tv NBC Nightly News NBC March 25, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
coast residents were hit with an early spring storm today. traffic snarled on major interstates during the morning rush hour as road crews tried to get ahead of the wintry conditions. >> right now they are slippery, wet. i have my men out now. >> reporter: several inches of snow and icy roads led to multiple car accidents near evansburg, pennsylvania, and across the state. in washington, d.c., it was a slushy, slippery day causing some schools to close. the first snow measuring more than an inch at reagan national airport since 2011. the storm forced more than 600 flights across the country to be cancelled today. overnight this system moved through the midwest shattering several records. 17 inches of snow in springfield, illinois. their biggest snowfall in one day on record. blinding snow caused a string of crashes on interstates north of indianapolis. >> the road condition was really bad, and i lost control. >> reporter: in st. louis, more than 12 inches of snow fell making for the biggest storm the city has seen in 31 years. this weather system developed in
colorado saturday dumping a foot of snow in some areas and causing this 50-vehicle pile-up and closing i-70 to kansas for hours. in florida, high winds and heavy downpours and hail left thousands without power. winds gusted up to 86 miles per hour at orlando's airport. people forced inside this home improvement store by pounding rain and wind. play cancelled at the arnold palmer invitational, seen here as the storm rolled through -- a storm that left many people hoping this was the last we'll see of winter weather. >> too cold, damp. my feet are cold. i don't like any of it. >> reporter: much of the country still waiting for spring. tonight, you're going to have to keep waiting. look at the temperatures for tuesday. st. louis, more than 20 degrees below average. the high tomorrow in tampa, 59, and frost forecasts for northern and central florida into tomorrow. meanwhile, wednesday, atlanta, 20 degrees. 15 to 20 degrees below average. only in the mid 50s. this time last year in atlanta we were talking record pollen counts.
this time last year only 8% of the lower 48 had at least an inch of snow on the ground. tonight half of the lower 48 is under a snow pack. >> incredible numbers for this time of year. mike seidel starting us off tonight. mike, thanks. now to washington where this is the eve of a big day. the u.s. supreme court is turning its attention to same-sex marriage. the justices are taking up two cases on this subject, deciding whether the federal government can refuse to recognize it and whether the states themselves can ban same-sex marriage. in the meantime, public attitudes have been shifting fast. our justice correspondent pete williams is at the court for us tonight. pete, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. this is high drama because the supreme court has never before taken a serious look at the issue of same-sex marriage. so the stakes are high and these cases come here at a time -- right at the time public opinions are rapidly shifting. if this is any barometer,
interest is keen. a line began forming outside the court last thursday for people willing to brave the cold and wet for a seat inside. tomorrow the justices take up proposition 8, the voter initiative that stopped same-sex marriage in california. two gay couples in the state are challenging the law saying it discriminates against them for no valid reason. >> i don't see how our getting married would impact anybody else's marriage negatively in any way. >> reporter: but defenders of prop. 8 say it is to protect the traditional notion of family. >> marriage laws are designed to attach mothers and fathers to each other and the children they may create and raise in the best environment. >> reporter: wednesday the court hears a challenge to doma, the defense of marriage act, passed by congress in 1996. it blocks the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage in the states that allow it. much has changed in the 17 years since president clinton signed it into law. he now says it should be overturned because it's unconstitutional discrimination.
no states permitted same-sex marriage when congress passed doma. now nine states do allow it, along with washington, d.c. 38 others ban it by law or constitutional amendment. >> what do we want? >> marriage equality. >> when do we want it? >> now. >> reporter: public opinion polls show more than half of americans now support it. supporters of marriage for gay couples claim the cultural tide is moving in their direction. >> if the supreme court disagrees with these claims, history will not look fondly on it. the court almost prides itself in moving very slowly, not being out in front of the culture, lagging behind some. that's probably the dilemma for the justices. >> reporter: and there is a footnote. among those who do have a seat inside for tomorrow's argument is a cousin of chief justice john roberts. jean pedroski of san francisco. she writes in an online commentary that she's a lesbian. she hopes to soon get married if the supreme court permits it. brian? >> pete williams at the court where the excitement starts tomorrow. pete, thanks.
in colorado springs today, a public me toirl service for the state's prison director, tom clements, shot to death last week as he answered the door at his home. governor john hickenlooper called clements a voice of wisdom and reason. we learned late today the bullets that killed clements came from a gun found along with former colorado inmate evan ebel who died in a police chase in texas two days after the shooting. this comes after a growing debate this weekend on gun control with new york city mayor michael bloomberg right in the middle of it. he is using his own money -- and he's a billionaire -- to finance an ad campaign for universal background checks for gun purchases. that got under way today. our report tonight from nbc's ron mott. >> reporter: he's got one of the biggest personal bankrolls in america. >> this year there will be 12,000 people killed in this country with handguns -- illegal handguns. >> reporter: tonight michael bloomberg is spending some of
his fortune on a new ad campaign. >> for me, guns are for hunting and protecting my family. >> reporter: aimed at boosting support for universal background checks in the senate's upcoming vote. >> background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone. >> reporter: the ads are the work of mayors against illegal guns, a group cofounded by new york city's mayor seven years ago. on "meet the press" mr. bloomberg argued senate votes should reflect vast public support for universal background checks confirmed in recent polling. >> if 90% of the public wants something and their representatives vote against that, common sense says they are going to have a price to pay for that. >> reporter: the commercials are scheduled to air in 15 state where is they say votes are still swayable. targeting 15 senators, republicans and democrats. >> the dishonest premise. >> reporter: the nra's chief executive, wayne lapierre, said illegal weapons enforcement not new background checks should be the focus. >> they don't prosecute any of the criminals that they catch.
it's a speed bump for the law abiding. it slows down the law abiding and does nothing to anybody else. >> reporter: the gun lobby has a campaign of its own. >> these bills would ban commonly owned firearms. >> reporter: with connecticut residents getting robocalls in the wake of the deadly school shooting there. >> three months from one of the most horrendous tragedies that's happened and to call the town of newtown didn't seem like the right thing to do. >> reporter: today the state's two senators pressed for the calls to stop. >> you have polling so broadly supporting gun restrictions whether they are assault weapons or universal background checks. at the end of the day it's difficult for democrats to get through anything short of background checks. >> reporter: the senate is in recess until april 8 and is expected to pick up the fight soon thereafter. the bill containing universal background checks does not include an assault weapons ban which may be considered separately as an amendment. brian? >> ron mott in new york with us tonight. ron, thanks. overseas the new secretary
of state john kerry made an unannounced visit to afghanistan where u.s. forces are winding down after more than a decade of war. it's one of a series of stops for the secretary since the president's trip to the region last week. we get our report from our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell who is traveling with secretary kerry. >> reporter: john kerry's trip to afghanistan was all about damage control, defusing tensions with the country's erratic president hamid karzai. two weeks ago karzai infuriated the president and congress, suggesting that the u.s. had colluded with the taliban on suicide attacks. today karzai claims he was misunderstood. after all the american sacrifices, do you stand by your recent statement that the united states is conspiring with the taliban on recent terror attacks? >> i never used the word collusion between the taliban and the u.s. those were not my words. those were words picked up by the media. >> we are on the same page. i don't think there is any
disagreement between us. i'm very comfortable with the president's explanation. >> reporter: it wasn't kerry's first mission to deal with a karzai problem. as a senator in 2009 he spent four days persuading karzai to hold a run-off election after vote fraud. today just before kerry landed the u.s. turned over control of the prison at bagram air base, giving karzai the power, if he chooses, to release dangerous prisoners. kerry's kid glove treatment of karzai is in sharp contrast to yesterday's visit to iraq where he confronted prime minister malaki for helping iran rearm the regime in syria. in the last 72 hours kerry has been on a diplomatic marathon. israel, jordan, iraq, back for a secret dinner with the powerful army chief of staff of pakistan. tonight, afghanistan. all part of a fired up obama diplomacy trying to repair some mistakes and perhaps claim achievements before his time in office is up. andrea mitchell, nbc news,
kabul. there are 80 recipients of the medal of honor alive today. to a man they consider themselves ordinary americans. a few years back they decided to honor ordinary americans who, when challenged, did something extraordinary, exhibiting the qualities of courage, selflessness and sacrifice. so the medal of honor recipients came up with the service before self medal for citizens. this year's awards were handed out today. marcus ugarte was thanked for saving a young boy from a house fire in oregon. monsignor joe carroll for his 30 years of work for the homeless and the poor in san diego. and father and son jesse schafer, iii and iv for their heroism during hurricane isaac in braithwaite, louisiana, rescuing 120 people with their own boat as the waters rose. the medal of honor recipients will treat the heroes of newtown, connecticut in a separate category this year.
>> announcer: the road to retirement, brought to you by fidelity investments. take control of your personal economy. >> we have an eye-opening number on unemployment tonight. of the three and a half million people in this country out of work for a year or more, almost half of them are over 45 years of age. it's a big problem on the road to retirement. a lot of folks over 45 are being forced to invent new careers. some have turned to helping seniors for a living. our report tonight from nbc's chris jansing.
>> let's take a step in with the left foot. >> reporter: at 59 roseanne brown is rolling, bending and stretching her way to a second career. teaching 17 fitness classes a week, specifically for seniors. >> they want to be in shape and it's a social event for them. >> reporter: all around the country the number of gyms offering these specialized classes is growing. >> it's for well-being, yeah. also to keep young and sexy. >> reporter: call it the graying of the job market. businesses for seniors run by seniors, or those almost there. >> we have people in their 80s and 90s who need people in their 50s, 60s and 70s to do some jobs, to handle some of the services that are part of dealing with the aging population. >> reporter: they are patient advocates who help navigate the health care maze, home modification pros making bathrooms and kitchens senior friendly. and errand runners who will pick
up dry cleaning or take you to the doctor. if you wonder who will support the new businesses, consider this. pugh research finds that 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every single day. expert says the needs of the aging population will create literally millions of new jobs. for people like laurie lawson, a retirement coach helping seniors adjust to life after a career. and barb holmquist, a move manager who helps people like the gronseths downsize. >> many of them have moved many times and done all the arrangements themselves in the past. now they know they just can't do that. >> reporter: back in new york, roseanne's clients say she'll have a job as long as she wants it. will you keep working out? >> absolutely. >> yes. >> definitely. >> i'm going for 90. >> reporter: turning age and
experience into opportunity. chris jansing, nbc news, new york. there is more about the kinds of jobs that are out there, including resources from the aarp on our website tonight, nbcnightlynews.com. when we come back this evening, a new opinion of how soon it's okay to switch to solid food for babies. that story in health news tonight as we continue.
countless students over the last two generations have read the book "gideon's trumpet" written by anthony lewis. reporter, author, new york times columnist. he was a two-time pulitzer prize winner. over the years, even many supreme court justices were able to agree no one wrote about the first amendment, the law or the court with more passion or clarity. anthony lewis died today at his home in cambridge, massachusetts. he was 85 years old. as we mentioned, our health news tonight comes from the journal of pediatrics. according to a new survey, 40%
of mothers are feeding their babies solid food too soon. as it stands the experts say babieshould be kept nursing or on formula exclusively until they are six months old. some parents told researchers they started giving their baby cereal or other solid food when they were as young as four weeks. in many cases they say they were following their doctor's okay to do so. it's been two years since the tsunami, and debris from japan keeps on coming like this japanese fishing boat. it washed up on the beach in washington state. it's being steam cleaned for foreign organisms while they research the registration number. a portion of a japanese shrine washed ashore on the oregon coast as of last friday. without notice it just happened this weekend in new york city. visitors to the museum of modern art came upon a woman sleeping in a glass box. the woman turned out to be oscar winning actress tilda swinton.
it is a traveling show of performance art called "the maybe." a lot of folks thought, well, maybe it's art. a woman sound asleep for hours at a time inside a box. brief golf news, of all things. here's what you need to know about the arnold palmer invitational. tiger woods won it. he's now ranked number one in the world after a 29-month absence from that rank. there was a golf shot that stood out this weekend. sergio garcia's golf ball got stuck in a tree. the way he saw it, he had no choice. he climbs the tree, hit a one-handed backward shot onto the fairway making him our number one-ranked player. when we come back, how are your brackets doing? we didn't think so. but if you love a cinderella story you must love this year's sweet 16.
is making its mark, and they appear to be loving the journey. our report from nbc's kevin tibbles. >> reporter: they have emerged from the swampland as giant killers. >> they're going to the sweet 16! >> reporter: the upstart monster dunkers from florida gulf coast university. taking down fabled second seed georgetown and seventh seed san diego state. >> we are officially on the map. we're now dunk city. >> reporter: and yes, all of those who have had their brackets blown to smithereens, you can be forgiven if you have never heard of them either. >> where in the hell is florida gulf coast at? >> reporter: well, charles, fgcu is built on marshland outside ft. myers where sometimes alligators can be seen wandering on campus. now the history books will record the eagles as the first number 15 seed to make it to the sweet 16. so as the hastily printed t-shirts proclaim, now you know. >> the first team in the history of the ncaa tournament to do that, that's ridiculous.
>> reporter: not a bad showing from a school that's only been around since 1997 and whose basketball coach is 43-year-old andy enfield, a self-made millionaire who walked away from wall street to pursue his own hoop dreams. >> no one knew what fgcu stood for prior to 72 hours ago. >> reporter: even the king, lebron james, gave the eagles a shoutout on twitter but he, too, got the name wrong. and when the team arrived back home before sun-up, the bus was mobbed by students. >> gone are the days where we have to explain to people what fgcu is, where it is, and what it stands for. >> reporter: next in line for the high flying no namers, their powerful neighbors to the north, the florida gators. that won't be a slam dunk either. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. >> that's why they call it march madness. that's our broadcast on a monday night as we start a new week here. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
an east san jose woman's 11-month-old daughter sitting in the back of the family's suv as it warmed up in the driveway. in a moment, both were gone, sparking an amber alert and a statewide search. after hours of searching, the ordeal ended, at least for mother and baby. trujillo tracked the search and they're still looking for a suspect, damien. >> that's right. as of now, the family has not returned to their home on amargar court. the baby is safe, and meanwhile, the hunt is on for the baby's
kidnapper. the mother walked into the er with detectives just before noon. >> we're just happy we're able to reunite gabriella with her mother. >> reporter: it started at the family home on amargor court. someone got into the car the family was warming up and took off, baby strapped in a car seat. at one point police closed off highway 101 north of trimbull road looking for evidence. it wasn't until maintenance worker julio remembered the amber alert he got on his phone. he checked the plates of a white jeep liberty at this apartment complex near the seven trees community center and dialed 911. >> i had an amber alert on my phone already. i looked at the car that i saw there for a few -- a couple hours, probably, it was there. so i checked the plates with amber alert. since they matched, i called the pd right away. >> reporter: officer carlos acosta, a four-year veteran, was
on the scene. she carried the child to the ambulance. >> she appeared distraught, kind of lost, dazed. so she was happy. >> she was checked out at valley medical center just after 4:00 this afternoon. now the focus is on the kidnapper, a woman. police are determining if she knew there was a child in the car when she took it. >> we want to know who took the car and what their motivation was. we have the car. it's a huge piece of evidence. >> evidence they hope will lead detectives to the kidnapper. >> reporter: and the family was at police headquarters trying to come up with a possible composite sketch of the possible suspect. there are also surveillance cameras at the home across the street here, so no doubt police are also looking at that type of footage. i was told by one of the officers who was inside the home that for most of the morning, the mother was hanging onto a rosary, holding it tightly, praying for her child's re