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tv   CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5PM  CBS  January 12, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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the lanes of highway 85 in south san jose were empty. police closed off the freeway in both directions and sent a bomb-detect robot to a crash vehicle allegedly used in a bank robbery to look for explosives. it all started when two men told tellers they had a bomb and robbed the bank of america at snell and blossom hill at about 11:30 a.m. >> one suspect waited outside as a getaway driver. the second suspect entered the bank with a device. we don't have information on the device but suffice to say the threat was that it would blow up. >> reporter: the robbers got away with an unknown amount of cash. while some officers responded to the bank, others covered freeway ramps to head off the robbers. minutes later came reports of a crash of what turned out to be the getaway car on the northbound lanes of highway 85. >> them trying to flee the scene and maybe some erratic driving had something to do with it. >> reporter: police captured one suspect at the scene. told officers the bomb was still in their car. the other suspect hopped a
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fence to the campus of gunderson high school. tee was eventually captured on the athletic field. he too was eventually captured. for an hour students and teachers were barricaded in classrooms. some texted or called parents. >> it was scary. it was really scary. oh, my gosh, it was crazy. i had to call my mom. my mom was freaking out. i was shaking. it was crazy. >> reporter: students were later sent home on time. the only threat that remained was the possibility of the bomb still in the suspects' car. after a police bomb squad member in full explosive gear approached the vehicle in person, the device was detonated. and it wasn't long after that detonation that the freeway was allowed to reopen. traffic now on highway 85 in san jose said to be moving smoothly. reporting live in san jose, len ramirez, cbs 5. as len said, although the freeways were reopened about 30 minutes ago, traffic is still slightly impacted. now, another look from chopper 5 shows that traffic is moving
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fairly smoothly even though this is the beginning of the evening commute. we are aalso showing that area road -- we're also showing what area roadways look like via traffic maps. the red marks show slower traffic. still a long commute on this evening hour. it's bad enough to lose your house to a fire. it's even worse when that happens again just a few months later. and by no accident. the house in los gatos belongs to a single mom. she has been the target of arsonists twice. mark sayre on how authorities are trying to find whoever did it. mark. >> reporter: fire investigators here say it is not unheard of but it is very unusual to be called to an arson-related incident at the same house two times. and so tonight investigators are trying to answer the two key questions: who did it and why? reporter: as far as residential neighborhoods go, it doesn't get much quieter than this tree-lined street but there is a sign in the front of one home here alerting everyone to the fact that there's an
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arsonist at work and close to 1 a.m., neighbors were again awakened by the sound of emergency vehicles and flames pouring from this home. >> it lasted about two, 2 1/2 hours so it was an intense fire. there were 10 or so fire trucks on the scene and maybe 20 firefighters. >> reporter: santa clara county arson investigators say this is the second time they have been to this home and for the second time, they have now determined that an arsonist is responsible. investigators meticulously documented the scene, cutting out a portion of the garage door and marking areas with evidence tags. they also took plenty of photographs. >> when we got here, the front of the garage door was on fire. >> reporter: dennis johnson with santa clara county fire says at this point don't have any suspect and don't have a motive and they cannot even conclusively link the two arson cases, which occurred less than three months apart. >> these two fires were directed at this house. and it's not a random -- somebody just walking through a neighborhood and started houses
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on fire. so there's some issue here that hopefully we'll determine through our investigation. >> but it is a little unsettling. >> reporter: this neighbor says the entire neighborhood is on edge. >> a little bit scary living in a small community like this and having this happen several times within a matter of months. >> reporter: back to a live picture here in los gatos. fire investigators still inside the garage taking pictures. the home owner is a single mother with three children. she has been living away from this home since the initial arson fire, which occurred in october but they had many of their belongings in this garage behind me. many of those now destroyed in this second arson fire. investigators are looking very hard to try to solve this case. back to you. >> quick question, mark. it looks like the sign that's on the tree lettering to the arson said reward. did i read that correctly? >> reporter: you did. there is a reward of $10,000 and it's relatively unusual to come out and actually see an announcement from fire authorities that there's an arson that's suspected. but they really want to get to
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the bottom of this. they are offering a $10,000 reward and making sure the community knows what happened here. >> i have never seen that before, either. thank you, mark sayre. hundreds of oakland city workers are on notice. they could be out of a job next week. the city says pink slips will start going out wednesday to more than 200 workers. that's due to a nearly $30 million cut back in state redevelopment funds it uses to pay their salaries. the city says employees with seniority could later be transferred to other departments but for now, workers say no one knows quite what to expect. >> i have been hearing bits and pieces but i'm just unsure of all the details. but this is the first time that i've known that it's been like this widespread. i'm not sure. i'm not sure if it's going to affect me or not but sounds like it might. >> the city says the layoffs will only make up for part of the funding lost. it's also frozen hiring and asked every department to slash its budget by 5% by tomorrow. other bay area headlines. a livermore teacher is in jail
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accused of having sex with an underaged student. police arrested a granada high school teacher, marie johnson, tuesday. they say another teacher learned that johnson had sex with a former student of hers several times between december of 2010 and may of 2011. he was 14 years old. johnson is due in court tomorrow. uc schools are on their way to banning smoking. president mark yudof announced the new rules this week. beginning in 2014 chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes lab prohibited on any uc campus. "occupy" protestors descended on the b. of a. on mission street in san francisco at noon today. they are demanding an end to for profit evictions and foreclosures. they want bank of america to stop raising fees, pay fair taxes and use bailout money to prevent foreclosures. republican presidential candidate mitt romney still has
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a big lead in the polls ahead of the south carolina primary and tonight his opponents are scrambling to slow him momentum. those candidates all stumping in south carolina now. romney says that he is aware of the negative ads about his stand on social issues and about his time as head of the equity firm, bain capital. >> mitt romney and bain capital were involved with what i call vulture capitalism. >> i understand that there are some attack ads coming my way that question that and obviously, it's important for me to remind people that i'm pro-life. >> former house speaker newt gingrich says he plans to highlight romney's views on abortion, gun control and same- sex marriage. some voters fear these attacks on romney will divide the party. all levels of the u.s. government are in damage control mode tonight scrambling to deal with this video that shows marines desecrating the bodies of taliban fighters. tara mergener reports two of the marines involved have
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already been identified. reporter: the 40-second video posted on youtube appears to show four marines urinating on three dead bodies presumably taliban fighters. >> have a nice day, buddy. >> reporter: the men seemed to know they're being recorded. the video has the u.s. doing damage control. >> anyone -- anyone found to have participated or known about it having engaged in such conduct must be held fully accountable. >> reporter: >> the defense secretary panetta said it is deplorable. he called for a full investigation and called afghan president hamid karzai to convey his disgust. karzai says the video is inhumane and on a website that posts statements from the taliban the group called on the united nations to stop what it calls the barbaric acts of the
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american soldiers that go again all human norms. the u.s. military is trying to avoid another scandal like abu ghraib. american soldiers were captured in photos demeaning iraqi prisoners. the video comes at a tough time in u.s.-afghan relations already strained with american forces now in afghanistan for 10 years. commanders believe they have identified those involved and say the marines are no longer serving in afghanistan. two of the four were based in north carolina. all could face court-martial for violating military rules that forbid photographing human casualties. tara mergener for cbs news, the white house. from bankruptcy to bonuses, why a failed bay area solar company wants to give workers thousands of extra dollars. >> getting rid of the smartmeter at a cost. the price you might have to pay to opt out. >> the lawsuit is the first of its kind y a video rental giant is accused of discriminating against the blind.
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bankruptcy. but tonight, the fremont-based solar company bay area company solyndra made headlines when it filed for bankruptcy but tonight that fremont solar company wants to hand out bonuses. solyndra has asked a bankruptcy court for permission to pay nearly two dozen employees bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. the company says that it needs to keep morale high for worker worried about job security. but one laid-off employee told us it feels like a slap in the face. >> they're supposed to give to everyone in the company because everyone spent the time with the company and is supposed to be getting the bonus. >> a little more than two years ago, the white house made
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solyndra the so-called poster child for the president's green jobs initiative. the company though laid off about 1100 people after filing for bankruptcy in the fall. don't want a smartmeter? be prepared to pay the price. customers would pay a one-time opt-out fee of $90. then another $15 each month. that under a plan backed by the state public utilities commission. pg&e initially wanted to charge a lot more but the puc said no. the puc is set to vote on the plan next month. the video rental company -- >> red box is facing a first- of-its-kind lawsuit filed by a group of blind californians. they say the company's touchscreen kiosk shut them out making it impossible for them to rent a video on their own. currently the kiosks offer only visually based controls. the california advocacy group that filed the suits wants them made more accessible. it's a proven crime fighter but should a private company have a license to track your
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car? the bay area photo collector and the privacy concerns. and full speed ahead for some big changes. bart's billion-dollar investment and the dramatic improvements. from the cbs 5 weather center, good evening, everybody. we definitely again have a chill in the air with temperatures overnight dipping well into the 20s and 30s. and then tomorrow, rain watch! we'll have your pinpoint forecast as eyewitness news continues.
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know ou've been lately. and it's a bay area company if you own a car, chances are police know where you've been lately. the bay area company that is keeping them in the loop. joe vazquez on how you're being watched and why. reporter: >> so we are reading that plate right there. >> reporter: it's a growing trend in law enforcement. mill valley police are one of many agencies that have mound license plate scanners on their patrol cars. the camera takes a picture of every license plate as it goes by. then when it spots one that's wanted or belongs to a criminal -- >> it pops up on the screen. it says, high alert, and that alerts officer that it's matched on a plate in the system. >> reporter: now an east bay company is taking it a step further. vigilant video of livermore keeps an even larger database and keeps them in what is
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called the national vehicle location service. law enforcement agencies can access the national database and the company reports it has led to bad guys getting thrown in jail. missing children getting found. license plate photos are collected for the data base not just by law enforcement but by private citizens including repo companies, tow truck drivers looking for debtors are among the many people scanning and entering license plate photos as well as the car's location. so how long do they keep that information? and do they allow anyone besides law enforcement to access it? well, we asked but vigilant video denied our request for an interview. >> well, the problem is that in going after the bad guys, the way they're doing it is to go after everybody. >> reporter: lee it. i remember en with the electronic frontier foundation says we need to ask more questions about privacy even though you're not a criminal, what if that database tracking is shared with other law
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enforcement, prospective employers or divorce attorneys? >> so you have a gap, vacuum, a void where the law enforcement and the private actors are just jumping in and saying, hey, we can do this. but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. >> reporter: just to be clear, law enforcement like the mill valley police, they have restrictions on how long they can keep that video. but the concern is with this private company, they are creating a database that might not have anytime constraints. the law hasn't caught up to the technology and who knows what they will do with it. will they sell it? could it be subpoenaed? could it violate our privacy in order to help law enforcement? >> those will be answered, now they will be, in court. sooner or later. >> does the constitution answer this in the 21st century? >> amazing. all right, joe, thanks. pg&e violated a number of state and federal safety regulations and that's what led to the deadly san bruno pipeline explosion. that's the conclusion of the california public utilities
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commission. it says pg&e failed to follow accepted industry practice when it installed the section of pipe that failed in september of 2010. the cpuc will now consider penalties. pg&e responded today by saying, quote, it is clear past gas operations practices were not what they should have been. we have admitted these shortcomings and we are committed to raising the level of pipeline safety to new higher standards. a new big box retailer in newark hosting a job fair to fill hundreds of jobs. target will hire 200 employees over the next two months before opening a new fremont store. more than 1,000 people applied for the positions online. 800 of them have already been interviewed. >> i'm living with my parents in the home and so are my brothers and sisters, you know, they started getting employment little by little. but there's honestly 10 of us in one house just to avoid the streets. >> the most recent hiring outlook from the bay area
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business council says 25% of executives expect to increase hiring within the next six months. new trains, cleaner seats and digital displays. bart's on track to have them all. the agency reportedly plans to award a billion-dollar contract for 260 new cars. bart plans to start testing those cars in three years and riders could see them in september of 2016. the money is coming from the mtc and bart's budget. all right. the official bet is on now. san francisco mayor ed lee and the mayor of new orleans are going to watch this weekend's play-off game between the 9ers and the saints very closely. if the 9ers beat the saints, new orleans mayor mitch landrieu will offer up gulf shrimp, king cake and beer. but if the 9ers lose, mayor lee will send landrieu dungeness crab, sourdough bread, anchor steam beer and ghirardelli chocolate. a programming note, dennis o'donnell and kim coyle the cast of thousands we are told will get you ready for the big game. they are hosting "49er preview"
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tomorrow night at 7 p.m. right here on cbs 5. >> and a very exciting weekend here in the bay area. roberta, what's the weather going to be like? >> sunny and 61 degrees at kickoff on sunday. perfect weather for us. but i'm told that is not perfect and idealistic for football weather because new orleans plays really well in those kinds of conditions. you know what? today i finally decided to stop moaning about the fact that we need the rain and embrace the gorgeous conditions. is this as close as you can get to purple mountain's majesty. >> gorgeous. >> sunset now mount vaca official sundown at 5:10. get a good glimpse of that, highs today 70. 70 near record warmth in oakland and santa cruz. now in livermore 59. 62 in redwood city. frosty night anticipated for the upper 20s in santa rosa and napa, glen ellen and sonoma.
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below freezing in livermore. mid-30s san jose. 30s and 40s in the peninsula well into the santa clara valley. tonight, clear and cold and it is a "spare the air" night up until midnight. tomorrow, it is not a "spare the air" day. but we'll get to that. meanwhile, looks like we have the first rain of the year next wednesday. notice i added a question mark to that. just kick me in the head. this is really frustrating. check this out. we have an area of low pressure that brought a few raindrops early this morning to los angeles. we are under a building ridge of high pressure so today near record warmth same story tomorrow. sliding into saturday. all the systems are stacked up to the north of the bay area. dry air no rain and allergies are coming into play. if you are sneezing, blame it on the alder, juniper and other trees that blossom during this winter season. across the state for your getaway friday, numbers into the 50s and 60s.
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it will be approaching 70 in modesto and stockton. otherwise 50 degrees and no snow all weekend turning windy by the holiday on monday on the north and south shores. your pinpoint forecast, we are talking about temperatures for friday with a recommended no burning day according to the bay area air management district. 63 in half moon bay. 68 in morgan hill. it's not illegal to burn on friday. but they recommend you do not do so because the air quality is improving. east of the bay 67 degrees in danville. looks like north bay numbers into the 60s. extended forecast calls for again a chance of rain developing in the north bay by wednesday and then gradually sliding across the entire area on thursday. and that is your pinpoint forecast. >> thank you. it's an experimental way to ease the pain. the push to approve a new device to treat an uncomfortable disease. [ crickets chirping ]
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[ traffic passing ] ♪ [ music box: lullaby ] [ man on tv, indistinct ] ♪ [ lullaby continues ] [ baby coos ] [ man announcing ] millions are still exposed to the dangers... of secondhand smoke... and some of them can't do anything about it. ♪ [ continues ] [ gasping ] agency approve a new device to d reflux. dr. ki
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an advisory padgett to the food -- panel to the food and drug administration is recommending the agency approve a new device to treat severe acid reflux. dr. kim mulvihill explains what that is. >> reporter: first, it's a very common condition. 25million americans struggle with acid reflux. most turn to medication for relief. others have surgery. well, now an experimental device called links is making surgical treatment much easier. reporter: for more than 20 years, kelly couldn't eat without feeling the pain and discomfort of heartburn and acid reflux. >> a lot of times like as i was eating, not even halfway through a meal the food would start coming back up. >> reporter: she has gastro esophogeal reflux disease or gerd. she changed her diet and tried medication. >> it didn't work. i was taking maximum strength of all the different drugs. >> reporter: so she joined a clinical trial of an experimental device. the small band of magnetic beads is surgically implanted. it's placed around the valve at the end of the esophagus to keep stomach acid from getting
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in. >> the force of those magnetic beads coming together puts an increased force on that weak valve, which helps keep it closed to prevent the reflux. >> reporter: the doctor says his patients haven't had any major complications with the device. they may have difficulty swallowing first but it doesn't last long. >> most of the pain is gone within a few days after the surgery. patients seem to get back on a regular diet quicker than they did with conventional surgery. >> reporter: it's been two years since kelly had the implant. >> i do not take any medicine whatsoever. i can eat anything in the world i want, i mean anything. >> reporter: including oranges, something she would never have enjoyed before the surgery. now, the links device is insert during laproscopy. it requires general anesthesia. most patients go home the day after surgery. the fda doesn't have to follow the advice of the advisory panel but usually does. we'll be right back. ,,,,,,,,,,
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news at 6. i'm dana king. here's what we're working on for the 6:00 news. banking on the foreclosure crisis. the idea that has a bay area company investing hundreds of millions of dollars into trouble california real estate. >> ski resorts desperate for business, how you can take advantage of the dry winter in tahoe. we'll have that and much more at 6:00. thank you. see you in 30 minutes. thanks for watching us at 5:00. "cbs evening news with scott pelley" is next. >> remember, the latest news


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