The Voice of the Gem City

News July 5, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Fourth of July festivities in the Tri-county area brought out crowds of people. Beach trips, backyard barbecues and fireworks competed with public celebrations and parades. More people and fireworks this year as festivities cranked back up following two years of COVID-19 restrictions. In St. Johns County the Sheriff’s Office reported taking part in five golf cart parades. Interlachen reported a great turnout with a day crammed with family activities. While Monday brought city-sponsored pyrotechnic displays in St. Augustine, Interlachen and Palatka, plenty of private displays could be heard until late evening as people celebrated Independence Day.

As Flagler Beach celebrated the Fourth with their annual parade Monday, law enforcement and paramedic personnel headed to a three-vehicle crash accident on State Road A1A, just past the parade route. Four people including one child were taken to the hospital after the crash at the Intersection of State Road 100 and John Anderson Highway. The child and two adults were taken to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach and a fourth person was taken to AdventHealth Palm Coast. According to early reports the wreck shortly after 11 a.m. apparently occurred when a vehicle traveling west turned into the path of two eastbound vehicles. Florida Highway Patrol is investigating. By the time the accident happened, the parade was off State Road A1A and onto the back streets. Traffic onto the barrier island was restricted for about 40 minutes before eastbound traffic could resume.

In St. Johns County St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting with a pellet gun that left a teenage girl with what were described as life-threatening injuries. The shooting happened Monday around 5 p.m. in the Flagler Estates area near Hastings. According to the Sheriff’s Office the pellet gun was being handled by another person when the teen was shot. Preliminary investigation indicated the shooting was accidental.

One man died Saturday in a boating crash in the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Johns County. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the accident that happened around 4:30 p.m. when a 32-foot boat with five people in it struck Rattlesnake Island in the Waterway. On impact three of the five people aboard were thrown from the boat. One passenger died at the scene, two other passengers were taken to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, according to FWC. Two other people had minor injuries and refused medical attention. The accident happened near Marker 82 in St. Johns.

Palm Coast Council today is voting on changing the city’s trash hauler. City staff is recommending dropping Waste Pro, which has had the contract for 15 years, and going with Houston-based FCC Environmental. That contract will be for seven years and cost $32 million. Palm Coast and Waste Pro have had a sometimes rocky relationship through the years. Beverly Beach dropped Waste Pro in 2019, contracting with Flagler Beach for services. Service costs have been going up in recent years with issues including worker shortage and price increases including gas.

Palatka has had its own issues with garbage. At the June meeting of the Palatka City Commission, the talk included how to handle spiraling costs for fuel. Mayor Terrell Hill noted one possibility under discussion has been dropping garbage pickup to once a week. That’s a proposal that hasn’t been popular in the past with city residents accustomed to twice-a-week garbage pickup.

Lee Conlee House Inc. holds a fund-raiser this Friday at Coventry Oaks Farms. The 2022 wine tasting includes wine, hor d’oeuvres, music, drawings and a silent auction, all to benefit running the domestic violence shelter. The benefit is from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be ordered by call 386-325-4447.

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