April 1st, 2008
09:47 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/1/08

Happy April Fool's Day. I've seen a few good stories that almost got me today. It's always fun to get sucked in for a few minutes, then realize what day it is. None of that tonight.

We will bring you an update on a story we've been following. Wal-Mart has told a brain-damaged former employee that she can keep the money it had paid for her care after a semi-truck plowed into her minivan eight years ago. READ RANDI'S KAYE'S POST

We'll also spend some time on John McCain's remarkable comeback to become the presumptive Republican nominee.

And please check out a post from today that may be helpful if you wonder why some comments get posted while others do not. LINK TO COMMENTS POST

And be sure to check out our new live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features Anderson and Erica behind the scenes on the set. We'll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

We'll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
April 1st, 2008
07:15 PM ET

Education: Compete and Achieve

Marvin Arrington

Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court Judge Marvin Arrington

Editor's note: Judge Marvin Arrington has served as a Superior Court Judge in Fulton County, Georgia, since 2002. He recently ordered white lawyers out if his courtroom so he could speak to a black-only audience.  FULL STORY  We asked Judge Arrington to share his thoughts – he wrote about the importance of education.

Young people should be given a plan early in life and know that the goals are achievable.  If you work hard and put those goals in place, you can and will be successful.  I am a firm believer that hard work, blood, sweat and tears, will get you to where you want to go.

We need to create a buddy system where we can tap young people in the classroom to help the brother, sister, a neighbor, a friend, a teammate that you can help move in the right direction. You can do it by creating an environment where students want to compete and achieve. 


Filed under: Education • Race in America
April 1st, 2008
07:07 PM ET

Wal-Mart tells brain-damaged woman: Keep the money

Wal-Mart's health plan will not try to recoup benefits paid for the care of former employee Debbie Shank, 52, who suffered severe brain damage in a traffic accident. Watch Randi's report tonight on 360°
Wal-Mart's health plan will not try to recoup benefits paid for the care of former employee Debbie Shank, 52, who suffered severe brain damage in a traffic accident. Watch Randi's report tonight on 360°

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Hey there, I have some breaking news to share with you.

Remember Debbie Shank, the brain-damaged woman Wal-Mart had sued. The company was looking to get back money it had paid for her care after a semi-truck had plowed into her minivan eight years ago.

She was working for Wal-Mart, stocking shelves overnight so she could spend more time during the day with her family. The company wanted $470,000 back but only $217,000 is actually left of the money she had won in her own lawsuit against the trucking company. The money had been placed in a trust to provide for her long-term care. A court ruled Wal-Mart was entitled only to the money left in the trust.


Filed under: Randi Kaye • TV • Wal-Mart
April 1st, 2008
05:14 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz

Oil executives were in the hot seat on Captiol Hill today.  Meanwhile, some truckers pulled off the roads today to protest rising diesel fuel prices.  In Georgia, a group of third-graders are accused of plotting to hurt their teacher.  And, in Indiana some students are happy to hear of a computer malfunction.  Here's your Afternoon Buzz:

Top Stories
Congress lays into oil executives 
Lawmakers grilled executives from the world's five largest publicly traded oil companies Tuesday, criticizing them for taking tax subsidies and not investing in renewable resources amid record prices for oil and gasoline.

Chertoff: Laws to waived for border fence 
The Department of Homeland Security will bypass environmental and land-management laws to build hundreds of miles of border fence between the United States and Mexico, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Tuesday.

Raw Politics
McCain's memories 
Sen. John McCain on Tuesday tried to connect with voters on a personal level by visiting his high school and sharing memories of what he called some of his happiest years.

Pelosi: Clinton-Obama race should 'run its course' 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a TV interview that aired Tuesday, said the protracted presidential race between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should be allowed to "run its course"

Crime & Punishment
Investigators: Hospital gunman shot wrong people 
A man who held a grudge against a worker at the hospital where his mother died shot and killed the wrong person, investigators testified, citing a confession to the slayings of three people.

Cops: Third-graders plotted attack against teacher 
A group of third-graders in Waycross, Georgia plotted to attack their teacher, bringing a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape and other items for the job and assigning children tasks including covering the windows and cleaning up afterward, police said Tuesday.

360 Follow
Witness: Parachute can't be D.B. Cooper's
A recently discovered parachute could not have been used by D.B. Cooper in 1971, says the man who...

What YOU will be TALKING about TONIGHT
Computer bug eats students grades 
A computer malfunction wiped out a month's worth of grades at three high schools and one middle school, giving struggling students a second chance but dismaying others.

The dog did it 
A police dog put a pickup truck into gear, injuring a woman on her way to the mailbox in an incident that has ended with a $300,000 settlement.

Truckers strike to protest fuel prices 
Independent truckers around the country pulled their rigs off the road and others slowed to a crawl on major highways in a loosely organized protest of high fuel prices.

Filed under: The Buzz
April 1st, 2008
05:00 PM ET

Senator John McCain, melanoma, and me

In 1995, as a 20-year-old sophomore in college having the time of my life, I got the call that rocked my world.  More like the message on my answering machine, since I was in Sociology 101 when the nurse called.  It sounded something like this (imagine frantic nasally voice here): 

"Ms. Jones, this is the doctor's office.  You need to call us immediately.  We have been calling all morning and can't get in touch with you.  You have cancer so please call us at xxx..." You get the drift. 

Now, aside from what I considered the worst possible way to tell someone they had cancer, I knew I had a long road ahead.  Four days later I was sitting in the surgeon's office listening to what he would do to me...


Filed under: AC360° Staff • John McCain • Melanoma
April 1st, 2008
04:21 PM ET

Will all voters get a chance to choose a president?

It’s pretty funny to see Democrats full of angst because the party has yet to decide on its nominee.


Roland S. Martin is a nationally syndicated columnist, Chicago-based radio host, and frequent contributor to the AC360° Blog.

We’ve got 10 states yet to go to the polls, and folks act as if the world is going to end if we don’t wait until June to allow everyone vote for either Sens. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
This notion that only a handful of states should decide the presidency has always been ludicrous, and shuts the rest of the country out of the process (all the folks in Florida and Michigan, give it a rest. Had your bozo politicians just followed the rules, all would be well).
Imagine the Republicans in the remaining states that have yet to go to the polls? Maybe Mitt Romney was their choice. Or even Mike Huckabee. Such a prolonged process doesn’t give the nation the opportunity to weigh in. They are simply left with the choice of voters elsewhere.
Once this election year has concluded, maybe both parties should look to make changes to how they choose a nominee. A national primary day may not be the choice, but having primaries from January to April will allow us to cover to 12 states each month, thereby offering a balanced way of making a decision.
All Republicans and Democrats should get the chance to choose their nominee. Letting voters in just a few states to do the choosing just doesn’t cut it.

– Roland S. Martin, 360° Contributor

Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?

Filed under: Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
April 1st, 2008
03:40 PM ET

John McCain’s health


Watch Dr. Gupta’s report on Senator John McCain’s health on Anderson Cooper at 10 p.m. ET

Tonight, we are going to air a piece about Sen. John McCain’s health. Truth is, it has been hard to get many details about the man, as his staff has not released his medical records since 2000. We know, as I’m sure you do by now, that if he wins, he will be the oldest president ever elected. He would be 2 years and 165 days older than Ronald Reagan was at the time of his inauguration. Though, I must admit, I love that his 96-year-old mother has occasionally been on the trail with him. He is making the point that he has good genes.

You have probably also heard McCain has malignant melanoma. Our research shows that if elected, he would not be the first president to have cancer. Grover Cleveland had cancer in his jaw. Reagan had both colon cancer and skin cancer, a less serious basal cell carcinoma, on his nose.  From what we have gathered, McCain has Stage IIA melanoma, which carries an average 10-year survival rate of 66 percent. Dermatologists say McCain’s odds are better because the odds improve the longer you go without a recurrence...


Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • John McCain
April 1st, 2008
03:32 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/1/08

Hey Bloggers!

It's time for ‘Beat 360°.’ Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?

Here is today’s “Beat 360°” pic of the day: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, taking a look around a Supermarket in England...

Beat 360°

Have fun with it.

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

– David Reisner, 360° Digital ProducerUPDATE: Check out last night's winner

Filed under: Beat 360°
April 1st, 2008
01:30 PM ET

Comments (How To Win 360° Approval)

If you are new to AC360.com, you may have missed this. So we thought it'd be helpful for everyone to post it again.


Originally posted: April 1, 2008

We love reading your comments on the 360° blog. And there are a lot of them.

There are so many comments – in fact – that not all of them can get posted. Comments to CNN blogs are moderated. People often ask what that means. Anderson has blogged about it: "The process is very straightforward and – like on the television program – there is no hidden agenda.  If your comment does not get posted, it’s likely because there are so many great comments to moderate." READ ANDERSON'S BLOG ON COMMENTS

That said, there are still a lot of questions about moderating comments, so we thought maybe it’s time to let you all in on how to up your odds.

1. Use your real name (just your first name is fine). Some comments have been posted with an alias, but it’s not our favorite thing to do. If I’m on the fence about posting a comment and notice an alias I frequently just click delete.

2. Stay on topic. A great comment on the campaign submitted to a blog about grey wolves will not get approved. Post your comment to the right blog entry!

3. Streamline! Comments that fill several screens could be amazing, but when we’re moderating comments it is really tempting to click delete instead of reading and approving "War and Peace: The 2008 Presidential Campaign."

4. No links. Those are probably great articles and video, but we don’t have time to vet them, so links are an automatic delete.

5. We like criticism. We’re big fans of the 1st Amendment – we use the free press every day. We aren’t afraid of criticism in your comments, but let’s keep it intelligent and thoughtful, perhaps even constructive.

6. Language. Comments should be G-rated; PG at worst.  (And that includes these: @#$%%$#&).

7. Don't write in ALL CAPS. In case you didn't hear me; DON'T YELL AT ME AND I WON'T YELL AT YOU.

If we don’t post your comment, we aren’t taking out our aggressions on you. It’s a typical newsroom here; when we get angry we take it out on each other, our computer screens, and occasionally by slamming our fists on our desks.

Happy commenting and good luck!

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
April 1st, 2008
11:10 AM ET

An early look at 360° tonight

Good morning all...  What’s on your mind?  We’d like to post a quick thought from you on the blog..

Tonight, as John McCain yucks it up with Letterman, and holds a Town Hall in Virginia, Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks at his health. McCain has battled melanoma and says he has "more scars than Frankenstein." We'd like to hear, to what extent should voters consider his age and health in this race or... has he already proved himself more vigorous than the rest?

Tom Foreman examines why–despite predictions that this is the Dems' year, and complaints that McCain is old, inexpert on the economy, and out of touch with voters on Iraq–he's winning!  Yes, the latest poll shows him beating Hillary Clinton AND Barack Obama in one-to-one contests. Is he that good...does he have some magic that people haven't fully recognized? Or are the Dem candidates hurting each other more than people have fully recognized?

Dana Bash interviews John McCain today. We'll see what he has to say.

Candy Crowley tracks Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, as Clinton says calls for her to quit the race give all the more reason for her to stay in it.

Sean Callebs is Keeping Them Honest, as a Congressional hearing examines whether the CDC failed to protect the public's health when FEMA sent toxic trailers to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

And, we watch for severe storms threatening the Mississippi Valley.

Thank you for your thoughts.

-Barclay Palmer, 360° Senior Producer

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • John McCain • Raw Politics
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