This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Two major crashes on Interstate 95 North in St. Johns County this morning shut down portions of the highway and rerouted traffic as Florida Highway Patrol investigates. The first crash just after 2 a.m. involved a semi and at least one other car at I-95 and County Road 210. One person died in the accident and multiple vehicle were involved, said FHP. While the investigation of that wreck was underway, a second accident occurred at 5:15 a.m. on the alternate route where traffic was being diverted onto I-95 at International Golf Parkway. International Golf remained open but drivers were advised to take U.S. 1 instead of I-95 and to expect delays.
St. Augustine city officials are promoting from within for their new police chief. Commander Jennifer Michaux has been selected to replace Chief Barry Fox, who will be retiring June 30. City Manager John Regan said her “ability to think critically and articulate tangible solutions, her vision for the future of the St. Augustine Police Department and her approachable and empathetic leadership style make her the best fit.” She has 25 years policing experience, beginning her law enforcement career with the department in 1995. She served as a petty officer in the U.S. Navy and has a degree in public administration from Flagler College.
A former Palatka city commissioner is the interim city manager for Crescent City after a special meeting Tuesday afternoon where commissioners interviewed candidates. Phil Leary, who was state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development from April 2019 to January 2021, is a longtime lobbyist. He’ll be making $7,000 a month with no benefits while overseeing the process of hiring a new manager who will make up to $85,000.
Flagler County School Board officials are looking for a way to put the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club on sounder financial footing. Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt told board members Tuesday the facility, which is owned by the district, has a current deficit of $89,900 and that’s expected to be $168,000 for the year. Among possibilities the district is looking at include partnership with the private sector or scaling back operations.
Putnam County Board of County Commissioners presented a certificate of distinguished service to Willie Wright, known to many in the community as “Mr. Willie.” Since March 8, 1971, or for more than 50 years, Wright served the community at Putnam Community Medical Center as an OR and ER technician and a transporter. In other words, he was the gentleman who took patients into and out of the operating room.
Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County reported one new coronavirus-related death, bringing their total to 201 deaths since counting began last March. On Sunday St. Johns County reported 13 new cases and on Monday 40 new cases for a total of 20,829. Flagler County reported six new cases on Sunday and 26 on Monday for a total of 6,466 coronavirus cases. Putnam County reported three new cases on Sunday and three on Monday for a total of 5,974 cases.