At 89, D-Day vet has a home after living 2 years in a lean-to

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By Emily Morrow

John Patterson doesn’t consider himself a hero.

A tank technician in the U.S. Army, he drove with the 743rd Tank Battalion onto the sands of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, on D-Day.

A Purple Heart recipient, he fought on the front lines of Europe in World War II. He was among the first American troops in Paris. He spent a winter in the Belgian Ardennes Mountains during the Battle of the Bulge.

Habitat volunteer recognized nationally

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Bill Cooke, longtime volunteer with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, is one of two volunteers in the nation to win Volunteer of the Year through Habitat for Humanity International. Since 1997, Cooke has served in many capacities with the affiliate from board member and treasurer to bookkeeper and financial advisor. He was instrumental in developing and implementing policies and procedures in habitat’s finance department, which enabled the organization to run much more effectively, efficiently and with much better controls.

Award-winning sustainable community in Florida now produces own electricity

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Seven homes in the Hancock Place subdivision of St. Augustine are now producing their own electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed by Power Production Management, Inc. of Gainesville, Florida. Touted as one of Florida’s top sustainable communities, the Hancock Place neighborhood consists of 36 eco-friendly and green certified homes built by St. Johns Housing Partnership.

Neighborhood Becomes an Energy Science Project

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      ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — “The idea is we have a little science experiment here,” said Bill Lazar.
     That’s how the Executive Director for the St. Johns Housing Partnership explained the project going on at Hancock Place in West Augustine.
     “We want to figure out what is the most cost effective way to reduce your utility bill,” Lazar added.


Hancock Place study to shed light on energy savings

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An energy study under way at Hancock Place in West Augustine may help homeowners around the state save money in the future.

Thanks to a grant from the Governor’s Energy Office, several homes in the development built through St. Johns Housing Partnership are now retrofitted with various energy-saving devices. Monitoring over the next two years will help the partnership and SEA Inc. in St. Augustine determine which devices make the biggest difference.


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The first and perhaps major difference noticed by most all of the residents after their apartments have been weatherized is a reduction in their utility bills.

  •  A Clay County resident noted “a significant difference in my monthly electric bill per month by almost half. I compared my current bill to last year’s. Big change. The improvement is amazing!”

SJHP’s 15th Anniversary

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Since its incorporation in 1996, the St. Johns Housing Partnership has grown in vision with achievements to match. From SJHP’s initial–and ongoing–Emergency Repair Program, which rehabilitates the homes of low-to-moderate income elderly and disabled homeowners, SJHP completed a multi-county Weatherization Program in 2012 for multifamily rental properties in NE Florida, which enables energy efficiency and reduced utility bills for working families and seniors on fixed incomes.

Trinity Ramp

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To watch these guys work you would think they have been doing this for years. In fact, they have been, nearly fifteen years. And just what they are doing is donated their time and talents as The Trinity Episcopal Ramp Squad.

Twelve Ramps

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James lives near the end of a quiet lane in Armstrong and uses a motorized wheelchair to get around. One day, as he was coming out of his rented home, he came down the ramp and his chair toppled over, leaving James lying in the dirt yard for hours, until someone finally heard his cries. His ramp was a piece of plywood set atop two cinder blocks.


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