Allison Shirk, news-journalonline

Allison Shirk


Daytona Beach, FL, United States

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Past articles by Allison:

A family's struggle: Options for kids with severe behavioral issues lacking in Florida

Nestled behind a white plastic fence and well-manicured lawn sits the Chappel family’s New Smyrna Beach home off South Atlantic Avenue, close enough to the beach that the ocean breeze rustles the palm trees planted in front.Parked in the driveway, next to the boat, is an RV David and Lisa Chappel bought last year because their 14-year-old autistic son, Mitchell, loves camping.Inside, the… → Read More

High rents, low wages leave Volusia-Flagler in housing bind

Jodel White cashed her paycheck of $226 after long days of cleaning hotel rooms on the beachside at $8.75 an hour. After bills, new shoes and school uniforms for her two teenagers, she had $34 to her name until the next payday — two weeks later.That money won’t pay the rest of the electricity deposit she owes or help with rent for the month. It barely covers any groceries for the 16-year-old,… → Read More

Former Daytona Mayor Ritchey steps up with matching funds for Council on Aging

As many nonprofits in Volusia County work toward getting back up and running after Hurricane Irma, the Council on Aging of Volusia County received an unexpected surprise from two of Daytona Beach's community leaders this week. Glenn Ritchey, the local businessman and former Daytona Beach mayor, and his wife, Connie, have committed to match dollar for dollar up to $100,000 in donations made to… → Read More

A week after Irma, 'normal' slowly returns in Volusia, Flagler counties

A week after Hurricane Irma blew through Volusia and Flagler counties, most of the power is back on and life is slowly returning to normal. Yet on Sunday, it was clear that the storm’s presence is still being felt in the daily lives of many people. Debris piles are starting to spill over into city streets. Some grocery stores are still scurrying to restock shelves with cases of water and gallons… → Read More

Irma spurs need for donations, temporary housing

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, some of the nonprofits in Volusia and Flagler counties that typically step up to help after a natural disaster are in need → Read More

Volusia-Flagler residents dealing with floods, mess from Hurricane Irma

LATEST UPDATES:Most shelters have closed, but there are two special needs shelters still open: Atlantic High School, 1250 Reed Canal Road in Port Orange → Read More

Volusia curfew lifted and all county bridges open; Flagler bridges still closed

LATEST UPDATES:Flagler Schools are canceled until at least Thursday, Sept. 14. Volusia Schools closed through Tuesday still. Volusia bridges are open and the curfew is lifted. Volusia County will have a night curfew enforced though of 10 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. TuesdayMost of Flagler's curfew will be lifted, but curfew for everything east of the intercoastal due to flooding and power outages has… → Read More

Hurricane Irma update: Tornado watch for Volusia, tornado warning for Flagler

A tornado watch is in effect for Volusia County until midnight Monday morning. Flagler County is under a tornado warning until 1 p.m. → Read More

Hurricane Irma now Cat 3 storm, moving up southwest Florida

Volusia and Flagler counties are under a tornado watch until midnight Monday morning. → Read More

Hurricane Irma now Cat 3 storm, makes landfall in Marco Island

Volusia and Flagler counties are under a tornado watch until midnight Monday morning. Road, bridge closures begin. → Read More

Tornado hits Ormond; Hurricane Irma lashes Daytona before weakening to Category 1

As of 2 a.m. at least 4.2 million electrical customers were without power in Florida, based on numbers provided by two of the state's major utility providers. → Read More

Rescues begin in Volusia as Hurricane Irma's rains bring floods

As of 2 a.m. at least 4.2 million electrical customers were without power in Florida, based on numbers provided by two of the state's major utility providers. → Read More

Tornado hits Ormond; Hurricane Irma brings gusts near 80 mph to Daytona

Areas of 70 to 90 mph gusts will spread up the immediate coast from Daytona Beach and southward over the next 3 to 6 hours, according to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. → Read More

Category 4 Hurricane Irma turns north, bears down on Florida Keys

Hurricane Irma strengthened over warm water back up to a Category 4 hurricane, moving slowly northwestward toward the lower Florida Keys near 6 mph. → Read More

Hurricance Irma strengthens back to Category 4 again as it approaches Keys

LATEST UPDATES: 2 a.m. Irma updateVolusia and Flagler counties are now in a storm surge warning. Both counties are under hurricane warnings.A curfew will begin at 9 p.m. Sunday and last until noon Monday morning in Volusia County. Flagler County announced a curfew starting at 7 p.m. Sunday. Volusia bridges will close when winds reach 39 mph, which could be by noon Sunday. Flagler County bridges… → Read More

Bracing for Irma: Storms slows, weakens, but expected to strengthen before Keys

With maximum sustained winds of 120 mph as of 8 p.m., Irma temporarily slowed down 7 mph. Irma is expected to begin a northwest motion tonight, with a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday, forecasters said. → Read More

Pet fosters, adopters needed for Hurricane Irma

The Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach is at capacity and needs residents who can shelter and/or adopt animals as Hurricane Irma approaches. The nonprofit wants to remind people they should not abandon or surrender their pets to the shelter. The Humane Society, at 2364 LPGA Blvd., said people are dropping off animals, saying they are strays and then a microchip check shows that is not true.… → Read More

Still reeling from Matthew, Volusia, Flagler fear Irma's potential for erosion

Flagler Beach resident Steve Davis isn't sure what to expect with Hurricane Irma, but he knows if it brings as much force as Hurricane Matthew then the → Read More

Volusia, Flagler officials brace for Hurricane Irma flooding

While residents kayaking down city streets and trudging through floodwaters to scoop up belongings was a reality for southeast Texas after Hurricane Harvey, that might not be the case for Central Florida. But if history is any indication, heavy rain from a lingering storm can be a problem here, too. It is still too early to know the total effects of Hurricane Irma on Volusia and Flagler… → Read More

Humane Society in NSB takes in dogs to help with Harvey response

NEW SMYRNA BEACH — As Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas this weekend, displacing thousands of people and flooding cities, local agencies geared up in response to urgent needs.One of those agencies, the Southeast Volusia Humane Society in New Smyrna Beach, welcomed 35 homeless dogs from a New Orleans shelter Sunday night. By taking in the dogs, the Louisiana shelter will now have… → Read More