February 20th, 2012
10:45 PM ET

CNN prime time: Avalanche survival, free plastic surgery for teachers

Teachers nip, tuck for free

It’s a policy that’s been on the books in Buffalo, New York, for nearly 40 years: Free plastic surgery for teachers. You read correctly. Last year, taxpayers spent $6 million for teachers to nip and tuck. The kicker? The school district is about $42 million in the hole. On CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Anderson and Gary Tuchman look at efforts to do away with the puzzling policy.

Surviving an avalanche

On Sunday, she was tumbling down a mountainside in Washington state, caught in an avalanche that killed three of her fellow skiers. Elyse Saugstad lived to tell about it, thanks to a device she was wearing that looks like a backpack, known as an avalanche airbag. On CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” American Avalanche Association president Dale Atkins describes the product that saved her life.

Gay sheriff denies threatening lover

A scandal playing out in Arizona involves a sheriff with a bright political future, his ex-boyfriend, abuse of power allegations and the presidential race. Sheriff Paul Babeu resigned as Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign co-chair amid allegations from his former lover that Babeu threatened to deport him if he made their relationship public. “He wanted to harm me,” Babeu tells CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as he defends himself against the claims on “The Situation Room.”

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Filed under: Arizona • CNN Prime Time • Gay and lesbian • Mitt Romney • Skiing
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Icesniper

    Been climbing for many many years and only had 3 close calls . Pinned down four days on mt hood. Got hit by a super blast on mt shasta on summit bivy both in winter, the grand teton in electrical storm 100 ft from summit and i still climb .. This type of sport is actualy ant art and a good one at that been doing this stuff since i was ten years old ... And i cant stop now. The best way to survive an avalanch is not put your self in that possition, thats the best weapon. And if you do than you back paddle as much as possible to pull out to the side, but at 50 to 100 mph its difficult to maintain. Heres how i learned, found a corniced ridge cut the cornice almost completly off and jump on it and away we went how else do you learn right? You will than appreciate the power of mama nature!

    February 21, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Marilyn Mangion

    It is OBSCENE that millions of dollars in Buffalo are being wasted on plastic surgery for teachers, when the school system is deeply in debt. What does this teach the children about priorities and what is important?!!!!
    I know many struggling working people who are paying outrageous amounts for insurance which only covers catastrophic illlnesses. My sister in Wisconsin works at a library. She is a part-time employee and has no health insurance coverage. . She pays more for catastrophic coverage than she does for her mortgage.
    This whole teacher -plastic surgery thing is OBSCENE – and, as they say, could only happen in America!

    February 21, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. BuffED

    Perhaps you didn't watch the whole video. The teachers are willing to negotiate away the rider. The teachers in Buffalo haven't had a contract since 2004. That includes a 3 year wage freeze with no step increases. So nearly 10 years have elapsed without a new contract, but the district is unwilling to negotiate. CNN please do your homework. This kind of sensationalistic journalism is great for selling ads and getting soundbites but it does not represent factual reporting. Do you know why taxpayers and not insurance companies are footing the bill for this? The district illegally imposed a change in health care coverage. When the courts found in favor of the teachers, the insurers no longer offered the plan forcing the district to self insure. If you want someone to blame, look at the leadership that resulted in the existing self-insurance plan. But those are big words for many CNN viewers and that story may be too difficult to figure out instead of "duh, look at them, duh, they get something for free". How irresponsible, Yet one more reason I will not pay for cable TV, especially CNN coverage.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • NYCED

      The teachers are willing to negotiate away the rider, but that doesn't mean that it will create jobs once the rider is removed. The negotiation will end up with the district supplementing the difference in removing this coverage for increase in pay, which does not create more jobs. It will end up with a zero net gain. The fact of the matter is that in a time where people are unemployed and uninsured, you have a teacher in the video clip that says she loves a free nip and tuck and doesn't want it to go away. As a result you will have cramped class rooms, but 59 year old teachers that look like they're 35. Bravo. Either way you look at it, this is pathetic.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. HS Junior

    I ALWAYS look forward to the new school year to see which teachers got some additional sweater gear . Who needs the internet when the teachers look like ours!!!!

    February 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kathleen butler

    According to the Read to Succeed Buffalo website....30% of adults in the city of Buffalo-65,000 people-read at or below a 5th grade level.

    43% of children entering kindergarten do not meet minimum benchmarks for language and literacy skills.

    72% of 4th graders are not passing the New York State English Language Arts (ELA) learning standards for grade level competency.

    39% of children entering 9th grade drop out of school before graduating.

    I have read articles and blogs using terms such as brains and beauty for these government employees.

    I would like to add a couple of my own...greedy and incompetent.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mary smith

    I work for a plastic surgeon in the Buffalo, NY area and can assure this piece only skimmed the surface. There is nothing we can do about it, if we accept BCBS insurance we have to accept the riders. Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters and their families come in every week for free facials and laser hair removal as well as tummy tucks and face lifts. It is ridiculous! A wife of a teacher just scheduled her 9th surgery in one year! I know some great teachers and they deserve to earn a good living, but the pensions and benefits they receive along along with the entire summer off, spring break, winter break, Christmas break and every other holiday off, it makes no sense. I agree the leadership, school board and everyone is at fault, but this has got to stop.

    February 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stepanie Wadle

    I always watch nip/tuck because the story is great and the characters are very interesting. ^

    View all of the freshest write-up at our blog page

    November 7, 2012 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |