The Voice of the Gem City

October 15, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Law enforcement continues on the lookout for a man who had Putnam and Alachua County deputies searching the Melrose area Sunday. According to the Putnam Sheriff’s Office, Jeffery Blake Wilson and Lauren Mable McLeod approached a residence on North State Road 21 as a couple sat on the porch watching their three children playing in the yard. Wilson allegedly stepped inside the gate, started waving a gun and demanded the keys to the family car. The homeowner said he couldn’t give up the car because of his children and the wife was able to get the one child near Wilson and take all three into the house. McLeod encourage Wilson to leave and they retreated. A manhunt involved deputies from the two counties along with K9s, and a residence in the 100 block of Pine Tree Lane was found burglarized and a gray 2017 Kia Sportage stolen. McLeod was found crossing State Road21 and taken to Alachua’s Criminal Investigation Bureau. Wilson managed to make it out of the search area. If you have information, call Putnam Sheriff’s Office at 386-329-0800.

City of Augustine and the owners of several properties in St. Augustine are still wrangling over the old Santa Marina Restaurant. The family that owns O.C. White’s Seafood & Spirits and The White Room wedding venue in 2015 bought the closed bayfront restaurant, which is near their other ventures. Then they announced plans to construct a new building and put docks on the east side of the building next to the Municipal Marina. The docks are a sticking issue since they could cause problems with commercial traffic at the marina. The St. Augustine Commission has agreed to allowing the family vested rights. That means they won’t have to pay impact fees or provide parking, a major issue in the area.

Get your boots shined and your 10-gallon hat brushed – Cracker Day is this Saturday at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds on State Road 207 in Elkton. The annual event offers family-friendly fun, music, barbecue, horse and cattle games and whip cracking as Florida’s cowboy heritage is celebrated from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This Friday in Palatka it’s a Fill The Bowl Fundraiser for the Feed the Need Backpack Program. Ceramic bowls created by Florida School of the Arts students are filled with soup for the fundraiser that is at Beef O’Brady’s, 201 N. First St., Palatka. Hours are 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and profits go to the program that makes sure more than 800 students in Putnam County have a meal over weekends.

Some Palm Harbor neighborhoods in Palm Coast may have a totally different look if a pair of prosed development plans go through. The developments are along the city’s Palm Harbor golf course and at the old Palm Coast Marina. In all they would bring 120 hotel rooms and 318 multi-family units including townhouses, apartments and condos. It’s a major departure from the original ITT plan for Palm Coast of single-family houses on quarter-acre lots.

A reminder that students in Putnam County are in the second of two days off. They’ll be back to school Wednesday.

Also remember that railroad crossings throughout Palatka’s downtown are being worked on by CSX and many are closed for part of the week. Detours signs are up so you can find another crossing. Several other areas are affected including Lundy Road.


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