The Voice of the Gem City

February 18, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

It’s Presidents Day. That means schools and banks are closed as are most federal offices. Don’t expect mail today. Roots of the holiday go back to the 1800s when Congress declared Washington’s birthday a federal holiday. Originally the holiday was on the first president’s birthday — February 22 — but Congress changed that in the 1970s lumping in President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and making it part of the trend to celebrate national holidays on Mondays.

A video with one student apparently threatening another student landed a 14-year-old Flagler County student in jail. The youth was arrested and booked into the county jail on a felony charge of making written threats. Another student reported the video to school staff. The Indian Trails Middle School student told Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies he recorded the video of himself holding a gun belonging to his parents. In it he said he was “sick of people and he was going to kill someone.” Rumors about he and a girl at the school having sex had been circulating and the girl reportedly slapped him when she heard the rumor. He made the video after that.

Play the lottery on Valentine’s Day? Check your Fantasy 5 ticket. On Thursday the winning ticket was sold at CV Discount in Palatka. It’s worth $195,703.62. Winning numbers are 9-12-22-33-34.

In Flagler County commissioners are holding interviews for an interim county administrator today. Candidates are Ted Lakey, former Jackson County administrator; Jerry Cameron, a consultant and formerly an assistant St. Johns County administrator; and Michael Esposito, a special projects coordinator in Flagler County.

In St. Augustine Saturday a couple of people had a rude awakening as a multi-vehicle crash in the parking lot of Bayfront Inn sent a car into one of the hotel rooms on the first floor. No injuries according to the St. Augustine Police. Officers arrested Stephen Nelson who said he crashed his vehicle into six parked vehicles at the Inn sending one car into the side of the building around 4 a.m. Nelson was charged with Driving While Intoxicated and property damage and booked into the St. Johns County Jail.

Don’t forget area counties including Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns want people to take an online survey abut their opinions on health-related topics. The input is used to create health improvement plans to address community concerns and improve quality of life. You can find the surveys at countyhealthsurvey.com Deadline is Feb. 28.

Affecting area shoppers – the announced closing of all the remaining Payless Shoe stores. Two years ago the company declared bankruptcy and closed a number of stores. Now they are declaring bankruptcy again and closing the remaining 2,100 stores.

A thanks to Boy Scouts of America Troop 236 out of St. Marks Episcopal Church in Palatka. They spent Saturday working on an Eagle Scout project repainting and repairing the benches on the bike trail between East Palatka and Hastings. Most of the troop helpers go to Q.I. Roberts Jr./Sr. High School in Putnam County.
Putnam first cancer fund

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