The Voice of the Gem City

May 1, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Crescent City has a new commissioner – businesswoman Katie Berg who took 42 percent of the vote Tuesday. She’ll fill the seat left vacant by the death of Marcus Hardy in January. About 31 percent of Crescent City’s 900 plus voters turned out for the election that featured four candidates.

A Flagler County Sheriff’s employee is credited with saving three people, getting them out of a house that was on fire Tuesday morning. Civil Clerk Ashlie Hicks, who used to work in dispatch, was headed to work in Bunnell when she saw smoke coming out of a house on East Lambert Street. Hicks called 911 and then went to the back of the house, banging on the door to rouse anyone inside. Three adults were sleeping in the house and Hicks was able to get them out as well as their pets.

A Seville man knows what luck is after his car was hit by an Amtrak train Tuesday. Isaias Jimenez, 57, told Florida Highway Patrol he didn’t see a train coming at the crossing off U.S. 17 and pulled forward. That’s when he saw the train and hit the gas. The train clipped the rear of his car but Jimenez wasn’t injured. He was ticketed with failure to yield to the train, which was on a New York to Miami run. The accident happened just before 9 a.m. and the train was back on its way by 10:45 a.m.

Two St. Augustine teens taking part in a senior skip day ended up swimming for their lives Tuesday. Tyler Smith and Heather Brown, both 17, were swimming off Vilano Beach when they became stranded in the ocean two miles off the coastline for two hours. They had reached the stage of near exhaustion when they began praying with Brown calling out to God for help saying “just bring something,” as she told a reporter. That’s when a boat, sailing from South Florida to New Jersey, came into view and they were rescued. The name of the boat – The Amen.

St. Augustine city commissioners begin work on the 2019-2020 budget Thursday with a workshop at 8:30 a.m. at The Alcazar Room in City Hall. The meeting, which is open to the public, is the start of the budget process and will include an update on where city finances are currently as well as the results of a recent citizens’ survey.

A $30 scratch-off ticket turned out to be a good investment for St. Johns County resident Christopher Frazier. He won the top prize — $15 million — in the Gold Rush Special Edition. Frazier, 45, of St. Johns, is taking his winnings in a lump sum payment of $10.44 million.

Payton Pellicer from Palatka High School is 2018-2019 Career and Technical Education Superstar for Putnam County. Career and tech students were honored at a program sponsored by Seminole Electric. Pellicer, who is involved in a number of community programs as well as citizen health care, also has been honored by the National Honor Society. She’s going to attend Georgia Southern University with eventual plans to be a nurse practitioner.

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