The Voice of the Gem City

Local News 8/24/2021

Political season is cranking up in Palatka for the mayor/commission race. Junior Roger Daniel has filed his intent to run for election in 2022, according to papers filed with Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III. Daniels lists an Eagle Street address. Terrell Hill is currently mayor. 
A single-car accident early Monday morning in the Satsuma area killed a 49-year-old East Palatka man, according to Florida Highway Patrol. FHP was dispatched at 6:20 to U.S. 17 and Kingston Boulevard in Satsuma. The driver was headed south on U.S. 17 when he apparently went off the road, overcorrected his SUV and went off the road into the woods, striking two trees and a culvert before overturning. On Saturday a two-car crash around 3 p.m. on U.S. 17 near County Landfill Road left a 37-year-old Palatka woman who was a passenger dead. Two drivers were seriously injured.
A non-denominational church is coming to World Golf Village’s commercial complex off U.S. 95 in St. Johns County. Reverb Church, which has been meeting since 2012 at Pacetti Bay Middle School, has bought the former PGA Tour Stop retail store. Other plans call for building a 32,000-square-foot complex that will include a 508-seat auditorium, cafe, kids’ worship theater and lobby gathering space. The church had hoped to open a new facility this summer and are still conducting a fund-raising campaign.
Area non-profits who run Palatka’s cultural facilities were notified Monday that the Palatka City Commission on Thursday will look at proposals that could cause major changes to their operations. The city’s Cultural Resources Department will make the 45-page presentation and seek the commission’s direction on the future of buildings including the Larimer Arts Center, train depot, Bronson-Mulholland House and Cooper Building. Cultural Resources proposes selling the Tilghman House, which is run by the Palatka Art League, and Hammock Hall in the South Historic District, and giving the Waterworks Environmental Center and the old pool house at the Ravines to Ravine Gardens State Park. Almost all of the buildings have been recipients of grant money from the state.
As the Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to send a number of unvaccinated people to the hospital, municipal governments in the tai-county area are looking at the future of upcoming events. Flagler Beach has made the decision to hold off returning to First Friday gatherings. In St. Augustine the city is going forward with plans to re-open the doors of the Historic Waterworks building on Sept. 14. An open house and self-guided tours will be held from 3-5 p.m. at the Waterworks on 184 San Marco Ave. At 5:30 a program about the restoration of the building is set with registration required. The structure was built in 1898 as the city’s first waterworks pumping station, part of improvements brought about by developer Henry Flagler.
A search for possibly missing boaters was called off Monday. U.S. Coast Guard began the search Sunday after St. Johns County dispatchers reported three dropped 9-1-1 calls from an area off St. Augustine’s coast. During the search two life jackets and other debris were found. On Monday the Coast Guard determined the emergency calls were accidentally made and the individual who made them is safe and not in distress. They’re reminding boaters an SOS function is on cell phones and they need to properly secure them in order to avoid accidental emergency calls.
Vaccinations for Covid-19 will be available at St. Johns River State College in Palatka on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Flagler Beach City Commission is exploring the idea of not holding Fourth of July Fireworks. One commissioner expressed concern the event has gotten too big so commissioners set up a committee looking at options including possibly holding a fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. Also being considered holding fireworks on both the Fourth and New Year’s.

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