The Voice of the Gem City

News July 7, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A yearlong investigation into a 2021 murder on Palatka’s northside ended Tuesday night with the arrest of Oba Carter, 47, in Jacksonville. Carter, from Palatka, was arrested without incident for first degree pre-meditated murder, attempted first degree pre-meditated murder and armed burglary, according to the Palatka Police Department. Carter’s arrest came after an extensive investigation into the May 23, 2021, murder of Derrick Leonard in a residence in the 800 block of North 11th Street. Det. Sgt. Colten Lee of the Palatka Police’s Major Crimes Unit investigated in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office Homicide Investigative team. Det. Juston Hale, who is assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, assisted in locating and arresting Carter in Jacksonville. Two weeks ago police arrested a man in a 2020 murder.

Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Johns County officially opened its new hospital in St. Johns County Wednesday. The $175 million plus hospital is off Interstate 95 and County Road 210 at 205 Trinity Way. The building has 150,000 square feet with 56 beds and is designed for expansion based on community needs. Officials say the facility will create 600 new jobs. Construction began in 2020 with St. Johns County targeted because of anticipated hospital service needs. From the 2010 census to the 2020 census St. Johns’ population grew 43 percent.

It may be July but school officials are getting ready for the upcoming school year. Putnam County School District still has open spots for Pre-k for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. Financial help is available. Call 386-312-4906 for more information. Meanwhile, Putnam Sheriff’s Office needs to hire a few crossing guards for the upcoming year. The vacancies opened due to retirements. Retirees and stay-at-home parents may find the job ideal. No experience is necessary and training is provided Apply at

UF IFAS Putnam County 4-H is registering for their last day camp for the summer. Camp is July 19-21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free. The camp is designed for youth ages 8-13. Youth needs to bring lunch on July 19 and 20 and will make their open on the 21st. Register at

Jacksonville Transportation Authority and St. Augustine city leaders are meeting next week to again talk about a commuter rail connecting Jacksonville to St. Augustine. The meeting, set for July 11, is the second in the most recent attempt to secure the rail. It’s an idea that’s been batted around for years but with increased traffic on Interstate 95 some think the time is finally right. Florida Department of Transportation already has gotten the okay to increase the number of lanes on I-95. Cost for the commuter rail would be at least $600 million and cooperation from several entities including Duval County, St. Augustine, St. Johns County and Florida East Coast Railway.

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