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Join United Way of Suwannee Valley for its 2013 Annual Community Fundraising Campaign Kick off at Florida Gateway College.


Democrat Friday Edition — September 6, 2013

128th YEAR, NO. 94 | 2 SECTIONS, 20 PAGES


Serving Suwannee County since 1884, including Live Oak, Wellborn, Dowling Park, Branford, McAlpin and O’Brien

By Bryant Thigpen

The Democrat sat down with Major General (retired) Marvin Jay Barry, president of Integrated Waste Management Systems Inc., and the company’s consultant Alberta Hipps of the Hipps Group, a consulting firm out of Jacksonville, on Aug. 29. Barry is seeking to construct a new medical waste incinerator facility on 25 acres near the intersection of 175th Road and 50th

IWMS President Marvin Jay Barry.


The Cavaliers Quartet in concert The Cavaliers Quartet will be in concert at Branford United Methodist on Sunday for two concerts, one at 11 a.m. and one at 1:30 p.m. Dinner will be served between the concerts. The church is located at 405 NW Express, in Branford. See page 7A for more.


NEXT WEEK >> Local NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center sounds off on Suwannee County schools.

IWMS Suwannee facility will consist of four hospital, medical, infectious SEE Q AND A, PAGE 8A

Local resident Teri Stange holds a sign up during the commission meeting Tuesday night that reads, “No Incinerator,” protesting Integrated Waste Management Systems. - Photo: Bryant Thigpen

Outcry over waste incinerator

Battle of the Bands and Southland Band at SOS Music Park Southland Band of Moultrie, Georgia will be rocking the house tonight at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak followed Saturday night, Sept. 7, by the Battle of the Bands. The Battle of the Bands will bring many bands to the Music Hall from all genres of music to compete for the grand prize of $1,000. You do not want to miss this great weekend of music. Doors open tonight at 6 p.m., Saturday evening at 5 p.m. this weekend in the Music Hall. As always, the SOS Cafe and Restaurant will be open with a great menu available and a full-service bar. For more information, please go to, email or call the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) at 386-364-1683. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located at 3076 95th Drive, Live Oak. See page 9A for more.

Street in Suwannee County, on the catalyst site. The company registered with the state of Florida on April 9, 2012.

Public speaks out By Bryant Thigpen

Several local residents who attended the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday night voiced their concerns over Integrated Waste Management Systems, a company seeking to place medical waste incinerators at the catalyst site. One person even held a

This log truck overturned on CR 250 at 225th Road in Suwannee County Wednesday afternoon. The driver was flown to Shands UF. - Photo: Jennifer Newham

Truck driver flown to Shands UF Staff A Jennings man was flown by helicopter to Shands UF Wednesday afternoon for injuries he sustained when his semi truck and trailer overturned in Suwannee County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Waste incinerator company can move forward with permits


By Bryant Thigpen

Artfest comes to Live Oak Local artists to display their talents at Live Oak Library By Andrew McGee Autumn Artfest 2013 invites the community to join the artists, their guests, and awards sponsors from 1

p.m. to 3 p.m., this Sunday, at the Suwannee River Regional Library, for the opening reception and awards ceremony. This is the 17th Fine Art Exhibition presented by the Live

Local environmental action group Save Our Suwannee did not file a petition for a public hearing by the Aug. 31 deadline which would have stalled a

School board adopts final millage rates, budget Staff The Suwannee County School Board adopted their final millage rates and final budget for the 201314 school year during a public hearing Tuesday night.

>> September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.


Strict standards show major drop in such facilities Staff The Environmental Protection Agency issued revisions to new

source performance standards and emission guidelines from existing hospital, medical, and infectious waste incinerators (HMIWI). They were issued on SEE EMISSION, PAGE 10A


- Photo: Richard Wright

The Old Dog Says,

medical waste incinerator company from furthering, according to Russell Simpson, ombudsman for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Northeast District. “No petition was filed. No further extensions were requested,” Simpson said in an email Wednesday. The group petitioned the FDEP for more time to study the air permit on

Emission guidelines for med waste incinerators


Best of Show for 2012: “Night Riders”, colored pencil by Anda Chance.


Group’s extension to study company ends

According to FHP, Jerry Lee Whetstone, 51, Jennings, was traveling westbound on CR 250 around 5 p.m. in a 1995 International semi truck towing a trailer. A 1986 Peterbilt semi truck,


sign during the meeting that read “No Incinerator”. “First of all, I have sent all of the board members two letters in the last couple of weeks with questions and concerns that I have with the locating of Integrated Waste Management Systems Incorporated at the catalyst site, which is two miles from my home,” local resident Donna Ellis said. “I had no response from anyone.”

2013 MERCEDES BENZ GLK Only 14,000 Miles

“Lots to learn.”

Suwannee vs Hamilton County First offical game for both programs, 1B




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The 868th Engineer Company in Live Oak will be presenting their inaugural Community Awareness Open House on Saturday, Sept. 7. The event will be held at the Live Oak National Guard Armory from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. WWE superstar Kofi Kingston will be making a guest appearance from 1 to 3 p.m. with meet-and-greet and autograph sessions. Admission is free and open to all ages. The National Guard Armory is located at 1416 SW 11th St. in Live Oak. For more information on the 868th Engineer Company’s Community Awareness Open House, please contact recruiter and Staff Sergeant Amanda NesSmith at 386-4383968.

President, consultant of proposed medical waste incinerator sits down with Democrat


National Guard Open House

Q and A with IWMS




Viewpoints/Opinions BIBLE VERSE “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

Suwannee Democrat

MYRA C. REGAN Publisher


Members of the Suwannee Democrat editorial board are Myra C. Regan, publisher, and Jeff Waters, editor. Our View is formed by that board.

Editorial objectives for 2013 1. Reduce waste in local government 2. Revitalize downtown Live Oak  3. Continue work on Perimeter Road 4. Attract more business and growth 5. Build up I-10, US 129 corridor

The Democrat

Get educated Integrated Waste Management Systems Inc. seeks to install four hospital, medical and infectious waste incinerators in Suwannee County. You already know this if you read the numerous stories on today’s front page regarding this issue. We gave you, reader, plenty to chew on in today’s paper to help you learn about the company. Now it’s your job to take it from here. Get educated on the facts, figures and learn all the ins and outs of IWMS and the company. View all the public records pertaining to the company. Visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s website at View the company’s draft air permit ( and technical evaluation and preliminary determination ( You can also search Project Number 1210471-001-AC on the FDEP website to get more information. Just because you hear a medical waste incinerator facility is looking to open its doors here, don’t judge a book by its cover until you have done your own research. Get the facts, get educated. Of course, we will keep you updated on any developments with this project. We were the first to tell you about the company, and we were the first to bring you an in depth interview with the company president. Stay tuned.


QUESTION OF THE WEEK Now that more information is out about Integrated Waste Management Systems Inc., you are: More concerned. Less concerned. Need more information. What information? Poll Results (8-30-13)

Should the U.S. get involved in Syria? Yes, to protect our interests -- 5% Yes, it is the humane thing to do -- 16% No way, it’s their fight -- 59% No, it’s no concern to us -- 20% This poll is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole.


Want to vent? Our hotline is open 24/7. Callers to 386-208-8314 may express their thoughts, good or bad, 24/7, about community issues and politics. Private individuals or businesses are excluded from comments and will not be published. If you prefer, you may email your comments to Or, simply visit our website at, click on the Rant & Rave tab on the left and submit your thoughts there. You don’t have to give your name. Phone submissions must be no more than one minute long, or exceed 200 words. The same word count holds true for written submissions, such as email messages. Anything over will be discarded. If the constraints are not enough, write a letter to the editor (guidelines for letters appear below).    Well once again Suwannee County Commissioners' failed attempt to get 'development' in the county has cost its taxpayers $2,750,000.00 because it breached its contract with Suwannee Landing's developers: TSS' owner Fred Treadway. That venture has or will increase your property taxes next year approximately $200 per household in order to pay for this fiasco. Wouldn't it be nice if our county commissioners ponied up the money from their personal financial accounts? When, oh when will these elected officials learn not to speculate or invest in economic activities with public funds? Any bets on which activity will be the next to fail?    Let’s see, in one week the County has paid Suwannee Landing $2.75 Million plus land costs and JB Coxwell $965,000 for sink hole work to make sure the land they gave away for free to Klausner is okay. Yes, business as usual. How long before Suwannee County is on news stations as the next bankrupt government?    I am so proud of Councilmen Grantham & Mixon for having enough morals to support a Mayor that still has Christian Values & if enough people will wake up we can get our County back to a place that we can be proud of. God Bless You Sonny Nobles, Commissioners Grantham & Mixon. Hang in there and don't let the Devil win again. Don't ever give up.    If the incinerator is built in Suwannee County it will be a train wreck waiting to happen. Please don't allow it. We have good quality air. The water is already polluted and doesn't need to be made worse. When folks start to die from the pollutants, I guess the employment statistics will look better. There's got to be a better way! Yes we need jobs but not at the cost of lives.    Well, now that the bill's are due, seems like folks are waking up to the fact that the " good old boys" ain't done such a good job. Still a couple left that gotta go. If it involves taxpayer $$$ the people in these positions need to held to a higher standard for performance, ability, & qualifications or out they go, just like in the real world. Being a good old boy or kinfolk or crony don't cut it. Get the chamber & econ. Alliance out of taxpayer pockets totally. If all these little hand out collecting groups

can't stand on their own feet, let 'em fold, just like business people face. Stop voting in the same people term after term , you just get the same results.    We just want to thank the suwannee county school system and all involved for the great job you all do in educating our children. I know it takes hard work at school as well as in the home for a child to receive and appreciate the value of an education. Keep up the good work and we will do our part as parents at home to insure our children succeed in getting an education as well as succeeding in life! Once again thank you all.    I do not think the color of someone's skin should play a role in whether they are considered for a job as a teacher or administrator in our schools. In the article I read with statistics, I did not see any statistics on MINORITIES and AFRICAN AMERICANS who had applied and been turned down. Why were these stats left out? If you qualify, you qualify? If you can teach, you should teach! If you are there for a paycheck, go on down the road!    If Suwannee High School really wanted to be known as a premier college preparatory school why is it that they don't give the 105 students that participate in the AP courses the ability to take as many courses as possible. For instance why would you schedule AP English literature the same time as AP Physics. This caused many students to choose between the two classes.    The person who asked what does the money raised for Ball charity go to. I called and spoke with the Chief's personal assistant, Erica Ellen at the live Oak Police station.    Why could our Board of County Commissioners not avail the residents of Suwannee County the courtesy of hearing about the proposed hospital and medical waste incinerator,at a public hearing with the IWMS, as did the Baker County Board of County Commissioners? Have they forgotten who they represent? This was an act of total arrogance on their part, and totally unacceptable in a democratic society!    Jason Bashaw gets kudos for suggesting to at the Board of County Commissioners, that they need to develop a separate Comprehensive Plan Revision for the catalyst site and also to have a site plan. Wow! What a novel idea, and a shame that Jason was not around earlier so this could have been done at the onset and not as an afterthought! How many of the current problems would have been avoided with such actions/forethought!!!    I want to Thank our Mayor & the two Councilmen that is against Sunday Alachol sales, they still have some morals. The new sidewalks on Helvenston are great for the people in Wheelchairs, it might keep them from getting run over by the drunks now that Suwannee has gone Wet and boy is it wet and by the way where is the extra revenue going from these liquor sales, it sure hasn't helped the property taxes.You folks that went to Lake City to buy booze & eat, do us a favor and move to Lake City.


The big swim: You go granny! Dwain Walden The Moultrie Observer There’s something very special about a 64-year-old woman swimming from Cuba to Florida that makes me want to jump up and shout. In fact I did. You go granny! This old girl had tried this four times before but came up short. I am impressed! Talk about a reality show, this wasn’t some yocal clown chasing a possum in a hen house and giving some off-key rebel yell once the varmint had been sacked and society was safe from its predatation. Nor was it some spoiled brat in New Jersey complaining about a bad manicure. This was as real as it gets. No shark cage, no flotation devices. A woman and the ocean. You can’t see bottom, and you can’t see land. I’ve often said that Cuban refugees have made that crossing on homemade crafts that I wouldn’t cross Lake Seminole in. And here comes Diana Nyad swimming for 53 hours in waters filled with stinging jelly fish and great white sharks. Of course she had an escort but they did not assist her beyond giving her nourishment, most of which she vomited. Had she run into serious trouble, yes they would have rescued her. And that would also be the case of naked people trying to survive (mostly complaining) in some tropical swamp. Now I poohpooed Nik Wallenda’s walk across the Grand Canyon. And I know someone will say it’s the same thing. Well I don’t think it is. I know his event was more death defying and required an intense concentration and a tandem of courage bigger than church bells, but hers was about endurance, and of course her age added another dimension to the challenge. Swimming is natural. Walking a tight rope across the Grand Canyon is not. Maybe what I’m saying is that her persistence and

tenacity has socially redeeming value in that those qualities could possibly inspire others to keep trying at some endeavor. And maybe I’m saying that those of us near her age can find great encouragement in even much lesser feats that otherwise we might take off our “things-todo” list. I haven’t swam in a long time. When I was younger I was a good swimmer. My friends and I used to see how long we could stay afloat down at the old wash hole on Tired Creek. Most of the time we just got bored and quit after a long while. Doing cannon balls off the bluff was much more fun. Swimming is a great exercise. There is very little pressure on the joints and it has tremendous cardio implications. I’m thinking about adding it to my regular exercise program now. And no I don’t plan to swim any great distance. That horse has left the barn. But having read about this lady, I do have some new perspectives on my conditioning program. When I think I might talk myself out of an exercise, I will visualize this woman with her face all puffy from the salt, sun and jelly fish and resolve that I can pump a few more reps or jog another mile ... and possibly push away from a few more biscuits, the greater of the challenges. This swim was 110 miles. Folks that’s halfway from Moultrie to Atlanta. I get exhausted driving that far. She balked when someone described her as a hero but said she hopes she can serve as some sort of inspiration. Indeed! "I think that a lot of people in our country have gotten depressed, pinned in, pinned down with living lives they don't want," Nyad said. She continued: "I do write all the time.” Well she may just write a bestseller one day. She might call it, “The Old Lady and the Sea.” I would think her research has far surpassed Hemmingway’s in that venue. Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 229-985-4545. Email:

Letters To The Editor, or Suwannee Democrat, PO Box 370, Live Oak, FL 32064. Please include your full name, address and daytime phone number. We ask this so we can verify your letter and discuss any questions about it with you.




Q and A with IWMS President, consultant of proposed medical waste incinerator sits down with Democrat Continued From Page 1A waste incinerator (HMIWI) units manufactured by Pennram, or similar units. Each unit will burn 2,500 pounds per hour, a maximum of 30-tons per day of hospital, medical and infectious waste. IWMS is a new company with an address of 932 Lark St., Lehighton, Pa., in which Barry serves as chairman and president and David E. Henritzy is vice-chairman and vicepresident. Henritzy is also owner of Bio-Haz Solutions Inc. of Lehighton, Pa. and Jacksonville, Fla. Bio-Haz Solutions Inc. specializes in medical waste collection, transportation, treatment and disposal services. IWMS: What kind of company is this? “This is a start-up company,” Barry said. “People sometimes get the impression we’re some big corporation, but that’s definitely not the case. This is my company, and it’s my personal money.” Barry said the amount of money already put into the project is six figures. For the past six years, Barry said he has done his due diligence by checking the facts and demographics to find the right place for his endeavor. “You don’t become a two-star general by sitting on your hands,” he said. Why Suwannee County? “I’ve done a lot of homework on it,” Barry said. “I spent the past three years doing research to develop a business plan. I understand the market.” Barry noted the North Florida region has many types of medical facilities and the demand for waste removal and disposal is great. “There is a huge network of VA hospitals and military bases, and this area is well known for its healthcare facilities,” Barry said. Barry also said with the catalyst site being near two major interstates and within close proximity to the CSX railroad, the location was a fit for him. “Generally, we can cover about a 500 mile radius,”

Barry said. Barry said he has had discussions with some on the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners regarding purchasing 25 acres of property at the catalyst site. However, nothing at this point has been etched in stone. IWMS is awaiting approval of all their permits before they seek land from the county, which owns the land the company seeks. Suwannee County Commission Chairman Wesley Wainwright said before the board will take any action on a request for land, the company must do a full presentation on the basis of their operations to educate the commissioners, and the public. "People have to be informed. (IWMS is) trying to be as open as they can,” said Wainwright. When Wainwright initially met with IWMS officials, they asked him what was needed from the company. "I told them to make every effort to educate the public about their operations and do a presentation for the people,” said Wainwright. Hipps said the county did not seek IWMS out. She said the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council approached them. “They said let us show you this catalyst site,” said Hipps. “We didn’t initiate that.” Barry and Hipps said since the catalyst site is designated as an area for industrial businesses, it was a prime location. Suwannee County isn’t the first place they tried to get into, however. Did Baker County deny the company? According to a Sept. 4 conversation with Ed Preston of Baker County Planning and Zoning, Barry stood before Baker County Commissioners on April 3, 2012, in an effort to answer questions and seek approval of going into that county. However, no action was taken at that meeting due to the vast amount of public opposition. According to Preston, commissioners were scheduled to take action on the compa-

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ny’s proposal on April 16, 2012, but, on April 10, 2012, Preston said IWMS applied for a deferral “and never came back.” Hipps told the Democrat on Aug. 29 there were “just too many unknowns. We took that lesson and learned from it, and now we’re better prepared.” According to the April 3, 2012, minutes from that Baker County commission meeting, IWMS was seeking 24 acres of land located near the Walmart Distribution Center in Baker County. The parcel is part of the Baker County Economic Development Commission’s Enterprise East Industrial Park. Is the company receiving incentives from Suwannee County? “No,” Barry said. “I come from a small town in Pennsylvania and have been involved in the local government there, so I know how important a new business is to a community. We are not asking the county to give us any land, and we’re not asking for a tax abatement. If we locate here, we will buy the land and pay taxes like everybody else.” What will go in the incinerators? Typical items will include needles, blood samples, and supplies a doctor can’t dispose of by regular method according to state law. Hipps said amputated body parts could be in the mix of things incinerated, but will not be the majority of what goes through the system. The list also includes pathological waste, chemo waste, gowns, rubber gloves, saline bags, needles, and plastics. Each unit can process 2,500 pounds per hour, up

to 30 tons per day.

go to an approved landfill.

How will the medical waste be transported, incinerated? According to Barry, when a doctor takes a blood sample, for example, the needle is placed into a sealed bag and is labeled. From the doctor’s office, the sealed bags are then placed in sealed containers in a large van, or sometimes a semi, or train car. The waste is then transported to the facility where it is unloaded. The containers, which are marked to identify the waste inside the bags, is never opened prior to it reaching the incinerator. IWMS will depend on an independent transportation network to get the waste from the facilities to the medical waste incinerators. “It’s tightly controlled from the transportation aspect,” Barry said. Once inside the enclosed building, the sealed containers are checked against a manifest and then unloaded. A conveyor system or lifts of some type will be used to load the containers into the incinerators, according to Barry. He said it will take about five to seven minutes before another batch can be loaded and the incinerators can operate 24 hours a day. Once in the incinerator, the contents will be burned at about 2,000 degrees. The waste will go into a second chamber and then a boiler before the gas moves on to a bag house, scrubbers and fabric filters to remove specific emissions, according to Barry. The resultant ash will be bagged and transported to an approved landfill. Barry said if you put 10 pounds of waste in, about one half of a pound to a pound of ash comes out. He said the ash must be tested before it can

How many jobs will come to Suwannee County? Barry said he anticipates hiring between 40-60 employees for the first phase, and hopes to have over 100 employees when the company is in full operation. There will be two phases: the first phase the company plans to install two HMIWIs with one dry sorbent storage silo that will service the HMIWIs. As demand increases, the company plans to install the other two HMIWIs and another storage silo. “Our first priority is to the local (residents),” Barry said. Barry said he will be teaming up with North Florida Workforce Development to draw employees from the local pool of applicants. Temporary jobs will also be available while construction on the facility is underway.

Continued From Page 1A Aug. 2 and their deadline was extended to Aug. 31 to take further action. The group cited lack of funds as reasons for not moving forward with disputing Integrated Waste Management Systems, a Pennsylvania based company who seeks to place medical waste incinerators at the catalyst site in Western Suwannee County. “Our attorney advised us we had little chance of prevailing, and the retainer fee would be six figures,” Save Our Suwannee spokesperson Annette Long said. “So, we chose not to petition. They basically have their permit.” IWMS is seeking to place four hospital, medical and infectious waste incinerators on a 25 acre lot

at the catalyst site. Each unit will burn 2,500 pounds per hour, a maximum of 30-tons per day. On July 16, 2013, the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to allow companies to locate at the catalyst site “by right” without having to come before the board in a public hearing. Long believes this move by the board stripped the public of their right to be heard. “Because of what they (commissioners) did in July, it leaves the public with no opportunity or chance of input in this matter. Not everybody can afford to hire an attorney to dispute this. I’m privileged to have the money to hire an attorney for legal advice, but I’m not fortunate enough to hire a lawyer for


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Barry said they want to be open to the public now and after operations begin. “I even offered to have a (Department of Environmental Protection) officer in the plant,” said Barry. “The facility is going to be enclosed and neat. I have seen incinerators where it was a mess. I’m going to hire people to make sure it doesn’t get that way.” Barry said he hopes to have conference rooms and bring school children out to show them the facilities and what they do. “We want to be a good neighbor in the community for a long time,” said Hipps.

Date: Saturday September 14th Time: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

19 edition of the Democrat stated individuals wishing to submit complaints had 14 days from the date of the publication to do so. According to Simpson, Save Our Suwannee was the only individual or group to submit a request in response to the air permit. IWMS will continue as planned getting their air permits approved, and seek to purchase land from the county.

Truck driver flown to Shands UF Continued From Page 1A driven by Alexis Gonzalez, 56, Ocala, traveled into the direct path of Whetstone as Gonzalez intended to turn left onto CR 250 from 225th Road. To avoid a collision, Whetstone steered the truck to the right and traveled off the roadway and down an embankment. The truck overturned onto its right side, spilling logs from its trailer. The logs partially blocked CR 250 for about four hours, according to FHP. FHP reported Whetstone arrived at Shands UF with life threatening injuries, but his condition has much improved. Both drivers were wearing a seatbelt. Gonzalez was cited for violation of right of way.

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$100,000 to dispute it,” Long said. Long said since the news came out of their efforts to protest IWMS, she has received numerous phone calls from local residents wanting to know more. “The people are really upset there’s not even going to be a public hearing on this,” she said. The air permit legal notice found first in the July


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How will you know what’s coming out of the stacks? Barry stated during the interview each incinerator will have a sensor that manages emissions. Those sensors can be monitored by government agencies any time of any day. The entire system will have backup gener-

How often will the machines be cleaned? Barry said each unit will have to be taken offline at least once every 60 days for cleaning and required maintenance. In order to be able to clean a unit, Barry said it would take about a day from the time the unit is shut off to cool down. It will take about a day to service the unit, and another day for it to heat back up. “We plan to rotate it so all units aren’t down at one time,” Barry said.

Group’s extension to study company ends

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When will the waste facility be constructed? Barry did not know a specific timeline when he expects construction to begin since the project is still in its very early stages. However, Barry said he expects construction to begin within nine months to a year, after land is acquired. Barry said they are still shopping and are also looking at a site in Georgia.

ators to power them in case of loss of power. Through this sensor, the agencies will be able to key in and see the levels being emitted into the atmosphere. In addition to government oversight, Barry said there would be a supervisor on staff at all times that has knowledge of emissions to consistently regulate their operations. Although he will continue to have a residence in Pennsylvania, Barry said he will reside in Suwannee County and be at the site Monday through Friday, except on holidays.






SRWMD receives $5.4 million Battle of the Bands and Southland in springs protection funding Submitted The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) has been awarded more than $5.4 million for two springs protection and restoration projects. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the District’s funding request for two springs improvement projects. The Middle Suwannee River Restoration and Aquifer Recharge project will rehydrate roughly 1,500 acres of ponds and 4,000 acres of wetlands to mimic natural hydrologic conditions in Mallory Swamp and will enhance flow for springs along the Middle Suwannee River Basin. The District owns 31,000 acres of Mallory Swamp. Restoring natural conditions will recharge the aquifer and increase groundwater supplies in the region. Recharging the aquifer will benefit numerous springs along the Middle Suwannee River, including

Troy Spring, July Spring, Little River Spring, and Pot Hole Spring. Also, recharging the aquifer will increase groundwater supplies that will help both agriculture and domestic water users throughout the area. DEP will contribute $1.5 million and the District is teaming with Dixie County to provide a local funding match totaling $352,000. The Ichetucknee Springshed Water Quality Improvement project will reduce the City of Lake City’s wastewater nutrient loadings to the Ichetucknee River by an estimated 85 percent. The City’s wastewater sprayfield will be converted into wetlands that will provide additional treatment to reduce nitrogen loading and improve water quality in the Ichetucknee River and Springs. DEP will contribute $3.9 million and the District is partnering with the City of Lake City and Colum-

bia County for a local match totaling $700,000. “We are appreciative to Governor Scott and the Legislature for their leadership appropriating springs funding which has successfully leveraged local funds resulting in profound and lasting water quantity and quality protection for our springs,” said District Governing Board Chair Donald Quincey, Jr. “We are also grateful to our local partners for their funding participation that helped to bring funding to improve our springs.” “This funding is a significant investment that will have enormous benefits to the Ichetucknee River and Springs and numerous springs along the Middle Suwannee River,” said District Executive Director Ann Shortelle. “The District is excited about getting these projects started to ensure meaningful, positive results for Ichetucknee and Middle Suwannee springs.”

Author Sudye Cauthen coming to Live Oak Library Sept. 26 By Joyce Marie Taylor joycemarie.taylor@

Local author Sudye Cauthen will be the guest of honor at the Live Oak Public Library at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 to offer a reading of some of her works, “Maggie Rider”, Southern Comforts” and her next book, “All the Pretty Cattle”. Cauthen, who first started writing for the High Springs Herald in 1960, has collected oral histories of North Florida spanning 30 years and has published fiction, nonfiction and poetry based on them.

Her first book, “Southern Comforts: Rooted in a Florida Place”, has appeared each year since its publication in 2007 on the Florida Department of Education's suggested summer reading list. Cauthen is a fifth-generation Floridian from Alachua County and she founded the North Florida Center for Documentary Studies in 1997 after completing an MA in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture. She has taught writing in poetry and fiction at the University of Central Florida, Florida State University and community colleges near her home on

the Suwannee River at White Springs. Her writing awards include two State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowships in literature and a Glimmer Train award for fiction. Her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in many publications, including the Chattahoochee Review, Florida International Review, Quarterly, Kalliope, the Old Florida Journal, and the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Cauthen is currently working on completing “All The Pretty Cattle”, a memoir, as well as a documentary incorporating oral histories, interviews and the North Florida writings

Sudye Cauthen. Courtesy photo

of Arthur Spencer, Jr., James Abbot, and Guy Miles.

Band of Moultrie, Ga. Sept. 6-7 at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music

Do you wanna dance? It’s going to be the perfect opportunity with a weekend of great bands and jawdropping music Southland Band of Moultrie, Georgia will be rocking the house Friday night, Sept. 6, at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak followed Saturday night, Sept. 7, by the Battle of the Bands. The Battle of the Bands will bring many bands to the Music Hall from all genres of music to compete for the grand prize of $1,000. You do not want to miss this great weekend of music. Saturday, it’s the first Battle of the Bands at the SOSMP with bands competing for a $1,000 grand prize and bragging rights. Competition begins at 7 p.m. in the Music Hall. Doors open at 5 p.m. so be early, enjoy a delicious dinner and get ready for an evening of all genres of music. A variety of music including country, Southern rock, blues, a little funk and no telling what else will be played during this great evening of competition. Join us and help cheer on your favorite band during the evening. Bring your dancing partner …this will be a fabulous opportunity to get out there on the dance floor and show off your moves with your sweetie.

Southland Band will kick off this big weekend Friday night at 8 p.m. This hardhitting, seasoned country, Southern Rock band from Moultrie, Georgia is the inspiration of Drew Kelly. Drew and Southland competed in the recent Texaco Country Showdown competition at the SOSMP, getting huge approval from the audience. The SOSMP is proud to bring Southland back for an evening performance where this great band will be the main attraction. Get those dancing shoes ready, you can’t remain in your seat for long with this band’s strong country and Southern rock music. Doors open Friday night at 6 p.m., Saturday evening at 5 p.m. this weekend in the Music Hall. As always, the SOS Cafe and Restaurant will be open with a great menu available and a full-service bar. For reservations for RVs, campers, to rent beautiful cabins or primitive camping spaces or for more info on the SOSMP or the band competition, please go to, email or call the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) at 386364-1683. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located at 3076 95th Drive, Live Oak.

Artfest comes to Live Oak Continued From Page 1A Oak Artists Guild and the Suwannee River Regional Library. This is a juried art show and this year’s judge is Janis Brothers, professor of art at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. With a bachelor’s in interior design and a master’s in studio art, Brothers is also an active artist in her own right, with her most recent solo exhibition of Constant Reminders at the Florida School of the Arts, Fine Arts Gallery, in Palatka. “We have 100 pieces of art that have been entered,” said Marilyn Jones of the Live Oak Artists Guild. “Some of it’s from Central Florida, but generally it’s local from Gainesville, Lake City and Live Oak. We have some very talented local artists.” She said that some have gained

national recognition for their work and although a juried art show, some of the presented pieces may be sold after the exhibition by the artists. A total of 12 juried awards will be presented at the opening reception and awards ceremony. Two additional awards, the Adult’s Choice and the Children’s Choice Awards, based on the popular votes by those attending the show, will be presented at the conclusion. There will be first, second and third place winners for the following categories: Photography, Painting and Drawing. There will be only one first place winner in the three dimensional media category. Following the opening reception, the artwork will be on display from Sept. 9-20, during regular library hours. From Sept. 21 through Oct. 4, there will be a featured exhibition

of all the works that receive award recognition. Many thanks to the following sponsors who helped make this exhibition possible: Betsy Bergman; James Cannon in honor of Eileen Box; Rob Cathcart for State Farm Insurance; Collins and Company, CPAs in memory of Mary Collins and Linda Deater; Daniel Crapps Agency Inc.; First Federal Bank of Florida; Gamble and Associates Construction Inc.; B.W. Helvenston & Sons Inc.; Sharon G. Persons; Poole Realty; Publix; Eduardo G. Romero M.D.; Jerry and Jeanette Scarborough in memory of Linda Deater; Judge & Mrs. William R. Slaughter II in honor of Pat Slaughter; TD Bank; Wellborn Quarter Horses and Suwannee River Regional Library. The library is located at 1848 South Ohio Ave. in Live Oak.

Drew Kelly

Outcry over waste incinerator Continued From Page 1A Ellis said she has spent countless hours doing research on the draft air permits requested by the company to the construction associated with the facilities. “The more I research, the more questions I have,” Ellis said. “It seems to generate concerns about the environmental impact. I know there are standards you have to follow, but as citizens of Suwannee County, I just wonder if we could not be availed of some specific information from IWMS.” She continued, “I was amused yesterday when I went on your website to obtain the agenda for tonight and almost every page had the motto, ‘Suwannee County: Where nature and good life reigns supreme.’ Well, I hope we can hold that

motto, and I hope it’s not your intent to rewrite that legacy.” Ellis asked the board if it was possible to have a representative from the company come to Suwannee County to answer questions that she and other county residents may have. Commissioner Ricky Gamble said he spoke with company officials and has requested of them to hold town hall meetings and address the board at an upcoming meeting. Patricia Tayman, a new resident of Suwannee County, encouraged the board to say no to IWMS. “The waste is coming from all over the southeast, and brought in by train and trailers,” said Tayman. “That whole area is geographically undesirable for anything of this nature. Waste management and what is accomplished with medical

waste is horrendous.” Tayman said she was in the airline industry for over 40 years and has traveled all across the country. “I decided to retire here because of the beauty,” Tayman said. “I was angry when I came to this meeting. I was going to ask three questions: ‘Were these decisions made out of greed, stupidity, or desperation?’ I discovered something tonight sitting here. This is all being done out of desperation, and you are risking one of the most pristine, beautiful areas in the world for jobs you are being promised.” “Nobody knows about what is getting ready to be dropped here. Nobody,” Tayman said. Tayman continued, “It’s frightening. I don’t want any of you to look at us as your enemy. Look at us as your conscience. You

can’t grasp what you are getting ready to unfold in this area. There are other people that will come and work here. This is not worth the risk you’re taking. Please reconsider. That company is going to tell you whatever they need to, to get in here.” Tayman said the electorate needs to be heard. “I believe the people should have a voice, but nobody has had a voice,” she said. Tayman said she visited several places around Suwannee County, but no one knew about this company. “I’ve never been in a place where the people didn’t know what was going on in their own back yard. You know the bottom line to this, everyone of these people have said, ‘No, we don’t want it.’ How can so many people not want it, and it’s being put through?”

Commission Chairman Wesley Wainwright told Tayman nothing has been finalized yet. Local resident Linda Token expressed her concerns. Token, who has been attending the meetings for years and said she has done her homework on the company, also complained the commissioners did not respond to her questions. “I sent an email out to everybody (commissioners), and in fact, two people never even opened my email, which I’m very concerned about,” Token said. “I did have questions, but no one got back with me.” She continued, “It’s a brand new company. It doesn’t sound like these people have much experience. I hope you will reconsider.” Max Price said the commissioners are failing to

communicate with Suwannee County residents. “The problem I see most, is you have failed to communicate with this county. Items like this that you are trying to push through, and I know some of you are for it, I would like to have you let the county know what is going on. They don’t know. I don’t know why they don’t know. It’s up to you to let everybody know what is going on, not under-the-table negotiations. It’s detrimental to this county.” Wainwright, in response to Price’s comments, said if there’s anything that does come forward, it will come before the public. “There’s no effort to do anything underhanded, or under-the-table,” Wainwright said. “There’s been nothing filed with the county. They’re still shopping.”





56th Anniversary Open House & Horse Show This year’s annual Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch Open House and Horse Show will provide an enjoyable and exciting weekend for people and riding clubs from across the state. The event will be held on Friday, Oct.

4, 2013 through Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013. The Open House and Horse Show offers, free primitive camping, horse games, and many other activities. Admission is $10 per vehicle for the entire weekend.


It’s raining caterpillar poop in North Florida!

By Carolyn Saft, UF/IFAS Extension in Suwannee County It’s that time of year when the late season defoliating caterpillars are hard at work. They are busy munching away on our hardwood trees and even occasionally on our favorite shrubs. This is a common occurrence and some year’s infestations are heavier than others. For trees along roadsides or out in the woods, it is a part of the nature’s cycle that supports the idea that the strong survive and the weak will struggle. We usually start seeing the fall webworms’ (Hyphantria cunea) nests in late summer. The adult female moth can lay up to 500 eggs on the underside of leaves which hatch quickly and immediately start to feed for 30-60 days. The larvae or caterpillars construct the white cottony strands of the tent to protect themselves from predators. As they grow in size, they continue to add silk strands to the tent and the tent gets larger and larger. A fall webworm tent normally encloses the foliage at the end of a branch. The caterpillars can build large silk tents that sometimes spread over several branches. Throughout their development, the caterpillars are able to make distinct jerking movements in unison if the nest is disturbed to frighten predators away. The larvae are 1 to 1¼ inches long and covered with silky hairs. They are a pale green with a black stripe on the back with a yellow stripe on

each side. The adult fall webworm moth is bright white, with a hairy body. In the southern part of its range, the moth is white with dark wing spots while in the northern part of its range it is nearly always pure white. Adult moths have a wingspan of between 1.4–1.7 inches (35–42 mm). The bases of the front legs are orange or bright yellow. Keep an eye on your hickory, pecan, walnut, elm, alder, willow, mulberry, oak, sweetgum, and poplar trees for the white silk tents and skeletonized leaves. We have had a lot of people calling with concern about the white cottony looking “tents” in their trees made by these caterpillars. The good news is that these late season munchers are eating leaves that are going to drop off of deciduous trees soon anyway so they don’t cause as much harm as the caterpillars that attack trees in the early spring. Natural predators such as birds and other predatory insects like assassin bugs and parasitic wasps eat all stages of the caterpillar which helps keep their populations down. One technique we can use to help the natural predators is to break open the “cottony” nests with a long pole or a hard stream of water since these actions break down the protective barrier and allows for easier access by predators. I’ve heard that some people try to burn the nests with a small torch, but this can cause harm to the tree as well as create a fire hazard so this practice is not recommended. Chemical control should only be used if the tree is young or is a highly valued ornamental. The use of Bt products after the nest has been broken open can be effective. For more information, go to Keep in mind that these fall defoliators have little effect on healthy trees so the best thing to do is to practice best management practices in your yard to keep your plants healthy and happy. For tips on fertilization and irrigation practices go to or come by our Extension office and pick up a copy. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution.

The event will kick off Friday with Pole Bending and a free chicken pilau dinner at 5 p.m. Saturday will offer the Texas Barrel Weave and Buddy Pickup, the Grand Entry ceremonies featuring the Riding Ranchers, a barbecue lunch and tours of the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch. There will be a Worship Service Sunday prior to the games resuming. The mission of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches is to prevent juvenile delinquency and develop lawful, productive citizens through a broad range of familycentered services. This year, the Youth Ranches will serve over 8,000 boys and girls. This charitable, nonprofit corporation was founded by the Florida Sheriffs Association and operates four residential child-care campuses and two Youth Camps. Additionally, it provides community-based services and family counseling to as many of Florida’s neglected, troubled children as funds will permit. Voluntary contributions are the primary source of funding, especially thoughtful gifts made through special bequests in wills and trusts. The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Inc. is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, Inc. and the American Camp Association. If you would like more information about the Youth Ranches or this year’s Boys Ranch Open House, please contact Vivian Starling at 1-800-7653797 or visit us at

FWC restricts boating on Suwannee River’s Zone 4 When Suwannee River floodwaters at Wilcox rose above 9 feet today, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) activated boating restrictions on Zone 4. This section is from the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to 1 mile below the Fowler Bluff Boat Ramp. This 51-mile segment will be an idle-speed, no-wake zone as long as the Suwannee is at 9 feet on the Wilcox gauge, where flood stage is 11 feet. A 32-mile section on the Santa Fe River, Zone 5, which runs from River Rise within O’Leno State Park west to the confluence of the Suwannee River, was activated Aug. 23. This area of the river becomes an idle speed, no wake zone when the Santa Fe River reaches 17 feet as indicated on the Three Rivers gauge, where flood stage is 19 feet. Another zone was activated

Friday. Zone 3, a 23-mile segment which runs from Little River Spring to the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff, becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 24 feet or more above mean sea level at the Branford gauge. FWC officers are patrolling both rivers to ensure boaters comply with the idle-speed, no-wake rule, said Capt. Marty Redmond, area supervisor at the FWC’s Lake City office. The FWC encourages boaters to stay off the Suwannee-Santa Fe river system until conditions improve. An idle-speed, no-wake zone means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than what is required to maintain steerageway and headway. At no time is any vessel required to proceed so slowly that the operator is unable to control it or anything it may be towing. The two zones that remain

inactive are: Zone 1 - from the U.S. 90 Bridge at Ellaville south to the State Road 51 Bridge at Luraville. This 39-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, nowake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 47 feet or more above mean sea level at the Ellaville gauge, where flood stage is 54 feet. Zone 2 - from the S.R. 51 Bridge at Luraville to Little River Spring. This 18-mile segment becomes an idlespeed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 26 feet or more above mean sea level at the Branford gauge, where flood stage is 29 feet. For more information about the flood zones, please call 386-758-0525. To report violations, please call 888-4043922. To obtain real-time river levels, visit

DON’T FALL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL Have you ever pulled an “all-nighter” cramming for a test, had a neighbor’s barking dog keep you up all night or pulled a double shift at work? Each of us has likely encountered situations similar to these and found it difficult to stay awake the next day. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while fatigued and drowsy can have dangerous, and sometimes deadly, consequences. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, each year drowsy driving crashes result in at least 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries. Similar to drunk and drugged driving, sleep loss or fatigue slows reaction time, makes drivers less attentive and impairs decisionmaking skills. The Florida Legislature designated the first week of September each year as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week to

~ Drowsy driving is dangerous driving~ educate the public on the dangers of driving while drowsy and to honor the memory of 8year-old Ronshay Dugans. Ronshay was killed in 2008 when her school bus was hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. “A drowsy driver can be as dangerous on the road as a drunk driver,” said Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Director Julie L. Jones. “Before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, be sure you are well rested or have another licensed driver with you who can take over if you become too tired to drive safely.” Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad said, “Keeping motorist safe on our roadways

is our top priority at the Florida Department of Transportation. We encourage drivers to be fully alert and never drive drowsy.” For more information, including warning signs that a driver needs to pull over and rest, visit The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit or follow us on Twitter at @FDHSMV.

Emission guidelines for med waste incinerators Continued From Page 1A Sept. 15, 2009. The rulings came about from the Clean Air Act which requires EPA to review and, if appropriate, revise the standards and guidelines every five years. According to EPA, an estimated 393,000 pounds per year of the regulated pollutants will be reduced, of which acid gases (hydrogen chloride and sulfur dioxide, as two examples) comprise about 62 percent, particulate matter about 0.8 percent, carbon monoxide about 0.3 percent, nitrogen oxides about 37 percent, and metals (lead, cadmium, and mercury, for example) and dioxins/furans about 0.2 percent. Existing facilities must comply with the new standards by October 2014. It is estimated that the total nationwide cost for the current operating HMIWI to comply with the final rule revisions will be about $15.5 million per year and the cost of

an available disposal alternative would be about $10.6 million, or roughly two-thirds the estimated compliance costs. According to the EPA, most facilities with a HMIWI will not be significantly impacted, whether the compliance costs are passed on or absorbed. However, according to the EPA, there were about 2,400 HMIWIs operating in the US at the time the EPA first adopted the standards and guidelines in 1997. That number has drastically dropped and now there are only about 57. According to Integrated Waste Management Systems owner Major General (retired) Marvin Jay Barry, his proposed facility will meet and in some cases exceed those standards. “When we build, we will build to these standards. The reality is, 99.9 percent of what comes out of the incinerator is what we breathe everyday,” Barry said. Barry said the point one percent are regu-

lated emissions. “About 95 percent of what you put in the incinerator is gone,” he said. “The other five percent of ash removed from the combustion chambers is permitted to be transported to a regulated landfill.” Barry said his facility will be over-built and over-designed. “We believe this facility will be the first of many models and will be our headquarters,” said Barry. According to Russell Simpson, ombudsman for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Northeast District, if permitted, those federal rules, coupled with Florida rules, will require this facility “to operate according to the most stringent environmental requirements in the country, including those that result in the reduction and minimization of dioxin and other emissions.” Simpson wrote in an email, more specifi-

cally, certain air pollution control technologies will be utilized at this facility to minimize emissions and thereby minimize risks including a water injection quench system to control dioxin and furan; a fabric filter with a catalyst impregnated structured bag system to remove the finest particles and maximize destruction of dioxion and furan; and a sodium bicarbonate injection system to control other emissions. “Furthermore, one applicable rule, the hospital, medical and infectious waste incineration rule issued by the U.S. EPA and adopted by the (FDEP), is the most stringent regulation to date for the control of the pollutants,” Simpson wrote. There is only one medical waste incinerator facility in Florida that is currently operating and that is Stericycle in Orange County. The final notice from the EPA can be downloaded at:




Wednesday Edition — September 25, 2013

128th YEAR, NO. 99 | 2 SECTIONS, 28 PAGES


Serving Suwannee County since 1884, including Live Oak, Wellborn, Dowling Park, Branford, McAlpin and O’Brien

Kerry Waldron:

Here to serve Waldron was named city administrator in July but recently began duties full time By Bryant Thigpen

Protesters inside Live Oak City Hall. -Photo: Andrew McGee

IWMS holds town hall meeting By Andrew McGee

About 175 people packed Live Oak City Hall Thursday night to hear from representatives of Integrated Waste Management Systems Inc. on the company’s proposed construction of hospital,

medical and infectious waste incinerators at the catalyst site in Western Suwannee County. The majority of those in the room were very vocal in their stance against the proposed construction and many came bearing petition signs, with some reading “No incinerators in Suwannee County!”

IWMS is seeking to construct a new medical waste incinerator facility on 25 acres near the intersection of 175th Road and 50th Street in Suwannee County, on the catalyst site. IWMS Suwannee facility will

Kerry Waldron, a native of White Springs, recently accepted the position as the city administrator for the City of Live Oak and began office duties on Sept. 1. Waldron, who has spent much of his adult life living distant from this region, pursued this job when he realized “it was time to get back home.” Waldron grew up in


LOFD to celebrate 110 years with day of fun By Bryant Thigpen



White Springs, a small town nestled in neighboring Hamilton County. He attended Hamilton County High and graduated in 1982. Following high school, Waldron journeyed across the river and attended college in Lake City for two years and graduated in 1984 with an Associate of Arts degree. Waldron then went a little further south to

The Live Oak Fire Department will be celebrating its 110th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 28, with a fun day for the whole family. The event will be held at the LOFD station on Duval Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests who attend the event can fill up on free hot dogs and drinks. While at the station, chil-

dren will have the opportunity to shoot a fire water hose, ride on a fire truck, get a tour of the fire department, meet Sparky and see the oldest running fire truck in the southeast, “Betsy”. Raffle tickets will be given to everyone freely for a chance to win gift certificates worth hundreds of dollars and four tickets to Suwannee High SEE LOFD, PAGE 14A

Guests get a look inside the main room at Pilgrim’s Pride. - Photos: Bryant Thigpen

Over three dozen officials, farmers and residents tour Pilgrim’s Pride By Bryant Thigpen

BY THE NUMBERS at local poultry plant 1,675 1.14 million 6,794,000 1,224,720 8,200 tons

Employees Birds processed each week Pounds of chicken produced weekly Hatchery capacity Feed mill’s capacity of processed feed per week

Over three dozen officials, local growers and residents attended a community relations event at Pilgrim’s Pride on Tuesday for an exclusive tour of the chicken processing facilities. Guests were welcomed by company officials before the tour began. To kick off the event, attendees watched a short video about the success of Pilgrim’s Pride and safety

precautions while touring the massive poultry plant. Visitors then adorned themselves in rubber boots, uniform, ear plugs and a hard hat and split into four small groups. Tour guides then led the way for an extensive tour inside a facility that produces millions of SEE REACHING, PAGE 14A

Election’s Office staying busy Ever wonder what that office does during off election year? Submitted by Supervisor of Elections Glenda Williams In the off election year we still find ourselves busy in the office with maintaining our voter registration rolls and list maintenance of

the rolls. Every year we send out approximately 100 notices to all persons who serve on any board or elected position that by law is required to file Form 1 Reports and then we have the collection and

INDEX Arrest Record ........2A Branford ..............11A Calendar ............4-5B Classifieds ..........10B Obituaries ..............5A TV Guide ............6-8B Viewpoint ..............6A

reporting of that information by state deadlines. We also have the online financial reports for candidates and political committees that have to be received and reviewed and the portal itself has to be updated

with dates and candiSEE ELECTION’S, PAGE 14A

A pumpkin patch is coming to Melody Church. - Photo: Metro


Pumpkin patch slated for Melody Church Submitted Melody Church will kick off their first pumpkin patch on Sunday, Oct. 6, from noon to 4 p.m. with a fun family fall day. The church will have activities for the kids, such as sack races, needle in the haystack game, face painting and more. Fall festival food will be available to purchase from local nonprofit ministries and clubs,

SPORTS, 1B • Dogs fall to the Colts • Bucs fall to the Eagles

WES HANEY 824994˙

such as caramel apples, pumpkin pies and other yummy treats. Adults can join in a corn hole tournament starting at 1 p.m. Pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, corn and other fall décor will be for sale and a beautiful fall backdrop for family photos will be available. Proceeds from the SEE PUMPKIN, PAGE 14A




IWMS holds town hall meeting Continued From Page 1A consist of four hospital, medical, infectious waste incinerator (HMIWI) units. Each unit will burn 2,500 pounds per hour, a maximum of 30-tons per day of hospital, medical and infectious waste. IWMS is a new company with an address of 932 Lark St., Lehighton, Pa., in which Major General (retired) Marvin Jay Barry serves as chairman and president and David E. Henritzy is vice-chairman and vice-president. Henritzy is also owner of BioHaz Solutions Inc. of Lehighton, Pa. and Jacksonville, Fla. Bio-Haz Solutions Inc., which specializes in medical waste collection, transportation, treatment and disposal services. The town hall-style meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m., but long before that, many from the public started showing up holding signs protesting the incinerator facility coming to the county. City Hall began filling up early and reached about 175 people by the time the meeting was in full-swing. Pre-meeting The Democrat asked a few folks just prior to the

meeting what their opinions were on the incinerator facility being built in Suwannee County. “The most important thing is the air it’s going to be putting out,” said Jimmy Pruitt. “You’re talking about an incinerator that’s running 24/7, 365 days a year burning tons of medical waste, and when you’re burning plastic, needles and body parts, that smell doesn’t go away. The guy who’s going to build it says he has no experience building anything. How can you build something you don’t know anything about?” Pruitt said he heard from other communities in the country that once they had an incinerator facility built in their area, they were sorry they had it. “We don’t want it here,” said Pruitt. “I live about five miles away from it (the proposed building site) and I have four children and that’s why I’m out here,” said John Rothenberger. “There is no way it cannot have some kind of an environmental impact. I have approximately six years to pay on my land and I want to be able to enjoy it.” “I’m absolutely against it,” said Jamie Barwick.

“One hundred jobs don’t even touch the unemployment in our area and the risk of an accident, and it’s not ‘if the accident happens’ it’s ‘when the accident happens’. The risk of any accident far outweighs 100 jobs. We’re talking about displacing thousands of people, thousands of crops and thousands of livestock. It’s not worth it, not to mention what it’s going to do to our water.” She added, “It could be catastrophic.” ‘Thanks for attending’ The meeting began with IWMS consultant Alberta Hipps thanking everyone for coming and for allowing them to visit, to hear their opinions and answer questions. Also present were Barry and All4 Inc. Civil Engineer and consultant, William Straub or as Hipps referred to him, their “air permit guy”. “The purpose for this evening is for you to get to know us,” said Barry. Barry said they were a simple company, just two guys from Pennsylvania. He said they were not part of some other larger company and that IWMS began through their own funding. He said through the years of his experience, he’s al-

ways surrounded himself with people who had the answers. “This company is wellfounded and well-grounded,” said Barry. He said he didn’t have all the answers, but hoped through the course of the meeting the public’s questions would be answered. He said there have been reports from a news station that were completely erroneous; that IWMS was a medical waste dump, which he said was not. “I don’t know where that came from, but it’s completely wrong,” said Barry. He said in the last few years the Department of Environmental Protection’s regulations have become even more stringent than ever before and IWMS plans on being fully compliant with the regulatory requirements. As Barry did a quick overview of the company’s plans, he stressed how safety was first and foremost their concern. He said the technology they will be using is already available in other systems, that they would be “borrowing” preexisting knowledge. He allowed Straub to speak and for several minutes using much engineer jargon, he went through a

series of all the different safeguards the facility plans to have and how the waste would be handled, incinerated and disposed. He began to take some questions and to hear any concerns. Some people were blatant about their disapproval of IWMS coming to Suwannee County. “Why don’t you take our petition? None of us want this,” said several people at once. “We don’t want to hear a sales pitch because that’s all it is.” Although most of the attendees ranged in age from young adult to retired, one girl of 12 was there to express her concerns for the proposed company. “There are dairy cattle just a half mile from the site,” said Jamie Costa. “Are you going to be eating their products and drinking the milk? They’re going to be getting those contaminants in the air and the water and the land. It’s going to be a mess.” She then asked if Barry himself plans on living in Suwannee County and if so, will he eat and drink the dairy by-products of the dairy cattle in the area. “If I live here, of course I will,” said Barry. “That’s the short answer. The long

answer is these standards were developed with the health and the welfare of the citizens of this country and everyone in the environment. Those limits were set with all that in mind.” “I mean no disrespect to these people, but I’m 100 percent against this,” said Bob Bridges. “There’s plants I’ve worked on. I’m a fitter by trade and I’ve put in scrubbers and mufflers and everything else on them in power plants.” He said he knows people have a fear of the unknown, as he does. He said he was encouraged to come by his friend, one of the Suwannee County commissioners, Ricky Gamble. He asked Gamble when there would be a vote for or against IWMS coming and he was told there would be no vote except through the county commissioners. He said how disturbing it was about some of the people he was aware of working in plants and their irresponsible dumping of hazardous materials. “It’s unbelievable,” said Bridges. He concluded saying he’s sure there’s a place for it (IWMS), but he was against it.

REACHING OUT TO COMMUNITY Election’s Office staying busy Continued From Page 1A

Plant Manager Jamie Walker answers questions about their day-to-day operations. - Photos: Bryant Thigpen

Over three dozen officials, farmers and residents tour Pilgrim’s Pride Continued From Page 1A pounds of chicken every year to marketplaces like Publix. Pilgrim’s Pride in Live Oak currently employs 1,675 people. About 1.14 million birds are processed each week which produces 6,794,400 pounds of chicken. The hatchery capacity is 1,224,720 eggs per week and the feed mill’s capacity is 8,200 tons of feed per week. There are currently 123 growers and 554 houses that service the local Pilgrim’s Pride. Growers are paid nearly $23 million each year. Payroll is over $40 million each year and the payroll taxes are nearly $12 million. The company spends more than $56 million yearly in utilities. The groups spent about an hour tour-

ing the facilities before heading back to the classroom for lunch catered by Zaxby’s.

LOFD to celebrate 110 years with day of fun Continued From Page 1A Clerk of Court Barry Baker (left) listens in as Plant Manager Jamie Walker explains the plant’s operations from start to finish.

Pumpkin patch slated for Melody Church Continued From Page 1A pumpkin sales will be split between the following organizations chosen by Melody Church: Love In The Name of Christ, Pregnancy Care Center, Vivid Visions, ARC of North Florida and local missions by Melody Church. The patch will remain open from Oct. 6 – 18, with hours being Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Daycares and school classes are welcome and invited to come during school hours. Call Heidi Hofer, outreach coordinator, to

dates names and information for future reporting and elections. In the odd-numbered year the law requires that we notify all voters who have not voted in the last two general election cycles to make a determination as to whether they have moved from the county, passed away, prefer not to vote any longer, or maybe they do want to remain an active voter even though they haven’t voted in the last four years. This year this task involved sending approximately 4,700 notices and then depending on the information we received back, many times we then had to send an additional mail out before we can continue to either, keep a voter active, make them inactive or actually remove them from the roll. Also in the non-election year we have to update and revise our security procedures, depending on how

schedule a tour at 386-364-4800. Melody Church invites the community to come out and celebrate God’s harvest and support community organizations. For more information follow them on Facebook at or visit their website at Their phone number is 386364-4800. Pastor Darrin Baldwin is excited to offer this event for the community. “Melody Church is here to reach, connect and transform our community. We are really enjoying reaching out and meeting new families at these events,” said Baldwin.

School’s homecoming football game. “Everything is free,” said Firefighter/EMT Brandon Nobles. “We would like to see everyone come out and see what we do, check out the equipment we have and see what our department is capable of.” This event is also being held in conjunction with Fire Prevention Month. “We’re looking to have a fun day for the whole family as we kick off Fire Prevention Month,” Nobles said. For more information, please call the LOFD at 362-1313, ask for Nobles or Firefighter Chip Leathlean.

laws change. All of our voting equipment has to go through what we call preventative maintenance to be sure it is ready to go for the next election cycle. Candidate packets must be prepared and we also have to prepare and print poll worker manuals and training material for the upcoming elections. It is also necessary to notify all property owners of precincts that we use, advising them of election dates for the upcoming elections so we are ensured that our precincts will be available when needed for elections. We also worked with the city of Live Oak on the redistricting of their district lines this year. We met with them several times, helped them to move their lines so they would be in compliance with state laws and it will now be necessary for us to send notices to many of the 3,400 plus city voters advising those that have been moved from one city district to another. We are holding off on the mail out until we know if the Board of County Commissioners is going to do any redistricting of county district lines so as not to have the expense of two mail outs. We are also busy implementing new laws and mandates that come from the state. This year alone several important changes were made in the elections world. EARLY VOTING: Early Voting has been expanded to be conducted from a minimum of eight days but no longer than 14 days with the hours of operation to be between eight to 12 hours, the change also allows the supervisors in each county more options in selecting early voting sites and I’m hoping we will be able to have an early voting site in Dowling Park for future elections. These changes allow each supervisor the ability to customize early voting to the needs of their county voters more efficiently. SHORTER BALLOTS: The legislature is now restricted to keeping any constitutional amendments they place on the ballot to a maximum of 75 words which will shorten the

overall length of the ballot. DATE FOR NEW PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY: The PPP election moved from January to the first Tuesday allowed by Political Party National Committees without penalty. (usually in March) CONTRIBUTION LIMIT INCREASE: Individuals may now contribute $1,000 to local candidates per election. LATE REGISTRATION FOR MILITARY: Expanded for military and immediate family, who have returned from deployment. ABSENTEE SIGNATURE AFFIDAVIT: Voter’s who forget to sign their absentee ballot envelope, may now sign an affidavit and the ballot will be canvassed. ABSENTEE MAILING ADDRESS: A mailing address, if different from a voter’s residential address, must be provided in writing for a mail ballot request. CHANGE OF ADDRESS AT PRECINCTS WITH ELECTRONIC POLL REGISTERS: Voters who have not changed their address prior to election day from another Florida county are not required to vote a provisional ballot at a precinct equipped with an electronic poll register. REQUEST FOR EMAIL SAMPLE BALLOT: The voter may provide an email address and request their sample ballot to be delivered by email at least seven days before an election (The voter’s email address then becomes public record so some may not want this). So as you can see we have plenty to do in the off election year. The preparation for an election has to begin months in advance to be adequately prepared for the election itself.


September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Aaron Scott diagnosed at age 6, now lives a normal life. SEE AARON’S STORY BELOW.


Friday Edition — September 27, 2013

128th YEAR, NO. 100 | 2 SECTIONS, 24 PAGES

end k e e W

Saturday, 10a.m.-2p.m. Historical Museum to celebrate 32 years

Sunday, 4 p.m.

Serving Suwannee County since 1884, including Live Oak, Wellborn, Dowling Park, Branford, McAlpin and O’Brien

“We believe Suwannee County has the industrial site that is designed to have industry, so we’re still looking at that site.” - IWMS Consultant Alberta Hipps

Air permit approved Medical waste facility moving forward By Bryant Thigpen

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has approved the air permits for Integrated Waste Management Systems and now they company is looking to move forward with the project, IWMS Consultant Alberta Hipps

said. Hipps confirmed on Wednesday the company is still interested in locating at the catalyst site in Suwannee County. “We met all of their (FDEP) criteria and all of the things they reviewed, they found we would be compliant,” Hipps said. “Making it through


Frank Allen now on the mend By Andrew McGee Live Oak resident and Suwannee Middle School teacher Frank Allen went on a fishing trip that almost became his last due to a deadly bacteria he contracted in the Gulf. On June 16 Allen along with two family members traveled to Keaton Beach for a week of fishing. Allen, at the time, had a small cut on his toe, but thought nothing of it. The three were out on the wa-

By Bryant Thigpen


The Affordable Care Act’s health online marketplaces prepare to open Oct. 1 and many are still wondering how they will work. A lot of people will already have health insurance through their employer. For those needing insurance, here are some common questions and responses. How will health insurance policies work in Florida? According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Deputy Director of Communications SEE Q&A, PAGE 12A

Yoho: Congress should buy into healthcare, also Co-sponsors bill to ensure just that Staff Congressman Ted Yoho (RFlorida, Third Yoho Congressional District) has cosponsored a bill that calls for all members of congress and those all the way up to the president to buy SEE YOHO, PAGE 13A

Frank Allen at home with his bandaged leg. - Photo: Andrew McGee


September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

City millage, budget rises

Little giant defeated Goliath

By Bryant Thigpen


Open enrollment slated for Oct. 1

Common Core could be out the door

Live Oak’s operating budget set at $18,726,857 The city of Live Oak will be operating from a budget of $18,726,857 for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Since 2010, the budget has in-

about affordable Care Act By Bryant Thigpen

disease he contracted from Gulf

No to national testing

The Live Oak City Council approved the city’s budget and millage rate for the 2013-14 fiscal year Tuesday night at a recessed council meeting. Those living within the Live Oak city limits will see an increase in their millage rate. The city’s budget also increased. Both the operating budget and millage rate were approved with a unanimous vote.


And Submitted information


Governor Rick Scott announced his decision Monday to withdraw the state of Florida from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), calling it a “overreach” by the federal government into the education system. PARCC is a national assessment that measures student performance in Common Core State Standards. The assessments were



DEADLY INFECTION Live Oak man struggled with flesh-eating Suwannee Weekend Details


By Bryant Thigpen

Aaron Scott was diagnosed with leukemia at age six. September of 2006, he was declared cancer free. - Photo: Bryant Thigpen

The Old Dog Says,

Every person will face obstacles at some time or another. Every person will find struggles along the way. There will be a Goliath to conquer. Aaron Scott was a little giant who conquered Goliath at a very

Budget focused on core mission, springs protection and restoration

young age. His Goliath was leukemia. On July 21, 1997, Aaron was born in Gainesville to Jeff and Melody Scott. Aaron was a healthy baby, joining the family of three brothers and three sisters. His life was practically

Submitted by SRWMD The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) Governing Board on Sept. 24 adopted the Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget of $29.2 million and a millage rate of 0.4143, the same millage rate as last year. The budget will allow the District to continue meeting its core missions of protecting water supply, water quality, natural systems, and providing flood protection without raising taxes. A key emphasis in the budget is springs restoration and protection.



Aaron Scott diagnosed with cancer at age 6, now lives normal life

SRWMD adopts budget, millage rate

OLE TIMES COUNTRY BUFFET “Home cookin’ the way Mama does it”

“Lots to do this weekend.”

Call 386-752-1670 For Kids 12 & Under

Lake City Mall Open: 10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Daily MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover


No Purchase Necessary Must Present Coupon Limit 1 Per Person


ee n n a Suw LOFD celebrates 110 years





Viewpoints/Opinions BIBLE VERSE “For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:30-31 NIV

Suwannee Democrat

MYRA C. REGAN Publisher


Members of the Suwannee Democrat editorial board are Myra C. Regan, publisher, and Jeff Waters, editor. Our View is formed by that board.

Editorial objectives for 2013 1. Reduce waste in local government 2. Revitalize downtown Live Oak  3. Continue work on Perimeter Road 4. Attract more business and growth 5. Build up I-10, US 129 corridor

FROM OUR READERS Dear editor, I am a concerned citizen who attended the Thursday p.m. city hall meeting addressing the medical waste incinerator. There are still too many people who still do not know what is going on. I want to thank those who attended for their well thought questions and heartfelt comments. After hearing and studying all the pertinent information, I am still 100 percent against it. Number one: The person who wants to put the incinerator in has never operated a business as this before, and states he will hire the best people for the job. How does he know who the best applicants are if he himself knows nothing about this business? Seems to me he’s relying on “?” to come up with answers and put this thing together. Shaky at best. Number 2: “New technology”. At the start of the meeting, he stated the need for the incinerator because many across the country were shutting down leaving just a handful open. If we have all this great technology, why aren’t they using it? Why are so many places not waning this stuff? Are we guinea pigs on the horizon? Think people. Number 3: Why here, why so sneaky? Because they would be kicked out in a heartbeat in the more populated, better-educated counties where it’s impossible to keep a lid on things and where there is a lawyer on every corner. Also, land is cheap, insurance rates are low and don’t forget they think we will work for peanuts, mopping floors and sweeping up ash. In summary, I’m not buying it. Please General Barry, if you are reading this, please get out of Suwannee County. Teri Stange


QUESTION OF THE WEEK Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is slated for Oct. 1. You will: Enroll in a health plan immediately. Enroll but wait a week or two. Not enroll until the last minute. Not enroll at all. Poll Results (9-20-13)

September is Childhood Cancer and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. How have they affected you? Have a child in the family with cancer -- 20% Have a family member with prostate cancer -- 20% Know a family facing childhood cancer -- 40% Known a family facing prostate cancer -- 10% I am a child with cancer or survivor -- 10% This poll is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole.


Want to vent? Our hotline is open 24/7.

Callers to 386-208-8314 may express their thoughts, good or bad, 24/7, about community issues and politics. Private individuals or businesses are excluded from comments and will not be published. If you prefer, you may email your comments to Or, simply visit our website at, click on the Rant & Rave tab on the left and submit your thoughts there. You don’t have to give your name. Phone submissions must be no more than one minute long, or exceed 200 words. The same word count holds true for written submissions, such as email messages. Anything over will be discarded. If the constraints are not enough, write a letter to the editor (guidelines for letters appear below).    Chairman Wainwright said at the Commission meeting when public comment was supposed to be allowed, they would not be allowed to speak about the waste incinerator, now our Republican Commission is taking our right to speak away. Isn't this the way it's done in China? Chairman Wainwright has made at least one trip to China, who paid that bill?    Many thanks to Commissioner Rickey Gamble for staying long after the Board of County Commissioners'Meeting adjourned, to hear the comments of Suwannee citizens that had been denied any public comment at Tuesday's meeting, by Chairman Wainwright. When can a new Chairperson be elected who is open to the input from the residents of our county? Your autocratic decision making is unacceptable and insulting, Chairman Wainright!    With the obvious firestorm from the citizens of Suwannee County following the Board of County Commissioners' decision to allow "by right" any/every type facility here without public hearing or permitting,I would hope they are wise enough to resend this decision. It takes a big person to admit you made a mistake. How many of the five can step up to the plate and do just that?    Praise be to Tim Williams for his leadership and vision. Thank you for your service to our community.    What is happening with the chamber these days? No word on the street about changes, has the economic development effort met a brick wall?    Has anyone wondered what the cumulative air impacts will be on the Catalyst site now that two businesses will be producing toxic fumes? Who is looking out for us? Not Governor Scott he is looking to get reelected and he needs to fill his campaign coffers with donations. Our county officials seem to be falling all over themselves to help dirty industry locate here. Something has got to give!    A four way stop at the corner of Helvenston and Railroad, ridiculous. Does the city even care that they are putting a family owned small business that has been at that location for over 30 years in jeopardy? The economy is bad enough without the city putting people out of business with their brilliant ideas.    It's amazing the amount of career moochers in Suwannee County. So what's the point of taking care of yourself, when you can sit back and let the working folks take care of you with through taxes. Pathetic.    The only way to stop the medical waste incinerator is for the County Commissioners to reverse their decision to give the land use rights away to the catalyst site. Call or email your County Commissioners. Do it now!    There seems to be a perfect solution to the City of Live Oak golf-cart fiasco. Why not have the City issue an annual tag (for a fee) to be placed on the golf cart similar to a license plate? The (legal driving age) owner would have to provide proof-of-insurance annually to get a new tag. Simple.    medical waste incinerators emit dioxins, mercury, lead. Dioxins are the compounds of agent orange. one incinerator can emit as much volume of the neurotoxic elements as a full size coal fired power plant. The heavy metals are non combustable, do not degrade, and cannot be destroyed. Senator Todd Weiles from Utah is currantly seeking to ban incinerators from his state. He said there has been 7 incinerator malfunctions this past July alone.    Well, the city councilmen have done it again. Do they realize how much traffic is on Helvenston St. If people won't stop on railroad street now what makes them think they will stop when it's 4way. It will just cause more accidents due to the heavy traffic & people will be getting hit from the rear, so make sure there is a police officer sitting on the corner.    If the commissioners vote in favor of selling the land to Integrated Waste Management Service, after the ob-

vious public outcry, we think that there should be an investigation into their motives. These days only the Federal Government goes against the public wishes. Are the commissioners deaf or just simply eaten up with power. By the way, not one commissioner lives within ten miles of the catalyst site.    I think "THE PEOPLE" have spoken very loudly to the County Commission about Integrated Waste Management and their toxic medical waste facility. The question now is if the commission is going to listen to us or rule us.    Why doesn't the band play the fight song at half time at home games? I can't remember them not playing it. Why was the half time show about a dead person and who killed him? I am sure that would pep people up.    The roads in town need to be redone pachting them does not solved the problem    Dear Gentle Reader, Human waste is neither hazardous nor toxic waste, according to my medical doctor. Septic tanks allow human waste to break down naturally and return to nature without harm. General Barry wants to truck in hazardous waste from a 500 radius of our county, burn it to compact it and release even more hazardous and toxic waste into our air. The resulting ash will be trucked to a class 1 landfill and the closest that takes out-of-county toxic waste is Folkston, GA; and the nearest in Florida is Naples/Okeechobee. The class 1 landfill in Union County only serves Union, Baker and Bradford counties. We don’t even keep our municipal waste here. Why would we want anyone’s hazardous waste?    The World Health Organization recommends “siting incinerators away from populated areas or areas where food is grown, thus minimizing exposures and thereby risks.” (WHO Fact Sheet N 281) Suwannee and Columbia Counties have the highest population densities in a 75 mile radius of Live Oak. Across the street from the Catalyst Site are no less than 8 irrigated fields and countless others in the smoke plume path. County Officials, what are you thinking? You’d rather have a buck in your pocket and pay with my health and the health of my children, parents, grandparents, etc.?    Thank you County Commissioners for opening up this County to every unwanted polluting industry known to man to this County. Some of you Commissioners are new and it has already has been to long.    After Honorable County Attorney threatens to have law abiding citizens removed from the waste incinerator meeting he was asked how to start a recall on the Commissioners, now he is silent, I'll tell you , go see your Supervisor of Elections they will tell you.    Where has our democracy gone? Let’s vote on the med. waste incinerator. Why would anybody object? Please come to the meetings. Read the Democrat for announcements. Please, get involved.    In response to the person about lovebugs and dryer sheets, if you just clean them off and then get some non-stick cooking spray and put a light coat on the front of your car, they won’t even stick. But not on your windows. And it will only take your hand a water hose to wipe everything off.    I just want to congratulate our sheriff who’s willing to give up so much of his pay for healthcare of the people in this county. Our commissioners they like to give everything away to foreigners, giving away free land that cost a million dollars, then put millions more in and fixing it up for them. So we can see who to vote for and who not to vote for when the next elections come, so remember your sheriff. He’s the one to vote for, he is great. Commissioners, hmmm.    I applaud those who Walk/Run for Life. Tomorrow is the event in Live Oak. The sponsor says, "Stand up for life!" Please be safe and save your own life by obeying the state statutes and WALK/RUN FACING TRAFFIC !    I just read where SRWMD 'returned' $340,000 to 11 counties - in lieu of taxes. Well, just between us country-folks I'd rather have their land in private ownership, with the owners paying their taxes directly to the counties. SRWMD should be abolished as all it appears to do is authorize large water-users to drain and pollute our groundwaters and springs, while telling the homeowners they can't water their properties.    I was at the waste incinerator meeting, I did not see the Chamber of Commerce, or Commissioner Bashaw, or Tim Williams, all the big shots from a member owned power provider, and others that worked so hard to get the land use regulations removed from the Catalyst site. Where was the support for this company, only two where for it.    Medical waste incinerators are among the worlds leading emitters of dioxins, mercury, lead. Heavy metals like mercury are not combustable, do not degrade, and cannot be destroyed. They will be in our rivers, streams, the air we breath, etc. there is no getting away from it Save our County.

Letters To The Editor, or Suwannee Democrat, PO Box 370, Live Oak, FL 32064. Please include your full name, address and daytime phone number. We ask this so we can verify your letter and discuss any questions about it with you.



Q&A Continued From Page 1A

Amy Bogner, Florida will be served by the Federally-Facilitated Exchange (FFE) under the Department of Health and Human Resources. When an individual fills out an application, the applicant will see all of the options available to them and can compare coverages sideby-side and review incomebased policies to choose the plan that fits the best. Indican visit viduals marketplace/individual/#stat e=florida to enroll. The process is relatively simple. You will need to have basic information about your household income. Most people using the marketplace will qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums. To find out how much you are eligible for, you will need to provide income information from your W-2, current pay stubs, or your tax return. You will also need to fill out other information such as your household size, location and citizenship status. Once that information is entered, the exchange takes over. It will determine if you are eligible for Medicaid. If so, it will refer you there. If not, it will tell you how much of a subsidy you may be eligible for. After that, you will be presented a list of health plans and their premiums and outof-pocket costs, deductibles and co-payments. You can also apply through a paper application or over the phone. What is an exchange? An exchange is an online marketplace. Individuals and small employers can shop for insurance coverage. The exchanges help you find out if you are eligible or not for premium cost help or if you are eligible for Medicaid. New and affordable choices A new report released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds that in Florida, consumers will see increased competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace, leading to new and affordable choices for consumers. According to the report, Florida consumers will be able to choose from an average of 102 health plans in the marketplace. Nationally, the vast majority of consumers will have a choice of at least two different health insurance companies - usually more. Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected – with about 95 percent of eligible uninsured live in states with lower than expected premiums – before taking into account financial assistance. In Florida, the average premium for the lowest-cost silver plan will be $304 and for the lowest cost bronze plan it will be $257. The average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 before tax credits, or 16 percent below projections based off of Congressional Budget Office estimates. About 95 percent of uninsured people eligible for the Marketplace live in a state where their average premium is lower than projections. And states with the lowest premiums have more than twice the number of insurance companies offering plans than states with the highest premiums. Premium and plan options are broken down by state where information is available. For example, the report shows that a 27-year old living in Florida who makes $25,000 per year will pay $96 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $145

about affordable Care Act per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits. For a family of four in Florida with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost only $104 per month. Open enrollment. Open enrollment is set to start Oct. 1. Coverage can began as soon as Jan. 1, 2014. However, GOP leaders said they are putting forward a bill that could be voted on this weekend that could delay the ACA for one year. Is there a fee for not having insurance in 2014? The simple answer is yes. According o the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, if someone who can afford health insurance doesn’t obtain it next year, they could be looking at a fee of one percent of their income, or $95 per adult, whichever is higher. By 2016, the fee will increase to 2.5 percent of the adult’s income or $695, whichever is higher. The rate will increase yearly. The fee for children is half the amount an adult would pay, $47.50. The most a family would have to pay in 2014 is $285. How is the fee paid? The fee is paid according to the income tax form, beginning in 2014. Individuals with low income may be eligible for a waiver, according to MMS. Who is exempt from paying the fee? Individuals uninsured who are exempt from paying the fee include: those uninsured for less than three months of the year; low income where coverage is deemed unaffordable; does not have to file a tax return because their income is too low; a person who would qualify under the new income limits for Medicaid, but their state has chosen not to expand Medicaid eligibility; is a member of a federally recognized indian tribe; is a participant in a health care sharing ministry; and are a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to health insurance. What about my pre-existing medical condition? According to MMS, health insurance plans cannot refuse a person or increase the rate because of a pre-existing medical condition. The plan also can’t refuse to cover treatments as a part of the pre-existing medical condition. Can I keep my current doctor? Depending on the plan selected, the individual may be able to keep their current doctor or health care provider if they accept the plan the person chooses. If staying with the current health provider is very important, check to make sure they are included in the plan before selecting it. Who is not eligible to enroll? Workers and their families that already have coverage through their employers most likely won’t be able to buy policies on the exchanges. The marketplace is for those that don’t have insurance and can’t get it through their employers. Businesses with 50 or few employees, however, can use the Small Business Health Options program exchange. Those in the country illegally won’t be eligible. To learn more, call 1-800318-2596, or visit


DEADLY INFECTION Continued From Page 1A ter for sometime and while they were heading back in to shore, Allen started noticing his cut a lot more. “It was choppy out there and when we started coming back in, my foot started throbbing,” said Allen. “I thought I had maybe sprained an ankle or something like that.” He said his feet had been wet all day and as they were coming back in their boat got stuck in a canal. Again, not thinking about the cut at all, Allen jumped out of the boat to free it from being stuck. He pushed the boat out of the canal and once he got back to the beach house they were renting for the week, the pain in his foot grew worse. The throbbing pain became so painful, he thought maybe he had somehow broken his foot. A little later, his temperature went up to 104 degrees and he began vomiting. “From there, I went to the Perry ER,” said Allen. They told Allen he had gout, a stomach virus and a possible fracture of the foot. Allen returned to the house but it got worse and worse throughout the day. By Tuesday, June 18, Allen went to Tallahassee Orthopedic Center which has a branch facility in Perry. They told him he had an infection and to immediately stop taking the medicine for gout he

was originally prescribed. They gave Allen medicine to take for the infection and told him if his condition got worse, to go to Memorial Tallahassee Hospital. “The next day, I started vomiting again,” said Allen. “My foot swelled up twice as big as the other foot.” Allen went into the hospital and they started him on heavy doses of antibiotics and within a few days, he underwent his first surgery on his foot and leg. Allen had contracted necrotizing fasciitis from the Gulf. Necrotizing fasciitis is an infection caused by bacteria. It can destroy skin, fat, and the tissue covering the muscles within a very short time. It is very rare but serious. About 1 out of 4 people who get this infection die from it, according to WebMD. “I vomited during surgery and all the fluid got in my lungs and I got pneumonia,” said Allen. “My kidneys were having massive problems and then I went into ICU.” Allen was in ICU for eight days on a breathing machine and later was put in a regular hospital room. It was now July 8, 22 days after first feeling the affects of the infection. Allen has had a total of four surgeries, two to get the infection out and two skin grafts (Aug. 8 and Sept. 4). The sur-

geons removed skin from Allen’s thigh to graft onto his lower leg and foot. Allen said during his illness, he had no appetite and lost almost 80 pounds. “That’s an expensive diet,” Allen said, laughing. Allen can somewhat laugh now as his foot and leg are healing, but during the time prior to the surgeries, he thought he would lose his leg. “At one point when my leg was black, I said,‘well, I can kiss this thing goodbye,’” said Allen. “There’s no way.” Part of the procedure of getting the infection out was extremely painful as it involved doctors stuffing a sponge-like substance into Allen’s open incision on his leg and to “hose out” the infected area. “They were sucking the bacteria out of my leg,” said Allen. “They put foam in there which was the worst pain, the worst pain ever. The foam would absorb the bacteria, then the hose sucked out this black and brown fluid from my leg.” He said they kill the bacteria using antibiotics, but use the sponge and hose to physically remove it. He said it was called a “wound vac”. Allen was taking some of the highest order of antibiotics known and was also taking dilaudid, a powerful narcotic.

He said the day before he was released from the hospital, the doctors wanted to take him off the dilaudid and gave him percocet, which he said seemed to do nothing as the pain was so bad. He said the ordeal has been so difficult for his wife, Mandy as she was taking care of their little boy at the same time carrying the physical and emotional burden through Allen’s lengthy illness. “She took one week off of work and that was it,” said Allen. “She was taking care of me and him.” Allen said his son, Kelby at first didn’t want to come around him as he knew something wasn’t quite right with daddy. Finally after about three weeks, he got used to seeing the leg and let Allen hold him. Allen will still have to go through some rehabilitation and his leg will be discolored off and on. He’ll also experience swelling from time to time for the next three to four months, but it’s all part of the healing process. Doctors told Allen he should be able to go back to work by Oct. 1, but wanted to him to be cautious as he didn’t want him to bump his foot or leg or have someone accidentally run into it. “I came a long way like the doctor said,” said Allen. “The leg is going to be ugly, but I don’t think it’s as bad as losing it.”

Little giant defeated Goliath Continued From Page 1A normal until he reached the age of six. That’s when his life was shaken. Aaron was a member of a soccer team and was playing at the recreational park in Live Oak. He began to complain that his legs hurt really bad. “We went to Dr. Randolph in Lake City. On the first visit, she (Randolph) didn’t like what she saw, so she told me to come back the next day,” he said. “When I went back the second day, she said the same thing. On the third day, they took me to the emergency room at Shands in Gainesville. That’s when we found out it was leukemia.” That’s when Aaron met Goliath face to face. “It was a surprise, really. Nobody saw it coming,” he said. Aaron began chemotherapy and for the next two-and-a-half years, he spent much time in Gainesville receiving treatments. For the first three months after receiving the dreaded diagnosis, Aaron was hospitalized

while receiving treatment. After the first three months, Aaron would receive chemotherapy five days a week. Eventually, his treatments were reduced to just three days per week, and the last step was receiving treatment a day or two per week. “They (the doctors) didn’t really know if it would work. But they said they would would have to see how the chemo would work,” Aaron said. “I remember every time having to go into a room with about 20 people in there, and having to sit there and watch the chemo going in. It was hard to sit there and watch because you didn’t know if the chemo was going to save you or not. They had games you could play to keep your mind off of it, but that didn’t work.” Although he was very young in age, Aaron said he can still recall the experience. “It didn’t really hit me until I was about seven years old. I could taste it (chemo) in my mouth, and I could feel it going through my veins. Every

Air permit approved Continued From Page 1A all of the FDEP stringent reviews is a big step.” The company proposes to construct the facility near the intersection of 175th Road and 50th Street in Suwannee County. IWMS Suwannee facility will consist of four hospital, medical, infectious waste incinerator (HMIWI) units manufactured by Pennram, or similar units. Each unit will burn 2,500 pounds per hour, a maximum of 30-tons per day of hospital, medical and infectious waste. IWMS first placed an air permit legal notice in the July 19 edition of the Democrat. Individuals wishing to submit complaints had 14 days to do so. Just

minutes before the deadline expired, Annette Long, spokesperson for local environmental group Save Our Suwannee, submitted a request for more time to study the air permits and what emissions would be released into the air. Long said due to a lack of finances they were unable to challenge the air permit, thus giving IWMS the green flag to move forward. “We’re still looking at our next steps and working with individuals on moving forward,” Hipps said. “We believe Suwannee County has the industrial site that is designed to have industry, so we’re still looking at that site.”

time I took it, the chemo would make me sick,” he said. Aaron fought the battle for nearly three years and was able to conquer his enemy. Because the cancer was discovered and treated while it was in the early stages, the chemo treatments were successful. Following his treatments, Aaron went back to the doctor for monthly checkups. A year later, Aaron reported to the doctors office every three months for examinations. It was then reduced down to jut one doctor visit per year, and now Aaron goes back every two years for checkups. “We caught it at a good time while it was early,” he said. However, Steve Jones, a spiritual role model and friend of Aaron’s who was battling the same disease at the same time ultimately lost his fight. “It made me kind of scared, but I knew he had Christ in his life, and I knew he would be in heaven, and it showed me I wanted the same thing,” Aaron said. Aaron is a member of First Baptist Church of Live Oak and faithfully attended with his family during his childhood years. “I knew who Christ was, but this situation made me realize the seriousness of it (eternity) and that I definitely needed Him,” said Aaron. At the age of seven,

Aaron accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. “Chemo can’t heal you and the doctors can’t heal you. God is the only one who can heal you. The doctors can help, but without God, it’ll never work,” he said. Today, life is back to normal for Aaron. As a result of chemotherapy, he sustained damages to his heart but that hasn’t stopped him from living. “I still do pretty much anything I want,” he said. Aaron serves as the drummer for First Baptist Church of Live Oak. He loves to run 5-Ks and recently completed the warrior dash (a 5-K obstacle course). He also enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Kristin. In the future, Aaron hopes to attend community college in Lake City or Madison and obtain a Associate of Arts degree. He’s still deciding on which university he will attend, but he has his eyes set on the University of Georgia to earn a degree in wildlife conservation. The future looks bright for Aaron. But looking back, he knows it was the prayers and support of family and friends that helped him through the difficult situation. “I want to thank the people that were praying for me and were very encouraging. That was a very big help,” he said. At such a young age, he did the unthinkable. Aaron defeated Goliath.

City millage, budget rises Continued From Page 1A creased each year. In 2010-11, the budget was $15,320,140. For the 2011-12 fiscal year, the councilors agreed to increase their budget to $16,019,736. Last year, the board increased their operating budget to $18,190,313.

Millage rate increases The proposed millage rate of 6.6760 for the 2013-14 fiscal year was passed unanimously by the council. For the 2012-13 fiscal year, the millage rate was set at 6.5546. The millage rate for the 2011-12 fiscal year was 6.2119.

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