A father-and-son team is in jail in Bradford County charged with dealing in stolen property. James Floyd Ford, 61, and Joseph Edwin Ford, 36, also face warrants from Putnam and Alachua counties. During a search investigators from several counties found seven lawn mowers and three trailers reported stolen. Value of items totaled $80,000. The pair was caught earlier this week allegedly stealing a commercial lawnmower and trailer in Alachua County. The investigation including law enforcement in four counties is continuing.
St. Johns River Water Management District says more than 700 square miles of wetlands have been created, protected, enhanced or restored by the district since 1989. Some 449,135 acres of wetlands have been involved according to the annual wetland activities report released Tuesday. “These results show the success of district programs at protecting, restoring and preserving wetlands, which provide valuable functions that benefit everyone,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle.
A man wanted in Flagler County is in Volusia County jail today following a chase that began Tuesday evening. Flagler deputies were originally called to Palm Coast after reports of an argument between a man and his ex-girlfriend. The ex-girlfriend told them Justin Tyler Blake, 24, of Texas, had been following her for months and she feared for her life and her children. Blake returned Tuesday, she said, with a U-Haul truck and another argument ensued. Deputies arrived after he left but waited near the truck. Blake returned, would not obey deputies commands and drove the vehicle at a deputy. Stop sticks tore up one of his tires but he kept driving on and off State Road 100 headed for Interstate 95. Once on I-95 at the 279 mile marker he abandoned the truck, running into the woods. A hunt including dogs and helicopter followed. He was eventually found in South Daytona on Wednesday.
The Purple Plum Playhoue in Crescent City hold a Readers Theatre production of Spirit this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Howe Memorial Fellowship Hall. The production is free although donations will be accepted.
St. Augustine holds a one-day community recycle event April 26 as part of Earth Day 2019. This year paper shredding has been added. As in the past the event allows for disposal of electronics and cooking oil. No TVs allowed. The event is at the Solid Waste Department facility, 601 Riberia St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A recent homelessness study in St. Johns County shows that population is growing. The annual survey conduct by the Continuum of Care reports homelessness is up 4 percent in the county from 2018. Numbers from the “point-in-time” count indicate 356 homeless people, 200 of whom are living without shelter.
Palatka Art League holds their annual spring yard sale this Friday and Saturday at the historic Tilghman House headquarters, 324 River Street. It’s part of the Save the Tilghman effort as League members seek to preserve the house that provides space for the League and offers art classes and activities for children.
Congratulations to Putnam County artist Deb Daniels. She received a first place in the Arts & Crafts division at the General Federation of Women’s Club Conference in Orlando. Daniels wasn’t able to make the conference; she was having surgery but is doing well. The Palatka club placed in all six arts and crafts categories as well as winning three awards for reporting.