The Voice of the Gem City

News June 2, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Two people shrimping off a 23-foot commercial boat swam to safety Wednesday morning off Vilano Beach. The two —Leroy Kinlaw and Robin Anderson — reportedly were netting shrimp when the man noticed the back of the boat was lower than usual. Just after that, he said the boat rolled. The two managed to jump off and began swimming although they didn’t have time to grab their life jackets. They were able to inflate a bag to use as a flotation device and swim about three-quarters of a mile to safety. They normally work on another boat crabbing. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies responded and the sunken boat was towed through Salt Run toward a boat ramp but capsized again. The owners then tried to pull the boat using a pickup but it grounded in shallow water and the line snapped. They’re hoping to float the boat off during high tide.

In Putnam County high school graduations continue with Crescent City Jr.-Sr. High School graduating tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Wiltcher Stadium. Palatka Jr.-Sr. High graduates Friday at 8 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium and Q.I. Roberts Jr.-Sr. High finishes this year’s graduations on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial. All three graduations can be watched on Live Stream Link available on individual school websites or the Putnam School District site.

St. Johns County school district continues to grapple with the issue of controversial books. Complaints and concerns from parents and community members led to a school district media advisory committee. On Wednesday the group recommended new restrictions on two library books, one of which includes LGBTQ issues. On Tuesday age limit restrictions were recommended on four books. Five books on the complaint list will stay on shelves with no restrictions. Another 47 books are to be reviewed. The three-person committee includes a parent, a school district leader and a school media specialist. Recommendations will go to Superintendent Tim Forson for a final decision. If parents disagree with his decision, they can appeal to the school board.

The City of Palatka’s business incubator will be up for discussion at a meeting June 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce. The meeting, open to the public, will be presented by America’s Small Business Development Centers Florida and is an opportunity for business owners to learn more about the business climate in Florida. Two or more members of the Palatka City Commission and Community Redevelopment Agency may attend, but no action will be taken. 

Coming up this weekend and next residents and visitors inf Florida can enjoy license-free fishing days, according to the Flrida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The June 4 and 5 weekend is for saltwater fishing whether from shore or boating includes activities such as crabbing, lobstering and scalloping. On June 11-12 the license-free days apply to freshwater fishing. Here’s great chance to try fishing for the first time or take a friend or family member fishing. 

In St. Augustine tonight the 30th year of Concerts in the Plaza kicks off with The Driftwoods performing. The free concerts from 7-9 p.m. are sponsored by the City of St. Augustine and held in the Plaza de la Constitucion downtown.

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