Welcome Rob Powers

January 4, 2011 1:49:45 PM PST
Thanks to all who wrote in to our website, offering their thoughts on the departure of Scott Clark. Scotty was genuinely moved by our on-air send off last night at 11. And, it was obvious, Liz and Lee and I were struggling to keep it together as well.

Tonight, a familiar face takes over. And we welcome Rob Powers as Eyewitness News main sports anchor. As he did when he started here as weekend sports anchor during the baseball playoffs in 2009, Rob is hitting the ground running. The Jets are headed to the playoffs, with the first game set for Saturday night against the Colts.

He's got the latest on the preps for the game, tonight at 11. And just because the Jets have had a season-long affliction of off-the-field distractions, we'll have the latest on the most recent one: Bret Favre's alleged "sexting" to two masseuses who worked free-lance for the Jets. They've now sued Favre and the team, which today tried to put several arms' lengths between themselves, and their ex-Quarterback and the two women.

Also at 11, the epidemic of wrong-way drivers on Long Island has finally prompted some action. Or, make that, has prompted talk about taking action. Nassau County D.A. Kathleen Rice, calling Long Island the "epicenter for wrong-way driving," wants a new law that makes driving the wrong way a specific and more serious violation. Right now it's just a ticket.

The truth is virtually all of the wrong-way drivers are drunk, and installing some sort of warning bumps ? something ? to warn wayward drivers is the most obvious solution to try to stop the outbreak. We'll see.

And our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer returns to the airports for our 11 p.m. newscast to see if allegations of TSA theft have lessened. They haven't. Making matters worse when passengers who are ripped off file claims with the TSA for their stolen personal items, they are routinely denied. Ug.

We're also keeping our eyes on the new crop of conservative Republicans who are moving to Washington today. They're headed to the W Hotel for a fundraiser put on by a group calling itself "America's New Majority," made of newly minted Republicans, including a handful of Tea Party members.

They were elected promising to be frugal and belt-tightening. The tickets are $2,500 per person; buy a book of 8 tickets and get a VIP suite for a bargain-basement price of $50,000.

Change you can believe in. I'm just sayin'.

Meanwhile, the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor outlined a 3-pronged Republican strategy over the next three weeks leading up to the President's State of the Union speech.

According to ABC's Jonathan Karl, week one will be trying to repeal health care reform; week two will be cutting $100 billion from this year's budget; and week three will be cutting what Repubs call "job killing" regulations.

Buckle up.

We're also on Long Island, as health officials in Nassau County begin offering vaccinations to folks who may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus during communion ceremonies at a church in Massapequa Park.

And, in case you haven't heard about it, the Mega Millions jackpot is now $355 million, and growing. The drawing is at 11 and you can see it happen, right before our newscast.

One more nugget for you: The latest Pew survey shows that, for peeps under 30 years old, the Internet for the first time has passed TV as their main source of national and international news. (Not local news, mind you.)

However, and you knew there would be a however, the overall use if the web as a main source of news has flattened the last two years, according to the Pew data. TV news is still far ahead 66 percent to 41 percent. But one more however the 66 percent is a new low since Pew started measuring this in 2001.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob with the rest of the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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