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    One Heart for Women and Children of Central Florida is hosting a supply drive for dozens of mothers staying in a shelter. Founder Stephanie Bowman tells News 96.5 WDBO she’s organizing the effort to help women living at the same shelter where she stayed 20 years ago.   “We are collecting Wal-Mart gift cards, shampoo, conditioner, journals...some of the comfort things that you would want such as socks, as well,” said Bowman. Other items you can donate include deodorant, laundry soap, wash cloths and paper towels. Bowman says once the items have been collected, they plan to put them in bags and take them to the women just in time for Mother’s Day on Sunday. If you’re unsure of what to donate, you can also donate money or gift cards. You can learn more about the drive and how to help by clicking HERE.
  • Blue Origin is one step closer being able to send people into space. On Thursday, Blue Origin successfully launched its Shepard suborbital booster and pressurized crew capsule from a privately operated facility in Van Horn, Texas. Blue Origin also landed the single-stage rocket just minutes after liftoff. The mission had two purposes.  First, to test the booster and capsule, the second purpose was a package of microgravity research experiments for NASA.  The crew capsule will have six seats and could one day be used to ferry humans into space. Blue Origin steamed the successful launch live on its YouTube channel. Shortly after the lift off and landing of the booster and capsule, Blue Origin called the test launch a success. Thursday’s launch marked Blue Origin’s 11th suborbital flight in the past four years.  The company plans to launch its next generation rocket, the new Glenn rocket, from Cape Canaveral in 2021.
  • The St. Cloud police department is still searching for a young woman with a disability reported missing last week. Faith Kepner, 20, disappeared Friday April 19, after leaving her home to visit a nearby grocery store.  Since then, she has been reportedly seen in Seminole and Volusia counties. Investigators say Kepner told her family that she was going to walk to the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market located at 2025 Nolte Road in St. Cloud.   Surveillance video from the business shows Kepner visited the store but she never returned home. On Thursday, St. Cloud police gave an update on one confirmed sighting and another reported sighting of Kepner.  The department also refuted online rumors that Kepner had been located. Sgt. Frankie Delarosa tells News 96.5 WDBO that Kepner was recorded on surveillance video from a Lynx bus on April 21, showing her wearing the same clothes that she did the day she went missing.  Kepner got off the bus at the Seminole Towne Center in Sanford.  The bus driver told detectives that Kepner made statements that she intended to travel to North Florida.  Two days later, police received a tip that Kepner was in Deltona. Kepner is white with brown hair and brown eyes.  She’s approximately 5’05” and weighs around 110 lbs.  She was last seen wearing a pink shirt, black shorts and a black hooded sweat shirt with a heart emblem with black and red Sketchers sneakers. Investigators consider Kepner to be endangered because she lacks the mental capacity for her age, due to an illness/disability. If you know where she is, call the St. Cloud Police Department in reference to report number 19-002303.
  • A local pet rescue organization is expanding and they need your help! Polka Dogz Pet Rescue stopped by the News 96.5 WDBO studios on Wednesday to introduce the staff to several of their dogs. President Heidi Hardman says they have been able to place more than 600 dogs in the 3 ½ years they have been operating. “We average about 200 a year and we’re growing from that and that is with a lot of seniors and special needs,” said Hardman. Polka Dogz is in the process of purchasing a new facility in Lake County that will give the dogs more room to roam and could allow the organization to take on more rescues. “We want suites in there, it’s not going to be cages, but the only time they’re going to be in their ‘rooms’ as we call them is for nap time and for overnights,” said Hardman. The home sits on 20 acres near Howey-in-the-Hills.  Hardman says they plan to build play yards and agility equipment.  Polka Dogz is accepting donations to help make the necessary upgrades to the property. To find out how you can help click HERE.   
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis marked his first 100 days in office this week. In celebration, the governor’s office released a video highlighting some of DeSantis’ accomplishments since taking office on January 8. DeSantis has gained a lot of fans over the past three months with his focus on protecting Florida’s environment, increasing funding to fight the opioid crisis, lowering prescription medication costs.   Since being sworn in, DeSantis has also appointed new Florida Supreme Court justices.  He also suspended Broward County sheriff Scott Israel for his department’s response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and committed to help the Florida Panhandle fully recover from Hurricane Michael. On his 100th day in office, DeSantis released the following statement: 'During my Inaugural Address, I agreed with Hamilton that, 'Energy in the executive is the leading character in the definition of good government,'” said Governor DeSantis.  “That’s why I’ve held 100 public events during my first 100 days in office. I will continue working with the Legislature and Floridians should know I will do whatever it takes to achieve our goals. Let’s fight the good fight and keep up the hard work.' App users can watch DeSantis’ First 100 Days video by clicking HERE.
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley   You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week.   Estee talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley.   icFlorida Fun 3:   Learn 2 Curl Looking for something unique to do? Learn how to Curl with the Orlando Curling Club during a beginners curling class and open curling session! No prior curling experience is required, and all the equipment you’ll need is provided. Just dress warmly!   Taco & Tequila Crawl   What could be better than strolling through Downtown eating tacos while enjoying exclusive margarita, tequila, and beer specials? The free-flowing event starts at the Wall Street Cantina with multiple restaurants and exclusive party stops.   Art and Music in the Park and Food Truck Bazaar   Bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy an evening of live music from The Trees of Life Band, stroll through local businesses and artisan booths, and grab something to eat from the gourmet food trucks at The Food Truck Bazaar.   Want to make sure you are prepared for this weekend’s weather? WFTV’s meteorologist Brian Shields is here to help! - https://www.icflorida.com    3 More Fun Things:  Brews Around the Zoo  Absolutely Avalon  Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at icFlorida.com. - http://www.icflorida.com/
  • A woman and her teenage daughter were critically injured this week when they were involved in a traffic crash caused by an armed robbery suspect fleeing from police. Kim Lovre, 52, and her 16-year-old daughter Leia are being treated at separate hospitals.  They are the wife and daughter of longtime Orlando radio engineer Frank Lovre. The family is well known in the community and one of Lovre’s friends in the media has stepped up to help. WFTV Channel 9 meteorologist Brian Shields set up a GoFundMe account to help money for the Lovres’ recovery.  He tells News 96.5 WDBO that he wanted to help. “We’ve been close to Frank and Kim and, of course, the kids for years, so anything we can do to help out,” said Shields.  “Financially, clearly they have a long road ahead with the medical expenses.  The injuries are extensive.” Leia suffered a broken neck and pelvis in the crash.  Kim remains in critical condition. Other members of the community who know the Lovre family are sharing their story. You can donate to the recovery fund by clicking HERE.
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Estee talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: Spring Fiesta in the Park Enjoy two days of family fun at Spring Fiesta in the Park at Lake Eola Park. The free, pet-friendly event includes over 200 artists, food vendors, live music, a huge children’s play area and more. Spring Fever in the Garden 2019 Stroll Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden while enjoying entertainment, a sidewalk chalk art contest, an Ask the Experts booth, garden and yard plant vendors, food booths, raffles and more. This event is family and dog-friendly. Baldwin Park First Friday Every first Friday over 80 local artisans, small businesses, and non-profit organizations line the heart of downtown Baldwin Park for an evening of shopping and fun. This free event is both family and pet friendly. Want to make sure you are prepared for this weekend’s weather? WFTV’s meteorologist Brian Shields is here to help! - https://www.icflorida.com  3 More Fun Things: Movie Night at Leu Gardens - Avengers Infinity War Central Florida Top Brewer Eat in the Street Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at icFlorida.com. - http://www.icflorida.com/
  • Colorado State University released its latest Forecast of 2019 Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity on Thursday, a day after AccuWeather released theirs. Dr. Phillip Klotzbach and his team of researchers are predicting a “slightly below average” season this year.   Colorado State’s Tropical Meteorology Project is predicting a total of 13 named storms and five hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, Klotzbach’s team is forecasting two of them will reach Category 3 strength or higher. Like the AccuWeather’s hurricane forecast, CSU is attributing the slightly below average activity to El Niño which typically causes wind shear in the Atlantic basin, which could hamper tropical cyclone development. The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season officially begins June 1.
  • The mayor of Ocala is coming under fire days after issuing a controversial proclamation. On Tuesday, Mayor Kent Gwinn declared April 26, to be Confederate Memorial Day in Ocala.  Gwinn issued his proclamation after the Marion County Commission issued a similar proclamation on March 19. Gwinn issued similar proclamations in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Former Ocala mayor Gerald Ergle issued his own Confederate Memorial Day proclamation in 2005.  Gwinn’s proclamation drew strong criticism from the president of the Orlando City Council.  Mary Sue Rich then leveled a fairly serious allegation against the mayor at the end of Tuesday night’s meeting. “When people say you (are) a member of the Ku Klux Klan, I’m beginning to believe them,” she said.  “I don’t think you deserve to be the mayor of Ocala.  I hope somebody runs against you, because you keep coming up with more and more negative stuff.” Gwinn denied the rumors during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “For anybody to say that I’m a racist or a member of the KKK -- that’s the most ridiculous thing that I’ve heard,” he said.  “I am not -- repeat not -- in the KKK.  I hever have been.  I never will be.  And I despise and hate everything that organization stands for.” Text of Gwinn’s Confederate Memorial Day Proclamation Whereas the year 2011 marked the sesquicentennial of the civil conflict that tore the nation in two. Whereas the month of April is the time which the Confederate States of America initiated and ended its four-year struggle for a sovereign and independent nation. Whereas in proportion to its population the State of Florida lent more soldiers, sailors and livestock to the Confederate cause than any other state. Whereas April 26 has been designated by the laws of Florida as a legal holiday, Confederate Memorial Day, a time which to honor the memories of those who sacrificed their lives in the War Between the States. Whereas we recall the tragic events that took place between the years of 1861 and 1865. We do so in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the conflicting ideals and passions that pitted brother against brother and tore a nation apart. Now, therefore, I, Kent Guinn, with the authority vested in me as the mayor of the City of Ocala, Florida do hereby proclaim April 26, 2019, to be known as Confederate Memorial Day.
  • Darrell Moody

    Darrell Moody joined News 96.5  in April 2013.

    He is a 6th generation native Floridian, born and raised in central Florida.  He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2003.  In 2007, Darrell began his radio career with the Florida News Network and WFLF in Orlando.  Since then, he has worked for Metro Networks, Virtual News Center and several local News/Talk radio stations.  He also hosted the public affairs program Focus Orlando on AM 660 WORL for two years and for nearly four years he was a breaking news helicopter videographer for Central Florida News 13.

    Darrell lives in Winter Park with his wife and two daughters.  In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf and working in his yard.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Violent storms and tornadoes slammed Missouri late Wednesday, leaving three people dead and pummeling the state's capital, officials said. >> Oklahoma flooding: 2 barges break loose, could hit dam, officials warn According to The Associated Press, a 'large and destructive tornado' hit Jefferson City before midnight, National Weather Service officials said. The twister caused several injuries, trapped residents, destroyed homes and buildings, and knocked out power to nearly 13,000 people, KOMU-TV reported. >> Read more trending news  No deaths have been reported in connection with the Jefferson City tornado, police said in a news conference early Thursday. >> Watch a video from the scene here >> See photos from Jefferson City The news came after officials said three people were killed when a 'suspected tornado' struck Golden City, NBC News reported. >> See the tweet here Tornado damage also was reported in Carl Junction, where several people were hurt, according to NBC News. One social media user shared a dramatic video of the twister sweeping through the area.  >> Watch the video here Earlier this week, storms were blamed for three more deaths – including two in Missouri and one in Iowa – and a possible fourth in Oklahoma, the AP reported. Read more here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • An Obama-era plan to feature Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill is crumbling. On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the 2020 unveiling of the note, timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of a Constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote, has been canceled. >> Girl, 3, reaching out to mural of Harriet Tubman caught in emotional photo He pushed back the redesign of the $20 bill at least nine years, offering no guarantees that it will bear the likeness of the celebrated abolitionist. “The primary reason we have looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues,” Mnuchin said in response to questions by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. “Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand.” Pressley said it is time for America to better reflect who built it. “People other than white men built this county. And Secretary Mnuchin agrees, yet he refuses to update our currency,” she said in a tweet. “Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt are iconic Americans and it’s past time that our money reflects that.” >> See the tweet here Andy Ambrose, executive director of the Tubman Museum in Macon, Georgia, called the decision “unfortunate” and noted that Tubman was long denied a military pension before Congress approved a $20 monthly payment. “Harriet Tubman deserves this national recognition that has been long delayed, as she is one of the most courageous, inspiring women in American history,” he said. “But this is part and parcel of the history of this country and the way in which African American women have been, and continue to be, treated and unacknowledged.” Susan Ades Stone, the executive director of the organization that initially proposed putting Tubman on the $20 bill, said Mnuchin’s punt is a calculated political move directed by President Donald Trump. She called for Congress to intervene. >> Read more trending news  “We’re not surprised that Secretary Mnuchin may be kicking the design reveal of the $20 bill to sometime beyond the potential interference of a Trump presidency,” Stone said. “The Tubman $20 design was supposed to be unveiled by 2020 and, even under the most optimistic timetable set out by the Obama administration, was never expected to be in our hands before 2026.” It was in the waning days of the Obama administration that then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the redesigned bills. Stone’s group, Women on 20s, had submitted a petition to the White House in 2015, urging Obama to consider replacing Jackson on the $20 bill with the image of the former slave. Women on 20s also had considered Rosa Parks, who sparked the beginning of the modern civil rights movement; former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. The initial plan was to replace the image of Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill as part of the Treasury’s redesign of bills to make them harder to counterfeit. That thinking began to change, in part because of the Broadway smash “Hamilton.” With the play’s success, the profile of Hamilton, the country’s first treasury secretary, began to climb. The focus then shifted to the $20 bill. >> On AJC.com: How much did Tubman get in her monthly pension for serving as a Civil War nurse? Tubman would have been the first African American on U.S. currency and only the second woman. Martha Washington appeared on the face of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1886 and 1891, and on the back of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1896, according to the U.S. Mint. Known as Moses, Tubman escaped slavery in Maryland then spent a large part of her life returning to the South as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a secret network that helped fugitive slaves get to free states. Tubman rescued approximately 70 people on more than 13 trips back to Maryland, according to Kate Clifford Larson’s 2003 biography, “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.” It has been nearly a century since one of the faces on U.S. paper currency has changed. In 1928 — for reasons that remain unclear — Grover Cleveland was replaced on the $20 bill by Jackson, America’s seventh president. Ironically, Jackson opposed the use of paper currency. Those who wanted to see him replaced pointed out that he owned hundreds of slaves who worked his Hermitage plantation in Nashville. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized Jackson to grant unsettled land west of the Mississippi River to southern tribes who agreed to give up their ancestral homelands. The mass removal of the Cherokee tribe to Oklahoma became known as the Trail of Tears. >> On AJC.com: Trump White House putting the brakes on Tubman on $20 Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump praised Jackson, whom he considers a hero and is said to have modeled his populist administration after. A portrait of Jackson hangs in the Oval Office, and Trump placed a wreath on his tomb to mark Jackson’s 250th birthday in 2018. He has said that the decision to put Tubman on the currency was “pure political correctness” and proposed putting her portrait on the $2 bill, which has the lowest circulation volume of any bill. Stone rejects that idea. “Now it is up to Congress to act on the Harriet Tubman Tribute Bill that is presently before the House Financial Services Committee, to compel the Treasury Department to accelerate the timetable and at the very least show us a Tubman bill design in time for the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020,” Stone said. “As we’ve been saying for years, symbols do matter.”
  • An employee at a Florida Wendy's is in hot water -- literally and figuratively -- after a video has gone viral showing him bathing in the restaurant's kitchen sink. The video, taken by a female employee at a Wendy's in Milton, shows a young man wearing shorts climb into the sink as the camera operator can be heard saying, 'Take a bath. Get in there!' She then tells him to 'wash your armpits,' which he does. Just before the video ends, she gives him a handful of paper towels to dry himself off and briefly turns the camera on herself. Mobile users see video here. The operations manager for Wendy's says officials are aware of the video and they're ‘investigating.’ He refused to comment further.
  • A Florida man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself in the leg -- while trying to move his concealed gun to a safer place. Arnel Villarreal was standing outside his vehicle in the parking lot of Summerlin Academy in Bartow on Tuesday, waiting to pick up a family member, police say. When the 39-year-old remembered his .9mm semi-automatic pistol was tucked in his waistband, he decided to remove it and put it in his car. In doing so, Villarreal apparently grabbed the trigger, causing the weapon to discharge into his leg. He's listed in stable condition.  Although Villarreal has a license to carry a concealed weapon in Florida, Bartow police say they're deciding whether to file charges against him. According to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Villarreal is among more than 1.9 million Floridians with concealed weapon permits -- the most of any state. Mobile users see video here.
  • Two weeks after a Massachusetts teen was mauled to death by a pack of dogs, Dighton's Board of Selectmen has decided what to do with those animals. >> Watch the news report here On May 9, 14-year-old Ryan Hazel was helping take care of the dogs when he was attacked, officials said. Hazel later died from his injuries. >> On Boston25News.com: Students to honor 14-year-old killed in fatal dog mauling Dighton Animal Control said none of those dogs were licensed and have been quarantined since the attack. The board discussed the animals' fate at a town meeting on Wednesday night after a tearful tribute to Hazel.  With support from the Dighton Police, Animal Control and the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, the board voted to put the dogs down without hesitation.  >> Read more trending news  'It was a tough decision however it was the right decision. I won’t be losing sleep over the decision. I don’t think any member will be,' said Board of Selectmen Chairman Kenneth Pacheco.  'Dighton is known as a small town with a big heart, and Dighton’s big heart continues to grieve for Ryan Hazel and his family,' said Nancy Goulart of the Board of Selectmen. 

Washington Insider

  • For the second time in three days, a federal judge rejected arguments by lawyers for President Donald Trump, refusing to block subpoenas issued by a U.S. House committee for financial records held by U.S. banks which did business with the President's companies. 'I think the courts are saying that we are going to uphold the rule of law,' said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has subpoenaed information from the Mazars USA accounting firm. Wednesday's ruling from federal Judge Edgardo Ramos, put on the bench by President Barack Obama, related to subpoenas by two other House panels to Deutsche Bank and Capital One, for records related to Mr. Trump's businesses. Lawyers for the President, the Trump Organization, and Mr. Trump's family had asked that the subpoenas be quashed - the judge made clear that wasn't happening, and also rejected a request to stay his ruling to allow for an appeal. As in investigative matters involving the President's tax returns, and other subpoenas from Democrats, Mr. Trump's legal team argued that there is a limit on the investigative power of the Congress. 'Congress must, among other things, have a legitimate legislative purpose, not exercise law-enforcement authority, not excess the relevant committee's jurisdiction, and not make overbroad or impertinent requests,' the President's lawyers wrote in a brief filed last week. But as with a case in federal court in Washington earlier this week, that argument failed to sway Judge Ramos, who said Deutsche Bank can turn over in the information sought by the House Financial Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. In the halls of Congress, Democrats said the legal victories were clear evidence that the resistance of the White House to Congressional investigation could only succeed for so long. 'The White House has attempted to block Congressional oversight, but the law is on our side,' said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT). And Democrats also were pleased by the quick action of both judges this week, amid worries that multiple legal challenges by the President could cause lengthy delays. 'We should not be slowed down in our work simply by a clock that goes through judicial processes,' said Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA). The legal setback for President Trump came several hours after he cut short a White House meeting with top Democrats on infrastructure, saying he would not work with them on major legislation until the House stopped a variety of investigations. 'Get these phony investigations over with,' the President told reporters in the Rose Garden. Mr. Trump seemed especially aggravated by statements earlier on Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who accused the President of resisting subpoenas and other document requests for a reason. 'And we believe the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up, in a cover-up,' Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol.