The Voice of the Gem City

News September 30, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Beachgoers to St. Johns and Flagler counties need to keep an eye on the weather. Hurricane Sam is bringing high tides and rip currents along the east coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. Rough surf should be coming by the weekend.

If you’re on St. Johns Avenue in Palatka today, be prepared for detours. Power poles are being replaced on St. Johns in an area from Moseley Avenue to Husson Avenue.

Speaking of torn up, Palatka’s riverfront is getting a new look as work gets underway on the amphitheater area. The city was selected for one of Lowe’s 100 Hometowns program. That meant $125,000 for an amphitheater covering and Rotary Club of Palatka has given another $50,000 for the project. The city is working against a deadline from Lowe’s and Palatka city commissioners last week gave an okay for a revamped amphitheater that was a combination of two proposals submitted. Changes keep happening with the city now saying the stage structure will be closer to the north end of the park near Memorial Bridge and the clock tower. About 10 years the city cut back the state nearly cutting it in half. The original amphitheater went in in 1980 with help from Rotary.

Palatka downtown merchants are getting in the October spirit for a Halloween Window Display contest. Deadline to enter is Friday. Merchants are holding a Boo On the Avenue for children Oct. 29. 
A Putnam County man is awaiting sentencing in the hit-and-run death of a Flagler County man in 2020 after a jury found him guilt Wednesday. Joshua Carver had said he did not know he hit a human while driving on State Road 100 on Feb. 27, 2020. He was going 57 mph when he struck and killed Jonathan Rogers, who was walking along the side of the road. Several parts of his story were discredited by the prosecution and the jury took about half-an-hour to deliver their verdict to presiding judge Chris France. Carver had rejected a deal from the state to serve two to three years in prison and seven years on probation. Now he faces a minimum mandatory sentence of four years and a maximum of 30 years for the first-degree felony conviction of leaving the scene of a crash with death.

Florida School of the Arts opens the live play “ Lobby Hero” tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the school’s auditorium on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College.The play runs through Sunday. Cost for the limited social distance seating event is $10 and tickets are available at the door. Curtain goes up today through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m.

St. Augustine is making some changes in sanitation and recycling. At a special Solid Waste Workshop, officials t0ld the city commission they are no longer able to accept glass in recycling. Officials say currently there is no market for glass and they’re having to dump the glass. That comes even as St. Augustine Beach officials have announced they won’t be collecting any recyclables for the foreseeable future because their contracted collector is having trouble getting enough drivers for routes. Monday will be the first day no recyclables will be collected in St. Augustine Beach although a disposal bin will be available at City Hall.

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