This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Art takes to the streets in St. Augustine this week as the fifth annual St. Augustine Plein Air Paint Out gets underway. Plein air is the French term referring to painting outdoors and artists taking part will be following in the brush strokes of past artists as they paint selected locations. All the sites tie in with works in the Lightner Museum’s Impressionist collection now on display. Artists will be painting Thursday through Sunday. St. Augustine Art Association is overseeing the competition with art work on display in their Marine Street Gallery. Coronavirus concerns last year kept people on their porches to paint and the contest drew children as well as professional artists.
A veteran Flagler County Sheriff’s Office detective has taken suspension and demotion but will be allowed to remain with the office after a domestic battery charge in February. Mark A. Moy was suspended without pay for two months, demoted to civilian status without any law enforcement authority and placed on disciplinary probation for a year after signing a disciplinary probation agreement. His corporal rank was lost and his pay was cut by $8,000 yearly. Moy will be required to re-apply for a deputy’s position.
Wolfson Children’s Hospital annual bass tournament will be happening on the St. Johns River in Palatka May 13-15. Due to coronavirus some changes are planned including not having the usual vendors. Still on – the annual bass boat drawing that benefits the hospital. Tickets are $10 apiece for an opportunity to win a 21-foot Bullet bass boat with Mercury 250 Pro XS motor and Boatmate trailer, valued at $58,000. Instead of the usual drawing at the riverfront, tournament organizers will hold the event on Facebook May 22 at 11 a.m. For how to get tickets, go to WolfsonBassTournament.com
Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a two-vehicle head-on crash Tuesday on Belle Terre Parkway in Flagler County that sent three people to the hospital. Early reports indicate a Lexus and Chevrolet were involved with one vehicle heading north, drifting across the median and hitting the other vehicle head-on. The driver of the vehicle headed north may have had a medical episode, according to authorities. People had to be extricated from the vehicles and three were taken to trauma center at Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach.
The last issue of The St. Augustine Report came out Tuesday. That’s the weekly online newspaper put out by former St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner. He put it together April 5, one day before his death. His wife, Sally Gardner, said the newsletter “was a work of love for George, as it enable him to continue to be involved in city matters and to help tell the story of St. Augustine.” And, as usual, he scooped other publications including the news that St. Augustine’s human resources coordinator LaShawnda Pinkney is planning to run for the county commission seat currently held by Commissioner Jeb Smith of Hastings. Pinkney will make the official announcement Friday at Murabella Amenity Center.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office honored a pair of county residents Tuesday for saving a toddler’s life after he almost drowned. Luke Dorow, 14, spotted three-year-old Cal Harry underwater in the pool at a neighbor’s house where he and his family were swimming. Dorow jumped in and pulled him out. Cal’s aunt, Karen Brown, performed CPR on the boy who was taken to Wolfson Children’s Hospital by St. Johns paramedics. He has made a full recovery.
Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County reported 45 new coronavirus cases Tuesday bringing their total to 22,015 since counting began in March a year ago. In that time 206 deaths have been reported. Flagler County reported 18 new cases for a total of 7,065. Putnam County reported 12 new cases for a total of 6,295.
While the Bostwick Blueberry Festival won’t take place in Putnam County this year due to coronavirus, the blueberries are still available. Several local growers including Miller Blueberry Plantation and Nursery in Bostwick are reporting the bushes are full.