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Jessica Lunsford's Father Speaks Out about Trial; Bush Meets with Reporters; Bush Sets Up Commissions to Improve Military Health Care; Washington Democrats Swiftly Comment On The Scooter Libby Verdict; Mega Millions Winning Tickets Sold In New Jersey, Georgia

Aired March 07, 2007 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, HOST: Hello. I'm Kyra Phillips live at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Don Lemon is off today.
And the winner is? Well, at least two people can lay claim to a $370 million jackpot. We're going to tell you where they bought their mega-lucky tickets.

A Florida boy got away after being tied to a tree. Today an arrest in a horrifying kidnapping. More details in a live news conference.

And a photographer is a passenger in this plane and survives. You'll hear his miraculous story.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

We're all over a developing story from central Florida, where police tell CNN they've arrested this man, Vicente Ignacio Beltran- Moreno. He's accused of taking 13-year-old Clay Moore from a school bus stop last month and tying him to a tree in the woods.

The police think the motive was ransom, but the alleged plot didn't work. In a move police described as MacGyver-like, Moore managed to escape using a safety pin.

We're expecting more details about that arrest at a police news conference at 2 Eastern. That's one hour from now.

Now let's get straight to Fredricka Whitfield. She's in the newsroom working details on a new developing story -- Fred.

FRED WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Out of Midland, Michigan, apparently a shooting taken place at Dow High School. One female student is in the hospital. Another student has been shot from self-inflicted wounds.

It's unclear right now how that alleged shooter is doing. And there are conflicting reports about how he is doing and conflicting reports about the relationship between this young man and young woman.

But the shooting taking place just outside of the high school. The school was on lockdown for a while. It's unclear right now whether they have cleared the scene or whether students are being allowed to go back into the school. We're working all kinds of sources to get to the bottom of the story, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Fred, appreciate it.

Well, John Couey, convicted child molester and alleged child killer sat in the courtroom awaiting his fate. Testimony in his murder trial took just four days. The search for his alleged victim, Jessica Lunsford, took five times that long.

The jury got the case this morning, and reporter Michelle Gillen with CNN affiliate WFOR caught up with the little girl's father.


MARK LUNSFORD, DAUGHTER MURDERED: We argued a lot about who loved who the most. I told her one day, I said, "I love you this much." And I said, "That's all the way around."

And she said, "I love you this much, and nothing will come between us."

MICHELLE GILLEN, WFOR REPORTER (voice-over): Out of court, an emotional and reflective Mark Lunsford opens his heart, sharing a view of a crime and trial few of us can imagine.

(on camera) When you heard that allegedly Couey said that he'll meet her in heaven some day, and when he does, he'll apologize...

LUNSFORD: God says you don't mess with these kids. OK? He'll forgive you for it. But you're still going to burn in hell.

GILLEN: What is the nightmare of being in that courtroom?

LUNSFORD: I mean, there was a few things that I didn't know, maybe a glimpse at the photographs, which just makes me angry and makes me return to my focus and what about the kids, the rest of them?

GILLEN: Indeed, Lunsford has been driven to better protect America's children with a law inspired by and named after his daughter.

Michelle Gillen, My 33 News.


PHILLIPS: Well, another chopper down in Iraq. In a one-on-one with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, U.S. Army General William Caldwell said this crash involves civilian contractors. Three are hurt, all three Ukrainian.


GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, U.S. ARMY: A couple hours ago, we did have an MI-8 helicopter belonging to a private security firm that did go out, go down and crashed down in the al-Anbar province, and we have three people injured on that helicopter.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And what is the cause? Do we have preliminary -- preliminary word of the cause?

CALDWELL: Yes. We've talked to the pilot, and the pilot is saying that was probably mechanical with a mixture of weather that caused them the crash.


PHILLIPS: Wolf's going to join us later in the NEWSROOM. And of course, you can catch him every week day in "THE SITUATION ROOM", 4 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Somewhere in Georgia or a neighboring state and New Jersey or a neighboring state, two people are walking around today with very big smiles, knowing that they'll soon have very big bank accounts. They've yet to come forward, but they're holding the winning tickets for the huge Mega Millions lottery jackpot.

One winner was sold in Dalton, Georgia, another in Woodbine, New Jersey, and there could be more. California is still checking its system. Rusty Dornin joins me from just up Interstate 75 in Dalton.

Hey, Rusty.

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're at the Favorite Market number 41, Kyra. And there's been a lot of excitement here today about who actually bought the winning ticket.

Now, this is in an area of Dalton which is, by the way, is well known for being the carpet capital of the U.S. But it is well known -- you see the carpet mill across the street.

Most of the clientele that come into this market work in those mills. And they say, as a matter of fact, when the mills are closed, business really dies down a lot around here.

People have been coming in with their tickets, unsure of whether they have a winning ticket or not. They've been checking them. So of course, a lot of disappointed people going away.

But the workers here also get a bonus. They will get $25,000 from the lottery, and they will be able to split that -- apparently, the manager will take half, and the other half will be divided among the six other employees. So a lot of happy faces around here. But people are still hoping that the lucky winner will show up here and claim their ticket -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Rusty Dornin, we'll check in then, if indeed that happens. Hopefully it will.

Even if you didn't win the jackpot, lots of smaller prizes are up for grabs. Here's the winning numbers: 16, 22, 29, 39, and 42. The mega ball is 20.

Latin America is tilting left. Can President Bush push it back in the other direction? Well, Mr. Bush leaves tomorrow for the longest Latin American tour in his presidency, a six-day swing through Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico.

He talked about his mission and other issues at the White House today. Juan Carlos Lopez of our sister network CNN in Espanol is there -- Juan Carlos.


An interview with the president before this trip. And we did ask him about other issues, issues related to the trip to free trade. But we asked him about the conviction of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. I asked him what his critics are saying, that with this conviction, this promise of restoring dignity and honor to the White House will not be met. And this was his reply.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes. First of all, this was a lengthy trial on a serious matter. And a jury of his peers convicted him. And we've got to respect that conviction.

Secondly, this is an ongoing legal matter. There's more legal procedures to take place. And at this time, it's inappropriate for me or the administration to be issuing comments about this serious matter.

On a personal note, I was sad. I was sad for a man who had worked in my administration and particularly sad for his family.


LOPEZ: We also spoke, Kyra, about Walter Reed hospital, about the scandal that broke out after conditions in which many veterans were being held -- was revealed in the press. And I asked him what he had to say to the veterans and to the families. Not the political outcome but what he had to say as commander in chief directly to them.


BUSH: I say anything other than excellent care is unacceptable. And I've been to Walter Reed a lot. There's fantastic doctors and nurses and healers. And, yet, we found that there was some sub standard care in a part of that -- part of that organization and we're going to correct it.

And I put the commission together, a series of commissions, to make sure that there -- that we fully understand the truth, fully elevate the problems, so we can solve them.

I had Bob Dole and Donna Shalala in today. They're in this very important commission I put together that will analyze the -- the care our soldiers get from the battlefield into the Defense Department, then into the veterans, and then into community. And I want to make sure there is -- that is a seamless transition of excellent care.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LOPEZ: Kyra, that was part of our interview with the president. We also talked about free trade, about immigration and other very controversial topics that will arise during this trip.

PHILLIPS: Juan Carlos from the White House there, we appreciate it so much.

You can see much more from that interview with Juan Carlos and the president in the next hour of the NEWSROOM. He will go along on the president's tour, and he's going to check in with us all the way.

Well, is America suffering a brain drain? Bill Gates offers solutions. But will Congress welcome more foreign workers? That's straight ahead from the NEWSROOM.

And this little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home. Which little piggy wasted your tax dollars? We're going to pick through the annual pork report straight ahead from the NEWSROOM.

And you probably have aspirin in your medicine cabinet. But is it really good for what ails you or what might ail you? Surprising new research from CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.


PHILLIPS: It's a quarter past the hour. Here's some of the stories we're working on in the NEWSROOM.

A jury in Florida deliberates the fate of John Couey, accused of kidnapping, raping, and burying 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford alive. Couey could face death if convicted.

Also in Florida, police arrest the man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old boy and tying him to a tree almost two week ago. That boy escaped, the suspect fled, police pursued. We're expecting more details shortly.

And have you been to Dalton, Georgia, or Woodbine, New Jersey, lately? That's where two lucky people bought winning tickets for the Mega Millions jackpot. They and many others will divvy up $370 million.

Better treatment for wounded warriors, a promise for President Bush as he met today with leaders of a blue ribbon panel that will investigate horror stories from military hospitals.

CNN's Kathleen Koch is at the White House with more -- Kathleen.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, I know as we heard just moments ago, the president is expressing his concern that too many returning wounded service members are not getting the treatment that they deserve, and he wants this problem resolved very quickly.

So he did meet this morning with the two chairman of this bipartisan commission that he announced just yesterday, the names of these chair people -- Senator Bob Dole, former head of the -- Senate majority leader in the Senate, and also former health and human services secretary, Donna Shalala, health and human services secretary for some eight years under Bill Clinton.

The three of them talked about the task ahead and what press secretary Tony Snow said was ensuring there's a seamless transition for the wounded from the battlefield, to the hospital, to outpatient care and then to either civilian or military life.

And Shalala talked about how the president didn't mince words regarding how seriously he takes this mission.


DONNA SHALALA, FORMER HHS SECRETARY: He made it very clear that if one soldier doesn't get high-quality treatment and isn't transitioned back into civilian life or back into the military, that's unacceptable. And you could sense his anger and his anxiousness that we move as quickly as possible.


KOCH: Afterwards, President Bush left with an inter-agency task force of some seven cabinet secretaries led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson. Now, its job is to find out what can be done immediately in the short term to improve veterans' care nationwide -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Well, Kathleen, the Army surgeon general was also back on the Hill testifying today. What did he say?

KOCH: Well, this is the Army surgeon general Kevin Kiley, who himself was commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2003 to 2004 and who many have felt shared a lot of the blame for the deteriorating conditions there, the bureaucracy there.

He testified again today, and he apologized again today to the families, to the nation, for what he said again were the poor conditions. And he announced that today, the very last patient would be moving out of Building 18, that outpatient building at Walter Reed that was infested with mice and roaches and mold, and simply in really poor physical condition. It's going to be renovated.

PHILLIPS: All right. Kathleen Koch, live from the White House. We'll, of course, stay on top of that story for the rest of the afternoon.

Also, Scooter Libby may have another trial in his future. And this time, he may be forced to testify. Find out why.

A father and child killed in a plane crash. Was it an accident or murder-suicide? A survivor and police give their views. More from the NEWSROOM, straight ahead.


PHILLIPS: This just in to CNN. We're getting word that a suicide bomber has killed more than 30 people in a cafe attack just northeast of Baghdad. We're told three American soldiers died also when the roadside bomb exploded just northwest of the capital there.

The bomber apparently blew himself up in a restaurant in Balad. That's about 45 miles northeast of Baghdad.

The U.S. soldiers were killed by that roadside bomb as they patrolled a well traveled route just northwest of Baghdad to try to clear it of the explosives. We'll try and bring you more about those more than 30 people and those American soldiers that have now died in another suicide bombing attack.

In other news, Bill Gates fears that America's best and brightest are few and far between, too few, anyway, to compete in the high tech global arena. In a rare appearance today on Capitol Hill, Microsoft's chairman is asking Congress and the Bush administration to grant more visas to high tech workers overseas. He spoke before a Senate committee.


BILL GATES, CHAIRMAN, MICROSOFT CORPORATION: The terrible shortfall in the visa supply for highly skilled scientists and engineers stems from visa policies that have not been updated in more than 15 years.

We live in a different economy now, and it makes no sense to tell well-trained, highly skilled individuals, many of whom are educated at our top universities, that they're not welcome here.


PHILLIPS: Many American workers would probably disagree. And as you can imagine, our own Lou Dobbs has some thoughts on this. He's been doing research on the subject. He'll tell us all about it at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

Well, the markets have been all over the place. And investors just seem to be flat out confused. For a look at where stocks are now, let's go to Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange.

Hi, Susan.


PHILLIPS: Well, since it's such a slow day, why don't we switch gears? Chiquita Banana, a little interesting way to jump start sales.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're bringing it down just a little bit, aren't we, Kyra? And you know, it's a pleasure to do so.

You know that expression "we have no bananas"? Well, how about we have one banana?

"The Boston Globe" says Chiquita Banana teamed up with a Boston product innovation firm to find a way to keep individual bananas fresh longer. The idea is to sell them in places like convenience stores, gas stations, supermarkets, as well as, you know, your conventional way of bunches in the supermarket.

It's already successful at places like Panera and Subway but with less delicate fruit like apples and pears.

The idea of buying a single banana like you would a candy bar would be a big source of revenue for Chiquita. An individual banana can sell for about 75 cents each, compared to about 69 cents per pound at a grocery store. So it's easy to do the math there. Chiquita dealing with flat sales here in North America, despite solid growth overseas.

A quick look at what's happening in business news. Coming up, interest fees, late charges, the Senate panel taking a closer look at credit card practices. I'll have details next hour.

You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


PHILLIPS: Live pictures now from Capitol Hill where in just a few minutes a House committee is about to hear more about standard care or substandard care, rather, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Everyone agrees wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan deserve better. President Bush has appointed former Senator Bob Dole and former health and human services secretary, Donna Shalala, to lead an independent commission.


SHALALA: The president actually asked us to look at the whole system: from the time a soldier is moved from Iraq or Afghanistan into -- into other kinds of care.

And he made it very clear that, if one soldier doesn't get high- quality treatment and isn't transitioned back to civilian life or back into the military, that's unacceptable.

BOB DOLE, FORMER SENATOR: I must say, I think in most cases, the care they receive, the medical care, you know, they think is excellent. It's what happens when they finish their care or moved off to some outpatient area where we have the problems.

And it's not fair. It's not fair to the family, obviously not fair to the veteran. And our charge is to see if we can come up with some ideas and correct that.


PHILLIPS: Now, if you'd like to watch the hearing live and commercial free today, just go online to CNN Pipeline, where it's being streamlined. That's at Well, it's enough to make you squeal. Off of the wall projects your representatives are sending your tax dollars on. The usual term is pork. Our Brianna Keilar has been pulling tidbits from the annual pork report. She joins us now live from Washington.

All kinds of really bad corny puns that we've been using today, Brianna. I'm sorry.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. No, that's OK. And there will be more to come in this story, I guarantee you.

But you know what's interesting? One thing in this report: how about more than a million and a half of your taxpayer dollars going to the Defense Department, then in turn being used for research to fund -- to fund research, rather, to extend the shelf life of vegetables.

It sounds fishy, but I will tell you there's a little more than meets the eye. These are the kind of things that are targeted in this year's pig book.

This group, Citizens Against Government Waste, actually bringing out the little piggies, the real live little piggies to their news conference today to make their point.

They say they found $2.4 billion in pork barrel spending for fiscal year 2007 for the government, and actually, it's much less than in past years. In part, that's because the last Congress only passed two of the 11 spending bills, and the new Congress put a moratorium on earmarks, where a lot of those things get added on.

Now there's still some interesting stuff to point out in this report. Like I said, the $1.65 million which is going to a Seattle- based company that does research to improve the shelf life of vegetables. Keep in mind, these are defense dollars.

That money was set aside by Senator Patty Murray, Democrat from Washington state. And it sounds odd, but Murray is sticking by this, and she says it's very important.


SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): One of the big challenges that armies had is getting fresh fruit and vegetables out to our servicemen and women on the front line. They can't get it from other countries; needs to be imported from here. We've got excellent research that has begun to keep our produce fresh longer. And we need to make sure that that's what we're doing.

KILEY: Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, also singled out for $102 million, Defense money as well, directed toward projects for in her home state. That includes $9.5 million for what's called the extended cold weather clothing system. This is ongoing program for getting troops the very latest Gortex gear, that kind of thing to keep them warm. And like Murray, Mikulski says this is very important, it's essential for our troops.

Just going to show, Kyra, that one person's pork is another person's important project.

PHILLIPS: Don't you always wonder who the poor soul is who has to wear the pig costume every year?

KILEY: Certainly. In this case, Kyra, it seems to be reporters. This is what they handed out for us at the press conference. I'm not going to put it on, but a fun little gimmick.

PHILLIPS: Yeah, save it. You'll get another next year, I'm sure.

KILEY: I'm sure.

PHILLIPS: Brianna, thanks.

It's not as good as acquittal, but is sure beats prison. It's beyond the realm of possibility for 99 percent of convicted felons, maybe more, but no one is ruling it out, at least in public, for Scooter Libby. It's a presidential pardon. CNN's John King weighs the prospects and the politics.


JOHN KING, CNN SR. NAT'L. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Guilty on four of five counts is the legal verdict against former top White House aide Scooter Libby.

TED WELLS, LIBBY'S ATTORNEY: We are very disappointed in the verdict of the jurors.

KING: But this case is as much about politics as it is the law. And the debate turned immediately to the impact on the president and the vice president. And the question of whether Libby would be spared jail time through a presidential pardon.

DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESWOMAN: I don't think speculating on a wildly hypothetical situation at this time is inappropriate.

KING: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, though, was among the senior Democrats who moved immediately to pressure the president to rule out a pardon.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: For the first time in 135 years someone working in the White House is indicted and now convicted. I think that says it all.

KING: Another Democratic goal -- cast the Libby as a reflection of more than one man's guilt. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said testimony in the case "unmistakably revealed at the highest levels of the Bush administration a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information, and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq."

The nuts and bolts of the case are confusing and Libby is hardly a household name outside official Washington. Still, the conviction of Mr. Cheney's long-time confidante on perjury and obstruction of justice counts is the latest political blow to a beleaguered White House.

PATRICK FITZGERALD, SPECIAL COUNSEL: It's sad that we had a situation where a high-level official, a person who worked in the office of vice president, obstructed justice and lied under oath.

KING: The president's approval rating stands at an anemic, 33 percent. Six in ten Americans view the Iraq war as a mistake and now guilty verdicts in a case that stirs up the debate about prewar intelligence.

(On camera): If there is any silver lining in the verdict for the White House, it is this -- the defense decided against calling the vice president to the stand, something that would have escalated the political stakes and Prosecutor Fitzgerald says his investigation is dormant, unless, some new evidence comes to light. John King, CNN, Washington.


PHILLIPS: I want to take you live to New Jersey now, speaking at Camp Park Liquors. They have a good selection wine, but I'll tell you the better story out of this liquor store today. That is somebody bought the winning lottery ticket. We're waiting to hear if we're going to find out who that person is. Let's listen in.


WILLIAM JOURDAIN, ACTING EXEC. DIR., NEW JERSEY LOTTERY: That's other than additional press media. That's up to the winner themselves.

QUESTION: What's in New Jersey's history with having big jackpots like this, is this one of the biggest?

JOURDAIN: This is the biggest -- one of our biggest in-state jackpots, yes. We had one last year, a couple won $253 million in Mega Millions. But this s as far as jackpots go, this is the largest ever. We're thrilled to have half of it here.

QUESTION: How much are they taking home?

JOURDAIN: How much are they taking home? The annuity will guarantee them $7.1 million a year for the next 26 years.

QUESTION: And the store here? How much does the store here get?

JOURDAIN: The store here will get a $10,000 bonus for selling the ticket.

QUESTION: What is the cash, if they don't take the annuity?

JOURDAIN: The cash option is approximately $110 million.

QUESTION: Did you get a lot of extra traffic the last few days as word of the jackpot spread?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's pretty consistent -- $3 million, $4 million, $5 million, it's sort of constant the amount of people who come in. But when you have a jackpot this big, everybody comes out of the woodwork, and they're not just buying $5 or $10, there might be $20, $30, $100 worth of tickets. So, I guess people really don't want to win $1 million, they want to win $300 million. So, by the course, with that kind of volume, everyone is buying tickets. It's crazy.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, how busy was it here last night at the peak?


CHERNOFF: How many people did you have lined up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really didn't have a lot of people lined up. But we probably maybe tripled the volume that we're usually used to. Something like that.

QUESTION: Do you know what time you sold the ticket?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anyone knows when the ticket was sold.

QUESTION: $110 million, if it's taken in cash is that for the entire (OFF MIC) that's the share (OFF MIC)

JOURDAIN: That's the share, that's the half share of the prize.

QUESTION: What if nobody ever comes forward? What happens then?

JOURDAIN: If nobody ever comes forward?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The liquor store wins!

JOURDAIN: Ouch! The winner has a year to claim the ticket. The ticket is valid for a year in New Jersey. However, this large amount of money I'm sure we'll be hearing from them shortly.

QUESTION: As far as identifying themselves, say the person forms a corporation, ABC Corporation. That claims the ticket. Can that be the only identification, or do you need a name like (OFF MIC).

JOURDAIN: That will be the identification. It's how the winner wants to claim the ticket. According to lottery statue, we must identify that a legal person, or entity, has won the ticket and their location.

QUESTION: What's the longest it's taken for someone to come forward?

JOURDAIN: We had a story approximately four or five years ago where a gentleman waited probably 360 days to claim a ticket. The interesting fact is he mailed the ticket. I don't believe his spouse was too happy. He actually got in under the claim period and was paid.

QUESTION: How much is that work for?

JOURDAIN: That was a $27 million annuity prize.

QUESTION: Can you walk us through the process (OFF MIC)?

JOURDAIN: For the claiming process? OK, the claiming process will be, first thing is get all your affairs in order, contact your advice, legal and financial advice, sign the back of the ticket. If you can't get to a lottery within the next few days or so, secure the ticket.


PHILLIPS: This is William Jourdain, he's the acting director of the New Jersey Lottery. But next to him is the owner of Camp Park Liquors. Poor guy, he gets the raw end of the deal, he only gets $10,000 for selling that ticket at his liquor store.

Meanwhile the winner, who ever that is, we don't know who it is, we're waiting for that person to show up with the ticket. These are the winning numbers. That person will get $7.1 million a year for the next 27 years. Lottery players had bought the tickets in Dalton, Georgia and Woodbine, New Jersey. That was from New Jersey, so we're still waiting to get names and faces of the lucky winners. We'll bring them to you as soon as it happens.

A few minutes ago, Juan Carlos Lopez, our sister network, CNN En Espanol, told us about his chat today with President Bush. Among other things, the president talked about his trip to Latin America, which starts tomorrow. Here's a longer chunk of that interview.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do worry about the fact that some say well, the United States has not paid enough attention to us. Or the United States really isn't anything more than, you know, worried about terrorism. And when, in fact, the record has been a strong record. And I will be going to promote -- to look at programs that are -- have benefited from the generosity of the American people.

And so it's -- I say our country is a compassionate country. And there's a significant connections between people, you know, inside America and people outside of America. And it's in our interests that we promote those ties and we promote -- and I remind people about the generosity of our country.

It's not a given, by the way, that people will continue to spend -- that Congress will spend money. And therefore, it's important for me to show that we're not only spending money, but the effects of spending money. The positive things that are happening as we help elevate people's lives.

JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN EN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT: Mr. President, I want to ask you about the conviction of Lewis Scooter Libby. Your critics are saying that his conviction makes the promise that you made to bring honor and dignity back to the White House, that this promise will go unmet. BUSH: First of all, this was a lengthy trial on a serious matter. And a jury of his peers convicted him. And we've got to respect that conviction.

Secondly, this is an ongoing legal matter. And there's more legal procedures to take place. And at this time it's inappropriate for me, or the administration, to be issuing comments about this serious matter.

On a personal note, I was sad. I was sad for a man who had worked in my administration, particularly sad for his family.

LOPEZ: As commander in chief, what do you say to the veterans who have gone through a very hard time and Walter Reed and other hospitals? There are commissions, there are solutions that are being proposed, but what do you, as commander in chief say to those veterans at this time?

BUSH: I say, anything other than excellent care is unacceptable. I've been to Walter Reed a lot. There's fantastic doctors and nurses and healers.

And, yet, we found that there were some sub-standard care in part of that -- in part of that organization. We're going to correct it. I put the commission together, a series of commissions, to make sure that we fully understand the truth, fully elevate the problems, so we can solve them.

I had Bob Dole and Donna Shalala in today, they are chairman of this very important commission I put together that would analyze the care our soldiers get from the battlefield, into to the Defense Department, then into the Veterans, then to the community. I want to make sure that there is -- there is a seamless transition of excellent care.

LOPEZ: Muchas as gracias, Senior Presidente.

BUSH: De nada, de nada.


PHILLIPS: Juan Carlos will be traveling with the president to Latin America and he'll check in with us throughout that trip.

Well, you probably have it in your medicine cabinet, but is aspirin the answer for everyone? Some new research might surprise you. Elizabeth Cohen, coming up in the NEWSROOM.


PHILLIPS: Aspirin has long been called the wonder drug, but it may not be wonderful for everyone and everything. New findings show that while aspirin can cut the risk of heart disease in many people, well, it can do more harm than good. CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen here to sort it all out.

Do tell? We all take it.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It's in all of our medicine cabinets, people have taken it for many, many years. And many people, in fact, call it the wonder drug.

Well, according to a new statement from the federal government, it may possibly be good for breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease, there have been studies that say that. But this study says there was a lot of hope, that it would prevent colon cancer. But indeed, when you really look at it, not a good idea to take aspirin regularly to prevent colon cancer.

They say some studies do show that aspirin helps prevents colon cancer and Ibuprofen and other drugs in that class. But the side affects are just too common, GI bleeding, and sometimes in the case of aspirin, bleeding into the brain.

So, the bottom line, from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, don't take aspirin to prevent colon cancer. The risks just aren't worth any potential benefits.

PHILLIPS: What about taking it to prevent heart attacks? We know tons of people that do that.

COHEN: Right. That's been out there for years. Doctors still say that is a good idea for some people that those benefits are worth the risk for some people. And the American Heart Association has outlined who they think should take it. They say an aspirin a day could be a good idea if you already had a hearth attack. If you have unstable angina, which a heart condition, and if you had certain types of strokes, you can talk to your doctor about which types those are.

They say for other people, talk to your doctor, there may be other people to fall into the category of taking aspirin every day, but you really have to talk to your doctor. There are risks to taking aspirin. It's not just like eating a cracker or something. It's a drug.

PHILLIPS: Is there anyone that absolutely should not take it?

COHEN: There are people who shouldn't take it. For most of us, aspirin is a perfectly safe drug. But there are certain types of people who would be better off perhaps without it. If you have a history of ulcers or GI bleeding. If you have an allergy to aspirin, obviously don't take it. If you have a history of bleeding. and also don't mix with alcohol and certain other kinds of medication, that's from the National Institutes of Health. For those people, aspirin could be very risky.

PHILLIPS: Elizabeth Cohen, appreciate it.

COHEN: Thanks.

PHILLIPS: We're getting word now of a school shooting in Michigan. Fredricka Whitfield, is working that for us, has some new videos and some details from the NEWSROOM -- Fred. FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Yes, some new video right now of Dow High School in Midland, Michigan. Let's take a look at it right now. Where essentially it is a crime scene there because earlier today, a student from another high school -- from Coleman High School, apparently tried to reach his girlfriend, who attends this school, Dow High School, was not allowed to enter the school.

Then apparently he called her, this according to police, on her cell phone, to come outside where the young girl, 17-year-old, came outside and this young man allegedly shot her, wounding her. She's now in the hospital. Her condition is unknown. And then turned around and turned the gun on himself. He ended up dying.

While this was taking place the school went on lockdown. And now it continues to be a crime scene there. But the young girl is now in the hospital. It's unclear whether any other students are now inside continuing with the school activities indoors, while the police conduct their investigation outside.

So certainly a tragedy taking place. One of America's high schools there in Midland, Michigan -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Fred. We'll keep checking in. Appreciate it.

We're are going to completely switch gears now and take you live to Woodbine, New Jersey. Somebody there bought a ticket from Camp Park Liquor Store where Allan Chernoff is, and is going to be getting $7.1 million a year for the next 27 years.

Now, Allan, the owner, I know, is with you. Does he feel gypped that he's only getting a $10,000 bonus check?

CHERNOFF: Well, I'll ask him right now. Come on in.

Jim Schroeder is the owner of Camp Park Liquors. The did actually sell, the store did sell the winning ticket. Jim, Kyra, our anchor, is asking whether you feel a little cheated that your store is only getting $10,000?

JIM SCHROEDER, STORE OWNER, WOODBINE, N.J.: Not necessarily. You could have gotten nothing. So you have to take what you can get. But, you know, $10,000 is $10,000. I'm going to share it will all my employees. I've had loyal employees for years. They do a great job and you know, spread the wealth around, so everybody is happy.

CHERNOFF: Now, the big question here, of course, who might have been the buyer? Summertime, we're right near the Jersey shore, so there are a lot of people from all over. But this time of year with the snow out, you're figuring it's somebody from the neighborhood, do you think?

SCHROEDER: I'd say the odds are 60 percent to 70 percent that it is someone local. Because that's all we have are local people buying. It might be someone transient driving by, because we're right close to Ocean City. We're only 30 miles from Atlantic City. So it could have been practically anybody. But I'm pretty sure it's probably somebody locally. I just hope that it's somebody who really, really needs the money. That's what I'm hoping for.

CHERNOFF: And around here, of course, you've got neighborhoods, you've got a lot of people in the area who I'm sure are long-time customers. Do you think there's a good chance you'll know the winner?

SCHROEDER: Probably. I sure hope so. I sure hope so. Because, I just want someone in the area to win. It's just been a -- it's putting this little town of Woodbine on the map, because there's been a lot of press, a lot of people. It's a great day for everybody. We're having a great time. This is a blast, I'll tell you. This is really a blast.

CHERNOFF: Kyra, we should also point out we're right near Atlantic City so people around here are used to the idea of big winnings, but this is certainly a huge payday.

Let's also point out in New Jersey, there is no tax on lottery winnings, so the tax we're talking about here, just 25 percent on the federal side. So, bottom line, if you take the annuity the annual payment comes out to $5.3 million a year for the next 26 years, or if the winner were to take the lump sum after taxes, it comes out to a cool $82.5 million.

Kyra, I'm sure you could find a few ways to spend that.

PHILLIPS: I', wondering if Jim could give us a discount on some of the good wines I see behind you there. You think he might hook us up?


CHERNOFF: Kyra wants a discount on some of the wine here.


PHILLIPS: He's speechless.

CHERNOFF: I don't think so, Kyra.


CHERNOFF: You're going to have to come on down here yourself.

PHILLIPS: OK, Allan, thanks. Jim Schroeder, thanks. We'll keep checking in with Allan Chernoff in New Jersey. And the other ticket was purchased in Dalton, Georgia.

Here's the winning lottery numbers. Our Rusty Dornin is in Dalton, so as soon as we know, who those lucky individuals are, hopefully we'll be able to bring you their stories.


PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, a Florida boy got away after being tied to a tree. Today an arrest in a horrifying kidnapping. We're standing by for more details and a live news conference at the top of the hour. Stay with CNN, the most trusted name in news.


PHILLIPS: Tragic accident or murder-suicide, with attempted murder thrown in? Indiana state police say it looks more and more like the pilot was aiming for the house he crashed into this week in Bedford. Reporter Ben Mariston (ph) of our affiliate WRTV has more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Eric and Beth Johnson were involved in a bitter divorce last November. They shared custody of Emily, their eight-year-old daughter. Emily failed to show up at school. And her mom called the police after a conversation with her ex-husband.

VIVIAN PACE, EMILY JOHNSON'S GRANDMOTHER: When she wasn't in school Monday, that's when Beth knew something was wrong. And finally he answered the cell phone, and said, you're not going to get her.

Eric Johnson with his eight-year-old daughter onboard slammed the rented plane in the home of his former mother-in-law. Vivian Pace escaped injury, but she believes it was no accident.

PACE: I didn't think it would be this way. And he's trying to take me out, too. If he had the plane up a little higher, he may have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The National Transportation Safety Board will examine the airplane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were the flight controls operating, you know, as designed? Was the airplane capable of stable, normal flight? Those are the aspects that we're looking at in this investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators say it appears to be a case of murder-suicide.

SGT. DAVE DURSTEN, INDIANA STATE POLICE: We really have no idea of a motive. What would drive a person to do, by all indications are, was done by Eric Johnson, in not only taking his life, but in taking the life of an eight-year-old child, of his own daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the investigation continues, the family tries to cope with the tragedy.

PACE: I don't care about him. I just want Emily. I know that's awful to say about somebody. But you don't know what all he had done to her. You get so that you just -- you almost hate him.


PHILLIPS: Federal inspectors say they have a preliminary report on that crash next week.

Straight ahead, a developing story in NEWSROOM. A Florida boy got away after being tied to a tree. Remember this young hero, well, today an arrest in that horrifying kidnapping. We're standing by live for a news conference at the top of the hour.


PHILLIPS: Dare we say spring is sprung here in the South? I know we have to spring forward on Sunday, but unfortunately, Jacqui Jeras, you've got stuff to tell us.