The Voice of the Gem City

AUGUST 12, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Schools are back in session today in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties, which means plan in some extra time when going anywhere and practice safe driving. Sheriff’s units in the three counties are stepping up patrols as students, drivers, teachers and parents adjust to school openings.

Some rain is expected this evening although probably nothing like Sunday’s gully washer that brought 3 inches of rain at the WPLK/WIYD studio in Palatka. Heat and humidity continues to be an issue.

Palatka’s Community Redevelopment Agency meets this afternoon at 5 p.m. at City Hall. Among items on the agenda an update on a request for proposals for CRA consulting services. Robbie Correa will present a budget proposal for a three-year Downtown Palatka Inc. marketing plan. That’s to be followed by a special city commission meeting at 6 p.m. to discuss a proposal from Florida Aviation Professionals LLC to lease the former airport terminal and half of one hangar. The item was tabled at last week’s meeting in order to gather more information.

St. Augustine City Commission will hear a Quality of Nightlife Strategic Plan by City Manager John Regan at tonight’s 5 p.m. meeting in the Alcazar Room at City Hall. Among issues the plan addresses — demands on police, cleanliness concerns, dark streets, damaged sidewalks and streets and need for ride share and pedestrian management. An alcohol service policy would require alcohol-serving establishments serving after midnight be required to obtain an extended hours permit from the city.

Some 22 lawyers have applied to be appointed to the newly created county judgeship in Flagler County. The Florida Legislature funded the second slot this year to help relieve the burden on the county’s one judge. A nominating committee through the Seventh Judicial Circuit will make a recommendation to the governor who will make the appointment. Whoever is chosen will have to run for the office during next year’s general election.

Two boats were damaged in a fire at the Marineland Marina in Flagler County late Sunday afternoon. A 26-foot sailboat caught fire apparently because of an overheated electrical connection from land. The fire spread to a 30-foot cabin cruiser docked next to the sailboat. No injuries were reported.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board indicates a pilot whose float plane crashed in the Crescent City area last month apparently lost track of his altitude. James Goolsby, 79, went down in a lake after taking off from Eagles Nest Aerodrome on July 16. He was preparing for a water landing when he “lost depth perception” and pushed the stick forward. He was able to swim to shore. Goolsby has more than 25,000 total flight hours as an airline pilot, but had only been flying float planes four hours.

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