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For now Palatka’s city hall, sanitation department and police station won’t be moving. At a meeting Thursday it was obvious the controversial proposal didn’t stand a chance after three city commissioners questioned the timing, asked for more information and wanted to know where the money was coming from. Mayor Terrell Hill has been pushing to move the various offices out to a former call center building at the Putnam County Business Park on the western edge of Palatka. Calling himself a visionary, Hill said he would continue pursuing the issue. Moving the sanitation department out of a residential area and getting offices for the mayor and commission are among priorities, he said.
Commissioners Rufus Borom, Tammy McCaskill and Mary Lawson Brown weren’t taken with the move. Vice Mayor Brown didn’t want to see city hall moved saying, “It’s too far out for people to get to us and to see us.” Borom said commissioners needed to listen to the community and wanted to see how money has been spent in repairing the three structures that Hill said needed to be replaced. McCaskell told the mayor: “I say we are moving too fast.” Their comments echoed those made by nearly a dozen citizens during the meeting. Commissioner Justin Campbell was not present.
A fugitive who’s been on the run for four years ended up in jail in Flagler County Wednesday. The incident started in Bunnell when a deputy spotted a gold Chevrolet sedan going 80 mph in a 60 mph zone and turned on his siren. The car kept going and the deputy, who had given chase, slowed down because of concerns about public safety. He did keep following and saw the driver go through a stoplight, lose control and crash into a tree. That’s when a foot chase began which ended after the deputy fired a Taser at the driver, who was identified as Michael Anthony Ross, 24. Ross was wanted on a Wisconsin warrant for violating probation in an armed robbery case, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office report. He is in jail in Flagler without bond because of the fugitive warrant and now faces four new charges because of the Flagler incident.
St. Augustine residents have been in Tallahassee seeking protection for the city’s General William Wing Loring Memorial, which is located next to the Plaza de la Constitucion. Jill Pacetti was part of a three-person delegation meeting with the secretary of state to discuss protection for the memorial to the Confederate general who is buried at the location. They were also seeking legislative sponsors for a bill to protect all veteran memorials in Florida and to get stiffer penalties for those who vandalize memorials.
St. Augustine’s Sing Out Loud Music Festival wraps up this weekend. It’s billed as the largest free music festival in Florida and performers are in locations around the downtown performing live concerts today through Sunday. On Saturday the National Parks Service offers free admission to the Castillo de San Marcos in honor of National Public Lands Day. Today and Saturday you can go to the dogs as the Guy Harvey Outpost Resort on St. Augustine Beach hosts several Pups & Sups events to benefit K9s For Warriors. A meet-and-greet yappy hour and costume contest is today. Saturday is the Hang 20 Pups and Sups surfing competition.
Pickleball is the thing in Flagler Coutu today through Sunday as the Rotary Club of Flagler Beach hosts the first annual pickleball tournament fundraiser. Play is at Wadsworth Park at Flagler Beach.
In Palatka you can a step back in time to both the 1700s and the 1800s today and Saturday. On the riverfront it’s the Bartram Frolic celebrating the nation’s first native-born naturalist William Bartram and his visit in 1774. Across Reid Street at the Bronson-Mulholland House at 100 Madison Street it’s the Occupation of Palatka 1864. Re-enactors will recreate the time during the Civil War when Union troops occupied Palatka and Southern women helped save the town.
- This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.