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Teen zombies takeover historic jail

History Club students prepare for opening night of the Haunted Jail October 26.Zombies and inmates infected by the flesh-eating monsters took over the historic jail on McIver Street in Macclenny for three nights recently, capping the run on Halloween.

The annual Haunted Jail fund raiser benefits the Baker County Historical Society and the Baker High History Club. Club sponsor Mark Hartley said the goal was to raise $3000 during the event, half for the society and half for the club.

This year’s Haunted Jail featured both floors at the old jail — upstairs are the zombies and downstairs their maligned offspring, the inmates — for the first time.

Mr. Hartley said attendance on the first two nights were about average, but he expected many more for Halloween.

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‘Rollercoaster’ sheriff poll

Among the many kernels of wisdom fed to young journalists is this — don’t become the story.

As the theory goes, when members of the media go from being the ones gathering the news to the people in the news, they inevitably lose their objective perspective because they are now inside the fish bowl instead of outside. And as such, they can no longer be trusted with a story about themselves.

This week — thanks to complaints about our online poll, how our poll functions and the general hysteria that accompanies all elections, and worsens as the election nears — The Press came close to becoming the story.

I don’t mean in the literal sense that would imply there was a chance that other news organizations (or us for that matter) would be reporting on what we do here from our Macclenny office. But rather in the sense that our actions caused what could be described as “news.”

Let me explain.

As you can see on the front page, this week’s online poll shows that incumbent Democrat Joey Dobson led his Republican challenger Cameron Coward 55 percent to 43.8 percent, with 1.2 percent of respondents indicating they were undecided about who they’re supporting for sheriff.

As of press time, the poll tallied 685 votes. Admittedly, three of the undecided votes were cast by yours truly while testing the poll’s settings early this week. Over the weekend, we received complaints via our Facebook page about people not being able to cast votes.

“I’ve had four friends call me saying they can’t vote … They said the site says, ‘You have already voted.’ Is this poll rigged?!” wrote George Doran, a supporter of Mr. Coward’s.

That comment was followed by this one from Kathleen Johnson: “I tried to vote and couldn’t … gawd … please don’t tell me our local paper is rigged!”

The poll was certainly not rigged to favor either candidate.

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Service Friday for Eugene Blount

Eugene Bryan Blount Jr., 65, of Macclenny died on October 26, 2012 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center with family by his side. He was born in Nassau County, Florida on October 16, 1947 to the late Eugene Bryan Blount Sr. and Juanita Carroll Blount. Eugene was a resident of Macclenny since 1981 and now resides with the Lord. He retired after 12 years of dedicated service at Safety Fire and Sprinkler as a pipe fitter and attended New Life Church of God. Eugene enjoyed fishing, cooking, yard work, and being outdoors. He was also an avid NASCAR and football fan,  and enjoyed watching boxing. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Margaret Blount and  brother Charles Craig Blount.

Mr. Blount is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Elizabeth Annette Blount of Macclenny;  sons Jason Eugene Blount and Martin W. (April) Goethe; brothers James Elmer (Sara) Blount and Jerry Wayne (Ann) Blount;  sister Diane Blount; grandchildren Shayla Alyssa Goethe and Ashton William Goethe.

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Funeral Oct. 27 for Mrs. Holden

Wilheminia Cook Holden of Baldwin died on October 20, 2012. She was a licensed cosmetologist who also worked for a time at Northeast Florida State Hospital.

Mrs. Holden accepted Christ at an early age and after moving to Baldwin joined the Camel Chapel AME Church where she was a pianist and secretary of the Missionary Society. Her hobbies included Word Search and crocheting.

She is survived by grandson Anthony Brown; sister Louisa Cook Gunter; ten great-grandchildren; 15 great-great-grandchildren; nieces nephews, cousins, goddaughter Zondra Mathis, special friend Laura Thomas.

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