Wednesday's intriguing people
The relaunch of Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” will premier June 20 on the Al Gore co-founded Current TV cable network.
June 8th, 2011
11:54 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Keith Olbermann

The former MSNBC anchor has done interviews in anticipation of the relaunch of his news broadcast “Countdown,” which will premier June 20 on the Al Gore co-founded Current TV cable network. The program will broadcast at 8 p.m. ET from Olbermann’s new — and rather Spartan — offices near New York’s Chelsea district.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Olbermann said MSNBC did not decide until halfway through the now infamous, final January 21 broadcast that the anchor would be cut loose from his contract. His staff found out at that time as well.

On Tuesday, Olbermann told Terry Gross of NPR’s “Fresh Air” that he is an opinion journalist. As a result, he said, it was fine for him to make political contributions to three Democratic candidates in 2010. However, he said, he did not make the donations to support their politics, per se, because he doesn’t even vote.

Instead, the money was meant to help the three officials obtain personal security after they’d faced numerous death threats, Olbermann said. Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was one of the recipients. In January, she was shot in the head while making an appearance at a grocery store parking lot.


Wednesday's intriguing people
May 25th, 2011
10:31 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Dr. Lawrence Egbert

Egbert, an 83-year-old anesthesiologist, is being called "The New Doctor Death" by Newsweek. Egbert told The Baltimore Sun he's helped in the deaths of over 300 patients with illnesses ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's.

Egbert, who runs a right-to-die nonprofit called Final Exit Network, faces charges in Georgia, according to The Daily Beast, and was just acquitted in Phoenix in a case involving the death of a woman.

"I never thought of myself as having done anything that I should feel guilty of," he told the Sun. "I don't feel any conflict about helping someone stop suffering."

The group says it will help those who "have an incurable condition which causes intolerable suffering," according to its website . The group says there is a full and rigorous evaluation to decide whether to approve an applicant.  When a person is accepted, FEN assigns “exit guides” who offer advice on how to "hasten death," though physically they will not do anything to help.


Friday's intriguing people
Japanese pro golfer Ryo Ishikawa promises to donate all his Tour earnings this year.
April 8th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Ryo Ishikawa

The 19-year-old native of Japan says he will donate all the money he wins on the PGA Tour this year, including this weekend's Masters, to his earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged homeland.

Ishikawa, who shot a 1-under-par 71 in the first round of the Masters, won $2 million last year, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. He said he hopes to inspire his country by playing well.

"I understand that people, especially in Sendai, they are living in hell, and I would love to show the energy and power of what golf can bring to those people."

Ron Thatcher

The "non-essential" government worker is one of 800,000 who will not get paid if the government shuts down. The Montana resident works for the U.S. Forest Service and doesn't consider the work he does "non-essential," since some of the work he does includes protecting the U.S.-Canadian border. Thatcher tells, "I've worked with the Forest Service over 30 years and I'm damn proud to be a Forest Service employee."

Sandy Almon

The baseball player at Mount Pisgah, a small private school in Johns Creek, Georgia, is turning heads as a relief pitcher with a reported 85-mph fastball.

But it's not the fastball that has people talking. It's the fact that Sandy is a girl, one of just a few across the country playing high school baseball.

"I've seen and coached with a lot of boy pitchers the same age, and she has got just as much or more talent than half of them," Joey Hamilton, a former major-league pitcher and one of Sandy's private coaches, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"I love baseball; it's my favorite sport and always has been," Almon told the paper. "I don't know how to explain it other to say that baseball just comes natural to me. Other sports, like basketball, are work. Baseball is not that way."

Casey Robbins

The Sacramento, California, high school senior has achieved an honor few of her peers can match: A school in Liberia has been named for her.

Robbins founded Textbooks for Liberia when she was in eighth grade. The organization has sent more than 10,000 books to the West African nation, CNN affiliate KXTV reports.

In gratitude for her work, officials named a new school in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, for her.

"The school is taking enrollment now and it should be starting in the fall. It's the Casey Robbins International School," said Robbins, who visited the site in February. "It's definitely a cool thing for me. I got to have a picture with the sign for my school."

Robbins said she plans to continue and possibly expand the program while attending Stanford University after graduation.

Wednesday's intriguing people
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida will become the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
April 6th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

The Florida congresswoman will be named chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, replacing Tim Kaine, who is running for the Senate from Virginia. Two women have previously been the chairs of the DNC: Jean Westwood in 1972 and Debra DeLee in 1994 and 1995. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has risen in the ranks of the Democratic Party since she took office in 2005. The congresswoman is a breast cancer survivor and the mother of three children. Many Americans may recognize her as one of the friends present at the hospital when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords first opened her eyes after being shot in January.

Rep. Curt Weldon

The former Pennsylvania congressman has arrived in Libya to meet with Moammar Gadhafi. Weldon wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece, "I've met him enough times to know that it will be very hard to simply bomb him into submission." Weldon wrote that he's going on the invitation of Gadhafi's chief of staff and called for an immediate U.N.-monitored cease-fire, "with the Libyan army withdrawing from contested cities and rebel forces ending attempts to advance."

Roxy Kurze

The Warren, Michigan, native found a kidney donor for her husband on Facebook. Though an infrequent user of the popular social networking site, Kurze wrote a post lamenting her husband's deteriorating condition, according to the Detroit News. She wrote, "I wish a kidney would fall out the sky," and "If someone knows a living type O donor, let me know." Not long after, Ricky Cisco replied, offering up his kidney.

Cliff Forrest

The 10-year-old from Pittsburgh gave the Super Bowl ring he bought with his college savings for $8,500 back to retired Chicago Bears player William "The Refrigerator" Perry. Perry had to sell the ring several years ago after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and falling on hard times. Forrest wanted to buy the ring and give it back to Perry, and the avid sports memorabilia collector told ESPN on Monday, "When I Googled Mr. Perry after I got the ring, I saw he had the disease and went through rough times. And I thought he needed it more than I did."

April 28th, 2010
02:25 PM ET

Mom on son who died in state care: 'I trusted people'

Mother Elena Andron says she learned the hard way not to trust the Michigan Department of Human Services but it was her son who paid the ultimate price.

Jonny Dragomir, 10, died in the care of Michigan’s Department of Human Services in March 2007.

The boy was in the state’s care for about a year until his death, according to CNN affiliate WXYZ. In a video posted on WXYZ’s website Mullen explains that the boy who could not walk, talk, or feed himself was handed to the state under a one year agreement.

Andron tried to get her son back after seeing that her son was deteriorating and losing weight but instead she was taken to court by the state. And then, Andron's son starved to death.


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