News

Dan Silna
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Dan Silna and his brother Ozzie made mega millions in a deal they made as their Spirits of St. Louis ABA franchise was left out of the NBA merger in 1976. The philanthropist talks about his ownership days, the deal and his passions including a panel discussion called "Lessons From the Munich Olympics" moderated by his former play-by-play man Bob Costas.

Silna rarely gives interviews, but he opens up in this SportsJam segment especially when talking about his family and his days as an owner in the ABA.

Meb Keflezighi
Doug Doyle for WBGO

2004 Olympic Silver Medalist Meb Keflezighi overcame tremendous odds to become a champion marathoner. Keflezighi, who won the NYC Marathon in 2009, says his most satisfying run was his victory at the Boston Marathon in 2014. The San Diego resident competed in the Rio Games this past summer at the age of 41.

In this edition of SportsJam with Doug Doyle, Keflezighi, who is also an author, talks about his journey, his family and his amazing running career.

John O'Boyle

  

We're wrapping up our celebration of Newark's 350th Anniversary with a story from Sakina Pitts.

In 1990, Pitts was an 8th grader at Chancellor Elementary School in Newark.

And for most 8th graders, graduating elementary school is the beginning of their journey in figuring out what they want to be when they grow up.

This was definitely the case for Pitts, whose path paved its way back to her elementary school as its principal.

John O'Boyle

  

In the heart of the Ironbound section of Newark, in an old brick factory building, sits the Shifman Mattress Company. Shifman has been making mattresses by hand at that location for the past 123 years.

The work of hand-stitching mattresses is physically challenging, but many employees are loyal to the company and stay for decades.

John O'Boyle

  

The history of Newark is full of stories of the many housing projects that came to define the city. It's actually where the city got it's beloved nickname -- Brick City. Most of the projects are now a distant memory, either torn down or boarded up and abandoned. However, the people and the stories remain engrained in the fabric of the city.

Newark Stories: Bill May

Oct 26, 2016
John O'Boyle

  

Bill May has been photographing the worlds most famous jazz musicians for decades. He also taught music to children in Newark for forty years and retired as the district's Director of Artistic and performing arts.

He found inspiration early in his life from his father, Boyd Vernon May, a man of faith who was a working man by day, and musician by night.

Boyd Vernon May died in 1993.

John O'Boyle

Perched atop a hill on Martin Luther King Blvd in the heart of Newark’s central ward sits a soaring and powerful remnant of Newark’s rich history as an industrial giant, the famed Kruger-Scott Mansion.

The 26-room mansion, built in 1887 by German immigrant turned wealthy beer baron Gottfried Kruger, is one of the remaining symbols of the wealth that once permeated throughout the city.

In 1933, when Hitler came to power in Germany, there was a place on Springfield Avenue in Newark, called Schwaben-Halle, where Nazis used to gather.

But Newark had its own anti-Nazi groups along the same time.

One man, a boxer named Nat Arno was a strongman for one of the anti-Nazi groups. His friends and family - sister Rose Yannick, wife Ann Arno, and fellow boxers Dave Halper and Bernie Callatane - describe how Nat struck a powerful blow for Jewish families in Newark.

John O'Boyle

In the mid 1970s, Newark, New Jersey​-native Tracey Norman was the first African American transgender model to work in the beauty industry. She did so undetected.

Tracey graced the pages of fashion magazines all over the world including Essence​ and Vogue Italia​, and was best known for appearing on a box of Clairol​ hair color, before her outing nearly ended her career.

John O'Boyle

Khali Raymond​ is 17 years old, and he's has written six books. His experience in writing and self-publishing earned the recognition of Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka​, who hosted his first official book signing at City Hall.

Only a senior at East Side High School, Kahli already envisions a day where he'll be honored with a key to the city for his accomplishments. He sat down to talk about what life was like before he finished writing his first novel "The Ballad of Sidney Hill."

John O'Boyle

In honor of Newark, New Jersey​'s 350th Anniversary, we’re bringing you Newark Stories — voices from unheard Newarkers, from the Ironbound to Weequahic to University Heights.

Here we celebrate one of the oldest Irish pubs still operating not only in Newark, but in New Jersey. McGovern’s Tavern began serving the people of the central ward in 1936.

John O'Boyle

Rayvon Lisbon was born in 1989. When he was just six years old, he was separated from his mother and grew up moving from one foster home to the next. As a teenager in South Ward, he doubted his chances of getting out of high school, and barely let himself dream of attending college.

But in 2015, Rayvon graduated from Rutgers – Newark with a degree in Sociology.

Newark Stories: Charles Tally

Oct 7, 2016
John O'Boyle

In honor of Newark, New Jersey​'s 350th Anniversary, we’re bringing you Newark Stories — voices from unheard Newarkers, from the Ironbound to Weequahic to University Heights.

Here we revisit the glory days at Weequahic High School​ in 1966 and 1967.

68-year old Charles Tally was on the boys’s basketball team that won back to back state championships, the first time ever for a Newark high school.

John O'Boyle

In honor of this city's 350th Anniversary, we’re bringing you Newark’s stories — voices from unheard Newarkers, from the Ironbound to Weequahic to University Heights.

Today we’re heading to the North Ward, with a story from Mae Smith from 1982. That was the year that Newark first hired female police officers — just nine of them — to patrol the city. They faced skepticism and discrimination, but Mae stuck with it for 25 years. She recently sat down to talk about what those early years were like.

John O'Boyle

In honor of this city's 350th Anniversary, we’re bringing you Newark’s stories — voices from unheard Newarkers… from the Ironbound to Weequahic to University Heights. Our first is from a landmark restaurant, downtown.

David Rozenholc, The Lawyer Who Took on Trump

Jun 3, 2016
Rozenholc
David Rozenholc

David Rozenholc is the tenant lawyer who took on Donald Trump in one of the most famous cases in New York City real estate history. Rozenholc prevented Trump's wrecking ball from demolishing a building and evicting the tenants from their apartments at 100 Central Park South now called Trump Parc East.

Crain's Business called Rozenholc a lawyer that powerful landlords and developers dread facing in court.

Mario F. Gallucci, "Mr. Acquittal"

Apr 8, 2016
Mario Galluci
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Mario F. Gallucci, a criminal attorney whose twitter handle is @MrAcquittal, has defended some of the most controversial clients in New York City history. Gallucci represented a dental surgeon who made millions of dollars harvesting and selling body parts, including the remains of Alistair Cooke, the late host of Masterpiece Theater. He is a legal analyst on the New York 1 Cable News station and has his own reality television show, Partners in Crime.

Originally published April 1, 2016.

WBGO's Alexandra Hill chats with Miles' son Erin Davis as well as his nephew Vince Wilburn Jr. about the near decade long process of making the film, starring Don Cheadle, and what it was like to bring the jazz icon to life on screen.

Chuck Stewart
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Some of Chuck Stewart's most famous photos of jazz musicians are now on display in the WBGO hallways. Stewart, born in 1927, is best known for his portraits of  jazz singers and musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis, as well as artists in the R&B and salsa genres.

Stewart's photographs have graced more than 2,000 album covers.  Stewart, who lives in Teaneck, NJ, talked about the process of shooting a star musician:

Father Brendan Forde, The Friar in Blue Jeans

Mar 25, 2016
Father Brendan Forde
Father Brendan Forde for WBGO

Father Brendan Forde is a Franciscan priest from Ireland who preaches peace and serves the most vulnerable people in Central and South America. Father Forde, who was featured in the documentary, "The Friar in Blue Jeans," has helped the homeless caught in the cross fires of the Colombia drug wars, administered to people in the leper colonies of the Amazon, and counseled the poor in Chile, El Salvador and Guatemala. His father fought in the April 24 1916 "Easter Rising" in Dublin against the British by Irish Republicans.

Aracelis Lucero, Mentoring NYC's Mexican Children

Mar 12, 2016
Aracelis Lucero
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Aracelis Lucero, a former Wall Street executive who was raised in the South Bronx, has rededicated her life to mentoring the thousands of documented and undocumented Mexican children in New York City. Lucero, executive director of Masa-MexEd, says the youngsters live with the constant fear they will be pulled out of school and deported back to Mexico with their parents. She encourages the Mexican community to make their voices heard in Washington, D.C.

Robin Hirsch: Owner of Cornelia Street Cafe

Feb 26, 2016
Robin Hirsch
Robin Hirsch for WBGO

Robin Hirsch is the owner of The Cornelia Street Cafe, a venerable Greenwich Village institution that the city has proclaimed to be a "culinary and cultural landmark." The cafe has showcased some of the brightest jazz musicians, actors, artists, poets, and writers in New York City.

Hirsch is an author, an Oxford Scholar and "minister of culture and wine czar." He is writing a memoir entitled "The world passes through: stories from the Cornelia Street Cafe."

The David Dinkins Legacy in New York City

Feb 19, 2016
David Dinkins
David Dinkins

David Dinkins made political history in 1990 when he was sworn in as the first African American mayor of New York City.  Dinkins, now a professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, reflected on his historic journey in a June, 2010 on line interview that is being broadcast for the first time.

Talking Ticks with Dr. Brian Fallon

Feb 12, 2016
Dr. Brian Fallon
Dr. Brian Fallon for WBGO

Dr. Brian Fallon is the director of the Lyme and Tick Borne Disease Research Center at the Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Fallon says each year hundreds of thousands of Americans are bitten by ticks and coming down with Lyme and other tick borne diseases.

Dr. Fallon says that vacation hot spots like Cape Cod, the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, Northern California, Western Massachusetts, and Vermont all are dealing with tick infestations.  Dr. Fallon warns that walks in the woods, picking blue berries, or cavorting in a pile of leaves, can be hazardous to your health.

Wall Street Journal reporter Kejal Vyas is Fearless

Jan 29, 2016
Kejal Vyas
Kejal Vyas for WBGO

Kejal Vyas is the regional correspondent in South America for The Wall Street Journal. He recently moved to Bogota, Colombia, after spending five years in Caracas, a city considered the most violent in the world.

Vyas explains in detail how he survived in a place where people drive through stop lights to avoid being held up, where police are killed for their weapons and residents are urged to stay in their homes after seven at night, even in upscale neighborhoods.

George McDonald and Harriet Karr-McDonald
The Doe Fund

George McDonald and Harriet Karr-McDonald are the founders of the Doe Fund, a non-profit organization that trains and houses homeless men in New York City and Philadelphia who are "Ready, Willing and Able" to work. The men are ex-drug addicts, ex-offenders and military veterans transitioning back into society. The organization was named in honor of a homeless woman known as "Mama Doe" who died of exposure on Christmas Morning 1985 in Grand Central Terminal.

Ken Thompson: Overturning Wrongful Convictions

Dec 10, 2015
Ken Thompson
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson lost his battle with cancer in October of 2016.  Thompson was 50.  Thompson made history in 2013 when he became the first African American to be elected Brooklyn District Attorney.

Thompson's enduring legacy includes the formation of a Conviction Review Unit which overturned the wrongful imprisonment of 21 people, winning national applause and attention.

Dr. Michael Crane: Treating 9/11 First Responders

Dec 7, 2015
Dr. Michael Crane
Dr. Michael Crane for WBGO

Dr. Michael Crane directs the World Trade Center Health Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai that treats the devastating medical and psychological problems of the first responders to the 9/11 attack.

Congress finally allocated the money needed to to renew the James Zadroga 911 Health and Compensation Act that provides funds to treat the first responders. The law is named after a New York City detective who who died after spending more than 450 hours at Ground Zero.

Click above to hear the entire Conversations with Allan Wolper featuring Dr. Michael Crane.

Roma Torre: Proud Daughter of Journalism Pioneer

Nov 27, 2015
Roma Torre
Roma Torre for WBGO

Roma Torre is the Emmy Award winning anchor of Time Warner Cable's NY1 News and the theater critic for NY1 On Stage. She has used her celebrity to promote colonoscopies after she underwent successful colon cancer surgery.

Roma is the daughter of the late Marie Torre.

Marie Torre made journalism history in 1959 as a columnist for the now defunct New York Herald Tribune when she served 10 days in Hudson County Jail in Jersey City, New Jersey for refusing to disclose her source in a CBS controversy involving actress Judy Garland.

Martin Garbus: A Fierce Fighter for Free Speech

Nov 23, 2015
Martin Garbus
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Martin Garbus, a winner of the PEN First Amendment Award of honor, is one of the country's fiercest fighters for free speech. Garbus also received the James Joyce Award from the University of Dublin for Excellence in Law and the New York University Law Alumni Achievement Award.

Garbus' boldface clients included Robert Redford, Nelson Mandela, Tom Brokaw, Spike Lee, Michael Bloomberg and the neo Nazis. He is writing a memoir of the Cuban Five, a case he calls the worst in American Legal history.

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