The Voice of the Gem City

July 15, 2021 News

Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach and Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staley are scheduled to return from the Texas border today after joining U.S. Congresswoman Kat Cammack for a tour along the nation’s southern border. They were two of the half-dozen Florida sheriffs and law enforcement officials taking part. Officials say the situation is not a regional problem but a national issue that needs attention regarding the ramifications to the nation and communities. The federal government has been placing illegal immigrants coming in into other states as Texas and California systems become overwhelmed.

National Transportation Safety Board has released its first report on the plane crash that left two dead June 29 at Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine. No trouble with the engine cylinders in the Cessna 152 airplane that crashed following what’s known as a discovery flight. An individual walked in to take the flight, which is offered to people considering taking pilot lessons. Names of the victims were not released. The plane was up about an hour before the instructor returned to the airport. Witnesses reported the plane was swaying up and down but nose up when it pitched down to a 45-degree angle and cashed. The plane caught fire and slid 200 feet. Much of the plane was destroyed by the fire.

A warrant has been issued for a suspect in the shooting death of a Crescent City man. No name has been released. Mark Anthony Arbelo Jr. , 24, died following the shooting. His 21-year-old brother, Alexander Desmond Arbelo, who was shot in the stomach, is now in critical condition, according to Putnam County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Allison Waters-Merritt. Another brother, Angel David Arbelo, 22, was shot in the leg and after treatment released following the early Tuesday morning shooting that reportedly occurred after the brothers became embroiled in a domestic situation with occupants of an apartment on Gunby Court in Crescent City.

Four men and two boys who went out for a fishing trip Saturday off Flagler Beach are thanking chaos – Southern Chaos, that is, the name of the boat that rescued them. Their boat, Kicking Back, left out of Matanzas Inlet but then the engine lost a prop and power. Within a short time the 23-foot center console fishing boat began rapidly taking on water and then capsized about 10 miles off Flagler Beach. Using Smart technology Jason Arnett was able to contact his wife and rescue efforts began. While that was going on Southern Comfort showed up and the six were able to get their attention and the Bunnell-based boat stayed with them until the Coast Guard arrived. More boaters than usual were out since this past weekend snapper fishing was allowed.

Tonight’s Concert in the Plaza in downtown St. Augustine should be a lot drier than last week. Victoria Rose, a local singer/songwriter, will perform from 7-9 p.m. She released her first EP this year. 

Putnam Habitat for Humanity dedicates another new home for a veteran Saturday at 10 a.m. Mr. and Mrs. Freddie Lewis will open their new home at 24 Veterans Way in Palatka to visitors. Sunrise Rotary Club will be providing a light breakfast. Habitat volunteers and area businesses, organizations and individuals have made the house building project possible.

Next Tuesday Palm Coast is preparing for its first-ever Chalk Art Festival at Central Park. They’re combining it with Food Truck Tuesday.

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