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Philadelphia Police Officer Killed; Rebuilding Green; Filly Euthanized at Kentucky Derby

Aired May 4, 2008 - 09:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now come on, what do you think? These things are our family, you know. We've put everything into them that we have and they've give us everything that they have. They put their life on the damn line here and she was glad to do it.


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Disaster at the Kentucky Derby, the Philly, Eight Belles, suffers a devastating injury and has to be put down. We are going to hear from the horse's trainer this hour.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Also, people in Arkansas are looking for a little divine intervention this morning after losing their church, a live look at it, right there. We'll tell you about that story after a devastating tornado hit, coming up.

NGUYEN: And what a difference a year makes. After a massive tornado almost wiped this town off the map, it is deciding to go green. And today, in fact, gets a visit by the president.

Hello, everybody from the CNN Center in Atlanta. It is Sunday, May 4, I'm Betty Nguyen.

HOLMES: And hello to you all, I'm T.J. Holmes. We're so glad you could start your day with us. We are, unfortunately, have to start with this story. We have new information this hour in the death of a Philadelphia police officer who was killed with an assault rifle. That officer is Steven Liczbinski, he was fatally shot while responding to a band robbery last night.

NGUYEN: Police, this morning, charged a suspect in that shooting and they're still searching for another suspect. Our affiliate, WPVI, is reporting that suspect and Eric Deshawn Floyd who recently slipped out of a halfway house. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is mourning the loss of the 12-year veteran officer.


COM CHARLES H RAMSEY, PHILADELPHIA POLICE: Sergeant Liczbinski, married, three children, assigned to the 24th District. He was recently promoted to the rank of sergeant. And again, this is a huge loss for all of us in the department. And I want to offer my condolences to the family, but to all members of this development. This is a tough one, it's very tough. MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER, PHILADELPHIA: Keep them in our prayers, they will need ongoing support as we grapple with what has happened, here today. I just want to express my own personal sympathies to this family and certainly thank the officer for his long, hard work with the Philadelphia Police Department. He has obviously made the ultimate sacrifice.


NGUYEN: Now, we are awaiting a news conference expected to happen in a little over an hour. And when it does, we will bring that information to you.

HOLMES: A pregnant bank teller shot in the abdomen by a robber. Katherine Shuffield was carrying twins at the time and she lost both babies. Well, for the first time now, we're hearing from her about what happened inside the Indiana bank almost two weeks ago.


KATHERINE SHUFFIELD, TELLER SHOT IN ROBBERY: That's when he jumped through my teller window. And as soon as he jumped, he shot me and it was like in slow motion, going to the floor, and I didn't realize that he shot me until I touch my leg and I saw there was a little blood. And then I said, well please help me, he shot me, he shot, my baby. And he didn't let anybody to do anything. He was more worried to take the money.


HOLMES: Shuffield still in the hospital with an infection from that gun shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a difficult story, there.

Let's turn now to politics just for a minute and a close one in Guam. Going in the win column, though, for Barack Obama, a look at live -- actually an iReport picture of the voting there sent to us by Todd Thompson. More than 4,500 people voted and they were split almost evenly for Obama and Hillary Clinton. In fact, the candidates were separate bid only seven votes. So, they will split Guam's four delegates.

Here's where they stand, right now. Obama leads with 1,736, Clinton 1,599, total. Those numbers, of course, will change on Tuesday. There are 187 pledged delegates at stake in the primaries in Indiana and North Carolina.

HOLMES: Well, Clinton and Obama might pass each other on the highway somewhere in Indiana, today. They are focusing on that stake and they have a combined seven stop, there today, and they need every one because our CNN Poll of Polls showing that there is a dead heat, there. Six percent of the voters still undecided, that gives the candidates something to shoot from. Those undecideds shooting from a hip a bit, too, on an issue we all care about, those high gas prices. Hillary Clinton in support of a gas tax holiday at issue. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I see that sign over there, guy's got a sign saying "a gas tax holiday is blatant pandering." Well, I'll tell you what, I'd rather the oil companies pay the gas taxes than you pay the gas taxes this summer.


BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She can't get some of her own supporters to speak out to -- there's no economist or expert out there who's saying it's a good idea. So, the other day she had, as a surrogate, one of her supporter whose, guess what -- a lobbyist for Shell Oil saying what a good idea this was. Well, that's just a shell game.


HOLMES: Oh, the Republican nominee to be, meanwhile, he is out of all that, right now. He can even take a break from campaigning today. John McCain, back in action this week, however, with appearances tomorrow and Tuesday in North Carolina. Former candidate, Fred Thompson, will join McCain on the campaign trail. McCain is trying to show up his support among conservatives. McCain plans to focus on judicial issues, this week, after promoting his healthcare plan, last week.

NGUYEN: Well, a little bit later today, we will take you beyond those 20 second sound bites, and you're going to hear the candidates, what they are really saying and actually get the full context from the campaign trail, that's on CNN's BALLOT BOWL, today at 4:00 Eastern.

Plus, make sure you are with us Tuesday night for complete coverage of the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. Join the best political team on television, live, from the CNN ELECTION CENTER, Tuesday night starting at 7:00 eastern only on CNN, your home for politics.

HOLMES: Well, many survivors of the deadly weather, the deadly storms in Arkansas, this week, are going to be cleaning up today and they'll be going to church. Take a look at a picture we have here, for you. Some churches there were destroyed. This is a picture, here, of one such church. Now, even though that church building is gone, church will continue for the South Side Baptist Church in Damascus. Our Sean Callebs is there for us, live.

Good morning to you again, Sean.

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, T.J. Right now services would normally be going on. I want to step out of the way here, you can see this sign, here, South Side Baptist Church, part of the landscape here in Damascus, Arkansas, since 1911.

Well, they are having services, just obviously, not at this church today. They've moved down the road five Niles another Baptist church. Look at this, though, we talked to the pastor in the last hour, Steve Stephens; he said that what happened on Friday, just a huge punishing black cloud came in from the southwest and just devastated this church. It only took about 10 seconds.

This is a new sanctuary, it was under construction. They were actually seven works inside. The minister was next door. He got the warning on a pager that there was a tornado coming. He ran out, went inside this church, he got the workers, they all huddled in a very small room and the storm hit. He said he thought it could have been the end. A lot of noise, a lot of damage, but in the end, everybody walked out unscathed. Really, an amazing story, here.

The disappointing news for the church membership, the congregation, they're going to have to bulldoze everything and start over from scratch. But, the word we're getting from the pastor, this community may be beaten, but it is going to be coming back. Still, a lot of heavy hearts here today. About a mile from where we are standing, three people were killed in that storm, seven, overall here in Arkansas. A very difficult weekend, but as I say, T.J., they say they're going to just try and pick up the pieces and move forward.

HOLMES: That's too bad. We see some of that structure behind you, still standing. Too bad some of it can't be salvaged, have to knock it all down and start over again. And as you said, Sean, they sure. Will. Our Sean Callebs been reporting for us this weekend in Damascus. We appreciate you.

NGUYEN: Well, the death toll may be in the hundreds from a tropical cyclone in Myanmar. That storm equal to a Category 4 hurricane. It slammed into the country, formally known as Burma, yesterday. The storm had winds up to 150 miles-per-hour. So far, we're only seeing limited pictures of the damage. But reports say entire villages have been wiped out. The country's state run media puts the death toll at around 240.

Here in the states, though, we are off to a quiet start, today. Something that we really haven't heard of a lot, lately.

HOLMES: Reynolds Wolf is standing by for us. Will the quiet continue?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know what else is quiet, the number of complaint. The number of complaints that people will have about today's forecast. I mean, I'm not hearing anything. People are happy to finally get a break in terms of the rough weather, we certainly have earned.


NGUYEN: If own it will were Saturday, though, right?

WOLF: Yeah.

NGUYEN: I had to look at a cloud in the sky.

WOLF: Well, yeah, you could probably do something. I mean, you're a powerful person, both you guys are, maybe we can do something extend the weekends, you know, just an extra day.

NGUYEN: Yeah, we don't have that kind of power. There's no chance. All right, thank you, Reynolds.

WOLF: Sure we can.

HOLMES: Is everything all right? You've been pessimistic all day today -- this morning?

NGUYEN: Well, we are doing the news and sometimes it does bring you down. But, that was good news, though.

HOLMES: He had good news and you're still bringing it down.

NGUYEN: All right, T.J., well give us some good news.

HOLMES: All right, Big Brown.

NGUYEN: That's some good news.

HOLMES: Yes, good nose. Good nose -- seeing roses, seeing red roses.

NGUYEN: Smelling.

HOLMES: Yeah, the colt ran away with the Kentucky Derby, yesterday.

NGUYEN: Yes, here he is, coming down the stretch, pulling a way to win the Derby in commanding fashion. The Derby, of course, is the first leg of the Triple Crown. The second part, is the Preakness, is in two weeks.

HOLMES: But, unfortunately, here.

NGUYEN: Here we go. See.

HOLMES: Here with some bad news. And this is a horrible, horrible story here. Yes, we just saw Big Brown win the Kentucky Derby. However, the horse that everybody will probably be talking about from this Kentucky Derby, Eight Belles, the second place finisher here, collapsed after crossing the finish line. The filly broke both front ankles had to be put down, put to sleep, right there, right then on the track.

LARRY JONES, TRAINER: And the next thing I heard was the outrider shock in his voice that the No. 5 horse, the filly just broke both front ankles as she was stopping.

She went out in glory, she went out as a champion does.


HOLMES: Well, that's the emotional trainer there, Larry Jones. We'll hear much more from him coming up in about 15 minutes. This injury, of course, NOW brings back memories of Derby champion Barbaro, badly injured in the Preakness. That was two years ago and this was a horse that everybody really rallied around and rally had a lot of people behind him, in this country. That injury eventually forced doctors to put him down, as well. But, he fought, had a few surgeries, people thought he might be all right, but eventually had to be put down.

So, this is the ugly side to horseracing. Some of these devastating injuries, they had to happen. Reynolds said earlier, how big these animals are, but they're so delicate.

NGUYEN: Yeah, it's just shocking, though, especially for the people there to see him be put down right there on the track. And I heard there were women that left that in tears because of it. It does become emotion, but, yeah, that's kind of a story that came out of the Kentucky Derby, you know, besides the fact that Big Brown won. So, we're going to try to stay positive. All right.

HOLMES: All right. Well, moving on here to more of the nasty weather we'll continue to talk about. Devastating, deadly weather we saw the past and the future of a town nearly wiped out by a tornado. This is an uplifting story.

NGUYEN: It sure is. A year after the twister tore through Greensburg, Kansas; the community is coming back greener and better than ever and marking its anniversary with the president.

HOLMES: Also ahead, "To the Top," the success story of a female executive who climbed the corporate ladder.


NGUYEN: Here are some of the other stories that we are following for you on this Sunday.

HOLMES: An explosion at a paper plant in Mississippi. One person killed, 17 others injured when a backup boiler exploded. All of the injured were contract workers doing maintenance on the boiler. And investigation now underway.

NGUYEN: Full circle for the Olympic torch, the flame back in China today for a relay across the country that is hosting the summer games. One goal, snuff out the memory that the torch's global travels. Many of those stops were overshadowed by protests. The mainland journey, though, is due to last three months.

HOLMES: Well, President Bush will revisit Greensburg, Kansas, this afternoon, marking the first anniversary of when the town was nearly destroyed, or pretty much destroyed by a deadly tornado. That twister killed 11 of the town's 1,400 residents. The president will deliver the commencement address at the Greensburg High School.

NGUYEN: Well, Greensburg is not only marking the tornado anniversary, it is reinventing itself, rebuilding and going green. Joining me on the phone to talk about its eco-friendly recovery is Steve Hewitt, Greensburg's city administrator.

Good morning, Steve.


NGUYEN: All right, so I visit you'd you back in November, took a look at the devastation. Now that we are into May, how much has been rebuilt?

HEWITT: Well, what you see now is you've got about 160 new homes going up, you've got some new commercial facilities, we have a new water tower. We are moving forward in much of our recovery. It's very exciting. As Spring comes forward, you see Greensburg now come forward.

NGUYEN: That is good news and when it's all said and done, how much do you think is going to be built green in this town?

HEWITT: Well, our goal is obviously to build everything green. I think we have to stay focused on our goals and as an equal co- friendly community and try to be good stewards in our rebuilding efforts. Our goal is to have a community that's 100 percent renewable energy, 100 percent green and sustainable and I don't think -- right now, we feel like that is the direction and we feel we're going well right now.

NGUYEN: I know and speaking with a lot of residents, there, many of them living in FEMA trailers, they were going to wait it out, they were going to do what it took to make sure that they came back and they came back green. And in fact, President Bush is going be there today, in your town. He's going to be doing the commencement speech at the high school, there, which was wiped off the map, essentially. What does that trip mean to you, Steve, who you've lost just about everything as well, and to the people of Greensburg?

HEWITT: I think what tells us is that the government, America, the world still cares about what we are doing. They're excited about our direction, they want to see us recover. I think we are the story that people want to follow because we're success story of not just after being completely wiped off the map, we're going to come back even better and stronger than ever and we're going to be eco-friendly. I think that the president is like that icing and the cherry on top of the ice cream where you know, he says that's exactly what it is like in America. Let's pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and let's move forward and I think it's a great story.

NGUYEN: And if you get a chance to speak with him, today, what are you going to say?

HEWITT: Well, I'm going to thank him for his support and obviously ask him for continued support. And, you know, I think it's great for the seniors, because these seniors having a very, very hard year in school and the fact he's coming back and going to beet meet with them. And I think, what I'm just going to say is: thank you, thank you, thank you, and yet help us move forward because we're going to need that continued support as the months and years go by.

NGUYEN: Yeah, and moving forward, I mean, you can't help but to look back and see that your town was pretty much gone. You got a clean slate. You are starting anew and you are building green. And as other communities look to you, what kind of an example had you going to be?

HEWITT: I think what have you to do, you've got to think of your future generations. You have to think about you're building -- you're trying to build facilities and buildings and an infrastructure that will last for hundreds of years, not just a patch, put a band aid on it and get back in next 10 or 20 years, something that will be long- lasting. If you stay focused on your future generations and the long sustainability of a community, you'll under what we're trying to did is really not something special, it's just the right thing to do and I think it's going to be a model for all rural America in the future.

NGUYEN: Steve Hewitt, Greensburg city administrator. I hope the next time I visit your town it will be fully restored. Thanks for spending some time with us, today.

HEWITT: Thank you, guys.

NGUYEN: Great what they are doing there.

HOLMES: And a great treat, they get the president, today.

NGUYEN: Exactly.

HOLMES: It's been a tough year.

NGUYEN: Can you imagine speaking at your high school commencement? I don't even remember who spoke at mine. But, I think if it were the president.

HOLMES: You might remember that.


HOLMES: All right. Well, coming up here, soaring past the glass ceiling. Meet a woman who made it to the top and is now helping other women achieve their goals.

NGUYEN: Plus, boosting the economy through music. New Orleans' Jazzfest helping to revive the city.


HOLMES: Well, when Warren Buffet speaks you better listen if you want to make money. This is the CEO, of course, of Berkshire Hathaway. He met with shareholders, yesterday. Buffet says his strategy remains the same, buy great companies with solid management at a good price. That strategy is the basis for annual returns of more than 21 percent over the past 43 years. The company's class A stock is worth $133,000.

NGUYEN: Well, there's no merger for Microsoft and Yahoo! The world's largest software company dropped its bid for Yahoo!. Microsoft was offering at least 46 billion bucks, but oh no, Yahoo! said I want 53. A Microsoft-Yahoo! merger would have meant big competition for Google which leads in Internet advertising.

Did you know that less than three percent of women hold the top spot in Fortune 500 companies? Well now, one female executive who's made it to the top is trying to even out the playing field.


(voice over): A trip on an elevator changed Nina Disesa's life.

NINA DISESA, CHAIRMAN, MCCANN ERICSON, NY: And when I was 28 years old, one Saturday, I was going out grocery shopping with my husband and we stepped into the elevator and on the sixth floor he told me that he didn't love me anymore. At the time I thought my life was over and it turned out to be the very beginning of my life.

NGUYEN: Disesa then started her career in advertising, and she's been riding her way to the top ever since.

DISESA: Even as a young person, I always had five-year plans. I would start a job and I'd say, OK, in five years I want to be here. And I would try to beat that schedule.

NGUYEN: And she always did. Disesa started as a copy writer, she's chairman of one of the world's largest advertising agencies. She's the first woman in the company to take on that role.

DISESA: Women are biologically wired to succeed in business as leaders. We have such great instincts. You know, we have empathy, we can read a room. Women's intuition is like mind reading.

NGUYEN: Disesa recently published a book about climbing the ladder as a woman called, "Seducing the Boys Club."

DISESA: The first thing that we have to be is really good at what we do. And once you have that reputation, then getting up the ladder is just a question of getting the right people to support you.


HOLMES: Well, emotions running high at the Kentucky Derby.

NGUYEN: Yeah, the cheers turned into tears as thousands watched a fan favorite come to a sad end. We're going to hear from the filly's trainer, ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


HOLMES: Hello again, welcome back everyone. I'm T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. Here's a quick look at some of our top stories, today.

Authorities in Philadelphia have charged one suspect and they're searching for a second in the fatal shooting of a police officer. That officer was killed with an assault rifle while responding to a bank robbery, yesterday. HOLMES: And the work begins. Many survivors of the tornadoes in Arkansas picking up the pieces this morning, seven people killed by the storm.

NGUYEN: And Big Brown's trainer is already looking ahead to the next race after yesterday's huge win at the Kentucky Derby. He says Big Brown is ready to roll into the Preakness which takes place in two weeks.

HOLMES: And at the Derby celebration was dampened by tragedy on the track, a fan favorite fallen to the dirt.

NGUYEN: Yeah, we're talking about Eight Belles, the only filly in the field. Eight Belles finished strong taking second in the Derby, battling against the boys.

HOLMES: But then slowing down after the race, the horse broke both front ankles, had to be put down, was put to sleep right there, right then on the spot, on the track, in front of hundreds of thousands of people there in attendance. Afterwards, Eight Belles' trainer talked of the elation that turned to devastation.


JONES: She hit the wire running, you know, this mare was not in any kind of distress at all, you know, it looked to me, at the race. And as she got around the turn, I mean, I saw her ears were up, she was watching Big Brown and following him around and so we left. We got ready to come down, because I knew she would be back quick to unsaddle and we were kind of high-fiving. I thought we had deja vu of last year which, and, you know, it was real remarkable, and when we left the barn we said, you know, no matter where we finished, because we know we're taking on a big task this afternoon, but everybody remember, now if we come back, if we run fourth, fifth, sixth, or whatever, we've had a great weekend after a proud spell, yesterday, as long as we come back to the barn good.

And then when she ran second, we were ecstatic, and I thought well, here's another second. But, then we're thinking, you know, to win the Oaks and to run second in the Derby with two fillies that we've just had a remarkable weekend. And we was having trouble getting through the crowd to get to the track and a lot of the horses were already unsaddled and going back when we finally got onto the track, and I saw Kent coming back, and he really, you could tell, that it's not like he had just won the Kentucky Derby, he was a little bit solemn. And then that's when we first heard that a horse had broke down and I figured it was one of the ones that maybe had run poorly. And then I looked up and somebody said: that's your jock on that horse and he was riding back with Donna Brothers. And still, I didn't know, you know, what had happened.

And so, when I got to him, I asked just him, I said, what's up? And he told me, he said, Mr. Larry, he said they put her down. And I thought: man, how do you put a horse down like this? I mean, we're use to trying to save them. So, that's when I took off running and I caught the ambulance and road and needless to say, whenever I did see her, it was a, you know, it just had to be done. It just -- she had no way of being saved. And it's -- I mean, it's a quarter mile after the race. It's just they don't happen there, it's just one of them things. And it's unexplainable right now.

I know somewhere, sometime we're going to, you know, there's a reason things happen, you know, we have the faith in knowing that things, you know, happen for reasons. I see no reason for this, but it's just, it's something has happened, so, but, she ran -- she ran the race of her life. She put it out there, she -- and like I said, (INAUDIBLE) finishing the race and was losing ground and looked like she was in distress, I would have really second guessed ourselves severely and kicked myself in the pants all the way, but this filly hit the ground running. She (INAUDIBLE), was galloping out well. And it's nothing that could have been foreseen, it's just -- it's just very unfortunate.

And, but as a trainer going in looking in, we knew she was going into the race the best she had ever gone into any race, she ran the race of her life, showed she was the best. She was so calm in the paddock, she had so much confidence, she wasn't worried about anything and we had convinced her that half the people here was to see her, we knew the women came out to see her. And she looked like it, just was eating it up and she went out in glory, she went out as a champion does.


NGUYEN: What a difficult day. I mean, she came in second, did so well. And just seemed, I don't know, it was just a freak accident, not really sure what caused her to break those ankles.

HOLMES: Well, he was saying it was a quarter mile after the race, and it just doesn't happen.

NGUYEN: Doesn't happen.

HOLMES: It just doesn't happen. But yeah, looking for some answers, there. I'm sure they will. But yeah, tough way, Reynolds, for the Kentucky Derby. Really, a great celebration, everybody, great weekend, and those are great parties, as always. And then, Big Brown, the favorite, won. I mean, all kind of stuff to celebrate and then that really dampened the whole race.

NGUYEN: Well, they were worried, though, at the beginning, Reynolds, we talked about this yesterday, that it had rained and so the track was wet.

WOLF: Oh, absolutely. But I mean, what they did is they went out there and they treated the track. They -- it dried -- I believe they considered it a fast track before the race. They thought conditions were pristine. So, it's just a shocking event that it took lace place like that and what a tragedy, and something that we will never forget, no question.


NGUYEN: Thank you, Reynolds.

HOLMES: Thanks, Reynolds.

WOLF: Any time.

HOLMES: Also, coming up, chasing votes halfway around the world.

NGUYEN: The delegate count from Guam. Did Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama gain any ground there? We have the answer, minutes away.

HOLMES: And then home is where the heartbreak is.


KRAEMER: They took the island, they took all the cabinets -- took the bathroom.

GUTIERREZ: Toilet's gone.

KRAEMER: Toilet's gone. They took the top of the countertop.


HOLMES: They even took the toilet. The bank moves in and the homeowners act out. And act up. Foreclosure revenge.


NGUYEN: More Middle East meetings today for secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. She is talking this morning with Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. That meeting comes a day after she met with Israel's prime minister. And Rice says she does believe a peace deal can be struck by the end of the year.

HOLMES: And we turn now to politics and back to Guam, the tiny U.S. territory had its day in the political spotlight, but the voting yesterday didn't have much of an impact on anything. Barack Obama won, but he won by seven votes. He and Hillary Clinton split Guam's four delegates, now, and that gives Obama 1,736, by our CNN estimate, and Clinton 1,599.

Were going to bring in our political producer, Sasha Johnson, from Washington.

All right, Guam had its moment. All eyes on Guam and Guam didn't settle a doggone thing.

SASHA JOHNSON, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: No, they didn't. Not that expected them to. I mean, both of the candidates were in there with staffs and paid media and satellite interviews. You know, as you said, they split the delegates. I think Barack Obama might have picked up a superdelegate, there. But, this just goes to show how long this race has been going, how close it is that we're even talking about Guam.

HOLMES: Sasha, can we take anything out of Guam or are we really in the same exact place we were before Guam voting? I mean, can we glean anything from what happened in Guam?

JOHNSON: No, I mean, we really can't. We are in the same position. I mean, you know, they each picked up two pledged delegates. Barack Obama still leads in the pledged -- fight for pledged delegates, Hillary Clinton is still behind. She still has more superdelegates than he does, but he's picking up -- has picked up more than she has since Super Tuesday, so, we're right where we were.

HOLMES: Why would she go all out, maybe not all out, but go out there a bit, in saying that Tuesday, Indiana and North Carolina will be a game-changer? That puts a lot of pressure on herself to do well and if she does do well, then, yeah, it looks prophetic. She knew what she was taking about as a game-changing, but also if Barack Obama maybe pulls off Indiana and North Carolina, is she going to be sticking to that game-changing mentality?

JOHNSON: I mean, I think that if Barack Obama is able to pull off a win in both of these states, it's going to be harder for Hillary Clinton to make the argument to the superdelegates that she is still viable going forward. You know, he will have increased his lead in the popular vote by winning North Carolina, if he does, and he will have won Indiana, which has a large number of working class white voters, the kind of voters that she's been arguing he can't pick up and she can because she won Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Now, if she wins Indiana and he wins North Carolina and it's split, we are probably right where we are, right now, we continue to go forward. But, she continues to have that argument to superdelegates saying look, Barack Obama can't win states like this. So, I think the pressure is great on both candidates, at this point.

HOLMES: Are they happy to finally have something they can really, really fight about? These two are so similar, seems like there's been a lot of nit-picky stuff throughout the primaries season. But this gas tax they actually disagree on and in a way are they both happy to have something they can battle back and forth about?

JOHNSON: I think so. She's obviously for relieving the gas tax for consumers, this summer. He says that it's a political ploy. So, there is an issue difference, here. But I mean, with her on her position, you have to look at if it from the perspective of this most likely won't come up in Congress this summer. She isn't president, so unless the president passes something like this, and you know, agrees with her, that you know, oil companies should pick up the tax which, you know, the president's not going to do that, nothing will actually probably get done on this particular issue.

But the politics behind it is interesting. She's saying, look, I want to give consumers relief even if it's 30 cent as day, $30 across the summer, and Barack Obama, you don't care about working class voters because you don't want to give them the slightest bit of relief. And he is banking on the argument that people are saying, look, this is a political ploy, $30 over the course of the summer really isn't going to help anybody and so he's hoping that voters are saying, hey, I want more from Washington than just a $30 summer relief. HOLMES: What about her argument that, hey, there are some people out there that drive for a living, drive long distances? You got truckers out there, they could use that relief and that could add up certainly more than that $30 he's talking about.

JOHNSON: Absolutely. I mean, and so, and she is hoping that truckers out there will say, look, I want something. But, the reality of this is that the Democrats in Congress haven't taken a position on this issue because their presidential candidates are split on it, so, they don't want to look like they're taking sides. And honestly, George Bush sort of sides with Barack Obama on this issue, which is kind of interesting. So, even if the Democrats in Congress were to bring this up and Hillary Clinton says that she wants to bring it up, it probably isn't going to go anywhere. So, right now it looks like it's just politics.

HOLMES: And finally here, and quickly, Iraq, nobody's talking about that right now, it's all about the economy and that seems to be the issue that most people do care about, certainly in Middle America, in the Midwest, in Indiana and places like that?

JOHNSON: Absolutely. I mean, I spent the week with Barack Obama in both North Carolina and Indiana this week and Iraq rarely came up. I mean it really is the economy, pocketbook issues, and that's what we're going to see through Tuesday, I mean, that's going to be the message they're hitting hard.

HOLMES: All right, Sasha Johnson our political producer, always good to see you. Thank you so much, enjoy your Sunday.

JOHNSON: Good to see you too. Thanks.

HOLMES: All right, and then a little later today, folks, we will be taking you beyond these 20 second sound bites. You can hear what the candidates are really saying out there. Get the full context from the campaign trial on CNN BALLOT BOWL, today 4:00 Eastern Time. And, make sure you're here with us on Tuesday night. Complete coverage of the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. You can join the best political team on television, live from the CNN ELECTION CENTER, Tuesday night starting at 7:00 Eastern, only on CNN, which is of course, your home for politics.

NGUYEN: Their American dream in tatters. Their house left in ruins.

HOLMES: Yeah, this disaster though, manmade. So, why would a homeowner do this to the very home they once loved so much? The answer, the angst, coming up.


HOLMES: An explosion at the federal courthouse in San Diego. These are pictures we're showing you, we're just getting. It happened about five hours ago, the blast knocked out some glass, there. FBI says they're not sure what caused this explosion, but federal investigators on the scene, now. We'll get more information to you as we get it.

NGUYEN: The cost of filling up your gas tank still sky-high, but actually down a fraction, that's according to AAA. The key here is a fraction. The latest figure puts the price of regular unleaded at more than $3.61 a gallon. And here's that fraction, down less than a penny. So, to put it all in perspective, it is still up, 60 cents, compared to a year ago.

As we talk about the economy, let's talk about this, foreclosure rates, they are skyrocketing, as well, and so is the anger of many homeowners who are forced to watch their dream slip away.

HOLMES: Yeah, and some take out their frustrations close to home. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez explains.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Las Vegas realtor, Steve Howell, assesses foreclosures. He says he's seen it all and documents it for the bank. Yards teeming with trash, plumbing that has been pilfered, floors covered with feces.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): Have you ever seen such a thing like it before?

STEVE HOWELL, PRUDENTIAL AMERICANA: In the nine years I've done it, no, and I've talked to people, agents that have done this for a lot longer than I have, and they haven't either.

JOE KRAEMER, CENTURY 21: Some pretty bad damage inside.

GUTIERREZ (voice over): Agent Joe Kraemer says he's seen the same trend and never knows what he'll encounter when he walks into a foreclosure.

KRAEMER: They took the island, they took all the cabinets, took the bathroom.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): Toilet's gone.

KRAEMER: Toilet's gone. They took the top of the countertop.

GUTIERREZ: Kraemer says it could be frustration, anger and hurt that's taken out on the home.

KRAEMER: And it's the other ones that were eventual, you know, the walls are bashed in and there's so many different aspects that we're running into. It's kind of uncharted territory.

GUTIERREZ: If it's sold as is by the lender, the cost of cleaning, fixing and replacing is up to the buyer. The end result -- the banks lose money because the home has to be discounted and the property is much harder to sell.

KRAEMER: These are one of the rare ones that you see. GUTIERREZ: Just ask Albert and Fatinmatti Gando who are looking to buy a foreclosure because they could save up to 50 percent. They've seen more than a dozen.

FATINMATTI GANDO, HOME BUYER: I went through the house. It was like weird smell. I couldn't even look at it, I left. I don't want to see it. I don't want to take a house that smells.

GUTIERREZ: But the Gando's are interested in this foreclosure because it's near the strip, under $200,000, and hasn't been trashed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missing dishwasher, missing stove.

GUTIERREZ: In fact, some lenders are offering a so-called cash for keys program for people who are about to lose their homes.

HOWELL: If they can give us a property in that condition, just kind of take their stuff and go, there is an incentive, if you will, from the bank.

GUTIERREZ: How much?

HOWELL: It varies. It could be as little as a few hundred dollars to as much as 1,000 or more.

GUTIERREZ: A small price to pay when you consider the cost of this.

KRAEMER: There were columns here, the roman-type columns, gone.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): Someone actually took the columns?

KRAEMER: They took them.

GUTIERREZ (voice over): Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.


NGUYEN: What do you do with a column? All right, keep watching CNN. Our money team has you covered, whether it is jobs, debt, housing or savings, ISSUE No. 1: THE ECONOMY he airs everyday at Noon Eastern.

HOLMES: But right now it's time for us to check in with Howard Kurtz, he's in Washington, to see what's ahead on CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES.

Good morning, Howard.

HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES: Thanks very much, T.J. Coming up, Barack Obama angrily denounces his former pastor after being embarrassed by Jeremiah Wright's media blitz, but will the press let the senator put the story to rest?

Barbara Walters reveals a long ago affair with a married senator while she was co-host of the "Today Show." What will this do to her reputation?

Plus, "Vanity Fair" embarrasses the teenaged star who plays "Hannah Montana," by publishing a photo of her without a shirt or was this a ploy to sex up her image and where were the parents? That and more ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES.

HOLMES: Yes, ask that question on a lot of things: Where are the parents? Howard Kurtz, we will see you here at the top of the hour.

KURTZ: Thanks.

NGUYEN: All right, so let's hit a positive note in New Orleans, shall we?

HOLMES: Jazzfest here, bringing music, money and hope to a city that has been through a lot.


HOLMES: Why we are not live at Jazzfest, right now?

NGUYEN: Thank you. That's what I'm asking.

HOLMES: OK, probably should have asked a while back.

NGUYEN: Probably.

HOLMES: It's a good time to. The city of New Orleans hitting a positive note after so much destruction and disappointment, there.

NGUYEN: Yeah, the annual jazz festival is bringing music and money to the city, helping its recovery, the story now from Sean Callebs.


CALLEBS (voice over): For a city still suffering from a glacially slow pace of rebuilding, the unbridled enthusiasm from some of the hundreds of thousands of people pouring into New Orleans for Jazzfest is a well-needed, emotional and financial shot in the arm, a sign that, yes, in many ways New Orleans is rebounding.

AMY DALY, TOURIST: I definitely see more people, you know, here. But I mean it's just the vibe I think is -- when you arrive it's awesome.

CALLEBS: Curiosity brought Aemon Boylin and his family from Dublin to New Orleans. He said he had no idea the city was so vibrant.

AEMON BOYLIN, TOURIST: You know, I wasn't sure what to expect. But there is also, the reports we get in Europe is that the city wasn't well treated.

CALLEBS: The city is very special for the front man of the jam band, Widespread Panic, John Bell. Not just the fact the band has been performing here off and on for more than 20 years, Bell met his wife in New Orleans and this is where they honeymooned.

JOHN BELL, WIDESPREAD PANIC: It has such a personality that folks really want to make sure that it does come back and thrive.

CALLEBS: Many New Orleaneans believe government, at every level, failed them after the levees were breached. And adding insult to injury, they say city, state, and federal leaders are still doing little to spark rebirth.

But the volunteer spirit has buoyed the city, "Widespread Panic" is among those working to rebuild the Lower 95th Ward.

BELL: We are really happy to get tied in with the Make it Right 9th Ward thing.

CALLEBS: The band is donating money to Brad Pitt's organization to fund construction of homes in the area hit hardest by Katrina. Economic rebirth is moving forward. Jazzfest has been good to the Pelican Club restaurant. In fact, there are 100 more restaurants in New Orleans now than that were before Katrina. Sales are great at this gift shop in the heart of the French Quarter. A cruel irony for Alice Barbe.

ALICE BARBE, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: The city seems to be doing pretty well, you know. But, the surrounding areas like St. Bernard Parish, where I'm from, it's only 10 miles away from here, it's a totally different story.

CALLEBS: A broken heart has kept her from returning to her home, here where the commune had a dozen feet of water. But even Barbe has found a silver lining.

BARBE: The tourists are great. They'll even ask: what can we do to help, you know, and just say well, come in and good out to eat and spend time in the city.

CALLEBS: And that simple investment of time yields great rewards for a city that has suffered so much.

Sean Callebs, CNN, New Orleans.


NGUYEN: Jazzfest, always a good time.

HOLMES: Next year maybe for us. Next year.

NGUYEN: We'll work on it now. See how it goes.

Still ahead on your Sunday lineup, RELIABLE SOURCES goes deeper into the Reverend Wright controversy and its impact on Barack Obama's campaign.

HOLMES: And then at 11:00, the high stakes Indiana and North Carolina primaries, supporters of both Democratic candidates sound off. That's on LATE EDITION with Wolf Blitzer. But first, we do have a check of the morning's top developments.

NGUYEN: An explosion ripped through the federal courthouse in San Diego, this morning.

HOLMES: The FBI says they're not sure what caused the explosion, but they are on the scene, now, federal investigators. We'll be bringing you more information on this as we get it.

NGUYEN: Also, a suspect is under arrest in the shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer. Take a look, 12--year-old veteran Steven Liczbinski was shot dead yesterday with an assault rifle while responding to a bank robbery. Police are still searching for a second suspect.

HOLMES: And another win for Barack Obama in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama won the Guam caucuses, yesterday, won by seven votes. But hey, a win's a win. Both candidates are pulling out the stops today ahead of the next big contest, the primaries in Indiana and North Carolina on Tuesday.

NGUYEN: In Arkansas, survivors of a string of deadly tornadoes are going about the painful job of cleaning up today. Seven people were killed in Thursday and Friday storms, extreme weather is blamed for 23 deaths in Arkansas, so far this year.

HOLMES: We'll have more top stories for you in 30 minutes, but RELIABLE SOURCES begins right now.