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Photos: California wildfires kill dozens, destroy entire town

Dozens of people are dead as wildfires blaze through northern and southern California. Officials say the entire town of Paradise was destroyed.

North Carolina mom charged after son dies in Hurricane Florence floods

Authorities filed criminal charges against a North Carolina woman for driving around barricades on N.C. Highway 218 last month during Hurricane Florence, an act that led to the drowning of her 1-year-old son, officials said.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On WSOCTV.com: Body of missing 1-year-old swept away by floodwaters found in Union County

Dazia Ideah Lee, 20, of Charlotte, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge of driving on a closed/unopened highway.

They said the mother continued driving on N.C. 218 until her vehicle came across rushing water flowing across the road. Her car left the road but eventually stopped among a group of trees at Richardson Creek near New Salem. 

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Authorities said the mother was able to free herself and Kaiden Lee-Welch from the vehicle, but she lost her grip on him in the rushing water. 

This type of weather could increase your heart attack risk, study says

There are several factors that could increase your heart risk, including a poor diet and obesity. However, the weather may also contribute to that risk, according to a new report

>> On AJC.com: Eat this meat twice a week to avoid heart attacks and strokes

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden recently conducted a study, published in JAMA Cardiology, to determine the association between different weather conditions and the incidence of cardiac arrest. 

To do so, they examined 3 million weather data points from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and more than 275,000 heart attacks from the country’s online cardiac registry. They looked at the data from 1998 to 2013.

After analyzing the information, they found that days with below-freezing temperatures, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below, had the highest incidence of heart attack. The rates of heart attacks declined when temperatures rose to about 37 degrees. 

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The analysts also calculated that each temperature increase of 13 degrees Fahrenheit was linked to a 2.8 percent decrease in heart attack risk and that the association between snowy, windy weather and heart attacks was strong, particularly in the northernmost region. 

“In this large, nationwide study, low air temperature, low atmospheric air pressure, high wind velocity, and shorter sunshine duration were associated with risk of myocardial infarction [heart attacks], with the most evident association observed for air temperature,” the authors wrote. “This study adds to knowledge on the role of weather as a potential trigger of myocardial infarction.”

The analysts said there are several physiological mechanisms that could explain the relationship between weather and cardiac arrest. They believe the cold temperatures can constrict the blood vessels in the heart, which they said could “induce plaque fracture.” They added “season-dependent behavioral patterns” like less physical activity, dietary changes and depression, may also contribute to higher occurrences of heart attacks during colder months.

>> On AJC.com: You can avoid strokes and heart attacks with these two household fruits, study says

How can you lower your risk? The researchers recommended reducing cold exposure by staying inside and wearing warm clothes. To learn more about findings, take a look at the full report here. 

Canada earthquakes: Several quakes reported near Vancouver Island

Three powerful earthquakes, as well as several smaller ones, struck late Sunday and early Monday off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, near Vancouver Island, the U.S. Geological Survey is reporting.

According to the USGS, the first quake – magnitude 6.6 – hit about 10:39 p.m. PDT about 135 miles (218 kilometers) southwest of Port Hardy, Canada. It occurred at a depth of about 6.8 miles (11 kilometers).

>> Read more trending news 

Less than 40 minutes later, a second quake with a recorded magnitude of 6.8 struck nearby, about 122 miles (197 kilometers) southwest of Port Hardy. It occurred at a depth of about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers.)

A third 6.5-magnitude quake was reported at 11:22 p.m. PDT about 138 miles (223 kilometers) southwest of Port Hardy. Its depth was also about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).

Several smaller quakes followed, including a 4.9-magnitude temblor at 11:36 p.m. PDT.

No damage or tsunami warnings have been reported.

Orionid Meteor Shower 2018: 7 stunning photos of nature's light show

The Orionid meteor shower, which occurs from Oct. 2 to Nov. 7 every year thanks to debris from Halley's Comet, peaked this weekend, offering stunning light displays in the night sky.

>> Read more trending news 

Social media lit up with images of the celestial phenomenon. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Glacier National Park, Montana

Photo by John Ashley Fine Art Photography, Facebook

2. Standen, East Grinstead, England

Photo by @simon_halstead, Twitter

3. Japan

Photo by Kouji Ohnishi, Facebook

4. Normanton, England

Photo by @Michiko_Smith, Twitter

5. Iceland

Photo by @clukinmarvelous, Instagram

6. Long Island, New York

Photo by @GSBImagesMBusch, Twitter

7. Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Photo by @charnick_wx, Twitter

Proceeds from 40-pound, $2,000 pizza will go to Hurricane Florence victims

40-pound pizza you can only find in New York City goes for $2,000.

>> Watch the news report here

However, the owner of Champion Pizza said every penny he makes off the cheeseburger pie will go toward Hurricane Florence victims in North Carolina.

>> On WSOCTV.com: GOP lawmakers say they're ready to OK $800M in Florence aid

The pizza has five layers and takes a lot of preparation.

It’s so big that at least two people have to load it into the oven, and the pizza has to be split in half to fit.

The pizza is sold at seven locations across New York City.

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"I wish or I hope like someone who likes pizza and makes $100,000 – you never know – maybe someone will buy that,” owner Hakki Akdeniz said.

Florida man accused of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars after hurricanes, tropical storm

As people in Florida are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, a Jacksonville man is wanted on allegations of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars.

>> Watch the news report here

Lepoleon Spikes is accused of claiming damage to different homes in Jacksonville for three separate storms.

>> Visit ActionNewsJax.com for the latest on recovery efforts in Hurricane Michael’s aftermath

A grand jury indictment claims he provided FEMA with fraudulent lease agreements as proof of damage.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: 17 Florida DCF workers fired over emergency food stamp applications

Documents say Spikes was awarded thousands of dollars after Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, as well as Tropical Storm Debby.

“You’re taking from people and families that really need the money,” said Scherlinda Bennett, who says her home was flooded during both Matthew and Irma.

>> Read more trending news 

ActionNewsJax went to one of the homes where Spikes supposedly lived, but learned that was years ago. The home’s current owner claims it never had storm damage.

Hurricane Michael: Videos, photos show devastation along Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Michael battered Florida's Panhandle on Wednesday, bringing with it destructive 155 mph winds and life-threatening storm surge.

>> Hurricane Michael: Latest updates

Its winds ripped apart homes, and feet of storm surge left homes underwater.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Florida here.

>> On WSBTV.com: Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Georgia here.

Photos and video from the Panama City area show the path of destruction left behind by the near-Category 5 storm.

>> Read more trending news 

Check them out below:

Hurricane Michael: Trump likely to visit Florida, Georgia next week to survey storm damage

President Donald Trump is likely to visit storm-ravaged areas of Florida and Georgia hit by Hurricane Michael early next week, White House officials told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday.

>> Hurricane Michael: Latest updates

The president spoke with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey during the flight to receive updates on the storm, which barreled into Florida on Wednesday and pounded parts of south and middle Georgia with rain and wind.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Florida here.

>> On WSBTV.com: Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Georgia here.

The White House said Trump “offered any federal resources necessary and continues to receive regular updates.”

>> Read more trending news 

Read more here.

Historic Hurricane Michael: How it stacks up to other U.S., Florida storms

Even as the storm still rages, Hurricane Michael is already making its mark on history.

>> Watch the news report here

Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle with winds of 155 miles per hour. A hurricane reaches Category 5 status when winds reach 157 miles per hour.

>> Hurricane Michael: Latest updates

Only a few storms have made landfall in the United States stronger than Hurricane Michael. Only three Category 5 storms have ever hit the continental United States; Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3, was not one of them.

Before meteorologists and weather experts named storms, a Category 5 hurricane hit the Florida Keys on Labor Day 1935. That storm holds the record with winds of a staggering 185 miles per hour.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Florida here.

The second-worst storm to hit the continental U.S. was Hurricane Camille, which hit far western Mississippi in 1969 as a Category 5 storm.

The third-worst storm on the list is one still fresh in the minds of many Floridians: Hurricane Andrew, which hit South Florida in August 1992. The storm tore through Homestead as a Category 5 with winds peaking at 165 miles per hour.

>> On WSBTV.com: Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Georgia here.

That brings us to the present with Hurricane Michael, which is now the fourth-strongest hurricane in U.S. history.

When it comes to hurricanes that hit Florida’s Panhandle, Michael’s wind speed at landfall surpassed Hurricane Opal, which was the previous record holder. Opal made landfall near Pensacola as a Category 3 in 1995.

Nine people died in Hurricane Opal, and the damage totaled more than $4.7 billion.

>> Read more trending news 

Michael is stronger still than Hurricane Irma when it slammed into the Keys in 2017 with winds of 130 miles per hour – and Michael’s winds are three times stronger than what Central Florida experienced from Irma.

One comparison that will resonate with people is to last year’s “M” hurricane, Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and killed thousands. Maria made landfall over southeast Puerto Rico with winds of 155 miles per hour – the same intensity as Michael when it hit Mexico Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, though the eye of Maria was slightly larger, which allowed for more widespread damage.

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