The Voice of the Gem City

August 13, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

It’s the second day of school for Florida’s students. Well, except for Clay County where schools open today. In Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties opening day Monday was relatively smooth. In St. Johns officials saw a six percent increase in number of students over last year. That brings total enrollment for first day to 39,159 or an increase of 2,240 students.

Pay attention when driving through school zones; sheriff’s offices have an increased presence during the first week of school as students and drivers adjust to the change.

One individual was arrested Monday night after the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and detectives executed a search warrant in the area of San Mateo and Horse Landing roads in Satsuma. A spokeswoman with the Sheriff’s Office said one arrest was made in the case that was related to several burglaries in the south Putnam area.

A Palatka man died early Sunday morning in a single vehicle accident on State road 100 and Roberts Lane in Palatka, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A 1994 white Jeep Cherokee was traveling east on State Road 100 when for unknown reasons it drifted off the roadway to the left, hit a culvert and a tree and then overturned onto its roof in the westbound ditch of SR 100. Driver Renaldo J. Slater died at the scene, FHP reports.

Several meetings in Flagler County today including the county’s planning and development board at 6 p.m. tonight in the Government Services Building in Bunnell. The board will hear from a developer seeking to put six businesses on 4.24 acres on the Intracoastal side in the Hammock. Among businesses will be a boat storage building. The development would also add 133 paved parking spaces. Some residents are expected to oppose the development.

Palatka is looking to recover just over $4,000 after a structure rehabbed using grant money was sold. The former Elks Club on South Third Street got the grant in 2011 through a Community Redevelopment Agency grant. Terms were in effect for five years, including having to pay back grant funds if the building was sold. In 2015 the Elks sold the property to Hale Properties. Now the CRA, which includes the Palatka City Commission, says it’s owned abut $4,200. CRA directed staff Monday to get with Gullett Title to see if they will pay the sum, since they did the title work and should have noted the grant terms. If Gullett won’t pay, city attorney Don Holmes was instructed to file a lien against the property.

St. Augustine City Commissioner Roxanne Horvath was recognized by fellow commissioners Monday for receiving the 2019 Charles W. Clary Government Service Award by the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. She has served as chair of three of the city’s most prominent boards including Historic Architectural Review, Planning and Zoning and Codes Enforcement.

Businesses in Putnam County are urged to be on the lookout for phony $100 bills. In addition to the engraving of Benjamin Franklin the bills have Chinese writing on them.

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