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Dewey visitation Friday

Leonard Dewey “L.D.” Wilkinson Sr., 76, of Macclenny died Monday, October 16 at Acosta-Rua Center for Caring in Jacksonville after an extended illness. He was a resident of Macclenny most of his life and resided near Maxville. Mr. Wilkinson was a corrections officer for over 25 years and retired from Lawtey Correctional Institution. He was a Baptist, an Army veteran of the Korean War and enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching college football.

He is survived by Rosie L. Wilkinson, his wife of 51 years; daughter Nancy (John) Powell of Jacksonville; son Leonard D. (Sonya) Wilkinson Jr. of Keystone Heights; sister Charlene Villasor of Macclenny; brother Wilbur (Iris) Wilkinson of Jacksonville; and seven grandchildren.

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Sanderson country singer to open for Colt Ford Thursday

Justin FreemanJustin Freeman of Sanderson is about to play one of the biggest shows of his young country music career in Gainesville.

Mr. Freeman, 30, preformed before to his largest audience at the Suwannee River Jam in 2011 opening for Blackberry Smoke, and also takes the stage at Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville’s San Marco neighborhood and the Country Club Lounge in Macclenny on occasion.

But on Thursday, October 18 at the Florida Theatre, the Baker County native will open for the Athens, GA-born country rapper Colt Ford. The show begins at 8 pm. Tickets are $25.

Mr. Freeman began his full-time music career in 2009 after a tumultuous period in his life. He lost his job as a graphic designer after eight years and went through a divorce.

“When everything was falling apart, or so it seemed, I was able to focus my attention on writing and producing,” said the budding singer-songwriter in an interview with The Press.

“It definitely helped me move on and get through one of the toughest times of my life. Music is the thing that can get people through any situation. I hope someone hears some of my songs and can relate and know they aren’t alone in their situation,” he said.

Mr. Freeman recalled one instance when a U.S. soldier approached him after a show about his song, “Since You’ve Been Gone.”

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Two dead in early morning I-10 collision

A fatal crash on the interstate near mile marker 335 involving a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction killed two people about 2:30 am Friday, according to Maj. Gerald Gonzalez of the sheriff’s office.

Emile McPherson Whitney, 47, of Ocala was heading westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-10 in a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee when it hit head-on the 2005 Honda Odyssey driven by Nge Thay, 20, of Jacksonville, which carried eight passengers.

Two of those passengers, Ta Nu, 47, and Kaw Lay, 37, both of Jacksonville, died at the scene.

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Rain dampens fair attendance, pushes rodeo

Noah Carter tests his aim at the fair.The wet weather kept attendance down at the fairgrounds for most of the weekend, but fair association president Cathy Rhoden said most people ventured out on Saturday and late Friday night.

“It was a really great Saturday night,” she said. “Some people came after the rain on Friday, but nothing like they normally do.”

The rodeo was delayed until this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, as a result of the weather.

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