News

Man sues St. Augustine over anchoring rights

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- "You can't argue with the constitution," Michael 'Wolfy' MacDougall said Monday.

He's been on the water 50 of his 62 years. MacDougall lives on a sailboat currently anchored in the San Sebastian River in St. Augustine.

MacDougall has filed a federal lawsuit against individual St. Augustine city officials and the state regarding the city's mooring system.

The mooring program was put in place with a city ordinance a few years ago. It allows boaters to connect to buoys strategically placed in St. Augustine's waterways. It's a way to regulating where boats can stay on the water. The city of St. Augustine's website promotes the mooring fields provide security, safety and environmental benefits.

"This is totally unconstitutional. The constitution states anchoring is an act of navigation," MacDougall said.

Suspect cut hole in roof, robbed gas station

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The search is on for a gas station robbery suspect in St. Augustine.

Detectives with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office responded to the Kangaroo Express in the 2800 block of US 1 early Monday morning.

The business was robbed by a male suspect who allegedly cut a hole in the roof of the gas station and hid inside the manager's office until the business opened.

When the manager arrived for work around 5:30 a.m., preparing to open the store, she saw the suspect in the office area.

The suspect explained to the victim that he had lost his job and demanded cash for his children's Christmas.

SJCSO said the victim when to the front of the store and gave the suspect an undetermined amount of money.

The suspect then escorted the victim back to the rear office and then he fled from the store.

According to police, no weapon was displayed during the robbery and no one was injured.

Crash on St. Augustine bridge kills one

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A man died after crashing head-on with another car just off of the SR 312 bridge in St. Augustine Saturday. 

The incident happened around 5 p.m. on the east side of the bridge, according to the St. Augustine Police Department. 

The driver was heading westbound down the SR 312 bridge and lost control of his vehicle.

He crossed the median struck a vehicle in the eastbound lane. 

The driver died at the scene and his passenger is in the hospital in critical condition, according to police.

The driver and passenger of the second vehicle were taken to Flagler Hospital, treated and released.

Traffic Homicide Investigators are continuing their investigation. 

Police: Canadian man lures St. Augustine girl

MEDICINE HAT, Alberta -- A Canadian man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly luring a 12-year-old St. Augustine girl via email.

Daniel Russell Rand, 41, is charged with two counts of child luring, possession of child porn and accessing child porn, according to a release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).

The girl's parents alerted the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office after discovering emails from Rand.

After hearing from the parents, SJSO contacted ALERT to get assistance in arresting Rand.

St. Augustine welcomes new Riverkeeper

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Nation's Oldest City welcomed the country's newest Riverkeeper
Tuesday when Neil Armingeon announced he will be the new Matanzas Riverkeeper.

Armingeon, who served for eight years as the St. Johns Riverkeeper, says one of his chief priorities will be protecting the river's oyster beds, which are threatened by development, pollution and sea
level rise. Despite those threats, the southern Matanzas remains one of just
three local fisheries where shellfish may be safely harvested and consumed -- and one of just 13 in
the state.

Armingeon said he hoped to bring a new focus and energy
to local efforts to protect the 23-mile Matanzas.

Charlie Brown Christmas at December to Remember festival

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A festive performance Tuesday night at the St. Augustine amphitheater is part of the December to Remember festival.

The performance was a Charlie Brown Christmas. Jazz musician David Benoit, entertained the crowd with lively tunes from the Christmas classic.

Children also enjoyed getting their faces painted, plus elf village and dancing lights.

Visit the website to see other free performances planned for the month.

St. Augustine's fire protection rating improves

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The City of St. Augustine's fire protection rating has improved.  The recent improvement could impact insurance premiums.

Matt Cafiso and his wife, Susan, own Christe Blue in St. Augustine.

The news sounds good to him.

"We have items that are one of a kind," Matt explained. "That's what makes us different and that's why we're so happy about this report with the local fire department."

Christe Blue is a high-end consignment store and art business.

Last week, the St. Augustine Fire Department received its latest review from the Insurance Services Office or ISO.