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Latest from Samantha Jordan

    This is heart-wrenching to watch: a bystander’s dash cam video captures a dog being dragged behind a car for at least two blocks in Hawaii. The dog appears to be tied by a leash to the back of an SUV as it drives down a road in Honolulu. YouTube user Johnny Chang noticed the dog and followed the SUV to try and catch up with the driver. When the vehicle stops, the dog stands up and limps around a little. That’s when the driver gets out slowly.  According to the Daily Mail, the 40-second clip ends with another woman running up to the scene. So far the driver has not been identified. It’s not known if the dog was injured. **WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT** (VIDEO) More stories: Atlanta airport employee slides down crowded escalator to help stranded passengers
  • Even with tempers flaring during the massive Atlanta airport blackout, passengers were still able to find humor in the madness. Take this airport employee for example. Instagram user @sarahmanleyy posted video of a Hartsfield-Jackson airport worker making the best of a crowded escalator by  sliding down the middle of it like a boss on his way to help passengers.  “Dealing with the power outage at the Atlanta airport was actually insane and I'll post other scary videos later. But the staff was having to slide down the escalators to help people and it was amusing,” @sarahmanleyy writes. When the worker reached the bottom, he received a well-deserved high-five and cheers from the crowd. He also gained a lot of fans on the internet, who praised the worker and his clear dedication to hustling. (Instagram) (tweet) (tweet) More stories:   Horrifying video shows woman dragging dog behind car in Hawaii
  • Apparently, writing letters to Santa Claus is sooooooo last year. The home phone and security company Ooma is giving your kids a direct line to Santa at the North Pole with their Call Santa Campaign. Here’s how it works: 1. Dial 1-844-544-OOMA 2. You’ll hear a message from Santa (he’s very busy this time of year, ya know) telling you to leave him a message with all your Christmas wishes 3. Tell Santa what you want It’s that easy!  Merry Christmas! Related story: Lack of donations means Christmas may not come for kids at Orlando Union Rescue Mission
  • Every year, the Orlando Union Rescue Mission in downtown Orlando tries to make Christmas special for the homeless families living at the shelter.  But the lack of donations this year could make that hard. The Mission says they may have to cancel their Christmas Extravaganza event this Saturday if they don’t get more toys.  During the event,  residents living at the shelter typically get to select Christmas gifts that have been donated while their kids are distracted playing holiday games and building gingerbread houses.  Director of Development Tanneka Guice says people still struggling after Hurricane Irma could be one of the reasons the donations just aren’t coming in this year.  “But there’s also been an increase of the children that we have at the mission. There’s about 70 kids here now.” Guice says the room that’s been set up to hold the donations is severely lacking.  “We know there’s more to Christmas than that but the fact of waking up without gifts under the tree is disheartening, on top of the fact that they are living in a shelter. So that’s why we want to make it extra special.” The shelter needs toys for kids ages 3 months up to 17-years-old. They especially need toys for boys ages 9 -17.  They’re also asking for gifts cards of $25 and up to Walmart or Target to give to the parents so they can hopefully fulfill their kids wish lists.  “This way we are restoring the dignity back to the parent,” Guise says. “It’s not coming from some stranger, it’s actually coming from mom or dad so they can see that sparkle in their eyes from the gifts that they’ve been given.” For ideas on what to get, you can check out their Amazon Wish List and  drop off toys at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission on 1521 W. Washington St. in Orlando. 
  • A woman wants to sue a pet-sitting company after her service dog ran away while in their care, and then died.   Jeannette Moisman, who was visiting from Argentina, said she left her dog, Brownie, with a pet sitter from Rover.com and, while in the sitter's care, the dog ran away.   “He was so gorgeous. He was a good dog,” she said.   Moisman was in a car accident six years ago and although she can walk on her own, her legs are numb and she requires a service dog.   In September, Moisman and Brownie boarded a plane from Argentina to Orlando for a vacation.   She said she didn't want Brownie to spend long days at the theme parks and malls, so she hired a pet sitter from Rover.com, a popular pet-sitting website.   On Sept. 25, Brownie was spending the day with a pet sitter in Orlando when he got out of the house.   Moisman searched for him, but 10 days later he was found dead near Interstate 4.   “He was supposed to live for a long, long time and he was taken away from me,” said Moisman.   Moisman is working with a lawyer. She hopes the company doesn't allow the woman who was watching Brownie when he got away sit for pets again.   Moisman got another service dog, but said replacing Brownie was tough.   “I was not expecting this to happen, you know? You come here, you go on vacation expecting everything to be perfect and now I feel like I am a terrible mother,” she said. “Because of what I did, he ended up dead.   A Rover.com spokesperson said they couldn't talk specifically about the case but said, in these types of cases, a team helps to bring the dog home, using a pet Amber Alert system and online notices.   A statement from the company said, in part, “We understand that the loss of a dog is the loss of a family member, and our hearts go out to Brownie's family. Millions of nights have been booked on Rover and while situations like this are rare, we take every one very seriously.”
  • In a special election plagued with controversy, the state of Alabama turned blue Tuesday night, electing Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women which may have ultimately cost him the win.Of course, the internet and the media couldn’t help but poke fun at Moore’s huge loss.  (tweet) Two New York tabloids announced Moore’s defeat by mocking his arrival to the polls to vote on Tuesday on horseback.  'Perv Moore loses in Alabama ... and the horse you rode in on,' reads the New York Post's cover.  The Wednesday cover of the  New York Daily News  reads “Screw you & the horse you rode in on.” (tweet) The jokes didn’t stop there. Many people picked apart the way Moore rode his horse, named Sassy, saying he looked inexperienced and awkward.  (tweet) (tweet) Of course, many like late night host Stephen Colbert took the jokes a bit further, using the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore as part of his show Tuesday night. “The horse’s name is Sassy,” said Colbert. “Well, that is a lovely name for a magazine targeted at teenage girls. Hi-ho Sassy, off to the mall!” (VIDEO)
  • Is this real life? In what other world can you get Star Wars and  Hanson mashed up in perfect harmony? According to Mashable, the video of Yoda and friends singing along to Hanson’s ‘90’s hit ‘MMMBop’  was created for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon...and it’s everything you hoped it would be. In a world where bad things seem to happen every day, it’s nice to have this little escape. Enjoy! (VIDEO)
  • The dip in temperatures in the Sunshine State earlier this week had a group of manatees  cuddling together to try and stay warm. Video was taken of dozens of manatees at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida Sunday morning gathered in one spot trying to beat the icy chill in the air. Temperatures dropped into the 30’s and 40’s in some parts of Florida.  “Only when it’s really cold and crowded do you start getting manatees on the bank,” says the video’s commentator. According to Discover Crystal River Florida, manatees are sensitive to cold weather.  They can’t typically survive for long if the water temperature drops below 65 degrees.  Extremely chilly weather can weaken their immune systems and could possibly kill them, which is why they come to the springs seeking warmth. The springs usually stay around 73 degrees.  (VIDEO)
  • The mother who posted a video of her son describing the bullying and torment he endures from his classmates is facing serious backlash after Facebook photos surfaced of her proudly holding Confederate flags. Kimberly Jones’ 11-year-old  son, Keaton, received an outpouring of support from around the world when the heartbreaking video went viral. 'They make fun of my nose, they call me ugly. I have no friends,” Keaton cries as he describes how students pour milk on him and put ham down his clothes.  Celebrities rallied behind him, including Chris Evans, aka Captain America, who invited Keaton and his mother to the premiere of the Avengers next year. Actress Hailee Steinfeld tweeted a video to the family asking if Keaton would be her date to the premiere of Pitch Perfect 3 this week.  (tweet) But the feel-good story seems to have turned sour. Some of the support for Keaton and his family has been taken back by many viewers because of his mother’s seemingly controversial views.  Some of her old Facebook posts are being perceived as racist. In one photo, Kimberly Jones, who now has her Facebook profile set to private, is pictured posing with a Confederate flag and in another, one of her sons is holding it while another holds the American flag. She also took aim at football players like Colin Kaepernick who refuse to stand during the national anthem. “Dear butt hurt Americans, if you aren’t bleeding, no bones are sticking out and you can breathe, STOP crying!” she writes. “For the love, some folks clearly never picked a switch. And before y’all start talking to me about metaphorical, emotional, financial or historical blood and brokenness, Don’t. Join a group.” The video that made her son Keaton famous has  been deleted. A GoFundMe account set up for Keaton, which raised close to $58,000, has also been suspended. The mother has denied that she is using her son’s bullying video to make money. (tweet) While many say they feel duped, others remain supportive of Keaton. “I’m still #KeatonStrong,” tweeted actor Nick Stevenson, while also telling Keaton’s mother “shame on you.” Patton Oswalt tweeted to a follower who asked if he is taking back his support of the young boy. “Keaton didn’t get to choose the family that raised & shaped him, you smug ghoul. Keaton’s a little kid — his family hasn’t allowed him any real perspective yet.” (Instagram)
  • They make fun of my nose, they call me ugly. I have no friends.' Well, now Keaton Jones can call Captain America and Aquaman his friends....as well as million of others.  The Tennessee boy broke hearts all over the world after his mother posted a video of her son crying about the abuse he endures in middle school at the hands of bullies. (VIDEO) 'They pour milk on me and put ham down my clothes, throw bread at me,' Keaton says. The abuse has gotten so bad, he’s afraid to go to lunch at school. But through it all, Jones has a brave message for others going through the same thing.  'If you're being made fun of, don't let it bother you,' Jones said. 'Stay strong I guess. It's hard. It will probably get better one day.' The video has racked up more than 21 million views and caught the attention of some huge celebrities who are throwing their support behind the young boy with the hashtag #StandWithKeaton.  Chris Evans has invited Jones to next year’s premiere of the new  Avengers movie and Snoop Dogg calls Jones a ‘friend for life.’ 'Say lil Man U gotta friend in me for life hit me on dm so we can chop it up love is the only way to beat hate,' Snoop wrote. (tweet) (tweet) (Instagram)
  • 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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    Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • An Amtrak train derailed in Washington state Monday, killing at least six people and injuring  dozens of others, according to authorities. >> Read more trending news  Amtrak Cascades Train 501, carrying 78 passengers and five crew members, jumped the track near Tacoma in Pierce County, Washington, plunging off an overpass onto the I-5 freeway below, according to Amtrak officials. Amtrak has provided a phone number for people to call with questions about family or friends who may have been on the train: 800-523-9101. At least 70 people were taken to St. Joseph’s Medical Center and at least 20 were transported to the Madigan Army Medical Emergency Center. The main phone number for St. Joseph’s is 253-426-4101. You can inquire about a loved one at this number by providing the name of the person. >> Related:  LIVE UPDATES: At least 70 sent to hospital, 6 dead after train derails on I-5 Madigan has two numbers listed for patient admissions: 253-968-3827 and 253-968-3829.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice released its review of how officers with the Orlando Police Department responded to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting. More than 100 people were injured and 49 people died at the nightclub June 12, 2016 when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire as the club was closing. Photos: Victims of Pulse nightclub Orlando Police Chief John Mina requested the independent review by the DOJ and Police Foundation to identify best practices and areas in which to improve regarding planning, training, polices, procedures and practices, the report said. The report found: The tactical response by the OPD was consistent with the department’s policies, procedures, and training as well as recognized practices;  The OPD successfully leveraged existing relationships with federal, state and local public safety agencies in their response to the Pulse nightclub terrorist attack;  OPD leadership prioritized the mental health of all OPD personnel following the response to the Pulse attack;  Pre-existing Orlando police-community relationships, fostered and sustained over time, enhanced the resilience of the community in the aftermath of the Pulse terrorist shooting.   Read: Pulse nightclub victims' detail terrifying moments of Orlando mass shooting Dispatchers had to mute their phones to compose themselves when victims, survivors and others called 911 for help, the report said. The report said the Police Department had a “laser-like” focus to stop the killings and save lives. The SWAT team said in the report, however, that the response during the incident was disorganized and that more training is needed for future joint response. Read: Orlando firefighter remembers treating Pulse attack's patient No. 1 Read the full report here.  Channel 9's Shannon Butler is following this story. Follow her on Twitter and Eyewitness News at 4 p.m. for updates. Report: teams like swat said response during incident was disorganized. Need to train more together in joint response— Shannon Butler (@SButlerWFTV) December 18, 2017   The @COPSOffice has released its review of the Pulse nightclub attack - calls it 'a valuable guide to #LawEnforcement or #FirstResponders seeking to prepare for similar mass casualty incidents.' OPD release: https://t.co/8vJPia1O7O Full report: https://t.co/V73UMs75HF pic.twitter.com/GMJIXMztPa — Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) December 18, 2017  
  • The United States Department of Justice today has released the results of a 'critical incident review' requested by Orlando Police Chief John Mina in response to the attack on the Pulse nightclub.    Chief Mina says the goal of the review is that it 'allows for open feedback in a constructive way and enables law enforcement officials to speak with total candor in an open forum.'    The independent federal review contains information on decision making from leadership and relationships, an in depth description of the timeline starting before the attack as well as the aftermath, and even includes observations and lessons learned from things like tactical response, emergency medical care, and post event victim welfare.    The review concludes by saying it 'honors the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack and the bravery of the Orlando law enforcement community and serves as a call to action for our nation's elected officials and law enforcement and public safety leaders. You can check out an interactive version of the critical incident review here.
  • A church in Ocoee is ensuring that children with autism will still be able to celebrate the holidays in way that will be safe and not overstimulating.   Ocoee Oaks United Methodist Church is partnering with Autism Law Enforcement Response Training(ALERT) to offer a traditional Christmas Eve candelight service, but with a slightly different approach to cater to the sensitivity of light and volume.    Rather than use candles, children will be offered glowsticks instead. In addition, 20 sensory kits donated by ALERT will be provided for use during the service.    The church says that space may be limited and they encourage anyone who wants to attend to register in advance for free tickets to the service.    You can register for the event here.
  • Sean “Diddy” Combs wants to buy the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, and NBA star Stephen Curry wants in on it, too, according to the New York Daily News. If Combs does buy the team, he said he’ll immediately sign Colin Kaepernick as quarterback. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has remained unsigned the entire season since opting out of his contract earlier this year. >> Read more trending news  Kaeprnick’s protests in the form of kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to racism and social injustice in the United States has been suspected in a factor in his unsigned status. The legendary rapper and producer made his intentions known Sunday on social media shortly after Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced he plans to sell the team in the wake of a sexual harassment allegations against him. First came Combs’ tweet: “I would like to buy the @Panthers. Spread the word. Retweet!” Soon after, Curry, the Golden State Warriors All-Star and back-to-back NBA MVP, who grew up in North Carolina and played college basketball at Davidson College, tweeted, “I want in.” The hip-hop mogul Combs then posted a video to his Instagram account that was viewed more than 600,000 times in the first 11 hours it was posted. Judging by the comments on his post, Carolina fans seemed to be on board with Diddy becoming the NFL’s first African-American owner. “There are no majority African-American NFL owners. Let’s make history,” Diddy wrote. Some fans weren’t as keen on the idea of bringing in Kaepernick to compete for the starting job, as Combs said on his Instagram post. The Panthers already have Cam Newton as their starting quarterback. Carolina fans made it clear in the comments section that they’re good with Newton. Diddy’s plan to sign Kaepernick may not be needed. An hour after Curry’s tweet, Kaepernick himself said he wanted to be part of ownership plans, too.  “I want in on the ownership group! Let’s make it happen,” he tweeted. Combs has had his eye on buying an NFL team for a few years now. In 2013, he told Bloomberg, “I have aspirations to become — it will happen — to become the first African-American majority owner. Not having a small stake but actually owning an NFL team. I think it’s time for that. A majority of the players in the NFL are African-American, but there are no African-American owners. So that’s one of my dreams.” The Daily News reported that the Panthers are currently valued at $1 billion, while Diddy’s net worth sits at $820 million, according to Forbes. It’s also common for professional sports franchises to fetch notably higher prices than their listed values, meaning Diddy may need several investors to make his NFL ownership dream come true. Still, net worth is an estimate, and doesn’t mean Diddy has that amount or if he makes more or less. Curry, still in his prime as a player and having a net worth of $47.3 million, certainly makes a lot of sense as a partner in a potential deal.