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Lake County Schools hosts meeting to discuss fights at Leesburg High School

<p>A rash of fights at Leesburg High School prompted clergy and community members to come together to discuss solutions Thursday night.</p><p>The community meeting was held to discuss fights that led to 10 students being suspended and 8 juveniles being charged. The meeting came after the Lake County Sheriff's Office released videos of the fights that were posted on Twitter.</p><p>"This is the most parents I ever seen at a school function. Y'all act like y'all so concerned all of a sudden because it's been what 13, 16 fights? You weren't concerned when it was one fight. You weren't concerned when it was two fights," a student said.</p><p>Lake County Schools said last week, three fistfights and numerous other disturbances disrupted teaching. School officials said the investigation showed the fights originated in the community and spilled over onto campus.</p><p>But deputies say they believe there were six fights.</p><p>"We are working with the community to help resolve the issue so we can continue to provide a safe learning environment for our students," Sherri Owens with LCS told News 6 in an email. "We are also planning a survey of faculty and staff as well as some campus climate observations to help with the formulation of an action plan."</p><p>Students told News 6 lunch was cut short and student were sent to class after the fights at school last week.</p><p>Leesburg Commissioner John Christian, who also is a pastor, was expected to attend the meeting, which was open to the public.</p><p>"I think the results is get dialogue going where the school district, the high school, middle schools and our parents are coming together," said Christian. "We don't want to see fights we don't want to see our kids suspended."</p><p>Fingers were pointed at parents, students and administrators because of the violent outburst of students fighting. It was caught on video and shared on social media. The video shows students punching, clawing and screaming at each other on a day where up to six fights broke out.</p><p>"Somebody stopped raising their children," one woman said.</p><p>The fights led to at least 10 suspensions, police involvement and charges.</p><p>"Children are afraid to come to the school because they feel threatened by their lives on the campus," another concerned woman said.</p><p>The violence, they said, is indicative larger issues, including fallout from social media. One parent expressed her disgust.</p><p>"They're boasting about them, they want to see how many likes they'll get. They're not ashamed," the parent said.<br /> <br /> They also said there is a culture that accepts misbehavior and violence, and apathy from teachers and students. Leesburg's principal, Dennis Neal, said this is all happening nationwide and not just at the local high school.</p><p>"You see violence increasing all across the nation in our schools. We're not alone in this plight," Neal said.</p><p>The meeting mostly aired out issues, but did not discuss any solutions. They said that will happen at a meeting in May.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:59:31 GMT

Seminole County Girl Scout leader to parents: 'I don't have the money'

<p>A  Girl Scout leader accused of stealing hundreds of dollars in dues, funds and cookies from Brownie Troop 98 of Seminole County denies the allegations against her are true.</p><p>Jillian Zawacki, who volunteered for the Girl Scouts in Seminole County  for several years, is charged with grand theft in connection with $2,800 in cash and cookies that sheriff’s detectives say are unaccounted for.<br /> The co-leader of Troop 98, who asked not to be identified, says she tried on several occasions to have her name added to the account but Zawacki always “had an excuse” to avoid going to the bank to sign the proper documents.</p><p><a href="http://eepurl.com/bZuX5j"><strong>[Web Extra: Letter from Girl Scouts of Citrus CEO]</strong></a></p><p>After  viewing  bank security video of Zawacki completing a transfer of funds into her account from the Scouts' account last summer, the co-leader said  it was obvious her intentions were “cold-hearted."</p><p>“The money is gone from Troop 98. She’s the only one who had access to the account,” she said.</p><p>According to the troop co-leader, the 12 girls ages 6 and 7 at the time were hoping to use the funds collected in 2014 and 2015 for a camping outing at Disney World.</p><p>%<inline>INLINE</inline>%</p><p>Zawacki met with parents Girl Scout Council members  but refused to offer any explanation.</p><p>Jodi Shadron, who trained Zawacki along with dozens of other troop leaders, said she joined parents in what amounted to an impromptu interrogation.</p><p>She says Zawacki was evasive at best. </p><p>“Her response to the parents and myself over and over was I don’t have the money, not what happened to the money, not where is the money, and they (questions) were asked point-blank," Shadron said.<br /> “She simply said; I'I don’t have it,'” Shadron said.</p><p><strong><a href="https://parentbooster.org/Resources-Home">[Web Extra: Resources Parent Booster USA]</a></strong></p><p>Girl Scouts of Citrus CEO Maryann Barry filed a criminal complaint with sheriff’s detectives after reviewing the bank records.</p><p>“What bothered us the most," Barry said, "was the transfer of funds from the troop account to the personal account.”<br /> Zawacki pleaded not guilty to the charges on April 6 and is free on bond.</p><p>She has refused several requests by  Seminole Magazine for comment.</p><p>Zawacki’s  husband would only say the charges weren’t true when confronted outside of their Casselberry home.<br /> <br /> A trial date has not been set.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:54:40 GMT

Mannequin stolen from Clermont boat dock

<p>A mannequin in a bikini is stolen from a boat dock in Clermont.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:49:57 GMT

2 men sought in recent DeLand car break-ins

<p>Emily Gallagher said she couldn't find the keys to her car Thursday morning. That's when she noticed something unusual.</p><p>"Thank God I didn't have my house key on this key set. I have it on the other one," Gallagher said. "Some of the neighbors have said that they, it was a white truck and they were over here down at the end of the road for 10 minutes or so."</p><p>Deputies said two men were spotted breaking into cars on Stevens, Raymore and Talton avenues overnight. Most of those cars were left unlocked.</p><p>Gallagher thinks they were trying to steal her car but couldn't because of the flat tire.</p><p>"I've left my car unlocked for forever, you know, but we haven't had a problem," Gallagher said.</p><p>Another woman who was exercising in her backyard said she heard some noise and went to check it out. Deputies said she saw a man in her driveway trying to break in to her car and yelled at him. That's when he ran to a getaway car and fired multiple shots.</p><p>"I was up with him changing him, giving him a bottle and I heard a couple gunshots and I thought that was pretty strange that early in the morning," neighbor Jesse Pronovose said.</p><p>But they weren't the only ones targeted. News 6 found Albert Barkus washing the fingerprints off his girlfriend's car after detectives dusted it for evidence.</p><p>"She just noticed that the glove box was open and everything was out of it on the seat," Barkus said.</p><p>Barkus said they only got away with a pair of sunglasses.</p><p>Detectives are looking for two men in their early 20s in a Ford pickup truck.</p><p>Anyone with any information is asked to call the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:39:35 GMT

Man sought in Audubon Elementary lockdown in custody

<p>Dozens of parents led their children out of Audubon Elementary School on Thursday as Brevard County sheriff's deputies remained posted around the campus due to possible threats being reviewed by investigators.</p><p>%<inline>INLINE</inline>%</p><p>The students were being released as the Brevard County Sheriff's Office issued an alert for 30-year-old Dwan Jerome Thomas III. Thomas was wanted on unrelated charges out of Cocoa Beach, and is also accused of making the threatening phone call to someone, which was then relayed to someone who works at the school.</p><p>Thomas was taken into custody Thursday evening, authorities said.</p><p>"The school is in a precautionary lockdown. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is currently on scene and the school is secure," Cpl. John Martinez said in a statement.</p><p>The 700-student Merritt Island school, located at 1201 N. Banana River Dr., was placed on a precautionary lockdown around 8:30 a.m. Brevard County Chief Deputy Doug Waller could be seen talking with concerned parents, including several who were led into a nearby church cafeteria to be briefed on the investigation.</p><p>%<inline>INLINE</inline>%</p><p>Parents were able to remove students from the school.</p><p>The investigation centered around a possible domestic dispute in which a threat was either made or passed on.<br /> Brevard County school district officials said they did not know if the threat involved a school employee or someone else, referring any questions about the case to the Sheriff’s Office.</p><p>Brevard County Public Schools' public information officer said Audubon Elementary will be on its normal schedule Friday.</p><p>Thomas was taken to the County Jail Complex, where he is being held without bond.</p><p>He is charged with aggravated stalking, domestic violence, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, violation of community control and aggravated fleeing and eluding.</p><p>“I am very proud of the entire Brevard Public School team who were incredible today. Dr. Blackburn, his staff and the Audubon team ensured the children were safe and calm during the lockdown," Sheriff Wayne Ivey said. "I would also like to commend the parents and guardians who were calm and assisted the school's staff and our deputies to effectively check out and pick up the children without impacting the security protocols. Lastly, I can’t say enough about our East Precinct deputies and Fugitive Team who immediately secured the school, located the suspect and put him behind bars, where he belongs."</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:10:30 GMT

Witness: 50 students pepper-sprayed during fight at Orlando high school

<p>As many as 50 students were pepper-sprayed at an Orlando high school when a school resource officer tried to break up a fight between two students, witnesses told News 6.</p><p>Orange County Public Schools said Edgewater High School was placed on lockdown just before noon when the students refused to stop fighting outside the cafeteria.</p><p>Orlando police said two students will face charges, but it's not clear if they were directly involved in the fight. A male student will be charged with battery on staff, resisting without violence and disorderly conduct and a female student will be charged with disorderly conduct and resisting without violence, according to police.</p><p>About 200 students were gathered near the fight, and approximately 50 of them were affected by the pepper-sprayed, witnesses said.</p><p>"They were screaming because they couldn't see. they were just yelling, running around," sophomore Taylor Fleetwood said.</p><p>"There was people throwing up to people just coughing like crazy. Like me, I got affected by it. I was constantly coughing," senior Kaylyn Forman said.</p><p>OCPS sent out a robo call to parents alerting them of the lockdown and the officer's actions.</p><p>"Law enforcement's verbal commands were also ignored," Edgewater High School's principal said in a call to parents. "The (school resource officer) used pepper spray to control the situation before it escalated any further."</p><p>The school nurse and Orlando Fire Rescue treated the students, but school officials said they did not know the exact number of students affected by pepper spray. The fire department says it sent three students to the hospital complaining of eye irritation and chest pains.</p><p>School officials said the fight was an isolated incident.</p><p>Students and parents think the situation should have been handled differently.</p><p>"I don't think they should have maced the crowd. And kids couldn't see like that. They did it for no reason," Taylor Fleetwood said.</p><p>"They were probably just trying to get control, however I don't know if that was the best tactic to use," Taylor's mom Joy Fleetwood said.</p><p>No other details were immediately available.</p><p>OCPS says administrators are investigating and the students involved in the fight could face disciplinary actions.</p><p>Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for more on this story.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 02:48:38 GMT

Suspicious powder discovered in letter addressed to Donald Trump

<p>The scene at Trump Tower in New York has been deemed safe after a letter addressed to Donald Trump contained a suspicious white powder, authorities said Thursday night.</p><p>The city's health department will conduct further testing and analysis of the substance, a New York Police Department official told CNN.</p><p>An intern initially opened the envelope, which was quickly resealed by security, law enforcement officials told CNN Thursday night. They dialed 911 and the New York City Fire Department dispatched a unit to the 5th Avenue building in midtown Manhattan at 8:05 p.m. ET.</p><p>Of the six people present when the substance was first discovered, three men, all civilians, are currently being evaluated, the NYPD official told CNN. They have shown "no appearance of ill effect," the official said. </p><p>Mail is normally opened in the Trump Tower basement before being brought up to its 5th floor offices, a law enforcement source told CNN. But it appears the mail was not screened before being brought upstairs.</p><p>Outside Trump Tower on Thursday night, the scene was quiet. </p><p>"As you can see, there's not much urgency here," the NYPD official said.</p><p>Trump is currently across the country, hosting a rally in Costa Mesa, California. His presidential campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 05:45:54 GMT

Armed person barricades himself in home, Orange County deputies say

<p>Several streets were blocked off Thursday night by Orange County deputies after they said a man barricaded himself inside a home with a gun.</p><p>The incident unfolded at 3:41 p.m. Thursday near Westmoreland Drive and Columbia Street.</p><p>Deputies said they were attempting to make contact with a suspect with an active warrant for an armed carjacking that happened a few days ago.</p><p>The suspect, identified by deputies as Giovanni Medina, 22, barricaded himself inside his home and was believed to be armed, deputies said. Deputies were trying to resolve the situation Thursday night.</p><p>After numerous attempts to call Medina out of the home, OCSO's SWAT was called to West Columbia Street to assist with the apprehension, deputies said.</p><p>Medina attempted to flee from deputies. The Sheriff's Office said deputies were able to subdue him using a non-lethal weapon.</p><p>Medina was taken into custody. Deputies said he was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for evaluation.</p><p>The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was notified and will be conducting an investigation, deputies said.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 02:40:22 GMT

Rams take Jared Goff as NFL's No. 1 draft pick

<p>The Los Angeles Rams drafted University of California quarterback Jared Goff with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night.</p><p>The Rams sent a total of six picks to the Tennessee Titans in blockbuster trade earlier this month for the No. 1 overall pick plus two others.</p><p>Newly relocated from St. Louis, the team was thought to be choosing between Goff and North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz in the days leading up to the draft.</p><p>Goff led the Bears to an 8-5 season as a junior this past season while setting Pac-12 single-season records with 4,714 yards and 43 touchdowns. In three seasons for Cal, he threw for a total of 12,195 yards and 96 touchdowns.</p><p>The Philadelphia Eagles, who made their own splash last week by trading with the Cleveland Browns for the No. 2 pick, drafted Wentz with their pick.</p><p>A fifth-year senior, Wentz was a part of five straight FCS National Championships for the Bisons, although only the past two seasons as a starter. He missed eight games this past season with a broken wrist, before returning to lead the team to the national title over Jacksonville State.</p><p>The Eagles are looking to upgrade the position, even with former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford and free agent addition Chase Daniel already on the roster.</p><p>Following Thursday night's first round, the draft will continue from Chicago's Auditorium Theatre with the second and third rounds starting at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, followed by the fourth through seventh rounds beginning at noon ET on Saturday.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:56:23 GMT

10 big airfare bargains

<p>With any luck, temperatures in Chicago are on their way up.</p><p>Fortunately for travelers, airfares are already down.</p><p>The Windy City tops Cheapflights.com's list of 10 destinations that have seen airfare drops of more than 25%, yielding the lowest airfares of the past five years.</p><p>In Chicago, fares are down by 41% compared to last year.</p><p>Florida is another hot destination for low fares, with dips of more than 30% at Orlando International, Southwest Florida International and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International airports.</p><p>Fares to Miami are down by 25%.</p><p>London, Sydney and Costa Rica fares round out the top five best bargains, with price drops close to 30%.</p><p>Consumers can thank lower fuel prices, a strong dollar and competition from low-cost airlines for the dip in fares, Cheapflights says.</p><p>The travel deal site compiled the list by looking at the average decrease in airfares searched from U.S. departure points for its 50 most-searched destinations.</p><p>Average prices between January and April were compared with fares to the same destinations over the past five years.</p><p>For the full top 10 list, check out the gallery above.</p>

Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 21:19:33 GMT

Bush breaks his silence, calls for a contested convention.

<p>A reflective Jeb Bush said he had no regrets Thursday about his failed presidential bid, saying in his first interview since leaving the race that Donald Trump could still lose the nomination fight.</p><p>"There's a possibility that he won't get 50% on the first ballot," Bush told CNN's Jamie Gangel, giving his first television interview exclusively to CNN after dropping out of the presidential race in February. "And if he doesn't do that, there are a whole lot of people who don't believe he's the proper guy."</p><p>Bush, who has endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president but been largely invisible as a surrogate, wouldn't say whether he would support Trump as the nominee in November, though he added there's no way he would vote for Hillary Clinton. When asked repeatedly how he would vote if Trump became the nominee, Bush responded, "I'm hopeful he won't be."</p><p>The former governor said only two people could win the nomination, seeming to not recognize the argument made by Ohio Gov. John Kasich that he could emerge as the nominee.</p><p>Bush said he observed Trump's foreign policy speech Wednesday with bewilderment, saying, "I don't think he is a serious person."</p><p>"I don't know which Donald Trump to believe," he said. "The one that read from a teleprompter a speech that was inside the lines, or the one that wants to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it." </p><p>Bush had harsh words for the press, who he labeled an "accomplice" of Trump and blamed for a "despicable," ratings-driven approach to news. And he did not rule out a future run of his own, even though he conceded that the 2016 race, which he entered as the front-runner, was his best chance.</p><p>"I've learned to never say never. But this was my chance. This was the chance and I ran into a storm," Bush said, adding that he's hoping to retain some of the policy minds he recruited for his campaign. "It just didn't resonate -- people were interested in other things this election."</p><p>Bush said that he could have done little to change the outcome in a wild presidential race.</p><p>"I've concluded that whatever mistakes I made -- and I certainly made them -- probably wouldn't have changed the outcome. Because I'm not going to change who I am," he said. "It gives me some comfort."</p><p>Bush also pushed back on the idea that the "establishment," of which he is firmly ensconced as the son and brother of former presidents, had as much power or was as monolithic as described, saying radio host "Rush Limbaugh has as much power as (Republican National Committee Chairman) Reince Priebus."</p>

Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:46:51 GMT

Man in animal suit shot outside Baltimore TV station

<p>He wore either a hedgehog or panda onesie. The makeshift explosives were fashioned from wires and chocolate bars wrapped in foil, police said. His face was hidden behind sunglasses and a surgical-type mask.</p><p>It's unclear what possessed the 25-year-old man to walk into a Baltimore television news station Thursday and demand airtime, police said. But he was shot and wounded by officers after a brief standoff.</p><p>"Why did he do this?" Baltimore police spokesman T.J Smith asked. "We don't know the answer to that."</p><p>The incident began about 1:20 p.m. with a call to police about a man in an animal outfit who displayed "what appeared to be some type of explosive device" at the offices of FOX45, Smith said.</p><p>In the vestibule, the man in the onesie displayed a flash drive and said he wanted to air information comparable to the Panama Papers, FOX45 News Director Mike Tomko told reporters, according to the CNN affiliate. The Panama Papers are leaked documents that alleged some world leaders used secret offshore companies and accounts to hide billions of dollars.</p><p>"What it is that he wanted them to air is something we're still investigating," Smith said.</p><p>The intruder said he had a bomb and "a message he wanted to be heard" before handing a flash drive to security guard Joural Apostolides, according to the guard.</p><p>Apostolides told the station he checked the content of the drive on a computer and it had to do with astronomy, black holes and space. He and the intruder talked for about 45 minutes.</p><p>"At first I thought it was a joke," the security guard said. "I mean, he was wearing a hedgehog onesie. So I didn't really think it was serious, but then he kept on saying he didn't want to hurt anyone and ... I told him that I understood that and, if he wanted to sit tight, I would try to help him out."</p><p>Smith described the man's outfit as a panda onesie and said the alleged explosive device was found to be a flotation device rigged with foil-wrapped candy bars and a small motherboard.</p><p>Station employees and visitors were safely evacuated from the building as a precaution. Employees and bystanders later stood near the station watching the drama unfold, as police surrounded the building and a helicopter hovered above.</p><p>Around the same time, Smith said, a car outside the station was set ablaze, with a rag inside the gas tank. Police believe the station intruder was also connected to the arson.</p><p>The man in the mask came out of the building at one point and slowly advanced toward police officers, ignoring their orders to take his hands out of his pockets, according to Smith.</p><p>Smith initially said the man was shot by a police sniper, but later reported that three officers opened fire and struck the suspect more than once.</p><p>A bomb squad robot was used to communicate with the wounded suspect and remove his hands from his pockets.</p><p>The unidentified man, who has not been charged, was in serious but stable condition with non-life threatening injuries, Smith said.</p><p>CNN correspondent Brian Stelter reported from the scene that officers were following the man out of the building and shots were heard after he didn't obey their commands. He said members of the media crouched behind vehicles.</p><p>Baltimore Police Chief Kevin Davis said it is unfortunate that bizarre occurrences such as Thursday's "very, very unusual event" were becoming common in America.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:19:12 GMT

Zoo releases timeline of tiger attack

<p>Palm Beach Zoo officials on Thursday released a timeline of a tiger's fatal attack on a zookeeper and defended the decision to tranquilize the animal, rather than shoot to kill.</p><p>It took rescuers at the Florida zoo more than 10 minutes to reach 38-year-old Stacey Konwiser on April 15, according to the timeline.</p><p>Sometime after 1 p.m., Konweiser entered the night enclosure where the zoo's Malayan tigers are kept when they're not on public display and she must have known the animal was in there, officials said.</p><p>At 1:55 p.m. two maintenance workers "heard what sounded like a scream coming from the night house area," said Palm Beach Zoo CEO Andrew Aiken during a media briefing.</p><p>"They rushed to investigate," he said, and called for help. By 2:03 p.m., the animal was shot with a tranquilizer gun. Aiken said it takes about three minutes for a tranquilizer to work.</p><p>When employees reached Konwiser, they reported that there was no pulse, Aiken said.</p><p>He justified the use of a tranquilizer gun on the tiger instead of using lethal force because the animal stayed close to Konwiser's body and rescuers feared bullets could hit her.</p><p>The animal was siting within inches of Konwiser's head and "prey guarding, which is a protective position tigers will assume over prey in the wild," Aiken said.</p><p>Officials said earlier in the day Konwiser and a colleague had moved one tiger into the public display area and left another tiger in the night house. They posted a warning sign that read "Animal Access," indicating the tiger was there.</p><p>He said it remains a mystery why Konwiser, who was a "talented and experienced zookeeper," would enter an enclosure to which a tiger had access without calling another keeper on the radio.</p><p>Konwiser was scheduled to give a talk to zoo visitors at 2 p.m. and that may explain why she was in the area.</p><p>"She was simply going into the keeper portion, we believe, of the night house to retrieve a bag that has different props that we use for keeper talks," Aiken said.</p><p>He said there are five ongoing investigations of the events.</p><p>Tigers a special exhibit at zoo</p><p>The Palm Beach Zoo's four tigers are part of a breeding program to keep the Malayan tigers from becoming extinct. There are fewer than 250 left in the world, officials said.</p><p>But that was not the reason the zoo used a tranquilizer instead of bullets, said Aiken.</p><p>"The fact that the animal is endangered played no role in the decision-making process," he said.</p><p>On its website, the zoo says it has made changes since the killing, including more training for zookeepers, a review of zoo safety protocols and a two-person system, where two keepers are required at all times when animals are moved.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 02:09:41 GMT

Bicyclist hurt after colliding with officer's patrol car, FHP says

<p>A bicyclist was hospitalized after colliding with an officer's patrol car in Winter Park, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.</p><p>It happened around 3:30 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Aloma Avenue and Balfour Court.</p><p>Troopers said a 44-year-old officer was in a marked Winter Park patrol car that was stopped facing north in the parking lot of Aloma Bowl.</p><p>A 68-year-old man was traveling on a bicycle west on the sidewalk on the south side of Aloma Avenue.</p><p>The officer pulled the patrol car closer to Aloma in preparation to make a right turn. Troopers said as he moved the patrol car forward, it blocked the sidewalk.</p><p>The bicyclist attempted to go around the front of the patrol and collided with the right front of the patrol car, according to the FHP. The bicyclist fell off and came to a stop under the patrol car.</p><p>Troopers said the bicyclist was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.</p><p>Charges are pending as the crash remains under investigation, according to the FHP.</p>

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 01:08:18 GMT

City installs new crosswalk signs, lights at busy College Park intersection

<p>Orlando has been named one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians in the whole nation. City leaders are getting results for pedestrians who use the crosswalk at Shady Lane to cross Edgewater Drive in College Park. </p><p>Edgewater Drive is a busy road, especially during peak times of the day like morning and afternoon rush hour. Pedestrians say they have to dodge cars if they want to cross the street at Shady Lane.<br /> <br /> "We go across in a stroller usually and people just fly back and forth," Brian Carney said.</p><p><a href="http://http://www.clickorlando.com/news/drivers-dont-stop-for-pedestrians-at-crosswalks_2015110618281051">News 6 investigated last June </a>and found dozens of cars passing anchor Lisa Bell as she tried to cross the street with an empty baby stroller.</p><p>Last month, the City of Orlando got results for pedestrians. It spent $30,000 funded by gas tax revenues to install the new crosswalk signs and flashing lights.</p><p>Jennifer Dodds tells us when she tried crossing the street Monday morning, a car stopped for her like it was suppose to.</p><p>"There were quite a few people behind her and so I questioned what I should do and about that time a person behind her hit her," Dodds said.</p><p>The momentum pushing that first car right into the crosswalk and almost hitting Dodds.</p><p>"Do you think the new crosswalk and the signs and the lights are working?" News 6 reporter Amanda Castro asked.</p><p>"No, I think it's a good try, but I don't want to see somebody get killed there because of these lights and thinking somebody is going to stop," Dodds said.</p><p>Dodds says part of the problem is the lights aren't very bright and don't do much to alert drivers. But Carney says they are working. He walks across Edgewater Drive every day with his daughter. He tells News 6 he's noticed more cars stopping for pedestrians.</p><p>"It gives us a chance. It gives us a chance to make it to the other side. We feel a little safer, absolutely. It's definitely helping," Carney said.</p><p>Dodds says the best way to make the crosswalk safer is to install a traffic signal.</p><p>Orlando police tell News 6 there have been four pedestrian fatalities so far this year.</p>

Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:43:18 GMT

Longtime Volusia County PE coach still making impact on kids

<p>Plemon Hill has been making an impact on Volusia County kids since 1969. Hill or "Coach" as he's known, was  a longtime PE coach at Ormond Beach Junior High/Middle School. He's known by former students for his warm, caring and encouraging approach to teaching.</p><p>"He has left a wonderful impact on a lot of people during probably one of the hardest times in our lives," says Jennifer Smith by email. Smith, was one of several former students and friends who nominated Hill for the Getting Results Award.</p><p>"I just love people," Hill says, as he looks around the Nova Community Center where he's worked since 1973. "I like what I do, it's been a real fortunate situation for me."</p><p>When we caught up with him he was giving game instructions and offering advice to players young and old. He knew most by name. </p><p>Hill says he's seen a lot of changes in his 40 year career.</p><p>"Kids are smarter now, much smarter. But the disrespect is the big challenge, they don't like to listen."</p><p>He says he's taught two generations of some families.</p><p>"I think it's cool," he says. "You tell them I know your parents, they were very respectful, they were very nice people. So I don't see why you would get off that same trail." </p><p>"Coach" retired from teaching in 2006 but not before the school named its gymnasium after him.</p><p>Hill's impact can be seen in a Facebook account created in his honor by former students. It's something Hill is both proud of and a bit confused by.</p><p>"I don't really get into Facebook," he says. "I don't really have that kind of time to sit down and go on the computer." For the record he has seen it and enjoyed seeing the influence he's had on their lives.</p><p>Hill says he's always tried to show kids that he cares.</p><p>"I love working with kids," he says. "It's just a rewarding type of thing, you see results, you see good results. It's rewarding."   </p>

Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:59:42 GMT

Video shows Jacksonville officer hitting woman in handcuffs

<p>A rookie officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has been charged with battery after he hit a woman while she was handcuffed, Undersheriff Pat Ivey announced Thursday.</p><p>%<inline>INLINE</inline>%</p><p><a href="http://www.news4jax.com">WJXT reports </a>Akinyemi Borisade, 26, has been fired, Ivey said.</p><p>Video released by JSO shows Borisade hitting 31-year-old Mayra Martinez while she was handcuffed and being checked into the Duval County jail.</p><p>Martinez, a new employee at Scores Bar on the Southside, was arrested at the bar just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Ivey said. She was charged with trespassing and resisting police.</p><p>According to her police report, Martinez was drunk and belligerent when two officers, including Borisade, showed up at the bar to escort her from the property. She resisted their efforts to handcuff her and tried to kick and bite the officers, the report said.</p><p>%<inline>INLINE</inline>%</p><p>She continued to kick and fight in the patrol car and was placed in more restraints, the report said.</p><p>While waiting to be booked into the jail, Martinez can be seen on the video kicking Borisade in the leg, and Borisade retaliates by hitting her several times.</p><p>"He could have turned her around and held her in a transporting position that they are trained in back over to the location to wait by the door," Ivey said. "He could have stood there with her, but there was no need to strike her."</p><p>Corrections officers who witnessed the incident reported it to their supervisors, and the JSO Integrity Unit investigated it.</p><p>Ivey said because Borisade is a probationary officer, he can't appeal his firing, but he can ask for a name clearing hearing with JSO. If he passes that he would regain the ability to be an officer with another agency.</p>

Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:58:22 GMT

Orlando retailer arrested for cashing food stamps, investigators say

<p>The Pines of Orlando Market, a tiny, family-owned grocery store located in a strip mall, has a relatively small customer base. That's why state investigators found it suspicious the retailer was redeeming a surprisingly high volume of SNAP benefit transactions, commonly known as food stamps.</p><p>"A store that size, anywhere else, that is doing legitimate business is making about $8,000 a month (in food stamp transactions)," said Jack Heacock, the director of the state's Public Assistance Fraud division.</p><p>At the Pines of Orlando Market, the owner was redeeming about $86,000 in benefits each month, according to investigators.</p><p>Suspecting fraud, undercover agents made six visits to the store over the past few months.  Each time, they swiped an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card as if they were buying food. </p><p>But instead of selling the agents groceries, the store owner handed them cash, according to authorities.  The payout was a little less than 50 cents for every dollar the store owner was later reimbursed by the state.</p><p>"It's the taxpayer who is losing out, because those funds are intended to purchase food," said Heacock, who is leading a charge to crack down on food stamp fraud.  "This is a renewed focus to pursue these types of crimes here in the state of Florida."<br />      <br /> On Wednesday, state agents arrested Ashraf Maged Mostafa Ismail on charges of credit card fraud, public assistance fraud, and grand theft. He has owned the Pine Hills grocery store since at least 2015, records show.</p><p>Over a 10-month period, investigators said Ismail redeemed $863,000 in food stamp benefits, an amount similar to some large supermarkets. </p><p>Although agents do not know exactly how much of that money may have been given to customers as cash, they suspect a large percentage may have been used by customers for a variety of non-food expenses, possibly including clothing, rent, or even drugs.</p><p>"We're going to make an impact and fight this type of fraud," said Evangelina Brooks, a captain with the state's Division of Insurance Fraud.  Her team assisted with the investigation into the Pines of Orlando Market.</p><p>After executing a search warrant on the grocery store, agents seized several boxes of items they hope will aid in future investigations.</p><p>"The second phase is going after the (cash) recipients we can identify through their patterns of transactions at this  store," said Heacock.  He indicated agents may try to identify whether some of the customers may have exchanged food stamps for cash at other retail locations.</p><p>"If you participate in this, we're coming after you," said Heacock.<br />  </p>

Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:13:44 GMT

1 killed in Eustis shooting, police say

<p>Eustis police say a 22-year-old man died in a shooting on Thursday afternoon.</p><p>%<inline>INLINE</inline>%</p><p>The shooting happened Thursday at the intersection of Getford Road and Wall Street in Eustis.</p><p>Police said Khamori Williams died at the hospital from gunshot wounds.</p><p>News 6 spoke to a woman who said Williams was her cousin and said Williams was shot and killed while driving.</p><p>Police said during the investigation, officers found a crashed vehicle at Selleen Drive and Wall Street with Williams inside of the vehicle.</p><p>The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.</p><p>No other details have been released.</p><p>Check back for more on this story.</p>

Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 21:32:29 GMT

Man tried to lure kids in car at Deltona bus stop

<p>It's the second time this month that Volusia County Sheriff's Office said someone tried luring kids into their car.</p><p>Neighbors tell News 6 they've received notices to call deputies if they've seen anything suspicious and said they've been on alert ever since.<br /> <br /> "It happens. Even in the nicest neighborhoods," said Nick Pelosi.<br /> <br /> Deputies said it happened at the bus stop along April Avenue and Tivoli Drive Tuesday morning. The bus stop is also part of Pelosi's property.<br /> <br /> "Something like this. It's just unfortunate," said Pelosi.<br /> <br /> Investigators said the three siblings were waiting to catch their bus to go to Deltona Middle School, when a man pulled over and offered them candy.<br /> <br /> Deputies said the man had candy in his hand and in a cup, refused to take no for an answer and kept following them. The man finally left when investigators said a woman driving by, saw the children and asked if they were OK.<br /> <br /> Deltona Middle School sent out a call to parents on Wednesday night to tell them about the incident and to talk to their children about strangers.<br /> <br /> The suspect is described as an Indian or Hispanic male, 60-70 years old, tanned complexion, straight brown and gray hair, brown eyes and clean shaven.<br /> <br /> Deputies told News 6 that they've stepped up patrol in the area.</p>

Published: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 21:23:59 GMT