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POSTED April 30, 2012 7:15 p.m.

KIMMEL’S FAT JOKES DON’T BOTHER CHRISTIE: PLAINSBORO, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says having a sexy television star seated beside him made it easier to absorb the fat jokes Jimmy Kimmel made at his expense during the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

Christie told reporters Monday that "when you have (Sofia Vergara) next to you to console you, let me tell you, you don't care what the heck Jimmy Kimmel is saying about you."

Vergara stars on the ABC sitcom "Modern Family."

Kimmel made three jokes about the overweight governor during a monologue Saturday night that also cracked on President Barack Obama's thinness. He suggested Christie misunderstood his state's nickname, saying: "It's not the Olive Garden State."

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR RAISES $13 MILLION IN RECALL: MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign says he raised more than $13 million from mid-January through last week as he fights a recall effort.

The governor's campaign says the money came from nearly 126,000 donors.

Walker raised $13.1 million between Jan. 1 and April 23, eclipsing his own record of $12.1 million in fundraising for a state office he set in 2011.

Democrats are trying to oust Walker and five other Republicans from office as payback for passing a law last year that stripped most public workers of nearly all their union rights. A primary election is set for May 8, with a general recall election to follow on June 5.

HOTEL COMPANY SUES GOVERNMENT OVER TENN. FLOODING: NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gaylord Entertainment Co. filed a lawsuit Monday accusing the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of negligence that heavily damaged its luxury hotel in Nashville and the famous Grand Ole Opry House during flooding in 2010.

The company says it sustained more than $250 million in damages at several of its businesses from flooding of the Cumberland River that could have been avoided had the Corps of Engineers opened up a spillway sooner to relieve a swollen reservoir.

The historic flooding left 26 people dead, including 11 in Nashville, and caused an estimated $2 billion worth of damage when it rained 13.5 inches over two days.

AIR FORCE LEADER: SOME PILOTS WANT TO AVOID F-22: HAMPTON, Va. (AP) — Some of the nation's 200 F-22 Raptor pilots want to be moved into other jobs because of oxygen-deficit problems with the stealth fighter, an Air Force leader said Monday.

Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., told reporters that a "very small" number of pilots have asked not to fly the fifth-generation fighter jets or to be reassigned.

He did not provide exact figures on the number of pilots who have asked to not fly the jets and said each pilot's request would be handled individually.

OKLA. COURT HALTS 'PERSONHOOD' RIGHTS FOR EMBRYOS: OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday halted an effort to grant "personhood" rights to human embryos, saying the measure is unconstitutional.

The state's highest court ruled unanimously that a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would define a fertilized human egg as a person violates a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving a Pennsylvania case and "is clearly unconstitutional." Supporters of the personhood amendment are trying to gather enough signatures to put it before Oklahoma voters on the November ballot.

Opponents contend the measure would ban abortions without exception and interfere with a woman's right to use certain forms of contraception and medical procedures, such as in vitro fertilization.

AAA: INADEQUATE GUARDRAILS AT NY SITE WHERE 7 DIED: NEW YORK (AP) — The section of highway where an accident sent seven members of a Bronx family flying over a guardrail and plummeting to their deaths has narrow lanes, steep hills, tight turns, inadequate guardrails and no breakdown lane, an auto safety group said Monday.

The Bronx River Parkway "lacks modern transportation engineering features," said Robert Sinclair, spokesman for the American Automobile Association's New York City affiliate. He said it was conceived in 1907 and opened in 1925 as "the first limited access multilane highway in the U.S."

WIFE OF EDWARDS AIDE BREAKS DOWN ON WITNESS STAND: GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The wife of an ex-aide to John Edwards broke down on the witness stand Monday as she recounted how the candidate asked the couple to hide an affair he was having and justified using wealthy donors' money to do it.

Testifying at Edwards' campaign corruption trial, Cheri Young said she huddled around a phone in her Chapel Hill home during December 2007 with her husband, Andrew Young, and Edwards' pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter.

On the call, Edwards emphasized the need to preserve his campaign and keep the affair from his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, Cheri Young said. It was a couple weeks before the 2008 Iowa caucuses, and two suspicious tabloid reporters had already tracked Hunter from a doctor's appointment to the Youngs' home.

Edwards made the plan sound "as if it was for the good of the country," Cheri Young said.

"I felt like everything had been dumped in my lap," she said. "Everybody was on board but me. ... I didn't want the campaign to explode and for it to be my fault. I ultimately decided to live with a lie."

 

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