This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Coronavirus case numbers continued to climb over the weekend. In Flagler County, the total is at 493 cases with 23 reported for Thursday, 15 for Friday and 19 on Saturday. In Putnam County, 738 cases were reported with 36 on Thursday, 42 on Friday and 43 on Saturday. Most cases reported were individuals who had contact with a confirmed case. In St. Johns County, 1,843 cases have been reported since the beginning of counting. Ninety were reported on Thursday, 73 on Friday and 64 on Saturday.
Schools are struggling with the issues of face masks and re-openings as the August 10 opening deadline nears. The state has ordered brick-and-mortar schools open five days a week. Putnam County schools will require masks being around the school and classrooms and when students can’t social distance. Putnam County School Board meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. with some employees scheduled to speak on reopening. Flagler County, which has a new superintendent, says masks will be encouraged but not required. St. Johns County is requiring students wear masks in the classroom if they can’t social distance. Masks must be worn during class changes and on the bus.
Putnam County parents have until Thursday to decide which school attendance option they’ll chose for the coming year. If parents don’t make a decision students are automatically enrolled in a brick-and-mortar school. In St. Johns County parents must make a decision by Friday.
Don’t forget federal income taxes are due July 15. Coronavirus concerns caused the government to move the due dat.
Putnam County Commission holds a workshop Tuesday at 2 p.m. to consider a call to remove a Confederate memorial and all oak trees including the 170 plus year old Maltby Oak from the courthouse property in downtown Palatka. Two area college students began the push aided by Palatka Mayor Terrell Hill and St. Augustine minister Ron Rawls. Although no evidence of anyone being hanged from the tree has been discovered, proponents say it could have happened and want to see all oak trees removed from the property, which is owned by the county. The county meeting will be on Zoom with people apparently not allowed in person at the meeting but can speak online. The county meeting is divided into two sessions – one at 9 a.m. and the other at 2p.m.
A Bardin man who is a Civil War re-enactor and member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans is calling for moving the Palatka Confederate monument to Westview Cemetery, putting up a monument in the cemetery to United States Colored Troops, renaming the courthouse for a former sheriff Peter Hagan and putting up new Civil War monuments among other plans. Gavin Thomas says Sons of Confederate Veterans will maintain the additions. Thomas has already announced plans to put on a Battle for Dixie’s Land re-enactment in October at Rodman Plantation, which he is renting.
Friends of Alice Delgado found a way to celebrate her 90th birthday on Sunday while practicing social distancing. They drove by her Interlachen home on Sunday to wave and call out hellos. She is reportedly the highest-ranking retired woman military officer in Putnam County.
On Tuesday Putnam County patients and friends of Dr. Iftikah Ahmad will be saluting his retirement with a drive-by thanks.