Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check
January 17, 2011
Some southern schools cancel MLK holiday:
It's Martin Luther King Day but officials trying to make up for lost days due to snow are opening up schools today, raising the ire of parents and politicians.
It doesn't help that the school districts suspending the holiday are in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina because this is a particularly sensitive issue in the South. Many states took a long time to recognize the holiday. In particular, South Carolina did not do so until the year 2000.
"It always seems like Martin Luther King Day is the first one they are willing to give up," said the president of the Charleston branch of the NAACP. School officials insist they had no choice and other holidays are also on the line. (Maiman)
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Billboard.com has put together a list of songs from over the years that honor the late civil rights leader:
10. "Dream Speech" - The Gregory Brothers' Auto-Tune The News
9. "King Holiday" - King Holiday Chorus, featuring Whitney Houston
8. "MLK" - U2
7. "I Have A Dream" - Common, featuring Will.i.am
6. "Like A King" - Ben Harper
5. "One Vision" - Queen
4. "We Shall Overcome" - Bruce Springsteen
3. "Happy Birthday" - Stevie Wonder
2. "By The Time I Get To Arizona" - Public Enemy
1. "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" - U2 (Marino)
Sucking the life out of the wire services:
Congrats to the youngest-ever Miss America, 17-year-old TERESA SCANLAN from Nebraska. She beat the usual field over the weekend to win the coveted title.
The top five semi-finalists:
--Fourth runner-up: Miss Oklahoma, EMOLY WEST
--Third: Miss Washington, JACQUIE BROWN
--Second: Miss Hawaii, JALEE FUSELIER
--First: Miss Arkansas, ALYSE EADY
One of the more unusual contestants in the pageant was Miss Delaware, KAYLA MARTELL, who came to the party bald --mainly because she suffers from alopecia areata, a disease that causes hair loss and has been balding since the age of 13. She wore wigs all night, and made the top-10.
The top ten also included women from Arizona, California, Virginia and Kentucky.
The cast is firming up for the next "Celebrity Apprentice."
Singers include MEAT LOAF, DIONNE WARWICK, LA TOYA JACKSON, rapper LIL JON and country singer JOHN RICH.
Actors and actresses include GARY BUSEY [Editor's note: see Celebrity Perps, above] and Oscar-winning actress MARLEE MATLIN.
TV celebrities include "The View" co-host, STAR JONES, former "Survivor" winner RICHARD HATCH, "Real Housewives of Atlanta's" NeNe LEAKES, soap star LISA RINNA and former teen idol DAVID CASSIDY.
THE DONALD has also hooked up retired baseball player JOSE CANSECO, supermodel NIKI TAYLOR and model HOPE DWORACZYK to be on the show, which debuts Mar 06 on NBC.
Health and Medical Briefs:
Smoking around small children doesn't hurt only their lungs. A new study finds children exposed to cigarette smoke are at an increased risk of having higher blood pressure compared to children who aren't around smokers.
Findings published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association are the first to show that environmental nicotine exposure can affect the blood pressure of children as young as four and five years old. Researchers argue the prevention of adult diseases like stroke or heart attack begins during childhood. They say these recent findings are just another argument for smoke-free environments for children. (Page)
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