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tv   Today in the Bay  NBC  December 8, 2010 4:30am-5:00am PST

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new dropout numbers are out for california students, and it isn't pretty. i'm christie smith. we'll tell you how bay area school districts stack up coming up in a live report. plus we have new video of that natural gas explosion in oakland. what pg&e is saying about the blast. and before and after, shocking weight loss. a local man's secret how he lost it all without surgery. from nbc bay area, reporting what matters to you, this is "today in the east bay."
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good morning, everyone. i'm scott mcgrew. it is 4:30. let's go right to rob meteorologist -- that's a good name, i like it with yr mayed da forecast. >> a rainy forecast today. we'll take you into the east bay, 580/680 interchange, starting to see light frrain in fremont. more substantial rain lurking in the north bay. this is spilling south as you go through the morning commute. you can see the system on the bay area. rainfall totals around the north bay, 1 to 2 inches of rain the next 24 hours so pretty substantial rain there. for the east bay mainly a half inch to an inch of rain during the day today. dublin and livermore, upper 50s today. we'll see mid to upper 50s no matter where you go, from oakland to berkeley eastward to concord and pittsburg. we will have more opportunities for rain for the rest of the
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workweek but a changing forecast for the weekend. a look at that coming up. let's turn over to mike. >> we're going from water to fire. an earlier report of a fire in haywood. an apartment building had some smoke. there was a fire crew on scene and they had to block foothill boulevard which is technically highway 238 through the area. that has reopened but you still will have a fire truck on scene. no injuries and the castro valley y not far from there. the access is all right out of hayward. the southbound ramp at high street is closed until about 6:00 a.m. as you see the light volume of traffic really not affected by this. that will be opened up before the morning commute really takes place. scott, back to you. new this morning, a bleak picture for oakland public schools. they're in need of help fast.
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a new report says four out of every ten students drop out. "today in the east bay's" christie smith is in oakland. that's just shocking percentages. >> reporter: yeah, it really is. when you look at it closely, in one year nearly 1400 high school students here in oakland just said "i quit" and failed to show up to classes anymore. the district is saying they know it's shocking, they know they need to do something about this and they need to do it fast. in fact staff members are designing a new plan to review the academic preparation of all ninth graders to steer them into career academics or internships very early. it seems some students aren't even realizing until pretty late in the grade, 11th grade that, they're not even on track to graduate. this is based on new state numbers from 2008 and 2009. oakland's numbers went up during that time from 28 to 40% from the previous year. but there may be some
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discrepancies involved, perhaps due to a new software system that some schools are using. for instance, dublin schools are showing a 99.9% dropout rate, which is mathematically impossible. so here's where the numbers stack up. in alameda county, oakland schools had the highest dropout rate with 40%, berkeley 26.9 and emeryville schools went 25% dropout rate. over in contra costa county, pittsburg was the highest with a nearly 31% dropout rate. antioch at 26% and the mt. diablo school district at 22.2%, which is actually tied with west contra costa unified schools. reporting live in oakland, christie smith. the man accused of sexually assaulting a toddler in a bay area discount store will be in court today to ask a judge to free him on bail. police say convicted sex offender eugene ramos grabbed a
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2-year-old girl in a union city dollar tree store and sexually assaulted her while her grandmother was shopping in the next aisle. police arrested ramos after a group of shoppers and store employees managed to pin him down. he faces charges of rape, kidnapping and lewd acts with a child. three months after a gas line decimated their neighborhood, survivors in san bruno still fearful and frustrated. they blasted city leaders at a forum last night for holding on to at least $400,000 in donations instead of giving it to them. leaders say they want to make sure the money is used for expenses that pg&e will not already cover. residents are also angry with the state public utilities commission, saying they don't trust the agency to protect them from future explosions. >> three months have passed and we have no idea what happened. we have major gas lines going through our neighborhood that we were not aware of.
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and we don't feel safe. >> public utility commission leaders promise to add more inspectors and track pipeline incidents more carefully. the vow, though, provided little comfort. we have video of a gas line explosion that destroyed an oakland home and left a 61-year-old man in critical condition. neighbors say the man was renovating his home shortly before the blast on 87th avenue on monday. investigators with pg&e say the fire does not appear to be related to a faulty gas line. an unusual spike in vie fle lens -- violence in antioch has spiked. there was a hit and run death as well. this increase in crime means officers not normally assigned to investigations are helping out and other law enforcement agencies have also joined in. governor-elect jerry brown
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will not take office until next month but already he's working on the state budget deficit today. he's going to meet with state lawmakers and finance leaders in sacramento to talk about some of the challenges that lie ahead. brown takes office january 3rd and must offer his first budget just a week later. the legislative analyst's office says california faces a $19.3 billion gap for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. walnut creek looking for a few good men and women to help shape the city's fiscal health. mayor cindy silva unveiled her plan for fiscal task force. applicants to the force should have experience in finance as well as an understanding of the community and be able to commit a lot of time. applications are available at the city's website. tonight is your last chance to help shape the future of martinez. the city is holding its last of four community meetings where neighbors can share ideas about
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what they would do with the city and how they would like martinez to change over the next 20 years. that workshop is at 6:30 at hidden valley elementary school on glacier drive. a final push today to support the dream act and the repeal do not ask, do not tell policy. organizing america volunteers in oakland will make thousands of calls to people in the bay area asking them to reach out to members of congress. congress could vote on the dream act as early as today. it would provide undocumented students who have grown up in the u.s. a chance to obtain legal immigration status by completing two years of college or military service. the city of richmond has decided not to go into the pot-growing business. richmond spent three months asking the public for ideas and alternatives to a casino, analyzing proposals ranging from a medical marijuana farm to a ballpark. but last night the city council
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decided none of those ideas was any good. what happens next is up to the incoming city council. they'll be sworn in next month. now, "today in the east bay" traffic with mike inouye. >> good morning. it's 4:38, folks, early in the morning. there's a lack of street lighting approaching the bay bridge toll plaza. you can see the headlights and the east shore freeway. just a note as you're coming off the berkeley curve. what i'm told, that you can see those lights overhead indicating those fastrak lanes. a live look outside. there you go with the maps. a reminder again, it will be dim coming off of that berkeley curve. approaching the maze, no problems right now because of the light volume of traffic that continues. we'll move over and check further east. livermore, 580, speeds continue at the limit out of the altamont past. rob has been talking about rain coming into our area. scott, we'll hand it to you.
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>> all right, let's check the weather. a good weekend coming up. >> that's the pleasant part of the forecast. for now we've got rain on the approach to oakland. with all the clouds spilling in, not too chilly this morning. the cool spot right now, 47 degrees in livermore. the rain about to move in. you can see some of the rain starting to approach milpitas and also around fremont. some light rain around 580. as we head to the west, a few scattered showers approaching the bay bridge. the same story on interstate 880. if you're heading into sacramento, the rain already in solano county this morning. we'll see bands of rain push on through, locally heavy at times. we'll see highs pretty much no matter where you go mid-50s, with highs near 57 in concord, 58 in oakland. tomorrow and friday a little less rain, just some scattered showers. there's your weekend forecast. it will warm up for places like oakland but patchy fog may keep
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things cool around livermore sunday into monday. coming up, holiday help for struggling east bay families. plus the president makes a deal to extend bush-era tax cuts. and a man who lost nearly 400 pounds. we'll talk about his secret to shedding the weight. reporting what matters to you, you're watching "today in the east bay" with scott mcgrew. traffic with mikin ouye.
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you're looking at a live picture in oakland. it's going to be a nice weekend ahead. some traffic problems with streetlights, though. we'll check in with mike in just a minute. the cambridge community center in concord making the most of every dollar this holiday season. they're giving families in need a holiday gift certificate to big lot's. the struggling families it means a lot. that's a new pair of jeans, a meal, even a small christmas tree. the center providing state-funded child care to more than 200 low income children. it will give each family a $10 gift certificate to big lot's funded by the share a spirit grant. we were just talking about some streetlights that are out? >> yeah, approaching the bay bridge toll plaza. now, the lights at the toll plaza, saying fastrak lane and what costs are going to be,
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those are working. let me give you the live look. so the approach will be an issue if the rain comes through the area, so we're watching that. we called chp to find out what's going on. they said, well, you've now made us aware, so chp will check things out as well. an easy shore down the east shore freeway, but watch the lighting. that may be an issue a little later on as the weather changes. let's turnpike over to rob and a great weekend ahead. >> in the meantime still wednesday and this is the forecast to start off your morning. around fremont, starting to see light rain showers off to the east of dublin, out toward livermore, a little light rain coming down. also seeing showers to the west of oakland. a little more substantial rain falling along interstate 80 as you head into solano county this morning. today we'll see rain off and on at times. some of it will be locally heavy where we could see 1 to 2 inches
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of rain coming down. so most of the rain falling for the central and north bay. thursday into friday we'll see some scattered showers. notice the surf, though, getting up to 15 feet on the coast on thursday. then as the showers shut down friday morning, the weekend ahead looks dry and kind of warm for parts of the south bay. it's going to stay fairly cool and the rain will continue off and on today. the wettest part of the forecast happening today into tomorrow morning. friday showers mainly for the north bay and temperatures at least inland will start to climb saturday with lots of sunshine around oakland to wrap up the weekend. wall street hoping for a longer lasting rally this morning. traders saw a rally yesterday before a fade near the closing bell. hopefully better news this morning. for more on news before the bell, courtney reagan is live at cnbc world headquarters. good morning, courtney. >> reporter: good morning, scott. right the now futures are somewhat lower after stocks finished well off their highs on tuesday.
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investors dumped bonds as they revisit president obama's tax-cut deal. there's concern it will make the deficit even bigger. asian markets are mixed overnight. europe is hugging the flat line. just one economic report later this morning on the non-manufacturing or services sector. the dow slipped three points tuesday to 11,359. the nasdaq edged up three points to 2598. the middle class is coming up short on saving for retirement. a new survey by wells fargo finds the average american has put away less than 7% of their desired retirement nest egg and will likely have to keep working. they think they need about $300,000 to fund their golden years but they have only saved about $20,000. back to you, scott. good news for job seekers. job openings rose in october. there were 3.4 million jobs advertised at the end of october. that's up 12% from the previous month. the labor department says that
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reverses two months of decline and it's the highest since august of 2008. the numbers still short about a million from the number of job openings in december of 2007 when the recession began. microsoft is making some changes to internet explorer. it should help you keep sites from tracking your activities. the soon-to-be released version of the browser will let users add lists of sites that they do and don't want tracking them. you'll have to turn the feature on. this comes as the federal trade commission is proposing new rules on advertisers, limiting them from following users around the internet. vice president joe biden heads to capitol hill to try to convince reluctant democrats to support the president's tax deal, but some want to change it, which woucould put us right back into square one just weeks before everybody's taxes are scheduled to go up.
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tracie potts has the latest from washington. >> well, this is the way to go forward and the right thing to do. >> it simply adds to the deficit. >> reporter: president obama insists tax breaks for the rich was the only way republicans would agree to tax breaks for the middle class. >> i have not been able to budge them. >> reporter: democrats aren't so sure. >> i think we went too soon. there's a couple more innings in this game. >> reporter: house democrats still want to force the gop's hand by going public, telling americans this is a choice between helping 98% working families versus the wealthiest 2%. >> i think we've got the american people on our side. i think we can win this struggle. >> reporter: some democrats want to scale back the estate tax before this comes up for a vote. others doubt whether it will really be temporary. >> you don't have the backbone to let the tax cuts expire today, you certainly are not going to do it in the middle of a presidential election. >> reporter: ironically, both sides are still undecided, which could leave president obama trying to pass his tax deal with
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a majority of republicans supporting it. in washington, tracie potts, "today in the east bay." let's check in with christie smith. she's been talking about oakland dropout rates. no, i guess we're going to talk to brent next. okay, brent, you get to go first. >> i can talk about those too. >> it's shocking numbers. >> she's on the story and will have that coming up on "today in the bay." also a major meeting of the bigwigs in the nfl. we'll talk about how that meeting could affect the way that your kid plays football in the future. it could trickle all the way to high school and peewees. a popular mtv show has an unwanted effect. how it impacts teens all across the country. plus an update on the bad santa. macy's may not want his sense of humor anymore but another business does. we'll have that and more coming up in a few minutes on "today in the bay." >> thank you, brent. an fda panel backing the release of the first prescription diet pill in more
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than a decade. a federal advisory committee voted that the benefits outweigh the risks. trials conducted by the drug maker found the drug caused a rise in blood pressure but the side effect was outweighed by the benefit of moderate weight loss. the fda is expected to decide by the end of january as to whether to approve it. one east bay man knows how hard it is to lose those extra pounds, a lot of pounds. he once tipped the scales at 600, lost more than 300 without surgery or pills. cheryl hurd shows us how he did it. >> arm strength, get your butt back. good. >> reporter: working out isn't easy. >> five good ones. >> reporter: no matter who you are. >> i was 10 pounds, 14 ounces when i was born. >> reporter: if you're steven lee, being a big baby at birth in his mind may have something to do with his weight problems as an adult. >> the simplest task as tying my
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shoes in the morning was difficult. >> reporter: that's because he weighed 655 pounds. >> when you walk through the door, you have that shame. i guess embarrassment. and that's what hinders you. maybe they're not looking at you, but how could you not look? >> reporter: he wore a size 7 x, the same pants wrapped around me as a skirt are the same he's wearings in these prediet pictures. and after walking into the 24-hour fitness, his life has changed. he lost 371 pounds. now he weighs. >> 284. did it without surgery. all with hard work. >> reporter: his trainer, e.j. castilio remembers seeing him come through the gym door. >> i walked over and introduced myself. gave him some tips and advice on how to maximize his time in the
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gym. >> reporter: lee change eld his diet, got rid of processed foods and started eating healthy. >> not only was i motivating him, but he was motivating me and the way i train my clients. because if he could do it, a guy almost pushing 700 pounds, just about anybody could do it. >> reporter: lee lived years without a meaningful job. club manager butch cooper was so impressed with him, he hired lee as a team leader. >> exercise and nutrition is not easy, but here's a person who had in his mind an insurmountable amount of weight to lose. >> i remember when you started and i watched your transition, you know, i watched your journey, and, you know, i love to hear it every time. >> reporter: cheryl hurd, "today in the east bay." well, from great news to distressing news about oakland schools this morning. school leaders scrambling to fix an extremely high public high school dropout rate.
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christie smith is live with the results of the absolutely discouraging report. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you, scott. yeah, you know, when you take a look at these numbers, it's really quite disturbing, especially for oakland schools where the dropout rate is at about 40%. in one year alone, nearly 1400 high school students just stopped showing up altogether. what's worse is that it looks like the number is actually climbing. these numbers are new. they're statewide numbers from 2008 and 2009. numbers had fluctuated between 28 and 36%, the dropout rate for oakland schools. the district is looking at trying to make sure that kids are on track starting in the ninth grade with things like internships and career academies. it turns out many students don't know they're not quite on track to graduate until pretty late in the game, sometime around 11th grade, but there may be some discrepancies in these numbers
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due to some software that the schools are using. for instance, dublin schools are showing up at a 99% dropout rate, which is basically mathematically impossible. so here's how the numbers stack up here in alameda county. again, oakland schools at 40% for the dropout rate. berkeley schools pretty high too at about 27%. followed by emeryville schools, which are around 25%. that's the latest from here. reporting live in oakland, christie smith, "today in the east bay." the warriors back on the court tonight against san antonio. the game starts at 5:30. they lost a close one in dallas last night. stef curry scored 21 points, david lee had 20 but the mavericks win, 100-105. nothing to eat, injured and lost. what kept a woman going while lost in the santa cruz mountains. we'll talk about that coming up in just a bit. plus family and friends of
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elizabeth edwards talk about their loss. what they're learning through her trials. brent is coming up on the back side of this break. y family to , and i come from a family of six kids, so it's very special. i have an 11-year-old son, and he always tells me, "mom, why didn't you finish when you were supposed to?" i'm like, well, life happens, but i'm doing it now. [ announcer ] ramona lopez. ♪ [ ramona ] it really helped me manage all aspects of my life. my name is ramona lopez, and i am a phoenix. ♪
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just shake it. [ rattling ] [ male announcer ] need ink? staples has a low price guarantee on all the ink you need. find a lower price at another store, and we'll match it. that was easy. ["stir it up" playing]
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stir up a smile with hershey's syrup. you can do something extraordinary. join your neighbors and the american red cross and help save the day when the next disaster strikes, when a neighbor's house burns down, if someone needs lifesaving blood or the comfort of a helping hand. hope. support the american red cross and help save the day. visit >> reporter: good morning. bob redell. how a meeting this morning of the nfl could affect the way your child plays football here at home. that story coming up in a live report. a bay area city plans to
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offer full-time help to the homeless. we will tell you how much it could cost taxpayers in these cash-strapped times. plus the race for the americas cup. the move to try to bring the race one step closer to san francisco. from nbc bay area, reporting what matters to you, this is "today in the bay." good morning, everybody. thanks for joining us. i'm brent cannon. laura is off on assignment today. more on our top stories coming up in just a moment. first traffic and weather. we start it off with rob. >> good morning, brent. we're going to see temperatures today not changing a whole lot. we've got clouds and some raindrops. look at these numbers hour by hour. not moving around at all. we've got mostly cloudy skies and some rain that wnl be falling, keeping our temperatures down today. speaking of the rain, it is now coming down pretty good around the north bay. some of that rain just crossing the bay bridge and that could be a bit of an issue for your morning commute. >> so we'll take a look at the upper deck and the view that we


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