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Florida Highway Patrol reports a fatality in an auto accident early this morning in the Putnam Hall area. Roads were closed in the area and traffic diverted after the accident reported at 6:41 a.m. at State Road 100 and Belle Road. The accident is under investigation.
Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center in Palatka is closing for three months as officials deal with mold problems that developed following a recent pipe break. Company officials say patients will be taken to their homes or sent to other Haven locations. Nearest locations are in Orange Park and Gainesville. Work is to begin Dec. 15. Existing staff will supplement home team staffs to help patients returning home. The facility off St. Johns Avenue has 18 patient rooms with 10 currently in use.
The former principal of Belle Terre Elementary School in Flagler County is now being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after the Flagler Sheriff’s Office turned the case over to the state agency Tuesday. Terence Culver, who has been head of the school six years, has been accused by several people include the president of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization of skimming off funds from the PTO and the school’s administrative account from 2016 to this year. Three other suspects are being investigated although their names were not given. Belle Terre assistant principal Jessica DeFord will serve as interim principal. Culver turned in his resignation Nov. 20 to the district.
In St. Augustine Beach performance evaluations for the city manager and police chief won’t occur until January. The evaluations were to take place in December but not all evaluations have been turned in by commissioners, according to city officials. Also coming up in January will be interviews for a new law firm to represent the city. Attorney Jim Wilson announced plans to retire back in April. Lack of applicants led to delays but the city now has 10 responses to the Request for Proposals and will interview the applicants during a special commission meeting Jan. 13.
In Florahome vandalism has residents asking for the public’s help in tracking the culprits down. A Facebook post showed examples of graffiti at Florahome’s Trailhead for the Palatka to Lake Butler bike trail plus vandalism to the outside of the building at the ball field at Palmetto Park.
The next Community Food Pantry is Thursday at First Baptist Church parking lot beginning at 9 a.m. until food is gone. The pantry site at 501 Oak Street offers free food and is sponsored through Farm Share and the downtown churches.. A clothing giveaway is going on at St. Monica Catholic Church’s Enrichment Center.
Thursday in Palatka In Palatka the Bethlehem Nativity Show begins today at St. James United Methodist Church where hundreds of nativity scenes are on display. The nativities, loaned by area residents, are from around the world and will be shown today through Saturday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit is free. A café is open to sell soup and sandwiches from noon to 2 p.m. Today at the church at 400 Reid Street is also the beginning of the free Advent Concert Series, which features tenor Jeff Elledge and pianist Jeannie Brown. The 30-minute concert begins at 12:15 p.m.
In Flagler County musician Ethan Bortnick is Live in Concert at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Flagler Auditorium. Performing throughout the world he’s raised more than $50 million for charities and his The Power of Music TV show runs weekly.
Put it on your calendar. Palatka High School’s Musical Theater Department opens Frozen Jr. Thursday at the C.L. Overturf Jr. Sixth Grade Center Auditorium. The musical runs through Sunday.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.