The Voice of the Gem City

January 25, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a woman found in her Satsuma area residence Saturday. Authorities say although there was no trauma, because there is no medical history they are using the same procedure as for a murder investigation. Deputies were called by a neighbor who hadn’t seen the woman in several days. The body was found in the residence in the area of Magnolia Trail. An autopsy and tox screen are being conducted.

St. Augustine City Commission gets its first official look at plans for proposed changes to the Sebastian Inland Harbor Planned Unit Development. The meeting tonight at 5 p.m. is in the Alcazar Room and will be live streamed on CoSA.TV. The massive project on 13 acres includes a hotel, multi-family housing, two parking garages, retail space and a marina. It is bordered by San Sebastian River, King Street and Riberia Street and will change St. Augustine’s entry way and greatly increase traffic. Lincolnville residents are among those raising concerns.

Six coronavirus related deaths were reported over the weekend by the Florida Department of Health in Putnam County. Deaths of a 70-year-old woman, 84-year-old man, 71-year-old man and 47-year-old were reported Saturday. Deaths of a 62-year-old man and a 67-year-old man were reported Sunday, although the death of the 67-year-old is under review. Death total since March is now 98. In addition, 45 new cases were reported over the weekend in Putnam, bringing the total number of cases to 5,249. St. Johns County reported nine new deaths since Friday, bringing their total to 154. Also reported, 256 new coronavirus cases over the weekend, bringing their total to 17,492. Flagler County reported 87 new cases over the weekend, bringing their total to 4,992.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County will have their coronavirus testing site open Monday, Thursday and Friday at 1101 Husson Ave. in Palatka. On Tuesday and Wednesday the site will be closed while they work with vaccination efforts.

On Thursday Flagler College Forum director Jim Toedtman will be guest speaker for the Forum on Government and Public Policy virtual lecture. He’ll present “Curiosity Won’t Kill the Cat: How to Break Out Of Our Silos.” The event is free and open to the pubic virtually at 4 p.m. Go online to to find out more.

The death of baseball legend Hank Aaron Friday brought memories for Jane Thomas Crawford, a Putnam County school board member who was once an airline attendant for TWA. She met Aaron on a redeye flight from Chicago to New York. He was the only passenger in first class and was headed for an interview on Good Morning America. He noticed her Southern accent and asked where she was from. She said probably some place he’d never heard of – Palatka, Fla. He had though and knew of the Azalea Bowl Baseball Field. Aaron in 1953 played a season for the Jacksonville Braves then a farm team with the then-Milwaukee Braves and played in the South Atlantic League. The Azalea Bowl was home to the Palatka Azaleas, a minor league baseball team in the Florida State League. The Bowl is still in use by area high school baseball teams and is next to Ravine Gardens State Park on Twigg Street in Palatka. Crawford said Aaron was “one of the nicest and most gracious people I have ever met.”

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