Party Lines Political Notebook

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Early voting for the presidential election as well as a host of local, state and national congressional races started with a bang today with 862 ballots cast at the New Smyrna Beach Library, according to the Volusia County Elections Office.

Overall, 4,241 voters took advantage of early voting on the first day. Early voting runs through Nov. 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

New Smyrna Beach ranked third among four Volusia library locations where voters cast their votes. New Smyrna Beach had 862 voters.

Making the Grade

space shuttle EndeavorPhoto by NASA/Kim Shiflett / Space shuttle Endeavor awaits its final launch scheduled for Monday at Cape Canaveral.

Grade: A

The countdown is on for Monday’s 8:56 a.m. EDT liftoff of the space shuttle Endeavor. In one of the most expensive, but rewarding undertakings our government has ever directed, the space shuttle program is first class as it winds down to its final missions.

After Endeavor, space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to lift off for the final time on June 28.

Of all the shuttle launches, though the two that stand out are the tragic ones. Challenger blew up just 73 seconds after launch, killing all seven astronauts on board, and on Feb. 3, 2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, killing its crew of seven. 

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