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N.J. cops not Kean on commencement choice: Common out

Also in Tattle: Kreskin tries matchmaking, a Boston marathon movie, a Maya Angeou show and more

COMMON MIGHT BE espousing a movement for black Americans to forget the past and look to build a stronger future, but not everyone is on board just yet.

Some folks are still looking back.

New Jersey's Kean University has canceled the Academy Award-winning hip-hop artist as its commencement speaker after police voiced concerns over his song about a convicted cop killer who fled to Cuba.

He was named Monday.

Nixed Tuesday.

A Common mistake.

University spokeswoman Susan Kayne told the Record that the announcement was made prematurely and that the school is pursuing other speaker options.

Maybe best not to use the Comedy Central vetting team.

State Police union president Chris Burgos called the choice a "slap in the face" because lyrics in Common's 2000 recording "A Song for Assata" portrays Joanne Chesimard (a/k/a Assata Shakur) as a victim.

Chesimard was convicted in 1977 of killing a New Jersey state trooper. She remains in Cuba after she escaped from prison.

From Tattle's inbox

Are you having trouble finding that special someone?

Tired of the same old dating sites?

Maybe it's time to join the Amazing Kreskin's Supernatural Dating Society. Kreskin's site, according to the news release, provides exactly "what singles who crave the 'unknown' have been seeking for years - other singles who desire the same thing."

The website says: "Attention enthusiasts of the paranormal, the unexplained, the mystical, the implausible . . ."

So, if you're looking to meet someone who shares your fascination with "visitations by aliens, haunted houses, extra-sensory perception, astrology, mind control, curses, spirit healing, vampires, zombies, prophecy, contacting the dead, mind reading and anything in between," your soul mate may be only a few clicks, dimensions or galaxies away.

For more info go to

Or concentrate really hard and it may come to you.


* CBS Films says that Mark Wahlberg is set to produce "Patriots' Day," a feature film about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing based on Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis' firsthand account.

The studio announced Tuesday that Matt Charman ("Bridge of Spies") is writing the screenplay, which will span the five-day investigation and hunt to apprehend the suspects: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a shootout days after the bombing, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The April 2013 attack killed three people and injured more than 260. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is on trial facing the death penalty.

* A year after the death of Maya Angelou, TV and radio host Tavis Smiley is joining with Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon to develop a stage adaptation of My Journey With Maya, Smiley's new memoir about their invaluable relationship.

"I haven't been this excited by a project in a long, long time,"

Leon said, which must make the producers of NBC's "The Wiz" really happy since Leon is directing that. "I don't think there is another person like her in my lifetime or in the last 100 years of American artistry and literary achievement."

Angelou, a poet, professor and author of the acclaimed 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, had much to share with a young man eager to grow, Smiley said. He was 21 and she was 58 when they first met in the mid-1980s.

"We find our path by walking it," Angelou told him repeatedly over the years, he recounted. She also said that "nothing human is alien to me."

"That was her way of saying, 'Live your life on your own terms. Don't be afraid to try anything. Experience everything,' " Smiley said.

He and Leon, who are starting their search for a writer for the play, said it's premature to discuss casting.

* People can never anticipate all the ramifications of their actions.

Oh, Zayn Malik, what have you wrought?

According to Yahoo UK, weeping One Direction fans have been so distraught over the departure of Zayn from the group, the museum has appointed Grace Cadden, 18, as the 1D exhibit's tissue attendant.

In 2012, when the 1D characters were introduced, the museum also has a tissue attendant. But back then it was to handle the tears of joy.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

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