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It’s May Day. Not the kind boaters in distress use, but the celebration of Spring kind. Singing, dancing and cake are part of the celebration and for many years schools celebrated with dances around the maypole. Now there’s a memory graduates of Miss Lillie’s Kindergarten in Palatka can relate to.
As retail and restaurant owners prepare for Monday and an easing of coronavirus-related restrictions, area governments are looking at changes. Come Monday normal activities return to St. Johns County beaches including sunbathing. For now you can keep walking, swimming, surfing and fishing, but no lingering. On-beach driving won’t resume Monday and social distancing restrictions stay in place. Flagler County has reopened all beaches 24/7. Putnam County has reopened its parks but not the one at Project P.L.A.Y. Reconstruction is just being completed as is a new splash park.
Two people are charged with a series of BB gun shootings back in January, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. Deon Anthony Jones, 21, is charged with 19 counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle and felony criminal mischief. Deputies had no trouble finding him; he was already in Duval County jail on a separate charge. They’re still looking for Tiyana Anderson, 22, who reportedly was with him as they fired at vehicles on I-95 and I-4 back in January. Four vehicles in St. Johns County suffered damage from the BB gun shootings. The tag on the vehicle involved turned out to belong to Jones’ grandparents and BB pellets were found in the vehicle. In all 19 vehicles were damage with estimated repair costs $12,000.
Three more people in Putnam County have been diagnosed with coronavirus as of Thursday night, according to the Florida Department of Health in Putnam County. Two of the latest cases, both men, had been in contact with a confirmed case. The latest people diagnosed include a Palatka woman, 55; Palatka man, 87; and Palatka man, 24. Total number of cases diagnosed in Putnam since the start of counting is now 106. Flagler County remained at 133. St. Johns County went up one to 208.
On Saturday 5,000 families in Flagler County will be able to pick up food supplies that should last a week. Parkview Church on Belle Terre Parkway in Palm Coast and the City of Palm Coast are providing the food in a joint effort. Flagler residents can pick up the food at City Hall or Parkview Church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In Putnam County, the Feed the Need Backpack Program is looking for food to help children eat over the weekends. Canned meat, jelly, Ramen noodles, soup and ravioli are needed. Pop-top cans and plastic jars are best. Food can be dropped off at Bramlitt’s Plumbing on State Road 19 in Palatka.
If you happen to look up and see a string of bright lights all in a row in the nighttime sky, don’t panic. It’s not an invasion but part of the latest launch of satellites by SpaceX. For now the satellites are clustered together at a lower altitude but they will continue to rise and spread out, becoming less visible. SpaceX plans a satellite system to eventually include 40,000 satellites all aimed at delivering high speed broad band Internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive or unavailable.
Longtime Palatka teacher and health advocate Norma Benson died Thursday. Mrs. Benson taught physical education for years at Palatka High School. When she retired she kept on urging exercise and good health. If you’ve ever walked around the exercise path at Putnam Community Medical Center, you have her to thank. She set lots on a path to good health. A generation of girls will remember physed classes where one of the routine exercises included the chant: “We must, we must, we must improve the bust.” Only exercise some did with enthusiasm.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.