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Latest from Kevin Rafuse

    Rev. Bryan Fulwider, a former Winter Park Pastor, who was recently arrested on charges of raping an underage girl has died of an apparent suicide at a home in Altamonte Springs. The Winter Park Police Department said Altamonte Springs police found Fulwider at his home on Post Oak Circle around 11:50 p.m. Sunday night. The 59-year old had been out on bail since October 17th. He was accused repeatedly raping a teenage girl while he was her pastor at the First Congregational Church of Winter Park. Fulwider was facing charges including sexual battery on a minor. If convicted, he could’ve faced life in prison. Winter Park Police said the girl was raped between 2005 and 2010, beginning when she was 14. Arrest documents said she had been assaulted well over 100 times. The cause of death is still unknown, as the medical examiner is now conducting a report.
  • One person is under arrest after getting caught by an Orange County K-9 while attempting to run away from the scene of a fatal accident on Orange Blossom Trail. 33-year Michael Plattner from Kissimmee was speeding on Orange Blossom Trail at Taft Vineland Road around 3 A.M. when he rear ended a Toyota Camry.  That car then went off the road, hitting and a sign and then a pole. Two passengers, 36-year old Hansel Catano and a 28-year old man, were both killed. Another female in that car was taken to the hospital in critical condition. After the accident, Plattner attempted to flea from the scene before he was tracked down by a K-9 unit. Another woman who was in Plattner’s car was taken to the hospital. Plattner is facing charges for leaving the scene of a fatal crash according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  • On Tuesday morning, a Lynx bus was involved in a crash on I-4 at Orange Blossom Trail. The bus overturned in that crash and blocked lanes of I-4 Westbound. Twelve people were taken to the hospital according to troopers. An investigation is ongoing and we’ll have an update as we learn more.
  • Week one of High School football kicks off Friday night all across Central Florida.  Matchups this week include: Edgewater at Bishop Moore, kick off at 7 Stoneman Douglas at Colonial, kick off at 7 Timber Creek at Boone, kick off at 7 Jones at Raines, kick off at 7 Cypress Creek at Windermere High, kick off at 7 Dr. Phillips at Seminole, kick off at 7 Hagerty at Lake Nona, kick off at 7 University at East River, kick off at 7 Central Florida Christian at Cornerstone Charter, kick off at 7 Evans at Freedom, kick off at 7 Osceola at Harmony, kick off at 7:30 Pine Ridge at Celebration, kick off at 7 Winter Springs at Oviedo, kick off at 7 St. Cloud at Bayside, kick off at 7 Jupiter at Tohopekaliga, kick off at 7 Wekiva at Winter Park, kick off at 7 Orlando Christian Prep at Seffner Christian, kick off at 7:30 Ocoee at Oak Ridge, kick off at 7 Olympia at West Orange, kick off at 7 Lyman at Lake Mary, kick off at 7 Lake Howell at Poinciana, kick off at 7 West Oaks at the First Academy, kick off at 7 Faith Christian at Bronson, kick off at 7 Lake Highland Prep at Mount Dora Christian, kick off at 7 Merritt Island at Gateway, kick off at 7:30 Liberty at Lake Brantley, kick off at 7
  • Orlando Police have arrested 21-year old Chasjuan Allen for the murder of George Dallas at an Orlando apartment complex. Back on June 28th, Dallas was shot and killed at the Orlando on the Lake apartments on South Ivey Lane near West Gore Street. Police had previously arrested 18-year Miguel Bush in connection with the murder. Both Allen and Bush are facing first degree murder charges. Investigators said Dallas had been shot in the neck and was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he died July 1.
  • SunRail announced today that they’ll be adding a special southbound, late train to accomidate riders going to Tuesday night’s Orlando City vs. Atlanta United F.C. match. The special train leaves from the southbound Church Street Station at 10:30 p.m., in addition to the regular northbound train that also leaves at that time. Regular fairs will apply on that train. Orlando City is taking on Atlanta United F.C. at Exploria Stadium in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal match.
  • The ramp from southbound State Road 417 to eastbound State Road 408 is scheduled to close tonight from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for overhead sign work. Drivers will be shifted onto the Curry Ford Road exit, then re-enter northbound State Road 417 to return to eastbound State Road 408.  The work could take longer if bad weather happens. All tolls at Curry Ford Road will be suspended during the detour. The work is part of the $90.7 million State Road 408/State Road 417 interchange project.  The project’s estimated finish date is late 2019.
  • Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere announced that he will not seek reelection today, after more than 20 years in city government. Persampiere said the decision is because he wants to spend more time with his family, and work on growing his business. Previously, he had served as an Oviedo city councilman before running for mayor. He’s been serving as Mayor since 2011.  Two months ago, Persampiere was involved in a dispute with a neighbor that led to police involvement, but a judge dismissed an injunction filed against him.
  • Orlando police are asking for help identifying two persons of interest after a carjacking near Camping World Stadium. On July 9th, the pair carjacked a gray Jeep Cherokee after the victim refused to give them a dollar. The pair knocked the victim to the ground before speeding off. The victim had minor injuries and was taken to the hospital. An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police.
  • Orlando gas prices have dropped over the past week, averaging $2.58 a gallon in Orlando. According to GasBuddy, gas prices have fallen 6.9 cents in the past week, and are 17.6 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The drop in Orlando comes amid a rise in national gas prices, as they’ve gone up 3.3 cents over the past week. The average national prices for a gallon of gas is $2.79. Patrick DeHaan from GasBuddy said, “With Barry in the rearview, we are unlikely to see major disruptions arise, and gas prices nationally will avoid seeing much of a price rise as a result.” The Orlando average price of $2.58 is slightly lower than the Florida average, which is $2.62.  The cheapest station in Orlando right now is priced at $2.43 a gallon, while the most expensive is $2.89 a gallon.
  • Kevin Rafuse

    Anchor/Reporter

    Kevin Rafuse is a reporter and anchor for News 96.5 WDBO. 

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Spc. Nicholas C. Panipinto, 20, of Bradenton, Florida, died from injuries after an armored vehicle overturned in South Korea. The Army said in a statement, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle overturned at Camp Humphreys on Nov. 6 injuring Panipinto and two other soldiers. Panitpinto died the following day.  An investigation into the incident is still underway. Panipinto was deployed to South Korea in July as an infantryman with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team. He joined the Army in January 2018.  The brigade will hold a memorial on Friday. 
  • Break out the sweaters and possibly the scarves, cool windy conditions have moved into Central Florida and showers are possible all morning. WFTV Meterologist Brian Shields says this is our “Florida Fall and many of us won’t get out of the 60s!” Here is the basic information Brian says you need to know:  A cold front moves over Central Florirda and low temperatures will mark into the upper 50s Wednesday morning. Isolated showers are possible through the morning hours, and then mainly along the coast on Wednesday afternoon. Cool Wednesday: The high temperatures on Wednesday won’t make it out of the 70s. Temperatures will feel colder because of the strong wind from the north. Pleasant rest of the week: Temperatures are set to stay in the 70s and 60s to close out the week only low chances of rain until Friday when another front is set to blow through.
  • Law enforcement officials said a Florida mother and two children who were abducted at gunpoint in Titusville have been found safe as of 5:50 a.m. Wednesday. >> Read more trending news  Here are the latest updates: Update 7:02 a.m. EST Nov. 13: The Florida Department of Law Enforcement canceled the Amber Alert issued for the children, and the Titusville Police Department confirmed that their mother, Melanie Martin, 30, was also found safe. Original report: An Amber Alert was issued Wednesday morning after police said a Florida woman and her two young children were abducted at gunpoint by the children's father in Titusville. Titusville police said Melanie Martin, 30, and her children Angel Burson, 5, and Lloyd Burson Jr., 3, were kidnapped by Lloyd Burson, 35, around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday in the area of the 1000 block of Third Avenue. Police said Martin and the children were last seen in a blue SUV driven by Burson headed north on I-95 toward Volusia County. Investigators said Burson is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call the Titusville Police Department at 321-264-7800, or they can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward by contacting CrimeLine at 1-800-423-TIPS. – Visit WFTV.com for the latest on this developing story.
  • Officials with the Orlando Fire Department announced late Tuesday evening that they arrested John Huff for arson in connection to the fire early that same morning at the Beefy King Restaurant. Huff was transported to the Orange County Jail. Investigators suspected arson when the saw the fire started outside the building near the back of the building rather than inside.  Additionally, surveillance footage from a nearby business shows a car in the parking lot of Beefy King at the time the fire started. In the meantime, firefighters said the damage to the building on Bumby Avenue is “fixable” and the owner of the iconic establishment known for its sandwiches says the will re-open as soon as possible.  The good news is there was minimal damage and no one was hurt. 
  • A Pennsylvania man whose baby boy suffered critical injuries in an October shooting purposely brought the infant along during drug deals to deter others from opening fire, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  According to the Philadelphia Inquirer and WPVI-TV, police arrested Nafes Monroe, 25, on Saturday, three weeks after his 11-month-old son, Yazeem Jenkins, was shot multiple times in north Philadelphia. Prosecutors said Monroe was trying to use counterfeit money to purchase drugs Oct. 19 when the suspected gunman, 29-year-old Francisco Ortiz, began shooting, the Inquirer reported. Yazeem, who was in a car with Monroe, his girlfriend and a second man, was hit in the chest, head and buttocks, authorities said. Afterward, Monroe took Yazeem to a home, then dropped the baby off at a nearby hospital, according to Anthony Voci of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. The boy's condition is still listed as critical, KYW-TV reported. Voci said Monroe had brought Yazeem with him during other drug purchases, as well, 'with the idea or belief that if someone saw that he had a child in the car, that they would not fire upon him,' the Inquirer reported. 'A 'human shield' is probably the term that I would use,' Voci said, according to the newspaper. Monroe now faces charges of endangering a child's welfare and reckless endangerment, WPVI reported. Ortiz remains jailed on attempted murder, aggravated assault and other charges, the Inquirer reported.

Washington Insider

  • The first day of impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump will feature two State Department witnesses who raised questions about actions in Ukraine by the President's personal lawyer, with one alarmed by Rudy Giuliani's efforts to undermine the former U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine, and another who saw Giuliani leading an effort to press for investigations desired by Mr. Trump. 'Mr. Giuliani was almost unmissable starting in mid-March,' Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified, saying Giuliani conducted a 'campaign of slander' against former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. 'I worried about what I had heard concerning the role of Rudolph Giuliani,' said William Taylor, now the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, who said he was worried about entering a 'snake pit' involving Giuliani. Here is some of what we might expect from these two witnesses in the first day of impeachment hearings. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE GEORGE KENT - After working at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, Kent returned to the State Department in the second half of 2018, taking on a post where he was responsible for Ukraine and five other eastern European nations often targeted by Russia. It was in that position where Kent said he witnessed the media attack which unfolded, spurred by Giuliani and conservative news media organs. In his impeachment deposition, Kent said an article by conservative journalist John Solomon spurred a sudden attack on Ambassador Yovanovitch and the U.S. embassy in Ukraine in general, which was then amplified by Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Kent said much of what was alleged, that Yovanovitch was bad mouthing President Trump, that she was working against Ukraine prosecutors, was simply false. 'It was, if not entirely made up in full cloth,' Kent testified, 'it was primarily non-truths and non-sequiturs.' Kent described how U.S. diplomats were blindsided by what was clearly a concerted campaign against the U.S. Ambassador and the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, spread over four days in March of 2019. It started first with arrows aimed at Ambassador Yovanovitch, but then spread to accusations against former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter, along with other charges mentioning conservative bogeyman George Soros - all of it given a push by President Trump, his son, conservative websites, and Fox News. The attacks on Yovanovitch came two weeks after she had been asked by the State Department to stay on in Ukraine until 2020 - but her extension would not survive the conservative media attacks against her. 'I was then abruptly told in late April to come back to Washington from Ukraine 'on the next plane,'' Yovanovitch told Congressional investigators. She will testify on Friday. + WILLIAM TAYLOR, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires IN UKRAINE. With the recall of Ambassador Yovanovitch, Taylor is the top-ranking U.S. diplomat in Ukraine - basically the acting Ambassador. Several months after Yovanovitch had been ousted, Taylor described how the work of Giuliani had seemingly led to a situation where U.S. military aid for Ukraine was being withheld - in an effort to gain a quid pro quo - where the government of Ukraine would launch investigations sought by President Trump. 'By mid-Ju1y, it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian influence in the 2016 elections,' Taylor said, referring to a focus on the Bidens, and the debunked theory that Ukraine - and not Russia - was behind the hacks of Democrats in 2016. Taylor said the impetus for the situation was obvious. 'It was also clear that this condition was driven by the irregular policy channel I had come to understand was guided by Mr. Giuliani,' Taylor said in his closed door deposition. Mr. Taylor said he had determined that link in 'mid-July' - it was on July 25 that President Trump spoke with the leader of Ukraine, and spelled out the need for Ukraine to launch investigations into the Bidens, and the Ukraine-2016 elections theory, which included the evidence-free allegation that the hacked computer server from the Democratic National Committee was being hidden in Ukraine. Some Republicans have mocked the choice of Taylor as an opening witness, saying he has no firsthand knowledge of why the President would want investigations conducted related to the Bidens or the 2016 elections. 'No, I've never talked to the President,' Taylor said in his deposition. Look for Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) to bring this up during the first day of questioning with Taylor. Three hearings have also been set for next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with eight different witnesses.