The Voice of the Gem City

News 11/17/2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A Clay County man wanted in three counties for armed robberies of multiple businesses has been arrested. Sheriffs from Putnam, Clay, Bradford and Alachua counties are holding a press conference at 2:30 today at Mossman Hall in Melrose to discuss the investigation and arrest of the suspect, who has not been identified. In each instance the suspect wore a red bandana in carrying out his robberies and detectives believe the man intended to continue his spree during which he stole about $5,000. His bond total in the three counties is $325,000.

The public will have to wait to find out more about the city’s plan to change landscaping including parking along St. Johns Avenue and side streets downtown. The landscape consultant with Ayers Associates, the firm contracted by the city, was to talk to business owners and the public this week but he’s come down with symptoms of coronavirus and has to reschedule the visit. You can go online to to see the proposal for a section of downtown including the area between Fifth and Sixth streets. New landscaping, corner islands, a painted design on the street and one way parking on Sixth are among changes visible. Goal of the project, according to the site, is to “support a vibrant pedestrian environment where residents and visitors can shop, dine and lay in an irresistible and memorable setting.” Officials hope to have a final streetscape design by early 2021.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County Monday reported three new resident coronavirus cases with two cases merged. All the cases are community spread. Total number of cases since counting began in March is now 2,536. In Flagler County 10 cases were reported, putting their total at 2,410. St. Johns County reported 47 new cases, bringing their total to 7,569. On Sunday the Florida Department of Health reported its largest daily increase in coronavirus cases statewide since July. On Monday the number of cases was back in line with recent averages. Sunday there were more than 10,000 cases across the state on Monday the total was just over 4,600.

Putnam Community Medical Center has named a new medical=surgical unit nursing director. On Monday Radames Welch began his new role at the HCA North Florida hospital. Welch is familiar with the area, having graduated for Orange Park High School. He brings two decades of nursing and leadership experience at Jacksonville area hospitals to the job.

Putnam County commissioners and school board officials were sworn into office this morning. Paul Adamczyk entered his first term in office after beating Commissioner Buddy Goddard. Returning to the commission were Terry Turner, current board chair, and Bill Pickens. School Superintendent Rick Surrency was sworn in as were school board members David Buckles and Sandra Gilyard.

Flagler County government’s attempt to dismiss a breach-of-contract lawsuit by Captain’s BBQ has been denied by Flagler County Circuit Judge Terence Perkins. Perkins Monday rejected the county’s arguments involving the restaurant’s attempts to expand at Bing’s Landing, a county-owned park. Perkins did indicate he might consider one of the county’s arguments, but not before Captain’s attorneys get a chance to depose witnesses.

Fruitland Peninsula Historical Society returns to meetings at the Crescent City Library on U.S. 17 South tonight. The meeting at 7:15 p.m. will feature  contributions by area women to the Putnam County community. The meeting is also being broadcast via Zoom.

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