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Daily Archives: August 24, 2012

Wildcat faces Baldwin in season opener

You’ve got to hand it to the Baldwin Indians, the team that the Wildcats will face off against on Friday night in the Kickoff Classic at Memorial Stadium in Macclenny.

The Indians are a team on the upswing.

Last season Coach Steve Shields took a team that was 4-8 in the previous year and turned it into a playoff team. The Indians went 9-3 last year and though they lost to the Village Charter school in the first round of the playoffs, it was a huge achievement.

Shields and his squad hope to continue with his rebuilding model as they take on the Wildcats in the Kickoff Classic. The game gives both teams an opportunity to evaluate talent and their off-season moves before they both open up for real next weekend.

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8th graders visit Olustee Battlefied State Park for ‘living history’ lesson

8th graders tour the Town of Olustee.For the first time in more than a decade Baker County Middle School students took a field trip to visit historical re-enactors and demonstrators at the Olustee Battlefield the morning of February 17.

History teacher Gayle Combs said that because the annual Olustee Battle reenactment falls so close to the start of FCAT testing, her students had not been able to attend since 2001.

“This is the time of year when we’re intense about pushing for FCAT  …  so they don’t like us taking field trips at this time,” she said, adding that the writing test taken by fourth, eighth and tenth graders begins February 28.

But after meeting with middle school principal Sherry Barrett and convincing her the trip was worthwhile, students were once again able to see up close a re-creation of what life might have been like during the Civil War.

See video from the BCMS field trip here. A slideshow of photos from the field trip and the annual Olustee Battle re-enactment festivities is available here. Prints of the photos may be ordered from the Gallery tab on the homepage by clicking the “Click here to see and order photos from the newspaper” button.

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Junior scores ‘near-perfect’ on SAT

Reagan MckendreeReagan McKendree wasn’t shocked she achieved a near-perfect score on the SAT recently, but what it means for her future puts a smile on her face.

The Baker County High School junior scored 2320 out of 2400 points on the exam used as a common benchmark for college admissions and scholarship eligibility.

The 16-year-old from Cuyler garnered 220 out of 240 points on the pre-SAT, so she expected to do well on the SAT. “But I wasn’t thinking a perfect score on the math and reading,” Ms. McKendree said the morning of February 21, five days after taking the five-hour test.

She didn’t miss a single question on the reading or math portions of the test, but lost points on the writing and grammar sections.

“I was pretty happy,” said Ms. McKendree, adding that she didn’t realize how extraordinary her score was until guidance counselors and other faculty members, “made such a big deal of it.”

“I was like, ‘well, OK.’ This is a pretty big deal,” she said.

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The stop signs to no where

Taber Blvd. signage leading up to the stop signs.The recent positioning of two stop signs at the intersection of Taber Blvd. with two virtually untraveled streets in Glen St. Mary as a way of slowing traffic is, well, not a good solution.

You’ll recall last June the county commission balked at the Glen First Baptist Church’s request to close the road altogether, opening the door to a compromise that recognizes the public’s need to use a well-established right-of-way (10,500 weekly trips by latest count) and the church’s concern for safety.

So we have two stop signs (at Andrews St. which is going to be closed anyway and South Boulevard south of church property) where they are simply not needed, and they’re for safety reasons?

That’s hardly a compromise. It’s overkill, and a needless nuisance to motorists.

Recently the county re-surfaced Taber from US 90 south to CR 125 and placed an elevated walk where church pedestrians cross from buildings on the west side of Taber to the main complex on the east side.

That’s a compromise.

The elevated walkway and clearly marked pedestrian crossing, along with the 25 mph speed limit on Taber, clearly cover the county’s concern protecting churchgoers during Sunday and Wednesday service times, and other events, at the church.

Stop sign placement hundreds of feet either side of the crossing is pointless.

A reasonable addition would be stop signs in both directions at the crosswalk, mounted on rotatable posts that can be turned toward traffic during church and church-activity times.

Motorists would then be required to stop at the crosswalk. The signs, manned by either church volunteers or off-duty deputies as crossing guards, constitute more than adequate diligence to protect pedestrians.

As was pointed out in this column last year, Glen Baptist created the problem by having buildings on both sides of the established right-of-way. The county commission heard from citizens who want Taber to remain open, and support for closure failed to get a seconding motion so it died.

That part, then, is settled.

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