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JetBlue's Weather Woes; Weather Outlook; Sleeping Outside; Hero Target Worker

Aired January 8, 2014 - 08:30   ET


TERRI CHUNG, KENNETH BAE'S SISTER: And it's long past time for him to come home.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We are making calls to the State Department every day to find out what's going on with this situation. We will keep attention on this story because it deserves it and we'll do it as often as we can. And I guess for that, we do actually have to thank Dennis Rodman for giving us an opportunity to bring your brother's story back into the media. Terri, I know these are always difficult conversations for you, but your advocacy is for the best of reasons. Thank you for joining us on NEW DAY.

CHUNG: Thank you.

CUOMO: Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Chris, thank you so much.

We're going to take a break. But coming up next on NEW DAY, if you did not have to, why oh why would you sleep outside during this very cold weather. One teenager thinks it's worth it to make a larger point. We'll introduce you later on NEW DAY.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back now. Time for the five things you need to know for your new day.

We'll start with Buffalo, dealing with the lake effect blizzard. It has dumped up to two feet of snow there. The polar vortex that's had much of the nation in its grip, well, it is beginning to break up.

Some breaking news. The ADP jobs report is just out. The U.S. added 238,000 private sector jobs to the economy in December. We will see how this affects the monthly jobs report due out on Friday.

North Korea coming out on top in the basketball game with Dennis Rodman's American squad. Moments ago, the sister of detained American Kenneth Bae reacted to Rodman's interview on NEW DAY saying she is outraged by Rodman's comments and accuses him of playing games with her brother's life.

The White House now weighing how to respond to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' upcoming memoir. In it, he criticizes President Obama's leadership and Vice President Biden's foreign policy judgment.

And at number five, how about this finally? That Russian research vessel, it's finally broken through the heavy ice in Antarctica after being trapped there for two weeks. The Chinese ice breaker, which tried to rescue the Russian ship, it became trapped itself. Well, it also broke free. Home they are at least headed.

We're always updating those five things to know. So be sure to go to for the latest.

BOLDUAN: Puts our complaining about the cold in perspective.

PEREIRA: You didn't pull my chair out for me.

BOLDUAN: That's what you focus on.

PEREIRA: I'm teasing. I know, it's true.

CUOMO: I only have four inches of lateral movement.

PEREIRA: I know. That's true.

BOLDUAN: All right. Back to air travel, folks. This morning, JetBlue on defense. The airline standing by a decision to ground nearly all of their flights out of New York and Boston. They canceled more than 1,800 flights over the last week blaming the crippling weather and new pilot rules. Now, they say, they're going to make it up to thousands of passengers that they left in the lurk. CNN's Rene Marsh is at Reagan National Airport in Washington.

This has kind of been back and forth on who's to blame for all of this, Rene. So what do you know?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. You know, Kate, the weather was such a big story, but somehow JetBlue became the story as customers, they started criticizing the airline and how they were handling those weather disruptions. Well, now, the airline is trying to save face.


MARSH (voice-over): Thousands of JetBlue passengers are finally reaching their destination.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to get you home.

MARSH: As the airline tries to get back on track following their unpopular decision to ground all planes scheduled to depart New York City, New Jersey and Boston airports Monday night into Tuesday.

KRISTA HOLISLAN (ph), JETBLUE PASSENGER: I had to find out through the news that my flight was - that they shut down completely.

MARSH: JetBlue canceled more than 1,800 flights since Thursday, stranding thousands of passengers in the U.S. and the Caribbean and bruising the public's opinion of the airline. Now it's in damage control.

ROB MARUSTER, JETBLUE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (voice-over): I absolutely think we did the right thing because when you're doing things for safety reasons, not only of our people but of our assets and inevitably our customers, I think we're doing them the best service possible, no matter how hard the short term pain is.

MARSH: In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, the airline said cancellations impacted 150,000 passengers. Operations are returning to normal, but JetBlue predicts the backlog could take another day to work through.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got the last seat, first flight out.

MARSH: Almost every major airline was impacted by the now infamous polar vortex, but JetBlue bared the brunt of the criticism.

DANIEL BAKER, FLIGHTAWARE.COM: They're certainly a victim of their location. The vast majority of their flights are to and from the northeast. And I believe the plurality are to and from JFK. They were more affected than the carriers that they're being compared with.

MARSH: JetBlue has a history of weather troubles. In a 2007 storm, passengers sat for eight hours on the tarmac in New York, prompting new federal rules. But the airline says it has changed and takes proactive steps to protect passengers.

MARUSTER: When weather is going to win, we let weather win.

MARSH: To make good with angry passengers, JetBlue is offering compensation based on how many times their flights were canceled. One cancellation 5,000 frequent flyer points or $50, up to 20,000 points and round trip flights, or $200 for four or more cancellations.


MARSH: All right. Well, so far this morning things look much, much better for flyers, specifically with JetBlue. One -- only one percent of their flights canceled, four percent delayed. A big difference from yesterday where we saw double digits.


CUOMO: All right, thank you very much for the latest. At least it's warm in there.

BOLDUAN: That's right.

Speaking of weather, we all like camping, correct?


BOLDUAN: Yes. This takes it to the extreme. Coming up next on NEW DAY, find out - oh, that's a different story. I was going to talk about the camping story and -

CUOMO: That's a good story too.

BOLDUAN: I will tease to that because I like that story a lot. The camping story you want to hear of a little boy sleeping outside - not so little, 17 years old, he's doing it for a good reason and he is out in the frigid cold. We're going to tell you about that. That's coming up.

CUOMO: They key is, he's going to be out there for a very long time.

PEREIRA: That's (INAUDIBLE). He's living that up.

CUOMO: A very long time is the key to the tease.



We're still talking about a chill for a huge chunk of the country today. But, yes, relief is on the way. Nonetheless, we're still talking about temperatures below zero right now. I mean almost 30 below here in Duluth. Also in the Northeast, seeing temperatures about 10 below zero.

That is changing. That is the good news. Look at this. look at the change. We're going to be going from well below normal, as we all know, thanks to, of course, that cold air coming from the arctic, to above normal by the weekend. So that is the key.

The reason why? Well, take a look. This is the easiest way to see it. We're talking about a couple systems making their way through. The second one even stronger than the first. All that means to you is, yes, we're going to be warmer, but, yes, there will also be a chance for some showers. Rain and snow will be in the forecast, as well, especially by the weekend. Look for the Midwest and the Northeast looking for some of these showers kind of spreading into the region.

But you know what, if it's warm, I say we're all fine.


PEREIRA: Are you going to join us over here?

PETERSONS: I guess so. I don't know.

PEREIRA: Come on.


CUOMO: Come - come top side.

BOLDUAN: You've been invited.

PEREIRA: She looked at Duluth, Minnesota. We know from Stephanie Elam's reporting there it was brutally cold. Imagine if you decided, hey, I'm going to sleep outside every single night by choice. That is what one 17-year-old Boy Scout is trying to pull off.

His name is Rudy Hummel. He has made it his goal to sleep outdoors every night for an entire year. He's been doing it since June. June, not so bad. It was relatively smooth sailing until this recent arctic blast. Last night the wind chill made it feel like minus 32 degrees in his hometown of Hermantown, Minnesota, just west of Duluth. Rudy joins us from inside his cozy little adobe (ph).

Hello, Rudy. How warm is it and what do you call this structure you are in, my friend?

RUDY HUMMEL, BOY SCOUT THAT SLEEPS OUTSIDE: This structure is called a quinsi (ph).

PEREIRA: A quinsi.

HUMMEL: It's built by piling a bunch of snow with a shovel and then hollowing it out. And it is about three degrees in here right now.

PEREIRA: Three degrees. OK. So here's the question, my friend.

PETERSONS: Oh my gosh.

PEREIRA: You thought this through, obviously. But why did you decide to do it? Was it an act of rebellion to get out of your folks house? Were you trying to prove a point? What were you doing?

HUMMEL: Well, I've always really liked camping and spending time in the outdoors. A couple of summers years ago my dad and I built a tree platform like a tree house except there's just the floor. There's no roof or walls.

And I didn't feel like I made very good use of it. So last June I decided well, what the heck -- I will just sleep in the tree platform every night all summer. And I extended that. Well, even if I go on vacation I will sleep outside. So I can say I slept every night of the summer outside.

BOLDUAN: And now it's turned into every night of the winter. You've slept outside as well.


BOLDUAN: How long are you going to do this for?

HUMMEL: Yes, exactly. I'm trying to go a whole year now.

CUOMO: Yes. Rudy it's not working for me.

HUMMEL: Say that again.

CUOMO: It's not working for me yet, Rudy. I have to understand better why you're doing this. Maybe it's so cold that you haven't put -- there's enough thought although you got a lot of time in there on your hands. You want to go for a full year just because you just keep extending the time or are you starting to attach a little significance to it, maybe a cause or some kind of record or is it just about what Indra is saying. Is it just that? Is it just having the credit of having done it? What's the motivation? Go deep.

HUMMEL: Truly I'm doing this or at least I started -- I came up with the idea to do this for a whole year because I like to challenge myself. But now it means more than that. I have a couple of organizations picked up that I want to try to collect money for to donate to.

CUOMO: Now we're talking.

HUMMELL: That's kind of what I'm thinking now.

PEREIRA: So let's talk about logistics --

HUMMEL: Trying to turn this into a fund raiser.

PEREIRA: And that's a great idea. I can see that you're on -- I'm assuming that's your bed platform. Talk to us about the gear that you have with you. And I'm sure you're parents are a little concerned. Are you keeping warm enough at night?

BOLDUAN: I need some gear here.

HUMMEL: I am. Yes, I'm keeping pretty dang warm. I'm about as warm as I would be inside I think.


HUMMEL: But I haven't slept inside in so long that maybe that's not true.

BOLDUAN: Scrambled your brain.

PEREIRA: Well, what's your secret? Are you wearing layers? You have fur-lines sheets -- what have you got?

HUMMEL: I have -- nothing I wear to bed is cotton because cotton -- when you sweat, cotton holds the moisture next to your skin and makes you cold. It's all synthetic under armor fleece -- that stuff. So I've got a blanket here, a quilt, a wolf blanket, a sleeping bag inside a sleeping bag, inside a sleeping bag, inside a sleeping bag.

BOLDUAN: All right. That would be layers.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: What is left inside your home?

HUMMEL: I also wear anywhere from three to six layers on my upper body every night --


HUMMEL: -- and three on my lower body and three pairs of wolf socks. PEREIRA: And we should also point out that you sleep in there. You're not hanging out. You're doing this for us because you're live on NEW DAY on CNN but you're going to school. You're carrying on with your life. You just sleep there -- correct?

HUMMEL: Right. I come out here to go to sleep and I go inside once I wake up.

PEREIRA: Well, my man, this was probably more of a challenge than you expected it to be because of this -- the polar vortex or whatever --


PEREIRA: Right that happens and it comes through this year. We wish you well. Maybe we can check in with you in a couple of months to see how the effort is going.

HUMMEL: Yes, that will be great. Once I get the fund raiser stuff figured out.

CUOMO: Yes, figure that out. Let us know the names of the organizations. We'll get it there. And we'll keep coming back to you. I mean you're in for the long haul. I see you built yourself a little light frame up around here to keep the snow off you.


BOLDUAN: So we know where to find you.

CUOMO: Then we'll send Indra and Indra will come and she'll (inaudible)

PETERSONS: Well -- there's an idea. The hazing has not stopped.

CUOMO: You know, she's a meteorologist and she likes the cold.

BOLDUAN: Love it.

CUOMO: She said she's got the blizzard gear so let's see if she could tough it out, you know, with the man there.

PEREIRA: Congratulations Rudy on setting a goal for yourself -- an unusual goal. Thanks for joining us today on NEW DAY.

How about that? I don't think I would have the stamina.

BOLDUAN: Good. Lots more (inaudible) from him. Yes, exactly.

CUOMO: I was a scout. I was a scout.

BOLDUAN: Can you do it?

CUOMO: No. And I never thought of that.

BOLDUAN: I know you can't do it.

CUOMO: I'm soft. I'm showing myself. I am --

PETERSONS: Three layers though.

CUOMO: I got a lot of layers. I have 220 pounds of layers but I don't have the gumption. But when he gives it to charities -- we'll get into that.

PEREIRA: It's great. Absolutely.


CUOMO: We'll get into that. That was a good one. Thanks for bringing that Mick. I like it very much.

All right. Here's a little something for you. How about time for the "Human Factor"? All right.

Paul Teutul -- does that name mean anything to you? See that big mustache right there. He is of course, the father in the reality series, OCC, "Orange County Choppers". But do you know he's also a recovering addict? And getting sober is actually one of his proudest achievements, not that TV show.

Here's CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with his story.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Grinding, blowing things up and building bikes. It's what Paul Teutul Sr. star of the show "Orange County Choppers" does best.

But there was a time that Teutul's future didn't seem so bright.

PAUL TEUTUL SR., "ORANGE COUNTY CHOPPERS": Back in the day I kind of started early drinking and getting high and -- you know back then, you think that that stuff is going to go away as you get older and what it does it gets progressively worse.

GUPTA: As a younger guy Teutul and his buddies hit the sauce early and often.

TEUTUL: I could drink a Korda (ph) Whiskey at lunch time and then go back to work.

GUPTA: And after years of giving everything to alcohol he realized it all came down to a simple choice, live or die.

TEUTUL: I was pretty fortunate that you know, I was able to get in a 12-step program. I went nine years straight and I was afraid to miss a meeting.

GUPTA: And that's why Senior who's now been sober for 29 years continues to share his story.

TEUTUL: After 12 years of TV being myself everybody knows how (EXPLETIVE DELETED) crazy I am. So it's no secret. It's kind of like I always look at it, if I can get sober, anybody can.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.



PEREIRA: Welcome back. This morning a Target store employee being hailed a hero. She helped save a little girl.


ROXANNA RAMIREZ, TARGET EMPLOYEE: Just fidgeting around. I didn't really -- I wasn't getting a good vibe off of him.

PEREIRA: 22-year-old Roxanna Ramirez was working at a Target in Antioch, California Friday night when she noticed a bizarre man in the parking lot.

RAMIREZ: I was (inaudible) to see him grab on a steering wheel and start to shake it like something was wrong with him. So then I thought OK, there's something wrong with this guy like he's not all there.

PEREIRA: She wrote down the car's license plate number. She says when she got home that night, a friend told her about an amber alert that has just been issued.

RAMIREZ: The car looked the same. It might be the same person and I was like I remember I wrote down the license plate number and my girlfriend was telling you should call. You should call.

PEREIRA: Police were on the hunt for a man they say had stalked a mother and her seven-year-old daughter at a Wal-Mart earlier that night and followed them home.

LT. JOHN VANDERKLUGT, ANTIOCH POLICE: There was a weapon used. The mother attempted to stop the male from abducting her daughter. And when she approached him the male produced what's been described as a rifle and the mom stopped. He was able to force the child into the car and then fled the scene.

PEREIRA: Based on Ramirez's tip police were able to track down the suspect in just four hours. 43-year-old David Douglas was arrested. The seven-year-old girl identified as Natalie Calvo was recovered safely in his car.

Douglas is now talking in a jailhouse interview. He says the kidnapping was a cry for help. He claims the government, his neighbors and his family are conspiring against him. And he believes the mother may have been in on the conspiracy.

DAVID DOUGLAS, KIDNAPPER: The mother made a very, very obvious effort of turning while she was looking at groceries, of turning and looking right at me for -- I mean not just glancing at me. She looked right at me as if she were signifying to me that she were a part of this. PEREIRA: Douglas says he feels remorseful.

DOUGLAS: I have a son of my own. And I can imagine -- I can just imagine -- sure absolutely. You have to appreciate how desperate I am.

PEREIRA: But this little girl is now safe thanks to one quick- thinking young woman.

RAMIREZ: Don't keep it to yourself. Because I wanted to keep this to myself and it was a good thing I did it because I just saved a little girl's life.


PEREIRA: She sure did. She trusted her gut and she acted on it. Pretty amazing.

We'll be right back.


CUOMO: Simply stated there is too much news for just one show to handle so we must give you to a new show, "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello to take care of all of the news.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I have a lot of riches, I do. Thanks so much and have a great day.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.

Gates versus the White House -- the former defense secretary and a harsh stinging assessment of President Obama. This morning -- the new book and the fresh fall out.

Plus Gabrielle Giffords speaking out this morning in a new op-ed. New details about her recovery on this, the third anniversary of the shooting in Tucson.