Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
December 26th, 2012
10:10 AM ET

1960s Rock Star, Lester Chambers, depends on charity

Finding fame with the Chambers Brothers with the hit “Time has Come” in the 1960s, Lester Chambers was a rock star. Although his songs have been covered by the likes of Sheryl Crow, Joan Jett and the Ramones, at 72, he depends on Social Security and charities like “Sweet Life” just make ends meet.

A photo of a gold album and a note telling Chambers’ story went viral. The photo was shared 30,000 on Facebook and liked about 100,000 times. Most importantly, it caught the eye of co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Alexis has helped Chambers get his story out there in hopes of getting some of those royalty checks to him.

Chambers has not lost his appreciation for those who stood by him when he was down. Close friend to John Lennon, Chambers was helped by his widow, Yoko Ono, his son Dylan says, “She got in touch and donated enough top ay for Dad’s medical for a year and for our rent for a year. Dad and John were great friends back in the day.”

December 26th, 2012
10:08 AM ET

High Schools in Philadelphia start dispensing condoms in hallways

A controversial move by Philadelphia high schools has parents reeling. A new plan aimed at curbing unsafe sex among teenagers has condom dispensers in schools. According to the Center for Disease Control, 40% of high school students in Philly that are sexually active do not use condoms.

Don Schwarz, the Deputy Mayor for Health in Philadelphia, says, “We’re very concerned about parents and their understanding that condoms are an important part of general prevention. […] We believe our role is to assure that as partners for parents, we provide what young people may need if they’re going to act responsibly in terms of sexual relations.”

December 26th, 2012
10:01 AM ET

WSJ's Chris Farley on the upcoming hit films of 2013

Chris Farley, the Senior Editorial Director of Digital Features at the Wall Street Journal, joins "Starting Point" Wednesday to discuss the upcoming hit films to look out for in the new year. Farley's top movies of 2013 include "World War Z," "The Host," "Old Boy," "The Great Gatsby," and more.

Filed under: Movies
December 26th, 2012
08:58 AM ET

Christmas tornado hits Mobile, Alabama; wife films storm as husband races away

Violent storms moving through the southeast ruined Christmas for many from Texas to Georgia. This "wedge" tornado was seen ripping through Mobile, Alabama. David Saraceno and his family were driving down the interstate en route to visit family for Christmas when they were caught in the storm. He drove while his wife shot a video of the dangerous tornado that tore through Mobile yesterday. He joins “Starting Point” over the phone from Fairhope, Alabama this morning to share his experience.

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Filed under: Christmas • Severe weather • Tornado
December 26th, 2012
08:57 AM ET

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) weighs the possibility of a fiscal cliff compromise: 'we can find that middle ground'

Just six days away from falling over the fiscal cliff, and still no deal. Congress returns to D.C. this Thursday after taking a Christmas vacation. Let's hope lawmakers bring with them little bit of left-over Christmas spirit. The president will leave Hawaii very late tonight to come back to Washington. With the latest on the fiscal cliff is Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida. She is the most senior Republican woman in the entire House.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen believes lawmakers do not want to go over the fiscal cliff and a compromise is inevitable. “I’m very optimistic that if all of us pull our weight and do some serious conversations, we will have a bi-partisan solution,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen says. “Let’s give up a little bit. Each side can concede a little and I think we can find that middle ground.”

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen also talks about her big role in getting an ex-marine out of a nightmarish prison in Mexico and back to his family for the holidays. Fmr. Marine Jon Hammar was released from the prison thanks to help from the Congresswoman. She has been in constant touch with his family.

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Filed under: Congress • Fiscal cliff
December 25th, 2012
09:20 AM ET

Unexpected Christmas gift; sailor shows up to surprise mom for the holiday

On Christmas day, what could be a better gift than to have a son or daughter return from service overseas? And how much more special when it’s a surprise? Texas mom Debbie Giles received that ultimate gift when her son, U.S. Navy Fireman Apprentice Matt Giles, planned the ultimate surprise.

He sent his mom an oversized Christmas card that she was reading aloud to a friend on the phone when Matt came from behind and hugged her. A video of the surprise has gone viral with more than 70 thousand hits online. Mother and son join “Early Start” from Houston this morning to share their story.

“I wasn’t expecting it all,” Debbie says. “It was a total shock.” The happy mom also shares how the experience has been for the family, who hasn't been able to see Matt since March. "We spent last Friday with all of my children and grandchildren. We had our family get-together then. It's been wonderful having Matt home."

Alina Cho asks Matt what wish he would like fulfilled in the new year. "I guess if possible, I would wish my dad could actually stand up on his own. He could walk again," Matt says. "It's a big wish and it probably won't happen but he's made a lot of improvement and for him to improve as much he has from the stroke until now...I'm just so proud to have come home and seen that he's doing so well."

Debbie asks for something similar to her own experience for other armed forces. "If I had one wish, I would wish that all the military personnel can be home with their families through the holiday season."

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Filed under: Christmas • Holidays • U.S. Navy
December 25th, 2012
08:55 AM ET

California homeowner Jan Stewart has 65K Christmas lights on her house; neighbors annoyed: 'I just don’t understand their attitude'

Christmas is typically a festive time when many of us decorate our houses with lights, wreaths, inflatable Santas and more. But there’s always that house that takes it a little too far. One woman's display in Fountain Valley, California features 65,000 lights! The display cost $50,000 and took a month to install. And it has since sparked controversy among her neighbors. But it's in tribute to a man who died of cancer. This morning, we're joined by the Jan Stewart, the woman who owns the house and put up the display.

Stewart says she put up the lights in tribute to her late husband, Larry. “We had been looking at these lights for quite a while on the Internet; decided last year was the year that we were gonna do it,” Stewart says. “Unfortunately, he passed away in May. So, I decided to do it in his honor and this is the second year.”

The sentiment is not lost on everybody but some neighbors have complained and consider it a bit of a nuisance. “It’s only for another week or so and the display will be gone,” Stewart says. “I just don’t understand their attitude.” Stewart plans on doing it again next year.

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Filed under: Christmas
December 25th, 2012
08:26 AM ET

Consumer Reports Magazine Editor Paul Reynolds shares his top 5 gadgets of 2012

We've all got the gadget we can't live with out. For most of us it's our smart phone. But from cool cameras, to e-readers, to 3D TV’s and Rokus, there's gadgets and gizmos aplenty out there. Paul Reynolds is an expert on all things electronic. An editor for Consumer Reports Magazine, he comes to “Early Start” to show some of his top five picks of 2012 electronics. Convenience, versatility, innovation, sleek design and portability are wired into these five devices. See if any of your go-to favorites made his list.

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Filed under: Gadgets • Innovation • Technology
December 24th, 2012
09:45 AM ET

Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall on his proposal to arm teachers in schools

National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre is not giving any ground on his controversial statement after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Lapierre said that gun control measures would not do anything to prevent mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults. On Friday the National Rifle Association launched a program that seeks to install armed police officers that would be stationed at schools across the country. LaPierre is not the only one who supports arming adults in schools. This morning Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall joins “Starting Point” to discuss proposal that would require some teachers or other staffers to carry concealed weapons in schools.

Marshall says the requirement is not as simple as a call for teachers or administrators to carry guns but rather an opportunity “for public school divisions to offer such training to people who want to receive such training.” Marshall adds that he has received requests via email from school teachers, administrators and principals around the world from public schools in Virginia who are asking for the training.

Marshall goes on to say that he feels thankful that police are there to react to school shootings but he thinks “individuals who are already certified to carry” a concealed weapon should be allowed to carry a gun on school grounds. He adds that his bill is not a requirement but rather an option for those who want to carry a gun and who have received the necessary four week training.

Filed under: Gun control • Gun violence • Guns • Newtown
December 24th, 2012
09:41 AM ET

Norquist: Obama 'wants to take us over the fiscal cliff'

With just eight days left until the country goes off the fiscal cliff, all is quiet in Washington because Congress and the president are on vacation.

219 Congressmen and 39 Senators in the new Congress have signed Grover Norquist's vow to not raise taxes, and the Americans for Tax Reform president joins Starting Point today to weigh in on the ongoing negotiations.

Saying that the president wants to take the country over the cliff because he "needs an excuse for the next four years of failure," Norquist asserts that "the regulations and spending that he’s put on the economy for the next four years are going to put us in a recession regardless of the fiscal cliff."

Norquist also discusses House Speaker Boehner's "Plan B" proposal, calling the plan a "step in the right direction."


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