The Voice of the Gem City

local news 6 /3 /2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Schools dominate the news as the school year winds down. Wednesday night Flagler County high school seniors from Mantanzas High and Flagler-Palm Coast High graduated in back-to-back ceremonies at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. Today is the last day of classes for the rest of Flagler County as students go on their summer break. Friday will be the last day for teachers.

Although St. Johns County students continue in class through most of next week, seniors won’t be in class since graduation ceremonies are this week and all at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. On Tuesday St. Augustine High held ceremonies and on Wednesday Pedro Menendez High. Tonight Allen Nease High School graduates. Friday it’s Bartram Trail High School and on Saturday Creekside High holds ceremonies in the morning and Ponte Vedra High School in the evening. Threat of rain has already caused seven Jacksonville schools to move their ceremonies from evening to morning. In May St. Johns Virtual School held their ceremony at First Coast Technical Center and St. Johns Technical High School at St. Augustine High’s Auditorium.

Putnam County schools will graduate next week beginning with E.H. Miller School on Tuesday. Last day of school for students in Putnam is June 10.

Florida Department of Health in both Flagler and Putnam counties report one new coronavirus-related death each this week. Flagler County Wednesday reported three new cases bringing the total since counting began in March a year ago to 7,504. A total of 113 deaths has been reported in that time. Putnam County reported seven new coronavirus cases for a total of 6,727. Coronavirus-related death total in Putnam is 159. St. Johns County reported 19 new cases for a total of 23, 301.

Coronavirus cancelled last year’s St. Augustine Greek Festival so this year Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church decided on a Greek Food To Go Fest. You can order food for Friday and/or Saturday and then pick it up at the church on County Road 214. Pick-up hours on Friday are 3-8 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. You want to order now to be sure of getting best choices. Call them at or call 904-829-0504. The church is looking at an expanded festival celebrating all Greek culture in October.

Bartram Trail High School’s yearbook saga continues. Now the company that put out the yearbook is offering free unedited replacement books after a controversy begun by students and parents over the decision to photo edit 83 girls’ pictures considered to show more cleavage than the school dress code allows. The beauty product firm Dove also made an offer to pay for reprints. A school board sanctioned committee reportedly including the two freshmen girls who helped organize the protest and their mothers is to look at revamping the dress code. Among changes some would like to see — removing the word “modest” and defining the term “distracting.”

Ancient City Slickers will be playing old-time Americana music in the Plaza de la Constitucion in downtown St. Augustine as the city kicks off the 30th season of Concerts in the Plaza. The weekly 7 p.m. concerts are free and open to the public.

A shotgun-carrying 14-year-old girl shot by Volusia County officers Tuesday after a standoff that went on for hours is reported in stable condition after surgery. The girl, who has Flagler County connections, and a 12-year-old boy face charges of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and armed burglar of a dwelling. Nicole Jackson and Travis O’Brien ran away from Florida United Methodist Children’s Home on Tuesday, broke into a house and then got into the standoff using at least some firearms found in the house. The boy was holding an AK-47 but surrendered to deputies. The girl threated to shoot a sheriff’s sergeant and later pointed a shotgun at officers. She refused to drop her weapon when commanded and deputies fired. The girl previously was accused of stealing puppies and setting her Flagler County halfway house on fire, according to reports.

Check your wallet and under the car seat. You’re looking for the a winning Fantasy 5 ticket from August 1 of last year The $54.435/07 prize is still unclaimed, according to the Florida Lottery. The ticket was sold at the Circle K on U.S, 17 in Satsuma. Numbers are 6-9-15-28-32. Deadline to collect is June 15.

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