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7 things to know now: Hernandez suicide; Paris attack; Galaxy S8; diet soda and strokes

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Hernandez suicide: Officials at the jail where Aaron Hernandez was found dead Wednesday said the former NFL star scrawled “John 3:16” across his forehead and wrote three notes to family members, placing them next to a Bible, before he hanged himself with a bed sheet. Hernandez’s death was officially ruled a suicide by a medical examiner Thursday.

2. Arkansas execution: Ledell Lee was put to death in Arkansas late Thursday after a series of court rulings led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to block the execution. Lawyers for Lee argued that lethal injection, the method of execution in Arkansas, constituted cruel and unusual punishment because the drug used to render the person unconscious does not effectively prevent a painful death. The state says it hopes to execute seven more inmates before the end of April. Lee’s was the first execution in the state since 2005.

3. Galaxy S8 is out: The Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone goes on sale in stores Friday. The phone features a 5.8-inch display screen and will set customers back $720. The S8+, with a 6.2-inch screen, also goes on sale Friday. The phones are the first released by Samsung since the debut of the Galaxy Note 7, which was banned from planes and eventually recalled because of a fire risk.

4. Paris attack: A French police officer was killed and three others wounded by a gunman who opened fire on the Champs-Elysees boulevard in Paris Thursday night. Police shot and killed the man who authorities said lived in a suburb of Paris. The Islamic State quickly took credit for the attack. The shooting came just days before France holds its presidential election.

5. Teacher arrested: A Tennessee school teacher was arrested in California Thursday after being on the run for more than a month with a 15-year-old student. Tad Cummins, 50, surrendered without incident in Cecilville, California, where he and the teen had been staying in a cabin. According to law enforcement authorities, a tip about the car Cummins was believed to be driving led to the arrest. 

And one more

A new study released Thursday links diet sodas and other artificially sweetened drinks to an increased chance of stroke and dementia. The study, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, suggest an association between the drinks and an increase in strokes but did not go as far as to say there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship. The study found no connection between stroke or dementia and sugar-sweetened drinks or fruit juice. "More research is needed to study the health effects of diet drinks so that consumers can make informed choices concerning their health," said the lead author of the study, Matthew Pase, a senior research fellow at Boston University School of Medicine.

In case you missed it

All in a day’s work for Albert, the University of Florida’s mascot.

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  • We have another beautiful day ahead of us in the Tulsa area on Saturday. However, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Lacy says it won't be quite as nice as yesterday. “We’ll be cooler than we were yesterday,” Lacy said.  “High reached the upper 70s yesterday in Tulsa.  We’ll drop back to the mid-60s on Saturday.” We will still see sunny skies and there is no rain in the forecast.  Temperatures will drop to 34 degrees Saturday night.   There will be more of the same on Sunday.  NWS is reporting sunny skies and a high around 67 degrees.  
  • A naked couple, having sex in their car while their baby was in the back seat, crashed while driving, the said. >> Read more trending newsThe man was driving on Highway 7 near La Grande in Pierce County, naked and having sex with a woman who also was naked, when he missed a curve, went off the road and struck a tree, State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova said. The crash occurred Wednesday at 6 p.m. troopers said. Witnesses told troopers both the man and woman were naked when they got out of the car, The Everett Herald reported. Troopers said they were also both impaired. The woman wasn't wearing a seat belt. She was taken to the hospital with several broken bones. The 3-month-old child in the back seat was not injured. The man was arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, vehicular assault and child endangerment, the Herald reported. Troopers said the man has three prior DUI convictions.
  • A high school English teacher has been arrested after she was secretly filmed by her students while appearing to cut up and snort what police suspect to be cocaine in an empty classroom, . >> Read more trending news Samantha Cox, 24, was taken away from Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana, in handcuffs after students showed the video to their principal, who informed the authorities. Junior Will Rogers captured the footage, which appeared to show Cox cutting up a white, powdery substance on a binder, then turning her back to the door and leaning over. Rogers had recorded the video through a locked classroom door at around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22. “She’s in the corner, hiding with a chair and a book and what appears to be cocaine, putting it into lines,” he said. “I actually watched the footage again and again, and I just realized that my English teacher just did cocaine,” Rogers told WGN. The video, posted to YouTube, quickly spread around the campus. When Cox’s fellow staff members discovered it, they notified St. John police. Cox, 24, was arrested on charges possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, according to a St. John Police Department statement. The drugs involved appear to be a mix of cocaine and heroin, Police Chief James Kveton told The Northwest Indiana Times. “School officials and police want to recognize and praise the student witness that brought this information to the principal very quickly,” the police statement read. “Their actions showed a tremendous amount of fortitude and integrity.” Parents were informed of the arrest via a robocall from Lake Central Superintendent Larry Veracco. “Earlier today, Lake Central administration was made aware of a situation regarding a teacher at Lake Central High School. Swift and forceful action was taken,” Veracco said in the robocall. “I’m grateful that they found out when they did, and they were quick-acting,” parent Shannon McGrath told WGN. “You’re told as a child to listen to them, respect them and stuff like that … But it’s kinda hard to respect somebody who does cocaine in a classroom,” junior Anthony Rios told the station.
  • A top Republican Oklahoma House leader is back to the drawing board trying to shore up the state's budget and generate funding for a teacher pay raise. Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols said Friday work already is underway on potential changes to a broad tax-increase plan. Echols says he's remaining in touch with the governor's office and that he's working on potential 'tweaks' to the plan that could garner the necessary 76 votes in the House.  A sweeping package of tax hikes on tobacco, fuel, alcohol and oil and gas production fell five votes short in the House after an eight-week special session. Governor Mary Fallin vetoed a backup budget plan approved by lawmakers that would have further slashed agency budgets and implored them to return for a second special session.  No date has been set.
  • Lindsay Weiss once lost her cellphone and got it back, so she and a friend knew what they had to do when they discovered a camera under a pew during a festival in the Nevada desert - even though it meant giving up their coveted, shady seat for a musical performance. The friends snapped a quick selfie and took the device to the lost-and-found, so the owner could claim it and the pair could “forever be a part of their journey,” Weiss said. “Losing something out there on the playa makes its mark on your trip,” she said of the sprawling counterculture gathering known as Burning Man. “Kinda makes you feel like a loser.” Cameras and IDs are among the more common belongings that end up in the lost-and-found after the event billed as North America’s largest outdoor arts festival. Other items left behind in the dusty, 5-square-mile encampment include shoes, keys, stuffed animals - even dentures. Still missing are a marching band hat with gold mirror tiles, a furry cheetah vest, a headdress with horns and a chainmail loincloth skirt. “As of mid-November, we’ve recovered 2,479 items and returned 1,279,” said Terry Schoop, who helps oversee the recovery operation at Burning Man’s San Francisco headquarters.