This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Coronavirus case numbers continue to rise, according to the Florida Department of Health with St. Johns County continuing to post high numbers. The figures for Sunday were 55 new cases and for today 57 new cases. Total is 948 since counting began. In Flagler County 310 cases are the total as of today with 12 reported for Sunday and six for Monday. In Putnam Count the number is at 339 with 10 cases on Sunday’s report and 11 on Monday’s. Included in Putnam County’s numbers are 16 Sheriff’s Office deputies and one inmate who tested positive. They have been quarantined. Eight of the deputies are patrol officers and eight are in corrections.
A “fill the fence” event at St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitucion ended up causing ill will as St. Augustine Police took down flags, flowers and signs Sunday after a local group put up the items on the fence now surrounding the memorial to local Confederate dead from the Civil War. Although the fill the fence event had been cleared with the police chief, officials now say miscommunications between the chief and his day sergeant led to the nearly dozen police officers showing up about eight hours earlier than agreed to remove the items. Among objects reported tossed into trash cans was an American flag. The police department now has a comment on its Facebook site saying lost or abandoned property left on public property will be removed and things of intrinsic value are taken to the station for 90 days. That’s led to some hot and heavy remarks on the site. By a 3-2 vote the city commission last week voted to take down the memorial. Cost is expected to be at least $160,000. Descendants of the dead men are suing.
Five people have been arrested on a variety of charges after a residential burglary on Polar Bear Lane June 25 in Bunnell. A property manager spotted a jimmied back door and found the residence in disarray. A neighbor’s surveillance tape led Flagler County Sheriff’s detectives to a pick-up truck and Taylor Landrum, 30. Landrum claimed acquaintance Ocean Gregory, 45, asked for a ride to the residence claiming she once lived there. Several others were with her and she told them to take what they wanted. What they wanted included a washer and dryer, lawn mower, prescription medications, jewelry box and night table. As it turned out Gregory had never lived there and didn’t own the objects. In all, five individuals were arrested including Landrum and Gregory. Also arrested Curtis Futch, 38, Nicole Tenison, 38, and Huston Futch, 31. Sheriff Rick Staly described the five as “career offenders familiar to FCSO deputies.”
Palm Coast’s Town Center will be the site of a satellite campus for the University of North Florida after the $6 million MedNex’s plan survived Gov Ron DeSantis’ budget cuts. Palm Coast has pledged $1.5 million for the project that would provide health care practitioners to regional hospitals and clinics.
Expect lane closures on International Golf Parkway and World Commerce Parkway in St. Johns County through Friday. AT&T is installing fiber cable within the right of way and drivers can expect traffic delays, according to the county’s engineering division.
A shooting death in Florahome early Saturday is under investigation, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. Details released by the sheriff’s office are sketchy about the shooting at a Martin Street residence. When deputies arrived they found the body of Michael Erke, 35, of Jacksonville. A man at the scene was taken into custody after saying he shot Erke. According to the report the man, whose name was not released, said he felt threated as he tried to leave. The man was not arrested and according to the release from the sheriff’s office “Stand Your Ground was given as a possible factor in the shooting.
A new Palatka business owner whose shop was broken into the day after her grand opening is back in business. Sally Lewis of The Wild Azalea on Crill Avenue reopened today after the break-in, noting she had repaired a broken window, had a cash register stand rebuilt, bought a new cash register and added new security after the break-in.