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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  September 27, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> we'll see you then. have a great night. on this saturday night, death on the highway. the terrible crash between a big-rig truck and a bus carrying members of a women's college softball team. tonight, the search for answers. new health scare, as a serious respiratory virus spreads, some children face an alarming new problem. what's causing their paralysis? deadly volcano, hund of hikers trapped on a mountain when the earth explodes. tonight, dozens are still missing. high-tech, the new start-ups trying to cash-in on legalized pot. yes, there's an app for that. and new arrival in the clinton family. grandma hillary says she and the president are over the moon.
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from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. we begin with a heartbreaking story out of oklahoma where a college softball team trip ended in tragedy on a busy interstate. four young women were killed after the bus they were on collided with an 18-wheeler. all the victims were members of the softball team at north central texas college. the youngest of those killed was 18, the oldest 20. and tonight back in texas their tight-knit college community is gripped by a profound sadness. kerry sanders is in ardmore, oklahoma, tonight for us. kerry, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. the women's softball team was about 40 miles shy of their destination when their bus was hit by a tractor-trailer that crossed that wide grassy median down there here on interstate 35. the crash happened on a stretch of interstate 35 in oklahoma where the speed limit is 70 miles per hour.
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a tractor-trailer headed north, a college team's bus driving south back to texas. those who happened upon the wreckage in the dark describe chaos. >> this girl, she was in her seat and the bus came on top of her, on top of her head. >> reporter: killed in the accident four players on north central texas college softball team. freshman infielder katelyn woodly and three of her sophomore teammates. pitcher meagan richardson, jaden pelton, infielder brook deckard. >> i would like to offer my sincere condolences to these families. >> reporter: the lady lions had just scrimmaged against southern nazareen university. >> you just picture the faces you just played. you can't imagine them actually being gone. it wasn't real. >> reporter: washington-based investigators from the national transportation safety board are now here trying to determine why the truck drifted over the rumble strips, into the grassy median and head-on into southbound traffic.
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this afternoon wrecker crews were still cleaning up finding personal items including a cell phone. and in the brush alongside the road, practice softballs. >> one of them girls that died touched one of these balls. touched one of them. >> reporter: this evening friends and family have gathered in gainesville, texas, to remember one of the victims. most of the injured players have now been released from the hospital. first responders tell nbc news some of those survivors had to be cut from the wreckage learning as they were saved other teammates had died. among the things the ntsb is looking at, why is there no barrier in this section of the highway where a few miles away there are steel cables that may have prevented this accident. the truck driver survived this accident. the truck -- tonight, the oklahoma highway patrol says they're categorizing this as a homicide investigation. lester.
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>> kerry sanders tonight. thank you. the country's air travel system began to recover today. flights resuming at chicago's two airports after a big regional air traffic control center was knocked out by an act of sabotage. still, more than 700 flights were canceled at o'hare and midway. much of the air traffic normally handled by the damaged facility in aurora, illinois, was handed off to other facilities. an employee allegedly set a fire at the aurora center then tried to take his own life. federal health officials are monitoring nine children in colorado tonight with symptoms that range from muscle weakness to paralysis. and at least four of them have tested positive for a rare virus strain that's caused severe respiratory illness of hundreds of kids around the country. nbc's hallie jackson has more tonight on this new health alert. >> reporter: jaden broadway could barely breathe, so his mom knew he needed help, fast. >> i was across the room and i could hear him wheezing and it was petrifying. >> reporter: the 9-year-old who has asthma showed symptoms of
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enterovirus 68 and was treated earlier this month. now four children in colorado who tested positive for that strain of virus are showing polio-like symptoms. health officials are trying to determine if there's a link. >> some of these kids i think are just having some weakness and some have progressed to paralysis. >> reporter: doctors say the paralysis could be an extreme complication of a virus that typically develops like a very bad cold. across the country the cdc says 277 people in 40 states have tested positive for enterovirus 68. virtually all of them children. parents have been warned to watch for symptoms in their kids like extreme trouble breathing, severe coughing and sometimes wheezing, fever and a rash. outside los angeles erin noticed her son struggling with similar respiratory problems two years ago, before he was paralyzed. she says her toddler was never tested for enterovirus 68 but was diagnosed with a polio-like
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syndrome. so after hearing about the cases in colorado, she felt for those families. >> i know this dark hole that they are facing not knowing where to go, what to do. >> reporter: the cdc wants doctors nationwide to report any clusters of kids with breathing problems and muscle weakness or paralysis. all in the fight to figure out this dangerous outbreak that has doctors and parents on edge. hallie jackson, nbc news, los angeles. overseas the u.s. and its allies conducted more bombing missions today against isis targets both in syria and iraq. but after weeks of bombing in northern iraq, the campaign seems to be having little effect. nbc's bill neely is there for us again tonight. >> reporter: british jets join the air war against isis in iraq. the coalition and its fire power is growing. american warplanes make up the bulk of the force bombing iraq for more than six weeks now.
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more than 220 air strikes by u.s., european and arab states hitting isis targets. they aim to degrade and destroy the group. on the ground, kurdish troops show me where the most recent american bombs hit destroying armored vehicles. but in an isis-controlled village their black flag still flies. the isis positions here and just over there, they're on two sides, haven't moved in spite of four days of air strikes. the u.s. warplanes are hitting isis vehicles, but the islamist fighters aren't leaving. air power has its limits. isis gunmen on this front line hold ground and stand guard without fear. their fighters have beheaded americans. so far u.s. fire power has not cut their lifeline. these are the ground troops the u.s. hopes can retake land after air strikes, but they are outgunned by isis.
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their heavy weapons are old. their missile systems outdated. new weapons are promised, but haven't reached the battle. this kurdish commander says without better weapons they can't attack isis. so for now a long entrenched front line is growing with both sides dug in. the u.s. has warned this war may last for years. air strikes can degrade isis, but air power alone can't win it. bill neely, nbc news, kurkuk, iraq. in japan at least one person is dead tonight, dozens injured and many still stranded on a mountain after a volcano suddenly came to life. we got the latest tonight from nbc's kelly cobiella. >> reporter: mount ontake came to life with a boom, a witness said it sounded like thunder, then everything went dark. hot gas, ash and rock shot two miles into the sky at midday
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with no warning. this cell phone video captured the frantic moments after the eruption. the volcano is a popular spot for hikers and more than 200 were climbing the slopes today. within seconds these hikers were covered in ash. one woman was killed and more than 30 seriously injured. many by flying rocks. mount ontake is 125 miles west of tokyo. the last major eruption in 1979 covered the area in 200,000 tons of ash. today, rock and ash rained down across two and a half miles, causing a few flight delays but no major airline disruptions. the ash is a problem for rescue helicopters. searchers have to climb the mountain to reach survivors. japanese prime minister shinzo abe said the army will help evacuate as many as 150 survivors still stranded in lodges. with the volcano still active,
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rescuers have to wait until daybreak to reach them. kelly cobiella, nbc news, london. big news from the clinton family. a new arrival as chelsea clinton, a former member of our nbc family, gave birth to her first child and her parents finally got to call themselves grandma and grandpa. as speculation grows about a hillary clinton run for the presidency, today's news could have a big impact. we get more on that tonight from nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: it's a girl. today the entire clinton family tweeted out photos of their new addition. charlotte clinton mezvinsky. hillary writing, bill and i are over the moon to be grandparents. and mom chelsea tweeting at 7:03 p.m. on september 26th we finally met charlotte. we're in love. >> chelsea clinton has been world famous since she was about 12 years old. so it's almost like the british royal family. >> reporter: for the past several weeks the expectant grandparents have been brimming
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with excitement. >> first and most importantly, bill and i are on constant grandchild watch. >> reporter: historian michael beschloss tweeted out photos of past presidents and their grandchildren from fdr, truman and lbj and saying being a grandparent can help politicians of both parties connect to voters on the campaign trail. >> i think that allows hillary clinton to say even more i've been first lady, i was a senator, i was secretary of state, but like you i'm a grandparent too. >> reporter: the image of hillary as a grandmother in waiting was first on display in april when chelsea announced she was expecting. >> i just hope i will be as good a mom to my child and hopefully children as my mom was to me. >> reporter: political analysts say clinton will likely consider her new role -- >> i'm back! >> reporter: -- as she weighs whether she'll run for president in 2016. >> there's no question but that she'll take into consideration the fact that her daughter now has a daughter in terms of her deciding how much time she wants
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to spend in public life versus private. >> reporter: for now the clintons are celebrating the newest member of their family and publicly sharing the moment as hillary ponders what her next role will be. kristen welker, nbc news, washington. james traficant jr. has died. a colorful nine-term democratic congressman from ohio, an advocate for the disenfranchise and known for antics on the house floor. his speeches often ending with a nod to "star trek" and the words beam me up and known for his wardrobe including denim and polyester suits. skinny ties and cowboy boots. he was expelled from congress in 2002 after he was convicted of taking bribes and kickbacks. he died after an accident on a tractor earlier this week. james traficant was 73. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this saturday, bumper crop as legalized pot fuels a new breed of start-ups looking to cash-in. and later the memories of a
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country music legend. thousands of his personal items from a road well traveled now about to be sold.
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we're back tonight with a sign of the times. high times in colorado, where business has been booming since recreational marijuana use was legalized earlier this year. this weekend those behind a new wave of pot-related tech start-ups are meeting at a conference in denver looking at green in more ways than one. my report tonight from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: as the smoke begins to clear from colorado's social experiment, the ideas here are bigger than the bong hits. >> so we've been growing at a rate of 25%. >> grow buddy has a grow journaling app. >> i built the courses to be extremely interactive. >> reporter: this is billed as the first marijuana tech start-up competition ever. entrepreneurs hoping their pot pitches will turn denver into the next silicon valley. >> you can be young and be a
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boss and nobody disregards your age. >> reporter: this 25-year-old is aiming high. he says he turned down a job at a tobacco company to start a web-based destination connecting marijuana buyers and wholesalers. all he needs is the technical help to make it happen. you hope to develop the chicago mercantile exchange of weed. >> in due time, yes. >> reporter: one investment grum here is only focusing on pot-related start-ups and has already shelled out more than $12 million. it predicts the budding industry will grow to more than $10 billion by 2018. >> this is a big deal because it's really people shining a professional spotlight on the innovation that can be seen applied to the cannabis industry. which before has not been able to be done. >> we got this building about two months ago. >> reporter: zack just moved here from indiana. his company already employs five people who create smartphone apps. one is a dating app for pot smokers. another allows users to research and discover dispensaries.
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>> i'm sure people are surprised we're not smoking a bong right now. contrary to belief we're able to get work done and build a business. >> reporter: so he co-organized this weekend's event. smoking's allowed in a private area. but more focused on meeting developers and investors to get his business off the ground. so it relies on a product still illegal in most states. >> with great risk comes great reward. >> reporter: and has the green rush going high-tech and a new generation of entrepreneurs fired up. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, denver. there's more to tell you about. up next, what some are calling the wedding of the year.
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the scene here in new york this evening live from central park where tens of thousands have gathered for a star-studded concert. it's this year's global citizen festival. and for the most part it was an invitation event. most of the fans were given tickets because they've taken action to help end world poverty. and tonight we hear from some who are doing their part in their own words. >> my name is deviny james. i teach at outdoor nursery school, which is just outside washington, d.c. i grew up on the beautiful island of jamaica. i am the first one out of my family to graduate high school and to go to college. my vision is to educate all girls worldwide. i was looking through my purse and i saw all of these pennies. and i thought what can i use them to do. so far i have collected over 600,000 pennies, $60 alone could send a girl to school for the entire year.
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>> i'm steve crane, age 72. i live in seattle. and i'm a member of the seattle rotary club. i was diagnosed with polio at almost exactly the same time as the vaccine first came out. i did not have the benefit. it would have made an enormous difference in my life. i was a star athlete. i couldn't make touchdowns and score and do the things i like to do. my mission is to help fund the eradication of polio by urging members of congress to provide the critical funding in order to finish the job. and we're this close. >> my name is sarah. i'm 15 years old and i'm a sophomore and i go to aurora central catholic high school in aurora, illinois. when i was in elementary school, my mom had lost her job at the hospital she was working at. so our family was struggling for a bit.
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our town opened a local food pantry. you can have three items today. now instead of being in the line for the food pantry, i'm volunteering and helping at the food pantry too. at the global citizen festival, every person there is there for the same reason that i am. just try to end global poverty. and that's what makes me smile. that's what i'm looking forward to the most. >> you can watch an hour-long primetime special on the festival right here on nbc tonight at 9:00, 8:00 central time. in venice, italy, tonight the wedding some thought would never happen actor george clooney tying the knot with amal alamuddin, a human rights lawyer, he is 53, she is 36. it all took place at a seven-star hotel. it was called the grand canal. so many celebrities descended on the city that one headline called it hollywood on the adriatic. an official civil ceremony will take place on monday. when we come back, up for
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sale some of the prize possessions of a country music legend.
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finally tonight, we're getting a rare glimpse into the life and times of one of the superstars of country music, the late waylon jennings has spent years on the road. and along the way accumulated a treasure-trove of objects. next weekend thousands of them will be auctioned off in arizona. our report tonight from nbc's kevin tibbles. >> reporter: they called him an outlaw. ♪ i never could tow the mark and never could draw the line ♪ >> reporter: but those who knew
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waylon jennings like his wife, jessie colter, call him the real deal. >> he was a people's choice. he was a man of the people. people were comfortable. and if you weren't comfortable, he'd make you comfortable. >> reporter: jennings who died in 2002 dragged traditional country music kicking and screaming into a marriage with rock and roll. >> he was an outlaw in the sense he didn't conform to the establishment. and people could read into that anything they wished to read into it. >> reporter: it was all those years living on the road that perhaps took waylon jennings from his fans at the relatively young age of 64. jessie colter is now auctioning many of their shared possessions, in part to raise money for the phoenix children's hospital. it was an easy choice. >> waylon would say if i can't figure out who i am, i look to a child. when i want to see who i am. and that's a pretty cool thing, to see how a child will respond to you. >> reporter: some 2,000 items from the scribbled lyrics to songs and a letter from john lennon, to the contract that created the country's super group, the highway men with jennings, chris christopherson
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willie nelson and johnny cash. even willie nelson's braids, which waylon won in a bet. everything tells a little bit of the story. >> if waylon had an impact on people that was on and on. >> reporter: a rare motorcycle purchased by waylon's fan buddy holly and given to him after the plane crash that he perished on. jennings was supposed to be on that plane too. >> what is the story behind this? >> reporter: there's a robe worn by the great muhammad ali. given to jennings as a testament of their friendship. and several instruments including one of waylon's signature fender guitars. >> nobody's held it. >> well, i'm going to make a lot of people jealous. ♪ hearts don't break just to satisfy you ♪ ♪ just to satisfy you >> reporter: a honky tonk hero's life on the road that left a lot of good music and memories. kevin tibbles, nbc news,
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phoenix. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. flights grounded, how a problem at chicago's o'hare airport is creating a domino effect across the country. what senator barbara boxer
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had to say. a blaze breaks out a habitat for humanity construction site. >> they were building homes for low-income families and a lot of that work has gone. this one on capital avenue near i-280. we are live at the scene with more. volunteers say they will not let this setback stop their mission. >> reporter: that's right. good evening to you. no doubt, this is a big, big setback. the people at habitat for humanity are already talking about rebuilding, moving forward, getting their volunteers back out here. these are homes for people who absolutely need them most. they had to stop a volunteer workday today because of the


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