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Latest from Gene Wexler

    HBO is coming out with a new documentary about Senator John McCain’s life and legacy called John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls. The project is named after McCain’s favorite book by Ernest Hemingway about a young American in the International Brigades attached to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. HBO said producers were given “unprecedented access” to document his daily life in Washington, DC. and Sedona, Arizona.  McCain agreed to have his life recorded and commemorated shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer. See the preview here: (Video) The documentary debuts on Memorial Day, May 28 at 8 p.m. ET.
  • An audio clip quickly making rounds on the Internet on Tuesday is becoming a hot debate like the dress that’s either gold and white or blue and black. Cloe Feldman, a social media vlogger posted a question on her Instagram, which she then put on her Twitter: “What do you hear? Yanny or Laurel,” along with a recording of a computerized voice. (Tweet) In the WDBO newsroom, debate was rampant: many thought they heard “Laurel” while others thought they heard “Yanny.”  Some including Jackie O’Brien in traffic and host Scott Anez heard “Yanny” at first but later heard “Laurel.” Even WDBO’s own producer Laurel Lee said she heard “you-ee” while host Joe Kelley only heard “Laurel.” WDBO listeners were pretty divided on the issue, though the majority (roughly around 70%) heard “Laurel” over “Yanny.” According to a theory by one person on Reddit, what you hear depends on the amount of bass that’s being produced from the device you’re listening on.   Some people believe shifting the pitch can change the way you hear it: (Tweet) (Tweet) Whatever the true answer is, there’s an extremely high chance we will soon see a piece on this by CNN’s Jeanne Moos.
  • The Maleficent Dragon flat caught fire during the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom on Friday afternoon.  The fire was extinguished and no injuries were reported. Several people on social media reported the incident: (Tweet) (Tweet) (Tweet) One person recorded a video and put it on YouTube: (Video)
  • The Miami International Airport asked Orlando International Airport to prom, which accepted the invitation. “We’re just winging it, but MCO will you go to prom with us?” the airport tweeted from its @IIFlyMIA with a picture of an airplane making a heart-shaped route and a banner reading “MCO, prom?” (Tweet) Orlando International Airport first responded from it’s @MCO account: “We have many suitors, but our hearts are aflutter, MIA.  Stay tuned for our response.” (Tweet) And a few hours later, the “promposal” was accepted.  Orlando International responded with a photo of a boarding gate screen which said the flight was departing Orlando and arriving in Miami.  The flight status: “Prom Date Official.” “We’re letting the world know, it’s a YES from us.  This is going to be EPIC,” the airport tweeted from @MCO along with the picture. (Tweet) Even Tampa International Airport got in on the fun, tweeting “Well, this is awkward.....” in response to Miami’s initial proposal. (Tweet)
  • A zoo owner in Alberta, Canada faces charges after taking a bear through a Dairy Queen drive-thru for ice cream. According to The Guardian, Discovery Wildlife Park posted a video of the bear’s trip, showing the bear in the passenger seat of a pick-up truck. The one-year-old Kodiak bear, Berkley, seemed to be having a blast as he was hand-fed an ice cream cone and then an ice cream cake through the truck’s window. The zoo was criticized after posting the video on Facebook and took the video.  Now the owner is facing charges for failing to notify the provincial government that the bear was leaving the zoo. Owner Doug Bos plans to plead guilty to the charges, telling The Guardian: “We made a mistake.  I’m embarrassed about it, every time we take an animal off the property, we’re supposed to notify Fish and Wildlife, send them an email, and we forgot to do that in both instances.”
  • While most listeners to News 96.5 WDBO are enjoying the latest update to our mobile app, we’ve become aware of a glitch for Android users and come up with a temporary fix. What’s happening? Several listeners alerted us to the fact that when using the updated app on Android, the stream automatically shuts off after four to five minutes of listening. We realize this is a major inconvenience to listeners who keep us on continually, and so our engineering department is working right now to fix the app. What to do? If you’re listening to the station using our app on an Android device, delete the app off your phone. Then, re-download the app from the Google Play store and VOILA! the glitch should be fixed. NOTE: The re-downloaded version of the app will look like the older one before the update.  Eventually our engineers will fix the glitch in the new version of the app which can later be re-downloaded again.
  • The man who oversees construction of the locally famous “Majesty Building” off Interstate-4 in Altamonte Springs said Central Floridians will soon notice some big changes over the coming months. Claud Bowers is CEO of WACX, a religious independent TV station known as SuperChannel 55.  The station has been broadcasting in Central Florida for 40 years and plans to move its operations into the Majesty when it’s finished.  The building has been under construction since 2001. “We’ve obviously shown the community that we’re moving forward to completion as fast as we can,” he said. Construction was delayed last year as SuperChannel 55 competed with the I-4 Ultimate Project for labor, but Bowers said they’re overcoming that problem now.  They have a general contractor, two major sub-contractors and are working on a third.  Work happens Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and sometimes on Saturday. “At this point in time it’s going full steam ahead about as much as we can do,” Bowers said.  “Nothing’s really holding us up at this point.” Right now workers are building the “last major component” - a parking garage for a thousand cars, most of which is underground.  Bowers said a third of the garage is built above ground, another third is under construction, and they’re currently getting contracts for the third part on the Cranes Roost Boulevard side. During the day the Majesty Building stands out for its unique construction design and curved glass “curtain,” which Bowers claims SuperChannel 55 invented in conjunction with the original construction company.  At night the building appears as an eerily dark figure along I-4, but Bowers said that will soon change when they begin lighting up the building at night. “It will be quite a spectacle,” he said.  “We’ll have fiber optic lighting up the fins of the building up to the top floors.  Day or night it will be quite a visible image.  We’ll light it up when the time is right.” Bowers said the “tipping point” for Central Floridians noticing changes in the Majesty will come about “two months” from now when they construct banquet facility rooms on top of the parking garage. “It’s going to dramatically change,” he said.  “Every week there will be significant changes that begin.  In late May and early June is when it’ll be obvious how spectacular this building is going to be.” Some Central Floridians have dubbed the Majesty Building the “I-4 Eyesore” because of how long construction has taken and lack of occupancy.  Bowers said he doesn’t consider it a visual distraction. “But on the other hand, especially in the early days when it was sixteen floors of concrete and steel before the glass curtain went up, it was not very attractive as any case of any building,” he said. But Bowers seemed confident the building will gain a new reputation once it begins to take on its final form. “The building will speak for itself,” he said.  “Just watch it over the next twelve months.”
  • Anyone living in Osceola County is invited to ask Sheriff Russell Gibson a question for a live session next month. On Wednesday, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office tweeted the announcement of the “Ask Sheriff Gibson” event happening on May 23 and 2 p.m. All questions should be emailed to joyce.lee@osceola.org. Only selected questions will be answered.
  • The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office has ruled a homicide in the case of an Altamonte Springs man who was shot to death in his own home. Deputies found Douglas Adams, 52, dead in his Georgia Avenue home around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.  They still have yet to release information on the circumstances surrounding Adams’ death. “I mean there’s people that he hasn’t gotten along with, but it ‘s never gone to that extent,” neighbor Brian Daubert told Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Detectives do not believe the shooting was random.  No suspect information has been released. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
  • Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said in a New York Times op-ed Tuesday that the Second Amendment should be repealed. Stevens is 97 years-old and retired from the nation’s highest court in 2010 as one of the longest-serving justice in history, having served for over 34 years. He wrote the protests in response to the Parkland school shooting show “broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society. Stevens said the “demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform.  They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.” Later on he wrote: “Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”
  • Gene Wexler

    Anchor

    Gene spent his youth in upstate New York before making the pilgrimage down to the sunshine state. After spending a few years reporting, anchoring, and hosting at our sister station WOKV in Jacksonville, Gene was asked to bring his talents to Orlando at News 96.5 WDBO

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • On Sunday, 22 cyclists from the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity along with their 7 crew members are making a pit stop at the Bishop Grady Villas in St. Cloud as they continue their nearly 900 mile annual ride across the state in support of people with disabilities. The eighth day, is part of Gear Up Florida, which is a two week event organized by The Ability Experience.   So far, each member has each raised at least $2,500. This year alone, the team along with corporate sponsors have raised over $76,000.  During their stop in St. Cloud on Sunday and Monday at the Easter Seals Florida in Orlando, the team will have 'friendship visits' which give them a chance to meet, learn, and start friendships with the very people they are riding to support. These visits including activities like basketball games and dancing.  The journey across the state will conclude on May 26th at the capitol of Tallahassee.
  • Time to make sure everyone in your car is buckled tight or your budget might end up tight. From May 21st to June 3rd, the Orange County Sheriff's Office will join in the NHTSA National 'Click It or Ticket' Seat Belt Enforcement campaign in an effort to save lives and reduce the number of accidents. This all comes ahead of the heavily anticipated travels during Memorial Day.  Throughout the two week campaign, OCSO Traffic Units will be at various locations around Orange County, making sure that everyone has their seat belts fastened. Progress has already been made due to the efforts of this campaign, which as a result, has increased the number of seat belt usage by over 90 percent since July of 2017.  The traffic units will be out during the campaign both during the day and the night. Remember, if you get caught not wearing a seat belt in Orange County, you have to pay a $114.00 fine. Also, if you have little ones in the car and you don't buckle them up, you will to have a $164.00 fine and you will lose 3 points on your license.
  • Law enforcement is asking for the public’s help to find two Ohio prisoners who escaped Saturday night from the Community Correctional Center in Turtlecreek Township. Deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office responded around 8:30 p.m. to the area of 5234 State Route 63, the CCC, for a report of two men running through a field. They jumped into an older model silver minivan and fled the area. >> Read more trending news  The men, identified as Daniel Hatfield Jr. and Jeremy Mink, were confirmed to have escaped from the facility run by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Hatfield, 27, stands 5 feet 6 inches, weighs 186 pounds, has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and a white shirt. He is sentenced to CCC after being convicted of a probation violation for drug offenses out of Butler County. Mink 28, stands 6 feet, 1 inch, weighs 195 pounds has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and no shirt. He was sentenced to CCC after being convicted of drug offenses out of Clermont County. Anyone with information on either man’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 513-695-1280.
  • Central Floridians can expect to see rain all day Sunday, starting in the overnight hours and continuing in through the evening. 'You’ve probably learned to keep your umbrella handy with the recent rains, and Sunday will be no different,' said WFTV meteorologist George Waldenberger.  Watch live: Doppler 9 HD Storms with heavy rain are especially likely between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday.  Periods of rain will continue throughout the day, with isolated lightning.  Some areas will see as much as 2-3' of rainfall.  Uh, did you see the #rainbow tonight as the sun set? Wow! #WFTV #Florida #Orlando #EolaSouth #ThorntonPark pic.twitter.com/5chTP4GkvW — George Waldenberger (@GWaldenWFTV) May 20, 2018 Flood advisories  Localized flooding will be a possibility as wet weather continues to move through a saturated Central Florida.  Flood advisories were issued for parts of southern Lake and western Orange counties Saturday afternoon as storms continued to drench an already saturated Central Florida.  Isolated 3-4' rainfall totals and it's still coming down... How much in your neighborhood?#WFTV #Florida #Orlando pic.twitter.com/KloroMNeTm — George Waldenberger (@GWaldenWFTV) May 19, 2018 *Please do not drive through #flooded roadways* Western Orange and Southern Lake Counties have been added to the areas under a flood advisory, this one until 4:30pm, due to the threat for minor flooding. #WFTV #Florida #Orlando pic.twitter.com/hUXKnhTpoc — George Waldenberger (@GWaldenWFTV) May 19, 2018 According to the flood advisory, some areas that could experience flooding are Apopka, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Tavares and Mount Dora. The flood advisory was in effect until 4:30 p.m.  Eastern Seminole and central Volusia counties were also under a minor flood advisory until 4:15 p.m.  Weekend's forecast The storms' pattern will change on Saturday, as the high over the Atlantic will skid west and the 'tropical moisture highway' will be rechannel right over Florida.    Do you see the high moving west? Well, you can thank it for driving the moisture stream back over #Florida. Pronounced showers & storms this weekend. Saturday will start out dry, then storms develop mainly E to W. Outdoors in the morning inland, move indoors by noon. #stormalert9 pic.twitter.com/5Tz3OHGdpA — Irene Sans (@IreneSans) May 19, 2018   Showers and storms during Saturday morning will be focused along the coast. By the beginning of the afternoon the storms will arrive to inland counties and continue to affect most of Central Florida during the rest of the afternoon. The rain-showers will gradually decrease after sunset. If you have plans outdoors inland, make sure to stay weather aware, lightning and torrential rain can arrive quick.  Send us your weather pics using #stormalert9 The shower and storm pattern will be mainly south to north on Sunday. Showers will be present through the late morning and then, intermittent storms will develop starting early afternoon through the early evening.   Even *more* storm energy rolls into central Florida this weekend, with heavy rain and possible flooding. Ugh. pic.twitter.com/vf76dVJd4o — tom terry (@TTerryWFTV) May 19, 2018   Threats Lightning will be the main threat this weekend. Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm's base, make sure to stay weather aware.  << Download the free WFTV Weather app to receive lightning alerts when lightning strikes within 8 miles from your location >> This week some parts of Central Florida have received over 8 inches of rain. After this weekend, 12 inches of rain in total are possible. Expect amount to range between two to four inches through the weekend. With the already saturated ground, any showers could really produce flooding. Stay away from flooded roadways. Six inches of accumulated rain could make a car stall out and 12 inches can make most cars float away.  Watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News starting at 5 a.m. meteorologist Eboni Deon will be tracking the showers and thunderstorms developing across Central Florida.
  • Houston police Chief Art Acevedo is calling for gun reform, after 10 people were shot and killed and 10 more hurt in a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. >>Read: Santa Fe High School shooting: 10 dead, 10 injured, suspect arraigned on capital murder charges The gunman was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student at the school. Pagourtzis was arraigned on capital murder and aggravated assault charges Friday.  >>Read: Texas shooting: Who is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, suspect in the Santa Fe High School attack In the post on his Facebook page, Acevedo said that he has hit “rock bottom” after this deadly shooting. “Today I spent the day dealing with another mass shooting of children and a responding police officer who is clinging to life. I'm not ashamed to admit I've shed tears of sadness, pain and anger,” Acevedo posted. “I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue.” >> Read more trending news  School resource officer John Barnes was injured in Friday’s shooting. He remains in critical condition, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) tweeted Saturday. According to CNN, Barnes is a former officer with the Houston Police Department. Acevedo also called “shame” to those in power who are not speaking out against gun violence, in a post on Twitter. Acevedo has been vocal about gun control in the past. According to CNN, Acevedo urged others to join him to change legislation after the deadly massacre in Las Vegas last year were 58 people were killed.  Acevedo is the first Hispanic to lead the department. Before that, he was chief of the Austin Police Department, according to the Houston police department website.  He was sworn in as Houston police chief in 2016.