The Voice of the Gem City

Local News 8/5/2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Rain chances are up for the rest of the week with National Weather Service expecting 90 percent chance today and 80 percent chance tonight in the area. Good news is temperatures are down. The WPLK/WIYD rain gauge showed an inch overnight in Palatka and our East Palatka meteorologist reported 1/2 inch.
St. Johns County School Board has approved a new dress code for students as the new school year approaches. Although the board said they felt it was fair and more gender-neutral some students and parents still weren’t happy with the changes and said they would be watching enforcement. The new code calls for positive guidance without embarrassment. One complaint from Bartram Trail High School students had been over an inspection that stopped students in hallways. If they were out of compliance some had to go home to change.
A Putnam County Sheriff’s Office sergeant wasn’t seriously injured when the patrol car he was in flipped into a ditch Tuesday afternoon after being rear-ended near Pomona Park. Sgt. Shannon Depew was headed  south on U.S. 17 near Greenville Road when he slowed because of traffic but the 25-year-old Pierson man driving behind him didn’t and struck the patrol car which flipped. Florida Highway Patrol is investigating.
Nease High School basketball coach Sherri Anthony is now in the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Anthony has an impressive record including nine district championships and a state win during a 36-year-career at the school in northern St. Johns County. She was inducted to the Hall in 2020 but coronavirus delayed the ceremony until last week.
At least two Palatka city commissioners will be taking part in a tour Thursday of Comarco Products in the Putnam Business Park. The city and the eggplant processing plant that moved to Putnam from New Jersey are neighbors since the plant is next to the city-owned airport. The edge of the airport is one of the spots commissioners are talking about moving the city’s public works including garbage trucks.
David Alfin is officially the new mayor of Palm Coast after a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday. Alfin, a longtime Realtor and active civic member in the community, won election July 27 beating out five other candidates. A special election had to be held after Mayor Milissa Holland resigned, citing family health issues.
City of St. Augustine and Flagler Health+ are teaming up with Bolt Mobility to launch an e-bike share program. In all 110 all-electric-assist e-bikes will be available for residents and visitors although they won’t be allowed to ride or park in the Plaza de la Constitucion or St. George Street. Officials say it will increase access to transportation. Some city residents are already questioning the wisdom of more small motorized vehicles in the crowded downtown area.
Putnam Mellon High School is holding a 100th anniversary school reunion Oct. 14, according to Edwin Reid, who is a spearheading the organizing effort. Reid says it may be the last reunion so he’s hoping Mellon High class members and their friends will attend the luncheon at Christ Independent Methodist Church fellowship hall. The Mellon High building was built in 1921 thanks to a bond issue, but torn down in the 1960s. It became the parking lot for the Putnam County Courthouse.

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