The Voice of the Gem City

News June 28, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Florida lawmakers are giving shoppers a chance to save money on entertainment purchases, outdoor items and recreational sporting goods beginning Wednesday. Through July 7 recreation items such as boating, camping, fishing and pool supplies and sporting items are tax-free. It’s the second annual Freedom Week voted into place by the Florida Legislature. Also included are event and performance tickets for plays, concerts and sporting events being held between July 1 and December 1. Even admission to museums and state parks as well as season tickets qualify for the tax-free status during the seven-day period.

One man was killed in a collision Monday afternoon on State Road 13 in St. Johns County, Florida Highway Patrol reports. The 69-year-old St. Johns County man was driving a SUV southbound on State Road 13. He drifted into the northbound bound lane while taking the curve north of Wedgewood Road and into the path of a Ford F-350 headed north. The Ford’s driver, a 44-year-old man, swerved and attempted to avoid the SUV, but the two vehicles collided, according to FHP. The driver of the truck had minor injuries.

Accidents this morning caused roadblocks in Putnam and St. Johns counties, according to Florida Highway Patrol. An accident on State Road 100 in Florahome left one car in the middle of the road and traffic was being diverted, said an eyewitness. In St. Augustine the westbound lane of State Road 16 was blocked following a vehicle crash that brought a roadbock. The accident was at 6751 SR16.

An Interlachen man who wanted his nephew to buy him a handgun was disappointed Friday. Tracy Summerlin, 34, was arrested by Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies after he allegedly attacked his nephew, 21, for not making the purchase. He used a chain with a lock, and threatened another man. Summerlin then reportedly ran off, jumping over a fence in the yard only to come back over the fence to try and start the fight again. He appeared to have been drinking. Deputies took him into custody on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and simple battery. Turned out the reason Summerlin couldn’t do his own shopping is that he was convicted of carjacking in 2015. That meant he can’t legally buy a firearm himself.

A Bunnell man is back in jail charged with aggravated assault with a weapon after a street fight Saturday, according to Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Gerald McCaskell, 51, was arrested after he and another man fought in Bunnell. The victim, who had a large abdominal cut, was taken to AdventHealth Palm Coast where he is listed in stable condition. McCaskell told Flagler deputies and Bunnell police officers a friend had arrived for a visit when the victim stopped in the roadway and got out “yelling and challenging.” The two exchanged blows and the victim went back to his truck and allegedly reached into his toolbox. McCaskell said he didn’t know what the man was getting, so picked up a tin can lid from the ground and slashed out, cutting the victim in the stomach. Officers said they didn’t find any blood or the lid at the scene.

Cities in the area are preparing for Fourth of July celebrations next Monday. Palatka officials are reminding people the holiday will mean city offices an departments will be closed. That means sanitation workers have the day off also and pick up schedules for residential customers will be changed. Monday and Thursday customers will see pick up on Tuesday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday customers will have pick up on Wednesday and Friday. No yard trash pick up is set for next week. Commercial dumpster collection will be the same as usual.

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