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Palatka Art League will get to keep the Tilghman House as a home until the end of the year, but the future of the relationship between the Palatka and the League is hazy. By a 4-1 vote the Palatka City Commission Thursday agreed to let the League continue to use the house until Dec. 31 and will meet with them for a workshop within 30 days for discussion. The non-profit has used the house for 25 years, hosting a series of events including Holiday House and offering art lessons to children. The League pays a $1 a year but also maintains the house. Within the last three years they’ve spent more than $30,000. Mayor Terrell Hill was for having the League move in order to put the building to its “highest and best use.” The vote came after City Manager Bill Shanahan reported back on his findings saying it would be better use to either turn the house into a city-owned welcome center, gift shop or commercial establishment or sell it to private individuals for a business such as a restaurant.
A man in Flagler County is dead after being struck by a van Thursday. The driver has been arrested in Putnam County after leaving the scene, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. The man, reportedly in his 20s, was walking along State Road 100, just west of County Road 302, when he was hit by a white van. A Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy arrested the van driver on 100, according to Florida Highway Patrol. FHP is continuing the investigation. Names have not been released.
Two men found at the scene of a burglarized home in Melrose Wednesday were taken to the Putnam County Jail after an investigation showed more than $35,000 in items had been taken from the residence, which was described as trashed. Charges ranged from burglary to possession of methamphetamine and hydrocodone and possession of a gun by a convicted felon. Justin Lee Harris, 28, was booked into jail on a $23,000 bond. Justin Michael Buchler, 36, had a $31,000 bond. Harris was found near the house, Buchler was tracked down further away trying to cover himself with the dirt from two gopher turtle burrows. He’s facing additional charges related to endangering threatened species.
The 100th anniversary of U.S. women getting the vote is being celebrated this weekend. Putnam County held a celebration this morning at the county complex on Crill Avenue. In St. Augustine on Sunday a Votes for Women March and Rally celebrates passage of the 19th Amendment. Participants will gather at the Corazon Cinema and Café at 1 p.m. with the march heading at 1:30 to the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum where the rally takes place at 2 p.m. The event is free.
On Monday Putnam County commissioners and area firefighters and EMS workers will sit down to talk about Fire/EMS needs in Putnam County. A shortage of volunteers and a continuing issue with losing experienced firefighters/EMS workers will be discussed by the committee that meets at 10 a.m. at county offices at 2509 Crill Avenue.
Festival season is on in St. Augustine. Beginning today and running through Sunday will be the 35th annual Cathedral Festival on the grounds of Nombre de Dios Mission off San Marcos Avenue. Carnival rides, entertainment, food and fireworks highlight the event. Today and Saturday Flagler College holds a Spanish Wine Festival at the college. On Saturday it’s Chocolate and Beyond, a celebration of chocolate, desserts and delectable culinary treats at First Coast Technical College from 2-4 p.m. The fundraiser helps support the school volunteer program. Lighthouse Night Fest is from 4-8 p.m. Saturday and commemorates the relighting of the St. Augustine Lighthouse after a massive renovation by the Junior Service League of St. Augustine. Children’s crafts, live music and a 5k and Fun Run are part of the event. U.S. Navy Band offers a free concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre Sunday at 3 p.m. In Hastings Saturday it’s the 2020 Sporting Clay Shoot put on by the Putnam-St. Johns County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers.
In Flagler County enjoy a modern twist to Romeo and Juliet during Shakespeare in the Park today through Sunday. Wind damage to a tent on the outdoor pavilion stage at the park in Palm Coast has moved the production inside to the City Repertory Theatre.
In Palatka Knights of Columbus begin their 2020 Lenten Fish Fry tonight from 4-7 p.m. at St. Monica Catholic Church Parish Hall at Fifth and Oak streets. They’ll be serving each Friday through April 3. You can commune with the owls tonight at Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka during an Owl Prow from 6-8 p.m. Wear sturdy shoes, have bug spray and a flashlight. Don’t forget to bundle up.
Christian Service Center is open tonight and Sunday to provide a cold weather shelter. The Center is on Peters Street.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.