foreign America I'm Michelle Miller today we travel from small towns to big cities to see how Americans are helping their communities we have an investigation on how Mississippi's Capital City lost access to running water this past year.
And a lighter look at the game of pickleball to see how that sport is making quite the racket but first we introduce you to an Oklahoma non-profit providing a solid foundation for at-risk youth one tiny home at a time here's Omar via Franca foreign Berry has a steady job and for the last.
Two months a steady place to call home two things that were Unthinkable just a few years ago after spending most of her life in Oklahoma's foster care system it's very important to me because growing up I never had anything to myself you know I was taken away from my parents when I was like three months while Barry takes.
Orders she's getting her life in order with the help of pivot the Oklahoma City non-profit provides young people with a little house to live in as they start their journey into adulthood I'm very appreciative of what I have right now what I was providing with because I didn't have anything when I first got here I didn't have any clothes I didn't.
Have any food I didn't have you know anything really many of the residents were homeless like Barry or aged out of the foster care system at 18. the little house project started four years ago with three cozy Cottages but as the need grew the program expanded now pivot has 26 little houses on over 12 acres of land built.
With the help of private donations along with state and federal grants residents initially pay one hundred dollars a month for a home of around 300 square feet with a living space a kitchen and a bathroom tenants can't have overnight guests and have to keep the place clean pivot CEO Jennifer Goodrich says the goal is to get residents ready for the.
Real world in two years by helping them find jobs get counseling and plan for a better tomorrow it's essential because if you don't know where you're going you can't get there right we give them voice and choice like what do you want it to be but a lot of times they're not aware of what are the steps to get down that path government data shows nearly 4 000.
People sleep on Oklahoma streets every day almost 300 of them are between 18 and 24 years old Carter Batcher was 16 when he went into foster care then bounced around shelters when he turned 18. he was the first person to enter pivot's Little House program it was like the whole world was on my shoulders and finally somebody.
Just kind of lifted it just a little bit and I could breathe easier and I wouldn't have to worry about where I was going to sleep that night or if someone was going to steal my stuff and I could just go to sleep for peacefully for the first time in what felt like years Barry is learning the basics and building a big future from her little home I think.
This is an opportunity that I don't think anybody should pass up foreign now to another story on America's youth school bus accidents account for an estimated 17 thousand children ending up in the hospital every year Meg Oliver shows us what one Pennsylvania school district is doing to help solve that problem.
For driver Brenda shawshaw in Bethlehem Pennsylvania at each stop student safety is her top concern what do you see I see people cutting us off I see people going around the bus whether the stop signs out or not passing a school bus flashing red lights is against the law in all states and yet many drivers don't stop now 120 buses in Shasha School District.
Are mounted with cameras recording every violator's license plate videos are forwarded to police to issue a 300 fine the times that it is right now people are more aggressive less patient in neighboring Allentown during a 47-day study in 2019 cameras on two buses recorded 205 illegal stop arm violations Nationwide school buses are passed.
Illegally more than 17 million times a year it was a heart stopping moment in 2018 Amber Clark and her daughter Olivia then in kindergarten had a close call there was a white car that had ran this stop signs and it was barreling towards us and it didn't look like it was slowing down I had just enough time to scoop up my daughter and spin the uh the.
Windshield graze her backpack after the terrifying incident she successfully lobbied to have a law enacted permitting cameras on bus stop arms how does it work for Bethlehem superintendent Joseph Roy the beauty of the plan is that the cameras are free what do you say to the naysayers who say this is just big brother overreaching yeah I've had a.
Couple of emails on that and I guess my response is I'm worried about the kids my job is the kids and just drive more safely coming up a CBS News investigation dives into the water crisis in Mississippi's capital city this is I on America welcome back Jackson Mississippi is home to 150.
000 people who were left without clean running water for weeks this past summer and as Jim Axelrod learned one decision from a decade ago made matters worse here's his investigation on how this city is still struggling to keep clean water flowing our facility had absolutely no water we were at zero water pressure Sydney.
Howard manages the Hope Lodge in Jackson where the American Cancer Society puts up patients at no cost while they're being treated when I walked in here to see that that gauge was at a zero it's what do you do when the city's water system failed Howard had to scramble to evacuate 11 cancer patients to facilities where the Taps and toilets.
Actually worked did you have 30 seconds to think what is going on in Jackson Mississippi where the Hope Lodge doesn't have water yeah but at the end of the day I'm here to take care of lives and save lives at the end of August floods drowned Jackson's aging water treatment plant.
Crippling the system across the city faucets ran with colors you never want to see and the people of Jackson rushed frantically to find whatever was fresh enough to drink we do not have reliable running water at scale it was exactly the kind of Crisis the city hoped to avert a decade earlier when it made a deal with this Siemens Corporation it.
Was ridiculous to even support the keither stamps was elected to the Jackson City Council the same year the city signed the contract with Siemens which he opposed what went wrong everything everything went wrong Siemens came to Jackson with a promise to upgrade the city's water system the upgrades would.
Generate enough Revenue they said to make Jackson's water system sustainable for years to come all the commercial meters are in stock with the city other cities typically paid for projects like this with a cut of the money saved on the back end but Jackson agreed to pay the full cost for those promises up front the city took out a loan for 90.
Million dollars did Siemens keep those promises no the biggest piece of the plan replacing water meters across the city was also the source of the biggest problem thousands of the new meters didn't work some meters measuring in gallons when they were supposed to be measuring in cubic feet meaning people in Jackson were being charged as much as.
Seven and a half times what they should have been throwing computer systems that didn't operate as promised the bill was more than 11 000 and people in this largely African-American city with a per capita income of twenty two thousand dollars we're suddenly facing water bills they had no hope of paying it's a done deal.
Now and we the one got the better Coast the city sued Siemens and some subcontractors alleging in part a massive fraud orchestrated by Siemens that caused more than 450 million dollars in losses to Jackson promise made promise kept the mayor claimed Victory.
When Siemens and the subcontractors settled even though they did not admit wrongdoing Siemens essentially paid back the 90 million dollars the company sent us a short statement saying the agreement settled the issue and the project did not end as either party hoped is it fair to assume that made the city whole oh no even that was the same.
Job after the law firm took a 30 million dollar cut and tens of millions more went to pay back loans needed to keep the water running the city did not have nearly enough to fund the much needed repairs according to this city audit Jackson will be paying back Millions on the Siemens deal at six percent interest.
Until the year 2040. said sometimes I got to Laugh to Keep Them crying there are just lots of problems in the city of Jackson Michael Regan runs the U.S Environmental Protection Agency in Washington as it relates to Siemens and the water meters and the building we understand that that's a part of the problem Regan has traveled twice to.
Jackson in the last month as he focuses on cities where he says chronic under investment has led to infrastructure problems how many other Jacksons exist in our country right now dozens if not more when you look at the data black and brown communities and low-income communities have been disproportionately impacted by environmental hazard and.
Harm because of a lack of investment Jackson's water is back up and running again for now as for Solutions now it's up to the city the state of Mississippi and even the federal government to find a way forward but some estimates but the total price tag for fixing Jackson's water system at one billion dollars.
The break we take you to a small Texas town coming to the rescue for millions of flying mammals the small Texas town of Huntsville is attracting quite a bit of attention giving shelter to more than a million bats Janet shamlian takes us inside an abandoned warehouse where these winged creatures have made themselves at home.
It doesn't look like a point of interest but this crumbling Warehouse with shattered windows and sprouting trees becomes one as the sun sets in Huntsville Texas it's still way underrated as far as tourist destinations think things to check out Tommy Hoke still remembers his first time I was blown away I didn't know what.
To expect and then when I saw it I just I couldn't believe watching it was amazing it's a common reaction to the evening show by more than a million Mexican free-tailed bats emerging on mass for nighttime nourishment from a place they've called home for years but technically isn't.
Theirs the bats are a population the Texas State Penitentiary has long wanted gone it owns the building effectively the bat's landlord and has tried to get them to move into these bat houses just 50 feet away there have been no takers they're in direct sunlight for nearly all day and they're painted black so.
They're essentially what some people call bat ovens earlier this year word came the building would be torn down for safety reasons the fate of the bats uncertain I was looking at that building knowing what was imminent it really just convicted to me that if I don't do something now if I don't say something at least make some sort of an.
Effort it's something that in hindsight I will regret for the rest of my life hoax started a save the Huntsville bats Facebook page thousands joined or made their own pleas and soon the prison agreed to hit pause are you a bad guy I wasn't but I am now you are yeah city council member Russell Humphrey is part of a group local leaders prison reps and.
Bad experts working to find the colony a home they will move to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice tells CBS news we are taking additional time to ensure community members and Advocates are engaged in the discussion when you heard that the prison was going to stop demolishing the warehouse what did you think I thought wow this is amazing I.
Can't believe because I had so many people tell me it's not going to happen we like what you're doing we we think that's great yeah we wish we could save it but it's not going to happen for now the nightly flights continue the giant roadside statue of Texas General Sam Houston is still.
Huntsville's most notable landmark but the bats are gaining ground in its gift store there's recognition of the city's unofficial tourist attraction you can buy that t-shirt that cookie cutter even take home a stuffed bat I have been out here probably since may I uh probably 150 times with earlier sunsets they're harder to see this time of year.
Especially if you're as blind as a well you know it never gets old and a lot of times it's so rewarding I'll hear little kids voices and the excitement in there in their voice kids here tonight yeah yeah and it's great I love hearing that children like Adelaide who got this for you um I picked it up myself at five already.
A bat fan I love bats and I think they love me too the prison baths for now granted a temporary stay we close our show from the court a sport combining tennis ping pong and badminton is taking the country by storm Dana Jacobson gets in on the action to see why pickleball is all the rage.
One three Southern California's Manhattan country club offers members 18 pristine tennis courts but on a Monday afternoon in late August we found most of the action on the pickleball courts nice it's a sport only recently entered your Lexicon you're not alone.
Oh no four years ago did you know what pickleball was no idea never heard of it now Club manager Ali Sullivan says they're building courts wherever they can we actually converted three of our tennis courts over to pickleball so we have six pickleball courts in place of those tennis courts now is there still even more demand than what you have room.
For there is across the street is one of our clubs in El Segundo and we actually just converted our basketball court into a temporary pickleball so it's it's really any space that we can find from the club to the bar I'm looking around and it's packed already it's 5 20. yeah Ryan Weller.
Helped open pkl in South Boston just four months ago the community uh response has been fantastic yeah we don't have enough courts pkl pairs a premium pickleball experience with food and drinks an idea Weller and his Partners got from their own pandemic pickleball activity the first time it was maybe three couples.
And then the next day it was like six couples and then it was eight couples and then the next week it was like all right you do the pre pickup all drinks I'll do the drinks during the Mantra here simple One Nation Under pickleball is this like the new bowling league.
I personally think so we have an eight-year-old birthday tomorrow followed by you know 175 person corporate event followed by you know a mom and dad playing with their 20 20 year old daughter and her boyfriend you know it's kind of a Melting Pot of everyone Dan Cobra has already been here five times and my fiance's parents are.
Coming next weekend and we're already making a reservation for them get out on the courts at Cheshire Park in Connecticut pickleball has practically taken over Lynn Cherry's life for the past four years you got it so where would you be without pickleball right now I honestly don't know.
A former volleyball and Racquetball player Cherry stopped playing sports after she tore her ACL and once I saw the game and I saw the size of the court I'm like even with my bad knees I think I can do this yeah not only did Sherry start playing pickleball you now have two books on pickleball she also couldn't stop talking about it my eye.
Level is like about where the ball is hosting her own podcast pickleball fire and operating a website that publishes a free magazine there's even a map that allows you to search for the closest Court in your area and a section on instructions it's actually a pretty simple game and it's very similar to tennis since I'd never played she gave.
Me a quick in-person tutorial the ball has to bounce twice so so once on each side yes okay to start the game the games are to 11. points are only won by the person or in doubles the team that's serving and what's the gray area in the front of the court the gray area is called the kitchen you cannot step into that gray area and hit the ball in the.
Air with the basics under my belt it was time to give it a try thank you for the very first time players say the court size makes for an intimate social experience you're getting it now now the competitors coming out that Fosters a friendlier game it is fun.
Isn't it it is even when it's competitive that's how Carol Levine described it when we met her in California playing with her daughter Jenny whole new set of friends that I never had yeah like so many we spoke to Levine picked up the sport during the pandemic I think a lot of people were depressed.
And didn't know they were depressed yeah you know did you fall into that yeah yeah when I got sick I definitely fell into that after being diagnosed with a deadly pre-cancerous illness Levine says playing pickleball almost became a matter of life and death had over 16 surgeries in one year with radiation and my husband's like I think.
You really like it and I played and I'm like wow this is easy I can do this and it just like even my doctor said to me I can tell you're like so much better I mean I heard you say it it's safe it did save me I'm in remission and they didn't think that was going to happen and I was lucky pickleball is life the complete guide defeating your obsession Aaron.
McHugh turned her pickleball Obsession into a book that touches on everything from etiquette to how to build a DIY court at home when you love pickleball I think you become a little bit of a missionary you want everybody to play you want everybody to be as happy as you are I'm going to use a scary word is there a like a cult around pickleball.
That it's more than just the game itself I think so you know it's um I have a friend who said when I get home from playing pickleball all I can think of is what am I playing next and with who and I feel the same way so is there a cult well I don't think there's an actual church but I play on Sunday mornings and that's all I can say.
McHugh is spreading the gospel of the game she's helped build two courts and developed a fitness program for students at our sister's School in New Bedford Massachusetts and for the masses there's her book pickleball is life why that title you know it is so much fun and really what I'd like to think about more is why isn't life more like pickleball.
You know pickleball is easy you can always get better anyone can play you can teach anybody it's inexpensive you get healthy you meet new friends what else is there why wouldn't you want to do that why wouldn't you want to do that for more stories like these and live coverage of breaking news 24 7. stream us right here on CBS News I'm Michelle.
Miller thank you for watching I am America sponsored by United Healthcare Medicare plans get Medicare with more
We introduce you to an Oklahoma nonprofit building tiny homes for at-risk youth. And we go across the country to see why the game of pickleball is gaining popularity. Watch these stories and more on “Eye on America” with host Michelle Miller.
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