A 14-year-old Jenkins Middle School student faces a second-degree felony charge after Putnam County authorities arrested her for calling in a shooting threat Wednesday. Destiny Brown was arrested and charged Thursday with making a false report concerning the use of a firearm in a violent manner. Superintend Rick Surrency made it clear the district and Sherff’s Offic won’t tolerate threats. “These threats are not a child’s prank; they are malicious in their intent and will be handled as such.” Parents and staff were notified of the threat Wednesday night and an increased law enforcement presence was in county schools Thursday. This is the second threat in the last seven days in Putnam schools and officials said it wasn’t unusual for copy cat threats to occur.
St. Augustine must find a new mayor after three-term Mayor Nancy Shaver announced Thursday she is resigning effective immediately after suffering a stroke on Monday night following a contentious city commission meeting. A special commission meeting is called for 9 a.m. this Monday. Under the city charter the commission has 10 days to fill the mayor’s seat or the governor will appoint someone. Vice Mayor Leanna Freeman is considered a natural choice but she would have to resign first in order to become mayor. Speculation is underway on who might apply.
Flagler Youth Orchestra’s top ensemble will be in concert Saturday to benefit the orchestra overall. The Harmony Chamber Orchestra plays at 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Bunnell. While the concert is free, the group hopes people will be generous. The FYO’s top 30 performers will play 15 works ranging from pieces by Mozart to music from La La Land.
Speaking of helping, the Putnam County Animal Control dog kennel is full. If you can adopt or rescue Animal Control would be grateful. The number is 386-329-0396. Get a sneak preview of the animals by going to the Furry Adoptables of Putnam Facebook page.
The azaleas are blooming as Palatka readies for the Azalea Festival Saturday and Sunday. Now in its 73rd year, the event features musicians, a parade, pickleball tournament, an art show and vendors, mostly in the downtown area. Shriners will be in town to take part in the parade at 10 a.m. down Main Street and a Spring Barbecue is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shrine Club in East Palatka. Also going on this weekend is Azalea Days at Ravine Gardens State Park on Twigg Street. Good news is that the azaleas are at their peak and the weather is expected to be pleasant.
In St. Augustine the city’s heritage is on display. Today and Saturday you can get in step, literally, with English pirates as re-enactors recreate Searle’s Sack, a famous and bloody pirate raid on St. Augustine. An historic procession of participants will be held on St. George Street Friday evening. On Saturday, there’s an historic re-encampment at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park during the day and a re-enactment of the battle at 4:30 p.m. in the district’s downtown historic district. Also schedule Saturday is the annual Menorcan Heritage Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ximenez-Fatio House on St. Francis Street. From 2-4 p.m. enjoy Chocolate and Beyond Saturday at First Coast Technical College and take part in the Lighthouse 5K Fun Run and Night Fest Saturday at the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
Tonight basketball fans will be on the edge of their seats in Palatka and St. Johns counties. Palatka High Panthers boys team will be battling it out with Brookville’s Nature Coast school for a spot on the Final Four and the Region 2-6A title Final Four. Nease High School girls team and Bartram Trail girls team will be playing in Lakeland today for their chance in the semifinals.