Return to Transcripts main page


Economic Stimulus Bill Has Passed: It Needs Only President Obama's Signature; Officials Hold Briefing on Buffalo Plane Crash; Beirut Marking Fourth Anniversary of Rafik Hariri's Assassination; Mayors React to the Stimulus Bill's Passing

Aired February 14, 2009 - 08:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's get this over with. It's Valentine's Day, Happy Valentine's Day.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: You want it over. It's just only 8:00 a.m.

HOLMES: And I'm already over it because we've been talking about it it seems like for a week.

NGUYEN: Well, maybe you've been planning for several weeks. You're just ready to unveil whatever it is.

HOLMES: Good call. I'm T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. Thanks so much for starting your day with us.

It is a massive bill that brings tax cuts, construction jobs and a promise to help millions of Americans.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pursuant to that order the conference report to accompany H.R. 1 is agreed to and a motion to consider that vote is considered made and laid upon the table.


NGUYEN: With that, was all that was needed. Now with the president's signature on the $787 billion stimulus bill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crew discussed significant ice buildup, ice on the windshield and leading edge of the wings.


HOLMES: Yeah. That investigation is now starting to focus a little more and more on the ice and if ice really became the cause, was the cause of the crash of flight 3407 just out of Buffalo, New York. Speaking of that, take you to a live picture. It's something we're keeping an eye on right now. A news conference getting set to start there in Clarence Center, New York. This is the little suburb of Buffalo where that plane went down. What you're seeing here is the town supervisors. Looks like they are about to get started. Actually, we'll go ahead and listen in to what they're saying, press conference, in Clarence Center New York.


SCOTT BYLEWSKI, SUPERVISOR, CLARENCE CENTER, NEW YORK: ...a brief overview of our status in the town. Our questions and comments to be specific for the town of Clarence. I will not allow ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We're at a news conference being held by town officials, state officials. They just started their news conference and update.

HOLMES: We're listening to a local reporter there. We're dipping into the live coverage. He dipped into his coverage. It looks like he's going to step out of our way and let us listen in here, so we'll go with it.

BYLEWSKI: Thank everybody for their efforts both law enforcement, the state police, the Erie County sheriffs, all the fire departments, the town employees. We've all gone through a lot in the past 24 hours here and I'm very, very pleased and proud of our participation and reaction time. So hats off to the companies and the groups involved.

I want to talk a little about the access locally here for town of Clarence residents and small businesses located in the scene area. There's a very specific process for the foreseeable future that these folks will need to follow in order to access their homes and businesses. The Erie County sheriffs are on point for an escort operation that will start from the town hall.

Persons that need access to their property come to the town of Clarence town hall and then will be processed by the Erie County sheriffs at the door. They will be assigned an escort and taken down to their homes and businesses for access to their buildings. They'll be escorted out and back to the outside perimeter and that will be going on for at least the next couple of days as we go through the investigative process on scene.

The conditions as they are right now, the scene has been made safe by the fire department. Clarence Center fire department has completed fire operations there, done a great job. It was a stubborn fire in the latter part of yesterday afternoon. That was finally accomplished. So the NTSB is now going through their investigative process.

The MEs are all working through the rubble to identify the various parts and pieces and the remains have been extricated and are being processed accordingly. The perimeter secure area continues to border Goodrich to Clarence Center, roll to county (ph) and Strictler (ph) to Thompson and that will remain the secured perimeter, again, for the foreseeable future at least the next couple of days.

I am working with the operations there to try to get that condensed a little bit, to try to reduce the footprint of the scene as much as possible and I assure the residents we will continue working in that direction as the days progress. So this doesn't have to be any more of an inconvenience than necessary. With me today, sergeant with the Erie County sheriff's department and Steve with the state police and supervisor Scott Bylewski, we will take a few questions. I'm going to break it off in about 10 minutes. If you have questions for me I'd like to start there.

QUESTION: Were there any other properties other than the house that was struck by the airplane that was damaged (INAUDIBLE) damaged?

BYLEWSKI: No. All the damage was specific to that one property and that one structure. There was a garage to the immediate south that had a little bit of exposure damage, but other than that, limited to that property.

QUESTION: Has there been any air quality monitoring there?

BYLEWSKI: We are working with the DEC on follow-up samplings, the ground runoff as well as pollution issues. At this point in time we have no contents in any of those directions so we have no concerns at this point.

QUESTION: Were all the victims (INAUDIBLE)

BYLEWSKI: We don't have anybody at any hospitals to my knowledge at this point.

QUESTION: The remains of the victims (INAUDIBLE)

BYLEWSKI: I don't know the answer to that. That's an NTSB function.

QUESTION: All right. Is there any basic paperwork documents that residents are going to need when they go to town hall to be processed?

BYLEWSKI: Just proof of -- proper identification and proof of ownership. Some type of address.

QUESTION: Utility bill, something like that?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Any resident needs to access their property, they bring their identification and we'll escort them to the scene. They have specific rules on what they can do and what they cannot do and it's just, until the emergency period is over.

QUESTION: Can you give us an idea of what some of those dos and don'ts are going to be for the residents?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously they are just for property needs, medical needs for the next, I believe it's 48 hours. Is that right, Steve? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the next foreseeable future and the public's been great. We've been doing this since the crash, bringing the public in. As you can imagine, you're disrupted from your residence, having to vacate it. We've been bringing the people back to their residences getting medicines, items they might need and the community's been great here. This is going to go on.

As long as this is a restricted area and it's being considered a crime scene and it's unsafe at this point moving heavy equipment in and out. We're going to ask the residents to continue to be patient with us and we'll try to speed it along as quick as possible. But if you have something you need to retrieve from your residence, we're asking you to go to the town hall here in Clarence (INAUDIBLE) and they'll escort you there and bring you back out of the scene.

QUESTION: Captain, as far as, as long as this is going to continue, is the guidance going to be basically from the FBI and the NTSB?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The actual screen, crash investigation is being conducted by the NTSB and the FBI. Scene security, law enforcement (INAUDIBLE) working with our partners in the Erie County sheriff's department and ATF police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously a few things that they cannot do. There's going to be no pictures, no videos. They're not going to be going near a crime scene of any kind. We have state police, troopers, deputy sheriffs and FTA (ph) police officers in that area who will restrict that (INAUDIBLE). So it's -- there's no treasure hunters or YouTube videos being done. It's literally for the residents to get the items they need and then they got to get out. It's only temporary. We understand it's an inconvenience, but until this gets properly investigated, we have to keep these measures in place.

QUESTION: The last 24 hours or so, have there been any serious incidents of that kind?

BYLEWSKI: No, there has not. We've had a few possible, you know, people thinking they want to do that, but we've been able to maintain security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) A fatality, treated with respect to the dead and their families. In our briefings we are telling law enforcement, not to go there with a camera phone, not to take photos. We're holding our people as accountable as we are the public. We are respecting what it is, a truly devastating tragedy here for all these people.

HOLMES: We're listening in there to a couple of the officials there in Clarence Center, New York, where this plane crash took place where those 50 people died. They're giving an update to the local community there, telling them the dos and don'ts about that location. It is safe and it is secure, no health hazards there, but they certainly want to keep that area secure right now while the investigation continues, so just updating their local citizens. We wanted to take a dip in there as well. Also want to go out to our Mary Snow who is there in that town. Mary, I guess, what's the process now? What is it like out there now? We've picked up a word, I don't know how close you've been able to get to the scene. They're saying that no other houses were damaged in this thing. It's amazing to think that this plane came down, almost pulled down this one house and nothing else around it was damaged.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is amazing, T.J. and I was talking to a resident earlier who said that, you know, it's just really unthinkable that only one house was destroyed in this crash. And there is an amazing story coming out of this. Karen Wielinski was in that house. She and her daughter Jill were able to get out and survive. Sadly, her husband that died in the crash, her husband Doug, she spoke to WBEN-AM. Here is her story. Take a listen.

HOLMES: We can continue here. Sounds like, Mary, we do not, not going to be able to have that. I remember that sound you're talking about. It is amazing, this woman, this mother. I'm being told we do have it.

So, let's take a listen and we'll talk about it on the other side Mary.


VOICE OF KAREN WIELINSKI, HOME DESTROYED IN CRASH: I shouted first in case anybody was out there, and then just kind of pushed what was on me, part of that off and crawled out the hole. I had heard, like, you know, a woman crying and when I came out of the hole -- you know, the back of the house was gone.

You know, the fire had started. I could see the wings of the plane and Jill was over to the side, you know, crying, of course, hysterical. To me, it looked like the plane just came down in the middle of the house and unfortunately, that's where Doug was. He was a good person, loved his family.


HOLMES: More about their story there, Mary. It's remarkable to think two people were in the house who were able to survive given what that house, what that scene what that fire looked like.

SNOW: It really is. Doug Wielinski of course, was killed on the ground. Forty-four passengers, four crew members and of course one pilot who was off duty, all aboard the plane. Today what's happening at the site, T.J., is that investigators are on the site already this morning. They are recovering obviously pieces of the plane but they have the grim task of recovering the victims remains and officials say that could take several days.

HOLMES: All right. Mary Snow for us there in Clarence Center. Mary, we appreciate you this morning.

NGUYEN: We also want to show you this. A photograph of Captain Marvin Reslow with his family there. His sister gave the media this picture. Now Captain Reslow was apparently at the controls of Continental flight 3407 when it crashed Thursday night.

In fact, Captain Reslow's family is speaking out. His sister described him as a real family man. She told CNN's Larry King that her brother loved flying.


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: What was he like?

SHIRLENE THIESFELD, SISTER OF THE PILOT: He was great person. He was a wonderful father. He was very involved in his church, in his community. He loved life. He loved sharing his life with his family and friends and involved them. He had a passion for flying. And he'll be missed.

KING: How did you learn of this, Shirlene?

THIESFELD: My brother, Melvin, called this morning around 1:00, and informed us of the incident that Marvin was involved in that there had been an accident.


NGUYEN: Captain Reslow joined the company that operated the flight in 2005. Colgan Air says he had flow more than 3,000 hours with the airline.

All right. The nation's economic recovery is getting a $787 billion boost. The Senate approved the huge spending package yesterday evening just hours after the House passed it. Here's what it means to you. Couples making up to $150,000 will get an $800 tax credit. Individuals making up to $75,000 get $400 in a tax credit.

Many students will get a $2,500 tuition tax credit and first-time home buyers may qualify for up to $8,000 in tax credits. Also people getting Social Security will get a one-time payment of $250. The Congressional Budget Office predicts the plan will create between one and three million jobs.

President Obama could sign that legislation as early as Monday and our Elaine Quijano is at the White House. All right, Elaine, the president didn't get everything that he wanted in this bill, but he has to be pleased.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. You know, this is still a big win for President Barack Obama, his first major legislative victory since taking office. He had said that he wanted to have this bill on his desk ready for him to sign by Presidents Day, which is Monday, as you know. And in his weekly address the president noted that he prevailed.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress has passed my economic recovery plan, an ambitious plan at a time we badly need it. It will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike and lay a new foundation for our lasting economic growth and prosperity.

This is a major milestone on our road to recovery and I want to thank the members of Congress who came together in common purpose to make it happen. Because they did, I will sign this legislation into law shortly and we'll begin making the immediate investments necessary to put people back to work, doing the work America needs done.


QUIJANO: Now, at the same time, the president said that this is really just the beginning of the process of turning the economy around. The president is very clearly trying to keep people's expectations in check, not only of how quickly the economy can basically bounce back, but by extension, expectations of him as well.

We should note that Republicans for the most part remain united in their opposition to the stimulus package, as you know, Betty. Out of the entire Congress, only three Republicans actually sided with the president and supported this package. All three of them moderate senators, Arlen Specter, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe -- Betty.

NGUYEN: Elaine and a lot of Republicans took issue with the fact that they didn't have a whole lot of time to look through this what, 1,100 page bill. In fact President Obama on the campaign trail even said we're going to put plans out there on the Internet. We're going to give you time to look at it, give you time to ingest it and see if you have any problems with it. Whatever happened to that?

QUIJANO: There still is this plan to have this Web site called It's not quite up and running yet, because this bill has just passed. But the idea being is that as money is spent, people at home will be able to track exactly where this money is going. It's a daunting challenge, as can you imagine. We're talking about billion, hundreds of billions of dollars here.

That is why Republicans, many of them, on Capitol Hill are so strongly opposed to this. They say government can't possibly spend every single taxpayer dollar well. But, again, the pushback to that from the White House is that people will be able to take a look for themselves at this Web site,, once it's up and running -- Betty.

NGUYEN: That is a daunting task especially making an 1,100 page bill user friendly. Elaine Quijano, thank you.

HOLMES: It's a lot of billions Betty and Elaine were just talking about. So where is all of that money going exactly? Let's show you a few areas where it's going to be used. First, $120 billion will go towards infrastructure projects. That includes repairing bridges, repairing those potholes in some of your roads, maybe government buildings and things like that.

More than $100 billion going to education as well, $30 billion for energy-related projects that President Obama says will create green jobs. Also more than $267 billion in direct spending on several programs including unemployment benefits as well as things like food stamps.

NGUYEN: Some incredible scenes coming to us from Lebanon this morning. We want to take you there and explain why thousands, look at this, gathering at a city square in Beirut to plea for justice.


NGUYEN: Take a look at this, a sea of people in the streets of Beirut this morning. Here's what they're doing. They are marking the fourth anniversary of the assassination of popular prime minister Rafik Hariri. The attack on Hariri triggered a massive anti-Syria protest in what came to be known at the Seder revolution. Now the U.S. has promised another $6 million for the special tribunal investigating that assassination.

I want to take you now to CNN Cal Perry. He joins us live from Beirut this morning. Give us a sense as we look upon this huge crowd there, what's is the mood today some four years after the assassination?

CAL PERRY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's interesting to see the mood was more of a festive mood than anything else. You can see behind me the cleanup has now begun in earnest, 120,000 empty chairs behind me Betty. I can tell you there were upwards of I would estimate around 200,000 people that came out today to mark this anniversary which really changed the course of Lebanon forever.

As you mentioned, the Seder revolution really which took shape a month after he was assassinated when millions of people took to the very same spot here in downtown Beirut at that time to protest against Syria to start really a new political movement which was born on that day born from March 14th and called the March 14th alliance which is now led by Rafik Hariri's son Saud (ph) Hariri.

So, today people coming out, really a festive atmosphere in may ways, coming out to mark the day in which things here in Lebanon truly changed forever -- Betty.

NGUYEN: CNN's Cal Perry joining us live, thank you for that, Cal.

And there is much more to come right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.


HOLMES: This is in Hanover, Indiana, you see that stuff flying around? That's roofing material that's coming off the Southwestern High School going across the school parking lot there. One student says the roof was shaking so hard it looked like it was a wave motion that was happening on that roof. A lot of cars had windows broken. No injuries to report here but some high winds in Hanover.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. Look at the cars there's. Imagine, 16-years- old, just got your brand new first car and then the winds come along and just tear it up. You know, that happens. Hopefully you have insurance there.

The rain in the southeast, snow in the west. Reynolds is all over this. He is in the severe weather center watching it for us this morning. What a Valentine's Day it is already.


NGUYEN: Thank you. Happy Valentine's Day, Reynolds.

HOLMES: Thanks, Reynolds.

You might remember here last week on CNN SATURDAY MORNING we talked to three mayors. Three U.S. mayors were just going to the White House to visit with some of the president's people about getting some money to their cities from the stimulus bill. The stimulus is passed. We got three more mayors on with us. We'll see if they are popping champagne because the money is on the way. Stay tuned.


NGUYEN: That massive economic stimulus bill is now headed to President Barack Obama's desk. The Senate finally passed the $787 billion bill late last night. House members gave their approval earlier Friday. President Obama plans to sign that legislation by Presidents Day, which is Monday.

HOLMES: All right, this was the bill that was supposed to be free from partisanship. Not so much. Three Republican senators broke ranks. Three. To support the plan. Not a single Republican supported it in the House.

Here now some of the reaction after the House vote.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), MINORITY LEADER: I've just got say the president made clear when we started this process that this was about jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs. And what it's turned into is nothing more than spending, spending, and more spending. American families, small businesses, deserve better from their Congress.

I said on the opening day we wouldn't be the party of no. And we haven't been. We offered an alternative that would have created twice as many jobs as their bill, at half the price.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: The American people are feeling a great deal of pain. They have uncertainty about their jobs, about health care, about the ability to pay for the education of their children, and sad to say in our great country, even their ability to put food on the table. And so today, we have passed legislation that does take that swift, bold action on their behalf.


HOLMES: Well, a lot of mayors across the country were paying very close attention to this stimulus debate, because they need money for their cities. Last week right here, we talked to three mayors about that stimulus bill. They had visited the White House and made a plea. We got three more mayors with us this weekend to talk about the billions of dollars, and if any of it is going to get to them and get to them quickly.

We are joined now from Chicago. The mayor of Palatine, Illinois, Rita Mullins. Also, Mayor Jim Newberry of Lexington, Kentucky. And also, Mayor Bill Euille of Alexandria, Virginia.

Thank you all so much for being here. Mayor Mullens, as always, ladies first. I will toss the first question to you here. Is the calvary on the way? Tell me how you felt now. Are you excited and feel real good that this money's coming to you?

RITA MULLINS, MAYOR, PALATINE, ILLINOIS: Yes, I do. I want to thank the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the leadership of Manny Diaz. There were several of us that went to the Hill. We went and met with the administration and said that we needed this money in our cities to put our people back to work. And I think it's happened.

HOLMES: That sounds great, but Mayor Newberry, as you know, there are some challenges ahead. Tell me still what are the steps necessary? How much tape, bureaucratic tape, do you still have to make it through before you see a dime?

JIM NEWBERRY, MAYOR, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY: We'll be working very closely with the various federal agencies that are involved. And then here locally, I've created a mayoral commission that will help me set the priorities for Lexington, help monitor how the money's being spent, and help keep the public informed about how their money's being spent, and how jobs are being created, which is what the stimulus package is all about.

HOLMES: Now Mayor Euille, and maybe you explain this for us and a lot of people don't understand, people in your city maybe, and around cities across the country. How exactly do we go from getting the signature of the president on that bill to cash in the accounts of your city? What is your understanding, at least, of how that money is going to get to you?

WILLIAM EUILLE, MAYOR, ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA: Well, very good question. And what I -- it's my understanding that for the most part, a large portion of the stimulus funds will be directed to the states, to the governors. And then they will use their standard allocation formulas to then redistribute those dollars to cities and towns.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, however, when we are in Washington about ten days ago, we were dramatically advocating that cities receive a large portion of those funds directly so that we can put those dollars to use immediately. But I'm going to be on the phone with my governor this afternoon to begin the process of working with him and his staff. But more importantly, I have a meeting with my staff next Friday so that we can respond to the amount of dollars that we will be receiving, and apply those to the highest priority of the projects that we have on outstanding schedule.

HOLMES: And all points you made there, Mayor Euille, I will follow-up with you. On the points you made, you appealed to have that money given directly to cities, but have you got any indication that that is exactly what's going it happen? It still seems like right now, it's going to be up to the discretion of the state government to hand that money out?

EUILLE: Precisely. We appealed. We requested. But if I understand what was approved last night, again, the funds will go directly to the governors with the exception of dollars for transit and transportation funds, which will go to local, regional transportation agencies. But we'll lobby on our behalf, so that we can make sure that our cities and towns receive what rightfully we're due to stimulate the economy.

HOLMES: Yeah, you use the word lobby there. Mayor Mullins, you have a smaller town there, a smaller city. How big of a lobbying effort are you going to have to put in place? And how really big of a fight do you have on your hands to try to go in there and compete with all of those cities now around Illinois who are going to be clamoring for this money?

MULLINS: Well, first of all, the city of Chicago, which is our largest, gets money funded directly for many of the projects. We're a town of 70,000, mid-sized, Midwest. Yes, we do have to do a lobbying. That's part of my responsibility, my job, to speak up for my residents. And we have done that.

What we were afraid is that -- it's very easy for -- to send 50 checks out to 50 states with the governors. But the states are many times in arrears. I know our state is. And we don't want them to use that money just to do a paper transfer so that they can balance their books.


MULLINS: So it's going to be very difficult for us. We are under a balanced budget. We have to do that. Most cities do. So it is going to take a lobbying effort to get it directly to us.

HOLMES: So Mayor Newberry, kind of the same question to you there. How stiff do you think the competition is going to be for this money? And can you already see a sense -- I know a lot of mayors in your - in the states, they know each other, know each other well and compete for a lot of the same projects oftentimes. So are you all already starting to throw a few elbows?

NEWBERRY: I'm sure there will be some competition. But our Governor Steve Beshear (ph) has worked very well with mayors around the state. And we'll do the best job we can to try make sure that the stimulus package objectives that are providing jobs now in the solid economy in the future are realized here in Kentucky.

In Lexington, we've got a keen interest in trying to take advantage of some of the health care initiatives, the e-health initiatives, the National Institute of Health research grants. Those are things that I think we've got a particularly strong opportunity to compete for. And some of those funds, the CDBG funds, for instance...

HOLMES: Right.

NEWBERRY: ...and the Energy Efficiency (INAUDIBLE) may well come directly to the cities. So I think they'll be enough work and probably enough money to go around and keep everybody busy.

HOLMES: Well, there's a whole lot of money out there. And there's a whole lot of money that you all are requesting. I have in my hands here, we're going to take a commercial break.

But in my hand, I have a list of the projects that you three in your cities requested. I have to say that -- let's see, Mayor Newberry, your list is pretty long. It's the longest one I've seen actually. But we will get into some of these requests you all have made and if they actually qualify as being stimulative projects.

Stay with us. Our conversation with the mayors continues after the break.


HOLMES: Welcome back to this CNN SATURDAY MORNING. We continue our conversation now with three U.S. mayors, who are going to be competing with mayors all around the country for this -- some of this stimulus money, that $787 billion stimulus bill. Again, joined by the mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, Bill Euille. Also, mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Newberry and also Rita Mullins, mayor of Palatine, Illinois.

I will throw -- again, like I said, I have a list here. You all's wish list as they called it for what you would want to use some of this stimulus money for. We don't know which of the projects is going to get picked. You had to prioritize, but a lot of projects I see have to do with road resurfacing, sidewalk resurfacing. I saw something for painting light poles and things like that.

Now I will let any one of you all jump in here and answer this one, but how is something like that long-term stimulative? How is something like that provide a job for somebody long term? Anybody take that question.

NEWBERRY: I'll be glad to jump in. The list that we were asked to prepare was a list of all the projects that were shovel ready, that is, they could start in 90 days and they could be completed by the end of 2010. So what we tried to do is put forward all of the projects that met those qualifications, knowing full well they wouldn't all be funded.

But what we do have now as a consequence of that exercise is sort of a comprehensive list from which folks in our administration and our council can go through and identify which ones are the most significant ones for Lexington and which ones will provide the most jobs now.

HOLMES: Now Mayor Euille, would you agree with that in that so much of these lists now that you did put together, you threw -- well, maybe threw it together. I don't know how long you took. But still, you put it together, and throw it against the wall and kind of see what sticks. Did you just throw everything in there kind of, and then you'll prioritize later?

EUILLE: No, no. We actually -- we put together a committee that worked for about almost six weeks to look at all of the projects that we had in our six year capital improvement program. And then we attempted to prioritize those projects that we needed to put out, put forward that we determined to be shovel ready.

And with the understanding that the green jobs, green initiative that there -- can put people to work immediately. And so, the list that we have are things that can help us rebuild and add re-roofing to seven school buildings. To -- and additionally, we have a sea wall project on our waterfront that certainly will enable us to take care of the upkeep and the maintenance for waterfront, which is very important to our local economy because tourism is very big for us.

So we believe that these are -- these projects will indeed create long-term jobs, but help us to stimulate the economy at the same time.

HOLMES: So the same with you, Mayor Mullins. Did you kind of put your list together with things that you were -- you just get everything in there on a wish list? Or did you go through here and see these things as long-term stimulative?

MULLINS: First of all, the state of Illinois does not have a capitals program for nine years. So we have things that have been deferred, deferred and deferred. There are maintenance, there are sewer projects, sewer repair. There's flooding that we've had that we've had to patch. And we need to do the fixes. There are bridge and road improvements, all of these things that have been deferred projects. We've put them together. They've been shovel ready for a number of years...


MULLINS: ...but now we have the capital that we can get them done. When you say they're long term, are they Palatine residents? Not exactly.


MULLINS: They're local construction firms. But what happens then is that those people buy a cup of coffee, a slice of pizza, or a pair of shoes in your community.


MULLINS: And when the project's over, that infrastructure remains.

HOLMES: All right. And I'm going to -- my last question here, and Mayor Newberry, I'm going to toss this one to you. I think you could probably answer this for probably a lot of mayors, but this is an issue that did come up in your community. This had to do with your finance and administration commissioner, who was -- you advocated having a pay raise from $110,000 to $125,000.

Now, this caused quite a stink in town, where you're so much in a budget deficit, why is this person, everybody's been asked to cut corners right now, why is this person being given a raise? Now there are two sides to that in that is this a challenge that many mayors have in that how do you keep around the best and brightest if you can't be competitive with other, other ventures out there who they can go to? But also how do you, I guess, pitch that to your community, that you want to give a raise to someone while everybody else is struggling?

NEWBERRY: It's a very different challenge. In that particular instance, we've cut back on our workforce by about 200 people. In the course of doing so, this particular individual picked up additional responsibilities, significant additional responsibilities. And so what we tried to do was overall workforce, but equitably pay people for the kind of value they're providing to the government.

That is a very difficult challenge. And it is constantly a challenge for every mayor in the country to track and retrain the kind of talents you need to do -- need to have in order to work through these very challenging times.

HOLMES: Yeah, there's a challenge. A lot of mayors, a lot of cities you're going to have, a lot of governments. Also, we're seeing this on Wall Street right now as well and trying to cut salaries of CEOs, but then you have a brain drain. How do you keep around the best and brightest they can't make the kind of money they think they can make working there on Wall Street

You all, thank you so much. Appreciate this discussion. Glad you could all be here again. The mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Newberry, Rita Mullins of Palatine, Illinois, and also Alexandria, Virginia Mayor William Euille. Thank you all so much for being here. Good luck to you and your cities, but we appreciate you giving us some time for the discussion this morning.

NEWBERRY: Thank you.

EUILLE: Thanks so much.

MULLINS: Thank you.

NGUYEN: Well, during tough economic times, can you really keep from being laid off? Our guest at 10:00 Eastern says you can. And the jobless aren't the only ones battling depression and frustration. Why keeping your job may be just as stressful.

But first, a sweet legacy this Valentine's Day. An historic Texas business built a reputation based on the American sweet tooth. Melissa Long shows us how it got started.


MELISSA LONG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Best known for their Texas chewy pecan pralines in Longhorn, Lammes Candies in Austin has been satisfying sugar cravings for over a century.

PAM LAMB, PRESIDENT, LAMMES CANDIES: It was owned by William Mark Lamb, great, great, great grandfather. He unfortunately had a little bit of a gambling problem. So he lost the business in a poker game.

LONG: His son David paid off the debt and took over the business.

Now the fifth generation of Lammes are continuing the sweet legacy. Siblings Pam, Lana, and Ryan grew up around candy.

LAMB: We were never pressured into coming into the business. It was something that we chose.

LONG: Each took a detour before landing at Lammes. Pam came back after a year of college. Lana became a social worker. And Brian got a business degree before returning to what they knew best.

LAMB: We key in on each of our key points and try to utilize those to benefit the business.

LONG: Lammes Candies has six retail stores, a manufacturing plant, a wholesale, and a mail order business. Their goal is to build on their success and pass it on to the sixth generation.

LAMB: We're just going to keep making good candy and getting out there and trying to sell it to as many people who will give us opportunities to taste it.



HOLMES: Well, it was last weekend or right about this time that the news broke about A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez, one of the biggest, maybe the most talented, certainly the highest paid player in the game of baseball, admitting that he had used steroids. And the news broke about him using steroids. He has since admitted. And what a week it has been for him now.

Our sports and business analyst Rick Horrow joins us now.

I have to let you know, Betty's head just threw back when she saw that shirt. But...


HOLMES: It's salmon.

HORROW: It's salmon.

NGUYEN: Oh, indeed it is salmon, without a doubt.

HOLMES: But please, for our viewers, please, take him seriously. He knows what he's talking about.

HORROW: Thank you very much.

HOLMES: All right, Rick, Alex Rodriguez, the week it has been for him, a whirlwind. What is going to stand out? Is it that he admitted it and we're going to be able to move on? Or is this going to linger for some time?

HORROW: The lingering is because he admitted it and there's some contrition there. His endorsements are not that big a deal anyway, although he makes $35 million a year, a little more than you and me, I hope, combined. But only $6 million of it is off the field. Derek Jeter, the other Yankee in this deal, is number one. He's number two in endorsements.

But also, fans don't know what to make of it. Should we be sympathetic to him because he took a test that was promised to be confidential and it leaked out along with 300 other people? Or should we come down on this guy as somebody that may be up there in the pantheon of homerun hitters and most valuable players, that he's tainted, too? I think time will tell.

HOLMES: But are fans becoming just resigned to this? Are fans going to stop watching baseball, stop going to games because of this? I mean, you come to the point where the biggest names, the biggest stars, the biggest hitters, it seems like everybody is or has, we're just used to it, and let's go watch some baseball and move on?

HORROW: Let's play the tape back as they say in the business from last year. You asked me the same question. But remember, it was after that Mitchell Report.


HORROW: And we said oh, no, it's all over. The Barry Bonds stuff, the Roger Clemens stuff, no one's going to watch. Guess what? They had a banner year. Football had a banner year. Fans can separate the off the field stuff from on the field stuff.

And by the way, they better because the Barry Bonds trial starts on March 2nd.

HOLMES: All right, and let's -- speaking of, I want to get right back to Rodriguez. Don't want to leave this just yet. He spoke last night. I guess a public appearance he was making last night, where they were naming a baseball stadium after him down in Miami. Let's listen to how he handled this public appearance.


ALEX RODRIGUEZ, NEW YORK YANKEES: That doesn't mean I haven't made mistakes. And unless you've been in a cave, under the ocean this last week, you know that I've made some.


HOLMES: All right. He's, you know, not necessarily making light, but he seems to be dealing with it and open about it. Does that mean he will have a better chance of keeping some of those endorsements? Maybe he'll have a chance that his jersey will still sell?

HORROW: Well, he'll surely have a better chance than if he bottles it up and denies it for a few years, and then all of a sudden said oh, by the way, I do remember.

And just remember, Michael Phelps, we seemed to have some practice, because Michael Phelps did some of the same kind of stuff a couple weeks before.

Got to worry now because there is a game called "Guitar Hero." And Phelps and Rodriguez, and Kobe Bryant...

HOLMES: That's right.

HORROW: ...are the three spokesmen.


HORROW: Tony Hawke is the fourth.


HORROW: Tony, you better worry about it.

HOLMES: All right, I absolutely forgot. That commercial is hilarious, by the way. But yes, you're absolutely on that. Somebody -- I actually heard somebody say that Michael Phelps should send him a fruit basket or something to say thank you for getting Michael Phelps' name off the front pages there for a while.

Last thing, you got to do this one for me quickly, the Daytona 500, you know, the Super bowl of racing, it had their first race is the big one. Any of those cars going to be naked out there? They're running out of sponsors?

HORROW: No, the cars aren't going to be naked. But the whole industry, a little bit of state of flux. They're survive. They're thrive. The Big Three, they'll come back and advertise big time. They've laid off 1,000 staffers, NASCAR. Like everybody else does, you got to be lean and mean. And frankly after this first shakeout, they'll get back to where they need to be, which is the fastest growing, like football, of major sports.

And by the way, the color of the day -- salmon.

HOLMES: Salmon.

NGUYEN: I must say, Rick, you look pretty good in salmon. Salmon's your color.

HORROW: Wow, let's rack that up. Let's save that. I will wear this every week for you.

NGUYEN: Happy Valentine's Day.

HOLMES: Don't tell him that. He might wear it next week.

HORROW: Happy Valentine's Day, Betty to you and a somewhat accessible one for you.

HOLMES: I appreciate that, Rick. Rick, of course, our sports analyst, who has -- he's done a lot. We have a good time with him and fun, but he's been around the block a little bit. He knows his stuff. Former consultant to the NFL, the PGA Tour, and NASCAR.

NGUYEN: An author as well.

HOLMES: All kinds of stuff.

HORROW: Keep going.

NGUYEN: You know what, Rick, though, of all these things that you've done, wouldn't you have just liked to work from home? You wouldn't have to get dressed up in that salmon outfit of yours today, right, if you could just work from home?

HORROW: Well, you should -- I've got a racquetball game right after this. You should only see what I'm wearing.

NGUYEN: Oh, goodness, yes, take a picture. Send it in at

HORROW: Yeah, the i-team. Bye, see you next week.

NGUYEN: All right, see you later.


NGUYEN: But speaking of working from home, oh, the thought of it. I mean, doesn't it sound pretty good? Especially when we have to be up so early in the morning.

HOLMES: You know, if they could bring this to my house...

NGUYEN: Right?

HOLMES: would be nice. But that's not exactly the kind of work we're talking about. But if you do want to work at home, there's some stuff you need to be careful about. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Some of these are scams you need to know about. Stay with us.


HOLMES: From the CNN Center, this is CNN on a loving Saturday morning. Feel the love today, baby? On this Valentine's day?

NGUYEN: I think you're starting to get into it.

HOLMES: I'm starting to get into it?

NGUYEN: You're warming up to it.


NGUYEN: Slowly, folks. Really slowly.


NGUYEN: Happy Valentine's Day, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. Thanks for starting your day with us, you know, we do have two big stories that we do want to tell you about.

HOLMES: One of the biggest, the story we've really been paying close attention to the last couple of days, trying to find out what was the cause of that crash of that Continental connection flight 3407 that crashed, killing 50 people. This is right outside of Buffalo, New York. Well, it looks like ice is getting a lot of attention, may have been the culprit here. We'll be live in Clarence Center, New York.

NGUYEN: But we do want to begin with this historical night on Capitol Hill.

I want to say score a major victory for President Obama on this one, because less than a month in office, Congress has approved a $787 billion economic recovery package that the president says will create or save millions of jobs. The stimulus measure passed the House without a single Republican vote.

Now, the Senate worked into the night to get final congressional approval to the bill. Three Republican senators broke party ranks and voted for the plan, giving it the 60 votes needed for passage.

President Obama does plan to sign this into law possibly by Monday. Our Elaine Quijano is at the White House. Elaine, 1,100 pages to the stimulus package. It was rushed through Congress. A lot of senators, a lot of congressmen and women said I haven't even had time to look at this thing. Does the president expect any backlash from Republicans?

QUIJANO: You know, if there is going to be backlash, Betty, it might happen down the road. But right now this is a done deal. There's really not much that Republicans can do about this particular package at this point.

Nevertheless, President Obama in his weekly address really savored the moment. He called it a major milestone in the nation's road to economic recovery, but at the same time, he sounded a cautionary note saying, look, there's still a lot more work to do ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: Thank you, thank you. Please, have a seat. Thank you. will allow any American to watch where the money goes and weigh in with comments and questions and I encourage every American to do so.

Ultimately, this is your money and you deserve to know where it's going, and how it's spent. This historic step won't be the end of what we do to turn our economy around, but, rather, the beginning. The problems which led us into this crisis are deep and widespread and our response must be equal to the task.


QUIJANO: President Obama there, you heard a portion of his weekly address, trying to talk about how there will be accountability, he says, in spending this money that people will be able to go to that Web site,, once this plan starts to be implemented.

Now, at the same time the president is really trying to lower expectations about how quickly this economy can turn around and then by extension lower sort of expectations or keep people's expectations in check. His own leadership of this economic crisis, Republicans, though, as you noted at the top, Betty, remain adamantly opposed to this bill.

They believe that there's just too much wasteful spending in it and they also think that there should be more in the way of tax cuts. As you know, out of the entire Congress only three Republicans actually backed this plan. And those were all Republican moderate senators, Senators Arlen Specter, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

NGUYEN: Right. But indeed, it was passed and I think a lot of people as they go to that Web site and they try to learn about what this means for them, a lot of Americans especially Main Street, want to know when does it start trickling down to me?

QUIJANO: Well that's the big question. And certainly what the president is trying to do, again, is to say, it's not going to be something that is going to happen overnight. That the economy rebounding here is going to take some time. So that is likely going to be the message that you'll hear from the President in the days and weeks ahead. Betty?

NGUYEN: All right. CNN's Elaine Quijano with us at the White House today joining us live. Thank you for that.



HOLMES: All right. Betty, well, the democrats and Barack Obama's transition team began discussing an economic stimulus plan almost immediately after the November election. This is how it all played out in Washington. Before taking office, President-elect Obama delivered a major economic speech January 8th. On January 24th he asked for swift passage of an $825 billion plan. Just four days later the House passed an $819 billion package. The Senate then passed its own version at $838 billion. That was on Monday. Members from both chambers worked on compromise that was reached on Wednesday. And then yesterday, both the Senate and the House approved the package at a bargain price of $787 billion.

Well I don't know if you listen to a lot of -- well of course you listen to it but a lot of folks listen to all the stimulus language and the back and the forth ...

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: And like, what in the world are they talking about?


SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: The Bush administration and the Fed told us that the best way to fix the financial crisis was to use TARP funds to buy ill liquid assets from banks.


HOLMES: Did you get all that?

NGUYEN: TARP, ill liquid?


NGUYEN: Those are some, you know, words being tossed around. Some of you may think, what is that? What is he talking about? Break it down.

HOLMES: All right. TARP, you remember that one. The Troubled Asset Relief Program.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: It seems like so yesterday. That was the old program. We got a new one now. Josh Levs here, to change the fact that you might not know what they're talking about, tell you what the terms really, really mean here.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You told it right about that. Actually, this new term now, too, which I'm going to show you. It's amazing how they create these words and then create new ones. And we're somehow supposed to know what's happening with all these money that's being spent. We're going to bang through some of these mumbo jumbo.

Let's starts off with this one. We're going to go to TARP, so I can tell you what it is and then what's happened. It is the Troubled Asset Relief Program. $700 billion there. Now the goal is to create liquidity. So banks can lend, businesses stay solvent, Americans keep their homes. Liquidity is a measure of how easily assets can be traded or converted to cash.

Now while we're still hearing the word TARP there. They are still using it, this has happened. Check this out, guys.


LEVS: Do you like that? New name alert. (INAUDIBLE). It's under a new name now, check this out. The financial stability plan, now any time you hear anyone say that, that's what the TARP was. That was kind of complicated. Next one is very simple.

A lot of people asking what is toxic asset? Do I have a toxic asset? This is all it is. A toxic asset is a security backed by mortgages that a bank just cannot sell. That's all you need know when you hear the word toxic. And now one more we're going to tell you about. Another acronym. TALF. It stands for Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. But you can ignore all that. I just have to tell you to be official.

Now focus on the rest of what's here. the government is saying it's going to lend up to a trillion dollars now to private investors so that they can go buy certain high-rate securities. And the goal is if you can get them to do that, it will get the whole process of credit and spending going again in America. And once again, we have that cool sound effect.

Because once again, new name ...


LEVS: There you go. The TALF now has a new name too, guys. Consumer and Business Lending Initiative. And in this we're talking about a trillion dollars in public money. So it's important to tell you to keep track of this. We know it's a lot to remember. That's why it's all posted on You'll be able to get reference that every time you hear some of these terms flying around.

And, of course, we'll be doing a lot more of this as the folks on Capitol Hill create more acronyms and more mumbo jumbo for us to take down, guys.

NGUYEN: Yes. You need an acronym dictionary to muddle through all these. But what I find interesting is how they're changing these names.

HOLMES: I know.

NGUYEN: You take it from the TARP to the Financial Stability Plan. It sounds like it's more of a positive spin on what the program is.

HOLMES: We called it bailout, too.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: We don't use that word anymore.

NGUYEN: Right, we don't use that anymore either. LEVS: Yes, because by now there are some people who are so upset with what they viewed as being the old way. They're hoping the new names can help rebrand in the public minds. That's a big part of it.

NGUYEN: All right. Thank you, Josh.

LEVS: Thanks.

NGUYEN: So within the last hour, authorities in suburban Buffalo, New York, gave residents there an update on the investigation into the plane crash. Here's what we know.

The pilot and co-pilot apparently tried to pull out of their landing approach just before it plunged to the ground. The pilots discussing significant ice buildup on the plane's windshield and wings as it descended. The plane underwent severe pitching and rolling after the landing gear was lowered.

And we want to take you now to the scene. Our Mary Snow is there. She joins us live. Mary, what did you learn from the news conference last hour?

SNOW: Well, Betty, one of the things that we learned was that the fires that had been smoldering and burning yesterday had been put out and medical examiners are now on the scene. They have a very grim task along with the NTSB of recovering the remains of victims, and officials say that could take several days.

NTSB investigators are also looking for pieces of that plane, as you saw, it was so badly charred and the tail of that plane was really the only thing that had stayed intact. The NTSB is saying although, you know, it's poring over the flight voice and data recorders, it's still too early, they say, to draw any conclusions.

But as you just mentioned, there certainly is a lot of focus on whether or not ice building up on the wings could have been the cause for this crash. Steve Chealander of the NTSB addressed some of these questions at a news conference yesterday.


STEVE CHEALANDER, NTSB: A significant ice buildup is an aerodynamic impediment, if you will. Airplanes are built with wings that are shaped a certain way and if you've got too much ice, the shape of the ice, or shape of the wing could change. Requiring different air speeds and so forth.

So that's about all I'll say with that. The aerodynamics changes as ice is significantly built up.


SNOW: And officials say although the de-icing equipment was in the on position, one question still unanswered right now, was did that equipment work? The NTSB is planning to have another update later this afternoon, and as you may have heard earlier, some of the families who were displaced have, were told today that they could be escorted to their homes.

That is going to be done, obviously, along with officials who will be taking them, and they still cannot stay in their homes but they will be allowed to go back and get some of their things -- Betty?

NGUYEN: All right. Thank you so much for that. Mary Snow joining us live.

HOLMES: All right.

It seems like it's all bad news.

NGUYEN: Well, we hear it every day. Right?

HOLMES: Seems like. A lot of you probably feel that way. We feel that way sometimes, but we got some good news.

NGUYEN: Finally, it's here. We're going to take a look at the businesses that are actually thriving in this economy because there are plenty of them out there and the secrets to how they're doing it.


NGUYEN: Well, a deadline is looming for GM and Chrysler. They have to present plans for their financial turnaround to Congress by Tuesday. The deadline was part of the agreement when the two companies were approved for $17.4 billion in federal loans.

It's still unknown if the two companies are going to ask for more money. Both have already offered buyouts to all hourly employees as part of their cost-cutting plan.

We also have a few more bank failures to tell you about this morning. Four more folding Friday bringing this year's total to 13, and here they are. Sherman County Bank based in Loup City, Nebraska. Also Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast. That is headquartered in Cape Coral, Florida.

The Corn Belt Bank and Trust Company in Pittsfield, Illinois became the third Illinois-based bank to fail this year. Pinnacle Bank of Beaverton, Oregon also failing. Competitors took over operations of all these failed banks automatically rolling over customers to the new banks.

You know, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has taken the recovery message overseas. In fact, he is in Rome right now for the G- 7 conference on the world to banking and credit crisis. The G-7 ministers are backing efforts by the U.S. and Britain to fix struggling banking systems. The ministers are considering many other options including global bailout plans.

And taking advantage of these tough economic times. That's something a lot of people are looking to do. At least they're hoping that they can. And new businesses, in fact, are popping up everywhere.

HOLMES: And everybody needs easy money right now. Something sounds good. Make a quick buck. Let's try it, but as our CNN personal finance editor Gerri Willis has some advice on how you can avoid becoming a victim.


GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Work at home scams promise that you can make thousands right in your own home for very little effort. They may offer you the opportunity say stuffing envelopes, or working remotely for a medical billing center.

In both cases you pay money up front in exchange for the opportunity to work from home. What really happen, the scam artists take your money and your I.D. and leave you flat. The new work-at-home scams are on the rise according to the FBI, including transfer funds or reship product job offers.

Now, these scams are being used as a tool to get cash from legitimate banks without your knowledge or to send stolen goods to criminals. To make sure you're not a victim, find out what kind of scams are circulating. Go to the FBI Web site at and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the red envelopes.

And you can also go to a Web site funded by the FBI at Never give away your personal info or send money to a work-from-home site unless you vetted the company thoroughly. And that means doing a search at the Better Business Bureau at

I'm Gerri Willis in New York.


HOLMES: And of course you can get more great advice from Gerri, coming up at 9:30 in "YOUR BOTTOM LINE."

NGUYEN: Well, there is some nasty weather to the west. That's kind of hard to say. Isn't it?

HOLMES: No, I don't a problem with it, Betty ...

NGUYEN: It's just me. Reynolds will have details on that and what's in store for the rest of the country.


NGUYEN: And the rest in the west.

HOLMES: Also were going to look at Oklahoma. Seeing how people are totally putting their lives back together after a series of devastating storms. Stay with us.


HOLMES: There is a new plea for help in Oklahoma. You can see why they need help in these pictures. The state's governor asking President Obama to approve federal assistants for individuals in three counties. Eight people were killed in tornadoes there this week. Hundreds of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed. The government assistance would help uninsured homeowners make repairs and pay for temporary housing.

NGUYEN: Yes, that was just a lot of devastation there.

And in fact, there is more severe weather on the way. Rain in the southeast. Snow in the west. Reynolds is watching all of it for us. What a day. Valentine's day, some folks may be snowed in.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. It could happen. But I'm telling you the weather scenario that we're going to see today across the country certainly is not going to be quite as unstable as what we saw in Oklahoma just last mid-week. This morning, people are waking up in Minnesota and in Minneapolis, namely, currently 10 degrees in the twin cities. In Chicago, you get 28, 26 in Detroit. And in Washington, D.C., 34 degrees.

It should remain above the freezing point all day today. Take a look at the shot of the Capitol that we have for you. And in D.C., you can expect a few more clouds to roll in, possibly a few scattered showers later on today. Not expecting anything in terms of thunderstorms but you may need the umbrellas later on.

Let's head back to the weather computer, and show you where the rough stuff will take place. You see the snowfall in parts of the Great Lakes. Central and eastern half of the Great Lakes. When you get into parts of the Appalachians southward to the Gulf coast, primarily rain. But out west, that's where it's going to happen. That's where you're going to see possibly heavy snowfall, near Mount Chastna in the Sierra Nevada.

But something else I want you to notice. We're going to have high pressure developing over parts of the Great Basin, out over the Pacific, an area of low pressure. As they get exposed over to the California coastline, we're going to see what we refer to as a tight pressure gradient. That's going to be like a giant wind tunnel.

And when I'm talking winds, we're looking at a gusts up to 65 miles per hour near the San Francisco Bay area southward to Monterey. If you're heading out to the Quarry of Monterey, maybe going to Carmel, step out on the beach, you're going to feel just a wall of wind just coming right on shore. Bring your umbrellas with you but be careful because they might get picked up and carried off.

Rain is going to be particularly heavy in a few places in San Francisco. But as I mentioned, the high elevations, parts of the Sierra and back over near Shasta. That's where the snowfall are going to get a little but deeper. Let's talk about high temperatures for a moment, starting off to the West Coast, if you happen to be in Seattle, Portland, mainly some mid 40s, 50s in San Francisco and Los Angeles, 51 in Las Vegas.

For Kansas City, good morning to you. Your temperature warming up to 42 by the afternoon. Nashville 55 in the Music City, Washington, D.C. going to 49. D.C., a little bit warmer than say New York and Boston, mainly Low to mid-40s. Miami, you lucky devils, going with 81 degrees. Beautiful day there.

Happy Valentine's Day. Let's send it back to you in the news desk.

NGUYEN: That is just perfect. 81.

WOLF: It is. It's always a good time. You can't ...

NGUYEN: Fun time Miami.

WOLF: South Beach, always a happy time. You know, looking good. I think we're headed there, are we?

NGUYEN: I'd like to be. But none of us are.

WOLF: Exactly.

NGUYEN: All right. Thank you.

WOLF: We can drink.

HOLMES: All right. Thank you, Reynolds.

Well, it seems like, talking about this a minute ago, you know it's tough. You and I actually have Facebook pages, CNN just gave us.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: We use those and we're trying to get more interactive out there. Just be patient with us. But ...

NGUYEN: We're working on it.

HOLMES: I actually posted this morning one of the things, I was trying to find a way to go through all this bad news without sounding like it's the end of the world. And that's kind of tricky.

NGUYEN: Not successful, were you?

HOLMES: I don't know. I'll ask viewers maybe. But you know we got so much bad news, it seems like but we got a bit of good news we can tell.

NGUYEN: Yes, we do. In fact, before we get to that I just want to mention that on our Facebook pages, we're also soliciting resumes.


NGUYEN: We're going to try to help you find a job out there. So send us your resumes at We'll be talking about this in the weeks to come, but you know there are a lot of companies out there that are hiring. There are a lot of companies that are thriving in this economy, and the secret to how they do it is coming up.


NGUYEN: OK. So, as we've been talking about, it's not all bad news in business. In fact, some places are doing just fine.

HOLMES: Yes. And our Carol Costello takes a look at a couple of companies who are doing all right.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don't even think of mentioning the "r" word here. Fishe Eddie, a dishware store that plays to your sense of humor will laugh you right out of the store. Winks, smiles, even laughter. A requirements at staff meetings here.

How is business doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great. The numbers are through the roof. It couldn't be better.

JULIE GAINES, CO-OWNER, FISHE EDDY: I think we've been very good at making people feel good, when they come in.

COSTELLO: And that is one secret to their success. Making people forget the doom by plastering their windows with spit in the face recession signs.

GAINES: People definitely come in and they do a double take.

COSTELLO: Who wouldn't? It says Fishe is having a not going out of business sale. They play cookie music, lie "Woolly Bully "and sell whimsical, more affordable fare alongside more expensive items. Something for everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was laughing at their sign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm happy to see this sign not going out of business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the right attitude, because things have to get better. A place like this brings you back to the good old days of having a few laughs.

COSTELLO: Of course, humor isn't the only weapon in Fishe Eddy's arsenal and it's not the only company thriving in bad times either. Over on Long Island, PC Richard & Sons Electronics is, too.

GREGG RICHARD, PRESIDENT, P.C. RICHARD & SONS: Yes, it's kind of simple, but you know, four generations we've been doing this for 99 years.

COSTELLO: Note he said, simple. As in the customer comes first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They work with you when you come in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Delivery is great.

COSTELLO: And PC like Fishe Eddy also employs common sense. Both stores choose to control their growth and their debt even in boom time, unlike Circuit City down the street which expanded itself right out of business.

RICHARD: We don't make our decisions based on short-term profitability. We could grow 50 stores next week if we wanted to. That's not the right thing to do, because we know our customers would not be taken care of the way they expect.

COSTELLO: The lesson here -- hey, maybe there is a way to beat the recession. And you don't even need a bailout.


NGUYEN: And speaking of that bailout, we're going to have so much more on this stimulus package, what it means for you and when's it going to get to your doorstep ...


NGUYEN: And we're also going to be talking about the plane crash and the investigation into that at the top of the hour.

HOLMES: Yes. Betty and I will be back with CNN NEWSROOM at 10:00. But right now, "YOUR BOTTOM LINE" with Gerri Willis.