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A case involving gender identification and bathroom use is before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Their ruling in the suit that began in St. Johns County could have consequences in Florida, Georgia and Alabama schools and eventually go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Former Nease High School student Drew Adams, who was transitioning from girl to boy in 2018, won the right to use the boys’ restroom after suing in lower court. The St. Johns County School District appealed the ruling.
A Putnam County 11-year-old faces felony charges after allegedly writing a threat on a bathroom wall at C.H. Price Middle School in Interlachen. “ … let’s shoot up the school on 12/3/2019” read the message. The initials “K.R.” were below it. The girl, whose name has not been released, was arrested Tuesday and charged with writing a threat to kill or injure. She reportedly admitted writing the threat and said the initials were those of someone with whom she was angry.
The St. Johns County youth who died in a single-car accident Wednesday reportedly was on his way to his school bus stop, say authorities. Cole Kelley, 14, was driving on the Dee Dot Ranch, private property belonging to the Davis family, one-time owners of Winn-Dixie grocery stores. His SUV went off a small bridge into the water. He regularly drove on the private property where he lived to the public parkway before getting on the bus to Ponte Vedra High School.
Flagler County has a new executive director for its Chamber of Commerce. Aimee Stafford was on the job Thursday as the chamber’s leader. She has wide experience with chambers and non-profits in Kentucky and longtime ties to Florida and Ormond Beach.
A former St. Johns County man accused of trying to help ISIS has been indicted by a federal grand jury. Romeo Xavier Langhorne, 30, is charged with knowingly attempting to provide material support and resources to the foreign terrorist organization. He was arrested Nov. 15 in Roanoke, Va., and is suspected of supporting ISIS since 2014. His mother has disputed the allegation saying her son is mentally ill but not dangerous.
Holiday happenings in Flagler County Saturday include Santa Claus parachuting in for the Flagler Beach annual Christmas celebration with a parade beginning at 1 p.m. In Palm Coast Saturday evening it’s the 37th annual Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade beginning at 6 p.m. from Waterfront Park along the Intracoastal Waterway. On Saturday Florida Agricultural Museum hosts Sip, a celebration of beverages made from Florida agricultural products. Today and Saturday the Community Chorus of Palm Coast holds holiday concerts at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
In St. Augustine at the Castillo de San Marcos today it’s the Castillo by Candlelight at 5:30 p.m. with a re-enactment of preparations for the Siege in 1740 by British invader James Oglethorpe. Saturday at 9 a.m. is the annual Christmas Parade along San Marco Avenue from the Mission Nombre de Dios to the Visitors Information Center. The ninth annual Firefighter Chili Cook-off is Saturday from 2-6 p.m. at the St. Augustine Amphitheater. On Saturday night it’s the Colonial torchlight parade, which ends at Governor’s House on St. George Street and includes the St. Augustine Spanish Garrison. A sing-along of old carols caps the ceremony. Nights of Lights continues to light up downtown and Surf Illumination is Saturday at the St. Johns County pier in St. Augustine Beach from 3 to 7 p.m.
Santa Claus will be busy attending events throughout Putnam County. Crescent City opens their seventh annual Christmas in the Park celebrations today at Eva Lyon Park from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues them Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. A parade is at noon Saturday. First Presbyterian Church in Crescent City holds their Christmas Bazaar Silver Tea Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Interlachen celebrates Christmas Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. with events including a parade in the evening, the North Pole Express Train Ride, Christmas Village and free hot chocolate and cookies. Florahome hosts a Christmas Market Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. including cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a community Christmas tree lighting in the park at 3 p.m. Bethlehem Morning at St. James United Methodist Church, 400 Reid St., continues today and Saturday with nearly 300 Nativity scenes from around the world on exhibit. Christ Independent Methodist Church holds a Joy to the World concert Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10:45 a.m. First Presbyterian Church of Palatka on Second Street offers a Christmas Cantata at 5 p.m. Sunday. Bronson-Mulholland House in Palatka holds an open house Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. with the house decorated from Christmas and Santa on site. He’ll be available for photos with children and families.
The first annual Dan McNutt Memorial Golf Tournament is Saturday at The Oaks Golf Course in Fruitland/Georgetown. Proceeds benefit South Putnam Christian Service Center. Music is in the air in Palatka. Palatka Porchfest in the South Historic District features free music by area performers playing on the porches of neighborhood homes. Bring a jar of jelly to help the Feed the Need Backpack program that helps provide food for students in need. A Tribute to Harry Chapin is Saturday at 7 p.m. at Larimer Arts Center in Palatka, 216 Reid Street and hosted by the Arts Council of Greater Palatka. Don’t miss the Palatka High School Music Theatre’s production of Frozen Jr. at C.L. Overturf Jr. Sixth Grade Center tonight and Saturday with a matinee Sunday. Perfect weather, perfect program.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.