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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Commission shuffles funds to balance 2011-12 budget

The Baker County Commission voted 4-1 last week to make about $1.6 million in retroactive changes to the 2011-12 budget that ended September 30.

Most of the sum, $1.4 million, consisted of amendments needed to reflect over-budget spending in a number of areas. The remaining amount, $238,407, were transfers of expenses from one area of the budget to another.

The county is required by law to have a budget that reflects actual spending down to the departmental level.

“What is this?” asked Commissioner Adam Giddens when the matter came up at the board’s regulator meeting November 20.

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Pair charged in bottle attack

MardreakusCounty deputies filed criminal complaints against a number of persons allegedly involved in physical attacks over the Thanksgiving weekend and in the days leading up to it.

One of the incidents sent Andrew Shaw, 25, of Sanderson to Fraser Hospital late on November 21 for treatment of lacerations to both of his hands and on his face, injuries he claimed resulted when he was hit repeatedly with a beer bottle.

Mr. Shaw told Deputy Patrick McGauley he was attacked by Mardreakus Ford, 19, of Sanderson and Arlee Givens, 20, of Macclenny about 11 pm outside the community center north of Sanderson on CR 229.

The two allegedly targeted him based on statements Mr. Shaw made to a female acquaintance concerning a third party.

Mr. Givens was arrested the following morning after running from Deputy Robert Simpkins following a traffic stop north of Sanderson.

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Another DUI for driver involved in fatality

PattersonA Macclenny man facing a DUI in Jacksonville stemming from an incident in August during which he ran over and killed another man was re-arrested for the same offense in Baker County early on November 25.

Brian Patterson, 32, refused to submit to a breathalyzer test at county jail after he was arrested in downtown Macclenny, and he earlier failed routine field sobriety testing, said Deputy Daryl Mobley.

The officer said he observed Mr. Patterson’s speeding 1996 Chevrolet pickup abruptly stop at the intersection of US 90 and Lowder St. about 2:45 am. Deputy Mobley said he initiated a traffic stop after observing the pickup twice veer into the shoulder lane as it traveled east on US 90.

Two beers, one of them unopened, were inside the vehicle.

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City preps for legal battle to buy sludge disposal property

Four months after voting to buy 114 acres off Steel Bridge Road for use as a sewage sludge disposal site, despite objections raised by nearby homeowners concerned about public health and safety, the Macclenny City Commission is gearing up for a legal battle to acquire the parcel.

The target of a possible lawsuit in the case is one of the world’s largest cellulose fiber producing firms in the world and the seventh largest owner of timberlands in the United States — Rayonier.

The Jacksonville-based international forest products manufacturer owns about 2 million acres in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Washington.

The conflict originated from a decision by the city commission in June to buy the property from Lewyn Boyette, a real estate investor who had a contract to buy the land from Rayonier through its property-management subsidiary Terra Pointe Services LLC. An article about the decision appeared in The Baker County Press on June 21.

A controversy later ensued after a letter appeared in The Press on July 5 from a woman in New Hampshire, who identified herself as having a Ph.D., stating that sewage sludge could create environmental problems and an unhealthy atmosphere for nearby families.

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