The Voice of the Gem City

MARCH 11, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Rodeheaver Boys Ranch’s fourth annual bass fishing tournament brought in some 200 boats to Palatka Saturday. Tim Mann and Troy Ray took first place winning $7,500. And taking top prize for community service the parking crew who were up at 2 a.m. finding spots to park all those trucks and boats for the fishermen.

A 36-year-old man died in the Melrose area Saturday morning after crashing into another vehicle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Michael Peterson was driving west near County Road 234 in Alachua County around 6 a.m. when his Hyundai veered into the path of a Chevrolet Tahoe driven by a 39-year-old man from Bell. The Hyundai overturned on the shoulder of the road and Peterson died at the scene, said FHP. The driver of the Tahoe was taken to UF Health Gainesville in serious condition.

Florida Highway Patrol is seeking a hit-and-run driver who struck a motorcyclist Saturday afternoon in Putnam County. The 63-year-old motorcyclist was crossing the intersection of State Road 207 and East McCormick Road when the driver of a pickup ran the stop signs and hit him, according to FHP. The victim, who was not identified, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Authorities are looking for an older model white truck, possibly a 2008-2012 Chevy extended cab with damage on the passenger side.

Expect to see more kids on the streets in Flagler County where it’s spring break all week. In St. Johns and Putnam counties spring break will be next week.

A 30-acre fire at the Clay County and Putnam County line brought out the Florida Forest Service and county fire rescue Saturday. Three forestry dozers dug fire lines in an effort to contain the fire. No structures were threatened.

A Putnam County woman was jailed last week on $95,000 bond and faces 13 felony charges including burglary, fraud and criminal mischief. According to authorities, Marisa Sapp, 42, had been a plant manager with Lewis Oil Company in Putnam County before she was terminated last year because of suspicion of embezzlement. The night she left she allegedly returned and took about $600 from the business. Several days later she reportedly returned again and spilled some 2,800 gallons of diesel fuel, then called the Florida Department of Environmental Protection about  Lewis Oil. She later went to work for Almond Oil Company in Alachua County but was arrested after allegedly taking pictures of customers’ personal information.

Bike Week is underway in Volusia County and motorcyclists are everywhere. Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is reminding people of an increased law enforcement presence and are urging motorists and pedestrians to be extra careful.

It’s official. Jan Reeger is the winner of a special election for the Bunnell City Commission. The Canvassing Board in Flagler County certified the election after counting one provisional ballot. Reeger ended up winning by two votes in the three-way race and that meant a recount wasn’t needed.

Navy training schedules mean inert and live bombings will be going on this week at Pinecastle Range Complex in the Ocala National Forest. Today and Wednesday the practices will go on from shortly after 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In St. Johns County, expect to see heavier traffic particularly in the northern part of the county around TPC Sawgrass as golf’s in the spotlight. Official play for The Players Championship begins Thursday. Purse is $12.5 million. Phil Mickleson and Tiger Woods are among pros expected.

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