July 16 – Roving reporter
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St. Johns and Flagler counties each reported a death linked to coronavirus as figures from the Florida Department of Health were released Wednesday. The death in Flagler brings their total to six deaths since counting began in March. The victim was an 83-year-old Flagler County man. He apparently did not have contact with a known coronavirus case. Flagler reported 24 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing their total to 557. In St. Johns County that death brings the total to 13 people. Sixty-one cases were reported Wednesday, bringing the total to 2,076. In Putnam County 20 cases were reported, with most having had contact with a confirmed case. Total since March is 855 for Putnam.
A precautionary water boil notice is in effect for residents on the East Putnam Regional System, according to Putnam County officials. That area includes U.S. 17 from Memorial Bridge to Horse Landing Road, all of San Mateo and all customers on Roberts Road. A lightning strike apparently took out a level sensor in the ground storage tank and during repairs water pressure went below the required standard. The boil notice should be in effect for at least another day.
St. Johns County School District is losing another deputy superintendent. Brennan Asplen has been selected to be the next superintendent of Sarasota County schools. He’s been with the district 14 years as first a principal and later a county administrator. Asplen was one of 31 candidates interviewed to head the A rated district. His replacement has not been named. In June, St. Johns deputy superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt took over as head of Flagler County schools.
Flagler County is looking for a new fire chief. Don Petito announced his resignation Wednesday. Petito has had disagreements with County Administrator Jerry Cameron and several other employees. Deputy Chief Joe King has been acting chief since late June. No decision on who will replace Petito.
Palm Coast City Council will select a replacement for council member Jack Howell, who resigned last week citing health issue linked to his fight against cancer. Voters will get to make their decision during the November general election when a special election is held to select someone to fill the remaining two years of Howell’s term.
Putnam County School District is still hoping to hold graduation ceremonies for 2020. Outdoor graduation exercises are planned for August. Tickets are limited and graduation participants and guests will have to wear masks. Interlachen High School is set for Aug. 4 at 8 p.m.; Crescent City High School, Aug. 6 at 8:30 p.m.;
Palatka High School Aug. 7 at 8 p.m.; Q.I. Roberts Jr-Sr High School, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.; and E.H. Miller School Aug. 13 at 10 a.m.
Visitors are returning to St. Augustine if the number of masks being sold are any indication. The City of St. Augustine just delivered 20,000 masks to the Visitor Information Center this week. Visitors and residents can buy masks as needed. There’s no limit as to how many unlike when coronavirus first began. Since the mask requirement went into effect the city has distributed more than 135,000 masks.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
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