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St. Augustine city commissioners have voted 3 to 2 to let the public decide if commissioners should elect the mayor or allow people to continue to do so. A second vote on the proposed referendum is coming in December and commissioners are looking for input from citizens. Commissioner John Valdez began the issue, pushing for commissioners to elect the mayor.
At a special meeting Tuesday St. Johns County commissioners gave the go-ahead to authorize double overtime pay for EMTs who volunteer on ambulances. Administrator Terry Suggs will oversee the authorization. The change is needed because of a lack of emergency medical technicians, a problem nationwide. Putnam is down 11 paramedics. Only eight of the county’s nine ambulances can be staffed.
Putnam Habitat for Humanity is moving forward with a five-home community for veterans. The mini-development is going in next to Westover Drive, which is near Moseley Elementary School in Palatka. First home will go to Cecil Underwood, 81. His home is being sponsored by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
A couple who wanted to build a commercial gym on a residential street in Northeast St. Johns County has withdrawn their rezoning request. Residents on Roberts Road have protested the request concerned about what it would do to property values and the residential quality of the neighborhood. The couple who wanted to build the gym also planned a second stage including a small shopping center. Roberts Road connects State Road 13 and Longleaf Pine Parkway.
A driver has been arrested in Tennessee in the 2017 hit-and-run death of a 81-year-old St. Augustine man. Timothy Thompson, 31, is in the St. Johns County jail, after a tip from a former fellow cellmate alerted them to his alleged involvement in the death. James Allen Sr. was walking north on U.S. 1 near the St. Augustine airport when he was struck and killed. Thompson is now in jail on a $100,000 bond.
Halloween is tomorrow so expect lots of little spooks and witches to be out. That means drivers need to be on the watch as well. Plenty to do. In Palatka from 3 to 5:30 p.m. it’s Boo on the Avenue on St. Johns Avenue as kids show off their costumes and more than 60 merchants hand out candy. Beginning at 5 p.m. the Palatka Police Department hosts Trunk or Treat in the parking lot of the Palatka Mall. Candy, bounce houses and kids’ games. In St. Augustine the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is holding Twilight Tours tonight, Friday and Saturday. In Flagler County tonight and Thursday Palm Coast Fire Station 21, 9 Corporate Drive, hosts Hall of Terror including a haunted house and show. Admission is free and is recommended for ages 10 and up.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.