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Latest from Darrell Moody

    Tropical storm warnings are in place along the Florida Panhandle for a tropical system that doesn’t even have a name yet. Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 is currently off the coast of Mexico in the southwest Gulf of Mexico.  In recent days, meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center have increased the storm’s chances of tropical development to 90-percent as of the NHC’s latest advisory. The storm is not expected to reach hurricane strength, but it is forecast to make landfall this weekend over the Panhandle as Tropical Storm Nestor. News 96.5 WDBO spoke to the National Weather Service office in Melbourne about what impacts Central Florida could see from the storm.  Meteorologist Scott Kelly says it could impact your weekend plans. “It looks like it will mainly be a rain producer for us with some embedded strong thunderstorms.  We’re not expecting a lot of strong winds with it, although there could be some strong winds with the thunderstorms that come through early on this weekend,” said Kelly. 
  • Orlando’s real estate market saw another month of increased sales and higher prices in September.  That’s according to the latest housing report from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.  Year-over-year, Orlando saw increases in both sales and median price.   Orlando realtors participated in 2,972 sales during the month of September, a 7.1% increase year-over-year compared to sales in September of 2018. The overall median sale price for September was $245,000, which is 5.2% above the median price recorded one year ago. ORRA president Jeff Fagan spoke to News 96.5 WDBO about the report and says the numbers point toward a strong real estate market. “The market, again, is healthy.  We always could use more inventory.  We did drop in inventory for a second consecutive month.  However, it’s an indication that sales remain strong, fueled mostly by the continued decrease in interest rates that we’ve seen all year,” said Fagan.  September’s sales and median home price were both lower than numbers recorded in August of this year. Read the full report by clicking HERE.
  • Researchers are trying to determine if nicotine can be used to combat memory loss. The MIND Study is a new clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Vanderbilt University and University of Southern California. Dr. Paul Newhouse is director of the Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and director of the study.  He spoke to News 96.5 WDBO about the study and how nicotine may help older people with memory loss. “It stimulates a type of neurochemical system that is important for learning, memory, and attention.  What we’ve done is try to expand that to see if we can help people with actual memory loss,” said Newhouse. Dr. Newhouse explains the researchers are using nicotine skin patches to deliver the drug rather than smoking or vaping. “We think that by giving it via skin patch, we can avoid most of the side effect problems that people have seen before and the risks, and that way, we can get the benefits of nicotine on brain function without some of the risks and side effects,” said Newhouse. Dr. Newhouse and his team are looking for volunteers for the study.  If you’re interested, contact Brain Matters Research in Delray Beach or Miami Jewish Health Systems in Miami.
  • Researchers from the University of Central Florida are working with a Kissimmee-based non-profit to develop a new kind of camera that could be used to hunt pythons in the Everglades. Hyperspectral imaging cameras captures wavelengths of light that can not be seen with the naked eye.   Professor Ronald Driggers with UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics explained to News 96.5 WDBO how the technology works. “Hyperspectral is a camera that slices wavelengths up into many bands, like hundreds or thousands of bands,” said Driggers. “We see in the region of 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers.  The hyperspectral that we used on the pythons sees from 400 nanometers all the way out to 1,100 nanometers,” said Driggers. Driggers says the camera sees beyond a python’s natural camouflage making the snakes more easy to locate. The camera can scan an area and immediately pick up a python slithering in the Everglades because of the contrast of light reflected by the snake versus light being reflected by the grass, leaves, and brush. For now, the cameras are being mounted on platforms on vehicles.  Driggers says his team has applied for state funding to mount the cameras on drones so they can cover more area. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is planning a major announcement about the cameras next month. Driggers says they cameras could be widely used in Florida’s python hunt next year.
  • Polk County sheriff Grady Judd has made quite a name for himself over the years.  He’s known as a no nonsense crime fighter with a penchant for giving memorable quotes during his infamous press conferences. Judd a life long resident of Polk County, having grown up in Lakeland.  He has been with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office since 1972.  He was elected sheriff of the county in 2004. Because of his personality and reputation, Judd has become something of a folk hero in central Florida. He has been the subject of several songs that have made their way onto social media. And Judd’s influence on central Florida music apparently transcends genres.  Earlier this year, a local music producer made a video titled “Ducking Grady.”  After seeing the video, Judd decided to help with the remix.
  • The opioid epidemic has hit central Florida particularly hard and Seminole County’s sheriff is calling on the public to assist law enforcement in the fight. Sheriff Dennis Lemma is hosting a community forum on the opioid crisis Thursday night at Seminle State College in Lake Mary. News 96.5 WDBO spoke with sheriff Lemma about the opioids and Thursday’s forum.  Sheriff Lemma says more opioid overdoses kill more people in Seminole County than car crashes and shootings combined and the trend of fatal overdoses increasing. “In 2017, we had 62 people die of an opioid related overdose.  In 2018, that was up [over] 80 and we’re tracking greater than 80 right now,” said Lemma. But the news isn’t all bad.  Lemma says since deputies started carrying narcan with them, hundreds of lives have been saved. “There were more than 450 deployments last year of narcan or naloxone, quite literally bringing that many people back to life,” said Lemma. During Thursday’s forum, Lemma plans to spend a half hour educating citizens on the current state of the opioid crisis before a panel of experts will discuss the issue and what the count is doing to save lives.
  • The search continues in south Florida for a teen who disappeared from a group home in Broward County in August. Destiny Rose, 16, left the Alpha Group Home in Southwest Ranches on August 20.  Within weeks of her disappearance, Rose’s family received a video call from the teen’s Instagram account that showed her tied up and crying. Now, CBS 4 in Miami reports another video has surfaced that shows Rose with the man seen in the original Instagram video. The video reportedly shows Rose in the Hallandale Beach area two days after she left the group home. Rose was seen with another girl and a man.  They are believed to be driving a red 2002-2005 Mercury Mountaineer or Ford Explorer with a sunroof. Anyone with information on Rose’s whereabouts is urged to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS
  • A Seminole County woman who made headlines seven years ago for burning down one of the world’s oldest trees while smoking methamphetamine is back behind bars on drug charges. Sara Barnes, 33, was arrested in 2012 after setting fire to the 3,500 year old “Senator” bald cypress in Big Tree Park in Longwood. She admitted to taking pictures of the fire and bragging to her friends about burning down a tree “older than Jesus.” On Friday, Seminole Count Deputies arrested Barnes while serving a search warrant. Deputies recovered nearly 40 grams of meth from Barnes’ home. She’s being held on $25,000 bond on drug trafficking charges.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is boasting about its Python Action Team and its most recent harvest from Big Cypress National Preserve. In a social media post this week, FWC announced the team removed their 900th snake from the preserve.  Two python hunters also captured a female measuring 18 feet 4 inches in length. FWC PAT members Cynthia Downer and Jonathan Lopez caught the massive python was captured on September 22. It weighed 98 pounds, 10 ounces. Florida’s governor is applauding FWC for the milestone. 'Removing 900 pythons is a great milestone for our Python Action Team! These snakes coupled with the thousands removed by our partners at the National Park Service and the South Florida Water Management District make a significant impact to protect Florida’s native wildlife,” said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton. “With leadership from Governor Ron DeSantis, we are committed to working with our partners including the South Florida Water Management District and the National Park Service to accomplish our goal of removing pythons from our beautiful state.” FWC is urging Floridians to help control nonnative invasive wildlife by reporting sightings to their Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IveGot1 (888-483-4681) or online at ivegot1.org.
  • The official start of the 2019-2020 flu season is just weeks away, but doctors are already reporting cases of the illness and the Centers for Disease Control is urging Floridians to get vaccinated now. Last year’s flu season lasted longer than it has in more than a decade at about 21 weeks. News 96.5 WDBO spoke with David Sham, an epidemiologist with the CDC, about why it’s so important to get vaccinated before the season ramps up. “We’re starting to see some flu, but it’s before the bulk of the flu season is upon us.  There is plenty of vaccine available this year in October.  It’s the perfect time to get your flu shot,” said Sham. The CDC monitors reports of flu-like illnesses throughout the year and Sham says they’re already busy. “We do a lot of work with characterizing influenza viruses as they come in through the state public health system and they’re forwarded to the CDC, to see exactly what the antigenic and genetic characteristics of those viruses are,” said Sham.  Despite the CDC’s effort to track influenza leading up to the start of the season, Sham said there is no way to accurately predict what to expect.
  • 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.

    Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • News 96.5 WDBO’s sister station Star 94.5 is hosting a special health fair this weekend in Kissimmee. The 17th annual Tom Joyner’s Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day is Saturday at the Kissimmee Civic Center. News 96.5 WDBO spoke with Star’s news and community affairs director Monica May about the event. “We’re bringing in free screenings for the simple things, blood pressure, glucose and BMI, but those are things that people don’t always check and those are things that lead to high cholesterol.  They can lead to heart disease,” said May. “We also have screenings for vision and dental.  We’ll be giving flu shots that day, prostate exams and mammograms,” said May. For more information on the event click HERE.
  • A road construction worker was killed and three others were hurt after being hit by a suspected drunken driver near Concord Mills Mall in North Carolina early Saturday, police said. >> Read more trending news  Danyel Middleton was charged with felony death by a motor vehicle, and police said she could face more charges. She spent her 22nd birthday in jail and will face a judge Monday. Socorro Martinez, 50, was confirmed dead at the scene. The three other victims were taken to a nearby hospital. Two were being treated for serious injuries, and the third was treated and released from the hospital. The crash happened around 1:45 a.m. on Concord Mills Boulevard near Entry A to Concord Mills Mall. Police said the four crewmen were working on road improvements when Middleton plowed into them. According to authorities, the crew had appropriate signs and lighting indicating the work zone. 'They're just trying to make a living, and they can't come to work and be safe,' a Concord community member told WSOC's DaShawn Brown.  Officials said the four who were struck were workers with Cruz Brothers Concrete. The company, based near Burlington, North Carolina, is said to have over 75 years of experience and family-owned.  For community members, news of the crash was unsettling enough, but even more so close to home.  'You know, sometimes if I want to go out and drive at night, it makes me a lot more nervous knowing something like this could've happened,' Nate Seedorf said. 'Not only is the driver going to live with that for the rest of her life, but the family of the victims are also going to be dealing with this forever,' another community member told WSOC-TV. Middleton is being held at the Cabarrus County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) charged two men with what they call “ the state’s largest seizure of turtles in recent history.” Officers say a tip back in February 2018 started the investigation into what they call a turtle trafficking ring that involved thousands of animals and thousands of dollars.  On October 18 wildlife officers arrested Michael Boesenberg, 39, and Michael Clemons, 23, both of Fort Myers, Fl. and charged them with poaching and selling the turtles on the black market.  Most went to large-scale reptile dealers and illegal distributors, who would then ship them overseas on the black market with a majority of the animals ending up in Asia,  according to a press release. The turtles would fetch between $300 and $10,000 dollars each. Officers estimate one month of turtles would net approximately $60,000. The FWC documented more than 4,000 turtles illegally taken and sold over a 6-month period in the release,  including Florida box turtles, Eastern box turtles, striped mud turtles, Florida mud turtles, chicken turtles, Florida softshell turtles, Gulf Coast spiny softshell turtles, spotted turtles and diamondback terrapins. When investigators arrived with a search warrant they say they found the poachers in possession of hundreds of turtles, along with the skull and shell of a protected Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.  Biologists evaluated all of the animals for health and species identification and were able to return more than 600 of them back into the wild.
  • Friday was a tough night for residents in Polk County where a EF-2 tornado touched down causing damage to homes and churches and left thousands without power.  But it was especially hard for the Pelham family who told Bay News 9 they had only moments to get into a closet before the tornado struck.  After the storm passed, they discovered their pitbull, Tuffy, and his dog house were gone.  The family told reporters they immediately began searching the area and discovered the dog house 100 yards away. It was severely damaged.  Still, there were no signs of their big dog.  Miraculously, 18-hours after the search began a neighbor found the pooch hiding in a ditch about a half-mile away.  He was scared but otherwise seemed to be OK.  Tuffy’s reunion was shared on twitter by reporter Trevor Pettiford Sunday.  One person commented, “They don’t call him Tuffy for nothin!” App users click here to see the video.   
  • One of Texas' largest cities is reeling after a tornado swept through north Dallas on Sunday night, officials said. >> Read more trending news  According to KDFW-TV, the twister struck about 9 p.m. CDT near Dallas Love Field Airport, then headed east, damaging homes and businesses while initially knocking out power to more than 100,000 people in the region. As of early Monday, no deaths or serious injuries had been reported, the city of Dallas said in a news release; however, emergency officials told The Associated Press that they received reports of people cut by glass shards. Crews also were trying to determine whether any victims were trapped inside a collapsed structure after seven people safely fled the building, the AP reported.  WFAA-TV reported that the storm destroyed Dallas Stars hockey player Tyler Seguin's mansion. Seguin appeared to confirm the news on Twitter but assured fans that he was OK. 'Thanks to everyone reaching out about the news tonight, I am safe,' he tweeted. 'Luckily this is my house for sale and I have moved into a new one. I just left the area and it is an extremely sad sight to see. Prayers to everyone affected by the tornado.' The storm caused 'significant' damage to six homes in nearby Sachse, as well, the AP reported. Four of those houses are now considered 'uninhabitable,' according to the news agency. Read more here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro said Monday that he needs to raise at least $800,000 over the next ten days in order to keep his long shot bid going for the White House. In a fundraising email to supporters, and on social media, Castro bluntly said he needs more money to stay in the race. 'If I can’t raise $800,000 by the end of this month -- I will have no choice but to end my race for President,' Castro said. The appeal for money was much like one from Cory Booker a few weeks ago. While Booker hit his target -like Castro - he remains far back in the race for the Democratic nomination. Not only is Castro running into money troubles, but he is not expected to do well enough in the polls to qualify for the next Democratic debate, which will be held next month in Georgia. At this point, eight Democrats have hit the qualifying numbers both in terms of campaign donors, and polls - Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, Buttigieg, Steyer, Booker, and Yang. But a lack of strength in the polls means that Castro may not make the November debate, as he still needs four solid polls to get on the debate stage. Weak poll numbers also could keep out Tulsi Gabbard and Beto O'Rourke, as they both need three more qualifying polls. Amy Klobuchar needs two more. Castro's efforts to move up in the Democratic race have not worked; he used two debates to sternly attack former Vice President Joe Biden - but, while the efforts gained attention, it did not lead to a bump in the polls.