The Voice of the Gem City

News August 20, 2021

The head of the City of Palatka’s sports program and cultural resources is proposing the city sell both the city-owned Tilghman House and Hammock Hall. The Tilghman on  River Street is the gateway to the South Historic District and the home of the Palatka Art League for 25 years. Hammock Hall is a community building in the South Historic District used for meetings and civic gatherings. Eddie Cutwright and staff also are recommending giving the city’s Waterworks Environmental Facility to Ravine Gardens State Park. Those recommendations and others involving the future of almost all of the city’s buildings used by non-profit civic groups goes before the Palatka City Commission Thursday.

A march at the Putnam County Court House to protest the Confederate memorial is set for Saturday in downtown Palatka. Tevel Adams hopes to get a 100 people at the rally which is being put on by a group known as Take ‘Em Down Putnam. Recently a member of their group climbed up on the statue and hung up a sign of protest. A woman who heard about it, walked down and climbed up to take the sign down then went back to a restaurant to finish her lunch. Neither was arrested or cited by Putnam County Sheriff’s Office which has control of the county facility. Adams says he also plans a silent protest on Monday on St. Johns Avenue and on Aug. 27 at the courthouse. At least one civic group found a message about the Saturday march posted on their Facebook page without permission. 

A Flagler County man is being held in a Volusia County jail after he alleged strangled the family cat following two weeks of erratic behavior. Darren Kuback, 53, was charged with a felony count of animal cruelty, a third-degree felony, Tuesday. Bond was set at $100.000. The man’s wife, who said her husband had loved and cared for the cat previously, told Flagler County deputies her husband’s medication had recently been changed causing his behavior to change. He was due to go to the hospital for an evaluation before the incident and has had mental health issues in the past.

St. Augustine Music Festival has postponed planned performances tonight and tomorrow at the Cathedral Basilica in downtown St. Augustine. Coronavirus concerns apparently led to the cancellations. King and Country, which had to reschedule in 2020 due to coronavirus, is still slated to put on their show Sunday at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Country music maverick Steve Earle & The Dukes will perform at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Saturday.

A Ponte Vedra man was arrested Wednesday  on charges including soliciting a minor for sex, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. Tracy Shackelford, 32, was arrested as part of an undercover investigation. He allegedly responded to a post created by a detective on social media and thought he was talking with a 13-year-old girl. Shackelford went into “explicit detail on sexual acts he wanted to perform and set up a meeting. When he got to the agreed on location, detectives met him.

A Florida Highway Patrol vehicle was involved in a wreck early this morning in Putnam County at County Road 310 and Florida Road, according to the FHP wreck site. All lanes were blocked but the area has been cleared. 

Gina’s, the clever and tasty restaurant that opened at Crystal Cove, holds their last dinner tonight. In a post on Facebook, owners noted “as we have seen the current climate does not provide the environment needed to grow and thrive as a small business. Do no fear we will be back when things are better.”

With schools open, football programs are beginning with scrimmages planned in the three county area. In Palatka at what is now Palatka Jr.-Sr. High the Panthers will play Orange Park Ridgeview and Yulee High in a jamboree style event at Memorial Stadium tonight. Flagler Palm Coast will play Nease High School from St. Johns County at the Palm Coast school in Flagler.

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