(CNN) – Thanks to the age-old art of bartering, a California teenager became the envy of all his friends when he pulled into school in a Porsche convertible.
Steven Ortiz, 17, dreamed of one day owning a luxury sports car - a dream that became reality after he posted a used cell phone on Craigslist.
"My friend gave me a free phone and said, 'Do what you want with it,'" Ortiz told CNN's "American Morning" Thursday. "So I put it on Craigslist on the barter section."
After some serious patience, research and a lot of talking, his cell phone trade landed him an iPod touch, which he managed to barter up for a dirt bike and then to a Macbook Pro laptop computer. Before long, he was the proud owner of an 1987 Toyota 4Runner.
Eventually, he landed a classic Ford Bronco SUV - the golden ticket that would soon get him into the driver seat of a luxury sports car. "I just went for it," he said. "I knew the Bronco was worth more at the end."
So what's his secret?
(CNN) – A former Agriculture Department employee who was forced to resign from her job based on incomplete and misleading reports of a speech she gave has been offered a new job by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, but said Thursday she is "not so sure."
"I'm not so sure that going back to the department is the thing to do," Shirley Sherrod told CNN's "American Morning."
Sherrod said she was offered some type of civil rights position in the department's Office of Outreach, and that she was expecting to receive something official in an e-mail from the department. She said Thursday she had not had a chance to see that yet.
But "I would not want to be the one person at USDA that's responsible for issues of discrimination within the agency," she said. "You know, there's a lawsuit by black farmers, there's a lawsuit by Hispanic and Native American and women farmers ... There are changes that would need to happen in order to once and for all really deal with discrimination." Read more
CNN's Rob Marciano reports on a warehouse converted to a bird rescue center where oiled birds get rehabilitated and released.
(CNN) – No exaggeration is necessary when describing the sheer scope of the environmental tragedy that's now unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. It is an unprecedented disaster and when it comes to dealing with all the damage it requires an unprecedented response. Our Rob Marciano reports on the story of one woman who is answering the call. Watch
Program Note: Join Rob Marciano for his special report, "Rescue: Saving the Gulf," this Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. He'll take you inside the largest, most ambitious cleanup job ever.
Editor's Note: For many, the hip thing to do on the weekends is to hit up your local farmers market for fresh organic produce. Now, a surprising number of young and smart people are going a step further. They're ditching the city life to pick up organic farming, and with a lot of hard work, some of them are making a pretty good living. Our Carol Costello introduces us to one such farmer. Watch
By Carol Costello, CNN
(CNN) – Every week, at the University Farmers Market in Baltimore, Maryland, 28-year old Roy Skeen sells greens, squash and other vegetables. All of his produce came from his small, urban farm. He planted the vegetables, picked them, and hauled them on his bike to University Market.
It’s not the kind of life he had in mind for himself when he graduated from Yale University in 2004. He majored in History and thought he’d land a job in a minute. He didn’t.
“The story that’s told about Yale,” he says, “is you’re an intelligent person if you go to Yale. But I graduated and I didn’t know how to do anything useful. I could go make green pieces of paper with dead presidents on them, but I couldn’t do anything practical.”
Skeen tried to “do something practical.” He headed to New York to work in investment banking, but he found that life stifling. After a trip to the Caribbean, he found his calling: farming.