The Voice of the Gem City

September 24, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

On the banks of the St. Johns River in Palatka this week second graders will be taking a step back to 1774 as the Bartram Frolic gets underway. Mixed in with Indians, soldiers and a naturalist named William Bartram will be hundreds of second graders from Putnam County schools who are visiting the site. On Friday many of the county’s fourth graders will be at the Bronson-Mulholland House on the other side of Reid Street learning about the Civil War and the Union occupation of 1864. Both events are open to the public with the emphasis on events Saturday.

A cheerful note of hope at Monday’s St. Augustine Commission meeting as a couple of local residents told of a grassroots effort to bring a carousel back to Davenport Park. The carousel was recently dismantled and moved by the family of Jim Soules following his death earlier in the month. The story attracted national attention and people began sending money. Talks have been held with carousel brokers and the group estimates the cost would be about $90,000 for a mid-century carousel. Organizers say they’ve had preliminary talks with a local non-profit about possibly running the ride.

Work continues on construction of a roundabout at the intersection of May Street and San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine but it’s not everyone’s favorite project. A homemade sign recently went up saying: “1st Place World’s Worst Roun-duh-bout.” The $3.5 million project is supposed to improve traffic flow, but residents say it’s more confusing than ever. The intersection is a major one handling traffic from Vilano Beach, incoming tourists and shoppers and residents in what many St. Augustine’s other downtown. Work is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year.

A man standing trial for the murder of a store clerk in February 2013 in Flagler County tried to dismiss his lawyers Monday. Jospeh Bova II told the court he wanted to fire the attorneys and then wanted more time so he could prepare his case since he would be representing himself. Circuit Judge Terence Perkins did listen but denied the request. Bova has said he shot Zuheili Rosado, a mother of five, but his defense is “not guilty by reason of insanity.” So far he’s been found incompetent to stand trial twice.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help to find a silver Chevrolet Equinox and the driver described as a person of interest because of a possible connection to an attempted home burglary last Thursday in the Johns Creek subdivision. The driver is described as a man with a shaved head in his late 30s to early  40s and about 5 feet 8 inches tall. Deputies are investigating the incident where a woman was at her home when a man walked inside. Another individual in the house hid in a room and called 911.

In schools across the state tomorrow students will be sitting down to lunch with their dads and dad figures. Putnam County School Superintendent Rick Surrency said the Dine with Dad event is a chance for students and Dad figures as well as uncles or brothers to enjoy time together and appreciate the value of education.

Want a scare and a chance to help rescue efforts in the Bahamas? Buy a ticket to the Purple Plum Playhouse’s upcoming production of The War of the Worlds on Oct. 25 and 26. Twenty dollars includes dinner and a show at the Howe Memorial Fellowship Hall in Crescent City. Actors will be doing a reading of the radio broadcast that when it aired in 1938 had thousands of people convinced aliens were invading. Just goes to show what radio and your imagination can accomplish. Call 386-503-8768 for details.

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