This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Even as Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staley was giving an update on crime at a public meeting Thursday in Palm Coast, deputies were investigating 20 plus car break-ins in Palm Coast’s K and Z sections. It’s the first time in at least a year that serial car beak-ins have taken place, according to a sheriff’s office spokesperson. All the vehicles burglarized had been left unlocked with the break-ins taking place from Tuesday night into Wednesday. By late afternoon Thursday, more break-in reports were being investigated. Some of the vehicle owners reported their garage door openers used and the garages entered as they slept. Video footage at a couple of locations showed what appeared to be two men or boys breaking into cars.
In Palatka, doctors and some hospital staff were on hand Thursday for a groundbreaking ceremony for a new MRI unit at Putnam Community Medical Center. The $3.5 million project means patients can be given an MRI at the hospital, rather than go across the street to another facility. Work began on the project Wednesday and is expected to be finished in the last quarter of this year, according to hospital officials.
Drivers in South Putnam at the intersection of County Road 309 and 308B are urged to be cautious. The traffic signal was knocked down during a crash Thursday evening. Until the signal is replaced, the intersection will be a four-way stop.
U.S. Congresswoman Kat Cammack had a U.S. flag flown over the Capitol earlier this month in memory of Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mark Elam who died in a motorcycle crash on his way to work. The flag was shipped to the Sheriff’s Office where it was put in a shadow box with the captain’s badges and bars Elam would have worn. Elam, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, had been scheduled for promotion in May and the rank upgrade for the corrections officer was awarded after his death. The shadow box will be presented to his family.
Based on the state Covid-19 dashboard, Florida Department of Health in Flagler County reported two new coronavirus-related deaths Thursday bringing their total since March a year ago to 110. Sixteen new cases were reported for a total of 7,191. Putnam County reported 14 new cases for a total of 6,427. St. Johns County reported 35 new cases for a total of 22,357.
Increased traffic State Road A1A on Anastasia Island has some residents seeking traffic relief. More than 250 people have signed a petition on change.org asking Florida Department of Transportation for a traffic light at SR A1A and Red Cox Drive. That’s in the area by St. Augustine Lighthouse, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park and a fire station. Residents say it’s an area getting busier every day.
In Flagler County this weekend it’s the Palm Coast Songwriters Festival drawing performers from around the country. Concerts tonight, Saturday and Sunday are at Daytona State College Amphitheater on Palm Coast Parkway SE. Saturday morning from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. the festival holds the Bloody Mary Brunch Bash at Oceanside Bar and Grill in Flagler Beach.
Romanza Festivale of Music & The Arts kicks off a two-week festival in St. Augustine Saturday with headliners Duo Beaux Arts. The husband-and-wife concert pianists will perform classical music from 7:30-9:15 p.m. at Ancient City Baptist Church. The concert is free, as is most of the festival. Also happening in St. Augustine the Cruisers Car & Truck Show 2021 Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine. The inaugural St. Augustine Food Truck Festival is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Francis Field. In Vilano Beach the Pro Watercross National Championship Tour competitions are Saturday and Sunday. The 3K Raptor Run is Sunday from St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. St. Anastasia Concert Series offers the Jacksonville University Symphony Office at St. Anastasia Catholic Church Sunday at 6 p.m.
In Hastings on Saturday it’s the 2021 Spud Run and Cabbage Crawl at HHS Community Building on North Main Street. The 10K and 15 K runs begin at 7 a.m. and the 5K at 8:30 a.m. The Cabbage Crawl is at 9:30 a.m.
In Palatka people will be heading to Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical presented by Palatka High School’s Musical Theatre Department this weekend and next. The musical is on stage at C.L. Overturf Jr. Sixth Grade Center Auditorium in Palatka. Tickets are available at the door or call Ralph’s House of Flowers 386-325-4734. The musical is today through Sunday and next week May 6-9. Children and adults are giving the musical two thumbs up.