. This news bulletin is brought to you in conjunction with NATKIM Radio. Listen to WPLK (800 AM), WIYD (1260 AM) and WPLK FM (98.3 FM) Palatka.
PALATKA – Putnam County is going to the athletes this weekend with professional fishermen on the St. Johns River and runners on trails in west Putnam County. Robbie Latuso of Gonzales, La., took the first day lead in the Bassmaster Elite Bass Tournament, which continues today through Sunday. Weigh-in is 4 p.m. each day at the Palatka riverfront. In Florahome they’re hosting the 2019 Iron Horse Endurance Run. Runners take off at 7 a.m. Saturday at the corner of State Road 100 and Coral Farms Road for the 28-hour race. Athletes can take part in runs that are 50 miles, 100 kilometers and 100 miles.
Florida Highway Patrol has identified the driver killed in an accident Thursday morning on State Road 207 near Cracker Swamp Road as Edgardo Lopez, 40, of East Palatka. FHP says Lopez tried to pass a vehicle on SR 207, clipped another vehicle , lost control, went into a spin and ended up in the left turn lane facing the opposite direction. His passenger Issac Terron, 28, was critically injured. Driver of the other vehicle, David Bland, 26, was not hurt.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a St. Augustine man in the Thanksgiving day death of his girlfriend. Ronald Caruso, 67, has been booked into the jail on first-degree homicide. Tracey Roof called 9-1-1 on Nov. 21 to report her boyfriend was suffering a heart attack. When paramedics got there they reported she was battered but didn’t want help nor did Caruso. Several hours later on Thanksgiving Caruso called to report Root was not breathing. That led to an investigation. The medical examiner says Roof died from multiple blunt force injuries.
Veterans are biking through St. Johns County Saturday, part of the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride. The ride starts today from Wounded Warrior headquarters in Duval County and continues at World Golf Village Saturday.
This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of 5-year-old HaLeigh Cummings from Putnam County. Deputies were called in during the early morning hours of Feb. 10, 2009 after her father’s girlfriend said she awoke in the family’s Satsuma home and found the back door propped open and the girl missing. Despite lengthy searches and investigations, HaLeigh has never been found. If you have information, call Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277 TIPS.
Prescribed burns in Putnam and St. Johns counties are making for some low visibility at times. Florida Highway Patrol is monitoring smoke in the area of Holloway Road (Etoniah Creek State Park) in Putnam and U.S. 1 and Double Grade Road in Matanzas State Forest in St. Johns.
Flagler County is hosting the annual Birds of a Feather Fest today through Sunday out of Palm Coast Community Center. It’s a fun birding and nature festival that’s family friendly. If you like spicy, head for the Florida Agriculture Museum in Palm Coast Sunday. The Hot n Spicy Music and Food Festival features live music and spicy foods from area restaurants and runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In St. Augustine Saturday Fort Mose hosts their annual Flight to Freedom event, featuring the experiences of slaves who traveled to the Fort in search of freedom from 1687 to 1763. The event is on the park grounds of Fort Mose Historic State Park off U.S. 1.