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
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.

>> Read more trending stories

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.

Solar eclipse 2017: You can be a 'citizen scientist' during the Great American Eclipse

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 3:39 AM

WATCH: Rare Total Solar Eclipse Coming in August 2017

For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will cross North America on Monday.

>> Watch the news report here

The eclipse is expected to cross from Oregon, entering the U.S. at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, and leaving U.S. shores from South Carolina at 2:50 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, over the course of an hour and a half.

>> Solar eclipse 2017: What time does it start; how long does it last; glasses; how to view it

Becoming a citizen scientist through The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment program begins with downloading NASA’s free GLOBE Observer Eclipse APP, which will fuel a nationwide science experiment.

>> On WSBTV.com: Complete coverage of the total solar eclipse

On Monday, citizen scientists will be able to measure how the eclipse changes atmospheric conditions near them, contributing to a database used by scientists and students worldwide.

The app explains how to make eclipse observations, but you will need to obtain a thermometer to accurately measure air temperature.

>> Solar eclipse 2017: Is it safe to take a selfie with the eclipse? How to do it the right way

Joining the experiment means you can help collect cloud and temperature data with your phone.

NASA said that observers in areas with a partial eclipse or those who are outside the path of totality are encouraged to participate alongside those within totality.

To learn more about how NASA is looking for the solar eclipses to help understand earth’s energy, click here

>> Read more trending news

Fourteen states will experience night-like darkness for approximately two minutes in the middle of the day, according to NASA.

"No matter where you are in North America, whether it's cloudy, clear, or rainy, NASA wants as many people as possible to help with this citizen scientist project," said Kristen Weaver, deputy coordinator for the project. "We want to inspire a million eclipse viewers to become eclipse scientists." 

Explaining Total Eclipses

10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 8:18 PM
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 3:24 AM

The USS John  McCain was involved in a collision Sunday with a merchant ship. (Photo: U.S. 7th Fleet/Petty Officer 3rd Class James Vazquez)
The USS John McCain was involved in a collision Sunday with a merchant ship. (Photo: U.S. 7th Fleet/Petty Officer 3rd Class James Vazquez)

Ten sailors are missing and five are injured after a U.S. Navy destroyer collided with an oil and chemical tanker early Monday.

>> Read more trending news

The USS John S. McCain collided with the "Alnic MC" at 6:24 a.m. in the Strait of Malacca off the coast of Singapore in the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet.

The USS John S. McCain sustained damage to its left rear side. The Navy said the ship has significant hull damage, and the crew berths, machinery and communications rooms were flooded, according to The Associated Press.

Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters from the USS America are helping with search and rescue efforts, officials said. Tug boats and coast guard vessels are also helping.

The ship is named for both McCain Sr. and Jr. who served in the Navy.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Solar eclipse 2017: What's on your Great American Eclipse playlist?

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 2:30 AM

Explaining Total Eclipses

On Monday, millions of people will watch the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly a century.

So we thought it might be fun to make an eclipse-related playlist of songs that use the words moon, eclipse or sun in the title. 

>> Solar eclipse 2017: Is it safe to take a selfie with the eclipse? How to do it the right way

Or, perhaps, in the spirit of this “once-in-a-lifetime" event, how about songs that mention the sky or stars? 

There are some obvious ones, such as "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler or "Moon River" from the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's.”

>> On AJC.com: Complete coverage of the solar eclipse

That song was performed in the movie by Audrey Hepburn and later covered by Andy Williams and Frank Sinatra.

The thoughts of one Atlanta pastor also turned to eclipse-related music. 

>> Solar eclipse 2017: What time does it start; how long does it last; glasses; how to view it

The Rev. Patricia Templeton, rector of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church of Atlanta, decided to make a list of eclipse- or celestial-related hymns for the music worship on Sunday. 

She included hymns such as “The Spacious Firmament on High” and “God Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens.” 

>> Bonnie Tyler to sing 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' on cruise during solar eclipse

Templeton also tweaked the Scripture readings. 

“My son tells me I can make anything relate to anything,” she said.

>> Read more trending news

Here are a few others:

"Ain't No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.

"A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay.

Now it's your turn.

What's on your solar eclipse playlist?

How To Safely Watch A Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipse 2017: Is it safe to take a selfie with the eclipse? How to do it the right way

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 1:47 AM

How To Safely Watch A Solar Eclipse

The Great American Eclipse on Monday is expected to draw millions of Americans to cities along the centerline path of totality, where the moon completely blocks the sun, the earth goes dark and the sun’s corona shimmers in the blackened sky.

And with all the hype surrounding the total eclipse, you’re probably wondering if you can sneak a selfie in during the mega celestial event.

While we (along with most professional experts) recommend you put your phones down and enjoy the brief, once-in-a-lifetime experience sans technology, wanting to capture the moment digitally is certainly tempting.

>> How to photograph the solar eclipse 

If you’re planning to take a selfie (or use your smartphone camera at all), Nathan Yanasak and Jeri Ann Beckworth, both in the Department of Radiology and Imaging at Augusta University’s Medical College of Georgia, have some advice.

Eclipse selfie precautions and tips:

Lower your expectations. The eclipse will look very small in your selfie. Focus on getting the wide views of the sky and atmosphere, along with the eclipse.

>> Solar eclipse 2017: Your eyes will fry under normal sunglasses during 2017 eclipse, here’s why

Keep your solar eclipse glasses on. Safety is paramount during an eclipse, especially during its partial phases. Don’t look directly at the sun and keep your safety equipment on just in case the sunlight begins to creep in again after totality.

Limit your photos to the totality period. Yanasak and Beckworth recommend limiting selfies to the brief totality period, when your eyes will be safer and your camera settings will be easier to navigate.

>> Solar eclipse 2017: Make your own 'pinhole projector'

Be quick. Again, totality is brief — approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds (or less). Snap your photos quickly, with enough time left over to breathe it all in.

 Practice adjusting your camera’s control exposure settings. This is the most difficult part (aside from assuring safety) of capturing the eclipse in your selfie. Familiarize yourself with your phone’s camera settings and practice adjusting them during one of these two scenarios from Yanasak and Beckworth:

>> On AJC.com: Complete coverage of the solar eclipse

1. Practice during a nearly full moon. Try to snap a picture where a nearly full moon fills half of the view and is not overexposed—it should appear as a grey disk with clear features.

2. Use two dark rooms with a 25W incandescent light bulb in a clip-on lamp. Set up the lamp in one room, wrapped in a single paper towel. Stand in the other room about 30 feet from the bulb to practice your picture. Practice in the evening, and close your curtains to avoid stray light from outside.

>> Read more trending news

Consider downloading an advanced phone app, such as ProCamera. Even with all the practice, your smartphone camera might not be as sophisticated or sufficient for exposure control. Download advanced camera apps that give you more exposure settings and features.

Don’t zoom. Experts recommend using a wide-angle view and not the digital zoom on your phone while taking a selfie.

Do you need a solar filter for your phone? According to NASA, solar filters must be attached to the front of any optics, including camera lenses. But that’s not the case for most GoPro and smartphone shots, because the shots will be wide-angle views.

>> Solar eclipse 2017: What time does it start; how long does it last; glasses; how to view it

Apple told USA Today the iPhone camera sensor and lens would not be damaged during the solar eclipse, just as they wouldn’t be damaged if you pointed the camera toward the sun at any other time.

This is because the iPhone camera (and that of other similar smartphones) have a 28mm wide angle, whereas larger Canon or Nikon DSLR cameras have large zooms with high multiplication.

The GoPro lens is even wider at around 14mm.

“Apple and others suggest shooting wide shots of the scene, capturing not only the eclipse, but also the atmosphere...and the amazing shadows that are naturally cast,” USA Today reported.

>> What not to do the day of and during the total solar eclipse

Because you won’t see as much of the sun in a still photo, consider taking a time lapse or video instead.

How to actually take an eclipse selfie, according to Yanasak and Beckworth:

  1. Switch your flash from “Auto” to “On.”
  2. Turn on your front-facing camera so that you see yourself on the screen.
  3. Move around so that you position the moon over your shoulder.
  4. Use your right hand to adjust the exposure to the moon and hold.
  5. Use your left hand to take the photo.
  6. Now, put your phone away and enjoy the moment, whether you got the photo you wanted or not.

Plan to photograph the eclipse? Here are general eclipse photography tips from NASA.

Explaining Total Eclipses