The Voice of the Gem City

OCTOBER 14, 2019

Hurricane Dorian hasn’t really left us – the effects linger on. That’s why school children in Flagler and St. Johns counties are in class today, making up for the time they lost during the hurricane in September. In Palatka, however, students are out today and Tuesday as scheduled.

Busy weekend for law enforcement in the three-county area.
On Sunday Putnam and Alachua County deputies conducted a manhunt in the Melrose Lake area for a man suspected in the theft of a vehicle. Reportedly they are continuing looking for the individual described as a white male in black shorts and no shirt who is possibly armed. He may be driving a stolen Gray Kia Sportage. Residents in the area around Melrose Lake and Price Road were warned to stay inside and keep their doors locked.

In Flagler County law enforcement remains on the lookout for a man who reportedly killed one man and wounded another apparently using an AK47. The two were sitting in a car near the Circle K on Palm Coast Parkway across from Flagler County Public Library around 3:30 a.m. Sunday Sheriff Rick Staly said it apparently was not a random shooting and individuals involved were known to deputies. The driver called 911 as he headed to the hospital and emergency personnel sent him to Palm Coast Fire Station 25 since it was nearer. Deon O’Neal Jenkins, 26, died at the station, which includes paramedics on staff. The driver was taken to Halifax Hospital.

On Sunday Flagler County deputies arrested a man wanted following allegedly making threats to his domestic partner and the hospital where she works. Kelsey Anderson, 35, apparently knew he was the subject of a manhunt, and called deputies. He met them at Hidden Trails Community Park and was booked into the jail on Written Threats to Kill. He was held without bond and scheduled to go before a judge.

A Flagler County man who thought he was headed to Palatka to have sex with a 16-year-old instead was met by her parents and Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday. The girls parents found out Joseph Stream, 27, solicited their daughter on Facebook Messenger for sex. They contacted law enforcement and when Stream set up the meeting he was actually talking to officers. When he got to Raceway gas station in East Palatka, Stream found the parents and deputies who arrested him on two counts of traveling to meet a child for sexual purposes, one count of using a communication device to facilitate a felony and violation of probation.

Beach residents at Summer Haven in St. Johns County are hoping to see some relief following a dune breach caused by Hurricane Dorian. Repair efforts have been thwarted by continuing rough water issues. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be working with contractors hired by St. Johns County to help make repairs. Cost is expected to be about $500,000 for the work needed in order to protect water quality.

St.. Augustine City Commissioners meet tonight and they’re looking for citizen input on proposed charter changes. Commissioner John Valdes has suggested the city go from electing the mayor to having fellow commissioners make the decision. Pushback is expected since some see that as making for a divided board that would have whoever became mayor “beholding” to supporters. Also up making all five seats on the commission four-year terms. Currently the mayor is elected for two years. One new requirement proposed would require candidates have one year of residency in order to run.

Former Putnam and Flagler county judge Scott DuPont will have his law license suspended for 91 days by the Florida Supreme Court. He’ll also have to pay $1,250 in administrative costs. DuPont lost his judgeship in June 2018 after an investigation by found he had made “scandalous and inaccurate” claims about his opponent and did not check the accuracy of the claims. The license suspension is tied in to the incident that lost him the judgeship.

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