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Putnam County Board of Commissioners met today both as the commission and as the Port Authority. Likely to come up are concerns about Better Place Plan money and how it’s spent. When people voted in the additional penny sales tax, many thought it was only for roadwork. It actually includes a variety of projects and some including commissioners are concerned over allocations. Definitely on the agenda will be recognition for James Robbins with the Sanitation Department. He’s retiring with 31 years of service.
This afternoon Palatka City Commissioners is reviewing the contract agreement for an interim city manager. In June commissioners by a 3-2 vote chose Elmon Lee Garner to fill the post and contract negotiations began with the former city manager of Chattahoochee city manager. A year ago the commission fired Zeriah Folston a day before his six-month anniversary as city manager. City Clerk Betsy Driggers has been filling in as well as doing her job as clerk since then. A request for help led to the decision to hire Garner who will serve until a new city manager is chosen. Palatka has hired a professional search firm to find candidates and that’s expected to take four to five months. The special meeting today is at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall.
A motorcyclist was killed after an early Monday morning crash on the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine. Driver Adam Chester, 38, of St. Augustine and an unidentified passenger were found on the east side of the bridge. Both had been ejected from the motorcycle, according to St. Augustine Police who were called to the site after reports of a loud crash around 2 a.m. Both were taken to Flagler Hospital where Chester later died. The passenger was in stable condition.
The cold weather shelter that’s been helping the homeless in Bunnell more than a decade may sue the city after the City Commission Monday voted to end allowing the group to continue working out of First United Methodist Church. The unanimous vote came after opponents and supporters spoke out about the Sheltering Tree. The non-profit had been seeking a special exemption in order to continue offering the help at the church. The area is not zoned for the use and an exemption was needed.
St Johns County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Palatka man on theft charges after he allegedly stole $164.95 of Nike merchandise from a Nike outlet store in St. Augustine. The store has indicated they want to press charges against Daryan James Alexander, 32. Store employees say Alexander came in the store, stuffed clothing into his pants and then walked out without paying. When he returned, employees called security. Deputies say he later confessed and allowed them to search is car where they reported finding the merchandise.
A Palatka High School graduate has been named Channel 4’s All-Star Athlete. Alexis Lee, daughter of Christie and Jody Lee, was captain of both the soccer team and the swim team and is a four-year varsity letter athlete at PHS. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.1 GPA and was in the top 50 in her class. With more than 200 hours of community service, she’s been an ambassador for Putnam County’s Feed the Need Back Pack Program.
St. Augustine Art Association is honoring a talented artist and continuing her legacy with a celebration fund-raiser July 20. Jean Wagner Troemel was a versatile and prolific artist who during the last decade of her life painted a number of people who contributed to St. Augustine. The Art Association is holding a show and sale of more than 90 of her works as well Silent and Mystery Auctions as a way to help support in perpetuity the award fund named for her. Space Is limited. Reservations are $35 a person and you can get reservations by calling 904-824-2310.
You never know what you’ll find when you get to work. A woman working at a mine site in West Putnam arrived at work Monday to find a paint mare by the office. When she approached, the horse that was wearing purple halter wandered off toward the mine. Putnam County Animal Control was called.
And if you happen to spot a green 1945 Willys Jeep, look twice. John Browning, a local businessman, reports a Jeep was stolen off his property on Yelvington Road. The Jeep has sentimental value – the family has had it more than 50 years. According to some reports the Jeep was loaded onto a trailer and hauled off. Contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.