The Voice of the Gem City

March 18, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

An early morning single-car crash near Nocatee in St. Johns County is under investigation by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The passenger in the vehicle died while the driver was not injured, according to authorities. The accident happened at 3:25 a.m. at the intersection of Cross Town Drive and Preservation Trail.

Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County Wednesday reported the 200 coronavirus related death since counting began last March. In addition 42 new cases were reported bringing the total in St. Johns to 20,644. Flagler County removed one death from its total after investigation determined the case was not coronavirus-related. That brings death total to 93. In addition Wednesday 37 new coronavirus cases were reported for a total of 6,328. Putnam County reported seven new coronavirus cases with one transfer out of county. Total number of coronavirus cases for Putnam is at 5,947.

Emergency management officials are warning residents of a squall line of strong to severe storms in Florida and Georgia this afternoon. In Putnam County Emergency Management Wednesday predicted storms coming through Thursday afternoon could produce winds in excess of 60 mph, hail and possibly tornadoes. This is the storm system that moved across the South last night damaging homes and killing at least two people.

Plans to resume in-person jury trials on March 15 in the Seventh Judicial Circuit have hit a snag after the vendor “did not send the jury summons to … prospective jurors in time to reasonably convene trials,” according to Chief Judge Raul Zambrano. Plans were to commence the weeks of March 15 and 22. Now clerks of courts are looking at April. The Seventh Circuit includes Flagler, Putnam, Volusia and St. Johns counties.

Graduation plans are underway in area counties and so are plans for proms. Palatka High, Interlachen High and Q.I. Roberts Jr.-Sr. High in Putnam County reportedly are planning proms for April. St. Johns County has discussed possibilities. Coronavirus last year meant no proms for high schools in Putnam, St. Johns or Flagler counties.

Flagler College’s basketball team is headed to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight after winning 89-75 against Alabama-Huntsville. This will be the first time the Saints have made the Elite Eight playoffs and comes after a 17-2 season.

Rotary Club of Palatka continues its  25th annual blood screening this Saturday moving to the Interlachen Public Library at 133 North County Road 315. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. An eight- hour fast is required prior to blood being drawn. A variety of other tests also are available. You can register online at Next Saturday the screening returns to Westminster Hall across from First Presbyterian Church of Palatka.

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