News

Mon
13
Nov

Sheriff's Office seeking information on fatal Deltona shooting

West Volusia police news

West Volusia police news

Volusia County sheriff's deputies are looking for any information on the shooting death of a Deltona man found dead near his home Saturday evening.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the killing of Carlos Cruz, whose death appears to be the result of his effort to help a stranger, according to agency spokesman Andrew Gant.

Deputies responded to the corner of Malaga Avenue and Puritan Street in Deltona just before 8 p.m. Saturday, after a caller reported a car was stuck in a ditch and a man was lying on the ground behind it.

Mon
13
Nov

Danny’s Ice Cream pairs authentic Mexican tacos and homemade ice cream

Banana-split fun — Is it a banana split, or a taco? Foodie Files are a favorite part of writer Ryan Rougeux’s week; here he has fun with a triple-flavored banana-split sundae at Danny’s Ice Cream in DeLeon Springs. He did actually eat it with utensils.

Banana-split fun — Is it a banana split, or a taco? Foodie Files are a favorite part of writer Ryan Rougeux’s week; here he has fun with a triple-flavored banana-split sundae at Danny’s Ice Cream in DeLeon Springs. He did actually eat it with utensils.

BEACON PHOTO/NATE FLYNN

That's the spot — The front of Danny's Ice Cream in DeLeon Springs invites customers in for sweet treats and authentic Mexican cuisine.

That's the spot — The front of Danny's Ice Cream in DeLeon Springs invites customers in for sweet treats and authentic Mexican cuisine.

BEACON PHOTO/RYAN ROUGEUX

La familia — The Danny's Ice Cream family takes a moment to chat with Beacon writer Ryan Rougeux. Pictured are owner and father Jose Luis Estrada, sister Leslie Jeanet Estrada, mother Josefina Mesa Estrada, and son and manager Luis Daniel “Danny” Estrada. 

La familia — The Danny's Ice Cream family takes a moment to chat with Beacon writer Ryan Rougeux. Pictured are owner and father Jose Luis Estrada, sister Leslie Jeanet Estrada, mother Josefina Mesa Estrada, and son and manager Luis Daniel “Danny” Estrada. 

BEACON PHOTO/NATE FLYNN

Can't get enough tacos — Before eating our taco extravaganza at Danny's Ice Cream, we wanted to take a picture for the taco lovers of the world, including the two hot sauces Danny’s offers for extra flavor and heat. I chose the rojo (red).  

Can't get enough tacos — Before eating our taco extravaganza at Danny's Ice Cream, we wanted to take a picture for the taco lovers of the world, including the two hot sauces Danny’s offers for extra flavor and heat. I chose the rojo (red).  

BEACON PHOTO/RYAN ROUGEUX

At 4824 U.S. Highway 17 in the small community of DeLeon Springs, the traveler finds a shop offering authentic Mexican tacos and homemade ice cream that has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike since it opened in August 2001.  

After a relaxing day of swimming and sunning at the historic landmark DeLeon Springs State Park, it is common for springs guests to flock to Danny’s Ice Cream for refreshing ice cream and paletas (popsicles).  

Some time after opening, the restaurant added authentic Mexican tacos and other Mexican cuisine, which became a huge hit.

I pulled up to the small shop with the sun going down and the air starting to reach a brisk fall cool. An “open” light flashed underneath the Danny’s Ice Cream “Paleteria - y - Taqueria” sign, near smiling popsicles painted on the window.  

Mon
13
Nov

Deputies find explosives, bodily fluids at DeBary home

Explosive materials found at the suspect's home in DeBary

COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Several homes in a DeBary neighborhood were evacuated Sunday afternoon after Volusia County sheriff’s deputies responding to a domestic-disturbance call discovered a litany of potentially explosive devices and substances, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The incident prompted a bomb squad response that lasted through the night and into Monday morning, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant.

Fri
10
Nov

Sheriff Chitwood helps apprehend armed, suicidal man who led police and deputies on low-speed chase in DeLand

Sheriff Mike Chitwood speaks with members of the public at the spot where a low-speed chase involving deputies, police and a wanted, suicidal man.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood speaks with members of the public at the spot where a low-speed chase involving deputies, police and a wanted, suicidal man.

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA McLAUGHLIN

An armed and reportedly suicidal man with an active arrest warrant was taken into custody safely Thursday evening after spending hours fleeing from and negotiating with law-enforcement officers including Sheriff Mike Chitwood, according to Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant.

The sheriff himself reportedly eventually grabbed the man’s hand before he could stab himself with a box cutter.

The incident began just before 6 p.m. Thursday, Gant said, when the Sheriff's Office received a call about wanted 29-year-old Julius McLauchlin, who was said to be in his truck at an address on May Street in DeLand.

Fri
10
Nov

West Volusia Calendar Nov. 11-18, 2017

Saturday, Nov. 11
 
Veterans Day
Post offices and many banks and credit unions are closed in observance of Veterans Day.
 
Farmers Market
7 a.m.-3 p.m. at 535 Fair St., off West State Road 44, at the intersection of Carlis Road and Fair Street, DeLand.
 
Farmers Market
8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Gateway Center for the Arts, 880 North U.S. Highway 17-92, DeBary. Call 407-443-6965.
 
Market in the Park
8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Blake Park, 437 S. Lakeview Drive, Lake Helen. Call 305-393-0682.
 
Deltona Woodcarvers Saturday Breakfast Carving
Wed
08
Nov

Spiritual leaders reflect on Texas church shooting

IN MOURNING — Community members and visitors gather in Ball Park in Sutherland Springs, Texas, to hold a memorial service for the victims of the mass shooting that killed 26 people Nov. 5 at the town's First Baptist Church.

IN MOURNING — Community members and visitors gather in Ball Park in Sutherland Springs, Texas, to hold a memorial service for the victims of the mass shooting that killed 26 people Nov. 5 at the town's First Baptist Church.

PHOTO COURTESY LYNDA GONZALEZ/KUT

Solemn occasion — At left, Pastor Slade Rickels of Liberty Baptist Church in DeLand stands outside his church Wednesday, with the American flag out front at half-staff. 

Solemn occasion — Pastor Slade Rickels of Liberty Baptist Church in DeLand stands outside his church Wednesday, with the American flag out front at half-staff. 

BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON

Jamie Rader, minister of Spring Garden Avenue Church of Christ in DeLand, stands in his church’s sanctuary. 

BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON

From sea to shining sea, a wave of violence is sweeping over the land, and no place, it seems, is safe and secure.

"That's the world we're living in. Nothing is sacred anymore," said Jamie Rader, minister of Spring Garden Avenue Church of Christ in DeLand. "It shows how much we need God in our lives, when we see the depravity and evil."

A mass shooting claimed 26 lives and left 20 others wounded at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, before the alleged gunman himself died. 

The record death toll for a church shooting in the U.S. is forcing clergy to think about new security measures, even if it means having armed members or guards on the lookout for anything suspicious or unusual.

"I believe churches are going to have to step back and take safety precautions," DeLand First Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Patrick Wrisley said.

Wed
08
Nov

DeLand Y to celebrate 50th, honor local volunteers

TEAM PLAYER — At the DeLand Family YMCA, board member Peg Mahoney shows the baseball jersey donated by Atlanta Braves hall-of-famer Chipper Jones, who grew up in Pierson. The jersey is one of the silent-auction items that will be sold Thursday, Nov. 16, at the YMCA’s 50th-anniversary gala and fundraiser.  

TEAM PLAYER — At the DeLand Family YMCA, board member Peg Mahoney shows the baseball jersey donated by Atlanta Braves hall-of-famer Chipper Jones, who grew up in Pierson. The jersey is one of the silent-auction items that will be sold Thursday, Nov. 16, at the YMCA’s 50th-anniversary gala and fundraiser.  

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

The DeLand Family YMCA has announced that businessman Earl Colvard will receive the 2017 Jerry Frierson Award.

The award is named in memory of another DeLand business owner whose selfless volunteerism aided the YMCA and many other organizations. The honor will be presented Thursday, Nov. 16, as the DeLand Family YMCA celebrates its 50th anniversary with a party and silent auction at the Sanborn Center.

Also at that gala, Melodee Clarke, Alice Fogle and Pastor Wendell Raulerson will be the first recipients of Heart of the Y Awards, recognizing their dedication and commitment through the years to the mission and work of the DeLand Family YMCA.

Colvard — grandson of the former mayor for whom DeLand’s Earl Brown Park is named — is president and owner of  Boulevard Tire, which has several locations, including the service center at 816 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. 

Wed
08
Nov

Pita Pit pulls plug on project; property for purchase

Back on the market — This property just north of the Stetson University campus on Woodland Boulevard in DeLand was slated to become a Pita Pit, a franchise laying claim to a fun atmosphere and healthy options. The franchisee, perhaps daunted by community opposition, decided to open shop in Daytona Beach instead.

Back on the market — This property just north of the Stetson University campus on Woodland Boulevard in DeLand was slated to become a Pita Pit, a franchise laying claim to a fun atmosphere and healthy options. The franchisee, perhaps daunted by community opposition, decided to open shop in Daytona Beach instead.

BEACON PHOTO/ERIKA WEBB B

After a monthslong fight over whether a Pita Pit would fit at the corner of Woodland Boulevard and Plymouth Avenue in DeLand, the restaurant chain has changed its mind, and the property is back on the market.

The Pita Pit plan won approval in January 2017 from the DeLand City Commission to replace the vacant Primitive Baptist Church on the narrow lot. 

But neighbors’ opposition and concerns about traffic discouraged the restaurant chain, according to the property owner.

“Because it dragged on so long, the legal bills mounted,” Benedict Land manager Michael Benedict said, “... because a few of the citizens there didn’t want it … they got fearful about what might happen when they opened.”

Benedict said he and his wife, company co-manager Stephanie Benedict, have grown tired of driving across the county to meet law-enforcement officers responding to trespassing at the two empty church buildings on the property, so they have listed the land for sale.

Wed
08
Nov

1957 Pierson grads enjoy frequent reunions

Longtime friends — Catching up and reminiscing about old times are 1957 Pierson High School graduates, clockwise from left, Lorine Hansen, Judy Phelps, Carol Beeler, Louis Robinson, Carolyn Denton, Thomas Rees and Donald Thornton. They met Oct. 26 at the Pierson Family Restaurant. About half of the Class of 1957 meets every month or two, picking a different location each time. Rees’ daughter Debbie Raker and Hansen’s daughter Donna Greenlund also joined the group. Louis Robinson’s wife, Joan, who graduated

Longtime friends — Catching up and reminiscing about old times are 1957 Pierson High School graduates, clockwise from left, Lorine Hansen, Judy Phelps, Carol Beeler, Louis Robinson, Carolyn Denton, Thomas Rees and Donald Thornton. They met Oct. 26 at the Pierson Family Restaurant. About half of the Class of 1957 meets every month or two, picking a different location each time. Rees’ daughter Debbie Raker and Hansen’s daughter Donna Greenlund also joined the group. Louis Robinson’s wife, Joan, who graduated from Pierson High School in 1959, also regularly attends.

BEACON PHOTO/ERIKA WEBB

Carolyn Denton of DeLeon Springs graduated from Pierson High School in 1957. There were 16 students in her graduating class.

Sixty years later, more than half of the 12 still-living classmates meet on a regular basis. 

“At least seven or eight of us, every month or two, just sort of get together,” Denton said. “We’ve been doing that for a year or better.”

Denton and her best friend, Carol Beeler, were cheerleaders, and led the rooting for Pierson’s basketball and baseball teams.

“Seville was our arch rival,” Denton said, laughing. “And DeLand, too.”

Her continued high energy and zest for life make it easy to imagine Denton sparking school spirit. 

Denton travels frequently, bowls in a league, and keeps pace with five adult children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

Wed
08
Nov

DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar announces re-election bid

DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar announced his a re-election bid Nov. 8   BEACON PHOTO/BARB SHEPHERD

DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar announced his a re-election bid Nov. 8 BEACON PHOTO/BARB SHEPHERD

DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar announced Nov. 8 that he intends to seek another term in office as the city’s top elected leader.

“For well over a year, I have been asked by a very diverse number of citizens to run again,” Apgar said. “With support and encouragement from family and friends, I decided to run.”

Apgar has led the city as mayor since being elected in 2001. Before that, he served on the City Commission from 1983 to 1991 and from 1996 to 2001.

The longtime mayor previously said his last election campaign — the tumultuous election of 2014, when he faced then-DeLand businessman Pat Johnson — would be his last.

“People changed my mind,” Apgar said in an interview with The Beacon. “There is a lot left to do.”

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