Ang Santos


Ang Santos began his career in news journalism at WBGO in January 2014 as an intern. His love for telling stories about Newark's history landed him a position as a feature reporter. Before his time at WBGO, Ang was an overnight jock at Brookdale Public Radio on the Jersey Shore.

Since joining the news team, Ang prides himself on the ability to report on everything in any situation; hyperlocal stories, political conventions, major league sports teams, music. He's contributed reports to WHYY in Philadelphia and NPR news.

Outside of WBGO, Ang tends to the needs of his many cats.

Ways to Connect

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka testified in Trenton to support the Municipal Land Banking Bill.

The land banking bill would create an online database of properties owned by municipalities making them available for purchase.  

The New Jersey State Assembly has advanced a bill that would restrict the use of isolated confinement in correctional facilities

New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer is launching a campaign to promote school bus safety.  

Gottheimer is introducing a law that would require buses across the country to install 3-point lap and shoulder seat belts.  

“Seat belts on all school buses, lap and shoulder seat belts on all school buses,” he said.  “Current federal law only requires seat belts on small busses, not the larger one’s children often ride on.  Only eight states require them on the bigger busses.”

The bill also calls for technology in buses to acknowledge that passengers are buckled up.

About a quarter of people polled have weekly interactions with a person with autism.  Three in five less frequent, and another quarter none at all. 

“We broke that down in terms of who they know who has been diagnosed with autism.  When we broke that down by inside or outside of your family and looking at adults versus children, about two-thirds of New Jerseans say that they know a child under the age of 18 that is outside of their family,” said Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling.

A grief support center for children recently opened in Newark.  

Imagine started in a Union County church basement in 2011, by a person that understood what it was like to lose a loved one at an early age. 

“I had been a child in grief.  My father died when I was 14,” said Mary Robinson, executive director of Imagine. The organization is now headquartered out of a dedicated center in Mountainside.

Check out WBGO's Music Calender for information on an upcoming event to meet Keith and Kathleen at Revolution Books this Saturday May 18 at 5pm for an all-ages reading, discussion and signing.

Birth of the Cool, is a legendary compilation of recordings from Miles Davis. It’s also the title of a new biography on the trumpeter, presented in the form of a children’s book by author Kathleen Cornell Berman.

Phil Gregory / WBGO

New Jersey’s top health official is warning of the dangers presented by measles outbreaks.  There have been fourteen cases confirmed in the state this year.

Twelve of those measles cases are linked to an outbreak in Monmouth and Ocean County communities, with two cases from international travel.  

“We are seeing measles cases cross state lines which is the main way that our outbreaks have started,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal on a call with health officials from other states.

David Tallacksen / WBGO


Since WBGO’s inception, Mid-day Jazz host Rhonda Hamilton has been at the radio station.  A key part to WBGO’s success over the last 40 years.  

Click above to hear the entire conversation.  

The 25th Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is on May 13th in New York City. To honor the 125 Winners of the award who received $75,000 each from the Herb Alpert Foundation.

Ang Santos: The Herb Alpert Foundation has been supporting organizations that promote the arts for a few decades. Particularly in education arenas.  What prompted you to take such action?

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone plans to introduce legislation that proposes changes to regulations on tobacco products.

The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019 would prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco.

“No menthol no flavors, alright.  For everything,” he said.

It would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco across every state.

“New Jersey already raised the smoking age to 21 but this will bring up the rest of the country.”

The bill would direct the FDA to prohibit non face to face sales of all tobacco products.

Ang Santos: The point of this organization is self-explanatory, raising prostate cancer awareness with jazz, how do you go about doing that?

Ralph Stowe: Jazz creates a great atmosphere for people to trust any presentation, if it’s good jazz.  It starts the conversation for me to talk to men that may not know or are not aware of prostate cancer’s risk factors.  

AS:  Don’t you think it’s strange that in the 21stcentury, this still exists? That people don’t get screened at the age they probably should.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a new mental health parity law, creating stronger regulations on health insurers to cover behavioral treatments at the same level as physical care.

Inequity in coverage between physical and mental health care is already banned by federal law, but Governor Phil Murphy says there was little enforcement in New Jersey.  

“Unless we take the steps to close the gaps in access, individuals with mental health issues will continue to fall thought those gaps,” he said.

In response to a measles outbreak affecting the Orthodox Jewish community in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a public health emergency.

All residents in Williamsburg are being ordered to receive a mandatory measles vaccination.  New York City Health Department Commissioner Oxiris Barbot says unvaccinated residents could face a fine.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey is receiving $55 million in new funding and additional financial relief from the federal government for homeowners still rebuilding after 2012's Superstorm Sandy. 

Governor Phil Murphy says the federal government has approved the state’s request to remove the cap on access to Sandy-related funds.  

“The $150,000 cap on grants that had been in place for the last six and a half years, which is a financial barrier that had stopped too many folks from being able to return home is now eliminated.”

A play currently running at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick tells the real-life story of a Russian -Jewish man that made his way to the United States in the early 1900’s.  The Immigrant, written by Mark Harelik, follows his grandfather Haskell’s pursuit of the American Dream.

Ang Santos: In studio we have Benjamin Pelteson, he plays Haskell in the George Street Production.  Benjamin thanks for joining us on the WBGO Journal.

Benjamin Pelteson: Thanks for having me.

AS: Take us through Haskell’s humble beginnings in this play?

A one-day gun buyback event is taking place at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark on Saturday.  

Law enforcement officers will be on hand to collect firearms of all types, from BB guns to assault weapons. Essex County Bar Association President Raj Gadhok says they’re taking them with no questions asked.

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray is defending her mental health initiative ThriveNYC.  She was called before the city council budget committee to discuss what the project has achieved.

Some members of the city council say ThriveNYC doesn’t do enough for individuals with serious mental illness, and question whether the initiative is worth its annual $250 million budget.  

It’s been a little more than seven years since New Jersey’s Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment law, or POSLT was signed by former Governor Chris Christie, empowering patients to work with their preferred medical professional to create advance directives.  But still people end up in hospitals with no living will.  The Governor's Advisory Council Report on End of Life Care says more than a quarter of adults, including seniors, have no documentation available if they're not able to make healthcare decisions for themselves.

The New York State Legislature has passed a bill to expand the use of speed cameras in New York City school zones.  

The bill would add roughly 600 school zone speed cameras across New York City, while increasing the enforcement period time, 6am to 10pm.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The City of Newark is set to replace up to 1,500 lead service lines over the next year. 

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe says the state will work with Newark to replace roughly 15,000 lead service lines.  The Lead Service Line Replacement Program is expected to cost about $75 million over eight years.

“At his point our infrastructure is decaying, and these pipes need to be replaced with newer, safer, and more reliable materials, but that’s expensive,” she said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivered his first State of the City address since being reelected last May, with a message highlighting investment in the city and its children, while defending an increase in development.

Amazon passed on Newark as a location for its new headquarters, but Baraka says the consideration was a major victory and believes opponents were wrongheaded for being skeptical. 

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson wants municipal control of the MTA.

“Municipal control means saying goodbye to the MTA,” he said during his first State of the City address.

Johnson calls the new proposed agency Big Apple Transit. He says the MTA’s current structure has too many decision makers.  In his plan, responsibility would fall on the mayor’s shoulders.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Transit bus operators are calling for several protocols they say would improve their safety if a passenger gets physical.  

A recently introduced federal law, the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act, would set aside $125 million for bus safety improvements and programs.  Ray Greaves with the Amalgamated Transit Union says operators across the country have little protection from violent passengers.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Newark Math Success Initiative aims to double the number of city high school graduates that attend NJIT.

“There’s nothing stopping these students from getting the math instruction, mastering their mathematics that they need,” said University President Joel Bloom.  “We work with them over the summer when they arrive there. It’s about the math.”

A scholarship program will offer three students a full ride at NJIT.  In addition, Mayor Ras Baraka says they’ll be offered paid internship opportunities.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark Public Schools has plans to launch a new curriculum that will prepare students for a career in teaching.

Superintendent Roger Leon says The Teachers Academy is partnering with two respected institutions to help their plans unfold.

“Montclair State University will be the higher education partner, and the American Federation of Teachers will be the professional organization partnering.”

Aspiring student teachers will pair up with professional educators that offer support.  The High Schoolers gain experience teaching elementary grade classes.  

Phi Nguyen

A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers have introduced a bill to permanently establish the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.  Rep. Carolyn Maloney says the new bill would extend it for 70 years.

“We do not want to do this again. We need to get this authorized, introduced, and passed so there is a permanent fund for those that are sick and need the help,” Maloney said.

Recently the Special Master of the 9/11 VCF said rewards would be drastically cut because the fund is running out of dollars.  Rep. Jerry Nadler says the financial need has increased in recent years.

The New York City Department of Transportation released its updated Vision Zero Action Plan.  

Officials say nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities occur on a small percentage of streets.  Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking immediate action.

“This year you’re going to see more pedestrian head starts at key intersections.  It’s going to give people more time to cross the street and make them safer.  This year you’re going to see traffic lights retimed in certain key areas to reduce speeding.”

The New York City Council is considering a proposed plan to ban businesses from using a payment model that refuses cash and only accepts electronic payments.  Supporters of the bill say it discriminates against low-income customers.

But the ban also has critics.  Michelle Gauthier owns the Manhattan based fast casual restaurant chain Mulberry & Vine.  She says the cashless payment system has only benefitted her customers while improving employee workflow.

The piercing low temperatures come from an arctic air mass that drips down into North America.

“The polar vortex has split," said scientist Jennifer Francis with the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts.  "We now have two smaller circulations that trap cold air inside of them, but they have drifted outward.  One of them over North America.  So, not only are we having that run of the mill of transfer of cold air from Canada, which is kind of the typical thing, but we’re also seeing this reinforcement from this polar vortex in the stratosphere.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

A coalition of New Jersey Mayors are calling on state lawmakers to consider passing a bill that would expunge all misdemeanor convictions for possession of marijuana. They say they’re doing it for people like Ahmad Reed of Newark who was arrested for possession years ago and says it still sets back job opportunities.

“Non-violent cannabis offenders such as myself should be given the opportunity to work and obtain a decent job,” Reed said during a press conference at Newark City Hall.  “It’s hard to move forward with a situation that transpires like this on a daily basis.”