The Voice of the Gem City

News July 26, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

If you want a look at the City of Palatka’s new and final plans for reconstruction of St. Johns Avenue, your last chance is tonight. Sam Deputy says the meeting was called so downtown businesses can see how their businesses will be impacted by the work that will go on for months along St. Johns. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Palatka Welcome Center at 900 St. Johns Ave. Another city project has already begun disrupting St. Johns Avenue traffic along a stretch from Moseley Avenue to Benham Street. The project is expected to close that section of St. Johns Avenue for about a month.

A 58-year-old man riding a moped died Monday morning in a two- vehicle accident in Interlachen, Florida Highway Patrol reports. Both the moped and an SUV were headed west when the SUV collided with the rear of the moped, sending the rider off State Road 20 near the intersection with Wippletree Road. The accident happened around 11:19 a.m. The 64-year-old SUV driver was not injured, reported FHP.

An 18-year-old employee of a private preschool in St. Johns County was arrested last week on a felony charge of lewd and lascivious behavior on a child younger than 12 years old, according to St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. The child reported an incident to her father and during an investigation surveillance tape of the incident was found. Anthony Guadalupe worked at Chappell Schools’ Longleaf campus in northern St. Johns. He was arrested last week and bonded out on $100,000. Guadalupe who was an assistant teacher no longer works for the school, according to information sent out to parents.

A traffic stop for a missing license plate led to the arrest of a Georgetown woman and seizure of 32 grams of fentanyl, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reports. Deputy Holly Griffith stopped the vehicle on U.S. 17 Friday and after pulling the car over noted the smell of marijuana and spotted a black scale used for drug measurements in plain view on the passenger’s side. Neither the driver nor passenger Lindsie Presley, 24, of Georgetown, said they had medical marijuana cards, and Griffith search the car reported finding white power that turned out to be 32 grams of fentanyl. Presley said the fentanyl was hers and that she “got a discount” for her drug of choice. She was booked into the Putnam jail on $500,500 bond on charges of trafficking and possession of drug equipment. The driver of the car, who said she had no knowledge of the drugs, reported buying the vehicle on Thursday. She was not arrested, but given a warning for a moving vehicle violation.

The excavator operator who died last week in an accident at a building site in the Silverleaf subdivision in northern St. Johns County has been identified as Joshua Longley, 35, of Jacksonville. The St. Johns Sheriff’s Office reported Longley was killed while operating an excavator on the construction site. A witness reported he hit a ditch and was launched forward out of his seat and run over by the excavator. Longley was an employee of J.B. Coxwell Contracting Inc. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the man’s death. 

A former St. Johns County School District administrator is the new principal of Matanzas High School in Flagler County. Kristin Bozeman has been approved for the post by the Flagler School Board. She replaces Jeff Reaves, who is now in the district office as director of teaching and learning. Superintendent Cathy Mittlestadt said Bozeman’s background will make her a “perfect fit for Matanzas High School.” She’s been a teacher and administrator in St. Johns since 2005.

Fishing piers at two popular Flagler County parks are closed for repairs. Only one of four fishing piers at Bing’s Landing will be closed at any given time and work will continue through Aug. 21. The Moody Boat Launch fishing pier will be closed at least through Aug. 21.

Some species aren’t confused by gender identity. A recent post on Facebook showed a couple of peahens wandering the grounds of the Bronson-Mulholland House in Palatka. Peahens are the somewhat dowdy female version of the male peacock. “These are peahens; not pretty like the peacock,” wrote Carol B. Davis. To which Nicole Grace replied: “Without one there cannot be the other.” Guess that sums it up.

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