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Daily Archives: March 1, 2013

County inmates driving deficits

In recent years Baker County’s crime rate has dropped but its inmate population in county jail has not. It’s been growing and draining the county’s once healthy rainy-day fund in the process.

Since the new Baker County Sheriff’s Complex opened in June 2009, the annual deficit in the county’s fine and forfeiture fund, which covers corrections, law enforcement and other related costs, has steadily grown to $3.9 million.

In the four years between 2007-08 and 2011-12, the deficit more than doubled.

Part of that jump is due to the higher daily rate the county pays per inmate at the new 500-bed facility — roughly $85 per day or $40 more than the rate at the former jail adjacent to the courthouse. But the rising local prisoner population, which has been expanding about 10 percent per year, is also stressing the fine and forfeiture fund.

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Dewey Bridges, 69, of Macclenny

Dewey Wayne Bridges, 69, of Macclenny died at his home on Saturday, January 26, 2013. He was born in Shannon, Georgia to the late Paul Alfred and Birdie Mae Pierce Bridges. Mr. Bridges was a longtime resident of Baker County and member of the First Baptist Church of Maxville. He was a graduate of Baldwin High School’s  class of 1963 and retired in 2005 as a custodian at Baker County High School. Mr. Bridges enjoyed traveling with his wife Joyce and together they visited every state in the United States. He was preceded in death by son Donald Allen Bridges.

Survivors other than his wife include son David Bridges (Kim) of Valrico; daughter Connie Bridges of Jacksonville; brothers Clyde Bridges of Alabama and Frank Bridges (Diane) of Raiford;  sister Mildred Williamson of Baldwin; step-sons Alvin Lambert (Lisa) of Clermont, Bobby Lambert (Julie) of Orlando and David Lambert (Tookie) of Macclenny; step-daughters Martha Jo Davis (Wes) of Taylor and Brenda Daniels of Macclenny; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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‘Jody’ Burnham funeral Thursday

Joseph “Jody” Burnham, 49, of Macclenny died on Monday, January 28, 2013. He  was a lifelong resident of Baker County and a caregiver who loved working with special needs children. He also loved cooking on the grill and spending time with his family and friends.

Mr. Burnham is survived by his wife Mary Burnham of Macclenny; adopted daughter Zamiarah Burnham of Macclenny and step-son Gerome Pender of Macclenny; step-daughter Kimberly Stephens of Jacksonville; brothers Pete (Audrey) Lauramore of Macclenny, John Lauramore of Sanderson, and Frankie (Lynn) Burnham of Tifton, GA; sisters Patty (Donald) Brantley of Taylor and Rita (Eugene) Hodges of Sanderson; five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by parents John and Doris Starling Burnham.

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‘Buck’ Davis, 75, dies January 25

John Randall “Buck” Davis Jr., 75, of Macclenny died on January 25, 2013 at his residence with family by his side. He was born in Pierce County, Georgia on November 9, 1937 to the late John Randall Davis Sr. and Sina Hickox Davis. Buck was a lifelong resident of Macclenny and graduated from Baker County High School in 1956, the first year it became consolidated.

He was the owner and operator of Davis Utilities, Inc. for 40 years and retired in 2005. Buck was an avid John Wayne fan and collector. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and traveling to the mountains with his family. He was preceded in death by sisters Pauline Ogilvie, Lois Mobley and Eloise Harvey.

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