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tv   Today in the Bay  NBC  February 14, 2011 6:00am-7:00am PST

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cutbacks. a live report is on the way. police in the east bay are looking for a serial robber who likes drugstores and sandwich shops. i'm christie smith. i'll tell you what sets him apart coming up in a live report. and will the weather cooperate with your valentine's day plans? well, timing is key. we'll break down the shower activity throughout the day in your complete forecast. and the windy conditions, a couple wind advisories on the wet roads. and an accident is causing a major backup in an important east bay hot spot. we'll have your traffic coming up, so stick with me. it is monday, february 14th, valentine's day on "today in the bay." >> good morning to you. 6:00 right now. i'm laura garcia-cannon. >> i'm brent cannon. was that a village people kind
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of thing going on there? >> i guess. we begin with gas prices inching closer and closer to $4 a gallon throughout the bay area. >> and commuters could face fewer drivers as well. caltrain is facing serious budget cuts. marla tellez is live with the commuting changes. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you two. slowly but surely the gas prices are creeping up. we are at the 76 station near the airport at the corner of brokaw and first. as the busy spot to be this morning. the people here are paying $3.59 a gallon for regular all the way up to $3.89 for premium. now the average right now for san jose is $3.45 a gallon. that's 52 cents more than a year ago. the average in san francisco is $3.48. the national average is $3.12 right now. and this could be cheap, believe it or not, in less than two
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months when we could be paying the dreaded $4 a gallon. gas analysts at gasbuddy.com predict this could happen as soon as april. the recent turmoil in the middle east is partly to blame. also the valero refinery in venetia is closed for maintenance and has been for weeks. that's only driving prices up. now this morning we spoke to a man visiting from l.a. where he says gas is more expensive here than down there. >> it is too bad because it is a monopoly. when there's a monopoly they take advantage and nobody can do anything. wof to do something about this. it is not the people's work to do this, it is the government's. >> reporter: to make matters worse, one of the most popular public transportation options is struggling. caltrain's future is up in the air.
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tonight there's a community heating sat san jose's city hall at 7:00 to come up with solutions. if they do not, almost half of the trains would stop running, seven stations would shut down altogether, fares would increase and there would be no more weekend service. all bad news for the 42,000 people who rely on caltrain every day during the week. again, if you would like to attend the public meeting, that is tonight at san ma jose city hall at 7:00. in the meantime, you have to shell out a pretty penny at the pump, but laura has helpful information on the cheapest gas prices you'll find in the bay area coming up right now. >> that's right. thank you, marla. we checked gasbuddy this morning to help you find the cheapest gas in the bay area. in san jose the gas is $3.28 at the arco on branhum lane. the cal gas stop on south white
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road and key road is selling gas for $3.29 a gallon. concord's cheapest gas is $3.25 on monument boulevard at the arco, and you can find gas for $3.28 at the valero in el sobrante. in redwood city, the archive on whipple avenue and middlefield road is selling gas for $3.29 as well as the valero on whipple avenue and the coast costco on middlefield road. the coroner is working to identify a body in the canal found over the weekend. the sheriff department thinks it is 27-year-old jose rodriguez who kidnapped the little boy from the central valley triggering a statewide amber alert. the 4-year-old juliani cardenas was found in the canal on february 1st. a private funeral service will be held for him this friday. an armed robber who hit a dozen shops in the east bay is
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still on the loose this morning. he strikes businesses from fremont to oakland and fear he'll hit again. christie smith is live now in hayward with more on this serial robber and where he typically targets. >> reporter: good morning to you, brent. this is one of the stores here that was hit, and clearly whoever is hitting is bold because they have security cameras near the front door when you walk through. still police say this guy walked in, he lingers and brings snacks to the front counter like he'll buy them. then he will pull a gun from his waistband and demands money from the register and the clerk. five times this has happened in hayward in 12 days. he also hit stores in berkeley, fremont and san leandro. they are usually sandwich shops and drugstores. one time he got violent pistol-whipping a 59-year-old clerk. that has police concerned this could get worse. but they are also optimistic that this guy will ultimately
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get caught because it seems like at this point he just won't stop. witnesses describe him as an african-american man in his 20s, 5'9" to 5'10", skinny, wearing a red hoodie and a black red baseball cap with the letter "c" on the front for the cincinnati reds. here's what makes him standout. he has an oval-shaped birth mark on his cheek. i do have calls into the hayward police department this morning to see if they have any of this man caught on tape. christie smith for "today in the bay." thank you for the update there. >> new this morning, the revolution in egypt is having additional ripple effects. the palestinian prime minister dissolves his cabinet. an aid to the prime minister hopes to form a new cabinet within six weeks. the palestinian government said over the weekend it would hold general elections later this year. egypt is taking its first step towards a reform the people demanded. it is now ruled by the military. yesterday it suspended the
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constitution and dissolved egypt's parliament. a move welcomed by protesters. the mail tir military promises democratic elections will be held in six months. there's word this morning that american diplomats have met with jordanian leaders over the weekend. unrest is sparking up there as well. the u.s. is showing support for king abdullah ii and urge him to make political reform in the uprising in egypt. abdullah is a major u.s. allie in the middle east. he replaced his prime minister this month and has ordered quick action to try to reform jordan's political system and its economy. in the meantime, the u.s. state department is using a bay area company to try to reach iranians. scott mcgrew is here with our continuing coverage. >> reporter: good morning to you. it is still up in the air as to how much to credit twitter and facebook for all the revolutions, but still when you think about it, it is pretty incredible that two bay area companies are central to the overthrow of government. the u.s. state department has started a twitter feed this morning in the language spoken
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in iran. one of the first tweets, i'll translate it there for you, the u.s. state department recognizes its role among iranians. we want to join in your conversation. yo h sas tag erth tag there? that refers to today's date. there are protests underway in tehran. so far not very big, but we continue to monitor the situation there. meanwhile, google got involved in the egyptian revolution in an unexpected way. one of the executives led it. wael ghonim talked about how one of mubarak's move was to shut off the internet. >> one of the reasons why they are no longer in power is because they blocked facebook. sni because they have told 4 million people they are scared like hell from the revolution by blocking facebook. >> reporter: ghonim credits google for pushing for his release from the egyptian prison. he's widely credited for helping
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spark the revolution after creating a facebook page that criticized egyptian police prualty, brutality. back to you. 6:08 right now. a safer ride to students in one peninsula city this morning. that's the goal of palo alto police. officers will be handing out tickets to keep a close watch in and around school zones. it is part of operation safe passage. the program runs three times a year. they will focus on speeding, seat belts, cars stopping for school buses and not answering your cell phone or texting while driving. the program runs through the end of the week. 6:09. we saw a live look outside the golden gate bridge a while back with the roads wet. we'll get a little rain. christina has the latest for us. >> yes, love isn't the only thing coming down this morning. we actually have light scattered shower activity at the immediate coast. it is starting to thin out right now. the bulk of the moisture from the first round of showers has overall come through the area. you can see the solid line really breaking apart right now. it just inhibits scattered
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showers heading throughout the morning hours. right now we have a pretty good cell on the way to the east bay, so if it is not rain right now in your city, oakland, for instance, livermore, count on showers in the next half hour. 51 in napa. 48 in santa rosa. 52 in san francisco. even with the sun out later on today we'll see some breaks of sunshine. but our temperatures are only going to be able to climb into the upper 50s as cold air pushes into the bay area. we have some cold air behind that cold front. 59 degrees in redwood city. 59 in los gatos today. and 58 degrees in fremont. let's talk about the weather story for this week because we have a lot to talk about. windy conditions today and tomorrow. scattered showers tomorrow starting up tomorrow afternoon. intensifying overnight. we'll see a lot of rain come down over the course of tuesday into wednesday. by thursday a nice break for the first part of the day. and then the rain will continue late morning. we are talking about a lot of rain thursday into friday. and snow levels are falling to 2,000 feet. that means if you are someone to
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commutes over the santa cruz mountains, you'll really want to stay alert when it comes to the forecast in the next couple of days. we will update you. let's find out if you are heading to work right now on this valentine's day and what's happening on the roadways. going over the roadways we have the chopper there above 580, that's westbound. the commute direction is coming in near dublin and pleasanton. this is a backup extending out of the altamonte pass, but it is much worse further back. here's chopper on the map. you can see the accident at north flint road that i told you about. the travel time has increased to half hour coming out of the altamonte pass and all the snowing before north flint road. we saw a pass there with a steady flow of traffic. it is liver more livermore. there's some benefit by the accident and the backup. the accident is over in the bridge check area with the accident and ambulance on the scene. through the dublin interchange, things are moving more smoothly despite the heavy volume of
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traffic because most folks are held up in the altamonte pass. we are looking at the maze, no major issues near the toll plaza, but a live look out there shows a wet lens and a wet roadway. the wind will blow you around. back to you. thank you very much. 6:12 right now, still to come on "today in the bay," the irs will be spending their refund on debit cards, and not by checks. find out why this will save them and you some money. a lot of people are looking to spend a little money on this valentine's day. and local businesses will be happy to take it. a live report on that coming up. taking a live look outside, a beautiful bay bridge this morning. i simply love this shot. it never get tired of it. rain in the works for this week. already happening in some parts. we'll keep you posted. 6:12 right now.
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good monday morning to you. happy valentine's day. 6:15 right now. here's a cute little valentine's fact for you. legend has it that st. valentine sent the first valentine to a young woman who visited him while in prison. the american greeting card association estimates 1 billion valentine's will be sent. 85% of them are bought by women. i know you are not getting the store so i will buy yours myself. >> oh, good deal. for more than half a century a bay area institution has been providing flowers for valentine's day. >> bob redell is live with more. good morning, bob. >> reporter: good morning to you, laura and brent. the national retale federation
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says that people in the united states will spend roughly $116 this year on valentine's day. the significance is that it is up by 10% to 13% from last year. some of the money will be spent on flowers. perhaps some are coming out to the flower mart. this is a collection of wholesalers who sell their goods to retailers and then they sell them to us, the consumer. ginger adams is here with the floral company, good morning, happy valentine's day. >> good morning. >> reporter: give us a sense how business has been this year compared to last year. >> well, last year valentine's was on a sunday. and this year it is on a monday. i see people buying just a little more because it falls on a monday. >> reporter: because they maybe won't go out tonight? >> that's right. they are not going out because monday and tuesday is work. so they are buying flowers instead of going out. >> reporter: that surprises me how much or how luck of a draw
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the holiday is. you were saying the weather could also make a difference. >> yes, if it rains, people don't buy when it rains. it is very sad, but hopefully they have their orders going and are going to make deliveries today. $. >> reporter: your boyfriend is in the business as well. what did you get him? >> i got him a watch. >> reporter: what did he get you? >> i don't know. >> reporter: happy valentine's day. i appreciate it. good seeing you. there you have it. open table, by the way, they are a san francisco-based restaurant reservation company. they did a study and found that more people this year, i think like 80% of people are going out to eat rps, that's up significantly from last year. you hear what ginger says, other indications are that the economy is doing better. brent and laura? sounds good. thank you, bob.
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>> hopefully they can sell a few flowers. >> to mark valentine's day, same sex couples around the country plan to request married licenses at the county clerk's office. it will happen here in the bay area and a rally will be held in the east bay, which is the bay area, to draw attention to it. it starts at 3:30 this afternoon from the contra costa county clerk's office on escobar street in martinez organized by marriage equality usa. they say the lack of marriage equality harms and impacts same sex families. they hope to bring back same sex marriages in california. and another push for same sex rights in downtown san francisco this morning. one organization is going to court to fight for arizona's gay and lesbian ate the worker who is seek domestic partner benefits. health benefits for same sex couples were stripped in 2009 when jan brewer took away health insurance coverage for domestic
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partners. so the company is suing. oral arguments are set to start at 9:00. the white house is going to send president obama's $3 trillion budget to congress today. his plan is to reduce the deficit by a trillion dollars over the next decade. mostly by limiting tax breaks for the wealthy. president obama wants to spend more on education, energy and infrastructure. there are cuts to medicare and less government help for people who cannot pay things like their heating bills. republicans say washington could save more by just getting out of the mortgage business. >> we are off the hook now, $453 billion. it is time to begin to transition to this activity to the private sector. >> the budget cuts total 25% of what the deficit commission had recommended. consumer advocates are applauding a new irs plan to protect low-income taxpayers.
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the treasury department will deliver tax refund by debit card. it only applies to 800,000 taxpayers this year. they will take part in a pilot program starting next week. officials estimate that 10 million taxpayers do not have bank accounts so they often fall prey to super high fees when they go to cash their checks. the treasury department will mail a debit card, load it electronically, and as soon as the returns are approved taxpayers can then use the card immediately. $40 billion a year cold also be saved by not having to print so many paper checks. the federal agencies all across the bay area will find out today how much money they have to spend. scott mcgrew is joining us now to look at this. >> reporter: president obama's budget will be released today. ames has a lot of specializations including manned space research, but lately it has been the keppler mission that is the feather in the helmet. the unmanned orbiting case telescope has found hundreds of earth-like planets.
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we'll find out what this means as far as the budget goes. ames is going to have a press conference later today. there's lots of pressure on president obama to spend less after all. the opposite is really true when it comes to nasa. the last time the president released a budget for nasa he was heavily criticized for cutting funds for manned space travel. nasa ames with its press conference today is getting a first look at how much money the space agency will get. back to you. thank you very much. and right now it is 6:21. we want to check the forecast. rain the in the works this morning, christina. >> we are watching a pretty potent system. the first of a series of system that is will affect us here in the bay area heading throughout the week. we have pretty good showers coming down across the bay area. the east bay is seeing the bulk of the moisture right now. showers are pushing to antioch and san francisco. as we head through the next couple of hours, a few scattered
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showers are pushing onshore. by about 3:00 p.m. today all should be clear. which is great news for your valentine's evening plans 567893 in oakland, 53 in oakland. 52 in san francisco. we'll warm to 58 degrees under an overcast sky. and we have the cold air pushing into the bay area for the second half of the day. you will need the jacket and the umbrella. both are back. 59 degrees in los gatos. 58 degrees in san jose. and as we head through the next couple of days showers continue. our next chanc f nohot right now looks like it will be late tomorrow into wednesday. and when we talk about showers on the way, tomorrow looks like a very juicy system. we could pick up to an inch of rain on the valley more in in the south bay, the east bay is expecting maybe an inch and a half. and maybe up to two inches in the north bay. so a lot of rain on the way for tomorrow. that looks like it will be the most potent of the systems lining up for us this week. then heading through thursday
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into friday another round of rain, low snow levels. that's the big story at the end of the week. 2,000-foot snow levels. we'll talk about something that's happening. today in the bay is teaming up with american airlines. we have five great prizes for you. we want to send you to tribeca, dallas, or the l.a. film festival. you can also win a trip to the san jose senoquest. be sure to watch all next week. we'll give away a word of the day. when you see the word you log on to nbcbayarea.com. tell us what the word is and then you will be entered to win. all right. we'll be right back after this break. christina, i want folks to be winners. i don't want them to be a loser on the roadway. in oakland you are winning out. things are moving smoothly despite the issues with the wet
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roads. and the approach is going pretty well here on the bay bridge. the high wind advisory as well, watch for that. the walnut creek interchange is seeing no issues, but we have a backup in antioch. that's one of the major slowings near love ridge. look at the tri-valley area. a huge backup because of an accident at the maze. north flint road is where the accident happened. a hit-and-run involving a semi truck. all the activity is reported on the shoulder. still a 30-minute drive heading over here. look at the live shot from the chopper to show you how impacted it is over to north flint road where one lane is blocked. we are tracking this west of north flint where you haves nice benefit heading to the dublin interchange. more news after this. [ male announcer ] myron needed an mba to turn his technology into a business.
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a movie on mavericks in the half-moon bay is in the works. it had been directed by kurtis hanson who has directed big
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films like "the 8 mile." it will feature surf iing acciden accidents. no word on when or where the movie will be shot. 6:27. the title of spring training starts today. final out which giants will report to spring training today. and $4 gas has you looking for an alternative to get to work, but one of the options has budget troubles of its own. members are stumped over a rash of robberies. we are live with a report on that coming up next. and the beautiful bay bridge is waiting for the sun to come up. how wet will you get and where? christina will bri up up-to-date. it is 6:27 right now. cars that park themselves.
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five robberies in one bay area city since january and police are stuck. we'll find out how you can help coming up in a live report. and gas prices continue to go where you don't want them to. good morning, i'm marla tellez. i'll tell you soon how you could be paying $4 a gallon coming up in a live report. and a couple wind advisories and an accident causing a major slowdown that's critical on an east bay artery. we'll let you know if there's a way around it coming up if traffic. it is monday, february 149, valentine's day on "today in the bay." >> good morning. happy valentine's, everybody. it is 6:30. i'm brent cannon. >> i'm laura garcia-cannon.
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christina loren has a check on the forecast for us. yes, we are starting out with showers. but the good news is the bulk of the moisture is the really solid line of rain here pushing over the sierra nevada. that means snow on the way and a lot of it. maybe two feet by the end of the day today in places that take up the most snowfall. for us we'll see clearing, which is good news for your valentine's plans. maybe you want to get outside to have a picnic. postpone the plans until 3:00 p.m. or later. especially in the north bay. 51 degrees in napa. 51 in oakland. 51 degrees in san mateo. heading through this afternoon we are only expecting the upper 50s. showers are clearing. a nice evening on tap for us with more rain on the way heading through this week. we'll talk all about that coming up. back to you. thank you, christina. an armed robber who hit a dozen shops in the east bay is still on the loose this morning. police say he strikes businesses from fremont to oakland and they fear that he's going to hit again. "today in the bay's" christie smith is live in hayward with
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more on the serial robber and what it is that he targets and how he works. >> reporter: good morning to you, brent. you know, this is one of the last stores that was hit here in hayward. and whoever did this walked past two signs on the outside of the story that says video recording in progress. police say once inside he does the same thing, he lingers in the store and heads-up to the register where he pulls a gun out of his waistband. all the money from the cash register is given out. this has happened from san leandro and berkeley many times in the past 12 days. one of the clerks was pistol-whipped and police are concerned this could escalate. the man is 5'9", an african-american, he's skinny and wears a red hoodie with a
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black and red baseball cap with a "c" on it. he does have an unusual oval-shaped birthmark on his cheek. we have calls into the police department this morning to see if they have video of any of these incidents. christie smith, "today in the bay." your morning commute is getting more and more expensive. yet there are fewer and fewer options as gas prices skyrocket, public transportation is cutting back as well. marla tellez is live in san jose with more on the catch 22. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, laura. yes, it is beginning to look like a no-win situation. i hate to be the bearer of bad news, but prices are rising. i'm sure of noticed people here at the 76 station at the corner of brokaw and first are paying $3.59 for a gallon of regular this morning. all the way up to $3.89 for
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premium. the average right now in san jose is $3.45 a gallon, but it is 52 cents more than just one year ago. in san francisco the average is $3.48, that's compared to $3.12 nationwide. enjoy it while you can because we could be paying the dreaded $4 a gallon. gas analysts with gasbuddy.com predict this could happen as soon as april. the recent problems in the middle east are partly to blame. also the valero refinery here in venetia is currently closed for maintenance. it has been for several weeks. that's only driving prices up. this morning we found one man heading to work driving his company truck. >> over $60 to fill up my truck. thank god i have a company truck otherwise i would be $200 to $250 a week just in gas. i travel all over the bay area from san francisco, san jose all the way to oakland.
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and, you know, this is going to kill us. >> reporter: to make matters worse one of the most popular public transportation options is struggling. as we have reported caltrain is seeing a $30 million shortfall threatening the train's future as officials do not come up with some solutions soon that could cause half the trains to stop running altogether, stations could close and fares could increase. tonight there's a community meeting here in san jose to brainstorm some ideas. if you would like to attend to give your two cents, that's tonight at san jose city hall at 7:00. as for the painful prices at the pump, gasbuddy.com is always a good resource to log on to to find the cheapest prices in your neighborhood. live in san jose this morning, marla tellez for "today in the bay." thank you. low-income children and their families may get free rides on muni depending on what city
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leaders say. dozens of low-income parents will testify before the board of supervisors this afternoon. they hope to persuade muni to give free passes to some 12,000 low-income students during the last three months of this fis squal year. in the last year the cost of the youth fast pass has doubled from $10 to $20. 6:36 right now. fresh off the world series win, the giants get back to work today. pitcher and catchers report to scotsdale stadium in arizona this morning. it will be mostly talk. the first real workout happens tomorrow. the first full workout is on saturday. a lot of media will be on hand this year versus last. cameras will be rolling on the giants' world series that will air on several networks. winning a world series could prove costly to san francisco. the city paid more than $340,000 on the world series celebration. most of that money was spent on
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police overtime for the parade. $20,000 was spent on cleaning up 17 tons of trash. and the city also paid overtime for other departments and preparing damaged vehicles. the 49ers and giants have agreements with the police department to pay for security inside their stadiums during games. however, they don't always pay that outside the game. after the games are things like championship parades. new this morning, two bay area assemblymen will announce landmark legislation in san francisco this morning designed to protect the dwindling shark population. should it become law it could end the state's contribution to the shark fin trade. assembly members paul fong and jared huffman are co-authoring the bill. fong says stricter laws are necessary on illegal shark fin practices. the demand for shark fin soup is vising and the number of finless sharngs sharks thrown back into
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the ocean to die is rising. sharks do help maintain the balance of the marine life in the ocean. leland ye is proposing for greater conservation efforts this morning. he will say that the proposed law is the wrong approach. he also says the legislation is an unfair attack on asian culture and cuisine. the time is 6:38. it will start feeling a lot like february once again. christina will have her forecast for you coming up. and the red of value inteen's day can translate into a lot of green for local businesses. a i love report is next. and find out whose big-time grammy hopes were slashed and spoiled. and which bay area act took home rewards. that's coming up. and here's a live look outside this morning at the hp pavilion in the south bay. it is 6:38 right now.
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the start of the music industry or the stars of the music industry came out last night. >> some hatched coming out of an egg.
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pop singer lady gaga hatched before her opening performance. but she was not actually the big winner as expected last night. rock group rk 5 took home album of the year and country group lady antebellum won six grammys. it could make you wondering what came first, gaga or the egg? >> i guess she thinks she's a hot chick. >> all right. train won best pop performance by a duo group for "hey soul sister." the east bay green day won best album. britain's orchestra won best surround sound album. people in moscow, russia, have been locked in a capsule for 257 days. they are an international crew of astronauts making a mock trip
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to mars. later today they will perform a mock landing and then they will simulate taking rock samples and planting the russian and chinese flags. it is now 6:42 right now. there are science of progress in gabrielle rovery recovery this morning. >> and we'll have a live report coming up from washington next. ♪ ...harvested the same... ♪ ...and roasted the same as our other premium coffees. it only makes sense it would taste the same. so, try it for yourself. buy a pack of 100% natural starbucks via ready brew. we promise you'll love it or we'll send you a bag of starbucks coffee. it's the starbucks via taste promise. look for it where you buy groceries.
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good valentine's day morning to you. if you have evening plans, late afternoon plans, you should be okay when it comes to dodging all the shower activity that's coming down right now over the bay area. we are picking up some pretty good rainfall over san
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francisco. all the showers are pushing from west to east. that's the case for the next few hours. then we'll start to see a lot of clearing by 5:00 p.m. tonight. mostly clear conditions across the entire bay area tonight. mostly around 3:00 p.m. we'll see clearing over the south and east bay. then by 5:00 for the north bay and peninsula. this is what to expect over the next 24 hours. more rain on the way. by noon on tuesday we've got another line of showers shaping up to give us some pretty heavy rainfall as we head throughout your tuesday. in fact, we'll see pretty good rainfall into the course of wednesday. this is what it looks like at 6:00 a.m. wednesday morning. that's when we are expecting a pretty rough commute in the morning hours. wednesday you want to plan on giving yourself extra time on wednesday morning as the ground will be saturated with more rain on the way. 49 degrees in fairfield right now. 53 in oakland. 51 degrees in san mateo. today even with breaks of sunshine we are only going to warm up to the upper 50s, maybe the low 60s in places like oakland. 59 in concord. 59 degrees in los gatos.
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here is your extended outlook. there's a lot to talk about here as we head into tomorrow, 58 degrees. the wind will continue. 58 degreesurning to 56 by wednesday. breezy and rainy by thursday. maybe some thunderstorms in the afternoon as we clear out a little bit. we'll have daytime heating to provide thunderstorms possibly on thursday. then the snow levels drop to 2,000 feet friday into saturday. so that means we could see snow over the santa cruz mountains heading into friday morning. we'll update you on top of that here. we want to key keep you updated on the secret word game that we are doing next week. we want to let you know about this. once you see the secret word, go to nbcbayarea.com. click on contests. we are giving away five sets of prizes and trips. we are flying you and a guest to the tribeca film festival at the dallas international film festival or the los angeles film festival if you win.
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we are also offering two vip packages to the santa quest here in san jose, that includes two nights at the houl hilton, vip lunches and dinners and tickets to the movie screenings and premiers. watch out for that next week. go to nbcbayarea.com. if you would like a heads-up on the rules, stop by our website today. let's tell you how we are looking on the roadways this morning. hey, mike. let's look at the bay bridge. more congestion at the bay bridge expected, but the approach is looking good. the east shore freeway on top of the screen is seeing speeds near 40s and 50s. the metering lights are turned on. the accident is eastbound here heading to highway 13 near the warren freeway. with the bay bridge toll plaza itself, the back yum is forming near the 880 overcrossing even though the metering lights have been on close to a half hour. a relatively slow build there.
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some folks could be held up in livermore. here's a live look out there as well where we have the -- i'm sorry, the maps are showing a slowdown approaching 580 out of the altamonte pass. it is slow but getting better. the chopper moved to the dublin interchange to end with a shot over 580 and 680. here's a little slow drive, but things are moving more closely to the 40s than the 30s now. and there's sunol, 680 is taking the brunt of the commute down to the south bay. 6:49 right now. courtrooms are supposed to be where criminals go to get punished, but one father and son team found the courtroom was the best place to commit their crime. >> and "today in the bay's" garvin thomas led our investigation into the story. what did you find? >> reporter: well, we found that the father and son team were just owning a truck company, but over the years they found suing people was more lucrative a business than towing them. their names and faces were familiar to folks in santa clara and monterey small claims courts
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because they were busy filing an unheard of number of cases. just how many cases? >> i counted over 2,200. >> reporter: greg adler was sued by paul grier over a vehicle it didn't own. it was the one lawsuit that proved too many. >> and so i started calling people that i found on the court's website. other defendants that were sued. there were hundreds of them. everyone said the same thing. i was never served, i never owned that car, i owned that car sometimes up to eight years before they were sued. >> reporter: adler took it upon himself to look into what was looking more and more like a scam. he traveled hundreds of miles and spent thousands of unpaid hours copying and analyzing court documents. in the end, adler provided the santa clara county district attorney with a practically gift-wrapped case. the two men are now behind bars
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after pleading no contest to dozens of counts of fraud, emergency and extortion. sound like the end of the story, right? not quite because there are questions people still want answered. how did so many fraudulent cases go unnoticed for years, particularly when so many were heard in the same santa clara county courtroom in front of the same court commissioner. tonight at 11:00 we'll tell you who he is and what people are saying about him. >> wow, that is shocking to know that somebody can do that. you get these official things and think you are in trouble. you find out you are not. >> one of the highlights in this case is small claims court, there are no lawyers allowed. you can get away with a lot when there's no lawyer to raise a red flag to say that's not right. >> when you are representing yourself you have to be careful. you can learn from that tonight. the president sent his $3 trillion budget plan to congress today. tracie potts is live in washington. republicans are showing no love for the new budget on valentine's day either.
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>> reporter: no, they are not. in fact, they say this is a budget where we can cut even more. the president and the white house say the budget will reduce our deficit by $1.1 trillion, which is really only a quarter of what the deficit commission recommended over the next decade. but they also said there's a lot of give and take here. for example, expanding pell grants so students can go to college and pay more towards their college courses. but limiting that money to the school year so they can't be used for summer courses. also, there are some medicare cuts that would prevent the government from having to cut what doctors are paid to reimburse for seeing medicare patients. now what republicans are concerned about are the tax breaks for the wealthy that may go away in this budget. they are also wondering whether or not president obama is really going to take an ax to the bigger parts of the budget, medicare, medicaid, social security and defense. we are told there is some defense spending that is being
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cut in this budget. it arrives here on capitol hill today as lawmakers still are trying to figure out what to do about the current 2011 budget. we are already almost halfway into that spending year and still have not come up with a deal on. that live from capitol hill, tracie potts, back to you, brent. thank you. >> 6:53 right now. new details on the cost of your morning commute. caltrain is on the verge of cutting its service in half. and in the meantime experts think gas could soon cost more than $4 a gallon. "today in the bay's" marla tellez is live in san hoy jose with what commuters will soon face. >> reporter: filling up the tank is a painful experience. i just asked the gentlemen inside this vehicle how much it would cost them, and they said it would cost $100 to fill up the 35-gallon tank this morning. the price to pay at the 76 station here at the corner of
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brokaw and first near the san jose airport is $3.59 a gallon. that's for regular. all the way to $3.89 for premium. the average in san jose is $3.45 a gallon. san francisco has san jose beat. the average there is $3.48 compared to $3.12 nationwide. now come april this could seem cheap. believe it or not, we could be paying $4 a gallon. gas analysts with gasbuddy.com predict this could happen as soon as spring. and for some this is already ruining plans for summer. >> you know, just to go fishing is $100. just to get there. that doesn't even include any fees or bait or whatever else you want to do. >> reporter: to make matters worse, be one of the most popular transportation options is struggling. caltrains has a $30 million shortfall and is threatening the train's future.
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if officials don't come up with a solution, almost half the trains could stop running, stations could close and fares could increase. tonight there's a community meeting here in san jose to come up with some ideas. if you would like to attend that meeting to help caltrains' future, that's happening tonight at 7:00 at san jose city hall. reporting live in san jose this morning, marla tellez, "today in the bay." we checked gasbuddy this morning to help you find the cheapest gas. in san jose, gas is $3.28 at the arco. also several other places on the peninsula where you can get gas for $3.29 a gallon. meantime, scott mcgrew is here with a check on your money this morning. do i have any? >> reporter: good morning. the dow industrial is down 20 points this morning. and nasdaq is up about five. one of the things we are looking at is netflix.
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netflix is up 3% this morning after word that there will be netflix on android. meanwhile, earlier we asked what your favorite romantic song was. boy, when it comes to romance, i think of nothing but guys in suits. but we are talking about what is your most romantic song. we suggested "maybe i'm amazed" the paul mccartney song. one facebook writer requested "crazy." my favorite has always been "in your eyes" by peter gabriel. a really long song. the one where the kid holds the radio above his head, i can't think of the movie -- >> "say anything." >> yes, that is it. the bay area institution is up and running for valentine's day this morning. we want to check in with bob redell at the flower mart. >> reporter: yes, i'm at the san
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francisco flower mart, a wholesale flower mart here. i'm just curious, valentine's day sales this year compared to last year, how is it? >> it will be great. we'll be up about 20%. buy flowers, that's all i can say. we need to get it out there. cover yourselves and get it out there. >> reporter: if you have a significant other working at work, please call and order. by the way, the national retail survey says that the average person spends $116 on valentine's day this year. that's 10% to 13% more than last year. >> thank you for joining us. the "today" show is up next. >> have a gate day. happy valentine's day. now, that's progressive. ou money - call or click today. i thought it was over here... ♪
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