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New Day Sunday

Suspect Arrested After Threatening to Crash Plane Into Walmart; Artemis I Launch Delayed for Weeks After Second Failed Attempt; Biden to Deliver Labor Day Remarks in Two States; Teacher Burnout Surging Nationwide Over Money, Politics; L.A. Neighborhood Fed Up with "Fast & Furious" Street Racing. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired September 04, 2022 - 07:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Paul McCartney, Liam Gallagher and Queen were just some of the all-star performers. But it's this version of the band's classic song "My Hero" that became an unreal moment during the show. Watch this.


SANCHEZ: For context, that is 16-year-old Shane Hawkins sitting in for his dad. Watch this solo.



SANCHEZ: Just gives you goosebumps, all the feels, what a loss, and what a way to honor his dad, a special moment from the Foo Fighters.

WALKER: Good morning to you, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Amara Walker.

SANCHEZ: Hey, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez.

There was a bizarre scare in the sky, a man stealing a plane threatening to crash it over a small town in Mississippi, even posting a good-bye on Facebook. What we're learning about the pilot and how the situation was ultimately resolved.

WALKER: And for a second time, NASA is forced to call off the launch of the Artemis I rocket, this time because of a hydrogen leak. How long will it take to fix the issue and when will they try to launch again?

SANCHEZ: Plus, over 40 million people under heat alerts today amid dangerous temperatures. We're going to tell you which cities could potentially break records and what it means for the rest of your Labor Day weekend.

WALKER: And troubling news in the classroom. Testing scores plummeting across the country after the pandemic suffering the worst drop in decades. (MUSIC)

WALKER: It is almost the unofficial end of summer. It is time to mourn. Sunday, September 4th. Thank you for waking up with us.

Hi, Boris, good morning.

SANCHEZ: Hey, good morning, Amara. We're thrilled to be part of your long weekend and we start with this just bizarre story.

We cover some weird stuff, and this is just especially weird. An airport contractor in Mississippi is in custody this morning, facing charges for stealing a plane, and threatening to crash it into a Walmart. The bizarre incident played out as the suspect was circling the skies over Tupelo, Mississippi, and people on the ground were stuck watching in disbelief.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He right on top of our house. He literally flew over everything, all the vehicles and the house.


WALKER: And if you look at the bottom of your screen, we're going to show you flight tracking animation that shows the erratic path that plane took. Authorities say the suspect had some flight training, but they don't believe he is a licensed pilot. A lot of turning around there.

The situation could have ended tragically, but somehow the suspect managed to land the plane in a field and no one got hurt.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, that flight path was dizzying.

CNN aviation correspondent Pete Muntean has more on how this whole thing played out.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: This is quite possibly the best possible outcome of this incredible story in Tupelo, Mississippi, where an employee of a local airport was able to get out on to the ramp, get into a twin engine Beechcraft King Air, a commuter plane that seats about six people, take off, and then he said he was going to crash into a local Walmart.

Police in Tupelo had finished a briefing in which they laid out the scenario. Around 5:00 a.m., they say Cory Wayne Patterson called 911, laid out that he was going to crash the plane into a local Walmart, police were able to put negotiators on the phone with him, and then they brought in another pilot who attempted to talk Patterson back to the Tupelo regional airport and try and have him make a landing.

[07:05:08] What is so interesting is that police say Patterson came within 100 feet of a successful landing, but went back around again, flew up to the northwest, they thought he was going to run out of fuel, they lost contact with him via phone, then they regained contact with him via phone, when he said that he was in a farmer's field and the plane had crash landed. Police showed up in Gravestown, Mississippi, they say that they were able to detain him without much incident and the plane is relatively intact.

What is so interesting here is that Patterson was an employee of Tupelo Aviation, the local fix-based operator, where he was fueling planes for a living. So police say he did have access to airplanes as part of his job. It is a harrowing story that he'll now tell in a courtroom. Patterson is charged with grand larceny and making terroristic threats.

Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Thanks to Pete Muntean for that report.

Let's get some perspective now from CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem.

Good morning, Juliette. Great to be on with you as always. Walk us through the charges that this suspect is facing, federal charges, too, right?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yeah, federal investigation right now grand larceny, obviously. This was what we call an insider threat. He had access to what could potentially be a weapon of mass destruction. He took it. And then also the terrorist threat charges are really related to threatening a civilian population right now, where there is no reason to believe this was larger than his own, whatever was motivating him. At least not right now.

So, there will continue to be a federal investigation to see if there was any federal charges that are warranted based on his motivation. But, look, he may have issues, there might be mental health issues, was this an attempted suicide by plane? We just don't know.

But one of the reasons why you come on strong with these charges is that this is just, you know, exceptionally -- this is not acceptable behavior in any sort of way and the impact it had on the community given the large potential evacuation zone and target zone, you know, made for a very distressing warning. I agree with Pete that this ended up, you know, in the range of the world that I live in, of bad things happening, this was really ended up being the best scenario for all.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, probably the best case scenario that could have resulted. As this was happening, many of us were wondering what the protocol is when something like this happens. What kind of options are on the table?

KAYYEM: Right. So, this is -- I study disasters and emergency management, so, you know, nothing is new as we say. Unfortunately this may be a weird event, but this planning has been thought through. Look, he had access, and that's sort of your biggest challenge, so in terms of lessons learned, the smaller airports which do tend to be secure, will need to assess who has access to airplanes, because once you have access to the airplane, there is not much that you can do.

So I know a lot of people were, like, shoot him down or why aren't there military planes? Part of it is you're learning from as you're going along. So what is happening while they're assessing what the threat is, they had contact with him, they know that he has made contact, which suggests that it is not a surprise terror attack, but an individual, he doesn't do what he says he's going to do for several hours, which suggests that he, you know, may be back tracking from his original motivation.

He's running out of fuel, so the fireball that you might be worried about, gets less over time, so they're assessing it in real time and trying to find a way to bring it to the best resolution that they could think of, which is, of course, he survives the plane being landed or coming down safely. The next scenario would be he doesn't survive, but the plane at least does not harm a population in the area.

So that assessment is made in real time. That's what people train for. I like good news because you can learn a lot in terms of disaster management and emergency management and the communications seem to have been pretty incredible throughout the morning.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, again, best case scenario considering all that could have gone wrong.


SANCHEZ: Wow. Juliette Kayyem, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: A weird one, right?

KAYYEM: Yeah. Yeah. They often are, but, you know, not a good thing, but this is what people train for, these are in some ways these flukes or these low probability events and I think a lot of good work went into making this as good as possible, given the bad situation.


SANCHEZ: We're glad. Juliette Kayyem, thanks again.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Some new developments to share with you overnight as we're following several shootings across the country, including in Norfolk, Virginia, where authorities are investigating a shooting that happened around midnight that left seven people injured. WALKER: And Norfolk police say two of the victims have life

threatening injuries. Official with Norfolk State University say some of the victims are students. Police have not released information on a suspect or a possible motive for the shooting.

In Charleston, South Carolina, authorities say at least six people were injured. Police responding to reports of gunshots in the downtown area, a little before 1:00 in the morning. When they got there, they found multiple people who were shot. The victims were taken to several hospitals and the shooting remains under investigation.

The Minnesota state fair was forced to shut down early after a shooting there as well. Officers responding to the fairgrounds in St. Paul last night after receiving reports of shots fired. A gunshot victim was later taken to a local hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. Investigators have not yet released the identity of the suspect or a possible motive.

More delays for the Artemis I mission after a second launch attempt was scrubbed Saturday afternoon due to a hydrogen leak. NASA announcing it is skipping the next potential launch days on Monday and Tuesday, meaning it will be at least several weeks late September before a launch can happen again. Now engineers are deciding whether the rocket should stay on the launch pat or be rolled to another facility for more repairs.


BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: We do not launch until we think it's right. And these teams have labored over that. And that is the conclusion that they came to. So I look at this as a part of our space program of which safety is the top of the list.


SANCHEZ: CNN's space and defense correspondent Kristin Fisher was in Kennedy Space Center. She has the latest.



Well, we've got another hydrogen leak. This one much bigger than the one that NASA encountered on Monday. So, NASA now has to fix it. And they got two options. They can either try to fix it on the launch pad or they can roll the rocket all the way back to the VAB, the vehicle assembly building, essentially the garage, and try to fix it there.

But to do that, that's four miles away from the launch pad. It can take up to three and a half days to get the rocket back there. It is a very intensive process that NASA really was hoping not to do.

But regardless of where they make those repairs, as of now, NASA says it is going to have to roll the rocket back to the VAB regardless because of a safety violation with the range. The range is run by the U.S. Space Force, and NASA says they're going to try to ask for an extension or a waiver to that safety violation. But as of now they just don't know if they'll get it.

So what this means in terms of timing is that there is no way that NASA is going to be able to launch by the end of this launch window, which ends on Tuesday. So that means the next launch attempt of the Artemis rocket likely will not be until the end of September at the earliest, more likely mid to late October, if not later.

Here is NASA's associate administrator Jim Free speaking at a press conference moments after that second scrub was announced.

JIM FREE, NASA ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR: We don't go into the tests lightly. We don't just say, hey, we think, we hope this is going to work. The confidence to do another launch attempt today was born out of the fact that we understood the hydrogen leaks that we had on Monday. Those are different than the leak that we had today.

And in terms of scale, one was in the same place, but today was a different signature. And we understood the engine issues. So we were confident coming into today. But as the minister said, we're not going to launch until we're ready.

FISHER: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson was also at this press conference and he pointed out that the space shuttle had to be rolled back to the VAB about 20 times, so this is not unheard of by any means.

He also pointed out that the cost of two scrubs is less than the cost of one failure. So this is not the worst case scenario by any means for NASA. Worst case scenario is an explosion at the launch pad or shortly after liftoff. But, you know, Boris and Amara, make no mistake, a lot of disappointment at the Kennedy Space Center. This is not what they wanted.


SANCHEZ: We'll be looking forward to the next attempt. That was our Kristin Fisher reporting.


Still ahead, the fight in battleground states is heating up as the midterms draw near. We're going to tell you what President Biden has planned and how his midterm message is taking shape.

WALKER: Plus, a troubling trend in the classroom, a major drop in test scores after the pandemic. What it means for families and students as they start the school year.


WALKER: Tomorrow, President Biden begins his 2022 midterm campaign travel with trips to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

SANCHEZ: And Biden is set to travel to Pittsburgh and Milwaukee, delivering Labor Day remarks to American workers. The Senate is hoping to pick up seats in both states this November.



WALKER: Sorry go, ahead.

SANCHEZ: Oh, you.


WALKER: CNN's Kevin Liptak is joining us now from the White House.

Kevin, we're fighting over who talks to you first. I won. So, what does Biden have on the agenda this week?


KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, I mean, this is really kind of a kickoff to the midterm campaign season as voters really start to engage in these campaigns. And President Biden is really trying to capitalize on that.

As you mentioned, he's heading to these three critical battlegrounds over the next week or so. Tomorrow, he'll be in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh at these Labor Day events. Later in the week, he's going to Ohio to attend the groundbreaking for an Intel microprocessor plant, these are all a very critical battleground Senate battlegrounds and also governor battlegrounds over these midterm elections.

And we do expect President Biden to appear with several of the Democratic candidates in those states when he travels there. I think that's an important indication of where things stand, 64 days before the midterm elections.

Remember, over the summer, it wasn't necessarily clear how welcome President Biden would be on the campaign trail. As his poll numbers dropped, also his approval rating plummeted, things seem to be turning around somewhat for President Biden as gas prices drop, as inflation eases.

And so, Democrats are optimistic. Of course, he is still facing of course. He is still facing that historical precedent that presidents in their first midterms typically fair poorly. One person who knows that very well is former president Barack Obama, and he will be here at the White House this week on Wednesday for his official portrait unveiling, the former First Lady Michelle Obama will be here as well.

Normally, presidents have their portraits unveiled sort of in the first few years after they leave office. That didn't happen during the Trump administration. Things, of course, far friendlier between President Biden and President Obama. This will only be the second time President Obama is back here at the White House. It is the first time that his wife Michelle Obama will be back here since they left office in 2017 -- Boris and Amara.

SANCHEZ: A big week ahead for President Biden.

Kevin Liptak, thank you so much.

Just over nine weeks out from the midterm elections, both President Biden and former President Trump are zeroing in on a major battleground. Pennsylvania. President Biden is set to visit Pittsburgh tomorrow, following his speech in Philadelphia last week, and which he criticized Donald Trump and his supporters. Last night, the former president held a rally to support the GOP candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, and Senate candidate Mehmet Oz.

Let's discuss those races and much more with CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Alice Stewart and Meghan Hays, former special assistant to President Biden. She's actually the director of message planning.

Alice and Meghan, good morning.

Thanks for sharing part of your holiday weekend with us.

Alice, first to you, in that speech last night, Donald Trump went after Joe Biden. He spent a lot of time talking about Joe Biden who is not going to be on the ballot in November in Pennsylvania. How much is that messaging going to boost Mastriano and Oz who both have been trailing in recent polls?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not very much, but you're right, Boris, for someone who went to Pennsylvania to talk about Oz and Mastriano, the former president talked a lot about himself, and the current president. And that is going to be, I think, the message moving forward. Former President Trump referred to the President Biden as an enemy of the state, and really lashing out on the -- what he sees as criticism that President Biden has made to former President Trump and his supporters over the last few weeks.

And just a fresh recap, Biden reel really criticized what he called MAGA Republicans and extreme MAGA Republicans for their election denials, for their support for January 6th, and for also not having any problem or criticizing the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.

The alternate reality view of all of that criticism from Donald Trump last night was astounding. He viewed those criticisms as the Biden administration and the Democrats overreaching and with regard to the elections, he says this is censoring free speech, with regard to January 6th, he says that is imprisoning political protesters, and with regard to Mar-a-Lago, he says this is the Democrats and the FBI and DOJ raiding the homes of political enemies. It is just astounding the different way that they view what President Biden has talked about.

From a political standpoint, clearly threats to democracy are going to be center stage for both sides. I happen to think stepping back, when you look at what is top of mind for the American people, moving into the general election -- sure, threats to democracy are at the top of the list, but even more of importance to the American people are cost of living, jobs and the economy. Those issues rank higher than threats to democracy, but, Boris, there is no doubt we're going to hear this theme as a drumbeat from now until November.


SANCHEZ: And, Meghan, as Alice outlined, President Biden has gone after Trump more aggressive aggressively recently in the Philadelphia speech. It is not really a side of Joe Biden that we have seen a whole lot of, how does that wind up helping Democrats if Donald Trump isn't on the ballot?

MEGHAN HAYS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, look, these are values that the president ran on in 2020. It is not surprising heading into the midterms that these are the same values he would be running on. Battle for the soul of the nation was a drumbeat during our campaign. You know, the president has done a lot with Democrats to run on with the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS bill, the infrastructure law.

So, he's definitely provided some leadership for folks to run on heading into the midterms and that will be part of his message.

SANCHEZ: So, Alice, Trump's rally, you know, he's stumping for GOP candidates in Pennsylvania, but to some degree, it was a preview, the ground work for a possible campaign in 2024. Doesn't that stand to overshadow some of the candidates that are actually running ten weeks from now?

STEWART: That's a big fear. And I said it many times, the more time Republicans spend talking about Donald Trump, the less time they're spending talking about inflation, rising crime, and the problem at the border. And one thing to follow up on, on Meghan's point, yes, President Biden campaigned on and really came into office on battling for the soul of the nation, but with the speech he had this week, here's the way Republicans are viewing this.

I understand and I did hear President Biden clarify he wasn't talking about all Republicans, he was talking about those -- the extreme base of the party that supported the election denials and January 6th and frustrated with Mar-a-Lago, but the way Republicans are viewing that, they see this as him attacking all Republicans and that is extremely divisive for many Republicans and they are frustrated with this. That being said, the feeling is that Joe Biden would much rather be talking about these issues than inflation and the economy, whereas Republicans would be better served if they focus on inflation and the economy as we head to the midterms because that's the concern for people across this country.

And it is going to not only appeal to the base of the Republican Party, but the independents and undecided voters, that's what they're go going to go out and vote on.

SANCHEZ: So, Meghan, stepping aside from Pennsylvania, a lot of other big Senate races and close ones in Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada, Ohio, which do you think is the most vulnerable for your party?

HAYS: Look, I think all the races are important, they're all battleground states. The president spends a tremendous amount of time on the road. So, he'll continue to campaign in those three states as you mentioned.

So, I think, you know, Democrats are -- he's going to see Fetterman tomorrow. So, I think those are important places for him to be. I don't think one is more important. I think there is -- he finds all of them to be important places he will continue to campaign for Democrats.

SANCHEZ: Succinct.

Meghan Hays, Alice Stewart, thank you both so much. Appreciate your time.

HAYS: Thank you.

STEWART: Thanks, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: Assessing the pandemic learning gap. Up next, the head of the National Center for Education Statistics joins us to talk about one of the largest learning declines on record.



WALKER: Here are some of the top stories we are following this morning. Memphis police have officially charged a man in connection with the abduction of a missing schoolteacher.

Authorities say Eliza Fletcher was out jogging Friday when she was forced into a midsized dark colored SUV and taken from the scene.

SANCHEZ: Fletcher remains missing, but 38-year-old Cleotha Abston has been charged with aggregated kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

After nearly a week without clean water, there are positive signs emerging in the Jackson water crisis. City officials say that most of Jackson, Mississippi, should now have water pressure.

They say that troubled water plant made significant gains from Friday night into Saturday, but they say ongoing repairs could still cause pressure to fluctuate, especially in a few remaining parts of south Jackson.

As you can see, residents are still lining up at water distribution sites, which are set to remain open.

WALKER: There is a growing concern this morning about the pandemic's impact on our children's education.

Recently released national test results showed 2022 test scores for 9- year-olds fell an alarming 5 points in reading in and 7 points in math compared to early 2020 before those lockdowns and school shutdowns began in the U.S.

That is the largest drop in 30 years. And the first decline ever in math.

Here to discuss this further is Peggy Carr, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.

Good morning to you, Peggy.

This is extremely worrying, just to hear as a parent, but can you put these numbers in context for us? Simply speaking, 7-point drop, 5- point drop doesn't sound that dramatic.

PEGGY CARR, COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS: Well, good morning, and thank you for having me. These results are --

WALKER: Okay. Unfortunately, you know, that's live TV, and her picture has frozen for a moment. We'll try to get Peggy Carr back.

And in the meantime, we're going to talk about something related to this issue with children and as a school -- as a new school year gets under way, educators are ringing the alarm over the nation teacher wide shortage.

Subpar pay, political pressure and overwhelming workloads have pushed teachers out and left schools scrambling over staffing shortages.


CNN's Gabe Cohen has a look at the teachers left standing that say they're beginning to burn out.


GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the bell rings at Casa Grand Union High School, more than 70 sophomores pile into Stacy Brady's biology class.


COHEN: This rural district outside Phoenix can't find enough certified teachers, especially for math and science. So 13 classes are doubled up like this. Some get an assistant. Others rely on a single teacher.

What has it been like?

BRADY: To me, very chaotic. I wish I could clone myself because it's like I can't get to every kid who needs help.

COHEN: Have you ever seen a shortage this bad?


COHEN: Jennifer Kortsen works with the district.

KORTSEN: We have it posted. We have gone to job fairs, and there's simply no teachers out there to be had right now.

COHEN: After two years of COVID and tense public scrutiny, teacher burnout is surging nationwide.

JENNIFER ZANARDI, FORMER TEACHER: There weren't enough hours to do everything they wanted us to do.

COHEN: Jennifer Zanardi quit her Florida high school for a corporate job, saying salary was a factor, but the political pressure was the tipping point.

ZANARDI: The public was actually saying that teachers were trying to indoctrinate students. It affected my mental health and my stress, in a huge way.

COHEN: And as enrollment in teacher preparation programs plummets, schools are competing for a shrinking pool of teachers. And wealthier suburban districts are winning out.

So even as the federal government pumps billions in relief funds into districts, many rural schools send those with low income students and students of color are struggling to find staff.

CHAD ALDEMAN, POLICY DIRECTOR, EDUNOMICS LAB: They're not going to the schools that are the most disadvantaged.

COHEN: In Prince George's County, Maryland, where there's a high concentration of poverty, at least 8 percent of the district's teacher slots are vacant, more than twice as many as last year.


COHEN: Geva Hickman-Johnson, a high school English teacher, just found out she'll need to prep lessons for subs in her department.

HICKMAN-JOHNSON: being pulled in so many different directions I'm not going to be able to focus on the students I'm standing in front of every day.

COHEN: Casa Grand's Elementary School District is one of many that moved to a four-day week to retain staff. Their high schools are looking to hire more teachers from overseas. In some classrooms, paraeducators are teaching lessons prepared by a licensed teacher like Stacy Brady.

Do you think the shortage will get worse?

BRADY: I think it will. My biggest fear I think is that some kid is getting hurt in some way, emotionally or physically in the room that I'm not able to see because there's so many students in the room.


COHEN (on camera): Right now, schools nationwide are trying to hire more staff than usual, making it even tougher to fill vacancies in places like Arizona, where teachers make less than in most other states.

So while districts like Casa Grande are trying to get creative to fill those gaps, it is getting harder to avoid packing students into massive classrooms like these.

WALKER: All right, thank you to Gabe Cohen for that.

SANCHEZ: So, it looks like something out of a "Fast and Furious" movie. The low budget version. People in one L.A. neighborhood say the blockbuster movie franchise is driving an uptick in street racing. We'll take you there when NEW DAY returns.



SANCHEZ: Fans of the "Fast & Furious" franchise are infuriating neighbors in one community in Los Angeles where street racers are doing their best Vin Diesel imitation at all hours of the night.

WALKER: While street racing has been around longer than the movies, residents can't help but feel the films are contributing to the problem.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has the story.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From around the globe --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the "Fast & Furious" world, Bob's Market is an icon.

ELAM: They come to this Los Angeles neighbor to take pictures in front of the shop made famous by the movie franchise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here in L.A., I want to see the market and the house from "Fast & Furious".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is nice. This is really great.

ELAM: But the movies, known for their fast cars and daring stunts, have left their mark on this neighborhood in another way. The scars of street racing and donuts mark the intersection where so-called takeovers, similar to these, have invaded the neighborhood.

BELLA, ANGELENO HEIGHTS RESIDENT: They're coming around drifting, doing doughnuts, spinning around like crazy with their mufflers sounding like explosions.

ELAM: For the people who live here --

BELLA: The smoke that it leaves behind from the tires burning, it lingers. It doesn't go away.

ELAM: It is more than a nuisance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hear these, like, screeches and it happens until the cops come.

ELAM: It is dangerous and illegal. Takeovers like these happening at all hours of the day.

BELLA: You're putting our lives at risk. You're putting our neighborhood at risk. They don't stop at the stop signs anymore.


ELAM: Across the country, drivers are taking over streets, racing, doing donuts and burnouts. Just in the last week, an entire block was damaged by out of control cars in Des Moines.

Police in Salt Lake City arrested six people for illegally racing. Another blocked police from getting to a shooting in Portland, Oregon. Chandler, Arizona, police say an illegal drag race left one driver dead.

Near Chicago, a pedestrian was struck and killed. A city alderman saying higher fines and impounding vehicles has little effect.

BRYON SIGCHO-LOPEZ, CHICAGO ALDERMAN: We see these incidents not stopping. They haven't stopped. If anything, they're getting worse and worse.

ELAM: Rumble strips in Compton, California, did little to slow down the takeovers.

Fed up residents in L.A. taking to the streets in protest.


ELAM: Anna Marie Piersimoni is one of them she lost Larry Brooks, her husband of more than 30 years, when he went out for some exercise and never came home.

PIERSIMONI: The driver revved his car to 90, spun out, lost control, he hit my husband, and six other cars. My husband had ten minutes to live after that. It is called vehicular manslaughter. But it was murder.

ELAM: She and others are calling for a disclaimer to be added to the "Fast & Furious" films, convinced they've glamorized street racing. Universal Pictures did not return a request for comment.

PIERSIMONI: I feel furious. Yes, there is another meaning to that word in the movie "Fast & Furious"

LILI TRUJILLO PUCKETT, FOUNDER, STREET RACING KILLS: And you can go to jail, you can kill someone, you can injure yourself.

ELAM: Lili Trujillo Puckett started the nonprofit Street Racing Kills after her 16-year-old daughter Valentina was killed in 2013. Now she mentors street racers who have been punished by the courts.

PUCKETT: Your whole dreams and your life is gone for 40 years. And you're going to have the other party telling you this is what you took away from us.

ELAM: Her message, not heard nearly enough, she says, lost in a haze of burning rubber and roaring engines.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.


WALKER: More than 40 million Americans are under heat alerts this morning. Up next, why the heat isn't the only concern out west.



SANCHEZ: Firefighters across northern California have their hands full continuing to battle multiple wildfires as the heat is only fueling the threat of more.

WALKER: The Mountain Fire is only 5 percent contained and has already burned nearly 5,000 acres in Siskiyou County since it first sparked on Friday. And then ten miles away, the Mill Fire continued to grow to more than 4,200 acres overnight.

SANCHEZ: Officials say the fire has caused injuries and power outages all while damaging critical infrastructure forcing thousands of people to evacuate. So far, the Mill Fire is only 25 percent contained.

WALKER: So it is the unofficial end to summer, but much of the U.S. is still feeling the heat.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, more than 40 million people are under heat alerts with records already broken during the Labor Day weekend.

Let's get a check on your forecast with CNN's meteorologist Britley Ritz.

Britley, what are you seeing?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, record-breaking highs yesterday and once again today this continues through your Labor Day weekend. Salt Lake City hit a record yesterday, your daily record, of 103, previously 2017 at 98.

They also hit a monthly record, rehit it, the original was back on the 1st at 101 degrees and we are expecting record-breaking highs all the way through the weekend and into Thursday from parts of the Dakotas down into southern California where temperatures are reaching a good 20 to 25 degrees above normal.

Excessive heat warnings in effect for much of California. Heat advisories up into the Northwest through early next week. Temperatures pushing into the triple digits coming in late Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, where, look at this, Death Valley, 122 degrees on your labor day, 123 for the following.

That, of course, one of the leading causes of the fire danger. We talked about the Mountain and the Mill Fire. Altogether reaching over 9,000 acres burned.

And we have the elevated to critical fire danger through today where, of course, the heat and the gusty winds and the dry air have created this formula for excessive heating. The dome of high pressure continues over the upcoming days, and that will press into parts of the Midwest and the northern plains.

SANCHEZ: The unofficial end of summer. It certainly doesn't feel like it.

Britley Ritz, thank you for that.

Hey, before we go, we want to take a moment to share good news and welcome the newest member of our CNN family. Our associate producer Leanna delivered a beautiful baby girl this week named June Melody Adams. There she is.

WALKER: How perfect is she! Here are those adorable pictures. I forgot they come this small.

Leanna says Baby June arrived right on time on her exact due date. Look at that. Oh, my goodness! She's gorgeous and her eyes are wide open, weighing 8.1 pounds. We are so happy for Leanna and her husband and wish them all the best during this exciting and sleepless time.

I hope you guys get some sleep. Congratulations.

Thanks for starting your morning with us. It's great to be with you, Boris.


SANCHEZ: Great to be with you, Amara.

Manu Raju in the chair for Abby Phillip this weekend. But before we go a look at the Sundance Award-winning film "NAVALNEY", which airs tonight at 8:00 p.m., only on CNN.


ALEXEI NAVALNY, RUSSIAN LEADER (translated): Vladimir Alexandrovich. It's Alexei Navalny calling and I was hoping you could tell me why you wanted to kill me?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remarkably, Vladimir Putin faces a legitimate opponent, Alexei Navalny.

NAVALNY: I don't want Putin being president. (translated): I will end war.

If I want to be leader of a country, I have to organize people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Kremlin hates Navalny so much they refuse to say his name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Passengers heard it, Navalny cry out in agony.

NAVALNY: Come on, poisoned? Seriously.

We are creating the coalition to fight this regime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are killed, what message do you leave behind to the Russian people?

NAVALNY: It's very simple. Never give up.

ANNOUNCER: "NAVALNY", tonight at 8:00 on CNN.