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Remembering Senator Edward Kennedy; School Bus Cuts Nationwide; More Banks in Big Trouble

Aired August 27, 2009 - 14:02   ET



PHILLIPS: Live pictures from Hyannis Port as the motorcade of the late senator, Ted Kennedy, gets ready to make its way through Boston, all the way to JFK's museum and library, where his body will lay in repose.

We just saw the senator's flag-draped casket carried out of the home where he died late Tuesday night. The home where his family gathered earlier today for a private mass.

We saw all members of the family leaving the compound there just as that mass wrapped up. And as we speak, you can see his motorcade is setting out from the family compound there in Hyannis Port, and it's en route to John K. Kennedy's presidential library.

It's about 70 miles away. And it's a journey both personal and public, a tribute to a senator, a statesman, patriarch, and, in President Obama's own words, a defender of a dream.

It's a long drive ahead made longer by a route that's rich in Kennedy history. That's for sure.

Faneuil Hall, Boston's mayor will ring the bell 47 times, one for each year that Kennedy served in the U.S. Senate. And then Saint Stephen's Church is where family matriarch Rose Kennedy was baptized. And then the JFK Federal Building is where Senator Kennedy maintained his Boston office. The motorcade will pass by there.

Then near the Massachusetts state House. A very young Ted Kennedy briefly served as assistant D.A.

So, like I said before we took a break, it will be a trip through time as the grandkids, family members there, waving to supporters lined up along the streets there in Hyannis Port to watch the motorcade of their favorite senator as he leaves his home for the very last time, headed to his final resting place. And that will be Arlington National Cemetery.

The senator's grave actually will be right there next to his brothers, John and Robert Kennedy. Senator Kennedy was eligible for the burial there because he served as a member of Congress and also because he served honorably in active duty in the Army in the early 1950s.

David Gergen is still with me. And also, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.

And Doug, let's chat with you, because I know we've got you for about another 10 minutes or so.

We were talking with David Gergen about the lion of the Senate there, and how this is a very emotional time for the family. But also the perfect place for the senator to die. It was where he found peace, it was where he was the most happy. And, of course, it's where all members of the family were.

And now, as he moves from his home to his final resting place, a lot of people asking, OK, who's going to fill his shoes? And is it possible?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, there is nobody that's ever going to fill Ted Kennedy's shoes. And that's a tall order for somebody in the family to try to live up to.

It's a new generation right now of Kennedys that are doing very active public service things. Robert Kennedy, Jr., for example, has become our top environmentalist. He is constantly fighting polluters. He's trying to save mountains right now in West Virginia, and he's fighting for parks in Alaska.

You have people like Rory Kennedy, who is becoming a cutting-edge filmmaker for HBO, currently doing a documentary about the border fence going up between the United States and Mexico, and has been involved with issues of AIDS, on global AIDS epidemic.

You have people like Kerry Kennedy, who just wrote a book on being Catholic which became a bestseller for her. And she organizes Speak Truth to Power, these human rights conferences all over the world, and getting a great membership to all her speeches and everything she does.

And I could go on and on. There are so many of them.

In fact, the word is, it's a clan. And clan, you think of as an Irish word. And remember, that the Kennedys are -- they are kind of both outsiders and insiders.

They had to fight as Irish Catholics to be part of a Protestant New England. And when you are there at Hyannis Port, you can feel the tug of Ireland, particularly when you go sailing. It's just across the pond, as they like to say.

And this Irishness is there, and it again connects to the Roman Catholicism I mentioned earlier. I didn't know this until I read it in "The New York Times," but Senator Kennedy, after Rose died in 1995, for one year, went to mass every day for an entire year.

I'm Catholic. If I go to mass once a month, I'm feeling spiritual. But to go every day...

PHILLIPS: You've got to rid all the guilt, you've got have confession. It's the good, Irish Catholic thing to do, Doug. You know that.

BRINKLEY: Well, and it's -- and I think that Ted Kennedy's sense of faith and the family's belief, when you have the amount of tragedies that they have had -- and I think they have turned to priests, have turned constantly to Catholicism as a source of refuge. You know, one out of every four Americans is Catholic. And yet, up until John Kennedy's election in 1970, there had been anti-Catholic bigotry.

There was a no-nothing party against Catholics. And when Al Smith ran for president in the 1920s, people thought the Vatican was going to run America.

The Kennedys broke the stigma against Catholicism, and they did it in Protestant New England. And they did it by keeping the family unit together. And at all costs, as David Gergen said, of putting family first.

That's what this procession is really about now. They are going to the Kennedy Library, which has become the sort of family meeting place. It's the public policy center, along with the Kennedy School at Harvard, where the Kennedy family has stayed very engaged over the past decades.

PHILLIPS: As did David Gergen as well.

Douglas Brinkley, great talking to you. Thanks so much for joining us for the beginning of this. Really appreciate it. And we look forward to your next book, too. I bet you're working on something Kennedy-oriented.

BRINKLEY: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: Thanks, Doug.

And we're going to talk with David Gergen coming up as well as we continue to follow the live coverage of the motorcade.

And just to give you the schedule for Senator Ted Kennedy's final farewell, the motorcade taking the long way to the JFK Library, as you heard Doug just say. The body will lie in repose there, with time set aside for public visitation tonight and tomorrow.

Friday night at 7:00, there will be a memorial service at the library.

And then Saturday morning, the family will attend a final funeral mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica.

Also in Boston, all four of the living former presidents will be at the service, both Bushes, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. And then President Obama will deliver a eulogy.

And later that day, Kennedy's final trip to his final resting place, and that will be Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

All right. We're going to push forward now on the tough economy, straight to where you live and your kids go to school.

Cash-strapped districts are cutting back on buses, and that's leaving a lot of parents wondering, how am I going to get the kids to school?

Take a look at this. In Boston, just outside of Boston, where we're actually following the motorcade there of Senator Ted Kennedy, 10 buses are off the road next month, on top of 20 that were cut last year.

Cobb County, Georgia, a $58 million deficit means eliminating more than 8,000 bus stops.

Then in California, the Novado School District is eliminating all bus service except for special-needs kids.

And in Houston, no bus service for kids living within two miles of school, plus no late bus service for after-school activities.

Now, I had a chance to speak with Robin Leeds of the National School Transportation Association, representing private contractors, manufacturers and suppliers. And I asked her what this means for the 25 million kids who ride the school bus right now.


ROBIN LEEDS, NATIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION: It's going to mean that a significant number of kids aren't going to get to school. They don't have another option, because, as you say, maybe there is a single parent who has to work, can't get time off to go take the children to and from school, or maybe there is no car in the family and it's too far for the kids to walk.

They can't ride bikes. They can't roller-skate. There is no way for them to get there. And they are just not going to get to school.

So, there is going to be an increase in absenteeism. And, of course, when the kids don't get to school, they can't learn. They are not accessing their education.

PHILLIPS: I mean, and that is just heartbreaking. How can -- we just can't do that to our kids when that is the most important thing that they need in order to become working and successful adults.

And so what can we do? What can you, what can I do, what can parents do right now?

LEEDS: Well, the interesting thing is, and the irony of this, is that when school officials look at how they are going to balance their budgets -- and in all fairness to school administrators and boards of education, they are in a really tough place right now, because their revenues aren't coming in. The states have reduced their reimbursements for transportation and other educational services. Taxpayers are not passing bond issues. The property tax rolls are down. So, schools don't have the income that they used to have. They are forced to make budget cuts just like families are forced to make budget cuts.

But unfortunately, when they look at the ways that they can cut, they are thinking, well, we have to keep the cuts out of the classroom. We don't want to cut teachers. We don't want to cut books. We want to make sure that the classroom stays intact. So, we'll cut transportation. But the irony of that is, when the kids can't get to school, it doesn't matter how good the classroom education is because they can't access it.

PHILLIPS: Well, you know what I was thinking, too? What about security? I mean, let's say the parents say, OK, well, son, daughter, it looks like you're going to have to walk home or to school, and that's a few miles away. I mean, with predators out there, you just...

LEEDS: Safety is a really big concern. And let me just -- you know, dry statistics, but I have to tell you this.

There are 50 million kids that go to school every day. A little more than half of them go on a school bus and a little less than half of them go some other way. They walk, they ride bikes. They go in cars.

Among the kids who go to school by school bus, we have an average of 20 fatalities a year. Too many, but 20 fatalities. But among the kids who go to school some other way, we have 800 fatalities every year.

PHILLIPS: Oh my gosh. Wow.

LEEDS: Eight hundred fatalities of kids who are not in school buses. So, the more kids who are not going to have a school bus to ride, the higher those figures are going to go.

PHILLIPS: So, Robin, how do we push this forward? Do we need to reach out to our congressmen and women, our senators, the Department of Education? I mean, what do we need to do?

LEEDS: Well, I think it starts on the local level. And parents have to be really concerned about it. Parents are concerned about it. But they have to make those concerns known.

I'll tell you a story. I had a call on Monday from a grandparent in Indiana. And she was concerned because the school district has cut out the bus that used to bring her child home -- or her grandchild home.

Now they drop her grandchild at a church parking lot, which is three-quarters of a mile from the house. Well, three-quarters of a mile isn't too far to walk, except that the only route is a four-lane highway with a 55-mile-an-hour speed limit and no shoulders, because there is road construction going on. And this child is 8 years old. PHILLIPS: Well, bottom line, we have to do something. We're talking about it now. We'll be proactive. We'll follow up on this and we'll tell our viewers ways that they can be proactive and try to save those school buses.

I grew up getting to school on the school bus. I'm sure you did, too. We need them, Robin.

Robin Leeds.

LEEDS: We do. And start at the local level. Convince your school board that that's a priority.

PHILLIPS: We are on it. Thanks, Robin.



PHILLIPS: And a big economic story that we're following, one that affects your money. The FDIC says the number of troubled banks is at its highest level in 15 years. So, do you need to worry about your bank account?

Our Personal Finance Editor Gerri Willis joins us now from New York.

So, Gerri, how concerned should all of us be about this right now?

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Well, I have to tell you, this shouldn't be your number one priority. And I'll tell you why. There are some steps here you can take to ensure the safety of your savings.

A, number one, the most important thing, your bank has to be an FDIC insured bank. If you're not sure, all you have to do is look for the FDIC seal. They will have it on their advertisements. You can go to the FDIC Web site and find it there.

Next, know how much is insured. That's critical as well.

Let's take a look at some of the limits of insurance.

For savings and CDs, the insurance goes up to $250,000. Also, for IRAs, retirement accounts, the same amount, $250,000. And then mutual funds, stocks and bonds, they are not insured. OK?

Understand, no insurance there at all. And in five years, these insurance levels will revert to the old insurance levels, which are only $100,000. You should know that.

Now, if you have more than these amounts in the bank, make sure you spread out the wealth. Keep in mind that just because there are banks on this watch list, it doesn't necessarily mean they are going to go out of business. Now, on average, 13 percent of banks on the FDIC's problem list have been seized and shuttered by regulators. So, it's unusual for that to happen -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Well, is there any way to rank the safety of financial institutions? Is that even possible?

WILLIS: Well, if you want to do a checkup, right -- that's what you're thinking, I want to find out how safe my bank is -- the FDIC isn't releasing their list of banks in trouble. Instead, go to They have a safety and soundness rating system that can help you get a big picture of your bank's health.

And if you want more detailed info, go to They have really detailed information about the safety of banks.

At the end of the day, though, the main thing you want to look for is that FDIC label. It says, hey, your deposits are insured up to limits.

PHILLIPS: Gerri, thanks.

WILLIS: My pleasure.

PHILLIPS: Tropical Storm Danny could mess up a lot of weekend plans along the East Coast. Chad Myers is going to show us the latest tracking models.

Also, we are continuing our live coverage of the motorcade carrying the body of Senator Edward Kennedy to Boston.


PHILLIPS: Pretty amazing story that we're following today. Jaycee Duggard is finally seeing her parents 18 years after being abducted. Police in California have confirmed that Duggard, a child kidnap victim from 1991, has turned up at a local police precinct, apparently in good condition.

It's a pretty unbelievable story and one that gripped a community for years. And now David Marquez (ph) from our affiliate KXTV brings us the latest.


DAVID MARQUEZ (ph), REPORTER, KXTV (voice-over): It was a fearful loss that has haunted this community for nearly two decades.

It's crazy. I remember my sister was in her class in fifth grade when I happened to live down here. And I'm just blown away.

MARQUEZ: The abduction of 11-year-old Jaycee Duggard changed lives here in this south Lake Tahoe neighborhood forever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That day, my sister didn't go to the bus stop. And I was just scared ever since to go to the bus stop. My parents never let her go back there.

MARQUEZ: Friends and neighbors grieved and still held out hope as months stretched into years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I remember growing up in this neighborhood. Ping ribbons were hung everywhere.

DAVID WATKINS, PURCHASED DUGGARD HOME: Yes, we had a discount on the place because of what happened.

MARQUEZ: When he retired, David Watkins (ph) bought the home Jaycee had lived in, in 1998.

WATKINS: You hear about it every year, you know. Someone says something about it, you know, wondering what happened with her and what's going on with her.

MARQUEZ: And they have lived with the questions, the rumors that have swirled ever since.

WATKINS: I heard she was buried around here and I heard she wasn't. My neighbor up the street said he saw her get snagged. So...

MARQUEZ: Now, just possibility of answers in this old case after so many years seems hard to believe.

WATKINS: Maybe it will put an end to everything, finally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it was one of those mysteries. We always obviously thought the worst. Not wanting to, but...


PHILLIPS: Well, our Dan Simon is working the story for us right now. Apparently, he is talking to the sheriff. And we're getting more information. We're going to bring him up live as soon as he comes to us.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a hearing today for seven men accused of plotting terror attacks overseas. Their lawyers are meeting with a judge to discuss how to use highly classified evidence. Authorities say that the evidence could jeopardize national security if it's made public.

And somewhat lost in the Senator Kennedy coverage, the passing of a best-selling crime author and columnist, Dominick Dunne. He actually died yesterday at his home in New York City. His family says that Dunne had been fighting bladder cancer. He was 83 years old.


PHILLIPS: Gloria Borger, you, of course, on a number of levels, have had a fascinating relationship with the Kennedy family. Not only have you covered what Ted Kennedy was involved with regard to health care, but you have also gotten to know the family very well. You have spent time there at the compound.

As you've been watching all of this, tell me what you're thinking about. GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I'm thinking about how Senator Kennedy probably planned this route. And as you said earlier, it's kind of a tour through his life and his career.

And in his own way, in hi death, I think what he is doing on this route is paying respect not only to his family, but to the people of the state that he served for the last 47 years, going to his first office, going to Faneuil Hall, where he actually officially declared his presidential candidacy, going on the Rose Kennedy Parkway, whatever it is. He was very, very close to his mom, as you know.

In fact, Caroline Kennedy once told me that, actually, people think Ted Kennedy learned politics from his brothers and his father. But Caroline said people underestimate the fact that he really learned an awful lot about politics from his mother.

Don't forget, his mother was the daughter of Honey Fitz, Honey Fitzgerald, the former mayor of Boston. She grew up in politics. And what Caroline Kennedy said to me is, he learned the joy of politics, he learned the fun of politics.

He learned about how politics could be a vehicle for helping people. For Rose Kennedy, it was, in fact, a vehicle for her great faith. And he learned his faith from his mother, which, when he eulogized her, he said that was the greatest gift of all that she had given her children, was her faith.

PHILLIPS: And you bring up, once again, the motorcade going to be stopping by all these special places, whether it's where he worked or where he spoke, and he's going to go past the Rose Kennedy Greenway, which was an extremely close to his heart project.

BORGER: Right . And then, of course, wind up at another project which he has been so, so involved with for his entire life. And that is the JFK Library. And that project is something he spoke about all the time.

The library is full of his family. It was a place where he loved to go and reminisce himself about his family. And so, it's just sort of -- you know, just thinking about this, I think that the senator probably gave this a great deal of thought and probably didn't want this to be anything like JFK's funeral. Not -- he is not lying in repose in the Capitol, which some people thought he might do. This was his own way of saying goodbye to this state and this family that he served and loved so much. I think it is a very kind of personal tour starting out, of course, in Hyannis, which he loved most of all.

PHILLIPS: And Gloria Borger, I know you are going to be joining us throughout the next couple of hours as we follow this live, the motorcade of the late Senator Ted Kennedy right there. We are seeing the bus carrying other family members in the middle of that motorcade.

All the people lined up there along the highway as he makes his final trip from his home there in Cape Cod to the JFK library like we were just talking about, where his body will lie in repose and that final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery where he will be buried right there next to his brothers, John and Robert. We will be following it live all afternoon.

We are following other stories for you. The message in Los Angeles right now is stay indoors if you can. A smoky haze, as you can see right here from two big wildfires, is covering much of the Los Angeles area right now. The fires are burning in the Angeles National Forest. One is a real monster. It's already scorched nearly 1,900 acres, and it's about 45 percent contained. The other blaze has burned 30 acres. A fire also is in Monterrey County that's spread across three square miles.

Chad Myers tracking those flames for us. He's got a lot of information as well, I believe, on Tropical Storm Danny and where that might be heading as well, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Danny, what it is doing now and how it is defying what the models think or thought was going on. Here is the center of Danny, nowhere near where the convection is or where all the colors are, where all the thunderstorms are.

And I'll tell you why that makes a big difference. The computer models ran this morning -- all the computers thought that Danny was going to be here. All of the sudden, you follow this yellow line. See that yellow line? That's what Danny has done today. It has actually turned left. It continues to go left.

So, what would be a computer model that says that now is already about 40 miles off because that's not where the storm is at this point in time. So, is that going to matter? Yes, sure, it could. Because the forecast is to make this big right-hand turn. If the forecast was 60 or 80 or 100 miles offshore, now, we are going to divide that by two, and we take you back up here into the Cape Cod area where that forecast also wants to come very close if not in the cone right there, a possibility. You take that and move that over about 60 miles, possibly, because of what it has jogged today.

Now, we have two potential landfalls. They always were potential landfalls, because they always were in the cone. But now, although the storm still is not getting any stronger, because it does not have that big round circulation, what's going to happen as it moves on up, everyone wants to know. What's the possibility of this affecting the funeral? And I think all of this -- this is 8:00 Saturday morning. We could certainly be getting rain into Boston by then.

Now, as this goes away and they get down to Arlington, I believe the storm will be far enough that the Arlington National part of this should be dry and cloud free. Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Sounds good. Thanks, Chad.

We'll take a quick break. More from the CNN NEWSROOM straight ahead.


PHILLIPS: And breaking news that we've been following for you. Jaycee Dugard, finally seeing her parents 18 years after being abducted. Police in California now confirm to us that Dugard, a child kidnap victim from 1991 turned up yesterday in a local police precinct, apparently in good conditions. Authorities say a man and a woman have been arrested, but the details are still sketchy.

Our Dan Simon has been working this story for us. Apparently, he just talked with the sheriff. Dan joins us on the phone now.

I think, Dan, a lot of us want to know where she has been, of course, for 18 years and also, what does she look like, how is she feeling and how did this all happen.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, a really crazy story, Kyra. A lot of different things in flux.

Let me tell you where I am. I am in the city of Antioch, California. This is what's known as the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay area. I am looking in front of me at about 20 or so FBI agents and local law enforcement serving a search warrant on a house. This is the house where apparently the two suspects lived, two people, who had this girl in custody for so long, 18 years, we are hearing.

"The San Francisco Chronicle" right now is reporting that the two people arrested, Phillip Craig Garrido (ph) , 58 years old and his wife, Nancy Garrido, 55, both arrested in this case. Being held on a million dollars bail, charged with kidnapping, rape by force, lewd and lascivious acts with the minor, among other charges.

CNN just did a search on this guy, Garrido -- Phillip Craig Garrido. He is in the National Sex Offender Registry database, Kyra. So, this is obviously a very disturbing story.

We haven't really heard anything like this for several years since the Elizabeth Smart case. Everybody remembers that case. She was kidnapped when she was a little girl and emerged several years later. So, obviously, still waiting to get some more details. We would, of course, love to hear from the young woman's parents. We can't really call her a girl anymore. She is 29 years old. Certainly, an amazing story.

PHILLIPS: Wow. A heart wrenching story as well when you hear that she has been stuck with a child predator all these years. Dan, do we know -- did she escape the house? Do we have any idea how she got to authorities?

SIMON: That's such an excellent question. We really don't. All we know is that sometime yesterday, she showed up unexpectedly as the Concord Police Department. That's also another little town in the San Francisco Bay area. She showed up, told the authorities there who she was. The concord Police apparently reached out to the FBI.

The FBI then put the young woman in touch with her mother. During that time, it was confirmed that, yes, this is, in fact, the young woman. From what we understand, the mother is headed -- she lives in southern California now. She is headed up to this area for the reunion. PHILLIPS: Can you imagine being that mom and getting that phone call? Oh, my gosh. Do we have any idea what she said, how she reacted? Any tidbits about the mom?

SIMON: Well, we know, obviously, she was very, very surprised to say the least. CNN did speak to the woman's stepfather, Dugard's stepfather, who relayed some details. Basically just said the family was in disbelief, that there was a brief conversation between the mother and her daughter.

The mother hung up the phone and was convinced after speaking to her daughter that in fact it was her after talking to her. Because as you can imagine, she was probably a bit suspicious that maybe this was a crank call or something like that. She was convinced it in fact it was her...

PHILLIPS: I would love to know what it was she said that made it click.

SIMON: Yes, exactly.

PHILLIPS: Will they have to do any DNA tests or anything like that just to make absolutely sure, Dan, or are they one hundred percent convinced that this is, indeed, Jaycee?

SIMON: It will be interesting to see what authorities say how they walked away convinced. There is no doubt that this in fact, Jaycee Dugard. Again, you have two people in custody. The man in this case, the male suspect on the sex offender data base. So, clearly, a lot more details to come out that already, very disturbing.

PHILLIPS: Dan, stay with me. Just to let our viewers know, this breaking news story that we have been covering. Jaycee Dugard, you just saw pictures of her right there, is finally going to see her parents after 18 years after being abducted.

This is what she looked like when she was 11 years old back in 1991. As you heard our Dan Simon say, she just turned up at a local police precinct, apparently in good condition, said who she was. As you heard Dan, there is a man and woman in custody now. That man with a record. He is in the Sex Offender database. Dan, did you say that the woman was also in the database or just man?

SIMON: Right now, all we have confirmed is that the man is in the database. Again, a laundry list of charges here, according to "The San Francisco Chronicle." Still trying to independently confirm this. The Chronicle reporting that both the man and the woman, Phillip Garrido and Nancy Garrido are charged on suspicion of kidnapping, rape by force, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, sexual penetration and conspiracy, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Just heartwrenchin. Well, Dan, we appreciate you bringing us the breaking story. Look forward to getting more information to fill in all the gaps here. I guess at the end of the day, this is terrific news for Jaycee's biological mom. It will be interesting to watch that moment when they unite for the first time. We look forward to you bringing us the updated reports, Dan. Appreciate it.

SIMON: Hey, Kyra, let me tell you one more thing.

PHILLIPS: Sure. Go ahead.

SIMON: The El Doredo County Sheriff's department -- this is the area where she was abducted all those years ago. They are holding a news conference at 3:00 p.m. local time, just in about three hours from now.

PHILLIPS: Got it. So, 3:00 West Coast time. 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. I am assuming we are going to carry that live or at least bring you parts of that.

Dan Simon, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

SIMON: Sure, thanks.

PHILLIPS: A familiar story in this economy. A company closes, putting people out of work. In today's "Money & Main Street," CNN's John Zarrella actually catches up with a man who was recently laid off in Florida. But he's doing what he can to help others before helping himself.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They'll still be there on the shelves of convenience stores. Hav-a-Tampa Cigars. But they won't be coming from the city in the name. After a century of production, it is over. Operations consolidated, move to Puerto Rico. Four hundred and ninety-five people out of work.

RON RUSSELL, FORMER MACHINIST, HAV-A-TAMPA CIGARS: I'm thinking, here is a place I can retire from.

ZARRELLA: Ron Russell was a machinist at the Tampa factory for three and a half years.

RUSSELL: I thought I was safe in a 100-year-old company...

ZARRELLA: Russell didn't cry nor did he start pounding the pavement looking for another job. Nope. He did something very different.

RUSSELL: We thank those of you that have come to offer hope to us in an hour of need.

ZARRELLA: He started a Web site. On it, the names, contact information and skills of former Hav-a-Tampa employees who want to be listed. One-stop shopping, Russell says, for companies looking for workers.

(on camera): So, if I need an engineer?

RUSSELL: If you need engineer, highlight engineer and click search. We have Mr. Harvey Morris. ZARRELLA (voice-over): Morris says, you won't find better people than those on the site.

(on camera): What kind of person can I expect to find on that Web site?


ZARRELLA (voice-over): So far, the site, Russell says, the site has led to 30 jobs.

At one time, there were some 200 cigar factories in Tampa. It is down to one now. Only the J.C Newman company is left. Hav-a-Tampa officials say a new federal tax dramatically increased the price of their cigars and reduced consumption.

DAVE ZEPLOWITZ, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is a company that has given people tremendous livelihoods and it is all gone.

ZARRELLA: Dave Zeplowitz is known as Cigar Dave on his syndicated radio talk show.

ZEPLOWITZ: It is an absolute tragedy. Total preventable tragedy. There is no other product that is taxed at 53 percent in this nation.

ZARRELLA: The tax was levied to help fund a federal health insurance program for children from low income families. Ironically, Ronald Russell says, his child now qualifies for the insurance.

(on camera): What about looking out for number one?

RUSSELL: Number one will get his turn when it is time.

ZARRELLA: But now is the time, Russell says, to find work for the others.

John Zarrella, CNN, Tampa.


PHILLIPS: "Money & Main Street," stories of everyday Americans surviving in these tough economic times. That's tonight at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.


PHILLIPS: It was probably one of the most powerful moments today, at least within the past couple of hours as we have been talking about the late Senator Ted Kennedy and his final journey. It was this picture right here where we actually saw his casket being loaded into the hearse as it was getting ready to head through Boston all the way up to the JFK library where his body will be lying in propose -- repose, rather. It was right here. The family had a private mass on the Kennedy compound, and you saw every member of the Kennedy clan there, and then the moment when the color guard came out and took the casket from his home, leaving for the last time and finally will be headed to his final resting place. And that will be Arlington National Cemetery. That was about 45 minutes ago that we watched this happen. Live pictures of his flag-draped casket carried out of the home where he died Tuesday night.

Now, probably within the next 45 minutes or so, he will be arriving at the place that was very special to him, the JFK Library and Museum that he worked very hard on, to honor his brother, the 35th president of the United States, after he was assassinated.

That's where our Mary Snow joins us live now. She is awaiting that arrival. When his casket will be brought out and he will lie in repose right there inside the museum. Did you get a chance to go inside, actually, Mary, and see how it will all be set up and how members of the public will be able to come through and pay their respects?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I did, Kyra. There is a room called the Smith Center. The museum says it can hold about 600 people. Members of the public will be able to go through that room and pay their last respects.

A line here is already forming for members of the public to be able to go in. One of the first people on the line, Maryann Camp, who joins us right now. Maryann, you told me that you have been here since 9:30 this morning. The doors will open at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. How important was it for you to be here today?

MARYANN CAMP, JFK LIBRARY VISITOR: So very important that I caught a train very early this morning to get here just to pay my respects to all the Kennedys, not only Robert and Ed but JFK as well.

SNOW: Tell me about that. You said that the Kennedy family has played such a big influence on your life.

CAMP: Actually, I saw JFK the night before he was killed in Houston, and his whole speech with "ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for your country" had such a powerful influence on me that I joined the Peace Corps at age 60 and stayed in it for eight years. It was very important to me.

SNOW: All right. Maryann Camp, thank you for joining us. And Kyra, about 20 people or so who have been lining up, some from North Carolina, New York, a couple of other people from Massachusetts who have echoed Maryann's comments, saying they felt it was just very important for them to be here today.

Also, a youth group, a nonprofit public service organization -- members of that group have been gathering here too, because they are going to be acting as ushers at today's service, if you will. The body, as you said, will lie in repose. It will be a closed casket. There will be a military and civilian honor guard and family members, staff members and friends, will be also alongside the body.

Also, throughout the day, there has been a room with pictures of Senator Kennedy. People have been coming in, writing messages. There has been a steady line of people also waiting to do that as well. Kyra?

PHILLIPS: All right. We will continue to follow the motorcade as it goes through Boston and ends up where you are, Mary Snow. Thank you so much.

PHILLIPS: You know, affordable health care was the most passionate cause of Senator Kennedy's life. Now some think his name and reform should be one and the same.


PHILLIPS: He called Ted Kennedy his best friend in the Senate. Now, Senator Robert Byrd wants his buddy's name immortalized in legislation. Byrd says that any health care reforms adopted by Congress should bear Kennedy's name. Byrd also hopes that Kennedy's death will lead to a more civilized debate in what has been a heated battle. Kennedy championed health reform for decades. It was the cause of his life, even during his very last days.

Sure, Congress is wrangling over health care. But there are people in the trenches that are making their own health care reform. People like Dr. Katz, returning to his traditional routes to help the sick and needy. In short, he's making house calls. Photojournalist Jay McMichael introduces us to Dr. Katz in today's "Health Care in Focus."



It's Dr. Katz.

I do house calls.

Your pressure's way up. On the underserved Medicaid population. I usually go into neighborhoods in the inner city that are full of despair and low on the economic strata, boarded up townhouses, there are groups of young men hanging out on the corner, open-air drug markets. Not uncommon to have shootings just hours before or afterwards on the streets.

I'm not a concierge doctor. And I say sometimes this is the anti- concierge practice. Take a deep breath.

Twenty percent of Medicare patients get readmitted after discharge from the hospital. Billions of dollars are lost due to those readmissions and those could be saved by increasing services at home.

When was that last filled? When was the Oxycodon filled?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 8-3-09. KATZ: About three years ago, we embarked on a data test with the sickest, highest (INAUDIBLE) of members to a coordinated team approach with field nurses, with the physician at the center trying to cross culture gap of noncompliance and distrust, build confidence and relationships with the patients and get them reengaged in their health care so that we could decrease our necessary emergency room transports and hospital admissions and that's been quite successful.

hat was my mom's name so it was on his jeep. My dad was a combat medic in World War II and later became a family practitioner in New Jersey and did house calls with his primary care practice. These are some old tools that he used.

It was a standard part of the medical practice because there was no 911 system. Patients couldn't call 911 in the middle of the night. They called their doctor, so he did house calls and carried around one of those large black bags.

This is a unique partnership where the interest of the insurance industry and health care providers really interface. And they coalesce into one mission. I think he'd probably be interested, knowing him, and he'd probably have some things to tell me how I could do it better. But I think in his heart he'd be pretty proud of me.


PHILLIPS: Thanks again to David McMichael for that. If you want to know more about the health care debate and how the reforms could affect you and your family, check out the special "Health Care in America" section on We have fact checks, iReports and everything you need to know about health care. Plus, the latest from those town hall meetings. Go to

That does it for us. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Rick Sanchez picks it up from here.

OK. Actually, Rick is just...

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kyra...

PHILLIPS: Oh, there we go!

SANCHEZ: ... thanks so much.

Let us begin this national conversation with a moment that begins Senator Ted Kennedy's final journey. Moments ago, he left the Kennedy compound for the very last time. It is a moment that really needs no words.