Update: Pizza Hut employee shoots, kills attempted robber, CMPD says

Published: Monday, October 31, 2016 @ 8:34 AM
Updated: Monday, October 31, 2016 @ 8:34 AM

Pizza Hut employee shoots, kills attempted robber, CMPD says

A west Charlotte Pizza Hut employee is on leave after shooting and killing a man police said was trying to rob the restaurant early Sunday morning.

Police identified the would-be thief as 28-year-old Michael Grace.

Investigators said that just before 1:40 a.m. three people tried to break into the Pizza Hut on Freedom Drive.

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Officers said that the employee fired his personal handgun at Grace, who died at the scene.

Police found the gun they said Grace was carrying when he was shot at the scene.

The two other intruders ran away and have not yet been found.

Pizza Hut released the following statement following the shooting:

"The local Pizza Hut franchise is fully cooperating with the Charlotte Police Department as they continue their investigation, but want to stress that the security of its staff is of utmost concern. They are providing support to the team members involved to ensure their health and well-being following this incident. The employee involved in the shooting has been placed on a leave of absence following further review."

No customers were at the restaurant at the time.

Police have not determined if the employee will face any charges.

WSOC checked with Pizza Hut's corporate office on their policy for an employee carrying a weapon. A spokesman said it varies by franchise, but has not responded with the policy for the Freedom Drive location.

Woman jailed after subjecting son to 323 hospital visits, 13 major surgeries 

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 3:57 PM

Mother Arrested After Subjecting Son To 13 Major Surgeries, 323 Hospital Visits

A Texas woman is jailed on charges related to allegations that she subjected her young son to more than a dozen unnecessary surgeries and hundreds of unneeded hospital visits.

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Kaylene Bowen-Wright, 34, is in the Dallas County Jail on a charges of 

injury to a child with serious bodily injury, according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

Bowen-Wright is accused of subjecting her 8-year-old son Christopher Bowen to 13 surgeries and 323 hospital visits starting after he was born in 2009, the newspaper reported.

The boy has been placed on oxygen, used a wheelchair at times and underwent invasive procedures, including insertion of a feeding tube, in his short life.

Texas Child Protective Services also confirmed Bowen-Wright tried to get her son on a lung transplant list and had placed him in hospice care at one point.

Doctors and CPS agents eventually determined there was nothing wrong with the child and placed him in foster care, along with two half siblings, according to KTVT.

Bowen-Wright’s behavior could be related to a disorder known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental health issue in which a caregiver invents or causes an illness.

>> Related: Mother, daughter arrested, accused of beating student at bus stop

The boy’s father, Ryan Crawford, who was ordered by a Texas court to stay away from the boy in 2012 because he didn’t believe all the illness claims by Bowen-Wright, told KTVT he’s trying to get custody of his son. Crawford is also critical of the doctors and courts that allowed the boy to undergo such abuse for so long before it was stopped.

“It’s horrible for my son, or any kid because obviously my son is not the only one that has had to go through this type of torture,” he said.

Bowen-Wright’s bail was set at $150,000.

Man tries to trade chicken Alfredo, Sprite for sex with teen boy, police say

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 12:39 PM

Ohio Man Tried To Exchange Chicken Alfredo For Sex With Teen Boy

An Ohio man is accused of trying to have sex with a 15-year-old boy -- who in reality was an undercover police officer -- by enticing the teen with chicken Alfredo and Sprite. 

Albert George Maruna IV, 22, was arrested Tuesday and charged with attempted unlawful sexual contact with a minor, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, possessing criminal tools and importuning, according to Mahoning County Jail records. Maruna was released from custody Wednesday.

Fox 19 in Cleveland reported that Maruna, a Youngstown State University student, began chatting through an online dating app Dec. 5 with someone he believed to be an underage boy. In reality, he was communicating with an undercover officer. 

The Vindicator in Youngstown reported that when the boy’s alleged age came up, Maruna played it off.

“Age is a number, I believe,” Maruna wrote, according to the newspaper. “I don’t believe in age. I’m OK if you (sic) OK with me.”

During the pair’s weeklong communications, Maruna sent the boy explicit messages detailing what he wanted to do with him, the Vindicator reported. He also sent the boy nude photos of himself, including his genitalia. 

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Austintown police investigators said that the pair agreed to meet for sex on Tuesday, with Maruna promising to bring lubricant, chicken Alfredo and Sprite, Fox 19 said. When Maruna got to Austintown, however, he was met by officers and arrested.

Maruna had an iPhone, a Macbook, three zip drives, a bottle of Astroglide lubricant, Vaseline lotion, two bottles of Sprite and chicken Alfredo in a Tupperware container when he was arrested, the news station reported

Police officials said that Maruna, when interviewed by detectives, “did not deem having sex with a consenting 15-year-old as wrong,” the Vindicator reported

He is due in court Jan. 3 for a preliminary hearing. 

This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to nutritionists

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 5:02 PM


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Do you love Diet Coke? Love it enough to drink a dozen of them in a day

According to a recently published New York Times article on a day in the life of the commander-in-chief , President Donald Trump reportedly downs a dozen cans of the soda a day. 

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“Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or for one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day,” read a passage in the article. 

The caffeine may give him an energy boost, but is that excessive? Atlanta nutritionist Page Love of Nutri Fit Sport Therapy Inc. certainly thinks so. 

“Drinking that much soda a day is taking the place of other hydrating beverages. It is a not nutritive beverage thus is not providing adequate hydration,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

In fact, consuming fizzy drinks can up your risk for diabetes and strokes, according to a recent studyconducted by researchers from universities in South Africa

They found that consuming just two sugar-sweetened drinks a week could increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 42 percent. And one sugar-sweetened drink can significantly elevate blood pressure. 

>> Related: Here's how many fizzy, sugary drinks a week it takes to increase stroke risk

While agencies set regulatory acceptable daily intakes for food additives, including sugar substitutes found in Diet Coke, to keep people safe, Rahaf Al Bochi, an Atlanta-based registered dietitian and nutritionist and owner of Olive Tree Nutrition said “these drinks do not provide added health benefits or nutrients.”

Diabetes and strokes aren’t the only ailments people should be concerned about as it relates to these beverages. Sugary beverages may cause people to crave sweets even more.

“There has been some research that the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas may cause us to crave sweets even more because the sweetness intensity is so high,” Love explained. “The brain senses a sweet food coming in but is left both psychologically and physically unsatisfied. There may be an metabolic reaction to the artificial sweeteners, especially sucralose, similar like sugar.”

They could also potentially harm the heart, other research suggests.

Canadian scientists said artificial sweeteners (like stevia, aspartame or sucralose) may actually lead to heart disease, higher risk of obesity and high blood pressure.

Their observational studies showed that the people who consumed low-calorie sweeteners were actually more likely to face an increased chance of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and other related cardiovascular issues.

That’s why Love and Al Bochi encourage people to drink water.

>> Related: Teen dead after caffeine overdose from energy drinks, soda, coffee

“Water is the best drink for people because it’s sugar-free and calorie-free. You can add cucumber slices, lemon or mint to add flavor to your water. Other beverage options include low fat milk, unsweetened tea, and herbal teas,” Al Bochi advises. 

Decaffeinated beverages can help with hydration, too. “Food group-based beverages,” Love said, “are good hydrators and give us the benefit of that food group nutrition!”

Report says House Speaker Paul Ryan may retire in 2018, he says it’s not true

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 12:44 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 4:31 PM

House Speaker Paul Ryan. Getty Images
House Speaker Paul Ryan. Getty Images

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, may retire from Congress after the 2018 midterm elections, according to a report in Politico.

“In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker—fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists—not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018,” the article by Tim Alberta and Rachael Bade says.

Read the full Politico story here

Ryan denied the report was true in a call with President Donald Trump Thursday.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Ryan “assured the president that those were not accurate reports and that they look forward to working together for a long time.”

Ryan became speaker in October 2015 after former Speaker John Boehner stepped down after five turbulent years.

Republicans rallied behind Rep. Paul Ryan to elect him the House’s 54th speaker on Thursday as a splintered GOP turned to the youthful but battle-tested lawmaker to mend its self-inflicted wounds and craft a conservative message to woo voters in next year’s elections..

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