This news bulletin is brought to you in conjunction with NATKIM Radio. Listen to WPLK (800 AM), WIYD (1260 AM) and WPLK FM (98.3 FM).
Anglers are on the St. Johns River today in the first day of the 30th annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament out of Palatka. The Lads & Lasses Tournament featuring male/female teams only fished today. Friday it’s the VIP & Friends Tournament offering sponsors a chance on the river. On Saturday the annual Wolfson Tournament begins at safe light. It’s the second-largest bass tournament in the nation with the largest number of fishermen competing. More than $50,000 in prizes are offered and money raised goes to the pediatric hospital in Jacksonville. Since it began the tournament has raised more than $4 million.
St. Johns County has some of the best schools in the state, ranks high in quality of life and has a low crime rate. However golf cart driving may be one of the down sides. That and other types of transportation and infrastructure issues came up during a county meeting Wednesday in Nocatee. When talk turned to problems with carts, Sheriff David Shoar talked about recent accidents. He’s planning a golf cart safety program and is considering asking commissioners to look at new cart ordinances.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office may be feeling like it’s déjà vu all over again. Earlier this year they had to leave their newly-opened Operations Center in Bunnell after mold-related issues led to a number of employees becoming ill. Last week Flagler County officials gave the go-ahead to renovating and using the former Sears building on Palm Coast Parkway as a temporary location for the Center while a permanent location is built elsewhere. Two years ago the county bought the complex for $1.1 million and closed on it in March. Now the former Sears building has been found to have water intrusion and mold. Sheriff Rick Staly says he’s not going to put people in the building. County officials say they will be looking at their legal options to recover money spent to buy the building.
Palm Coast residents will be cutting down on water use. Residents pledged to cut water use by 33 million gallons and cut down on individual water bottle use by 80,000 plus bottles. That earned them the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation for cities its size. The Wyland Challenge is a friendly non-profit national community service campaign. Residents make a series of easy-to-do online pledge to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution and save energy.
Beginning Friday you can have a chance at hunting an alligator — and doing it legally. That’s when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission begins the first application period for more than 6,000 alligator harvest permits. The harvest runs from Aug. 15 to Nov. 1. At one point alligators were endangered but the conservation effort to restore them now means about 1.3 million alligators call Florida home. The hunts began nearly 30 years ago.
Looking for a fun something to do Saturday afternoon? The Pilot Club of St. Augustine is hosting a fund-raiser at Memorial Lutheran Church, 3375 U.S. 1 in St. Augustine. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., bunco starts at 2 p.m. Finger foods, gift baskets and drawings will be part of the event. Tickets are $20. To reserve yours, call 904-471-2246.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.