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Riding high in April...

Poor Pluto. I remember Pluto so vividly from that fold-out Scholastic poster, "The Planets of the Solar System," that hung on the wall of every classroom I sat in through the 6th grade. Pluto wasn't exactly the Big Man On Campus in the Planet Community, but it did have a Disney character named after it, and it did have a certain smoky, distant, enigmatic image. All that's gone now. Fold up the posters. Now, astronomers tell us, Pluto's name must not be spoken when the subject turns to planets. We'll talk about Pluto on the broadcast tonight. It will give us an excuse to slip the surly bonds of this troubled world of ours for a 2-minute respite, at least.


THE THURSDAY OUTLOOK
In the news tonight: the FDA decision on the so-called "morning-after" or "Plan B" pill, and the instant reaction to it. There are new economic numbers out tonight (following our lead story on existing home sales last night), this time having to do with NEW homes, and some economists find the numbers troublesome. We will have coverage of today's development in the London terrorism plot, the situation in Iraq and this nation's upcoming anniversaries, both marking tragedies: Katrina and 9/11. Both are, in a way, political events as well.

Tonight we'll kick off our "Long Road Back" coverage (which culminates with our trip to New Orleans next week to mark the one-year anniversary), with Ron Mott in the region on the subject of insurance -- an ongoing sore spot. As I told a print journalist in an interview earlier today, we in the media love anniversaries -- we mark them every chance we get -- and they can also be useful as sign posts and in terms of taking an accounting of progress (or the lack thereof) since the original event. There's also the aforementioned Pluto story tonight, and because I think Americans like to know about their president's vacation plans, we'll have a note about where President Bush is choosing to spend a little down time this week. Hint: he's with family, and it's a beautiful spot.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...
My thanks to the folks at KSDK in St. Louis. It was a great day spent in a great city. On top of being treated like visiting royalty, the station General Manager Lynn Beall handed me a bag when I left. She indicated it was a gift, to thank me for making the trip and spending the day with her staff. She told me to open it later. When I arrived at the airport, suddenly stricken by fear that the gift was comprised of liquids and gels that would result in my arrest and conviction and near-certain imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, I opened the bag just prior to reaching the security checkpoint. It was a signed baseball from Stan Musial. Using their connections with the Cardinals, the station asked The Man to inscribe a ball, which is now on display in my home. There sure are some classy folks in St. Louis. And yes, I caught up with a few of my buddies who rode with me out to the airport.

It was downhill from there. While the two-hour flight home featured a drunk passenger and a surly flight attendant (and of course no food), I still plan to make it back to that great city the first chance I get. And Stan, wherever you are: thanks. It's beautiful. It was very kind of you.

We're back home in New York tonight. We hope you can join us for the broadcast.