Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Saturday Morning News

Coretta Scott King To Lie In State At Georgia State House; Search Still On For Teen Who Attacked Inside Gay Bar; Man Finds Missing Wallet After 40 Years

Aired February 04, 2006 - 09:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Big stories on this morning. Coretta Scott King's body will lie in state at the Georgia State House in Atlanta today. A horse drawn carriage will begin transporting her casket there in about 90 minutes. We're going to be keying in on this development. We will have a live report from the capitol. That's going to take place in just a few minutes you should known.
Also in Egypt authorities say that a fire aboard an Egyptian ferry setoff a string of events that led to it's sinking in the Red Sea. Nearly 400 people have been rescued but hundreds more possibly a thousand feared dead. Angry relatives are demanding that authorities give them more information about their loved ones. Hence pictures like this developing through the Gulf.

And there's this. A nuclear showdown with Iran is heat heating up this morning. The U.N. Nuclear Watchdog agency has voted to report Iran. The Security Council over its nuclear program. Now the agency fears that Iran's nuclear program may not be for peaceful purposes as they have claimed. In reaction so far, Tehran says it will resume full-scale nuclear activities.

Senator John McCain is going to weigh in on this showdown in our 11:00 Eastern hour. He will be joining us here.

A deadly stampede in the Philippines to tell you about. More than 70 people were trampled to death. Outside a stadium near Manila. They were among thousands lined up to try their luck at a TV game show said to have a huge jackpot. Many of the victims were poor.

A developing story out of Austin, Texas, where a two-story building has caught fire. We're told the building includes at least two nightclubs and a radio station. Several nearby buildings have been evacuated and traffic has been cut off.

These are live pictures that we're getting in from the scene right now. As you can se it is still smoldering. Fire rescue officials are on the scene. At least one firefighter has been treated for minor injuries. We are going to keep following the story for you and bring you the latest as we get it.

Also an unmanned spacesuit tossed out of International Space Station has hit a snag. The suit was stuffed with a radio transmitter, why? We're not quite sure. It was supposed to send recorded messages to amateur radio operators. It orbited the Earth twice yesterday, gave off faint signals to Japan and then kaput, it went silent.

From the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm the fill-in guy. I'm Rick Sanchez. This is CNN SATURDAY MORNING:

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: You're more than just that, Rick. Good to have you this morning. Nothing in the suit, your not sending off any signal this morning are you?

SANCHEZ: This suit is not empty, although some might claim.

NGUYEN: All right. Good to have you. Tony is off this weekend. Good morning everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. Thanks for being with us today. Got a lot to tell you about.

First up, Coretta Scott King is being honored today in a way her husband was denied. Right now the body of the civil rights icon is at a funeral home in Atlanta. You can take a look. But in about 90 minutes, a horse drawn carriage will take her casket to the Georgia State House where she will lie in state. CNN's Drew Griffin joins us now from the Capitol. This was an honor that was not bestowed to her husband, Drew.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. In fact business as usual when her husband was assassinated. The governor then Governor Maddox decided there had was no need for anything. Ironically enough the casket will be brought to the Capitol, which now is at the corner of Washington and Martin Luther King Drive. As you said, the casket will come from the funeral home by horse-drawn carriage as was Coretta Scott King's wish be followed by her four children in a limousine.

They will come to this capitol and be met by the governor, Governor Sonny Perdue and his wife Mary who with an armored guard will escort the body up into the rotunda and then according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution Coretta Scott King will become a historic or make history again becoming the first black and the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda here in Georgia.

A very chilly morning, you can see the crowd is already lined up. They will be ale to view the body and pay their respects beginning at 12:30. At noon, is when the official proceedings will begin and that is when the Georgia state politicians and other dignitaries will be able to pay their respects.

But this really marks the beginning, Betty, of four days of mourning and of celebration for Coretta Scott King which will end with her funeral on Tuesday and then as we are learning details her body will be temporarily entombed near her husband and then permanently next to her husband at the King Center not too far from here -- Betty.

NGUYEN: Drew, as you mention it's a very historic day. I think we should take a look at the route just for a moment. This procession will take her casket down the street named after her late husband. That's very significant.

GRIFFIN: I think it is very significant. And, you know, a lot of people in Atlanta can remember when Martin Luther King Jr. died. In fact some of the people here that -- two gentlemen who are in the front row were here at 5:00 in the morning.

One of them was six years old and can remember Martin Luther King's funeral on Auburn Avenue. He said it was absolutely packed. It is a quieter day, I think. It will be a more somber day and perhaps due to the weather less crowded day and certainly the crowds are beginning to show up.

NGUYEN: I think, as we get closer to the procession you'll see people filling the streets. Drew Griffin in downtown Atlanta. Thank you Drew.

Want to give you this footnote this morning. In lieu of flowers the King family wants well-wishers to send donation to the Coretta Scott King Scholarship Fund, Antioch College, 795 Livermore Street, Yellow Spring, Ohio. 45387 is the address. It is on the screen.

Also we're going to have live coverage throughout the morning on Coretta Scott King. Next hour Civil Rights activist, the Reverend Joseph Lowery is going to join us to talk about King's legacy.

SANCHEZ: The search is still on for a Massachusetts teen who allegedly rampaged his way through a gay bar in New Bedford with a hatchet and a gun. Meanwhile one of the three wounded victims has been released from the hospital last word. CNN's senior correspondent Allan Chernoff is joining us now from New Bedford with some of the latest information coming in. Allan, did he just snap?

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly seems that way. I mean police really don't have all that great a clue as to exactly why all this happened. It certainly did seem to be unprovoked. But the manhunt for 18-year-old Jacob Robida is now in its third day and police have 20 detectives assigned solely to this case. They admit that it is getting a little frustrating but they are confident that their hunt will pay off.


CAPT. RICHARD SPIRLET, NEW BEDFORD POLICE: Interviewing numerous people. And as you talk to people, they are probably giving you some leads. At that point we're going out and trying to find someone else. It's just like a domino type effect. And that's what we are going to keep doing until we get a break in the case and we know the whereabouts of this individual. We're not slowing up. We're going to exhaust all efforts to try to find this individual.


CHERNOFF: Jacob Robida, police say, weighs $200 pounds, stands 5'6" tall and has dark hair. They say he was last scene driving a green Pontiac Grand Am a 1999 model that has Massachusetts's plates. Now, late yesterday one of the victims was actually released from the hospital, Robert Perry. He suffered injuries to his face from the hatchet and also gunshot wounds to the chest. He said during the assault he thought he was going to die. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT PERRY: The hatchet came so fast that I don't think I had time to think but when it hit my head all after sudden I said, this is something really serious is happening here. And just about putting those thoughts together and I heard the gunshot and then escalated to a bigger thing. I was on the floor in a pool of blood. I at that point said I guess I'm going to die. This looks like the way it's going to end.


CHERNOFF: Mr. Perry is actually a paramedic and he told local media he intends to return back to work on Monday. The two other victims from the gay bar remain hospitalized -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Allan Chernoff with that story. We certainly appreciate you bringing us up to date on the very latest. Betty, over to you.

NGUYEN: On another story, Rick, you may remember this, when stamps were just five cents. Remember that? I don't. When a gallon of gas was 33 cents? Well it was. If you don't remember it.

SANCHEZ: Back when old grandpa -- sure.

NGUYEN: Coming up a glimpse into the past after a long-lost treasure is finally returned to its owner. This is story you have to see.

SANCHEZ: And good morning my old hometown Miami. We're going to have your forecast coming up in about three minutes when CNN SATURDAY MORNING and Frankie continues.


NGUYEN: We are getting new details about Iran's response to the U.N. Nuclear Agency. It plans to go full scale with its nuclear program. We're going to speak live with Senator John McCain who is in Germany at an international security conference. We are going to be talking about all this, that's coming up at 11:00 Eastern. You don't want to miss it.

SANCHEZ: Also this we're going to be following for you. Might say it's the end of an era, but we're going to be bringing you live coverage of the funeral procession of Coretta Scott King. It's going to be happening sometime in our 10:00 hour. Not quite sure the exact time. But stay with us. We're going to bring you this as it happens.

Meanwhile let's switch gears now if we could, lets go over to Bonnie Schneider to give us an update on the weather. Bonnie what do you got?


SANCHEZ: Thanks so much Bonnie. Appreciate it. Meanwhile one of the other stories that we're following today. The last time that Doug Schmidt saw his wallet he had a lot more hair. Schmidt left his wallet on the counter of a gas station back in 1967. It's a story we've been following you. Betty found the story and thought it was particularly interesting. She's going to bring it to you.

NGUYEN: I didn't actually find it but I did find it particularly interesting. Because this week that wallet was returned to him more than 2,000 miles away. Can you believe it after 40 years? Here's the best part. It still has all of its original content, making it a mini time capsule of sorts from the late 60s. So joining me now from Philadelphia is Doug Schmitt himself. Hi there Doug, good morning.

DOUG SCHMITT, LOST WALLET RETURNED: Good morning, Betty. How are you?

NGUYEN: I'm doing great. You must be so thrilled that you finally got this wallet back. Take us back to the story. Though. How did you lose it in the first place?

SCHMITT: To be honest with you I really can't remember losing it. After all it was almost 40 years ago. Back in those days you didn't have credit cards and things like that. It was my first year in college. The way the story came about is my wife gave me a call on the cell phone, I was out on the road and she said did you lose your wallet? And I said -- immediately reached for my back pocket. And I have it with me. She says back when you were in college? You know I really don't remember.

She said well you did. You lost it in when you were in Logan, Utah when you were in college because I just got a phone call from a gentleman named Ted Neyman out of Logan, Utah, he said he was looking through the contents of the estate of his father in law, and they came across this wallet and I said, how did he get it? Well, his father in law had a gas station at the mouth of Logan Canyon.

That was a place where all the college kids hung out, I used to ride motorcycles all up through there. And you I guess I left it will and he probably picked it up and decided he would put it in a drawer or something, waiting for me to come back. When I never came back he probably forgot about it.

NGUYEN: Just like you did, you forgot about it. All right. You must have, one been floored that this guy found you after all this time and sent it all these miles. When you got that wallet in your hand, what was inside of it? Was everything still there?

SCHMITT: Everything is still there. There is $5 that I had which $5 doesn't sound like much now, but back then $5 ...

NGUYEN: Was a lot of money.

SCHMITT: It would fill up your gas tank, gas was 25 cents a gallon back then. Some stamps in there, eight cent U.S. airmail stamps. NGUYEN: Yes, what is that? We don't have that anymore do we?

SCHMITT: No, no. And actually I used some of them when I got back. I had to mail out some bills. Just had the change from 37 to 39 cents. I didn't have any stamps left so I had these eight-cent stamps; I figured I would use them.

NGUYEN: You might as well get good use out of them. You also had a traffic ticket in there. Do you have a warrant out for your arrest for this 40-year-old traffic ticket?

SCHMITT: I hope not.

NGUYEN: I hope not too.

SCHMITT: This could stir something up. Actually it's a copy of a receipt for a traffic ticket I paid for going through traffic -- I guess a traffic light or something like that. It was seven and a half days in jail or a $15 fine. I don't remember being in jail so I guess I ...

NGUYEN: You're not remembering a lot here. Have you noticed that?

SCHMITT: They say remember the '60s and '70s you weren't there. Maybe there's truth to that.

NGUYEN: We won't get into what you did then so that you don't remember. Let's get into exactly what things cost as compared to what they cost back then. We got some examples for you. This may kind of floor you or at least take you back down memory lane.

Look at the stamps. You had those five-cent airmail stamps. Well today of course we know that is 39 cent each. The cost of gasoline back then 33 cents a gallon, today $2.32. And a burger at McDonald's was 18 cents back then, now it's 85 cents. A little bit more. But 18 cents for a burger.

Here's what I think is really interesting. Back then you could get a record an LP as they called it between $3 and $4 bucks. Today a CD is between $14 and $20, so that's a big difference. We don't even have LPs any more. Who plays those, right?

This is the kicker, that 1955 Austin Healey that you were driving when you lost this wallet cost about $22500 bucks back then, today $25,000. I hope, tell me, please tell me you still have that car?

SCHMITT: No, I don't.

NGUYEN: Oh, no! Don't you wish you did? Well you got your wallet back and you got your five bucks. How are you going to spend that five bucks or are you?

SCHMITT: No, I'm going to save it. I think I'm going to frame it and it will be a good lesson for my grandchildren to relay how honest people are. There still a lot of good people out there that will do something like this.

NGUYEN: Definitely. Well we thank you for your time. It is really quite an extraordinary story. Those are kind of like your own personal artifacts shall we say they are antiques of your own kind. Take care.

SCHMITT: Thank you.

NGUYEN: Thank you. Rick.

SANCHEZ: Good stuff.

NGUYEN: Amazing story.

SANCHEZ: Should have kept the Austin Healey. You are absolutely right.

You know there are some lucky ones out there. You are probably among them you watching us with a pillow under your head because you're not working today. By the way, what is in that pillow? You may not want to know. We're going to tell you why next on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. No, don't want to ruin your morning.

But first if you're planning a spring vacation this one secret locale may be just what you're looking for.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some say it is heaven on Earth with its turquoise water, white sandy beaches and lush fauna. These peaceful ruins are part of the Mayan Riviera, which starts at Punta Brava just south of Cancun and stretches all the way to Playa del Carmen and just south of Tulum.

NILOU MOTAMED, SR. EDITOR, "TRAVEL & LEISURE:" It has been a secret among a select few who know where to go and have been the pioneers there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the word is out.

MOTAMED: The Mayan Riviera has been getting hot but it is now at a boiling point. There is lots of building going on there. Some really interesting hotel properties are opening up. What is really exciting about what is available in Mayan Riviera is the variety of options. Not only can you stay at a five star luxury property but you can stay right on the beach in a cabana.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Besides relaxing on the beach or by the pool there is plenty to fill your senses including the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere. The great Maya Reef, tropical forests sprinkled with fresh water sea or lagoons and ancient ruins can be found throughout the Mayan Rivera.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: You know what I was doing last night. I was on Anderson Cooper and I have this thing where we blog on the stories that we're following. And I blogged yesterday on a story I followed in Tijuana, Mexico. I couldn't believe it. I sat there. There must have been over a hundred people writing me back and it's just a great place to go

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN.COM: It is it's the power of the Internet. I'm going to tell you what is actually making the most popular list at this morning Rick. Let's start with this one. We're going to talk filthy pillow talk. Also ads from the Super Bowl.

Right now that filthy pillow talk, we're going to show you how to keep it clean. What we're talking about here are dust mites and fungus building up on your pillows. Fungal spores feed off human skin scales, dust mite feces and researchers say those most as risk suffer from asthma and allergies.

But fungus could be potentially harmful to anyone. So the fast fix instead of one pillowcase you use two. The other should be used to separate the pillow and the case and you launder them frequently. That's making the list of most popular stories.

Another one, Rick, girls, wings and gambling. Welcome to Hooters Casino in Las Vegas. The Hooters girl cover up a little more with an additional item of clothing in case you haven't noticed. These girls also have to wear bow ties.

All right, Rick, they are watching the ads online ahead of the game. Those users, they just can't wait until tomorrow. Celebrity appearances for these commercial will come from Diddy AKA Puff Daddy, Kermit the frog and the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale.

The ads that you won't be seeing this year, Visa and McDonalds at $2.5 million for a 30-second spot they decided it was best to wait for the winter Olympics which happen next week in Torino. Rick do you have a favorite commercial, all-time favorite?

SANCHEZ: From a Super Bowl?

DE LA CRUZ: Yes. What about -- the beer commercial with the ...

SANCHEZ: That got irritating after a while.

NGUYEN: Everybody was doing it. Every time you turned around.

But dust mite feces who wants to hear that in the morning Veronica?

DE LA CRUZ: Yes I know.

SANCHEZ: Check out the blog it's called Tijuana Chaos.

DE LA CRUZ: OK, Tijuana Chaos.

NGUYEN: You're still plugging that story aren't you? SANCHEZ: I don't know who wrote it. But his initials are Rick Sanchez.

NGUYEN: Yes exactly. All right. We are going to move right along here.

Are you having a hard time with that heating bill? I know I am, in fact I called the electricity company last week about it. So you are not alone. Coming up on "HOUSE CALL" Gerri Willis will give you some tips to make ends meet.

SANCHEZ: Also for the big stories that we're following today and perhaps one of the most meaningful stories that we have had an opportunity to cover in quite a while, remembering the life and the legacy of Coretta Scott King. As the state of Georgia honors the first lady of the Civil Rights movement. We're going to have live continuing coverage right here on CNN. It's Saturday morning.