This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
A 65-year-old woman is in jail charged with second-degree murder of a St. Johns County man. Jill Sheila Agonis was booked into the Clay County jail Tuesday after being released from the hospital. On Friday St. Johns County deputies responded to reports of a threat and ended up at a house on Oxford Drive where they found Agonis sitting in a car with apparently self-inflicted wounds consistent with a cutting/stabbing. After lifesaving measures she was taken to a hospital. Inside the residence they found William Arthur Keefe, 81, dead of multiple gunshot wounds. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, said the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
Palatka city commissioners are set to authorize a contract with their chosen city manager on Thursday but contract negotiations are still going on. Almost three weeks ago commissioners selected William Shanahan, who quit as York County, S.C., county manager in June. Interim manager Lee Garner, who many thought would be named permanent manager, continues overseeing the city.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is looking at a new operations center and comparing six options offered by the Center for Public Safety in Winter Park. Proposals range in size from 65,000 to 81,000 square feet at costs ranging from $30.4 million to $35.6 million. County administrator Jerry Cameron, who gave commissioners the study results, says $15 million and 50,000 square feet is more in the range. A new center is needed after the refurbished building in Bunnell turned out to have mold.
Replacement and stabilization of two bridges are now top priority in Putnam County. Commissioners Tuesday voted to replace the bridge at Bardin on County Road 309D plus the bridge on County Road 310 near Rodman Reservoir. More than $4 million will be moved from two other bridge projects to help pay for the work. Florida Department of Transportation found issues with the two bridges and in the case of Bardin weight restrictions have been put in place.
In January Putnam County will be reading “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens as One Book One Putnam kicks off its 15th year. Committee members told county commissioners of the choice at Tuesday’s meeting.
A public meeting on the River-to-Sea Loop trail is Thursday at the Solomon Calhoun Community Center in St. Augustine. The planning study meeting is from 5 to 7 p.m. Proposed trail areas include St. Johns County, City of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach.
Train buffs get a treat Saturday as the annual Palatka Railfest takes over the Price-Martin Center and Palatka’s Historic Union Station at the corner of U.S. 17 and North 11th Street in Palatka. Model trains and supplies, railroad collectibles and exhibits will be in place. A big draw as always will be Railrodeo, a 32-feet by 6 feet HO scale layout featuring nearly a dozen trains. Palatka Railroad Preservation Society puts on the event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission and parking are free.