The Voice of the Gem City

August 15, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

The heat index, which has soared for the last several days, should be coming down as forecasters predict rain coming in and cooling things off. The index has topped at 100 degrees plus and led to warnings about being out in the heat.

A former St. Augustine resident is in jail in West Virginia waiting extradition to Pennsylvania where he’s wanted for questioning in the murder of his step-mother and 10-year-old half-brother in Pennsylvania and for robbing a convenience store in Ohio. Jack Elijah Turner, 21, was thought to be in the St. Augustine area and an alert went out. The U.S. Marshals Office said a tip he had gotten on a bus in Jacksonville led to his arrest at a bus station in Charleston, W.Va.

Putnam County Clerk of Court Tim Smith and Putnam Tax Collector Linda Myers are helping people better understand taxes. This morning they hosted a seminar on everything you need to know about tax deed sales. On Sept. 19 they’ll offer The ABCs of Tourist Development Tax.

A traffic stop Wednesday led to the theft of a police car and a chase on Interstate 95 that halted southbound traffic for several hours. A St. Johns County deputy responding to calls of erratic driving was waiting for the vehicle at State Road 16 and the car was stopped. The male driver, covered in blood, got out and a woman passenger ran off in the opposite direction. When the Sheriff’s deputy tried to help,  the man became combative and attempted to steal a car stopped in traffic. The deputy used a Taser but a wire was broken and he attempted to handcuff the man. An off-duty lieutenant who was passing stopped to help and as he went to get equipment out of his unmarked SUV the suspect jumped in and fled south on I-95. A high-speed chase followed and deputies used a PIT maneuver to stop the man. The man, whose name has not been released, is in a Jacksonville hospital in critical but stable condition. Apparently the injuries were sustained when he was involved in several felony incidents in Jacksonville, authorities say.

Palm Coast is relaunching the Sports Alliance seeking to provide a one-stop shop for athletic leagues and tournaments in  Palm Coast and Flagler County. Officials want it to lead to better use of community space while still providing space for the tournaments. For more, contact Lauren Johnston, interim parks and recreation director at 386-986-2323.

Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is looking for names for its two latest officers – K-9 officers, that is. Dr. Casesar DePaco, honorary consul of Portugal to the State of Florida, donated two German shepherds to the Sheriff’s Office following the retirement of K-9 Marko and K-9 Tag.  Deadline for suggestions is Sunday with a decision to be made Monday. Go to the office’s Facebook or email

St. Johns River Water Management District’s Office of Communications in Palatka was making the news rather than reporting it this week. They were honored by the Florida Public Relations Association with a Golden Image Award of their Blue Schools Grant Program video. The video, created in-house, is aimed at improving public awareness of the grant program that has given teachers more than $46,000 for educational projects focused on Florida’s water resources.

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