The Voice of the Gem City

July 23, 2021 News

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Despite a coronavirus clamp down at Palatka City Hall Thursday, the Rev. Karl Flagg was honored Thursday for his 50 years of community service. The longtime pastor at Mt. Tabor First Baptist Church also has had a long public service career including serving as mayor of Palatka, as a Palatka city commissioner and as a Putnam County commissioner. He’s been active in a variety of community events also.

Concerns over a coronavirus resurgence had the City of Palatka urging people not to turn out in person for Thursday’s city commission meeting and instead attend via YouTube. The city didn’t expect the connection not to work for at least half-an-hour but they went forward with their meeting. Mayor Terrill Hill and Commissioners Tammie McCaskill and Rufus Borum were at City Hall and wearing masks for the meeting while Commissioners Willie Jones and Justin Campbell attended via Zoom. Less than half-a-dozen people were in the meeting room and most of those were city employees.

An accident on Interstate 95 at International Golf Parkway Thursday morning closed lanes for about four hours. Two semis – one with a driver from Miami and the other from Orlando — were headed south when a tire blew on one of the vehicles. One vehicle ended up on its side. The other, hauling vehicles, had one car come off the rack. Minor injuries were reported.

A passing boat offered refuge to a sailor whose 38-foot sailboat caught fire several  miles off St. Augustine Thursday afternoon. An electrical cabin fire put the sailor in jeopardy but he was able to launch his dingy to get on the passing boat and escape the fire according to the St. Augustine Fire Department. Station Mayport, St. Augustine Police and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office assisted and the boat was being towed into the St. Augustine inlet. No injuries were reported but the U.S. Coast Guard is reminding boaters to have a VHF radio board to call for help in case of emergencies.

St. Augustine’s Outback Crab Shack will be coming back, according to new owners. The restaurant opening in 1984 and was a popular destination on County Road 12 North. Hurricane Matthew in 2016 destroyed the restaurant which close and Sleiman Enterprises bought the property on Six Mile Creek. They’ll be leasing to Nathan Stuart, who owns six seafood restaurants in St. Augustine, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Word is the restaurant will open in Spring 2022.

Plans for a pair of developments by Piedmont Private Equity for Roberts Road in Flagler Beach are moving forward after a slight glitch. City commissioners had approved the first development, a 112-house development, but had to hold a second second reading after the newspaper advertisement failed to contain information about apartments and number of units planned. The two developments will be going on two sides of Roberts Road north of Wadsworth Park. One development will have 240 apartments in eight buildings; the other side 112 single-family units.

 A Georgia man who rescued a St. Augustine woman caught in a riptide has been honored with a Carnegie Medal. Rod Boothe was visiting from Mableton, Ga., on Memorial Day a year ago when he spotted Kelly Cox struggling about 50 to 75 yards from him. He got her to shore and a couple of nurses who were at the beach took over, performing CPR for five minutes until Cox was revived. Shortly before Boothe had saved his son from the rough waves. The Carnegie Medal, established in 1904, is given quarterly each year to a recognized outstanding acts of selfless heroism in the U.S. and Canada.   

Palm Coast’s Holland Park is closing portions of their $5.1 million splash park for the time being due to safety concerns. The recently opened addition has had filtering issues and software problems but now cracks have been found in the soft padding on the splash park. That led to the decision to close portions of the attraction although the city says repair issues are being worked on and the work is covered under a warranty.

On Saturday St. Augustine Amphitheatre  hosts King Crimson along with special guests The California Guitar Trio. A progressive rock band, King Crimson was formed in 1968 in London and has a reputation for putting on a unique show.

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