December 6th, 2013
Convicted rapist Willie Henderson has been given a life sentence.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH — It was well over a year and a half ago when a woman living in New Smyrna Beach met a man in her neighborhood named Willie James Henderson, and decided to help him out by hiring him to do some work around her house.
It would turn out to be a tragic decision for the woman, who police say would get beaten, raped and nearly strangled to death by the man she trusted and paid $20 to mow her lawn.
But the consequences were also tough for Henderson, 50. On Friday, he was sentenced to life in prison for sexually battering the victim after forcing his way into her home.
The Office of the State Attorney, Seventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, noted that Henderson had been convicted in October by a Volusia County jury of Sexual Battery Using Force, which is a felony, and Burglary with Battery, a first degree felony punishable by a life sentence. Read more »
December 5th, 2013
“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is being performed at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. (Photo by R.T. Robeson).
ORLANDO — It’s hard to believe that the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” was a box office disappointment when it premièred in 1946, and that post-war audiences initially shunned the inspirational story of George Bailey and his life in Bedford Falls, N.Y., that begins one Christmas Eve when he’s contemplating suicide.
It’s also fascinating to note that “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which has since become one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, was also one of the first true cult movies, appearing at revival movie theaters for years during the holiday season – long before movies like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” were claiming the cult title. Read more »
December 4th, 2013
The Orlando Magic is celebrating its 25th season with big plans for the future. (Photo by R.T. Robeson.)
ORLANDO — Last Friday, when the Orlando Magic took on the San Antonio Spurs inside the Amway Center arena, there was a sense that the Spurs had a solid opportunity to bounce back from their first National Basketball defeat in nearly a month.
As it turns out, they did, with a 109-91 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Despite that disappointment for the Magic’s local and national fans, the Orlando Magic is heading into its 25th anniversary season with a lot of optimistic, and not just on the court of the Amway auditorium, but also in the growth of the franchise in this city. Marking the start of the team’s new season in October, the city also took a moment to glance back at more than two decades of Magic in this city, while unveiling some major plans for the future. Read more »
December 2nd, 2013
Justin Robertson, 26, was arrested and charged with beating a 78-year-old man.
KISSIMMEE — On the day after Thanksgiving, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call from a home on Duxbury Drive. What they saw at the scene was enough to make anyone sick.
A 78-year-old man was lying on the front porch of the home. According to the sheriff’s report, he had been severely beaten. There were injuries all over his face, and his head was bleeding.
The deputies also saw something else as they arrived at the home: a man in his twenties, quickly running from the home.
That man was later arrested, and identified as Justin Robertson, 26. According to the sheriff’s office, the elderly man left lying on the porch is related to Robertson – who deputies say beat the man after an argument.
He now faces serious charges that include attempted murder, robbery, domestic aggravated battery on a person 65 years old or older, domestic battery on a person 65 years old or older, grand theft and resisting arrest without violence. He was booked into the Osceola County Jail. Read more »
December 1st, 2013
Patrons line up early outside of the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in downtown Orlando for the free concert performance of Handel’s Messiah. (Photo by R.T. Robeson).
ORLANDO — It was a cherished Orlando gift to the entire community — and has been for more than four decades.
It was, Betsy Hoagg noted, an event that had become a tradition at the start of the holiday season in Orlando, a view reflected in the fact that a crowd of more than 2,000 showed up to see it at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre on Sunday afternoon.
“It has become a tradition which we all share,” Hoagg said.
The event was the Messiah Choral Society hosting its 41st annual performance of composer George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah,” held at the Bob Carr Sunday afternoon. Conductor John V. Sinclair, the society’s music director for the past 26 years, led the string section, the huge chorus, and the four solo vocalists through a concert that was open to the public, free of charge, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more »