The Voice of the Gem City

January 7, 2019

Area News

Florida High Patrol reported a fatal crash in Putnam County on Janice Drive and Hoover Road in Interlachen. An ATV rolled over killing one person whose identity has not been released. The accident happened Sunday evening

Palatka City Commissioners hold an oath of office ceremony at 6 pm tonight at the Larimer Arts Center. Returning to office are Mayor/commissioner Terrill Hill and Commissioners Justin Campbell and Rufus Borum. A reception follows. Commissioners get back to business on Thursday with their first commission meeting of the year. That’s at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

In Flagler County two deputies rescued two women and a service dog Friday after an SUV went into a body of water in Palm Coast, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office said it received a call just after 4:30 p.m. from a woman who said she had just accidentally driven herself and her blind mother into the lake at Waterfront Park. The caller said she was unable to open the SUV’s doors and that water was beginning to fill up the vehicle.
Deputy Collins and Deputy Meyers responded to the scene, entered the water and were able to open the driver’s side door to get the driver, her mother and their service dog to safety.
Once safely on dry land, according to the Sheriff’s Office, the driver told deputies that, in the heavy rain, she had attempted to turn onto Colbert Lane, but misjudged the turn and instead drove straight into the water.
“This story could have had a very different ending,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a news release. “I am extremely proud of Deputy Meyers and Deputy Collins for their quick response to the scene and how they went into the water without hesitation. Driving in the rain can be very dangerous, if at any time you are driving and you feel like the conditions are too hazardous we encourage drivers to pull over at a safe location and wait for the weather to pass.”
The women in the vehicle were reported uninjured, and vehicle will be towed and released back to the owner, deputies said.
The water rescue was captured on body camera footage.


The Putnam County Sheriffs Officers are looking for a sex offender who has not registered his address. 54 year old Charles Anthony Caldwell has not reported in for over a month.  Caldwell was convicted in 2013 with sexual misconduct with a minor in Indiana and has been living in Florida since 2015.  Recently his ankle monitor went dead and authorities have not been able to locate him since.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriffs office.

The City of St. Augustine proudly recognizes the personal achievement and continued professional development of two hard-working employees, Andrea White, St. Augustine’s City Archeologist and Corey Sakryd, the city’s Grants Administrative Coordinator, who recently completed advanced degree programs.
Andrea White, St. Augustine’s City Archeologist, was recently awarded her doctorate in Anthropology from the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Andrea, who relocated from New Orleans to join the city in 2017, specializes in urban and historical archaeology and for her dissertation developed an urban archaeological model that can be implemented in any historic city, including St. Augustine, which pulls together overlays of historical maps to study a city’s development over time.
Corey Sakryd, the city’s Grants Administrative Coordinator, was recently awarded his Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from Flagler College and was also presented the David B. Shoar award for academic excellence. A 26 year Navy veteran, Corey was named to the newly created position in April of 2018 and is responsible for researching financial support through available grants and oversight of existing grant contracts from Federal, State, and local Special District agencies.
“This commitment to education demonstrates the high level of dedication of our employees that they pursue these endeavors on their own time and of their own accord,” said City Manager John Regan. “This drive for self-improvement ultimately benefits not only our organization, but the community as a whole.”

Manatees have gone from the endangered to the threatened list but unfortunately there have been more manatee deaths this past year.  Records indicate 804 manatees have died this past year which is close to an all time high. Boat propellers and Red Tide have been blamed for the majority of the deaths.

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