season is in full swing and so are our News4Jax Super 6 rankings. (2) Ridgeview (9-1, Class 4A)Notable wins: Bartram Trail, Fletcher, Keystone Heights, Oakleaf, Paxon, West Nassau. (NR) Baker County (7-2, Class 4A)Notable wins: Keystone Heights, Middleburg, Paxon, Trinity Christian. (4) West Nassau (5-2, Class 3A)Notable wins: Keystone Heights, Middleburg. Dropped out: Episcopal (3-2, Class 3A).
Clay County investigates death involving lawn mower in Keystone Heights
A person died Tuesday morning in an accident involving a lawnmower at a business on State Road 100 in Keystone Heights, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. The accident happened at about 9:30 a.m. and deputies are investigating why he died. This article will be updated when more information becomes available.
Bradford County man booked into Clay County jail on DUI manslaughter charge
A 26-year-old man was booked Tuesday afternoon into the Clay County jail on a charge of DUI manslaughter. According to an FHP report from Oct. 11, 2015, Joshua Gabriel Barron was driving on State Road 21 near Keystone Heights just after midnight when he crossed the center line and struck a car head-on. That driver died and Barron was seriously injured. Troopers at the time were investigating whether alcohol was involved in the crash. Barron’s last known address is in Starke.
New player fee proposed as Clay County reconsiders lease agreements with youth sports leagues
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County leaders are getting pushback over a proposal to help fund parks and recreation programs. Trevor Waters, president of the Keystone Youth Soccer Club, told News4Jax that the proposed per-child fee would be crippling in Keystone Heights, where he says his players come from less affluent families than those in other parts of the county. But this idea looks like it will be sent back to the drawing board after Clay County Commissioner Besty Condon lambasted the proposal in the most recent commission meeting. “That’s their hard-earned money.”It’s unclear what county leaders will do and whether the proposed per-player fee will be instituted. The Clay County Board of County Commissioners has tabled this issue until baseball season is over, likely by the end of June.
Year later, slain mother of 3′s family still seeking justice
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Liza Dukes, her boyfriend and his father were all shot at a home in Keystone Heights in December 2019. More than a year later, Dukes’ sister, Keri Lewis, told News4Jax the family’s journey to find justice has been frustrating. “I’m just ready for this to be over with so that we can grieve and move on,” Lewis said. In February, a grand jury indicted Hill on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. AdRELATED: State to seek death penalty against man indicted in deadly New Year’s Eve shootingAsked what she misses most about her sister, Lewis said:“She was always that person for me.
7th arrest made in Clay County man’s beating death
Marshals Service in Texas was the seventh person charged in connection to the November 2019 beating death of a Clay County man. Doug Roe Jr. was arrested Nov. 10 on a Clay County Sheriff’s Office warrant in connection with the murder of Stephen Perry, who was badly beaten with bats on the porch of a home near the Clay County/Putnam County line. Photo of Stephen Perry provided to WJXTClay County detectives investigated Perry’s murder for months and followed leads that took them to New York, Texas and Georgia. Alexsandria McNabb and Jesse Roe are charged with accessory after the fact to murder. The Sheriff’s Office said Perry had given Alexsandria McNabb, who was dating Kalvin Roe at the time, shoes for her son.
Clay County man suspected of 5 armed robberies in 3 counties arrested
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – A Clay County man suspected in a string of armed robberies has been arrested, Sheriffs from four local counties announced Tuesday. Investigators said Noe Cruz, 22, is thought to be behind a series of at least five hold-ups in Putnam, Alachua and Bradford counties. The Keystone Heights resident, who has no prior criminal history, is believed to have worn a red bandana during the robberies and drove the same car, a green SUV. “The very nature of the actions of this individual potentially could have resulted in injury or death to an innocent person as in each instance the suspect was armed with a firearm,” Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach said. Investigators said they believe Cruz intended to continue his crime spree if he had not been arrested.
Head-on crash shuts down US-301 at County Road 218 for hours
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A Keystone Heights driver died in an early morning wreck on U.S. 301 south of County Road 218 when his pickup truck crossed into oncoming traffic and struck another pickup head-on, according to Florida Highway Patrol. Crash investigators said the 29-year-old man was driving north at 5:45 a.m. between Lawtey and Baldwin when he lost control, cross the median and struck the southbound vehicle. #BREAKING: @FHPJacksonville is reporting at least one fatality in a multiple vehicle crash on US 301 south of CR 218. The southbound lanes remained closed past noon. Crash investigators have not yet determined what caused the crash, but roads in the area were slick from rain overnight.
Keystone Heights football team forced out of action due to COVID-19
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Keystone Heights football team will be out of action through Oct. 9 due to COVID-19 issues, Clay County District Schools announced on Wednesday. The Clay High football team had to cancel its game at Palatka last week due to potential coronavirus exposure. That means Keystone Heights' football game at St. Joseph Friday night and its Oct. 9 game at Crescent City are off. “The Florida Department of Health - Clay County has recommended the quarantine of all individuals on the Keystone Heights High School Varsity Football Team due to the potential exposure to positive COVID-19 cases. The Clay volleyball team was also quarantined due to possible COVID-19 exposure.
COVID-19 concerns scrap Menendez-St. Augustine rivalry game
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Menendez football team’s game at rival St. Augustine Friday night has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns as several players and coaches became ill. Later Wednesday, the Clay County District Schools announced that Keystone Heights would have its football team shelved through Oct. 9 due to possible exposure to COVID-19 cases. It marks the second time in as many weeks that an area football team has been forced to cancel a game due to coronavirus quarantine measures or concerns. Clay High had to cancel last week’s game at Palatka due to players having to quarantine. Eagle’s View was also looking for an opponent after losing its game to Ocala St. John Lutheran this week, too.
Troopers investigating deadly crash in Keystone Heights
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. At least one person is dead after a fatal crash in Keystone Heights on County Road 214 at Yale Street, according to Florida Highway Patrol. Video shows one car overturned and leaning against a tree. News4Jax will update this story when the crash report or more information becomes available.
Video appears to show deputy strike Clay County murder suspect during arrest
Five people have been arrested in connection with Perry’s death, including four brothers from the Roe family of Keystone Heights. They include Caleb Roe and Travis Roe, who have been charged with second-degree murder, as well. The family is speaking out specifically after the arrest of Travis Roe on Aug. 27. The family had video surveillance on its property and provided a copy of the video to News4Jax. News4Jax spoke with Travis Roe by phone from jail.
High school football 2020: Team-by-team schedules, results from around the area
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a long delay to start the season due to a global pandemic, high school football season kicks off on Sept. 4 around Florida and Georgia. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced quite a few adjustments to schedules in 2020 and many teams have yet to finalize their schedules. Teams that don’t have opponents for a certain date or their schedules have not been provided are marked with a TBA. FLORIDAAll games start at 7 p.m. unless indicated. There will be no district champions declared in 2020, so district games are not identified.
Clay County curbside recycling collection to resume next week
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. Clay Countys contracted waste hauler will resume collection of curbside recycling the week of Aug. 17, county officials announced Monday. This includes the unincorporated areas of Clay County and Keystone Heights. According to Clay County, curbside recycling collection was temporarily suspended July 21 due to the contracted waste hauler, Advanced Disposal Services, being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders. The county said staffing shortages and an increased demand for residential solid waste collection services made it impossible for some routes to be collected. Advanced Disposal Services estimates it will take one week to catch up on the collection of excess recyclables due to the suspension.
Tractor flips, kills Keystone Heights man
BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – A Keystone Heights man died Sunday after the tractor he was operating overturned on top of him, according to Florida Highway Patrol. In a report of the incident, FHP said a 78-year-old man was attempting to haul a large tree on private property on Southeast 50th Street when the tractor flipped on top of him. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene just after 4:30 p.m.
Plan would turn Keystone Heights fire station into Clay County Sheriff’s Office stop station
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – The Keystone Heights City Council is continuing to explore bringing a Clay County Sheriff’s Office stop station to the town. “Any opportunity that we can engage with community members, we want to jump on that," said Sheriff’s Office Chief of Patrol Steven Barreira. Clay County Sheriff's Office deputy speaking at Keystone Heights City Hall. When News4Jax was in Keystone Heights in January, residents said that they had noticed a lot of law enforcement. The Keystone Heights City Council had considered looking at starting its own police department but determined it would be too costly.
Could Clay County Sheriff’s Office substation be coming to Keystone Heights?
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – Following a News4Jax report highlighting recent issues with violence in the small town of Keystone Heights, the City Council is taking action. The Keystone Heights City Council had considered looking at starting its own police department but determined it wouldn’t work financially. Now, city leaders told News4Jax that they’re looking at other options, including the possibility of putting in a Clay County Sheriff’s Office substation. One idea that has been floated is putting in a substation in Keystone Heights. The public is invited to attend the Keystone Heights City Council meeting at 6 p.m. March 2 at City Hall.
State to seek death penalty against man indicted in deadly New Year’s Eve shooting
The State Attorney’s Office informed him it intends to seek the death penalty. Liza Dukes, a mother of three, and Jay Wooten were killed in the Dec. 31 shooting on Lori Loop Road. Keri Lewis, Dukes’ sister, said she feels the punishment that the state is seeking is appropriate. “I’m OK with the death penalty," Lewis told News4Jax by phone on Monday. Scifo and Hill were taken into custody after they crashed a neighbor’s vehicle during a police chase on State Road 11 in nearby Bradford County.
Recent violence puts spotlight on Keystone Heights crime
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office held a neighborhood walk Tuesday afternoon in Keystone Heights. The community walk, which started at Keystone Heights Elementary School, comes as newsworthy crime issues have been plaguing the small town in the last couple of months. Christina Underwood, who just moved back to Keystone Heights after being gone a few years, said it concerns her to hear about crime in the small town. Commissioner Gavin Rollins, who lives in Keystone Heights, said he’s been in touch with Sheriff Darryl Daniels about the recent violence. The Sheriff’s Office also does “Walk-In Wednesdays” in Keystone Heights, where the agency selects one business to visit each week to keep a strong relationship with the community.
Clay County deputies looking into suspected teenage fight club
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says it’s looking into a suspected teenage fight club after fight videos began popping up on social media. In one of the videos that deputies are investigating, children, who appear to be in their teens, in Keystone Heights can be seen beating up each other. A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told News4Jax that she recognized one of the children seen in the video. “Very surprising because it’s like right down the street -- literally down street,” she said Tuesday. It’s unclear whether any of the teens seen in the videos will be charged or given a warning once they are identified by investigators.
Clay County triple shooting started with an argument over stolen clothes, suspect says
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A woman who is charged in connection with a December triple shooting in Clay County told investigators the incident started after an argument over stolen clothes, court documents show. Clay County deputies said one of those victims, 29-year-old Liza Dukes, died at the scene. Scifo said things became tense when Dukes and Shayne Wooten allegedly stole clothes from Hill and Scifo. Scifo told investigators that during the scuffle Hill shot Shayne Wooten, and then shot Dukes in the back, according to court records. The couple then went next door and Hill pistol-whipped the neighbor and stole his pickup truck, Scifo told investigators.
Neighbors speak out after Keystone Heights man’s beating death
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – Neighbors are on edge after the death of a Clay County man who was beaten by several people armed with bats. Stephen Perry, 34, was taken off life support Thursday, almost one week after the Nov. 22 attack unfolded outside a home in a rural part of Keystone Heights, his family told News4Jax. On Friday, neighbors told News4Jax it’s rare to see any crime reported in their community, much less a violent crime like the one that ended up taking Perry’s life. A friend of Perry’s told News4Jax that up to 10 people targeted his friend in the attack. News4Jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson said it’s possible that witnesses are not cooperating and giving investigators the information they need to make more arrests.
2019 high school football: Week-by-week schedules, results
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 2019 high school football season continues early November and beyond for some. Here are the schedules for each week of the regular season. All games at 7 p.m. unless indicated. District/region games schedule with *. Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.
Sheriff: Bradford County deputies bust 'crack haven'
BRADFORD COUNTY Fla. - Deputies with the Bradford County Sheriff's Office have busted what Sheriff Gordon Smith called a "crack haven." The Clay County Sheriff's Office also helped in the operation. The sheriff personally delivered a letter to that house Friday saying its a nuisance and that deputies wont tolerate drugs there. Sheriff Gordon Smith in a Facebook video posted on the Bradford County Sheriff's Office page personally issued Suit a letter declaring the house a neighborhood nuisance. Clay County Fire Rescue was called to clear the scene due to the presence of the chemicals.
Missing 15-year-old boy found, deputies say
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - A missing teen who was considered endangered has been found safe, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said Thursday. Deputies thanked everyone who provided information that helped them locate the 15-year-old. News4Jax has removed his name and photo from this article because he is a minor and is no longer in danger. Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.
Deputies: Missing woman considered 'armed and potentially dangerous'
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - Deputies are searching for a missing woman who should be considered armed and potentially dangerous, the Clay County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday night. Dawn Macleod, who has ties to the Keystone Heights area, is "possibly a danger to herself and others," deputies said. Deputies said she may be traveling to the Ocala area and may be driving a 2005 gray/silver Honda SUV with Florida license plate LNBD55. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to not approach her and call 911 or 904-264-6512. Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.
New JTA Magenta Line to connect Keystone Heights to Gainesville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will launch its newest flex route, the Magenta Line, in Clay County on Monday. It will provide bus transportation to Gainesville from Keystone Heights. Standard fares are $1 per trip and begin daily from the Keystone Heights Senior Center at 125 Commercial Circle in Keystone Heights, transporting customers to the Rosa Parks Downtown Transit Station located at 700 SE 3rd St. in Gainesville. The Magenta Line will leave Keystone Heights at 8 a.m. for Gainesville and return to Keystone Heights at 10 a.m. Afternoon service leaves Keystone Heights at 3 p.m. for Gainesville and returns to Keystone Heights at 5 p.m.Reservations can be made by calling 904-284-5977.
Clay County Commission - District 4
Clay County's fourth district includes western Clay CountyIncumbent Gavin Rollins won the Republican primary in August and will face Democrat Cheryl Owen in the November general election. Republican Gavin Rollins (incumbent), Keystone HeightsAge: 31Candidate's family: (Parents) Perry and Toni Rollins, (Siblings) Dusty, Jared, Chad, MeganOccupation: History Teacher, Entrepreneur, Army OfficerEducation: Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Education and CommunicationPolitical experience: Keystone Heights City Council, Clay County Commission One TermSummarize your political platform in 10 words or less. A conservative fighting for public safety, better roads, parks, second amendment rights, and property rights for citizensWhat do you see as the top three issues in this race? As an entrepreneur I bring creative solutions to the commission that improve quality without increasing cost. Website: gavinrollins.comSocial media: Facebook / TwitterDemocraticCheryl Owen , Keystone HeightsCheryl Owens is a Democratic candidate for Clay County Commission, District 4.
FHP: 1 dead, 2 injured in crash on SR 100 in Bradford County
STARKE, Fla. – A 46-year-old man died and his two passengers were seriously injured in a single-truck crash on State Road 100 at Southeast 75th Street in Starke, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Both directions of SR 100 were closed at 8:36 a.m. after Andrew Garnett, of Keystone Heights, flipped his Ford Ranger, troopers said. It’s unknown why Garnett drove off the road. Garnett’s passengers -- Angela Lloyd, 42, of Melrose, and Robert Lloyd, 20, of Keystone Heights -- were taken to UF Shands with serious injuries, troopers said.