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Paul Mueller of Naugatuck, Conn. Is one happy angler after winning the AFTCO Bassmasters Elite in Palatka today. He went in with the lead with 36 pounds 10 ounces caught over two days. Final weight for him after a morning of fishing — 47 pounds 6 ounces. It was enough to beat 19 other anglers on the St. Johns River. His top prize for the first place finish is $100,000. Blustery weather conditions meant the tournament started Saturday rather than Thursday for the 88 fishermen. On Monday it was down to the 20 fishermen who had caught the post poundage.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of two teenage boys from Ponte Vedra Beach in what is believed to be a homicide-suicide. The teens, ages 17 and 18, died in a bedroom in the house on Solano Cay Circle near the intersection of A1A and Solano Road. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the house Sunday around 1:30 a.m. Deputies reportedly are not looking for any other suspects. The District 21 Medical Examiner’s Office is performing autopsies to determine cause and manner of death, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
In Putnam County a head-on collision left two adults and one child seriously injured Saturday. Florida Highway Patrol reports Wayne Morris, 35, of East Palatka has been charged with careless driving, DUI, DUI property damage and DUI serious bodily injury to another. According to reports, Morris’ GMC truck was northbound on U.S. 17 in East Palatka when the vehicle left the road, overcorrected and crossed the median colliding head-on with a Chevrolet Suburban that was traveling south. The passengers in the Chevrolet are all in serious condition and were taken to nearby hospitals.
Sunday was a special day for First Baptist Church of Palatka. The church congregation celebrated 150 years.
A motorcyclist died Sunday morning on the outskirts of Bunnell, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The 36-year-old from Live Oak was southbound on U.S. 1 on a 2013 black Harley Davidson. Just south of Matanzas Wood Parkway, he struck a concrete median and his bike went down on the roadway. The motorcyclist, whose name has not been released pending notification of next of kin, died at the scene. The accident is under investigation by FHP.
St. Augustine City Commission will discuss a possible bicentennial commemoration in 2021 at their meeting tonight. St. Johns County officials haven’t shown much interest, but City Manager John Regan has said such a commemoration would likely be limited to regional/state interest and partners would be needed to make the event work. In 1821 Florida became a United States territory. It would be 1845 before Florida became a state and that was after Isaac Bronson, a U.S. Congressman for New York state, first introduced the proposal during the 1838-39 session of Congress. Bronson later became a judge in St. Augustine and then moved to Palatka.
Sunday marked the 11th anniversary of the disappearance of Haleigh Cummings. The girl was five and at home sleeping with her little brother and her father’s girlfriend, Misty Croslin, in Satsuma. When her father came home from shift work that morning, the little girl was discovered to be missing. Despite extensive efforts by law enforcement and the community she has never been found. Several businesses still keep up reminders of the missing girl. Authorities note she would be 16 now and in the 11th grade. People haven’t stopped looking. A $15,000 reward remains available for information leading to an arrest in the case. Call Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS if you have information.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.