The Voice of the Gem City

LOCAL NEWS 12 14 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
A plan to tear down the Magic Beach Motel on Vilano Beach and replace it with a nearly 200 room hotel isn’t happening. Miami developer Key International won’t be buying the property in St. Johns County, according to current owners. Key developed Embassy Suites in St. Augustine. They faced opposition from residents concerned about the size of the project and its impact on the small beach community. About a month ago St. Johns County commissioners upheld a denial of the project by the North Coastal Design Review Board.
Putnam County’s Angela TenBroeck has been chosen Florida’s Woman of the Year in Agriculture, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture. TenBroeck oversees a hydroponic operation in the Federal Point area with tilapia a major crop. A fourth generation farmer, she is founder and CEO of Worldwide Aquaponics.
The Christmas countdown is on for area schools. Last day for  Putnam and Flagler counties is this Friday In St. Johns classes continue  through the Dec. 19. Putnam schools resume on Jan. 3, St. Johns Jan. 4 and Flagler Jan. 5. In Flagler teachers will be back earlier for in-service training and planning days.
This morning in the Julington Creek area fire crews from St. John County and Jacksonville were battling a residential structure fire in the 700 block of Peppervine Avenue. Fire and heavy smoke were seen coming through the roof of the house around 8:45 a.m. Jacksonville Fire Rescue responded as part of a mutual aid agreement since Julington Creek is at the St. Johns-Duval border.
Only a handful of residents turned out for a community input meeting on recreation in Palatka Monday but they and Palatka commissioners were enthusiastic about the idea.  Officials are looking for suggested recreation activities as well as programs for the former Jenkins Middle School gym. Also being discussed is an adopt-a-park and park watch program for facilities in the city including ones built by the Palatka Housing Authority. More meetings are planned after the first of the year.
A child who fell from a moving van on King Estate Road near Dobbs Road in St. Augustine Monday evening is expected to recover, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. The incident happened around 5 p.m. 
As Christmas nears, State of Florida employees are getting an early present since Christmas and New Year’s both fall on Saturday this year. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday state offices will close Dec. 23 and 24 for Christmas and Dec. 30 and 31 for New Year’s. 
And for Beach Boys fans, another present. They’ll be performing at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on March 5. The group has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

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