The Voice of the Gem City

April 19, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Easter and Passover dominate this weekend with events ranging from services to Easter egg hunts. On Saturday St. Augustine hosts the 60th annual Easter Parade beginning at 9 a.m. from the Old Jail. For many, Sunday morning will be a chance to attend sunrise services in Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties. In Flagler County, sunrise services include:
Ecumenical service at Veterans Park 6:30-8:30 a.m.;
Beachside Community Church Service on Flagler Beach in front of North 4th Street  7 a.m.;
Salty Church Sunrise Service on the Pier Flagler Beach Pier 7 a.m.
In St. Johns County, sunrise services are:
In front of the Castillo de San Marcos at 6:30 a.m.;
At Vilano Beach at 6:45 a.m.;
At Crescent Beach at 7 a.m.; and
Mass at the Rustic Altar at Mission Nombre de Dios at 10 a.m.
In Putnam County:
Palatka Riverfront Park sponsored by the Central Putnam Ministerial Association at 6:30 a.m.
West Putnam Community holds a sunrise service at 7 a.m. at Mary Wisham Ball Park, SR 315 South

A reminder schools, county offices and city halls are closed today in Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputies spent Thursday tracking down a suspect in an attempted home invasion burglary in Ponte Vedra Beach. John Matthew Kennedy, 26, was eventually captured on Canal Street and taken in for questioning in the Sea Winds Lane case. A couple woke to find a man armed with a knife in their house. The 77-year-old homeowner got his own knife and chased the suspect out the front door.

A Crescent City man has been arrested and extradited from Oregon back to Florida where he faces four counts of second-degree sexual battery. Bryan Rivera, 26, allegedly had repeated unlawful sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl between June and October. He was booked into Putnam County jail Thursday on a $60,000 bond.

Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says tips from the public helped locate Teresa AKA Alex Selgado who was sought regarding information into a shooting last week that left an 18-year-old dead. Deputies wanted information on the shooting which saw Marion Lee Gavins Jr., 17, arrested and charged with first degree murder. Selgado has been uncooperative and is now facing an unrelated drug charge involving LSD possession.

St. Johns County School Superintendent Tim Forson says technical difficulties this week led him to cancel district final exams. Both computer-based and paper-based exams were canceled, said Forson, to “remove the frustration of inconsistent test administration and protect instructional time.” This doesn’t affect Florida Standards Assessments and End of Course tests but only district exams.

The death of a resident of a St. Augustine nursing home has been ruled a homicide, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. Daniel Henson, 71, died Sunday from blunt force trauma. Staff at St. Augustine Health and Rehabilitation Center on State Road 207 found Henson’s 84-year-old roommate allegedly beating him April 9. Henson later died at an area hospital and an autopsy was ordered.  Henson, a veteran, suffered a stroke 25 years ago and has been in nursing care since. Reportedly he only had use of his left arm.

Among weekend events in Palatka the Chalk Explosion on Saturday offers five professional chalk artists, several area musicians and chalk art contests for all ages. Arts Council of Greater Palatka is putting on the event at the riverfront from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also at the riverfront, the Bartram Birthday Cruise leaves at 5:45 p.m. Saturday for a wine and cheese cruise. Some seats are still available. Call 386-983-8072. Putnam County Master Gardeners hold their annual plant sale Saturday morning at the fairgrounds in East Palatka and across the street the Putnam County Shrine Club holds a fund-raiser for the Hastings Masonic Lodge at the Shrine Club from noon to 4 p.m.

And don’t forget 244 years ago today the American Revolution officially began as British troops attempted to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord. The night before Paul Revere and William Dawes were riding to warn the British were coming.

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