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Police dog collars fleeing truck thief

Breon WalkerA Jacksonville man is in custody in Baker County early this week following a high-speed chase that began in Sanderson and ended in Columbia County on Interstate 10 the morning of November 12.

Breon Walker, 21, who police later learned was wanted on a Duval County warrant for violating probation, was chased down by a sheriff’s department K-9 dog shortly after his stolen 1998 Ford pickup veered off the interstate and struck a tree.

Deputy Patrick McGauley said he and Cpl. Tony Norman reached speeds of 90 mph as the pickup, which had been stolen earlier in Jacksonville, headed west from the CR 229 exit through west Baker County just before 8 am.

The officer said Mr. Walker leaped over a barrier fence off the north shoulder and fled on foot as the K-9 Tango was released and took the suspect down about 150 yards into a heavily wooded area. The suspect was treated at the scene for bite wounds to the shoulder and neck, then taken into custody by Columbia County deputies.

He was brought to Baker County later that day and faces counts of reckless driving, fleeing police, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and resisting without violence.

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Poachers surprised, nabbed by game cops

Dustin RhodenFive north county residents involved in a poaching enterprise were recently cited for more than 30 wildlife law violations by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers.

Trenton Lee Stokes, 19, Joseph Johnson, 41, Dustin Rhoden, 26, Brian Harris, 21, and a 17-year-old juvenile, along with David Henry Jones, 52, of Callahan, were charged with multiple violations for the illegal taking of deer and alligators as well as several hunting license violations.

FWC officers in Baker County had received several complaints of illegal hunting activity in a remote part of the county.

“After following leads and gathering information, we were able to ascertain where the illegal hunting was happening and who was involved,” said FWC K-9 Officer Bret Gill, who put together the case.

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‘A way to teach children': Planting flags at vet’s graves

Josie Jacobs, 8, plants a flag at a veteran's grave at Macedonia Cemetery on Veterans Day.With a bundle of American flags in hand, 8-year-old Josie Jacobs pronounced with conviction the headstone’s inscription: “Charles L. Jordan, Florida, U.S. Marine Corps ...”

The youth from Glen St. Mary then sank one of the flags into the ground next to the marker.

On Veterans Day, Josie Jacobs, along with her mother Laura Jacobs, and two older sisters, Brandi and Rachel Harrison, 16 and 14 respectively, adorned the graves of many veterans laid to rest in the Macedonia Cemetery with the Stars and Stripes.

In recent years, the family has made similar trips to the South Prong and Olustee cemeteries for Veterans Day or Memorial Day to honor local deceased veterans.

Last Sunday was their first such trip to Macedonia, which is located off CR 23C and abuts the South Prong of the St. Mary’s River.

It’s where Laura Jacobs’ uncle, Air Force veteran Leon Mobley, is buried. He’s one of the many men in her family who served in the military going back four-plus Brandi Harrison adorns a veteran's grave with a red, white and blue cap.generations.

“It’s a way to teach the children about Veterans Day and the importance of remembering veterans for their service to our country,” Mrs. Jacobs said before the group weaved their way through the property, looking for veteran’s graves without flags.

“It’s sad to see the ones with no flowers or flags,” she said.

After walking more than two thirds of the cemetery and distributing dozens of flags and red, white and blue caps, the ladies ran out of materials.

The flags, about 40 large ones and a number of smaller ones, and the hats came from Laura Jacobs’ husband, who distributes them at Tea Party rallies. Next year, she plans to bring more.

She said her heart goes out to the veterans whose family members may have passed on or moved away from the area, leaving their graves without Old Glory flying overhead.

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Despite sluggish start, Cats top rival Bradford

Rashodd Hadley on the tackle.It wasn’t pretty. Rivalry games often aren’t. But after a shaky start the Wildcats got what they wanted, a 20-12 win over the Bradford Tornadoes on November 9.

Bradford brought the house to Macclenny’s Memorial Stadium and for long periods of time the Wildcats looked listless. But some turnovers at key moments and strong defensive play up front paved the way for the Cats to finish the season with an 8-2 record.

This Friday, the Wildcats host the Creekside Knights (4-6) in the opening round of the playoffs at 7:30 pm. District runner-up Bishop Kenny travels to Ponte Vedra and provided that they come out on top versus the Knights, BCHS will face the winner of that game.

It is the first playoff game since 2009 and if the Wildcats were looking ahead a bit it is understandable. But for the Tornadoes, who with district losses to South Sumter and Mt. Dora were knocked out of post-season play, this was their playoff game.

The Tornadoes came out fired up. For much of the first half they seemed to want the game more and it showed on the field. The Wildcats struggled as the Tornadoes’ sophomore quarterback Jacob Luke moved the ball around.

The Tornadoes got on the board first at the end of the first quarter, capitalizing on a fumble in Wildcat territory. Luke found Marco Grimsby at the Wildcat 10 and big running back Lyndall Hampton ran it in from the 1-yard line. The PAT was no good but the visitors held a 6-0 lead at the start of the second period.

The Wildcats came back with a big play that was the highlight of the game. Falon Lee exploded with a 69-yard touchdown run. He broke containment, got a good block from Mike Boone and outraced the Tornado defenders for the score. Jacob Carter converted on the PAT to put the Wildcats ahead to stay.

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