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Garbage collection in Palatka is going back to twice a week after residents finally convinced the Palatka City Commission that was the best course. A nearly four month trial of once-a-week pickup has proved unpopular with many residents who have turned out to voice their objections as well as sending pictures. Thursday commissioners in a 5-0 vote gave in after hearing residents talked about increased trash in the streets and problems with animals in the trash. Annie Keys said it had gotten to the point she wouldn’t walk her dog in streets by her house. “We’re not keeping Palatka beautiful,” she said. Will Jones echoed that sentiment, pointing out city crews were having to come back additional days to pick up trash from roadways. Several people speaking in favor of once-a-week pickup suggested educating the public in recycling as a means of reducing trash. The return to twice-a-week pickup is expected to begin next week.
In Flagler County a 14-year-old died Thursday evening and a 20-year-old is in critical condition after the motorcycle they were on ran into a wooden electric pole. Logan Goodman, 14, a student at Indian Trails Middle School, was killed. Cycle driver Joey Renn, 20, is in critical condition after the crash on Blare Castle Drive in Palm Coast’s Woodlands. Florida Highway Patrol reported Renn, from Palm Coast, apparently did not negotiate a curve at the halfway point of the curve and crashed into the electric pole. According to one witness, the cycle was being driven at a high rate of speed.
No charges are expected to be filed against the driver of a garbage truck that struck and killed a pedestrian early Thursday morning in Putnam County, according to Florida Highway Patrol. Eric Edenfield, 32, of Palatka, was walking in a southbound travel lane on U.S. 17 South at Comfort Road around 6 a.m. when he was struck by the Mack dump truck, said FHP. Edenfield reportedly was trying to get to work after his motorcycle broke down.
Retiring Palatka City Commissioner and Vice Mayor Mary Lawson Brown officially accepted birthday wishes for the City of Palatka Thursday. Mayor Terrill Hill read the proclamation of the city’s incorporation on Jan. 13, 1849. That makes Palatka 162 years old.
A blown fuse apparently triggered fire alarms at Palatka High School causing the school to be evacuated Thursday afternoon. The alarms went off 20 minutes before classes were to be dismissed. City fire trucks turned out. School is in session today.
If you’re in Palatka next week expect traffic detours on State Road 20/Crill Avenue from Palm Avenue to Osceola Street and SR20 between Carr Street and Moseley Avenue. In addition to paving, upgrades on traffic signals at Palm Avenue, Westover Drive, Husson Avenue and Moseley Avenue are scheduled. Work will be at night from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
St. Augustine goes to the pirates Saturday and Sunday at the Old City Pirate Fest in the Colonial Quarter. It’s a family-friendly event with proceeds going to St. Augustine Youth Services and Investing In Kids. Tonight it’s Indigo Girls at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. On Saturday the Glenn Miller Orchestra plays at Lewis Auditorium in St. Augustine as part of the EMMA Concert Series.
Putnam County Chamber of Commerce holds their 85th annual meeting and oyster roast tonight at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. Saturday the Crescent City Woman’s Club holds A Black Tie Affair including music, a silent auction and heavy hors d’oeuvres at their clubhouse. On Sunday the Readers Theater group performs Neil Simon’s God’s Favorite, a comedic retelling of the Biblical story of Job. The performance is in Westminster Hall at First Presbyterian Church of Palatka at 2:30 p.m.
And whatever you do, don’t miss the 10th annual Classic Fly-In and Car Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Palatka Municipal Airport on State Road 100. Antique planes including a pair of restored World War II planes, parachutists, restored antique cars and model planes and drones will be on display. Some plane rides are available. While entry to the event is free, donations can be made to help pay for lunch.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.