The Voice of the Gem City

nNews June 22, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Inflation and immigration are on the minds of area voters, according to polls taken Tuesday night during U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack’s live telephone town hall meeting. Cammack held the latest as she waited to go into the House to vote and as always had listeners answering poll questions between taking questions herself. Asked what was the biggest issue facing the country, inflation got 39 percent of the vote followed by the border crisis with 23 percent. Asked if people were concerned about record numbers of illegal immigrants including 240,000 at the border in May, 90 percent said yes, 8 percent didn’t have enough information and 2 percent said no. Third question dealt with whether people were having to prioritize spending when it comes to essential items such as gas, food and other needs. 73 percent said they had made changes in spending because of inflation, 22 percent said no changes and 5 percent said they didn’t have enough information. Cammack represents the Third Congressional District which includes Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Putnam and Union counties and a large portion of Marion County, including the city of Ocala.

Florida Highway Patrol responded to two wrecks with injuries this morning in St. Johns County. Both caused traffic delays. The first shortly before 6:30 a.m. was at State Road 16 and International Golf Parkway, north of St. Augustine. The second around 8 a.m. caused a roadblock at State Road 207 and Hastings Road. Both accidents are under investigation.

An argument over a girl may have led to a confrontation between several teen boys that ended with two facing felony charges in Flagler County. A 15-year-old and 17-year-old are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon although the gun they used to threaten another 15-year-old turned out to be a black BB handgun that closely resembled a real firearm. The two drove up behind the victim as he was riding his bicycle on Avocado Boulevard in Bunnell, waved at the gun at him and the younger allegedly yelled: “You must have a death wish,” according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office report. The victim biked away, but the truck followed and the biker “feared for his life,” and first hid, according to the report. The 17-year-old then grabbed the gun and waved it at the victim. He allegedly yelled “If you ever touch her again, I swear I’ll shoot you.” The two drove off but were later arrested without incident at a residence in Bunnell . When arrested they reportedly laughed and joked, with the 15-year-old joking about escaping from deputies, according to the report. Sheriff Rick Staly said while the two “thought scaring another kid with a firearm didn’t have consequences and though it was a joke while being arrest, … Reality is it’s a felony and their joke is now on their record.”

A security guard is in serious condition after he was pinned between a runaway Brinks Security truck and an ATM machine in Flagler County Tuesday. Florida Highway Patrol said the truck was parked in the drive-thru portion of Intracoastal Bank at 1290 Palm Coast Parkway NW in Palm Coast. One of the employees failed to place the truck in park as the two began working on the ATM and the truck began rolling forward. One employee was struck by the right front fender and pinned against the machine. The truck then continued west across the parking lot and over Pine Cove Drive, stopping when it struck a tree. The 58-year-old man was taken to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach with serious injuries.

Hastings is gearing up for a Hello Summer! Main Street Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rotary Club of Hastings is sponsoring the event at Al Wilke Park on South Main Street. Food, music and a street market are planned.


Daughters of the American Revolution think it’s time the Palatka riverfront had an historical marker honoring native-born naturalist, artist and writer William Bartram. They’ve started a campaign to raise the money to put up the marker to the 18th century naturalist who often visited the Palatka and St. Augustine areas during explorations along the St. Johns River between 1773 and 1777. Those were included in his book Bartram’s Travels. Meri Rees is among DAR members raising funds and says she’s getting items together for a virtual tag sale. Also appreciated are donations. “Even $10 will help,” she noted on Facebook. Guestimation for the cost is about $3,000.

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