Jené Elzie
Jené Elzie

Jené Elzie is the Chief Growth Officer for Athletes First Partners and has more than two decades of experience as a global sports and entertainment executive. Elzie, a former All-American gymnast at Stanford University, is charged with developing and implementing growth strategies across international and other non-traditional revenue streams for the agency.

Prior to A1 Partners, Jené served as Vice President of International Marketing for the NBA, where she oversaw the league's marketing endeavors oustide of the U.S.

Center for Cooperative Media

WBGO Community Engagement Reporter Brit Harley will be a facilitator for today's virtual conference titled Assessing Newark's Information Needs and Filling the Gap, presented by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

Newark media colleagues and key community leaders are gathering to learn about information needs and how they can collaboratively meet them better.  

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  Despite coronavirus concerns, Most New York City students and teachers will be headed back to the classroom in the fall.   

Mayor Bill de Blasio says 74 percent of parents have signed their children up for the combo of in classroom and remote learning while the rest will only learn from home.

“We can do it safely. We set very stringent standards.”

Schools chancellor Richard Carranza says 15 percent of teachers requested to work from home.

Cuomo: NY Schools Can Open In September

Aug 7, 2020

Governor Cuomo is allowing schools to open throughout New York State for the upcoming academic year.   He says every region in the state meets coronavirus benchmarks for opening schools and New York’s infection rate is one of the best in the nation.

“We are going to watch the infection rate between now and the day that schools open.  If there is a spike in the infection rate, if there is a matter of concern in the infection rate, then we can revisit it.  But for planning purposes, they can reopen.”

As of Friday morning, New Jersey had a total of 183,701 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

The state also reported 13,996 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and another 1,853 probable fatalities.

State announces $25 million landlord assistance program

Some New Jersey landlords whose tenants missed rent payments due to the pandemic will soon be eligible for financial help from the state.

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As New Jersey continues to dig out from Tropical Storm Isaias, the question is how many more storms may hit the state especially since it’s still early in the hurricane season.

David Robinson is a geography professor at Rutgers and has been the New Jersey State Climatologist since 1991. “It’s really quite remarkable that we’ve already had two systems make major impacts on the Garden State this season and here we are just finishing the first week of August,” he said. “However, that’s no guarantee we’re going to be affected directly by another one.”

Tom Hanks
Harlan Jacobson

Greyhound is a WWII tale of American heroics in the North Atlantic , written by and starring Tom Hanks, who’s made a great career out of putting forward humble men who just want to get the job done and go home, in this case set on a naval Destroyer.

The mission given to Tom Hanks as US Naval Commander Ernie Krause in Greyhound is to safely escort a 37-ship convoy of troops and supplies across the North Atlantic in early 1942 and navigate for five days, outside of American airpower, around -- or over -- a German school of U-Boats calling itself the Wolfpack.

Pete Hamill
Rob Loud/Getty Images

Legendary New York-based writer Pete Hamill passed away this week at the age of 85.

The Brooklyn-born son of Irish immigrants dropped out of high school but went on to a career as one of the most respected newspaper columnists and editors and writers of memoirs and novels.

WBGO’s Jon Kalish got to rub elbows a few time over the years with Hamill and produced this appreciation. 

Click above to hear Jon's feature.

FDU's Plans for the Fall Semester during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Aug 7, 2020

In the final part of WBGO's series with representatives of area colleges and Universities , WBGO News intern Tyra Brooks spoke with Farleigh Dickinson University President Dr. Christopher Capuano.

Dr. Capuano talks about how online classes will dominate FDU's approach this coming semester. He became the school's eighth president in 2016.

Click above to hear the entire conversation.

Angela Hsieh for NPR News

Some angry residents in New Jersey and New York still don’t have power in their homes after Tropical Storm Isaias brought it strong winds and rains to both states, knocking down power lines and trees nearly everywhere.   PSEG officials say it's asking for help from utilities across the U.S. and Canada to help restore electricity. The tropical storm knocked out power about 575-thousand of that utility’s customers. Burlington County in South Jersey along with Bergen and Essex counties in North Jersey bore the brunt of the outages.

Newark Public Library

WBGO's Janice Kirkel chats with Joslyn Bowling Dixon, the new Director of the Newark Public Library.

Bowling Dixon brings 20 plus years of experience with her from the latest job in Virginia.

Click above to hear the entire interview.

New York State Files Suit Seeking to Dissolve NRA

Aug 6, 2020
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Citing what she called quote brazen illegality, New York State Attorney General Letitia James said today that the state has filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association.

James said the suit follows an 18-month investigation that found evidence that the non-profit gun-rights organization was riddled with fraud and abuse, which she detailed at a press conference in Manhattan.

PSE&G Working To Restore Power After Isaias

Aug 5, 2020
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Tropical Storm Isaias left its mark on New Jersey.

More than half a million customers of PSE&G were left in the dark. Chief Operating Officer Kim Hanemann says they’re calling for help from all over.

“We have been reaching out throughout the country,” she said, “as far away as Canada, Missouri, and Florida for contractors and crews to assist us in the restoration and we continue to reach out to increase those resources to help us restore more quickly.”

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The Newark Public Library has a new director -- Joslyn Bowling Dixon, fresh from a job as deputy director of the Prince William Library System in Virginia, outside DC.

Dixon recognizes the challenges of taking over a public institution during a pandemic, but got excited about the possibilities anyway. “I got that little spiny tingle when I saw it (the job posting). I really liked what the city was about,” she said. “It made me go look at some further research into the renaissance of the community and the great things that are happening in terms of industry and construction.”

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 New York authorities are ramping up enforcement of the out of state quarantine rules by doing checkpoints at key city entry areas.  Sheriff Joe Fucito says his members will be at bridges, tunnels and transit hubs to flag down and get information from those coming from the 35 states or territories with high coronavirus transmission rates.

“Compliance with the quarantine is our objective and checkpoints are an effective means of ensuring travelers are on notice.”

The New Jersey Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case about whether Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration should be allowed to borrow as much as $9.9 billion in response to revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit pits the Democratic governor and top Democratic state lawmakers against the state’s Republican party and several Republican legislators, who sued to block a plan they say would permit the administration to borrow for expenses unrelated to the pandemic and saddle future generations with a mountain of debt.

The entire state of New Jersey was under both a tornado watch and a flash flood watch Tuesday morning as the tropical storm began moving across the Garden State.

The state of emergency declared Monday night in anticipation of the storm remained in effect.

Gov. Phil Murphy said residents could see up to five inches of rain in the western parts of the state, 40- to 70-mph wind gusts in some places, and the potential for flash floods in low-lying areas.

 New York City’s health commissioner is stepping down while criticizing the De Blasio administration. 

In her resignation letter, Dr. Oxiris Barbot  says she leaves with deep disappointment that the health department expertise was not used to the degree it should have been and that the department was in the background.  

She appears to be referring to Mayor de Blasio handing the coronavirus test and trace program to the public hospital system instead of the health department. De Blasio says there were different viewpoints with the doctor but does not regret that decision.

The New Jersey federal judge whose family was targeted in a deadly July attack by a lawyer who espoused misogynistic beliefs is speaking out.

District Court Judge Esther Salas said in a video released Monday that her family is still reeling from the shooting that left her 20-year-old son Daniel Anderl dead and sent her husband, defense attorney Mark Anderl, 63, to the hospital.

Salas said it is too easy for those who bear a grudge against federal judges to find their personal information online.

Care Cube
Care Cube

As concern grows among public health authorities over a surge in coronavirus infection, hospitals struggling to cope with the challenge of caring for people during the pandemic have a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

A new, low-cost portable isolation unit that promises to cut a number of expenditures, including those for personal protective equipment, is set to begin production soon. 

Click above to hear Jon Kalish's feature on Care Cube.



WBGO News continues with its series of interviews with area university and college representatives to find out their plans for the Fall Semester during the coronavirus pandemic.

This week WBGO News Intern Tyra Brooks checks in with Montclair State University's V.P. of Student Life Dr. Karen Pennington.

Click above to hear the entire conversation.

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New York City officials are planning on a combination of classroom and remote learning to start the school year.

The city is submitting its plans to the state on how schools will operate during the pandemic.

Mayor de Blasio says school buildings will only open if the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus remains below 3%.

“I am very hopeful when I say that, because New York City, thanks to all your good efforts, has been under three percent since June 10th.” 

New Jersey reported another 699 cases of coronavirus Friday, adding up to a total of 181,660 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Officials also announced another 10 deaths related to coronavirus. The outbreak has caused 13,944 lab-confirmed fatalities and another 1,875 probable deaths.

Jump in positive cases sets off ‘alarms’

Governor Phil Murphy

The July 30 edition of Ask Governor Murphy prompted plenty of phone calls regarding New Jersey's response to the coronavirus outbreak and it's impact on education, personal income and safety, state government and healthcare.

This edition was hosted by Nancy Solomon of WNYC.  WBGO and WHYY statehouse reporter Joe Hernandez was the social media reporter for the one-hour call-in show.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined us via phone from his home.

Ask Governor Murphy is a WBGO News collaboration with WHYY and WNYC.

New Jersey voters will have the final say on whether the state should postpone redrawing state legislative district boundaries next year if there is a delay in receiving data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Lawmakers in both the state Senate and Assembly approved a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday that would require the state to keep the current electoral maps for the 2021 election if the state does not receive census data by February 15.

Mayor de Blasio says New York City residents will feel the impact of the 600 dollar federal coronavirus unemployment assistance ending tomorrow. He lashed out at Senate Republicans, blaming them for not having another round of stimulus money available to struggling New Yorkers.

“This is not gridlock, this is sabotage, literally standing in the way of a stimulus when people in this country are in desperate desperate shape.”

Pallone Slams Rule Targeting Transgender Homeless

Jul 30, 2020

Transgender men and women who are homeless are being targeted by a proposed federal rule. It would allow federally funded homeless shelters to use a person’s physical characteristics, such as height and facial hair, in determining whether they belong in a women’s or men’s shelter.

Advocates say this could force homeless women, trans or not, into men’s shelters and possibly endanger them. New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone called this an all-too-typical move by the current administration.


Immigration advocates in New Jersey are praising a two-year old state program that provides free legal aid to people in federal immigration detention. More than HALF of detainees who were provided with lawyers by the program were released. 

One of detainees who got released was North Plainfield resident Fernando Fernandez Dominguez … who was picked up during an ICE raid in 20-17. Fernandez Dominguez had a private attorney but was not happy with the attorney’s representation. It wasn’t until he got a lawyer through Rutgers University’s legal clinic that he got released.

Governor Murphy: Large Indoor Parties Must Stop!

Jul 30, 2020

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, once again, implored young people to not gather for large parties. especially inside.  

"Having that notion." I get it; we get it. We've all had our routines turned upside down for the past four months and we want to blow off some steam with friends. I can't fault -- none of us can fault anyone for having that notion" 

At the same time, Governor Murphy says crowded house parties just can't happen right now.  

"Around more efficiently." They are not safe, period. They are how coronavirus gets passed around more efficiently."

De Blasio Condemns Controversial NYPD Protest Arrest

Jul 29, 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio is condemning the tactics the NYPD used while arresting a protester.  

Video shows plainclothes NYPD officers arresting a protester in the middle of a demonstration and quickly putting the person in an unmarked van Tuesday night.  

Mayor de Blasio says the incident triggers a comparison to Portland where federal agents have been rounding up protesters in a similar way.