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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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Couples renew vows, marry on Valentine’s Day

Pastor Jack Pope marries Johnny Johnson and Sandra Steward on Valentine's Day.Five couples renewed their vows and another was married at New Life Church by Pastor Jack Pope on Valentine’s Day.

There was Ralph and Pamela McCormick, who attend services at the church on N. SR 121 and celebrated their 50th anniversary last month.

Together they have five children, seven grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and many, many memories.

How did they make their marriage last five decades?

“Mainly it’s been our trust in the Lord,” said Mr. McCormick before the vow renewal ceremony with four other couples. “We’ve had lots of serious ups and downs, but both of us hung onto the Lord, so it has been easy to forgive one another.”

“And never go to bed mad,” added Mrs. McCormick.

Pastor Pope and other congregates opened the 7 pm evening service with several praise and worship songs. That was followed by a message from the pastor about the roles of men and women in the household and some do’s and don’ts for marriage according to scripture.

“You can’t go into marriage with the idea that it’s a 50-50 partnership,” said Mr. Pope. “You have to go into marriage understanding that you’re going to give 100 percent and you’re not going to hold anything back.

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Macclenny couple hosts Chinese teen for 10 months

"Sylvia" (center) with host parents Ryan and Sandi Brannan.Qianyu Huang, or Syliva as she’s known to her host family, is a 17-year-old foreign exchange student from China living with a north Macclenny couple and their two poodles.

Sylvia started attending Baker County High School shortly after arriving in the country last August. She enjoys her history, art, culinary and agriculture classes and takes calculus online at home because it’s not offered at BCHS.

“[School here] is different,” Sylvia said during a recent interview with The Press. “I pick my schedule. In Chinese school, the schools pick the schedule for you. You have subjects you must learn, so it’s different.”

And the differences don’t end there.

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MLK’s final speech recited for annual tribute program

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade and program began and ended at Emmanuel Church of God in Christ adjacent to Keller Intermediate School the afternoon of January 21, the anniversary of MLK’s birthday.

The highlight of the program and new this year was Stephanie Gaskins and her daughter, 14-year-old Kelsey Wilcox, reciting an excerpt of MLK’s last public speech before he was shot in 1968.

In the speech, known as “the mountaintop” speech, MLK talks of when he was stabbed by a woman at a book signing in Harlem 10 years earlier and how the doctors told him the knife came so close to a critical artery, had he sneezed he would have perished in the attack.

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place,” said Ms. Gaskins, a high school teacher and tutor with the new Keller Outreach Ministry, which offers free tutoring to students at St. James Baptist Church.

For video from the parade and program, click here.

“But I’m not concerned about that now,” she continued. “I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything, I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

The parade included fire department and ambulance units, a few classic cars like the 1970 Buick Wildcat driven by former school board member Paul Raulerson with daughter and schools superintendent Sherrie Raulerson; and a number of residents carrying signs and banners paying tribute to the slain civil rights leaders.

A hot dog lunch was served following the parade  as public officials and others shared their reflections on the MLK’s life.

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