The Voice of the Gem City

JULY 22, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A tree that fell on State Road 21 near Melrose struck two cars Sunday. No one was reported injured. Traffic had to be diverted as units from surrounding counties responded to the unincorporated area. Melrose Fire Department, Bradford County Fire Rescue, Bradford County Emergency Management, Clay County Fire Rescue, Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Bradford County Sheriff’s Office were at the scene.

Volunteer fire stations in Putnam County Sunday were battling a fire west of Palatka. Francis, Hollister, Bardin and West Palatka were warned about smoke and possible ash from the fire in the Francis/9 Mile Swamp/Hunter Road area. Stations 5, 13 and 22 were on site. On Friday volunteer fire departments including Southwest, Francis and Bostwick as well as the Florida Forest Service responded to a brush fire in the area of Buckman Lock on Buckman Lock Road. The fire was quickly contained and no injuries or property damage were reported. A lightning strike was believed to have started the fire.

City of St. Augustine residents may notice a slight change in the taste of their water for the next three weeks. Beginning last Friday levels of chlorine and ammonia are being adjusted. The chemicals are used to maintain disinfection of the water. Quality of water is not affected. For more, contact the City of St. Augustine Water Treatment Plant at 904-825-1044.

Word is Captain D’s will be coming in to Palatka. Location is 200 South State Road 19. That’s across from the Publix Shopping Center area.

In Flagler County top county officials are sitting down today to talk about more room for the Sheriff’s Office at the Flagler County Courthouse. Clerk of Court Tom Bexley asked County Commission Chair Daniel O’Brien for the meeting that will probably include County Administrator Jerry Cameron. The county had issued an ultimatum for Bexley to agree to a space study and decision based on the study. Bexley, who has already found 8,000 square feet for the Sheriff’s Office, is now being asked for an additional 5,000 square feet. Bexley has said the space isn’t available. The Sheriff’s Office ran into the space crunch after their operations center was deemed to be a sick building.

A couple in Beverly Beach is homeless after a fire Thursday afternoon destroyed half of their double-wide trailer. Firefighters from Flagler County, Flagler Beach and Palm Coast were called out. The couple was away at a doctor’s appointment. One of their three dogs was rescued by a neighbor and the other two were saved by firefighters who used pet oxygen masks to revive them. Earlier in the day the three departments contained a brush fire to an acre in the area of Seminole Woods Boulevard and Citation Parkway.

Don’t come between some people and their pizza. A 22-year-old woman is in St. Johns County jail after she reportedly threatened to cut a woman with a knife after the women said she couldn’t have a slice of pizza. St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said De’Erica Lashae Cooks was holding a knife she was using to cut potatoes. A witness restrained Cooks when she attempted to stab the victim. She was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

One of landmarks at Vilano Beach is apparently about to bite the dust. Barrancotto’s Family Restaurant on Vilano Beach Road began in the 1960s and now the art deco building that housed the Italian restaurant is reportedly scheduled to be torn down.

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