The Voice of the Gem City

News 8/24/2020

It’s been six months since students have stepped foot in a classroom but finally today is the first day of school for Putnam County with social distancing masks and a combination of virtual and brick and motor schools.  If you have questions, you should contact your child’s school. Those riding the busses will be required to wear masks and hand sanitizer will be given to each student as they enter and again when they leave the bus.  Students will be loaded from the back moving forward and then empty the bus from the front to back to keep students from passing each other going in and out of the bus. Lunches will be different with individual bag lunches and social distancing. Maintenence personnel will be working even harder with cleaning and restocking cleaning supplies in the classrooms. Those participating in sports will now be starting practices officially…the first official  Palatka High School  football game is scheduled for September 4th.  Schools begin a week from today in St Johns County.



The Florida Department of Health in Putnam County has reported 13 new COVID-19 cases plus one transfer bringing our overall total to 1,723 cases.  For the new cases reported, 8 of the infections are community-acquired and 5 reported direct contact with a known case.  We have 5 new hospitalizations with 16 currently in the hospital with 4 in the ICU.




Tomorrow is the Putnam County Commissioners workshop meeting to discuss the confederate monument on the courthouse lawn.  The meeting will be held via ZOOM and if you want to join you can find the address on UTube.  The meeting will begin at 2pm


An investigation into Putnam County Senior Community Nursing Director Kena Foster has found three allegations have been substantiated.  The repost found Foster was working primarily rom home ad was not fulfilling her responsibilities.  The complaint said this contributed to poor employee morale, low health grades low public health indicators and lack of outreach efforts within programs that assist the public .


The guidelines to determine eligibility for the Putnam County CARES Act Small Business Grant program are out. If you are deemed eligible, funds must be used for one or more of the expenses like

Accounts payable, including utilities, vendors, suppliers, and working capital expenses and Rent/mortgage payments paid or to be paid between March 1st, 2020 through October 31st, 2020.

Activities related to adjustment to the delivery of services, such as for PPE, equipment to enforce social distancing, touchless point of sale systems, hardware and software to adjust ordering, sales, etc.



This Saturday is a Downtown Palatka Cleanup ad Spruce Up event hosted by Keep Putnam Beautiful and Revitalize Historic Palatka.  The cleanup will be Saturday August 29 from 8:30 to 10:30am to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures and less chance of rain.   Those wishing to participate are asked to meet at the Ameris Bank Parking lot in Downtown Palatka on St Johns Ave  and bring a mask.


More rain fell over the weekend with almost two inches here at the studios.  More rain forecast for today just about the time the kids get out of school late this afternoon.


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