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Which drugs are the worst?

An acquaintance queried the other day: which is harming Baker County more — prescription pill abuse or methamphetamine?

Hmmm.

The correct response is, I suppose, who cares? They both are taking a toll destined to bring misery to users and heartache to their families. They merely do so to varying degrees.

Is the abuse worse here than elsewhere? The correct response to that, I suppose, also is who cares? Whether it’s worse here than, say, in Clay or St. Johns counties misses the point. We don’t live in Clay or St. Johns counties, and whatever problems beset us because so many people chase drug habits are our problems.

Here’s what we do know.

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Program honors veterans at Heritage Park

Above, Robert Osborn (left) of Jacksonville and Karl Joyce of Macclenny meet in a tearful reunion. Both attended Robert E. Lee High in Riverside.A modest but patriotic crowd turned out at Macclenny’s Heritage Park at midday on April 21 for the second annual Korean and Vietnam veteran appreciation day.

With the theme, “Freedom is not Free,” the program organized by Jessie and Karl Joyce included speeches by veterans of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, a special tribute to the missing in action and other recognitions.

Mrs. Joyce planned to have just the single event last year, but public demand led to the second annual tribute in 2012. “And I enjoy doing it,” she said.

Mrs. Joyce got the idea for the first tribute after a visit to Jacksonville International Airprot to welcome home returning vets.

“We would go to the airport and greet them and wave flags,” she said.

But it made her remember how Vietnam and Korean War veterans were not greeted in the the same way.

“They were never welcomed home,” she said. “They were spit on when they came home.”

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Girls win district title

Shelby Gatto slides into home.The Lady Wildcat softball team won the district title with wins over Terry Parker and Paxon.

Haley Crews struck out six and allowed only two hits as BCHS defeated the Parker Braves 15-1 on Thursday, April 17. Crews had a strong effort from the mound and backed it up by going 4 of 4 from the plate.

BCHS jumped on top 7-0 in the first innings. Doubles from Crews and Shelby Gatto helped the Cats to an early lead. Crews, Tina Hauge, Gatto, Kylie Holton, Clara Harvey, Taylor Crummey and Tayler McCann all scored.

The Cats got a run from Holton in the second and a pair from Crews and Hauge in the third to stretch their lead to 10-0.

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Pauline Barton, 84, of Macclenny

Pauline Register Barton, 84, died April 19, 2012. She was a member of the Macclenny Primitive Baptist Church and worked at Anchor Glass Company in Jacksonville for many years. She loved gardening, flow­­ers and cooking. Pauline was predeceased by her husband Lawrence Barton, parents Bart and Daisy Register, sisters Sadie Mae (James) Barton, Alma Lee (E.W.) Barton and brother Hamp Register.

Survivors include children Dwight Barton and Sylvia Sapp, both of Macclenny: brother Tommy (Imogene) Register of Jacksonville; sisters-in-law Shirley Barton Sharman of Macclenny and Lettie Register of Sanderson; grandchildren Shannon (Brandy) Mobley of Sanderson and Nanette Barton of Macclenny; great-grandchildren Mallory, Zane and Whitley Mobley of Sanderson, Teanna, Tinsleigh, Taragan and Tana Brooke Barton of Macclenny; numerous nephews and nieces. Pauline will always hold a special place in the hearts of many loyal friends and family members; Phyllis and Jennifer Lewis, Paula T. Barton, Tonya Barton Clifton, June Barton, Jim Neff, and Hazel Solomon.

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