The Voice of the Gem City

LOCAL NEWS 5/20/2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Florida Highway Patrol says a man struck and killed Wednesday afternoon in Francis appeared to walk into the path of a truck driven by a 68-year-old Interlachen man. The accident happened around 4 p.m. on State Road 20 near Motes Road in Putnam County. FHP reports the truck was headed west on SR 20 and hauling an empty utility trailer. The pedestrian, whose name, residence and age have not been released, was walking from the north side of SR 20 in a southerly direction when he walked in front of the truck.

Flagler County School Board continues wrestling with the future of the district-owned Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club. At a workshop Tuesday the board listened to options including selling the facility owned by the district since 1997. Also discussed restricting use to students and not allowing the public to have memberships, leasing the operation or continuing operations but doubling the membership fees. No decision has been reached.

Regional high school baseball playoffs continue but not for Ponte Vedra High School. The St. Johns County team’s hopes for a Region 1-5A win came to an end Wednesday night with a 13-1 loss to Mosley High School out of Lynn Haven during the game at Ponte Vedra.

It’s Bear Week and time to take care when dealing with the native black bears, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Spring and summer are the most active time for the mammals that usually mate in July. With more homes being built in what is native habitat, homeowners need to never intentionally feed or approach bears, secure all food, garbage and recycling and remove bird feeders and feed pets indoors. C.J. Morris of Putnam County knows all about the bears – on Facebook she noted spotting one in the morning and when she came home in the evening finding the bear had torn into her chicken coop, killing six hens. Her husband is putting up metal bars to deter the bears.

A 14-year-old St. Johns County runaway is being sought in Putnam County as well as St. Johns. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office says Zakhia Uzzle, 14, of Hastings, ran away from her residence on May 13. She has been in contact with her family by phone and was previously found in the area of Ash Street in Palatka and may have returned. Authorities say anyone helping the girl could be in violation of a St. Johns County issued court order. Call 386-329-0800 if you have information.

St. Johns County has passed the 23,000 mark for coronavirus cases, according to Florida Department of Health. Since March of last year, St. Johns has had 23,001 cases with 37 new cases Wednesday. Putnam reported 10 new cases for a total of 6,625. Flagler has eight new cases for a total of 7,413.

St. Augustine Amphitheatre is swinging back into action. Friday Grammy winners’ Old Crow Medicine Show with special guest Molly Tuttle performs and on Saturday it’s Blue Oyster Cult with special guests Mark Farner’s American Band.

In Palatka Live at the Larimer returns to Larimer Arts Center this Friday for the first live performances in more than a year. Arts Council of Greater Palatka reopens with Chuck Hardwicke, Sam Wimberly and guest Robert Murff offering county, folk, pop and Western swing music on the Scarlett-Hill stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door and it’s a great chance to enjoy music and show your support for the Arts Council and live performances.

Congrats to Andrea and Harry Gillean in Putnam County. They just celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary Wednesday. Still miss Andrea’s Bookstore.

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