This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Firefighters put out a fast moving fire on National Forest Road 66 in the Ocala National Forest Monday. Units responded to reports of smoke in the area of the Ocklawaha River and State Road 19 and found the fire burning along the forest road. Firefighters from the Southwest, Francis and Bostwick volunteer fire departments and the Putnam County Fire Rescue joined the Marion County Fire & Rescue and U.S. Forest Service to contain the fire. Forest Service remained on the scene afterwards. No homes are in danger and risk to the public is minimal, say officials. Be cautious of smoke in the area.
Two motorcyclists died Monday night in a head-on collision on State Road A1A in Flagler County. Florida Highway Patrol worked the crash near the intersection of Oceanshore Boulevard and Driftway Terrace in an area just north of Beverly Beach. According to reports, a similar crash happened in almost the same area three years ago.
Middle and high school students in St. Johns County are still waiting for their final report cards for the 2018-19 school year. A delay in the release of state tests scores led to the delay, according to the school district. Those scores for the Florida Standardized Assessments and End of Course exams were released Friday. St. Johns officials say report cards should go out this week. Elementary students already have received their cards.
Congrats to A. J. Proescher and his team who took home first place honors in the 2019 Ancient City Game Fish Association Kingfish Challenge in St. Augustine over the weekend. The Orange Park crew including Zach Miller and Lonnie Pitts took home a $10,000 check after hauling in their two-fish aggregate of 99.28 pounds. That was 15 pounds ahead of the second place finishers.
Efforts by developers of a proposed project in Flagler County to win supporters drew plenty of opponents Monday to an overcrowded meeting room at the Hilton Garden Inn. Developer Ken Belshe wants to put in a 3,996-unit, 825-ace project that would go on both sides of John Anderson Highway. The development will have higher density, but less sprawl, he says.
Reilly Opelka, the former Indian Trails Middle School student from Flagler County, won his first-ever men’s match at Wimbledon on Monday. The 6-7 Opelka, who is now 21, has been playing on the pro tennis circuit and was 2015 Wimbledon boys champ. His parents, George and Lynne Opelka, still live in Palm Coast.
With a little community support, the Palatka Fire Department has new mailboxes, ones that reflects the past. Engineer Stephen Barker reached out to Jillian Spencer of Bannerville Oaks Farm to paint the boxes which include a red fire hydrant and cartoon figure fireman fighting a blaze. He spotted the mailbox in some old photos of the station, which is located at 100 North 11th Street. Barker’s collecting the history of the fire department and recently got some help and mementoes from the widow of Owen Preston, a fireman and former fire marshal.