The Voice of the Gem City

May 3, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A two-year-old boy drowned Thursday morning in Santa Fe Lake in the Melrose area. The child drowned in the lake across from the family’s home on Seminole Ridge Road. Several adults and seven other children were at the home when the boy went missing about 7:30 a.m. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office was called at 8:15 and a deputy found the body in the water. Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful.

A district girls softball championship game Thursday ended with Santa Fe High School beating Palatka High School. The game went to four extra innings as the teams battled to a final 3-2 score. Palatka will still play in the regionals next Wednesday and WIYD will be there to cover it.

A conference related to climate and cultural heritage opens Sunday in St. Augustine. Keeping History Above Water opens with a public day Sunday where people can learn about how historic towns are looking at the impact of sea levels rising. Also scheduled a podcast workshop and a free showing of the award-winning documentary The Oldest City Underwater. Events are at Lewis Auditorium. The conference continues through May 8.

A former Bunnell police officer is facing 15 years in prison after violating his parole and getting new child porn charges that led to a plea deal Thursday. On Feb. 11 Michael Stavris II, 34, had been released from prison after serving time for child pornography. Before the end of the month he was arrested again for violating his probation and also charged with felony child abuse, fraud through the use of personal identification stalking.

Been thinking about getting a dog? Putnam County Animal Control is offering pups, adult and senior dogs for $5. The shelter is filled to capacity and help is needed to give the dogs a chance. Call 386-329-0396. See the dogs on Facebook at Furry Adoptables of Putnam.

An elementary school custodian injured in an accident Wednesday in front of Matanzas High School has died. Florida Highway Patrol says a 17-year-old student driving a Chevy Impala pulled out of the school parking lot onto Matanzas Woods Parkway and into the path of a motorcycle driven by Mark Radcliff, a 56-year-old custodian at Old Kings Elementary School. The motorcycle T-boned the vehicle. Radcliff was not wearing a helmet and suffered head injuries. He later Thursday at AdventHealth Palm Coast hospital. Charges are pending.

Romanza Festival of Music and the Arts opens a two-week run in St. Augustine tonight with a performance by Havana-born pianist Juana Zayas. The concert is at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica. Over the weekend Cinco de Mayor concerts will be offered in the Plaza de la Constitucion.

And more music in the Ancient City as the 24th annual Gamble Rogers Music Festival opens tonight in the Spanish Quarter on St. George Street. Dozens of performers will offer a variety of American music during the three-day family-friendly festival.

Theater-goers have not one but two choices in Palatka this weekend. River City Players perform Unnecessary Farce tonight through Sunday at the Larimer Arts Center on Reid Street. At the C.L. Overturf Jr. 6th Grade Center the stage will be filled this weekend with dancers and singers for Disney’s Newsies. The musical directed by Jim Pignato features students from around Putnam County. Both groups will be performing again next week.

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