June 7 – Marcia Lane, roving reporter
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).
Two dune restoration projects in St. Johns County have made the annual “turkey list” put out by the Florida TaxWatch, a non-profit group that each year puts out a list of “turkeys”. Those are projects the group believes didn’t receive the deliberation, debate and accountability needed. This year the list includes 109 items cost $133 million. The budget to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis is at $91.1 billion and he is in the midst of signing bills.
A faith community fellowship covered dish dinner and uplifting music is being put on by eight downtown Palatka churches this Sunday. The gathering is at the fellowship hall of St. James United Methodist Church at 400 Reid Street. The gathering is at 5 p.m. and people are asked to bring a food dish to share. Desserts and drinks will be provided. The event is open to everyone.
Palatka City Commissioners hold a special meeting at 4 p.m. Monday at City Hall. Once again they’ll be looking at hiring a new city manager. It’s been almost a year since they fired their last one and in the interval City Clerk Betsy Driggers has been filling in as well as handling her own job. At Monday’s meeting commissioners will consider applications for an interim city manager; last time they only had one phone call. Also scheduled consider/choose an executive search firm to conduct the city manager search. Commissioners are expected to appoint Danise Kemp to the Palatka Community Redevelopment Agency as the Downtown Palatka representative. At 5 p.m. the CRA board meeting follows.
A Michigan man is awaiting extradition to Florida where he’s suspected of stripping catalytic converters from dozens of cars in beach communities in four Florida counties including St. Johns. Titus Ali Bigelow, 27, will face racketeering charges when he gets back. Authorities say Bigelow would park next to a vehicle, crawl underneath and harvest the catalytic converters using power tools. Converters contain valuable metals including copper and rhodium that can be sold or used for a variety of purposes. He’s also suspected of similar thefts in Alabama and North Carolina. If you think you’ve been the victim of a similar crime call the FDLE Pensacola Regional Operations Center at 1-900-226-8574.
Hot and dry weather has firefighters on the alert and warning people about unnecessary burning. This week in the Waccasassa Forestry Center which include Putnam and Alachua 17 fires have been contained. Nearly 220 acres burned with many of the fires caused by lightning strikes. Putnam has had five fires including one at Seminole Electric in Bostwick that was caused by lightning. It took about 3,000 gallons of water to put out the fire. Another fire in south Putnam destroyed a mobile home and travel trailer.
Putnam County’s Lorraine Carr has a gift for quilting and has been putting it to use giving World War II veterans a special gift – quilts of valor. The handmade quilts feature red, white and blue fabric and a patriotic theme. She and husband Sam were delivering some of them on D-Day to men who had served in the war.
And don’t forget today is National Donut Day. Go enjoy.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
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