Last updateMon, 16 Jan 2017 3pm


Heading to Babe Ruth World Series

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Photo special to Alachua County Today

State champions Santa Fe Babe Ruth 8 Under softball team gathered at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex Saturday to caravan to Jensen Beach, Florida, to complete in the Babe Ruth World Series.

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Switch to LED Street Lights Saves Time, Energy and Money

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Photo special to Alachua County Today


Julia Holbrook, High Springs Billing Specialist, is the catalyst behind the city's switch to LED street lights. 


HIGH SPRINGS – An upgrade in City-owned light fixtures to accommodate LED light bulbs is one step High Springs is taking to save money. “We hope to see a reduction of approximately $20,000 per year with this change,” said City Manager Ed Booth.

The change will not only save on the amount of energy used to power the street lights, but is also expected to save on maintenance fees, according to a Duke Energy lighting account estimate.

The estimate, which was provided by Duke's business light development manager Jarrett Daniels, was created in response to an inquiry by Julia Holbrook, Administrative Assistant to Ed Booth.

Expecting that the City would see lower electricity usage, Holbrook was delighted to find that longer lasting LED lights would also mean a reduced need to replace light bulbs, reducing the number of maintenance calls per year and associated fuel and energy costs to perform that maintenance.

Duke's estimate shows a reduction in maintenance and fuel and energy costs to the city of $14,982 per year. However, an increase in the upgraded light fixtures of $5,208 per year reduces the savings amount somewhat, but still provides an overall savings estimate of just under $10,000 per year.

“The City estimates it will save another $10,000 per year in energy usage, which amounts to an overall savings of approximately $20,000,” said Booth.

“In addition,” said Holbrook, “there will be no charge for the labor to switch out our equipment.”

According to an email received by Holbrook, Daniels said he began field data collection around the middle of June. Duke will determine a construction start time, then notify the City when it will begin to convert the light fixtures.

Holbrook has been with the City for more than a year. She was originally hired in customer service but moved into the Administrative Assistant position Oct. 1. She is now moving into the newly created billing specialist position to oversee utility billing issues and concerns.

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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.

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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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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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