The Voice of the Gem City

October 2, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

In the tri-county area some events are off, but others are cranking up this weekend as cooler weather continues and people try getting back to normal. St. Augustine holds its First Friday Art Walk tonight from 5-9 p.m. with about 30 art galleries taking part. Old Town Trolleys will be running a complimentary shuttle service from 6 to 9 p.m. The company has put in Plexiglass dividers and requires riders use hand sanitizers before getting aboard. This will be the first weekend since the city basically did away with its mask ban. In Flagler County City Repertory Theatre holds their first production since March beginning tonight. It’s an outdoor production of the satirical comedy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and will be in the field of the Palm Coast Arts Foundation. In Putnam County a barbecue Saturday benefits the Lions Club. They’re cooking in East Palatka in the empty lot  across from Capital City Bank. In Palatka St. James United Methodist Church holds their annual but delayed massing fire sale today and Sunday. Thousands of items and barbecue are available at the fellowship hall at 400 Reid Street across from the Putnam County Courthouse.

Seventh Circuit Court Judge Patti A. Christensen, who began as a county judge in St. Johns County in 2000 and now serves as a circuit judge in Putnam County, is retiring. Christensen has notified Gov. Ron DeSantis of her plans to retire as of Dec. 31, and she’s asked him to consider someone from Putnam as a replacement.

Two cousins who tried to save a third caught in a riptide at Flagler Beach Thursday ended up at Advent Health Palm Coast. One was reportedly in serious condition after the attempted rescue. The third cousin managed to get to shore unharmed after going too far out and apparently getting caught in the riptide, say Flagler Beach authorities. The incident happened off shore at South 26th Street in Flagler Beach.

Putnam County Commissioner Larry Harvey has been appointed to the board of directors for Northeast Florida Regional Council. NEFRC is a governance network of seven counties – Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Putnam, Nassau and St. Johns – and 26 municipalities. The council helps the counties have more of an impact and provides aid and expertise in planning and policy work, emergency management, economic development, healthcare coalition and resiliency.

A damaged pickup and a smashed fence at Church of the Heights in Palatka Thursday drew onlookers to the corner of St. Johns Avenue and Palm Avenue. Fortunately, say officials, the children at the church’s School of the Heights who would normally have been playing on equipment behind the iron fence weren’t outside. For some reason they were delayed in getting out when the pickup crashed into an empty playground around 10:30 a.m.

St. Augustine is looking at suggestions for naming the conservation area in Lighthouse Park, south of Santa Monica Avenue. One strong possibility — the Maria Andreu Conservation Area. A Minorcan, Maria Andreu was the first woman lighthouse keeper in St. Augustine. The community petitioned for her to have the job after her lighthouse keeper husband fell to his death while whitewashing the tower in 1859. The $400 a year job helped her provide for the family’s six children. She was keeper from 1859 to 1862 when the light was darkened during the Civil War.

Don’t forget to look up tonight. Thursday brought a harvest moon but clouds obscured it. Hopefully clearer weather tonight will make it visible. If you miss it, not a problem. On Halloween a hunter’s blue moon is due. The blue moon name doesn’t refer to the color but to the fact that it’s one of those rare times when two full moons happen in the same month. You only get a blue moon every two-and-a-half to three years.

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