The Voice of the Gem City

News August 23,2021

Marcia Lane11:59 AM (1 minute ago)
to marcia, me

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Florida Highway Patrol reports an early morning wreck today with one fatality in the Satsuma area of Putnam County. Road blockage was reported from the wreck on U.S. 17 South at Kingston Road.

A search resumed this morning off the coast of St. Augustine after two life jackets were found Sunday. The U.S. Coast Guard reported three dropped 911 calls were received by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s dispatchers from about 10 nautical miles east-southeast of the St. Augustine Inlet. On Sunday afternoon, two life jackets were recovered by two boaters in the area, according to Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. On Sunday evening Coast Guard, St. Johns Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation were among agencies searching 10 miles southeast of St. Augsutine. Boaters are asked to keep a lookout and monitor VHF Channel 16. Info can be reported to the Coast Guard through Channel 16.

With coronavirus figures up, Flagler Beach is holding off on resuming their First Friday events that were set to resume in September. On Thursday the commission voted to move the planned kickoff to December. If coronavirus calm down before then, First Friday could resume sooner. The decision will be up to the city manager, event organizer and city safety officials.

A march on Saturday in Palatka to protest the Confederate soldier memorial on the Putnam County Courthouse drew a small gathering. Tevel Adams, one of the two college students who is credited with beginning the protests last year, called it the 100 People Protest. Based on photos less than 100 showed up at 11 a.m. A heat index of 106 may have contributed to the low turnout. Today, Adams is calling for a silent protest downtown on St. Johns Avenue today at 11 a.m., another protest at the courthouse Friday and a month-long protest boycotting Putnam County’s economy beginning Saturday.

A missing Tennessee teen who was the subject of an Amber Alert has been found safe in St. Augustine. Autumn Turner, 17, and the man she was with, Jacob Flournoy, 27, were found Sunday evening after being spotted by a citizen in the area of Hurricane Pattie’s near Oyster Creek. Turner ended up at the St. Augustine Police Department, Flournoy at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. He is wanted by the Athens, Tenn., Police Department for kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, say police.  Their car had been towed a couple of days earlier, which alerted law enforcement to their possible presence in the area.

A St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputy died Saturday after a lengthy fight against coronavirus. Deputy Jody Hull, a four-year veteran of the St. Johns office, most recently served as the youth resource deputy at St. Augustine High School. He was remembered as the type of officer who during the day would work as the school’s deputy and then on his off time show up for the school football games. Hull previously served four years with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

A hit-and-run driver is being sought in the death of a 47-year-old St. Augustine man early Saturday morning, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The man was struck just after 2 a.m. as he was walking west on State Road 16 at Old Town Parkway. A white 2013 Ford F-150 with a sunroof is being sought. The vehicle has a missing front left headlight and damage to the left front end, FHP says.

Normally about now a flotilla of boats would be on the St. Johns River at Palatka and people would be casting nets off docks catching shrimp. However, shrimping hasn’t progressed much further than Green Cove Springs and even there the shrimp are more bait size than eating size. Those in the know say the torrent of rain we’ve had has diluted the salt in the water and that’s meant conditions aren’t what the shrimp like. That salty water comes in from the Atlantic and mingles with the brackish freshwater of the St. Johns.

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