The Voice of the Gem City

LOCAL NEWS 5/3/2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Putnam County commissioners hold a Town Hall meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at the GFWC Crescent City Woman’s Club at 604 Summit St./U.S. 17 South. It’s part of an ongoing series by commissioners to give residents a chance to talk with them in their home territories.

Downtown Palatka was crowded Saturday with boat trailers. The boats were on the St. Johns River, sailing for Jacksonville in the 67th annual Mug Race. Last year’s race from Palatka to the Rudder Club in Jacksonville was canceled due to coronavirus. Avid Palatka sailor Chip Laibl was on the committee boat and reported “A great Mug Race start with lots of boats with a north wind… sailing up wind all day.”

The Florida Legislature approved a $101.5 billion budget that now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis to be signed. St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum cold be a big winner if the appropriation isn’t vetoed again by the governor. A $484,000 allocation would provide $285,000 for restoration of the 146-year-old lighthouse tower and about $200,000 for costs while the museum is shut down for repairs. Rep. Cyndi Stevenson and Sen. Travis Hutson, both Republicans from St. Johns County, backed the effort.

A 35-year-old felon considered “armed and dangerous” avoided Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies Saturday morning for about two hours before being arrested on Woodside Drive in Palm Coast. Authorities began searching for Kyle Knever around 9:30 a.m. after the man showed up outside his ex-girlfriend’s house, armed and uninvited. In the last 13 years he’s served three prison sentences, one for robbery-home invasion and two for drug convictions. His latest home address is in New Smyrna Beach.

Palm Coast is surveying residents about a code enforcement rule forbidding work or commercial vehicles with signs to be parked in residential driveways for anything other than a work call. It’s a rule that’s been in place since Palm Coast began as a retirement community. Now some officials want to see the rule removed saying businesses and residents think it’s unreasonable. Residents are being asked to take a survey to give their opinion on the city’s website.

A 44-year-old Putnam County man has been arrested in a DUI-related 2019 hit-and-run on County Road 308 in south Putnam. Joseph Lowe, who lives in Crescent City, was booked into county jail last week on charges of negligent vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Bond was $151,500. FHP investigated the Oc. 21, 2019, wreck where Lowe was reportedly driving a Ford Bronco past a disabled Ford truck pulled over on the shoulder of two-lane County Road 308. The Ford truck driver, Michael Mills, 50, of Pomona Park was hit by the Bronco and slammed into the door on the driver’s side of his truck. He died at Putnam Community Medical Center later that day from his injuries. The Bronco left the scene although Lowe was tested later in the day. His blood alcohol level was below the legal limit. He has pled not guilty and is seeking a jury trial.

Sea turtle nesting season began Saturday and officials in St. Johns and Flagler counties are reminding people that means it’s time to turn off white lights when you’re at the beach. The white lights disorient the turtles, who are endangered. Also, don’t leave items on the beach and fill in holes if you’ve been digging. Nesting season continues until Oct. 31. About 90 percent of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs in Florida.

%d bloggers like this: