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Hector Osle, 62, a native of Cuba

Hector L. Osle, 62, of Glen St. Mary died August 5, 2012 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Jacksonville. He was born in Havana, Cuba on December 17, 1949. Hector has been a resident of Glen St. Mary since 2003 after moving from Miami. He was employed in sales and customer services for many years at Interline Brands in Jacksonville.

Hector was a member of the First Baptist Church of Glen St. Mary where he was active in the men’s ministry and online ministry. He was an avid Miami Hurricane fan, loved telling jokes and  enjoyed watching the Food Network and Yard Crashers.

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William Rhoden, 55, of Jacksonville

William B. (Jaybird) Rhoden, 55, died Thursday, August 2, 2012. Bruce was born January 12, 1957 in Jacksonville, Florida to Billy and Lennie Rhoden. He was preceded in death by his father,  brother Eddie Rhoden and  great-nephew Luke Burnsed.

Survivors include his loving mother, brother David Rhoden (Jackie), sisters Karen Carter (Joe) and Vicky Lorick (Harold); 11 nieces and nephews; 20 great-nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed and was truly loved by all who knew him. The funeral service was held on Sunday, August 5 at 3 pm at Hardage-Giddens Town & Country Funeral Home in Jacksonville. Interment followed at Riverside Memorial Park in Jacksonville.

Commission hopefuls address budget, hot issues

County commission candidates.Six county commission candidates, two of whom will be on the primary ballot on August 14, fielded a host of questions during a forum held at the high school on July 28 before a crowd of more than 100 civic-minded constituents.

Lucy and David Hudson traveled from Olustee to attend the more than two-hour forum, which also included candidates for school board and sheriff [see related article on school board forum here].

The couple said prior to the start they wanted to become more informed voters and hoped to hear more about the candidate’s budget priorities.

“We have so little money in the county budget and so many things that need to be done, how are they going to set the priorities?” Mr. Hudson asked rhetorically. “It’s going to be very, very hard.”

Soon after delivering their opening statements,  the candidate were asked about the county’s budget woes.

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School board candidates spar over experience

From left: Candidates Dwight Crews, Patricia Weeks and Clayton Griffis.Two school boards members up for re-election defended their oversight of the district and its budget, while their challengers chided them for poor performing schools during the candidate forum July 28 at the BCHS auditorium.

The current composition of the school board — three long-time members and two newcomers elected in 2010 — could shift to one in which the majority of members are relatively inexperienced in K-12 education, depending on the results of the August 14 primary election.

Dissenting votes are a rare occurrence on the school board these days, but should an incumbent, Dwight Crews or Patricia Weeks, fail to retain their post, the panel will have three members installed within the last two years.

The conflict between the status quo and a new, albeit vague, direction was apparent during the nearly hour-long segment of the forum allotted for school board candidates.

They answered questions on the school district’s budget, standardized testing and student performance, among other topics.

Mr. Crews’ opponent Clayton Griffis, a corrections officer who has family members who are teachers and students, advocated looking to higher-rated districts for ways to improve locally.

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