This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators are at Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine today to investigate the Tuesday afternoon plane crash that left two people dead. Eyewitnesses say the single-engine Cessna apparently went into stall mode before nose diving onto the runway off U.S. 1, sliding and bursting into flames. Aboard was a 19-year-old student pilot reportedly making a first flight and the flight instructor. No details about the pair have been released. NTSB will be inspecting the Cessna that was still on the runway this morning.
The man involved in the shooting of a 37-year-old St. Augustine man May 29 has been indicted on a charge of manslaughter with a firearm, a first-degree felony. A grand jury Tuesday returned the indictment against Luis Casado. In addition, Casado is charged with carrying a concealed firearm in a prohibited place. Family and friends of the victim, Adam Amoia, recently held a vigil downtown seeking action on the case. Casado allegedly shot Amoia after the man reportedly hit him in the face several times in front Los Gatos bar on Hypolita Street.
A 25-year-old Flagler County man whose father sought a welfare check on him is in the Flagler County jail on a $2,500 bond and charged with grand theft. After Flagler Sheriff’s deputies talked with William Demetrius Kitts they pierced together information indicating he had stolen a truck with the keys in it from a 7-11 store on Moody Boulevard Tuesday morning then abandoned it, taking a knob off the radio. He then was spotted at an apartment complex behind the store, running around erratically and appearing to under the influence of a narcotic. When the abandoned vehicle was spotted a search began. During the search Kitts’ father called to say his son needed to be Baker Acted, saying the man had run into their house with a radio know and saying people were after him. Kitts then began talking to the television. Deputeis were able to take him into custody, telling them he was “in a predicament.” Kitts has a long arrest record with law enforcement including burglary, marijuana possession and felony child abuse.
St. Augustine city commissioners want to take over King Street and several streets around the Plaza de la Constitucion. Their plan is to turn it into a more pedestrian friendly area, and they also are considering putting utilities underground. This is an area that any disturbance of the ground means the city’s archaeologist must be called in. King Street is the main thoroughfare from U.S. 1 to the Bridge of Lions. Commissioners at Monday’s meeting gave the okay for talks with the Florida Department of Transportation although they say citizens’ input will be sought. They’re also talking other ideas including a second parking garage at the corner of West King Street and U.S. 1, the entrance to West Augustine.
Tonight in Palatka a karaoke fundraiser at the Larimer Arts Center will provide an evening of fun and help sponsor new arts programs for area youth. Arts Council of Greater Palatka Inc. is putting on both the fundraiser and the programs. Buffalo Munn is emceeing the fundraiser with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. at the Larimer at 216 Reid St. Admission is $5 for the evening of singing and dancing.
It pays to pay attention as Adam Morley of Genung’s Fish Camp at Crescent Beach can attest. His video of a pontoon boat plowing into a channel marker is getting lots of views on television. The boat’s pilot was coming out of a no wake zone in the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Johns County and speeding up when he struck the marker. Morley said apparently the boater wasn’t paying attention and hit the marker, which had just been repaired after someone else hit it. The markers with triangle signs tells boaters which side of the marker to pass on and keep them from running into navigational hazards such as sand bars.
Pilot Club of Florida Lt. Gov. Tadzia Alexander is having a busy couple of days. On Tuesday she was at the Pilot Club of Palatka to install new officers including incoming president Sue McCoy who takes over from D’rcy Miller. Tonight Alexander will be at her home pilot club in St. Augustine to install officers there. Miller noted it’s been a difficult year with coronavirus but Pilot Club members still found a way “to do more, be more and care more,” the Pilot motto. Among things coming up, a return of Bunco on July 19 at the East Palatka Shrine Club. It’s the first time in a year-and-a-half that Pilots have been able to hold the popular game night, which is open to the public