The Voice of the Gem City

News August 27,2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Palatka City Commission was to meet twice Thursday — first, to go over their budget and then to hold a commission meeting that included proposals for the future of several city-owned buildings housing non-profit groups. Instead, lack of a quorum caused them to cancel both meetings although they had to hold a special meeting with a quorum in order to cancel the commission meeting. Only two commissioners — Mayor Terrell Hill and Willie “Slurb” Jones — showed up for the budget hearing. After about 45 minutes Hill declared the meeting was canceled as was the city meeting, telling the audience “it’s a very unusual time.” An hour later it turned out the city commission meeting was back on; at least for long enough to cancel the meeting. Four commissioners showed up for that. Hill said the budget hearing and the commission meeting will be held Sept. 2, the same day the Palatka Historic Preservation board meets. Hill did urge fellow commissioners to take the opportunity Thursday to talk with two developers who had come up from South Florida.

Seventh Judicial Circuit Judge Steven Henderson has died following a battle with COVID-19. Henderson, 49, primarily served as a family court judge at the Volusia County Courthouse Annex. He was appointed a county judge in 2012 and became a circuit judge in 2017. The circuit includes Volusia, St. Johns, Putnam and Flagler counties.

Tonight’s the first week of the official high school football season but some games have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Lake Weir at Palatka Hight has been canceled and Pine Ridge at Flagler Palm Coast will be rescheduled. Due to COVID-19 problems in Ware County, Ga., their game with Bartram Trail has been cancelled. Instead Bartram Trail will be hosting Tallahassee Richards. In Putnam, Interlachen High is at Daytona Beach Father Lopez and Crescent City High is at Chiefland. In St. Johns County, newly opened Tocoi Creek High will be playing Episcopal at St. Augustine High’s field. Tocoi is starting this first year without seniors. Nease is at Ponte Vedra, Riverside at Parker on Friday and Creekside plays Ribault on Saturday at Bolles.

Putnam County residents will get a chance to let state legislators know their wants and concerns at a legislative delegation get-together Tuesday. The meeting at the Putnam County Complex will be from 2-5 p.m. and legislators will include State Rep. Bobby Payne and State Sen. Keith Perry, whose districts include Putnam.

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly has graduated from the 79th session of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS). He was among 45 law enforcement executives from around the country invited to the conference, which is a two-week program designed for mid-sized agencies.

A planned arts and crafts festival featuring the works of area senior citizens is being rescheduled in Palatka. Former Palatka Vice Mayor and City Commissioner Mary Lawson Brown intended to hold the event Sept. 11 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church but city officials suggested the event be moved to the riverfront where it could expand. After discussions with the city, the committee overseeing the festival has decided to go back to St. Mary’s on St. Johns Avenue for the pilot event that is meant to celebrate seniors and grandparents. A new date, possibly in October, is being considered.

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