The Voice of the Gem City

LOCAL NEWS 8/8/2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Early voting for 2022 begins today in Putnam County as well as in Duval and Bradford. Other counties start next week including Flagler and St. Johns. Putnam Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III says voting will be from Aug. 8-20 including Saturdays with hours 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. You can vote at the elections office in the Putnam County government complex on Crill Avenue, the Interlachen Community Center on County Road 315 and the South Putnam Government Complex on North Summit Street in Crescent City. It’s too late for new registrations or party changes for this election cycle.

State Sen. Travis Hutson will be in Palatka Tuesday at a Putnam County Republican Club meeting. It will be first time for him to visit with local Republicans since redistricting shifted representation. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the Viking Center at St. Johns River State college. You don’t have to be a registered Republican to attend  but they do ask you to go to Facebook or their website to let them know if you’re coming.

Some incoming Flagler College students in St. Augustine are already learning to adjust. Students set to move into one of 46 newly renovated rooms in Ponce Hall East are now being told they’ll stay in Lewis Hall. In an email to the student college President John Delaney said Ponce Hall will be closed for the 2022-23 school year due to a water leak from a fire response system. Renovations were underway upgrading the hall which is part of the original Ponce de Leon Hotel built by entrepreneur Henry Flagler in 1888.

Speaking of entrepreneurs Palatka’s Greg Bacon has sold City Shippers on Reid Street. The business will stay open with Spanky and Dana still on duty, he says. New owners, he reports, are Holden Crews and Kim Trojiano. Bacon several months ago sold his Papa John’s franchise. Word is he and his son are going into business in a marine boat parts operation.

A grief support group begins today at 4 p.m. at the fellowship hall of St. James United Methodist Church at 400 Reid St. in Palatka. Kathy Gebert will lead the group that goes for 10 weeks. For details, call her at 386-937-6209.

Equipment and sand for a dune repair project in Flagler County are being brought into Jungle Hut Park this week in preparation for an operation set to begin Aug. 15 and be completed by Aug. 30. It’s part of the Hammock Dunes Owners Association dune repair. Access to the beach by the wooden walkover at Jungle Hut Park will still be available. County officials say beachgoers should head north since work is being done south of the park. Some of parking lot is expected to have equipment on it. Hurricanes have caused the needed repairs.

Good news on the sea turtle front, the Crescent Beach Turtle Patrol is reporting the coast has officially broken the all-time nesting record set in 2019. So far this year, 1,160 nests have been found along the coast and they are still counting. That includes 1,089 loggerhead turtles, 45 greens, 16 leatherbacks and one Kemps Ridley, a rare one indeed. In 2019, 1,145 total nests were found. Last year at this time only 789 nests had been found. Now, say those turtle troopers, help the littles get out to sea by leaving beaches clean, flat and dark at night so they have the best shot at making it into the ocean. And keep leaving those nests untouched.

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