This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Palatka City Commission tonight looks at an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for St. Johns Avenue pedestrian and cyclist safety improvements from South 13th Street to South Fifth Street. Listed under the consent agenda the project could have long-term effects on downtown businesses and merchants. Design would take place in 2020. Work could take two years. Part of the plan appears to remove street parking. The public meeting is at 6 p.m. at City Hall on Second Street and will be new city manager William Shanahan’s first.
Putnam County School District holds a special meeting at 9 a.m. Friday to look at insurance. The school board has chosen Florida Blue, brokered by Bates Hewett & Floyd in Palatka. Board members have asked for precise figures on number of employees and plans. Florida Blue didn’t bid in the first round of the process. However they did submit a bid after the board rejected the bids submitted in that first round. Superintendent Rick Surrency said results of those bids were not shown to others. The re-bid Surrency said was because “We wanted to make sure the process was fair.”
Flagler County residents are stepping up to help five children removed from their parents’ home after one called officials Halloween evening to report she was contemplating suicide. Flagler County law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families inspected the home and charged Dennis and Betty Allen with five counts of child neglect in part because of the condition of the house. Sheriff Rick Staley says clothing and money donations may be made to Community Baptist Church at 956 S. Old Dixie Highway in Bunnell. The children are in foster care. Also removed from the house were several pets that the couple has given up and will be placed for adoption.
St. Johns County commissioners are looking at how to spend $15 million. It’s money in part from savings from past years. Among possible uses: improving sidewalks, additional recreation, a regional park and library at World Golf Village, beach renourishment and boat ramps.
St. Augustine Beach recently surprised their longtime city manager with a cake. Max Royle was recognized for his 30 years of service to the ocean front community.
Veterans Day is Monday but the Junior ROTC in Crescent City will hold an early ceremony Friday at Crescent City High School’s gym at 1:15 p.m. Members of the public need an ID to show at the school’s front desk in order to attend the 12th annual ceremony. On Saturday JROTC holds a fundraiser at Winn-Dixie in Crescent City from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
St. James United Methodist Church’s 40th annual bazaar is Friday and Saturday in the church fellowship hall at 400 Reid Street in Palatka. Put on by the United Methodist Women the bazaar includes soup and sandwich lunches both days from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. and a chicken dinner Friday from 5-7 p.m. The bazaar opens at 9 a.m.
Getting underway today is the 12th annual Palatka Fall Bluegrass Festival at Rodeheaver Boys’ Ranch. Name bluegrass artists will perform in the outdoor setting through Saturday. Some of the most fun happens around campfires and RVs as visitors do some of their own pickin’.
Also opening tonight is the hilarious and upbeat Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). River City Players puts on the production at the Larimer Arts Center in Palatka.