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Sweethearts will be missing this Valentine’s Day

The chalky candy Valentine staple may not be included in this year’s gift of love, but company officials say not to worry, Sweethearts will be back next year.

Spangler Candy Company recently purchased NECCO Wafers, the company that produced Sweethearts, after NECCO went out of business and shut down last year, the “Today” show reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Company officials said there wasn’t enough time to make the candy over the five months since buying NECCO, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Company officials promise the candy will be available next year for gift giving. 

In a September press release, officials wrote, “There are a lot of manufacturing challenges and unanswered questions at this point, and we want to make sure these brands meet consumer expectations when they re-enter the market. We look forward to announcing the Sweethearts relaunch for the 2020 Valentine season, and hope to reintroduce Necco Wafers to the marketplace in 2019.”

For those who just have to have the small hearts with sayings like “Be Mine,” “Cutie Pie” and “TXT Me” for the day of love, boxes can be found on Amazon and eBay, the Free Press reported. But they are not fresh batches, and were made before NECCO went out of business last year, “Today” reported.

Indiana detective recovers nearly $10K for scam victim

An Indiana man was able to recover nearly $10,000 after he was scammed last month thanks to the work of a detective, WXIN reported.

>> Read more trending news 

“These cases are tough to solve,” Johnson County Sheriff’s Detective James Bryant told the television station. “In solvability, and recovery, I usually see zeros.”

Not this time. Blackwell’s diligence and some good timing helped recover $9,950 for Edinburgh resident Jim Blackwell.

In December, Blackwell thought he was buying a John Deere mini-excavator at a 75 percent discount from an online seller who listed her name as Laura Anderson.

“The story was, the woman’s husband was killed by a drunk driver and just wanted it gone,” Blackwell told WXIN. “If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.”

Blackwell wired $9,950 for the vehicle, expecting it to be delivered by a company named VSN Vehicle Deliveries, the television station reported.

“About a week later, I realized the machine wasn’t coming and I had been scammed,” Blackwell told WXIN. “Their webpage was immaculate. The VSN thing was very, very well done.”

VSN Vehicle Deliveries did not exist, and neither did Laura Anderson. The address for the company belonged to a shipping business unrelated to VSN, WXIN reported. The excavator Blackwell thought he was getting was located in northern Indiana and was for sale by another company, the television station reported.

Bryant went to work, tracking Blackwell’s money transfer to a Bank of America account in California, which had been frozen because bank officials had fraud concerns, the detective told WXIN

“They froze the money because they’d seen $70,000 move through the account in a period of days,” Bryant said.

When the account was frozen, Bryant discovered that $9,950 -- the exact amount Blackwell wired -- was still in the account. Bryant worked with the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office to send a court order to the bank, WXIN reported.

“It seized the money and it ordered them to return it to Jim Blackwell,” Bryant told the television station.

Bryant said people should be skeptical of cheap online deals that are not available anywhere else.

“Selling things for 25-cents on the dollar doesn’t keep the lights on,” Bryant told WXIN.

“(I) didn’t expect anything back and the fact that (Bryant) went the extra mile and did the things he had to do to make it happen, is pretty amazing,” Blackwell told the television station. “Appreciate it a lot.”

Recall alert: Losartan potassium tablets recall expanded 

Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited has expanded its recall of Losartan potassium tablets USP. Originally the company recalled 10 lots of the medication. Now company officials have added an additional six lots of Losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide tablets after trace amounts of N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) was found in one of the pill’s active ingredients, the Food and Drug Administration announced.

>> Read more trending news 

NDEA is a naturally occuring substance that is found in some food, water, air pollution and industrial processes. It has been classified as a probable human carcinogen. 

The recall only affects products that have more than the acceptable amount of NDEA, according to the FDA.

Patients on the recalled pills are being instructed to continue taking them until they contact their doctor or pharmacist for an alternative treatment, the FDA said in its press release.

The following tablets are covered by the Torrent Pharmaceuticals recall:

  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 100mg, 30-count bottles, NDC number 13668-115-30, Lot BO31C016, expiration date 04/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 100mg, 90-count bottles, NDC number 13668-115-90, Lot BO31C016, expiration date 04/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 100mg, 1000-count bottles, NDC number 13668-115-10, Lot 4DK3C005, expiration date 4/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 100mg, 1000-count bottles, NDC number 13668-115-10, Lot 4DK3C004, expiration date 4/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 100mg, 1000-count bottles, NDC number 13668-115-10, Lot 4DU3C040, expiration date 10/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 100mg, 1000-count bottles, NDC number 13668-115-10, Lot 4DU3E049, expiration date 5/2021.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 100mg, 1000-count bottles, NDC number 13668-115-10, Lot 4DU3E050, expiration date 5/2021.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 50mg, 30-count bottles, NDC number 13668-409-30, Lot 4L67C035, expiration date 10/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 50mg, 90-count bottles, NDC number 13668-409-90, Lot 4L67C035, expiration date 10/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 50mg, 90-count bottles, NDC number 13668-409-90, Lot 4L67C036, expiration date 10/2019
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 50mg, 1000-count bottles, NDC number 13668-409-10, Lot 4O50C005, expiration date 11/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM TAB, USP 25mg, 90-count bottles, NDC number 13668-113-90, Lot 4O49C013, expiration date 9/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM and HYDROCHOLOROTHIAZIDE TABLETS, USP 50mg/12.5 mg, 90-count bottles, NDC number 13668-116-90, Lot BP02C008, expiration date 3/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM and HYDROCHOLOROTHIAZIDE TABLETS, USP 50mg/12.5 mg, 1000 count bottles, NDC number 13668-116-10, Lot BEF7D006, expiration date 3/2020.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM and HYDROCHOLOROTHIAZIDE TABLETS, USP 100 mg/12.5 mg, 90-count bottles, NDC number 13668-117-90, Lot BX35C020, expiration date 5/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM and HYDROCHOLOROTHIAZIDE TABLETS, USP 100 mg/12.5 mg, 90-count bottles, NDC number 13668-117-90, Lot BX35C049, expiration date 8/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM and HYDROCHOLOROTHIAZIDE TABLETS, USP 100 mg/12.5 mg, 1000-count bottles, NDC number 13668-117-10, Lot BX35C022, expiration date 5/2019.
  • LOSARTAN POTASSIUM and HYDROCHOLOROTHIAZIDE TABLETS, USP 100 mg/12.5 mg, 1000-count bottles, NDC number 13668-117-10, Lot BX35C023, expiration date 5/2019.

Those who may have medical questions about the recall or who want to report a reaction to the medication are being directed to call 1-800-912-9561 or email

Teen wearing 'MAGA' hat in controversial viral video speaks out in new interview

The teen seen wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat in a controversial viral video recorded last weekend outside the Lincoln Memorial told his side of the story in a "Today" show interview.

>> Watch the full interview here

The polarizing video showed Nick Sandmann, a junior at Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Kentucky, grinning and standing inches away from Vietnam veteran and former Native Youth Alliance director Nathan Phillips on Friday during the Indigenous Peoples March. Phillips can be seen drumming and chanting in the clip.

In an interview that aired Wednesday morning, Sandmann told "Today" host Savannah Guthrie that the incident occurred after members of another group, the Hebrew Israelites, called his school group "homophobic, racist, derogatory" names.

>> Teen wearing MAGA hat in protest video issues statement

"Our school was slandered by the African-Americans who had called us all sorts of things," Sandmann said.

The Hebrew Israelites, however, claimed that the Catholic students started the dispute, "Today" reported. But Sandmann said his group had been yelling school spirit chants.

"Did anyone shout any insults back or any racial slurs at the group?" Guthrie asked Sandmann.

>> Trump says Catholic students ‘treated unfairly’ after encounter at National Mall

"We're a Catholic school, and it's not tolerated," Sandmann replied. "They don't tolerate racism, and none of my classmates are racist people."

As the boys and Hebrew Israelites continued to clash, Phillips and other Native Americans stood between the two groups. Soon, Sandmann and Phillips were standing face-to-face. 

When asked what he had been thinking at the time, Sandmann said he just "wanted the situation to die down."

"I just wish he would've walked away," he said.

>> Actress Alyssa Milano calls red Trump MAGA hats ‘the new white hoods’

Although Phillips said he heard students yelling, "Build the wall," Sandmann denied the claim.

"I never heard anyone say, 'Build the wall,' and I don't think I've seen it in any videos," Sandmann said.

When Guthrie asked Sandmann why he didn't walk away, Sandmann said that in retrospect, he wishes he had.

"I didn't want to be disrespectful to Mr. Phillips and walk away if he was trying to talk to me," he said.

Sandmann said that contrary to what critics have said, he was not smirking at or taunting Phillips.

>> Read more trending news 

"I see it as a smile saying that this is the best you're going to get out of me," he told Guthrie. "You won't get any further reaction of aggression."

Sandmann said he has the "utmost respect" for Phillips.

"It’s another person that freely used his First Amendment right, and I want to thank him for his military service, as well," Sandmann said, adding that he'd "certainly like to speak" with Phillips.

Sandmann said he has received both supportive and negative messages in wake of the incident.

"People have threatened our lives," he said.

Read more here.

Father says son broke both ankles at trampoline park, warns other parents

A father said his 6-year-old son was injured at a trampoline park in Hickory, North Carolina, after jumping onto a deflated landing zone.

>> Watch the news report here

He said the boy broke his ankles on Monday afternoon at Defy Hickory.

>> On Parents file $750,000 lawsuit against Tennessee trampoline park

A state amusement ride inspector said businesses like Defy Hickory are not regulated by the state of North Carolina

Parents sign paperwork that releases the business from liability if something goes wrong.

>> On Trampolines are more dangerous than you think — Read the warnings, advice from experts

Mark Loden said his son jumped from a 15-foot platform to a 20-foot platform and landed on the deflated bag, breaking his ankles. 

“It’s horrifying, but it makes you angry at the same time. Why was it not closed off?” Loden said. “Why was someone not over there telling kids not to be there?”

Loden said he was helping his daughter when the boy climbed the stairs and jumped. 

He said there were no workers near the platform or caution tape warning people to avoid it.

“It blows my mind. It blows my mind,” the boy’s mother, Jessica Yeckley, said. “I freaked out. I tried to stay calm and keep dad calm as well."

>> Read more trending news 

“Kids are getting hurt and nobody is doing nothing about it,” Loden said.

Defy Hickory workers said they are investigating the incident.

“The safety and well-being of our visitors is a top priority, and we adhere to the strictest standards prescribed by the International Association of Trampoline Parks,” they said.

Loden said he was required to sign a waiver, and he wants to warn families they are giving up their rights to sue, even if someone dies.

“Be very careful,” Loden said. “Watch your kids. If he landed on his back, he could be paralyzed right now.”

Good Samaritans speak after rescuing woman pinned under truck

Two men jumped into action, saving a Jacksonville woman who was pinned under her truck after a crash.

“I felt like I didn’t have a choice,” Brandon Denmark told Action News Jax. “It was a life-or-death situation, so it was either 'This lady is going to suffocate and die or do what we can do to save her.'”

Denmark and Jared Whitcher are thankful they were in the right place at the right time.

“It looked like a bunch of dust, but then realized it was somebody flipping through the median,” Denmark said.

It was Ja’net Bauer, after troopers said her right rear tire blew, and she lost control of the truck on Thursday

The impact left Bauer pinned underneath the truck.

Denmark said he broke the window and crawled in.

>> Read more trending news 

“I said, 'Ma’am can you breathe?’ And I heard a faint, ‘No,’ like she was running out of air, so I figured I had no choice.”

Denmark said a man on the scene warned against flipping the truck, saying it could make her injuries worse.

But they -- and two other men -- started lifting, believing it was the only way to save her.

“We flipped the truck over,” Denmark said. “And when we did, you see her she had this big breath of air.”

From there, they were able to get Bauer out, and rescue crews rushed her to a hospital.

Denmark and Whitcher aren’t sure what came over them in those moments of panic.

“Split second decisions that happened to be good ones,” Whitcher said.

“I don’t know what kicked into gear or what made me jump in there, but whatever it was it’s nice to know that she’s alive,” Denmark added.

Doctors said remarkably, Bauer doesn't have injuries from the neck down, and they expect a full recovery.

She and her family want to meet every person who helped her that day.

James Gandolfini's son Michael to play Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' prequel

The son of late "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini will take on a familiar role in a movie prequel to the Emmy Award-winning HBO series.

Deadline and Variety reported Tuesday that Michael Gandolfini has been cast as a young Tony Soprano in "The Many Saints of Newark," an upcoming New Line Cinema film directed by Alan Taylor. 

"It's a profound honor to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano," the younger Gandolfini, whose father died in 2013 at age 51, said in a statement.

>> Read more trending news 

According to Deadline, "Sopranos" alums David Chase and Lawrence Konner wrote the script for the film, which takes place in the 1960s. The cast includes actors Corey Stoll, Alessandro Nivola, Billy Magnussen, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga.

"I'm thrilled that I am going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for 'The Many Saints of Newark,'" Michael Gandolfini said.

Read more here or here.

Remains of California man missing since 2017 found in Tennessee; foul play suspected

The remains of a man who went missing after visiting Memphis, Tennessee, have been found. 

>> Watch the news report here

Sean Turner – who was visiting from California – went missing on Nov. 14, 2017

According to Memphis police, Turner’s burned up rental car was found two weeks later in South Memphis. 

His remains were just found by investigators on Jan. 17, according to authorities. Police said the remains were located at the intersection of Fields and Cook roads in South Memphis. 

No arrests have been made. 

WHBQ spoke with Turner's family shortly after his disappearance. 

Memphis police said the cause of Turner's death is "undetermined" as of now. However, investigators said "foul play" is suspected. 

They are investigating the incident as a homicide.

>> Read more news stories 

Turner left California to go to St. Louis. He rented a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, booked a hotel, and made a day trip to Memphis like many people do, WHBQ reported.

But the father of three crossed the “M Bridge,” made it to Frayser, and was never seen again, the station reported.

"He's like one of a kind. Like he's always so helpful. He's always thinking of other people. He's always willing to give and help his family members," said Turner's daughter, Whitnee Turner. "We had a family friend make a phone call to him about 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. that day, and at that time his phone was already going straight to voicemail, and since that day it hasn't been turned back on.”

>> On 'We're calling almost every day': Family desperate for answers after man goes missing in Memphis

Panic set in once they realized their patriarch was missing. The family traveled to Memphis and notified police. They soon found out that he was last seen on the 2700 block of Lake Park Road in Frayser and hadn't been seen since. 

His cellphone and rental car were not able to be tracked. Police found a burned-out vehicle at Forrester and West Mitchel roads the same day of Turner's disappearance.

That car was confirmed to be the one rented by Turner. 

2 children, grandmother killed after Mississippi mobile home explodes

A grandmother and her two grandchildren died after an explosion in their Mississippi mobile home

>> Watch the news report here

The deadly fire happened about 11:30 a.m. Monday at a home on County Road 540 in Corinth. 

The Alcorn County coroner confirmed to WHBQ that Samantha Mason, 46; Crystlyn Brewer, 5; and Dakota Brassfield, 2, were killed. Mason was the children's grandmother.

The State Fire Marshal's Office told WHBQ that one of the children was taking apart pieces of a basket and putting it on a propane heater. That heater exploded.

Eva Mason lost her daughter-in-law and two great-grandchildren in the fire.

"My husband said the front of the heater was blown off," she told WHBQ.

>> Read more news stories

Eva Mason and other family members got a shovel and broke out a window to try to save them. Family members tried to go inside and get Samantha and the kids, but the smoke was too thick and the fire was too much.

"Every angle that we went ... it just seems that the smoke was just coming out at us," Eva Mason said.

Investigators told WHBQ that the children made it out of the home, but they later died at a local hospital from injuries suffered in the fire.

The state fire marshal said there were working smoke detectors in the home, but the flames and smoke prevented the family from escaping.

Eva Mason said the family isn't sure what they will do next because they do not have the money to cover funeral expenses.

Man made social media threat to shoot 3rd-graders for talking about his mom, deputies say

According to officials, a man said he was just joking when he threatened on social media to shoot third-graders at a North Carolina elementary school.

>> Watch the news report here

Isaiah David Napier, 18, is now charged with with making a false report concerning mass violence on an educational property.

>> On Man sends inappropriate Snapchats to 13-year-old boy, mother says

Wake Forest authorities said Napier was arrested after a tipster pointed out a concerning Snapchat post.

"Any threat against school property and children of this county will be taken seriously no matter what your age and no matter the intent," said Eric Curry, with the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

Napier allegedly posted a picture of himself on Snapchat holding what appeared to be a rifle and threatened to shoot third-graders at a nearby school for calling his mom names.

>> Read more news stories 

Wake County deputies credit the person who notified law enforcement officers for Napier's arrest.

"They immediately took steps to call the authorities for us to step in to investigate. That's the kind of community support we need to have," said Curry.

Deputies said the weapon seen in Napier's post was actually an airsoft gun.

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