2016 ReWIND: Top 100 Stories for greater Daytona, Sanford & Orlando (71-80)

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Headline Surfer is counting down the Top 100 stories of 2016 in the greater Daytona Beach, Sanford and Orlando metro area otherwise known as the I-4 corridor of Central Florida through Volusia, Seminole and Orange counties. 

Among the top 5 contenders for the No. 1 story of the year in no particular order: The Pulse gay nightclub terrorist massacre; the ugliness of the presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the continuing saga over homelessness in Daytona Beach; records tied or broken in NASCAR races at Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway; and no relief from escalating violent crime, especially in Daytona and Orlando.

Here are the stories ranked 71-80:

71. John Cooper, first to hold track posts as president at Indianapolis & later Daytona, has died

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- John Cooper, the first man to serve as president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and later Daytona International Speedway who died Wednesday in Indianapolis at the age of 83, was remembered by motorsports leaders of today.

Cooper served as IMS president from 1979-1982. He then became Daytona’s president from December 1987 to July 1990. The only other person to hold both positions was Joie Chitwood III.

Cooper was described by current Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles as “one of (the Indy track's) iconic leaders.”
Cooper’s ties to NASCAR were borne out of a longstanding friendship with Bill France, Sr., who built Daytona International Speedway in 1957. While still IMS president, Cooper began talks to get NASCAR to race in Indianapolis, a move that became reality in 1994 when Tony George was IMS president.

Brian France, the elder France's grandson and current NASCAR CEO, released a statement in remembrance of Cooper, saying in part, "I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of John Cooper. John served in many motorsports roles throughout his life, including president of two of the most iconic race tracks in the world – Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But beyond any of his exemplary career stops, there was one role that was personally even more important – dear friend." France continued, "John was a cherished confidant of both my father and my grandfather. My family has relied on his counsel – both personally and professionally speaking – countless times. We are all saddened by his passing, and will miss John dearly."

Johm Cooper / Headline SurferBrian France, the elder France's grandson and current NASCAR CEO, released a statement in remembrance of Coooper, saying in part, "I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of John Cooper, shown here at left. John served in many motorsports roles throughout his life, including president of two of the most iconic race tracks in the world – Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But beyond any of his exemplary career stops, there was one role that was personally even more important – dear friend." France continued, "John was a cherished confidant of both my father and my grandfather. My family has relied on his counsel – both personally and professionally speaking – countless times. We are all saddened by his passing, and will miss John dearly."

France's sister, Lesa France Kennedy, who heads up International Speedway Corp., owner of Daytona International Speedway and a dozen other tracks on the NASCAR circuit, added via prepared statement, "The impact that John Cooper had on the International Speedway Corporation, Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR and the motorsports industry overall cannot be overstated. In addition to being a legendary voice of executive leadership, he also was a longtime friend and confidant to the France Family, starting with his close relationship to my grandfather, Bill France, Sr."

France Kennedy added, “John was one of only two people who have served as president at both Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway – and that represents only a portion of his career and achievements. Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family and friends. We have lost a cherished link to our industry’s past.”

Cooper, an Iowa native who attended Northwestern University, started showing up at motorsports events in 1953, not only as a fan, but also as a working hand, with sprint car and champ car teams.

Donald Davidson, historian at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said vintage photos of Cooper working the Indianapolis 500, date back to 1954. Cooper helped the US Auto Club hold its first race Jan. 8, 1956, in Fort Wayne, Davidson said.

In 1972, Cooper was named president of Ontario (Calif.) Speedway, and two years later he played a pivotal role in helping motor sports through the country’s energy crisis. In October 1979, Cooper became IMS president just after CART was formed. He helped merge CART and USAC into the short-lived Championship Racing League (CRL), which lasted four races, and he left IMS just before the 1982 Indy 500 to serve as chairman of the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States.

72. New Smyrna Beach cops: Man, 59, arrested after he's allegedly caught sexually assaulting 5-year-old boy

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- A 5-year-old boy was sexually assaulted by a 59-year-old friend of the boy's family after he was allegedly caught, leading to the arrest in early November of John Young, who was being held without bail in the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.

Here is a synopsis of what happened in the 7:40 p.m. incident as told by New Smyrna Beach Police Lt. Shane Riggle in a news release to Headline Surfer: "Police officers were dispatched to Florida Memorial Hospital at 401 palmetto St. in reference to a sex offense. When police arrived, they learned from a witness that a 5 year-old boy allegedly fell victim to lewd acts by a family friend they were just visiting. The boy was enticed with food out of sight for just a few moments when the act allegedly occurred. When the boy’s guardian went to check on him, she observed Mr. Young performing a lewd act on the boy. She immediately grabbed the boy and left Mr. Young’s residence. She pulled into the hospital to call police." 

NSB sex assault / Headline SurferHere is a synopsis of what happened in the 7:40 p.m. incident as told by New Smyrna Beach Police Lt. Shane Riggle in a news release to Headline Surfer:

"Police officers were dispatched to Florida Memorial Hospital at 401 palmetto St. in reference to a sex offense. When police arrived, they learned from a witness that a 5 year-old boy allegedly fell victim to lewd acts by a family friend they were just visiting. The boy was enticed with food out of sight for just a few moments when the act allegedly occurred. When the boy’s guardian went to check on him, she observed Mr. Young performing a lewd act on the boy. She immediately grabbed the boy and left Mr. Young’s residence. She pulled into the hospital to call police."

A short time later, Young was located at his home and was placed under arrest on a felony charge of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 12, Riggle said, adding, Young was subsequently transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach where he was being held without bail.

73. Changing of the Guard in Daytona, sort of: Dannette Henry sworn in as commissioner replacing 1 of 2 other Henrys 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- For the first time in eight years, Patrick Henry found himself in the audience as opposed to being seated on the dais during the Nov. 16 meeting of the City Commission.

With term limits in play, Henry, a Democrat, ran and won the seat for state representative in the 26th district in the Nov. 8 general elections over Republican Michael Cantu, also of Daytona Beach, with 52.9 percent of the votes.

Replacing Henry on the dais is his younger sister, Dannette Henry, who won the zone 5 seat in the Nov. 8 general elections over Myke Tyru, with 60.68 percent of the votes. Dannette Henry had already beaten Tyru in a three-way battle in the Aug. 30 primary with 46.3 percent of the votes to Tyru's 29,67 percent and Willie Williams managing 24.03 percent for third place and out of the running. 

Because Henry didn't generate the threshold oh 50 percent plus 1 vote to win the office outright, she and Tyru squared off in the run-off election on Nov. 8, which she handily won. And so it is a changing of the guard in municipal governance - sort of. While one Henry replaced another -- Dannette Henry for Patrick Henry -- there remains a second Henry on the dais as well: Mayor Derrick Henry returns for another four years after crushing a crowded primary field and winning the office outright in that preliminary election with a whopping 62.15 percent of the votes over four other candidates.

Finishing a distant second to Mayor Henry was Ken Strickland with 22.45 percent of the votes, followed by Fred Hoffman with 6.8 percent, David Rhody with 4.43 percent and Dominique Delannoy with 4.16 percent of the votes.

Dannette Henry, new Daytona commissioner / Headline SurferAnd so it is a changing of the guard in muncipal governance - sort of. While one Henry replaced another -- Dannette Henry, shown here at left,  for Patrick Henry -- there remains a second Henry on the dais as well: Mayor Derrick Henry returns for another four yerrs after crushing a crowded preimary field and winning the office outright in that preliminary election with a whopping 62.15 percent of the votes over four other candidates.

Finishing a distant second to Mayor Henry was Ken Strickland with 22.45 percent of the votes, followed by Fred Hoffman with 6.8 percent, David Rhody with 4.43 percent and Dominique Delannoy with 4.16 percent of the votes.

Like Dannette Henry, another newcomer to the City Commission is Aaron Delgado, an attorney, who was sworn in as the zone 2 commissioner on the municipal dais. And like Dannette Henry, Delgado eventually won the seat after two public votes.

Delgado finished second in the Aug. 30 primary to Mary Weegie Kuendig in a three-way battle. Kuendig garnered 37.57 percent of the votes to Delgado's 36.94. Finishing a distant third and out of the running was Tony Servance with 25.49 percent of the votes. But in the general election with far more voter participation, Delgado won the seat with 55.76 percent of the votes to Keundig's 44.24 percent.

Zone 6 Commissioner Paula Reed and zone 4 Commissioner Robert Gilliland, both won without opposition in the 2016 election cycle and were sworn in as well.

74. Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis: Primary recount confirms Bill Hall new mayor of South Daytona

SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. -- Demonstrating once again that every vote counts, a manual recount on Sept. 2 showed William "Bill" Hall the winner of the primary for mayor of South Daytona over incumbent George Locke, III.

The difference in votes? Five. Yes, five votes, as in the four fingers and thumb count on one's hand. That's how close the margin of victory was for Hall, who retired as police chief a few years ago.

The final results from the manual recount performed by the Volusia County Canvassing Board on Friday resulted in 1,306 votes cast for Hall and 1,301 votes cast for Locke. "When all was said and done the results were the same," Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis told Headline Surfer.   

Hall, 58, retired as South Daytona's police chief in 2013, having served in law enforcement for 35 years, dating back to when he was 18 and just out of high school. Locke said he called Hall after the Aug. 24 primary because "I knew the results of the recount likely wouldn't change," Locke said. Indeed, unofficial primary votes showed Hall had won by the slimmest of margins, 1,306 votes or 50.1 percent to 1,301 or 49.9 percent.

George Locke lost his job as South Daytona mayor by 5 votes / Headline SurferLocke said he called Hall after the Aug. 24 primary because "I knew the results of the recount likely wouldn't change," Locke said. Indeed, unofficial primary votes showed Hall had won by the slimmest of margins, 1,306 votes or 50.1 percent to 1,301 or 49.9 percent.

A recount is done when voting totals show a candidate has won by less than one half of one percent. Locke had been mayor since 2010, when he first won in a special election and then re-elected in 2012. Prior to that, he had been a city commissioner for two decades. "I knew it was time for new blood and Bill Hall worked hard for this so I wasn't really disappointed," said Locke, 70.

Hall, accompanied by his attorney, Steven deLaroche, to witness the recount, along with Locke, said, he knew the incumbent had been on the dais a long time and had set his own sights on coming back to public service.

"Once in a while, someone's got to throw a hat in the ring to preserve democracy," Hall said afterwards. 

The two were cordial to each other, Lewis said. The 90-minute recount Friday morning was conducted by Lewis and four of her staffers under the supervision of the Volusia County Canvassing Board, which consisted of County Council at-large member Joyce Cusack, Judge Chris Kelley and County Councilman Pat Patterson.

Normally, the canvassing board consists of the supervisor of elections, the county chair and a judge. But because Lewis, herself, was in the primary (she won decisively over three others), and County Chair Jason Davis, was too (he finished second among four candidates to force a Nov. 8 runoff with primary winner Ed Kelley), Cusack took Lewis' place and Patterson filled in for Davis.

75. Orlando Magic acquire guard Jodie Meeks from Detroit Pistons

ORLANDO, Fla. --  The Orlando Magic have acquired guard Jodie Meeks from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a future conditional second round draft pick, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced June 29.

“We are excited o welcome Jodie (Meeks) to the Orlando Magic family,” Hennigan said in a media release sent to Headline Surfer. “Jodie adds perimeter shooting and is another veteran presence. He adds depth to our backcourt and we look forward to his contributions.”

Meeks (6’4," 210, 8/21/87) played in only three games with Detroit last season, averaging 7.3 ppg., 1.7 rpg. and 1.0 apg. in 14.5 minpg. He suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot on Oct. 28 vs. Utah and missed 63 games due to the injury.  Meeks also missed four games following his foot rehabilitation due to a sore left shoulder.

Orlando Magic acquired Joedie Meeks for a fute No. 2 pivk ffreom Detroit on June 29 / Headline Surfer®The Orlando Magic have acquired guard Jodie Meeks from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a future conditional second round draft pick, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

“We are excited to welcome Jodie (Meeks) to the Orlando Magic family,” Hennigan said in a media release sent to Headline Surfer. “Jodie adds perimeter shooting and is another veteran presence. He adds depth to our backcourt and we look forward to his contributions.”

Meeks (6’4”, 210, 8/21/87) played in only three games with Detroit last season, averaging 7.3 ppg., 1.7 rpg. and 1.0 apg. in 14.5 minpg. He suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot on Oct. 28 vs. Utah and missed 63 games due to the injury.  Meeks also missed four games following his foot rehabilitation due to a sore left shoulder.

Originally selected in the second round (41st overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft by Milwaukee, Meeks has played in 418 career NBA regular season games (194 starts with Milwaukee, Philadelphia, the LA Lakers and Detroit, averaging 9.9 ppg., 2.2 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 24.3 minpg., while shooting .373 (639-1,713) from three-point range and .882 (716-812) from the free throw line.  Meeks has also appeared in 19 career NBA playoff outings, averaging 4.1 ppg. in 12.9 minpg.  On Dec. 30, 2014, at Orlando, Meeks connected on a career-high nine three-point field goals, setting a new Magic record for most three-pointers made by an opponent in a game, as well as an Amway Center-record.

 

76. Student art adorns Daytona Beach International Airport cards for holidays

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Nothing captures the holiday spirit like a child. And that’s why for its 2016 holiday cards,  Daytona Beach International Airport tapped into the creativity of local school children.

The airport asked schools around Volusia County to submit student-created holiday designs geared toward aviation and the holiday season for potential use on its 2016 holiday cards. New Smyrna Beach Middle School’s art class answered the call, submitting designs from 25 students. From the submissions, airport staff chose four to be featured on the cards. 

Winning students were Emily Laescher Wright, eighth grade; Juliette Betancur, seventh grade; Kyla Kaelker, sixth grade; and Carsin Linker,  sixth grade. The four winning students will receive a lunch and airport tour. All participating students will receive a gift bag from Daytona BeachInternational Airport.

Holiday cards at Daytona Int'l Airport / Headline SurferChrisatmas treeStudewnt art / Headline SurrferStudent art for Daytona Int'l Auirport holidays / Headline SurferThe airport asked schools around Volusia County to submit student-created holiday designs geared toward aviation and the holiday season for potential use on its 2016 holiday cards. New Smyrna Beach Middle School’s art class answered the call, submitting designs from 25 students. From the submissions, airport staff chose four to be featured on the cards. 
 
Winning students were Emily Laescher Wright, eighth grade; Juliette Betancur, seventh grade; Kyla Kaelker, sixth grade; and Carsin Linker,  sixth grade. The four winning students will receive a lunch and airport tour. All participating students will receive a gift bag from Daytona BeachInternational Airport.

77. Volusia County school children & parents take part in International Walk/ Bike to School Day

DELAND, Fla. -- Hundreds of students and their parents participated in International Walk/ Bike to School Day on Oct. 5, two days before Hurricane Matthew. 

"It was well attended and helped to promote student and driver safety and living healthy lifestyles," Volusia County Schools District spokeswoman Nancy Wait told Headline Surfer.

Hundreds of students and their parents participated in International Walk/ Bike to School Day on Oct. 5, two days before Hurricane Matthew, as shown here. ​

"It was well attended and helped to promote student and driver safety and living healthy lifestyles," Volusia County Schools District spokeswoman Nancy Wait told Headline Surfer.

78. New Smyrna Beach Fire Dept. contains 5-acre brush fire near Sugar Mill

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- A 5-acre brush fire near the Sugar Mill Country Club gated community was contained Friday, Aug. 19, by the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department.

The fire was found in a wooded area around the 3000 block of Pioneer Trail. 

"The brush fire is approximately 5 acres in size and is contained," said Mike Greene, lieutenant with the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department at the time. "No homes were threatened and no evacuations were ordered." 

Pioneer Trail was shut down between Sugar Mill Drive and Turnbull Bay Road on Friday afternoon, Aug. 19, when fire units responded but reopened later in the evening.

Fire crews from New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County Fire Services, Ormond Beach Fire Department, Port Orange Fire Rescue and the Florida Forest Service assisted in extinguishing the flames. Units remained on scene overnight, mopping up hot spots and monitoring the conditions. 

Bruish fire contained in Sugarmill Aug 19, 2016 / Headline SurferPioneer Trail was shut down between Sugar Mill Drive and Turnbull Bay Road on Friday afternoon, Aug. 19., when fire units responded but reopened later in the evening.​ Fire crews from New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County Fire Services, Ormond Beach Fire Department, Port Orange Fire Rescue and the Florida Forest Service assisted in extinguishing the flames. Units remained on scene overnight, mopping up hot spots and monitoring the conditions. 

 

79. Two incumbents return to Ponce Inlet Town Council

PONCE INLET, Fla. -- Joseph Perrone didn't have to look over his shoulder in his re-election bid on the Ponce Inlet Town Council.

That's because neither Perrone nor his colleague, Bill Milano, had any opposition when qualifying in June had come and gone, for their respective elective offices, seats 4 and 2.

It wasn't such a breeze for Joe Perrone in the 2013 primary when he won re-election over Joe Villanella by a single vote plurality. A manual recount confirmed the victory three days after that Aug. 14 primary. The 1-vote margin in his favor remained the same, 609 to 608, over the upstart Villanella.

Ponce Inlet no opposition/ Headline SurferJoe Perrone and Bill Milano, sahown here left and right, respectively, won seats on the Ponce Inlet Town Councvil when qualiufying ended in June and they had no opposition.

It wasn't such a breeze for Perrone in the 2013 primary when he won re-election over Joe Villanella by a single vote plurality.

A manual recount confirmed the victory three days after that Aug. 14 primary. The 1-vote margin in his favor remained the same, 609 to 608, over the upstart Villanella.

Perrone and Milano are joined on the Ponce Inlet Town Council by Mayor Gary Smith and seat 3 Councilwoman Mary Hoss and seat 5 Councilwoman Lois Paritsky.  The latter three are up for re-election next year.

80. Two council incumbents had no challengers in Pierson

PIERSON, FLA. -- Two incumbents who are fern growers were returned to office here in Pierson, known as the "Fern Capital of the World," when no challengers emerged when qualifying was over in June.

As such, re-elected without opposition for another four years were seat 4 Councilman Samuel G.S. Bennett and seat 5 Councilman Herbert J. Bennett. The other elected officials whose terms expire in two years are Mayor James F. Sowell, seat 1 Councilman James T. Peterson, Seat 2 Councilman Tom Larrivee and seat 3 Councilman Robert F. Greenlund.

While the Bennetts, who are not related, had no opponents this time around, they easily were returned to their elected posts four years ago when they had challengers. In the 2012 general elections, Samuel Bennett defeated Maribel Martinez, 330 (66.67%) to 165. And in the same election cycle, Herbert J. Bennett won over Lidia Miranda, 334 (67.89%) to 67.

Pierson, FL / Headline SurferWhile the Bennetts, who are not related, had no opponents this time around, they easily were returned to their elected posts four years ago when they had challengers. in the 2012 general elections, Samuel Bennett defeated Maribel Martinez, 330 (66.67%) to 165. And in the same election cycle, Herbert J. Bennett won over Lidia Miranda, 334 (67.89%) to 67.

The Pierson Town Council is comprised of five voting town council members and a mayor, who does not have a vote. There are no term limits.

Peterson is the longest-tenured current town official, first elected in 1982. Larivee is the newest, appointed two years ago to replace Billy Carter, who died unexpectedly. Larivee was subsequently elected without opposition that August prior to the primary when qualifying ended and no one else opted to run against him. James Sowell was first elected mayor in 2000.

RECAP:
 
December 31, 2016
71. John Cooper, first to hold track posts as president at Indianapolis & later Daytona, has died
72. New Smyrna Beach cops: Man, 59, arrested after he's allegedly caught sexually assaulting 5-year-old boy
73. Changing of the Guard in Daytona, sort of: Dannette Henry sworn in as commissioner replacing 1 of 2 other Henrys 
74. Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis: Primary recount confirms Bill Hall new mayor of South Daytona
75. Orlando Magic acquire guard Jodie Meeks from Detroit Pistons
76. Student art adorns Daytona Beach International Airport cards for holidays
77. Volusia County school children & parents take part in International Walk/ Bike to School Day
78. New Smyrna Beach Fire Dept. contains 5-acre brush fire near Sugar Mill
79. Two incumbents return to Ponce Inlet Town Council
80. Two council incumbents had no challengers in Pierson
 
December 30, 2016
81. Daytona cops: Mainland HS student struck & killed in crosswalk on way to school
82. New Smyrna Beach cops: NSBPD Inv. Brian Morris promoted to patrol sergeant
83. VCSO: Daytona Beach man suspected of robbing Deltona store fished out of Deltona pond 
84. Small plane crashes near New Smyrna Beach; pilot treated for minor injury
85. Govenor removes 'acting' from surgeon general title for Celeste Philip, ex-Volusia County deputy health exec
86. VCSO: Ocala man killed in Pierson after jumping from moving vehicle
87. Hundreds stung by jellyfish along World's Most Famous Beach in Daytona
88. New Smyrna Beach firefighters save house by limiting most of early morning blaze to garage
89. COMING OF AGE: Daytona State College’s Center for Women and Men celebrates 40th anniversary 
90. NSBFD: 3 cats rescued in New Smyrna Beach house fire
 
December 30, 2016
91. Rare Kemp's ridley sea turtle rescued near Ponce Inlet recovers at Marine
92. New Smyrna Beach Finance Director Althea Philord-Bradley receives special award
93. Volusia County Sheriff's Lt. Brian Henderson graduates from FBI National Academy
94. Daytona Beach Shores Christmas Parade: Highlighted by Billie Wheeler on Facebook
95. Lake Helen's Vernon Burton retains zone 2 seat without opposition; Jim Connell wins zone 4 seat in Nov elections
96. Swimmer rescued in Daytona surf & dead manatee washes ashore in New Smyrna
97. Daytona Beach-based United Way selects 15 to lead strategies on programming & funding
98. Principals of the Year announced for Volusia County Schools
99. DeLand firefighters rescue cat from storm drain
100. State Attorney RJ Larizza returned to office without opposition
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.