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‘Mystery memo’ unnoticed until it was too late

A recent invitation to county commissioners to offer comments or objections to one of two pending sand mining proposals being considered by state regulatory agencies expired weeks before commissioners even knew about it.

The offer was extended in a memorandum dated January 22 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which asked for written comments concerning applicant E.R. Jahna Industries Inc. to be returned to DEP headquarters in Tallahassee within 30 days.

“This is your agency’s opportunity to provide comments on and/or to concur with or object to the proposed project,” stated the memo from DEP’s Mining and Mitigation Program office.

During a board meeting on March 5, county commissioners wanted to know why they had not heard about the memo, which listed County Manager C.J. Thompson as one of its intended recipients, until it was too late to respond.

“I got a copy (of the memo) yesterday from somebody in the audience,” Commissioner Adam Giddens said. “I don’t like that. We need to all be on the same page and know what’s going on.”

He said he immediately called the county manager’s office to inquire about the matter.

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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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