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Residents in the Third Street area of Palatka may see faster completion of new water and sewer lines. The work has been going on for more than a year and Palatka officials including the mayor will be talking to the company that’s replacing the lines today. At a Community Redevelopment Agency Board meeting Monday Mayor Terrill Hill said concerns about workers not being at the project site daily have been raised.
At the Flagler County Jail officials are looking into the death of an inmate and the service provided to the man by the contracted health care provider. Armor Correctional Health Services removed the employees involved but wants the Flagler Sheriff’s Office to pay their salaries and those of their replacements until the dispute is settled. Inmate Anthony Fennick, 23, died Saturday after he was taken off life support. Fennick reportedly had high fevers beginning Jan. 30.
The City of Palatka will be giving the Azalea Festival a break on some of the charges including fees normally required by the city for festivals. The Community Redevelopment Agency agreed to $2,500 for the festival. The money takes the form of absorbing costs such as fees, police and garbage collection. The Azalea Committee is looking at $3,600 in total city costs and will have to come up with the rest of the money for the festival March 2 and 3.
In St. Johns County people were helping out two sea turtles this weekend. It took a front end loader to scoop up one at Crescent Beach. The other – a green sea turtle – was rescued at Ponte Vedra Beach. The Sea Turtle Hospital at UF Whitney Lab took in both. This is the time of year sea turtle strandings increase. According to the Whitney: “These are animals that have had a tough winter and are starting to get pushed in by changing winds and currents.” If you find sick or injured turtles, contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922.
Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift that’s unique? The Woman’s Club of Palatka is hosting a night out featuring dinner and a jazz band — Steve Chandler and Sleek — on Thursday at the Woman’s Club, 600 South 13th Street.
A single car wreck into a 15-foot-deep canal in Flagler County Sunday evening could have been a tragedy, but a nearby resident and prompt response by fire-rescue saved the 34-year-old driver. Jessica May apparently ran the stop sign at the intersection of State Road 100 and County Road 305 around 8:30 p.m. Sunday and her car went into the canal. A neighbor heard the crash, went to the site and called 9-1-1. May was injured and hospitalized, according to the Florida Highway Patrol which is investigating the crash.
Coming up Saturday in Palatka the Palatka Art League hosts a free Bearable Love tea at the Tilghman House. Tea and crumpets will be served and the League is hoping people will buy some of the adorable stuffed bears for sale. It’s a fund-raiser to help the League pay to have the city owned-house treated for termites. The League hosts the annual Holiday House featuring local artists’ work, holds meetings in the house and during the summer sponsors courses for children. The tea is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the River Street house.
More rain than usual during January 2019 reports the St. Johns River Water Management District. Over a 12-month period prolonged below-average rainfall has been seen in the southern portion of the district while prolonged above–average rainfall has been going on in the central. Putnam, Marion and Alachua counties, for instance, have seen more than 60 inches of rainfall during the 12 months while Indian River and Brevard counties have seen less than 45 inches. The extra rain is good news in area counties where lake levels are going up. In Clay County at Lake Brooklyn water levers went up nearly a foot during January.
Flagler and Volusia county residents are being urged to take an online survey on health-related topics. Input is used to create health improvement plans to address community concerns and improve quality of life, and is conducted in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health.
Another challenger for the Putnam County Commission District 3 seat. Douglas Hays has filed his intent to run for the post in 2020, according to Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III. The District 3 seat is currently held by Terry Turner.
A special election to fill the vacancy left by the death of Crescent City Commissioner Marcus Hardy probably will be April 30. Qualification dates would be March 4-8. The commission is set to vote Thursday on the dates.
St. Augustine city commissioners want a new deal with the University of Florida regarding their oversight of 34 state-owned historic properties in the Nation’s Oldest City. The strategic plan has not been updated and a review of the 2010 memorandum of understanding is being recommended by City Manager John Regan. Residents have complained of a variety of less-than-historic uses including big screen TV football games in the Colonial Quarter on St. George Street and loud volume bands at Government House across from the downtown plaza. Both are in the heart of the historic district.
You can celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special night out thanks to the GFWC Woman’s Club of Palatka. On Thursday they feature a dinner and jazz at the clubhouse at 600 South 13th Street. Steve Chandler and Sleek will play. For reservations, call 904-377-5044.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly and eight members of the county’s SWAT team are in Dubai taking part in an international SWAT competition. The trip is paid for by Dubai police and the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of the Interior. Only four American teams were asked as well as teams from throughout Europe, Africa, Russia and the Middle East. The team is due back Thursday.
A pair of Putnam County deputies was honored by Sheriff Gator DeLoach at the Putnam County Commission Tuesday. On Christmas Day Deputies Jesse Fussell and Duncan Townsend responded to a house where a man had collapsed. Fussell, who arrived first, began CPR. Then the deputies used one of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in police vehicles, saving the patient’s life. At Tuesday’s ceremony was Dr. John Milanick, Putnam County’s medical director. Years ago he was instrumental in pushing for deputies to have AEDs in their vehicles.
THIS IS MARCIA LANE, YOUR ROVING REPORTER.