Composed by Hallie G. Turner
Hallie Turner opened the show with a breaking news segment on an arrest that was made early Wednesday morning after a brutal attack on a 65-year-old Asian woman drew lots of outrage after footage of the assault was released. Turner said in her report that according to CNN the New York City Police have identified the suspect as 38-year-old Brandon Elliot, who was charged with two counts of assault as a hate crime and one count each of attempted assault as a hate crime and attempted assault.
The attack began to unfold around 11:40 a.m. Monday at the 300 block of West 43rd St., right around the corner from Hell’s Kitchen. A video was released of a man kicking a woman in her stomach, which caused her to fall on the ground. The man continued to repeatedly stomp on the woman’s head while making anti-Asian statements. There were witnesses but no one reached out to help her.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it is “absolutely disgusting and outrageous.” He said it was “absolutely unacceptable that witnesses did not intervene.” CNN also reported that on Tuesday The White House announced initiatives to address anti-Asian and renewed attention on attacks against Asian Americans.
Connor Hendricks preceded with the show with an update on the state news which involved two bills passed in support of human trafficking victims. Senate Bill 33 would allow victims to sue their attackers for monetary damages, while Senate Bill 34 allows for victims to change their names easier.
A resolution allowing restaurants to allow customers to take cocktails to go is now also permanent. Bills changing the age at which the state could charge a minor as an adult and coal ash cleanup failed. Bills still pending are a removal of the state’s citizen’s arrest law coming on the heels of the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Hallie Turner returned with a report on the construction for the West Broad Street school site. It is set to break ground in the next 90 days. The Clarke County School District held their meeting on Tuesday to gain community feedback on the construction plans for the property that will house as the Early Head Start Program.
Turner included that The Athens-Banner Herald said the school system received approval for an Early Head Start Expansion Grant, which will grant $4.4 million in funding during the first 18 months of the grant time frame. This will go on to fund salaries and various costs for the operations part of the program. Upon completion the school will receive and additional $2.6 million for the next four years.
The Early Head Start program will accompany children from eight weeks old to three years old in families who are at or below the poverty line. Thanks to the funding, the program will be able to add 112 slots for students who qualify for the program.
Thomas Ehlers then gave a report on how a US Representative from Florida is under investigation for alleged inappropriate relationship. Matt Gaetz, a US House of Representatives member from Florida’s 1st district, told Axios he is being investigated for sexual activity with women and is fearful of criminal charges. MSN reports the Justice Department is looking into if he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl that included him paying for her to travel with him. Gaetz, however, denied these allegations, saying they are part of a $25 million blackmail operation by a former Justice Department staffer.
In an interview Tuesday, Gaetz said, “It is verifiably false that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman.”
MSN reports that Gaetz said he and his father had been in talks with the FBI and was “wearing a wire.”
Michael Doti gave the latest on a man who was arrested last week had recently been detained in a Cherokee County jail according to police reports. Canton native, Kristopher Martin Johnson shot and killed his pregnant girlfriend and her uncle on March 23, according to reports. The catch however is that Johnson was the one who called 911 and turned himself in.
Police said he called and told them he shot the two at a home on Old Donason Road in Canton. He also told them that he was currently waiting in a parking lot at an Ingles grocery store. Police quickly arrived at both locations, where they arrested Johnson at Ingles without incident, and found the dead bodies of Carla Marie Payne and Thomas Richardson Donaldson.
An autopsy later confirmed Payne’s pregnancy when she died. Johnson was charged with two counts of malice murder, feticide and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Johnson remains in jail without bond.
Hallie circled back again to report on a pre-April Fool’s Day prank that had gone terribly wrong. Turner said in her report that according to ABC News, Volkswagen admitted Tuesday that it had put out a false news release saying that it had changed the name of its US subsidiary to “Voltswagen of America” in an attempt to comedically promote a new electric utility vehicle. News Originations like The Associated Press, USA Today, CNBC and The Washington Post, had reported the original press release as real news and some were even in denial that it was a joke.
Chrissy Terrell with USA Today said, “…A reporter specifically asked if it was a joke and was told ‘No.’ The company used this fake announcement as a way to manipulate respected reporters from trusted news outlets to get attention for their marketing campaign.”
Michael Doti then delivered latest in National News where the visitors of a Tennessee theme park received a boost in amusement last Thursday as an unexpected guest visited one of the attractions. On Monday, Anakeesta theme park shared footage of a bear walking across the popular Treetop Skywalk attraction, during working hours. This attraction is deemed to be the longest tree-based skywalk in North America, at 880 feet. It is also 50-60 feet above the ground.
An Anakeesta representative told Fox News that the park was open at the time, although very few guests were in attendance, and the park staff were the first ones to spot the bear. Since the park is on the outskirts of Smoky Mountain National Park, it isn’t uncommon for bears to be spotted.
Michelle Canney, Anakeesta’s marketing director, said, “Typically the bears stick to the forest floor but I guess this one heard about our exciting treetop adventures in the Smokies and wanted to try the TreeTop SkyWalk out for himself.”
This was not the first instance of a bear wandering closer than usual to theme park attractions. Six months ago, a video went viral on Tik Tok after a mother bear, that the park named Ana, and her two cubs crossed the tracks of a mountain coaster as a car was rapidly approaching them. None were harmed.
Yara Manasrah gave an international update on the Suez Canal. The major economic canal, responsible for about 10% of global maritime commercial traffic according to the New York Times, was blocked after a 1,300-foot container ship named the Ever Given became stuck after a combination of high winds and poor visibility resulted in the vessel running aground.
This led to six days of earnest effort to get the ship back in the water. It was freed after tugboats on both sides of the ship combined with a high spring tide pulled the Ever Given back into the water. This blockage is predicted to have a massive effect on the global economy in the coming weeks.
Thomas Ehlers wrapped up the show with the Sports Power Minute. The Final Four is set in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In last night’s action 11th-seeded UCLA upset a one seeded Michigan 51-49. With seconds remaining, Michigan missed a pair of potentially game-winning three-pointers, giving UCLA their first final four appearance in years.
Gonzaga cruised to an 85-66 victory over USC to punch their ticket to the next round. In Monday’s games, Baylor and Houston won, finishing out the final four. Final Four games take place on Saturday as the Bears take on the Cougars at 5:15 p.m. and the Bruins take on the Bulldogs at 8:30 p.m. The National Championship is slated for Monday night.
Opening Day is tomorrow, April 1, and MLB ballparks look to open their games to fans since COVID-19 prevented them from attending last season. Nearly all ballparks will have in-person attendance in some capacity, with some teams only allowing 20% capacity and others opening full ballparks. The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees are the first to take the field nationally with a 1:05 first pitch. Our home team Atlanta Braves travel to Philadelphia where they take on the Phillies in a NL East showdown. First pitch is at 2:10 p.m.
The NFL announced some scheduling changes Tuesday. ESPN reports that teams will play 17 regular season games this season, with the number of preseason games to be changed from four games to three. AFC teams will host the 17th games this year, alternating with the NFC in future seasons. ESPN reports the league said this new scheduling will allow each team to play an international game at least once every eight seasons, beginning in 2022.