tv Today NBC March 11, 2010 7:00am-9:00am EST
good morning. trail of debris. several tornadoes in arkansas, including this one, caught on tape. at least four people injured, more than a dozen homes damaged. this morning, the threat of more tornadoes in other parts of the south. pattern of abuse? former congressman eric massa facing more allegations of sexual harassment that date back to his days as a commanding officer in the u.s. navy. this morning, nbc news has one man's account of what he says massa did to him aboard a navy ship 20 years ago. and what happened? an autopsy planned for today on former child star corey haim.
investigators initially called it an apparent accidental overdose, but haim's mother is telling us no one should jump to conclusions today, thursday, march 11th, 2010. captions paid for by nbc-universal television and welcome to "today" on this thursday morning. i'm meredith vieira. >> and i'm matt lauer. people in the southeast are bracing for severe weather today following those tornadoes in arkansas on wednesday. >> that's right. this tornado was recorded in benton, arkansas. that is just south of little rock. another twister was spotted 60 miles north of the arkansas capital. at least four people were injured, including three whose injuries are described as major. more on that and al roker's forecast as well in just a moment. also ahead, embattled automaker toyota now says it has placed a team of technical specialists on standby to investigate claims of vehicles
that are accelerating out of control on their own. it follows two high-profile cases just this week involving the toyota prius. this morning, new questions over whether toyota has misdiagnosed the problem. is it really an accelerator issue as they claim or could it be a problem with the car's onboard computer system? we're going to talk about that more in just a couple of minutes. and on wednesday, we played you the 911 call placed by a 7-year-old whose home was being broken into by armed gunmen. this morning we're going to introduce you to that brave little boy, show you his emotional reunion with the emergency dispatcher who was on the other end of that call. what a kid. >> yeah. but first, let's get a check of the top stories. ann is off today, so natalie morales is at the news desk. good morning, nat. >> good morning, meredith and matt. good morning, everyone. forecasters say there is a risk of more violent weather today from tennessee to florida. on wednesday there were five reports of tornadoes in arkansas and louisiana. several homes were destroyed. at least four people were hurt. there were reports of baseball-sized hail in some
places. today, congressional democrats are said to be getting closer to working out differences on health care reform. president obama says the time for talk is over. he says it's time to vote. nbc's chief white house correspondent chuck todd joins us. so, chuck, where do things stand now? >> reporter: well, look, the white house is continuing this inside-outside game. so, you have the president pitching voters on the outside. he was in missouri yesterday. he's going to go to cleveland, ohio, monday. he may have said the time for talk is over, but he's still not done. so, cleveland it is on monday to do another type of rally for health care. meanwhile, last night, rahm emanuel, the chief of staff, was in the speaker's office on capitol hill, and i was told that they got a lot done, but one issue that they haven't gotten through when it comes to this health care debate is the issue of funding for abortion coverage. and until they get that issue resolved, they're not going to find those 216 votes that they need to get that bill passed, natalie. >> chuck todd live for us at the white house.
thanks, chuck. the president says the u.s. remains committed to the recovery and rebuilding of earthquake-devastated haiti. meantime, the u.s. military is scaling back its relief mission in haiti. more than 470 soldiers from the 82nd airborne left port-au-prince on wednesday. there's a new richest person in the world. mexico's carlos slim has passed bill gates to become the world's richest person with a fortune of $53.5 billion, according to "forbes" magazine. gates is second and warren buffett is third. overseas markets are mostly lower this morning. cnbc's melissa francis is at the new york stock exchange again for us this morning. melissa, there's news this morning about foreclosures. >> reporter: that's right. according to realtytrac, foreclosures are up versus last year. it is the lowest increase in four years, down 10% from january, so still rising, but some light at the end of the tunnel there. citigroup's ceo speaking later today, vikram pandit, about the
future of the company. we'll be listening to that. and also, weekly jobless numbers out as well. natalie, back to you. >> melissa francis at the new york stock exchange, thank you. and it was a case of dog's best friend in ohio, where a dog got trapped in the middle of a partially frozen lake. rescue crews themselves kept falling through the ice. finally, they used a boat to reach the dog and they were able to pull the pup on board. that is a case of true heroics there. 7:05 right now. back over to meredith, mat
and that's your latest weather. meredith? >> al, thank you. more trouble this morning for former new york congressman eric massa, who resigned earlier this week amid a sexual harassment investigation. a man who served with him in the navy 20 years ago now claims that he was harassed. nbc's kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill with the very latest. kelly, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, meredith. things have not gone as eric massa had planned. he had said he would just go away now, but the controversy left behind is still swirling, and we have these new allegations that date back to his navy days. eric massa opened this new door himself. >> ask the 10,000 sailors i served with in the navy. >> reporter: during interviews on fox news and cnn tuesday. >> it looks like an orgy in kahlig la. >> reporter: massa used that provocative description of a navy ceremony to somehow explain the behavior that led to allegations he harassed male staffers on capitol hill.
>> i never translated from my days in the navy to being a congressman. >> reporter: but now similar allegations are coming from former sailors. first reported by joshua green of "the atlantic." >> this pattern of abusive behavior towards subordinates predated massa's time in congress, and in fact, was going on as long as 20 years ago when he was a commanding officer in the navy. >> reporter: one accuser also provided this statement to nbc news. "in 1990, aboard the "uss jouett," i was awakened when senior officer, lieutenant commander massa, seemed to be grouping at me. i shouted at him and he left. i mentioned the incident to several other officers. i did not officially report it." >> this is a sad case. >> reporter: house speaker nancy pelosi taped an appearance on "the charlie rose show" before these latest allegations. >> this is a very sick person. he has been diagnosed with cancer, perhaps his judgment is impaired because of this, the ethical issues that have arisen.
>> reporter: republican leaders called for more investigation. >> there are an awful lot of questions surrounding the eric massa case. >> reporter: and the republican party rushed out a new campaign ad. >> eric massa resigned after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced. pelosi? called it rumor. >> reporter: long before this notoriety, massa sought out cameras, appearing in two documentaries. in the 2006 campaign film "taking the hill," massa already had trouble getting along with rahm emanuel. >> you've got to raise $200,000 per month for the next four months. >> i know. >> okay? there's no -- otherwise, it ain't gonna happen. >> i agree. >> reporter: and this footage was filmed for a documentary called "the freshman" about new congressmen elected in 2008. massa described adjusting to washington. >> the short term, i have a couple staffers who are renting a townhouse, and i'll crash there. >> reporter: the massa scandal boiled over on the house floor when an agitated patrick kennedy
said real issues are being ignored. >> if anybody wants to know where cynicism is, cynicism is that there's one, two press people in this gallery! we're talking about eric massa 24/7 on the tv, we're talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives and no press! no press! >> reporter: there has been a lot of frustration about the case of eric massa. we were unable to reach him to get a comment about these new allegations, but he did say on television this week that he had done nothing that was sexual toward any of his campaign staffers. meredith? >> kelly, can you tell us a little bit more about patrick kennedy's rant and what set it off? >> reporter: that was sort of an unusual moment. the house floor can be a volatile place and there was a debate going on about trying to end the war in afghanistan from some of the more progressive members of the democratic party. people sometimes get very riled up, and certainly, patrick kennedy, who's not seeking re-election, was very upset at the focus on eric massa without
as much attention to what he considered to be a very serious debate about the u.s. role in afghanistan. it was quite something to watch. meredith? >> absolutely. okay, kelly o'donnell. thank you very much. it is 7:10, and once again, here's matt. >> meredith, thank you. more trouble for toyota, as well. more drivers are now coming forward across the country, claiming their cars have sped up uncontrollably and without warning. cnbc's phil lebeau is at a toyota dealership just outside of chicago. phil, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, matt. federal investigators are now looking at two incidents where a toyota prius suddenly accelerated. scary situations that have drivers from coast to coast looking for answers. drivers from all over the country are reporting problems with toyotas. in connecticut, a woman says the gas pedal of her 2007 toyota camry got stuck while she was heading to church, sending the car across the grass, into a railing, down the stairs and into an embankment. >> the fact that she's alive is
a miracle. >> reporter: in suburban philadelphia, a woman says her 2008 toyota rav4 suddenly sped up while she was parking. >> i'm putting my foot on the brake to stop us, and we're just heading towards the wall. >> reporter: near boston, a toyota rav4 crashed into an office complex. federal investigators say they'll look into what happened. >> harrison police, 911 emergency. >> reporter: and for the second time this week, a 911 call involving a toyota prius, this time from a new york city suburb. >> i'm calling to report a toyota prius just smashed into a wall across from the purchase estate. >> reporter: on tuesday, a 56-year-old woman was driving her 2005 prius down this winding driveway when the car lurched forward, crossed the street and smashed into a stone wall. on monday, jim sikes says his 2008 prius accelerated to more than 90 miles per hour on the highway in southern california. he called 911. >> my car can't slow down. >> you can't slow it down?
>> no. >> reporter: and after almost a half an hour, police were able to guide him to safety. investigators from the national highway traffic safety administration are now investigating both prius incidents. for toita, the hits keep on coming. >> i can't tell you how nice a day it was. coming to work -- this is a true story -- i saw an out-of-control toyota with the top down. that tells you how nice it is outside. >> it's kind of like they're damned if they do, damned if they don't. it doesn't almost matter at this point what's causing the problem. it's the focus on toyota's products that's going to be there no matter what happens. >> reporter: late wednesday, toyota issued this statement -- "we've launched a top-to-bottom review of all our operations to ensure we not only meet but exceed the high safety standards that have defined our company." the company says it will have technical teams at the ready to investigate verifiable claims. still, it could be a long road back for some toyota customers.
>> i think toyota's going to have a lot of problems when they're trying to sell cars now, a lot of lost faith in the company. >> reporter: the massive toyota recalls have congress looking at potentially new reforms for the auto industry. in fact, later today, a house panel will be looking into how exactly the federal government oversees auto companies when they are grappling with situations and massive recalls like this. matt? >> phil lebeau, thank you very much. john lincove is "consumer reports" managing automobile editor. to figure out the problem, toyota's got to kind of reverse engineer this thing. they've got to go and recreate these situations. and the one in california happened after a car had been driven thousands and thousands of miles. the one in harrison, new york, also, it was a car that was many years old. how do they go about recreating these conditions? >> it's going to be very difficult. it's going to be lab tests, on-the-road tests. and it may be like the professor who jury-rigged the car to show
acceleration and faults. they'll have to go into their computer system and do the same thing. >> if these incidents were happening in an airplane, we would have investigators going into the black boxes that we hear so much about. is there anything similar in a car like a toyota prius or any of the other models? >> some manufacturers, maybe 64% or so, according to nhtsa, back in 2005, have black box technology, and it will be mandatory for manufacturers in 2012, if they've already got it, to record some data, but some of the information is only activated when the airbag goes off or only 12 seconds before impact. >> and to read the data, i understand they have to use a laptop, but it's alarming to understand how many of those laptops are available in this country. >> yeah. toyota claims that they have one laptop and it's a beta, so it's not even official. >> wait, one laptop. this is a company that sold 1.7 million cars in the u.s. last year. how can they say we only have one laptop to read these devices? >> it's, you know, it's a big thing for them to say that. they're claiming they're going to have 150 more coming as soon as possible. they're going to open it up more
to more available for nhtsa. >> at the moment, toyota has offered a mechanical fix for what they say is the problem, either the floor mat fix. >> right. >> or this part for the brake system that apparently eliminates some of the wear-and-tear issues. but "the washington post" did something interesting on its website. they invited engineers from around the country to kind of logon and give their ideas as to what might be happening. i read some of these comments. a lot of them dealt not with mechanical fixes but electronics. for example, a bad connector, a bad sensor, a bounce condition on an input, which is usually the result of corrosion or dirt on the contacts. is it possible toyota's going to have to go in and start from square one with their electronics system? >> yeah. the ghosts in the machine, if you will, is really out there as a question. at "consumer reports" right now, we're saying, look, they're talking about a mechanical fix, we're listening to what they say, but we're not ruling out the possibility, because toyota's not ruling out the possibility, and really, it is a possibility that there is an
electronic problem in addition to the mechanics. >> toyota isn't the only company that uses a computer to communicate between the accelerator and the engine. why aren't we seeing this with other car companies then? >> you are seeing this with other companies. there are some complaints within the manufacturers, but what we're seeing is unprecedented in the number of toyota complaints initially, and then after all this in the media and after these have happened, you're seeing more and more complaints surface and just get flooded into nhtsa's database. >> jon linkov, thank you for the information. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> 17 after the hour. here's meredith. >> matt, thank you. good news for consumers. bank of america, the nation's largest bank, say it's doing away with the overdraft fees on debit card purchases. the bad news, your card will be denied if you don't have enough money in your account. nbc's lisa myers has details. lisa, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, meredi meredith. this is clearly an effort by bank of america to repair its battered image, but it's also a meaningful step that will save consumers money and keep families from spending more than they have. if you've ever swiped your debit
card for a slice of pizza or a cup of coffee only to learn later that it cost you $40 -- $5 for the purchase and $35 for the overdraft fee -- well, those days may be over. beginning this summer, bank of america will no longer honor debit card transactions if you don't have enough money in your account, thus eliminating the possibility of those surprise overdraft fees. consumers say it's about time. >> definitely a step in the right direction. if it's consumer-friendly, i'm for it. >> we bailed them out, so for them to just take our money and then take it again and again and again was just, you know, unethical. >> reporter: consumer groups applauded the move. >> we highly commend bank of america for getting rid of this abusive practice. >> reporter: it's big money, potentially billions of dollars. 60% of the overdraft fees collected by bank of america
come from debit card transactions. but the bank has taken a beating over these fees, over credit card abuses and over bailouts and is now trying to repair its image. as its newspaper ad put it -- "we listened." bank of america's ceo acknowledged that many customers are having a tough time. >> we're seeing people who are living paycheck to paycheck, they're hanging on, and that's why the overdrafts and stuff are critical, to ease up on them. >> reporter: the bank also is getting ahead of new federal rules. beginning this summer, banks can offer overdraft coverage on debit card transactions only if you opt in, only if you actually sign up for it. consumer groups urge you not to sign up for overdraft protection on debit cards. that way, you'll know immediately if you don't have enough money for a purchase. they also urge other banks to follow the lead of bank of america here, which is the first time in a long time, meredith,
that a consumer advocate has cited this bank as a good example. >> that's nice to hear for a change. lisa myers, thank you very much. it is 7:19 and once again, here's matt. >> meredith, thank you. more now on the 7-year-old california boy heard on that dramatic 911 call on tuesday as armed gunmen broke into his family's home. nbc's george lewis has the latest on the little hero. >> reporter: he was introduced only as carlos. sheriff's deputies in norwalk, california, don't want to give out his last name because the bad guys who invaded his family's home are still at large. when they stormed in, carlos grabbed his little sister, ran to a bathroom, locked the door and called 911. >> 911, state your emergency. >> um, there's some, um, guys that are going to kill my mom and dad. can you come, please? >> i knew something was wrong. i knew it wasn't a prank call. i went with my instinct. i already had deputies going right the first two seconds of the call. >> were you scared last night?
>> just a little bit. >> can you come really fast? bring some cops, um -- >> okay, i have them coming. >> a lot of them! >> take a deep breath. i already have the police coming. >> and bring soldiers, too! >> reporter: then, on the call, the dispatcher could hear the sound of the men breaking into the bathroom. >> the guys, they have -- [ screaming ] [ bleep ] >> just hearing them screaming and crying for help, i just felt the fear through the phone. >> reporter: but when carlos told the gunmen he was talking to 911, they panicked and left. as carlos is being hailed as a hero, sheriff's deputies hope this will lead to tips from the public resulting in the arrest of the three gunmen. >> thank you. >> reporter: an emotional reunion between carlos and monique patino, the 911 dispatcher. she's a mom, has two kids, 7 and 8.
>> who taught you to use 911? >> my mom. >> what'd she tell you? practice it or what? >> we practice it every day. >> let's give carlos a big round of applause. >> reporter: and a point of clarification -- carlos wanted everyone to know that wasn't him screaming on the 911 tape. >> no, it was my sister. >> reporter: macho heroes don't scream. for "today," george lewis, nbc news, norwalk, california. >> that was my sister! >> he's got to make that point because he's got to go back to school tomorrow, something like that. wants everybody to know that. >> absolutely. but the other point about the mom every day going through the 911 and what to do. boy, did that pay off in a big way. >> it did. just ahead, new details in the sudden and tragic death of '80s child star corey haim. what his mother and close friend corey feldman are now saying, but first, this is "today" on nbc.
still ahead, an 11-year-old girl determined to walk again following a soccer injury that left her partially paralyzed. we will meet her and her mom and dad. also ahead, the always outspoken mr. donald trump will stop by. we're going to catch up with him, find out what's on his plate. [ male announcer ] some reminders have a way of disappearing. [ cellphone beeps ] ours don't. [ computer dings ] payment reminders help you stay on top of bills. [ cellphones ringing, vibrating ] [ computer beeps ] get started at bank of america. [ computer beeps ]
new almay intense i-color collection now with light interplay technology. light catching minerals create a natural brilliance with 5 times the intensity. intensify your eye color with four expertly coordinated shade collections. intense i-color. only from almay. >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore >>. good morning. i am stan stovall. time for a check on the morning commute with sarah caldwell. >> not a bad ride out there but a few delays and a couple of accidents. one at langley and middle river road. delays around the area, at 95, down 795. inner loop at harrisburg expressway, watch for duty in
the road. 17 minutes is your drive time on the northeast side. standing on the west side. inner loop in a pretty good shape. once you get on to the j.f.x., and no problems, but problems continue to build just south of northern parkway. plenty of volume at the betty. that begins at 795, continuing all with food edmondson. -- continuing all the way through edmondson. that is the latest on traffic pulse 11. now tony has a check on the forecast. >> the weather is quiet this thursday morning. a couple of showers and sprinkles. overall, light fog. clouds are starting to break up from baltimore city down -- baltimore city up north. temperatures are nice and mild. average and low temperatures --
average low temperature is 32 degrees. temperatures should be above normal this afternoon. a mixture of clouds and a little bit of sunshine. still a chance for a couple of rain showers. the best chance appears to be in the southern suburbs. high temperatures in the upper 50s to around 60. seven-day forecast, a chance for rain goes up on friday and saturday. 80% both days. could be thunder on saturday. a temperature dropped into the upper 40's, 50's all the way through the beginning of next week. we will keep the chance for re going through monday. >> check the bottom of your screen for updated news and traffic information.
7:30 now on a thursday morning. it's the 11th of march 2010. if you like nice weather, you're not going to like it in the east or the southeast today. we've got after a beautiful string of nice weather some bad weather rolling in. people down in the southeast dealing with that as well. we want to thank these people for stopping by. we'll get out to say hi to them in just a little while. inside the studio, i'm matt lauer alongside meredith vieira. and just ahead, the latest on the death of former child star corey haim. >> an autopsy should answer some of the questions surrounding his death. just ahead, what his mom and close friend corey feldman have to say this morning.
also ahead, we're going to talk to donald trump about the group he has assembled for the brand new season of "the celebrity apprentice," a group that includes ex-illinois governor rod blagojevich, darryl strawberry, cyndi lauper, sharon osbourne, just to name a few. we'll find out more about that. by the wham, next week, we have a fun series, at least we hope it's fun, in store. we ask the questions we're asked just about every day, starting monday, with what time we get up in the morning. >> a lot of people always ask, what time do you get up? and i say, you don't even want to know. >> al will let us in on his morning routine and we'll all weigh in on that big question what time does the alarm clock ring? >> yeah. some of the other burning questions next week -- do we ever hang out together outside of work? what does ann do to maintain balance in her life? and of course, one that i ask myself every single day, what would meredith do if she were not doing this job? >> i'd be so happy. >> that's "ask away today" next week right here on "today." >> it does look like fun.
but we are going to begin this half hour on a much more serious note. actor corey haim's untimely death at the age of just 38. nbc's lee cowan is in los angeles with the latest. lee, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, meredith. yeah, the l.a. county coroner's office here expects to continue its autopsy of corey haim today. so far, circumstances around his death appear to be accidental, at least according to the lapd, but the toxicology report, which could take a couple weeks, could answer the one question on everyone's mind. ♪ i ain't got a man, i ain't got a song ♪ >> reporter: long before there were the vampires of "twilight," there were "the lost boys" and corey haim. >> you're a creature of the night, michael, just like out of a comic book. you're a vampire, michael! >> reporter: the film was a cult classic, and haim became a teen heartthrob. a tangled-haired '80s pin-up, along with his co-star, the other corey, corey feldman. >> is it ever going to get that
good for me? >> anderson, the only difference between you and that grease ball is that he has a license and you don't. >> reporter: the coreys were inseparable, forging a friendship that would last more than 20 years, but it was tumultuous at times, and that was the perfect fodder for their own reality show, "the two coreys" on a&e. >> i'm singing and haven't had a girlfriend in a long time and haven't done anything since "the lost boys." it's a pretty bad [ bleep ] day. >> but you're still on live. >> reporter: it chronicled the trainwreck that had become co corr correy's life. >> [ bleep ] you! >> reporter: his steep slide from so much promise to so much despair was often the subplot. the villain was haim's drug abuse. >> go ahead and kill yourself. see if i [ bleep ] care. >> reporter: his addictions to valium and other prescription drugs were well known in hollywood, and they had taken
him from the wonder boy of the screen to bankruptcy and rehab several times over. >> this is a tough town, and unfortunately, he ran afoul of the worst elements in it. >> reporter: so, when at only 38, haim collapsed at the home he was sharing with his mother, who's suffering from cancer, speculation immediately turned once again to drugs. >> we found no elicit drugs in the residence and did recover some prescription meds that were four bottles of his normal prescription meds. >> reporter: tmz caught up with haim just a few weeks ago and he hinted that he was finally winning the battle over his addictions. >> did you go to rehab? are you sober now? are you -- >> i've been good, no, no, for a while now, actually. >> reporter: but haim's agent told "access hollywood" that the canadian-born actor had been under the weather lately with flu-like symptoms. he was taking medication, but an overdose, he says, seems unlikely. >> corey pretty much didn't take
anything the day that he passed away. i mean, there was -- everything was still left in the bottles. >> he was his own enemy. i mean, look, a lot of people that are artists tend to be their own worst enemy because we're passionate people. >> reporter: although haim ended his life essentially broke and destitute, his best friend both on screen and off told cnn's larry king last night that for the first time in a long while it seemed the lost boy wasn't so lost anymore. >> most recently, he's been honestly in the best frame of mind that he's ever been in in the past year. >> reporter: now, haim appeared to be involved, meredith, in a series of comebacks. he was working on a lot of projects. he either had shot or was shooting several films. one of them, "american sunset" was scheduled to be released later this year. meredith? >> lee cowan, thank you. we are joined by "today" west coast contributor maria menounos who was with corey haim's mother on tuesday. author of "weekends at bellevue"
and danny bonaduce, who has battled with drugs and now hosts his own radio show in philadelphia. good morning to you all. >> good morning. >> maria, if i could start with you, you spent time with corey's mom yesterday. what did she say about the hours leading up to corey's death? she was with him. >> reporter: she said he was feeling little bit under the weather, nothing that alarmed her. he was having some difficulty breathing and he had asked her to lay with him in bed because he wasn't feeling well, and then, of course, you know, things just progressed from there, and at one point, he got up and collapsed and she called 911. >> i know that she is upset that people are immediately jumping to the conclusion that he overdosed on drugs. what did she say to you specifically about that, maria? >> reporter: well, it's interesting, because i met with her and corey about two months ago doing some research on a story that i was pursuing, and
when i spoke with her yesterday, she was very upset about the fact that people were making assumptions about the cause of his death. so, she called me over to the house. i spent a few hours with her and his closest friends, and she kept saying, you know, don't make assumptions before you get results. she's like, i don't even know what happened to him. and it just pained her to hear all of these things. >> did she say that he was, though, on prescription drugs at the time of his death? >> reporter: no, she did not. >> she did not. i want to bring, danny, if i could, bring you in. corey was an acquaintance of yours, not a best friend, and i don't mean to imply in any way that he was, but you knew he had a long history with drugs and you said he was particularly vulnerable to drug abuse. why do you feel that, danny? >> i think he was particularly vulnerable because, different from my childhood celebrity, his celebrity was heartthrob, he had at one point real money, and he was old enough to understand what he was losing, what was being taken away from him, and
that, you know, you're lucky if it strikes once, you know, if you get to be in "the lost boys" once, but to make a comeback when you're older, if you get to watch all those wonderful things you had slip away, and it is, in fact, heartbreaking, and i can see very easily trying to drown that pain in legal painkillers. and if you don't mind, can i clear something up about prescription drugs? >> sure. >> if prescription drugs, say vicodin, which seems to be the most popular these days, if it says take one every six hours and you take six of them, five of them were recreational. it doesn't matter who prescribed them. if you take more than prescribed or take one prescribed to somebody else, that is now a recreational drug. there is no difference. the only good difference between street drugs and pharmaceutical drugs is quality control. there is no difference. that makes everybody -- >> you know what you're talking about because you've had your own battles with prescription drugs. how easy were they for you to get? >> not only are they easy to get, one of the reasons i believe that they have become so
popular is once you get a connection, somebody who either works in the chemical or pharmaceutical plant and is in charge of keeping stock, and then can move whole crates of say vicodin or oxycontin out, or you know a bad pharmacist or you've gone doctor shopping, what the thing is there is your supply never dries up. say it was street drugs like cocaine, you could be in real need of your cocaine and make a million phone calls and hear the worst thing you ever want to hear, "danny, the whole town's dry. i don't know what happened. maybe give me a call on wednesday." with pharmaceuticals, that never happens. once you have your connection, you're supplied forever. >> thank you, danny. julie, you're shaking your head yes. the cdc has made it clear this is not just a problem with celebrities. it is a national problem, this issu of prescription drug abuse and overdose. you call it an epidemic. >> i have called it an epidemic. it is a huge public health problem, definitely. prescription drugs are readily available.
people are being overprescribed. you can buy them on the street, on the interfelt, and the problem is there is no real oversight. there is no doctor involved half of the time or more of the time, and there's no pharmacist making sure you're not having dangerous drug interactions. the problems with a lot of celebrity overdoses -- and some of them were sick. some of them had lung problems. heath ledger had pneumonia. sounds like he was having trouble breathing, corey. when you take painkillers and sleeping pills and valium, these all depress your respiratory drive and there is less of a drive to breathe and you basically suffocate. >> so, it's actually relatively easy to accidentally overdose on these drugs? >> it is. it is the number two killer after motor vehicle accidents of accidental deaths and most of them are from prescription drugs, not illegal drugs. >> corey feldman said on "larry king" that corey haim had been recently seeing a treatment specialist who put him on a new line of meds and he wondered whether those did not correspond well to the medicine he was already taking. >> the problem is, when people don't -- when there is no medical oversight, when you don't tell the doctor all the different things you're taking,
you're not getting any good advice. when there is a lot of do-it-yourself psychopharm right now, especially knorr the internet, people are prescribing for hemselves. they're not getting medical advice and there is no oversight with a doctor or pharmacist. >> corey said he was a chronic relapser, something he had been dealing with over the course of his life. again, he seemed to be doing well the last few months of his life. but is it more difficult to overcome a addiction to prescription drugs than other drugs? >> i think every drug addiction is difficult to overcome and there are always relapses over and over. it's a chronic illness and it's very hard to stay sober for very long and prescription drugs are easy to get. and i think when you're a celebrity, people offer you all sorts of things and doctors are happy to prescribe them for you because they're star-struck. >> maria, corey's mom is suffering from cancer and now lost her son. how is she holding up at this point? i know she spoke to you about funeral plans for her son. >> reporter: she is obviously in shock and is devastated. her son took care of her and she
also wanted to make very clear that she was living with him. that was his apartment, that he was allowing her to stay with him while she was taking her radiation and her chemotherapy and he was taking care of her. so, that was another thing she wanted to clear up, but she is going to take his body back to toronto and bury him there and funeral services will take place in toronto. she is going to be moving back there. his sister and her daughter live there, and she wants him close by with her. >> that's a very, very sad story and we'll wait for the autopsy report to come in. maria menounos, thank you very much. danny bonaduce and dr. julie holland as well, thank you. and we should mention that maria will have more on corey haim tonight on "access hollywood" and maria will be back tomorrow on "today" with her interview with ryan and tatum o'neil, the first with the father and daughter together since they reconciled after a long and rocky relationship. now let's get a check of the weather from al. thanks a lot, meredith. and as we take a look at what's going to be happening here in the northeast, well, we've got a
lot of snow on the ground already. we've got just some scattered showers coming into the northeast, but as we get heavier rain in and milder temperatures and melting snow, we're looking for some extensive flooding. look at these rainfall amounts. we're talking anywhere from three to eight inches of rain from new york city, long island, connecticut, parts of the northeast and on into new england, and that's going to cause some major problems with the possibility of floodi >> there is a 30% to 40% chance of rain shower, no big deal. light fog out there this morning as well. it will be mild.
that's your latest weather. if you want to keep track of your weather all day long, especially in the southeast or northeast, you can turn to the weather channel on cable or click on weather.com online. meredith? >> al, thank you. up next, we'll catch up with donald trump as he gears up for a new season of "the celebrity apprentice." luci: i'm luci romberg. i'm a free runner... ...national champion gymnast... ...martial artist... and a stuntwoman. if you want to be incredible, eat incredible. announcer: eggs. incredible energy for body and mind. (guitar music)
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another season of "the celebrity apprentice." he's mixing it up with a group that includes rock stars, athletes and a former politician, and there will be a few surprises along the way. >> it will be men versus women. you're going to go back to trump tower and you're going to choose a name for your team. i want the women to pick the project manager of the men. i want the men to pick the project
manager of the women. >> oh, no! >> okay? >> no! >> hey, donald, good morning. >> good morning. >> so, logic would tell me the women are going to choose the weakest possible person for the men and vice versa. >> they always do. they choose the weak. isn't that true in life? you choose the weak. >> and what do you think of this group? can i mention a couple of names here? >> sure, go ahead. >> all right. we've got darryl strawberry, cyndi lauper, bret michaels, sharon osbourne, holly robinson pete, sin bad, rod blagojevich. i'm going to stop there. why do you think he wanted to be part of this show? >> well, it's been very controversial. in fact, the federal government
tried to stop him from being on the show, but i think ultimately the judge felt he was a free man. >> why did you want him on the show? >> controversy. absolutely. he's the guy who stirs it up. >> stirs it up? >> and he does quite well and he continues to go on. but you know one thing about him, he has a lot of guts. i've known people over the years, they get indicted, they have problems, it's jail for 25 years, they crawl into a corner. this guy's out there. >> i read somewhere that he calls you a role model, and i'm wondering how you feel about that. >> well, i've never heard that, but i think it's an honor. >> yeah? >> i think it's an honor, sure. >> holly robinson peete says you and rod blagojevich have had some discussions about hair. >> well, i don't think that's necessarily true, but it certainly is controversial. >> she made it up? talk about the women side of things, sharon osbourne, cyndi lauper. who stands out in your mind? any meltdowns coming up? >> about three who were major. and three people i thought were strong, tough, forget it, you know, total meltdowns. cindi was great, i'll tell you, cyndi was great. although she had one problem, she had some bad friends.
you understand that some. >> absolutely. >> you know what i'm talking about? >> i heard about that. but cyndi lauper's been on the show a lot of times -- and i mean this in the best possible way -- she's crazy enough to win this thing. >> she's very smart. people don't understand. she comes on with the accent and the whole thing. she's really cunning, she's really smart and she does very well. i can say that. >> by this time, having done the show as often as you have, can you look at the group right off the bat and say that person doesn't stand a chance, that person has a chance? >> i can, but it never works. >> really? >> i always go in and say, boy, this one's great, this one's going to be a star, and it's a stiff. and i mean, i can tell you in this group, but i can't go too far, but in this group, there are a couple of people i didn't think they would do well and they've done unbelievably well. >> going back to blagojevich a second -- politics help him, you think, the fact that he has that on his resume? >> i think it's very obvious to him during this entire show that he's going to trial during or after the show airs, and it's going to be very interesting. >> kind of hanging over his head. donald trump, thank you. >> thank you, matt. >> good to see you. >> thank you. >> you can catch the season
premiere of "the celebrity apprentice" sunday night at 9:00/8:00 central time here on nbc. still ahead, remember the girl who could not stop sneezing? is she still doing it? she'll
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>> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am stan stovall but here is sarah caldwell and traffic pulse 11. >> there are some accident still being cleared on the inner loop at ritchie highway. it is blocking the lane there. you can see the delays on the inner loop. we can see these around the area, volume-related. 20 miles per hour on the outer loop. 17 miles per hour on the west side outer loop.
j.f.x. developing delays down towards coldspring. average speed is about 25 miles per hour there. as we checked five times, you can see that the heaviest spot is on the west side. 20 minutes on the northeast outer loop. let's see what's going on as far as the life cameras. you can see the delays and a place on the west side outer loop. we will switch over to the harrisburg expressway, with plenty of volume and sun glare playing into this as well. tony has more on the forecast. >> the weather is obviously pretty quiet on this thursday morning. a couple of showers and speckles south of annapolis. most of you will have a dry tuesday morning. temperatures in the mid-to- upper-forties. we should make it from the upper six it -- it to the upper 50s and 60 this afternoon. slight chance for a few
rainshowers. chance for rain goes up significantly on finance saturday. high temperatures in the upper 40's and low 50s. >> on the bottom of your screen in case of everyday emergencies, it's important to be prepared for dinner. that's why i've prepared my perdue perfect portions fresh chicken breasts. they're individually wrapped, so you can cook what you need and store what you don't. [ male announcer ] perdue perfect portions. ready when you are.
and it cooks in about half the time. my work here is done. [ male announcer ] now try perdue oven ready bone-in breast and cornish hens. 8:00 now on this thursday morning, the 11th of march 2010. our rolling spring break is rolling along. we have another packed plaza filled with people waving to loved ones back home. outside on the plaza, i'm meredith vieira alongside matt lauer and al roker. and just ahead, you're going to meet a very brave young girl, 11-year-old mackenzie saunders, who was playing soccer in december when she took a very rough hit and became partially paralyzed. for the past three months, she's dedicated her life to proving the doctors who told her she might never walk again wrong. so, can she walk again? she will be here along with her
parents to share her story. >> i just talked to mackenzie. she's a terrific young girl. >> she is, yeah. >> if anybody's going to do it, she is. >> we're going to have a terrific time with her. also ahead, aging with grace, something, hopefully, we know about. it can be really hard, though, they say, for women. so, we're going to talk about how to deal with the gray hair and the wrinkles that naturally come with aging. >> yes, they do. and we're going to be taking a look at some great travel getaways for boomers. >> okay. but first, let's get a check of the top stories. ann is off today. natalie morales is standing by at the news desk. hey, nat. >> hey, guys. good morning quuns again, and good morning, everyone. toyota's troubles put a top u.s. official on the hot seat today in washington. lawmakers are asking the head of the national highway traffic safety administration why his agency did not move more quickly to investigate complaints about sudden acceleration and braking problems. the hearing comes during a week of highly publicized incidents involving runaway toyotas. toyota has placed a team of specialists on standby to look
into claims of vehicles accelerating out of control. some encouraging news, though, from the nation's highways. the department of transportation says traffic deaths dropped a dramatic 9% last year to the lowest level since 1954. possible reasons include fewer people driving to work because of unemployment and enforcement of drunk driving and distracted driving laws. severe weather is possible in the southeast today again from tennessee to florida. tornadoes struck wednesday in northern arkansas, injuring at least four people and damaging dozens of houses. president obama's meeting today with members of the congressional black and hispanic caucuses to make sure he has their votes on health care legislation. the president travels to ohio monday for a rally in the home of an uninsured cancer patient whose case has become a symbol of health care shortcomings. and vice president joe biden headed to jordan after telling an audience in tel aviv the u.s. has no better friend than israel, but on wednesday, biden criticized israel for approving new housing in disputed east
jerusalem, saying it undermined the trust needed for peace negotiations with the palestinians. zookeepers in australia are keeping close watch on a newborn elephant that has already given them one big surprise. zoo officials had feared that the calf had not survived its mother's difficult labor, so they were thrilled on wednesday when the baby suddenly started moving its head and eventually took its first steps. aww. cute little thing. it's 8:03 right now. let's go back outside to matt and meredith. keep our fingers crossed it does well. speaking of cute little things, mr. roker is standing by with the weather. >> well, thank you very much! and we've got these kids from fordham law, and where are you guys going? >> we're going to haiti on friday. we're leaving with a volunteer group tomorrow. >> that's awfully good. >> we'll be working with the children affected by the earthquake, so please donate online now. >> great. thank you so much. and this young lady is 16 years old today. happy birthday. let's check your weather, see what's going on. pick city of the day, albany,
georgia, walb nbc 10. showers, storms, temperature of about 70 degrees. and for the weekend, as we look ahead, northeast going to be really wet, some flooding possible, rain in the pacific northwest, nice and mild southwest down through the gulf coast. then sunday, sunday, look for more heavy rain in new england, sunny skies in the pacific northwest all the way to california. some snow showers around the great -- i should say -- i forgot where i was talking about -- oh, rockies, the rockies. my director joe michaels helped me out with >> the weather should be fairly quiet on this thursday. mostly cloudy skies. maybe a peek at the sun. 30 to 40% chance of rain shower.
and we've got members of the floyd central orchestra. where is floyd central at? >> floyd county, indiana. >> ah, there you go. and it's probably in the central part of the state. so, they're doing better than i am in geography! matt? >> all right, al, thank you very much. it's world kidney day. these people tell me love your kidneys. good advice. when we come back, we'll meet an 11-year-old soccer player partially paralyzed after an onfield collision. we're going to talk about her quest to walk again. luke: moving my mind and my hands
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shortly after an onfield collision in december, she lost all feeling in her legs. nbc's chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman has her story. >> reporter: it was a hard hit, seemingly like any other. >> the ref called a foul, but mackenzie hopped right back up, continued the rest of the half, and it was at halftime she started complaining about pain in one of her legs. came out of the game, went to the sideline and collapsed, went down. >> i really didn't think that it was going to be that serious. i just thought, like muscle cramp. but it just was, like it was hurting really bad and i never really felt anything like it. [ sirens ] >> reporter: mackenzie was rushed to the hospital, underwent an mri and was admitted to the intensive care unit. >> that first night in the hospital, it was like midnight when she couldn't move her toes anymore. so, that, you know, that's when we knew. >> reporter: a vertebra in mackenzie's lower back was fractured and a blood clot was
cutting the blood supply to her lower spinal cord. she was losing feeling in her legs and paralysis was suddenly a reality. >> this was all really scary and i didn't -- i didn't know what was going to happen to me and i didn't know what was going to happen after all this was done, like how i'm going to get around, how i'm going to go to school. >> reporter: most soccer injuries involve the knees and ankles. a spinal injury is very rare in this sport. >> i couldn't find other reported injuries of kids or adults who had low back injuries from soccer. it's really bad luck, a very freak accident. >> reporter: a freak accident, but for mackenzie, very real. she needed to start therapy immediately if she ever hoped to walk again. >> mackenzie is going through inpatient rehabilitation. she is doing physical therapy to work on walking, moving from her bed to her wheelchair, using her wheelchair comfortably. >> reporter: but mackenzie dreams of a life outside of a wheelchair. >> she still has never asked
will i be able to walk? she has said, don't worry, i will walk again, mother. and many times, you can quit crying. it's not if i will walk, it is when. >> reporter: and when that day comes -- >> first thing i want to do is probably just hang out with my friends or play a game of soccer. that be pretty cool. >> and dr. nancy snyderman is here with us and the saunders family, mackenzie and her parents, gary and liz, are here as well, so let's bring them out. come on out, guys. and this is the best sight of all, mackenzie walking. look at you! >> hi, mackenzie. >> hi. >> mackenzie, you look fantastic! how are you feeling? >> i'm feeling great. >> you are. what i love best about your story is first when you got hurt and couldn't move your legs at all, you told the doctors, i am going to walk again. what made you so sure? >> i just knew that i was going to work hard for it and i was always going to be positive. >> and that's the right attitude, absolutely, to be
positive. but liz, it has been a long time. i watched you watching that tape and the tears came to your eyes. what has been -- and even now when i bring it up. what has been the hardest part for you? >> i don't even know what to say. the hardest part was when she was in the hospital. but now it's all good and it's getting easier. i'm just really sensitive. >> i don't blame you. it's your little girl and what a frightening experience. >> i know. >> and gary, the fact that she has exceeded expectations, does that surprise even you? >> well, we always knew we had a special little girl in mackenzie, and it's her attitude about this that's really the story here. you know, devastating injury, but her attitude of thinking positive and not feeling sorry for herself, along with the expert help we're having at barrows neurological institute. we're very happy with the way things are going. >> and dr. nancy, it took a while to figure out what exactly was wrong with mackenzie. >> you know, you don't expect this injury in soccer.
>> right. >> you really expect knee injuries. and you have to really look with an mri. i mean, i've seen, you know, pictures of mackenzie's films, and you can see that little fracture, but increasingly what happened was there was a little bit of hemorrhage, and that hemorrhage put pressure on the cord and that's what started to cause all the neurologic problems. >> is this something that can completely reverse itself? >> well, i'm not really the person to say that. i'm sure everyone's very, very hopeful, with the fact she can a.m. belate now. i'm sure you went to a very dark place where you're suddenly looking at your child's life in a wheelchair and how everything will change around the house, but the fact that she can get around as well as she can, and she's young. remember, nervous systems repair themselves much better in a kid than an adult, so it's really quite hopeful. >> yesterday there were new guidelines released on how to ensure a safe environment for athletes. can you walk me through those? >> sure. first one is, and all of us as parents have to figure out, are our kids okay to play a certain sport? and as a parent, i know i've fudged this in the past and always get that doctor's note. talk to the coach, talk to the
staff, make sure they know if there are any medical problems or any medications you're on, and frankly, figure out if your school has some kind of emergency plan and where the nearest hospital would be. in some cases, especially neurologic problems, time is of the essence. >> and i know that i talked to you, mackenzie, about how many feet you have been walking, and i thought it was 200 and something, but you say well beyond that now? >> yeah. >> what are you up to? you figured it out, if i can get to jamba juice and back? >> yeah. that would be about 2,000 feet. but i haven't walked that yet, but i've walked about 620 feet. >> which is even more than the last time, right? so, you're going to surprise your physical therapist when you go back. are you on a regular schedule now? do you see them once a week or how does that work? >> i see them twice a week, every wednesday and thursday. >> so, what is the goal? do you hope or maybe even assume that you will be playing soccer again? you're going to be a goalie again for sure? >> yeah. i really want to play soccer again. >> can you not do that to your mom too soon?
>> thank you. [ laughter ] >> i don't really know if they want me to, but -- >> again, dr. nancy, i want to point out to people at home, this is not a common injury in this particular sport. >> no. look, this is a rare injury, and it's what the doctor in the piece said, it' bad luck. but it's a reminder to all of us that life is tenuous and these injuries can happen, and when they happen, you have to think in a systemic way and as parents, intercede immediately. people on site have to make smart decisions, and then doctors at the hospital, even if they don't see these injuries very often, sometimes they have to think outside of the box, and then you get great results like this. >> mackenzie, can you stand up once again for us and walk again? tell me, do you experience pain when you walk or is it -- >> well, at first i did, but now i've done it so much that it's not really hurting anymore. >> and how about -- >> she had a brace -- >> -- any feeling in your toes, numbness or tingling at all? >> actually, i can feel my entire left foot, but actually,
on this foot, i have a brace. >> for extra support? >> can i see your brace? >> it's multicolored. >> that's very cool. >> it has a soccer ball on it. >> and that helps the back of your leg? >> yeah. >> that's cool. >> so that's why you walk a little stiff with that leg because you don't bend it quite as much. >> but the brace helps a lot. >> good for you. >> and eventually, that will come off as you gain strength in your leg. so, next time i see you, maybe the olympics? >> oh, yeah. >> oh, yeah. i have no doubts, mackenzie. thank you so much. liz and gary saunders, as well. i know you've been through a lot, but boy, have you seen the courage of your daughter and the determination. quite a special young lady. and dr. nancy, thank you for bringing her story to us. >> you're welcome, meredith. >> we'll be back right after this. she's going to the olympics, i'm sure. anything else? ♪ when you're trying to be good, tempting treats can be wicked. no thanks, i'm good. new special k fruit crisps. with two crispy bars for 100 fruity calories... it's the delicious, new way to stay on track.
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getaways" for boomers. who says the younger set gets to have all the fun? more boomers are now entering retirement, and that means more time to get away. kate maxwell, senior editor at "conde nest traveler" is here with the boomer crowd. >> nice to be here. >> let's talk about the boomers as a group. these are not hard, fast rules, but generally speaking, according to studies, boomers think travel is a necessity, not a luxury. >> well, they've been traveling for years, they're very experienced and now really is their chance. kids have flown the nest. they want to do more exploring. >> because they're more experienced, are they harder to please? >> not necessarily. we've got a great selection here of some very active vacations and short breaks, because sometimes they're pushed for time. >> and a lot of other tricks. they are short on time. they think they're special -- >> they are. >> -- because they are the boomer generation and they're not passive, and that kind of all fits into the choices you've got here. we just spent time in vancouver for the winter olympics. a lot of focus on canada as a result of that. you like montreal. >> yes. well, perhaps you might remember
the 1976 olympics, if you were there, and montreal is a great place to go at moment because they have a fantastic deal on hotels. 50% off the second night at just about every hotel in the city. and great stuff, about $115 a night. montreal, very wonderful, european feel. it's got the second largest french speaking population in the world. great architecture, great food. >> and for parts of our country, especially the eastern part of our country, you get to go to a foreign country, it's exotic and it's close. >> it's an hour's flight from new york. >> so, if you're short on time, that fits the bill. >> great weekend. >> we know that boomers like amenities. >> they do. >> they like to be pampered a bit and because of that, you like the sonoma wine country. >> yes. the farm house inn and restaurant has a great two-night, three-star package, a cottage with a fireplace, really, really beautiful and two restaurants. boomers might remember in the '70s california really overtook france as the best
wine-producing region in the world, and sonoma, you might not know as well as napa, is right next door. it's a half-hour drive. >> it's a beautiful place, really pretty scenery. you have one that took me by surprise, for empty nesters who may be particularly close to their pets, you're talking about a trip to nantucket. why is this. >> i think we all know people whose dog has become the child substitute and you certainly don't want to leave him behind when you go on vacation. if you go to nantucket, you don't need to. you think maybe of nantucket being a millionaires' enclave, but we found a place called woof cottages with $175-a-night deal. that's for you and your pet, and your pet isn't just shoved in a kennel. he gets his own canine therapy bed which soothes his muscles. >> all right, you're losing me here. that's okay. i know people take this very seriously. >> they do. >> we already mentioned that boomers tend to have traveled more than the generation before them. so, we've got this experience, and so, exotic sounds really good. you like costa rica. >> yeah. if you didn't get there the
first time around in the '60s or '70s, if you didn't get to backpack, the good news is it's very unchanged. the costa rican government has done such a good job of looking after the environment. >> speaking of the environment, a little social consciousness and you can find that in new orleans. this is a good pick. >> five years after katrina, they still need our help. the ritz carlton has a bring back the big easy package, $239 a night and that includes a donation to operation southern impact. they're planting trees in public spaces. >> i like when people do that. quickly, our last one, this is one you want to cross off the bucket list, a big one, a trip to africa. >> a trip to africa. everyone i think once in a lifetime should go on an african safari. they have an all-inclusive package. >> you always have great ideas. kate, nice to see you again. >> you, too. >> thanks very much.
>> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. let's get a final check on the morning commute with traffic pulse 11 and sarah caldwell. >> 19 miles per hour on average on the northeast side down to 19 on the west side. those delays still in place. southbound harrisburg expressway at padonia road, a disabled tractor-trailer is taking up the right lane. watch for delays around the 30 and hampstead. that is due to accident being cleared. northbound 95 at russell
street, an accident location there. for this out, if you travel towards the capital beltway, another accident location. heavy delays leading up to that. holding on to these westside delays. we can switch over to a live view of what is happening on the harrisburg expressway bridge not a whole lot on warren road. a disabled tractor-trailer a padonia. >> the weather should be pretty quiet on this thursday. we're getting a little sunshine to break through the clouds. temperatures are responding upper 40's and 50's out there. 46 degrees in parkton. mixture of clouds and sunshine. still some rain in the forecast, but now the south and east of baltimore. well above the seasonal norm. as we head into the weekend, the
chance for rain will go up and the temperatures will go down. upper 40's and 50's. off and on rainshowers through sunday. >> we will have another update at 8:55. how about over here? hmm... let's go back to the left. uh... waffling is back at dunkin' donuts with the return of the waffle breakfast sandwich. two oven-toasted waffles with a hint of maple, complete with fluffy egg, a slice of melted cheese, and now with delicious sausage. so hurry in today because it's only around for a short time. america runs on dunkin'. try our oven-toasted waffle breakfast sandwich today, only at dunkin' donuts.
but not too cold here in the northeast. it's going to be moderate, but we're going to get some nasty weather. >> we've got heavy rain coming into the mid-atlantic, northeast, into new england over the weekend, possibly some flooding. >> wow. >> be careful about that. i'm matt lauer along with meredith vieira, al roker and natalie morales. and coming up, a delicate subject, especially for some women, aging. >> looking right at me. >> i was looking at you because it's your turn. >> you are the epitome of someone who is just -- >> aging gracefully. >> -- aging gracefully. >> well, thank you. >> you are. >> thank you very much. oh, man. every woman deals with it in their own way, but is it the physical part that is the hardest thing to handle or maybe the anxiety and the confusion? you're told when you're growing up that looks don't matter, it's who you are as a person, and yet, we live in a society that values beauty and youth, so, where does that leave you? coming up, we have two former models -- what are you -- it's a serious issue! >> i had a potato chip stuck in my mouth -- >> i know, it's on my cheek.
coming up, what two former models turned therapists have learned from their patients that may redefine the aging process and make it a pleasant thing to go through. >> okay. plus, an update on a story. remember the young girl we had on the show who couldn't stop sneezing? she was sneezing up to 1200 times a day. is she still sneezing? she'll be here to give us an update, coming up. and who are you going to call when you have a squabble with your spouse? why "the marriage ref," of course! that's right, an all new episode of the jerry seinfeld new show is tonight on nbc. host tom papa welcomes a new celebrity panel, ricky gervais, larry david and madonna. this week's topic includes a man who says his wife treats their pet iguana better than him. >> that could be a problem. >> yeah, and a wife who insists on displaying her ex-husband's ashes. >> ooh. >> wow, they've got some ashes there. >> is that spelled correctly? >> ashes. >> ashes. >> that's "the marriage ref"
tonight at 10:00/9:00 central. >> you know what my favorite part of the show is? >> what's that? >> just the facts, ma'am. who is that woman? i love her! natalie morales! i knew it was natalie! >> thank you! >> that's my favorite part of the show. >> my best plug. >> the glue that holds the show together. >> that's it. >> aww. >> all right, mr. roker, you have a check of the weather. that's right. i'm going to saye over here as i ask you -- remember the old joke how do you get to carnegie hall? how do you get to carnegie hall? >> practice! >> you practice! that's right! well, these kids know that better than most. they're members of the bishop's singers school from la jolla, california, and they also happen to be singers as well, and you've got a concert? you're at carnegie hall tonight? >> yeah. >> and what are you -- pardon? >> saturday. >> saturday. >> saturday. well, you just said yes to be nice. well, you know, they've got nothing going on there tonight. show up tonight! and you're going to be performing, right, having a good time? >> yes. >> have you got a little song for us right now? >> yes. >> okay, let's hear it.
they're warming up now. >> one, two, three, four! ♪ my good lord bless my soul ♪ >> all right! there you go! bishop's singers from the bishop's sgers -- the bishop's school. you're going to do a longer song at carnegie hall, right? >> yeah. >> okay, i just wanted to make sure. that's part of a national youth choir festival. let's check your weather and see what's going on. as we look today, heavy rain and storms possible down through florida up into the ohio river valley, wet weather in the pacific northwest with windy conditions, high surf advisories along the southern california coast. more heavy rain in northern california tomorrow. east coast is going to be a mess tomorrow. if you're traveling, air travel, forget it, from chicago to new
york, atlanta, down into florida, going to be a mess, >> there is a 30% to 40% chance of rain shower, no big deal. light fog out there this morning as well. it will be mild. and don't forget, you can check your weather any time of the day or night. go to the weather channel on cable or weather.com online. now, let's head on to florida? is willard in florida? yeah, he's down in ft. myers, florida, after a triumphant celebration of his 30th anniversary here on the "today" show yesterday. it was good to see you, uncle willie.
>> you're so sweet, and i thank the two people that showed up for lunch. i thought that was very impressive. and al, beauty and youth, you are a personification of that, so you don't have to we are about a thing. you're eternal. hey, happy birthday from smucker's. take a look at our birthday bunch today. handsome devil, beautiful ladies, incredible. first of all, there is nyleptha roberts, sparta, tennessee. i've got 1,000 relatives down there near sparta. she's only 112, young thing. secret to longevity is her faith in the good lord. loves everybody. known for being the cutest lady in tennessee. i wanna be in tennessee, my dixie paradise. here's betty jane gery from bonita springs, florida, our neighbors down the road. 100 years old. claims that she takes no medication except for a gin giblet. that's turkey giblets. enjoys eating crabs with family and friends. me, too, even if they don't show
up. i don't really care. dr. oscar haber of lexington, kentucky, near paris, where they have some of the best country ham you've ever ate. 100, holocaust survivor who tells his story to schoolkids throughout the great commonwealth of kentucky. he speaks nine languages. how about that? and maria trevino of falfurrias in the great state of texas. still drives to church every week. one of the first women who was a bailiff and is a high-profile lady in the town. take a look at lucy. i love lucy! lucy minnick, washington, d.c., my hometown. 100 years old. lives independently and loves discussing politics. great town for it. never loses a debate. considers herself the biggest obama fan in the world. bless your heart. he'll like that. bernice sadus of orlando, florida. we know where that is.
102 and learned sign language at 65. enjoys crocheting afghans. and that's about it. that's all. thank you, all of you, for a wonderful time up in new york. matt? >> we had a great time having you here, willard. thank you very much. when we come back, how women really feel about the aging process. but first, this is "today" on nbc.
>> announcer: "today's woman" is brought to you by annuineutroge cosmetics, recommended most by dermatologists. >> this morning in "today's woman," surviving the aging process. if beauty is only skin deep, why do women unravel at the first sign of a wrinkle or gray hair? vivian diller explores aging in "face it." good morning.
>> good morning. >> it really is a journey, this process of aging. as i said, i'm 56 now and i so relate to this book, and also the dilemma you face. because on the one hand, growing up, you're told you can do anything, don't worry about your looks. that's not what matters. it's who you are inside. and yet, we are bombarded by images of youth and beauty as a culture. so, you reach this point and you don't quite know how to deal with the aging process. you, in fact, call it a beauty paradox. >> right. you know, we're living longer lives than ever before. we were brought up to believe we'd be admired for our accomplishments and empowered by our years of experience, but yet, in fact, so many women tell us they feel the opposite. they're uneasy and anxious as they anticipate becoming invisible in this youth and beauty-obsessed culture. and jill and i wanted to get underneath the surface of that dilemma that so many women really didn't anticipate they'd be feeling. >> and you actually experienced it earlier than most women because you were models and
dancers. >> yeah. >> so, you went through a process that i'm going through now, basically, at a much younger age. >> we often talk about our, you know, experiences when we were modeling, and i was about 15 or 16 and doing one of my first jobs, and i was with beverly johnson, who was the first african-american, black model, really, blaput black models on map. and she turned to me and she said -- i was at the ripe old age of 15 -- from your first job, you're thinking about your last. and i thought, oh, my gosh, old. i'm like only 15 and i'm getting old! so, and that moment, you know, i think we understand that we had an early experience of aging, a very accelerated experience of aging. >> and you know, the thing is, that uh-oh moment may start on the surface, but in fact, it resonates much more deeply into the core of who we are as women and sets off these complicated feelings that most psychologists don't talk about and most women are really not prepared to deal
with. >> so, you deal in this book with six steps that women need to approach their life with, essentially. i mean, these are the six steps that you followed in order to accept this process and deal with this process, beginning with the uh-oh moment. >> yes. >> right. >> and that is, as we pointed out, the first time you realize, wow, there's kind of no turning back. >> right, but it's what that means to you. i think where our book is different from other books is that it's not simply a surface book but a book that looks at what it means to you when you recognize that you're aging and how you start to question how much of my worth, how much of my esteem, how much of my sense of value is attached to how i look? and you know, it's all a matter of degree, but for some women, it may be too much, and then aging for them is a very devastating, you know, experience, moment, many moments. >> you say in terms of your stages that you need to identify the mask and interpret your internal dialogue. what does that mean? >> well, we find that some women don't recognize that they're even having this experience, and
in part, it's that incompatible message that looks are not supposed to matter, but they do. and so, they mask that experience. we ask women to really take a little time to think about what is the dialogue they're having? are they being very critical of themselves? we want that uh-oh moment to turn into ah hah, i am aging, but there's a way to redefine my looks as i age. and that means shifting that internal dialogue. >> you also suggest examining how the significant people in your personal history contribute to the development of your self image. who are you talking about? >> oh, i think there, first and foremost, that most important person when we come into the world is our mother. >> your mom, yeah. >> and as you develop, something happens called internalization, and you internalize those voices and those messages, sometimes even distort them, but nonetheless, they become part of how you speak to yourself, how you see yourself, and then even
more importantly how you think others are seeing you, and that can really have a big impact on how you feel. >> and we don't have a lot of role models, as you know. >> right. >> you obviously are one for all of us, but we owe it to our next generation, to ourselves as well, to provide better role models so that women anticipate these next decades of our lives with optimism. >> instead of fear, right? >> right. >> we only have 30 seconds left. are you opposed to plastic surgery? do you feel that's wrong or -- >> no. >> no, we pretty clearly take the stance that it's being thoughtful about the choices you make. and in order to be thoughtful, you really have to understand both the cultural dilemma and your own personal experience of what it means to be attractive at any age. >> and i think on that note, what we often say to women is make sure you can distinguish between whether or not you're doing something out of fear, which then will compel you to act, as opposed to choice. >> okay. vivian diller, thank you so
this morning on "today's family," when a teenager comes out. as a parent, it's never easy to talk to your kids about sex, and that conversation can become even harder when a son or a daughter says he or she is gay, even before they're old enough to drive. here's wnbc's darlene rodriguez. >> chillicothe is a small, rural area. we have one major highway and there's a church on every corner. >> reporter: it's a place where some might be surprised to find a young man like richard walsh. >> at the age of 13, i knew that
i was different, for sure, and i had finally put a name to it. i was gay. i started to realize that when i was about 11. i'm not the same as everybody else is. i don't like, you know, the girls like guys i hang out with do. >> reporter: richard's father and step mother were supportive. >> i had an idea, maybe not something a dad wants to face right off the bat, but not something i would ever shove him away for. you know, he's my son. i love him for whoever he is. >> and he was very firm when he said, "no, i'm gay." it doesn't matter how old i am, i've decided and this is me. >> reporter: but sharing the news with others proved more difficult. >> what hurt the most was when i told my biological mother that i was gay. she looked at me and she said, i would rather you have told me that you got some girl pregnant. it really affected our relationship. >> reporter: and as word got out at school, not everyone approved. >> they would call me faggot or queer or what not, and it really
hurt. >> reporter: 91% of middle school students who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered experience verbal harassment. 59% have been harassed physically. but despite those statistics, it appears more and more younger teens these days are interested in talking about and figuring out their sexual identity. in 2001, only 11 middle schools had gay-straight alliances. today that number is up to 129 middle schools. >> something that i'm thinking that we should do is a history week. >> reporter: now, richard is president of the gay-straight alliance in his high school in chillicothe, ohio. >> we need three more committee members. the best thing about coming out is you get to show the world who you truly are, and if they don't like that, that's their problem, it's not yours. >> reporter: for "today," darlene rodriguez. >> dr. charles sophy is a psychiatrist who works with
children and adolescentsadolesc. thanks for coming on. >> thank you. >> when a conversation comes up and a teen says mom, dad, i'm gay, most parents have an inkling by that time, don't they? >> yes, they do, whether they want to admit it in themselves or not, absolutely. >> so it doesn't come completely out of the blue. >> no. they've seen their child not progressing or developing like they typically would. >> but that first conversation, i would imagine, and the way the parents handle it is so crucially important. >> it's absolutely crucial, and it's important for parents to be able to disconnect, listen to your child, give them some safe emotional space. they have to talk about it. >> i'm not asking you to give me a script. >> right. >> but as close as you can, your teenage son or daughter walks up to you and says, mom, dad, i'm gay. what are the words you should come up and what are the words you shouldn't come up with? >> the words you probably should come up with is something like, i'm listening, i love you, i'm here for you. the things you don't want to say are, oh, my gosh, i'm embarrassed, what are we going to say, what are people going to think? those are the type of things that will make your child pull back and retreat.
>> i think it's only natural, doctor, that some parents upon hearing this might immediately go into this mode where they think they can fix it. >> right. >> almost like the child has come to you and said i'm biting my nails. >> right. >> and how do you tell parents to deal with that emotion? >> what i tell parents to do is know that they have this emotion and be aware that sexual identity is part of experimenting for children and exploring, and where they end up, who knows. give them space and allow them to be able to explore. >> well, that's interesting what you're saying. you're saying that even though some teens may come to their parents and say i'm homosexual or i'm lesbian, they may not be certain themselves. >> absolutely. >> they may still be experimenting. >> absolutely. it's a process of development. and allow your child to go through that process. >> but then the temptation is does the parent try and steer them in one direction or another? >> there is no steering. they'll want to try, but i think the best thing for parents to do is see how they feel and get education, support for themselves so they can provide support for their children. remember, sexuality is just a small piece of that child. they are the same child as anybody else. they have needs and wants just
like anybody else. >> away from the child or the teen, some parents may find themselves maybe mourning is too strong a word, but mourning the loss of the child they thought they had. >> right. my child who was going to get married and have three children, blah, blah, blah. >> right. >> but the issue is that your child still can have all of those things, and to be able to know that that is your child. >> if you are the parent -- if one parent has a more difficult time than the other parent in this, for example, if one parent outright rejects a child -- >> right. >> -- the other parent overcompensates? how do you compensate for something like that? >> well, it becomes an issue where you have to talk, but there are places to send parents who are in those situations for support from other parents who have gone through similar situations. it's all about support and education for parents and allowing your child a safe emotional space to be themselves. >> dr. charles sophy. doctor, thanks. >> thank you. >> appreciate it very much. we're back in a moment on a thursday morning.
now to a chance for your kid's class to win an exciting trip to the wizarding world of harry potter universal resort opens this spring and your wizard or witch could be there. we just need to know what makes his or her class extraordinary. for details, head to todayshow.com. >> looks like fun. just ahead, we'll catch up with the girl who could not stop sneezing.
after your local news. >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. baltimore county police are trying to determine if they had a serial cart arsonist on their hands. two vehicle fires and department spurred the investigation, when police determined that they were intentionally sped -- intentionally said. they apparently mirror incidents detectives will meet with officers and pennsylvania to see if they are related.
forecast with tony pann. >> the weather should be pretty quiet on this thursday. temperatures are above the seasonal average, will be in the upper 50s and 60s. a mixture of clouds and sunshine. a 30% or 40% chance of rain shower. this will change as we head into the weekend. chance for rain will go up on friday and saturday but the temperatures will drop. there could still be rain hanging around on sunday and monday. >> we will have another update at 9:25.