Jorge Estevez has once again made Central Florida his home, anchoring the evening newscast of Eyewitness News at 10 p.m. on WRDQ TV 27. He also anchors and reports for newscasts on WFTV Channel 9.
“I can’t believe I have been back already for several years. It feels like I never left,” said Jorge, who left in 2006 to work for the CBS affiliate in Miami.
During his time in Miami, Jorge earned his first Emmy Award for one of his special reports on traffic patterns in South Florida. His report looked at the impact of the new fast lanes on a section of I-95 through down town Miami would have on busy commute times.
Jorge first came to WFTV in 2001 and covered the attacks of 9/11 and how they impacted central Florida’s tourism industry. During the next five years, as an anchor and reporter for WFTV Channel 9 and WRDQ, Jorge worked on major news affecting the various counties that make up our community.
“During my time at WFTV and WRDQ, we were mindful to always consider the impact our news had on central Florida families. We not only worked to make sure our stories were accurate, but also relevant in helping our community deal with major news events,” said Jorge.
Jorge anchored several major local stories and some of national significance, including the discovery and capture of Saddam Hussein, NASA’s Shuttle Columbia Disaster and the severe hurricane season of 2004, during which several storms impacted the Orlando area.
“I will never forget how vulnerable central Florida was during that severe weather season with so many back-to-back hurricanes, but thanks to Severe Weather Center 9 and our coverage, I felt the community was well served not to mention informed before and after each storm,” said Jorge, whose own home also felt the impact of the Hurricanes.
Since his return to central Florida, Jorge has been sent to cover major stories across Florida and the country. His most recent trip was to Atlanta, where he interviewed Ronny Ahmed, one of the three students injured when a shooter stormed the campus of Florida State University in 2014 and started firing at random.
Before that, Jorge went to New York City to cover Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and then to Moore, Oklahoma, to cover the tornado that struck down in the Spring of 2013. Jorge’s plane touched down at 3:30 p.m. and he and his crew had a report on the air by 5 p.m. that same day. He won two more Emmy’s for his coverage and on-air performance as a field reporter during that coverage.
Jorge landed his first broadcasting job in New York City as a reporter at News 12 The Bronx and was promoted to the position of weekday morning anchor in less than a year. Jorge was the first New York City reporter in Puerto Rico for the territory’s historic referendum on statehood.
Jorge will remember his time in New York City for his Emmy-nominated story of a 12 year-old boy-turned-author after his battle with bone marrow cancer. Jorge was also the first reporter at the scene of the shooting death of Haitian immigrant Amadou Diallo by four police officers in front of Diallo’s apartment building.
The son of Cuban immigrants, Jorge is from West New York, New Jersey, where he graduated from Rutgers University with a dual degree in journalism and communication. Now, he is glad to be back in central Florida where he enjoys the change of seasons each year. He enjoys the warm weather because it gives him a chance to leave the gym take his 5-mile runs outdoors where he can really break a sweat.
“The best thing about having an afternoon off now and then is being able to head outside and run around the historic streets of Downtown Orlando or along our beaches. It helps me burn off some of the calories I get from all the restaurants I try and visit around town,” said Jorge, who will never turn down a dinner invitation.
Nancy joined the Eyewitness News team in May 2010 and am currently co-anchor of Eyewitness News Daybreak alongside Jamie Holmes.
My family is from Cuba and I was born and raised in South Florida, but I consider Orlando a second home. In fact, I’ve spent most of my career in central Florida.
My first on-air job was as the Brevard County bureau reporter for Central Florida News 13. Then it was on to WKMG where I spent five years as a reporter and received two Emmy nominations for my work in the station’s investigative unit. At both stations, I had the thrill of covering several space shuttle launches and landings at the Kennedy Space Center.
One of the toughest moments of my career was standing near the runway at the space center in February 2003 waiting for Columbia and its crew to return from their mission. Covering that tragedy was an experience I’ll never forget.
I was also in central Florida for Hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Jean, reporting nonstop during the now infamous 2004 hurricane season.
After leaving the area for three years, I am thrilled to be back in Orlando and proud to be part of the team at WFTV.
When I’m not working, my husband and I love spending time with our son Benjamin and our daughter Julia. Our favorite spots include Cocoa Beach and a local hang out on a lake in Clermont.
I am always looking for stories and I love hearing from viewers.
Stuart Nichols has been a professional ballroom dancer since 1985. He is a Dual Fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and is on the faculty of Rollins College in Winter Park, of which he is a native.
John Davis is the President of the Orlando Chapter of USA DANCE, a non-profit organization of social and competition ballroom dancers. The Orlando Chapter hosts the largest social dances in the area, plus charity fundraisers and special dance programs for youth, Alzheimers patients, the Blind, and Special Needs indioviduals. John has been a producer and judge for competitions and showcases for over 30 years.
Melanie Sandvig began dancing at age 4, studying ballet, jazz, and gymnastics before moving on to ballroom.
She had the honor of training under world-class coaches, and was certified through both the Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray franchises before becoming an independent teacher. With 3 partners she won 13 titles, including Southern States International Latin Champion, Can-Am Rising Star Latin Champion, and Northcoast International Latin Champion.
She has been touring for the last 15 years with Deney Terrio of TV’s “Dance Fever”, performing at venues that have included Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, and The Bellagio and MGM in Las Vegas, and has shared the stage with Village People, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Kool and the Gang. She has appeared in several TV commercials, and continues to coach, compete, and judge on the ballroom circuit.
Melanie is based at The Zebra Room in Orlando, FL, where she enjoys teaching students interested in social proficiency, competition, and wedding preparation.