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Daily Archives: December 22, 2011

Keller student wins T-U writing contest

Abigayle PriceAbigayle Price of Sanderson won the young student division of The Florida Times-Unions’ 32nd annual Holiday Short Story Contest for her tale of a working-class father who nearly misses a long-standing family tradition.

The 9-year-old fourth grader in Keller Intermediate School’s gifted program wrote “Family Traditions” after studying short stories in teacher Cathy Hooper’s class.

Ms. Hooper said her students reviewed stories like Edgar Allen Poe’s A Tell Tale Heart and An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, a story by Ambrose Bierce and inspired by Poe’s most famous work.

Students then crafted their own stories.

Ms. Price’s short story is fictional, but she said it includes characters named after real people in her life, including her bus driver.

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Taking salary hike is, well, gutsy

It’s been a busy week for us at The Press with state investigators raiding a local doctor’s office known far and wide as the spot to obtain prescription pills pretty painlessly, the fast approaching Sesquicentennial party and county fair, and the death of a youth pastor whose good works here will not be soon forgotten, all on top of the more routine happenings that we cover week in and week out.

What I hope, for a number of reasons, doesn’t get lost in this week’s edition is the article about the potential salary increase for the county’s elected officials per a convoluted state formula with the underlying premise that those elected deserve more money if they represent more people.

First, it’s worth noting that county commissioners, constitutional officers and the school district’s leaders, all up for the raises, don’t sign their own paychecks, so to speak, as it’s often said that politicians line their pockets any chance they get. Rather, the salary changes originated from up on high in Tallahassee, which also insulates local officials from defending their salary levels.

The salary adjustments fluctuate from year to year, moving a few dollars one way or the other with population shifts, often not garnering much attention.

But this year the move upward, based on the county breaking the 27,000 population threshold in 2010, involved a few hundred dollars more, sparking the interest of an anonymous caller to our office wondering why the county could afford raises for elected officials, but not the jobs of two laid off administrative employees.

It’s often because of such calls that we become aware of stories we otherwise may have missed, or arrive at too late for it to be relevant. Would so many of the elected officials polled this week about whether they intended to accept or reject the extra compensation, have chosen the latter had The Press not come calling?

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Trinise Surrency, died in accident

Trinise Surrency, died in accident

Trinise Surrency, 15, of Macclenny died Friday, July 15, 2011, the result of an automobile accident. A student at Baker County High School, she was a dedicated Christian and served faithfully and dutifully at Faith Tabernacle Church in Baldwin as an usher, praise team member and nursery worker. She was wonderful daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. Her smile and pretty face brought much joy to all who came in contact with her.

Survivors include parents Theodore and Vickey Surrency; sisters Teria and Darkeea Surrency; one niece; two nephews; a host of uncles, aunts, relatives and friends.

The family will receive friends on July 22 from 5:00-7:00 pm at Emmanuel Church of God in Christ and the celebration of life will be held July 23 at 2:00 pm at the Baker County Middle School auditorium with Pastor Charles Wilson officiating. Combs Funeral Home of Lake City was in charge of arrangements.

Reverend Paxton, 75, of St. George

Reverend Paxton, 75, of St. George

Rev. Bernard E. “Bud” Paxton, 75, of St. George, GA died peacefully July 14, 2011 at Hospice of the Golden Isles in Brunswick. Rev. Paxton was born on December 1, 1935 in Galion, Ohio. He was an ordained minister of the Congregation of Holiness Churches, and a member at Woodstock Park Congregation of Holiness Church in Jacksonville. His greatest joy in life was serving God and reading the Bible, with a special interest in Biblical prophecy.

Rev. Paxton was a longtime resident of Baker County before residing in St. George. He retired from JEA after more than 30 years. After his retirement he worked for Advanced Auto Parts of Macclenny for 10 years. Rev. Paxton served in the Navy from 1952-1956 and served several more years in the reserves.

He was preceded in death by parents Mary Frances Smith and James Duane Paxton; and brother James Duane Paxton, Jr.

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