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Weather issues especially wind again are keeping anglers in the 2020 Bassmasters Elite Series in Palatka off the St. Johns River today. Tournament officials now say all the anglers in the tournament will fish Saturday and Sunday. Top catchers will go out Monday. ESPN is expected to be on hand so local officials are urging people to show for the weigh-ins around 3:30 p.m. each day. Even though fishing won’t be going on today, the vendors, exhibitors plus games will be at the riverfront park as will anglers from 2-5 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to get to visit with the pro fishermen.
What’s being called a severe weather system swept through North Florida Thursday night with Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties getting their share of heavy thunderstorms and high winds. Some limbs and trees reported down. In Putnam County, Clay Electric worked to restore power to 816 in Putnam and also in areas of Clay, Bradford, Baker and Columbia counties. Today’s forecast is calling for breezy and sunny weather.
A single-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon near the St. Johns County Fairgrounds in Elkton left a 48-year-old woman dead. Florida Highway Patrol troopers say Sophia Lorraine Wesley of Hastings was driving a Toyota 4Runner south on State Road 27 when the vehicle went off the road. She overcorrected, the vehicle rotated and then overturned in the median of SR 207. Wesley, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene, say troopers. The roadway between Scoville Road and Armstrong Road was partially blocked for several hours.
In Flagler County, two men sought for their parts in a 2018 botched armed robbery were arrested Thursday by the Flagler Sheriff’s Office. Jimaya Baker, now 18, and Diovion Smith, now 20, were located and arrested for their part in the robbery on Oct. 16, 2018. Arrested the day after the shooting was Princess Williams, now 22. She has since pled guilty to charges of attempted first degree murder with a firearm, attempted robbery with a firearm and attempted burglary while armed and is awaiting sentencing. The then 19-year-old victim was severely injured in the shooting and is disabled.
St. Johns County School Board has chosen Culpepper Construction Company out of Tallahassee to build a new high school, the first since 2008. Culpepper came in with the low bid of $60.8 million for the school to be built on a nearly 70-acre site near International Golf Parkway, north of S. Augustine. The school, to be known during construction as High School HHH, will have the look and feel of a university campus, say officials. Construction is expected to begin in either late fall or early winter of this year and be ready in time for the 2021-22 school year.
St. Augustine begins a week of celebrations for the 501st birthday of founder Pedro Menendez tonight at 6 p.m. with an historic saunter down St. George Street featuring costumed re-enactors. On Saturday the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park and Historic Florida Militia host the Noche de Festival gala beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the park. Today and Saturday it’s the Jimmy Jam BBQ Slam & Car Show at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds. On Saturday the first annual Jam ‘n Pepper Festival is at Francis Field.
In Flagler County a musical/dance revue “The Sensational 60s” is featured today through Sunday at the Flagler Playhouse in Bunnell. On Saturday the Flagler Youth Orchestra’s Harmony Chamber Orchestra performs at a fundraiser concert in support of the string program at 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Bunnell.
In Putnam County it’s comedy on two theatrical fronts. River City Players performs “37 Postcards” at the Scarlett-Hill Theatre in the Larimer Arts Center in Palatka today through Sunday. In Crescent City tonight and Saturday The Purple Plum Playhouse offers “A Night in the Theatre” at the community hall of Howe Memorial United Methodist Church. The fifth annual Rodeheaver Boy’s Ranch Clay Target Shoot begins at 9 a.m. at Palatka Skeet Club and benefits the ranch. At Ravine Gardens State Park it’s the annual Invasive Plant Round-up and removal on Saturday morning. And don’t forget to check out the riverfront and the Bassmasters Elite.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.