tv NBC Nightly News NBC March 11, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
>> at least it's a little milder. for all of us here at nbc10, the news continues with nbc nice"nbc nightly news." on this wednesday night, breaking news. reports tonight of another black eye for the secret service. allegations of a car crash at the white house with an agent at the wheel. chopper down. a training mission off the florida coast goes horribly wrong with 11 service members aboard. tonight, the military is presuming the worst. resignation. the embattled police chief in ferguson missouri becomes the latest official to step down after that scathing report on racial bias. and beating cancer. new hope battling one of the most feared forms with a booster shot many of us have already had. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york this
is "nbc nightly news." reporting tonight, lester holt. good evening. as we start tonight we're watching several big stories including the search for wreckage and survivors of the scene of a deadly military helicopter crash overnight off the coast of florida. we want to begin here this evening with what appears to be another embarrassment for the secret service. details just surfacing about an investigation into a possible car crash on the white house grounds involving members of the secret service including an agent assigned to president obama's protective detail. let's go right to nbc's tom costello in our washington newsroom. tom. >> reporter: lester good evening. a senior administration official is confirming to nbc news this evening that there is an investigation into the actions of two secret service agents including a top member of president obama's protective detail. the secret service confirming it's looking into what happened on march 4th when two agents drove a government vehicle into a white house security perimeter. and tonight two agents have in fact been reassigned. "the washington post" reporting the agents had been drinking at
a party for a retiring secret service spokesman. the post report said officers who were on duty at the white house wanted to arrest the agents who crashed their car and then conduct sobriety tests, but they were told by a supervisor to let the agents go home. at the time of the incident the officers at the white house were investigating a suspicious package on white house grounds. the agents arrived using their emergency flashing lights which may have been a violation of secret service regulations. government officials tell nbc news the secret service is now working with the homeland security inspector general to conduct an investigation. all of this coming after the former head of the secret service was forced out following a series of high profile scandals. lester. >> all right, to tonight, thank you. now to the other big story we're following here. the families of 11 american service members are receiving the worst possible news following a deadly training accident off the gulf coast of florida. the military says four army aifuaters along with seven marines were aboard a black hawk
helicopter that crashed during a nighttime -- near eglin air force base. among the deadliest military training accident in years. mark potter is near the crash site. >> reporter: searchers spent the day looking for debris from the army black hawk helicopter which crashed overnight off the florida panhandle. washed up shore a piece of landing gear with a medical kit nearby and what appears to be a window from the downed aircraft. searchers also recovered most of the human remains in the dense fog. >> as you know the fog has been hampering those operations throughout the morning and day. >> reporter: officials say the crash occurred early last night in the santa rosa sound. they lost track of the chopper around 8:30 p.m. erica stone lives along the sound and believes she heard the crash somewhere out in the fog. >> we heard a loud sound. you know kind of like a bombing but a little different.
>> reporter: her husband, jasper awoke this morning to find pieces of the chopper and jet fuel coming ashore on his property. >> every four or five feet or so there was some beach ball size debris. >> reporter: onboard the chopper were seven u.s. marines and four army national guard crew members on a nighttime training mission. >> i can tell you they had several thousand hours in that cockpit and they had several thousand combat hours in that cockpit. >> reporter: a pentagon official says it's feared all perished. the black hawk uh-60 is the workhorse of the u.s. military. it can carry up to 14 troops at a time with a crew of four. it hz a range of 370 miles with a top speed of 170 miles an hour. the marines aboard were from clamp lejeune, north carolina. the helicopter battalion based in hammond, louisiana had never lost a soldier until now. in iraq it flew saddam hussein after capture in 2006. and after hurricane katrina
helped rescue thousands, many off rooftops. and witnesses say the dense fog that we're seeing now is not nearly as bad as it was at the time of the crash. meantime officials have not yet suggested why that crash occurred. lester. >> mark potter covering that story tonight. thank yo a development that protesters have been calling for practically ever since a police officer shot michael brown dead in ferguson missouri. the city and the police chief, thomas jackson, have agreed to what they're calling a mutual separation. that means the chief is stepping down effective next week. nbc's ron allen with this report. >> reporter: ferguson police chief tom jackson has faced weathering criticism since the death of michael brown last august. his decision to withhold officer wilson's name while releasing video of brown in a robbery, fueled calls for resignation. the justice department
investigation found jackson was running a police department rampant with racial bias. more focused on raising revenue through the courts than public safety. he had resisted constant calls to step down. jackson city manager john shaw out the door. >> we expect you to do approved a mutual separation agreement last night. and the top judge who resigned after missouri supreme court ordered a higher ranking judge to take over. before that the city fired its top clerk and two police supervisors resigned after the doj report linked them to racially charged e-mails. the fallout may continue as federal investigators press for reforms they've said dismantling the police department is not out of the question. in a statement to nbc news jackson said he's confident the city will pull through these trying times. the ferguson police supervisor will now take over while the city conducts a nationwide search for a new police chief. lester. >> ron allen, thank you. national leaders for the
fraternity chapter caught on video singing racial slurs say that the chant is not part of the fabric of their organization. but there are questions tonight about whether the song or at least the sentiment in it has been heard in chapters beyond the one at the university of oklahoma. nbc's gabe gutierrez has been looking into it. [ bleep ]. >> reporter: sigma alpha epsilon today said racist behavior entered its university of oklahoma chapter three to four years ago calling it a horrible cancer. >> we had to cut that cancer before it infects too many other groups. >> reporter: sae's national spokesman says the fraternity has so far been unable to verify reports of similar chants at other campuses. parker rice one of the sae members in this video, said the song was taught to us. >> when somebody says it was taught to us we know it was not the national headquarters. it wasn't even something that would be part of our history at all. >> reporter: rice said i am deeply sorry for what i did saturday night. it was wrong and reckless. i admit it likely was fueled by
alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip. but that's not an excuse. the parents of a second fraternity member in the video, levi pettit also apologized he made a horrible mistake and will live with the consequences forever. >> it's an old fraternity tradition of singing these types of songs. >> reporter: andrew who in college was in sae and now outspoken critic of greek life. >> racism is alive and well in american campus especially fraternities. >> reporte active member of the university of cincinnati black student association and proud sae member. >> we do not act like that. bad behavior is not something that we represent. >> reporter: in 2013 the sae chapter at washington university in st. louis was suspended following allegations that pledges sang racial slurs to african-american students. last year clemson university's chapter was suspended for holding a racially themed party. now at ou the growing scandal has sparked a rallying cry.
and today the normally silent statues spoke volumes. all the members have moved out of the sae house here on campus. and now the national organization is looking to kick them out permanently. lester. >> all right, gabe thank you. new developments to report tonight in the controversy over hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail account for government business. the state department's watchdog said today that many e-mails by mrs. clinton and other officials may not have been saved automatically as clinton claimed. nbc's andrea mitchell has been looking into it. >> reporter: defending her use of private e-mails, hillary clinton said her e-mails to her state department colleagues were saved by them. >> it was my practice to communicate with state department and other government officials on their dotgov accounts. so those e-mails would be automatically saved in the state department system to meet recordkeeping requirements. and that indeed is what happened. >> reporter: but only 24 hours later a new state department
inspector general's report says for the past five years most important state department e-mails for all of the state department were not properly archived. the report says a computer upgrade in 2009 when clinton took office failed to preserve thousands of key policy e-mails. for example, in 2011, employees archived only 61,156 e-mails out of more than 1 billion sent. why? inspectors found employees did not receive adequate training. the computer system kept breaking down. and some employees deliberately avoided creating crized records that could be searched later. >> the state department just wasn't saving its e-mails. not mrs. clinton's, not all the people responsible for our foreign policy. >> rep is ao being challenged for her claim she never sent a classified e-mail. >> i did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. there is no classified material.
>> reporter: republicans were skeptical. and even the white house didn't rush to her defense. >> ultimately i think it will be up to all of you to make your own determinations about sort of how secretary clinton has resolved this matter. >> reporter: clintond over how she's handled this controversy have in fact persuaded advisers she needs to speed up her campaign launch now likely in just a few weeks. lester. >> just to be clear, this report a coincidence the timing. >> totally. they've been investigating for three years. >> andrea mitchell thank you. heated moments in the nation's capitol when officials from the obama administration came face-to-face with republicans who signed a letter warning iran that any nuclear deal that it could strike with the u.s. may not be worth the paper it's printed on. more from nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: with the white house and congressional republs clashing over a nuclear deal with iran today a direct confrontation on capitol hill. secretary of state john kerry blasting the letter sent by senate republicans to iran's
leaders this week. >> in my reaction to the letter was utter disbelief. >> reporter: that letter warns one of america's enemies that any nuclear deal reached with the president and u.s. allies could be undone if it isn't approved by congress. kerry called it irresponsible and misleading. >> it purports to tell the world if you want to have any confidence in your dealings with america, they have to negotiate with 535 members of congress. that is both untrue and profoundly a bad suggestion to make i think. >> secretary, i know that's a well-written speech -- >> not a speech my friend. this is not a speech. >> this indignation and breast beating over this letter is absolute nonsense. >> reporter: this morning on "today" rand paul who signed the letter insisted it doesn't undermine the president. >> we're going to have to get this agreement by congress and in doing so maybe the president will negotiate a more appropriate deal.
>> reporter: hillary clinton took aim at potential republican opponents in 2016 like rand paul tweeting no one considering running for commander in chief should be signing on. tonight, more than 170,000 people have petitioned the administration to file charges against those 47 republican senators for violating what's called the logan act that forbids citizens from negotiating disputes between the u.s. and a foreign government. with that many petitioners by its own rules, the white house will have to respond. lester. >> peter alexander at the white house, thank you. now to a war that continues to create some unlikely alliances. iran is now playing what could turn out to be a decisive role in the fight against isis in iraq. the battle to win back a major city from isis militants. it's the biggest counteroffensive against isis so far. nbc's bill neely with more tonight from northern iraq. >> reporter: it's a decisive moment. iraqi fighters surrounding tikrit trying to drive isis out of a major city for the first
time. they've begun slowly to push into the city that gave berth to iraq's former dictator saddam hussein. but outnumbering the flags of iraq's army are those of shiite militias a rainbow that's alarming the u.s. because these are men armed, trained and backed by iran. directing them from tikrit is the head of the iranian revolutionary guards elite force. america's top general told congress today that of the 24,000 men attacking tikrit 20,000 are iranian-backed. >> the activities of the iranians to support for the iraqis security forces is a positive thing in military terms against isil. but we are all concerned about what happens after the drums stop beating and isil is defeated. >> reporter: but the u.s. is an onlooker watching iran's men from the sidelines, no air
strikes here no help. the u.s. believes tikrit will fall. and fears the iranian-backed shiite militias could go on the rampage against its sunni population. isis may lose tikrit iran intends to win the bigger battle for iraq. and that would be no gain at all for the u.s. bill neely, nbc news, irbil, iraq. there's a lot more to tell you about here tonight including a booster shot that may have helped this cancer patient live to see her grandchildren. fascinating. also news about that baby who survived a terrible car crash and waters of a frigid river. we doug. you've been staring at that for awhile, huh? listen, td ameritrade has former floor traders to help walk you through that complex trade. so you'll be confident enough to do what you want. i'll pull up their number. blammo. let's get those guys on the horn. oooo looks like it is time
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a promising development to report tonight emin battling one of the hardest forms of cancer to treat. nearly 123,000 americans are diagnosed with brain cancer each year. now researchers have found that a simple tetanus shot might boost the chances of some patients living years longer than they expected. nbc's stephanie gosk explains. >> reporter: every day sandy walks and walks. nine years ago a doctor told her she had just two to three months to live. how many miles you walk every day? >> nothing, just two to four. >> reporter: nothing just two to four. that's a lot. >> two to four? it just feels good. >> reporter: her diagnosis, brain cancer. >> highly aggressive it's an absolutely devastating disease.
and universally fatal. >> reporter: but she took part in a duke university medical trial that extended her life. so the grandmother of two can now proudly say she is a grandmother of six. the study was small, 12 people altogether. following standard surgery, chemotherapy and radiation all received a novel therapy that uses the body's own immune system. six were also given a dose of a well-known vaccine, the tetanus booster. >> if you give patient a boost of tetanus, it sort of puts the lymph nodes acting like a siren to the rest of the cells. >> reporter: so when immune know therapy is given, doctors believe the body is trying to fight the cancer cells more aggressively. the median rate for the six who received the tetanus was over six years, that's twice as long as the patients who received standard therapy. hilburn's success exceeded all
expectations. and she still has no sign of a tumor. doctors say it's too early to know for sure but they're hopeful the research can help fight other aggressive cancers as well. >> i have such a good quality of life. and i am grateful for the vaccine for that. >> reporter: sandy hilburn is the walking proof. stephanie gosk nbc news new york. we're back in a moment with late word in the attempted kidnapping c it may seem strange, but people really can love their laxative. especially when it's miralax. it hydrates, eases, and softens,
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this was the scene on i-94 in michigan today between deerborn and detroit. a tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of fuel exploded in a big fireball. no one was seriously injured, but the blast caused a day-long traffic headache in both directions. now an update to a story we brought you last night about this brazen abduction t caught on tape. police say they've arrested a 15-year-old suspect. but they're not releasing a name due to his age. he's accused of snatching a 22-month-old from a park and then abandoning the victim after the toddler, siblings and others
gave chase. and an update tonight on that baby girl who somehow survived after her mother's car crashed into a frigid utah river. 18-month-old lily grossbeck was reunited with her family today and was released from the hospital four days after she was rescued from the overturned and partially submerged car. she remained upsidedown for almost 14 hours and was able to escape the water. sadly her mother did not survive. when we come back here tonight, why some folks are really happy about getting a ticket from the po.
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finally tonight, for anyone who has suffered the aggravation of getting a ticket from the police this one's for you. harry smith found a police force in new hampshire on the look out for good behavior. >> farmington police. >> reporter: when lieutenant brian driscoll walks the beat he keeps an eye out for the activity that goes unnotice. >> let me -- you guys have been using every single crosswalk. >> reporter: yes, in farmington new hampshire, they give citations for good behavior. >> here's a free gift card for pizza. >> thank you. >> rep well not citations
really. but gift cards for a free slice of pizza or an order of fries. wary citizens quickly warm to the idea. what did you think when the policeman was coming up to you? >> it was just like okay what did i do? >> reporter: the tactic was dreamed up by chief jay drury as he watched a man go out of his way to use the crosswalks during a snowstorm. >> i thought to myself this gentleman deserves a medal. >> reporter: he brought the idea to a local convenience store. and they jumped onboard. >> it's given us a different perspective and now we're out looking for good things. >> reporter: while farmington looks like a yankee version of mayberry beneath this norman rockwell facade is a town hit hard by drugs and domestic violence. >> we end up seeing 10% of the people 90% of the time. >> reporter: so the gift cards help form connections and build community trust. >> i just wanted to thank you guys for doing the right thing and making my job a little bit easier. >> well thank you for doing this. this is a neat program. >> youe the reason why we do
it. >> reporter: an idea so simple it might just work. harry smith, nbc news, farmington new hampshire. and that will do it for us on this wednesday night. i'm lester holt. thank you for joining us. for all of us at nbc news, good nigh victim all grown up and breaking her silence. >> her explosive new interview, now on "extra." >> he was 35. she was only 13. >> i'm just shocked.
>> her innocence shattered, april price reveals her nightmare at the hands steven collins. >> and how she got the news he had confessed to their dark secret. >> the exposure happened aure happened a couple of times. >> kim kardashian then, and now. how much cosmetic work she has really had done. and. >> how this guy turned himself into kim. >> sharon osborne defending daughter kelly's decision to quit fashion police. >> it was just time. >> the ladies of the talk are here sounding off on all of today's headlines. >> all new, justin bieber rocks the desert. >> i can't wait. >> why he is hanging with the guy who is going to rip him to sleds on comedy central. >> secrets and spoilers from primetime's new mega hit, empire. on the set with henson and blige. >> plus, oprah reveals the big change she is making in her life. >> we are celebrating. change! >>