tv Today NBC December 31, 2011 7:00am-9:00am EST
>> there's a big chill coming up. stay tuned for that. we'll have lots more on that. join us at 9:00 for a full hour of news. until then have a fabulous last good morning. down to the wire with the iowa caucuses just three days away, gop presidential contenders gear up for the first battle in the race for the white house. who will come out on top? final countdown. it's out with the old as we say good-bye to 2011 and hello 2012. we're live in times square with the latest on the new year's eve prep. and a year of weekends. from the best stories we've covered to all the wild and wacky moments in between, a look back at the good times we've had. today is saturday, december had. today is saturday, december 31st, 2011. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
welcome to "today" on this saturday morning. >> great to be with you on the last show of the year, by the way. >> likewise. thanks for coming in and we can ring in the new year early today. >> and by the way, you're working double duty. you're owning this network today. >> lester usually does it. i figured i'd take over while he's off. the final preparations are on for 2012. just a couple blocks away in times square, hundreds of thousands of people, close to a million expected to gather tonight. the ball is getting its final checks and we're going to head there live in just a bit. meanwhile, in california, authorities are on the hunt for a suspected arsonist this morning. as of now, there have been as many as 22 suspicious fires. the latest set just last night.
police are hoping a $60,000 reward will lead to their capture. we'll get the latest on that story, just ahead. plus, a mystery on the mexican border. what happens to david hartley? he was jet ski, his wife when he was shot in the head. his body was never found. david's wife, tiffany, spoke to us about the developments. coming up, we're going to hear from her. and auto a much lighter note, we're taking a look back at 2011. we mentioned it in the open. from amanda knox to charlie sheen, and all the other people that made the news this year, we're going to have the highlights and some of the lowlights in our next hour. that's right. we begin with politics. and the final countdown to the first battleground in the race for the white house, iowa. nbc's peter alexander is in des moines for the home stretch before the iowa caucuses. >> good morning to you. mitt romney and ron paul both
hope that the poll position stays in place for this weekend. ron paul has taken the week questioned off in texas with his family and mitt romney is already in new hampshire triegs to shore up support there. more that 1200 miles away in new hampshire, mitt romney was focusing on the next primary state friday night. earlier, romney's message was reinforced by popular new jersey governor chris christie. >> you don't do wa you're supposed to do on tuesday for mitt romney, i will be back, jersey style, people, i will be back. >> romney deflected a question from nbc's andrea mitchell of whether he would make public his tax returns. >> it's premature for me to discuss that at this stage. >> people know you're wealthy. >> i understand. >> there's nothing to hide.
>> no, i understand. there's nothing to hide. >> rick santoru discussed the gain he's had. >> we've got style and i think that's what people are looking for. >> newt gingerich is now viewed by over a third of caucus goers. >> in my whole emphasis on brain science comes in directly from dealing -- from dealing with, you know, the real problems of real people in my family. >> meanwhile, rick perry intensified his criticism over earmarks in congress. >> why did you ask the taxpayers in iowa to support a teapot museum in north carolina. >> michellebae bachmann was gre
by under-whelming crowds. but ron paul stayed on point with a solid base of supporters. >> i want to quit pretending that we can take care of the world and forget about the people at home. we ought to remember about the people at home first. >> paul is so confident, he plans to take the weekend off. finally, jon huntsman is skipping iowa altogether. >> can you eat all that before the new hampshire primary? >> before the primary, yes. today? no. taking his candidacy on a strong finish in the granite state. here in iowa, republicans won't just be watching a final ad blitz on the airways. they will be watching the forecast, as well, amy. temperatures really can affect turnout here. but they ever expecting temperatures to be mild and balmy on tuesday with no rain and no snow. >> peter alexander, thanks so much. with only three days left before the official start of the 2012 election process, who has the most to win and lose in
iowa? and what do these late surges by ron paul mean from the front rurer mitt romney. for more on that, we turn to cnbc's white house correspondent john harwood. good morning. >> good morning, amy. >> we're just days away. who do you think has the best shot? >> look, mitt romney is in the best position of any candidate by far. he's leading by 20 points in new hampshire. that's the state he has to win. that's the one he hopes will slingshot him to the remaining primaries in south carolina and florida. but if he's the candidate who can come out of iowa with the late momentum, which seems to be indicated by the nbc marriage poll, it's terrific for him. even if he loses to ron paul, ron paul is not somebody who has the capacity to expand his support enough to win the republican nomination. he has a niche within the republican party. he can hold that niche. but it's not clear that he can
expand it, so mitt romney doesn't appear to be facing any rival right now with the votes fractured among conservatives who can amass the support to win the nomination in the end. >> so if ron paul does get that nomination in iowa, you say it's not a big of a setback? >> exactly. i don't think ron paul has the ability to build on that. what some conservatives, newt gingeri gingerich, rick perry, has to hope others fall by the wayside. they can consolidate the conservative support. michele bachmann, herman cain, rick perry, newt gingerich. but all those have gone up and down. >> john, you mentioned michellebamichellee bachma bachmann. last winter, she was the straw poll winner and now she's losing campaign staffers, her showing in the polls not great. any chance of redemption for
michele bachmann? and what happens after iowa for her? >> it's hard to see michele bachmann doing well on caucus night or continuing beyond iowa. this is something who has been plagued with internal distension in her organization. she's had credibility issues on the stump. she was the first flavor of the month with that straw poll victory, but she hasn't shown the staying power, the stature, the credibility as president of the united states to hold that support and build on it. >> and we should mention newt gingerich showing an emotional side yesterday. does this have any impact with voters? he had that surge, now seems to be losing a lot of traction. does this make a difference? >> i think, amy, anytime a candidate can show the human side and not the robotic candidate on the stump saying what you're supposed to say, a side of your personality and your life, that's a positive thing for a candidate.
but if you turn on the television here in des moines, you see newt gingerich pounded hour after hour from negative ads from the super pac that mitt romney supporters are financing. that is a heavy toll that has knocked down his poll numbers here. his poll numbers are down nationally. he has a real struggle, especially because he doesn't have ta deep of an organization here in iowa. >> john harwood, we appreciate your analysis. thanks so much. happy new year. >> you bet. happy new year. >> now here is jeff. preparations are under way for tonight's big bash to ring in 2012. the confetti is getting loaded, the champagne is on ice and that big crystal ball is getting a final polish before it drops over times square. aditi roy has her spot picked out. looks like a good one. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning to you and happy new year, jeff. it is getting increasingly busy out here on times square. the resolvellers are lining up
times square. this is a highly core graphed event. times square officials had a dress rehearsal for the ball yesterday. the ball dropped down into a cheering crowd the. mayor michael bloomberg and special guest lady gaga will be presiding over the real thing tonight. the waterford ball has over 3,000 crystal triangles. the flame patterns that represent this year's themes, let there be friendship. workers set up bare cased with rigged stage lights the. orangers are inflating thousands of balloons to hand out to revelers tonight. times square officials expect up to a million people to pour into the area into the heart of downtown manhattan. a couple years ago, organizers did a confetti drop to do a practice run and test. and tonight, a ton of confetti will fall from the sky. some of the colorful pieces of
paper will bear new years wishes that people submitted from all over the world. there's a wishing well set up at the times square visitors center displaying those wishes and some of them are from famous folks like michael bloomberg, brian williams. in the lead up to the festivities, organizers invited people to shred or smash bad memories of the year. a woman in tampa shredded her husband's military deployment papers. one more note about security, as you can expect, with it will be extremely tight and extremely heavy. new york police officers will be blanketing the area on horseback, on foot, even in plain clothes, blending into the crowd making sure everything goes according to planned. >> aditi roy in times square. thank you. i don't think that good riddance day, they're like, too bad. >> i love it.
>> it's great. cathartic. time to get a check of the headlines. lynn, good morning. good morning, amy and jeff and good morning to all of you. police areth having the disappearance of a 20-month-old girl in waterville maine. they say they now believe foul play is involved. they've asked the state police to help find ayla reynolds who vanished two weeks ago from her father's home. he told police he put the toddler to bed december 16th and that she was gone when he went to check on her the following morning. verizon is making an about face after sparking a huge customer backlash. verizon says it's dropping a plan to charge $2 for every payment subscribers make online or with their phone. they had wanted to steer people too automatic card payments which are more reliable. the stock market is right where it started the year. over the last 12 months, the s&p
500 lost a fraction of a point. the dow was up 5.5% and the nasdaq lost almost 2%. u.s. officials say egypt has agreed to stop conducting raids against pro democracy groups. meantime, many in egypt's community are worried about the upcoming anniversary of a deadly church bombing. 23 people were killed when a suspected suicide bomber attacked the church in alexandria, egypt's largest city on january 1st of this year. iceberg lettuce is being pulled from store shelves in at least seven states. salmonella was found. and the fda says no evidence that four cases of a rare bacterial infection in babies are related. and there's no need to recall enfamil infant formula. some retailers pulled a batch of
the product after four infants became ill and two died. china is showing the world a pair of twin polar bear cubs. probably because they're absolutely adorable. the two male cubs were born in october. they will soon be able to walk on their own. there's your warm fuzzy for the day. that should get you through a couple of hours. that's your news. now back to amy, jeff and bill. >> thank you so much. >> the smaller the cuter, right? bill karins is here with a check of the weather. >> you're going to be up late tonight. >> i will be. so will you watching the ball drop drop, right? >> no. we'll record you. >> that's the dvr. we'll wake up in the morning, rewind and ring in the new year. good morning, everyone. windy, wild conditions in the northern plains today. this is bringing in the arctic air. a big cold front is going through. there's not a lot of snow or rain with this. this is going to mark the beginning of a cold surge of air
starting tomorrow in the northern plains and will work its way to the east coast. it's a beautiful mild just a few rain drops. good morning. our temperatures 50 degrees at reagan national. it is 43 at leesburg. rain showers along i-95 between d.c. and baltimore. if that's where your trip takes you, you might have a little bit of a slow down. we're not looking at much more than that. we'll be back up in the upper 50d is how we like it. that's a look at your last forecast of 2011. back to you, jeff. >> bill, thanks. police are on the look out for an artonist this morning. now there's a $60,000 reward for
information leading to the capture of whoever is doing it. here is number's george lewis. >> reporter: los angeles firefighters had their hands full as they responded to call after call. autos parked in car ports burning, the flames spreading to surrounding buildings in many cases. mike robins went door to door to warn his neighbors. >> within just about, you know, a couple minutes, that car port was pretty well enveloped. >> investigators said the fires had been deliberately set. one firefighter was injured when he fell. >> very dangerous fires. these can certainly lead to a loss of life injury. so we're very concerned about it. >> reporter: one of the incidents was at the former home of the late rock star jim morrison. the fire reported at about 1:20 this morning. ironically, morrison, who performed with the doors in the 1960s, was the guy who famously sang, "come on, baby, light my fire."
now arson investigators are combing through surveillance videos to see if they can find out who lit these fires. police arrested two men for arson on thursday, but they were in jail during friday's incident. >> when this is something that's manmade and someone is actually trying to do harm and trying to cause damage, yeah, that does hit home a little bit with us. >> law enforcement and fire officials say it's a tense situation this weekend as they wait to see if the fires today. for "today" george lewis, nbc news, los angeles. it's now 17 past the hour. once again, here is amy. >> jeff, thank you. now more on that back pedal from another face of a u.s. company. verizon tried to impose a fee to subscribers who pay online. as pete williams rorlths, verizon has herd them loud and clear. >> reporter: cell phone and internet users have been complaining loudly, since word of the charge leaked out.
>> i think it's a little bit unfair. i mean, it's going to affect how i think about verizon. >> reporter: all in response to the company's plan to charge $ when customers pay their bills once a month either by phone or by going to the company's website. it offered a host of way to avoid paying the fees. then an official of the federal communications xligz spoke up saying, on behalf of american consumers, we're concerned about verizon's actions and are looking into the matter. the company's about face came late the today. in a written statement, the ceo of verizon wireless, dan meade, said we take great care to listen to our customers, adding that the decision was based on their input. customers immediately declared victory on twitter. oh, yeah, said one, verizon can hear you now. power of the mazs equals an amazing set of another. and a third said simply, we did it. the company may have thought the fee would push more customers
into uses oog automatic billing because that speeds up payment. it's the latest in reversals forced by scrutiny of federal regulators. three credit card companies abandon plans to charge a fee and netflix backed off a plan to dwars its mail services and down-loon streaming services. >> customers can respond quickly and they're going to have to think of ways to get xhrs to do what they want rather than charging a fee. >> that was nbc's pete williams. once again, here is jack. amy, thanks. one of our special extra yards stories. it's the off the field milligram that's getting a lot of praise. here is kristin dahlgren. >> reporter: he found glory on the gridiron.
but for dallas cowboys tight end jason witten, the sunday night lights are a long way from the small tennessee town where he escaped what he called a sometimes difficult home life. >> it wasn't a situation where a kid needed to be in that environment. thank goodness, with my mom realized that and said, hey, we're getting out of this situation. >> witten's grandparents took them in. and his grandfather, who just so happened to be the high school football coach -- >> this is where it all started. >> reporter: -- ended up showing witten as much off the field as on. >> i taught him things like you're supposed to open the door for a lady. you're supposed to stand up when women come into the house. >> he also taught a young boy with a dream of the nfl that anything is possible. >> even though you have adversary that goes on, there's people that believe in you and don't allow you to think anything other than if that's what you want to do, let's put everything you have into making
that possible. >> reporter: with all the success, it would be easy for number 82 to try to forget where he came from. but he didn't. and witten started the score foundation. >> now because of what i felt, i can only imagine what these kids are going through and these women. >> reporter: on a recent night, he brought in a group from a dallas domestic violence shelter. they got presents -- >> you see these bikes up here in the front? every one of you will get one. >> reporter: and quarterback tony romo read a story. but witten game them more than a holiday. >> i cried. i did. i started to cry. because it's been a journey for us. and to come here and it's the support. this is support for us. >> reporter: the score foundation offers support all year, sending mentors to the shelter. >> a lot of times they're in that situation and unfortunately their parents don't care a lot
about them. they need someone to tell them everything is going to be all right. >> reporter: it turns out witten got one more thing out of that move to tennessee. his high school sweetheart, now his wife, michelle, and is today as proud of jason the person as the player. it was not just the situation that jason was put in, but the path that he took. and so to encourage these kids that you don't have to go back into that cycle. you can do this. >> reporter: and to know that you did all this, that has to make you feel great. >> i leave here feeling more blessed and more fortunately and more charged than anybody here, you know? >> reporter: but you can't ignore the change in the children. after caddie harris unwrapped a karaoke machine, the aspiring singer told me, i just have to practice hard and probably i can make it. >> reporter: it's what his grandfather once told witten, a living lesson in overcoming the odds. >> man, i was there 15 years ago and now you can be in this
situation. so can you. trust me, so can you. >> reporter: kristin dahlgren, nbc news, dallas. >> and you can see jason witten in action tomorrow night in a do-or-die game between the cowboys and the giants. it will be a big one, 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on nbc. still to come here on this new year's eve, a look back at 2011, all the best and some wacky moments from the weekends with lester, jenna and amy. but first, this is "today" on nbc.
this is a nice 4 news break. good morning, it is december 31st, the last day of 2011. d.c. police are looking for gunman who shot a man and woman in northeast washington. the shots rang out zbroefr night on queens chapel road. both victims were rushed to the hospital. there is no word on their condition at this point. we'll bring you more details as they become available. if you're heading out to celebrate in new year, be careful. police in fairfax county say they are stepping up efforts to catch drunk drivers.
this was the scene last night as police set up their first drunk driving check point along richmond highway just in time for the holiday weekend. police tell us this choke point is part of a broader effort all weekend long to stop drunk driving and make smur is that everyone out celebrating the new year does so with safety. we'll get a check of your
it is a mild saturday morning. good morning. that is a 50 degree outside my door. north and west a little cooler with some 40s and 30s up into the panhandle. martinsburg, you have 39. check out storm 4 doppler. some rainshowers along 95. mostly along the baltimore area now. good news that is leeing us alone. we will be partly cloudy before we know it. temperatures will be rebounding into the upper 50s to near 60 degrees.
don't forget you can hang out with me when i'm not on the air. you can join me on facebook ar at twitter. what a nice way to end the new year. absolute we are back on this saturday morning, december 31st, 2011. we have a festive crowd out there early outside the studio before, we hope, a late night to ring in the new year. we're going to go out and say high in just a bit. i like those hats. coming up in this half hour, we have more on that tragic christmas day fire that happened in connecticut. >> that's where three children and their grandparents were killed in the blaze. for the first time wp, we're hearing the radio transmissions from the firefighters who went inside the home in a desperate last ditch effort to save their lives. we're going to hear those chilling recordings, coming up.
>> and now that it is the end of the year, we're going to look back at some of the story you voted as the best in 20 is 11. one of them is lester's look at the zodiac killer. the killing started in 1969 and he left cryptic messages. even mocking the police looking for him. we're going to go back inside the crime and the investigation. also, you, jenna and lester have had some adventures this year. >> we have. >> we're going to show you some of them. the utah des erts would be a good place to start. could you survive without turning on each other? i know what my guess is, but we'll find out the answer. never play with fire, please. >> we had fun even through all of our struggles. and it was that time of ear when we all make new year's resolutions. we're going to talk about financial resolutions, everything from budgeting to saving money. we'll get to that in just a bit. but first, let's get a check of the weather, which is good news
for the rest of the country. first, let's get a check off our weather. >> wonderful people on this lai last day. where were you last new year's eve? >> i was here, actually, before i was deployed to iraq. >> oh, so you were in iraq all this year? >> yes. >> when did you get back? i came back to ft. hood last month and i am so happy to be here. there's no greater gift for me and everyone else to finally be out of iraq, be home for christmas and the new year. i want to make a shout out to the entire united states army as well as ft. hood, texas. >> very good. >> and to everybody, all my friends and family in st. louis and chicago and to everyone else, like, happy new year. >> you've got everyone covered and we're so glad to have you back, too, safe and sound. let's talk about this forecast. so many people will enjoy the beautiful weather conditions out there as we go into tonight and tomorrow. maybe too windy in the northern plains, but we're only
complaining about wind, that's not too bad. temperatures will be in the 40s in new york city. new year's day looks nice around the countr can you believe these upper 50s today? good morning. how about that 59? the forekags? culpeper 60 today. we are looking at a pair of 5s for frederick. tonight d.c. over to annapolis and fredericksburg temperatures between 45 and 50 for your new year's eve celebrations. don't worry about rain tonight. the forecast is looking good. monday thingsct as we go through the eastern half of the u.s. in the next three days. if you want that hour by hour forecast, what the temperature is going to be like, get that at weather.com. amy, back to you. >> bill, thank you. now to that tragic house
fire on christmas day that claimed the lives of three children and their grandparents. for the first time, we're hearing the chilling radio transmissions between firefighters in connecticut as they tried desperately to save the family. >> stamford 911. what's the -- >> there's a huge fire at the house next door to us. the whole house is on fire. >> reporter: inside trapped in the inferno, with three young sisters and their grandparents. outside, firefighters trying to get in. now we're hearing what those brave responders are up against. >> we have victims trapped in the second floor. we're going to rescue mode, ladder. >> reporter: investigators believe in the back of the home discarded embers and hot ash from a fireplace sparked the early christmas morning blaze. >> we have heavy fire in the back of the building. >> reporter: the victorian home, more than 100 years old, was under renovation and city officials believe smoke detectors may not have been activated. >> we have a report from one of the victims. there's people in that window.
>> reporter: the homeowner was able to escape along with her friend and contractor, michael borcina. badger tried to get back into the home to rescue her three daughters along with her own parents who are trapped inside. >> we're going to need some protection up there. we can't stay here. >> reporter: the fire department entered the home on the second and third floors where the victims were trapped. >> search, try to bring the kid and bring the victim, please. >> reporter: half an hour into that raging fire and with the ceiling and floors collapsing around them, the deputy fire chief on scene called off the search for the victims. >> all units inside, back out. back out. >> reporter: once firefighters were able to re-enter the building, they found badger's daughters, 10-year-old lily with between 7-year-olds sarah and grace along with the girl's grandmother, pauline johnson. the grandfather, lomer johnson, who played santa claus at saks
fifth avenue fell through the second floor roof trying to save one of the girls. a horrific end that ignited grief in firefighters and counselors. for today, tom yamas, nbc news, stamford, connecticut. >> this thursday, there will be a public memorial to owner the victims of the fire. we'll be back after these messages. and it's all your fault. naturally blame the mucus. he's funny. instead of blaming me, try this, advil congestion relief. often the real problem is swelling, not mucus. advil congestion relief reduces swelling due to nasal inflammation. so i can breathe. happily ever after. another story? from him! [ mucus ] advil congestion relief. the right relief for the real problem. guys... [ female announcer ] pillsbury cinnamon rolls with cinnabon cinnamon are an irresistible sunday morning idea. nothing calls them to the table faster.
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press declaring himself the zodiac. and unwittingly, he left some survivors. >> he wanted us to lay down. >> reporter: brian hart now is one of the two victims of the zodiac killer who lived to tell their stories. he says the movie "zodiac" accurately portrayed the event of september 27th, 1969. hart now and his friend, cecelia shepherd, were picnicking by a lake in napa county, california, when cecelia spotted a man watching them. he briefly disappeared behind a tree, only to reappear in an executioner avenues hood, approaching them with a gun. >> i wasn't concerned because i was cooperating with him and i expected he would kwakt with me. >> reporter: and after a calm exchange of words, brutally stabbing them with a knife. >> it was just boom, boom, boom, boom, eight times. i mean, rage.
>> reporter: the attacker then turned to cecelia. >> i remember as soon as i kind of got my wits about me and realized what was happening with her, i looked over there. but it was just too horrific a scene. i couldn't watch. >> reporter: we were offered a rare look at the killer's message found scrolled at the door of hartnell's car. it was the zodiac's third attack and he wanted police to know it. in the preceding nine months, two other couples had been targeted nearby. >> cecelia shepherd, who did die, is the only victim that we know of that saw the zoek ydiac close enough to describe him before he put his hood on. >> reporter: police had a face to work with. but already, they had the killer's words, sent to the press, including the san francisco chronicle, where the
cartoonist soon became obsessed with the case. >> he is a way with language. it was a chilling effect. >> reporter: the killer described the first attack in great details. >> the boy was on his back with his feet to the car. the girl was on her right side, feet to the west. i want you to print this cypher on the front page of your paper. in this is my identity. >> zodiac started out as a loafer's lane killer. usually on a week night, a weekend with a full moon and on a what holiday. >> reporter: but on his next victim, a san francisco cab driver broke the pattern. >> i like killing people because it is so much fun. it is more fun than killing wild game. >> there's a lot of them that we haven't solved. >> reporter: police linked the zodiac to 11 victims, the last confirmed case in 1969. but the taunting letters continued off and on until the mid 70s. clint van zandt was with the fbi
at the time of the attacks. >> zodiac played the extreme chess xwam. he played mental gymnastics against the public, the media. he challenged everybody out there, catch me if you can. >> reporter: along the way, police became suspicious of man against arthur lee allen. >> it didn't seem to match his voice, his cadence. >> reporter: now more than 40 years later, the original zodiac investigators are either long retired or dead as the trail grows colder. >> it was one of those things that both my late partner and i thought about for the rest of our lives that we couldn't make it. simple as that. i still think about that. we couldn't make it. >> reporter: the zodiac killer may have moved on, but so, too, as one of his few surviving victims. >> i have not been in fear of my
life that he's going to walk in the door and finish the job. i just haven't. maybe that's a defense mechanism, but it works. still to come here on "today" a look back at one of your other favorite stories from 2011. lester, jenna and amy venture into the wild. their taxes are done right, and that's why i'm here. i've been a cpa for close to 30 years, and i've seen all kinds of tax returns. i used that experience to help develop the turbotax software to point out deductions that are relevant to you. we even guarantee that all turbotax calculations are accurate. and if you have questions, our free "ask a tax expert" service is now available. you can call or chat with us online. i'm joy shaw. i'm a turbotax cpa. man: go to turbotax.com. your new progresso rich & hearty steak burger soup. [ dad ] i love this new soup. it's his two favorite things in one... burgers and soup. did you hear him honey? burgers and soup. love you. they're cute.
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carol. fiber makes me sad. oh common. and how can you talk to me about fiber while you are eating a candy bar? you enjoy that. i am. [ male announcer ] fiber beyond recognition. fiber one. this morning on today's money, resolve to go make a change. it is that time of year when many of us are making our new year's resolutions especially when it comes to our money. what are your financial resolutions for 2012? janice lieberman went to find out. >> reporter: on the top of the
wish list, something everyone wanted to do more of. save. >> do you have any financial resolutions for this year? >> hopefully just get more money to my bank account. >> i'd like to save more because i'm taking a trip overseas next year. >> we're trying to save for a wedding. >> it requires sacrifice, discipline and i think that's where people, again, might make a mistake. >> reporter: another resolution, better budgeting. >> we set a budget and kept track of everything we were spending along the way. that worked out well. >> reporter: is that true? >> yeah, it's true except for my last minute shopping for her. >> next year i'd like to set up a budget so i know exactly where i'm going to put my money. >> i don't know how much little -- how much more i can cut out of the budget. >> write it out by hand. i know what your income is. you know what your outflow is. you have to take a quick look at that pad of paper and decide what's necessary and what is not. >> reporter: overspending, another critical issue. >> i went way over last career.
>> when the holidays kamt around, i wound up spending a lot more than i wanted to. >> i always hope to spend at least $100 on each person. >> reporter: that adds up. >> yes, it does. >> make a plan. look for discounts. look for bargains and stick to it once you've identified what you want to buy. >> reporter: and last, relieving credit card debt. >> i want to get all the credit cards paid off. >> spending too much on a credit card, buying things i shouldn't have. >> that means if i use an atm, that i had the money. >> it is time to retrench, time to make a plan, time to accelerate payments if possible so your debt limits come down. >> joining us with more, consumer correspondent janice lieberman and turabi, from yahoo! finance. good morning and almost happy new year to both of you. >> good morning. >> janice, you went out there
and you found a lot of people are thinking about their financial health and are making financial resolutions this year. what kinds of resolutions are we talking about? >> i was surprised because people really are kirnd concerned about saving. 5 1% said we're going to save next year and we're going to put away money for a financial emergency if a spouse loses a job. these are serious issues. they're not going crazy. they want to reduce their debt. and 30% said they want to build up their retirement. >> and janice, something interesting you found out, when meem were talking about their financial resolutions, they weren't talking about big picture things. they were very specific and these were just small, perhaps, attainable goals. >> right. they're talking about a home improvement project. they're going to put away money or possibly a vacation. they weren't talking about buying a house. they were really talking about smaller items and very practical. >> and fernish, what do you think that says about the big picture of our economy? >> it's very hard to plan for the future right now with more than half americans living from paycheck to paycheck.
what you want to do is make it easy and simple with yourself with these short and long-term goals. save automatically out of every single paycheck. make that decision once and have the automation work for you. >> and you say that emergency fund is very important? >> eight to nine months saved at least because the average unemployment time right now for someone who is unemployed is about nine to ten months. >> and paying off debt is something that's still -- the credit card dead did he tell that accumulates during this holiday season, how can we make sure that this time next year we're not in the same situation? >> two things. stop uses the credit cards. commit to cash for the first couple of months and be aggressive about the paydown. ignore the minimum payment. try to do quadruple or five times that if you can't do it all in one lump sum. >> and people look at financial resolutions differently. >> women have huge goals but they don't always stick to them. the men can visualize the goals better than women and maybe they're better, but they're more
realistic. women set tougher goals for men. >> and that's not unusual. surveys find that men and women, the spenders and savers, they attract. so if you're a saver and your husband is a spender, you're not alone. but find common ground and that common ground is your shared goal. i can if you can establish what are our goals for not just this year, but for the next five, ten years, then your behaviors will automatically change. now you have common ground. it's not like you're spending or saving in a bubble, you're committed together in this plan. >> thank you both and, again, almost happy new year. >> happy new year. >> we'll be right back after these messages.
the weekend here throughout 2011. we're going to show you all the highlights. >> plenty of those, plus all the celebrity, the scandal and headlines that made news this career. we'll bring you all the headlines in news. first, these messages. hey, aren't you... shhh. i'm researching a role. today's special... the capital one venture card. you earn double miles on every purchase. impressive. chalk is a lost medium. if you're not earning double miles... you're settling for half. was that really necessary? [ male announcer ] get the venture card at capitalone.com and earn double miles on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? cover for me. i have an audition. you noticed! these clothes are too big, so i'm donating them. how'd you do it? eating right, whole grain. [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios... five whole grains, 110 calories. ♪
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rng good morning it is 7:35. good morning. here's a look at the stories making headlines today. police are warning women to be careful when visiting the chinatown area. that after a woman was attacked with her young child in the backseat. police say the woman was stopped in the 700 block of f street northwest when a man opened the unlocked passenger side door of her car, pulled a gun and ordered her to drive to a location that was not familiar to her. the man then sexually assaulted her. there are a few security cameras in the area so police are
examining them hoping they will provide them with some type of clues as to who the suspect is. and to make sure you get home safe tonight ark local nonprofit wants to give you a free ride. the washington regional alcohol program has brought back the sober ride program this year. it goes each night until january 1st from 1078 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. you can get a free ride
forecast next. before you reach for the big, he have coats, you'd better take a step outside. it's pretty mild out there. let's check in with kim. >> your washington post will not be froze on the the ground. because we have some 40s. we had 50s oout there. it is a gorgeous morning. we had a few sprinkles and it's cloudy. this afternoon will be in good shape as we look around our weather's going to get better. 59 here. 56 in leesburg for the highs today. as for the fire works tonight, they're going to be going off over national harbor and the forecasted temperature at midnight 45. by the way, this is the average
high temperature. that is what we're expecting at midnight under partly cloudy skies. >> that is beautiful. i was expecting snow when i got here. it's been a nice, smooth transition. welcome back to "today." it is saturday morning, the 31st day of december, the last day of the year. look at that. we have a shot from halfway around the world, sydney, australia. you are looking at live pictures of the fireworks and it's the new year there in sydney. we have a great crowd there on the plaza where we're waiting for new year aefs's eve later this evening. meanwhile, jeff is filling in for lester. >> good to see you. >> beautiful fireworks from sydney, australia. they know how to do it. you're doing tonight with carson daley. yes. we'll be ring in the new year, hopefully. anyone here going to times
square? i have some friends coming with me. >> we have a lot of stories coming up this hour. including a sad story and an update about a man who was killed by a drug cartel on his jet ski about a year ago. it's believed those cartel members shot him, but his body was never found. now a new discovery could give his wife and family the answers they have been looking for. his wife, tiffany, spoke with us and gave us those new developments. we'll speak with her when we come back. >> and 2011 was jam packed in terms of the news we had. lots of headlines. and the year that brought us -- and, jeff, you know this well, tiger blood. we have compiled the biggest of the stories to share with you, so that is coming up. >> a dynasty. by the way, one other note from the entertainment world, russell brand and katy perry have decided to call it quits after only 14 months of marriage. the couple hats has filed for
divorce. we have what's behind the split and details coming up on that this hour. >> all right. first, let's get another check of the headlines from lynn berry. good morning. >> good morning to you, amy and jeff, and good morning, everyone. we're going to begin in southern california where there's been auto raa rash of predawn arson fires. at many as 12 cars were torched today. the fires are one of l.a.'s worst arson rampages in recent years. two weeks after a maine girl disappeared, investigators say foul play is suspected. 20-month-old ayla reynolds' father told police he last saw his little girl when he put her to bed. he reported ayla missing when he couldn't find her the next morning. the republican presidential candidates will be working hard this weekend to pick up undecided voters in iowa as the clock ticks down to tuesday's caucuses. we are live in des moines with nbc's peter alexander.
peter, good morning to you. who is leading the pack this morning? >> reporter: the front-runners, neck and neck. mitt romney and ron paul. mitt romney is not in iowa, he's in new hampshire looking ahead to the next state to vote. ron paul has a strong base of libber tain tearan support and he hopes that will be consistent through the caucus day here, just 72 hours away now. the one conservative who appears to be gaining new strength in the field is rick santorum. rick santorum has been receiving new support. finally, there was one unique emotional moment at a forum for mothers late yesterday where newt gingerich spoke in an emotional moment about his late mother and spoke about her mental health challenges, as well. one of the issue so keep an eye on is weather. the temperatures are supposed to be balmy as we head into may provide a good turnout
for that day, as well. >> peter, thanks so much. the crossroads of the world are filling up with people eager to celebrating new year's. we are live with aditi roy. >> reporter: good morning, lynn. happy new year to you. the crowds are getting increasingly boisterous. the areas around the bar cades are filling up fast. they'll have to wait until 3:00 or 4:00 this afternoon until they will be allowed into the streets. the waterford ball this year has patterns that show this year's theme, it's let there be friendship. mayor michael bloomberg and lady gaga will flip the switch at midnight tonight. times square officials expect 1 million revelers out there. in the leadup to the big moment, volunteers will be stationed on rooftops and terraces and buildings in times square
fluffing up a ton of confetti and dropping it on to the crowd below. nypd officers will be blanketing the area by the thousands, up in the air, on the ground, on horseback and in plain clothes, blending into the crowd making sure everything goes as planned. >> aditi, thanks and happy new year to you. finally, apparently cats do have more than one life. firefighters were working in the rubble of a fire when winnipeg, florida, when one of them found a kap cat that somehow managed to survive the flames, the water and the collapsed building. they are now looking for its owner. those are your headlines. now let's send it back to jeff. >> thank you so much. so cute. i noticed tara and aaron over here, hello to our kids in iowa. i love that you left them back in home so you could enjoy times square on new year's. why? >> well, it seemed like a lot of people, so we thought we better keep them in a safe place. >> i'm sure that's the reason
you told them, too. bill karins has a check of the weather. bill. >> rumor has it there's nothing sweeter than the georgia peaches. how do you young lady know each other? >> we're best friends. >> and you're here to the ball drop? >> yeah. it's our 16th birthday. >> is there a supervisor in this group? >> at home. >> look out, new york. let's get into this forecast as we go throughout this holiday weekend. so much of the country is seeing above normal temperatures. what is going to change as we ring in the new year, just like opening the key to the door. we're going to unlike all that cold air that's been up in northern canada. the eastern half of the country, get ready for a strong cold shot of air. it's going to feel so cold because it's been so warm. we're not going to see a lot of snow with this, but unless you're in the great lakes, it's
we had a few morning sprinkles. they're long gone. the temperatures are back in the upper 40s. 39 off to the west in winchester on this saturday morning. we're looking at a high today into the upper 50s with partly sunny skies and ringing in the new year tonight we will be in the miltd 40s. if you're heading out to annapolis, mid 40s for their it's been more than a year since a colorado man was shot in the head by drug cartels. a recent discovery in that same lake is giving his family some home. leadership lily luciano has the story. >> reporter: professional fisherman alton jones was hoping for a big catch on falcon lake.
instead, he made a gruesome discovery. on his facebook page, he noted, the fishing was great, but unfortunately our fun was overshadowed when we found a dead body on the mexican side of the lake. >> we examined and it didn't take us long to realize, oh, my gosh, that's a person. >> reporter: jones found the body about 50 miles from where david hartley was shot and killed 11 months ago. >> i fell on my knees and asked god that this would be david and that he would be coming home. >> tiffany hartley has been searching for answers since her husband was shot in the head. the drug cartel is active in the area and say finding bodies in the lake is not uncommon. >> jones says he gave border patrol the location of his discovery along with a photo that reportedly shows a human skeleton with clothing still on and the feet tied together. >> it makes me really sad to think that, you know, if this is
david, how he was treated. >> reporter: tiffany says she's not planning to look at the photo yet. >> i don't see the point of putting myself into and, you know, seeing something traumatic when i don't really need to if it ends up not being david. >> reporter: u.s. officials must rely on mexican authorities, since the remains were allegedly spotted on their side of the border. in a statement to nbc news, the u.s. state department says the consulate general of mexico is working with border patrol, mexican police and judicial authorities to gather additional information as david's family waits and hopes for closure at the year's end. >> we're hopeful that it's david. but at the same time, we need to be realistic that maybe it's not. >> for "today" nbc news, atlanta. and still to come, the year in review. a look back at the year's biggest news headlines right after these messages. ♪ ♪
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not a rock star. tiger blood, dynasty and a. duh. >> you were running in a hundred different directions. what would you have done differently? >> i don't know. tiger blood. it was so silly and people took it so seriously. >> schwarzenegger admitted he fathered a child with a woman that worked in their home. >> what is your reaction to this idea that this may have all ban sham? >> it's over. demi moore says she's ending her six-year major to ashton kutcher. detective he reopen the investigation into the mysterious death of natalie wood. >> casey anthony, innocent of killing her daughter, caylee. >> why is it going to be so hard for you to hear it? >> she's fighting for her life. >> the jury declares amanda knox did not commit the crime. >> thank you so everyone who has believed in me. >> the man slaughter trial of
michael jackson's doctor -- >> we want to see justice. >> do you feel guilty that he died? >> i did not do anything wrong. >> the jury finds the defendant guilty of in voluntavoluntary m slaughter. >> i'll never see him again. >> stunning arrests, one of the world's most powerful bankers accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper. >> dominique strauss-kahn now a free man. >> from blame to shame, congressman anthony weiner says he sent inappropriate photos to at least six women online. >> i have not been honest with myself, my family. >> if it was me, i would resign. >> today i'm announcing my resignation from congress. >> lou paterno is no longer the head football coach. >> a sex abuse scandal has rocked penn state football. >> are you sexually attracted to sexually attracted to underage boys? >> yes. >> i enjoy young people, but no.
♪ >> 4,000 americans lost their lives. maybe 100,000 iraqis lost their lives. it cost about $1 trillion. was it worth it? did you give the right advice? >> i think i did. what is the evidence against them? >> they illegally crossed our borders. but i think they be freed in a couple of days. >> when you look in your son's face, a young man who served in this country, what do you say? >> i say i am so proud of you. >> the debt ceiling vote. >> most economists say that would send the u.s. economy back into recession. >> what do economy i have thes know? most of them are not very smart. >> 14 million americans. why are you not angrier? >> i spend all my time thinking about this stuff because i talk
to these folks every day. >> we're seeing some of the most changing sweeps in kids lunches -- >> your into the going to take my kids' tater tots, though. >> do you want them to have the tater tots? >> i want the tater tots. >> that should be obvious. when i get off the plane in the middle of the night, i'm always afraid i'll scare the children. >> did you say to bernie, we should kill ourselves or did he is it to you? >> i think it was more my idea than his. i just wanted to get it over with. >> i think it's a shame that i can't say anything nice. >> let me read what came out and get your reaction. >> no, please don't read it. >> i actually think if jesus were alive today, there will be polls about him in "us weekly." >> there would for sure be follows. should he cut his hair. ♪ a story about me and matt lauer ♪
♪ >> i'm always amazed every year at everything that happened from the good and the bad and then just the things you don't want to remember. >> you forget about it. >> but it's important to move forward with, i guess. >> and it turns out, we actually do some work around here. it takes one of these for me to realize it. but you had quite a year with charlie sheen. >> yeah. >> that was a way to start off 2011. >> he's back on track and we wish him a happy new year, stereo. still ahead, some of the most memorable moments here on the weekend show. plenty of those, too. ahh, the halloween show.
just 14 months of major, actor russell brand and pop singer katy perry are calling it quits. >> reporter: no red carpet was complete without them. his movie career getting bigger, her songs rarely off the charts. they were entertainment's coolest couple, but not any more. yesterday brand filed for divorce in a los angeles court siting irreconcilable differences. those differences keeping them apart this christmas while katy vacationed in hawaii, her husband was 7,000 miles away in england. ever since their ostentatious wedding in india 14 months ago, the couple have had to deny rumors. just last month, ellen asked the comedian if they were splitting. >> what? she should have told me. >> reporter: last disease, brand posted this less than flattering picture of his wife on twitter. it was quickly removed, but reports say more arguments
followed. >> it kicked off with late october. they had a huge row over the fact that russell wanted to travel and make more movies and she continued with this world tour. neither one wanted to back down from this, so subsequently, it exploded. >> reporter: in the last few days, the xheed ya has been photographed out and about in london with his wedding ring. then game the statement, sadly, katie and i are ending our marriage. i'll always adore her and i know we'll remain friends. >> it's interesting how they works out and say they're friends. they will say they're friends because they have a brand, for want of a better word, to protect. more russell than katy. but they're not too friendly. >> reporter: so far, katy hasn't said anything and with the divorce papers suggesting the couple's estate is yet to be divided, that promise to remain friends will be put to the test. nbc news, london. all right.
you're looking at a live shot of times square where in just a few hours, b the street will be filled with crowds to help ring in the new year. carson daleys will be kicking off the event. i can't believe you're out. >> it's hot out. i'll go on record saying that. this is my 14th year watching the ball drop in times square and i might do it in a tank top. it's warm. >> and i'll be right there with you. >> i hope so. >> in a tank top? >> that would be amazing. >> right now, i have coats. >> we do have coats. i hope you don't wear yours, though. thank you by the way for doing it this career, amy. >> i'm happy to be a part of it. >> thanks for the invite, by the way. >> jeff, next you're year going to wear a coat. we have the great tony bennet. tony bennet started singing as a waiter in queens and spanned seven decades in hufk and in 2011 hit his first number one album.
it's a great year to have him. we have jessie drake, a great breakout uk singer. we have jimmy fallon helping us out. so it's going to be a great show. we're looking forward to it. >> and you have the top five game changers from 2011. who are the nominees? >> we want to do something in the prime hour that gave us advice and talk about some of the things that went on in entertainment. women in comedy is one area that we thought had a breakout success. the voice of women in comedy, new girl and two broke girls and whitney and bridesmaids and kristin wig here at snl. >> what can we expect in 2012? >> season two of the voice is unbelievable. that show we rushed to get on the air because we thought the format was more fresh than some of the other shows and it's bigger and better than the new
year. we premier after the super bowl. >> love the show. see you tonight, carson. and watch nbc's new year's eve with carson daly tonight beginning at 10:00 p.m. eastern time and continuing until 11:30 here on nbc. by alzheimer's. this cruel disease costs americans more than $180 billion a year, and could cripple medicare in the near future. the alzheimer's association is taking action, and has been a part of every major advancement. but we won't rest until we have a cure. you have plans... help the alzheimer's association protect them. act now, go to alz.org. fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit. okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less.
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this is a news 4 news break. it is 8:25 on this last saturday of the year. he's a look at the top stories making headlines today. d.c. police are looking for the gunman who shot a man and a woman in northeast washington. the shots range out overnight on queens chapel road. both victims were rushed to the hospital. there is no word yet on their conditions. we'll bring you more details as they become available. also a canine officer charged with keeping our local airports safe is being behind bars this
morning. charged with trying to solicit a minor. airport authority officer john vot was arrested at dell louse airport around 1:30 yesterday afternoon. he's seen many the picture just before this video with his dog at reagan national airport. fairfax county police charged him with soliciting a minor online after an undercover sting operation. the airport authority has placed him on administrative leave. there will be no champagne toast tonight at a popular lounge in northwest. the club has been shut down by d.c. police chief. she used emergency powers to close the mood lounge. it comes after two people were stabbed outside the nightclub early yesterday morning. the club was officially shut down at 6:00 last night and will stay closed the next 96 hours. if you're heading out to celebrate the new year, be careful. police in fairfax county say they are stepping up efforts to catch drunk drivers. this was the scene last night as police set up their first drunk driving check point along
minutes after the break. you'll be pleased to find there are some very mild conditions outside your doorstep. let's check in with kim. >> good morning. it is a great morning. we had our rain drops a little early. most of you are probably still asleep. and now the sun is shining and temperatures listen to the rise. we started our morning, when i first got here it was in the 50s. we've eased back to 57 now. nana sas you're down to 37 and 41 in montgomery county. rainshowers have pulled north and east. the ones to the west are starting to fall apart. we're going to keep the skies partly cloudy around here. we're looking at a nice afternoon. our weather is going to be warming up.
we're going to have highs today up into the upper 50s. and for newee ears eve temperatures in the middle 40s. back to you. >> i can we can all look forward and we're back on this saturday morning, december 31st, 2011. we have a great crowd out here gathered at the plaza for the last show of the year. we want to thank them for joining us outside studio 1a, aim amy robach with jeff who is here for lester this morning. one of my favorite stories of the weekend "today" show is when you and lester and jenna went to survival schools. >> yes. >> amy is still having nightmares over this. >> yes. we have bugs and snake and gross water we were supposed to drink.
are you kidding me? we're going the take another look at our journey into the wild. we're going the take a look back at the rest of the year that was here on the weekend from celebrity sightings to our halloween extravaganza. 2011 was filled with memorable, wild and wacky moments. >> look at lester rocking out. plus, if you don't have your new year's eve planned, sandra lee is joining us with some affordable and last-minute meals. plus some cocktails, key for new year's eve, just hours to go. >> but first, let's get another check of the weather with bill karen karins who is out on the plaza. bill, thanks. >> isn't this incredible? good seeing you out here. we're going to see you tomorrow morning, too? >> no, no. >> it's a late night tonight. let's take a look at your
forecast and break it down for you. as we go throughout your new year's eve, partly cloudy in southern portions of new england. but there's no big trouble out there. we've got windy conditions in the plains, some snow showers possible, wisconsin, but that's it. and how nice is it? times square, the party, imagine, 44 to 47 degrees. weather is not going to hold back the crowd. about a million people will be in times square tonight. that's 1/8 the population of new york city. showers down alongt the gulf for new year's day. there's not a lot of troublesome weather out there for new year's day even. no snowstormses on the way. it's been a w outside our window it is absolutely beautiful this saturday morning. it's nice to see you. morning rainshowers have pulled north and east. and in its wake we have some sunshine shining down on the nation's capital. the weather today really nice.
we're going to be taking a trip into the upper 50s this afternoon. and for you folks down in the fredericksburg area, this means a high temperature up to around 62. we'll be heres, alaska, minus 2. well, we've got the new year tonight. as we ring in the new year, one of the most important, one of the highest watched football games of the year, sunday night football on nbc. this is practically a playoff game. the winner is in, the losers back their bags and go home for the season. dallas cowboys, new york giants. it's not going to be cold at all. only a slight chance of a shower. amy, back to you. >> all right, bill, thank you. now to revisit one of our favorite stories of the year. this one put lester, jenna and myself to the test like never before. >> a night in the wild. no tents, no sleeping bags, no
toiletries or even toilets for that matter. >> you're suggesting you -- >> yeah. >> you want to wipe yourself -- >> i know it sounds counterintuitive. >> i am so holding it. >> a long hike revealed our shelter for the night. this sandy alcove. by now, it was nearly midnight and we still hadn't eaten, save for some contraband snacks. to koom cook our real dinner, we needed to create fire without matches, something our guide had done before snuffing out our visions of a hot meal. >> what did you do? >> i'm putting it out. because you guys are going to make the dinner fire. with no choice but to put up or go hungry, we seized our fire making tools and tried and tried. >> i can't. my hands. i he literally can't.
>> okay. you did very well. >> until finally one of us found the spark and literally breathed a life into it. >> wow. >> i made fire, wow. >> i had made fire. you would think my coanchors would be happy, and not at all jealous. >> i don't care. i have made plenty of fires on my stove. well, listen, in all seriousness, we came here and this was not meant to be a competition, at least by them. it was for me and i'm kicking their butts. >> we're starving and we're eating lintels, potatoes. >> this ain't no pepperoni pizza. >> this was worth the wait. >> exhaustion has set in and now surviving the cold mountain night became priority number one. >> just a few hours later,
daybreak. >> well, you know, we survived the night and i slept. that in itself surprised me. >> i was cold. >> i can't think, i can't move. i need food. i need coffee. i'm not good without either of those things. so i really feel like it's an effort for me to speak right now. >> there was russelling during the night. i suddenly realized i never asked you about wild animals. >> i noticed you didn't ask. >> yeah. are there? >> oh, yeah. you're a lot bigger than that. >> face your fear, lester, face it. >> my worst fear when i was going off in the dark to get to the bathroom, is that i was standing amid snakes. i'm holding it for the rest of the trip. >> apparently i'm under the assumption that we're skipping breakfast to go out and learn
new skills. one of those skills better be how to find a starbucks. >> i know it looks gross, but it's good to me. >> oh. that's disgusting. i just lost my appetite watching you put that in your mouth. did i just eat something toxic or didn't i? >> no. >> with full stomachs, it was time to pack up, fill up and move on to the toughest test yet. >> these are going to be your maps you're going to use and the three of you together are going to get us back to the parking lot. >> i was pretty observant coming here. >> i wasn't observant coming here. i figured since i was in the great wide open, i would be able to find my way. >> that way. >> i like it because somebody else is taking responsibility. so if she's right, great. if she's wrong, she's wrong and that's more material for me in the weeks and months ahead. >> i would say that we are -- >> i'm not sure why this was so
complicated. >> there's tracks along this way. >> okay. there you go. >> it could be the last lost tv crew. we've got a problem. >> no, lester is a lost cause. lester has found a grass hoper a mile and a half back. and the guy is still trauma advertised from it. he's walk, two left feet right now. >> i think we're headed straight for the parking lot. i see the van! i see the van! amy, you were right! >> whew-hoo! >> three anchors put to the test. >> and we survived, together. >> we're a long way from studio 1a, but they've done a fantastic job. >> we did have a lot of fun, but i still think my favorite part was the grasshopper and lester. that was a real moment. >> he was completely freaked out. >> he doesn't do well with
snakes and bugs. >> no, that's clear. >> but we had fun. >> i smell follow-up in 2012. >> they're already trying to think about the next way to throw us three in harm's way. but it's all about bonding, right? if you think that was wild, what about the rest of the year? if you'll look back, we'll share more moments we learned here on weekend today. [ female announcer ] dove invited real women
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if you're having some last-minute guests over, no need to stress. sandra lee and sandra's money saving meals has some recipes that are quick, easy and satisfying. good morning. >> good morning. >> we're going to blow way the myth that holiday entertaining halls to be expensive or difficult. but it's going the be good. >> it's going be darn good. >> we're going to start off with this, pears and bleu cheese? >> it's very good. this is an appetizer that will take you about ten minutes to make. in this saute pan is the pears, i've taken my frozen appears out with lemon juice to brighten it up. >> and you saute it up like that? >> saute this up just a couple
membershi minutes here. the reason why just a couple minutes is you don't want your appears to break up. what i've done is cut up the nickel and let it get nice and toasty. here we go. take a couple pieces of pear with onions and put it on your toast. then i have bleu cheese. by the way, this is called bleu cheese pear bites. >> are you going to break the bleu cheese on the top or trumbull it? >> this is crumbled bleu cheese. your oven has been turned on, right? turn this on right here. this will meltdown in a couple of minutes. as this melts down, you'll take it out of the oven. and before it gets cold, you want to put on some white chocolate shavings. that's what you have here. it's a decadent, delicious -- >> i'm going to try this. let me see how it works.
>> finger food. >> and it all works together, uh-huh. >> and i'm going to pair that with a meringue margarita. >> and you've got some cup cakes, that's good. >> glitter-oti cup cakes. just for you. >> we're going to fancy them up. i'm using egg whites without the yoke. three of them go in here. then butter milk without the water. this takes out the flavor and pumps up the flavor. on top of that, we're going to put pearl beads, two different sizes, get them at the grocery store. then this is gum paste. gum paste is just a really beautiful sugary icing that you can put and embellish your cup cakes with. what you want to do is take
these stamps, then this is called luster dust. take this -- >> not to be confused with lester dust. >> dabble this on top of the cup cakes and you're going to have one of these -- >> i'm sorry, i've never heard of gum paste. i want to taste the consistency. >> it's nice and hard, yeah, like a hard candy. do you want to safety it when it's soft? >> no. okay. >> that's what you're going to serve. these are great centerpieces. i've made these for showers before, weddings, whatever you like. now it's new year's eve. >> now you've got some margaritas and meringue. >> do you know why we're making margarita epss? >> because it's the day before new year's. >> because it's the number one cocktail in the united states. this is a premade, they call it ready to serve, wherever they sell alcohol. here is the deal with the
meringues. these i bought at the grocery store. they are beautiful. you chop them up, put a little margueriarita mixture into a li dish. turn your glass upside down. put it in a crushed up meringue. that goes there. >> is this in lieu of the salt, then? >> yeah. in lieu of the salt, you put something sweet. >> i was just wondering what that tastes like. >> in this is just the ready to serve margarita with ice in the blender. the gorgeous lime. that is new year's eve in a glass. >> my goodness. thank you very much. >> happy new year. >> i like it. i like it with the sweet. happy new year. sandra lee, a pleasure. thanks for coming in. >> happy new year, everybody. >> we're back with more in a moment. ♪
like so many great pioneers before me, guided only by a dream. i'm embarking on a journey of epic proportion. i will travel, from sea to shining sea, through amber waves of grain, and i won't stop until i've helped every driver in america save hundreds on car insurance. well i'm out of the parking lot. that's a good start.
. i love the hats, by the way. 2012, it's the last segment of the year. hard to believe. it's been a jam packed year with plenty of great moments. but believe it or not, some of the best moments of this show happen behind the scenes. >> even though lester and jenna aren't here right now been the three of us have a lot of fun holding down the ft. here on weekend today. here is a look back at 2011. ♪ ♪ come and dock on our door come and knock on our door ♪ ♪ we've been waiting for you where the kisses are hers and hers and his, three's company too ♪ >> today on nbc. >> this is "today" on nbc. >> this is "today" on nbc. >> and these are amy robach's children. >> let's go make some tv. >> it's what they call payback.
>> there you go. >> see you later. ♪ ♪ you never count your money when you're sitting at the table ♪ ♪ you make me feel good you make me feel good ♪ >> getting choked. it's running through me. >> oh, come on. >> lester holt, everybody. ♪ somebody sweet a little farmer shy you've got to lent the blood to
get a little wild ♪ >> give it up. >> wild thing. >> at what point does this not become cute and instead dangerous? >> right. >> right now. >> oh, that's my boyfriend. ♪ at first i was afraid i was petrified ♪ ♪ i was thinking i could never live without you by my side ♪ ♪ but then i spent so many nights thinking how you did my wrong ♪ ♪ i was strong and i learned how to get along ♪ ♪ i will survive i will survive ♪ >> hey, hey. ♪ party in the house tonight everybody just have a good time ♪ ♪ lose your mind we just want to see you -- shake that ♪
>> i have no say in this family. >> what? you call this a big mouth? >> we're just a regular, loving family. >> i can't wait. i will never win this game without you ♪ ♪ without you ♪ without you >> happening there. >> that's a ways. come on. time me, man, time me. >> there you go. >> and lester holt. >> and i'm amy robach.
>> all right. spit out your gum. >> i know. i always chew gum right before and they're like, amy, hand it over, like i'm 2 years old and i do. no, it was so great to see everyone behind the scenes, too, who make it all happen for us. and they, obviously, are the lifeblood for the show. >> we didn't have any charlie sheen stuff if there, too. >> it was more of a low light. all those behind the scenes ended up on the air. what are you guys doing for new year's? >> i'll be sleeping. i may set the alarm to wake up and watch amy. but sleeping. >> working, working, but happy to do it. come on, right? >> that will do it for us this saturday morning. happy new year, everyone. >> happy new year.
women on alert in penn quarter after a woman there was attacked and sexually assaulted with her baby in the backseat. new york city is preparing for its annual new year's eve bash. we'll have a live report from times square for a look at what's in store for tonight. back in our area, your new year's eve may be a bit treacherous if you're celebrating in one hot spot. >> i have a look at a very mild new year's eve weather forecast. just you wait, next week, big changes roll into town. i'll have an extended outlook. >> we'll have all of that and more
today in less than two minutes. you're watching nbc 4, washington's news leader. 4 is news 4 today. good morning, everyone. welcome to news 4 today on this final day of 2011. 2012 is about 15 hours away and if you're bringing in the new year in adams morgan, you'd better be ready for a mess. construction has turned 18th street into a complete hazard. and that spells bad news for party goers in the hot spot. derek ward is live in the area with more on that problem. good morning, derek.