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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  December 31, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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thank you for watching at 6:00. the news will continue streaming on cbsn bay area but you can find on the kpix 5 news app. "cbs evening news" is next. >> we're back for the news at 7:00. good night. of an american tv icon. legendary actress betty white has died at the age of 99. her career spanned the golden days of television to sitcom stardm in the 70s and 80s. >> i got him a golf club. ( laughter ) but don't tell him. it's a surprise. >> garrett: colorado wildfires, hundreds of homes destroyed as hurricane-force wind gusts fueled fast-moving flames. >> there was just nothing left in the area. i'm just really glad everyone got out. >> garrett: severe weather. new year storms will bring snow, sleet, and freezing rain from the central plains to the great lakes and threats of another round of tornadoes across parts of the south. new covid records. omicron surges as america prepares for a new year's celebration. plus, the state department
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warning for americans thinking of an international getaway. tiger attack aftermath. naples zoo reopens as prosecutors mull charges against the man who reached into the tiger's enclosure. and "on the road." how a michigan dad's idea got the kids out of the house and on to the ice. >> this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell reporting from the nation's capital. >> garrett: good evening, to our viewers in the west. thank you for joining us. i'm major garrett in for norah. we leave 2021 with some echoes of 2020-- rising covid cases and scaled-down new year's eve celebrations. there's one big difference, though-- vaccines have made a difference and reduced risk. it's already 2022 in some parts of the world, of course, and in a few hours, new york city will greet the new year with a traditional ball drop, but a smaller crowd than originally planned. we start tonight where we must-- with the death of an american tv
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icon, betty white. white died today at her home in los angeles days before her 100th birthday. earlier this week, white tweeted about her upcoming "people" magazine cover, celebrating her centennial, writing, "i'm so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age." fans have already begun placing flowers on her star on hollywood's walk of fame. cbs' bill whitaker shows us the many ways in which betty white made us laugh. >> maryann. it's betty white. >> reporter: betty white's career spanned decades from the 30s until now. >> i never go away. >> reporter: betty marion white was born in 1922 in oak park, illinois. she first appeared on an experimental tv station in los angeles in 1939, hosting a live variety show in 1949, and starring in sitcoms in the 1950s. >> what's so terrible about spiders? >> tell him, honey. >> they go doing.
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>> reporter: in the 60s she hosted the tournament of roses parade and appeared on almost every game show you can think of, including "password," where she met and married her longtime love, the late allen ludden. then came the role that was made for her. mary tyler moore even said, "we need someone who can play sickeningly sweet like betty white."k ninningly sweet lik white played sue ann nivens, sickeningly sweet on the outside, and scheming, conniving, lustful, hilarious on the inside. >> did you crash the men's room? >> of course not! i went as somebody's guest. ( laughter ) >> reporter: she was so good as sue ann, with two emmy awards, that she was offered much the same role in "the golden girls," the sassy, man-hungry blanche. but the director changed her to the opposite, the sweet, naive rose. >> i got him a golf club. ( laughter )
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but don't tell him. it's a surprise. ( laughter ) >> reporter: but betty white didn't really become america's senior citizen sweetheart until a candy bar commercial in 2010. >> you're playing like betty white out there. >> that's not what your girlfriend said. >> reporter: suddenly, america couldn't get enough of white, a sweet old lady with a naughty, raunchy side. thanks to hundreds of thousands of fans on facebook, white became the oldest host on "saturday night live" at age 88. >> i didn't know what facebook was. ( laughter ) and now that i do know what it is, i have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time. ( laughter ) ( applause ) >> reporter: she ended up starring in the sitcom "hot in cleveland," which once reunited her with her old costars. >> hello! >> looks like she made it after all. you're never too old for anything.
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well, maybe some things, but... ( laughs ) >> reporter: betty white was never old at all. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> garrett: tonight, president biden remembered betty white as a "cultural icon," who brought a smile to the lips of generations of americans. "cbs sunday morning" will take an in-depth look at betty white's remarkable life and career. now to colorado and wildfires that destroyed as many as 1,000 homes and forced tens of thousands to evacuate. satellite images show a housing development in the town of superior. more than 100 homes were reduced to ash. marissa armas from our cbs denver station, kcnc, is on the scene in louisville, colorado. >> reporter: a combination of hurricane-force winds and wildfires left a trail of devastation across parts of boulder county, colorado. wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour fueled the flames, destroying everything in its path, including nearly 1,000 homes.
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>> there are ashes in the sky and fire in the ground. so, pretty scary. >> reporter: a scary scene at this costco store shows shoppers evacuating into the store's parking lot engulfed in smoke. >> i can't get this door open. >> reporter: inside this chucky cheese, panicked parents and children rushed for the exits as large clouds of smoke rush in, but struggled for a few seconding to get the doors open due to the strong winds. >> go, go, go! >> reporter: they eventually made it out. >> god help us. >> reporter: this colorado driver narrowly avoided running straight into flames on a highway. firefighters tried to battle the massive flames, but it was moving too fast. >> the last 24 hours have been devastating. >> reporter: today, governor jared polis toured the area and described the fire as a disaster in fast motion. >> this is our community, and o watch it burn so quickly, so unexpectedly, is something that i think we're all just struggling to believe and understand. >> holy cow. >> reporter: more than 30,000 residents were directed to evacuate.
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as residents make their way to their neighborhoods, all that's left is complete devastation. the fire is believed to have started after high winds toppled power lines and transformers. josh mitchell's home was burnt to the ground. he facetimed with his family to show them the devastation. >> we're all in it together. glad everybody is safe. i'm just... you know, it is a good town, we'll rebuild. >> reporter: and here's a look at another home that's completely gone. it's pretty much just a hole in the ground. the basement is filled with debris. one of the only things still standing is this fireplace. and just a couple of hours ago, it started snowing again, but you can say one day too late. major. >> garrett: kcnc's marissa armas, thank you. severe weather is threatening millions as we start the new year, and cbs' lonnie quinn joins us with the forecast. lonnie, good evening. >> reporter: well, good evening, major. you know, the severe weather risk you're talking about hasn't formed yet. what i'm watching is this line of light rain, from texas into
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arkansas. that is going to intensify. so much so that we think by midnight, okay, you're ringing in the new year, the risk of potential for severe weather anywhere northeast of dallas towards nashville, tennessee, and as you work your way into sunday, i mean, now you're looking at severe weather in the nashville, tennessee, valley area. that could be strong enough to spark a tornado. snow is falling anywhere from detroit to chicago. then that snow will make its way to memphis by the time you get to sunday. so, today, memphis, 70, sunday you're look at snowfall. big drop in temperatures. houston on saturday is 87. baltimore 65. by sunday, houston is going to be dropping down to 52 for a high temperature, a 35-degree drop. baltimore, though, look at that, hasn't really budged at all because the cold air hasn't gotten there yet. the east coast, you tap into that big temperature drop by the time you get to monday. that's our weather picture as we kick off the new year. major, it's all yours. >> garrett: with all the details, lonnie quinn, thanks so much. the u.s. is ending the year with a record number of new covid cases, more than 2.5 million in the past week. 568,000 new infections were
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reported just yesterday. cbs' nancy chen is in new york's times square where the big new year's celebration is just a bit smaller. nancy, good evening. >> reporter: major, good evening to you. average daily new cases in new york have increased nearly five- fold in just two weeks, but the show will go on here tonight in times square, though, with a much smaller crowd than usual. >> happy new year! >> reporter: with the hope of a new year at the crossroads of the world, a scaled back celebration in times square, with everyone vaccinated and masked. as new hospitalizations from covid have more than doubled in one week in new york city, 15,000 revelers are gathering to watch the iconic ball drop-- about 25% of the crowd in year's past. >> you just take a little bit more risk, and go out and try to celebrate it. >> reporter: and as omicron surges across the country, many cities are readjusting their celebrations at the advice of
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public health officials, like dr. dave chokshi. where is new york right now in this surge? >> it's been a difficult few weeks and, unfortunately, we have a tough few weeks ahead of us as well. >> reporter: atlanta and san francisco scrapped their new year's eve plans. las vegas and chicago are still moving forward. >> since it's outdoors and we're spacing people out, we have some confidence. >> reporter: 15 states are seeing record new case counts. the united states reported more than two million coronavirus cases in one week, breaking yet another record. and as holiday vacations wrap up, the f.a.a. warned today of more travel troubles. workers continue to test positive, disrupting flights. >> hopefully we can make this one coming up. >> delayed again. >> its delayed again? >> yeah. >> reporter: more than 1,500 flights were canceled today. meanwhile, the state department is warning people traveling abroad may face unexpected challenges while trying to return to the u.s. and should make contingency plans. a bumpy start to a new year that public health experts hope will
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get smoother. >> we all have to dig deep, muster our energy and will, and i have a deep conviction and a belief that we will get through this. >> reporter: now, there is also a hopeful sign from south africa. a month after the omicron variant was first reported there, officials are seeing a decrease in cases, suggesting that the peak in the surge has now passed. the country also saw far fewer deaths than in previous outbreaks, major. >> garrett: important context. nancy chen, thank you so much. still ahead, the states where workers are getting a new year's raise. and a top zoo official speaks out after a tragic tiger attack. ? reduces inflammation? thank the gods. don't thank them too soon. kick pain with aspercreme. liz, you nerd, cough if you're in here! shh! i took mucinex dm for my phlegmy cough. what about rob's dry cough? works on that too, and lasts 12 hours.
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because the way we care is anything but ordinary. ♪♪ >> garrett: the zoo in naples, florida, reopened today under a cloud of grief following an encounter between a worker and a rare tiger. body camera video shows 26-year- old zoo cleaner river rosenquist with his arm locked in the tiger's jaws. rosenquist had climbed into an unauthorized area. he called 911. deputies responded and shot and killed the tiger to save rosenquist. zoo officials say it was a horrible situation all around. >> river repeatedly said, "i'm sorry," and i want you to know our thoughts are with him. it was a bad mistake, bad decision, but we only wish him well in the recovery. >> garrett: rosenquist could face criminal charges. millions of workers will ring in the new year with a pay raise. tomorrow, minimum wage increases commence in 21 states and dozens of cities and counties while
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some places are at or climbing towards $15 an hour, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour where it has been since 2009. coming up "on the road." how a michigan dad built an ice rink and childhood memories. an update on what happened next. . cranky-pated: a bad mood related to a sluggish gut.
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>> garrett: earlier this year, we told you about a michigan dad and his homemade ice rink. the ice apparently melted the hearts of a lot of viewers. here is cbs' steve hartman with an update "on the road." >> reporter: when an inner voice spoke to scott chittle of manton, michigan, and told him to build it, he felt compelled to listen. >> had to be done. something. >> reporter: it reminds me a little bit of "field of dreams." >> me, too. >> reporter: as we first reported a year ago, scott decided what manton really needed to survive this pandemic
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was an ice rink. never mind his own kids didn't even skate. never mind hardly any kids in manton skated. he just felt the community had to have a safe, outdoor space to gather, whether they realized it or not, which they didn't. and when folks failed to flock to his house, scott actually went door to door to coerce them. >> i was upset. i was like, "are you kidding me? tell your kid to come outside and go ice skating," you know. >> reporter: it's not really if you build it they will come. it's if you build it and go harass some families, they will come. >> that's true as well. they're coming, that's for certain. >> reporter: in droves. scott chittle's side yard became the place to be. the dark winter that was suddenly springing with joy for children and parents alike. >> none of these kids have electronics in their hands. it's amazing! >> it is amazing. >> reporter: since we first told this story in february, the rink
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has grown-- considerably. >> very much so. last year i was 3,000 square feet, and this year, i'm 5,000 square feet. >> reporter: he also has a new skate sharpener, ice grooming equipment, and a lighting sharpo system, all donated by companies who saw our story and wanted to help. >> it's been unbelievable. it's the best thing i've ever done. hot dogs! >> reporter: you know, when scott's inner voice told him to build that rink, he had no idea what he was really creating. but now it's clear. for those who come, the sounds and smells and smiles of this winter will be forever lasting, an iconic memory, the kind children need to cherish their childhoods. >> we all know that you got to provide for your kids, but somehow you gotta give them some magic every now and again. ( voice breaking ) it doesn't get any better than that. >> reporter: for child and parent. steve hartman, cbs news, "on the road."
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>> garrett: we'll be right back. back. huh. is that true? geico's been saving folks money for 85 years? yeah, that's right. wait — so if geico's 85, that makes you — are you asking if i'm 85 years old? i mean sea turtles live to 150, so...nn — i — i was not. do i look 85? what! no! you, you look young,, you look young for...however old you are. geico. saving people money for 85 years. manhood looks different from guy to guy. but when yours bends in a different direction, you might feel bothered by it. so talk to a urologist. because a bend in your erection might be peyronie's disease or pd. it's a condition that involves a buildup of scar tissue. but, it's treatable. xiaflex is the only fda- approved nonsurgical treatment
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>> garrett: sunday on "face the nation," margaret's guests include former f.d.a. commissioner scott gottlieb and january 6 committee members liz cheney and adam schiff. remember: if you can't watch us live, don't forget to set your dvr so you can watch us later.
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that is tonight's "cbs evening news." for norah o'donnell, i'm major garrett in the nation's capitol. before we go, we'd like to take a moment to thank the journalists from around the world who've helped put this broadcast on the air night after night during yet another challenging year. from all of us at cbs news, happy new year. ♪ should old acquaintance be forgot ♪ and never brought to mind should old acquaintance ♪ be forgot and auld lang syne ♪ for auld lang syne my dear ♪ for auld lang syne we'll take a cup of kindness yet
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♪ for auld lang syne for auld lang syne ♪ >> ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one! ♪ should old acquaintance be forgot ♪ and never brought to mind should old acquaintance ♪ be forgot and days of auld lang syne ♪ for auld lang syne we'll take a cup of kindness yet ♪ for auld lang syne for auld lang syne ♪ my dear
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for auld lang syne ♪ we'll take a cup of kindness yet ♪ for auld lang syne ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ happy new year, baby ♪ >> five, four, three-- ♪ should old acquaintance be forgot ♪ and never brought to mind should old acquaintance ♪ be forgot and auld lang syne ♪ >> does anybody really know the words? ( laughter ) ♪ ♪ ♪ might as well sing along. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ happy new year, baby
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oh, happy new year, baby ♪ should old acquaintance be forgot ♪ and never brought to mind should old acquaintance ♪ be forgot and days of auld lang syne ♪ happy new year to you and your friends ♪ and have a drink on me ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one! happy new year! captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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breaking news at 7:00, a shooting in an east bay shopping mall. a police investigation underway right now. freeze warnings in parts of the bay area tonight, and changes coming early next week. we have the complete forecast as we head into 2022. keeping it small. how people are planning to welcome the new year without big fireworks shows at parties. police investigating a shooting at sun valley mall in concord. i'm allen martin. >> and i'm juliette goodrich. let's get right to andrea nakano with the latest from police. >> reporter: we've noticed some officers leaving, but police are still unseen here at
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sun valley mall. employees are continuing to trickle out at this hour. they are saying there is no threat to the public at this time. the shooting happened at around 3:45 this afternoon. it seemed witnesses heard a large broom and did not know what happened at the time, but saw people scribbling to get away from the scene. one store owner says people were rushing into her store to get away from the shooter. we don't know what led up to the shooting, but one man was injured. >> they start running, they start running out. and then there was a body, half dead, bleeding a lot from his left side, but the lower body. >> reporter: the employee i talked with said the man that was injured is in stable condition, and that the shooter was arrested. that is an eyewitness account that has not been confirmed by the concord police department. andrea nakano, kpix 5. to the weather, a chilly night across the bay area. temperatures are dropping as we get ready to bring in 2022. >> brian hackney joins us with a closer


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