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CNN Saturday Morning News

Suspected Cop Killer Captured in Pennsylvania; NASA Prepares to Launch Space Shuttle Atlantis Today; One Mans Mission to Raise Awareness of Childhood Cancer

Aired September 09, 2006 - 08:00   ET


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, if you are just tuning in the intense manhunt for a suspected cop killer is over. Ralph "Buck" Phillips surrendered last night in rural western Pennsylvania. Hear those cheers? Police had been hot on his trail since he was spotted early yesterday morning. We do have a live report on the capture. That is straight ahead.
It is launch or maybe wait. Looks like more on the side of launch right now for Atlantis. Now if the shuttle mission does not start today, although there is an 80 percent chance that the weather is going to cooperate. The next opportunity is October. Yesterday's launch was scrubbed due to a faulty fuel sensor. We'll have a live report from the Kennedy Space Center in a couple of minutes.

The fight against a resurgent Taliban goes on in southern Afghanistan. NATO said an alliance in Afghan troops killed more than 40 insurgents overnight. One NATO soldier was killed.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Here is what could be an unusual alliance. Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is going to Iran. The Baghdad government announced today al-Maliki will visit Tehran Monday and Tuesday to improve relations with Iraq's former enemy. Iraq and Iran were locked in a long and bitter war during much of the 1980's as I'm sure you'll recall.

Chicago journalist Paul Salopek is hours away from freedom after being imprisoned in Sudan for charges of spying. Sudan's president granted the release following a meeting with Salopek's wife and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. We run down the top stories every 15 minutes right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING with in depth coverage all morning long. And your next check of the headlines is coming up at 8:15 Eastern.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just hope that one day with my help and with help from everyone else that it could eventually be eliminated.


NGUYEN: Now that is a man to watch and we're going to be speaking with him live shortly. His goal, help fight childhood cancers and he's doing it by using baseball's media power as he fights his own battle with cancer. We'll hear from him in just 20 minutes. It's a great story. From the CNN Center, though, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING, it's September 9th. 8:00 a.m. at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, 5:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, very early there. But good morning I'm Betty Nguyen.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Rick Sanchez and thanks so much for being with us.

A five-month manhunt for the dangerous fugitive ended without a shot last night. This happened in a Pennsylvania cornfield. Authorities were anxious to catch Ralph "Buck" Phillips because he's suspected of killing one New York State trooper and wounding at least two others. CNN's Allan Chernoff was there when Phillips was taken into custody. He is joining us now live from Buffalo with the very latest. Good morning Allan.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you Rick, and Phillips will be arraigned here at U.S. district court right behind me at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. He is going to be charged with fleeing prosecution across state lines. Now all of this as you mentioned ended last night in a cornfield just over the New York border in Pennsylvania. It started during the final chase early yesterday morning. There were two car chases as a matter of fact, two stolen cars.

Phillips jumped out of that second car while it was still moving, canine teams then followed him into the woods, tracked him down and just before night fall they moved in on him. Told him to put his arms up and he did as a helicopter with sharp shooters was hovering right above. So he came out peacefully, in fact he was unarmed at that point so it was a relatively peaceful end to the five-month chase.


SUPT. WAYNE E. BENNETT, NEW YORK STATE POLICE: He stayed here. His comfort zone became his destruction point. He was cocky. He got away with it for a long period of time. He got really, really confident in his ability to get away and that was his failure.


CHERNOFF: The chase at times of course has been all too violent. In fact Phillips is going to be charged with attempted murder for shooting and wounding one officer in June. And he's the prime suspect in the shooting of two other officers about a week and a half ago. One of those officers died last weekend. Phillips this morning is at the Erie County Correctional Facility which is the very jail that he escaped from back on April 2 -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Hey Allan I'm curious as I look at the video I see that -- maybe we could put it up again. The perp walk as we call it in our business when they actually walk somebody out and the media is able to get some pictures of him. But I heard people cheering like crazy in the background there. Can you give us some details on what took place here? Where was it?

CHERNOFF: Yes, actually it was not only there, when he was walked in front of the barracks in New York, the police barracks, the police were just deliriously happy. Of course this chase has been going on for so long. And I can tell you, as we drove from that site back to Buffalo last night we saw signs all over, congratulating New York troopers, one cardboard sign taped up by the side of the road, Bucky has been busted. A lot of very happy people very relieved in fact, that he is finally in custody once again.

SANCHEZ: Yes I imagine not only the troopers but also their families, as well. They may have been among those gathered there. Allan Chernoff we thank you for bringing us up to date on that story. Betty, over to you.

NGUYEN: NASA is hoping to launch Atlantis today. You're looking at live pictures right now. If the shuttle doesn't get off the ground it will be a while before the next attempt. Our Daniel Sieberg is at the Kennedy Space Center and so far the weather seems to be cooperating, Daniel.

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: The weather is cooperating. We've had a couple of weeks of delays from a lightning strike to a tropical storm, a couple of technical glitches. Nothing is a problem at this point though and only about a 20 percent chance the weather will prohibit a launch.

Let's show you some live pictures of the astronauts getting into the orbiter, they're up on the 190-foot level of the launchpad 39B shuttle Atlantis. They are strapping in. The closeout crew is helping them get into position there. You sort of have to perform a bit of an acrobatic maneuver to get into that position. I believe right now we are looking at the pilot Chris Ferguson who's up on the flight deck there. To his left is Commander Brent Jett. They are getting some assistance getting strapped in.

There are about four astronauts already on board, actually a couple more to go. We've also I think have a live shot of Canadian astronaut Steve McLean we can show you. He's just outside the orbiter. Just outside the hatch getting suited up. There he is. He's going to be using the Canada arm, the robotic arm. He'll be the first Canadian to actually use that. They hope to get off at 11:15 a.m. to rendezvous with the International Space Station.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And liftoff of the space shuttle "Discovery".

SIEBERG (voice-over): July's shuttle mission was about getting back to the business of flying and flying safely. NASA sticking another toe in the water since the loss of "Columbia" three and a half years ago. Now astronauts say they are ready to get back to work.

CHRIS FERGUSON, ATLANTIS PILOT: Will my guard ever be let down, personally, no. But it will be great to get back to space station construction and from that sense I think we are back.

SIEBERG: Atlantis which first flew in 1985 is gearing up for its 27th launch. The mission, to resume construction of the International Space Station after a nearly four-year hiatus.

HEIDIMARIE STEFANYSHYN-PIPER, ATLANTIS ASTRONAUT: I couldn't have asked for a better group, better team to be assigned with. And it's really just going to be like I'm up there with four brothers. You know we're on a family trip and we're just going to bring a piece of furniture to the space station.

SIEBERG: Atlantis will carry to space one of the heaviest loads any shuttle has ever had. A 17.5 ton truss which will become part of the space station's girder like skeleton and a new set of solar arrays are the key elements in the shuttle's payload. The massive solar panels will be just 20 yards shy of a football field. They'll provide the necessary power for future station additions, science modules from Europe and Japan.

DAN BURBANK, ATLANTIS ASTRONAUT: It's a big payload. Its 17.5 tons of hardware and it's got fairly tight clearances between the payload itself and the normal attach mechanisms that we have for it in the payload bay. We're going to use the shuttle's robotic arm to do this, this will be Chris Ferguson and myself and we'll do this right after docking.

SIEBERG: Atlantis will hook up with the space station on day three of the 11 day mission. Then crews will begin the complex work of installing the truss involving robotic arms in three scheduled space walks. Mission specialists Joe Tanner and Heidi Stefanyshyn- Piper will perform spacewalks one and three. The second extra vehicular activity will be conducted by Steve McLean and Dan Burbank.


SIEBERG: A live look now at the countdown clock. This is the official clock that's going to be counting down to the launch. In case you're wondering why that doesn't match up with the amount of time that is left until the launch, that would be 11:15 a.m., that's because there are a couple of built in holds is what they're called, with this clock. It will stop a couple of times between now and 11:15. They will go through some of the final systems checks before they proceed with the launch. Incidentally this is the last day in this launch window. They would then have to pick it up possibly at the end of September but more likely at the end of October because of what would amount to be a traffic jam with the Russians up at the International Space Station -- Betty.

NGUYEN: Yes, you don't want a traffic jam in outer space that could pose a problem.

SIEBERG: No, not in space.

NGUYEN: All right and that's the countdown clock in the lower right hand corner. Three hours and four minutes to go. Daniel Sieberg you will be there and we will go live to you when it happens. Thank you Daniel.

SIEBERG: We're watching it. SANCHEZ: Of course if there's too many clouds up above they won't be able to go up. So let's find out what the forecast is going to be from around that area around Florida.


SANCHEZ: Back to school also often means back to the doctor for a lot of children because they are around other kids, and guess what? Things spread. Well coming at the bottom of the hour, how to protect your kids from all those germs.

NGUYEN: And we do know time is precious, especially when you are facing a deadly disease. Still ahead, using the baseball diamond to help battle cancer. I'll speak with this Ohio man's special cross country mission. That's in 10 minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's definitely exciting, you know. It's a once in a lifetime experience.




CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What happens when you serve up a backhand or a volley in a heart pounding aerobics class? You're experiencing cardiovascular tennis. A class designed for beginners as well as advanced tennis players.

HEATHER SILVIA, CARDIO TENNIS PRO: It allows you to socialize with your friends. It's designed to get you out of the gym and outside having a blast. It's designed to keep your heart rate up.

COSTELLO: Cardio tennis combines drills and exercises such as running through ladders, jumping jacks, lunges and squats. Grace Dunn says she's addicted to it.

GRACE DUNN, CARDIO TENNIS PLAYER: It's better than being inside working in a gym, you know running in a neighborhood. It's a lot more fun.

COSTELLO: Some serious tennis players say it can improve your tennis game.

BILL OSTERHOLD, CARDIO TENNIS PLAYER: Instead of hitting 50 or 60 balls in a half hour you'll hit 120.

ROB JULIAN, CERTIFIED TENNIS PRO: Everybody is moving all the time. There is no stop in cardio tennis.

COSTELLO: And the best part, women can burn up to 300 to 600 calories in an hour long class and men can burn upwards of 800 calories. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good job.

COSTELLO: Carol Costello, CNN, New York.


SANCHEZ: Now in the news, it is launch or wait for Atlantis. Why? Well if the shuttle's mission doesn't start today the next opportunity isn't until October. Yesterday's launch was scrubbed due to a faulty fuel sensor. Now even if the problem persists NASA managers say there are three other sensors that would do the job adequately.

Suspected cop killer Ralph "Buck" Phillips is due in a federal court later this morning. He surrendered last night after police cornered him in a field in northwest Pennsylvania. Phillips is wanted in the shooting death of a New York State trooper and the wounding of two others.

NGUYEN: A U.S. Air Force major who was missing since Tuesday in Kyrgyzstan has been found. Military officials say Major Jill Metzger is in stable condition and she has been transported out of Kyrgyzstan. Metzger mysteriously disappeared after going shopping with other military personnel in the city of Bishket.

Well the Pentagon is making a rare exception today. It is allowing the public to tour a chapel and a memorial at the military headquarters. It's part of events to mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The memorial displays the names of 184 people killed in that Pentagon attack.

We run down the top stories every 15 minutes right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long. So, your next check of the headlines coming up at 8:30 eastern.

SANCHEZ: The nation's housing market taking a few more hits. What does it mean for you? We're going to find out next during "OPEN HOUSE."

NGUYEN: But first, an Ohio man's personal battle and public quest. How this young man right here is spending the precious time he has left to fight cancer. I'll speak with him next.


NGUYEN: Look at him. What may seem like just a game for some is actually a quest for life for this Ohio man, our guest this morning, Jeffrey Newbauer, Jr. If battling cancer isn't enough, Jeffrey is also trying to help others and he is making the rounds at major league baseball parks, working to bring attention to childhood cancers. Jeffrey Newbauer, Jr. joins us now live. Thanks for being with us today.

JEFFREY NEWBAUER, JR., RACE FOR CHILDREN'S SAKE: Oh, it's not a problem, Betty. Thanks for having me. NGUYEN: Well absolutely, we love talking to you especially about your mission and what you're trying to do. But first of all let's talk to you about this cancer that you have. You've been battling it for the past three years. Tell us about it.

NEWBAUER: It's basically a soft tissue cancer. I was affected at the age of 19, in 2003 and it's been on and off since then. And currently I'm undergoing treatment right now. It's gone into my bones, into my lymph system and my bone marrow, as well.

NGUYEN: Oh, Jeffrey, that doesn't sound good. You've had your third relapse, what are doctors telling you about your chances of survival?

NEWBAUER: Well they're saying that survival rates are not good at this point but you know I have that never say die attitude. And that's the kind of way you have to approach it. You can't lay down and take it, you know. You live on your terms not on the cancer's terms.

NGUYEN: That's right and you have to believe. And what you're doing though I think is quite amazing. Of all the things that you could be doing with this precious time that you have you've decided to catch every major league game. Why this?

NEWBAUER: I have been a baseball fan since I can remember. Growing up just three years old tossing a ball around with anyone in my family that would have a throw with me, you know. Baseball is just America's past time. I absolutely love the sport and you know, I have often planned on doing this with some of my friends back home in Ohio. Renting an RV and traveling from city to city and seeing games. But now we've kind of had to put it on a fast forward.

NGUYEN: Yes, there's no time like the present, is there?

NEWBAUER: Exactly.

NGUYEN: Well let me ask you this. How are you able to do it, because it has to be quite expensive to go to all of these games in the different states around the country?

NEWBAUER: Yes, it does get kind of expensive. We started off by taking donations for it and it just -- as we go along and the people we meet and the press coverage we get. I mean more and more money comes in. And then you know once we have -- we have enough money for the ballpark tour to be finished.

So now we're starting to contribute to some other things that I have been looking forward to helping out. Companies like "Cure Search" and the "Littlest Heroes" back in Cleveland. "Cure Search" is an organization that does research on childhood cancers and "Littlest Heroes" is more of a support group for childhood cancers.

NGUYEN: Oh that is so important, not only are you working to help those find a cure but you're also trying to lift the spirits of those who are dealing with it today. But I want to talk about your spirits because we're looking at some of that video and you can just really see you lighting up when you're out there at the ballparks. Are you taking this in, talk to us about what it's like to be there and how you're taking every single moment of this and just really relishing on it?

NEWBAUER: You just soak it up just like you have to do with anything. You go out there and you enjoy every minute of everything you do. And I'm kind of a ham so I play it up a little bit here and there with the tip of a cap, you know. But, you know, it's just -- you have to enjoy everything you do, have fun. Don't just sit back and be a grouch or grumpy if one or two things don't work out the way you want. You need to just enjoy what you can do and what you've got, you know.

NGUYEN: But it has to be hard Jeffrey, honestly, I mean how are you holding up physically? Because it takes a lot to get on that plane, get on that bus and go to these ballparks.

NEWBAUER: That is true. I have my good days and my bad just like anyone else does. I take my medicines when I'm feeling bad. When I'm feeling good, I just get on that high from the ballpark or I get on -- family and friends really do pick me up. I mean my mom back home is -- she's incredible.

My dad is incredible. Both my stepparents they just help me out and they lift me up and friends, I can't even begin to start with them. I mean family and friends have been the greatest support system I've had through this whole thing. And I really do owe most of it to them. You know I'm also a pretty strong guy I think, too.

NGUYEN: Oh I can see that, definitely. Let me ask you one thing very quickly, though. Besides helping others, besides this ballpark tour, anything else that you still want to do?

NEWBAUER: You know there's so much. I would have loved to have traveled to like Europe or something, but you know as far as that goes, it's not really in my game plan. So for now I think I'm just going to focus all my time on helping these other kids because I see where they come from on a day-to-day basis. I meet them in the hospitals and I just see it's so important.

I've seen a lot of them lose their lives to this horrible disease and right now that's where all my attention is. And that's my main focus because I can't bear to lose another friend even though they're four and five years old. I can't bear to lose another one of those friends to this horrible disease. And I'm just hoping I could help.

NGUYEN: You're living the fight yourself, not only are you fighting to find a cure but you're living the fight yourself. And Jeffrey, you're a good man. We appreciate you spending a little bit of your precious time with us today.

NEWBAUER: Oh thank you.

NGUYEN: Best of luck to you.

NEWBAUER: Thank you very much.

NGUYEN: Take care. Jeffrey Newbauer, Jr. and you can find out more about his mission at -- here's the Web site jot it down. You can help him out, you can help others as well, Rick, what a great guy, ah?

SANCHEZ: That's great stuff. Thanks so much Betty. A massive manhunt ends in western New York. Details on this are straight ahead.

And then protecting your children's health when they head back to school. Dr. Sanjay Gupta makes a "HOUSE CALL" to tell you how in just six minutes.

And then at the top of the hour, why is fiber so important? You will find out. Stay with us.