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A 13-Month-Old Shot Dead in Coastal Georgia; Multiple Accidents on I-25; Dozens of Chicago Schools Closing; Heavy Snow in Colorado; Beatles at 50
Aired March 23, 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 now.
We're about to take you live to a small town in South Georgia where a baby is dead. Two teenagers are charged with murder and a mother is beside herself with grief and shock. There's the town, Brunswick, Georgia, a quiet town on the ocean where violent crime almost never happens.
A mother pushing her baby in a stroller says two school-aged boys tried to rob her at gunpoint and then shot her in the leg before killing her baby.
People who heard the gunfire called 911.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: It appears that her baby's been shot.
DISPATCHER: OK. Listen to me, ma'am. Is the baby breathing?
CALLER: I don't know. He's in a stroller. I just came out the door.
CALLER: Yes, she's trying to get the baby out now.
DISPATCHER: OK, hold on. Did you hear any shots in the area where it happened?
CALLER: Listen, the baby is shot.
DISPATCHER: Ma'am, listen to me. We've got the people en route to you. I have to ask you these questions. Did you hear any shots in the area?
CALLER: Yes. I heard the shot.
DISPATCHER: OK. You heard the shot?
CALLER: Yes. Somebody shot this child.
DISPATCHER: They're coming, ma'am.
CALLER: She's on the ground. We need EMTs. We need everything we can get.
DISPATCHER: They're coming to you, ma'am. Try to be calm. We've got your information. They're en route to you. How many shots did you hear?
CALLER: I heard like three shots.
DISPATCHER: Three shots?
CALLER: And the baby has been shot in the head.
DISPATCHER: She's bleeding?
CALLER: She said she's still alive. She's trying to do CPR, the mother is. She's trying to do CPR on the little baby.
DISPATCHER: They're trying to do CPR on the little baby. Calm down. You're doing good. Tell me what she's doing on the child?
CALLER: She's trying to give him CPR.
DISPATCHER: They're trying to give him CPR.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The baby's mother Sherry West talked at length to CNN reporter Nick Valencia today. I'm going to bring Nick live in just a moment.
But first, listen to the message she has for the two teenagers she says killed her baby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERRY WEST, SLAIN BABY'S MOTHER: That I hate you and I don't forgive you, and that you killed an innocent human life, and that I hope you die for it. And that's how I feel.
REPORTER: No one would blame you to feel like that.
WEST: You know, because this is the second child that people have taken from me in a tragic way. And I'm so afraid to have any more babies now. I tried to raise really good kids in a wicked world.
So I hope he dies for what he did. I didn't go out a lot but when I -- I just took a walk with my baby. I thought it was safe, you know, because that's the only exercise I can do, you know, for the heart.
I mean, you know, and I can't believe that this could happen, and I left early in the morning. I thought that, you know, there would be less people on the road and I wouldn't be in anybody's way walking down that road, and apparently either he targeted me or I was just unfortunate.
(EDN VDIEO CLIP)
LEMON: Live now to Brunswick, Georgia, and CNN's Nick Valencia. Nick, it's painful to watch, but even as this mother grieves now, there is an investigation going on.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is. It's an ongoing investigation. In fact, we spoke to officer Todd Rhodes. He's a public information officer here in Brunswick. He says the police have still not been able to locate that handgun used in the attack. They conducted three search warrants yesterday, Don. So far, they have come up empty-handed.
They do believe though they have the suspect's -- that allegedly did this in custody. I asked them how can they be so sure? How can you be sure you got two suspects when the mother was the only eyewitness?
They said they were able to go on the physical description given by the mother. Also attendance records from area schools. They found out who was missing in class one day and were able to track down these two suspects, 17-year-old De'Marquis Elkins and a 14-year-old juvenile who's not been named because of his age.
But I want to get back to the interview with the mother, Sherry West. She invited us into her home and mist west has suffered so much already. She lost an 18-year-old son in New Jersey in 2008. She said she just got back to a point where she was able to have a child only for something like this to happen.
I asked her what she would miss most about Antonio Santiago. Listen to what she had to tell me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEST: I still think of my son walking over to me in the morning and putting his head on my lap and on my shoulder and me feeding him meals and the fact that he was just learning to eat and that he'll never say his first word.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: The community here in Brunswick is a small tight-knit community of about 15,000 people, Don. They've really rallied in support behind her. In fact, when we showed up, she was having dinner made for her by a neighbor.
But even still, she says she's paranoid living here. She's afraid of retaliation and she told us that she plans to move back to New Jersey -- Don.
LEMON: Nick Valencia -- thank you very much for that, Nick.
Let's talk some weather now. Heavy snow is pummeling parts of Colorado. I want you to look at this -- this is live video of snowy conditions on Interstate 70, about 40 miles southeast of Denver. Interstate 70 closed for more than 150 miles.
Travelers are urged to stay home if they can, and so far, no fatal accidents have been reported. Casey Wian is in Colorado Springs for us.
Casey, up to 50 vehicles wrecked on Interstate 25 earlier today. What are you hearing about people in those cars? Are they able to get to them and take care of them?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, rescuers have been reaching them and I think you can see some video that was shot, some amateur video on Interstate 25 earlier today. It will show some of those rescue efforts going on.
It's really incredible video, one of the big pileups north of where I am in Colorado Springs. Several cars piled up, a truck on fire. It's really amazing when you consider all of the accidents that have happened on Colorado roads because of this incredible snowstorm. There have been no reported fatalities.
The good news though, Interstate 25 now has reopened in both directions. Earlier today though, we were right in the middle of this blinding snowstorm.
Let's take a look.
WIAN: We are at a rest stop off Interstate 25, between Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado, and we are in the middle of a very serious storm. You can see the flags over here just being whipped by the wind. The snow is blowing very dramatically. It really hurts your face just to be standing out here in this snow. Over here, you can see or you can't see Interstate 25. Normally the speed limit on the interstate is 75 miles an hour.
You can see as this vehicle goes by, he's going much slower. You can see on the other side of the interstate vehicles heading south at a very slow rate of speed, perhaps 30 miles an hour or so.
For the past 20 miles we've been driving, we've seen a succession of accidents, multicar pileups, spinouts, traffic backed up for a half mile or so heading south because of the accident. We couldn't even pull over to shoot pictures of what had happened because it was just too dangerous.
A very, very serious winter-type storm has hit Colorado in early spring.
WIAN: Now, Don, you mentioned Interstate 70. That remains closed. The eastern part of interstate 70 in Colorado all the way to the Kansas border. The good news though, there is more snow expected tonight, but tomorrow the forecast is for more clearing. For now though, authorities still advising people who don't need to be on these roads to stay off them, Don.
LEMON: That's good advice. Casey, thank you. Be careful as well. For this very reason, it may not be long before Punxsutawney Phil has a criminal record and a bad reputation to boot. An Ohio prosecutor has filed an indictment against the famous groundhog. He says Phil keeps getting his predictions wrong and he's doing it on purpose.
This year he forecasted an early spring. As anyone in the Northeast knows, it got slammed with a foot of snow a few days ago, and more cold weather is on the way. Bad Punxsutawney.
Forecasters say the U.K. may be enduring its coldest March in half a century. And major storms back up that theory. Freezing temperatures and heavy snow making roads impassable as you can see from this video. The extreme weather left scores of people trapped in their cars, buried under several feet of snow. One rescue official called it a freak weather event unlike anything he'd ever seen.
And take a look at this. It's from Northern Ireland. Tens of thousands of people there have lost power. Spring storm that seems like it was left over from winter is also claimed for the death of at least one person.
Dozens of schools across Chicago will be soon shut down. It is a plan to move students into better classrooms. But some parents and teachers say it's setting children up to fail.
LEMON: (AUDIO GAP) prison chief Thursday morning. There could also be a connection to the murder of a pizza delivery worker in Denver and a Texas prosecutor killed in January.
After 13 hours of nonstop voting the Senate passed its first formal budget proposal in four years just before 5:00 a.m. this morning. Lawmakers considered dozens of the amendments to the Democrats proposal. In the end, it passed by a vote of 50 to 49. No Republicans voted in favor of the measure. Four Democrats voted against it.
The plan now goes to the House where it's expected to be shot down.
Chicago school officials are planning to close 53 schools, nearly 13 percent of all schools in the city. Parents, teachers union, and even some city officials are angry. They say African-American students will be affected the most. The move will hurt them academically and even could put them in the middle of gang violence.
Here is CNN's Martin Savidge.
CARLTON FERNELL, PARENT: I heard they are not going to be coming back next year and it's sad. It's sad.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the list the parents have been dreading for months, 61 buildings including 53 schools targeted for closure. The massive move designed to cut costs as the Chicago public school system faces a reported $1 billion deficit.
In Alderman Willie Cochran's south side ward constituents have been calling all day.
WILLIE COCHRAN, CHICAGO ALDERMAN: Some cases we're happy, some cases we are not so happy.
SAVIDGE: On the plus side, the district says the savings will allow major investments in surviving schools, including adding 70 libraries, science labs, even air-conditioning. But, for many, it's not what's gained but what's lost and where, neighborhood schools in some of Chicago's poorest communities. School officials say the decisions were based on low enrollments, but others say race played a role.
An outraged Carrie Austin, an alderman from the city's far south side, told the "Chicago Tribune," quote, "Every time the whites get to screaming and hollering, they back off and steamroll over black and brown folks. Not this time."
She's not the only one who believes this.
(on camera): You think it's the black communities that often are asked to sacrifice first?
FERNELL: In this option -- in this case, yes, I do. Yes, I do.
SAVIDGE (on-camera): This is 70th Street on the heart of the city's south side and this is the local elementary school. Parents are proud of it. The sign up there would bear that out, "soaring to new heights." All of which would be very good if it wasn't slated to be closed.
What is going to happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really don't know. I don't know what's going to happen.
SAVIDGE: Parents also fear Chicago's notorious gangs problems as kids cross into strange neighborhoods to attend new schools.
ERIC TOLBERT, FAMILY MEMBERS ATTEND SCHOOL: OK, you have certain gangs. You got certain kids that go to certain schools because it's in their neighborhood. So when you go outside of your neighborhood, that becomes a problem.
SAVIDGE: Some blame the high number of school closings on the teachers union, which won a significant pay raise for teachers last fall. But the head of the union blames Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
KAREN LEWIS, CTU PRESIDENT: We have a murder mayor. We have a murder problem. He's murdering schools, he's murdering communities and it's OK. How is that OK?
SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, Willie Cochran remains optimistic even for schools on that list.
COCHRAN: I would say to the parents that are frustrated right now, there's still time to work.
SAVIDGE: After all, he says, this is Chicago.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Chicago.
LEMON: Next Tuesday and Wednesday, same-sex marriage goes before the U.S. Supreme Court and the court's decision could set a precedent for years to come. The high court will hear arguments in two appeals dealing with same-sex marriage. At issue: is it a constitutional right? Congress has banned federal recognition. Nine states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriage.
Twelve and a half years ago, a newborn was abandoned in a New York City subway. The man who found him ended up adopting the baby with his partner. Fast forward to today, the child is a healthy and happy preteen living with his two fathers.
Joe Johns has the story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want a grounder?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A rite of spring in a New York City park.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice throw.
JOHNS: A 12-year-old kid tossing a baseball around with one of his two dads.
(on camera): How did you get into baseball?
KEVIN, FOUND IN SUBWAY WHEN HE WAS A NEWBORN: I was playing catch with my father.
JOHNS (voice-over): We're not showing his face to protect his privacy. Talking to him, you'd never know his personal story has been a sensation here since the day he was born. An abandoned baby in the subway a few hours old with the umbilical cord still attached.
JONATHAN DIENST REPORTER: It is a baby boy and police say he is no more than a day old.
JOHNS: At first, New York authorities named him Daniel Ace Doe, Ace after the subway, the AC & E trains, Daniel for the man who found him. Social worker Daniel Stewart, who spotted the baby wrapped in an old sweatshirt. At first, he thought it was a doll.
DANIEL STEWART, KEVIN'S PARENT: All that I saw was two little legs sticking out, but I still thought oh, it's one of those new, realistic dolls. I started to go up the stairs. I was going up the stairs and then I looked back one last time and that's when he started to move. And I knew he was alive and I ran back, made sure he was OK. JOHNS: He made two calls, first to 911, second to Peter Mercurio. They had planned to meet for a dinner date that night.
(on camera): Picked up the phone and called, and what did you say?
STEWART: I said I found a baby.
JOHNS: And what did you say?
PETER MERCURIO, KEVIN'S PARENT: I didn't believe him at first. Why would he even say something like that?
JOHNS (voice-over): Months later, a family court judge asked if the couple wanted to adopt the child. Daniel jumped at the chance. At first, Peter wasn't so sure.
MERCURIO: I had to examine how having a child in our -- my life and our life was going to affect every second of every minute of every day.
JOHNS: He eventually came around. They moved in together and renamed their son Kevin. Years later, when Daniel and Pete got married, Kevin suggested the judge who recommended the adoption do the honors.
MERCURIO: And he said, don't, you know, judges perform ceremonies? Why don't you try to contact the judge who finalized my adoption?
JOHNS: His parents made sure Kevin knew the whole story by putting together a child story book titled "The Boy from New York City", featuring as characters the baby, the subway, the judge, and the parents.
MERCURIO: He looks at us and he says, is this about me? And we were like, yes.
STEWART: This is your story.
MERCURIO: And he grinned from ear to ear.
KEVIN: I thought it was the best thing in the world to know that that was me.
JOHNS (voice-over: Pete Mercurio is working on a play about this story. We may never know what caused a new mom to abandon her hours- old baby one late summer evening on New York subway, but if that mother were listening today, we could report -- thanks to a couple dads, it all turned out OK.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
LEMON: Right on, Joe. Thank you for that report.
How far would you go to beat cancer? One runner who lost her father to cancer is racing for a cure with unique determination. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Powerball fever spreading across the U.S., right here in THE NEWSROOM as well. Everyone is wondering how high the jackpot will climb. At least check, it was up to $320 million. This is the sixth highest Powerball jackpot in history. A cash payout of tonight's drawing would be nearly $200 million.
Fifteen runners took part in the inaugural Sandy Hook run for the families this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Sandy Hook!
(END IDEO CILP)
LEMON: Another 30,000 people gathered along the three-mile route to cheer the runners on. The money raised goes to support victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. So far, the race has raised $420,000.
Fifty-two marathons in 52 weeks -- sound impossible? Nope, one woman just accomplished that goal in honor of her father who died of pancreatic cancer and every step she took raised money for cancer research.
Our Victor Blackwell takes us to the finish line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Julie, we love you!
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an unusual sight at this year's L.A. marathon, two purple balloons hang above marathon runner Julie Weiss, each number 52, the marathon goddess as she calls herself set a goal to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once again, Julie Weiss!
BLACKWELL: She's crossing the start line with Team Hope, the official running team of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. It's an issue that hits home for Julie. She lost her father to pancreatic cancer just 35 days after his diagnosis, and just a week before she qualified to run the Boston Marathon.
JULIE WEISS, MARATHON RUNNER: I received a phone call I think it was, I don't know about 5:00 and my mom had told me that my father passed away and I was just in shock.
BLACKWELL: When it came to running no one was a bigger fan of Julie's than her dad.
WEISS: One of my marathons the L.A. marathon in 2010 where he came out and he was at mile 14 and he was there with mineral for me, he had coconut water and he was filming and he was so proud, and he's like "that's my daughter!" And I'll remember that forever.
BLACKWELL: Qualifying for the Boston Marathon without her father by her side left Julie feeling like her work wasn't finished so she decided to raise awareness and money for Pancreatic Cancer research.
WEISS: So I thought I have to do something big, something dramatic. Fifty-two marathons in 52 weeks is something I could probably do because I knew that I recovered fairly quickly.
I think about my dad and I think about all of these people that are affected by pancreatic cancer and what they are going through and I pushed through because what I'm doing is nothing compared to what they are battling with.
This is for papa. That's for my dad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here she comes, ladies and gentlemen, 52 marathons, raising money for cancer research!
BLACKWELL: Even at the finish line her work wasn't quite finished.
WEISS: One for my dad. We won!
I've got angels with me. I don't know any other way to explain it.
Let it go, woo!
BLACKWELL: Victor Blackwell, CNN, Atlanta.
LEMON: Very nice. Very nice.
Kids, do you know what this is? There were these vinyl things called albums. Do you know what this album cover is?
The album that defined a generation hits a milestone right now. Find out how fans of Pink Floyd are marking the event.
LEMON: Bottom of the hour. Time for the headlines now.
A small town in Georgia dealing with major crime and tremendous tragedy. A 13-month-old baby is shot dead in a stroller. The baby's mother watched it happen and two teenage boys are now charged with murder. The grief-stricken mother spoke to CNN today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEST: I said, I hate you and I don't forgive you, and that you killed an innocent human life and that I hope you die for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Alabama bracing for some potentially rough weather tonight. Morning rain caused some minor flooding in Birmingham, but wind and hail could cause problems tonight.
Meteorologists with our affiliate in Birmingham say an isolated tornado is likely but also possible.
President Obama is on his way home after a very busy trip to the Middle East. The president played tourist today ending his visit to Jordan with a walking tour of the ancient city of Petra. While the president is coming home, he's leaving Secretary of State John Kerry behind. Kerry is expected to host separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Heavy snow is pounding parts of Colorado. Road conditions are treacherous on two key highways. Parts of interstate 70 and Interstate 25 closed down. Up to 50 vehicles wrecked on i-25. Travelers, stay off the roads if you can. That's the warning. Snow is expected to ease up later tonight in Colorado.
Now, imagine trying to play soccer in that weather. The USA beat Costa Rica 1-0 yesterday in Denver in a key qualifying game for next year's World Cup. Plows help clear parts of the soccer field. Team captain (INAUDIBLE) Dempsey scored the winning goal. It looked like a day for skiing and not soccer. But they won.
It was 50 years ago this week that the Beatles truly came out to play.
LEMON: Their debut album "Please, Please Me" was released on March 22nd 1963. Wow. And brought the world instant classics like "I Saw Her Standing There," "Love Me Do," "Twist and Shout." It took a mere nine hours and 45 minutes to record the monumental album. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, a London auction house is putting some Beatles artifacts on the block. Among the items, a first pressing of "Please, Please Me" and a series of unpublished photos of the Fab Four.
LEMON: It doesn't it make you want to grab a beer and chill out. Music is the soundtrack of our lives. Then this song from this album could be one of the greatest of all times. I am talking about Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" which turns 40 this weekend combining jazzy and moody melodies, the album put - yes, album, not CD, not download, the album put rock and funk in our ears firmly cementing the band in American pop culture. Dark side and its fans are celebrating the 1973 issue this weekend in unique ways.
The band wants fans to stream the album online and tweet their thoughts, memories, and pictures using the hash tag #darkside40.
One of those fans who I'm sure will be taking part is Bob Boilen. He hosts NPR's "All Songs Considered." They want you to tweet all of your memories. A lot of people probably don't remember that much about this album considering, you know, the time it was made. How much of an impact did it make on music in the United States, Bob?
BOB BOILEN, HOST NPR'S "ALL SONGS CONSIDERED": It was pretty phenomenal. First of all, you got to remember at the time Pink Floyd was a fairly underground unknown band. They made eight records that nobody, nobody knew other than a small amount of people. "Dark Side of the Moon" sort of made all those psychedelic songs that they made that were always long, long forms, 18 minutes, very much more concise and I think that was what did it, and I think it influenced - look at sampling. Look at what people did with sampling 10 years later and look at what the cash register sound of money is.
I mean, they did that with tape, but it basically put natural sounds, other kinds of sounds besides musical instruments into pop music which really changed the face of pop music in many ways.
LEMON: You see there's a copy of the album cover up on the screen. What do you think about the cover? It's a beam of light going through a glass prism. There's a bigger one on this side.
BOILEN: How many hours have I sat --
LEMON: What's the meaning of that do you think?
BOILEN: How many hours have you and I sat and just stared at that cover while we listened to that record? I think it's about simplicity and things that are complex. I mean, here it is, you have a beam of white light but what is white light made of. White light is made of so many different elements and all the different colors. So even the most simple of things is complicated and I think, you know, they deal with so many issues on this record, and I think - I mean, that's just one of the things I think it's time to say.
LEMON: Yes, someone in my ear said it was upside down. It's not upside down. This is the right side. This is the front. And the back is that way.
BOILEN: There weren't many gate fold records. There were a handful.
LEMON: And then of course, you had the inside as well which has -
BOILEN: And the poster. And the sticker.
LEMON: And the sticker and all that. We're going way back.
BOILEN: That's a wave form of a heartbeat which is the way the album opens, right?
LEMON: Let's be honest here. A lot of pot heads listen to this. You're not commenting?
BOILEN: Oh, I lost you in my ear. I'm glad to comment. I heard a lot of pot heads -
LEMON: I said a lot of pot heads listen to this album.
BOILEN: Oh, that's it. So I think there's a real complicated, interesting story of drugs and creativity, alcohol, creativity. Long for authors, writers, and painters and Pink Floyd are no exception to that, and listeners. I think those sort of mind altering things help or make people think of things in different ways, you know, and there's a negative side to it and an awful side to it. There's a creative side to it and it's all part of the big puzzle of life and creativity.
LEMON: Bob, how old were you when you listened to this album. How did it impact you personally?
BOILEN: Well, first of all, I saw the album - I saw the album performed before it was a record. So I was about in 1972 they played the entire record which we didn't know what it was, it was on a bill that I still have from the Kennedy Center. It said Eclipse, a piece for assorted lunatics. I was 18 years old. I waited, I worked in record stores back in those days. I waited a year for that record to come out. No one knew what it was.
And when that record came out, it was absolutely mind bogglingly beautiful. I loved Pink Floyd but this was better than anything they'd ever done. It was a step above in terms of lyrics, in terms of sound. So many things. It was - it's what the album was made for, to tell a story, to make you think, layers and layers of meaning. You can listen to still - I put it on the 40th anniversary on the day of and I listened to it "A" and "B," Side "A" and "B" and I still loved it.
LEMON: I still comb like album stores, like vinyl stores and you can find some really, really cool things. You know what? I miss - I guess I'm being nostalgic. Remember every couple of weeks, every couple of months, you'd go to the music store and they'd play the new records for you. You discover something, that doesn't happen much anymore, does it?
BOILEN: Well, I was the dude in the store that would play the stuff, and I remember we played that record over and over again in the store and people would walk in. You know, there are records that have a vibe. Immediately you walk into a room and it changes the room and "Dark Side of the Moon" was exactly that. It completely change things. When people walked in to our record store, they were like what is this? No one had heard stuff like this before, for the most part, right?
On the radio then you could listen to Bread and Raspberries and, you know, just not - fairly bland music, and then there was Pink Floyd and it's a wonderful thing there was a Pink Floyd.
LEMON: There are certain albums that you put on and it will take you right back to a time. You can just put them on and let them play. Hey, I have to run, Bob. What's your favorite song on this album?
BOILEN: I'm going to go for "Eclipse." I love the words at the end of that song and what it means.
LEMON: All right. Thank you. Appreciate it.
LEMON: Nice looking back with you.
Yes, it is a new virtual toy. Wait until you find out what this talking head can do. It's kind of creepy.
LEMON: A fire at a camp in northwest Thailand has at least 30 refugees from Myanmar. The video shows just how big of an inferno this thing turned out to be. The fire injured about 100 people, destroyed hundreds of huts and left 2300 refugees with no shelter. The United Nations says a cooking accident triggered that blaze.
They're checking all the electronic flight display signs at Birmingham, Alabama, airport after one of them came down - crashing down landing on several people. A little boy was killed and his mom was critically injured. Witnesses say they heard a loud crash and then rushed over to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY SNYDER, WITNESS: The family was crushed, little kids crushed underneath the sign, and everybody was scattered to lift it up. I helped lift it up and helped pull people out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The sign was located in a new part of the airport that was just reopened or just opened a couple of weeks ago. Airport officials still don't know why it fell.
Some members of the boy scouts are doing what they can to keep openly gay members out of the organization. Leaders, eagle scouts, and parents from around the country gathered in Orlando, Florida, today to announce the launch of a national campaign. They said their goal is to keep sex and politics out of the boy scouts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN STEMBERGER, FLORIDA FAMILY POLICY COUNCIL: Now in almost every newspaper I have ever read the words Boy Scouts of America are banning gays, but this is simply not true. The fact of the matter is there aren't currently gays in scouting and those of us who have been in the program for a while know who they are. But they are discreet, they are private, they are discerning, and most of all, they act appropriately in front of other young scouts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The Boy Scouts of America is scheduled to decide in May whether to allow openly gay members.
From the home phone to the smartphone to the wrist phone. Straight out of the Dick Tracy comics, has the wrist phone's time finally come in all the big name companies seem to think so. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We are seeing more and more smartphone apps that acts as note takers. Google got into the game this past week with Google Keep. You can make lists, take photos, make voice notes. There's even a way to color code all of it making it a little like digital Post-it notes. All this has been saved for you to go out and put it on the cloud. It's like Siri with a face. The University of Cambridge is developing a virtual talking head. They call it the most Expressive Controllable Virtual Person ever. Her name is Zoe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZOE: Until recently I only had a voice. Now I have a synthesized face, too. Last year I could be very sad or be very angry. But this year I can be happy and afraid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Creepy. An actress read thousands of lines on camera so that Zoe can express six different emotions but some feel it's, as I said, still a little creepy.
From almost the moment phones were invented, we wanted to take one with us on the go. The 1930s brought us crime fighter Dick Tracy, best known even today for his infamous two-way wrist radio, and, sure, there were other portable phone concepts like the (INAUDIBLE) shoe phone, I love that phone. But it was no wrist phone. Now we've got phones everywhere, every shape, every size. But no real Dick Tracy- type phones. That is about to change now.
Laurie Segall is CNN Money's tech expert. This seems to have all started with a tiny little company, right? Laurie.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH EXPERT: Yes, you know, about a year ago these guys had this idea, they said let's do a smart watch. It's not completely new but they took the concept, they put it on Kickstarter, which is a crowd funding website, and Don, they raised - nearly $10 million in funding for this. So the idea was out there and people really liked it. And I actually - I spoke to Eric and he's the founder. I said how does this work? What's the hype about? Listen to what he had to say.
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ERIC MIGICOVSKY, PEBBLE CEO: It's similar to how some people carry on a bluetooth head set. We basically designed the blue tooth, you know, watch. A lot of people run with their phone or they cycle with their phone and they just keep it in their pocket. What we want to do is unlock some of the information that's stored on your phone and display it on your wrist.
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SEGALL: Think about it, Don, you're going for a run, you don't want to get your phone out, you can actually see your e-mail on your wrist, you can get text messages and that kind of thing. So that was the idea that really kind of launched it all. Now you got big players moving in. It's become everybody talking about the idea of technology just expanding way past your smartphone. Don.
LEMON: It looks like my iPod. You know, I have an iPod that you can wear on your wrist now like a phone. It's very similar.
LEMON: So we've got some big players getting into these wrist smartphones. When do we get them?
SEGALL: Sure. You got - I mean, we have rumors about Apple. There are these pictures floating around about what it could possibly - what an iWatch could possibly look like. You got rumors that Google is doing this. And these big companies are filing patents for these kind of technology. Samsung says they want to get in the game. So, you know, the idea is do we actually know that this is happening? We have an idea that perhaps it is, but we don't know exactly when it's happening and when we can have them on our wrist. But you can go buy the Pebble and there are smart watches out there. I know Sony has one out there. There are ones you can actually go get but if you want the iWatch it's not confirmed and we have no date of launch right now.
LEMON: I know people who now who don't wear watches. They just use their cell phones. I feel naked without my watch. I'm a traditionalist. I like to wear my watch. But do you think that some people are just going to snap these wrist phones up? Are they really the next big thing?
SEGALL: You know, I'm a little bit skeptical too. To be honest, because I use my phone. I don't really wear a watch. You know, so I think it's the kind of thing you have to put out this technology and see how people are going to use it. I mean, are people going to be wearing the Google glasses? We'll see. I mean maybe more people would wear a smart watch than smart glasses.
So, you know, the idea is that technology is just expanding past your smartphone and it's going to be a matter of who can put out a good concept and see how many people are going to actually use it.
LEMON: Now I know what to get you for Christmas, get a watch, (INAUDIBLE) waiting. But don't get one, I'll get you one for Christmas.
LEMON: Thank you, Laurie.
SEGALL: Thank you.
LEMON: Jay Leno, poking fun and taking jabs at his employer, NBC, again. That's next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: So what was that great ball of fire that lit up the sky Friday night over the East Coast? What was it? Here it is over Washington. But it was seen by people in as many as 15 states. The thin streak lasted about eight or nine seconds, and then it just disappeared. Social media was ablaze with all types of speculation. NASA says the fast-flying object was in fact a meteor.
Comedian Jay Leno firing jabs, fresh jabs at his employer, NBC. The rumor mill is cranked up with reports of NBC possibly replacing Leno with Jimmy Fallon next year. Leno is not taking rumors about his replacement quietly, either. Here are some highlights from Leno's monologue just last night.
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JAY LENO, HOST "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Doctors in Canada were shocked after pulling a three-inch knife blade from the back of a 32-year-old man. The knife had been in there for three years. Can you imagine that? The guy had a knife in his back for three years. So he must have worked at NBC, too.
Have you heard about this alleged feud that I'm having with NBC? Well, I think it's going to be OK. This is real. I had dinner last night - I did. I had dinner last night with a bunch of NBC executives. And to make up to me - listen to this. To make it up to me what they did, they are sending my wife and I on an all-expenses- paid Carnival Cruise. How about that? Wow. How about that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Leno's contract with NBC reportedly ends later this year.
When is popping the question breaking news? When an anchorman reads her own - an anchorwoman, excuse me, reads her own proposal on the air. That happy couple, next.
LEMON: A marriage proposal, a TV journalist, none of her viewers will ever forget. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How did this Huntsville, Alabama news anchor find out she was getting married? She heard herself deliver the news.
JILLIAN PAVLICA, FOX54 ANCHOR And we do have some breaking news to report to you. Fox 54 has just learned that a Huntsville news anchor is being proposed on live TV -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We're leaving.
PAVLICA: - right now.
MOOS: The list of the WZDX news team walked off the set, and Jillian Pavlica's boyfriend walked on. He had sabotaged the teleprompter.
VINCE RAMOS: I can't picture a day of my life waking up without you by my side.
MOOS: Then Vince Ramos dropped down on one knee.
RAMOS: Will you marry me?
PAVLICA: Yes. Thank you.
RAMOS: I love you.
PAVLICA: I love you too.
MOOS (on camera): You made some cute but funny little noises.
RAMOS: I told you.
PAVLICA: It was embarrassing.
MOOS (voice-over): And now the back story. The doctored teleprompter.
(on camera): The truth finally dawned on Jillian when she got about 23 words in and finally read aloud the word "proposed."
RAMOS: My main goal was for her to get at least 50 percent of the way through without her realizing it.
PAVLICA: A Huntsville news anchor is being proposed on live TV -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We're leaving.
MOOS (voice-over): Now, Vince is the sales manager of a car dealership, knows nothing about TV, and needed an accomplice to commandeer the teleprompter.
(on camera): Jillian's producer was instrumental in tricking the anchor. About 10 seconds before coming out of the break.
PAVLICA: Oh, my gosh. She was in my ear like Jillian, we have breaking news. She's like, just shut up and read it. I was like, OK.
MOOS (voice-over): Her friends are joking about it being a Ron Burgundy moment.
RON BURGUNDY: I'm Ron Burgundy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Damn it, who typed a question mark on the teleprompter? For the last time, anything you put on that prompter, Burgundy will read!
MOOS: The media blog FTVlive wasn't feeling romantic.
Why should anyone else give a crap that the news anchor's boyfriend wants to marry her? Propose on your own time, not the viewers. PAVLICA: Everyone always says we want to see happy news. And you know what? It was a happy ending.
MOOS: All of Jillian's precipitation led into the weather.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 100 percent chance of a few tears of joy tonight.
MOOS: Some things don't require much teleprompting.
(on camera): All right. Well, you may kiss the bride to be.
(voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
LEMON: Nice. I'm Don Lemon.