The Voice of the Gem City

nNews May 10, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

An inmate of the Flagler County jail will be staying a little longer after officers discovered he was having birthday cards sent to him with drugs hidden inside. Eric Marcotte, 26, arranged to have cards with Suboxone glued between the pages sent to him. Officers spotted a peeling corner inside one card and found the Suboxone, an opioid used to treat withdrawal symptoms for more powerful opioids such as heroin. Once he accepted the card, Marcotte earned a new charge — introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. He was already being held without bond on felony charges of grand theft and car jacking.

It’s been 50 years since the Class of 1972 at Palatka Central and Palatka South high schools graduated. The classes gather this Friday and Saturday for a reunion at Putnam County Fairgrounds in East Palatka. Friday is casual. Saturday is more formal. Other classes are invited to join them, say organizers.

Florida Highway Patrol is continuing looking for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a 48-year-old Palatka woman on Silver Lake Drive near The Thicket Saturday night. Troopers ask people to be on the lookout for a vehicle that probably shows damage on the front passenger side and has a broken headlight on the right front. It may have duct tape on the headlight area. Also Saturday a head-on crash in the Interlachen area around 3:15 p.m. left a 44-year-old man dead, according to FHP. Two pickup trucks headed in opposite directions on Keuka Road collided after the driver in the westbound lane crossed the line and crashed into the eastbound driver around 3 p.m. The first driver died, the second had minor injuries, according to FHP.

In St. Augustine you can look at the St. Augustine Lighthouse but don’t expect to climb the 219 steps to the top. The interior is getting its first new paint job in some 30 years, according to Kathy Fleming, executive director of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum on Anastasia Island. It’s part of a massive $883,000 renovation project that still needs about $400,000 in funding. You can go to the website to find out more about contributing. The lighthouse is expected to reopen probably at the end of next week and much of the rest of the facility remains open.

On Thursday in Palatka, River City Players continues their run of Francine’s Will, a murderous comedy. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Larimer Arts Center Scarlett-Hill Theatre at 216 Reid St. in Palatka. A Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. Call 386-337-8852 for reservations or go to

Area high school baseball and softball tournaments are underway. The first round of high school baseball state playoffs are today and Wednesday. In the Region 1-7A, Oviedo plays at Bartram Trail High in St. Johns County. In Region 1-5A play, St. Augustine High will be at Columbia. On Wednesday at 7 p.m. Peniel Baptist Academy’s girls softball team will be playing St. Johns County Day in the Region 1-2A tournament at Rotary Park at Ninth and Laurel Street in Palatka. 

They might as well rename the Mug Race to the Eric Roberts Mug Race. On Saturday he won once again with a catamaran named Dream On making nearly record time on the St. Johns River sail. Since cats have been sailing in the race they’ve been frequent winners and so has Roberts who used to sail with his late father, Bill, another frequent winner. Michael Bradley was the first Putnam County sailor to finish. This year in what’s been called the world’s longest river race — 38 nautical miles from Palatka to the Rudder Club in Jacksonville — saw 82 boats sail out of Palatka. Fifth-seven made it to the Rudder Club for the celebration of the 68th race. For the first time since the race began, none of the original founders is alive. The last — Gene O’Connor — died in February. 

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