The Voice of the Gem City

December 11, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Weather is changing again with some rain in the forecast. That’s good news for lawns during a time of the year when rain can be rare. St. Johns River Water Management District reports rainfall was up slightly for November in their 18 county area. Average rainfall for November is 2.06 inch, but it’s up this year with 2.13 inches recorded last month. Good news is the groundwater in the aquifer system remained in the normal to high range.

Also good news from Tuesday’s water management board meeting for Bunnell and Flagler Beach where each got $500,000 for pollution reducing sewer-pipe improvements. The two qualify as Rural Economic Development Initiative communities. Bunnell’s water quality improvement project adds slip lining inside nearly three miles of existing clay pipe in the city’s wastewater treatment system. That’s expected to reduce the annual nutrient loading to Black Branch Creek and Haw Creek. The Flagler Beach slip lining project will be used for about five miles of exiting clay pipe and reduce nutrient loading to the Matanzas River.

U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho is proving a politician who does what he says. When he first ran Yoho said he’d only serve four terms, not believing in lifetime politicians. On Tuesday he announced he won’t seek a fifth term in 2020. A veterinarian in Gainesville, the Republican represents Clay, Putnam Bradford, Union and Alachua counties.  Area officials say he’s proven an effective legislator who knows all the areas he’s serving.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is meeting today with a review of a 10-year bear management plan on the agenda. Among possibilities a bear hunt. The first was controversial but the hunt is seen as one way to maintain bear population space and reduce human interactions. Hunters say the bear population has grown far more than the state estimates.

A 36-year-old Palatka woman is back in jail less than a day after the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office posted a request for help in finding the allegedly mailbox bandit. Carol Seuell in August was caught looking in mailboxes and most recently bonded out of jail on misdemeanor charges for petit theft for stealing a check from, you guessed it, a mailbox. That bond had been revoked and she was currently wanted on charges of grand theft, organize scheme to defraud, fraudulent use of personal identification and uttering a forged check.

Opportunities to celebrate the Christmas season abound. In Flagler County tonight it’s Dinner with Santa at Flagler Palm Coast High School. The annual event in the school cafe is organized by the school’s Student Government Association and for $3 features dinner, photo and arts and crafts plus special guests Elsa and Anna and Santa.

St. Johns County parents are learning their middle and high school students will have to take five hours of required instruction on three topics this school year. Students in grades six through 12 must take courses in substance use and abuse, child trafficking prevention and awareness and mental and emotional health education.. Superintendent Tim Forson says he believes the new topics will be beneficial for students.

Interlachen High School has been the target of two forays by thieves. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office says more than $200 in cash, a John Deere Gator side by side and two cases of soda have been reported stolen from the school. Incidents happened on Nov. 18 and Dec. 9. Authorities believe the culprits are juveniles and possible students. If you have information, call the Sheriff’s Office or CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida.


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