The Voice of the Gem City

May 15, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Law enforcement memorial services are going on this week with today being Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. Flagler County held a candlelight service Monday in front of the former Sheriff’s Operation Center in Bunnell. Today at 10 a.m. the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office held their ceremony at their headquarters. On Thursday in Palatka, Putnam County will hold a memorial service at 10 a.m. at Ravine Gardens State Park. In the United States last year 163 officers died, 11 of them in Florida.

Putnam County commissioners gave the go-ahead to preserve the 160-year-old Maltby Oak during their Tuesday workshop meeting. Named for one-time ag agent Hubert Maltby, the oak is on the courthouse lawn and something of a symbol for the county. A limb fell from the oak in April and there has been talk of cutting down the tree. Arborists Chuck and Danny Lippi submitted a report on the tree saying it is “viable and healthy”. They did advise trimming and pruning, a task that will be done by an in-area firm and probably cost about $10,000. The need to do maintenance on the tree has come up in the past. Yellow tape currently surrounds the tree in order to keep people from walking beneath it.

A Flagler Beach man was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in federal prison for selling benzoyl fentanyl and other drugs online, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced Tuesday.  Robert Richard Jodoin, 50, also forfeited the web domain primalvisions.net, which he used to sell drugs. According to investigating agencies multiple drug overdose victims around the county purchased drugs from Jodoin via his website.

Tonight a town hall in St. Johns County will discuss the local impact fentanyl is having on that community. The meeting is 6 p.m. tonight at the National Guard Armory on San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine. Flagler Hospital, EPIC Behavioral Healthcare, SMA Healthcare, the St. Johns County School District and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office representatives will take part in the panel. Mike Davis will moderate and Randy Grimes, a former NFL player, will attend as a guest speaker.

Congratulations to Interlachen High School student Justin Darcey who won the Robert W. Webb Award of Excellence Tuesday night as scholars from around Putnam County were honored.

Flagler County School Board is again talking changes to its nine schools. Among possibilities sending all sixth graders to middle schools, converting all elementary and middle schools to K-8 or rezoning. A combination of all three also is possible. Board members talked about the proposals, which have come up before, during a retreat Tuesday.

In St. Augustine, the last of a series of community workshops on the updating of the Comprehensive Pan is tonight from 6-8 p.m. at the St. Johns County Public Library. Among items discussed in the past –maintaining a sense of place and balancing quality of life with tourism and development.

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