The Voice of the Gem City

June 8, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Weekend weather brought tornado watches but no tornadoes to the tri-county area. In Palatka, three inches of rain were recorded over the weekend. Clay and Duval counties are expecting more flooding including the Black Creek area and Riverside. Afternoon showers are predicted.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County reported no new coronavirus  cases on Sunday. That good news came after two days that brought 18 cases, bringing the total to 173 cases in Putnam. Latest seven cases are are all from Palatka and all had contact with a confirmed case. Four females, ages 8, 9, 13 and 17, and four males, ages 3, 5 and 14, were diagnosed. Flagler County now has 195 cases and St. Johns County has 279 cases.

Putnam County commissioners meet Tuesday in person at 9 a.m. Social distancing will be required and temperatures will be taken of those attending. The online version of the meeting also will be available.

Palatka, on the other hand, is staying with video teleconferencing including today when the city commission meets in their role as the Community Redevelopment Agency. Also on the board – one downtown businessperson and one county commissioner. Staff is looking for direction regarding districts. Currently the city has three – the south historic district, north historic district and downtown business district. Proposals for two more districts are being looked at — one, a business district for North 11th Street, once a bustling area of mainly black-owned busiensses. The other district would include what was once Florida Furniture off River Street, where a condo complex has been attempted. Among questions how far and wide that district would extend up River Street. When an area becomes a CRA district tax money is diverted for specific use in the area rather than going into the general fund. The meeting is at 5 p.m. and can be viewed by going to the city hall site in order to make comments. It also will be available on YouTube.

St. Augustine is back to online meetings in the morning. Some people have complained the time is inconvenient for many and reduces citizen participation. Today they met at 10 a.m. to discuss whether to hold Fireworks Over the Matanzas on the Fourth of July. Palatka, Flagler Beach and Palm Coast have announced they won’t hold fireworks on the Fourth due to social distancing and coronavirus.

An 11-year-old St. Augustine girl died Sunday afternoon in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. 1 in St. Johns County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The girl was a passenger in an SUV traveling north in the left lane of U.S. 1 when the driver swerved to go around a large water puddle and lost control. The SUV then crossed the median and overturned, ejecting the 11-year-old. FHP says the girl was not wearing a seat belt. The driver, a 32-year-old St. Augustine woman, suffered minor injuries.


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