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BREAKING NEWS

Brooke Shields: ‘I Was Such a Nerd’

(NEW YORK) — She has one of the most recognizable faces in the world, appearing on the cover of Vogue at age 14 – but, deep down, Brooke Shields considers herself a “nerd.”

“I was such a nerd, a complete geek,” she told the British publication Untitled for its Spring/Summer Legendary issue. “But then I was lucky enough to have a fancy career, where I can be like ‘See, I’m not a nerd. Look, I’m in Vogue.’”

Shields, 48, got her first gig as a model at the tender age of 11 months old, posing for Ivory soap. At age 4, she became the first child ever signed by a major modeling agency, Ford.

“I know how hard it is to break in and I know how hard it is to decide who you want to be … so it was sort of decided for me,” Shields told Untitled. “I’m actually thankful because it did send me on a trajectory of an amazing life.”

That amazing life included her friendship with pop icon Michael Jackson, who could also relate to growing up too quickly in the spotlight.

“I would give him whatever he needed on a child-like level and it was fine,” the Suddenly Susan star said in the interview. “I knew how to make him feel safe. You know, watching movies and eating candy.”

Her biggest challenge with Jackson, she said, was making sure that he knew she didn’t want anything but friendship from him.

“I didn’t want a thing and he wanted me to have things. And I think it was hard for him to deal with, because he didn’t know what to give. I wasn’t asking for anything,” Shields said.

In fact, Shields not only made the move from modeling to acting at age 12, when she was cast as a prostitute in the controversial Pretty Baby, she later earned a degree in French literature from Princeton.

She cited Natalie Portman as someone who has done it “right” as an actress.

“She was born in an era where she was allowed to be considered an actress, but I look at her in The Professional and I look at Pretty Baby and I look at how her next move, whether it was strategic or not, was Anne Frank on Broadway,” Shields told Untitled. “Including the Ivy League education, she’s the only person who did that. I think we’re going to see really great things from her.”

As for the modeling industry today, Shields called it “a very weird thing,” adding, “I don’t think that I would have survived as well if everything happened in this time.”

Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton Surprise Barbara Walters During Her “View” Farewell

(NEW YORK) — After 17 years as co-host of The View, the ABC daytime program she created, Barbara Walters says goodbye to the show on Friday.

Walters and her crew — Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy — actually taped the episode on Thursday. She was surprised by guests such as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Douglas and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Speaking with ABC News Radio, Winfrey says Walters inspired her as a teen to pursue a career in journalism. She says, “I, for the first year of my television career, actually created this facade of pretending to be Barbara Walters.”

Winfrey praises Walters for paving the way for newswomen such as her. She says, “We all recognize that had it not been for her we would not have had a shoulder to stand on. We all now get to glide across that road that she laid brick by brick for us.”

During Thursday’s taping, Winfrey introduced other journalists who undoubtedly feel the same way, including Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts and Katie Couric.

Goldberg says Walters was “shocked” by the guests who dropped by the set.

Walters will continue to serve as an executive producer of The View.

Wall Street Stocks Slump with Mixed Retail Earnings

(NEW YORK) — Stocks took a dive Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping one percent despite an encouraging weekly employment report.

The Dow closed down 167 points at 16,446.81. The Nasdaq Composite ended the session down 31 points at 4,069, and the S&P 500 lost nearly 18 points at 1,870.85.

Investors were in the mood to sell with news of disappointing earnings from some retail giants. Walmart fell more than two percent after reporting lower earnings in its most recent quarter. Kohl’s joined in the drop, with its latest numbers falling short of expectations. JCPenney reported a first-quarter same-store sales increase of 6.2 percent, much better than anticipated for its first quarter.

Meanwhile, job seekers gained some hopeful news as the government reported a decrease in the number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week. Applications dropped by 24,000 to 297,000, marking the lowest level since 2007.

Every Vegas Car Rental Is a Winner

(NEW YORK) — Viva Las Vegas car rentals!

A survey from CheapCarRental.net says that Sin City offers some of the least expensive car rentals in the nation with an average daily rate of 27 bucks.

Only Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale had cheaper daily rentals on the list of 50 cities.

CheapCarRental.net based its findings about car rental rates from data at each of the city’s main airports.

The most expensive car rentals in the nation? New York City at $76 daily on average, followed by Detroit at $69 and Memphis, Tennessee, where a rental costs $68.

Cost of a rental car also fluctuated wildly in some cities. For instance, it can be as high as $60 daily in Miami during the peak season and as low as $20 per day when it’s the off-season.

Swimming Pool Chemicals Send Thousands to Emergency Rooms, Study Says

(NEW YORK) — Injuries from pool chemicals sent nearly 5,000 people to the emergency room in 2012, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly half of the injuries, which experts deem “preventable,” were found in children and teenagers, and more than a third occurred at a home.

The most common reason for a hospital visit was poisoning, which can occur when someone inhales chemicals like chlorine or bromine.

“Chemicals are added to the water in pools to stop germs from spreading. But they need to be handled and stored safely to avoid serious injuries,” Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, said in a statement.

Majority chemical incidents were in the summer period from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with almost half occurring on weekends.

The CDC advises residential pool owners and public pool operators to secure chemicals to protect swimmers and animals, never mix products together, and add pool chemical to water instead of water to pool chemicals.

Senate Committee Holds First-Ever Hearing on E-Cigarettes

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Senate on Thursday held the first congressional hearing focusing on the Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes.

The rising popularity of the tobacco product has prompted review and regulatory action, particularly when it comes to younger consumers.

Companies say the vapor cigarettes that use liquid nicotine can be a safer alternative to tobacco for regular smokers. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, contend that those organizations are using candy flavors to appeal to younger crowds.

By this summer, the FDA hopes to pass federal regulation banning e-cigarette sales to minors. Nearly 1.8 million students in sixth through twelfth grade reported trying an e-cigarette in 2012, according to Tim McAfee, CDC Director of the Office of Smoking and Health.

Testifying at Thursday’s hearing, he said the government needs to take swift action.

“FDA regulation alone is insufficient and this process will take time,” McAfee said. “That’s why states and cities across the country are folding the cigarettes into clean air policies and enacting bans on e-cigarette sales to minors.”

Other supporters of tobacco control say there’s not enough concrete information on the electronic devices.

“Right now we have far more questions than answers about the safety of the product, about what’s in the product, about what’s in the vapor,” said Mitch Zeller, Director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA.

Opponents to regulation, like North Carolina’s Republican Sen. Richard Burr, believe agencies may end up making it more difficult for smokers to quit. E-cigarettes have often been touted as a method to help people kick their tobacco habit.

“Let’s not condemn where the technology has gone before we’ve ever had an opportunity to see what effect this can have on pulling people off of combustible tobacco products,” Burr said.

Former Bellport teacher sentenced in sex scandal

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A former Long Island high school teacher is headed to jail for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jonathan Elsalam will serve two months in prison on a child endangerment misdemeanor.  The former Bellport High School history teacher was cleared earlier this year of the more serious charges of rape and criminal sex act. 

The victim, now 19-years-old was 16 when the relationship began in 2011. 

More Asbestos found in another park

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Asbestos has been discovered in another Central Islip park.

Residents are angry because the area is located at the PAL field on South Clayton Street and Lowell Avenue, a site where their children have played. “Newsday” reports work is also being done to determine whether toxic waste was disposed at yet another town park, located less than a mile south at Eastview Drive.

Both sites are where the Central Islip state psychiatric hospital used to operate.

Governor orders changes along Conklin Street

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Governor Cuomo is ordering immediate safety changes along Conklin Street in Farmingdale where five teens lost their lives in a car crash last Saturday night. 

In a letter to the mayor of Farmingdale, Cuomo says as a father of three daughters who drive, he knows how important it is to keep roads safe.  He says the state has already installed speed controllers in the area of the deadly crash that tell drivers exactly how fast they’re going.

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