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TEXT, EMAIL SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR TEENS WITH SEXUAL HEALTH QUESTIONS

A new resource was recently launched for teens in the region with questions about sexual health. It’s the BrdzNBz NE Florida text message system.

BrdsNBz NE Florida gives confidential, medically-accurate answers to sexual health questions via text message for teens 12-18 years old Baker, Duval, Nassau, Clay and St. Johns counties. The service is anonymous, provides real-time responses and it’s free, though standard text message rates may apply.

A similar resource from Healthy Baker, Inc. is available online at the non profit’s Oustpoken website called Ask Aunt Cathy. It’s been available for more than a year. Teens can submit any health-related question by filling out the online form and receive a response from a public health professional by e-mail.

To use the BrdzNBz NE Florida service, teens can text NEFLTeen to 66746 to opt-in to the service and then submit their question. Health educators with more than 40 years of combined public health experience respond to questions within 24 hours.

Question topics submitted to the text line include sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, sex, relationships and contraception. Teens can ask follow-up questions and receive referrals to local resources.

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John Merrett, 67, a retired trucker

John W. Merrett, 67, of St. George, GA died on Thursday, March 7, 2013. Mr. Merrett was a retired truck driver who loved fishing and spending time with his family and friends. He is survived by his wife Holly Merrett; mother Edith Merrett; sons Dwayne and Chuck (Tina) Merrett, both of St. George, and Leroy (Brandy) Sweat of Glen St. Mary; brother Jimmy Merrett of Tennessee; eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held 2 pm on Sunday, March 10 at Forbes Funeral Home in Macclenny with Rev. Kenny Marr officiating.

Barbara Stack, 71, buried in Valdosta

Barbara Mell Stack, 71, of Macclenny died on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. She was born in Morgan, Georgia to the late Jim Boydale and Claudia Mell Conley Hartley and moved to Macclenny in 1987 from Jacksonville. Mrs. Stack retired from Beneficial Finance Company after 42 years, the majority of them in Jacksonville and managing locations in Georgia. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Macclenny, where she was very active in the Feminars and numerous positions. She enjoyed being in the sunshine, traveling and art. Mrs. Stack was preceded in death by her husband of 32 years, William “Sonny” Stack Sr. in 2000.

Survivors include daughter Reneé Robbins of Macclenny and son William “Clay” Stack Jr. (Sonya) of Starke; sister-in-law Barbara Hartley Davenport (Jim) of Cumming, GA; grandchildren Nikki King, Tristan Robbins, Heather Robbins, Courtney, Taylor, Tucker, Trey and Jack Stack and Jason Williams; great grandchild Jaiden Rice.

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Gloria Sparkman funeral held Monday

Gloria Ann Sparkman, 60, of Macclenny, Florida passed away March 7, 2013 at her residence with family by her side. She was born in Jacksonville on April 18, 1952 to Yvonne Edna Wielenbeck Nobles and the late James Edward Beach, and lived in Macclenny since 1982 after moving from Jacksonville. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Macclenny and had a passion for baking, spending many years baking at Taylor’s Parties and Pastries and Sunrise Bakery. Gloria also worked for the elections office for several years. She loved flowers, puppies, ceramics, and collecting owls.

Gloria was preceded in death by her loving husband, Ralph Franklin Sparkman Jr.; her father and sister Diane Ryals.

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