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ALACHUA ‒ Ronald Darrick Carlisle, 44, from Alachua, was arrested early Saturday, July 30, after he allegedly fired a shotgun at neighbors who were looking for their dog. Carlisle was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

At about 2 a.m. Saturday morning, a father and son who were neighbors of Carlisle’s in Alachua, drove to Carlisle’s property to look for a missing dog. When they arrived at the front of Carlisle’s residence, Carlisle allegedly discharged a double-barreled shotgun in the air because he didn’t recognize them.

When he recognized them, the three reportedly engaged in a conversation in which Carlisle reportedly said that not only did he have the dog, but he also had an ATV 4-wheeler belonging to the victim, and they could get it back if they paid him $20. The conversation escalated into an argument. When the victim approached Carlisle, Carlisle allegedly pointed the shotgun at him and said he was “waiting for a good reason to blow his brains out.”

The victim then walked over to the ATV to take it back. When he touched the ATV, Carlisle allegedly fired the shotgun in the air a second time. The victim backed off, but when he tried to touch the ATV a second time, Carlisle allegedly pointed the shotgun at the tires of the ATV and said, “I’m going to shoot the tires.”

The victims told an Alachua County Sheriff’s deputy that they then went back to their vehicle and left, with Carlisle allegedly continuing to point the shotgun at them.

Deputies made contact with Carlisle at his residence, and Carlisle reportedly admitted to pointing the shotgun at the victim but claimed it was for self-defense. He also reportedly claimed that the victim had a firearm and fired it at the front of his property.

Carlisle has two felony convictions. He was sentenced to four months in the county jail in December 2021 for possession of cocaine. He has been released on $25,000 bail.

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HIGH SPRINGS ‒ A 29-year-old Lake City woman and four children, also from Lake City, went to Shands Hospital with serious injuries after an Aug. 1 crash. The 3 p.m. accident happened after the 2004 Ford sport utility vehicle blew a tire on Interstate 75, just north of the High Springs Exit at mile marker 406.

When the rear tire blew out, the driver lost control of the vehicle, which traveled onto the west grass shoulder where it overturned multiple times, ejecting one passenger. The children, all females, were 7 months old, 4, 5 and 11 years of age.

Although the driver was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, the Florida Highway Patrol states the 7-month-old child as not belted in and was ejected during the crash. It is unknown whether the 4-, 5- or 11-year-old girls were wearing seatbelts at the time.

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ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ Beginning on Monday, Aug. 8, Alachua County voters will be able to return their completed vote-by-mail ballot to a Secure Ballot Intake Station located at the Supervisor of Elections Office from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

From Monday, Aug. 8 until Friday, Aug. 12, voters can only return their vote-by-mail ballot to the Supervisor of Elections Office. However, from Aug. 13 to Aug. 20, voters will be able to return their ballot to a Secure Ballot Intake Station located at any of Alachua County's seven early voting location between the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After early voting ends on Aug. 20, voters can still return their vote-by-mail ballot to the Secure Ballot Intake Station located at the Supervisor of Elections Office on Sunday, Aug. 21 and Monday, Aug. 22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Election Day (Aug. 23), the Secure Ballot Intake Station will only be available at the Supervisor of Elections Office from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the 2022 Primary Election has not passed. Voters can request a vote-by-mail ballot for the Primary Election until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13. Vote-by-mail ballots can be requested online, in person, by phone, fax, mail or email. Until the deadline, vote-by-mail ballot requests will be processed as they are received.

The Supervisor of Elections Office must receive domestic vote-by-mail ballots by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Aug. 23). Voters who vote by mail are encouraged to mail their completed ballot well in advance of Election Day to give the ballot ample time to arrive at the Supervisor of Elections Office before the deadline. Voters should also verify that their voter information and signature are up to date before they return their ballot if they have moved or their signature has changed.

Any voter who does not sign their vote-by-mail ballot or whose signature on the vote-by-mail ballot certificate does not match the signature in their voter record will be contacted by the Supervisor of Elections Office and provided the opportunity to correct their ballot. Per Florida Statutes, voters have until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25 to complete an affidavit to correct a vote-by-mail ballot that does not have a signature or has a signature that does not match the voter's signature on file.

For more information, contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252.

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ALACHUA COUNTY - With schools starting next week, Alachua County Fire Rescue would like to share important tips about back-to-school safety. We must all do our part to keep our children safe. 
 
While driving, pay attention to school zones and be sure to follow the speed limit. Be aware of children crossing the street around schools, playgrounds, neighborhoods and other areas. Share the road with buses. Never pass a bus if it is stopped to pick up or drop off children.
 
If your child takes the bus or uses another transportation service, be sure to review their routes with them. Teach children to stand six feet away (or three large steps) from the curb while waiting for their vehicle. Remind children to never walk behind the bus and to stay vigilant at all times.
 
For children who walk to and from school, remind them to walk on a sidewalk whenever possible. Make sure children stop and look left, right and left again whenever crossing a street. Children should check for vehicles before walking at a crosswalk or intersection. If your child rides a bike, they should ride on the right side of the road. They should make a complete stop before crossing a street and always wear a helmet.
 
Find out more information about back-to-school safety.

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ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ Families of Alachua County Public School students are invited to hear critical information about such ‘hot topics’ as mental health, school safety and attendance and to learn more about the many services and programs available in the community at the 2022 Family Empowerment Summit, sponsored by Florida Credit Union.

The free summit is set for Monday, Aug. 8 at Trinity United Methodist Church at 4000 N.W. 53rd Avenue. More than 30 community agencies will be sharing information during the Family Resources Fair from 5 to 6 p.m. A program that will include expert speakers and presentations and performances by students will run from 6 to 8 p.m.

Free meals will be provided to the first 250 people in attendance. There will also be activities for children and prize giveaways.

More information about speakers and a list of the community agencies that will be at the Summit is available at: https://sites.google.com/gm.sbac.edu/empowerment/home. It’s also accessible through the district’s main page at www.sbac.edu through the 2022 Family Empowerment Summit banner at the top of the page.

The program from 6 to 8 p.m. will be livestreamed, although obviously the livestreaming won’t include the resource fair. The link to the livestream will be: https://youtu.be/5WMx1q39Ue0

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GAINESVILLE – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will temporarily close the I-75 southbound rest area at Paynes Prairie Tuesday, August 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the I-75 northbound rest area at Paynes Prairie Wednesday, August 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to allow for routine maintenance, weather and schedule permitting.

The next rest area for northbound traffic is in Columbia County at mile marker 413 and the next rest area for southbound traffic is in Marion County at mile marker 346

August means back to school! Kids walk, bike, and wait for the school bus in the early morning hours. Motorists should always obey school speed zone limits and never drive distracted. Help keep our kids safe! Learn more about Florida’s statewide initiative to reduce transportation-related crashes by visiting TargetZeroFL.com.

Drivers seeking real-time traffic alerts are encouraged to visit www.FL511.com or download the FL511 app prior to their journey.

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ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ Five Alachua County youth representing the state of Florida came in third in the National 4-H Forestry Invitational held in West Virginia. 

Abigail Pruden, Maria Feliciano, Alessandra Quintana, Luke Pinter and Kaity Eubanks competed against other states’ teams in several events, including tree identification, tree measurement, insect identification, topographical map use and more. 

Florida 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Florida/IFAS Extension. 

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