tv ABC News Good Morning America ABC December 22, 2010 7:00am-9:00am PST
good morning, america. i'm george stephanopoulos. >> and i'm elizabeth vargas. it is wednesday, december 22nd. and this morning, soaking wet. a monster storm drenches the west. people and animals plucked from raging floodwaters. houses washed away. and the worst is coming today. white house winning streak. the president, poised for a major victory, passage of a nuclear arms treaty, just days after repeal of don't ask, don't tell, and the tax deal. ending 2010 on a roll. can it continue next year? mean girls. authorities investigating lindsay lohan for attacking a rehab worker. why the actress says she's really the victim. and the social sing-along. christmas carolling, when you least expect it. ♪ hallelujah ♪ hallelujah >> flash mobs get in the holiday
spirit. ♪ hallelujah hallelujah, hallelujah ♪ you cannot call that a flash mob. it's too beautiful to be a mob. >> i get goosebumps from that. a food court in canada. and it's handel's "messiah." and they did it beautifully. today, we begin with the storms. hundreds of residents are being told to evacuate. a state of emergency declared already in some counties. hail, flooding, thunderstorms. even tornadoes may sweep into the region. sam is tracking all of the weather. we'll have the latest in a moment. we have good news this holiday week. the uconn women's basketball team scored its 89th-straight victory last night, trouncing
florida state, and breaking a record of consecutive wins held by the ucla men's team for more than 30 years. this is a huge deal. >> that, of course is the legendary team, the team of the legendary coach, john wooden. his grandson showed up last night to congratulate them. >> that was great. let's start out west, where the severe weather is happening. california is soaked from the strongest storm yet, hitting the state as we speak. all that rain means everyone is on alert for floods and mudslides and even tornadoes. mike von fremd is in la canada, california, with the very latest. good morning, mike. >> reporter: good morning, elizabeth. it does seem incredible to think this is happening in southern california. during our broadcast, we're on the lookout for hail, or the they does, lightning, thunderstorms, and staggering amounts of rain, which is why officials in this neighborhood were forced to evacuate so many people right before the holidays. the biggest and worst of five storms in a row is pounding the west coast.
high-water rescue units in california are working around the clock, rescuing people and livestock. this woman rescued in lionelcreek, california, where nearly 20 inches of rain has fallen since friday. >> she was lucky. when she went off the edge, we thought we were going to do a body recovery. she is very fortunate. >> reporter: this home in arizona, completely washed away. in la canada, california -- >> this is an evacuation. >> reporter: police went door to door, telling more than 200 homeowners it's not safe to stay. >> sure. >> we know from past experience that if you fail to comply, it could result in death. >> reporter: in rockville, utah, officials feared their 80-foot-deep dam was about to collapse and destroy a city and 60 homes.
they called for evacuation. but our abc producer on the ground says, the dam is leaking a little, but so far holding back the deluge. >> the main thing we're feeling now, is we're cautiously optimistic. >> reporter: experts say this is the most powerful storm in decades. its fury will be felt from coast to coast. the next few hours will be crucial. officials already see signs that the mountain tops in some areas are becoming unstable. decision time was last night. you either evacuate or hunker down. it can be very humbling to try to match wits with mother nature. elizabeth? >> no kidding. all right, mike. thanks so much. let's check in with sam champion on the ground in chicago this morning. sam, are they going to get any respite from this incredibly intense storm system? >> elizabeth, where mike is right now, there will be enough rain to get one or two inches an hour. since friday, some areas of southern california have had almost 2 inches of rain.
when the rain moves into the mountains, it's been 17 feet of snow. 17 feet. seven states are under advisory, warnings, or watches. winter washes. here's where the relief comes in on the map. the jet stream makes a move up the coastline later. this has made the trek from hawaii, connected to that jet stream, all the way to the southern california coastline. we'll have all of america's weather when we come back in the next half hour. george? >> thank you, sam. hundreds of californians are being urged to evacuate today. but not everyone is following orders. joining us now is terri deerman, a long-time resident of la canada, who lost most of her home this year to forest fires. thanks for getting up, terri. what a year you've had. >> it's been a crazy year,
definitely. >> so, was it -- >> hard to believe that -- >> go ahead. >> i'm sorry. it's hard to believe we're facing this again. >> you are facing this again. you've gotten this evacuation order. we heard the l.a. county supervisor say people are putting their lives at risk if they stay. mike von fremd reports that the mountains are unstable. why are you taking this risk and staying? >> well, we just got back into our home from february. we moved in the beginning of november. and it's hard to leave it. we're still in the process of getting it remodeled. and we've been monitoring the basin. so, we felt it was okay to stay. and it wasn't raining when they gave us the evacuation order. >> what kind of precautions are you taking to at least protect what you can in the house? >> well, we've sandbagged all the vents, which we hadn't done the previous time.
and just made sure everything is up off the ground. and we actually parked our cars in the front driveway. and actually, the front walkway. this time, hopefully, our cars won't take a beating also. >> you've got the house in front of the cars. we're looking at that right now. what's it like right now? how hard is the rain? >> oh, it's not raining hardly at all, thank goodness. >> but at this point, you're in for the duration. it's too late to get out? >> we can -- in fact, they want us to leave. we could leave at any time. it's just that once you leave, then you're not able to go back to your home. and with the holidays coming up, that's a concern. just being away from your house for so long. and then, finding places to stay. >> right. so, you're just going to watch this hour by hour? >> pretty much. that's what we've been doing since the weekend. we've been walking up to the debris basin and keeping an eye
on it. and just watching the level. and it has slowly moved up. it's filling up. so, that is a major concern. but right now, it seems to be holding its own and draining pretty well. >> okay. well, terri deerman, good luck with it. >> thank you so much. we're going to move to washington, where congress is wrapping up its business, just in time for christmas. and the president seems to be on a rebound from the beating he took in the midterms. >> reporter: that's right george. minutes ago, president obama signed the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. with the s.t.a.r.t. treaty expected to be ratified by the u.s. senate later today, that means the president will head to hawaii with at least two major victories in his back pocket and perhaps a template of how to deal with republicans going forward. remember this from a few weeks ago? >> i don't recommend every
president to take a shellacking like i did last night. >> reporter: but who was shellacked? they've passed a tax compromise package. repealed don't ask, don't tell. and they stand on the verge of getting the s.t.a.r.t. nuclear disarmament treaty ratified. to hear senator lindsey graham tell it, it was his side that was shellacked. >> this has been a capitulation in two weeks of dramatic proportions of policies that wouldn't have passed in the new congress. >> reporter: the white house says this was all accomplished by being more bipartisan. >> i think the president will admit he spent more time reaching out to republicans recently than in previous times. >> reporter: and the president could be playing more negotiator in chief soon, when he returns from hawaii, he intends to hold a bipartisan retreat at camp david. and white house sources tell abc news the president feels there's room for potential by partisan
compromise on education reform. soon-to-be speaker john boehner chairs the committee that wrote "no child left behind." spending cuts and deficit reduction. and government reform, like eliminating earmarks and adding transparency. some say a bipartisan 2011 seems possible. >> the door's open a crack. and everyone is leaving washington with, perhaps, a better sense of the other side, than we saw the past few years. >> reporter: president obama hopes to hold a press conference later today, george, after the s.t.a.r.t. vote, in which he'll talk about the bipartisan nature of so many successes during the lame duck. george? >> so, there is hope for bipartisan compromise in 2011. but during this lame duck, they weren't able to reach agreement on the budget. there's 9/11 health responders bill still held up. everything dealing with spending seems to be ripe for more clashes. and those fights are going to hit right at the beginning of next year. >> reporter: that's exactly right. there's going to have to be a vote to raise the debt ceiling in the spring.
as well, of course, the vote on the budget. and there's going to be a lot of fights there about spending cuts. and you're going to see whether or not this spirit of bipartisanship is truly able to move beyond the new year. george? >> jake, thanks very much. all right, george. turning, now, to one family's search for answers after a father crashes his car and dies on the way to pick up his daughters. the family says they found out too late about a recall of hundreds of thousands of ford windstars, due to a problem with the minivan's rear axle. and brian ross joins us now with more on the recall and how ford has handled it. >> reporter: indeed, they are. this is an important story for hundreds of thousands of moms and dads who drive ford windstar vans. and may not know the potential dangers and how long it took ford and the federal government to do anything about it. this will be the first christmas for the bowman family of suburban boston without dad. >> our kids were his world.
100%. >> reporter: 28-year-old sean bowman was killed two months ago, when he lost control of his ford windstar van, after the rear axle suddenly snapped. just one week later, ford sent a recall notice to bowman's home, warning the windstar rear axle could potentially fracture, due to a design defect. >> had he received it just a week prior, he would still be alive. my kids would still have their father. >> reporter: it turns out that for years, hundreds of windstar van owners had complained about the rear axle snapping in half. but federal safety tests done this summer, simulating an axle break at 35 miles per hour -- showed what could happen even with a professional driver. but for the side stability bars, the van seems ready to tip over. now, ford has ordered an expensive recall for 700,000 windstar vans, made between 1998 and 2003. a move critics say should have happened years ago. >> there's no reason that this
vehicle should not have been recalled earlier and spared the public from who knows how many crashes. >> reporter: the government's video of the windstar test has been put online by sean bowman's widow, justine, in hopes the word will spread about the danger. >> i felt like i had to do this. i've lived it. i need to make sure people are aware and nobody else gets hurt. >> reporter: now, she's bracing for a difficult christmas, with her two fatherless daughters. >> having my oldest daughter come to me and tell me, i just want to hug him. and i can't. it's not right. it could have been prevented. >> reporter: this is an expensive recall for ford. it had to manufacture hundreds of thousands of new axles. and they won't be ready until next year. so far, only about 15% of the windstar vans involved in the recall have been brought in for a fix. meaning a lot of potentially
very dangerous family vans are on the road. >> that dramatic footage from that test we saw, was last summer. >> just last summer. this goes back ten years. the complaints were piling up in the government's own database. and the federal safety officials didn't do anything until an article in "the new york times" raised questions and criticized their slow reaction. >> not just ford. but the federal government moving slowly as well. >> both have a lot to answer to in this case, in issue of the recall and get the word out to people who own these vans. 1998 to 2003. >> let's hope people are paying attention and getting the vans off the road. let's turn to a controversy of your home state of arizona now. the catholic bishop says st. joseph's hospital can no longer call itself a catholic hospital. at issue, whether a nun on a hospital ethics board should have approved an abortion. she said it was to save the mother's life. the bishop argued that it was wrong to choose between mother and child. dan harris is here now. both sides are convinced they're
doing the right thing. >> reporter: that's right. neither side is backing down. both sides holding dueling press conferences. this is a story that involves a nun, described as saintly. a catholic bishop, a world-class hospital, and a controversy now discussed across the country. this all started last fall at st. joseph's hospital in phoenix, arizona, when a 27-year-old mother of four came in, 11 weeks pregnant and seriously ill. doctors said if her pregnancy was not terminated, she would likely die of heart failure, taking her unborn child with her. the decision to terminate was approved by sister margaret mcbride, a long-time senior administrator at the hospital. but when the local bishop, thomas olmsted, heard about this, he excommunicated sister mcbride. even though that move caused an uproar, with some critics pointing out that even many pedophile priests weren't excommunicated, on tuesday, bishop olmsted went a step further. stripping st. joseph's hospital its affiliation with the catholic church. arguing that the hospital officials did not try to save
both the mother and the child. >> instead of treating the disease, st. joseph's decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed. >> reporter: but the hospital ceo pushed back, hard. >> our first priority is to save both patients. if that is not possible, we always save the life we can save. >> reporter: many in the medical community side with the hospital over the bishop. >> the bishop, rabbis and other people don't have a place when it comes to deciding where a mother is going to live, over an unborn child, or whether to die. that decision is usually made by the health care professionals. and it's best if it's left that way. >> reporter: hospital officials in arizona insist that the severing of ties with the catholic church will have no practical implications for the daily delivery of health care. the bishop will no longer allow mass to be said at that hospital.
>> and the none, though she's been excommunicated, she's still on the ethics board? >> reporter: initially, she was forced by the church to step down from the position. she's in another position, where she still remains at the hospital. she hasn't spoken about the case. nor has the mother of the three children and the child that was terminated. >> thanks very much. back to sam in chicago for the weather. >> hey, george. we're live in chicago this morning. they've had a little light snow and some fog. let's put an eye on the west. we said we feel like there's about 1 to 3 inches more rain possible in the l.a. county area. las vegas will get another inch. still more rain during the day today. should taper off a bit tomorrow. in the northeast, light snow on the coast of maine is a possibility. these numbers are slightly milder than yesterday.
and we'll have all of america's weather in the next half hour, live from chicago. elizabeth? >> sam, thanks so much. remember back when christmas carolers used to knock on your door and then break into song. this holiday season there's a whole new way to bring joy to the world. holiday spirit, when you least expect it. sharyn alfonsi got in on the fun. >> reporter: a typical afternoon at a suburban food court. and then, suddenly -- ♪ hallelujah >> reporter: it erupts into song. this is a flash mob. more than 24 million people have watched this video on youtube. and across the country this year -- ♪ hallelujah
♪ hallelujah >> reporter: -- flash mobs are stunning shoppers. macy's in philadelphia. a pre-holiday madhouse until -- ♪ hallelujah ♪ hallelujah >> reporter: the mobs are usually organized online. and when word spreads, it can spread quickly. in northern california, 5,000 people descended on a food court for a flash mob. the floor started shaking. the mall had to be evacuated. >> it's a flash mob! >> reporter: when mitchell on abc's "modern family" decided to surprise his partner by participating in a flash mob, it also backfired. >> you cheated on me. >> in what way did i cheat on you? >> you cheated on me with choreography. and that is the worst kind. >> reporter: from a fountain in cincinnati. to an airport in canada. a band disguised as baggage workers take over a terminal, leaving passengers smiling. that is truly a holiday miracle.
for "good morning america," sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. ♪ santa claus is coming to town ♪ >> that's great. people smiling at an airport these days is really a miracle. >> that is a feat. "world news" had a flash mob for diane sawyer's birthday last week. it was terrific. you can see that online. our "picture of the morning," is the university of connecticut's women's basketball winning their 89th-straight victory. it tops the winning streak by the ucla men's team in the '70s. hand the huskies' coach got a call from one of the biggest fans. that's the president. >> the uconn women win. >> we owe you a little bit of gratitude. that lesson you gave them on the white house basketball court really paid off. i appreciate you doing that for them. we have not lost since you have been inaugurated. how about we keep that streak going for a couple more years, huh? >> that is a fun phone call. all right. coming up in a few minutes --
lindsay lohan accused of assaulting a rehab worker. we'll have the latest. the histoy and they're also the history of coit. we've been in business for 60 years and our greatest asset has always been our people. we use the plum card from american express open to purchase everything we can and with the savings from the early pay discount, we were able to invest back into our business by hiring more great people like ruben here. how can the plum card's trade terms get your business booming? booming is a new employee named ruben. ["stir it up" playing] stir up a smile with hershey's syrup. get great last minute ifts this wednesday through friday at sears! save fifty to sixty percent off coats, sweaters, fleece and sleepwear for the family. ...get this twenty-two inch rca lcd/dvd combo for
broadway and embarcadero. firefighters used a hydraulic lift to get the man out from the front part of the locomotive. officials are still trying to determine how he got trapped but they found a wheelchair nearby. >> good morning. we've had several accidents in the santa cruz mountains this morning. the one you need to be on the look outfor is southbound 17 at laurel road. we had a 15 minute bart delay now between dublin and daly city. through the north bay in santa rosa, 101 northbound at mendocino, the right lane is blocked. police are on the scene there conducting an investigation into an earlier fatal crash that happened about 1:40 a.m. this morning. it should be cleared at about 8:00. jenelle? >> thanks, megan. (greenery) hey cheese log. (cheese log) hello centerpiece. (greenery) fruit cake. how are ya? [fruit cake] dry. (greenery) who's the new guy? edible arrangements bouquets, beautiful like flowers, but unforgettably delicious, visit, call, or go to ediblearrangements.com
evancho. and we've waited over 30 years >> welcome back. here's a look at sfo where we have 40 minute flight arrival delays. check out our flight tracker at abc7news.com. quieter by the minute. a few showers showing up around the santa cruz mountains and out to the coast there. the heaviest of the weather to our south and off to our east. right now low to mid-50s. this afternoon mid to maybe upper 50s. more rain saturday and sunday. jenelle? >> thanks, mike for itchy dry skin. try cortizone 10 intensive healing. the strongest itch relief medicine now has three vitamins and seven moisturizers. feel the heal.
lindsay lohan in hot water again. she's now being investigated for assaulting a female staffer at rehab. now, lohan is fighting back. she says she's the victim. and the betty ford clinic has fired the worker. we'll have the latest on all that, coming up this morning. good morning, america. i'm george stephanopoulos. >> and i'm elizabeth vargas. robin roberts is off this morning. and if you're planning to get away this christmas holiday, wait until you see what thieves are planning to get away with. we'll tell you how to keep your home safe while you may be out of town this holiday season. >> that's security expert bill stanton. also, a family is going to get help of their own. it's a "good morning america" savings makeover. this family saved almost $60,000. >> amazing. >> we'll show you how to save
big-time, too. >> we're going to see a lot of them. and see how they save. first, we begin with that story. more legal trouble for lindsay lohan. the troubled actress is accused of assaulting a staff member at the betty ford clinic in california, where she is close to completing her court-ordered rehab. david wright has more on the actress's latest brush with the law. >> reporter: lindsay lohan's latest altercation happened december 12th, after a betty ford staffer scolded her for returning past curfew to a halfway house, after spending the evening at a local bar. the staffer told tmz, she called 911. >> she tried to snatch the phone out of my arm. she grabbed my wrist. and twisted my arm and my hand, to get the phone out of my arm. and a few choice words at me. >> reporter: low hand claims holland was the instigator. >> i did not touch the woman. i am not willing to risk my job over any patient.
>> reporter: last night, betty ford abruptly fired her, for breaking confidenty rules and talking about a patient. local police are treating the matter as a possible misdemeanor. >> rarely does a pushing and shoving match turn into a criminal filing. >> reporter: lohan's attorney released a statement saying, we are declining to discuss the underlying facts surrounding this incident. it should be noted, however, that it was ms. lohan that called 911. >> lindsay lohan finds trouble. wherever she goes, it seems like that's not a difficult task for her. >> reporter: the incident comes just as lohan was hoping to win release from betty ford. she was supposed to get out january 3rd. but if the judge determines she violated the terms of her probation on drunk driving charges, it could mean a longer stay in rehab or possibly more jail time. and for a young actress eager to change her image, these headlines don't help. for "good morning america," david wright, abc news, los
angeles. and joining us this morning is robin sax. she's a former prosecutor, based in los angeles, who knows lohan's attorney and the judge in this case. good morning. good to have you here. >> good morning. >> and based on what facts we do know about what happened, what are the chances charges will be filed against lindsay lohan? >> well, there's two competing interests we have to think about. one, is are there going to be charges in this case? and next, is there going to be a violation of her probation. either one could land her in custody. the chances of charges will be looked at a she said/she said situation. it's all about credibility here. as we all know, lindsay lohan does not have fabulous -- excuse me -- credibility here. so, the issue is now going to be, is this dawn holland credible? >> that raises the question, the worker at the betty ford rehab clinic was just fired because she broke the confidentiality rules at the clinic. so, what is her credibility like? >> that. and first of all, she's broken
confidentiality. second, there's allegations that she has a former assault charge against her husband. and anytime that you're in a confidential situation and there's a leak of information, there's going to be a downed look at your credibility. but here, you have a drug addict, who will go to any desperate measures to be able to use and abuse drugs. we have someone who has lied to the court before. you have someone who has gone complete separation to stay out of jail. in a credibility call, lindsay's not looking too good. >> i think people are surprised she was two weeks away from her end of the stay, that she would risk everything by sneaking out, according to what many witnesses are saying. that she did not have permission to leave betty ford that night. >> we see how desperate a drug or alcoholic is. here, we have a situation where if she sneaked out and used drugs and refused to take a test. and we're at the holiday time, the time that judge fox was concerned about. he kept her in custody to make
it through the difficult time of the holidays, ending her stay on january 3rd. i think it's consistent with her continued addiction and continued enabling by her mother, unfortunately. >> is this at all a bad sign? an ominous sign that after several months in rehab, she might be resorting to this kind of behavior? she still doesn't seem to be taking, so to speak? >> i don't think anyone is convinced that lindsay lohan has admitted she has a problem, and grabbed the horns by the ear and trying to get through this. i don't think everyone feels that's true. i think everyone thinks she's utilized rehab as a way of avoiding jail. and was only hoping for her best. and it doesn't seem like we're seeing the best. >> betty ford is the real deal when rite comes to rehab centers. are patients at betty ford allowed to leave the premises and go to a nightclub or a bar? >> bar-hopping and drinking is is not on the betty ford list of approved activities. however, they have given her opportunities to have day
passes. even evening passes, night passes, to go away. these are markers that betty ford uses to test how well they're committed to the process. she's had permission to shop. but not to drink. >> hollywood loves a comeback story. but what studio will be able to get insurance for lindsay lohan to work on the set, as is required? >> we had insurance problems with her three weeks ago, three months ago. this doesn't help. here she is, yet again. going to be facing a judge, yet again. possibly facing new criminal charges. the problem is, instead of coming off -- on the offensive, she's actually on the defensive once again. and so, is until she really takes offensively to her problem, she will always be on the defensive. >> given what you know, and everybody involved in this case, what are the chances she'll be back in jail? >> i see judge fox, with this allegation and this violation has anything to do with drugs and alcohol, and that's able to be proved, i see him putting her in custody. >> robin sax, thanks so much. a dramatic twist to a long and
very sad story. for other stories developing this morning, let's check in with juju chang at the newsdesk. good morning, juju. >> good morning, elizabeth. police in philadelphia have confirmed their searching for a serial killer. dna evidence links the death of a 27-year-old woman to two other murders. each victim was raped and strangled by the same man in a section of the city known for drugs and prostitution. the number of cars and trucks winning top honors for safety has more than doubled this year. the insurance industry said volkswagen, hyundai and kia had the most top-rated vehicles. but american cars are among the winners, too. chevy's kruz, and ford fiesta earned top ratings. the number of teenagers giving birth has dropped to an all-time low. down 6% last year. many attribute the drop to the recession. and it turns out chocolate may be a powerful weapon in fighting your winter cough. researchers say a key ingredient in chocolate called kiobromine
inhibits a nerve that causes coughing. test results are so critical, a testing could be used in the next two years. they're in clinical trials. but frankly, george, i don't think you can wait that long. with the antioxidants and everything. >> another excuse. i love it. >> this is great. >> he needs the cough suppressant. >> i feel better already. let's check in with sam champion, who is in chicago, as "gma" lights up america. good morning to you, sam. >> good morning, elizabeth, george, juju. we're at the chicago museum of science and industry this morning. it's one of our favorite places to be. and the reason on our "gma" lights up america that we wanted to be here, this place has 54 multinational, multicultural trees. and so, everyone kind of tends to celebrate and decorate in different ways. this allows us to show off some. we're by thailand right here.
slovakia, hungary, slovenia is here. the korean-american community services group decorates every year. now, if you would, this is a paper folding technique that you guys make your ornaments out of. how do you say it? am i close? am i actually close? it's beautiful. they spend their time making sure these trees are perfect for everyone to see. let's get to the boards. one or two things this morning as you walk out the door. we'll start with the rainfall totals out toward the west. this is where all eyes are. the pattern will shift after tonight. there's additional rain falling and big-time snow in the mountains. elsewhere around the country, in the deep south, you lose the heat in texas, ever so slightly. those numbers will drop 20 degrees from where they were yesterday, at least. and you'll gain some heat in florida. you're getting 75, 76 degrees miami way. and in the north, we don't have a big problem with snow around the great lakes. we have a little light snow
chicago does this in a big way. it's a giant tree. we have the music, coming at the 8:00 hour. we'll have more weather, then, too. >> cant wait, sam. coming up next, keep your home safe while you're away on christmas vacation. we'll give you the tips. - will you marry me? - before saying those words, there's one word every man should know. - leo. - the leo diamond, certified to be visibly brighter, at kay, the number one jewelry store in america. - yes.
with so many of us traveling during the christmas season, how do you deck the halls to make sure your house is safe and security when you're away? our safety correspondent, bill stanton, went on a mission, to show one family how to keep their home safe when they're away for the holidays. meet the lopez family. >> christmas morning, we're rushing around, trying to get dressed. the kids have opened up their presents. and i have to say, we're not thinking about security or safety of our house when we leave. >> reporter: we sent our safety and security consultant, bill stanton, to the suburbs of new jersey, to inspect their home and give them safety tips. after an extensive walk-through, bill found several mistakes. his first target, unlocked windows. >> people string lights in front of the house. what they do many times to get the lights, they'll run an wire through an open door or open the window a little bit.
while it's welcoming to people coming by, it's also welcoming for the bad guys. >> reporter: as we moved through the house, the doors were locked and security alarm was activated. but the garage door, bill's second target. locked garage doors. >> forget about the car. let's see what we can find here. i look inside. first thing, a sledgehammer. if i have to get into the house, this is what i'd be using. >> reporter: the lopez home has large windows. when we stood outside, we could see everything inside. >> we were driving down the block. and we said, oh, my god. there's our house. everyone can see us. >> reporter: bill's third target, visibly open windows. >> they have drapes, use them. close them at night. close them when you're not home. >> reporter: bill says it's important to know what you can do to stop your house from becoming a target during the holidays. >> i just want you to be safe and sound. the only person i want coming down your chimney is santa. and bill stanton joins us now. and the holidays really are
high-risk for crime. >> absolutely, george. more product in, more things that the bad guy can take out. >> you have a checklist for families. you say at the very top of it, make sure a trusted neighbor know you're gone. >> make sure trusted neighbors know when you're leaving, when you're coming back. but don't depend on your neighbor. >> you want to send other clues and deterrents to the criminals. one could be leaving a car in the driveway. >> right. any indicators that someone is home. it's not just one delayed effect, lights that go on and off, et cetera. >> finally, you say that you shouldn't leave a lot of clues out there to how much you have in the house. christmas bootee. >> that's right. a big key to that, we like to open the box. and throw it right out. having the empty boxes without breaking it down is like an advertisement to the bad guys. i'll take this vcr, this nintendo, et cetera, et cetera. break down the box. >> you think you could go into a
neighborhood and take on a house without any of the neighbors knowing it? >> as we've shown in the past, i can kick in a door and take things outs. don't depend on the neighbors. secure your home. >> bill stanton, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> you can get other tips, including holiday shopping scams at abcnews.com "gma." coming up, how did one family slash almost $60,000 from their expenses? our "gma" makeover is next. hd 3 music: ( the boy least likely to/ be gentle (with me) plays )
he's so cute. >> he is so cute. sign up right now at abcnews.com. i hope my daughter, ellie, doesn't sign us up. >> at any rate, coming up, we'll have more on the big storms that are hitting the west coast. lots of rain. lots of snow there. we'll have the late northwest a moment. also, this is an amazing story. an acclaimed opera star told she had months to live. then, there's a medical miracle. it brought music and lover into her life. it is such an amazing holiday
story. you're going to love it. can't wait for that. speaking of the holidays. josh groban will be here with a special song for the holidays. and elisabeth leamy will be here to show us how your family can save lots of money after the new year. lots of new year's resolutions. >> $60,000 savings for one family. >> don't go away. hey! you're gonna wash the deck. i love it. not wash. power wash. ok. whoa.
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♪ looks like we've got more showers. let's find out how much, how long with mike. >> stray showers possible this morning but the big deal is over. we have a 40-minute flight arrival delay into sfo and this drying tend continues through the afternoon with partly sunny sky, low mid-50s. it's going to be chilly tonight with frost possible. next big storm is saturday into sunday. megan. >> a new crash in oakland on the nimitz freeway. speeds below 40 mph through that
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♪ what a voice. and what a story. that opera star you see there, was told she just had months to live. we're going to show you the medical miracle that gave back her voice and her life. it's a love story, too. perfect for the christmas season. ♪ good morning, america. robin is off this morning. nice to have elizabeth here. >> so nice to be here. i can't wait to see that story. she has a gorgeous voice. also this morning, wish you could get a handle on your bills? i know -- it seems like every american family is making a new year's resolution to get the bills under control this year. well, elisabeth leamy's going to be here in just a minute. she's going to show one couple
how to do it. giving them a makeover, cutting almost $60,000 from the family budget. we'll show you how she did it. it's remarkably easy. and i think, you know -- maybe not $60,000. but you can save a lot of money. once you see what elisabeth has. >> always has good advice. we also have great advice on the dilemma of regifting this morning. what are the dos and the don'ts? when should you do it? when should you not do it? we're going to get into it with lee woodruff. >> don't do it when they inscribe, to george. happy holidays. >> unless you can find a george. >> true. also, we'll check in with sam champion who is lighting up the holidays in chicago. he's going to flip the switch in a few moments and turn on 30,000 christmas lights. but we're going to begin this half hour, with a twist in the story of a las vegas dancer who has been missing for more than a week. back in october, debbie flores-narvaez's boyfriend was arrested for allegedly abusing her. on tuesday, those charges were brought up in a nevada court. for now, the former boyfriend, jason griffith, is not a suspect in her disappearance.
but he is a, quote, person of interest. andrea canning has more on this case. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. jason griffith has a lot of explaining to do. he was the last person to have seen her. but narvaez's history is unfolding including four people that got orders of protection against her. as well as court records that show she was badly in debt. attorneys for jason griffith, also known as blue, appeared in court on his behalf. the aspiring rapper is accused of beating his ex-girlfriend, debbie flores-narvaez, in october. the pair can be seen here together in one of his music videos. griffith's problems only appear to be growing. narvaez, a burlesque dancer at the luxor casino and a former
nfl cheerleader, has been missing for over a week. and police say she was last seen with griffith. >> we've spoken with her ex-boyfriend. and he stated that they did have a short conversation. she left in her vehicle. and when she left, everything was fine. and she seemed to be fine. >> reporter: they're now reviewing the domestic violence report, which says the pair fought over an iphone. and that griffith, quote, knocked her down, kicked her and pulled her hair. narvaez also stated she was pregnant with his child. but there could be more to the mystery. the dancer has had her own criminal past, which included allegations of harassment. court documents obtained by abc news, show four people have filed protective orders against her. three were granted. she's also facing serious financial problems. more court documents revealed records of numerous liens against her, worth tens of thousands of dollars. her family is still convinced she met with foul play. >> bring her home. let her go. let us know something. >> at this point, we're going to look at every aspect of this
investigation, as if there was foul play. but at this point, we haven't found any indication of foul play. >> reporter: one of narvaez's friends said she said at one point, she had obsessed fans. police say at this point, they don't believe a stalker is involved. but they're not ruling it out. for now, they're looking at text messages, e-mail, phone records, interviewing as many people as they can. but they admit they don't have any suspects in this case. >> what a baffling case. >> official suspects. >> official suspects. all right, andrea, thanks so much. now, let's look at the top stories breaking this morning. we'll check in with juju chang at the newsdesk. good morning, juju. >> good morning, everyone. we begin with the power of floodwaters on stark display out west. cameras were rolling as water ripped through an arizona retirement community. four homes were washed away. others were threatened. fortunately, no one was hurt. in california, a state of emergency has been declared in six counties, as yet another rainstorm comes ashore. hundreds have been told to evacuate because of mudslide fears. one area of san bernardino county reports 21 inches of rain since friday.
sam will have much more on today's conditions in a moment. president obama is on the verge of achieving one of his top priorities. the senate is expected to approve a nuclear arms treaty with russia today. it calls for both countries to reduce their number of warheads. also today, the president signs the repeal of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy, before he heads to hawaii for christmas. still uncertain, however, is a bill that would provide $6 billion to people who became sick from toxins at ground zero on 9/11. supporters of the bill say they're confident heading into a key senate vote today. the family of a rutgers student who killed himself after being taped during a sexual encounter with a man is now suing the university. tyler clementi's parents claim rutgers failed to implement and enforce policies that would have prevented their son's death. clementi's roommate and another freshman are charged with invasion of privacy and have withdrawn from the school. and finally, how many people does it take to rescue a dog
from a hole? well, take a look at this scene in malibu, california. rocky, a french bulldog, fell and tumbled 60 feet to the bottom of that hole. with a helicopter hovering above capturing all, firefighters used lunchmeat to coax him into a laundry basket. and then, hoisted him up to safety. and that is the news at 8:06. time for the weather with sam champion, at the chicago museum of science and industry, right, sam? ready to kick off holiday spirit? >> exactly right, juju. "gma" lights up america, we're in chicago this morning. it's one of the biggest trees we've ever seen. also, to make it special, we have the navy band great lakes this morning. you saw them in the open. they're going to make it special. let's start with a drumroll. drumroll. everybody ready? okay. three, two, one. hit the lights. [ cheers ] beautiful. i'm telling you, it's gorgeous. more than 30,000 lights. more than 1,000 ornaments. it's decorated with a fun, colorful, whimsical puppet theme.
right here, they have an exhibit, jim henson's fantastic world. the ornaments have eyeballs and noses. and things like that. it's absolutely gorgeous. let's get to the boards. one or two places we want to talk about. by the way, this is one of the few places indoors you can have a tree this tall. as you look at the area of high pressure that's shifting into the southwest, this is good news. you start to push the jet stream north. the rain will go north. you'll get milder temperatures and drier skies in the southwest over the next few days. we do see a subtle shift by the end of the weekend, back into a wet pattern. let's celebrate the dry first. it's a little cooler in texas today. there's some light snowshowers right around the great lakes. chicagoland, you'll get in and out of those during the day today. but it's a detroit issue, certainly. atlanta's cool, about 58 degrees. some showers. as we look in the northeast, there might be light snow in maine. but most are just gusty and five degrees cooler than normal. the warm spot is florida. with a huge tree in chicago.
♪ you know it's big when the u.s. navy shows up to light a tree. that's the navy band great lakes. george? >> it worked to perfection. thanks, sam. sometimes we use the word miracle a little too freely. especially at this time of year. but the story you're about to see is filled with moments of grace that will make you believe anything is possible. it's about a woman with an angel's voice, a surgeon with a genius touch, and how they turned faith into fortune. not a creature was stirring.
not even a mouse. you could hear a feather fall at this year's christmas concert of the san francisco boys chorus. ♪ o, holy night the stars are brightly shining ♪ >> reporter: before the boys and everyone in the crowd, was a voice like no one had heard before. the singing of "a christmas night," this woman at the front of the theater has a life story that could have come out of the bible itself. or even an opera. it's one you will never forget. ♪ >> when you hear her story and you meet her, it is healing. it is something where you take hope. >> reporter: her name, zheng cao. born during china's cultural revolution, she came to america 23 years ago, with virtually nothing. >> two suitcases and with $45 in my pocket.
and broken english. and a dream. >> zheng is one of god's best creatures. when he puts a lot of good things all in one person, it results in someone like zheng. >> reporter: after opera training, she starred on our grandest stages. a mezzo soprano, who made it in america. but in 2008, on stage and off, something was wrong. zheng had pain that wouldn't go away. medical tests soon delivered grim news. >> i said, how bad is it? she said, it's stage 4. how long do i have? she said six months. >> reporter: stage 4 lung cancer, even though zheng never smoked. even worse, it had spread everywhere. >> this was serious. she had 24 tumors in her brain. tumors in her spine. large tumors everywhere. >> everything feels like you dropped something.
just scattered. >> reporter: zheng had survived thanks to a series of miracles. first the chemo drug worked wonders. then, another. the elective gamma ray knife procedure, at the hands of dr. david larson. >> 78 minutes to go. >> reporter: all 24 tumors in her brain, not only shrunk. they were gone. >> it's been a year and a half. the tumors haven't regrown. and no new tumors have resurfaced. >> zapped every one of them, one by one, with the gamma knife. it's a miracle. >> reporter: that's not all. with drugs and other treatment, the other tumors disappeared or shrank considerably. the cancer was under control. zheng returned to the stage. zheng's doing well. but stage 4 lung cancer is not curable. it's controlled. for how long? no one knows for sure. and zheng says there's something she wants all those that love her to know. >> one day, if i'm gone, they can still live with my singing.
if they miss me, they can just -- they can look on the tv. and they can see me singing happy. and they can turn on the cd player. and they can hear me singing. >> reporter: and this christmas, there is one more amazing blessing. for zheng, love. remember dr. larson who helped kill all those brain tumors? >> i went with her to a gala. and had dinner with her a few times. and then, cupid started manifesting itself. >> reporter: zheng and her doctor fell in love. >> they're adorable. they're absolutely adorable. they're both so in love. >> reporter: they were married last friday, in san francisco. >> this christmas, this story means pure, unadulterated light. ♪
♪ somewhere over the rainbow >> reporter: that's not the end of our story. we leave you with one more song. not a christmas song. but you know it. it's zheng's favorite. she sings this everywhere. ♪ the dream that you >> it's become a theme of this journey. ♪ somewhere over the rainbow ♪ bluebirds fly ♪ and fly over the rainbow why, oh, why can't i ♪ >> she's given us an amazing gift, every, single day.
>> how about that? >> what a story. my gosh. >> well, that is a christmas gift. she is doing well. it's almost two years since that initial diagnosis. you saw her at that wedding. so happy. we're glad we got to share that with you. when we come back, this family is cutting bills by up to $60,000. you could be next. risk with my cholesterol. anyone with high cholesterol may be at increased risk of heart attack. diet and exercise weren't enough for me. i stopped kidding myself. i've been eating healthier, exercising more... and now i'm also taking lipitor. if you've been kidding yourself about high cholesterol...stop. along with diet, lipitor has been shown to lower bad cholesterol 39% to 60%. lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone,
including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. let's go, boy, go! whoo-whee! if you have high cholesterol, you may be at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. don't kid yourself. talk to your doctor about your risk and about lipitor.
get joe boxer thermals for the whole family, just $4.99,, kids graphic tees $3.99, and basic editions sweaters for the family starting at $9.99., there's smart, and there's kmart smart. when the holidays are over, more americans than ever say their new year's resolution will be to save money. according to a fidelity investments poll. here's our consumer correspondent, elisabeth leamy, with our savings makeover. good morning, elisabeth. >> reporter: good morning. when we started offering these savings makeovers based on the strategies in my book, "save big," we got hundreds of requests like this e-mail. we've been married for 25 years and are still living day-to-day. our new year's resolution is to get our bills under control and create some savings for a rainy day. well, let's just say, christmas came early to the gunn family in oswego, new york. nancy and tom gunn of oswego, new york, have always wanted to make their finances fit their
family. not the other way around. they have two sons of their own. and over the years have adopted or taken in three other kids. >> we love the opportunity to help other children. but that's how our family ticks. it's just the more the merrier. the more we can help, the better we like it. >> reporter: so, my challenge was to find a way to stretch the salaries of a self-employed hairdresser and a school bus supervisor. the one thing i want you to sacrifice is cable tv. by cancelling cable, bundling their home phone and internet, and switching wireless providers, the gunns will save big. $4,632. >> wow. >> that's awesome. >> reporter: nancy's big, blended family needs a lot of groceries. but she has only a little time to shop for them. i'm going to introduce to you, the idea of copycat grocery shopping. all over the country, grocery gurus who know how to get
rock-bottom deals blog and brag about their best finds. all nancy needs to do is copy the one that covers her store. and she can cut her bills in half. you would save $3,900 a year on groceries. >> that would be wonderful. >> reporter: the gunn's car insurance seemed high to me. so, i invited independent trusted choice agent, brendan higgins, to shop around the many companies he represents. >> we were able to save you $2,082 a year on your auto insurance. >> that's great. >> reporter: high-five. nice job, my man. >> thank you. >> reporter: the gunns had never refinanced their house because they didn't have the cash for closing costs. so, i took them to oswego county federal credit union. >> good morning. >> reporter: the credit union approved them for a new home
loan at 5.35%. with no closing costs, which will save them $33,473. >> you will have it paid off in the matter of 11 years. saving you eight years off your mortgage payment right now. >> maybe we'll be able to retire. someday. how about that? >> reporter: but wait. there's more. the credit union also offered to roll the gunns' car loans and credit cards into a home equity loan. a $13,684 savings. and a sound practice in their case because they have a healthy amount of equity. >> that's going to save you $155 a month on that. and all of your debt will be paid off in three years. >> reporter: nancy cried tears of relief. >> it will be the light at the end of the tunnel. we so appreciate it. thank you. thank you. >> reporter: but next, it was time for smiles. since oswego federal credit union recently renovated a historic train station, we used the old baggage scale to reveal the gunns' total savings to them. here we go. one, two, three. the scale landed on 58. what could it mean?
could you read what it says on that tag? on the money bag. >> $58,288. >> reporter: savings that fixed this fine family. you saw the grand total. shorter-term, the gunns will save $847 a month. that's really meaningful money for them. and since it's december 22nd, we just made the cutoff for their new year's resolution. plus, we've suggested they appeal their property taxes, which will bring even more savings. how to do that on our website, elizabeth. >> that's huge savings. great ideas for a lot of families. we posted details of all of the savings eli got for the gunns on our website, abcnews.com/gma. time to hear from our next finalist from our "gma" advice guru search. >> my top tip for the holidays is this. remember what's really important. it's not about the gifts, how clean our house looks or the
food we're serving for dinner. the holidays are about celebrating the relationships that we have. and the best gift we can offer is love, a warm embrace, forgiving smile, and acceptance of each other, just as we are. so, during the holidays this year, open your heart and give the best gift you can, yourself. happy holidays, america. >> great advice from billy ward on juggling family during the holidays at abcnews.com. coming up, the recipe for the perfect holiday gift. a roundup of our very best cookbooks. [ woman ] i don't want to feel depressed.
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priority mail flat rate shipping starts at $4.90 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. ♪ a man is lucky to have escaped with his life after being run over by a freight train in oakland. it happened before 4 a.m. at broadway and embarcadero. firefighters used a hydraulic lift to free the man from the underside of a locomotive. police are trying to find out what happened. they found a wheelchair at the scene. let's see how your wednesday commute is going with megan. >> thanks, kristen. you should have a nice commute awaiting thank yous take a look at the bay bridge toll plaza. metering lights on about an hour and then turned off. no need for them. san rafael, traffic moving nicely although it's fogging heading towards 580.
here's a live look at sfo with 40 minutes delays. live doppler 7 hd showing the system moving away but still some light rain being reported around santa rosa with the heavier rain in the central valley. up in the sierra where we have a winter weather advisory until 4:00 about 5,000 feet. you can see the showers and thunderstorms, just waves of them pounding l.a. and san diego creating more flooding. here at home 49 los gatos, throw mid-50s into the afternoon hours. partly sunny and mid-50s.
a little frosty tonight in our valleys, otherwise dry through ♪ ♪ it's always this time of year that i fall some ♪ that is josh groban, from his new album "illumination." we're going to hear a lot more from him this half hour. ♪ i can always hear good morning, america. i'm george stephanopoulos. here with elizabeth vargas. >> he has the perfect voice for christmas songs. >> he does. >> a lot of other songs, too. also coming up this half hour, from julia child, to emeril lagasse, to sara moulton, we've rounded up the year's hottest cookbooks. if you're wondering what to do for christmas day dinner, sara
has great ideas. you'll find them in all these books. >> any one of those is something you will not have to regift. >> they're also pretty, too. they're coffee table books because they have great photos in them. >> some great reads, too. we're going to get into regifting this half hour. when it is the right thing to do? when it is the worst thing to do? >> do you feel guilty if you regift? >> not usually, no. >> there's a reason you're regifting, right? let's check in with sam champion, who is lighting up the holidays in chicago. sam, you have a highland dance coming up. >> i do. by the way, i'm in position for the said highland dance. regifting is just what you do. just tell everybody. and so, these ladies we found underneath the tree, are the thistle and heather highland dancers. one of the things we love about the m.s.i. tree set up here. there's 54 multinational and
multicultural trees. they're a celebration of how everybody celebrates the holidays in this place. it's beautiful. let me let you see them dance a little bit. then, we'll do the weather. the ladies have been here all morning. excellent. ♪ there was a competition to see who might kick me in the eye. but i think so far, i've been here unscathed. let's get to the boards. one or two things -- ladies, thank you so much. one of the things we want to show you this morning as you walk out the door, we're still talking about the big system in the west. there's an opportunity for more rain today, from l.a. to san diego. you see the hot spots located there, all the way into las vegas today. when the snow or the rain moves into the mountains, it is feet of additional mountain snow. in the southeast today, it's one of the warm spots in florida, where the temperatures will go into the 70s in south florida. dallas, you're a little cooler than you were yesterday. showing off in the 80s yesterday. today, you're back down in the 50s. providence, one of the spots believed to be five degrees below normal. will you see a flurry?
it's possible. most of the flurries will stay all that weather was brought to you by the united states postal service. we have a coat donation, as well. jeff, with m.s.i. here. tell me why you guys got together to do the coat donation. >> it's such a family destination. we know it's important for everyone to be warm out there, across the country this christmas. >> we thank you for doing this. a lot of this has been a surprise to us, that so many people have wanted to help. go ahead and pop that in. folks, come on over. you're not going to believe this. all of the girls here who were dancing, donated coats. the staff, the volunteers did. how many coats? >> more than 50 coats.
>> we are single-handedly moving across the country, collecting coats. this is going to be a very successful donation. thank you, by the way. >> thank you, sam. >> back to george and elizabeth. we have more great gift ideas this morning as we count down to christmas. for the foodie on your list, sara moulton has great cookbooks. great to see you, sara. you have a great book out right now. "everyday family dinners." emeril has "farm to fork" out. big year for you guys. you have a great selection this morning. organized in different categories. starting out with massive collections of recipes. >> right. it's amazing. "one big table" by molly o'neill, she traveled around, calling down from thousands of fishermen, pit masters, farmers, it's really a portrait of america. great stories and photographs, too. then, "the essential "new york times" cook book," by amanda
hesser. she went through thousands of recipes and came up with the best. the plum tort is the most asked for tort. it's eight ingredients, and four steps. it's all with a spoon. >> i love her column. she goes back to recipes from the 1930s and '40s. this is a great book. >> great book. now, we have some good reading books. first of all, we have to mention that julia child was a "gma" family member for years. and we just loved her. that's why i started working here because i worked with her. >> no kidding? >> yeah. but this is a book, letters between julia child and avis devoto. >> and avis told her, you can make a fortune if you do this. >> and it's a great book. and they didn't meet. they wrote letters back and forth before they met. "in the kitchen with a good appetite," melissa clark, so
funny. the recipes are great. but i love things like waffling towards dinner. it's about breakfast for dinner. the recipes are great. and she's very funny. you can see her in the kitchen sweating. "heart of the artichoke and other journeys." this is my david tanis. and the other six months of the year, he lives in paris. >> just hangs out? >> yeah. >> not bad. >> 20 menus, arranged seasonally. and it's really good ingredients. just cozy and warm. >> he has great stuff in the back. if you have a huge -- >> a party, a big feast, he'll tell you how to do it. moving on to how you get dinner on the table during the workweek, we have "radically simple," by rozanne gold. they are really quick. >> this looks so elaborate. >> only five ingredients. start to finish, 15 minutes to make. >> all this? >> and these are good recipes
for weeknight or entertaining. >> you have the steak, the cheese. >> a little balsamic, salt and pepper. that's it. i rediscovered stir frying looking at this book. grace young is worth it. she explains how you should stir fry. but you can put anything in it. especially lots of vegetables, you can sneak in there. >> great way to get healthy. it's also, you tend to -- when you stir fry, you use the same vegetables. she has varieties. >> she mixes it up. if you want to become a food stylist, this is the book for you. delores custer is revered in the industry. she tells you everything you need to know. great book. >> now, these are all desserts. >> i'm not a big dessert person. but i love the books. we start with "sarabeth's
bakery." she is known for her jams and jellies. this is for the aspiring baker. great photos, great how-tos. >> and easy to follow. >> lovely book. yes. even me, i can probably make brioche if i try. michele richard explains how morons in baking, like me, could make a gorgeous dessert. >> uncommon to be skilled at both. >> he's rare. he's unique that way. here, we have "the perfect finish," from billy yosses. he's been cooking for years. this is his first book. he picked all of his favorite recipes. >> one of the things president obama says all the time. the reason he has to watch his weight at the white house, is because of billy's pie. >> so good. >> and last but not least. the title says it all. it's organized by texture. it's easy to find the cookie you
want. and alice has been doing this for years. i want to mention the others on the website. and i want to say, everybody rushes to the store. maybe the book isn't there. i'm sure you can find these online. and i'm sure they will mail them to you in time for christmas. >> and you can get all of the information, as you said, at abcnews.com/gma. we have the full list of sara moult moulton's top picks. wh@j
you know, they say that during the holiday season, it's better to give than to receive. that's why regifting is such a common practice. in these frugal times, you could argue that regifting is a way to be thrifty, or environmental. yeah, that. no wonder what your motive, you don't want to be caught doing it. what are the dos and don'ts? lee woodruff, the best-selling author is here. >> most of them. >> are you a regifter? >> i will only a admit to a certain amount of regifting. >> there's right ways and wrong ways. first, let's start with the don'ts. don't regift anything monogrammed. >> right.
>> signed. handmade. >> right. >> or homemade, or used. >> and go through examples of why you don't want to do that. >> all right. we're going to start with exhibit "a." this was given to me. i can't remember by whom. you're going to give me the bag, right? a purse. it's pretty. nice. not so much me. but dented. you don't want to regift that. >> this is an example of something, that maybe it's not my tastes. somebody gave it to me. but i could make it a gift. >> you may have to get a steam iron out and repair this baby. inspect. >> you have to be organized, is what you're saying. you have to remember. >> here's an organizational tip, when i get gifts for my kids, for birthday presents and sometimes there's duplicates, i put a post-it note, who gave it. so you don't give it to the same child for their birthday. that would be an organizational tip. let's look at used or beat up.
this is a big no-no. cute napkins. but look at the tissue paper. you can't give that to somebody. to regift this, rewrap it. >> when i regift, i tell the person. i don't need this. would you like it? that way, you're being forward. >> much more stealth. >> you say don't ever -- keep your mouth shut is your tip. >> kind of. everything you give me from now on, uh-huh. where did she get this? be careful being too honest. you don't want people thinking you're the cheapest person rolling around this christmas. >> that's not like a big gift. that's a little gift. >> that's just a generous thing. let's go on to things that are monogrammed or marked. this lovely clock looks innocent. but you and i both saw a tiny inscription, gratitude for service there. busted. this is nice, my nephew is graduating. but uh-oh, corporate logo. that would be a big bust there.
this was something i got in a goody bag for a lovely charity. and not only does it have a coffee stain on it. my fault. you probably don't want to regift something that has the logo from a charity that you got. >> you don't. >> be careful. and my last example, i don't know. i got them from someone. they look like they've been kicking around for a decade or so. dusty. >> with the minitoiletries, you can donate them to a homeless shelter. a loft it is you don't want it to sit in the closet. these are some dos. are there proper ways to regift? >> alcohol. beauty items. maybe not makeup. you may not have the person's lip color. you don't want to get into colors. and accessories. jewelry or scarves. if you got three white scarves, why not pass one on for a teacher gift or something? >> wine is a great example. you say most people, whether they admit it or not, has been
in the regifting of the alcohol business. >> absolutely. one, big tip, check for the card that the person gave you. make sure you look in the little flap. i did this once. it had, happy birthday. it was on the card. look for cards or things inside that someone may have written to you. get rid of the evidence. >> thank you for the tips. now, i'm going to inspect any gift you ever give me. >> you should, girlfriend. >> thanks, sweetheart. if you want to pick the perfect last-minute gift and no one will regift it, go to abcnews.com/gma for our countdown to christmas gift guide, with ideas for everyone on your list. we'll be back. stay with us. coming up next, josh groban sings us a holiday song.
since childhood, singer josh groban has called los angeles home. but now, he's moved to new york city. and with that move, has come a new album, "illuminations." and on that album, a love song for the big apple, just in time for the holidays. here is josh groban with "the bells of new york city." ♪ there's a pale winter moon in the sky ♪ ♪ coming through my window and the park is laid ♪ ♪ out like a bed below it's a cold, dark night ♪ ♪ and my heart melts like the snow ♪
♪ and the bells of new york city tell me not to go ♪ ♪ ooh, ooh, ooh ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ ♪ ooh, ooh, ooh ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ ♪ it's always this time of year that my thoughts undo me ♪ ♪ with the ghosts of many lifetimes all about ♪ ♪ but from these mad heights i can always hear the sound ♪ ♪ of the bells of new york city singing all around ♪
that i call mine ♪ ♪ with the street lamp light to illuminate the gray ♪ ♪ and the bells of new york city calling me to stay ♪ ♪ the bells of new york city calling me to stay ♪ ♪ ooh, ooh, ooh ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ ♪ ooh, ooh, ooh ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ ♪ ooh, ooh, ooh ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ ♪ ooh, ooh, ooh ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ [ applause ] lots of lotions promised healing. this one actually does it. [ female announcer ] gold bond ultimate healing lotion.
♪ a lawmaker will call for a crackdown on the operators of party buses later this morning in burlingame. assemblyman jerry hill will join the parents of a 19-year-old who died on a booze cruise party bus. it would require bus operators to check if pass passenger are under 21. >> cold tonight. watch for frost in our valleys and dry through friday. megan. >> we have a sigalert in men scene no. the