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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Students return to the classroom

Carolyn Davis of Glen St. Mary drops her son Garret, 4, off for his first day of preschool the morning of August 20.About 4500 students returned to Baker County schools the morning of August 20, with another 500 expected in classrooms by the end of the week.

“It was very smooth day,” commented Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson during a school board meeting that evening.

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Mining companies withdraw zoning applications

Commissioner Jimmy Anderson (right) speaks with resident Danny Burger (center) and others outside the courthouse the evening of August 20.Two separate sand mining proposals totaling nearly 500 acres in Baker County were put on hold by the Baker County Commission on the evening of August 20 after the applicants withdrew their petitions to allow more time for reviews of the plans by regulatory agencies and a consultant for the county.

The decision to postpone the matter was not received well by members of the audience, however, as dozens of opponents had come to the meeting on a rainy night hoping the plans would be rejected.

“I just think it’s a stalling tactic by the sand mines to give them more time to get all their things in order,” said Pat Shannon, one of an estimated 6o-70 people in attendance at the meeting, which was held in the biggest courtroom at the county courthouse because a large gathering was expected.

“I call for a vote up or down — period! The majority of people are against the sand mines,” Mr. Shannon said.

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Arrests in check, ATM fraud

Aaron W. TaylorTwo brothers were arrested earlier this month and a third alleged accomplice now in jail in Jacksonville will be charged in a check writing scam in late July that resulted in at least $800 in fraudulent withdrawals from an ATM on a Vystar debit card.

Aaron Taylor, 22, of Glen St. Mary is charged with defrauding a financial institution and issuing a counterfeit check. Ryan Taylor, 19, of Macclenny is charged with defrauding a financial institution, forgery of a public record, issuing counterfeit checks and issuing checks on accounts with insufficient funds.

A warrant for similar charges was issued in early August for Hailey Dan, 20, of Macclenny, who sheriff’s investigator Mike Hauge says is in Duval County jail charged with a theft from her grandmother in Jacksonville.

Police say Ryan Taylor deposited a bogus $900 check into the Vystar account of ex-girlfriend Amber Goldsmith of Macclenny on July 29 after borrowing her bank card on the false premise that his was not operable.

The check was written on an account that Mr. Taylor opened at TD Bank the previous day, and he then allegedly withdrew the maximum daily $500 from an ATM using the Vystar card.

Investigator Hauge then confirmed that Mr. Taylor and Lauren Smith, 19, of Macclenny both opened TD accounts that day but deposited only $10 in them.

Further investigation revealed that Mr. Taylor used the same card three times to obtain cash advances of $100 each at Walmart on July 29. He later admitted he spent the cash on clothing and a tattoo.

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Child hit by cab escapes serious injury

A toddler escaped serious injury when a van taxi backed over her in the driveway of her parents’ residence off Mud Lake Rd. the morning of August 20.

The injuries to 2-year-old Madison Bennett were described as minor abrasions from when she was struck by the rear of a 2004 Chevrolet van driven by David Sanders, 33, of Jacksonville.

The taxi had just returned with the baby and her parents to Sunshine Lane near CR 130 from a methadone drug treatment center in Jacksonville when the accident occurred about 10:30.

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