The Voice of the Gem City

JANUARY 21, 2019

Schools, government offices and banks are among institutions closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day today. In Palatka there’s a parade at 10 a.m. downtown and a festival on the riverfront from 11 am-4 p.m. In Crescent City a daylong celebration is going on at the A. Phillip Randolph Gallery on Central Avenue until 5 p.m.

A Mobile, Ala.,, deputy with Palatka ties was killed Sunday while attempting to arrest a 19-year- old suspect who recently faked his own kidnapping to avoid arrest. The man is now facing a capital murder charge in the death of Officer Sean Tuder who had been with the Mobile department since 2016. Tuder grew up in Clay County, graduated from Fleming Island High School and worked for the Palatka Police Department several years. In 2014 he was in the news after responding and capturing three suspects in the break in of a gun shop on St. Johns Avenue. In 2015 he and another officer arrested two suspects in a home burglary on Dellwood Avenue. Tuder who went in the back entry confronted a suspect armed with a shotgun and shot him. The suspect, 15, recovered.

Thieves broke into the Flagler County Tax Collector satellite office in the Staples Shopping Center off Old Kings Road Saturday morning taking a computer and printer tied to producing drivers’ license. No license blanks were taken those are kept in a safe. The office will be open for business Tuesday but licenses may not be available since the state must install the equipment. Surveillance tapes show two thieves breaking the glass front door, coming in and prying up the equipment and then leaving in a white SUV.

Austin Chewning is the 2019 Flagler County Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year. He was named at the annual Sheriff’s Benefit Gala on Saturday. The gala benefits the Employee Assistance Trust fund set up by Sheriff Rick Staly as a non-profit to financially help law enforcement personnel facing unforeseen hardships that health and other forms of insurance may not cover. The gala raised $76,000 for the trust fund.

A St. Johns County deputy has been charged with careless driving and a seat belt violation after an accident Friday afternoon when his marked patrol car hit the rear of a semi in Clay County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Deputy Mark K Juen Jr., 31, has been with the Sheriff’s Office four months. The semi stopped for the railroad tracks on U.S. 17 North at Hall Page Road. That’s when the patrol car hit the truck. Juen received minor injureis. The smi driver ws reported uninjured.

Flagler County school system has chosen Donelle Eversen, a literacy coach at Rymfire Elementary School, as the 2019 Flagler County Teacher of the Year and Eugenia Moore, guidance clerk at Matanzas High School, as Support Employee of the Year. The two will now represent Flagler in further competitions in the state. Eversen is a graduate of Flagler Palm Coast High School.

The word of the day is “apricot.” That’s the word 10-year-old Armand Kuykendall correctly spelled to win the 2019 Putnam County Spelling Bee on Friday. The Middleton-Burney Elementary School fifth grader as competing against 14 other students from around the county. Extra Points for Armand, he has some challenges including autism and ADHD. His parents, who adopted him when he was three say the youth, said they cried as he won.
This is Marcia Lane, your Roving Reporter.

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