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Latest from Gene Wexler

    Pictures are finally emerging of the home where the last of the ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ lived. Gustavo Falcon, 55, was recently arrested while riding his bike in Kissimmee.  He was a drug kingpin who was on the run for 26 years after fleeing trial for trafficking narcotics in the 1980s. The UK publication The Daily Mail posted an exclusive featuring many pictures of Falcon’s $200,000 home, complete with a pool neighbors say he and his wife never used. Pictures from inside the home show it has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large open plan kitchen-diner. Neighbors tell the Mail the couple was polite and cordial.  They went back the fake names Luis and Maria Reiss.  They never hosted one dinner party or invited over a single guest in the decade or so when they lived in the house.
  • A Parkway Middle School teacher is accused of forcing one of his coworkers into a classroom closet and beating her. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says Shawn Greaves, 51, picked the woman up, brought her into the closet and battered her before she could leave. Greaves was arrested on battery and kidnapping charges.  He was booked into the Osceola County Jail where records show he has since bonded out. The school’s website says Greaves is a sixth grade exceptional student education teacher. A spokesman for the Osceola County School District says Greaves has been “reassigned out of the school pending the investigation.”  This means he has been assigned to a district department that doesn’t deal with children.  The district will decided further action pending the outcome of his case.
  • Brown University now uses “gender-inclusive” pronouns on acceptance letters and no longer uses asterisk for the word “trans” because of “disagreements on the inclusivity.” James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal writes the Ivy League School is confusing potential students by using the pronouns “they” and “them” to refer to men and woman, instead of the typical “he” or “she.” Freeman reports a daughter of Journal reader was accepted to Brown, which accepted just 8.3 percent of its 32,724 applications this year.  The reader’s daughter already received news of her acceptance, which was then followed by a letter addressed to her “Parents/Guardian.” “Oddly, the note referred to the accepted student not as ‘she’ but as ‘they,’” Freeman writes.A spokesman for Brown tells the Journal the university is now using the grammatically incorrect “them” to be more “gender-inclusive.” 'Our admission office typically refers to applicants either by first name or by using ‘they/their' pronouns,' said Brian Clark. 'While the grammatical construction may read as unfamiliar to some, it has been adopted by many newsrooms and other organizations as a gender-inclusive option.' The university chooses not to use asterisks for the term “trans” because they feel the term is not inclusive enough. 'Trans is an umbrella term that includes, but is not limited to, the following identities: transgender, transsexual, a person of trans experience, genderqueer, androgynous, third gender, agender, non-binary gender, two-spirit, and any other non-normative gender identity,' Brown University explains on its TRANS@Brown resources page. 'Some people also like to use Trans* as an umbrella term,' Brown explains. 'Because there are varied views and some disagreements on the inclusivity of the asterisk we are currently choosing not to use it but we recognize and respect all of the different terminology that people like to use.
  • A Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deputy shot a man outside Merritt Square Mall on Tuesday afternoon when he became aggressive, swinging a large metal fence post. Sheriff Wayne Ivey updated, saying deputies responded to the mall early in the afternoon after security officers were called about a man acting strangely. “A construction worker who was on site at the mall was actually confronted by his boss for erratic behavior,” Ivey said.  “The boss felt like something was not right with the individual.” The man went out to the parking lot.  A short time later he was confronted by a member of the mall security team. Ivey said the man became aggressive toward security, so the officer retreated and contacted the Sheriff’s Office around 1:21 p.m. A deputy confronted the man who “became aggressive.”  He was armed with a piece of metal from a fence and started swinging it, acting aggressively toward the deputy. The deputy fired multiple rounds, putting the man on the ground. A medical helicopter responded to the scene and flew the injured suspect to the hospital where he was being treated for his wounds. No other information was immediately released on the incident.
  • Disney is going to bring its legendary Club 33 to its four theme parks in Orlando. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a company spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday they will install the exclusive private lounge this fall at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. The article offered no more details including their exact locations or how much to join the club, which is limited in membership. According to Insider, the invite-only membership at Club 33 in Disneyland has a waitlist that has been opened and closed over the years because of high demand.  There is a $25,000 to $100,000 initiation fee and $12,5000 to $30,000 annual fee, depending on the level of membership. It’s located in the center of New Orleans Square, now at 33 Orleans Street. One Club 33 member has an Instagram account dedicated to posting pictures from inside.
  • It finally happened. The first “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” trailer debuted on Friday just as the second day of Star Wars Celebration 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center. The film is a follow-up to 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”  It’s widely believed the film will pick up where the other film left off; the first meeting between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil). The trailer first debuted in Orlando at the Celebration.  Plenty of stars have been showing up at the convention center including Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford, and George Lucas. Also, Orlando’s Morning News host Joe Kelley ran into Garth Vader:
  • The Orlando Magic fired General Manager Rob Hennigan on Thursday. The announcement was made by Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. Matt Lloyd has been named interim general manager, and will be in the running for the permanent position according to the Orlando Magic. In a news release, Martins said, “We appreciate Rob’s efforts to rebuild the team, but we feel we have not made any discernible improvement over the last few years specifically. It’s time for different leadership in basketball operations. We certainly wish Rob and his family well.” Hennigan was hired as general manager on June 20, 2012. The Orlando Magic went 132-278 during his tenure. Many listeners of News 96.5 WDBO used the “open mic” feature on the station’s free mobile app to voice their opinions. “Truly the Orlando Magic needs to fire everyone,” one listener said.  “Start over clean.  That’s the only way the team’s going to be any good.” Ferg from Brevard County says it’s “about time” the Magic made a change. “With all that talent we’ve had over the past few years, there’s absolutely no reason why we should be in that position.  Let’s give somebody else a chance to take over the torch, and let’s make Orlando Magic great again.” CLICK HERE to read what Scott Anez of ESPN 580 Orlando had to say about it.
  • Economist Tyler Cowen argues Americans have become lazy, and it’s directly causing the U.S. to stagnate economically and politically. Cowen tells CNN Money Americans don’t start businesses or move to new neighborhoods as often as the 1960s and 1970s.   According to the interview, Cowen’s book argues that all of the upheaval of the 1960s and 70s caused people to strive for safety and the status quo in the decades after that.  His new book is called “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.” “Just look at how people bring up children today.  Often they won’t even let children go outside,” Cowen says to CNN. Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University, says technology innovation encourages “leisure and staying at home.” The article uses this graphic to show how Americans are creating fewer businesses than they once did: Cowen warns that history shows it usually requires a “major trauma” such as a war or huge natural disaster for things to turn around. He also says the U.S. has an “amazing ability to regenerate itself, so it’s possible it won’t take something so extreme to reawaken America’s risk-taking mojo.” Cowen also tells peple to take more risk in their own lives, whether it’s career or person.
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was stuck on an elevator in Miami for about 20 minutes on Wednesday morning. He was touring an affordable housing complex in the Overtown neighborhood and took an elevator down to meet former Miami Heat and NBA star Alonzo Mourning. Instead of an expected short ride, Carson, his wife and five others were trapped in the elevator.  No one was injured after the Miami Fire and Police Departments helped rescue everyone. Reporter Julia Bagg with NBC 6 in Miami recorded this video at the scene as the elevator opened:
  • On Tuesday, Senator Marco Rubio retweeted a viral tweet of a man who is trying to get free Wendy’s chicken nuggets for a year. Not longer after Rubio’s official twitter account tweeted about progress at a troubled federal housing complex in Jacksonville, an unusual retweet appeared: Carter Wilkerson recently decided to tweet at Wendy’s asking how many retweets it would take for him to get free chicken nuggets for a year. The Wendy’s Twitter account replied that it would take 18 million, to which Wilkerson confidently responded, “Consider it done.”  He then tweeted asking the Internet for help, and so far he’s passed 2.5 million retweets. Currently, the most retweeted tweet of all time belongs to Ellen DeGeneres for his Oscars selfie.
  • Gene Wexler

    Anchor

    Gene spent his youth in upstate New York before making the pilgrimage down to the sunshine state. After spending a few years reporting, anchoring, and hosting at our sister station WOKV in Jacksonville, Gene was asked to bring his talents to Orlando at News 96.5 WDBO

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • North Korea conducted large-scale artillery exercises on Tuesday to coincide with the 85th anniversary of its army’s foundation, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported. >> Read more trending news  Citing an unidentified South Korean government source, Yonhap reported that there were signs North Korea's military was carrying out large-scale, live-fire drills in areas around the east coast city of Wonsan. South Korea's defense ministry could not immediately confirm the report, according to Reuters. North Korea warned that the United States will have to choose between political and military surrender, according to the Yonhap report. 'If the U.S. and warmongers run amok with a reckless preemptive strike, we will stage the most brutal punishment of a preemptive attack in the sky and land as well as at sea and from underwater without any warning or prior notice,' according to Rodong Sinmun, spokesman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.
  • Arkansas completed the first double execution in the country in 17 years Monday night, as the state executed death row inmate Marcel Williams, KARK reported. >> Read more trending news Williams was executed at 10:33 p.m. by lethal injection on the same gurney where fellow inmate Jack Jones died at 7:20 p.m. It was Arkansas’ first double execution since Sept. 8, 1999, according to the Department of Corrections, and the first in the United States since two men were put to death by the state of Texas in 2000. Williams was the third Arkansas inmate put to death in the past week. Ledell Lee was executed by lethal injection on April 20. Williams had labored breathing, and then grimaced slightly before losing consciousness, according to an Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution.  Jones’ execution was close to its scheduled time, beginning at 7 p.m. Williams was supposed to follow at 8:15, but the execution was postponed after District Judge Kristine Baker issued a temporary stay as questions arose about whether Jones’ execution was humane or not, KARK reported. The stay was lifted about an hour later and Williams, who had been on death row for more than 20 years, was put to death. Jones also had been on death row for more than two decades, KARK reported. Gov. Asa Hutchinson originally scheduled four double executions over an 11-day period, which would have been the most by a state in such a short span since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Arkansas said the executions needed to be carried out before its supply of one lethal injection drug expires on April 30, the Los Angeles Times reported. Williams was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Stacey Errickson. On Nov. 20, 1994, Errickson, then 23, was forced into a car at gunpoint by Williams. He drove her to several ATMs to make 18 different transactions, then raped her, strangled her in an abandoned storage shed, and buried her body in a shallow grave, KARK reported. Two days later, Williams kidnapped and raped two other women within 12 hours. In 1996, Jones was convicted and sentenced to death for the June 6, 1995, rape and murder of Mary Phillips. Phillips was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while her 11-year-old daughter Lacey was tied to a chair. Lacey Phillips regained consciousness as police photographers took pictures of the crime scene, CNN reported.
  • Hours after a U.S. Senator accused the Trump Administration of using taxpayer dollars to promote President Donald Trump’s private club in Florida, the State Department pulled down a story written by government employees about the resort, what some ethics experts said was nothing more than an advertisement for Mr. Trump’s personal business interests. “Use of public office for private gain pure and simple,” said Richard Painter, a former White House ethics attorney for President George W. Bush. “Realtor.com — not the State Department– should help President Trump sell club memberships for $200,000,” Painter added on Twitter. At issue was a post done by an internal unit at the State Department about the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, lavishing praise on its history, much like a vacation brochure. Trump's not treating @StateDept websites like brochures anymore, but that doesn't come close to fixing his flagrant conflicts of interest. — Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) April 25, 2017 “I am curious,” tweeted Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). “Why are taxpayer dollars promoting the President’s private country club?” The State Department was silent about the post, but after it began to ricochet around social media – and in the political arena – the story was removed from the “Share America” platform, which can be used by diplomatic posts around the world to highlight American items of interest. “The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the President has been hosting world leaders,” a statement read on the Share America website, which is run by the State Department. “We regret any misperception and have removed the post.” “One Trump emolument down. Soon to follow: many more,” said Trump critic and ethics expert Norm Eisen. Yes, I am curious @StateDept. Why are taxpayer $$ promoting the President's private country club? pic.twitter.com/IlPhUlvMwa — Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) April 24, 2017
  •   It’s the beginning of snake season in Texas and authorities are warning people to watch out for the reptiles as they emerge from hibernation. >> Read more trending news The Laguna Vista Police Department posted the warning on its Facebook page after a close call between a giant rattler and a group of hikers on a local trail.  Police posted photos of the massive snake and another photo showing a fearless cat staring down a big rattler. Rattlesnakes emerge from hibernation in Texas in March or April, according to the police post. They favor temperatures that remain 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above, and are most active when temperatures reach 80 to 90 degrees.
  • The people who run Orlando International Airport are tired of apologizing for problems with the Automated People Movers, now calling out the manufacturer to rescue their reputation. Three times in the last five days, the new tram stopped working, forcing hundreds of passengers to take a bus or walk to their gates. Some flights had to be delayed, but yesterday 56 passengers missed flights, according to Executive Director Phil Brown.  The tram was down for 53 minutes on Monday, but no passengers missed their flights, he said. He told reporters today that the airport operations has verbally contacted Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, to make this a priority. “This afternoon we sent them a letter notifying them... We expect them to salvage their reputation,” said Brown. He also said he wants Mitsubishi to repay those passengers affected and a third party will be employed to receive those claims. Details to come. Monday’s shutdown was due to human error, he said, involving a contractor for Mitsubishi.