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News Story
Updated: 12/28/2017 08:30:01AM

DeSoto’s biggest stories in 2017

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SUN PHOTO BY LEX MENZ
Volunteers and family members set up tents to cover the balloons in front of the house on S. Lee Ave.

Williams

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY JIMMY PETERS
Cory Fussell of Arcadia, Florida takes a crazy ride in the Saddle Bronc event.

PHOTOS PROVIDED

The DeSoto District 7 youth baseball team took home the state title in tournament play in July.

PHOTO PROVIDED

Matt Egloff

PHOTO COURTESY WINK-TV
Three brothers -- Marcus Clark, 10, Kiani Clark, 8, and Kemarren Clark, 4 -- were killed in a house fire on March 11. Police say the fire was intentionally set by the ex-girlfriend of the boys' grandfather.

ALBRITTON

BEASLEY

Nichols

PICKLE

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY CRAIG GARRETT

Jerry Alexander is congratulated by Arcadia Mayor Judy Wertz-Strickland.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN
DeSoto County Emergency Manager Thomas Moran looks over the All Hazards Guide to review what supplies citizens should have in their hurricane kits -- things like canned goods and other nonperishable foods.

ARCADIAN FILE PHOTO
The Turner Center, which was supposed to serve as a storm shelter during Hurricane Charley in 2004, experienced extensive damage and people there had to be relocated to the high school or middle school.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY JIMMY PETERS
The Oak Park Inn suffered considerable damage from the high winds of Hurricane Irma, and after the storm debris piled up in the SunTrust parking lot across the street. Other downtown buildings suffered damage as well, but most businesses expressed their plans to repair and rebuild.

PHOTO BY ERNEST HEWETT
The rainbow at the end of the storm, seen at 3rd Bunker and Poultry Street.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY LAWRENCE ADCOCK
Debris piled up in front of several downtown buildings following Hurricane Irma's ravaging track through Arcadia. The Oak Park Inn took the brunt of the damage, but several other buildings in the first block of West Oak Street were also battered, leading to a pile of debris along the street and sidewalks.

PHOTO BY CHERRY HARVEY
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Logan McCall, Zach Hunter and Skjyler McCray walked around their neighborhood, helping their neighbors with debris cleanup as well as a nearby church. While hurricanes bring the worst destruction, they can also bring out the best in people as they help each other get back on their feet.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY SHASTA MOTT
The Oak Park Inn is clealy visible covered with blue tarps to proect it from further damage. Huricane Irma stripped away a good portion of its roof, leaving a jumbled pile of debris along West Oak Street.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY ERNEST HEWETT
The roof of the historic Oak Park Inn sustained major damage during Sunday's massive storm. This was one of only three buildings which survived the Thanksgiving fire of 1905.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CASEY WILLIAMS
State Road 31 looked more like a lake than a highway. The barbed wire fence and line of utililty poles were the only indicators of where the roadway was.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY ERNEST HEWETT
Driven to seek higher ground, campers and trailers from the Peace River Campgrounds were clustered along State Road 70 and First Bunker to avoid the rising waters of the Peace River.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY ERNEST HEWETT
Water was rising high under the old Peace River Bridge from Morgan Park to Veterans Park. The river is expected to reach peak levels of 18.5 feet today, putting it within the major flood stage.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY ERNEST HEWETT
Utility poles lean over Apple Drive by Brewer Park, having been pushed by the strong wind blast of Hurricane Irma on Sunday. She came to DeSoto as a Category 2 storm and left destruction and rubble across the county.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY DANIEL SUTPHIN
This stop sign ended upside-down after Irma came to town and rearranged things.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY ERNEST HEWETT
DeSoto Health and Rehab sustained significant damage from Hurricane Irma, whose winds reached peaks of 80 mph here on Sunday.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY ERNEST HEWETT
Another victim of Irma's tantrum in DeSoto County. Street signs and billoboards seemed to have been especially vulnerable.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY ERNEST HEWETT
Another casualty of Hurricane Irma is this sign at West Hickory and Polk Avenue by the Post Office.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY SHASTA MOTT
The overflow from the Peace River west of town had expanded by Tuesday afternoon. The lower of the two bridges is the old Peace River Bridge that runs from Morgan Park on the left to Veterans Park on the right. The larger white-roofed building is the American Legion, and the smaller structure is the concession stand/restroom at Veterans Park.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY DANIEL SUTPHIN
At Lee Avenue and Imogene Street, near West Elementary, the roadway is nearly impassible, covered with blown-in vegetation and debris.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY BRYON JEWEL
Cars lined up TUesday from the BP (Amoco) station to McDonald's waiting to fill up with gas.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN
A store front on West Magnolia Street was boarded up against the winds of Hurricane Irma.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY CRAIG GARRETT
Innkeeper Christopher Brown is left wondering what will happen at the historic Oak Park Inn.

ARCADIA PHOTO BY CRAIG GARRETT
Allen Clingenpeel found temporary shelter at DeSoto Middle School during Irma.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY CRAIG GARRETT
Carolyn Martin lost many of her hand-crafted artwork and gifts, and Bob Grinis lost much of his frame business. Their space was ocated in Mary's Attic, one of the businesses in the same building as the Oak Park Inn.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY CRAIG GARRETT
Pastora Melinda Hernandez and pastor Carlos Hernandez of the Bet-el church in Arcadia and Wauchula.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY CRAIG GARRETT

DeSoto County Judge Danielle Brewer administered the oath of office to new Arcadia council member Jerry Alexander on Tuesday.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY CRAIG GARRETT

A state award given Tuesday at the DeSoto school board meeting.

PHOTO PROVIDED

Taylor

City, county break ground on new fire station

ARCADIAN PHOTOS BY STEVE BAUER

County and city officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the construction of a new fire station.

ARCADIAN PHOTOS BY STEVE BAUER

Mayor Judy Wertz Strickland talks with Arcadia Police Department Marshal Matt Anderson prior to Tuesday's groundbreaking.

From left: City Administrator Terry Stewart, Mayor Judy Wertz Strickland and Councilman Bob Heine Jr. represented Arcadia at Tuesday's groundbreaking.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY LEX MENZ
From left: Debbie Carlton, Doyle Carlton III, Sandra Welles, Ben Hill Griffin III, Terry Welles, Susie Welles, Don Hall, Heather Nedley, Katie Marks and James Parker broke ground on the new Mosaic Arena Friday.

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It was almost déjà vu.

Hurricane Irma barreled toward Arcadia with wind speeds up to 70 mph Son Sept. 10 with her eye on DeSoto County.

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