St. Johns County

Senate Bill 52 targets distracted drivers

Starting October 1, Florida drivers can breathe a sigh of relief as Senate Bill 52 goes into effect.

Approved earlier this year, the soon-to-be law will prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while texting. SB 52 is called the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” and will target non-voice interpersonal communication – in other words, typing or entering letters, numbers, symbols, or other text, or sending or reading data, while driving.

Work release inmate: “I don’t have to return to the streets”

By Amber James |

Rodderick Williams is a county sentenced inmate, in jail for violation of probation. But for five to six days a week, Williams gets to leave the jail and return to the free world, working at the Santa Maria restaurant downtown as a cook, preparing meals and prepping food, trying to turn his life around.

Williams has been part of the St Johns County work release program for the past five months.

Harvest of Hope Foundation moving forward, president says

By Emily Hoover|

For Phil Kellerman, president of the Gainesville-based Harvest of Hope Foundation, philanthropy runs in the family.

After his grandmother Helen Zand, a professor and social worker, mentioned she would be leaving an inheritance to her grandchildren, Kellerman said he was going to put the money to good use.

“[My grandmother and I] used to talk about the issues involving poverty,” he said. “She was really smart and really ahead of her time. This was right around the time I was thinking of setting up a foundation for migrant workers and I told her I was going to set up a foundation in her honor.”