The Voice of the Gem City

News March 18, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Putnam County Fair opens tonight at 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds in East Palatka. The annual fair featuring local exhibitors, competitions and a midway runs through March 26. Admission is $6 tonight with an unlimited ride armband available for $20. Beauty pageants are tonight and Saturday. A number of church groups and praise teams will provide entertainment Sunday. 

A 23-year veteran of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office was fired Thursday after officials say an internal investigation showed he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an inmate of the jail. Sgt. Dennis Hayes reportedly was in a romantic relationship with a woman in the jail and that relationship continued after she was released. Hayes was uniformed patrol shift commander who worked overtime at the jail. The investigation began Feb. 16 and officials say they discovered Hayes originally communicated with the woman through video visitation and phone calls. No intimate contact occurred between the two while she was in jail, according to the investigation. In a release the sheriff’s office said: “It is heartbreaking to see a twenty-three-year career end in this manner, but the public rightfully expects better from us. Without exception, the members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office are held to the highest standards of the Law Enforcement Officer Code of Ethics. In doing so, we promise to keep our private lives unsullied as an example to all and we recognize our badge as a symbol of public faith.”

Changes are coming for the St. Johns County School Board where three seats are up for election this year. Longtime member Bill Mignon has announced he won’t be running for re-election. The 84-year-old has served 16 years on the board and was part of the group that provided the basic support for changes and growth. The district is ranked number one in the state academically.

Learn a lot of history Saturday at the Putnam County Historical Society meeting when historian Larry Beaton talks about “the finest Queen Anne-style home in Palatka.” Built in 1886, the Conant-Wilson house on Emmett Street is currently the Grand Gables Inn bed and breakfast. The 11 a.m. talk is at the Bronson-Mulholland House, 100 Madison St., Palatka. Light refreshments will be served afterward and the event is open to the public.

Saturday evening enjoy well-known area musicians Dean Parrish and Eddie White during Saturday Nite Live at the Larimer Arts Center in Palatka. The concert is from 7-8 p.m. and features the two singing and playing a number of instruments. Tickets at $7 at the door of the Larimer, 216 Reid St.

On Sunday LifeSouth Community Blood Bank holds a blood drive at the Putnam County Fair from 2-7 p.m. You’ll get a $20 gift card and free admission to the fair for donating blood.

In St. Augustine Saturday and Sunday check out the St. Augustine Experience Psychic Fair Saturday and Sunday at the St. Augustine Shrine Club, 250 Brainard Dr. 

Garden Club of St. Augustine holds its annual plant sale Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the clubhouse, 3440 Old Moultrie Rd. Go just down the road to Watson Realty on U.S. 1 South and the Pilot Club of St. Augustine holds the annual caladium bulb sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Saturday night the EMMA Concert Series features Bad Boys of Opera at 7 p.m. at Lewis Auditorium, 14 Granada St. Three acclaimed male vocalists present the touring concert that features pieces ranging from arias, duets and trios from opera to Broadway and commercial hits.

And if you’re looking for dinner tonight, don’t forget St. Monica Catholic Church Knights of Columbus are holding Lenten Fish Fries each Friday at the fellowship hall. Dine in or take out is available from 4-7 p.m. in the parish hall. Fish or shrimp are for sale.

On Saturday morning St. James United Methodist Church youth hold a breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the fellowship hall, 400 Reid St., Palatka.

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