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‘Best fish’ award for Glen taxidermist

Mr. Davis with his replica fish and award.Visitors to the 2013 Florida State Taxidermy Association’s convention last month voted local taxidermist Casey Davis’ replica fish the best in the state.

Mr. Davis, 31, though relatively new to the profession, also took second place for his white-tailed deer entry. He’s been honing his craft for just three years now, learning from other taxidermists in the region and on his own at his workshop on CR 125 N. in Glen St. Mary.

Winning the “McKenzie Taxidermy Supply Taxidermist’s Choice — Best Fish Award” at the Ocala convention was a bit awkward for the unassuming artist.

But garnering the most votes from his fellow taxidermists for an air-brushed and hand painted speckled perch, a freshwater fish commonly called crappie, was an honor nonetheless.

“I knew I had to bring something a little bit different to the table this year,” he said of the entry. “A lot of taxidermists will go to the competition with a large-mouth bass or a blue gill or a salmon. I wanted to take a fish like this speckled perch that’s hard to paint.

“It takes about six hours to paint one properly. Instead of three color patterns, I used ten and three different paints. Combined they gave me great depth. It worked out well. I got first place … I believe it was primarily because they could see my detail; it was not done with a stencil pattern. It was hand drawn.”

He took home four other awards from the convention and his apprentice, Scott Lightsey, earned a second-place ribbon in the amateur division plus three other awards.

Mr. Davis, a Macclenny native, graduated from Baker County High School in 2000 before spending two years on a mission trip in Nevada. Next he earned an associate degree from FCCJ and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

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Boys tennis remains unbeaten

The BCHS boys’ tennis team continues to dominate opponents winning a pair of matches this past week to stay undefeated.

The boys lineup defeated Hilliard on March 7 in convincing fashion with a 7-0 margin. Jared Stafford won the No. 1 singles match 8-1 and Brock Dukeman had an 8-3 win in No. 2 singles.

Tyler Curry won 9-8 with a 10-4 tie-break victory and Evan Barrett had an 8-6 win. Logan Campbell won 8-0.

The doubles team of Stafford and Dukeman were victorious 8-2 while Curry and Barrett won 8-4.

The girls squad continues to improve despite losses against Hilliard and Union County.

The girls fell 2-5 to Hilliard with NO. 1 singles player Kaylann Stafford winning 8-4 and the doubles team of Stafford and Andrea Clark winning 8-6. Danielle Mathis, Toree Jones, Victoria Sapp and the doubles team of Mathis and Jones fell to the Lady Flashes.

The boys notched another victory on March 11 in a 6-1 home match over Union County.

Stafford, Barrett, Dukeman and Curry all won their singles matches. Doubles teams Stafford and Barrett, and Dukeman and Curry posted wins as well.

Campbell fell in singles play.

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TEXT, EMAIL SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR TEENS WITH SEXUAL HEALTH QUESTIONS

A new resource was recently launched for teens in the region with questions about sexual health. It’s the BrdzNBz NE Florida text message system.

BrdsNBz NE Florida gives confidential, medically-accurate answers to sexual health questions via text message for teens 12-18 years old Baker, Duval, Nassau, Clay and St. Johns counties. The service is anonymous, provides real-time responses and it’s free, though standard text message rates may apply.

A similar resource from Healthy Baker, Inc. is available online at the non profit’s Oustpoken website called Ask Aunt Cathy. It’s been available for more than a year. Teens can submit any health-related question by filling out the online form and receive a response from a public health professional by e-mail.

To use the BrdzNBz NE Florida service, teens can text NEFLTeen to 66746 to opt-in to the service and then submit their question. Health educators with more than 40 years of combined public health experience respond to questions within 24 hours.

Question topics submitted to the text line include sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, sex, relationships and contraception. Teens can ask follow-up questions and receive referrals to local resources.

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John Merrett, 67, a retired trucker

John W. Merrett, 67, of St. George, GA died on Thursday, March 7, 2013. Mr. Merrett was a retired truck driver who loved fishing and spending time with his family and friends. He is survived by his wife Holly Merrett; mother Edith Merrett; sons Dwayne and Chuck (Tina) Merrett, both of St. George, and Leroy (Brandy) Sweat of Glen St. Mary; brother Jimmy Merrett of Tennessee; eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held 2 pm on Sunday, March 10 at Forbes Funeral Home in Macclenny with Rev. Kenny Marr officiating.

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