Christmas is in the air as Cyber Monday brings out the online shoppers. Palatka got in the spirit Friday with the arrival of Santa preceded by 107 groups ranging from the City of Palatka Police to the St. Johns River Sate College RN Association taking part in the nighttime parade. Seventeen groups from outside the community joined in the celebration. Conlee-Snyder Mural Committee chair John Alexander was grand marshal and joined by the rest of the committee for the ride. Float winners included for marching unit — Putnam Academy Band; decorated vehicle – Twisted Throttle; commercial – Summerville Systems; Church – St. Monica’s Catholic Church; school/non-profit – St. Johns Student Nursing Association; most original – Moseley Elementary School; and Judges Award – USA Gymnastics. As always a tip of the Santa hat to Sam Deputy who organized and oversaw the parade.
An alleged hit-and-run driver caught on a surveillance camera Friday was quickly found after the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office posted the photo. Florida Highway Patrol asked for help in finding the woman who reportedly damaged another vehicle and then drove off from the Fast Track on State Road 20 and Sun Avenue. By Sunday FHP notified the Sheriff’s Office that in less than 24 hours they had located the suspect thanks to people calling in. They also asked people to stop calling their communications center – they got a little overwhelmed by phone calls, reported the Sheriff’s Office.
An Atlantic Beach woman died Saturday afternoon in Flagler County in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 95. Cynthia Clark, 62, died in the accident. Critically injured were Jaedan Pagoria, 17, and Kimberly Clark, 51. Both are from Drexel Hill, Pa. The three were in a 2016 GMC Acadia driven by Danielle Hughes, 41, of Drexel Hill. According to Florida Highway Patrol, the accident happened on the north edge of the overpass over State Road 100 in Palm Coast.
St. Johns County commissioners will be talking about temporary morning hours access and parking to beach access points on Ponte Vedra Beach on Tuesday. The discussion is on the agenda for the 9 a.m. meeting and will potentially allow temporary parking within the right of way of Ponte Vedra Boulevard in the area of beach access paths.
In Palm Valley development of a community marina is under discussion. The St. Johns County Board of Commissioners will vote on the development Dec. 17. Opponents are concerned the Intracoastal is too narrow there to handle heavy boat traffic and are concerned about safety. Others don’t want to see the area built up.
Waterways also are in the news in St. Augustine after the sale of the St. Augustine Shipyards to a South Florida investment group. The 50-acre property off Ponce de Leon Boulevard was sold for $27 million to the Robert Finvarb Co. Windward Marina Group will oversee the project, which may include a second dry boat storage facility. For many years Luhrs and DESCO boat manufacturing center built shrimp trawlers on the site.
St. Johns County libraries are once again holding their Food For Fines program. You pay off book fines by bringing in food that is then used to stock the St. Johns County Health and Human Services Food Pantry, which provides food for St. Johns County families in need.
In Palatka you can help out the Bread of Life by volunteering this month. About 55-65 people a day are being fed at temporary facilities at the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian Church on Second Street in Palatka.