Business

Wed
08
Mar

Tax-filing scam season in full swing

Tax-filing scam season in full swing

Tax-filing scam season in full swing

With just over a month to go before the federal income-tax-filing deadline, experts are warning taxpayers about scams and illegal activity.

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued its “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams. Identity theft topped the list, but the IRS said phone scams and phishing schemes also are prevalent.

“Taxpayers need to guard against any ploys to steal their personal information, scam them out of money or talk them into engaging in questionable behavior with their taxes,” the revenue service said in a news release.

Dr. Valrie Chambers, an associate professor of taxation and accounting at Stetson University, said she feels the most egregious scams are the ones perpetrated on the most vulnerable people — the elderly, young college students, immigrants, and those with little financial education.

Wed
01
Mar

SunTrust closing six branch offices

Building for sale — SunTrust Bank shuttered this branch office at 302 E. New York Ave. in DeLand in late January and will put the property on the market, according to a bank spokesman.

Building for sale — SunTrust Bank shuttered this branch office at 302 E. New York Ave. in DeLand in late January and will put the property on the market, according to a bank spokesman.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

Notification — A sign on the door tells SunTrust customers where they can do in-person banking, now that this branch on East New York Avenue in DeLand has closed.

Notification — A sign on the door tells SunTrust customers where they can do in-person banking, now that this branch on East New York Avenue in DeLand has closed.

Atlanta-based regional bank SunTrust has closed two branch offices in Volusia County so far this year, with four more to be shuttered in the near future.

An office at 302 E. New York Ave. was closed Jan. 24, and one on Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange shut its doors Feb. 7, said SunTrust spokesman Hugh Suhr.

Upcoming are the shuttering of branches at 111 North Causeway in New Smyrna Beach (April 11), 2300 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach Shores (April 25), 1510 Ridgewood Ave. in Holly Hill (May 9), and 892 Deltona Blvd. in Deltona (also May 9). After the closings, SunTrust will have 16 full-service branch offices in Volusia County, Suhr said.

SunTrust has two branches remaining in DeLand (201 E. International Speedway Blvd. and 2595 S. Woodland Blvd.), and will have just one in Deltona (601 Courtland Blvd.). There’s also an office at 2602 Enterprise Road in Orange City, as well as a dozen offices in East Volusia from Ormond Beach to Edgewater.

Wed
01
Mar

Dinner raises funds for immigration and refugee charity

Digging in — This is just part of the crowd assembled for “7 Courses 7 Countries,” an international meal featuring dishes inspired by the cuisine of countries in the Middle East and Africa that were identified in a temporarily blocked executive order issued by President Donald Trump restricting immigration.

Digging in — This is just part of the crowd assembled for “7 Courses 7 Countries,” an international meal featuring dishes inspired by the cuisine of countries in the Middle East and Africa that were identified in a temporarily blocked executive order issued by President Donald Trump restricting immigration.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

Hard at work — Hari Pulapaka toils in the kitchen at Cress Restaurant, getting ready to send out another course in an international dinner inspired by seven Middle Eastern and African countries.

Hard at work — Hari Pulapaka toils in the kitchen at Cress Restaurant, getting ready to send out another course in an international dinner inspired by seven Middle Eastern and African countries.

Some 300 people this past weekend enjoyed international cuisine while raising funds for a nonprofit organization that helps immigrants and refugees around the world.

Dubbed “7 Courses 7 Countries,” the meal — everything from appetizer to dessert — consisted of dishes inspired by cuisine from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Not coincidentally, those are the predominantly Muslim countries specified in President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order restricting arrivals from overseas. (The executive order is on hold pending a review by federal courts.)

“We wanted to open a discussion about diversity and inclusion, and to welcome everyone to the table,” said Jenneffer Pulapaka, one of the co-owners of Cress Restaurant, which staged the dinner. “Eating food from another culture is a glimpse of their lifestyle, religion, family and land. I wanted people to learn about these countries, their culture and their crisis.”

Wed
22
Feb

Former prosecutor opens private law office

Standing tall — Attorney Rachel Ebert and DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar relax as they get ready to cut a ribbon officially opening Ebert’s law office at 100 W. Indiana Ave. in Downtown DeLand Feb. 16.

Standing tall — Attorney Rachel Ebert and DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar relax as they get ready to cut a ribbon officially opening Ebert’s law office at 100 W. Indiana Ave. in Downtown DeLand Feb. 16.

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Rachel Ebert, a lifelong resident of West Volusia, has opened a private law practice in Downtown DeLand to focus on family law, estate planning and property law.

An official ribbon-cutting with the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce was held Feb. 16, but the office actually opened Dec. 1 at 100 W. Indiana Ave.

Ebert served as an assistant state attorney for four years, then became a civil attorney, before opening her own practice.

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Bob Apgar noted that Ebert, a graduate of DeLand High School, was a participant in one of the early classes of the School of Government, a joint effort of the City of DeLand and Volusia County Schools.

“It’s always nice to have another local professional business in town, particularly when it’s one of our own,” Apgar said.

Ebert is proud to be practicing in Downtown DeLand.

“If you love DeLand, DeLand will love you back,” she said.

Wed
22
Feb

Woodland Towers unveils extensive renovations

Cardplaying pals — Residents Clara, Bob, Hal and Frieda enjoy a round or two of cards in a recently renovated second dining room at Woodland Towers, which recently held an open house to show off the improvements made in several areas.

PHOTO COURTESY WOODLAND TOWERS

Cardplaying pals — Residents Clara, Bob, Hal and Frieda enjoy a round or two of cards in a recently renovated second dining room at Woodland Towers, which recently held an open house to show off the improvements made in several areas.

Woodland Towers in DeLand recently held an open house to show off renovations made in many parts of the communal areas.

The work included upgrades to the swimming pool and spa, new furniture in the two dining rooms, new blinds and furniture in several main hallways, and new flooring in the front entry, dining rooms and hallways.

The work started about a year ago and finished up before Thanksgiving. Woodland Towers management didn’t want to say how much the renovations cost, but they credit the new look with enhancing the retirement community’s “warm, friendly atmosphere.”

“Everybody says it’s homey and friendly,” said Dorothy Myers, the marketing and admissions director.

Woodland Towers is home to more than 200 residents who live in the community’s one- or two-bedroom apartments, Myers said.

Wed
15
Feb

DeLand is featured in Where to Retire magazine

Busy sidewalk — People stroll along a Downtown DeLand sidewalk one recent afternoon. DeLand’s downtown was cited by a national magazine as one reason the city is a premier retirement destination.

Busy sidewalk — People stroll along a Downtown DeLand sidewalk one recent afternoon. DeLand’s downtown was cited by a national magazine as one reason the city is a premier retirement destination.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

The accolades continue to pile up for the City of DeLand as it is featured in Where to Retire magazine as being one of the premier downtown destinations in the U.S. The publication is the only magazine in America geared toward helping people with retirement-relocation decisions, according to its editors.

“The quality of life in DeLand is second-to-none, and our Downtown is a major part of that. It’s great to see people have taken notice,” said Mayor Bob Apgar. “It’s easy to see why people, young and old, would want to live, work and play here.”

DeLand is featured in the article titled “Eight Delightful Downtown Cities” in the March/April 2017 issue, which became available Feb. 14. Where to Retire Editor Annette Fuller said many relocating retirees choose a destination with an “energized, bustling heart.”

Wed
15
Feb

Longtime DeLand veterinary practice expands to Victoria Park

Duo in charge — Veterinarians J. Glenn Brewer and Stephanie Bryson are partners in Countryside Animal Clinic, a practice Brewer started 35 years ago on North Spring Garden Avenue near DeLand. Here are Brewer and Bryson in their new satellite office, Countryside at the Park, which opened in late January on Orange Camp Road in Victoria Park Village.

Duo in charge — Veterinarians J. Glenn Brewer and Stephanie Bryson are partners in Countryside Animal Clinic, a practice Brewer started 35 years ago on North Spring Garden Avenue near DeLand. Here are Brewer and Bryson in their new satellite office, Countryside at the Park, which opened in late January on Orange Camp Road in Victoria Park Village.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

Caring twosome — Veterinarians Rachael Cunningham, left, and Adrian Mitchell are assigned to Countryside at the Park, a satellite office of Countryside Animal Clinic that is more convenient to pet owners who live in southwest Volusia County. The new office is in Victoria Park Village, a commercial neighborhood in the Victoria Park community on DeLand’s southeastern side. The original clinic is on North Spring Garden Avenue northwest of DeLand.

Caring twosome — Veterinarians Rachael Cunningham, left, and Adrian Mitchell are assigned to Countryside at the Park, a satellite office of Countryside Animal Clinic that is more convenient to pet owners who live in southwest Volusia County. The new office is in Victoria Park Village, a commercial neighborhood in the Victoria Park community on DeLand’s southeastern side. The original clinic is on North Spring Garden Avenue northwest of DeLand.

Attentive staff — From left, Briana Baughman, Katherine Horan and Colton Creese are the veterinary technicians who will care for your pet while it’s being treated at Countryside at the Park, a satellite facility of longtime veterinary practice Countryside Animal Clinic of DeLand. The new office opened in late January on Orange Camp Road in Victoria Park Village.

Attentive staff — From left, Briana Baughman, Katherine Horan and Colton Creese are the veterinary technicians who will care for your pet while it’s being treated at Countryside at the Park, a satellite facility of longtime veterinary practice Countryside Animal Clinic of DeLand. The new office opened in late January on Orange Camp Road in Victoria Park Village.

Countryside Animal Clinic has been serving DeLand and its environs for 35 years from its North Spring Garden Avenue location. Pet owners have come from near and far — even from East Volusia and neighboring Lake County — to get the care their four-legged family members need.

Now, for many of those furry family members, those owners might not have to travel as far.

Countryside has opened a second location — Countryside at the Park — on Orange Camp Road in Victoria Park Village, a commercial neighborhood of the Victoria Park community.

“We were running out of space at our original hospital,” said principal partner Dr. J. Glenn Brewer, one of seven veterinarians on staff. “This [new location] gives us more room at our original hospital and allows us to better serve our customers in Southwest Volusia and east DeLand.”

Wed
08
Feb

Vendors fill new market with antiques and refurbished items

Empty no more — Early this month, vendors began filling this long-forlorn building at 3520 North U.S. Highway 17 in DeLand with all things vintage. A 30-booth antiques and home-décor market, Pure Vintage, will open there Saturday, Feb. 11.

BEACON PHOTOS/ERIKA WEBB

Empty no more — Early this month, vendors began filling this long-forlorn building at 3520 North U.S. Highway 17 in DeLand with all things vintage. A 30-booth antiques and home-décor market, Pure Vintage, will open there Saturday, Feb. 11.

Filling space — One recent Saturday, Orlando Realtor Keith Scher arranges a vase among other antiques displayed in one of three retail spaces he plans on opening inside Pure Vintage. The emporium for antiques, collectibles and refurbished items is set to open Feb. 11 at 3520 North U.S. Highway 17 near DeLand.

Filling space — One recent Saturday, Orlando Realtor Keith Scher arranges a vase among other antiques displayed in one of three retail spaces he plans on opening inside Pure Vintage. The emporium for antiques, collectibles and refurbished items is set to open Feb. 11 at 3520 North U.S. Highway 17 near DeLand.

Ready for business — Jeff and Shirley Baratta, owners of Pure Vintage, will display their vintage, antique and other home-décor items in the front of the 30-booth market they plan to open Saturday, Feb. 11.

Ready for business — Jeff and Shirley Baratta, owners of Pure Vintage, will display their vintage, antique and other home-décor items in the front of the 30-booth market they plan to open Saturday, Feb. 11.

A long-vacant building north of DeLand is being filled with treasures.

Vendors have begun securing and stocking several of 30 market spaces inside Pure Vintage, a new emporium opening Feb. 11 at 3520 North U.S. Highway 17, just past State Road 15A.

Jeff and Shirley Baratta, of Paisley, have been busily painting and fixing walls, as well as partitioning, with rustic-looking pallets, sections of multiple rooms in the 4,200-square-foot building to create retail spaces in varying sizes.

“It was a mess,” Jeff Baratta said of the expansive — now fresh and brightly lit — building, which was constructed in 1958.

Monthly booth rental prices range from $75 to $250.

In exchange for handling all sales, the Barattas will receive 15 percent of the proceeds.

“We’ll do everything but fill in the space and price the items,” Jeff Baratta said.

On Feb. 4, Keith Scher unloaded an array of interesting pieces and hauled them inside.

Wed
08
Feb

Construction begins on urgent-care facility

Construction starts — Work has begun on the foundation for a new Centra Care location in Orange City. The free-standing facility at 1340 Saxon Blvd. will be affiliated with Florida Hospital Fish Memorial and should open by this summer.

PHOTO COURTESY FLORIDA HOSPITAL

Construction starts — Work has begun on the foundation for a new Centra Care location in Orange City. The free-standing facility at 1340 Saxon Blvd. will be affiliated with Florida Hospital Fish Memorial and should open by this summer.

Construction is underway for Florida Hospital Fish Memorial’s first free-standing urgent-care facility in Orange City.

The new 5,000-square-foot location, at 1340 Saxon Blvd., Orange City, will be a Florida Hospital Centra Care urgent-care facility and is expected to open in June.

“Florida Hospital Centra Care provides excellent care, and I know families in our area will be thrilled to have a fast and convenient option for urgent care,” said Rob Deininger, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial CEO. “We will undoubtedly continue to invest further in West Volusia in the coming years, as we focus on our continuum of health and growing with the community.”

Florida Hospital Centra Care is the area’s only hospital-affiliated urgent-care provider that will serve as another access point for those who need medical care.

Wed
01
Feb

Small-business mentoring program kicks off

The founder — Evan Keller addresses the audience at the inaugural session of Accelerate, a small-business mentoring program that will meet monthly at DeLand City Hall.

The founder — Evan Keller addresses the audience at the inaugural session of Accelerate, a small-business mentoring program that will meet monthly at DeLand City Hall.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

Group session — Entrepreneur wannabes meet in a group counseling session during the first meeting of Accelerate, a program designed to help people start or grow their businesses.

Group session — Entrepreneur wannabes meet in a group counseling session during the first meeting of Accelerate, a program designed to help people start or grow their businesses.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

Mentoring — Small-business owners Barb Sternett, left rear, owner of Sweet Lics Frozen Treats & More, and Jason Jurss, owner of the Artisan Grill restaurant, mentor two entrepreneurs-to-be.

Mentoring — Small-business owners Barb Sternett, left rear, owner of Sweet Lics Frozen Treats & More, and Jason Jurss, owner of the Artisan Grill restaurant, mentor two entrepreneurs-to-be.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

A program to help entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses drew nearly 80 people to DeLand City Hall for its inaugural meeting Jan. 25.

“Many people told me that tonight they discussed ways to do business with each other,” Evan Keller, one of the founders of the effort, wrote in an email after the session. “The community wants this more than I realized!”

The meeting was to kick off the program called Accelerate, which is sponsored by Keller’s company Creating Jobs Inc., as well as the City of DeLand and the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance.

Keller calls the program a “real-life MBA.” Keller said he, restaurateur Manny De La Vega, Frontier Communications executive Shawn Clark, and Deidra Jacobs, CEO of  SAAFE Behavioral Services Inc., banded together to not only grow their own ventures, but to learn from and support each other in the process.

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