News

Thu
19
Oct

West Volusia Calendar of Events Oct. 20-28, 2017

Friday, Oct. 20
 
Scrub Stroll
9-10 a.m. at Lyonia Environmental Center, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona. LEC staff and volunteers will lead an exploratory hike through Lyonia Preserve. Free. Reservations requested; call 386-789-7207, ext. 21028, or visit www.lyoniapreserve.com.
 
IDignity Volusia Event
Thu
19
Oct

County Council votes down RaceTrac at State Road 44 and Kepler Road

A rendering of a RaceTrac gas station and convenience store, similar to the one proposed at State Road 44 and Kepler Road.

A rendering of a RaceTrac gas station and convenience store, similar to the one proposed at State Road 44 and Kepler Road.

RENDERING COURTESY RACETRAC

The Volusia County Council voted down plans for a RaceTrac gas station and convenience store 4-3 during a Thursday-afternoon meeting.

A group of concerned citizens, including residents of surrounding neighborhoods, attended the meeting to speak against the planned store, which would have been built at the southeast corner of State Road 44 and Kepler Road, east of DeLand.

Residents expressed concern the RaceTrac would bring more traffic to an already-congested intersection. The segment of S.R. 44 between Kepler Road and Summit Avenue is also known as a hazardous stretch of road.

Wed
18
Oct

Senior Helpers marks six years in DeLand

MOST OF THE CREW — From left, Denise Theer, Tiffany Morgan and Marjorie Marcus are three members of the administrative staff at Senior Helpers’ office in DeLand.

MOST OF THE CREW — From left, Denise Theer, Tiffany Morgan and Marjorie Marcus are three members of the administrative staff at Senior Helpers’ office in DeLand.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

Senior Helpers, a company that supplies in-home caregivers for elders, recently invited members of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce to help celebrate its sixth anniversary in DeLand with a ribbon-cutting of its new offices.

After six years on South Woodland Boulevard, Senior Helpers is now located at 145 E. Rich Ave., Suite E. That’s the office building anchored by the Landis Graham French law firm.

The local office is one of nearly 300 in the Senior Helpers system, with locations nationally and internationally.

Director of Operations Marjorie Marcus works with a team in the administrative offices: Administrator David Larrabee; Director of Nursing Eva Stolman; Denise Theer, the scheduler; and Tiffany Morgan, who handles human resources and other administrative duties.

Wed
18
Oct

Schools ready for Puerto Rican influx

Volusia County schools news

Volusia County schools news

The Volusia County school system is preparing informational pamphlets and assembling transition teams to help families fleeing the devastation in Puerto Rico that followed Hurricane Maria.

As of Oct. 18, 117 students from hurricane-affected areas — including 61 from Puerto Rico — had already enrolled in local schools, according to Leticia Roman, director of federal programs for the school system. As many as 400 are expected.

Roman said Superintendent Tom Russell has instructed principals at all schools to put together teams equipped to meet the needs of relocating Puerto Ricans. 

The teams will include translators and interpreters from the faculty, staff and community, as well as school counselors trained to address any problems students may have due to the trauma of the punishing storm.

Wed
18
Oct

200-plus apartments planned near Victoria Park

Ripe for development — A 16-acre site on the right side of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway in this photo, nearly a half-mile from State Road 472 and nestled on the south side of Victoria Hills, could become the site of 200 or more apartments. This photo shows the view looking south toward State Road 472.

Ripe for development — A 16-acre site on the right side of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway in this photo, nearly a half-mile from State Road 472 and nestled on the south side of Victoria Hills, could become the site of 200 or more apartments. This photo shows the view looking south toward State Road 472.

BEACON PHOTO/ERIKA WEBB 

This site plan, filed with Volusia County officials, shows the project's proximity to homes in Victoria Park.

This site plan, filed with Volusia County land-development officials, shows the project's proximity to homes in Victoria Park.

A 274-unit apartment complex might be on its way to an area of West Volusia that is inspiring all sorts of large-scale projects.

The development would add an estimated 1,784 vehicle trips per day near an intersection that has seen 27 crashes — more than one a month — between Jan. 1, 2016, and now, according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Fourteen of those crashes resulted in bodily injury; there was one fatality.

Integra Land Co. approached Volusia County about developing the 16-acre parcel on the west side of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway, about a half-mile north of the beltway’s intersection with State Road 472.

Integra principal David McDaniel met Sept. 27 with Volusia County land-development staff for discussion and review of the project, which is called Integra Dunes.

Wed
18
Oct

Six from DeLand group will run Boston Marathon

SIDEWALK SUPPORT — Members of the DeLand-based “Greatest Run Club” gather in the wee morning hours and run for about an hour. Four of the eight pictured will run in the 2018 Boston Marathon April 16. In back, from left, are Judy Wilson, Justin Holder and Chris Kemp. In front, same order, are Bego Lopez, Erin Slicer, Litsa Taylor, Carolyn DeRosby and Laurel Angel. Not pictured but running in the 2018 marathon are Richard Paine of DeBary and Julie Kersey of DeLand.

SIDEWALK SUPPORT — Members of the DeLand-based “Greatest Run Club” gather in the wee morning hours and run for about an hour. Four of the eight pictured will run in the 2018 Boston Marathon April 16. In back, from left, are Judy Wilson, Justin Holder and Chris Kemp. In front, same order, are Bego Lopez, Erin Slicer, Litsa Taylor, Carolyn DeRosby and Laurel Angel. Not pictured but running in the 2018 marathon are Richard Paine of DeBary and Julie Kersey of DeLand.

PHOTO COURTESY LITSA TAYLOR

West Volusians Litsa Taylor, Judy Wilson, Erin Slicer, Julie Kersey, Justin Holder and Richard Paine — all members of a DeLand running group — are among the tough competitors who have qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon.

The race is set for April 16.

There are 549 Floridians registered to run the coveted race, according to Boston Athletic Association Communications Director T.K. Skenderian. Possibly more than six are from the DeLand area, but the association can’t break down the entrants by town.

Boston, begun in 1897 and the oldest annual marathon, is always on Patriot's Day, the third Monday in April. 

Especially meaningful, Litsa Taylor said, is that she and her group earned slots for the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Three people died and at least 264 were injured when terrorists attacked the marathon on April 15, 2013. 

Registration for the 2018 marathon began Sept. 11, and getting a slot was tough.

Wed
18
Oct

Daunting debris: Battle to get it all continues

Cleaning up Irma’s mess — From left, C.J. Alfafara, tower monitor for Thompson Consulting Group, Kevin Curl, operations manager for Thompson, and DeLand Public Works Director Demetris Pressley stand in front of a giant pile of storm debris on the DeLand Municipal Airport. The city and its contractor, DRC Emergency Services, have picked up 72,000 cubic yards of debris as of Oct. 18, with Thompson Consulting tracking the loads. That’s the volume of 20 Olympic-size swimming pools, and nine-tenths as big as Spa

Cleaning up Irma’s mess — From left, C.J. Alfafara, tower monitor for Thompson Consulting Group, Kevin Curl, operations manager for Thompson, and DeLand Public Works Director Demetris Pressley stand in front of a giant pile of storm debris on the DeLand Municipal Airport. The city and its contractor, DRC Emergency Services, have picked up 72,000 cubic yards of debris as of Oct. 18, with Thompson Consulting tracking the loads. That’s the volume of 20 Olympic-size swimming pools, and nine-tenths as big as Spaceship Earth, the geodesic sphere at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT. 

BEACON PHOTO/ANTHONY DeFEO

Crews have completed their first pass of debris removal along many of DeLand’s streets, but the cleanup from Hurricane Irma will continue for a while longer.

DeLand Public Works Director Demetris Pressley said the city’s contractor, DRC Emergency Services, has picked up debris from roughly 70 percent of city streets. 

As of Oct. 18, some 72,000 cubic yards of downed tree limbs, leaves and other flora strewn about by Irma had been collected and transported to a veritable mountain on the DeLand Municipal Airport.

That’s more than the 55,000 cubic yards the city and its contractor picked up following Hurricane Matthew in 2016. 

The removal process hasn’t gone exactly how the city had hoped, City Manager Michael Pleus said.

“We wanted to prioritize the hardest-hit areas, but that didn’t quite work out the way that we had hoped,” Pleus said. 

Many of the crews are from out of town and unfamiliar with DeLand, among other problems, he said. 

Wed
18
Oct

After the storm, safe in West Volusia: Orange City, Deltona families welcome eight new members

A neighborhood destroyed — Roofs, windows and even walls are gone in Buen Consejo, where relatives of Orange City resident Antoinette Montañez live. Eight family members have found safe haven in West Volusia. Buen Consejo is a sector in Rio Piedras, a province in San Juan.

A neighborhood destroyed — Roofs, windows and even walls are gone in Buen Consejo, where relatives of Orange City resident Antoinette Montañez live. Eight family members have found safe haven in West Volusia. Buen Consejo is a sector in Rio Piedras, a province in San Juan.

PHOTO BY MARIA ORTIZ COURTESY ANTOINETTE MONTAÑEZ

U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO BY MASTER SGT. JOSHUA L. DeMOTTS 

DEVASTATION ON THE ISLE OF ENCHANTMENT — A family uses a clothesline to dry laundry outside their home, which was destroyed by Hurricane Irma. The storm struck Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 4 hurricane. 

U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO BY MASTER SGT. JOSHUA L. DeMOTTS 

A tender moment in a tough time — At left, Army Pvt. Christina Westfall shares a moment with a curious cat amid a scene of utter destruction.

A tender moment in a tough time — At left, Army Pvt. Christina Westfall shares a moment with a curious cat amid a scene of utter destruction.

PHOTO BY MARK DAVIS, U.S. FISH AND WILFLIFE SERVICE 

Ana Rosa Hiraldo-Montañez explains the devastation Hurricane Maria wrought on her Puerto Rican homeland.

“One day life was normal, with a routine to follow and then, overnight, we are looking for the pieces of our lives,” she said, her voice trembling slightly.

For a few days after the storm slammed into the island Sept. 20, Hiraldo-Montañez’s home in the barrio of Rio Piedras, a San Juan province, had drinkable water. There was no electric power anywhere, but she could supply the rest of her family with water to drink.

Then the clean water stopped flowing. Hiraldo-Montañez said it became common for people to turn to the river for water to drink and wash clothes. But the Puerto Rican water company warned against it, saying the river was contaminated.

Mon
16
Oct

Events celebrate St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop

DeBary section — In DeBary, James A. Ardito rides the section of the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop named for former Volusia County Council Member Pat Northey, an ardent trails supporter.

DeBary section — In DeBary, James A. Ardito rides the section of the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop named for former Volusia County Council Member Pat Northey, an ardent trails supporter.

PHOTO/MARGUERITE E. ARDITO

Planning — Helping to plan the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Summit and Trail Celebration are, from left, Jack Knicely, Georgia Turner, Maggie Ardito (seated), Jim Ardito, Steve Tonjes, Pat Northey and Pamela Blankenship. They represent the various agencies coming together to produce the three days of learning about the benefits of trails and plans for the SJR2C Loop.

Planning — Helping to plan the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Summit and Trail Celebration are, from left, Jack Knicely, Georgia Turner, Maggie Ardito (seated), Jim Ardito, Steve Tonjes, Pat Northey and Pamela Blankenship. They represent the various agencies coming together to produce the three days of learning about the benefits of trails and plans for the SJR2C Loop.

PHOTO COURTESY SJR2C

Supporters of the longest loop trail in Florida will meet Oct. 26-28 in West Volusia for the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Summit and Celebration.

Events are planned to involve the community, including The Great DeLand Pumpkin Ride, and tours and a dinner in Enterprise.

Taste of the Loop is set for Thursday, Oct. 26. Those attending will be treated to tours of Green Springs, DeBary Hall and Enterprise, as well as the trailhead. The tours can be navigated on foot or bicycle.

The event starts at 2:30 p.m. at the DeBary Hall Visitors Center and Trailhead, for a tour of the mansion at 198 Sunrise Blvd. At 3 p.m., there will be tours of Green Springs Park and a St. Johns River to the Sea Loop trail section, followed by a rest stop at the Deltona Community Center.

Fri
13
Oct

PHOTOS: Spinner winners from DeLand's National Night Out event

Lexie Murray of Ormond Beach

Lexie Murray of Ormond Beach

BEACON PHOTO/VICKI DUCKETT

 

These folks visited the Beacon booth at DeLand’s National Night Out event and spun our magical wheel of fabulous prizes. They won the opportunity to have their photo in the newspaper!

Other prizes on the wheel include free subscriptions (up to five years!) and Web advertisements.

Be sure to visit us next time you see us at an event! You could be a winner too!

Beacon photos by Vicki Duckett

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