This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Traffic on the St. Johns River in Putnam County is picking up this weekend as pro fishermen head in for the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament scheduled to begin Thursday. This is one of only nine events on Bassmasters Elite Series tournament and a repeat for the county. Putnam Chamber of Commerce has been a strong supporter of the event which brings national publicity to the area. Some of the anglers were on the river last week and you can expect to see them out looking for the best spots prior to the start of the tournament.
Florida Department of Health in Putnam County and St. Johns County both reported two new coronavirus related deaths over the weekend. Between Friday and Sunday, Putnam reported two deaths including a 73-year-old man and bringing the death total since counting began n March to 106 deaths. In addition 73 new coronavirus cases were reported for a total of 5,618. St. Johns County’s two new deaths brings their total of 175 deaths. With 280 new coronavirus cases reported over the three days, the total is now at 19,023. Flagler County reported 93 new cases over the period, bringing their total to 5,498.
St. Augustine City Commission will hear a concept plan for a performing arts center at tonight’s 5 p.m. meeting. The plan has been under discussion for a couple of years and a group of local arts organizations is seeking a formal letter of support from the city to use as they apply for state and federal grants. Several locations have been proposed, but reportedly none of them are in the downtown area. Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium is frequently used by groups such as the E.M.M.A. Concert Series although coronavirus has put a damper on many live performances.
Fifth District Court of Appeals has given the go-ahead to allow a convicted murderer to have a new trial where he can represent himself. The appeals court Friday ordered Joseph Bova be retried for the murder of Zuheili Roman Rosado at the Palm Coast Mobil Mart on State Road 100 in February 2013. The court ruled trial Circuit Judge Terence Perkins erred in not letting Bova fire his attorneys and represent himself at the trail 17 months ago. Bova confessed to the murders, calling Rosado evil and saying he heard voices ordering him to execute her to save the world. He also later claimed he was insane at the time.
Putnam County commissioners will be looking at a new internet café ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting. Operating hours would be greatly reduced under the new ordinance and a number of security steps would be added. Sheriff Gator DeLoach has said he is “adamantly opposed” to the continued operation of the cafes. On Friday Putnam County Sheriff’s Office deputies shut down two internet cafes charging they were gambling houses. RW Cyber Café in Palatka and Internet Paradise in East Palatka were closed after detectives paid to play, won and cashed winnings for money. That’s in direct violation of the state’s gambling laws.
Two passings in Putnam County of people who have been part of the glue that holds the community together. Angie Spena was 108 and still noted for her style, sassiness and kindness. She was a popular and vital member of St. Monica’s Catholic Church. Longtime resident Leroy Zetrouer, 93, died Thursday. Always interested in the past he was a charter member and past president of the Putnam County Genealogical Society. He was one of the group that helped document all on the cemeteries in Putnam County.