W Franklin George RichardsonMarch 23, 2023 - ALACHUA, Fla. – Franklin George Richardson, 20, was arrested yesterday and charged with accessory to murder after the fact and conspiracy to purchase a controlled substance in connection with the murder of Jaquan Robinson in Alachua on Dec. 9, 2022.

Lacorrin Raheem Calhoun, 20, was arrested on Dec. 22 and charged with shooting Robinson. Calhoun, who was shot during the incident, had called 911 and was found in a field just behind the area where the shooting took place; he was transported to the hospital and interviewed there.

Later that evening, a witness identified Richardson as the person who drove Calhoun to the shooting location. The witness reportedly said that Richardson arrived in his black Chrysler car, backed in next to the victim’s car, and got out to speak to the victim and his friend. Calhoun allegedly shot the victim just behind the victim’s car, and Richardson reportedly drove away, leaving Calhoun behind.

Alachua Police Department Detectives made contact with Richardson later that night at his residence, where they reportedly found a black Chrysler 200 with bullet holes on the driver’s side rear quarter panel. Richardson reportedly admitted that he was involved in the incident but said he had just dropped Calhoun off; he said he was unaware of Calhoun’s intentions. Detectives reportedly did not believe that he left as soon as Calhoun got out of his car because the bullet holes were consistent with the witness’s account that Richardson had backed in. Richardson then reportedly changed his story, saying he backed in but left as soon as he greeted the victim’s cousin, who was sitting in the victim’s car. Richardson reportedly said he wasn’t aware that his car had been shot.

In a second interview on a later date, Richardson reportedly said again that he didn’t know why Calhoun needed a ride; he also said he didn’t see Calhoun with a weapon and didn’t know Calhoun was going there to buy drugs.

The man who brokered the drug transaction reportedly agreed to speak to detectives, and he said he saw Franklin back in next to the victim’s car, get out of the car, and speak with the victim’s cousin. He reportedly said that the victim gave Calhoun the drugs, and Calhoun faked a CashApp transaction and put the drugs in Richardson’s lap after Richardson got back into his car. He said the victim took the drugs back from Richardson and walked back to the trunk of his own car, where Calhoun shot him multiple times, then Richardson drove away.

An informant reportedly told detectives that Calhoun told him what happened, and his story reportedly contained details that had not been made public. The informant reportedly said that Calhoun planned to rob the victim of the drugs and had already decided to shoot the victim if he resisted. The informant said that Richardson agreed to help Calhoun with the robbery and had a gun that was provided by Calhoun.

Richardson has no criminal history; Judge James Colaw set bail at $550,000 in the arrest warrant, and Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at that same amount during Richardson’s first appearance.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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W Jerrica Lashay Armstrong 2

By JENNIFER CABRERA/Alachua Chronicle

March 21, 2023 - ARCHER, Fla.– Jerrica LaShay Armstrong, 27, was arrested yesterday on a warrant for allegedly shooting at another woman on Saturday in Archer; an Alachua County Sheriff’s K-9 apprehended her after she was reportedly found hiding in the woods near her residence.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a home in Archer Saturday night, where Armstrong’s on-and-off girlfriend reportedly told them that she and Armstrong had argued about breaking up and about upcoming depositions for pending charges of aggravated child abuse against Armstrong. A pre-trial release order in the child abuse case prohibits Armstrong from being at the home she shares with the victim and from possessing firearms.

Another adult in the home told deputies that she heard the two women arguing and heard Armstrong say, “Let something happen to me on Monday, I will kill you.”

During the argument, Armstrong allegedly battered the victim and broke several items in the house, so the victim told the other adult to take the children out to her car. Armstrong followed them outside and reportedly took a backpack from her own car; the victim reportedly said Armstrong is known to keep a handgun in the backpack. The other adult also saw Armstrong pick up the backpack, and she reportedly walked toward a neighbor’s house where she knew there was a camera.

As the victim drove away, both the victim and the other adult heard a single gunshot, although neither was looking at Armstrong at the time. No bullet holes were found on the victim’s vehicle.

Armstrong was charged via sworn complaint with domestic battery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and tampering with a witness; Judge Lorelie Brannan issued a warrant for her arrest on March 19 with a bond amount of $125,000.

When deputies arrived at the residence with a K-9 yesterday evening, they reportedly made announcements at the front door, then searched the residence and did not find Armstrong inside. A K-9 reportedly located Armstrong hiding in the woods behind the house; she was reportedly challenged at gunpoint, but she allegedly ignored the announcements and fled toward other houses. She was apprehended by a K-9. She was charged with resisting arrest without violence.

Armstrong has one felony conviction (violent) and one misdemeanor conviction (not violent), along with the pending child abuse charges. Judge Walter Green set bail at $175,000 with a condition that she be fitted with an ankle monitor upon release.

ASO has released this video about the incident.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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HAWTHORNE - Isaidoro Dennis Webb, 47, was arrested on Wednesday, March 8, and charged with sexual assault according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

W Isaidoro Dennis WebbAccording to a release from Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, detectives were contacted on March 8 by a victim that had been sexually assaulted. The victim was unsure of the suspect’s name but was able to provide deputies with a nickname and some unique features of his residence.

Using the available information, deputies were able to identify the suspect as Webb, who is a registered Sexual Offender in the State of Florida with three felony convictions and 11 misdemeanor convictions.

A search warrant was conducted on Webb’s residence, and he was arrested.

Judge Mark Moseley set bail at $100,000.

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ALACHUA ‒ Every year in the first week of March, The American Red Cross holds the Stick A Fork in Cancer event at restaurants across the country. The event is part of their Relay for Life movement, which is one of the largest peer-to-peer fundraising events in the world. For more than 35 years, communities have come together to raise funds for a future free from cancer through research and new treatments.

The Stick A Fork in Cancer events pair local restaurants with celebrities or city leaders doing shifts as servers in the restaurant. The Mi Apa Restaurant in Alachua has been involved with the program since 2017. All proceeds from food sales and tips are donated to the Relay For life foundation during this special lunch event featuring the guest servers. In addition, Mi Apa also donates 25 percent of all proceeds for the rest of the day.

This year, City of Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper, Vice Mayor Jennifer Blalock, Commissioners Dayna Miller and Edward Potts and City Manager Mike DaRoza volunteered and served food and drink to the packed lunch time crowd. The funds raised from this campaign will support groundbreaking cancer research, education and prevention programs, and critical services for people facing cancer.

After the event, Mi Apa's social media account offered thanks, reading “Our managers and city commissioners became servers for a good cause, serving delicious Cuban food and raising funds to support Relay for Life's efforts in fighting cancer with the Stick A Fork in Cancer event. We're proud to stand together in the fight against cancer, and we couldn't do it without our wonderful community.”

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HIGH SPRINGS ‒ The City of High Springs is expanding the City’s service area and provide water and wastewater services along County Road 236 up to the Interstate 75/CR 236 interchange — an area just outside the city limits. The City Commission approved an ordinance creating a Utility District at the March 9 City Commission meeting.

“Extending services to the interchange will help support water and wastewater services in High Springs and may lower costs for residents,” said City Manager Ashley Stathatos. In addition, it will encourage development of the interchange area.

Prompting discussion was a $2.4 million wastewater grant obtained through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to construct a wastewater service line along the three-mile section of CR 236.

High Springs is also working on a second grant submittal that could piggy-back onto the first project. This grant application is through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and would allow the City to lay water service lines along the same pipeline. “The cost savings of laying both lines at the same time is significant,” said Stathatos.

Should the application be successful, it would allow the City to provide regional water and wastewater services to existing and future commercial businesses and residential homeowners. The project would also provide water and wastewater revenue to the City. As property owners routinely use septic tanks for waste disposal in this area, the state is attempting to get as many properties onto wastewater services as possible to reduce the chance of septic tanks leaching nitrogen and phosphorus into the aquifer.

A few citizens living in the area impacted by the path of the lines expressed concern that the City would force them to hook up to City water and sewer services whether they wanted to hook up or not.

Although the ordinance was passed on first reading with the caveat that property owners within 250 feet of the lines would be required to hook up, Commissioners discussed modifying that requirement if the grant is awarded to High Springs.

Assistant City Manager Bruce Gillingham said there are large businesses that have inquired about developing in the I-75/CR 236 interchange area, but have been deterred by the lack of municipal services available in the area. He said provision of these services will greatly enhance opportunities for development and job growth.

This matter is expected to be heard on second reading at a City Commission meeting in April.

In other City business, the Commission appointed Commissioner Tristan Grunder to serve as liaison between the City and the Opioid Task Force. Grunder is a 15-year law enforcement officer with expertise in handling drug-related issues.

This appointment follows the Commission’s earlier approval of an interlocal agreement between High Springs and other Alachua County municipalities to create an awareness campaign regarding the opioid crisis and educate the public on opioid addiction and treatment. As part of the interlocal agreement, each city appoints one person to sit on an awareness campaign committee.

On another matter, Grunder expressed concern that the High Springs Police Department is using Vietnam War-era rifles and suggested the City expend $35,000 of the remaining nearly $370,000 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to upgrade their weaponry. The Commission tasked Police Chief Antoine Sheppard with providing an updated quote by the next meeting on the cost of replacing the Department’s weapons.

In other City business, the Commission unanimously voted to accept the 2020-21 fiscal year audit. “The independent accountants’ examination report concluded that the City is in compliance with Local Government Investment Policies for the year that ended Sept. 30, 2021,” said Stathatos. Their findings also indicated areas for improvement as staff changes occurred during the fiscal year.

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NEWBERRY – The Newberry City Commission on March 13 approved impact fees based on a recent study of fees focused on impacts to public buildings and multi-modal transportation. The decision was based on study results of fees for new construction as well as impact fees imposed by other Florida cities and Alachua County.

The purpose of impact fees is to pay for future growth as a one-time fee collected for new construction. To offset the impact to developers who may already be in the process of developing residential or commercial properties. Newberry’s impact fees will not apply to a developer who has already had construction plans approved by the City.

The Commission unanimously approved the ordinance on first reading at 80 percent of the maximum amount listed by the impact fee study. The fees will be increased by 10 percent every year for the next two years. This item will be heard again on second reading at the March 27 City Commission meeting.

In other business, the Commission considered three properties planned as part of a future environmental park. This issue underwent extended discussion at the March 6 Planning and Zoning Board meeting. However, only one citizen expressed concern at the March 13 City Commission meeting.

The Commission approved Ordinance 2023-09, a large-scale Future Land Use Map Amendment, consisting of two parcels totaling 96 +/- acres. The amendment will be transmitted for expedited review with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Once the state returns the amendment, usually within 30 days, the City Commission will hear the item again on second reading. If approved by the Commission again, the ordinance will change the future land use classification from Agriculture to Public.

The property is intended to be used as part of a development earmarked for expansion of the municipal wastewater treatment facility, an educational wetland exhibit and retention area, a county/regional household hazardous waste disposal facility, a firefighter training facility, a potential composting site and a small-farm meat processing facility.

The site is located on the east side of County Road 336/Southwest 266th Street, between Southwest 18th Road and Southwest 30th Avenue and is addressed as 2105, 2429 and 2617 Southwest 266th Street.

The Commission also approved related Ordinance No. 2023-10, an amendment to the Future Land Use Plan Map to change the classification from Agriculture to Public, on the 2.5 +/- acres, currently used as the municipal cemetery.

The third ordinance, Ordinance 2023-11, to rezone the total 217 +/- acres from Agricultural (A) and Residential, Single-Family (RSF-2) to Public Facilities (PF) was also approved by the Commission.

The 217 acres includes the 96-acre site identified for the wastewater treatment facility expansion and future environmental park and the remaining 121 acres that are the existing municipal cemetery and existing wastewater treatment facility. Final approval of this ordinance is based on final approval of the two prior amendments.

Ordinance 2023-13 was approved on first reading and is an application by the City to amend the Official Zoning Atlas by changing the zoning designation from Residential, Single-Family (RSF-2) to Public Facilities (PF) on 4.3 +/- acres located at 120 N.W. 260th Street. This is the Public Works facility, and the change aligns the use of the property with the proper zoning classification.

The Commission unanimously approved an application by Marcus Hayes and Carlos Gonzalez of Always Bet on Yourself Franchise, LLC, agents for the Ross family, to conduct an outdoor concert and festival, the proceeds of which are to benefit the Kids in Positive Places charitable organization. The event address is 304 S.W. 174th Street and will encompass several parcels owned by the Ross family. The concert/festival will operate from 1 – 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 9.

Hayes provided a parking and traffic circulation sketch and said he will be contracting with the Alachua County Sheriff for traffic control on Newberry Road. He plans to have a dedicated staff on-site to direct parking and will hire private security.

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HIGH SPRINGS ‒ On March 25, 10 bands will lend their musical talents to help raise money for the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB) at the High Springs Lions Club. The High Springs Lions Club, located at 26900 W. U.S. Highway 27, has a long history of over 50 years helping those in need and sponsoring events to raise money for charitable causes.

Internationally, Lions Clubs provide funding for research and medical or disaster needs throughout the world. The High Springs Lions Club works both locally and nationally to help those in need. They use the motto “In Service to Others and When there's a need there's a Lion.”

One of the ways the High Springs Lions Club raises money is by hosting concerts at their large outdoor stage on the Club's grounds, Santa Fe Festival Field. Over the years they have hosted concerts for hurricane relief and veterans’ organizations, among others. On March 25, the Club is sponsoring Feel the Music concert to benefit the FSDB. Striving to keep admission affordable, the club set $10 for an entire day of music.

Based in St. Augustine, Florida, the FSDB was founded in 1885. It is the only school of its kind in Florida and is considered one of the best in the nation. The school provides free public education and life skills for sensory impaired children of all ages.

And since FSDB is a public school, education is provided at no cost to the families, as well as housing for those students living outside the local area. Students living locally ride a bus home each day. The school is 93 percent state funded with private donations adding the remaining seven percent. Those donations supply some of the extras such as life skill classes, tutoring, books in Braille, playgrounds, music and performing arts. Seventy-five percent of the students at the FSDB qualify for free and reduced cost lunches. The Lions Club is raising funds for expenses that state funding does not cover.

On March 25 the gates will open at 11 a.m. and the music will start at noon. In addition to the music, the Club will also offer food and beverages for purchase with all profits from food sales going to the school. Also on tap are vendors, an auction and raffles.

The Club suggests that people bring their own lawn chairs, but no coolers and no pets except service dogs. The show will open with Ellen Bukstel and Marc Severance. After that, the schedule in order of appearance will be Cameron Wheaton, Crooked Council, Houston Keen, Black River Harvesters, Southern Burn, Steel Tumbleweed, Little Bit More, Hog Town Slayers and ending the night with Big Rascal.

Additional information can be found at the High Springs Lions Club Facebook page or by calling 386-454-4521

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