The Voice of the Gem City

November 25, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Thanksgiving will mean extra long holidays for Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler county students. Flagler schools are out all this week beginning today. Putnam schools will be closed Wednesday through Friday with an early release on Tuesday. St. Johns County schools will be closed Wednesday through Friday. Expect most local government offices in the three counties to be closed both Thanksgiving Day and Friday.

A Flagler County Sheriff’s detective is suspended without pay after he was arrested early Saturday morning by the St. Augustine Police Department. Det. Richard Petkovsek, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2014, was arrested for disorderly intoxication and resisting without violence, both misdemeanors. Sheriff’s Office policy is to immediately suspend any deputy without pay who is arrested, said Flagler Chief Mark Strobridge. An internal investigation will be conducted, he said.

St. Augustine tries out solar recycling and trash units along St. George Street beginning this week as efforts continue to clean up the Historic Downtown district. The 10 pairs of units were installed last week along St. George from Orange Street to Treasury Street and hold six to eight times more volume than a non-compacting trash can, say city officials. The units allow the level of waste to be monitored remotely.

Palatka City Commission holds a special meeting Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall. Commissioners are to consider adoption of a resolution granting a special events permit for the Porchfest event on Dec. 7. The free event includes musical acts performing on porches throughout the historic southside.

You can help out those in need of food and pay your library fines through Dec. 20 as the St. Johns County Library System offers the “Food for Fines” program. The food goes to the Health and Human Services Food Pantry. For more, call 904-827-6925.

On Saturday the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Palm Coast had to be evacuated after a bomb threat. The bomb squad from Volusia County was called in but no explosive device found. A man reportedly called the restaurant at 7:47 p.m. to warn employees a bomb had been planted and a robbery planned.

In St. Augustine resurfacing begins this week on asphalt roadways in the Uptown neighborhood. Recent water main improvements have left roads torn up in the area. Paving will be between U.S. 1 and San Marco Avenue on Grove, Rohde and Cincinnati avenues plus Loring and Hope streets. Roads will be done one at a time by contractor TB Landmark Construction.

Two Palatka men are in jail after being arrested following an investigation that began in September. The Tri-County Agency including federal, state and local agencies in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties conducted the investigation that saw warrants served at two houses in Putnam Thursday. Arrested were Marcellus Matson and Spencer Walker III. Drugs and firearms were recovered.
Good news for veterans – the groundbreaking ceremony Friday means the start of construction of a permanent veterans outpatient clinic for the area. The original VA clinic was on U.S. 1 but had to move after St. Johns County sold the property to Lowe’s. Since then they’ve been housed in a temporary facility off Old Moultrie Road. Construction Managers of North Carolina will build the permanent facility at State Road 207 and Deerfield Preserve, a housing development. The facility will be named after Leo C. Chase Jr., the first soldier from St. Johns County to die in Vietnam

 

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