Top 100 Local Stories of 2014

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Mry Horton of Melbourne finishes in top 5 in spelling bee on ESPN / Headline Surfer®
Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Mary Horton of West Melbourne, is interviewed by the Orlando Sentinel for her spelling expertise.

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Mary Horton, 13, of West Melbourne, spelled her way into the finals of the National Spelling Bee on May 29, in National Harbor, Md., but she finished in a tie for fifth and when all was said and done, among the top 12 contestants overall after flubbing the word "aetites."

Still, though, the Orlando metro newspaper's shining example of smartness showed she could stand up to the pressures of the national spotlight with the spelling bee carried in prime time on ESPN with zany video vignettes of the participants, including Horton showcasing her tiger-striped painted fingernails and her photos of family members, plants and cats.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 / Headline Surfer®

Dinah Pulver, Daytonna Beach News-Journal recognized for environmental reporting / Headline Surfer®

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- The uncertain future of print media remains a challenge for the industry in the struggle to hold onto tradition while even internet news operations fight for acceptance as the drone of social media draws the masses.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Main Street Bridge in Daytona leads to Bike Week ground zero / Headline Surfer®

Problems with Main Street drawbridgew in Daytona in 2014 / Headline Surfer®DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The 50-year-old Main Street drawbridge in Daytona, was finally opened reopened mid-afternoon Nov. 5 after being closed for 1 1/2 weeks due to repairs.

Thankfully, it didn't have to be closed earlier in October when the four-day fall motortycle rally, Biketoberfest, was in full swing.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®

Regan Smith wins Feb 2014 Nationwide Race at Daytona / Headline Surfer®

Video by David Perticarari / Downloaded from YouTube / Headline Surfer® /
Published on Feb 26, 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series - 2014 Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Last 2 laps -- green-white-checkered. 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Regan Smith got the bump-drafting help he needed from Trevor Bayne and beat Brad Keselowski to the finish line by .013 seconds to win February's season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo wearing facial mask in 2014 NBA season / HeadlinebSurfer®Orlndo Magic star Victor Oladipo out with injury / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® / Victor Oladipo underwent corrective surgery for a facial fracture. in October 2014, forcing him to wear a protective mask upon his return to the court.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo was ruled out "indefinitely" after suffering a facial fracture during practice Oct. 23, 2014, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced.

Oladipo, 22, who was evaluated that afternoon after taking an inadvertent elbow to the face during a practice drill, underwent a corrective surgical procedure.

Oladipo made his return from injury on Nov. 14, wearing a facial protection mask as he made his season debut against the Milwaukee Bucks. In 25 minutes off the bench, he recorded 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in a 101–85 win.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Bob Garrigues on Canal Strreet during the 2013 Halloween Parade with his wife, Peggy / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer® photo /
New Smyrna Beach businessman Bob Garrigues was a fixture at street festivals on Flagler Avenue and Canal Street, even in advanced age with his wife, Peggy, by his side, as shown in this image from the 2012 NSB Halloween Parade on Canal. 

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Bob Garrigues was a leading businessman in New Smyrna Beach for decades, before he passed away on July 18, 2014, at the age of 82.

Born and raised in the Baltimore, Maryland area, Bob served in the Army during the Korean Conflict then graduated from Towson State University. He started a staff leasing company in the 1990s but spent most of his career in insurance.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Easy Rider replica chopper a big hit in Daytona Beach, FL at Biketoberfest / Headline Surfer®

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Bikers have come to Daytona Beach for decades hoping to see someone riding in on that one-of-a-kind motorcycle truly stands out in the crowd. The head turner.

And there's no better representation than that of the red, white & blue: The Captain America chopper from the 1969 counter-culture hippie biker movie, "Easy Rider," starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Kyle Busch win 2014 truck race at Daytona / Headline Surfer®

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Kyle Busch edged Timothy Peters at the line by a race-record .016 seconds to win the 2014 NextEra Energy Resources 250 truck race at Daytona International Speedway during February's Speedweeks, leading up to the Daytona 500.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®

Bunnell cop charged with computer porno / HeadlineSurfer®BUNNELL, Fla. -- Michael Gerard Stavris II, a sergeant with the Bunnell police force who stands 6 foot 3 and weighs in excess of 400 pounds, was arrested on child solicitation charges March 25, 2014, allegedly passing himself of as a provacative under-age teen gal on Facebook to try and hook up with teen boys.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement charged the 30-year-old Palm Coast resident with two counts of computer pornography and child exploitation and one count of criminal use of personal identification information.

Acting on a tip, in December of 2013,  FDLE agents began investigating allegations in December 2013, and soon thereafter gathered evidence they claim showed Stavris created a fraudulent Facebook account posing as a teenage girl.

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Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®

Jellyfish abound in Daytona / Headline Surfer®DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Some 400 swimmers were stung by jellyfish over the weekend of Aug 23-24 at the World's Most Famous Beach in Daytona and extending south to Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach.

Fortunately, lifeguards had plenty of vinegar on hand to treat the stings. The stings occurred both Saturday and Sunday according to the Volusia County Lifeguard Corps, which flew purple and yellow "pest" flags to warn swimmers about the presence of jellyfish in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Jellyfish deliver an uncomfortable sting through tiny venomous barbs on their tentacles. The sting often causes burning, itching and swelling around the site of the injury, according to the Mayo Clinic medical website.

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