2017 ReWIND: Top 100 Stories for greater Daytona, Sanford & Orlando (91-95)

94. Lake Helen ex-con killed in Feb. 1 crash after fleeing DeLand cops identified 

DELAND, Fla. - An ex-con from Lake Helen was killed during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb. 1, of when he crashed his car while speeding away from a traffic stop, a DeLand official said.

Justin L. Johnson, 26, was identified as the traffic fatality victim.

Here is a synopsis of what occurred 2:50 a.m., as described by DeLand city spokesman Chris Graham in an email to Headline Surfer: The officer conducted a traffic stop in the vicinity of Plymouth and Orange avenues. The driver acknowledged he was arguing with his girlfriend.  Drugs were in plain view inside the SUV and the driver was asked to exit the vehicle. The driver pulled the door shut and Officer Tony Tagle’s hand was trapped. He was then dragged several feet before freeing himself.

The officer suffered an injury to his left hand as the vehicle sped away. Around 2:57 a.m., another DeLand officer when he came upon a crash scene in the 100 block of South Stone Street. A small fire in the engine compartment was extinguished. It was the determined the driver, and a dog ( inside the vehicle), had died in the crash. It was the same vehicle in the earlier incident that resulted in the officer injuring his hand, for which he was treated and released from the ER.

Ex-con from Lake Helen, Fla. killed in Feb. crash / Headline SurferJustin L. Johnson, 26, shown here, was identified as the traffic fatality victim.

Here is a synopsis of what occurred 2:50 a.m., as described by DeLand city spokesman Chris Graham in an email to Headline Surfer: The officer conducted a traffic stop in the vicinity of Plymouth and Orange avenues. The driver acknowledged he was arguing with his girlfriend.  Drugs were in plain view inside the SUV and the driver was asked to exit the vehicle. The driver pulled the door shut and Officer Tony Tagle’s hand was trapped. He was then dragged several feet before freeing himself.

The officer suffered an injury to his left hand as the vehicle sped away. Around 2:57 a.m., another DeLand officer when he came upon a crash scene in the 100 block of South Stone Street. A small fire in the engine compartment was extinguished. It was the determined the driver, and a dog ( inside the vehicle), had died in the crash. It was the same vehicle in the earlier incident that resulted in the officer injuring his hand, for which he was treated and released from the ER.

Johnson, who was released from prison in February 2013 after serving four years for attempted robbery with a firearm, was scheduled to go on trial on March 20  of 2017,on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of drugs and resisting an officer without violence. 

 

95. Daytona State College awarded $20,000 grant to launch database technology associate degree

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona State College was awarded a $20,000 grant in July of 2017 to develop a new associate of science degree program in database technology as part of an American Association of Community Colleges collaboration with the National Science Foundation called MentorLinks: Advancing Technological Education.

“Daytona State has a strong reputation in advanced technology education that prepares our students for the workforce,” said President Tom LoBasso. “We believe this database-technology program will address the skills and needs of a broad range of local and regional industries and will help fill the gap in qualified, professional employees. We very much look forward to participating in MentorLinks and providing this vital degree program that will benefit the region’s economy.”

DSC President Tom LaBasso / Headline Surfer“Daytona State has a strong reputation in advanced technology education that prepares our students for the workforce,” said President Tom LoBasso.

The DSC president added, “We believe this database-technology program will address the skills and needs of a broad range of local and regional industries, and will help fill the gap in qualified, professional employees. We very much look forward to participating in MentorLinks and providing this vital degree program that will benefit the region’s economy.”

DSC is among 11 institutions nationwide to receive grants through the 2017-2019 MentorLinks initiative, which is dedicated to helping colleges develop or strengthen technician-training programs in STEM fields.

In addition to the funding, an experienced mentor will be assigned to the college to assist with planning, developing curricula and launching the new associate degree by fall 2018 through DSC’s College of Business, Engineering and Technology.

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 for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.