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tv   Nightline  ABC  December 24, 2016 12:37am-1:08am PST

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, breaking news. legendary "star wars" actress carrie fisher, who brought the iconic princess leia to life for so many years, hospitalized after reportedly suffering a medical emergency aboard a flight. updates on her condition. plus new home heartbreak. if it could happen to the rich and famous like sandra bullock -- it could happen to you. >> i've got some good black mold in it. >> homeowners who say their dream houses have turned into nightmares. >> all i've had since i moved in is issue after issue after issue. >> abc's brian ross investigates, helping home buyers who say they're stuck with shoddy work. and a special reading of 'twas the night before christmas
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with all-star whoopi goldberg bringing real passion to this holiday favorite. >> woop, up the chimney he rose! >> first the "nightline 5." >> press clean and let roomba from i-robot help with everyday messes. roomba navigates your home cleaning up pet hair and debris for up to two hours, which means your floors are always clean. you and roomba from i-robot. better together. when coughing keeps your family awake, breathe easier with vick's vaporub. soothing cough relief that starts working instantly. >> number one in just 60 seconds.
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good evening.
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thanks for joining us. breaking news tonight, carrie fisher, the best-selling author and hollywood actress best known for her iconic portrayal of princess leia in "star wars" reportedly suffered cardiac arrest on a flight from london to los angeles. she was treated by paramedics upon landing. her brother telling abc news that she's in intensive care, calling her a real survivor, and that doctors are doing everything they can. of course we'll keep you updated on this story and we'll have much more on gma tomorrow. for now a consumer affairs story. homeowners alleging their brand-new homes turned out to be riddled with troubles. tonight we take another look at abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross and local stations investigate reports of shoddy construction and a variety of other new-home problems. >> nick sagan, nice to meet you. >> reporter: in the movie "the blind side," actress sandra bullock plays the owner of a fabulous house. in real life the actress ended
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up in court. >> tell us how the case is going? >> i can't. >> reporter: suing her builder over huge defects in her multi-million dollar texas mansion she famously later bulldozed to the ground. in suburban washington, d.c., the owner of this new home has a hole in her foundation and a snake that moved in underneath. >> up and down you hear the same things? >> reporter: the people in this new subdivision in virginia say they know the feeling. with great-looking houses on the outside, a long list of problems on the inside. >> very upsetting. it's the most expensive purchase any of us are going to make. >> reporter: it happened to simone engle of birmingham, alabama, whose $400,000 brand-new home had bouncy, creaky floorboards. >> it's like playing music. >> reporter: that had to be ripped up. and a messed-up draining system fixed by the builder only after abc news got involved. >> issue after issue after issue. >> reporter: what they all had was a bad case of new home heartbreak. >> look at that.
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>> reporter: a dream house turning into a nightmare. >> it's kind of typical of the homes that are built to sell, not built to last. >> reporter: these two men, sort of the sherlock holmes and watson of new home construction problems -- >> let's go inside and see. >> reporter: say they see it all the time in cases they investigate for homeowners. >> that's a sign you have trouble. >> reporter: harrison mac campbell is a forensic architect. >> they put them up in a hurry, don't pay attention to detail. >> reporter: bill loden is the former president of the american association of home inspectors. >> it's less than a five-agree slope and it should be at least 15. >> reporter: there's a building boom in this country. tens of thousands of new homes going up every year. with big national builders including the biggest d.r. horton promising quality homes and superior customer service. yet documents show horton has set aside some $400 million in each of the last two years to deal with construction defect claims, calling it the ordinary course of business. >> it's got good black mold in it.
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shouldn't see that. >> reporter: an abc news investigation conducted with our stations across the country -- >> you're wringing water out of the wood. >> reporter: found case after case of homeowners claiming shoddy construction. >> the water would start here and then travel along the ceiling. >> reporter: but the big well-known builders often slow or refusing to fix the problems. >> what's wrong with your yard? >> reporter: big and small. >> black soot, water damage, a giant crack in the foundation. >> reporter: as wls discovered in chicago. >> we had no choice. no one will fix it. it was our house. we had to just walk away from it. >> reporter: in raleigh, north carolina, wtvd heard from army captain morrow bazan who had to sandbag his new home because it floods, outside and inside, with almost every rainfall. in seattle, komo-tv heard from homeowners about what the sun's rays were doing to their siding. >> melted siding. extensive buckling. glaring gaps. >> reporter: but the homeowners sate builder keeps putting off any kind of fix.
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>> hardly any phone calls get returned. >> reporter: in columbus, ohio, frustrated homeowners took our reporter from wsyx along as they showed up at the builder's office to demand their problems be fixed. >> abc 6. there are homeowners who want some answers. >> i'm going to have to ask you to leave. appreciate your time. >> would you want your family to live in one of these places? >> thank you very much. >> reporter: the industry trade group says unhappy homeowners are in the minority and all too often americans have expectations that are "just too high." >> the american consumer expects a perfect home, there's no such thing as a perfect home. >> reporter: jerry howard is the chief executive officer of the national association of home builders. >> i think the quality of housing being built is as good as it's ever been. better. >> better than ever? >> yes, sir. >> are they shoddy? >> i say no. >> reporter: big national builders are masters at enticing potential homeowners with a dream house, name-brand appliances, custom color schemes, designer amenities. >> we're going to use the fridge
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da dare, galaxy series, you'll see tiger woods and stars will use those. >> what we don't see in the model home are the bones, the hidden parts of the home. >> reporter: veteran home inspector mark mcgovern says homeowners should always try to go beyond what the sales reps pitch. >> go into the neighborhood, knock on doors, say, i'm considering buying in your neighborhood, can you tell me what your experience is? >> point out all the houses here where there are issues. >> reporter: so that's what we did at a d.r. horton development in virginia where we met a lot of very unhappy homeowners with problems they say d.r. horton would not fix. >> i'm generally calm, gut i got to the point i was calling every day and cussing at them. >> reporter: we brought in the home detectives to look at what homeowners described as problems and defects. one of the homeowners, jackie walker, a freelance makeup artist who works for abc news and other media outlets in washington -- >> every single one of these is a nail pop or a seam.
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>> reporter: she's marked more than 800 nails she says have popped out of the wall, along with cracks in the door frames. >> should this happen in a brand-new home? >> no. absolutely not. this is excessive by any standard. there's a real problem. >> reporter: but she says she's had to go to war with d.r. horton to get it all fixed and it still is not. well after her warranty expired. >> it has been a nightmare. i've made several attempts to be here for appointments, for them to show up. i had 23 appointments and they missed 17 of those. >> reporter: a spokesperson for d.r. horton said the company has reached out to address the problems we raised about the homes in walker subdivision. and is our station katu in portland, oregon, reported homeowners with problems and defects claim their builder seems to be waiting them out until their first-year warranty expires. >> you just get that sense, they're dragging this out so that my year runs out, then they're going to dump me. >> have you ever heard of that happening? >> no, sir. >> not until this point?
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>> not until this point. >> i'm the first to mention that to you? >> yes, sir. >> it's never been an issue with this industry? >> no, sir, not to my knowledge. >> reporter: it was only after the builders knew abc news or one of our stations was on the case that repair crews showed up. in indianapolis, it was only after wrtv got involved that the builder sent an executive to check out alleged roofing and drainage problems. >> this is how we knew it was leaking. >> reporter: and outside houston, the builder d.r. horton actually offered to buy this house back after our station ktrk began to investigate a homeowner's complaints of defects and problems. for "nightline," brian ross, abc news, new york. up next, young kids training for hours to be the dancing queens and kings of the future. later, whoopi goldberg with a special christmas message.
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when you see this next story don't get discouraged an 8-year-old can bust a move better than you. he had a great teacher. nick watt with another look at choreographer tricia miranda. ♪ >> reporter: jade. and casey. dancing teens in the compilation video. 44 million views. ♪ >> reporter: aidan. he's only 10 years old. solo, 11 million and counting. he goes by the handle bah.
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behind every great man? ♪ there has to be a great woman. ♪ go go go and swing >> i started with him when he was 8. his first huge gig was dancing on the "ellen" show. ♪ >> reporter: tricia miranda is a new breed of celebrity choreographer. holds hip master classes here at millennium in l.a. >> i really, really need you to attack the certain part out there, pulse on my instagram. pressing send, then jen is like, your class sold out. >> reporter: just one of her stable. >> i have a whole group of people that are now stars, they have their own fans just from the videos. we didn't have that. my generation. >> reporter: miranda grew up in yuma, arizona. >> i would watch these awards shows and music videos and i would learn the dances and i
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would just do it in my living room. >> reporter: now little bah dances for those online millions. ♪ to miranda's choreography here at millennium. miranda has an mtv show premiering next year. >> you have to be educated in all styles, all eras. that's just something you've got to do. >> reporter: it's not reality, she says. >> it's all educational. just keep in mind, like, we are casting today. okay? so don't perform this '90s piece like a 2016 dancer. okay? let's go! it's all positive. none of it is scripted. none of it is set up. >> reporter: she's got pedigree. ♪ she was behind the scenes on beyonce's "diva" video and onstage her first big gig was on a beyonce tour. >> i stepped foot on that stage,
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it was like -- it was like i was home. it's important that every professional dancer experiences that once in their lifetime. >> all right, come on let's mark it. >> reporter: and this has been her life. choreographer missy elliot's super bowl halftime turn last year. front of camera on iggy azalea's. >> jimmy: i've been here 16 years, a long time, danced with a lot of people. but it wasn't until youtube where like my name as tricia miranda was starting to really get out there in the public eye. ♪ >> why put all this blood, sweat and tears, hours of practice, into dance? >> it's all i do. there's nothing else for me. this is all i'm going to do for the rest of my life. whether it's teaching, dancing, choreographer, creative directing, directing. it's all going to have dance involved. that's what i do. that's what i live and breathe for. >> reporter: me too.
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i'm nick watt for "nightline" in los angeles. up next, don't miss whoopi embracing the holiday spirit with a very special christmas message. and my cold medicines' ugh, iwearing off.chtime i'm dragging. yeah, that stuff only lasts a few hours. or, take mucinex. one pill fights congestion for 12 hours. no thank you very much, she's gonna stick with the short-term stuff. 12 hours? guess i won't be seeing you for a while. is that a bisque? i just lost my appetite. why take medicines that only last 4 hours, when just one mucinex lasts 12 hours? start the relief. ditch the misery. let's end this.
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tonight, our friend whoopi goldberg is ringing in the holidays for "nightline" from her living room. once again reading us a classic christmas tale. ♪ >> ho ho ho! oh ho ho hoe! hello. i'm going to give you my recitation of "the night before christmas." because i really like it. and it's my favorite thing to do just before i go to bed. so lay back. or sit back. or just sit if you're a puppy. or a cat. 'twas the night before christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
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the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that st. nicholas soon would be there. now the children were all nestled snug in their beds while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads. and mama in her kerchief and i in my hat had settled our brains down for a long winter's nap. which o when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter i leapt it from my bed to see what was the matter. away to the window i flew like a flash, tore open the shutters, threw up the sash and the moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the luster of midday to objects below. when what to my wandering eyes should appear but a miniature sleigh and eight teeny tiny reindeer. with an old driver so lively and quick i knew in a minute it must be st. nick. more rapid than eagles his
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courses they came and he whistled and shouted and he called them by name, now dasher now dancer now prancer now vixen, on comet on cupid on donner and blitzen. to the top of the porch, to the top of the wall. now dash away, dash away, dash away all. which i assume meant, hey, go to the top of the porch and then go to the top of the wall and then get out of here. that's what i think that meant. as dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly when they met with an obstacle mount to the sky, so up to the house to the top corners they flew with a sleigh full of toys and st. nicholas too. and then in a twinkling i heard upon the roof the prancing and pawing of each little tiny hoof. as i drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney st. nicholas came with a bound. he came down the chimney which i personally think would have been a little hot, but he's st. nick,
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so you know, magic happens but don't try that at home. i think trying that at home is a bad idea. anyway. he was dressed all in fur. fake fur, just saying. from his head to his foot and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. the bundle of toys he flung up on his back. he looked like an old peddler just opening his pack. his eyes oh they were twinkling, his dimples how merry. his cheeks were like roses, his nose was like a cherry. and a little tiny tiny mouth w drawn up like a bow, the beard of his chin was white as snow. the stump of his pipe -- well, he didn't actually have a pipe. the stump of his starbucks he held in his teeth and the -- coffee -- encircled his head like a wreath. in a broad face and a round little belly and it shook when he laughed like a bowl full of
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jelly. he was plus-size, plump, a right old elf. and i laughed when i saw him in spite of myself. now i wasn't laughing at him, i was laughing with him, because he was going ho ho ho! and i said, ha ha ha! so we were laughing together. and a wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know i had nothing to dread. well, i do have some things to dread but i wasn't dreading seeing him, that's what that means. he didn't say a word, he went straight to his work. he filled all of the stockings and turned with a jerk, he laid his finger aside his nose -- and giving a nod, whoop whoop, up the chimney he rose. he sprang to his sleigh, to his team he gave a whistle and away they all flew like down on a thistle. but i heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, "merry christmas to all and to all a
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good night." "the night before christmas" by clement moore. >> now that is the holiday bedtime story. thanks for watching, whoopi, and thank you for watching abc news. as always we're online at and our "nightline" facebook page. happy holidays, america, good night.
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