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).
September 11 is a day to remember that we are all Americans, we are one nation and we are better than all of the dissent. One nation under God. It’s not some political slogan, it’s what we need to be. Haul out the good, dust it off and be what you and I and all Americans together are meant to be. Do it for those people who 19 years ago showed us what being an American should be.
A yearlong drug investigation has led to the arrest of 24 people and confiscation of more than $109,000 in drugs during Operation Unmasked, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Rick Staly and State Attorney R.J. Larizza made the announcement during live-streamed press conference Thursday. Also seized four firearms and more than $19,000 in drug currency. The Sheriff’s Office reported a 198 percent increase in recorded overdoses compared to last year. Fatal overdoses are up also with 17 so far in 2020 compared to 14 in 2019. Staly said warrants are still out on several people and suggested they turn themselves in rather than have to keep looking over their shoulder waiting to be arrested.
St. Johns County School District officials are asking parent to help teachers avoid distractions as they adjust to the new norm. Superintendent Tim Forson in a letter to parents asked parents not to contact teachers during classes, noting: “This has been the most challenging start to a school year that we have ever faced.” Many teachers are teaching to a live class in a brick-and-mortar school and to students working from home at the same time. Concerns were raised by the head of the St. Johns Education Association at a meeting earlier in the week.
Palatka City Commission will be raising water and sewer rates again. For single-family residences the increase works out to just under $7 per month or about $84 more a year. City commissioners approved the increase Thursday night as they have for the last several years. More to customers liking may be a letter coming out with the bill. The city wants businesses and non-profits to know money is still available to help them out with losses due to coronavirus. Mayor Terrell Hill noted Putnam County has put aside about $3 million of federal CARES funding to help. He said the county had gotten fewer applications than expected for the money and the deadline has been extended to Sept. 23 to apply.
Coronavirus restrictions mean WIYD won’t be carrying football games for Palatka High School Panthers tonight or next Friday. You can catch game highlights at 1260 AM and 104.9 FM. Tonight the Panthers play Fleming Island in Clay County, next week it’s Ponte Vedra in St. Johns.
Tangled Oaks Vineyard in Grandin in Putnam County has announced they are closing their store. The family-owned and operated business thanked friends, customers and employees in a Facebook message saying they had decided to permanently close their store. “Blessings to you and stay well,” they said. Also bad news for those who shopped at the Flowers Bakery Outlet on Palm Avenue in Palatka. The discount store has closed and the operation moved to the St. Augustine store.
One new coronavirus-related death has been reported by the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County. The death reported Thursday brings the total to 62 who have died since counting began in March. Thirty-one new coronavirus cases were reported on Thursday. Total cases are at 4,759. In Putnam County 15 new cases were reported Thursday bringing the overall total to 1,889. In Flagler County 12 cases were reported bringing their total to 1,484.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.