Feb. 26: Marcia Lane, roving reporter
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).
An accident on the East Palatka side of Memorial Bridge this morning tied up traffic with lines backing up into San Mateo at times. Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck.
A 20-year-old Palatka man is undergoing more surgeries in Gainesville today following an accident Monday at U.S. 17 and State Road 207. According to Florida Highway Patrol Trenton Luke, 20, got out of a stopped vehicle on 17 and apparently into the path of a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by Leo Holt, 80, of East Palatka. Luke was knocked into the southbound lane of U.S. 17 and taken to UF Shands Medical Center in Gainesville, where he is in critical condition. Charges are pending, according to FHP.
St Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver Monday night couldn’t convince any of her fellow commissioners to rescind their decision to buy two lots on Coquina Avenue. Shaver, who voted for the $459,000 purchase, had changed her mind about the buy and had been seeking the public’s help to get the vote reconsidered. City Manager John Regan put forward the purchase as a means to help ease flooding in the Davis Shores area and to use the land as a park.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has rescinded more than 200 appointments, most made by Gov. Rick Scott in his final days in office. The move affects most counties in Florida including Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns. Three of the members of St. Johns River Water Management District are off and five of the six members of St. Johns River State College won’t be serving. Only Brian Keith who was appointed last year and confirmed by the Senate remains on the college board. DeSantis informed the State Senate, which normally would confirm the choices, of his decision. Off the college board of trustees are Robert Crum, Wendell Davis, Leslie Dougher, Samuel Garrison and James Reid. Dougher is former chair of the Republican Party of Florida. Off the Water Management board are John Miklos, Jane Price and Allan Bruce Roberts.
Putnam County no longer has any Democrats as constitutional officers. Since the first of the year, School Superintendent Rick Surrency, Clerk of Courts Tim Smith and Tax Collector Linda Myers have all changed party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. It’s part of a sweep being seen throughout the state as the Republican Party continues a ride to dominance with many Democrats feeling national leadership is no longer listening to them, say analysts.
Crescent City won’t have any lack of candidates for the City Commission seat left vacant by the death of Marcus Hardy in January. Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III says three more candidates have filed including Jamaad Batts Caesar, Kathleen “Katie” Berg and Christine Barber..Former Police Chief Robert Johnson had already filed. The election is April 30.
The State Road 206 Bridge in St. Johns County remains open to vehicular traffic but closed to marine traffic. Further repair on the bridge at Crescent Beach is pending.
Flagler County Commissioners Monday approved a contract with Jerry Cameron to serve as interim administrator as they search for a permanent administrator. Cameron, a former assistant county administrator in St. Johns County, will continue living in St. Johns.
A pickup truck rear-ended a Flagler County school bus Monday. All but one of the 40 students on the bus were taken to Bunnell Elementary by another bus. One student was examined after complaining of neck injuries and turned over to his guardian. Susanne Gardner, 53 of Palm Coast was driving the pickup. Neither she nor bus driver Carlos Rodriguez was reported injured.
Putnam County is mourning the death of Dr. Walter Weigel, 93. Born on a potato farm in Elkton, he specialized in cardiology during his many years of practice in Palatka. Along with his wife, Carolyn, he was active in the community. Services are Thursday at Christ Independent Methodist Church.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
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