Whitney Houston and the flags

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

February 15, 2012 1:31:18 PM PST
Flags in New Jersey will be set at half-staff for Whitney Houston on Saturday. There are many who are grateful for that. There are many who just don't get it.

Gov. Chris Christie was forced into defending his decision about the tribute to the 48-year-old former superstar, whose last decade of life represented a mighty fall from success and fortune.

The Governor's office, he said, had been inundated with emails criticizing the flag salute to Houston, but Mr. Christie said that she was a cultural icon and that her native state could pay tribute without condoning her substance-abusing behavior.

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Meanwhile, word tonight is that there will be one pool camera inside the church where Whitney Houston grew up for her funeral on Saturday at noon. No monitors outside, apparently, for anyone who shows up without an invitation to the indoor service.

We'll have the latest on the Houston investigation, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, lots of questions tonight over yesterday's wild subway shootout in Harlem. A man wanted for shooting his girlfriend's daughter in the head was confronted by some NYPD detectives - and the bullets started flying. Somehow, someway, no bystanders were hit, despite up to 19 bullets getting fired - 13 by the cop, who was wounded by up to 6 shots fired by the suspect. The cop was hit in the arm, the suspect was killed by the wounded detective.

So what's the protocol of a shootout in the subway? Seems like it's something you'd want to avoid if you're the NYPD. And how does a cop fire 13 shots and hit his target just once?

I'm just sayin'.

I know, I know, he was wounded, and he probably had a gun that fired in rapid-fire sequence. But firing that many shots at a suspect during the rush hour in the closed quarters that are the subway - well, it just seems like a last resort if you're the cops. And we know that they were following the suspect for some time. Why not stop him earlier?

We'll have new developments, at 11.

We're also in New Jersey for a fascinating story that may define the word and concept of "chutzpah." A homeowner - and by home we mean mansion - accused of cutting down 200 trees on property adjacent to him, property he doesn't own, to improve his view.

The trees, authorities say, started "disappearing" a year ago. A million dollars worth of trees. As I said, quite a story.

Jim Dolan is on it for us, at 11.

And a different kind of chutzpah in a story our Jamie Roth has reported. They're called "someday brides" - women who have absolutely no plans to get married, but they've nonetheless picked out their wedding dress. At first blush you may be shaking your head, but after watching Jamie's story, I suspect that some of you will change your minds, and understand why these women are doing this.

We're also deep into Lin-mania, as the Knicks new phenom Jeremy Lin adds to his lore by nailing a game-winning 3-pointer with a second left in the game last night. That's 6 wins in a row for the Knicks since Mr. Lin joined the lineup. His team-oriented style of play and his modest approach to this success is infectious, and he is right now the most popular athlete in New York.


By the way, Channel 7 will carry this Sunday's Knicks game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Garden. Tipoff is set for 1:00 p.m.

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


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