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June 14th, 2010
02:08 PM ET

Artists: Racism Behind Request to Change Children's Skin Color

From CNN Intern Rachel Gaynes:

The “Go On Green” mural outside the Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona, is at the center of a debate over racism. The artists defied demands to lighten the complexions of two minority children featured in their painting. Of the four children from the school featured in the mural, two are white.

CNN’s Don Lemon spoke with the artists, Pamela Smith and R.E. Wall, who said the demands were the result of racism. All of this as Arizona is in the national spotlight for its new immigration law, which critics call racial profiling.

The mural –- meant to promote environmentally sustainable transportation –- instead was attacked by City Councilman Steve Blair. On his radio show, Blair said, "Personally, I think it's pathetic. You have changed the ambience of that building to excite some kind of diversity power struggle that doesn't exist in Prescott, Arizona. And I'm ashamed of that."

One of the artists, Wall, said the mural depicts “real children that go to that school. … They have feelings; they have been affected by this.”

Watch CNN's Don Lemon interview with the two artists:

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Don Lemon • What Matters
June 14th, 2010
06:45 AM ET

Woman Shoots Herself to Get Medical Care

From CNN intern Emily Landrieu

Kathy Myers is one of the 1.2 million people living in Michigan without health insurance. After an accident with her dog, Myers withstood a month of intense pain in her right shoulder. Unemployed, uninsured, and unable to afford a doctor to look at her shoulder, she took matters into her own hands.

Late last week, Myers, who’s 41, became desperate and shot herself in the same shoulder. Her idea was that by shooting herself she would be in emergency care and force the doctors to not only fix the gun wound, but her previous shoulder problem as well.

Myers told local Michigan affiliate WSBT that doctors told her “it would have to be life threatening or imminent danger for them to do anything.” In order to make this so, she fired one shot that went through the shoulder, exiting the rear. Soon after, she was in emergency care. The doctors gave her anti–inflammatories and treated the bullet wounds. Without insurance, she was unable to get a CT- scan or MRI and was sent home.

Now, Myers is still in pain and hasn't gotten medical attention for her original shoulder injury.

So we want to know... To what lengths have you gone to get medical attention?
Post your comments here. We’ll read some of them on the air during the 10 o’clock hour of CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
June 14th, 2010
06:24 AM ET

Killed an alleged molester, should he go to prison?

From CNN intern Sachin Seth:

Aaron Vargas got drunk, picked up his revolver, drove to Darrell McNeill’s home and shot him.  Vargas says McNeill sexually molested him 20 years earlier, when he was his Boy Scout leader.  In the year since the murder, at least a dozen other men have come forward claiming they too were molested by Darrell McNeill.

Supporters are calling for Vargas’ release.  Among them is Elizabeth McNeill, Darrell’s widow.  She told CNN in an email earlier this year she felt sorry for Vargas.  “I love this young man and feel he needs counseling more than anything.”

Vargas’ sister, Mindy Galliani, started a website and a Facebook group asking authorities to not impose a prison sentence and instead help her brother overcome the suffering that began when he was 12 years old.

On the eve of Vargas’ June 14 sentencing hearing, CNN’s Don Lemon spoke to Galliani.

Filed under: Don Lemon