Five deaths due to coronavirus complications were reported in the Putnam-Flagler-St. Johns area on Tuesday. Two women, both 83, died, according to the Florida Department of Health in Putnam County. Their deaths bring the death total in Putnam to 15 since the coronavirus count began in March. Also reported, 12 new coronavirus cases and three transfers. Nine of the infections are community-acquired and six reported direct contact with a known case. Total number of cases in Putnam is 1,191. Flagler reported two new deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total to 10. One was an 84-year-old man who died on July 17 and the other an 80-year-old man who died July 21. On Tuesday 24 new coronavirus cases were reported. Total is 838 in Flagler. St. Johns County reported one new death Tuesday bringing the total of deaths to 22. With 66 new cases reported, St. Johns passed the 3,000 mark and is now at 3,057.
A subcontractor on the Captain D’s restaurant project in Palatka was killed in an accident Tuesday morning near the intersection of State Road 19 and St. Johns Avenue, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The man, who was reportedly driving a dump truck, had gotten out of the vehicle in front of Captain D’s and was struck by a wide load semi traveling on SR 19. Traffic was halted between Crill and St. Johns avenues and detoured for several hours. The man’s name has not been released. This is the second death involving a semi in two days in Putnam County. On Monday a woman died in the San Mateo area after a semi went off onto the side of the road and struck the sedan in which she was sitting. She has been identified as Kimberly Stone Miller, who was returning to Palatka with plans to teach this fall.
Flagler County School Board Tuesday approved a new school year calendar, changed by the coronavirus crisis. First day of school for students will be Aug. 24 with end date June 1. The board will look at the calendar again in September or October to consider possible revisions for the second semester. Eight teacher work or professional days will become instructional days and shorter Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks are planned, in order to meet state attendance requirements.
In St. Augustine an effort is underway to demand the resignations of Mayor Tracy Upchurch, two city commissioners and City Manager John Regan. The action comes in wake of a vote pressed by Upchurch to remove the Confederate obelisk remembering 46 St. Johns County residents who died during the Civil War. The hearing for an injunction to stop removal of the obelisk is expected Friday.
In Putnam County efforts to remove the Confederate memorial and all the oaks trees on the courthouse lawn in Palatka is meeting push back. The two college students who began the effort have said those opposed to the plan should turn out as well for a second gathering on Aug. 8. They may get their wish including one group that has gathered more than 3,000 signatures to keep the monument and the trees.