American Morning

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January 12th, 2011
11:39 AM ET

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie: 'There is no magic wand to wave'

A rising star in the Republican Party, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has made tough choices during his tenure in office by closing the state spending gap and getting tough with teachers unions. He says there no easy choices to make in hard economic times and there is "no magic wand to wave."

Today, Christie talks to American Morning's T.J. Holmes about politicians telling the truth, making tough decisions in education and whether or not he is winning the battle against MTV's "Jersey Shore."

Filed under: Economy • Education • Education cuts • Politics
January 12th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Husband of wounded woman, neighbor of killed girl speaks

Suzie Hileman was at Representative Giffords' constituent event in Tucson, AZ when bullets started flying. She was hit three times but the bullets missed her internal organs, sparing her life.

Bill Hileman, Suzie's husband, says his wife's physical ailments will be easier to get over than the emotional toll; the Hilemans are neighbors of the Green family and were very close with the youngest victim of the shooting, Christina Green, who lost her life. Suzie was the one who brought the patriotic nine-year-old to Giffords' event and was holding her hand when she was shot. Bill Hileman tells CNN's Alina Cho about his wife's condition and about the words he exchanged with Christina Green's parents after her death.

Filed under: Arizona
January 12th, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Detecting and treating the warning signs of mental illness

On May 25, 2007 31-year-old police officer Jason West was responding to the report of a large fight on Altamont Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. When he arrived at the scene, one of the young men, Timothy Halton Jr., fired multiple shots at West before attempting to shed his clothes and flee the scene.

Timothy Halton Jr., then 29 years old, is now serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Jason West that day.

And similar to the story we hearing this week with the case of Jared Loughner and the shooting in Tucson, Arizona...the warning signs were there. Halton had a prior convictions. He was convicted of assaulting a police officer. He had displayed violent behavior in the past, convicted on domestic violence charge. But he was also mentally ill, suffering as a paranoid schizophrenic. If Halton had been accurately diagnosed and comprehensively treated from the beginning, could a tragedy have been prevented?

Jeannette Halton-Tiggs is the mother of Timothy Halton Jr. and Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is the chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. They talk to Alina Cho.

Filed under: Crime • Health • Mental Health
January 12th, 2011
09:34 AM ET

Representative Jason Chaffetz will carry a gun

In the wake of Saturday's fatal shooting in Arizona, which specifically targeted Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Congress is talking about ways in which it can secure its members' safety going forward.

Representative Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah says he plans to take his security into his own hands by carrying a concealed weapon, as he has done in the past. Rep. Chaffetz has possessed a conceal and carry permit since before his election to office in 2008. While some elected and government officials share Rep. Chaffetz's sentiments about personal security, there are also those who disagree with his approach. Rep. Chaffetz tells CNN's T.J. Holmes how concerned he is about his own safety.

Filed under: Capitol Hill • Gun rights
January 12th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Possible meteor over Mississippi

Where were you at 8:45pm central time last night? Well...Scott and Paula King of Mississippi were looking out their window this. Suspecting a possible meteor they sent in this video to us. Reports of the meteor were received in Mississippi and Oklahoma. What do you think? Did you see the light?

Filed under: Science
January 12th, 2011
07:45 AM ET

Senate security official: 'Putting more guns in the mix is not the answer'

Congress members are meeting this morning to review safety procedures on Capitol Hill after tragic events of this past weekend in Tucson, Arizona led to the death of 4 people and left 14 injured, including United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

T.J. Holmes interviewed Representatives Ted Poe and Debbie Wasserman Schultz earlier this week about how and if they planned to change their public schedules in the future. Both said they would not and agreed that their primary responsibility is to their constituents no matter what. But then the question still remains, how do you keep our congress members safe?

Today T.J. talks with the Sgt. Terrance W. Gainer, the Sergeant at Arms in the US Senate and responsible for the safety of United States congress members. Although many security options are on the table, Gainer tells T.J, "Putting more guns in the mix is not the answer."

Filed under: Capitol Hill • Gun rights • Politics