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Snow in Boston; Connecticut Low Temperatures; Temperatures Drop in Chicago; Dead Banker Walking; No Green Card -- No Problem; Rescuers May Need Rescuing

Aired January 3, 2014 - 08:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The temperatures for tomorrow morning, very low, minus 12 in Boston with the wind-chill, ouch. And it's not looking to warm up any time soon. Let's go one more time to Indra Petersons, who is in the cold, in the blowing snow in Boston.

Good morning, Indra.


And in the snow. I'm actually in a parking lot here in Boston. I wanted to show you what we're seeing all over the city right now. Remember, we've been seeing strong winds out there, so we've been seeing wind drives really piling up these berms where you can actually -- even though we've only had about 10 inches in this region, you're really seeing these berms several feet high. I'm going to try and not (INAUDIBLE) as I walk around.

And that's the thing, you just kind of have this airy, very dry snow really across the area and that's been the concern with this particular system. And we've been having, again, anywhere from one to two feet of snow as this low has been building off the coastline. Now, it's expected to still be dumping more snow as we go through these late morning hours. Now, by early afternoon, most of the system should be offshore already. But again, once you have snow like this kind of kicking around on the ground, those winds pick it up. You're still going to have the concern for low visibility. So that's going to be an issue moving forward.

Also the same reason we have those blizzard warnings in Massachusetts and also in Long Island. I mean this very airy snow, you take winds anywhere like a good 30, 40 miles per hour, it blows around, your visibility goes down below a quarter of a mile. So that's going to be the concern again as far as the timing, the bulk of the system moving offshore today. But that leftover snow still going to be a concern especially into the Cape.

I keep talking about this. It's that ocean effect snow. You're talking about the warmer temperatures on the ocean, hard to believe that the warmer temperatures are on the ocean right now, and that's going to be bringing some snow into the Cape, even after this system moves out.

I want to give you the best visualization. I know it's the end of the show. So no better way to show you how soft the snow is but snow angel, guys. Loving it. It's beautiful out here. You've got to find the upside in the system some way, right?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Ah, that's what I'm talking about.

BERMAN: That's a 10.

PEREIRA: (INAUDIBLE) it was a 10.

BERMAN: That (INAUDIBLE) was a 10. The Russian gave that one an eight (ph). Very well done, Indra.

PETERSONS: I would have done a (INAUDIBLE) but, you know.

PEREIRA: I am pleased to see that you have not lost your good humor out there because it is miserably cold. You have been such a trooper out there, Indra. Thank you so much. And a snow angel to boot.

PETERSONS: You got it.

PEREIRA: We've got to get that on Instagram.

All right, well, we want to talk more about the conditions that are affecting some of the area.

Joining us on the phone right now is Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.

Governor, it's so great to have you with us today. Thanks and good morning to you.

GOV. DANNEL MALLOY, CONNECTICUT: Good morning to you. Happy New Year.

PEREIRA: Happy New Year. What a way to start the New Year. Look, we know this is not the worst your state has seen, but certainly the big story here for your state is the temperatures. It's very, very cold.

MALLOY: Yes, you know, we were, obviously had -- knew this was coming. We'd been working very hard. There are a lot of people who we were worried about, people who live on the street or homeless or live in cars and we have had a massive outreach to those folks over the last 48 hours to get them to come inside.

Our shelters have bet the rules a little bit and found some extra space. We just don't want anyone to get frostbitten or lose their life because of the very, very cold weather, which we really haven't experienced here in a long, long time, at least this cold with these kind of wind-chills.

PEREIRA: Well, I think most people would agree, if there's any time to bend the rules, it is now. Give us an idea of the conditions there right now. Are you anticipating public transportation closures, school cancellations today?

MALLOY: Oh, there's tons of school cancellations. I was just looking at the list. I think the vast, vast majority of school systems decided to close. Our college campuses, by and large, are closed, but people should check their own list. We are opening state government -- what we would call non-essential state government at 9:30, which would normally open up any time as early as 7:45. So we just decided to delay it.

But, listen, we're New England. We've got to be used to snow and we got to be ready for it, we have to respond to it and we have to stay calm and carry on, as the English say, and that's what we're doing. The cold is a special challenge, but, you know, you live in New England, you should expect a fair amount of snow. I think this is setting up a little bit like the winter of '11 where we saw precipitation about every three days. I think our next precipitation is going to be rain, followed by more snow and we're just - we're going to - you know, 75 days till spring.

PEREIRA: Ah, 75 days till spring.

BERMAN: Look (ph) at (ph) who's counting.

PEREIRA: That's a bold - that's a bold prediction. Talk to us because you said the bold predictions that you've made there about New Englanders, we know you're made of strong stuff. Talk to us about the response that you've been seeing getting to some of those communities and clearing the snow, have they had success in some of those areas?

MALLOY: Well, you know, we had the best drill that you could - you know, that you could ever have last February when we had 42 inches of snow in some places and drifts as high as six feet. So this is -- this is not a big storm for us, even as some communities coming in at eight inches. So the blowing snow has been -- it's a very dry snow, so it has been blowing quite a bit. But you know what, it is stopping snowing. I'm in Hartford right now. There's almost no snow flying. And I think in another couple of hours we will have this thing pretty well cleaned up.

PEREIRA: Yes, our forecasters has talked about the fact that this storm is definitely moving out east, but we know that the cold temperature will last.

Well, we wish you the best in the New Year. Governor Malloy, thank you for joining us on the phone and for giving us an idea of how things are going in Connecticut right now.

MALLOY: Thank you for all you do. Bye-bye now.

PEREIRA: All right, be well.

BERMAN: So happy to hear the governor saying that the shelters are bending their rules a little bit -

PEREIRA: Absolutely. Like (ph) they should.

BERMAN: To get people inside and into the beds they need because, you know, these temperatures are so, so treacherous.

And they're really a mess across the country all the way back to the Midwest, where this storm hit first. The travel and temperatures bottoming out well below zero. Icy roads in Missouri sent this school bus off a hill and into a ditch. Millions across the area are braving dangerously low temperatures. The real feel we're talking about right now could go as low as 25 below zero. Our breaking news coverage continues now with Ted Rowlands, who's live outside Chicago.

Ted, you've seen the mercury dropping all morning.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's about 10 below now here in - we're in Naperville, Illinois, just outside Chicago. Earlier we showed you our frozen T-shirts, which is as crispy as they come. But look at this one. This is my favorite. It's the frozen banana, which you can use as a hammer. Listen to that. That's a banana. Try doing that in your warm studio.

In downtown Naperville here, we've seen some people move out (ph). They come up to the Starbucks, leave their car running and scurry in there. We can't blame them because as soon as we're done with this live shot, Jordan (ph) and I are going to be scurrying right - oh, sorry, Jordan -- into our live truck. That's where we are hanging out as far as you know. We are not out on the streets any more than we have to be.

So, back to you so we can get in there.

BERMAN: No, but when you do scurry inside, make sure you take your banana hammer with you because those things (INAUDIBLE).

PEREIRA: Yes, they're valuable. Hard to come by. Hard to come by.

BERMAN: Ted Rowlands, thank you so much.

ROWLANDS: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Thank you for one of the best live shots I've ever seen. Appreciate it.

PEREIRA: Having been in California for the last 15 years, I hadn't seen that and I think it's genius. I know many of you are used to it, but I still think it's very entertaining, the frozen T-shirt and the frozen banana.

All right, you need to know the five things for your new day. Ana Cabrera is going to handle that for us.

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And aside from the weather, number one when it comes to news this morning, more personnel ordered to leave the U.S. embassy in South Sudan because of fighting between rebels and government forces. Peace talks are underway in Ethiopia but, again, the fighting continues.

Two Americans have been detained in Libya. A source telling Reuters both were basketball players and they were both arrested on the campus of Benghazi University. The State Department is now looking into this matter.

Secretary of State John Kerry is in the Middle East this morning proposing a framework for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry says the time is close for making tough decisions.

Number four, an arrest in the beating death of this California priest. The suspect, Gary Lee Bullock, was arrested for public intoxication the night before the body of Father Eric Freed was fun.

And "Downton Abbey" returns this Sunday. The popular British series is back for a fourth season on PBS. So you can find out what the Dowager Countess and the rest of the Crawley family have been up to. Of course, a very popular show. Lots of happy fans this morning to hear that news.

We are always updating the five things you need to know, so go to for the very latest.

John. Michaela.

BERMAN: Very, very happy about the "Downton Abbey" (INAUDIBLE). Thank you so much, Ana.

PEREIRA: Very happy.

BERMAN: Next up on NEW DAY, dead and then busted. A banker accused of faking his own death to escape fraud charges. One of his alleged victims says she knew his suicide was a fraud, too.

PEREIRA: Plus, no green card, no problem. California's high court says an undocumented immigrant may practice law. We'll speak with him live in a moment.


BERMAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

Now to dead banker walking. We have new video and new information on the ex-banker accused of faking his own death to cover up multimillion dollars' worth of fraud. Aubrey Lee Price vanished in 2012, reportedly leaving behind a suicide note. He was declared legally dead over a year ago. Police say even his family thought he was dead. The FBI, however, they didn't buy it. Here's CNN's David Mattingly.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Missing and legally dead, former Georgia banker Aubrey Lee Price appeared very much alive leaving federal court looking very different than he did when he disappeared a year and a half ago.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Would you have recognized this guy?

WENDY CROSS, FRAUD VICTIM: Yes. No, every time I see that shot, it doesn't get old how shocking it is.

MATTING: Wendy Cross is among more than 100 people allegedly defrauded by Price in a $40 million investment scheme. A federal complaint says Price confessed in a 22-page letter that he "falsified statements with false returns," in order to conceal more than $20 million in investor losses.

CROSS: It was my life savings. So, yes, it was devastating.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Cross lost $300,000. It put her food truck business in jeopardy and left her financially ruined. A risk she never suspected she was taking.

CROSS: It was a clean-cut, soft-spoken guy that seemed extremely professional and, you know, that's how I knew him.

MATTINGLY: In 2012, law enforcement said Price told his family he was going to Latin America, but instead flew to Key West, bought diving weights and a ferry ticket to make it look like he jumped overboard and drowned. Security cameras caught him taking his last steps before he disappeared.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Did you believe he was dead?

CROSS: I never once thought that he was dead.


CROSS: Well, I saw the footage of him on the ferry in Key West and he had a backpack and a suitcase with him.

MATTINGLY: The elaborate hoax fell apart New Year's Eve when Georgia Police stopped Price for driving with windows too darkly tinted. On New Year's Day, authorities raided the house Price was representing in Marion County, Florida, and found a marijuana growing operation with 225 plants. Prosecutors call him a flight risk and ask he remain behind bars without bail.

David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.


BERMAN: You know, I still can't believe the difference in appearance a little more than a year ago to now.

PEREIRA: Yes. It's a fascinating story. One we'll continue to watch. We brought it to you right here on CNN.

We're going to take a short break. Next on NEW DAY, he's been waiting nearly 20 years for a visa while opportunities passed him by. But now this young man, an undocumented immigrant, won't need that elusive document to move ahead with his career. Sergio Garcia joins us next.

BERMAN: And later, Antarctica just can't let go. The rescuers might now need rescuing themselves.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.

A green card is no longer a prerequisite for a law license in California. You heard that right. Thursday the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sergio Garcia, a 36-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Garcia attended law school, passed the bar in California but he was not able to get his law license because of his immigration status. Garcia applied for a visa when he was 17, but 19 years later the visa still hadn't been processed -- still hasn't been processed.

Thursday's decision marks the end of this long legal battle for Garcia. His critics argue someone without legal status should not be allowed to practice law, but for Garcia, obviously this decision is a dream come true.

He joins us now from Sacramento. Thank you so much for being with us and congratulations.

SERGIO GARCIA, LAWYER: Thank you so much and thank you for the invitation.

BOLDUAN: You've waited an awful long time for this, you graduated law school in 2009. So I wonder if you can tell us what this decision means to you, personally?

GARCIA: Well, basically, it will allow me to fulfill one of my two dreams. I always wanted to be a licensed attorney and I hope to one day be a U.S. citizen. But for now I guess at least one of my two dreams is now going to be possible and I'm just so super excited. I'm tired. I haven't slept much, but I'm super excited to finally be able to fulfill one of my dreams.

PEREIRA: Can we talk to you about the 19 years? I think many people would not understand why it took so long. We understand you've been approved for your green card but it hasn't been processed. You don't have it in your hand. Why is that?

GARCIA: Well, unfortunately I would be among those people who don't understand why it takes 19 years or it's likely to take 25 years. And that just I think highlights the problems with our immigration system and how the system's broken and it really, I don't think it should take that long to be able to process a green card, be able to tell somebody whether they can lawfully stay in this country or not.

And so I kind of fallen through the cracks just because I was two weeks too old, you know, to get my green card at the time so I aged out, as they say. And now I'm in a category that takes about 25 years in order to get a green card, even though I'm the son of a U.S. citizen.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Wow. So Sergio, I'm curious, given all the obstacles that you faced since coming to the U.S., getting your visa and being able to practice law after getting your degree here, why was it so important for you to persist and to continue to try to work here in the U.S.?

GARCIA: Well, listen, I wasn't smart enough. I put all my eggs into one basket. This whole idea of being an attorney was the only idea I had going and so, you know, 20 years of working on that dream, I couldn't really afford to just give up on it, so that and I'm a little bit stubborn anyway.

BERMAN: Stubborn is a good thing to be, dealing with the immigration system, I think. That's for sure. Listen, there are critics who look at this and say there's an irony here. That you are now able to practice law even though you don't really have legal status here -- what do you say about that irony?

GARCIA: Well, I would say, you know, at first blush, that might be the easiest response or the easiest critique to make -- the criticism to make, but in reality, if you look at all the facts, I was brought here as a minor. I immediately applied for a green card, that has been approved and I've been waiting for 19 years.

I think if somebody's frustrated with that or has some issues with that, I think the federal government is the one to be addressing and, you know, talking to both republicans and Democrats in D.C., and telling them to get their act together and fix this immigration system.

PEREIRA: Do you plan on practicing immigration law?

GARCIA: Oh, no. That's just too messed up. I don't want to be involved with that.

PEREIRA: What type of clients do you anticipate having then?

GARCIA: You know, I love being in front of the judge and jury so just some civil litigation, you know, personal injury, debt negotiation, anything that's civil. But no, I intend in the future to hopefully have an immigration attorney on staff, but not for me. That's not the area for me. I mean 19 years waiting and it's still not fixed, so I'm not interested in that.

BERMAN: Sergio Garcia, thank you for being with us, congratulations. And again --

GARCIA: Thank you so much.

BERMAN: -- spoken like a man who has truly dealt with frustrations over the last decade plus.

PEREIRA: We know there's a backlog but a 20-year backlog -- that is extraordinary.

All right. We'll take a short break. Thanks so much, Sergio.

Coming up an update on the stranded passengers in Antarctica, their journey home is at a standstill. We'll tell you why, next.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

And you were thinking it's cold where you are, imagine Antarctica. Wow. Remember that rescue we were telling you about? Well, it just got even more complicated. The people, the 52 people that were rescued off a research ship well, their rescue has come to a screeching halt because some of the rescuers themselves may now need rescuing.

CNN's Matthew Chance has been watching this from London for us. This is the last thing that they wanted to hear.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's just getting absolutely ridiculous at this point. They're getting a much longer white Christmas I think it's fair to say than they bar bargained for. And what's happened now is that the Chinese icebreaker that was instrumental in rescuing the passengers on board that stranded research vessel -- the vessel, the Akademik Shokalskiy -- it has now itself become trapped in the (inaudible) ice.

And so, the 52 passengers who were airlifted by the helicopter from the Chinese vessel are on to an Australian ship close by. They were meant to be heading to dry land. Instead, they've been stopped in their tracks and forced to turn back and Chinese vessel -- the Chinese ice breaker that is now stranded. So the rescuers are now being rescued by the people they rescued in the first place. So it's getting very complicated indeed and at the moment there's no sign of it coming to an end.

PEREIRA: Well, we watch how these conditions change by the minute. Is there any information that you're gleaning about when that rescue ship that is now stranded -- when it could be freed from the ice and be able to carry on its way?

CHANCE: It's all dependent on the freezing weather conditions there in that remote part of Antarctica. At the moment, the ice is some 14 feet thick. Hopefully because it's summertime down there, remember, it's going to melt pretty soon. Crew members on board the Australian vessel were the passengers are rescued are also located are saying it's going to be a couple of days tops before the ice is in a condition where they can break through it -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right. Matthew Chance, watching from London. Keep an eye on this for us. Thanks so much Matthew, we appreciate it.

BERMAN: Seems like one thing after another down there.

PEREIRA: It is. It really is. You know that's it for us here on NEW DAY. We've had a great time bringing you the coverage from live outside in the snow and in the studio.

BERMAN: Of course, CNN will continue its coverage of this nor'easter, the big storm of 2014 beginning right now in "NEWSROOM" with Fredricka Whitfield -- Fred.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thanks so much. I really did like the parka and the ear muffs, though. Taking it for the troops -- I appreciate that.


PEREIRA: It's a good look. WHITFIELD: Very good. Keep it all bundled up. I like that. Thanks so much.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in for Carol Costello. She has the day off.

So for about 100 million Americans, this is the nightmare that they woke up to, a howling nor'easter plowing across the eastern half of the country, and unloading much of its wrath right there on the nor'east -- hence the word nor'easter.

Thousands of flights canceled, major metro areas shut down and the nation's largest school system closed. As much as two feet of snow blankets much of New York and Massachusetts, states of emergencies in effect to get an idea of the message sent to snowbound northeasterners.

The man shoveling that snow is New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio. What a way to christen the year and his term.

So as you can see just beneath me you're about to see soon -- we're using every square inch of your television screen to bring you all the latest information from current conditions to forecasts to closings, all of it, and that will stay up throughout the show.

All right. So let's just really expand the map here; we're looking at a sprawling reach of this storm. Correspondents are fanning out from the Midwest to the Northeast, showing the paralysis on the ground and the delays in the air as the impact ripples through airports across the country.