The Voice of the Gem City

October 29, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A two-vehicle crash in San Mateo Wednesday morning killed a 52-year-old East Palatka man, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The man was driving eastbound on State Road 100 near East End Road just before 9 a.m. when for some reason he crossed the center line and his sedan ran head-on into a tractor trailer headed west. The sedan went off the road onto the south shoulder of 100. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, according to FHP. The semi caught fire but the 62-year-old Lake Helen driver escaped with minor injuries.  No names have been released.

Early voting numbers continue to rise as people take advantage of mail-in and early voting options. As early voting locations opened this morning, St. Johns County reported 59.39 percent or 125,793 registered voters had cast their ballots. In Flagler County 55.03 percent or 50,598 had voted. In Putnam County 41.66 percent or 21,118 people had voted. Early voting continues through 6 p.m. Saturday.

Hastings may no longer be a incorporated community, but town spirit continues. The Hastings Rotary Club is kicking off Supper Truck Saturday on Halloween. The club hopes to bring out families and area residents for an evening of family fun from 5-7 p.m. at Main Street and St. Johns Avenue. Food, music and treats will be available with area chefs and bakers participating. The St. Johns County group plans to make this a monthly event.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County on Wednesday reported 12 new coronavirus cases, bringing total number of cases to 2,374. Flagler County reported 12 new coronavirus cases bring their total to 2,115. St. Johns County reported 55 cases, bringing their total to 6,436.

A 20-year-old Flagler Beach resident is in Flagler County jail charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl last September in his neighborhood in Bulow Plantation. Allen Ross Marine was 19 at the time of the alleged assault. Marine was a friend of the girl’s older brother, according to reports.

Putnam County commissioners Tuesday amended the River Villas PUD Agreement per a request. The change reduces the required separation between structures or structural improvements from 20 feet to 10 feet.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County next week will offer influenza vaccines free of charge to all Putnam School District students, according to a district release. The vaccines will be given during schools hours Nov. 2-5. An e-mail has gone out parents and guardians of students, both those attending brick-and-mortar schools and those going the virtual route. Consent forms must be returned by Friday.

A state grant for almost $500,000 will help workers hit by coronavirus reductions who are seeking new education opportunities at St. Johns River State College.  The $449,000 state grant offers rapid career and technical training to people unemployed, underemployed, furloughed or at risk of losing their jobs due to coronavirus, according to the college which has campuses in Palatka, St. Augustine and Orange Park. For more, go online or call 386-312-4232.

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