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."

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Guests use Bluetooth technology at Disney hotel to enter rooms

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 3:33 PM

Guests At Disney Hotel Use Bluetooth To Enter Rooms

Opening your hotel room door with your cell phone? Disney has started to roll out the new technology for guests to skip the front desk and go directly to their room, speeding up the start of vacations.

Disney gave WFTV anchor Jamie Holmes an exclusive look at how guests will be able to use their cellphones to get into their hotel rooms.

The theme park rolled out the technology at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Over the years, the My Disney Experience app has been an expanding feature of how guests navigate the parks and hotels.

Previous story: Your smartphone could unlock Disney hotel rooms

Guests can use it to check ride wait times and even clean up park photos.

But guests can also use it to plan their hotel stay, skip the check-in desk, and go straight to their rooms.

"If you choose to, you can actually bypass the front desk area, if that's important to you, and start your vacation earlier," Michael Trum, with Disney digital guest experience, said.

Here’s how it works: Guests take their cellphones and hold it up to their hotel room door, and that’s when a little Disney magic happens.

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"They're Bluetooth-enabled. Your phone, most smart phones. We've upgraded our locks to be Bluetooth enabled as well. So, they pair together, via security obviously," Trum said.

The technology can be used as a companion to the Magic Bands, which are required to get into the parks.

Long gone are metal hotel room keys, and for the most part, even plastic key cards are gone.

But, since most guests these days aren't far from their phones, the Bluetooth technology gives them a choice.

Many people wonder whether the new technology is safe.

Cellphone passcodes are notoriously hard to crack and Disney stands by the system.

“We obviously designed this with security in mind. We can't go into details on Disney security policies, but our guests should absolutely feel safe using this as an entry point into their rooms," Trum said.

Disney is not the first to use the Bluetooth technology. Hilton and Marriot hotels have been using it for several years.

The FBI said it has never had a case of hackers using phones to enter a hotel room in the U.S.

Disney will expand the service to other hotels over the next several months.

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Musician Charles Neville of The Neville Brothers dead at 79

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 5:04 PM

Charles Neville, saxophonist of The Neville Brothers, has died at age 73 of pancreatic cancer. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Blackbird Productions)
Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Blackbird Produ
Charles Neville, saxophonist of The Neville Brothers, has died at age 73 of pancreatic cancer. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Blackbird Productions)(Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Blackbird Produ)

Musician Charles Neville, the brother of Aaron Neville and a member of the R&B funk group The Neville Brothers, has died. He was 79 years old.

Aaron Neville confirmed the news to WWL Thursday. The 79-year-old was sick for some time, the station reported. He died at his Massachusetts home.

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The New Orleans Advocate reported that the second-oldest of the four Neville brothers had pancreatic cancer. The saxophonist was part of many hits for the band, including 1989’s “Yellow Moon” and the Grammy Award-winning “Healing Chant” from that same year, according to The Times-Picayune.

Neville posted a lengthy tribute to his big brother on Facebook, saying that he was “in the heavenly band” next to jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll greats such as Charlie Parker, Fats Domino and Dizzy Gillespie.

Related: Photos: Notable deaths 2018

“My dear brother Charlie the horn man, just want you to know that if I would’ve had the choice of picking my brothers, I would definitely choose you,” he wrote in the post. “You were a great brother. You’ll always be in my heart and soul, like a tattoo. You helped to mold me into who I am today and I’ll always be thankful. I’ll always see your special infectious smile on the stage next to me, it would always give me a smile. I’m happy that we had a long hang together, the ups and downs. It took who we were and where we came from to make us who we are.”

“You take your well deserved rest with God in Heaven and play with the heavenly band. I know that you’re whole again. Jesus will wrap you in His loving arms and take away all the hurt of the world. We all love you very much. But I know that Jesus loved you best.”

In addition to Aaron Neville, Charlie Neville is survived by his daughter Charmaine, sons Talyn and Khalif; sister Athelgra Neville Gabriel, and brothers Art and Cyril.

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Boston city officials vote to change Yawkey Way back to Jersey Street

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 11:46 AM

City Of Boston Announces They Will Change Name Of Yawkey Way

The City of Boston has voted to change the name of Yawkey Way.

After multiple delays, the commission voted unanimously Thursday to change the name of Yawkey Way back to its original Jersey Street.

The Red Sox organization initially petitioned the city to change the name of the street outside the ballpark from Yawkey Way back to the previous name of Jersey Street weeks ago. 

The late Tom Yawkey, former team owner, has been called racist by some, in part over the long delayed racial integration of the ball club.

Defenders of the Yawkey name believe the name change would harm the reputation of the philanthropic Yawkey Foundation.

Yawkey Foundation issued a statement shortly after the vote.

The City of Boston Public Improvement Commission has the final say over street names.

About a month ago, the commission took about two hours of heated opinions from both sides, tabling the issue for two weeks.

Two weeks ago, the Red Sox organization sent a letter standing by its petition, but asking for a delay in the vote so the public would have more time to weigh in.

Just last week, team president Sam Kennedy told sports radio station WEEI the Sox still want the street name changed. 

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Trump VA nominee Ronny Jackson withdraws name from consideration

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 7:59 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 7:59 AM

Who is Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson?

Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his name from consideration, multiple news outlets are reporting.

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