The Voice of the Gem City

Local News 4 1 2022

April fools day

A traffic stop for speeding in St. Johns County Thursday led to the arrest of a man wanted in Alabama for a shooting last fall at a football stadium. Hezekiah Belfon, 20, was taken into custody after a St. Johns County deputy pulled over a car for speeding Belfon was a passenger in the car and when the deputy ran his name it was discovered he was a fugitive wanted on attempted murder charges, according to the Sheriff’s sOffice. Belfon was  booked into the St. Johns County jail shortly before 11:30 a.m. and an extradition process to take him back to Alabama is underway. Belfon has been on the run for five months after a shooting Oct. 15 during high school football game at Ladd-Peeples Stadium in Mobile. Five people — two adults and there teens ranging in age from 15 to 17 — were wounded, one critically. A 17-year-old was arrested at the time and faces five counts of murder. Belfon has been on Mobile’s most wanted list since the shootings.

Efforts continue by Palm Coast’s mayor and some council members to up their salaries. As the town charter is written, apparently citizens won’t get to vote on the issue. Council members will be the ones to make the decision. Recently elected Mayor David Alfin has proposed salaries quadruple with his going to $46,470 and council members’ to $44,670. It hasn’t been a popular suggestion with the public. On April 5 the council will officially consider the issue and could vote to hold the first of two readings required to put the new salary ordinance in effect.

April will mean a series of events to Keep Putnam Beautiful though the annual Countywide Cleanup. Executive Director Nicole Grace is looking for sponsors to help pay for t-shirts that go to the volunteers taking part. Cost is $250 and your logo go on the shirt. Message, email or call to help out. Her number is xxx

Putnam County Commissioners and Palatka City Commissioners are scheduled to hold a joint meeting April 7 at 5 p.m. in the County Commission meeting room at the government complex at 2509 Crill Ave. No agenda has been released yet, although items are expected to be one of joint interest to Palatka and Putnam County. The meeting is open to the public.

For the first time since 2019 the Flagler Youth Orchestra and Harmony Chamber Ensemble on Saturday will be back on stage as part of the Palm Coast United Methodist Church’s Concert Series.  The 4 p.m. concert is at the church at 5200 Belle Terre Parkway. A freewill donation is encouraged. A dozen pieces covering an eclectic range of composers, from classical to modern, will be performed by the Youth Orchestra with two performances by the FYO Quartet. Students from around the county make up the orchestra.

First Friday Art Walk is today in St. Augustine and across the Bridge of Lions to galleries in St. Augustine Beach from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight. At the St. Augustine Art Association, two shows open today. — the 17th annual St. Johns All-County Middle School Art Show and the Art Association’s Spring Members Show. Receptions are 5 to 9 p.m. and free. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday fro 1-4 p.m.

St. Augustine’s Race Week continues through today and Saturday with off-shore sailing races. Best place to watch is from The Reef Restaurant on Vilano Beach. You can party with sailors at the Municipal Marina from 5:30 to 8:30 tonight. There will be live music and food and drinks to purchase.

Also this weekend in St. Johns County: Friends of A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway present the 10th annual Spoonbills & Sprockets cycling tour on Saturday. The 25th annual Vilano Bridge 5K and 10K Run/Walk begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. And the inaugural Florida Ma’am Festival is Saturday and Sunday in the Colonial Oak Music Park.

St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Elkton hosts its 139th Annual Spring Fair from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

This annual spring festival includes games for the kids, live music, a wide variety of vendors, a garage sale, a bake sale and a country store. A tractor-pulled hayride will take guests through the historic church grounds. Homemade baked goods are available for purchase as well as pulled pork dinners and traditional fair food. And don’t miss the Minorcan clam chowder.

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