This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Crescent City Commission holds a special meeting today to look at candidates for the interim city manager job. While the public can come, the meeting notice says no direct public input is allowed while interviews take place. That’s probably not going to improve relationships between the commission and citizens already concerned over abolishment of the police department. City manager Michael Esposito, shortly after reaching his first anniversary with the city, announced he’d be leaving to take a city manager’s job in North Georgia. Esposito was instrumental in an investigation into certification of the town’s police department officers and put members on leave during the investigation.
Putnam County commissioners meeting today faced a variety of issues including a derelict vessel grant application process that’s garnered some negative social media responses. It’s actually a measure they hope will get rid of two derelict boats and not cost the county anything. The county will pay $25,000 for removal and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will reimburse them 100 percent.
Putnam County School Board meets today for the second time in two days. At a workshop Monday they heard a draft of the district’s five-year strategic plan. That included the district’s vision and mission statement. Today they’ll meet at 3:30 p.m. for their regular meeting that includes a resolution requesting Department of Education approval for a general obligation bond referendum. That’s the $300 million bond issue to pay a portion of the price of building new schools in the next nine years. Voters will have their say next year.
A ghost bike has gone up by Flagler Beach pier in Flagler County in memory of a man who was struck and killed by a work van in 2013. Frederick Martinez, 51, of Flagler Beach died on March 19 as he rode in the bike lane on State Road 100. Each year since his daughter, Tiffany Martinez, has organized memorials in her father’s memory, according to the FlaglerLive news site. This year she put up the white-painted bike decked in St. Patrick’s Day paraphernalia.
Palatka City Commission unanimously voted Monday not to apply for a $500,000 REDI Cost Share Application for lining potable water lines. A match of $1.37 million would have been required over the course of two years. Mayor Terrill Hill said, “It is bad math to commit to $1.3 million to get one-half million dollars when we can look to other resources.” A special called meeting had to be held because of a rapidly approaching deadline.
A 40-year-old Palm Coast man is dead after his car went into a canal between Carol and Cardwell Court. Cause of the crash on Thursday isn’t known, according to Florida Highway Patrol which is investigating. Driver Lamar Montel Johnson was headed west on Casper Drive when for some reason he failed to make the turn and traveled onto the shoulder of the road and into the canal. A witness saw the car in the canal around 11:20 p.m. and a nearby homeowner jumped in, pulled Johnson out and tried CPR. Flagler County Fire Rescue pronounced Johnson dead at the scene.
Putnam County FFA and 4-H youth were on pins-and-needles Monday during the weigh-in for steers and pigs took place for the 71st annual Putnam County Fair. Today the swine judging in a variety of categories bgins at 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds in East Palatka. About a third less pigs will be shown this year because many weren’t sure the fair would take place. With a quality pig and quality feed, average price to raise the animal is $800, say those in the know.
Congrats to the Bartram Tail High School girls soccer team players. The St. Johns County Bears defeated Weston Cypress Bay, 4-0, to claim their second consecutive title as Class 7A state champions.