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Why are we supporting the hospital?

Dear Editor:

A number of years ago, Fraser Hospital made the decision to no longer participate as a provider in the retired military TriCare Prime medical insurance program.

As a result, unless it is a life-threatening emergency, anyone covered under Tricare Prime now has to travel 25 or more miles to receive urgent care. Over the last few years, my husband and I have had to go to a Jacksonville hospital ER or the Solantic/Avencia clinics in Jacksonville for injuries such as broken bones, lacerations requiring stitches, sprains etc.

It is pretty painful to travel 38 miles to the hospital with a broken foot, and extremely aggravating to know that less than five minutes from my home is the local county hospital that refuses to treat  me as a provider with my insurance company. Part of my county taxes go to support this hospital, but I can’t use it. Why are we supporting a hospital that refuses to accept the insurance of many of its county residents?

Debra Milner

Macclenny

The perils of working in fast food

I was employed at a fast food restaurant in Baker County for more than a year, and I have a lot to say about my experience. Let me tell you, it was awful. The only thing good about it was I met some wonderful people and learned how to handle money and deal with customers.

It was a long year of never being able to count on hours. You can have 20-25 hours one week and 15 hours the next, and when you’re already making minimum wage, that’s definitely not okay. And how is it fair that the only raise I got was 6 cents when minimum wage was changed?

I worked when I was there, and I came in countless times to cover for other people. I worked Friday nights on the cash register by myself with rude, impatient customers who wanted their food immediately. They didn’t understand that food takes time to cook, and many times, there’s only one person making sandwiches for both the lobby and drive-thru window. When customers get impatient, and your coworkers get stressed and snap at you, it all makes for a stressful environment.

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Molded and shaped young lives

Dear Editor:

Recently we were guests at a reception in honor of Mr. Tom Covington. Coach Covington was at Baker County High School from 1957 to 1968. He and his lovely wife Joanne were among those educators for whom teaching was a “calling” rather than a job.

They sowed seeds of encouragement and discipline that demanded the best of their students and influenced lives far beyond the high school years. They showed by example how to be men and women of integrity, how to love others as you love yourself.

Even after over 40 years, a majority of former players were there to honor this couple. A successful group of men, husbands and fathers, and now grandfathers, whose own lives have left indelible marks on our community. They are men of business and education, government leaders, and professionals, all who played for “T.C.”

What was then all about the Friday night game or track meet was really about the molding and shaping of young lives.

Thank you, Coach and Mrs. Covington, for your loving investment in us. May we be as diligent to pay it forward.

Gary and Kathy Barber

Glen St. Mary

Emily H. Taber, 1911-2011

Emily H. TaberMost people would like to be remembered for something positive.

Such is the case with Emily Taber, who died this week just short of her 100th birthday.

Surely she was aware she would be remembered by Baker County mostly for her efforts to bring a library to what was, well, a library-less community. A Baker County commission decades ago did just that, naming the county’s library in the old courthouse for Mrs. Taber.

She once said what mattered most to her wasn’t the fact that her name was attached to the library, but that Baker County had dedicated an historic building that housed a library. She truly believed that, but those who knew her believe she was quite appreciative of the honor nonetheless.

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