tv NBC Bay Area News at 11AM NBC May 10, 2012 11:00am-11:30am PDT
a massive five-alarm fire destroys a construction site, forcing the evacuations of dozens of people. i'm bob redell. i'll tell you about a lead investigators could be looking at live from santa clara. and b.a.r.t.'s board of directors deciding right now which foreign company will build its new fleet of rail cars. that has some bay area workers crying foul. i'm christie smith. i'll tell you about the protest coming up. and look at that blue. christina loren has a look at the forecast. nbc bay area news starts now. good morning. thanks for being with us. i'm marla tellez. >> i'm jon kelley.
a long line of people waiting to see if they can finally get back into their homes after a fire gutted a town complex under construction in santa clara. the flames broke out just north of el camino real and scott late last night. bob redell has been there all morning long covering that scene where investigators are getting their first daytime look at all this damage. what are you hearing out there? >> reporter: good morning to you, jon. because of the magnitude of this fire, the county arson task force has been called in to investigate. we know investigators do want to speak to someone who saw someone else at a corner beyond that fire truck over there pumping a liquid onto the construction site around 7:00 last night. that was a few hours before the fire itself started. it's not clear yet whether that bit of information is significant or relevant to the investigation. they don't know but they say it's also possible these buildings under construction did have electrical power. they just don't know yet. the two buildings being built are a loss. as many as 100 people living in adjacent buildings were evacuated.
one building was just released to residents. the other two buildings should be reltsed later this afternoon. the exception being two end units which suffered significant damage. now, john snider woke up to find his pick-up truck destroyed. the fire started around 10:00 last night. this cell phone video shows just how intense it was. the flames could be seen a mile away. it was so massive, the fire department had to called for a fifth alarm, which is very unusual. >> anytime you have woodframe, we call it a vertical lumberyard. it's like building sticks to build a fire. it's likely to burn when it's at a construction like that because there's so much open wood. it's going to burn very quickly. >> the intensity of the fire and the heat that generated. it was just shocking.
i've seen a lot of things on tv. but it's the first experience for me. >> reporter: a big concern last night were embers blowing away from the scene. fortunately it wasn't too windy. but because of lessons learned several years ago when santana row burned out, a police chopper was orbiting downwind keeping an eye for wayward embers. there were no subsequent fires because of that. everyone remarkably got out okay last night. no residents or firefighters were hurt. reporting live in santa clara, bob redell, nbc bay area news. dozens of people left homeless by a four-alarm fire. flames destroyed their apartment complex in the mission district on sunday. four firefighters and two residents were injured. 37 people, including seven children, were left homeless. today a community meeting for the victims will be held at sf
friends school at 5:00. a billion-dollar decision on the table for b.a.r.t. today. the board is staged to approve a contract to build the next generation of b.a.r.t. cars. few would argue the new trains are needed. but it's where they're going to be built that's at the center of debate. christie smith is live in oakland with the protests that preceded this vote. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. this b.a.r.t. board meeting is packed this morning. so is the overflow room, a lot of speakers. what b.a.r.t. is doing is deciding whether a canadian company will get the bid to build b.a.r.t.'s new fleet of rail cars. but that has a lot of people out here concerned about american jobs and the price and which company should get the job in the first place. some union workers and east bay politicians rallied right before the b.a.r.t. board meeting this morning. some wanting the canadian builder, bombardier and a french manufacturer to have another chance at presenting their best option. b.a.r.t.'s staff recommended the
canadian company to build the new rail cars for $1.5 billion. the other company came in a little higher at first but offered more parts made in the u.s., which many believe could lead to more local jobs in places like richmond. b.a.r.t.'s 40-year-old rail cars are some of the oldest in the united states. no u.s. company bid on this at all. the new cars, b.a.r.t. said, bombardier met a number of factors that they were looking for. but many this morning said the deal really needs a second look. >> we're trying to get b.a.r.t. to basically not rebid this contract, but basically put it back to the two best bidders they have and have them retool their bids and try to come back and try to get the best deal that they can on the table. >> they also scored the highest in terms of the technical aspects and they could put americans to work sooner rather than later because they do have facilities here in the united states.
>> reporter: now, b.a.r.t.'s so-called fleet of the future is made up of 775 new rail cars. every one of them to be assembled in the united states. so b.a.r.t. can go three ways today. they could accept the canadian company's bid, reject it or start the process all over again which would delay everything about 18 months. reporting live in oakland, christie smith, nbc bay area news. new this morning, these are pictures just in to our newsroom of the men accused in a deadly stabbing that led to a standoff with san jose police. they are now in custody. you may remember the situation at a home on cleveland avenue that took place back on april 27th. police had streets blocked off for hours after a body was found out in the street. suspects jonathan alexander bess fled the scene but were arrested yesterday. happening now, san francisco police are giving an update on
the shooting of a man wanted in connection with a north bay homicide. police went to an apartment in san francisco to look for the suspect last night before 9:00. when officers were talking to the man's girlfriend, the suspect appeared in the apartment with a gun and opened fire. he then barricaded himself inside and set several fires. >> over the course of the next hour, the suspect fired multiple shots through walls and floors. the building had other people in it. at some point in time in the ballpark of 10:00, the suspect set fires within the apartment. >> an officer outside the building shot and killed the suspect. the girlfriend is in police custody. the apartment building was evacuated, but all residents have been allowed back inside. officers believe the suspect is linked to the killing of a 66-year-old woman in rohnert park. we'll give you the latest on the press conference tonight at 5:00 and 6:00. a plea from the teenager at the center of an alleged crime spree that included the theft of
a lamborghini has been postponed. 17-year-old max wade appeared in a san rafael courtroom a few hours ago. the judge would not allow his face to be videotaped. wade facing numerous charges, including stealing the lamborghini belonging to guy fieri. the judge ordered him back next month to enter that plea but also heard two defense motions, one to try the teenager as a juvenile and wade is currently being charged as an adult. the other is to bar the media from the courtroom proceedings. the judge will rule later on both defense requests. wade was arrested last month after a shooting and he shot at a couple in mill valley. the lamborghini was found during that investigation. people enjoying this nice weather around the bay area? >> right here. >> getting some of the best weather across america right now. we have really good-looking conditions out there today and tomorrow as well. a little bit on the hot side as
we kick off hot momma's day on sunday, looking on the warm side, as well as saturday. enjoy the perfect conditions while they last. live look over the transamerica pyramid. san francisco, nice and clear start. headed towards warm conditions inland versus mild at the coast. hazy sunshine tomorrow. slight warming. then we really crank up the heat heading into mother's day weekend. i have your full forecast to help you make the outdoor plans. >> love it. >> sounds great. thank you, christina. still ahead, the president makes his first west coast stop since announcing he supports gay marriage. we'll take you to seattle where air force one will touch down soon. shares in cisco in big trouble. and a strange magazine cover. we'll talk about it coming up. years and years of dedication to help keep the bay area beautiful. meet thesepraith at tie womna't praise at the national's capital today. c
welcome back. president obama is bound for the west coast right now. he's expected to arrive in washington state before noon and then appear tonight in los angeles. natasha ryan joins us from the seattle airport where the president will be facing many questions about his gay marriage announcement. >> reporter: we're here at boeing field. from here, the president will head to a home in seattle for a private fund-raiser. it's reported couples spent $36,000 just to attend. then it's off to downtown seattle for another fund-raiser with the dave matthews band and back here at boeing around 4:00 this afternoon. from there, he'll head to l.a. to go to a fund-raiser at george clooney's home. federal stimulus cash, the investigation unit follows the money to find out who got it and what exactly they did with it.
investigative reporter steven stock discovering surprising winners in the quest to land tens of millions of your tax dollars. he found 17 of the biggest most recognized companies in the bay area received at least $94 million stimulus dollars in total meant to save job, kick-start the economy and keep businesses afloat through tough economic times. but some critics say in some cases the government overlooked the little guys in do s is in d out. >> reporter: sam serves as a fiscal policy analyst for omb watch in the nation's capital. he says the federal stimulus program for the most part is successful. but he admits that some smaller companies that should have received money didn't. >> there is sort of this tension between getting the money out as fast as possible to the people who need it the most. but at the same time, making sure you're spending that money in an effective way and in a responsible way. >> we had to drastically cut
down. >> reporter: this man and his three business partners applied for a $1.5 million stimulus grant to hire 13 people and build a video conferencing system to serve rural hospitals. >> if the stimulus funding had come in at the right time, we would have been in a much different state. >> reporter: they essentially went out of business. an example critics say that shows the stimulus failed to live up to some of its lofty goals of helping small business and creating jobs. >> we were hoping the companies would stay afloat, that they would put people to work or keep them at work. >> and tonight, stephen breaks down which major silicon valley companies received stimulus funds including a project totalling $25 million. that's all coming up in his full investigation tonight at 11:00. groupon is expanding this morning jumping into the instant discount business. our business and tech reporter, scott mcgrew, is here to explain
how it works. >> this is very similar to what american express did a couple of months ago. take your credit card and you register it with groupon. they don't charge it. they keep a record of it, though. and every time you use that credit card at a participating business, you get points toward a discount. use your visa card at joe's coffee ten times in a row, 11th time you order a latte, it's free. and you don't keep track of everything. i didn't recognize any of the businesses listed by groupon as participating but i'm sure it will grow. remember how voters in greece elected politicians from the far right and the far left? that's not working out. it would appear the two sides will not be able to form a government. so on the positive side, the european union sent greece enough money to keep it afloat till june. the negative side are the problems in europe and how they affect us. cisco systems, san jose's largest private employer, says
it's having trouble closing sales of all those routers and servers in europe. cisco shares getting crushed this morning, down 10%. video of robots that will patrol the sacramento river. more than 100 robots launched as an experiment. some float, others have little propellers that can move independently. and finally "time" magazine's cover has to be seen to be believed. it's going to create a lot of controversy. i'll let you look it up on the internet for yourself. i was curious how stores might be handling it. i called a few today. nobody's gotten back to me yet. in fact, some of them didn't even know about it. i'd be curious as people look it up what they think of it. and let us know on facebook what they think. >> i'll be looking that up. thank you, scott. looming deadline could lead to the closure of 70 state parks unless state lawmakers reach a compromise.
two bay area state senators are pitching a plan to keep about 50 of those parks open. the plan was basically to reallocate $41 million to cover a $22 million shortfall in the state parks and recreation department. the bill would deed simple majorities in the senate and assembly to reach the governor's desk for a signature. 60,000 baby salmon will be released in half moon bay today. the salmon will be dumped into netted pens inside pillar point harbor, part of a project funded by a state grant to replenish the salmon population. a palo alto woman is being recognized for fighting to preserve wetlands in the bay area. 88-year-old florence's mission began more than 50 years ago when she saw the need to save the wetlands near her palo alto home from demolition. she teamed up with don edwards and together they established
the don edwards wildlife ref joo you just in 1972. it covers about 40,000 acres. >> it may sound corny, but it was democracy in action. you work on the things you care about just because they're important to you. the recognition has been a great surprise and very rewarding. >> over the years, florence has received all sorts of awards. but today, she's receiving the national wetlands award from the environmental law institute in washington, d.c. we will have her full story tonight on nbc bay area news at 5:00 and 6:00. >> you had the pleasure of spending a little time with florence, right? >> she is just precious. she had to get her hair done for doing to d.c. >> you have to look good, right? i like it. congratulations. let's check in with christina loren to find out, a spectacular day ahead, right? >> spectacular day. over the wetlands and right at the coast here in the bay area. gorgeous conditions shaping up.
as a matter of fact, our weather here, the envy of the nation. better weather here than just about every other major city across america. heading throughout the next couple of days, temperatures will stay on the mild side. downright hot transitioning into the weekend. want to point out where the low clouds are sticking around. coastal low clouds around the santa cruz mountains down to pebble beach. otherwise, nice and clear from petaluma down through san francisco. but like a look at the temperature. in santa cruz, you are struggling to break out of the low 50s. 54 degrees there, versus 75 in fairfield. and this contour map really tells the story, the microclimates separating in temperature more and more as we get closer to summertime. it's going to feel like summertime in the next several days, on saturday in particular. one thing that will improve as our hills start to get more on the brown side, we continue to dry out. the pollen levels will decrease.
they've been so high lately. limit your outdoor activities for the next couple of days if you have been suffering. we're going to be in the high range at least through saturday. but things start to improve dramatically heading through next week. a nice, cool breeze at the coast tonight. comfortable conditions there. temperatures in the low 90s as of tomorrow. we're going to tack on a couple of more degrees from today's highs. the 90s return. today, maybe a couple of 90s in the warmest cities across the bay. 83 in san jose. 80 in los gatos. beach weather saturday. monday, tuesday and wednesday, we level out. >> christina, thank you. we are getting our first glimpse this morning of what will happen for the memorial day closure of the dumbarton bruj. caltrans leaders with laying out their plan for the retrofit starting this weekend. construction crews will replace a major joint of the bridge. they have to have the project complete by next year.
there's a key vote set to approve the first-ever drug to prevent hiv and it could just be hours away from government approval. an advisory committee to the fda holding hearings right now on truvada. it reduces risks almost in half. doctors have been using the drug since 2004. but there are calls for more studies to be done before it is approved to prevent infections.
new developments about a story we brought you at the beginning of this newscast. we've just learned the man shot to death by san francisco police last night is the son of a 66-year-old woman found beaten to death in her rohnert park home tuesday. during a news conference that's happening right now, police announced the suspect who died after barricading himself in a polk street apartment and firing at officers is 41-year-old dennis hughes. the victim in rohnert park is dianne hughes. also arrested is dennis hughes' girlfriend whose apartment he was holed up in. the flame that will burn during the olympics is now on its way officially to london right now. >> the torch was lit in ancient olympia, greece. the first torch-bearer took it
from there. the olympics kick off in london with the opening ceremony on july 27th. nbc bay area is your home for complete olympics coverage. to check out our insider coverage on the 2012 london games, check out our website, nbcbayarea.com. just search olympics. remember a few weeks ago we showed you those four little cute falcons born on top of city hall? they now have names. >> the quartets goes by the name of hope. the three boys are thunder, cobalt and horacio. very cool for the world's fastest animals. >> i like the fifth-grader who named them, jet.
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