The Voice of the Gem City

JANUARY 25, 2019

Palatka City Commissioners would like to see the Blue Crab Festival return this year despite recent Blue Crab Chair Buddy Thompson telling officials he won’t hold one this year but is looking at 2020. That isn’t cutting it with Mayor Terrell Hill who wants to see the popular Memorial Day Weekend festival return now. Commissioners will hold a workshop Feb. 5 hoping to get public input and public support for what has been an all-volunteer event. At Thursday’s City Commission meeting Hill said groups including Palatka Young Professionals and one of the city’s Rotary clubs have expressed interest. Since time is short commissioners may be looking at a scaled-down festival rather than the full-blown version.

Lee Conlee House, the domestic violence shelter in Palatka, is getting $5,000 from the Putnam County Sheriff’ Office to help cover expenses. Conlee officials had expected to face loss of federal funds during the government shutdown and the Sheriff’s Office stepped up with a donation. Now it appears the Conlee House will be getting funded through February by the feds who pay about half the shelter’s expenses.

A 2.3 mile section of Old Dixie Highway in Flagler County will be widened and repaved next week, according to county officials. Intermittent road closures can be expected for the roadway from I-95 to U.S. 1. The $ 2 million project is expected to take a week and is being paid for though a grant from the state Department of Transportation. Flagler County is putting up $81,000 for contingency and engineering.

The 39th annual Matanzas 5K and Fun Run is this Saturday in historic St. Augustine. Expect some traffic holdups as the 5K race kicks off at 8 a.m. followed by the Fun Run at 9:15 a.m. Both events begin at 29 West Castillo Drive. A Runners Expo is at Ketterlinus Elementary School Gym on Orange Street today and Saturday.

Choosing of a new city manager for Palatka is underway. Commissioners will get an update and probably a winnowed down list of candidates at their workshop Feb. 5. This time commissioners decided not to have a committee of private citizens go through candidates and give them a ranking of the final five. Last time they didn’t accept the recommendations of the citizens’ committee they appointed.

Tonight it’s Blue Jeans and Bling, a benefit dinner and auction to help 4H and FFA in Flagler County. You can wear your best jeans and bling to the event at Flagler County Fairgrounds. On Saturday and Sunday it’s the 32nd plus year of the Flagler Home & Lifestyle Show at Flagler Palm Coast High School. The event is free. At Palm Coast Tennis Center a United States Tennis Association M25 event continues as some of the rising stars in men’s tennis from around the world compete. Kids day is Saturday.

In St. Augustine the third annual Old City Pirate Fest is today through Sunday in the Colonial Quarter. It’s a kid-friendly event.

In Palatka look to the skies and head to the Palatka Municipal Airport Saturday for the ninth annual Palatka Classic Airplane and Car Show. The free event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and food, fun and flying are on the agenda. World War II planes, antique and modern aircraft, classic car show, skydiving and remote control airplane/drone displays are scheduled. A free lunch is served beginning at 11:30 a.m.

This is Marcia Lane, your Roving Reporter.

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