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).
A shooting Saturday in the lobby of Sleep Inn motel on Reid Street in Palatka sent one man to the hospital. Palatka Police were called to the motel at 3805 Reid St. around 8:30 p.m. and found a man shot in the abdomen. He was taken to an undisclosed medical center and his name has not been released by police. Police say they have a suspect but aren’t releasing his name at this time. They say the two men got into an argument that ended in the shooting. Police weren’t available today for comment.
Coronavirus case numbers continued to rise over the weekend including two new deaths in Putnam and St. Johns County. Putnam is now at eight deaths out of 962 cases. The latest death reported Friday was a 61-year-old man. Numbers released Friday showed 24 new cases, Saturday 29 and Sunday 38. The other death was In St. Johns County where the death of a 64-year-old man was announced Saturday. Total cases in St. Johns since the coronavirus began in 2,431 with 87 cases announced Friday, 63 Saturday and 107 Sunday. Total number of deaths is 16. In Flagler County the total number of cases since coronavirus reporting began is now at 650. 26 cases were reported Friday, 13 Saturday and 38 Sunday.
As always in a crisis some people are looking for ways to take advantage. Law enforcement is reporting people selling home COVID-19 test kits door-to-door. Only problem is there are no “at home” kits for testing for coronavirus. You have to go to an approved testing site/clinic/doctor in order to be tested. Another scam officials are seeing is people calling saying their health officials and asking for sensitive personal information when supposedly delivering results of a coronavirus test.
School boards are dealing with concerns over opening. The Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union, is reportedly planning legal action against the state for the planned reopening of brick-and-mortar schools. In St. Johns County school board members are to meet Tuesday and the item of reopening is on the agenda. Reportedly about one-fourth of the district’s nearly 44,000 students are opting for school-based district learning rather than returning to classrooms. About 630 have enrolled at St. Johns Virtual School and another 800 applications are waiting to be processed. Putnam County school board officials have indicated they might be open to delaying reopening. Flagler County parents are still returning surveys to indicate their preference for how students will attend school.
Coronavirus Is even affecting sports. This evening the Florida High School Athletic Association is meeting. Official start date for high school sports practice remains July 27. That could change tonight.
In St. Augustine the state has official acquired Fish Island and now the City of St. Augustine is in the process of obtaining a lease agreement and creating a land management plan. The plan has to be submitted within 10 months and include natural and cultural resource information, land use needs and goals and a budget with a 10-year plan. An on-line survey is available on the city web site so people can give their input on what they want to see happen to the island. Fish Island is on the east side of the SR 312 Bridge.
If you didn’t know Crescent City Commission has passed a face mask recommendation for citizen safety.
Mark your calendar. The railroad crossing on Reid Street in Palatka is scheduled to be closed July 23 to Aug. 1. CSX is repairing the crossing. Expect delays and detours.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.