This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Two separate wrecks in Flagler County on Interstate 95 Sunday left at least three people dead, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The first at 12:15 p.m. happened on I-95 northbound at mile marker 291 when an RV crashed into trees, killing two. The RV was approaching the Matanzas Woods Parkway when a tire blew and the driver lost control. The RV went onto the east shoulder, hit a sign and then two trees. The driver, identified as Ricardo Mosquera, was taken to Halifax hospital with serious injuries and one passenger was hospitalized with minor injuries. Two passengers, one male and one female, died at the scene. A second accident on I-95 occurred around 2:45 p.m. at mile maker 289. Five vehicles were involved in that crash after a Dodge Ram traveling south of Palm Cost Parkway collided with the rear of a Chevrolet Malibu stopped in traffic. A chain reaction drew in other cars. Melody Roberts, 42, of Fernandina Beach, was a passenger in the Malibu and died. The Malibu driver is in critical condition.
A head-on crash killed a longtime Bunnell resident Saturday, and law enforcement is searching for the driver who caused the accident. Carl Gandy, a director of a Stewart-Marchman Act residential treatment center in DeLand, died around 10:15 a.m. after a semi traveled into the eastbound lane of State Road 40 in Volusia County and hit Gandy’s 2018 Ford pick-up. The truck caught fire. Gandy’s wife, Rena, was able to get out and had minor injuries. The semi driver swerved off the road and struck a tree. The occupant fled on foot, according to Florida Highway Patrol.
St. Augustine City Commission begins public hearings tonight on several short-term rental regulation ordinances. The meeting is at 5 p.m. at the Alcazar Room at City Hall. Short-term rentals have become a growing concern between residents concerned about neighborhood erosion and people renting out houses.
Putnam County commissioners Tuesday will let the public have their say on declaring Putnam a gun sanctuary county. The issue was on the consent agenda earlier this month but commissioners decided in the interest of transparent government to give the public another opportunity to speak on the issue. Two comment times have already been held. The meeting is at the government complex off Crill Avenue. So far 24 out of the 67 counties in Florida have voted to adopt Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions. Marion and Clay counties are among them.
Tonight starts at least a week of resurfacing, curbing and traffic light updates along Crill Avenue/State Road 20 in Palatka. Florida Department of Transportation says the work will be done at night from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. The work is from Palm Avenue to Osceola Street, State Road 20 between Carr Street and Moseley Avenue.
A female North Atlantic right whale and her calf were spotted off the coast of Crescent Beach in St. Johns County over the weekend. It’s one of only four calves born so far this season. An estimated 400 of the whales remain, about 100 are calving-age females. Remember to stay at least 500 yards back from the whales. It’s the law and it helps protect them.
The Putnam County Historical Society volunteer docent program holds free training sessions Tuesday and Friday. They’re looking for more tour guides for the Bronson-Mulholland House and the Society museum at 100 Madison St. The 90-minute sessions are at 10 a.m. Tuesday and 5:30 p.m. Friday. Call 386-937-1093 for more information.
And don’t forget to use the word “balderdash” today. That’s the word that Miller Middle School student Armand Kuykendall spelled correctly Friday to win the Putnam County School District Spelling Bee. It’s the second year in a row he’s won.