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CNN Student News Transcript: April 22, 2008

  • Story Highlights
  • Hop on the presidential campaign trail as Pennsylvanians head to the polls
  • See how nature is leading a cleanup effort on the campus of Duke University
  • Consider the importance of safety equipment when you're riding a skateboard
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(CNN Student News) -- April 22, 2008

Quick Guide

The Pennsylvania Primaries - Hop on the presidential campaign trail as Pennsylvanians head to the polls.

Earth Day 2008 - See how nature is leading a cleanup effort on the campus of Duke University.

Skating Safely - Consider the importance of safety equipment when you're riding a skateboard.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi there. I'm Monica Lloyd, and you've found your way to this Earth Day edition of CNN Student News. More on that in a bit. Now, let's see what's up first.

First Up: The Pennsylvania Primaries

LLOYD: The race for the White House: It's on, and today's a big one for the remaining candidates. That's because voters in Pennsylvania are heading to the polls. Now, it's been six weeks since the last round of presidential primaries, so let's review where things stand: On the Republican side, John McCain has already locked up the nomination. But for the Democrats, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are still fighting it out. Elizabeth Manresa tells us about today's showdown.


ELIZABETH MANRESA, CNN REPORTER: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are hitting Pennsylvania hard, campaigning in the state with the biggest single prize remaining in the Democratic race.

PERSON ON THE STREET: I feel really torn between the two Democratic candidates.

MANRESA: Observers say Sen. Clinton needs to win big.

DON KETTL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: The state is Hillary Clinton's to lose. She has a lead in the polls, she has the demographic that lines up behind her.

MANRESA: Recent polls indicate older voters in Pennsylvania are backing Clinton.

SHELLY WINSTON, VOTING FOR CLINTON: I think you need to know the ins and outs of Washington. I think she knows it.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This week we had a debate, and it showed you the choice that you have. It is really a choice of leadership. I am offering leadership you can count on.

MANRESA: Some are counting on a victory for Obama.

REP. CHAKA FATTAH, (D) PENNSYLVANIA: Senator Obama's campaign is focused on the issues. He's come and he's worked hard, and I think he's going to be rewarded for that on election day.

MANRESA: Obama has won more contests, more delegates and is ahead in the popular vote.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you think the fat cats, the lobbyists, they're always going to be running the show, then maybe you decide you're going to vote for the person you think knows the Washington game better. But I'm not running to play the game better, I'm running to put an end to the game playing.

MANRESA: But it's the Pennsylvania voters who could make the final play. Over the past month, Barack Obama has spent more than $8 million on Pennsylvania campaign ads; that's more than twice what Hillary Clinton has spent. In Washington, I'm Elizabeth Manresa for CNN Student News.


LLOYD: As for John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee is on a tour this week of places around the U.S. that suffer from poverty. Yesterday, he visited the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, a historic site in the American civil rights movement. During his speech, Sen. McCain said that there should be "no forgotten places in America."


LLOYD: If you want to get caught up on the candidates and the contests, head to our Web page! It's a one-stop shop for all your election information: delegate counters, electoral explainers, plus Learning Activities and One-Sheets on all of our "Talking Democracy" topics. Check it all out in the Spotlight section on!

Is this Legit?

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Totally true! Congress created the Environmental Protection Agency that same year.

Earth Day 2008

LLOYD: It makes sense that they'd both start at the same time. After all, the goal of Earth Day is to raise awareness about environmental problems, and the mission of the EPA is to protect the environment. You don't have to wait until Earth Day to find ways to go green. A college professor and his students are using nature to clean up their campus. Miles O'Brien explains their eco-friendly efforts.


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN REPORTER: There was a time when city planners thought the concrete solution to the challenge of allowing rivers and cities to co-exist was, well, concrete. But times have changed, and the experts now are paying more attention to Mother Nature's blueprints.

PROFESSOR CURTIS RICHARDSON, DUKE UNIVERSITY: What we're trying to do here is use an ecological approach. It's lower tech, but also is more sustainable and more ecologically friendly.

O'BRIEN: Curtis Richardson is head of the Duke University Wetland Center. For the past three years, he and his students have re-engineered a polluted stretch of creek that flows through the campus without calling in the cement mixers.

RICHARDSON: This is really a very novel way of trying to treat, using Mother Nature's environmental services.

O'BRIEN: The problem was runoff. Whenever it rained, all kinds of bad chemicals, from fertilizers to pesticides, would flow straight into Sandy Creek with nothing to stop them. So, Richardson and his students started digging, changing the contours of the land, planting trees, creating a wetland and building a storm water reservoir behind an earthen dam.

RICHARDSON: This gives you sort of a natural system where the water can flow out over the banks, and the sediments and nutrients can be retained in the wetlands.

O'BRIEN: It's nature's way of cleaning up a mess. And it is working. Three years later, this creek is much cleaner than it was before. And it sure costs a lot less money than pouring all that concrete. Apparently, it's smarter to go with the flow than fight it. Miles O'Brien, CNN.



LLOYD: So, what are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Don't tell us, show us! Log on to and find out how you can send in an iReport of your environmental activities. And while you're there, check out our Earth Day Learning Activity. It challenges students to examine the pros and cons of some environmental laws.


AZUZ: Time for the Shoutout! What part of your body does a helmet protect? And no, you can't just say "head"! Is it your: A) Phalanges, B) Cerebral cortex, C) Clavicle or D) Gluteus maximus? You've got three seconds -- GO! Your cerebral cortex is part of your brain, and that's what's underneath that helmet. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Skating Safely

LLOYD: And you should strap that helmet on every time you step foot on a skateboard. That's what the National Safety Council says. More than 11 million people are skateboarding these days. And according to one expert group, tens of thousands of them have to visit ERs every year to get treated for skating-related injuries. Elizabeth Cohen has more on skating safely.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN REPORTER: On MTV's "Life of Ryan," in the popular "Skate" videogame and all over YouTube, one thing these skateboarders have in common: They're not wearing helmets.

SKATEBOARDER: I guess it's the rush that's... yeah, that's it, the rush.

CHRISSY CIANFLONE, SAFEKIDS, USA: We really see very limited safety messages about helmet use on skateboards.

COHEN: And kids are paying the price. Nearly eleven thousand skateboarders ended up in emergency rooms with head injuries in 2006. And by simply wearing a helmet, the vast majority would have likely avoided a head injury. Tommy Michalson was vacationing with his family in 2006 when he left his helmet back at the hotel. He skated ahead while his family took a walk.

CHERYL MICHALSON, VICTIM'S MOTHER: It looked ok; it looked safe.

COHEN: But soon the Michalsons saw ambulances. They arrived to find Tommy on the ground.

MICHALSON: Was unconscious. He was breathing. There were some people there that had found him and called 911.

COHEN: Tommy died of a brain injury. His parents say skateboarders without helmets in videogames sends the wrong message.

MICHALSON: They're desensitized to the fact that what those characters are doing in those videos could be dangerous.

COHEN: What do you think when you see it?

MICHALSON: I think kids are going to look at this and think it looks amazingly fun, and let's try it, let's do it.

COHEN: Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk is a helmet advocate. Hawk made his name doing stunts often copied by young fans.

TONY HAWK, PROFESSIONAL SKATEBOARDER: I know for a fact that a helmet has saved my life more than once. You never know what's going to happen, and it could save your life. And who says it's not cool? Not me!

COHEN: The Michalsons hope kids and their parents hear that message.

JEFF MICHALSON, VICTIM'S FATHER: In our case, it was, he fell one time and that was the one time that ended his life.

COHEN: Tony Hawk says that even though his older videogames do feature riders without helmets, his "Downhill Jam," which is geared to younger fans, promotes helmets. And wearing a helmet can reduce the chance of a serious head injury by 88 percent. And when asked about their videogame "Skate," where virtual skateboarders don't wear helmets, the manufacturer, Electronic Arts, told us their game "...offers gamers a way to experience the sport and celebrate the culture and lifestyle of skaters without ever having to put a foot on an actual skateboard." Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Atlanta.


Before We Go

LLOYD: And finally, the California coastline hosts a romantic rite of spring: the grunion run! It may sound like some sort of snack relay, but a grunion is actually a fish, a frisky one around this time of year. You see, it's spawning season for the grunion. That's right, love is in the air, or the sand. When the sun goes down and the tide comes in, the grunions are along for the ride. They bury their eggs way up on the beach and then flop their way back down to the water.



LLOYD: And that fishy finale brings us to a close. Have a great day, and we'll see you again tomorrow. I'm Monica Lloyd. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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