The Voice of the Gem City

June 28, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Winners and losers continue to emerge as the impact of the latest budget for the state of Florida is realized. St. Johns County will find out July 23 at the state cabinet meeting whether the state will accept a contract buying Fish Island along the Matanzas River. The 57 acres off the State Road 312 bridge was scheduled to be developed until the North Florida Land Trust stepped in to negotiate a sale to the state through Florida Forever funding. The Land Trust is urging the community to show their support for the purchase. In Putnam County, passage of the governor’s budget saw the school district getting $250,000 funding for a public service academy. Also coming $1.3 million for improvements on St. Johns Avenue in Palatka and $500,000 for an East Palatka drainage project. Money for upgrades to the Putnam County Fairgrounds was vetoed.

Sean Dietrich takes to the stage at Florida School of the Arts tonight for a fundraiser for the county’s domestic abuse center. The humorist and musician, known as Sean of the South, will be performing free to help the Lee Conlee House. He did that last year and raised $13,000 for the facility. Tickets may still be available. Call 386-325-4447 ext. 100.

A 15-year-old Flagler County youth has been turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice after his grandfather turned him in after finding a pistol and rifle in his bedroom. Flagler deputies searched the room and also found a variety of gun-related items as well as drugs and drug equipment. The youth was tracked down and pulled over in a traffic stop. He had another firearm with him in the car but didn’t have a valid license. In April the teen was arrested for grand theft of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of a crash with damage to property.

A St. Augustine man won $500,000 from a scratch-off game, according to the Florida Lottery. George Vilches, 33, claimed the prize after playing the Crossword Extra Play Scratch-Off game. He bought the ticket at a Publix in Miami.

Putnam County Recreation Department holds a summer movie night at the Putnam Aquatic Center tonight. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part will be shown at 8:30 p.m. The event begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes popcorn and a beverage.

St. Augustine holds the second weekend of the 13th annual St. Augustine Music Festival. Classical music will be played tonight and Saturday at the Cathedral Basilica and includes Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra musicians. It’s the largest free classical music festival in the U.S.

Also the annual Ancient City Game Fish Challenge is going on through Sunday out of Camachee Cove in St. Augustine. This year’s event includes a Kingfish Tournament, Junior Fishing Tournament and Backwater Kayak Challenge.

In Flagler County Saturday Patriot Nightwatch at the Florida Agricultural Museum in Palm Coast. You can learn from British loyalists and American patriots as they interact on a lantern-light walking tour of Hewitt’s Revolutionary War Sawmill Archaeological Park.

Crescent City kicks off Fourth of July early with the seventh annual Red, White and BOOM fireworks show over Crescent Lake on Saturday around 9 p.m. In St. Augustine on Sunday Turning Point at Calvary is offering fireworks at the church of State Road 16. Music begins at 8:15 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.

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