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Latest from Ray Caputo

    A 21-year-old Oviedo man is facing several serious gun charges after getting drunk and shooting his AR-15 style rifle into his neighbor's backyard, shattering her sliding glass door. Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokesmen Bob Kealing says the startled victim called 911 around 8:30 a.m. yesterday to report she was sleeping on her couch when she was awakened to the sound of breaking glass.  When deputies arrived at the home on Shadow Creek Circle, they located the suspect 21-year-old Liam Portway standing in front, which is directly behind where the victim lives.  Deputies say Portway appeared to be drunk and was swaying and slurring his words when they questioned him about the shooting.  Upon further investigation, several guns were found in Portway's house, including an AR-15 style rifle, which matched up with the bullet found near his neighbor's back door.  Deputies arrested and booked Portway into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.  He's facing charges of firing into a home, firing a weapon on public or residential property, use of a firearm under the influence of alcohol, and property damage.
  • Lake County sheriff’s Cyber Crimes Unit dubbed the operation Treasure Florida’s Kids II.   Investigators posed as young teens, ages 13 through 15, during the week-long sting targeting people attempting to meet children for sex. In total, 14 men were arrested, including Jason Sellards, a middle school language arts teacher at Wolf Lake Middle School in Apopka. He’s been employed with the Orange County School District since 2011. Orange County Schools hasn’t responded yet to our request about Sellard’s status as a teacher. As for the other suspects, we are learning one man is a cook at Universal Resort Orlando. Most of them are from Central Florida.
  • It was a deadly night on Central Florida roadways, just ahead of the busy 4th of July weekend.   Three people are dead and one is in critical condition after three separate overnight crashes. The first accident happened around 9:50 p.m on State Road 19 in Altoona.   Florida Highway Patrol says Duane Bays, 53, was driving north near Matteson Lane when he swerved onto the shoulder of the road.   He then overcorrected, causing his pickup truck to flip over.   Bays wasn't wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from the truck.   He was pronounced dead at the scene.   Just over an hour later, a 51-year-old man was crossing West Colonial Drive at Hiawassee Road in Pine Hills when he was hit by a black SUV.   The SUV stopped briefly but then left the scene.   The pedestrian was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center but died.   FHP is investigating the hit-and-run crash and asks anyone with any information to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.   The last accident happened around 2:30 a.m. in Brevard County.   Tanasia Shelton, 21, was driving west on Malabar Road when she veered into oncoming traffic.   Shelton's Jeep SUV collided head-on with a Honda driven by Ariel Arriera, 28, of Melbourne.   Both the SUV and car burst into flames.   The violent crash killed Arriera and left Shelton's 23-year-old passenger in critical condition.   No word yet on if alcohol was a factor.   The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.
  • Governor Rick Scott announced Wednesday that Florida's crime rate is now at a 46-year low. Scott cited the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s most recent 2016 Annual Uniform Crime Report, which showed there were 18,146 fewer crimes in 2016 then the previous year across the state. But a closer look into the numbers paints a more conflicted picture about public safety in Florida. It's true the total crime rate in the state went down over 4.4 percent between 2015 and 2016.   The dip is largely due to significant decreases in robberies, burglaries, and larceny crimes. However, crimes involving guns are up across the board.   For example, there is a 10.4 percent increase in murders involving guns, a 2.4 percent increase in aggravated assaults involving guns, and a slight .5 percent increase in robberies involving guns over the period. In addition to gun crimes, you are also 6.1 percent more likely to have your car stolen. View the 2016 Annual Uniform Crime Report HERE
  • It's not something American's are use to seeing these days in Washington. Republicans and Democrats coming together.  Leaders from both parties, including President Donald Trump, are showing a sign of unity by strongly condemning this morning's shooting at an Alexandria, Virginia baseball field, where Republican's were practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game with Democrats.  'It's an injury in the family, for the staff and for our colleague, and for his leadership', said Democrat House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi.  Her comments echoed those made earlier by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said 'For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family'.  Former Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders condemned the attack after learning it was carried out by one of his supporters, 66-year-old James Hodgekinson of Illinois.  Sanders said violence of any kind was unacceptable and that he was sickened by the despicable act, which injured several people including Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who was shot in the hip.  Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer announced today he was shaken by the shooting and praised the work of the Capitol Police who returned fire and ultimately took down the rifle-wielding shooter.  President Donald Trump  issued a somber televised statement from the White House calling for people to come together. 'We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country'. 
  • It’s one of Central Florida’s most infamous missing person cases. Today marks eight years since 27-year-old Tracy Ocasio was last seen leaving a Metro West bar after an Orlando Magic game. Police found Ocasio’s car abandoned on Franklin Street in Ocoee but she was no where to be found. The last man she was  seen with on surveillance video, James Hataway, remains the only suspect in her disappearance.  He’s in prison for life after being convicted of attempted murder for attacking another woman in an unrelated case. Hataway has previously denied any involvement in Ocasio’s disappearance. Ocoee Police Deputy Chief Stephen McCosker wants to get the word out again this year that Tracy Ocasio’s case is still an open investigation  as detectives continue to look for evidence that might help bring closure to her family. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of Tracy Ocasio, Ocoee Police ask that you contact Detective David Gray at 407-905-3161, or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.
  • The search is on for a hit-and-run driver after a woman was killed overnight while walking along an Orange County roadway.  Florida Highway Patrol tells us they found the body of a young woman around 3:45 a.m. on the shoulder of Hoffner Avenue near Reddit Road.  She didn’t have any identification on her so they still don’t know who she is.   They also don't know yet exactly when she was killed or who was behind the wheel of the vehicle that hit her. Crash investigators did find parts of a right side-view mirror they believe belong to a Chevy. Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes says “If anyone has a neighbor or friend that has a vehicle - possibly a Chevy - with the right side mirror missing, we need to know about that and that’s how these cases get solved.” If you have any information about this crash, you can report it directly to Florida Highway Patrol at 407-737-2313, or call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.
  • Two separate deadly accidents in Central Florida over the past 24-hours have something in common: both young drivers were not wearing seat belts. The first deadly crash happened in rural Volusia County yesterday afternoon. An SUV, driven by 17-year-old Darian Dearborn, was on Raulerson Road in Pierson when it veered onto the shoulder.  Dearborn overcorrected, causing the SUV to flip over before striking a tree. Florida Highway Patrol says Dearborn was not wearing her seat belt and was killed in the wreck.  Her 14-year-old passenger, Karley Lawbaw, was wearing hers and survived. The second deadly crash happened around 12:30 a.m. this morning on I-4 westbound near the Beachline Line Expressway.  A car, driven by 25-year-old Matthew Adams of Kissimmee, was in the far left lane when it collided with another car traveling in the center left lane. Both cars flipped multiple times and Adams was ejected onto the roadway where he was run over by a third vehicle traveling behind him. Adams died at the scene.  Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes says the difference between the other two drivers involved in the crash surviving and not being injured was that they were buckled in. 
  • The Orange County Sheriff's Office is on the hunt for two armed suspects after a scary home invasion near Pine Castle.It happened around 9:oo p.m. last night at a home on Nashua Street, south of downtown. A mom was at home with her three kids when two armed men came to her door. They pointed guns at her and pushed their way into the home. They then rummanged through the home and fled the scene, but not before being caught on a surveillance camera. You can watch the surveillance video right here: If you recogonize either suspect, contact the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
  • Senseless.  That's how Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is describing the murder of Sumter County Firefighter Clifford Cofer II last night in Lakeland. It happened around 6 p.m.in the driveway of a home at 202 Alderman Road. Judd says Cofer and his and girlfriend Kayla Stayner, 27, went to the home of Stayner's ex boyfriend Caleb McKinney, 31, to drop off medicine for a baby that the former couple had together. When Cofer and Stayner arrived at the home, Caleb McKinney sprinted out the front door and ran to the car where Cofer sat.  McKinney fired five shots at Cofer, hitting him in the chest and stomach. Stayner's five-year old child was in the car sitting behind Cofer when he was killed. McKinney ran back into the house and barricaded himself inside before eventually surrendering to deputies. 'It had nothing to do with anything other than personal emotion, rage, and inability to handle a break-up situation,' according to Judd. McKinney is facing several charges, the most serious first-degree murder.
  • Ray Caputo

    Reporter/Anchor

    Ray Caputo joined the News 96.5 WDBO news team as a reporter and anchor in May of 2010. He previously worked at News Radio 570-WSYR in Syracuse, NY, where he was born and raised.

     

    Ray did his undergraduate work at Florida State University and earned his master's degree at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication. 

     

    In addition to his newsroom duties, he is also a full-time communications professor at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, and an adjunct media writing professor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. 

     

    Ray is a regular news contributor on HLN's Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield and was previously featured on The Nancy Grace Show. 

     

    You can check him out on the web (www.raycaputo.com) or follow his work on Twitter: @profraycaputo

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • An Orlando Police department officer is in the hospital after crashing their pickup truck into a toll booth on State Road 408 Saturday morning.   The truck crashed into a collapsible safety barrier at the toll plaza on the East/West Expressway eastbound near Andes Avenue.    The truck catapulted into the guardrail and caught fire, prompting the officer to flee from the scene. Police are investigating this as a hit and run.    The pay lanes were closed and traffic was diverted into the E-pass lanes. Tolls were waived by the Expressway Authority while the scene was being cleared. All lanes are now open.    Police have not released the name of the officer driving the vehicle, but were able to locate him and took him to the hospital for his injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.    The officer involved in the crash has been relieved of duty and an internal investigation is underway.    The identity of the officer, as well as whether or not they will face charges has not yet been released.
  • A Montana congressman misled investigators about his assault on a reporter the day before he was elected in May, claiming that “liberal media” were “trying to make a story,” the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Saturday, citing audio and documents. >> Read more trending news U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, told an officer in an audio interview after the attack that reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian newspaper had grabbed him by the wrist and pulled both of them to the floor. Audio of Gianforte’s interview with Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Scott Secor was released along with documents requested by the Chronicle and other news organizations after Gianforte was cited for assaulting Jacobs on May 24. Gianforte later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.  The Chronicle requested the documents in June. After Gianforte, Jacobs and Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert did not object to the release, Gallatin County District Court Judge Holly Brown ruled this week that the documents could be released. \The audio of the interview with Gianforte comes from a recording made by Sgt. Scott Secor outside of Gianforte’s headquarters shortly after the 5:07 p.m. call Jacobs made to 911, a minute after he posted on Twitter, “Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses.” Once at the scene, Secor spoke with Jacobs first. “This is the weirdest day,” Jacobs told Secor.  The documents include interviews with members of a Fox News crew who were in the room with Gianforte and Jacobs at the politician’s Bozeman campaign office.  Gianforte told Secor that he was preparing for an interview with Fox News when “this man broke into a private room in the back and stuck a microphone in my face and started asking me obnoxious questions.” Gianforte said he tried to explain to him that he was in the middle of an interview, but that Jacobs kept “waving” the microphone in his face, the Chronicle reported. “I probably shouldn’t do it but I reached out for his phone ... he grabbed my wrist, he spun and we ended up on the floor ... so he pulled me down on top of him,” Secor quoted Gianforte as saying. After the incident Gianforte’s campaign spokesman, Shane Scanlon, issued a statement that also blamed the attack on Jacobs, saying the reporter had grabbed the candidate’s wrist.  Gianforte publicly apologized to Jacobs and told supporters he wasn’t proud of his actions. His spokesman, Travis Hall, insisted on Friday that the documents contained “nothing new.” “No one was misled, and anyone who says otherwise is mistaken. Greg took responsibility for his actions and is focused on serving the people of Montana,” Hall said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press.
  • Two men are recovering in the hospital after a shooting incident took place in Pine Hills.   Around 1 a.m., deputies responded to 4919 West Colonial Drive for a possible shooting.  When they arrived at the scene, they located a 40 year old man with a gunshot wound. The other victim, a 39 year old male was found nearby with an injury to his hand. His 29 year old girlfriend was found with him as well.    Both men were transported to the hospital with non life threatening injuries and remain in stable condition. The victim's girlfriend is considered a suspect by investigators and was taken into custody.    It is not yet known how the man's hand was injured or if the woman would face charges.
  • District 4 Orlando City Commissioner, Patty Sheehan, Veterinarian Geoffrey Gardner and specially trained volunteers showed up to participate in the City of Orlando's 10th Annual Lake Eola Swan Round-Up.   The round up began at 7:00 a.m. where trained volunteers arrived on foot and took to their kayaks in the water to safely corral the famous Lake Eola swans to the west end of the park. From there, the volunteers brought the swans to a temporary clinic where they would be weighed, inoculated, and checked by the Veterinarian. The swans would also be given a a name and fitted with a microchip, along with having their wings clipped. They would then be released back into the lake and free to go about their business. Each swan has its own health record that will continue to be updated.    Lake Eola is home to over 50 swans from over five different breeds including Trumpeter swans, Black Neck Swans, Whooper swans, Royal Mute swans and Australian black swans.    The quarters that are collected from swan food feeders around the lake also help to generate annual income each year to help insure that these swans receive proper medical care.
  • As the House voted along party lines on Thursday to approve a sweeping package of GOP tax reforms, one peculiar part of the floor debate came when a number of Republicans – who voted for the bill – took to the floor to request changes in the their party’s plan, as some highlighted unintended consequences, while others objected to the basics of the measure. Known in parliamentary parlance as a “colloquy,” the scripted exchanges between lawmakers are often done to clarify the legislative intent of a bill, or in this case, to urge action in a specific way in House-Senate negotiations. And for some Republicans in this week’s tax reform debate, it was clear they wanted some provisions altered. Some requests were specific, like Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), who made the case for historic preservation tax credits, which were eradicated by the House GOP tax reform bill. “Without the credit, projects that transform communities in all 50 states, from West Virginia to Texas, to Wisconsin, simply will not happen,” McKinley said on the House floor, as he asked for Brady’s word that he would help reverse the decision. That didn’t happen. “I commit to working with him and continuing to work with him on this issue because I know the importance of it,” Brady responded, making sure not to guarantee anything in some of these floor exchanges. For Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), a staunch advocate of the GOP bill, he was assured by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee that more would be done in terms of tax help for the people of Puerto Rico, whose island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. “I look forward to working with you on ideas to best serve the people of this island,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who thanked fellow GOP lawmakers for their concerns, but made no promises. For Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), the issue was with a new excise tax from Republicans that would be levied on the endowments of private colleges and universities. Barr said that would harm Berea College in his district, a ‘work college’ that uses its endowment money to pay the tuition of all students. It was noted in press stories back home. Barr Fights for Berea College in Tax Reform Bill – https://t.co/YoBgs5CWvp – — BereaOnline.com (@bereaonline) November 16, 2017 “I was pleased to learn that the Senate version of the bill exempts schools with fewer than 500 tuition-paying students from the excise tax,” Barr said, urging Brady to accept that position in any House-Senate negotiation. Brady said he would try. “Mr. Speaker, we will work together for a mutually accepted solution to make sure we exempt work colleges to use their endowments to provide tuition-free education,” the panel chairman responded. For Rep. Don Young (R-AK), the problem he brought to the House floor was under the heading of unintended consequences, as the GOP tax bill would subject native settlement trusts in Alaska to a higher rate of taxation. “This would make it more difficult for Alaska Native Settlement Trusts to provide long-term benefits to Alaska Natives,” Young said on the House floor, asking Brady to include provisions of a bill to remedy that and more. Unlike some of the other requests, Brady acknowledged that the GOP tax bill would “unintentionally” change the tax rate for the Alaskan settlements, agreeing to focus on this in conference as we finalize individual rate structures between the House and the Senate.” Others weren’t so lucky to get a guarantee of action, as they pressed for changes in maybe the most controversial part of the GOP plan, which limits a deduction for state and local taxes. “I am concerned about its impact on some of my constituents in Maryland who pay high state and local income taxes,” said Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), the only Republican member of the House from that state, which would be one of the biggest losers on the SALT issue. That subject also drew two California Republicans to make the same appeal to Brady later in the debate; Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) and Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) echoed the concerns of Harris – all of them got a murky assurance of help. “I am happy to commit to working with both of them to ensure we reach a positive outcome for their constituents and families as we reconcile our differences with the Senate,” Brady said, making no promises. Other Republicans brought up education, and a provision in the GOP tax reform bill that would hinder colleges and universities from providing tax free tuition waivers and reimbursements, a matter that has drawn more and more attention in recent days. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) – whose district includes Dayton University – and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) – whose district includes the University of Illinois – both appealed to Brady to make a change. “I believe that an unintended consequence of this bill would hinder middle class Americans pursuing a higher education degree in an attempt to better their lives,” Turner said. “I am worried it is going to have an impact on the custodians and the assistants in the Registrar’s Office who are just working at these institutions to be able to send their son or daughter to college,” said Davis. There was no guarantee that the provision would be changed. “I have a keen interest in this issue,” Brady told Turner and Davis. “I will work with you toward a positive solution on tuition assistance in conference with the Senate.” Democrats noted the exchanges on both days of the House tax reform debate, arguing that it showed off the haphazard nature of how the bill was put together. “I also was intrigued by the colloquy where Members came to ask the leadership if they will work with them to take out egregious elements of this tax proposal,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI). “We get this sort of, “Yes, I will work with the gentleman,” answer,” Kildee added, raising his voice on the floor. “Why did you put it in in the first place?” Kildee yelled. “Why are you cutting historic tax credits in the first place? Why did you put it in in the first place? You just wrote the bill. You just wrote it,” he said. GOP lawmakers said this past week that anyone can find a reason to vote against a big bill like this tax reform plan – we’ll see in coming weeks whether these publicly voiced concerns become an issue for the final version of tax reform in the Congress.