The Voice of the Gem City

February 10, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Crescent City government’s plan to abolish the town’s police department and pay the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement continues to run into opposition. Resident William Stout has sent city officials a formal request to put the issue to the voters. For such an important issue, he said, all those affected should have a voice. He also suggested some other commissioners are likely to face recall petitions. A petition to recall Commissioner Judith West already has been submitted.

Gas prices are going up, according to AAA, the travel people. They reported Saturday was the first time in 340 days that the national average price for a gallon of gas was more expensive than a year ago. Gas prices in 46 states were more expensive for the week with Florida and Michigan leading the way with a reported 11 cent increase. Average price per gallon is $2.49 in Florida. Price per gallon in Alachua is $2.48. Putnam is at $2.44. Prices are expected to continue to rise.

Florida Department of Health in Flagler County Tuesday reported two new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing their total to 77 deaths since counting began in March of last year. In addition 15 new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing their total to 5,518. Putnam County announced the coronavirus-related death of a 78-year-old woman, bringing total deaths to 107. In addition 12 new cases with one transfer into Putnam were reported for a total of 5,461. St. Johns County reported 80 new coronavirus cases, for a total of 19,167.

Foggy weather is expected again tomorrow in the area and that will mean anglers taking part in the AFTCO Bassmasters Elite Series on the St. Johns River will be going out later than usual. The four-day fishing tournament begins Thursday with pro anglers from around the nation taking part. Normally they’d be off at safe light to begin fishing. If the fog’s out, 10 a.m. is a more likely starting time. You can see what the river’s like and what the experts are saying by going to According to the site, anglers are looking forward to ending the stress of preparations and moving on to fish catching.

St. Augustine City Commission has given its blessing and a letter of support to a proposed performing arts center. A group of local arts organizations called Epicentre Alliance began pursuing the idea two years ago. A consultant said the project won’t cost the city or county, but the letter will help in securing federal and state grants. . Cost could be $40-50 million. Reportedly 10 sites are under consideration but none are downtown because of traffic concerns.

Putnam County commissioners by a 3-1 vote Tuesday began the process of shutting down internet cafes. Commissioners were to look at an ordinance to regulate cafes, but they took it a step further going for banning the businesses. The Putnam Sheriff’s Office recently closed two cafes because of gambling, a violation of state law. A new ordinance must be drafted to close the cafes. Only Commissioner Bill Pickens was willing to lconsider the original ordinance put together by the county’s Planning and Development Services.

Palm Coast City Hall may be adding a metal detector to the portion of the building where council meetings and workshops are held. The move comes after several incidents including one in January when a man refused to wear a mask and allegedly got in a confrontation with several employees. Also raising concerns increased tensions at council meetings. Armed security already has been added.

A shout out to Putnam County residents who have been working to pick up trash in preparation for the Bassmasters Elite series. On Saturday the volunteers with Keep Putnam Beautiful were picking up trash at area boat ramps. Last night it was an impromptu clean up at Fred P. Green Park downtown on Main Street.

St. Augustine is saluting its workers with #FaceOfThe City. This week’s honoree Cynthia Garris began almost 13 years ago as a parking attendant. Later she was promoted to custodian in charge of Government House and the St. Augustine Police Station. These days she’s facilities coordinator making sure city properties are run effectively including overseeing repairs, fixes and replacements, according to John Regan, St. Augustine city manager.

%d bloggers like this: