tv CBS Evening News CBS October 24, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
>> axelrod: a deadly tragedy at oklahoma state university's homecoming parade. a young woman plows her car into a crowd full of families and is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. a monster hurricane hits south of the border and is dumping more rain on texas. even a trait train is no match for the floods. pencils down-- the federal government is changing course on standardized testing. californians pay the price, not for wasting water but for conserving it. >> this one could be surprising. >> axelrod: and how do you grow a one-ton pumpkin? or better yet, why would you? >> reporter: it sounds almost like an addiction. >> it's pretty bad. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news."
>> axelrod: good evening. i'm jim axelrod, and this is a western edition of the broadcast. we'll have the latest on the dangerous floods in texas and mexico's historic hurricane in a moment. but we begin tonight at oklahoma state university, where today was homecoming day. there was, of course, a parade, but tradition gave way to tragedy when a speeding car slammed into the crowd. at least three are dead, dozens more injured, some critically, and a 25-year-old named adacia chambers, a young woman who lives near the school in stillwater, oklahoma, has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. here's jericka duncan. >> reporter: the driver knocked over this unoccupied police motorcycle before barreling through a crowd. one witness says bodies flew 30 feet into the air. the annual homecoming parade attracts found of families and alumni. the parade ends just blocks away from the football stadium. jeff hackston told us by phone he was in the crowd with his wife and two young children.
>> i just saw people running and panic ensued. the only thing that saves this day-- and i'm sure it's going to save lives-- is there was about 30 emergency responders in the parade that were coming down the street and followed their route right into the scene. >> reporter: university president berns hargas. >> we lost three, i hope we don't lose anymore. the families, i know, and these victims will never be able to understand this, nor will we. >> reporter: police arrested adacia chambers as soon as she got out of the car. the 25-year-old lives in the area. according to her fiance, jesse gaylord, chambers rarely drank alcohol. she worked at a frozen custard shop about a half mile from the scene. gaylord says she left work early but he isn't sure why. >> really nice girl. hasn't shown anything-- i mean, i got her up this morning and gave her a hug and a kiss and she made it to work. >> reporter: gaylord says he has no idea what may have caused
chambers to drive into a crowd of people. despite the lives lost and numerous people injured, the football team played their game as scheduled, pausing for a moment of silence. out of the 22 people injured, police say eight are in critical condition. investigators say it will take several days for blood tests to confirm whether or not chambers was in fact intoxicated. jim. >> axelrod: jericka, thank you. just south of oklahoma, most of texas is under flash flood watches tonight. the remnants of hurricane patricia are combining with heavy storms that started thursday morning. nearly two feet of rain has fallen. david begnaud is in corsicana, texas, for us tonight, 50 miles south of dallas. >> reporter: over the last 24 hours across texas air, 64-car train hauling concrete derailed. interstate 45, south of dallas, was shut down. there were 75 water rescues in nevaro county. a baseball field in dallas
flooded. there was raging floodwater in san antonio. it started early, at 3:30 this morning. the conductor of a 64-car union pacific train tried to brake when he saw the track submerged ahead. 46 cars derailed. two people were on the train and both swam to safety. they were later picked up by rescuers. across navarro county, rescues happened by the dozens, including this 80-year-old man and his dog. cars once stranded with people are still jamming the roads. >> i stopped and, like, freaked out and called 911. and they were like, "well, just stay there." >> reporter: elmer tanner is the nevaro county sheriff. >> we have numerous roads in the county that are either underwater, have been washed out. >> reporter: emergency rescue worker daniel cobb says he's seen just about everything in the last 48 hours. >> the majority of them were vehicles, you know, people trying to drive through, you know, standing water or rushing water. it was just too deep.
>> reporter: between 15 and 20 inches of rain have fallen in and around corsicana texas, south of dallas. two more inches are expected here. 150 miles southwest in austin, 10 inches of rain fell. 80 miles west of there, in san antonio, they saw nearly six inches. much of it was remnants of hurricane patricia. the rain threat now shifts toward the texas coast. houston is expecting at least five inches of rain overnight. back here in corsicana, in some places, cars are still submerged in water, and it's still raining. where i'm standing, this is one of the main roads through town. it's chest deep here but if i walked towards the bridge you wouldn't see me anywhere. interstate 45, north and southbound lanes are still closed because many portions of corsicana are underwater. >> axelrod: david begnaud waist deep in it, in corsicana, thank you. now to hurricane patricia, or what's left of it. 24 hours ago it was the most
powerful hurricane ever recorded in this hemisphere, one that seemed to come out of nowhere. it made landfall in mexico last night with 165-mile-per-hour winds. but the called "perfect storm" apparently hit the perfect place-- a sparsely populated stretch of the coast, and patricia left remarkably little damage as it weakened into a tropical depression. now let's bring in eric fisher chief meter otle of our boston station, wbz. eric, what does this historic hurricane tell us about the difficulties of the storm prediction business. >> i'll tell you what tsays we have gotten very good at track forecast and the hurricane center did an excellent job with this one. but intensity forecast, there is a long way to go, especially when we see a storm like patricia, which underwent rapid intensification. this was it right after its peak. it hit a patch of water that at its warmest point ever recorded for this time of the season, waters in want upper 80s. that's jet fuel for tropical systems.
10 years ago, almost to the date, almost the identical thing happened, hurricane wilma back in 2005. if you look at it, at its peak, perfect-looking hurricane, that pinhole eye. as it made landfall the eye was filling in. it was starting its weakening, then it heads inland, very mountainous terrain in mexico and completely shredded because of that higher terrain. essentially, that land creates friction tcuts off the heat source of the ocean and tropical storms don't stand a chance, even strong ones. you mentioned that place, jim. look where the path went. think about it this way. if a hurricane hit houston it would look a lot different than if it hit the rural spofts the texas coastline. the perception isn't always accurate considering the strength of the storm. >> axelrod: speak of texas, we have just seen the harrowing pictures coming out of texas with the flooding. now the remnants of fatreasury are going to hit texas. what are we expecting to see there. >> we have already seen the flash flooding in texas. the focus will be on the gulf coast as the moisture moves its
way eastward sunday into monday. flash flood watches are out. again, we went from flooding to drought and back to flooding in a lot of these locations and locally, especially around houston, jim, we could talk about over 10 inches of rain. so everyone needs too have been cautious about the potential of flash flooding. >> axelrod: eric smith forecasting and explaining the weather for us, thank you. now a major shake-up in education. today, president obama called on the federal government to change course on standardized testing. he says he wants more emphasis-- learning and left on test scores. now now from julianna goldman in washington. >> learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble. >> reporter: in a video posted on facebook, president obama acknowledged his administration has contributed to a problem across the u.s. public school system and is calling for standardized testing to be capped at 2% of classroom time. >> i also hear from parents who, rightly, worry about too much testing and from teachers who feel so much pressure to teach
to a test that it takes the joy out of teaching and learning. >> reporter: the mea culpa was timed to a survey released saturday showing standardized tests have exploded in the past decade. a typical american student takes 112 mandated standardized tests between pre-k and 12th grade. most countries that outperform the u.s. on exams test three times during their school careers. the debate stems from president george w. bush's no child left behind law and intensified last spring with new common core tests. opt-out movements have spread across the country amid growing concerns that tests are taking up too much classroom and time and leaving children over-stressed. teachers' groupch groups welcomed the changes. national education association president lily eskelsen garcia. >> we're quite pleased that at least they've taken one small step for childrenkind that says,
whoa, maybe we were a little too much on the testing. but they need to keep going. >> reporter: the survey found no evidence that more time spent on tests improved academic performance. jim, the administration is asking congress to enact laws that reduce testing, but today thawdz they're providing a model to do so without new legislation. >> axelrod: julianna, thank you. several candidates running for president had campaign events in iowa today but only one had a former president rallying the crowd. not that there was any doubt who bill clinton is voting for, but this afternoon, he issued a full-throated reminder of why. nancy cordes joins us now from des moines. nancy, the clinton campaign chose this event to be the first where bill clinton spoke in support of hillary. why this afternoon, and this event? >> reporter: because, jim, we're now exactly 100 days out from the iowa caucuses, and tonight all the democratic candidates will be speaking at the jefferson jackson dinner at the hall behind me. so the clinton campaign is
trying to generate as much excitement as possible for her on this weekend that all iowa democrats are really paying attention to politics. that's why they brought out not just president bill clinton but katy perry, to perform as well. >> axelrod: all right, so recent history reminds us that this dinner you're talking about is a big deal. why such a big deal? >> reporter: because if you think about it, there aren't that many times when you've got all the candidates from one party together on the same stage, aside from the debates. so tonight each candidate is going to have 15 minutes to make their best case before thousands of iowa democrats, and it was at this dinner, jim, in 2007, that then-senator barack obama delivered a real stem winder. he catapulted from a backbencher to a front-runner here in iowa, and we all know what happened next. >> axelrod: nancy cordes on the campaign trail for us in iowa. thank you so very much, nancy. g now to the migrant crisis where every day we are struck by stories of courage and desperation.
the story we want to share with you tonight involves three children and a fishing boat. here's jonathan vigliotti. >> reporter: they first appeared as just a speck on the horizon, but one turkish fisherman's keen eye honed in. people fell into the sea, the man alerted his crew. and as the boat drew near, this high-seas drama took shape. three young syrian children clinging to an inner tube, the youngest just 18 months old and lifeless. cell phone video captured the moment the fisherman plucked the boy from the water, removed his life vest and tried to revive him. it happened wednesday after a boat of migrants sank a few miles off the coast of turkey. such tragic scenes have become common, as migrants try to make it to europe before the chill of winter sets in. nearly 50,000 migrants have made it to greece's coast in the last week. dozens more have died at sea,
including 14 from wednesday's incident. the toddler, later identified as mohamed husan, survived. the fisherman's attempt at c.p.r. worked. hours later, mohamed was reunited with his mother, an unlikely outcome if not for the fishermen by their side. jonathan vigliotti, cbs news, london. >> axelrod: still ahead, renewed concerns about high school football after another player dies. and why for this boy christmas could not wait when the cbs evening news continues.
>> axelrod: another high school football player died this week from injuries suffered on the field, this time in chicago. and once again, the question is being asked could more have been done to prevent it? here's dean reynolds. >> reporter: on this field thursday evening, bogan high school senior football player andre smith was walking, talk, and playing in a big game
against chicago vocational. but at 6:00 p.m. central time, the 17-year-old was fighting for his life in a chicago fire department ambulance bound for a hospital. and that's where he died early fridays. >> it is unfortunate for him to pass doing something that he really loved doing. >> reporter: school officials are not saying what happened, but social media initially reported smith had been blinded sided during the contest. a stadium announcer who witnessed the injury to smith told the time that it occurred on bogan's last play of the game. smith was running in a kick return formation and was blocked by an opponent. he walked to the sidelines after the play but collapsed moments later and lost consciousness, said the witness. the player's brother is eric smith. >> i didn't know what to do. it just killed everything inside of me. >> reporter: andre smith is the seventh high school football player nationwide to die this year, and every death rekindles a debate about whether the sport, played by a million
american high school kids, is worth the cost. there are also signs that the gridiron may be losing its grip on the nation's young. while high school football fatalities are down considerably from the 1960s and 70ss, the number of players at that level has dropped by more than 25,000 over the last five years. the chicago public schools said in a statement that it, "follows all state safety regulations governs football games but unfortunately, that does not prevent all tragic incidents like this from occurring." dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. >> axelrod: up next, why many californians are paying the price for saving water.
using enough water. confused? so are they. here's danielle nottingham. >> reporter: when the call came in to conserve water, californians listened. lawns went brown, less came out of the tap. >> shorter showers, nothing heroax, just sort of regular stuff. >> reporter: michael raileanu, who says he like millions of los angeles customers, cut way back. >> it's night noois. it's not quite as lush as it used to be. >> reporter: but now, l.a.'s department of water and power saying conservation has reduced projected revenues by $110 million, wants some of that money back. >> now, we know what you're thinking. great, a rate increase. >> reporter: the agency posted this video and asked for comment on social media. did you immediately go to twitter? >> as soon as i could. >> i said, "jerks, you're punishing up for doing the right thing. there must be another thing. hashtag find alternatives, thieves, mismanagement. >> reporter: he wasn't the only one, "how dare you ask us
to cut water use annual and charge us more when we did." did you think it was interesting that they asked for responses? >> yeah, that was dumb. >> reporter: the d.w.p. says customers who cut back are already saving more than $5 a month. even with the rate hike, they'll still be saving $3 a month. customers aren't buying it. >> we californians accepted this responsibility and took it seriously, and they turn and around they say, "well, no, sorry, but you lose." and it's just not right. it's just not the right thing to do. >> reporter: just like the drought, he says, appearance is everything. danielle nottingham, cbs news, los angeles. >> axelrod: still ahead, we were the queen of technicolor, maureen o'hara.
and "how green was my valley," which beat out "citizen kane" for the best picture oscar in 1941. maureen o'hara was 95 years old. christmas has come early this year for a town in ontario, all for the benefit of a dying boy. seven-year-old lawrence levine has a brain diewrnlg and he may not make it until december 25, so his neighbors in the town of st. george put up decorations early and mounted an intire christmas parade to go by his house so evan and his family could celebrate one last time. and we'll be right back. clr
>> axelrod: this time next week america's trimmer treaters will be midway through their appointed rounds. as far as the calendar goes, halloween is one of the big days. carter evans introduces us to a man who thinks this big day deserves a big pumpkin. >> reporter: amid these giant vines lies a hidden treasure.
>> a lot of my neighbors don't even know i grow. >> reporter: john hawkley doesn't just grow pumpkins. he babies them, covering them in blankets to protect their delicate skins from the sun. oh, my gosh! this is like a freak of nature. this pumpkin freak show, he says, began on a whim. this is your front yard here? >> yeah. >> reporter: was it always a pumpkin patch? >> it was a pitching green when i first started it. it was beautifully manicured. >> reporter: hawkley says he became fascinateed by other farmers and their gargantuan giewrdz. >> this is out of the world record from switzerland so this has world-record genetics in it. >> reporter: last year, hawkley set a north american record, a 2,058-pound monster. it sounds almost like an addiction. >> it's pretty bad. >> reporter: once again, he set out to create the largest pumpkin on the planet. how fast do these pumpkins grow? >> well, mine grow up to, like, 40 pounds a day. >> reporter: 40 pounds a day? his pride and joy reached nearly
a ton. it blew a hole and was disqualified. pumpkin depression. >> oh, my gosh. >> reporter: the highs and lows of pumpkin growing. >> i didn't even come in my patch for a week, and then i realized, you know what? i've got these other pumpkins. >> reporter: one of those other pumpkins finished seventh at a weigh-off this month and he's already plotting to plant new seeds that will become next year's giants. >> sometimes i shake my head and roll my eyes. >> reporter: patty hawkley says record or no record-- >> i definitely have approached him with the thought of taking a year off and maybe growing every other year and working on projects at home. it's cool in a way, but on the other hand, it's like, yeah, it is a pumpkin. remember that, john, it's a pumpkin. >> this one could be surprising. >> reporter: and at the very least, it can make a lot of pies. carter evans, cbs news, napa, california. >> axelrod: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. later on cbs, "48 hours." for now, i'm jim axelrod in new york, and for all of us here at cbs news, thanks for joining us.
good night. bay bridge. plus: after spendi a man leads police on a police chase in a stolen squad car. wait until you hear what he did at the bay bridge. after spending a night trapped in mexico, bay area tourists are heading home from the hurricane zone. the great white shark swarm circling the bay tonight. >> kpix 5 news is next. ,,,,,,,,