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tv   NBC Bay Area News at 5  NBC  December 29, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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story hotel as a westin. there are also plans to remodel corridors and its 171 rooms. >> we really love it, it's in great shape. and we saw it as a beautiful historic hotel. we purchased this regardless of what happens with baseball. >> that's right. it's hard to mention lou wolfe and san jose without getting into the a's and owner's push to move the team south. >> we don't have approval to move to san jose at this point. this purchase was based solely on the asset itself. >> major league baseball would have to remove the giants territorial rights and give the a's the go ahead to move. there has been speculation a decision could come as soon as february. keith wolffe says they can't base their thoughts on the
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investment just yet. >> he's a businessman, and he can do what he needs to do to make things happen if it's favorable for himself. >> i hope things move up around here, i hope we get the team here, that would be fantastic for san jose. >> that was kimberly terry reporting. >> in other news tonight, the state's highest court says the state can legally raid city redevelopment money and use it to help pull california out of debt. the state's highest court made the unanimous decision earlier today. california re-created redevelopment agencies in the 1940s, so the state has the right to shut them down against city wishes. this ruling means they will have more money to give to public schools. today's decision disappoints city leaders all over the area. >> we're very disappointed that san jose entered as a plaintiff into the lawsuit. we believe in the benefit of tax
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increment financing. it's what brought us to the economic development of san jose, and thousands of affordable housing units. >> the court also struck down a plan city leaders called pay to play. it would have allowed cities to pay sacramento a fee, and get access to future tax dollars for redevelopment. the san jose mother accused of tossing her toddler out of a second story window will not face prison charges, but instead will face child endangerment charges. she locked herself and son into the bedroom. when they broke into the bedr m bedroom, she dropped her sonl out the window and then jumped behind him. we know which stores will be among the first closed by sears. it looks like the bay area will
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be spared for now. the company announced early they are week it will be shutting down more than 100 sears and kmart stores nationwide. of the 79 locations announced today. none are in the bay area. approximately 40 to 80 people work at each of the 79 locations. sears hoped christmas shopping would save some of the steerore but sluggish sales didn't pick up this year. a south bay apartment complex was on lockdown for five hours. the man was eventually taken down by a police dog. scott mckinnon was holed up in his apartment here. he waved a machete at officers at one point. it wasn't until he walked out with a bottle of alcohol in his hands that the canine bit him. the stand-off began when police responded to reports that his music was too loud and he refused to turn it down. >> he's just a real odd
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character. always been like that. he's really out that. >> no officers were hurt in this incident many. >> take a look at this, the south bay bus driver crashed into a semitruck early this morning. the crash happened at 4:00 this morning in sachb jose. the driver of the semiwas checked out at the scene and released. the bus driver was taken to valley medical where he was treated for minor injuries. no one was on the bus at the time of the crash. despite all this damage there, were no delays to the bus route. a new report says the milpidas dental fund has been mismanaged over the last several years. they received taxpayer money to reimburse firefighters and their families on claims for dental work. city leaders will discuss the mismanagement. the report done by an accounting firm says it found various procedures that weren't followed and the fund hasn't filed any
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tax forms in seven years. >> the problems we had is. it's been mismanaged to where checks are not being cashed. people have not been receiving their reimbursements for dental work. >> to resolve some of the issues, the report recommends committee members overseeing the funds no longer sign blank ch k checks. >> fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire that destroyed two multimillion dollar homes in the berkeley hills. the fire started at 8:30 last night, it spread quickly. four firefighters were injured putting out the flames. two from heat exhaustion and two suffered flames. all of them are expected to be okay. firefighters were met with some extra challenges in the berkeley hills. >> what we do have in this particular fire terrain, we're going above grade as well as we had to zeal with a power line that dropped across our fire
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engine early on. >> 150 homes were evacuated as a precaution during in a fire. none of those homes were damaged. we told you yesterday before a plant crackdown on the peninsula on people who fire guns during a new year's eve celebration. today we got a look at how police plan on doing that. >> the east palo alto police demonstrated the use of the shots detection system. officers tell us the citywide system is suspended to quickly detect gunfire and illegal fireworks. >> if our response time has lessened between the time the shots get fired and the time the officers arrive at the scene. >> police in palo alto are planning to triple the number of officers in the field saturday night. they plan to crackdown on drunk
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drivers and other crimes as revellers mark the beginning of 2012. it's a sad day for one east bay city. bob watson passed away today with his family by his side. the 77-year-old died at the kaiser permanente hospital. no cause of death was given. wasserman was elected to the city council in 1992 but before that served as the city's police chief since 1976. he's survived by his wife of 53 years and their two adult children. the vice mayor will take over until city councilmembers fill the vacant seat. a dark horse is surging toward the republican pack as we head toward tuesday's iowa caucus. ron paul occupies the top two spots in two different polls. he's the latest front-runner in a race that's seen michele bachmann and rick perry take turns as the favorite next to mitt romney. he's getting hammered by
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negative ads and rick santor sum taking advantage and polling in the top half of the pack. >> if iowa says you're the guy by pushing us up there into the top tier, they won't be able to ignore us any more. >> romney aids believe if he can get 25% of the vote, they will win a race they were losing badly a few weeks ago. to stay up to the minute on all things politics, go to our website, and go to the prop zero blog. bay area doctors develop a new way to help the wounded walk. a major cell phone company announces its plans to make you pay for making your payment. returning to the rock after five decades. a family plans to travel across esuntry to eb esca escape. i'm jeff ranieri. cold, damp and foggy for much of the north bay. 55 for san jose. clouds stick around for tonight
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with temperatures in the 40s. we'll talk about our chancesf rain coming up in my seven-day forecast.
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veterans administration hospitals and clinics in the bay area are seeing an influx of veterans coming home. they expect to help an additional 50 vets a month in the coming year. romeo was diagnosed with ptsd and helped by counselling. he says readjusting to civilian life is difficult. >> once the celebrations die down and reality hits you that you're back in america, reach out to the va or someone -- especially another buddy, and ask them hugh they can meet the services that the va has offered.
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>> torin gall is a marine who lost both legs while serving in afghanistan. doctors are also treating him for a traumatic brain injury. he's benefited greatly from physical therapy. bay area researchers have figured out how to implant humans with tiny computers. it could help some people walk again. traci grant is live in san francisco to explaining the project and how it could change lives. >> doctors here at uc san francisco see people every day who used to move freely, but now suffer from pa race. for any number of reasons researchers are working on ways to help those people not 20 or 30 years from now, they want to do it soon. >> some people can be completely devastated by these things. i think even simple things are meaningful. >> dr. edward jiang appreciates the fact that he has the ability to type on a computer, because
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he sees patients who struggle to do something as basic as that. they're paralyzed. some from the neck down which can make walking, talking or movement of any kind impossible. >> this is a 64 channel that we are customizing and developing in our lab. >> reporter: this device is about the size of a postage stamp. a computer this same size placed under the bone and sitting on top of the brain will be able to help a paralyzed person move that computer cursor or pick up something using their arm. >> idea behind our research program is to develop devices that can read the activity intent on what some are thinking, just from the brain itself in order to interester act with the world. >> the computer will be able to decode the part of the brain that controls complex movement. if you can think it, can you do it. that's what these researchers want to prove, so they can improve the quality of life for
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many people. >> we have very clear evidence that it's possible. what we'd like to do is make sure that it's going to be safe and reliable. >> dr. jiang says he's hoping to start signing up paralyzed patients for clinical trials within the next five years. live in san francisco, traci grant, nbc bay area news. >> very promising tracy, thanks so much. verizon wants you to pay to pay. the nation's largest cell phone company will add a new charge to customers trying to pay their bills. it will charge a $2 convenience fee for one time payments made over the phone. it's system free if you mail a check, pay online with electronic checks or pay out of a verizon store. many carriers are pushing their customers toward automatic payments to cut down on costs. the fee starts january 15th. the rock, where the country's most notorious
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prisoners lived and often died. 50 years ago, three men did what was believed to be impossible. they escaped from alcatraz. >> the sister of two of those men is return together bay area to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their escape. john kelly has the remarkable story. >> marie has a display by her door showing her love for two of her brothers. clarence and john escaped from alcatraz prison along with frank morris, the only men ever to escape the rock. some said they drowned in the escape attempt. marie knows they made it and are still alive. >> we know they're okay. >> reporter: marie has hundreds of photos, paintings, letters and every newspaper article ever written about her brother's story. brothers john, clarence and alfred robbed a columbia alabama bank with a toy gun. they were captured a few days
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later in cincinnati and given hard time. john and clarence kept trying to escape. >> the only reason they put them in alcatraz was because they could not keep them anywhere else they put them. they kept getting away. >> reporter: marie has many of the items the brothers had in prison and used to mastermind their escape. >> largest manhunt ever, i think they're still on the top ten most wanted. they would love to have them back. but the chances of that happening are slim. >> reporter: marie's sons grew up used to fbi visits and their phones being bugged. that continues today. the feds stopped by marie's house just months ago. >> how long will you be looking for my brothers? he said 100 years from now. i said, good luck. clarence is now 81 years old and john 80. and all is ready for the family to be at alcatraz for the 50th
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anniversary of their escape. >> when she knows that she can look in those cells and knew that they were actually living there at one time, laying on those beds, you know, it's a way of connecting back to them. >> they're not sure how to go about celebrating something like that. but they know we're coming, and they know that's why we're coming. >> reporter: marie says she knows what her brothers did was wrong, but she's glad they did not spend their lives behind bars. >> never stopped loving them. still love them. >> marie widener and five of her sisters plan to make the return trip to alcatraz to celebrate her brother's freedom 50 years later. >> that was john kelly reporting. alcatraz was shut down less than a year after their escape. >> the wideners hope to get the government to return some of the brother's items which are on
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display in the alcatraz museum. it's been damp and cloudy, and also pretty cool today, san francisco running about an hour and 45 minutes behind right now. minor delays in oakland. this is what we experienced throughout most of today. visibility a half mile left. current temperature of 54 and winds right now west at 5. overall, everyone in the 50s across the weather board from santa rosa down to san jose. currently 55 in san jose. 57 in san mateo, what we really need is rainfall, unfortunately we don't have any large storm system here in the next 48 hours. we'll find areas of drizzle, just a slight chance of showers throughout friday. mainly throughout the north bay. ahead it looks dire here throughout the next week or so. as we'll be running 3 to 5 inches below for the water for the year now. we have a storm system impacting the west. we're on the bottom dryer edge of this, we have plenty of cloud cover across northern
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california. eureka is seeing the only kind of returns here in through california. a lot of the consistent rainfall is here from portland all the way down to medford. they're going to see the brunt of the storm system as we head through the next 48 hours. we have a lot of moisture out here, but we're going to continue to see in pattern repeat itself. all this moisture is going to go right off toward oregon and washington, and unfortunately for us, as we head throughout the next three to five days, we don't have that big large storm system we need. not only catch up here in terms of rainfall, but in term s of snow. we'll see areas of drizzle with fog throughout the north bay. and throughout friday, just a slight chance of showers lingering. here's the good news. throughout the weekend it looks clear and dry for new year's eve. if you have any outdoor plans, that's what's in store for you. 46 in freemont, 44 in los gatos.
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remember a week and a half ago, temperatures stuck in the 20s and 30s. how dry is this december on record. right now it looks lik we'll go down in the history books in oakland with only a tenth of an inch of rainfall so far in december. the record was 23800 back in 1975. a record setting dry month for oakland. looks like that will go down in the history books. only 15 rain days since july 1st. last year at this time, we had 52 days with rain. we've really only seen two storm systems so far into fall and early winter, and this time last year, we had 8 to 10. as for friday's forecast. 58 in san francisco, 57 in san mateo. we'll have that patchy fog to start areas of drizzle. throughout the day, just a slight chance of a shower, and that is mainly here for the north bay. no large storm system coming our way. upper 50s too 60s here in santa rosa. on your seven-day forecast, dry this new year's eve weekend.
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into saturday and sunday. we may squeeze another shower in there by next thursday. we may see a stronger storm by next thursday. we're faring things on the weaker side. >> we're complaining about no rain. seattle and portland are complaining about nothing but rain? >> they're starting to get it. we can't seem to get it down here unfortunately. >> it's dryer than usual in a lot of the country. an entire nation goes into a time warp. why one south pacific country is wiping out an entire day from their calendar. an apple like you've never seen it before. we'll give you addent the hidden archives. s.
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there will be no tgif in samoa, they are simply skipping friday. as of midnight tonight the date will jump right to the 31st. in june, the samoan government
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passed a law that puts samoa in the same time zone as australia, new zealand and change in a. they're always one day ahead. the nation is just wiping out one day so it will be in the same dateline as those countries. >> it's really urgent. we have to commit on something. oth otherwise we have to wait until monday, but it's really tuesday. >> the government has ordered those who were scheduled to work on the nonexistent day will be paid. when we come back, apple seeds on display.
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this is something you may not have known, the largest apple archives are hidden at stanford university. >> they're n available to the public at least not yet. we have a sneak peak for you. among the 35 years of secret archives is an interview talking about how one day when they were driving down highway 85, jobs mentioned his idea for the name apple. there are blueprints for the first apple computer, and company t-shirts. >> historical facts will help historians understand how a start-up that started in a garage became so big. it's located in a seek relate climate controlled warehouse in stan forward's offcampus facility. "nightly news" is next. re
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