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Flagler Palm Coast High School students spent part of Friday morning sitting in the school stadium after a bomb threat was discovered in a school bathroom. The threat in the form of graffiti was found at 7 a.m. and school authorities conducted a sweep of the school. Students began returning to class around 8 a.m. Extra officers will be at the school today.
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office deputies raided an internet café early Thursday evening following an undercover operation. After the investigation RW’s Cyber Café, located across from the Sheriff’s Office off State Road 19, was searched and narcotics deputies checked out the parking lot for possible drug use. Sheriff Gator DeLoach said the business has repeatedly been warned about illegal machines. Many of the games were not legal and were rigged to cheat customers, DeLoach said.
Prissy Fletcher, Putnam County UF/IFAS horticulture agent for almost five years, has a new job. She is now agriculture agent for UF/IFAS in St. Johns County. She began her new job late last week.
Lobbyist and former Palatka city commissioner Phi Leary will be working for the government. President Donald Trump has chosen him as state director for rural development for Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The post is through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development.
A community memorial celebration and march commemorating the life of Curtis Gray, an 18-year-old shot and killed April 13, is set for Sunday from 4-6 p.m. at Town Center Central Park in Palm Coast. A 17-year-old has been arrested in the shooting of the Flagler Palm Coast High School student.
The former chief financial officer for the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. Raye Brutnell, 47, was arrested on multiple counts of forging bank checks, grand theft and fraud after an investigation last November into accounts at the Sheriff’s Office. She pled not guilty to stealing more than $700,000 over five years.
Plenty to do this weekend. In Bostwick on Saturday it’s the annual Blueberry Festival featuring everything blueberry from breakfast pancakes to blueberry ice cream to fresh picked blueberries plus entertainment and about 100 vendors. On Saturday at Palatka’s riverfront expect plenty of fishermen taking part in the 16th annual NEFAR (North East Florida Association of Realtors) Charity Bass Tournament at the Palatka riverfront. At Putnam County Historical Society’s meeting at the Bronson-Mulholland House historian Larry Beaton will talk about New Town, the black community in Palatka. Also on Saturday a mental health and wellness event at Ravine Gardens State Park, an Earth Day open house day-long event at Dunn’s Creek State Park, the Palatka Men’s Golf Association tournament for First Cancer Putnam County at the municipal golf course and Freedom Fest at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church hosts a pancake breakfast to benefit autism. On Sunday in Putnam County, Rodeheaver Boys Ranch holds its annual meeting and barbecue from noon to 2:30 p.m. Also Sunday the Putnam Land Conservancy holds a picnic and plant sale at the new T.E. Triplett Memorial Nature Preserve from 1 to 5 p.m. on Long Lake Road in Hawthorne. Go to PutnamLandConservancy.org for directions.
Flagler County events include today and Sunday the Community Chorus of Palm Coast’s Celestial Voices concerts. That’s at Trinity Presbyterian Church and features the group’s first commissioned choral composition. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Flagler Playhouse will present “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” today through Sunday.
St. Johns County continues the 17th annual Birding and Photo Festival out of Celebration Hall at St. Anastasia on St. Augustine Beach through Sunday. Taste of St. Augustine is Sunday at the Amphitheatre. You can take a break Saturday at the Datil Pepper Tea saluting the Spanish and Menorcan contributions to St. Augustine. That’s from 2-4 p.m. at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center and is hosted by the Pilot Club of St. Augustine.
St. Johns County is going forward with a $144.5 million deal with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fund a beach renourishment project at South Ponte Vedra and Vilano Beach for the next 50 years. Much of the money will come from county taxes including tourist development dollars. Work will begin in May 2020. Renourishment will then take place every 12 years on the approximately three miles of beach. Sand will come from the St. Augustine Inlet. Erosion is a continuing problem at the beaches and increased housing has meant increasing demands for repair.
A St. Augustine homeless man faces second degree homicide charges in the beating death of a man with whom he once shared a campsite. St. Augustine Police say Jeremy Davis, 40, punched and kicked Will Burrell Sunday evening at a campsite in a wooded area near East 18th and Louise streets. The two had been sharing another site when they argued over how dirty the site was and Burrell moved out to another site. Davis later showed up there and attacked Burrell until he was unconscious, say witnesses. Burrell was flown to Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville Sunday and died there Monday. Davis has booked into the St. Johns County jail and is being held without bond.
The planned move of the Flagler County Sheriff’ Office Operations Center from Bunnell to Palm Coast has the Bunnell City Commission upset. They’re asking the county commission to rescind the move and that may be the first step in what could lead to a lawsuit, say political observers. Sheriff’s office employees were moved out of the Bunnell facility after a number became ill in the renovated building. The county commission then voted to build a facility in Palm Coast next to the county library. Bunnell is the county seat for Flagler.
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man accused of scamming people for yard work. They began seeking Daniel Seymour, 47, of Daytona Beach after several area residents reported paying Seymour $200 to $300 to perform yard work but he never showed up. He was already out on bond a number of other charges including leaving the scene of a crash with injury, aggravated battery on law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. He now faces two counts of larceny and one count of fraud. After the latest scam charges, his bond was revoked.
The annual Special Olympic games are nearing. On Tuesday employees with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Palatka Police Department, Putnam Correctional Institution and Putnam County Special Olympics athletes took part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run from the riverfront to the Publix shopping center.
In St. Augustine eyes were turned to the waterfront Tuesday as Nao Santa Maria sailed into port. The wooden ship is a replica of Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria. The four-deck ship will be open for self-conducted tours to May 5 and is docked at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.