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An early morning crash in St. Augustine left one person dead, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The accident involving a vehicle and a motorcycle happened around midnight today on U.S. 1 south of Racetrack Road. FHP said the rider on the motorcycle was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is under investigation.
Residents in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties got early morning wake up calls Saturday from sheriff’s departments and emergency management as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms swept through the area. No injuries were reported. The National Weather Service has confirmed EF1 tornadoes touched down. Two separate alarms went out. The first was at 4:05 a.m. with tornadoes headed from the west through Interlachen and Bardin. Structure damage and fallen trees were the major damage reported as the tornado continued toward the coast. Peak winds of 85 mph were reported. A cabinet shop at Elkton was reported damaged. St. Augustine also suffered damage. A second tornado was reported in Flagler peaking at 110 mph. Fallen trees and structure damage were reported from the tornado that cut a path nearly 20 miles long. Among places damaged the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, at the south end of Flagler Beach.
A 17-year-old has been found guilty of threatening to kill her teacher last year. Circuit Court Judge Chris France returned the verdict Friday. The former Flagler Palm Coast High School student wrote messages to a fellow student where they talked of murdering the teacher at her house. The students were white and the teacher black. That led to additional issues regarding the violent and racist language. The girl has contended the whole exchange was a joke. No sentence has been handed down but the girl’s lawyer says an appeal is planned.
A Bunnell resident faces 25 years in prison after bludgeoning a man in a drug deal gone sour two years ago. Johnnie Spydale Thomas Jr., 26, was found guilty Friday. Thomas went to the home of Robert Emmanuel, 60, to sell him crack. The two got in an argument and Thomas beat Emmanuel with a tree branch. Emmanuel was hospitalized for two months before dying. Thomas was charged with second-degree murder.
Two women from West Palm Beach are in Flagler County jail following what the Sheriff’s Office says was a shoplifting spree totaling more than $6,000 in goods. A Flagler deputy spotted a car parked in a handicap space in the Walmart parking lot Friday. The tag turned out to be stolen. Deputies attempted a traffic stop as driver Shekeria Wilkins, 24, and passenger Amber Phillips, 26, left the parking lot. Wilkins drove off and a high-speed chase began. Stop sticks were deployed on Palm Coast Parkway and both driver-side tires were deflated. Wilkins kept driving toward Interstate 95 but eventually had to stop. A search of the car revealed some $6,000 worth of allegedly stolen electronics including nearly $1,000 worth of items from the Palm Coast Walmart. The women told deputies they had been “shopping” at stores all day. Wilkins said she got the tag on her vehicle from a friend but wouldn’t ID the individual.
Christmas events continue with Flagler Palm Coast High School Winter Band Concert tonight at 7 p.m. at Flagler Auditorium in Palm Coast. In Palatka on Wednesday it’s the third and final Advent Concert for the season. Christ Independent Methodist Church’s men’s group will be sing at 12:15 at St. James United Methodist Church, 400 Reid St. The concert is free and open to the public.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.