This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Putnam County students and teachers are back in the classroom today as Christmas holidays come to an end. Students will be out again in two weeks when teachers have a planning day Jan. 13 and an in-service day Jan. 14. In Flagler County teachers are back in school today and Tuesday for work day/professional learning days. Students will be back in school from the holidays beginning Wednesday. In St. Johns County the break continues for teachers through Tuesday although they’ll be back on Wednesday for a teacher planning day. Classes resume for students Thursday. Next day off for everyone will be Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
Florida Highway Patrol reports a 13-year-old Hastings boy riding his bicycle was killed Sunday evening when he was struck from behind by a 46-year-old Hollister man driving a pickup truck. The accident on County Road 13 happened around 6:30 p.m. when the truck, traveling east, passed Cowpen Branch Road intersection and hit the bicycle. The boy was thrown from the bike onto the roadway, with the bike caught on the front of the pickup that ended on the right shoulder of the road. The driver had no injuries. The accident is under investigation.
A 30-year-old motorcyclist was killed early Saturday morning in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 95 in Flagler County. The accident shortly before sunup, happened just south of the Palm Coast Parkway. A 9-1-1 call reported the motorcycle blocking traffic in the northbound lanes of I-95 and rescuers responded. The driver was later found in the median between the guardrails. Severely injured, he died after paramedics arrived. He was wearing a helmet. A witness said he might have been looking at his cell phone when the accident happened, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The traffic death, was the ninth fatality for 2021 in Flagler. Six of the nine fatalities this year were either motorcyclists or cyclists.
City of Palatka heads into the New Year with a week of meetings. On Tuesday Palatka Planning Board meets at 4 p.m. with a request for tree removal at 6805 St. Johns Ave. by Cottages of St. Johns. On Wednesday the Airport Advisory Board meets at noon. On the agenda for discussion are continued private hangar talks, airport mural, and business report. On Thursday the Historic Preservation Board meets to look at a request for a certificate of appropriateness for a house at 114 South Third St. All three meetings take place at City Hall.
Flagler Auditorium begins the New Year right with Winter Dance Party this Friday, a celebration featuring hit songs of the 1950s. John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party is the official live and authentic re-creation of the final tour of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper and is the only show endorsed by the estates of the three performers. The show features more than two hours of high voltage entertainment and includes songs such as That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Oh, Boy, Rave On, La Bamba and Chantilly Lace. The performance is at 7 p.m. at Flagler Auditorium in Palm Coast. Tickets are available online.
St. Augustine Fire Prevention Division Chief Robert “Bob” Growick is retiring on a high note. St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles announced Growick has been named Fire Marshal of the Year for 2020 by the Florida Fire Chief Association. Growick is a 40-year veteran of the fire service and has been the city’s fire marshal of the past eight years. He’s also served three years as northeast regional director of the Florida Fire Marshals Inspector Association and the president of the Northeast Florida Fire Prevention Association.