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Family dog emerges alive and happy from wildfire aftermath

Published: Saturday, October 14, 2017 @ 6:51 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 14, 2017 @ 6:50 PM

Jack Weaver and his brother-in-law Patrick Widen walked around police barricades, through a creek and up treacherous hilly roads to save Weaver's mother from the grim task of recovering the body of the family's beloved dog Izzy.

Katherine Weaver was convinced Izzy died in a ferocious wildfire that destroyed their Northern California neighborhood and sent them fleeing for safety, Katherine still in her nightgown.

When the men reached the end of the narrow road on Tuesday, Jack Weaver swore as he saw that the house was completely gone. But then Izzy suddenly came bounding out for a joyous reunion.

Jack Weaver, who was filming the scene for his parents, captured the moment on his phone in a video that's gone viral on Facebook, providing a rare bit of good news amid endless scenes of severe destruction.

"She was very happy to see us," Weaver said of Izzy, a 9-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog. "She's such a brave dog. She was panting a lot and clearly stressed. But she was not frantic or anything."

In the frantic race to escape in the middle of the night, the Weavers and many others were forced to leave behind their pets because they couldn't be found or there was simply no time to get them. Thousands of people remained evacuated Saturday as fires continued to rage in California's wine country and authorities said it was still too dangerous to return to burned-out neighborhoods of Santa Rosa.

Cellphone service was sketchy, but Weaver was eventually able to reach his mother, who was staying with relatives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"She just lost it," Weaver said. "She went from being devastated about losing her home to the being the happiest person I've ever seen. I couldn't get home fast enough. She was really, really happy ... She's still shaken up by the whole thing, but she's in much better spirits now that Izzy is at our house."

Animal care workers are working overtime to feed and provide medical care for the pets who survived the inferno.

For Weaver, his first priority was telling his mother that Izzy survived.

A veterinarian said Izzy was fine, likely insulated from the fire's intense heat by her thick fur coat.

At Sonoma County Animal Services, veterinarians and assistants are caring for 64 cats and 44 dogs, nearly all of them brought in from fire zones. Cats generally have the most severe injuries, including smoke inhalation, burned paws or singed fur and whiskers.

"The severity is often terrible," said Dr. Katie McKenzie, the lead veterinarian. "Their paw pads are burned off. Or if they aren't, they come off in the days following. So our goal is to treat them, to remove the tissue that is too burned to be saved and to provide them with pain medication, bandaging."

Caretakers will change the bandages every 48 hours for as long as six to eight weeks, she said.

Shelter workers update their website every hour with photos of the pets they've rescued, and they're fielding frantic calls from worried pet owners searching for their furry companions. Twenty five animals have been reunited with their owners, said Monica Argenti, a spokeswoman for the shelter, which is run by the county.

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https://apnews.com/tag/Wildfires

TV film crew arrested for allegedly trying to bring fake explosive to airport

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 6:53 AM

TSA officials confiscated a suitcase at Newark Liberty International Airport and found several wires and devices.
TSA
TSA officials confiscated a suitcase at Newark Liberty International Airport and found several wires and devices.(TSA)

Television film crew members were arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday for allegedly trying to pass a piece of luggage containing “all the makings of an improvised explosive device,” ABC News reported.

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The film crew members, who claimed to be working the CNBC show “Staten Island Hustle,” were detained by Transportation Security Administration officials. TSA officials said the crew tried to smuggle a roller bag that contained wires, a motor and PVC pipe through a checkpoint, ABC News reported.

One crew member was filming the incident, which allegedly was to test whether TSA officials would discover the concealed device. A third man involved in the filming told police the crew was testing “vacuum compression luggage,” ABC News reported.

In a statement, Endemol Shine North America, one of the producers of “Staten Island Hustle,” said there had been “a misunderstanding.” 

Endemol Shine North America said in a statement. "The team was producing an episode about a new product, vacuum compression luggage, which allows travelers more room for clothing and has no other intended use,” Endemol Shine North America said. “Unfortunately, there appears to have been a misunderstanding, and we regret any inconvenience to TSA and other authorities on the ground for complications that may have been caused.”

TSA bomb techs cleared the bags after examining them and the crew was arrested, ABC News reported. The crew members were later released but could face civil penalties. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said it is reviewing the case, ABC News reported.

Autopsy report: Roy Halladay had drugs in system when plane crashed

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 3:33 AM

Roy Halladay pitched 16 seasons in the major leagues before retiring in 2013.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Roy Halladay pitched 16 seasons in the major leagues before retiring in 2013.(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

An autopsy on former major-leaguer Roy Halladay showed that he had amphetamines, morphine and a sleep aid in his system when he died in a plane crash off the west coast of Florida, The Tampa Bay Times reported Friday.

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Halladay, 40, died Nov. 7 from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner was flying his personal plane -- an ICON A5, which is an amphibious two-seat plane with foldable wings -- when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey, the Times reported. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the case.

Dr. Bruce Goldberger, a pathologist and director of the University of Florida’s Health Forensic Medicine center, said the drugs found in Halladay’s system were a concern, the Times reported.

>> Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay killed in plane crash

“The drugs are particularly important in the assessment of the impairment of Mr. Halladay while operating the plane,” Goldberger told the Times. “The NTSB will take this evidence under consideration during their investigation of this accident.”

The autopsy did not say whether Halladay had prescriptions for the medications found in his system, the Times reported.

Halladay, a father of two, was an All-Star during his 16-year major-league career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. He had a 203-105 record and won the Cy Young Award in 2003 with Toronto and in 2010 with Philadelphia.

Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 2:52 AM

Campbell's tomato soup cans.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Campbell's tomato soup cans.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Amanda Mattuchio said her parents use a fake can of Campbell's Tomato Soup to hide their cash.

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Unfortunately, they stored it alongside real soup cans in their kitchen.

“The bottom would unscrew and it had $2,500 in it and it was a combination of $100 and $50 bills,” she said. “The neighbor upstairs asked them if they had any canned goods they wanted to donate to the senior center.”

Her parents cleared out their soup cabinet, not giving their donations a second thought until several weeks later.

“When they went to put some more money into the can, they realized it had been put in with the donations. It was kind of devastating,” Mattuchio said. 

Frank Leary runs the Middleton Food Pantry where those cans ended up. He says on average, they receive hundreds of donated cans of soup a week. They searched every single one but still haven't found that can.

“I would love to find the can of soup. That amount of money is a terrible, terrible loss for anyone,” Leary said. “For all I know, that Campbell tomato soup is sitting in someone's cabinet right now and they don't even know it.”

Mattuchio’s parents are retired and live on a fixed income. She is asking anyone who went to the Middleton Food Pantry within the past few weeks to open their cabinets and inspect their soup cans. 

“I just hope whoever did find the money. If it has been found that they see this and they find it in their heart to return it,” Mattuchio said. 

Leary said he will remain vigilant in hopes of finding the can. Middleton Police said they have reached out to the family to see what they can do.

“If I opened a can of soup and expected to get a hot bowl of soup and got a hot bowl of cash, it would make an impression on me that I would want to talk to my friends about it,” Leary said. \

Mattuchio's father said if the person who found the can doesn't return it, he hopes they can use the money to help make their own life a little easier.

Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family says 

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 7:15 PM

Tom Petty Death Caused By Accidental Drug Overdose

Tom Petty died from an accidental drug overdose after taking a variety of medications, the family for the legendary rock star said Friday. 

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Petty, who suffered emphysema, knee problems and more recently a fractured hip, was prescribed various pain medications including Fentanyl patches, his family said. 

“On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication,” his family wrote on Facebook

The family called Petty’s Oct. 2 death an unfortunate accident. 

“As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.”

DOVER, DE - JUNE 22: Tom Petty performs onstage at the Firefly Music Festival at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway on June 22, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly Music Festival)(Theo Wargo)