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Measure would require rezoning to mine

Two weeks after sand mining proposals for hundreds of rural acres in Baker County were withdrawn to allow more time for regulatory agencies to study the plans, a county commissioner has hatched a plan to stop them permanently.

Commissioner Mark Hartley had planned to introduce an ordinance to prohibit sand mining in agricultural areas at the end of the commission meeting on the evening of September 4. But he decided at the last minute to postpone the matter, saying he needed more time to review the draft ordinance before moving forward with his idea.

“I want to read it over to make sure it’s exactly what we want to do,” he said after the meeting was adjourned shortly before 6 pm.

The county’s present zoning code allows mining operations on lands with agricultural zoning designations by special exception. Mr. Hartley’s proposal, if adopted at a later date, would restrict sand mining to industrial zones only.

The proposed ordinance states that continuing to permit sand mining on agricultural lands, which make up more than half of the county’s total acreage excluding national forest land, is not in compliance with the county’s comprehensive, long-range planning mission.

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Mandatory life sentence for child sex

David M. HillA Macclenny man convicted by a jury in March on multiple counts of sexual battery with a child was given the mandatory life sentence in circuit court here on August 28.

The sentencing of David Hill, 38, had been postponed post-trial after his public defense counsel George Nelson filed a motion for a new trial based on alleged statements made by the victim in the case after she testified.

Judge Phyllis Rosier denied the motion.

Mr. Hill, who has no criminal past, was arrested in March, 2011 after he failed a voice analysis test. He denied to sheriff’s investigators allegations made by the victim, then a BCHS student, that he raped her on a regular basis for a decade.

The victim, who testified at the trial, recounted how Mr. Hill physically abused her, threatened her if she revealed anything about their relationship and abused her pets over the years before her friends coaxed her into telling a school official about it.

The court threw out a single count of lewd or lascivious battery, and the jury took a half hour following the day and a half trial before returning guilty verdicts on four counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child less than 12 years old and another charge of tampering with the victim-witness.

On the last count, the state presented evidence that Mr. Hill attempted via phone to get the victim to back off the allegations.

The defendant, a maintenance man at a local motel, did not testify in his defense.

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Robert Colbert of Glen St. Mary

Robert Lee Colbert Sr., 75, of Glen St. Mary, died on August 20, 2012 at Macclenny Nursing and Rehab. He was born April 3, 1937 in Staunton, Illinois and was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He loved to play tennis.

Mr. Colbert is survived by wife Carolyn Colbert; children Debbie Day (Jeff), Robert Colbert Jr. (Dawn), Tammy Colbert, Penny Colbert and Robert DeRosier;  nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Arrangements by ICS Cremation and Funeral Home in Lake City.

Deborah Estrada memorial later

Deborah Cornelia Estrada,  52, of Pembroke Pines, Fl. died on September 2, 2012. She was born on June 8, 1960 to Marius and Patricia Ann Baker VanHeeswijk. She was an accountant and proudly served in the United State Air Force.

Mrs. Estrada lived in Macclenny for 12 years before moving to South Florida. She was predeceased by her mother Patricia Ann Baker VanHeeswijk, and survived by her father Marius VanHeeswijk.

A celebration of her life will be scheduled at a later date. V. Todd Ferreira Funeral Services of Macclenny was in charge of arrangements.

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