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Yearly Archives: 2013

County inmates driving deficits

In recent years Baker County’s crime rate has dropped but its inmate population in county jail has not. It’s been growing and draining the county’s once healthy rainy-day fund in the process.

Since the new Baker County Sheriff’s Complex opened in June 2009, the annual deficit in the county’s fine and forfeiture fund, which covers corrections, law enforcement and other related costs, has steadily grown to $3.9 million.

In the four years between 2007-08 and 2011-12, the deficit more than doubled.

Part of that jump is due to the higher daily rate the county pays per inmate at the new 500-bed facility — roughly $85 per day or $40 more than the rate at the former jail adjacent to the courthouse. But the rising local prisoner population, which has been expanding about 10 percent per year, is also stressing the fine and forfeiture fund.

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Manhunt ends, suspect in custody

Madison County sheriff's deputies survey the suspect's crashed vehicle.

Sheriff Joey Dobson reported the suspect who fled the crash on I-10 this morning near Sanderson has been captured by K-9 units at an unknown location.

A manhunt began for a black male, possibly armed, in his late 20s or early 30s south of the interstate in western Baker County following a high speed chase that began in Madison County.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office set up stop sticks on I-10 near the US 90 interchange to stop a white Dodge Charger being pursued by authorities from Madison, Suwannee and Columbia counties as well as the Florida Highway Patrol. The vehicle crashed in the tree line of the east bound lanes about 10:15 am.

The driver fled the car, even before it came to rest, said BCSO Deputy Ben Anderson at the scene. Sheriff Dobson said a passenger suffered minor injuires and was taken to Fraser hospital. The sheriff suspected drugs may be involved.

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5th annual ‘geocache’ moonshine run in Taylor

Local “geocaching” enthusiast Keith Lane of Taylor has organized the 5th Annual Baker County Moonshine Run, an historical treasure hunt of sorts with prizes and an “animal on the grill” barbecue on Saturday, March 9 beginning at 9 am.

Geocaching is a recreational activity in which GPS devices and coordinates are used to hide and find caches with just about anything from coins to messages to other items inside. Mr. Lane estimates there are some 2000 caches in Baker County today.

The moonshine run begins and ends at Mr. Lane’s Taylor residence on CR 125 just north of O.C. Horne Rd. Anyone with a digital camera, GPS device and vehicle can participate, he said.

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Betty Barbee, 63, of Sanderson dies

Betty Jane Allen Barbee, 63, of Sanderson died peacefully at her home on Wednesday February 13, 2013. She was born in Jacksonville to the late James and Mary Blackburn Allen and lived in Sanderson the past seven years. Betty and her husband Tom were self-employed in the sports memorabilia business. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, and will be dearly missed.

Mrs. Barbee was preceded in death by son Todd Reid, and brothers James and Joseph Allen. Survivors include her husband of 25 years, Thomas H. Barbee Sr.; daughter Gwendolyn Allen of Kansas City, KS; sons Jeffery Reid of St. Augustine and Thomas H. Barbee Jr., of Phoenix, AZ; grandchildren Finley Allen, Lindsey Reid, Sadie Beamenderser, Dalton Reid, Katie Barbee, Skye Nelson and Thomas H. Barbee III; many other relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday March 2 at 2 pm at Heritage Park in Macclenny, with Rev. Joe Raulerson officiating. Cedar Bay Funeral Home of Jacksonville is in charge of arrangements.

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