The Voice of the Gem City

September 12, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar won’t be running for re-election. He made it definite Wednesday and endorsed his choice for a replacement – Republican Rob Hardwick who is currently St. Augustine Beach police chief. Shoar, who has been sheriff for 16 years, started in law enforcement at the St. Augustine Police Department the same year he graduated high school. He was appointed police chief 19 years later and ran for sheriff four years after that. Shoar, 57, also served in the Florida Army National Guard for 24 years and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He’s hoping to teach at the college level after retirement.

The head of Putnam County Sheriff’s Police Athletic League was injured Wednesday in a single-car accident in St. Johns County. The Sheriff’s Office says PAL director Barry Stewart is in stable condition after being flown to Orange Park Medical Center with serious injuries. Florida Highway Patrol says the accident happened about 12:30 p.m. on State Road 206 at Hamilton Avenue, just south of Elkton. He was driving a PAL vehicle when it flipped.

A stunt pilot who owns an air show company housed out of the Northeast Florida Regional Airport received minor injuries when her plane flipped at the St. Augustine airport Wednesday. Patty Wagstaff, a six-time member of the U.S. Acrobatic Team, had landed and was taxiing when her 1958 Beech K35 went off the runway and flipped in the grass median. Florida Highway Patrol said her passenger, a 59-year-old man who is one of her company flight instructors, was not hurt. Wagstaff posted a message that the plane had a mechanical issue.

Palatka city commissioners meet at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall. Among items on the agenda an update on a proposal to move city hall, the police department and the sanitation department to the western edges of Palatka. The building at the Putnam County Industrial Park is a former call center and would cost $4 million to purchase and renovate. The building is 5 miles west of the current city hall and half-a-mile from the town limits of Francis. There’s speculation the city might be looking at annexing the area.

Hurricane Dorian delayed proposed budget hearings for the city of St. Augustine, the Historic Area Community Redevelopment Area and the Lincolnville Area Community Redevelopment Area, The city gets back to track with those hearings tonight at 6 p.m. at the Alcazar Room in St. Augustine’s City Hall.

Flagler Beach City Commission will be holding the first of two budget hearings tonight at 5:01 p.m. at City Hall. They’re looking at what amounts to a 13.5 percent tax increase. At 5:30 p.m. the commission will look at bids for $1.4 million for city sewer plant improvements.

Epic Cure will be handing out food supplies at First Baptist Church in Interlachen beginning at 9 a.m. Friday morning. At noon St. Vincent de Paul in Interlachen will be handing out items.

An area man is in the Flagler County Jail on a variety of charges after he was found sleeping in a car reported stolen from Daytona Beach. Timothy Smith, 60, of Daytona Beach, was found in the car in Palm Coast. He told deputies he got the car from an unknown man on a street corner in Daytona and said he frequently got cars in that manner. Two driver’s licenses and credit cards not in his name were found on him. They were found to have been stolen earlier from vehicles. It really wasn’t Smith’s day. While he was being booked into the Flagler jail, deputies identified him on surveillance tapes showing unsuccessful break-ins to two other vehicles. He ended up with nearly a dozen charges and no bond.

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