Return to Transcripts main page

American Morning

Police Round up Second Suspect in the Murder of UNC Student Body President; Clinton Fundraiser Geraldine Ferraro Out; Identity of Woman Allegedly at Center of Eliot Spitzer Sex Scandal

Aired March 13, 2008 - 08:00   ET


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Overnight arrest. Police round up a second suspect in the murder of the University of North Carolina student body president.
Kristen's story. The woman who allegedly cost a governor $4,000 and his political career.


ELIOT SPITZER, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK STATE: I am resigning from the office of governor.


CHETRY: This morning, her friends speak out.




CHETRY: And easy score. How quickly your teen can get prescription drugs without a prescription on this AMERICAN MORNING

Welcome. Great to see everyone this morning. John, I think we both got a press kit here with good old Abe Lincoln on the front. Apparently, in a little while, we're going to be unveiling what is in here, the new and improved $5-bill.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: You know, I didn't get the press kit but I got the cash.


CHETRY: You got? Don't turn it around. Don't give it away.

ROBERTS: That's good enough. That wasn't a close enough shot to give it or turn it. Here. There's the old one. And we'll talk about the one that's replacing it. All right, coming up.

Meantime, you're going to need an awful lot of these if you're going to go fill up your car with gas in the next little while. Oil prices breaking records again this morning. Earlier today, it was over $110 a barrel. Then, it dipped below. Now, it's back over and still climbing.

Our senior business correspondent Ali Velshi and his oil barrel join us with more from our business update desk this morning.

Ali, where is it headed now?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John, this is not a stitch of good news going on in terms of money this morning. Just moments ago, oil hitting $110.69 a barrel. That's as high as it's ever been. We're keeping a look on what's going on with oil.

Conversely, the U.S. dollar is sinking again. It -- for the first time since 1995, broke below 100 yen. It cost you $1.56 now, a little more than that, to get a euro. So, we've got a sinking dollar. We've got the rising price of oil. You know that that is affecting gasoline prices.

Gasoline prices are in a bit of a lag. So, we're not taking into account $110 a barrel for oil, but national average for a gallon of self-serve, right now according to AAA, $3.27 a gallon. That is a national average. That means in places like Hawaii, California and many other places, you're paying a lot more than that right now.

Gold is within a couple bucks of $1,000 an ounce for the first time ever. Markets are looking really rough right now. We're looking at a triple-digit loss on the DOW when it opens. And that follows a rough night in Asia, where the Hong Kong market dropped almost 5 percent. All in all, we're looking at a grim day heading into opening markets in an hour and a half.


ROBERTS: Makes you wonder where this is all headed. Ali Velshi for us this morning with the bad news. Ali, thanks.


CHETRY: New details coming in this morning, John, about the sex scandal that ended the political career of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. The "New York Times," which broke the Spitzer story, has identified his alleged escort.

New Yorkers will get a look at the incoming governor, David Paterson, today for the first time as well since the scandal broke. And Spitzer is reportedly working on a plea deal with prosecutor, not facing any charges at this point.

But the girl at the heart of this entire sex scandal is somebody that the media is finding out more about today. This is a look at the MySpace page. According to the "New York Times," this is her MySpace page. She is the woman known at Kristen, but her birth name, Ashley Youmans. And she goes by the name Ashley Dupre -- 22 years old.

She says she ran away from home at 17 and is a singer from New Jersey who now lives in Manhattan. Dupre told a reporter from the "Times," quote, "I just don't want to be thought of as a monster. This has been a very difficult time. It is complicated."

Also, her brother spoke out late last night at his home in New Jersey. He wouldn't comment on the case but he says that she's the best sister you could have.


KYLE YOUMANS, ASHLEY'S BROTHER: I exactly cannot comment on it. I'm sticking by my sister through everything. And hope she's going to be fine. Everything I said is, you know -- just talk. She's a great woman, an independent woman, and she'll make it through. She'll be fine.


CHETRY: Dupre's mother also told the "Times" that she and her daughter were close, adding she obviously got involved in something much larger than her.


ROBERTS: Hillary Clinton is apologizing for comments made by one-time vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. Ferraro stepped down from her position on Clinton's finance committee after saying that Barack Obama owes his status in the presidential race to his race.

Clinton, speaking at a forum sponsored by a black Newspaper Publishers Association, said she rejects Ferraro's comments.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I rejected what she said and I certainly do repudiate it. And regret deeply that, you know, it was said. Obviously, she doesn't speak for the campaign. She doesn't speak for any of my positions and she has resigned from being a member of my very large finance committee.


ROBERTS: For his part, Senator Barack Obama is also talking about race on the campaign trail but says he would rather be focused elsewhere.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There has been a running threat throughout this campaign, of both pundits and prognosticators asking first, was I black enough, then am I too black. I don't know what exactly the margin of black vote is that is the optimal, not too black but black enough.


ROBERTS: Obama said he doesn't think that the Clinton campaign is playing up the issue of race but does say he thinks that Clinton is saying she can appeal to voters, he cannot.


CHETRY: Well, this morning there is word of plans for a primary re-do in Florida that are set to be finalized. State Democrats say they're moving forward on a June 3rd mail-in re-vote. Part mail-in re-vote and part primary, if you will.

The idea may have to overcome some huge obstacles, though. It appears that mailing in ballots or at least the state overseeing mail-in ballots in Florida is illegal. There are 210 delegates up for grabs there. And if a do-over election is held and the results are recognized, the state could get 60 more delegates as a bonus for holding its primary after May 10th.

Got all that? Well, top Florida officials were scrambling to try solved this headache. U.S. Senator Carl Levin says plans to hold a second contest in Michigan may also come together in days.

Earlier, I spoke with Howard Dean who says that he wishes people would focus on the Republican frontrunner John McCain rather than the Democrats' battle over delegates.


HOWARD DEAN, DNC CHAIRMAN: I wish you guys would spend a little more time on the 40,000 jobs that Senator McCain and his lobbyist folks just sent to Europe. You know, the reason that these people who make these inflammatory remarks are in the news all the time is because you put them in the news.

So, I prefer to focus on the economy. You know, this election is going to turn on whether people can pay their mortgages or not. I think our party is going to be a whole lot better for ordinary Americans than the Republican Party. We don't need four more years of George Bush and that's what we get with John McCain.


CHETRY: And surely after Dean made those remarks, the Republican Party responded to AMERICAN MORNING, saying, quote, "Governor Dean's rhetoric and political attacks will not divert attention away from his candidates' support for massive tax increases, government growth and retreat from the War on Terror. Senator McCain's entire career speaks to putting the interests of our nation and the public first. He is the most prepared and experienced candidate to lead our nation in a dangerous world."

And of course, John, there is always an open invitation for the Senator to appear on AMERICAN MORNING. We would love to have him and we would love to get a chance to hear his side as well in person.

ROBERTS: Absolutely. Last time we had him on was a long time ago. So, it would be good to see him back on again.

CHETRY: Sure was. ROBERTS: Breaking news out of North Carolina to tell you about this morning. A second suspect arrested in the murder of a UNC student. Police surrounded the hideout of 17-year-old Lawrence Lovett early this morning in Durham.

Renee Chou of CNN affiliate WRAL is live from the scene of the arrest with details of how it went down.

Good morning.

RENEE CHOU, WRAL REPORTER: Good morning, John. Durham police say Lawrence Lovett took some convincing to come out of the house, but he did so and he did surrender peacefully. It all happened earlier this morning at this home behind me. It's on Cook Road in Southwest Durham.

Police say they got an anonymous tip that led them to this home. Officers had the house surrounded just after midnight. They tried to use bull horns to make contact with the suspect inside. When that didn't work, they ended up throwing a phone inside the home and they were able to reach Lovett that way.

He did end up coming out of the house with his hands up, and he was unarmed, and Durham police say he did so peacefully. Police say he was the only one inside the home and Chapel Hill police believe that he is the suspect seen in the surveillance photo driving Eve Carson's SUV and having used her debit card at the ATM location. He is now being questioned in Orange County.

Back to you.

ROBERTS: Renee, do you have any idea of how police got on to his trail? Was it from the previous suspect that they picked up or was it tips from the public? People who saw that photo and said, hey, I know that guy.

CHOU: All they would say is that an anonymous caller told them that Lovett was hiding out in this home. The owner of the home, police did end up talking to him, he was not home at the time that this arrest happened. They got some information from him, but Lovett was the only person inside this home, and that was from an anonymous tip. That's all they would elaborate on that.

ROBERTS: All right. Renee Chou from WRAL with the latest on that for us this morning. Renee, thanks very much.


CHETRY: All right. Thanks, John. Well, our Alina Cho is here now with a look at some other stories new this morning including breaking news out of Iraq.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. We're watching some breaking news internationally and domestically, Kiran. Good morning, everybody. Breaking news from Baghdad right now. CNN has just learned that a car bomb has exploded there. Eight people were killed, 41 others wounded. It went off in a commercial area of Baghdad where DVDs and computer games were sold. Again, a car bomb going off in Central Baghdad. We are watching this story very closely. We'll have much more as that information comes in.

And this just in from the top of the world. China, apparently shutting down Mount Everest. They won't issue any new climbing permit. Climbers say the Chinese are worried about being embarrassed.

CHO: And this just in from the top of the world. China. Apparently, shutting down Mount Everest. They won't issue any new climbing permit. Climbers say the Chinese are worried about being embarrassed before the Olympics. They fear that Tibetan protesters will carry the Olympic torch up the mountain.

We have this also just in to CNN. Flames shooting out of an apartment building in Washington. Take a look at these pictures here. Incredible from overnight about 200 people were displaced. The fire reportedly spread to nearby buildings including a church. There are no reports of any serious injuries and the cause of the fire, of course, at this early stage, still under investigation.

And a milestone this morning. The first launch of the massive Atlas 5 Rocket from the West Coast.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Atlas engine ignition -- zero and liftoff of the united launch alliance.


CHO: Well, that giant rocket lifted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base just about two hours ago. It went off without a hitch. It's carrying a satellite, by the way, for the National Reconnaissance Office. Similar rockets, we should mention, have been launched from the West Coast before, Kiran, but this one is the biggest. (INAUDIBLE).

That's look at news. Kiran, back to you.

CHETRY: Thanks, Alina.

Still ahead, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are battling over delegates and they're battling over comments made by aides or campaign surrogates. And at the same time, they're tearing down each other's records. So, are the candidates doing more harm than good and how will that play in Pennsylvania? Voters there making a decision coming up not far from now, about five or six weeks away.

This Monday, New York will also swear in the nation's first legally blind governor. And what does it mean to be legally blind? Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta with more on that.

Hi, Sanjay.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kiran. It means you need to have things ten times larger than normal in order to see them. Just how bad is Paterson's vision? We'll tell you. We'll also give you a glimpse of what his world would look like, that's coming up on AMERICAN MORNING. Stay with us.


CHETRY: New York's next governor David Paterson has a tough job ahead of him coming into the office right after Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace. Albany, of course, notorious for having a lot of political messes, and a lot of in-fighting going on as well and Paterson has overcome some challenges in his life.

When he was just 3 months old, an infection left him blind in his right eye. He also had limited vision in his left. That didn't stop him from going to school or running a marathon and then rising to lieutenant governor of a huge state. His adversity is shared by many American, actually.

CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta is at our medical update desk. You know, and it sort of seems like an umbrella turned, being legally blind can be the result of many different problems with your vision, but how common is it?

GUPTA: It's fairly common. About 1.3 million people in the United States have it, for example. It's sort of interesting to watch him just in some of that video there. He doesn't use a cane. He doesn't use any kind of dog, Seeing Eye dog. And he says he just doesn't need that. He has said that he's almost completely blind in his left eye and legally blind in his right eye.

Now, typically, what the criteria to be legally blind is you need objects to be ten times larger than normal in order to see them. With him, I suppose he needs objects to be about 20 times larger than normal. So, you know, pretty significant. You know the numbers there. He says he can see shapes in terms of, you know, making out, for example.

That a man is wearing a tie, for example. He says he can even read for short periods of time, but it's very tiring and oftentimes aides will have to read to him. He can make out faces if he's very, very close to somebody. But you know, obviously, it's a difficult thing. And when you're a politician, you have a lot of reading to, a lot of recognizing of faces even more difficult, Kiran.

CHETRY: That's right. And you also said he doesn't use a guide dog, he doesn't use a cane at this point. So he's certainly found a way to get by, because as we've talked about it, as we just talked about, he's done so much?

GUPTA: Yes, you know. And it's interesting. He's described his vision in interviews and stuff. He seems to have a component of both what's called central vision loss and peripheral vision loss. I understand is he had some sort of what's called atrophy of the optic nerve. The nerve that actually sends signals from the eyes to the brain. This is what central vision loss would look like.

We want to give you a little example of that. This is from the American Federation for the Blind. You lose the center part of your vision. So looking at a phone, for example, you wouldn't be able to make out the numbers. Peripheral vision loss is probably just what you'd expect. You start to lose some of the optic nerve fibers around the periphery of your eyes.

So you can actually see the center, you just can't make out the ends as well, and, or the sides as well. Sort of a tunnel vision, as you pointed out. But he is still able to do many things, as you pointed out. Run a marathon, get around pretty well without seemingly any assistance from a cane or dogs or anything like that.

CHETRY: Wow, very fascinating. And also an interesting look to see what it is like and to try to live with both of those conditions. Sanjay Gupta, great to see you. Thanks.

GUPTA: Thanks, Kiran. All right.

ROBERTS: Hey, I got some more breaking news to tell you about out of Iraq. We told you earlier about that car bomb in which eight people were killed, 41 injured in Central Baghdad. Now, we're getting news this morning that the news agency from the Italian Bishop's Conference says that a catholic archbishop who was kidnapped in Iraq last month has been found dead.

Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was found dead near the Iraqi City of Mosul where he had been abducted. So a couple of tragic incidents to report to you from Iraq this morning.

You're watching the most news in the morning. So what is greener than green? How about a building that requires zero net energy? Massachusetts plans to have one built by 2010. Our personal finance editor, Gerri Willis, will tell us if you can have one, too.

And this morning, Geraldine Ferraro is out after many said that she crossed the racial line. The Clinton fundraiser is just the latest campaign surrogate to resign in what has become an increasingly testy race.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, one of his top advisers had to resign last week over something she said about me. So we are aware that this happens but we're particularly sensitive to it, because of the nature of this campaign and who each of us is.


ROBERTS: Are the campaigns too sensitive and how will all of this play out in Florida? We'll find out ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: 22 minutes after the hour. Just about an hour from now, we're expecting President Bush to come out in the White House and talk about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The House is expected to vote on a bill today that does not include a provision for retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies.

Of course, President Bush is insisting that any bill going forward has that provision. No word on whether he would veto that bill the way that the House has written it. And of course, they would have to have some sort of reconciliation with the Senate on that, anyway, and the Senate has voted to give the retroactive immunity.

So expecting President Bush to come out about an hour from now to talk more about that and, of course, we'll carry that live right here on CNN.

Clinton fundraiser Geraldine Ferraro was out, no longer associated with Senator Hillary Clinton's fund-raising team. The former vice presidential candidate resigned after injecting race into the campaign by telling a newspaper, quote, "If Obama was white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is and the country is caught up in it."

So what's the fallout from Ferraro's comments and will it impact the April vote in Pennsylvania? Joining me now to talk about this and other issues in the campaign, Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter and Republican strategist, Kevin Madden and former spokesman for Mitt Romney's campaign.

Good morning to both of you. Hey, before we get into Ferraro, let's talk about Florida. So there's a plan out there, Stephanie, for the Democrats to have some sort of hybrid mail-in and in-person vote.


ROBERTS: But apparently, the mail-in part of that may be illegal under Florida state law? Where's this all going?

You know, I think that we've got to find a way to resolve this. And I think both campaigns are working with the Democratic Party and that party in Florida to find a resolution. But we have to make sure that it has the support of Florida Democrats and this mail-in plan doesn't. A House delegation came out against it yesterday and that it's legal. We can't have a second vote that's less legitimate than the first vote. So we have to figure it out soon and get back to the business of planning it.

ROBERTS: Is it OK, your party's responsible for all of this. And the Republican control Florida legislature that moved the date up. You folks just sit back saying -- wait and watch the Democrats fallen apart.

KEVIN MADDEN, FORMER ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: I could have sworn the Republicans got through a primary vote in Florida this year without any problem. And I think that every day that this goes unresolved, it adds more chaos to the situation, and more chaos is good for the Republicans in the general nominations. You know, I was joking around with Stephanie before as I've been calling it a parade. We sit on the curb and clap as it goes by.

CUTTER: More like a circus.

ROBERTS: Could this really benefit McCain? They're going to be lingering ill-feelings? Is there any way to re-do Florida in a way that everybody thinks is fair?

MADDEN: Well, you know, I don't know. I think that's going to be -- that's a lot of the internal squabbling that the Democrats have to figure out. But this gives John McCain more time to consolidate conservative, built the party organization, and raise more money while they continue to squabble.

ROBERTS: Let's turn to Ferraro. The Obama reaction to Ferraro's comments yesterday was pretty interesting. Let's listen to it.


OBAMA: I think that her comments were ridiculous. I think they were wrong-headed.


ROBERTS: Searching there for just the right word to use to describe it. David Axelrod is campaign strategist, communications director said Ferraro's comments are, quote, "Part of an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed."

Is there a pattern here that Clinton campaign to raise this issue of race?

CUTTER: Well, I don't think you can conclude that the Clinton campaign asked Ferraro to say that. And you know, they disavowed the remark and she has now resigned from the finance committee. I think that any time Democrat are talking about race or advantages or disadvantages somebody has because of their color or gender, it's not a good day for Democrats.

I mean, we have two historic campaigns. The first woman and the first African-American serious nominees for our party. We're turning out record numbers of voters, raising record amounts of money. We have incredible energy in our base and this type of squabbling is divisive. And it's not a good day for the Democratic Party.

ROBERTS: Kevin, Initially Hillary Clinton distanced herself from Geraldine Ferraro's remarks. Did not repudiate them. She went a little bit further on that yesterday saying that she did reject those remarks but she added this. Listen.


CLINTON: You know, one of his top advisers had to resign last week over something she said about me. So we are aware that this happens, but we are particularly sensitive to it, because of the nature of this campaign, and who each of us is.


ROBERTS: So she says, look, I'm sorry about that. But look at what he did, too. The fact that Samantha Power called her a monster. I mean, we've got these advisers that are just kind of running around saying all of these things that many people believe are intemperate and you ran a pretty tight ship there with your campaign.

Would you let your advisers run around saying this?

MADDEN: Well, look, you know I think Stephanie's right. I mean I think, this was not a concerted effort but this becomes a problem for the campaign, becomes a major distraction when surrogates go out and be analysts.

Surrogates, their job is to go out there and be validated. They're out there to stand by the candidate on issues. I think this is very much a product of surrogates who are not doing their job right. And also secondly, it's also a product of the fact that both candidates are not that far apart on the issues.

So a lot of these very tangential issues are coming up related to race and gender, and who said what when. And that's where this campaign is going. I don't think it serves either candidate very well.

ROBERTS: So real quick with Stephanie. Six weeks left to the primary (INAUDIBLE). I guess to Pennsylvania, we could expect more of this? You know, a struggle to differentiate themselves?

CUTTER: I mean, it's going to be a hard-fought race. Kevin's right. There's very little that distinguish these two candidates on policy issues. So, you know, Democrats have to be careful that it doesn't get too negative. You know, as McCain is organizing and raising money, and getting his positions out there, we're driving up our negatives.

And the one year where everything is going in our favor, we have a chance to blow of because of our negative campaigning.

ROBERTS: Well, at the very least, you're staying in the headlines. (INAUDIBLE) such a bad thing.

CUTTER: Exactly.

ROBERTS: Stephanie Cutter and Kevin Madden, good to see you. Thanks for coming in.


Oh, actually, sorry. I got one more thing to do. Sorry.

Now, to this morning's "Quick Vote" question. What should Florida do about its delegate dilemma? Right now, 15 percent of you say they should issue mail-in ballots, 40 percent say hold another election, 45 percent say have a committee decide at the convention. Cast your vote for us this morning at

Now to Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, you're watching the most news in the morning. It is the mother of all energy savers. It's a zero net energy structure. Well, personal finance editor, Gerri Willis, is going to tell us exactly what they are and when we'll see one built in Massachusetts.

Also, we know the identity of the woman allegedly at the center of the Eliot Spitzer Sex Scandal. Earlier this morning, I spoke with her friends who found out about her apparent double life, along with the rest of the world.

What they revealed and what is next for their friend when AMERICAN MORNING returns.


ROBERTS: We're back on this AMERICAN MORNING. It's Thursday the 13th of March, and more breaking news to tell you about. Good morning, Kiran.

CHETRY: Good morning, John. All right. We'll get to the breaking news in just a second. First, gold is just about out of $1,000. Ali Velshi is following this and exactly what that means as it relates to our economy.

ALI VELSHI, CNN, SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's got more to do with sort of the implication of this. Gold just about at $1,000, for first time ever. We got oil at $110.70, and by all indications heading up from there. We have the U.S. dollar at the lowest level it's been against the euro. The lowest it's been against the yen since 1995. This all stokes inflation. When the dollar is lower, it buys less of everything. It buys less of the imported goods that come into the United States. So that causes inflation. Now, we are just days away from the Federal Reserve's plan, or what was supposed to be the plan to reduce interest rates again. But when interest rates come down that weakens the dollar further.

At this point, we are crossing a line at which it becomes concerning to everybody how low this dollar is in light of where this economy is going. We have Dow futures indicating a very weak open for stocks again today. We have the Indian market closing almost 5 percent lower. Hong Kong closing almost 5 percent lower and major European indices all worse than 2 percent right now. Look at Japan, almost 3 percent. It's turning out to be a rough morning. The dollar is of particular concern with respect to exchange rate and how much we pay for other matters and we are watching gold closing in on $1,000 per ounce, this could happen any moment now.

CHETRY: All right. We'll follow the developments with you, Ali. Thank you. John.

ROBERTS: And more breaking news to tell you about this morning. This time out of North Carolina, police arresting a second suspect overnight in the murder of UNC student Eve Carson. They say that they received an anonymous tip that 17-year-old Lawrence Lovett was hiding out in a house in Durham. They say that Lovett was the person driving the car in the ATM surveillance photos. There you see it, released last week. A S.W.A.T. team surrounded the house at around 4:00 a.m. and apparently Lovett put up no resistance. The other suspect, 21- year-old Demario Atwater was arrested yesterday, and charged with first-degree murder. Atwater is being held without bond. Carson, the popular 22-year-old student body president, was shot to death about a mile from campus a week ago. Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, there are growing fears about global warming and they have people looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced his plan for what's called zero net energy building. CNN's personal finance editor Gerri Willis is here to explain Patrick's plan and what it would do to ease environmental impact. It would also be great if it would help people with home heating bills and things like that.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN, PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Forget about that. That's not what it's about. Sorry. It's not about consumers today. It's about the state of Massachusetts. The governor there has a very ambitious plan to take their buildings and make them net energy negative for the state. Essentially, they're called zero net energy, and what that means is that over time, instead of having to pay energy bills they'll have to pay nothing because it will zero out.

As a matter of fact, by 2010 he wants to have a brand new. He wants to have one building that fits these parameters as you're seeing on the screen right here. Reducing energy use, and then by 2030, he wants every building that the state owns to hit these parameters. So, it's very ambitious.

CHETRY: So, how do you that? What are these zero net buildings?

WILLIS: Well, you install solar are panels. All the kind of things that we hear about as consumers. The reality is it takes a lot, it's a big investment. And I think when consumers look at this and say, wow, love to do this, this would be great, but it really costs too much for most consumers to do.

CHETRY: You got to figure out way how to trap rainwater, figure out ways perhaps to grow green --

WILLIS: No. I think it's all good. Really. I' m sort of making fun of this, but at the end of the day it's marvelous but for most consumers, the cost of this they don't pay for themselves over time. You probably will sell the house before you get any payback. There are steps you can take, though, if you want to go green in your house. It's all about energy independence. The best way to go first think about sealing the envelope first off. You definitely want to make sure that you install a programmable thermostat. Seal leaky air ducts and install energy efficient appliances. It you do this and you install CFLs instead of regular light bulbs at the end of the day, you'll reduce your energy costs in your home 30 percent. And that's according to the Energy Department. Other things you can do, of course, lose the second fridge. Do you know how many homes have a second fridge in this country? CHETRY: I bet you a lot. They're sitting in the garage, and they have a lot of soda and beer in them, right?

WILLIS: Right. That's exactly true. And they're energy hogs. Get rid of those. Seal the envelope. Insulate the walls and another secret thing that people don't think about, clean the fridge coils. You know how dusty they get? Your fridge is very inefficient.

CHETRY: Wow, how about that? But see then, you're stuck in a situation. What do you do with all the ground beef you bought at half price? You got to freeze that somewhere?

WILLIS: You know, it's easier, it's better, it's more energy efficient if you consolidate and, of course, you got save money where you can.

CHETRY: Exactly. Gerri good to see you thanks.

WILLIS: Good to see you.

CHETRY: Also, by the way, you can see Gerri every Saturday as well. "Open House," it's tomorrow morning, 9:30 a.m., also Saturday and Sunday, and an encore presentation, 3:30 p.m.. Thanks, Gerri.

ROBERTS: And hot off the press to tell you about. Just out this morning, it's the brand new $5 bill. It still got Abraham Lincoln's picture on it, but splashes of color, purple at the center, that sort of spreads to gray at the edges. The Treasury Department says the new $5 bills are going to be safer, smarter and more secure, harder to fake and easier to check out. Kiran, you got one there. What do you think of the new design?

CHETRY: I'm unveiling it. I love it There's a big purple five. So, there's no mistaking that, and then, of course, can you see. Yes. There's color variances. They have that stripe going through the middle to make sure that you don't -- so they can hold it up and the cashiers can double check. What do you think? It looks pretty similar, except for that.

ROBERTS: You know, there's not the same desire to counter fit a $5 than there is say, a $20 or a $50. So, it doesn't have any of that color changing ink that they have on the $10s, $20s, $50s and $100s. But here's a question for you, it's Abe Lincoln on this, who was the person who graced the very first $5 bill back in 1861?

CHETRY: Is this our "Quick Vote" question of the day?


CHETRY: And if so, where's the multiple choice?

ROBERTS: Notice I said person and not president. Right?

CHETRY: That's right. You did. All right. Tell me.

ROBERTS: Alexander Hamilton, Secretary Treasury -- secretary the treasury, who is now on the $10 bill and there is a move to kick him off the $10 bill as well and put Ronald Reagan on it. So, poor Al Hamilton --

CHETRY: Hopefully you didn't spend all your $5s from back then. Because it will be worth something.

ROBERTS: There you go.

CHETRY: Here are the new ones.

All right. Well, still ahead, actually, John, this video is pretty crazy if you look at it. Was it payback with the Yankees when you look at this tape?

ROBERTS: Oh, yes. They say take me out to the ball game. It certainly was. This nasty fight between the Yankees and Devil Rays and it's only pre-season. We'll show what you started it, give you a hint. It had something to do with the feet, coming right up.


CHETRY: On AMERICAN MORNING, dangerous drugs, a mouse click away.

UNIDENTIFIED: The Internet has become a candy store for a 12 to 18-year-old kid.

CHETRY: Millions of pills sold with no prescription, and no questions asked. It's illegal. So why is it so easy? A heartbroken mother and the search for answers, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: Huge number of animals taken from a home in Arizona. The Humane Society seizing 800 small dogs, mostly of them Chihuahuas, terriers and Pomeranians. There were also 82 parrots in cages all of these in a mobile home. 800 dogs. Officials say the house was filthy, but most of the dogs are in pretty good shape and they will be put up for adoption.

Well, a bag of candy got one Connecticut honor student in some big trouble. Eighth grader Michael Sheridan, suspended and banned from an honors dinner, also stripped of his title as class vice president, all for buying Skittles from another student. The school says that candy fund-raisers were ban as part of a health program. Michael's mother called the punishment unfair. The student who sold the candy was also suspended.

And check out the fight between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. It happened during a spring training game and it all started when one of the Yankees Shelley Duncan slid into second base with his spikes up. That's when both benches cleared. The bad blood between the team dates back to last week when a Yankee was injured. Broke his arm in a home plate collision as well that was deemed by the coach too rough for spring training. Right now, Rob Marciano is tracking extreme weather. And did you see that, it also looked to me Rob that when he jumped up after sliding with the spike. It looked like he was trying to fight him, tried to bang into him before the bases cleared. Did you see that?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: I thought, what? What? What did I do? I didn't mean to kick my spike up that high, after -- yes, right.

CHETRY: Dirty game.

MARCIANO: Listen, you got take care of it in spring training. That's when they can all play clean during the regular season. All right, listen, the regular season as far as spring or baseball season does not want to get started across the Great Lakes. Snow continues to fall. Actually, forecasts is for rain later on today but snow is falling with the lake effect briefly kicking in for folks in Cleveland. Green Bay, I mentioned this earlier in the program, all- time record with over 80 inches of snow falling and more snow falling today. So this has been a record-breaking season for Green Bay, and much of the state of Wisconsin, and in many cases, twice the amount of snow they would usually get.

All right. Pacific northwest storm coming into Seattle. Portland, heavy rain in the valleys, heavy snow up in the mountains with some gusty winds. This sliding also into the Sierra Nevada. Lake Tahoe getting hit with some heavy snow, stretching into the inner mountain west. This is an unusually cool system for this time and the entire western third is going to feel an unusually cold air including places like Salt Lake City, and through the Wasatch of Utah and through the San Juan of Colorado.

As the system ejects to the plains, it will strengthen a little bit, relative humidity will be low across parts of New Mexico. Critical fire danger expected today with 35 to 45 mile-an-hour wind gusts. And with that dry air, that's going to be a problem. The front side of this is will tap moisture from the Gulf of Mexico later on today and tonight, we do have a severe weather threat. That's a large hail, damaging winds possible we get all of the threat. Winds aren't quite set up and there's not quite enough juice to get a severe tornado outbreak. But nonetheless, it could be some damaging storms later on this afternoon and tonight. Let's get that baseball season, let's get it going so we can all play nice and get them down to Florida and spread the joy.

CHETRY: Yes, tell that to the poor guy who broke his arm, right? Who was that?

MARCIANO: Exactly. The Yankees got - you know, just a little retribution from the Yankees' catcher getting his arm broken from being barreled into. This is spring training. I think because the Yankees camp is in Tampa and the Tampa Rays, that's their full time home. I think there's a little bit of bad blood to begin with.

CHETRY: Yes, to say the least. Hope they can play nice when the regular season starts. Well, you're not going to show up. MARCIANO: Oh, I'll show up.

CHETRY: Yes, right. Thanks, Rob.

MARCIANO: See you.


ROBERTS: The number of Web sites selling prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription has exploded. And many of those buying potentially lethal medications are teenagers. CNN's Deborah Feyerick has one family's tragic story.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Ryan Haight was 18 years old when he bought two powerful drugs, Vicodin and morphine. He never saw a doctor or even a pharmacist. His mother says this happened in secret online. She was the one who found Ryan dead of an overdose.

FRANCINE HAIGHTS, RYAN HAIGHT'S MOTHER: I remember that moment thinking, oh, my god. Oh, my god. Why did he take these? How did he get these?

FEYERICK: Ryan, an athlete and honors student from Southern California, got the drugs illegally through the Internet from a seller in Texas.

HAIGHTS: It's like somebody entered your house but you don't know they're there.


FEYERICK: Joseph Califano an expert on addiction and drug abuse watched the number of advertisers for rogue online pharmacies skyrocket.

CALIFANO: They don't care who you are. They just want you to buy oxycontin without a prescription.

FEYERICK: The pharmacies or cyberdoctors know little or nothing about their customer's medical history yet still put millions of pills into the hands of people with no prescriptions.

CALIFANO: You can get Oxycontin. You can get Vicodin. You can get Ritalin. You ca get Adderall. You can get Xanax. You can get Valium, very easily. It's like a candy -- the Internet's become a candy store for a 12 to 18-year-old kids.

FEYERICK: Experts say it's hard to put a figure on the actual number of teens buying drugs online. But with an estimated 6 million Americans overall abusing prescription medications, the drug enforcement agency has stepped up efforts to shut down more than 100 of these rogue pharmacies, a daunting task. JOHN GILBRIDE, SAC DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY: They operate in cyberspace. They operate with anonymity and it takes an enormous amount of time to identify these pharmacies, to find out the individuals that are operating the pharmacies. What country they happen to be operating in, how they are receiving their payment.


FEYERICK: They operate in places like China, India, Mexico, Canada, just to name a few places. Even when agents find them, it's easy for these sites to shut down and re-appear under a new name. Ryan's mom says it's as if a low-life drug dealer walked into her home and that invasion makes this all so frightening, especially since kids are mixing drugs and taking potentially lethal doses, certainly addictive doses.

ROBERTS: Is the U.S. government doing anything about this, Deb?

FEYERICK: They are. They are trying to crack down on it. There's a law right now in Congress also which would make these sites accountable for their actions and make selling of the drugs illegal but they are trying to find these sites. But it is very tricky and very deceptive.

ROBERTS: Yes. Parents definitely be aware what your kids are doing online. Deb Feyerick for us this morning. Deb, thanks very much. Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Well, thanks a lot. Still ahead, CNN NEWSROOM just minutes away. And Tony Harris at the CNN Center with a look what's ahead. Hey, Tony.

TONY HARRIS, CNN, ANCHOR: Hey, Kiran. Good morning to you. Boy, already a busy day stacking up for you in the NEWSROOM. A second suspect in custody in North Carolina this morning. Two young men accused in the killing of UNC student body president Eve Carson last week. In Florida, moving closer to a revote plan. State Democrats leading towards a vote by mail, a vote in person, combo, two-step deal. Ah, the aspirin, good for your heart? Now, researchers say it may help cut the risk of another disease. Plus, New York's incoming governor meets the press, live in the NEWSROOM today. We get started minutes away now, top of the hour, right here on CNN. Kiran, back to you. Have a great day.

CHETRY: You, too, Tony.

Coming up. We're reaching `into the medical mailbag for your questions and you want to know more about drugs and drinking water as well as some other questions that you guys have for our Dr. Gupta. Sanjay is here to open up the mailbag and answer your questions, still ahead.


ROBERTS: Seven minutes now to the top of the hour. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta is on top of the latest medical news. And this morning, the story is you.

CHETRY: That's right. Sanjay, answering your e-mail questions that you've sent in as he does every Thursday. And Sanjay, are you ready for the first one?


CHETRY: This is some interest in the report that you did about CPR. Martha from West Virginia says, "I'm interested in your report on CPR being done in Arizona. Curious to know what the science is behind the new method and why it works better than the standard?"

GUPTA: Well, you know, very interesting, Martha. First of all, excuse me, the American Heart Association hasn't completely bought into this. I mean, I need to state that at the beginning, but the philosophy behind this is very interesting. It's this idea that there's enough oxygen, sort of in the body at the time of cardiac arrest that what you have to do is to make sure you pump the blood, containing that oxygen, through the rest of the body. You stop to give breaths you're stopping the circulation of that blood through the body. The other thing I also thought was interesting, was a little bit more subjective, is this idea that people are, bystanders may not necessarily help and one of the biggest hindrances is this idea of doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If they know how to pump on a chest effectively, they go there they saw someone collapse, just start doing this 200 chest compressions right away, and that could actually save lives. That's the philosophy, getting people more activated and also focusing on chest compressions instead of the breath to breath.

ROBERTS: Sanjay, our next question is there still to be some confusion about these stories regarding trace amounts of drugs in our drinking water. Chuck in New York wants to know, "how is it that something that's flushed down a toilet ends up in our drinking water? These two things are never supposed to mix."

You know, Sanjay, I want to take Chuck aside and say, Chuck, buddy, I hate to burst your bubble there --

GUPTA: Yes. It's so interesting. A lot of people obviously paying attention to this because of some of the news this week, John. You and I have talked about this quite bit. A couple things. First of all, you're right. They're not supposed to mix but you know water from the sewer system does ultimately end up in reservoir, lakes and rivers. It is supposed to be cleaned, that's how the process is supposed to work. It is cleaned before it gets back into the reservoirs and then if it gets back into the drinking water supply, cleaned again.

Now, there is a process known as reverse osmosis, which is very good typically at getting rid of almost all impurities. Two things about it, one is that it's not often done and two is we know still small concentrations of some of these drugs are actually getting into the water supply again. So there's several different steps along the way, but it can mix if you sort of follow that process all the way through. There are different ways of disposing of these medications. The Office of National Drug Control policy can talk about which specific drugs can be disposed of in which ways.

CHETRY: All right. You know, we're going to get one more question in for you. Angela in Georgia gets the final question, she writes "what are the effects of antibiotics on pregnant women?"

GUPTA: Well, this is a good question. Antibiotics can obviously be a very important medication for anybody, including pregnant women, but they also can be more dangerous especially to the developing fetus. Certainly antibiotics are going to be more problematic than others. So, this is certainly something you want to talk to your doctor about.

You know, again, there's different antibiotics that are going to be more problematic than others. Overall, if you had to grade antibiotics, there are some medications that are considered to be a "A" as far as giving to pregnant women, some considered a "fail," antibiotics are about a "B." They can be very important but you've got to make sure you're taking them for the right reasons and you're not taking antibiotics that are going to have specific effects on the developing baby.

ROBERTS: Sanjay, as always good to talk to you. Thanks for answering those questions. We will see you on the weekend on "House Call," Saturday and Sunday morning at 8:30. Must see TV around my house.

So, what to do about Florida? We'll find out what you think when we come back on AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: Final check of this morning's "Quick Vote." What should Florida do about its delegate dilemma? Let's take a look at the results here, 15 percent of you say they should conduct a mail-in ballot. 40 percent say hold another traditional primary and 45 percent say have a committee decide at the convention on what to do. To all who voted thanks very much. We'll do it again tomorrow.

And thank you very much for joining us this morning -- wait a minute. We got one little more piece of business that floated in there.

CHETRY: Talking about Billy Crystal.

ROBERTS: Yes. Go for it.

CHETRY: 60th birthday. What did he get to do? He got to train with the Yankees. He got to warm up with Derek Jeter, lifelong dream for that Yankee fan. Hopefully they'll play nicer than some of the video that we saw earlier today where people are sliding a little too hard into the pitchers and into the bases.

ROBERTS: Yes, definitely. It's a great opportunity for him, and we'll see how he does. Thanks so much for joining us on this AMERICAN MORNING. I'll see you back there in New York tomorrow. Kiran. CHETRY: We miss you. Come back soon. See you tomorrow. Meanwhile, CNN NEWSROOM with Tony Harris and Heidi Collins start right now.

HARRIS: And good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

COLLINS: Hi there, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on Thursday, March 13th. Here's what's on the rundown.