Covid is back in force again in Flagler and Florida, and is on pace to be raging in the next few weeks. The public health response is vastly different than it was in the first two years of the pandemic, with a focus on a hands-off approach that leaves everything to personal choices while making a vast array of health measures freely available–if people choose to use them, and if they’re aware of them. Neither is necessarily the case, thus accelerating the spread of the latest variant.
Flagler, Palm Coast & Other Local
Costco Wholesale is opening a 150,000-square-foot store in Daytona Beach in 2024, bringing the members-only wholesale club retailer within 30 miles or less of most Palm Coast and Flagler County residents–just as a BJ’s wholesaler is planning a store on State Road 100 in Palm Coast.
The verdict Friday followed a four-day trial, including jury selection, before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins. Each of the second-degree felony charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison when Davis, formerly of Seabreeze Trail in Palm Coast, is to be sentenced on July 18.
The department is accepting bids from companies through June 10 to provide social-studies books for a five-year period starting in 2023. The department posted to its website a 29-page document that lists criteria for what is expected to be included in the books — and what’s expected to be left out.
The Palm Coast Planning Board recommended approval to rezone acreage off Old Kings Road north of Town Center Boulevard for a 243-unit apartment complex. The proposal drew mis-statements by opponents of the project. A cover letter with a 100-name petition opposing falsely claims apartment dwellers do not “contribute anything to a community.”
Flagler County Administrator Heidi Petito projects a windfall of $12.3 million in addition to current revenue, yielding $7.5 million in new revenue for county government operations, $3.7 million for the Sheriff’s Office, and a little over $1 million between the other constitutional offices. Again, that’s assuming the county commission does not lower the property tax rate to account for the new revenue.
As they were preparing to roll out early this morning Flagler County schools’ bus drivers got a surprise inspection from members of the Transportation Security Administration, the at-times dreaded federal agency and division of the Department of Homeland Security. It was a quietly pre-arranged safety drill by Transportation Director Dontarrious Rowls through the TSA’s “Security Enhancement Through Assessment” program.
There will be periodic lane closures at the intersection of Sesame Boulevard at the eastern Smith Trail starting today (May 18), and on May 31 a portion of Sesame Boulevard near Sedgwick Trail will be closed as Stormwater Crews replace a pipe that has become faulty.
The Palm Coast City Council on Tuesday voted 4-0 to approve a gated subdivision of 95 homes, most on 6,000-square foot lots, on Ryan Drive in Palm Coast’s R-Section, against objections by residents that the development is built of smaller lots, would generate more traffic and could impact children’s safety at a bus stop.
Tuesday afternoon, Rafael Vincent Rivera, 50, and G.P., also 50, were involved in a road rage incident on Pine Lakes Parkway in Palm Coast that escalated, with a knife getting pulled, then swung, then a gun getting drawn, and Rivera getting arrested and facing a felony aggravated assault charge.
John Ridgley Gardner Jr., a 72-year-old resident of Zonal Geranium Court in Palm Coast, was sentenced this morning to five years in prison followed by 10 years in probation on 13 second-degree felony counts of possession of sexual abuse video and images of minors.
The Flagler County Commission approved spending $1.24 million out of reserves to buy two firetrucks in one fell swoop, thus replacing half of Flagler County Fire Rescue’s four front-line fire trucks when the two new engines are delivered in about 14 months. The proposal is to address an ageing fleet and was approved unanimously after little discussion.
The Flagler County school district’s teacher and service employee unions have suspended collective bargaining negotiations with the district following what both unions say is a breaking of a pledge by the district to award one-time health insurance premium rebates to employees. The unions consider that “bad faith,” breaking trust in the district, damaging what for many years had been cordial relations between the two sides, and raising the possibility of more formal measures.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation providing for jail terms of up to 60 days and $500 fines for protesting outside the homes of public officials and private citizens — like what’s been happening to U.S. Supreme Court justices since the leak of a draft opinion reversing Roe v. Wade.
In Palm Coast, gas today was selling at $4.49 a gallon at Wawa and both RaceTrac stations on State Road 100. It was selling at $4.51 at the Shell closer to Flagler Beach, and $4.49 almost everywhere else in the city as $5-a-gallon gas is now a possibility.
Numerous studies have shown that the weight reduction from intermittent fasting diets is no greater than the weight loss on a standard calorie-restricted diet. There are no studies on the long-term safety and efficacy of following this type of diet. And studies show that intermittent fasters don’t get enough of certain nutrients.
Florida and Beyond
Daytona State College’s Falcon Experience Night for Prospective Nurses, “The Odd Couple: Female version,” at the Daytona Playhouse, Malcolm X on self-criticism, an FYO ensemble performs Celtic Force.
The Loop Current is the 800-pound gorilla of Gulf hurricane risks. When the Loop Current reaches this far north this early in the hurricane season – especially during what’s forecast to be a busy season – it can spell disaster for folks along the Northern Gulf Coast, from Texas to Florida.
Indians’ great replacement theory, the county commission meets for a budget overview, the Palm Coast Planning Board, the Contractor Review Board and the Technical review Committee all meet, Pamuk’s memories of Istanbul.
Briefs and Releases
More Florida and Beyond
In a recurring pattern of crudely biased media coverage in the United States, there is no mention in headlines about who instigated the violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian mourners, nor any hint of the power imbalance between a heavily armed Israeli police force and what appeared to be unarmed Palestinian civilians.
The Palm Coast council will hear a somewhat contentious rezoning application for a 28-acre property called Ryan’s Landing, the school board meets, Food Truck Tuesday, Brown v. Board of Education.
Mass public shootings in which four or more people are killed have become more frequent, and deadly, in the last decade. And the tragedy in Buffalo is the latest in a recent trend of mass public shootings taking place in retail establishments, similar to an August 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. On that occasion, the 21-year-old white suspect posted a racist rant on social media before allegedly driving some distance to intentionally target racial and ethnic minority shoppers.
The Flagler County Commission considers spending $1.2 million for two fire engines, The trial of Ian Davis is scheduled to begin with jury selection, Lise de la Salle plays Bach.
Many parents feel guilty when their children play video games for hours on end. But a new study points to evidence of a beneficial, causal effect of video games on intelligence. For example, a child who was in the top 17% in terms of hours spent gaming increased their IQ about 2.5 points more than the average child over two years.
The killing of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, one Million Covid Deaths, Grace Community Food Pantry, Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer in conversation, reclaiming the night sky.
Current constitutional law grants a right to have an abortion until a fetus becomes viable – in other words, until there is a reasonable probability it could survive outside the womb with care. Today, this typically occurs between the 22nd and 24th weeks of pregnancy. But “what is a person?” How people answer this question shapes how they think about a developing human being.
Visit Florida, the state’s tourism-marketing agency, posted information Friday showing that 35.982 million people traveled to the state between the start of January and the end of March.