The Florida Department of Health in Putnam County has announced no new cases of coronavirus in Putnam County as of today. Number of cases is at 154. Testing is available in Putnam by calling the Putnam Emergency Call Center at 386-329-1904. Flagler County is at 191 cases and St. Johns is now at 269. Health officials continue to urge people to take the virus seriously by staying at home, and if you go out, wear a mask if possible.
In Putnam County the Courthouse has been ordered closed Thursday by the chief judge of the circuit. The move comes as a group calling itself Peace in the Streets prepares to hold a three-hour protest Thursday from 4-7 p.m. on the courthouse grounds. Organizers say the gathering isn’t about the shooting of a man by police in Minneapolis but because they want to see a statue to those who died fighting for the Confederacy removed and all the oak trees on the grounds cut down including the Maltby Oak, which is at least 130 years old. The two, they say, are symbols of oppression and have negative connotations to African Americans. No word on how they’ll address social distancing issues or follow recommendations not to have more than 10 to a group.
In Flagler County a 16-year-old boy is charged with animal abuse after posting a video of himself repeatedly striking a dog with a leather belt before throwing the animal in a crate and blocking the door. A woman whose nephew showed her the video on Snapchat contacted the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office as did others and deputies investigated. They found the suspect at his home and discovered he was supposed to be caring for two dogs. The teen said he was disciplining the dog after it defecated on the floor inside instead of going outside. Asked why he filmed the beating he stated that was probably “not smart to do.” The dogs were taken by Palm Coast Animal Control to a vet to be assessed. After being charged, the 16-year-old was turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Two protests are planned in Flagler County today. These are in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, say organizers. The first will be at 1 p.m. off the Kohl’s parking lot along Belle Terre Parkway. The second is reportedly at 5 p.m. going from Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach over the bridge to Veterans’ Park.
It’s June but educators are looking toward the fall and a new school year. Today’s the last day to fill out a survey put out the St. Johns County School Board for parents and guardians regarding what they want to see. Putnam County also is looking for input. Go to their websites for more. In Tallahassee the Florida Education Association union has released their suggestions. Recommendations include widespread testing for coronavirus, adjustments in class sizes and student transportation, changing the school calendar and looking at a mix of in-person and online teaching. More school counselors and psychologists are proposed to provide students with emotional and social well-being. Also proposed is changing school lunch operations so that students would eat in their classrooms. Another proposal is to have teachers not students change classrooms between class periods.