The Voice of the Gem City

July 31, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

St. Johns County reported another coronavirus-related death Thursday. That brings their death total to 24. In addition Florida Department of Health in St. Johns reported 33 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bring the total since counting began to 3,168. In Flagler County 16 new coronavirus cases were reported for a total of 867. In Putnam County 37 new cases and 1 transfer were reported. All the new cases are community-acquired according to the health department. Twenty-one of the cases came from Palatka. Total number of cases is at 1,261.

As Gov. Ron DeSantis says, the latest hurricane is an
evolving situation.” Hurricane Isaias is currently a Category 1 although that will mean at least rain and winds over the weekend for the area. St. Johns County Emergency Management is warning people living in low-lying areas to be prepared. The state Department of Health closed coronavirus testing facilities Thursday afternoon. They’ll reopen Aug. 5. People have at least used their sense of humor regarding the nearly unpronounceable hurricane. Some say ee-ah—EE-ahs sounds like the lyrics to Old McDonald Had A Farm.

Coronavirus has brought changes to the political scene this election year. Normally candidates would be in the middle of debates, but social distancing concerns have canceled most. However, there is a political forum tonight in Palatka featuring Republican candidates running for the Congressional District 3 seat. That’s the seat held by Congressman Ted Yoho, who kept his campaign promise not to serve more than eight years. The forum is at 6 p.m. at the Palatka Woman’s Club, 600 South 13th St.

Wesley Dallas, an 18-year-old Palatka man, is in Putnam County jail, charged in the shooting of a man in the lobby of Sleep Inn & Suites on Reid Street in Palatka two weeks ago. He was booked into the jail Wednesday night on charges of attempted homicide and two counts of carrying a concealed weapon

A St. Augustine man who fired several rounds into what he thought was a cow pastures along State Road 207 early Wednesday morning found out his sense of direction was off. Turned out James Blood, 29, was just past the RaceTrac gas station near Interstate 95. Even worse several St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies were on a stakeout when they heard the shots and went to investigate. Deputies found an assault style handgun and several open containers in his vehicle. Although Blood refused a field sobriety test he agreed three hours later to a breathalyzer test at the jail. He blew a .116 and a .110 blood alcohol level. Legal limit is .08. On Thursday he was still jail on a $8.000 bond. Charges included driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, discharging a firearm from a vehicle and using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

St. Augustine Sailing Sisters hold their fifth annual SASS Bikini Race Saturday. The race starts at 1 p.m. north of the Vilano Bridge and is open to female sailing teams. Their A Vote for A Boat challenge will help raise funds for the Betty Griffin Center a local nonprofit that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.


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