This news bulletin is brought to you in conjunction with NATKIM Radio. Listen to WPLK (800 AM), WIYD (1260 AM) and WPLK FM (98.3 FM).
For the second day in a row, St. Johns and Flagler counties saw one death each related to coronavirus. St. Johns now has 14 deaths reported with the latest a 39-year-old woman. Flagler County has seven deaths following the death of a 50-year-old Flagler County man. Wednesday’s report from the Florida Department of Health shows 105 new cases in St. Johns County bringing that total to 2,178. In Flagler County 19 new cases were reported bringing the total to 575 cases. In Putnam 17 new cases were reported bringing the total to 871.
Chain stores are joining some government authorities in requiring masks. Authorities say masks help prevent spread of coronavirus. Some are concerned that may put employees having to enforce the requirement into danger from less-than-cooperative customers. Among major retailers adopting the proposal Publix, WalMart, CVS, Best Buy, Costco and Starbucks. Cities in Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam are already requiring masks.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a man found in a lake off Belle Terre Boulevard on Thursday. A fisherman reported what appeared to be a body around 12:30 p.m. and law enforcement responded. The body was taken to the District 21 Medical Examiner’s office in St. Augustine. Identity of the man has not been released, but the Sheriff’s Office is saying foul play isn’t expected.
Today’s the deadline for St. Johns County parents and guardians to choose how they want their students to attend school. Choices include traditional in-person, school-based learning, St. Johns Virtual School and St. Johns County home education. Putnam County parents on Thursday faced their deadline with choices of traditional learning, digital learning and Putnam Virtual School. Flagler County parents must make a decision by July 20. Choices are traditional in-person, virtual and remote. Districts were to open on August 10, but some are pushing for a two-week extension.
If you want to vote in the August primary elections, the deadline to register is Monday. The Aug. 18 election will decide some races in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties.
Palatka officials are holding back-to-budget meetings on Thursday but you can only take part by going online. At 2 p.m. a special workshop of the Palatka Community Redevelopment Agency has been called for 2 p.m. The meeting originates from City Hall and will be held by video and teleconference. At 3 p.m. a special workshop from City Hall will be held. It’s the first budget workshop for fiscal year 2020-21.
What was supposed to be a debate between two candidates for St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office ended up focusing on outgoing Sheriff David Shoar, who was at the debate. St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Robert Hardwick and former Sheriff’s deputy Chris Strickland are in the running. Shoar and a member of Strickland’s team apparently had a heated discussion in a bathroom and that spilled out into the debate at the St. Augustine Shrine Club Wednesday. No reports have been filed and the sheriff was not involved in a physical altercation, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Shoar reportedly said a curse word and used a rude gesture to a reporter.
Flagler County is stalled on a project to preserve 2.6 miles of shoreline at Flagler Beach because 13 property owners haven’t signed easements that would allow the U.S. Corps of Engineers to dump sand on their property. One hundred and forty-one easements were needed for the project that is meant to rebuild and stabilize dunes along A1A. The holdouts hired an attorney after saying the county’s tactics have been intimidating. The lawyer says the city is trying to extort permission. The project will cost about $25 million. Alternative could be a sea wall.
A former Jacksonville radio reporter has been arrested on two counts of cruelty to children after St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office detectives say they found images on one of his electronic devices showing a child being sexually abused. The investigation of Adam Kirk, 37, began in April after a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In Crescent City Saturday a Bridge the Blue rally is set for 2 p.m. in front of City Hall to salute local police and the Putnam Sheriff’s Office. Participants are asked to wear blue shirts and reminded to wear face masks.
Pineland Lodge No. 86 F&M holds a fish fry Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $8 per dinner. You can dine in or take out. Call 386-385-4553 or 386-227-8412. The church is at 190 E. Peniel Road in Palatka.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.