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Teacher invites 20 of her students to serve as flower girls, ring bearers in her wedding

A very special group of flower girls and ring bearers accompanied teacher Marielle Slagel Keller down the aisle last month.

Twenty kindergarten and first-grade students from IPS Butler Lab School in Indianapolis played a special role in their teacher’s June 24 wedding.

“They’re the kids that mean the most to me. They’re a part of who I am,” Marielle Slagel Keller, 25, told ABC News.

PHOTO: Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students to be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.
coryandjackie.com Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students to be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.more +

All of the children wore white outfits as they walked down the aisle holding a garland before the bride’s big entrance.

For many of the kids, it was the first wedding they had ever attended.

“There were a couple that shielded their eyes when we kissed,” she recalled.

PHOTO: Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.
coryandjackie.com Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.more +

Her husband, Mike Keller, admitted he was a bit skeptical at first, but is thrilled that the plan went off without a hitch.

“I said, ‘This is lovely,’ but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘There’s a 25 percent chance this will go according to plan,” Mike Keller, 26, told ABC News. “I thought, ‘This is going to be interesting: a herd of 6-year-olds coming down the aisle in this very important moment.'”

“But she really had a passion for it on this special day, and I’m glad she went with it. It ended up being perfect,” he added.

PHOTO: Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.
coryandjackie.com Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.more +

The bride also held a special cupcake ceremony for her students right after the couple had exchanged their vows.

PHOTO: Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students to be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.
coryandjackie.com Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students to be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.more +

“The first thing we did right afterward was to go to the cupcake ceremony. I’m immediately sidelined by the entire pack of children running to give her a huge hug,” Mike Keller said. “You could tell they really love her. They were so excited.”

PHOTO: Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.
coryandjackie.com Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.more +

The bride said including her students in her wedding “was everything” to her.

PHOTO: Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students to be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.
coryandjackie.com Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller asked her students to be her flower girls and ring bearers in her June 24 wedding.more +

“I’m really close to their families, too,” she explained. “They supported me throughout this wedding planning process, so it wouldn’t have been right to not have them be there the day of.”

“To have those kids walk down the aisle for me was really special. There were a lot of tears,” she added.

Today is the first day of school for the children, and their teacher said she can’t wait to see them again.

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72-year-old woman single-handedly kills 11 copperhead snakes

A 72-year-old woman went viral last week after she killed nearly a dozen dangerous snakes that had made a home under her house in Oklahoma.

The post on Thursday by a woman named Susan Thompson showed a 72-year-old woman named Mrs. Newby celebrating her handiwork with a cup of coffee in her house dress.

The women live in Lequire, Oklahoma, which is southeast of Tulsa in Haskell County.

WESH-TV

According to the post she killed the snakes with just a shovel, a shotgun and a rake.

In Texas these smallish, generally non-aggressive but potentially dangerous pit vipers are a common sight and are alarming to Texans. Especially if eleven of them are living under your home, as Mrs. Newby could tell you.

Texas is home to more than 115 different species and subspecies of snakes, but only about 15 of those are potentially harmful to humans.

Copperheads are venomous and come with light tan or pale brown tones with hourglass-shaped crossbands that are darker in color than the rest of the body.

Newborns have the same coloring as adults, but with a bright yellow tail. Adults grow to be about 24 inches to 36 inches in length.

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Cape Coral firefighters demonstrate hot-car rescues

Cape Coral firefighters broke into a hot car to save a doll stuck inside.

It’s the scenario crews worked through Monday as part of National Heat Stroke Prevention Day, meant to show how dangerous the inside of a car can be during Southwest Florida’s hot days.

Crews set up a car with thermometers showing temperatures inside and outside. On a cloudy day, the inside of the car still reached above 80 degrees. Firefighters cracked the window and smashed it out, getting inside to save the doll. Firefighters said even when the sun isn’t blistering, it’s still a dangerous situation.

“When the child is left in that stifling environment, there’s no wind, there’s no movement, that air is very stifling, very hot,” said Division Chief Ryan Lamb. “The temperature builds very quickly, and it definitely becomes an issue.”

Experts said a child’s body temperature can rise to above 100 degrees three to five times faster than an adult’s. In Florida, a new law is in place pushing for tighter restrictions and fines for people who leave kids in hot cars. It’s also pushing for new technology, like apps that remind parents of their kids.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Cape Coral firefighters demonstrate hot-car rescues

Cape Coral firefighters broke into a hot car to save a doll stuck inside.

It’s the scenario crews worked through Monday as part of National Heat Stroke Prevention Day, meant to show how dangerous the inside of a car can be during Southwest Florida’s hot days.

Crews set up a car with thermometers showing temperatures inside and outside. On a cloudy day, the inside of the car still reached above 80 degrees. Firefighters cracked the window and smashed it out, getting inside to save the doll. Firefighters said even when the sun isn’t blistering, it’s still a dangerous situation.

“When the child is left in that stifling environment, there’s no wind, there’s no movement, that air is very stifling, very hot,” said Division Chief Ryan Lamb. “The temperature builds very quickly, and it definitely becomes an issue.”

Experts said a child’s body temperature can rise to above 100 degrees three to five times faster than an adult’s. In Florida, a new law is in place pushing for tighter restrictions and fines for people who leave kids in hot cars. It’s also pushing for new technology, like apps that remind parents of their kids.

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Keeping student-athletes safe in extreme heat

Southwest Florida student-athletes are beginning practice this week for fall sports — just one month after a Lee County teen collapsed during a football summer workout and later died due to complications from heat stroke.

What are coaches doing to keep kids safe in the extreme heat?

“Make sure they are hydrated three or four hours before they even get to the field. That’s number one, and when they get here to the field, every 15 minutes, we make sure they hydrate again,” said Reginaldo Carmelia, president and U14 coach with the Southwest Florida Youth Football League.

The Southwest Florida Youth Football League is an independent youth football and cheer league teaching children ages four to 14.

While many players enjoy pushing themselves to their limits, 13-year-old Coby Georges said he’s watched his teammates push themselves a little too hard.

“Because they focus too much on working, they don’t want to say, ‘Coach, I want to get water,’ because they want to keep working and keep grinding,” Coby said.

We asked Coby and his coach if we could check Coby’s temperature during practice, and they agreed.

Fifteen minutes in, his temperature was at 99.7 degrees.

Thirty minutes in, it had jumped to 100.5 degrees.

“Any change, even if the person starts to appear lethargic, a change in color, a change in activity, these are all warning signs that people should be aware of,” said Arlene Wright, DNP, Millennium Physician Group. “According to the CDC, there’s over 600 deaths a year from heat stroke, and the people that are the most vulnerable are the very young and the very old.”

Wright said that during these hot summer months, it’s critical that athletes stay hydrated and take breaks frequently.

Carmelia said SWFYFL athletes hydrate every 15 minutes, and all of the coaches are trained in handling heat illness.

“We go through a basic protocol so they know exactly what to look for, and what signs may be there,” Carmelia said.

Time of day also plays a big role in heat illness.

NBC2 stopped by Coby’s 6 p.m. practice for our temperature test.

While his temperature jumped to 100.5 degrees 30 minutes into practice, it dropped down to 100.2 degrees 45 minutes into practice.

Carmelia said that’s probably because it was getting cooler outside.

He said this is the same reason Florida athletes should not be practicing outside from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the extreme heat.

NBC2 also reached out to all 3 Southwest Florida school districts to see what protocols they have in place.

“We do have a heat illness emergency action plan and a certified athletic trainer that is on site for our practices and games.  Coaches have been educated on proper safe procedures for heat illness,” said Greg Turchetta, spokesperson for Collier County Public Schools.

“All Athletic Directors and Athletic Trainers have received specific educational information, including information from the Florida High School Athletic Association.

“Other steps Collier takes to prevent heat emergencies in student athletes include:

• Having adequate supplies of water and other fluids available at all practices and sporting events;
• Frequent hydration breaks;
• Principals, coaches, and athletic directors receive an annual reminder of best practices to be followed. They are well-aware of preventive measures, signs and symptoms, and management of heat related illnesses;
• Certified Athletic Trainers are present at all football practices and events.”

“We will follow the FHSAA guidelines for practice and heat acclimation procedures as it pertains to number of daily practices and duration of practices,” said Michael Riley, spokesperson for Charlotte County Public Schools.
 
“Our high schools follow these guidelines regarding heat index and hydration. They have two watering stations set up for coaches and athletes. Along with their set hydration schedule built into practice, student-athletes are encouraged to visit the watering station whenever they feel overheated or in need. They have a trainer available at every practice. The trainer before practice alerts the coaches as to the heat index and we proceed using that information.”

Lee County Schools communications coordinator, Melissa Mickey, said, “The athletes have water breaks every 30 minutes and students are encouraged to stop for water anytime in between if/when they are thirsty. Our coaches are trained in CPR, First Aid and Heat Acclimatization.”

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How Tropical Storm Emily affected Lee County storm drains

Preemptive storm drain cleaning clears county problem areas, but threat of flooding still looms for homeowners.

Hurricane season in July and homeowners expect nothing less. Monday tropical storm Emily made landfall across parts of Southwest Florida, trailing strong rainfall.

Lee County officials say they’ve done a thorough job in cleaning up the storm drains that people have alerted them to. In areas where people don’t know who to turn to, you can find standing water pretty much everywhere.

“As the norm we get a lot of collective water when we get the storms which we got this morning,” said Rain Rush of Fort Myers.

Take it from the woman whose first name is Rain, plugged drains can wreak havoc around your property.

“It’s almost impossible to get through here, back to work and back in again,” said Rush.

Along McGregor boulevard, sidewalks become canals and overwhelmed drains struggle to keep up.

In May, Lee County Department of Transportation cleaned storm drains to prepare for days just like this. 

“This whole ditch would be filled up almost to the road,” said Jiles Thompkins of Fort Myers. 

We first met Thompkins when he was trying to figure out who he could call to clear out his drains. We took his concerns to county officials who shortly after, had a crew survey the property along Charles road.

A quick check Monday, and his drains were far less in danger of flooding than before. In fact, most drains the county was asked to clean that day, had no issues at all when we checked.

Rush calls it costly and time-consuming. Her father-in-law purchased bags of sand to help cars from sinking into the soaked lot.

If you’re going to these lengths on your own, it can take time.

Lee County DOT officials ask the public to report all blocked ditches, swales and canals.

  • First, to find out if your road is maintained by Lee County DOT, visit http://leegis.leegov.com/RoadLookup/.  If it is not maintained by Lee County, find your municipal contact by visiting www.leegov.com/dcd/flood.

  • Second, put in a Request for Action (RFA) to improve surface water drainage along your county-maintained road by contacting the Request for Action Hotline at 239-533-9400 or www.leegov.com/dot/requestforaction.

  • People can use the same phone number and website to also report blocked creeks and streams (example: downed trees, collected debris). The reported information will be directed to Lee County Natural Resources.

Drivers who notice problems with traffic signals can contact the Traffic Operations Center at LeeTrafficTOC@leegov.com or call 239-533-5762.

Dangerous road debris can be reported to 239-533-9400.

When approaching flooded intersections and roads, do not drive or walk through a flooded area if you cannot see the road surface beneath the water. Keep your vehicle’s lights on and the flashers off. 

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SLIDESHOW: ‘Persons of interest’ search leads to arrests in Charlotte Co.

Eight people were arrested in Charlotte County as deputies looked for persons of interest in various cases.

Deputies made the arrests July 27 and 28, and said they also closed several car burglaries in the Deep Creek neighborhood.

The focused patrol resulted in 15 traffic stops, 23 field interviews, and the eight arrests.

Copyright 2017 WBBH/WZVN (Waterman Broadcasting). All rights reserved.

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Wind rips roof off Fort Myers Beach resort

A Fort Myers Beach resort is working to make repairs after storms blew off the roof of one of the buildings. 

Maintenance workers at Outrigger Beach Resort said it happened around 4:30 a.m.

A portion of the roof flew off one building and landed on another building. 

Tropical Storm Emily makes landfall

Fortunately, nobody was injured. It is unclear how much it will cost to repair. The roofing company has arrived to begin work.

The Outrigger Motel will remain open for business as the torn-off roof only affected two rooms.

Copyright 2017 WBBH/WZVN (Waterman Broadcasting). All rights reserved.

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Parts of Collier County left underwater after TS Emily

Flooding and damaged property were the leftover impacts of Tropical Storm Emily in Collier County.

In central Naples near Airport-Pulling Road and Golden Gate Parkway, a tree that was struck by lightning Monday morning crashed through a resident’s lanai.

Though it only destroyed some physical property, including furniture and some landscaping, it was close to tragedy.

“My daughter’s bedroom is about eight feet from where the tree landed so it could have been much worse,” said Beth Preddy.

Emily weakening into tropical depression

Preddy said she wants the other half of that tree to be removed, fearing she might not be so lucky during the next storm.

Along with the lightning strikes were the heavy rains that left many roads and neighborhoods underwater.

“I would say three or four inches deep; you would need boots on if you wanted to go across the street,” said Bob Schroeder who lives off Vanderbilt Drive.

One resident said the waters were up to the tires of sedans that drove by, but that’s not the story we found in one East Naples neighborhood.

For years, those who live on Karen Drive have called the road Lake Karen because of how often it floods in the summertime. When it rained, the road filled with water, damaging cars and creeping dangerously close to homes.

Forecast: Emily moves away, scattered storms remain

Finally, the county heard their cries of help to alleviate the flooding.

“It only took 16 years, but hey! Who’s counting,” said resident Holly Moodispaw.

The road is dry because they began construction work this summer.

“It was a mess. Tearing up things and dirt in the house but it was worth it not to have Lake Karen come back,” Moodispaw said.

The county is adding more storm water pipes to help stop the flooding. Tropical Storm Emily was the road’s first test and residents said it passed.

Copyright 2017 WBBH/WZVN (Waterman Broadcasting). All rights reserved.

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Emily disrupts life in Lee County

Wind gusts from Tropical Storm Emily kept the Caloosahatchee clear from boaters Monday. The strong chop kept the Cape Coral Yacht Club clear save from a few people who wanted to see the storm roll in.

CJ Machalak brought his two kids to the beach to take in Emily’s fury. 

He said he had the day off from his construction job because the wind gusts would have made work dangerous.

“This is way too windy to do anything. My material would just be blowing everywhere,” Machalak said.

Farther inland wind gave way to rain as yards and farms across North Fort Myers were inundated with water.

Nathan Alredge said the standing water makes it tough for the horses on his grandmother’s farm.

“When they’re in this kind of water, it can cause their hooves to deteriorate and when it happens their hooves can get damaged,” he said.

Despite the rough working conditions, there were no reports of storm damage across Cape Coral or Fort Myers.