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    A 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy are accused of threatening to shoot up a Florida middle school. News outlets report the Westridge Middle School students face charges of making written threats to kill. Orange County deputies say the girl texted the threats to a school faculty member Tuesday. Deputy Christian Marrero says the staffer was told there would be violence at the school the following day. He says the staffer received another text minutes later that said that the violence was starting now. Students were dismissed at that point and the school was evacuated and searched by authorities. Officials said they didn't believe the girl's threat was credible. While investigating these threats, deputies learned the other teen had threatened last week to shoot up the school.
  • High heat and no rain is the name of the game now through Memorial Day Weekend. Channel 9 Meteorologist Rusty McCranie said Thursday’s forecast calls for another hot day with highs in the low 90s. >>> Click here to download the WFTV weather app <<< “It will only be getting hotter as we head into the Memorial Day weekend, with highs climbing into the mid-90s,” McCranie said. On Memorial Day, he said highs will top out in the upper 90s with no chance of rain. Check the full five-day forecast below: Watch Eyewitness News This Morning for the latest weather updates. Follow our Severe Weather team on Twitter for live updates: Chief meteorologist Tom Terry Brian Shields Irene Sans Kassandra Crimi George Waldenberger Rusty McCranie DOWNLOAD: Free WFTV News & Weather Apps Not near a TV? Click here to watch WFTV newscasts live Watch Live: Doppler 9 HD
  • A Florida city is no longer using a popular weed-killer on city-owned property after a California jury ordered the product's maker to pay $2 billion to a couple claiming it caused cancer. The Miami Herald reports that the Key West City Commission voted unanimously this week to ban herbicides that contain glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup Ready. The ban doesn't apply to private property. Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, who sponsored the resolution, says he hopes the city can be an example to others. City officials are urging county and state agencies to institute their own bans. Roundup has been blamed for causing cancer in users in thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto's owner Bayer, which denies such allegations and says the product is safe. Bayer said it will appeal the $2 billion verdict. ___ Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com
  • Tampa Bay Rays (28-18, second in the AL East) vs. Cleveland Indians (25-23, second in the AL Central) Cleveland; Thursday, 6 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Rays: TBD Indians: Adam Plutko (1-0, 1.50 ERA, .50 WHIP, 4 strikeouts) LINE: Indians favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 8 runs BOTTOM LINE: Cleveland enters the game as losers of their last three games. The Indians are 14-11 on their home turf. Cleveland has a collective batting average of .224 this season, led by Francisco Lindor with an average of .296. The Rays are 15-7 on the road. The Tampa Bay offense has compiled a .253 batting average as a team this season, good for tenth in the American League. Austin Meadows leads the team with a mark of .323. This is the first game between these teams in 2019. TOP PERFORMERS: Carlos Santana leads the Indians with eight home runs and is slugging .491. Jason Kipnis is 9-for-36 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs over the last 10 games for Cleveland. Brandon Lowe leads the Rays with 10 home runs home runs and is slugging .557. Ji-Man Choi has 10 hits and is batting .000 over the last 10 games for Tampa Bay. LAST 10 GAMES: Indians: 5-5, .231 batting average, 3.84 ERA, outscored opponents by 15 runs Rays: 6-4, .244 batting average, 2.84 ERA, outscored opponents by seven runs Indians Injuries: Danny Salazar: 60-day IL (shoulder), Corey Kluber: 10-day IL (arm), Mike Clevinger: 60-day IL (back), Bradley Zimmer: 10-day IL (shoulder), Tyler Naquin: 10-day IL (knee), Roberto Perez: day-to-day (head). Rays Injuries: Tyler Glasnow: 10-day IL (forearm), Jose De Leon: 60-day IL (elbow), Anthony Banda: 60-day IL (elbow), Joey Wendle: 10-day IL (wrist), Matt Duffy: 60-day IL (back), Yandy Diaz: day-to-day (left hand contusion), Mike Zunino: 10-day IL (quad), Michael Perez: 10-day IL (oblique), Anthony Bemboom: 10-day IL (knee). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by HERO Sports, and data from Sportradar.
  • Miami Marlins (15-31, fifth in the NL East) vs. Detroit Tigers (18-28, fourth in the NL Central) Detroit; Thursday, 1 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Marlins: Trevor Richards (1-5, 4.44 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 44 strikeouts) Tigers: Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.41 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 73 strikeouts) LINE: Tigers favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 8 1/2 runs BOTTOM LINE: Miami can secure a series sweep over Detroit with a win. The Tigers are 9-16 on their home turf. The Detroit pitching staff owns a team ERA of 5.02, Spencer Turnbull paces the staff with a mark of 2.68. The Marlins are 6-14 on the road. Miami has slugged .320, last in the majors. Neil Walker leads the club with a .427 slugging percentage, including 11 extra-base hits. The Marlins won the last meeting 6-3. Jose Urena recorded his second victory and Brian Anderson went 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs for Miami. Buck Farmer took his third loss for Detroit. TOP PERFORMERS: JaCoby Jones leads the Tigers with four home runs and is slugging .318. Brandon Dixon is 4-for-17 with a double, a home run and two RBIs over the last 10 games for Detroit. Anderson leads the Marlins with 12 extra base hits and is slugging .351. Walker has 11 hits and is batting .000 over the last 10 games for Miami. LAST 10 GAMES: Tigers: 1-9, .185 batting average, 6.63 ERA, outscored by 47 runs Marlins: 5-5, .227 batting average, 3.44 ERA, outscored by nine runs Tigers Injuries: Jordan Zimmermann: 10-day IL (elbow), Tyson Ross: 10-day IL (nerve), Matt Moore: 60-day IL (knee), Michael Fulmer: 60-day IL (elbow), Jordy Mercer: 10-day IL (quad). Marlins Injuries: Drew Steckenrider: 60-day IL (elbow), Riley Ferrell: 60-day IL (bicep), Julian Fernandez: 60-day IL (elbow), Peter O'Brien: 10-day IL (ribcage), Jon Berti: 10-day IL (left oblique strain). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by HERO Sports, and data from Sportradar.
  • In Kailua, the sand is soft and white, the water is clear and calm, and the view is exactly what you would expect from a beach in the Hawaiian Islands. Those are among the reasons Oahu's Kailua Beach Park has been selected as the best stretch of sand for an annual list of top U.S. beaches. Stephen Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, has been drafting the list under the alias 'Dr. Beach' since 1991. Leatherman uses 50 criteria to evaluate beaches, with the most important categories being water cleanliness, safety and management of the beach environment and its facilities. Leatherman uses data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to grade the beaches on water quality and has been to all the beaches on his list. Beaches in Hawaii are consistently ranked high, sometimes at the top of his list. 'I love Waikiki Beach. No question about that — a world-famous beach — but Kailua is a lot smaller and quieter,' Leatherman said. 'It's so much more peaceful. ... You don't have big high-rises and all that. Kailua is on the other side of the mountains. It's like a different world.' In recent years Leatherman has been giving extra credit to beaches that prohibit smoking, which all Oahu beaches do. He thinks other beaches around the state and country should follow suit. Leatherman also looks for powdery soft white sand, something Kailua Beach Park has in abundance. Vari Singh and her family were visiting Oahu from Los Angeles and spent a day in Kailua. 'The color of the sea is something like we've never seen before. The sand is super soft and fun to play with, it makes good sandcastles,' she said as her daughter wiped sand from her face. 'And the scenery is beautiful, you just come over the hill and it's just this majestic scene of green ocean.' Leatherman acknowledged that not everyone appreciates the publicity his lists give to top beaches. 'I get a lot of people who are very happy about it. They like to know where to go,' Leatherman said. But 'I always get some pushback. Oh yes, people say, 'Oh no, we already have too many people coming here. What are you doing?' It's almost like they think it's a secret beach or something. (Kailua) is not quite a secret beach. It is a real gem though.' Braden Marquez, 18, who grew up in Kailua, says he is worried about overcrowding but also hopeful about the future of his hometown. 'This beach is pretty special to me just because my family has been coming here for years and years,' he said, noting the area has changed a lot since his childhood. '(My) biggest concern would be losing the locals because of the influx of people,' he said during a recent visit to the beach. 'But other than that I'm pretty excited about all the new things to come.' For the first 25 years of ranking, any beach that won the top spot on Leatherman's list was ineligible for inclusion in subsequent years. But in 2015, Dr. Beach cleared the slate to allow any beach in the nation to once again be eligible, resetting the clock — and perhaps the relevance— involving his annual contest. Kailua was named the best beach in 1998, making it a two-time winner. Leatherman is again retiring new winners and posting them on his website . The other beaches on this year's list are Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks in second place, followed by Grayton Beach State Park in the Florida panhandle; Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York; Duke Kahanamoku Beach on Oahu; Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin-Clearwater, Florida; Hapuna State Beach Park on Hawaii's Big Island; Coronado Beach, San Diego, California; and Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Leatherman's goal in producing the list each year, he says, is to reward high-quality, safe beaches that balance nature with accessibility and amenities. He hopes beaches that haven't made his list will make changes for a better experience and a healthier coastal ecosystem. ___ Online at www.drbeach.org
  • Big cities in the U.S. aren't growing like they used to. Most of the nation's largest cities last year grew by a fraction of the numbers they did earlier in the decade, according to population and housing unit estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The previous growth big cities had experienced in the first half of the decade was fueled by millennials who delayed home-buying in the suburbs after the recession and stuck it out in large cities, said William Frey, a senior fellow at The Brooking Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program. The recession's aftermath 'stranded a lot of millennials in cities rather than their moving off to the suburbs,' Frey said. The Census data released Thursday looked at changes in cities and towns from mid-2017 to mid-2018. The data don't reflect changes in metropolitan areas comprising multiple cities, towns, suburbs and counties. The weakening in growth appears to have started two years ago, and accelerated last year. Perhaps no other city offers as stark an example of the trend than New York City, the nation's most populous city with just under 8.4 million residents last year. Even though the city has grown by 223,000 residents since 2010, the most of any city over the past eight years except Houston, most of the growth was in the early part of the decade. At its height, New York City grew by more than 82,000 residents in 2011, but it lost 39,000 residents last year. Last month, when the U.S. Census Bureau released county-level data that showed identical population loss, New York City's planners took umbrage with the federal agency's methodology, saying international migrants were undercounted. 'While population growth has likely slowed, the Census Bureau's methodology is not robust enough to precisely quantify the magnitude of these year-to-year changes,' the planners said on the city website. With the exceptions of Phoenix and San Antonio, the phenomenon of slowing growth in the nation's largest cities also has hit Sunbelt cities including Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas, where the populations grew, but at a fraction of their growth six years ago. San Jose, California, lost more than 2,000 residents last year. 'There is a growing moving away from cities,' Frey said. 'The first part of the decade was an aberration. Cities were growing faster than suburbs. That is starting to turn around.' ___ Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP
  • Illegal killings and longstanding political resistance have undercut the return of two species of endangered wolves to the wild, frustrating government efforts that already cost more than $80 million but have failed to meet recovery targets. The number of red wolves roaming the forests of North Carolina has plunged to fewer than three dozen in recent years — the most precarious position of any U.S. wolf species. In the Southwest, a record number of Mexican gray wolves turned up dead in 2018, tempering an increase in the overall population to 131 animals. With such small numbers in the wild, biologists say poaching has a big effect. Over the last two decades, more than half of Mexican wolf deaths and about one in four red wolf deaths resulted from gunshots or were otherwise deemed illegal, The Associated Press found. 'It's basically a numbers game,' said Brady McGee, who heads the Mexican wolf recovery program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 'As we're trying to recover these wolves in the wild, illegal mortalities are still one of the biggest threats.' For red wolves, gunshot deaths are a problem particularly when hunting season collides with wolf breeding season, said Pete Benjamin, a Fish and Wildlife Service field supervisor in North Carolina. Wolf recovery is further hindered by political opposition over attacks on livestock or game animals and longstanding arguments over whether the wolves should be treated as distinct species warranting continued protection. With no changes to current management, the wild population of red wolves likely will be lost within the next decade, according to federal officials . The Mexican gray wolf recovery team is more confident and hopes to double the number in the wild over several years. ___ FRAUGHT HISTORY, MIXED RESULTS Conflicts over wolves have persisted since Europeans arrived in America. Bounties paid by early settlers gave way to government extermination campaigns as the animals clashed with the agrarian way of life. When federal officials began recovery efforts in the late 1960s, only remnant populations remained — Western gray wolves along the U.S.-Canada border, red wolves on the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana and Mexican wolves south of the border. Reintroduction programs faced stiff resistance from ranchers and rural communities, a hurdle that so far the Western gray wolf alone has overcome. Western gray wolves now number around 6,000 in the Northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest and Western Great Lakes. They're legal to hunt in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, and U.S. officials in March announced plans to end their remaining federal protections across the Lower 48 states. The main reason for their success is location: Western gray wolves were reintroduced to areas with expansive public lands and plenty of deer, elk and other prey. 'The habitat was so good that it didn't matter if half the people hated them,' said Ed Bangs, a retired federal biologist who led recovery efforts in the Northern Rockies. By contrast, Mexican wolves live in isolated desert mountain ranges, where year-round livestock grazing increases their odds of running into trouble. Red wolves are in an area dominated by farms and private land. At least 96 red wolves died of gunshot wounds over nearly three decades. For Mexican wolves, 83 deaths were classified as 'illegal' over 20 years and that doesn't include any of the 21 deaths in 2018 still under investigation. The Mexican and red wolf populations are struggling despite a great amount of money and work put into their reintroduction. Since 1977, more than $44.2 million has been spent on the Mexican wolf, according to federal reports. At least $39.4 million has been spent on red wolves over the past three decades. About $160 million more has been spent primarily on Western gray wolves. ___ DWINDLING RED WOLVES Legal protections for red wolves have been solidified by the recent scientific conclusion that they're a distinct species, not a wolf-coyote hybrid as some landowners argued. But conservationists worry the news comes too late, with only 25 to 30 of the canines left in the wild and 200 or more in captive breeding programs. After red wolves were reintroduced to North Carolina in 1987, the wild population grew beyond 100 and remained stable through 2012. 'For almost 25 years, this was hugely successful. It was money well-spent,' said Ramona McGee, a lawyer for the Southern Environmental Law Center. Yet a 1990 federal recovery plan goal for 220 animals in the wild was never met. Wolf numbers were bolstered by releases of captive-born pups and sterilization of coyotes that competed for space. But those approaches were halted in 2015 amid pressure from conservative politicians and landowners who deemed wolves a nuisance. Conservationists contend the government abandoned proven techniques. 'The biggest problem now is not the mortality, it's the lack of releases,' said McGee, the lawyer. Benjamin, the government field supervisor, said the wild red wolf population already was declining before pup releases stopped, declining to say whether political pressure influenced the decision. Bill Rich, an eastern North Carolina landowner, complains wolves have made it harder to fight coyotes that kill deer on game land. A federal judge in 2014 banned night hunting of coyotes in red wolf territory because the canines are easily mixed up. Rich says the reintroduction program is a failure and should be scrapped. ___ HURDLES IN THE SOUTHWEST Federal managers face similar resistance in the Southwest, where ranchers see Mexican wolves as a threat to their livelihood. Wolves were found responsible for killing nearly 100 cows and calves last year. In March alone, livestock kills totaled 20, and ranchers say their calving rates are dropping because of the wolves. Wolves also represent competition to outfitters and hunters seeking elk in southwestern New Mexico and Arizona. Tom Klumker, a hunting guide in the Gila backcountry, fears the reintroduction program will push ranchers, hunters and rural residents from the land. 'We were doing pretty well with just the mountain lion and bear and coyotes but when they added the wolves to the mix, why, things started to go south pretty quick,' he said. Environmentalists have long criticized the Fish and Wildlife Service for not releasing more captive-bred Mexican wolves. They're suing over the federal recovery goal of 320 wolves in the wild, saying it should be vastly more than that. Retired biologist Dave Parsons, who led Mexican wolf recovery efforts during the 1990s, said the government has a responsibility under the Endangered Species Act to ensure the predators have a chance to fulfill their ecological role. Otherwise, he said, the wolves risk becoming 'museum pieces in the wild.' ___ Susan Montoya Bryan reported from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Matthew Brown reported from Billings, Montana. ___ Follow Matthew Brown at https://twitter.com/matthewbrownap , Jonathan Drew at www.twitter.com/JonathanLDrew and Susan Montoya Bryan at https://twitter.com/susanmbryanNM
  • The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Fantasy 5' game were: 12-18-26-27-28 (twelve, eighteen, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight)
  • The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Lotto' game were: 08-14-27-38-49-51 (eight, fourteen, twenty-seven, thirty-eight, forty-nine, fifty-one)