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US Postal Service to unveil Mister Rogers postage stamp

It's a beautiful day to honor Mister Rogers with a postage stamp.

The U.S. Postal Service is releasing a stamp featuring Fred Rogers, the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

The "forever" stamp goes on sale Friday. It pictures Rogers in his trademark cardigan along with King Friday, a puppet character from the show's Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Postal officials are holding a dedication ceremony at the Pittsburgh studio where Rogers filmed his beloved PBS show, which aired between 1968 and 2001. Rogers died in 2003 at age 74.

Among those planning to attend the ceremony are Rogers' widow and David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely, the deliveryman on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

Rep: Lorna Luft has successful brain surgery for tumor

A representative for Lorna Luft says the singer has had successful brain surgery after being diagnosed with a tumor.

Victoria Varela told The Associated Press on Thursday that Luft had the surgery to remove the tumor on Tuesday at a hospital in Los Angeles and is expected to be released soon.

The daughter of Judy Garland and sister of Liza Minnelli collapsed earlier this month backstage after a concert and was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Varela says Luft thanks her fans for their support and also her doctors for taking good care of her. Luft says she plans to reschedule her concerts in England.

Luft also is in remission after fighting breast cancer.

Communist Party will regulate China's media, film industry

Chinese state media will be getting more propaganda now that the Communist Party has announced it will be in direct control of broadcasters and the regulators of everything from movies and TV to books and radio programs.

The move is part of a push by President Xi Jinping — emboldened by the removal of term limits on his time in office — to tighten party supervision over broad swaths of Chinese public life as he pushes for what he calls "unity in thought" among officials and citizens.

Analysts say having direct oversight of the media will help the party hammer home its message domestically and also work to improve its image internationally.

"It's one vast effort to get everybody thinking together," said David Zweig, director of the Center on China's Transnational Relations at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Under the plan announced Wednesday, China Radio International, China National Radio and China Central Television, along with its international broadcast arm, China Global Television Network, will be merged into a new body with a name that translates to "Voice of China."

The government's regulator of the press and print publications, radio, film and television will cease to exist and its responsibilities and resources will be transferred to the party's Central Propaganda Department, along with control over the film industry, including the import and export of movies.

The new body's chief responsibilities include "implementing the party's propaganda guidelines and policies," the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The Communist Party newspaper Global Times quoted government expert Feng Yue of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as saying the move will "concentrate the resources and authority to improve China's influence overseas and promote China's international image."

While Chinese media consumers have grown increasingly apolitical with an ever-expanding range of options, from foreign television shows to video games and online shopping, Xi has been steadily increasing the role of the party in the lives of many through new or newly invigorated branch committees in schools, offices and factories.

That could leave ordinary Chinese with "little choice" but to become active consumers of propaganda, Zweig said.

Writing on the website of the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong, editor David Bandurski said the change gave the Propaganda Department — which formerly provided broad overall guidance of the media message — direct control over output.

"And that is largely the point that comes through here — the tighter, more centralized control of media and ideology," Bandurski said.

As its name suggests, the new media monolith appears modeled on outlets such as the U.S.'s Voice of America or Russia's Russia Today, now known simply as RT.

Xi has repeatedly stressed the role of state media as the party's "throat and tongue" — the equivalent of "mouthpiece" — especially since a 2016 visit to Xinhua and other major outlets during which he further reinforced the message by saying such outlets must "take the 'party' as their surname."

At the same time, China has faced opposition to its moves to consolidate territorial claims in the South China Sea and rapid economic expansion overseas, as embodied by Xi's signature trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure initiative to tie China to Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa through roads, railways, ports and power plants.

China has spent vast sums to boost its overseas media presence in recent years, with CCTV opening broadcast centers in Washington and Nairobi, Kenya, and the English-language China Daily newspaper paying to have itself included as an insert in esteemed American papers such as the Washington Post.

Yet those efforts face an uphill battle in competing with well-established global media outlets such as CNN and the BBC, while much of the reporting on China smacks of party propaganda in contrast to reports about the country by foreign media outlets.

Cao Peixin, a professor at the Television School under Beijing's Communication University of China that has long trained much of the country's on-air talent, said the reorganization fits the trend toward greater efficiency and media convergence, but would also help present a more unified political message.

Integrating the various departments may not be easy, however, Cao said.

"If the system cannot be established in a modern, efficient and very flexible way, it will be very difficult for many organizations to work in step," he said.

Weather Channel sold to independent studio, distributor

The Weather Channel is under new ownership.

Entertainment Studios Inc., an independent movie and TV producer and distributor, said Thursday it's acquired the channel's parent company, Weather Group.

Byron Allen, founder and owner of Entertainment Studios, bought the Weather Group from the Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast-NBCUniversal, Entertainment Studios said.

"The Weather Channel is a phenomenal asset," Allen said in an interview. "It is the No. 1 weather news network in America. It's a network that's very important, that provides us information to protect our families and our lives."

The purchase price for the channel and Local Now, a news streaming service, reportedly was $300 million. Entertainment Studios declined to confirm the figure.

Bain, Blackstone and Comcast-NBCUniversal bought the Weather Channel Cos. from Landmark Communications in 2008 for a reported $3.5 billion. The new owners sold digital assets including the website for a reported $2 billion-plus to IBM in 2015.

Allen called the Weather Channel "an American treasure" that he intends to expand.

"We're just honored to be able to own and take it to the next level," he said. "They're already doing great, we're just going to invest more to position it for greater success" domestically and internationally.

Meteorologist Jim Cantore is among the familiar faces at the basic cable channel that's available in more than 80 million North American homes.

In a statement, Weather Channel CEO Dave Shull said Allen's ownership will benefit its viewers, distributors and advertisers.

Entertainment Studios owns seven TV channels, including and Justice, which are distributed online and by pay-TV providers.

It also owns, a website devoted to African-American stories and issues.

Allen said the purchase of the Weather Group was completed Thursday morning through his company Allen Media LLC.

Prosecutor: Decision in Prince case coming in "near future"

A prosecutor in Minnesota says he's reviewing law enforcement reports about Prince's death and will make a decision on possible charges "in the near future."

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz says in a statement that investigative data in the case remains active and isn't public information until a charging decision is made.

Authorities did release autopsy data to Prince's siblings after an agreement and a judge's order that calls for strict rules requiring confidentiality.

Attorneys for Prince's siblings asked for the information so they can pursue possible litigation. Metz says he plans to address the release of other investigative data the family wants at a hearing next week.

Prince was 57 when he died at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016, of an accidental fentanyl overdose.

Suit settled in death of Anton Yelchin, actor crushed by SUV

The parents of Anton Yelchin have reached a settlement with the makers of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the SUV that crushed and killed the "Star Trek" actor in his driveway in 2016.

The confidential settlement agreement between Victor and Irina Yelchin and Fiat Chrysler was filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Fiat Chrysler said in a statement Thursday that it is "pleased that we've reached an amicable resolution in this matter" and that the car company continues to "extend our deepest sympathies to the Yelchin family for their tragic loss."

Messages left for Yelchin family attorney Gary Dordick were not immediately returned.

The actor was killed at age 27 when his 2015 Cherokee rolled backward down a driveway of his Los Angeles home, pinning him between a mailbox and a security fence.

"Anton Yelchin was crushed and lingered alive for some time, trapped and suffocating until his death," the lawsuit stated.

The Cherokee model was among 1.1 million vehicles recalled about two months earlier when regulators said its gear shifters were confusing drivers, causing the SUVs to roll away unexpectedly and leading to dozens of injuries.

The wrongful death and product liability lawsuit alleged that those gear selectors were the cause of the actor's death.

"In spite of our unbelievable grief, we decided to come here to prevent other families from the same tragedy," Victor Yelchin said when the lawsuit was filed.

Anton Yelchin had dozens of film and television credits that included voices for the "Smurfs" movies and the Netflix TV show "Trollhunters," but is probably best known as Pavel Chekov in the rebooted "Star Trek" movie franchise.


Follow Andrew Dalton on Twitter at

Former Fox News anchor sues O'Reilly for defamation

A former Fox News anchor filed a defamation lawsuit on Thursday over comments by Bill O'Reilly it says were meant to damage the reputations of women who have accused him of harassment.

The suit by Laurie Dhue in federal court in Manhattan accuses O'Reilly of engaging in a "smear campaign" against his accusers after the former prime-time star or Fox settled their claims for millions of dollars. At least three other women have filed similar suits.

"As part of his desperate campaign to clear his name, O'Reilly published false statements about Dhue . calling her a liar, swearing that her allegations were fabricated in an effort to obtain a settlement," according to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages. It also accuses him of "falsely asserting that her purported claims against O'Reilly were politically motivated."

Fox ousted O'Reilly last year after The New York Times reported that at least five women with professional ties to him had received payouts totaling $13 million to settle claims of sexual harassment and other misbehavior. The newspaper said Dhue received $1 million.

There was no immediate response on Thursday to a request for comment from one of O'Reilly's lawyers. In court papers filed earlier this week in the suits brought by the three other women, his lawyers called the defamation claims "frivolous and wholly unsupported in law or fact."

CNN chief Jeff Zucker says Fox News is propaganda machine

CNN chief Jeff Zucker sharply attacked the network's rivals at Fox News Channel on Thursday, saying that it has become a propaganda machine that is "doing an incredible disservice to the country."

Zucker spoke at the Financial Times Future of News conference two days after a former Fox military analyst quit, claiming he was ashamed at the way the network's opinion hosts were backing President Donald Trump. Zucker said that analyst, Ralph Peters, voiced what a lot of people have been thinking about Fox in the post-Roger Ailes era.

"What has happened to that network in the last 18 months, especially the last year, is that it has just turned itself into state-run TV," Zucker said. "TASS has nothing on them," he said in reference to the Russian news agency.

There was no immediate comment from a Fox representative.

However, Trump's former White House strategist, Steve Bannon, said later at the same conference that Zucker's comments were absurd. He said "you can't name a more propaganda outfit than CNN."

"Every night it's 'hate Trump,'" Bannon said. He questioned why anyone wasn't fired at CNN after the 2016 election results took many people by surprise.

Fox has maintained its ratings lead with a prime-time opinion lineup led by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. Together with MSNBC's left-leaning lineup, the two political talk networks are frequently the most popular destinations for viewers on cable television. Fox and MSNBC have been widening their lead in prime time over CNN, which recently announced that Chris Cuomo would join its prime-time lineup.

Zucker said that Fox has "a handful of good journalists but they get lost in the propaganda machine."

"The idea that they are a news channel is really not accurate at all," he said.

Zucker's network has been on the receiving end of withering criticism from Trump during his presidency. He's repeatedly referred to CNN as "fake news" when he doesn't like its coverage. Zucker said Trump's criticisms are not going to stop CNN from doing its job of holding leaders accountable.

But he said the Trump has created an atmosphere of hostility toward reporters that has spread from the U.S. across the world.

"He doesn't even understand the danger he is creating for journalists and the danger he is creating for news organizations," Zucker said.

However, he said the Trump administration has helped news organizations raise their games to cover what is going on.

"He has made American journalism great again," Zucker said.

Panic! At the Disco announces new album and tour

Fresh off of a surprise show in Cleveland, Panic! At the Disco has announced a new tour and album.

Billboard reported that the album, called “Pray for the Wicked,” will be released June 22.

>> Read more trending news 

“After being away in New York for months doing Kinky Boots, I just wanted to hang out at home when I got back to LA,” Panic! At the Disco lead singer Brendon Urie said in a statement. “I was so revved up that I asked some friends to come over to my home studio to help me write about all the incredible things I’ve experienced the last couple of years. ‘Pray For The Wicked’ is my thank you to our fans and the most fun I’ve ever had making album.”

“Pray for the Wicked” is available for pre-order. According to a news release, fans who pre-order the 11-track album will get a pre-sale code for early access to tickets. Pre-sale starts March 30 at 9 a.m. local time. General tickets go on sale March 30 at 12 p.m. local time. Singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko and rock band Arizona will be guests on some tour dates.

To coincide with the record, the pop-punk group is going on an arena tour in the U.S. starting July 11 and ending Aug. 15

Dates for the “Pray for the Wicked Tour” are below. More information on tickets, guests and dates can be found at the Panic! At the Disco official website

July 11 -  Minneapolis at Target CenterJuly 13 - Indianapolis at Bankers Life FieldhouseJuly 14 - Detroit at Little Caesars ArenaJuly 15 - Columbus, Ohio, at Nationwide ArenaJuly 17 - Chicago at United CenterJuly 18 - Pittsburgh at PPG Paints ArenaJuly 20 - Uniondale, New York, at NYCB Live: Nassau ColiseumJuly 21 - Baltimore, at Royal Farms ArenaJuly 22 - Toronto at Air Canada CentreJuly 24 - New York at Madison Square GardenJuly 25 - Boston at TD GardenJuly 27 - Philadelphia at Wells Fargo CenterJuly 28 - Raleigh, North Carolina, at NC ArenaJuly 29 - Duluth, Georgia, at Infinite Energy CenterJuly 31 - Sunrise, Florida, at BB&T CenterAug. 1 - Tampa, Florida, at Amalie ArenaAug. 3 - Houston at Toyota CenterAug. 4 - Dallas at American Airlines CenterAug. 5 - Tulsa, Oklahoma, at BOK CenterAug. 7 - Denver at Pepsi CenterAug. 8 - Salt Lake City at Vivint Smart Home ArenaAug. 10 - Seattle at KeyArenaAug. 11 - Vancouver, British Columbia, at Rogers ArenaAug. 12 - Portland, Oregon, at Moda CenterAug. 14 - San Jose, California, at SAP CenterAug. 15 - Los Angeles  at STAPLES CenterAug. 17 - Glendale, Arizona, Gila River ArenaAug. 18 - Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena

Jim Parsons says he's fortunate to have worked with Hawking

Jim Parsons cherished the opportunity to work with Stephen Hawking, but admitted he was a bit intimidated to meet the celebrated theoretical physicist.

Hawking or his voice appeared in seven episodes of Parsons' hit series "The Big Bang Theory."

"So much of our show is related, based on, adjacent to everything that Stephen Hawking did, strove to do, thought about, was passionate about through his entire life and career. The fact that he knew of our show, was interested in being on it, was willing to come play with us group of monkeys for a couple days was really moving," said Parson.

"It was just, it was an amazing experience. It was an intimidating one. I'd be lying if I said I was comfortable. ... To get to finally meet him was, it was just overwhelming," he continued. "And it's one of the things that's kind of bittersweet in a way because once he's passed now and now we're talking about him, it really hammers home how fortunate I was to get to be with him.

"At the time, it was just like this is neat and I know it's neat intellectually, but emotionally all I can think of is 'I want to get out of here before I embarrass myself,'" Parsons said.

Hawking, who died March 14 at age 76, became the public face of science genius. He also appeared on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and voiced himself in "The Simpsons."

"His willingness to be part of our world, to come and be part of our show, was an extraordinary acknowledgement ... it felt like maybe we were doing something worthwhile that he would agree to participate, you know? He first was on the show six years ago and it was hard to believe this is really happening, you know? We were really lucky. We got to work and spend time with Stephen Hawking. I mean how blessed is that? How fortunate can you get?" said "Big Bang" executive producer Chuck Lorre.

The "Big Bang" cast came together Wednesday for PaleyFest, the annual television festival in Los Angeles.

Cosby wants judge ousted over wife's sex-assault advocacy

Bill Cosby's lawyers are asking the judge in his upcoming sexual assault retrial to step aside, arguing he could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker who's described herself as an "advocate for assault victims."

Cosby's lawyers said Thursday that some of Judge Steven O'Neill's rulings, including his decision to let five additional accusers testify, could give the appearance he's influenced by his wife's work.

Deborah O'Neill is the coordinator of a University of Pennsylvania sexual trauma outreach team. She wrote her dissertation on acquaintance rape.

The O'Neills did not immediately respond to messages.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he assaulted a woman at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004. His first trial ended in a hung jury. His retrial is scheduled for April 2.


For more on the Cosby trial, go to

On Israeli posters, Paddington Bear gets kosher for Passover

In Israel, Paddington Bear eats his marmalade on matzo.

On some posters advertising the new film, "Paddington 2," the British movie creation is being given a kosher-for-Passover makeover.

Elsewhere, Paddington Bear holds his trademark bread and marmalade sandwich shaped as a 2. In Israel, his marmalade is spread on a 2-shaped matzo — the unleavened bread eaten during Passover.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli distributor said Thursday the campaign is meant as a nod to the holiday, which starts next week.

During the holiday, bread and other items made from yeast disappear from store shelves. Instead, Jews eat matzo to illustrate how the Israelites had no time to let their bread rise as they fled from bondage in Egypt.

Jill Scott won’t have to pay estranged husband spousal support

Jill Scott won’t have to pay her husband spousal support. 

Bossip reported that, according to court documents, a Tennessee judge has denied the 45-year-old singer’s estranged husband, Mike Dobson, spousal support.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the gossip site, the judge has enforced the estranged couple’s prenuptial agreement. Under that agreement, Scott and Dobson agreed to not seek spousal support, alimony, or maintenance and that no “marital property” would come from the union.

Court papers said the judge still had the right to throw out the prenup should something happen that calls it into question, Bossip reported.

Scott and Dobson married in June 2016. Scott filed for divorce in November 2017. 

Sealed and delivered: Royal wedding invitations dispatched

Time to check that mailbox.

Kensington Palace said Thursday that invitations for the wedding between Prince Harry and his American fiancée Meghan Markle have been dispatched.

Some 600 people have been invited to the May 19 nuptials at noon at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. All 600 have also been invited to a lunchtime reception given by Queen Elizabeth II at St George's Hall.

Harry and Markle will also celebrate with some 200 guests at a private evening reception given by Charles at Frogmore House, a royal mansion near Windsor Castle.

The palace declined to comment on who is on the list.

The invitations, which are beveled and gilded along the edges, feature Prince Charles' three-feather badge embossed in gold. They feature italic writing on thick white card, and are issued under the name of Charles, father of the groom.

The invitations revealed the dress code for wedding guests: Uniform, morning coat or lounge suit for men, or day dress with a hat for ladies.

The stationery was made by Barnard & Westwood, which has held the Royal Warrant for printing and bookbinding since 1985.

Windsor Castle is a smaller venue compared to London's Westminster Abbey, where Harry's brother Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011. That royal wedding packed in 1,900 guests.

Fred Savage denies abuse on set of 'The Grinder'

Fred Savage says allegations in a lawsuit that he was abusive to a woman on the set of the Fox series "The Grinder" are "absolutely untrue."

Costumer Youngjoo Hwang claims in the suit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles, that Savage berated her, struck her arm and behaved aggressively toward female employees. She also alleges 20th Century Fox Television refused to investigate her complaints.

In a statement, Savage said he has watched "brave women" come forward in the past few months to fight the "shame and stigma of harassment." The 41-year-old said it never dawned on him that his name "could be on the other side."

Fox said in a statement the company investigated and "found no evidence of wrongdoing." The company called the allegations "unfounded."

Queen Latifah’s mother, Rita Owens, dies after battling heart failure

After more than a decade of battling heart failure, Rita Owens, the mother of actress, rapper and singer Queen Latifah, has died.

Latifah issued a statement Wednesday confirming the news to Essence.

>> Read more trending news 

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” the statement said. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”

“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over. I am heart broken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latif‎ah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”

People reported that Latifah shared an Instagram post of her mother Wednesday night. 

“143,” she captioned the post. The numbers mean “I love you.”

Heart failure, according to the American Heart Association, is a chronic, progressive condition that “occurs when the heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen.”

Owens was diagnosed with the condition in 2004 after passing out while teaching at a New Jersey high school.

In 2015, Latifah opened up to People about caring for her mother’s heart failure. 

“We’ve learned a new us,” Latifah said at the time. “We’ve gotten a lot closer and we’ve learned each other on a whole different, deeper level.”

“As a caregiver – it’s just like being a parent, like some things really don’t matter,” Latifah said. “All the kind of frivolous things sort of fall to the side because there’s something way more important than all that. And when we go through these things together as a family, I realize, these are the important things, these are the important moments.”

Publisher of Theranos book moves up release date to May

The publisher of an investigative book on blood testing startup Theranos has moved up the release date from October to this spring.

"Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" was written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist John Carreyrou, who in The Wall Street Journal first raised questions about the company's blood-testing technology.

Alfred A. Knopf announced Thursday that publication is now scheduled for May 21. Carreyrou has interviewed more than 150 people, including dozens of former Theranos employees.

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Theranos and company founder Elizabeth Holmes with a "massive fraud." Holmes, a Stanford University dropout once billed as the "next Steve Jobs," has forfeited control of Theranos and will pay $500,000 in fines.

Queen Latifah's mom, Rita Owens, has died

Queen Latifah is mourning the death of her mother.

In a statement, the singer and actress says Rita Owens died Wednesday after struggling with a heart condition for many years. The statement did not given her mother's age or say where the death occurred.

She was diagnosed with heart trouble in 2004.

Queen Latifah, whose real name is Dana Owens, says her mom was "the love of my life."

She described her mother as gentle, strong, sweet and sassy.

There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.

Without a voice, DC reporter Jamie Dupree's work still resonates across the US

A familiar Cox Radio voice is determined to be heard again.

>> On Cox DC bureau reporter loses voice in medical mystery

Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree has spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill, but nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.

>> The radio silence of Jamie Dupree

Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak.

“It’s hard, but I am working to come back hard,” Dupree tells WSB Radio.

>> Read Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider blog here

He is now hoping a meeting with specialists at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta will help him figure out why he lost his voice. 

And the reporter in him has not quit.

“He still does interviews; he feeds us audio,” WSB Radio News Director Chris Camp says. Dupree also covers Congress via Facebook, Twitter and Cox Media Group websites. 

>> DC reporter Jamie Dupree honored on House floor

“He may not be able to talk, but boy you can hear him awful loud,” Camp adds.

Dupree is thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that is not what he says hurts him the most.

“Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”

>> WATCH: WSB-TVs Berndt Petersen speaks with Jamie about his struggle over the past couple years

Dupree says Emory researchers are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of his tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.

“Even though he can't speak, Jamie is still the most trusted voice in Washington DC,” WSB Radio’s Bill Caiaccio says of his colleague and friend. “He was already the hardest working reporter in our nation’s capital, and now he works even harder to get the job done.”

WSB Radio anchor Chris Chandler echoes those sentiments, saying, "I've always said Jamie is the most valuable on-air presence on our stations, and he still is.

“There's not a word of news from Washington that he hasn't reported and broken down for us.”

Mark Arum, WSB Radio traffic anchor and talk show host, adds that Dupree is an invaluable resource: “He might have lost his voice, but he still has the drive to get the story and get it right.”

>> Read more trending news 

Sabrina Cupit, who anchors midday for WSB Radio, says Dupree is so much more than his voice: “His knowledge of Washington, his connections, his balanced reporting; they are all still a major part of what we do on air every day here at WSB.

“Personally, I have never met a kinder, more honest or just downright great human being in my life. I am praying for the return of his voice. I do miss hearing it.”

Get Dupree's take on what's happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday by clicking here.

Jamie Dupree is a reporter for the Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau. 

US poet laureate Tracy K. Smith to serve second term

U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith will serve a second term.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced Thursday that Smith has been reappointed for 2018-2019.

The library said that Smith would continue her focus on bringing poetry to rural communities.

She has also edited "American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time," scheduled for publication in September by Graywolf Press, in coordination with the library. The anthology includes contributions by former poets laureate Natasha Trethewey and Charles Wright and will be used by Smith for her visits around the country.

Smith said in a statement that she valued poetry as a way to expose people to different voices and perspectives. She has published four books of poetry and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for "Life on Mars."

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