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STUDENT NEWS

Texas DA Shot Killed in His Home; World Autism Awareness Day

Aired April 2, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. And happy to be back with you for this Tuesday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS. Thanks to Natisha Lance for filling in yesterday.

First up today, a criminal mystery that officials in Texas describe as shocking and uncomfortable. This weekend, Kaufman Country District Attorney Mike McClelland and his wife Cynthia were shot and killed in their home. Two months ago, assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse was shot and killed outside the country court house. Prosecutors like McClelland and Hasse are part of the U.S. criminal justice system. They represent the government, in this case the county government in criminal trials. It`s their job to present evidence against accused criminals. Authorities say, they don`t know who`s responsible for the deaths of the McClelland`s and Hasse. But concerns that prosecutors may be targets has led to other Texas officials getting round-the-clock security. Authorities have launched this massive investigation. Local police, Texas rangers, now dozens of FBI agents, all getting involved.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the facts. Autism is the general term used for a group of developmental disorders.

These disorders generally affect social interaction, behavior and language.

There`s not a single known cause for autism, and there also isn`t a cure.

Officials estimate that about one out of every 88 kids has an autism disorder.

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AZUZ: Because autism covers a spectrum, a variety of disorders, it affects people in different ways. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. April is national autism awareness month. And today, April 2nd is world autism awareness day. The goal of both of these is to raise awareness and help educate people about the disorders. That Alexis Wineman`s goal as well. She was a contestant in this year`s Miss America pageant. For her, autism is a personal cause.

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DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Miss Montana surrounded by more than 50 other beauty queens on stage, all hoping to become Ms. America. But for most of her early life, Alexis Wineman spent her time alone.

ALEXIS WINEMAN, MISS MONTANA: I was very quiet because I couldn`t say anything right, I was picked on for the way I spoke. I really didn`t have any friends.

GUPTA: Her parents knew there was something wrong, but their small town of Cut Bank, Montana, didn`t have the resources to help them figure out what it was.

And that at the age of 11, after years and years of searching for answers, a doctor finally put a name to Wineman`s condition. Pervasive development disorder: a mild form of autism. Typically, children with autism are very intelligent, but very quiet, socially awkward, and they don`t respond appropriately to interactions with other people.

WINEMAN: I learned to really accept myself and my autism, and I realized that my autism isn`t what defines me. I define what is autism.

GUPTA: She entered the Miss Montana Pageant as a way to prove to herself she can do anything she set her mind to.

WINEMAN: I fell in love with the program, good thing, too, because I won.

(LAUGHTER)

WINEMAN: I wasn`t expecting to win, but it`s funny how things work out sometimes.

GUPTA: That win put her on the national stage in Las Vegas. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Derek McKee, I`m a high school senior at Heritage High School.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, man.

DEREC MCKEE: Thank you very much, I appreciate that one.

And I`m living in this box for a week to raise awareness for homeless youth in Denver Colorado. Food is definitely something that a lot of people take for granted.

One night I spend the night on skid row in L.A. It just changed the entire outlook I had on life, but also wanted (ph) me to give back.

I`m going to live in this box until all of these walls are filled, so you can`t see me, so we`ve made myself disappear. We`ve also made child hunger disappear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When young people raise awareness about - about situations that we need to change in this country, it has a slightly bigger impact.

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AZUZ: Derek is scheduled to wrap up his project today. And if you`re on Facebook, you can check out our Facebook page for an update once we find out if you achieved this goal.

Things were hopping in Washington, D.C. Yesterday. The Easter bunny making a great entrance at the White House Easter Egg roll...

More than 30,000 people mostly kids we expected to be there.

The first family hosted the event, Malia and Sasha, and first lady Michelle Obama reading children`s books with the crowd. President Obama presided over the Easter Egg roll on the south lawn. He also stepped by the Tennis and basketball courts for some game time.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Buckley`s social studies classes at St. Bernard School in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

What franchise was the first professional baseball team? You know what to do, was it the Red Sox, White Sox, Atlantics or Red Stockings? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first pro-baseball team. They later changed their name to be just the Reds. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

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AZUZ: It`s time to play ball. Those reds who`ve represented Cincinnati since 1869, were hosting the Angels last night. The Yankees had some Red Sox on their field, and the Phillies were visiting my Atlanta Braves. It was opening day for Major League Baseball. A day when every team that played started with a record of zero and zero. If you watched any of it, you might have noticed a new patch on players` jerseys. Before the first pitch at that Red Sox Yankees game, there was a moment of silence: 26 names appearing on a scoreboard - all of this was done to honor the victims of last year`s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

State officials in New Jersey say that 90 percent of the schools and the city of Camden are in the bottom five percent for the state. Tawanda Jones says the students she works with, all graduate from high school. She doesn`t run a school, she runs a drill team, and the work she is doing is why she`s one of this year`s CNN heroes.

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TAWANDA JONES: It`s very hard for children grown up in Camden today. It`s dangerous. You can hear gunshots almost every other night. These kids want more, they don`t want to be dodging bullets for the rest of their lives.

My name is Tawanda Jones. And my mission is to empower the youth of Camden New Jersey to the structure of drill team.

You want to do salsa. Come on. One, two ...

What I try to do, in order for them to go to the right path, it`s simple - you instill discipline.

Come on, go on right to the end.

Drill team is really just a facade to bring these children in, because it`s something they love to do. Then once I have them, I introduce them to the college life ...

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: CSS changed me a whole lot. My dad was shot and killed. My dad passed, I stopped going to class, I started hanging with the wrong people.

JONES: Did you complete your homework?

Let me check it!

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: She is my second mom. Without her, I really don`t know where I would be right now.

JONES: In Camden, high school graduation rate is 49 percent, but in my program, it is 100 percent graduate. We have never had a dropout.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: My grades now, I have a GPA over 3.0, I want to be a sports manager.

JONES: We need to take back our city, and most importantly, take back our youth. Let them know that we really care about them.

I don`t think people really understand how important it is to have these children succeed.

When you do this, you get great rewards, which is better than money.

(APPLAUSE)

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AZUZ: We got a couple of travel-related post sonar blogs last week. The first was about a professor`s idea to make the cost of an airline ticket depend on the combined weight of passengers and luggage. A lot of people felt the same way as Michaela. "Airlines should charge more for the weight of luggage, but not for the weight of the person." Bennett said, "I`d certainly be angry an embarrassed if my parents had to pay extra for a ticket because of my weight." Though Surya supported the idea, saying not only would it encourage passengers to eat less and exercise, that it`d be great for the environment. We also asked whether using electronics during takeoff and landing should continue to be A no-no. Adrian wrote, "I`d rather be safe than sorry. If 15 minutes without my handheld device means that I will have a safe flight, I`m willing to wait." Monique argued "Telling a bunch of people to turn off their electronics is not going to work Most modern Americans are attached to them." Erin said, "It`s not a good idea to have electronics on if you`re listening to music or watching video, you might not hear an important announcement and know what to do."

Our last video answers an important and timeless question: who let the dogs out? Apparently, it was the cat. Actually, it looks more like the one, this Youtube video is taking the dog out, and when the canine tries to make a detour, the feline isn`t feeling it Tugs in the leash to keep its friend moving. What we`re curious about is when the tables get turn, does the dog take over the lead when the cat has to go to the bathroom? It seems like it`s the leash it could do. All they need is to swap places, literally, and if the kitty takes too long, the dog can always color out on him. Teachers, we`re calling you out! We want to hear what you think about today`s show. Find the feedback link in our home page, and we hope all of you find your way back tomorrow for more CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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