This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Today is last day of school for Putnam County students who will also be getting out early. Tonight the last of Putnam’s high schools holds graduation ceremonies with Palatka High School Panthers at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Crescent City graduated last night with 118 making the walk.
A 59-year-old St. Augustine grandmother is charged with aggravated manslaughter in the death of her 15-month-old grandson in December. Brett Taylor Aitken, 59, is in jail on a $100,000 bond following an investigation. An autopsy determined the grandson’s death was caused by “methadone toxicity.” Sheriff’s Office says the grandmother, who had custody of the boy, got methadone pills taking them after the death of a patient prescribed the drug. She told deputies she put the methadone into the child’s prescribed allergy medication bottle then forgot she put the pills in the bottle. She later gave the child what she believed was allergy medication. Instead it was the methadone.
In St. Johns County, a 78-year-old Port St. Lucie man died in a crash while leaving a rest stop Wednesday evening. Florida Highway Patrol says Kenneth Smith was driving through the rest stop getting back on I-95 when he ran into the back of another car and went off the road into a ditch, rolling the car. A passenger in the car had minor injuries, driver of the other car wasn’t injured. FHP says charges are pending.
A week-long sales tax holiday on hurricane-season items begins today throughout Florida. Items eligible for the tax break range from batteries to tarps to portable generators. The tax holiday continues through June 6. It’s expected to save shoppers $800,000 in all.
Five Putnam County school principals, nearly a fourth of the district’s principal corps, are on the move. Superintendent Rick Surrency is proposing changes including moving E.H. Miller School Principal Rodney Symonds to Middleton-Burney Elementary School to replace Joe Theobold who is going to Q.I. Roberts High. Theobold will replace Mary Wood who is being transferred to the C.L. Overturf Jr. Sixth Grade Center. Current Overturf principal Mike Tucker will go to Kelley Smith Elementary replacing Tracy Taylor who moves to E.H. Miller. Eleven assistant principal moves will also take place. Transitions begin next week.
A decision on Captain’s BBQ proposed expansion at Bing’s Landing County Park is on Monday’s agenda for the Flagler County Commission. Opponents to the expansion are urging people to turn out for the 9 a.m. meeting.
In Palatka, the Beck 5K Run is Saturday. The sanctioned race begins and ends at the Palatka riverfront. Start time is 8 a.m. with a fun run/walk including costumes at 8:45 a.m. Beck Automotive Group puts on the event that benefits ARC of Putnam County. ARC clients will be at the race to cheer on participants.
A clean-up and trash pickup is planned for Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at Project PLAY, the park off U.S. 17 North built in 2000 by local volunteers and Rotary Club members.
Saturday is also the kick-off for the Putnam County Summer Program at the Palatka Main Library.
The pirates – English pirates – are coming to St. Augustine Saturday as re-enactors recreate the June 6, 1586, Drake’s Raid at 7 p.m. with a running battle from the City Gate to the Plaza de la Constitucion. Colonial Quarter holds day-long activities. St. Augustine Amphitheater and Community First Credit Unit begin their annual free movie series Sunday with The Wedding Singer.
Flagler County’s Friends of the Library holds the biggest outdoor sale of the year at 2500 Palm Coast Parkway Northwest Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Also Saturday the Palm Coast Arts Foundation holds the First Saturday Creative Bazaar, an arts and crafts flea market, at Town Center.