The Voice of the Gem City

September 23, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A head-on collision involving three white Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks late Friday night in Putnam County left two young men in critical condition. Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash that happened shortly before midnight on U.S. 17 at Gordon Wilkinson Road. Two of the trucks were heading north in the southbound lanes of 17 when a third truck traveling south in the southbound lane was hit head on by one of the trucks and then struck by the second truck. FHP reported Tanner Tilton, 21, of Bostwick, and Hunter Weaver, 22, of Palatka, were taken to Orange Park Medical Center with critical injuries. Landon Nearing, 20, of San Mateo, had minor injuries. Charges are pending.

When you’re the nation’s oldest continually occupied city, unusual problems can occur. For St. Augustine city commissioners it will be how to deal with the remains of some of  the city’s earliest colonists. In 2017 early burials from the country’s first parish church, Los Remedios, were found while the city was replacing water lines along Charlotte and then King streets. More burials were found in 2018 and in August of this year even more sites were found during water line work. Former City Archaeologist Carl Halbirt brought up the issue two weeks ago calling it not only a failure of “responsible stewardship” but a violation of state regulations regarding unmarked cemeteries. Work has been halted and city commissioners will get an update at tonight’s meeting at 5 p.m.

If you’re a Palatka resident, this is your last week of twice-a-week garbage pickup for three months. Palatka city commissioners recently voted to try the three-month trial scaling back to once-a-week residential pickup. No word what if any reductions residents will see in their garage bills. Businesses will continue to get pick up five to six times a week.

The body of a Flagler County woman reported missing Wednesday was found Sunday in a wooded area near the K section in Palm Coast, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Officials believe Joy McClure committed suicide, saying she had been “extremely distraught” for several months. Her 25-year-old son committed suicide last January in Palm Coast.

A Ponte Vedra Beach man reportedly has died in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Imelda. Mark Dukaj was delivering a package from Jacksonville to California and became caught in the heavy rain and floodwaters. His truck stalled three miles from Beaumont, Texas. He leaves three children.

A car explosion in the parking lot of the St. Augustine WalMart Saturday may have been caused by a tank of refrigerant. The B&G Refrigeration truck was empty when the explosion occurred. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading.

A town hall meeting to discuss the Flagler Beach’s new tax rate starts at 6 p.m. tonight at Town Hall. It’s hosted by Flagler Beach City Commissioner Kim Carney, acting as chair this year.

Bunnell City Commission meets at City Hall tonight for its second and final budget hearing at 6:30 p.m. The session sets next year’s tax millage.

Storms in the Atlantic Ocean continue to cause problems along the Florida coast. A young girl and boy were reported rescued from a rip current Friday at St. Augustine Beach by a pair of teen surfers. John Jones, 16, and a friend were surfing when they saw the children and realized the two were drifting out to sea. They paddled out on their boards and brought the two in. Remember if red flags are flying stay out of the water since that means unsafe conditions such as high surf and strong current.

%d bloggers like this: