News Briefs for the Week of April 21-27, 2022


Beach cleanup at Guana Reserve is Saturday

A beach cleanup is planned for 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 23, at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. Beach cleanups are held there every fourth Saturday of the month.

Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the GTM Research Reserve Visitor Center, 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach. Gloves and trash bags will be provided.

Community Hospice & Palliative Care celebrates volunteers

April is National Volunteer Month, and Community Hospice & Palliative Care is dedicated to promoting and celebrating volunteerism.

Volunteers offer companionship and a listening ear to patients and family members. Community Hospice & Palliative Care has more than 800 volunteers who bring their many talents and educational backgrounds to help with pet therapy, veteran’s projects, thrift shops, music therapy, bereavement outreach, patient and family support, spiritual care and administrative duties and to make a difference in the community.

“Volunteers make up an integral part of Community Hospice & Palliative Care,” said Dan Batty, manager of volunteer services. “They provide valuable support for every discipline within our organization. The COVID pandemic did not prevent our volunteers from finding ways to meet needs of our patients. Now that the restrictions have been lessened, our volunteers are excited to be getting back to volunteering in meaningful ways.”

If you are interested in being a volunteer, go to more information.

Florida Theatre president is Newcomers Alumnae speaker

On April 6, the Newcomers Alumnae held their monthly luncheon at Marsh Landing Country Club and welcomed Numa Saisselin, president of the Florida Theatre. He gave an entertaining overview of the theater’s almost 100-year history, starting with the 1927 opening of the “palace of splendor.”

Originally, a silent movie projection house with live stage shows and a large Wurlitzer pipe organ, the theater held several shows a day including a news reel, a comedy, a travelogue or cartoon, an overture by the live orchestra and a feature film.

The building, like the neighborhood, went through many physical changes and was purchased in 1981 by a nonprofit corporation to repurpose the historic building for the good of the community.

Saisselin had stories of many past performing artists, including Elvis, whom many in the Newcomers Alumnae group remember seeing there. Also mentioned were the variety of performances now as the entertainment industry gets back to normal.  He encouraged all to check the Florida Theatre’s website ( and visit this architectural gem with the unique status as the last remaining movie palace in Northeast Florida.

Newcomers Alumnae luncheons are held the first Wednesday of every month, and they welcome new members throughout the year. Go to or email for more information.

Hearing set for King Street bridge replacement

FDOT has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, April 21, to discuss the transfer of jurisdiction of State Road 5A, locally know as King Street and Cathedral Place, from the state to the City of St. Augustine. Also included at this meeting will be the design plans for the King Street bridge replacement over the San Sebastian River.

The public hearing will be held at First United Methodist Church of St. Augustine, 118 King St., from 5 to 6:30 p.m., with public comments starting at 6 p.m.

The FDOT project team and the contractor will be available to answer questions about the many components of the project, including design schedule, proposed configuration of travel lanes, sidewalks, lighting and bridge rail.

No formal presentation has been scheduled. For more information, contact Justin Bellot at 386-758-3774, or via email at