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BREAKING NEWS

E-Cigarette Crackdown Coming?

(NEW YORK) — Pressure is growing for federal regulation of the booming e-cigarette industry.

Supporters say e-cigs help people quit the habit, giving them the nicotine they crave without the unhealthy smoke of traditional cigarettes. But a new congressional report written largely by staffers for Democratic Senators and House members says concerns about electronic cigarettes underscore the need for regulation.

Industry critics say an array of flavors and marketing may appeal to young people. There is also a lack of age restrictions and consistent warning labels for the battery-powered devices, which work by heating liquid nicotine in a disposable cartridge and creating a vapor that smokers can then inhale.

Read On ABC News Radio: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/business-news/e-cigarette-crackdown-coming.html#ixzz2yse4GcCe

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Wins Top Prize at MTV Movie Awards

(LOS ANGELES) – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was golden Sunday night at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles.

The sequel received the golden popcorn trophy for movie of the year, winning the fan vote over 12 Years a SlaveAmerican HustleThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Wolf of Wall Street.

One of the film’s stars, Josh Hutcherson, dedicated the honor to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who made his Hunger Games debut in Catching Fire.

Hutcherson remarked, “I know if Philip were here, he would really think this is really cool. To have him in our movies was one of the coolest things in the world….We think about him every day on set.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also earned the awards for best male and female performance, for Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively.

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS FROM THE RED CARPET ]

Zac Efron received the golden popcorn trophy for best shirtless performance, in That Awkward Moment. While accepting the award, presenter Rita Ora helped him remove his shirt, revealing his six-pack.

Mila Kunis, who’s reportedly expecting a child with Ashton Kutcher, had what appeared to be a small baby bump, but she didn’t mention anything about her relationship or her pregnancy when she picked up the best villain award for Oz The Great and Powerful.

MTV saluted Channing Tatum with its Trailblazer Award, for “boldly paving the way with his unique and diverse path in the film industry.” And Mark Wahlberg was given the MTV Generation Award for engaging the network’s audience throughout his career.

Amanda Seyfried stumbled with her words while presenting the best comedic performance award — won by Jonah Hill — with Seth MacFarlane. She said she couldn’t read the teleprompter well because she wasn’t wearing her contacts.

MacFarlane quipped, “So far this is going about as well as the Oscars,” referring to his controversial turn as host of the Academy Awards in 2013.

The broadcast briefly struck a somber note when Jordana Brewster introduced a tribute to her late Fast and the Furious co-star, Paul Walker. Walker and Vin Diesel were named best on-screen duo, for Fast & Furious 6.

Conan O’Brien hosted the 22nd annual MTV Movie Awards from the Nokia Theatre. The two-hour broadcast began with a taped segment in which he vowed to get 50 celebrity cameos in the show’s open. He was able to pull it off, with the help of Andy Samberg, Seth Rogen, Jessica Alba, Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Jack White, Jason Bateman, Martin Scorsese and many more.

The ceremony featured musical performances from Eminem and Rihanna, who delivered a live rendition of their hit, “The Monster”; Zedd and Ellie Goulding, who performed their Divergent songs “Find You” and “Beating Heart”; and the rock duo Twenty One Pilots.

The show also offered a sneak peek at upcoming movies, including X-Men: Days of Future PastThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Fault in Our Stars.

 

LI News Radio’s Pet Rescue Expo

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LI News Radio along with numerous pet adoption agencies gathered today at Long Island MacArthur Airport for a Pet Rescue Expo. There were about 100 animals including dogs, cats and rabbits on site looking for a new home. The event continues till 1pm today (Sunday)

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CDC Looking into Second Viral Outbreak on Cruise Ship in Two Weeks

(BALTIMORE) — Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas is scheduled to leave Baltimore on its next voyage on Saturday afternoon, but will need approval from the Centers for Disease Control after its last two cruises saw passengers fall ill.

During its last trip, which departed on April 5, 99 of the ship’s 2,120 guests and eight of the 800 crew members experienced an illness believed to be norovirus. In a statement, Royal Caribbean said that steps were taken during the last cruise to prevent transmission of the illness — including “enhanced cleaning procedures and protocols, and using special cleaning products and disinfectants that are proven to kill norovirus.”

Due to extra cleaning, Saturday’s departure was pushed back to about 6 p.m. All guests are expected to receive a letter when they board asking whether they have experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms in the last three days. Royal Caribbean also said that passengers can also reschedule their trip if they are uncomfortable on the ship.

Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and one epidemiologist will board the ship on Saturday to conduct an investigation and evaluate both the outbreak and the cruise line’s response.

The previous journey, which departed on March 28 and returned to Baltimore on April 5, was also affected by a similar illness, with 111 of 2,122 passengers and six of 790 crew members falling ill. The CDC confirmed the illness on that trip was caused by norovirus.

The CDC says up to 300 million people around the world are stricken with norovirus, a figure only surpassed by the common cold.

New NHL Lawsuit Is the Most Graphic Yet

(NEW YORK) — A new lawsuit that accuses the NHL of putting profits before safety is littered with images of bloodied, toothless hockey players.

The class action suit, filed Wednesday in federal court in New York on behalf of nine former players, claims the league “fosters a culture of ‘enforcers’ and ‘goons.’”

“[The players] have suffered and will continue to suffer serious health problems as a result of the NHL’s sophisticated use of extreme violence to bring fans to the game in hockey arenas, on television, the radio and the Internet,” the lawsuit claims.

The nine former players are Dan LaCouture, Dan Keczmer, Jack Carlson, Richard Brennan, Brad Maxwell, Michael Peluso, Tom Younghans, Allan Rourke and Scott Bailey.

LaCouture, 36, was involved in 52 fights and “suffers from headaches, irritability, sensitivity to light, change of personality, and depression,” according to the lawsuit.

Peluso, 48, was involved in 179 fights in NHL games and is one of just four players to incur over 400 penalty minutes in a single season, the suit states.

The 110-page complaint includes 51 images ranging from grainy black-and-whites to high-resolution broadcast screen grabs. Some images capture bench-clearing brawls in action, while others show injured players being carried off the ice.

A spread of six images from the 2010 documentary, Broad Street Bullies shows one player with blood streaming down his face and another grinning with no front teeth.

“Popular culture has reflected the fused association between extreme violence and the NHL in many different media,” the lawsuit reads, citing the goalie mask-wearing killer in Friday the 13th as an example of hockey’s culture of violence.

The complaint also calls out “incidents” from nearly a century ago, including the “the Coutu Incidents” of 1925, in which Wilfrid Arthur Coutu incurred a measly $50 fine after severing another player’s ear, and “the Richard Incident” of 1955, in which Maurice Richard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame six years after punching a referee in the face.

But the bulk of the complaint criticizes the NHL for failing to protect players from the dangers of head trauma –- a claim that mirrors a class action filed by former NFL players that resulted in a $765 million settlement last summer.

The complaint is the second class action suit filed against the NHL. The league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he intends to “defend the case vigorously.”

“While the subject matter is very serious, we are completely satisfied with the responsible manner in which the League and the Players’ Association have managed Player safety over time, including with respect to head injuries and concussions,” he said in a statement.

A growing body of research has linked repeated head trauma to chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE -– a disorder marked memory loss, impaired judgment, aggression and depression. At least four NHL players have been diagnosed with CTE after death, including New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard, who died from a drug overdose in 2011.

Paul Anderson, a Kansas City, Mo.-based attorney who founded NFLConcussionLitigation.com, said the graphic new class action “certainly has merit,” but went “overboard.”

“I think using multiple pictures in a complaint is unnecessary,” he said. “I think they’re going to lose credibility with the judge.”

Only one of the 51 images clearly shows a player involved in the suit, with the remaining 50 depicting famous examples of hockey violence.

“It’s unfortunate,” Anderson said of the “immaterial” images and “factual errors” in the suit, including a reference to Gordie Howe dying from Pick’s disease when in fact the hockey legend is still alive. “I don’t want them to override the actual merits of the complaint.”

Cullin O’Brien, an attorney with the Boca Raton, Fla. firm that filed the suit, called the Gordie Howe error “a distraction” from the suit’s serious claims.

“Anyone who’s focusing on the typos doesn’t understand that this is a serious allegation,” Cullin said on behalf of the firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, acknowledging another error in the misspelling of Sidney Crosby’s name. “We’re pleading the facts to show that the NHL undisputedly had knowledge that the extreme violence from its game was harming its players for a very long time — so much so that it’s engrained in our cultural consciousness through various media depictions of the NHL.”

“The typos will be corrected,” Cullin added.

Breakfast Wars: Taco Bell Aims to Devour McDonald’s Morning Menu Empire

(NEW YORK) — Taco Bell has launched an all-out advertising assault to promote its new Waffle Taco, in the hopes of taking a bite out of McDonald’s breakfast empire.

One ad, set to the tune of “Old Macdonald Had a Farm,” features a guy who has been eating McDonald’s Egg McMuffin since 1984. After trying Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu, he suddenly gets with the times, trimming his mullet and getting a smartphone.

Another ad shows a montage of 25 men from across the country named “Ronald McDonald” who say they “love Taco Bell’s new breakfast.”

So why aim directly at fast food breakfast goliath McDonalds? Because Americans spend $32 billion annually on fast food breakfast and McDonald’s commands one-third of the market and has been making Egg McMuffins since the 1970s.

Welcome to the Breakfast Wars.

Taco Bell has been working on its morning menu, which includes the Waffle Taco, the AM Crunch Wrap and Cinnabon Delights, for over seven years and it’s not about to flinch.

“The message is we’re here to stay in breakfast,” said Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer Chris Brandt. “The whole reason we’re doing this is we just thought breakfast was really boring and so we wanted to break up the boring, shake up the routine.”

Taco Bell made sure all of its new breakfast sandwiches can be held in one hand. They even have a new coffee line too.

And McDonald’s took notice. Taco Bell’s “I’m Ronald McDonald” ad, a campaign by Oscar-winning director Errol Morris, generated so much buzz, the Golden Arches rounded up its troops and immediately fired off a response.

They posted an image on social media showing their mascot, the red and yellow Ronald McDonald clown, kneeling down to pet the Taco Bell Chihuahua with the words, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” They also offered free small cups of its McCafe coffee to customers during breakfast hours for two weeks.

“McDonalds said ‘back off our territory, we’re the breakfast king,’ and they started this marketing blitz,” said Hayley Peterson, a retail reporter for Business Insider. “They also put on a concert in Times Square and a flash Mob in Chicago to sort of get the buzz growing in major cities over their McCafe coffee line.”

McDonald’s gets about 20 percent of its sales from breakfast. It made $10 billion last year off their morning menu alone, dwarfing Taco Bell’s $7.6 billion in total sales for all menus combined.

But McDonald’s is fretting about the little Chihuahua because in the last few years, breakfast has become more important than ever to the fast food giant’s bottom line.

“[Breakfast is] the cheapest meal you can get outside of a snack, and consumers are still tight with money after the recession,” Peterson said.

“Traffic during the breakfast [hours] have been steadily increasing, while traffic during the lunch and dinner hours have been steadily decreasing year over year, and that’s why there’s this sudden interest in breakfast.”

And Taco Bell isn’t the only one duking it out in the Breakfast Wars. Just last week, Dunkin Donuts unveiled its eggs benedict sandwiches, and last month, Starbucks unveiled new breakfast items, such as the Egg and Cheddar sandwich on multi-grain toast and the new and improved Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich.

“There’s a definitely a huge market for, ‘I’m going to splurge today, once-a-week’ and get fast food,” Peterson said.

Brookhaven GOP Chairman claims Democrat NYS Assemblyman Hennessey Chronic Property Tax Abuse for Three Years. Listen to the audio here!

SHIRLEY, NY - Democratic NYS Assemblyman Edward Hennessey has failed to pay taxes for a business property he owns and operates his private law office from on William Floyd Parkway in Shirley dating back to 2012, according to public tax records.

 

At a time when the William Floyd School District is struggling to pay for basic services for student, Hennessey has refused to pay over $15,000 he owes in property taxes – the majority of which would go to the school district.

 

“Ed Hennessey has spent the past year supporting unfunded state mandates that drive up our residents’ property taxes, while at the same time arrogantly refusing to pay his own.  It’s disgraceful,” said Brookhaven Republican Chairman Jesse Garcia. “Unfortunately, it’s a story that is becoming all too familiar, with one Assembly Democrat after another being the subject of federal investigations, ethics complaints, or prosecution.  ’Deadbeat Ed’ fits right in with this culture of corruption.”

 

According to public tax records, Hennessey failed to pay $1,013.81 in taxes in 2012 for property he has an ownership interest on his law office located at 483 William Floyd Parkway in Shirley, NY.  In 2013, Assemblyman Hennessey again failed to pay $10,620.99 in taxes on this property, and for 2014 has an outstanding balance of $3,616.91 that was due on January 10, 2014.

 

“Career politicians like Ed Hennessey pass mandate after mandate that burden our residents, but feel the rules don’t apply to them.  We need to end this dysfunctional, disgraceful culture and send a message to Albany by removing politicians like Ed Hennessey from office,” said Garcia.

Attorney Arrested for Stealing from Clients

 

KOGAN MATTHEW

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the arrest today of a Plainview attorney who has been charged with stealing from a Brooklyn couple who hired him to represent them in a lawsuit.

Matthew Kogan, 40, was arrested today and charged with Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony). If convicted, Kogan faces up to 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison. Nassau District Court Judge Douglas Lerose released him on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on April 29.

“When attorneys take advantage of their position for their own financial gain, it isn’t just their clients who suffer the consequences,” DA Rice said. “The attorney-client relationship is essential to the workings of our legal system, and must be protected.”

DA Rice said a husband and wife hired Kogan in February 2013 to represent them in a breach of contract lawsuit. The case was eventually settled in the amount of $32,500, which payment should have been deposited in his Attorney Trust Account and the funds paid to the couple.

Instead, the money was deposited into Kogan’s operating account on Oct. 7, 2013. From Oct. 7, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013, funds were withdrawn and/or paid from the operating account for Kogan’s personal and professional expenses and obligations – including payroll, credit card and loan payments.

In November 2013, the couple filed a complaint with DA Rice’s Criminal Complaint Unit. After becoming aware of the investigation, Kogan paid $20,000 to the couple in February 2014, leaving an unpaid balance of $12,500.

Assistant District Attorney Marshall Trager, chief of DA Rice’s Government and Consumer Affairs Bureau, is prosecuting the case. Kogan is represented by Brian Griffin, Esq.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

 

Joe Jonas on Justin Bieber: ‘There’s an Equation for Some Sort of Explosion’

(LOS ANGELES) — Joe Jonas spoke about working on his new music with Scene Mag‘s Michael Hafford for the magazine’s April 2014 issue, but he couldn’t help bringing up Justin Bieber, 20, – and Bieber’s dad – in the interview.

“[Bieber] is having a very tough time finding balance,” said Jonas, 24. “I think we all saw it coming. Your dad is your party animal – that’s going to sum it up pretty quick. There’s an equation for some sort of explosion.”

The former Jonas Brothers singer didn’t hold back when discussing the Canadian singer and his father. He added that the whole world watching with a “microscope” as Bieber grows up is partly to blame for his behavior.

“I’ve had an easier route than most,” admitted the Camp Rock star. “The youngsters just turning 20, the Biebers of the world, are under a microscope.”

Once all of that was off his chest, Jonas talked about his new solo music that he is working on, although the album is still in its “baby stages” because he wants to take his “sweet, sweet time with it.”

One of the problems holding him back from releasing music is how people will react to his new content. Fresh off the break-up with his band of brothers, the Jonas Brothers, Jonas doesn’t want listeners to expect his music to “sound like a certain thing.”

“[I hope that] when I hit the reset button and release new music, fresh ears will listen open-minded and not judge,” he said.

9,500 Students Opt Out!

Figures released by school officials show nearly 9,500 elementary and middle school students in more than half of Long Island’s public school districts refused to take the states English language arts exam administered over 3 days this past week.  Governor Cuomo who supports the Common Core Standards, has called the implementation flawed, and said it has resulted in frustration.