The Voice of the Gem City

APRIL 23, 2019

Palatka City Commissioners are once again trying to move the public works department from its current location at the end of North 10th Street where it’s been more than 60 years. They’ve called a special meeting for 5 p.m. Wednesday to authorize the city manager and attorney to go after property. Where the new location might be and how much it will cost isn’t being released to the public yet. Mayor Terrill Hill tried a similar move previously but met resistance from the public. In that case there also was talk of moving city hall out of downtown and out past St. Johns River State College.

St. Augustine’s monument to 44 area men who died fighting for the South during the Civil War drew supporters to Monday’s St. Augustine City Commission meeting. Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline recently indicated she now favored taking down the monument although she earlier voted with the rest of the commission to keep it. The item wasn’t on the agenda, but those supporting the monument made their views known. Sikes-Kline wasn’t there, she reportedly had a minor medical procedure and didn’t attend. The monument was put up by local residents after the Civil War since none of the dead was brought home and the monument was a last commemoration.

Live and inert Navy bombing training is going on today through Thursday at the Pinecastle Range Complex in the Ocala National Forest. Hour are 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. each day. Noise from the bombings will be heard in south Putnam County and portions of Flagler County.

In Flagler County authorities are seeking a young black male wanted for questioning in the shooting of an 18-year-old man in the back on Easter Sunday. The shooting was at the Circle K in Bunnell and apparently occurred after an argument between several women who were part of a large crowd in front of Circle K. Another group was also gathered about a block away at the Family Dollar. Photos of the youth are online at the Flagler Sheriff’s Office site. Call 386-313-4911 if you have information.

Department of Health — Putnam County is urging people to take part in National Denim Day and wear Teal on Wednesday. It’s in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

St. Johns Riverkeeper has received reports of significant algae blooms in the lower basin of the St. Johns River in an area including East Palatka, Welaka and Satsuma. Bartram Committee head Sam Carr first posted the pictures on Facebook noting he never remembered seeing the river all green before. Lesser amounts of algae blooms have been seen in the Jacksonville area. Officials are concerned as the river heats up the algae blooms will increase causing damage problems in the river.

Authorities from Putnam and Alachua counties came to the aid of a cow stuck in an abandoned septic tank in Hawthorne, rescuing the bovine and reuniting her with her calf. Officials say last Thursday the West Putnam Volunteer Fire Department was told of the cow and that led to agriculture deputies from Putnam and Alachua, the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Technical Rescue team, Putnam Animal Control and the volunteer firemen working together to recue the cow that had been in the tank several days. Once the cow was out she rejoined her calf who had apparently been waiting beside the tank the entire time. Officials said the cow appeared unharmed.

Last week the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office revealed their newest member — a bloodhound puppy who school children named Grace. Now the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has announced their newest member – an 8-week-old bloodhound pup who’s about to start training. First, however, he needs a name and the Sheriff’s Office will be taking suggestions through Thursday. On Friday they’ll announce the pup’s new name.

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