July 18th, 2008
02:27 PM ET

Erica's News Note: Up with the sun

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

Rhode Island isn't much farther north than NYC, yet the sun seems to rise far earlier in the Ocean State.

I woke up in Newport this morning; I came up yesterday for a conference (hence my comment via Gary re: last night's Beat 360°). What a gorgeous city! I haven't been here in years, and even then I was visiting a friend when we were both in college...not really a get-up early kind of visit.

This morning, I couldn't resist some quality time with the rising sun. If only I could be this motivated every day.

The familiar, sticky salt air instantly made me feel at home. The scenery (shops, restaurants, beautiful old homes, the mansions, the beach!) was more beautiful with each mile, but what really stood out to me on my run were the people.

Everyone was so friendly! Lots of waves, "mornin'"s and hellos...I wish we could all be a little friendlier when running in NYC.

Maybe these early morning joggers and cyclists were still pumped from David Ortiz's appearance at last night's PawSox (as in the Pawtucket-Red Sox) game. The Boston Red Sox slugger is rehabbing from an injury; he should be in PawSox country through the weekend.

Rhode Islanders could use something fun and positive to focus on. While "Papi's" fourth inning home run dominated the local news this morning, the headline in the Providence Journal read, "Number of jobless Rhode Islanders continues to grow." Not the best news to start the weekend...


Speaking of weekends, get ready for some popcorn and A/C. Two highly anticipated films open today, "Mama Mia" and "The Dark Knight", with Heath Ledger.

Since Ledger's death from an accidental overdose in January, there's been speculation about how studios would market the newest Batman film, and how they'd handle his untimely death.

Ledger's performance, however, seems to take care of all those concerns. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and not out of sympathy. The sad fact is, by all accounts, "The Dark Knight" affirms Ledger's incredible talent, and the tragedy of a life cut much too short.


As many of you know, I like to end these posts on a positive note, so.... How about some bday wishes for Nelson Mandela?

An incredible man, Mandela celebrates his 90th birthday today. He granted CNN's Robyn Curnow an interview, in which Mandela admitted he wishes he'd spent more time with his family. Check out the full interview here.

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Timothy Nelson - Hopkins, Minnesota

    To hell with the Turtle hunter! You get him, Erica!

    Rawr!!! 😉

    July 19, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  2. Jocelyne

    Hello Erica,
    Love to read yr post. I, myself, am an early riser & enjoy quality time with the rising sun. Always nice to see friendly people on mornin's walks/jogs. I saw a preview of Mama Mia movie, sounds like a fun one to see. I read from bloggers that it' s also yr bday.... wishing you a grt one!:)

    July 19, 2008 at 9:12 am |
  3. Brian E. Fillioe

    Hi Erica,
    Come to VT where we usually say hi and good morning to strangers all the time. We are a friendly lot up here in VT. We like our privacy however we are very friendly. Pleased to take you on a tour someday.

    Brandon VT

    July 19, 2008 at 8:37 am |
  4. Shelly Sullivan

    Hi Erica,
    I was born, raised and went to college in Newport. And, yes, the people are the friendliest I've met. I moved away right after college but will always consider the "city by the sea" my home. It offers everything to everybody...history buffs (Stone Mill, Trinity Church, Touro Synagogue to mention a few), sportsmen/women (National Tennis Hall of Fame is right in the center of town), sun worshipers (pray the fog lifts before you hit the gorgeous beaches), fishermen (where you can fish right off the rocks on the Ocean Drive), a beautiful harbor for sailors (being one myself but I won't forget the "stink potters" who add glamour to the waterfront with their pristine yachts). I must stop, I think I just made myself homesick!

    July 19, 2008 at 7:52 am |
  5. Avinash, New York, NY

    HAPPY Pre-BIRTHDAY, Missy Hill!!

    Please let us know how it goes 🙂

    Woo Hoo! 🙂

    July 19, 2008 at 12:14 am |
  6. Eric, Denver

    Hi Erica,
    A life cut short, a life of survival against insurmountable odds, a chance to pause and reflect. I used to be proud to have grown up in Colorado because the people were open and caring, I am still I guess. People here will smile and say hello with sincerity especially in rural areas. My car broke down on a back street in a small town and in the span of an hour, twenty five different cars stopped to see if I needed assistance. I'll end this on a happy note as well, be cool, be safe, be happy. Happy birthday.

    July 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  7. EJ (USA)

    Since Anderson never tells us his opinion on politics, can he at least let us know what he thought of the Dark Knight. I loved it. I'm into that dark murdering stuff in movies. I never thought Batman would be there but this one did it for me. I only saw Brokeback after he died (as its a love/story-drama not a dark murder thriller that I like) but it was sweet – and sad to me. Very passionate. Heath is beautiful and I'm glad his daughter Matilda gets to live on through him – as he once said.

    July 18, 2008 at 11:07 pm |
  8. Genevieve M, TX

    Happy Birthdays to Nelson Mandela and Erica Hill. 🙂

    July 18, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  9. Gillian

    Hi Erica
    watching your report on John McCain right now.
    why don't you report the shockingly awful way he treated his first wife?

    July 18, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  10. Lilibeth

    Hi Erica, I've never been to Rhode Island, but it sounds beautiful. I have a friend who lives there and I might just take a trip there one of these days.

    Yeah, I heard that Heath Ledger might get a posthumous Oscar for his performance. I thought he was incredible in Brokeback Mountain. I miss him.

    Happy Birthday to Mr. Mandela!

    Edmonds, Washington

    July 18, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  11. Steve

    Erica, I was at the Conference in Newport this morning. You did a wonerful job hosting the Blue Ribbon Panel. You helped to draw out some interesting perspectives from the panelists. You looked and sounded as fresh, bright and beautiful as you do on Anderson Cooper 360. What a lovely way to begin my (our) day!

    Take care!

    July 18, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  12. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    Hi Erica
    I'm Glad you enjoyed your trip to Rhode Island,Happy Birthday to you.
    Have a great birthday weekend .
    Michelle D.

    July 18, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  13. Janet E. Powell

    McCain is continuing his jabs at Obama and claims he would make the better Commander in Chief. Well, I've been a teacher for over 40 years and equate good grades and intelligence with leadership qualities. John McCain graduated from The Naval Academy 790th out of 795, says Bob Jones in his article on July 16,2008, in Midweek, a paper in Hawaii.
    Flying's about good coordination, reports Bob Jones. He further remarks that carrier flying is about great coordination. John McCain lost two planes, both, with pilot error. Leadership qualities? No A in my class!

    July 18, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  14. EJ (USA)

    I saw the Dark Knight today – and it was very good. Heath is/was talented and very funny. I am glad that he was around long enough for so many to know his talents. I feel sorry for the person who has to play the joker next! It'll take a whole lot to trump Heath's character.

    And I have to say – throughout all of the pictures and tributes shown when he died – and when watching the movie this afternoon – that guy had great sexy hair! I love that hair!

    July 18, 2008 at 7:24 pm |
  15. Alexander


    I know someone else who needs a happy birthday wish.: ) I do believe it is going to be your big day this Sunday, if I am not mistaken.: ) And, I am not- I just say that for 'effect.': )))) ; ) Happy birthday, Erica, even if it's a bit early. Hope your weekend gets off to a great start.: )


    July 18, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  16. Krista

    Hey Erica, glad are enjoying RI, I've always loved visiting there also!
    I wanted to wish you a very very HAPPY "Early" BIRTHDAY! Hope you have a great birthday weekend! =)

    July 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  17. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Hi Erica, for a second there I thought you woke up in "New Port" Ca. your time out there sounds cool..
    Happy 90th to what a life.. Mr. Mandela.
    see you..

    July 18, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  18. Cheryl,Johnston RI

    He Erica,
    So glad you're enjoying the Ocean State!! If you get a chance you should walk the 'Cliff Walk'. Ask any local and they'll point you in the right direction!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  19. Megan Dresslar

    Helloooo Erica!!!!
    Excellent! I never have visit to Rhode Island on the beach before, It was great you have wonderful time on the beach, Gary Tuchman was great job subbing for you on beat 360. Guess who? Anderson Cooper won best caption beat 360! that is so cool for him!!!!
    Ok, I have seen “The Dark Knight” the movie.. the best one I see! I knew Heath Ledger was best actor before died....... I have lot see Batman many times, This is my favorite movie The Batman in my life.
    I hope you have great weekend. See you later!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    July 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  20. Jacqueline, NY

    Hi Erica,

    Newport Rhode Island is one place this native New Yorker could easily be transplanted. I fell in-love with Newport a number of years ago while attending the annual Jazz Festival there. Oooh, how Heavenly! I just did not want to return home New York. I sulked for weeks as I dreamed of living there one day. But how sad the news of unemployment. I guess I won't be making that move anytime soon, especially since I'm unempoyed here in my own hometown. We just gotta fix this state of unemployment some how.

    ...And how amazing a life of Mr. Mandela. Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Mandela! God bless you and keep you.

    Have a GREAT weekend all! I'm heading out to see Mama Mia!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  21. Larry

    Is Nelson still married to Winnie?

    July 18, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  22. marcy

    and while we are talking b'days Happy Early B'day to yourself Mrs. Hill!

    Mobile, AL

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  23. carmen

    Hey Erica:

    If only we all made a bit more time to say hello, smell the air and with our families... thanks for pointing it out so well.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  24. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I remember seeing Heath for the first time on a TV series called Roar and was instantly smitten with him because of his acting ability and yes it didn't hurt that he was good looking too. I'm still saddened by his death not only for what great movies he could've created but also for his daughter growing up without him. R.I.P.

    Happy birthday Mandela! I wish you many happy more!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |