February 23rd, 2010
09:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Toyota Troubles & Teachers' Fate Decided

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/02/23/toyota.dealers/story.dealers.jpg caption="Toyota dealership owners rallied in Washington Tuesday as Congress opened hearings into recent vehicle recalls." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, a Lexus driver's near death experience. That's what she calls the six miles of terror, at up to  100-miles per-hour, when she couldn't control her car.

Rhonda Smith's testimony came at the first of three Congressional hearings on Toyota's recall problems.

Will the repairs underway at dealers across America fix the problem? Drew Griffin is keeping them honest.

We also have an update on the fate of the entire teaching staff at a Rhode Island high school. Tonight the Board of Trustees for Central Falls School District voted on whether to fire all 88 teachers. We'll have the decision on the program.

As we reported last night, the superintendent wants to fire the teachers for poor performance. Less than half the students graduate and only seven percent are proficient in math. Almost all the students live in poverty.

School leaders came up with a proposal to have the teachers spend more time with students to improve test scores. They wanted more money.

Tonight you'll hear from the superintendent and a teacher.

Join us for these stories and much more tonight on 360°.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
February 23rd, 2010
09:46 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 02/23/10

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight we're keeping Toyota honest. Will the recall actually fix the car troubles? Plus, Sen. Harry Reid is pledging to bypass GOP opposition and pass a health care bill. We've got the raw politics. We're also following the fate of the entire teaching staff at a Rhode Island high school where the superintendent wants to issue pink slips.

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

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. 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 $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
February 23rd, 2010
07:52 PM ET

How a tough Texas woman whipped the recession

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

In the greatest traditions of cowboy culture, my hat is off to Laura Culin. If the recession is the bull that threw her, tenacity is the thing that made her climb back on, and at her family’s lumber yard on the edge of Austin, she is hanging tough. Walking into the retail section of her business in a fuzzy pink sweater, with a huge smile, and a never-quit attitude, she greets visitors with handshake and a clear message: this is my place and it’s here to stay.

But getting here has been a challenge.


Filed under: Building Up America • Tom Foreman
February 23rd, 2010
06:47 PM ET

CNN Fact Check: State math standards cut?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/08/20/corporal.punishment/art.school.kids.gi.jpg caption="The No Child Left Behind Act requires states to establish academic proficiency standards in reading and mathematics."]

Jim Dexter

Speaking to governors at the White House on Monday, President Barack Obama suggested there's been an unintended consequence of the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001.

That law required states to establish academic proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. It gave them until the 2005-2006 school year to develop tests to demonstrate adequate yearly progress.

The president declared: "Between 2005 and 2007, under No Child Left Behind, 11 states actually lowered their standards in math. That may make those states look better relative to other states, but it's not going to help our students keep up with their global competitors."


Filed under: Education
February 23rd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Video: Who is Toyoda?


Filed under: 360° Radar
February 23rd, 2010
05:57 PM ET

Helping in Haiti: The Can-Do Organization


CAN-DO is a direct outcome organization that provides AID and relief in emergency situations. Its site claims to not get "involved in the bureaucracy and greed that only cripples progress and interferes with the well being of those whose lives are effected by disaster..."

CAN-DO is currently assisting in Haiti. Learn more about the relief work on its Project Haiti blog.

Tonight, we have update on how CAN-DO is helping one of the victims Dr. Sanjay Gupta met while he was reporting in Haiti last month.

Learn more about the CAN-DO organization here...

Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Haiti
February 23rd, 2010
05:27 PM ET

More arrests in alleged killer's escape


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/22/art.crime.rodriguez.missing.jpg caption="Carlos Rodriguez, 39, escaped from the St. Tammany Parish Jail on Saturday night. "]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Two fellow inmates have been arrested in connection with an alleged killer’s escape from a Louisiana jail.

Kristopher Jones, 25, and Jared Graham, 20, were charged today with assisting Carlos Rodriguez escape from the St. Tammany Parish Jail on Saturday night, authorities said in a statement.

Jones and Graham helped Rodriguez, 39, break out from the inside, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said. Graham was recently convicted of second degree murder. Jones is awaiting trial for aggravated burglary.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/23/t1.crime.kristopher.jones.jpg caption="Kristopher Jones, 25, was charged today with assisting Rodriguez in his escape. "]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/23/t1.crime.jared.graham.jpg caption="Jared Graham, 20, was also charged with assisting in the escape."]

The arrests come a day after another man was charged with helping Rodriguez.

Jacob Jones was arrested early Monday morning. The 20-year-old has been charged with assisting escape and is being held on $100,000 bond, said Capt. George Bonnett of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Jones was waiting in a car outside the St. Tammany Jail on Saturday night, Bonnett told CNN. He allegedly drove Rodriguez to Jefferson Parish where he dropped him off.

Rodriguez, who is to stand trial for murder next year, was being housed in dorm-style containment area, Bonnett said. The search for the fugitive has involved hundreds of deputies and multiple law enforcement agencies.

The manhunt is now focused on Jefferson Parish. “We believe he is still in that area,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s armed or not, we certainly consider him dangerous.”

Temporary extra security measures have been taken at the detention center, but Bonnett would not comment on the exact nature of the escape. “We don’t want to broadcast something that might be able to be exploited again,” he said. “We’re obviously reviewing our internal policies and procedures.”

For more crime coverage go to cnn.com/crime.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
February 23rd, 2010
05:21 PM ET

Beat 360° 2/23/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture 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:

Brad Pitt is seen after he went shopping at Bonpoint shop in Paris on February 23, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/Getty Images)

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.

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
February 23rd, 2010
04:42 PM ET
February 23rd, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Video: Hospital stapler costs $1,200

Program Note: Don't miss Dr. Sanjay Gupta's report on out-of-control health care costs. AC360° 10 p.m. ET.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Filed under: Broken Government • Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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