Renderings of 'Avatar' at Animal Kingdom released

Published: Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 8:45 AM
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

Walt Disney World is bringing the movie "Avatar" to life.

WFTV-Orlando obtained renderings of what the mythical world Pandora will look like.

The Disney Imagineers are working with "Avatar" director James Cameron to design the "park within a park," which will be at Animal Kingdom.

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Guests will be able to see the floating mountains and glowing forests, as well as fly through the sky on one a banshee, which is a flying predator from the movie.

The "Avatar" section of the park is slated for 2017.

Walt Disney World announced in September that it will build a new attraction area at Animal Kingdom based on the blockbuster movie, "Avatar."

Disney CEO Bob Iger said at that time the company will build an entire "Pandora" themed area that will bring the fantasy of the film to the amusement park.

"We think we've got an opportunity to do just that with the characters and the land that inhabit Pandora," said Iger.

The new attraction will include multiple rides and shows. Disney will spend $500 million on the project.

"The scope and the scale of this thing are pretty incredible," said James Cameron, director of Avatar.

Cameron's film generated almost $3 billion worldwide.

Disney's announcement comes one year after Universal Orlando opened its popular, Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  When it opened, ticket sales at Universal went up nearly 50 percent.

"I think it's new. It could be the greatest hit for Disney," said Disney tourist Timo Immermann. "So, let's see what the people think about it."

Construction on the new attraction is scheduled to start next year.  It is slated to open to guests in about five years.

Police warn pet owners after finding drugged dog treats

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 11:12 PM

Police are warning residents after drugged dog treats were found. (Photo: Scott County Sheriff's Office)

A resident found pieces of hot dogs and beef sticks stuffed with ibuprofen, which can be fatal to dogs. 

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Police searched and cleaned the area in which the tainted treats were found, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

Service dog missing after lawn mower hits tie-down

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 10:29 PM

Dog leash. (Photo: Alan Levine/flickr/Creative Commons) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

A guide dog for the blind that was recently matched with its handler disappeared shortly after going into service. 

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Brinkley, a yellow Labrador retriever that was trained through Leader Dogs for the Blind, ran off after getting scared by a lawn mower that hit her tie-down, according to WJRT. Brinkley started working 10 days earlier.

Jackie McKeon recently finished a 26-day training with Brinkley before taking her home. 

Pitcher strikes out every batter in perfect game

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 9:18 PM

Softballs. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

A softball pitcher completed a perfect game, striking out every batter she faced Friday. 

Mia Fiaeta, a sophomore at Cedar Grove High School in New Jersey, struck out the 21 batters she faced in a 4-0 victory, according to the North Jersey Record.

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"I've never witnessed anything like that before," Cedar Grove head coach Nicole Velardi told The Record. "She really held it together. We didn't realize until the last inning that she was doing it."

In her last appearance, Fiaeta struck out all 15 batters she faced. She has thrown 321 strikeouts this season, according to the North Jersey Record.

The win puts the Panthers in the finals of their playoff tournament. They play again Tuesday.

Trump quickly finds voice on Twitter after returning from foreign trip

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 8:34 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 8:36 PM

Back after a nine day overseas trip, President Donald Trump returned to a familiar plan of operations on Sunday, as he used Twitter to jab at his critics and the news media, vowing to push ahead on his legislative agenda in the Congress, and making clear he wants a crack down on leaks from the U.S. Government.

“Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!” the President said early on Sunday morning.

Here are some things to look for with Mr. Trump back at the White House:

1. The President isn’t going silent on Twitter. Despite some news reports while he was gone that aides have tried to limit Mr. Trump’s time on social media, @realDonaldTrump was doing more than just highlighting White House talking points, as he issued a series of tweets on Sunday morning and later in the evening that plowed familiar ground. The Twitter barrage started softly – “Big win in Montana for Republicans!” the President tweeted about Thursday’s special election victory for the GOP – but then the President revved his engines. “Fake News is the enemy,” Mr. Trump said, as he took aim at the news media.

2. Will the President be firing White House leakers? Another story that broke while Mr. Trump was gone was one that said three leakers inside the White House had been identified, and that the President would be getting rid of them once he returned to the U.S. No names were revealed, but it has resulted in plenty of rumors across the political spectrum, especially more from conservative figures on social media, who publicly pointed the finger at aides whom they argued are not reliably supportive of the President. While those stories have circulated, Mr. Trump floated a different possibility – that maybe there aren’t leaks after all.

3. Don’t forget the Trump Agenda in Congress. The President on Sunday pressed two of his biggest agenda items, tax cuts and overhaul of the Obama health law. One interesting note was that Mr. Trump seemed to argue for more spending in a GOP health plan that is now before the Senate. “I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere,” the President tweeted. “ObamaCare is dead – the Republicans will do much better!” For now, Senators still haven’t forged a deal that can get a majority – that will be their focus when they return to work on June 5. Asking the Republicans to spend more government money on health care does not seem to be a GOP priority, as Mr. Trump tweeted.

4. The President presses for tax reform. In his Sunday tweets, Mr. Trump also used the bully pulpit to call for action in the Congress on tax cuts and tax reform. While both the House and Senate have held some introductory hearings, no real details have been handed out – other than one page of bullet points from the White House. While the President says it is “ahead of schedule,” Congress cannot act on a tax package until lawmakers finish action on health care overhaul. Despite his tweet, Mr. Trump’s tax plan has a lot of details that are TBD – and it’s not even clear that Congress can act on tax reform this year.

5. Is the White House readying a “War Room” While the President jabbed at the press over leaks, he didn’t give any hints on whether there would a shakeup in his own communications team, which has been reported by a number of news organizations, saying the White House is ready to set up a rapid response team to deal with stories about the Russia investigation, and other matters for top staffers. The Russia story didn’t go away with Mr. Trump in Europe, and it won’t be easy to sidestep once he is back at the White House.

6. Will Spicer be out? Or just to the side? While the President was overseas, there were reports that Mr. Trump was ready to make major changes in how the communications team deals with the press. The White House has denied that Press Secretary Sean Spicer will be pushed out, but his job security has been the subject of roller coaster rumors for the past four months; we could see more of Sarah Sanders at briefings. There have also been rumblings about making major changes in the White House briefings, maybe even doing away with the televised daily briefing. That would certainly make some news.