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Latest from Laurel Lee

    Stubby - He’s so sweet! Stubby is currently living at Pet Alliance Orlando, but could be immediately available to live in your home with your family.  To help find him a new, loving home, we’re featuring Stubby as our WDBO News Hound today.  Watch the video below to answer your questions and see more from lovable Stubby! App users can see video here. 
  • Mount Dora Spring Fest, Runaway Country, and Orlando City – the icFlorida ‘Fun 3’  It’s been a chilly work week but the weather is going to warm up nicely, and there is a ton of fun happening all across Central Florida.  icFlorida’s Estee Martin stopped by Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley early Friday morning to run through this weekend top pick for leisure time fun.  The icFlorida Fun 3:  Mount Dora Spring Fest Join the City of Mount Dora as its downtown streets come alive with crafters and artists displaying their works for show and sale during the Mount Dora Spring Fest. It's a fun, two-day, open-air event celebrating the arrival of springtime with historic, downtown Mount Dora as a backdrop. Bring the family, wear comfortable shoes, and get ready to shop 'til you drop! Runaway Country Music Fest The 7th Annual Runaway Country Music Festival takes place Friday through Sunday at Osceola Heritage Park. Country stars Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley and Billy Currington headline the epic, 3-day event along with Josh Turner, Cam, LOCASH and more. In all, it’s 30 artists over 3 days, indoor and outdoor stages, majestic oaks shading the food court, and after-hours fun for those who like to play late. Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union With last weekend’s away match postponed due to weather, Orlando City SC looks to pick up where it left off and remain unbeaten when the Philadelphia Union visits Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night. Orlando City supporters are sure to be out in full force once again with their cheering, drumming and singing while the Lions work to take care of business on the pitch. Check icFlorida’s weekend events weather forecast from WFTV meteorologist Rusty McCrainie.  3 More Fun Things:  Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival  Latin Fiesta Nights  Seven Seas Food Festival with ZZ Top Stay ‘in the know’ about local events and entertainment at icFlorida.com
  • As part of our new weekly Facebook Live series, we got a visit from our friends at Orange County Animal Services today and they brought my new love - ARROW! Find out more information about adopting 'Arrow' or other dogs and cats today at Orange County Animal Services or Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.  (app users can see video here)
  • Jail video has been released of an inmate using a towel to try to strangle at dentention deputy in Hillsborough County. Kiondre Zachary was housed in Falkenburg Road Jail when he came up behind Detention Deputy D. Hernandez with a white towel. The inmate quickly threw the towel around the 31-year-old deputy's neck in an attempt to strangle him. Thankfully, the Hernanadez was quickly able to escape from Zachary's grasp and tackle him to the floor. Along with other inmates' help, Zachary was subdued until back up officers arrived. Deputy Hernandez is recovering but suffered from a twisted ankle, bruised knee, and abrasions to his neck from the attack. Zachary was being held in jail for an unrelated burglary charge.He was uninjured and transferred to an isolation cell. Mobile users see video here and here.
  • No matter how many times we see an alligator video, even here in Florida, they always seem to excite. This one is no exception. A group of golfers were making their way over the green in golf carts when they spotted an alligator taking a stroll between two ponds. Though that may not necessarily be overly shocking, what did thrill the group was what was hanging out of the gator's mouth: a giant fish. 'This is amazing! I've never seen that before,' exclaims the woman behind the camera. 'Wow! What a sight!' she continues, as the video follows the gator cautiously walking between the group of people, silver fish flopping between his teeth with each step. As they say of the southeast, 'if there is a body of water, there is probably an alligator in it.' Mobile users see video here.
  • Star Wars Celebration hits Orlando in April.
  • Disney has unveiled a 360-degree look of their brand new Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Walt Disney World. The ride has been closed, under construction, for a while now as the park revamped their classic Magic Kingdom ride. With this new video, viewers get to experience the ride from every angle, without the wait! Mobile users see video here.
  • A woman flying from Baltimore to Seattle was kicked off a flight after she chose the airplane as a stage to loudly proclaim her political beliefs. Fellow passenger Scott Kotesky caught the ordeal all on video after the woman sat down next to him. It all began when she turned and asked Kotesky one question, 'Did you come here to cheer or to protest?' “I came here to celebrate democracy ma’am,” he replied. It all went down-hill from there. As WND reports: Her: “You put a crazed man in charge of the nuclear codes! You should be ashamed!” Kotesky: “Well we’re all entitled to our opinions here ma’am.” Her: “And I’m entitled to get drunk and puke in your lap! I’m going to throw up right in your lap! You make me sick! Don’t talk to me! Don’t look at me! Don’t you dare even put your arm on that rest. You disgust me! You should be ashamed of yourself! You put a maniac’s finger on the button. You are a bigot. You should get off this plane!” Kotesky: “Ma’am, by definition, bigotry is disparaging someone prior to knowing them simply by their beliefs and opinions. Thank you for being the very thing you preach against.” Kotesky says he told a flight attendant the woman insulted him. “Is there going to be a problem?” the flight attendant asked the woman. The woman told the flight attendant: “I told you I would like him to change seats with somebody …” The flight attendant cut her off: “Well, you don’t have that right.” But despite the warnings, the woman continued to berate Kotesky, saying 'You pretend you have the moral high ground but you put that man’s finger on the nuclear button. That man doesn’t believe in climate change.' When asked to leave the plane for being disruptive, the woman refuses, stating she paid for her seat. Then tries to bargain, saying she'll be quiet. But that doesn't fly, as the attendant informs the woman that the captain wants her off the plane before she is escorted off. Passengers cheer as she gathered her belongings and is taken out of the aircraft. Mobile users see videos here and here.
  • One of the most famous names in monster trucks is under construction after brutally crashing in Tampa on Saturday. 'Grave Digger' was performing at Raymond James Stadium when the truck attempted to climb a dirt ramp. The massive truck is seen rearing on its back wheels when it flips backward and lands on its roof. 'Grave Digger's' driver, Dennis Anderson, is in recovery and expected to be okay. 'As long as we know he's okay, that's good enough for us,' one fan said,  'We're just really concerned.' 'Monster Jam' will be visiting Orlando this Saturday, the 21st. No word on whether 'Grave Digger' will make an appearance. Mobile users see video here.
  • It's almost become cliché at this point - posting a photo on social media of your Starbucks cup with your misspelled name scrawled across. But, instead of poking fun at the mega-chain, like the posts seemingly are, are people instead being brainwashed into actually promoting them? That's the latest conspiratorial theory to surface on the web. As one video suggests, Starbucks employees have been taught to misspell customer's names on purpose so that they will, in turn, post that picture of the green siren logo to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram and get a ton of free advertising. Then, those posts go on to subconsciously influence consumer's friends to go out and get some Starbucks for themselves, continuing the circle of flowing money. Check out the video below for an in-depth description of the theory and see what you think! Mobile users see video here.
  • Laurel Lee

    Laurel Lee is the producer of Orlando's Morning News, Orlando's News at Noon and produces various Ask the Expert shows on the weekend.

    Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, she bleeds black and gold and is a huge Steeler and Penguins fan (though, let's not talk about the Pirates.)

    Lured by the chance to escape ice and the dream of learning sound production, Laurel moved to Orlando to attend college. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Radio and Television Production and a job at News 96.5.

    Falling into radio was a bit of a happy accident, but she couldn't be more elated about it. A few days on the job and it was love. Laurel has been at News 96.5 since October of 2011.

    When she isn't working the air waves, Laurel loves rocking out at concerts, digging for new music to jam to, and riding her motorcycle.

    Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • For the second time in less than 24 hours, police have swarmed the Las Vegas Strip after at least one person was killed in a shooting near the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino. >> Related: Burglary at Bellagio Hotel and Casino prompts lockdown on Vegas strip Police said Saturday afternoon that the situation was not an active shooter situation.  The suspect peacefully surrendered around 6 p.m., according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. >> Read more trending news Around 11:30 a.m. Las Vegas police reported that they were investigating a shooting that occurred on South Las Vegas Boulevard. Authorities believed an individual who was on a bus that was traveling on the strip is responsible for the shooting. Police closed portions of the strip, and set up a staging area and a barricade. Guests at the Cosmopolitan resort were evacuated. Shortly after 11 a.m., KSNV reported that at least one victim of a shooting had been transported to University Medical Center trauma in unknown condition. At 1 p.m. Saturday, authorities reported a second victim had been killed. According to USA Today, police evacuated the nearby Cosmopolitan hotel and casino shortly after 1 p.m. “The shooting incident happened on the bus,” said Larry Hadfield, a spokesman with Las Vegas Metro police. “We had one single shooting incident with two victims. Both were transported to the trauma center and one is deceased.” Hadfield said police were negotiating with the suspect Saturday afternoon in an effort to take him into custody, USA Today reported. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 
  • Las Vegas police are investigating a burglary at a retail store in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino after an incident that occurred overnight Friday, The Associated Press reported.  >> Read more trending news Police said Saturday they believe at least three people entered the store. It was not immediately clear what items were stolen. The store was closed at the time of the burglary.  Authorities said the suspects broke into a high-end jewelry and watch store, where they may have used sledgehammers to break into the shop's jewelry cases. A witness said she saw an armed burglar wearing a pig mask near a Rolex store. Authorities said they are reviewing surveillance tape, where they saw multiple suspects wearing “character masks,” ABC News reported. According to ABC News, the Bellagio was on lockdown for approximately a half-hour after the incident. Police initially thought at least one of the theives may have fired gunshots during the burglary, but later said they believed the sound of the sledgehammers breaking the jewelry cases may have been confused for gunshots. Guests fled the hotel and casino in the midst of the incident. No one was injured.  Police have taken one suspect into custody.  Portions of the Bellagio were closed Saturday as police continue to investigate.
  • A couple has been indicted on accusations that they murdered their deaf teenage son and then burned down their house to cover up the crime, the Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in New York, Ernest F. Franklin II, 35, and his wife, Heather Franklin, 33, of Guilford, New York, were charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence. The two were indicted Friday on charges of second-degree murder in the death of their adopted son, 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, People magazine reported. Following an investigation of a fire on March 1 at the family’s 1,300-square-foot home, the couple was arrested. Investigators believe they set fire to their home to cover up the killing of their son. An autopsy determined he died prior to the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Local law authorities have not said how or when the boy was killed. The Franklins got married in 2011 and adopted Jeffrey six or seven years ago, the sheriff’s office said. According to People magazine, Ernest is an Iraq War veteran. Heather wrote in posts on her Facebook page that she is pregnant. The Franklins are being held without bail. They entered a plea of not guilty. “People are asking themselves, ‘How could this happen?'” Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. told People magazine. “Certainly for the public here, it’s a mix of anger and frustration and disappointment.” Just days before Heather Franklin was arrested, she posted an update on her Facebook page about how much she missed her son, who she called JR. She also informed friends and family that she and her husband had added their “needs” and “wants” to the CheckedTwice.com Family Gift Registry because they lost everything in the fire. A GoFundMe page was also established, but it has been taken down. The Associated Press reported that police who responded to a 911 call about 1:15 a.m. on March 1 found the Franklin’s house, located about an hour away from Syracuse, engulfed in flames. Jeffrey was inside and unable to escape the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities initially said the cause of the fire appeared to be a wood stove, the residence’s main heating source. “People are wondering how anybody could do something so brutal to a developmentally disabled and handicapped 16-year-old boy,” Cutting told People. “There are a lot of people who would have taken him. There are organizations that would have taken care of him. Why resort to that? … It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy.”
  • North Carolina police said they have found the bodies of two missing children Saturday morning in Hoke County. >> Read more trending news  Fayetteville police had been searching for 2-year-old Serenity and 4-day-old Genesis Freeman overnight Friday. They were in their father's custody when they disappeared and he reportedly refused to tell police where the children were. Tillman Freeman, 30, was first charged with two counts of child abuse and child neglect.  When their bodies were found in a wooded area off of Highway 211, two counts of first-degree murder were added to those charges. The children's mother was in the hospital at the time the children went missing for an unrelated reason.
  • After the collapse of health care reform legislation in the House on Friday, Republicans in the Congress and President Donald Trump now must decide what’s next on their respective agendas, as the GOP tries to pick up the pieces from a very public legislative failure over an issue that had been their central political focus for the last seven years. Here’s the look from Capitol Hill. 1. The first big setback for the Trump agenda. You can try to downplay what happened, but there was little positive to take from this health care debacle in the House. “I will not sugarcoat this; this is a disappointing day for us,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan after the vote was canceled. President Trump tried to blame Democrats, but that rang hollow since the White House had done no serious outreach to the other party. With this setback, it’s even more apparent how little has been done so far by the GOP Congress with respect to the Trump Agenda. Other than approving a series of plans to reverse specific regulations of the Obama Administration, no bills of any import have been passed. Infrastructure, jobs bills, tax cuts, cutting government – all of that sounds good – but so far, no action. And Trump wrote 'The Art of the Deal' — Bill Mitchell (@JerseyGuy_Bill) March 25, 2017 2. Trump allies turn their sights on Speaker Ryan. It wasn’t hard to hear the low rumbling of some supporters of President Trump, as they used the Friday health care debacle to immediately try to make Speaker Ryan the scapegoat. Ann Coulter bluntly said, “Ryan is not on Trump’s side.” Pro-Trump websites like InfoWars and Breitbart immediately attacked Ryan as well, with some conservatives urging the House Freedom Caucus to help dump Ryan, arguing that he is the perfect illustration of the Republican Establishment that needs to be excised from Swamp of Washington, D.C. Paul Ryan is not on @POTUS' side – https://t.co/QVOHBDIKiT #KilledTheBill #FunFactFriday — Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) March 24, 2017 3. Full repeal of Obamacare needs 60 votes in the Senate. If Republicans couldn’t muster a majority in the House – how are they going to get 60 votes in the Senate to really change the bulk of the Obama health law? The answer – they’re not going to do that any time soon. But full repeal was still the mantra from a number of Republicans as the House GOP health care bill went down the tubes on Friday. “I remain committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with conservative reforms,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). “Congress should take its time and pass a good bill that actually repeals ObamaCare,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). But the truth is, unless Republicans get 60 votes in the 2018 elections, an Obama health law repeal bill faces a difficult road in the Congress. I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people. I look forward to passing full repeal https://t.co/ftyj6sCw0v — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 24, 2017 4. This fight on health care is already over? It seems hard to believe that Republicans are just going to drop the issue of health care reform, especially after making it such a central part of their political message in recent years. But President Trump seemed to send the signal that he is going to focus his political capital on other issues, like tax reform. “That one is going to be fun,” the President said earlier this week, as his Treasury Secretary predicted a final tax bill would on the President’s desk by early August. The last time Congress approved major tax reform was 1986. There’s a reason it hasn’t happened in over 30 years. It is not easy. And the lobbyists of Gucci Gulch will be ready. President Trump says tax reform is the next item on his agenda https://t.co/dLNduSPgl6 — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 24, 2017 5. This wasn’t really much of an effort. The White House said the President “left everything on the field” to get a health care bill. But it doesn’t look like that at all. Go back eight years, and Democrats were just launching their 13 month effort to forge what would become known as Obamacare. It went through the spring, summer, fall, winter, and then into the next spring of 2010, before being achieved. By contrast, the GOP introduced its health care bill on March 6 and gave up on March 24. Back in 2009 and 2010, Democrats struggled to keep their side together, but managed to get 60 votes for their package in the Senate. The GOP couldn’t even get a majority in the House. There is still time to go back to the drawing board. But it takes more than 18 days of work. Remember when Republicans promised they would try to fiddle with Obamacare for a few weeks and then give up? — Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) March 24, 2017 6. Let the Republican finger pointing begin. One of the biggest immediate targets was the Freedom Caucus, the group of more conservative lawmakers which for years has been very good at holding out against the GOP leadership, but has done almost nothing in the way of substantive legislating. Some of that ire was aimed at Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the head of the Freedom Caucus. “Mark Meadows is more interested in being on the TV than solving problems,” fumed Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who then aimed some more barbs at Meadows and pointedly made sure to tell a reporter – “You can quote me on that.” Exactly right. GOP & Trump own this,but @freedomcaucus & @Heritage_Action & others caused it. They are the pie-in-the-sky caucus. https://t.co/9tMcfk45ox — Brit Hume (@brithume) March 24, 2017 7. Don’t downplay the importance of this setback. Yes, it’s just one bill. Yes, it’s not the end of the world. But this failure was a big deal. Republicans have been talking for years about how they would repeal and replace the Obama health law. Donald Trump said he would do it right away. But for years, I have been reporting – and taking flak for saying – that while the GOP had lots of ideas, they didn’t have consensus on any plan. And that was obvious as they desperately tried to stitch together deals at the last minute to keep the bill moving. It’s pretty easy to lob verbal grenades at the other party – it’s a little different to offer substantive legislation and pass it. Humiliating defeat for GOP after years to prepare. Real blow to their argument that they could govern if only given the chance. — carl hulse (@hillhulse) March 24, 2017 8. This was not a good week for President Trump. It started Monday with the FBI Director publicly confirming that not only was there an investigation of how Russia meddled in last year’s election, but also a probe of any links between the Trump Campaign and Moscow. The FBI chief also made clear there was no evidence to back up Trump’s claim that he had been wiretapped in 2016. And the NSA shot down talk that British Intelligence had helped with surveillance on Trump Tower. Meanwhile, the Trump travel and refugee ban stayed on hold the courts, despite Mr. Trump’s declaration that judges were overstepping their authority. Then the week ended with a health care thud. Tomorrow's cover: Trump forced to cancel health care vote in stunning blow https://t.co/53Po4iXVbM pic.twitter.com/lEQe5Qc22g — New York Post (@nypost) March 24, 2017