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    We’re learning more about 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, who police have identified as the suspected Austin, Texas bomber, responsible for killing two people.   According to a Facebook post in 2013 by Danene Conditt, who is believed to be his mother, the Pflugerville resident was homeschooled and after graduating, was contemplating a ‘mission trip.’   “I officially graduated Mark from High School on Friday. 1 down, 3 to go,” she writes. “He has 30 hrs of college credit too, but he's thinking of taking some time to figure out what he wants to do...maybe a mission trip. Thanks to everyone for your support over the years.”   Several photos show Mark Conditt on a skiing vacation with his family later that year. Some records list Conditt’s age as 23, not 24 as previously reported. Conditt earned a degree from Austin Community College and had worked as a computer repair tech. At one point he also worked for Crux Manufacturing in Austin as a ‘purchasing agent/buyer/shipping and receiving.’ WSCO reports that his father, Pat Conditt, purchased a $69,000 Pflugerville property last year and, according to a neighbor,  Mark Conditt had been living in that house, which he built with his father. Police said Wednesday morning that they believe Conditt created all of the explosive devices used in the Austin attacks, including the one that he blew himself up with. They are asking the public to remain vigilant because they aren’t sure if Conditt had planted any more bombs before his death. (tweet)
  • A deputy assigned to patrol Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of a mass shooting last month, has been suspended without pay after he was caught sleeping in his vehicle while on the job on Monday. According to a spokeswoman for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Moises Carotti was parked near the 1200 building around 5 p.m., the same building where 17 people were killed when former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire on Valentine’s Day. A student alerted a sergeant who was patrolling the school that Carotti was sleeping in his car. When the sergeant approached Carotti’s marked patrol vehicle, he had to knock on the window to get him to wake up. Carotti was taken off the job. Another deputy was sent to replace him and patrol the school. “Of all the schools in America, you would think this would be the safest one right now,' said Florida Senator Marco Rubio. 'This is so outrageous it’s almost impossible to believe.” This is the second time a Broward County deputy has been accused of not doing their job while watching over the school in the past month. School resource officer Scot Peterson has received major backlash for waiting outside of the school while Cruz gunned down people inside. The ‘sleeping deputy’ incident  comes as three Stoneman Douglas students were arrested this week. One of the students allegedly posted threatening messages and a picture of himself holding a gun and bullets on Snapchat. Two other students were arrested on weapons charges after pulling knives on their classmates.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking into a video posted on Snapchat that appears to show an alligator being dragged behind an ATV. WESH reports that the man driving the ATV dragged the tied-up alligator because it was blocking traffic, but investigators say he should’ve called FWC or 911. An FWC officer and a trapper were expected to go out to the man’s home in Mims Monday night to recover the animal. We’ve contacted FWC for an update and to find out if the man will be facing any charges. (Facebook)
  • One person has been injured after an explosion Tuesday morning outside of a FedEx facility in the town of Schertz, KHOU reports. The first reports came in around midnight from the FedEx distribution center in Schertz, Texas, which is located just northeast of San Antonio and about an hour outside of Austin.  According to CBS News, the package, containing nails and shrapnel, was on a conveyor belt and was bound for Austin when it detonated. Schertz police say about 75 people were in the building when a medium-sized box exploded. They say it’s too early to tell if it’s connected to the Austin bombings.“We hope that it is an isolated incident here, but we can't connect it at this time,” Schertz Police Lieutenant Manny Casas told reporters Tuesday morning. The FBI and several agencies are on the scene.  If it’s connected, it would be the 5th explosion in Texas, believed to be the work of a serial bomber. This is a developing story. Listen to News 96.5 WDBO for updates. (tweet)
  • A Cirque du Soleil acrobat who fell during a Saturday performance in Tampa, Florida, died from his injuries, a hospital spokeswoman told WTSP on Sunday.   According to a video viewed by WTSP and The Tampa Bay Times, the aerial acrobat lost his grip on a ribbon strap during the company’s “Volta” show and fell 10 feet to the stage below.   A spokesman for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group identified the performer as Yann Arnaud, a longtime aerialist, WFLA reported.   The show was stopped, and Arnaud was taken to Tampa General Hospital. He died from his injuries, spokeswoman Ellen Fiss told WTSP.    The two performances scheduled for Sunday were canceled, the company in charge of publicizing the show said in a statement.   'The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him,' company CEO Daniel Lamarre said. 'Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the ‘Volta’ team, as we go through these difficult times together.'   Arnuad’s death is the second performer fatality in Cirque du Soleil's history, WTSP reported. According to the BBC, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, died during a 2013 show in Las Vegas when she fell 94 feet to the floor when a safety wire detached.   Olivier Rochette, a 43-year-old technician, died in 2016 while setting up for a performance. (Instagram) (Instagram) (Instagram) (Instagram)
  • One of Orlando’s top attorney’s will be filing the first civil lawsuit Monday on behalf of one of the survivors in the Florida International University bridge collapse. Matt Morgan of the Orlando-based law firm Morgan & Morgan announcing on Sunday that he will be taking on the lawsuit by one of the injured victims.  “It is imperative we act quickly to secure critical documentation and data,” tweeted Morgan. “Thoughts and prayers to all the families impacted by this tragedy.” (tweet) Attorneys with Morgan & Morgan will hold a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss the details of the lawsuit.  Six people were killed when FIU’s newly constructed, 950-ton pedestrian bridge crumbled onto the cars below last Thursday. The bridge was supposed to be built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and last 100 years. Emergency crews had been digging through the rubble for days hoping to find survivors. The last two victims were identified Sunday. At last check, eight people injured remain in the hospital.  (VIDEO) According to the Florida Department of Transportation, a lead engineer on the project had contacted them days earlier warning about cracks in the bridge, but only left a voicemail saying they weren’t concerned about safety issues. That message wasn’t heard until a day after the collapse. FDOT has released the transcript of that call: “Hey Tom, this is Denney Pate with FIGG bridge engineers. Calling to, uh, share with you some information about the FIU pedestrian bridge and some cracking that’s been observed on the north end of the span, the pylon end of that span we moved this weekend. Um, so, uh, we’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, ya know, done to repair that. At any rate, I wanted to chat with you about that because I suspect at some point that’s gonna get to your desk. So, uh, at any rate, call me back when you can. Thank you. Bye.” It’s still not clear what exactly caused the bridge to give way. FIU’s president Mark Rosenberg is calling for a moment of silence at 1:47 p.m. Monday afternoon to honor the victims. 
  • Researchers at the University of Florida are smashing in the skulls of iguanas...in the name of science of course. The non-native,  invasive species has been growing in population in the state of Florida, so now a three-month research project being conducted at the university (funded by a $63,000 grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) aims to find out the best way to humanely kill the animals while staying within the state’s animal cruelty laws.  What they’ve come up with is this: a tool called a captive bolt gun, commonly used in the cattle industry. It stuns the iguanas with a shock to the brain often followed by swinging the lizards into concrete or hitting them in the head with a hammer.  Blunt force trauma seems to be the method of choice, according to wildlife ecology professor Frank Mazzotti. “Death is instantaneous, as is destruction of the brain,” he tells the Washington Post. “No pain is felt by the animal.” The teams operate along a canal near the Everglades preserve in Davie where iguanas tend to colonize. They set up traps and often take the iguanas right off the trees while they are sleeping.  So far, they’ve killed about 300 of the lizards. According to the Sun Sentinel, iguanas first appeared in Miami-Dade County in 1966, arriving as pets and have grown wildly in population since. Their natural habitat stretches from Mexico through Central America and the Amazon in South America, but they are attracted to trees and fruit--which Florida has plenty of. Some frustrated homeowners have taken matters into their own hands by shooting the iguanas with pellet guns, but Mazzotti doesn’t approve of that method. “That’s not humane,” Mazzotti said because the pellets often get lodged in the lizards skin, causing them to suffer a painful death.
  • A mother in upstate New York has been charged with child endangerment after a group of strangers found her 9-month-old baby crawling in the middle of a busy roadway. A video posted to Facebook by Rn Ray shows the infant on his belly in the middle of Bleecker Street in Utica, New York with drivers surrounding him and attempting to call 911. “Baby in the street. That’s what we do in Utica now,” says the person recording the video. As one of the drivers scoops the baby up to safety, 27-year-old Ledrika Ford rushes over screaming: “That’s my baby! Oh my God!” According to Fox News, police launched an investigation when the video was brought to their attention. Ford says she was driving with a relative and that the baby was secured in the backseat of her car. When she looked back, the baby was gone. That’s when she turned the car around. The original video has already racked up over 2 million views. All four of Ford’s children have been removed from her home and are in child protective services. She’s scheduled to appear in court on March 23. (VIDEO)
  • What’s more adorable than a bunch of penguins? Penguins taking selfies! It happened in Antarctica when two emperor penguins stumbled upon a camera left in the snow by Eddie Gault, an expeditioner with the Australian Antarctic Division. Gault left the camera behind near the Auster Rookery while visiting the nearby Mawson research station.  “It didn’t take long for the naturally curious birds to seize the opportunity for a selfie,” the group said according to the Washington Post. (tweet) The camera is rolling as the two penguins waddle over. One gives it a little kick to make the lens point upwards at their faces...and that’s when the magical, up-close images are captured of the black and white pair. At the end of the 38-second clip, the penguins hilariously shake their heads at each other, almost looking disgusted with this human technology that has littered their colony.  The video has been racking up hits on social media.  “It actually looks like they’re about to drop the hottest mixtape of all time,” says @_chelseasmile_ on Twitter. Another viewer tweets, “Grandparents after getting a smart phone.”
  • A Virginia dad’s parenting skills are being both praised and criticized after forcing his son to run to school because he bullied another student.  “Welcome to ‘you better listen to your dad 2018,’” said Bryan Thornhill. Thornhill posted a video to Facebook of his 10-year-old son running in the rain as he followed slowly behind in the family vehicle. His son had been kicked off the school bus for three days for bullying, so Thornhill decided to lay down the law and have his son run about one mile to school as punishment. “My son has finally gotten in trouble on the bus enough to where he got actually kicked off the bus for three days because he was being a little bully, which I do not tolerate,” Thornhill said in the video. (Facebook) Thornhill called it “old-school, simple parenting” and says his son’s behavior has improved. “If you say we need gun control, people, here you go. This is what we need: parenting.” The video has already racked up over 1 million hits but viewers are divided on whether it’s a genius punishment...or just plain cruel. 'Wow I just watched this video and cannot agree with this form of punishment for a child on this day. It was raining and the kid had to run a mile. So what is the kid to do sit in wet clothes while he's at school. And then he gets sick. Also have you noticed the amount of weight in that backpack the child was carrying. Not good for a child's back at all,' one commenter wrote. Others think the dad did the right thing. “Hats off to the Dad, he’s disciplining his kid without hitting him or bullying him. Running in the rain wont hurt him. The parents whining about how this is bad are the ones raising kids who think the world owes them a living.” Thornhill is hitting back at his haters, saying “if you get your panties in a wad seeing a kid jog… you probably need a lap or two.”
  • Samantha Jordan

    Samantha Jordan is a reporter for Orlando's Morning News and website contributor for News965.com.

    After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Samantha interned for the morning show at Magic 107.7 in 2010. She was then offered a job in Houston, TX for the top 10 radio news station KTRH 740. Trading in her swimsuit for a cowboy hat, Samantha made the move to KTRH where she worked as the web reporter and writer. Her on-air segment 'Connected' brought to life all of the viral videos that are trending on the web. Houston listeners dubbed her 'the web goddess' as she brought light-hearted and comedic relief during the morning commute.

    Television came calling and Samantha was approached by the local TV station Fox 26 to participate in their weekly 'Fox in Focus' segment, which talked about women's issues in a debate-style setting. In 2012, Samantha was offered a job with News 96.5 as an anchor/reporter and happily returned to her hometown. 

    When Samantha isn't reporting or scouring the web for cat videos, she enjoys going to concerts, movies, and spending time with her son and their dogs, Sebastian and Maya. 

    Follow Samantha on Twitter.
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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Family, friends and the Sacramento community are demanding answers in the death of an unarmed black man killed by police in his own backyard Sunday night, holding nothing but a cellphone in his hand. Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told Fox40 that officers fired on Stephon Alonzo “Zoe” Clark a total of 20 times. Clark, 23, died at the scene, leaving behind two young sons.  Hahn was on hand Tuesday night at a City Council meeting, where several residents of the community protested the officer-involved shooting.  “To hell with Sac PD,” resident Rebecca Person said, according to the news station. “I’m sick of them always murdering black youth.” “What is the police’s job to do? To shoot people that are unarmed in their own backyard?” another resident, Robert Copeland, asked.  Fox40 reported that the Sacramento Police Department is under fire for its morphing story of what Clark was carrying.  “They put one story out that he may have been armed. They put out another that he had a toolbar, whatever that is,” Tanya Faison, a member of the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter, told the news station. “Then they put out that he had a wrench and then they put out that he just had a cellphone.  “They need to get it together.” The two officers involved in the shooting are being criticized for waiting five minutes, until additional officers came to the scene, to handcuff Clark and begin rendering first aid. Department officials are also facing criticism for not promptly informing Clark’s family, including the grandparents and siblings he lived with, that he was the one gunned down in their yard.  Fox40 reported that Clark’s family called 911 for help after hearing gunshots right outside their window.  Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother, told the Sacramento Bee that she was sitting in her dining room when she heard the shots. “The only thing that I heard was, ‘pow, pow, pow, pow,’ and I got to the ground,” Thompson told the newspaper.  Thompson described crawling to where her 7-year-old granddaughter slept on a couch in an adjacent den, where she got the girl onto the floor. She then made her way to her husband, who uses a wheelchair, and he dialed 911.  Thompson said neither she nor her husband heard officers issue any commands prior to firing the fatal gunshots.  The grieving grandmother told the Bee that investigators interviewed her for hours about what she heard, but never told her it was her grandson who had been killed. She finally looked out a window and saw his body. “I opened that curtain and he was dead. I started screaming,” Thompson said.  Hahn said he and his investigators initially had no idea Clark was related to the homeowners.  “We found out they were related because the family told us so,” the chief told Fox40. Hahn said in a news release Monday that officers were called to the family’s neighborhood around 9:15 p.m. Sunday on a report of a man breaking several car windows. The suspect was described as a thin man, just over 6 feet in height and wearing a black hoodie and dark pants. The caller said the man was hiding in a backyard. Dispatchers sent officers to the scene, where the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department also had a helicopter searching for the suspect from the air, the news release said. About 12 minutes after the 911 call was made, the crew in the helicopter told officers on the ground they saw the alleged suspect in a backyard, where he picked up what looked like a toolbar and broke the sliding glass door of the home before running south toward the front of the house.  That house was next door to the Thompsons’ home. The officers on the ground, directed to his location by the helicopter crew, confronted Clark as he came up along the side of his grandparents’ home, the news release said. When they ordered him to show his hands, he fled to the backyard, officials said.  “Officers pursued the suspect and located him in the backyard of the residence,” the news release said. “The suspect turned and advanced towards the officers while holding an object which was extended in front of him.” Believing the object was a gun, the officers opened fire, the news release said. Clark was struck multiple times, though the exact number of gunshot wounds was not immediately known. A follow-up news release issued later Monday stated that no weapon was found near Clark’s body. “After an exhaustive search, scene investigators did not locate any firearms,” the news release stated. “The only item found near the suspect was a cellphone.” Homicide investigators and crime scene technicians said they found three vehicles with damage they believe Clark caused, as well as the shattered sliding glass door that the helicopter crew said they witnessed him break, the news release said.  The only items investigators found that could have been the toolbar described by the helicopter crew included a cinder block and a piece of aluminum that may have come from a gutter. Both were found near the broken sliding glass door, the Bee reported.  Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, the newspaper said. One of the officers has eight years of law enforcement experience, half of it with the Sacramento department.  The other officer has six years total experience, two of those in Sacramento.  Sacramento city policy requires any body-camera footage of an officer-involved shooting to be made public within 30 days, the Bee reported.  Hahn said he plans to release the officers’ body camera footage, as well as footage from a camera aboard the helicopter, after it has been shared with Clark’s family, Fox40 reported. He anticipated having the footage released by week’s end.  The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the city attorney’s office and the city’s Office of Public Safety Accountability are investigating the shooting, as is the department’s homicide and internal affairs units.  The Bee reported that Clark was at least the 17th person to die in confrontations with law enforcement in Sacramento County in the past two years. Besides the young father, three others were unarmed. 
  • Andy Savage resigned Tuesday as a pastor of Highpoint Church in Memphis weeks after he admitted that, as a youth pastor in Houston in 1998, he had a “sexual incident” with a high school student. >> Read more trending news Savage got a standing ovation from his congregants in January when he admitted to the encounter with Jules Woodson. He was a 22-year-old youth pastor at the time. Woodson was 17. >> Related: Pastor confesses to ‘sexual incident’ with Houston teen who calls his congregation’s response ‘disgusting’ In a statement released Tuesday, Savage said that since January, he’s “come to understand Jule’s vantage point better, and to appreciate the courage it took for her to speak up.” “When Jules cried out for justice, I carelessly turned the topic to my own story of moral change, as if getting my own life in order should help to make up for what she went through and continues to go through,” he said. He admitted that his relationship with Jules was “not only immoral, but meets the definition of abuse of power, since I was her youth pastor,” and said that he thought he had taken steps to make up for the situation when he resigned from his position and moved to Memphis. “Those steps seemed significant at the time,” he said. “Only through my recent time of reflection have I realized that more should have been done.” >> Related: Tennessee megachurch pastor accused of sexual assault Highpoint Church officials released the following statement after Savage’s resignation: Cantey Hanger’s independent investigation of Andy Savage’s ministry has been completed and the findings communicated to the elders and trustees of Highpoint Church by lead investigator Scott Fredricks. While the investigation found no other instances of abuse in Andy’s ministry, the leadership team at Highpoint Church agrees that Andy’s resignation is appropriate, given the reasons stated in his resignation statement. Highpoint leadership has come to recognize that it was defensive rather than empathetic in its initial reaction to Ms. Jules Woodson’s communication concerning the abuse she experienced, and humbly commits to develop a deeper understanding of an appropriate, more compassionate response to victims of abuse. Highpoint Church remains committed to ensuring that it protects families and children involved in its ministries to the highest standard. Accordingly, as announced earlier, Highpoint Church has asked MinistrySafe to conduct an assessment of Highpoint’s current training, policies, screening practices, and supervision in ministries serving minors at Highpoint Church, then help us implement any needed enhancements. That work will begin soon. In the meantime, our child safety policies can be found online here. We urge anyone with suspicions of child abuse to make a report to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services or local law enforcement.  Rare.us and the Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • Police continue to investigate a series of deadly bombings in Austin after authorities said the suspect, identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, killed himself early Wednesday. >> READ MORE: Who is Mark Anthony Conditt, the suspected Austin bomber? | Trump says 'it's not easy to find' culprit in first public comment on Austin bombings | 'Hold your leaders accountable': Chance the Rapper tweets about Austin bombings | Photos: Austin police investigate explosions | For investigators, a race to decode hidden message in Austin bombings | Map shows location of 4 Austin bombs | Austin explosions: 2 men hurt in fourth blast this month | Officials increase reward to $115,000 for information on Austin bombings | Man held in SXSW threat ruled out as bomb suspect, police say | Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say | The Roots' SXSW show canceled after bomb threat; man arrested | Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House| MORE
  • A Middletown woman told police that because there was a warrant out for her arrest, she was afraid to report the death of her mother. Police were called Monday morning to a residence in the 3200 block of Goldman Avenue on a report of a dead body. There, police found an 88-year-old woman dead in her bedroom. MORE: What a West Chester man told the judge before being sentenced on child porn charges The woman’s daughter, who also lives in the house, told police she found her mother dead in her bed Thursday —four days earlier — but she didn’t contact police. The “only reason” she reported her mother’s death is because her daughter, who also lives in the home, asked about her grandmother and found her dead, according to the police report. >> Read more trending news  The woman had a warrant for her arrest for failure to appear on traffic charges through Middletown Municipal Court, the report said. MORE: Grand jury to consider murder charge against Butler County babysitter Police also contacted another daughter of the dead woman and she told them she hadn’t seen her mother since Thanksgiving. Another daughter told police she last saw her mother a couple of months ago, and she was planning to take her mother to see a doctor this week. The Butler County Coroner’s Office was contacted and took possession of the woman’s body.
  • A tip may have surfaced in a 19-year-old Arizona missing child case, but police and family aren’t too sure. KPHO reported that a 2009 $1 bill has a message written along the edge that could be a tip in the 1999 disappearance of Mikelle Biggs. She went missing at 11 years old while waiting for an ice cream truck in Mesa, Arizona. The Arizona Republic reported that the girl's mother, Tracy Biggs, reported her daughter missing on Jan. 2, 1999. “My name is Mikel (sic) Biggs kidnapped From Mesa AZ I’m Alive,” the message on the bill says. >> Read more trending news  The note, the publication reported, appears to be written in a child’s handwriting but has Mikelle’s name spelled wrong. The bill was reported to police March 14 in Neenah, Wisconsin.  “A man came to the front lobby and dropped it off,” Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson told ABC News. “He found it in a collection of money for Girl Scout Cookies.” Neenah Police Investigator Adam Streubel told The Arizona Republic he was doubtful much could be done with the message to solve the Arizona case. “There’s no way to trace (the bill),” said Streubel, who suspects the message could be a joke. “There was a little spring of hope for a second, and then reality set in,” Streubel said. “There is nothing you can do with it, which is rather frustrating.” One of Mikelle’s younger sisters, Kimber Biggs, is also doubtful. “The fact that her name was spelled wrong was, you know, is kind of discredited,” Biggs told The Arizona Republic Tuesday. I don’t think that would be something she’d do.” Biggs said she found out about the bill when a photo of it surfaced on a Facebook page she runs called Justice for Mikelle Biggs. “I was looking at the bill, trying to look at the handwriting and see if it could mean something and I got sick about it,' Biggs said. “‘Is this a hoax?’ ‘Did someone play a cruel joke?’ and that made me upset or 'Is it real?' and even the thought of that upsets me if it’s real.' Mesa, Arizona, police Detective Steve Berry told KPHO that his department plans to look into the note, even though changes of finding DNA or fingerprints are low. “Anytime we get new information that may resolve this case and give closure to the family and community we make every effort to validate or invalidate the lead,” Berry said. “If there’s any information that can be garnered from that, we would certainly find that.”