The Voice of the Gem City

May 28, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

The heat is the focus today as temperatures stay high and the rain stays away. Portions of west and south Putnam County did report rain Monday evening but chances today are low. Heat index in Flagler County is expected to be 104 degrees. Florida Forest Service puts the Fire Danger Index for Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties at moderate.

St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar plans to put out a report card on how well St. Johns County commissioners are doing in supporting law enforcement. His plan comes after a recent questionnaire from the county asking for records showing how Shoar is complying with county policy and state law regarding selecting and paying vendors at the new training center and how he disposes of county assets from the job. Shoar, who reportedly isn’t seeking re-election in 2020, will issue letter grades to the five commissioners.

U.S. Marshals Service aided by St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies Monday caught a fugitive near the St. Augustine Beach Pier. Demon Lawson was seen on the beach and ran into the Embassy Suites where law enforcement caught him. Lawson was sought for probation violation from the Georgia Department of Corrections on a gun charge. Reportedly St. Johns deputies also want to question Lawson about a pending case in their county.

Putnam and Flagler county schools are in session until Friday, but seniors are out. Meanwhile, parents looking for ways to occupy students six and up may want to give the Larimer Arts Center a call. The Arts Council of Greater Palatka is putting on their annual art and drama classes for kids. Arts Underground will be open June 3 to July 26 from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Cost is $20 a month and some no-cost programs are available. Collin Wallman, in his second year at Florida School of the Arts, is joining resident Arts Underground instructor Rebecca Tyler to teach classes. Call Tyler at 386-538-4092 for more.

People are rallying to help the family of a nine-year-old killed Thursday evening in an accident at Moultrie Creek boat ramp in St. Johns County. Logan Stroud died Friday after an accident where he was pined between a car and the ramp. Rob DePiazza, who had met Stroud and his family that night while walking his dog, started a GoFundMe page for the family after witnessing the accident. The page reached the $5,000 goal with 24 hours after the accident. You can still donate.

Runners are getting ready for the Beck 5K run this Saturday at Palatka’s riverfront. The annual run sponsored by the Beck Auto group will benefit the Putnam ARC program. The sanctioned run starts at 8 a.m., the fun run at 8:45 a.m. For more, call Misty Guessford at Beck at 386-328-0344.

Blue Crab Festival 2019 is over with lots of people praising the event. Festival organizers estimate 100,000 visitors. One unexpected event  occurred with festival vendor chair Erin Thornton getting married. Her boyfriend proposed Thursday and they got married Friday evening, first day of the festival. Erin was back Saturday at the festival helping make it happen. Not sure how many people knew to call her Erin Hughes.

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