The Voice of the Gem City

OCTOBER 21, 2019

This is Marcia Lane your roving reporter.

A Putnam County woman is in jail on a variety of charges including allegedly threatening family members using a stolen gun, stealing a truck, driving the truck into a Putnam County home and getting in a high-speed chase with deputies across two counties. The case began around 4 a.m. Sunday morning when Rachel Yvonne Baggs, 43, reportedly stole a 2017 Ford truck from a family member. A loaded handgun was inside. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office then reports Baggs went to another family member’s house, argued and threatened them with the stolen gun. While a search for Baggs was underway another call came in, this one from a former lover of Baggs who reported Baggs had driven the stolen truck into their house. When deputies spotted Baggs several hours later they ended up in a chase with speeds up to 100 mph on County Road 315. Sheriff’s office says one vehicle was forced off the road in the Interlachen area. Occupants sustained minor injures. The chase eventually went into Marion County where Baggs crashed the truck in a wooded area near Citra and fled on foot. Gunshots were heard and a Marion deputy’s vehicle was fired into. No law enforcement officers were reported injured. Deputies from Putnam, Alachua and Marion counties were involved in the manhunt for Baggs who was arrested Sunday evening.

Florida Agricultural Museum in Flagler County is adding another exhibit – a 40s-era beach cottage from Davis Shores in St. Augustine. The cottage will become a display area for turpentine and timber industry artifacts. Hurricane Dorian delayed moving the cottage, which was purchased by the city of St. Augustine. The land it’s on is where the city plans to install a smart valve and make other changes in order to lessen flooding issues in the area.

St. Johns County detectives are investing the death of an elderly man and the stabbing/cutting injuries of a woman found Friday on Oxford Street in the northeast portion of the county. A tip led deputies to the address after a caller said a woman indicated she planned to harm another person and then herself. At the residence a woman was found sitting in a vehicle and did not respond to deputies who discovered injuries consistent with a cutting/stabbing. She was taken to a hospital. Inside the residence they found the man dead. Names have not been released and the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating.

Flagler County Tourism Director Matt Dunn was fired Friday by County Administrator Jerry Cameron. Dunn has been on suspension with pay for more than six months during an investigation into what were originally complaints of corruption. Cameron said Friday Dunn was not fired for any kind of misconduct or malfeasance. The county says they are going in a different direction for tourism. Amy Lukasik, who’s been interim director of the tourism department, is expected to be recommended to fill Dunn’s spot.

In St. Johns Country residents off Roberts Road are fighting a property rezoning request. A couple wants to put a gym in what is now a residential neighborhood and also has plans for a shopping center that would include a restaurant, outdoor music and parking lot. An alcohol beverage waiver also is sought since a church and school are within 1000 feet. Residents say the rezoning would open the door to more commercial development and change the basic nature of the neighborhood.

Palatka’s Main Library is looking for some friends – Friends of the Library. Other county libraries already have Friends groups that help provide assistance and extras. First step is a steering committee and people interested are asked to meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the library. For more information, call Tori Rayfield at 386-96-4374 or Jeremy Yates at the library.

 

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