March 18th, 2009
11:28 PM ET

Mourning Natasha Richardson

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David Puente
AC360° Producer

When I got in today it looked like I’d be working on a couple of AIG segments. As I started making some calls and listening to the Liddy hearings I was told to switch tracks, my assignment was then to write the Natasha Richardson segment instead.

I'll be honest; when I first heard of her skiing accident I didn't know her work very well. But of course I was familiar with the legendary acting dynasty to which she belonged.

Her mother is the Oscar winning actress Vanessa Redgrave. Her father, the late director Tony Richardson, also received an Oscar. But Natasha Richardson’s work spoke for itself. In 1998 she won a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. And she appeared in films like "Maid in Manhattan" and the 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap". In 1994 she co-starred with actor Liam Neeson in the film "Nell". The couple married that same year and then had two sons, Michael, now 13, and Daniel, 12.

This family clan – so often brought together under the bright lights of a stage or the cameras – has come together this week in New York to face a tragic time.

The family released little information throughout this ordeal. The family spokesman’s last statement: “Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha. They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

Filed under: 360° Radar • David Puente
March 18th, 2009
09:53 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 3/18/09

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Tonight on AC360°, breaking news.. acclaimed actress Natasha Richardson has died after a freak skiing accident. She was the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, wife of Liam Neeson, mother of two young sons. Her family released a statement a short time ago. The accident that claimed her life is raising all kinds of questions about brain injuries. We want to keep the live blog on this one topic. So, please share your thoughts on Natasha Richardson below.

And, don't miss Randi Kaye's webcast on Natasha Richardson during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")

2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)

3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)

4) No links

5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
March 18th, 2009
09:53 PM ET

Why seemingly minor head injuries can be serious

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/03/18/obit.richardson/art.richardson.gi.jpg caption="Natasha Richardson fell on a beginners' slope in Canada."]

Brian J. Zink, M.D.
AC360° Contributor

The tragedy of Ms. Richardson's death illustrates that something far worse can take place after what might initially seem to be a minor injury to the head.

Simply put: any person with even a minor head injury who has a decreasing level of consciousness should be seen immediately by qualified medical providers.

That’s because one of the most devastating types of bleeding in the brain – epidural hematoma – can first seem like a mild concussion, but within minutes to hours can produce severe swelling in the brain and can lead to a comatose state.


March 18th, 2009
09:15 PM ET

Evening Buzz: On the Road to Rescue in Detroit

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight, Anderson and Team 360 are in Detroit, our next stop on the Road to Rescue. All this week, we’re reporting on how Americans are coping with the economic crisis and finding ways to pull through it. On Day 3 of our special coverage, we’ll be broadcasting live from JB Bamboozles Pub & Grill in Warren, just outside Detroit.

Detroit was once the country’s 4th largest city, but has plunged seven places to 11th. Its population has fallen below a million.

Detroit has been absorbing hard knocks for decades. The near collapse of the automotive industry has been a driving factor. Detroit has long been shorthand for the Big Three U.S. car makers. In its heyday, it took on the nicknames Motor City and Motown. The recession is hitting all of Michigan hard; the state has had one of the highest unemployment rates for years. Locals know that tough times can always get worse. But the corollary is that they can also present opportunities.

Tonight, you’ll meet two local artists with big plans for transforming their corner of Detroit. Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert are determined to remake a gritty neighborhood on the city’s northside into a mecca for artists. Houses are dirt cheap; artists need a place to make art. Can these two facts produce a renaissance in one corner of Detroit?


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
March 18th, 2009
06:51 PM ET

A journey to a job

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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/18/art.murietta.plant.jpg caption="Inside the SRS plant."]

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

Call it a journey to a job. Jim Cheatley rode his motorcycle from his San Clemente, Calif. home, through the north San Diego County countryside on the windy Ortega Highway, past the Eucalyptus trees, crossed into Riverside County and parked his bike at SRS Engineering.

The married father with a six-year-old son walked into the industrial park, resume in hand, and to apply for work with SRS Engineering.

“It was a great ride from San Clemente to here,” Cheatley smiled. “No problems on the road, beautiful.”


Filed under: Paul Vercammen • Road to Rescue
March 18th, 2009
06:50 PM ET

“Talk & Die” syndrome more common that you think

Danielle Dellorto
CNN Medical Producer

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A blow to the head that at first seems minor and does not result in immediate pain or other symptoms can in fact turn out to be a life-threatening brain injury, experts tell CNN.

It's very common for someone who's had a fall or been in a car accident to appear perfectly lucid just after the impact but then to suddenly, rapidly deteriorate, Dr. Carmelo Graffagnino, director of Duke University Medical Center's Neurosciences Critical Care Unit, told CNN.

Actress Natasha Richardson was talking and joking after she fell Monday during a beginner ski lesson, according to officials at the Canadian resort where she was staying. But soon after she returned to her room she complained of head pain and was taken to a nearby hospital, then to a larger medical center in Montreal. She was flown by private jet Tuesday to a New York hospital, where she was reportedly in critical condition. Her family has not commented publicly on her condition.


Filed under: Medical News
March 18th, 2009
05:45 PM ET

Can Pittsburgh save Detroit?

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Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

Detroit, Michigan is teetering on the brink of collapse but it might be able to save itself by taking a good look at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Back in the '70s and '80s, Pittsburgh’s steel industry collapsed and hundreds of thousands of people left town. This is similar to what we’re seeing now in Detroit with the auto industry.

Pittsburgh, in effect, died. It had to find a way to reinvent itself after it had been relying on just one industry for economic growth for so long. So Pittsburgh turned to what residents and local economists might call "recession-resistant" industries, like health care and education.

Many locals call it the "Meds and Eds” economic approach. It seems to be working.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is now the biggest employer in town with 26,000 people. Carnegie Mellon University is well known for an innovative Robotics program, and biotech is hot here.

Even the first office tower in downtown in 20 years is under construction. Guess who’s building it? PNC Financial Services ... a bank! Call it luck, but PNC pretty much got out of the mortgage business before the whole subprime mess and never wrote bad loans so they are actually growing without any stimulus money! Their conservative style paid off.

These reasons are why experts say Pittsburgh might make a good model for Detroit. Both cities long relied on one industry, have strong research universities and have seen their populations shrink.

And it’s not just that Pittsburgh is surviving, it’s thriving. Foreclosures are down, while in the rest of the country they’re up. Unemployment has crept up to 6.5 percent, but it’s still well below the national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.

Home prices in the Pittsburgh region increased, on average, by nearly 1 percent in 2008, while nationally, home prices declined 8.2 percent, the steepest annual amount on record. Moody’s says Pittsburgh will be the only city out of the top 100 U.S. metropolitan regions to post a gain in housing prices one year from now.

Detroit should take notice. There may be a life-saving lesson here. Sure, Pittsburgh isn’t perfect. It will lose jobs this year and condo sales downtown have slowed, but TIME Magazine calls Pittsburgh, “One of the Bright Spots on Main Street.” That’s a pretty big compliment when the economy is in the tank, don’t you think?

Filed under: Randi Kaye • Road to Rescue
March 18th, 2009
05:30 PM ET

My city is almost gone

Program Note: For more on how Detroit is coping with the economy, tune in to AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/18/art.caron.detroit2.jpg caption="A neighborhood ghost town in Detroit."]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/18/art.caron.detroit3.jpg caption="A home near 8 Mile Road, in the neighborhood where Caron's grandmother lived."]

Paul Caron
CNN Producer

It had been at least 10 years since I’d seen parts of my hometown Detroit's neighborhood streets. I grew up on the east side, and spent more time in the area during the early days of my career at the CNN Detroit Bureau. Could it be possibly be any worse than the blight I remember from back then? Yes.

In some neighborhoods, empty lots outnumber the burnt out shells of what were once fine, middle-class homes. The area was built for the working class of the 1940s and 1950s, and survived the racial tensions and riots of 1967 but – like many things here – it could not survive the Motor City meltdown and its ripple effect.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • Road to Rescue
March 18th, 2009
05:28 PM ET

Beat 360° 3/18/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!

Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner talks to Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Christine Romer and Director of the White House National Economic Council Lawrence Summers on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on March 18, 2009 after President Obama statement about the economy and AIG. The United States is exploring 'every possible avenue' to recover bonuses paid to AIG executives, President Obama said, while expressing 'complete confidence' in US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

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

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!


Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
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