The Voice of the Gem City

May 28, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

No new coronavirus-related cases were reported in Putnam County Wednesday, according to the Florida Department of Health. The total is now 144 cases. Of those only 18 people had to be hospitalized. St. Johns County is at 245 cases while Flagler County is at 178 cases.

A Palm Coast couple has been arrested on grand theft charges relating to unfinished work on 12 swimming pools. Flagler County Sheriff’s Office began investigating in 2019 after they were contacted about Crystal Clear Pools failing to complete an in-ground pool installation. An investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the 7th Judicial Circuit of the State Attorney’s Office revealed other victims. Between September 2017 and February 2019, Crystal Clear Pool owners allegedly endorsed, deposited or cashed payments from 12 victims totaling more than $455,000 for work that was not completed. Wednesday morning Romina De Longo and Carlos Longo were arrested at their Bridgehaven Drive home in Palm Coast. They were jailed on bonds of $320,000 each.

State Sen. Keith Perry was at the Putnam County Emergency Operations Center Wednesday to recognize Battalion Chief Steve Dennis who recently retired after being a firefighter for 45 years, starting as a volunteer. Perry also got a look at the Operations Center and an update on how Putnam County is responding to the coronavirus situation.

Fourth of July fireworks in Palatka probably won’t be happening. City commissioners meet tonight at 6 p.m. via the Internet and they’re expected to postpone the fireworks until possibly Labor Day weekend, which will coincide with the delayed Blue Crab Festival. This is a regularly scheduled meeting and the agenda is short. Last week they had a special called meeting to discuss paving issues in the South Historic District. You can go to the city website half-an-hour beforehand to get on the meeting site.

The unidentified man who rescued a woman at St. Augustine Beach has come forward after seeing a story on First Coast News. Rod Boothe and his family from Atlanta were visiting friends in St. Augustine who took them to the beach. Boothe was in the water because his son was caught in a riptide while boogie boarding. After he got his son out, he heard people calling for help and headed back into the water. The woman he rescued was then helped by two nurses who were at the beach and then taken by EMS to Flagler Hospital.

Work on repaving a 3.2-mile stretch of Mahogany Boulevard in Flagler County is set to begin next week. The $1.95 million project is funded through last year’s General Appropriations Act and will be overseen by Florida Department of Transportation The project is from County Road 305 to Water Oak Road in Daytona North. P&S Paving of Daytona Beach has the contract.

In Putnam County the bridge on County Road 207A over Dog Branch Creek is reported now open. For nearly eight months the road has been closed and drivers were forced to detour. Project cost was about $1.2 million.

Residents and staff at Lakewood Nursing Center in Crescent City know the community cares. On Wednesday they got a glimpse of how much as a parade of vehicles went by the facility on Crescent Lake to say hello. Participants included Crescent City Yacht Club, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Shirley Griffin of Pomona Park and Crescent City Police and Fire Departments.


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