This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Heavy rains and a frost just three weeks after farmers in the Hastings area planted their potato crop may mean trouble down the road. About 13 inches of rain have fallen in the past couple of weeks filling ditches in the agriculture community and flooding low land. A frost nipped plants just emerging from the soil, according to ag experts. Forecasters are predicting more rain Friday.
A missing 11-year-old Satsuma area girl is back home after a search Wednesday involving more than 50 Putnam County deputies and detectives as well as Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reported the girl was found shortly before midnight walking on a road a couple of miles from her home in the Horse Landing area of Satsuma. “We had a lot of manpower out there,” said spokeswoman. Allison Waters-Merritt. The investigation is still underway including piecing together a timeframe and who the girl had been talking with earlier on Snapchat. Reportedly it was a young adult male, but Waters-Merritt noted on social media there’s really no guarantee the person you’re talking to is who they say they are.
Flagler Beach commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday to hire a former Port Orange assistant city manager as their new city manager. Their choice — William Whitson — is currently a local government consultant based in Texas. He’ll replace the late Larry Newsom, longtime city manager who died unexpectedly in August of last year. A search for a new city manager drew 58 applicants. Whitson and Dru Driscoll were the two finalists.
A 28-year-old mother was jailed for child neglect Tuesday after her three-year-old was found wandering around Palm Coast’s B-Section. A concerned citizen saw the boy wandering with a dog in the area of Belleaire Drive and Beechwood Lane and alerted authorities. While deputies with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office were going door-to-door to try and determine who the boy was, Tessie L. Clark showed up saying she was looking for her son. She told deputies she was cleaning and let the boy out to play in the backyard as she had done in the past. When deputies checked her house they found it extremely messy and dirty. The smell of freshly burnt marijuana was present, according to the report. The backyard had debris and child hazards and a panel of the fence was missing.
Florida Department of Health in Putnam County Wednesday reported one new coronavirus-related death – that of a 94-year-old woman. The death is the 119th for Putnam since counting began last March. In addition 12 new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing the total to 5,744. Flagler County reported one new coronavirus-related death, bringing their death total to 86. In addition 18 new cases were reported for a total of 5,689. St. Johns County reported 49 new coronavirus cases for a total of 19,660.
A recall attempt of Crescent City Commissioner Judith West has failed after some of the required petitions didn’t meet qualifications. Citizen organizers say they’ll try again and indicated recall petitions will be sought later for other commissioners. The disconnect between some citizens and commission tracks back to commissioners seeking to close the city police department and hire the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement.
The mother of a right whale calf whose body washed to shore in St. Johns County last week has been found with injuries consistent with a vessel strike, according to wildlife authorities. Researchers flying in the area spotted the mother, named Infinity, and say she has injuries apparently from a propeller on her left side. They’re analyzing how bad the wounds are. The whale’s one-month-old calf had fresh cuts on the back and head as well as broken ribs from an impact when it was found near St. Augustine Inlet. On Friday evening several people who were rescued from a sinking boat said they had hit a whale. Less than 400 of the whales remain and the Florida coast each winter becomes a nursery for the mothers and newborn calves. Officials remind boaters to slow down and stay alert while in near shore waters and inlets.