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Brandi’s News: Truck Leaves 30-Mile Debris Trail

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A proposal to annex 500 acres of land to expand the Village of Kiryas Joel threw a town board meeting into chaos.  The group United Monroe says that the board favors the Hasidic community, a charge that newly-elected Supervisor Harley Doles and the town board vehemently deny.   Doles and the board say they don’t have any plans to push through the annexation.

A truck that dumped a load of metal shards is being blamed for flattening the tires of dozens of cars on roads in Westchester and Rockland and two other states.  State Police tell “The Journal News” the truck carrying metal debris used to make transmission gears, departed Stamford, Connecticut early Tuesday, but ended up leaving a 30-mile trail of the sharp objects when its gate gave way.  It drove from I-95 in Connecticut to the Tappan Zee Bridge, eventually into New Jersey.  Police were able to stop the truck in Mahwah, New Jersey, but not before the northbound side of the Tappan Zee Bridge had to be shut down so roads could be cleared.

Some doctors are making millions on Medicare.  The Obama administration is releasing payment information on the giant healthcare program for seniors.  Figures for 2012 show Medicare paid 77-billion dollars to nearly 900-thousand healthcare providers.

About six-and-a-half-million vehicles are being recalled by Toyota.  The company announced today that it had found problems with the steering and seats of certain models.  The recall includes RAV4 SUVs, Yaris subcompact cars, Urban Cruiser SUVs and Hilux pickups.

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Lindsay Lohan admitted on Sunday night’s episode of her documentary series that she had an alcohol relapse since her departure from rehab.  After weeks of deceit the Mean Girls star finally crumbled in a filmed diary session on her reality show Lindsay on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.  Initially the 27-year-old became enraged when her ‘life coach’ AJ Johnson asked her if she had been drinking.  ‘I thought we were friends, why are you asking me this on camera?’ barked the Liz & Dick actress, who initially denied the accusations. But then came clean.

The Batkid stole hearts in San Francisco once more, with thousands cheering the young boy at the ballpark for the Giants home opener.  Miles Scott, who has undergone treatment for leukemia and saved the city as his favorite superhero through the Make-A-Wish Foundation in November, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Diamondbacks-Giants game Tuesday.  He helped steer the Batmobile into the stadium and raised his right hand into the air out the window, walked hand in hand to the mound with pitcher Matt Cain and even received a fist bump from left fielder Michael Morse from across the dugout rail.  His form wasn’t bad, either. The boy kicked his right leg back and fired an on-target fastball to Cain as thousands in the sellout crowd of 42,166 roared.

Wanted: Cutting-edge comedy writers.  NBC is sending out an All Points Bulletin for new sitcom ideas through a new initiative called “NBC Comedy Playground.”  Beginning May 1st, aspiring comedy writers can submit their show ideas to be considered for air on digital and network platforms.  A celebrity panel of judges to include Amy Poehler, Jason Bateman, Mindy Kaling and Seth Meyers will help pare down the submissions to about ten finalists.  NBC promises to provide funding for pilot episode based on the finalists’ video presentation pitch.

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Police have tentatively identified a body found behind an automotive shop in Plattsburgh.  An autopsy is being conducted today on a body that matches the description of 20-year-old Kodi Kadeem Beckles of Poughkeepsie, who was a student at SUNY Plattsburgh.  His body was found Monday, and police don’t suspect foul play.  Officials say Beckles’ friends reported him missing Saturday after he didn’t show up for a meeting on campus.  Investigators point out that Beckles took medication for epilepsy.

State lawmakers, industry leaders and business owners are sharing notes at the second annual Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider summit.  Every single New York county now has at least one winery and almost half also have one craft distillery or more.  Many of the businesses are family-owned.  Officials say the first summit in 2012 was a key factor in bringing about special permits for direct sales to festivals and other events.

Two more signals in the Indian Ocean are giving searchers some hope. Australian authorities say they’ve detected two more electronic signals that may be from the black box on board missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston says the latest pings are in the same area where signals were picked up a few days ago.

President Obama is going to speak later today at the Fort Hood memorial service in Texas.  Army Specialist Ivan Lopez opened fire at the military base last week, killing three and injuring 16 others.  White House spokesman Jay Carney says President Obama’s remarks will focus on the victims and their families.

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“Game Of Thrones” is going into overtime.  HBO has renewed the hit fantasy drama for two more seasons.  The announcement comes just days after “Game of Thrones’” record-breaking fourth season premiere on Sunday.  More than six-and-a-half-million people made the episode the most-watched episode since the series finale of “The Sopranos” in 2007.  The renewal will take “Game of Thrones” into seasons five and six.

Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez are helping kick off this year’s World Cup in song.  Both are featured on the just-released official World Cup Song, “We Are One (Ole Ola).”  The track also includes Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, who will perform the song with Pitbull and Lopez at the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 12th.  It will be among the tracks featured on “One Love, One Rhythm: The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Album” to be released May 12th. The album also includes tracks from Carlos Santana, who will perform at the closing ceremonies; Ricky Martin, Sergio Mendes, The Isley Brothers and Baha Men.

Eminem and Rihanna have been added to the lineup for this weekend’s MTV Movie Awards.  The stars are set to perform their hit “The Monster” during the awards show, marking their first-ever televised performance of the song.  Both have been asked to perform before.  Rihanna sang with Jay Z back in 2007, and Eminem was a guest in 2009.  Their MTV appearance will be a preview of their upcoming joint tour, also named for the song.  The trek will cover six dates in Pasadena, New York and Detroit starting on August 7th. The MTV Movie Awards are set to air live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night with host Conan O’Brien.  Ellie Goulding and EDM star Zedd will be performing as well.

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Health officials in Dutchess County signed the “Declaration of Wellness” in Hyde Park.  Healthcare advocates gathered yesterday at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and made a pledge for a healthier community.  The Community Health Improvement Program is designed to reduce disease, obesity and substance abuse in the county.  Proponents of the initiative plan to make Dutchess County the healthiest in the state by 2017.

New York is launching a new program designed to help immigrants in the state to open and grow businesses.  The Immigrant Entrepreneurship Training Series will feature over 100 seminars throughout the state, with the first series starting this month.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says immigrants are the backbone of the state’s economic success, and this will help them build better lives for their families.

The U.S. isn’t doing enough when it comes to civil rights.  That’s according to Jimmy Carter, who told an audience at the LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit that there’s still a “gross disparity” between white and black employment and the quality of education.  The former president thinks too many people accept it because they believe LBJ’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enough.

A major data security threat is putting computer users at risk.  Researchers with Google and a smaller firm say “Heartbleed” is a flaw in widely-used encryption software called OpenSSL.  The bug’s been around for about two years.

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Beck is ready to bring his “Morning Phase” on the road.  The singer-songwriter is scheduled to start a supporting tour behind the new album today with the first of two shows in Santa Barbara, California.  He’ll also hit up both Coachella weekends and play a handful of gigs in Arizona and Texas over the next couple of weeks.  The second leg of the North American trek starts June 19th in Cleveland, and will also include stops at the Firefly festival in Delaware; the Pitchfork Music fest in Chicago; and the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky.

Local dates:
6/30 – New York, NY – Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom
7/1 – New York, NY – Central Park SummerStage

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