The Voice of the Gem City

December 29, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

In Flagler County paramedics, nurses and health department staff are getting their first doses of coronavirus vaccine today. Florida Department of Health in Flagler County is coordianting with Flagler County Emergency Management, deciding how to distribute the rest of their first allotment of Moderna vaccine. Health care professionals who have direct contact with patients including those in doctors’ offices, clinics and pharmacies are eligible for vaccines during a one-day event Jan. 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Flagler County Fairgrounds. Next priority group will be people over the age of 65.

Coronavirus-related death total for Putnam County is now at 71, according to the Florida Department of Health. Latest victims include a 50-year-old man, a 57-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man. In addition, 18 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday in Putnam, bringing the total since counting began in March to 3,819. Flagler County reported 30 new coronavirus cases, bringing their total to 3,565. St. Johns County reported 75 new cases on Monday, bringing their total number of cases to 12,481.

A rally in support of the Crescent City Police Department is set for Saturday at City Hall, according to department supporters. The rally will be from noon to 2 p.m. with a group calling itself Save Crescent City Police Department hosting the event. The group also is calling for the immediate resignation of new City Manager Michael Esposito. Esposito who made the first move to put the entire police department on paid leave after reports of lack of certification and training. Department supporters say no evidence of that has been found. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is providing law enforcement protection temporarily and has proposed taking over the function permanently.

Coronavirus testing will be unavailable Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 as Florida Department of Health offices go on a New Year’s break. Flagler County resumes testing Jan. 4 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. weekdays  across from 120 Airport Road. There will be no testing at Cattleman’s Hall next week. In Putnam County the test site across from Moseley Elementary School will be closed at 2:30 p.m. through Dec. 30. Testing resumes Monday, Jan. 4.
The Diocese of St. Augustine is looking into multiple allegations against a retired priest who once taught at Bishop Kenny High School. The allegations against Father David Terrence Morgan, 71, have been reported to authorities and are under canonical investigation, say Diocese officials.

Putnam Blueways and Trails hosts a Full Moon Paddle on Lake Broward in Pomona Park this evening from 5-7 p.m. The paddle starts from the public beach. To find out more, call 904-540-0421.

A Women’s Resource Center in Palatka will benefit from the planned Life Half Marathon and 5K Run on Jan. 16 in Putnam County. Race site is Coventry Oaks Farm off Springside Cutoff Road. Run will be  along the Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail. For more, go to

Putnam County UF IFAS 4-H youth are collecting new or gently used jackets and blankets for their annual Blanket, Jacket and Food Drive. Donations may be dropped off at the UF IFAS Putnam Ag Office at 111 Yelvington Road in East Palatka, across from the Putnam County Shrine Club.

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