This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
A bit more of St. Augustine history will be gone after the City Commission Monday voted 3-2 to move the obelisk remembering the Confederate war dead out of downtown. Led by Mayor Tracy Upchurch commissioners agreed to move it to the Trout Creek Fish Camp on State Road 13. Owner Randy Ringhaver offered the location and says he will be putting the obelisk in a parklike venue with lighting and seating that’s open to the public. Reportedly an archaeologist has told the commission it will be safe to move the 100 plus year old monument. Cost estimates are in the $200,000 range. Although Upchurch and members Leanne Freeman and Nancy Sikes-Kline got their way, citizens reminded them election time is coming. Others praised moving the statue.
Three more coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the tri-county area Monday by Florida Department of Health. Two women, one 97 and the other 90, died in St. Johns County. Overall, 36 have died in St. Johns. One 72-year-old man died in Putnam County, bringing the death total to 27. In St. Johns 27 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday for a total of 3,660 since counting began in March. Ten new cases and one transfer were reported in Putnam, bringing the total to 1,519. In Flagler eight cases were reported on Monday for a total of 1,078.
Applications for about $3 million in aid to Putnam County small businesses hit by coronavirus are now available. The money comes through federal CARES act funds and is designed to help small businesses hit by economic conditions, needs and resources related to the pandemic. Online and paper applications are available. Grants for $3,000 will go to the first 1,000 qualified and eligible businesses. Deadline is Aug. 25.
A five-year case regarding a transgender youth who wanted to use the boy’s bathrooms at Nease High School in St. Johns County may be ending. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Drew Adams was discriminated against because the school district made the youth use a neuter-gender bathroom. Adams is now attending University of South Florida. No word on whether the school district will appeal the decision, which had appealed a previous ruling in Adams’ favor.
A 29-year-old Flagler County man faces three felony charges after an encounter with Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies. Anthony Petrillo was found at the home of a family in Palm Coast’s Section B Friday and when the homeowner told him to leave an argument began. Petrillo had been working for a contractor at the house but was fired and had been working one last hour although the contractor was gone. Petrillo said the homeowner threatened him with a gun, a charge the man denied. The homeowner said Petrillo threated him with a knife. That led to officers being called and during a felony stop Petrillo began fighting with deputies and later became combative with paramedics, according to an incident report. Narcotics paraphernalia including baggies with residue in them and used syringes were reported found.
A Green Cove Springs woman was killed and a St. Johns County man seriously injured in a three-vehicle crash Monday afternoon near Shands Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Names have not been released. The 32-year-old St. Augustine man was driving a pickup west when he veered into the eastbound lane for unknown reasons and struck the front of a sedan on State Road 16. A second sedan hit with the first in the rear and the pickup truck spun hitting the second sedan in the side. The 62-year-old Green Cove Springs woman driving the first sedan died and her passenger, an 89-year-old Green Cove Springs man, was seriously injured. Driver of the second sedan was reportedly uninjured. FHP said the pickup truck driver was not wearing a seatbelt.