The Voice of the Gem City

News January 7, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A St. Augustine trolley car driver is facing charges following a wreck in July of 2021. The State Attorney’s Office has charged Gregory Robinson, 72, with reckless driving with serious bodily injury and damage to person or property. Bond for Robinson has been set at $11,000. The accident in July of 2021 happened on the street by the Oldest House when Robinson took a corner. According to reports he “gunned” the engine and warned people to be careful. The third and last car on the trolley tipped and 12 people were reported injured. Most had minor injuries although three were reported with moderate injuries according to the St. Augustine Police Department. In November of 2021 three people sued Old Town Trolley company and the driver.

Palm Coast is looking at moving their annual fireworks exhibit on July 3 to the Flagler County airport in 2022. Currently it’s held at Central Park which has reached a 5,000 person capacity. In addition people are on surrounding sidewalks. Proponents say moving the fireworks to the airport will mean more people can be there, parking will be easier and larger fireworks can be used. Since 2010 the city has held the fireworks display utilizing July 3 so they don’t interfere with the Fourth of July fireworks at Flagler Beach. Flagler had been talking about stopping the fireworks and parade because of growing crowds, but they’re now looking at other alternatives.

Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and a local businesswoman have been honored by the Northeast Florida Regional Council during a ceremony Thursday. The Chamber received a regional award for excellence in economic development and tourism. Andrea Conover of Azalea City Brewing Co. was given the 2020 regional award for excellence for adaptive reuse and historic preservation. She turned the former Coco-Cola Bottling Plant on South Seventh Street into a microbrewery that’s become a popular spot forgathering.

A happy birthday to Mary Lawson Brown. The former vice mayor and longtime Palatka city commissioners turns 86 today and remains a force in the community.

UF/IFAS Extension Service in Putnam County holds a program Saturday from 10 to noon that will appeal to cooks and gardeners. You can learn about herbs and spices in cooking and which ones grow best in the area. A small herb sale follows with proceeds going for herb and vegetable gardening at the ARC of Putnam County. The program is at the extension auditorium, 111 Yelvington Rd. in East Palatka.

Congrats to the Singleton family in Putnam County who have been featured in the recent Florida Farm & Family magazine put out by the Florida Farm Bureau. Their 40-year plus farming success began with the late James Singleton who following a career as a school teacher took a chance and purchased 80 acres. Thought the years that’s turned into the much larger Singleton & Sons Farms in East Palatka. Today 85 percent of their acreage is planted with quality chip potatoes sold yearly to Frito-Lay. It’s now a third-generation operation under James’ son Steve Singleton.

While Nights of Lights continues in St. Augustine you can find a little respite from the crowded downtown. On Saturday the Jimmy Jam BBQ Slam Car Show fundraiser is at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds on State Road 207 in Elkton. From 10 a.m to 8 p.m. the show features a baroque completion, car show and cornhole competition in addition to live music, drawings, vendors and a kids’ zone. At Genung’s Fish Camp in Crescent Beach on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. four of Florida’s favorite singer/songwriters perform to help raise funds for the Matanzas Riverkeeper. A low country boil will be part of the kid-friendly event. A donation of $25 is asked.

In Putnam County the Animal Rescue Consortium hosts a fundraiser Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the GFWC Crescent City Woman’s Club on Summit St. The event benefits the South Putnam animal rescue and has a Mardi Gras theme.

In Flagler County Flagler Auditorium holds the John Mueller Winter Dance Party tonight at 7 p.m. High voltage entertainment and some of the biggest songs of the 1950s are featured in the official live and authentic recreation of the final tour of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.

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