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Watch the Georgia Senate 'Call the Dawgs' before championship game

The state of Georgia and city of Atlanta are ready for their moment in college football’s limelight.

>> Read more trending news

On Monday morning, members of the Georgia state Senate “called the Dawgs” during the session ahead of tonight’s College Football Playoff Championship in Atlanta.

Watch the video below:

Georgia and Alabama kick off at 8 p.m. ET at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Dog groomer accused of abuse caught on video shaking small dog, other incidents revealed

A Florida dog groomer is in hot water after a video surfaced that appears to show the owner violently shaking a dog.

>> Read more trending news

The video was posted on Nov. 10 by Facebook user Briana Brady who says that she used to work at the Happy Puppy Pet Spa near Sarasota, Florida. According to Brady, the woman in the video owns the spa and Brady said that the behavior captured in the clip is common. The clip has been shared over 1,800 times and racked up more than 384,000 views since it was posted.

Brady identified the woman as Phyllis Lucca and writes “this is what this horrible woman does every day to every dog. She even broke a dog’s jaw two weeks ago. She picked the dog up by the neck and shook it and slammed it on the table.”

Customers have complained about Lucca’s care for their dogs — former client Cynthia Crowe told the groomer, “I gave you a dog in good health and you give me a dog that has broken bones now.” She said that when she picked her toy poodle up from the Happy Puppy Pet Spa, the animal had blood on his mouth and bruises on his stomach. Crowe rushed her pet to veterinarian Gary Berkowitz, who told WFTX “The dog was doing fine, eating and drinking fine like normal, as soon as she gets home from the groomer, the dog shows all these signs and has a fractured jaw.”

>> Related: Florida dairy farm investigating graphic animal abuse seen in new undercover footage

Warning: The videos in this story contain footage some may find disturbing.

Crowe filed a police report against Lucca for animal cruelty, and the investigating detective wrote that the groomer admitted to the dog’s injuries. But when WFTX caught up with Lucca, she blamed her former employee Briana Brady, saying that she was the only one ever in the room alone with Crowe’s pet and, added, “If you see that video, I know it looks bad, but that’s not what I’m doing.”

“What the dog did was pass out and she faints, and what I did was hold her head and shake her. That’s all,” Lucca said.

Brady said she’s witnessed a disturbing pattern of abuse from Lucca, telling WFLA, “I’ve seen her choke out and slam a dog in the bathtub.”

>> Related: Dog mauled, killed by pit bull at PetSmart during grooming appointment

 Dog mauled, killed by pit bull at PetSmart during grooming appointment

“I’ve been crying nonstop. It just breaks my heart to see someone mistreat an animal like that,” she said.

Brady has hired an attorney and plans to file a civil suit against the groomer, but that suit has not yet been filed.

Since the video came out, the Google rating for Lucca’s spa has dropped to a dismal 1.8 stars. But even before Brady’s Facebook post, customers wrote reviews indicating abuse, one woman claimed that when she picked up her dog, she “noticed at least 3 very red areas where the clippers must have gotten too close.” Six years ago, one customer wrote that she was “horrified to walk in there and see a dog sitting in a pool of blood and whimpering from having its nails cut incorrectly.”

Top Florida state senator resigns in wake of affair

A Florida state senator, in line to become the Democratic leader in the Florida Senate next year, abruptly resigned Friday.

>> Read more trending news

State Sen. Jeff Clemens of Atlantis, made the announcement after Politico reported he had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist.

“I have made mistakes I (am) ashamed of, and for the past six months I have been focused on becoming a better person. But it is clear to me that task is impossible to finish while in elected office. The process won’t allow it, and the people of Florida deserve better. All women deserve respect, and by my actions, I feel I have failed that standard. I have to do better,” Clemens said in a statement.

He emailed a shorter statement to Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, saying “Please consider this email as my resignation from the Florida Senate.”

Clemens said his resignation was effective immediately. Under state law, Gov. Rick Scott must set the date for a special election to fill Clemens’ seat.

“It is clear to me Senator Clemens made a decision he feels is best for both his family and his constituents,” Negron said.

In his public statement, Clemens said, “Though they have been aware for some time now, I apologize again to my wife, my family and anyone and everyone that I have treated poorly in the past for putting you through this in such a public way. I will continue the therapy I began months ago, will seek to personally apologize to anyone I have wronged while seeking forgiveness, and will spend my time being a better husband and father.”

The resignation came less than 24 hours after Clemens sent an email apologizing to Senate Democrats on Thursday night as Politico was preparing to report that Clemens had an affair with lobbyist Devon West. West worked for the Martin County government and now works for Broward County’s lobbying office. Efforts to reach her on Friday were unsuccessful.

“I take full responsibility for my behavior, and I apologize for bringing any embarrassment to the Caucus,” Clemens said in the Thursday night email to his colleagues. “I have spent much of the past six months going to therapy, strengthening my relationship with my wife and my kids, and trying to be a better human being. I still have quite a ways to go. But I am unwavering in my resolve to get there.”

Rep. Betty Price says comments about quarantining HIV patients 'taken out of context'

A Georgia lawmaker now says she does not support quarantining HIV patients after she seemed to ask if it was legal to do so during a House study committee meeting last week.

>> Read more trending news

“I do not support a quarantine in this public health challenge and dilemma of undertreated HIV patients,” Georgia state Rep. Betty Price (R-Roswell) wrote in a statement.

Price, the wife of former Health and Human Services Secretary and Georgia Congressman Tom Price, was at a meeting of a House study committee last week when she asked a state health official about HIV patients.“What are we legally able to do?” Price asked during the meeting. “I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability since, I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxes and treatment of this condition. So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise? Or are there any methods, you know, that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

>> Previous story: Georgia Rep. Betty Price suggests ‘quarantine’ for HIV patients

Price said in the statement that her comments were “provocative and rhetorical” and “part of a free-flowing conversation which has been taken completely out of context.”

“I do not support a quarantine in this public health challenge,” she said.

Metro Atlanta’s LGBTQ community was quick to condemn the original statements.“The comments from Rep. Price were incredibly disturbing,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of LGBT organization Georgia Equality. “In this day and age, to be even mentioning quarantine around people living with HIV, there just really is no excuse for it. I was heartened to see that she made some recognition of this with the statement that she made over the weekend. I think that is a good start, but clearly, we need to go further than that.”

4 Michigan city council members take knee during Pledge of Allegiance

Four members of the 11-member city council in Ann Arbor, Michigan, took a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance before Monday night’s meeting, MLive reported.

>> Read more trending news

Sumi Kailasapathy, a third-term council member, took a page out of NFL players’ playbooks and decided to make a statement protesting social injustice.

Kailasapathy asked several City Council members to join her in the protest and Chip Smith, Jason Frenzel and Chuck Warpehoski agreed. MLive reported."People tell me to go back to my country and I don't know how to tell them that this is my country, this is my home, and I work very hard to take care of and support my community. If I leave, where am I going to go? " Kailasapathy told CNN.

In a blog post, Warpehoski wrote, "I can't speak to what is in each person's heart, but for me to 'take a knee' is an act of attention, of concern, and of respect," MLive reported. He also said he didn't mean to offend anyone by his actions, let alone dishonor those who have sacrificed for this country.Kailasapathy said she believes kneeling is not disrespectful."If you are someone who works hard to make your community and country a better place, you have the right to be treated with respect," she said.Kailasapathy said she does not plan on kneeling again at a meeting anytime soon, saying she just wanted to get her point across.

Since being elected to the City Council in 2012, normally stands silent during the Pledge of Allegiance , often with her head down, MLive reported. She does not recite the Pledge of Allegiance and said in March that she had no plans to do so in the future, stressing that no disrespect was intended.

Relatively shocking: Bernie Sanders, Larry David are distant cousins

For Bernie Sanders and Larry David, it’s all relative.

Sanders, the U.S. senator from Vermont, and David, the man who lampooned him on “Saturday Night Live” during the 2016 election campaign, found out they were distant cousins.

>> Read more trending news

The PBS show “Finding Your Roots” released a clip of its Season 4 premiere on Tuesday, capturing the moment when both Sanders and David discovered they were related, Mediaite reported.

“What the hell?!” yelled David, the co-creator of “Seinfeld” and the creator-star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” 

“You’re kidding!” an equally surprised Sanders said. “This true?”

It was. On the show, which premieres Friday on PBS, series host Henry Louis Gates Jr. told both men that their DNA tests revealed they both had more than 97 percent Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, Variety reported.

Gates and his researchers were able to determine that the family of David’s mother came from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, with his grandparents having been born in the city of Tarnopol, Poland. In addition to information about David’s grandparents, Gates and his team also uncovered that David’s mother was also born in Poland, Variety reported.

Sanders learned that his family also had roots in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in a region known as Galicia, Variety reported. After World War I, Sanders’ relatives lived in what became part of what is now Poland. Most of the relatives of Sanders’ father remained in Europe and were killed by the Nazis during World War II, Variety reported. Sanders’ uncle was put to death for refusing to hand over a group of Jewish resistors.

Although it was supposed to be kept secret until the season premiere, David leaked the news that he was distantly related to Sanders over the summer, Mediaite reported. 

Reports: Florida GOP leader once beat female classmate with claw hammer until it broke

Florida GOP officials find themselves in an unusual position after they learned that a newly elected member of the Broward County executive board was once charged with attempted murder in connection with the brutal claw hammer attack of a female classmate at his California prep school.

Rupert Tarsey, 28, was elected secretary of the Broward County GOP chapter four months ago, according to the Miami Herald. His new position came into question after a fellow member made the discovery earlier this month. 

That member informed Broward County GOP chairman Bob Sutton about Tarsey’s past over the Labor Day weekend.

“We were blindsided,” Sutton told the Herald. “He’s a member of the Knights of Columbus, for Christ’s sake. And he came highly recommended by the former chair. We had no idea what his background is.

“We want him out, but he is refusing to resign. He deceived us. It looks like he even used a reputation management firm to make sure we wouldn’t find out who he is.”

Tarsey, who volunteered on President Donald Trump’s campaign, admitted that he has no intention of resigning his post. 

“Why should I resign?” Tarsey asked. “I did nothing wrong, and I was elected. This is just party politics.”

Sutton suspended Tarsey from party functions last week. 

Tarsey’s real name is Rupert Ditsworth, the Herald reported. He changed his name to Tarsey, his mother’s maiden name, when he moved to Fort Lauderdale two years after the 2007 incident, the newspaper said. 

Los Angeles Times story reported that Tarsey, then 17, was accused of attacking Elizabeth Barcay, an 18-year-old classmate at Harvard-Westlake School in L.A., on May 14, 2007, with a claw hammer, hitting her at least 40 times and splitting open her head. Barcay’s mother, Barbara Hayden, told the Times that her daughter also suffered a shattered leg and a broken nose in the attack. 

Tarsey’s parents admitted him to a psychiatric hospital immediately after the assault, the Times reported. He was initially charged as a juvenile with both attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

The juvenile case was dropped, and he was rearrested in June 2007, the day after his 18th birthday, so he could be tried as an adult.

Prosecutors at the time told the Chronicle, the online newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School, that Tarsey was tried as an adult because of the seriousness of the injuries suffered by the victim. If convicted of the charges, he faced a possible life sentence.

The Times reported that the attack started after Tarsey invited Barcay to ride with him to a juice bar after a big Advanced Placement exam at school. After drinking smoothies and returning to his Jaguar, he grabbed a backpack from the rear seat and placed it between his legs, according to Barcay.

Barcay told police that instead of returning to school, Tarsey parked in a residential neighborhood in Studio City, not far from campus. Appearing anxious, she said he told her he was contemplating suicide.

When she urged him to return to school to seek help from a counselor, she said he told her, “It isn’t going to happen that way,” the Times reported.

Telling her he wasn’t going to kill himself alone, he pulled a claw hammer from his backpack and attacked her, the newspaper said. 

A witness walking nearby saw the struggle inside the Jaguar and called 911, the newspaper said. 

Tarsey got out of the car, pulled open the passenger-side door and pulled Barcay out by her hair, the Times said. He continued hitting her with the hammer until the tool broke.

He then choked her until she bit his finger, the Times reported. That’s when Tarsey got back behind the wheel and drove off. 

>> Read more trending news

Tarsey ultimately claimed self-defense in the case.

“In the end, I pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor,” Tarsey told the Herald. “It’s not the charges that matter, it’s what happens in court.”

He argued that he did not change his name to hide who he was, but did so after his parents divorced. He said he is estranged from his father. 

After moving to Florida, Tarsey went to college and earned an MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. He is now married with two children and a third on the way.

Barcay, who went to prom and graduation in a wheelchair following the attack, went on to study at Williams College. Her alumni information shows that she went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. 

She is now an elementary school teacher in the Boston area. 

After the storm: Central Florida power outage information

Many residents in Central Florida are in the dark as utility crews assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

While residents say they are frustrated, utility companies say their crews are working hard to safely restore power to thousands of homes.

Channel 9 reporter Daralene Jones spent more than six hours Tuesday following Duke Energy and OUC crews throughout Orange County.

Related: USPS releases list of open offices

Crews said the bottom line priority is to restore everybody's power as soon as they can, and that the worst case (scenario) is more than a week.

Crews ran into downed lines and poles that must be removed from the road and trees that have to be untangled from connecting lines before complete restoration can happen.

The priority for both Duke Energy and OUC is to restore power to neighborhoods with the largest outages numbers first, officials said.

Crews said that repairing one feeder box was enough to restore power to more than 1,000 customers at once. 

Below is a list of power companies, interactive outage maps, and links to outage information:


Interactive map: OUC power outages

OUC hopes to have the power restored by 10 p.m. Friday.

Customers should report outages to 407-423-9018.

Major line damage due to down trees in St. Cloud. This requires trimming prior to repair. — Orlando Utilities (@OUCreliableone) September 12, 2017


Interactive map: FPL power outages

#Irma restoration efforts underway. No matter how extensive the damage, you have our commitment we will work 24/7 to get your lights back on — FPL (@insideFPL) September 12, 2017

Latest FPL outage numbers:

SECO Energy Interactive map: SECO power outages Hurricane restoration continues across Central Florida after #HurricaneIrma ravaged the area. — SECO Energy (@SECOenergy) September 12, 2017 Duke Energy Interactive map: Duke power outages Duke Energy Florida has mobilized approximately 7,000 line workers, tree professionals, damage assessment and support personnel responding to the outages.  Click here for a county-by-county breakdown of who is without power and who has been restored. Assistance from across the United States and Canada, including company resources from the Midwest, are assisting with restoration efforts.   Officials with Duke said they hope to have power restored to cusotmers in Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties by midnight Sunday. #FL customers: #Irma caused widespread outages. No need to report outages. We're aware of your outage and working quickly to restore power. — Duke Energy (@DukeEnergy) September 12, 2017 KUA Interactive map: KUA power outages The Customer Service Center is available Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. excluding holidays to respond to online requests. If you need immediate attention, please call 407-933-9800 24-hours a day. Locations that currently are flooded include areas around: - Marsh Road - Good Samaritan Village - Pebble Pointe - Mill Slough Campground — Kissimmee Utility (@KUAdirect) September 12, 2017 More city and county information: Mount Dora’s citizens’ information number: 352 735 7102. The City of Mount Dora Police Department has set a curfew, and because of widespread power outages, debris in the road and power lines down, the curfew will continue until the power is restored.  The curfew is 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night. Anyone caught violating the curfew may be arrested. At this time, we are still waiting for an assessment from Duke Energy about a transmission service line that Mount Dora Electric uses.  That transmission line was damaged from Hurricane Irma.  As soon as we get updates on the power situation it will be posted to our website at, as well as, our Facebook pages and Twitter. Orange County said there are reports Tuesday suggesting that more than 300,000 household remain without power.  Polk County utilities customers are asked to call the following temporary number in order to reach customer service: 863-559-5225. In Brevard County, outage numbers dropped by 10,000, compared to the numbers FPL reported Tuesday morning.


Hurricane Irma: Boil water notices

Preparing for Irma: Sandbag locations across central florida

Hurricane preparation is in full swing across Central Florida as residents brace for the impact of Irma.  

Most counties and cities have now announced locations for sandbag distribution.  

Let's start out in Orlando, Thursday, September 7 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday, September 8 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.  

The sandbag location will be the City of Orlando Streets and Stormwater division on 1010 Woods Avenue. Residents must show proof of residence and will be given 10 bags per address.  

Winter Park: 

Residents can pick up sandbags through 4 p.m. at the Public Works Compound at 1409 Howell Branch Road. Residents can have up to 8 sandbags and show proof of residency.  

Residents have been asked to enter the compound at the east gate closest to Fire Station 64 and drive straight through to Building 12.  

Orange County

Sandbags will be available for residents beginning Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or until supplies last.

Bithlo: 18753 Old Cheney Highway 407-568-9893

Goldenrod: 2530 N. Forsyth Road 407-671-2696

John Young: 4200 S. John Young Parkway 407-836-7728

Taft: 11442 Intermodal Wy 407-836-7813

West Orange: 644 Beulah Road 407-656-6655

Zellwood: 3400 Golden Gem Road 407-880-3754

Osceola County: 

Sandbags are available from noon to 7 p.m.  

Road & Bridge Department 3850 Old Canoe Creek Road Saint Cloud, 34769  

Road & Bridge Department 1698 S. Hoagland Boulevard Kissimmee, 34741  

Poinciana Library 101 N. Doverplum Avenue Poinciana, 34758 

Osceola Heritage Park 1 Heritage Park Way Kissimmee, 34744  

Archie Gordon Memorial Park (BVL) 420 Buenaventura Boulevard Kissimmee, 34743  

Kenansville Community Center 1178 S. Canoe Creek Road Kenansville, 34739  

Holopaw Community Center 8801 Community Center Road Holopaw, 34773  

Celebration Library 305 Campus Street Celebration 34747  

St. Cloud residents can pick up 15 bags per household at O.P. Johnson Park at 324 Georgia Ave. Residents must bring their own shovels  

Seminole County:  

Sports Complex Overflow Parking 

3450 E. Lake Mary Blvd., Sanford, FL 32773 

Starting 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday 

Bring your own shovel 

May fill up to 15 bags  

St Johns Parkway 

2808 St. Johns Parkway, Sanford, FL 32771 

Starting 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday 

Bring your own shovel 

May fill up to 15 bags  

Sanlando Park 

401 W. Highland St., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714 

Starting 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday 

Bring your own shovel 

May fill up to 15 bags 


Eastmonte Park Overflow Parking Lot 

830 Magnolia Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL 

Times have not been determined yet 

Bring your own shovel 


Westmonte Park 

624 Bills Lane, Altamonte Springs, FL 

Times have not been determined yet 

Bring your own shovel 



115 Wilshire Blvd., Fern Park, FL 

Times have not been determined yet 

Bring your own shovel 

May fill up to 10 bags 


Lake Mary 

550 Rantoul Lane, Lake Mary, FL 

7:30 - 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. 



Public Works Facility 

907 E. State Road 434, Longwood 

Times have not been determined yet 

Only available for Longwood residents (ID required) 

May fill up to 10 bags 



1655 Evans St., Oviedo 

Times have not been determined yet 

Bring your own shovel 

May fill up to 12 bags 



Public Works Complex 

800 W. Fulton St., Sanford, FL 

Starting 7 a.m. Wednesday - Open 24 hours 

Bring your own shovel 

Brevard County 

The sheriff's office will begin distributing sandbags from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Inmates will fill the sandbags for people at four locations:

Chain of Lakes Park2300 Truman Scarborough WayTitusville, FL

Mitchell Ellington Park575 Hall RoadMerritt Island, FL

Calvary Chapel Church2852 Fellowship PlaceViera, FL

Max K. Rodes Park3410 Flanagan Ave.West Melbourne, FL

The city of Melbourne will begin distributing sandbags Thurs. and Fri. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents can receive up to 10 sandbags and must show proof of residency.

Club 52/Greyhound Park1100 N. Wickham Rd.Melbourne, FL

Volusia County 

South Daytona: 

The city will have sand and bags available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at Piggotte Community Center at 504 Big Tree Road. Residents may use shovels provided or supply their own. There is a limit of 25 bags per resident.  

Daytona Beach: 

The City of Daytona Beach has sandbags available at the Public Works facility, 950 Bellevue Ave., Daytona Beach, as well as the parking lot on the southeast corner of Orange Avenue and Jean Street. There is a limit of 10 bags per vehicle.  

Residents have been asked to bring their own heavy-duty trash bags and shovels.  


Sandbags are available Thursday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the parking lot south of Melching Field and along Hubbard Avenue. Residents can receive up to 5 sandbags.  

Port Orange: 

Sandbags are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at Southwinds Soccer Complex, 1200 Richel Drive, Spruce Creek Ballfield, 481 Central Park Boulevard and Coraci Park at 5200 Coraci Boulevard.

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