The Voice of the Gem City

January 18, 2019

Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday night raided a business on State Road 19 South in Palatka where illegal gambling apparently has been going on. The Internet café is located at the Palatka Marketplace where the anchor store is Winn Dixie. According to reports, officers found illegal gaming machines, weapons and drugs inside.

In Flagler county elections are on people’s minds as deadlines passed to file to run. Bunnell has drawn six candidates for three available seats. Flagler Beach has four candidates after Thursday’s deadline. Incumbents Jane Mealy and Rick Belhumeur are seeking re-election. Last time both got in without drawing opponents. This time Paul Eik and Deborah Phillips have also filed. the two top vote getters in the beach election win seats. Both Bunnell and Flagler elections are March 5.

An 18-year-old was arrested by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office after pointing gun at a boy walking home from a bus stop in Hastings Wednesday. The gun turned out to be an Airsoft gun but the 10-year-old thought it was real and was scared. Douglas Sippio III was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on Wednesday. Sippio’s family says he’s being railroaded since the gun was only a toy. Deputies say the 10-year-old boy didn’t know that and thought he was going to be shot. Sippio was booked into jail on a $1,500 bond.

Social media set up the cry and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office paid attention as women began warning of a man in downtown Palatka approaching women, acting strangely and making them uncomfortable. Now deputies are seeking to talk with the man described as Middle Eastern in appearance and speaking with a thick accent. His approach has varied asking where an Indian restaurant was located, wanting to know if they’re single, offering some a massage and seeking help with his car, described as a dark blue Volkswagen. The man is not suspected of committing a crime according to the sheriff’s office which suggests people call them with concerns rather than only report them on Facebook.

In St. Augustine today through Sunday it’s the 2019 St. Augustine film festival. Films are being shown at Lewis Auditorium, the Gamache-Koger Theater at Flagler College, the St. Augustine Distillery and the Corazon Cinema and Café.

Flagler Woman’s Club holds the First Responder Chili Challenge at Flagler Beach Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday. That means schools will be closed, as well as local, state and national government offices. In Palatka Saturday is the ML King breakfast at 9 a.m. at Ravine Gardens State Park. On Monday there’s a parade downtown at 10 a.m. and a festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the riverfront. In St. Augustine Monday the 34th annual King Commemorative Breakfast will be at 7:30 a.m. and a Remembrance March at noon in downtown St. Augustine. Flagler County holds a ML King Jr. program Monday at 11 a.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Palm Coast.

Don’t forget for many today is Arbor Day.  Go plant a tree.

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

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