Publisher's Column

John CenaDAYTONA BEACH -- The WWE's John Cena has the perfect tune-up for his April 1 showdown in Miami against The Rock: He'll be the "honorary starter" for Sunday's Daytona 500. was the first media outlet to file a story on Mitt Romney's visit to Ormond Beach. We'll have Romney's entire speech for you to see and here in a series of videos this afternoon and we'll have local reaction to what he said and whether it will inspire Republicans to stick with him as the frontrunner or go with conservative Newt Gingwich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul. also has exclusive interviews with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and a whole host of other stories, photos and videos from the Romney rally.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Hair stylist Ray Catheline sparked an effort to help those forgotten or ignored in our community, especially children, with his fundraiser a year ago that raised $7,873 for "Cudas Unhooked," a very constructive and cost effective program set up by a group of New Smyrna Beach volunteers like him to help “at risk” high school students finish high school and be successful in life.

The program is designed to give the kids the help, encouragement and support they need to get their lives back on track and graduate from high school.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- As hard as I work to get to the truth in reporting I have to realize that I am just one person with so many hours in a given day. I can tell you as of this writing, I am embarrassed and frustrated -- embarrassed to see the big story in the Daytona Beach News-Journal on suspended Southeast Volusia Advertising Director Nicole Carni. Frustrated because had there been a level playing field with the release of her payroll figures -- denied to NSB News -- then I might have had the story today as well, maybe even sooner.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- As each of us faces the new year we all hope that it will be a good one for us. The most important point about this desire is that how the new year turns out for us is for the most part more dependent on our own efforts than any other consideration.

In other words, for most people the new year depends more on them than any other factor. The best thing about this situation is that for most people there are sure fire things they can do to make things better that cannot be stopped by outside forces. It is instructive to mention some of the things that you can do to make things get better.

First of all, have a positive attitude. While it is often easier to be negative than positive you usually achieve much more while being positive.

Jim is proud to announce that New Smyrna Beach Vice Mayor and City Commissioner Jim Hathaway has agreed to write an exclusive weekly blog for us. Hathaway replaces Mayor Adam Barringer who said he couldn't make the commitment anymore.

Hathaway's exclusive blog for is called "Vice Mayor" and in it, he'll give his take on issues that he feels are important. Hathaway is an announced 2012 candidate for the Volusia County Council district 3 seat held by Joie Alexander, who opted not to seek re-election to that post. Alexander has not ruled out running in a different race.

Anyone who read the glowing story on Kent Sharples plastered Wednesday on the front page of the Daytona Beach News-Journal can relate to steroid slugger Mark McGuire's refrain before Congress in that he's "not here to talk about the past. Certainly, it is not in my place to tell the News-Journal how to report the news, but as someone with a vested interest in the media, as well as being a taxpayer and a family man, I find the print media becoming more and more a marketing arm of the power elite.

Alvin Mortimer is a new community columnist with Headline Surfer

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SANFORD, Fla. -- It was must-see TV for my wife, Sera, and I in our living room to witness whether President Trump would go off script in his State of the Union address and threaten to declare a national emergency to secure funding for his Wall along the southern border with Mexico. He didn't.

But Trump warned Democrats in the House Chambers that "Foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations" would stop "an economic miracle" taking place in America under his administration.

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EDGEWATER, Fla -- About the time all the nastiness in Edgewater began near the end of October, I started to feel sick to my stomach.

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