The Voice of the Gem City

January 9, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Schools are in the news.

In Flagler County a teacher at Buddy Taylor Middle School is under investigation after a video showed him physically removing a 14-year-old student from his chair, carrying him into the hallway and pushing him. Jeffrey Paffumi, 47, was arrested and charged with battery after the student reported the Tuesday incident to his parents and they called the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. The district has placed Paffumi on leave pending an investigation. School superintendent James Tager said an investigation is underway, adding a video shows only a portion of an incident and the total incident will be investigated. A fellow student filmed the episode.

In St. Johns County School Superintendent Tim Forson was handing out flowers and balloons Wednesday to the top five finalists for the district’s teacher of the year honors. Finalists include Aletha Dresback, Julie Durden, Julie Haden, Lori Price and Evan Tisdale. Winner will be announced Jan. 31 at the annual teacher banquet.

In Putnam County students returned to class Wednesday after two weeks vacation. Interlachen High School students found themselves on lockdown about 12:51 p.m. when the automated system activated. Law enforcement and school officials searched the campus before lifting the lockdown at 1:27. An investigation is ongoing to determine cause of the lockdown.

Diocese of St. Augustine took to Facebook to refudiate claims that a former cardinal removed from the priesthood in disgrace was living at the diocese’s Marywood facility. Earlier this week an article in Church Militant reported former Cardinal Theordore McCarrick was at the facility after leaving another church property in Kansas. He was expelled from the priesthood following an investigation into sex abuse.

Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating discovery of a body at Yacht Harbor Marina in Palm Coast Wednesday. A call to the Sheriff’s Office sent a deputy to the scene abround 10:15 a.m. and the body of an adult was found in the water.

St. Augustine Beach has a new mayor. Margaret England was sworn in Monday along with Maggie Kostka who will be vice mayor. The commission yearly votes in the two positions.

In Palatka fishermen competing in the 2020 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River are already on the river. They’re scoping out best spots for finding bass during the upcoming tournament Feb. 6-9.

A prescribed burn in southern Putnam County Wednesday drew attention. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission conducted the 122-acre burn in an area southwest of Rodman and east of State Road 19.


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