The Voice of the Gem City

News 11/2/2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Elections offices are busy today readying for the crowds expected on Tuesday. This presidential election has already pulled out huge numbers of voters who are casting their ballots either by mail or through early voting. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In Palatka Saturday U.S. Sen. Cory Booker from New Jersey and former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson were in town to rally crowds for the Democrats. The meeting was at CMBC Family Life Center on Bronson St.

A missing 30-year-old Palm Coast man has reportedly been found in East Point, Ga., according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Jamal Bell was located by authorities at a residence in the town near Atlanta and said he was there willingly and of sound body and mind. The family was updated on Thursday. Still missing is Palm Coast juvenile, Xandar Garratt, 13. Officials have said he also is believed to be out of state. The cases are not related, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A St. Johns County man is charged with manslaughter in the death of a Florida State University co-ed who was shot early Sunday morning in an off-campus fraternity house. Tallahassee police say Evan Wilhelm, a 20-year—old junior from Ponte Vedra Beach, was showing his rifle to friends at the Lamba Chi Alpha house around 1 a.m. when the rifle accidentally discharged. Sophomore Ashley Cowie, 20, was shot in the chest and junior Keith Savino, 20, from Tampa, was hit in the wrist. Cowie died at the scene. According to the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper, FSU police said Wilhelm told them he had been drinking earlier in the day and didn’t know the gun was loaded. He was reportedly showing how a flashlight attachment worked when the gun fired. Cowie and her sister, who are twins, are from Orange Park and graduated from St. Johns County Day School. Wilhelm graduated from Nease High School.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the shooting of a Palatka area man, whose body was found Wednesday evening at a residence on Lettie Lane. Officials say they have received a number of tips about the shooting of Joseph Rigdon, 29. Rigdon had been arrested several times on drug charges.

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County reported 28 new coronavirus cases between Friday and Sunday. Total case number is now 2,412 in Putnam. In Flagler County 63 cases were reported bringing the total to 2,181. In St. Johns County 134 new cases were reported over the three-day period, bringing the total to 6,639.

A St. Augustine man was killed and his wife seriously injured in a motorcycle crash on U.S. 1 in Flagler County after their vehicle hit a deer Thursday. The couple was on a ride from St. Augustine on U.S. 1 South of Old Kings Road when a deer crossed the road in their path. The cycle struck the deer and veered right, overturning and ejecting the riders. Both the 37-year-old man and his 49-year-old wife were wearing helmets according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A driver in front of them saw the crash in his rearview mirror and went to help. The accident happened around 7:30 p.m. and the two were taken to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach. Names were not released by FHP.

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