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13 months for theft, running meth lab

Randy MichaelA Glen St. Mary man pleaded no contest in circuit court to manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of the materials to do so and felony theft and was sentenced on August 21 to 13 months in prison.

Randy Phillip Michael, 37, was given credit for 51 days he was in county jail and will be on a drug offender probation for two years upon release.

He was arrested last December for operating a meth lab in a camper trailer he rented in the Deerwood Circle neighborhood of northeast Macclenny. He was also caught outside the CVS Pharmacy in Macclenny after another party purchased key ingredients for meth and delivered them to him in the parking lot.

Mr. Michael was implicated again this April in another meth lab operation, this one at the address of a woman on Taber Blvd. in Glen St. Mary.

The defendant also pleaded no contest to felony theft of liquor from Walmart in November of last year. He has a criminal past that includes grand theft, felony driving on a suspended license, battery on police and disorderly intoxication.

In other sentencings that day, Jeffrey Perryman, 31, of Glen drew a four-year probation term after pleading no contest to violating probation in several 2009 cases with his arrest for burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief in February of this year.

Judge Phyllis Rosier added the provision that the defendant successfully complete a drug rehab program and pay restitution of $3395. He will remain in jail until space opens at the rehab center.

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Baldwin hands Wildcats first loss in 2012

Wildcat Jared Crews breaks up a pass.Going into last Friday’s Kickoff Classic at home against Baldwin, Baker High coach Ryan Sulkowski and his staff had a lot of evaluating to do. There were starters to decide, substitutes to pencil in. But after the loss at the hands of the Indians there were more questions than answers.

The Wildcats were surprised in a lot of ways on Friday. For the first half the running game sputtered, with penalties galore. Receivers dropped sure catches. The kicking game still needs a lot of work. The vaunted defense had trouble stopping the elusive Indian quarterback. In short, it looked like the pre-season game it was. There will be a lot of work this week before the Cats travel to Columbia High on Friday to take on the Tigers.

If there was a positive to take from the loss, it’s that Baldwin, a 1A team, came to play against an opponent a couple of classifications higher. The Cats go into Friday against a team a couple of classifications higher, too.

Both teams will be telling their players this simple truth – this was not a “real” game. It was a pre-season game meant to point out glaring holes, positive play and things that can be changed before the season officially starts. It will make one team more confidant going into their season opener and the other more determined.   

Baldwin fans had “traveled” and the atmosphere was electric. The field looked pristine and the new Wildcat tunnel added an exciting start to the player introductions.

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Only prudent course was delay sand mining vote

The two companies that had Baker County in a turmoil in recent months seeking to bring their sand mining operations to sites south and east of Macclenny did last week what they had to do.

Both withdrew petitions for zoning exceptions pending environmental review by two state agencies — St. Johns Water Management District and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Opponents were loaded for bear before the hearings cancelled at the last minute the evening of August 21 — a petition with 2000 names and warm bodies to fill the large second-story courtroom at the county courthouse.

Alas, it was all for naught, at least for the present.

The controversy isn’t about sand mining, after all. It’s about water supply, and one could argue convincingly that the environmental impact portion of this should have preceded the zoning exception request.

But it didn’t, and we need to deal with what is.

As mentioned before, the plans of Old Castle Southern Group of Tampa and E.R. Jahna of Lake Wales broke into the public consciousness at an inopportune time — right on the heels of the medical waste incinerator request (also at Trailridge and environs) that turned into a fiasco.

The public perception with all three projects — rightly or wrongly — was that they screamed out “environmental hazard!” foisted on the public after groundwork was laid in secret.

That’s not exactly accurate, but it didn’t matter — perception is everything.

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Benjamin Allen, 65, of Glen dies

Benjamin Wren Allen, 65, of Glen St. Mary died on August 23, 2012 at his residence with family by his side. He was born in San Diego, California on July 8, 1947 to the late Ralph Franklin Allen and Ruby Eunice Horn Allen. Ben was a resident of Glen St. Mary since 2004 and a member of First Baptist Church of Macclenny for many years. He served his country proudly for three years in the United States Army in nuclear weapons.

Mr. Allen retired in 2004 after many years of building custom cabinets. He was a loving husband and a born-again Christian. He enjoyed flying airplanes as a licensed pilot, building and flying remote control airplanes, painting on canvas using acrylic, reading the Bible and spending time with his family. Ben was preceded in death by his brother Martin Allen and step-son Michael “Mike” Starling.

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