The Voice of the Gem City

News May 31, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Memorial Day weekend saw the return of the three-day Blue Crab Festival in Palatka and a day of remembrance on Monday around the three-county area as people honored those who have died in military service to the country. People were ready to get out and enjoy, giving a boost to the city-sponsored Blue Crab Festival where bands, carnival rides, ski shows and fireworks made for a great weekend. A shout out to city crews — especially garbage — who worked over the weekend to keep the festival cleaned up. On Monday area veterans groups organized a parade along St. Johns Avenue in Palatka, drawing high school bands, civic groups and veterans. The Palatka Pilot Club made wreaths and put them up at Westview Cemetery as part of Wreaths Across America. In St. Augustine, memorial services were held at the National Cemetery, and flags covered the lawn at the Lightner Museum where City Hall is located. Pilot Club of St. Augustine puts those up yearly, each with the name of a dead serviceman. Interlachen remembered its Medal of Honor recipient Robert H. Jenkins Jr. Sunday. Jenkins died in Vietnam. In Flagler County, ceremonies were held at the park in Palm Coast.

A crash this morning in Putnam County caused traffic to be diverted at State Road 100 and Springside Shortcut Road. Injuries were reported, and the road was completely blocked. Florida Highway Patrol arrived at the scene at 7:26 to investigate and divert traffic.

One man died Sunday in a single-vehicle accident on U.S. 17 in Putnam County,  according to Florida Highway Patrol. A 76-year-old Satsuma man was driving a pickup east on 17 near Kirkwood Avenue in Lake Como when for unknown reasons the vehicle headed towards the north shoulder of the road. It went onto the grass before striking a tree. The driver was taken to UF Health in Gainesville where he was pronounced dead from injuries in the crash. 

Graduations begin in Putnam County tonight with two ceremonies Putnam Virtual Graduation is at 6 p.m. Interlachen Junior-Senior High School Graduation is at 8 p.m. at the school’s football field On Wednesday Mellon Learning Center graduation begins at 9:30 a.m. at the school. Several other ceremonies happen this week.  Last day of school in Putnam is Friday with an early release planned. It’s also final day for teachers. In St. Johns County Bartram Trail High School graduates tonight at 8 p.m. at the University of North Florida and on Wednesday Allen D. Nease High School holds its graduation at 8 p.m. at University of North Florida. Last day for students is Thursday. Last day for teachers Friday. Flagler County finished Thursday with graduations over the weekend.

A 19-year-old is being held on $100,000 bond in Flagler County jail after an alleged armed robbery outside the Carver Center on East Drain Street in Bunnell. The victim, 20, said he was sitting under the overhang of the gym Thursday when two men approached and told him to empty his pockets. He refused and then was reportedly pistol whipped and his I-phone and money taken. Using surveillance tapes, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies identified Keyshawn Davis as one of the suspects. He was arrested as he neared his home on South Church Street in Bunnell.

St. Johns County School District will be building two more schools which brings to three the number expected to open for the 2024-25 school year. The K-8 schools will be in the Beacon Lakes and River Town neighborhoods. Already announced is a K-8 planned for the Shearwater neighborhood.

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