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Decisions by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are having widespread consequences. Area legislators are in Tallahassee for a special session to decide whether to reinstate Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. DeSantis suspended Israel over his handling of the Parkland school shooting that left 17 dead. Another decision has the state Department of Education seeking input from educators in order to rewrite the state’s standards of education. The change is required after Gov. DeSantis earlier this year signed an executive order basically asking for a complete education overhaul. Many had fought against Common Core and DeSantis gave them their wish. Now DOE must have the standards in place by 2020. Last night St. Johns County teachers, education pros and parents were speaking up during a meeting regarding those standards. Some say a rush to change may bring more problems.
An 18-year-old Flagler County woman is discovering lots of people read social media including law enforcement. Kendall Morgan was on social media promoting a house party called Kendall’s HOCO After Party. HOCO is an acronym used for homecoming. Guests were told to bring their own booze and weed to a party on Rolling Sands Drive. An hour and eight minutes into the party it was shut down by Flagler County deputies who found minors with liquor. Morgan was arrested and charged with hosting an open house party and contributing to the delinquency of a child. She was already on juvenile probation. Sheriff Rick Staly observed “Nothing good occurs when minors, alcohol, ‘weed’ and adults mix.”
Putnam County Commissioners are busy today including their regular commission meeting and a meeting of the transportation committee. Some are expected to also attend the 2020 Census Complete Committee meeting at 6 p.m. All meetings are at the Putnam Government Complex on Crill Avenue.
A house fire in St. Augustine’s Lincolnville District Monday night is under investigation. St. Augustine Fire Department and St. Johns Fire Rescue responded to the fire of an unoccupied house near St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church. M.L. King Avenue and Lovett Street were closed down. Fire was found on both the first and second floors of the house and quickly extinguished.
Eddie Cutwright, the head of the newly formed Palatka Recreation and Cultural Resources Department for Palatka, is guest speaker tonight at the Downtown Palatka Inc. meeting. The group gathers at 6 p.m. at Palatka Welcome Center, 900 St. Johns Avenue.
Santa Claus has lost one of his best representatives. Palatkan Lee West, who died Wednesday, for years served as Santa Claus at a variety of functions. His wife Gwen was at his side as Mrs. Claus. West, who had been in the construction business, became an educator including teaching shop for years. His tall built and impressive white beard made him a perfect Santa. In recent years he’d also been part of the Sensitive Santa program through St. Mark’s Episcopal Church offering special needs children one-on-one time with Santa in a calm and quiet atmosphere so they could make their wishes known.
This is Marcia Lane your roving reporter.