The Voice of the Gem City

News November 1, 2021

12:26 PM (0 minutes ago)
to marcia, me

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.


First day of November and everyone’s noticing the chill in the air. Expect it to continue with highs in the 70s during the day and lows at night in the 50s. Cooler weather also means it’s time to turn on your gas heaters. Palatka Gas Authority says expect the bill to go up this year. In line with the  nationwide trend, Gas Authority officials say prices are expected to go up 35 to 40 percent this winter. Asked by Palatka City commissioners at Thursday’s meeting about expansion of services, Authority General Manager Brett Dennis said they’ve received a number of requests from East Palatka, particularly along East River Road. Commissioners did talk about helping customers who fall behind in their bills, providing up to six months of help. In a way of the city paying the city.


A 29-year-old Flagler County father is facing up to 80 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of several charges regarding his treatment of his then 20-month-old son. The jury took only about 70 minutes to return guilty verdicts against Deviaun Toler on four charges he brutalized and burned his son more than three years ago. After the verdict, Toler was taken to jail, his bond revoked. He’ll be sentenced Jan. 7, but is unlikely to get the full sentence, say court observers, noting it’s his first conviction.


King Tides are returning to the area Wednesday meaning probable nuisance flooding in coastal and low-lying areas. King Tides are the highest predicted high tides of the year and this one will continue through Sunday. St. Augustine officials are reminding people to be cautious particularly if driving through standing water in the lower-than-sea-level town. 


Flagler Palm Coast High School is the latest area school to be hit by threats on social media. On Friday Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies and school officials were giving extra attention to the high school after a post indicating a teacher would be shot. It’s part of what FPC principal Greg Schwartz called in his robocall to parents part of a “troubling social media trend seen across the country in the last couple of weeks”. Last week St. Johns County had two such incidents — one at Nease High School and the other at Pedro Menendez High School. Officials say the problem begins when someone shares a generic threat of violence on social media and a similar local post spins off from it. Officials respond even though they question the validity of the threat. Only object seems to be to disrupt schools.


A memorial service for retired Putnam County Judge Pete Miller, 77, will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka. Calling hours will begin at 1 p.m. Miller, who died Oct. 28, grew up in Interlachen, graduated from Florida State University Law School and had a private practice in Putnam until 1984. That’s when he ran for and was elected County Judge of Putnam and was re-elected seven times serving 28 years before his retirement. He never drew an opponent. After his retirement, he served as Senior Judge in the 7th Judicial Circuit. 


Florida Highway Patrol has released the name of the man killed Thursday in a wreck in Grandin. Dr. Howard Ramsey, 86, was a cardiologist who started the Interventional Cardiology Unit at Shands in Gainesville and later headed the IC unit at North Florida Regional. His wife is the former Nancy Kelly of Palatka.


Palatka City Commissioner Rufus Borom wants to see developers and businessmen in Palatka putting up new construction help with the homeless issue. At Thursday’s Palatka Commission meeting he told both the developer of a proposed complex on the former Florida Furniture site and a businessman expanding facilities on Reid Street that units for the homeless need to be added into their plans. Still up for discussion where and how large such facilities need to be.

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