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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 13, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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ons amid the torrent. thousands flee from the rising waters in colorado. barry petersen is there. >> water just starts pouring in like crazy. it was kind of like a scene from "titanic." >> pelley: dawn reveals utter devastation from the six-alarm fire in a town recovering from hurricane sandy. terrell brown reports. surprising developments in the syria negotiations. margaret brennan is with the secretary of state, elizabeth palmer speaks to the suffering families of damascus. and "on the road." >> i sure could use your kidney. >> pelley: steve hartman tells us whether larry swilling's crazy idea was enough to find a kidney for his wife. >> she looks after me and i look after her. looks after me and i captioning sponsored by cbs
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ca nsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. the rain keeps coming and the flood keeps rising. colorado is inundated by the worst flooding in generations and we have just learned that at least four people have been killed and several towns are surrounded by water. this is what's left of highway 7 outside lyons, a raging river tore the road apart. colorado's governor john hickenlooper warned people to stay away from the water. he said the dirt and sand have turned it into what he calls liquid cement. in boulder, will pitner was rescued by emergency workers and a neighbor after his home filled with water. barry petersen tells us there are scenes like that all over. >> reporter: it is a race to rescue the stranded before the next storm hits. this man made it to safety via a zip line amid cheers from
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relieved spectators. the national guard sent helicopters to pluck these people from jamestown, one of several small mountain towns cut off by the floods. >> part of a cliff broke away and knocked the house over, killed someone. >> reporter: to get to the small town of lyons, the national guard sent in trucks to get people out on badly damaged roads. steve flowers' house was inundated. >> there was a river in the house, a river in back of the house now, propane tanks are floating down the highway, cars flipped upside down. it's a disaster. >> reporter: brian perez was driving his family away from the rising water when his truck got stuck. neighbors rushed to help. were you afraid you were going to get swept away? >> absolutely. i think anybody would be, you know? but you've got five of your family members in the vehicle
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with you, you have to show the best face you can and i think everybody was very brave. >> reporter: with rivers carrying 100 times more water than normal, the floods are spreading, shutting down a 90- mile stretch of i 25, a major north/south route in the west. neighborhoods have been cut in half by new rivers. in denver, sewers have backed up creating this geyser of raw sewage. 15 inches of rain has fallen in a week. that's what this area usually gets in six months. nathan williams and abe morris took this video and then realized they had to make a run for it. >> walking through that water was pretty extreme. i mean, it was up to my hip and just pushing through like constantly. i was like watching for logs to come through and propane tanks. >> reporter: as you can see, scott, the creek that runs through downtown boulder is already out of its banks. in fact, the national weather service estimates that this city got five and a half billion gallons of water in that rainstorm. put another way: that would be 122 inches of snow-- about ten
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feet deep. >> pelley: barry peter in the middle of the flood zone. barry, thanks very much. on the new jersey shore it wasn't a flood this time but flames. dozens of business owners faced the prospect of rebuilding for the second time in a year after a six-alarm fire tore through the boardwalk. three police officers were hurt when they fell off an emergency vehicle. terrell brown is in seaside park. >> it was helpless. it was like a feeling of helplessness. it's just a feeling of i'm watching this happen and i can't do anything about it. >> reporter: 25-year-old bubba demuro owns bubba's doghouse. he had just reopened his restaurant this summer after it was destroyed by superstorm sandy. >> as the wind blew, i didn't want to believe it but i knew. i knew that it was going to -- the whole thing was going to go off. i knew. i knew it. i could feel it. it was a bad feeling. >> reporter: what started as a small fire at 2:00 p.m. on the boardwalk grew to a 6-alarm blaze. the wind whipped so quickly that
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in just a few hours the firefighting force grew to 400. >> there it goes. >> reporter: all that's left is four blocks of charred rubble. this summer, demuro says his business was down more than 60% and after rebuilding he wasn't able to afford insurance. >> this is the second time this has happened to me in an 11- month time span. >> reporter: what's the hardest part? >> the hardest part is my whole family works for me. my sisters work for me, my cousins, i have a kid that's been with me since he was 16 years old that's basically family. not only do i not have a job, none of them do, either. >> reporter: the damage could have been worse if firefighters didn't act fast. they ripped up nearby businesses and parts of the board walk to dig a 20-foot trench. ocean county fire chief brian gabriel. >> the strategy is protect life and property as best as possible. did we lose a lot of property? yes. we had to lose a little to save a lot. >> reporter: demuro was one
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of 30 to lose his business but he's determined to come back. >> what happened to me in one year don't happen to people in 50 years. i realize that. you've got to persevere, that's life. >> reporter: firefighters have turned the scene over to state and federal investigators. no word on a cause tonight, scott, but so far there's no sign of any suspicious activity. >> pelley: terrell brown in seaside park. thanks, terrell. there is an important late- breaking development on syria. our senior white house correspondent bill plante is hearing from a senior official that the united states will not insist, after all, that a u.n. security council resolution include a threat of force. the resolution being drafted demands that syria give up its chemical weapons, but russia said it would veto the resolution if it specified military action. this compromise by the obama administration could clear the way for a united international effort to dispose of syria's chemical arsenal. secretary of state john kerry is in geneva tonight negotiating a
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resolution of the syria crisis with the russian foreign minister. it was russia that proposed this week that syria give up its chemical weapons in order to head off a u.s. air strike. margaret brennan, our state department correspondent, is covering the talks for us in geneva. margaret, tell us about the progress today. >> reporter: well, scott, the u.s. and russia have agreed on the size of the syrian chemical arsenal but they're still working on details like where the stockpile is and how to destroy it. but we do know that talks today are at a pivotal moment. that's at least how one negotiator in the room described progress to me. and the russian delegation had originally planned to leave geneva tonight. they were going to fly out. instead sergei lavrov, the russian foreign minister, and his team, stayed on, talks are going well into the night here and they're expected to continue for a third day tomorrow. >> pelley: what will secretary kerry be doing next?
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>> reporter: well, secretary kerry will fly from geneva to israel then on to paris and he's going to meet there with the french and the saudi foreign ministers. those two countries are key because they're the only two who've publicly said that they support a u.s.-led military strike on syria. on the topic of how to disarm syria and peace talks will come up again at the u.n. in two weeks. >> pelley: and we'll be following it next week. margaret, thank you. in another big development on this, secretary kerry said today he will try to expand these chemical weapons talks into comprehensive peace talks. the syrian civil war is in its third year. more than 100,000 people have been killed and at least four million have lost their homes. it all started as a popular uprising against the dictator bashar al-assad. his family has ruled for 43 years. one of the most experienced reporters in the war is our elizabeth palmer and today she got back in touch with a family damascus.
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>> reporter: last november, sara, an opposition activist, showed us around her neighborhood, a shattered damascus suburb defended by rebel fighters from the syrian free army. and later her family gave us shelter when syrian military shells began to fall. almost a year later, the shells are still falling. i could see them today from our hotel. but it's impossible to get to the neighborhood now. the army has it completely sealed off. so instead we got through to sara on skype. what's life like these days? are you able to get enough to eat? get enough to eat? >> reporter: on a meager diet mostly of rice sara says she's lost 20 pounds since we last saw her. then, on the morning of august 21, rockets felled with poison gas landed less than a mile from her home and sara ran to help.
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weren't you afraid that you would get affected if you went toward the strike? >> reporter: so are the people who suffered through this relieved to hear bashar al-assad has agreed to give up his chemical weapons? "it makes no difference" sara told me. to as if to prove it, she told us two weeks ago the family who welcomed us so warmly in their home were in the street when a shell landed. sara's brother, his wife, and their young son were killed. >> pelley: elizabeth palmer joins us again from the syrian capital damascus. elizabeth, damascus is a city of nearly two million people like houston or philadelphia. are all the neighborhoods carved up like sara's? >> yes, they are.
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the rebel-held areas tend to be around the outside and the center of damascus is pretty firmly in government hands. as you saw, life in the rebel- held area is very difficult. a lot of people have left. thousands of people flooded into the center of the city here what where there's kind of a semblance of normality. people have jobs are going to work. there is food in the shops although it's very expensive. but, of course, that there's thunder of the artillery all day long and military checkpoints every few blocks. >> pelley: elizabeth palmer in damascus again for us tonight. liz, thanks very much. now, coming back home, in california illegal immigrants will soon be able to get a driver's license. state lawmakers approved the bill late last night and governor jerry brown says he'll sign it. but this is controversial so we asked carter evans to look into it. >> reporter: california's department of motor vehicles estimates nearly 1.5 million illegal immigrants would apply for the new license.
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this woman is one of them. >> i have to drive, too, and i feel terrible because i don't have a driver's license but what can i do? i need a car. >> reporter: you don't like to >> si.;?pá it's hard to think about it.xo >> reporter: the new licensezj permits her to drive but cannot be used to get work or public benefits. it will also feature a special mark to indicate it's for driving only. supporters of the law say roads will be safer because illegal immigrants will have to pass driver's tests and be properly insured. but opponents argue the license offers a privilege to people who've already broken the law. >> illegal aliens bring a lot of problems to our state. >> reporter: lupe moreno is with the california coalition for immigration reform, a group that lobbied against the licenses. >> we should not be giving them anything grasp on. we should not be giving them any hope. we're americans. we are -- we follow the laws. >> reporter: california joins
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ten other states that already offer driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. and once the governor signs the bill into law, scott, the california department of motor vehicles will have until january 1, 2015, to determine how to implement the rules and begin issuing the new licenses. >> pelley: carter evans in our los angeles newsroom. carter, thank you. an airline made a huge mistake. will passengers get a free ride? tortoises are making way for a new era in green energy. and the beatles are back. when the "cbs evening news" continues. back. when t ening news" continues. why we gh-tech ge only to wreck your face with just any razor? upgrade to the gillette fusion proglide, for unrivaled comfort even on sensitive skin. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh hey kevin...still eating chalk for heartburn? yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome.
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>> pelley: california-- so famous for its sun-- is about to harness the sun's power as never before. this weekend, the largest solar thermal plant in the world will hook up top the power grid and could start supplying electricity to california homes by the end of the year. more now from ben tracy. >> reporter: from a distance it looks like a shimmering blue lake in the mohave desert. but that mirage is really a mirror. 170,000 of them, they're called helio stats. how much power do you get from each one? >> this project will fuel 140,000 california homes. so effectively one heliostat can power one california home. >> reporter: tom doyle is the c.e.o. of n.r.g., the company heading this massive solar project.
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>> in fact, this is the largest concentrated solar thermal project in the world. >> reporter: conventional solar panels capture the sun's energy, but these mirrors reflect it on to a 450 foot tall tower. inside is a boiler which heats to 1,000 degrees. water is turned into steam that powers a turbine and creates electricity which will likely be sent to los angeles and san francisco. >> we're actually displacing 400,000 tons per year of c.o.-2 by using solar energy in lieu of fossil fuel capacity. >> reporter: so there's steam going into the sky but no c.o.- 2. >> you've got it. that's right. >> reporter: the installation will help towards california's goal of getting one-third of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. but it's not cheap. this project cost $2.2 billion. it's privately funded by several companies including google which invested $168 million. the project is backed by a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee and they lease the land from the government-- land that was almost home to the desert tortoise, a protected species. it cost the project's backers $22 million to hire biologists,
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purchase conservation land and relocate about 200 tortoises into these pens on the property. but they feel it's worth it because this type of solar plant could be replicated in the deserts in the american southwest. >> so it's happening. it's real and this really is today's technology from an energy perspective. >> reporter: technology that's no longer elusive, even if it appears to be an illusion. ben tracy, cbs news, in the mohave desert. >> pelley: well this appeared to be an illusion for a time yesterday. united airlines web site listed fares for zero dollars. folks who spotted the free tickets snapped them up. today united said it was all a big mistake, a human error but it will honor the tickets. it's not a beatles reunion exactly, but for fans it may be the next best thing.
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no. for my knee pain, nothing beats my aleve. >> pelley: sound pioneer ray dolby has died. dolby's noise-reduction system took the hiss out of audio recordings and he brought digital surround sound to movie theaters and living rooms, earning an oscar, several emmies and a grammy. ray dolby had been suffering from alzehimer's disease and leukemia.
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he was 80 years old. speaking of recordings, some rare ones from the beatles' early years are now being released for the first time. >> this is the bbc light programme. ♪ shake it up baby -- >> pelley: the music is from 275 live beatle performances on cbs radio from 1962 to 1965 including live versions of old favorites. ♪ how could i dance with another -- ♪ >> pelley: john, paul, george and ringo are captured goofing around in the studio. 2i >> that's one of my favorites. >> pelley: they also performed their own versions of other artist's songs. this is chuck berry's "i'm talking about you." ♪ i'm talking 'bout you, nobody but you ♪i
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>> pelley: well, it's been a long and winding road for swillings and steve hartman takes you to their door. "on the road" is next. ,,
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is inspiring a turnaround nt on kpix-5 weather talent appears at wx center with generic pinpoint filling monitor then we take special >> pelley: now the conclusion of a love story. if you weren't here for the
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beginning, don't worry, steve hartman will get you caught up "on the road." >> reporter: one way or another, it had to end like this. >> are you ready? >> reporter: one way or another, larry swilling knew his wife jimmie sue would eventually be hospitalized with a failing kidney. he knew he'd have tears. only thing he didn't know was whether they'd be happy or sad. when we first met larry a year ago he was desperately trying to rewrite his wife's final chapter. >> i'm going to get you a kidney. >> reporter: since she needed a kidney and he had no shame on the matter -- >> i don't care what people think. >> reporter: -- larry set out to find an organ donor on his own. >> i sure could use your kidney. >> reporter: never mind most people won't give panhandlers their pocket change let alone their vital organs. >> i need a kidney! >> reporter: larry at the age of 73 started walking all over his hometown of anderson, south carolina, basically begging for a kidney.
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>> i had to do something. she looks after me and i -- i look after her. >> reporter: after 57 years of marriage -- >> we've been together so long. >> reporter: their love is so palpable it practically melts you in your seat. which is probably why after our first story aired thousands of people called to offer their kidneys. >> there's a mighty bunch of good people out there that's wanting to help. >> reporter: more than 100 of that mighty bunch went through the testing to see if they were a match and, would you believe - - >> well, how are you doing? >> reporter: -- one was. >> oh, my goodness! >> reporter: after a full year of searching this week larry swilling finally met his miracle. she's a 41-year-old retired navy lieutenant commander named kelly weaverling. >> have you ever just hae you eh yo instinct because you knew it was right? >> reporter: that's what happened? >> that's exactly what happened. i could do something to give
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this family hope. >> reporter: the surgery was wednesday morning and by wednesday afternoon larry was accosting doctors. >> you mind? >> absolutely. >> reporter: everything went perfectly. >> i love you. >> reporter: now larry says he has two new missions: to find other donors for other people and to find a way to properly thank the woman who gave him his wife back. >> there's not enough words. >> reporter: larry's struggling for a way to thank you. >> just take care of your wife. just take care of her. >> i'm okay. >> reporter: doubt that will be a problem. >> oh, i'm fine now. >> reporter: steve hartman "on the road" in charleston, south carolina. >> i love you, too, baby. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley. i'll see you sunday on "60 minutes." captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by
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>> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald at first glance you certainly notice the filth. but take a closer look. you see some of the sketchiest bay area neighborhoods are starting to undergo upscale transto remember nations. good evening, i'll allen martin. >> i'm elizabeth cook. you might think twitter's ipo would be a launching pad to transform san francisco's midmarket area. but guess what? it's already happening. and another neighborhood is already on deck for a dramatic transformation. ♪[ music ] >> reporter: one of america's great thoroughfares with a not so great reputation. >> this block here was vicious. you couldn't go up and down it without some type of problem. >> you would be scared that somebody would rob you.
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>> reporter: but now. >> it's more calm. a little more calm. you can feel comfortable being down here now. >> on the street is better, cleaner. >> reporter: want a more professional opinion? just ask a real estate broker. >> this is it. i think this is going to happen. it is happening. the rest is really just infill. >> reporter: while twitter's massive office space has grabbed the headlines, a short walk from union square to van ness reveals a larger story. san francisco's booming economy is driving astronomical demand for real estate. so the central part of town despite its represent to facing for tilt and decay was just waiting to explode despite its reputation for filth and decay. >> this is the hotel a recent acquisition. there is a big demand from investors for well located real estate in the city and i think it's tough to beat market street. >> reporter: there are still vacant storefronts but for every one of them, the writing is on the wall. usually in the form of a construction perm