NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- A public meeting to address New Smyrna Beach traffic issues and strategies called for by Volusia County Councilwoman Deb Denys scheduled for this morning was cancelled by Denys.

The meeting was important because Denys had said on the county dais last month that she was going to vote to take cars off the beach behind two proposed hotels on the beachside in Daytona Beach, which would likely cause more beach-goers to frequent the beach in New Smyrna instead and increase the already congested traffic.

Denys promised during the 2014 election campaign that she would not vote to take cars off the beach, but that is exactly what she intends to do at the May 7 meeting of the County Council.


Big question: Is Project Panther still in play or are citizens being played by their own government representatives and Daytona insiders?

Blue Origin not coming to Oak Hill / Headline Surfer®OAK HILL, Fla. -- Volusia County Chair Jason Davis said despite a second and final vote tonight by the Oak Hill City Commission on a land-use change from mixed use to manufacturing for a rocket-rebuilding plant shrouded in secrecy for weeks, tonight's expected final approval is all for naught.

That's because the project dubbed codename "Panther" that has been touted for location at the city' former dump, is headed to Brevard County's Cape Canaveral, home of NASA..

"That project is long gone," Davis reiterated to Headline Surfer this afternoon. "That ship sailed long ago to Brevard at NASA. t's a done deal." 


Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Pat Johnson, 2014 candidate for mayor of DeLand, FL / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Pat Johnson is shown in a photo from a cruise he took several years ago. It was published repeatedly by the Daytona Beach News-Jounal in stories critical of Johnson during his failed campaign for mayor of DeLand in 2014.

DELAND, Fla. -- The way Pat Johnson saw it, the Daytona Beach News-Journal's incessant use of a black and white photo of him in casual dress was indicative of the negative image the print newspaper was creating to protect the interests of the entrenched incumbent, Bob Apgar, in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 26 primary.


Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Homicide locator in Ormond Beach, FL / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer® graphic /
The early Easter morning shooting death of Sanford Olson at his residence at 7 Seabreeze Drive in Ormond by-the-Sea as shown in this locator map, apparently was first thought to be accidental at the hands of his wife, but that's not what happened.

ORMOND BEACH -- The Volusia County Sheriff's Office's Major Case Unit has said definitively that the early Easter Sunday morning shooing death of a 55-year-old man in Ormond-by-the-Sea was by his own hand and not accidentally by his wife as she told a neighbor.

The clarification into the death at 7 Seabreeze Drive after receiving a call at 2:52 a.m. about a shooting that had happened. When they arrived on scene, deputies discovered he had been shot to death.


Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Car inside building in NSB / Headline Surfer®Janet Spurgeon, 78, transported to Bert Fish MC after crashing car into med. bldg. / Headline Surfer® Photos for Headline Surfer® / Janet Spurgeon is transported to Bert Fish Medical Center with minor injuries after backing her car into the medical building at 600 Palmetto Ave. A patient inside was killed and two others injured.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Police remain baffled as to why a 78-year-old woman backed her Chevy Malibu 40 feet into a medical buildingthe afternoon of Feb. 5, killing one man and injuring two others.

"It's bizarre," then-police spokesman Sgt. Eugene Griffith told Headline Surfer®. "We're still trying to determine exactly what happened. Apparently, she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, but it remains under investigation as to why."


Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Michael Viola of St. Augustine killed in speeding wreck in Daytona Beach Shores, FL / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Michael Viola, 48, of St. Augustine, was killed in a fiery crash after going airborne. Excessive speed was cited as the reason for the deadly crash.

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. -- Traffic homicide investigators to this day aren't sure why a St. Augustine motorist was driving at speeds of up to 110 mph on April 25, when he crashed his Toyota hatchback leading to a fiery explosion and his death.

The driver crossed into the northbound lanes, struck a curb and became airborne -- then collided with a light pole 13 feet above ground. This led to a fiery explosion with the driver inside.


Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
E Parks, alleged Hillsborough appliance thefts / Headline Surfer®A Higgins, alleged Hillsborough appliance thefts / Headline Surfer®McKinnie, alleged Hillsborough appliance thefts / Headline Surfer®J Johnson, alleged Hillsborough appliance thefts / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Evan Parkes, Adrain Higgins, Alexander McKinnie and Jermaine Johnson, were all allegedly involved in the theft of household appliances emanating from Hillsborough County and ending in Deltona as shown with their jail mugs here at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach. 

DELTONA, Fla. -- Deputies gave an assist to investigators in Hillsborough County two days before Thanksgiving after a group of theft suspects drove a stolen U-Haul truck full of stolen appliances from Tampa to a residence in Deltona, according to a spokesman for Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson.

Hillsborough deputies investigating a break-in at 13523 Staghorn Road near Citrus Park determined that appliances taken from the home had been moved to Avon Park in a stolen U-Haul truck.


Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Mike Amaroso of Deltona in abortion controversy / Headline Surfer®Abortion controversy at gymn in Orange City / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Mike Amoroso holds up one of his anti-abortion shirts that got him kicked out of a Planet Fitness that had him featured in a WFTV news report that went viral.

ORANGE CITY, Fla. -- A 70-year-old pro-life supporter from Deltona was reportedly kicked out of the Planet Fitness in Orange City twice for wearing T-shirts with anti-abortion messages that drew complaints from several other patrons, according to a story published in November by WFTV in Orlando.

Among the slogans on the T-shirts worn by Mike Amoroso and deemed offensive by some at the workout facility: "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart" and "Pray to End Abortion."


Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Ben Gordon signed by Orlando Magic before 2014-15 season / Headlinev Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Hoping to get more offensive punch for the 2014-'15 NBA season, the Orlando Magic turned to free agent shooting guard Ben Gordon.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Orlando Magic signed free agent guard Ben Gordon, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced July 11, and per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Ben (Gordon) brings valuable experience to our team,” Hennigan said of the signing. “His competitiveness and ability to score and stretch the floor adds versatility to our backcourt and overall roster. We are excited to welcome Ben to the Orlando Magic family.”


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Headline Surfer® YouTube downloads / Videos by FOX Sports /
Video 1: NASCAR Race Hub remembers the life and career of Steve Byrnes, who died at the age of 56 after a long bout with cancer. Full Episode - April 21, 2015.
Video 2: Favorite memories of Steve Byrnes - NASCAR Race Hub - April 22, 2015.
Photos for Headline Surfer® / Steve Byrnes' motorsports broadcasting career is wrapped around NASCAR and tracks like Daytona International Speedway and star drivers such as Tony Stewart.

Steve Byrnes / Headline Sufer®Steve Byrnes with Tony Stewart / Headline Surfer®DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In thinking of NASCAR beat writers and analysts names like ESPN's Bob Pockrass, the Daytona Beach News-Journal's Godwin Kelly and the AP's Jenna Fryer come to mind.

Whether doing a feature profile on a driver, reporting on penalties handed out following a race or even daily tweets on any number of subjects, these three come to mind.

On the television side, analysts and reporters like Dr. Jerry Punch, Jaimie Little and even Alan Bestwick who switched to IndyCar Racing with ESPN come to mind.


Oak Hill fire destroys home / Headline Surfer®
Photos and videos for Headline Surfer® by Sue Hansen Payne /
Orange flames arw visible in the raw video of the fire scene, which left a family homeless Wednesday in Volusia Couhty's southern-most coastal city.

OAK HILL, Fla. -- It took 18 firefighters from Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater and Brevard County a couple hours to full extinguish a two-story wood-framed home at 212 Gaines St., early on this Wednesday afternoon that left a family homeless.

An adult female was in the home at the time, but was able to get escape the flames without any injuries, but the house was completely destroyed by the fire, which was visible to responding firefighters.


Greg Anglin is the new fire chief of New Smyrna Beach / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Greg Anglin of Brevard County, a veteran firefighter and fire services administrator,will take over as chief of New Smyrna Beach next month with an annual salary of $90,000.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- A Florida native has been selected as New Smyrna Beach’s next fire chief.

The City Commission is expected to confirm Greg Anglin to lead the department at its next regular meeting, Tuesday, April 28, in City Hall Commission Chambers, 210 Sams Ave.

“We received 42 applications from around the country including many very strong candidates,” New Smyrna Beach City Manager Pam Brangaccio told Headline Surfer®. “The interview panel and I feel Chief Anglin has the expertise and leadership skills to fit well internally with the department and in our community.”