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Daily Archives: February 22, 2013

Couples renew vows, marry on Valentine’s Day

Pastor Jack Pope marries Johnny Johnson and Sandra Steward on Valentine's Day.Five couples renewed their vows and another was married at New Life Church by Pastor Jack Pope on Valentine’s Day.

There was Ralph and Pamela McCormick, who attend services at the church on N. SR 121 and celebrated their 50th anniversary last month.

Together they have five children, seven grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and many, many memories.

How did they make their marriage last five decades?

“Mainly it’s been our trust in the Lord,” said Mr. McCormick before the vow renewal ceremony with four other couples. “We’ve had lots of serious ups and downs, but both of us hung onto the Lord, so it has been easy to forgive one another.”

“And never go to bed mad,” added Mrs. McCormick.

Pastor Pope and other congregates opened the 7 pm evening service with several praise and worship songs. That was followed by a message from the pastor about the roles of men and women in the household and some do’s and don’ts for marriage according to scripture.

“You can’t go into marriage with the idea that it’s a 50-50 partnership,” said Mr. Pope. “You have to go into marriage understanding that you’re going to give 100 percent and you’re not going to hold anything back.

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Industrial land use sought on 300 acres in Sanderson

Thousands of pine trees in an area near Sanderson in western Baker County, located near railroad tracks and two major highways, could be replaced one day by a manufacturing plant, warehouse, mining operation or some other business employing hundreds of people.

At least, that’s what is intended in a proposal to amend the county’s long-range comprehensive plan to change the future land use designation on 300 acres from agriculture to industrial.

The Baker County Land Planning Agency, an appointed panel that reviews land use and zoning applications, endorsed the proposed change during a meeting on the evening of February 14 and sent it on to the county commission for consideration.

Ed Preston, the county’s planning and zoning director, told the board that the proposal, known as a “large scale future land use amendment,” had met the unanimous approval of the development review committee comprised of various county department heads, and his staff also recommended approval.

No specific development plans have been drawn up, nor are any known developers interested in the site at the moment, Mr. Preston said. Or, if there are, he said, “they haven’t told me about it.”

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Backup plan: use eminent domain to take slugde property

One month after suing Rayonier in an effort to force the sale of 114 acres of company land to the city for a sewage sludge disposal site, the Macclenny City Commission has already launched its backup plan: taking the property under the state’s power of eminent domain.

The strategy, which enables governmental agencies to take private property for a public use and requires a jury trial to determine the price to be paid, was recommended by City Attorney Frank Maloney in the event the city loses the lawsuit.

Commissioners approved the eminent domain measure during a board meeting on the evening of February 12, four weeks after filing the civil action in circuit court asking the court to order Rayonier to honor a contract it later reneged on after agreeing to sell the parcel to a Realtor working on behalf of the city in June 2012.

Before reading a resolution explaining the necessity of acquiring the Rayonier property for a public purpose, Mr. Maloney told commissioners he wanted to employ “both (legal) proceedings in case something happens to our specific performance lawsuit.”

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Show me the money: GOP’s outsourcing of state government

Over the last decade or so the state has become an incubator of sorts for the conservative government policy commonly called outsourcing.

Steered by the Florida Legislature and three consecutive Republican governors, Florida has been turning over more and more state functions to private entities, arguing they can deliver the services just as effectively as state employees, but for less money.

The legislature’s regular session doesn’t start until March 5 but it’s clear already that the GOP-controlled House and Senate chambers are poised to stay the course; giving more public school money to for-profit charter schools, putting more of the state’s Medicaid recipients and the associated state and federal funding into the hands of private health insurers and outsourcing more operations within the state prison and mental health systems.

It would appear that if there’s any private entity inside or outside Florida willing, for a small fee of course, to assume what has historically been a state function, the state is more than happy to make a deal.

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