News Briefs for the week of Dec. 2-8, 2021


Free Nights of Lights shuttle continues through Dec. 30

The City of St. Augustine’s free park-and-ride shuttle for the Nights of Lights will be available from 1 to 11 p.m. every Saturday in December – except Christmas Day – as well as the five days following Christmas, Dec. 26-30. On Dec. 4, shuttle operations will begin at 8 a.m.

Riders may park at any one of three locations: St. Johns County Health Department, 200 San Sebastian View; San Marco Lot (north city), 301 San Marco Ave.; and the Broudy’s lot (corner of U.S. 1 and West King Street).

Drop off and pick up will be at the Visitor Information Center, 10 S. Castillo Drive.

For more information about the Nights of Lights go to

COVID-19 testing site closed Sundays

The St. Johns County COVID-19 testing site at the Wind Mitigation Building, 3111 Agricultural Center Drive, is now closed on Sundays. The testing site remains open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 904-824-5550.

State of the Arts grant recipients recognized

The St. Johns Cultural Council recognized recipients of its 2021 State of the Arts Grants on Nov. 16 with a reception at the Lightner Museum’s Radzinski Family Garden in St. Augustine.

This year’s grant recipients include A Classic Theatre, the St. Augustine Boys and Girls Club, Flagler College and the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum to fund costs of the exhibition “Magic, Mirth and Mortality: Musings on Black Motherhood,” the “Resilience: Black Heritage in St. Augustine” collaborative event, Saint Augustine Concert Band and Sebastian Middle School for a printmaking project for 400 students.

For more information go to

DeSantis signs legislation opposing COVID mandates 

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Nov. 18 that will protect Floridians from losing their jobs due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and protect parents’ rights to make health care decisions for students. The bills were passed through a special session of the state legislature.

Where employers wish to require COVID-19 vaccinations, employees may make use of numerous exemptions and may opt instead for testing, the cost of which employers would have to cover. Employers in violation will be fined.

In addition, government entities may not require COVID-19 vaccinations of anyone, including employees; educational institutions may not require students to be COVID-19 vaccinated; and school districts may not require face masks in school and may not quarantine healthy students.

Students and parents may sue violating school districts and recover costs and attorney’s fees.

Also, state Attorney General Ashley Moody announced that Florida has filed a lawsuit challenging a mandate by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requiring health care workers at facilities accepting Medicare or Medicaid funds to be vaccinated.