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Latest from Deirnesa Jefferson

    Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 5 City Commissioner Regina I. Hill joined with the Parramore community for the groundbreaking of new homes in Parramore. The groundbreaking signified the start of construction of the first three of 10 single-family homes being built by the City’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).   City Commissioner Regina Hill said the project is a great opportunity for the Parramore community.  'This project is especially meaningful to me, as a Parramore resident who grew up in this neighborhood, I want to make sure we're continuing to create opportunity for residents to own homes right here in our community,'  Hill said.  When complete, the homes will each feature a minimum of 1,300 square feet of living space with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Additionally, as part of the project, a new CRA Down Payment Assistance Program will be created to provide additional financial assistance aimed at making these homes more affordable for qualified buyers. The new program will complement existing City and state down payment assistance programs.  This project further supports the City of Orlando’s efforts in revitalizing and investing in the Parramore neighborhood and also ensuring access to quality, safe and affordable housing options for residents.    “As Mayor, I am continually striving to make our City more livable for everyone,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said  “Part of that effort is ensuring that anyone who wants to live in Orlando, can live in Orlando -- regardless of their income. I am thankful for public-partnerships like this that help us continue to increase affordable housing options, meet the needs of our growing community and ensure we are taking care of our all our residents.”
  • Today,  Governor Rick Scott announced that he will propose more than $1.7 billion to protect Florida’s environment as part of his 2018-2019 recommended budget. This $1.7 billion funding for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is a more than $220 million increase over the current year. The proposed funding will include:   A historic investment of $55 million for Florida’s springs;   A historic investment of $100 million for Florida’s beaches;   A record $355 million for Everglades restoration;   A record $50 million for Florida’s state parks; and   $50 million for Florida Forever to help preserve and protect our natural lands
  • Today, Senator Bill Nelson joined  Reps. Darren Soto and Val Demings at a disaster assistance workshop to help residents affected by Hurricane Irma. The workshop gave  residents  more information and resources on the assistance offered to them through FEMA and other organizations.  State representatives  say now is the time for residents to utilize resources like FEMA and get funds for damages and repairs.   FEMA officials said even residents who experienced flooding and don’t have flood insurance may be eligible for repairs if they register with FEMA by the application deadline.  The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is November 9, 2017. 
  • Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the state has been awarded federal Dislocated Worker Grants to provide temporary employment to Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma. The Dislocated Worker Grants, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, provide disaster relief employment in the form of temporary jobs that support storm response and recovery efforts.  “As we all recover from Hurricane Irma, we are doing everything we can to help Floridians get back on their feet. This federal funding will provide important employment opportunities to Floridians who may have lost their jobs due to the impacts of this massive storm and will also support ongoing recovery efforts.” Governor Scott said. Now, Floridians can get back to work helping those in their communities. We will continue to work together to make sure everyone has the support they need to rebuild.” Disaster relief employment pertains to projects that provide food, clothing, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for disaster victims and projects that involve demolition, cleaning, repair, renovation and reconstruction of damaged structures and facilities. Individuals who qualify for disaster relief employment are people who are temporarily or permanently laid off as a consequence of the disaster, dislocated workers, and individuals who are long-term unemployed.   
  • Today, President Donald Trump’s Administration expanded his Major Disaster Declaration for Florida to include individual assistance for many Florida counties including  Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, , Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter and Volusia counties. This declaration authorizes federal funding to flow directly to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma and reimburses local communities and the state government to aid in response and recovery from Hurricane Irma. “I am thankful that President Trump, who I’ve spoken with multiple times this week, has been 100 percent supportive of our efforts and offered every resource of the federal government. Working with local emergency management professionals and FEMA, we will make sure that no expense is spared to help families respond and recover,” Governor Rick Scott said.  The Major Disaster Declaration approved by President Trump authorizes the following:  100 percent federal reimbursement for thirty days in all counties for emergency protective measures, such as Emergency Operation Center costs, evacuation costs, sheltering costs, and other costs associated with emergency response. After the thirty days, the federal government will reimburse 75 percent of these costs. This includes both local and state expenses; 75 percent federal reimbursement for all counties for debris removal  
  • The City of Orlando will be giving away sandbags to help residents prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Irma. The sandbag distribution will be held on :  Thursday, September 7, 2017 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday, September 8, 2017 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m The sandbag location will be the City of Orlando Streets and Stormwater division on 1010 Woods Avenue. Residents must show proof of residence and will be given 10 bags per address. The City of Orlando’s Emergency Operations Center remains at the monitoring level and City departments are continuing to take precautionary measures for any potential impacts from hurricane Irma.   Although its path is still uncertain, the City wants to encourage residents, visitors and businesses to prepare for the storm, including assembling disaster kits, stocking up on supplies and reviewing disaster plans.
  • The City of Orlando will be giving away sandbags to help residents prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Irma.  The sandbag distribution will take place on: Thursday, September 7, 2017 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday, September 8, 2017 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. The distribution location is the City of Orlando Streets and Stormwater Division  on 1010 Woods Avenue. Residents must show proof of residence and will be given 10 bags per address.  The City of Orlando’s Emergency Operations Center remains at the monitoring level   and City departments are continuing to take precautionary measures for any potential impacts from Hurricane Irma.   Although its path is still uncertain, the City wants to encourage residents, visitors and businesses to prepare for the storm, including assembling disaster kits, stocking up on supplies and reviewing disaster plans.
  • Today, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers are actively assisting with disaster response efforts in the Houston area. Governor Scott directed the deployment of FWC officers and resources in response to Texas’ request for emergency assistance.   Currently, 37 FWC officers and 21 boats are in route to Houston to support ongoing response efforts. More than 60 officers and nearly 20 boats are being staged and will deploy today. This weekend, twenty-five FWC officers, 17 high water vehicles, two Mobile Command Centers, eight shallow draft vessels and four patrol boats arrived in Houston after being deployed Saturday night.   
  • Prescription drug overdose has become one of the biggest drug problems affecting our country today, but CVS Pharmacy hopes that TimerCaps will be part of the solution.  CVS Pharmacy designed special caps to help patients keep track of their medications. The TimerCap is on shelves in CVS stores across the country in hopes of curbing prescription abuse and misuse. “It works like a stopwatch showcasing how much time has elapsed since the last time the medication bottle was closed,” CVS pharmacist Jennifer Lalani said. “It helps patients answer simple questions like did I take my medicine today or is it time for my next dose.”  Answering those questions can help prevent accidental overdose which can happen when patients forget that they already took their medication.  CVS pharmacists hope that the TimerCaps will make a difference in the number of accidental drug overdose deaths that happen in the U.S. every year.  TimerCap also helps with medication non- adherence which Lalani says can be deadly for patients.  “ Medication non- adherence leads to about 125 deaths and 10 – 20% of hospital and nursing home admissions each year so that’s a big issue as well.”  Patients can purchase TimerCaps at CVS pharmacies and drug stores for about 10 dollars.  
  • The driver who is accused of leaving a three year old boy in a hot day care van for nearly 12 hours has been arrested.  51 year old Deborah Denise St. Charles is now facing charges of aggravated manslaughter in the death of three year old Myles Hill.   Orlando police say the boy was found dead in the Little Miracles day care van at around 8:30 pm Monday after temperatures in the vehicle reached as high as 144 degrees.  Florida law requires a log to be kept for all daycare vehicles used to transport children, but police say St. Charles did not properly fill out that log or do a headcount on the kids when they arrived at the daycare.   Police say her  failure to check the vehicle placed Hill  in grave danger and subjected him to extremely high temperatures, which ultimately led to his death. 
  • Deirnesa Jefferson

    Reporter

    Deirnesa Jefferson is a recent graduate from the University of Central Florida and a reporter at News 96.5 WDBO. During her time at News 96.5 WDBO she has covered the search for murder suspect Markeith Loyd, the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting, criminal justice reform and legislation that affects Floridians.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A woman accused Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, of groping her during a photo-op in Minnesota in 2010, two years after the former comedian and radio show host was voted into the U.S. Senate, CNN reported on Monday. >> Read more trending news Lindsay Menz, now 33, told CNN that she was posing for a photo with Franken at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair when the senator “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, (Franken) put his hand full-fledged on my rear.” She said the “uncomfortable” incident left her feeling “gross.” 'It wasn't around my waist. It wasn't around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,' she told CNN. 'I was like, ‘Oh my God, what's happening?’' In a statement to CNN, Franken said that he felt “badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected,” but he said he didn’t remember taking the photo with her. Menz came forward in the wake of allegations against Franken made by Los Angeles news anchor Leeann Tweeden. In a blog post for KABC, Tweeden wrote that Franken, who was a radio host for Air America at the time, forced himself on her as they were practicing a skit he wrote for the tour. Franken has since apologized for the incident. >> Related: Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent “I felt disgusted and violated,” Tweeden wrote. “No one saw what happened backstage. I didn’t tell the sergeant major of the Army, who was the sponsor of the tour. I didn’t tell our USO rep what happened.” She said she focused on entertaining the troops and didn’t speak up because she “didn’t want to cause trouble.” “We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our holiday tour, I was a professional and I could take care of myself,” she wrote. “I told a few of the others on the tour what Franken had done, and they knew how I felt about it.” >> Related: 'SNL' slams former cast member Al Franken on 'Weekend Update' Franken called for an investigation into the 2006 incident after apologizing to Tweeden in a statement last week. 'The truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories,' Franken said. 'They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”
  • A DNA expert is testifying Monday in the murder trial of a man accused of raping and killing a 27-year-old woman at her downtown Orlando apartment. Police said Stephen Duxbury strangled Sasha Samsudean in October 2015 at the Uptown Place apartments after she returned from a night out. Duxbury worked as a security guard at the apartment building at the time. Read: Investigators testify in downtown Orlando security guard's murder trial On Friday, jurors were shown physical evidence in the case, including a pair of Skechers sneakers prosecutors said Duxbury was wearing when he killed Samsudean. Police said Duxbury tried to pass off a different pair of shoes as the ones he had worn that night, but they said the sneakers match shoe prints found in her apartment. Prosecutors on Friday had a cellphone expert testify that Duxbury googled how to open Samsudean's unique front door lock before she died. The expert said Duxbury tried erasing his phone afterward. Read: Testimony continues in downtown Orlando security guard's murder trial Photos: Sasha Samsudean Duxbury told police he never went into Samsudean's apartment. Investigators said DNA evidence was discovered on Samsudean's body and her bedsheets, and Duxury's fingerprints were found on her toilet and her nightstand. Investigators said surveillance footage shows Duxbury walking with an intoxicated Samsudean. Read: Video shows murder suspect, victim at downtown Orlando apartment His attorneys claim that investigators botched the case and that the true killer remains at large. Duxbury faces life in prison if convicted in Samsudean’s death. Click here to watch the trial live. Read: New report outlines how suspect broke into woman's downtown apartment
  • A DNA expert is testifying Monday in the murder trial of a man accused of raping and killing a 27-year-old woman at her downtown Orlando apartment. Police said Stephen Duxbury strangled Sasha Samsudean in October 2015 at the Uptown Place apartments after she returned from a night out. Duxbury worked as a security guard at the apartment building at the time. Read: Investigators testify in downtown Orlando security guard's murder trial On Friday, jurors were shown physical evidence in the case, including a pair of Skechers sneakers prosecutors said Duxbury was wearing when he killed Samsudean. Police said Duxbury tried to pass off a different pair of shoes as the ones he had worn that night, but they said the sneakers match shoe prints found in her apartment. Prosecutors on Friday had a cellphone expert testify that Duxbury googled how to open Samsudean's unique front door lock before she died. The expert said Duxbury tried erasing his phone afterward. Read: Testimony continues in downtown Orlando security guard's murder trial Photos: Sasha Samsudean Duxbury told police he never went into Samsudean's apartment. Investigators said DNA evidence was discovered on Samsudean's body and her bedsheets, and Duxury's fingerprints were found on her toilet and her nightstand. Investigators said surveillance footage shows Duxbury walking with an intoxicated Samsudean. Read: Video shows murder suspect, victim at downtown Orlando apartment His attorneys claim that investigators botched the case and that the true killer remains at large. Duxbury faces life in prison if convicted in Samsudean’s death. Click here to watch the trial live. Read: New report outlines how suspect broke into woman's downtown apartment
  • Police are investigating a fatal shooting that happened at Barcelona Wine Bar. According to Atlanta police, officers responded to the restaurant in the 1000 block of Howell Mill Road just before 2 a.m. Sunday on a report that a person had been shot. Police said they found 29-year-old Chelsea Beller, of Atlanta. Police told WSBTV, Beller had been shot once in the shoulder during an apparent robbery. >> Read more trending news As the restaurant was closing, three men entered the location and tied up employees with electrical tape, according to police. They said the victim was forced upstairs to open the safe and then shot. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she later died. 'She was just a positive person, fun loving. She didn't have an enemy to speak of,' said her cousin, Brandi Borgwat. 'Everybody that knew her, loved her.' Friends left flowers and candles outside the restaurant Sunday afternoon. While the investigation continues, Beller's family hopes that her killers are not on the streets for much longer. 'She deserves justice for this,' said Borgwat.
  • Dashcam footage from two different vehicles captured a plane crash Sunday on a busy Clearwater road. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office shared the video on YouTube Sunday, within hours of the crash. Two deputies were driving on North Keene Road as the plane tried to make an emergency landing.  The plane’s wing clipped a wing, sending the plane crashing into a wooded area. A resident in the area quickly recorded video of the response. According to reports, the pilot and passenger were able to escape the wreckage uninjured. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating the incident.