The Voice of the Gem City

News May 5, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Putnam County holds a National Day of Prayer gathering Thursday in downtown Palatka. The gathering is from noon to 1 p.m. and originally was set for the gazebo at the Putnam County Courthouse. Rain predictions have caused the ceremony to be moved to St. James United Methodist Church across from the Courthouse. Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a National Day of Prayer breakfast and program at the Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Coast Thursday beginning at 7:30 a.m.

New LED lights planned for St. Augustine Beach have some people concerned. The brightness of the lights that will be going up along Beach Boulevard are raising questions about how that will affect turtles. Turtle nesting season got underway Saturday and part of the effort involves not using bright white lights, which disorient the nesting turtles. One resident at the St. Augustine Beach City Commission meeting Monday noted the planned lights are brighter than a full moon.

Palm Coast City Council Tuesday joined Flagler County government in revoking their year-long mask mandate. The unanimous decision came as Gov. Ron DeSantis ended the coronavirus-related mandate for the state. In Palm Coast enforcement of the mask mandate at city meetings has led to some contentious moments between commissioners and the audience and between commissioners and commissioners.

A 19-year-old woman faces three years in prison and three years probation after pleading to conspiring to armed robbery and principal to armed robbery and shooting in 2018 in Palm Coast. Lauryn Darnell was 17 at the time of the robbery and shooting of Carl Saint Felix. She could have gotten a maximum of 30 years but was adjudicated as a “youthful offender” because she didn’t have prior felony convictions. Darnell sat in the back of Saint Felix’s car attempting to convince him it was only a marijuana buy rather than a plot to rob him, according to authorities.

In Flagler County an 18-year-old will go on trial May 24 on a first-degree murder charge. Benjamin Allen is accused of the shooting death of 17-year-old Elijah Rizvan during a marijuana buy. Allen, who was 16 at the time, reportedly was with another individual when they stopped to make the deal. No one else has been arrested in the shooting that happened more than a year-and-a-half ago.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office new District 2 office this morning. The office is at 14 Palm Harbor Village Way in Palm Coast.

In St. Johns County Florida Department of Transportation is working on Interstate 95 from State Road 207 to the Flagler County line. Daytime lane closures are weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for shoulder work.

Coming up Saturday at the Bronson-Mulholland House in Palatka living history re-enactors from St. Augustine and Palatka will offer visitors a step back in history to meet civilians and military personnel in the area during the Civil War. Rob Matson and several other military re-enactors will have exhibits including U.S. Navy items from the period. St. Augustine re-enactors will portray the Sanchez Sisters, Confederate spies, Mary Emily Boyd, the lady who save Palatka from being bombed by the Union Navy, her husband the sheriff and former Gov. William D. Moseley. Putnam County Historical Society docents will provide tours of the house. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the house at 100 Madison Street.

Romanza Festivale of Music and the Arts in St. Augustine continues tonight with the opening of two comic operettas – Cox and Box and Penelope Ann’s Revenge – put on by A Classic Theatre and First Coast. The performance from 7:30-9 at Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center at 102 M.L. King Jr. Ave. The performance is free.

Palatka High School Musical Theatre Department beginning Thursday offers the second and final weekend of Matilda the Musical at C.L. Overturf Jr. Sixth Grade Center auditorium. The musical runs through Sunday. Call Ralph’s House of Flowers at 386-325-4734 for tickets.

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