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Monkeys swarm Florida man's property

Published: Sunday, July 09, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

Monkeys Swarm Florida Man's Property

An Ocala man said monkeys from Silver Springs State Park have invaded his property.

Brian Pritchard lives 4 miles away from the park, but over the last few days his game camera has taken hundreds of photos of about 50 rhesus macaques eating from a deer feeder in his backyard.

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Silver Springs State Park recently shut down two areas because of an increased monkey presence. A family visiting the state park last week recorded a video of the monkeys aggressively chasing them and showing their teeth.

Pritchard had put out a feeder with a camera to catch photos of deer, but instead, he got monkeys.

The rhesus macaques climb up the feeder’s stand and spin the plate to send out enough corn to feed the whole troop.

“They’re vicious. They’re extreme. I mean, they get extremely nasty,” Pritchard said.

The animals have taken more than 250 pounds of deer food in the last few days.

“Obviously the monkeys have it down pat. They don’t have to wait on it. They climb up the poles and they just sit there and spin it off the plate,” Pritchard said.

Researchers estimate 200 nonnative macaques live at the park and said many carry the deadly herpes B virus.

Pritchard is convinced hundreds more of the animals are in the area.

“I was standing there, looking out that window and I caught a glimpse of something,” said Pritchard. “I looked and there were 15 of them that came out and they were everywhere. But they kept looking like they could see or hear me in that shed.”

He and his family plan to move into the home on the property next week, and Pritchard hopes the animals don’t get too comfortable with his children around.

“As long as they don’t bother me or my kids, I’m not going to bother them,” he said.

Pritchard said his friend lives another 20 miles from his property and saw about 30 monkeys looking for food.

Central Florida workers relieved as work authorization extended for Haitian refugees

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:44 PM

Work Authorization Extended For Haitian Refugees

Haitians living in the U.S. under the temporary protection status will get to keep working in the country -- for now.

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The status, which was granted to Haitians who immigrated to the U.S. after the devastating 2010 earthquake, was extended to July 2019, but the employment authorization documents were not.

The work authorizations were set to expire this week, but starting Thursday, workers will be able to re-register their paperwork, officials with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said.

Officials will automatically extend the validity of the documents for Haitians with TPS for 180 days, through July 21.

Wilna Destin had no idea what would have happened to her and her husband if the U.S. Department of Homeland Security hadn't announced the extension. 

"Yeah, it's really a relief for us," Destin said. "Everything is good for now. For now, but yeah."

The extension was good news for immigrants, but also for companies like Rosen Hotels and Resorts, which rely on the Haitian refugees who make up a large part of the workforce.

The company operates numerous hotels in Orlando, and without the Haitian workers, president Harris Rosen said that they wouldn't be able to operate.

"A third of our associates are from Haiti, and without them, we could cease to exist," Rosen said. "We need them so desperately."

About 50,000 Haitian refugees live in the United States, and if their temporary protected status isn't extended again in July 2019, all will have to leave at some point.

Rosen didn't understand why the Trump administration would cause so many people to be forced from the country, and vowed to push back.

"They're working," Rosen said. "We love them. Why disrupt their lives?

"We are fighting, fighting to make sure that TPE is going to be extended."

Disney union leaders reiterated Rosen's stance, saying they will be fighting for the hundreds of Haitian refugees currently working for the company.

"If we don't fight, then 2019 is going to be the same thing, the same worry," Destin said. "So that's why we have to fight and to make it permanent."

Highly anticipated Beastie Boys memoir to be released this year

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:51 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)(Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

A memoir written by the surviving members of the Beastie Boys is expected to be published this year. 

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Mike D, speaking in an interview with Matt Wilkinson, said the highly anticipated memoir will be unlike any other music book and should be available in the fall.

“We’re actually going to finish it, and it’s going to come out finally. Like many things we embark on, there are many false starts and, honestly, directions we went in that we realized were not the directions we should be going in, but it’s gonna be coming out in the fall of this year,” he said.

In the wake of Adam Yauch’s death in 2012, surviving group members Mike D and Ad Rock signed a deal in 2013 for a book to be published by 2015. The timeline for its completion continued to be pushed back. 

“To tell our story, we have to give the cultural history of where we came from," Mike D said. "So New York City in the Eighties, you had all this incredible, exciting music, art, film. All of that sort of has to converge to be able to explain. We just had the good fortune of being around all of it, so I think that's No. 1."

Mike D added: 

"I can say pretty confidently, it will be unlike any other music book.”

Disney: Best time to visit theme park

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:06 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Theme-parkgoers at Disney World are always trying to crack the code to see when it’s the best time to visit.

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Channel 9’s Jamie Holmes crunched the wait time numbers and learned the quieter times at the park are changing.

Peter Pan has been flying over Neverland since Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. The wait time is still among the longest of all the rides at all four parks.

Disney does not release park attendance numbers on a monthly basis, but ride wait times can be an indicator of when crowds hit the parks.

EasyWDW, a website dedicated to all things happening at Disney World, tracks wait times every day.

The website said on average the wait to get on the Peter Pan ride in December was 74 minutes. It January, the wait time edged down to 72 minutes. 

EasyWDW said the best time to ride Peter Pan is in September with a 49-minute wait.

“September is the one lull after the end of summer and the start of Halloween and convention season, which makes it a great time to go, especially on weekdays, and even weekends in September aren't that bad,” said Rick Munarriz, with The Motley Fool.

To add to the crowds, Brazil is slowly emerging from a recession and the euro is stronger.

Financial analysts have said with the Toy Story and Star Wars attractions coming soon, the quieter times may be gone forever.

"This may be the end of the slow season as we know it. Which is good for Orlando tourism in general, but maybe not so good for us as pass holders,” Munarriz said.

Disney didn't comment for the story.

Wait times don't always reflect park attendance.

If a ride is down, or fewer vehicles are running, ride times could be up even if park attendance is lower.

Christina Aguilera belts a Whitney Houston tribute at American Music Awards

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 10:29 PM

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19:  Christina Aguilera performs onstage during the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Christina Aguilera performs onstage during the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Christina Aguilera delivered a tribute to the late Whitney Houston that only a vocalist of her caliber could do.

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At Sunday night’s American Music Awards, Aguilera celebrated the 25th anniversary of Houston’s blockbuster movie “The Bodyguard” and its top-selling soundtrack.

Related: Christina Aguilera to pay tribute to Whitney Houston, ‘The Bodyguard’ at AMAs

Beginning her set in a black pantsuit and a singular spotlight, Aguilera sang the a capella opening of “I Will Always Love You,” transitioning to the big note before going into “I Have Nothing,” followed by “Run to You,” a song Houston herself has praised Aguilera for singing.

2017 American Music Awards Red Carpet

Related: Christina Aguilera to pay tribute to Whitney Houston, ‘The Bodyguard’ at AMAs

Assisted by a choir, Aguilera ended her tribute with “I’m Every Woman” recieving a standing ovation.

Watch the full performance below.