The Voice of the Gem City

August 28, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Tropical Storm Dorian is the focus of people’s attention in Florida as residents wait to see where the storm will go. So far the path is uncertain but authorities are urging people to use the time to make preparations if needed. That means getting together a hurricane kit, stocking up on water and making sure medications for family members and pets are near at hand.

Traffic issues are developing as work on Crill Avenue moves into downtown Palatka. Businesses at the intersection of Crill, also known as State Road 20 and Ninth Street, already are feeling the effects of detour signs now in place. The work including pipe replacement and resurfacing has been going on by sections along Crill for months.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman Monday after she allegedly took mail from a mailbox on Meadows Lane in Palatka. A neighbor alerted deputies after seeing Carol Sue Seuell, 36, of Palatka, looking in mailboxes. She told deputies she was doing it for a college course. When she gave them permission to look in her backpack, they found mail addressed to another individual. Seuell told them she had looked inside several mailboxes in the area. Deputies arrested her and she posted a $500 bond. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has assigned an officer to look into possible postal tampering. If you’re a resident of the Meadows Lane and Roselle Avenue area and believe your mail has been tampered with, call 1-877-876-2455, option 3.

The City of St. Augustine cancelled a public meeting this afternoon on a quality of nightlife strategic plan for downtown. The city’s attention has turned to Tropical Storm Dorian and officials said they were lining up plans if the storm should escalate. Regulation of late-night drinking plus a possible extended-hour permit for alcohol-serving businesses was up for discussion as well as plans for more police, street clearing and lighting plus improvements to street and sidewalks. Also cancelled is a meeting Thursday on the King Street Master Plan.

Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a scam that involves people finding a wallet full of cash and then roping in an unsuspecting victim – usually an older person — to share it with them. The victim has to put up cash in order to take part. Three incidents have been reported since April, the latest on Friday. In the scam one individual starts a conversation with the victim, then another person comes up claiming to have found a wallet with money. The two convince the victim to put up money to buy in and share. Once they get the money the two disappear. Suspects are a black female, 5 feet 5 inches and between 50 and 60 and a black male 5 feet 6 inches and in his mide-60s. If you have information, call the Sheriff’s Office at 386-313-4911.

A house on River Street in Palatka became something of a tourist attraction Monday after a portion of an oak tree struck the front of the two-story Victorian structure. Only the family dog was home when the limb broke and took off the porch.

Former Putnam County School Superintendent W.M, “Bill” Thomas was remembered Tuesday at a ceremony where workforce development training facilities were named him. Thomas first came to Palatka as an agricultural instructor and later served as superintendent and then at St. Johns River State College. His daughter, Putnam County School Board member Jane Crawford, spoke of her late father’s contributions during the ceremony.

Former Flagler County resident Reilly Opelka continues moving up in the world of tennis. On Monday Opelka won in an upset against No. 11 seed Fabio Fognini at the U.S. Open in New York. He’s playing again today – on his 22nd birthday. Quite a change from his days as a student at Indian Trails Middle School. On hand for the match his mother and uncle.

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