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CNN Sunday Morning
Fast Moving Wildfire Threatens Homes in California; Shooting in Moscow, Idaho
Aired May 20, 2007 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Well hello there everybody, from the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, it's Sunday, May 20th. Good morning to you all. Good morning to you.
VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much. I'm Veronica De La Cruz in today for Betty Nguyen. Thanks again for being with us.
Let's go ahead and get you started this morning in southern California. A fast-moving wildfire, firefighters have been working around the clock. We will take you to the front lines.
HOLMES: Also back on dry land after being stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for 40 hours. Two fishermen lucky to be alive, now they got a heck of a story of survival to tell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like I had no disability. All your restrictions that you had on land are gone.
DE LA CRUZ: Therapy for the body, mind and soul? We'll take you on an underwater journey where healing begins for wounded soldiers ahead on this CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
HOLMES: One of our top stories this morning. Fresh hopes that three missing soldiers in Iraq may still be alive and stepped up efforts now to find them.
DE LA CRUZ: The three were abducted in an ambush that killed four other American troops and an Iraqi soldier south of Baghdad on May 12th. CNN's Hugh Riminton is live for us this morning in Baghdad. Good morning to you Hugh.
HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello there Veronica. Here T.J. It is, indeed, a search that continues to go on. The latest thing they attempted to do on the basis of information they were receiving that possibly bodies were in a canal. They have drained this canal, quite a major exercise. Nothing found there of any significance. Another one of the leads that they are following this is in its second week, this search. To give you some idea of the conditions, every day, temperatures well over 100 degrees. These men are out for hours at a time wearing heavy body armor. A lot of it is foot tracking. These are tough conditions for this search.
U.S. forces believe the seizure of three U.S. soldiers on May 12th was an ambush for cache. Al Qaeda they believe did not carry out the attack directly but paid local insurgents to do the job with instructions to bring them the survivors. Five men including an Iraqi soldier died at the scene. Three others remain missing. But after more than a week of searching for and finding clues, the U.S. military is operating on the presumption at least two are still alive.
LT. COL. MICHAEL INFANTI, U.S. ARMY: I have not seen anything to tell me that they are not alive. I have not really seen anything to tell me that they still are except the fact there's been no postings on the Internet.
RIMINTON: They say they have in custody two men, they believe, were directly involved in the pre-dawn raid and others with varying degrees of involvement in the plan. Pieces of uniform believed to belong to the missing soldiers have also been found. While that search continues, a final bow on the Iraqi stage from President Bush's most steadfast ally, Tony Blair making his seventh visit to Iraq as Britain's prime minister.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The policy that I pursued is a policy for the whole of the government. Even when I leave office I'm sure that that steadfast support will continue.
RIMINTON: While Mr. Blair was inside the green zone, three explosions rang out, believed to have been mortars fired from outside the fortified walls. They were clearly audible to journalists awaiting Mr. Blair's arrival. It's not clear whether he heard them himself.
More mortars were reported nearby as he went to thank British troops at their base in Basra, in southern Iraq, 148 British personnel have died in Iraq. Mr. Blair has already announced a phased withdrawal. Within weeks, President Bush will turn to Gordon Brown as Britain's prime minister. It will be no radical change, but it won't be the same either. Tony Blair will go down in history with Iraq for good or ill forever attached to his name.
JAMES CUSICK, "THE SUNDAY HERALD:" I think he had a strange decade in power. He had five years when he was one of the most popular prime ministers that Britain has ever had, and in the last five years he has become one of the most unpopular prime ministers Britain has had. Iraq, since 2003, has virtually loomed darkly over everything.
RIMINTON: A final good-bye and good luck. And signs of just how more isolated President Bush will be when his good friend Tony Blair leaves number 10 Downing Street. Gordon Brown, according to the British Sunday telegraph newspaper is planning to announce within 100 days of taking office the withdrawal of British troops, so it is being reported. Apparently he wants a clean break and he says this cannot be delayed.
T.J., just on the military front here, some news coming through, two massive truck bombs an hour apart in the city of Ramadi killing 20 people, injuring 35. That's the key details here, both the truck bombs were loaded with chlorine gas, it was a crude chemical weapons attack.
HOLMES: Hugh, if we can ask you about Gordon Brown coming into power. The report that he could do an about-face. If he does, if he decides he will pull out British troops immediately, give us an idea, if you can, what kind of a role British troops are playing there? How many troop are there and how that could really change things up for U.S. forces?
RIMINTON: The British involvement has been key for President Bush right from the beginning. President Bush never wanted to be seen as going alone. He needed a credible coalition and Britain stood with him. Apart from the troop numbers it was a political cover to have over 7,000 British troops still in Iraq, chiefly around Basra. Already there were plans to draw that down to 5,500, but the suggestion is Gordon Brown will accelerate that departure once he gets into office. He wants to make a clean break. Politically he wants to cut Iraq away from the damage it has done to this labor government. All of that not just isolating President Bush but also Republicans who remain pro this war in Iraq.
HOLMES: Thank you, Hugh Riminton for us in Baghdad. Hugh thank you so much as always.
Mean while else where in Iraq the U.S. military says three U.S. soldiers were killed Friday by an explosion in Diyala Province, northeast of the capital. Two other soldiers died Thursday in southern Baghdad. Also in Diyala Province, Iraqi police report the massacre yesterday of 15 men in a village by gunmen dressed in Iraqi military uniforms.
CNN correspondents discussed whether a war manager for Iraq and Afghanistan is the best way to conduct operations, that's today on "This Week at War" coming up at 1:00 PM Eastern Time.
DE LA CRUZ: There's word this morning of another suicide bombing in Afghanistan with dozens of casualty, government officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded market in the southern city of Gardez killing at least six people and wounding some 40 others. No one has claimed responsibility. The attack comes a day after a suicide bomber killed eight people including three NATO soldiers in a northern city of Kunjuz (ph).
Thousands of people demonstrating in Turkey today, chanting Turkey is secular and will remain secular. It is the latest in a series of rallies nationwide. Many Turks fear the Islamic-based ruling party will attempt to undermine the nation's secular system.
HOLMES: A fast-moving wildfire forces thousands of people from campsites in southern California. Right now this fire is about 50 percent contained. It was first reported yesterday afternoon on the edge of Los Padres National Forest. There are no reports of injuries, 200 firefighters are battling this 2,500-acre fire.
DE LA CRUZ: Let's find out now if crews will get help from the weather. Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider joins us now from the Weather Center. Good morning to you Bonnie.
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning Veronica and T.J. unfortunately the weather is not good for fire fighters as we take a closer look at this area north of Los Angeles and south of Bakersfield in California. The winds right now are at 20 miles per hour, the temperature is cool. It's still dark there, it's 60 degrees, but this is high fire season for this national park. They put an alert out just days before the fire started on May 14th because we are expecting a busy fire season there. Looking at these pictures, no doubt about it. Conditions are dry and they actually put in safety measure for campers of whatnot to do because people tend to cause more of these wildfires than what we have seen naturally in this particular area. So they advise people of certain safety precautions they should be taking. Unfortunately their predictions of a busy fire season are holding true. As you can see from this video, we are looking at a serious fire that is going to take awhile to get contained.
We are also watching for some other conditions across the country. We have temperatures that are going to be warming up nicely in other parts of the country, mainly into the 80s as we take a look at that. In fact, we will be looking at some better conditions in terms of warmth for areas into Texas and into Louisiana. I'll have more on that coming up. Back to you.
DE LA CRUZ: All right Bonnie. We'll be checking back with you in a bit. Thanks so much.
And in the mean time, firefighters are clearing away brush and charred trees from that huge fire along the Georgia/Florida border. It's about 80 percent contained. People who were evacuated from their homes were allowed to return yesterday. But one official says they should keep their bags packed a section of U.S. Highway 441 remains closed today from Interstate 10 to the Florida/Georgia state line.
HOLMES: We want to tell but this story, details we are getting out of Moscow, Idaho, where the AP is reporting at least three people have been shot there, shot last night or in the early morning hours. You see the report there on the bottom of the screen, possibly at least two police officers and two civilians shot. Not sure of the conditions of all four of those people yet. At least four people shot possibly according to the Associated Press.
You see the area there Moscow, Idaho, right now, according to local affiliates there, authorities have surrounded a Presbyterian Church there in town, where a gunman and possibly a second gunman have been or are holed up now and possibly holed up inside that church. Again, we have reports that at least four people, four people shot there in Moscow, Idaho, possibly two police officers. Right now don't know about the conditions of those four people.
Also right now, the authorities have surrounded a Presbyterian Church where it's believed a shooter or shooters may be holed up. Again this is a breaking story, details we are just getting this morning. Stay with us as we get more details, we will bring those to you.
DE LA CRUZ: Landis on the stand. The Tour de France champion defending himself against allegations of cheating. Cross-examination comes tomorrow, Landis again saying he never used illegal performance- enhancing drugs during the tour victory. A three-member panel will decide whether Landis keeps the trophy or becomes the first winner stripped of the title.
It's going to be another year without a Triple Crown winner in horse racing. Curlin won the Preakness beating out Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense by a nose, by a hair even. Curlin had finished third in the derby. It's been nearly 30 years since there's been a Triple Crown winner. Affirmed did it back in 1978. Another race that just brought tears to my eyes.
HOLMES: Did it really?
DE LA CRUZ: Yeah. Hand over the tissue box.
HOLMES: She's not kidding. She cried about the Kentucky Derby.
DE LA CRUZ: It's all about the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. When I see it, I get emotional.
HOLMES: It's a horse race.
DE LA CRUZ: I know.
HOLMES: OK. Stay here with us, folks. Next up we are going to be telling you about what you could call an adventurist therapy for wounded soldiers.
DE LA CRUZ: Not in a hospital, not on a couch but here in a nearly weightless and totally wondrous world. We are going to be taking you on a special dive. That's coming up on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
HOLMES: Also could you live on $21 worth of food stamps a week? A few Congressmen tried to do it. We'll tell you how they did.
DE LA CRUZ: And saving the whales, how scientists are trying to get two way ward whales back into sea.
HOLMES: Of course no military man or woman returns from war the same person as before they went.
DE LA CRUZ: That is right they need physical care, emotional care and in some cases they need both.
HOLMES: Now non-profit group operating in one of the most beautiful places on earth claims to offer benefits for the body and soul. Robert Goulston from our national affiliate WTVF went to see for himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is very therapeutic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Water as far as you can see. ROBERT GOULSTON, WTFV: Cayman Brock, 14 square miles in the western Caribbean. Where the beauty is only more impressive beneath the surface. Here soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division are on a mission to battle what has changed them, each with their own story of how it happened.
LORI HILL. INJURED SOLDIER: There was a complex attack.
GOULSTON: Lori was flying an army helicopter in the skies over Iraq.
HILL: A barrage of machine gunfire started shooting at the helicopter.
GOULSTON: Brian Price was manning a gun on a Humvee.
BRIAN PRICE: That's all I heard.
HILL: There was obviously a lot of blood.
PRICE: Then I realized my legs wouldn't move.
HILL: I'm pretty sure that I have been shot.
GOULSTON: They are back on foreign soil.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA!
GOULSTON: For something called underwater warriors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It helps you get a sense of confidence.
GOULSTON: A program that helps rehabilitate soldiers, not physically, emotionally.
HILL: We like to take care of ourselves, to not be able to do that for a while takes a lot out of you to have to ask people to help do you everything.
GOULSTON: In Brian's case, 25 doctors said he would never walk again.
PRICE: They couldn't tell how many nerves had been cut.
GOULSTON: But Brian is not exactly the type to take news like that sitting down.
PRICE: I got back pain, nerve pain, and shrapnel pain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Need help? Yeah?
GOULSTON: The shrapnel ripped through Brian's spinal cord leaving scar tissue that blocks his upper body from communicating with his lower body.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looking good down there, buddy you are going to like this.
GOULSTON: But under the water surface, Brian, for just a while, is able to leave those problems behind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three, go!
PRICE: It was like I had no disability. All your restrictions you had on land are gone.
GOULSTON: The underwater warriors dive all week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys all ready to go?
GOULSTON: Mastering new skills.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are getting about 23 to 26 knot winds right now.
GOULSTON: Learning to overcome their disabilities.
PRICE: My favorite part was the shipwreck. The Russian destroyer, we got to swim down to it and swim through the inside of it.
GOULSTON: Then it comes as clear as the water.
PRICE: The camaraderie is awesome.
GOULSTON: It is not just their passion to heal that runs deep.
HILL: We all have the same, sick, twisted sense of humor.
PRICE: I never have been with a group of people that have come so close so fast.
HILL: To get to come here and experience this with all these other great soldiers who have overcome so much in their lives, it's just phenomenal.
GOULSTON: Their new friendships --
PRICE: I wouldn't have had so much fun without these people here with me.
GOULSTON: Are becoming the clearest path to a full recovery. On special assignment with Jarrod Rogers --
HILL: Sorry I'm having an unwarrior like moment there.
GOULSTON: Robert Goulston, News Channel 5.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: We want to get back to that developing story out of Idaho, where possibly up to four people have been shot and police have now surrounded a church where it's believed the shooter or shooters may be holed up. We want to get Erik Loney on the phone to KXLW with what's happening. Erik please tell us what is going on?
ERIK LONEY, KXLY (via telephone): They have about a six or seven-square block area around this church cordoned off. They are keeping people away from that area. There was a press conference a few minutes ago. What we learned is that they believe they have a sniper or snipers holed up in a Presbyterian church across the street from the courthouse. This is all happening in Moscow, Idaho, it is a community of about 21,000, and it's a college town. It's where the University of Idaho is located. It started around 11:30 last night when the county courthouse reported that it was being fired upon. That the windows were being fired upon. A city police officer said he was shot on the street and then a county officer responded and he was shot on the street. Two civilians were also fired upon and shot. Those three, the two police officers or the two officers and the civilian have been taken to a local hospital. Another civilian has been taken to a hospital about ten miles away.
Police are not releasing the conditions of the officers. They said they want to notify the families first. All -- really, the only thing we know is they believe the sniper or snipers have a high- powered assault rifle. Something with a scope because of the distance these officers were shot at. About 75 shots have been fired. No return fire from the sheriff's deputies or police officers. Last shot was around 1:00 this morning west coast time. Nothing since, a single shot. When asked if they figured that maybe the shooter had taken his own life, they said they are working under the presumption that he's still alive.
HOLMES: Erik, I want to make sure I heard you right. Did you say 75 shots fired?
LONEY: That's what they are saying. They feel so far the suspect or suspects have fired about 75 shots from an automatic assault rifle.
HOLMES: Do they believe, I know they believe they have him surrounded or in this area, do they believe this is where the shot had been coming from, possibly this church or they may have fled to this church?
LONEY: Well, they don't know. They had a report that there was someone in the church parking lot, and then minutes later the shots started being fired from the church area. They have the church surrounded. They are watching the church. They still believe that that person is where -- that's where they are located. They feel like they're in the church.
HOLMES: And also Erik besides the courthouse, you said the courthouse believed they were being fired upon. Where else do we know might have been the target of some of those bullets? A few people have been shot now, besides the courthouse, is there another area or another place or building that got fired upon like this?
LONEY: Not that they told us so far. We are being kept far out of the area because they feel like anything that moves within the line of sight is a target and will be shot. They don't feel like the people were -- the civilians were targeted. They believe it was just -- that was an opportunity that this person may have had. As far as the officers being shot they are investigating if this was an ambush, were they trying to draw people to the area.
HOLMES: And also what are they telling local folks there to do at this point? And police have a pretty good level of certainty that they do have the shooter or shooters in this particular area. And that the shooter or shooters are not running around town somewhere?
LONEY: They do believe they're in there at this point. Though, again, there hasn't been a shot fired since 1:00 this morning they are not evacuating any of the homes around this church. It's a neighborhood off of downtown Moscow, a quaint picturesque, kind of Norman Rockwell Main Street with shops on both sides. The courthouse is one block away, and the neighborhood is up on a hill around it.
HOLMES: All right.
LONEY: They can't go get those people out because it's too dangerous to send officers in. They are just telling people from Third to Sixth from Washington to Howard in this six-block area to stay in their homes because they feel if they're in their homes away they are safe, it is when they come out of the house that there is some sort of danger.
HOLMES: All right. Erik Loney from KXLY, keeping us updated about what's happening there in Idaho. Thank you so much and certainly to our viewers we are going to stay on top of that story and bring you developments as we get them.
DE LA CRUZ: For millions of people, it's a harsh reality trying to survive on $3 worth of food a day.
HOLMES: And some lawmakers actually took the food stamp challenge. We'll tell you how they did coming up.
DE LA CRUZ: Imagine feeding your family on just $3 a day? Sounds hard, right? For many, it's a reality. Now some members of Congress are trying to get a feel for what it's like to live on food stamps and food stamps alone? CNN's Kiran Chetry takes a closer look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMES MCGOVERN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: I'm taking this food stamp challenge as a way of saying that as Americans we need to do more to eliminate hunger and poverty in the country.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Jim McGovern along with three other members of Congress decided to live on just $21 worth of food for an entire week. That's the average amount for someone who lives on government-provided food stamps. Congressmen Tim Ryan spent $20.60 on food from Safeway and had to make tough choices.
REP. TIM RYAN, (D) OHIO: You have $21 and have to figure out how to make it last where you will get enough calories to keep your stomach full over the course of seven days.
CHETRY: The Congress members want to get legislation passed that would add another 4 billion to the 33 billion annual federal food stamp budgets. They say it's currently inadequate.
MCGOVERN: The wealthiest country on earth, it's not about finding resources, it's about mustering the political will.
CHETRY: The USDA who administers the food stamp program says it would welcome Congress approving a higher budget. But also points out that food stamps are meant to be supplementary and not lived off exclusively. Rep. Jim McGovern says food stamps don't take into account skyrocketing living costs or other factors.
MCGOVERN: We are the richest country in the world; it is immoral in my opinion that there are people in this country that are hungry.
CHETRY: Two days into the food stamp challenge, Representative McGovern, Joanne Emerson and Janice Schakowsky dined on lentils and left over salad from Emerson's dinner the night before.
MCGOVERN: I get to live on basically $3 a day.
CHETRY: His staff worries about caffeine withdrawal.
MCGOVERN: I buy Safeway Select, $1.50 worth of coffee, but I'm saving that for a moment when I can saver it.
CHETRY: Although $3 a day per person does not sound like much, that adds up to $126 a week for an average low income family. The USCA points out that only 60 percent of those eligible actually participate.
Kiran Chetry, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And a controversial topic in today's "Faces of Faith" for you. The separation of church and state.
DE LA CRUZ: Bibles are showing up in one high school classroom. How the class is using it like a history textbook?
HOLMES: Also we are going to have the latest on that breaking news out of Idaho where two police officers have been shot, two civilians shot as well and police believe they have a sniper or snipers surrounded. Stay here we will be right back.
DE LA CRUZ: Good morning to you. I'm Veronica De La Cruz from the CNN Center in Atlanta.
HOLMES: I'm T.J. Holmes. We are following this breaking news out of Moscow, Idaho. Police there have now surrounded a church. This, after four people were shot, including two police officers. Their condition is not known at this time.
DE LA CRUZ: It is believed at least one shooter is holed up in that church. So far about 75 shots have been fired, possibly from an assault rifle. But none by police. We will be keeping you updated throughout the morning as this story continues to unfold.
In the meantime we want to give you the latest on the weather.
A fire out West forces campers to pack up and move. The fast- moving fire is in northern L.A. County.
HOLMES: First reported yesterday afternoon on the edge of the Los Padres National Forest, officials say about 3,000 people were evacuated from camp sites in the area. No reports of injuries at this time.
DE LA CRUZ: Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is live for us this morning in the CNN Weather Center.
HOLMES: Turning back now to Iraq. The U.S. military is under the assumption -- working under the assumption that three abducted soldiers in Iraq are still alive. The three were abducted following an ambush south of Baghdad last weekend, that killed four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter.
Military commanders say there has been no indication from insurgents that the soldiers have been killed. The search led to the draining of a large canal but nothing of significance was found there.
Meanwhile, the top U.S. commander in Iraq says he knows who is likely behind the kidnappings. General David Petraeus told reporters, quote, "We know who that guy is", end quote. "He's sort of an affiliate of Al Qaeda. We've tangled with him before" -- that ended the quote, now. The general did not elaborate further, nor did he name any names.
This morning at 9:00 Eastern we'll talk with Brigadier General James "Spider" Marks about the search for the soldiers. We'll ask the CNN military about the difficulty in finding the three missing soldier.
DE LA CRUZ: In Gaza this morning, Israeli warplanes strike Hamas targets as rival Palestinian factions hold on to a fragile truce. The pre-dawn Israeli strike hit several Hamas targets, including a car the army says was carrying militants and a load of weapons.
Israel's prime minister is threatening more attacks on Gaza unless Hamas stops its rocket attacks on southern Israel. This morning marks the sixth straight day of Israeli air strikes. Saturday another cease fire between the warring Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas went into effect.> Back in his home country, at last, and back behind bars. Australian David Hicks is the first Guantanamo inmate to face a U.S. military tribunal. Hicks was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and sent to the prison camp. He eventually pleaded guilty to helping Al Qaeda. As part of his plea Hicks will serve his final seven months at a maximum security prison in his hometown of Adelaide.
HOLMES: Back here in the U.S. now, a missing officer, a shallow grave, and a search for answers. Authorities in South Carolina looking for a state constable. They have found now a shallow, freshly dug grave. And they are working to dig up the body and determine whether it is 67-year-old state Constable Robert Bailey. He was last seen Monday night making a traffic stop in Lincolnville. The grave was found 50 miles away near Interstate 26.
DE LA CRUZ: Here's what's coming up next, a controversial high school course we want to telling you about.
HOLMES: Today it's now at the center of a legal battle, but it's not what is being taught but how it's being taught.
DE LA CRUZ: You want to stay tuned for also this: One young man fights for what he believes in. Why Zach Hunter is our CNN "Hero of the Day".
HOLMES: Well, he's a long shot in the 2008 presidential race, but former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel says he will get the U.S. out of Iraq. He also says he has a plan to get you more involved in making laws to improve this country. Mike Gravel is in the "Sunday Spotlight" at 10:00 Eastern tonight, with that guy, Rick Sanchez.
HOLMES: All right. As you're sitting around the kitchen table, or running around the house getting ready for church, maybe this morning, I've got a question for you -- where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state mentioned? You got it? I'll give you one more second. All right.
Actually, it's not mentioned anywhere. Sorry, kind of a trick question for you this morning. The phrase, actually penned by Thomas Jefferson in an 1802 letter has become code for supporters and detractors on a number of hot-button topics, none more contentious than teaching the Bible in public schools. And the latest front in that fight? Odessa, Texas. Here now is CNN's David Mattingly.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When it happened the streets of Odessa, Texas became alive with praise.
The faithful gave thanks to God. And believers celebrated victory over evil, when the county school board approved a class using the King James Bible as a textbook. (On camera): What are you teaching these students?
WENDELL SOLLIS, ECTOR COUNTY SCHOOL SUPT.: The focus there is just the Bible, historically, who wrote the Bible? Who are the characters? What is he content of it? What do they face?
MATTINGLY (voice over): Superintendent Wendell Sollis endorsed the elective high school class that uses a controversial curriculum, created by a group called the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, which claims to include a variety of viewpoints.
MICHAEL JOHNSON, NCBCPS BOARD: It does, in my view, give equal treatment, fair treatment, to all of the Judeo-Christian perspectives. That's what a Bible curriculum should do.
MARK CHANCEY, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, SMU: What this curriculum is trying to do is foster the notion that the American identity is distinctively Christian. By distinctively Christian I'm referring to the religious right.
MATTINGLY: Mark Chancey is a biblical scholar at Southern Methodist University who challenges the National Council's claim of fair treatment. He shows one example in the class handbook, where a crucifix is used to represent a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
CHANCEY: That's Jesus hanging on the cross. I don't know of any scholar of Hebrew that would argue that crucifix is best way to represent the sound "T".
MATTINGLY: Chancey argues that the use of the King James Bible shows a bias as it is not accepted by Catholic, and some Protestant denominations, not to mention other religions. And he also says study materials distort the Bible's role in American history to support a conservative agenda linking the Bible to the founding of the country.
(On camera): Thomas Jefferson: "The Bible is the source of liberty."
(Voice over): This section attributes positive comments about God and the Bible to several Founding Fathers. But Chancy says this quote does not accurately reflect Jefferson's views, because he did not believe in miracles or that Jesus was the son of God.
CHANCEY: Thomas Jefferson was so interested in the Gospels that he took a pair of scissors and cut out all of the miracles, all of Jesus' claims to be God. It's called the Jefferson Bible. We don't get any discussion of that in this curriculum.
MATTINGLY: Critics say students in the Odessa class are taught that the Founding Fathers never intended to have a separation of church and state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BARTON, FOUNDER, WALLBUILDERS: The Founding Fathers were very specific. They did not want any separation of religious values or religious principles from public life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: This video tells students a rise in sexually transmitted diseases and violent crime is linked to the restriction of public religious expression by federal courts.
(On camera): Is there harm being done in these classrooms?
DAVID NEWMAN, PLAINTIFF: I think there's a potential for an enormous amount of harm.
MATTINGLY: David Newman is among eight parents, Christians and non-Christians now suing Odessa schools in federal court, alleging the course is unconstitutional. The suit claims the course teaches students a literal interpretation of the Bible, while ignoring or dismissing other points of view.
(On camera): Are you concerned that students going into the class will come out thinking that the one God is a Christian God?
MATTINGLY: And an American God?
NEWMAN: Yeah. That -- that America is a Christian nation.
MATTINGLY: The school board says it will not debate the points of a lawsuit publicly, but the superintendent did tell us previously that he believed that the course was being taught legally, and that teachers were properly trained not promote one point of view over the other.
(Voice over): In one year, only 84 students took the elective class. But the National Council claims its curriculum has been used by 382 districts in 37 states. All of them now with eyes on Odessa. David Mattingly, CNN, Odessa, Texas.
DE LA CRUZ: Well, it is a whale-watchers dream near Sacramento, getting to watch a couple of whales without leaving dry land. Thousands have been coming out to see the pair of humpback whales that have come up the Sacramento River. It's about 90 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Marine life experts are taking a couple days off from trying to lure them away from the port and back down river. But they will start trying again tomorrow night.
As I understand it, T.J., you have those pied piper whale sounds down yesterday. I heard you doing them.
HOLMES: I did. Yes, it was just a Saturday thing. It's not appropriate for Sunday.
(LAUGHTER) HOLMES: But did you see that video? Those reporters said, specifically, they are asking people not to come out, because they can't hold the crowds. Huge crowds showing up.
DE LA CRUZ: What can do you?
HOLMES: Yes, right there. That video. They were telling people do not come out. We can't deal with the crowds, we are trying to get this situation handled. And you've got --
DE LA CRUZ: And this is what you see.
HOLMES: Campers showing up, I saw a grill in there somewhere, some lawn chairs.
HOLMES: A beach towel, or two.
DE LA CRUZ: It's despicable. I agree with you.
HOLMES: Can't help it, people are curious.
DE LA CRUZ: Send them all home.
HOLMES: All right.
DE LA CRUZ: Coming up next a teen who calls himself a modern day abolitionist.
HOLMES: We had the opportunity to have this kid on the show before. A great, great guy. A great treat to be around. This is Zach Hunter and he is our "CNN Hero".
Also, we'll have this for you, started out as a fishing trip, ended with a rescue at sea. A family's prayers answered. Don't want to miss that story.
HOLMES: All year long CNN is shining the spotlight on some very, very special people, individuals turning their personal vision for a better world, into action. We call them our "CNN Heroes".
DE LA CRUZ: We sure do. Today we will be introducing you to a 15-year-old boy tackling one of the world's most challenging problems, using your spare change. Take a listen. It's why Zach Hunter is today's "CNN Hero".
ZACH HUNTER, FOUNDER, LOOSE CHANGE TO LOOSEN CHAINS: I think the most important thing that people should know about this issue is that slavery is still going on. Many people don't know that. Even though it's illegal everywhere, it goes on everywhere, too. This is a pair of shackles they would use on modern-day slave today. If your little brother or sister was wearing these and rolling cigarettes all day, you would want somebody to free them. That's what we are trying to do.
I'm Zach Hunter and I am a modern-day abolitionist. I have always sort of had a strong sense of justice. If I saw someone getting pushed down on the playground or something, I wanted to help them.
I first heard about modern-day slavery three years ago. I was learning about Frederick Douglass, Doctor Martin Luther King. Then when I found out that slavery still existed, I felt like I had to do something.
Everybody in this room has benefited from slavery in one way or another, like, that's not good.
When I was 12 years old I started Loose Change To Loosen Chains. It's entirely student-led. And it is about raising loose change to free slaves. The loose change that we raise goes directly to the organizations so they can actually raid the places and get the slaves out.
There's more than $10.5 billion of loose change in American households. I decided to take something as underestimated as loose change, and as underestimated as the teen years and put them together.
This is a good issue for people my age. It's just something we can really get dirty and do something about. The main plan is to abolish slavery within my lifetime. I really believe that that can happen.
This Loose Change To Loosen Chains campaign really is my heart. It's something I'm passionate about. People my age can really change things. It's sort of my dream for my generation.
DE LA CRUZ: To learn more about Loose Change To Loosen Chains, you can go to cnn.com/heroes. And if you know a hero like Zach Hunter you can nominate them for a CNN Hero Award and special recognition later this year.
T.J., I know you have spoken with Zach yourself and you say he's an pretty amazing kid, right?
HOLMES: To think what you were doing at 15. What I was doing at 15. He's an amazing kid with an amazing maturity. He's got it. He's got it.
DE LA CRUZ: It's those little things that have big consequences.
DE LA CRUZ: You know? Spare change.
HOLMES: We had him here in the studio. Good luck to you, Zach. Hope to see you down the road somewhere.
I need to let you know, folks, we are continuing to follow that breaking news out of Idaho, where two law enforcement officers, two civilians shot, and police believe they might have a shooter or the shooters surrounded. We're staying on top of that.
DE LA CRUZ: Also, surviving two nights at sea. Could you do it? A happy ending after a couple of fishermen battle the waters of the Gulf of Mexico waiting for rescue.
T.J., you don't think you could? Do you?
HOLMES: Oh, no.
I don't know who would survived this one either. This is a death match between a rabbit and a rattlesnake. Seriously. Stick around for this video. See how this turned out.
DE LA CRUZ: A death wish, for sure.
DE LA CRUZ: All right, if you think the video of the tortoise attacking the cat was outrageous --
HOLMES: That was good stuff.
DE LA CRUZ: That was good stuff, but check this out. Check out this killer rabbit taking on a rattlesnake. This amazing video has been making the rounds on YouTube.
HOLMES: We have a guy here who just lives for this stuff and finds it for us. The rabbit, apparently a bit quick for the snake's strike. Eventually the snake high tails it out of there, heads to a tree. Rabbit gives chase.
DE LA CRUZ: I can't even believe that. I just -- here I thought the rabbit had a death wish. It's the other way around.
HOLMES: Snake is running from the rabbit, who knew?
DE LA CRUZ: Just in case you missed it, here's that i-Report from South Africa that we showed of the tortoise going after a house cat.
HOLMES: You can watch all two and a half minutes of this tenacious tortoise and the 'fraidy cat at cnn.com/ireport.
DE LA CRUZ: Fraidy cat is right. Look at him go.
HOLMES: And whatever other fights we can find between strange animals.
DE LA CRUZ: We also have this heartwarming story out of New Hampshire. A young girl who lost her leg to cancer is going to Hollywood courtesy of celebrity Heather Mills. HOLMES: Mills found out that Samantha Rodman is a big fan of the show "Dancing With The Stars" and looks up to Mills as a role model. So Mills, who also lost her leg, arranged for the girl and her family to be at the show's finale this week.
DE LA CRUZ: That's great.
And from dancing to treading water, two Texas fishermen are lucky to be alive today.
HOLMES: Finally rescued after two days stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. You hear about fishermen being stranded, you wonder what -- you know, some mechanical problem with their boat?
DE LA CRUZ: Right, right?
HOLMES: They didn't have a boat. We get the story now from Ryan Korsgard of affiliate KPRC in Angleton, Texas.
RYAN KORSGARD, REPORTER, KPRC TV: A Coast Guard helicopter from Houston searches the water about 40 miles off of Freeport. Rescuers were looking for two Friendswood fishermen, their boat capsized Wednesday morning. Seasoned pilots know just how hard it is to spot survivors out here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the proverbial needle in the haystack.
KORSGARD: Aaron Pilcher and his friend, Michael Prong (ph), were fishing when their boat started to fill with water. Pilcher swam about two hours to an oil rig to get help and to call his wife.
CRYSTAL PILCHER, SURVIVOR'S WIFE: I thought I was dreaming. Hearing his voice was the most amazing thing ever. I'm very, very thankful he's alive and he's OK.
KORSGARD: Prong (ph), though, was still in the water. The Coast Guard found him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was in between the overturned vessel and the rig, approximately a mile to a mile and a half away. They made the discovery and brought him on board the cutter.
KORSGARD: The two fishermen went to the hospital in Engleton for a check-up. Pilcher's dad was outside the emergency room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Words can't describe it. It's a father's worst nightmare to see your son -- not knowing where they're at, and then to finally get the great news that he's alive and well.
KORSGARD: Now sun burned and tired, Pilcher and his friend are out of the hospital. Life-long fishermen safely back at home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Gulf takes a lot and doesn't give back very much. This time God saved them for a reason. (END VIDEOTAPE)
HOLMES: Hello there, everybody. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is May 20, and I am T.J. Holmes.
DE LA CRUZ: Good morning to you, I'm Veronica De La Cruz in today for Betty Nguyen. Thank you so much for joining us.
HOLMES: We're going to start with a breaking story we've been following the past hour or so. It's happening in Moscow, Idaho. At least one suspected sniper holed up in a church, in the middle of that town. Police have that building surrounded.
DE LA CRUZ: We're hearing now that another police tactical team is also on the way, right this second. Police say a large assault team is being assembled. The standoff coming after four people were shot, supposedly by that sniper using a high-powered automatic rifle. The condition of the four people shot still not known at the time.
HOLMES: We've been getting details from local affiliate reporters who are certainly on the scene. We want to talk to photographer Dan Jackson of affiliate KREM who is on that scene there. Dan, if you can, just set the scene. What is it like down there where you are?
DAN JACKSON, KREM: There are agencies from all around the region. Moscow, Idaho, is around the border with Washington State. They've brought in sheriff's deputies from Washington, Tollman police. It's amazing how many are here. At least 75 different police cars are here. This whole thing started when somebody went into the church and started firing a high-powered automatic rifle into the Latah County Courthouse, so then officers responded and a Moscow police officer was shot first. After that, a Latah County officer was shot and they were able to get them out. No word on their condition right now. At least 75 rounds were shot by this sniper from an upper story, possibly in the steeple of the church, down toward people on the ground.
HOLMES: And, Dan, how close are you to the church, first of all?
JACKSON: About four blocks away.
HOLMES: Can you see the church from where you are?
JACKSON: No, I cannot and honestly, I'm no hurry to put myself near a high-powered rifle.
HOLMES: Certainly understand that. What are police trying to keep residents back? Is anyone being evacuated or just told to stay in place?
JACKSON: They told them to stay in place because this person was obviously picking people off. Any movement he seemed to be shooting at. They told them to stay in place and do not leave their house. And hopefully a secure area within their house. There aren't a large amount homes, because this particular church is on the edge of downtown. There definitely are a few right there.
HOLMES: Give us an idea Dan of how much movement would we see on a Saturday, Saturday night in that area? We understand the last shot we know of was around 1:00 a.m. how much movement, how many people on the street and also anybody in that courthouse on a Saturday?
JACKSON: Only people that would be in that courthouse, I believe, would be sheriff's deputies. There is not much movement around here. If there's anybody going out to a bar in this town, they are easily four to five blocks away from that particular church. So I don't even know if somebody may be walking down the street. Residents in the area, I talked to different media personnel that said they heard the thing from half mile away. It woke them up out of their sleep because it was such a loud rifle shot. They turned on their scanners and found out the address and came down here and were hearing shots when they pulled up and, of course, cleared out.
HOLMES: Dan do you know at all where the officers were and where the civilians were in town? Were they on that street? Where they were when they were shot?
JACKSON: I believe they were within a half block to a block. I think the second officer who was shot was coming in to a quick response rescue of the first officer and he was trying to hide behind a tree for cover and was also shot.
HOLMES: Photographer Dan Jackson of KREM, affiliate there on the scene for us. Again, I know you don't want to get close to that high- powered rifle. We appreciate your time in helping us cover this story. Certainly you all be safe down there and we'll be checking back in with you.
DE LA CRUZ: For even more on this now, let's turn to Evan Ellis who works with KQQQ radio in Washington. Hi Evan thanks for joining us. Hi Evan, are you there?
EVAN ELLIS, KQQQ: Yes, I am.
DE LA CRUZ: Evan what more can you tell us? What's the latest? What are you hearing?
ELLIS: What we have now is it is eerily somewhat calm and cool in Moscow, Idaho, in reference to what's going on as officers are continuing now to arrive and stage. There are now four tactical S.W.A.T. teams that are on scene to try to deal with this sniper-type shooter that is holed up in the Presbyterian Church in Moscow, Idaho.
DE LA CRUZ: We're looking at the first live pictures from the scene right now. Evan, can you tell me how many officers are we talking?
ELLIS: That are on scene? It's hard to count, but four tactical teams alone. That's got to be at least -- I mean, I've seen at least 40 heavily armed police officers in body armor, fully automatic AR-14 type of weapons on scene. There's also an armored police vehicle. They call it a peacekeeper. It's from an adjoining agency that's here. Fully armored S.W.A.T., tactical type of vehicle that is here.
At one point early this morning, early today, they'll be moving in on that church. The indication from the police department, they hope to move sometime in the next ten hours or so depending on what's most advantageous.
DE LA CRUZ: And Evan we're looking at these live pictures. Tell us about this area. Is it a residential area? Is it a business district?
ELLIS: The church is literally three blocks from downtown Moscow. I'm standing on Main Street. I could almost, if I went one more block, I can see where the church is. It's in a residential area just on the edge of downtown as the business district turns into the residential area. It's right on the edge of that. So it is surrounded by homes. There are several homes and those residents have been told and we've been telling them all morning if you are in those homes, stay there and don't go outside and not only that lay low. Don't even go near the windows.
DE LA CRUZ: They are keeping folks in their homes. They are not evacuating those homes. But they are telling folks to stay out of the area. Give us a sense of the scope, just how large of an area have they cordoned off here?
ELLIS: It's about 16 blocks are cordoned off around the area. That includes two courthouses, the county courthouse, there's a federal courthouse here in Moscow. That area has been cordoned off along with the police station of the Moscow police department to any of the public that would be trying to go into that area. It's a very large area, including a part of the business district and into the residential district.
DE LA CRUZ: Evan, do you have any additional information at this point on maybe the suspect or the suspects or the condition of anybody who has been shot?
ELLIS: We've got condition reports on the two civilians. We got our last news briefing about a half hour ago. As of that time, the two civilians that were shot were still alive. One undergoing surgery or had gone -- undergone surgery at the hospital here in Moscow, Idaho. And the other civilian had been shot in the hand and in the foot. And that patient, that civilian in good condition at a hospital in Pullman, Washington, which is about ten miles away.
DE LA CRUZ: Where exactly were these two people shot. We know that now the church is surrounded. Were they shot outside the church, in the parking lot? Where were they?
ELLIS: That's the indication. In between the county courthouse and the church. The shooting began in the parking lot of the county courthouse as a gunman on foot fired on the sheriff's office. The church is right across the street. That shooter then moved into the church. Somewhere in between the courthouse and the church is where the victims were shot.
DE LA CRUZ: So at this point we know nothing about a motive?
ELLIS: No, nor do we know the identity of the suspect. There has been no communication made with the sniper. They have no idea who it is. They have also -- there is someone that lives in the church, and they have not been able to contact that individual. We don't know what the role that individual has, whether it's a caretaker of the building or someone involved with the ministry of that church. We just don't know. But we know there is someone that lives in that structure and that person has not been able to be contacted yet.
DE LA CRUZ: Evan, before I let you go, I do want to ask you if you know anything about the officers that have been shot. If you have any word on their condition.
ELLIS: No word on their condition. Names have not been released, and, you know, early on when this all started going down at about 11:30 last night Pacific Time, it was obviously a very difficult situation. The police were scrambling to try to deal with it. At least one of the officers they got out of the line of fire, they had to put together the other officers in the area had to come up with some kind of rescue team to try to get in there get the officer out and get out of there. We don't have any update on their conditions at this point.
DE LA CRUZ: Evan Ellis with KQQQ radio. Evan, we appreciate that report. Thanks so much for the update.
HOLMES: Certainly we will continue to keep a close eye on that story. A lot of questions here still trying to figure out, a big question right now still is, is the person still in there? There was talk earlier, possibly had this person taken their own life. There hasn't been contact or really heard from this shooter or shooters since 1:00 a.m. When the last shot was fired. Certainly tactical teams on the ground heavily armed and heavily armored looking like they are certainly in no doubt taking this quite seriously, as they should with four people shot, two of those being officers and two of those civilians. It appears right now actually, I'm told we do have tape now of the police chief. We want to hear what he has to say, lets take a listen.
DAVID DUKE, ASSISTANT CHIEF, MOSCOW POLICE: David Duke, D-u-k-e. Assistant chief with the Moscow PD.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can you tell us so far?
DUKE: We had a call come in around 11:30 this morning from the Latah County Dispatch Center at the courthouse that they were being fired upon. They then left their area, had no further contact with them. We had officers respond. As they responded to the area, we had two of our officers hit. We also have two civilians that were also shot. We have a shooter inside the Presbyterian Church at this time, we believe. We are sealing off the area waiting for a tactical plan and we will make entry sometime in the next 10 to 12 hours or maybe sooner as conditions warrant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you had any contact with this person? DUKE: No. We have not had any contact with this person. We did get a call that there was an individual in the parking lot right before the shooting that went into the church. Once that person went into the church, automatic fire started.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any information on the condition of the officers?
DUKE: We're not releasing that information at this time on the officers. We have both officers -- we have an officer and a deputy at the hospital. We have a civilian there at Gritman and one that was transported to Pullman and is being treated there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Moscow police officer and a Latah County sheriff's deputy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us about the seriousness of the injuries or where they were shot?
DUKE: No, I don't have any of where they were shot at this point. We're not releasing that information at this point. We're trying to notify their family and give them the information first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard on the scanner about this shooter being called a sniper-type with a high-powered rifle. Is this in the terms of how far they can see?
DUKE: Line of sight for this. We believe it is an automatic weapon, something that is a .223 or something in that area that can travel great distances. We have set a perimeter up that includes Third Street to Sixth. And then from Washington to Howard. If you can get the information out to the public, please stay away from that area. If they are inside that area, just to remain inside. We don't believe there are any in danger unless they come outside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think there's only one shooter?
DUKE: We don't know, we have up to the possibility of two shooters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you think two?
DUKE: That's the information we have in reference to the officers that were shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you describe how they were shot? Were they approaching? Were they in their vehicle?
DUKE: Both officers were shot at Fifth and Adams. And I don't know -- they were not in their vehicles at the time, but I don't know where they were shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us where the civilians were shot? DUKE: I believe in the same area as Fifth and Adams. Or there was a civilian shot at Harrison and Sixth Street and we had a person that walked out of the area that went to Gritman that was shot in the hand and a foot. He's in good condition. He's the one taken to Pullman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe they were targeted, the civilians?
DUKE: I don't believe at this case anybody specifically was targeted. He was just shooting at anybody he could.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any idea where he is in the church? Do you think he's upstairs, downstairs? Do you have any idea?
DUKE: No idea. Our last shot was at 1:00 this morning. Since then, we've had no further shots fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a single shot?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did it come from a high area of the building the shots that were fired?
DUKE: We believe they were from the high area based on where the victims were shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Radio traffic seemed to indicate the last shot was more muffled sounding. Do you think he may have taken his own life?
DUKE: We aren't making that assumption yet. We have a sniper in a church that will be shooting at any movable object that he can at this point.
HOLMES: That's Assistant Police Chief Duke there. We are hearing from the Moscow Police Department. The direct quote from him is that shooting at anybody he could is the word from this person that they do believe they now have surrounded at a church, holed up there after a shooting. At least two officers and shooting two civilians. But again, shooting at anybody he could. Tactical teams are now in place. They are planning some kind of a tactical move, an assault possibly on this church. Also, the word from that, assistant police chief is that there could be up to two shooters.
That word, that indication from the officers who responded to the scene after the call came that the county courthouse, which is across the street from this church, was being fired upon. Two officers were hit while responding to this. We're keeping an eye on this breaking story again out of Moscow, Idaho, where two officers and two civilians have been shot, described shot by a sniper. And that sniper or snipers now surrounded and holed up at a church there in town. We will continue to follow this story. More breaking developments when we come back after break.
HOLMES: Again, keeping you updated on this breaking situation in Moscow, Idaho, where a sniper or snipers right now police believes they have holed up at a Presbyterian Church in town. They have the building surrounded after two officers and two civilians have been shot. The last shot fired around 1:00 A.M., according to police. The last known firing from this church and from this sniper or snipers, where they believe as many as 75 shots were fired at a point from some type of weapon from that church. Initial reports came in that the courthouse, the county courthouse across the street from the Presbyterian Church was being fired upon.
Here now a live picture at just the police presence in that area. Can't make exactly out if we are looking at the church in this picture or not or maybe the courthouse. But just a live picture, we are showing you here of a huge police presence. They've really cordoned off a huge area. Several blocks around this church telling people to stay away from the windows and stay away from this area, if you are not in this area.
But again two officers shot. Not sure of their conditions. Also two civilians shot. One civilian said to be having surgery or has gone through surgery. Another person shot in the hand and foot said to be in good condition. A breaking news situation, a serious situation out there in Moscow, Idaho, we're keeping an eye on it. We'll certainly continue to bring you those breaking details.
DE LA CRUZ: All right. Getting you to some other news of the day now. The U.S. military believes three abducted soldiers in Iraq may still be alive. The three were abducted following an ambush south of Baghdad last weekend that killed four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter. Military commanders say there has been no indication from insurgents the soldiers have been killed. The search led to the draining of a large canal but nothing of significance was found. This morning at 9:00 Eastern, we'll be speaking with Brigadier General James "Spider" Marks about the search for these missing soldiers. We'll be asking CNN military analysts about the difficulty of finding them.
HOLMES: Climbing the world's tallest mountain. You think it takes a pretty brave guy to do this, wouldn't you? No, we're talking about a 20-year-old woman.
DE LA CRUZ: We're going to be introducing you to one young daredevil who puts a whole new spin on the idea of reaching new heights. CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues after a break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Looking for workout gadgets to make exercising at home more fun? There are several that won't break the bank. For $20 to $30 a Pilates ring can help improve your upper body strength and work your inner thighs.
ROBERT (ph), FITNESS TRAINER: If it has a lot of versatility and doesn't cost a lot, I like it.
COSTELLO: Robert (ph) a fitness trainer suggests adding weights to your workout to really maximize your routine.
ROBERT: Ankle weights can range from $25 to $30. You get a lot of exercises.
COSTELLO: Change up your workout and try something new.
ROBERT: I call these stability discs or core training discs. Great for cross training, skiing, snow skiing, water skiing, that sort of thing. That's going to run within the price point that we talked around $50.
COSTELLO: But what if you simply want to pump some iron.
ROBERT: Dumbbells normally run $1 per pound. These are 8s. These will run me about $20.
COSTELLO: Even a small investment of time and money can yield benefits when it comes to exercise.
Carol Costello, CNN.
DE LA CRUZ: Hello to you and welcome back. A fire out west forces campers to pack up and move. The fast-moving fire is in northern Los Angeles County.
HOLMES: First reported yesterday afternoon on the edge of the Los Padres National Forest. Officials say about 3,000 people were evacuated from campsites in that area. No reports of injuries, certainly a good thing there.
DE LA CRUZ: That definitely is the good news.
Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is live for us in the CNN Weather Center with more on this fire. Hey there Bonnie.
SCHNEIDER: Hi, Veronica. You know talking about the Los Padres National Forest, 1.75 million acres along central California. So this is a big area. As we take a look at Google Earth, you can see that we're talking about an area south of Bakersfield, north of L.A. kind of near the town of Gourman in California.
Now this fire they were attempting to put it out yesterday through air operations. The problem was it got dark quickly, but now the sun is coming up in 20 minutes. It started with that again. The winds died down a bit last night so that helped a little bit with weather conditions. The problem is this morning, they are breezy once again. We look at the real time weather information. You can see they're out of the north at 19 miles per hour. So the temperature is 58 degrees. It's been a very, very dry season so far for California. We've had, already, two fires on May 8th, the fire that burned over 800 acres in Griffith Park, an historic area in Los Angeles. We also had a fire that burned over 4,000 acres on Catalina Island and that was on May 10th.
So this is, of course, a dry time. So dry that the Los Padres National Forest put out an alert on May 14th telling people, if you are going to build a campfire, don't leave it unattended. Don't park your car on the grass. Don't leave any kind of ash of any kind because we're expecting a busy fire season. As we see from the video, unfortunately, that is holding true. With the daylight coming in the next 20 minutes, that should help firefighters a great deal to contain this fire.
DE LA CRUZ: Bonnie when did fire season start?
SCHNEIDER: Fire season actually starts in May and that's why we start to see these fires pick up. The problem is, we've had one-third of the normal rainfall we see so far during the wet season. It's been a historically dry season with lots of brush from last years fire season still on the ground. Doesn't take much. A lot of tinder that can burn quickly.
HOLMES: This is just the beginning of fire season?
DE LA CRUZ: Just the beginning.
HOLMES: Great. Bonnie Schneider thanks so much.
Well stay tuned for this story. This young lady can say, look, ma, I'm on top of the world. And there will be no exaggeration in that statement.
DE LA CRUZ: What a tale this young woman will have for her friends back home. We have that story just ahead.
HOLMES: Well, a young woman who is coming back down the world's tallest mountain after another incredible journey.
DE LA CRUZ: We get more now from Frank Buckley of affiliate KTLA in Los Angeles who explains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK BUCKLEY, KTLA: It was a father/daughter trip that took them to the top of the world. Eighteen year-old Samantha Larsen of Long Beach and her doctor dad, David Larsen, were part of a group that summited Mt. Everest on Thursday. Samantha's sister, 8-year-old Emma, and Samantha's step mom, Janet Moore got the news by satellite phone straight from the summit of Mt. Everest.
JANET MOORE, SAMANTHA'S STEP MOTHER: They were at the top.
EMMA LARSEN, SAMANTHA LARSON'S SISTER: When she got the call, I woke up and I screamed.
BUCKLEY: Samantha, an honors graduate from Long Beach Poly High School, became one of the youngest and possibly the youngest foreigner ever to climb Mt. Everest. At 18 she also became the youngest to have completed the so-called seven summits, climbing the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, reaching the top of each with her dad.
MOORE: Her dad has brought it out in her, but the determination and the "I'm going to do it" is coming from Sam.
BUCKLEY: Next up for Samantha - college. She'll be a freshman at Stanford next year, and it's a good bet she'll be the only freshman who'll be able to say, last year, I climbed Mt. Everest.
DE LA CRUZ: Wow. What were you doing at 18?
HOLMES: I don't know. It was a blur. Yesterday was a blur, actually.
Actually, folks, we're going to continue to follow this breaking story, big story out of Moscow, Idaho. Three people shot now. The update we just got is that three people have been shot, not originally four, like we were told by police, but three shot, according to authorities, two of those law enforcement officers and one civilian. We are live at the scene at the top of the hour. Stay with us for all those breaking details.
DE LA CRUZ: But first, "HOUSE CALL" with CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta starts right now.
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