Mention Shad Khan or Tim Tebow’s name and Daily Record readers are intrigued.
Whether the two are buying a house, investing in a business or pondering the future of the Shipyards, the they were part of five of the top 14 most-read stories published last year on jaxdailyrecord.com.
But, overall, our online readers clicked on an eclectic mix of stories, from art to politics to crime.
1. Tebow buys new home
The Heisman Trophy winner bought a $1.4 million house in Glen Kernan Golf and Country Club from the head of Nemours Foundation.
It didn’t matter that the sale was a couple of weeks old before it was recorded. Tebow news is big news.
Tebow is a Northeast Florida favorite. He starred at Nease High School in St. Johns County, attended First Baptist Church in Jacksonville and played at the University of Florida, leading the team to win the 2008 BCS Championship.
All that will gain a man a lot of fans.
2. What is pornography?
When Angela Strassheim looks at a photograph she took of a nude pregnant woman, she said sees an intimate moment of the woman “basking in the last bit of afternoon sunlight as she waits for the birth of her child.”
What City Council President Clay Yarborough saw was pornography that was visible in public areas of the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.
He asked Mayor Alvin Brown to pull $233,000 in city money. That move angered art supporters, who protested Yarborough’s move.
Brown rejected the request, citing First Amendment issues.
3. Tebow plans another PDQ
The day after it was reported Tebow bought a house, he was back in the news again.
This time, though, he was spreading happiness to the OakLeaf Town Center, where his restaurant group bought property to build the area’s fourth PDQ restaurant.
The other locations are at Beach and Hodges boulevards, Bartram Park and Race Track Road at Florida 13.
The restaurant was scheduled to open after Thanksgiving. But so far, no PDQ happiness for the OakLeaf area.
4. No IKEA love for Duval
Guess what? IKEA still isn’t coming to Jacksonville — and it may be a while before it does.
Even though Jacksonville wants the popular furniture store, the area falls short of the population requirements for an IKEA.
A spokesman for the furniture store said there must be 2 million people within 40-60 miles or within a 40- to 60-minute drive.
Population estimates for 2020 put the number at 1.7 million, which could mean at least five more years of driving to the Orlando store.
5. Changing face of Nassau
A school is the first step in the development of 2,900 high-profile acres at Interstate 95 and Florida A1A in Nassau County.
That acreage is part of the East Nassau Employment Center, a 4,200-acre site approved in 2013.
And the center is part of the 24,000-acre East Nassau Community Planning Area, which could include a village center, regional center and homes.
The larger area could take more than 70 years to complete up to 24,000 homes and 11 million square feet of nonresidential uses. Job projections top 20,000.
6. Whisky River gets evicted
Not paying rent for six months will get you evicted, even if one of your owners is NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Representatives of the restaurant issued statements saying they decided to close in January.
However, a lawsuit said the business was evicted Jan. 17 after not paying $226,000 in rent.
In July, there was a public auction to sell the restaurant’s items, including appliances, 18 big-screen televisions and a mechanical bull.
For those missing Whisky River, there’s still one open in Charlotte, N.C.
7. A new owner for an old mall
Regency Square Mall’s occupancy rate had dropped to 38 percent by the end of 2013.
New shopping centers were taking customers from the Arlington mall.
Belk, one of its anchors, was likely moving since another store was being built just over 3 miles away.
The 47-year-old mall needed a new start, which it got when a New York-based group bought the property in February for $13 million.
The mall secured 15 new leases in three months and filled the center’s food court.
Then, at the end of the year, it suffered two losses: Regency failed to get the lease for a Citizens Property Insurance operations center and Belk began its going-out-of-business sale Dec. 14.
8. Defending controversial man
Defending the man who killed teenager Trayvon Martin made Mark O’Mara an unpopular man.
Along the way, he battled special prosecutor Angela Corey’s office for evidence he said was improperly withheld. That evidence included a color photo of Zimmerman, showing blood on his face from injuries he sustained while fighting with Martin that night.
What may surprise people about O’Mara is that talking about the dedication of his wife can make the aggressive defense attorney cry.
The Central Florida attorney was in the area to speak at an American College of Trial Lawyers meeting in Amelia Island.
9 & 14. Khan’s Shipyards plans
June 12 and July 25
Continuing a conversation started in June 2013, the Jaguars were still talking about owner Shad Khan’s interest in developing the Shipyards property.
In June 2014, team president Mark Lamping said the team would be the master developer for a project that could include apartments, retail and a marina.
He said the team could decide on a proposal within six months.
About seven weeks later, Khan said he expected to submit a proposal in the next couple of weeks.
In August, Lamping said the team was still doing due diligence.
No proposal had been submitted by the end of the year.
10. Khan investing in city
Khan created Stache Investments to help small businesses and entrepreneurs.
He also loaned money to developers to purchase the old Barnett Bank Building and the Laura Street Trio. He invested in Edgewood Bakery, Heritage Farms Jacksonville, L&J Diesel Service Inc. and KYN, the Downtown business accelerator.
Stache pulled KYN’s funding in October, saying only 12 percent of his $1.1 million investment went to the startup companies. Stache also is involved in lawsuit with Edgewood Bakery.
11. First Dunn trial
After 30 hours of discussions, jurors in the first murder trial of Michael Dunn could agree on most charges.
They found him guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at the other three people in the car Davis was in.
But after failing to reach a verdict on whether he intentionally killed Davis, a mistrial for the first-degree count was declared.
On Oct. 1, a second jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the death of the teen. Just over two weeks later, Dunn was given a mandatory life in prison sentence.
12. McKissick Sr. retires
Over 47 years, Bishop Rudolph McKissick Sr. led Bethel Baptist Institutional Church. On his watch, the church became one of the largest in the city and one of the most powerful African-American churches in the state.
He also became a key adviser to generations of elected officials.
At age 86, he felt it was time to turn the church over to a new leader, someone he knew very well: His namesake, Rudolph McKissick Jr.
But the senior McKissick would still be involved.
“I am retiring from pastoring but not from ministry. I’m still a preacher. I can still minister to people,” he said.
13. Why Curry decided to run
Weeks, maybe months before Lenny Curry filed to run for mayor, his candidacy was the worst-kept secret in political circles.
But it was a decision he spent more than a year making. Private discussions focused on two aspects: How he thought he could defeat Mayor Alvin Brown and how he would govern.
Throughout that time, he gained the support of key advisers, including Peter Rummell, Tom Petway and Gary Chartrand.
But all that came after he got the OK from his most important supporters: Wife, Molly, and their three children.
Since announcing his candidacy, he’s raised about $1.4 million. Brown has collected $1.6 million.
14. Check out No. 9