October 24th, 2013
05:20 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, October 24

Yet another student is accused of killing a teacher, much of the country will get smacked with bitter weather, and the parents of a stick figure are the ones to beat in this year's battle for the coolest Halloween costume.

Welcome to the Thursday edition of “5 Things to Know for Your New Day." Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s morning show “New Day.”

1. TEACHER KILLED

It’s happened again: A beloved math teacher is killed, allegedly by a student, for no obvious reason. This time, cops say 14-year-old Philip Chism beat 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer and then ditched her body in the woods behind their Massachusetts high school.

What did the boy do after Ritzer’s death? According to one source, he went to the movies. Prosecutors intend to try Philip as an adult for murder.

All this as the country is still reeling from a school shooting Monday in Nevada, where authorities say a 12-year-old boy killed a math teacher and wounded two students before turning the gun on himself.

Pamela Brown will be live in the 6, 7 and 8 o’clock hours with the latest on the Massachusetts case. We’ll also hear from one of Ritzer’s best friends on how the young teacher was living her dream.

2. EARLY WINTER

Blame Canada: Time to grab the winter coats and snow shovels. The season’s first deep freeze is on the way, thanks to a wave of cold air from Canada.

Snow and frigid weather will sweep into the Midwest and East Coast, just in time for the weekend. Folks in upstate New York near Lake Ontario might see up to a foot of snow dumped on their lawns.

NWS

And Southerners, you’re not immune: The first hard freeze is expected to coat states from Missouri to the Carolinas with frost.

George Howell will be live in Chicago at the top of the 6, 7 and 8 o’clock hours to tell us more on what to expect.

3. OBAMACARE HEARING

Let the finger-pointing begin:
Contractors who helped create the afflicted HealthCare.gov website will be in the hot seat today. Expect them to blame each other and the government - but not themselves. They said they would in prepared testimony for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Obamacare enrollment site descended into a technical abyss after it was launched on October 1. Even the nation’s health chief said no one told the President about the problems until after the site went live.

Jim Acosta will tell us in the 6, 7 and 8 o’clock hours about how the Obama administration is trying to do damage control.

4. KIDS AND GUNS

Two boys, two outcomes: Andy Lopez Cruz didn’t even have a real gun on him. But the replica AK-47 he was carrying around on a California street was enough to make a sheriff’s deputy shoot and kill him. Andy was 13.

Authorities said Andy was turning around when the barrel of the “assault rifle” rose up and turned toward the deputies. So one of them shot him.

https://twitter.com/Canadian_SW/status/393226754326036480

In Washington state, a boy who brought a real gun (plus 400 rounds of ammo) to school had a different fate. The 11-year-old was booked into a juvenile detention facility and faces an attempted murder charge.

It’s not clear what the boy was planning. But he didn’t just have a gun and ammo – police said he also packed multiple knives.

5. MURDER CONVICTION OVERTURNED

A second chance: Remember Michael Skakel, that Kennedy relative who’s been locked up over the death of a teen girl? Well, his conviction got overturned – and he might get a new trial.

The cousin of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been trying to clear his name since he was convicted of murder in 2002. He was accused of killing 15-year-old neighbor Martha Moxley with a golf club in 1975.

A Connecticut judge gave Skakel, 53, a chance for a fresh start Wednesday when he said the defense attorney in his first trial did a slipshod job. Kennedy called the move a “blessed event.” But the girl’s mom is convinced Skakel is the one who killed Martha. "I have not given up," Dorthy Moxley said. "If there is a new trial, I will be there."

Deb Feyerick will be live in the 6 and 7 o’clock hours to tell us what's next.

Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing:

Turn your kid into a stick figure: These parents might have the coolest kid's Halloween costume yet:



Too cold in the office? There's a bracelet for that:
A thermal wristband developed by MIT engineering students (natch) claims to raise or lower a person’s body temperature - by almost half a degree Celsius each second! The wristband sends thermal pulses to the wrist, and the blood there circulates quickly throughout the body. No more thermostat fights!

Hold that pose! You know your wet dog looks silly when he shakes himself dry. Imagine what he looks like each nanosecond his face is flopping around. Carli Davidson wanted to know, too, so she used a high-speed camera and made a book called "Shake." The result? Awesomeness.

Creepy or cute? While we're on the canine beat, the owner of a Siberian husky decided to make a tiny plush doll of the dog - from the husky's own fur. No word yet on how the real dog feels about this ...

mini-husky2

There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning.

Be sure to tune in to "New Day" from 6 to 9 a.m. ET, join us at CNN.com/NewDay and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY!

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Dan

    "A victim of an industry that manufactured life-like guns as toys"... Yea the toy gun industry killed him, not the trigger happy cop.

    October 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  2. Andrew Griesemer

    I'm 90% sure thats an Alaskan Malamute and not a Siberian Husky.

    October 24, 2013 at 10:04 am | Reply
  3. Joe Von Waldner

    Shared this with everyone in the office at 49th street bail bonds! We all loved it.

    October 24, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
  4. Rick

    A president is suppose to lead by example, what example does he set when he tries to shove a socialist med. care program down the countrys throat, throw the countries budget under the bus to protect it, it can`t even be implemented yet he stubbornly puts "his" namesake above the country he`s suppose to be serving. Remember the oath you took mr.obama ?

    October 24, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
  5. madjak

    I love your "5 Things" articles...please keep them coming !!

    October 24, 2013 at 9:45 am | Reply
  6. snotfair

    Good Morning CNN! My 1st thoughts r of Colleen Ritzer & her parents. There really r no words 2 say that can take away the pain of losing a child especially so unexpectedly & in such a brutal way. What is the answer 2 stop these school tragedies? Skakal getting a new trial after being convicted of murder- money sure does talk! On a much happier topic- Congrats 2 the Boston Red Sox 4 winning game 1 of the World Series:) HAVE A GREAT & SAFE DAY CNN!

    October 24, 2013 at 8:33 am | Reply

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