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Latest from Gene Wexler

    A Missouri police officer sent a picture of himself and his badge to a person who was texting him about getting high. The Winfield Missouri Police Department Facebook post about the exchange has gone viral.  Clearly, the person texting the police officer had the wrong number. The text-exchange began with the person texting the cop (remember, he didn’t know it was a cop) if he wanted to go to a baseball game. The officer responded and told the person he would love to go to the game, but he thought they had the wrong number. The person texting the officer insisted he had the correct number, saying they had gone to a game together before. “With Shari & Diana,” the text message read.  “We got high together girl.  Get dressed & I will pick you up in the truck remember.” The officer then revealed who he was by responding with a picture of his smiling face next to his badge. “Pretty sure we didn’t get high together,” the officer texted back. The officer jokingly asked the person if he was still going to pick him up for the game. “I was really looking forward to the game,” he texted. (Facebook post)
  • Orange County residents can prepare for peak hurricane season this month by claiming some free sand bags. The county is hosting events where people can make their own sand bags for free.  It’ll be hosted at five parks from Aug. 19 through Aug 31. All sites are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Locations: -Barnett Park, 4801 W Colonial Drive -Blanchard Park, 2451 N Dean Road -Bithlo Community Park, 18501 Washington Ave -Meadow Woods Recreation Center, 1751 Rhode Island Woods Circle -West Orange Recreational Complex, 309 S West Crown Point Road (Sundays this location is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.) All supplies will be provided including bags, tools, and sand.  Orange County released this video showing how to use sand bags once you get them. Residents must present a valid ID showing Orange County residence. The county released this tutorial video showing how to use the sand bags.
  • CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is seen in a new video confronting a man who taunted him in New York City. Watch the video here: (App users can see the video by clicking here) Since the video went viral, a CNN spokesperson has defended Cuomo.  President Trump has tweeted about the video, as well as Sean Hannity.  CLICK HERE to read more reactions and fallout related to the video.
  • Police in Louisiana arrested a 36 year-old man who’s seen on video licking a tub of Blue Bell ice cream and putting it back on a store shelf. Lenise Martin III was reportedly inspired by the viral video of a teenage girl doing the same thing in Texas. She is facing possible charges. Martin is seen on video opening a carton of Blue Bell, licking it, poking it with his finger and putting it back on the shelf in the freezer. Martin later returned to the store and showed a receipt for the ice cream, but he was later arrested. (App users click here to see the video)
  • The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office arrested a grandmother in DeLand after she was spotted buying heroin with her 2-year-old grandson in the car. (APP users click here to see tweet and video) On Tuesday, a deputy pulled over Amy Moreland, 43, after seeing her involved in what looked like a drug deal in the Spring Hill area of DeLand.  The 2 year-old boy was in the car during the traffic stop. “Grandma’s out here buying dope with you. That’s not good,” one of the deputies is heard in body camera footage released by the sheriff’s office. An incident report says heroin turned up during a search of Moreland’s car.  She was charged with possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and child neglect.  The boy was turned over to a family member. Towards the end of the video, the deputy explains to Moreland how the drugs had contained a lethal dose of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. “So that bag just opens up and it blows through the air, and he breaths it in.  ‘A’ he’s gonna be high and ‘B’ it’s gonna kill him.  And that never crosses your mind,” the deputy said. The tweet from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office read, in part, “That's unthinkable to most of us, but addiction makes the unthinkable happen.” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood tweeted, “Another nice job by a deputy who found an innocent kid in a sad situation.” (Tweet)
  • The City of Sanford issued a boil water advisory for a large area on Friday after a water main break at College Road near East Lake Mary Boulevard. The city’s website says the advisory is issued in the “southeast portion of the Sanford service area bound on the north by East Airport Blvd, on the east by Orlando-Sanford International Airport, on the south by Seminole State College, and on the west by Groveview Village subdivision.” Here’s a snapshot of the map indicating the area under the notice: CLICK HERE to enter your address and see if you are under the advisory. (Tweet)
  • A man who set himself on fire outside the White House has died, police in the US have confirmed.   The man, who is yet to be identified, set himself on fire at roughly 12.20pm local time yesterday, according to the Secret Service. (Tweet) The Secret Service tweet says the man lit himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Ave, which is feet from the White House South Lawn. Witnesses quickly went on Twitter posting alleged footage of the incident: (Tweet) (Tweet) (Tweet) According to CNBC, a spokesman for the Washington Fire Department confirmed one person was transported with burns from the Ellipse and they’re now on the scene assisting law enforcement.
  • Two major stories broke in Florida this week: the public learned two Florida counties were successfully breached by Russian hackers ahead of the 2016 election, and the Trump Administration communicated plans to send migrants detained at the border to Broward and Palm Beach counties. A few weeks ago the Mueller report indicated at least one Florida county had been hacked, but this week the Florida congressional delegation learned there was an addition county that had been act.  Then late Thursday night, POLITICO Florida reported one of the two was Washington County in the Panhandle. ---Read the full story here--- On Friday, the Trump Administration appeared to catch local and state leaders in Florida off-guard by alerting Broward and Palm Beach counties that migrants detained at the border will be sent over in about two weeks.  The plan is to send about 100 migrants a week to each of the two counties. --Read the full story here-- During the May 17 edition of “Orlando’s News at Noon,” host Gene Wexler spoke in-depth with POLITICO Florida bureau chief Matt Dixon about both of these stories.  Listen to both conversations here: (Web and App users click here)
  • In the age of social media, many people care more about the pictures than the actual experience. A Nebraska-based photo-editing company is capitalizing on that fact, taking people’s money to make fake vacation photos for social media. Fake a Vacation allows people to purchase packages of photos of themselves to trick their friends and followers into thinking they traveled somewhere they did not.  The company says on its Web site, “Get your vacation pictures delivered in your inbox and get ready to brag to your friends on where you went.” Packages include destinations such as Disneyland, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon.  The Hawaii package starts at $49.99. Fake a Vacation will even educate people on their destination they choose so they can answer people’s questions as if they’ve been there. The site has a “how it works” video: (Link to video)
  • A stabbing at a law firm in Winter Park sends two people to the hospital. Lt. John Montgomery with the Winter Park Police Department tells News 96.5 WDBO the incident started as a fight. “Two individuals at the law firm got into an altercation, a stabbing occurred and both were taken to the hospital,” said Montgomery. So far, police are not identifying the suspect or victim. At one point police had all of Fairbanks closed between New York Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, but later on they allowed traffic to flow going eastbound. Tweets from Winter Park Police said they were working a “disturbance that resulted in a stabbing at a business.” Check back on this story later for updates. (Tweet) (Tweet)
  • 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

  • He probably needed a ride home, but Pinellas County Sheriff Deputies say John Davis stole a courtesy scooter from a St. Petersburg Wal-mart and drove it for almost a mile before stopping at a gas station. He told deputies Friday night, that he planned to recharge the scooter and head on down the road. Investigators confirmed that the 58-year-old was intoxicated at the time, noting that it would be a long ride to his home in Palmetto, which was another 23-miles down I-275. Davis did get a ride, to the county jail where he was charged with grand theft. His mug shot shows a badly bruised face, but it is not clear when or where the injuries happened. He was issued a $2,000 bond, but at last check was still behind bars. The scooter is valued at $1,500.
  • A trio of local lawmakers successfully worked to double the amount of money the City of Orlando will receive in anti-terrorism funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Central Florida Representative Stephanie Murphy, Val Demmings, and Darren Soto secured $3.25 million after they convinced DHS to revise its allocation formula to consider factors like daily visitors, high-profile events and so called ‘soft targets’ like theme parks. “Orlando is one of our nation’s most popular destinations and home to a vibrant community that has endured tragedy and loss. Residents and visitors alike should know the federal government is providing the support needed to protect them from terrorist threats,” Rep. Murphy said in a press release. The money will be allocated by by the Urban Area Work Group, which is headed by Orange County Sheriff's Office. It’s part of $590 million in funding granted to 31 cities across the nation, including Orlando, Tampa and Miami.  The money can be used to purchase homeland security equipment, conduct training exercises, train and pay first responders, and enhance security in order to protect high-profile locations like stadiums, public transit, and theme parks. The city received $1.5 million last year but received zero dollars from fiscal years 2015 through 2017.  “Our ongoing advocacy efforts to increase federal resources have paid off as we continue improving security against terrorism in our Central Florida region,” said Soto. “Orlando metro has faced multiple threats in the past years, adding alarming risks to the safety and well-being of our community. More than 75 million people visited Orlando in 2018 and recently the Orlando International Airport was named the busiest in the state.  The city has also been the target of an attack at the Pulse Nightclub in 2016, where 49 people were killed. “I am grateful that Central Florida is receiving the funding we need to ensure that our communities remain safe places to live, work, worship, and visit,” said Demings. “Security is our top priority, and with these grants, the federal government is doing its part to help ensure we remain ahead of those seeking to do harm.”In addition, because Orlando is receiving  Urban Area Security Initiative funding, non-profit organizations in the city are eligible for Nonprofit Security Grants from DHS. Three non-profit organizations that predominantly serve the Jewish community in Orlando applied for, and received, a total of $270,000.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking for your help as they face an unknown condition threatening our big cats. The disorder has, so far, seemed to affect Florida panthers and bobcats. The abnormality causes the cats to stumble, seemingly unable to coordinate their back legs. The FWC writes: As of August 2019, the FWC has confirmed neurological damage in one panther and one bobcat. Additionally, trail camera footage has captured eight panthers (mostly kittens) and one adult bobcat displaying varying degrees of this condition. Videos of affected cats were collected from multiple locations in Collier, Lee and Sarasota counties, and at least one panther photographed in Charlotte County could also have been affected.” They are testing for toxins, including rat pesticide, as well as infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies. The organization is also asking the public for video, if they have it, of stumbling big cats and to submit those videos to the FWC. Mobile users see video here. The more footage they have, the better their investigation, which quickly needs solved. Florida panthers are an endangered species in the state. Biologists estimate there are about 200 left in the wild. Mobile users see Instagram post here.
  • Mark your calendars and grab your sunglasses, the Florida Strawberry Festival has announced its new theme for the 85th annual event in 2020 — 'Our Perfect Vision! A new theme is created for the festival each year, and this year the marketing geniuses played up the year 2020 and the Festivals “Perfect Vision” for fun. Mr. Berry is sporting a FSF fedora and sunglasses with 2020 on the lenses. The iconic mascot is also carrying a plate of strawberry shortcake. Each year, more than 500,000 people enjoy the 11-day community event which celebrates the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. The festival features headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, exhibits of commerce and, of course, its strawberry shortcake. The 2020 Florida Strawberry Festival is set for February 27 - March 8 in Plant City. For more information, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com. 
  • The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office shared what they call a “sensitive” arrest on their Facebook page writing, “You could even say it’s kinda nuts.” Deputies responded to a 911 hang-up call at a Sebring home Sunday, to discover Gary Van Ryswyk had just performed a castration on another man he met on the dark web at a sight for people with a castration fetish. Deputies found the victim on the bed with a towel over his groin, which was bleeding heavily. Nearby, there was a pink container which held two body parts that deputies say,  “had recently been much closer to the victim.” The Sheriff said in the Facebook post that “Van Ryswyk had dropped the ball on this one.” The victim was taken to the hospital and was later flown to a regional medical center where  he is listed in stable condition. Van Ryswyk admitted to investigators that he told the victim he had experience performing the procedure on animals and had even removed one of his own testicles in 2012. Deputies say Van Ryswyk had planned to operate on the victim a week earlier, but had to delay it after trying to sanitize the area. He also said he had done a similar procedure on a man in a local motel a few years ago, which also did not turn out well. Van Ryswky could not remember the name of that victim, who he said also went to the hospital, but law enforcement was not notified. The 74-year-old was arrested Monday and charged with practicing medicine without a license resulting in bodily injury, a second-degree felony. His bond was set at $250,000. Anyone who has information about Van Ryswyk is asked to call Det. Roger St. Laurent at 863-402-7250 or email detectives@highlandssheriff.com. Tips can also be left anonymously on the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office app or through Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.

Washington Insider

  • With the Prime Minister of Denmark making it clear that she was not interested in selling Greenland to the United States, labeling the idea 'absurd,' President Donald Trump said Tuesday night that he would cancel his scheduled visit to the NATO ally in early September. 'Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting,' the President tweeted on Tuesday evening. In interviews this week, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had made clear that Greenland was not for sale, even as she welcomed the idea of closer relations between Denmark and the United States. But that wasn't enough for President Trump. On Sunday, President Trump had downplayed the issue as he returned to the White House. 'It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that,' the President told reporters when asked about the idea of buying Greenland. The decision obviously came as a surprise to U.S. diplomats in Denmark, as the U.S. Ambassador had put out a tweet a few hours earlier about the President's scheduled state visit. The President and First Lady had been invited by the Queen of Denmark earlier this summer for a two day state visit. Democrats mocked the President for canceling his stop in Denmark. “Embarrassing,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). 'What a shame when Greenland could be covered with sand traps, water holes and lots of beautiful putting greens,' said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), referring to the President's golfing.