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The Latest from News 96.5 WDBO

    A widely shared Facebook post shows a lone prayer closet remaining on the site of a home where an EF4 tornado ripped through in Alabama. Earlier in March, a tornado carved a path across Lee County, Alabama destroying homes and ripping up trees.  Only a few buildings and homes were able to make it, including a local grandmother’s prayer closet. According to 11 Alive, Chaplain Jason Smith was out with Billy Graham’s Rapid Response Team and noticed the prayer closet.   In his Facebook post, he reports the entire family who lived there survived. “Listen to me please,” he wrote in the post.  “I just left a family who survived the tornado in this house and the only left standing is this closet.  It’s the grandmother’s prayer closet, and the whole family survived.  Are you kiddin me!!! My God is awesome!!! Shout somebody! --Jason--” As of this article, the two-week old post has been shared over 96 thousand times and garnered more than 62 thousand likes.
  • ORLANDO, Fla. - The trailer for the new movie, Lucy in the Sky,  portrays Natalie Portman as an astronaut struggling to readjust to life on Earth after seeing 'the whole universe.' The film is loosely based on real-life astronaut Lisa Nowak, who became embroiled in an affair with fellow astronaut Bill Oefelein. But when they broke up, and he began to date U.S. Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, Nowak became enraged. She made national headlines when she drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando and packed a trench coat, black wig, pepper spray, a BB gun, rope, trash bags and an 8-inch knife in an attempt to kidnap Shipman. Nowak was discharged from NASA and the Navy.
  • Talk about cruel and unusual punishment. A Hawaii man has been ordered to avoid his favorite soft drink while serving out his probation. Christopher Montilliano Jr was sentenced on Friday for stealing a car from a Maui gas station back in June. When confronted by cops, the 21-year-old told them he just took the car out to buy soda. In addition to receiving 100 hours of community service and a $100 fine from Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo, Montilliano is banned from drinking Pepsi for four years.
  • Students at Lake Mary High School are returning to class for the first time Monday since a student shot and killed herself inside the school’s auditorium. It happened on March 13, one day before students were set to be off for spring break. On the students first day back, Seminole County Public Schools says it will have grief counselors on campus for students who need them. READ: Grief counselors at Lake Mary High after student, 17, shot, killed herself on campus The last time students were in a classroom, the school went on Code Red lockdown after deputies said the sound of a single gunshot echoed through the halls. A 17-year-old junior, they said, had asked to go to the bathroom during class and instead went to an isolated part of the school’s auditorium and shot herself. Deputies said they don't believe any students saw her do it, but students still reported a frightening scene across campus.  Many students said they didn't know it was as suicide and thought there was an active shooter on campus.  Many students left school early, and classes were canceled the next day. Security expert and former Secret Service agent Don Mihalek said the incident brought to light the issue that a student was able to get a loaded gun onto campus. “There's a trend to minimize situations, not really look at the what-ifs… There's not enough what-iffing going on,” he said. DOWNLOAD: Free WFTV News & Weather Apps Not near a TV? Click here to watch WFTV newscasts live Watch Live: Doppler 9 HD 
  • COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Zion Williamson took on 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall at the end and won. So did top-seeded Duke - barely - when two last-ditch shots by UCF rolled off the rim. Williamson had 32 points and helped rally the Blue Devils from behind in the final minute for a 77-76 victory Sunday to reach the Sweet 16. Aubrey Dawkins finished with 32 points for the Knights, but his tip-in try just missed in the final seconds. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski 'talks a lot about the basketball gods,' a happy Williamson said. 'They had our backs today.' Williamson was key to the comeback. He made a layup over Fall with 14.4 seconds left to draw Duke within a point as Fall fouled out on the play. Williamson missed the free throw, but RJ Barrett scored on a putback to put the Blue Devils (31-5) ahead. Barrett said he had watched plenty of NCAA Tournament games where players missed foul shots and an offensive rebound could have made the difference. 'I was going to do whatever I can to get this rebound,' he said. Ninth-seeded UCF (24-9) had a final chance. Two of them, actually, from in close. B.J. Taylor missed a short jumper, and Dawkins failed on his tip attempt with less than two seconds left, the ball spinning off the rim. Duke got the rebound, ran out the clock and moved on to the Sweet 16 for 27th time and fourth time in the past five years. 'It was up there forever, I felt like, in slow motion,' Dawkins said. Dawkins cringed at the miss. His father, Johnny, is the UCF coach and was a former Duke star and longtime assistant under Krzyzewski. The two coaches shared a long embrace at midcourt after it was over. 'It's tough,' the elder Dawkins said. 'I love that man. Without him, I wouldn't be where I am today.' Barrett finished with 16 points. It looked as if Dawkins might take down his dad's alma mater in the NCAAs. His last basket broke a 70-all tie, and when Fall dunked Taylor's miss - the play was reviewed for a possible shot-clock violation - the Knights were ahead 74-70. UCF missed a huge chance to go up six when it couldn't connect on an alley-oop dunk attempt with 1:49 left - Dayon Griffin's lob went off Dawkins' hands as he soared toward the rim - and Cam Reddish came back with a 3-pointer for Duke. Taylor it made 76-73 with two foul shots with 45 seconds to go. Williamson then missed a 3, but Duke grabbed the rebound and got the ball back to their high-flying freshman. Williams caught a pass left of the key and dribbled straight into Fall's 7-6, 310-pound frame. Fall had stuffed Williamson three previous times, and Duke's young star was less effective underneath than he'd been his past four games. But Williamson got this shot to drop, shouting as he fell hard to the ground. 'I just tried to stay big and make a play,' Fall said. 'Obviously, I was in foul trouble, so I was being careful. But I just tried to make a play and make him miss and it didn't go my way.' When Duke dribbled away with the final rebound, Williamson and his teammates jumped in celebration and relief. They were moving on. Duke will face fourth-seeded Virginia Tech in Washington, D.C., on Friday night for a spot in the Elite Eight. Williamson, the game's most explosive player, was clearly affected by Fall. Who wouldn't be as the Knights senior stood 11 inches taller than Williamson and has a wingspan of 8-foot-4? With Fall inside, Williamson went to the perimeter, hitting three 3-pointers after entering with just 18 on the season. When Fall was hit with foul trouble, Williamson charged to the hoop. Fall finished with 15 points and six rebounds in his final college game. Trailing 34-32 in the final four minutes of the opening half, Williamson hit a short jumper, and then collected Jordan Goldwire's miss for a three-point play. Barrett added a three-point play and Williamson threw a one-handed bounce pass to a streaking Jones for an easy layup as Duke led 44-36 at the break. Williamson had 15 points in the first half, but had not dunked on the tall Fall - mainly because UCF's center played just eight minutes due to foul trouble. BIG PICTURE UCF: The Knights will have some big shoes to fill (size 22) next season with Fall's senior season complete. They also lose Taylor, the point guard who has started 101 of 104 games since arriving at UCF in 2014-15. UCF has a solid core of experienced starters returning, led by Dawkins, who was second on the team in scoring average at 15.1 points a game. Duke: The Blue Devils have had too many tentative stretches in their first two games, but their overwhelming talent edge saved them against North Dakota State in the opening round and UCF in this one. Duke will need to be more consistent if it hopes to make a championship run. COUNTING ON FRESHMAN Duke's four freshmen carried the load against UCF. The quartet combined for 72 of 77 points in the victory, with Javin DeLaurier and Goldwire the only other scorers for the Blue Devils. 'We're not deep,' Krzyzewski said. 'But we are good.' UP NEXT UCF's season is over. Duke advances to play fourth-seeded Virginia Tech or 12th-seeded Liberty in the Sweet 16 at Washington, D.C., on Friday night. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/MarchMadness and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said they’re considering changing the policy on naming K-9 deputies after a popular Facebook page featured a meme on a K-9 named “Trump.” The meme posted Wednesday shows an OCSO deputy’s patrol car with a decal of the K-9 deputy’s picture and name, “Trump.”  The caption reads, “Atta boy, Trump! Making a difference,” referencing the Sheriff’s Office slogan “Making a Difference” seen underneath the K-9 decal. The Facebook page “Cop Humor” describes itself as a “pro-law enforcement conservative group.” As of Friday after the meme post had over 1,200 likes, 107 comments and 285 shares. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office released a statement confirming one of their K-9 deputies is named Trump and they were aware of the meme.  The statement said the name of K-9s are left to the discretion of their human partners, and there’s currently  no policy dictating how the dogs should be named. “In the future, the Sheriff’s Office may consider directing Deputies t avoid naming their K9 partners after real people,” the statement said. (Facebook meme post)
  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released jobs numbers for February and the Sunshine State continues to add new jobs. According to the report, Florida’s labor force grew by 170,000 people within the last year.  The state’s annual growth rate is 1.7 percent, up 0.2 percent from January. During the month of February, Florida added 24,300 private sector jobs, lowering the state’s unemployment rate to 3.5 percent. Orlando continues to outpace the rest of the state when it comes to creating new jobs, adding 10,000 new jobs in February. The unemployment rate for Orlando is now just 3.2 percent. For the complete statewide jobs report CLICK HERE.
  • Sometimes the internet tears people down, and sometimes it brings people together to commiserate. Currently Twitter users are sharing stories of their own disasters after Twitter user @BorboaGrant shared a video of a coworker spilling 22 quarts (that's 5.5 gallons!) of ranch dressing. People started responding with videos of their own spills, including one worker accidentally throwing a hot pizza at a customer. APP USERS CAN SEE VIDEO HERE.  TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET
  • You’ve heard of all the times in which police have been called for varying otherwise-routine behaviors like ‘driving while black,’ and ‘grilling while black,’ now we can add ‘moving while black’ to the list.  A Kansas man was detained with guns drawn on him while he was moving into a home he just bought.  Karle Robinson, a 61-year-old Marine veteran, was held at gunpoint and handcuffed in August as he was carrying a television out of a rented moving van into the home he had bought a month earlier in Tonganoxie, about 30 miles west of Kansas City. “I’d like to see those cops and that chief lose their jobs because this was uncalled for — this is strictly racial profiling,” Robinson told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. He added that if he were white “we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now.”  APP USERS CAN SEE VIDEO HERE. 

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A widely shared Facebook post shows a lone prayer closet remaining on the site of a home where an EF4 tornado ripped through in Alabama. Earlier in March, a tornado carved a path across Lee County, Alabama destroying homes and ripping up trees.  Only a few buildings and homes were able to make it, including a local grandmother’s prayer closet. According to 11 Alive, Chaplain Jason Smith was out with Billy Graham’s Rapid Response Team and noticed the prayer closet.   In his Facebook post, he reports the entire family who lived there survived. “Listen to me please,” he wrote in the post.  “I just left a family who survived the tornado in this house and the only left standing is this closet.  It’s the grandmother’s prayer closet, and the whole family survived.  Are you kiddin me!!! My God is awesome!!! Shout somebody! --Jason--” As of this article, the two-week old post has been shared over 96 thousand times and garnered more than 62 thousand likes.
  • Federal prosecutors in New York and California announced charges Monday in separate cases against attorney Michael Avenatti. >> Read more trending news Authorities in New York arrested Avenatti on Monday to face allegations out of the Southern District of New York that he attempted to extort Nike and charges of bank and wire fraud out of the Central District of California. >> Read the complaint against Avenatti filed in New York Update 3:20 p.m. EDT March 25: In a statement obtained by CNBC, a Nike spokesperson said the company “has been cooperating with the government’s investigation into NCAA basketball for over a year.” “When Nike became aware of this matter, Nike immediately reported it to federal prosecutors,” the statement said. “When Mr. Avenatti attempted to extort Nike over this matter, Nike with the assistance of outside counsel at Boies Schiller Flexner, aided the investigation.” Authorities said Avenatti and an unnamed co-conspirator attempted to extort Nike of more than $20 million by threatening “to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.” Citing a pair of unidentified sources, The Wall Street Journal reported the unnamed co-conspirator allegedly involved in the case was attorney Mark Geragos. Update 3:05 p.m. EDT March 25: Investigators with the IRS launched a probe into Aveantti more than a year ago, after an official noticed “irregularities” while attempting to collect payroll taxes from Avenatti, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Nick Hanna said. The bank and wire fraud “allegations ... paint an ugly picture of lawless conduct and greed,” Hanna said, calling Avenatti “a corrupt lawyer who ... fights for his own selfish interests by misappropriating close to $1 million that rightfully belonged to one of his clients.” Hanna said Avenatti negotiated a settlement for one of his clients in December 2017 as part of an intellectual property dispute. Under the settlement, Avenatti’s client was expected to get $1.6 million in January 2018. However, Hanna said Avenatti presented his client with a false settlement agreement that listed March 2018 at the date by which the payment was due. The payment was made to an account controlled by Avenatti on Jan. 5, 2018. “Mr. Avenatti then used his client’s money to pay expenses for his own coffee business, Global Baristas LLC which did business as Tully’s coffee as well as to pay his own expenses,” Hanna said. Avenatti was arrested Monday in New York to face federal charges on both the east and west coasts. Avenatti is facing a maximum of 50 years in prison if he’s convicted of the bank and wire fraud charges in California. Federal prosecutors in New York also charged Avenatti in a separate case in which he was accused of attempting to extort Nike. Update 2:20 p.m. EDT March 25: Authorities in California are providing more details Monday in the case against Avenatti. Update 2:15 p.m. EDT March 25: Avenatti’s former client, Stormy Daniels, said in a statement Monday that she was “saddened but not shocked by news reports that he has been criminally charged.” “I made the decision more than a month ago to terminate Michael’s services after discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly,” Daniels said. Avenatti represented Daniels in her court battle to throw out a non-disclosure agreement she had signed before the 2016 presidential election. The agreement barred her from talking about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years before the election. Original report: Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York said Avenatti attempted “to extract more than $20 million in payments from a public traded company by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.” The company was identified in a criminal complaint as Nike. Earlier Monday, Avenatti had announced plans to hold a press conference Tuesday “to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike.” Authorities said in a complaint filled in court that Avenatti and another person threatened to release damaging information about Nike if the company “did not agree to make multi-million dollar payments” to Avenatti and an unnamed co-conspirator. Avenatti “threatened to hold a press conference on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call and the start of the annual (NCAA) tournament at which he would announce allegations of misconduct by employees of Nike,” prosecutors said.  “Avenatti stated that he would refrain from holding the press conference and harming Nike only if Nike made a payment of $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti’s in possession of information damaging to Nike... and agreed to ‘retain’ Avenatti and (the unnamed co-conspirator) to conduct an ‘internal investigation’ -- an investigation that Nike did not request.” Authorities said Avenatti told Nike’s attorneys in a phone call on Wednesday that, “I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap ... I’m not (expletive) around.” Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles announced Monday they were charging Avenatti with wire and bank fraud in a separate case. Authorities plan to detail charges against him at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • An Italian couple is under investigation after authorities say they performed a home circumcision on their 5-month-old son, causing the boy’s death.  The boy, whose parents are of Ghanian origin, was in critical condition when he was taken Friday night to a hospital in Scandiano in the province of Reggio Emilia, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported. He died overnight. >> Read more trending news This weekend’s death is not the first of a child who underwent an illegal circumcision in Italy. The BBC reported that a 2-year-old boy bled to death in December after undergoing a failed circumcision at a migrant center in the Roman suburb of Monterotondo.  The boy’s twin brother underwent the same surgery but survived after a stint in the intensive care unit.  In the December case, a 66-year-old man was charged with murder in the toddler’s death, the BBC reported.  The 2-year-old and his brother were born in Italy, but their parents were from Nigeria, according to the BBC. The man charged with killing the boy is an American of Libyan heritage.  The BBC reported that circumcision is unavailable in public health institutions. Italy’s Roman Catholic majority does not practice circumcision, but many of the country’s Muslim immigrants do.  Private clinics will perform the procedure, but the surgery can be costly. There are people willing to circumcise children for a fraction of the cost, the news agency reported.  In the December case, the procedure was performed at a refugee center run by the Monterotondo council and nonprofit group Arci. Arci officials condemned the incident in a Facebook post, in which they said in 2018, there should be “no sorcerers and midwives.” “The Monterotondo tragedy leaves the whole of Arci, starting with our Arci workers in Rome, sorrowful and upset,” the post read, as translated from Italian. One commenter argued for a near-complete ban on circumcision.   “Circumcision should be considered a sexual mutilation, apart from the few cases in which it is appropriate for medical reasons, and therefore prohibited and punished if practiced,” the woman, Claudia Lanzi, wrote.  Another woman, Barbara Pilati, asked how it is mutilation if it causes no damage. “It is made to children who cannot express their opinion,” Lanzi responded.  ANSA reported that between 4,000 and 5,000 immigrant children undergo circumcisions in Italy each year. About 35 percent of those procedures are done illegally.  Yassine Lafram, who heads the Bologna area’s Islamic community, condemned the fatal procedure on the infant Monday. “We learn of the terrible news of the death of a 5-month-old baby following an illegal circumcision with dismay,” Lafram told ANSA. “It’s a death that could certainly have been avoided and pains us deeply.”
  • Police opened an investigation Monday into a deadly officer-involved shooting in north Charlotte. >> Read more trending news Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney told WSOC-TV that officers responded just after 9 a.m. to the Burger King on Beatties Ford Road, near Interstate 85.  Dozens of police cruisers could be seen surrounding the fast-food restaurant, which was roped off with crime scene tape. Putney said officers responded to a call about an armed man at the business. The man gave employees an uneasy feeling, Putney said, so they called police. When officers arrived, they spotted the man outside the Burger King, according to Putney. Authorities said the man was still armed when officers arrived, and they repeatedly ordered him to drop the weapon. Putney said an officer felt there was a lethal threat and shot the man at least once. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name has not been released. A witness told WSOC-TV the armed man had gotten into an argument with an employee inside the restaurant and that another man intervened and was assaulted by the suspect. Police have not confirmed that witness's account. Police said no officers were hurt. The shooting remains under investigation, and no other details have been released.
  • ORLANDO, Fla. - The trailer for the new movie, Lucy in the Sky,  portrays Natalie Portman as an astronaut struggling to readjust to life on Earth after seeing 'the whole universe.' The film is loosely based on real-life astronaut Lisa Nowak, who became embroiled in an affair with fellow astronaut Bill Oefelein. But when they broke up, and he began to date U.S. Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, Nowak became enraged. She made national headlines when she drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando and packed a trench coat, black wig, pepper spray, a BB gun, rope, trash bags and an 8-inch knife in an attempt to kidnap Shipman. Nowak was discharged from NASA and the Navy.

Washington Insider

  • A day after Congress was told the Mueller investigation had not found evidence of coordination or conspiracy involving Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 elections, a leading GOP Senator vowed to fully investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, arguing that President Donald Trump may have been the victim of overzealous investigators inside the Justice Department. 'The double standard here has been striking and quite frankly disappointing,' said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who told reporters at the Capitol on Monday morning that it's time to find out more about how the investigation began during the 2016 campaign, how it meshed with the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails, and whether there had been bias inside the Justice Department and FBI against President Trump. While Graham said he would conduct oversight via the Senate Judiciary Committee, the South Carolina Republican also said he wants a more formal review by the Justice Department, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. 'What I want to do is see if he'll appoint a Special Counsel,' Graham said, as he argued that President Trump had been unfairly targeted. Graham said he would look at the role of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch - who tried to step back from the Clinton email investigation, which led to the broader involvement of former FBI Director James Comey. 'What was the conflict that made Loretta Lynch so unable to preside over the Clinton email investigation?' Graham asked. While Graham ticked off the boxes of a series of questions which have dominated conservative talk radio over the past two years, the ally of the President made clear he agreed with the Mueller report findings on one very key issue - that the Russians were responsible for the hacking of the Democratic Party in 2016. “It was the Russians - it wasn’t some 300 pound guy sitting on a bed somewhere,” Graham said, making reference to a quote by President Trump, who at times has rejected assertions that Russian Intelligence was responsible for the hacking of emails from Clinton campaign and DNC officials. Graham said he also wanted answers on how the Obama Administration handled the initial developments in the Russia investigation - which came during the 2016 campaign. 'Nobody went to President Trump to tell him, there may be some people in your orbit that are connected to the Russians and working with the Russians,' Graham said at a news conference. At the White House, President Trump kept his comments limited about the Mueller report, saying he would not oppose the release of the details of the report, if that’s what Attorney General Barr wants to do. Asked during an event in the Oval Office whether the Special Counsel had done his job honorably, Mr. Trump responded: 'Yes, he did.' “I wish it could have gone a lot sooner, a lot quicker,” the President added.