The Voice of the Gem City

APRIL 16, 2019

New buildings, new uses is the theme for government today. In Flagler County commissioners have chosen county-owned property by the library in Palm Coast for a new Sheriff’s Operations Center. The previous structure in Bunnell has caused health issues for sheriff’s personnel. The new facility will be 40,000 square feet and cost $12 million -$14 million, most of which will have to be borrowed. At least having it next to the library should help with issues regarding homeless encampments there. In St. Johns County commissioners are looking at using the county fairgrounds on State Road 207 near Elkton as a new location for events that have outgrown Francis Field. A $100,000 soil and management study must first be conducted. The city has been pushing to move festivals out of the area citing overcrowding concerns. How downtown businesses, which are fueled by tourists, will take the change hasn’t been addressed.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a DUI involving an off-duty Palatka Police officer arrested Monday while driving a city patrol car. Orestes Cossio, who’s been with Palatka since May 2016, was reported by a concerned citizen who saw him in civilian clothes driving while “possibly intoxicated.” Cossio was eventually found in a parking lot near the foot of Memorial Bridge. The police department turned over the investigation to FHP. Cossio was being held in the Putnam County jail Monday night.

Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says reports of threats of retaliation against witnesses in a case involving the shooting of a teenager in Flagler County at a Laundromat are being pursued. Making threats or witness tampering are felony crimes. The FCSO is still seeking to speak with Teresa Selgado aka “Alex.” She is not considered a suspect.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has a new officer and she’s full of Grace. That’s the name given to K-9 Grace, a bloodhound puppy. Putnam County school children chose the name for the newest member of the force.

St. Augustine Amphitheater has rebranded itself as The Amp. Now they say they’ve taken a major step forward in the venue industry with a new green venture. The Amp’s Green Hands Program and r.Cup have teamed up with a new program that offers rentable and reusable cups. A $3 deposit on a r.Cup gives concertgoers a cup they can reuse at the event and then get a $3 refund when they turn it in. The Amp calls the new program “truly groundbreaking.”

Here’s more trash talk. Advanced Disposal out of Ponte Vedra Beach is being acquired by rival Waste Management. Waste Management out of Houston has some 21 million customers. Advanced Disposal means another three million residential and industrial customers.

Don’t plan on school Friday. Whether they’re calling it school break, teacher holiday or Easter vacation, schools in St. Johns, Putnam and Flagler will all be out on Good Friday, part of the Easter celebration weekend.

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