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Teen charged in crash that killed 3, including a baby: ‘I never saw anyone coming’

A metro Atlanta teenager who is charged in a crash that killed three people, including a 3-month-old baby, said she was looking at the road at the time of the deadly incident.

>> Read more trending news 

"I never saw anyone coming,” Zoe Reardon, 18, told WSB-TV. “My eyes were on the road,” she said.

Reardon faces eight misdemeanor charges that include vehicular homicide and the use of an electronic communication device under the age of 18 in connection with the Sept. 9 crash in Woodstock, Georgia.

Reardon's attorney, Manny Arora, told WSB his client texted her dad about dinner two minutes before the deadly accident. At the time, she was stopped in traffic elsewhere, he said.

However, investigators say Reardon "failed to exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle ... and engaged in the action of putting away her cellular telephone which distracted her," a point the teen disputes. 

“I wasn't doing anything,” she said.

>> Related: Teen charged in crash that killed hurricane evacuee, baby

Kaitlin Marie Hunt, 28, her baby Riley and family friend Kathy Deming, 61, of Marietta, were hit by Reardon’s SUV about 8 p.m. while trying to cross Arnold Mill Road, according to the sheriff’s office.

Riley died that night.

Days later, Hunt and Deming died.

Hunt, a Marietta native who was with the Coast Guard in Florida, had come to metro Atlanta to escape Hurricane Irma.

I see my family’s hurt, my parents' hurt,” Reardon said. “I can only imagine their families’ hurt must be four times what we’re going through.” 

Arora said investigators earlier told her family they saw no basis for charges. 

"No crosswalk and these people happen to be crossing, and she happened to be driving, and it's just tragic," Arora said.

Cherokee County Solicitor General Jessica Moss said she never told anyone there would be no charges.

>> Related: Florida mother who fled to metro Atlanta dies days after baby

Zoe Reardon told WSB that she is a straight-A student who has a partial scholarship to Southern Methodist University in Texas. But she now has the charges from the crash to deal with, and thinks of family members of the crash victims.

"I pray for the hearts,” she said, “and I pray for their healing."

Family emergency supply kit must-haves

Emergency Supplies:

Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents..

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:

     
  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Clothing and Bedding:

If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:

     
  • A jacket or coat
  • Long pants
  • A long sleeve shirt
  • Sturdy shoes
  • A hat and gloves
  • A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.

     
  • Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov
  • Rain gear
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Cash or traveler's checks, change
  • Paper towels
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Tent
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container*
  • Signal flare*
  • Paper, pencil
  • Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
  • Disinfectant*
  • Household chlorine bleach* - You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Medicine dropper
  • Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

Storm evacuations: How coin, frozen cup of water could keep you from getting sick

If you evacuate because of a storm, here is one thing that you can do to help ensure you and your family members don’t get sick after returning to your home.

>> Read more trending news 

You may have seen this post on your Facebook feed. It suggests to putting a quarter on a cup of frozen water in the freezer before you leave. When you return, you can see if the quarter stayed put or if it sank. The sinking will tell you that the water melted. If the water in the cup melted then refroze, the same can be said for the food in the freezer.

But can you believe all of the tips and hacks you see on Facebook and other social media?

In this case, experts said yes, but with a slight change. 

The Houston Chronicle reported that instead of a quarter, you’ll want to use a penny.

That’s because pennies contain copper and copper is a better conductor of heat, Don Mercer told the Chronicle. Mercer is an associate professor in Food Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Mercer said that food will stay frozen in a freezer for about 24 hours, as long as you don’t open the freezer door to check on what is inside.

The coin/cup trick helps when you’re away and are not sure if there’s been an extended power outage. Mercer said if the contents of the freezer thawed and then refroze, you’d have no way of knowing without the hack. If food thaws then refreezes, microorganisms that were there before the first freeze can multiply, posing a threat of food poisoning. 

Hurricane evacuation: Helpful apps for finding gas, hotel rooms, traffic routes

If you are looking for information needed when evacuating before a storm, here is a list of apps and websites that may help.

For Federal Aviation Administration major airport status, see http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/semap.jsp.

For gas availability, see GasBuddy at https://www.gasbuddy.com/.

For a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi hot spots, which are located both indoors and outdoors in places such as shopping districts, parks and businesses, visit xfinity.com/wifi.

For traffic slowdowns or wrecks, road closures and other real-time traffic issues, go to Waze.

To find a hotel room, see expedia.com.

If you need information about weather, public alerts, shelters, forecasts and more, go to Google.org’s crisis maps.

If you want money transfer or storm tracking apps, or just want to network, try the App Store’s "Stay Safe After the Hurricane” collection.

Various hurricane apps are available from a collection Google put together.

15 safety tips that could save your life during a hurricane

Here are some safety tips emergency management and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are offering that could save your life during a hurricane:Evacuation

1. If you are ordered to evacuate, you need to evacuate. The best way to stay safe is to be away from the storm's landfall. The orders to evacuate are issued based on historical flood maps and the strength of the storm. 

2. A Category 5 hurricane will bring “catastrophic damage,” officials with the National Hurricane Center warn, adding that “a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

3.  If you are in a mobile home, leave. Mobile homes will not survive a Category 5 hurricane.

4. Do not leave your pets at home, especially if they are outside.

If you stay

If you choose not to evacuate, or cannot leave, here are a few things you should do:

1. Get in a more secure room in your home – a closet or a bathroom without a window.

2. Stay on the bottom floor of your home unless water is rising.

3.  Do not go into your attic to escape rising water because you could get trapped. If you absolutely have to get in the attic to survive rising water, make sure you take an ax with you so you can cut a hole in the roof to escape.

4. If you are in an area that will flood, turn off electricity at the main breaker before water gets in your home to reduce the risk of electrocution.

5. Of course, do not try to go outside during the storm. Pieces of buildings, roofs, trees and other objects will be flying through the air.

6. Do not use candles as a light source – flashlights are what you need to use.

7. When you lose power, click here to see how you can use the internet.

During or after the storm

1. Do not use a generator during a storm.

2.  Never use portable generators inside a home, in your garage, in your basement or in a crawl space.

3. Generators produce carbon monoxide and if they are inside your house, your home can fill up with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide will kill you if you breathe too much of it. If you are using a portable generator to power appliances in your home following the storm, make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm. Appliances should be plugged directly into a generator. Do not hook the generator to your household electrical system. You can hurt yourself and kill utility workers when they begin to reconnect electricity to homes.

4. Do not get anywhere near standing water. It could contain live electric wires. If you come in contact with it, you could be electrocuted. If you see wires on the ground after the storm, assume they are live.

Here are some other tips from the Twitter feed of FloridaDisaster.org if you are evacuating or if you are staying home.

 The 5 ‘p’s of evacuation

 Don’t’ go farther than you have to

9 weather terms you should know when preparing for a hurricane

Whenever a hurricane is poised to strike a region, there are several terms meteorologists use that might not be familiar.

>> Read more trending news

Here are common ones you should know as you keep your eye on the storm’s path: 

Feeder band

Lines or bands of low-level clouds that move (feed) into the upper region of a thunderstorm, usually from the east through south.

This term also is used in tropical meteorology to describe spiral-shaped bands of convection surrounding, and moving toward, the center of a tropical cyclone.

Squalls

When the wind speed increases to at least 16 knots and is sustained at 22 knots or more for at least one minute.

Storm surge

An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm. The height is the difference between the normal level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide.

>> Related: What is storm surge and why is it dangerous? 

Eye wall

An organized band or ring of clouds that surround the eye, or light-wind center, of a tropical cyclone. Eye wall and wall cloud are used synonymously.

Sustained winds

Wind speed determined by averaging observed values over a two-minute period.

Computer models

Meteorologists use computer models to figure out a storm’s path and its potential path. The models are based on typical weather patterns.

Advisory

Official information describing all tropical cyclone watches and warnings in effect along with details concerning tropical cyclone locations, intensity and movement, and precautions that should be taken.

Hurricane watch

An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are possible. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane warning

An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected somewhere within the specified area in association with a cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the warning is issued 36 hours in advance. The warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or high water and waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.

Florida's 10 safest cities in a hurricane

There’s really no place that’s 100 percent safe in Florida when it comes to hurricanes.

Even Orlando got hit twice in 2004 by hurricanes Charley and Frances.

>> Read more trending news

And, although Florida enjoyed a more than 10-year hurricane drought after 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, Hurricane Hermine made landfall in the Florida Panhandle in 2016. 

Still, Homeinsurance.com has ranked Florida’s cities based on their evaluation of NOAA-identified storms from 1965 to October 2014, doling out scores based on the number of storm events, number of storm-related deaths, property damage and storm-related injuries.

The top 10 safest cities in Florida during a hurricane, according to the insurance study, are:

  1. Leesburg
  2. Orlando
  3. Sanford
  4. Kissimmee
  5. Palatka
  6. Lake City
  7. Naples
  8. Ocala
  9. Gainesville
  10. Fernandina Beach

The entire ranking is below.

Read more about the Home Insurance study here.

Why you should never use a generator during a storm

If you are in a mandatory evacuation area, you need to leave. If you feel unsafe in your home,  you should get out. If you are making a decision to stay, safety in the home should obviously be your No. 1 priority.

For many, a portable generator feels like a guarantee of a semblance of normalcy following a storm. While it can keep refrigerators on and fans or a small air conditioner running, there are dangers associated with using it.

Here are some tips on generators and why you should never use one during a storm.

From the National Safety Council

1. Always read and follow the manufacturer's operating instructions before running generator.

2. Engines emit carbon monoxide. Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, and neither a fan nor open doors and windows can provide enough fresh air. 

3. Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents, or doors. 

4. Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the area in which you’re running a generator. 

5. Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool at least two minutes before refueling, and always use fresh gasoline. If you do not plan to use your generator in 30 days, don’t forget to stabilize the gas with fuel stabilizer. 

6. Maintain your generator according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for peak performance and safety. 

7. Never operate the generator near combustible materials. 

8. If you have to use extension cords, be sure they are of the grounded type and are rated for the application. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them in flat, open locations. 

9. Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. That’s known as “backfeeding” and puts people in risk of electrocution – especially utility workers trying to reconnect electric power after the storm.

10. Generators produce powerful voltage. Never operate under wet conditions. Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain.

11. Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated, in watts or amps, at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.  

 

How to use internet during a storm when your internet is down

If you are near the forecasted path of a hurricane and you fear the loss of communications that will come when power and internet service is disrupted, don’t worry.

>> Read more trending news

While there’s not an app for that, there is a workaround, as long as you have cellular service.

During and after the storm, you may find that making phone calls becomes impossible, and that 3G and 4G internet service isn’t working, or at least not working well. The good news is that you may still be receiving text messages. 

A story from The Washington Post offers some tips on how to use Twitter in a situation where internet service is spotty. Twitter was originally a text-based service, so it lends itself well to such a use.

Here are a few other ways to keep in touch with the outside world:

Every phone has an email address, and every provider offers something called an email “gateway.” The gateway allows you to send and receive emails via the text message function on your phone.

Here, courtesy of HumanInet, is how to find your phone’s email address:

If you’re on Verizon, it’s yournumber@vtext.com (as in 5551234567@vtext.com), or if that doesn’t work, yournumber@vzwpix.com

If you’re on AT&T, it’s yournumber@txt.att.net, or if that doesn’t work yournumber@mms.att.net

If you’re on Sprint, it’s yournumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com

If you’re on T-Mobile, it’s yournumber@tmomail.net

(For other carriers, or to troubleshoot yours, check here.)

Once you have your gateway address, you’ll need to forward your email via SMS to that address.

To do that, go into “settings” in your phone and look for something like “add a forwarding address.” When you find that, type in your phone’s email address.

According to HumanInet, that method may not work on some phones. If you have a problem with your phone, you can use an automated forwarding service like TXTJet, they suggest.

If you want to send an email via text, you can enter you email address instead of a phone number.

If you want to get updates from Twitter accounts when the internet gets spotty, you can set up a SMS “Fast Follow.” You don’t even have to have a Twitter account to get updates from those you choose to follow.

You do this by texting “Follow (username)” to 40404. (Follow@nhc_atlantic to follow the National Hurricane Center, for instance).

You cannot use this function to post on Twitter, only to receive notices.

To post something on Twitter, the social media company says to do this:

Send a text to Twitter code [40404] with the word START.

Twitter will reply and ask you to text YES to the Twitter short code.

Text your username to the same number. Do not use the @ symbol or quotation marks. Send your username only. For example: larrybird

Next, text your password. This is case sensitive, so be sure you are sending your password correctly.

Then you can text messages to go out on your Twitter account.

If you can’t go without Facebook, even during a storm, activate Facebook via SMS by going to Facebook account settings and clicking “Mobile,” it’s on the left side of the page.

Turn on Facebook Message Forwarding and Notifications. After it’s set up, post by texting to 32665 or FBOOK.

You can even search Google by adding 466453 (GOOGLE) to your phonebook, then text to it to search.

Sources: Twitter, The Washington Post; HumanInet; Facebook; Google

 

What is storm surge and why is it dangerous?

What is storm surge, how does it happen and why should you be wary of it? Here is a quick look at storm surge.

What is storm surge?

A storm surge is water pushed inland as a hurricane advances and makes landfall.

How does it form?

Imagine a bowl of water. Put your hand in the middle of the bowl and cup it. Now slowly push your hand toward the edge of the bowl. Those are the same dynamics as storm surge. The ocean water is pushed by winds and waves, and is also sucked into the air near the eye of the hurricane by low pressure.

Is it a “wall of water” that rushes in?

Rarely. It is usually a rise of water that can happen quickly, moving at the same rate as the forward speed of a hurricane. 

How powerful is a storm surge?

Very powerful. Only 1 cubic yard of sea water weighs 1,728 pounds. A 6-inch surge can knock a person down.

How dangerous is it?

Storm surge kills more people in a hurricane than all other components of the storm. The overwhelming majority of deaths in the 10 deadliest U.S. landfalling hurricanes were the result of storm surge.

How can I stay safe?

Get away from it. A surge 1 foot deep can take a car off a road. Get out early, because the surge can begin up to 24 hours before landfall. During Hurricane Katrina, people stayed in their homes and died there when the surge filled their homes with water and they could not escape. Also, don’t leave pets at home. Many animals died when people left them in their homes during Hurricane Katrina.

Tom Bossert resigns as Trump's homeland security adviser

President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser Tom Bossert has resigned, White House officials confirmed Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

Florida Gov. Rick Scott launches Senate bid vs. Bill Nelson

Update 12:45 p.m. April 9: Calling Washington "horribly dysfunctional," Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday that he will challenge U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in an election that could be one of the most expensive and highly-watched in the nation.

>> Read more trending news 

The Republican governor formally announced Monday morning his campaign to unseat Florida's only statewide-elected Democrat.

During his announcement, Scott criticized "career politicians" and called for term limits for members of Congress.

"This concept of career politicians has got to stop," Scott said. "We have to have term limits on Congress. We're not going to see a change in Washington if we don't have term limits on Congress."

Scott is a multi-millionaire who never ran for office before he ran for governor in 2010.

He rode into office as part of the tea party movement and called for massive budget and tax cuts, but he was forced to scale back his plans amid opposition from the GOP-controlled legislature. He also changed his hard-line positions on immigration.

"On this day, eight years ago, I did something that everyone told me not to do -- I announced that I was going to run for governor of Florida," Scott said at Monday's rally. "They said a business-person with no experience in government couldn't run the state. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you ignore the naysayers and the critics."

Scott was first elected governor in 2010, but he cannot run again because of term limits.

Original report: After two years of speculation and some public arm-twisting from President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Rick Scott will announce Monday morning that he’s running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

>> On WFTV.com: Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he's running for U.S. Senate

The two-term Republican governor, barred by law from seeking a third term, has scheduled a morning event at a construction company headquarters in Orlando and a 2 p.m. event at a citrus packing house in Fort Myers.

>> Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs year-round daylight saving time measure

Scott’s entrance sets up a nationally watched race that could be the most expensive Senate battle of 2018. With Republicans holding a slender majority of 51 seats in the Senate, Florida will be among the key states to determine which party controls the chamber in 2019.

Nelson has been elected to the Senate three times — but he has never beaten a candidate with the name recognition, fundraising prowess and personal wealth of Scott.

Scott has won the governorship of America’s largest swing state two times — but he ran during the national Republican wave years of 2010 and 2014 and eked out victories with less than 49 percent of the vote each time.

Historical trends and recent polls point toward a difficult environment for GOP candidates this year with Republican Trump in the White House.

>> FL Gov. Rick Scott signs new gun bill into law just weeks after deadly school shooting

Scott was an early cheerleader for Trump and has a close relationship with the president. Trump has publicly urged Scott to run for Senate.

During a visit to Miami last June to tighten some travel and trade restrictions on Cuba, Trump shared a stage with Scott and other officials. He called the Florida governor “my good friend” and said, “He’s doing a great job. Oh, I hope he runs for the Senate. I know I’m not supposed to say that. I hope he runs for the Senate. Rick, are you running?”

Then in September, visiting Southwest Florida to survey damage from Hurricane Irma, Trump made another Senate plea after saying said Scott had done an “incredible” job responding to the storm and noting he faces term limits as governor this year.

“I have to say that, what do I know, but I hope this man right here, Rick Scott, runs for the Senate. I don’t know what he’s going to do but I know that at a certain point it ends for you and we can’t let it end. So I hope he runs for Senate,” Trump said.

During a stop in West Palm Beach last week, Nelson said he’s ready for the challenge.

“I always treat a challenger very seriously and I run like there’s no tomorrow,” Nelson said.

Nelson said Scott “has not been in touch with the state of Florida – not only on massacres and guns but things like climate change, sea level rise, funding for schools and go right on down the list, including drilling offshore. So, folks are going to have a real, real choice.”

Scott has emphasized jobs and the economy throughout his campaigns and his two terms as governor.

Florida has added nearly 1.5 million private sector jobs since Scott took office in January 2011 and seen its unemployment rate shrink from 10.7 percent to 3.9 percent during that time.

Nelson says Scott doesn’t deserve credit for the state’s improved economy.

“The state of Florida came back from the deep recession just like the entire country did…So goes the national economy, so went Florida’s,” Nelson said.

But Florida has outperformed the nation and most individual states in job growth.

Private sector employment has grown by about 20 percent in Florida since Scott took office, compared to about 16 percent for the rest of the U.S. over the same period, according to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. Florida’s 10.7 percent unemployment rate in January 2011 was worse than the nation’s 9.1 percent jobless rate at the time; in February, the state’s 3.9 percent unemployment rate was better than the nation’s 4.1 percent rate.

“Florida’s in far better shape than it was eight years ago,” said Susie Wiles, who guided Scott’s stunning 2010 Republican primary victory over establishment favorite Bill McCollum and headed Trump’s 2016 general election effort in Florida.

Wiles, who isn’t involved in Scott’s 2018 campaign, acknowledged that the party that controls the White House traditionally faces difficulty in midterm elections. But she said Scott should overcome that.

“If the governor was running as an extension of the president, that’s one set of circumstances. He’s not. He has an eight-year record that’s platinum…He’s really standing on his own two feet,” Wiles said.

Donation Jar for Veteran in Need Stolen, $900 Missing

Donation Jar for Veteran in Need Stolen, $900 Missing

LOOK: Thief steals donation jar filled with money meant for veteran

A tip jar with almost $900 for a veteran in need was stolen right off the front counter of an auto body shop this week.

>> Watch the video here

Erving Severino, the owner of Independent Import Specialist in Lawrence, Massachusetts, said the money was being raised for a veteran in his 70s, in Puerto Rico, who lost everything during Hurricane Irma. The money was supposed to buy the man's plane ticket to the United States and pay for his health benefits. 

>> Read more trending news 

However, the jar was snatched off the counter in a matter of seconds.

Security footage shows a crystal-clear image of the suspect's face, so Severino is begging the public to identify the thief, saying he will not press charges if the money is returned. 

The veteran is expected to land in the U.S. on April 14.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact the Lawrence Police Department at 978-794-5900.

Irma forced mass evacuations; officials urge staying home next time

An estimated 6.8 million Floridians evacuated for Hurricane Irma. Some did so twice.

Subtle shifts in the storm’s path sent the east coast scurrying west, then fleeing north where landlocked Leon County ran out of hotel rooms and filled 10 shelters with people, half of whom were from other parts of the state.

>> Read more trending news   

Gridlock on Florida’s Turnpike meant a 20-hour trek into Georgia as lines of cars jockeyed to escape the Sunshine State, crushing traffic like an accordion against the border where driving on the shoulder was no longer allowed.

But Florida officials said about 3 million of those who left were not in evacuation zones.

Read more at MyPalmBeachPost.com

Cop in viral photo has new, additional career: romance novel cover model

A photo he was in went viral during Hurricane Irma in which he and two other police officers were photographed before heading out to help the area recover from the storm. 

Now Daniel Rengering has a new, additional career ahead of him, and it has helped steal the hearts of his fans. 

>>Read: Florida town has ‘hottest’ Hurricane Irma first responders, social media fans say

The police officer is posing for romance novel covers and will be making appearances at a handful of conventions across the country to help bank on his fame.

He may also be making the jump to television. TMZ recently reported that that the hot cop may be appearing on the next season of  “Survivor,” which is going to be set in Fiji.

Rengering’s good looks also helped raise money via calendar sales for the Basketball Cop Foundation, Insider reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The selfie that started it all had more than 276,000 shares and 517,000 likes on Facebook, the Daily Mail reported.  The photo was removed after another of the officers pictured in it made anti-Semitic comments on his private social media page.

Don’t think that Rengering is leaving his day job, despite his fame. He is still an active member of the Gainesville Police Department as a SWAT officer, his management agency has said.

Man drowned after killing mother with hammer as Irma approached, sheriff says

A Port St. Lucie man who was reported missing days before Hurricane Irma drowned moments after he attacked his mother and caused her death, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news

Investigators said Lance Whatley, 40, beat his 67-year-old mother, Kathie Whatley, with a hammer while in a manic state on the night of Sept. 7, 2017. He then drowned after driving her car into the North Fork of the St. Lucie River.

DNA analysis confirmed that a badly decomposed body found Sept. 13, 2017, in the water at Port. St. Lucie’s Veterans Memorial Park was that of Lance Whatley, Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said Wednesday.

Kathie Whatley died Sept. 9, a day after she was found unconscious next to a partially submerged car at River Park Marina, about 5 miles north of the park. Investigators found a hammer covered in blood next to her.

Lance Whatley was reported missing when investigators could not find him. 

Further investigation revealed that Lance Whatley struck his mother with a hammer, then drove her car into the river, Mascara said. He fell out of the car and drowned as the current carried him downstream.

Lance Whatley was known to have chronic mental issues. Sheriff’s investigators concluded that prior to the attack, Kathie Whatley had driven Lance Whatley around in her car in an effort to calm his anxiety as Irma approached. 

The hurricane made landfall in Florida on Sept. 10, 2017, as a Category 3 storm. Exposure to the hurricane and the elements made identification of Lance Whatley’s remains “extremely difficult,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news conference broadcast on its Facebook page.

Want to work on a dreamy private island? Richard Branson is hiring

Does relocating to paradise sound like the right move for you?

» RELATED: Photos of the exclusive Caribbean resort where the Obamas are vacationing right now

If so, you may want to consider working for British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which put up a job listing Thursday for a personal assistant and admin assistant to toggle between two offices on Branson’s idyllic Necker Island, where the Obamas enjoyed a much-needed vacation post White House.

>> Read more trending news 

Virgin is looking for someone "self-motivated, outgoing, and enthusiastic who can balance (administrative and organizational skills) with the essential need for discretion and confidentiality."

» RELATED: Richard Branson shares photos of Hurricane Irma damage on his private island

“It’s a busy role in two even busier offices so think carefully as it’s not for everyone (despite the sunshine),” the listing states.

And yes, you do have to be ready to move to the luxurious Necker Island. 

If that sounds like you, send a two-minute video of yourself explaining "why you want the job (and) an interesting fact about you and your unique skills and experience” along with your CV to iwanttobeyourpaaa@virgin.com.

Applications close Saturday, March 10. 

More about the position at linkedin.com.

Related video: 

Florida office holding food donations for Puerto Rico closes due to rat infestation

The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration office in Kissimmee is closed for business due to a rat infestation.

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Organizers running the office in Washington, D.C., said the office has been closed eight business days and that boxes of food collected for Puerto Rico hurricane relief could be contaminated.

The sign on the office on South Orlando Street says employees are out at meetings, but Channel 9 found out they were working from home Tuesday due to safety concerns.

“These goods here are wasting and right now you have people in Puerto Rico starving because of the current crisis, and there's no excuse for this whatsoever,” said Hector Rodriguez, who was once the community officer for the office.

The office has a budget of about $200,000 a year and two full-time employees.

Organizers in charge of the facilities working in Washington, D.C., said that work is being done when people in need call the number listed on the door.

They could not explain why the sign says it's closed for meetings but did confirm there is a rat infestation.

People in search of assistance must call the number on the door to speak to the employees.

Rodriguez is concerned that with the doors closed, the services provided may not be adequate.

“They are collecting money from government of Puerto Rico and there's no service being provided to the community,” he said.

Beyond that, there are many boxes of donated food that were earmarked for Puerto Rico that may go to waste.

The donations were delivered in September, but the office could not afford to send the food to Puerto Rico. 

The new plan was to distribute it to evacuees now living in Florida, but with a rat infestation, that may not be an option. 

'Puppy Bowl' referee shares stories about this year's competitors

As football fans get their snack spreads, decorations, and houses ready for Super Bowl Sunday, animal fans are also making preparations for another annual event. Animal Planet’s yearly “Puppy Bowl” is set to air a few hours before the big game, and longtime referee Dan Schachner has given a behind-the-scenes look at some of the puppies involved in Sunday’s festivities.

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For those who don’t know, the goal of the event is to help puppies find new homes. Though the football game is not aired live, the event has a 100-percent adoption rate for all puppies involved.

As Schachner informed Uproxx, several of the dogs involved this year were affected by natural disasters in 2017:

“Horrifying natural disasters happened last year. We can all agree that 2017 was a pretty crappy year in terms of that. Between Hurricane Irma, Maria, Harvey, we knew we had to do something to not just shine a light on those dogs, but on those communities that are trying to rebuild. That’s how we found the puppy, Tyler, in Houston.”

He also added that dogs “taken in from areas of natural disasters and relief areas are often older, or they’re neglected because something big is going on.”

And it isn’t just hurricanes that have left dogs without homes.

“There was a really horrifying earthquake in Mexico last year,” he noted. “We were lucky enough to connect with a shelter in Mexico and got a puppy called Mango to come and represent that entire country at ‘Puppy Bowl.'”

Schachner also told PEOPLE of a few changes to watch for this year.

Viewers will be able to see things like a new stadium:

A sloth referee:

And even a chicken performing the national anthem.

(Fun fact: This won’t be the first time Jokgu of The Flockstars will have performed a patriotic song in front of an audience.)

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