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The start of the 2020 Bassmasters Elite Series in Palatka has been canceled for today due to weather conditions. A wind advisory is in effect for 17 counties including Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties for this afternoon. Tournament officials say they may have to delay the tournament on Friday as well if weather problems continue. Vendors and displays are open at the riverfront park in Palatka.
Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for an individual wanted in a road rage shooting Tuesday evening on Palm Coast Parkway. According to the Sheriff’s Office a white cargo-style van stopped at the intersection of the Parkway and Harbor Center Way and a dark-colored passenger vehicle pulled up behind. One occupant got out and opened fire at the van, putting three 9-mm projectiles in the rear door. Both vehicles then sped off onto Old Kings Road. The van driver pulled over ,waiting for law enforcement. The sedan turned right onto Farragut Drive and witnesses lost sight of it. The incident took place at 7:13 p.m. and the Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in gathering information due to conflicting statements.
St. Augustine’s Flagler Hospital Inc. has been ordered to pay $107,185 in back wages to 141 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. The federal agency says the hospital violated overtime and record-keeping requirements. According to a press release, the hospital automatically deducted time from emergency room and labor and delivery department workers’ timecards for meal breaks, even when the employees worked through their breaks. That led to overtime being due, according to the Labor investigation.
More than 500 people have signed a petition protesting a decision by Flagler College in St. Augustine to dump their longtime bookstore owner and operator. The college has decided to go with Barnes & Noble, a national chain that already has a bookstore in St. Augustine. Bob and Diana Smith opened the campus bookstore in 1978 and their son, Trevor, took over in 2010.
A domestic disturbance in St. Johns County Saturday sent a 23-year-old to jail after he fired a rifle three times into the yard in front of a house. Zachary Dylan Chesser is out on bond after the incident that happened shortly after 11 p.m. According to reports, Chesser had been drinking when the couple got into an argument over car keys. Chesser got a hunting rifle out of a closet, using it to break the lock on the bedroom door and get into the room where the woman was hiding. He grabbed the woman’s phone and broke it. She threw the keys out of the bedroom and he went outside firing three shots into the ground. He was later found by deputies and jailed.
A Palatka man is in Putnam County jail after fighting with his father and then breaking into his parents’ house in a continuing series of confrontations with them. Colin Adam Richard, 36, faces two first-degree felonies — aggravated battery of a person 65 years of age or older and burglary with assault or battery. Richard reportedly came to the house looking for money and was given $40 then came back and tried to break in. When his father called 911 Richard disconnected the phone line and when deputies arrived he ran. His father pushed him and he hit his head on a piece of furniture. He was taken to the hospital complaining of a head injury and chest pains and later taken to jail. In November 2019 Richard was Baker acted after reportedly holding his father hostage with an AK-47. In 2017 he shot his father, but the two said it was accidental and he was not arrested.
Smoke billowed over the East Palatka area Wednesday as St. Johns River Water Management conducted a 128-acre prescribed burn. The area was on the Horseshoe Track of Murphy Creek Conservation Area, off Browns Landing in Putnam County. Purpose of the burn, according to the district, is to maintain fire-dependent ecosystems, reduce wildland fuel loads and improve wildlife habitat.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.