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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

  • A 17-year-old was shot and killed by police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night after he allegedly ran away from a traffic stop on foot, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Officer identified the teenager as Antwon Rose of Rankin. He attended Woodland Hills High School last year. Update 5:30 p.m. ET:  The mayor of East Pittsburgh confirmed that the officer involved in the shooting Tuesday night was sworn in to their department a few hours before. He has been an officer with other departments in the area for seven years. He still has not been identified. Update 4 p.m. ET:  The family of Antwon Rose has hired civil rights Attorney Lee Merritt to represent them. Merritt has previously represented the victims of violence in Charlottesville and several cases related to the Black Lives Matter movement. Update 2:53 p.m. ET:  Rose was shot three times while running from police, said Coleman McDonough, superintendent of the Allegheny County Police Department. McDonough said two guns were found in the car after the traffic stop, but Rose was not armed at the time of the shooting. The driver of the vehicle was initially detained by police. He has since been released, police said. A third person who was in the vehicle and fled has not been located. The East Pittsburgh police officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave. Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto released the following statement: “Any loss of life is tragic, and especially the loss of life of a child. This is a devastating situation and I am saddened for Antwon Rose and his family.  “While Tuesday's shooting was not within the city's official borders it impacts all of us in the Pittsburgh region, and particularly those in the African American community. In my reactions to the incident I should have acknowledged that these shootings affect all of us, no matter where we live, and for that I am sorry.  “Tuesday night I was receiving numerous calls and messages asking me to respond to the involvement of police in a shooting in East Pittsburgh borough, and at the time I was attempting to clarify for the national public that the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, which I ultimately oversee, were not involved.”   Original Story:  According to the Allegheny County Police Department, Rose got out of a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle seen near a shooting that occurred shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Kirkpatrick Avenue in North Braddock. >> Visit WPXI.com for the latest on this developing story The vehicle, which police said had damage from bullets to the back window, was stopped near Grandview Avenue and Howard Street. An officer from the East Pittsburgh Police Department was handcuffing the driver when two males ran from the car, police said. One of those males was Rose, according to officials. Rose was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Allegheny County Police Department is asking the other person who ran away from the vehicle to turn himself in 'so that he can give a comprehensive description of what occurred.' The victim in the North Braddock shooting, a 22-year-old man, was treated for his injuries and released from an area trauma center. The Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit is investigating both incidents. 
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott has joined other leaders to urge the federal government to stop separating children from their parents when they enter the U.S. illegally. Scott sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday. Read: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen taunted by protesters as she eats at Mexican restaurant U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson accused the Trump administration of a cover-up after officials denied him entry Tuesday to a detention center for migrant children in South Florida where he had hoped to survey living conditions. Nelson and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, both Florida Democrats, went to the contractor-run Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children following reports it was receiving detained children who had arrived at the country illegally. Read: Sen. Nelson, other lawmakers denied entry to facility housing immigrant children in Florida Nelson said on the Senate floor Wednesday that he wanted to check to see if the facility was clean and wanted to see where the children were sleeping. .@SenBillNelson: “I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to see, is the facility clean? Are the children sleeping in beds? I also wanted to be able to talk to the young children, the ones who had been separated.” #WFTV — Field Sutton (@FSuttonWFTV) June 20, 2018 Nelson said the deputy HHS secretary told him it was the department's policy that he would have to fill out a form and wait two weeks before a visit. Nelson told the Senate floor he filled out the form. 'Why do they not want the senator from Florida to get into this detention facility where there are children that have been separated from their parents?' Nelson asked. 'It must be that not only is this department policy, this is being directed from the president in the White House, and they don't want me to see it because they don't want us to know what is going on in there.' Read: Trump announces plan to keep migrant families together Wasserman Schultz said the facility was being used for an estimated 1,000 children, ages 13 to 17 -- most of whom arrived as unaccompanied minors and about 10 percent of whom are children separated from their families at the border. She said two other South Florida facilities were being used for younger children. At some point, the facility had been closed, but it reopened in February, officials said. Martin Levine was one of several protesters who demonstrated outside the Homestead Detention Facility Wednesday. 'The kids were totally innocent. Why not put them together with their parents, which is what the policy used to be?' he said. 'It's never too late to do the right thing. So I would praise him to do the right thing.' President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order, which requires authorities to stop separating immigrant families. 'I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,' Trump said. 'I consider this to be a very important executive order. It's about keeping families together.' The order doesn't outline a plan for reuniting the 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents. It's unknown when they'll be released. Immigration attorney Nayef Mubarak told Channel 9 the order is not a simple fix. 'What this does end is perhaps separating a mother and a child, each being in separate cells. But now these children will be in cells indefinitely until their court case has been concluded,' he said. 'It's clear here that these children are not getting out of these facilities, and there's no clear end as to when they're going to be getting out.' The order doesn't change the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy of prosecuting anyone who tries to cross the border illegally. Attorneys expect the order to be challenged in court. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Download: WFTV news and weather apps .@SenBillNelson: “The power to end this painful chapter in American history lies with the President and his pen.” #WFTV — Field Sutton (@FSuttonWFTV) June 20, 2018 Watch below: Sen. Nelson speaks to Senate floor about denied entry to Homestead facility
  • Award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore said he knew he had managed to capture the emotional impact of the Trump administration’s immigration policy just moments after photographing a young Honduran girl crying at her mother’s feet last week. >> Read more trending news The image appeared on television sets, computer screens and newspaper front pages around the globe. The photo spurred a California couple to start a fundraiser that has since raised millions of dollars to help migrants detained on suspicion of illegally crossing the border. It spurred public outrage over the immigration policy that led to the separation of thousands of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. >> Couple raises more than $4.7 million to help reunite migrant children, parents Moore told The Washington Post that he noticed the girl when her mother stopped to breastfeed her in the middle of the road on June 12. She and dozens of other migrants, nearly all women and children, were stopped by the Border Patrol agents just after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas. “There was no place for privacy,” Moore told the Post. “(The mother) said they’d been on the road for a month, and they were from Honduras. I can only imagine what dangers she’d passed through, alone with the girl.” The woman gave Moore permission to follow her and her 2-year-old daughter as Border Patrol agents processed them, the Post reported. It was after agents confiscated their personal items, when the girl’s mother put her on the ground to allow an agent to search her, that the girl started to wail. The moment passed quickly. “I took a knee and had very few frames of that moment before it was over,” Moore told NPR. “And I knew at that moment that this point in their journey, which was very emotional for me to see them being detained, for them was just part of a very, very long journey.” Moore told the Post that the feeling he had after photographing the girl was similar to emotions he felt while covering war zones and Ebola wards abroad. 'Ever since I took those pictures, I think about that moment often. And it's emotional for me every time,' he told NPR. “I do not know what happened to them. I would very much like to know.” >> Trump border policy: How to help immigrant children separated from families The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents have been separated from their children as they face prosecution. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security. According to CNN, a spokesman later told them that the girl and mother in the viral photo were not separated. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order ending his administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border amid global criticism of the practice.
  • A woman said she was robbed at gunpoint in her own driveway after driving 80 miles home from a shopping trip. Police believe the robbers may have followed her from the shopping center in Atlanta to her home in Dalton. Brittany McEntire told WSB that two men robbed her at gunpoint about three weeks ago. Her mother, husband and three children were also in the driveway.  >> Read more trending news  McEntire said the two men ran up the driveway and took her two Louis Vuitton diaper bags and demanded all of her jewelry, including her late father’s ring that she cherishes. She said the whole robbery took less than a minute, but she has not regained her peace of mind. “I could’ve lost my whole family if they had started shooting,” McEntire told WSB. The suspects allegedly followed McEntire from Buckhead for about two hours in an unidentified white car, police said. McEntire said she is unsure why she was targeted because she did not take home many bags from the store.  “It was not a shopping spree,” McEntire said. Police believe the men will try to follow and rob more people.
  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order ending his administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border amid global criticism of the practice. Update 10:30 p.m. EDT June 20: Senate Democrats took a stand on the floor of the U.S. Senate against President Donald Trump’s immigration plan just hours after the president signed an executive order revoking his policy of separating migrant children from their parents during illegal border crossings. Democrats, who spoke from the Senate floor for two hours, warned that the executive order will worsen the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, The Hill reported. 'If you can imagine it what this executive order does is raise the possibility of children being in prison for very, very long periods of time. ... Does anybody really believe that we should be imprisoning for an indefinite period of time little children,' Sanders said. Update 6:45 p.m. EDT June 20: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order overturning his administration’s own policy of separating migrant families at the border. “I am glad the president took this step today,” McConnell tweeted. “When families with children breach our border, we should keep those families together whenever possible while our legal system fairly and promptly evaluates their status,” McConnell said. Update 6:30 p.m. EDT June 20: Some Republican senators have expressed relief that President Donald Trump rescinded the policy separating migrant families at the border. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who introduced legislation to address the family separation issue at the border, said Trump’s executive order was a good move, but that Congress needs to act. “I’m pleased the administration has agreed to keep families apprehended at the border together. We can have strong border security without separating parents from their children,” he said on Twitter. Update 6 p.m. EDT June 20: Democratic senators are weighing in on President Donald Trump’s decision to end the practice of separating children from their families during illegal border crossings. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Trump is actually “doubling down” on his zero tolerance policy with his signing of the executive order. “His new executive order criminalizes asylum-seekers and seeks to indefinitely detain their children,” Durbin said in a tweet. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) also tweeted that Trump’s executive order does not end the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. “ In fact, the President now wants to detain parents and children together indefinitely, and contemplates DoD building internment camps to house them. This is no solution to a problem Trump created,” Markey said. Update 4 p.m. EDT June 20: White House officials on Wednesday afternoon released the full text of the executive order signed by the president. >> Trump ends migrant family separations: Read the executive order In it, Trump directed officials to detain migrant families together. Officials have come under fire in recent months after reports surfaced that migrant children were being taken from their parents at the border. The order did not address what will happen to children and parents who are currently separated and in government custody. Update 3:20 p.m. EDT June 20: Trump signed the order, which will keep families together but continue the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, on Wednesday afternoon. >> From Jamie Dupree: President Trump to reverse course on immigrant family separations “We're keeping families together and this will solve that problem,” Trump said. “At the same time we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a ‘zero tolerance,’ we have zero tolerance for people who enter our country illegally.” Original report: Trump told reporters Wednesday that he will “be signing something in a little while” to address family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. >> Read more trending news “We want to keep families together, it’s very important,” Trump said. 'I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.”  It was not immediately clear what the president planned to sign. Trump has repeatedly called on Congress to change laws that he says mandates the family separations. There is no law that requires children be separated from parents at the border. He blamed Democrats for the continued separations in a Wednesday morning tweet, but he added that he was “working on something.” The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was drafting an executive action for Trump that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to keep migrant families together at the border. Nielsen does not believe Congress will act to resolve the issue of migrant family separations, the AP reported, citing two unidentified sources familiar with the matter. She’s working with officials from other agencies, including the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, to draft the executive action.  The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents have been separated from their children as they face prosecution. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The executive action Nielson is drafting “wouldn’t end the zero tolerance policy, but would aim to keep families together and ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families,” according to the AP.