This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
St. Johns County lifeguards rescued four people including a child at St. Augustine Beach near Ocean Hammock Park Sunday. The four were struggling in the surf when lifeguards arrived. The child, a woman and one man were rescued quickly but the other man needed the help of four lifeguards. The man was awake and talking when they got him out of the water. He was given oxygen and taken to a local hospital. The other three were evaluated but did not have to go to the hospital. Seven lifeguards as well as St. Augustine Beach Police and St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputies took part in the rescue that took about 20 minutes. Rip currents were reported in the area.
Memorial Day Weekend is approaching, which means government offices and schools will be closed on Monday, May 31. Palm Coast is holding Memorial Day ceremony at 8 a.m. Monday at Heroes Memorial Park on Palm Coast Parkway. American Legion Bert Hodge Post 45 plans a parade in downtown Palatka with participants gathering at 11thth Street and heading to the riverfront at 10 a.m. A ceremony to remember the men and women who gave their lives in military service to the U.S. will be held at the riverfront at 11 a.m. American Legion Post 293 in Interlachen is hosting a Memorial Day celebration with ceremonies starting at 10 a.m. and including a Walk of Honor re-dedication. That will be followed by games, Interlachen High School Band, a dunking booth and food.
Palatka Young Professionals, meanwhile, are busy preparing for the Palatka Wine Mixer on Saturday, May 29. Organizers say it will be essentially a souped-up farmer’s market from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with food trucks, a beer and wine tent and live music from noon to 10:30 p.m. all along the Palatka riverfront. Bartram Frolic will be having boat tours plus some bike and walking tours. Organizers say they’re using the event to get people accustomed to having events again and to gauge interest in outdoor activities, including the Blue Crab Festival scheduled this year for Labor Day weekend.
Hard as it may be to believe, students in St. Johns, Putnam and Flagler Counties are getting ready for the end of school. And so are the teachers. Flagler students get out first with the last day of school for them June 3. Last day for Flagler teachers is June 6. Students in both Putnam and St. Johns counties will get out June 10. But before all that happens, expect lots of graduation ceremonies as the nation continues returning to normal.
Weekend figures from the Florida Department of Health show 90 new coronavirus cases for St. Johns County for a total of 23,127 cases since counting began in March a year ago. Putnam County reported 22 new cases for a total of 6,649. Flagler County reported 23 new cases for a total of 7,444. No new coronavirus-related deaths were reported in any of the three counties, and St. Johns dropped their total by one to 219.
Flagler County officials and representatives from boat manufacturers Brunswick Corporation and Boston Whaler held a quiet ceremony Friday celebrating the return of the company to Flagler. About three years ago the company closed their Sea Ray plant, which was the county’s largest manufacturing operation, saying the demand for the pleasure craft had dropped. That left about 440 people out of work. Now a global demand for Boston Whaler’s commercial boats has the company returning to the plant, expecting within a year or two to employ 400 people.
Interlachen Historical Society meets tonight at 6 p.m. at the Historic Town Hall for their monthly meeting. New members and guests are welcome.
Florida Highway Patrol is investigating an accident that left one man dead early Saturday morning. FHP reports a vehicle was southbound on U.S. 1 near Lewis Point Road around 2:22 a.m. when it struck a man standing in the travel lane. The victim was taken to Flagler Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office hosted a drive-by birthday celebration Saturday for local World War II veteran Ed Eisele. He turned 101 and fire, emergency and law enforcement vehicles were among those driving by to salute him and make sure he had a great birthday.