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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 48 year old woman has been charged with DUI manslaughter for a crash that killed a toddler on a family bicycle ride.  According to the Altamonte Springs Police Department, Shona Wallace, was arrested and charged in connection with with a crash June 2 on State Road 414.   The Zisa family was on a bike ride to help 17-month-old Adalyn fall asleep when deputies say a car jumped the curb and struck the trio, killing the toddler and seriously injuring her parents.   In addition to DUI manslaughter, Wallace is also charged with DUI with serious bodily injury, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • A self-identified California survivalist was sentenced Monday to three consecutive life sentences, without the possibility of parole, in the murders of a couple sleeping on a beach in 2004, as well as the 2017 murder of his own brother. Shaun Michael Gallon, 40, pleaded no contest last month to the murders of Lindsay Cutshall, 22, and Jason Allen, 26, who were shot to death between Aug. 14 and Aug. 16, 2004, as they slept on Fish Head Beach near Jenner in Sonoma County. The case remained unsolved until 2017, when Gallon was accused of using a rifle to kill his younger brother, 36-year-old Shamus Gallon, in the Forestville home they shared with their mother. Following his arrest, Shaun Gallon confessed to the Allen-Cutshall homicides. He pleaded no contest June 13 to all three killings. At the time, Sonoma County officials said there was no apparent motive for Gallon to shoot his brother. “There doesn’t appear to be an altercation of any significance that led to the shooting,” Sgt. Spencer Crum told the Press Democrat. Even prior to his brother’s slaying, Shaun Gallon’s name had long been on law enforcement’s radar. The San Francisco Chronicle reported he was well-known for his erratic behavior, and his rap sheet was a long one. He was convicted in 2009 of assault with a deadly weapon for shooting an arrow at a man in Guerneville, the Chronicle reported. His Facebook page shows multiple photos of homemade bows and arrows, as well as a photo of hiself with a spear he made. “Further, Gallon was also alleged to have attempted to kill a Monte Rio man in June 2004 by using a disguised homemade explosive device, and seriously injuring a second unintended victim when it detonated,” a news release from the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office read. Gallon was charged in 2017 with felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as possession of an illegal assault rifle, the district attorney said. The charges to which Gallon pleaded no contest are lengthy, court records show. “There were multiple special allegations and enhancements alleged against Gallon, including that he murdered multiple victims, that he committed great bodily injury on those victims, that he used a firearm to inflict great bodily injury on each of his murder victims and that he had suffered a prior ‘strike’ conviction in 2009 for assault with a deadly weapon,” Ravitch’s news release said. “In his change of pleas, Gallon admitted all charges and enhancements.” Gallon waived all rights of appeal by entering into the plea agreement. Ravitch said the agreement was reached after a review of the records, a review of mitigating material offered by the defense and talks with the victims’ families, as well as the surviving victims of Gallon’s prior crimes. Photos recovered from their camera shows they took photos of one another in front of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the newspaper reported. They then headed north in Cutshall’s red 1992 Ford Tempo for the Sonoma coast, where they found themselves in Jenner, a village Allen had visited a few years earlier. Several witnesses, some conflicting, reported seeing the couple along the way as they stopped for gas and other items. A front desk clerk at the Jenner Inn told police the couple showed up there either Friday, Aug. 13, or the following night. Though the couple ate at the inn, there were no available rooms, so they said they would camp outdoors instead, the Chronicle said. The manager, who declined to give her name, said she chatted with the couple again the following morning when they came in for breakfast. “I asked them if they were having fun,” the woman told the newspaper. “They said they stopped in San Francisco. They were just a happy couple trying to get away for the weekend.” Various accounts indicate Allen and Cutshall were told Fish Head Beach would be a good spot to camp, even though it was illegal to sleep on the beach there.  Police believe it was the night of Aug. 14, 2004, when the couple parked Cutshall’s Tempo in a pullout along nearby Highway 1 before setting up their gear on the beach. According to Sonoma magazine, both made notations in a visitor’s log kept near the beach. “As I stir this mac and cheese, I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful life,’” Allen wrote. “I’ve just spent two awesome days with my fiancée, Lindsay. Can life ever be so perfect? Only with a person who is so great. God gives me this privilege in life and He has given me a wonderful woman to enjoy it.” “The sun is going down in the horizon,” Cutshall wrote, according to the magazine. “All I see is the beams shining on the cliff face. And I know that God is awesome. I look around and I see his creation all around me.” Authorities believe the couple was killed, each by a single rifle shot to the head, that night or early the following morning as they slept in their sleeping bags, their Bible nearby. Family and friends grew concerned when the couple had not turned up back at the Christian camp by Sunday. According to the Chronicle, Lindsay was due to fly home a week later to begin planning her wedding. A missing person report was filed Monday, Aug. 16, by friends at the camp. The couple's bodies were found two days later, first spotted by deputies in a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department helicopter sent up to search for a man stuck on a cliff near Jenner, the Chronicle reported. Instead, the spotters saw two bodies in bloodstained sleeping bags. With no apparent motive -- there were no signs of robbery or sexual assault at the scene -- detectives were stymied for years. It would take another 13 years before investigators learned what happened or why. ‘I went crazy’  A Sonoma County Probation Department report, obtained by the Press Democrat, paints a disturbing portrait of Gallon’s life and shows ways in which his family shielded him from arrest before he killed his brother. Gallon’s father, David Gallon, admitted to police he got rid of his son’s guns in 2004, a week after Allen and Cutshall were found slain. Shaun Gallon, who had been arrested on unrelated weapons charges, called his father and asked him to dispose of the weapons. David Gallon told investigators he did so “because he feared (Shaun) Gallon was unstable,” the document says. The records show Shaun Gallon became a potential suspect in the double homicide on the beach after deputies found him near a beach in Guerneville with a loaded, stolen gun in the pocket of his camouflage jumpsuit.
  • President Donald Trump plans to nominate lawyer Eugene Scalia, son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to serve as his next labor secretary, according to an announcement posted Thursday on Twitter. >> Read more trending news  Scalia, 55, is a partner in the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he specializes in administrative law and handles cases related to labor and employment, according to The Washington Post and NPR. He previously served as solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor under President George W. Bush. He also served as special assistant to Attorney General William Barr during his previous tenure as Bush's attorney general. 'I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Gene Scalia as the new Secretary of Labor,' Trump wrote Thursday in a Twitter post.  'Gene has led a life of great success in the legal and labor field and is highly respected not only as a lawyer, but as a lawyer with great experience working with labor and everyone else.'  Scalia has long represented companies that have pushed back against unions and strengthening labor laws, The New York Times reported. In 2005, he was hired by Walmart after former employees sued the company, claiming they had been illegally fired for whistle-blowing, according to NPR. His nomination is likely to get some pushback from Democrats, though he's expected to be easily confirmed in the Republican-controlled Senate, according to the Times and the Post. If confirmed, Scalia will replace outgoing Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who announced his resignation last week amid criticism of his handling of a secret 2008 plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein. The deal, which came under renewed scrutiny after federal authorities revealed new sex trafficking charges against Epstein last week, allowed the 66-year-old to avoid significant jail time and federal prosecution after he was accused of molesting teenage girls. Acosta's deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will serve as acting secretary of labor after his resignation goes into effect Friday. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shared photos of Bago the manatee’s return to the wild.  The 800-pounder was rescued from the cold waters of Lake Griffin State Park in January. He spent the last six months recovering from stress at SeaWorld's Marine Animal Rescue in Orlando Central Florida News 13 reported that the sea cow was hesitant to leave the plush environment and go back to the wild.  App users click here to see the video.  Officials eventually were able to get Bago to cooperate and released him in the St. Johns River near Palatka.  But not before he was fitted  with a tracking device so that researchers can follow his progress.
  • A cruise line worker is accused of trying to smuggle himself out of the U.S. in a case that spans from Port Canaveral to the Canadian border. Investigators said Kenyan national Fuwad Nassir was barely on the job two weeks when he jumped ship. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Nassir told Canadian officials he was seeking asylum Nassir saw a judge Thursday afternoon, but it's not clear who will prosecute this case. It could be the Brevard or Seminole State Attorney's Office or the statewide prosecutor. With a half-million-dollar bond, Nassir isn't likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. Nassir was in a Brevard County courtroom Thursday, facing a charge of conspiracy to commit human smuggling after investigators said he deserted his position aboard the Carnival Liberty at Port Canaveral back in October in violation of his visa. FDLE said he then caught a ride with an in-law who flew into Florida from Utah to pick him up and drove him to New York state, where he attempted to cross into Canada by way of the Rainbow Bridge point of entry.  Officials there refused him entry and turned Nassir over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He remained in federal detention until his return to Brevard County.  Carnival Cruise Lines officials said the company would not comment specifically on this case. 

Washington Insider

  • A day after distancing himself from a campaign rally crowd which chanted, 'Send her back' about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), President Donald Trump on Friday had more tough words for Omar from the Oval Office, making it clear he's not backing away from his criticism of a group of minority women Democratic lawmakers in the Congress. 'I'm unhappy when a Congresswoman goes and says, 'I'm going to be the President's nightmare,'' Mr. Trump said on Friday, as he called those attending his North Carolina campaign rally, 'incredible people and incredible patriots.' 'She's lucky to be where she is,' the President said of Omar, who called Mr. Trump a 'fascist' on Thursday. 'The things that she has said are a disgrace to our country,' the President added. Just as the President hasn't backed off his criticism of Omar, who emigrated to the U.S. from Somalia as a child, the freshmen from Minnesota hasn't pulled any punches with Mr. Trump in recent days. 'We have said this President is racist,' Omar told reporters outside the Capitol on Thursday. 'We have said he is fascist.' As Omar arrived back in Minneapolis, a crowd of supporters greeted her at the airport 'When I said I was the president's nightmare, well you're watching it now,” Omar told a cheering crowd. “Because his nightmare is seeing a Somali-immigrant refugee rise to Congress,” she added. Some Republicans have joined the President in going after Omar, especially targeting her positions on Israel. 'When will the Left condemn this rank anti-Semitism and take some responsibility?' said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). 'It’s official - Omar is a loon & utterly ignorant of history,' tweeted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.