News

Tue
25
Jul

DeLand police investigating robbery at PNC Bank branch

West Volusia police news

West Volusia police news

DeLand Police are investigating a bank robbery at PNC Bank branch in the Victoria Park subdivision, according to city spokesman Chris Graham.

Police responded shortly after 10 a.m. to the PNC Bank at 111 Endicott Way.

Graham said a black male entered the building and demanded money. He left with an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot toward Interstate 4.

No one was injured in the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-8477. People may remain anonymous and those with information leading to an arrest could be eligible for a reward.

Few details were immediately available. More information will be released as it becomes available.

- Anthony DeFeo, anthony@beacononlinenews.com

Mon
24
Jul

Flower power brightens apartment complex

Tapping into flower power — Frank and Kathy Palumbo, managers of the Clara Place apartment complex in south DeLand, personally landscape the entrances and common areas of the complex to kick off the apartments’ annual landscaping contest. Winners in the contest receive vouchers for rent.

Tapping into flower power — Frank and Kathy Palumbo, managers of the Clara Place apartment complex in south DeLand, personally landscape the entrances and common areas of the complex to kick off the apartments’ annual landscaping contest. Winners in the contest receive vouchers for rent.

BEACON PHOTOS/RICK BUTLER

Happy planters — Pleased with their gardening success are Clara Place Flower Power contest runners-up Rodney and Donna Lewis, who’ve lived at Clara Place for a year and enjoy growing beautiful plants.

Happy planters — Pleased with their gardening success are Clara Place Flower Power contest runners-up Rodney and Donna Lewis, who’ve lived at Clara Place for a year and enjoy growing beautiful plants.

2017 Flower Power winner — Marian Beyer, one of 87 residents in Clara Place apartments, shows off the floral finery that earned her first place in the apartment complex’s annual landscaping contest. The owners of Clara Place provide the needed plants, soil and so on, and the residents supply the creativity and plant-care.

2017 Flower Power winner — Marian Beyer, one of 87 residents in Clara Place apartments, shows off the floral finery that earned her first place in the apartment complex’s annual landscaping contest. The owners of Clara Place provide the needed plants, soil and so on, and the residents supply the creativity and plant-care.

One of the special draws for residents of DeLand’s Clara Place apartment complex is its participation with 29 other apartment complexes in an annual “Flower Power” landscaping contest.

Residents get free plants, soil and help from their on-site managers. Winners get nice reductions on a month’s rent. The apartment complexes get beautified.

Seventy of the 87 residents at Clara Place signed up for the annual contest sponsored by Central Management Co., which operates the contests in its 30 complexes spread from Florida to Ohio. Clara Place is on the corner of West New Hampshire and Clara avenues on DeLand’s south side.

Clara Place managers Frank and Kathy Palumbo not only pass out planters, plants and soil to their green-thumb residents, they personally landscape the entrances and other areas throughout the sprawling neighborhood.

Fri
21
Jul

West Volusia Calendar of Events 7.22-29.2017

Saturday, July 22
 
Longleaf Bike-About
7:30-10 a.m. Meet at the east entrance of Longleaf Pine Preserve, 4551 Pioneer Trail, New Smyrna Beach. Learn about the plants and animals of the wetlands during a leisurely ride through the preserve’s flatwoods, cypress domes and swamps.
Large-tire bikes are recommended; helmets are required. Free. Reservations required; call 386-736-5927.
 
Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser
8 a.m.-noon at Deltona Lakes Baptist Church, 2886 Elkcam Blvd. Hosted by Sgt. David G. Ledgerwood American Legion Post 255. All-you-can-eat breakfast; indoor games; raffles. Proceeds go to American Legion programs that aid veterans. Cost: $5 per person; $20 for a family of four or more.
 
Farmers Market
Thu
20
Jul

DeLand PD: Two arrested after carjacking 93-year-old woman at a church

 Darius Matthews, 20 (left) of DeLand and David Leo Perkins III, 21, of Daytona Beach.

David Leo Perkins III, 21, of Daytona Beach (left) and Darius Matthews, 20, of DeLand and

DeLand Police officers and Volusia County sheriff's deputies arrested two men Thursday morning after an elderly female said she was carjacked in the parking lot of a Catholic church.

Officers responded to St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 359 West New York Avenue, at about 8:15 a.m., according to DeLand city spokesman Chris Graham.

The event was initially reported as a strong arm robbery, but authorities quickly figured out that the two suspects had stolen the woman’s tan four-door Chrysler.

Fortunately, the two men didn’t get very far, Graham said.

Wed
19
Jul

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: Community flips over possible loss of pancake house

Enjoying the cool water — Swimmers get a reprieve from hot summer temperatures Wednesday as they take a dip in the DeLeon Springs State Park swimming area. The Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant, currently in negotiations with the state over its future, can be seen in the background. 

Enjoying the cool water — Swimmers get a reprieve from hot summer temperatures Wednesday as they take a dip in the DeLeon Springs State Park swimming area. The Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant, currently in negotiations with the state over its future, can be seen in the background. 

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Thumbs up for the Old Spanish Sugar Mill — A young diner enjoying breakfast at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant in DeLeon Springs State Park gives two thumbs up. Originally constructed in the 1830s to crush sugar cane using the power of the million gallons of water flowing from the spring each day, the mill features a 30-foot water wheel, according to the restaurant’s website.

Thumbs up for the Old Spanish Sugar Mill — A young diner enjoying breakfast at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant in DeLeon Springs State Park gives two thumbs up. Originally constructed in the 1830s to crush sugar cane using the power of the million gallons of water flowing from the spring each day, the mill features a 30-foot water wheel, according to the restaurant’s website.

Fixing them just right — Juan Esteban Velez dines at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant in DeLeon Springs. The restaurant is a popular attraction for visitors to West Volusia, since diners can make their own pancakes at griddles built into each table. Owner Patty Schwarze, whose family has operated the restaurant since 1961, said the restaurant serves 325 to 375 diners each day during the busy summer season.

Fixing them just right — Juan Esteban Velez dines at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant in DeLeon Springs. The restaurant is a popular attraction for visitors to West Volusia, since diners can make their own pancakes at griddles built into each table. Owner Patty Schwarze, whose family has operated the restaurant since 1961, said the restaurant serves 325 to 375 diners each day during the busy summer season.

BEACON PHOTOS/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

An iconic eatery and tourist attraction at one of West Volusia’s natural wonders may remain open after all — but nothing is certain, yet.

The Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant at DeLeon Springs State Park is well-known as a breakfast spot, where visitors can dine at the water’s edge and make their own pancakes on griddles at their tables.

Owner Patty Schwarze, whose family has run the restaurant since 1961, posted an open letter on social media July 17, fearing the possible end of the West Volusia tradition.

“The Sugar Mill is operated under an agreement with the [Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation and Parks],” Schwarze wrote. “This agreement is written in 5 year intervals. The current agreement ends [at] the end of September of this year. While I have been requesting renewal since January, no offer has been made.”

Wed
19
Jul

Getting connected in the country: AT&T expands internet, but only for some

Getting connected — AT&T Area Manager Alan Hill holds an outdoor-premises antenna. The equipment is mounted on residential or commercial structures to deliver fixed wireless internet. This technology is being provided to some customers in Northwest Volusia’s rural communities.  

Getting connected — AT&T Area Manager Alan Hill holds an outdoor-premises antenna. The equipment is mounted on residential or commercial structures to deliver fixed wireless internet. This technology is being provided to some customers in Northwest Volusia’s rural communities.  

PHOTO COURTESY AT&T

Living on the outskirts has many advantages, but internet service often is not one of them.

Seville is one of several rural areas in Florida whose residents have a tough time getting online. Now, AT&T has extended its fixed wireless internet service to the Northwest Volusia community, but more Seville-area residents want the service than can get it.

AT&T spokeswoman Rosie Montalvo said the company plans to expand internet access to more than 25,000 rural Florida locations by 2020.

The company promises the service will deliver a home internet connection with download speeds of at least 10 Mbps via a wireless tower that transmits to a fixed antenna on the customers’ homes or businesses.

It’s an efficient way to reach customers who are difficult to serve through other technologies, Montalvo explained.

But there’s not enough to go around.

Wed
19
Jul

DeLand goes for small tax hike

Top cop swears in — DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger, who has been on the job for about a month, had his official public swearing-in ceremony at the July 17 meeting of the DeLand City Commission. City Clerk Julie Hennessy, at right, administered the oath of office, as several members of Umberger’s family, including his parents, two daughters and wife, looked on.

Top cop swears in — DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger, who has been on the job for about a month, had his official public swearing-in ceremony at the July 17 meeting of the DeLand City Commission. City Clerk Julie Hennessy, at right, administered the oath of office, as several members of Umberger’s family, including his parents, two daughters and wife, looked on.

BEACON PHOTO/ANTHONY DEFEO

Property owners within the city of DeLand should soon receive notices informing them of a planned property-tax increase, after the DeLand City Commission voted July 17 to approve a tentative tax rate.

Commissioners voted unanimously for a rate of $6.82 per $1,000 of property value. That’s lower than the $6.92 per $1,000 of property value originally proposed by City Manager Michael Pleus, but 3.69 percent higher than the rolled-back rate of $6.58 per $1,000.

The rolled-back rate is the millage rate that would give the city the same amount of revenue it collected this year, not counting revenue on new construction and annexations. Since property values have increased in the city, the rate needed to bring in the same revenue went down.

With the proposed tax rate, most property owners will end up paying a bit more.

Wed
19
Jul

Deltona approves medical-marijuana dispensary

Where it will be — City documents show the medical-marijuana dispensary will be in Suite 2 of Deltona Plaza, next door to the Good Eats Diner. Surterra Holdings Vice President Nicholas Monette said Surterra chose Deltona because it is situated between Orlando and Daytona Beach. 

Where it will be — City documents show the medical-marijuana dispensary will be in Suite 2 of Deltona Plaza, next door to the Good Eats Diner. Surterra Holdings Vice President Nicholas Monette said Surterra chose Deltona because it is situated between Orlando and Daytona Beach. 

BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON

Deltona may have West Volusia’s first medical-marijuana dispensary.

The City Commission unanimously July 17 granted special permission for a Tampa company to open a cannabis dispensary in Deltona Plaza, one of the city’s oldest shopping centers and located along one of the city’s main corridors.

The new business, to be opened by Surterra Holdings Inc., will be on the western end of the complex at 1200 Deltona Blvd.

“I’m for moving forward and getting this,” Mayor John Masiarczyk said.

The willingness to welcome such a business comes as officials move into uncharted territory on how to regulate the sale of the controversial controlled substance.

And, not everyone was pleased.

Victory Chapel Pastor Joshua Shapiro, whose congregation also leases space in Deltona Plaza, was disappointed.

“I am going to open up an addiction-overcomers ministry,” Shapiro vowed after leaving the meeting. “I am going to change lives one at a time.”

Wed
19
Jul

Texas survey scam finds DeLandites

Scroll down for tips on how to avoid phone scams!

Scroll down for tips on how to avoid phone scams!

Warning: Caller not actually from AT&T

Rarely does Tracie Branz of DeLand engage with telemarketers, but a momentary blending of Branz’s curiosity and a caller’s slick delivery resulted in a Texas woman being arrested July 14.

“I hate a thief,” Branz posted on Facebook that evening.

Individuals gained access to the Branzes’ AT&T account and tried to open linked accounts and purchase three phones and an iPad at the Branzes’ expense.

Branz didn’t recognize the number calling her cellphone on a Friday afternoon. She answered and was greeted by a man who introduced himself as a representative from AT&T, calling to complete a customer-satisfaction survey.

Because he asked to speak with Branz or her husband Matt, using their names, she believed the call was legitimate.

Wed
19
Jul

Deputies seeking suspect who stalked ex-girlfriend, hid in her car, held her at gunpoint

West Volusia police news

West Volusia police news

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information leading to the arrest of Jason Jurado, who is wanted on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated stalking, armed burglary, tampering with a witness, grand theft and other charges.

On Monday, 7/17, the victim reported after dropping off her children at the babysitter in DeLand, she went back to her vehicle. She heard a noise in the back seat and realized her ex-boyfriend, Jurado, was sitting in the back seat of her car. Jurado then crawled to the front seat, displayed a gun and began loading the gun.

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