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Crane Island Now Open for Sales on Florida’s Amelia Island

Amelia Island, FL – Crane Island has officially begun sales for its 72-acre master planned community, located on northeast Florida’s Amelia Island – consistently rated among the top island destinations in North America. With panoramic coastal views, The Range at Crane Island is first new development on Amelia Island with deep-water access to the Intracoastal Waterway in 15 years. It is also the island’s last waterfront land available for new home construction with boat access, making Crane Island a rare opportunity to own part of Amelia’s enviable island lifestyle. The gated community will include 110 homesites starting from $300,000.
 
“Crane Island offers a magnificent natural setting and is ideally situated at the heart of Amelia Island, making it arguably one of the most desirable properties available on the Eastern seaboard today,” said Vann Simmons, Director of Sales for Crane Island. “Here you can enjoy the benefits of your investment while living in one of the world’s top vacation destinations.”
 
Developed by long-time Amelia Island residents Saad Wallan and Jack B. Healan, Jr., Crane Island is designed as a low-impact development with minimal disturbance to the natural environment. Graced by spectacular old-growth trees and undisturbed lands, Crane Island offers homesites with stunning views of water, protected marshes and a manicured park. The developers aim to create a small, but vibrant neighborhood that is surrounded by an extensive waterfront park. “It’s the perfect locale for socializing, relaxing, and creating memories to last a lifetime,” said Healan. “And with quick access to the Intracoastal Waterway and Nassau Sound, it’s ideal for enjoying life on the water.”
 
The development will also include a private clubhouse, day dock, pool and walking paths. In addition, residents will have the opportunity for exclusive membership at Amelia Island Club, which includes privileges at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation for world class golf, spa, dining, tennis, beach service and more.
 
Crane Island features beautiful wooded lots for custom homes, as well as a limited number of builder residences. Builders for the development will include Rutenberg Homes, Pineapple Corporation and Lendy Homes. 
 
Crane Island Sales Team expects final sales to close by the end of summer with new home builds to begin this fall. For more information about Crane Island or real estate opportunities, visit www.CraneIsland.com or call 904-432-8390.
 

Flowering Fernandina

Flowering Fernandina is a grassroots volunteer project to plant and water beautiful flowers on Centre Street.

Donations Needed
Please make donations to:
Flowering Fernandina c/o HFBA
P.O. Box 473
Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

For more information, please email: floweringfernandina1@gmail.com
Working together to make historic Fernandina Beach more beautiful

Fernandina Accepting Bids for IT Security Assessment

The City of Fernandina Beach is seeking proposals for a vendor to conduct security assessments of the City’s existing IT infrastructure. The vendor awarded the contract will assist the City in determining our current and potential future security risk profile so an appropriate set of responses can be developed. The anticipated list of vulnerabilities to be evaluated may include but is not limited to:

• Network penetration
• Social Engineering vulnerability
• Policies and practices as they pertain to 3rd party support entities
• Internal policies and practices
• Application vulnerability, internal and public-facing
• Sensitive data vulnerability
• PCI Compliance

Publication Date/Time January 13, 2017, 12:01 PM
Closing Date/Time February 06, 2017, 2:00 PM

For more information, please contact Patti Clifford in writing at pclifford@fbfl.org.

Coastal Cottage Opens on Amelia Island

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Pictured above from left to right are Melody Dawkins, Regan Westra, Dan Westra and Doug Oliver.

Coastal Cottage, Amelia Island’s new home furnishings, gifts and framing store, which is located in the Publix Shopping Center next to Staples, opened on November 22 once final inspections were completed that morning. Obviously, that was a sad date for the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department as well as the entire county.
  
oliver-and-leeper The store has a horse mascot and had held a contest to name the horse that ran through the end of November. The winning entry, submitted by Melody Dawkins, was selected; and the nearly life-sized teak driftwood horse was named Oliver, in memory of Deputy Eric Oliver.  

On the night of the store’s grand opening in mid-December, the name was announced and a donation from the employees of Coastal Cottage was made to Deputy Oliver’s trust fund for his young daughter.

Sheriff Bill Leeper offered comments about Deputy Oliver and Deputy Oliver’s father, Doug Oliver, was in attendance for the naming of the horse at the ribbon cutting. Pictured with Oliver is Sheriff Bill Leeper.

Coastal Cottage is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 to 6:00 and the owners, Regan and Dan Westra, welcome you to come browse the store! 

NYT Best Selling Author Comes to Amelia Island’s Book Loft

We are thrilled to share that New York Times bestselling author Karen White is coming to the Book Loft on Amelia Island to promote the beloved Tradd Street Series, THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY (Berkley Hardcover; January 10, 2017; 9780451475237). White is the author of twenty previous novels, including Flight Patterns and The Forgotten Room which was an instant New York Times bestseller.

White has always been charmed by the brick-walked streets of Charleston, its beautiful architecture and its rich history. So, when it came time for White to write a series about complicated characters with a side of spooky lore, she knew just where to set it. And so began the story of Melanie Middleton, a Charleston realtor with a special gift, in The House on Tradd Street. THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY picks up on the picturesque streets of Charleston after Melanie has given birth to twins, and is married to the love of her life, Jack Trenholm. Melanie’s maternity leave has reached its end and she is less than thrilled to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end, and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for over a year are about to invade her life once more. But, Melanie’s return to the realty office goes better than expected, with a new client eager to sell her recently inherited home on South Battery. Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits have started to appear to her again. And while she knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past, some secrets refuse to stay buried. THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY is the perfect addition to the Tradd Street series, reuniting fans with their quirky doughnut-loving, schedule-obsessed heroine.

Certain to delight long-time fans of the series, and easy to jump into for newcomers, THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY is another winner from the “ultimate voice of women’s fiction” (Fresh Fiction).

Karen White will be speaking at The Book Loft located at 214 Centre Street from 12:30 until 2 p.m. on January 20, 2017. Dessert and tea will be served.

Charming and complex living characters, combined with unsettled ghosts that balance uncanny creepiness with very human motivations, keep this story warm, real, and exciting.” – Publishers Weekly

White’s latest will keep you in its grip from first page to last.” – RT Reviews

A book with the right combination of chills, thrills and romance.” – Huffington Postkaren-white-books

Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner & Awards Gala

AMELIA ISLAND – Twenty-seven member organizations have been nominated for 2016 Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce Businesses of the Year awards, while 15 individuals were nominated for 2016 Customer Service Professional of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, and Young Business Leader of the Year awards.

The awards will be presented during the Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner & Awards Gala on Friday, January 6, 2016, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. In addition, the 2016 Chairman’s and Board of Director’s awards will be presented as will the Harry Halley Bowtie Award, which is bestowed annually on a longtime Chamber of Commerce supporter.

New this year is the Healthy Business Award, established to recognize a company which provides healthy workplace programs within their company and Leadership Nassau Outstanding Alumni Award presented by the Leadership Nassau Alumni Association.

Nominations are made by Chamber members and the community. Winners are selected by the Board of Directors, including a select nominating committee.

According to Donald Stamets, 2016 Chairman of the Board, “We are delighted with the number of nominees this year, many of which were submitted by customers. These award nominations are evidence of the commitment each one has to our community, business environment and the Chamber of Commerce.”

The 2016 nominees are:

Large Business of the Year (25 employees or more)
Day Spring Senior Living
Osprey Village
Publix Super Market #1406 (Yulee)
The Salty Pelican Bar & Grill
Quality Health of Fernandina Beach

Medium Business of the Year (11-25 employees)
Amelia River Cruises & Charters
Coastal Pizza
Magna’s – A Full Body Salon
Speakeasy Vaporium
The Palace Saloon

Small Business of the Year (10 or fewer employees)
Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen
P5 Productions
Precision Chiropractic
Publix Super Market Pharmacy #1406 (Yulee)
Select Tronix, Inc.
Shapiro Insurance Group

Nonprofit of the Year
Amelia Island Montessori School
Barnabas Center, Inc.
Family Support Services of North Florida
Micah’s Place
Nassau Alcohol Crime and Drug Abatement Coalition

Green Business of the Year
A1A Solar Contracting, Inc.
Color It Green
Fort Clinch State Park
Kayak Amelia
Select Tronix, Inc.
White Oak Conservation Holding, LLC

Customer Service Professional of the Year
Destiny Bramstedt, Select Tronix, Inc.
Shelby Burnsed, Precision Chiropractic
James Hiser, Speakeasy Vaporium
Ray Harrington, First Coast Payments
Lisa Leugers, John T. Ferreira Insurance

Young Business Leader of the Year
Kalia Eckers, The Palace Saloon
Dallas Hempstead, Northwestern Mutual
Dr. Kevin Lin, Precision Chiropractic
Carl Lindsey Jr., Select Tronix, Inc.
Dr. Jonathan Williams, Amelia Express Care

Business Leader of the Year
Kerrie Albert, Nassau Alcohol Crime and Drug Abatement
Lynda Dahl, Imetry, Inc.
Jason Hambrecht, Construction Solutions Inc. and Speakeasy Vaporium
Ron Heymann, Davis Capital Management
Gianna Suarez, Go Yoga Amelia Island

Mission Statement
The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based association of Nassau County businesses, professional leaders and individuals working together to provide leadership which will aggressively promote and defend responsible economic growth, employment opportunities, government and excellence in education and quality of life.

Responsible Beverage Server Training For Bartenders, Servers and Cashiers

Are you or your employees in the hospitality business? Do you operate a liquor or package store? Then this is important training for you and/or your employees and it’s FREE!

This two-hour course helps to develop practical ways retail establishments can prevent sales to minors and intoxicated persons.

The training is sponsored by the Nassau Alcohol Crime Drug Abatement Coalition (NACDAC) and the Fernandina Beach Police Department. Classes will be held at the Fernandina Beach Police Department Community Room, 1525 Lime Street, Fernandina Beach.

Two different training times are available for owners, managers, and employees of bars and restaurants on January 24; choose from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For owners, managers, and employees of package stores and/or gas stations, training is being offered on January 25; choose from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please call (904) 994-2502.

To register, contact Suzanne Bass, Fernandina Beach Police Department at (904) 277-7342 ext. 224 or email sbass@fbfl.org to ensure availability for the scheduled training dates.

Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Opens The Lobby Bar Christmas Eve

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island hopes you will experience The Lobby Bar inspired by bourbon legends, featuring small batch spirits and craft cocktails. Theater and cocktail craft meld together with personal tableside infusions and lite bites, including freshly prepared sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls.

The Lobby Bar is open daily at 12 p.m. – a cocktail experience like no other.

NEW TRADITIONS
Experience First Call when The Lobby Bar mixologist introduces the day’s small batch, house-infused spirit. The First Call infusion is available as craft cocktail until that day’s spirit is sold out.

Reserve the Legends Table, a private banquette with a personalized cocktail menu that includes a small batch tasting flight, signature cocktail, sushi presentation and rare spirits.

Request the Reserve Menu including the exclusive Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. Advance reservations are required through Leisure Reservations, 904-277-1087.

FRESH SUSHI, SASHIMI AND SPECIALTY ROLLS
Their sushi chefs prepare delectable sushi, sashimi and artful sushi rolls made with the freshest seafood available. House specialties include the Amelia roll with shrimp tempura and spicy tuna and lobster and scallop crudo.

NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE LOBBY BAR
Celebrate the New Year with a Gatsby themed party on New Year’s Eve in The Lobby Bar. Experience infused drinks, artful cocktails and the sushi bar. The night includes a DJ, complimentary champagne toast, party favors and fireworks. Dress in Gatsby-style clothing and enter the costume contest.

No cover charge, reservations not required.

RESTAURANT WEEK FINALE: A BOURBON AFFAIR
On January 28th, Amelia Island’s Restaurant Week concludes with A Bourbon Affair event at The Lobby Bar. Sample small batch and house-infused bourbons and craft-cocktails while enjoying small plates from our fresh sushi and sashimi menu. The evening includes select wines and hors d’oeuvres, plus presentations from visiting mixologists, cigar roller and a glassblower with live demonstrations.

For reservations call 904-277-1087.

AFTER DINNER DELIGHTS IN THE LOBBY BAR
End your evening at The Lobby Bar for after dinner specialty drinks, house-made desserts, fine ports and cigars.

FEATURED AFTER DINNER DRINKS
Salted Caramel Martini, a decadent martini with Absolut Vanilla, silky White Chocolate Godiva and salted caramel syrup. Espresso Martini, a combination of vanilla infused vodka, White Chocolate Godiva, espresso and Baileys Irish Cream blend together to create the perfect dessert martini.

CORDIALS AND PORTS
You will find a variety of cordials that include everything from Hennessy to Louis XIII de Remy Martin to Baileys and Grand Marnier. Enjoy an after dinner port from a selection including Graham’s 1980, Cockburn’s Reserve and Warre’s 1985.

CIGARS
The Lobby Bar offers a variety of fine cigars; their selection includes: The Classic Churchill, a medium bodied cigar with a light, creamy and nutty flavor. The Davidoff Millenium Blend Toro, a full flavored cigar with notes of chocolate, caramel and a little spice.

If you’ve worked up an appetite, The Lobby Bar offers sushi and sashimi until 10 p.m

Escape to the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Escape from the everyday routine to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Now through February 28th, 2017, guests receive a $100 Daily Resort Credit on the AMELIA BREAKAWAY PACKAGE. Relax with a signature spa service in The Ritz-Carlton Spa. Experience fine dining in our signature restaurants – COAST and SALT. Unwind with wine, cheese and a private chimenea under a star-filled sky.

The choice is yours when you book your return to Amelia Island this winter.

EXPERIENCE THE NEW LOBBY BAR AT THE RITZ-CARLTON

Join us on December 24th for the opening of Amelia Island’s next great culinary hotspot – The Lobby Bar at The Ritz-Carlton.

A curated list of small-batch spirits and custom infusions inspired by bourbon legends highlight the sophisticated Lobby Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The bar’s signature Smoked Old Fashioned and selection of handcrafted drinks underscore a relaxed, yet refined cocktail culture. Light bites – including freshly-prepared sushi and sashimi – and live entertainment make The Lobby Bar the premiere gathering spot.

Opening December 24, 2016
-Custom, house-infused bourbon blends served daily during “First Call”
-Reservations suggested for reserved seating – “Legends Table”
-Freshly-prepared sushi, sashimi and light bites
-Fireside, terrace seating offers ocean views

Police Investigation becomes Homicide Case

An early morning argument turned into a violent confrontation outside a residence at 837 Tarpon Avenue as one man stabbed and critically wounded another man during a dispute in the victim’s driveway.

Thomas Clyde Erdmann, 19 years of age, was taken to Baptist Nassau and is currently being treated at UF Health Jacksonville for multiple stab wounds.

Fernandina Beach Police and Fire Department personnel responded to the scene at approximately 3:25 A.M. this morning and located the victim inside the residence covered in blood and in great distress. Responding officers learned that the offender was known to the victim and officers provided identifying information to responding officers from our agency and the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.

Subsequently, Nassau County deputies observed and stopped a vehicle attempting to leave the area and located a suspect inside the car. The suspect is currently in custody while this investigation continues.

Agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are assisting with crime scene processing at several locations in the area.

UPDATE: The Fernandina Beach Police Department has learned that Thomas Erdmann has died after surgery at UF Health Jacksonville. Detectives have now formally charged Zachary M. Fila, 22 years of age, of Yulee, Florida with 1st Degree Murder in this case.
zachary-fila

Hickox Now President of Florida Property Appraisers

Nassau County, FL – Property Appraiser A. Michael Hickox has been elected by his peers to serve as the President of the Florida Association of Property Appraiser’s.

The Florida Association of Property Appraiser’s (FAPA) is a statewide professional organization composed of locally elected, constitutionally authorized Property Appraisers. The mission of FAPA is to actively work with the Florida Legislature by providing technical assistance and advice in drafting ad valorem legislation affecting Florida citizens and property appraiser’s offices.

Hickox, took the position last month and is ready for the challenges ahead. “My goal is to ensure that property tax policies will benefit citizens throughout the state. Our organization will do this by effectively advocating for residential and commercial property owners.”

Hickox previously served as the organizations President-Elect and Legislative Committee Chairman where he met with legislators regarding proposed policies affecting property valuation and property tax exemptions.

Arts Market Now Open Every Saturday

The Fernandina Beach Arts Market is home to local artists, potters, and crafters, and beginning this Saturday, they will be set up in downtown Fernandina Beach every Saturday through the end of December.

You will find hand crafted furniture, woodworking, both whimsical and fine jewelry, apparel, glass and stemware, holiday and home decor, pottery, paintings, sculptures and more.

This is the best opportunity to shop for unique and one of a kind pieces, where you can meet the artists, too. Learn what inspires them, tips of the trade, and get some fantastic decorating ideas. These small business owners LOVE to talk about their creations.

Located adjacent to the farmers market on North Seventh Street, the Arts Market is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., rain or shine, and includes some amazingly talented craft persons.

Mike McBryan makes beautiful and practical cedar bird houses. Made from natural wood, the cedar maintains Mother Nature’s unique texture and no two houses are alike. He also makes cedar aromatic closet pieces.

Bill and Christina, of BC Gemstones, make unique sterling silver jewelry with rough rocks that have been turned into beautiful gemstones. They will have approximately 50-60 pieces of jewelry on display including necklaces, pendants, rings and bracelets. They often bring their jewelry making equipment with them, so stop by and see how they turn the stones into gems.

Sonia Cardoos brings lovely scarves that she crochets, as well as unique cork key chains and earrings. Gail Green paints wildlife onto glasses and stemware that are dishwasher and microwave safe, and Joel Venditti has Tie Dye Threads in sizes from infants to adults.

The Arts Market has much to offer, and currently there is a waiting list to become an exhibitor, so you can expect to find a wide variety of the finest art in the area. This weekly event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit FernandinaBeachArtsMarket.com, or call Joe at (904) 557-8229.

A message to Small Business Owners from ScaleUp North Florida

Please note the ScaleUp North Florida 2017 application is open. Click HERE for the online link.

ScaleUp North Florida is an entrepreneurial growth program that is hosted by UNF and is fully funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They help entrepreneurs increase sales, hire additional people, get government contracts, increase profitability and get access to the money they need to grow their businesses.

They’ve been doing this for two years and have graduated over 75 people from the program so far.

They accept up to 50 small businesses a year. The owners go through 24 hours of education and a business health assessment that gives them an action plan for their growth. Then, they connect each entrepreneur with a consultant from the Small Business Development Center at UNF who they work with closely to help them achieve their goals. The SBDC, also hosted by UNF, is also fully funded by the SBA and has been in business for over 30 years. They have a lot of experience!

The program is totally free to the participants but there are a set of qualifications they must meet. They must have been in business for a minimum of 2 years, have annual revenues of between $150,000 and $500,000 and be interested in growing. The next class will be selected in December of this year and start in January 2017.

For more information contact:
Yvonne Katzman
Administrative Assistant
ScaleUp North Florida
1225 West Beaver Street, Suite 116
Jacksonville, FL 32204
Phone (904) 265-0750, ext. 4011
Yvonne.Katzman@unf.edu