tv NBC Bay Area News at 5 NBC May 25, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT
we'll have more on sunday's 75th anniversary celebration of the golden gate bridge in a few moments. first, we want to update you about the gruesome discovery in pleasanton. we don't know ie dent i have to the woman found in a grashage can yesterday, but investigators do not believe it's sierra lamar. medical examiners conducted an autopsy on that morning found on the trash can. the results of the autopsy are inconclusive but they're fairly certain it's not the body of the morgan hill teenager. police are not trying to determine who it is. what they're saying is the woman was wearing pajama buttons and an old navy t-shirt and blue fingernail polish. they're asking anyone who might be able to help find an identifier to come forward. the search for sierra, divers returned. the lawyer for the accused killer is questioning the evidence in this case. damien joins us live with more
on that. >> reporter: ken mandeale hasn' seen the entire case load, but he plans to fight vigorously to defend his cliechblt dive teams were looking for perhaps the key piece of evidence against the accused killer of sierra lamar. >> we've been finding a lot of rocks, a lot of logs. i just ran into a large tree down there. there's quite a bit of debris down there. >> reporter: i spoke to the suspect's lawyer by phone. ken mandel says the evidence against garcia torres seems weak. no body, no crime scene, no blood, no murder weapon, and he calls the dna evidence inconclusive. >> he's been there before. he's not going to get nervous about the case. but he's going to stay on message and do the best he can for his client. >> reporter: steven clark is a former prosecutor turn defense lawyer. he says the d.a. is in for a fight. >> ken mandel is the perfect
attorney for this case. he's a seasoned, experienced homicide defense attorney. he's got a great courtroom presence and demeanor. he's low-key. he's not going to overplay his hand in this case. >> ken mandel has handled most high-profile murder cases for the public defender. he told me the attempt to link garcia torres with the morgan hills safeway assaults is also weak. now he has to prove to a jury why they should be skeptical as well. in response late this afternoon, the d.a.'s office said, "we prosecute cases with facts and evidence in the courtroom." and by the way, david boyd is also a well-respected, efficient, and very ma -- meticulous prosecutor. new at 5:00 now, only in the bay area do we get a story like this. the most celebrated squatter in america. he was camping out at aol
headquarters. the only problem, he didn't work at aol. let's bring in scott budman. take this one straight away. >> young entrepreneur, 19 years old at the time, living inside a global company day and night, and the company doesn't even know it. all he wanted was to build a start-up. eric simons is, fittingly, talking to us on a couch. >> everything in this house can be slept on. >> in addition to being a successful young entrepreneur, eric is now silicon valley's most famous squatter, having taken a four-month incubator program at aol's headquarters. >> we were allowed to go to the gym. we were allowed to go on to the third floor, which is where they would put ramen down every day for everyone to take. they had drinks on tap. >> and turned it into autrge without aol knowing about it. >> you go this would be a sweet place to live.
there's a pinball machine. there's coke on tap. but that was not the initial thought process i was going through. >> but with money tight and family across the country, aol was looking good. >> i was working at aol every single day and it got to the point where i was like, you know, there's a couch right there. >> so he stayed, starting his company classconnect by day and sneaking around for a police to sleep at night. and it worked. until eric got caught and tossed out. >> it was very clear. it was like okay, it's time to go. the party has come to an end. >> but eric got funding for classconnect. it's officially a start-up. he even has a home. >> the way it's worked out, it's -- everything has fallen into place so far. >> you've got to admire his drooi drive. classconnect is a place where teachers can create and share lesson plans. he says 11,000 teachers have already signed up.
fidel castro's niece visited a san francisco landmark today. not the golden gate bridge or fisherman's wharf, but the glbt museum, which she specifically asked to see. the museum is the only one of its kind in the u.s., hosting some 20,000 visitors a year. she is the daughter of cuba's current leader raul castro. after visiting the museum, she shared a panel on sexual diversity and politics at the latin american studies association. she did not take questions from reporters. it's less than two miles long, but its reach is far greater than its span. sunday, the golden gate bridge turns 75, and the party is already under way. nbc bay area stephanie tronk joins us now. for a select few this is also a family work of art, isn't it? >> reporter: it definitely is. we had the pleasure of speaking with that small group of people who say that this 75-year mark is especially touching for them.
>> it feels just, like, unbelievable. i want to keep pinching myself. that we're involved this this wonderful celebration on a gorgeous bridge. and it's sort of -- i know it belongs to everybody, but for us it's kind of a family heirloom. >> lee and marla have a special bond with the golden gate bridge. their great uncle was joseph strauss, the man behind this masterpiece, chief engineer of the project so many decades ago. >> it's very exciting because it's something that was always personal before. >> democratic leader nancy pelosi and the governor were among those at the ribbon cutting, calling the golden gate bridge an international icon of innovation. the sisters added another layer. their grandfather russell coen was the resident engineer. >> they had to deal with the wind and the cold.
it's chilly today. but imagine being up high like that. >> reporter: there was another milestone today, one the coens say their grandfather fought for and only dreamt about. the official recognition of another key engineer, charles ellis, who was in charge of designing the structure. a plaque was dedicated to him today, unveiled 75 years later. >> long overdue recognition. >> reporter: speaking of long overdue, there was a twist for the strauss's great nieces. today was more than a celebration. it was actually a long awaited family reunion. >> and we've just found each other. >> i didn't know i even had a second cousin once removed, or whatever you are. >> i think that's what we are. >> reporter: and at today's ceremony, we found a lot of special ties. coming up at 6:00 tonight on nbc bay area, we hear from the man who has a very personal connection with the golden gate bridge. his hands played a very important role in building what is of course now an international icon. for now, live in san francisco, nbc, bay area news.
>> thank you, what a fun weekend for so many of us. let's now turn our attention to the chief meteorologist. jeff, take it away. >> we are a mile or so away from the golden gate bridge shining bright. never looked better. two days away from that 75th anniversary. we're going to tell you where you should come for that anniversary and also, most importantly, how you should get here. we're also tracking some rain across the bay area. that's all just minutes away. >> thanks so much, jeff. see you soon. still to come at 5:00, three lives lost, three lives saved. one man at the center of it all. the life-changing story just ahead. appearing in court from a hospital bed. the latest developments in a 30-year-old missing child case. and he just can't stay away. president obama heading back to the bay area. the details after the break.
decision 2012. we've learned president obama is returning to the bay area. he'll be raising money at an event in san francisco on june 6, the day after the california primary. the president was just here this week raising $4 million during his visit. today, there is doubt about a man's confession to a high-profile kidnapping three decades ago. 51-year-old pedro hernandez signed a confession that he kidnapped and murdered 6-year-old etan petz back in 1979. the boy disappeared on his way to school. the resulting search launched a nationwide focus on the subject of missing children. hernandez's court-appointed attorney now says his client is schizophrenic and bipolar, casting doubt about his confession. experts are also skeptical because hernandez has given no motive for killing the boy. hernandez is in a mental hospital, and tonight after threatening to commit suicide.
today also marks the 33-year anniversary of the boy's disappearance. putting a cap on out of state students. lawmakers are considering putting a limit on the number of out of state students admitted to the university of california. they're proposing a 10% cap on outside students. right now the numbers are much higher for incoming freshmen this fall, around 23% of the system's most popular schools, such as cal and ucla. enforcing a 10% cap at all u.c. schools would allow more in-state students to go to school in california. administrators say they would oppose this cap, saying out of state students pay higher tuition, which is good for easing the budget. one man held the lives of three people in his hands. their stories played out over a three-day period at lucille packard hospital. that's where marianne favro joins us with this life-changing story. >> reporter: the three heart transplants took place on may 3, 4, and 5.
and dr. rinehart led the team of surgeons. what's amazing is each surgery was 12 hours long and he says they were very complicated operation. the doctor barely had time to get a couple of coffee before he was called back into the o.r. amanda seacrest is celebrating an important anniversary. three weeks ago, she underwent a liver and heart transplant. >> the man who donated the organs, god bless them. unfortunate for their family, for their loss. i can't thank them more -- i'm so emotional. i can't thank them more than anything. >> reporter: what happened next is a medical milestone. hours later, william performed a heart transplant performed by the same surgeon. >> he was probably the sickest going into the surgery.
he literally almost died on the way to the operating room. >> reporter: he's feeling much stronger now, after williams' complex 12-hour surgery, dr. rinehart barely had time to grab a bite to eat, because hours later, he was back in the o.r., implanting a new heart in 18-year-old james spencer. >> they said they didn't know how much more i would have lasted. >> reporter: to give you an idea just how rare it is to do three heart transplants in three days, surgeons do ten to 15 in an entire year. as these young patients embrace their doctors, they're now making plans for the future, vowing to make the most of their new hearts and new lives. william, who we talked to in the icu today is feeling much stronger, and he says that he plans to graduate during a ceremony here at the hospital. he'll be graduating from gunn high school.
all of the transplant recipients tell me that they are now making it their mission to get the word out about the importance of becoming an organ donor. they say they're all testament to the fact that it can save lives. reporting live, marianne favro, nbc bay area news. >> thank you, marianne, amazing, what a great story. let's get a check of our forecast with jeff ranieri, live at crissy field for the golden gait anniversary coming up on sunday. >> how does that look, you guys? just doing a little touching up here. >> nice paint job. >> yes. we've got to spruce it up, make it look good here. nbc is the official sponsor as we head into the 75th anniversary weekend. there is a lot of stuff going on. there's a lot of buzz. there's not too many people back here behind me, golden gate bridge is surely signing bright, as this weekend is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people. and of course, everybody has been working overtime, making
sure she looks as beautiful as ever. let's bring in howard with the national parks. you're full-on in your gear because this may be the best way to come here? >> one of the two best ways to come here. on bicycle, always a great way to visit the this park. and on foot. >> what you're telling me is there may not be any parking available at snaul. >> there's going to be around 10,000 spaces for bicycles and not one space for cars. so that suggests that your viewers are going to want to come on foot, by public transportation or on bicycle. >> so that's some really important information, because i know a lot of people get in their car and want to come on out. once you get out here maybe by bike, foot, or muni, what are some of the great spots to be at? >> crissy field, of course, where we're standing now is going to be front and center. but any place that you have an unobstructed view of that bridge is going to put on a show throughout the day and into the
night. >> real quickly here, you do have some gear that's going to be for sale. i think you had a really snazzy hat in that bag. it's kind of a sample of what people can purchase, right? >> we're hoping for beautiful, sunny weather. and sunny or not, a hat is always a good thing to bring whenever you go outdoors. >> okay. >> also, i've got a water bottle in here. all these are available at the new bridge pavilion. they're important things to carry no matter how you want to enjoy this park. especially this weekend. >> thank you so much. we really appreciate it for coming out and letting us know the most important thing, you need to walk if you're going to be coming out here or take some sort of public transit. let's get a look at our maps. we are tracking some activity. we talked about the showers and thunderstorms, the possibility of it yesterday. here they are on the radar. you'll find a l of this happening across the east bay today, that instability that we're continuing to track. also throughout the seier ra, there are some areas of
snowfall. total from two to four inches today. so be prepared for some winter conditions if you are headed up that way. otherwise, temperatures in the 60s across the board. as we head throughout the morning hours, it will be windy at the coastline, but we'll get some clearing in here by saturday or sunday, won't have any somehowers to speak of and it's going to look pretty fantastic. also, a warming trend into the next seven days. there's that area of low pressure. warm air starting to build on the coastline for saturday and for sunday. so that's great news for this 75th anniversary of the golden gate bridge. daytime highs expected to top out in the 70s. cool for this time of the year. about ten degrees below where we should be. and also for the golden gate bridge, that water way too cold to take a dip in. but as we get closer, here's another fact for you. did you know that it snowed two times here on the golden gate
bridge, once back in 2010, a light dusting. but the largest amount on 1976. this bridge has weathered all kinds of storms and it is definitely ready for this sunday for that 75th birthday party. temperatures in the mid 60s for that. on your seven-day forecast, we'll have upper 70s to near 80 as we head throughout monday, tuesday, and wednesday. we were doing a little sprucing up back out there, outside of the bridge with my paint brush. any guess where is we are right now? >> it looks like something out of the movie "grease." >> it looks like an elevator. >> it's the elevator they paint the bridge in, the cables go right through here and it's manually raised and also lowered so they can continue to paint that 365 days a year. i think they would need a much larger paint brush than the one i had earlier. nonetheless, it's pretty cool. a lot of manual work done to keep that looking so good. >> thanks so much, jeff.
still ahead, changing the rules of the road. the new plan to keep cyclists safe on the streets. here's a live picture of the beautiful golden gate bridge, which is turning 75 on sunday. lawrence scott shows us a completely different view of the bridge. >> reporter: the 75th anniversary celebration of the golden gate bridge will have many taking to the bay for a bird's eye view of our historic landmark. >> we've got cruises leaving out of red and white fleets here at pier 43 1/2, so you've got everything from the california sunset cruise and the bridge to bridge cruises that will be departing all weekend. there's cruises leaving every hour, so you've got a lot of options. >> that's the red and white fleet's molly blazedale. >> you can be indoors where it's nice and cozy and warm and have yourself a nice glass of wine while you're looking at the
view. or you can be outside in the elements and right there with the wind blowing through your hair. great photo opportunities. >> memories that will carry forth just like the bridge for decades to come. >> the golden gate bridge is a san francisco icon, as we all all know. the 50th anniversary was absolutely amazing, crazy. you can celebrate all year. but this weekend, memorial day weekend is going to be huge. >> with this look at just some of what to see and do around the bay area this weekend, i'm lawrence scott. ♪ [ male announcer ] for our families... our neighbors...
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absolutely amazing, crazy. a new rule of the road is rolling along. drivers must stay three feet away from cyclists when passing them. current law says motorists need to stay a safe distance away, which some lawmakers say is dangerous and unclear. the assembly will vote on the bill, and if it passes there, it will need to go to the governor's desk to for
signature. we got a dragon by the tail. >> the dragon capsule docked and delivered splice. a huge success. the first time nasa contracted a space flight to a private company. dragon is the creation of a california company called space x. the company hopes to continue hauling cargo and eventually astronauts for nasa. unclaimed cash. it's been nearly a month since the california lottery announced that a ticket bought from a chevron gas station in danville matched five of the six numbers in the megamillions drawing. it's a prize worth over $300,000. so far nobody has come forward to claim the money. winners have 180 days to claim their prize. >> i thought there was an extra ticket lying around the newsroom. up next, why a fifth grader is unfriending mark zuckerberg.
it has ban rough week for facebook. the glitches have made a lot of people angry, including an 11-year-old. like many investors, sam thought he would make a killing by hard in facebook stock. days later, he still hasn't found out, like many people, whether or not his order for 300 shares has actually been filled or not. those shares cost him $10,000. he earned that money from a small business he created. so this is one smart 11-year-old. but like a lot of people, he is a little upset with facebook right now. >> i'm so impressed, though, by his investing skills. thank you so much for joining us. we hope to see you at 6:00. - ( music playing ) - we know technology can make you more connected.
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