March 12 – 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).
In breaking news: Palm Coast has a new city manager. FlaglerLive reports Matthew Morton was selected this morning by a 3-2 vote. He’s a former city manager from Washington state.
Lots of government business going on today. A new city manager in Palm Coast and whether to change times for school openings and closings in St. Johns County are being decided today. In Putnam County the county commission meets in the morning and then reconvenes in workshop in the afternoon. They’ll be meeting as the port authority first and later hear a presentation on the Lift Putnam program from director Jim Padgett.
Florida Highway Patrol is seeking a driver wanted in a hit-and-run fatality in Putnam County Saturday. Motorcyclist Charles Blauser, 63, of Hastings died at Orange Park Medical Center after the accident. FHP says he was on a motorcycle at State Road 207 and East McCormick Road shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday when a truck ran a stop sign and struck Blauser’s motorcycle. The truck is described as white and possible a 2008-2012 extended cab Chevrolet. There is damage to the passenger side.
Putnam County authorities are making it clear posting messages or calling in threats to schools won’t be tolerated. Sheriff Gator DeLoach and School Superintendent Rick Surrency in a joint video posted on Facebook Monday urged parents and guardians to speak to children about the consequences of disrupting the educational environment. They noted serious consequences will follow such threats and thanked those who had stepped forward to report incidents. Schools have received a couple of threats in recent weeks. In the first five hours the post was up nearly 3,000 people viewed the message.
More growth in St. Johns County as plans for two new hotels on North Ponce de Leon Boulevard are announced. Owner Kanti Patel plans a Hilton Garden Inn at the old Bozard Ford site and a Marriott SpringHill Suites just north where a Powersports St. Augustine dealership in located. Both hotels have between 80 to 100 rooms and got approval several years ago. Patel is in the midst of building another hotel in the area as well.
For better or worse, St. Johns County is on the map. Latest figures show St. Johns is now the 14th fastest growing county in the United States.
Registration for the three summer sessions at St. Johns River State College is underway at all three campuses. Class dates are summer May 8 to Aug. 10, Summer A May 8 to June 22 and Summer B June 26 to Aug. 10. Orientation is required for all new students.
A wrong way driver in Flagler County Saturday ended up being arrest for DUI and child neglect after deputies stopped him. Michael Bennett, 58, was stopped after reports of erratic driving including swerving through the grass median and driving into oncoming traffic on U.S. 1. Bennett said he was coming from Daytona Beach and heading to Palatka. He was unaware he was heading in the wrong direction and a field sobriety test was given. He was determined to be driving under the influence. With him was his 14-year-old grandson. Bennett ended up in jail the grandson was turned over to his mother.
Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Roy Gutman talks about how to and how not to fight terrorism tonight at Lewis Auditorium at 7 p.m. in St. Augustine. He’s part of Flagler College’s Forum on Government and Public Policy series. Gutman is a foreign editor for Frontline on PBS.
If you’ve always wanted to be part of history, check out tonight’s living history workshop at the main Palatka library at 6 p.m. A beginner’s guide to historical reenactment is offered.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
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