The Voice of the Gem City

News April 20, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, a chance to safely discard unused or expired medications. The federal effort is in coordination with police and sheriff’s departments throughout the nation. In Putnam County you can drop off medications at Azalea Health, the Sheriff’s substation in Crescent City and Putnam Community Medical Center. St. Johns County locations are Southwoods Elementary School in Hastings, Gamble Rogers Middle School, Creekside High School, Ponte Vedra High School and St. Augustine Police Department.  In Flagler County locations include Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Flagler Beach Police department and Publix stores in Palm Coast at 800 Belle Terre Parkway, 4950 Belle Terre Parkway and 250 Palm Coast Parkway. Last year nationwide more than 492 tons of drugs were turned in.

For basketball fans of Flagler College’s Saints, good news. Guard Jaizec Lottie announced Monday he is return for a final season. “One last ride!!” the senior tweeted. “We have unfinished business and I’m excited to get after it again with my brothers.” This has been Flagler’s best year in the NCAA, advancing to the Division II national finals with an 18-3 season. NCAA is allowing athletes another season of eligibility because of coronavirus.

Putnam County School Board meets at 3:30 p.m. today and among items expected to come up – ongoing decisions regarding the shut down of at least five schools for the upcoming year. Also on the agenda is explanation of a decision not to allow the Children’s Reading Center charter school request for a charter modification. Board members will get a preview of the musical Matilda, this year’s offering through Palatka High School’s theatre department.

Flagler County Commissioner Joe Mullins, who has crossed swords with fellow commissioners more than once since his election, is facing a $2.5 million federal lawsuit regarding his business in Augusta, Ga. Arizona-based Golf Travel alleges Mullins defrauded their golf vacation package company by delivering either invalid tickets for the 2018 Augusta National Masters tournament or failing to deliver tickets in 2018 and 2019. Golf Travel says the failure to deliver by Mullins Sports and Entertainment LLC “destroyed” their reputation and forced them to close. The lawsuit alleges fraud, racketeering and breach of contract.

St. Johns County is nearing the 22,000 mark for coronavirus cases. On Monday Florida Department of Health in St. Johns announced 28 new cases for a total of 21,976 since counting began in March a year ago. Of those cases 206 people have died. In Putnam County, 11 new cases were reported for a total of 6,283. In Flagler County 12 new cases were reported for a total of 7,046 cases.

At a workshop meeting today Flagler County School Board will get an overview of the district’s transgender-non-discrimination amendment. Board member Jill Woolbright called for the meeting at 1 p.m. today after a recent board meeting where people raised questions and concerns about transgender issues.

When contractors at the Bardin Bridge off State Road 100 in Putnam County noticed the bridge apparently was settling, they closed the infrastructure Monday. The bridge has since been reopened following an inspection. Weight restrictions are being strictly enforced.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who damaged a church sign April 7. Video shows a young black male approaching the Church of Christ at 659 West King Street and striking the sign multiple times, causing it to break off. He was wearing a black shirt, jeans and tennis shoes. If you can ID him, contact Deputy M. Preston at mpreston@sjso.org.

A thank you to Palatka artist Evelyn Snyder. Just in time for last week’s Bartram Frolic she added information to the Wildflower Mural indicating which flowers were discovered by naturalist William Bartram. TheWildflower Mural is at the corner of South Third Street and St. Johns Avenue. The mural was put up by the Conlee-Snyder Mural Committee. She’s the former daughter-in-law of the late Elizabeth and Clint Snyder who got the committee underway.

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