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    Protesters in black masks started fires and damaged property in an attempt to stop controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at the University of California-Berkeley in February. >> Read more trending news It is situations like those that have U.S. senators on the Judiciary Committee discussing free speech on college campuses. In the past several months, universities have canceled speakers after threats of violence. Many of the speakers have been conservative, prompting concern among Republican senators about universities potentially silencing controversial voices. “That is an open invitation to discriminate based on viewpoint,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said she’s worried universities lack equipment and security to protect students from violence at speeches. “I do believe that the university has a right to protect its students from demonstrations once they become acts of violence,” Feinstein said. Zachary Wood, a student at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, testified in front of the committee. He said it is important to have your beliefs challenged. “Instead of nurturing thoughtful debates of controversial topics, many college educators and administrators discourage free debate by shielding students from offensive views,” Wood said. “Yet one person’s offensive view is another person’s viewpoint.”
  • New legislation on Capitol Hill aims to equip cars with technology that could help save the lives of children. >> Read more trending news  More than 800 children have died from heatstroke in hot cars since 1990, according to Kidsandcars.org. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the Hot Car Act this week. “Our legislation would move us one step closer to getting this inexpensive technology in every car on the road to help save the lives of children nationwide,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, R-Ohio. Parents and families who have been affected by hot car deaths and safety advocates joined members of Congress to push the bill.The bill would require cars to visually alert drivers to check rear seating once the car has been turned off. The alert must also include a noise to remind the driver to check the back seat. The alert system could also include a vibration system to physically alert the driver. The technology would be similar to the alert a car gives when keys are left in the car or the headlights are still on. The bill would also educate the public on the risks of leaving a child unattended in a car after it has been turned off. Nine children have died so far this year from being left in a back seat. 
  • Restaurants and bars in Washington, New York and other U.S. cities are treating James Comey's long-awaited Senate testimony like the Super Bowl. >> Related: Comey expected to confirm Trump asked him to drop Flynn investigation: reports Several will open early Thursday with food and drink specials while tuning televisions to coverage of what the fired FBI director has to say about President Trump and questions surrounding Russia and the 2016 election. >> Related: Trump told Russian officials firing 'nut job' Comey relieved pressure on him: report Shaw’s Tavern in Washington, D.C., is set to host a watch party called “The Comey Hearing Covfefe,” named for the mysterious word President Trump tweeted about the press.  >> Read more trending news The event begins at 9:30 a.m.  The tavern will feature $5 Russian-flavored vodka specials and an 'FBI' sandwich. Shaw’s tavern isn’t the only bar offering a special event. Duffy’s Irish Pub in D.C. will also open early for the testimony. The restaurant will feature special drinks including a Bloody Mary and a 'covfefe cocktail.'  Senators can go just a block away if they'd rather watch Comey at a bar. Capitol Lounge, just a block from Capitol Hill, will open at 9 a.m. for the hearing.
  • The 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee is this week, with the finals airing Thursday at 8:30 p.m. >> Read more trending news Since 2014, the spelling bee has ended in a tie, with co-champions. But this year is different, with new rules to prevent a draw. Now, spellers must take an extra written exam. The tiebreaker test consists of 24 items: 12 spelling and 12 multiple-choice vocabulary questions. How would you do on a tiebreaker test? Here are examples of vocabulary questions provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee.   1. Which of these would be most dulcet?  a. a jet engine b. a popular lullaby c. a poorly written essay d. a red-colored seaweed 2. If something is baneful, it is: a. healthful b. plentiful c. fruitful d. harmful 3. Which of the following is closest in meaning to schlepp? a. tell a lie b. knock down c. haul d. taste 4. What is a cutpurse? a. a pickpocket b. a small, collapsible knife c. a fringed handbag d. a noxious weed 5. Something said succinctly is: a. legalistic b. flowery and nostalgic c. vague d. brief and exact 6. An example of an ergogenic activity is: a. taking a course on public speaking b. cutting expenses to increase savings c. trying bungee jumping as a hobby d. increasing sleep time by an hour   7. A jurisprude is: a. a failed bill in a legislative body b. a person who likes to show off their legal knowledge c. a judge who hands down an unusually stiff sentence d. an officer in a courtroom 8. A pennate object is shaped like a: a. wing b. boat c. tube d. ring   This quiz comes from the Scripps National Spelling Bee website. The answers can be found at the bottom of this article. The spelling bee had 291 contestants hoping to be named champion. This is the largest amount of contestants ever. This year, if there are two winners at the end of the championship round, the scores for the tiebreaker tests will be revealed. The speller with the highest score will be named the champion.   Answers for the quiz: B D C A D D B A    
  • Osceola county has now created designated parking spaces as a way to honor wounded veterans.  The County Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr. said, “It’s important to take care of our wounded warriors, who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. The signs that read 'combat Wounded' and have a Purple Heart medal symbol on them have been place at the Beaumont complex where the county’s office for veterans is located. More signs will be placed in the courthouse, government center and other properties. The board agreed to put up the signs after the idea was pitched to Hawkins by a resident, Peter Olivo, who served in Vietnam where he lost both his legs. Commissioner Hawkins said, 'this is one small way to show our gratitude.” The Wounded Warriors Family Support project, which provides the signs for free, is happy to help the over 1.8 million Purple Heart recipients. “It is just something to say thank you,” Olivo said. “When I shed blood for my country it made me feel proud. I would do it all over again. I lost both my legs but I gained a whole country. It is a great for me to see these things go up. To me it’s a very, very big thank you.”
  • Lego announced a new collection of Disney mini-figures.  18 characters ranging from the classic Mickey Mouse to the superhero Mr. Incredible.  This is the first time the company debuts a collection of Disney characters.  The new mini-figures will hit stores starting May and sell for a suggested price of $3.99.  Like most Lego figures, the beloved character will be sold in blind package. 
  • An Orlando man was arrested for stealing over 300 vases from Highland Memory Gardens cemetery.  Robert Christopher Jacobsen, 34, was arrested and charged with three counts of grand theft and three counts of injuring or removing a tomb or monument. WDBO contacted the cemetery that said that they replaced all the vases at no cost to the families.  It also increased security at the cemetery by adding fences and security cameras.   The thefts began last November when the cemetery discovered that 67 vases were missing last November. Weeks later another 268 vases were reported missing but were thought to have been stolen.  An alert later came from a scrap metal dealer that contacted law enforcement after he turned down a man that wanted to sell a unusually large amount of bronze vases.  The dealer was able to write down the suspect license and tag information that later led to an arrest by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. 
  • Governor Rick Scott wants Yale University to move to Florida.  Lawmakers in Connecticut have proposed a tax on the profit on investments to Yale's $25.6 billion endowment.  The governor said, 'With news that the Connecticut Legislature wants to unfairly tax one of the nation’s most renowned universities to deal with the state’s budget shortfall, it is clear that all businesses in Connecticut, including Yale, should look to move to Florida.' He continued on to say, 'since I took office in 2011, we have not raised any taxes or fees in Florida.  In fact, we have cut taxes 55 times, including $1 billion in tax cuts over the last two years, which saved Floridians $5.5 billion.'  Scott has previously told businesses to get away from high-taxes in Connecticut and move to low-tax Florida.  This probably won't prompt one of the country's most prestigious colleges to move to the sunshine state. Yale's Press Secretary, Tom Conroy, responded by saying, 'It’s wonderful to be recognized as an outstanding asset, but Yale, New Haven, and Connecticut have been on common ground to great mutual benefit for 300 years. We’re looking forward to reaching even greater heights in education, research and civic engagement over the next three centuries and more.' The Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, said that Scott's comments are nothing more than gimmicks and not real economic strategies. 
  • We've learned that two people died in the plane crash this morning at Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa. Officials tell us one plane, a twin-engine Cessna 340, was headed to Pensacola, and was taking off from the airport when the crash happened near the seawall.  We have heard the plane possibly hit another plane, which was attempting to take off at the same time.  Large clouds of smoke could be seen coming from the airport.    Fire officials confirmed the two people were found dead at the crash scene.  (Video from News Channel 8-Tampa) ------------------------------------- A small plane crashed Friday morning at Peter O. Knight Airport. The Peter O. Knight Airport is on Davis Islands in Tampa.  The fire crews responded when the plane caught fire.  Airport crew was notified of the crash at around 11:30 a.m. on Friday.  Two planes were involved in the crash but it is unclear exactly what happened.  There is no word if there were any injuries or how many were on board. 
  • Central Florida is holding early voting from now through March 13th.  Early voting centers are open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Alafaya Branch Library 12000 East Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32826 Southwest Branch Library 7255 Della Drive Orlando, FL 32819 Apopka Community Center & VFW 519 S. Central Ave. Apopka, FL 32703 Supervisor of Elections Office 119 W. Kaley Street Orlando, FL 32806 Renaissance Senior Center(South Econ Community Park) 3800 S. Econlockhatchee Trail Orlando, FL 32829 Washington Park Branch Library 5151 Raleigh Street, Suite A Orlando, FL 32811 South Creek Branch Library 1702 Deerfield Blvd. Orlando, FL 32837 West Oaks Branch Library 1821 E. Silver Star Road Ocoee, FL 34761 Southeast Branch Library 5575 S. Semoran Blvd. Orlando, FL 32822 Winter Park Library 460 East New England Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789 Hiawassee Branch Library 7391 W. Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32818 Herndon Branch Library 4324 E. Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32803 Chickasaw Branch Library 807 N. Chickasaw Tr. Orlando, FL 32825  Edgewater Branch Library 5049 Edgewater Dr. Orlando, FL 32810  Maitland Community Park 1400 Mayo Ave. Maitland, FL 32751 Orange County National Golf Center 16301 Phil Ritson Way Winter Garden, FL 34787 Acacia Florida Centro Borinqueno 1865 N. Econlockhatchee Tr. Orlando, FL 32817 
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  • While power has been restored to the world's busiest airport, the travel woes will linger for days.Thousands of people were stranded Monday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where more than 1,000 flights were grounded just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush.A sudden power outage caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility brought the airport to a standstill Sunday about 1 p.m.All outgoing flights, and arriving planes were held on the ground at their point of departure. International flights were being diverted, officials said.Delta Air Lines, with its biggest hub operation in Atlanta, will be hardest hit. By Sunday evening, Delta had already canceled nearly 900 flights and another 300 Monday, nearly all of them in Atlanta, according to tracking service FlightAware.com.Robert Mann, an aviation consultant and former American Airlines executive, said it likely will be Tuesday before Delta's operations in Atlanta return to normal, and for passengers 'it could be most of the week' because there aren't many open seats on other flights in the last week before Christmas.One bit of good news, according to Mann: Delta has more spare planes and available crews in Atlanta than anywhere else, which will help it to recover.Also, Delta customers flying to or from Atlanta can make a one-time change to travel plans without incurring a $200 change fee. The airline also encouraged travelers not to pick up their bags Monday because of anticipated congestion at the airport.Still, when flights at Atlanta were grounded for most of one day last spring, it took Delta five days — and about 4,000 canceled flights — before it fully recovered.Like Sunday's outage, that April storm hit Delta's largest hub at a busy travel time when there weren't many empty seats to accommodate customers from cancelled flights. At the time, CEO Ed Bastian vowed Delta would make 'significant improvements' to its system for scheduling and tracking aircraft crews to recover more quickly from disruptions.Other airlines also canceled flights for the rest of Sunday. American Airlines canceled 24 departures and an equal number of arrivals, said spokesman Ross Feinstein. The airline also diverted three planes that were headed to Atlanta when the outage struck, sending them instead to Dallas, Nashville and back to Philadelphia.The city of Atlanta provide shuttle service to the Georgia Convention Center on Sunday for travelers in need of a place to stay.Delta passenger Emilia Duca, 32, was on her way to Wisconsin from Bogota, Colombia, when she got stuck in Atlanta. She said police made passengers who were in the baggage claim area move to a higher floor. She said restaurants and shops were closed. Vending machines weren't working.'A lot of people are arriving, and no one is going out. No one is saying anything official. We are stuck here,' she said. 'It's a nightmare.'Adding to the nightmare are what some passengers said was a lack of information from airport officials and help from first responders to get the disabled and the elderly through the airport without the use of escalators and elevators.'They had these elderly people, handicapped people lined up in wheelchairs,' said stranded passenger Rutia Curry. 'The people were helpless, they can't get down the stairs. It was just a nightmare.'Passenger James Beatty said there was no real method for evacuation.'I mean there was 40 or 50 people per the terminal area that were confined to wheelchairs and some that couldn't get through the airport very well, some of them actually couldn't walk and there was no plan at all to get them out of here without any power.'Beatty said passengers carried those who used wheelchairs down stairs.The FAA said it would staff the airport control tower throughout the night so that it can handle flights once they resume. The FAA said the tower could operate normally but flights were affected because airport equipment in the terminals was not working.According to a Georgia Power statement, the utility believes a piece of equipment in an underground electrical facility may have failed, causing the fire. The fire was next to equipment for a backup system, causing that to also fail.'No personnel or passengers were in danger at any time,' the statement said.No areas outside of the airport were affected by the power loss. The utility said there are 'many redundant systems in place' to ensure the power supply to the airport and that such outages at the airport 'are very rare.'That wasn't enough to comfort Jeff Smith, 46, of Pittsburgh, who ended up stuck in a plane on the tarmac for three hours after it landed.'This is the worst experience I've ever had at an airport,' he said.Sara Melillo, who was traveling to Pittsburgh from Kenya, where she lives with her husband, Greg Presto, to spend Christmas with his family were stuck on the tarmac for six hours. The couple had made stops in Nairobi and Amsterdam and landed shortly after the lights went out in Atlanta.She said the pilot didn't have a lot of information for the travelers but the plane had air conditioning and attendants offered water and juice a few times. She described the Delta terminal as 'big chaos' with not enough customer service for the hundreds of people trying to find a flight to their next destination and a place to sleep for the night.With her new boarding pass handwritten and her bags still stuck on a plane, Melillo was hopeful that she and her husband would be able to get a flight in the morning to Pittsburgh, she said as she waited for an Uber to take them to a hotel.Airport workers were distributing bottled water, and Dunkin' Donuts was giving out doughnuts.Officer Lisa Bender of the Atlanta Police Department said officers were at the airport to help with crowd control and managing traffic around the airport.At Southwest Airlines, about 70 Atlanta departures out of 120 scheduled for Sunday were canceled, an airline spokesman said in an email. United Airlines and JetBlue Airways were among carriers reporting delays or cancellations.American Airlines reported only a handful of diversions and cancellations because the carrier does not use Atlanta as a hub, airline spokeswoman Alexis Aran Coello.Hartsfield-Jackson, which serves 104 million passengers a year, is the world's busiest airport, a distinction it has held since 1998.The airport serves an average of 275,000 passengers daily, according to its website. Nearly 2,500 planes arrive and depart each day.___AP Airlines Writer David Koenig in Dallas, Texas, contributed to this report.
  • 12:06 A.M. DEC. 18 UPDATE:  Power has been restored on all concourses. More than 5,000 meals are being delivered to passengers. Trains will be operational soon. 11:20 P.M. UPDATE: Power has been restored to the airport’s Atrium and Concourses T, A and B.  10:30 P.M. UPDATE: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says all passengers have been allowed to get off planes that have been stranded for hours.  9:45 P.M. UPDATE: Delta Air Lines cancels 300 flights on Monday. 9 P.M. UPDATE: Mayor Kasim Reed started off an evening news conference with an apology. “First and most importantly, I was to express my sincere apologies to the thousands of passengers whose day has been disrupted in this manner,” he said. “We certainly understand that the outage has caused frustration and anger, and we’re doing everything that we can to get folks back home right away.” Reed said the outage started shortly after 1 p.m., at one of the three Georgia Power substations at the airport. It was caused by an electrical fire that started some time between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. 8:30 P.M. UPDATE: The Federal Aviation Administration will retain normal staffing in  the Air Traffic Control Tower at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the airport is open and accepting general aviation and cargo operations. Air traffic controllers also will be ready to handle commercial flights as soon as they resume. 8:25 P.M. UPDATE: Mayor Kasim Reed will hold a press conference at 8:30 at the Airport Emergency Operations Center along with Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers, Police Chief Erika Shields and airport General Manager Roosevelt Council about the power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the multi-agency, coordinated response effort. 7:40 P.M. UPDATE: Mayor Kasim Reed has tweeted: Power at Concourse F is back on. If you are in another concourse, please remain there. We have an additional update on when full power will be restored from. ORIGINAL STORY: Nearly six hours after a power outage began at Hartsfield-Jackson international Airport, officials said a fire likely caused the outage. But the cause of the outage is still not confirmed, officials with Georgia Power said. Atlanta police sent extra officers to help. >> Read more trending news “We are aware of the situation and are assisting with crowd control and helping to manage traffic around the airport,” police spokeswoman officer Lisa Bender said. All flights were canceled,and baggage is being held in a secure area for future pickup, said Rick Crotts, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor who was stuck on a plane for hours. Camp Creek Parkway was also shut down, and Atlanta police discouraged anyone from heading toward the airport. Inside the airport, a swirling mass of people waited in an aimless pattern, trying to get cellphone signals in a darkening airport as passengers sat stranded in parked planes on the tarmac. The terminals were pitch black and people had to use cellphones to light their path. People in wheelchairs had to be carried down stopped escalators and stairwells.  Delta Air Lines released a statement, saying, in part, that the outage was ongoing and they were “working to deplane customers from aircraft that have not been able to park at a gate due to the outage.” Olivia Dorfman described by phone to The AJC what she witnessed in Concourse D when the power went out.  “Maybe 10 minutes later a buzzer went off in the background -- that has been going on for over an hour and every so often bright lights flash in the ceiling,” Dorfman said. Near the D9A gate, she said smoke filled the area, and at different times airport workers tried to herd passengers toward the smoky area and away from it. “This has been very bizarre,” she said. “No one seems to know what they’re doing.” After at least one other woman said she wouldn’t stand in the area that smelled of acrid smoke, as if from an electrical fire, because she suffers from asthma. She and others then walked back toward the gate, Dorfman said.  “A man is just yelling, ‘Go this way,’” Dorfman said.  She said the stores weren’t able to sell water or other items because of the power outage. “It’s unbelievable. This is the busiest airport,” Dorfman said. Malou Cadavillo and her 16-month-old granddaughter sat in the dark at Hartsfield-Jackson on a motionless luggage carousel, waiting. Her grandchild’s car seat looked like it would never arrive.  She described her family’s journey from the gate where they arrived in the afternoon to the terminal as a scary odyssey. They walked through the dark corridor between concourses, guided by the lights of other people’s cellphones, as smoke poured in from some unknown source. Her grandsons, 7 and 11, were uneasy. “I hope there’s no monsters down here,” one said.  Her son-in-law Michael Rances said emergency preparedness at the airport was unsatisfactory. “There was nobody there to tell you what to do,” he said.  Nearby, a group of Delta pilots stood conferring.  “This is gonna take hours,” said one. “Days,” said another.  Crotts, who was aboard Flight 3392 that arrived at the airport at 1:31 p.m., was among passengers waiting aboard their flights to reach a gate. Crotts' flight had been waiting for more than two hours when crews brought a ladder and started getting people off the plane, he said. Andy Gobeil, a spokesman for the airport, said officials weren’t sure what happened. “We have not determined what caused it,” Gobeil said. Atlanta fire officials and others are “trying to determine how long it will take to get everything up and running.”  Passenger Norman Radow emailed The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after he heard an announcement at the airport that all flights through Atlanta from Johnson City were canceled. “To quote the announcer, ‘I recommend you rebook on Tuesday as it will take days for us to get out of this mess,’” Radow said. He was hopeful his flight wouldn’t be canceled. John Reetz, a passenger on Flight 5297, said his was one of more than 40 planes parked on the tarmac, waiting for power to be restored. At first, the pilot told passengers there was no estimate on when the power would be restored, Reetz said in an email. At the time, passegners were in a generally good mood, but at least one joked that he didn’t have to use the restroom until he saw a line.  That was after only 45 minutes, Reetz said.  Later, an officer onboard the flight told passengers, '’This looks like it's going to be a longer process now instead of a shorter one,’” Reetz said. “We're going to be here for a while unfortunately.'  Ina Bond, 72, was at her wit’s end after having been stranded on the tarmac for three hours. “With water and pretzels and a nasty bathroom,” she said. Looking for a taxi to find a hotel to spend the night after her connecting flight to Delray Beach, Florida, was canceled, Bond could get no information from airport officials.  “I passed a whole line of policemen, and none of them could tell me anything,” she said. 
  • A man is in the hospital after being shot in the head near the Central Florida fairgrounds Saturday afternoon.   The shooting happened at the vehicle repair shop at 617 Delhi Street around 1:20pm.    First responders say they transported a man in his 30s to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.    Deputies have said the man's injuries are life threatening and are working to piece together what led to the shooting.
  • An armed man is still at large after robbing and shooting at a Maitland gas station employee.   The incident occurred just before 11 a.m. at the Shell gas station at 500 South Orlando Avenue. The employee was counting money in the back and the man came in and pointed a gun at the clerk.    The worker ran from the store, and the robber fired a shot, but missed the worker, shattering the glass front door.    The suspect was able to get some money and fled the scene with two others, heading north on US 17-92 in a red Nissan Altima, which has a South Carolina license plate.    Police are reviewing surveillance video to gather more information about the incident and the people involved.    Anyone with information is asked to call Maitland police at 407-539-6262 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS(8477)
  • On 11/20/2017 around 9 a.m., the victim, a tourist from Scotland, was walking towards his hotel at 7600 International Drive, when a black male suspect tried to take his bag. The suspect was able to get some money and fled on foot.   The victim stated that the suspect was on the same Lynx bus with him and observed the suspect was with a heavier set black female while on the bus.    The male suspect is believe to be between the ages of 18 to 25, is average built with a short afro, about 6 feet tall with facial hair, and was wearing a black hooded jacket and carrying a red book bag.    The female companion is between the ages of 25 to 30, is heavy set, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and was wearing a gray sweatshirt that reads 'Florida Orlando'.    There is a reward up to a thousand dollars to anyone with any information leading to the identification of the suspect.    If you have any information, you are urged to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS(8477).