his is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Paul Mueller of Naugatuck, Connecticut, proved he knew a few things about fishing on the St. Johns River Monday as he won the 2020 AFTCO Bassmasters Elite in Palatka with a three-day total of 47 pounds, 6 ounces. Mueller went into the third and final day in the lead but admitted he struggled Monday. He only had four fish but one of them was a 6-11 catch. He took home not only the $100,000 Bassmasters Elite top prize but an additional $1,000 for the Day 3 Phoenix Boats Big Bass. Coming in second was John Crews of Salem, Va. and in third Kelly Jaye of Dadeville, Ala. For Palatka residents weigh-in brought good news as local Cliff Prince came in fourth and took home $15,000.
The Elite Series pro anglers left Palatka headed for Tennessee and their next tournament but word is that’s been cancelled due to a weather front moving in with heavy rains and storms predicted. As for Palatka, the bass better get ready. Beginning this Thursday anglers will be on the St. Johns fishing in the FLW Toyota series.
A bank robber made off with an undisclosed amount of cash Monday from a TD Bank in St. Augustine. Deputies say the man didn’t display a weapon but handed the teller a note at the bank on U.S. 1, south of County Road 312. Surveillance photos show a white man dressed all in black including a cap. He’s estimated to be in his late 40s or early 50s and about 6 feet tall. Pictures are on line at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. If you recognize the robber, call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-824-8304.
The parent company of a development group proposing a development at Flagler Beach that could bring in nearly 4,000 homes and apartments has filed a defamation lawsuit against two of its opponents. Lawyers with SunBelt Land Management filed the suit against Ken Bryan and “Jane Doe” for their characterization of company practices in developing areas. Word is a counter-suit is likely. The Gardens, the proposed development, would be along John Anderson Highway and is drawing opposition.
St. Augustine city officials and commissioners are among those in Tallahassee today to testify before the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee in favor of home rule. Efforts are underway by some to take away control on several issues including short-term rentals. Local officials say that would remove flexibility and local solutions. They’re urging the public also to contact legislators.
It was an athletic sort of weekend. In Palm Coast American Alexander Ritschard defeated Latvian Martins Podzus Sunday to claim the Palm Coast Open title at the Palm Coast Tennis Center. In Florahome the 13th annual Iron Horse Endurance Runs saw runners from around the nation compete in 50-mile, 100-kilometer and 100-mile runs.
An institution in the Flagler Estates area has closed. Buzzmart, what’s been described as a miniature version of Wal-mart, has shut its doors. However, the DuPont family that owns it calls it temporary. In a Facebook announcement they explained they are “working very hard to find a new operation that would be a good fit for the community. One that would make Joyce and Buzzy proud of the legacy they started so many years ago.”
Inert and live bombing will be going on in the Ocala National Forest bombing range today and Wednesday. Residents in South Putnam County and North Flagler County will hear explosions from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. both days.