April 18-19 – M. 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).
A 77-year-old Ponte Vedra Beach resident fought back when he and his wife woke to find an armed home invasion suspect in their Sea Winds Lane home Tuesday morning. St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says the man’s wife woke first and saw the suspect going through their closet. The suspect had a knife and flashlight in his hands. Her husband responded, pulling a knife of his own and confronting the suspect who fled out the front door.
Rep. Bobby Payne is getting kudos for his role in setting up Rural Counties Day in the Florida Legislature Wednesday. Putnam, Bradford, Union and part of Clay county makes up his District 19 and officials from the counties were on hand. Rotary Club of Crescent City drew some raves of their own fixing catfish dinners for about 1,000 at the event to help familiarize legislators with needs and concerns of some of the smaller counties.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office detective Fiona Ebrill has been named law enforcement officer of the year for 2019 by the Victim’s Service Coalition of the 7th Judicial Circuit and Halifax Health-Hospice. In 2018 Ebrill carried a caseload of nearly 200 cases as she investigated domestic violence.
Weather’s turning warmer and that means thieves are spending time at the beach, breaking into cars. St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office reported six reported car break-ins at the Guana Beach access off A1A in Ponte Vedra over the weekend. In one case nearly $4,000 was run up on a victim’s credit card. Deputies warn not to leave items on car seats since thieves are breaking windows to get in. If you put something in the trunk, do it before you park say officers. Don’t forget, thieves are watching.
Saturday people in St. Johns County will have a chance to recycle documents as part of a free shredding event. Locations are Republic Services from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Anastasia Square Shopping Center from 8 a.m. to non. Items generated by commercial activity, three-ring binders and cardboard won’t be accepted. Call 904-827-6980.
In Putnam County Master Gardeners will hold a plant sale Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Plants will be sold at the Putnam County Fairgrounds in East Palatka.
Also Saturday in East Palatka the Putnam County Shrine Club holds a benefit for the Hastings Masonic Lodge. It’s an all-you-can-eat fest including boiled shrimp, French fries and hushpuppies. The band Deux-Oh will perform. The event is from noon to 4 p.m.
Today is Good Friday and schools in St. Johns, Putnam and Flagler counties will be closed. Country and city governments in those counties also are scheduled to be closed for a long weekend.
Easter and Passover dominate this weekend with events ranging from services to Easter egg hunts. On Saturday St. Augustine hosts the 60th annual Easter Parade beginning at 9 a.m. from the Old Jail. For many, Sunday morning will be a chance to attend sunrise services in Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties. In Flagler County, sunrise services include:
Ecumenical service at Veterans Park 6:30-8:30 a.m.;
Beachside Community Church Service on Flagler Beach in front of North 4th Street 7 a.m.;
Salty Church Sunrise Service on the Pier Flagler Beach Pier 7 a.m.
In St. Johns County, sunrise services are:
In front of the Castillo de San Marcos at 6:30 a.m.;
At Vilano Beach at 6:45 a.m.;
At Crescent Beach at 7 a.m.; and
Mass at the Rustic Altar at Mission Nombre de Dios at 10 a.m.
In Putnam County:
Palatka Riverfront Park sponsored by the Central Putnam Ministerial Association at 6:30 a.m.
West Putnam Community holds a sunrise service at 7 a.m. at Mary Wisham Ball Park, SR 315 South
A reminder schools, county offices and city halls are closed today in Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputies spent Thursday tracking down a suspect in an attempted home invasion burglary in Ponte Vedra Beach. John Matthew Kennedy, 26, was eventually captured on Canal Street and taken in for questioning in the Sea Winds Lane case. A couple woke to find a man armed with a knife in their house. The 77-year-old homeowner got his own knife and chased the suspect out the front door.
A Crescent City man has been arrested and extradited from Oregon back to Florida where he faces four counts of second-degree sexual battery. Bryan Rivera, 26, allegedly had repeated unlawful sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl between June and October. He was booked into Putnam County jail Thursday on a $60,000 bond.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says tips from the public helped locate Teresa AKA Alex Selgado who was sought regarding information into a shooting last week that left an 18-year-old dead. Deputies wanted information on the shooting which saw Marion Lee Gavins Jr., 17, arrested and charged with first degree murder. Selgado has been uncooperative and is now facing an unrelated drug charge involving LSD possession.
St. Johns County School Superintendent Tim Forson says technical difficulties this week led him to cancel district final exams. Both computer-based and paper-based exams were canceled, said Forson, to “remove the frustration of inconsistent test administration and protect instructional time.” This doesn’t affect Florida Standards Assessments and End of Course tests but only district exams.
The death of a resident of a St. Augustine nursing home has been ruled a homicide, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. Daniel Henson, 71, died Sunday from blunt force trauma. Staff at St. Augustine Health and Rehabilitation Center on State Road 207 found Henson’s 84-year-old roommate allegedly beating him April 9. Henson later died at an area hospital and an autopsy was ordered. Henson, a veteran, suffered a stroke 25 years ago and has been in nursing care since. Reportedly he only had use of his left arm.
Among weekend events in Palatka the Chalk Explosion on Saturday offers five professional chalk artists, several area musicians and chalk art contests for all ages. Arts Council of Greater Palatka is putting on the event at the riverfront from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also at the riverfront, the Bartram Birthday Cruise leaves at 5:45 p.m. Saturday for a wine and cheese cruise. Some seats are still available. Call 386-983-8072. Putnam County Master Gardeners hold their annual plant sale Saturday morning at the fairgrounds in East Palatka and across the street the Putnam County Shrine Club holds a fund-raiser for the Hastings Masonic Lodge at the Shrine Club from noon to 4 p.m.
And don’t forget 244 years ago today the American Revolution officially began as British troops attempted to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord. The night before Paul Revere and William Dawes were riding to warn the British were coming.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
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