The Voice of the Gem City

October 26, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Early voting continues today in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties. More than six million people in Florida have voted either by mail or in early voting and totals in the three counties are at record highs. As of this morning Flagler is at 44.9 percent, St. Johns at 49 percent and Putnam at 34.17 percent.

Throughout the state a multicultural group called Faith in Florida and pushing the slogan Souls to the Polls and Let’s Get in Good Trouble was out over the weekend rallying for votes. In St. Augustine the Rev. Ron Rawls was leading the move at Solomon Calhoun Center Sunday. Another group apparently affiliated with Souls to the Polls was in front of the Putnam County government complex Sunday. On Saturday Rawls was in St. Augustine leading a group pushing for removal of businessman and philanthropist Mark Bailey from the board of Flagler College. Earlier in the Bailey had offered a solution to the controversy regarding moving the Confederate memorial in downtown St. Augustine. His plan would have kept the obelisk in place and provided funding for a needed utilities project in West Augustine.

Florida Department of Health reported coronavirus figures for the weekend. In St. Johns County 121 cases were reported over the weekend. Total is 6,280 since counting began. In Flagler County 42 cases were reported between Friday and Sunday. Total is at 2,076 cases since counting began. In Putnam County 34 cases were reported between Friday and Sunday. Total number of cases is at 2,355.

Putnam County students are out of school today but teachers are at work for a planning day. Students also will be out Tuesday as teachers take part in an in-service day.

At tonight’s St. Augustine City Commission meeting Police Chief Barry Fox will talk about implementation of AXON body worn cameras for police. Those cameras are in the near future, say officials. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. Axon is reported the largest supplier of body-worn cameras for police in the United States.

A 25-year-old Palm Coast woman has died and two people are in critical condition after a three-vehicle crash Saturday evening on Interstate 95 South, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The crash was at Mile Marker 300 at 8:17 p.m. A SUV driven by a 42-year-old woman with a 12-year-old girl passenger was headed north on I-95 when it left the roadway, crossed the median and went into the southbound lanes colliding with a tractor-trailer headed south. A sedan driven by the 25-year-old woman also was heading south behind the semi and struck the right side of the SUV, FHP reported. The 25-year-old driver died Sunday morning at a hospital. She was not wearing a seatbelt, according to FHP. The 12-year-old passenger, who is from St. Augustine, had critical injuries as did the driver of the SUV. The semi driver was not injured.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is warning of fraudulent unemployment claims being filed. Area residents reported receiving notification of approval of unemployment benefits for which they have not filed. If you get such a letter, contact the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and begin monitoring your credit reports. This is a form of identity theft and is reportedly taking place in multiple states. You can report such activity to the state by either calling 1-800-342-9909 or go to floridajobs.org.

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