This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Palatka holds a community workshop throughout today to let residents have a say in updating the Community Redevelopment Plan that helps serve as a five-year guide to future plans. Palatka’s Community Redevelopment Agency is looking at the north and south historic districts and the business district as well as surrounding areas. Until 6 p.m. today you can go in person to the walk-in workshop at the city’s River Center. You can also go on-line for a virtual walk-in workshop or you can see the Palatka CRA plan update workshop. Workshop activities take 20-25 minutes.
Early voting continues with St. Johns County reporting 52.36 percent or 109,992 voters as of Monday night either taking advantage of early voting or mail-in ballots. Flagler is at 48.16 percent or 44,266 voters. Putnam County has cast 18,571 votes, 36.63 percent of registered voters. While many are taking advantage of early voting, Putnam County Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III says if Putnam voters stay true to tradition on election day the county will have the highest percentage of in-person voters turning out among area counties.
A reminder Putnam County students are out of school again today, but not teachers. On Monday teachers had a planning day; today it’s an in-service training day. Classes resume Wednesday.
Florida Department of Health in Putnam County reported three new coronavirus cases with three cases merged. Total remains at 2,355. St. Johns County on Monday reported 46 new cases for a total of 6,326. Flagler County reported seven new cases for a total of 2,085.
Congrats to Travonda Browning and C.J. Burgin named homecoming queen and king Friday at Interlachen High School.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has received more than $500,000 to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment resources to county jail inmates. The U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance reported the $532,360 federal grant award that allows hiring of a certified mental health and substance abuse clinician at the jail and partners with a local service provider to insure continued care once the inmate is released.
A Florahome man was jailed after reportedly stealing a bulldozer from Etoniah Creek State Park. Jacob Johnson, 29, told Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies he didn’t think the Forestry Service would care. He was able to buy a key for the tractor through Amazon. He took down several trees on the property and deputies were able to follow the tire tracks to where the tractor was stored on his grandmother’s property. Johnson, who lives in a shed on his grandmother’s property, was able to bond out Saturday. He’s charged with larceny of $100,000 or more and for property damage.
Surfers are happy in St. Johns and Flagler counties as October brings some of the best surfing conditions of the year. Hurricane Epsilon is bringing a bigger groundswell and that’s going to make for some exceptional surfing weather over the weekend with waves 6-7 feet on Friday. However, this isn’t the best time for swimming, say authorities. Rip currents Monday led to three people being pulled from the ocean at Flagler Beach with one woman reported unresponsive. Another woman and a man were also pulled from the surf at North Third Street just before noon. Earlier in the day another rescue at a different portion of the beach occurred. Lifeguards are no longer on duty on the beach and the Flagler Beach Fire Department is advising people to avoid swimming in the area.
If you’re looking for a new best friend, Putnam County Animal Control can help you out. They have 50 plus dogs needing a home. Among them is a large dog named Harry, whose owner died. He was given up by the family to the shelter and the staff is working on getting him ready for adoption. They need a 6×4 or 10×10 outdoor dog run/kennel that can safely house a 100-pound dog. If you can help out with donations or adoptions, give them a call at 386-329-0396.