Two people are confirmed dead after an explosion rocked a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania, officials said Saturday morning after initially saying that five people had been killed in the explosion.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency had said in a tweet that Berks County had reported five deaths following a blast Friday at R.M. Palmer Company in West Reading, around 63 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
But Mayor Samantha Kaag said that number was inaccurate and two had been killed. Five others remain missing and one person was rescued overnight.
"Some misinformation flows a little bit quicker. Not sure how it got out. If you come to us for the update, lean on us that we can give you the proper counts," Kaag told reporters at a news conference.
A spokeswoman for Reading Hospital said eight people had been brought to the facility. One was transferred, two were in fair condition and the others were released, said the spokeswoman, Jessica Belzer, of Tower Health.
The cause of the blast was unclear. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The explosion occurred at 4:57 p.m., NBC Philadelphia reported. Images posted on social media showed massive flames tearing through the building and a tower of smoke after the arrival of firefighters.
Kaag said the factory was "pretty leveled," and that the explosion was so powerful it pushed a nearby building forward by several feet.
"There's not too much to be able to kind of salvage from it," she said.
Sen. Judy Schwank said she was "deeply devastated" by what happened.
"This is an extremely difficult situation — unlike any I can recall us dealing with here in Berks County in recent memory," she said in a statement. "With that said, the response from the West Reading community and beyond has been awe-inspiring. ... I will continue to follow the situation and do everything in my power to ensure all state emergency response resources are available."
Richard M. Palmer Sr. founded the company in 1948 selling a handful of chocolates, including bunnies. R.M. Palmer Company now employs 850 people and sells more than 500 seasonal products, according to the company's website.
Kurt Chirbas is a senior editor for NBC News based in New York.
Tim Stelloh is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.
Minyvonne Burke is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News.
During Thursday night’s game, John Garrett announced that this season would be his last as Sportsnet’s colour commentator on regional Canucks games. He’ll call his last game on April 13.
Who might that voice be?
Dave Tomlinson has worked with Shorthouse before, taking over from Tom Larscheid as TSN 1040’s colour commentator for Canucks games in 2010. He held the job until 2017, when Sportsnet 650 took over as the Canucks’ new radio partner.
In 2021, Tomlinson accepted a job as the Seattle Kraken’s colour commentator on 93.3 FM.
Could the North Vancouver native come back home and take a promotion?
Randip Janda is in his first season as Canucks colour commentator on Sportsnet 650, taking over from Corey Hirsch.
Janda has lots of broadcasting experience with Sportsnet 650 and Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi. He also has experience filling in on Sportsnet’s television broadcast, as a rink-side reporter.
Hirsch spent five years, from 2017 to 2022, as Sportsnet 650’s colour commentator for Canucks broadcasts. He stepped aside from the role prior to this season to focus his role as a Keynote Speaker and Mental Wellness Ambassador.
Another former Canucks goalie in the booth, anyone?
Cory Schneider was excellent as an NBC Sports Analyst back in 2020 during the NHL playoffs. There should be little doubt that he’d be a fantastic colour commentator.
We've got @NJDevils goalie Cory Schneider in studio as an @NHLonNBCSports guest analyst!
One problem, Schneider is still playing. He’s the New York Islanders’ third-string goalie, and he currently plays for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Though the 37-year-old has openly-contemplated retirement.
Jannik Hansen lives in the Lower Mainland and has made a name for himself as a broadcaster during regular guest appearances on Sportsnet 650.
Would the former Canucks winger consider keeping that up in a full-time capacity?
Former Canucks defenceman Frank Corrado retired from pro hockey in 2022, and has successfully moved into the broadcast booth.
Since then, he’s entered the broadcasting realm, with regular guest appearances on both TSN’s SportsCentre alongside Jay Onrait, and locally on the Sekeres & Price Podcast.
Want to make road trips more fun? How about Shane O’Brien?
The former Canucks defenceman has been an engaging and hilarious guest in the past during previous appearances as a guest on Sportsnet 650.
He also currently hosts the Missin’ Curfew podcast alongside former NHLer (and former Canucks PTO signee) Scottie Upshall.
There was rarely a dull moment when Max Lapierre was on the ice for the Canucks.
The former pest has been doing media in Quebec as host of the La Poche Bleue Podcast since retiring from hockey in 2020.
Alex Auld has ties to Rogers, as he previously worked on Canucks broadcasts with Sportsnet 650. The former Canucks goaltender is well spoken and known for providing intelligent analysis.
Kevin Bieksa is one of the biggest stars in the hockey broadcasting world.
He’s made a name for himself with wit, humour, and insightful analysis as a member of Hockey Night in Canada’s panel.
Is there any chance he would consider a move out west to cover the Canucks as their colour commentator?
Seems doubtful, although Vancouver would be closer to his family home in Newport Beach, California, compared to the Hockey Night in Canada studios in Toronto.
No one on this list has more colour commentating experience than Ray Ferraro.
He’s one of the most well-known and experienced colour commentators in the NHL. Ferraro has been in that role for various media outlets since retiring in 2002.
Now with ESPN, would he consider going from national to regional?
Ferraro does reside in Vancouver, and his wife, Cammi Granato, is an assistant general manager with the Canucks.
The veteran first baseman will undergo further evaluation and testing, according to the team.
Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins was carted off the field after falling to the ground with a left knee injury during a game against the Tigers on Thursday.
Manager Rob Thomson said after the game that the team has no update on Hoskins, who is still undergoing testing.
In the top of the second inning, the Tigers’ Austin Meadows lined a ground ball toward first base. Hoskins broke back to field it, but took an awkward step and fell to the ground, clutching his left knee in obvious pain. Manager Rob Thomson jogged out to see him with the Phillies’ training staff and the EMS crew. His teammates on the field gathered around him, too. Kyle Schwarber helped Hoskins on to a cart that transported him off the field. Before Hoskins departed, a few players, including Nick Castellanos, Brandon Marsh and Bryson Stott, shook his hand.
“He was (in a lot of pain), especially initially,” Thomson said on the NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast. “He’s had some knee issues in the past so maybe it’s more fear than pain. Not sure. But they said he was walking around in the clubhouse afterwards, so that might be a good sign.”
The timing is brutal for Hoskins, who underwent meniscus surgery in December on his right knee. A few weeks ago, Hoskins described his right knee as a “non-issue” and said it wouldn’t delay his start to the season.
“You look at that guy, and the way he worked this offseason, to put him in a good spot, feeling good swing wise, body wise, everything...he was ready to come out and play 162 [games] or more,” Schwarber said. “Baseball is weird like that. But hopefully, like we said, we got good news, but if not, we’re all there for him no matter what.”
“We respect him, wish him all of the best, obviously,” shortstop Trea Turner said of Hoskins. “Hopefully his tests come back clean and it’s nothing too bad. Hate seeing that happen to him. But he’s one of our guys, one of our leaders, and we’re going to miss him. Even if it’s a short period of time, we’re going to miss him.”
This season was bound to be a pivotal one for Hoskins, who just turned 30 on March 17. He avoided arbitration with the Phillies in the offseason, settling at $12 million, but will be eligible for free agency after the season.
He has been a part of the Phillies organization since 2014, when he was drafted in the fifth round. He has hit .242/.353/.492 with an .846 OPS over six seasons with the Phillies.
“He does (mean more than the numbers),” Thomson said. “He’s so good in the clubhouse. He’s so calming out there. He’s big for us, he really is.”
Hoskins’ absence would certainly have ripple effects on the 26-man roster. For one, it would open up the bench competition. The Phillies’ have five players vying for two spots: Scott Kingery, Dalton Guthrie, Darick Hall, Jake Cave and Kody Clemens.
Clemens has 213 innings worth of experience at first base, between the big leagues and the minor leagues. Guthrie and Cave don’t have any experience there.
Kingery can play comfortably at third base if needed, which the Phillies could do if they wanted to move third baseman Alec Bohm to first base. But they may not be inclined to do so, since Bohm has played in just one game at first base this spring, and has been making strides at third with infield coach Bobby Dickerson.
Hall has the most experience at the position out of all the bench candidates, playing 4,771⅔ innings there throughout his minor league career, and 39 innings last season in his rookie year with the Phillies. Hall, who has been used primarily against right-handed hitters, has put in work this offseason on evening out his left-right splits, but could split time at the position with Bohm in the meantime.
Hall seemed to be a front-runner to make the roster regardless, to fill in for Bryce Harper while he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Hall is hitting .319/.385/.681 this spring with a 1.066 OPS. All five bench candidates have options, so the Phillies have some flexibility.
Another option still in major league camp is infielder Weston Wilson. Signed to a minor league contract in January, Wilson has played 1,352⅓ minor league innings at first base and has shown some power this spring. He’s hitting .294/.385/.529 with a .914 OPS through 18 spring training games. He would have to be added to the 40-man roster.
Justin Roiland, co-creator of Rick and Morty, was previously charged with corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, fraud, violence or deceit against his former girlfriend. The alleged incident occurred in January 2020, and Roiland pleaded not guilty. However, the prosecutor's office in Orange County filed charges against him in May of the same year, and he was indicted in October.
Recently, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s office disclosed that there was insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. As a result, the charges were dismissed, and Roiland is now cleared of all allegations.
In response to the charges being dropped, Roiland shared a statement online in which he expressed his relief that the case had been dismissed. He also expressed his disappointment with those who had judged him without knowing the facts, stating that the lies spread about him were deeply hurtful. Roiland promised to focus on his creative projects and restore his good name.
Although Roiland has been cleared of the charges, a protective order has been filed against him, which lasts until October 2023. This order stipulates that he is not to threaten, harass, or survey his former girlfriend, and he cannot go within 100 feet of her. Roiland is also required to relinquish any firearms in his possession or ownership.
When the charges against Roiland were first reported in January 2023, Hulu announced it was ending its association with him. Roiland is the co-creator of Hulu’s Solar Opposites, and was a producer and actor on its other animated show, Koala Man. Both shows continued without his involvement. Roiland's association with Rick and Morty remains unchanged, and the show has aired for six seasons on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block.
The dismissal of charges against Justin Roiland after a legal battle brings relief to the Cartoon Network star. However, his career will take a hit after being dropped by Hulu. This situation underpins the magnitude of protecting marriage, family, and relationships from violence or traffic amidst the increased cases of domestic violence in the world.
Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown is in the third year of a four-year deal, but it appears he may be wondering whether the grass could be greener somewhere else. Brown and the Celtics made the NBA Finals last season, only to fall to the Golden State Warriors in six games. But while they have regained their confidence and put together a second straight 50-win season, questions around Brown's future with the team flared after recent comments he made to The Ringer.
"I don’t know. As long as I’m needed. It’s not up to me," Brown said when asked about his future. "We’ll see how they feel about me over time and I feel about them over time. Hopefully, whatever it is, it makes sense. But I will stay where I’m wanted. I will stay where I’m needed and treated correct."
After the team’s 132-109 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday to get to the 50-win mark, Brown was asked about the comments and he said he wasn’t going to speculate "on anything above what I’m doing right now."
"I think sometimes when people write articles, they get taken out of context at times, especially when writers have their own agendas or whatever," he said, via NBC Sports Boston. "So, for me personally, I'm thinking about clarifying some of the things that have been recently said. But other than that, I'm just focused on my team. I'm focused on playing basketball and focused on winning games."
Brown added that if he wanted to clarify things about his future, he would. "But in terms of right now, I like when people hear things from the horse's mouth and you can see my reaction, my face and everything, how I feel about what I'm saying," he said. "Sometimes those things can get lost in translation, you know?"
Brown has been an integral part of the Celtics since the team selected him No. 3 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. Through 61 games this season, the two-time All-Star is averaging 26.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
It remains to be seen where Brown will play next season and beyond, but his comments have certainly raised some eyebrows and speculation about his future in Boston.
Ryan Gaydos is a senior editor for Fox News Digital.
A rare tornado touched down in a Los Angeles suburb on Wednesday, ripping roofs off a line of commercial buildings and sending the debris twisting into the sky and across a city block, injuring one person. The National Weather Service sent teams to assess damage in Montebello and later confirmed that a tornado had touched down around 11:20 a.m. “It's definitely not something that's common for the region,” said meteorologist Rose Schoenfeld with the weather service.
One person was injured and was taken to a hospital in Montebello, said Alex Gillman, a city spokesman. He didn't know the severity of the injury.
Michael Turner could hear the winds get stronger from inside his office at the 33,000-square-foot (3,065-square-meter) warehouse he owns just south of downtown Montebello. When the lights started flickering, he went outside to find his employees gazing up at the ominous sky. He brought everyone inside. “It got very loud. Things were flying all over the place,” Turner said. “The whole factory became a big dustbowl for a minute. Then when the dust settled, the place was just a mess.”
Debris was spread over more than one city block. Inspectors checked 17 buildings in the area, and 11 of them were red-tagged as uninhabitable, according to the fire department. Several cars were also damaged.
The rare and violent weather came amid a strong late-season Pacific storm that brought damaging winds and more rain and snow to saturated California. Two people died Tuesday as the storm raked the San Francisco Bay Area with powerful gusts and downpours. An on-duty San Francisco police sergeant was hospitalized with life threatening injuries after a tree fell on him Tuesday, the department said.
The weather service also sent assessment teams to the Santa Barbara County city of Carpinteria, where it confirmed that a tornado hit a mobile home park on Tuesday, with gusts up to 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour that damaged about 25 residences. The last time the weather service's Los Angeles office sent out tornado assessment teams was 2016 near Fillmore in Ventura County, where it was determined that a small twister had touched down, Schoenfeld said.
The storm was tapering off in California from north to south while pushing inland across the Southwest, the Four Corners region and the central and southern Rockies, the National Weather Service said. On Tuesday, some residents of north-central Arizona were told to prepare to evacuate because of rising water levels in rivers and basins.
The wind and rain mayhem from San Francisco Bay south to Monterey Bay on Tuesday was caused by an extraordinary drop in barometric pressure over the eastern Pacific that meteorologists described as “explosive cyclogenesis.”
California's unexpected siege of wet weather after years of drought also included February blizzards powered by arctic air. The storms have unleashed flooding and loaded mountains with so much snow that roofs have been crushed and crews have struggled to keep highways clear of avalanches.
Prosecutors in California dismissed domestic abuse charges against Justin Roiland, a co-creator and former star of the animated comedy “Rick and Morty,” after determining that there was not enough evidence to prove them in court, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said on Wednesday.
Mr. Roiland was charged in 2020 with domestic battery and false imprisonment of a woman he had been dating. The felony charges did not emerge publicly until January, when NBC News reported them.
Later that month, Adult Swim, the nighttime adult programming block for Cartoon Network, which distributes “Rick and Morty,” announced that it had “ended its association” with the actor, who voiced both main characters — the mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson, Morty Smith — over six seasons.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, Kimberly Edds, said Wednesday that prosecutors had made the decision to dismiss the case after “additional information came to light,” which she declined to specify. Mr. Roiland had pleaded not guilty to the charges and previously had a court hearing scheduled for next month.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Mr. Roiland said that he was thankful for the dismissal but “deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process.”
“Most of all, I’m disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and have me ‘canceled,’” Mr. Roiland said in the statement. He added that he was “determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”
When Mr. Roiland left “Rick and Morty” this year, an executive at Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns Cartoon Network, said that the title characters would be recast for the seventh season.
A person familiar with discussions about the show’s future who was granted anonymity to discuss internal conversations said the show did not plan to revisit the decision to sever ties with Mr. Roiland.
Mr. Roiland, 43, was also removed from the animated Hulu comedy “Solar Opposites,” which he co-created and starred in, this year, and he resigned from the video game studio that he co-founded.
In his statement on Wednesday, Mr. Roiland said he had always known that the claims against him were false and “never had any doubt that this day would come.”
California prosecutors on Wednesday dropped domestic violence charges against Justin Roiland, who created the Cartoon Network animated series Rick and Morty and who provided the voices of the show's two title characters. Orange County District Attorney's spokeswoman, Kimberly Edds, said the two felony counts involving a former girlfriend were dropped, "due to a lack of sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt".
Mr Roiland had been awaiting trial on charges of corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, fraud, violence or deceit against the woman, who he was living with at the time. She was not identified in court documents. The charges dated to May, 2020, but they apparently went unnoticed by media outlets until NBC News reported on them in January of this year.
Following the charges being dropped, Mr Roiland released a statement on Twitter saying he had, "always known that these claims were false" and "never had any doubt that this day would come". "I'm thankful that this case has been dismissed but, at the same time, I'm still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process," he posted. He added that he was "disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of a bitter ex trying to bypass due process and have me 'cancelled'."
After the original charges became public knowledge in January, Rick and Morty broadcasters Adult Swim and Cartoon Network cut ties with Mr Roiland and said they would recast the roles he voiced. Meanwhile, 20th TV Animation and Hulu Originals — which produce two other animated series that Mr Roiland worked on — did the same. The companies declined comment on Wednesday.
In his tweet, Mr Roiland said he was "determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name".
A rare tornado touched down in a Los Angeles suburb on Wednesday, ripping roofs off a line of commercial buildings and sending debris twisting into the sky and across a city block, injuring one person. The National Weather Service sent teams to assess damage in Montebello and later confirmed that a tornado had touched down around 11:20 a.m. “It's definitely not something that's common for the region,” said meteorologist Rose Schoenfeld with the weather service.
One person was injured and was taken to a hospital in Montebello, said Alex Gillman, a city spokesman. He didn't know the severity of the injury. Debris was spread over more than one city block. Inspectors checked 17 buildings in the area, and 11 of them were red-tagged as uninhabitable, according to the fire department. Several cars were also damaged.
The rare and violent weather came amid a strong late-season Pacific storm that brought damaging winds and more rain and snow to saturated California. Two people died Tuesday as the storm raked the San Francisco Bay Area with powerful gusts and downpours. The weather service also sent assessment teams to the Santa Barbara County city of Carpinteria, where it confirmed that a tornado hit a mobile home park on Tuesday, with gusts up to 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour that damaged about 25 residences. The last time the weather service's Los Angeles office sent out tornado assessment teams was 2016 near Fillmore in Ventura County, where it was determined that a small twister had touched down, Schoenfeld said.
The wind and rain mayhem from San Francisco Bay south to Monterey Bay on Tuesday was caused by an extraordinary drop in barometric pressure over the eastern Pacific that meteorologists described as “explosive cyclogenesis.” Trees and power lines were blown down. Windows were blown out from two San Francisco high-rises, NBC Bay Area reported. Ferry service was disrupted because conditions were too rough. Three barges got loose and damaged a bridge. An Amtrak commuter train carrying 55 passengers struck a downed tree and derailed near the East Bay village of Porta Costa. The train remained upright and nobody was injured, Amtrak and fire officials said.
Five deaths were attributed to the storm. In the Bay Area community of Portola Valley, a man driving a sewer truck was killed when a tree fell onto the vehicle. In the community of Rossmoor, a driver was injured and a passenger died after a large tree fell onto a car. In Oakland, a man inside a tent died Tuesday night after a tree fell on it near Lake Merritt. Two people also died at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday while receiving treatment for injuries suffered in separate storm-related incidents, according to city officials. Some 82,000 customers were without electricity Wednesday evening throughout the state.
The National Weather Service said Tuesday's storm, which came on the first full day of spring following the state's extraordinary winter, was a Pacific low pressure system interacting with California's 12th atmospheric river since late December. California's unexpected siege of wet weather after years of drought also included February blizzards powered by arctic air. The storms have unleashed flooding and loaded mountains with so much snow that roofs have been crushed and crews have struggled to keep highways clear of avalanches.
What non-Muslims should know about Ramadan fasting
The Ramadan fast is a very spiritual and comforting time for many Muslims around the world. It is full of charity, self-reflection, gratitude and community. Muslims fast to achieve spiritual closeness to God, as well as to practice patience, self-control and discipline.
During Ramadan, Muslims give up food and drink from sunrise to sunset. This involves giving up other things as well, such as gossiping, swearing, lying, sexual activity and arguing. Muslims are also encouraged to give zakat, or donate to the poor. The purpose is to make better choices and make space for spirituality.
Strength and discipline, especially in the face of temptation, are important aspects of the fast. Watching colleagues sip coffee during a meeting or seeing a friend eat a donut can be challenging, but tackling these obstacles is a key part of the spiritual journey.
Anyone who is not able-bodied or healthy enough to take part in the fast is exempt from it. This includes anyone who is ill, the elderly, children who haven't reached puberty, anyone taking medication, anyone who is pregnant, nursing or traveling.
The precise start of Ramadan may vary from year to year, depending on the Islamic calendar and the sighting of the crescent moon both locally and globally. Muslims begin the fast on different days, depending on whether they rely more on technology or on physically sighting the crescent moon in their locales.
All Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan with a major three-day festival called Eid-al-Fitr. This is traditionally celebrated with a morning congregational prayer on the first day, new clothes, time with family and friends, and lots of food.
The Ramadan fast is not meant to be punishment or torture. Instead, it is a time of spiritual reflection and self-improvement. Non-Muslims should respect the fast and be mindful of what those who are fasting are going through. Don't be concerned for their well-being or feel guilty about eating or drinking in front of them; they will appreciate your thoughtfulness, but their spiritual journey is their own. Eid-al-Fitr is a time for celebration, just like Christmas is for Christians.