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A Deal in D.C.; Two Girls Arrested for Bullying

Aired October 17, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: A deal in D.C. after weeks of accusations and negotiations, news broke yesterday that Democrats, Republicans and the president had more or less agreed on the plan. It would end the partial U.S. government shutdown that started on October 1st, and it would avoid the country hitting the debt ceiling, which experts said would happen today. The deal came from the U.S. Senate, where Democrats hold a majority, though it was a bipartisan agreement there. The Senate was expected to vote on a deal last night that would be followed by a vote in the Republican-led House of Representatives. Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner urged his fellow Republicans to support the plan. If it passes both Houses of Congress, the president still has to sign it.

And one thing to keep in mind: this is an interim deal, it`s temporary. It would fund the government through mid-January, raise the debt ceiling until early February. So, this is not a long term solution. Teachers, as always, you can get the latest details at

Our next story today is about a tragedy that allegedly started with bullying, both in person and online. It led to a 12-year old in Florida committing suicide and later the arrest of two other girls.


AZUZ: Police say Rebecca Sedwick was bullied for a year. It apparently started when a 14-year old began dating a boy that Rebecca had dated beforehand. The bullying got worse over time. Police found social media messages to Rebecca that said things like you should die and why don`t you go kill yourself. Rebecca`s mom transferred her to another school, but that didn`t stop it.

TRICIA NORMAN, REBECCA SEDWICK`S MOTHER: I remember telling her, you know, you don`t listen to them, you`re beautiful, they are just jealous of you and she would say -- you are my mom, you have to say that.

AZUZ: Eventually, the middle school student killed herself. But police say the bullying didn`t stop afterward. They say the 14-year old who`d been doing some of it, posted on Facebook, essentially saying, yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself, but I don`t care. They arrested the 14-year old and another girl, a 12-year old, charging them with felony, aggravated stalking. The lawyer for the older girls says she didn`t have access to Facebook at the time the message was posted.

ANDREA DEMICHAEL, ATTORNEY: She denies them. She says that this is not as clear cut as it seems. That these things that were posted on Facebook recently were not by her.

AZUZ: But Rebecca`s mother says that the arrest means justice is being served.

NORMAN: Something is finally being done about these girls that were bullying her. That`s all she ever wanted was somebody to listen and do something about it.

AZUZ: Police had been arresting minors more often because of cases like this, the goal is to cut down on cyber bullying.

SHERIFF GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: Well, I can tell you we`re all devastated by this. And I can tell you all of us that worked that case and worked around that case, we lost sleep over that child dying needlessly.



ANNOUNCER: Is this legit? Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Not true. Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday in November, which is usually the last one. But not always.


AZUZ: When that fourth November Thursday rolls around, you can also count on the Macy`s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Millions of folks show up in New York or watch on TV to see the parade and its giant balloons. Macy`s hosted the Thanksgiving event for nearly 90 years. What the retail giant hasn`t done, is open its doors on Thanksgiving. Holiday shoppers have had to wait until midnight to get in. But for the first time in the company`s 155 year history, that`s changing. Macy`s said, this Thanksgiving its stores will open at 8 P.M.

It`s not the first company to let customers start their Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. Stores have shifted their holiday hours to offer a jump, offer deals, bring in businesses. But some of those stores have gotten a backlash, especially from employees who say they`d rather spend Thanksgiving with their families than at work.

Today`s "Roll Call" is a pitch (ph) and a badger (ph), and a corn husker. At least those are the states we`re heading to. First on the map, Locust Grove Georgia and a big hello to the wild cats from Locust Grove High. We`re bringing up, and not shut down the Gilmore Griffins in Racine, Wisconsin. And our corn husker contributor comes from Sidney, Nebraska, the Sidney High School Red Radars put their city on the "Roll Call" map.

There`s a picture getting shared on social media. It was taken of U.S. Corporal Josh Hargis in the hospital room in Afghanistan. Two things we want you to notice here: first, the purple ribbon on Corporal Hargis`s chest. It`s a purple heart awarded for wounds he received in action. The other thing you notice, his hand -- it`s saluting. Everyone in the room during Corporal Hargis`s medal ceremony thought he was unconscious. A commander said Hargis`s determination to give that salute spoke volumes about Josh`s courage and character. He described it as "the single greatest event I have witnessed in my ten years in the Army. Corporal Hargis is now recovering at a medical center in Texas.

Next up, sea serpents stay show up and legends, but some scientists say those legends might have been inspired by oarfish. What is an oarfish? Don`t know much about them except that they are big. You`ve got a minnow, a bass, a tuna, for an oarfish, my arms just don`t go far enough. Some of them are up to 56 feet long, and a diver just hold one up off the California coast.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one is 18 feet long, it took 25 of us to pick it up. It`s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

AZUZ: Rare and mysterious, that`s not overselling it as oarfish largely uncharted territory for scientists. Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute made the discovery of the recently deceased oarfish on Sunday at a depth of about 15 feet on the island`s Toyon Bay (ph). One of her counterparts from the Avalon-based Tole Mour was there, and spoke with us via Skype from Catalina.

MARK WEDDINGTON, CATALINA ISLAND MARINE INSTITUTE: She was snorkeling, see this giant fish on the bottom of the ocean, swims down, grabs it by the tail and swims it to the beach.

It was awesome. There were people sprinting to go and see this fish.

AZUZ: Louisiana State University`s Dr. Mark Benfield, the marine biologist shared this rare video with KTLA, it was shot in the Gulf of Mexico a couple of years back. And it is one of a kind as the giant oarfish spends most of its time slithering throughout the ocean`s deepest depths beneath tropical waters and is rarely seen at the surface.

Back in 1996, a group of Navy SEALs found that 23 footer off Coronado. Meanwhile, experts at U.C. Santa Barbara have already expressed interest over this Catalina find and so tissue samples are on the way.

WEDDINGTON: Right now it`s on ice. It`s preserved as best we can. I`m pushing to bare it and wait for it to be naturally clean, so that we can then take the skeleton and articulate it and have it for on display. That`s what`s I`m hoping will happen.


AZUZ: Last month we talked about a teenage manager`s act of kindness at a fast food restaurant in Minnesota. The same place is back in the news for a different, but equally awesome good deed. This one started with the family of a long time customer.


LINDSEY STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Dragis family has long known the secret ingredient to a fulfilling life.

KATIE DRAGOTIS, DAUGHTER: We`re here to pay for the papou (ph). Do you recognize our dad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do. I definitely do.

KATIE DRAGOTIS: Papou, that`s Greek for grandpas.

STEWART: It`s what Dr. David Dragotis practiced every day.

DAPHNE CHAPMAN, DAUGHTER: We`ve heard stories about people crying in the waiting room, because he is not here anymore.

STEWART: Dr. D. was a long time family doctor in Chesco. Six months ago esophageal cancer put him in the same hospital he often practiced at. Even there, he wrote prescriptions for his patients up until his death.

KATIE DRAGOTIS: Because he always brought us to get ice cream if somebody was bad, so.

STEWART: So his daughters decided their grief could be eased by a gesture after his own heart.

KATIE DRAGOTIS: So, what we`d like to do is pay $100 and pay for Papou, and with that ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it`s actually all paid for already, you need to sign right here.

STEWART: Dr. D. continues to heal.

JAMIE CARTER, CUSTOMER: It was beautiful, that was awesome. I saw like I could say -- and their dad will be proud of them. And I think of my dad and that`s great.

STEWART: Every Wednesday Dr. D. would drive nearly 30 miles to come to this Dairy Queen, even though he passed several others along the way. And of course, every week, the doctor would order the same sweet treat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pecan (inaudible)

STEWART: And now others can enjoy.


STEWART: What he prescribed for the sole.

JOEY PRUSAK, DQ MANAGER: It`s called to (inaudible) pay it forward.

STEWART: In less than an hour, inspired customers added hundreds more dollars to Papou`s fund.

CARTER: They`re sharing it with everybody in his favorite place. That`s cute.

STEWART: And thanks to Dr. D., kindness is still at service.

KATIE DRAGOTIS: What would happen (inaudible) if he thinks of us doing this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would be honored.

STEWART: In the sweetest of ways.


AZUZ: You might know about 3D printers, machines that take a computer model and then use materials to kind of print a three-dimensional version of something. In this case, the printed product is pizza. Dough, sauce, cheese, 12 minutes in the oven. May not like the best slice you`ve ever seen, but the company that makes it, says it is edible, although no one is allowed to actually taste test it until the food printer gets FDA approval. So, we`ll have to wait and see whether it`s declared delicious, or whether this pizza is panned. In the meantime, the company will keep printing pizzas just be crust it can. For CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz. Have a great day.