The Voice of the Gem City

News August 12, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

One of the lesser known U.S. wars will be in forefront this Saturday in St. Augustine during an annual commemoration ceremony of the end of the Second Seminole War. A parade featuring re-enactors begins at 10:45 a.m. at St. Francis Barracks on Marine Street and heads to the National Cemetery where three pyramids mark the gravesites of more than 1,400 officers, soldiers and musicians who died during the war between the U.S. Army and the state’s native Indians. Their bodies were gathered from around the state and brought to the Oldest City for burial in 1842.

This Saturday the Veterans Village build continues at 1603 Westover Drive in Palatka from 8 a.m. to noon. Workers are needed to put up the house for a veteran as part of the ongoing Habitat for Humanity project. You’ll get lunch, a t-shirt and a good feeling by helping out. Time can be applied for community service.

A too-pushy security service salesman raised the suspicions of a Palm Coast resident and ended up in jail after it turned out the salesman was a felon wanted in Texas. A resident on Ryecroft Lane called Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday after Christopher S. Kiwanuka, 39, was extremely aggressive when supposedly trying to sell a security system. Deputies used the description provided and spotted Kiwanuka who turned out to be from Van Nuys, Calif., and wanted in Texas after failing to appear on charges of marijuana possession greater than two ounces, there of a firearm and unlawfully carrying a weapon. He has prior arrests in California and Arizona on charges of burglary, domestic violence and marijuana possession. Authorities noted he’s now staying at the Green Roof Inn as the jail is nicknamed and it has its own security system.

A Satsuma man is in Putnam County jail on a $45,000 bond after a raid on the Palatka home where he was renting a room. Casey Judd Howe, 48 has 10 previous felony convictions and now faces charges of one count of trafficking in methamphetamine and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Sheriff’s deputies reported finding a bag with three ounces of meth. Trafficking is any amount over 14 gram. Howe said the meth was for him and the two guns were purchased from an unknown individual in Palatka and bought because he “likes guns.” Several Sheriff’s units took part in the search of the Silver Lake Drive residence which was described as a known nuisance house. No other residents were arrested.

Drayton Island Ferry is set to start back up today, say Florida Department of Transportation officials. Concrete landings have replaced previous wooden structures and new landings are on the east side of the St. Johns River at Georgetown and the north side of Drayton Island. 

A community farming support group is underway in Putnam County. Me you and the chickens meets this Saturday in the Satsuma area for a plant and seed swap. For details, go to Facebook and the me you and the chickens farm.

Possums are awesome as staff at Ravine Gardens State Park on Twigg Street in Palatka will prove to you Saturday 10 a.m. at their Awesome Opossum program. The free program will be at the big pavilion and covers how the small mammal benefits the environment. Besides they’re kind of cute.

St. Johns Police Athletic League holds their annual Donut Dash 5K Munchkin Fun Run to benefit the league this Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. from the Nocatee Station Field. Groups are from 5 years old to 75 and above, and the 5K run will be a chip-timed race. 

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