Clay teachers union and school board at odds over pay raises

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- The Clay County teachers union says the school board is not living up to Governor Rick Scott's promise to increase teacher salaries this school year.

Clay County schools are getting $6.1 million this year for teacher pay raises. Right now, the teachers union and the Clay County School Board are at odds over how much each teacher will receive and if the raise will be permanent, or just this year.

The latest proposal from the school board offers teachers a $1,400 raise each while the teachers union is asking for a $1,960 a year raise. Former middle school guidance counselor and Clay County Education Association President Renna Lee Paiva is shocked and disappointing that the school board said it won't put the money on the permanent school salary schedule.

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Former Dozier student speaks out on decision

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Arthur G. Dozier School for boys officially closed June, 2011, but still open are the many chapters to its dark history.

"Finally the truth is going to come out," said Roger Kiser. 

Kiser, founder of the organization White House Boys, is a former student at the Arthur G. Dozier school for boys. He remembers what he said the day after his first beating.

"I was beaten bloody and I said one day I'm gonna come back and report what you people are doing,' said Kiser.

It is a promise he has kept. For the past two decades Kiser has spent his time and his money exposing the horror of the reform school. 

"I put everything I had into this," said Kiser. "I don't regret for one minute that I did it, I'd do it again."

Man gets two life sentences for fatal double stabbing

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- A Jacksonville man convicted of a 2009 Clay County double-murder received two life sentences Friday.
Cornelius Walston, 30, stabbed David Smith, 24, and Kevin Martin, 24, after getting in a fight at Club Myth in October 2009, according to a release from State Attorney's Office spokesperson Jackelyn Bernard.
A jury found Walston guilty of two counts of murder in the second degree in May.

Man busted with marijuana grow house

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - Detectives discovered a large marijuana growing operation in a rental house after responding to suspicious activity at the location.

An investigation revealed that the suspect, Bryan Hardy, 39, who was on the lease, rented the residence with the sole purpose of creating a grow house. He is being charged with cultivation of marijuana and leasing a structure for the purpose of cultivating marijuana.

Hardy rented the house located in the block of 2200 Felucca Drive and paid the rent on time every month, according to the owner, but when called by detectives on June 26, he denied doing so in several years.

Hardy was then questioned at his residence, in the block 500 Magnolia Avenue, about why he did not live there, yet the lease was in his name and rent was paid. Witnesses also saw him mowing the lawn. His story changed more than once, according to the affidavit.

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Clay County dam break alters Peters Creek

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. --  A dam break Friday night in Clay County did not cause flooding as expected but that break did alter the appearance of Peters Creek near Green Cove Springs.

A dam broke Friday night in Clay County at Wright's Lake and emergency management officials thought there could be some flash flooding as the water from that lake went into Peter's Creek. They issued a flash flood warning.

The expected flooding did not occur. But those who live along the creek woke up to a much different creek and hope it isn't permanently damaged.

The earthen headwall of Wright's Lake Dam on private property began to fail around 10:30 Friday night.

Mike Smiley lives on the creek just north of the lake.  

Your guide to First Coast 4th of July celebrations

Firework displays and events scheduled to celebrate the 4th of July holiday across the First Coast. Here's a list of the festivities:

Columbia County celebrates 4th of July

Clay County celebrates the 4th of July

Fernandina Beach celebrates 4th of July

Flagler County celebrates 4th of July

Baker, Clay to host National Night Out events

Northeast Florida -- Baker and Clay counties have announced that they have begun planning for "America's Night out Against Crime."

The events are part of the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of various crime prevention programs, which culminates annually on the first Tuesday of August.  

National Night Out was first introduced in 1984 and began as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.