The Voice of the Gem City

Local News 11/2/2021

A picture of what the Palatka riverfront amphitheater should look like is on the front page of the Palatka Daily News.  Right now the amphitheater doesn’t have a roof on it.  The Palatka City Commission had to chip in ten thousand dollars from their reserves at their recent meeting to put towards the roof.  The project is part of a $100,000 grant from Lowes as part of the 100 Hometowns program.  Commissioners were not expecting to have to pay for the roof but project manager Mandy Tucker said increase construction costs have prompted the increase.

The Flagler County Commission Monday agreed to ask permission from the state to sublease more than half of a 44-acre parcel at the fairgrounds to Whispering Meadows Ranch, the equine therapy non-profit is now on John Anderson Highway. Plans call for 30 years with two 10-year renewals. State permission is the first step since the fairgrounds are on land owned by the state. Whispering Meadows has been at their current location for more than 20 years but in 2020 a group of neighbors said it was not properly zoned for what they called a business.

A St. Johns County school bus was involved in a crash Monday morning, according to Florida Highway Patrol. FPH went to the crash at 7 a.m. at State Road A1A North at Bermuda Bay Circle in Ponte Vedra Beach. Only three students were on the bus at the time and none were injured, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. The bus was headed to Landrum Middle School. A second bus crash happened about an hour later in Jacksonville on Interstate 295. For some reason the bus left the road hitting several trees. Four adults and three children were on the bus. The driver had minor injuries.

An Interlachen man has been arrested for child neglect after he was accused of driving while drunk with five children ages 1 to 17 in his vehicle.  29 year old Gregorio Bolanos  Aparicio was charged Sunday morning at 3::30am after being stopped by a deputy, after he also almost hit the deputy head on. He admitted he had been drinking about 12 beers at a party.

November is Native American Heritage Month. If you want to learn something about the first humans in the state the St. Augustine Archaeological Association is offering a special program via Zoom tonight at 7 p.m. Dr. Jon Endonino, assistant professor of archaeology at Eastern Kentucky University, will talk about ecology, ritual and mound-building at the Tomoka Mound and Midden Complex in the Ormond Beach area. Go to the St. Augustine Archaeological Association site. Log in at 6:45 p.m.

Veterans Day is Nov. 11. Palatka will be holding a parade and ceremony with Bert Hodge American Legion Post 45 overseeing the event. They’re looking for entries to take part in the parade that marches off at 10 a.m. from Eleventh Street up St. Johns Avenue to the riverfront. Veterans Day is a national holiday. Schools and many government offices will be closed in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties.

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