This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
As Presidential vote counting continues, area residents are turning their attention to sports for a bit of distraction.
While November is typically football season, swim teams are going for the glory this weekend also. Swim teams in St. Johns and Flagler counties will be competing Saturday at the Class 4A Regional meet at Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart. Bartram Trail, Creekside and Nease from St. Johns County are considered top contenders for medals both for boys and girls. Flagler Palm Coast has a couple of strong swimmers competing as well. Palatka High swimmers took part Thursday in the Region 1-2A meet in Gainesville with several hoping to qualify for competition at state meets Nov. 14.
Tonight, of course, it’s high school football’s turn with the second oldest rivalry in the state due at Veterans Memorial Stadium for the 7 p.m. kickoff. St. Augustine High Yellow Jackets will be taking on the Palatka High Panthers. St. Augustine leads with 55 wins to Palatka’s 44. Three tie games round out the rivalry record. Seating is limited but you can listen live to the game on WIYD AM or FM. Other Putnam County games tonight are Interlachen High at St. Joseph, Bronson at Crescent City and Peniel Bapist at Old Plank Christian. Coming up Saturday you can follow the Georgia-Florida game on WPLK beginning with commentary at 12:30 p.m.
Florida Department of Health in Putnam County has changed the death count from coronavirus. Officials say after investigation the death of a 77-year-old Putnam man that was announced Thursday was determined not to be a coronavirus death. That changes the total number of deaths since counting began to 51. Officials reported 11 new resident coronavirus cases and three transfers on Thursday, bringing the total to 2,248 cases. In Flagler County 11 cases were announced Thursday, bringing their total to 2,248. St. Johns Count has 73 new cases, bringing their total since March to 6,907.
Palatka City Commission apparently won’t be allowing any large traditional public gatherings for the rest of the year, citing coronavirus concerns. At Thursday’s meeting Palaka Porchfest became the latest victim as city commissioners rejected requests to hold the annual music festival that features musicians playing on the porches of residents in the South Historic District. Already canceled the annual Veterans Day parade and the Christmas Parade.
Florida Department of Health in Flagler County announces changes in coronavirus testing site for the week of Nov. 7-14. Testing and free flu shots will be available Saturday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the lot across from 120 Airport Road in Bunnell. Look for the tent on the way to High Jackers restaurant. Testing is being held at Wawa every other Friday with next scheduled date Nov. 13. No testing will be conducted Nov. 14.
Florida Department of Health in Putnam County has been doing vaccinations this week at schools. St. Johns River State College faculty and students were helping out the teams.
Lawyers are lining up for a chance at the Seventh Judicial Circuit judgeship that will open with the retirement of Judge Patti Christensen at the end of the year. Six names have been approved by the Judicial Nominating Committee to go to Gov. Ron DeSantis. On that list are two Putnam County attorneys: Kevin Sharbaugh and Kenneth Janesk II. Also on the list, Mark Johnson, G. Kipling Miller, Bryan Rendzio and Thomas Pycraft Jr.
St. Johns County has canceled or changed several of their traditional big events this weekend. Rhythm & Ribs won’t take place this year. St. Augustine Amphitheatre continues to remain closed although they have reopened their popular Farmers Market on Saturday. The Great Chowder Debate normally draws thousands to Conch House Restaurant to sample and vote on who makes the best chowder. This year they’re holding it “crawl style” at participating restaurants with winners to be announced online Dec. 1.
Tonight in St. Augustine First Friday Art Walk takes place from 5-9 p.m. at art galleries in the downtown area. In Putnam County, the United Methodist Women at St. James United Methodist Church hold their annual bazaar today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the fellowship hall at 400 Reid St. Palatka. On Saturday the Palatka Art League opens for its 25th annual Holiday House art and crafts show that runs through Dec. 23 at the Tilghman House 324 River St. in Palatka. Georgetown Fruitland VFD hosts their 2020 Community Yard Sale from Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Georgetown Community Center. Bannerville Oaks Farm hosts a Fall Festival Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring food, music and crafts at 253 East Bannerville Road.