3 To Know: Postal Service announces holiday deadlines

Marco Eagle

1. Holiday mail: U.S. Postal Service announces shipping deadlines

The United State Postal Service has once again delivered its traditional holiday message to its customers: “The earlier you send, the better.”

Hanukkah (Dec. 18–Dec. 26), Christmas (Dec. 25) and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26–Jan. 1) means this will be a busy time for the Post Office.

The United State Postal Service has once again delivered its traditional holiday message to its customers: “The earlier you send, the better.”

No matter what you are celebrating, the postal service wants to make sure your gifts and holiday cards get to their destination on time and that means planning ahead. – Mark H. Bickel/Staff

Here are the key shipping dates/deadlines for the 2022 holiday season:

  • USPS Retail Ground — Dec.17
  • First-Class Mail — Dec.17
  • Priority Mail — Dec.19
  • Priority Mail Express — Dec.23

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2. Naples man accused of killing woman with van during domestic dispute, CCSO says

A Naples man faces a murder charge after detectives say he intentionally ran over a woman with his vehicle and killed her Nov. 28.

Donald Lee Whitaker, 50, of the 900 block of 14th Street Southeast, faces a second-degree murder charge, the Collier County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Whitaker and the woman knew each other, officials said. 

Deputies responded to a report of a possible domestic disturbance involving a woman who had been run over by a vehicle in the 1100 block of Dove Tree Street in Golden Gate Estates around 8:40 p.m. Monday.

The driver of a blue minivan, later identified as Whitaker, was outside the vehicle holding the victim as deputies arrived.

A witness told detectives she was on her way to a friend’s house. As she turned onto Dove Tree Street she saw a woman on the ground on the side of the road and a blue minivan. The witness said she exited her car and asked the woman, who was sobbing, if she needed help. The woman said no.

The witness told detectives the minivan “seemed like it was stalking the woman,” so she contacted authorities, reports said.

Whitaker’s next due in court Dec. 27. – Tomas Rodriguez/Staff

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3. Three teens arrested in connection with shooting in Golden Gate, CCSO says

Three Naples teenagers face multiple charges after a man suffered gunshot wounds during a Monday dispute in Golden Gate.

The first male, 17, is charged with shooting a deadly missile into a dwelling; discharge of a firearm from a vehicle; possession of a firearm by a minor; and resisting arrest. 

A second male, also 17, faces charges of discharge of a firearm from a vehicle; possession of a firearm by a minor; and resisting arrest.

The last minor, aged 15, is charged with resisting arrest; possession of marijuana under 20 grams; and possession of narcotic equipment.

Detectives said the three participated in a planned drive-by shooting of a residence on 23rd Court Southwest. The house was the target of a drive-by shooting in June, according to arrest reports. 

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The arrest reports say Nov. 28 surveillance videos show a car driving by the victim's residence multiple times and occupants initiate the shooting while the people in the residence take cover.  

Witnesses saw the three teens crawl from the wreckage of the BMW after it crashed about 350 feet from the incident and added some of the minors were armed with guns as they ran toward 50th Terrace Southwest. They also saw a fourth individual fleeing the car.

The injured minor suffered gunshot wounds in the face and shoulder, and sought help at a nearby residence, deputies said.

Deputies, with assistance from K9, Aviation and Drone units, located the three teens and took them into custody. – Tomas Rodriguez/Staff