The Voice of the Gem City

June 9, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating an accident early this morning in Putnam County that reportedly resulted in one fatality. The accident, around 1:30 a.m., occurred at State Road 100 and U.S. 17 South.

Two men wanted in the 2019 murder of an Interlachen man have been arrested in what’s describe as a drug deal gone bad, according to Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach. On May 24, 2019, the body of an Interlachen man was found on State Road 20 near Interlachen. Witnesses said Kody O’Hara, 21, met with four men in a car at Matchett Gas. The car began pulling away and O’Hara held onto the door, but eventually fell. When his body was recovered, a bullet wound was found. Witnesses told detectives O’Hara was supposed to meet and sell drugs to someone named “Trey”. Detectives identified “Trey” as Tra’monte Edward Hargrove, 25, of Ohio, and also found suspect Decarius Dominique Howell, 21, of Ocala. Two other suspects are under investigation. Putnam detectives traveled to Warren, Ohio, on June 1 to assist U.S. marshals with an arrest warrant for Hargrove, who is now in Putnam jail on a $105,000 bond. On June 4 Howell was arrested on charges of homicide and is in Putnam jail on $100,000 bond.

Expect no authorized fireworks over the Matanzas for the Fourth of July. St. Augustine City Commission Monday morning upheld their earlier decision to delay fireworks. City Manager John Regan originally made the recommendation based on how other governments were reacting, but found out he had been given some erroneous information. Commissioners revisited the issue but decided to stick with their original decision as more and more municipalities cancel due to concerns about health and safety because of coronavirus.

Putnam County commissioners are meeting today in-person and with the public present. It’s the first live meeting since coronavirus restrictions began. Not on the agenda but expected to come up under citizen comments will be remarks concerning proposals to remove the Confederate soldier memorial and the oak trees on the Putnam County Courthouse lawn.  No action will be taken.

A St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputy is in jail charged with aggravated battery after a reported domestic incident Monday night, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The off-duty deputy shot a person in the lower extremities at a home in Ponte Vedra Beach after an argument started between the two. The victim was taken to the hospital and released today with injuries described as non-life-threatening.

Palatka’s Community Redevelopment Agency board met again via Zoom Monday to look at proposed districts and existing districts. The board is composed of the Palatka City Commission, downtown merchant and one Putnam County commissioner. Some changes to current districts are proposed including the north and south historic districts and the downtown business districts. The board voted to go forward with updating those districts. After that they’ll look at plans for two new districts as yet not fully defined. One would be on North 11th Street, the other would include the former Florida Furniture property and further up River Street into what is known as Palatka Heights.

Putnam County reported its 174th coronavirus case Monday. Latest patient is a 39-year-old Hawthorne man who had direct contact with a coronavirus case. St. Johns County has 282 cases. Flagler County  has 174.

Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland will run for re-election. At one point six people had filed to run against her; the number is now down to four. Those candidates include John Brady, Don Greene, Alan Lowe and Michael Schottery. Council members are limited to two terms.



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