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Latest from Joe Ruble

    Dozens of deserving children with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida got to pick out Christmas gifts with the helping hands of the Orange County Fire Rescue. Each child received a gift card and was paired with a firefighter at the Toys “R” Us at Millenia on Thursday night. Firefighters dressed in their Class A uniform escorted the children around the store, while other firefighters in bunker gear wrapped the gifts outside. A fire engine was displayed for the children to enjoy. Santa also dropped by. Donations are still being accepted in order to benefit more children. Click here to learn more.
  • The upcoming 21 days of holiday travel will impact the Orlando International Airport like never before, with a record number of passengers expected between December 21, 2017 through January 10, 2018. The least busiest of those days is forecast to be Christmas Day itself. Nearly 3 million passengers are expected in that period, which is a 7 percent increase over last year, according to the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. As a gift to travelers, the airport offers a new parking garage. The “C” garage charges $15 a day, compared to garages “A” and “B” which charge a daily fee of $17, according to CEO Phil Brown.  With crowds as large as 155,000 on some days, airport officials today encouraged travelers to arrive up to three hours early for their flight. Also, Christmas gifts should not be wrapped so they can be inspected, if needed. For last minute shoppers, the airport’s many gift shops will be open through Christmas Day as well.   Click here to learn more about traveling through Orlando International Airport.
  • Patrol officers with Mount Dora police are riding around with comfort bears  to hand out to children during certain emergency calls. The bears were made by volunteers who spent 200 hours crafting them from old police uniforms gathered up by Chief John O’Grady. “It’s a wonderful gift and a great use of material. I want to thank the citizens of Mount Dora and our eight volunteers that came forward and put these together for us,” he said. Comfort bears were made back in the 90’s to help children and Chief O’Grady saw that the need is still present today. The first bears will be handed out this weekend.
  • Anala and Jeda, the first Sumatran tiger cubs born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, are being introduced to their new habitat and parkgoers sometimes can catch a glimpse of the four-month-olds. The endangered tigers, a sister and brother, will live at Maharajah Jungle Trek after they learn to swim and climb. “Disney participates in the Species Survival Plan, a breeding program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums which helps ensure a diverse, healthy population of threatened and endangered species for years to come,” according to a Disney World blog. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered in the world, with only about 500 living in the wild. They normally live in dense forests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and prey on deer, cattle and wild boar.
  • Orlando Police worry that  a man wanted for a shooting and robbery outside a motel room will seriously hurt someone if not caught soon. It happened at the Super 8 on American Way.   OPD Detective Adam Krudo said the victim’s cellphone was stolen and then was shot in the lower torso. He is expected to recover.
  • A female student at the University of Central has been found dead in her campus residence, according to UCF officials. Her death is not considered suspicious. A cause of death has not been determined, said UCF Public Information Officer Courtney Gilmartin. “Emergency responders found Alyssa Michelle Lewis, a 19-year-old student from Jacksonville in her fourth semester, dead in her room in the Lake Claire apartments. Family members who had been unable to reach her called 911 around 10:35 a.m. Tuesday after they went into her apartment and found her.” according to a statement from UCF Office of News & Information. Counselors are available to talk with any students who need assistance. Counseling Services can be reached at 407-823-2811. Click here for more information about those free services.
  • Walt Disney World is sharing more details on its planned new transportation system that will link three of its resorts and two of its parks. The Disney Skyliner is a cable system with gondolas that will connect Epcot and Hollywood Studios with Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation Resort. No opening date has been announced by Disney.  Click here to learn more.
  • Authorities here have revealed that the gunman who shot dead two students at Aztec High School disguised himself as a student in order to gain entry to the campus.  He was, in fact, a 21-year-old man. Authorities said the gunman lived with his parents and had worked at a gas station. In a message written before the shooting, he wrote that work, school and life was bad and he wanted out. The San Juan County Sheriff's Office says Casey J. Marquez and Francisco I. Fernandez died during the Thursday shooting. They were a cheerleader and a football player. San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen called the shooting a cowardly act and that the shooter was determined to create as much carnage as he could.
  • Orlando International Airport was the scene today of a full scale exercise to test the local response to a “large aviation incident.” Taking part were representatives from the airlines, federal government, Orlando police and emergency management, Orange County Health Department, the FAA and airport fire rescue teams. Some airport workers volunteered to be passengers in the incident drill, which involved a fire on the plane. As part of the drill they were taken to a triage center for medical care.  While the federal government requires major airports to conduct such drills every three years, OIA schedules these every two years, according to Public Affairs Director Carolyn Fennell.
  • Throwing used cooking grease down the sink is like tossing hundreds of dollars down the drain. That’s what it could cost to unclog the mess later, according to an Orlando city official who is urging residents to get into the habit of using grease recycling centers. On Tuesday, she said city inspectors had returned from a home that had a stopped sewer after learning that city lines were clear, but the privately-owned connection was clogged with grease. “It wasn’t pretty,” said Athena Tipaldos of the city’s water reclamation department. The homeowner was left with the job of hiring a plumber to remove the clog. Such work can cost hundreds of dollars, she said. The photos above indicate the kind of damage from grease clogs. Click here to see the list of locations where cooking grease can be dropped off. A growing interest in biofuel actually has made such grease valuable. Thieves have been known to siphon cooking grease from barrels outside restaurants and sell it.
  • 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.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • 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).
  • Orange County deputies are investigating the circumstances of a shooting that left three people injured Saturday evening.   It happened shortly after 5pm along the 12700 block of East Colonial drive. A woman was transported to the hospital after she was shot, and is expected to survive.    Deputies said the other adult and the child were also injured, but were not taken to the hospital.