The Voice of the Gem City

January 24, 2019

Christian Service Center will be open beginning tonight in Palatka to help the homeless during the latest cold spell. The center on Peters Street is next to Toby’s Alignment and will be open nightly from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. with a hot meal provided. 10 sleeping bags are needed to help provide bedding. If you can help, drop the bags off to the center. Volunteers, donations and food are appreciated.

A 13-year-old student at Switzerland Point Middle School is in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice after threatening to shoot up the St. Johns County school. The boy’s name has not been released but he reportedly sent a text saying: I’m going to **** shoot up the school. He sent a picture of a gun which turned out to be an Airsoft. Several times he said he was not kidding and used lyrics from Pumped Up Kicks, a song about a school shooting. Not only an Airsoft was found at the student’s house but several real guns. Sheriff’s Office officials say he apparently sent out the text because he was frustrated because of a competitive event at the school where he didn’t score as highly as he wanted.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies captured a man accused of stealing a car in Jacksonville and wrecking it in the Fruit Cove area Wednesday. Deputies spent the day looking for the man after he crashed the car. His name has not been released although he reportedly faces several charges.

The body of a man missing from St. Johns County for several days has been found in the St. Johns River just off Julington Creek Bridge on SR 13. The family of Juan Acevedo had said the 47 year old who recently returned from Singapore had been despondent and they had asked for the public’s help in finding him.

The front of Bethany Seventh Day Adventist Church on North 19th Street in Palatka apparently was run into. This morning the glass-and-metal front door was found broken and part of it on the ground. Someone may have tried to break in.

In Flagler County construction was supposed to start this week on SR A1A to repair road damage from past hurricanes. However, the project is now delayed pending some utility relocations. Work won’t begin until February with detours beginning at the south end of Flagler Beach. That’s expected to start late February or early March, according to officials.

Two people are in the hospital following a house fire in San Mateo Wednesday morning. Firefighters from several departments were on the scene of the fire on State Road 100 which had to be closed for about an hour. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office deputies removed one person from the structure and assisted rescue personnel with getting the other individual out, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Word of the day is fantoccini. Knowing how to spell it led Manischa Wijayawardhana to win the St. Johns County Spelling Bee on Wednesday. Her victory occurred in the 43rd round of the school bee that features elementary and middle school students. Manischa is a fifth grade student at Timberlin Creek Elementary School and will now go to the First Coast Regional Spelling Bee Feb. 19 to compete with students from around the area. Fantoccini, by the way, is not a pasta but an Italian-based word meaning a puppet show using puppets operated by strings or mechanical devices, or such puppets. Shades of Pinnocchio.
This is Marcia Lane, your Roving Reporter.

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