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Plans call for reopening the Putnam County Courthouse Monday if environmental issues are resolved. Earlier in the month Raul Zambrano, chief judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, ordered judges and staff to vacate the courthouse and not return until environmental issues are resolved. Those issues including temperature and humidity as well as problems with the elevator are being worked on, say county officials. “Resolutions are progressing,” said Clerk of Court Tim Smith. The courts are on the third floor, the clerk’s office on the second and the State Attorney on the ground floor. Putnam County Courthouse workers including the Clerk of Court’s staff also moved temporarily to the tax deed building after the concerns were raised. Coronavirus concerns closed courthouse trials earlier this year.
St. Augustine residents just getting over the effects of a record nor’easter may find their water has a new taste. It’s nothing to worry about and it has nothing to do with the recent flooding, say city officials. Beginning today and continuing for three weeks the city will be adjusting chorine and ammonia levels in city water and a slight change in the taste of water may be noticed. Chlorine and ammonia are used in the water treatment process to maintain disinfection of the water. Adjustment of the chlorine and ammonia levels for pipeline maintenance purposes is a standard operating practice recommended by the American Water Works Association.
Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County reported one coronavirus-related death on Tuesday, bringing the total death count there to 68 people. In addition, 32 new coronavirus cases were reported for an overall total of 5,143. Putnam County reported nine new coronavirus cases and two transfers, bringing the overall number of cases since March to 2, 067. Flagler County reported 15 new cases, putting their coronavirus cases total at 1,675.
Fall arrived Tuesday and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are already thinking ahead to Halloween. Bottom line, stay away from people. Among the activities they see as lower risk “carving or decorating pumpkins” but distance yourself if you do it with neighbors or friends. Trick-or-treating door-to-door is considered high risk. For those celebrating Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday to remember the dead, CDC doesn’t advise the usual gatherings and parties at cemeteries. Instead they suggest celebrations at home and virtually.
Residents at a senior living community at Nocatee had some welcome visitors Tuesdays as K9 for Warriors stopped by for a visit. The organization trains shelter dogs to become service animals for veterans. Some of the dogs along with veterans and K9 trainers were welcome guests for residents at Starling Senior Living Community who got to have window visits from their rooms.
St. Johns River Water Management District’s board lowered millage rates for the eighth consecutive year Tuesday as they approved their 2020-21 budget. “The new budget dedicates nearly $148 million to cooperative funding projects — an unprecedented number of projects — while also demonstrating responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle.
A special Interlachen Town Council meeting is tonight at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Up for discussion a proposed landfill expansion in Keuka, west of Interlachen but inside the town’s zoning. A new dump proposed at a closed mine pit near Waste Pro’s landfill off Keuka Road has area residents protesting. The Zoning Board of Adjustment in Interlachen earlier rejected the exemption needed for the expansion. That decision was appealed to the Town Council.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.