The Voice of the Gem City

AUGUST 30, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Although it’s still unclear exactly where and when Hurricane Dorian will come in, people are making preparations. High on the list is being ready for flooding. Higher-than-usual water levels, nor’easter conditions and high local tides due to the new moon are causing additional concerns. Forecasters are now predicting Tuesday or possible Wednesday before Dora hits Florida.

Sandbags are available in Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties but you need to be prepared to bag your own.  Limit is 15 bags in Putnam and locations today are at Huntington Pit on County Road 308 in Crescent City, Chesser Pit on West Washington Street in Hawthorne and the Putnam Public Works facility on Putnam County Boulevard in East Palatka. In Palatka you can go Saturday to the public works facility, 1010 Ocean Street. In St. Johns County limit is 20 bags per person and sand and bags are available daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Windswept Acres Park, Sims Pit, Hasting Community Center, Mills Field, Palm Valley and North Beach Park.  In Flagler County self-serve sand and bags are available at MalaCompra parking lot, old jail site at Utility Street and Hidden Trails Community Center.

This is Labor Day weekend, traditionally a time for families and get-togethers. If you’re planning on going to the beach, check reports. Some beaches already have up warning flags including Vilano Beach. A reminder federal through local government offices will be closed in St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam counties on Monday. Garbage pickup is affected.

It’s a special weekend for Mt. Tabor First Baptist Church; they’re celebrating their 150th anniversary. Celebrations are planned throughout September with this Sunday designated Reunion Sunday at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in Palatka at 4909 St. Johns Avenue and noon at the church’s Crescent City campus. Rev. Karl Flagg is senior pastor.

Putnam County students found out about opportunities for their future Thursday night. Known as “College & Career Fair Night”, the evening brought in some 60 colleges, technical schools and potential employers.  Other students were at North Marion High School for football. Concerns over the weather caused school officials to change the game from Friday to Thursday. North Marion, a runner-up for state champion last year, won 53-7.

Six names will be going to Gov. Ron DeSantis to choose from for a judgeship in Flagler County — Seventh Judicial Circuit.  A Judicial Nominating Commission made the recommendations after interviews with 24 candidates earlier this week. If DeSantis makes an appointment by Nov. 1, the individual would run in the 2020 election for the post. Otherwise, the judge will not run until the 2022 election. Candidates are Alexander Alvarez, Craig Atack, Kip Miller, Scott Spradle, Andrea Totten and Alicia Washington. All are Flagler residents.

Former Flagler County resident Reiley Opelka didn’t get the present he probably wanted for his 22nd birthday. Opelka beat the No. 11 seed in the U.S. Open on Monday but lost his match Wednesday, his birthday. He injured his back and hamstring during Monday’s matches at the U.S. Tennis Open Championship in New York.

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