August 18th, 2008
06:06 PM ET

Erica’s News Note

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

When I got the alert about flooding in Grand Canyon yesterday, I was standing with my father-in-law. Five years ago, we spent eight days in Grand Canyon rafting down the Colorado River, exploring the basin and sleeping under the stars at night. It was an incredible family trip, and an incredible learning experience. Grand Canyon gave us all memories we will cherish for a lifetime. It also created a bond for each of us – me, my husband, my in-laws, brothers-in-law and sister-in-law – with the Canyon that we will never shake.

Time in the Canyon reminds you how small we are, and how little time we (humans) have been a part of this world. It is awesome in the most literal sense of the world. It reminds you of the power of nature, and the powerlessness of people.

About 270 people were rescued on Sunday – as I write this post, 11 people are still unaccounted for.

It used to be you needed a pack of smokes to get something done behind bars. While I’m sure cigarettes still hold a special place in many inmates’ hearts, these days, cell phones are they key to running operations both in and out of jail, and that’s not a good thing. One quick call can keep a drug ring running, plan an escape, and end a life. Authorities say beyond ordering hits, just having a phone can lead to violence in prison.

Solution? Call in the dogs. Is there anything Fido can’t do?

Talk about bad luck. A sumo wrestler loses his wallet, definitely cause for a bad day, but then the wallet is found. Sweet relief!...or not. Turns out this find could actually land the big fella in the slammer for five years and get him permanently kicked out of Japan.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note • T1
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Don, WA

    I went to college at UCSanta Barbara (Go Gauchos) – and spent my first 3 spring breaks in mexico surfing and setting corona records in mazatlan but spent my last (more mature) spring break hiking the grand canyon for 9 days with a group of about 10. We ran out of food on the last night and almost went "Lord of the Fly's" on the one hiker who still had a large stick of salami left (he slept with it under his pillow that night).
    It is was an amazing hike that was snowing at the rim and 90 degrees at the bottom and it was dry and deserty and then suddenly we walked into an oasis of cat-tails and tall grass and then waterfalls with green on the sides and then sandstone flanking the green and these pools of cool water and it was like paradise on earth. I can't imagine the himalayas or anything else being more magestic and magical.
    Hope all are safe in the canyon. And if you hav'nt yet – "Go Hike the Canyon."

    August 19, 2008 at 12:32 am |
  2. William Courtland, Earth

    Solution: government governed cell-phone intregrated industrial network with massive digital signal carriage laid within the new rail lines, and hydro-wind dynamic generation and storage cell towers, a dead zone can be issued via jamming(not recommended) or by housing such inmates in a pre-existing/pre-planned oceanic or other dead zone which is often held by an international servicing treaty and would be covered by a private dual-network with the local employment operating on a separated local only bandwidth along with the generic rescue frequencies also supported and patrolled locally.

    August 18, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  3. Raphael Camejo, Clarksville, TN

    Happy Monday Erica!!!! I try never to miss you and AC, definitely my favorite tandem on CNN! I love to take the family camping in the woods by the lakes her in Kentucky, but the Grand Canyon would be Amazing! Your so right it would definitely reveal just how microscopic us humans are.

    August 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    My son saw the Grand Canyon for the first time this spring. He was just stunned by it and it takes a lot to impress my oh-so-cool (he thinks) son. He's already saving his money for another trip out there.

    I hope all the unaccounted for people are found and are safe.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 18, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  5. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    I agree, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold. I'd suggest that every person go visit it at least once in their lives.
    I hope they find the missing people.
    I wonder why the prisons can't jam the cell phone signal. "Can you hear me now." I'd say, zap those phones into silence.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    August 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  6. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Erica,
    Hope you had a great weekend. I was with my dad when I heard the news about the Grand Canyon. He was here visiting from Florida, he flew back this afternoon. The Grand Canyon is such an amazing place. Funny story at the canyon: I was standing right at the edge of a cliff (my husband was behind me, afraid of heights) – in one hand I had a bunch of smalls rocks – the other our keys to the rental car. I looked back at my husband and threw the rocks over the edge. He thought I threw the keys. The look on his face was classic! We still laugh about it. Have a great show tonight. See you later.

    August 18, 2008 at 8:30 pm |
  7. Paul From Texas

    It is sad to say that our prisons today should be more like prisons in other countries. Right now in our country the only real thing you need fear in prison is the other prisoners. That is really sad. If prison was a punishment less people would be in them. Have a good night tonight.

    August 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm |
  8. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    HI Erica
    The grand cayon is something else to see I hope and pray they find the people who have not yet been found. It's certainly a great spot to see the sights and to bulid meories as a family.
    Thanks for sharing your story Erica.


    August 18, 2008 at 7:50 pm |
  9. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Hi Erica, oo it's Monday- dogs are great*
    about the Canyon the energy that flows throug there is out of this world
    and that energy is still flowing in a way only mother nature can do & un-do.. see you*tonight

    August 18, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  10. Pat Ralston

    Forgive me the error in my COMMENT!! I wanted to say that I think both candidates should have been asked the same questions.Thank you.

    August 18, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  11. Pat Ralston

    Miss Erica My question is this-why was John McCain asked if he would CONTAIN evil,when Obama was asked if he would CONFRONT it???(In regard to the Rick Warren event) Ithink they should have been asked the same questions!!!!

    August 18, 2008 at 7:21 pm |
  12. Jim- Kearny, NJ

    Hi Erica!

    I haven't yet been to the Grand Canyon. I'd love to see it. I have a small piece of stone that someone brought back for me when I was a kid. It's quite impressive, showing multiple levels of erosion in colors not found in many stones.
    I hope the folks who are unaccounted for are found alive and well.

    As for the Sumo wrestler, 5 years in jail with forced labor for a single joint is absurd. They should just send the guy home. I just can't understand , with all the research that has proven that cannabis is one of the least toxic substances known to man, why reefer madness still runs wild in the 21st century.

    See ya later : )


    August 18, 2008 at 6:50 pm |
  13. Rose from Southern Calif

    Hi Erica, Happy Monday my first time writing to your note:

    I agree with you about the Grand Canyon it's a wonderful sight to see even thou I haven't seen it myself but had a friend lived and worked there for awhile. I believe that we have to have faith in what's happening there hopefully we will learn from this tragdy. And may God be with these people and the missing too.

    Good for Fido! We need more dogs like him or her.
    And Erica I agree with you that having a cell phone for inmates is asking for a disater to happen. It is bad enough that the inmates already have some privileges, for what? For killing or doing some for gotten crime? What are we teaching our young kids of today it's o.k?

    August 18, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  14. Pam Prudil

    Hi Erica, Happy Monday. Haha, dogs can do anything, they are smart, loyal, eager to please, we can all learn something from them and the world would be a better place. :0))

    August 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm |