News Ticker

Sept.18 – 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).

Putnam County School Board members will be keeping a close eye on the Putnam Edge charter school if their questions at Tuesday’s board meeting are any indication. It’s part of an effort to improve grades in the district including bringing up numbers from an overall C grade from the state. Last year Edge received an F from the state and while the district doesn’t operate the school they do have oversight. Board chair Sandra Gilyard wanted to make sure the board got updates on student performance, requesting new principal Emmanuel Swift report back Nov. 5 on assessment diagnostic tests set for October. Edge high school is located in the former Campbell School Administration Building, and this year’s enrollment is 76 with the school still accepting new students.

Progress on updating and enlarging the Bread of Life continues with Putnam County inmate crews helping make the dream a reality. The nonprofit feeds lunch to the homeless and indigent six days a week. While work continues at their Main and Fifth street locale, volunteers are working out of First Presbyterian Church of Palatka’s fellowship hall to provide meals.

Hepatitis A continues being a major concern for health officials in Florida. So far 40 people in Florida have died from the virus and reports show a 363 percent increase in reported cases compared to last year. Among lures to get people to be vaccinated – free socks and bus passes for the homeless.  So far this year Flagler County has reported eight cases, St. Johns seven cases. Putnam County has reported two. Florida officials call it an emergency that won’t end soon and are urging people to get the vaccine. Hepatitis A is a communicable disease usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food and water, according to officials.

A man’s body found at Matanzas Beach Tuesday morning may be that of a swimmer missing since Sunday.

The District 23 Medical Examiner’s Office is seeking to determine if the body is that of Jacob Turner, 22, of Tampa. He went missing Sunday while swimming at St. Augustine Beach. A strong rip current over the weekend made the waters dangerous and some 20 rescues were reported in St. Johns County.

Flagler College’s Forum on Government and Public Policy series will focus on fact-checking Thursday. Glenn Kessler with The Washington Post will speak on Fact-Checking and the Truth in the Age of Trump Thursday at 7 p.m. at Lewis Auditorium. The event is free.

A registered sex offender in Flagler County is back in jail after deputies found him at his mother’s home, where she reportedly operates a daycare. Flagler County deputies were following up on Andre Watkins, 39, after he was released on bond for a stalking charge. They couldn’t find him at his registered address – the woods behind Walmart in Palm Coast. They went to his mother’s house in Palm Coast, she told them he wasn’t there. After checking at another address in Seminole Woods, deputies returned to the mother’s house. Watkins answered the door. He said he’d not told officers he was living there because he was concerned about hurting her business. Watkins was arrested and is being held without bond.

Palatka and Putnam County continue to seek ways to revitalize the area. On Thursday revitalization expert Quint Studer from Pensacola will give an update on the project from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Board of County Commission chambers on Crill Avenue. His talk comes as Palatka’s mayor is talking about moving the City Hall from the heart of downtown five miles west, nearly to Francis. Terrell Hill says that’s the direction the city will grow in 25 years. Possibly up for discussion will be the recent purchase of the Bingo Palace on St. Johns Avenue by a group of local investors, several of whom have been instrumental in bringing Studer to the area.

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

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About PluggedInto (1181 Articles)
PluggedInto is an ePublication covering news, history, local events and more in the Putnam/Flagler/St. Johns tricounty area.

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