tv ABC News Good Morning America ABC January 21, 2012 8:00am-9:00am EST
good morning, america. this morning, winter whiplash. nearly half of the country gets its first real dose of winter today. it's a furious one. flights canceled. traffic snarled. while hundredses of thousands on the west coast are still in the bark. and the weather is about to take another dramatic turn. will south carolina be a game-changer? a surging newt gingrich now neck and neck with mitt romney. as voters hit the polls this morning. and why is a little place called tommy's country ham house likely to be the scene of a big showdown today? terrifying moments caught on tape. the aspiring model severely injured by the plane propeller.
we have the dramatic 911 tapes. >> a girl walked into an airplane prop. i need an ambulance immediately. >> we'll update you on how she's doing today. and the $75 million breakup. kobe bryant's wife walks away with a massive fortune. the huge pile of cash, plus, not one, not two, but three houses. we have all the eye-popping details coming up. and all eyes this morning on south carolina. good morning to you folks at home. the polls have now opened in that state. the political world is bracing for an earthquake. can newt gingrich pull off the ultimate upset? momentum is on his side this morning. the other big political story is a showdown looming at a little place called tommy's ham house. where both mitt and newt have scheduled events at the same time. we're going to be keeping our
eye on that this morning. also coming up, look at this. this is the moment that a distraught mother who learned that her daughter, who had been abducted 24 hours earlier, was found safe. it's incredible. how that 9-year-old broke free from her kid naerp is an amazing story. we'll tellout about that a little later on. >> a smart little girl. another inspiring picture. melinda starr. one of the tiniest surviving babies in the world. she was born four months ago, weighing 9.5 ounces at birth. that's smaller than a soda can. making her the second smallest ever born in america. we have an update on her amazing survival. you'll want to see how she looks today. it's an incredible story. right to the big snowstorm. it's marching into the northeast this morning. making a mess on the roads and causing massive delays at the airports. our ace meteorologist, ginger zee, never afraid of an immersive reporting assignment
is out in times square this morning. >> finally getting outside here in new york city. in the northeast, many waking up to what will be the biggest snowstorm of the entire winter season. ask anyone from seattle to chicago, this pattern shift in winter weather is no joke. we have gone from mild to out of control. fast. winter finally arrived. and arrived with a vengeance. the storm stretches over 1,000 miles. it already dropped up to 9 inches of snow from iowa to indiana. it's just getting started. in chicago, more than 800 flights were canceled. on the ground, traffic frozen in messy gridlock. snow fell fast. it sent cars and snowplows sliding. in detroit, the nonstop snow brought the city to stand still. while in indianapolis, it was the freezing rain. as the storm moves east, the major northeastern cities that
have so far been spared this season are about to get their fair share. >> we're looking for shovels, salt, a deal with mother nature not to ever snow again. >> reporter: in maryland, most major roads have been pretreated with salt brine. >> prooer proactively trying to prevent the ice from forming. >> reporter: back in the northwest, seattle is on flood watch, after heavy snow and ice bombarded the city. these electrical transformers exploding in the night sky. water-logged oregon is in cleanup mode today. two were left dead and dozens of homes destroyed. 70-mile-per-hour winds covered these homes almost entirely in sand. how much snow will fall here in the northeast? let's take a look at the numbers this morning. we have the graphics and the map to highlight who gets what. the hot pink is 5 to 7 inches. that is far eastern pennsylvania, and far western
and northern new jersey. new york city still in the 3 to 5-inch range. next threat is severe weather. that's already happening this morning. we have seen tornado watches in the early morning hours. birmingham, atlanta, columbia. all in the heart of it here. the next highlight, an unfortunate storm to hit the pacific northwest. more rain, more flooding, a bigger mess. i've got some good news out of all of this. if you do have the day to just enjoy, kids, i mixed up a little snow, it will be a good snowman-making day and a good snowball fighting day. back to you. >> thank you, ginger. we're going to turn now to the voting in south carolina. already under way this morning. this is it. the day newt gingrich may finally break through. there are signs this morning he could have a very good day. a win there could tarnish mitt romney inevitability.
and blast this race right open. jon karl is covering the campaigning. he joins us from south carolina. good morning, jon. >> reporter: good morning, bianna. the stakes are especially high here. in every election since 1980, the candidate that won here went on to win the nomination. ♪ born free >> reporter: mitt romney is running hard here in south carolina. he got rock star treatment last night at a rally in greenville. [ chanting ] >> all: we need mitt, we need mitt. >> you know what, you know what, you're going to get me, i'll tell you that. >> reporter: romney's been sliding in the polls here. the last debate, he found himself booed by a republican audience when asked about how many years of tax returns he plans to release. >> i'll look at what the documents are -- >> reporter: romney advisers are now privately saying he may lose in south carolina.
romney himself seems to be bracing for a victory here by newt gingrich. >> speaker gingrich is from a neighboring state. well known. popular in the state. and frankly, to be in a neck and neck race at the last moment is kind of exciting. >> reporter: gingrich is riding high, surging in the polls. getting a big boost from two debates this week where he got standing ovations by attacking debate moderators. first, with fox news. >> first of all, juan. >> reporter: and then with cnn when he attacked the moderator for asking questions about abc news' interview with his ex-wife. >> i'm appalled that you would begin a presidential debate with a topic like that. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: also some comic relief. stephen colbert is runs to be the united states of south carolina. >> the only difference between mitt romney and a statue of mitt romney is that the statue never changes its position. >> and jon, all jokes aside, one
position that mitt romney seems to be sticking by. dan mentioned it before. tommy's ham house. newt gingrich is scheduled to be there at the same time. will it fit them both? >> reporter: it will be the center of the political universe this morning. it's the best place for breakfast in greenville. it will be tough to fit them both. but it has to happen. as gingrich said when he heard that romney was coming, romney is more than welcome to come to my event. gingrich is fine to have mitt romney at his event. >> it will be hot in that kitchen at tommy's. thanks, jon, so much. >> this is a pr bonanza for tommy and his ham house. can newt gingrich win this thing? let's ask matthew dowd. good morning. thanks for getting up early on a saturday. we appreciate it. you think he can win. >> i not only think he can win. he is likely to win.
he went from being pioints behid several days ago. now he's dead even. if you take a look what his advisers are saying, they're saying, we were always in this for the long haul. it's a good signal they know momentum is on newt's side. you usually bet on momentum. >> has he essentially neutralized the negative impact of the abc news interview with his ex-wife? >> i think he not only has neutralized it, temporarily. it may always come back up. depending on how long this process goes. but he's turned it into an asset in how he confronted john king at the debate. the way he did it, the way the audience responded. he's taken it from a liability to an asset. >> that's jujitsu. >> it's absolutely jujitsu. >> whoever wins the south carolina primary goes on to win the republican nomination. but mitt romney still has some formidable advantages. in terms of money and organization in the coming states. newt does not have a clear shot here if he wins. >> we always go back to history.
this race has been without historical precedence. we have had seven different leaders. we may have for the first time three different people win the first three races. south carolina always picked thn iowa and new hampshire first. that's always been the case. so newt needs to understand, he still has an uphill battle. this takes a race where everybody thought, let's crown mitt romney, to a wide-open race if newt wins today. >> florida becoming key. john berman reporting that the mitt people are working to line up an endorsement from jeb bush. it would be huge. mitt has advantages in florida. >> he's got money and polls. but if newt wins today, the bump will make florida dead even by tuesday. >> matthew dowd, incredible stuff. wre we appreciate it. we'll get your analysis as we continue.
don't forget, diane sawyer will cover the returns from south carolina tonight along with david muir. we're going to turn overseas. italy, one week after the cruise ship disaster that left 32 people feared dead, has more questions. this morning, the head of the company says the captain, misled them as well as the crew as to exactly what went wrong. abc's lama hasan has the latest from giglio island. >> reporter: just moments ago, at a press conference, the commissioner in charge of the operations here said they will still keep looking for the 21 people missing. this morning, rescuers were back on board searching above and below the water. this morning, rescuers were back in the water. this time using controlled explosions to open up new routes to explore inside the ship. 21 people are still missing. though this is essentially a
recovery mission, some family members of the missing still haven't lost hope. >> this evening will be seven days. seven days. so i hope -- we have positive replies. i'm just waiting. >> reporter: and there are new details about the now infamous captain, francesco schettino, and his actions as the ship went down. he claimed he tripped into the lifeboat and never meant to abandon the sinking vessel. the ceo of the cruise line says that schettino did not tell them exactly what was going on in the fateful minutes after the crash. so they did not send the proper response. and the ship's priest is now speaking out, telling a french magazine that he encountered the captain on land and he quote embraced me for a quarter of an hour and cried like a baby. there's the tragic human toll. but there are also new fears of an ecological disaster.
that all the fuel on board could be released into the sea. there are booms around the ship to contain any possible spill. well a disk has been recovered that could provide vital clues. as to what happened that night as well as who was with the captain on the bridge. the captain admits he made a wrong maneuver but insists he did everything he could after the ship crashed into the rock. dan and bianna? >> all right, lama, thank you. let's check on the other stories developing this morning. let's go to ron for that. >> i like the cat burglar look. very nice. >> do you? thanks. i did it just for you. and elderly man stepped forward saying he accidentally set a fast-moving brush fire near reno, nevada. the fire destroyed 29 homes and forced 10,000 people to evacuate on thursday. the man claims that he set the blaze by improperly discarding fireplace ashes. he could face arson charges. the fire has now been 65% contained. the man accused of the so called craigslist murders in ohio could face the death
penalty if convicted. richard beasley was formally charged on friday with multiple counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping and robbery. he's accused of killing three men after they responded to ads he placed on craigslist last year. occupy san francisco protests turned violent last night. windows were smashed at a car dealership. a group of protesters took over an abandoned hotel. 18 people arrested on a day that started with peaceful protests and people chaining themselves together. and legendary singer etta james has died. she had been ill for some time. she was one of the great voices of popular american music. ♪ at last >> reporter: etta james will forever be remembered for one song. ♪ my love has come along >> reporter: even late in her life, at last was etta james.
♪ something's got a hold on me, yeah, yeah ♪ >> reporter: she was born jamesetta hawkins in los angeles in 1938. she began singing in church at the age of 5. by 15, she recorded her first record. and along the way, jamesetta hawkins became etta james. ♪ oh sometimes >> reporter: with her sultry style, she hit it big for the first time in the late 1950s and early '60s. with a string of hits. ♪ i get a feeling >> reporter: but her personal life was troubled, marred by drug and alcohol addiction. >> i gave you a damn good track. you want it? you sing. >> reporter: in 2008, beyonce played her in a movie called "cadillac records." at the inaugural beyonce sang her version. ♪ my lonely days >> reporter: in recent years,
her health declined. she died of leukemia. ♪ for you were mine >> reporter: but while she lived, what a voice. ♪ at last >> one of the greats. and elizabeth smart is engaged to be married ten years after she was kidnapped and held captive for nine months. she got engaged last weekend and will marry next year. she is a paid contributor for "good morning america." she tells abc news that she's looking forward to a bright future together. and finally, it"ñ your typical police stop in texas on friday. or maybe it is. a wanted fugitive on horseback was stopped and arrested. he wasn't the only one frisked by officers. they also had to check the horse for any weapons. >> you never know. >> you never know. exactly. >> got to cover all grounds. >> from cat burglars to horse burglars. >> now i'm the animal person this morning. >> i like the outfit, by the
way. >> thank you, ron. let's check the weather again with ginger. good morning, once again. >> hey, and just so you know, underneath my coat i have a similar cat burglar outfit on. you'll need it today in the northeast. many of us waking up to snow. some of the biggest snow we have seen all season. but i want to turn to something we have also been talking about throughout the morning. the primaries. the forecast for south carolina is not perfect. we don't want to discourage anyone from going out there. showers and thunderstorms from columbia and charleston. temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s. now you got that out of the way. let's focus in on the west. aside from the next storm in seattle, it's a lot of wind. up to 70-mile-per-hour gusts. find where you are from and get an idea of what is happening. until then, that's the big picture.
>> we'll keep tracking the storm right here from times square. dan? >> thank you, ginger. now to the teenage boy they're comparing to the character in "catch me if you can." first he got busted for portraying a medical professional. treating patients in an actual hospital. now he's been caught for allegedly portraying a police officer. wait until you hear how the cops they got him. here's matt gutman. >> reporter: why did you do this? the teen who emulated leonardo dicaprio's character from "catch
me if you can" one too many times -- >> i'm a doctor. >> reporter: was back in court and back in jail for the second time in as many days. you may remember matthew shine was arrested lat eed last septe allegedly impersonating a physician's assistant. treating patients. on thursday, he was busted for masquerading as a cop. he stopped someone to tell them to put on their seat belts. bad choice. it was an undercover cop. he was suspicious, asking the teen if he really was on the force. he allegedly replied, yes, i am. the real cop tried to stall him while calling for backup. >> they pulled him out of the vehicle. asked him again if he was a police officer. to which he said no. he said he didn't have a gun in the car. >> reporter: a search of the car revealed night sticks, a taser,
a t-shirt that read sheriff's department, and a gun. he had been in the youth explorer program and they realized he had stolen a police radio and badge. they sought an arrest warrant for theft. >> logic dictates that you have been caught engaging in this type of behavior in the past, so surely you're not going to do it again. but the intoxicating feeling that comes with getting away with this rules the day. >> do you have anything to say, matthew? >> reporter: if convicted, the prolific imposter could face up to 40 years in jail. matt gutman, abc news, miami beach. >> well, you cannot accuse him of lacking ambition. >> we've been covering this story since day one. this guy is always looking for the next challenge. we're going to turn to an incredible story. for the first time in her short life, one of the tiniest surviving babies in the world slept in her own house last night. the miracle baby penalty is her
first months inside an incubator, with machines helping her to breathe. as tanya rivero shows us, doctors who could hold her in the palm of their hands when she was born have hopes for a long life for her. >> reporter: melinda starr guido came into this world at 24 weeks. the size of a hand. her chances of survival were just as small. after more than four months in the neo-natal intensive care unit and a royal sendoff from the doctors and nurses, she goes home with her proud parents. >> i'm happy to take her home after 4 1/2 months being here. i'm grateful. >> reporter: now a beautiful, healthy, 4.5-pound baby, it's easy to forget how precarious her beginnings were. born weighing just 9.5 ounces. less than a can of soda. she was not expected to live more than a few days. >> hey, little girl.
>> reporter: soon after her by the, melinda was treated for an eye disorder common to premies. her recovery, a miracle. >> the baby is doing what the baby is supposed to do. feed, look around, sleep, and gain weight. >> reporter: out of the 7500 babies born in the u.s. each year weighing less than a pound, only about 10% survive. >> i feel blessed. i feel great she's here with us. >> reporter: even though melinda's parents feel like they're taking home a 5-month-old baby, to her doctors, she's only a month old. the next years are crucial. now the precious years will be spent at home with her loving family. for "good morning america," tanya rivero, abc news, new york. >> i don't know if that is the pregnancy hormones or what. it's a very emotional story. the miracle of modern day medicine. good luck to them at home. >> it's incredible that she was
smaller than a can of soda. >> tiny, tiny. >> what a come back for her. good for her. coming up, this extraordinary moment. look at this. we're there as a mother learns that her 9-year-old girl has managed to escape from a kidnapper. we'll tell you how this brave little girl managed to save her own life. an incredible story coming up. plus the frantic moments after a model walked into an airplane propeller. we have the gripping 911 call and the latest on the woman's condition. >> she's made quite a comeback. we'll talk about that coming up as well. and there was no prenup for the basketball great kobe bryant. his wife will get half of his fortune in their divorce settlement, including three palatial estates. there's one of them. how does this stack up against the biggest celebrity divorces of all time? we'll run the numbers. keep it here. confused by all the nutritional information out there?
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what? what? >> yeah. >> what? >> signs of relief. a mom shares her relief and unbridled joy just seconds after learning her little girl was safe and sound after her abduction. good morning, america. i'm bianna golodryga. we'll have more on that in a moment. >> and i'm dan harris. it's saturday, january 21th. we'll have more on the 9-year-old girl managing to escape her kidnapper. also coming up, another astonishing moment. the panicked 911 calls from right after the young former model, lauren scruggs, walked into the plane's propeller. the moments that led to a miraculous recovery. and basketball star kobe
bryant is downsizing big time. handing his ex-wife all three of his california mansions as part of their divorce. >> ouch. >> yeah, i say three mansions plus a whopping $75 million in cash. the epic bryant breakup is coming up. and, of course, our favorite segment, we have "your week in three words" ahead. >> that's coming up in a few minutes. we're going to take you inside a moment of crisis. it involved this young model, lauren scruggs. she walked straight into the spinning propeller of an airplane a few weeks ago. you'll get a sense of just how miraculous it really is when we play you the newly released 911 tapes. a warning. they are difficult to hear. abc's ryan owens reports. >> a girl walked into an airplane prop. i need an ambulance immediately. >> reporter: the woman who calls 911 is calm until she notices
something on the ground. >> is that her hand? >> ma'am, stay on the line. >> reporter: the caller passes the phone to man who is right next to lauren scruggs. you can hear the model face down in front of the plane that's propeller just sliced into her left hand and her face. >> is there serious bleeding? >> yes. >> from where? >> we don't know. we haven't turned her over. >> reporter: the online fashion editor had been looking at christmas lights from the air that early december night when she got out of the plane, the pilot says he warned her to walk behind the air kraflt. away from the propeller. he can't be sure she heard him. >> she's wanting to get up. >> no, we don't want her to get up. no, no, we want to keep her on the floor. >> reporter: it takes the paramedics only five minutes to get to the airport. but just listening to her scream that long, it seems like an eternity. the witnesses kept her stable and almost certainly saved her young life. these pictures of lauren scruggs
outside of her rehab hospital surfaced this week. just a month and a half after that heartbreaking 911 call. from day one, her parents have described her recovery as a miracle. now we see and hear why. for "good morning america," ryan owens, abc news, dallas. >> a miracle indeed. we're going to turn now to the story of that 9-year-old girl who experienced something awful. kidnapped from her school, trapped with her kidnapper for 24 hours. the bravery she displayed shows just how amazing she really is. t.j. winick has been following this store. it's incredible. at only 9 years of age. >> we don't know what she went through during those 24 hours. so we don't want to show her face or give the young girl's name. we can tell you one thing. her brave actions likely saved her life. >> the news. we believe she was found safe.
>> reporter: at first, it was unconfirmed? >> what, what? >> reporter: and then the official word. >> it's her. >> yes! >> it was her? >> yes! >> oh, yes! thank you! >> reporter: it was the news stephanie cordoba had been waiting for. her daughter had been found alive. an amber alert was issued for the 9-year-old after she didn't arrive home from school on thursday. the girl was reportedly seen getting into a car, possibly a white mercedes. police say she was abducted by jose garcia. they were traveling in this truck when it broke down early friday. they were picked up by a good samaritan and dropped off at a colorado springs convenience store. that's when the young girl made her brave escape. >> she had two black eyes. a bruised lip. a bruise on her cheek. she was scared. she was scared. she was in shock. >> reporter: using quick thinking, she asked for the phone and dialed 911. >> she looked at me in my eyes and said, i ain't going nowhere. i'm waiting here for my mama. i looked at the guy, he looked
at me in my eyes, he spun around and high-tailed it out of there. >> reporter: after a manhunt, authorities grabbed the 29-year-old garcia, who was arrested at a bus stop just miles from the store. >> they had him in handcuffs. >> reporter: some good police work for sure. this morning, authorities are give all the credit to that little girl who took charge of her own fate. >> we had a very, very brave, courageous young lady. that did things to save her own life. i'm very, very proud of her. >> she's my angel. my heart, my soul. so me and her dad with ecstatic right now. >> reporter: police are not saying how jose garcia knew the young girl. he reportedly has a criminal history. this morning, that mom so happy and grateful to have her little girl back. we send them our best. >> so many of these stories have tragic endings. this one with a good ending. time to check the other headlines.
once again with ron claiborne. >> political news. they're going down to the wire in south carolina. they're holding the primary today. the polls are open right now. newt gingrich has been surging in the polls. he could upset mitt romney, who, just days ago, had a comfortable lead. and federal regulators have declared the chevrolet volt as safe as any other car on the road. the electric car doesn't pose a greater fire risk than gas-powered vehicles. and prince william and kate are enjoying a weekend get away before they spend some time apart coming up. they're on a caribbean island. next month, william ships off to the faulklands as part of his air force duet. the indiana pacers mascot brought down the back board last night, shattering the backboard in a halftime performance. go, man, go! second half of the game had to be played in an auxiliary gym.
look that. >> what a rush he must have after that. >> are they going to make him pay for the damage? >> i'm going to look into that and let you know tomorrow. absolutely. and now to ginger, in a snowy times square. >> that is correct. the first time times square has been snowy since halloween. we haven't had a measurable snowfall since then. a lot of other folks in the northeast getting their first of the winter season, too. who gets what when? ask someone in minneapolis, there were 650 crashes there yesterday, they were on the fringe of the storm. doesn't take much to make the roads an absolute disaster. 1 to 3 inches for philadelphia. new york city, 3 to 5. hartford, 4 to 6. boston, one of the fringe areas, 1 to 3. snow in the west, too. mostly in the mountains. but areas like mt. hood have seen up to seven feet of snow already this week. more snow on top of that. good for the ski areas.
finally, a look at today's outlook. >> this weather report has been brought to you by sensodyne pronamel toothpaste. back to you in the studio. >> thank you. >> can we bring her back inside? >> she was chipper out there. ron says, leave her out there. coming up on "gma," the epic divorce of one of the biggest names in basketball. kobe bryant giving up all three of his mansions in california. what's that worth? the story coming up. but there are foods that i had no idea had so much acid in them. my dentist said that the acid in fruit, or fruit juice or fruit teas softens the enamel so that then it can potentially erode.
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on the basketball court, kobe bryant is used to winning big. but in divorce court, he stands to lose a healthy chunk of those basketball bucks. kobe bryant and his wife of ten 2012 with one of hollywood's biggest divorce settlements. with bryant's net worth an estimated $150 million. vanessa could walk away with upwards of $75 million. that's not all she's scoring. according to "the l.a. times" property records show that the couples three mansions worth $18.8 million total have already been transferred to vanessa's name. >> i think this is fair to say this is a huge win for vanessa bryant. i mean, this woman is getting $75 million in cash right now. she's getting three properties in california. after 10 1/2 years of marriage, she's cleaning up well. >> reporter: she famously stood by her man during his 2003
sexual assault trial. but sources say his recent transgressions were too much. >> kobe is joining a group of men who will be paying their exwives probably until the end of their lives. >> reporter: michael jordan's wife rkts juanita, netted $168 million after their marriage ended in divorce. elin nordegren recently tore down her $12 million mansion after reportedly pocketing $100 million after separating from husband tiger woods. just last month, mel gibson's wife, robin, walked away from their marriage of nearly 30 years with an astonishing $425 million. taug thought to be the biggest payout in hollywood history. vanessa and kobe have two little girls. they'll share custody. it's sad when couples break up. but wow, that is a lot of cash. >> tons of cash. if you keep it here, after
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♪ always finding trouble never matters where i go ♪ ♪ the route is always misty just sticking to my tiny shores ♪ ♪ times are getting harder things are looking tough, got to make my way back home ♪ ♪ got to make my way back home got to make my way back home ♪ ♪ got to make my way back home, oh country road ♪ >> ron is -- ron is very livid because there were a lot of violations of the three words rule.
>> they were like, five, right? >> let's go 49ers. >> all right. >> we'll be right back. a deep, throbbing, persistent ache. my doctor diagnosed it as fibromyalgia -- thought to be the result of overactive nerves that cause chronic, widespread pain. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i learned lyrica can provide significant relief from fibromyalgia pain. and for some people, it can work in as early as the first week of treatment. so now, i can do more of the things i enjoy. lyrica is not for everyone. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior, or any swelling or affected breathing or skin, or changes in eyesight including blurry vision, or muscle pain with fever or tired feeling. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. with less pain, i'm feeling better now that i found lyrica.
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