Local Newscaster Enjoys Celebrity Status At Charity Fun Run

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Vol 35 Issue 36

Area Bar Used To Be Cool; Now Lame

EAST LANSING, MI—Michigan State University seniors reported Tuesday that Sparty's Tavern, once the coolest bar in East Lansing, has deteriorated into a state of total lameness. "Man, I remember my first year here, Sparty's was the place to go Friday nights," said communications major Chad Resnick. "Now it's all full of freshmen and stuff." Psychology major Caryn Trimble agreed, adding, "They used to have $2 pitchers on Wednesdays. And the jukebox used to have the coolest music, like Bob Marley and Dave Matthews. Now it's all just Top 40 shit."

Local Man Casually Mentions Upcoming Birthday

DURANGO, CO—Awareness of Donald Shrifkin's upcoming birthday was raised among his co-workers Monday, when the soon-to-be 38-year-old casually mentioned the special day during a departmental meeting. "Yeah, so, I'm gonna be out of the office on Friday, because it's my birthday, and I'm taking the day off to make a three-day weekend out of it," Shrifkin told a group of fellow sales representatives. None of Shrifkin's co-workers said they intend to mark the occasion in any manner whatsoever.

CNN To Get All Information From In-House Channel 'CNN-CNN'

ATLANTA—In a telejournalism first, CNN announced Monday that from now on, all of its information will come from its own 24-hour, closed-circuit news channel, "CNN-CNN." "The old method of gathering news, in which information was culled from the Associated Press, Reuters, our own reporters and the other 24-hour news channels, was inefficient and needlessly complicated," CNN owner Ted Turner said. "Now, we have a single, consolidated, in-house news source to which CNN can turn exclusively." If the venture is successful, an airport version of CNN-CNN, CNN-CNN-Airport News, will be launched for traveling CNN reporters.

Rookie Cop Laying On The Jargon A Little Thick

CHICAGO—Four days after joining the Chicago Police Department, Officer Patrick Finley of the 18th Precinct is laying on the jargon a little thick, it was reported Monday. "Yesterday, he got on the radio and called for a 'black-and-white' instead of a 'squad car,'" said Ray Podriewski, Finley's partner. "Not only is 'black and white' movie jargon dating back to the 1940s, but our cars are blue and white, for God's sake. Then, as if that weren't bad enough, he calls the handcuffs 'bracelets.'" Podriewski said Finley later added insult to injury when he referred to the police as "the fuzz." "First of all," Podriewski said, "that's what criminals supposedly call the police. Second of all, even they don't really say it.

Cher's 'Believe' Now Faintly Audible Everywhere In America

GREAT SALT LAKE DESERT, UT—Building upon its presence in every health club, supermarket, bank, clothing store and waiting room in the U.S., Cher's "Believe" was heard Monday by bauxite miners working 1.4 miles beneath the Earth's surface in a remote section of the Great Salt Lake Desert, confirming suspicions that the hit dance track is at least faintly audible everywhere in the nation. "My miners said they heard a throbbing synthesizer sound, accompanied by some sort of painful, piercing wail, coming through the granite walls at the bottom of the shaft," said Wilson Mining Works foreman George Connerly. "So we turned off the turbine-powered pressure drills to get a better listen, and, sure enough, it was that Cher song." The ubiquitous "Believe" was also recently heard at the peak of Alaska's Mt. McKinley, in the farthest reaches of Kentucky's Mammoth Cave, and in the middle of a swamp deep within the Florida Everglades.

Reform Party Follies

Among the names being thrown around as potential Reform Party presidential candidates for 2000 are Jesse Ventura, Pat Buchanan, Donald Trump, Cybill Shepherd, Ross Perot and Warren Beatty. What do you think about this wildly diverse assortment of Reform Party presidential hopefuls?
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Local Newscaster Enjoys Celebrity Status At Charity Fun Run

WAUWATONKA, WI—Local newscaster Randall "Herch" Herchwick is no stranger to the spotlight. As a member of WTNK's award-winning Channel 15 Action News Team, his nightly reports on crucial, late-breaking stories are seen by hundreds of people throughout the tri-county area. But the popular TV personality enjoyed a taste of even greater stardom Sunday, when he was the special celebrity host of the 14th Annual Wauwatonka Area Charity Fun Run.

Randall Herchwick

"I guess I'm used to people recognizing me," said the 44-year-old Herchwick, who, in addition to anchoring the 6 p.m. news, co-hosts the weekly Wauwatonka Live At Five. "It happens once or twice a week—at the grocery store, at Sears, at the garage where I get my tires rotated, you name it. But this event was really something special. Seeing all those people and getting a chance to meet so many of my fans in person, well, it really brought home to me just how much of a celebrity I actually am."

The Wauwatonka Area Charity Fun Run—held just outside Wauwatonka in nearby Plovis—consistently attracts big-name celebrities. Past hosts have included such notables as former Wauwatonka mayor Fred Underwood, Big Ed's Bar-B-Que owner Edward "Big Ed" Gartner, and local hair-care expert and beauty-salon manager Lynette Murkowski, winner of the Wauwatonka Chamber of Commerce 1992 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

But despite the star power of these past hosts, the consensus among the estimated 450 people who attended this year's fun run agreed that Herchwick is the biggest luminary to host the proceedings yet.

"Landing a celebrity of Randall Herchwick's magnitude was a real coup for us, and I know it really boosted community participation," said Iris Schmidt of First Federal Bank of Plovis, the event's principal sponsor. "As a TV star, he lent an air of showbiz glamour, truly making this 'an event to remember' for all of us here at Federal Bank Of Plovis—and everyone throughout the greater tri-county region."

As celebrity host, Herchwick's duties included welcoming and "warming up" the crowd before the race, thanking the various event sponsors, and firing the official starter's gun. He also signed 8x10 glossies of himself for fans, distributed free Action News promotional stickers reading, "WTNK—News You Can Use©," and waved to cameras from atop the Channel 15 Action NewsTruck, which was on hand to document the occasion. Footage of Herchwick cheerfully performing his hosting duties was used in a special "WTNK—Reaching Out To The Tri-County Community" feature segment on Action News later that evening.

Participants in the Herchwick-hosted 14th annual Wauwatonka Area Charity Fun Run.

"Of course, being a celebrity, 'Herch' enjoyed a variety of special privileges befitting someone of his status," said event co-organizer Thom Hebelvich. "That's just our way of saying thank you to him for graciously taking time out from his busy schedule to be here with us."

Herchwick not only received a free Wauwatonka Area Charity Fun Run T-shirt, but he was also treated to a special pre-race luncheon at the SkyView Club with race sponsors from throughout the Wauwatonka and Plovis business communities. In addition, he was given full access to the event's "VIP tent," which featured hot dogs, soft drinks and other complimentary food items courtesy of Kathy's Katering.

Fun-run attendees said meeting a star like Herchwick was a real thrill.

"I'd seen him on TV many times, so obviously you can understand how exciting it was to see him in person, up close," said Plovis homemaker Ellen Knapf, who brought her four children to watch the fun run and opening ceremonies. "He looks so different in real life!"

"I couldn't believe it," said another Herchwick fan, Wauwatonka elementary-school teacher Gwendolyn Briars. "I got up right next to him, and when he was signing my autograph, I told him that I'd actually met him once before, about eight years ago, during a Christmas party at the home of our pastor. And you know what? He remembered me! Sure, he's a big star now, but he hasn't let that change him." "What can I say?" Herchwick told reporters. "I've been in the public eye so long now, sometimes I forget just how lucky I am. All this acclaim and attention really makes me realize how much I've been blessed, and I thank the fans for that. I'm nothing without them. And it's important to remember that and to take time out to give back to the community, as I've done here today."

"You know, the irony of it all is that I actually had to leave the post-race reception a little bit early, because I had to pick up some suits at the cleaners," Herchwick added with a smile. "I guess it just goes to show you it isn't all glamour. I may be a celebrity, but at the end of the day, I'm really just a regular, ordinary guy like anybody else."

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