Skip to main content

tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  January 9, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

7:00 pm
situation room" from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. eastern and every saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. at this time every weekend on cnn international. the news continues next on cnn. hello, i'm randi kaye sitting in for don lemon. he successfully navigated president owe buibama's legisla. but today harry reid is apologizing to the president and all americans for a comment he made about mr. obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. we're learning more about the quotes which appear in a new book on the 2008 campaign called "game change." reid is quoted as saying then senator obama had a good chance of winning the white house because he was, quote, light skinned and his speech had what reid described as, quote, no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one. the damage control operation in high gear now. and today's statement, reid says --
7:01 pm
let's talk more about this. senator reid's comments, of course welcome april ryan, the white house correspondent for american urban radio networks. she's joining us now by phone from baltimore. april, good to have you with us. >> thank you. >> first off your reaction to senator reid's comments. >> well, as a journalist, it is newsworthy, i can say that. i've been talking to some people on facebook and i just got off the phone with reverend jesse jackson before we started talking. he said incredible. and there are others who are reminding from this that we heard something like this before articulate and clean, speaking of president -- then presidential candidate barack obama. and they were saying that person indeed was then senator joe biden who was now vice president. and the president, then
7:02 pm
candidate presidential candidate barack obama and joe biden, senator joe biden, talked at that time and smoothed it out. but you have to remember that this administration still tries to stay above the fray. for president obama to come out and make a statement on his own, he's saying, you know, he's dealing with this, it is done. they don't want to amplify the issue of race. >> let me read that statement from the white house from the president directly here. harry reid called me and apologized. i accepted his apology without question because i've known him for years. goes on to say i have seen the passionate leadership he's shown on issues of social justice and i know what's in his heart. as far as i'm concerned, the book is closed. why is it so important here to close this book, april? >> the issue of race in this country, no matter what side of the circle or square you stand in it a very hypersensitive issue. and it is something that cannot be just dealt with in a matter
7:03 pm
of a statement or just hashing out in a couple of hours after it is found you said something in a book. and this administration knows there is a very fine line. when this president was running, he was running as a man who happened to be black. and he gained the oval office. and just recently i sat down with the president in december and we had a very long, discussion about race where he was embracing race, using words like us and we. he realizes and understands he's an african-american, but this is not what defines him. this is not who he is. so that is the issue. they're trying to move beyond this. race is not the issue. this is what this administration is trying to do, whether it is good or bad, what harry reid had to say, you know, many african-americans are surprised. i was getting e-mails from many of my african-american republican friends saying why is this not a big deal? and, of course, we understand there is some politics in that, but for many people in the african-american community, it is like, wow, here we go again.
7:04 pm
so i'm getting it in so many different ways. people are talking about it in the african-american community. and they're talking about it especially as we have our first african-american president. and as we are in the month of january, approaching the time of the birth of dr. martin luther king, what did he say, judge me by the content of my character, not the color of my skin, and i think that's somewhat what this administration is trying to deal with pushing race aside and let's deal with the issues. >> do those you've spoken with and how about yourself, do you think the president's statement and the acceptance of this apology goes far enough or do you think more should come from this? >> well, again, as a journalist, i mean, i'm the one reporting on it, but if there is more to come, yes, there is going to be a bigger deal. if civil rights community leaders come out saying things, that's when, you know, it becomes a bigger issue. when you hear people in the house, democrats come up, that's when it becomes a bigger issue. if the community comes out and starts really saying, look, this needs to be handled and tackled, that's when it becomes a bigger
7:05 pm
issue. and we're hearing about it, but we'll see how the grand swell happens. and that's where it goes. it depends upon the groundswell and how the president handles it really is the way it is guided. he's steering this right now. >> how do you think this is going to play in nevada where senator reid is facing a tough re-election, he's at 40% in the polls there, but he was also critical in bringing in african-american voters for then candidate barack obama. so how do you expect this is going to go over there? >> again, senator reid, he's in a tough race. and, you know, the african-american community in nevada who he has to deal with and it comes out at a bad time for him. he has to deal with public issues, the public sentiment, but he also really has to deal with the people who are going to keep him either in washington or bring him back home. so he has to face nevada and talk to the african-american community and be transparent with them and we'll see what
7:06 pm
happens. but right now it is very early, but, you know this does not bode well for him. and, again, randi this is in a book and people can pick up a book and keep a book and always reference it. we can see it on a computer and in a book. we'll see what happens. >> april ryan with us tonight, thank you for your insight. civil rights activist al sharpton is weighing in. in a statement, he says he's spoken with senator reid about what he described as the senator's unfortunate comments. he go on to say -- reverend sharpton ended his statement byi insaying he looks forward to working with senator reid whenever possible. snow in florida. it seems no place is safe from this brutal cold spell that has
7:07 pm
teeth chattering nationwide. in a state known for its sunshine, freezing temperatures have people scrambling to stay safe and warm. martin savage is live in plantation, florida, for us tonight. martin, you look pretty chilly there. >> reporter: it was just yesterday that i was freezing in st. louis, where it really was cold. but the cold that you're finding here in south florida tonight is just so much more strange. what i mean by that is it is so unexpected, the sights you see and when you talk to people, they describe it as historic. what they mean by that is not that it is so severely cold. they had cold snaps before, it is that it has been cold for so long now. nearly a week. and every day it has gotten progressively worse. tonight will be the real test. and for many people, that test is going to be is it going to freeze? here is something you hardly ever hear of done here in south florida. they have a windchill advisory that goes into effect in two hours. so it really means that tonight from, say, midnight on to the
7:08 pm
early morning hours, the question will be will it freeze? and the problem is you can see perhaps that there is a light rain that is falling. if that turns into freezing rain that will trigger chaos down here. folks are trying to prepare one of the busiest people you'll find in south florida, heating and air conditioning repair guy. he's not fixing the air conditioning. they have had desperate calls from homeowners as they report their furnaces aren't working. the reason is many people have not used their furnace in years. they turn it on this week only to find cold air coming out. space heaters you can't find them in south florida. they're flying off the shelves. and that is going to put a greater load on the interest gr electric grid. they saw a record on tuesday. likely to break that tonight. on top of that is the man who will sell you wood, the wood business is booming as many people are using their fireplaces not just as a nice way to spend an evening, but as a main way of staying warm. there are houses down here that
7:09 pm
do not have heat. it is going to be a real test tonight. >> yeah, a long night and maybe a long -- another long week. marty, thank you very much. jacqui jeras eric lot of people around the country, especially down in florida, looking for relief. is it on the way? >> it is coming. you just have to be patient. we're going to bottom out with some of the temperatures across parts of the south. and we are already seeing those freezing temperatures moving into florida. look at jacksonville, 32 degrees, orlando and tampa, not too far away from that. you're going to get down well below that freezing mark for tonight. and miami, we'll think that you'll stay to the -- just above the freezing mark. now, the radar picture here showing you that we have been getting some moisture across the region as well. earlier this morning in places like orlando, into melbourne into ocala, we have reports of sleet. this is the first time that we have seen this much widespread sleet in central florida since 1977. do the math. that's more than 30 years. and recently just in the last
7:10 pm
hour, we have been seeing it around west palm beach. and palm beach area. so that green little strip that moved on through there, that's probably what we call bright banding on the radar. let's show you some pictures out of the orlando area now and you'll see the pellets as they came down, yeah, sleet is when it is rain coming down and it freezes before it hits the ground. so you get those pellet and you can see there was a little bit of rain mixed in that area as well. so, yeah, the big money question now is how bad it is going to be tonight. well, we have got those windchill warnings in effect across pretty much the entire state. teens into northern florida. you'll be down to the 20s and 30s across southern parts of the state. when will those temperatures moderate? let's go back to the map and we'll show you what is go on with our weather pattern here. and you'll see that jet stream is going like this. a big dip and so that's allowing all that cold arctic air to filter in while we're seeing temperatures tend to 30 degrees below that average. now the ridge is going to be moving in over the next couple
7:11 pm
of days. the upper midwest, by tomorrow, could see temperatures five to 15 degrees above normal. we'll still be below normal in the southeast by the middle to the latter part of the week. we'll see much better conditions. now one of the other big concerns with these freezing temperatures tonight is that we have seen a lot of freeze/thaw going on. look at the picture out of atlanta, georgia. this is yesterday where we had the snow and icy streets across the area. it caused multiple accidents. there was a 27-car pileup and people in the south, for the most part, just don't know how to drive in these type of conditions. just one other note to show you how gradual that warmup is going to be. here is tampa, florida. you can see those temperatures here for tomorrow in the 40s. we'll be pushing the 60 degree mark by the middle of the week. touch and go still across the south. be patient, things will be getting better, but use a lot of caution if you have to travel in this part of the country over the next couple of days yet. >> thank you. well, when it is this
7:12 pm
frigid, most of us cope by staying indoors, bundling up and cranking up that thermostat. that's not an option for the nation's homeless. catherine callaway is in atlanta showing us how people who need heat are finding shelter from the cold. >> trying to stay with people and when you have kids and things, it is kind of hard. >> reporter: just a month ago, toyia had a job and a home, a safe refuge for her four children. today, two of the kids are living with relatives. the younger ones are here with her at gateway center for the homeless. she was working in customer service and in an instant her job was gone. >> all of a sudden one day they came in and said we're going out of business. and a month later i was unemployed and i started receiving unemployment, but it wasn't enough to keep my bills and the rent paid. >> reporter: she has been at gateway about two weeks, receiving food, diapers and a warm home base. but the work of finding a job in
7:13 pm
this weather and in this job market is brutal. >> it took, like, 15, 20-minute walk to the library in the freezing cold so i could go and prepare my resume. and by the time we did that, i didn't even want to go and try to fill out applications with my kids because it was so cold. >> reporter: gateway director vince mitt says metcalf's story isn't uncommon in homeless shelter today. >> the result of foreclosures, and evictions and job loss in this economic meltdown our nation is held in, the homeless individuals that we work with are oftentimes they are homeless because they were the first to lose their jobs and they feel the pain of this economic struggle most intently. >> reporter: metcalf is confident she'll find another job, but is trying to figure out how to prevent this from happening again. >> i think maybe if i had a --
7:14 pm
had something to fall back on, i didn't see this happening so maybe had i saved money. >> reporter: smith says homelessness is a situation anyone can find themselves in. >> this is someone's son or daughter, this is someone's brother or sister, this is someone's child, and they need an opportunity and i hope that the gateway can be that opportunity to move them from the desperate situation that they're in into a new beginning, a new opportunity, and ground them with a new sense of hope. >> reporter: metcalf is grateful for the help she's received, but says it is up to her to get out of this situation. do you -- do you remain hopeful? >> i do. i do. >> reporter: catherine callaway, cnn, atlanta. a suicide bomber vows revenge in a newly released video. unfortunately the cia thought he was one of theirs. the mistake cost them dearly. and an arrest in last
7:15 pm
weekend's security breach at newark airport. it turns out this is just the tip of the iceberg in security lapses at u.s. airports. 20 minutes later, she'll bring one into the world in seattle. later today, she'll help an accident victim in kansas. how can one nurse be in all these places? through the nurses she taught in this place. johnson & johnson knows, behind every nurse who touches a life... there's a nurse educator... who first touched them. ♪ you're a nurse ♪ you make a difference ( laughs, click ) when you hear a click, ( clicking ) you know it's closed and secure. that's why hefty food bags click closed. hefty! hefty! hefty! so you know you've helped lock in freshness and lock out air... to help prevent freezer burn. be sure it's secure with hefty food bags. just one click and you know it's closed.
7:16 pm
hefty! hefty! hefty! ( click, click, click )
7:17 pm
new video from the taliban in pakistan confirms it was behind last month's suicide attack in afghanistan that killed seven cia officers. it shows jordanian doctor humam abu al balawi sitting next to the head of the pakistani taliban. he was reportedly working for the cia, but as the video now
7:18 pm
confirms, al balawi was a double agent working for the taliban. here is cnn's international correspondent nic robertson. >> reporter: until this video came out, all that was known was that this jordanian doctor, dr. balawi, had gone to afghanistan and said he could provide them with information, jordanians brought the cia on to help them verify that information. what is said in this video makes it very, very clear. he was working as a double agent. when he got to pakistan, he said he went straight to the taliban, told them about the cia and the jordanian intelligence and planned this attack against the cia. he says very, very clearly in this video that it shows that money cannot buy off somebody's faith, somebody's faith in their god. he said he -- he implies he was offered millions of dollars. not clear if that is true, but
7:19 pm
that he said that is not enough to put a man from supporting his god and that was a very clear message. we see him sitting next to the pakistani taliban current commander, an indication this was a pakistani taliban led operation, an indication of how closely they're working with al qaeda and he said he took this act against the cia base in revenge for the killing last year of the pakistan taliban commander. >> this will be the first of the operations against and there are teams outside of the pakistani borders. after they killed the amir -- >> reporter: intelligence analysts in this region are very clear with just how close al qaeda and the taliban are working. this was a prestigious operation for al qaeda, a very important target, a key operative, able to
7:20 pm
get inside this base and it was given to the pakistani taliban, clear indication of how closely they're working together. and also for intelligence analysts here, an indication that lessons will have to be learned that they will have agencies, intelligence agency will have to go back and re-examine the spies they have working in the region and this will slow down the hunt for osama bin laden. nic robertson, cnn, jordan. back in the u.s., a not guilty plea today from a suspected collaborator in last september's alleged terror plot in new york. the 25-year-old is accused of getting trained by al qaeda. he's also an alleged associate of azazi, charged with plotting an attack in new york that would have coincided with the eighth anniversary of 9/11. his passport was taken away on thursday. he was arrested later that night after a traffic accident in new york. another man is also pleaded not guilty in association with the zazi case.
7:21 pm
he's considered the mayor of a place most people probably hope to avoid. we'll take you inside one man's determined crusade to clean up los angeles' skid row. and the human cost of government budget cuts. how one state's efforts to reduce spending are taking a toll on the most vulnerable.
7:22 pm
7:23 pm
7:24 pm
it is a place that tracks thousands of people every year. people who are homeless and many who are without hope. one man who experienced life on the streets himself is making it his mission to try to change things. our jason carroll walked the streets with l.a.'s only homeless public official. >> reporter: it is a haven for crime and the homeless. attracting thousands from all walks of life when their luck runs out. this is skid row, los angeles. >> not only are the people homeless, they're hopeless. >> reporter: jeff page landed here three years ago, after his career as a rap promoter fizzled. a mission for the homeless became his new home. >> to actually be in the community for a long extended period of time and seeing day after day after day the living conditions of the people here and how deplorable the conditions were and it started
7:25 pm
to sink home of how close on that fine line i was to actually -- to becoming one of them. >> reporter: so he launched a one man campaign to turn not only his life but his new world around. he started small, organizing street cleanups, mural paintings, connecting with the community. >> i know you. i've seen you from the newspaper. >> yeah. >> reporter: that's general, just in case you missed it, a mick name the homeless gave them that followed him to the downtown los angeles neighborhood counsel, elected two years ago, he's l.a.'s only homeless public official. >> i'll see this through no matter what the odds. >> reporter: but the odds are stacked against the general. in 2009, there were almost 1,000 violent crime and more than 13,000 arrests in skid row, and its surrounding area. and while crime overall is down, it is still dangerous. >> i want people to realize even as we're walking through here, we're not alone.
7:26 pm
behind the photographer, turn around, we have security here. we're -- that's -- >> and you hear the sirens. >> reporter: i think people understand -- need to understand that even though skid row, you say, is better it still -- it is far from where it needs to be. >> no, of course. it is in -- we look at it as we're in the early stages, the beginning stages of the transition period. >> reporter: page lobbied for shelters that can accommodate family and better relations with police. his proudest accomplishment, the renovation of this park. >> there was a lot of drug dealing, prostitution, murders, the beatdowns. everything. >> reporter: page used his old sales skills as a promoter and got sponsorship from nike to return the park to the people. >> they brought a whole -- breathed a whole lot of life to our positive movement. >> reporter: something as simple as a basketball court. now even l.a.'s mayor is paying attention. >> people like general jeff are saying we need more and he's
7:27 pm
right. we need to provide for a safety net, to address the hunger, and homelessness. >> reporter: but much like his own life, skid row still has a long road ahead to become the place general jeff envisions. do you see skid row as a transitional place for you, because you are still living here. >> yes, i'm still here, but technically no because i'm here trying to play it and establish this as a community just like any other place in america. >> that was jason carroll reporting for us in los angeles. three scares at nation's airports in a matter of weeks. now the tsa is under the microscope. we're talking airline safety and what needs to happen going forward. a teenage girl gets a big surprise, one i'm pretty sure she'll never forget. ice. boss: got another one for you. anncr: at, it's easy to get a free rate quote, manage your policy, make payments or even file a claim! boss: now that's a ringtone. gecko: uh's interesting....
7:28 pm
certainly not the worst ringtone i've ever heard... ♪ ringtone lyrics: a-ringedy- ding-ding-dingy-dong, ringedy-dong-ding-ding... ♪ gecko (to himself): yeah, that might be the worst. anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
7:29 pm
7:30 pm
senate majority leader harry reid is apologizing for comments he made during the 2008
7:31 pm
presidential campaign. a new book called "game change" quotes reid as saying then senator barack obama could win the white house because he was, quote, light skinned, and had, quote, no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one. president obama has says he accepts reid's apology. cnn's dana bash reports tonight senator reid is reaching out to civil rights leaders and african-american members of congress, including julian bond, wade henderson and representatives jim clyburn and barbara lee. a machine gun attack on the togo national soccer team has left at least two people dead. the team's bus was sprayed with gunfire near the border between angola and the republic of congo. the bus driver and an assistant coach were reportedly killed. the team was headed to angola for the africa cup of nations tournament. a separatist group in angola claims responsibility for that attack. at least 15 people including some tourists reportedly have been injured in another acid attack in hong kong. china's news agency says an attacker dropped a bottle of acid from above a crowd today,
7:32 pm
more than 100 people have been injured in a series of acid attacks over the past 1 mon3 mo. > umar farouk abdulmutallab's lawyers say he's not guilty. the plea was entered friday in federal court in detroit. the 23-year-old nigerian was shackled at the ankles saying little except he understood the indictment he faces. the most serious of the charges, attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction on board northwest flight 253, carrying nearly 300 people. a conviction could land him in prison for life. security scares in the terminal and in the air, not once but twice yesterday. unruly passengers forced unscheduled layovers when airline pilots decided to play it safe. friday's airtran flight 39 from atlanta to san francisco had to make a pit stop after a reportedly intoxicated man locked himself in the bathroom. two f-16s escorted flight to colorado springs where the fbi arrested the man. officials say he's likely to face charges for interfering
7:33 pm
with a flight crew. same day, different flight, a hawaii bound plane had to land in l.a. after a man was accused of harassing a woman on board. he was removed from the jet but not arrested. officials say the woman did not want to press charges. and then there is the earlier incident at the busy newark airport. the tsa is under the microscope for its handling of that situation. i'm walk you through why. on sunday at terminal c in newark airport, a man slips past a security checkpoint. a tsa worker is distracted and doesn't notice. even when a passenger alerts officials, the tsa waits more than an hour before alerting airport police to the security breach. if this was a real threat, that's precious time. and when the tsa tries to view security tape of the incident, it discovers the cameras are running, but not recording. and we have learned that's not
7:34 pm
unusual. the union representing airport police tells us the tsa routinely informs them of illegal activity long after the fact. the tsa says it accepts full responsibility for the failure and has placed the employee involved on administrative leave. the unidentified man, no trace. keeping them honest, what's going on at the tsa and who is in charge? the man nominated as its head has admitted improperly accessing a government database 20 years ago to run a background check on his ex-wife's new boyfriend. the nomination has also been held up because of republican concerns he would allow tsa workers to join a labor union and there are other problems. the tsa spent $30 million on its fancy puffer machines, which blow air on you to release explosive material them didn't work and are being phased out. one security expert says tsa patdown practices miss all sorts of things. >> any patdown that you
7:35 pm
experience that doesn't embarrass you physically is one that is not very effective. >> reporter: even the agency's animals seem out of sorts. in philadelphia, three of the tsa's bomb sniffing dogs failed consecutive tests. the dogs were responsible for checking cargo at philadelphia international. ten other airport dogs did pass the tests. >> they don't retrain them. they got to retrain them. it is not the dog's fault. the dog can't say i can't smell a bomb. >> reporter: tsa's response there are more than 700 dog teams at airports in mass transit hubs and all are supposed to be recertifiey eied occasionally. in september, when the tsa posted its screening procedures online, a leak that might aid terrorists, five employees were put on leave. just this week in bakersfield, california, the airport was evacuated, shut down for five hours, after two tsa workers found what they thought were traces of explosives on a bag in bottles. they complained they felt sick
7:36 pm
after smelling fumes from the bottles. turns out, the bottles contained honey. officials are still puzzled. on its website, the tsa says its vision is to, quote, continuously set the standard for excellence in transportation security. a vision that to some seems blinded by mishaps and confusion. and since i reported that story, there has been an arrest in last weekend's security breach at newark airport. a graduate student from china is accused of ducking under a security rope when a tsa guard had left his post. 28-year-old haisong jiang is charged with defiant trespass. his roommates say his friend made a mistake but meant no harm. >> this is my friend. he's a nice guy. and he did something, you know, inappropriate. but i'm not a lawyer, i can't say is that wrong or not, right? >> jiang, who goes to rutgers, apparently was at the newark airport to see his girlfriend
7:37 pm
off to los angeles. he display ducked under the rope to say one final good-bye to her. jiang was arrested yesterday in piscataway, new jersey. he's due in court next week. the federal government says it will install 300 body scanners at u.s. airports this year. homeland security secretary janet napolitano says there are also plans to add more metal detectors, explosive detection technology, sniffer dogs and uniformed and undercover agents. joining us now to talk about these security breaches and most importantly a way forward in what needs to be done to keep us safe is cnn contributor tom fuentes, a former fbi assistant director. tom, good to see you. >> hi, randi. >> the six page summary that the president talked about this week found that the u.s. government had sufficient information before this christmas day plot to actually stop the plot. so what happened? >> well, thinki think it is clee proper people weren't notified and therefore he wasn't placed on the no fly list and therefore wasn't prevented from getting on the aircraft.
7:38 pm
that's one weakness with the intelligence system. the second weakness is that the safety of americans is still going to on occasion be on the hands of foreign governments. so people entering an airplane in a foreign country bound for the united states or in the united states bound for anywhere are going to have to rely on the measures in place for screening and control of safety of the passengers. >> we know that in the christmas day bombing case, the suspect's father had actually warned authorities that the u.s. embassy in yemen that his son may have been radicalized and may be up to no good. i guess in the transferring of that information to the folks in washington, d.c. and the intelligence there, his name was actually misspelled. so how does this happen? >> well, that's a very common problem, particularly with arabic names that the alphabet don't match up identifically to translate names into english. and we have had cases where four or five members of the same family with the last name mohammad have it spelled a
7:39 pm
different way when it was translated into english. and the computers, you know marks not be ab, may not be able to pick up that. that's a critical problem. that's why the idea that we can ever completely rely on intelligence is not going to happen. >> the president has ordered four key reforms and one of them is to strengthen the criteria that it takes to put somebody on the no fly list. so is that enough? how do you feel about these lists? are they working? >> yeah. it will help, of course. but if we take this case specifically, if the father died of a heart attack five years ago, we would have a multimillionaire young man who would never -- would never be given to a u.s. embassy and he would be able to fly anywhere he wants in the world, have the means to do it. the reliance on the having enhanced databases is helpful, but it is not going to be the complete answer. and as earlier stories even today on cnn, we have 12-year-olds in pakistan by the
7:40 pm
hundreds being taught to be jihadists. they're not going to be on anybody's database until it is too late. >> how about profiling, does it work? >> it is a bad idea and it doesn't work. the idea of trying to single out a certain segment of a certain population is just -- it is not going to be effective because we're going to miss people and they're not going to focus on other people that could very easily be recruited by al qaeda. >> in the christmas day case, where is the accountability? are you surprised that nobody is losing their job over this. >> i think i am a little bit surprised. the president said he's accountable and it is his fault. he doesn't come up for a performance review until 2012. we need a system where it is not that you want to have a witch-hunt for heads to roll just for the sake of it, but there does have to be accountability. i think it is a sad situation when the head coach of the washington redskins football
7:41 pm
team is held more accountable for his failures than government officials who are responsible for our lives. >> all right. tom fuentes, former fbi assistant director. we'll leave it there. but good insight for us tonight. thank you. >> thank you. you're welcome. a financial lifeline severed for some maryland families. why the cost of caring for this toddler is suddenly soaring all because of state budget cuts. and a manatee group hug. not quite. why the florida critters are finding strength in numbers. ( laughs, click ) when you hear a click, ( clicking ) you know it's closed and secure. that's why hefty food bags click closed. hefty! hefty! hefty! so you know you've helped lock in freshness and lock out air... to help prevent freezer burn. be sure it's secure with hefty food bags. just one click and you know it's closed. hefty! hefty! hefty! ( click, click, click )
7:42 pm
7:43 pm
7:44 pm
hard times, tough choices. critical services are being cut in maryland and the ripple effects will be devastating. here's cnn's kate baldwin. >> mommy found toys. >> reporter: carmen booster has a rare chromosomal disorder. her mother michelle left a contracting job to care for carson full time. >> she can't care for herself. we got to change her clothes, she gets food -- fed through a tube, she's got over 22 doctors, so -- >> reporter: 22 doctors. >> yeah. >> reporter: with $13,000 in out of pocket medical expenses last year alone, brewster says
7:45 pm
supplemental funds from the state of maryland have been essential to her family's financial survival for years. but the economy has struck even this vulnerable segment of the population. faced with a $700 million budget short fall, maryland cut nearly $30 million from the state's developmental disabilities administration. >> it is okay. >> reporter: for the brewsters, that means painful decisions. the extra help for things like diapers, medication and physical therapy dropped from $2500 to just $300. what does that really mean for you guys? >> a struggle. a struggle to figure out how we're going to help our -- how to help our daughter and make sure that we have the monies to make sure our other children get taken care of too. we can wait. our kids can't. and that's what it is all about. >> reporter: outraged by the state's action, advocates for the developmentally disabled launched a state wide campaign, holding town halls to fight the
7:46 pm
budget cut. >> i don't think people realize how this can just totally devastate your family. >> reporter: state officials say they understand, especially in this sluggish economy, every cut hurts someone. but they defend the governor's budget decision. >> he was able to protect services for people with disabilities throughout most of the budget cutting rounds. but the choices are getting much more difficult to make. it is not easy anymore. >> reporter: and not easy for states across the country. a recent report by the pew center suggests state budget troubles are having far reaching impact on residents. >> as the states face severe budget troubles, the state will feel it. they'll pay more taxes, they'll pay higher fees. >> reporter: with a $2 billion budget short fall projected in maryland for 2011, brewster says she has no idea what is in store for her family's financial future. she only hopes more cuts aren't on the horizon for her daughter and so many others. >> they didn't ask to be
7:47 pm
disabled. we're not asking for hands out. we're just asking for a little bit of help. that's it. >> reporter: kate bolduan, cnn, maryland. it was anything but an average day at school for one tee teenage girl. it is a story you have to see.
7:48 pm
7:49 pm
7:50 pm
a teenage florida girl gets a special and unexpected visitor to her high school classroom. our affiliate in jacksonville has the story. >> reporter: it's been ten long months since ashley has been able to hug her dad. the 10th grader had a hard time letting go. she had no idea she would be seeing her father so soon. >> i thought he was going to be coming down sunday. i didn't know he showed up in
7:51 pm
school. i was excited that he showed up in the class. >> what i did over there, we work with the afghan national army. >> reporter: he has spent the last ten months as a medical mentor in afghanistan. he has been teaching the afghan national army and national police how to run a hospital and as proud as ashley is of her father, she says spending time apart from him wasn't easy. >> because i'm really close with him and it was hard to say bye to him. >> reporter: now her dad is back we asked ashley what she wanted to do. of all places she says eating here at the waffle house. why waffle house? >> because that is where eate before he left. i promised him the day after he left we would go back. >> reporter: ashley is happy she will have a lot more time to spend with her dad. her dad can think of only one word to describe the experience.
7:52 pm
>> priceless. everything that we do builds up to seeing the family again and any reaction that we get is just phenomenon. severe winter weather in the deep south is affecting sea creatures. these manatees are causing a stir in florida as they huddle together for warmth. for my arthritis, i use
7:53 pm
7:54 pm
new capzasin quick relief gel. (announcer) starts working on contact and at the nerve level. to block pain for hours. new capzasin, takes the pain out of arthritis.
7:55 pm
well, have you ever cuddled up for warmth or maybe you're not the only one if you haven't but people are cuddling up for warmth and so are 100 manatees. they snuggled up in this florida canal. problem is they have been hanging out there about a week and munched away on most of the vegetation. warm-blooded animals like manatees are faring better than florida's cold-blooded critters. iguanas are fall out of trees. carly is a spokeswoman for the florida fish and wildlife commission. how are the manatees doing and
7:56 pm
which have been hit so far? >> the manatees are faring okay. exposure to water temperatures below 68 degrees for long periods of time can lead to a condition called manatee cold stress syndrome. that can eventually lead to death so manatees will, what they'll do in these type of situations is gather in warm water habitats like the canals and the power plants and the springs here and they get into warm water areas where they basically stay there until the water temperatures rise to be comfortable in the open water. >> two of them have been rescued. how do you go about rescuing them? >> well, we have biologists that are very well trained. we rescued one in st. petersburg, a young female
7:57 pm
manatee from a canal. she was in water that was about 53 degrees. got her out of there. got her to a local rehab facility so now she is safe and rehabilitating. >> i understand the manatees have gone towards this power plant in florida where the water is much warmer so they are in spa-like conditions, but what about the turtles? do they have any natural sense to do anything like that and how are the turtles doing? >> the turtles unfortunately go through a cold stunning event. they become very lifeless. they almost appear as if they are dead but they are live. our biologists are going out with agencies and volunteers, a multigroup effort and rescuing these guys, basically taking them to rehab facilities here in florida and keeping them there until the water temperature warms up and we'll be able to release these guys into the water again. it's kind of overwhelming because there's a lot of
7:58 pm
turtles. we got 470 from the gulf side of the state and about 375 so far from the east coast. so it is a lot of turtles but we're optimistic because most of them are anticipated to survive. >> carli segelson, you have your hands full, keep us posted. >> thank you. >> we are checking with the jacqui jeras. it is an incredible story. >> i like the manatees in the spa. our i-reporters have been sending incredible pictures. we start in florida and this is in the panhandle of florida where i-reporter, this is outside of pensacola, they woke up, freezing temperatures in the
7:59 pm
20s. the sand box turns into the icebox. >> she doesn't care. >> look at that. spinning around like a ballerina. mom's hand was in that shot. that was from stacy duncan from milton, florida. let's show you another one. this one is in mur yetta, georgia, when you have a half inch of snow on the ground -- >> let's take the sleds out. >> slim picking. from the adrianna. kids having a good time. >> extra work. >> we have from ocala, florida, they got some sleet there. we have been talking about conditions in central florida. they built a snowman. they got sleet and snow, built a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on