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Jim Draper painting exhibit opens today at Arts on Douglas

Courtesy photo. This is one of painter Jim Draper's works on exhibit, starting today at the Arts on Douglas, 123 Douglas St., New Smyrna Beach. The exhibit is free.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Each month one of the 57 artists represented by Arts on Douglas Fine Art and Collectibles, the downtown New Smyrna Beach art gallery, is featured in a solo exhibition. During the month of May, the gallery will feature Jacksonville painter Jim Draper.

Party Lines political notebook: SE Volusia GOP Club holds 'Derby Day' this afternoon

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The Republican Club of Southeast Volusia County hosts its annual Kentucky Derby Scholarship fund-raiser in support of scholarships for local students, from 4 to 7 this afternoon.

The event, includes a hat contest, horse race game, appetizers, and a live TV showing of the Kentucky Derby race, will be held at Ocean Walk Club House, S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach.

For more information, please call (386) 427-6399.

NSB cops: Sprint store on S.R. 44 robbed -- second local business held up in two days

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- A gunman robbed the Sprint store, 1863 State Road 44, on Friday afternoon, making this the second time in two days that a local business was held up, New Smyrna Beach police said.

In Friday's incident, the robber entered the store at 3:38 p.m. and demanded cash from the register. The clerk complied and the man ran away with an undisclosed amount of cash, said police Sgt. Eugene Griffith.

NSB Indian River clean-up this morning

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Volunteers are needed for this morning's 21st annual Halifax/Indian River Cleanup, from 8 to 11:30.

Those who help pick up trash and other debris aling the river banks will receive a free t-shirt and reusable shopping bags.

There are several clearly marked sites for people to check in at. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothes, including, closed-toe shoes or sneakerd. They should also bring sunscreen, bottled water and work gloves. Rakes and shovels are not necessary, but are welcomed.

Edgewater July 4th fireworks a go

EDGEWATER -- Kaboom! Thanks to the Friends of the Fireworks, the July 4th fireworks show is a go.

"We're about $1,000 short, but we feel like we can raise the rest," an excited Peggy Cousins said today.

Cousins, president of the Edgewater Fire Rescue Association, said much of the $12,000 was raised through a series of fundraisers, chief among them a barbecue at Rotary Park, spearheaded by the Friends of the Fireworks, made of of several local businesses. Some 500 people showed up.

The city of New Smyrna Beach is contributing "in kind" services -- a portable stage and bleachers.

NSB's Veltri in final cook-off on Hell's Kitchen

Courtesy photo. Danny Veltri, 23, of Edgewater, and an executive chef at Flip Flops in New Smyrna Beach, is in the finals of Fox reality TV show's "Hell's Kitchen."

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Danny Veltri showed he can take the heat of Hell's Kitchen, cooking his way into the finals of the Fox reality TV show.

NSB cops: Armed robber holds up GNC store

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- A gunman robbed the GNC store, 1968 State Road 44 this afternoon by demanding money from the cash register and then running away in an unknown direction, New Smyrna Beach police said.

Officers responded to the store right after the 3:24 p.m. robbery was called in on a 911 call, but the clerk wasn't sure which way the armed robber fled. The employee was unhurt, said acting police Sgt. Shane Riggle.

The robber was described as a white man in his mid-30s, 5 feet 6 with sandy-colored hair. He was wearing shorts, a white T-shirt and sneakers.

Caution: Bad language -- Tempers flare during public comment portion of NSB commission meeting video by Sera Frederick. Bad language by two New Smyrna Beach residents led to chastising by Mayor Sally Mackay during Tuesday's City Commission meeting. Robert Rees felt he was being stonewalled on who initiated a proposed pay raise fr the city clerk, prompting him to say "This is bullshit." Fellow resident Bob Tolley was upset about something to do with the NSB Utilities Commission and used the word "bitching."

Olympic gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte of Volusia County honored by state lawmakers

Courtesy photo. Olympic gold medal swimer Ryan Lochte of Volusia County was honored Wednesday by the Florida House.

TALLAHASSEE -- Volusia County's Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Ryan Lochte was honored by state lawmakers today.

Lochte, the 24-year-old Spruce Creek High School and University of Florida graduate, won a relay team gold and an individual gold in the 200-meter backstroke, the latter beating the world record, in the Beijing Games.

NSB mayor: Salary increase for city clerk will be pulled from tonight's agenda because 'timing is not right' photos by Sera Frederick. New Smyrna Beach Mayor Sally Mackay said a $5,200 raise request for City Clerk Johnny Bledsoe, below, will be taken off tonight's agenda because "the time is not right" with economic conditions and a tough budget season approaching.



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