Summer is officially here – the “Shut” sign is up at County Line Produce on the St. Johns-Putnam county line. This was the 53rd season for the produce stand that’s the grandfather of all the other stands that have sprung up on State Road 207. Corn is the last crop of the season and a freak wind storm last week took out their last field so they’ve closed a little early. The other sign “See Y’All in the Fall” means they’ll be back come November.
A Sunday morning shooting that left a man dead and his wife wounded is under investigation in Flagler County. Investigators are looking at the case as an attempted murder/suicide in what was apparently a domestic violence situation. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Beachwood Lane house around 10 a.m. by Maureen Lockwood, 55, who told the 9-1-1 dispatcher she had been shot by her husband, Ralph Lockwood, 63, and he then turned the gun on himself. At Halifax Hospital later Sunday, Mr. Lockwood died and his wife is reportedly in stable condition as the investigation continues.
Putnam County Sheriff’s Officer will be meeting with pastors and ministers in the area Tuesday to go over various issues including the Sheriff Office’s newly released emergency notification system for potential threats to religious locations. All denominations are welcome. The meeting begins at 8:15 a.m. inside the jail by the Sheriff’s Office.
Summer vacation is here for students and teachers, but school districts continue working. District school offices are on four-day work weeks during the summer. Those hours — Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. St. Johns River State College is on a similar scheduled that began two weeks ago.
Lack of rain has area governments reminding people to be conservative when it comes to watering outdoors. The 18 counties in the St. Johns River Water Management District are prohibited from watering between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. any day. Watering is only allowed on two days each and when is based on your address. Odd-numbered house can water on Wednesdays and Saturdays and even-numbered houses on Thursdays and Sundays. In St. Johns County, utilities officials report the water table is the lowest it’s been in 35 years. High temperatures, lack of rain and continuing growth are cited.
A community effort to clean up Project Play in Palatka brought out more than 50 volunteers Saturday. Attorney Alex Sharp is credited with coming up the idea as a way to address trash and general maintenance at the children’s playground in the John Theobold Complex, a.k.a. Triangle Park off U.S. 17. In 2000 the park was built by volunteers.
Flagler County Commissioners have a busy schedule today. A vote on a new restaurant building for Captain’s BBQ at Bing’s Landing, a county park, is expected to happen today. Residents of The Hammock area have sought to stop the project. Also today a budget discussion on the new Sheriff’s Operations Center is planned.
Thursday marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when Western Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy on June 6, 1944. It was the beginning of the end for Nazi-led Germany. Parachute and glider landings the night before and navy bombardments were part of the invasion which was under the direction of then-Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Numerous ceremonies are planned, but probably none more unique than the decision of several of the veterans to once again parachute in. Among them will be Tom Rice, who was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne in Normandy, a member of the Screaming Eagles. He’s nearly 98 now and will be jumping in tandem, strapped to SkyDive Palatka owner Art Shaffer, who has more than 16,000 jumps to his credit. First Coast News anchors Jeannie Blaylock and Lew Turner are in Normandy to broadcast live from the ceremonies including the jump into one of the actual drop zones on D-Day. More than 13,000 American paratroopers made the jump back in 1944.