Return to Transcripts main page


Shutdown Closes Head Start Facilities; Real Effects of Government Shutdown

Aired October 3, 2013 - 04:30   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Who will blink? Gridlock governs in Washington as day three of the government shutdown begins.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And a blink to poke their eyes out.

Eight people dead after their church bus crashes on the freeway.

SAMBOLIN: It's horrible.

BERMAN: What caused this awful collision.


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Is your girlfriend still on fire?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hilarious.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Is your -- still on vehicle still on fire?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hilarious, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Sir, is your vehicle still on fire?


SAMBOLIN: Yes, that's 911 call. A frantic one. When flames erupt inside an Arizona man's car. His girlfriend, as you heard, was on fire. The operator's response, laughter. And the people in the background as well, I may add.

BERMAN: They're laughing. Can you believe that?

SAMBOLIN: No, I can't.

BERMAN: During the 911 call?

SAMBOLIN: I can't. There's much more to that so stay tuned.

BERMAN: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin, 31 minutes past the hour.

BERMAN: It is great to see you this morning. Not great in Washington right now. It is shutdown day three. Anger growing among those out of work, protesting their furloughs by the government and anger as well towards those and from those in government who are supposed to be figuring this whole thing out, and getting paid, by the way, right now.

Congressional leaders meeting at the White House with President Obama but did they find a solution? No. Just more blame and more of the stalemate.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I would hope that the president and my Democrat colleagues from the Senate would listen to the American people and sit down and have a serious discussion about resolving these differences.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If John Boehner, the speaker of the House, puts a bill on the floor to reopen the government at current funding levels so that we can then negotiate on a real budget that allows us to stop governing from crisis-to-crisis, it would pass.


BERMAN: So what the House is doing right now working to pass piecemeal funding measures that the Senate has no plan to consider. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of government workers remained off the job. Others are working without pay and many, many services are on hold.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-two minutes past the hour. They are the greatest generation. And a group of World War II veterans are showing the shutdown is not going to stop them. Their memorial in Washington is under lock and key just like the rest of them are, but so-called Honor Flights are pouring into the capital.

Hundreds of veterans flooding past the blockade for a second day now. Remembering their fight for our freedom.

Eugene Decker is a Marine who fought for us.


EUGENE DECKER, MARINE CORPS, SERVED IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC: I just want to see what it looked like. I'm glad they don't have the boys' names up there because I lost an awful lot of good men. When we hit those islands, the Japs didn't want us, but we took them anyhow. And I'd do it again if I was able.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: The National Park Service says the memorial is officially closed but they will not deny access to veterans who want to see it in person.

BERMAN: Yet another casualty of the government shutdown, Head Start facilities that provide a hand-up for children of low-income families in cities all across the country.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm John Zarrella in Brooksville, Florida. This is a Head Start center that provides for 135 children from low-income families. The 3 to 5-year-olds get meals, education and health care.

(Voice-over): The facility's funding ran out Tuesday, supplemental funding runs out Friday. After that, the doors shut here and at 16 centers run by mid-Florida community services in two other counties.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That means 924 children in three counties here in Florida will not get to attend Head Start and that means 215 staff members will not have a job after Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they don't make this budget and get it together, we're the ones who are going to suffer and our children are going to be the ones who are going to, you know, be without food, be without education.

ZARRELLA (on camera): Quite a few Head Start centers around the state had later end dates for their federal dollars or other revenue sources. They are still open, for now.


BERMAN: Our thanks to John Zarrella for that.

SAMBOLIN: You know, that really makes me mad because those are the kids that need it the most and studies show that that early intervention, that early Head Start is so important for those children.

BERMAN: Makes all the difference.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Morning today. For the members of a church group and two others killed in a horrific crash. Did you see this? This was on a Tennessee highway. A bus carrying mostly seniors were returning from a conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, when it apparently blew a tire. This was on Interstate 40. It crossed the median and it slammed into a tractor-trailer and an SUV. That tractor-trailer burst into flames. Investigators say they are not jumping to any conclusions, though.


SGT. BILL MILLER, TENNESSEE HIGHWAY PATROL: They will gauge the brakes to make sure the brake mechanisms if at all possible, if this crash will, you know, permit that investigation to take place. We will look at the braking system and make sure that the bus was functioning properly. We also look to see if there is any possible -- any possible other mechanical failures that could have led to this incident.


SAMBOLIN: Awful. All right, in total, eight people died. Six on the bus and two in other vehicles. More than a dozen people were injured there.

BERMAN: All right. New developments in that frightening incident caught on camera here in New York City. Charges have now been dropped against one of the motorcyclists accused of an assault on an SUV on a busy New York street.

The second biker, Christopher Cruz, has been arraigned on reckless driving charges. He's now out on bond. And about a hundred bikers gathered outside a hospital Wednesday in support of a rider who was hit by the SUV as it tried to get away.

Edwin Mieses is in a medically induced coma and paralyzed right now. Some of the motorcyclists insist it was the SUV driver who was wrong.


LEXIE FILPO, WITNESS: I was behind the car. So I saw when he hit the person and everybody, you know, they were telling him slow down, stop. But the video did not show that. People were actually telling him. Nobody was being -- until he ran people over. Out of panic, out of what? Nobody was being aggressive with him. When you hit someone, you're supposed to stop and that is the law. He did not do that.


BERMAN: Investigators are asking public for help identifying other people involved, putting out these pictures. The driver of the SUV has been identified as Alexian Lien. He was dragged from the SUV with his wife and 2-year-old daughter inside. He was beaten.

SAMBOLIN: And the search for two missing hikers turning to the air now on the southwest part of Washington state. Crews were able to rescue two other hikers missing along the Pacific crest trail after a massive snowfall Monday stranded them. But Alejandro Wilson and Christopher (INAUDIBLE) still have not been found. One searcher who had gone looking for the hikers was grateful to have been found but really worried about the others.


STUART DOTY, THURSTON COUNTY EXPLORER SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM: It was a good feeling. It was a relief because I was worried about their condition. I hope they stay dry, get a good shelter, and blast out.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: So the weather in the area is expected to be a little better today, allowing for a more extensive search by air. And authorities say they are trying to ping the missing hikers' phones. That in an effort to find them.

BERMAN: A confessed killer in court. Pedro Hernandez admitted committing the 1979 murder of 6-year-old Eton Pates in New York, the watershed case made national headlines at the time and again last year, when police got a tip about Hernandez. Police say he admitted to suffocating the boy and stuffing his body in a trash bag. Wednesday he was back in court where his attorney asked for his release, arguing it's taken too long to get a trial. The judge, however, disagreed.

SAMBOLIN: Jerry Sandusky's bid for a new trial denied. A three-judge panel deciding unanimously that no mistakes were made during his trial last year. The former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted of 45 counts relative to the sexual abuse of 10 boys. He is serving 30 to 60 years in prison. Sandusky's defense says it plans to ask the state Supreme Court to now review the case.

BERMAN: A Southwest Airlines pilot is out of a job after a dangerous hard landing back in July. The airline firing the captain who took the controls from his co-pilot just seconds before the Boeing 737 sat down nose-first on a runway at New York's LaGuardia airport. The landing gear shattered and the plane skidded down the runway injuring several passengers. The official investigation into the crash is still ongoing and the first officer is set to receive additional training.

SAMBOLIN: OK. A shocking find for police in Warwick, Rhode Island. After they responded to a domestic dispute. Look inside the two- bedroom apartment, a three-foot alligator in the bathtub. That's not it right there. We showed it to you early on. Along with this 13 snakes some up to 12 feet long. Police say they were part of a couple's extensive reptile collection. Local animal control agencies are now trying to find a proper home for those exotic animals in the bathtub.

BERMAN: Just -- the couples that collect reptiles together don't always stay together.

SAMBOLIN: Stay together. They're saying not always accurate. Who knew. All right.

Chad Myers has an early look at our weather. And if you're haring to the airport he has what you need to know.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. Good morning everyone, and good evening Hawaii. Nice weather out there for you today. And then in Charlotte, morning fog could see some airport delays. Chicago a couple of thunderstorms popping up and the Minneapolis, Cincinnati, the same story and a slight wind direction issue in Dallas. Nod not too bad, though.

A big snowstorm is developing for Wyoming and South Dakota. I know. It doesn't seem like we should be talking about that but it's coming. There will be feet of snow in Wyoming. Get to that in a second.

Heavy rain across the Gulf Coast today. A couple of showers and storms. Some of those could have some hail from Chicago back down into central Indiana and Illinois.

Here's the snow event snowstorm is developing for Wyoming and South Dakota. I know. It doesn't seem we should be talking about that but it is coming. There will be feet of snow in Wyoming and get to that in a second.

Heavy rain across the Gulf Coast today. A couple of showers and storms. Some of those could have some hail from Chicago back down into central Indiana and Illinois.

Here's the snow event for the next couple of days. Up to 20 inches above 5,000 feet and that's almost everybody out here. That is north of Denver, northwest of Denver and this is Wyoming. Stretching over to parts of Nebraska and also into South Dakota. It's not heading to the south, it's going that way but it's still snow coming into the ground and feet of it.

Eighty-three Atlanta, 86 New Orleans, and 90 in Tampa, 87 in Miami for today. There will be some afternoon delays, especially with some Chicago thunderstorms and also Minneapolis, storms as well. Something is developing in the Gulf of Mexico and our Indra Petersons will have that next hour -- guys.

BERMAN: All right. Our thanks to Chad for that.

So if you've ever had to call 911, there are certain things you expect to happen. The dispatcher taking down your information, sending police or fire quickly. Probably not what one Arizona man experienced when he called to report his car and his girlfriend were on fire. Take a listen.



UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Is your girlfriend still on fire?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hilarious.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Is your -- still on vehicle still on fire?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hilarious, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Sir, is your vehicle still on fire?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just -- I just heard you smirking. It's not funny at all.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. Sir, it wasn't regarding that, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I just heard you laugh.

You're calling for help. You shouldn't be laughed at.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can understand why the caller was upset with that. I would be, too.


BERMAN: Police say they are investigating the incident here in that the dispatcher, that clearly was not supposed to happen. Important to note, police insist the response time was not affected and help got out to the people who needed it quickly.

SAMBOLIN: That's a cooky story.

BERMAN: Strange, right?

SAMBOLIN: Very. Very.

BERMAN: A few people laughing at you when you're calling in for an emergency?

SAMBOLIN: And saying that somebody is on fire.

BERMAN: I would kind of go nuts.


BERMAN: If I was on the other line.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Coming up.


MICHELLE LANGDON, CANCER TREATMENT POSTPONED BY SHUTDOWN: This is a potential life saving drug and to be told that it's going to be postponed because a decision hasn't been made and the shutdown occurred was rather upsetting.


SAMBOLIN: Hardly an understatement that it was rather upsetting. Take a look at that picture. Washington plays politics, but for some people the government shutdown could be the difference between life and death. That's coming up next.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It is time now for "Prime-Time Pop." That was the "Prime-Time Pop" music. This is the best of CNN's prime-time interviews. And if it seems like there's a whole lot of nothing happening in Washington right now, because there is a whole lot of nothing happening in Washington right now.

SAMBOLIN: That's right. And the real cause of the government shutdown are becoming really clear. Erin Burnett got at the heart of the debate asking Republican Senator Rand Paul, how do we get out of this mess?


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Here is the problem, Erin. This is why government is so messed up. People are like, why is government going to shut down? It's going shut down or it did shutdown precisely for one reason, we're not doing appropriations bill. We had 12 appropriations bill. Had Harry Reid done his job, brought them to the floor and passed them, there wouldn't be any government to shut down. That's historically the way it worked when we had differences between the House and the Senate, we went to conference committee.

See, they're defying what the normal history of compromises up here. They're intransigents really is keeping the government shutdown. We are offering today to fund more of the government. And do you realize that 85 percent of government is running right now? Only 15 percent of government spending is shut down and we're trying to actually encourage the passage of more of the spending and they are vetoing any more spending bills to try to open up government.

We're trying to open up government as they're saying we won't negotiate. I really think that's an untenable position.


BERMAN: And while Washington squabbles, real people suffer. Anderson Cooper spoke with Michelle Langrehn. She has a rare form of cancer which means for her the shutdown is a matter of life and death.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, AC 360: You've been waiting to become a part of this clinical trial and now because of the shutdown the approval process has been put on hold, is that right?

LANGREHN: That's correct.

COOPER: So I mean, how long have you been waiting to get in?

LANGREHN: I've been waiting for probably a couple of weeks now. And I have actually just found this clinical trial and it was rather exciting to find as there aren't many treatment options that are out there that are approved at this point, so I found it and I made contact and NIH was able to get back at me very quickly. And they had just begun the process of evaluating my records that were sent in when I was told that the shutdown was going to happen.

COOPER: What went through your mind when the person in the NIH told you that it would all be put on hold?

LANGREHN: So many emotions. I was upset and frustrated. This is a potential life-saving drug and to be told that it's going to be postponed because a decision hasn't been made and the shutdown occurred was rather upsetting.


SAMBOLIN: And on Piers Morgan, the financial consequences. Piers spoke with Mike Burke who runs a Statue of Liberty cruise and is now feeling the economic pinch after the closure of the national parks.


MIKE BURKE, RUNS STATURE OF LIBERTY CRUISE: It's just as outrageous for us, Mr. Morgan, coming on the heels of eight months of closure after Sandy, only to reopen the Statue of Liberty on July Fourth. We were in a pretty good economic hold to begin with. Ellis Island has yet to reopen prior to this closure. We are hopeful for October 28th, which is the statue's birthday, if you will, anniversary.

So at this point, we're down to -- we'd be lucky to break even had this not happened. But now that's -- it would seem impossible. We're going to be 50 to 60 percent down every day, maybe more in revenue. And at this point we have not laid off any employees but, you know, as weeks go by, we will have to certainly make adjustments as we did during Sandy.

PIERS MORGAN, HOST, PIERS MORGAN LIVE: And unlike people who get furloughed who work for the government and so on, you have no hope of getting any of that money back. This is a straight write-off, right?

BURKE: There's no recovery of our revenue, there's no recovery of the employees' lost wages. It's a total loss.


BERMAN: Real people being hurt here.

SAMBOLIN: I have nothing to say.

BERMAN: Day three.

SAMBOLIN: I am speechless. Unbelievable.

BERMAN: Day three and continuing.

All right. Forty-nine minutes after the hour. And coming up, if you had to go to bed early and did not find out who won the American League Wild Card Game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Indians, we will tell you.

Andy Scholes is coming up next in "The Bleacher Report."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAMBOLIN: So the government shutdown will not keep the Service Academy from hitting the field this weekend. The Department of Defense announced late last night that this weekend's football games are a go.

BERMAN: Andy Scholes has that and oh so much more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."


Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys. Well, Air Force and Navy and Army and Boston College. Those are the two games that were in jeopardy because of the government shutdown. But after laying out plans outlining how they would not use any government funds to travel to the game, the Service Academies were given the go ahead to play this weekend.

Now Navy's athletic director said that this weekend's Air Force game will bring in about $4 million. Not playing the game would have been devastating to the program, especially since revenue from football also funds the Navy's 32 other sports teams.

Now while football will go on, right now it's unclear any of the Service Academies' other athletic teams will be allowed to play this weekend.

Now Rays and Indians, they were squaring off in the one-game, winner- take-all wild card match-up last night. Delmon Young who got the scoring started for Tampa in the third inning with a towering solo homerun and that's all the Rays would need. Alex Cobb and a trio of relievers shut out the Indians. Tampa Bay wins it 4-0. They now advance to play the Boston Red Sox in the divisional series.

The playoffs will continue tonight on our sister network, TBS. St. Louis Cardinals hosts the Pittsburg Pirates in game one of their five- game series. First pitch at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. That one is going to be followed by game one between the Dodgers and Braves at 8:30.

One of the top stories on, today is about 49ers' safety Donte Whitner. He wants to legally change his name to Hitner. Now Whitner got permission from his mom before his lawyer filed paperwork in Ohio to formally remove the W from his last name. Now he's known as a big hitter and he was fined $21,000 last Thursday for leveling a Rams wide receiver.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, not a good idea.

SCHOLES: Guys, he wants to have this happen by Sunday's game so his last -- so his jersey will read Hitner. And the kicker of this whole thing is, though, if he changes his name during the season he is required to purchase all of the merchandise that has his other last name, Whitner, that's still on the back of --

BERMAN: Really? SAMBOLIN: That's not very festive, yes.

SCHOLES: Expensive change.

BERMAN: That is crazy. It doesn't seem fair.

SAMBOLIN: I suppose he must have really want to do it. It sounds very fair. He must really want to do this then. Hitner.


BERMAN: I'm going to change my --

SAMBOLIN: I wouldn't be proud.

BERMAN: Bermanator, by the way. I'm calling --


But if I have to pay for all the stuff you see on the screen with my name apparently.

SCHOLES: A lot of jerseys out there on those racks with Bermanator on.

SAMBOLIN: Bermanator.


BERMAN: All right. Andy, take care, man. Thank you. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: I want one of those. I'm going to wear a --

BERMAN: We'll be right back.

SAMBOLIN: -- jersey that says Bermanator on it.



SAMBOLIN: Fifty-eight minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START.

Taking a look at the top CNN trends on the Web this morning. Singer Sinead O'Connor, she's no stranger to controversy, right? But she is not thrilled with the latest antics from Miley Cyrus. Penning an open letter to the former Hannah Montana saying the singer and actress needs to stop allowing the music business to exploit her and urging Cyrus to stop, in her words, "prostituting" herself.

O'Connor also says Cyrus needs to start caring for herself and should be protected because she is a precious young lady.

BERMAN: Stop being so successful and wildly popular whatever you do.


All right. Ronan Farrow responding now to his mother's allegations that his real father might be Frank Sinatra. In a tweet, the 25-year- old writing, "Listen, we're all probably Frank Sinatra's son."

I have to say I love that response.


SAMBOLIN: Yes, I thought that was very smart.

BERMAN: His mother Mia Farrow told "Vanity Fair" that she and Sinatra never really split up despite her relationship with Woody Allen at the time of Ronan's birth. Allen's representative tells the Associated Press the article is fictitious and extravagantly absurd.

You make the call, folks.

SAMBOLIN: There you have it.

BERMAN: EARLY START continues right now.


SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: The one thing we made very clear in that meeting, we are locked in tight on Obamacare.