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Latest from Kevin Rafuse

    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.
  • The number of people injured by fireworks in Orlando on the 4th of July dropped this year compared to last year. Orlando Health said that four people were brought into the Orlando Health Trauma Department since the holiday. In 2018, fifteen people were taken to the hospital with firework related injuries. Orlando Health said the majority of those injuries were to people’s hands and fingers. Doctors at Orlando Health believe more firework safety education, and the rainy weather this holiday played a role in the decrease.
  • Drivers on John Young Parkway will see a traffic shift on Wednesday and Thursday night this week. The traffic shift is for overnight work between Technology Drive and Silver Star Road and will affect all drivers between West Colonial Drive and Shader Road. Traffic will be moved east onto the newly constructed northbound lanes. At a later date, the remaining northbound lanes between Shader Road and Silver Star Road will be shifted. The work is all part of an ongoing project to widen John Young Parkway between Colonial Drive and Shader Road. Electronic signs will be active to warn drivers about the change.
  • A Kissimmee man is dead after he got into a motorocycle accident in Orlando. Florida Highway Patrol said 39-year old Firas Alsaadon was driving in the parking lot off 36th Street when he lost control of the motorcycle. Alsaadon then crashed into a fence and was thrown from the motorcycle. Troopers found him around 7:45 this morning next to the bike. Alsaadon was not wearing a helmet. It’s unclear if alcohol was a factor in the accident.
  • President Trump kicked off his 2020 reelection bid on Tuesday at the Amway Center here in Orlando. Check out some our photos in our gallery from the event. FIND GALLERY HERE.
  • Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence have arrived ahead of President Trump’s rally at the Amway Center in Orlando. Pence arrived at Orlando International Airport just before 3:15 p.m. in Air Force Two. He’ll attend the rally alongside President Trump to kick off his 2020 reelection campaign. We’ll have special coverage through the night on News 96.5 WDBO.
  • The City of Orlando will host members of the Brazilian Presidential Cabinet on June 25th. Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando Council formally extended the invitation today and announced an event to be held at the Orlando Police headquarters. The event is set to focus on the relationship between Brazil and Orlando, as the Brazilian population in the city continues to grow. Trade and cultural exchange are expected to both be on the agenda. Both parties will also discuss opportunities for Brazil to invest in Orlando.
  • Two men saved a shark in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after it had a pool ring around its neck. The shark came close to shore and beached itself after the duo noticed it was acting erratically.  The men estimate the shark was 4-feet long. They got some pliers and were able to get the pool ring off of the shark’s neck. The shark was then released back into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Disney World is hiring part-time workers to operate it's Disney Skyliner, set to debut in late September. The new transportation system will connect Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and four nearby resort hotels.  Skyliner workers will be responsible for greeting guests, loading and unloading the gondolas, as well as, monitoring the gondola system and providing audience control, according to a job posting.  The starting pay will be $12 an hour according to the posting, but Skyliner workers will be eligible for Disney's new starting rate of $13 as of September 29, 2019  Click here to apply
  • Aaron Carreto was enjoying his 10th birthday, playing outside his Compton home on July 6 when two neighbors tossed a lit, homemade firework at him, his family said. The boy reflexively grabbed the illegal firework, which exploded in his left hand, destroying four fingers and most of his palm, the Los Angeles Times reported. Aaron also lost a finger on his right hand and suffered burns on both hands, his face and his torso. One of the neighbors, Walter David Revolorio, 27, was arrested and charged with felony child cruelty and possession of a destructive device, the Times reported. The investigation is ongoing, but no charges had been filed against a second neighbor as of Monday. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials had no immediate comment on the status of the investigation. Aaron told Fox 11 in Los Angeles he was playing outside in his neighborhood when he walked over to the neighbors to say hello. At one point, the men called out his name. “They said my name, and then I turned and my hand flipped over, so that’s when they handed the firework to me,” Aaron said. “I was about to throw it and it exploded in my hand.” The explosion was so great, it rocked nearby cars, Fox 11 reported. >> Read more trending news The Times reported that Aaron was immediately taken to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where he underwent a series of emergency surgeries. Doctors at UC Irvine Medical Center attached his left arm to his stomach to hopefully preserve nerve and skin tissue they can use to reconstruct his hand. Aaron’s older sister, Adriana Carreto, said doctors also reattached the finger her brother lost on his right hand. Carreto wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help with Aaron’s medical expenses that he has a long recovery ahead, including at least two additional surgeries. Photos and video of the boy on the fundraising page, as well as on social media, show him with burns on his face and his left arm hidden under a hospital gown. Pain is etched on the boy’s face. “This incident changed his life, (his) way of living, but not his spirits,” Carreto wrote. “Everyone knows him as a social butterfly, always friendly to his teammates on the soccer team. He’s very caring and aware of other people’s needs.” Carreto wrote that her brother loves riding his bike with neighborhood friends and playing the popular online video game 'Fortnite' with classmates over their summer break. “Now with his new disability, he’ll find it difficult to adjust to his day to day lifestyle,” Carreto wrote. As of Monday afternoon, donors had raised more than $47,000 of the page's $50,000 goal to help Aaron and his family. Carreto said along with the physical pain her brother is in, he is also psychologically scarred. “He tells his family how he feels betrayed by those people around us and wants to start a new life far away from where he grew up,” Carreto wrote on the GoFundMe page. As of Monday, Aaron had been released from the hospital to continue his recovery at home. “I been reading all the positive and kind words to Aaron from his donors and he said he appreciates all the help and support,” Carreto wrote. “He said he feels happy with each and every one of you guys.” The distraught sister told ABC 7 she, however, is angry. “I’m angry because those two guys are adults and one of them has kids,” Carreto told the news station. “I’m pretty sure if it was his kid, he wouldn’t have let that happen.” Aaron told KTLA he wants to see both men punished for what they did to him. “Those guys who did this, I don’t want to see them no more,” Aaron told the news station. “I just wish that they could be in jail.” Revolorio remained Monday at the Los Angeles County Jail, where records show he is being held in lieu of $630,000 bond. The second neighbor accused in the incident has not been publicly identified.
  • President Trump continues his public criticism of House democrats Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. He tweets, “The “Squad” is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!” These comments come after President Trump last week said those four freshman House Democrats should 'go back to the crime infested places' from which they came. This also comes after a crowd at a Trump campaign rally in North Carolina chanted 'send her back.
  • A California woman and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with their newborn son’s death after investigators learned they strangled the boy at the hospital shortly after he was born, authorities said. Andrea Torralba, 20, and David Villa, 21, both of Oxnard, are being held in the Ventura County Jail on suspicion of felony assault on a child causing death, Oxnard Police Department officials said. Jail records show Villa, who is described as a field worker, is being held in lieu of $5 million. ABC 7 in Los Angeles reported that Torralba’s bail was set at $1 million. >> Read more trending news  Oxnard police investigators said officers were called just before 8 a.m. Friday to St. John’s Medical Center, where they learned a newborn boy was in critical condition with serious injuries. The boy was found unresponsive and despite all medical efforts, he died of his injuries. Detectives from the department’s Family Protection Unit learned that Torralba and Villa strangled the newborn until he lost consciousness, police officials said. Oxnard police Sgt. Brandon Ordelheide told ABC 7 that the couple, when questioned by detectives, admitted they did not want the baby. Both were arrested and charged in the boy’s death.

Washington Insider

  • President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress agreed on Monday to a two-year budget plan which will increase spending in 2020 and 2021, and allow the national debt to go up for a two year period, while including little in the way of budget savings, continuing a trend of higher government spending and larger deficits under the Trump Administration. 'If this deal passes, President Trump will have increased discretionary spending by as much as 22 percent over his first term, and enshrine trillion-dollar deficits into law,' said Maya MacGuineas, head of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who labeled the deal a 'total abdication of fiscal responsibility.' The agreement includes only $77.4 billion in budget offsets to pay for an estimated $320 billion in extra spending over two years. While the President tweeted his support, joined by Congressional leaders in both parties, a handful of lawmakers said the deal made no sense, because it guaranteed more deficit spending. With the White House already forecasting deficits above $1 trillion for the next four years, this agreement would do nothing to ease that tide of red ink, which had dropped to $438 billion in 2015 - but has steadily increased over the past three years. 'With more than $22 trillion in debt, we simply cannot afford deals like this one,' said Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), the head of the conservative Republican Study Committee. 'It’s not too late to reject the Pelosi-Mnuchin spending deal and strike a better deal for all Americans that cuts spending,' argued Jessica Anderson, a former Trump budget official. But those voices have faded into the wilderness in recent years in the GOP, as deficits have steadily increased under President Trump. “It’s pretty clear that both houses of Congress and both parties have become big spenders, and Congress is no longer concerned about the extent of the budget deficits or the debt they add,” said the Club For Growth, which has seen its influence on Capitol Hill dwindle in recent years.