110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Beacon Staff
posted Dec 31, 2012 - 11:59:46am
The Deltona Xbox killer Troy Victorino’s appeal for a new trial was denied.
The City of Deltona took a look at the zoning of Dare Wear Adult Superstore, and in February told the adult shop to get out by April 13. Later in the year, the store and the city negotiated conditions that would allow the store, which had been in its current location since before Deltona became a city, to stay.
On Jan. 16, the Occupy movement came to DeLand, to stage peaceful protests and marches along Woodland Boulevard.
Two DeLand men and a dog were shot, and a baby’s foot was grazed by a bullet, by a DeLand police officer Jan. 22 on Carroll Avenue. A 911 caller told authorities there were three men in a backyard with rifles. Officers responded, and told the men to put down the weapons — which were air rifles. The officers opened fire when the two men did not comply. The incident was
DeLand Sears and Orange City Kmart announced their closings.
Brandon Vera, 16, died after he was hit by a car walking to school in Orange City. The community rallied for change to make things safer for children. Residents and officials banded together, and from that moment, through today, have worked to keep the city’s children safer. In a joint government-citizen effort, more signage, more noticeable crosswalks, more traffic enforcement, better lighting, safety-awareness campaigns, and more sidewalks have become realities.
The West Volusia Beacon made the biggest expansion of its history, adding Beacon Southwest as a subsidiary newspaper. The Southwest was sent to 20,000 homes in Deltona, DeBary and Orange City. The Southwest later expanded to The Beacon Extra, which is still delivered to the Southwest Volusia area, but also inserted as an “extra” feature in issues of The West Volusia Beacon sent to subscribers.
After years of planning, DeBary broke ground on the SunRail station.
Neighboring city Sanford was rocked after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in late February while walking to a relative’s house at night.
A letter of complaint was sent to the City of DeLand about the annual tradition of sidewalk crosses. Local merchants have allowed churches to put wooden crosses in front of their businesses, and the night before Easter, the churches’ congregations decorated the crosses. The city’s response to the complaint was to treat the crosses as it would any other sidewalk sign or display — and disallowed them. The crosses were allowed to be attached to buildings.
On March 17, two 14-year-old girls were hit by a car while walking to one of the girls’ homes. Rachel Russell survived; Julianna Hobbes died. The person who hit them was not identified. Months later, Danielle Halverson would be arrested for leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a death. Halverson killed herself in December.
Mainstreet Grill manager Tom Walsh was brutally murdered in the Downtown DeLand restaurant shortly after closing time March 31.
The man police identified as Walsh’s killer, James Seagraves, and Seagraves’ pregnant girlfriend, Kayla Nemoto, were found dead, apparently in a mutual suicide, after a police standoff in Hillsborough County May 10.
A small experimental aircraft crashed into the roof of the Northgate Publix in DeLand April 2, sending a fireball ripping through the store. Five people were injured, including the pilot and a passenger. One of the two men in the plane, Kim Presbrey, succumbed to his injuries May 26.
DeLand mourned the sudden loss of two local businessmen: Lynn Purnell of Purnell’s Window Washing, and Tommy Krist, owner of Airport Restaurant and Gin Mill.
Stetson University announced a partnership with the Museum of Florida Art to enable the university’s theater program to operate in the museum’s building at 600 N. Woodland Blvd.
The drought continued.
Volusia County became the first county in Central Florida to implement a domestic-partner registry, extending benefits normally reserved for family, such as the right to be involved in health-care decisions, to unmarried partners.
DeLand High School’s yearbook, The Athenian, came out with some controversial content, including students speaking candidly about recreational drug use and sex.
Stetson University announced its intention to demolish historic Stover Theatre.
The street-preacher controversy erupted again in Downtown DeLand when a merchant fed up with the preachers’ shouting turned up the volume on his shop’s stereo.
History was made in Pierson when two Hispanic women announced plans to run for seats on the Town Council. Both ultimately lost.
Carl Persis resigned from the Volusia County Council because of a requirement in his retirement plan.
DeLand was recognized as one of the top six most patriotic cities by the Rand McNally Road Atlas.
The DeLand City Commission approved the demolition of Stover Theatre.
DeLand rejoiced when the Northgate Publix reopened June 28.
As local governments and special taxing jurisdictions moved to fine-tune their budgets for the next fiscal year, the Volusia County Property Appraiser’s Office released the 2012 tax roll that showed another decline in property values. The county’s tax base totaled $23.7 billion, down from the $24.1 billion tax roll of 2011.
In a continuing story of environmental degradation, more wells in DeLand’s Country Club Estates were found to be contaminated with dieldrin. The toxic chemical was first detected in the private wells of homes in the golf-course neighborhood in 2011. Dieldrin may cause cancer and other health problems.
As some local governments moved to reduce costs, the Deltona City Commission incurred the wrath of many of its people, by raising the trash-collection charge from $132 to $173. The largest city in Volusia County also kept its first-place ranking of having the highest property-tax rate in the county. The commission set the 2012-13 levy at 7.99 mills, or $7.99 per thousand dollars of taxable value.
One of DeLand’s favorite moderately priced eateries closed. Denny’s abruptly shut its doors at 1810 S. Woodland Blvd. The closing of Denny’s came amid other closings of area restaurants during the year, including Sonic drive-ins in DeLand and Orange City, and Pier 16 in Orange City.
As the political season commanded more attention, people in Orange City and elsewhere were treated to a rather curious episode that combined high-tech and low thinking. Orange City Council Member Tom Abraham was accused of using a city-supplied iPad for keeping pictures of females and detailing his private thoughts about women.
Stetson University tore down another landmark on its campus. Stover Theatre was demolished, after university officials determined the building would be too expensive to renovate. Built in 1930, Stover Theatre was used by generations of Stetson drama students for practice and plays attended by DeLand audiences.
The demolition of Stover Theatre came one year after Stetson University tore down Stetson Hall, long used as a women’s dormitory.
The Volusia County Council approved the development of a major retail project in Osteen. The shopping complex is to be anchored by a 28,000-square-foot feed and farm-supply store. To make the project viable, however, the complex will need water from Deltona, and receiving municipal utility service may make the Osteen property subject to annexation into Deltona, something many of Osteen’s rural folk oppose.
The 2012 political campaign intensified at all levels. Local Democrats had to scramble to find a replacement for former Deltona Mayor Dennis Mulder, who dropped out of the race for the Florida House of Representatives District 27 seat. Mulder exited the race because of concerns about his son’s health. The local party ultimately settled on former Volusia County Council Member Phil Giorno as the substitute for Mulder, whose name remained on the November ballot. (A vote for Mulder was actually a vote for Giorno.) In any event, former Deltona City Commissioner David Santiago, a Republican, won the House post in the Nov. 6 election.
The DeLand Country Club closed, after some 90 years in business. The 18-hole course offered generations of professional golfers and duffers a place to hone their driving and putting skills and to socialize. The Country Club’s directors blamed the slumping economy for the club’s demise.
Amid continuing economic doldrums and declining enrollment, the Volusia County School Board adopted a 2012-13 budget totaling $766.5 million and a property-tax rate of 7.89 mills. Both the new budget and the ad valorem levy were lower than the ones the board had set for the prior fiscal year. Board members and administrators said they had worked to cut the budget without sacrificing vital educational programs and current employees.
Could olives be West Volusia’s next big crop? Richard Williams of Florida Olive Systems planted more than 11,000 olive trees on a 20-acre experimental grove in DeLeon Springs.
If successful, the grove could be the beginning of new agriculture to replace West Volusia’s vanishing orange groves.
Voters turned out to vote Nov. 6, despite long lines at some polling places, and the results promise to transform Volusia County and state governments.
Dark horse Jason Davis beat out longtime County Council Member Carl Persis for Volusia County chair. Deb Denys won the District 3 seat, and Doug Daniels won District 4 — after a recount, because the vote between him and Shannon McLeish was so close — less than half a percentage point of difference. The new council members will be sworn in during the Thursday, Jan. 10, County Council meeting that begins at 9 a.m. in the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center at 123 W. Indiana Ave. in DeLand.
The election brought three new members to the Deltona City Commission: Webster Barnaby, representing District 2; Nancy Schleicher, representing District 4; and Chris Nabicht, representing District 6.
Democrat Frank Bruno, longtime Volusia County chair, lost his bid for state Senate District 8 to Republican Dorothy Hukill. Republican David Santiago won Florida House District 27 over Democrat Phil Giorno.
Nationally, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, won a second term in the White House, defeating Republican contender Mitt Romney.
During the Nov. 7 City Council meeting, DeBary City Council members voted unanimously to censure Mayor Bob Garcia, finding he violated proper procedures and repeatedly made disparaging remarks about City Council members to the public and press. New rules for mileage reimbursement and other procedures are now in place.
Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach is eyeing Deltona as a site for a branch campus.
DeLand police raided Animal Rescue Konsortium (ARK) Nov. 8, citing concerns about too many animals and lack of proper care for them at the facility. ARK founder Maggi Hall and the City of DeLand reached an agreement during a Nov. 19 court hearing that left 135 seized animals in the custody of the city. Hall continues to operate the rescue-and-placement organization.
The Deltona Wolves became national champions after winning the Pop Warner Junior Midget Division II national championship Dec. 7.
The tragic shootings of 26 people, mostly young children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut reverberated through Volusia County, as it did the rest of the nation. The Volusia County School District reviewed safety in the schools, and teachers are keeping classroom doors locked at all times, among required safety procedures.
The dialogue about gun control renewed, with The Beacon reporting views of West Volusians on the matter. Candlelight vigils took place around Volusia County.
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