This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
The peaceful surrender by an armed man ended a potentially deadly situation in Satsuma following a reported domestic violence battery late Tuesday night. Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies went to the Kerry Drive residence after the victim who had gone to get her items from the residence failed to make contact with a friend as arranged. When a deputy came to the residence and rang the doorbell, the victim later told deputies she thought she was going to die. Instead, James Gonyer released her, but went back in the residence saying, “There’s no fixing this.” The victim told deputies Gonyer earlier battered her, pointed a gun to her head and took her cellphone, preventing her from calling law enforcement. The Sheriff’s Crisis Intervention Team then spent several hours talking to the distraught and angry Gonyer, finally getting him to come surrender. He was taken for a medical examination because of concerns he might have taken an overdose. When released, he was booked into the jail on charges of aggravated assault and obstruction. Putnam Sheriff Gator DeLoach credited the department’s Crisis Intervention Team with working to “calm a very distraught man” and called them “the quiet heroes” of the agency.
Flagler College men’s basketball team moved up in the Division II national quarter finals Wednesday. A pair of successful free throws by Flagler and a last-second shot attempt fail by their opponents led the Saints to beat Truman State 70-69. Third-seeded Flagler now faces Northwest Missouri State in the Final Four tonight at 9:45 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. The St. Augustine-based college basketball team has never before made it this far in postseason play.
A review and possible approval of the Palatka Housing Authority’s five-year plan could happen at tonight’s Palatka City Commission meeting. Also scheduled for the 6 p.m. meeting is the reappointment of Sharon Williams and Dr. Gilbert Evans for four-year terms on the PHA board.
Graduation exercises for Flagler County’s two high schools are expected to return to Ocean Center in Daytona Beach this year. Coronavirus concerns sent graduates to the International Speedway last year for ceremonies that had seniors given their diplomas while sitting in their cars and then taking a lap around the track. Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt says if virus recovery continues, Flagler Palm Coast High and Matanzas High should be at the Ocean Center on June 2. Seating will be limited.
A 56-year-old Jacksonville man was killed in a wreck Wednesday morning on Interstate 95, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The death came around 2 a.m. when a tractor trailer ran into the car that was either traveling very slowly or was stopped in the center lane of 95 near the County Road 210 interchange. FHP said the accident was one of two wrecks that morning. The second was at the International Golf Parkway exit where traffic was detoured after the first wreck. The wrecks, which tied up traffic for hours, are under investigation.
Putnam County Commission holds a special called meeting Friday at 8:45 a.m. at the Crill Avenue county offices to discuss the county manager’s job. Commissioners are expected to propose offering County Manager Terry Suggs additional incentives to keep him in Putnam County. Suggs is on the list of finalists for the job as Daytona Beach city manager.
Now’s the time of year that does are having fawns so it’s not unusual to see moms and fawns out. But in most cases humans should look rather than touch even if they see a fawn alone. Usually it means their mothers have hidden them in order to forage for food. However, in St. Johns County on Tuesday Sheriff’s Office Agriculture Deputy Mike Pedonti rescued a fawn that’s mother was struck and killed by a vehicle. A passerby spotted the fawn nearby in the bushes. Deputy Pedonti found the fawn and turned him over to an animal rehab center for care.
Cranes on the Palatka skyline aren’t unusual these days as electrical and telephone companies replace poles. However, people were looking twice Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church on the riverfront when the church’s historic bell was being removed with the use of a crane. It’s part of an ongoing massive restoration job. Member Gladys Buck says church records show the bell was ordered for the original brick church but it hadn’t arrived when the Great Fire of 1884 burned the church and destroyed about four blocks of downtown Palatka. The brick walls and steeple survived the fire and the city took the hint, rebuilding in brick rather than wood. The bell went up in the restored structure and has been in place since 1886.