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Latest from Brandon Hogan

    Attending the 20th annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Orlando is just one of many ways you can honor the upcoming national holiday in Central Florida. The parade will last from 11 AM to 1 PM, starting at the corner of Robinson Street and North Orange Avenue, marching around the block to the intersection of Robinson and North Rosalind Avenue. The city has provided a map of relevant daytime road closures, all of which should be lifted by 3 PM: The Kissimmee Veterans Day parade also kicks off today at 10 AM in front of the Osceola County courthouse. In Sanford, at 600 East 1st street, a scaled-down replica of the Vietnam Memorial is on display for public viewing until November 11. A Veterans Day celebration in Seminole county is sure to attract a crowd with food and fireworks at VFW Post 10139, 300 Lake Mills Avenue, from 5 to 10 PM. At the American Legion in Casselberry, 2706 Wells Avenue, a flag retirement ceremony will be held at 3 PM for locals to dispose of old, worn-down American flags in a respectful manner. In Maitland, 10 AM on November 10 at 2121 Brook Drive, locals will team up with active service members, cadets, and scouts to place new flags on the graves of military veterans. Apopka’s Veterans Day festival is the first event on this list to fall on the holiday itself, November 11, with live performances and fun at 5th Street and Central Avenue from 5 to 9 PM. Also on the 11th, a Veterans Day tribute will be held at the Winter Springs Town Center from 6 to 7 PM at 150 Tuskawilla Road. Notable local events apart from a Veterans Day theme include the UCF / Prairie View A&M game at the Addition Area tonight at 6 PM, the College Park Jazz Fest tonight at 9 PM, and Maker Faire Orlando, a family friendly showcase of invention and creativity at the Central Florida Fairgrounds on Colonial, November 9 and 10. And of course, the ongoing Electric Daisy Carnival at Tinker field enters a second day; the roads around Camping World stadium, including parts of South Street and Colyer Avenue, are closed all weekend.
  • One person is dead in Cocoa after crashing their car into a utility pole on a residential street, splitting the vehicle in half. Cocoa police say that the driver died at the scene, on School Street near the historic Cocoa Village. Officers have not yet publicly identified the driver at the time of this report, nor have they said what they believe led to the crash.
  • Authorities responded to a call about the fissure at 6:20 P.M., Tuesday evening. Altamonte Springs Police say that the possible sinkhole has since grown in size, threatening the Royal Arms condominium at the 500 block of Orange Drive. Channel Nine reporter Ken Tyndall arrived that night to assess the damage and take photographs. Mobile users see tweet here. The hole appeared to be at least 20 feet wide and just as deep. Deputies say that they don’t yet have an accurate measurement at the time of this report. The entire 16-unit building was evacuated as the ground beneath it was slowly eaten away. As deputies wait for engineers to explain exactly what’s happening, the American Red Cross says they’re arranging temporary shelter for the apartments’ 13 residents. No injuries are reported.
  • Tropical Storm Nestor hit the panhandle so hard October 18 that tornadoes organized all the way down here in Central Florida.  One of them touched down near Seminole, FL; it damaged a mobile home park without injuries, the National Weather Service reports. Hours later, another tornado organized in Hillsborough County and ripped into Polk County, damaging at least 50 homes and businesses. The latter took the roof off of a man’s garage in the Carillon Lakes neighborhood of Lakeland, FL. As he documented the damage to his home, he turned his camera around to find a herd of cows wandering through the street. The video, published by Fun in the Sun Floridian, shows about nine cows following their rancher among houses damaged by the 120 mph winds. Mobile users see video here. The community appeared bemused, the unidentified Lakeland man says that he and his neighbors are thankful no one was hurt. It’s likely that the violent weather destroyed the rancher’s fences, but a definite reason has not been pinned down at the time of this report.
  • Police say that new footage has given them a lead in the search for an Orlando-area toddler’s parents. Surveillance video recorded on Monday shows two suspects walking away from a burning car with the three-year-old boy. The Buffalo Police Department now confirms that the boy’s parents, with their child and a family friend, drove that car to New York after renting it in Orlando. BPD Captain Jeff Rinaldo provided commentary as the video was shown to the public for the first time: Mobile users see video here. Rinaldo says that the remains of two bodies were found inside of that vehicle, but the search is still on for the toddler’s parents, 31-year-old Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon and 24-year-old Nicole Merced Plaud, as well as for the family friend who was with them.   The boy is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
  • On the same day it was upgraded to Tropical Depression Nine, the nearby Atlantic disturbance has since gained enough strength to become Tropical Storm Humberto. The National Hurricane Center made the announcement with the release of their 11p.m. advisory report, Friday the 13th. At the time of this report, Tropical Storm Humberto is located about 130 miles East-Southeast of Great Abaco Island, and about 225 miles East-Southeast from Freeport, Bahamas. Maximum sustained wind speeds are 40mph with wind gusts of 50mph, just barely surpassing the threshold for a tropical storm. It is the eighth storm to be given a name during the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Forecast cone as of 9/13/2019, courtesy of the National Hurricane Center (above) Current models show the slow-moving tropical storm making it’s way up through the Bahamas on Saturday, a brush with Florida’s East coast is still expected on Sunday. The NHC has issued two advisory points at the time of this report: 1. Humberto will likely bring tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rainfall to portions of the Northwestern Bahamas on Saturday. Significant storm surge is not expected in the Northwest Bahamas from this system. Residents there should follow any advice given by local officials. 2. Heavy rainfall and scattered flash flooding is possible this weekend in coastal sections of Eastern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The chance of heavy rainfall affecting coastal North Carolina early next week continues to diminish. Stay with us in the coming days for severe weather coverage that you can count on. While you’re here, check out our hurricane guide.
  • This is a timely update to “Watching Tropical Depression Five’s path,” published August 24 at 3:39pm Tropical Depression Five has gained enough strength to become Tropical Storm Dorian, the National Hurricane Center announced Saturday evening. Dorian is the fourth tropical storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. NHC Forecasters say it could turn into a hurricane by Thursday, August 29. Forecast cone as of 8/24/2019, courtesy of the National Hurricane Center (above)  Current models show a possibility that Dorian could strengthen even further after entering the Caribbean, impacting Puerto Rico and surrounding islands as a hurricane. In the same amount of time, while Dorian is still expected to gain strength as it passes over those warmer waters, there’s also a chance that it won’t amount to much more than heavy rain and winds. The NHC has issued two advisory points at the time of this report: 1. Dorian is forecast to strengthen and could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Lesser Antilles on Tuesday (August 27). 2. It is too soon to determine the specific timing or magnitude of impacts in the Lesser Antilles, but tropical storm or hurricane watches may be needed for a portion of the area on Sunday (August 25). We’re still days away from learning what will be the case, so we’ll keep an eye on the tropics. While you’re here, check out our hurricane guide.
  • Detectives are asking for tips as they investigate a string of commercial burglaries in Orlando. Four of them occurred during the night of August 4, as well as nine more similar robberies on August 11. The thirteen reports were issued mostly from nail salons and restaurants; in hindsight, deputies now think that these crimes were committed by the same two people. It’s also thought that the suspects used different cars to hide their tracks.  The criminals disguised themselves using bandanas and Halloween masks, but Orlando police have released surveillance images of the suspects’ vehicles in hopes that they will be recognized, leading to arrests. The 4-door sedan used in the robberies on August 4, believed to be a Chevy Cruz (above) An older 4-door car, possibly an Oldsmobile, used in the robberies on August 11 (below) If you know who owns these vehicles or where they can be found, please contact Crimeline with tips at (800) 423-8477.
  • Orlando police hope that this cell phone video will help them track down a group of men who assaulted two people downtown, using their skateboards as weapons. The attack happened in May, but deputies still haven’t made any arrests. That’s why footage filmed by a bystander was just released. Brett Thompson, the most injured of the two men who were attacked, says that he was trying to stop a fight between the skateboarders and his friend. The video shows the moment that he was blindsided by a skateboard to the face by one of the 6 to 8 attackers. Be advised that the video contains violence and foul language. Mobile users see video here. During his tenure at Orlando Regional Medical Center, Thompson stated that he did not give anyone permission to hit him, and desires prosecution. If you recognize anyone in the video, please contact Crimeline with tips at (800) 423-8477.
  • As the Orange County Regional History Center moves forward with plans to renovate, they’ve chosen to auction off their old display pieces instead of throwing them out. Businessman Peter Drucker once said, “if you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” We went to a preview of the History Center’s Fabulous Floridiana auction and brought back pictures of a few pieces they’re inviting Central Floridians to give a new home. See our gallery here. Model alligators, whimsical wildlife, replicas of the legendary machines that transformed our state from a dense swamp to a national leader in agriculture and tourism. Giant postcards and model ships, space shuttles and orange crates. This is a free event, and it’s a must-see for any Floridian with deep roots, even if you don’t plan on buying anything. The auction is set to open for a final preview on Saturday August 10th at 10:00am before bidding starts at noon. If you do plan on buying, be assured that all proceeds will benefit programs at the center. All items are to be sold as-is. Please visit the History Center’s website for more information.
  • Brandon Hogan

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  • The FHSAA football playoffs continue Friday night with a full slate of games, featuring several of central Florida’s biggest schools vying for a state title. Starting with the Class 5A Region finals, Jones High School is hosting Ocala Vanguard tonight. In the Class 7A Region finals, Edgewater High School is hosting Niceville High School, in Edgewater’s first home playoff game in over a decade. News 96.5 WDBO spoke with Edgewater’s head coach Cameron Duke about tonight’s matchup. “To play a quality team like the Niceville Eagles, they’re undefeated.  And they’ve been a successful program for a very long time in this state, so we’re looking forward to it,” said Duke.  In Sanford, Apopka High School and Seminole High School square off to decide their own Class 8A Region final. All games kick off at 7:30 p.m. For a complete schedule of games and brackets for each division from Class 1A through 8A, click HERE.
  • The teenager who opened fire last week on classmates at Santa Clarita's Saugus High School, fatally wounding two students before turning the gun on himself, used an untraceable 'ghost gun' in the attack, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, 16, pulled a .45-caliber, 1911-model replica semi-automatic pistol from his backpack in the open-air quad at Saugus High School on Nov. 14. He shot five students at random, police said. Gracie Anne Muelberger, 15, and Dominic Blackwell, 14, were killed in the attack. Investigators said Berhow saved the last bullet for himself. He died from a head wound the next day. Authorities are working to determine who built the gun used in the attack, which included a partially built receiver, meaning it lacked a serial number, The Los Angeles Times reported. 'They're sold as a kit,' Villanueva told KABC-TV. 'You can legally buy it, assemble the weapon yourself and then you have a gun that is not registered, and no one knows that you have it. … That is very dangerous.' Authorities in Los Angeles have noted an increase in recent years in the use and proliferation of ghost guns. The guns are crafted from parts which require no background checks to purchase and so they lack serial numbers, officials with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said. Officials with the ATF are assisting Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies as they work to trace the gun used by Berhow and several other registered and unregistered firearms seized last week from his home, according to KNBC and KCBS-TV. Six of the seized guns belonged to Berhow's late father, according to KCBS-TV. The motive behind last week's shooting remained unclear Friday, despite a search of Berhow's home and police interviews with 45 people. Authorities said Berhow had shown no signs of violence and didn’t appear to be linked to any ideology or terrorist group. He ran cross country, was a Boy Scout and had a girlfriend. Villanueva told KABC-TV that authorities were working to unlock Berhow's cellphone in an effort to gain more information. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Disney is sharing a behind the scenes snapshot of their new Cirque du Soleil show coming to Disney Springs in 2020. They posed the video on their Disney Park Blog Thursday. It explains the yet to be named show’s theme, which combines animation and acrobatics as a young girl discovers her art. “We’ve discovered in our research that animation is very physical,” creation director Fabrice Becker said in the video. The video shows performers rehearsing as creator’s outline the theme.  The audience can expect to see acrobatics, choreography,  music and fun characters. 'It's a show based on love,' writer and show director Michael Laprise said.  Tickets can be purchased here , the first available is March 17, 2020.  The show replaces La Nouba, which permanently closed in 2017. App users click here to watch the video.
  • The family of a Navy veteran is looking for answers after his body was found on the floor of his Texas apartment nearly three years after his death. >> Read more trending news  A medical examiner has determined Ronald Wayne White had been dead in the apartment since communications with his mother in New York ended abruptly three years ago, WFAA reported. 'My son would call me at least twice a month,' Doris Stevens told WFAA, adding, 'He would call me from Egypt. He would call me from the Philippines. He would call me right from Dallas.” White, who worked for a defense contractor following his military service, traveled frequently and would have been 51 at the time of his death, the news station reported. An officer with the DeSoto Police Department told People magazine White’s body was found last week on the kitchen floor of his DeSoto Town Center apartment when maintenance workers entered the premises to investigate a water issue. “Maintenance men were trying to get into the apartment because they noticed that the water usage was non-existent for some time, so they suspected that there was some type of issue with the water main,” the officer told People. Stevens, who lives in Long Island, New York, told WFAA multiple police departments explained to her over the years that because White was an adult who was known to travel frequently they could not pursue her concerns as a missing persons case. “My biggest question is, how in the world could my son have been dead in that apartment and nobody knows anything?” Stevens told the news station. According to WFAA, DeSoto police have determined White had a month-to-month lease on the apartment paid through an automatic withdrawal from an account linked to his Navy retirement. The new, well-insulated dwelling was located on the third floor with all windows locked and sealed tightly. 'The way he was found, the way the apartment was arranged and so forth, there was zero indication of foul play,' Pete Schulte, a detective with the DeSoto Police Department, told the news station. In addition, police investigators found diabetes medications inside the apartment – dated 2016 – and the family confirmed White was a diabetic, People reported. Read more here or here.
  • At 5:30 this  morning, NASA began their coverage of a spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, an instrument seeking to unlock the mysteries of dark matter. Astronauts Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Andrew Morgan of NASA will venture outside the International Space Station for the second in a series of five planned spacewalks to repair the particle physics experiment outside the orbiting laboratory. The duo is scheduled to spend six and a half hours in space today.  Their spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 7:05 a.m. App users click here to watch it live. 

Washington Insider

  • Fifty-six years ago, it was just another Friday. On November 22, 1963, my father had walked the one block home from his job on Capitol Hill to eat lunch with my mother, who was just days away from giving birth to her first child. After having his lunch, my dad was enjoying a little down time on the couch, listening to the radio. That's when the news arrived from Dallas, Texas. “KENNEDY SERIOUSLY WOUNDED PERHAPS SERIOUSLY PERHAPS FATALLY BY ASSASSINS BULLET,” read the bulletin on the UPI wire that was quoted by newscasters around the nation. As soon as he heard the report, my father bolted out the door, running down C Street, S.E. to the Cannon House Office Building, where he worked for a member of Congress from Illinois. “We heard the news on the radio. It was all horrible news,” my mother remembered. “Jim quickly went back to the office.” As my dad rushed towards the Cannon building, a cab pulled up with Ted Henshaw, a future Clerk of the House, and my father's friend and drinking buddy, John Mahoney, who worked with Henshaw at the Democratic National Congressional Committee. 'As we were walking up the steps to the building, your father came running down the street and he said to me - and I will never forget,' Mahoney said – ‘The president has been shot, perhaps fatally!'” Back then, there weren’t walls of televisions in every office. But in Mahoney’s office, there was a teletype machine that brought in news from around the world. “We all tore into the office of course and sure enough, there it was - Merriman Smith had filed a story for UPI,” said Mahoney. “We literally tore the subsequent bulletins off the tape before they made it on the air,” my father said. Like news of Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attacks, November 22, 1963 was seared on the memory of many of my father’s fellow aides on Capitol Hill. “I was in the cafeteria having lunch and someone ran in and said, 'The President's been shot!' and all hell broke loose,' said Abe Boni, a longtime friend of my parents. “I jumped up out of my chair - I don't know where the hell I thought I was going - but I jumped up,” Boni said many years later, like it was yesterday. When the news broke, Roll Call newspaper founder Sid Yudain was downtown at the time, in a most peculiar place for any reporter. “I was in the ladies room at the Meridian Hill Hotel, which was the hotel for girls at that time,” said Yudain, who had been out to lunch with the hotel owner, a real estate mogul who ran ads in Roll Call. There was no men’s room, so the manager took him to the ladies room and locked the door. “The next thing I know, his name was Goldberg (the manager), and he came in banging on the door and said, ‘You better get out of there! JFK has just been shot!’” Yudain scrambled back to Capitol Hill, stopping first for a drink and to watch the television at the 116 Club, a local political watering hole on the Senate side that most people probably still don’t know even exists. “Then I went to (Speaker) McCormack's office,” said Yudain, but staffers would not let him in at first because of stepped up security for the Speaker in the aftermath of the assassination. Earlier, one of Yudain's reporters had found the Speaker - standing by himself - in the House Press Gallery, doing the same thing my father was doing across the street, reading the reports coming in on the newspaper wire machine. But things didn't stay calm for long for the Speaker, or the Congress. “I remember the state of panic,” said Mahoney, who also was drawn to the Capitol in the immediate aftermath of the news. “I saw the Secret Service flooding the Hill and they came to get Speaker McCormack,” said Mahoney. “I saw him, he was absolutely ashen, I mean he was white panic in his face, and I will never forget that. It left me cold.” “This was Mr. Confidence, he ran the House like some piece of machinery and all of a sudden there he was in the arms of the Secret Service,” said Mahoney. The view from outside the U.S. was also interesting, and that came in a late 1963 letter to my father from his college friend Larry Russell, who recounted what it was like to get the news overseas. Russell was working at the U.S. Embassy in Algeria, where he worked for the State Department as a top aide to Ambassador William J. Porter. “I can add nothing to what your own thoughts and reactions must have been and will not try. In the cold, bleak dawn of another day, however, you might be interested in knowing what this sort of thing does to a small segment of the President’s staff overseas. 'I was attending a cocktail party for Walter Reuther at the Ambassador’s residence when the U.P.I. called to give the old man (the Ambassador) the news of the attempt. He took it rather calmly, came back to the main room and announced it to us all, and the party went on. The Ambassador then excused himself and went upstairs to turn on his radio (he is a HAM operator), dragging me along with him. He tuned in on a broadcast direct from the States, left me to listen and returned to his guests. 'It was thus that I had the very unfortunate job of bringing the final news to the old man. They were fairly good friends, the Porters hailing from Massachusetts and having a summer home very near that of the Kennedys, and the Ambassador took it like a blow to the stomach. He then had to announce the news to his guests, and the party broke up. Then the Ambassador wept. That was certainly my most difficult moment. 'You can’t imagine what Kennedy meant to the career Foreign Service officer, particularly the men like Bill Porter who knew him personally.' To my father, it was obvious what Kennedy meant. Years later, there were still pictures of the 35th President in my dad's office. In a note to his friends nine years ago, it was clear there was still pain. “The effect on this still somewhat idealistic Congressional aide who had been privileged to know and work with some of the top Kennedy people, was devastating,' my father wrote; 'things never seemed to have that same brightness and élan again.' The next few days after Kennedy was assassinated, hundreds of thousands converged on the U.S. Capitol to pay their respects, as they filed through the Rotunda in the bitter November cold. 'I wanted to go there, but Jim wouldn't let me stand in the cold,' my mother remembered years later, noting that she was days away from giving birth. “It was a horrible time for everyone,' she said.  Note: This is an updated version of an article written by Jamie Dupree in 2013.