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End of an era in Hastings today as St. Johns County begins tearing down the long-closed Hasting Community Center on North Main Street today. The building, completed in 1937, is on the National Register of Historic Places. St. Johns County Commission Vice Chair Jeb Smith confirmed this morning the building is coming down. County engineers have said it is “structurally unsound,” he said. Cost to tear it down was estimated at $60,000. Last year the residents of Hastings voted to dissolve the town and that puts it under the jurisdiction of the county. The two-story, art deco style building was constructed during the Great Depression as part of the Works Progress Administration, a federal program that put millions of unemployed people to work. The building through the years has served as town hall, the fire department, a meeting place and the town library.
Flagler Youth Orchestra with 300 plus members performs tonight at Flagler Auditorium at 7 p.m. It’s the annual Strings Around the World concert featuring students ranging from third to 12th graders. Tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for those 17 and under.
St. Augustine city commissioners meet today at 5 p.m. will be looking at an ordinance dealing with personal vehicles that travel on rights of way. That means transportation such as bikes, skateboards and the like, and attorneys say it will make for a “more orderly scheme that applies to many types of non-automobile vehicles.”
Bunnell City Commission meets today at 7 p.m. to look at the special events ordinance. The commission is considering requiring special events to hire police officers based on expected attendance.
Palatka’s Community Redevelopment Agency board, which includes the city commission, one county commissioner and a downtown merchant, will be looking at the final draft of a special events cost share program and consider a $2,500 request for special event funding for the Palatka Azalea Festival, which is coming up March 1 and 2. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall.
An auto chase on Friday led to a Florida Highway Patrol trooper’s weapon being “inadvertently discharged,” according to an FHP report. A trooper saw a minivan being driven erratically on State Road 207 shortly before 8:30 p.m. Friday. The trooper tried to pull the vehicle over, but the van driver continued on to I-95 southbound. A P.I.T. maneuver was used and the chase came to an end. During the arrest the trooper’s weapon discharged. No one was hit. Arrested was Giovani Philogene of West Palm Beach. He was taken to St. Johns County Jail. Philogene has several previous arrests and has served time in jail.
If you’re driving along Interstate 295 at J. Turner Butler Boulevard, be aware of changes in traffic patterns. Beginning Sunday night drivers started to use new lanes as roadwork on the Department of Transportation’s I-295 Express Lanes project progressed. The project for I-95 to Buckman Bridge is scheduled to be finished by spring.
“Never accept that all of your best moments are in your past,” said pro angler Rick Clunn back in 2016 when he became the oldest winner of the Bassmaster Elite Series on the St. Johns River. On Sunday he lived up to that quote, winning again the 2019 Power-Pole Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River. The Missouri resident brought in a four-day total of 98 pounds 14 ounces of bass to win the $100,000 top prize. He’s 72 years old and beat out 74 other top anglers to take the honors in Palatka.