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A St, Johns County woman faces 15 years in jail after pleading no contest to DUI manslaughter and DUI causing serious bodily injury in a wreck December 2018. Kim Johnston, 47, was reportedly speeding on Interstate 95 in St. Johns County when she collided with a SUV. Jacksonville court bailiff Cathy Adams was killed and her husband, Jack, with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, was seriously injured including suffering a broken back. Their teenage children had minor injuries. The family was headed back from a football game. Johnston refused a breath test at the scene but seven hours later a search warrant was obtained and her blood alcohol content was .126. Legal limit is .08. A plea bargain with Johnston means she will be back in court Nov. 27 for a sentencing hearing. She’s being held in the St. Johns County jail on a $125,000 bond. As part of the agreement her license will be revoked.
A 36-year-old Palatka man was killed in a two-car accident Monday night in Clay County. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Wilson Michael Patrick, 47, of Jacksonville, was driving his Jeep Wrangler west on State Road 16 when he crossed into the oncoming lane, hitting a Mazda Protégé driven by Joshua Broadway of Palatka. Broadway was taken to Orange Park Medical Center with critical injuries and died there. Patrick was not hurt. The investigation is continuing. Charges are pending.
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in a murder that occurred July 2 on Heidt Road. Arnold Choate, 72, was found dead in his house. The Sheriff’s Office said his death was suspicious but few details have been released. Neighbors report detectives were in the area asking people if they had seen any suspicious activity the morning or afternoon of July 2. Now they’re seeking help from the public. You can call the Sheriff’s Office at 386-329-0800 or remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-8477.
Some 13 organizations in Palm Coast are splitting more than $30,000 in cultural arts grants from Palm Cost government. Palm Coast government gives out the money with grants submitted to the city’s parks and recreation department. Groups applying generally focus on heritage and the performing arts. The money is separate from that provided by the Tourist Development Council.
A busy weekend is shaping up in St. Johns County. Sykes Family Farms has gone to weekends only at its corn maze in Elkton. This Friday through Sunday Francis Field in St. Augustine hosts the annual Greek Festival at Francis Field. Authentic Greek food, dancing, music and heritage are part of the event. CROCtober Fest is strictly a 21 and older event at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park on Saturday evening. The CROCtober Fest Brew features products from more than 20 different breweries with proceeds benefitting Siamese Crocodile Conservation. On Saturday in downtown St. Augustine you can have one-on-one contact with re-enactors from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The event features a History on the Streets saunter on St. George Street and around the historic district from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. On Sunday St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Elkton hosts its annual Fall Fair from noon to 4 p.m. Family friendly, the event includes live music, 50/50 drawings, yard sale and a bake sale. If you’re going for the Menorcan clam chowder, don’t be late.
Palatka Planning Board gave their seal of approval Tuesday to application for two $50,000 park grants. Booker Park on North 10th Street is undergoing a major overhaul including plans to close out the sanitation department and use the area for nature paths, part of the overall $1.7 million project. At Hank Bryan Park off Crill Avenue upgrades to picnic areas and walking paths are planned. The park is historic including being Palatka first and only publicly owned waters works from 1909 to 1921. In June of 1921, the waterworks ponds were turned into the city’s first municipal pool, a role it continued until the late 1950s.
And happy birthday wishes to Frances Ashford English who turns 102 today. You can find out more about the Palatka resident in Thursday’s Palatka Daily News in an interview by Tricia Murphy.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.