The Voice of the Gem City

News November 15, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

It was a theatrical sort of Sunday world-wide as musical theater fans turned out for All Together Now, a musical review including hit songs from a variety of recent musicals. In Palatka 60 current and former Palatka High School Musical Theatre students took to the stage to perform at C.L. Overturf Center before an almost-capacity crowd. Part of the audience ended up on stage when director Jim Pignato urged those who had worked on past performances either behind the scenes or on stage to come up for a group photo. It took a wide angle lens to get everyone in the picture. In Palm Coast City Repertory Theatre also put on the musical review this weekend as part of an effort headed by Music Theatre International to help bring people back into theaters.

Putnam County School Board member Bud McInnis will seek re-election. He’s filed his intent to run for District 4 with Putnam Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III. 

At First Baptist Church in Bunnell today services for Bunnell Police Department Sgt. Dominic Guida are being held. Guida, 43, died of a heart attack during a training session last week and is the first officer from the Bunnell department to die in the line of duty.

A survey by St. Johns River Water Management District seeking people’s input on the environmental and economic impact of Kirkpatrick Dam at Rodman Reservoir in Putnam County hasn’t apparently settled any questions. The dam was to be part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal, a project that was halted several decades ago. Since then the area has become a major recreation and fishing area although environmentalists say it needs to be removed and the natural flow of the Ocklawaha River restored. The survey was suppose to provide feedback from local community members and stakeholders. However, apparently only about 4 percent of the nearly 10,500 people who answered the survey were Putnam residents. The majority of people answering the survey — 86 percent — wanted the dam breached. However, Rodman supporters are questioning the data and the exact-same wording in a number of responses.

Ponte Vedra High School students in St. Johns County have to be pumped up today. On Saturday the Sharks swim team won the Class 3A state swimming and diving championship in Stuart. Their best placing in the past was sixth place in 2012. Those wins come following a week that saw the Ponte Vedra girls cross country team win the 3A state championship and the girls volleyball team win their third consecutive state championship match. They’re nationally ranked.

A pair of South Carolina residents accused of a carjacking were captured Thursday by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were alerted that a stolen red Camaro might be in the San Mateo area and had been stopped the night before in Volusia County where the driver got away from a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. Putnam deputies found the car at a gas station near the intersection of U.S. 17 and State Road 100 and pulled the vehicle over. Driver Curtis Dwight Thompkins, 23, was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and interfering with the custody of a minor. He also faces multiple charges in South Carolina for carjacking the Camaro’s owner at gunpoint. His front seat passenger, Shaquanna Satterwhite, 21, was taken back to Volusia. She reportedly was driving the car when it was stopped the day before. Two other passengers in the car included a missing juvenile from North Carolina. The teen was taken by a Department of Children and Families employee to Savannah where she met her mother. The other passenger was identified as Sydney Reed of Longwood, Fl., who was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

State legislators are in Tallahassee today for the opening of a special session. Gov. Ron DeSantis and  legislators are fighting back against the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Pres. Biden’s new rules apply to 84 million workers nationwide at mid-size and large companies. Companies in the private sector who have 100 or more workers are required to be fully vaccinated or must be tested for the virus weekly and wear to masks. The mandate is set to go into effect Jan. 2. 

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