News

Thu
17
May

Veterans clinic moves; governor to honor veterans

The first customers — Before the early-morning opening of the new VA outpatient clinic in Deltona May 15, the first veterans line up at the door. From left are Bill Savine, an Air Force veteran from DeBary; Wayne Wood, a Navy veteran from DeBary; Thomas Goff, a Navy veteran from DeLand; Kelly Horton, an Army veteran from DeLand; and Dana Gregory, an Air Force veteran from DeLand. Gregory said he is pleased to have the bigger facility closer to where he lives. “I think it’s easier to go to,” he added. “I wen

The first customers — Before the early-morning opening of the new VA outpatient clinic in Deltona May 15, the first veterans line up at the door. From left are Bill Savine, an Air Force veteran from DeBary; Wayne Wood, a Navy veteran from DeBary; Thomas Goff, a Navy veteran from DeLand; Kelly Horton, an Army veteran from DeLand; and Dana Gregory, an Air Force veteran from DeLand. Gregory said he is pleased to have the bigger facility closer to where he lives. “I think it’s easier to go to,” he added. “I went to Lake Nona, and the tolls will kill you.”

BEACON PHOTOS/AL EVERSON

BUSY ON CLOSING DAY — Kim and Cindy Fisher, who live in Sanford, leave the Orange City site for the last time on its closing day. Kim Fisher is a Vietnam War-era veteran of the U.S. Air Force, who said he is “looking forward to” visiting the new clinic in Deltona. “I think it will be great for the community,” he added.

BUSY ON CLOSING DAY — Kim and Cindy Fisher, who live in Sanford, leave the Orange City site for the last time on its closing day. Kim Fisher is a Vietnam War-era veteran of the U.S. Air Force, who said he is “looking forward to” visiting the new clinic in Deltona. “I think it will be great for the community,” he added.

Veterans clinic reopens in new location

More than three-and-a-half years after the relocation and expansion of the facility was first announced, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ outpatient clinic has opened in Deltona. 

The new medical-care facility occupies 10,000 square feet of renovated space in Deltona Plaza, 1200 Deltona Blvd., Suites 41-47. The clinic was moved from its former place in Orange City, where it had served a growing population of former military personnel since 2009. Prior to its coming to Orange City, the clinic was located in Sanford.

The clinic in Deltona formally opened May 15. The new facility will offer primary care, mental-health and other services not previously provided in Orange City, but it will also have telehealth rooms, a lab area and a space dedicated to women’s health needs. 

Wed
16
May

The wild side: Veterinarians, rescuer wish for a place for injured wildlife to recover

HOO WILL HELP US? — These baby screech owls were found on the ground, abandoned. After being checked out by the vets at DeLand Animal Hospital, they were transferred to a private rehabilitator. They will be released when they are old enough to fend for themselves, Ahopha Wildlife Rescue founder Tom Scotti said. 

HOO WILL HELP US? — These baby screech owls were found on the ground, abandoned. After being checked out by the vets at DeLand Animal Hospital, they were transferred to a private rehabilitator. They will be released when they are old enough to fend for themselves, Ahopha Wildlife Rescue founder Tom Scotti said. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF AHOPHA WILDLIFE RESCUE

This bald eagle will live out her days educating people at the Cincinnati Zoo, due to a permanent wing injury. In April, Dr. Thomas MacPhail of DeLand Animal Hospital performed surgery to restore the bird to comfort. The hospital treats and cares for numerous injured birds of prey, as well as all types of other wildlife, on a regular basis.

This bald eagle will live out her days educating people at the Cincinnati Zoo, due to a permanent wing injury. In April, Dr. Thomas MacPhail of DeLand Animal Hospital performed surgery to restore the bird to comfort. The hospital treats and cares for numerous injured birds of prey, as well as all types of other wildlife, on a regular basis.

BEAK TWEAK — Dr. Thomas MacPhail of DeLand Animal Hospital performs a procedure on this sandhill crane, a resident of Hontoon Island State Park, to align the top portion of its beak with the broken-off bottom so the bird will be able to eat again. 

BEAK TWEAK — Dr. Thomas MacPhail of DeLand Animal Hospital performs a procedure on this sandhill crane, a resident of Hontoon Island State Park, to align the top portion of its beak with the broken-off bottom so the bird will be able to eat again. 

PHOTO COURTESY DELAND ANIMAL HOSPITAL

Not all animals treated by veterinarians are the beloved, pampered pets of doting humans.

Good Samaritans and the compassionate staff at DeLand Animal Hospital strive to ensure that no creature — domesticated or wild — goes without care in its hour of need.

At least 1,000 wild animals are treated at the veterinary hospital and released into their habitats, or to perpetual care, each year.

In the waiting area of the veterinary clinic May 4, chances of an interview with co-owner Dr. Tom MacPhail slimmed. Fridays and Mondays are booked with surgeries. 

Behind a door leading from the lobby, pigs squealed. Dog and cat owners waiting their turns were unfazed.

The following Monday, MacPhail performed surgeries from 7 a.m. to midnight.

Wed
16
May

West Volusia group gets state holiday for civil-rights leaders

A BIG THANKS — State Rep. Patrick Henry, D-Daytona Beach, and state Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, hold framed copies of the bills they worked to get passed in their respective houses of the Florida Legislature, which officially designate a day in honor of slain civil-rights leaders Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, who were killed when their Mims home was bombed in 1951. With them are members of the NAACP West Volusia Branch who gathered at Greater Union First Baptist Church of DeLand to honor the legi

A BIG THANKS — State Rep. Patrick Henry, D-Daytona Beach, and state Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, hold framed copies of the bills they worked to get passed in their respective houses of the Florida Legislature, which officially designate a day in honor of slain civil-rights leaders Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, who were killed when their Mims home was bombed in 1951. With them are members of the NAACP West Volusia Branch who gathered at Greater Union First Baptist Church of DeLand to honor the legislators. NAACP West Volusia Branch President Mike Williams, seated at the right end of the first row, has a family connection to Harry T. Moore — his father, he explained, purchased his NAACP membership from Moore in the late 1940s. As a result of the group’s efforts, the third Saturday in December is  now officially known as “Harry Tyson Moore and Harriette Vyda Simms Moore Day” in Florida.

At a gathering May 14, members of the NAACP West Volusia Branch showed their appreciation for a pair of local legislators who helped get statewide recognition for two distinguished martyrs of the civil-rights movement. 

Activist Harry T. Moore, an educator and a founder of the Brevard County branch of the NAACP, and his wife, Harriette Moore, were killed on Christmas night when their home in Mims was bombed in 1951.

The West Volusia Branch NAACP spearheaded an effort to have the Moores memorialized with a state holiday. 

Finally, during the 2018 session of the Florida Legislature, a joint effort by Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, and Rep. Patrick Henry, D-Daytona Beach, led to passage of a bill designating the third Saturday in December as "Harry Tyson Moore and Harriette Vyda Simms Moore Day.”

Wed
16
May

DeLand's Automall challenge moves forward; suit filed

THE SITE — The proposed site of the I-4 Automall along Orange Camp Road.

THE SITE — The proposed site of the I-4 Automall along Orange Camp Road.

BEACON FILE PHOTO

State law spells out rules for fight

DeLand’s legal challenge against Lake Helen over the proposed I-4 Automall is officially moving through the court system — though, for now, it's on pause. 

DeLand City Attorney Darren Elkind asked a Circuit Court judge May 11 to review Lake Helen’s decision to annex the 52-acre Automall site, but he also filed a request May 14 to stay any legal proceedings until discussions between officials from the two cities play out. 

Wed
16
May

State: No lifeguards this summer at DeLeon Springs

No more lifeguards — Children frolic in the spring-fed swimming hole at DeLeon Springs State Park during the summer of 2016, as a lifeguard peers from his tower. This summer, there will be no lifeguards at the popular swimming hole. Not enough qualified applicants could be found for the temporary position, the state said.  

No more lifeguards — Children frolic in the spring-fed swimming hole at DeLeon Springs State Park during the summer of 2016, as a lifeguard peers from his tower. This summer, there will be no lifeguards at the popular swimming hole. Not enough qualified applicants could be found for the temporary position, the state said.  

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

As summer’s usual scores of children jump and splash in the pool at DeLeon Springs State Park, adults might want to be extra-vigilant. There will be no lifeguards on duty.

The Department of Environmental Protection said it has become impossible to find enough people willing to work as lifeguards at the park.

Swimming will continue year-round in the circular spring-fed pool at DeLeon Springs, but swimmers will be at their own risk, according to the Florida State Parks website. Swimming has been, and is still, prohibited in the spring run. 

Florida Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Lauren Engel confirmed that no lifeguards have been hired for the summer of 2018. 

She also noted that the agency has never provided lifeguards for Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, where swimming is also popular. 

Historically, Engel said, the state has provided seasonal lifeguards only at parks whose swimming areas feature man-made structures.

Wed
16
May

Determining cause of Putnam fire may take another month

THE AFTERMATH — DeLand firefighters were still present at the Hotel Putnam the morning after the April 29 inferno. 

THE AFTERMATH — DeLand firefighters were still present at the Hotel Putnam the morning after the April 29 inferno. 

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

DeLand fire chief: Lengthy investigation not unusual

It’s still not known what caused a fire at DeLand’s historic Hotel Putnam more than two weeks ago, and it may yet take a little while longer for any answers to surface. 

DeLand Fire Chief Daniel Hanes said the State Fire Marshal’s Office is still investigating the April 29 blaze, which required units from several cities to extinguish. The fire is being treated as suspicious, because the building is vacant and did not have electric service.

“I spoke with the lead investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office on Friday,” Hanes said in a May 15 email. “He told me during that conversation that it could still be a month or more before they are ready to release their findings.”

A lengthy investigation is typical under these circumstances, where the fire is treated as suspicious, the fire chief said.

Tue
15
May

Deltona woman found fatally shot; Sheriff's Office detectives investigating

Detectives with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the shooting death of a woman who was killed in her home in Deltona Monday evening.

The shooting at 2008 Dearing Ave. was reported around 5:30 p.m., after a man performing work on the house discovered the victim, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant.

The worker found the home’s front door ajar, and after calling out several times, the worker said he went in to check if anyone was inside, Gant said. He found the victim, a woman in her mid-20s, deceased.

The victim’s identity is known to detectives — who have been in contact with her family — but her name is not being released publicly at this time.

Mon
14
May

Foodie FIle: Wild Game Feast is a party with a purpose

Guess who’s coming to dinner — Lots and lots of folks. The 2018 Wild Game Feast crowd fills Tommy Lawrence Arena on the Volusia County Fairgrounds.

Guess who’s coming to dinner — Lots and lots of folks. The 2018 Wild Game Feast crowd fills Tommy Lawrence Arena on the Volusia County Fairgrounds.

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Game on! — Food writer Ryan Rougeux sits down with his personal Wild Game Feast. Each plate looks different, because guests could select from a wide variety of game, and could pile the food as high as they wanted. Choices included Cajun crawfish, venison curry, catfish fingerlings, fried alligator tail, snakehead fish, buffalo meatballs and fried rattlesnake.

Game on! — Food writer Ryan Rougeux sits down with his personal Wild Game Feast. Each plate looks different, because guests could select from a wide variety of game, and could pile the food as high as they wanted. Choices included Cajun crawfish, venison curry, catfish fingerlings, fried alligator tail, snakehead fish, buffalo meatballs and fried rattlesnake.

BEACON PHOTO/TAYLOR SMITH

Citizen of the Year selfie — Newly named West Volusia Citizen of the Year at the 2018 Wild Game Feast, Dr. Lyle Wadsworth smiles for a selfie with Serena Fisher, left, and Carrie Marks of Halifax Health Hospice. Fisher is the agency’s community-relations coordinator, and Marks is a community-care liaison; both women work with Wadsworth, who was one of the founders of West Volusia’s Good Samaritan Clinic.

Citizen of the Year selfie — Newly named West Volusia Citizen of the Year at the 2018 Wild Game Feast, Dr. Lyle Wadsworth smiles for a selfie with Serena Fisher, left, and Carrie Marks of Halifax Health Hospice. Fisher is the agency’s community-relations coordinator, and Marks is a community-care liaison; both women work with Wadsworth, who was one of the founders of West Volusia’s Good Samaritan Clinic.

BEACON PHOTO/SERENA FISHER

Elotes Corn Bar — Wild Game Feast participant Nate Flynn of Central Florida Building Construction watches eagerly as Jeannie Harvey dresses his grilled Mexican street corn with a sauce of sour cream, mayonnaise, lime and paprika at the Wild Game Feast.

Elotes Corn Bar — Wild Game Feast participant Nate Flynn of Central Florida Building Construction watches eagerly as Jeannie Harvey dresses his grilled Mexican street corn with a sauce of sour cream, mayonnaise, lime and paprika at the Wild Game Feast.

BEACON PHOTO/RYAN ROUGEUX

Wild Game Feast a culinary delight and a community help

In 1990, Albert D. Downs led a DeLand Breakfast Rotary Club team that traveled north to observe a Gainesville Rotary wild-game event.

Downs and his team came home impressed. They suggested the DeLand club plan a similar event for its major annual fundraiser.

That’s why, for the past 27 years, a crowd has gathered annually in the 22,954-square-foot Tommy Lawrence Arena at the Volusia County Fairgrounds to sample Florida Cracker vittles like swamp cabbage, fried rattlesnake, oysters, gator tail and much more.

It’s how the Breakfast Rotary has been able to donate $1.75 million to support West Volusia charities.

After Downs died in 2000, the annual feast was renamed for him, honoring his dedication to organizing, planning and sustaining the successful fundraiser that embodies the Rotary Club International motto “Service Above Self.”

Fri
11
May

Sheriff's Office: Nearly-naked man causes bomb scare at Daytona airport

The concourse at Daytona Beach International Airport  PHOTO COURTESY DAYTONA BEACH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

The concourse at Daytona Beach International Airport

PHOTO COURTESY DAYTONA BEACH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

A nearly-naked man caused the Daytona Beach International Airport to be evacuated Friday morning after making statements about a bomb, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Volusia County sheriff’s deputies responded around 6:22 a.m. to a report of a suspicious person at the airport, who turned out to be 25-year-old John T. Greenwood.

Greenwood had gone into an airport restroom that was under construction, placed a bag inside a hole in a wall and emerged from the restroom without wearing his clothes, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant.

Wed
09
May

Three candidates vying for circuit judgeship

Ryan Will

Sebrina Slack

Linda Gaustad

Linda Gaustad

Three Volusia County attorneys are in the race to replace a Circuit Court judge who retired.

Candidates in the Group 15 race are Linda Gaustad, who has a solo law practice in Orange City, Sebrina Slack, a managing attorney and shareholder in a prominent law firm in DeLand, and Ryan Will, an assistant state attorney based in Daytona Beach.

Gaustad and Slack unsuccessfully ran in separate judgeship races two years ago. Will, the son of a longtime, now-retired judge, is in his first campaign.

The contested race will appear on the ballot in the Tuesday, Aug. 28, primary election. If none of the three candidates gets more than 50 percent of the votes, a runoff between the top two will be held in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, general election.


Linda Gaustad

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