News

Wed
06
Dec

Automall plan adds retail bonanza

A new deal for West Volusia? — This rendering depicts the current proposed layout for the I-4 Automall, which may accommodate multiple dealerships and ancillary development such as retailers, restaurants, upscale offices, and perhaps a hotel. County planners say they do not yet know when the Planning and Land Development Regulation Commission and the County Council will convene public hearings and vote on the Automall project.

A new deal for West Volusia? — This rendering depicts the current proposed layout for the I-4 Automall, which may accommodate multiple dealerships and ancillary development such as retailers, restaurants, upscale offices, and perhaps a hotel. County planners say they do not yet know when the Planning and Land Development Regulation Commission and the County Council will convene public hearings and vote on the Automall project.

GRAPHIC COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY PLANNING AND LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATION COMMISSION

THE FUTURE? — This rendering shows what one view of the proposed I-4 Automall — which will now include a multitude of retail facilities — might look like. 

THE FUTURE? — This rendering shows what one view of the proposed I-4 Automall — which will now include a multitude of retail facilities — might look like. 

GRAPHIC COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY PLANNING AND LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATION COMMISSION

The automotive bazaar planned at the interchange of Interstate 4 and Orange Camp Road, next to Victoria Park, continues to grow and evolve.

Revised filings for the I-4 Automall show a total of 13 automotive dealerships and a facility for receiving and distributing vehicles and parts, along with retail businesses, restaurants, office buildings, a hotel, and a convenience store with as many as 32 gas pumps. The automotive footprint, including the dealerships and distribution center, is planned at just more than 500,000 square feet.

The draft development agreement for the I-4 Automall calls for the new commercial village to spread over 55.6 acres, with its own roadway network. 

The agreement details the vision of Chrysler Jeep dealer Brendan Hurley and his attorney, Mark Watts, and is still under review by Volusia County planners. Watts could not be reached for comment.

Wed
06
Dec

Beloved Downtown DeLand officer retires — sort of

A MUCH-LOVED OFFICER — Family and friends of longtime DeLand Police Department Cmdr. Francis “Mac” McBride surround him as he accepts a plaque from DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar, upon his retirement after 42 years with the city.

A MUCH-LOVED OFFICER — Family and friends of longtime DeLand Police Department Cmdr. Francis “Mac” McBride surround him as he accepts a plaque from DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar, upon his retirement after 42 years with the city.

BEACON PHOTO/ANTHONY DeFEO

DeLand city leaders bid farewell to a longtime veteran of the DeLand Police Department at the City Commission’s Dec. 4 meeting.

A familiar face to anyone who spends time in Downtown DeLand, DPD Cmdr. Francis “Mac” McBride was honored by the City Commission upon his retirement after 42 years of service with the department. 

McBride began his career with the city in 1975 as an auxiliary police officer.  

Dozens of police officers and firefighters attended the ceremony, where McBride was presented with a copy of the official resolution honoring him. 

“Tonight is one of those bittersweet moments when we recognize a longtime servant to this city,” said Mayor Bob Apgar.

The longtime public servant isn’t completely giving up serving the residents of DeLand.

McBride will now serve as a community-service aide for the DPD, working his previous Downtown DeLand beat. 

Wed
06
Dec

Southeast DeLand growth: something stinks

WHAT’S THAT SMELL? — Homeowners along and just off Taylor Road have complained publicly and to the City of DeLand about the unpleasant smell from Lift Station 71, a master re-pump facility that is responsible for collecting sewage from rapidly growing southeast DeLand. 

WHAT’S THAT SMELL? — Homeowners along and just off Taylor Road have complained publicly and to the City of DeLand about the unpleasant smell from Lift Station 71, a master re-pump facility that is responsible for collecting sewage from rapidly growing southeast DeLand. 

BEACON PHOTO/ERIKA WEBB

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of articles that will look at how DeLand’s subdivision explosion, particularly on the city’s southeast side, affects the community at large. Roads and traffic, schools, amenities, wildlife, utilities and more will be explored.

 

Something stinks in southeast DeLand, and everyone agrees the unpleasant odor is coming from Lift Station 71. The station was built to accommodate the 4,000-home Victoria Park development, but its odor-control system is outdated.

“We’re all aware of the smell,” said Christopher Wrenn, forward planner for builder D.R. Horton, which is getting ready to construct 590 homes near the lift station.

Wed
06
Dec

He’s 14 and already in college: Pierson has West Volusia’s youngest dual-enrolled student

Proud group — At T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson are, from left, Counseling Director Justin Lipomi, teacher Becky Blondell, ninth-grader Jonathan Mancillas and his mother, Maria Quinonez and Principal Jeff Miller. Jonathan Mancillas of Pierson, 14, is already taking college courses, thanks to being dual-enrolled at both Taylor Middle-High School and Daytona State College. Now in ninth grade, Mancillas began his college career at age 13. 

Proud group — At T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson are, from left, Counseling Director Justin Lipomi, teacher Becky Blondell, ninth-grader Jonathan Mancillas and his mother, Maria Quinonez and Principal Jeff Miller. Jonathan Mancillas of Pierson, 14, is already taking college courses, thanks to being dual-enrolled at both Taylor Middle-High School and Daytona State College. Now in ninth grade, Mancillas began his college career at age 13. 

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN 

Eighth-grader Jonathan Mancillas was just 13 when he enrolled in college; now he’s on track to earn a two-year degree at the same time he gets his high-school diploma.

Jonathan, now in ninth grade, attends T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson. He is the grandson of Mexican immigrants who worked in the fern fields of Northwest Volusia, and the son of Juan Mancillas and Maria Quinonez.

The family’s home in Pierson is almost 20 miles from Daytona State College, but Jonathan can take his college courses at his high school. Last year, the Daytona State College course “Managing Your Success” was offered as a dual-enrollment course at Taylor. 

At age 13, Jonathan was the youngest student among the high-school seniors also enrolled in this class. 

“I didn’t feel intimidated at all. These students became my friends; they thought that it was cool that I could be so young and take a college course,” Jonathan said. 

Mon
04
Dec

Foodie File: Out by the City Limits

DOING WHAT HE LOVES — Jim Knight, the owner of City Limits Taproom, drinks one of his favorite brews in front of the taps and flat-screen televisions at his sports bar in DeLand. City Limits has been open for more than two years, and Jim has made plenty of renovations and really turned the building into a beautiful venue. 

DOING WHAT HE LOVES — Jim Knight, the owner of City Limits Taproom, drinks one of his favorite brews in front of the taps and flat-screen televisions at his sports bar in DeLand. City Limits has been open for more than two years, and Jim has made plenty of renovations and really turned the building into a beautiful venue. 

VIEW FROM THE FRONT — City Limits Taproom sits on U.S. Highway 17 in northern DeLand, near the community of DeLeon Springs, where Jim Knight remodeled the former home of H2 Bar two years ago. Stop in for an ice-cold beer and a deliciously crafted sandwich.

VIEW FROM THE FRONT — City Limits Taproom sits on U.S. Highway 17 in northern DeLand, near the community of DeLeon Springs, where Jim Knight remodeled the former home of H2 Bar two years ago. Stop in for an ice-cold beer and a deliciously crafted sandwich.

DONORS’ DRAFT BOARD — In the early days of City Limits Taproom, owner Jim Knight created a Kickstarter fund drive to get his system of draft beers up and running. Those who donate get to pick their favorite beer and have it on draft every time they visit. The donors get their first beer free, and always know their favorite beer will be available when they come in. It's a different kind of draft board, for sure.

DONORS’ DRAFT BOARD — In the early days of City Limits Taproom, owner Jim Knight created a Kickstarter fund drive to get his system of draft beers up and running. Those who donate get to pick their favorite beer and have it on draft every time they visit. The donors get their first beer free, and always know their favorite beer will be available when they come in. It's a different kind of draft board, for sure.

FLAVOR-PACKED GRILLED CHEESE — Beacon reporter Ryan Rougeux shows off one of his personal favorite menu items at City Limits Taproom: a sandwich made with chipotle Gouda and havarti cheeses, melted with tomato, bacon, cilantro, and lime juice on five-grain sourdough bread. It’s a foodie's grilled-cheese dream.

FLAVOR-PACKED GRILLED CHEESE — Beacon reporter Ryan Rougeux shows off one of his personal favorite menu items at City Limits Taproom: a sandwich made with chipotle Gouda and havarti cheeses, melted with tomato, bacon, cilantro, and lime juice on five-grain sourdough bread. It’s a foodie's grilled-cheese dream.

Taproom offers craft sandwiches, sports and, of course, beer

On Sept. 11, 2015, Jim Knight opened City Limits Taproom at 2620 N. Woodland Blvd., in the area where northern DeLand segues into DeLeon Springs.

Born and raised in DeLand, Knight learned the hospitality industry starting at age 15 as a dishwasher at JC’s Lobster Pot. He moved up through the industry, becoming a manager of local bars and restaurants, and, eventually, an owner.

When I pulled into the gravel parking lot at City Limits, I saw the large brown cottage-style building with a bright white sign that includes a tap handle — letting you know beer is the star of the establishment.

Inside is a comfortable, nicely kept sports bar. 

Fri
01
Dec

Sheriff's Office seeking information on fatal DeLand shooting

Bryant Ball, 26, of DeLand, was the victim of a fatal shooting Wednesday night.

Bryant Ball, 26, of DeLand, was the victim of a fatal shooting Wednesday night.

PHOTO COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Volusia County sheriff’s deputies have identified two men as persons of interest in a fatal shooting Wednesday night that occurred in the 900 block of South Florida Avenue in DeLand.

One man is being interviewed about the incident, which occurred at about 8:30 p.m. and was reported when residents heard gunshots being fired and saw the victim lying in the road, according to Laura Williams, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.

The 26-year-old man, Bryant Ball, was airlifted but was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Wed
29
Nov

Meet the people who make The Beacon happen

Our first billboard — In this combination of photographs created by Beacon CFO Michael Jaeckle, Beacon Publisher Barb Shepherd stands by the newspaper’s billboard, which was displayed along East New York Avenue in DeLand for most of November. For years, Beaconites wished we could afford a billboard; for our 25th anniversary, we made it happen.

Our first billboard — In this combination of photographs created by Beacon CFO Michael Jaeckle, Beacon Publisher Barb Shepherd stands by the newspaper’s billboard, which was displayed along East New York Avenue in DeLand for most of November. For years, Beaconites wished we could afford a billboard; for our 25th anniversary, we made it happen.

BEACON PHOTO COMPOSITE/MICHAEL JAECKLE

Some Beacon staffers — and readers — can recall when the presses stopped printing the DeLand Sun News. Some also remember a small group of employees determined not to let the community lack a news outlet of its very own. 

Many DeLandites can’t remember a time when Beacon co-founder Barb Shepherd wasn’t hurriedly crisscrossing the streets Downtown, notepad and camera in hand. 

She reflected on those early days: “I was a mom with 8- and 5-year-old daughters who were used to having me home and available most of the time. I had been freelancing with the Orlando Sentinel after spending about 10 years working for the DeLand Sun News on a very flexible schedule.

“When we started The Beacon, there were only a few of us, and we worked night and day, seven days a week, very highly motivated to give West Volusia its own local newspaper.

Wed
29
Nov

Local news ­— for you

Each year at this time, The Beacon celebrates its birth at the 1992 DeLand Jaycees Christmas Parade by producing this Anniversary Edition just before the parade, which is set for Saturday, Dec. 2, this year. We report on the state of The Beacon, check in on the citrus industry, provide calendars — secular and religious — of holiday events, introduce the staff and offer some gift-shopping ideas. And we pause in gratitude for the wonderful advertiser businesses and subscribers who make possible our continued

This special edition

Each year at this time, The Beacon celebrates its birth at the 1992 DeLand Jaycees Christmas Parade by producing this Anniversary Edition just before the parade, which is set for Saturday, Dec. 2, this year. We report on the state of The Beacon, check in on the citrus industry, provide calendars — secular and religious — of holiday events, introduce the staff and offer some gift-shopping ideas. And we pause in gratitude for the wonderful advertiser businesses and subscribers who make possible our continued success. Thank you.

Beacon intern learns about hurricanes, and ‘telling it slant’

Editor’s note: A story about the current “state of The Beacon” is an annual tradition in our Anniversary Edition. We’re grateful to intern Tom Stevens, grandson of founding Beacon stockholders Bob and Dot Brown, for a newcomer’s perspective on our newspaper.

 

I arrived in DeLand the day before Hurricane Irma. As I drove south down Interstate 95, through the Carolinas, then Georgia, the gas stations grew increasingly more frantic and the radio news stations more urgent.

Traffic going north was bumper to bumper, but the southbound lanes were open. I passed convoys of utility trucks on my right, headed pre-emptively to Florida. I wondered what their drivers thought of me, with a Massachusetts license plate and a car-top carrier on my old Honda Civic.

Wed
29
Nov

Church’s Chicken to replace shuttered Sonic; new eatery to open in 2018

Before … — This Sonic drive-in on North Woodland Boulevard in DeLand has been sitting empty since the restaurant closed a number of years ago.

Before … — This Sonic drive-in on North Woodland Boulevard in DeLand has been sitting empty since the restaurant closed a number of years ago.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

And after! — This rendering shows what a new Church’s Chicken outlet might look like when it replaces a long-closed Sonic drive-in. The new eatery is expected to open in mid-2018.

And after! — This rendering shows what a new Church’s Chicken outlet might look like when it replaces a long-closed Sonic drive-in. The new eatery is expected to open in mid-2018.

IMAGE COURTESY GOALZ RESTAURANT GROUP

A Church’s Chicken restaurant will replace a long-closed Sonic drive-in on North Woodland Boulevard in DeLand.

American Development Partners, based in Franklin, Tennessee, recently bought the 1-acre property and 1,600-square-foot building for $675,000. The seller was Miami-based Sam II DeLand LLC, who was represented by Steve Costa with NAI Realvest Charles Wayne Commercial.

American Development Partners is a developer of top franchise concepts in all 50 states. ADP will be building the new restaurant for Goalz Restaurant Group LLC.

Headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Goalz franchises three restaurant brands: Church’s Chicken, Captain D’s and Dog Haus, according to the company’s website.

Danny Robinson, Goalz vice president of operations for the southeastern United States, said the company is “very, very excited” to be coming to DeLand.

Wed
29
Nov

Celebrate the season with silver

Silver for you — At Orange City Jewelers, manager Pam Gardner displays sample rings customers can base their designs on. 

Silver for you — At Orange City Jewelers, manager Pam Gardner displays sample rings customers can base their designs on. 

BEACON PHOTO/AIDA VIRGINIE LASHINSKY

Gift shopping, gone to the dogs? — Ruger, the “camp dog,” welcomes guests to Highland Park Fish Camp, where there are silver gifts, including the reels on these fishing rods.

Gift shopping, gone to the dogs? — Ruger, the “camp dog,” welcomes guests to Highland Park Fish Camp, where there are silver gifts, including the reels on these fishing rods.

Gift shopping, gone to the dogs? — Groovy Records owner Jerry Schafer and his faithful German shepherd, Danko, welcome shoppers to the Downtown DeLand store.

Gift shopping, gone to the dogs? — Groovy Records owner Jerry Schafer and his faithful German shepherd, Danko, welcome shoppers to the Downtown DeLand store.

That’s a nice silver dress — Marketplace at Rivertown staff members Charissa Collins, left, and Jenn Genevese pose with one of the store’s eight mannequins. Shoppers are encouraged to take photos with the mannequins and post the pictures online to be eligible to win prizes.

That’s a nice silver dress — Marketplace at Rivertown staff members Charissa Collins, left, and Jenn Genevese pose with one of the store’s eight mannequins. Shoppers are encouraged to take photos with the mannequins and post the pictures online to be eligible to win prizes.

BEACON PHOTO/AIDA VIRGINIE LASHINSKY

Mirror, mirror — Artist Nancy Chase makes these mirrors using a lead-and-tin solder at Holidaze Art Glass Studio in DeLand. 

Mirror, mirror — Artist Nancy Chase makes these mirrors using a lead-and-tin solder at Holidaze Art Glass Studio in DeLand. 

BEACON PHOTO/AIDA VIRGINIE LASHINSKY

To mark The Beacon’s 25th year and our silver anniversary, we went looking for all things silver and found you some nontraditional gift ideas.

West Volusia’s locally owned stores are full of potential gifts, and we found some surprising ones, both in real silver and with a silvery shine, from fishing reels to collectible coins and record albums.

So, shop small this Christmas, and keep more of your money in our local economy. 

 

Marketplace at Rivertown

In the heart of historic Downtown DeLand at 114 S. Woodland Blvd., this three-story antique mall has an abundance of silver collectibles, accessories, clothes and more. 

With more than 35 independent dealers filling kiosks in the store with merchandise, visitors are encouraged to revisit regularly, as new items are displayed often. 

“A lot of people come to see us because you never know what you’re going to find next time,” staff member Jenn Genevese said.

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