The Voice of the Gem City

LOCAL NEWS 8/2/2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Florida Highway Patrol is working a hit-and-run crash with injuries in Melrose this morning. The wreck happened before 6:40 a.m. at Putnam Loop Road and Archer Lane in Melrose. Road blockage has been cleared.
U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack has a busy schedule in the area this week. Today she’s touring the Marion Seniors Services site and visiting with producers at the Marion County Livestock Sale. On Tuesday morning she’ll be in Putnam County. First the public is invited to have coffee with the legislator at CP Deli at 3707 Crill Ave. from 8 to 9:30 a.m., hosted by the Putnam Republican Club. Tuesday evening she’ll be in Pomona Park at their Party in the Park put on by The Neighborhood Watch of Pomona Park. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the gathering is at Mayor’s Park, 107 Worcester Road. The free event includes pulled pork sandwiches or hot dogs, drawings for area restaurants, florist and golf and a bounce house and obstacle course the kids will love. Sheriff Gator DeLoach also will be on hand. A number of local businesses and sponsors are helping make the event possible.
It’s only August and the political scene is heating up in Putnam County. LaToya Anderson Robinson has filed her intent to run for District 2 on the Board of County Commissioners in 2022, according to Charles Overturf III, supervisor of elections. That’s the seat currently held by Republican Jeff Rawls. She’s running as a Democrat. If her name isn’t familiar, you may have heard of her son, Tevel Adams. He’s one of the two students who are at the front of a group trying to have the Confederate Memorial taken down from the Putnam County Courthouse lawn.
While the weather experts were calling for a dry weekend, several showers slipped through. At the WPLK/WIYD weather gauge, 1/4 inch of rain was recorded. Now the forecast is for high temperatures throughout the week plus the chance of rain each day at 60 to 90 percent.
An uptick in coronavirus thanks to the Delta variant has Florida leading the nation in cases, according to health authorities. Not only does Florida now have nearly 22 million residents, but the visitors are flooding in for vacations as the start of the school year beckons.
Officials are pushing for more people to get vaccinated and Florida Department of Health is opening up more opportunities. Flagler County with nearly 117,000 residents is reporting 61 percent of the county vaccinated; Putnam County with just over 73,000 population reports 40 percent vaccination; St. Johns with about 275,000 residents reports 65 percent vaccination. 
Flagler County teachers return to school this week in preparation for students returning next week. While Gov. Ron DeSantis last week was banning masking requirements in schools, Flagler Beach Mayor Suzie Johnston was calling for residents to wear masks and get vaccinated. She’s the first Flagler County elected official to make that call although she was acting on her own in the two-minute video statement. In an update Sheriff Rick Staly gave the community a report on his recent trip to the U.S./Mexico border with four other sheriffs and U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, Staly voiced concerns about the lack of testing for coronavirus and other diseases aside from lice and scabies. In Green Cove Springs over the weekend officials were denying reports that illegal immigrants had been bused into the Clay County town.
St. Augustine plans to continue a Plastic Free campaign that has refillable water bottle stations going up around the Nation’s Oldest City. As of July officials estimated more than 266,000 water bottles instead of being thrown out instead have been refilled and reused because of the stations. Next ones to go in will be at St. Augustine Municipal Marina at the Bayfront and Cafe del Hidalgo restroom area in the St. George Street area.

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