More opportunities to be outside this weekend as governments continue reopening recreational facilities. In Putnam that includes Rodman Reservoir area and Dunn’s Creek State Park. Faver-Dykes State Park in St. Johns County and Haw Creek Preserve State Park in Flagler County are among recreational opportunities. Many local parks and recreation facilities also are reopening although social distancing continues and organized sports aren’t allowed. Best news for many is that beaches in St. Johns and Flagler are open and sunbathing is allowed. On Monday St. Johns also will open beaches to traffic at ramps where sand conditions allow entry.
A St. Johns County music teacher accused of having sex with a teen has resigned, according to the St. Johns County School District. Jermaine Reynolds, 35, of Jacksonville, is charged with four counts of sexual battery and four counts of traveling to meet a minor for sex. The encounters allegedly happened at the Pasco County home of a 16-year old boy, and Reynolds reportedly admitted it to investigators. Reynolds has been band director at Ponte Vedra High School and taken the band to several state championship competitions.
Much of Florida is looking at dry conditions with rainfall down for the year including in the Putnam-Flagler-St. Johns county area. Wildfire conditions are very high in Putnam County and high in St. Johns and Flagler counties, according to the Florida Forest Service. Rain chances are 30-50 percent this weekend. In the Panhandle, two major fires are ongoing including a 2,000-acre fire in Santa Rosa County and a 500-acre fire in Walton County. The Santa Rosa fire is 35 percent contained. Parts of Interstate 10 have been closed in those areas.
The family of St. Johns County’s Teacher of the Year 2020 has found a way to help at-risk students and teachers in need. The family of Lori Price is matching all donations up to $1,000 for INK!’s #StAugGivingDay. INK! Is the district’s education foundation.
In Putnam County schools, changes on the administration front. Putnam’s Principal of the Year 2020 Sarajean McDaniel is being transferred from her job leading Moseley Elementary School to the county office where she’ll become an administrator on special assignment. In that job she’ll be mentoring novice principals and helping implement school improvement initiatives, according to the announcement from the Putnam County School District. McDaniel has been at Moseley for three years, brought in after the school received an F from the state. Their grade is now a C. Moseley’s assistant principal,Tony Benford, will serve as interim principal. He’s also the district’s 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year.
A Putnam County hair stylist has made state news as she reopened her salon, Shear Transformations, on Reid Street in Palatka. Kris Nelson says she and her family need the money. Nelson said she’s been told she’s ineligible for unemployment benefits, hasn’t been able to get in touch with the Small Business Administration and was denied a loan though the Paycheck Protection Program.
Lady Bug Gift Shoppe owner Kathy Griffin and sewer Julie Masters are doing their part to help the Feed the Need of Putnam County program. Masters is making masks and Griffin is selling them in her Second Street shop in Palatka. Masks are $8 and all proceeds are going to help feed food insecure children in Putnam County.
S.A.F.E. Pet Rescue Inc. is looking for help to make a dog named Sven get the training he needs so he can have a forever home. The dog, now 5, was brought to facility as a puppy with burns all over his body. He did get a home for a year but was returned after being too protective of his family. Sven’s a hit at the S.A.F.E. facility in Hollister but money is need for an evaluation and training. Director Robin Kantner-Nordan says $500 is still needed. Text 904-325-0196 for more info.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Take the time to let your mom know how special she is to you.