The Voice of the Gem City

News 11/10/2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A 13-year-old missing since October is back with his family in Flagler County. Xandar Garrett was located Sunday in Pinellas County and turned over to the Sheriff’s Office there. They contacted his family who were able to pick him up. Sheriff Rick Staly thanked the community for helping to share the story and keeping a lookout for the boy.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County reported three new resident coronavirus cases and one non-Florida case on Monday. Total number of cases since counting began is now at 2,489 in Putnam.  In Flagler County nine new cases were reported, bringing the total to 2,295 cases. St. Johns County reported 38 new cases, bringing their coronavirus total to 7,084. Coronavirus test sites will be closed Wednesday in honor of Veterans Day.

While large public observances normally held on Veterans Day canceled due to coronavirus, smaller events are taking place. Among events in Putnam County will be a rally and walk over Memorial Bridge led by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3349. The rally is at 10:45 a.m. at Riverfront Park, the walk begins at 11:11 a.m. The time is in commemoration of the ending of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

Five priests who formerly served within the diocese of St. Augustine are among 97 priests who state investigators named as being credibly accused of sexually abusing children within Florida’s Catholic churches. Named were Father John Dux, Richard Bowles, William Malone, Thomas McNamara and William Weinheimer. Dux and Weinheimer are the only two still living. None of the 97 can be prosecuted because they are either dead or the statute of limitations has run out, according to the Office of Statewide Prosecution which has been investigating the history of sex abuses.

The case regarding a restaurant suing Flagler County for breach of contract goes before Circuit Court Judge Terence Perkins Wednesday. Two years ago Flagler County Commission voted to rebuild and expand Captain’s BBQ at the county’s Bing’s Landing park. A flood of protests from the public especially in the Hammock area eventually led the county to retract that decision and Captain’s sued. The county is seeking to have the case thrown out, arguing in part that they didn’t follow their own rules.

When coronavirus began shutting down events earlier this year, one of the victims was the annual musical put on by the Palatka High School Musical Theatre Department. That meant a lot of disappointed student performers and audiences. Now word is director Jim Pignato will put on the planned West Side Story production Dec. 10-13 at C.L. Overturf Sixth Grade Center Auditorium. Tickets are on sale at Ralph’s House of Flowers 386-325-4734. Social distancing will limit seating.

Putnam Habitat for Humanity is readying for its second build to construct a house for a veteran. Director Ramicah Johnson says the house will go at Veterans Village of Palatka off Westover Drive. Already helping out is Georgia-Pacific that recently gave a $15,000 donation to the project. Applications are still being taken from honorably discharged military veterans. Call Habitat at 386-325-5862. 

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