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tv   NBC Bay Area News Special Bay Area Proud  NBC  January 9, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm PST

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announcer: how veterans who served with his father in world war ii filled in important gaps about his family history. but first, san jose high school students wish upon little blue stars. antoine delcayre: can you please come down? announcer: and their classmates deliver in a very big way. [screaming] announcer: here's nbc bay area's garvin thomas. garvin thomas: good evening and thank you so much for joining us. high school can be a difficult time, particularly for those who don't feel like they fit in. but students at one san jose school have come up with a tradition to counter that. one that brings the whole school together and often to tears. garvin: the leadership class at san jose's branham high school understands there are only so many words one can legibly fit on a 6-inch blue paper star. male: i wish for doughnuts. garvin: the magic, though, they will end up creating out of them?
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well, that seems just about limitless. raquel corrosco: i just--i feel like i'm doing something great that needs to be done. raquel: are these two christmas trees? garvin: raquel corrosco and antoine delcayre are heading up this year's fifth annual branham make-a-wish rally. they began months ago by passing out 1500 of those blue stars to every student and teacher with one simple request: make a wish for yourself or someone else. many wishes, antoine says, were small but the big ones, he admits, were an eye-opener. that, in such a wealthy region, so many classmates were struggling. antoine: they had to skip meals because they didn't have enough money or they were in thousands of dollars of debt because of medical bills. female: ty newin wished for a jamba juice gift card. let's go. garvin: so for months, while fulfilling hundreds of the small wishes, they've been working on the big ones, ones they feel deserve a big stage and the whole school watching.
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antoine: senna hanna, can you please come down? garvin: it is a non-stop 45-minute assembly of awesomeness and emotion. raquel: coach cooper, can you come on down here? garvin: of students wishing their coach be recognized for all her hard work. [screaming] garvin: a boy wishing financial help for his girlfriend's family over the holidays. female: she mentioned that she had no computer at home. garvin: a teacher wishing a home computer for her colleague so there aren't as many late nights at school. female: well, because we've been through everything together. my grandma-- garvin: and a girl just wishing something nice for her mom after two strokes and years in the hospital. female: and i'm glad that she's finally home for this christmas. that's all i wanted. garvin: as all teenagers know, it can be tough to stand out in high school for the wrong reasons. but in this high school, at least, they know they don't have to stand alone.
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antoine: they're gonna remember this for the rest of their lives. they're gonna remember that their community saw their problem and their community had their back. garvin: a san francisco woman is also bringing others to tears, by making a place no one wants to be, beautiful. nancy ballard is fortunate that neither she nor anyone in her immediate family has had to deal with cancer, which is why it surprised her as much as anyone that she has chosen the mission she has. garvin: when it comes to directions, taking a left where you normally take a right can lead to some unexpected places. in her doctor's office for a routine visit 6 years ago, nancy ballard took such a turn and hasn't turned back since. nancy ballard: yeah, i really didn't think that that was the path i was gonna be taking. nancy: i hate to hurt your heart. garvin: that left you see led to a chemotherapy treatment room. the place where cancer patients spend hours upon hours,
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depressed nancy in a matter of seconds. nancy: seventies sad. i'd say '70s sad. when i saw that room and i knew what people had to go through in there, it kind of clicked. like i said, i wouldn't wanna be there on a good day, let alone a day that i was fighting for my life. nancy: but that's something that can be delivered tomorrow. garvin: nancy vowed to remodel that room. and though not a designer herself, she found some to help her. and she hasn't stopped since. this past weekend, through her rooms that rock 4 chemo non-profit, nancy and her team madeover three rooms at san francisco's saint francis hospital. add that to the more than 150 other rooms in 15 facilities and nancy has touched spaces that see 800,000 cancer patients a year; patients nancy will never see. she's gone long before they can ever say thanks. nancy: it's not about seeing the person's gratitude but it's
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knowing that if your mom or dad or your kid or your somebody was in there, you'd want them to be in a room like this too. [applauding] garvin: nancy did stick around, though, long enough this time for former giant and cancer survivor, dave dravecky, to dedicate all the hard work. dave dravecky: it creates an environment where for just a few moments in their day or, you know, sometimes it's more than a few moments, as they're getting their chemo, they can actually push the pause button and look around them and experience something other than the pain that they are going through. and that is a beautiful thing. garvin: this next woman you'll meet captures in photos the life-changing milestones of some of society's most vulnerable. virginia becker says it's the most fulfilling work she has ever done, once, of course, she figured out how to do it. virginia: yeah, have a seat. garvin: when it comes to taking pictures-- virginia: you can kind of lean forward--
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garvin: virginia becker will tell you as little as 5 years ago-- virginia: ready? one, two, three. garvin: she knew nothing more about cameras-- virginia: you're gonna love this. garvin: than how to turn one on. virginia: i didn't know the difference between an f-stop and a bus stop. virginia: and let me see your right shoulder. garvin: since then, though, virginia has snapped more than 60,000 images and, in the process, brought her life's purpose into clear focus. virginia: everything that i had done in the past, i think kind of built up to this. and this is, like, the big crescendo of "why am i here?" garvin: virginia started the family album project as a way to help people print out their precious memories and not leave them forgotten in cameras or on hard drives. virginia: and i think we're losing a big part of our history by not printing, by not having that shoebox of prints. garvin: what virginia soon discovered, though, was that many of life's most important moments weren't being captured at all, particularly among society's most vulnerable. virginia: right there. "love my new liver!" garvin: like the sick kid getting a second chance.
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virginia: that's a milestone, all right. virginia: perfect. and look right here at me. garvin: the foster child graduating high school, or the homeless family finally getting a home. virginia: there are so many people that want their story told. garvin: and virginia is now there to tell it. not with words-- virginia: one more. garvin: but with a picture. a hard copy printed out, right there and then, with the help of husband albert. virginia says she's motivated to do all this for free because she just wants these people to see themselves the way she sees them. not just folks who've had some hard knocks, but people who are thriving in spite of them. virginia: they're heroes. there are so many unsung heroes out there. garvin: coming up, she saw the devastation in the valley fire in lake county and decided she had to do something. candy alcott: this is about a promise to one little boy. garvin: a promise that a livermore pre-school teacher has more than kept.
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what a new bike means to children who have lost everything. but first, a group of women go on a secret mission to do good, one stitch at a time. kate kelly: it's been in secret for months. sewing machines have been humming. garvin: the surprise gifts that mean so much to the men and women who gave so much for their country. [applauding]
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garvin: our next story is about an east bay man who made a trip of a lifetime to thank people he had never met for something they did long before he was born. richard zinn's father rarely talked about his time serving in world war ii. but a recent trip filled in the gaps of a family history that a son desperately wanted filled. male: now you'll notice over in this corner here, there are-- garvin: at the national infantry museum outside the gates of georgia's fort benning, you'll find a well-preserved
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collection of world war ii era buildings. richard zinn came all the way from walnut creek to soak up some of the history, though, truth be told, it's not really the buildings he came to see. richard: oh, it's such a pleasure to meet you. garvin: it's men. richard: absolutely, these are the people who saved my father's life. garvin: herb zinn was a member of the 95th infantry division and, like many world war ii vets, he didn't share much about his experience with his family. richard: any time i would ask him for detail, he would just say, "i don't wanna talk about it. i can't talk about it." garvin: in fact, about all richard could get out of his father before his death was that during the battle for the french city of metz, he was one of a small group of soldiers trapped behind enemy lines for 8 days before being rescued on thanksgiving day, 1944. at least, that was all richard knew until about a year ago when he began searching for more information
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about the battle of metz. it was the start of a journey that eventually took him to eastern france and, with the help of a local woman, he searched for the very location of the most pivotal moment of his father's life. richard: as we were close to saying, you know, "we're not gonna find it," i looked over and i saw this ruined-- concrete ruin, off in the distance. i--tears coming down my face. it was the most spiritual moment of my life. all: hooray for the bald eagle at metz. garvin: still, knowing the place and knowing the story are not the same, which is why richard has come to georgia for the 66th reunion of the 95th infantry, the iron men of metz. fifteen thousand served, only fourteen are here. richard: most of them, as we know, are gone but whoever is here, i personally wanna thank.
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they saved my father's life. male: it was a very inresting experience, for what it was worth. garvin: but thanking them is not all richard wanted to do. he was hoping there was someone here who could tell him more about his father's story. richard made a point to talk to each and every one of them until one night at dinner-- male: zinn, i think, was in the 3rd platoon. garvin: he found just what he was looking for. two who had, indeed, served with his father. jerry schwartz: well, we were cut off. garvin: one, telling a very familiar tale. jerry: so for 8 days we had nothing. yeah, i would say things were pretty bad. garvin: jerry schwartz was trapped with herb zinn for 8 days. richard, asking jerry every question he had always wanted to ask, absorbing every detail he had so long wanted to know. jerry: i think some guys figured they were gonna die and some guys figured they weren't gonna die. [bugle playing] garvin: by the time the next day, when a monument to the
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95th at war was dedicated, richard was at peace. finally given the chance to learn his history. finally given a chance to say thanks to those responsible for his future. garvin: while richard traveled to great lengths to honor his father's legacy, a group of women stayed close to home to pull off a stealth mission to honor their neighbors who also served this country. what these pleasanton women did took months of hard work and secrecy to pull off: a celebration some world war ii veterans won't soon forget. garvin: sure, the second world war may have ended 70 years ago but that doesn't mean all its secret missions are over. like the one a group of women at the stoneridge creek retirement community in pleasanton have been on for months. kate: [laughing] a secret special op, yes. garvin: kate kelly says the whole operation began right around veterans day last year, when she and others began to
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realize just how many of their neighbors had served. kate: here at stoneridge creek, over 20% of our population have served. and that's stunning. to imagine that we have 21 living world war ii vets among us right now is incredible. garvin: with so much history around them and dwindling time to act, they began gathering the vets' stories to preserve them forever. kate: here we had this wonderful opportunity and we didn't wanna waste it. garvin: but what about thanking them? kate: oh, that one's good. garvin: it was then, kate says, someone mentioned quilts of valor, a national group that custom-makes quilts for vets. kate and her friends contacted the local chapter, then got busy quilting. and quilting. and quilting. kate: it's been in secret for months. sewing machines have been humming. garvin: all so this veterans day, they could surprise their world war ii vets and neighbors with the finished products.
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kate: dan ashton, united states navy, 1943 to 1946. kate: peg crystal, united states navy, 1943 to 1945. kate: gordon pathurst, united states army, 1942 to 1945, prisoner of war. garvin: months in the making, these quilts became instant heirlooms once in the hands of the grateful veteran. male: it's wonderful that they remember. wonderful that we're still here to hear them say it. i'm just overwhelmed, i really am. garvin: just one more way, the quilters say, of thanking them for all we have to be thankful for today. garvin: coming up, three berkeley grads show real heart in revolutionizing a medical equipment mainstay.
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connor landgraf: we wanted to be on the forefront of something that was exciting. garvin: what they did to turn a stethoscope into smart technology. but first, a livermore pre-school teacher is on a roll, going above and beyond to help families who have lost so much in the valley fire. [music]
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garvin: the devastating valley fire has been out of the headlines for a while now but the people of lake county are still struggling with the disaster. that's where an east bay woman comes in. she made a promise to a young boy there and delivered in a big way. garvin: to live in lake county these days is to be reminded every single day of the devastating power of nature. candy: i need all volunteers down here. garvin: how nice it must be then, to meet a force of nature-- candy: okay, all the chairs go behind the tables down there.
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garvin: working to build them back up. candy: kids' helmets right here, adults' helmets on that table. garvin: candy alcott is not a trained relief worker. she's a pre-school teacher from livermore. she used to live in lake county though, which is why she was so moved by what she saw on her tv screens in september. candy: and i saw middletown on fire. garvin: feeling she had to do something, candy packed her minivan with supplies and started making trips to the disaster zone. when the bike repair class at del valle high school heard what she was doing, they donated 18 bicycles. candy handed those out one day in september. but one little boy got there too late. candy: and i didn't have any more bikes. garvin: she promised to come back. candy: and that's where the promise comes in. this is about a promise to one little boy. candy: and this is about you, mizraim. this is about this little boy right here, garvin. garvin: candy did come back in october,
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but not just with one bike for mizraim. she brought 300 more. and this past weekend, the bike angels united returned once again, this time, 500 bikes in tow. candy: we have approximately 220 new bikes and 300 used bikes. male: thank you! garvin: many of these families are in the process of having to replace absolutely everything they owned. and while a bicycle might not seem high on that list, candy disagrees. she has seen firsthand what a lift a little ride can give. candy: if the kids are happy, the mom and dad can deal with the everyday issues that we're speaking about. garvin: but even now, with 800 bikes rolling around lake county, candy's not done. she says someone's going to need to repair them all and she's promised to come back and do that. and, as the people of lake county have already learned, when candy makes a promise, you can be sure she will deliver.
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garvin: coming up, the stethoscope reimagined. meet the bay area design team that's going to their own beat and now riding a sound wave of success. [music]
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garvin: lack of experience isn't always a bad thing in business. it's the people not rooted in the way things have always been done who are sometimes best at seeing how they can be done better. that certainly looks and sounds like it was the case for three recent berkeley grads. tyler crouch: it's performing just as it did before-- garvin: the journey from dorm room to conference room has been a swift one for connor landgraf, tyler crouch, and jason bellet. barely 3 years ago, the three co-founders of eko devices met as uc berkeley students. yet they are already making waves in the medical devices field.
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tyler: and this is the bundle. garvin: audio waves, to be exact. tyler: and the sound travels straight through this chassis. garvin: in september, their eko core, a smart stethoscope, was approved by the fda and went on sale. it is, the three suggest, the most fundamental upgrade to the stethoscope since it was invented 200 years ago. and just why was it needed? well, connor says that became apparent to him after a group of stethoscope-wearing primary care physicians visited his design class. connor: and one of them, i still remember, he said something super-insightful. he said, "we don't get that much value out of this. we kind of just wear it around because that's what physicians do. that's what doctors do." and that was mind-blowing to me. i just felt, like, you know, this is crazy. garvin: crazy enough that the three set about bringing this 19th century invention into the 21st century. the genius of it is that, while looking and working just like a traditional stethoscope that doctors and patients are already
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comfortable with, the eko core, when activated, pairs with a smartphone to record and display the patient's heart and lung sounds. and while that may be of some help to the physician in the room, it all becomes revolutionary when you consider where it can go from there. jason bellet: at the--captured at the point of care, whether that person is located in rural montana or, you know, a village outside of mumbai, capture that sound and then send it to the specialist wherever they are. connor: we wanted to be on the forefront of something that was exciting and feel like we had a career or an opportunity to do something that mattered. garvin: the three say, in general, innovation in the medical devices field is slower than other areas. there are, after all, legitimate concerns over safety and privacy. still, what they have discovered is that, given the right idea in the right hands, innovation can sometimes move at the speed of sound.
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garvin: thanks again for joining us for this "bay area proud" special. you can see new "bay area proud" stories every tuesday and thursday evenings in our 5 p.m. newscast. and all of the reports are on our website. just go to and scroll down to the "bay area proud" segment. if you know someone who should be featured in our "bay area proud" segment, i'd love to hear from you. go to our website. it's there you'll find links to my facebook, twitter, or how to email me; have a great night. [music] [music] [music] cc by aberdeen captioning 1-800-688-6621
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♪ who really did it? the making of a murderer mystery deepens.
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netflix's 10 part docu-series with the avery has been framed. why are you so upset because these guys got it wrong the first time. he spent 18 years in prison for rape, dna sprung him. >> okay. well, first of all, when he did time behind bars on a separate offense, true. he was exonerated on dna evidence that has absolutely nothing to do with the murder of a photographer, teresa and i'm not just riveted, i'm angry. this documentary that netflix has put on the air has resulted in nearly 300,000 people demanding that obama let this guy out of jail. i've been covering this since teresa hall went missing. i was


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