Driver dies after crashing into tree along Ocoee road
OCOEE, Fla. — A driver died after crashing into a tree along an Ocoee road, police said. Just before 4 a.m., officers said they responded to the area of Silver Star Road east of Ocoee Landings Boulevard for a crash. Police said they found a car on fire that crashed into a tree in the median. The driver was the only person in the car. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.wftv.com
Crews work to repair damage from landslide that put building in danger of collapsing
OCOEE, Fla. — Weather has been wreaking havoc on work crews trying to repair damage from a large landslide that put a building in danger of collapsing. Ocoee city officials have deemed the building unsafe while crews work to fix the problem. Three different medical offices are inside the building, including an eye doctor’s office, a pulmonary medicine business and a wellness center. Power is now shut off, the building is deemed unsafe and businesses are closed. “If that corner falls in, it’ll collapse that whole side of the building, so it’s deemed unsafe right now until we get it fixed and everything,” Randall said.wftv.com
Man arrested on charges related to Orange County crash that killed 2 women, 3 children
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Ocoee man is facing five counts of vehicular homicide related to a March 2021 crash that killed two women and three children, including an infant. Investigators said the three children who died in the crash were 6 months old, 4 years old and 5 years old. The two women killed were 25 and 30. At the time of the crash, first responders said the massive crash site was among the worst, if not the worst, they’d ever seen. READ: 2 children, 5-month-old among 5 killed in west Orange County crashTroopers said Vasquez is being held at the Orange County Jail on no bond.wftv.com
‘It’s only taken 2 weeks:’ Cement poured in for crosswalk at intersection where boy was hit
The sounds of a cement truck pouring into a sidewalk frame filled an Ocoee neighborhood Tuesday afternoon as city workers begin the process of installing a crosswalk in the area of Wurst Road and Adair Street.
‘I’m not going to stop:’ Ocoee mom fights for changes at intersection where son was hit
The Ocoee City Commission started the discussion of bike and pedestrian safety awareness Tuesday night, coincidentally one week after a 13-year-old boy was thrown off his bike in a hit-and-run crash at the intersection of Wurst Road and Adair Street.
Police investigating hit-and-run crash in Ocoee
OCOEE, Fla. — Police are searching for a car involved in a hit-and-run crash Tuesday evening near Ocoee. Neighbors who heard the crash came out of their homes to check on the child as they called 911. Video from a nearby security camera shows a blue Toyota Corolla hit the child before driving away. Ocoee police are asking anyone with information to contact Ocoee Police or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). Police investigating hit-and-run crash in Ocoee (WFTV)Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.wftv.com
‘This is totally unacceptable’: Homeowners frustrated over new home warranties
A local homeowners association claims dozens of homes have serious drainage defects, but the builder has not fixed the flooding problems. READ: Town hall meeting set to address fights, shooting at Orlando middle schoolNewton bought his new home from Pulte Homes three years ago. Newton claims it’s a drainage defect the builder is responsible for fixing as part of his new home warranty. “No, not from a company like Pulte,” Newton replied. The multi million-dollar settlement required Pulte to resolve claims with thousands of homeowners who had serious stucco defects.wftv.com
New tire system technology installed at Florida’s Turnpike plaza to help keep drivers safe
OCOEE, Fla. — New technology meant to keep Florida roads safer was installed along Florida’s Turnpike on Thursday. The WheelRight Tire Safety System will measure your tire pressure in real time. Drivers will drive down a lane and in a flash the system will measure the car’s tire air and tread levels. Officials said low tread and tire pressure can lead to crashes and effect braking. READ: 2-year-old killed, 8-year-old ‘critical’ after Lake Underhill Road crashThe WheelRight station is one of only two in the country.wftv.com
Sen. Bracy announces plans to expand scholarship program for descendents of Ocoee Massacre victims
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) held a press conference Wednesday where he announced plans to significantly expand his Ocoee Scholarship Program. READ: A year-and-a-half later, impact of state’s broken unemployment system lingersBracy announced plans Wednesday to pass legislation that would expand the program to include up to 500 students. 12.01.2021 Press Conference: Today I announced specific efforts on how I plan to expand the historic Ocoee Scholarship Program. In remembrance of all that was lost during the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Massacre, I look forward to continuing to advocate for this priority. Posted by Senator Randolph Bracy on Wednesday, December 1, 2021He said it would make it the largest program in the country that pays some form of compensation to African-Americans.wftv.com
Ocoee man sentenced to federal prison after stealing state, federal legislator identities
An Ocoee man has been sentenced to six years and five months in federal prison for aggravated identity theft and wire fraud, according to a release from the Middle District of Florida United States Attorney’s Office.
Ocoee to consider granting retail puppy store exception to Orange County ban
OCOEE, Fla. — Ocoee city leaders set to discuss Tuesday whether or not to allow a pet store to stay open in the city. READ: ‘He could not breathe’: Puppy owner says Ocoee pet store sold her sick lhasa apsoOcoee will decide whether to keep that ban or make an exception for a store with a controversial history. Orange County court documents show two different customers sued the retail pet shop claiming they were sold sick animals. READ: Orange County Commission considering ban of retail store puppy salesThe Humane Society told Ocoee commissioners the store is also tied to sales from multiple puppy mills across the country, including one in Iowa that’s received more than 100 violations for mistreating animals. Even if the commission says they can’t stay open, the store has until next year to change their business into a “humane” pet store only selling supplies instead of animals.wftv.com
Ocoee, West Orange high school football game canceled due to COVID-19 impacts
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Public Schools said the football game between Ocoee and West Orange high schools on Friday has been canceled.
The district said the cancellation is due to a lack of practice time for Ocoee High School football players that resulted from COVID-19 cases and ordered quarantines last week.
READ: Ocoee-Apopka football game postponed due to possible COVID-19 casesThe district said it is working to schedule an alternative game for West Orange High.
Ocoee High doesn’t have another scheduled game until Oct. 8.
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Ocoee-Apopka football game postponed due to possible COVID-19 cases
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A scheduled football game between Ocoee and Apopka High Schools has been postponed because of possible COVID-19 infections.
Read: AdventHealth moves to ‘Green status’ as COVID-19 cases dip below 1,000 for first time in monthsAccording to a statement from Orange County Public Schools, the decision to postpone Friday’s game “was made out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19 cases and quarantines associated with the Ocoee team.”Read: Most parents believe kids are falling behind from virtual learning, study showsThis district said it had notified individuals and parents of students who had been in close contact with confirmed cases.
Read: Lockdown lifted, no weapon found at Osceola County high school after reports of weapon on campusThe district would not say when the game would be rescheduled.
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Ocoee Police seeking dressing room voyeurism suspect
Ocoee Police Department voyeurism suspect flyer The Ocoee Police Department is asking the public to help them track down a voyeurism suspect. (Ocoee Police Department)OCOEE, Fla. — The Ocoee Police Department is asking the public to help them track down a voyeurism suspect. Police say the suspect, described as a white man with blonde hair, entered a department store on West Colonial Drive back in late August, and slid a phone under the door of a dressing room where a minor was changing clothes. 🕵️🕵️ Attempt to IdentifyCan you help us identify the suspect pictured in the Video Voyeurism case? pic.twitter.com/g87dUUT2Zg — Ocoee Police (@OcoeePD) September 15, 2021Police released surveillance photographs from the store showing the possible voyeur with the hopes that someone in the public might be able to identify him.wftv.com
State attorney will not file charges after man dies after Ocoee police used Tasers
State attorney will not file charges after man dies after Ocoee police used TasersOCOEE, Fla. — State Attorney Monique Worrell confirmed Thursday that the officers who used a Taser on an Ocoee man who later died will not face criminal charges. Jean Celestin died after Ocoee police arrived at his mother’s home for a domestic disturbance in April 2019. They said they knew it was a symptom of someone suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder who was off his medication. Rather, they exercised the degree of force they believed necessary to detain Celestin, according to the correspondence. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.wftv.com
Ocoee weighing future of COVID-19 callouts as cases spike
OCOEE, Fla. — The city of Ocoee is trying to figure out what to do about COVID-19 callouts. Ocoee ended the benefits earlier in the year, before the delta variant took hold of the community. The fire union said they are still at risk, and that the city should allow first responders to call in sick without using personal time. In February, the Ocoee City Council decided they would pick up the tab for employees who had been exposed to COVID-19. READ: Ocoee firefighter fights city over discipline related to calling in sick during pandemic©2021 Cox Media Groupwftv.com
Boy, 15, accused of fatally shooting another 15-year-old in Ocoee
OCOEE, Fla. — A 15-year-old boy is accused of fatally shooting another 15-year-old boy, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said. READ: ‘It is heartbreaking’: 15-year-old fatally shot outside Ocoee home identifiedInvestigators said the shooting happened at 4:40 a.m. Monday in the 500 block of 2nd Street. Photos: 15-year-old fatally shot in Orange CountyExpand Autoplay Image 1 of 11 Photos: 15-year-old fatally shot in Orange County Orange County deputies said the 15-year-old boy was shot to death at approximately 4:40 a.m. Monday in the 500 block of 2nd Street near Ocoee. Investigators haven't released a motive for the shooting nor have they made an arrest in this homicide. READ: Man bitten by alligator after falling into water at park, deputies saySee map of scene below:©2021 Cox Media Groupwftv.com
15-year-old fatally shot at home in Ocoee
OCOEE, Fla. — A 15-year-old boy was fatally shot at a home in Ocoee early Monday, according to Orange County deputies. Deputies said they located the 15-year-old and rendered aid, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. READ: Florida woman arrested after 2-year-old dies in hot carAt least 10 Orange County patrol cars were seen on 2nd Street in Ocoee. We just learned a 15-year-old boy was killed in a shooting around 4:40 a.m. Orange County deputies said they will give an update on the shooting soon.wftv.com
Channel 9′s ‘Ocoee Massacre’ documentary wins Gracie Award
ORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9′s “Ocoee Massacre” documentary won a Gracie Award on June 9, The Alliance For Women In Media Foundation said. The film, which debuted in November, won the award for local television documentary. Read: Election Day 1920The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created by, for and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media. The documentary tells the under-told story of the nation’s deadliest Election Day massacre. You can catch the full documentary by clicking here or scrolling below:Click here to read more about the massacre.wftv.com
Ocoee firefighter fights city over discipline related to calling in sick during pandemic
OCOEE, Fla. — An Ocoee firefighter disciplined for calling in sick during the pandemic is fighting his discipline saying he was just following protocols. Veteran firefighter Eric Megegat is being disciplined for calling in sick four times in 12 month, a violation of city policy. VIDEO: Ocoee firefighters square off with city of sick time policyBut because of the pandemic, the city sent out an email to employees telling them to stay home if they feel sick and what to do if they were exposed to COVID-19. Video: Ocoee firefighter concerned over discipline over sick time from COVID concernsAfter our first story on his predicament, the city agreed to take away his discipline. “You should know we have morale issues at the city of Ocoee and this isn’t just about money … this is how we are treated,” Megegat said.wftv.com
Florida providing scholarship funding for Ocoee Massacre victims, Black city residents
OCOEE, Fla. — It’s official: The state of Florida will provide scholarship funding for descendants of the Ocoee Massacre victims and Black residents who live in the city. Ron DeSantis signed the budget this week and left the funding in, which means the scholarship applications will be available this year. READ: Florida to offer scholarships to Ocoee Massacre descendantsThe scholarship will award up to $6,100 each year to up to 50 qualified applicants who are descendants of Ocoee Massacre victims and Black residents of the city looking to attend college. The amounts of each scholarship will be given out based on need totaling up to $305,000. READ: Task force submits plans to include Ocoee Massacre in school curriculumsThe program mirrors what was done in 1994 for descendants of the Rosewood, Florida Massacre victims.wftv.com
Ocoee nursing home residents able to hug loved ones for first time in 15 months
OCOEE, Fla. — After 15 months apart, people with family living at an Ocoee long-term care facility are finally able to hug and embrace their loved ones again. Earlier this week, 9 Investigates discovered Ocoee Health Care was still only allowing 20-minute outdoor visits between Plexiglas, even though the governor lifted restrictions on long-term care facilities nine months ago. READ: ‘It’s been so long’: Visitors still unable to see loved ones without barriers at Ocoee long-term care facilityThat meant no holding hands and no hugs. Ocoee Health Care notified families they could start visiting their loved ones indoors between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. seven days a week. Channel 9 has been trying to reach someone at Ocoee Health Care since Monday, but we have still not heard back.wftv.com
Florida coronavirus-related death toll tops 37,000
ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida’s coronavirus-related death toll topped 37,000 on Thursday. The state reported 77 additional virus-related deaths on Thursday, bringing the total death toll in the state to 37,076. INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in FloridaThat brings the total number of cases in the state since the pandemic began to 2,302,489. Albert Bourla, chief executive officer of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, agreed with Fauci that a booster shot will likely be needed. Pfizer is one of three companies that has gained emergency use approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a COVID-19 vaccine.wftv.com
Florida reports 2,800 new COVID-19 cases, 45 virus-related deaths
ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida reported 2,811 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. READ: Families demand better communication from Ocoee nursing home dealing with COVID-19 outbreak with protests, lettersOf the latest cases, 581 were reported in Central Florida. The state also reported an additional 45 virus-related deaths. INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in FloridaOf those deaths, 14 were reported in Central Florida. The latest deaths bring the total virus-related death toll to 36,999.wftv.com
‘It’s been so long’: Visitors still unable to see loved ones without barriers at Ocoee long-term care facility
Ocoee Health Care Center As much of the country returns to some normalcy, family members of residents at an Ocoee long-term care facility say they still aren’t able to hug their vaccinated loved ones. OCOEE, Fla. — As much of the country returns to some normalcy, family members of residents at an Ocoee long-term care facility say they still aren’t able to hug their vaccinated loved ones. Each week at the facility, loved ones are allowed one to two 20-minute visits outside the facility with masks, plexiglass, and 6 feet of separation. You can’t hold hands, you can’t give anybody a hug,” said Gengie Nail, whose mother, Bonnie, lives at Ocoee Health Care. Ocoee Health Care is under new management, and Channel 9 has reached out for a response and timeline for resuming visitation but have not heard back.wftv.com
Family of man who died after being tased by Ocoee police discusses newly filed lawsuit
ORLANDO, Fla. — The family of a man who died after being tased at least four times by Ocoee police is hosted a news conference to discuss a lawsuit they’ve filed against the officers involved on Friday. The Celestin family and one of their lawyers, Jeremy Markman, spoke during the news conference. READ: Man dies after being shocked with Taser by Ocoee policeHis family said they expected Celestin to be Baker Acted, not killed. “He was killed.”They recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Ocoee, the town of Windermere, four Ocoee Police Department officers, and one Windermere Police Department officer, in connection with Celestin’s death. FDLE and the state attorney’s office investigated the case, and the officers from Ocoee and Windermere were not charged.wftv.com
Orlando lawmaker wants to expand scholarships for victims of 1920 Ocoee massacre
“This will be the second time in the history of this country, I believe, that a state legislature will pass a measure like this,” Bracy told reporters at the Capitol. click to enlarge Photo via Florida History ProjectJulius "July" Perry, an Ocoee resident, was lynched in Orlando by a white mob after encouraging his African American neighbors to vote. Black residents were killed in the riot, and others fled the community as homes, churches and a fraternal lodge were destroyed. Last year, Bracy led a successful effort to require public-school students learn about the Ocoee riot, similar to a requirement for teaching about the Holocaust. When he initially proposed the 2020 legislation, Bracy sought $150,000 per Ocoee victim, a funding level modeled, in part, on a 1994 decision by the Legislature to compensate African-American families because of the Rosewood Massacre.orlandoweekly.com
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fails to acknowledge ACLU's request to declare a day of remembrance for the Ocoee Massacre
Florida's chapter of the ACLU and the Orange County NAACP sent a formal request to Gov. Ron DeSantis back on Oct. 23 requesting that he declare today – Monday, Nov. 2 – a day of remembrance for the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Massacre. And, as of the time of writing on Monday, that entreaty has been met with silence from the governor.Today is the centennial of the Ocoee Massacre, the largest and most horrific outbreak of Election Day violence in the United States. We've proclaimed a week of remembrance for the victims of the Ocoee Massacre because it's important for us all to learn about this horrific part of our region's history. "Dyer, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and city commissioners attended the "Descendants of the Ocoee Massacre: Honoring Their Ancestors" remembrance outside the Orange County Regional History Center to recognize the victims of the Ocoee Massacre on Monday morning.orlandoweekly.com
Florida Senate Panel Backs Reparations for Descendants of Ocoee Massacre Victims at White Mobs Hands
Some 60 to 70 black residents of Ocoee are believed to have been murdered. This is considered the bloodiest day in American political history and it happened right in Central Florida on the presidential election day, Bracy said. In the days following this violence, the remaining African-American residents fled Ocoee, leaving their homes and property, the analysis added. After an altercation with the local constable or a group of white residents, Norman went to the home of July Perry, another African-American resident, before fleeing Ocoee. Later in the day, some white Ocoee residents formed a posse and were deputized by the Orange County Sheriff and were charged with arresting Norman and Perry.flaglerlive.com
Proposal seeks compensation for descendants of Ocoee Election Day violence
click to enlarge Photo via Florida History ProjectJulius "July" Perry, an Ocoee resident, was lynched in Orlando by a white mob after encouraging his African American neighbors to vote. A pair of bills seeking compensation for descendants of the 1920 Election Day race riots in Ocoee will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.The measures (SB 1262, SB 1264), sponsored by Orlando Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy, would set aside $25 million to create the Ocoee Election Day Riots Descendant Compensation Trust Fund within the Department of Legal Affairs. Up to $150,000 would be available for direct descendants of each person "killed, injured, or otherwise victimized" by the 1920 violence, which happened after a black man attempted to vote in the Central Florida community.Based on differing reports, between three and 60 African Americans died resulting from the violence on November 2-3, 1920, acording to a Senate staff analysis of the legislation. In the days following this violence, the remaining African-American residents fled Ocoee, leaving their homes and property, the analysis adds.The bill lays out requirements for applicants to prove their relationship to an Ocoee victim. The 1994 action also set up the Rosewood Family Scholarship Fund, which awarded up to $4,000 for tuition to eligible Florida students, with preference given to direct descendants of Rosewood families.State Rep. Kamia Brown, D-Ocoee, has filed House legislation similar to Bracys, which would also gives qualified businesses in areas affected by the riots priority under the Black Business Loan Program.orlandoweekly.com
Man charged with DUI manslaughter in double fatal crash in Ocoee
Florida Highway PatrolORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Apopka man has been charged with DUI manslaughter in a double fatal crash on State Road 429 near State Road 50 in Ocoee on the night of April 11. The Florida Traffic Crash report shows Thomas Greene, 25, had a blood alcohol level of .23. The Florida Highway Patrol said Greene was driving a 2007 Ford pickup north on the entrance ramp from S.R. The driver of the Toyota, Yordani Mellado Perez, 39, of Apopka, and one of two passengers in the pickup died in the crash, troopers said. The crash report showed a diagram of the crash.
From buying ice cream to promoting good causes, Orlando-area first responders do it all
Central Florida's first responders do much more than their job description requires of them. That's why we like to take a few minutes each week to highlight the good work they're doing in and for their communities. An Orlando Police Department officer decided to treat a local family to an impromptu ice cream celebration to help them beat the heat. Today, we salute Officer Cosme who treated a family to some ice cream. pic.twitter.com/Ac4PPaZlt5 Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) September 22, 2019Next we head over to Longwood, where their police department received an unexpected visit.
Orange County correctional officer arrested in DUI crash
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County Correction Officer was arrested after he was involved in a crash while driving drunk Sunday morning, according to the Ocoee Police Department. King asked if his mother could pick him up instead of him completing a sobriety test, records show. Police said King was placed under arrest and a breath test determined his blood alcohol content was .175. He was booked into the Orange County Jail just after 6 a.m. Sunday on a charge of driving while under the influence. Authorities said King has been employed with the Orange County Corrections Department since January 2018.
3 pre-Dorian deaths reported in Orange County
ORLANDO, Fla. - Though the area was left mostly unscathed by Hurricane Dorian, at least three people died in Orange County while preparing for the storm or evacuating because of it, according to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. County officials said a 55-year-old Ocoee man died while trimming a tree as part of his hurricane preparations. Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office said the man was found in his yard by a family member Monday night. The Orange County deaths bring the number of Dorian-related fatalities in Central Florida to three, according to reports. In the days after the system formed in the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters predicted it would hit Central Florida hard.
Ask Trooper Steve: Learner's permit needed if over 18?
ORLANDO, Fla. - News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated. "I guess you can say there is one good thing to waiting to get your drivers license," Trooper Steve said. "In Florida, if youre under the age of 18, youre required to have a learners license prior to getting your full Class E drivers license. Trooper Steve said potential drivers still have to pass the traffic rule written test and a physical driving exam. But instead of getting a learners license, they are allowed to get a full drivers license.