Good news for Putnam County. State Department of Health figures reported no new coronavirus cases Monday. And because one case was transferred to their county of residence the number of confirmed cases in Putnam dropped to 42. In Flagler County the number of confirmed cases remained at 45. In St. Augustine the total was up three cases to 176 as of Monday.
Palatka Art League is doing its part for the community – making and giving out personal coronavirus masks for residents. Last week League members sewed and gave out 500 of the masks. They’ll be doing it again on Wednesday from 1-3 p.m. at the Tilghman House on River Street in Palatka. You can make a donation or get a mask for free. Donations help defray cost of materials. The Art League has been in the city-owned Tilghman for 25 years; some city commissioners have sought to get them out saying the building could be put to higher and better use. For more info on the masks, call 717-877-6298. A petition is circulating to help save the house for the league.
St. Johns County law enforcement is seeking a 35-year-old man for attempted first degree murder after he allegedly tried to set a man on fire who reportedly owed him money. Brian Connor, 35, went to a residence at Woodlawn Terrace Apartments off West King Street on Saturday to get back money he had loaned. He and the victim got in an argument and Connor reportedly threw a flammable liquid on the man and lit it. Connor left and the victim ran to a nearby apartment where neighbors put out the fire. The man is in critical condition in the burn unit at UF Health in Gainesville. Connor is still on the run. He has arrest records in both Putnam and St. Johns counties on charges of domestic violence and drugs.
Putnam County schools have changed delivery of free breakfast and lunch. Beginning Monday delivery to schools and bus route stops will only be Monday through Thursday. Prepackaged food for Friday will be delivered with the Thursday meals. Putnam County School District has closed three drive-thru school food sites – Q.I. Roberts, Miller Middle and C.L. Overturf Jr. Sixth Grade Center. A complete list of food sites is available at the school district website.
Food pantries are seeing an upswing in requests for food. Food is being brought to cars by volunteers at various locations. St. Monica’s Catholic Church Food Pantry is serving on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 10 a.m. Beginning today Heart of Putnam Food Pantry hours are changing to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Flagler County’s Grace Community Food Pantry off U.S. 1 has seen food requests nearly double since the coronavirus crisis hit. Today Flagler County Emergency Services opened two food banks. One is at Flagler Palm Coast High School with food available from noon until 2 p.m. The other is at Hidden Trails Community Park in Bunnell from 1 to 3 p.m. Proof of residence in Flagler is required.
Putnam County Commissioners met this morning. Social distancing efforts continue with electronic transmission of the meeting available as a way of keeping people home but informed.
Flagler County continues to warn people about locking their cars. On Wednesday a 43-year-old man was arrested and charged with break-ins of vehicles, all of which proved to be unlocked. The suspect was spotted by a homeowner and the deputy dispatched took off after the man who fled into the woods in Palm Coast. He left his bike but the Volusia County Sheriff’s AirOne helicopter found him using heat source tracking. Michael Hourahan was found with multiple gloves, a flashlight head band and money in denominations and amounts consistent with losses reported by victims. He also had a .45 caliber Glock handgun. He’s in the Flagler jail without bond facing a variety of charges.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly will be featured on Oliver North’s Real American Heroes podcast this Friday at 9 a.m. You can watch on the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office web page or go to the podcast.
We’re living through a bit of history. St. Augustine Historical Society knows it and they’re asking people to share their experiences regarding COVID-19’s impact. Stories will be archived as part of the permanent collection of the Society. Go to their website and the button “Share Your Story. “We are a community and we are in this together,” say officials.