The Voice of the Gem City

July 8, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Coronavirus numbers released by the Department of Health continue to fall in a wide age range. Department of Health in Putnam County reported 16 new cases on Tuesday with ages ranging from a 4-year-old girl in Palatka to an 84-year-old woman in Crescent City. Total is at 566. In Flagler County, 10 cases were announced Tuesday bringing their total to 410. In St. Johns County, 48 new cases were reported. The total is at 1,433.

St. Augustine Beach and Palm Coast governments have joined the move  requiring face masks. Last week prior to the Fourth of July St. Augustine Beach commissioners decided not to require the masks but reversed that decision Tuesday, saying masks must be worn indoors. During a meeting Tuesday Palm Coast Commission became the first municipality in Flagler County to require face masks. The vote was unanimous.

Putnam County citizens have a chance to suggest changes to the county’s current Comprehensive Plan during a 6:30 p.m. meeting tonight. An update on the status of the comprehensive plan is scheduled also. The meeting is being held electronically using Zoom and is available on Facebook and YouTube.

Area school districts are grappling with complying with orders from the state calling for reopening brick-and-mortar schools in August five days a week. Putnam County school officials had already recommended reopening schools on Aug. 10 with virtual school an option. Flagler County also has plans to reopen schools with an option for enrolling in an online instruction program. St. Johns County School Superintendent Tim Forson was set to provide a reopening update Tuesday to his board, but decided to hold off explaining clarification is needed on some details of the state mandate.

Two Flagler County teachers have filed law suits against the Flagler School Board saying they were discriminated against because of being black. Jawanda Dove and Travis Lee say they were denied promotions because of their ethnicity. Lee has 21 years experience, Dove 20. The district said they would answer the case in federal court.

The driver of a tractor who was killed Monday in a crash with a milk truck in St. Johns County has been identified as Lee Bailey, 39, of Switzerland in St. Johns. The accident is under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office  but no charges have been filed so far. The truck was owned by Borden Dairy and reportedly struck Bailey’s tractor in the rear causing it to overturn.

For Sara Hetherington traveling Memorial Bridge in Palatka has gained her additions to the family. The East Palatka resident was headed over the bridge recently when she saw something out of the corner of her eye. She went back and found a gray kitten. “I thought, ‘Oh, no, not again,” she said, adding about a year ago she spotted another kitten on the bridge and rescued it. “A bridge is no place to dump a kitten.” The first kitten is now a cat and a family member known as Bridgette. Sara is looking for a home for the second kitten who’s acquired the name Shadow and is working his way into the family’s heart and onto their hearth.

 

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