This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
St. Johns County’s latest high school will no longer be known as HHH. On Tuesday the district school board by a 3-2 vote selected the name Tocoi Creek High School for the school under construction off International Golf Parkway. The school is named in reference to a Timucuan Indian village once located near the site and will open this fall eventually serving about 2,1000 students with Jay Willets as principal. School colors will be burnt orange, black and gunmetal gray. Still to be chosen is the name for the high school’s teams.
Two people safely escaped a burning house during an early morning fire at a home in the Lincolnville section of St. Augustine today. Red Cross has been notified and is helping the family. Firefighters from St. Augustine Fire Department and St. Johns County Fire Rescue responded to the fire at the one-story brick and wood structure on Cerro Street, which is near Riberia Street.
Putnam County commissioners passed out the honors at Tuesday’s meeting to outgoing Putnam Clerk of Courts Tim Smith. Smith, a former Palatka mayor, chose not to see re-election after serving 20 years in the post. Commissioners voted to name annex building 1-F on North Sixth Street, which for a number of years served as the county commission meeting room. Smith’s last day will be Dec. 31. A farewell drive by for Smith and his deputy Kenny Downs will be held Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. in the courthouse parking lot. Organizers say it’s a way to salute Smith, while following coronavirus restrictions.
An attempt by a new Putnam County commissioner to just keep the Confederate monument where it is failed Tuesday. Commissioner Paul Adamczyk sought to revisit the commission’s decision to move the statue from the courthouse to a park in East Palatka if a group can locally raise $200,000 for the move. Commissioner Jeff Rawls was the only commissioner to side with him. Rawls has attempted to let the public vote on the issue, but fellow commissioners have thwarted that idea.
The motorcyclist killed in on Interstate 95 north of State Road 16 in St. Johns County has been identified as an area veterinary surgeon well known for her works with the First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville. Brienne Lemay was northbound on a motorcycle in the left lane of the interstate when the cycle traveled into the path of a semi truck in the center lane, according to initial reports for the Florida Highway Patrol. The front of the semi struck the motorcycle. Lemay, who was wearing a helmet, died at the scene. In 2017 Lemay was recognized by the Homeless Pets organization for her work saving a dog mauled days after being rescue during Hurricane Irma.
As part of the State Road 20 widening project in the Interlachen area, two roads in the area will be closed beginning Thursday, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. Webster Street and Sherman Drive Circle will be closed from Dec. 10 through late February to allow completion of roadway reconstruction and drainage work.
The area has lost a couple of familiar faces. Gloria Bradley of Palatka was the welcoming face and voice at the front desk of the Palatka Daily News where she worked for 35 years before her retirement. “She never met a stranger” her family swore. Also announced, the death of Rita Arrington who for 35 years worked for Denny Floyd managing his insurance agency and U.D. Farms and Stewart-Witt Farms. She was the quiet presence that worked with others from the Junior Woman’s Club of Palatka to make Toys for Tots a reality in Putnam and later was a vital part of Elves for Kids to make sure toys went to kids in Putnam County. She and husband, Jackie, were familiar sights at the Blue Crab Festival meetings where she handled money matters.