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23 kilos of cocaine wash ashore on Florida beach, deputies say

Deputies are trying to figure out where 50 pounds of cocaine that washed ashore Friday on Melbourne Beach came from, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said. 

>> Read more trending news

A woman walking the beach spotted the package and alerted deputies Friday morning. 

“Everything is washing ashore; I don’t know what it is,” said Bob Downs, who was also walking the beach.

Investigators said the nearly 23 kilograms, about 50 pounds, washed ashore just south of Melbourne Beach near where Hurricane Irma washed a sailboat ashore. 

“You would think that South Florida would get the cocaine washing up - not middle, or central Florida. It’s a surprise,” said Richard Threlfall, who was visiting the beach.

Heather Pepe-Dillon, who lives nearby, said it could have come from just about anywhere. 

“You could put together any story, but none of them are good,” she said. 

The special investigations unit was called out to retrieve the package near the 3000 block of AIA. 

Investigators said there aren’t any other reports of cocaine washing ashore they are investigating. 

Florida utility looking to charge customers $1.3 billion for Hurricane Irma-related costs

Executives with Florida Power & Light Co. said they plan to ask regulators for a $1.3 billion rate increase to cover costs incurred from Hurricane Irma. 

That increase translates into about an additional $5 a month for an average residential customer’s bill. 

>> Read more trending news

If the Public Service Commission approves the increase, customers will start seeing the storm surcharge in March, FPL chief financial officer John Ketchum said Thursday.

"We believe that the improvement in FPL’s storm restoration efforts shows that our ongoing transmission and distribution investments, together with our preparation and coordinated response, are providing significant value to our customers,” Ketchum said.

Hurricane Irma’s size and damage prompted the Public Service Commission to solicit comments from customers and other experts to assess the  storm readiness of utilities in the state

Since 2006, Florida Power & Light has spent $3 billion on storm-hardening efforts meant to reduce the damage to utility poles and the amount of time customers are without power following a storm. 

The utility has not yet filed a formal request with the Public Service Commission to recover costs for Hurricane Irma. 

Florida Power & Light also asked the PSC for overall rate increases in excess of $1 billion in 2008 and 2016.

Minnesota family asks for public's help in finding missing emu named Dork

A missing emu named Dork is gaining a Facebook following while an entire community in Minnesota searches for the wayward bird. 

Dork escaped from his backyard pen in Becker in April after a tree branch broke his pen, according to KARE11

>> Florida woman searching for escaped emu after Hurricane Irma

Since then, community members have been filling Dork’s Facebook page with pictures of him when he’s been spotted, the Palm Beach Post reported. A local hardware store even sells shirts that say, “Dork is the name, hiding is the game,” according to WCCO

>> Read more trending news

“It’s really taken on a life of its own,” Becker Police Chief Brent Baloun told WCCO. “It’s kind of a rallying point for the community.”

>> Deputy’s whistling stops wayward Florida emu

Dork’s owner, Tom Berry, is starting to get worried since it’s getting cold, but he believes his bird is still on the loose because he’s searching for a companion, WCCO reported. 

“Geek and Dork were male and female, and Geek died three years or so ago, so he is on his own now,” Berry said. “He’s a bachelor; he’s looking for a female emu.”

>> Emu leads police on highway pursuit

Dork is wildly loved by social media users, the Palm Beach Post reported. 

Read more WCCO and KARE11

Famous Florida Keys resort closed due to Irma; 260 workers lose their jobs

Employees at a resort in the Florida Keys were laid off just weeks after a major hurricane destroyed parts of the resort.

The 260 employees at Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key were terminated via email on Oct. 13 just six weeks after Category 4 Hurricane Irma destroyed some of the resort, according to FLKeysNews.

>> Read more trending news

Due to the damage, the 60-acre resort will not reopen until at least summer 2018, which led to the decision to lay off employees.

“Our crew members are what make Hawks Cay Resort special. This decision was the most difficult one that we had to make,” managing director Sheldon Suga said in a statement obtained by FLKeysNews.

The lay-offs have irked some employees, who claim that the resort showed little regard for their employees’ safety or well-being following the hurricane.

“The only communication I really had from them after I got back from evacuating was a phone call and it wasn’t, ‘Hi, how are you?’ It was ‘Do you have any of our uniforms?’ I went, ‘Are you serious? My house was flooded and I’m not really worried if I have any of your uniforms,’” an anonymous laid-off employee told FLKeysNews.

The former resort worker also mentioned that nearly 50 of his co-workers moved from the islands and don’t have plans to return after the storm.

“We ensured crew members received hurricane pay up to Oct. 14,” Suga told FLKeysNews. “With a reopening date still unknown, we had to give them notice.” 

Suga also noted that the company will make efforts to help their staff members find employment elsewhere. 

Read more at FLKeysNews

WATCH: Former President Barack Obama Giggles At George W. Bush's Joke

WATCH: Former President Barack Obama Giggles At George W. Bush's Joke

Jim Larranaga: 'I am Coach-3' in FBI college basketball probe

University of Miami coach Jim Larranaga said his legal team believes he is “Coach-3,” as noted in the Department of Justice report about the FBI investigation into college basketball’s underbelly.

>> Read more trending news

“I am grateful we have come to that conclusion,” said Larranaga, “as I know I did nothing wrong, and it is comforting to know none of my assistants are connected in any way.” He added that the U.S. attorney’s office has not confirmed the identity of “Coach-3.”

In a news conference at the Watsco Center, Larranaga addressed the media for the first time since the Sept. 26 complaint was unveiled in New York. Uncharacteristically, he read from a prepared statement. He fielded questions afterward from reporters about the emotional impact, but referred all inquiries about the investigation to his statement, which said he appreciated that the media had a job to do, but that he would not offer comment.

Larranaga’s full statement: 

“I cannot state more emphatically that I absolutely have no knowledge of any wrongdoing by any member of our staff and I certainly have never engaged in the conduct that some have speculated about,” Larranaga said, holding a piece of paper with both hands.

“I have tried to live every single one of my 68 years on this earth with integrity, character, and humility. … To have those values that I cherish so dearly even questioned, is disheartening and disappointing.”

“Coach-3,” in the FBI report, was said to know about an Adidas executive and others conspiring to funnel some $150,000 to a 2018 recruit, later learned to be Orlando-based five-star wing Nassir Little. Little and his father signed statements, provided to The Post by Larranaga’s legal team, saying they accepted no money, never discussed payment with any of the men charged, and they and Miami did nothing wrong.

>> Related: Auburn, Oklahoma State, USC coaches among 10 charged with corruption

Asked about his relationship with former Adidas executive Jim Gatto, who was one of 10 men indicted by the FBI on conspiracy and fraud charges, Larranaga declined to comment, referring to the statement.

“It’s been a strain, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” Larranaga said. “It’s something that’s there. I have to deal with it. I have the support of my wife and a wonderful family. I have the support of the university, my staff and players.”

Both Ja’Quan Newton and Bruce Brown, the two players Miami made available to the media, said they were not aware of the details of the investigation. They said practice has been as usual, and they’ve noticed no change in their coach.

“Around us, ‘Coach L’ isn’t going to show he’s hurt,” Newton said. “He’s so happy to be around us.”

Larranaga said he briefed his players on Sept. 26, along with UM Athletics Director Blake James.

“They have nothing to do with this,” Larranaga said. “It hasn’t been talked about since.”

Asked how the investigation has affected recruiting, Larranaga said it has been a negative, but his staff is “very strong and resilient, and we’ll figure out a way to recruit successfully.”

UM does not have a verbal commitment for 2018. It had an official visit set up the weekend of Sept. 9 with five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley, but it was canceled when Hurricane Irma forced UM to evacuate the campus.

Asked if he has received messages of support from colleagues, Larranaga answered, “Yes.”

Asked if that has helped, Larranaga answered with the same flat, “Yes.”

It’s been a month and Puerto Rico still needs your help — where to donate your money, how to volunteer and more

Puerto Ricans are still in need of aid nearly one month after Hurricane Maria’s devastation.

» RELATED: What it’s like in Puerto Rico, a month after Hurricane Maria hit

The official death toll on the U.S. island territory has increased to 48, but more than 100 people are still missing, officials said.

According to CNN, as of Wednesday, about 1 million people are still without running water and 3 million people are without power.

Only 45 of 70 hospitals are currently operating with electricity, and according to FEMA officials, there is a severe food shortage.

President Donald Trump met local and federal officials in Puerto Rico on Oct. 3 and praised his administration’s response to the storm.

» RELATED: Twitter users, politicians blast Trump's comments, behavior in Puerto Rico as ‘inappropriate’

"I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack," Trump said. "But that's fine.”

His remarks came amid harsh criticism that the administration’s response to the disaster was slow or insufficient.

Trump is set to meet with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Thursday to discuss rebuilding efforts, White House officials said.

» RELATED: Trying to reach your loved ones in Puerto Rico? Who to call, email

The once-Category 5 storm hit the U.S. Virgin Islands in mid-September and eventually downgraded to a Category 4, but not before it plowed through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, flooded the streets, collapsed homes and left the entire territory without power.

According to the New York Times, the 155-mph winds also left 80 percent of the United States commonwealth’s crop value completely destroyed.

» RELATED: Hurricane Maria: Live updates

Families desperately trying to connect with their loved ones have also had trouble reaching them, as few of the island’s 1,600 cellphone towers were operational.

“What's out there is total devastation. Total annihilation. People literally gasping for air. I personally have taken people out and put them in ambulances because their generator has run out,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told ABC News.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the dangerous hurricane downgraded to a tropical storm and slowly moved away from the U.S. east coast after causing some storm surge flooding.

» RELATED: Trump promises visit, aid to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

How you can help the victims of Hurricane Maria

Make monetary donations to charities or crowdfunding campaigns

According to the United States Agency for International Development, giving money to reputable relief agencies and nonprofits is the most effective way to help and to avoid using resources to transport or deliver donated goods.

Listed below are several charity organizations or crowdfunding campaigns to choose from. You can also use Charity Navigator to learn more about the organizations before donating.

Note that sending money via text message may seem convenient, but according to the Associated Press, that’s not the case. Charities often have to wait on phone companies to release the money.

Here are some organizations to consider giving money to:

United for Puerto Rico (direct aid and support for Puerto Rico spearheaded by the First Lady of Puerto Rico)

Hispanic Federation (text Unidos and an amount to 4-144 or visit the website)

Americares (emergency and medical supplies)

UNICEF (emergency relief and help for children affected)

Save the Children (emergency relief and help for children affected)

ConPRmetidos (Puerto Rico-based nonprofit to benefit “immediate needs of food, shelter, water” and more)

GlobalGiving Caribbean Hurricane Maria & Irma Relief Fund (from US-based nonprofit Global Giving)

SPCA International (help for animal rescue and care)

Habitat for Humanity (housing and shelter needs)

All Hands (specific for U.S. Virgin Islands)

Salvation Army (supplies and shelter needs)

» RELATED: How you can help Mexico and people affected by the Mexico earthquake

Other crowdfunding campaigns:

- GoFundMe’s Hurricane Maria relief homepage (a landing page with several crowdfunding efforts)

21 US Virgin Island Relief Fund (NBA star Tim Duncan hoping to raise $5 million for his home country)

Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Fund (bringing relief to Dominica)

Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Hurricane Relief Fund (to help families and countries rebuild after hurricanes)

» RELATED: Hurricane Maria set Puerto Rico back decades, official says

Make monetary donations via Google search

If you do a Google search for “Hurricane Maria,” you’ll be able to donate money directly in the search results. Scroll down to donate $5, $25 or $50 to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Check if your employer will match your donation

Doublethedonation.com has a nifty tool that lets you enter your company name to find out whether or not your employer offers a matching gift program for donations.

Donate blood

The American Red Cross urges generous volunteer blood donors to give blood year-round, not only at the time of disaster. Currently, a need for platelet and type O blood donations are especially needed, according to the organization website.

Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to begin the donation process.

» RELATED: Disaster declared in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastates island

Donate useful goods

Monetary donations are preferred, but this nationwide Google spreadsheet also has donation drop-off locations for essential items.

» RELATED: Puerto Rico mayor Cruz begs for solar-powered supplies on CNN; slams acting Homeland Security head

According to the spreadsheet, there’s not a great need for clothing, and transporting water and food may waste resources.

Instead, think about long-term supplies someone may need without electricity or food, such as asthma pumps, bug repellent, eye drops water purification products.

Other high-ticket items include solar powered USB chargers, lanterns, radios, batteries, baby items and duct tape.

Some locations on the Google spreadsheet only collected items through the end of September, but others are collecting them on an ongoing basis. 

Please check the spreadsheet for updated times and locations and give the site manager a call before dropping off supplies.

Volunteer

The American Red Cross is looking is dispatching volunteers to aid areas affected by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

Local residents should use this form.

All non-local residents interested in volunteering should use this separate form.

More information about volunteer expectations and requirements at redcross.org.

You can also volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

» RELATED: Trump: “Big decisions” must be made about rebuilding Puerto Rico

The organization is assessing housing and shelter needs in impacted areas and is evaluating the support it receives from donors, volunteers and other partners before making any long-term decisions.

“We ask that your enthusiasm and interest stay long after the first few weeks as volunteers will be critically needed throughout the recovery and rebuilding phase, which may last months or even years,” the organization posted on its website.

Sign up for the Habitat for Humanity volunteer registry here.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) is allowing volunteers to register to help, but notes that Puerto Rico is asking for volunteers not to deploy to the communities affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Several VOAD volunteer opportunities from casework, cleanup and more are posted here.

Spread awareness on social media

Sometimes, word of mouth (or text) is all it takes. Take part in the relief campaign by retweeting news and alerts about shelters, donations and more from official accounts such as @PRFAA@FEMARegion2@ricardorossello@Univision PR@USNationalGuard and several news organizations.

Be sure to share your donation links, let people know how to donate and continue to spread awareness with hashtags (#PuertoRico, #MariaPR, #PrayForPuertoRico, #UnidosPorPR, #UnitedForPR are some examples).

Despite hurricanes, Caribbean still a popular travel destination

It’s been about a month since a trio of hurricanes barreled through the Caribbean and Florida, destroying many popular vacation spots.

Despite all the damage, the majority of destinations are open for business and need visitors to return.

A travel group just produced a video called “One Caribbean Family” that drives home the theme that the islands are still beautiful and welcoming.

>> Read more trending news 

Maryella Blundo, of Dream Come True Travel, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said there are 30 islands open for business and fully functional.

Every day, she receives updates from hotel vendors listing all the hotels that are accepting reservations.

The storms did devastate spots like Puerto Rico, St. Martin and the Virgin islands.

Many, however, fared much better.

“Aruba, Jamaica,” Blundo said. “You have places like Trinidad and Tobago that were virtually untouched. There’s Curacao. There’s Bonaire. There’s the Bahamas.”

Although parts of Florida are still cleaning up, many locations are ready for visitors.

Javier Rosenberg graduated from the hospitality program at Boston University and now runs three hotels in Florida.

One is in Naples, and two are in the Florida Keys.

"It's quite different where you look,” he said. “Miami, for example, I would say the East Coast is pretty much back to normal in many ways. On the West Coast, which suffered a more direct impact from Hurricane Irma, I think you will still see a number of hotels are closed.”

Rosenberg is happy with the pace of the cleanup and says tourist areas got priority.

“If you are planning to go down to Florida in December, January, or February, I think you have to ask a few great questions just to make sure you are comfortable,” Rosenberg said. “In some of the Keys, you want to make sure you have enough restaurant options that are open.”

There may be an opportunity to get a deal in the Sunshine State.

“In the next few months, you probably will see some specials as hotels, and I think destinations, try to get people comfortable with the idea of coming back, so I think there are some great deals and opportunities out there,” Rosenberg said.

At Boston Logan International Airport, most travelers said they’d be willing to go south in a few months to get a reprieve from a Boston winter.

One woman said, “Obviously, it’s pretty tragic what happened there, but I don’t think that I would have any reason not to go.”

“I would still go," one man said. "They are still safe to travel to. I would, but if you had the money to go to the Caribbean, then do it, but Florida is definitely a good option.”

Maryella Blunda told WFXT that she doesn’t expect to see deep discounts in the Caribbean.

She said some resorts are offering perks like spa discounts, but that’s about it.

If you aren’t interested in the Caribbean this year, she suggests checking out Costa Rica and Panama.

Group Sex During Hurricane Irma Ends With a Murder

Group Sex During Hurricane Irma Ends With a Murder

Group sex during Hurricane Irma reportedly ends with decomposed body, police say

Police in Hollywood have arrested one of two men who they say are responsible for the death of a man whose decomposed body was found in a closet. 

>> Read more trending news

Police said that on Sept. 10 during Hurricane Irma, Travis Watson, 30, engaged in group sex with the victim, Ariel Gonzalez, and a man named Jacob Mitchell, who is still at large, the Miami Herald reports.

Watson told police that Mitchell was angry with Gonzalez for cheating on him with Watson alone after they had all engaged in sexual activity earlier, police said. Out of anger, Mitchell beat Gonzalez with a hanger and broomstick then poured hot grease on his head, according to the Herald. 

Watson admitted to police that he punched Gonzalez in the face, asking him where he kept his money. He said he also helped Mitchell tie Gonzalez’s hands behind his back with a belt as Mitchell poured the hot grease over him, but Watson claims he tried to stop him, according to the Herald. 

Officers found Gonzalez’s body on Sept. 13 after a friend reported his disappearance and “noticed a foul odor” at his apartment, the Herald reports. 

Police said Gonzalez’s body was wrapped in bedsheets “with a small portion of his head visible,” the Herald reports. Neighbors identified Watson and Mitchell to police when they saw them leaving Gonzalez’s apartment during Hurricane Irma. 

Watson remains at the Broward County Jail on charges of kidnapping in commission or facilitation of a felony, failure to report a death, and robbery without a firearm. He is being held on a $100,000 bond. 

Police have described Mitchell as about 5 feet and 6inches tall ad wearing a long, blond wig to hide his balding, the Herald reports. 

55 dogs, toddler removed from house of horrors, bad stench reached street

Florida authorities removed 55 dogs and a 3-year-old boy from a home described as “deplorable” and “unsanitary.” 

It happened at a home in Ocala on Thursday, according to police.

>> Read more trending news

Officers were dispatched to the house on Wednesday after a  report of a bad odor coming from the location. 

They spoke to a woman at the residence, but she would not let the officers enter the house, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page

When officials returned to the residence on Thursday, the woman told them she had 15 dogs and was preparing to take them to a kennel. 

Skeptical about the woman’s explanation, police called Marion County Animal Services and the city Code Enforcement. 

Code Enforcement officials said they saw urine dripping from underneath a side door, smelled a “strong odor” and heard many dogs barking. 

The woman allowed a district service officer to enter the home, and he said he noticed trash all over the floors and a strong smell of ammonia

The officer’s investigation revealed that the woman ran a kennel for poodles, and the 55 dogs were brought to her house a few days before Hurricane Irma hit the state, the Star Banner reported

Many of the dogs were crowded into crates. They had matted hair and appeared sick, the officer told the Star Banner.

>> Related” Florida woman finds missing dog posted on Craigslist

Animal control officers removed and transported all the dogs to a center to be treated by a veterinarian. 

Police said the a family member picked up the young boy after the Florida Department of Children and Families determined the home was unsafe for him. 

Officials said they are still investigating, and so far no charges have been filed against the woman. 

Nursing Home Were 12 Patients Died after Hurricane Irma Laid off all Employees

Nursing Home Were 12 Patients Died after Hurricane Irma Laid off all Employees

Nursing home where 12 died after Hurricane Irma lays off all employees

The Florida nursing home where 12 patients died in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma has laid off all of its 245 employees.

>> Read more trending news

The layoffs include nurses, physical therapists and doctors at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

Nursing home residents were subjected to overly hot conditions in the days after Hurricane Irma when a tree fell on a transformer powering the air conditioning system. Twelve patients died when they were not evacuated after the storm passed.

State officials later suspended their license and the facility closed permanently.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

All living former U.S. presidents to attend hurricane relief concert

All five living former U.S. presidents will attend a newly announced hurricane relief concert at Texas A&M University on Oct. 21.

>> Read more trending news

“Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal” will feature Alabama, the Gatlin Brothers, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Yolanda Adams and several other music acts, according to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation. Country music star Lee Greenwood will emcee the event.

>> Related: Former presidents join forces for hurricane relief

The former presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — recently launched One America Appeal to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Read the full story on mystatesman.com

Hurricane Irma: Birds typically from Caribbean found in rough shape in Northeast Florida

With the waves and wind from Hurricane Irma, and more rough conditions from the recent nor'easter, BEAKS founder Cindy Mosling said they’ve taken in dozens of birds.

“Probably about 100 or more birds have come in,” Mosling said.

She said many of them, like Sooty Terns, were in rough shape.

>> Read more trending news

“They’re tired, starving, worn out, exhausted and caught in the surf,” Mosling said.

She said these birds are rarely seen flying around northeast Florida.

“We never get them unless there’s a storm,” she said

She said they’re usually found closer to the Florida Keys.

“And out toward the Bahamas in the Caribbean area, they often get blown in and it does say once they get well, they go back home,” Mosling said.

She said a handful of birds will likely be released Thursday because they’re finally strong enough to fly.

Caribbean hurricane evacuees arrive in Florida on cruise ship

More than 3,800 hurricane evacuees arrived in South Florida on Tuesday courtesy of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

>> Read more trending news 

The bulk of the evacuees aboard Adventure of the Seas were from Puerto Rico, with almost 900 from St. Croix and St. John and almost 700 from St. Thomas, according to WTVJ

While in Puerto Rico, the ship also picked stranded cruise crew members and tourists to bring them home, according to WSVN

Yaima Escobar was one of the relatives waiting at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades to welcome six relatives from Puerto Rico.

“They are very sad,” Escobar told WSVN, “very sad to leave the house and leaving everything back, not knowing when you’re going back -- if you are going back.”

Disaster relief centers for the evacuees have been set up at international airports in Orlando and Miami, as well as one at Port Miami. 

Royal Caribbean canceled another cruise so it could take part in this relief mission, WSVN reported. 

Read more at WTVJ or WSVN

’We’re dumbstruck,’ brother of suspected Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock speaks out

Eric Paddock broke down in tears to WFTV’s Nancy Alvarez when he started thinking his brother Stephen Paddock was allegedly responsible for the mass shooting in Las Vegas. 

>>WATCH: Brother of Stephen Paddock speaks to WFTV's Nancy AlvarezAt least 50 people were killed and hundreds more were injured Sunday night when a gunman opened fire on more than 22,000 people gathered near the Mandalay Bay Casino for a country music festival.

>> Read more trending news Police said the suspected gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Authorities found him dead in his hotel room, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.“There’s nothing I can say. My brother did this. It’s like he shot us. I couldn’t be more dumbfounded,” Eric Paddock told Eyewitness News.

>>WATCH: Brother of Stephen Paddock speaks to WFTV's Nancy AlvarezEric Paddock said he last heard from his brother after Hurricane Irma. He said his brother texted to make sure his family was OK.Eric Paddock said he found out about the mass shooting when Las Vegas police called him.“I don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense,” Eric Paddock said.

>>WATCH: Brother of Stephen Paddock speaks to WFTV's Nancy Alvarez

Meanwhile, another person who claims to be the niece of Stephen Paddock posted to Facebook a short time ago.

The poster, who is identified as Nicole Paddock, says that Stephen Paddock is her uncle whom she didn’t see often. 

The woman who lives in Orlando claims that, “Sometimes I would see him in Las Vegas when I was there vising other family, but these encounters were casual and infrequent. I cannot speak to what possibility motivates someone to do something like this nor what his specific motivations may have been. He never came across as religious or political.”

Fire ants attack 85-year-old man; causes rollover accident in SUV

A fire ant attack on a Florida man while he was driving caused the 85-year-old to overturn his SUV on a highway in Madison County.

>> Read more trending news

The ants had taken refuge in Louis Marino’s Ford Explorer during Hurricane Irma, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Marino, of Tampa, felt the insects biting his legs and lost control of his vehicle, rolling over on Interstate 10 just over a week ago.

>> Related: Fire ants: One more danger lurking in waters of flood-ravaged Texas

Marino had parked his SUV in storage for Hurricane Irma and left food in his car. He said he didn’t notice the ants on the floorboard when he got into the SUV, the Democrat reported

After the ants attacked, Marino ran off the road, then overcorrected as he tried to regain control, causing the rollover accident.

>> Related: Snake shocks Florida woman while driving

Luckily he suffered only minor injuries in the accident.

Gatorland to loan 60 alligators to Texas park damaged by Hurricane Harvey

Gatorland is loaning 60 alligators to a Texas park that lost about a quarter of its population when Hurricane Harvey hit the state. 

The owners of Gator County Adventure Park and Sanctuary in Beaumont, Texas, arrived at Gatorland Saturday to pick up the 60 5- to 6-foot-long American alligators. 

>> Read more trending news

Watch: 2,000 alligators prepped for Hurricane Irma at Gatorland

"We are just so fortunate that Gatorland was not heavily damaged and we did not lose any alligators in the storm," said Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland. "But even before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, we saw the devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey and began looking for ways we could help.”

Read: GATORLAND is new home to 70 animals from closing theme park

According to the owners, Gator Country received a record 52 inches of rain during Hurricane Harvey and lost about 40 of their alligators to the floodwaters. 

Gator County owners Gary and Shannon Saurage hope to breed the alligators and yield about 100 babies in a year.

"I think this relationship between us will really set a precedent for alligator parks to come together and help one another,” Shannon Saurage said. 

12th Florida nursing home patient dies after Hurricane Irma

A 12th elderly patient at Florida’s Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center died Thursday night after being taken from the overheated nursing home that had no air conditioning for three days after Hurricane Irma hit, according to the Broward Medical Examiner.

>> Read more trending news

Dolores Biamonte, 57, had the same symptoms as the other patients who were brought to Memorial Regional Hospital. An autopsy will be preformed on Biamonte Friday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Biamonte’s death comes after eight patients died on Sept. 13, and three more died last week. The ages of the first 11 who died ranged from 78 to 99, according to The Associated Press

Since the hurricane, all patients have been removed from the home and the state has revoked its license, but the home has filed a lawsuit to overturn the state’s decision, according to the AP.

Read more at the Sun Sentinel and The Associated Press

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