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Opting out of FCAT is doable, but district discourages it

With last month’s FCAT writing test finished, students and teachers are now prepping for the reading, math and science exams in April. Spring break next week will be a welcome reprieve for parent Kathrine Tidwell, who says her child gets stressed and moody when testing time rolls around.

“The best part is the hives,” she said on The Press’ Facebook page recently. “They emphasize this test way to much!” Another Facebook user, Rebecca Scribner, said her son usually comes home exhausted with a headache after standardized testing.

Angela Callahan teaches second grade at Westside Elementary and leads the local teachers union. She said high stakes testing, while entrenched in public education, takes a toll on teachers, too.

“My son worries about it for sure,” she said. “He is a wonderful student and makes excellent grades, so he has no reason to worry, but he still does.

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Two sentenced to prison for DUI manslaughter, other charges

Mr. Moody (right) with his attorney at sentencing.When Robert Hewett lost his father at a young age, it was his uncle who filled the void.

“Think about the one person in your life that’s had the most influence on you. That’s who he was to me,” Mr. Hewett told Circuit Judge Mark Moseley minutes before the judge accepted a plea agreement from David Curtis Moody for two counts of vehicular manslaughter the morning of March 26.

In return for his no contest plea, Mr. Moody was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to four years in prison, minus 24 months credit for time served, and 10 years of drug offender probation.

Mr. Hewett’s uncle, Arthur S. Hewett, 61, was killed when the speeding 2009 Pontiac allegedly driven by the defendant crossed the center line on SR 121 south and collided with the victim’s Toyota pickup about 6:15 am on February 2, 2009.

The crash also took the life of Charles C. Sharp of Jacksonville, who was inside the Pontiac and pronounced dead at the scene along with Arthur Hewett.

“He made me the Christian man I am today,” Robert Hewett said of his uncle, a construction supervisor from Lake Butler.

Facing nine counts that included vehicular homicide, DUI, DUI with property damage or injury and careless driving on a suspended license resulting in death or serious injury, Mr. Moody was close to accepting a plea deal last December.

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Wildcat baseball secures top seed in district

Jacob Milton gets a hit during the Wildcats win over Fernandina at Suns stadium in Jacksonville.The Baker High varsity baseball team went 2-0 the past week to improve to 13-1, and locked up the number one seed in the district tournament in the process.

On March 19 the Wildcats beat the visiting Fernandina Beach Pirates 2-1. Freshmen Dylan Hall picked up the win, throwing 3.2 innings and giving up only one run. Jacob Milton pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief and Hunter Hanks picked up the save with a scoreless seventh inning.

Jared Crews led the offense with a pair of hits and Ethan Wilkerson added an RBI double.

“We didn’t swing the bats very well that night; maybe we were looking ahead to Friday’s game,” said Coach Fred Matricardi.

On March 22 the Cats hosted Bishop Kenny to determine the number one seed in the district tournament and handled the Crusaders 8-2 in what Matricardi called “our best game of the season.”

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