The Voice of the Gem City

February 13. 2019

THIS IS MARCIA LANE, YOUR ROVING REPORTER.

More rain than usual during January 2019 reports the St. Johns River Water Management District. Over a 12-month period prolonged below-average rainfall has been seen in the southern portion of the district while prolonged above–average rainfall has been going on in the central. Putnam, Marion and Alachua counties, for instance, have seen more than 60 inches of rainfall during the 12 months while Indian River and Brevard counties have seen less than 45 inches. The extra rain is good news in area counties where lake levels are going up. In Clay County at Lake Brooklyn water levers went up nearly a foot during January.

Flagler and Volusia county residents are being urged to take an online survey on health-related topics. Input is used to create health improvement plans to address community concerns and improve quality of life, and is conducted in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health.

Another challenger for the Putnam County Commission District 3 seat. Douglas Hays has filed his intent to run for the post in 2020, according to Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III. The District 3 seat is currently held by Terry Turner.

A special election to fill the vacancy left by the death of Crescent City Commissioner Marcus Hardy probably will be April 30. Qualification dates would be March 4-8. The commission is set to vote Thursday on the dates.

St. Augustine city commissioners want a new deal with the University of Florida regarding their oversight of 34 state-owned historic properties in the Nation’s Oldest City. The strategic plan has not been updated and a review of the 2010 memorandum of understanding is being recommended by City Manager John Regan. Residents have complained of a variety of less-than-historic uses including big screen TV football games in the Colonial Quarter on St. George Street and loud volume bands at Government House across from the downtown plaza. Both are in the heart of the historic district.

You can celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special night out thanks to the GFWC Woman’s Club of Palatka. On Thursday they feature a dinner and jazz at the clubhouse at 600 South 13th Street. Steve Chandler and Sleek will play. For reservations, call 904-377-5044.

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly and eight members of the county’s SWAT team are in Dubai taking part in an international SWAT competition. The trip is paid for by Dubai police and the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of the Interior. Only four American teams were asked as well as teams from throughout Europe, Africa, Russia and the Middle East. The team is due back Thursday.

A pair of Putnam County deputies was honored by Sheriff Gator DeLoach at the Putnam County Commission Tuesday. On Christmas Day Deputies Jesse Fussell and Duncan Townsend responded to a house where a man had collapsed. Fussell, who arrived first, began CPR. Then the deputies used one of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED)  in police vehicles, saving the patient’s life. At Tuesday’s ceremony was Dr. John Milanick, Putnam County’s medical director. Years ago he was instrumental in pushing for deputies to have AEDs in their vehicles.

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