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Four coronavirus related deaths – three in Flagler County and one in St. Johns County – were reported Tuesday by the Florida Department of Health. The Flagler department reported a 73-year-old man died Sept. 4, a 73-year-old man Sept. 6 and a 53-year-old man Sept. 7. Total number of Flagler County coronavirus-related deaths is now at 19. Flagler has seen an upswing in coronavirus cases beginning Thursday. Ten more were reported on Tuesday. St. Johns County reported one new death on Tuesday bringing their total to 61 deaths since counting began in March. Also reported on Tuesday 28 new coronavirus cases. Total for St. Johns is now 4,699. In Putnam County one new coronavirus case was reported Tuesday and two transfers. Overall total is 1,867 cases.
A 37-year-old Palatka man discovered belts are a good idea after he tried to flee Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies. Gabriel Wise was arrested Sunday on charges of burglary of an unoccupied vehicle at a Palatka residence and of petit theft. Once his hands were cuffed behind his back, Wise pulled away and ran from deputies. That’s when his pants fell down around the lower part of his legs and he tripped and fell to the ground. After deputies helped Wise to his feet, deputies completed their search finding methamphetamine and pills. Wise ended up in the Putnam County Jail on $14,500 bond, facing a variety of charges. The Sheriff’s Office did note Wise won’t have to worry about his pants falling again during his stay since “our inmate uniforms fit.”
Beginning today several streets in downtown St. Augustine will be closed to traffic until Thursday evening as the obelisk to Confederate war dead is moved from the Plaza de la Constitucion. The plan is now to load the 100,000 pound granite monument on a barge that will travel north to the Intracoastal Waterway, around Blount Island, then back south on the St. Johns River to Trout Creek Fish Camp, the obelisk’s new home. That’s 94 miles by water. By road the camp is about 20 miles north of St. Augustine. The city commission hired an out-of-town firm, Progressive Construction, to move the 141-year-old monument and the company recently finished securing it with metal plates for the move. The work will cost more than $200,000. From 8 a.m. today to 8 p.m. Thursday, Avenida Menendez will be closed to traffic from Cadiz Street to Bravo Lane. In addition this morning, traffic on King Street will be temporarily interrupted between Aviles Street and Avenida Menendez.
Three of the four people in a vehicle accident Tuesday on State Road 100 in Putnam County were reported in critical condition when airlifted, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle they were in reportedly left the roadway and struck a tree Tuesday morning. SR 100 was closed after the crash was reported at 7:25 a.m. and traffic detoured onto County Road 309C. Florida Highway Patrol was working the accident.
A Palm Coast man is back in jail after being arrested Saturday on seven charges including kidnapping and felony battery of his girlfriend of eight years. Delenzo Aaron, 32, got out of prison four months ago and had moved in with his mother. An argument between Aaron and his girlfriend led the mother to throw them out and that led to the man forcing his girlfriend on a drive where he allegedly beat her repeatedly and drank throughout the night. When they eventually returned to the mother’s house, she called Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Aaron took off again and was eventually caught during a traffic stop. Reportedly he asked deputies why they were arresting him and once inside the patrol car, he damaged the door handle, kicked in the door and bent the cage. Bail was set at $115,000 on six charges with no bond for the kidnapping charges.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has named two new members to the governing board of St. Johns River Water Management District. Outgoing Senate Appropriations Chair Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, is term limited out of the Senate in November. An attorney, Bradley has reportedly been involved in efforts including boosting funding for springs restoration. Also named to the board was Janet Price, a senior manager of environmental affairs with Rayonier Inc.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.