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Latest from Samantha Jordan

    Thanks to the popular Netflix show ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,’ several resale shops across Central Florida are seeing an increase in customers who are ridding their closets of items that no longer ‘spark joy.’  Jerrie Mallicoat is the owner of Clothes Mentor in Altamonte Springs. She tells News 96.5 WDBO that they usually see a bump in customers around the holidays for those looking for extra cash and it typically trickles off after the new year. But so far,  business has remained steady. “And I’ve asked them  ‘So are you cleaning out? New year, new you?’ and a lot of them have told me ‘well we watched the Marie Kondo show on Netflix and decided to take the plunge and do it,” said Mallicoat. “I love it. It’s great for us!” Marie Kondo is one energetic, pint-sized cleaning fairy! Her motto is that if something doesn’t spark joy, it’s time to let it go.  Some of those ‘joyless’ items that are collecting dust can score you some big bucks. (VIDEO) “Designer handbags are very good sellers. Very good clothing in good condition. They don’t have to be designer brands but those bring the most money. And of course, jewelry.” For example, a Liz Claiborne dress can be worth up to $50 and a handbag by Michael Kors can put $75 in your pocket. At Clothes Mentor, they typically like items to be 3 years of age or less, clean and in good selling condition. “And we pay them cash on the spot. We don’t wait for it to sell. They get paid that day.” Mallicoat says decluttering your home can be a refreshing life-changer. “I honestly can’t say that I’ve thanked my items before (like Kondo does in her show), but I agree with the whole concept that a simpler life makes for a simpler mindset and I think that’s very helpful for everyone.”
  • There will be a food and donation drive this Saturday, Jan. 26, for Orlando federal workers who have now missed their second paycheck because of the ongoing government shutdown. They will be collecting essential items like gas cards, non-perishable foods, toiletries, gift cards, cleaning supplies, pet food and diapers.  “We are putting PEOPLE above politics and trying to help our community as best we can,” said Wes Hodge, chair of the Orange County Democrats, who helped organize the drive along with the Florida Democratic Party. You can drop off donations from 9 a.m. - noon at the Hilton Garden Inn at SeaWorld on Westwood Blvd.   Federal workers with a paystub or I.D. can also pick up supplies at the same location from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. 
  • A video has gone viral of a little girl walking toward Tallahassee police officers with her hands in the air during the arrest of shoplifting suspects. The cellphone footage, which was recorded by Bernard Stevens Jr. and posted to Facebook by the Tallahassee Police Department,  shows the barefoot toddler get out of a blue pick up truck on Thursday as officers pointed their guns at the vehicle.  “She’s trying to get out but she can’t because she’s little,” a person in the video is heard saying. “She is out. Oh, she’s holding her hands up. Oh my God, look at that. Oh my God.” (Facebook) Police say the child was imitating the suspects, who were reportedly involved in an armed shoplifting incident at a Bealls Outlet, according to the Miami Herald. Many viewers have criticized the police department for keeping their guns drawn while the child was walking toward them. The department released body cam footage of the incident to show the concern they had for the child and her brother during the traffic stop. “The mom, who was a suspect, asked an officer to hold her 2-year-old while she’s allowed to retrieve the infant from the car seat,” explained Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo in a new Facebook video. “I am proud of how our officers handled the situation, how they adapted when they became aware of the children and the level of concern and compassion they showed for the family.” Chad M. Bom, 34, and James W. McMullen, 38, were charged with theft. Police also found a pellet gun in the vehicle. (Facebook)
  • If you’re a furloughed federal employee because of the government shutdown,  Lucky’s Market wants to buy you lunch. This Saturday, just show up to one of the Orlando-area Lucky’s Market stores from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with your federal ID, and lunch is on the house, according to a Facebook post by the company. “Thank you for everything you do to serve our community.” Immediate family of furloughed employees are also included.  Lucky’s has several participating locations around Central Florida including in Orlando, Winter Park and Hunter’s Creek.
  • This furry little fighter is guaranteed to be the most adorable thing you see all day. The one-pound Chihuahua is recovering after being snatched by a hawk and dropped to the ground! So why is the staff at the Austin Animal Center in Texas calling him a ‘miracle puppy’?  Surprisingly, he didn’t break a single bone. “It's a miracle that he not only survived, but that the wounds on his head and chest are fairly mild,” the center said on Facebook. “This sweetie is now recovering in a foster home for the next few weeks.” (Facebook) KVUE reports that on Saturday, some construction workers heard the cries of a puppy near their work site. That’s when they saw the little dog fall from the sky and a hawk flying overhead. Concerned about what injuries the puppy may have, they rushed him to the veterinarians at the Austin Animal Center to get checked out. The puppy, now named Tony Hawk, is healing from puncture wounds left by the hawk’s talons. He’s already received a ton of adoption applications and his foster mom says he should be going home with his new family in a few weeks. Austin Animal Center says this should serve as a reminder for pet owners to protect their small animals. “Hawks, owls and coyotes will prey on small animals, even in your fenced backyard. If you have small pets, keep eyes on them at all times while outside.” (Facebook)
  • After claiming she was furloughed from her federal job at NASA weeks ago, Orlando resident Stacie Turner has been making ends meet by doing something very, well... sweet. “This is something I love to do,”  Turner tells News 96.5 WDBO.  “And when times get tough and finances get tight, this is what I turn to to make money.” Stacie is the owner of the online dessert company Velvet Confections by Stacie. She’s been running the business on and off out of her home in Avalon Park since 2012, but hasn’t been doing it full-time until now. “This thing is growing as a result of all of the support I’m getting due to the shutdown. So I’m thinking that it’s time for me to relaunch the business and continue with my passion.” Turner says since the relaunch last month, business has been booming. She credits a lot of her success to her community in Avalon Park who are getting the word out -- even sending customers from out of state her way. “I’m probably clocking about 12 to 14 hour days of baking! There hasn’t been a day yet since I announced that I was baking that I have not gotten an order in. It’s been wonderful!” To help build her client base, she’s offering a special “Government Shutdown Bake Sale.” “Sale runs until the government re-opens. PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY!” reads her ad on Facebook. Customers can choose from a menu of delectable, fresh-baked treats like banana bread, pies, marshmallow treats and bread pudding.  “The number one thing right now is either the red velvet brownies or the cinnamon rolls. I didn’t add them to this particular government shutdown sale but I’ve been selling quite a few.” (Facebook) This isn’t the first time Turner has had to turn to her baking skills for some extra cash.  “This shutdown is different though because I have no idea when it’s going to end. I don’t think anybody is confident that it’s going to end soon. So it’s driving people like me who are trying to make money to figure out a way to do it officially.” When the government reopens, Turner says she does plan to return to her full-time job, but she knows she always has baking in her back pocket. “Use this time to develop your passion, whatever it is. We all have some skill, some ability, some talent that we can use to survive,” Turner explains. “And even once the government reopens, this could be another stream of income that you can do on the side. Create opportunities for yourself and use this time to do it.” You can order your treats from Velvet Confections by Stacie on their Facebook page.
  • Florida driver’s licenses could be going digital. At least that’s the hope of Republican state Rep. James Grant and Democrat Rep. Matt Willhite if a bill they are working on passes. The bill would allow drivers to present an electronic version of their license on their phones in case they forget their wallets at home and don’t have physical proof. Orlando resident Ralph Menzona tells News 96.5 WDBO that it’s a great idea. “I always have my phone and I always forget my wallet. So this would help me out a lot.” A statewide database would be created to store driver’s license and insurance information. According to WPBF News, the bill would also include language “that would not give police authority to search the phone for any data.” The state leaders hope to have the bill filed by the March deadline in order for it to be reviewed in the Legislature. According to the American Association of  Motor Vehicle Administrators, there are more than a dozen other states that are developing similar programs. Louisiana  has been using digital driver’s licenses since July 2018.
  • A group of men have been banned for life from the Royal Caribbean cruise line after one of them jumped off the ship in a now viral video, reports Yahoo Lifestyle. An Instagram video posted by Nick Naydev, 27, of Vancouver, Washington, shows him standing on a rail of a balcony of the Symphony of the Seas as it was docking in Nassau, Bahamas. Naydev then jumps into the sea below from the eleventh floor as his friends cheer him on and laugh. (Instagram) His friend who recorded the video, Konstantin Kryachun, later posted on his Instagram story of the group being interrogated by police and kicking them off the ship, leaving the men to find their own way back home. The videos have racked up plenty of comments calling the stunt everything from funny to stupid. “This moron is luck he was seriously injured or killed,” said Instagram user Christopher Wood. “HOW HIS SO CALLED FRIENDS CAN STAND THERE AND DO NOTHING. IDIOTS.” Royal Caribbean Cruises tells Yahoo Lifestyle that they are exploring legal action.
  • Orlando International Airport is stepping up for its employees affected by the partial government shutdown.  The Airline Management Council is setting up a food pantry to help unpaid workers who have been struggling to make ends meet since the shutdown began over four weeks ago. On Wednesday, they will be collecting non-perishable food items, toiletries and baby items.  Anyone who would like to donate can drop off their items at the valet area located on the Departure Level of Terminal “A” from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Airport employees will be able to donate items on Wednesday at the Frontier Airlines ticket counter. Gift cards and cash will not be accepted.
  • As the government shutdown enters its 4th week, the Orlando organization Heart of Florida United Way says that calls to their 2-1-1 call center have increased with federal workers who missed their first paycheck on Friday. “We know in Central Florida that about 40 percent of our citizens can’t cover a $400 emergency,” Senior Vice President Ray Larson tells News 96.5 WDBO. “From a national study, about 80 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.”   Heart of Florida United Way helps connect people to resources in the community that can assist with necessities like housing, utilities, child care and transportation.  The unexpected government shutdown has left hundreds of thousands of workers scrambling to meet basic needs. “We’re preparing. Our understanding is that the first paycheck that workers missed was last Friday. As more time goes on, more people are going to feel that impact so we are gearing up for that.” Larson says two of the biggest barriers for federal workers looking for help is not knowing where to start and overcoming pride. “This might be the first time that they have to reach out for help because we all have pride in our work and pride in taking care of ourselves. We can at least help get them started and talking to the right people.” There are three ways to get help from a specialist with Heart of Florida United Way: Dial  2-1-1 and you’ll be connected Text your zipcode to ‘8-9-8-2-1-1’ to text with a specialist Go to www.HFUW.org to chat live The 2-1-1 call center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • 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

  • A rescue is underway at SeaWorld San Diego after a skyride malfunctioned Monday night, initially stranding nine adults and seven children – including an infant. >> See a photo from the scene here >> Read more trending news  As of 10:30 p.m. PST, crews had rescued 14 people from the Bayside Skyride, which stalled when heavy winds 'tripped a circuit breaker' more than three hours earlier, KSWB reported. Two people were still trapped on the ride's gondolas, the San Diego Fire Department said. >> See the tweet here KSWB said some of the gondolas were over Mission Bay when the ride stopped working. Those trapped were 'lowered by harnesses & rescued by [San Diego Lifeguards] boats,' the Fire Department tweeted. Read more here.
  • A University of Central Florida employee suffered burns Monday after a chemical reaction, according to Orange County Fire Rescue officials. Firefighters were called to 3512 Perseus Loop Lane near the Facilities Operations building on UCF's campus around 3 p.m.  The 29-year-old who was the only person in the building at the time, and was transporting the chemicals when a static discharge sparked a fire.  He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with burns to his face, arms and chest according to responding firefighters.  A university spokeswoman said the incident happened in a building on campus that is designed to handle chemicals and no students were involved in the incident or ever in any danger.  The worker's name was not released. Mike Jachles with OCFR said he was conscious and alert when he was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center.
  • Four days after the announcement of a series of executive actions to fund his signature border wall, President Donald Trump’s administration still needs to fill in the details on his plans to shift over $6.6 billion from the Pentagon and Treasury Department into funding border security, as members of Congress continue to wonder if the move will dig into their local military base construction projects. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers and their staffs were awaiting guidance on where the Pentagon would look for money in the $3.6 billion sought by the President in his emergency declaration from military construction projects, which was already the subject of new lawsuits. “Congress has not enacted any emergency legislation even remotely related to border wall construction, and thus the President’s reallocation of funds is unlawful,” read a suit filed against the President and Pentagon by several environmental groups. In a letter to the Acting Secretary of Defense, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) asked for a breakdown of which projects would be put on hold – as under the ‘national emergency’ law used by the President, the Pentagon would make those decisions – not the Congress. Congress approved $10.3 billion for military construction in Fiscal Year 2019 – the $3.6 billion sought by the President would be more than one-third of that amount – which has drawn expressions of concern from lawmakers. As Kaine noted in his letter, the move to shift money from military construction comes at a time when the Pentagon already was having to deal with hurricane damage at two major domestic bases – Camp Lejeune for the Marines in North Carolina, and Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Tyndall was seriously damaged by Hurricane Michael in 2018 – and despite support for rebuilding the base, Congress has not yet acted on extra money for the Pentagon – or on broader hurricane relief for those hit in Florida and Georgia. During the partial government shutdown, Democrats in the House approved a bill which had $12.1 billion in disaster aid, both for hurricanes and wildfires – but that bill does not seem to be on the agenda in the U.S. Senate at this point. @DrNealDunnFL2 Dr Dunn, we are hearing here in the Panhandle that Trump is going after Tyndall rebuilding money for his wall. Please don’t let this happen! No Tyndall would be catastrophic to our area. Please help! — Billy Shears (@BillyShears9) February 14, 2019 The Commandant of the Marine Corps said over the weekend that he needs $3.5 billion just for repairs at Camp LeJeune from damage caused by Hurricane Florence in September of 2018 – which is equal to the figure of how much in military construction the President wants to shift into a border wall. Earlier this month, Air Force officials said they planned to spend $3 billion to rebuild Tyndall, which was flattened by Hurricane Michael in October of last year. House Democrats say they plan to hold a hearing as soon as next week to get a better idea on what military construction projects the Pentagon wants to scrap – in order to move money to the wall. Also still unclear is the legal underpinnings for two other moves announced last week by the White House, where the President would move money from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund, as well as money from a Pentagon anti-drug account – into a border wall.
  • Following two accidents in recent months, the Orlando Fire Department has announced new roadway safety procedures. The changes include shutting down two additional lanes of traffic on major highways and other roads, as well as placing cones between the crash and the responding unit, and requesting additional backup from the Orlando Police Department following an accident. This will include accidents on major roads such as I-4, State Road 408 and State Road 417. An additional fire suppression unit will also head to the scene, and be angled in a way to alert drivers of an upcoming accident. It comes after an accident Sunday on I-4, when a car slammed into a fire truck, injuring four firefighters and two others. Also, on December 21st, 2018, a vehicle rear ended a fire engine on State Road 408, causing minor injuries to the driver and three Orlando firefighters. The changes are set to take effect immediately. 
  • It's Star Wars movie season once again, and the latest installment in the series has finally finished filming. Director J.J. Abrams made the announcement on Twitter saying: ' It feels impossible, but today(Friday) wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I'm forever indebted to you all.'  To celebrate the occasion, he posted a picture of stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac embracing each other on the final day of filming.  Now that the filming is out of the way, the fun part is getting everything else done before the December 20th deadline, when it is released in theaters. So far there has been no official title, trailer, or teaser of any kind, but of course, we can expect that to come out as we get closer.