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Back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0
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Back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0

Back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0
Photo Credit: � 2018 Cox Media Group.

Back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0

It was just another newscast this morning for WSB Radio in Atlanta. It was just another newscast on WDBO in Orlando, WHIO in Dayton, WOKV in Jacksonville, and KRMG in Tulsa. But it was much more than that for me, as my voice – my new, computer generated voice – went on the air today, getting me back on the radio for the first time in two years, after my voice was taken away by an unknown neurological disorder.

We call it, Jamie Dupree 2.0, a voice synthesized from recordings of my past news stories, which when paired with a special text-to-speech program, will allow me to go back on the radio,

I tuned in from home to see how it would sound. It all seemed so normal. The anchor reading the intro. “More from Jamie Dupree in Washington.” And then my story played on the radio, just like up until the spring of 2016.

A few hours later, I got to work, and there was breaking news from the Supreme Court, as the Justices sidestepped a ruling on two cases dealing with gerrymandering of legislative district lines.

It all felt so normal. I typed up my story, fed it out to my stations, and it hit the air.

At home it seemed normal. But at work in the Capitol, when it played out in real time – the moment hit home.

It’s hard to explain how difficult this past two years has been, both on a professional and personal level. I don’t know if I will ever speak normally again. I don’t if there will be a medical solution for the rare diagnosis that I have – “tongue protrusion dystonia.”

But I want to thank those people in my company who backed this effort to find a solution for my voice problems. And I want to thank the listeners. Your good vibes have made a difference.

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News

  • It was supposed to be a fun ride on a roller coaster, but it ended with a fire department rescue. About a dozen children were stuck atop the roller coaster at Wonderland Amusement Park in Amarillo, Texas, KVII reported. They were at the park for an end-of-the-school-year party when the Mouse Trap got stuck mid-ride. >> Read more trending news  Park officials said they think the ride had an issue because of wind and temperatures at the park, but the 35-year-old ride worked as expected, and stopped when magnetism was indicated on the rails, KVII reported. The children were removed from the ride either via fire department cherry picker or by manually pushing the cars down the track, according to KVII.
  • Alabama Public Television is standing by its decision not to air an episode of the PBS Kids show “Arthur.” The first episode of the 22nd season, titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” features the first gay wedding in the show’s history. In the episode, Arthur’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, marries a chocolatier named Patrick. >> Read more trending news  APT ran a repeat episode instead and said it does not plan to show the season premiere. “Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” APT director of programming Mike McKenzie said in a statement to AL.com. “More importantly — although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards — parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for ‘Arthur’ also watch the program.” Related: 'Arthur' character Mr. Ratburn gets married, comes out as gay on PBS Kids show McKenie told NBC News the station would have taken away parents’ ability to choose what their children watch. “The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not,” he said. “Because of this, we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode.” APT was among many PBS member stations that didn’t air a 2005 episode of the “Arthur” spin off “Postcards From Buster.” In the episode, titled “Sugartime!” the character Buster visits Hinesburg, Vermont, to learn about the production of maple sugar. He meets children who live with their mother and stepmother. The couple are referred to as partners in the episode. WGBH, a member station that produces “Arthur” and “Postcards from Buster,” aired the episode and offered it to other stations, some of which chose to air it.
  • A mile-long, walnut-shaped asteroid with its own moon is set to pass Earth on Saturday, according to scientists. >> Read more trending news  The asteroid, known as 1999 KW4, will come within 3.2 million miles of Earth -- its second-closest approach in the past 20 years, WGRZ-TV reported. While this is considered close it’s still a safe distance from Earth. The asteroid is considered a binary system, meaning it consists of one large asteroid and a smaller moon orbiting it, CNet reported. The Las Cumbres Observatory describes its shape as “slightly squashed at the poles and with a mountain ridge around the equator, which runs all the way around the asteroid. This ridge gives the primary an appearance similar to a walnut or a spinning top.” The asteroid will best be observed Saturday from the Southern Hemisphere. However, stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere may be able to catch a glimpse of it Monday using an 8-inch-diameter telescope, EarthSky.org reported. The next time the asteroid will be visible from Earth will be in 2036, when it will be even closer. More information about viewing 1999 KW4 can be found here.
  • Nasty Nick, Evil Eddie, Junky Jeff and Kim Kong are making a comeback -- on your phone. >> Read more trending news  Those 1980s collectible cards misfits return as a mobile app in “Garbage Pail Kids: The Game,” creator Jago Studios announced in a joint news release with The Topps Company on Tuesday. “Garbage Pail Kids: The Game” is a card collecting and strategy role-playing mobile game available on the App Store. Jago Studios developed the game under license from Topps, which originated the sticker trading cards in 1985 as a parody of the popular Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. The sticker cards even led to a 1987 film, “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.”  Production of the cards stopped in 1988 after sales dwindled, but a new generation of Garbage Pail Kids stickers were introduced in 2003. “An entire generation grew up with the outrageous and satirical character art of the Garbage Pail Kids, imagining what the cards would look like if they were to come to life,” Stuart Drexler, Jago Studios CEO, said in a news release. “We are excited to bring these ’80s icons to mobile and offer GPK fans entertaining new ways to interact with their favorite characters.” The mobile game incorporates fully animated versions of the 1980s cards and beyond to battle against other Garbage Pail Kids, Jago said in its release. “When GPK was originally launched back in the day, mobile games or mobile phones did not exist,” Ira Friedman, vice president of global licensing at Topps, said in a news release. “Thanks to the giant leaps in technology since those early times, our fans can now experience the fun, the thrills, and the visual audaciousness of the Garbage Pail Kids property through their phones— whenever they want.” 
  • A newborn hospitalized in grave condition after police said he was cut from his slain mother’s womb last month has opened his eyes for the first time, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news Police said the boy’s mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, was killed April 23 by a woman she met through a Facebook group geared toward young mothers. Authorities said Clarisa Figueroa, 46, called 911 after cutting the baby from his mother’s body to falsely claim she’d given birth to a child who was not breathing. Tests later confirmed the boy was not Figueroa’s. >> 3 charged in connection with slain pregnant woman found with baby cut from womb The child, who family members have named Yovanny Jardiel, remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition, according to WMAQ-TV. He is not expected to survive. Cecilia Garcia, a student pastor who has been helping Ochoa-Lopez’s family, told CNN she was photographing the baby Sunday as his father, Yovany Lopez, held him at the hospital. 'We were just praying and praying, and he opened his eyes,” Garcia told CNN. “His dad said, ‘Oh my God, he opened his eyes!'' She shared images of Lopez and his son early Monday on Facebook. 'We've been blessed, although this is a really bad tragedy,” Garcia told CNN. “They're such a loving and humble family and it's just so wrong what happened to them.' Authorities said Figueroa plotted for months to get a newborn following the death by natural causes of her adult son, The Associated Press reported. Prosecutors said she strangled Ochoa-Lopez with a coaxial cable while her daughter, 24-year-old Desiree Figueroa, showed the pregnant woman a photo album of Clarisa Figueroa’s late son. >> Woman faked pregnancy for months before killing mother-to-be, cutting baby from womb, reports say Authorities have charged both Figueroas with one count each of first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child. Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend, 40-year-old Piotr Bobak, was also arrested on one count of concealment of a homicide. Police said first responders found Yovanny Jardiel blue after Clarisa Figueroa reported he was not breathing on April 23, according to The Associated Press. They tried to resuscitate the infant and transported the boy to a nearby hospital, where police said he was in grave condition. When Figueroa went to the hospital, doctors who examined her found 'no signs consistent with a woman who had just delivered a baby.' She also had blood on her arms, hands and face that authorities later determined was from Ochoa-Lopez, prosecutors said. It was not clear whether the hospital contacted police. In a statement issued Friday, Christ Medical Center in suburban Oak Lawn declined to comment, citing federal and state regulations. Oak Lawn police said they were not contacted about Figueroa by the medical center or any other agency, including the Chicago Police Department. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has asked the Department of Child and Family Services to determine whether hospital officials followed proper reporting procedures after Figueroa and the baby were brought to the hospital, WLS-TV reported. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The annual Barbacoa & Big Red Festival is a food festival in San Antonio, but organizers are happier when visitors leave their knives at home. >> Read more trending news  Along with stun guns and other weapons, KSAT reported. Officials said they collected more than 600 weapons Sunday during the event, according to the festival’s Facebook page. 'Safety for our patrons is our number one priority. We are very proud to say that not a single altercation or arrest occurred at our festival,' a spokesman for the festival wrote on its Facebook page. Vigilance by festival organizers resulted in no arrests, KENS reported. Event founder DJTONYC said the delays caused by searching bags for weapons were worth it. 'Fast forward to the end of the night, if you want to know how many arrests we had, how many altercations, how many intoxicated people that we had to arrest and kick out, the answer was zero. So I mean, to me, that's successful,' DJTONYC told Spectrum News.