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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.



Volusia Health Dept. encourages hand washing to combat potential for swine flu

The Volusia County Health Department sent out two messages through the school district's parent telephone system today alerting the public about the swine flu outbreak elewhere in the country and encoraging hand washing and covering mouths while coughing.

The Volusia County Web site makrs no specific menion locally of efforts to educate the public, but a statewide health advisdory was posted and reads as follows:

Volusia County health officials react to swine flu outbreak

DELAND -- The outbreak of swine flu in New York City and the potential for a nationwide pandemic caught the attention of Volusia County officials this afternoon.

"The Volusia County Health Department has been monitoring this situation over the weekend,"said Dr. Thomas Coleman, director of the Volusia County Health Department, in a statement released Sunday. "Our senior leaders and public health preparedness team will meet on Monday to assess this situation and plan accordingly."

There are reportedly 20 such cases in New York City.

NSB hires outside counsel to try and break lease with Angler's Club

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