DELAND, Fla. -- They say cats have nine lives. At 14, Sammie the Cat may have squeezed out his final lifeline with a little help from his new-found friends: DeLand firefighters who rescued the furry creature from a drain on this April Fools Friday morning. No fooling, though. The cat's out of the beg, err, drain.

Sammie was located by its owner in a street drain on Main Street after its cries were heard, DeLand spokesman Chris Graham said.


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Congressional dis 6 candidate and ex-New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer gets endotrsement of three West Volusia mayors / Headline Surfer®ORANGE CITY, Fla. -- Seeing is believing and in a show of solidarity, three of West Volusia's most prominent mayors stood with Congressional District 6 Republican candidate Adam Barringer at a press conference Monday outside the Dickinson Center in demonstrating their endorsement of the former New Smyrna Beach mayor and his quest to go to Washington as congressman: Tom Laputka of Orange City, Bob Apgar of DeLand and John Masiarczyk of Deltona.


Donald Payne, junior defensive back named to FCS All America Team / Headline Surfer®
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Stetson University's Donald Payne scores All America honors.

DELAND, Fla. -- Stetson junior defensive back Donald Payne has added another accolade to his long list of accomplishments: He has been named named to the 2015 American Football Coaches Association FCS All-America team.


Breaks single-game scoring record that stood for 29 years & spanning 842 games

DELAND, Fla. -- Brianti Saunders was not going to be denied as she knocked down her first eight shots en route to a 40-point performance Sunday at home in a 79-57 trouncing of Georgia Southern in the first day of the 2015 Hatter Classic.



Paravchutist injured in hard fall at DeLand Airport / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
An unconscious, Matthew Serwanski, is tended to by emergency personnel after a parachute jump at DeLand Airport resulted in a rough landing.

DELAND, Fla. -- A 27-year-old sky diver suffered injuries to his head and legs during what was decribed as a "hard fall" Monday morning at DeLand airport, municipal cops said.

The injured jumper in the 11 a.m. incident that brought out police and firefighters was identified as Matthew Serwanski of DeLand.

"The initial information is that Mr. Serwanski made a hard landing and suffered a head injury and injuries to his legs," DeLand PD Sgt. Chris Estes told Headline Surfer®. "He was flown to Halifax in Daytona for treatment."

Two sky divers have died in separate jumps so far this year at the airport where Skydive DeLand is located.


DELAND, Fla. -- The way School Board member Melody McSorley Johnson sees it, colleague John Hill's public demand for the firing of the superintendent of schools before speaking to her privately, may not have been in good taste, but she was quick to add "the handwriting was on the wall" regarding Margaret Smith's decision to retire as soon as today.


Jon Kaney / Headline Surfer®DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The audio recordings created by court reporters to supplement written transcripts in the Waverly Media sworn interviews of two dozen witnesses and under the custody and care of County Council-hired investigator Jonathan Kaney, Jr. have been discarded.

This, despite the fact, that under Florida Public Records Law, these audio recordings, once created are public records and must be retained by government responsible for them.

Headline Surfer® learned of this unprecedented development in a public records request for 25 audio recorded interviews in an email reply from County Attorney Daniel Eckert.


Daytrona Beach-based Circuit Judge R. Michael Hutcheson retiring / Headline Surfer®Daytona Beach-based Circuit Judge Shawn Briese retiring at year's end / Headline Surfer®DeLand-based Circuit Judge Robert K. Rouse, Jr. retiring / Headline Surfer®Circuit Judge Terry LaRue retiring sty year's end from the 7th Judicial Circuit / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Circuit Judges R. Michael Hutcheson, Shawn L. Briese, Robert K. Rouse, Jr., and Terry LaRue are retiring at year's end.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - With seven new judges -- six elected and one appointed -- along with several retirements at year's end, the 7th Judicial Circuit, which comprises Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties, will see judges in new assignments in January like a game of musical chairs except where they land has been determined by the chief judge.

Circuit Judges R. Michael Hutcheson, Shawn L. Briese, Robert K. Rouse Jr., and Terry LaRue are retiring at year's end. Circuit Judge Thomas Portuallo and Volusia County Court Judge Peter McGlashan are leaving as the result of this year's election.


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Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson with Deputy Sheriff Mike Coffin / Headline Surfer®Futures Foundation for Volusia County Schools honors Deputy Sheriff Mike Coffin for mentoring kids / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson is shown here to the left of Deputy Sheriff Mike Coffin, recognized as a mentor to DeLand High School students.

DELAND, Fla. -- Deputy Sheriff Mike Coffin has a grown daughter and two grandchildren among his offspring, but because they live out of state, he has devoted much of his personal time mentoring young people despite his many demands as second in command of the largest cop shop in Volusia County with 460-plus sworn personnel.


Party Lines political Notebook / Headline Surfer®
Citizen watchdog Morton Culligan / Headline Surfer®Joyce Cusack / Headline Surfer®Pat Northey / Headline Surfer®Editor's Note: Morton Culligan of DeBary, a citizen watchdog (shown here at far left), who often appears at Volusia County Council meetings, and an attendee at a public candidate debate for the at-large County Council seat at the Oak Hill City Hall back in June for which candidate Pat Northey (shown here far right) was a no-show, wrote the following after Thursday'sCounty Council meeting and sent it to local media outlets. Culligan was reacting to Councilman Joshua Wagner's criticism of Northey for the mailer on County Council at-large incumbent Joyce Cusack (shown here in the middle). Culligan's reference to 'Fast Freddy' is Fred Lowry, candidate for the district 5 seat Northey now holds, but is term-limited in, which is why she's challenging Cusack. Lowry is battling fellow candidate Rich Gailey of DeBary, who won the August primary:

DELAND, Fla. -- Whats next? Big Spat at Volusia Council meeting. Pat Northey slips back into the gutter -- again.