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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Mistrial declared in rape case

The day-long trial of a Baker County man for sexual battery on a young girl came to abrupt halt the afternoon of August 3 when the judge declared a mistrial because she feared a defense attorney’s closing argument may have biased the jury.

The decision means a new trial date will be set for later this year on the two felony counts pending against Charleton D. Lauramore. He is charged with raping a girl under the age of 12 on at least five occasions between December, 2005 and June of the following year.

Both the 45-year-old defendant and the victim testified earlier that day before the six-member jury began deliberation in the late afternoon. The jury foreman sent a note to Judge Phyllis Rosier shortly after inquiring about the maximum sentences under law for sexual battery and battery.

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Old Castle mining mounts PR push

Dennis McClelland, manager of Old Castle Southern Grouops aggregates division.Sand mining company Old Castle Southern Group has been on the offensive in recent weeks meeting with government officials, business owners and others in preparation for the upcoming hearing before the Baker County Commission.

The county has moved the August 20 hearing on the Tampa-based company’s proposal to the courthouse in anticipation of a large crowd attending the 6 pm meeting.

Last June commissioners delayed consideration of zoning exceptions to accommodate Old Castle’s mining plans and those of another firm, E.R. Jahna, Inc. of Lake Wales, for two months.

That’s when a group of concerned residents launched a campaign to spur opposition to the plans and pressure commissioners, three of whom are up for re-election this year, to vote against the exception applications.

Old Castle and Jahna hope to mine hundreds of acres at two sites southeast and northeast of Macclenny, respectively, during the next several decades. They must obtain the exceptions because mining is not generally permitted in the agricultural zoning districts where the tracts are located.

Both properties have historically been used for timber production.

In the meantime, Old Castle hired Elizabeth Revell, a public relations consultant from Fernandina Beach with experience helping companies combat the often negative perception of the mining industry.

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Angus Combs, 89, of Sanderson dies

Angus Jackson Combs, 89, of Glen St. Mary died Friday, August 3 at the Acosta-Rau Center for Caring in Jacksonville following a long illness. He was born in Sanderson and resided in Baker County all of his life. He was a forest ranger with the Florida Division of Forestry for 28 years before his retirement.

Mr. Combs was a member of the Taylor Church, a Navy veteran of World War II and enjoyed fishing, farming and growing his garden. He was preceded in death by parents Cole Younger Combs Sr. and Effie Mae Sweat Combs, and his daughter Deborah Joan Kennedy.

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Mr. Hamilton, 78, of Glen St. Mary

Thurman Z. Hamilton, 78, died on August 4, 2012 at his home in Glen St. Mary. He was a retired Marine Corps veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars and was preceded in death by Donna, his wife of 15 years.

Mr. Hamilton is survived by daughters Debra (Greg) Ellison of Oklahoma City and Susan Daniel of Middleburg; sons Doug Hamilton of Orange Park and Steven (Lisa) Hamilton of Port St. Lucie; brother Linwood Hamilton of Jacksonville; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on August 9 at 7 pm at Fraser Funeral Home, Jacksonville.

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