tv Early Today NBC March 13, 2019 4:00am-4:30am PDT
book now at choicehotels.com get ready for a winter wallop from mother nature including blizzard conditions, high winds and major trouble for travelers ahead. >> this is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat the system so they could set their children up for success with the best education money could buy. >> have mercy. from lori loughlin, aunt becky from full house, to felicity of desperate housewives fame. privileged getting their kids into universities and the ring leader behind it all. >> paul manafort already headed to prison for 47 months in one ossible ten years when sentenced today in another case. >> the faa is resisting calls by
aviation advocates to ground boeing jets in the u.s., but what do you do if you're booked on a 737 max 8? we'll tell you. >> and odell beckham, jr., is going to cleveland while le'veon bell is set to be a jet. nfl comings and goings. buckle up. "early today" starts right now. >> good wednesday morning. i'm phillip mena. >> and i'm frances rivera. a major winter storm moving into the midwest is expected to intensify today. we're looking at heavy snow, strong winds with blizzard warnings already posted for many areas. let's get the latest from nbc meteorologist janessa webb. what are you seeing out there? >> good morning. this is an active weather system that is moving quickly. it will rev up throughout the day. a squall line across central texas right now. so 6 million under that severe weather risk across the mississippi valley arkansas as well. we'll continue to watch that throughout the day. now, on the other side, we continue to track major
snowstorm across denver into the dakotas throughout the afternoon. accumulation, look at this, near a foot in some areas. so spring is on the man, this is a complex storm system. very gusty winds, up to about 60 miles per hour. >> hope people stay safe in that. thank you, janessa. >> a shocking story involving admissions into the nation's elite colleges. it is the largest admissions fraud in history. in its web it's trapped some of the biggest celebrities and top c.e.o.s with parents allegedly using their fame and wealth to get their children into schools like yale, georgetown, stanford, and usc among others. the operation dubbed varsity blues was a bribery scheme involving high-profile parents. desperate housewives star felicity lori huffman is charged. here's nbc's pete williams. >> reporter: some of the most elite, yale, stanford, ucl,
eight in all. the fbi said the unwittingly students with inflated test scores paid for by their parents. >> this is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat the system so they could set their children up for success with the best education money could buy. >> reporter: among those charged, full house actress lori loughlin, desperate housewives star huffman and top c.e.o.s and lawyers. at the center of the scam is william singer, who ran a college prep business. >> getting into the right college will set the trajectory for the rest of your son or daughter's life. >> reporter: he pleaded guilty admitting parents paid him a total of $25 million to get students admitted as athletes, many having never played a edhe faces of their children onto pictures of actual athletes and got samples of a student's handwriting. singer then bribed coaches at the schools who put the applicants into their designated admissions slots. prosecutors say the former yale women's soccer coach was paid
$400,000 to admit a student he knew didn't play competitive soccer. singer also admitted paying test proctors to let someone else take a student's admissions exams to get better scores. the fbi said some parents spent as much as 6 1/2 million dollars for guaranteed admission of their children. and then they disguised their payments to singer as contributions to a charity he ran so they could deduct the payments on their income taxes. >> the parents charged today despite already being able to give their children every legitimate advantage in the college admissions game, instead chose to corrupt and illegally manipulate the system for their benefit. >> reporter: and prosecutors say more charges are likely. pete williams, nbc news, washington. >> reporter: i'm miguel almaguer in los angeles where actresses huffman and lori loughlin are headed from the red carpet to federal court amid outrage at college campuses across the country. >> that's just so incredibly unfair and it's taking a spot
from someone who really deserves to be here and wants to be here. >> reporter: famous for her role on full house, and married to designer massimoo, investigators sailor i loughlin and her husband agreed to pay bribes totaling half a million dollar in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the usc crew team despite the fact that they did not participate in crew. court documents say they even had their girls stage photos as athletes. >> i'm going to do a dorm room tour today. >> reporter: loughlin's youngest daughter followed by 2 million people on youtube spoke about attending usc. >> i do want the experience of like game days, partying -- i don't really care about school as you guys all know. >> i was pretty pissed off that someone is able to, you know, pay their way into a school that other students have worked really hard to get into. >> reporter: oscar nominee felicity huffman is accused of paying $15,000 to boost her oldest daughter's s.a.t. scores. her husband, william h. macy is
mentioned in the indictment, but is not charged. investigators say huffman arranged for a third-party to purport to proctor their daughter's s.a.t. and secretly correct her answers. >> it's disappointing because it takes a spot from a kid that did it the right way. >> reporter: hollywood's elite accused of paying top dollar to buy admission to higher education their children did not earn. here at federal court in los angeles, both actresses will face a judge and both are expected to immediately post bail. back to you. >> all right, miguel almaguer, thank you. >> now to president trump's former campaign manager paul manafort, who will face sentencing today for the second time in less than a week, this time for the conspiracy charges brought against him by robert mueller in a d.c. court. manafort originally pled guilty as part of a deait but the agreement fell apart after he was accused of lying. the judge could hand him up to ten years in prison today. for more we go to nbc's tracie
potts in d.c. this is a separate case from the one manafort was sentenced in last week. we'll see if the judge is just as sympathetic. >> reporter: yeah, a lot of people thought that judge was lenient, judge amy berman jackson in washington today may not be. she will have to decide if her charges -- if her sentence runs concurrently or consecutively back to back with the one that we saw last week. now, this is a different case. it wasn't a trial because he ended up pleading guilty to avoid a second trial. they are financial crimes, unrelated to the trump campaign, but this is also the case where he ended up not getting that deal to lessen the sentence because of the lying and the witness tampering. now the question, will president trump pardon his former campaign chair? >> why hasn't the president ruled out a pardon for paul manafort? >> the president has made his position on that clear and he'll make a decision when he's ready.
>> reporter: this was the first case that was brought -- the first set of cases brought by the robert mueller russia team over at the fbi. and, by the way, the judge today is the same judge that's overseeing trump advisor roger stone's case. stone will find out this week his trial date. >> all right, tracie potts for us, tracie, thank you. >> the defense department has approved a new policy impacting transgender troops. the new rule will largely bar transgender troops and recruits from transitioning to another sex. and requires most to serve in their birth gender. the order says military services must implement the new policy in 30 days on april 12th. and it does allow service secretaries to waive the policy on a case-by-case basis. house speaker nancy pelosi responded by calling the ban bigoted and disgusting, saying it is an attack on patriots who keep us safe. pelosi also vowed that the house will continue to fight the policy, saying it is a discriminatory action that has p ce in ourir yonkers, new
york, battled a massive blaze that raged ford several an apartment building displacing 150 families that lived inside. over from all sides. officials believe it started on one of the building's top floors, but haven't determined an exact cause. so far there have been no reports of injuries. >> both planned and unplanned avalanches in colorado's high country have all but shutdown one small community. the town 185 miles southwest of denver has been cut off from all points south. there is so much snow, no one can get in or out. in an effort to prevent unexpected avalanches, helicopter mitigation control operations purposely pushed piles of snow onto the highway after more than 40 feet of snow was already covering a highway from an earlier slide. state crews say it could take anotr week to clear out all that snow. >> wow, i feel like this winter we've done so many stories on avalanches and all of that in
colorado and they're going t bl place in colorado. a foot of snow accumulation. you can see from our futurecast right now. also what's going to trigger the blizzards are windy conditions. we're talking about gusts here 65 to 70 mile per hour. so this central pressure on this low is very tight here and that's going to cause those winds to stir up. it will continue to track east here in the next 12 hours for your thursday afternoon, impacting the midwest. before it starts to slide into the northeast for your t lower 80s from the south to the southeast.arme temperatures, but, man, severe weather on the way. >> all right, janessa, thank you for the heads up. if you went to bed last night and you're an nfl fan, you're like, what happened to the nfl? a pair of trades shocked the
nfl. odell beckham, jr., is joining the dog pound. the giants trading its star to the browns. new york will get a first and third round pick. the new york post summing it up best with today's cover. omg obj. lachlt i don't know bell is heading to the jets. he inked a deal worth $52 1/2 million dollars. >> still ahead, the faa refusing to ground boeing jets after a pair of deadly crashes. it might not be too late for fliers to take action on their own. we'll explain. ilure pill that hd keep people alive and out of the hospital. don't take entresto if pregnant; it cau don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren, or if you've had angioedema with an ace or arb. the most serious side effects don'are andekidney problems, an ace inhibitor or aliskiren, or high blood potassium. ask your doctor about entresto. ♪ the beat goes on ♪ the beat goes on that was great! there's brushing...and there's oral-b power brushing. oral-b just cleans better. even my hygienist said
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months. dozens of countries have chosen to ground the aircraft from the united kingdom to china to australia. the planes are not only grounded in india, but are also now banned from indian air space. so far, the faa says no systemic performance issues have been found, but they are completing an urgent review of the ethiopian airline crash. >> many want to know how they find out if they're booking a flight on one of those planes that have been grounded and what happens if you want to cancel. for those answers we go to nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: at airports across the country, worried passengers are paying closer attention to what type of plane they're flying in. on their minds, the boeing 737 max 8 grounded virtually everywhere except north america. >> people are already scared to fly and when things like this happen, it makes the fear even more. >> reporter: the max 8 completes 8500 flights a week worldwide according to a flight tracking service. we spoke with passengers after one flight. >> when i saw it was the same
plane, you got a little concern, but there was nothing -- all i could do was pray that the pilots knew what they were doing. >> reporter: how do you know your plane type? it's easiest to check while booking. but if you already have a ticket, you can get that information by going to the airline's website or app and looking under equipment or aircraft type. if you still can't find it there, there are other sites, like flight stats and seat guru. but keep in mind, planes can change at the last minute. two u.s. airlines use max 8, southwest and american. >> we think at the very least airlines should refund passengers change fees. >> reporter: it doesn't have change fees but is out of its policies. concern. >> really good information there so far american is not changing from joe fryer. thank you. >> just ahead, meet the guide dogs going the distance for blind marathon runners. and nothing holds a candle to this birthday gift. a son's heart warming surprise
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the weird part, he blew out the candles by picking them up and blowing them out individually. okay, that does it. he's a scroll. there's no way. everything he does is like an alien googled how to do a normal. >> i thought it was weird. it was weird at first, but then i thought he is trying to prevent germsm being spread. >> he's getting his hands, finger germs on it, too. either way, whether you blow and you kind of spit on t way. >> after all we've seen in this country, i'm going to give mitt a pass here. two men in florida gave their dad a birthday present. not like this one. it's different. they turned his phone into a hot line. the sons said they couldn't decide to get him for his 62nd birthday so they got him a giant billboard that sits right outside of atlantic city and includes that photo of their dad, including his phone number with the caption, wish my dad happy birthday. it went up last week and since then their dad says he has
received more than 15,000 calls, texts and facebook hits from all over the world. pretty creative. might change his number, but -- >> might get expensive. text and message rates apply. i don't know what kind of plan he has on his phone, but at least it's the thought that counts. >> jammed up. >> a clever father found a way to keep his daughter and himself happy at a soccer game and neighboring fan captured this moment of a dad enjoying the atlanta united soccer game. look what he's doing. holding a phone behind him. see him there? playing a cartoon for his kid. the video has been circulating social media. people calling him dad of the year. parents, we know we do what it takes to be able to say. i don't know how many kids would do that. be pulling that move for sure. >> at a restaurant to buy you a full meal with dessert and extra drink, a drink, cup holder, phone right there. it's all good. >> she knows what's up. when we come back, strong winds
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that freak accident. but this could have been much, much, much worse. >> the guy on the bottom right of the screen got pinned. crazy. here's nbc meteorologist janessa webb with the forecast. >> i've been telling you about the bad news, severe weather, winter weather. let's talk about the good news. we have shifting warmth across the eastern u.s. look at highs, they're back in the 70s here, but you can see slowly but surely headed into the weekend the cold air returns. >> oh, boy, all right. janessa, thank you. still ahead, a runner and his best friend ready to make history. you're watching "early today." the russells travel to a different swim meet every saturday. but now... it's thursday. good thing they discovered gain flings. the only detergent with concentrated gain, oxi boost, and febreze odor remover. mmhmm. smelling is believing. and gain flings can hiya karate stink too.
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georgia. two police officers saved a man from a burning car. police officer kelly horn stopped the driver after seeing flames erupting from underneath his car last december. officer horn tried putting out the fire, but was unable, when back up arrives, the two officers smash out the passenger window and pull that driver to safety. seconds later, the entire car bursts into flames. the driver was not seriously hurt, but was arrested on suspicion of dui. the officers were awarded the lifesaving medal award for their quick thinking and heroic acts. >> now to a runner ready to go the distance this weekend with his best friend leading the way. here's nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: when thomas heads out for a run, it's never without his dog. because gus isn't just a good training partner. he's tom's eyes. >> i have to follow his footwork very closely. >> reporter: when a genetic condition took tom's sight in his 20s -- >> it's like seeing the world disappear in front of you. >> reporter: one of the things he really missed was running.
human guides could lead him, but he krachld more independence so he had a thought. >> dogs love to run, and i love to run. so it sort of made sense. >> reporter: it takes special training. >> hold my arm and close your eyes. >> reporter: and a special kind of trust. wow. >> are you trusting? >> reporter: i'm trying. gus leads us around obstacles in central park. make sure we're not dogging it. gussing you're setting a fast pace here, buddy. thomas's organization guiding eyes for the blind helps train dogs for others, and this month he will become the first blind runner to complete a half marathon with a canine companion. three dogs will take turns guiding tom, but it will be gus who crosses the finish line. his final task before retiring. >> he deserves a medal, he really does. >> reporter: a man and his dog showing the rest of us -- >> if you have a disability, there are really no limits. >> reporter: but there are plenty of finish lines ahead. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, new
york. >> dogs are the best. >> they both deserves medals after that. even before it any time. take it. >> great story there. all right. president trump caused quite a stir. you may remember when he visited alabama and started signing bibles while he met with tornado survivors. well, this may not be the first time he's done this. a bible said to be signed by mr. trump at a 201 before his inauguration has recently sold on ebay for $325 according to a listing. rick harrison featured on pawn stars said a bible with a brtified signature sold through ng as much as $4,000. 100 bucks says trump makes sure someone pays $5,000 for that. >> even more than that. >> amen. thanks for watching "early today." i'm phillip mena. >> and i'm frances rivera. your news continues right here on nbc. ad lib live pictur
the distance marking the skyline. making way for another niles spring-like day across the bay area. what is going on? >> two? a row? >> i know. thanks for joining us. i'm laura garcia. >> and i'm marcus washington. >> how is it looking out er>> w pleasant day ahead. the temperatures not as chilly, but still some 30s on the map. santa cruz 39, 47 in haywar mountain view. up to the north bay, 41 for santa rosa. 47 for