The Voice of the Gem City

News April 19, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Palatka Police are investigating a shooting at 2438 Husson Avenue around 10 p.m. Monday night. Police Spokesman Capt. Matt Newcomb said today the victim was apparently shot in the head but is alert and conscious and doing well. Law enforcement personnel believe the shooting was an isolated drug-related incident and at this point do not believe it has anything to do with an ongoing feud between two groups that has included drive-by shootings in Palatka. Newcomb said authorities do have people of interest who were interviewed last night for the Husson Avenue shooting. Two search warrants were obtained — one for a residence and one for a vehicle — and those have been executed. No names have been released as the investigation is continuing.

Putnam County Parks and Recreation Department reports their splash pad at Triangle Park/John Theobold Sports Complex in Palatka is once again operational. Damage to the pipes and equipment led to closing of the facility last week for repair.

State legislators are in Tallahassee for a special session today that focuses on a new congressional map that may see a change in who represents Putnam County in the U.S. Congress. Under a proposal by Gov. Ron DeSantis, Putnam would lose its very popular U.S. Congresswoman Kat Cammack. Rep. Michael Waltz would take the county into his district. Putnam has already had a blow in state representation due to redistricting, losing State Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville. In his place comes Sen. Travis Hutson,  R-St. Augustine, who is proving increasing unpopular with residents in Flagler and St. Johns counties. Part of that opposition is because of his strong stance for development and continued efforts to put AirBnB’s under state supervision rather than counties and municipalities.

Palm Coast City Council meets today to again look at upping their salary. How much isn’t decided yet. The proposed ordinance leaves the amount blank. That’s in part because of the fierce pushback from the public after new Mayor David Alfin sought at 365 percent increase with council salaries going from $9,600 to $44,670 and the mayor’s salary from $11,400 to $46,470. A workshop last week saw proposed suggestions drop to around $35,000 plus benefits but no final amount was chosen.

Florida Highway Patrol has worked two highway deaths in Putnam County in the past two days. On Easter morning a 43-year-old Hawthorne man died shortly before noon after he tried to pass a vehicle on State Road 21 but struck another vehicle. The driver was headed south on 21 in a Chevrolet Trailblazer when he headed into the northbound lane and his right side hit the front of a Toyota Highlander in that lane. The 34-year-old Hawthorne man driving the Highlander was seriously injured, according to FHP. The 43-year-old driver died at the scene. On Monday a two-vehicle crash left a 74-year-old Bostwick man dead after an accident at a West River Road intersection near Bostwick. FHP reported the 74-year-old turned left into the path of another vehicle that was southbound on the roadway. His vehicle hit the front of the second car driven by a 20-year-old and ended on the roadway facing south. The 20-year-old and his 17-year-old passenger had no injuries but the 74-year-old died at the scene, according to FHP.

The Putnam County Entrepreneur’s Social is tonight at 5:30 p.m. hosted this month by Atmosphere Boutique Day Spa, 710 St. Johns Ave. in Palatka. Putnam County entrepreneurs and small business owners have the opportunity to network with peers. You can register by going to or call 386-268-1311 for information.

A proposed housing development that will bring in more than 200 units on the corner of U.S. 1 and Watson Road is bringing protests from St. Johns County residents, concerned over potential flooding issues. Residents are expected to attend Thursday’s St. Johns County Planning and Zoning Board meeting at 1:30 p.m. when the proposed Mivo project is presented. The seven buildings, three stories tall, will include more than 200 units and go on 15 acres, 53 percent of which are wetlands. According to the proposal, none of the wetlands will be preserved. 

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