April 22-23 – 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).
Palatka City Commissioners are once again trying to move the public works department from its current location at the end of North 10th Street where it’s been more than 60 years. They’ve called a special meeting for 5 p.m. Wednesday to authorize the city manager and attorney to go after property. Where the new location might be and how much it will cost isn’t being released to the public yet. Mayor Terrill Hill tried a similar move previously but met resistance from the public. In that case there also was talk of moving city hall out of downtown and out past St. Johns River State College.
St. Augustine’s monument to 44 area men who died fighting for the South during the Civil War drew supporters to Monday’s St. Augustine City Commission meeting. Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline recently indicated she now favored taking down the monument although she earlier voted with the rest of the commission to keep it. The item wasn’t on the agenda, but those supporting the monument made their views known. Sikes-Kline wasn’t there, she reportedly had a minor medical procedure and didn’t attend. The monument was put up by local residents after the Civil War since none of the dead was brought home and the monument was a last commemoration.
Live and inert Navy bombing training is going on today through Thursday at the Pinecastle Range Complex in the Ocala National Forest. Hour are 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. each day. Noise from the bombings will be heard in south Putnam County and portions of Flagler County.
In Flagler County authorities are seeking a young black male wanted for questioning in the shooting of an 18-year-old man in the back on Easter Sunday. The shooting was at the Circle K in Bunnell and apparently occurred after an argument between several women who were part of a large crowd in front of Circle K. Another group was also gathered about a block away at the Family Dollar. Photos of the youth are online at the Flagler Sheriff’s Office site. Call 386-313-4911 if you have information.
Department of Health — Putnam County is urging people to take part in National Denim Day and wear Teal on Wednesday. It’s in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
St. Johns Riverkeeper has received reports of significant algae blooms in the lower basin of the St. Johns River in an area including East Palatka, Welaka and Satsuma. Bartram Committee head Sam Carr first posted the pictures on Facebook noting he never remembered seeing the river all green before. Lesser amounts of algae blooms have been seen in the Jacksonville area. Officials are concerned as the river heats up the algae blooms will increase causing damage problems in the river.
Authorities from Putnam and Alachua counties came to the aid of a cow stuck in an abandoned septic tank in Hawthorne, rescuing the bovine and reuniting her with her calf. Officials say last Thursday the West Putnam Volunteer Fire Department was told of the cow and that led to agriculture deputies from Putnam and Alachua, the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Technical Rescue team, Putnam Animal Control and the volunteer firemen working together to rescue the cow that had been in the tank several days. Once the cow was out she rejoined her calf who had apparently been waiting beside the tank the entire time. Officials said the cow appeared unharmed.
Last week the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office revealed their newest member — a bloodhound puppy who school children named Grace. Now the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has announced their newest member – an 8-week-old bloodhound pup who’s about to start training. First, however, he needs a name and the Sheriff’s Office will be taking suggestions through Thursday. On Friday they’ll announce the pup’s new name.
Two Crescent City residents died in a head-on crash Saturday night in southern Putnam County. According to Florida Highway Patrol, a Honda Accord headed north on U.S. 17 at Stardust Boulevard at 8 p.m. veered into the southbound lane and collided with a Kia Optima. FHP says a blood alcohol test is pending. Joseph Gomez, 26, was driving the Honda, and Ramona Johnson, 47, was driving the Kia. Both died at the scene. Johnson was the mother of four.
In Flagler County work on the Flagler Beach A1A project continues as contractors install a new water main and a new sewer line between South 19th and South 18th streets. The work is expected to continue over the next several weeks. Damage was done during two hurricanes in the last three years.
A wreck in the Melrose area early Monday morning caused delays for traffic. Florida Highway Patrol reported an accident with injuries at State Road 100 and 26 and also reported a hit and run. The accidents are under investigation.
Palatka Police Department arrested an area man Saturday afternoon after he reportedly robbed a Food Mart in Palatka. Reginald Bryant, 50, reportedly entered the BP Food Mart on North U.S. 17 and stole the drawer from the register. The clerk tried to stop Bryant but was unsuccessful. Police used surveillance footage to get a description of Bryant and the vehicle in which he fled. He was later found driving the same vehicle and according to police he had the stolen cash and cash drawer with him. He was booked into jail without bond.
Longtime Putnam County resident and hair salon owner Leta Preston Clark died Saturday night. She came to the business naturally — her mother Margaret had a salon at the corner of St. Johns and Moseley avenues for many years. Leta took over and finally changed the name to Leta and Co., but kept up a poem about her mother inside. She sold the business several years ago, but still came in to do hair. The upbeat Leta always said she liked to keep busy.
A six-month old Rottweiler puppy named Fifi from Hastings should have a soft spot for firefighters. On Saturday she caught her head in a concrete cinderblock. When her owner got home, Fifi’s head was wedged in the block and the owner couldn’t get it out. A call to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office led to a sheriff’s deputy going to the house but soap and water didn’t do the trick. That’s when firefighters from Station 8 were sent and they used Jaws of Life to break the block and rescue the dog.
WPLK/WIYD nearly made the news Friday after a truck plowed into the radio station sign, which kept the building from being struck. Video shows a driver on St. Johns Avenue passing other vehicles, sideswiping one and smashing into the station’s sign. The sign was put up by former station owner Wayne “The Deacon” Bullock some years ago after he got into a controversy with the city over what kind of sign could go up. Tombstones weren’t regulated by the city and Bullock chose a large granite one for the corner of the lot.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
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