The Voice of the Gem City

November 22, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

1492 sails into St. Augustine this evening as a 200-ton replica of the ship Christopher Columbus used comes in on the evening high tide. The Nao Santa Maria will be at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina and open for tours Saturday and Sunday before leaving Monday. The Nao Santa María is a replica of the ship Columbus first sailed to North America and self-guided tours include the ship’s four decks. Tickets are available dockside.

Flagler County is once again seeking its third school superintendent in six years. Jim Tager has proven a popular superintendent, leading the district back to A status, but he is limited out because he’s in the DROP program and will be leaving at the end of this school year. Public hearings are beginning including one last night. Less than a dozen members of the public turned out to say what they want in a new superintendent.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in getting a Grinch off the streets. Kimberly Longhi, 33, of Palatka has multiple warrants for her arrest. Charges include dealing in stolen property, grand theft and providing false information when pawning items. Call the Sheriff’s Office or CrimeStoppers of NE Florida.

It’s St. Augustine’s weekend to celebrate as the annual Nights of Lights opens Saturday. At 4 p.m. Showtime USA performs in front of City Hall. At 5:30 p.m. the All Star Orchestra tunes up in the Plaza de la Constitucion. At 6:30 p.m. it’s time to turn on those three million lights downtown with honors going to former St. Augustine Mayor Ramelle Petroglu and justretired city public information director Paul Williamson.

Next weekend it will be Palatka’s chance to shine during the 110th Christmas parade on St. Johns Avenue. More than 70 groups are committed and Parade Chair Sam Deputy is looking for even more. Among those coming the Double Trouble Victorians from St. Augustine and a former Florida Azalea beauty queen. Sara Hollingsworth was 17 when she won the state title in 1958. The parade is Friday, Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving.

On Thursday the state of Florida officially took possession of Fish Island off the State Road 312 bridge in St. Augustine. The 57-acre property will become a passive recreational park for public use with the City of St. Augustine managing the effort. A lease between the state and city is expected to be signed shortly. The city will have a year to come up with an approved management plan for the next 10 years.

A reminder today is the 56th anniversary of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. It’s one of those dates people always remember where they were when they heard the news.

The investiture ceremony for recently appointed Flagler County Judge Andrea Totten is today at 4:40 p.m. at Channel Side in Palm Coast. Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Totten to the bench in October. Earlier this year the Legislature approved a second county court seat for Flagler. She’ll be joining County Judge Melissa Distler. Flagler circuit judges are Terence Perkins and Chris France.

Flagler County Public Library opens its 18th annual Festival of Trees tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the main library 2500 Palm Coast Parkway NW. Trees and wreaths decorated by civic and community organizations will be on display and Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for the children.

In Palatka Saturday visit St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. They’re holding their annual bazaar beginning at 9 a.m. Great shopping and visiting.


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