Last updateMon, 16 Jan 2017 3pm

Alachua Woman Battered by Ex-Boyfriend

ALACHUA – The Alachua Police Department (APD) responded to a reported burglary and domestic abuse at 2:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 15. The female victim reported she had been battered by her ex-boyfriend.

According to an APD report, “Montravis Devon English entered [the victim’s] residence through a window located in a child's bedroom. Once inside, English proceeded to strike the victim in the head, face, chest, and back causing injury. English then used a stun gun on the victim before she was able to break free from the residence.”

When officers arrived, English barricaded himself inside the residence and armed himself with a knife, refusing officer’s commands to come out of the home.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) and the High Springs Police Department responded to assist. An ACSO crisis negotiator talked with English, who eventually surrendered.

Once English was detained, officers entered the residence and found that clothing, furniture, and other items inside had been destroyed by English.

The victim's three children, ages three, four and five, were in the home, located near Sherwood Oaks Apartments, during the attack, but were uninjured. The victim received medical attention at the scene, but was not hospitalized according to Sgt. Jesse Sandusky, APD Public Information Officer.

English was arrested and charged with Burglary, Domestic Battery, and Criminal Mischief. He remains at the Alachua County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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High Springs Man Arrested on Burglary Charge

HIGH SPRINGS – A 20-year-old High Springs man remains in jail under $15,000 bond on suspicion of burglarizing an Ice Cube Express self-service ice machine.

Ashton Thomas Hess, was arrested by High Springs Police Department (HSPD) officers and was taken to the Alachua County Jail on Friday.

The machine, located at Poe Springs Road and High Springs Main St., 18232 N.W. 237th Street, has experienced several burglaries over the past few weeks. As a result, HSPD encouraged the business owner to install surveillance cameras at the location.

On Sept. 9 at approximately 2 a.m., the suspect struck the business and successfully stole approximately $30 from the ice machine. According to HSPD, the defendant was captured on video surveillance and was subsequently identified. Less than 10 hours after the burglary occurred, Hess was booked into the jail on charges of Burglary and Petit Theft.

At the time of this report, Hess remains unsentenced. HSPD is investigating two other burglaries at the same location on Sept. 3 and 5. The suspect was unarmed at the time of his arrest according to his jail intake documents.

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Bigger Paychecks for High Springs Employees

HIGH SPRINGS – The City of High Springs 2016/2017 fiscal year budget will provide increases for employees who have previously taken pay cuts or not seen raises in the past few years.

“We are trying to bring our employees closer to the amounts paid by other municipalities of comparable size,” said Ed Booth, City Manager.

“Our long-term employees have seen salary cuts and, due to efforts to balance the budget, have not received raises to keep them up to a competitive level with other cities our size.”

This year's budget will see salary increases of three percent across the board for regular employees, $5,000 for supervisory staff and an increase in the city manager's salary from $75,000 to $85,000 per year.

Increases in population and construction in the community are helping to pay for salary improvements. Building and inspection fees paid into the City coffers for building construction projects have increased significantly in the past couple of years. Additional revenue sharing by the State comprises other income.

“We have increased our population by 560 people in the past five years,” said Booth. “Proportionally, our revenue sharing with the state has increased because of that.

“The University of Florida does a survey every year for the State and every five years for the purpose of revenue sharing.”

Salary increases will be reflected in the first pay period of the new fiscal year, which begins in November.

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Alachua Biotech Firm receives FDA Acceptance of Investigational New Drug Application

ALACHUA – CTD Holdings, Inc., an Alachua based biotechnology company that develops cyclodextrin-based products for the treatment of disease, announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its Investigational New Drug application (IND) for its orphan drug product Trappsol® Cyclo™ in the treatment of Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. CTD will be initiating a Phase I study to investigate safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic parameters and pharmacological effects of the intravenous administration of Trappsol® Cyclo™, CTD's hydroxypropyl beta cyclodextrin. Trappsol® Cyclo™ has Orphan Drug Designation in both the EU and the US.

“We are pleased to see Trappsol® Cyclo™ moving into its first formal clinical trial,” said N. Scott Fine, CTD Chairman and CEO. “With patients soon to be enrolled in the US, and with the Phase I/II Clinical Trial Application under review in the UK, this is an exciting time for our company and all stakeholders, and most importantly for the NPC families who are waiting for approved cyclodextrin-based treatments.”

Niemann-Pick Type C is a rare and fatal genetic disease that impacts primarily children but is increasingly diagnosed in older patients who may live with this disability for many years. NPC impacts the brain and major organs through abnormal accumulation of cholesterol in cells.

The randomized, double-blinded study will be centered at one site, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, and is expected to enroll 12 patients over the age of 18. It will examine two dosage levels of Trappsol® Cyclo™, 1500 mg/kgBW and 2500 mg/kgBW, administered intravenously, and will examine outcome measures on cholesterol synthesis and cholesterol storage in major organs, including the liver. “We were pleased by the level of cooperation and input from FDA as we finalized our study design,” said Dr. Sharon H. Hrynkow, CTD's Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs. More information on the study parameters will be posted to

“This approval is the culmination of years of work by many families and physicians along with CTD and other partners,” said Dr. Caroline Hastings, Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. “It is an honor to lead the formal clinical trial of IV administration of Trappsol® Cyclo™, the same cyclodextrin product used in named patient programs going back to 2009.”

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Archer City-Wide Recreation Program on the Rise

   ARCHER – The City of Archer took its first public step forward last Friday in reviving its youth recreation program for the first time in several years.
   The City hosted its version of “Friday Night Lights” with a sports camp geared toward children of all ages and spearheaded by City Manager Zeriah Folston.
   “It was for all kids to just come out and have a good time so that we can get a scale of what we have to work with in Archer,” said Savonte Hunt, a heavily involved volunteer and Archer native who also helps run the Gainesville GTM Black Stallions youth football and cheerleading organization.
   Hunt said it’s been a handful of years since Archer attempted to run its own recreation program, but he is excited about the passion Folston – who was hired as Archer’s City Manager in February – is bringing to the endeavor.
“He actually got out there [Friday] and helped coach some basketball and wasn’t worried about how many kids showed up,” Hunt said about Folston.
The immediate goal the City has in mind is participating in youth flag football beginning in September for ages 6 through 10.  The hope after that is that interest is piqued enough among residents to then pursue basketball and baseball.
   “The goal is to create something for the kids and parents to do, to bring some excitement back into our city,” Hunt said.  “By doing this, we are then able to create a better relationship with the people in town and influence kids through sports and other educational means to excel in life.”
The City’s long-term goals also aren’t necessarily limited to youth.
   “We would really like to do something for adults as well,” Hunt said.  “Archer and our surrounding cities are big on adult softball and basketball leagues, and we would love to do something like that to represent our hometown.”
For now, Hunt said the primary focus is on spreading the word to Archer residents that people are active and invested in coordinating a recreation program.
   “Our main concern is getting [residents] to know and be just as excited as we are to get things back in order,” he said.  “For any city to grow, you have to invest in the youth, and Archer is doing just that.”
   For more information on the Archer youth recreation program and upcoming events, please contact Archer City Hall at 352-495-2880.

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