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Daily Archives: August 10, 2012

Old Castle mining mounts PR push

Dennis McClelland, manager of Old Castle Southern Grouops aggregates division.Sand mining company Old Castle Southern Group has been on the offensive in recent weeks meeting with government officials, business owners and others in preparation for the upcoming hearing before the Baker County Commission.

The county has moved the August 20 hearing on the Tampa-based company’s proposal to the courthouse in anticipation of a large crowd attending the 6 pm meeting.

Last June commissioners delayed consideration of zoning exceptions to accommodate Old Castle’s mining plans and those of another firm, E.R. Jahna, Inc. of Lake Wales, for two months.

That’s when a group of concerned residents launched a campaign to spur opposition to the plans and pressure commissioners, three of whom are up for re-election this year, to vote against the exception applications.

Old Castle and Jahna hope to mine hundreds of acres at two sites southeast and northeast of Macclenny, respectively, during the next several decades. They must obtain the exceptions because mining is not generally permitted in the agricultural zoning districts where the tracts are located.

Both properties have historically been used for timber production.

In the meantime, Old Castle hired Elizabeth Revell, a public relations consultant from Fernandina Beach with experience helping companies combat the often negative perception of the mining industry.

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Robert McGarrity, 78, USPS retiree

Robert Franklin McGarrity, 78, of Macclenny died Friday, May 4, 2012 at Macclenny Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was a native of Woodleaf, North Carolina and a son to the late Perry and Gladys Klutz McGarrity. He was a four-year veteran of the United States Navy and a graduate of Jones Business College in Jacksonville with a business degree. Mr. McGarrity retired in 1989 from the United States Post Office bulk mail center in Jacksonville after 25 years. He lived in Macclenny for the past 36 years and was a member of First Baptist Church of Macclenny. In his spare time he enjoyed riding his bicycle, working in his yard and gardening.

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Deborah Norman, 59, of Macclenny

Deborah Jo Wiggins Norman, 59, left this Earth on May 5, 2012 after an eight year battle with cancer. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida on July 8, 1952 to Kathryn Eloise Wiggins and the late Sterling Aubrey Wiggins. She graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 1970. Debbie worked for Jax Utilities Employees Credit Union for 27 years and retired as a branch manager. She also served as the financial secretary for the First Baptist Church of Macclenny until her health declined. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Glen St. Mary. Debbie married the love of her life Todd on September 21, 1985 and they welcomed daughter Ashton in June 1988.

Debbie treasured her family and friends who were like family and was known for her generosity. She loved holidays and birthdays, thoughtfully buying gifts for everyone. Over the years she and Todd opened their home celebrating many special occasions. Debbie enjoyed playing the piano, camping, movie nights with Ashton and her nieces and nephews or playing games where she would laugh the loudest.

She relished cooking and baking especially for family and friends. Debbie’s expertise was wedding cakes that tasted as good as they looked. She and her beloved sister Brenda were known for their catering and cakes.

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Richard Takamine of Macclenny

Richard M. “Masa” Takamine, 94, of Macclenny died Sunday, May 6 at his residence. He was a native of Hilo, Hawaii and resided in Jacksonville before moving to Macclenny over 30 years ago. He was educated as a chiropractor and received his degree from the Palmer School of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa in 1949. He worked in the warehouse department with Winn-Dixie Food Stores in Jacksonville for many years. He was a loyal member of the First Baptist Church of Macclenny and an Army veteran of WWII.

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