The Voice of the Gem City

Local news 8/18/2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Heavy lightning and thunderstorms swept through Wednesday night bringing one-and-3/4 inches of rain in Palatka and an inch in East Palatka. Gusty winds began just before 8 p.m. with a line of thunderstorms extending form near Mainland to Bunnell to Pomona Park, according to weather reports. Today’s high is near 93 but heat index may go as high as 105. T hunderstorms are predicted before midnight with an overnight low of 73 degrees.

Several cases regarding sex allegations have led to arrests in the three-county area. 

In St. Johns County a now former assistant coach with the St. Johns School District faces two counts of sexual battery after two women, who were students at the time, stepped up. Tyler Fredrick Sydow Reagan, 27, was arrested Friday and bonded out Saturday on $500,000 bail. The arrest came after an ongoing investigation that began when allegations surfaced in 2018. Both relationships reportedly began via social media and texts. Reagan was an assistant coach for both weightlifting and track and field teams at Bartram Trail High School and later a volunteer at Pedro Menendez High School.

In Putnam County a civilian employee of a firm contracted to work at the Putnam County Jail is in the jail on a $90,000 bond charged with three counts of possession of obscene material involving minors, three counts of using two-way communication device to commit a felony and three counts of obscene communications to transmit child pornography. Deputies got a cybertip from Kik, a social media app, about the child porn download by Brandon Smolinski, 36, of Middleburg. Smolinski, whose job was to transport prisoners, used the sheriff’s office wifi to download some material and Clay County Sheriff’s Office is investigating also. Sheriff Gator DeLoach said while the sheriff’s office isn’t Smolinski’s employer “his only opportunity to see the inside of the Putnam County Jail again is as an inmate.”

A 24-year-old Palm Coast man has been arrested for molesting a 13-year-old girl who was sleeping his apartment last year. Deputies arrested suspect Joshua Paul Brown last Friday at his Hummingbird Lane home. The arrest was the result of a 13-month investigation by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Brown is charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor and with lewd and lascivious exhibition to a minor.

Just three days left for early voting before the August 23 primary. Supervisor of Elections offices in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties each offer a variety of locations to vote throughout the day. After Saturday you’ll have to wait until Aug. 23 and vote at your designated polling place. Mail-in votes must be received by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The free Concerts in the Plaza continue tonight in St. Augustine with Bert Hodge and Thick & Thin Band. Enjoy folk, bluegrass  and jug band music from a trio of seasoned performers from 7-9 p.m. in the Plaza de la Constitucion downtown. Bert has hometown roots in Palatka. 

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