(CNN Student News) -- March 18, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: A prestigious scholarship or a professional football career? One student athlete is trying to prove that you can have both. I'm Carl Azuz. CNN Student News starts right now!
First Up: Jobs Bill
AZUZ: First up, a bill aimed at creating new jobs is about to become a law. A vote in the Senate put the final seal of approval on the legislation yesterday, moved it on to President Obama for his signature. The bill has gone back and forth in the House and the Senate. At $17.6 billion, it's actually a scaled-down version of a jobs bill that was put together last month.
Here's some of what it includes: Tax breaks for companies that hire people who are currently unemployed. Tax breaks for businesses that spend money on major investments or purchases. And funding for highway and transit programs this year. Some experts say the bill could create 300,000 new jobs. Others say it doesn't guarantee that companies will start hiring, and some lawmakers have argued that the bill doesn't do nearly enough.
AZUZ: In parts of the midwestern United States, National Guard members and local volunteers are fighting to keep the Red River at bay. A lot of these volunteers are high school and college students who are spending their spring breaks filling and stacking sandbags. The river's waters are on the rise thanks to melting snow, and there's a threat of serious flooding. This same thing happened last year when the Red River hit a record level in Fargo, North Dakota. Rob Marciano has more on the impact of the severe weather then and now.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: In Fargo, North Dakota, residents are trying to stack one million sandbags in hopes of pushing back the Red River, which could crest 20 feet above flood stage later this week. Last year, about 100 homes in the area were damaged and thousands of people were evacuated when the Red didn't go down for a record 61 days and crested twice.
In the Northeast, a wild storm has left hundreds of thousands of residents either without power or with most of what they own underwater. Trees ripped down power lines, tore up sidewalks and crushed cars. The storm is being blamed for at least seven deaths. Many had to leave their front doors by boat or in the arms of heavy equipment.
RICK VINCENT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm a U.S. city that was founded in 1701. I'm known as the Motor City because of my connection to the auto industry. I'm not the capital of Michigan, but I am the largest city in the state. I'm Detroit, and I'm home to about 4 million people.
AZUZ: In three months, more than 40 Detroit schools will be closed. It's part of a $1 billion plan that was announced yesterday. The Detroit School District is looking for ways to cut costs. Officials say this plan will save $31 million in 2010 and help save money in the future. At a meeting to announce the proposal, Robert Bobb, the Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools, said it will create a "leaner, smarter" school system. Detroit is dealing with buildings and facilities that are getting older. Plus, student enrollment in the district has dropped significantly; there are 50,000 empty seats. Community members will get a chance to offer feedback at a series of town hall meetings. But yesterday, Mr. Bobb outlined the long-term goals for the district.
ROBERT BOBB, EMERGENCY FINANCIAL MANAGER, DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS: We believe that this plan provides certainty where, in the minds of some, there may be uncertainty. We want to build flexible, adaptable and sustainable learning environments. We want to support smaller learning environments. Want to develop multi-use facilities that support community use and community partnerships.
AZUZ: Last weekend, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. reportedly said the relationship between the two countries was the worst it's been in 35 years. We told you about that. Now, though, he says he never said that. There has been some tension between the countries recently, but the Israeli ambassador says "recent events do not represent the lowest point in the relations between Israel and the United States." He added that the nations disagree on some issues, but says he's confident the differences will soon be overcome. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had some harsh words for Israel recently. But on Tuesday, she called the bond between the countries "unshakable," although she added that the U.S. is still waiting for Israel's response on proving that the Middle Eastern country is serious about a Middle East peace plan.
AZUZ: If you run a Google search, you'll find out that Facebook just passed Google as the most popular site on the Internet last week. From March 7th to the 13th, Facebook accounted for seven percent of all U.S. Web traffic. In the past, Facebook has been the number one site on individual days; this is the first time it's won an entire week. This only covers Facebook.com and Google.com, so it doesn't include other Google sites like Gmail. Google had been on top every week since September 2007. It took over the number one spot from another social networking site, MySpace.
AZUZ: We get a ton of traffic at our Facebook page: That's Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews. I had a few minutes last night at work to log on and answer some of your questions. A student named Zach had a great one; he asked how we select responses from our blog. The answer: It's on the wall at Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews. You never know when I might show up!
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Rhodes scholars are invited to study at what university? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Cambridge, B) Harvard, C) Stanford or D) Oxford? You've got three seconds -- GO! An invitation to study at Oxford University in England accompanies a Rhodes Scholarship. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: One of last year's Rhodes Scholars, Myron Rolle, is spending his time at Oxford studying medical anthropology. Eventually, he wants to go to medical school and become a neurosurgeon. It's not his only dream job. Right now, he's trying to tackle the football field. Soledad O'Brien has more on the Rolle reversal.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Myron Rolle was on a fast track to having it all.
MYRON ROLLE, NFL PROSPECT: How you doing?
O'BRIEN: A gifted athlete, he was all but assured enormous fame and even bigger money. Then, something happened.
You quit, basically.
ROLLE: I did. I did. I don't like saying that word.
O'BRIEN: From the moment he first touched a football, Myron Rolle was a star.
ROLLE: I was pretty good at it. I was bigger than all the kids, so I had some success.
O'BRIEN: In high school, ESPN ranked Myron the number one senior football player in the country. Eighty-three colleges made him an offer. Myron chose Florida State University, a prime launching pad for the pros. Myron played safety. His future: a shoo-in, first-round pick in the NFL draft last year, millions of dollars to follow. But that's when he basically quit, when he put it all at risk.
Why did you leave? Why did you quit football?
ROLLE: I left football because the Rhodes Scholarship was too great to pass up. It was either now or never.
O'BRIEN: He won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, a chance to earn a Masters Degree in medical anthropology at Oxford University in England. Myron moved to England and watched the NFL draft from the sidelines.
ROLLE: It hurt. It really did. It pained me. Like inside, deep. I said, I can be out there right now making millions of dollars. That could be my name being called. But when I went to Oxford, I said, this is the right choice.
O'BRIEN: He's not done with his studies. He has more to do at Oxford. But now, nearly a year later, with that certainty of his, Myron Rolle came back. After a few years in the pros, he wants to go to med school to become a neurosurgeon. He's got to get back to England to finish his degree.
ROLLE: This is the mud from England right here.
O'BRIEN: Make no mistake, here, no one cares about Oxford. This is business, high stakes football. Is this guy as good as he was a year ago? And now, game on. Myron played well in the Senior Bowl. The NFL draft is weeks away. It's pressure.
ROLLE: Sometimes it's overwhelming. Sometimes you have to take a step back.
O'BRIEN: So many people counting on him.
ROLLE: You know what RS stands for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's that?
ROLLE: Rhodes Scholar.
O'BRIEN: For In America, Soledad O'Brien, CNN, Orlando.
AZUZ: Oxford, Israel, Detroit. Today's show's all over the map. If you head to CNNStudentNews.com, scroll down and look on the left-hand side, you can use our downloadable maps to find out exactly where we went. They're totally free! You can find them every day at your favorite Web site.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, maybe you've seen a horse fly. But you've never seen one this big. Colorado -- the horse, not the state -- was air-lifted to safety on Tuesday after being swept away by a river late last week and stranded on a sand bar. It took rescuers four days to reach Colorado and get him hooked up to this harness. The one-mile flight to dry land only lasted a few minutes.
AZUZ: But during that time, that horse was the mane event. Time for us to giddy up and go, but not furlong. CNN Student News returns tomorrow.