This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Florida Highway Patrol is investigating an accident Thursday night that left one person dead in the Reid Street parking lot of Beck Wholesale Parts in Palatka. Authorities say a man driving a van through the lot around 9:30 p.m. ran over the woman who was lying in the lot. Why the woman was lying in the lot has not been determined. Age and residence of the woman were not given. The driver stayed at the scene to cooperate with investigators, according to FHP.
Family members and friends of a 17-year-old youth who died in a single-car crash early Thursday morning near Nocatee at the St. Johns-Duval County line have started a GoFundMe account to help pay funeral expenses. Georgie Moreland, 17, was the passenger in a car whose driver, friends say, was his best friend. The crash happened around 3:25 a.m. near the intersection of Cross Town Drive and Preservation Trail. Cause of the crash is under investigation.
Guests at a St. Augustine bed-and-breakfast Thursday found themselves looking for new accommodations after a fire and subsequent water damage made the building uninhabitable. St. Augustine Fire Department and St. Johns Fire Rescue were called out at 3:32 p.m. to the Agustin Inn at 29 Cuna Street in the downtown area. The fire was found in an exterior wall and two rooms on the first floor suffered heavy damage, according to authorities. Cause of the fire is under investigation.
The 71st annual Putnam County Fair opens at 5 p.m. tonight at the fairgrounds in East Palatka. The fair runs through next Saturday and features all the traditions — rides, food, entertainment, civic exhibits and swine and steer shows. For opening day, admission is $5.
Lawbreakers should know better than to go through Flagler County. A Flagler Sheriff’s Office deputy late Wednesday evening pulled over a vehicle after tracking it going 63 mph in a 50 mph zone. When the driver lowered the window, Deputy Christa Rainey noted a strong odor of cannabis. Both the driver and the passenger denied any narcotics or medical marijuana prescriptions in the Dodge Charger. The driver exited the vehicle and was secured but passenger Shaquan Moore, 21, resisted and attempted to flee while reaching into his waistband. Additional deputies arrived as backup and Moore, who kept resisting, eventually was hit with stuns four times. A loaded 9 mm handgun was found in his waistband. A check on Moore found he was a fugitive from Fulton County, Ga., with an active warrant for homicide. He was taken to jail on several charges in addition to the active homicide warrant. No bond is being set. The driver was given a verbal warning and eventually released.
The Sisters of St. Joseph in St. Augustine are celebrating a special event today. It’s the feast day of their order’s namesake — St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and stepfather of Jesus. He’s a patron saint of the church, fathers, workers, travelers, immigrants, unborn children and a happy death
Although cooler temperatures are expected this weekend, area students will continue to celebrate at beaches in St. Johns and Flagler where crowds have been gathering for spring break. On Saturday and Sunday it’s St. Augustine Spring Fling at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds off State Road 207 in Elkton. Live music, children’s area, food trucks and an antique car show are scheduled. The St. Augustine Music Festival joins forces Sunday with The Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine at the Pena-Peck House on St. George Street to offer free classical music in the gardens. Pre-registration is required. In Putnam County, Knights of Columbus at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Palatka are putting on their Lenten fish dinner today from 4-7 p.m. at the Church Hall on South Fourth Street. On Saturday Rotary Club of Palatka continues their annual blood screening at Interlachen Public Library Saturday from 7-9:30 a.m.
Let’s hear it for the good guys. An internet technician working at a house in Putnam County is being honored for saving a Florahome man who was attacked by a pack of dogs on Oct. 9. On Thursday Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach presented WIndstream tech Nicholas Campbell with a lifesaving award for his actions. At the ceremony was Edward Womble, the man officers credit Campbell with saving. While working Campbell saw Womble, who was on a bicycle, try to avoid a group of dogs in the roadway. One of the dogs charged the bicyclist, grabbed his leg and caused Womble to crash to the ground. The five other dogs rushed in, biting the man’s chest, face and arms. Campbell grabbed a sling blade from his van and ran at the dogs, beating them off the victim. The dogs retreated and Campbell applied pressure to the worst of the bleeding wounds until paramedics arrived. Womble was taken to the trauma center at Shands and eventually recovered. At Thursday’s ceremony Womble said he “certainly would have died” without Campbell’s heroic actions.