This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
St. Johns County firefighters are among northeast Florida personnel who have headed to help with rescue efforts at the collapsed condo in Surfside. St. Johns, Jacksonville and Clay County firefighters left Sunday afternoon. St. Johns Fire Rescue says team members will rotate 12-hour shifts during the seven-day deployment.
VBS is in session. VBS, of course, is Vacation Bible School and many churches throughout the three-county area returning to the annual themed instructional and fun time for children. Last year coronavirus closed down the annual gatherings. In Putnam County, Christ Independent Methodist Church today began their Mystery Island session that runs through Friday for Pre-K to fourth and fifth graders.
With Fourth of July falling on a Sunday, governments and many businesses are giving employees a holiday on Monday, July 5. That will mean a change in garbage and trash pickup so don’t forget to roll out cans this week. Celebrations are taking place throughout the coming weekend. One of the best will be at the Flagler County Municipal Airport on July 3 when the Freedom Fest features daylong festivities and showcases vintage and modern aircraft including a B-25 Mitchell World War II bomber. From the airport you can even see the fireworks that will be going up at Palm Coast’s Central Park where the traditional picnic kicks off those events at 5 p.m. on July 3.
Passing showers are expected to roll back into the three-county area today. Morning coastal showers are expected Tuesday with heavier rains coming inland in the afternoon. Sunday offered a rare sight – sunshine through the day, which was a welcome change after rain Friday and Saturday. The WPLK/WIYD rain gauge showed an inch-and-a-quarter over the weekend and our East Palatka correspondent reported an inch-and-a-half. The rain, by the way, didn’t stop fireworks from going up at the Red, White and Boom! Celebration in Crescent City.
An accident on Crill Avenue in Palatka Friday left one woman dead and a man seriously injured in a single car accident near Osceola Street. The accident happened just after 6 p.m. and the 38-year-old Daytona Beach man driving the vehicle apparently lost control. His vehicle went off the road and into a tree, then caught fire. His 32-year-old woman passenger, also from Daytona Beach, died. The driver had serious injuries.
Hours after St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Friday sought the public’s help in finding a missing 85-year-old man, his body was found. John Davidson was reported missing by his family Friday morning after last being seen at his home in the San Nicolas Way area Thursday. An extensive search led to the finding of his body, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
A Ponte Vedra man has claimed the $286 million jackpot prize on a Powerball ticket, according to the Florida Lottery. Clay Tousey, 69, trustee of The Love You More Trust, claimed the June 5 prize on a ticket bought at the Circle K at 721 Chaffee Road South in Jacksonville. Actual take home check was a little over $196 million.
If you’re driving on U.S. 17 in the Dunn’s Creek area, expect flagging operations and lane closures through Friday. Florida Department of Transportation says northbound lanes will be closed intermittently during flagging operations from Hoot Owl Road to just south of the Dunn’s Creek Bridge, from Butler Drive to Pineway Avenue and from Pineway Avenue to just south of Horse Landing Road. GLF Construction estimates the $36.5 million roadway widening project will be completed by the end of summer.
Friday was Take Your Dog to Work Day and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office did their part. The work day is to highlight adoptions and celebrate canine companions. The Sheriff’s Office could be a poster child for the event since most of the pooches are rescues including a Doberman and German Shepherd featured in photos. Even Bailey, the office’s working therapy dog, started at a shelter. If you’re looking for new forever friend, check with Furry Adoptables of Putnam, SAFE of Putnam and St. Johns counties, Dayto