The Voice of the Gem City

News July 22, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Bishop-Elect Erik Pohlmeier becomes the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine today. His ordination and Installation Mass today is at 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Old St. Augustine Road in Jacksonville. While you need an invitation to be at today’s event, it will be live-streamed on the Diocese of St. Augustine website. He succeeds Bishop Felipe Estevez. Pohlmeier, who was appointed by Pope Francis earlier this year, will head up a diocese that serves 17 counties. He’ll be celebrating masses this weekend at various churches and on Sunday at a mass at the Cathedral Basilica at 11 a.m. will officially take possession of the Basilica.

A joint ongoing effort to cut back violent crimes in the Palatka area has led to multiple arrests, recovery of 12 illegal firearms and seizure of 1.5 kilogram of assorted narcotics, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. In a Facebook post Thursday the Sheriff’s Office said significant resources from other areas in the county had been diverted by the office to help out following the “brief spike in violent crimes” in and around the Palatka area. “When it comes to the safety and security of the residents of Palatka, PCSO and PPD are one team with one mission,” read  the post. That’s led to multiple arrests, seizure of more than 1.5 kilograms of assorted drugs including cocaine, MDMA and opiates and recovery of 12 illegal firearms. According to the Sheriff’s Office, forfeiture of $7,000 from drug sales took place also.

Lawyers for the 15-year-old accused of stabbing to death a 13-year-old schoolmate last year in St. Johns County have filed a new set of documents regarding what their client will not do regarding his upcoming trial. Among Aiden Fucci’s most recently filed court documents is notice he will not speak with a jail psychologist or jail minister about the charges against him without his attorney. Lawyers say Fucci, who was 14 at the time of Tristyn Bailey’s death, won’t take a polygraph test, won’t consent to any items he has with him in jail being search and won’t give any hair, saliva, blood, voice or handwriting samples. Fucci’s first-degree murder trial is set for November.

An employee of a Jacksonville-based construction company died Thursday morning at a construction site in the Silverleaf community of St. Johns County, according to officials. Gender and age of the individual weren’t released, nor was information on how the person died. The worker was an employee of J.B. Coxwell Contracting and the death occurred on Courtney Vista Drive. That’s east of Silverleaf Parkway, off County Road 16A in northern St. Johns County. The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating.

Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Office is seeking election poll workers for polling places during upcoming 2022 Early Voting  and on Election Day. Training classes are going on now. Call 386-313-4170 for more information.

St. Augustine holds a couple of fund-raisers this weekend. Motorcyclists can take part in the Hometown Heroes Ride Saturday. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Adameic Harley-Davidon of St. Augustine at 380 Outlet Mall Blvd. in St. Augustine. The ride has teamed up with Builders Care to help first responders and military vets in northeast Florida who need home modifications due to injury or illness. On Sunday Shine A Light 5K for Ukraine begins at 4 p.m. at St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The race course is through Anastasia State Park and area neighborhoods. At 6 p.m. enjoy a live concert by Bold City Classics at the Backyard at the Amphitheatre.

The Apex Theatre stages its first production of the North Florida Chapter of The Penguin Project Saturday and Sunday at Lewis Auditorium in downtown St. Augustine. The play, Aladdin Jr., is a one-act, 11-scene theater musical adapted from the Disney production. The Penguin Project is unique since all roles in the production are filled by young artists with developmental disabilities working alongside peer mentors. The Saturday production is at 7 p.m. The Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m.

In Palatka today through Sunday celebrate Christmas in July at the historic Tilghman House at 324 River St. Put on by the Palatka Art League, the annual show and sale features 20 plus area artists and crafters who have filled four rooms with their creations. The Tilghman is open today until 4 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

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