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Expect some traffic disruptions if you’re headed down U.S. 17 South at Dunn’s Creek Bridge for the next few days. Beginning today and continuing Friday and Monday work on the new bridge could reduce traffic flow and some closures are likely. It’s part of the $36.5 million widening project that began in February 2018. Final girders are going in over the main span. Channel restrictions also are scheduled with the horizontal bridge clearance reduced by half in order to safely stage equipment and perform work.
A 36-year-old Palatka man has been Baker acted after allegedly holding his father hostage at gunpoint with an AK-47 rifle. Colin Adam Richard was arrested without incident after deputies were called to the father’s house on Palm Avenue Tuesday. The father, mother and man’s girlfriend had been able to get out of the house before Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies arrived. Officers were able to eventually get Richard out of the house. According to the Sheriff’s Office other threats have been made to the parents in the past but they declined to prosecute. In 2017 the father was shot by his son, but both said it was an accident.
In mid-November each year local government elected boards re-organize with officials voting on new chairs and vice chairs. In Flagler County that means Dave Sullivan is the new chair of the Flagler County Commission while Janet McDonald has been voted back in as chair of the County School Board for a second year. At the Palm Coast City Council, Nick Klufas is back in as vice mayor of the Palm Coast City Council, which is chaired by Mayor Milissa Holland.
Got a few teddy bears or other stuffed animals to spare? St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is looking for toys for its Cuddly Care program. The program, nearly 20 years old, brings joy to patients at Flagler Hospital and local nursing homes. Donations of new and gently used, clean, stuffed animals can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Administration Building on Lewis Speedway Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rain cancelled Crescent City’s Scarecrow Festival in celebration of Halloween, but scarecrows get another chance to rule this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow contest, food and a dog parade with or without costumes are planned at Katie’s Klosit on North Summit Street.
Plenty of other holiday celebrations coming up as well with St. Augustine launching its Nights of Lights this Saturday in the Plaza de la Constitucion. The celebration begins at 4 p.m. in front of City Hall with Showtime USA performing and then moves to the park at 5:30 p.m. for the All Star Orchestra. At 6:30 p.m. former Mayor Ramelle Petroglou and just retired city public affairs director Paul Williamson have the honor of throwing the switch that will turn on more than 3 million lights downtown.
Meanwhile in Palatka Sam Deputy is lining up the 110th annual Christmas parade set for the night after Thanksgiving. More than 70 organizations from the area are taking part and downtown merchants are looking for even more to fill out the parade that draws thousands. Longtime music teacher John Alexander will be grand marshal. To take part in the parade, check with Deputy at Graphic II at 386-328-4021 or the Palatka Welcome Center.
Florida School of the Arts annual dance fest is this weekend at the school on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. A variety of dance styles are included in performances during “Body Rhythms: A Dance Choreography Gala” that opens Friday and runs through Sunday. Admission is $5.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.