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Latest from Samantha Jordan

    The Sand Blaster roller coaster that flew off the tracks at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk Thursday night was shut down last year for safety issues, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal Online. (Read: Two riders fall 34 feet when Daytona Beach roller coaster derails) The ride was purchased in 2012 from a Delaware theme park that had been closed since 2008. At the time of purchase, the ride was already at least 40-years-old. In February of last year, the Department of Agriculture issued a stop operation order for the ride after an inspection revealed more than a dozen concerns:   -Worn and damaged handrail, -Four safety cables not properly secured -Three worn and damaged braces -A missing brace -10 worn and damaged deck braces - A damaged seat bracket -Two seats not properly secured -Corroded fencing -Cracked supports -Damaged lighting fixtures Two people were thrown 34-feet to the ground below when the Sand Blaster derailed Thursday night. The first car was left dangling over  the tracks, the two other cars had passengers stranded until firefighters could rescue them. Six out of the ten passengers were sent to the hospital.  (tweet)
  • A terrifying ride for ten thrill seekers. Two riders were taken to Halifax Health Medical Center Thursday night when the roller coaster they were on derailed, sending them plummeting 34 feet to the ground.  (tweet) This woman saw it happen. “I just saw it fall off but I just thought it was just part of the ride like just going upside down because we were kind of far away. And then we heard like a big bang and people screaming like they were hurt.” The roller coaster is called the Sand Blaster. According to the Daytona Beach Fire Department, the coaster flew off the tracks around 8:15 p.m. with 10 passengers on board. Four were in the front car, which was dangling above the ground.  Four others  were in the second car and two more were riding in the third car. (tweet) “Two of which fell from the front car to the ground from approximately a 34 foot height,” Daytona Beach Fire Department spokesperson Sasha Staton said. “The other two were dangling from the front car.” The two riders who fell were conscious and breathing when paramedics arrived but are on trauma alert. The extent of the other injuries are unknown. (tweet) “The front two passengers had to be rescued by firefighters on the ground using ladders and tech rescue equipment to successfully extricate them from the car.” Investigators are working to figure out what caused the coaster to derail. According to News Journal Online, the Sand Blaster opened in Daytona Beach in 2013 after being bought from a closed amusement park in Delaware. The ride was 40-year-old at the time of purchase. (tweet) (VIDEO)
  • “You CANNOT be serious Target!!!! Really!!!?!!!!? This was the only Father’s Day card that featured a black couple!!!!!” Takeisha Saunders was not happy when she went to Target and saw a ‘baby daddy’- themed Father’s Day card on the shelf.  The card shows an African-American couple kissing under the words ‘Baby Daddy’ and inside it reads: “You're a wonderful husband and father and I'm so grateful to have you as my partner, my friend, and my baby daddy! Happy Father's Day.” She posted the picture to her Facebook page and it immediately generated huge backlash for the retail giant.  Commenters say it insults and stereotypes black families. (Facebook) “So this is what @Target thinks about black families, that we have baby daddy’s and not father,” said @taliahpasha.  Twitter user @nate_mcc says he’s “disappointed in @Target ‘s decision to disgrace ALL FATHERS with their baby daddy cards.” Target has apologized and says they are working with the American Greetings vendor to get the card out of their 900 stores. A Target representative tells Fox News: “We appreciate the feedback and apologize. It’s never our intent to offend any of our guests with the products we sell.”
  • Joseph DeVito is breaking up with Robert De Niro. The Staten Island resident is quite upset after the ‘Goodfellas’ actor famously said ‘F**k Trump’ in a speech during the Tony Awards. “This used to be my idol, I used to love this guy,” DeVito says while taking a portrait of the actor off his wall. (VIDEO) But it was their political differences that tore them apart. DeVito, clearly not appreciating De Niro’s anti-Trump rant, decides to dump his photo in the trash and smash it with a hammer. “You’re  a real piece of s**t,” he says. “Another Trump hater down.” Perhaps one day, after the pain heals,  they can still be friends. Meanwhile, President Trump responded to De Niro’s insult, calling him ‘punch-drunk’ and someone who has taken too many shots to the head in movies. (tweet)
  • The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office needs your help naming the newest, and cutest, member of their team. The 8-week-old Bloodhound puppy has been donated by The Jimmy Ryce Center and will soon be trained to help locate missing kids and disabled adults. (tweet) “Every second counts in finding these youngsters whenever they’re missing,” said Sheriff Russ Gibson. “The work that these folks are doing is crucial to saving lives. We can’t thank them enough for coming here today and presenting us with this fine Bloodhound.” To pay it forward, the Sheriff presented the Center with a $3,000 check to assist them in supplying another law enforcement agency with a Bloodhound. The newest member of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is ready to get his paws dirty...but he needs a name! That’s why they are asking the citizens to choose from five names: Scooter, Scout, JR (Jimmy Ryce), Gibber or Tracker. You can tweet your choice using the hashtag #NameourK9 .  The winning name will be announced June 15th on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook and Twitter accounts.  (VIDEO)
  • A Lake Nona mom says she’s never been so scared in her life after a little alligator creeped up near the side of her house and watched her 6-year-old son play outdoors. On Monday, Nicole Mojica was recording cellphone video of her son Timmy playing with an inflatable alligator toy on the family’s Slip ‘N Slide. It wasn’t until she stopped recording that she noticed a real gator hanging out by her patio door...just inches away from her child. (Related story--VIDEO: Feisty alligator head-butts trapper, knocks him out cold in Ocoee ) “Then I saw the brown chair move. Oh my God,' she said. 'Never would I expect one so close to us. They say they are afraid. Well, he wasn't. And he went down the Slip n' Slide and into the pond.' (Facebook) Mojica says she froze and told her kids to run.  Wildlife experts say June is alligator mating season--meaning they’ll be out and about more often. So far, Mojica’s video has over 27,000 views on Facebook. She hopes it helps others to remain vigilant and remember to check their yards for gators. (VIDEO)
  • This gator was NOT going down without a fight! A video posted to Instagram by @jack_redding_fishing_ shows Florida Fish and Wildlife trappers loading an 8-foot alligator into the back of a truck after it was spotted roaming around the Hammocks subdivision in Ocoee  on May 25. The gator was tied up and ready to be transported when it made one final attempt at freedom. The fiesty alligator flips back, head-butting one officer and knocking him out, then whacking another officer with its tail! (Instagram) Neighbors are seen tending to the officer laying on the ground. According to the Instagram post, the alligator was transported to a lake.
  • An FBI agent had some pretty impressive dance moves --until his gun hit the ground and shot someone. (tweet) The off-duty agent was at Mile High Spirits bar on Saturday night. In a now viral video, he can be seen dancing up a storm surrounded by other bar patrons when he threw a backflip into the mix. But mid-flip, his gun fell out of his waistband. When he was picking it back up, it accidentally fired, hitting a man in the leg, Denver police say. He then puts the gun back in his pants, throws his hands up and leaves the dance floor. (tweet) The man who was shot was taken to the hospital and is expected to be ok.  The agent has not been identified because he was not arrested. The FBI and Denver police are investigating the incident. It’s not known whether that agent was drinking at the time or if he’ll face charges.
  • Somewhere in Florida, a woman has very smooth legs...at the expense of testing thousands of viewers gag reflex. We’re talking about a viral video that was reportedly taken at a hotel pool in Florida. A woman in a floral bathing suit is seen whipping out a razor and shaving her legs as children swim around her. If that wasn’t bad enough, she then dips the razor in the pool water to wash it off! “I hope she don’t shave her hoo-ha next!” the woman recording is heard saying. (Facebook) The video has already racked up over 200,000 hits on Facebook...and lots of comments from disgusted viewers. “I really could have been happy not seeing that. One of the reasons I don't swim anymore. How gross!” says Shelley Timmons. Troy Cole says, “This is a whole new level of trailer trash!” It’s not known exactly where this happened or if the woman was asked to leave.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida has “extensive statutes regarding pool safety.” Those include requiring swimmers to bathe before entering a pool and “no spitting or bodily fluids in the pool.” But when it comes to shaving in the pool, there doesn’t seem to be any rules against it.
  • Calling all single dog lovers: there’s a new dating app ready for download in Orlando to help you find that special someone who will love your dog just as much as you do. It’s called Dig, the dog person’s dating app.  “Dogs are such an important compatibility issue that you need to know upfront if it’s going to work or not,”  CEO Leigh Isaacson tells News 96.5 WDBO. “It doesn’t matter who reaches out first or how many friends you have in common: if you don’t get along with my dog, it’s not going to work.” Isaacson started the company with her sister who was dating someone that wasn’t a dog lover like herself. “He didn’t even want the dog in his apartment. He would put towels down on the couch so the dog didn’t touch anything. And she said to me ‘I wish I had known from the start that it wasn’t going to work because of my dog.’” Here’s how it works: The app is designed to let the user decide who you ‘dig’ and who you pass on. You set your own search criteria and the app helps match you with other dog lovers in the area. It also helps plan the first date by suggesting nearby dog parks where you can hang out with your pooches. “Right away you let your walls down if you’re picking up poop in front of each other, right? And it’s an open place with lots of people, lots of dogs. You immediately have a better connection when you’re able to talk about this thing that you love.”  The app isn’t only helping people find love...it’s helping dogs find their forever families. Dig works with local rescues and shelters to put adoptable dogs front and center. “Every dog featured on our Instagram and in our marketing are available for adoption. We also make sure that every one of our events are adoption events as well.” (Instagram) And one of those events is happening right here on Orlando. To celebrate the launch of Dig in O-Town, there’s a singles mixer happening on Sunday, May 27 at Orlando Brewing from 2-6 p.m. “Basically if you come and download Dig, we’re picking up your tab.” There will be hot dogs from Dog Haus on site and a few local dog businesses giving away goodies.  And of course, all dogs are invited. “Orlando is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country so we’re really excited to meet everyone.” Dig is available for download in the App store for iPhone. You can find more information at digdates.com. (Instagram) EVENT:  Dig Launch Party - Orlando! Orlando Brewing (1301 Atlanta Ave, Orlando FL 32806)  Sunday, May 27 from 2 PM – 6 PM.  Drinks are free when you download or share Dig – The Dog Person's Dating App. (The app is free!) 
  • Samantha Jordan

    Samantha Jordan is a reporter for Orlando's Morning News and website contributor for News965.com.

    After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Samantha interned for the morning show at Magic 107.7 in 2010. She was then offered a job in Houston, TX for the top 10 radio news station KTRH 740. Trading in her swimsuit for a cowboy hat, Samantha made the move to KTRH where she worked as the web reporter and writer. Her on-air segment 'Connected' brought to life all of the viral videos that are trending on the web. Houston listeners dubbed her 'the web goddess' as she brought light-hearted and comedic relief during the morning commute. 

    Television came calling and Samantha was approached by the local TV station Fox 26 to participate in their weekly 'Fox in Focus' segment, which talked about women's issues in a debate-style setting. In 2012, Samantha was offered a job with News 96.5 as an anchor/reporter and happily returned to her hometown. 

    When Samantha isn't reporting or scouring the web for cat videos, she enjoys going to concerts, movies, and spending time with her son and their dogs, Sebastian and Maya. 

    Follow Samantha on Twitter.
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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • An armed civilian took down a shooter after at least two people were shot Sunday night at a Washington state Walmart, police said. >> Watch the news report here Tumwater police said the civilian, described by officers as a good Samaritan, shot and killed the suspect at the scene.  >> Visit KIRO7.com for complete coverage of the Walmart shooting The shooting happened just after 5:30 p.m. PDT at the Walmart Supercenter in Tumwater, about 65 miles south of Seattle. “I heard two bangs. It sounded like gunshots to me,” witness Robert Berwick said. 'I looked down the aisle and saw a person running.”  That’s when Berwick ran, too. There was chaos in the parking lot, and he said the shooting suspect tried to carjack another man. That’s when the suspect was shot. >> On KIRO7.com: 2 shot in Washington state Walmart parking lot; suspect killed “I thanked him for saving my life,” Berwick said of the attempted carjacking victim who shot the suspect. “He didn’t look like he had any regrets. I hope he doesn’t have any.” Another witness to the shooting, Megan Chadwick, said her husband saw the civilian take down the shooter. 'He said he watched him (the shooter) take his last breath,' Chadwick said. 'There were three civilians going after him (the shooter) to shoot him and two of them had their guns up – and then the third guy shot him through the window of the car.' >> Read more trending news  Chadwick said her husband was armed, as well. She was inside the Walmart during the shooting with her multiple children. 'I looked over and saw hundreds of people running out. ... Just a flood of people and everyone was screaming and frantic. ... When we got about to the door, I heard someone say, 'Gun. Shooter.' And I knew something was serious,' Chadwick said.
  • Two people were shot and the suspect killed at a Walmart Supercenter in Tumwater, Washington state, police said Sunday. >> Watch the news report from KIRO7.com here >> Visit KIRO7.com for the latest on this developing story Here are the latest updates: Update 10 p.m. PDT June 17: Police responded to a shooting just after 5 p.m. PDT at a Walmart Supercenter in Tumwater, Washington on Sunday night. Tumwater is about 65 miles south of Seattle.  The Tumwater Police Department said officers originally responded to a report of a car driving in the wrong direction near Israel Road and Tyee Drive, but as the officers were in route they were dispatched to reports of a carjacking nearby with shots fired.  Officers arrived at the corner of Israel Road and Tyee Drive and found a 16-year-old female victim who suffered non-life threatening injuries.  >> On KIRO7.com: PHOTOS: Police respond to shooting at Tumwater Walmart Police then located the 16-year-old's stolen car in the Walmart parking lot at 5900 Littlerock Road S.W. in Tumwater.  Around 5:30 p.m. Thurston County Dispatch began receiving calls of shots fired 'in or around the Tumwater Walmart and parking lot,' according to police.  The suspect from the earlier carjacking of the 16-year-old entered the Walmart store and fired shots at a display case, police said. No customers or employees inside the store were injured. Police say the suspect then exited the store and attempted to carjack another car in the parking lot, shooting an adult male occupant of the car in the process. The adult male victim was treated for gunshot wounds and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. His condition is not known at this time.  Police say the suspect then attempted another carjacking in the Walmart parking lot, and was approached by two armed civilians. One of the armed civilians shot the suspect, and the suspect died at the scene.  >> On KIRO7.com: Police: Armed civilian took down shooter at Washington state Walmart KIRO 7 has crews at the scene and we will continue to update this story as more information becomes available. For a live report at 11, watch KIRO 7 News on-air or here.  Update 7:39 p.m. PDT June 17: KIRO 7's Deedee Sun explains that the Fire Department's request to call the shooting a 'mass casualty incident' was out of precaution. Update 7:31 p.m. PDT June 17: Tumwater Police Department public information officer Jen Kolb confirms that a man who was an attempted carjacking victim shot and killed the suspect at the Walmart in Tumwater. Click here to read more. Update 7:01 p.m. PDT June 17: A witness to the shooting, Megan Chadwick, told KIRO 7's Deedee Sun her husband said he saw an armed civilian take down the shooter. 'He said he watched him (the shooter) take his last breath,' Chadwick said. 'There were three civilians going after him to shoot him and two of them had their guns up and then the third guy shot him through the window of the car.' Chadwick said her husband was armed, as well. >> Read more trending news  Update 6:49 p.m. PDT June 17: A witness to the shooting, who was inside the Walmart at the time with her kids, told KIRO's Deedee Sun that she took her kids and hid in the parking lot behind a vehicle after fleeing the store. Update 6:43 p.m. PDT June 17: 'I looked over and saw hundreds of people running out. ... Just a flood of people and everyone was screaming and frantic. ... When we got about to the door, I heard someone say, 'Gun. Shooter.' And I knew something was serious,' a woman who was inside the Walmart at the time of the shooting tells KIRO 7's Deedee Sun. Click here to hear more from the witness. Update 6:30 p.m. PDT June 17: KIRO 7's Deedee Sun is at the Tumwater Walmart and interviewed a witness of the shooting on-air. Watch on KIRO 7 News or at this link. The scene extends to both outside of the Walmart and inside. Crime tape was seen near a car with its door flung open.  Update 6:16 p.m. PDT June 17: KIRO 7's Deedee Sun has arrived at the shooting scene at the Tumwater Walmart. Update 6:10 p.m. PDT June 17: KIRO 7's Deedee Sun is on the way to the scene and Chopper 7 has been called. Deedee and Chopper 7 will be live on KIRO 7 when they get to the Walmart Supercenter in Tumwater. For updates and to watch a livestream, go to the KIRO 7 News App. We’ll also send push alerts as we get major updates.  Update 6:05 p.m. PDT June 17: KIRO 7's Deedee Sun spoke to someone who was inside the store. Deedee Sun is working to gather more information for a live report on KIRO 7 News on-air or here. Update 5:57 p.m. PDT June 17: KIRO 7's Deedee Sun is headed to the scene and is working to gather more information. Update 5:55 p.m. PDT June 17: People identified as witnesses told KIRO 7 they heard multiple gunshots and the scene involved at least one carjacking and a hit and run. Police were not immediately available to confirm the account, but were expected to give details Sunday evening.  Update 5:50 p.m. PDT June 17: Thurston County Dispatch confirms to KIRO 7 that police are responding to reports of shots fired inside and outside of the Walmart in Tumwater. Police say seven agencies are responding, and cannot confirm if anyone was hit.
  • A male and a female suspect involved in a home invasion burglary have been arrested Sunday morning. Shortly after 2 am, Winter Springs police received a call from a resident on Keith Court in the Highlands area of the city who reported an armed male intruder in the home. Deputies arrived on scene and found the victim/resident on the rooftop who gave additional information to the officers. Gunshots were heard from inside the house, and then the officers noticed the male suspect, 16 year old Garyan D. George running away in a vehicle driven by a female suspect, 25 year old Ashley L Coston.  They crashed the car near the intersection of Shephard Rd. where the suspects were found and arrested. No one was hurt during the incident. Money and drugs were found at the scene and police believe that this was a targeted drug related incident.  Coston has been charged with Home invasion Robbery and Fleeing/Eluding police, and George has been charged with Home Invasion Robbery.
  • A 54-year-old Indonesian woman is dead after villagers say a 23-foot python swallowed her whole. >> Severed rattlesnake head bites Texas man According to The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, Wa Tiba of Muna Island disappeared Thursday after leaving her village, Persiapan Lawela, to tend to her garden. The next day, searchers discovered a 'snake with a bloated belly' and some of Tiba's things near the garden, said the village's chief, known by the single name Faris, the AP reported. Faris said villagers killed the python and cut it open, the AP reported. They then 'found Tiba's body still intact with all her clothes,' Faris said. Graphic photos and videos posted online appeared to show the woman's body being extracted from the dead python. >> Read more trending news  This isn't the first time a python has swallowed a person in Indonesia, where such snakes are common, AFP reported. A farmer died under similar circumstances in March 2017 on the island of Sulawesi, according to the news service. Read more here or here.