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Oldcastle strikes 50-year deal with city for ‘grey’ water

In its bid to obtain a permit to mine sand in southeastern Baker County where DuPont has been mining for decades, Tampa-based Oldcastle Southern Group picked up a key ally last week: the City of Macclenny.City commissioners unanimously approved a deal with Old Castle on June 11 that enables the company to use reclaimed water from the city’s sewage treatment plant in its operation instead of pumping millions of gallons of water from the aquifer.

“Through much negotiating we’ve put together a win-win for the city and for Oldcastle,” said City Manager Phil Rhoden after he presented the 11-page, 50-year contract to commissioners at the board’s monthly meeting.

Mr. Rhoden quickly added that the proposed partnership would be more helpful to Oldcastle than to the city since the company’s plans have drawn opposition from numerous local residents committed to halting any further mining in the county.

Further, he noted, the city has a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection allowing the discharge of treated wastewater into Turkey Creek and probably would be allowed to continue with that method of disposal for several years to come.

“But they (FDEP) are very much in favor of our entering into this contract if at all possible,” he said.

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Meth lab in shed off Clete Harvey

Cops- meth Oralls

Jason Oralls

A tip to police that originated as a complaint to the Department of Children and Families led to the arrest on June 12 of four Baker County men for operating a meth lab off Clete Harvey Rd.

Several deputies went to the address about 6:45 and spotted a man later identified as Jason Oralls, 38, running from behind a shed near the residence and tossing a plastic jug onto the top of a grape vine. Investigator Matt Yarborough said Mr. Oralls  ran back to the shed, then to a burning fire into which he tossed several other objects.

Meanwhile, Lt. Scotty Rhoden nabbed the remaining suspects as they exited the shed and walked hurriedly toward the residence.

They were identified as Russell Rooker, 35, and Allen Yonn, 33, both of Macclenny, along with Jason Dupree, 34, of Glen St. Mary.

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Violent storm sends man to the hospital

A Macclenny man was sent to the hospital after a large pine tree fell into his apartment and collapsed the roof during a sudden storm the afternoon of June 13.

Robert Dyer and his wife Minerva were inside the duplex at 420 S. 7th St. when high winds and heavy rainfall started about 4 pm.

Immediately following the incident Mrs. Dyer said her husband was alright, but he was taken by ambulance to Fraser hospital. She said she didn’t know where she could stay that night and worried about collecting her belongings after authorities cordoned off the residence.

Two birds in the home were not harmed, she said.

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Inter-league softball tournament finishes

Kayla Harrington leaps on to home plate.

Kayla Harrington leaps on to home plate.

The three youngest divisions in Little League baseball and softball concluded their end-of-season “inter-league” tournaments last weekend.

Next up will be tournaments for the older divisions in which the best players from Baker County will compete for district titles against out-of-county teams.

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