The Voice of the Gem City

September 17, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A man’s body recovered near Matanzas Beach in St. Johns County this morning may be that of missing swimmer Jacob Turner, 22. A search for Turner began Sunday afternoon at St. Augustine Beach after the Tampa resident was reported missing while swimming in the ocean. Officials are waiting on the District 23 Medical Examiner’s Office for an identification. Rough waters continued through Monday making the ocean dangerous for swimming.

“We the people in order to form a more perfect union” … 232 years ago today the delegates to the Constitutional Convention lined up to sign the document that formed the United States. Across the country today groups will remember that moment during Constitution Day. At 4 p.m. bells will ring out in St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitution as the Maria Jefferson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution leads a ceremony open to the public. In Flagler County at 1 p.m. County Judge Melissa Distler will talk at the Flagler County Library on the judge selection process and the court system in a program arranged by the Flagler County Chapter of the Sons of The American Revolution. Last week the City of Palatka recognized this as Constitution Week in a proclamation given to the William Bartram chapter of the DAR. You can do your part by reading the Constitution.

Putnam County School Board meets today with several presentations on the agenda. Among them says Superintendent Rick Surrency recognition of about a dozen local students who made a perfect score on last year’s Florida Standards Assessment Test.

St. Augustine Police have arrested a 30-year-old St. Augustine man in the stabbing of another man outside of Scarlett O’Hara’s on Hypolita Street Sunday. The victim had multiple puncture wounds from his lower back up to his armpit. He was taken to Flagler Hospital and later transferred to Orange Park Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition. Arrested was Richard William Palmer, who was found hiding in a nearby alley. According to the police department, Palmer had a pocket knife in his front pocket and 13 counterfeit $100 bills in his wallet. Reason for the confrontation is unclear.

Keep Putnam Beautiful is preparing for the International Coastal Cleanup this Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. Leading this year’s event will be new executive director Nicole Grace. Cleanups are set for around the county.

A 14-year-old girl at Buddy Taylor Middle School in Flagler County was taken to Halifax Hospital Friday morning after showing signs of a drug overdose. The girl said she took 10 pills given her by a 17-year-old boy, but didn’t know what kind of pills. Officials said her story has changed several times, and the investigation is continuing with Flagler County Sheriff’s Office detectives in charge.

A photo of a St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputy with three camera-mugging kittens she rescued is going viral. Deputy Misamore was driving along County Road 13A around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when she saw the kittens huddled together near the roadway. She was able to gather them up and later took them to animal control where they will be available for adoption in the future. The photo of the deputy with the kittens popped on several newscasts. In a separate incident two other St. Johns deputies found themselves confronting a gator. Deputies Rodney Erdman and Brandon Cologne responded to an animal complaint at Bealls Outlt on State Road 312 of a gator terrorizing the customers. This gator turned out to be about a foot-and-a-half long. In the words of the Sheriff’s Office he was releasd quote to a place that was a better fit for the little guy.

And finally in Palatka, a detective with the Palatka Police Department got in the spirit — the Palatka High School spirit — at Friday’s football game. Holly Griffith took to the field leading cheerleaders in a band dance. She had all the moves. Griffith graduated from PHS.

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