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School board candidates spar over experience

From left: Candidates Dwight Crews, Patricia Weeks and Clayton Griffis.Two school boards members up for re-election defended their oversight of the district and its budget, while their challengers chided them for poor performing schools during the candidate forum July 28 at the BCHS auditorium.

The current composition of the school board — three long-time members and two newcomers elected in 2010 — could shift to one in which the majority of members are relatively inexperienced in K-12 education, depending on the results of the August 14 primary election.

Dissenting votes are a rare occurrence on the school board these days, but should an incumbent, Dwight Crews or Patricia Weeks, fail to retain their post, the panel will have three members installed within the last two years.

The conflict between the status quo and a new, albeit vague, direction was apparent during the nearly hour-long segment of the forum allotted for school board candidates.

They answered questions on the school district’s budget, standardized testing and student performance, among other topics.

Mr. Crews’ opponent Clayton Griffis, a corrections officer who has family members who are teachers and students, advocated looking to higher-rated districts for ways to improve locally.

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Commission hopefuls address budget, hot issues

County commission candidates.Six county commission candidates, two of whom will be on the primary ballot on August 14, fielded a host of questions during a forum held at the high school on July 28 before a crowd of more than 100 civic-minded constituents.

Lucy and David Hudson traveled from Olustee to attend the more than two-hour forum, which also included candidates for school board and sheriff [see related article on school board forum here].

The couple said prior to the start they wanted to become more informed voters and hoped to hear more about the candidate’s budget priorities.

“We have so little money in the county budget and so many things that need to be done, how are they going to set the priorities?” Mr. Hudson asked rhetorically. “It’s going to be very, very hard.”

Soon after delivering their opening statements,  the candidate were asked about the county’s budget woes.

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‘Nanny’ Barber funeral July 24th

Rhoda Mizell (Nanny) Barber, 92, originally of Waycross, GA, died surrounded by her loved ones the night of Thursday, July 19, 2012 at her son’s home in Sanderson after a lengthy illness. She was born in Hopkins, GA in Ware County and raised in the Okefeenokee Swamp by her parents, the late Maggie Hendrix Mizell and the late Hamp Mizell, co-author of “The History of the Okefeenokee.”

She lived her life in Manor and Waycross, married to the late Robert Leo Barber. Mrs. Barber was a graduate of Manor High School and Ware County Vocational School. She was a licensed practical nurse and touched many lives at both Homerville Hospital as well as Ware Manor Nursing Home until her retirement.

In addition to her parents and husband, Mrs. Barber was preceded in death by her daughters Sylvia Barber Howell Caswell and Barbara Ann Barber Ferrante.

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Lucille Conner, 82, of Taylor dies

Lucille Dinkins Conner, 82, of Sanderson died Thursday, July 26, 2012 at Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital in Macclenny after a sudden illness. She was born in the Taylor community and lived there her entire life. She was the daughter of the late Leon and Marvin Taylor Dinkins, and a homemaker who enjoyed her children and grandchildren.

Mrs. Conner is survived by husband Virgil Conner of Sanderson; her children Betty Fay (Thomas) Dyal and Janet (Charlie) Easterday of Sanderson, Essie Mae (Jimmy) Thrift of Macclenny, Lawton (Charlene) Conner, Susie (George) Franks, Christean (Tom) Raley, Raymond (Tammy) Conner and Angie (Eddie) Williams, all of Glen St. Mary; sister Blanche Long of Providence, FL; 21 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

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