The Voice of the Gem City

News September 16, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A child’s mother and uncle are in Flagler County jail after the child who was in their car fell out of the back seat and they drove on unaware Wednesday on State Road 100. Jacob Santos, 18, and Desiree Rodriguez, 26, were heading west on 100 when the child fell out, according to a witness. Sheriff’s deputies were called and there when the two returned after other children in the car told them about the missing sibling. A strong odor of marijuana was coming from the car, according to deputies, and a search turned up smoked marijuana, a baggie of approximately 1 gram of marijuana a baggie of Xanax bar. The adults said they were headed from Miami to South Carolina to see family. Four children, ages 4 to 12, were originally in the back seat and none were wearing seatbelts and no car seat was in the vehicle, according to deputies. The man is in jail on a $3,400 bond, the woman on a $5,000 bond. The children were turned over to the Department of Children and Families.

Authorities are seeking a truck driver who struck and killed a man on Interstate 95 in St. Johns County early Wednesday morning. Florida Highway Patrol says the man, who was in his early 70s, wandered from the rest area on I-95 South and was hit by a semi truck that drove away. The man’s family has been notified, said FHP. The rest area is near County Road 210. That’s the same rest stop where a series of wrecks occurred about a month ago. Traffic in the north and southbound lanes was backed up for hours due to Wednesday’s accident and several alternate routes became clogged.

A Pine Island Academy ESE teacher has died from COVID-19, according to her family. Korey Harrington was an ESE teacher at the middle school and previously worked with special needs students at Nease High School. St. Johns County School District officials say school counselors and support groups will be at the school today to talk with students and staff as needed.

A student enrolled in an alternative learning program on the Flagler Palm Coast High School campus is charged with armed robbery. Skyler Thomas, 15, allegedly entered the GameStop store in Palm Coast’s Town Center, demand all the money from the cash register and threatened an employee with a handgun. He then headed to the Rise Up Program at the school. School Resource deputies had been alerted and saw a youth matching the clerk’s description trying to enter. Thomas was searched and money found but no firearm. That turned out to be in a ditch and was confirmed to be a plastic replica handgun. Thomas is charged with armed robbery, petit theft and violation of probation. He was turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice. In 2019 he was charged by the Bunnell Police Department with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and conspiracy to commit capital felony — murder. He was turned over to Juvenile Justice and put on probation.

San Mateo Presbyterian Church is holding monthly fish dinners once again with the September dinner today. You can pick up the dinners but no dine-in is available currently. The drive-thru begins at 4 p.m. Cost is $10. 

Come Friday, pull out the bells and party hats as the U.S. Constitution turns 234 years old. Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution across the nation are holding bell-ringing and commemorative ceremonies with bells set to ring out at 4 p.m. The William Bartram DAR Chapter will be on the steps of First Presbyterian Church of Palatka on the riverfront Friday beginning at 3:45 p.m. In St. Augustine the Maria Jefferson DAR Chapter will be in the Plaza de la Constitucion for the bell ringing at 4 p.m. A ceremony follows in the gazebo including Mayor Tracy Upchurch. Flagler County public library system plans a speech at 2 p.m. at the Palm Coast library on enslaved laborers and the Constitution. 

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