This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
A 25-year old woman died early Monday morning in a crash on Interstate 95 at mile marker 314 in St. Johns County, according to Florida Highway Patrol. Reports say the woman, who was driving a sedan, was headed south on I-95 in the center lane behind a semi-truck. She was driving fast and collided with the rear of the truck, causing the car to rotate clockwise onto the right grass shoulder, according to FHP. The semi also came to a stop on the right shoulder. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The 41-year-old truck driver wasn’t injured.
Florida Department of Health in Flagler County reported 15 new coronavirus cases in Monday’s state dashboard report. That brings their total since counting began in March of last year to 7,245. In addition 111 deaths have been reported. Putnam County reported eight new cases for a total of 6,475 cases. Death total in Putnam is 148. St. Johns County reported 31 new coronavirus cases for a total of 22,493. Death total is 209 in St. Johns.
For the second time in a month, a student at C.H. Price Middle School in Interlachen is facing court after bringing a weapon to school. On Monday a 14-year-old boy was arrested for bringing a fixed blade knife to Price. Deputies on campus were notified and took the student into custody. He’s being charged with bringing a weapon onto a school campus. The student was released into a parent’s custody and will receive a court date, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The school system may impose additional consequences.
The possibility of privatizing running of the St. Johns County Public Library system is beginning to stir up residents, many of whom remember the long effort to get the library system in place. At an April meeting St. Johns County Commissioner Jeb Smith said he was contacted by a company called Library Systems and Services about the economic savings of turning management of the system over to a private company. Smith asked staff to look into the cost of operating the libraries and possible savings considerations. According to their website, Learning Systems and Services manages libraries in 75 communities and has offices in California and Maryland. While a majority of their business is in California, in Florida they manage six branches in Osceola County, five in Sumter County and the Cybrarium in Homestead.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly is urging parents to monitor their children’s online activity after the arrest of a Palm Coast man accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl he met via online gaming. Oleg Walker, 28, was arrested last week and charged with one count of using computer services to solicit a child and one count of unlawful use of a communication device. Authorities say the investigation began after a friend of Walker’s tipped them off after Walker had told him about the relationship and admitted knowing the girl was 14. The two met online playing a game called King of Avalon. A search warrant for Walker’s cellphone showed sexually explicit messages between the two. The girl does not live in Flagler County, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Walker was arrested last week in St. Johns County, transferred to Flagler and jailed on a $30,000 bond.
Black smoke from a two-story house fire Monday afternoon in the 500 block of Gerona Road in St. Augustine was visible around the city. St. Augustine Fire Department and St. Johns County Fire Rescue units responded to the residential structure fire. No injuries were reported and residents were being helped by Red Cross. Cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office.
Bardin Bridge off State Road 100 is now open for traffic, according to a Putnam County spokesman. The bridge has been closed due to construction efforts. Weight limits are posted.
Rodeheaver Boys Ranch celebrates its 71 st anniversary May 16 with a Drive Thru BBQ at the ranch off State Road 19 South. Normally they’d be holding their open house and barbecue as part of the annual celebration at the ranch, a private non-profit that helps boys in need. However, coronavirus has changed the gathering. You can pick up the barbecue and take it with you or picnic in the Ranch pavilion. Reservations need to be made by this Friday so the ranch knows how much food to prepare. Call 386-328-1281.