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Duke Sex Scandal Shakes Up Durham, North Carolina; Assessing Tornado Damage in Tennessee

Aired April 4, 2006 - 08:30   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, a beautiful shot of Central Park.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Ominous clouds, however. Hate to be the doctor of doom here, but...

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, it is pretty dark and cloudy today.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes. It's -- and while we're on the subject of ominous clouds, those tornadoes. Wild, wild, serious storms. A couple of dozen people dead as a result. Eighteen hundred businesses and homes destroyed.

We're going to talk to a survivor who -- there she is. Michelle Goad is her name. House did not have a basement. You see the house behind her actually, right there. And, brick house. But every last window went by the boards. They ended up in the bathtub which, you know, if it's cast iron especially, is a good place to be. And as Chad Myers pointed out, using an enclosed place. Lot of walls which would protect you. Lived to tell the story. We'll talk to her about what that was like.

S. O'BRIEN: Wow, that's got to be awful to be there while all that's happening around you. That's just ahead this morning.


S. O'BRIEN: The controversy over Duke University's lacrosse team has led to almost daily demonstrations. The team's season now on hold after a woman said she was raped by three members of the team.

Joining us from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina is Mayor William Bell. Duke, of course, is located in Durham, as is North Carolina Central University. That, of course, is where the alleged victim goes to school. Mr. Mayor, thanks for talking with us this morning. We certainly appreciate it.

MAYOR WILLIAM BELL, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA: Good morning. Good to be here this morning.

S. O'BRIEN: Thank you very much. Appreciate that. Let's talk about some of the sticky issues that come out of this alleged crime. First and foremost, do you think a rape happened? Do you think there was an attack?

BELL: Well, that's why we have an investigation going on, Soledad. And we are comfortable waiting for the police department to complete this investigation and turn it over the D.A.

Let me say this, because it's very important for us in Durham, that many people are concerned, including myself, about how the city is being portrayed nationally. Unfortunately, and an inact (sic) picture of Durham is being painted about us as a city, economy and our citizens. And Durham is really a great city. It's built on a great history and a great future.

S. O'BRIEN: Let me stop you there. Because -- tell me how you think you're being portrayed? I mean, what's coming out that you're obviously unhappy with?

BELL: Well, obviously, it's been portrayed as a city of black against white. This powerful university, Duke University, having done a deed and you've got a city where you have poor blacks that are pretty much under the hammer of Duke. And that is far from the case for Duke, and it's far from the case from the city of Durham.

Durham is probably the fourth largest city probably in the state of North Carolina. It's a city that has transformed from a tobacco textile industry into a high-tech city of medicine industry. We are the home of the research triangle park, where we have many Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, GE, pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline. We're a city where its government is well-managed, probably one of the few cities in this country that has a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch.

S. O'BRIEN: When you talk about, though, an alleged victim who's black and alleged perpetrators who are white -- and you say, as I agree with, there's a whole element of class that's come into this debate, as well. And CCU, sort of versus Duke, if you will. Do you think that there are a larger statements and larger implications of race in this story? I mean, is it saying that there's a race problem here?

BELL: Only because what we are hearing is Duke and a black woman who allegedly was raped by white students. Beyond that, we're satisfied to let the legal course take its place. We know what's happening here in the city of Durham. Race relations are very good. We're proud of our institutions that we have here, to include Duke, North Carolina Central University, Durham Technical Community College. We have -- home for the North Carolina School of Science and Math, probably one of the first residential schools for persons who have an interest in science and mathematics.

S. O'BRIEN: There are people, though, who would say -- let me just jump in there, Mr. Mayor, if I can...

BELL: Sure.

S. O'BRIEN: ... who say, you know, the fact that the university waited until after the lacrosse team was -- the basketball team, rather, eliminated from the NCAA before the university president came out and made the statements suspending the team, you know, things like that that actually -- that's indicative of some kind of a problem, that maybe it wasn't as forthcoming or aggressive with alleged, truly, perpetrators as he could have been or should have been.

BELL: Well, let me say this. I have met with the president of Duke University and its administrators, as have other African- Americans in this community, leading African-Americans in this community. And we are satisfied that things happen -- probably things could been done a lot better.

But the important point is that we want to get to the bottom line of this, and we're convinced that it's going to happen. We've been given a commitment on the part of the president that if persons allegedly are involved, actually proven to be true, they're going to be dealt with in a very positive and affirmative way. So, you can always look back in hindsight and say that you could have done something better. But we are where we are and we're trying to move forward with this.

And let me say this also. Durham is a community that's very activist. So no one should be surprised if there are demonstrations. But to the persons that have done the demonstrations, it's been very positive, it's been controlled. And I don't mean controlled by the police. It's controlled by the individuals themselves. I would have been surprised had there not been demonstrations.

S. O'BRIEN: We should mention, of course, that investigators are still waiting, the lab tests done on the DNA tests on the lacrosse players who have given their DNA samples. Durham, North Carolina Mayor William Bell joining us this morning. Mr. Mayor, thank you for your time. Appreciate the conversation.

BELL: Thank you, Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Miles?

M. O'BRIEN: In Tennessee, they are assessing the damage from Sunday night's deadly tornadoes. This is what is left of Michelle Goad's house. She and her two small girls were outside playing. Storm warnings started. They had no idea, though, what was in store for them.

Michelle Goad joins us now from Newbern, Tennessee, where so much death and destruction was wrought by those tornadoes. Michelle, good to have you with us this morning. That night, when the tornadoes were coming in, as I understand it, you weren't particularly worried. Why?

MICHELLE GOAD, TORNADO SURVIVOR: Well, I've never been scared of a storm, I've never been in one that was that bad. Like I said, my girls and I were outside playing and we had gone inside, and it had started to hail a little bit. And then we kind of thought it was over. We thought it was gone after the hail stopped.

M. O'BRIEN: So what happened then? You got nervous all of a sudden?

GOAD: Well, actually, I had put my youngest girl down to bed, and I went to take a bath. And my husband heard a loud noise and he came to the bathroom with our oldest daughter and he said, you know, I think the storm is here. And so I jumped out and I said, should I get the baby? And I did, and then we got into the bathroom. And that's when glass started flying, and we got into the bathtub.

M. O'BRIEN: Oh, so you really got into the safety of your bathroom and bathtub just in the nick of the time?

GOAD: Right. Glass actually started flying probably right after we got into the bathtub.

M. O'BRIEN: That must have been very frightening for your little girls?

GOAD: The smallest one didn't realize what was going on. The oldest is 19 months, and she was very scared. She was crying pretty much the whole time.

M. O'BRIEN: How scared were you?

GOAD: That's probably the most scared I've ever been in my life. I was very scared. I was just afraid that glass was going to fly and hit them or that the house, the rest of the house, was going to go. You know, I didn't know what was going to happen.

M. O'BRIEN: Tell us what you felt and what you heard after that. Once the glass started breaking, did you feel the house kind of creaking and swaying?

GOAD: We heard a lot of -- it sounded like a train. I know everybody says that, and it's true. Yes, we could hear the -- mostly the glass. I don't know that I really felt the house move, but we just heard lots of glass, and all the windows were breaking. We could hear the wind, you know, coming through the house.

M. O'BRIEN: Wow.

GOAD: I can't explain it.

M. O'BRIEN: And that must have been something. So, how long was it before the storm had passed and, you know -- in other words, how long before you realized you were going to make it?

GOAD: I said it seemed like minutes, my husband said it seemed like a few seconds. And once it got really quiet, we kind of started stepping out, you know. I didn't have any shoes on because like I said, I had been actually taking a bath.

So my husband went and grabbed me some shoes because there was glass everywhere, and made the way outside with both of our girls. And it was like something you see on a movie. It was dark outside and everyone was hollering to the neighbors, and are you OK? People were hollering to help get the people out of house. It was something that you see on TV.

M. O'BRIEN: We see a picture of your precious two little girls there. We're glad everybody is OK.

What is next for the family? are you going to rebuild? Have you thought that far ahead?

GOAD: We are having insurance people come in today to see if it is -- so we can knock it down. We think it's messed up the foundation, so that we can knock it down maybe and rebuild. Right now, we're trying to find a place to rent for the meantime. My mom's house is destroyed also. She lived down the street from me. So we're staying with my mother-in-law at this time. So, trying to decide for sure what we need to do.

M. O'BRIEN: But everybody in your family is okay. I guess you have that to be thankful for at this point.

GOAD: Yes.

M. O'BRIEN: Were you able to salvage much from your house?

GOAD: We were able to get the clothes and, like, personal pictures and things, which were very important. Most of our furniture was covered in glass and it got wet. So most of that we're going to replace. We have to have, like, new baby beds. Our car seats were messed up because they were in the vehicles, and the vehicles were shattered. The glass was shattered in those. So we're going to have to replace a lot of those kind of things.

M. O'BRIEN: Michelle, I got to say, you have to seem pretty composed.

GOAD: Well, thank you.

If I can take just a second to thank -- we had so many people at my house yesterday. There were people that we don't even know who were working on trying to help patch the roof enough so that it wouldn't flood inside the house, and of course the people that brought food, and my mother-in-law is helping take care of my children, my grandmother. We're staying with them. And just everybody's been wonderful.

M. O'BRIEN: Michelle Goad, thank you for joining us this morning. And we wish you well in the future and everybody there as they try to pick up the pieces quite literally in the wake of those terrible storms. Thanks very much for your time.

GOAD: Thank you.




S. O'BRIEN: With deadline day less than two weeks away, we've got some helpful hints in our AMERICAN MORNING tax guide. Tax experts tell us about filing online. Deductions you might be missing. And best of all, what you can do with the tax refund once you get it. That's tomorrow through Friday right here on AMERICAN MORNING.

Tom DeLay's decision to leave Congress, a bombshell. So how will it affect midterm elections? We'll take a closer look at that.

Plus this:


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It made me feel like all my troubles were flowing out. And it wasn't blood. It was, you know, it was my troubles with my mom, and my problems at school, my body image.


M. O'BRIEN: A young girl deals with her pain the only way she knows how, by hurting herself even more. But now there's hope for her and others like her.

Stay with us for that story.


M. O'BRIEN: More than six million Americans are keeping a frightening secret. It's the dark way they deal with personal pain. But there may be hope for those who find that the only way they can feel something is through self mutilation.

Adaora Udoji has one young girl's story.


ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For years, Danielle -- a cheerleader, a gifted student, a budding actress -- has kept a secret from nearly everyone. Always smiling, but battling depression and teenage stress using scissors and knives to cut herself.

DANIELLE HURST, CUTS HERSELF: It made me feel like all of my troubles were flowing out. And it wasn't blood. It was, you know, it was my troubles with my mom and my problems at school.

UDOJI (on camera): Shocking to some, but experts estimate up to six million Americans injure or mutilate themselves, often through cutting. And that number, they say, is growing.

(voice-over): Danielle started at 12 when it felt like she was fighting with everyone in her life. Rock bottom came when she was 16. Danielle so depressed she could barely leave her room.

HURST: I had to do it every couple of hours to make myself feel better and I felt like...

UDOJI (on camera): Just to get through the day?

HURST: Oh, yes.

UDOJI (voice-over): Danielle's mother remembers the shock when her daughter first showed her the scars. JACQUE OBENHUBER, MOTHER: We're just going to get this fixed right now, make it go away. It was a silly thought. Things like that don't go away.

UDOJI: Finally, they came here, to Self Abuse Finally Ends Alternatives, a 30-day in-patient program specializing in self injury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Impulse control disorder.

UDOJI: Doctors say self injury ranges from cutting to burning to beating one's self and is often symptomatic of other problems, like depression, anxiety or sexual abuse. Danielle joined the two dozen others in the program.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 30 and I'm from Toronto, Ontario.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm 19 and I'm from Long Island, New York.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name's Em. I am 16 and I...

UDOJI: Though it's mostly females here, experts estimate 40 percent of those who injure themselves are males. They say there's no typical profile. People from all races, ages and economic backgrounds do it. But they all one thing in common.

(on camera): Does always hurt? I mean, is that the...


UDOJI: No? It's not?

(voice-over): It's hard to believe...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Box cutters galore.

UDOJI: When Danielle and her new friends are talking about box cutters, knives, razors. But the cutting's like an anesthetic, says Wendy Lader, cofounder of Safe Alternatives. She says they're not trying to kill themselves. They're trying to stop the pain.

DR. WENDY LADER, CO-FOUNDER, SAFE ALTERNATIVES: It's sort of anti-suicide. They're trying to survive.

UDOJI: The program aims, through group therapy up to nine hours a day, to teach them new ways to survive. Five days in, Danielle's talking about painful memories.

HURST: And I'll wake up, you know, out of breath because it's just a flashback of something that I've done.

UDOJI: Here, doctors believe everything should be in the open, including sharp objects. So Danielle and the others learn to control their impulses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Danielle, congratulations on graduating from SAFE. UDOJI: After four tough weeks...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does it feel, baby? To be a graduate.

HURST: Liberating.

UDOJI: After two weeks at home, she's still feeling optimistic.

HURST: My whole world doesn't change because I went through SAFE. But I'm the one that changed and I know how to fight the feelings now.

UDOJI: And Danielle knows that every day she'll be tested.

Adaora Udoji, CNN, Naperville, Illinois.


M. O'BRIEN: Be sure to watch Adaora's full report on this issue tonight on "ANDERSON COOPER 360," 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Ahead in just a moment, a look at the top stories, including Tom DeLay's resignation announcement.

A deadly car bomb blast in Baghdad

Jill Carroll's emotional meeting with her colleagues at "The Christian Science Monitor."

A crippling transit strike in Denver.

And the latest on recovery efforts in Tennessee. Sunday's tornado killed at least 23 people, destroyed hundreds of homes. A closer look at that's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING. We're back in just a moment.



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