tv News4 This Week NBC December 8, 2013 5:30am-6:01am EST
welcome to news4 this week. >> hi, everyone, i'm veronica johnson. gearing show you some of the more interesting local stories making news this week. among them, a new metro campaign gets off track. we talk to riders after the internet explodes with accusations of sexism over this ad. helping babies and parents breathe easier. the new development that could help keep infants out of the hospital. plus, why one little girl might have had a bit of a rough day at the white house during the unveiling of this year's christmas decoration. first though, a virginia woman tells the news4 i-team her
dog almost died on a cross-country flight and she has proof on her cell phone camera. the airline wouldn't pay the vet bills unless she agreed to keep quiet. instead, she spoke out to the i-team's scott mcfarland. >> i still want to be reimbursed but i'm not going to be quiet. >> reporter: when janet sinclair decided to move to the east coast from san diego, she sined up for united pet safe program. >> we had never been on a plane together. this was our first. >> reporter: she wanted to maker her greyhound, sedona and cat, alika. it promises personal handling in climate-controlled vehicles f animals will be exposed to temperatures greater than 85 degrees for 45 minutes. >> and that was the beginning of the worst day of my life. >> reporter: during a layover in houston, janet watched from her window seat as the animals came off the plane. >> and i watch aed this man kick her crate six times, kick it, kick it, kick it, untils's under the wing of the plane. >> reporter: photos snapped with her cell phone shows the man als
sitting on the the tarmac, where according to national weather service, temperatureser reached 94 degrees that summer day. >> the animals are still sitting on the tarmac. this man is about to load luggage. >> reporter: as janet's concerns grew, she started periodically recording the trip. >> it's 4:25. that's the fuel truck. animals were loaded on, door's still wide open, 1:58, they are having air conditioning trouble. >> reporter: after a three-hour delay, they finally made it to boston but sedona was barely alive. >> sedona's entire crate was filled with blood, feces, urine. she was dying in front of mez. >> so sorry. >> reporter: united says cases like janet's are few, telling the news4 i-team the airline transported 77,000 animals this year with incidents in less than 1% of cases. reported problems to the u.s. department of transportation are relatively low for most airlines. the news4 i-team finding so far, 2013, there have been 21 deaths, seven injuries and two lost pets reported.
>> that small percent stage a huge percentage for the pet parent. >> reporter: kelly e. cart certificate founder of the jet set pets.com. carter says stories like janet's show flying with pets is risky. >> people have to really stop and really think about it long and hardsome it worth it for me to check my family member as baggage? >> she was in icu for three days. >> reporter: a vet diagnosed sedona with heat stroke, a urinary tract infection and liver problems much the total bill, more than $2700. >> such a good girl. >> reporter: sinclair wanted united to pay for it but the airline argued the dog had a pre-existing condition even though she received clean bill of health prior to the trip. >> they would give me $1,000 if i signed a non-disclosure agreement. >> reporter: sinclair refused, instead going public, creating a facebook page called united airlines almost killed my greyhound, which now has thousands of supporters. the next day united offered to pay the entire bill but still required the non-disclosure agreement, which is standard for
all settlements with the airline. >> the only reason i can do this interview is because i didn't sign that and i won't sign that. >> reporter: in an e-mail, united told the news4 i-team, we are committed to seining sure safe and comfortable travel of all the pets that flied with us and regret that sedona didn't have a good experience. we offered to compensate ms. sinclair by fully reimbursing her vet bill but she wouldn't sign the agreement. she doesn't think passengers should sign them. >> tough go public. you owe it to passengers, to pets. >> who loveses, bawbee? >> reporter: united airlines did refund janet's fee for flying the pets and checked with the department of transportation about janet's incident because airlines are required to you report pet injuries and pet deaths to the federal government. they did not have any information involving sedona's incident from july. scott mcfarland, news4 i-team. >> and for tips on traveling with your pets, logon to nbcwashington.com and search pet
travel. well, in virginia, they are still talking about an unwelcomed four-legged visitor, a deer got into the huntsman square shopping center on black friday. it ran through four different stores. some of the employees scrambled to just get their doors closed. one witness, however, sprang into action. >> luckily, someone knew to cover its face with a sweat so it didn't see and then he was able to, like, guide it out to the front of the mall till animal control came but it was a little bit crazy in here for a while and there was, like, a whole crowd watching then running away. >> the dress barn sustained the most damage. it was closed to shoppers for nearly two days. who knows if anyone decided to name that deer, but we do have a new name for the national zoo's giant panda cub. it's bao bao. the name means precious, or treasured. in keeping with chinese tradition, the zoo held an elaborate naming ceremony with a female cub turned 100 days old. more than 123,000 people voted
online to pick the cub's name and dozens of panda fans also showed up for that ceremony. >> it's been eight years since we had a cub. tai shan was the first. so, we wanted to celebrate that. and we also want, you know, kind of get people excited. >> and people online were certainly excited about the name bao bao because at one point, it was trending on twitter during the day of the ceremony. well, we also saw a lot of online comments regarding controversial new metro ad. now, it is set to promote the transit system's reliability, but news4's transportation reporter explains why critics are calling it sexist. were run the judge. one woman talking to another about how far metro buses go between breakdowns. the other woman, disinterested in the conversation, says, "can't we just talk about shoes"? >> very flippant. i think just thinking about it nothing to smile about.
>> reporter: this daily metro rider doesn't love this ad. >> seamed like an odd juxtaposition? >> it totally does. it's like, no. you know, i'm person who's happy but, you know, i like talking about policy and serious issues. and i didn't know that the metro bus traveled 8260 miles between break downs. >> that part was actually interesting to you? >> yeah i would like to know more about that. >> reporter: a lot of backlash on all this on twitter, lvz westkotsayed nice bit of early morning sexism on the d.c. metro. oh, my god, shoes. the group, ultraviolet, which advocates for women's rights and against sexism in popular culture calls the ad sexist, stupid and offensive. metro sent us a statement saying the point of the ad is to get people talking about metro's massive rebuilding effort by juxtaposing technical facts with a variety of light responses and conversation between friends. some riders, like marta spar row, just shake the whole thing off.
>> eh. i mean, i'm kind of over the stereotype, but i would have to see the rest of the ad. >> reporter: just for some balance, here is one with two men, one man talking about the bus, the second man downplaying the importance of a bus. now, metro says about 20 versions of this series of ads are up in stations. they don't know though how many of the can't we just talk about shoes versions are actually up. at metro center, news4. en >> and they might get changed out. well, they say that you can sine up and save, but it's not always that simple. coming up, what you need to know before you agree to get a store credit card in exchange for those enticing discounts. plus, why steve harvey is giving a local business owner national reco
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take a look. >> and the award for best florist goes to karen's florist, maurice. virginia. >> i love it. the first annual steve harvey neighborhood awards were announced during a recent taping of his talk show, which airs right here on nbc 4. and car answers florist was named best floor iist. the award recognizes people and businesses who exemplify excellence in their communities. there are more winners from our areas, too and you can look at clips of all of them on nbcwashington.com. if you're shopping at all this season, you're sure to hear a pitch, sign up for a store credit card and get a big discount. but liz crenshaw has a warning, as she always does, and the questions that you should ask yourself before you sign up to save. >> save 5% every time you shop at rg
>> off reward zone card with us? >> reporter: you've heard the pitch, you're checking out, the clerk says get 15% off today's purchase, just sign up for our store credit card. these instant money-saving deals may sound enticing, especially as your holiday cart fills up. >> people go out for the holidays, they shop, sometimes they shop for themselves, they shop for friends. >> reporter: adam levin, chairman and co-founder of credit.com says there are questions you need to ask before signing up to see if it's really a deal. >> in the moment, i wanted 20% off. >> reporter: question number one, how generous is the sign-up offer? how big is the discount on today's purchase? >> i want you to at least hear 10 to 15% if down the hear that forget about t. >> reporter: next question, what's the annual interest rate on the card? while general use cards tend to have interest rates from 6 to 16%, some store cards have aprs of 19 to 25% or more. >> the interest rates are high
and the benefits short term. >> reporter: question number three what it's grace period? how long do you have to pay off that balance without interest? >> some of them would have different levels of grace periods. >> reporter: in fact, some cards have no grace period. the store can charge interest starting the day of your first purchase. next question, where can you using the card? >> if it's a general purpose card, visa/master card, then you will be able to use it in other places, gives you more flexibility, more opportunities earn whatever rewards or points you are going to get anyway. >> reporter: some cards are limited to one particular store so you can't use them as often. question number five, are you trying to build new credit or maintain your credit score? >> if you're trying to build credit and you really have very little, a store credit card to:at least help you some what. >> reporter: but if you already have a high credit score, opening lots of store cards may hurt more than help. >> no a good idea. >> reporter: you don't think so?
>> no you save a little bit of money, but who needs more credit? >> reporter: bottom line, do your homework, like it woman. >> i usually shop around for my credit cards and i'm very selective. >> look at it as a vehicle, don't look at it as a solution. so use it when you need to use it. pay it off right away. get whatever benefits you possibly can out of t and then run. >> reporter: liz crenshaw, news4. >> or my tactic, practice say nothing in the mirror before you go out. most babies will get it before the age 26789 coming up, the new vaccine that could stop a common and life-threatening use chase freedom at select department stores and get 5% cash back this quarter.
through those stressful finals period. all the dogs also provide therapy for wounded veterans, the visually impaired and people who have suffered stroke he is. well, now to new research that could save the lives of some babies. nih scientists say they are pretty close to finding a vaccine that could prevent a severe respiratory disease that's so common, most children get it before the age of 2 and many end up in the hospital. doreen gentzler has the details. >> the one thing that stuck out was the fast breathing. >> reporter: darryl gould wasn't eating or sleeping and add fever. doctors told his mother, rehn ngata, they had to admit him to the hospital. >> it is scary because's only nine months old. >> reporter: darrylle was diagnosed with bronk yo light talk to inflammation of the lower air ways in the lungs, typically caused by rsv. >> i like to think of it as the cop jests you get i you nose when you're cold but in your lower lungs causing breathing
problems there. >> reporter: rsv infections can be serious, the leading cause for hospitalization among infants and 7% of all childhood deaths are caused by rsv-related pneumonia. >> it's one of the more serious viral diseases that afflict children. also, elderly people can get infected or sick, particularly people older than 65 years old. >> reporter: but doctors say new research may be able to save some of those lives. scientists at the national institutes of health say they're close to developing a new vaccine, using complex technology. researchers created 3-d models of the virus before it invades the body. from there they were able to isolate parts of the virus that they were never able to see before. in animal testing, those compounds actually were able to stop an rsv infection. >> could you predict that it's going-to-to have a protective effect in humans. >> reporter: the director of the national institute for allergy and infectious diseases at nih
says this is the first time scientists have seen such promising research in the fight against rsv. up until now, there hasn't been much in the way of treatment. patients usually just have to wait it out. that's what darryl gould is doing. he has been at children's national medical center for the last two days. >> he is doing a lot better. he is doing a lot better. >> reporter: doreen gentzler, news4. >> so the next step is to test the vaccine on humans in a clinical trial. and if all that goes well, an rsv vaccine should be on the market in just the next couple of years. next, a look back at christmases past and present at the white house, whe
>> reporter: a little better than being strapped to the roof of a chevy, a horse-drawn carriage wry arrives at the north portico, carrying the official white house christmas tree for 2013. first lady michelle obama followed tradition, along with her daughters and puppies, and send the gift of an 18.5-foot tall douglas fir from a tree farm in leighton, pennsylvania. >> the best part of the holiday season. check it out. >> reporter: presidents and first ladies have been welcoming christmas trees the white house for more than a century. delivering gift of greenery for the historic blue room from the national christmas tree association became a bona fied trapped commission 1966, one welcomed by every first couple from the reagans to the obamas. and every year, the delivery
happens with much anticipation and a crowd of media with snapping cameras and extended microphones. but this year, a moment perhaps like most any american family. >> so, what do you think? >> love it. >> all right. we will keep it. >> in washington, aaron gilchrist, news4. here is look at the holiday decorations inside the white house now. the first lady hosted military families for the first viewing of this year's christmas display, but one little girl whose parents work in alexandria, virginia, stole the show. the first family dog, sonny, got so excited, 2-year-old ashton gardner was knocked to the ground. she didn't mind, giving sonny a little pat on the head, after the first lady helped her up that is so sweet. that is all for news4 this week, as we leave you with a look at this year's capitol christmas tree. make it a good week, everybody. i'm veronica johnson. thanks for joining us. until next time, remember, be safe, be kind.
there you see it, a winter storm headed right toward the d.c. region this morning. >> the system has brought in cold, windy weather, and the metro region could soon see rain, sleet and snow. the triple threat there. >> yeah. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to news 4 today. i'm richard jordan. >> and i'm angie goff. the winter weather coming in just as forecasted by our meteorologists. >> they have been tracking it al