The Voice of the Gem City

December 3, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A bit of shivering going on this morning as temperatures took a dip into the 30s and some people reported seeing frost in the Palatka area. Expect chilly weather to continue for the next several days. Cold weather shelters are open in the area. Among those not noticing the cold visitors from around the country aboard American Cruise Line ship that docked in Palatka overnight. One couple aboard from Colorado found the weather practically balmy.

St. Johns County will be four-laning another portion of the northwest section of the county as growth continues. County Road 210 from west of the entrance to the Cimarrone subdivision to the intersection of Greenbriar Road will go from two lane to four lane as part of the project. Within the next nine to 12 months a traffic signal will go up at the intersection of CR 210 and Shearwater Boulevard. Road work will take longer since more land need to be acquired and engineering work and cost estimates finalized.

Flagler County commissioners are going forward with a plan they say can mean more money for dune erosion. They’ve agreed to spend $250,000 for engineering work that will allow them to re-designate 12 miles of rebuilt dunes a “Flood Protection and Wildlife Preservation facility.”  The rebuilding occurred after several hurricanes beginning with Hurricane Matthew hit the coast and ripped up beaches. Officials say if the designation is approved, it’s easier to get federal dollars and about three times the sand as originally used to rebuild the dunes can be acquired.

Talk in Tallahassee and in school districts around the state continues as officials look at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal to up the minimum salary for public school teachers to $47,500. He’ll have to convince lawmakers to approve the $602 million plan during an election year. Districts are trying to figure out how that increase will affect what they have to pay other teachers. The breakdown for what districts will receive includes nearly $10 million for St. Johns County, nearly $3 million for Putnam and $1.8 million for Flagler County. Miami-Dade County, the state’s biggest school district, would see the most money — $41.4 million. Duval County would get an estimated $29.5 million.

Santa’s going to be a busy individual this weekend. Parades include St. Augustine’s on Saturday heading from the Mission Nombre de Dios to the Old Downtown. Crescent City Lions Club has the seventh annual Christmas in the Park on Friday and Saturday with a parade Saturday at noon. Interlachen holds their Christmas parade Saturday evening with other events including the North Pole Express Train Ride, Make Your Own Ornament, Christmas Village and the free hot chocolate and cookies. Putnam County Library System hosts cookies with Santa on Saturday morning. Santa will be at the Bronson-Mulholland House in Palatka Sunday afternoon where an open house means tours are free and pictures can be taken.

Other events include the St. Augustine Orchestra on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at the Lightner Museum, On Wednesday in Palatka at 12:15 p.m. the Advent Concert series begins with Jeff Elledge singing accompanied by Jeannie Brown  on piano. The free concert is at St. James United Methodist Church at 400 Reid Street. Also beginning Wednesday and running through Saturday at the church is the Bethlehem Morning Nativity Show. The free exhibit at St. James’ fellowship hall features nativity scenes from around the world. Christ Independent Methodist Church presents a Joy to the World Concert on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10:45 a.m. First Presbyterian Church holds their Christmas Bazaar Silver Tea Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the their fellowship hall in Crescent City. And Florahome offers Florahome for the Holidays Christmas Market on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expect vendors, food, music, pickleball and a bike ride. At 3 p.m. it’s cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a Community Christmas Tree Lighting.

 

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