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Alleged Rape Victim Testifies; Lacrosse Coach Killed in Crash; NFL Player Burned in Balloon Crash
Aired March 16, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Whatever its outcome, it is a trial that had stained a teen's reputation and strained friendships in the town of Steubenville, Ohio, and it is almost over. Tomorrow could be the last day of testimony in the case of two high school football players accused of raping a 16- year-old girl and a series of alcohol fueled parties back in August.
Just minutes ago, the girl finished testifying against the defendants, 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Malik Richmond.
CNN's Poppy Harlow has been in court all day today and Poppy is updating us now.
Tell us what the girl said.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Don.
Well, you know, this case has captured national attention because of all of the social media surrounding it, controversy over whether these boys were given preferential treatment or not because they are star football players. None of that matters right now. It is all about what is said in the courtroom. The state has rested its case after the alleged victim, that 16-year-old girl, took the stand for about two hours this evening, here in the court right behind me.
It was emotional at times. She was crying at times. But the big question here is how drunk was she the night of these alleged rapes by these two young men? Was she capable of consenting to anything or knowing what was going on?
So, they questioned her about what she had to drink. She said she remembered having a shot of vodka, some vodka mixed with a slushy, and one malt beverage, but nothing more. Others have testified she had more to drink.
She talks about being at a friend's house for a big party and then talking to Trent Mays throughout the nature leaving, holding his hand. He is one of the accused, but not remembering anything after that. She says she really doesn't remember anything except for throwing up in the street later that night and then waking up the next morning on the couch of someone she really doesn't know with Trent Mays there and also the other co-defendant Malik Richmond there. She says she woke up naked.
And when asked by prosecutors, did you ask the boys what happened last night? She said that she was, quote, "too embarrassed" to ask what happened that night.
She also testified about the ensuing days when she saw text messages, and tweets from friends and people she knew, all of the social media, pictures, et cetera, about the night and just tried to figure out what happened. She insisted that she could not remember. She said eventually she did ask Trent Mays one of the accused what happened and he said, she said they were telling me I was a hassle and they were taking care of me that night.
Now, I told you she got emotional. And that's when the prosecution showed her one of their exhibits. It was a naked picture of her allegedly taken that night on the cell phone. She said she had never seen this picture before, just now in the courtroom, and she broke down on the stand. She started crying.
We have to remember, this is a 16-year-old girl and these co- defendants are also juveniles in this case. It is an extraordinarily emotional for everyone.
LEMON: Poppy Harlow, thank you very much, Poppy. It's very emotional story there.
A tour bus carrying a university sports team crashed today and there are fatalities. This is Cumberland County in southern Pennsylvania. The women's lacrosse team from Seton Hill University was on the bus when it veered off the road. At least two people were killed and this evening, we learn their names.
Our national correspondent Susan Candiotti is following the story from New York.
Susan, a sad day for the small college near Pittsburgh.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just awful, Don.
There were 23 people aboard the bus and carrying Seton Hill's women's lacrosse team. The team's head coach, 30-year-old Kristina Quigley was six months pregnant with her second child and airlifted to a hospital but efforts to save her and her unborn baby boy failed.
Bus driver 61-year-old Anthony Guetta (ph) died at the scene. The team's charter bus was heading east on the Pennsylvania turnpike this morning from Seton Hill and Greensburg, just east of Pittsburg, on its way across the state, to a game to Millersville, in Lancaster County. State police say the driver veered off the road, hit a guard rail, went about 70 yards through grass and slammed into a tree.
The front of the bus appears to have taken the brunt of the impact. Now, the bus company, Malacker (ph), says it is also investigating and issued a statement expressing its sorrow.
We checked the company's safety record with federal authorities and there are no accidents shown online for the past two years and the 40-year-old bus line has a satisfactory rating and that is the highest one allowed -- Don.
LEMON: Susan, what about the cause of the crash? Weather? Particularly tricky stretch of highway?
Naturally, those are good questions. Investigators are taking a look at everything, including the weather. Police say there was an alternating mix of rain and snow at the time of the accident but it is not clear if weather played any role. Authorities will be talking with survivors, those lacrosse players and other members of the team to see if they can shed any light on what happened.
The NTSB has not decided whether it will get involved just yet.
LEMON: Susan Candiotti, thank you very much.
A pro-football player was seriously burned today in a hot air balloon accident near Miami. Donte Stallworth is reported in stable condition in a Miami hospital after the balloon collided with power lines. A female friend is also hospitalized in stable condition.
Earlier, I talked with Stallworth's agent about the accident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW ROSENHAUS, AGENT FOR INJURED FOOTBALL PLAYER: Really a freak occurrence that happened here. He was out on a leisure ride and there was some type of malfunction and the balloon got tangled in some power lines and he suffered some burns -- some serious burns. But thank God, he is expected to make a full recover.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, this accident comes almost four years after another south Florida tragedy involving Stallworth. While driving under the influence, he hit and killed a construction worker. Stallworth was sentenced to 30 days in jail under a plea bargain, along with eight years probation. Stallworth's agent says the injuries from today's accident shouldn't jeopardize his football career. The wide receiver is currently a free agent.
The mother of a missing New Orleans woman is holding onto hope that her daughter will be found.
(BEGI VIDEO CLIP)
TONI ENCLADE, MOTHER OF TERRILYNN MONETTE: She is still here. I can't think about her not being here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Her mother tells me where she thinks her daughter might be. That's next. And, later, all teachers deserve praise. But one in particular deserves it even more, that's because she is actually giving a part of herself to save the life of one of her students. You will meet her later this hour.
LEMON: Today marks two weeks since a 26-year-old elementary school teacher disappeared in New Orleans.
Terrilynn Monette hasn't been seen since leaving a bar after a night out with friends. Her car is also missing. Police have no suspects.
And, earlier, I asked the missing woman's mother what investigators have discovered so far.
ENCLADE: They haven't found anything yet connected with my daughter, her car, clothing, nothing has been located as of yet.
LEMON: Investigators have been focusing on the bayous and the waterways in the surrounding area, maybe thinking in some way she may have driven her car into one of those bayous and into one of those waterways, or maybe someone put her there. I hate to say that to you.
Do you think that she possibly -- because on the night she went missing, when she left Parlay's she had been drinking, do you think she possibly drove her car into one of those bodies of water?
ENCLADE: Honestly, from my point of view, being her mother, I don't feel that she is in there. I don't feel she is in there.
I don't feel that she is here. I don't feel she is in Louisiana. That's just a feeling I have. I just don't.
I could be wrong but that's a feeling I have. They have to, you know, search the area because that was the area that she possibly could have used on her way home, but honestly, I don't have a feeling that she is in there.
I have been by there. I have looked. I don't get any type of feeling that she's there.
LEMON: What do you think happened?
ENCLADE: Honestly, I feel someone has her. That's what I feel. I feel someone has her, someone is holding her, and for some apparent reason I don't know why, but I begged and I pleaded just to bring her back, just to leave her somewhere. I just want my daughter back.
LEMON: You live in California. She was there. How often did you guys communicate?
ENCLADE: Every day. Every day, two and three times a day. My daughter speaks -- was speaking to her four to five times a day. We're a very close-knit family. We have communication that goes beyond.
I am very close to my daughters. I speak to my daughter, I would speak to her every night before either she goes to bed or I go to bed. We would always end our conversations with "I love you."
LMEON: This is a very tough question, but one that I must ask you. Have you prepared yourself for the possibility, the worst possibility? We hope it doesn't happen. Have you prepared yourself for that? And can you even do that?
LEMON: I can't do that. I refuse to do that. I know my daughter, she is still here. She is still here.
I can't see thinking about her not being here. Me not seeing her face ever again. I can't see that. No. I can't. I am not thinking about that.
I am thinking that someone is going to find her and someone is going to bring her back to me.
LEMON: We hope they do find her. Thank you, Ms. Enclade. God bless you. Best of luck to you.
ENCLADE: Thank you. Thank you.
LEMON: When African-Americans go missing, do they get as much media attention as missing whites? Up next, we'll talk with an expert who is working to shine a media spotlight on missing African- Americans.
LEMON: When African-Americans go missing, you may not hear about it right away. That's the truth. The second grade teacher in New Orleans went missing two weeks ago. The search for 26-year-old Terrilynn Monette did not get huge media attention until just a few days ago.
Missing person cases involving white, especially white children often get massive amounts of national media coverage. Why do missing African-Americans get less attention?
Derrika Wilson, the co-founder and CEO of the Black and Missing Foundation joins me from Washington.
Why is that, Derrika?
DERRIKA WILSON, CO-FOUNDER, THE BLACK AND MISSING FOUNDATION: Well, a lot of times, you know, people like to associate missing children as runaways, so they're not given news coverage. When it comes to missing adults, they like to classify them as some sort of criminal activity so their news is not worthy as well. LEMON: Yes, you worked in law enforcement before starting that -- this foundation. What obstacles did you face when investigating cases involving missing African-Americans?
WILSON: You know, we've had numerous cases come to our attention where law enforcement simply didn't even take the place report. So that raises a huge challenge for us in helping these families, you know, with some of the news media coverage. You know, some of the decision makers tell us our stories are not newsworthy, but we continue to pound the pavement and create partnerships with media, partnerships with law enforcement to help these families because at the end of the day, it's not just the sole responsibility of law enforcement, it's law enforcement, the community, the media. We all play a very important role.
LEMON: Let's talk -- listen, I know we're talking people here. When I say numbers, I know we're talking people.
Let's talk numbers here. How many people go missing in the United States every year and how many of them are African-Americans?
WILSON: Well, last year alone, over 600,000 people were reported missing in the United States and 40 percent of those reported missing were persons of color.
LEMON: And the media coverage, do they balance out with that?
WILSON: Oh, absolutely not. One of the things that we like to say less is more and less of one particular race and more of everybody else that's missing, greater the reunion, because we're not trying to dishonor any community. We just want an even playing field, whether you're black, white, Asian, Hispanic, everyone deserves the equal coverage.
LEMON: What about in the case of Terrilynn Monette? What do you think? Do you think that law enforcement is doing enough and did you have trouble because you pitched this story to the national media as well, right?
WILSON: We were very successful in pitching the story. We had our partner, Jacque Reed and Tom Joyner to cover the story on News 1 (ph) and Ebony.com.
You know, with this particular case, I am interested in knowing how soon did the police report get filed? If in fact her car as well as her information was entered into the NCIC which is the National Crime Information Center, that's how we as law enforcement communicate. And then even though polygraph examinations are not admissible in court, I would be interested in knowing who the friends were that were with her at the bar that night, because it just seems really strange that this young lady would go sleep in her car and they would allow her to do so at 4 a.m. in the morning.
LEMON: OK, I've got to -- I've got to run here just because of time purposes. I will ask one more question if the producer allow it. Let's just be blunt here. Why is it do you think that national media gives less attention in cases involving African-Americans than whites? Is it racism?
WILSON: I will say there is a -- there is a phrase out there, white women syndrome. If you're not with blonde hair and blue eyes, your stories are not sensational enough and we to want change that to create an equal playing field for all persons that are missing.
LEMON: Derrika Wilson, thank you very much.
WILSON: Thank you.
LEMON: Republicans coming together to figure out what's wrong with their party and fix it. At the same time looking for a candidate for 2016. We'll talk to you about the CPAC conference and the straw poll results, next.
OBAMA: President Obama is selling a creative way to pay for research into alternative energy sources. In his weekly address he presented a plan to use the money collected from private companies who drill for oil on public lands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, this idea isn't mine. It actually builds off a proposal put forward by a non- partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals. So, let's take their advice and free our families and our business from painful spikes in gas prices once and for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The president said he supports increased domestic oil production, along with more research into solar power, wind power, and biofuels.
In the Republicans' weekly address, Congressman Paul Ryan talked about his plan for reducing the national deficit and balancing the budget. Ryan said a balanced budget would make a difference far beyond just crunching numbers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: But the crucial question isn't how we balance the budget, it's why. The budget is a means to an end. We're not balancing the budget as an accounting exercise. We're not trying to simply make numbers add up, we're trying to improve people's lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Ryan's proposal includes a repeal of the Obama health care plan and makes dramatic changes to Medicare, although those changes would not affect current enrollees.
Conservative activists have been meeting outside Washington talking about what went wrong in the last election and what they can do to win back the White House. Well, late this afternoon, Senator Rand Paul won CPAC's annual straw poll and I talked to our political director Mark Preston about the poll results and what the win means for Rand Paul's future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Young voters tended to be about 50 percent of the voters in this straw poll. There was about 3,000 total. Half of them were young. Rand Paul has inherited his father's political organization in many ways. Ron Paul's candidacy for the president in 2012 was fueled by young people, Don.
LEMON: Any surprises, any big disappointments?
PRESTON: You know, I think a big disappointment may have been for Rick Santorum. He did come in third. He came in behind Marco Rubio who came in second.
But this is a conference important for Rick Santorum and important for his candidacy. He is a social conservative. A lot of folks that come here are social conservatives. So, he did place in the top three, but I'm sure Rick Santorum who was working it very hard yesterday would have liked to have won -- Don.
LEMON: Let's talk about Dr. Ben Carson, very prominent pediatric neurosurgeon. He's also an author. He's very famous. Tell us what he said today at CPAC and that has everybody really talking right now.
PRESTON: Yes, I've got to tell you, Don. The big surprise out of this whole conference was Dr. Carson. He is a pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins. He made headlines just last month when he was critical of President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, specifically critical of health care, President Obama's health care law, as well as the Obama administration's policies. He did that while President Obama was on the dais.
But this morning, he was critical again of the Obama administration and this is what he had to say about his future. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BEN CARSON, DIR., PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY, JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL: Let's say you magically put me, you know, into the White House --
CARSON: Now, all right, all right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PRESTON: Hey, Don, I don't know if there is much more to say. Listen to the response Ben Carson was asked whether he would run for the White House. The crowd erupted. I have to tell you, Dr. Ben Carson who is going to leave the medical field shortly looks like he is going to seriously consider running for the White House, who could be one of the newest faces, one of the most prominent faces of the conservative movement.
LEMON: That would be very interesting for 2016. Let's talk about Sarah Palin, too. She got people talking. She went up to Karl Rove and even made fun of Michael Bloomberg and his big drink ban.
What was her message?
PRESTON: Well, you know, Sarah Palin always does well in these conservative forums and she really delivered again today. She did take a poke at Mayor Bloomberg. She pulled out a large sugary drink and took a sip out of it which the room exploded in applause and laughter.
And Sarah Palin was very critical of the Obama administration. She threw out a lot of red meat, conservative red meat. But one interesting thing she did say while she was very critical of Karl Rove and the Republican establishment, she did say that the Republican Party, Don, needs to be able to look at each other and while they may not all agree, they have to stay together if they're going to win in 2016.
So, a very poignant moment from Sarah Palin that's going to be overlooked, but as the Republican is talking about becoming a big tent party, Sarah Palin in some ways delivered that message tonight.
LEMON: All right. Mark Preston, thank you very much.
Coming up on half past the hour now, I want to get a look at your headlines on CNN.
A pregnant coach of a university lacrosse team was killed today when the team bus crashed in southern Pennsylvania. Police say the bus driver was also killed when the bus veered off the highway and hit a tree. The lacrosse team was from Seton Hill University, a Catholic school near Pittsburgh. Kristina Quigley, the 30-year-old coach, died from her injuries at a hospital. Quigley was six months pregnant. Her unborn baby did not survive.
NFL player Dante Stallworth is in stable condition tonight after being seriously burned in a hot air balloon accident. Stallworth was hurt when his balloon crashed into power lines earlier today. A female companion was hurt, too, and also in stable condition. Stallworth's agent spoke with us earlier and said he should make a full recovery.
Good news today for crews battling a wildfire in northern California. About 1,000 acres west of Fort Collins were chewed up by the fire that started yesterday and was immediately whipped up by the high winds. Hundreds of families evacuated their homes out of caution, but of many of them could go back home tomorrow.
Lower temperatures and calmer winds are helping fire fighters get a handle on the fire. Pope Francis says he wishes for a Catholic Church that is both poor and for the poor. He met with reporters today for the first time since being elected pope. The new pope will deliver his first noon blessing tomorrow for his papal -- from his papal apartment window to crowds gathered below in St. Peter's Square.
Men in skirts, food coloring and beer? It must be St. Paddy's Day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Let's hear it for the Irish!
LEMON (voice-over): New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg walked his last St. Patrick's Day Parade as mayor. It's one of the largest in the -- in the world. St. Paddy's Day is actually Sunday, but already there have been bagpipe sightings from Chicago to Dublin.
Savannah, Georgia, also holds a big Irish celebration and one that dates back 189 years.
All teachers are terrific. They all deserve praise. But one in particular deserves it even more. That's because she is actually giving a part of herself to save the life of one of her students. You're going to meet her next.
LEMON: We know teachers are pretty awesome people, but this one is going above and beyond. Ohio elementary school teacher Wendy Killian plans to give one of her students a kidney. Listen to the parents of 8-year-old Nicole Miller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LETITIA MILLER, MOTHER: I was skeptical because we had gone through 18 people. So I was like, well, just think about it, pray about it, see how it goes.
BRIAN MILLER, FATHER: Want to do that in such a self sacrificial way is just very humbling as a parent.
LETITIA MILLER: Yes. It's very humbling.
WENDY KILLIAN, TEACHER: But I am nobody special. You know, I am just a wife, a mommy and a teacher.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Just a teacher, huh? Well, let's meet Wendi Killian. She joins us now from Washington to talk about how she came to this decision.
How are you doing?
KILLIAN: Good, thank you.
LEMON: You're doing well? You said -- you told me in the break that you were nervous.
KILLIAN: Yes, very nervous. This is way out of my comfort zone here.
LEMON: You're nervous about doing this interview, you're not nervous about the kidney?
KILLIAN: No. I have total peace about that. I know that God has orchestrated this whole thing and his fingerprints are all over it, so no, I am not nervous about that. But this scares me.
LEMON: Well, good for you. We'll take good care of you. No worries here.
You call Nicole Miller your student; you call her your sunshine girl. Tell us about the moment you decided to help her in this way.
KILLIAN: The moment that I decided to step forward and to see if I was a match for her was during a parent-teacher conference that I had last February with Letitia, and it was just any other normal parent-teacher conference. And I just asked her, well, tell me about what the perfect match for Nicole would be.
And Letitia listed off the criteria and I just kept thinking, huh, that's me. You know, I have that blood type. I have that. And like Letitia said, she told me to think about it and pray about it, and I went home and discussed it with my husband. But before I could even get the whole sentence out, he was very supportive and told me that I should try and just see what happens.
LEMON: She has a genetic disorder and has only one kidney. She miss a lot of school?
KILLIAN: She does, mostly due to just being exhausted. So I know she has wonderful parents and they do all they can to help her, to get her there and to try and fill in the gaps where she has missed.
LEMON: Yes. You know the importance of being a donor because your own son was saved by a blood platelet donor. Did you know the donor?
KILLIAN: No, not at all. No.
LEMON: How is your son doing?
KILLIAN: Amazingly well. It was nine years ago, and it is total recovery. No side effects whatsoever.
LEMON: Did that factor into your decision?
KILLIAN: You know, at first I wasn't even really thinking about that until maybe a few weeks later where it hit me, whoa, I remember saying that prayer bedside as he was getting the blood platelet transfusion, that if there was ever a way that I could ease this burden to help out another family, to help another mom who was sitting there praying beside her child, that the Lord would use me.
LEMON: And so you ask and you shall receive the opportunity.
LEMON: You're waiting for the hospital to call to tell you it is time for the transplant. How does that feel? I mean, at any moment, what's that like?
KILLIAN: Oh, now that part is a little nerve-wracking, just making sure that my classroom is ready, my current students will be taken care of in my absence, also making sure that my family is there to take care of my sons at home.
So but Mansfield Christian School is an amazing place to work and I have no worries the teachers there will smooth things over for my sub and also my own son is at Mansfield Christian. So I just know that they will be hugged on and loved on all day and throughout my recovery.
LEMON: Well, we wish you the best and your sunshine girl the best as well. Thank you so much. See, that was easy, right?
KILLIAN: That was. Thank you.
LEMON: All righty. All right, thank you, Wendy Killian, we appreciate it.
We know there are a lot of problems -- a lot of problems with the U.S. health care system. Tonight at 8:00 Eastern, CNN examines it in a special from CNN Films. It's called "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue the American Health Care System." Here is an excerpt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hippocrates said let food be your medicine and medicine be your food. And I think that's a good place to start.
As a society we have to make it easier and more affordable for people to make better lifestyle choices than worse ones.
There is the bright blue slush. This is responsible for insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome and obesity and the artificial colors are not good for you. This is major reason why we see kids getting fat in this country.
Let's see what we got here. One of the great contributions in American to world cuisine, you know, fake bread. We take grains and we've turned them into products like this which rapidly raise blood sugar, provoke insulin responses, cause insulin resistance and promote weight gain in genetically susceptible people, which is most of us. Some people, this is all they eat, is food of this sort. It is not whole food as nature produces it. It is completely changed food. And you know, and our grandparents did not eat stuff like this. We have made all of this unhealthy food the cheapest and most available food. People eat what's cheap and what's available.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Stay tuned for our CNN film special, "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Health Care," coming up at the top of the hour 8:00 Eastern here on CNN.
And up next in this broadcast, how did this beautiful gym owner become the first woman in NASCAR's pits?
LEMON: Rev up your engines, start your engines. Time to meet the latest woman to join the manly world of NASCAR. But she is not behind the wheel; she's working on the pit crew, a physically grueling job that no woman has ever attempted until now.
Here is CNN's Erin Burnett.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST (voice-over): NASCAR has never seen anything like this. Meet Christmas Joy Abbott. Yes, that's her real name.
She's the first female pit crew member in history to have a shot at competing in elite level NASCAR races.
The 31-year-old is barely over 5 feet tall but don't let that fool you. Abbott is a force. She can dead lift 255 pounds and squat upwards of 200. The 115-pound trailblazer has a gun tattooed on her hip to remind her of the time she spent in Iraq.
Now, Danica Patrick may be the name you know, but Abbott is also breaking entirely new barriers for women. In order to work in the pits, Abbott has to whip around the speeding race car with an air gun in her hand, unbolt five lug nuts, rip a 60-pound tire off the car, bolt on a new one, then repeat it again on the other side, all in about 12 seconds.
SHAUN PEET, PIT CREW COACH: Good job. That was awesome!
BURNETT (voice-over): She practices every day to keep her spot on the team.
CHRISTMAS JOY ABBOTT, NASCAR PIT CREW MEMBER: So that when I hit, I'm hitting straight on to cap the whole lug nut; where if I angle it, it's not going to cap the whole lug nut and then it doesn't come all the way off, and you've just caught yourself a tenths or a few tenths or more of a second, which could mean the race.
BURNETT (voice-over): Abbott says it was her competitive nature that drew her to the sport.
ABBOTT: It's kind of the adrenaline of running in front of a car and then having the car zip by you, 50 to 60 miles an hour behind you and it's just literally few feet of (inaudible).
BURNETT (voice-over): She still remembers her first long walk towards the ex-football players and 300-pound military men who command the pit.
ABBOTT: You know, walking into somebody else's house, I just kept my head down and kept working.
PEET: Great, great job on that (inaudible) -- on -- that was very, very close.
ABBOTT: You hit them hard, they come off.
BURNETT (voice-over: Abbott didn't know it at the time, but even her pit crew coach, Shaun Peet, was skeptical about what she could do.
PEET: I thought it was a publicity stunt, you know, a woman getting into a sport that is predominantly ruled by males, not something comes across your desk every day.
BURNETT (voice-over): After seeing Abbott in action, Peet became a believer.
PEET: I remember the first time she walked on with (inaudible), you know, just burning holes through her with her eyes. And if that doesn't intimidate her, she's good to go.
BURNETT (voice-over): Despite that experience and the ones that will undoubtedly follow, Abbott refuses to leave her femininity behind. She says she remains a woman in every sense.
ABBOTT: The ongoing joke is if I'm not in tennis shoes, I'm in pumps. And I love wearing dresses and curling my hair, but that doesn't mean that I don't like to get dirty, you know? I like to work. I like to be physical in my work. And it's been overlooked that women can do both.
BURNETT (voice-over): Erin Burnett, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Good for her.
What if you had headphones which had the technology to essentially read your mind? Sound like something out of a science fiction novel? Nope. That's ahead.
LEMON: OK. A couple of tech stories now. But as we marvel at cutting edge technology, sometimes it's good to remember for some things the old way is the only way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Emma.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, what if your music could automatically match your mood? Japan's Neurowear is making headphones that use a sensor you see there in your forehead. Right? To detect brain waves. There it is on your screen. Then it sifts through your music library and it plays tunes to match your mood.
Or maybe uses it in reverse. Like if you're driving and you get drowsy, suddenly you have got the heavy metal blasting from your speakers to wake you up. No word on when these hit the shelves. But I want a pair. They're kind of big, though. But I need some for my big ears.
And freshly returned from her South by Southwest extravaganza is Laurie Segall. She's CNN's money tech expert. Welcome back.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH CORRESPONDENT: Thanks. Good to be back.
LEMON: Is that a tan that I see?
SEGALL: It's sunny in Austin. I will say, it's sunny, and people are out and about. It's a lot of fun. A lot of fun. And a lot of work, too, Don.
LEMON: OK. So it's good to have you back. This sort of wearable tech, it's the big thing right now, right?
SEGALL: That is what is what everybody's talking about. It's not just what's the hot app right now. It's technology that's essentially expanding far past your smartphone. I actually spoke with a woman. She had a brain sensing headband she was showing off. It was called the Muse headband. It measures your brain waves. It connects to your phone. You can see what your brain waves are doing. Interesting, interesting stuff. You're looking at it right there.
And what's more interesting is what you can actually do with that. And I actually -- I spoke to Ariel Garten (ph). She's the founder. And I said what is the practical use of this type of technology? Listen to what she had to say, Don.
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ARIEL GARTEN, CEO, INTERAXON: We all know the experience of sort of drifting off as we're trying to read something. And when you practice continually bringing your focus back, you're able to read contracts more effectively. You're able to pay attention to the person who's talking to without drifting off.
SEGALL: It's, you know, essentially, you can connect with the different apps and use this technology and work on building your memory and reducing your stress and all sorts of things. So it's the idea that this technology can make us a better version of ourselves and, you know, a little bit smarter, helping our memory, that kind of thing, Don.
LEMON: I just can see the health stories now. What are these things doing to your brain? You know what I'm saying?
SEGALL: Oh, yes.
LEMON: Oh, yes. Fitness and health, the big player with these gadgets that you ware, tell us about Jawbone. Is this the same old Jawbone that you used to have? Is it an upgraded one?
SEGALL: So Jawbone essentially -- you could -- the company combines hardware and software. So you might have heard of the jambox. That's like their music sector. But they have the Jawbone up, which is essentially a bracelet you can wear. And it monitors your sleep. It monitors how much you're moving.
And the idea is to take all this data and make ourselves a little bit better. We can see how -- when we're sleeping poorly and that kind of thing. I spoke to Jawbone's CEO; his name is Hosain (ph), really interesting guy. And I asked him about this trend and whether or not this technology's going to become ubiquitous and why we're hearing about it more.
All right, Don, listen to what he had to say.
HOSAIN RAHMAN, CEO, JAWBONE: I think what's happening is that sensors and computing power and connectivity has gotten to a point where it's cheap enough and small enough that you can put it into lots of different things. And so there's just a -- there's a whole set of applications that you can do when you have sensors and kind of computing horsepower and connectivity on different parts of your body.
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LEMON: Laurie, that is a different Jawbone. The Jawbone I was talking about was the -- it was like a Bluetooth thing that you put in your ear. This is something much different.
SEGALL: It's cool. It's interesting. I've been playing around with it a little bit and apparently I need to sleep a little bit more, Don. But it's cool. It's a very interesting technology.
LEMON: Shocking. Someone in broadcasting needs to sleep a little bit more.
LEMON: We're talking about wearable tech, we have to mention these Google glasses. You saw a pair of these, right? Did they let you wear them?
SEGALL: Oh, God, did I try. I was at an event. And you were like the cool geek if you had the Google glasses, because not many people had them. I think David Carp (ph), who's the founder of Tumblr, he had them. And other people were wearing them.
I walked up to this guy who worked at Google and I asked him if I could wear them and he pretty much went into the defense zone and he wouldn't even let me take a picture with them. I mean, it was -- they're very extreme right now. But they were really cool to see in person, and he actually took a picture of me just by looking at me, which was so weird and interesting at the same time.
And we're going to start seeing these more and more. You can only imagine that this is just the beginning. But you are kind of like the cool geek if you have them, Don.
LEMON: Yes. Just get a pair of glasses and take the lenses out and pretend you have them. And nobody will know the difference.
SEGALL: I might do that.
LEMON: Thank you, Laurie Segall. Good to have you back.
SEGALL: Thank you.
LEMON: Next, a new way to separate your Oreo cookie.
LEMON: How do you separate an Oreo cookie? Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
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JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The old way --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Oreo cream sandwich.
MOOS (voice-over): -- to un-sandwich the cream, step one. Pull apart Oreo.
Step two, scrape with incisors.
But now there's a more incisive way: Oreo separator machines. Nabisco is going against its own rule --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Please don't fiddle with the Oreo middle.
MOOS (voice-over): -- by commissioning investors to build machines designed to fiddle with the middle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then I've got this floss to kind of keep the creamy Oreo halves from sticking to the hatchet blade.
MOOS (voice-over): Who needs a tongue to scrape off the cream when there's this? This Rube Goldberg-type contraption is one of four separator machines commissioned as part of Oreo's cookie versus cream ad campaign.
Sure, there were setbacks along the way. But this is like reinventing the wheel: the Oreo separator wheel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The second blade on the other side of the wheel pops up, slices off the cream.
MOOS (voice-over): And then there was the device built at the University of Minnesota by these two.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like the cookies on an Oreo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I like the cream.
MOOS: Oreo found the two product developers, thanks to a previous invention for which they were known. It's called -- we kid you not -- the ketchup crapper.
MOOS (voice-over): Bill Fienup and Professor Barry Kudrowitz were grad students when they designed the ketchup crapper for a competition. Now they've graduated to Oreos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step three, push top cookie into subject mouth.
MOOS: At least they didn't go hungry for the week it took them to construct this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were snacking while we were inventing.
MOOS (voice-over): HERB here never got hungry. HERB stands for Household Exploring Robotic Butler.
MOOS (voice-over): HERB's been in development for seven years at Carnegie Mellon. Oreo separating is just a sideline.
HERB: Remove precious cream.
MOOS (voice-over): And wipe off anything that's left with a towel.
Guess who else is going to need a towel after heating the cream into a liquid state?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Atomize liquid cream and spray it into subject's mouth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I probably get about 20 percent of it in my mouth. It's kind of an exciting experience.
MOOS (voice-over): These machines don't take a licking. They take the place of licking.
HERB: Grab Oreo.
MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
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LEMON: See you back here at 10:30 Eastern.