Last updateWed, 30 Nov 2016 11pm

Crash, Fire Closes I-75

ALACHUA COUNTY – Interstate-75 traffic was backed up for more than five hours in the early morning hours Tuesday following a one-vehicle crash and fire in the northbound lane at Mile Marker 389.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) report, a semi-tractor-trailer with two south Florida men inside was traveling northbound when it left the roadway and traveled onto the east shoulder of I-75. The front of the truck then struck a guardrail, and the rear trailer tires traveled up onto the concrete guardrail and became lodged. The vehicle then became fully engulfed in flames.

The driver, 47-year-old Francisco Grajales of Davie, and passenger, 23-year-old Marcus Turner of Miami, escaped with minor injuries.

The incident was reported at 4:30 a.m. Crews were still on the scene at 6:30 a.m. off-loading the cargo to fully extinguish hot spots, according to FHP. Traffic was diverted off the Interstate as Alachua County Fire Rescue worked to contain and extinguish the fire. Traffic was delayed into the late morning hours as cleanup continued.

No immediate cause of the crash was reported, but FHP is continuing to investigate the incident. Alcohol is not suspected to have been involved.

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Santa Fe College Offers Free Shuttle for Students: Archer, High Springs, Alachua, Starke and Waldo

GAINESVILLE – In an effort to increase access to higher education, Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida will be offering daily shuttle services through MV Connection.

Free Shuttle service is being offered to students in Archer, Newberry, High Springs, Alachua, Starke and Waldo starting the first day of classes.

This pilot project was first suggested to the college through a Coffee Chat with the college’s President, Dr. Jackson Sasser. The students on the Transportation Access Fee committee voted to support it for a one year trial.

For more information visit

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Splish-Splash at Alachua's splash park

Splash Park  - DSC 0531

ALACHUA -- A busy place this time of year, the splash park at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex in Alachua offers a refreshing playground for area children to cool off. Dozens of kids played in the water Wednesday afternoon.

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Three Questioned in Alachua Shooting

ALACHUA – “The Alachua Police Department (APD) has recently interviewed three men allegedly involved in a shooting incident in Alachua,” according to Public Information Officer (PIO) Sgt. Jesse Sandusky.

According to witness comments, which Sandusky says are conflicting, the incident may have begun with an altercation earlier in the day, Saturday, July 9, in the Pine Ridge neighborhood in Gainesville.

According to witness statements, twenty-six-year-old Elboric Robinson and twenty-five-year-old Jeffery Robinson, Jr. were outside at 15418 N.W. 134th Terrace. A white Nissan Sentra rental car, allegedly driven by a female, drove up and gunshots rang out.

Some witnesses say another person in the vehicle may have been twenty-four-year-old Richard Snead, Jr. of Gainesville, but Sandusky says, “That's unclear at this time.”

“It is also unclear who rented the vehicle,” said Sandusky, who emphasized the incident is still under investigation and details are not known at this time.

Initial reports indicated that a black male wearing blue basketball shorts and a white tank top opened fire on the two subjects standing in their front yard. However, the vehicle has been processed by the Alachua County Sheriff's Crime Scene Investigation team and, Sandusky said, “bullet holes were found in the vehicle.”

“At this time,” said Sandusky, “it's unclear who was shooting at whom.”

APD responded to multiple calls regarding the shooting at approximately 7:16 p.m., according to Sandusky's press release. “Three of our officers arrived on scene and made contact with several witnesses,” he said. “Our department is currently following up on leads and should have a clearer picture of the details in the near future.”

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High Springs Vigil for Orlando Shooting Victims

HS Vigil

HIGH SPRINGS – A brief vigil was held Saturday evening, June 18, at the Gazebo in James Paul Park in remembrance of the 49 people slain on Sunday, June 12, in Orlando. The names and ages of all 49 people were read aloud as people held lit candles in memory of those lost in the shooting at Pulse, an Orlando nightclub.

Bob Watson, Christine New and her daughter, Kaitlin New, organized the vigil with help from other community members who supplied music, flowers, and candles. Christine, Kaitlin, Suzie Ann Clark, Chandler Sheffield, Leda Carrero and Amanda Rodriguez took turns reading the names until all had been read. “The youngest person slain was 18-year-old Akyra Monet Murray,” said Christine.

The names of the other 48 people killed in Orlando are as follows: Stanley Almodovar III, 23, Amanda Alvear, 25,Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33, Antonio Davon Brown, 29, Darryl Roman Burt II, 29, Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28, Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25, Luis Daniel Conde, 39, Cory James Connell, 21, Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25, Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31, Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25, Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22, Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, Paul Terrell Henry, 41, Frank Hernandez, 27, Miguel Angel Honorato, 30, Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40, Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30, Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25, Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32, Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25, Kimberly Morris, 37, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20, Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36, Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32, Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35, Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25, Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24, Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24, Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34, Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33, Martin Benitez Torres, 33, Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24, Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37, Luis S. Vielma, 22, Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 and Jerald Arthur Wright, 31.

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