On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
79°
Partly Cloudy
H 86° L 61°
  • cloudy-day
    79°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 86° L 61°
  • cloudy-day
    80°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 86° L 61°
  • cloudy-day
    64°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 79° L 59°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Top National Stories

    Federal investigators said Wednesday that an aging, failed elbow pipe appears to be the initial cause of a June 21 fire and subsequent explosions that injured five people and destroyed part of the processing unit at the largest oil refinery on the East Coast. The U.S. Chemical and Safety Hazard Investigation Board released a preliminary factual findings report during a news conference that included a timeline and likely initial cause of the fire. Investigators found the remnants of the failed elbow pipe, which they said had worn to .012 inches — about half the thickness of a credit card — likely contributing to the release of the flammable vapor. The board is continuing its investigation and plans to release a final report with an official cause and recommendations, agency investigators said. After the elbow pipe failed around 4 a.m., a cloud of flammable vapor ignited. Investigators said there were three explosions that followed including the last explosion of a surge drum around 4:22 a.m. that sent three large chunks of debris weighing between seven and 17 tons (15 metric tons) flying into the air. Company officials said the explosions caused severe damage to the 150-year-old site, the largest oil refinery on the East Coast, which had been processing 335,000 barrels of crude oil daily into gasoline, jet fuel, propane, home heating oil and other products. The damage caused the company to shutter the refinery, declare bankruptcy and start laying off workers in August. The five workers injured in the fire received treatment on scene for minor injuries. 'This didn't need to happen,' said board interim executive Kristen Kulinowski. She said the piping that failed 'had not been inspected for corrosion in the last 45 years.' The report noted that both the 2012 Chevron Richmond refinery fire in California and the 2009 Silver Eagle refinery fire in Utah were similarly caused by ruptured pipes that had thinned due to corrosion. The Philadelphia facility had installed monitoring stations throughout the piping to measure the thickness of the pipes and keep track of the metal loss due to corrosion. But investigators said a monitoring location was not set up at the specific elbow joint that likely ruptured. The most recent measurements from the adjacent sites did not indicate thin pipes, they said. The failed pipe, along with another nearby elbow pipe, had been stamped with letters indicating they likely were part of an installation from about 1973. The report says the industry standard and regulations for the chemical composition of pipes used in refineries has been updated periodically since then. The failed pipe contained higher levels of copper and nickel than current standards require as a limit. The report also notes that Philadelphia Energy Solutions hired a company to neutralize the hydrofluoric acid contained in areas of the refinery, which was completed at the end of August. About 3,200 pounds of hydrofluoric acid were released into the atmosphere during the incident, but investigators said they are unaware of any health impacts from that release.
  • Parents may be seeing more of a push to have children with autism carry a blue bucket when they go out for trick or treating this year. A social media post from a woman who says she has a 3-year-old nonverbal son who has autism. She said in the post that she will have him carry a blue bucket this year to alert those handing out candy that he is on the spectrum and may not interact as other trick-or-treaters do, WNEP reported.  This isn't the first year for a post like this to go viral, urging not only parents of children with autism to carry the blue buckets, but also those doling out the treats to be aware.  >> Read more trending news  Last year, another woman made a similar post that her 21-year-old son would be taking part in the festivities and asking social media users to 'spread awareness.' But the debunking website Snopes.com says don't bank on every child with autism carrying a blue bucket, or every child with a blue bucket has autism. While the move is gaining popularity on social media, there's no official campaign sponsored by Autism Speaks. Snopes said, 'Carrying a blue bucket while trick-or-treating is not a widely recognized symbol for people with autism.' The advocacy group Autism Speaks has a guide for celebrating the holiday with children who have autism. The group does not mention the blue buckets specifically but does have the suggestion of the child wearing a badge or have a sign on their bag that they may not communicate the same way as other children. The group though did share last year's post leading up to the holiday.
  • An adorable video is melting hearts across the web. Newsflare, an online news and video licensing site, reported a little girl named Gabby was recorded on a video uploaded on Sept. 26 sharing how she felt upon meeting her adoptive parents. >> Read more trending news  “Well when we were born we became two little babies and then Lily was still a baby and I was 4 years old!' the girl said. 'I got so big and Lily was still a baby!'  According to the New York Post, Gabby and Lily live in Dallas with their parents. “Do you know what happened to my heart? Well, when the first time I saw you my heart fell in love with you!' Watch the video below.
  • A school district in Pennsylvania will be spending $2.4 million to renovate the high school's locker rooms so they are nongender specific. The school board for the Eastern Lancaster County School District unanimously greenlit the project at Garden Spot High School, WGAL reported. >> Read more trending news  The remodel will create four zones with 76 private showers and an additional 48 private changing areas. Garden Spot locker room design by LancasterOnline on Scribd The decision was made after a transgender student, who was born female but identifies a male, fought to use the male locker rooms, WGAL reported. The new facilities are being called a 'ready area' and will help guarantee students' privacy and safety, district officials said, according to Lancaster Online. School Board President Glenn Yoder says the design idea will become popular in other school districts when other leaders have to consider the privacy of their students, Lancaster Online reported. The project is expected to be completed by next December, with demolition starting in March.
  • In a shocking video that may be difficult for some to watch, a WSOC-TV viewer captured footage of hundreds of birds scattered across the ground near the entrance of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, after flying into the side of the building. >> Read more trending news  Hollie Cameron's disturbing cellphone video shows dozens of birds lying on the ground outside the building and captures other birds crashing into the large windows. WSOC reporter Gina Esposito spoke with the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, who said their rehab team responded to the NASCAR Hall of Fame around 11 p.m. and treated hundreds of birds. They said a total of 310 birds hit the windows of the building. Roughly one-third of those birds were dead when they arrived, and another third was seriously injured. The rest appeared to be stunned but will be OK, the organization said. >> Watch the clip here (WARNING: Some viewers may find the video below disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.) In the video, Cameron watched as a bird crashed into the window and then fell to the ground, joining dozens of others. Cameron told WSOC that she was working in the area when she started recording on her phone around 9 p.m. You can hear her talking with a security guard who claims the phenomenon had been going on for about an hour. 'Oh my God, look at them all,' Cameron says in the video. 'There's something wrong with them. This is not OK.' Carolina Waterfowl Rescue posted more video on Facebook of the birds at their facility. About 100 of the surviving birds are being treated for broken wings and fractures. The rescue group said the birds are chimney swifts and that the colony lives in a roost. They think something disturbed the colony Tuesday night, causing the birds to fly into the windows at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue officials told WSOC that this was not a naturally occurring event and the birds' migration could not have been a factor because the swifts only migrate during the day. They plan to investigate more on Wednesday. CMPD reportedly responded to the scene to begin cleaning up the birds. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue said rehabbing the injured birds is expensive, and they desperately need volunteers since the birds will need to be hand-fed. Visit their Facebook page for more details on how you can help.
  • A 'Wheel of Fortune' contestant is making headlines after his darkly funny introduction on Monday's episode went viral. >> Read more trending news  According to NBC News and a video tweeted by the show, Blair Davis, a trucking business owner from Cardiff, California, didn't hold back when he told host Pat Sajak about his home life. 'I've been trapped in a loveless marriage for the last 12 years to an old battle-ax named Kim,' he said, drawing laughs from audience members. 'She cursed my life with three stepchildren.' He added that he has 'one rotten grandson.' >> Watch the clip here An amused Sajak sarcastically shouted, 'Yay!' while pumping his fist. 'No wonder you came here,' Sajak joked.  Davis later clarified that he was only kidding, saying, 'I love them like nobody's business.' Sajak then asked about the contestant's beard, a favorite of Davis' grandson. 'Every time I threaten to shave it off, he gives me a really hard time,' Davis said. 'Don't get it tangled up in the wheel,' Sajak warned. Learn more here or here
  • Hong Kong's leader expressed 'frustration and disappointment and regret' Wednesday over steps by the U.S. Congress to support pro-democracy protesters in the territory and warns they'll hurt American companies operating there. Reinforcing that criticism, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stressed Beijing's indignation over Congress' move and promised unspecified countermeasures. The House passed three bills Tuesday supporting the right of people to protest and opposing Chinese intrusions into Hong Kong's affairs. It follows months of increasingly violent protests over Beijing's aggressive attempts to enforce control over the semi-autonomous territory. China has vociferously opposed all criticism of the Hong Kong government's handling of the protests as unwarranted interference into its domestic affairs. The territory was handed over from British to Chinese rule in 1997 while retaining greater freedoms that those permitted on the Communist Party-ruled mainland. In Hong Kong, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said, 'This Hong Kong human rights and democracy act is totally unjustified and unwarranted.' The legislation would 'hurt not only the Hong Kong business. It will hurt American interests in Hong Kong. They have 1,400 companies, 85,000 citizens in Hong Kong,' Lam said. One of the U.S. bills condemns China's intrusions into Hong Kong's affairs and supports the right of people to protest. Another requires annual reviews by the U.S. secretary of state of Hong Kong's special economic and trade status, providing a check on Beijing's influence over the territory. A third bill would ensure that U.S. weapons are not being used against protesters by police. All three bills were approved on separate voice votes. In his remarks to reporters at a daily briefing in Beijing, Geng said, 'We express strong indignation on and firm opposition' to the legislation. 'I would like to stress again that in response to the U.S.'s wrong decisions and wrong practice harming China's interests, we will definitely take strong countermeasures to defend our sovereignty,' Geng said. Under U.S. law, Hong Kong receives special treatment in matters of trade, customs, sanctions enforcement, law enforcement cooperation and more. China has benefited from this special status and used it to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions, according to U.S. lawmakers, including speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. The administration Xi Jinping, China's authoritarian party leader and president without term limits, has increasingly pounced on foreign criticism and perceived slights to rally nationalism and support for the party. That comes amid a slowing economy and increasing repression at home, along with pushback from the U.S. and others on China's assertions of its territorial claims in the South China Sea and a growing international backlash at perceived Chinese meddling in foreign political systems. Under pressure from China, tech giant Apple removed a smartphone app that enabled Hong Kong protesters to track police, while the National Basketball Association has seen its once-thriving relationship with China become strained after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for the Hong Kong protesters. Other firms have been punished for failing to toe China's line on Taiwan, human rights and other sensitive issues. The three bills passed in the House now head to the Senate. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he had no scheduling announcement. McConnell chided the NBA, saying in a tweet last week that 'the people of Hong Kong have risked much more than money to defend their freedom of expression, human rights and autonomy. I hope the @NBA can learn from that courage and not abandon those values for the sake of their bottom line.' The Senate Appropriations Committee last month advanced an amendment that McConnell said would ensure 'the U.S. maintains a watchful eye on the Chinese government's aggressive encroachment on Hong Kong.' ___ Bodeen reported from Beijing.
  • Jury selection is scheduled to begin Wednesday in the first federal trial over the opioids epidemic. Two Ohio counties claim drug companies that made, distributed and sold prescription painkillers engaged in a deadly conspiracy that has inflicted massive damage on their communities and created a costly public nuisance. It's expected to take up to three days for attorneys for Summit and Cuyahoga counties and six drug companies to select a 12-person jury. Prospective jurors from nine northeast Ohio counties were mailed a 19-page questionnaire that asked whether there were people in their lives who used, abused or overdosed on opioids. Those with close connections to the crisis are expected to be excluded from serving on the jury. The pool does not include people from Summit County, which is a separate subdistrict in the 40-county Northern District of Ohio and has its own federal courthouse. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday. It is considered a bellwether because it could help shape how future trials are conducted or possibly spur the global settlement sought by U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, who is overseeing more than 2,000 lawsuits filed by local governments and other entities against drug companies. The federal lawsuits have been merged into a class action known as multi-district litigation. Polster has made clear since being assigned to the litigation that he wanted communities dealing with effects of the opioid crisis to get help as soon as possible. Counting prescription drugs and illegal ones such as heroin and illicitly made fentanyl, opioids have been blamed for more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000. Five drug manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, have used settlements or bankruptcy filings to be dismissed from the trial, winnowing the list of defendants to six: generic drugmaker Actavis, which is now owned by Teva; the distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, Henry Schein and McKesson; and the pharmacy chain Walgreens. The companies say they complied with the law and supplied only drugs that doctors prescribed. The trial itself is expected to last about seven weeks. ___ AP reporter Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, contributed to this report.
  • A Pennsylvania mom is in critical condition after police said she killed her children and husband, then shot herself, Philadelphia police said. >> Read more trending news  Here are the latest updates: Update 5:49 a.m. EDT Oct. 16: Authorities have identified the woman accused of killing her children and husband late Monday in Philadelphia's Tacony neighborhood, multiple news outlets are reporting. According to WPVI-TV, Damyrra Jones Alcindor, 28, also shot herself, police said. As she was rushed to a nearby hospital, she reportedly told officials she did not want to be resuscitated. Philadelphia police Homicide Capt. Jason Smith said Alcindor admitted to fatally shooting her two daughters, ages 10 months and 4 years, as well as their father, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday afternoon. Although police did not release the victims' names, a family member identified them as Max Alcindor, 38; Maxilla, 4; and Damaya, 10 months, WCAU-TV reported. Investigators said Alcindor, who legally bought the handgun earlier Monday, is facing murder charges in the case, according to WCAU. Original report: According to KYW-TV and the Philadelphia Inquirer, the deadly shooting occurred just before 10 p.m. Monday at a home in Philadelphia's Tacony neighborhood. Police said the 29-year-old woman fatally shot her two daughters, ages 10 months and 4 years, as well as their 35-year-old father. All three victims suffered gunshot wounds to the head, authorities said. When police arrived at the Hegerman Street home, they discovered the woman outside 'lying on top of a gun,' the Inquirer reported. Authorities said the woman, who apparently shot herself, was taken to a nearby hospital. Philadelphia police have not released the names of the woman or the victims, the news outlets reported. Read more here or here.
  • Authorities have expanded the search for an Alabama toddler believed to have been abducted Saturday night from a birthday party in Birmingham's Avondale neighborhood. >> Read more trending news  Kamille 'Cupcake' McKinney, 3, was outside with other children at the Tom Brown Village apartment complex when an SUV carrying a man and a woman approached about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, AL.com and WVTM reported, citing police. The man got out and placed Kamille inside the SUV before leaving the scene, witnesses said. Here are the latest updates: Update 4:42 a.m. EDT Oct. 16: Birmingham police have identified the two people of interest being questioned in connection with McKinney’s disappearance. According to WIAT, Patrick Devone Stallworth, 39, and Derick Irisha Brown, 29, both of Birmingham, are being held on 'unrelated charges.' Authorities arrested Stallworth on child pornography charges, the TV station reported. He was jailed on $500,000 bond. Brown, meanwhile, was arrested on a probation violation, officials said. She is not eligible for bond, WIAT reported. Birmingham police Chief Patrick Smith said interviews with Stallworth and Brown have not provided 'pertinent information' on McKinney's whereabouts, but 'evidence was obtained to allow detectives to obtain warrants on both subjects,' according to WIAT. Update 9:15 a.m. EDT Oct. 15: Family members have released new photos of Kamille 'Cupcake' McKinney as authorities continue to search for the missing toddler. Authorities said Monday that they were expanding an Alabama Amber Alert issued for Kamille over the weekend to include nearby states. 'Investigators are currently expanding the Amber Alert to surrounding states so that we ensure we have coverage and we're providing a great web for the entire area,' Birmingham police Chief Patrick Smith said Monday at a news conference.'We wanted to make sure we're covering all areas and all angles.' Update 12:45 p.m. EDT Oct. 14: Police said two persons of interest were being interviewed Monday in connection with the suspected kidnapping of Kamille 'Cupcake' McKinney. 'Unfortunately, investigators have not received any information on the whereabouts of Kamille at this time,' police Chief Patrick Smith said at a news conference. 'Our officers and detectives will continue to canvass the area where the vehicle was located, where the suspects were found and also the location of where she (went) missing.' Smith said that as of Monday, investigators had yet to find any connection between Kamille's parents and the persons of interest in custody. He said police believe other, unidentified people were also involved in her disappearance. 'We definitely remain hopeful that she's still alive and out there,' Smith said. Update 10:22 p.m. EDT Oct. 13: The suspected vehicle involved in the disappearance of Kamille 'Cupcake' McKinney has been located and a man was taken into custody for questioning, AL.com reported. Police are still searching for Kamille.  Update 9:29 p.m. EDT Oct. 13: Police released an updated description of the vehicle and images of the male suspect believed to be involved in the disappearance of Kamille 'Cupcake' McKinney.  The vehicle is a 2001 to 2006 blue or gray Toyota Sequoia.   Update 3:41 p.m. EDT Oct. 13:  Police issued an updated description and a photo of the vehicle involved in the disappearance of Kamille 'Cupcake' McKinney, 3, from a birthday party in Birmiingham, Alabama. According to WTVM, Birmingham police are looking for a blue-green Toyota Sequioa, with the year of the model between 2001 and 2006. The vehicle has either tan or brown trim, the television station reported. Police said a black man and a white woman were inside the vehicle, WIAT reported. Dominic McKinney on Sunday pleaded for the safe return of his daughter, AL.com reported. “I just want my daughter back. I’ll pay anything, I’ll put up anything,’’ Dominic McKinney said. “Everybody knows Cupcake and I’ll do anything to bring that baby back home.” Original report: In an Amber Alert issued late Saturday, authorities said Kamille, an African American girl with brown eyes and black hair, stands 3 feet tall and weighs about 60 pounds. She was wearing a pink and leopard print Minnie Mouse shirt with leopard print shorts, the alert said. Officials described the man's SUV, which may be an older Toyota 4 Runner, as dark-colored, possibly black or blue. The vehicle has 'rims and a tan protruding bumper,' according to the Amber Alert. Investigators are asking anyone who has information about Kamille's disappearance to call Birmingham police at 205-254-0841 or 911. Read more here or here.

The Latest News Headlines

  • In a shocking video that may be difficult for some to watch, a WSOC-TV viewer captured footage of hundreds of birds scattered across the ground near the entrance of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, after flying into the side of the building. >> Read more trending news  Hollie Cameron's disturbing cellphone video shows dozens of birds lying on the ground outside the building and captures other birds crashing into the large windows. WSOC reporter Gina Esposito spoke with the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, who said their rehab team responded to the NASCAR Hall of Fame around 11 p.m. and treated hundreds of birds. They said a total of 310 birds hit the windows of the building. Roughly one-third of those birds were dead when they arrived, and another third was seriously injured. The rest appeared to be stunned but will be OK, the organization said. >> Watch the clip here (WARNING: Some viewers may find the video below disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.) In the video, Cameron watched as a bird crashed into the window and then fell to the ground, joining dozens of others. Cameron told WSOC that she was working in the area when she started recording on her phone around 9 p.m. You can hear her talking with a security guard who claims the phenomenon had been going on for about an hour. 'Oh my God, look at them all,' Cameron says in the video. 'There's something wrong with them. This is not OK.' Carolina Waterfowl Rescue posted more video on Facebook of the birds at their facility. About 100 of the surviving birds are being treated for broken wings and fractures. The rescue group said the birds are chimney swifts and that the colony lives in a roost. They think something disturbed the colony Tuesday night, causing the birds to fly into the windows at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue officials told WSOC that this was not a naturally occurring event and the birds' migration could not have been a factor because the swifts only migrate during the day. They plan to investigate more on Wednesday. CMPD reportedly responded to the scene to begin cleaning up the birds. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue said rehabbing the injured birds is expensive, and they desperately need volunteers since the birds will need to be hand-fed. Visit their Facebook page for more details on how you can help.
  • Plan to drive through times of scattered showers today ahead of a cool front that will bring drier, more refreshing air to end the week.  Action News Jax Meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh says some rain may be heavy at times with a few rumbles of thunder.  Overall rainfall totals are not expected to be great, but the rainfall is needed.  By Thursday morning you’ll begin to feel a change with drier air and high temperatures only in the upper 70’s.  Friday morning lows may fall into the upper 50’s in some neighborhoods, and high temperatures will only be in the upper 70’s.  The weekend is looking a little warmer and wetter at times with a few showers on Saturday and scattered showers on Sunday. 
  • Four separate shootings over a 24-hour period in Jacksonville has left at least six people wounded and, so far, no arrests have been announced by police.  Early this morning a man was shot on W. 17th Street, near RV Daniels Elementary School.  He was taken to a local hospital with a single gunshot wound to the leg. JSO had no suspect description and was asking for tips to Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.  Just after 10 pm on Tuesday, two young men between the ages of 17 and 20 were shot while sitting in a vehicle on Timmerman Lane. Both shooting victims had non-life-threatening injuries. JSO had no evidence to confirm if this was a drive-by shooting.  Around 5:20 pm on Tuesday, police were called to a shooting on Orton Street, where two men were treated and transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No suspect information was given at the scene by detectives.  On Miss Muffet Lane on the westside just after 6 pm on Tuesday, police responded to reports of shots fired. An off-duty officer was called about a gunshot wound victim at Park West ER. He was taken to Orange Park Medical Center in critical condition.  According to JSO, two groups of people in two separate cars that left the area were being questioned by detectives.  
  • A Pennsylvania mom is in critical condition after police said she killed her children and husband, then shot herself, Philadelphia police said. >> Read more trending news  Here are the latest updates: Update 5:49 a.m. EDT Oct. 16: Authorities have identified the woman accused of killing her children and husband late Monday in Philadelphia's Tacony neighborhood, multiple news outlets are reporting. According to WPVI-TV, Damyrra Jones Alcindor, 28, also shot herself, police said. As she was rushed to a nearby hospital, she reportedly told officials she did not want to be resuscitated. Philadelphia police Homicide Capt. Jason Smith said Alcindor admitted to fatally shooting her two daughters, ages 10 months and 4 years, as well as their father, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday afternoon. Although police did not release the victims' names, a family member identified them as Max Alcindor, 38; Maxilla, 4; and Damaya, 10 months, WCAU-TV reported. Investigators said Alcindor, who legally bought the handgun earlier Monday, is facing murder charges in the case, according to WCAU. Original report: According to KYW-TV and the Philadelphia Inquirer, the deadly shooting occurred just before 10 p.m. Monday at a home in Philadelphia's Tacony neighborhood. Police said the 29-year-old woman fatally shot her two daughters, ages 10 months and 4 years, as well as their 35-year-old father. All three victims suffered gunshot wounds to the head, authorities said. When police arrived at the Hegerman Street home, they discovered the woman outside 'lying on top of a gun,' the Inquirer reported. Authorities said the woman, who apparently shot herself, was taken to a nearby hospital. Philadelphia police have not released the names of the woman or the victims, the news outlets reported. Read more here or here.
  • Authorities in Indiana said a baby is alive and well after someone discovered the child inside a plastic bag near a fence in Seymour. >> Read more trending news  According to the Tribune and WAVE-TV, police responded to a call about the infant just before 4 p.m. Tuesday. A resident, who had been walking a dog off South Jackson Park Drive, found the child about 60 feet away from the street, investigators said. Crews rushed the baby to a nearby hospital, the news outlets reported. Doctors said the child is healthy, according to WAVE. Seymour police have not yet made any arrests in connection with the incident, the Tribune reported. Read more here or here.

The Latest News Videos