The Voice of the Gem City

Local News 12/23/2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Christmas is going to have a wintry feel this year. Tonight’s low is at 57, but Christmas Eve 37 is predicted as well as a thunderstorm. Christmas night widespread frost will be moving in with a low around 28 degrees. It’s shaping to be the coldest Christmas for the area I 20 years. Even though no snow is predicted Santa and his sleigh will be coasting in.

National health experts are urging people not to gather for Christmas but you might consider gathering the household together and taking a drive through area neighborhoods. In St. Augustine Nights of Lights are drawing in crowds for what Conde Nast and Country Living publication are calling one of “The Best Places to Spend Christmas in the U.S.” Don’t forget St. Augustine Beach is lighted for the holidays as well. Elkton has its Bright Lights on at the Sykes Family Farms Thursday-Sunday. In Flagler County tonight’s the last night to enjoy the Twinkle display at the Florida Agricultural Museum but the Palm Coast Fantasy of Lights continues in Central Park through Dec. 30. It’s the 15th year Rotary Club of Flagler County has put on the event. In Palatka, no official display this year but drive around the North Historic District including the Bronson-Mulholland House on Madison Street and then head over to the South Historic District. Finish it up with a drive down St. Johns Avenue where the trees are wrapped in white lights.

A group seeking removal of the statue remembering Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War now says they may sue officials. One of the organizers of a group calling itself Putnam Alliance for Equity and Justice told Putnam County Commission Tuesday legal action is being considered. The commission several months ago said they would look at moving the statue if the group could raise $200,000 locally within three months. The group didn’t raise objections then but now says the commission was setting them up for failure in moving the statue from the courthouse.

A 43-year-old Flagler County man is in jail after fighting Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies who were responding to a call for help after a confrontation with family members escalated. Kevin Raby, who reportedly had gone without sleep for five days, has a history of mental illness and a verbal argument had turned into a fight, according to authorities. When a deputy arrived, Raby challenged him, eventually charging at him and getting into a scuffle. Two shots from a stun gun did not stop Raby. It took two more deputies and another stun gun to finally get him into deputy’s car. Raby ended up in the county jail facing charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, battery on a police officer and resisting arrest with violence, all felonies.

St. Johns County has reduced its reported number of coronavirus-related deaths by one, according to the Florida Department of Health daily reports. The number of deaths since counting began in March is now 109. In addition, 164 cases of coronavirus were reported Tuesday, bringing the total for the year to 11,659. In Putnam County, 31 new cases were reported with two transfers out of county. Total number of coronavirus cases for Putnam is at 3,594. Flagler County reported one new death, putting the year’s total at 48. Thirty-three new cases were reported Tuesday, bringing the total in Flagler to 3,346.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a wreck this morning in Palatka. One lane of traffic at County Road 216 and Reid Street was blocked after the wreck that happened around 6 a.m. CR 216 runs by Georgia-Pacific.

WPLK and WIYD will get you in the Christmas mood Thursday night with a presentation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The recording dates back to the days when radio and imagination ruled and is the 1939 Campbell Playhouse production featuring Orson Wells and Lionel Barrymore. It goes on the air at 8 p.m

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