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Latest from Joe Ruble

    The people who run Orlando International Airport are tired of apologizing for problems with the Automated People Movers, now calling out the manufacturer to rescue their reputation. Three times in the last five days, the new tram stopped working, forcing hundreds of passengers to take a bus or walk to their gates. Some flights had to be delayed, but yesterday 56 passengers missed flights, according to Executive Director Phil Brown.  The tram was down for 53 minutes on Monday, but no passengers missed their flights, he said. He told reporters today that the airport operations has verbally contacted Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, to make this a priority. “This afternoon we sent them a letter notifying them... We expect them to salvage their reputation,” said Brown. He also said he wants Mitsubishi to repay those passengers affected and a third party will be employed to receive those claims. Details to come. Monday’s shutdown was due to human error, he said, involving a contractor for Mitsubishi.
  • ‘Stay off Broadway,’ Kissimmee Police tweeted out Friday morning after a suspicious package was found on Broadway near MLK Jr. Blvd.'Suspicious package on Broadway. Business(es) are asked to evacuate through the back door. Stay off of Broadway. KPD/KFD working incident.” By 12:30 the bomb squad robot pulled a large suitcase away from a propane tank, located in a parking lot on Broadway, and into the street where it was safely detonated. No bomb was found. Kissimmee police have charged Jacob Ortiz, 20, with false report of a bomb. Earlier, employees of shops along Broadway from West Monument to West Neptune were told to exit out their back doors. Police spoke with the man who they say openly stated that it was a bomb. No immediate word on charges.  (tweet) (tweet) (tweet)
  • A deputy involved shooting is currently under investigation this afternoon after a home was burglarized  near College Park.  Orange County Deputy Tejada- Monforte  said the burglary was reported shortly after 11 a.m. at a home on Malone Drive in the Kingwood subdivision.  The homeowner was not inside the house at the time, but arriving deputies found two men and ordered them to surrender.  Instead, one ran away through the back yard and the second hopped into a parked car and tried to flee. A deputy in front of the car fired his weapon, wounding the person inside as he drove off.  That vehicle was found a short while later in College Park, according to OSCO Cpt. Angelo Nieves. Edgewater High, College Park Middle, Princeton and Lake Silver Elementary schools were placed on lock down, Orange County Public Schools said. That order was lifted by around 2 p.m. The suspect in the hospital is identified as an 18-year-old black man. No description of the other suspect has been released.
  • Travelers trying to catch a flight at Orlando International Airport were delayed for three hours due to the malfunction of a tram serving gates 30-59. Because they were being placed on buses, it caused delays for other passengers using adjacent gates on the same side of the airport. Airport officials told reporters this afternoon that they pressed available employees into service as guides for passengers as they worked on the technical headache.  Some airlines were holding flights for affected passengers. Still, some travelers became frustrated and responded to the airport on Twitter: (tweet)“It would be helpful to have someone explain what’s happening. Anxious travelers near gate 20,” wrote Catherine Culley.  (tweet) After the problem was fixed at 12:39 p.m., the airport issued this explanation:
  • A man with a criminal past, including making terrorist threats, is in custody after three men were gunned down in the streets of this California city. Police identified him as Cori Ali Muhammid, 39, who goes by the nickname “Black Jesus.” He did not resist when arrested, following a random shooting spree with “a big gun,” a term used by a witness. Police said they found .357 caliber ammo on the suspect and shell casings that match at three shooting scenes today. Muhammid was wanted for a murder and attempted murder from last week, police said.
  • The NCAA is returning events to North Carolina, after state leaders rolled back the so-called bathroom law, which limited protections for LGBT people. The Men’s Basketball Tournament is also coming back to Florida after a successful run in Orlando this year.   Jacksonville announced it will host First and Second round games in 2019, while Tampa gets the honors in 2020. If the tournament returns to Orlando, it will have to be after 2022, as the NCAA has lined up sites through that season.
  • A three-day manhunt for a man who posted a murder on Facebook Live ends with his suicide following a short police chase in Pennsylvania this morning. Steve Stephens was the subject of a nationwide manhunt. There was a $50,000 reward and over 400 tips were called in. The video shows Stephens picking an elderly man at random, walking on a Cleveland sidewalk, then getting out of his car, questioning his victim, then shooting him dead. 
  • Jury selection began today for a man accused of murdering a neighbor, then setting her home afire to cover up the crime, a death penalty-eligible case that’s been taken from State Attorney Aramis Ayala. She upset Gov. Rick Scott and others when she announced her intention not to seek the death penalty in any first-degree murder cases in the Ninth Judicial Circuit, based in Orange and Osceola counties. Ayala argued that imposing the death penalty takes too long and is too costly. State Attorney Brad King, assigned the case, was in court when jury selection began today, but let two assistants working for Ayala to conduct the voir dire. Juan Rosario is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Elena Ortega, 83. After beating her in her kitchen, he set the home on fire, said investigators. Jurors today were questioned about their ability to impose the death penalty and whether Ayala's decision had affected how they feel about capital punishment.  King said he would pursue the death penalty in this case. Ayala has filed a lawsuit that claims Scott made a political decision in taking 23 cases from her office, because he personally disagrees with her stance on the death penalty.
  • Four public events that will draw large crowds are going on today in downtown Orlando. Parking and traffic challenges loom ahead. It begins with a community BBQ for the Orlando Police Department, celebrating their new headquarters on South Street.  Parking will be provided in their lot. Two performances of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra are scheduled for the Bob Carr Theater. Your best parking options are the Centroplex garages on Ron Blocker Avenue and Alexander Place. If you are headed to the Orlando City match, 3 p.m., at the new soccer stadium, here are some nearby, but not really close parking options: • Orange Lot (ADA only): Located on the corner of South Terry Avenue and Central Boulevard  • Grove Park Lot: Located on Central Boulevard between South Terry Avenue and Division Avenue  • SunTrust Center Garage: 25 West South Street  • 55 West Garage: 60 West Pine Street  • Garland Avenue Lot: 109 West Pine Street  • Central Boulevard: 53 West Central Boulevard  • Wells Fargo Garage: 20 North Orange Avenue  • Jefferson Street Garage: 150 West Jefferson Street Use the Geico Garage next to Amway Center for tonight’s concert by pop superstar Ariana Grande, as the parking lot under elevated I-4 is permanently closed now.
  • A man wanted for two kidnappings has been arrested and is being questioned about Thursday evening’s reported armed kidnapping of a woman from a Target Store on West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, east of Kissimmee. Police, this afternoon, announced the arrest of Gabriel Rene, 22, adding that there are no other persons of interest in the prior cases. In the latest case, the woman told investigators that she was ordered to drive to an ATM and withdraw money, then was forced to drive around while he looked for other potential victims, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.  'The victim was then ordered to drive back to the original location (Target) by the suspect, where the suspect battered her,' Osceola County Capt. Jacob Ruiz said. Rene is connected to two kidnappings near Osceola Regional Medical Center last month, Cpt. Ruiz said.
  • Joe Ruble

    Joe Ruble is a veteran radio reporter, afternoon anchor and baseball fan.

    He claims to have been to every spring training site in Florida over the last ten years. "Steinbrenner Field in Tampa is one of my favorites," he said.

    Before landing in Orlando a year after the hurricanes did, Joe reported for Newsradio 740 KTRH in Houston for 15 years. He also covered news in Denver at KOA and was a news director for KYGO AM-FM. He is now a Broncos fan after watching John Elway from the press box at Mile High Stadium for two seasons. 

    Joe was raised in Hawaii and began his reporting career there while still a student at the University of Hawaii. He has earned awards for his reporting from natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Not wanting to press his luck, he stayed away from high surf.  

    Joe has interviewed former presidents, professional athletes and music legends over the years. Most memorable chat? "Stevie Wonder, he joined me live on the radio in Hilo one night. He was touring and writing music for an album. I played his records while he sat on the other side of the turntable talking about his songs. Unforgettable."

    Ruble is married, raising two pups and living in Ocoee, Fla.

    Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • North Korea conducted large-scale artillery exercises on Tuesday to coincide with the 85th anniversary of its army’s foundation, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported. >> Read more trending news  Citing an unidentified South Korean government source, Yonhap reported that there were signs North Korea's military was carrying out large-scale, live-fire drills in areas around the east coast city of Wonsan. South Korea's defense ministry could not immediately confirm the report, according to Reuters. North Korea warned that the United States will have to choose between political and military surrender, according to the Yonhap report. 'If the U.S. and warmongers run amok with a reckless preemptive strike, we will stage the most brutal punishment of a preemptive attack in the sky and land as well as at sea and from underwater without any warning or prior notice,' according to Rodong Sinmun, spokesman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.
  • Arkansas completed the first double execution in the country in 17 years Monday night, as the state executed death row inmate Marcel Williams, KARK reported. >> Read more trending news Williams was executed at 10:33 p.m. by lethal injection on the same gurney where fellow inmate Jack Jones died at 7:20 p.m. It was Arkansas’ first double execution since Sept. 8, 1999, according to the Department of Corrections, and the first in the United States since two men were put to death by the state of Texas in 2000. Williams was the third Arkansas inmate put to death in the past week. Ledell Lee was executed by lethal injection on April 20. Williams had labored breathing, and then grimaced slightly before losing consciousness, according to an Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution.  Jones’ execution was close to its scheduled time, beginning at 7 p.m. Williams was supposed to follow at 8:15, but the execution was postponed after District Judge Kristine Baker issued a temporary stay as questions arose about whether Jones’ execution was humane or not, KARK reported. The stay was lifted about an hour later and Williams, who had been on death row for more than 20 years, was put to death. Jones also had been on death row for more than two decades, KARK reported. Gov. Asa Hutchinson originally scheduled four double executions over an 11-day period, which would have been the most by a state in such a short span since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Arkansas said the executions needed to be carried out before its supply of one lethal injection drug expires on April 30, the Los Angeles Times reported. Williams was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Stacey Errickson. On Nov. 20, 1994, Errickson, then 23, was forced into a car at gunpoint by Williams. He drove her to several ATMs to make 18 different transactions, then raped her, strangled her in an abandoned storage shed, and buried her body in a shallow grave, KARK reported. Two days later, Williams kidnapped and raped two other women within 12 hours. In 1996, Jones was convicted and sentenced to death for the June 6, 1995, rape and murder of Mary Phillips. Phillips was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while her 11-year-old daughter Lacey was tied to a chair. Lacey Phillips regained consciousness as police photographers took pictures of the crime scene, CNN reported.
  • Hours after a U.S. Senator accused the Trump Administration of using taxpayer dollars to promote President Donald Trump’s private club in Florida, the State Department pulled down a story written by government employees about the resort, what some ethics experts said was nothing more than an advertisement for Mr. Trump’s personal business interests. “Use of public office for private gain pure and simple,” said Richard Painter, a former White House ethics attorney for President George W. Bush. “Realtor.com — not the State Department– should help President Trump sell club memberships for $200,000,” Painter added on Twitter. At issue was a post done by an internal unit at the State Department about the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, lavishing praise on its history, much like a vacation brochure. Trump's not treating @StateDept websites like brochures anymore, but that doesn't come close to fixing his flagrant conflicts of interest. — Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) April 25, 2017 “I am curious,” tweeted Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). “Why are taxpayer dollars promoting the President’s private country club?” The State Department was silent about the post, but after it began to ricochet around social media – and in the political arena – the story was removed from the “Share America” platform, which can be used by diplomatic posts around the world to highlight American items of interest. “The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the President has been hosting world leaders,” a statement read on the Share America website, which is run by the State Department. “We regret any misperception and have removed the post.” “One Trump emolument down. Soon to follow: many more,” said Trump critic and ethics expert Norm Eisen. Yes, I am curious @StateDept. Why are taxpayer $$ promoting the President's private country club? pic.twitter.com/IlPhUlvMwa — Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) April 24, 2017
  •   It’s the beginning of snake season in Texas and authorities are warning people to watch out for the reptiles as they emerge from hibernation. >> Read more trending news The Laguna Vista Police Department posted the warning on its Facebook page after a close call between a giant rattler and a group of hikers on a local trail.  Police posted photos of the massive snake and another photo showing a fearless cat staring down a big rattler. Rattlesnakes emerge from hibernation in Texas in March or April, according to the police post. They favor temperatures that remain 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above, and are most active when temperatures reach 80 to 90 degrees.
  • The people who run Orlando International Airport are tired of apologizing for problems with the Automated People Movers, now calling out the manufacturer to rescue their reputation. Three times in the last five days, the new tram stopped working, forcing hundreds of passengers to take a bus or walk to their gates. Some flights had to be delayed, but yesterday 56 passengers missed flights, according to Executive Director Phil Brown.  The tram was down for 53 minutes on Monday, but no passengers missed their flights, he said. He told reporters today that the airport operations has verbally contacted Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, to make this a priority. “This afternoon we sent them a letter notifying them... We expect them to salvage their reputation,” said Brown. He also said he wants Mitsubishi to repay those passengers affected and a third party will be employed to receive those claims. Details to come. Monday’s shutdown was due to human error, he said, involving a contractor for Mitsubishi.