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A 14-year-old Interlachen youth faces second-degree felony charges after a tip led Putnam County Sheriff’s Office to investigate a potential shooting threat at Q.I. Roberts Jr.-Sr. High School. Joshua Patterson, 14, was taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice facility in Daytona Beach Monday after he was removed from a classroom by resource officers acting on an anonymous tip from the Fortify Florida app. Sheriff’s officials said a map of the school was found in Patterson’s backpack including a time listed by one of the classrooms. No weapons were found on the student or on campus. Patterson is charged with writing a threatening message to injure or kill. Several other students were questioned as witnesses. Also found Monday threatening writing on a bathroom wall at C.H. Price Middle School in Interlachen.
In what had to be one of the shortest meetings ever Palatka City Commission Thursday gave the go-ahead to plans for the 2019 Palatka Porchfest on Dec. 7. Vito Russo, who is overseeing the fest, expects about 1,000 people at the musical event that will be held on porches in Palatka’s south historic district from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Vendors will provide food and beverages at Hammock Hall.
More pedestrian improvements are in St. Augustine’s future. At a Historic Architectural Review Board meeting Mobility Coordinator Xavier Pellicer requested approval to construct pedestrian improvements across Avenida Menendez and Marine Street, spanning from Artillery Lane to Municipal Marina. A crosswalk, signage, ADA ramp and curbed islands are in the plans.
The Putnam County Port Authority holds a special meeting today in the county administration room at the Putnam County complex on Crill Avenue. Up for discussion at 3:30 p.m. is a sales agreement with Comarco, a food processing firm. The Putnam County Commission makes up the governing board of the authority.
It’s the time of year for leadership changes in government boards. On Tuesday District 3 Commissioner Terry Turner was unanimously voted in as Putnam County Board of Commissioners chair. Larry Harvey was chosen vice chair.
At least one Bunnell city commissioner thinks it’s time for the city manager to leave. Commissioner Jan Reeger Monday continued efforts Monday to fire City Manager Alvin Jackson or have him resign. The issue never came to a vote since Mayor Catherine Robertson ended the meeting before Reeger could make a motion.
Palatka is ready for its 110th Downtown Christmas Parade Friday night. Merchants have been decorating for weeks in anticipation of the event that brings thousands downtown. Downtown Palatka Inc. Tuesday announced winners of the window decorations and displays contest this year. First place went to The Bingo Palace, second to Urban Farmhouse and third to Ralph’s House of Flowers.
With Thanksgiving Thursday, lots of people are planning menus and gatherings with family and friends. For those who may not be so luck, the Interlachen Soup Kitchen will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and in Palatka the Bread of Life will be serving lunch in the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian Church on Second Street. Servers are needed throughout December as well and food or money donations are always appreciated. Speaking of help, SAFE pet rescue in St. Augustine and Palatka has a boxful of little puppies who need fostering for the next two weeks. Give them a call if you can help.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.