This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
In St. Johns County, law enforcement is on the lookout for a lady in red. A gas station lost 200 gallons of fuel after thieves used the woman described as flirtatious and distractive to help pull off the theft. Two men and the woman drove up in a white Ford F-350 pick up Tuesday and while she went inside to use the bathroom they began surreptitiously siphoning off the gas. The woman was wearing a very tight red sundress that left nothing to the imagination and no one paid any attention to what was going on at the gas tanks. An hour later the clerk found out the men had pried open the keypad and disconnected the wires in order to steal the gas.
Teachers, students and parents are getting ready for the new school year. Today through Aug. 6 they can a break while shopping during the annual back-to-school sales tax holiday. For five days taxes aren’t charged on computers and some accessories with price tags up to $1,000, clothes, shoes and backpacks costing $60 or less and school supplies costing $15 or less. According to the Florida Retail Federation, families are expected to pay an average of $700 on back-to-school shopping for kindergarten through 12th graders.
In Putnam County a teacher institute has been underway for some 53 new teachers. They’ve gotten a chance to learn about the district, learn about what’s expected of them and make new friends. Throughout the state the push is on to fill vacant teacher positions. Bus drivers are another area where there’s a shortage. On Monday teachers and administrators will be at schools readying for the students returning on Aug. 12.
In St. Johns County more portable classrooms will be in use this year. While the county continues building new schools, the need for additional classrooms doesn’t go away. An additional 35 portables are being set up. That brings the total to 393 spread throughout the district schools. St. Johns is seeing an average of 1,500 new students come in each year.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly received the Florida Sheriff’s Association Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this week at the Association’s summer conference. In order to be eligible an individual must have a total of 40 years of sworn or non-sworn service in law enforcement with at least 20 years plus one day of service for a Florida sheriff.
In Flagler County Saturday it’s the Back to School Jam from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Flagler Palm Coast High School. The jam features free haircuts for students, a community flag football tournament, music and information including bus locations and applications for free or reduced lunch.
In Palatka the River City Players perform Election Day at the Larimer Arts Center, 216 Reid St., today through Sunday. Bert Hodge Post 45 holds a yard sale today and Saturday as well as selling pizzas, breakfast Saturday and a barbecue at the post on Osceola Street. At St. James United Methodist Church Saturday it’s pancakes and pickleball Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m. The church at 400 Reid Street is selling pancakes and French toast or biscuits with sausage gravy for $5. At 9:30 a.m. Cindy Marvin and crew will offer learning demonstrations for pickleball, a popular sport with everyone for kids to seniors