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Three Hundred Thousand Without Water; New Jersey Bridget Scandal Documents Released; South Florida Dries Out After Downpour; Breaking News: Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon Has Died

Aired January 11, 2014 - 07:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a disaster and it's caused us more problems than you can ever imagine.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Imagine your water is poisoned and you don't know when it's going to be clean. That's the story this morning for 300,000 West Virginians, whose water has been contaminated by chemicals. Now, people are desperate to stock up at the store and shelves are going empty.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, nearly 2,000 pages of documents revealed a Christie appointee stonewalled questions in a bridge scandal that is now leaving a line of political casualties.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And look at those buds in the back (ph). Be still the heart.

PAUL: Let's say you're looking to go to Colorado to buy some pot. No problem. One man's canna-bus business that he compares to a Napa Valley Wine Tour.

Your NEW DAY continues now.



PAUL: All right. Up and at 'em, sleepy head. You've got a Saturday to tackle. And we want to help you out with that. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 7:00 here in the East Coast. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

We're going to start with this public health crisis in West Virginia. It is hitting alarmingly close to home. Imagine waking up this morning and you can't use your tap water. So, you can't brush your teeth, can't wash your face, no coffee.

PAUL: No coffee alone is enough for some people. While the story for as many as 300,000 West Virginians is just that, after a coal chemical seeped into the water supplies of nine counties around the Charleston.

The tests show the chemical level is dropping. That's the good news. But there's still no end in sight as to when they can use the water.

BLACKWELL: Yes, our Alina Machado is in Charleston this morning for us.

Alina, good morning.


The only thing people here can do with their running water is flush their toilets. Restaurants and businesses remain closed and bottled waters flying off the shelves, and residents here are growing increasingly frustrated with the uncertainty of the situation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, it's utter chaos. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I've seen people just grabbing every ice bag they can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's about gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hard. I've got to use bottled water.

MACHADO (voice-over): There is growing outrage and concern this morning in West Virginia, where at least 100,000 people are without usable running water -- thanks to a chemical leak at Freedom Industries.

GARY SOUTHERN, FREEDOM INDUSTRIES: We are very, very sorry for the disruptions.

MACHADO: Gary Southern, the president of the chemical company, offered few details during his first press conference more than 24 hours after the leak was discovered.

REPORTER: So can you give us an exact time line as to how this all happened?

MACHADO: Southern says his employees found the leak Thursday morning. The chemical is typically used to clean coal and can be harmful if ingested.

State officials say they were alerted to the problem when residents of Canella County reported a foul smell, similar to licorice in the air. The leak was traced to one of Freedom Industries' 35,000 gallon storage tank along the Elk River, about a mile from the water plant.

GOV. EARL RAY TOMBLIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: We're doing water tests on an hourly basis. And the chemical level is declining. But we're just not sure exactly how long it's going to take until it's acceptable to lift the "do not drink" ban.

MACHADO: The warning has rattled those who live in the nine counties where a state of emergency has been declared. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a disaster and it's caused us more problems than you can ever imagine, not only can we not wash dishes, we can't wash our hands after we go to the bathroom. You can't wash your clothes, you can't drink the tap water. You can't cook with the tap water.


MACHADO: The chemical that leaked into the river was being kept inside that storage tank. It has since been removed.

The company has also been ordered to empty out its 11 above-ground storage tanks and to also cease operations until it can prove that those tanks are safe -- Victor and Christie.

BLACKWELL: All right. Alina Machado in Charleston, West Virginia, for us this morning -- thank you.

And coming up next half hour, we're going to talk with Kent Carper from Kanawha County, West Virginia, to see how they're holding up there.

PAUL: And now, we want to get to the revelations that so many people are talking about. These revelations from more than 2,000 pages of documents released on the New Jersey bridge scandal that is plaguing Governor Chris Christie's administration.

BLACKWELL: Late last night, a state legislator leading the investigation released the documents. They show angry back and forth e-mails and confusion over the lane closures.

And that officials close to Governor Christie tried to cover up political motives and block the media from learning more about it.

PAUL: Also, they give new insight into the wake of the resignations that took place in the wake of this controversy, too. Now, the documents do not, we need to point, seem to show Governor Christie played a role in this.

BLACKWELL: Now, one email shows the executive director of the Port Authority, Patrick Foye was outraged. He used his authority to override the lane closures and he wrote this on September 13th. "I pray that no life has been lost or trip of a hospital or hospice-bound patient delayed. I will get to the bottom of this abusive decision which violated everything this agency stands for."

This led to a flurry of e-mails from Port Authority officials. At one point, Bill Baroni replied, Christie appointed official, replied to Foye, saying he was, quote, "on way to office to discuss", and that there can be no public discourse on the controversy. Baroni resigned in December.

PAUL: There is a lot more in the documents. So, CNN's Alexandra Field is live in Ft. Lee to help break it down.

I know that you know you all have been poring over the documents, because there are so many. You've been doing so overnight.

What have you found, Alexandra?


A lot of people are waiting to see what else these documents would reveal.

And here's what we've learned another top aide to Governor Chris Christie not previously named was sent an e-mail while the problems were unfolding on the bridge. That e-mail raised concerns that the problems may not be related to any kind of traffic study. It is unclear whether or not that aide read the e-mail. She has not been indicated in any sort of plot to extract political revenge against Ft. Lee mayor, Mark Sokolich.

As far as Sokolich is concern, he is mentioned in these documents, too. Apparently, he believes that Port Authority police were telling angry residents who are stuck in traffic that he was the one who is to blame for the closures at the bridge. What these documents do not do in any of their 2,000 pages is show any evidence that Governor Christie himself was involved in the problems at the bridge.

So where does this put the governor now? Well, that depends on who you ask.


SEAN SPICER, RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, I think it says that he is fallible, that mistakes will happen on his watch. That people will do things, but he will be a man of action and a leader that will take things seriously. Take immediate action and correct them and be forthcoming with what happened and try to get all the facts out there.


FIELD: Clearly, some Republicans are coming to the governor's defense, saying that he has handled the fallout from this pretty well this week, but not every Republican is in his corner. Now, listen to this.


GLENN BECK, CONSERVATIVE TALK SHOW HOST: Conservatives need to run from Chris Christie. Run from Chris Christie. This, again, is the quintessential example of why I'm against him.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE TALK SHOW HOST: The point of the story is that he will, Christie, use payback, if you don't give him what he wants, he'll pay you back.


FIELD: A lot of questions on Christie's political future. He spent two hours earlier this week, if you'll remember, during that press conference, repeatedly apologizing saying he had no role of what was happening out here and no knowledge of what was happening out here.

He also later made a trip to Fort Lee to apologize to all the residents affected here -- Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. CNN's Alexandra Field for us -- thank you.

FIELD: Now, later this morning, we'll speak with the lead investigator who released the documents, State Assemblyman John Wisniewski. He joins us here at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

You saw it's pretty windy there in Fort Lee.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: And rain, which a lot in south Florida.

PAUL: Yes, I don't know if you saw the pictures but floods forced highway patrol to close a stretch of I-95, look at that, in Palm Beach County. The National Weather Service says some places got a foot of rain and it looks as though it could be a wet, wild day for much of the South and the East Coast as well.

CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray is here with more.

We're going to get hit in Atlanta, aren't we, Jen?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, yes, and it's only a matter of time, probably within the hour. In fact, some areas just northwest of Atlanta already under thunderstorm warnings.

So, this line stretching anywhere from New Orleans, all the way up to Pennsylvania, it is spreading rain all across the East and the Southeast for today. Strong storms possible, and you can see just to the south of Rome, northwest of Atlanta already seeing some of those strong storms. Hail even reported with these. And we're going to see these push into the Atlanta area, within the next hour, hour and a half or so.

Also across the rest of the South, we're seeing showers anywhere from Tennessee, stretching into portions of Virginia, Kentucky, and these are going to continue. Not cold enough to snow in the Northeast, but we are getting quite a bit of rain. And then, some areas in the extreme Northeast, maybe getting an icy mix. We could see one to two inches across the South. Some isolated amounts even higher -- Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. Jennifer Gray, thank you so much.

The White House is backing the attorney general's decision to recognize same-sex marriages in Utah even if the state won't. Eric Holder says those couples will enjoy the same federal benefits as any other couple. That decision comes two days after Utah announced it would not recognize those marriages while appealing the case.

But the president is on Holder's side. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president welcomes the attorney general's determination that the federal government, for purposes of federal law, will recognize the same-sex marriages that were lawfully performed in Utah before a stay was issued.

For more, I would point to you to what the attorney general said and to the Department of Justice. But the president welcomes that determination by the A.G.


BLACKWELL: And the federal appeals court could hear oral arguments on the case as soon as March, and that ruling could affect all six states in the court's jurisdiction.

Still to come on NEW DAY, that massive security breach at Target just got a lot worse.

PAUL: Hackers stole more than just credit and debit PIN numbers we're learning. So, what do you have to do now to protect yourself? We'll tell you.


BLACKWELL: New this morning, Neiman Marcus might be the latest retailer to be hit by hackers. The upscale store is investigating now a possible breach last month that may have compromised customers' credit card information.

PAUL: Now, it's not clear at this point, how many shoppers may have been affected but Neiman Marcus says it's working with the Secret Service to investigate all of this.

BLACKWELL: And Neiman Marcus, of course, is not alone when it comes to cyber hackers. You know, we talked about the breach at Target.

PAUL: Oh, boy.

BLACKWELL: Well, on Friday, Target announced that last month's security breach was a lot bigger than the company initially reported. Instead of 40 million people being affected, it actually affected about 70 million customers.

PAUL: Well, not only did that number go up but this got worse, too, because not only did they steal debit and credit card information. Personal information like your name, your phone number, your e-mail, all of that compromised.

So, what do you do at this point to protect yourself?

Well, CNN business correspondent Alison Kosik has more on it.

Good morning, Alison.



The number of people hit by the hack on Target is now 70 million. Target says it discovered the new information during its ongoing information into how information was stolen, and it turns out it's much bigger than the initial 40 million estimate.

Even worse, on top of the debt and credit card numbers and PIN numbers that were stolen, Target says this type of information was taken. Look at this -- names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. And consumer experts say this opens up hackers to even more options when trying to access your money.

So, watch out for e-mail scams, someone calling you asking for information or anyone impersonating Target. Don't give them any personal information.

Target says customers are going to have zero liability for fraudulent charges. Plus, it's going to offer free credit monitoring for a year. Customers will have three months to enroll in that.

This investigation is ongoing and a lot of customers are demanding answers, so we'll probably be getting updates.

Christi and Victor, back to you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Alison Kosik, thank you so much.

Police are on the hunt for a suspect who may have chased down a driver in a fit of road rage and shot him to death.

Listen to this -- they say the victim called 911 multiple times, the same enraged driver was chasing him. This happened in Pennsylvania last weekend. Well, police, the gunmen was in pursuit for up to 15 miles before forcing the victim off the road and killing him. The victim was identified as 20-year-old Timothy Davison.

Police are looking for clues and say the suspect was driving a dark Ford Ranger with damage on the driver side.

PAUL: Locked doors, that was the topic of the latest meeting at the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission. It was the group's first gathering since the released of almost 7,000 pages about the school shooting back in 2012 that claimed the life of children and six adults.

Well, a security expert said the key to safer classrooms is more doors and classroom doors that locked from the inside, to keep shooter. Also laminated glass, which is the kind on your windshield, apparently could delay an attack he says, just long enough anyway for police to arrive.

BLACKWELL: Listen, if you haven't had a flu shot yet, now might be the time to do it. Ten more states reporting widespread flu activity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, in some places like Central Texas, and the Bay Area, overflow tents have been set up to handle blue patients.

But health officials say, so far, this is a pretty typical flu season.

PAUL: OK. Let me ask you a question, have you been at the gym or grocery store, you saw somebody you that secretly had a crush on? You didn't know their name. Well, guess what? There's an app for that.

BLACKWELL: That's going to make this space and it ruins it.

PAUL: We're going to show you a new app that lets you take pictures of strangers and connects you to their social media profile. I think it's scary, but that's just me.

BLACKWELL: Some people like it.

Plus, pot's stuff lighting up the market with marijuana scales booming in Colorado. Some Mary Jane for you this morning.

A closer look, next.


BLACKWELL: Money time on NEW DAY.

The Dow ended the week with some modest losses, heading lower on Friday after the latest jobs report showed hiring slowed to a crawl last month. Wall Street end of the week mixed, while the Dow closed in the red. Both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ ended the week slightly higher.

PAUL: OK. So, let's talk about the high takes legal battle over Aereo, in the Supreme Court. This is a startup that basically allows you to stream broadcasters like NBC and ABC over the Internet.

BLACKWELL: Now, Aereo, it says that it transmits TV signals, tiny antennas, a high-tech version of those old rabbit ears, which is legal and free. Broadcasters argue the contrary and want to get paid, feels like they do for cable and satellite company.

PAUL: They knew that was coming. The case could be heard as soon as April by the way.

And you may want to think twice about posting a nasty review online. A Virginia appeals court has ruled that Web site Yelp has to reveal the identity of seven users who posted negative reviews about a carpet cleaning company. Now, the company says the reviews don't match client records and believes the reviews are lies.


PAUL: So, if the reviews are indeed false, the company says it's going to sue the writers for defamation.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, the biggest business story of the week, the dismal jobs report. Hiring slowed to a crawl last month. Just 74,000 jobs added to payroll. PAUL: And when you dig into the details of all of this, the outlook does not look any brighter. Christine Romans is here with the deep dive -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christie, by now, you have seen this head line from Friday. The shocker of a jobs report, 74,000 jobs created. That is not at all what analysts and economists had expected. They thought we would go out strong, strong in the labor market in 2013. And we did not.

Here's the other part of it -- 6.7 percent unemployment rate. Why? How can the unemployment rate be looking so good when hiring looks so bad? For all the wrong reasons, you guys. It's because so many people, hundreds of thousands of people simply stopped looking for work.

Who got jobs in the month? High school graduates with no college education. Who left the labor market? Who lost jobs in the month? College graduates. That does not go well with the quality of jobs that we're seeing. Let me give you the trend, trend is very important.

Sometimes, there's a lot of noise, like weather. End of the year stuff with these numbers.

Here's the trend, by November, 241,000 jobs created. And then it slowed, stalled, slammed the breaks at the end of the year to 74,000.

Big question going forward, big question, once the cold weather is past and the economy revs up for the beginning of the year, will you see the job market go back to those levels that we saw late last year. A lot of economists think that other signals are looking better than this report suggests -- you guys.

PAUL: All righty. Christine, thank you so much.

Christine Romans there.

BLACKWELL: All right. Time on NEW DAY SATURDAY when we take a look at business stories that we're talking about. Have a lot of people talking. First up, if you need some cash, T-Mobile could help to the tune of a few hundred dollars.

So, T-mobile, the phone carrier is offering $650 to anyone who switches over from one of the bigger carriers.

PAUL: Six-fifty?

BLACKWELL: Six hundred fifty dollars.

PAUL: Whoo!

BLACKWELL: So, here's how it works. Basically, the money is to pay off any early termination fees from the other company. But there's a catch, you have to trade in the old phone, buy a new phone from their company, but you can keep the old number and that helps, because changing the phone numbers on everything -- if you ever had to do it, it is a headache.

PAUL: That's the biggest hassle, right.


PAUL: So, up next, even if you don't smoke it, you can still get a high. That's right. Marijuana sales sparking financial highs. Yes, that's what we're talking about here. If you buy the right stock. Yes, people, there are hot stuffs.

And though they aren't widely traded, they are lighting up, shall we say, pot stocks include Medbox, Hemp, inc., Greengro, and Growlife.

So, take a look at how some of them are doing. Hemp's stock up 196 percent. Greengro, up 1,000 percent. And Growlife, up 63 percent.

BLACKWELL: Yes. We knew from the beginning when this was proposed, that a lot of people, local government, were going to make money off of it. And it shows that people are indeed making that cash.

Finally, creepy or cool?

PAUL: Creepy.

BLACKWELL: Tweet us, tell us what you think.

PAUL: Yes, I want to know.

BLACKWELL: There's a new p coming out called name tag for your mobile device that will allow you to photograph strangers and find out who they are. Just complete with their social networking profiles.

Here's how it works. You take a picture with the phone. The app sends the picture to name tag server and the server compares the photo to millions of records online to come up with an ID, and it will compare the photo to a criminal data basis. So, that's helpful.

If you're on a date and someone says something a little out of the ordinary, stand still, click, then you find out if the person --

PAUL: Oh, my gosh.

BLACKWELL: So, OK, one person may consider this to be a problem, creating problems for social interactions.

Another critic, possibly, is saying it's creepy, causing serious privacy boundaries. The question is --

PAUL: Oh, I don't like that.

BLACKWELL: Privacy purposes, some people think it would make them safer.

PAUL: What do you know, stalkers? Hello?

BLACKWELL: That's true. Will this take online snooping to a new level? We'll talk about it with a security expert in the next hour.

We also want to hear from you. So, tweet us. What do you think about this name tag?

PAUL: Yes, would you use it? Would you like it to be used on you? That kind of thing.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it's true.

This morning, a big story, thousands of pages of documents released in the investigation into the New Jersey bridge scandal and more information on who in Governor Christie's inner circle knew what was going on.

PAUL: Plus, what's causing concerns about security at the Winter Olympics now?


PAUL: Mortgage rates dipped a bit this week. Take a look.


PAUL: It is 7:30 in the East right now, just in case you haven't looked at the clock -- 7:29:29 to be exact.

BLACKWELL: Oh, look at that.

PAUL: I'm Christi Paul. We're glad to have you with us.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning.

Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

Up first, FEMA has sent 75 tanker trucks filled with fresh water to West Virginia. That's where as many as 300,000 people are being warned not to bathe, drink, or wash, anything in the tap water. This is after a chemical at a coal industry company seeped into the water supply and tests shows the chemical level is dropping, but there's still no end in sight.




PAUL: All right. That is not a movie set, people. That is for real. And that's our number two here.

High-speed chase with a shoot-out, because is in southern California. It started when cops tried to pull a driver over for using a cell phone behind the wheel, but the unidentified suspect raced off taking officers an hour-long pursuit through crowded residential streets. Now, cops eventually, as you see there, caught up. They fired nearly two dozen rounds at the suspect. And KGTV is reporting that suspect in critical condition right now at a hospital. Firearms and illegal drugs were also found at the scene.

BLACKWELL: Wow. If you thought that was wild. Look at this. Number three, emergency evacuations, power outages, massive tower of flames, shooting hundreds of feet into the sky. That was the wild scene in western North Carolina after a major gas line erupted. Now, the fire department was eventually able to put out the fire and shut off the gas line. Good news here, no reports of injuries.

PAUL: Number four, we bid farewell to civil rights pioneer Franklin McKean, was 73 years old and has died. He was one of the Greensboro 4. In 1960, he and three her black students sat down at a Woolworth lunch counter in North Carolina and waited to be served. Their civil disobedience fueled sit-ins across the country.

BLACKWELL: Number five, there's new warning for any Americans headed to the Winter Olympics in Russia. The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert saying people should remain attentive. It notes that the Olympics could be a target for terrorists. But there's no specific threat. And Russian security will be tight.

The Olympics begin February 6th.

Chris Christie, caught in the crossfire. The New Jersey governor denies he was involved in a traffic jam now at the center of political scandal. But e-mails between Christie's inner circle suggests the shutdown of traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September was completely politically motivated.

PAUL: So, now, there are new questions about who else might have been involved. What kind of legal trouble the Christie camp could face.

I want to bring in Matt Katz. He's a reporter for WNYC, also one of the first members of the media to question Christie about these allegations.

So, Matt, thank you for taking the time to be with us today. We appreciate it.

MATT KATZ, WNYC: Good morning.

PAUL: Sure. Good morning.

I know you asked Christie about whether the lane closings were done out of political retribution. And here's what he said.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I work the cones actually, Matt. Unbeknownst to everybody, I was actually the guy out there. I wasn't in overalls and the hat. So, I wasn't -- but I actually was the guy working the cones out there. You really are not serious with that question.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: OK. So, obviously, you were laughed off initially about this. Explain how Christie's response changed over time.

KATZ: A couple of weeks after he laughed about it and was sarcastic, he acknowledged that there were communication problems at the agency and he dismissed two officials at this agency that runs the bridge. And then we got some documents this week, and that changed everything.

He had a two-hour press conference that, unlike the previous two press conferences, he was extremely contrite. He apologized, and he said he knew nothing about this. And his top aides knew nothing about this. He acknowledged that one or two of his aides knew about it. And they were gone. So, we now have a total of four officials, as of Friday, who were dismissed.

But newly released documents last night and yesterday afternoon show us that maybe more people knew about it in his circle.

BLACKWELL: So, I want you to listen to something else Christie said during Thursday's press conference about being lied to by members of his staff. Listen, we'll talk on the other side.


CHRISTIE: I'm just stunned. And what does it make me ask about me? It makes me ask about me, what did I do wrong to have these folks think it was OK to lie to me.

BLACKWELL: And I want you to kind of take us inside. I mean, you cover Trenton. Take us inside the culture of this administration. Is there anything that stands out that answers that question? But also that would point to why Bridget Kelly would believe that possibly this would make the boss happy? That is there a culture of political retribution in Trenton, in this governor's administration?

KATZ: There's long been a sense of that. There's long been a sense that politicians, elected officials, reporters, who do think that the administration doesn't like, that they are sort of castaway. There's a term known as "the penalty box" for those of us who might get in trouble with the administration.

But the evidence that is now starting to come out this week, indicates that that penalty box might be broader than anybody imagined. We're starting to hear more and more mayors say that they think that because they didn't endorse Christie for re-election last year, that they've lost money, that they've lost public funds for their communities as a penalty, that they weren't able to get meetings with commissioners of important state departments.

And the tone of newly released documents indicates that there were folks within his office who really castigated and cast aside members of the media and other public officials in somewhat disparaging terms which also indicates a sort of negative term coming out of his front office.

BLACKWELL: We're still reading through the documents and, of course, the story continues.

Matt Katz of WNYC, thank you for your time this morning.

KATZ: Sure thing.

PAUL: So, let's talk about these residents here, the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania right now, because they are on edge after a 28-year-old man was shot to death in an apparent road rage incident.

BLACKWELL: Yes, police say the suspect is violent and may strike again.

CNN's Jean Casarez has the story.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Residents of this small community of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, continue to be on edge, following a deadly highway shooting of 28-year-old Timothy Davison.

The shooter is still at large, law enforcement says it was a case of road rage.

CAPTAIN STEVEN JUNKIN, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: We obviously have an individual out there who was so incensed that he continued to pursue Mr. Davidson and took it to that next step.

He murdered an individual for whatever slight that he perceived.

LARRY MORRISON, YORK COUNTY RESIDENT: Our daughter travels the highway every day and you think it could have been her. It's hard to think things like that can happen in this small area.

CHARENE MORRISON, YORK COUNTY RESIDENT: It's just scary. You're just driving along and all of a sudden, boom.

CASAREZ: It was 30 minutes away from this community on Interstate 81 where Davidson was driven off the highway last Saturday morning, then shot at repeatedly by someone driving a dark Ford Ranger XLT pickup.

Police say Davison had made multiple calls to 911, saying he was being chased by a vehicle and that the driver was very aggressive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be advised now, multiple gun shot wounds, as well.

JUNKIN: We're issue an advisory to all body shops and dealerships in the area to be on the lookout for a Ford Ranger with recent damage seeking repair.

CASAREZ: Motorists are keeping a closer eye on fellow drivers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we're definitely concerned because they weren't been able to figure out who it is yet. They might still be around. You know, if they inadvertently cut that person off or do something to make them mad they may be that next person in the news.

CASAREZ: Jean Casarez, CNN, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania.


PAUL: Well, you know, it's one of the biggest nights in Hollywood, celebrities gearing up for tomorrow's Golden Globe Awards.

BLACKWELL: So, who will take home the Globe? Up next, this year's picks and predictions.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLACKWELL: All right. Breaking news now: Israeli army radio reporting that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died. Sharon had been in a coma for nearly eight years and was recently suffering from kidney failure.

CNN's Ben Wedeman joins us now by phone with more.

Ben, what are you hearing?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, we understand from the hospital Tel Hashomer in Tel Aviv where Ariel Sharon has been more or less permanently for the last eight years that he has died, we knew that his condition was very bad beginning the first of January, even though he's been in a vegetative state for eight years, he begun to suffer from renal failure, blood infection and other health complications. Doctors have been saying for several days now that he had very little time left.

And therefore, today, they announce that he has died. It comes not really as a surprise, given his very frail health for the last, basically, since the beginning of the year. And therefore, many people really anticipated this news. In fact, what surprises most people here in Israel and in the region is that he lasted as long as he did.

PAUL: So, Ben, I was just going to ask you how people in the region are reacting. You're say that they're not surprised necessarily. But do we have any indication as to what the plan is for a burial and a service and all of that if he's been in this coma for so long?

WEDEMAN: We understand, according to Jewish custom, he should be buried within 24 hours. However, because of his stature as the leader of Israel, there obviously will be a full state funeral. His body will be put in state at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. And then he will be buried.

Now, precisely where is not clear. He could be buried in the cemetery of Mount Herzl in Jerusalem where many of Israel's leaders are buried. But they also understand that his family would like him buried on the ranch next to his wife. So, that has yet to be determined.

But this is going on and the process will take several days. BLACKWELL: All right. Ben Wedeman, stay close. We'll get back to you in a moment reporting from Jerusalem on the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

We've got on the phone with us, Edward Djerejian, former U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Mr. Ambassador, thanks for joining us this morning.

This morning, I want you to kind of unpack for us the legacy of former Prime Minister Sharon. Began his term there in 2001, and then his stroke at the height of power. What will be his legacy?

EDWARD DJEREJIAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL (via telephone): Well, a key part of Sharon's legacy is that he was one of the most prominent of military commanders and leaders of the Israeli army since the very beginning, going back to 1948. He had major military roles in all of the large battles that Israel and the Arabs fought, going back not only to the war of independence, but in 1956, the Suez crisis, the '67 war where he really became very prominent because of his actions in the Sinai, the war in '73. He was instrumental in the encirclement of the Egyptian army in Sinai at that time.

And then, of course, he became minister of defense. And then in '80, '82, he led the Israeli actions in Lebanon. And as you know, the Israeli army operated out of the southern part of Lebanon. And their controversy occurred when the massacres (INAUDIBLE) where the Israeli army allowed (INAUDIBLE) to go to the camp and killed many Palestinians and there was a commission and there was great notoriety at that time. And there was the commission that was such a negative characteristic, I would say, a negative development in Sharon's career.

But later on, he went on and became prime minister. And you have to remember that Sharon was one of the most conservative hardliners in Israel. And he was one of the architects of the Israeli settlement policy, building settlement, and he looked at the Israeli settlements as a strategic outpost that would protect Israel in the future, and many other security terrorists and military strikes and activities.

But what's remarkable is that this man who is the this hardliner, this military hero in Israel, and architect of the settlement policy, that when he became prime minister, and this is what I think is going to be part of his legacy, sitting in that chair as prime minister gave him a different perspective. And he realized that Israel's security could not be obtained only through military means. He explored opportunities with the negotiations with the Palestinians, for example, and the Syrians. Nothing came of that.

But he unilaterally made the decision to with draw from the Gaza Strip and that is going to be become controversial because he felt that Israel had to withdraw from an area in which it had no -- certainly, there wasn't -- if I can put it -- the religious or biblical connotations into the West Bank in the Palestinian territories. But he saw that Israel was too exposed by occupying the Gaza Strip. He would grow unilaterally, that was also part of his legacy that he determined that his war hero by the Palestinians.

PAUL: Ambassador Djerejian, thank you so much. We hope you'll stick around for us.

We'll have more on the passing of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Stay with us.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLACKWELL: Breaking news for those of you just joining us now. Israeli army radio reporting that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died. Sharon had been in a coma for nearly eight years and was recently suffering from kidney failure.

Joining us on the phone now is anchor of "THE SITUATION ROOM", Wolf Blitzer.

Wolf, we were having a conversation with Edward Djerejian, former ambassador to Israel. What do you think is the defining moment of the man who was called both a hard liner, but also in 2001, approved this timeline for ending the violence and to try to restart peace talks?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR (via telephone): Yes, he really did change in his final years as prime minister of Israel. I remember several times when I went over there seeing that change from the '80s to the '90s and finally when he became prime minister, he seemed to be moving in the direction of making the times of concessions that potentially could have resulted in some sort of deal. He went a lot further than I thought he would have gone than I watched him in his earlier years when he was pretty much of a hard liner, very strong advocate of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

He seemed to be adjusting, moderating his views and eight and a half years ago, he had that stroke and all of a sudden, he went into a coma. I flew over to Jerusalem because all of us thought there would be a major state funeral for the prime minister of Israel.

I remember Condoleezza Rice, she was the national security adviser to the president. Actually, maybe she was secretary of state by then. She was supposed to go on a trip to Australia. She canceled that because she was going to represent the United States all over to Israel for that funeral and then he went into a coma. He's been on a coma now for eight years and, just -- obviously, just passed away.

But he had moderated his views. Whether or not it was enough to make a deal with the Palestinians, historians will discuss that and debate that for a long time. But, you know, from the war in Lebanon in the '80s and the tough period, I saw a significant, significant moderation in his own views toward the Palestinians. It was encouraging at the time, but clearly, you know, it really didn't develop into much and he obviously had that stroke and went into a coma.

PAUL: We know that he was called "The Bulldozer." Do you know how he got that name? BLITZER: He was a tough guy. Going back to every war from Israel to the war of independence in 1948, the Sinai campaign in '56, the Six- Day War in 1967, Yom Kippur War in 1973. He played roles in all of them. And he was a commando -- he was a tough, fierce Israeli general, and, you know, he did what he thought he had to do to protect Israel national security and he developed that reputation as one of those tough Israeli commandos. And, you know, some called him "The Bulldozer", if you will, because of his fierce devotion, especially in leading Israeli troops. He became very popular.

And one of the reasons that some diplomats, including a lot of U.S. officials and even Palestinians thought maybe he was the guy that could lead Israel to some sort of a deal, was because of that hard line reputation that he had. Remember in 1982 when Israel went into Beirut, he was there. He was the guy with (INAUDIBLE) who was then prime minister of Israel, who was in charge. So, he really had that fierce -- that fierce Israeli hard-line stance which he thought was best for Israel's national security.

As a result, he developed that tough reputation that was popular in Israel. A lot of Israelis liked him. And eventually, he was elected prime minister.

PAUL: Back in 2001. I was just reading that it was just a year ago in January that tests were showing significant brain activity with him. He appeared to be responding when doctors showed him pictures of his family and he listened to his son's voice. A year later, he has passed on.

And, Wolf, stay with. Everybody, stay with us here as we continue to look now the death today of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.