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    A Lake County man is accused of shooting and killing a hunting dog and then stealing her collars, deputies said. The dog’s owner, Jason McGhee, told deputies with the Lake County Sheriff's Office that he and his hunting party were in the Ocala National Forest near Deer Haven Community on Saturday and never crossed onto private property, deputies said. Read: Community offers support as 94-year-old woman arrested during eviction celebrates birthday McGhee said they were tracking the dogs and got within 66 yards of Remi, but could not get to her, investigators said. He said he heard the dog barking, then heard several shots fired and the dog stopped barking, deputies said. McGhee told deputies he got permission from a property owner to find the dog using her GPS collars and later found Remi dead on the national forest property, but her three dog collars had been removed. The dog collars with GPS were valued at $975, and the dog, which was a walker hound dog, was valued at $1,500, McGhee said. Read: Day care worker charged in child's hot car death in court McGhee tracked the missing dog collars to a home at 47202 South West Avenue belonging to Todd Allen Sweitzer, 49, of Paisley and notified deputies, investigators said. Deputies went to the home, and Sweitzer immediately told them he didn’t kill any dogs before deputies could question him and that he heard about the dead dog from a neighbor, deputies said. Deputies told Sweitzer that the dog’s GPS collars were pinpointed at his home, but he denied having the collars, and a search warrant was obtained, investigators said. He admitted the collars were in a box in the house and the gun was in an air-conditioning duct in the bathroom, deputies said. Sweitzer faces charges of animal cruelty and grand theft, investigators said. Channel 9's Myrt Price is working on this story. Follow him on Twitter and Eyewtiness News at 4 p.m. where he's getting comment from the dog's owner. Read: Student attempts suicide at Lake Minneola High School, officials say
  • An Orlando day care worker charged in the death of a 3-year-old boy was in court Monday. Deborah St. Charles is accused of leaving Myles Hill in a hot van for hours in August. Investigators with DCF said Hill was marked “present” at the day care. DCF investigators said it was pure negligence on the day care employee's part. St. Charles was driving the van and failed to do any checks to make sure no children were in the vehicle before she left, investigators said. RELATED STORIES: Day care where 3-year-old died in van will close, owner says Insurance company argues it isn't liable for hot van death of 3-year-old boy at Orlando day care Video: OPD evidence shows why child, 3, couldn't escape hot van before death St. Charles was driving the van and failed to do any checks to make sure no children were in the vehicle before she left, investigators said. St. Charles told investigators she was on the phone when she grabbed a backpack and cleaning supplies near where Hill was sitting, but she said she never realized Hill didn't get out of the vehicle. 9 Investigates: Multiple violations found at Orlando day care where boy died She told investigators she was on the phone when she grabbed a backpack and cleaning supplies near where Hill was sitting, but she said she never realized Hill didn't get out of the vehicle. In court Monday, she had her competency status withdrawn and the judge discussed a pre-trial date and trial period. The judge discussed a ore-trial date and trial period, both of which were scheduled for April. A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Families said that St. Charles was 'not approved as a driver on the facility's roster.' The day care, Little Miracles Academy, has closed since the child’s death. Outside the courthouse, Myles’ grandmother and great-grandmother said all they want is justice. “Every day, it gets harder and harder for us and we just feel we need justice to be served in this case,” said Myles’ grandmother, Barbara Banks. St. Charles faces charges of aggravated manslaughter.
  • A Florida man is missing his monkey.Carl Minix told WSVN-TV a burglar broke into his home in suburban Fort Lauderdale and stole his 3-month-old capuchin monkey named Henry. Nothing else was stolen.Minix is offering a $10,000 reward. He said he has spent more than $9,000 on Henry and trained for 1,000 hours to get a state permit for the animal. He said Henry is 'my child.'He has hired private investigator Jamie Katz to help. Anyone with information can call 502-424-9469.
  • Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson died in a hail of gunfire, hit as many as 18 times as he took cover in thick brush, fighting to the end after fleeing militants who had just killed three comrades in an October ambush in Niger, The Associated Press has learned.A military investigation has concluded that Johnson wasn't captured alive or killed at close range, dispelling a swirl of rumors about how he died.The report has determined that Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida, was killed by enemy rifle and machine gun fire from members of an Islamic State offshoot, according to U.S. officials familiar with the findings. The Oct. 4 ambush took place about 120 miles (200 kilometers) north of Niamey, the African nation's capital. Johnson's body was recovered two days later.U.S. officials familiar with the findings spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to describe details of an investigation that has not been finalized or publicly released.A 12-member Army special forces unit was accompanying 30 Nigerien forces when they were attacked in a densely wooded area by as many as 50 militants traveling by vehicle and carrying small arms and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.Johnson was struck as many as 18 times from a distance by a volley of machine gun rounds, according to the U.S. officials, who said he was firing back as he and two Nigerien soldiers tried to escape.All told, four U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien troops were killed in the ambush. Two U.S. and eight Nigerien troops were wounded.The bodies of three U.S. soldiers were located on the day of the attack, but not Johnson's remains. The gap in time led to questions about whether Johnson was killed in the assault and not found, or if he was taken away by the enemy.According to the officials, a medical examination concluded that Johnson was hit by fire from M-4 rifles — probably stolen by the insurgents — and Soviet-made heavy machine guns. It is believed he died in the attack.The officials said Johnson was found under thick scrub brush where he tried to take cover. There were no indications he was shot at close range, or had been bound or taken prisoner, as several media reports have suggested.On Monday, members of Johnson's family said they still have many questions about the events.Johnson's mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told CNN that she first learned of the latest investigation results on Facebook. She also says the military hasn't told her why her son's remains weren't found at the same time as the bodies of his comrades.'I want the truth ... but there's no closure,' she said.The U.S. Africa Command began its investigation with a team headed by Army Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, the command's chief of staff. The team visited locations in Niger to collect evidence and information about the attack, and will soon submit a draft of Cloutier's report to Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of Africa Command. Waldhauser could ask for additional information. The final report is expected to be released next month.The officials familiar with the report's conclusions said that during the attack, Johnson and two Nigerien soldiers tried to get to a vehicle to escape, but were unable to do so, became separated from the others and were shot as they were running for safety.The report concluded that Johnson, who was athletic and a runner, was in the lead and got the farthest away, seeking cover in the brush. Officials said there were a number of enemy shells around Johnson, and evidence that he appeared to fight to the end. His boots and other equipment were later stolen, but he was still wearing his uniform.As news of the ambush came out, the U.S. military sent in rescue teams to search for Johnson, not making his status public in the hope he might have gotten away and was still alive and hiding. The Pentagon only acknowledged that he was missing after his body was located two days later by local forces.The Pentagon has declined to release details about the exact mission of the commando team. U.S. officials have previously said that the joint U.S.-Niger patrol had been asked to assist a second American commando team hunting for a senior Islamic State member, who also had former ties to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. The team had been asked to go to a location where the insurgent had last been seen, and collect intelligence.After completing that mission, the troops stopped in a village for a short time to get food and water, then left. The U.S. military believes someone in the village may have tipped off attackers to the presence of U.S. commandoes and Nigerien forces in the area, setting in motion the ambush.U.S. special operations forces have been routinely working with Niger's forces, helping them to improve their abilities to fight extremists in the region. That effort has increased in recent years, the Pentagon said.The three other Americans killed were Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia. Black and Wright were Army Special Forces. Johnson and Johnson were not commandos.Johnson's combat death led to a political squabble between President Donald Trump and a Democratic congresswoman from Florida after Trump told Johnson's pregnant widow in a phone call that her husband 'knew what he signed up for.' Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., was riding with Johnson's family to meet the body and heard the call on speakerphone. The spat grew to include Trump's chief of staff, who called Wilson an 'empty barrel' making noise.___Online:Africa Command: http://www.africom.mil/
  • This is heart-wrenching to watch: a bystander’s dash cam video captures a dog being dragged behind a car for at least two blocks in Hawaii. The dog appears to be tied by a leash to the back of an SUV as it drives down a road in Honolulu. YouTube user Johnny Chang noticed the dog and followed the SUV to try and catch up with the driver. When the vehicle stops, the dog stands up and limps around a little. That’s when the driver gets out slowly.  According to the Daily Mail, the 40-second clip ends with another woman running up to the scene. So far the driver has not been identified. It’s not known if the dog was injured. **WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT** (VIDEO) More stories: Atlanta airport employee slides down crowded escalator to help stranded passengers
  • An Alaska man accused of killing five people and wounding six in a Florida airport shooting rampage is due back in federal court.A federal judge has been closely monitoring the mental health of 27-year-old Esteban Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska. His lawyers have said he's fit to stand trial despite a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The hearing Monday could also focus on whether the Justice Department will seek the death penalty.Santiago pleaded not guilty to a 22-count indictment in the Jan. 6 shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Trial is currently scheduled for Jan. 22, 2018 in Miami.After the shooting, the FBI says Santiago told agents he acted under government mind control, then claimed inspiration by the Islamic State extremist group. No terrorism links have been found.
  • A new police substation is opening up Monday in downtown Sanford. It’s part of a partnership between the Sanford Police Department and Central Baptist Church. Homicides in the city are at a 10-year high, with eight so far this year. Police hope the substation will help reduce violent crime. RELATED STORIES: 9 Investigates: Sanford Neighborhood Response Unit set up to fight crime As Sanford sees overall crime rates drop, homicide numbers highest in nearly a decade, chief says “This will be an area of togetherness for people to come if they have needs or questions. This will be a great opportunity for them,” said Pastor Alan Brumback of Central Baptist. A year ago, a clergyman was robbed at Iglesia Vida Nueva Church, which is a half-mile away from the new substation. It was during a time when police were on high alert for an armed robber downtown, whom they eventually arrested. Interactive map: Rash of Sanford shootings Police believe the substation will help them keep a closer watch on the area. “We wanted to come along as a community partner, giving (police) more space an opportunity to take care of this section of downtown,” said Brumback. Police said they will still be focused on the entire city. Numbers from the department show there were more than 2,600 crime offenses this year, which is down 600 from last year. There were eight homicides compared to six last year. Burglaries, car break-ins and shoplifting remain the highest reported issues.
  • If Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Hollywood Studios is anything like its film counterpart, The Last Jedi, Disney is about to make a whole lot of money. The theme park unveiled new concept art that shows off what the Millenium Falcon will look like when it flies into Hollywood Studios in 2019.  (Photo) Over the weekend, Park Imagineer Scott Trowbridge and his team also offered a sneak peak at the planet of Batuu during the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event.  (Photo) Die hard Star Wars fans can also look forward to finally tasting the series' infamous blue milk. The strange beverage has made an appearance as an easter egg in most of the Star Wars movies and will be available to purchase at the shops on planet Batuu.
  • Even with tempers flaring during the massive Atlanta airport blackout, passengers were still able to find humor in the madness. Take this airport employee for example. Instagram user @sarahmanleyy posted video of a Hartsfield-Jackson airport worker making the best of a crowded escalator by  sliding down the middle of it like a boss on his way to help passengers.  “Dealing with the power outage at the Atlanta airport was actually insane and I'll post other scary videos later. But the staff was having to slide down the escalators to help people and it was amusing,” @sarahmanleyy writes. When the worker reached the bottom, he received a well-deserved high-five and cheers from the crowd. He also gained a lot of fans on the internet, who praised the worker and his clear dedication to hustling. (Instagram) (tweet) (tweet) More stories:   Horrifying video shows woman dragging dog behind car in Hawaii
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies are responding to reports of multiple fights at the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center.   The reports came in about 4:30 a.m. Monday at the center on Bumby Avenue.    Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the incident.    No other details were released. (tweet)