St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help to identify a woman whose body was found in the Intracoastal Waterway Monday morning. The body was spotted from The Riverview Club at St. Augustine Shores around 8:30 a.m. and deputies responded. St. Johns County Fire Rescue used a boat to recover the body and an autopsy is scheduled to determine cause of death. The woman is a black female, age range from late teens to late 20s. She is approximately 5 feet, 7 inches, 140 pounds and has a tattoo of a rose on her upper right thigh. Call the major crimes unit at the St. Johns Sheriff’s Office if you have information.
A Crescent City area man was among those arrested Friday in a multi-million dollar drug operation allegedly run by a convict in a Georgia jail. Numerous squad cars were reported at 155 Denver Road as deputies served a search warrant, Already in jail was Pedro Zamora, 29. That was one of four search warrants and nearly 40 arrest warrants issued in Operation Extended Stay that the Volusia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI launch in December 2018. Officers say during the past year alone the methamphetamine and drug distribution organization has distributed more than 200 pounds of crystal meth. Brains behind the operation is allegedly Jeffery White, a 42-year-old inmate in the Washington State Prison in Washington County, Ga. He reportedly used a contraband cell phone to run the operation.
St. Johns County officials have opened up the public Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park four days a week following protests from area residents about lack of access to the Ponte Vedra Beach. At least one group now wants to see the beach open all week. County commissioners originally voted to allow a quarter of the park to be closed so that construction equipment being used for putting in geotubes to protect against beach erosion could park. Thirteen homeowners are paying for the project. County staff ended up closing all the park during the week due to safety concerns and commissioners sought a compromise.
Flagler County Judge Andrea Totten is on the bench today at the Flagler County Courthouse. The state legislature this year funded a second judicial position in Flagler, which only had one judge for hearings. Totten’s investiture ceremony is Nov. 22 at 4:30 p.m. at Channel Side in Palm Coast. The ceremony is open to the public.
Flagler County Humane Society and County Commissioner Joe Mullins host a Town Howl meeting at 5 p.m. today at the humane society. They’ll be discussing anti-tethering laws. The county commissioner recently passed an ordinance that still allows dog-chaining, a practice that’s drawn protests from various animal rights groups.
St. Augustine will be losing 108 years of experience shortly with the retirement of four city employees. Sharon Landford, Visitor Service Manager, has been with the city 30 years. Jolinda LaVeck, administrative coordinator for the St. Augustine Fire Department, also is retiring after 30 years. Assistant City Manager Tim Burchfield has 29 years of service. Paul Williamson, public affairs director for the city, is retiring after 19 years with the city.
Putnam County Superintendent Rick Surrency has been in San Diego, Calif., where he addressed the national conference of school superintendents. Of interest to many was how Putnam increased graduations rates from 54.9 percent in 2015 to 84.8 percent in 2018.
Local photographer Jim Bailey is featured artist of the month at the Arts Council of Greater Palatka gallery. He’ll be at the opening reception Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Larimer Arts Center, 216 Reid Street in Palatka. Local scenes, plants and birds are among his subjects. Although he worked for Florida Power and Light for 28 years Bailey learned to love photography at an early age helping his photographer dad process 35 mm film in a home darkroom.