The Voice of the Gem City

News October 18, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.


Crisp weather this morning with Tuesday expected to have that fall nip also. Great day to enjoy nature’s air conditioning outside. If you’ve got the time Ravine Gardens State Park could use your help Tuesday. The Garden Club of Palatka will be among those  helping them plant 400 new azalea bushes and they need some more volunteers. Come for an hour or more and help make the park off Twigg Street a bit more beautiful this spring. Digging starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday.


Palatka Mayor Terrill Hill is scheduled to go before the Putnam County School Board Tuesday at 6 p.m. with a proposal to buy former Jenkins Middle School on North 19th Street. He wants to make it a government complex with most city departments moving there. This proposal has never been before the Palatka City Commission for discussion and no vote of approval for the expenditure has been held in the public nor have people had a chance to express their opinions. Hill reportedly is offering $600,000 of city money for the 30 plus acres and school building which opened in 1955. He’s also offering the City Hall annex on North Second Street across from school district headquarters. He and district officials have been negotiating the sale. This summer the city commission after discussion bought the gymnasium at the school for $10. This year and next they’re scheduled to spend more than $370,000 on the building including replacing the roof, sprinkler system and HVAC system.


Florida Highway Patrol reports a 35-year-old Crescent City woman died Friday afternoon in a single-car crash on Denver Road, south of Crescent City. She was headed east on Denver when the vehicle veered to the left and onto the shoulder of the roadway, colliding with a tree and killing the driver. An 8-year-old girl in the car had only minor injuries. Neither was wearing a seatbelt, according to the FHP report.


A 63-year-old Flagler County man is in Flagler jail charged with first-degree attempted murder of his roommate. Steven J. Schneider on Thursday allegedly attacked his 29-year-old roommate with a hammer and knife. The roommate and his 68-year-old mother were watching television in the man’s room when Schneider allegedly entered and started going through the closet, which wasn’t his. The roommate asked what he was doing and Schneider allegedly lunged at him with a 12-inch knife in one hand and with a hammer in the other, knocking the man’s mother. The roommate fought Schneider off, and Sheriff’s deputies were called. Schneider is in Flagler County jail on a $100,000 bond. In August 2020 he was arrested for strangling and battering his daughter. In May of this year he was arrested for violating an injunction and stalking a 57-year-old woman. In July he agreed to take an anger management course and had no contact orders from his previous arrests.


A Flagler County student was arrested Thursday after resisting and battering a school resource deputy and bringing drugs to schools. The Matanzas High School student on Thursday was found with a dab pen that tested positive for illegal THC. Dab pens are electronic devices that release vaporized marijuana. He was asked to stand but disregarded school resource officers who told him he was under arrest for the pen. When a resource office attempted to lift him from the chair, he resisted and head-butted the resource officer in the officer’s head. He was then secured by two officers and charged with possession of hashish, resisting officer with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. After being taken to the jail he was released to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice. 


Coming Tuesday expect high tides as another week of King tides moves in affecting not only the coasts of St. Johns and Flagler counties but the St. Johns River in Putnam County. King Tides are the highest predicted high tides of the year and often cause flooding.

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