The Voice of the Gem City

News December 17, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Don’t stand in front of schools today in Putnam and Flagler counties, you could get trampled when the closing bells ring. Today’s the last day of school before Christmas holidays begin in those counties. St. Johns County students and teachers start their holidays next Wednesday.

Leota Wilkinson has filed her intent to run for the District 2 Putnam County Commission seat, according to Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III. District 2 is currently represented by Jeff Rawls.

A wreck in the Florahome area this morning is under investigation by Florida Highway Patrol. The accident was at State Road 100 and Sipprell Road in Putnam County.

In St. Johns County a couple of wrecks along Interstate 95 on Thursday and Wednesday caused issues. The Thursday crash was in the morning on International Golf Parkway which was shut down between U.S. 1 and I-95. On Wednesday night a semi caught fire on I-95 North near Mile Marker 330 shortly before 9 p.m. Jacksonville on Thursday night saw a chain wreck involving 35 cars on Airport Road. Some 11 people were reported injured. Another wreck was reported at State Road 207.

The U.S. border crisis and inflation are among issues on northeast Floridians’ minds based on a telephone survey by U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack. Cammack held a town hall meeting via telephone Thursday with hundreds of people listening in. Asked by one caller her political affiliation, Cammack, a first-time representative, said first of all, she was an American. Then a Republican. The caller identified herself as a Democrat and wished her luck before hanging up. Cammack noted the important thing was for elected representatives to represent all the people, voters and non-voters alike.

The Flagler Health +, which runs Flagler Hospital, has bought about 70 acres in Palm Coast and plans to develop a comprehensive health complex including an inpatient hospital. The property, bought from Florida Landmark Communities LLC, is on the west side of U.S. 1 where Palm Coast Parkway and U.S. 1 meet. It’s part of a continuing expansion by the health facility that included graduate medical education programs and clinical services across northeast Florida including new primary care site I St. Johns and Flagler counties.

The generosity of a St. Augustine residents will benefit the St. Johns Council on Aging. Inez McDonald, 97, recently donated $100,000 that will go to renovate the front entrance of the Marine Street facility making it easier to negotiate. There’s a lady definitely in the Christmas spirit.

Christmas events are plentiful. At Bronson-Mulholland House in Palatka tonight the Putnam County Community Band performs during a free open house from 5-7 p.m. Tours of the decorated-to-the-rafters house are available led by Putnam County Historical Society members. The Palatka Art League’s Holiday House is open today through Sunday with eight rooms of artists’ creations for sale. Saturday St. James United Methodist Church holds a breakfast benefiting the youth department from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with special guest Santa Claus. Ravine Gardens State Park holds a Christmas Present Hunt Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The City of Palatka is hosting a Jingle Jam at the riverfront from Saturday from 1-8 p.m. Live music, free kids games, vendors and food trucks will be there along with Santa. At 4:45 p.m. the city, Lowe’s and Palatka Rotary dedicate an open air amphitheater. The Wiz Production: Youth Rendition is set for C.L. Overturf Jr. Center on South 18th Street in Palatka Saturday at 6 p.m. by The Heart & Soul Youth Fine Arts Club. While Nights of Lights continues in St. Augustine, Elkton offers its own light show at Sykes Family Farms with Elkton’s Bright Nights of Drive Thru Lights tonight through Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. The Nutcracker Ballet will be performed Saturday and Sunday at Lewis Auditorium in St. Augustine. In Palm Coast Saturday it’s the annual Boat Parade featuring more than 65 vessels. It’s a full moon night so it should be special.

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