The Voice of the Gem City

November 23, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Thanksgiving week is starting out with a decrease in chances of showers and an increase in nice, even warm weather for the holiday Thursday. Get ready for a long weekend coming up with most government offices closing for Thursday and Friday. In Palatka garbage pickup will only be today and Tuesday. Wednesday trash pick up remains the same as does commercial pickup. School districts in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties will be closed Wednesday through Friday.

Despite coronavirus, free Thanksgiving dinners are being organized. First Baptist Church of Interlachen is inviting everyone to a free holiday meal Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by local emergency responders, the meal will be at the church which is behind McDonald’s in Interlachen. If you need a meal delivered, call Jason at 352-225-6429. The Interlachen Soup Kitchen is putting on a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings free of charge. It’s a drive thru and each person in the car can get three meals. They’ll be serving from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at 155 N. County Road 315. If you know of other organizations holding public Thanksgiving events send us an email or drop off the info at WPLK and WIYD 1428 St. Johns Ave. in Palatka.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a person whose body was recovered Saturday in the Intracoastal Watrway. Foul play is not suspect. The individual, whose identity has not been released pending notification of next-of-kin, was found in the water just north of State Road 206 bridge shortly before 2 p.m. Authorities think the individual was probably fishing and had a medical episode before falling into the water.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County has removed one death from their coronavirus-related list of deaths. After investigation, a 73-year-old man was removed from a list of three men whose deaths were reported Friday. The death of the two other men, ages 75 and 76, bring Putnam’s coronavirus total to 57 in Putnam. Between Friday and Sunday, 55 cases new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing the Putnam total to 2,645. Flagler County reported 76 new cases during the same period bringing their total to 2,561. St. Johns County now has 8,030 cases reported since March after 239 news cases were recorded between Friday and Sunday.

Florida Department of Health testing sites in the area will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving holidays.

The two Polk County men sought in the murder of a 21-year-old Winter Haven man are in Polk County jail. Brothers Angel and JoJo Lobato were involved in a traffic stop in Flagler County last week because they were in the car of Danne Frazier, who had been reported missing. JoJo, 19, ran off, and his brother was given a courtesy ride to an Ormond Beach gas station since at the time there was no probable cause to hold him. The car was impounded in Flagler. Four days later Frazier’s battered and stabbed body was found in an orange grove, and a search began for the brothers. The Polk County sheriff says the brothers planned the murder for three weeks after meeting Frazier online.

A reminder coronavirus concerns mean the city of Palatka isn’t granting a permit for large gatherings so downtown merchants have cancelled the annual Christmas parade normally held the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas parades also have been cancelled in St. Augustine and Palm Coast, although Palm Coast is working to put on its annual Starlight Event at Central Park. Black Friday is on, however, and business owners are hoping that will help make up for what’s been a difficult year. Don’t forget to shop locally.

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