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article imageDecapitated head found on Florida College Campus Special

By Kim I. Hartman     Apr 28, 2010 in Crime
Jacksonville - Jumar Henry, 21, "could not get ahead in life according to his family. He struggled with poverty, substance abuse, education, employment issues, anger management and he grew up on the violent streets of a crumbling inner city community."
Sunday was just like any other day for Jumar Henry as he started off the morning by going to his local neighborhood church for prayer. After the morning worship services had ended for Henry, the day was just beginning for the police officers of the Duval County Sheriff's Department.
Family members found Jennifer Renee Henry-Ling's decapitated body inside her home about 1:15 p.m. Sunday and called police 911. Shortly after that, police received another call about the discovery of a head in a bag a few blocks away at Dot and Tyler streets just off Kings Road in Jacksonville, Florida.
Edward Waters College Location Map
Edward Waters College Location Map
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The severed head belonging to Ling was allegedly disposed of on a vacant lot in this run-down neighborhood in the city of Jacksonville where drugs, crime, guns, murder and shootings are common occurrences.
The vacant lot is part of the 20 plus acre campus of Edward Waters College where the college's revitalization expansion projects are planned in the future.
Edward Waters College (EWC) is a private, historically black college whose future is lined with pride, growth, and success. Edward Waters College, the oldest private institution of higher education in the state of Florida, was founded in 1866 specifically to educate newly freed slaves according to the EWC website.
EWC is Jacksonville's only university to fully embrace the idea of an urban campus that opens up and embraces it's context, instead of turning it's back to the surrounding community says MetroJacksonville. Today the College stands as a beacon of hope for many young people who might not otherwise have an opportunity for higher education, says EWC.
This building at 1491 Kings Road was originally constructed as a Gulf Refining Co. service station i...
This building at 1491 Kings Road was originally constructed as a Gulf Refining Co. service station in 1926. This small Prairie-style structure is only one of several interesting commercial buildings still standing along Kings Road
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At the National City Mayor's development meeting. Mayor's of American cities like Jacksonville said, "Demolition is part of a larger revitalization strategy that includes land acquisition, land banking, rehabilitation, and new construction -- all of which are expensive to sustain on a large scale. Leaving each city to implement and finance its strategy in its own way."
Even with the demolition of some of these aging and abandoned structures, drugs, violence and crime will continue to rise if money to reconstruct, rebuild and revitalize is not available for communities and schools like the Edward Waters College.
In a study by the Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA) an office of the Florida Legislature the report concluded that many urban communities like this one in Jacksonville where Jennifer Renee Henry-Ling was killed - closed businesses and vacant lots have contributed to the high crime rates, dilapidated buildings, poor infrastructure, and high unemployment.
These conditions reduce residents’ quality of life and make the areas less attractive to private sector investment, thereby discouraging private revitalization efforts. Distressed conditions also decrease the local government tax base. Revitalization of distressed areas requires a substantial long-term commitment in order to prepare redevelopment plans, obtain community support, secure funding, and package deals with the private sector.
A vacant commercial structure and church  side by side.  While many may see nothing other than grit ...
A vacant commercial structure and church, side by side. While many may see nothing other than grit in these pictures, they really show the potential this corridor has for a grassroots revival.
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MetroJacksonville.com says "Edward Waters College is a major player and influence on the revitalization of this section of town. The college's master plan provides a blueprint for restoring this historic urban corridor. Future plans, include expanding the college along Kings Road and improving the highway to become more pedestrian friendly."
"The eventual heart of the college campus will be Heritage Plaza. To achieve this vision, the current student union building would be replaced by one that will bring vibrant pedestrian activity to Kings Road. While Edward Waters may be a fairly small university, it is Jacksonville's only true urban campus and Durkeeville residents and activists should definitely use it to their advantage."
Kings Road  looking towards downtown from Edward Waters College  on a rainy Saturday morning.
Kings Road, looking towards downtown from Edward Waters College, on a rainy Saturday morning.
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Without funding available, revitalization will continue to elude communities and colleges such as the Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. Crime will continue to grow as drugs sales prosper and violence rules the streets. While the next murder in this inner city neighborhood may not be as gruesome as the beheading of Jennifer Renee Henry-Ling by her own son, Jumar D. Henry. The impact felt will still be the same to these people who have seen the cities 29th murder this year happen in their front yards while their children played.
Jumar D. Henry's family members who are grieving the loss of their mother have vowed to forgive but not forget the horrific way in which this man, their brother took his loving mother's life away, by a cruel and vicious act of decapitation.
Before & After:  This illustration gives viewers an idea of how the expanded college campus and pede...
Before & After: This illustration gives viewers an idea of how the expanded college campus and pedestrian improvements will change the look and feel of Kings Road.
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