Category Archives: debary

DeBary mayor: ‘Keep your fingers crossed!’

Mayor Bob Garcia this morning expressed optimism about electricity restoration for still-powerless neighborhoods in DeBary.

Electricity has slowly been returning to DeBary homes and businesses after Hurricane Irma downed power lines and caused other problems with distribution networks Sunday.

“I believe that based on what I see the [equipment] and supplies are coming into DeBary,” Garica said online Saturday. “Keep your fingers crossed!”

The message was posted on Facebook’s DeBary Proud! page by DeBary resident Diane M Van Auken on behalf of Garcia, who is “not on social media,” the post said.

“The power company is working hard to get All the power restored in DeBary,” said Garcia. His update also said:

  • Traders Cove has power
  • Highland Marina has partial power restored and is waiting for transformers and tree removal
  • Linemen in Terra Alta are also waiting for tree removal and transformers

“The Vistas area (where Mayor Garcia & his family live) were hit hard and are still without power,” he wrote. “There are many problems there that are being worked on before the power can be restored.”

He said it is possible homes in the Valencia Circle area may get power by tonight or no later than Sunday.

Duke Energy says it has 81,055 Volusia customers. Of those, 65,438 had power restored and 6,126 remained without electricity as of 4 p.m. Saturday. Power restoration was estimated by midnight Sunday.

Florida Power and Light said 20,670 of its 176,800 customers in Volusia County are without power as of Saturday.

According to Florida’s Department of Emergency Management:

Duke Energy had more than 1.3 million customers affected by Irma. Power has already been restored to more than 1.1 million customers.

  • Duke Energy expects power restoration to be completed for western service areas the night of Friday, Sept. 15.
  • Duke Energy expects power restoration to be completed for central and northern service areas the night of Sunday, Sept. 17.

Florida Power and Light had 4.4 million customers affected by the storm. Power has already been restored to more than 3.4 million customers.

  • FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the East Coast the night of Sunday, Sept. 17.
  • FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the West Coast by Friday, Sept. 22.

This isn’t the first time Garcia was featured on social media because of the storm.

On Saturday, as the storm approached, a Facebook user posted video of Garcia urging residents to volunteer for cleanup and repairs after Irma passed.

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Hurricane Irma: DeBary Mayor Bob Garcia asks for help


As Hurricane Irma neared, DeBary Mayor Bob Garcia this morning urged residents to quickly complete storm preparations and volunteer if possible to help the community.

Garcia made his comments at about 9 a.m. from the parking lot of Genuine Bistro & Lounge at the crossroads of DeBary’s busiest roadways: U.S. Highway 17-92 and Highbanks Road.

He said residents should complete preparations by 5 p.m. today or, if they’re planning to evacuate, they should leave immediately.

His comments were captured by a Facebook user and posted online.

Garcia was flanked by City Commissioner Erika Benfield and workers can be seen in the background completing storm preparations.

Volusia County is facing an increased threat for tornadoes based on the latest track, according to county emergency managers.

They are expecting 8 to 12 inches of rain with some areas
receiving 15 inches.

After the storm passes and conditions are safe, residents should check on their neighbors to make sure they are safe. Garcia urged residents to clean up, but not to put debris near roadways, fire hydrants and utility poles.

He encouraged residents to join him sometime Monday after the storm passes to volunteer with cleanup efforts.

He said he expects to stage at noon Monday near the intersection to coordinate volunteers.

“I need your help,” Garcia said.  “This is not going to be sponsored by the city. This is us coming together as a community.”

Garcia made his comments shortly before a briefing by Volusia County emergency managers and Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

Chitwood said Volusia County will be under a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 9 a.m. Monday.

Volusia County’s Citizens Information Center is answering questions from callers right now. The number is  866-345-0345.

“We do not want people in the water or at the beach today and in the coming days,” the county said in a news release this morning. “Beach officials are flying the double-red flag. After the
storm, please wait [for] an announcement that it is safe to visit the beach. There may be debris in the water and along the shore.”

The county said Florida Power & Light is expected widespread
destruction throughout its service area. More than 16,000 workers from nearly 30 states are responding.
“FPL expects 3.4 million customers may lose power as a result of Irma, and could experience prolonged outages, based on the current forecast,” the county said.

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DeBary car cruise-ins: Should city get involved?

Nearly every month, car enthusiasts cruise into the Winn Dixie parking lot in DeBary for fun and friendship.

DeBary city staffers took a closer look at this car cruise-in and others in Central Florida for Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

In recent months, City Council members discussed preliminarily whether the city could somehow tap into the popularity of cruise-ins to help provide local entertainment and raise the profile of the River City in a positive way.

The staff report details the state of local cruise-ins but leaves the question of getting involved up to City Council members.

“One question to be considered is if we already have a successful car cruise event, that doesn’t cost the city money, do we need to do anything else?” the report asks.

The issue is listed as a discussion item on Wednesday’s agenda.

As many as 80 cars show up during winter months for the DeBary cruise-in. That number drops to 30 vehicles during summer months.

The event is held on the first Saturday of every month except for September. The summer month hours are from 5 to 8 p.m. and winter month hours are from 3 to 6 p.m.

“They have several business sponsors including AutoZone, Subway” and Chick-fil-A, the staff report said.

“This organization is associated with the Coachman clubs who also have chapters in Jacksonville and Daytona Beach. It is important to note that most of these events are termed cruise-ins so special event insurance is not required.”

The report offered details about cruise-ins in DeLand and Sanford. Both are free to the public with no cost to the city.

An event in Longwood is affiliated with a cruise-in club and held the second Saturday of every month.

Organizers charge $400 for marketing, promotions and DJ’ing the event.

“The City of Longwood acquires vendors for $35 ea., handles traffic safety, pays the $400 per event and provides marketing assistance to the club,” the report says.

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DeBary proudly assembling for Hurricane Irma


Got a skill? Want to help? DeBary residents are assembling a volunteer response team in case Hurricane Irma hits.

Tentative plans call for a meeting of potential volunteers Monday night with a location and other details to be released on DeBary Proud on Facebook.

“We are hoping to have people of all skills available for storm or other natural disaster events that can help along side first responders,” Jason Clisby wrote.

Volusia County offers up-to-date information about storm preparedness, including important checklists, online.

DeBary has been hit hard by flooding in the past, even by indirect storm strikes.  As a result, millions have been spent upgrading the River City’s storm-water systems.

Even with those upgrades, DeBary could suffer widespread flooding under a major storm, Public Works Director Alan Williamson told the City Council in June.

Tropical Storm Fay dumped close to 24 inches of rain in 24 hours on parts of West Volusia in 2008, overflowing lakes, putting streets underwater and flooding 130 homes in DeBary.

Clisby issued an invitation for storm response volunteers on Sunday morning.

“If you are interested in volunteering or just getting more info, comment in this post.,” he wrote. “We will update as we have more information. We will likely call for a bigger meeting one evening this week to get everyone on the same page.”

The National Hurricane Center said this about Irma on Sunday:

  • It’s too early to say with certainty where Irma might hit in the U.S. mainland, though projections show it aiming at Florida and sitting northeast of Cuba by Friday.
  • Hurricane Irma is a Category 3 with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph while moving west-southwest.
  • The storm will power up as it moves over warmer water over the next three to five days.

“After 5 days, the forecast becomes much more uncertain, with most models suggesting a sharp turn north while remaining offshore,” the National Hurricane Center said this morning. “However, direct impacts to Florida can’t be ruled out as forecasts a week out are historically unreliable.”

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Daraja Adero Tinsley: DeBary suspect has criminal past

Daraja Adero Tinsley, a suspected Ormond Beach cell-phone store robber caught in DeBary last week after a chase, has been accused of similar crimes in the past, records show.

Tinsley was charged in 2015, along with 15 others, in a high-profile crackdown of two Orlando street gangs targeting cell-phone stores.

The gangs, One-Way Boyz and Young Cutthroats, stole phones and other devices tethered to displays, according to Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

The suspects involved in the AT&T robbery at  Slayton Wireless at 374 W. Granada Boulevard on Aug. 29 allegedly pushed a clerk and ripped phones off a display.

Sherrif-Mike-Chitwood

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood spotted their getaway car and law enforcers chased it until it crashed in DeBary.

Tinsley ran but was eventually taken down by a K-9 unit. The other two suspects — Wendell Harp, 18, and Sheldric J. Slater, 19 — gave up. No previous criminal charges in Florida could be found Saturday for Harp and  Slater.

Tinsley, however, was on community supervision for the 2015 case when he was arrested in DeBary.

Records in Orange County show an arrest affidavit for violation of probation was filed for Tinsley in that case.

Tinsley was charged with one count of racketeering and one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering on Nov.  4, 2015. At the time, Bondi’s office said Tinsley and each of the other co-defendants faced as much as 60 years in prison.

Tinsley pleaded no contest on May 12, 2016 and was found guilty of both charges.  He was sentenced to four years of community supervision, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

Records show he was previously sentenced to two years of community supervision for crimes in Polk County including burglary and trespassing.

He was sentenced in July 2014 to two years of community supervision for a grand theft charge in Orange County, records show.

In his most recent case, Tinsley is charged with fleeing, resisting an officer without violence, grand theft, robbery and grand theft valued at $300 or more but less than $5,000.

Harp is charged with grand theft valued at $300 or more but less than $5,000 and robbery.

Slater is charged with grand theft valued at $300 or more but less than $5,000, robbery and giving a false name to law enforcement.

HARP

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DeBary crash after chase ends with 3 arrests


An urgent voice crackled over the airwaves.

“They’re getting off at Dirksen. They’re getting off at Dirksen.”

Minutes later, three suspects – accused Ormond Beach cell-phone store robbers  — roared off Interstate 4 and crashed in DeBary as a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office chopper captured the action.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood spotted the suspects’ vehicle — a white Dodge — heading south on Interstate 95.

Daraja Adero Tinsley
Sheldric J Slater
Wendell Harp

Cops were looking for the vehicle after three suspects robbed an AT&T store in Ormond Beach on Aug. 29.

The store’s clerk was shoved into a counter and several iPhones were stolen.

Chitwood spotted the getaway vehicle and called in a description and tag number.

The driver refused to stop for a traffic stop. Chitwood radioed in that it failed to stop and started to flee on Interstate 4 heading west.

“Sheriff Chitwood authorized a vehicle pursuit for his agency and pursued the vehicle with marked VCSO Deputy Sheriffs car and FHP marked patrol car,” a report said.

Chitwood said the vehicle then got off at Dirksen Drive heading west.

“The vehicle then crashed near Dirksen Drive/Grande Vista Street. The three occupants of the vehicle then started to run on foot from within the vehicle,” the report said.

Deputies told them to stop – but only two did: Wendell Harp, 18, and Sheldric J. Slater, 19.

Daraja Adero Tinsley, 20,  ran, according to a report and chopper video.

Deputies with two K-9 police dogs later took Tinsley later down near Dirksen and Agua Vista drives in DeBary.” A report said he was taken for medical treatment but details were not released.

A report said he was taken for medical treatment but details were not released.

All three remained at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on Saturday.

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DeBary dog named Junior racked up $2,500 in vet bills

 

A DeBary dog named Junior almost drowned. But then he chewed up some toys and got sick from ingesting the debris.

With Junior’s  veterinary bills up to $2,500, friends are asking for donations to help his new owner, Ashley Curfman of DeBary.

“This dog has been through soooo much…with such a dedicated foster that has now become his new mommy!!!” Facebook user Jamie Herman of DeLand wrote Sunday. “Please help her help him!!!”

Donations can be called into DeLand Animal Hospital at 386-734-1802.

Curfman said online she rescued the dog from a lake earlier this month.

The dog was adopted by a family but they later decided they couldn’t handle his “puppy attitude,” she said on Facebook.

“We have had him for about a week now and like any puppy he chewed on toys… he tore them up and it looked as if he was eating them (rope toys). Now I am freaking out because he hasn’t eaten for three days, he does drink, but no eating. I thought he was just doing a “cleanse” that my dog does once in a while,” Curfman wrote Aug. 23.

He was rushed to Deland Animal Hospital.

Curfman had no money “but thanks to donations from many local people the down payment of $1900 was raised along with her putting down $700,” Herman wrote Sunday.

Vets found pieces of toys amid the “twisted intestines” that had to be removed, as was a  bad kidney infection, she said.

“He still has a battle and now been about 4 days at the emergency vet and hasnt been released yet. He still wont eat….and now fluid has built back up….hes not out of the clear yet!” Herman wrote.

“Please help her so she can bring this sweet boy home where he belongs!!!! Ashley Curfman Is his new mommy and you can contact her for any questions!! We ill keep everyone updated!!!”

Facebook users are expressing support.

“WOW..you have gone above and beyond for this little guy,” Brooke McKendrick‎ wrote to Curfman. “You are awesome for this. Really hope he pulls through, but it’s so amazing he is getting to experience love in his time of need. He wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for you!!”

DeBary mini pig named Petals struggling to stay alive

A DeBary mini pig named Petals is struggling to stay alive.

Donations are flowing into a GoFundme account to help pay for the baby porker’s soaring medical bills.

The piggy’s parents hope the cash will come in quickly to save their newest family member.

“She’s not just a pig, she’s family, now,” Kari PTF said in a post. “The kids adore her, she cuddles , and is smart as can be . Any help might just save her life !”

Eight-week-old Petals has an enlarged heart and pneumonia, Kari PTF wrote.

One night, Petals went into extreme distress, gasping for air and struggling for breath.

“We managed to get her to an animal hospital that accepted exotic pets in the nick of time . They immediately began critical care emergency life saving treatments.”

The latest update: The pig needs to go to Gainesville to visit a University of Florida veterinarian for a heart exam before fluid fills her lungs again.

“This test is $400-$600 plus any medication needed to keep her going . The news stinks , by isn’t unmanageable !”

 

Teen gang suspect gets 6 years for DeBary shooting

A 15-year-old Sanford gang suspect was sentenced this week to six years in prison for a shooting a DeBary man in a random attack last year.

Thallas “Thump” Inman entered a guilty plea to a charge of attempted murder on Monday, according to Volusia County Courthouse records.

The September shooting in the Parkview Heights subdivision sent the victim to the hospital and left him with a limp. The attack on Pine Springs Drive happened sometime before 5:15 a.m. September 22, 2016.

Inman, who was 14 at the time of the attack, remains held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.

He was also given credit for the 287 days he has already spent behind bars.

The victim, Kirk Thomas, told investigators he was about to leave for work when a vehicle pulled up behind him in the driveway and an armed suspect got out.

Thomas said he charged at the suspect when he realized he was armed.

Thomas later told reporters he was shot three times. He ran to a neighbor’s home and banged on their front door seeking help, according to an arrest report. Neighbors rushed to help.

The suspects drove away, prompting a search and investigation by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

At one point in the investigation, an acquaintance of Inman told investigators that Inman and two other alleged gang members had originally intended to rob a drug dealer, according to an Orlando Sentinel report.

But the drug dealer didn’t show up as planned.

So the suspects decided to find another victim, a report said.

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