The Voice of the Gem City

News October 13, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Florida Highway Patrol reports a hit-and-run crash with injuries this morning at Motes Road and State Road 20 in Palatka. FHP is working the wreck that happened around 7:17 a.m. and temporarily caused a road closure.

Around Putnam County signs featuring a toilet are going up as people protest a proposal by a Volusia County firm to put  biosolids on about 600 acres of farmland between Crescent City and  Pomona Park. Welaka, Pomona Park and and Crescent City governments have passed resolutions opposing issuance of a permit for dumping biosolids by American Bioclean. Biosolids are treated sewage. A group calling itself Don’t Poop On Putnam is leading the fight to keep the Department of Environmental Protection from issuing the needed permit. Putnam County commissioners Tuesday repeated their opposition to the dump site.

Nonstop flights from St. Augustine to Newark are coming back. Elite Airways announced the return of commercial service to the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine Tuesday during ceremonies at the airport. Service will be on Mondays and Fridays beginning Nov. 19 and come and go from St. Augustine to Newark Liberty International Airport, which serves the tri-state area and New York City. Commercial service was last provided by Via Airlines but that ended in 2018. St. Johns County has been pushing to add commercial service and in August received a Federal Aviation Administration grant for service to Charlotte, N.C. No word on when that will begin.

Palatka City Commission meets Thursday at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Among items on the agenda awarding a bid for lighting at the Booker Park ball field and authorizing a lease agreement renewal with amendments with Amtrak. Several rezoning are on the agenda. The meeting is open to the public and can be viewed online.

Palm Coast government will be giving a Connecticut-based firm a five-year 75-percent tax break as an incentive in moving their headquarters to the city. Palm Coast officials announced last month Ground Up, a muscle-car parts company, was moving to the Commerce Boulevard building that once served as Palm Coast City Hall and later as headquarters for Palm Coast Data. In return for the tax break the company will have to spend the tax break money on city-related initiatives including creating a business recruitment program.

Another driver has learned not to drive in Flagler County in a stolen vehicle. Two people were arrested Monday after a car chase that had one occupant throwing tools at deputies. Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staley described it as a “wild and one of the most bizarre chases I have seen in my career.” Deputies attempted to stop a Ford F-250  reported stolen from Jacksonville that was on State Road 100, but the driver kept going despite hitting Stop Sticks that flattened three of the truck’s tires. After getting on State Road 11, the driver, Shane Hendricks, 44, began throwing tools at deputies and then climbed through a window into the bed of the truck to throw more items including a toolbox, sledgehammer and stamping machine. His companion Tammy Pecor, 44, took over the steering wheel eventually stopping the vehicle. Both Hendricks and Pecor were taken into custody and face a number of charges. Hendrciks, who was on probation, is being held without bond. Bond for Pecor was set at $76,000.

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