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Latest from Kevin Rafuse

    An 11-year old boy told Casselberry police that he was nearly kidnapped at his school bus stop Thursday morning. 11-year old Jack Schroeder told investigators he was walking to his bus stop around 7 a.m. on Winter Green Boulevard when a man pulled up next to him, got out and ran toward him. The boy then ran into a nearby wooded area and called his father, and the man left the area. Police said the man approached the boy in what looked like a Toyota Prius. No other details have been released. Patrols are being increased around Sterling Park Elementary School in light of the reports, Casselberry police said.
  • For the second straight year, Orlando will host the Pro Bowl. The game will be played at Camping World Stadium on January 28th, 2018 at 3 p.m. Last season, the NFL played the Pro Bowl in Orlando at the first time. The 2018 game will feature the AFC vs. NFC, the same format that returned last season. The NFL has a two year deal to play the Pro Bowl in Orlando with the option for a third year.
  • The Orlando Magic have hired Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond to serve as the team’s General Manager. Hammond worked for Milwaukee for 5 years, winning the NBA’s Executive of the Year award for the 2009-10 season. He replaces Rob Hennigan who was fired back on April 13th. Assistant GM Matt Lloyd had been running the team, and will stay on with a different role in the organization. Hammond joins new President of Basketball Operations, Jeff Weltman, who was hired on Tuesday morning. Weltman previously was the GM of the Toronto Raptors. The team now looks ahead to the NBA Draft on June 22nd. The Orlando Magic have the 5th, 25th, 33rd and 35th picks in the draft this year. The Magic finishing last season at 29-53, missing the playoffs.
  • If you’re driving in Central Florida, you might want to wear a seat belt, and not just for safety. Law enforcement across the state is cracking down, as the annual Click it or Ticket campaign is underway in Florida. The crackdowns are this week before Memorial Day, which officials expect to be one of the busiest travel weekends in years. Police will also be checking to see if drivers have children properly restrained in their seats. Orange County deputies will run their enforcement from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Orange Blossom Trail and Holden Avenue. Someone not wearing a seat belt could get a $114 ticket, or a $164 ticket if a child isn’t properly restrained.
  • A new, urgent spacewalking mission has been ordered by NASA to make repairs at the International Space Station. Commander Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer, both Americans, will undertake the mission on Tuesday to replace a data relay box that broke over the weekend. The broken unit is one of two that control the station’s solar panels and radiators, and NASA said everything is still safe because one relay box is working. Both Whitson and Fischer went spacewalking just 1 ½ weeks ago, as Whitson broke the record for most spacewalks ever. The new mission is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday, and should last about two hours. A NASA Spokesman at Johnson Space Center said this would be the 601st spacewalk at the ISS.
  • Changes could be coming at Epcot according to plans filed with the South Florida water management district. The permit application filed by the Walt Disney Company, seeks approval to fill in the canal at Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and pave part of the forest directly behind the attraction. Walt Disney Imagineering is behind the project, according to an email in the plan documents. Disney has not commented on the possible changes, and the plans don’t reference any demolition or construction work on the attraction itself. The Universe of Energy opened in 1982, and was updated to its current version with Ellen DeGeneres as host in 1996.
  • Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said that he is considering a run for county mayor in 2018. A special election would have to be held in 2018 to fill his position for the two years remaining in his term as sheriff, as Demings was just re-elected to his third term. Current Mayor Teresa Jacobs will not be running for re-election in 2018 due to term limits. Tax Collector Scott Randolph, property appraiser Rick Singh and orange County School Board member Bill Sublette are among the names in the mix for county mayor. No one has officially announced their intention to run.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is unloading cocaine from 20 seizure in the Pacific Ocean in South Florida. Coast Guard officials said the drugs totaled about 18.5 tons of cocaine, worth nearly $500 million. Coast Guard cutters intercepted the cocaine along the Central and South American coasts, as the Eastern Pacific is a prime smuggling route for cocaine headed to Mexico. The drugs are then typically brought to te U.S. Numerous suspected smugglers are being prosecuted in California and along the East Coast because of the operations.
  • A former server at an Ormond Beach restaurant is accused of altering tips from customers for at least a month. The Ormond Beach Police Department said Aveori Fessock, who used to work at Dustin’s Bar-B-Q, would change the amount of tips on checks paid with a credit card. Police have requested a warrant for her arrest, and managers fired Fesseck as soon as they figured out what she was doing. Officers believe that she’s left the state.
  • A Lake County man has been arrested for digging up gopher tortoises to take home and eat. On Monday, 79-year old Nathaniel Harris Sr. was caught digging for the tortoises near Highway 44/46A in Sorrento, after police got a call. Deputies found two gopher tortoises alive in Harris’ truck, and then Harris admitted to catching them to eat them. They also took a .22 long rifle from his vehicle, and a pole he was using to catch the animals. It’s illegal to take, kill or destroy gopher tortoises, as they are a protected threatened species. Harris is in the Lake County Jail, facing possession/take of a threatened species charges
  • Kevin Rafuse


    Kevin Rafuse is an afternoon reporter, and anchor for News 96.5 WDBO

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A senior White House official is a person of interest in the investigation into ties between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign, the Washington Post has reported. >> Read more trending news Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are current Trump administration officials who have acknowledged contact with Russian officials, according to the report. >> RELATED: Who are the key players in the Russia/Trump saga?
  • On a Saturday morning 27 years ago, death knocked on Marlene Warren’s front door in Wellington, Florida, wearing a clown suit.  The murder has remained unsolved for nearly 30 years. Here’s a look back at what happened that rainy morning on Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 1990. >> Read more trending news Marlene Warren lived in the prosperous Aero Club neighborhood in Wellington, where many of the large homes on one-acre lots have backyard hangars for their owners’ private planes. An airstrip runs through the center of the community. The steamy season was beginning to settle in across South Florida that Saturday when a clown came to Warren’s door just before 11 a.m. Answering the door, a smiling Warren accepted the bundle of flowers and balloons the clown held. >> Related: Killer of Jupiter girl still at large 27 years later “Oh, how pretty,” her son remembered her saying. They were the last words she would speak. Wearing an orange wig, red nose and gloves, camouflaged with white paint creating a grotesque happy face, the death-dealing clown raised a pistol and delivered a single shot at point-blank range to Warren’s face. Her 21-year-old son, Joey Ahrens, in the living room with a group of friends, reached his mother as she collapsed amid a spreading pool of blood. He recalled seeing the clown’s brown eyes before it climbed into a white Chrysler LeBaron convertible. Warren, 40, died two days later. >> Related: Police serve warrant in brutal murder of Indiana teens Homicide investigators focused on Warren’s husband, Michael, 38, and Sheila Sheltra Keen, 27, whom Warren had hired to repossess cars for his West Palm Beach used car lot. Acquaintances told police Michael Warren and Keen were having an affair, which they denied. Read more here.
  • Montana Republican Greg Gianforte’s congressional campaign has raised $100,000 and counting in the hours since he allegedly “body-slammed” Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. >> Read more trending news  That’s according to NBC News’ Peter Alexander, who cites a source close to the campaign operation. The incident occurred Wednesday at a campaign event for Gianforte, who is running in a Montana special election to replace the House seat vacated by now-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Montana’s only House seat has been held by Republicans since 1996. >> RELATED: Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte allegedly body-slammed a reporter to the ground Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs tried to get Gianforte to answer a question about the GOP health care bill when the candidate allegedly exploded on him. As Jacobs intended to record Gianforte’s answer to his health care questions, he recorded the entire incident. The alleged assault and battery was witnessed by reporters for Fox News and others. Jacobs called police and filed a report. While Gallatin County police allowed Gianforte to leave the scene (which he quickly did, not even telling the audience gathered what had happened), they later issued him a misdemeanor assault citation. Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin is a donor to Gianforte’s campaign. Publicly available Federal Election Commission records show he made a $250 donation in March.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled 10-3 against the travel ban. The decision bars the administration from suspending new visas for visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.   Sessions says the Justice Department 'strongly disagrees' and will continue to vigorously defend Trump's order. He says the court's ruling blocks Trump's 'efforts to strengthen this country's national security.'    Sessions says Trump is not required to admit people from 'countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism until he determines that they can be properly vetted' and don't pose a security threat. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • NASA is learning some of the secrets of the largest planet in the solar system, revealing data Thursday from the space agency’s Juno mission to Jupiter. >> Read more trending news Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun, is a gas giant with an atmosphere mainly composed of helium and hydrogen, and characterized by towering clouds of ammonia and turbulent storms, including one that has raged for hundreds of years and is larger than Earth, known as the Great Red Spot. With the initial scientific information from Juno, researchers are realizing the planet is even more complex than scientists imagined.  The spacecraft’s camera, called the JunoCam, recorded images of Jupiter’s north and south poles that show colossus, swirling Earth-sized storms, knocking into each other as they rocket around the top and bottom of the planet. The storms covering the north pole are very different from those in the south, though. >> Related: Space travel is measured in light years, but what’s a light year anyway? “We’re puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn’t look like the south pole,” Juno’s principal investigator Scott Bolton said in a briefing about the new data. Bolton said it’s also unclear whether these are permanent storms at the poles. “We’re questioning whether this is a dynamic system, and are we seeing just one stage, and over the next year, we’re going to watch it disappear, or is this a stable configuration and these storms are circulating around one another,” Bolton said. Juno has also revealed new information about the planet’s irregular and lumpy magnetic field and its gaseous atmosphere. >> Related: Alien life possible on small Saturn moon, maybe on a Jupiter moon, too Researchers are hoping to learn more about the Giant Red Spot, too, one of the “most iconic features in the entire solar system. “If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments,” Bolton predicted. The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, and entered Jupiter’s orbit last summer on July 4. The results from Thursday’s briefing were collected in a Juno fly-by last August when the craft was within 2,600 miles of Jupiter’s cloud tops, NASA said.