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Fireworks punctuate soggy July 4th festival

Craig Pendleton with daughter Paige Pendleton.

Craig Pendleton with daughter Paige Pendleton.

Revelers at the third annual Independence Day Celebration at Memorial Park in Macclenny occasionally ducked for cover when the rains came the evening of July 4, but the festivities proceeded just the same.

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Tree memorializes decorated WWII veteran Elgin Barnes

Memorial marker at the foot of the tree.

Memorial marker at the foot of the tree.

The Baker County Historical Society dedicated the live oak tree that welcomes visitors to the society headquarters on McIver Street to the late World War II veteran Elgin Barnes last month.

Mr. Barnes served in the Army’s 79th Infantry Division that landed in Normandy, France on June 11, 1944. He was wounded in battle about a month later at age 19.

“The family and I are thankful Elgin was the man he was that others remember him with words and monuments,” his widow Dorothy Mobley Barnes said after the dedication.

“The historical society has been and remains a large part of the Barnes family’s life and Baker County. The tree is a rather young oak, as oaks go, that will give beauty and shade for all who have eyes to see,” she said.

Mr. Barnes received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals as well as the French Legion of Medal of Honor just a few years ago.

He died in 2011 at 85 years old.

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Youth chops hair for Locks of Love charity

Hailey Hodgson with her hair donation. Photo courtesy of Rachel Hodgson.

Hailey Hodgson with her hair donation. Photo courtesy of Rachel Hodgson.

Hailey Hodgson, 10, of Glen St. Mary decided to cut off 10-plus inches of her silky brunette locks for charity last weekend.

“She just wants to help other little girls feel pretty and if giving her hair does it, she’s willing to give it,” said her mother, Rachel Hodgson. “She is already excited to do it again.”

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