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tv   ABC7 News 500PM  ABC  December 31, 2014 5:00pm-5:31pm PST

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ago, two los angeles police officers encountered gunfire in what may have been an ambush in an area of known gang activity. >> we take these threats very very seriously. we want to again ensure that the safety of our officers is of utmost importance and in light of these recent threats, we want our officers to be safe. >> reporter: sam lacardo becomes san jose mayor tomorrow. he agrees with the plan. he's even doing a police ride-along tonight. >> i have confidence that i will be riding along with some of the best officers in the country. i have been involved in many many ride-alongs since the time i was a criminal prosecutor so i'm certainly comfortable but i know these officers are folks who go out there every day and risk their lives for us and i'm very grateful for that. >> reporter: having officers paired up will mean fewer patrol cars working on one of the busiest nights of the year. however, having two officers responding to high risk calls will mean they won't have to wait for backup as they would when patrolling alone. >> law enforcement is a difficult job and it's only getting more difficult and more
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violent. 24% increase in officer deaths this year is something that the department should take seriously and they are. >> reporter: david louie, abc 7 news. oakland police have also increased staffing and added extra patrols, preparing for a double roll as well to keep party goers safe and watch out for each other in case of anti-police protests. police in san francisco are also on alert tonight. demonstrators are planning to show up during new year's eve celebrations. take a look at the embarcadero right now from sky 7 hd. hundreds of thousands of people are expected. police say they are prepared for both the crowds and the protesters. abc 7 news reporter lyanne melendez is there live with more. >> reporter: well, we are going to see two protests tonight. one in oakland and the other of course in san francisco. both beginning at 9:00 this evening. now, police here in san francisco have increased the number of officers that will be out on the streets tonight. they always do. but they hope that these demonstrations don't become a
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major distraction. >> no justice, no peace! >> reporter: while many were planning their new year's eve celebrations, these demonstrators appeared in front of san francisco's hall of justice to say for them, it would be a night of protest along the embarcadero. >> hundreds of people are coming out. it's a perfect time to send our message out that this is going to continue to happen, we are not going to stop. >> reporter: demonstrators have made it a habit to protest on major holidays to bring attention to what they say is widespread police brutality. >> for you to tell us not to demonstrate against police murder is absolutely unacceptable. and we join with people all over this country and all over the world who are continuing to build this campaign. >> reporter: but in the past, some of these protesters have not been welcomed. like the night after thanksgiving, when families and demonstrators collided at union square. tonight, police say they will help facilitate the demonstrations as long as they are peaceful and don't interrupt the celebrations.
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police are also aware of the threats made against police officers around the nation. >> officers as always are vigilant, aware of their surroundings. >> reporter: restaurants along the embarcadero say they aren't concerned about the protests. >> no concerns for us. it gets jam-packed down here regardless. so we just try to give the people that are here a great night. >> reporter: now police are reminding party goers that tonight's celebration is an alcohol-free event. police also have added patrols in the marina district of san francisco and the south of market area. lyanne melendez, abc 7 news. up to a quarter million people are expected for tonight's fireworks show. they will launch from barges in the bay. the best viewing spots are south of sinbad's restaurant along the embarcadero between mission and folsom. if you want to avoid the crowds go to chrissy field.
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twin peaks, or yorba buena island. well the winds moved out and the colder weather is moving in just in time for the festivities. abc 7 news meteorologist drew tuma is outside and is feeling the cold first-hand. how cold will it get out there? >> temperatures are going to be chilly tonight. grab the jacket the layers. the temperatures in some spots will below freezing. live doppler 7 hd will show you we are all clear. we have clear skies out here right now. no issues with precipitation. yesterday, the winds were the big story. today, they have calmed down significantly. generally less than ten miles per hour. the only location still having some issues, fairfield with gusts to 24 at this hour. but tonight if you're out on the town perhaps enjoying the fireworks, by 10:00 temperatures right around 46 degrees. as we welcome the new year at midnight, we are falling to a temperature of 44 degrees. after midnight it's freeze warnings and frost advisories going into effect. i will let you know how low we go when we enter 2015 with the
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full accuweather seven day forecast in a few minutes. >> thank you so much. the homeless advocates at the trinity center are expanding their services because of the cold weather. the facility normally stays open only during the day but it will keep its doors open overnight to provide a warm place for 12 people to sleep. in contra costa county, outreach workers will be out offering blankets to the homeless as well as gift cards and information about available services in the cold weather. a north bay woman says she feels as though divine intervention saved her during yesterday's wind storm. a tree smashed into her home barely missing her. abc 7 news reporter wayne freedman joins us with her incredible story. >> reporter: that story an ongoing story from napa. this drama has been going on for more than 24 hours, beginning yesterday when half this tree fell into that house. you will talk about the woman in a moment. up in the tree you have the other half of this drama. bill dobbs the tree man, trying
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to take it down and get people back in these homes. because of the danger posed by this tree that it could call four homes remain red-tagged in napa tonight. nothing like a windy last day of the year to ring in the new and out the old, unless that includes a fallen tree like this. >> it was a very big shock. it's hard still for me to believe what it's done to my house. >> reporter: luanna larson, a few months short of 90 years old, and here's what remains of that house after a falling coastal redwood bisected it yesterday. neighbor joshua chen saw it come down. >> like slow motion. >> reporter: look through the glass at the damage inside. she had been right there before it hit. so what was it that made her move out of the way at the last minute? she says it wasn't luck. >> the lord looked after me. i know that's what happened. the lord moved me.
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>> reporter: as of this hour, her home and three others in the neighborhood remain red-tagged, including the one owned by maria perez. it is her tree that fell. >> the trees were there since we bought the house. >> reporter: she says she removed several other trees at great cost. now the other part of this redwood must come down too. no way without inspecting, said bill dobbs. it's rotten inside. >> in my opinion, there is a hazard potential hazard at this point right here. >> reporter: in with the old, out with the new and not soon enough around here. >> i thank god, thank you god, 2014 is going to leave and never come back again. >> reporter: wayne freedman, abc 7 news. this wind storm has killed at least five people across the state. a woman died when a tree fell on to her home in redding early today. it trapped the woman and a child. by the time firefighters reached her, she was dead. however, they did rescue the toddler. she is okay. we are glad to tell you.
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high winds are believed responsible for the deaths of two men on santa catalina island, including a harbor patrol officer pinned between a boat and a rock. a third man is missing. yesterday, falling trees killed two people in an area an hour south of redding when winds topped 60 miles an hour there. >> so sad. we have incredible video to show you now of a wild scene caused by weather in pasadena. at the rose bowl. setup is under way for tomorrow's game. the wind picked up a tent and tossed it around in the air. four people have minor injuries. you can see the damage it's doing. the winds were more than 60 miles per hour and other tents were tossed around as well. a short video shows one of the larger tents going up in the air from a different angle. >> that is just wild and terrifying. more to come. a bay area teenager is arrested on charges of human trafficking. details on that just ahead. our weather watch continues. the wind storm creates a mess at a popular bay area golf course. also a smoky fire destroys
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a popular sausage house in san francisco. what made fire so hard to fight. a big development in the series of car fires in san jose. we'll have the latest. and as we go to break, a live picture from sky 7 hd a picture postcard shot of san francisco on this last day of 2014. happy new year to you. female announcer: it's time to make room for the new mattress models! during sleep train's huge year end clearance sale, get beautyrest, posturepedic even tempur-pedic mattress sets at low clearance prices. save even more on floor samples, demonstrators, and closeout inventory. plus, free same-day delivery, set-up and removal of your old set. why wait for the new models? sleep train's year end clearance sale is on now! ...guaranteed! ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪
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the wind storm created a lot of new hazards at a popular bay area golf course. winds knocked down at least half a dozen trees near the oakland airport. other parts of the island also had tree damage. abc 7's nick smith is live with more. nick? >> reporter: good evening. this tree that i'm standing on is absolutely huge.
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but to get an idea of how big it is, take a look at the tree behind me. it once stood as tall as those trees. this tree came crashing down just inches from that park office, inches from a house behind me and trees like this have been falling all across alameda. >> this is just unbelievable, right? >> reporter: this has become a familiar sight across alameda. huge trees lying prostate. >> 100-year-old eucalyptus trees have shallow roots. >> reporter: until yesterday, this tree stretched more than 100 feet into the air but it and the root system that secured it were no match for the heavy winds that swept across the bay area and brought it down. once tall and proud, it has become nothing more than a makeshift jungle gym for neighborhood children until it can be reduced to wood chips. >> it was actually old farmland so nothing really happens out here. pretty exciting for this area. >> reporter: across town the scene of toppled trees was
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multiplied. >> it's been here for 60 70 years and the high wind will just. >> reporter: a view from the ground can only hint at the scope. this view from sky 7 hd shows the enormity. less than five minutes from the oakland airport, the golf course. the sportsmen are navigating an obstacle course of downed trees and twisted branches. >> the hole over here the tree is practically covering the green right in front. >> reporter: in fact, no part of the 45-hole golf complex, mostly landfill, was spared from the damage brought by the wind. >> just be glad you weren't out here yesterday, because it's very dangerous. these trees have very shallow roots but they are tall and thin. they will go down and not even severe wind as that. >> reporter: crews are working as quickly as they can to clear this tree from island drive because they know there are many more they need to get to. nick smith, abc 7 news.
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a fire nearly gutted one of san francisco's oldest businesses today. this is cell phone video of the fire at evergood fine foods factory in the bayview district. the owners say a duct caught fire above a sausage smokehouse and that sent flames shooting to the roof. firefighters doused the flames before they could gut the building. >> it's more isolated. the whole plant wasn't on fire. it was just the smokehouse. and the warehouse above. and part of the kitchen area. >> no workers were injured. evergood is a family-run business that has been making sausages in san francisco since 1932. it's a venerable institution. the owners say they will wait until friday to assess the damage and determine how their factory will be affected. happening now, police are questioning a man accused of setting up to ten cars on fire along the san jose/campbell border in just the past week. three of the fires happened between 7:30 and 8:30 last night near willow street and norman avenue. police arrested a man they say had direct contact with one of
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those cars. sean was cooking dinner when his brother rushed in screaming his girlfriend's suv was on fire. >> i saw my girlfriend's car on fire. it was running pretty good. we splashed some water on it and once we were done with that one, i turned around there's another car on fire. that one was like totally engulfed in flames. luckily we had a fire extinguisher and put it out. >> fortunately, nobody was hurt in any of last night's incidents. police believe the suspect may also be responsible for lighting that van you see on fire on monday. police have arrested a 19-year-old vallejo woman police say is behind the trafficking of a child. the police were called last week. they say a youngster texted her family she was being forced into prostitution by two people. police arrested 19-year-old samantha johns at the san rafael transit center. a second suspect is on the run. the victim was found to be safe and is being reunited with her family tonight. san francisco police arrested a man they say is a
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serial bank robber. police say 38-year-old san francisco residents frederick black is suspected of robbing ten banks, most of them in the financial district. bay area decades-old tribute to the civil rights era will end next month. the freedom train commemorates martin luther king jr.'s march from selma to montgomery, alabama in 1965. the last 30 years passengers have taken the cal train ride from san jose's station to san francisco to commemorate that civil rights movement. officials say this coming january 19th's ride will be the last because of declining interest from the community. if you want to see one of the most exciting surf contests in the country in person you are out of luck. the half moon bay review reports there will not be a festival on the beach at the maverick surf contest next time around. organizers canceled the festival for liability reasons. some bay area bars and restaurants, though will offer live coverage of the event. the surf contest window opens tomorrow and runs through march 31st.
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well here's the story of childbirth up in the air. a plane heading from san francisco to minneapolis got diverted to salt lake city this morning when a passenger went into labor. fortunately, a pediatrician was on board the flight. the woman did make it to the hospital in salt lake, happy to say. mom and baby are doing just fine. starting in just a few minutes, the highway patrol will be out in force tonight and every night through the weekend looking for drunk drivers. on new year's eve last year 14 people died and more than 450 people were arrested for driving under the influence. if you need a ride please take public transit if you can. cal train is offering free rides as well as muni. buses will run until 5:00 in the morning. b.a.r.t. service extended until 3:00 a.m. and tipsy toe will be offering complimentary rides for up to seven miles. you don't have to be a aaa member to call. and if you choose a ride share company, be warned about the surge pricing. uber expects the highest fares between 12:30 to 2:30 in the morning, where an average ride could cost more than $100.
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we have all this information on you are not the only one who will feel the chill with temperatures dipping below freezing in some communities late tonight and early tomorrow morning. freezing temperatures can damage and even kill many plants like citrus trees. gardiners say you can take steps to protect the plants including covering the leaves and branches. another trick, spraying plants with a special chemical to help protect them from the frost. you saw the free rides that are available. another service we are offering tonight, wherever you are if you are cold, call drew tuma. he will bring you a blanket. >> we can also download the abc 7 weather app. you can check it any time. it's like having me right there. talking about a beautiful new year's eve forecast guys. yes, it's cool but we are dealing with dry conditions and a light breeze. live doppler 7 hd right now is going to show you we are getting the all clear. we have blue skies for much of the day today so we are not talking about any precipitation the next 24 hours. a perfect evening for sky 7 to
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take flight live. sky 7 hd showing downtown san francisco, the golden gate bridge in the background. beautiful sunset just a few minutes ago and clear skies certainly going to allow temperatures to drop rather rapidly overnight. the forecast calls for a freeze warning to start off 2015. sunny days into the weekend and a mild pattern will begin on sunday. we do have warmer weather on the way. rounding out the final hours of 2014, we look at the year rainfall. nearly 25 inches of rain fell in 2014 more than almost five times what fell last year and beating the average of 23.65 inches. the wet december was a welcome sight for much of us in the region. the big story tonight, though, the cold temperatures. a freeze warning in effect from midnight to 9:00 a.m. for early morning lows in the mid 20s to low 30s in inland locations. that means freeze damage to sensitive plants and of course, bring the pets inside. overnight, a frost advisory around the bay for temperatures
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falling into the low and mid 30s. that also means you could have some frost damage to sensitive vegetation. 54 outside in san francisco right now, 55 in san ramon. 54 in mountain view. san jose at 53 degrees and oakland checking in with a temperature of 51. satellite and radar the story. we are tracking a very quiet pattern thanks to high pressure in control just to our north continuing that cold and dry pattern. but that area of low pressure overnevada is bringing some rare weather to las vegas. look at live doppler 7 hd right now. snow showers are falling around las vegas. they are in store for one of their top five coldest nights ever on record. we are certainly seeing a lot of cold, part of the western two-thirds of the united states. the rain holds off for us. yes, another week. the next seven days on the accuweather forecast are rather dry. overnight lows, 33 in san rafael. 29 in santa rosa with the freeze warning in effect. 33 in fremont. dropping to 41 in san francisco. freezing mark in san jose. tomorrow after that frosty
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start, we get into the mid 50s under tons of sunshine. 53 in downtown san francisco. 56 in oakland. 55 in san jose. fairfield, the high of 54 degrees. your accuweather seven day forecast calls for the freezing temperatures to start off 2015. there is sunshine in the afternoon and we stay in the mid 50s. a morning chill on friday and then as we go into saturday we start to increase our temperatures. it's bright and sunny for both saturday and sunday and then early next week, here comes that mild pattern for both monday, tuesday and wednesday. a mixture of sunshine and clouds and temperatures going back into the mid and low 60s. so a little bit of everything for everybody but tonight you are out and about, layers are going to be key. >> thanks drew. did you ever wonder why we sign up for the gym memberships but never go to the gym? we will have answers coming up next. and new at 6:00, san francisco attorneys go after apple. why they say apple provided less than promised to people who bought an iphone or ipad. we'll be right back.
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the united arab emirates put on a spectacular display to bring in the new year. they wanted to break the world record for the largest l.e.d. illuminated facade. no word yet whether they actually accomplished that. it is a tradition to sing "auld lang syne" on new year's eve but what do the words actually mean? a scottish poet is credited with writing the lyrics back in 1788. the song is about remembering friends and not letting them be forgotten. "auld lang syne" has come to mean old time's sake. its popularity in america is likely thanks to band leader guy lombardo. ♪ lombardo's orchestra played the song on his radio and tv shows for almost 50 years. you know it's also tradition to have a new year's resolution.
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here are a few among people visiting san francisco today. >> my new year's resolution is to be a better person. >> my new year's resolution is to run a half marathon. >> my new year's resolution is to stop going over my data limit. >> lose weight by working out more and being a better eater. >> to do my homework on time and stop procrastinating. >> my resolution is i want to learn how to speak chinese. >> i want to go to the gym more often. it's pretty lame, but i just want to get in better shape. >> lot of people talking about getting in shape. well, a lot of us will make a resolution to exercise more, eat better and that might mean buying a gym membership but not everybody who signs up actually goes to the gym. some economists believe fitness chains actually build their business model around those no-show members. some gyms actually have more members than their facilities can accommodate. this drives up an economic upside for consumers. the slackers who never go to the gym keep membership fees down for those who do.
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behavioral economists call this precommitting, meaning people likely go because they have invested money in their membership. >> the gym business, they call it the january to march people. remember when schools were closed for snow days? >> not too many in san francisco. well, that's the idea behind this san francisco tradition. all of this fun has a serious side. female announcer: when you see this truck, it means another neighbor is going to sleep better tonight. because they went to sleep train's
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p abc 7 and espn are your home for college football's biggest games. tomorrow, new year's day, you will see the buffalo wild wings citrus bowl here on abc 7 at 10:00 a.m. or on the watch abc app. then it's the college football playoff semifinals. rose bowl at 2:00 the sugar bowl at 5:30. can see both those games on espn and the watch espn app. >> it all leads up to the first ever national championship game monday, january 12th at 5:30 again on espn and watch espn
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app. but let's go to the newsroom. katie marzullo and i will see you at 6:00. what have you got? >> coming up the story behind this unexpected side project for construction crews building san francisco's central subway. we told you about the wind problems affecting the rose parade but the frigid cold could also impact a highlight of tomorrow's event. and the end of an oyster odyssey. how drake's bay oyster company is marking its final moments. all coming up in a half hour on abc 7 news at 6:00. >> thank you. river otters at the aquarium of the bay got an icy treat today but not one meant for eating. >> the aquarium at pier 39 filled the enclosure with 70 pounds of snow. the three north american river otters loved rolling around and sliding in the stuff. >> luckily their thick skin acts like a warm snowsuit. they just kept on playing. >> there is no off button on a north american river otter. we designed this exhibit specifically so there was lots of different things for them to
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do. things to jump on tunnels to crawl in, water to play in. >> north american river otters were almost killed into extinction for that thick fur that keeps them warm. >> fortunately, conservation efforts are letting them make a comeback in california, especially in the marshes of the bay and the delta. let's head out to new york city. >> you are taking a live look at times square in new york where a million people are expected to ring in the new year watching the annual ball drop in just a matter of hours now. >> they, too, are braving the cold to begin the celebration for 2015. it is 30 degrees there right now. that could drop to 25 degrees by midnight. >> you can join in the big apple celebration while keeping warm right here on abc 7. our coverage begins with prime time rockin' eve with ryan st at 8:00. >> then join us for abc 7 news at 11:00 with more new year's eve festivities at 11:30. >> we want to leave you tonight with some new year's eve celebrations across the globe starting at the arc de triomphe in paris france.
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>> enjoy your celebrations tonight. stay safe out there. happy new year. >> we appreciate your time. see you later. welcome to "world news tonight." new year's freeze. a frigid night for tens of millions of americans from california to the east coast. whiteout conditions. drivers abandoning cars. the deadly avalanche and the freak wind storm at the sight of the rose bowl. 2015 starting off with an arctic blast at home. and overseas with a deadly stampede. the mystery of air asia flight 8501. recovery teams struggling in choppy seas. the first bodies of the victims arriving back on land. our team is there. downsizing. that shrinking feeling in packaging. are consumers getting what they expect? and as we look into the new year, the spectacular celebrations already taking place around the world.


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