Florida mayor witnesses fentanyl overdose during ride-along

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 6:06 PM

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic narcotic that is estimated to be 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin, and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to state officials.

The mayor in Jacksonville Beach Florida is speaking out after he witnessed a victim of the opioid crisis first-hand.

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Mayor Charlie Latham was doing a ride-along with first responders Saturday when they got a call about an overdose.

“The Jacksonville Beach units responded and found a young man who was very clearly in respiratory distress,” Latham said.

The man had overdosed on fentanyl, Latham said.

“(He was) very purple. Lips were purple. For all intents and purposes, he was dead -- didn't have a pulse," he said.

Latham said he watched first responders bring the man back to life.

It took two injections of Narcan, a chemical that helps reverse the effects of opiates, to bring the 23-year-old man back on the way to the hospital, Latham said.

“I was in the hospital right when he came around. He acted like it was another day at the office,” Latham said. “Shortly after that, his parents came in, and it looked like, of course, they were facing the worst possible, (worst) imaginable scenario.”

Latham said overdose deaths have increased 51 percent in Duval County since the beginning of 2017.

“I asked the JFRD gentleman how often this happens in Jacksonville Beach,” Latham said. “He told me three to five times a month that they have to use Narcan to bring someone back from overdose.”

Latham said the opioid crisis doesn't discriminate.

“It's all races. It's all economic levels,” Latham said. “There's no boundaries. It's a nationwide problem."

'The Little Couple’s' former Texas home is for sale

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 9:08 PM

Doctor Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein (2014 Getty photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Shorty Awards)
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Shorty Awards
Doctor Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein (2014 Getty photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Shorty Awards)(Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Shorty Awards)

Jen and Bill Arnold’s former Houston home is on the market.

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The diminutive TLC stars and former Houston residents have listed their custom home, which was recently retrofitted to normal scale. The couple and their two kids moved to Florida over the summer due to a new job opportunity for Jen.

The home, which was tailored to the Arnolds’ stature, is listed for just under $1.23 million. It is approximately 3,600 square feet with four bedrooms.

Not far from NRG Park, it has a first-floor master suite, a media room, a study, a resort-style pool and spa, and a wine grotto.

Fortunately for any interested homebuyer, and the Arnolds, it escaped unscathed from neighborhood flooding despite the property’s flood-prone location.

Today’s teens drink, date less than ‘70s counterparts, study says

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 7:48 PM

A study says teens today are drinking and dating less than their 1970s counterparts.
Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images/Getty Images
A study says teens today are drinking and dating less than their 1970s counterparts.(Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Teenagers aren’t in a rush to grow up. They’re not as interested in dating, snagging jobs or driving, according to a new academic study. 

Researchers from San Diego State University and Bryn Mawr College conducted a study, released Tuesday, to determine how soon adolescents engage in adult activities. 

To do so, they compared teenagers from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with teens from today, using surveys that questioned more than 8 million children, ages 13 to 19, from 1976 to 2016. The poll focused on topics including sex, alcohol and part-time jobs, and it also factored in race, region and gender. 

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After analyzing the results, they found that teens were not having sex, drinking or holding jobs nearly as much as those from 20 years ago. 

Among eighth-graders, only about half of them had held down a job or tried alcohol, compared with those in the ‘90s. As for older teens or those in the 12th grade, the number of youth getting their driver’s license, working, drinking and dating was down nearly 20 percent, compared with those from 40 years ago. 

“The developmental trajectory of adolescence has slowed, with teens growing up more slowly than they used to,” Jean M. Twenge, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at San Diego State University, said in a Tuesday news release. “In terms of adult activities, 18-year-olds now look like 15-year-olds once did.”

While researchers could not pinpoint why minors engage in fewer adult activities, they say homework or extracurricular activities were not a factor as those activities had decreased among eighth-and 12th-graders and was steady for 12th-graders and college students. 

However, they believe their findings, which were published in Society for Research in Child Development’s bimonthly journal, could be associated with increased internet and social media usage.

“Our study suggests that teens today are taking longer to embrace both adult responsibilities (such as driving and working) and adult pleasures (such as sex and alcohol),” said Heejung Park, study co-author and assistant professor of psychology at Bryn Mawr. “These trends are neither good nor bad, but reflect the current U.S. cultural climate.”

Man's body decomposed in airport parking lot for 8 months

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 3:55 PM

Man's Body Decomposed In Airport Parking Lot For 8 Months

The family of a Missouri man who was found dead in a vehicle in a parking lot at Kansas City International Airport is upset and said officials could have done more to find their loved one sooner. 

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The body of 54-year-old Randy Potter, of Lenexa, Missouri, was found Tuesday night at the Kansas City airport -- eight months after he was reported missing in January, KTVI reported.

Potter’s body was discovered after officers were alerted of a bad smell coming from a vehicle in one of the airport lots, WDAF reported.

Potter’s body was so decomposed, officials weren’t initially sure of the person’s gender or race, according to KTVI.

According to WDAF, Potter was last seen leaving his home on Jan. 17 as he headed to work. He never arrived at work and did not contact any friends or family members. 

Carolina Potter, Randy Potter’s wife, alerted police, filed a missing person’s report and even hired a private investigator to find her husband.

“Emotionally it’s been a very, very tough journey. The not knowing, the sleepless nights,” Carolina Potter said. 

The Potter family said police officers and airport officers dropped the ball. 

“My husband could have been found in the first -- I’m going to be very generous -- in the first week,” Carolina Potter told WDAF.

“The fact that he sat there for that long is disgusting,” the Potters’ daughter, Nichole Potter, said.

Investigators believe Randy Potter died by suicide.

Florida to resume charging tolls after being suspended for Hurricane Irma

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 11:17 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 8:06 PM

Tolls Still Free In Florida A Week After Irma

UPDATE - Sept. 19: 

Florida authorities said the state will resume charging tolls on its turnpike and other roads and bridges at 12:01 a.m. Thursday after they were suspended during Hurricane Irma.

Original story:

More than a week after Hurricane Irma hit parts of Florida, the state’s tolls are still suspended while cities rebuild and residents return to their homes and repair damages to property, some with the help of friends and family members traveling into the state.

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Others have traveled to the state to volunteer with repair efforts.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott suspended tolls after ordering Floridians to evacuate ahead of the hurricane. Millions of people fled the state. 

Scott wrote on Twitter Monday that tolls would remain suspended as residents and officials “focus on recovery efforts.”

It’s unclear when toll fees will be reinstated, but Scott said he would keep people updated. 

As Hurrcane Irma approaches Florida September 8, 2017 a sign on a toll road leading from Cocoa Beach to Orlando alerts drivers that tolls have been suspended because of the impending storm. Warning that Irma would be worse than Hurricane Andrew, which killed 65 people in 1992, Florida's governor said all of the state's 20.6 million inhabitants should prepare to evacuate. (BRUCE WEAVER/AFP/Getty Images)(AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images)