February 6th, 2014
12:17 PM ET

Colorado Principal Says She Was Fired For Speaking Against School Lunch Policy

It's happened more than once – cafeteria workers taking school lunches away from children who don't have enough money on their pre-paid accounts and throwing the food away right in front of the child.

In one instance, school staff even stamped kids' hands to mark them out.

Noelle Roni is a former principal from Colorado who was fired in November, she says, for standing up to this policy and demanding cafeteria workers stop the stamping.

Roni spoke to CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Thursday and said she believed she was punished because a lunch staffer quit after she spoke with that person. Roni defended herself on the show.

"I had big concerns about kids not eating and we got to work together to get kids to eat in order to learn. I'm a very hands on principal. I was in the lunchroom every day, I saw what was going on. I had great relationships with the kids, and so I spoke directly with kids and families about this."


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February 6th, 2014
11:57 AM ET

No Relief: More Snow, Cold For Midwest, Northeast

Buckets of snow falling in Boston. Ice cracking trees and bringing down power lines in the Northeast. Temperatures as much as 40 degrees below normal in the High Plains.

Another day, another storm, in what's proving to be a wet, wild and nasty winter.

From the Midwest to New England, more than 120 million people are yet again bundling up against cold, ice, snow or all three, according to CNN meteorologists.

Some are taking it in stride.

"Only perk of going to school in Boston: SNOW DAYSSSSSSSS," Facebook user Carla Torres posted.

Others were ready for it to be all over. One item frequently shared Wednesday over social media was a picture of an angry-looking baby, with the words "What do you mean more snow ..." superimposed on it.

Here's a look at what winter's bringing around the country:

Who's getting hit worst?

For snow and ice, parts of the Midwest and Northeast in a band running from Illinois east all the way to Maine. For cold temperatures, it's the nation's midsection, from Montana east to Wisconsin all the way south to northern Texas.

What's the forecast?

It's going to be awfully cold in the Plains and High Plains - as much as 40 degrees below average in some places, according to the National Weather Service. In Helena, Montana, for instance, Wednesday's high is forecast to be 3 degrees below zero. That compares with 2 degrees on Tuesday and the average high of 36.

Snowy, icy conditions are expected from eastern Missouri into the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. Up to 2 inches of snow per hour may fall around Boston, with as much as a foot of snow predicted in parts of Massachusetts.

Who's being affected?

In New York, where heavy snows are taxing salt reserves, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared an emergency for the entire state and shut down Interstate 84.

"New Yorkers in affected regions should stay off the roads, check on their neighbors and loved ones, and stay inside their homes until the worst of the storm has passed," he said in a statement.

Transportation regulators waived rest rules for salt-truck drivers to get remaining salt stockpiles moved to where they are needed: New York City and Long Island.

In Pennsylvania, Villanova University announced that it would be closed Thursday and Friday after the school's power provider projected an extended outage in the area.

And in Kansas, authorities announced a third weather-related death from the storm: a 58-year-old man died overnight after a traffic accident Tuesday, the Kansas Highway Patrol said.

In Boston, the weather seemed little nuisance.

CNN iReporter Jenifer Schwartz, visiting from California, marveled at how the city handled the storm.

"My flight home today is one of the many that was canceled, but getting a cab this morning to get to meetings around the city did not prove to be too much of a problem," she said.

Relative Boston newcomer and native Southerner Josh Parsons was just trying to process it all.

"Since this is my first winter in the North, the snow still feels like a novelty to me," he told CNN on Wednesday. "I enjoy seeing it falling and enjoy walking around in it right after the fresh snow. Having said that, I do not like some of the things that come along with the snow."

Such as? Salt, slush and the simple fact all the snow just won't go away.

"The roads get cleared, the sidewalks get cleared, but then there are just mounds or brown, dirty ice piled up everywhere," he said.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, two Delta Air Lines aircraft got stuck in the snow in unrelated incidents at Detroit Metro Airport.

This comes a day after a Southwest Airlines plane hit a snowbank as it was taxiing to a gate in Kansas City, Missouri, according to airline spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger.

Nationwide, airlines had canceled nearly 2,800 flights, according to flight tracking website Flightaware.com.

Most-affected among major airports include New Jersey's Newark Liberty International, New York's LaGuardia and Boston Logan International.

The Federal Aviation Administration also reported significant delays at airports in Chicago, Philadelphia and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why all the severe weather this winter?

Boston is about 8 inches ahead of its normal snowfall pace for the year, the National Weather Service said. In New York, the number is 23 inches.

It's not unusual or unprecedented, Radley Horton, a climate scientist with Columbia University, told CNN's New Day.

"If we look at winters in the past, we can get this kind of setup with a very wavy jet stream. Colder air spills into one side (while) the other side of the country has extremely warm weather," he said.

But climate change - particularly the way melting Arctic sea ice may be affecting jet stream patterns - could be increasing the frequency and severity of such wild weather rides, he said.

"There's always going to be variability," Horton said. "There's always going to be these waves in the jet stream. But it does seem, according to some research, as we lose that sea ice in the Arctic, one possible surprise could be more cold air spilling south, more warm air going north."

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February 6th, 2014
11:54 AM ET

Green Mountain Stock Soars on Coke Partnership

Coke is coming to K-Cups, perking up Green Mountain Coffee's stock.

Coca-Cola announced a partnership Wednesday with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, maker of the popular Keurig single-serving coffee machine.

The news sent Green Mountain shares soaring more than 25% in Thursday trading. Green Mountain said it would undertake a "meaningful" share repurchase program to reduce dilution of existing investors' holdings.

Coke shares rose about 1% Thursday.

Get this story and more in today's  "Money Time" with Christine Romans.

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February 6th, 2014
11:51 AM ET

Witnesses of Florida Theater Killing Recall Flying Popcorn, Gunshot at Bail Hearing

Curtis Reeves and the widow of the man he killed inside a movie theater both shed tears Wednesday inside a Florida courtroom, as lawyers for both sides called witnesses to support their arguments on whether the 71-year-old gunman should get bail.

Along with such raw emotion, the Dade City hearing was flush with vivid details from witnesses about what happened early in the afternoon of January 13 inside a theater in the Tampa suburb of Wesley Chapel.

They recounted how, after Reeves told management about Chad Oulson texting during previews, the men exchanged words. Oulson then allegedly tossed his bag of popcorn at Reeves, who fired a single, fatal gunshot moments later.

He's been jailed ever since, without bail, on a second-degree murder charge.

Wednesday's testimony and the cross-examinations were so extensive that the day ended without a decision from Judge Pat Siracusa. Instead, the hearing will resume at 10 a.m. Friday with testimony from more prosecution witnesses and the playing of surveillance video and audio.

Several people testified Wednesday as character witnesses for Reeves.

The most powerful of them was his daughter, Jennifer Shaw.

In addition to discussing her father's financial holdings - including a house valued at $186,000 as well as $22,000 in bank accounts - Shaw spoke of how her father had always been involved and supportive. That includes helping with her 2-year-old daughter and after she moved in with her parents after splitting from her husband.

Shaw said she didn't recall her father - who became visibly emotional with his daughter on the stand - getting angry with strangers, said his temperament hasn't changed in recent years and insisted that he doesn't pose a danger to the community.

And after being asked whether she had any doubt her father would show up for court if he received bail, Shaw answered unequivocally: "No doubt at all."

Shaw said she'd long "assumed" that her father, a Navy veteran and retired police officer with a concealed weapons permit, carried a gun with him at all times. But should he come to the family's Brooksville home, there would be no guns around: Shaw testified that all firearms and ammunition in that house were removed the day after the theater shooting.

The prosecution then began presenting its own slate of witnesses, starting with 68-year-old Charles Cummings.

He sat a few seats down from Oulson that January day in the row in front of Reeves. During the previews, Cummings said he heard Reeves and Oulson talking, and at one point, the latter said, "I'm just texting my 2-year-old daughter."

Soon after that, a "very agitated" Reeves left the theater then returned a few minutes later and again addressed Oulson.

Moviegoers recounted what happened next.

Mark Douglas Turner - who spent 27 years in the Air Force, including time as a clandestine officer who worked in China - recalled a relatively calm Oulson saying, "Do you mind, I've got a voice mail from my daughter's babysitter? Do you mind I check to see if my daughter's alright?"

The atmosphere changed considerably soon after that. While witnesses did not recount what Reeves said, Cummings said that, whatever it was, "I felt Oulson had enough."

Alan Hamilton, a corporal with the Sumter County sheriff's office who was taking in a movie with his wife, said he heard Oulson saying, at one point, "I am trying to text my f**king daughter, if you don't mind" - using graphic language that Reeves' lawyer said suggested Oulson was angry and threatening.

The popcorn flew in Reeves' direction soon thereafter.

"And almost immediately," recalled Turner, who said Oulson threw the bag, "the gun comes out and there are shots fired."

Oulson then stumbled and said, "I can't believe he shot me," before falling on Cummings' son, the witness recalled. A nurse who also happened to be in theater then testified - as Oulson's widow, Nicole, wiped away tears - about unsuccessful efforts to save his life.

According to Turner, Reeves said, "Throw popcorn in my face."

Hamilton said that right after the shooting, he acted quickly to take the gun from Reeves - who was sitting, as he'd been during the shooting - and subdue him.

Before more authorities arrived, Reeves' wife told her husband "that was no cause to shoot anyone," according to Hamilton, the law enforcement officer who was then off-duty.

Reeves responded by pointing his finger at her and saying, according to Hamilton, "You shut your f**king mouth and don't say another word."

The off-duty corporal said that at one point, Reeves pushed back his glasses and said out loud, "Holy f**k, what have I done?"

Defense attorney Richard Escobar challenged each of these prosecution witnesses. For some, he said their recollections may be cloudy due to witnesses' vantage points, eyesight or the theater's dim lighting. Escobar also sought to portray the larger, younger Oulson as imposing compared to Reeves.

His client, Reeves, remains behind bars pending the outcome of this hearing.

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