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Seven volunteers at St. Mary’s river cleanup

Three adults and four Pictured above are (from left) volunteers Kevin Shell, Bryant Thrift, David Boldry, Dustin Sheppard, Amber Nettles and John Nettles Jr. Not pictured is cleanup coordinator Greg Sheppard.teens participated in the 2013 St. Mary’s River Cleanup, which got underway in Baker County at the Steel Bridge Road boat ramp at 7:30 am on March 16.

Bryant Thrift supplied the airboat that allowed volunteers to travel up the river to the Nassau County line to collect additional litter and debris. Kevin Shell, who serves on the St. Mary’s River Management Committee with Greg Sheppard, estimated the group removed hundreds of pounds of trash from the river and its shores.

The committee, which consists of residents and elected officials in Baker, Nassau, Camden and Charlton counties, organizes the cleanup and the lunch celebration that follows it each year. The committee meets on the first Monday evening of each month in Callahan.

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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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‘Zumbathon’ raises $725 for Craig family

One of some 70 participants at the event.A two-hour Zumbathon held at Anytime Fitness on the windy and chilly morning of March 2 raised some $725 for the family of Corey Craig, who suffered a spinal injury in a vehicle accident last December that killed another teen, Jordan Sommise of Jacksonville.

Mr. Craig, who attended Baker High, is currently rehabilitating at an Atlanta hospital. The event featured non-stop dancing from the South 6th Street gym’s Zumba instructors.

Classes meet there six days a week. Zumba pairs thumping, fast-paced music with aerobic exercise and the Zumbathon drew some 70 participants, many of whom received gift cards raffled off from local businesses.

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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