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WKNJ Newscast

April 27, 2011

Michelle Illg

Good afternoon, it’s Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at _____________ o’clock and you’re listening to

90.3 WKNJ-FM, Union, New Jersey, and I’m _____________ with the news.

In Local News…

Once every ten years, New Jersey’s 40 legislative districts are redrawn. It happened again three

weeks ago, when eleven commissioners voted six to five to adopt a new Democratic map. But an

analysis from Rutgers University reveals that this new plan may slow the progress that women have

been making in our state legislature. Center for American Women and Politics director Debbie Walsh

said that seventy-percent of the legislators who will be leaving the legislature due to the redistricting

are female, with one-quarter of incumbent Democratic assemblywomen are among them. Four of five

women cited in the Rutgers study as not seeking reelection thanks to shifts in district boundaries are

Democrats. Currently, twenty-eight-percent of New Jersey’s legislature is comprised of women, and

three of the eleven people who approved the new redistricting plan were also women. On a more

optimistic note, a record twenty-three women are running for state Senate seats in the primaries, and

50 are seeking one of the state’s eighty Assembly seats—just one fewer than 2007’s all-time high of


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When our former Governor, Jim McGreevey, stepped down from his office in 2004, he converted

from Catholicism to Episcopalianism [EP-ISS-KO-PALE-EE-EN-IZZ-UM]. But now, his request to

become a priest has been turned down, not because of his homosexuality, but because of the nasty

circumstances of his divorce. Once source with the Episcopal Diocese of Newark put it this way:

quote It was not being gay but for being a jackass—McGreevey didn’t come out of the whole divorce

looking good. Quote Some Church leaders also felt suspicious of his abrupt turn to them following

the scandal, with another source claiming that quote He ran to the church for some kind of cover,

which isn’t fully appropriate. Even if he’s a good guy, he should wait five to 10 years to get over his

issues. quote McGreevey shouldn’t feel too badly, though. Numerous people pointed out that first-

time applicants to priesthood are very often advised to continue studying or performing charitable

work until they can be admitted into the clergy. A Plainfield resident, McGreevey lives with his

partner of six years and works in a mental-health and drug-addiction treatment center in Newark.

Last spring he graduated from Manhattan’s General Theological Seminary with a Master’s degree in

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In National News…

Absolutely wild weather has been battering the country and devastating thousands of people and

acres of land in recent days, with catastrophes wrought by the elements of wind, water, and fire. On

Friday night, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport lost windows and part of a roof to a tornado

striking with 111 to 165 mile-per-hour winds. Amazingly, the airport returned to a full flight

schedule today, although director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge [NEE-BROY-GUH?] related to CNN

that all of the damage which occurred in a matter of minutes quote will take weeks, maybe a couple

of months, to clean up quote. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported and the two airlines hit hardest

by the storm, American Airlines and Cape Air, were both back in service within the first two days of

the week. However, that still left a dozen of their other airlines out as a result of damages. Hamm-

Niebreugge attributes the lack of deaths and shockingly quick recovery to the fact that quote it is a

historic building, and it’s built very, very well…but we also have very early warnings quote.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon also announced that the tornado hit 750 homes and some businesses

near the airport, even blowing through a Church roof where dozens were watching The Passion of

the Christ on Good Friday. According to official statements, it will take several days to inspect

buildings and longer to haul off the debris. Coupled with the intense concern over air traffic

controllers falling asleep at their posts, this hasn’t been a particularly good month as far as air travel.
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While Missouri saw tornado destruction, it’s wildfires for Texas. On Monday some residents were

able to begin coming back home to parts of the Lone Star State that have been burnt the most

terribly. For this they can thank firefighters and the rains that aided them in dousing thousands of

blazing acres. Low winds, spiked humidity levels, and up to three inches of rain in areas of the singed

Texan countryside all contributed greatly to the major improvements over the past weekend. The

worst damage seems to been sustained by upscale lakefront neighborhoods, and Sheriff’s deputies

will need to keep a sharp eye out for looters. The Texas Forest Service said that four fires combined

to burn one-hundred-twenty-seven-thousand-acres, 167 homes, and two churches near Possum

Kingdom Lake in the north of the state, but an important highway in this region was reopened late

Monday afternoon. So far in 2011, over 1.8 million Texas acres and 900 structures have succumbed

to wildfires, which rage when weather conditions are windy and dry and feed on the grasslands that

sprouted up during last year’s dampness. The word from the National Weather Service is that more

helpful rain is not on the horizon for the firefighters, but that at least several days of lower

temperatures and light winds ought to continue assisting them. That is fairly good news, considering

that there is still fire burning in steep canyons of far West Texas and in populated regions north of

San Angelo.
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Wikileaks has obtained almost 800 classified U.S. military documents, made them available to a number

of news organizations, and additionally published some—actions that were condemned by the U.S.

Defense Department. These secret documents contain enormous amounts of information about al Qaeda

operatives being held at the U.S. Navy’s detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and their alleged

terrorist activities. They include facts about the detainees’ behavior, whether compliant or threatening,

and illnesses as well as the methods employed to determine the high, medium, or low threats potentially

represented by each to the U.S. According to the Washington Post, the files are essentially quote

intelligence assessments of nearly every one of the 779 individuals who have been held at Guantanamo

since 2002 quote. However, the American Civil Liberties Union sees in them proof of the urgent need for

the justice system to review the cases of everyone being held—some indefinitely—at Guantanamo. The

ACLU’s National Security Project director called the assessments quote rife with uncorroborated

evidence, information obtained through torture, speculation, error and allegations that have been proven

false quote and emphasized the necessity of a more efficient quote process to separate the innocent from

those who are legally detainable…to make sure we’re holding the right people quote. The profiles reveal

little about the widely suspect and criticized interrogation tactics used, but they tell much regarding the

evidence used to detain people. Papers such as The New York Times and Britain’s Daily Telegraph

strongly declared much of it to be flimsy and entirely insufficient. One example of many is the case of the

shepherd who was declared an enemy combatant by a military tribunal and detained for three years

despite his lack of basic political or military knowledge. Among other revealed facts, the Times printed

that most of the current 172 prisoners are rated as high risks quote to the United States and its allies if

released without adequate rehabilitation quote. Yet many more designated high-risk individuals were

released or transferred to other countries. Further, the extensively cross-checked accounts illustrate the

growth and dispersal of al Qaeda from the 90s to the present and provide insight into Osama bin Laden’s
post-9/11 mindset and movements, plus many significant details of individual detainees’ travels,

activities, and personal connections with bin Laden.

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In International News…

How would you like to be on vacation in another country, lounging poolside, when an emergency

situation and a split-second decision all of a sudden have everyone hailing you as a hero? That’s

exactly what happened to a data analyst for England’s National Health Service. Mrs. Helen Beard

was in Orlando, Florida for two weeks of theme park fun. As she sat by the pool of an Econo Lodge

Inn and Suites watching her ten-year-old son and her partner swim, she spotted a one-year-old girl

dangling from a fourth-floor balcony. In Beard’s own words, quote I ran. I knew I needed to catch

her. I had to do something quote. And something she did; Beard ran past the pool gate, stopped

underneath the child, and caught her as she plummeted toward the ground, holding her for just a

moment. Little Jah-Nea [JAH-NAY?] Myles was not seriously injured despite hitting her head on a

third-story balcony rail. The toddler’s mother had left her with friends who failed to notice when she

slipped from the room. Beard was gratefully given a ceremony on Friday and awarded with a Medal

of Merit, typically received only by law enforcement officials, as well as a Guardian Angel Award

made by the Florida Department of Children and Families specifically for her. Orange County Sheriff

Jerry Demings praised Beard by saying that she quote showed unusual instinct and initiative quote

and saved Jah-Nea quote from extreme physical injuries and/or death quote. But Mrs. Beard denies

being a hero, telling Reuters, quote I did what needed to be done. I didn’t want a fuss. Anyone would

have done it quote. The 44-year-old Worksop, England resident is rather eager to get on with her trip

after all the adulation surrounding her most remarkable feat.

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A celebration of a different sort took place in Turkmenistan this weekend. The nation went horse crazy

with a series of events including a horse show and the grand inaugurations of four new race tracks. Just

like the true showman he is, 53-year-old President Gurbanguli Burdymukhamedov [GUR-BAN-GOO-

LEE BUR-DEE-MUK-HAM-EH-DOV?] rode an elegant horse into the presidential equestrian complex

during the festivities in front of excited crowds as a white dove alighted upon his right shoulder in quote

an ancient symbolic omen of a blessing from above quote. A fifth race track will open later this year,

meaning that the government has spent over three-hundred-million-dollars on glorious horse racing

venues. The prizes in Saturday’s third annual horse show were cars, and the show itself a quote beauty

contest quote in which horses are judged by movement, performance of various commands, and purebred

qualities. This year the president also instituted a set of competitions for weaving and sculpting images of

Turkmen horses. The horse breed so revered in this mostly Islamic Central Asian country of

approximately 5 million people is its native Akhal-Teke [ACKLE TECK], and experts from various

nations including the U.S. met in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on Friday for an academic conference

regarding this breed’s development. It is an ancient and pure strain valued highly by the nomadic desert

tribes who have long inhabited the area now known as Turkmenistan and many residents of the former

Soviet nation. The former president even banned their export as a method of trying to preserve the breed’s

purity. The ban is still in place and although Ovlyaguly Sheripov [OV-LEE-UH-GOOL-EE SHER-IH-

POV?], a prominent breeder and owner of this year’s show winner, foresees them possibly being

auctioned to international buyers in the future, he also maintains that quote the best stock always remain

in Turkmenistan quote. There are about three-thousand Akhal-Teke horses in the country, and around

one-sixth are owned by the president, who recently penned a book about the breed entitled The Flight of

the Heavenly Horses. His glowing words encapsulate the country’s general feelings towards its

magnificent breed: quote We shall not allow attention toward our horses to falter by one iota, for they are

our pride and glory, the source of our inspiration quote. Clearly, he’s not just horsing around.

More news, sports, and weather coming up……… (play PSA #1 here.)
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In Sports…

For Major League Baseball fans…

Yesterday evening around 7 pm in the American League, the Baltimore Orioles played the Boston

Red Sox and beat them 4 to 1…

In the National League, the New York Mets went up against the Washington Nationals and claimed

the victory with six points to Washington’s four…

Moving to NBA basketball, we also watched the Atlanta Hawks have a go at the Orlando Magic and

lose, 101 to 76…

And the Indiana Pacers fought it out on the court with the Chicago Bulls, also experiencing defeat

with a score of 86 to Chicago’s 116...

These were fifth games in the first round of the Eastern Conference series.

As for the NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, last night it was the Montreal Canadiens versus

the Boston Bruins in their sixth game and it so happened that Montreal enjoyed a clean 2 to 1 win...

Game 7 between the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres resulted in 5 points for the New York

team and 2 for the Philly.

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Still with the National Hockey League, the Playoffs are down to the last 16 teams duking it out for

the Stanley Cup. Having played five out of the seven Western Conference Quarterfinals games so far,

the San Jose Sharks are leading 3-to-2. Their goalie, Antti Niemi [AN-TEE NEE-MEE?], who won a

Stanley Cup last season in Chicago, was pulled out of the third and fifth games, something that has

not happened to him for a long time. Antero Niittymaki [AN-TER-RO NIT-TEEM-AK-EE?]

replaced him. But Coach Scott McLellan is now putting him back in for the sixth game that will be

played in Los Angeles on Monday night. Although McLellan hadn’t been able to blame anyone else

for the third goal scored by their opponents, the Kings, during the lost Game 5 on Saturday night, he

retains his faith in Niemi and believes that the goalie simply hit a rough patch, which happens to

everyone. McLellan told the press, quote Any time he's had a bad game he's come back. The thing

with him is he hasn't had two within a five-game span in a long time. He'll need to polish it up, just

like the rest of us do. quote

Your WKNJ hourly weather update …

Today I hope you’re prepared for some more April showers, or rather, isolated April thunderstorms.

There’s a 30% chance of rain and humidity is around 70%. We’re looking at a high of 72 degrees and

a low of 62, so a ten-degree difference between warmest and coolest. For tomorrow, Thursday, the

chance of rain increases by 20% as we can expect more scattered thunderstorms and wind at around

21 miles-per-hour. The humidity ought to fall just a few percentage points, but the temperatures

should be a little bit larger drop down to 67 and 51 degrees for the high and low. Definitely keep

your umbrellas and rain gear handy for the middle of this week—but also dress coolly, because all of

a sudden it’s feeling almost like some extremely early summer around here.

Tune in later for meteorology reports on 90.3 FM.

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In Entertainment…

Nintendo has officially confirmed rumors that have been circulating about a successor to its Wii

system, set to be unveiled at the 2010 E3 video gaming trade show and made available on the market

next year. The new console has not yet been named and Nintendo CEO and President Satoru Iwata

[SA-TO-ROO EE-WOT-UH] was also careful not to give away any specific details. He prefers to

allow people to experience the product for themselves at the show or when it is released, promising

only that quote it will offer a new way of playing games within the home. quote Nintendo can surely

hope that further innovation such as this can give them a boost, because despite the fact that 86

million Wii units have been sold worldwide since the platform’s 2006 launch, it hasn’t proven to be

as versatile or sustainably successful as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. This is blamed mostly on its

weaknesses in the areas of high-definition graphics and multiplayer content. This, taken together with

an overall downturn in the market for handheld games, seems to have helped to cause a major decline

in Nintendo’s net earnings. Their profit of nine-hundred-forty-six-million-dollars still sounds like

nothing to sneeze at, but it does represent a 66% decrease from the previous fiscal year to the one

that just wrapped up.

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That’s it for your news. You’re listening to 90.3 WKNJ-FM, Union, New Jersey. I’m

_____________________ and we’ll be right back after this.

Your news writer for the day has been Michelle Illg.

(Play PSA #2 here.)






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