The Voice of the Gem City

January 29, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

The vice chair of Putnam County’s Democratic Party wants two county commissioners censured for apparently not being woke enough. Joshua Mast, who was defeated by a 3-1 margin when he ran against incumbent commissioner Terry Turner in November, has put out a letter calling for the censure of Commissioners Jeff Rawls and Paul Adamczyk. Mast’s reason for the censure – the commissioners’ reposting other people’s humorous and/or sarcastic posts including ones about snowflakes and political correctness. Mast has gotten the local Democratic Party’s executive committee to approve censuring the two men, both of whom are Republicans.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County reported two new coronavirus-related deaths Thursday, bringing the total to 98 since counting began in March of last year. Also reported 15 new coronavirus cases, bringing Putnam’s total to 5,373 cases. St. Johns County reported two new coronavirus related deaths bringing their total to 160. In addition 135 new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing the total to 17,918. Flagler County reported 33 new cases, bringing their total to 5,145.

Khady Harmon is Teacher of the Year for the Flagler County School District. A physics and chemistry teacher at Matanzas High School, she’s been with the district eight years. Chuck Coates, a project manager with Plant Services, is the district’s Employee of the Year. The two were named Thursday during an online ceremony, the first time the event has been held that way.

This weekend’s your last chance to enjoy Nights of Lights 2020 in St. Augustine. The 37th annual event that has St. Augustine sporting more than three million lights in the historic downtown draws to a close Sunday evening.

Law enforcement duties go far beyond patrols. Two Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies have been honored with a life-saving award and the thanks of the man they saved. Cpl. Shaun Valdivia and Deputy Nicholas Zagami were honored Thursday at the Putnam government complex for their actions in saving Kametris Campbell, 37, after he was shot multiple times on Nov. 1. The deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call and were able to treat Campbell until EMS personnel arrived. “I didn’t think I would survive,” Campbell, who is in a wheelchair, said. “I just appreciate them for saving my life.” Family members including his nine-year-old son and his sister echoed the sentiment. Investigation into the shooting is ongoing. If you have information, call the Sheriff’s Office or CrimeStoppers of NE Florida.

Meanwhile, in St. Johns County, Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathan Smith has received a life-saving award for his work in saving an elderly woman. Responding to an emergency call, Smith found the woman on the living room floor where a family member was performing CPR. After checking her condition with an automated external defibrillator, Smith assisted the family member preforming CPR by administering breaths. Just before Fire Rescue arrived, the woman began breathing on her own.

Re-enactors in St. Augustine are excited as groups begin re-enactments again after months of being shut down. Florida Living History Inc. will be putting on “To Defend The Colony” on April 17 in the Colonial Quarter. That recalls the days when Florida remained a refuge for the English King and Country and thousands of Loyalist refugees from the 13 colonies fled to sparsely settled Florida, an English colony.

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