This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
One man has died in a late night single car accident in Putnam County. Florida Highway Patrol reports Peter Malave, 44, was headed east on State Road in Florahome when his Dodge Ram truck left the road. The truck went onto the road shoulder at South Pine Avenue and hit a cable box then a wooden power pole. The truck flipped several times before coming to a stop at the tree line. Malave was taken to Putnam Community Medical Center, but died of injuries.
Flagler County School Board is interviewing the four finalists for superintendent of schools today. Vernon Orndorff, Janet Womack, Cathy Mittelstadt and Earl Johnson each face 90-minute interviews at the Government Services Building in Bunnell. The interviews are open to the public. From 6 to 8 p.m. tonight the four finalists take part in a public meet-and-greet at Buddy Taylor Middle School cafeteria in Palm Coast. Superintendent James Tager is leaving since he’s in the state D.R.O.P. program and is time limited out. The new superintendent will take over in June.
St. Augustine Beach has once again made a list of top 25 beaches in the United States. It came in at No. 11, a drop from last year when it was rated No. 10. Siesta Beach was chosen top beach in the nation. The poll is put out by TripAdvisor and based on travelers’ recommendations.
A Putnam County Sheriff’s detective used what’s known as a PIT maneuver to end a driver’s rampage in the Pomona Park area Tuesday. James Ellingsworth, 26, of Orlando, was involved in an accident near Lake Como Road where he hit a silver truck and then fled. Sheriff’s deputies and a Crescent City police officer pursued Ellingsworth who during the course of the chase twice attempted to hit patrol vehicles as well as another motorist’s car, knocked a cattle gate off its hinges and struck a mailbox. Because of the erratic behavior and endangerment of lives, Det. Will Gill was given permission to PIT the driver’s car. It’s a maneuver used to force a fleeing car to turn sideways abruptly, lose control and stop. Ellingsworth was taken into custody on a variety of charges and booked into the Putnam County Jail. No bail has been set.
Efforts to prevent cutting down of three large live oak trees on Davis Street in St. Augustine continue. The city’s Planning and Zoning Board Tuesday delayed a decision as efforts continue to come up with an alternate plan regarding the trees near Oyster Creek. The property is in the city’s Conservation Overlay Zone 3. Trees would come down in order to build two houses.
A boating safety class is scheduled at the riverfront St. Johns River Center as well Saturday. It’s sponsored by the City of Palatka, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Palatka’s 74th annual Azalea Festival is just around the corner with the Mayor’s reception Friday at the Bronson-Mulholland House kicking off the event in downtown Palatka. The festival on Saturday and Sunday includes dozens of vendors, live music, food, art show and parade. Also going on this weekend is the second annual Pickleball Tournament expected to bring in a couple of hundred players to courts at Palatka High School.