Mayor and Police Commissioner Lou Ritter won approval from the City Commission for an immediate $40 per month pay increase for Jacksonville police officers and police department civilian employees.
That set in motion pledges by other commissioners to ask for similar pay increases for their employees that would take effect Jan. 1.
Utilities Commissioner J. Dillon Kennedy immediately filed a $131,000 fund transfer resolution to provide pay raises for 375 workers in the Electric Production and System Operations departments.
The police pay raise came from savings since January of $153,211 in the police department salary account. The money was saved through reduction in force by retirement, resignation, suspension, death and other factors.
• A crowd estimated at nearly 100,000 celebrated Independence Day at the Beaches as temperatures soared to 95 degrees.
Joel Varn, captain of the American Red Cross Volunteer Lifesaving Corps, described “a solid crowd of people from one end of the Beaches to the other.”
The corps had 65 lifeguards on duty who performed 21 rescues. All were minor with no injuries, caused by run outs, rafts drifting too far from shore and children wading into water that was too deep for them, Varn said.
Shortly after noon, beachgoers watched the 16 contestants for the title of Miss Duval County parade along First Street in sports cars. The contest was sponsored by the Jacksonville Beach Jaycees.
Later at the new Community Center of Jacksonville Beach, Julie Hannaford, 22, who was runner-up in the 1963 pageant, won the 1965 crown. First runner-up was Dorian Dykes, 19, a freshman at Jacksonville University, Second runner-up was 18-year-old Linda Miller.
Hannaford also won the talent portion of the contest with a medley of songs played on an electric organ. She received a $500 scholarship and was eligible to compete for the title of Miss Florida to be bestowed in 1966 in Sarasota.
Audra Hensley was named Miss Congeniality. Members of the court were Patricia Fowler, Priscilla Gulliford, Georgette Lynn, Lauren Kay Reynolds and Nancy Strickler.
For the 16th year, local radio personality Tommy Tucker served as the pageant’s master of ceremonies. Judges were singer Virginia Mudd of Cocoa Beach; Dorianna Rhinehardt, a fashion director from Jacksonville; Guy Crain of Jacksonville Beach; Ed Heist Jr., a director of the Jacksonville Little Theatre; and William J. Harris.
• The Jacksonville-Duval County Safety Council praised area motorists and law enforcement agencies for compiling an enviable traffic safety record during the three-day holiday weekend.
Fifty-seven people were injured in 155 traffic accidents in the county, but there were no fatalities.
“All those responsible drivers who practiced sensible defensive driving rules and obeyed the traffic laws have earned our congratulations,” said Edwin Nelson, safety council president.
“Those unfortunate accidents that did occur over the weekend were as a result of carelessness or lawlessness, both enemies of our society,” he said.
The most serious traffic incident investigated during the weekend occurred along Heckscher Drive when nine people were injured in a three-car accident. None of the injuries were serious and all nine people were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital and listed in fair condition.
The only accidental deaths were the drownings of a child and a teenager. Oliver Hutson, 3, drowned in the Oak Harbor Boat Basin. James Davis, 13, drowned in the recently re-opened Jefferson Street pool.
•The Meninak Club of Jacksonville donated $12,000 to the proposed Baden-Powell Boy Scout Reservation to establish a trading post handicraft lodge.
DeWitt Dawkins, club president, and Paisley Boney, chairman of the club’s Boy Scout Committee, presented the check to Prime Osborn, president of the North Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Osborn also was chairman of the campaign to raise $550,000 to construct the scout camp. He said nearly $400,000 already was committed to the project, including the Meninak donation.
“The club is proud to be the first civic club to sponsor a major project at the new Baden-Powell Reservation,” Dawkins said. “In selecting this project, the board of directors of the club was impressed with the need for such a building and the value it will produce in character building and citizenship training in the lives of boys for many years.”
He said proceeds from the 1965 Meninak charity football game would be devoted to underwrite the commitment.
It was the third Boy Scout project sponsored by Meninak. The club also contributed funds for a dining hall and training center at Camp Echockotee and the assembly room at the Scout Service Center Building.
• A plea from one of its members to finance a summer youth opportunity program was rejected by the Jacksonville Beach City Council.
Only council member John Joca voted in favor of a resolution that would have transferred $14,400 from other accounts to finance the hiring by the city of college-bound youths.
He reiterated statements that the proposed program was not a charity plan but a way to offer employment for students who needed money to continue their educations.
Most of the other council members said they approved of the program, but would not commit the city to the expenditure of funds that were in the budget but were not yet collected.
Also rejected was a plan to provide public showers and drinking fountains along the boardwalk after City Manager Walter F. Johnson said the amenities would cost about $800.
The council approved a greens fee of $2.50 for nine holes of night play at the municipal golf course after new lights were in place on the back nine. The installation was expected to be complete by Aug.1.
• The Duval County Board of Public Instruction adopted a 1965-66 operating budget of $50.9 million.
It would require a levy of 16.82 mills for the schools, based on a tax base of $1.7 billion, the valuation estimated by the Tax Assessor’s Office.
School Superintendent Ish Brant, in recommending adoption of the budget, said it confirmed the school system’s commitment “not to budget more money than can be spent in an orderly and efficient manner.”
He also said the budget was constructed specifically to correct the issues criticized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools that led to Duval County public schools losing accreditation in 1964.
Problems included maintenance, custodial care, textbook shortages, insufficient teachers in elementary and junior high schools and library deficiencies.
• In Daytona Beach, A.J. Foyt won his second consecutive Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
Foyt took the checkered flag in a 1965 Ford after finishing first in 1964 in a Dodge.
Lee Roy Yarborough, from Jacksonville, started the race in the 37th spot and worked his way up to 20th before being forced out of the race with a thrown clutch.