The Voice of the Gem City

July 25, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

With students in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties returning to school Aug. 12, thoughts are turning to school supplies. The State of Florida continues to help out with a tax free holiday on certain supplies and clothing set for Aug. 2-6.  Tax-exempt items include certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; and clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item; and computers and certain accessories selling for $1,000 or less per item, when purchased for noncommercial or personal use.

A toxic gas leak at Georgia-Pacific’s Palatka paper mill caused evacuations of two areas of the facility Wednesday, say company officials. Discovery of the chlorine dioxide leak led to the evacuation around 9:30 a.m. GP spokesman Mark Brown said the release appeared to be minimal and workers were back on the job in 45 minutes. No injuries were reported. Chlorine dioxide is used in the paper bleaching  process.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on a shooting incident in West Augustine Tuesday afternoon. A resident with a concealed carry permit told officers a silver vehicle pulled up next to him on Hurst Street and someone allegedly pointed a rifle at him through the passenger window. The two reportedly began chasing each other around the block with the victim firing at the silver vehicle on King Street Extension. No casings or damage from the rifle were found although casings apparently from the victim’s gun were located. Vehicle sought is a new model silver Nissan Altima with dark tinted windows. No tag appeared to be on the vehicle. If you have information, call 904-824-8304 and ask for the Major Crimes Unit.

Negotiations are apparently continuing into how much space Flagler County Clerk of Court Tom Bexley will be able to give the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in the courthouse. After their command center was found to be a sick building the Sheriff’s Office sought temporary quarters including getting 8,000 square feet from Bexley. Since then they’ve asked for another 5,000 square feet and the issue has ramped up. An agreement was reached Monday between the county and Bexley. He’s giving the Sheriff’s Office 1,000 additional square fee, 4,000 less that they sought.

A catering trailer stolen from a pizzeria in St. Johns County’s northwest district has been returned to owners after some help from Duval County law enforcement. Brucci’s reported the $10,000 trailer missing Tuesday and the Sheriff’s Office put out a report. On Wednesday afternoon a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer located the trailer at a residence in that jurisdiction. The individual said he’s bought the trailer for $300 from someone he knew. That led deputies from both counties to another residence where they saw several items from the trailer in the front yard. An individual at the house was questioned and is now facing charges from both agencies.

In Putnam County the Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a float-in movie this Friday at the Putnam Aquatics Center on Westover Drive. Cost is $5 and you can float in a pool or bring a chair and sit on the deck to watch the move The Grinch as you celebrate Christmas in July. The event is from 7-11 p.m.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is getting plenty of calls about a recovered kayak – only problem is people want to know if it’s for sale but don’t have information about the boat. It’s grey in color with the words Old Town on the side. It was found in the San Mateo/Satsuma area and may have been stolen and used for criminal activity. Several homes in the area have been reported burglarized. The kayak isn’t for sale since it’s currently documented as evidence and can only be returned to the owner. If you have info about the ownership, contact Det. Brad Waldon at 386-329-0800.

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