tv Today NBC February 29, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EST
good morning. breaking news. a line of powerful storms spawns at least ten twisters aross the midwest overnight. at least one person is dead in missouri. significant damage and injuries in parts of kansas. and tornado watches are still in effect this morning. one-two punch. mitt romney pulls off a narrow victory in his home state of michigan and an easy win in arizona. in this unpredictable gop race can he keep on winning with super tuesday six days away? and from mean girl to clean girl? lindsay lohan opens up about her time in jail and battles with
addiction. >> simplest blunt question. are you clean and sober? >> yes. i'm good. i'm clean and sober. >> can she mount a comeback? a preview of our interview today, wednesday, february 29, a preview of our interview today, wednesday, february 29, 2012. captions paid for by nbc-universal television don't get to say it all that often -- february 29. welcome to "today" on a wednesday morning. i'm matt lauer. >> once every four years. i'm ann curry. the tornadoes started late last night in the midwest. this morning tornado watches are in effect as far as tennessee and we are told there is a tornado on the ground in metropolis illinois as we go to air this morning. >> a storm chaser caught these images of a twister moving through hutchison, kansas.
nearby, part of the town of harveyville has been damaged. al will have more on the storms coming up. >> and for the first time we are hearing the frantic 911 calls from monday's high school shooting in ohio. three students were killed. coming up, the parents of the first victim who died will be speaking out. >> and a story that will get the attention of parents. why are so many schools failing to test for an invisible health threat that could be lurking in classrooms? we'll have the results of our investigation. >> we begin with the overnight outbreak of tornadoes in the midwest. al roker is upstairs with the latest on the story. good morning. >> good morning, ann. this is a developing story as we are going on air. before we go to the video, we have tornado warnings stretching from missouri into kentucky. then kentucky right into paduka. we talk about metropolis illinois down here. we are talking about a tornado on the ground.
we have three tornado warnings right now active. so if you are in that area you've got to seek shelter. these are fast-moving storms. they are moving at at least at 70 miles per hour. we can show you the funnel cloud in hutchison, kansas, before the storm moved into harveyville. 40% of homes have been damaged, debris everywhere. we have an emergency manager reporting damage in the northern third of cape gerardo county in missouri. they are asking nobody to enter the area. there's been at least one injury. in fact, in buffalo, arkansas, there's been one fatality. you're looking now at duluth, minnesota, where the northern part of the storm is affecting that area. this storm is going to bring snow into new england. we'll have details on that. you can see now we've got a wide swath of watches, tornado watches from memphis to louisville until 12:00 noon.
this is a very fast-moving system and a changeable system. we're going to continue to update it for you. matt? >> we'll get your local forecasts in a little while. thank you very much. now to the presidential race. a big night for mitt romney. he edged out rick santorum after a hard fought battle in his home state of michigan. romney had an easier time in arizona. crucial victories into next week's super tuesday contest. peter alexander is in detroit with the latest. hi, peter. >> reporter: good morning to you. it was another late night for the romney campaign. they got a clean sweep. they expected the sizable victory in arizona but it was the win here in his native state that was the one they were focused on. it helps them avoid embarrassment and at least for the moment quiets some lingering questions about whether romney can unite the republican party behind him. >> so a week ago, the pundits and pollsters were ready to count us out. >> reporter: for romney it was a
win. >> we didn't win by a lot but we won by enough. that's all that counts. >> reporter: for rick santorum it wasn't a loss. >> a month ago they didn't know who we are, but they do now. >> reporter: lacking romney's money and organizational strength santorum boasted he made it competitive here. >> we came into the backyard of an opponent in a race people said to ignore, you have no chance here. the people of michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates and all i have to say is, i love you back. >> reporter: fending off santorum's challenge. >> an economic light weight. >> reporter: romney delivered a critical win in michigan, the state where he was born and raised on top of a commanding victory in arizona. he redirected his attention to barack obama. >> four years ago we warranted that the presidency was no place for on-the-job training. today we have the economy to prove it. >> reporter: headed for super tuesday next week with ten
states up for grabs, santorum hopes the finish in michigan is enough to continue his momentum, hammering home his populist message. >> do we believe in the smart and elite to manage us or do you believe in free people and a free economy and building a great america from the bottom up? what do you say? [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: ron paul and newt gingrich weren't in michigan for the primary on tuesday. gingrich hopes to make a stand on super tuesday in his home state at georgia with more delegates at stake than michigan and arizona combined. romney faces challenges going forward, acknowledging he made mistakes with his off the cuff remarks but he's pushing back with questions about motivating conservative voters. >> i'm not willing to light my hair on fire for support. i am who i am. >> reporter: the romney campaign will waste no time headed for super tuesday. they have four scheduled stops over the next three days. this morning a senior campaign
adviser for mitt romney says they feel strongly they have the momentum back in the race referring to what he called a delegate landslide but rick santorum's campaign says they feel strongly about their chances exactly one week from yesterday. >> peter alexander in detroit this morning. thank you so much. david gregory is moderator of "meet the press" and chuck todd is nbc's political director and chief white house correspondent. good morning to you. >> hey, matt. >> chuck, how big a sigh of relief is coming out of the romney campaign this morning? >> it's huge. the biggest thing that took place is it's now his win. it wasn't a great win, but a win is a win in this case. it will quiet the talk for the white knight candidate. no more chatter about jeb bush or chris christie. he's done enough. he still has work to do with the base of the party. this win looked a lot like the same way he's won other primaries. he gutted his way to it, tore
down his opponent but has trouble with the rank and file conservatives. >> david, as chuck calls it mitt romney's win and technically it is, some people say it was rick santorum's loss. how do you feel about it? >> i still think it was romney's win. he's grinding this thing out. his firewalls held. it was new hampshire, then florida and michigan. now you've got to give him his due. he's not exciting the base, but he's still getting it done. he's the favorite for the nomination. he's winning on electability and he's got a strong economic argument. santorum seemed to blow some momentum he built into michigan by his own unforced errors and his own campaign personality. that may slow him down a bit. >> chuck, if you look at the exit polling coming out of the races, mitt romney wins michigan by 3% points but when you ask voters who's most electable he doubles up on rick santorum. why the margin?
>> there is so little passion. you look at the very conservative voters, tea party supporters. mitt romney is not speaking to them. he struggled with it last night. when he doesn't know how to court conservatives and that's been clear on issues. he just goes and tries to go off to the president and starts doing little one-liners. he thinks, well, i really can't say any issue to fire them up. maybe if i attack the president they will say, at least he attack it is president. >> to super tuesday. ten contests six days from now. enter newt gingrich. he told me yesterday he expects to win in georgia which i think the polls show he's probably going to do that. he thinks he can win in tennessee. the polls make it a long shot. what happens when newt gingrich and rick santorum go after the same conservative vote? >> two key points. newt gingrich told people he wants to be the guy that picked up the pieces after santorum lost on super tuesday. can he make a more convincing
anti-romney argument? that will be the play. ohio is the key battleground here. no republican has won the white house without winning ohio in a fall campaign. this is where romney has to make the case that he's the one that can take on obama. >> and olympia snowe, the senator from main announcing she won't seek re-election. >> she's serving as a personal testimonial from the president who says there is no centrist coalition in the party. she said that's why she's leaving. but this almost assures a better than # 50/50 chance democrats hold the senate. >> thanks as always. i appreciate it. >> thanks, matt. here's ann. >> matt, the death toll from monday's tragic shooting at a high school in ohio stands now at three. this as police release the 911 calls made moments after the alleged gunman opened fire. we'll talk to farnts of one of the victims in a moment. first kevin tibbles has the
latest. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, ann. the 911 tapes convey the panic of the moment when the gunman opened fire. they also reveal how quickly and efficiently students and teachers moved to save lives. >> 911. >> chardon high school. we got shots fired. gunshots. multiple gunshots. >> reporter: the frantic sound of 911 callers on tapes released by police. >> we need help. we need help badly. >> reporter: by the time the alleged shooter was in custody, this town of 5,000 people had been changed forever. five of chardon's children had been shot. three are now dead. denny parmotur, 16 is. russell king, jr., 17. demetrius hulan, 16. t.j. lane was brought to the courthouse wearing a bullet proof vest. where the judge ordered him to remain in custody for his safety
and that of the community. >> detention is necessary due to the serious nature of the allegations and charges. >> reporter: in court lane appeared close to tears and was heard saying to family members i am sorry, i'm sorry. authorities say lane confessed to the shootings and while they have not talked about the motive behind the ram page the prosecutor did offer insight. >> he chose his victims at random. this was not about bullying. this is not about drugs. this is someone who's not well. >> reporter: while one victim remains in the hospital, this community did receive some much needed good news. 18-year-old joy rickers, also shot, has returned home to her family. travis carver delivered first aid moments after shots rang out. >> it was instinct. she was in distress. she was hurt. so i helped her. >> reporter: as the reality of the tragedy sinks in, more than
a thousand people gathered again in chardon. >> always let your friends know you love them. >> reporter: a small town coming together in solidarity and remembrance. at 17 years of age t.j. lane is considered a minor in ohio. with three dead it is likely he will be tried as an adult. he is likely to be charged in court tomorrow at the same time as chardon prepares for its funerals. ann? >> kevin, thank you. bob and dina are the parents of 16-year-old victim danny parmatur. good morning. >> good morning. >> what do you want to say about your son danny that's enough for you to be willing to be on national television so soon after his death? >> let everybody know that danny was a great boy. he listened. everything he did. he was a happy kid.
never caused no trouble. he was just always fun to be around. he always wanted to be by us. making fun of me all the time, that he was taller than me. we just loved him. >> dina, i know he was looking forward to going to college. a few weeks ago he landed his first job at a bowling alley and he was supposed to get his first check tomorrow. is that right? >> right. yes. yes, that's right, ann. i just want to say quickly, thank you to the community, the nation honestly. we thank you. we can't imagine how everybody's helping us and our family. we have the best family in the world. and to the other victims and their families, our hearts go out to them as well. to answer your question, he got his first job. he was so excited to get that first paycheck.
that's all he was talking about. mom, when i get home from school on thursday, can you take me to pick it up? i don't work until saturday, but i need to go. i said, of course. just that first check. this is heartbreaking. >> i know you're thinking about burying that first check with him when you have to lay him to rest. >> right. >> he was friends with both russell and demetrius. can you think of a motive here? did he know t.j. lane very well? is there any reason you can think that he might have been targeted, your son. >> no. >> absolutely not. i don't think he even knew him. >> right. >> danny -- no. they are just innocent victims. >> right. >> i don't know. >> yeah -- you know. just a good boy, like we said. >> so in terms of what you want
to say then about the loss to your community of 5,000, with a loss of three bright young men, what do you want to say to america, to the world about what has happened to chardon, illinois? >> you know, like everybody always says, it doesn't happen here. it doesn't happen to me. and it did. i don't know how. i don't think we could get through it without the families and the community and, like i said, people we don't know -- strangers. we went to the vigil last night. it was unbelievable. i did not -- you know, we're in a cloud and we kind of -- i didn't really know what was going on. i thought this is our house and this family and this happened. when i went out and other people and the nation, you know, you
guys, nbc. i just didn't know -- i just thought it was us. i can't believe how everybody's so supportive. it's very helpful to see everyone. >> our deepest sympathies and i'm sure you will hear from many people, bob and dina in chardon, ohio, not illinois. our deepest sympathies to you both. >> thank you very much. >> we're going to make a turn to talk about a firsthand look at what could be the beginning of a new darfur. the same government accused of crimes against humanity and genocide there is now being blamed for a new wave of violence targeting tribes in sudan. 585 people have been forced to flee, most in the nuba mountains. sudan's government is keeping humanitarian workers and journalists out, in effect
keeping what's happening a secret. in the nuba mountains, just the sound of their own government war planes sends people running. in fear of bombs, thousands of people, most children, live in caves, virtually cut off from the world. to reach them, we must go where journalists are banned. >> next stop is the nuba mountains. >> we are in the undisputed part of northern sudan. >> yes. >> our guide, 30-year-old american humanitarian ryan boyett, who has been documenting the attacks on civilians. >> okay? my name is ryan boyett. >> reporter: videotaping eyewitnesses who say they saw murder, systemic rape and evidence of ethnic cleansing. in a refugee camp asia says, they called us dogs and said we
are the only people because we are arab and you are nuba. i don't know why they hate us. young shamaya, orphaned with her four brothers is in shock. they bombed us. my mother covered us with her body and died. a rebel leader shows us the arsenal he said was seized from government troops. >> all of it? even the truck. >> the truck. >> reporter: he says they belonged to a group led by the governor of the region, ahmed haroun. >> you know he's been accused by the international criminal court for crimes in darfur? >> yes. >> reporter: behind an armed escort we finally reached the mountains. ryan leads us up the rocks where we find 64-year-old hannah cooley who is struggling to find food to feed 12 children separated from their families. she sings, there is no comfort
in this world, weeping as a bomb falls. [ singing in foreign language ] >> reporter: hours later in the darkness, we find the victims. >> it was earlier today. it hit this woman in the chest. now her lung is -- >> reporter: she's in so much pain. four women hit by the shrapnel. at least one is not expected to survive the six-hour drive to the hospital. now a famine is looming and the international community is trying to figure out what, if anything, can be done to stop it. you can see more of our report about sudan tonight on "rock center with brian williams" tonight at 9:00. >> that's a powerful story. now to natalie at the news desk with the top iheadlines. >> good morning.
the u.s. coast guard is combing the waters in mobile bay, alabama, after a helicopter crashed there while on a training mission. three coast guard crew members are missing. one other was found dead. the cause of the accident is under investigation. a new report from the pentagon has many americans outraged today after learning some of the human remains of the 9/11 victims found at the pentagon and in shanksville, pennsylvania were incinerated and dumped in a landfill. the military came under fire recently for dumping remains of troops killed in iraq and afghanistan in this same virginia landfill. some good news from wall street as the dow closed above 13,000 on tuesday for the first time since may of 2008 before the start of the financial crisis. tuesday's close put the dow just 1200 points away from an all-time high. astronomers are keeping an eye on the sky as an asteroid could come close to the earth in
2040. it is about 460 feet wide. it is headed our way and scientists believe there is a one in 625 chance that our gravitational pull could reel it in. if it gets within a small target zone in space scientists will have to plan a deflection mission to knock the asteroid off its course. we hope bruce willis available to help. >> call in all the movie stars on that one. >> get them out there. >> thank you very much. as if we didn't have enough to worry about. >> unfortunately. in fact, a serious story. we have a live picture from branson, missouri, in the walmart parking lot. you can see the debris scattered there. harrisburg, illinois, a tornado has been reported on the ground there. we are continuing to track that. and the northern part of the system, you can see snow stretching from minnesota to new england. later on, we have winter storm watches and warnings stretching
into new england. albany, new york included. anywhere from 6 to 10 inches of snow in marquette, michigan. albany, 6 to s10. ." >> good morning. the rain will arrive and stick around for a while. some of the rain could be heavy at times, that's your latest weather. ann? >> al, thank you. coming up, lindsay lohan opens up about her sobriety, her time behind bars and what life is like now. first, this is "today" on nbc.
just ahead, will attorneys for the man accused of killing his co-worker's husband call the victim's own wife to the stand? we'll have the latest. >> and why some schools aren't testing for a gas >> this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am stan stovall. as gov. martin o'malley continues its push for a gas tax proposal, gas station owners are fighting back. hess station owner keith madsen and others are coming together for a petition against the gas
tax hike. let's get a check on the morning commute. >> is the one out there. -- busy one out there. a 12 an hour on average towards reisterstown road. we had an earlier accident. that is out of the there. 13 miles per hour on 795. speeds at about nine miles per hour on the j.f.x. disabled vehicles, delays on 95 out of white marsh, and in joppa, watch for an accident of philadelphia road. we will update you on the cameras at old court, off the rams at southbound 795. those delays stretch back to prior to reisterstown road. that is in the area of white marsh. typical delays southbound towards the 895 split.
>> good morning, everyone. we start out with a little bit of cloud cover. the rain will catch up to us very quickly. good idea to keep an umbrella with you. east winds, another indication that that is around the corner. this is sweeping towards baltimore. rain is likely this afternoon. high near 48. it should clear up a little bit. it should clear up a little bit. this is an angus steak and egg sandwich. it's a tremendous morning. angus, man! angus! dunkin's new angus steak and egg sandwich makes any morning special. try one today.
7:30 now on this wednesday morning, the 29th of february 2012. we are looking at the driving snow in duluth, minnesota as a powerful storm moves through. we have the live picture. it is a much different scene in the northeast. as we check out the smiling faces hanging out with us in rockefeller plaza and we're glad to have everyone here. >> al said the storm in minnesota is the one that's going to make it to new england later today. >> all right. we should batten down the hatches. inside studio 1a i'm ann curry alongside matt lauer. coming up, matt has a preview of an interview with lindsay lohan.
>> lindsay is hosting "saturday night live" this week as part of her attempt to mount a comeback after battling with addiction and run-ins with the law. we talked to lindsay about that. her first extensive interview since she spoke to us six years ago. we'll hear from her just ahead. >> and a potential danger in your child's school that you can't see, taste or smell. we are talking about radon, a gas linked to lung cancer deaths every year. jeff rossen is investigating the story coming up for us. >> and later on the tragic death of a 14-year-old girl who suddenly collapsed after she inhaled helium at a party. we have all seen kids do this. police say it was hosted by a 27-year-old woman who has now been arrested. we'll have the latest and talk to the girl's family coming up. >> that's a sad story. we begin with the murder trial of a georgia man who is charged with killing a father of two
outside a day care center. this morning the defense will be presenting the case and thanh truong is following the story in decatur this morning. good morning. >> reporter: hey, ann. good morning to you. the prosecution rested on tuesday. now it's the defense's turn. it will try to prove the defendant was insane when he shot the father of two outside a day care center and that the murder was motivated by an alleged affair with the victim's wife. >> reporter: though newman is on trial for shooting harvard grad rusty snyderman, the case centers on andrea snyderman, the victim's wife. before resting its case the prosecution presented snyderman's cell phone records n. seven months leading up to the murder she exchanged more than 1400 calls and text messages with the defendant. nearly 600 more than to her own husband. >> said she had taken certain trips. >> reporter: a detective testifies about the prosecution's claim that the murder was driven by an illicit
affair between andrea and newman who was her boss. >> you do know they were having an affair. >> yes. >> having sex? >> it would seem so. >> let's bring in the jury. >> reporter: on tuesday the jury watched the end of newman's interrogation video. for hours he denied shooting snyderman, but he gets more uneasy. >>itis not like you have no connection to these people. >> i never thought about that. i mean, again, how am i related to this? >> reporter: one day after the interrogation newman went back to police. his attorney read part of the statement to interrogators. >> the statement was, i want to talk. i want to end the circus. >> reporter: newman pled not guilty by reason of insanity claiming an angel looking like olivia newtonjohn told him the
snyderman's children were his and he needed to kill rusty to protect them. the prosecutor said newman seemed stable. >> was there anything about his demeanor that seemed off? >> no. >> missing from court, andrea snyderman. the judge kicked her out of the courthouse last week after she awkwardly hugged a witness in front of the jury. the close friend had testified she believed snyderman was having an affair. outside the court, prosecutors say snyderman told her they were no longer friends. >> there was no affair. >> reporter: snyderman's testimony gripped the court. she denied anything physical with newman. she suspected he was the killer. despite that she didn't tell police. >> you never told them on january 4, i know who it is. it's hemy newman. >> that's correct. >> you took them down a rabbit hole -- >> oh. >> and tried to get them to look at other people, didn't you? >> no, sir.
i didn't. >> why were you protecting the defendant? >> reporter: there is a possibility as the defense argues its case that andrea snyderman may be called back to the stand. the trial resumes in a couple of hours, ann? >> thanh truong, thank you so much. now for a check of the weather from al. >> announcer: today's weather is brought to you by the american cancer society, the official sponsor of birthdays. >> it is, of course, a leap day. we've got -- you guys are brother and sister, both born on a leap day? you're 16 and you're -- >> 17. >> another leap baby, 16. happy birthday. >> thank you. >> we also have a leap year kind of day. look at the temperatures. 12 degrees above normal in cleveland. 21 above normal in lexington. all the warm air, that's where the severe weather will be as the cold air moves in. 76 in memphis. chicago, 55. same in cleveland.
the rest of the country could see 20s and 30s. that's where the storms will be developing, all the snow. new england temperatures in the 20s and 30s. we'll have icy, snowy conditions and a large area for strong storms stretching from missouri all the way to the midatlantic states up into the mississippi river valley. >> good morning. off and on rain showers will be with us today. it will be a chilly day with high temperatures between 45 and got a couple more leap year babies. your birthday today and you're 6 today? >> yes. >> i didn't have any idea there
were so many leap year babies. >> al, thank you very much. we'll talk about that more later on. over the last several years lindsay lohan has faced her troubles. most of them self-inflicted. this week she will try to mount a comeback when she hosts "saturday night live." we sat down with her for an interview on tuesday that you will see in its entirety tomorrow. i began by asking her the question on everyone's mind. >> simplest, blunt question. are you clean and sober? >> yes. i'm good. i'm clean and sober. >> how long has that been? >> it's been a while. it's been -- a long time. it's nice to feel that i have -- i also have a lot of great people in my life that are in the same position. i can turn to them. i have great people i can talk to at any time and that's helped me figure myself out. >> can you go to parties, to clubs without suffering the temptation to get you into
trouble? >> i don't -- i mean, i probably could, but that's not my thing anymore. i went out actually a few months ago with a friend and i was so uncomfortable. not because i felt tempted. just because it was just the same thing that it always was before. it just wasn't fun for me. i have become more of a home body and i like it. >> i also thought about you not long ago when whitney houston passed away. someone with so much talent, such raw talent who went through such a tough time and the end came way too soon. when you heard the news of her death, did any of it register on a personal level with you? >> i don't -- not -- not really. i wouldn't like to -- i don't want to go there. that's kind of a scary, morbid thing to discuss. but maybe to some extent when i was really -- when i was -- you know, when i went to jail and being in that place, that was
really terrifying for me. >> but abuse also. in terms of substance abuse. it can rob talent. >> yeah. no. i completely agree. you can completely fall into that world. that's a scary thing. i have experienced things like that. i have friends that have experienced things like that. it's a really sad factor that can come into play in people's lives sometimes, if you don't recognize it. a lot of people don't like to. i think i did that for a long time. i think i was scared and didn't want to admit to myself let alone anyone else. >> again, we will have the full exclusive interview with lindsay lohan tomorrow right here on "today." you can see her as the host of "saturday night live" this saturday at 11:30/10:30 central time on nbc. up next, a danger in the classroom many schools don't test for. that's coming up right after this. ♪
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thousands of classrooms nationwide and many districts are doing nothing about it. it's just another school day in pennsylvania. and these second graders are ready to learn. >> let's talk about that. >> reporter: but what these kids can't see, smell or taste -- high levels of radioactive radon gas inside their classrooms. tests show nearly double the epa's accepted limit. >> of all the environmental exposures you get, this one cause it is most deaths. >> reporter: radon develops from the breakdown of soil and rock seeping into buildings and the air we breathe. chronic exposure, experts say, could be deadly and perhaps most disturbing, victims usually don't realize they have been exposed until years later when it's too late. next to smoking, it is the leading cause of lung cancer. according to the epa, linked to more than 20,000 deaths every
year. bill field is one of the foremost experts on radon. if you compare it to smoking what are the students being exposed to? >> if they are exposed it can be the equivalent to smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day. >> for a child. >> for a child. >> reporter: gail is retired teacher. she started coughing and went to the doctor. >> he said, you have a nodule and it's probably malignant. >> reporter: had you smoked? >> never a day in my life. >> reporter: she tested her house for radon and the levels were high. doctors told her that's the likely cause. >> the doctor removed by left lung. i went through 12 weeks of chemo. >> reporter: her home, the schools where she taught and the entire state of iowa are in what the epa call a level one radon hot zone. you taught for years here.
did they ever test it for radon? >> no. i always said i wonder if i wasn't exposed here as well as at home. >> reporter: most say districts can't afford the tests though the epa estimates more than 70,000 classrooms nationwide are at risk. believe it or not only five states require testing. there is no federal law mandating it. >> the kids are there six, seven hours a day. i think it should be retired. >> it's like an ostrich with the head in the sand. they just don't want to know. >> reporter: even with children's safety at stake? >> sometimes money has a more powerful influence than health. >> reporter: we had an idea. working with a certified lab nbc news contacted schools in radon hot zones and offered to pay for radon testing. all 40 declined the offer or didn't respond at all. some said the science isn't there. others didn't give a reason. here in indianapolis, school
administrators originally said yes, test three of our schools. even gave us the floor plans so the labs could figure out where to put the detectors, but the district pulled out with one official saying this can only make us look bad. if the levels are high, parents will get upset and want every school tested. >> why decline it if it's free? if it's a free service, i'd take it. >> reporter: this is jeff rossen from nbc news. so we followed up with school officials. we'd love to interview the superintendent on camera about why the school doesn't test and also why you declined our offer to test for free. all districts declined to be interviewed, too. the thing is when schools do test, experts say it can save lives. in connecticut one of the states where it's mandatory, this district got a wake-up call. >> this kindergarten classroom where we have 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds was at least four times above the acceptable limit by the epa. >> reporter: 400 classrooms
throughout connecticut tested high. they have all been fixed with new pipes for ventilation. and remember the 2nd graders in pennsylvania sitting in classrooms with elevated levels of the toxic gas? administrators here were proactive. >> i think it's imperative that we find out what the situation is and if there is a problem, take care of it. >> reporter: they tested nine schools voluntarily. in one of them, 15 classrooms came in high. school officials are planning to fix it. so why not make all schools test? once upon a time the government seemed focused on it. lots of press about radon. >> the environmental protection agency warned that radon gas poses a potential health risk in thousands of american classrooms. >> reporter: congress held a hearing in 1993. >> the obvious conclusion is that some children in classrooms have more radiation exposure than workers in a nuclear power plant. >> reporter: congress knows there is a problem. >> congress was told 20 years
ago there was a problem. >> reporter: what have they done? >> nothing. >> reporter: we contacted lead members of environmental committees canning on camera interviews. they all declined. one blamed the epa. another said it is a state issue. which means kids continue breathing radon's fumes and parents can't do a thing about it. >> these are our kids. parents are sending them to school assuming they will be in a safe environment. we need to guarantee that. >> some scientists say more research is needed to figure out the risk to children. many are concerned because just this month the epa is slashing the radon program and cutting funding entirely, money that helps schools test. we wanted to ask the epa why they are cutting the funding but they declined our request for an on-camera interview. in a statement they said the federal government is facing difficult budget challenges but said they will continue the fight against radon exposure. by the way, ann, schools pose a
risk according to experts but the epa says homes pose the biggest risk. it's affordable and easy to fix and test for it. we picked up these kits at a hardware store. they cost less than $25. open it up, put it down and figure out if your home is at risk, too. >> jeff, thank you so much for the information. just ahead, we'll lighten things up with the lorax himself. first, these messages.
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still ahead, the top ten places to go to get free stuff. >> that's right. and more on the severe weather affecting a big portion of our nation coming up. but first, your local news. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke.
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>> this is wbal-tv 11 news in baltimore. >> 7:56. time for the morning commute. >> might be a good day to stay home, i'm just saying. that ride out there. you can see and how heavy things are on the west side. the delays stretch back to stevens and towards frederick. southbound 795 backed up as a result. if you want to head out on the northeast outer loop, that is stalled as well.
221 southbound 83 from the timonium road area towards the beltway. seven miles per hour from the beltway. that could extend all the way down to 28th street downtown. we will update you at greenspring. those are your inner loop delays towards the j.f.x. they continue into the southbound j.f.x. traffic in the white marsh area, not quite as bad. that is the latest on traffic pulse 11. >> is the stuff in the traffic department. at least the rain has held off. it will catch up to us and mentally. 38 in parkton. temperatures will not move much the rest of the day. heavy rain in western maryland. showers being reported in frederick now. eventually double move into
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8:00 now on a wednesday morning, the 29th day of february, 2012. you're looking at the faces and the bodies of the young british invasion band one direction. their new hit "what makes you beautiful" has become the top selling single of all time in the uk. they've got 60 million hits on youtube now. they are heating things up in north america as fans line up to see them. get ready for the madness to take over rockefeller plaza.
they are coming here for a concert on monday, march 12. if you've got a young one you will probably be on your way here. >> oh, yeah. >> out on the plaza i'm matt lauer along with ann curry and al roker. what else is coming up? >> we have special guests in the audience. take a look, ladies and gentlemen. we have the orange guy from "the lorax." and danny devito, too. he's the one who gives the lorax a voice. >> the lorax speaks for the trees. that's right. talk to the lorax. go over there. >> and there's a girl? >> you have to have a girl lorax. say hello to the people. see? everybody wave in the background. >> do you get the sense that dr. seuss saw danny devito and said, my dreams have come true? >> a new animated feature.
that's coming up. >> my new favorite saying, "talk to the lorax." hey, who'd like free stuff? [ cheers and applause ] >> we're going to look for your free stuff. everything from gas to clothing, e-books, all free. nothing, nada, zero. >> cool! >> yeah. >> lots to get to. natalie is at the news desk with the headlines. >> good morning, everyone. we begin with a powerful storm system that unleashed more than a dozen reported tornados overnight in kansas, missouri and nebraska. officials report at least one death and numerous injuries and the governor of kansas declared a state of emergency. an apparent tornado in downtown branson, missouri, caused heavy damage to the famous tourist theaters. mitt romney survived a strong challenge by rick santorum in tuesday's michigan primary. romney won by just a few percentage points in the state where he was born and raised.
he captured tuesday's arizona primary by a wide margin. the next crucial test is less than a week away with super tuesday contests in ten states. prosecutors say the suspect in monday's ohio school shooting admits targeting students he didn't even know, killing three teenagers and wounding two others. 17-year-old t.j. lane was ordered to be held without bail after his first court appearance tuesday. a prosecutor described him as someone who is not well. a disabled italian cruise ship is expecting a helicopter delivery of 400 flashlights and fresh bread today. the ship with more than a thousand passengers and crew was set adrift monday after an engine room fire. it is expected to reach port tomorrow. now for a look at what's trending today, what has you talking online, actress lindsay lohan is trending on yahoo ahead of matt's interview tomorrow.
lohan says she's clean and sober and won't let anyone down as she comes back from years of personal and legal problems. she's hosting "saturday night live" this weekend. catch the full interview tomorrow on "today." fans are googling ben aft affleck who is no longer the only man around the house. he and jennifer garner added a boy to their brood of two girls. no word on a name. and paula deen sizzling on the blogs after revealing she's dropped two pants sizes by exercising and downsizing food portions. dean announced in january she's battling type 2 diabetes. she said she doesn't know how much she weighs but that a healthier lifestyle and better fitting wardrobe are all the encouragement she needs. as i throw it back outside to al, i thought she looked slimmer when i saw her on friday. >> she absolutely did. >> good for her. >> absolutely.
we have more severe weather. southern illinois, reports of deaths there. we have tornado watches and warnings. these are the latest warnings. just to the west of louisville, kentucky. to the northwest of bowling green we have tornado warnings in effect. watches now stretching just to the north of little rock, arkansas into extreme southern ohio. these go in effect until 12 this afternoon. as we look now, branson, missouri, live as the sun has come up, you can see the damage there. just horrific. luckily, no deaths in branson. that's the good news. then to the north of there, let's go to duluth, minnesota, where the weather channel's mike seidel is. mike, it's looking grim there. you've got a lot of wind and snow to talk about. >> we do. it's taken all year for it to snow like this in duluth. the biggest storm was saturday with 3.2 inches.
lake superior crashing over the sea wall. we have had wind gusts to 54 miles per hour. it's only 30 degrees. it could be colder but blowing snow, drifting snow and warnings continue through this evening. some spots with as much as a foot of snow already, al. you get the sense that it's finally looking like winter in the north land. al? >> thank you, mike. the storm system making it to new england. parts of new england looking at 6 to 12 inches of snow in the next 24 hours. ." >> good morning. the rain will arrive and stick around for a while. some of the rain could be heavy at times,
that's your latest weather. matt? >> coming up, a 14-year-old girl dies after inhaling helium at a party. her family will speak out right after this. [ nadine ] buzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz, you know, typical alarm clock. i am so glad to get rid of it. just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have that's what i'm going to live within. ♪ ♪ [ kareem ] i was fascinated by balsa wood airplanes since i was a kid. [ mike ] i always wondered how did an airplane get in the air. at ge aviation, we build jet engines. we lift people up off the ground to 35 thousand feet. these engines are built by hand
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back now at 8:11 with the tragic death of a 14-year-old oregon girl. ashley long died suddenly after inhaling helium at a house party. her family believes peer pressure led to a night of unfortunate decisions that cost her her life. we'll talk to them but first here is nbc's miguel almaguer. ♪ >> reporter: 14-year-old ashley long loved taking pictures, some of her last were snapshots she took of herself. >> she was just a social butterfly. she just wanted to laugh. >> she was smart. she was going to be a marine biologist. she was going places. >> reporter: 11 days ago the 8th
grader told her parents she was going to a slumber party, but instead got in a car with six friends. >> she was just trying to fit in. >> reporter: the teenagers headed to a medford, oregon, home where on the way and once inside the kids had drink after drink. >> i think she was pressured to take the first drink, you know? i can't picture her drinking at all. at all. >> reporter: police say 27-year-old catherine mcclune the mother of two young children hosted the party system she provided alcohol to the children between 13 and 16 years of age. she also provided marijuana to at least two of the juveniles there. >> reporter: intoxicated the group turned to helium. one by one they inhaled hits from a tank like this one. ashley was the last to try it. >> i talked to the girl that saw it happen. she said she tried to catch herself. she saw her getting dizzy, trying to catch herself, went
back, her eyes rolled back, she fell over and that was it. >> reporter: by the time ashley arrived at the hospital there was nothing doctors could do. the 14-year-old was gone. >> you're like, did that just happen? did we just pick out a coffin? because we're supposed to pick out a prom dress before we pick out coffins. >> reporter: mcclune has been charged with distributing drugs and alcohol to minors. additional charges could follow. she's yet to enter a plea or return our calls. local police say they have seen teens mixed up with drugs and alcohol before but have never seen a death like ashley's. investigators say the helium tank which is easy and completely legal to buy was purchased at a toy store in medford, oregon. costs about $35. >> inhaling helium is not a common trend. particularly not something we are seeing much in the emergency rooms or outpatient treatment clinics, but our data is
beginning to show that inhaling helium, inhaling other products is common among adolescents. >> this can happen to anybody out there. >> reporter: sunday the earps buried their daughter, the young girl so full of life, now gone forever. for "today," miguel almaguer, nbc news, medford, oregon. >> ashley's mother and step-father join us now along with her step-brother t.j. good morning. >> good morning. >> she died just 11 days ago. why are you here? what do you want to say? >> we want to bring awareness to children about helium and that it is serious. it is dangerous and it does kill. we also want children to know that when adults are trying to hang out with you that should be the first sign that it's not a safe situation. adults shouldn't be hanging out
with children like that. >> reporter: the adult in this case is identified as catherine mcclune, 27 years old. justin, do you hold her to some degree responsible for the death of ashley? >> absolutely. yeah. she took our child without our permission. she took other children without adult permission. i believe if a child is in your care and you're an adult, you're 27 years old it's not like you're 21, 22, 23, just turned ab an adult, you need to take responsibility. you didn't ask any parents if you could have their kid at your house. >> she didn't know if ashley had allergies or any of the other children, you know? to take on all our babies and party with them? i can't -- who does that? i can't comprehend it. >> to give our daughter alcohol?
right then she took responsibility. >> never drank. >> for whatever happened that night it started with picking her our daughter up and giving her alcohol. absolutely she should be held responsible. >> you thought your daughter was at a slumber party. in the piece we heard you talk about peer pressure. t.j., you are not much older than ashley was. what do you want to say about peer pressure? >> i'm sure everybody's been through peer pressure. it's okay to say no. to whatever they are trying to get you to do. everybody is giving in. maybe everybody's said no, but more people should say no. >> is that the message of ashley's hope awareness? what is the awareness you want her death to cause in others? >> i would like the awareness to be three things. alcohol, adults and children do
not mix. number two. the dangers of helium are real. we need to spread it around the world. nobody knows about it. they think it is something you take in a balloon and laugh. you can die from taking it. it's happened before, straight out of a balloon, not just a tank. number three, peer pressure is the big one. she was pressured by her friends who said she didn't want to do it. they could tell she didn't want to do it. an adult, one of the men said it would be okay. just makes you laugh. won't hurt you. >> it will be okay, ashley. >> peer pressure is a big one. she died under pressure. not only peer pressure. she died under pressure. there is a big message there to hear. >> i know she was a spectacular girl from everything you have told us. thank you so much for being here this morning to help other people despite the fact that it hurt so much to be here. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> thank you.
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danny devito is an emmy winning actor, director and producer. now he's providing the title voice of the furry, yellow, mustached character in dr. seuss's "the lorax." he's known to speak for the trees so when anyone tries to threaten his world you might say the lorax has a short fuse. take a look. >> time out. back up. stop. don't move an inch. nobody's moving in here. good-bye. >> who invited the giant furry peanut? >> you calling me a peanut? i'll go right up your nose? >> ha! >> whoa, you wouldn't hit a woman. >> that's a woman? >> not the first time danny devito has lent his voice to animation. he was in hercules -- >> my little pony. space jam. >> without further ado, danny devito. you fit perfectly behind that
thing. >> how you doing, man? come sit down. >> thanks. >> you were born to do dr. seuss. >> really, yeah. i know why he did it 40 years ago. he didn't know me before he wrote it. do you mind if i keep the mustache on? >> go ahead. >> do you want one? >> no. >> but i brought you one. >> do i have to wear it for the interview? >> we speak for the trees. i have to take care of the hosts. >> i lost my glasses. >> he lost his glasses. that's the end of the interview. put that on, please. put it on. yes, very nice. ha! >> that's better. >> you see what it does for you? somebody recycle this. >> because you're all about being green, the lorax. >> all about being green. >> you know what? >> take it off. >> you looked weird. >> you know, i love the movie.
it's so bright and colorful and fun and really for kids and adults and dr. seuss wrote to everybody. he was prophetic. he talked about what was going on and how we have to take care of the planet to make it sustainable for all of us to live happy, long lives together as a species. >> it's amazing that people will find shocking that you voiced this not only in english which you're fairly fluent in. >> i do that. >> but also in italian, spanish. >> yeah. >> russian and german. >> yeah. >> are you fluent in those languages? >> none of them. >> you faked four other languages? >> yeah. the way you do it is -- well, i got it in my head to do it. i said, gosh. well, maybe italian. i speak a little italian. but they bring coaches from the country to sit with you for hours and hours. they write it out phonetically. i didn't want it to have too much of an accent.
a little bit of a jersey accent, the lorax. >> so do some of the lines. in italian. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> that's a woman in spanish. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> in russian. >> [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> that's a woman in german. >> [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> and i'll go right up your nose, in russian. >> wait a minute now. >> i'll do it for you. [ speaking in a foreign language ] i messed it up. >> can we do it again? yeah, no. that's what i did for, like, five weeks. >> did you get a separate paycheck for every language? >> no, no. it's like when somebody says, you know, you're a good swimmer but not like english channel. once you get in you have to go all the way. once you put the parts of your
body in that shrivel up in the water you've got to keep going. >> oh, look at the time. we've got to go. danny devito, the lorax. >> thank you. >> from our sister company >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. let's get a check on the morning commute with sarah caldwell. >> still dealing with heavy delays. enough sykesville, a new accident at liberty road and old liberty road. holding on to the ones on the west side at now stretch back to the northwest side of the beltway. if you want to head out on the southbound 795 at the site, 20
per hour on average. 11 on southbound j.f.x. from the beltway down into town. inner loop of the belair road, getting word of an accident that may tie up the things as you approach 95. let's give you a live view of traffic and see what is going on at park heights. delays in both directions. live view of traffic in the area of j.f.x. and ruxton road. we are holding on to those delays from the belt way down into town. that is the latest on traffic pulse 11. >> rain is catching up to us in the city. it looks like everybody is going to get the rain as we head through the rest of the morning. 39 in westminster. rates started a couple of hours ago and it is making steady progress to the east. if you have no rain at your house right now, it will be
reining in shortly. off and on rainshowers through the rest of the day. rain could be heavy. tomorrow it will be a nice day. >> another update at 8:55. i'm drinkin' dunkin'. definitely dunkin'. you know, i need to get that jolt in the morning, but i want something good to do that. i love the aroma, i love the taste. you can't mistake the flavor. i run on dunkin'! america runs on dunkin' coffee.
8:30 now on a wednesday morning, the 29th day of february, 2012. some stormy weather is headed our way later today here in the northeast. there's a storm making a lot of messes out there. >> why are you looking at me? he's the weather guy. >> how soon will it get here, al? >> here in the northeast we are
looking at a snowstorm. but we have breaking severe weather in parts of illinois, kentucky. it's a changeable situation right now. >> we're outside now enjoying this weather at 42 degrees before it changes. i'm ann curry along with matt lauer and al roker and natalie morales. who doesn't like free stuff? >> we all like it. >> we'll tell you how to get stuff including facials, gas, chocolates. there are secrets on how to get products you need and love at no cost. we'll reveal all this morning. >> all right. also ahead our buddy mark bittman is in the kitchen with great ideas for tasty egg dishes. but egg dishes you can enjoy any time of day. he's going to explain that. >> all right. then is there anything you can do if your spouse suddenly racks up debt you don't know about? you know, you get the surprise. well, our money 911 panel is
here today to crack all the great information for you, make sure you have it all taken care of. >> and later on, we have a new way for you to experience the "today" show. we have our new-look facebook page. we'll show you in a little bit. >> how about a check of the weather? >> as we were saying we have severe stuff to talk about. we continue to deal with the outbreak of tornadoes going on through the southeast. you can see right now from minnesota, central minnesota into new england we're going to look at severe winter weather. to the south we've got a line of storms firing up. blizzard warnings through the dakotas. winter storm watches and warnings stretching to new england today and tomorrow. anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow from minnesota on into new england. take a look live. this is duluth, minnesota. wow. it is really coming down. it's been going in and out of these bands of heavy snow. it's going to continue to make
it way east into new england tonight and tomorrow. >> good morning. off and on rain showers will be with us today. it will be a chilly day with high temperatures between 45 and that's your latest weather. i'll be in that tomorrow. >> you headed out there? >> i think so. >> good luck with that. when we come back, how to score great free stuff from gas to clothing to business cards. we'll talk about it. but first, this is "today" on nbc.
>> announcer: today's money is brought to you by fidelity investment. turn here. >> this morning on today's money, where to find free stuff. when your shopping nothing beats scoring a big bargain. we have a whole studio full of free things. we have the scoop on how to get your favorite things without spending a dime. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> are there strings attached? why are so many companies offering free items? >> they want you in the store, on the facebook account. they want you to be friends, find out about their deals. here's how to get you in the door. this stuff is free and free is better than cheap. >> starting with free breakfast. >> ikea. on monday mornings until 1 sk, e -- 11:00, enjoy eggs, bacon, potatoes. kids can eat free including their swedish meat balls. you can go in an get your family
set. >> free business cards if you're looking for work. >> this is unbelievable. vistaprint. go online and they send you 250 cards, 30 designs to choose from. they send them to you and you can go out and find a job or do the networking you need. it's amazing. >> free e-books. >> if you are a kindle, if you have a kindle and you are a prime member there are over i 0 100,000 free books you can borrow. these aren't classics. they are best sellers. read them any time. download them quickly. >> free paper. >> this is one of my favorites because i'm the mom who at 9:00 my mom says, i need lined paper and i'm trying to find the closest staples to go to. this one is called printable paper.net. print whatever paper you need. graph paper, music paper. by the way, paper is one thing
you should never pay for. staples, officemax, office depot always have coupons. join the loyalty program and never pay for paper. >> even free beauty stuff. >> this is for a facial. clarins started as a spa company. if you go to macy's, nordstrom's, any big retailer you can sign up for a 20-minute free facial. normally in the salon it costs $90. you can have skin time for free. >> that's too good to be true. what about gas? with these prices today? >> california in particular has some of the highest prices around. honda stepped in and through march 3 they will be giving people free tanks of gas. you have to go to their twitter account or facebook account. they are giving clues as to where to go. it is california only. but i have a feeling if it continues people will be doing it more more. hats off to honda for that. >> also, maybe the best, free chocolate. >> i'm a member of the godiva
chocolate rewards. nothing better than walking into the store and once a month you get a free chocolate. once a month you get it for joining rewards. lindt chocolate, in their stores you get a free truffle. i was in there yesterday picking these up. it's the spring truffle. ten people offered me one. also delicious. >> we have free coupons as well. >> birthdays. if somebody doesn't give you a present these companies step in to pick up the slack. you get free birthdays all over the place if you sign up for the loyalty card. ihop, you go on. they have the pancake revolution. you sign up for it. they not only send you a coupon when you sign up for it for a free meal, they send you one for your birthday and another on the anniversary of when you signed up. then every year after that they send you a coupon for usually the rooti-tooti fresh & fruity
breakfast. you can go every year on your birthday for that. baskin robbins, you can get a free cone on your birthday. starbucks, you get point and free drinks. they send you a postcard. you can get the drink of your choice. old navy, similarly, you can sign up for their e-mail. they sent me a $10 coupon and on my birthday they send in something else. you don't have to put the year in. just the date. and sephora has beauty insider. every year on your birthday they give you something. right now it's the sugar rose from fresh. it's one of the fan favorites. another cool thing is go and download four square which is a free app. put in where you live. so give them your gps location. they will then tell you all the free stuff in your area.
i did it. turns out aveda had a free sample of hair products. >> that's really unbelievable. you have saved us hundreds of dollars. thank you for doing this homework so we could have free goods at a time when some of us really need some. more for deals go to today.com and check out the hip to save blog. up next, egg recipes you can eat morning, noon or night. first, this is "today" on nbc.
mark bittman is here. welcome back. >> good morning. >> this is a different version of the segment we did during the holidays, holiday finger foods where you present us with different combinations. >> it's the same concept with different ingredients. the idea is you have abc, as you said. a base and then in this case we have eggs on top of the base and whatever you want to put for a garnish. so the base is various breads or greens, beans. anything you can put underneath. >> i understand the bread as a base. that's logical, but the beans are a base also? >> well, beans or cooked spinach or greens. this is essentially an egg salad really of a different sort. >> you've got whole grain bread, some tortillas. english muffins, items most people have in the house. >> this is obviously a huge, impressive spread. the idea is that everybody has some of this stuff around.
most people have eggs. maybe you have canned beans or bread, whatever. the toppings we are talking about here are chopped scallions or herbs. this is caramelized onions, jalapenos, mushrooms and a variety of sauces. >> as we talked about last time with the holiday finger foods there are no rules here. you can try a lot of different combinations. some work better than others. >> some definitely work better than others. but people have different tastes. you know, for example, i don't have ketchup over here which many people would. >> let's make one. okay? what's your favorite combination? >> i can't resist whole grain toast. >> i'll start with a tortilla to be different. >> and then -- >> different kinds of cooked eggs. >> omelet, scrambled, fried, poached, hard boiled or soft boiled. >> i'm going with scrambled because i have the tortilla chip
here. that makes a good combination. >> you don't go for the runny yolk? >> i'm not a runny yolk person. >> you like your eggs hard? >> i like them cooked a little better. you're doing the runny egg, whole grain toast. >> you nearly missed the bread. then what? come on in, guys. >> this is amazing. >> everybody makes their own. >> for me, i would do herbs and i will load this up. i want caramelized onions. i have been eyeing them all morning. >> all right. >> you have to start at the foundation. >> no plates. that's a problem. >> oh, no! >> have that one. >> what do you put on top? >> caramelized onions and parmesan. >> ann, your combination?
>> i grabbed one off the table and i'm putting stuff on top of it. i have herbs. do you know what i love? you're having people over and you don't want to be in the kitchen this is a great idea. the only thing you have to worry about is keeping the eggs warm. >> and, you know, there are people who would put out a burner and let people cook their own eggs which can be fun. some eggs can be -- poached eggs can be reheated. omelets aren't bad at room temperature. hard boiled eggs. there are ways to get around it. again, here we are looking at practically every option i could think of which no one is going to do at home. >> you are on the verge of creating an explosion there, ann. those things don't mix. >> i'm mixing them. sometimes when you mix things up you come up with something -- >> a food pyramid isn't supposed to be on one plate. >> mark bittman. we'll be grazing here in the
hate. a mailman who carries a smile wherever he goes. >> reporter: he starts early and never stops. >> see you later, brother randy. >> reporter: this good hearted messenger. >> hey, marty. how you doing, paul? >> reporter: spreading friendship, kindness. >> nice ladies. >> reporter: and laughter to every person met along the route. >> he's grumpy, right? >> yeah. [ laughter ] >> a day without him is like a day without sunshine. >> reporter: 63-year-old james huntly, a married father of two. >> nice meeting you. >> reporter: is a chicago mailman on a mission. >> try to bring your best to the table every day. try to be as nice as you can. >> reporter: as well to those who are not. >> i try to treat everyone the same. respect and dignity.
>> reporter: that's when the story takes a turn. back to a time when james came face to face with the opposite of respect, dignity and equality. what james saw, what the world saw would test anyone's faith in humanity. it was the mid 1960s. peaceful civil rights protesters were met with violence all over the south and a young james huntly was right in the middle of it, risking harm by joining the marches in mississippi. >> my mother told me some people came out to our home, people we knew and said they had seen me in the march, protesting. and they didn't like it. >> reporter: but james didn't back down and, like so many others, he was arrested and jailed. >> yes, i was. two and a half days in jail. >> reporter: then it got worse.
>> a gun, rocks. as a matter of fact we were spit on. we were cursed. i saw people getting hurt. and it was truly sad to see people getting hurt because they were standing up for something that they had a right to have, and that was freedom. i was angry. you know, at times right now, there are things people can say or do that are just as bad as someone spitting on you. but i've gotten past that. >> reporter: absorbing the hate and somehow transforming it into a daily display of genuine goodwill to others. >> we hear about the martin luther kings, the medgar evers of the world. there were so many folks whose names aren't in the history books that were the foot soldiers, carried the water and
caught the water. ♪ >> my mother and father taught us good values. they taught us no matter what to love others. love is the strongest force in the universe. >> reporter: for "today," mike leonard, nbc news, chicago. >> i am always impressed by people who can have hate focused on them and who put it aside and react to it in just the opposite way. >> true. >> there are so many stories like that that we don't know that we need to know so that kids remember what has happened in the past. >> what a great message he has. >> isn't it great when you run across someone in your daily life who is so positive? you can be having a terrible day. you run across a guy like that and it brightens everything. >> makes a change.
>> we want to make a change now and talk about a facelift for our facebook page. our website team was given the exclusive opportunity to be the first to update our page with a new look. without further ado, look at the new facebook.com/today. >> you will see that picture of the four of us at the top. if you're familiar with timeline, the feature on facebook, it's a new layout that may look familiar. you can journey through the rich history of "today" going back to dave garroway's first broadcast. >> they had facebook then? >> you can also click on the link and watch the video. >> we were ahead of our time even then. >> you want to see matt's first day anchoring the show? >> no, no. >> you want to see his hair? scroll through. ann's adventure to the south pole, natalie hang gliding over rio. my completion of the new york city marathon in three days. it's all there. [ laughter ] >> it's not the time, it's the
effort. >> at the top of the page you will be up to date with our current stories and posts. to test your knowledge of all things "today" show click on the links below our picture to take a special quiz this morning. >> i don't think we could pass the quiz. >> i don't think so. >> still ahead, the hottest makeup trends for spring. >> first, your local news and weather.