This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Palatka City Commissioners will be looking for more public input before going forward with plans to repave 10 blocks of downtown Palatka. The agenda item featuring an agreement with the state Department of Transportation was pulled Thursday night at the request of several commissioners who had heard from area business people. Many have concerns over what the resurfacing and installation of new sidewalks would do to business. The project is to take two years from 2021-23. The city has now agreed to hold public meetings to give residents a chance to make comments, and city officials are talking about doing the work each evening and reopening the streets during the day.
Jacksonville law enforcement has been in touch with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office regarding a 5-year-old girl missing from the Duval County area. They’re looking into what local law enforcement did in the case of Haleigh Cummings, a 5-year-old from Satsuma who disappeared more than 10 years ago and who has never been found. Taylor Rose Williams from Jacksonville has been missing two days.
Flagler County officials haven’t given up on possibly reusing or selling the former Sheriff’s Office command center despite concerns it is a sick building. Terracon Consultants has been testing since January and now says there are issues but the building could be reopened if certain work is done. Sheriff Rick Staly says his department isn’t going back in and county commissioners are looking at a new operations center in Palm Coast on land they own next to the library.
Some St. Johns County commissioners say they expect to see Mickler’s Landing reopen to the public at least by next week. The commission agreed to allow a quarter of the park to be closed so that private construction equipment used for working on dune restoration for 13 private homes could be parked there during the week. The homeowners are paying for the work. The county staff then decided to close the whole park reopening during the weekends. Protests from the public led to pushback from commissioners who want the park reopened full time.
Veterans Day is Monday which means federal, state and local government offices are closed. Schools in Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties are also closed as are banks, post offices and many businesses. Parades are planned in Palatka and Crescent City in Putnam County. Ceremonies are set for St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach. In addition to ceremonies in Flagler the Airmen of Note, the USAF’s premiere jazz ensemble, provides a free concert at Flagler Auditorium at 3 p.m. Veteran’s Day. Reserve your tickets online.
In St. Augustine today through Sunday is the Lincolnville Festival celebrating jazz, music, food and traditions in the historic area founded by former slaves after the Civil War. On Saturday and Sunday it’s the St. Augustine Half Marathon at Francis Field. Also Saturday the Ancient City Auto Show at Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.
In Palatka The Azalea 12/24 at Ravine Gardens State Park hosts runners going for 12 and 24 hours beginning Saturday. For those with more endurance there’s a 50 mile run at the park off Twigg Street. Tonight through a matinee Sunday River City Players offers The Complete Works of William Shakespeare abridged at the Larimer Arts Center in Palatka. The Fall Palatka Bluegrass Festival continues tonight and Saturday at Rodeheaver Boys’ Ranch. St. James United Methodist Church holds a bazaar today and Saturday at their fellowship hall at 400 Reid Street in Palatka.