NEWS BRIEFS: Palm Coast graduates 37th Citizens Academy class

Also in News Briefs: Flagler County seeks Veteran-of-the-Year nominees

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  • | 11:45 a.m. August 9, 2016
The city of Palm Coats has graduated 17 residents in its 37th Citizens Academy class. (Photo courtesy of the city of Palm Coast.)
The city of Palm Coats has graduated 17 residents in its 37th Citizens Academy class. (Photo courtesy of the city of Palm Coast.)
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Palm Coast graduates 37th Citizens Academy class

The city of Palm Coast has graduated 17 residents in its 37th Citizens Academy class. 

During the five-week program, the class learned about city departments, attended a City Council meeting, and visited City Hall, the Palm Coast Community Center, main Fire Station 25 and Water Treatment Plant No. 3, according to a Palm Coast government news release.

The graduates were: Dean Bower, George Breeze, Ann Campbell, Steve Campbell, Janet Correia, Nancy Ehrnfelt, Robert Fleury, Donald Harris, Frances Harris, Terri Hewitt, Elisa Klussman, Adella Latus, David Miserendino, Frances Mooney, David Swanson, Dot Whelan, and Jennifer Wright.

The free Citizens Academy meets once a week when it is in session, and is held in fall, winter and spring.

The next class starts Sept. 19, according to the news release. To register, go to and search for “Citizens Academy.”

Don’t pick the berries! County ordinance protects palmetto berries

Palmetto berries are blooming, but county ordinance bans picking them on county public lands. 

“It’s palmetto berry season, which means it is the time of year when we see people on the side of roadways and in our parks to pick the berries,” Flagler County Land Management Coordinator Mike Lagasse said in a Flagler County government news release. “While some private property owners allow the harvesting of the berries with permission, picking palmetto berries is not allowed on Flagler County owned or managed preserves and parks.”

Removing soil, rock, sand, stones, trees, shrubs, plants or wood materials is a violation of county ordinance, and violators can be fined up to $500, according to the news release. 

“People might say they have permission to pick the berries, but this is absolutely untrue of Flagler County public lands,” Lagasse said. “There are no licenses in effect for individuals to harvest palmetto berries.”

County Administrator Craig Coffey said in the news release that berry harvesting activities “reduce the amount of food available for wildlife and can create unwanted trails and debris on our public lands.”

The county has had problems with palmetto berry harvesting at Mala Compra Park, River-to-Sea Preserve and Varn Park in northeastern Flagler County, according to the news release, and other areas of concern include Haw Creek Preserve, Princess Place Preserve, Shell Bluff and Betty Steflik Preserve.

Palmetto berries are used in herbal supplements taken to prevent prostate problems. 

Anyone who sees someone they suspect of harvesting palmetto berries on county-owned land is asked to call Lagasse at 386-313-4064.

Flagler County seeks Veteran-of-the-Year nominees

Flagler County’s Veterans Services Office is asking for nominations for its Veteran of the Year award, and will be accepting nominations through Sept. 30.

The award will be presented on Veterans Day to a living Flagler County veteran who has served their country with honor and used leadership skills learned in the military to improve the Flagler County community through selfless volunteer service, according to a Flagler County government news release. 

“There are a number of veterans who continue to serve their fellow veterans and the community,” Flagler County Veterans Services Officer Sal Rutigliano said in the news release. “They deserve to be recognized.”

The nominee must be a Flagler County resident, a living veteran of one of the five U.S. Armed Forces branches, or a Merchant Marine; “have demonstrated outstanding patriotism, leadership, and service as a veteran and a volunteer in the community or civic service; and, be awarded for a single act or for continuous service,” according to the release. Previous award recipients are not eligible. 

Nominations must be postmarked no later than Sept. 30. They may not exceed three typed pages, and must include a resume (no more than two pages, with a minimum font size of 11 points) that includes: periods of military service and branch of one of the five Armed Services or USMM; military awards and decoration; membership in nationally recognized veteran’s organizations; membership in community or civic organizations; community or civic organization awards or special recognition; and, the nominees address, telephone number and email if available.

A one-page typed nomination statement with a maximum of 250 words describing why the nominee should be selected as Veteran of the Year should be provided with the resume. Proof of military services is also required, through either a DD214 or one of its predecessors: WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, or NAVCG 553.


Mail nominations to: Flagler County Veteran’s Service Office, Attn: Veteran of the Year, 1769 E. Moody Blvd. – Building 2, Bunnell, FL 32110.

Volunteers needed: Registration opens for Intracoastal Waterway Cleanup

The city of Palm Coast will hold its ninth annual Intracoastal Waterway Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 10, and has urged community members to register to participate and to help name the 2016 cleanup’s mascot, the oyster. 

Boaters can clean up the Intracoastal and the saltwater canals, and walkers could clean up paths and trails, according to a Palm Coast city government news release.

The event begins 8 a.m. Sept. 10 at Palm Coast Community Center at 305 Palm Coast Parkway NE. The city will provide supplies, and will hold an awards ceremony with refreshments at the Community Center after the event, to recognize those who found the most unique “trash,” according to the news release. 
Participants can pre-register until Saturday, Aug. 20, at, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays at the Palm Coast Community Center. Participants can also register on event day, but volunteer packages — containing T-shirt, water bottle, trash bags, gloves, safety sheet and cleanup results form — would be guaranteed only to those who pre-register, according to the news release.

Volunteers who preregister can pick up their packages early at the Palm Coast City Hall at 160 Lake Ave. 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, as part of an orientation event that begins at 9 a.m. 

To help name the city’s 2016 Intracoastal Waterway Cleanup mascot, the oyster, vote on Facebook through Aug. 10 at
For more information, call 386-986-2458.

Palm Coast Fire Department offers free Car Seat Check event Aug. 18

The Palm Coast Fire Department is offering a free Car Seat Check event from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at Fire Station 25 at 1250 Belle Terre Parkway. The checks will be done in the Fire Department’s drive-through bays so everyone is out of the sun, according to a Palm Coast city government news release. 

Firefighters will also provide additional information about keeping children safe. Attendees are asked to bring their car seat manual and the vehicles owner’s manual with them, if possible.

For more information, call the Palm Coast Fire Department at 386-986-2300.


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