<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usThu, 23 Feb 2017 15:17:35 -0800Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:17:35 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Lockheed Martin Will Move 650 Positions From Sunnyvale]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:13:55 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-521449770.jpg

Sunnyvale-California based Lockheed Martin announced Thursday it will be relocating its ballistic missiles program to other U.S. facilities.

In a press release, the global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide, said the company plans to move approximately 650 positions from its Space Systems facility in Sunnyvale, to other Lockheed Martin locations in Florida and Colorado.

"We value the deep expertise of our employees, and we're working diligently to shape a transition that leverages the knowledge of this team," said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. "Reshaping our Fleet Ballistic Missile program will help us take full advantage of our engineering and manufacturing facilities and centralize key skills, saving costs for the Navy on this critical national security program.

"As our business evolves, we're adapting to ensure we deliver the innovation, affordability and performance our customers demand," said Mathew Joyce, vice president and general manager of Strategic and Missile Defense Systems for Lockheed Martin. "We've laid out a long-term strategy that will achieve that evolution and position us for the future, while offering our employees time to plan and prepare for the transition."

The move is expected to happen over the next eight years.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Cruz Police Chief Blasts ICE For Secret Raids]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 14:55:15 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KevinVogel.jpg

Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel lambasted the Department of Homeland Security at a news conference Thursday, accusing them of conducting secret immigration raids in the community and lying to the police department.

More than 200 local police and Homeland Security officers participated in an early morning raid on Feb. 13. Ten alleged gang members were arrested in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Daly City on a host of charges, including drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit extortion by force, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

However, since then, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have confessed to police that some among those who were detained specifically in Santa Cruz had not committed any crimes, Vogel said. They were taken to a Homeland Security facility because they are illegal immigrants, according to NBC affiliate KSBW.

"This flies in the face of the values that our community holds very deeply. The community has an absolute right to be angry over this," Vogel said at the news conference.

It remains unclear whether deportations played a part in the Daly City and Watsonville raids.

An irate Vogel said that he only agreed to work with federal officials because they repeatedly asserted that immigration detentions and deportations were not part of their plan. He was led to believe that the suspects belonged to the Santa Cruz Salvatrucha Locos 13, a subset of the Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) gang.

A federal grand jury has indicted seven of the men for conspiring to extort drug dealers and three for conspiring to traffic methamphetamine.

What was described as the culmination of a five-year federal investigation, raised the hackles of Santa Cruz's immigrant community because the arrests followed ICE raids around the United States.

At the time, Santa Cruz police responded to the concerns by releasing a statement assuaging people's fears.

It read in part: "This operation was not associated with enforcement of federal immigration nor deportation investigations. The City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Police Department does not and will not participate in immigration enforcement or arrests."

It continued: "The men arrested during today's operation were all members of a violent criminal organization that has preyed upon and threatened the community."

However, on Feb. 14, many in the community voiced their fears at a City Council meeting, KSBW reported, accusing ICE of uprooting families based on people's immigration statuses.  

Vogel and Deputy Santa Cruz Police Chief Dan Flippo, who had previously assured their community that the raids were not led by ICE, were in attendance and became worried.

"The information provided from our community sounded credible," Vogel said at the news conference.

Flippo walked out of the City Council meeting to call high-ranking Homeland Security officials to dig for answers, according to KSBW. No one has taken personal responsibility for the immigration detentions, but officials have acknowledged that they did, in fact, happen. They have also denied the police department's request for the names of the illegal immigrants who were taken into custody, KSBW wrote.

"I am very angry this occurred and I'm disgusted this was withheld from me," Flippo said to KSBW.

Vogel added: "This has violated the trust of our community, and we cannot tell you how disappointed we are by the betrayal of the Department of Homeland Security."

However, Vogel stressed that the 10 gang members who were arrested, posed a genuine threat to the safety of Santa Cruz residents.

Velarmino "Meduza" Escobar Ayala, Tomas "Profugo" or "Caballo" Rivera, Ismael "Casper" Alvarenga Rivera, Willfredo "Chino" Edgardo Ayala, Jose David "Largo" Abrego Galdamez, Melvin "Sharky" Lopez and Alexander "Pocar" Martinez Flores are facing extortion charges, prosecutors said.

According to the indictment, the seven men had conspired to threaten Santa Cruz drug dealers and those close to them with violence in order to take their property. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Gerber "Choco" Morales, Emilio "Diablo" Escobar Abarnga and Josue Alcedis "Penguino" Escobar Cerritos allegedly conspired to engage in drug trafficking, prosecutors said. Since March 2015, the three men conspired to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of meth.

If convicted, the defendants accusing of conspiring to commit extortion face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Those convicted of conspiracy to possess 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it face a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine, prosecutors said.



Photo Credit: Telemundo 48]]>
<![CDATA[Discount Gift Cards Popular With Families, Money Launderers]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:01:05 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0222-2017-GiftCard.jpg

Secondhand gift cards, which sell by the billions online, are growing in popularity. Families are discovering that they can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on everyday purchases such as gasoline, groceries, and restaurants.

But criminals are exploiting this fast-moving market.

SIMPLE SAVINGS

The legitimate transaction is simple. People who have unwanted gift cards sell them to others for less than face value. The buy pockets the savings.

That’s what Daniel Yang was after.

“It was a great deal,” he said.

Yang simply wanted to save money at a place he goes regularly: Chipotle.

“I wanted to maximize my discount because I go there often with my kids,” he said.

So, he found a website called CardCash.com where he bought a $100 Chipotle gift card for just $70.

But the deal quickly fizzled.

“I went to Chipotle, and Chipotle said, ‘your card is not valid,’” he said. “That was the first time I ever used it.”

Daniel contacted us and aroused our suspicion. We began looking into secondhand gift cards and discovered criminals exploiting them.

A SIMPLE CRIME

“A gift card sounds so innocent to all of us, but if you have this criminal mindset, you're going to find a way to use it to your advantage,” said Bob Moraca, Vice President of Loss Prevention for the National Retail Federation.

Moraca tracks crime trends and says thieves are using everyday gift cards to convert stolen credit cards into cash.

“That’s what the criminal wants at the end of the day, they want the cash,” he said.

Here’s how it works:

A criminal steals a credit card.

Next, they go to stores and rapidly buy stacks of gift cards.

Then they immediately re-sell them online.

That’s it. It only takes minutes.

But, when a bank later catches onto the scam and cancels the gift cards, buyers like Daniel can wind up with a worthless code.

That’s what happened to Daniel yang’s Chipotle card.

“It’s a learning experience for me,” Yang said.

Chipotle confirmed Daniel’s card was initially bought fraudulently.

The restaurant’s spokesman, Chris Arnold, said Yang’s case mirrored the scenario Moraca described.

“The same person who purchased [Daniel’s] card purchased several others.”

Chipotle called this breed of money laundering “a big and growing problem with pre-paid cards of all kinds.”

Moraca agreed.

“It’s happening every day,” he said.

A COMMON CRIME

Our research discovered it’s virtually everywhere.

In one burst outside Washington, D.C., $8,500 worth of gift cards were purchased with a stolen credit card in just eight minutes.

Near Miami, $9,000 in seven minutes.

And at a Petaluma target, $15,000 worth in just 12 minutes. Police suspect the couple spotted on surveillance hit two other stores for more gift cards and later likely laundered them for cash.

“Some of it can be organized crime,” Moraca said of the laundering.

No one tracks exactly how much this rip-off costs.  But it is prompting action.

“We probably see more of this activity than anyone on the planet,” said Tyler Spaulding, chief technology officer at Raise.com, which calls itself the world’s largest gift card marketplace.

STOPPING CROOKS

Spaulding told us the industry is building new software to detect suspicious sellers and is even hiring money laundering experts to police the gift card market. 

“At the simplest sense, we’re essentially selling money,” he said.

The only good from this fast-moving fraud is a new benefit for consumers. Some re-sellers are now guaranteeing the advertised value of their secondhand gift cards.

Raise gives buyers a one year guarantee.

“We’re willing to put our money where our mouth is,” Spaudling said.

Policies vary site by site.

The one Daniel used, CardCash.com, offered a 45-day guarantee.

He tried to use his Chipotle card after that and paid the price.  

“Oh yeah, I did pay,” he said with a chuckle.

Daniel’s $70 loss is a laugh.

But also a call for banks and stores: to improve their systems.

“I think the computer should be smart enough to detect this kind of activity and put a hold on it. Put a freeze on it,” he said.

CHANGES AT STORES

You will see new countermeasures at cash registers -- where this gift card fraud starts.

Some stores, like Walmart, might ask for identification when you buy a gift card with a credit card. Other stores are limiting how many gift cards you can buy. A few require cash.

One last note: everyone we talked to for this story cautioned us that buying a gift card from an individual on Craigslist or E-Bay is a risky proposition. There’s little or no built-in protection there.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Horses Stranded in Floodwaters More Than 20 Hours]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:28:09 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-23-17-horse-dry-san+jose3.jpg

Remaining horses from the floodwater will be moved to a different faculty. Pete Suratos reports.



Photo Credit: SkyRanger]]>
<![CDATA['We Are in Unchartered Territory:' USGS Tracks Coyote Creek]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 14:38:48 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AP_17052804639733.jpg

USGS experts on Wednesday surveyed water levels at Coyote Creek which spilled into nighborhoods and streets in San Jose Tuesday, causing historic floods. Experts said "it wasn't so much the velocity, it was the quantity of water that caused the flooding." "We're in unchartered territory," Anthony Guerriero with USGS said. Hydrologists with USGS used all kinds of tools to monitor water flow. 

They were pleased to see water levels drop as predicted, especially after Tuesday's powerful flooding ripped a measuring stick from its cement base. The job of the USGS is to measure and provide data. NOAA and the Santa Clara Valley Water District make decisions based on that data.

The USGS understands how those agencies were caught off guard. "No one really knows how the channel is going to react, especially after multiple years of drought. The channel's chock full of vegetation and debris, just made it even worse," Guerriero said.

He says there's little historical data for Coyote Creek, making it very hard to make predictions. Creek waters are lower today, but still flowing at historic highs.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jail Expansion Plan Is a 'Slap in The Face' For Richmond]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:46:23 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JAIl+MEETING1.jpg

Richmond’s fight to prevent a $95 million jail expansion at the West County Detention Facility continued on Tuesday, with the City Council authorizing an opposition letter to be sent to the state board that has the power to approve funding for the project.

Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay will now draft the letter and send it to the California Board of State and Community Corrections, which must grant $70 million in order for the expansion to move forward. The letter could hurt Contra Costa County's chances at securing funding by making its application less competitive. 

At a meeting earlier this month, the county's Board of Supervisors approved Sheriff Dave Livingston's proposal asking the state for the funds, despite fierce opposition from Richmond residents who said the expansion is a poor use of more than $25 million in county resources and will add to a “culture of mass incarceration.” 

“It’s kind of like a slap in the face to us,” said councilmember Melvin Willis, who put the item on Tuesday’s agenda. "So I wanted to make sure that the city makes the opposition to this jail expansion known to the people who are supposed to be granting out these funds, to give us an opportunity to stop it in its tracks.”

The expansion plan proposes adding close to 120,000 square feet to the Richmond jail, including space for 400 beds and child visitation, re-entry and rehabilitation centers. If funding is granted, the Richmond facility will be able to house high-risk inmates currently incarcerated at the overcrowded Martinez jail.

Those who oppose the expansion have poined to other ways to reduce overcrowding, such as severing the sheriff's lucrative contract with Immigrations Customs Enforcement. Livingston is slated to meet with immigrant advocates on Thursday to discuss fears and concerns about the collaboration, and a press conference will be held afterwards. 

Richmond leaders have successfully lobbied against the jail expansion in the past and seem committed to repeating those efforts this time around. In 2015, the city filed a court petition to contest the expansion’s Environmental Impact Report, a move Livingston has credited with torpedoing the deal. Legal challenges can detract from a point score the state uses evaluate each application.  

“A lot of our people out here in the community are suffering,” Willis said, when explaining why he opposes the project. "For me, saying 'Yes' to this jail expansion is saying that it’s okay to mass incarcerate our community members when a lot of people there have probably served their time and do not need to be in jail to begin with.” 

Despite an overwhelming number of Richmond residents voicing opposition to the expansion at past meetings, several others spoke in support of the project. Many cited deteriorating conditions in the Martinez jail, particularly for inmates who suffer from mental health conditions.

“Do you really know what it’s like for a (person with mental health conditions) in jail?” Duane Chapman, who serves on the county’s Mental Health Commission, asked the board. “If you’ve never been to jail you don’t know what’s going on. If you don’t have any relatives there, you don’t know what’s going on.” 

Chapman said he’s going to “keep pushing” for better services within the jail, and noted that he would be writing a letter to the board in support of the sheriff’s proposal.



Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane ]]>
<![CDATA[Immigration Advocates to Meet With Contra Costa Sheriff]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:37:13 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SHERIFF+PROTEST.jpg

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston will be meeting with immigration advocates on Thursday to discuss mounting fears about the county’s collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its perceived adherence to President Donald Trump's immigration agenda. 

Members of the Racial Justice Coalition, including immigration attorneys, SEIU members and two DREAMers, are slated to attend the meeting. They will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. in Martinez, according to a statement from the political advocacy group.

Immigrant advocates last attempted to talk with Livingston back in January after it was revealed that the sheriff had gone to Washington D.C. for a meeting with U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions, a vociferous opponent of sanctuary cities and a leading voice against illegal immigration. At the time, Livingston maintained that the meeting was not a political endorsement — but his statement did little to ease the growing anxieties of those who would like to see Contra Costa County adopt sanctuary policies. 

Also at issue is the hotly contested expansion of the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, a massive project that faces fierce opposition from those who believe the expansion is a poor use of county dollars and contributes to a culture of mass incarceration of minorities. 

Advocates are hopeful that discussing their fears with Livingston will be a first step toward repairing the deeply fractured relationship between the immigrant community and local law enforcement officials. Many would like to see an end to a lucrative contract the department has with ICE — in which the county holds people at the behest of federal officials — though Livingston indicated in a recent editorial that he would not sever ties with immigration officers.

“For any elected official to simply walk away from that revenue would be irresponsible, even if it were the politically expedient thing to do,” he wrote in the East Bay Times. 

Immigration attorney Ali Saidi, who will be at the Thursday meeting, previously spoke about the need for clarity and transparency at a time when immigrant communities are “under threat” from a presidential administration that has vowed to punish sanctuary cities and ramp up deportations. 

“Here in California, we’re supposed to be the leaders in justice, in community, in diversity,” Saidi said at the January protest. “But here in Contra Costa County, that’s not the reality. ... We need to know: Do they stand with us or do they stand with Donald Trump?”

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane]]>
<![CDATA[Coyote Creek Concerns Continue]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:19:18 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-23-17-SAN+JOSE-MUDDY-GROUND.jpg

NBC Bay Area's Vianey Arana takes a look at the water levels from Coyote Creek.



Photo Credit: Vianey Arana/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Checklist for Residents Returning to Flooded Homes]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:24:10 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-23-17ROCK+SPRINGS61.jpg

San Jose City officials are asking residents affected by flooding to use the Returning to a Flooded Home Checklist. Before returning home, please review this information (information directly from the city's website).

Here's a list of some of the important things residents should keep in mind:

• Before entering, check to see if there is any structural and electrical damage to see if it is safe to enter.

• If you have flood insurance, contact your insurance adjuster right away and leave a call back phone number where you can be reached.

• Start cleaning, salvaging, and drying as soon as possible. Do not wait on your insurance adjuster to get to your home. While doing so, document everything by taking pictures of all inventory.

• Double check that all electric and gas services are turned off before entering.

• Any food that was in a can and was not damaged can be saved. Be sure to clean the cans by taking off the labels, disinfecting the cans, and labeling again what the food is and the expiration date. Otherwise, everything else that was in contact the floodwater should be thrown away since it cannot be cleaned.

• Regarding utensils, anything metal and ceramic can be saved by disinfecting them. Anything wooden or plastic should be thrown away.

• For all the furniture and carpets, it should all be removed, put outside, and be cleaned and dried. Some things are best to be replaced since the floodwater can contain toxins. There is also risk with mildew if furniture is left damp.

• In regards to walls, they should be open even if they may appear undamaged just to ensure that there is no mold, odor, and/or structural decay later.

• Clean and dry all household appliances before starting. Since electricity will be turned off, be sure to unplug everything, and then clean and then dry. This can take three days to a week, but doing properly, many appliances will be saved.

The full checklist is below:

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<![CDATA[Monitoring Coyote Creek Levels on Third Day of Flooding]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:50:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-23-17-SAN+JOSE-MUDDY-GROUND.jpg

NBC Bay Area's Vianey Arana monitors water levels from Coyote Creek.



Photo Credit: Vianey Arana/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Evacuation Still in Effect For Thousands of Residents]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:04:06 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-22-2017-flood-evacuees.jpg

Mandatory evacuation orders are still in effect for residents in Rock Springs in San Jose. Kris Sanchez reports.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Residents Return to Homes Destroyed by Flooding]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:00:35 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-23-17-san-jose-water-sewage.jpg

Many of the resident's belongings were contaminated by flood water. Bob Redell reports.

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<![CDATA[Niners' Kaepernick Meets With Shanahan and Lynch]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:19:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/kaepiee.jpg

Even before the 2016 season ended, it was assumed quarterback Colin Kaepernick would not return to the 49ers in 2017.

Kaepernick’s performance the past two seasons hasn’t been up to his previous standards, and the team is headed in a new direction with recently hired head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

Plus, Kaepernick – signed with San Francisco through 2017 – can opt out of the deal in March, and the team can cut him without a significant financial hit.

But what if the assumption that Kaepernick will leave is wrong? What if Kaepernick believes his best shot to re-prove himself as an NFL quarterback is with the 49ers?

On Wednesday, Kaepernick met with Shanahan and Lynch at team headquarters, and Lynch said later in an interview on KNBR that it was “a positive discussion.”

Lynch said Kaepernick left the meeting excited and added that the 49ers’ evaluation of Kaepernick as an option for 2017 is “still very much fluid.”

“We’ve only been on the job a couple of weeks,” Lynch said on KNBR, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “I can tell you, we both very much enjoyed being around Colin, and he seems like he’s in a real good place.”

As Barrows noted, the 49ers could decide to release him, and then re-sign him for less than the $15 million he’s due to make this coming season. Because of Kaepernick’s inconsistent play and a lack of NFL suitors, that might be “his best chance to win a starting job,” Barrows wrote.

Shanahan has indicated he’s willing to explore all options to stock the quarterback position in 2017, including through trades, free agency and the draft. Shanahan recently said that includes keeping the lines of communication open with Kaepernick.

“I think that’s very important for both sides,” Shanahan said, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com. “Like everything else, that process is well in the works. We’ll continue to do that and we’ll be very up-front with him, in terms of what we’re thinking and we’ll want to know what he’s thinking as well.”

Wednesday’s meeting allowed both side to do just that.

Sessler, however, hardly sees Kaepernick as the key to Shanahan’s hopes in turning around the 49ers in his rookie season as head coach.

“(Shanahan) knows the honeymoon will end quickly in San Francisco if the team endures another season of horrid quarterback play,” he wrote. “No matter what anyone says, Kaepernick is hardly atop the coach’s wish list.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Some San Jose Residents Return to Waterlogged Homes]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 14:08:31 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-643917340.jpg

Thousands of people evacuated from a flood in San Jose, California, returned home Thursday amid warnings to be careful about hygiene and handling food that may have come into contact with flood water.

"The water is not safe," Mayor Sam Liccardo said. "There is contamination in this water and the contamination runs the gamut."

Officials also hoped to rescue more than two dozen horses from ranches if the water recedes enough.

About two-thirds of the 14,000 residents evacuated two days ago were being allowed to return home while 3,800 people remain under a mandatory evacuation order issued when a creek overflowed following heavy rains and sent waist-high water into neighborhoods.

Those who went home were sorting through waterlogged furniture, toys and clothing after the creek water carrying engine fuel and sewage swamped their homes.

Victor Chen, his two children, ages 8 and 10, and his wife evacuated Tuesday night and returned to their home on 21st Street earlier Wednesday.

"It's really tough to see. A home is all we worked for, and our family is all here," Chen, 42, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "And we had to leave it behind when the water was rising."

Toys, extra mattresses, a TV, bikes and clothing were all ruined after the garage, dining room and one of the children's bedrooms were flooded.

Liccardo acknowledged that the city failed to properly notify residents to evacuate during a flood emergency early Wednesday when some people said they got their first notice by seeing firefighters in boats in the neighborhood.

"If the first time a resident is aware that they need to get out of their home is when they see a firefighter in a boat, that's a failure," Liccardo said at a news conference. "We are assessing what happened in that failure."

Liccardo declined to go into detail, saying there would be time for reflection after the emergency was over.

Evacuation orders were still in place on Oakland Road and Rock Springs areas. Part of the William Street Park area was cleared for reentry, according to the mayor's office.

Flood warnings were in place until Saturday because waterways were overtaxed, and another storm was forecast Sunday.

Meanwhile, officials have closed two evacuation centers set up for residents forced to leave their homes two days ago because of floods.

The centers were places where evacuated people could get food and water and rest. Two overnight shelters remained open and people there were trying to find out if they would be allowed to go home.

A steady of stream of people, like resident Marnie Scharmer, stopped by the centers dropping off donations of clothing and toys for the children.

“My heart just goes out to the victims of the flooding, so last night my son and I went through our closets and grabbed what we could to help out,” Scharmer said.

The city began alerting residents of the flood situation on Tuesday via social and mainstream media and sending emergency alerts to those who had signed up for it, said city spokesman Dave Vossbrink.

When water levels changed dramatically overnight, they sent police and firefighters door-to-door during the dramatic overnight evacuation.

 "It was scary," said Irma Gonzalez, 59, whose two-story apartment complex is alongside the creek. She was awakened about 2:30 a.m. by police pounding on her door. "They were like, 'You've got to hurry up and go! Move it!'"

Gonzalez spent the night at her sister's house and said she was thankful for the wakeup call and evacuation. "It's better than to wake up and have water coming in."

Several residents faulted the city for failing to provide proper warnings.

"The city dropped the ball on making sure that people were notified of the potential impact of this flood," said resident Jean-Marie White, whose house and backyard were flooded. "Nobody had any clue.''

Bob Benjamin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the water level in 30-mile long Coyote Creek reached a 100-year high during this week's storm.

Downpours in the past few weeks have saturated the once-drought-stricken region and wreaked havoc for residents. At least four people have died as a result of the storms throughout the state in the past week.

Assistant San Jose City Manager Dave Sykes said officials first became aware of the rising water late Tuesday when firefighters began evacuating about 400 people from a low-lying residential area.

City officials did not believe the waters would spread to other neighborhoods and did not expand the evacuation orders.

Coyote Creek flooded after Anderson Dam in Santa Clara County reached capacity during heavy weekend rains.

Managers of the dam are taking advantage of a break in the storms to draw down the reservoir, which is supposed to be limited to 68 percent of capacity because of earthquake concerns but is now at 100 percent, said Jim Fiedler, a chief operating officer at the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

He said it could take nine weeks to bring it down to normal levels. Inspectors in 2010 discovered the dam is vulnerable to a major quake and $400 million is being spent to make it earthquake-proof by 2024.

AP writers Kristin J. Bender and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco, Scott Smith in Fresno and Amanda Lee Myers in Los Angeles contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Work to Rescue Horses Stranded in San Jose Floodwaters]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:02:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/0222-2017-NewHorses.jpg

More than two dozen horses are stranded in floodwater in San Jose. Pete Suratos reports.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Shock of Losing Everything Setting in for Flooding Evacuees]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:45:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0222-2017-SJFloodVics.jpg

Thousands of people remained out of their homes late Wednesday, some staying with family and others in emergency shelters.

For some evacuees, the shock of losing everything is just setting in.

"It's awful," said Daisy Barraza, who was able to go back to her home Wednesday night. "All muddy. Everything is pretty much lost."

Barraza and her son, Eric, moved in with a cousin when the floodwaters moved in to their Nordale Avenue home.

Barraza, an instructional aide for 15 years in the McKinley School District, her family has been scattered due to the flooding.

Meanwhile, donations continued to pour in late Wednesday at emergency shelters for evacuees at Lick and Evergreen high schools.

The following GoFundMe accounts for flooding victims can be found here:

Other donations can be made by visiting:

 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Teacher Under Investigation for 'Humiliating' Students]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:55:54 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0222-2017-HaywardRally.jpg

A Hayward teacher is under investigation for allegedly chastising students who participated in the nationwide "A Day Without Immigrants" strike.

Parents at Cesar Chavez Middle School said they allowed their children to stay home when the boycott was held last week.

"We will not be silent," 13-year-old Franco Tonatiuh said.

The student, classmates and parents decided to speak outside Hayward's City Hall late Wednesday to discuss the incident. Students said they were humiliated when they came back to class after missing one day of school while participating in the national boycott "A Day Without Immigrants."

"She started pointing to everyone telling the same exact question: 'Why weren't you here?'" Franco said. "Everyone had the same exact answer -- the boycott."

Franco said the English teacher kept pressing the issue.

"She was trying to say we're very dumb, our parents are for letting us come to school," Franco said.

The teacher also told students to grab their work and go to a different class, according to a parent.

Lisa Davies, director of academics at Hayward Unified School District, said the district's human resources department is conducting a full investigation. The district will take action on the results from the investigation, Davies said.

The interim superintendent at Wednesday night's school board meeting apologized on behalf of the board, adding the incident is under investigation.

Trustees went on record reminding the audience Hayward Unified is an official safe haven for all immigrants.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders May Have Eyes on DeSean Jackson]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:52:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/deseannjacxcx.jpg

The Raiders go into 2017 with one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper.

Each had 1,000-yard seasons in 2016, with Crabtree catching 89 passes for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns and Cooper catching 83 balls for 1,153 yards and five scores.

But as Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie and his staff begin to consider free-agent acquisitions that could make the most impact in the coming year, finding a third wideout to make a bigger impact out of the slot could be on the list.

In 2016, Seth Roberts continued to improve in that role, and had five TD catches among his 38 receptions for 397 yards. But a more dangerous slot receiver certainly would make the offense far more difficult to stop and give quarterback Derek Carr more downfield options.

One candidate who’s been linked to the Raiders as a potential free agent is veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The former Bay Area standout at Cal just completed his third season in Washington, posting the fifth 1,000-yard season of his NFL career. Jackson, 30, will be a sought-after talent if he hits free agency, as expected. He’s still extremely quick out of the slot as he showed this past season, averaging 17.9 yards on 56 catches for 1,005 yards and four TDs. That per-catch average always has been among the league’s best, as his 17.7 career number attests.

Mike Florio of NBC’s Pro Football Talk noted recently that Jackson is eager to test free agency for the first time in his career.

“I’m definitely intrigued about seeing what’s going to happen and test the market and see what’s going on,” Jackson said. “Who knows what will happen?”

The Eagles, Cowboys and Patriots are considered strong suitors, but Oakland also has been mentioned as a landing spot. Jackson added to the slot certainly would create extreme pressure on opposing secondaries charged with covering Jackson, Cooper and Crabtree.

This week, Jackson told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that playing with a “great quarterback” will be a priority, wherever he lands. He also said he wants to be on a winning team. Those two goals would fit with the Raiders, who have Derek Carr – who emerged as a league MVP candidate in 2016 – and a team coming off a 12-4 record and trip to the playoffs.

Jackson told Schefter that he’s as fast as ever and excited for a fresh start.

The question will be, does McKenzie believe upgrading the third wide receiver position is a priority? Or will he decide to focus his free-agent dollars on defense?



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Grapples With Record Flooding]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:24:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-643881150.jpg

Photo Credit: Noah Berger/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Horses Stranded in San Jose Floodwaters]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:36:08 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0222-2017-SJHorses3.jpg Crews are working to rescue 28 horses stranded in San Jose floodwaters. On Wednesday, the horses were moved to dry land and were fed, officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Water Inundates San Jose Streets, Homes and Cars]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:51:01 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0221-2017-SJFlooding1.jpg

Photo Credit: Ian Cull/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Flooding: Will Insurance Companies Pay?]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:59:47 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2017-02-rm-flooding3.jpg

There are two strikes against people whose homes have been flooded. Consumer Investigator Chris Chmura reports.

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<![CDATA['Indivisible:' Three Snapshots of South Bay Anti-Trump Groups ]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:45:33 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/CAMPBELL+INDIVISIBLE.jpg

Dozens of political action groups have popped up around the South Bay as residents are joining factions of a national group called Indivisible, an anti-Trump resistance group which organizes individuals to be politically engaged at local and regional levels.

More than 4,500 small political groups have popped up around the nation following the Inauguration of President Donald Trump.

While each group exists to “resist the Trump agenda,” members in various cities have designated focus areas organic to their area.

Below is a snapshot of the top agendas of three South Bay Indivisible groups.

Milpitas

Indivisible Milpitas is focused on connected with as many members of congress as possible.

In an email, administrators said the group will participate in Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-17) upcoming town hall and any other events where they can “show support to the good work they are doing, make issues that are important known to them, and maybe ask specific items that we would like more checks/balances on.”

While the group does meet in person, much of the interaction is online between its dozen Facebook group members.

Campbell

The Orchard City Indivisible group includes members of Campbell and surrounding communities. Over 700 people have joined the Facebook group, and dozens have been attending meetings since January.

Administrator Celeste Walker said the group started with 12 individuals back in January. Their latest meeting had 130 people.

Walker says the group is now simply “stopping the bleeding” because topics vary week to week depending on actions being taken federally.

A top priority is encouraging the Campbell City Council to become a sanctuary city, as members are urging local government to draft a city proclamation.

Most recently, members attended the group’s first Orchard City Indivisible event on President’s Day called “Not My President’s Day.” Protesters rallied in front of San Jose city hall against President Trump and recent actions taken by his administration.

The next meeting will focus on action items including refocusing the Democratic National Committee and bridging the divide within the party.

Members are also forming subgroups around topics including divestment.

Orchard City Indivisible meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Stanford

The Indivisible Stanford group includes members of both the University and larger Palo Alto community. More than 460 people have joined the group’s Facebook page.

The main focus of the group, according to administrator Meghan Koushik, has been applying pressure on Representative Anna Eshoo (D-18). Members have organized stand-ins at her Palo Alto office, called for meetings and urged the congresswoman to advocate for bills that push their anti-Trump agenda.

“By having a direct relationship we can push her to do a lot more on issues she has a say in,” Koushik said.

Members have a meeting with Rep. Eshoo and her office staff March 6th.

In addition the group’s congressional focus, members are also cultivating relationships with Stanford law professors and other campus faculty to become educated on who they as citizens can be more active in state education, immigration and health care policy.



Photo Credit: Lam Nguyen]]>
<![CDATA[Disquiet Mounts Among San Jose Residents Displaced by Flood]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:46:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/222017-sj-flood-help.jpg

Many displaced by San Jose’s historic flood spent Wednesday nervous and frustrated about not knowing when they will be able to return home.

Despite the uncertainty, evacuees at James Lick High School admitted that they are grateful for the support they're getting from the community.

Marnie Scharmer and her family saw the crowds growing at evacuation centers and decided to pitch in.

“My heart just goes out to the victims of the flooding, so last night my son and I went through our closets and grabbed what we could to help out,” Scharmer said.

A steady of stream of people stopped by the centers dropping off blankets and other donations, hoping to try and calm the evacuees.

“I mean it's a little overwhelming to think we don't know when we'll be able to go home,” Daniel Martinez said. “Hopefully, it'll be soon."

Another evacuee, identified only as Erin, agreed.

People “pretty much lost everything,” she said. But what hurt her most is the loss of her car and the ability to get to work and elsewhere. “It's hard,” she said.

For their part, the San Jose Earthquakes say they will match the first $10,000 donated to help flood victims. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, have pledged $20,000 to a relief fund set up by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Leaders Grilled on Safety Protocols Amid Historic Flood]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:54:18 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-19-17_Anderson_Dam.jpg

San Jose leaders have fielded a slew of questions about the historic floods that have displaced thousands since Tuesday and why people were not given a heads-up about the danger they faced.

Mayor Sam Liccardo on Wednesday admitted that the warning systems in place are unacceptable.

“If a resident hears for the first time from a firefighter on a boat that they need to get out, then clearly there’s been a failure,” he said.

The overflowing Anderson Reservoir in Morgan Hill triggered a mandatory evacuation of roughly 14,000 residents, forcing firefighters to rescue more than 400 people over the last two days alone.

At a command center on William Street, officials on Wednesday determined what homes are safe to return to. They said the actual evacuations ran smoothly. Everything before that – not so much.

San Jose’s Rock Springs and Nordale neighborhood experienced floods in 1997. But in the 20 years since, the Santa Clara Valley Water District said Coyote Creek has not undergone any flood control projects.

“There have been no federal funds,” said Rachel Gibson with the water district. “There has been no federal project along Coyote Creek since 1997.”

City leaders also say they didn’t order evacuations sooner in the water-logged neighborhood because their data showed it was not supposed to flood when it did. Specifically, they say the water was flowing below the creek’s capacity.

“We did not anticipate flow to come out of the channel at that time,” said Dave Sykes, director of the Emergency Operations Center. “So we need to identify: Were there blockages? What were the causes contributing to the flow channel coming out at that time?”

Meanwhile, Liccardo has teamed up with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to create a San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund to help the thousands of people whose lives have been upended by the severe flooding.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Rescued After Plunging Off Fort Funston Cliff]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:10:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/dogrescue1.JPG

Over a dozen San Francisco firefighters on Wednesday rushed to save a dog that plunged over a cliff at Fort Funston.

It took a crew of 16 people roughly one hour to pull the dog to safety. But it remains unclear what led to the fall.

San Francisco fire Capt. Jonathan Baxter said that it is important that a dog respond to verbal commands when in a park that doesn't require the canines stay on a leash. Fort Funston is dotted with cliffs, which can be very dangerous for animals that get too close to the edge, he said.

On Wednesday, the dog's caretaker acted appropriately by reaching out to the San Francisco Fire Department, instead of trying to save the animal himself, according to Baxter.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Fire Department Public Information Officer via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[What Has Been Done to Prevent Flooding in San Jose?]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:44:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AP_17052804639733.jpg

Some of the flooded areas in San Jose have flooded before. So what's been done to protect the area since then? Investigative Reporter Bigad Shaban reports.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Working to Rescue Horses Stranded in SJ Floodwaters]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:08:34 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/0222-2017-NewHorses.jpg

California authorities are expected to head to flooded ranches in San Jose to rescue 28 horses that have been standing in water for two days.

The horses have been trapped since Tuesday, when flooding prompted the evacuation of 14,000 San Jose residents. Police and animal control crews have been waiting for water to recede in order to safely pull the horses out.

"Our agency has spoken with large animal veterinarians and large animal rescue agencies, who have advised us that it is best for the horses to shelter in place, due to the possibility of obstacles under the water that could cause harm to the horses," said Rebekah Davis, SJ Animal Care and Services spokeswoman.

Davis said the agency was unable to rescue the horses Wednesday because of fast-moving creek water, "which is fortunately receding."

Some horse owners asked for animal control officers to airlift the horses with helicopters. But officials said that would require sedating the horses. Doing so could have posed a health risk to the horses because they are probably suffering from hypothermia.

Animals lovers like Mike McKinzie drove three hours Wednesday with his boat in tow to offer help when he heard they needed a vessel to get food and clean water to the horses.

Unfortunately, the current proved too strong.

"I need a little more experience with the boat before I try it out," McKinzie said.

By late Wednesday, the water level had decreased and the horses were standing in hoof-high water. According to Davis, food and water had been brought to all of the animals.

The horses' owner said they are grateful for all the help they have received.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose's Nordale Neighborhood a Flooded 'Disaster' Zone]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:34:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2222017-nordal-floods.jpg

An estimated 14,000 people were evacuated by this week’s historic San Jose floods, and people who live in the Nordale neighborhood near Kelley Park have been among the hardest hit.

On Wednesday, dozens of families stopped by their homes on Nordale and Phelan avenues, praying for signs that the situation is improving and the water is receding. 

Daisy Barraza said she and her family had only a few minutes to escape from their apartment on Tuesday morning. The water rose “really fast,” she said, leaving them “nowhere to go.”

“We tried to save as much as we could,” Barraza said.

On Wednesday, Barraza climbed through a hole in a fence to look at the damage inside her house.

“There was mud all over the place, on the furniture,” she said.

Robert Palcos agreed. The 13-year-old and his family managed to escape with just a few clothes before water rushed into their second-story apartment.

“It’s a disaster,” he lamented.

It may be a disaster, but on Wednesday Barraza tried to secure the fence to prevent people from stealing any of her family’s belongings that weren’t destroyed by water.

Meanwhile, Gus Guandunas owns one of the several apartment buildings that are still inundated with water.

“Within a half an hour, this whole place was flooded. How does that happen?” he wondered.

Guandunas said he will let his tenants out of their leases, if they desire, and refund February’s rent.

“Some live paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “All of their belongings are gone.”

On Wednesday, Santa Clara Valley Water District crews monitored Coyote Creek’s water level and began assessing the damage in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, many families, who experienced minor flood damage and were able to return home, began the cleanup process.

“It’s a really sad time,” Paul Salazar said. “We have to pull together as a community and get back what we had. We have to try.”

The gas is still turned off in the Nordale neighborhood for safety reasons. Some people say they didn’t experience any flooding, but are still being forced to sleep with family or at evacuation centers until their utilities are turned back on.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Neighbors Forced Out Because of Historic Floods]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:58:59 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-22-17-san+jose-flood-chopper.jpg

A numbers of cars were submerged and many homes flooded from the water that is contaminated with oil, gasoline and sewage. Bob Redell reports.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New Bill Aims to Limit Use of School Officers]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 22:56:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0221-2017-JasonStadium.jpg

Jason Johnson, a junior at Antioch’s Deer Valley High School, has overcome a lot in his young life. The sixteen-year-old, who plays two sports and is thriving academically, has his sights set on the University of Oregon. But Jason’s path to college hasn’t been easy. He has a learning disability, struggles emotionally, and sometimes battles depression. He’s watched his older brother cycle in and out of jail, and as a middle school student, Jason was hit with four separate juvenile citations for fighting and making threats. Each of those citations is equivalent to an arrest, leaving Jason with a criminal record.

“That’s not how you get to a child,” Johnson said. “If I was really a problem then they could have actually got me help, actually got counselors there to actually talk to me and help me.”

New Legislation Follows Investigative Unit Series

About 43 percent of public schools have security personnel or a law enforcement officer on campus at least once a week, according to the National Center for Education Services.

A nearly two-year long NBC Bay Area investigation, however, revealed schools call the police on black students and children with disabilities at disproportionately higher rates than their peers.

Nationally, black students are about 3 times more likely to be arrested than white students. Children with disabilities are also 3 times more likely to be arrested compared to their peers.

Following the series of Investigative Unit reports, California Assemblywoman Shirley Nash Weber (D-San Diego) is now proposing legislation that would require school districts to define the role and responsibilities of their campus based officers.

“I’ve seen situations where young children have been handcuffed and put in the back of police cars simply because they didn’t want to go to class and they were seven years old,” said San Diego Assemblymember Shirley Nash Weber, a lifelong educator and author of AB 163. “You can imagine the impact on the life of a child, who in this case was a kid whose father is in jail and he was in foster care. So you begin to teach them early that this is what’s going to happen to you.”

Weber’s bill prohibits schools from using police officers to deal with minor misbehavior and would require schools that place officers on campus to have a written agreement outlining the specific roles and responsibilities of those officers. For infractions such as vandalism, drug use or disruptiveness, the legislation would require counselors to handle those situations rather than police officers.

National Investigation

The Investigative Unit recently partnered with NBC News and NBC affiliates across the country to examine how the nation’s more than 95,000 public schools utilize officers on campus.

According to U.S. Department of Education data, 17% of California schools have officers on campus, but how they’re used varies widely. NBC Bay Area’s investigation found nearly 230,000 students in the Bay Area attend a school that doesn’t define the roles or responsibilities of their campus officers, something that would be required under Weber’s legislation.

Weber said the over reliance on police officers to handle school discipline issues can knock students off the path to college and into the school-to-prison pipeline.

“We’re talking about peoples’ lives,” Weber said. “We’re talking about children. We’re talking about my grandkids. We’re talking about the future of California and this nation.”

Weber is also talking about students like Jason, who's had more interactions with police before he reached high school than many have in a lifetime.

Fighting Against the Odds

NBC Bay Area’s investigation found students like Jason, a black teen with disabilities, are 16 times more likely to be arrested at school than white students without disabilities, and four times more likely to be arrested as white students with disabilities.

Jason now worries about the impact his middle school arrests will have on his future.

“Oregon is going to be looking at my record and they’re going to be like, ‘dang, this kid had the police called on him in middle school, why would I want him in my college?’” Jason said.

Antioch Unified School District did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The NAACP sued the district last year for failing to address civil rights violations against black students.

Nationwide, schools called police on their students more than 200,000 times during the 2013-2014 school year, according to federal data. At least 43% of those students attended an elementary or middle school. Jason’s mother, Sandra Simon, insists school counselors and administrators should intervene before calling the police on young children and teenagers.

“It was unfortunate, but it happened,” Simon said. “He got into some trouble and I felt like it could have been handled differently, as far as maybe a counselor or some kind of mediation. Instead, the police were called on him and we were totally blindsided by it. We were sitting in a conference room talking to the principal and here comes the police.”

Jason’s older brother, Jaylen, was born with developmental disabilities and was unable to dodge the hurdles that Jason is still struggling to overcome. She remembers how trouble at school soon turned into trouble with the law for Jaylen, who has since been in and out of jail.

“The police was always called on him at school,” Sandra said. “He was always suspended.”

Simon worries Jason’s interactions with police at school might send him down a similar path.

“That’s why I push him as hard as I do,” she said. “I don’t want him to be the kid that gives up.”

Although Jason has largely been able to duck trouble since heading off to high school, he says those incidents with police are still on his mind today. Jason said it is still difficult for him to trust police officers or people with authority after being treated like a criminal at such a young age. Jason believes schools should only rely on police officers as a last resort.

“Sit the kid down and really talk to him,” Jason said. “Make the kid feel comfortable with you. Make him actually fell like you’re not trying to bring the law down on him. Actually talk to him, build a relationship, not just call the police every chance you get.”

Simon said she is proud of her son for overcoming the obstacles in life that left him angry and emotionally scarred, but believes teens like Jason continue to face serious difficulties.

“By him being a young black male, you worry about the streets and him getting caught up in it,” Simon said. “Him going to jail or getting killed – you worry about that. I go to bed every night and I thank God that we made it through the day.”

A National Perspective

Justice in schools across America is not color-blind. In almost every state and in thousands of school districts, black children are disciplined far more often than other children.

Black kids are twice as likely as other children to be expelled, nearly four times as likely to be suspended from school and almost three times as likely to be arrested – an event that can haunt them for years.

Children with disabilities, particularly black children with disabilities, also are disciplined much more often than children without disabilities.

"It's persistent, pervasive and punishing for kids of color," said Michael Harris, a senior attorney for juvenile justice at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, California.

Black children are not more likely to misbehave, just more likely to be punished, said Morgan Craven, the director of school-to-prison pipeline project for Texas Appleseed, a public interest justice center. Her group and others are trying change policies governing how schools discipline student, such as limiting suspensions for young students.

Students of color also more likely to be identified as having disability, conflating the two issues, said Elizabeth Olsson, senior policy associate at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

One problem that has come under scrutiny is implicit bias, a bias a teacher or administrator might hold without being aware of.

"It's not the result of someone being racist or being a monster," Harris said. "It's the result of stereotypes they've absorbed by living in this country that they're not even aware they're acting on."

About this data

Policing the Schools is based on detailed reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by school districts on enrollment and discipline. NBC examined records from nearly 17,000 school districts across the United States for the 2013-14 school year.

The public can view slices of the data on the Department of Education website.

NBC obtained the entire database from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. We looked for disparities in discipline by race, disability status and geography. We analyzed the data using R, an open-source statistics package often used by social science researchers.

Federal regulations require each district’s superintendent or his or her designee to certify that all information they submit is true.

However, the state of Florida had to resubmit its report in October after researchers at UCLA discovered errors; the data in this story includes the corrected Florida data. In addition, four districts told NBC that the reports they submitted to the federal government were inaccurate and provided updated information: the arrest statistics for Mt. Diablo Unified School District in California, the arrest and referral statistics for Topeka Public Schools in Kansas and the Belton school district in Missouri and the referral statistics for the Hawaii Department of Education. Finally, NBC and the UCLA researchers have found what appears to be systematic over-reporting of expulsions among Ohio school districts.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy on Life Support After Crash]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:53:01 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/2222017-deputy-ax2use.jpg

A veteran Alameda County sheriff's deputy is on life support after being struck by a jail transport bus at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin early Wednesday morning, a sheriff's spokesman said.

The incident happened at about 6:15 a.m. at the transportation yard behind the jail near the 4900 block of Broder Boulevard, Sgt. Ray Kelly said.

The deputy, identified as 60-year-old Mike Foley, was was walking behind the bus when the driver back up and hit him. Foley suffered traumatic brain injuries in the crash and is in critical condition.

Sheriff Gregory Ahern said recent weather condition and subsequent visibility issues may have have contributed to the accident, which has shaken the entire department.

"It's tragic, terrible, just an awful experience," Ahern said. 

Foley is being treated at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where a large group of other deputies have gathered to support him and his family, according to Kelly.

Foley has been with the sheriff's office since 2006, working in the transportation unit, Kelly said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Richmond is 1st City to Approve Trump Impeachment Resolution]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:17:09 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11-14-2016-oakland-trump-protest13.jpg

The Richmond City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution calling on the United States Congress to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s business dealings warrant impeachment.

The East San Francisco Bay city is the first in the nation to pass a resolution of this kind, officials said.

Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, who introduced the largely symbolic resolution, said she wanted a copy sent to nearby cities to empower them to approve similar motions. Contituents in Alameda are already pushing for their city council to take the same step in denouncing the Trump administration. 

“This is our voice," McLaughlin said. "This is our country. We have a right to speak up."

The resolution urges the House of Representatives’ Committee of the Judiciary to investigate Trump’s business ties for possible violations of the “Emoluments Clause,” a previously obscure provision in the Constitution that bars presidents from accepting gifts or making a profit from foreign states. The clause has never been tested in court.

Trump’s critics argue that the real estate mogul has used his new title to profit and expand his business empire. They point to Trump doubling membership fees at his exclusive Palm Beach country club, Mar-a-Lago, after the election, and the leasing of office space in Trump Tower to a Chinese bank as examples of conflicts of interest.

Trump's lawyers have repeatedly insisted that the business ventures do not constitute a conflict. 

The Richmond resolution was supported by most who attended the city council meeting — with the exception of Mark Wassberg, a city resident and Trump supporter. 

“Actually, you don’t have a voice,” Wassberg said. “[Because] the GOP controls Congress. And you people are stupid enough to think you’re going to have Congress impeach Trump for supporting the U.S. Constitution and keeping terrorists out? By keeping these Muslims out? By keeping these illegal immigrants out?” 

While city leaders deliberated on the resolution, Wassberg was escorted out of the chambers for his behavior, which included using profanities to describe one councilwoman. 

“The hatefulness that has been coming from the White House has been seeping through our communities, especially here in Richmond,” Councilmember Melvin Willis said.

Meanwhile, Ellen Faden, a Richmond business owner, thanked the city council for speaking up.

“A lot of politicians aren’t willing to go on the record to do this because it can go against them,” Faden said. “But.. as Bernie [Sanders] said, we have to start from the grass roots.” 

Councilmember Jael Myrick noted that passing a resolution calling for the impeachment of the president was an unusual step so soon in an administration’s tenure. But, he concluded, the resolution matches the “odd” political and social climate of the day. 

“It would be odd to be talking about the impeachment of a president only a month into his term,” Myrick said. “But with this president, it’s oddly appropriate.”



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Air District Sued For Alleged Destruction of Documents]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:40:38 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/courtroom+generic+722.jpg

Two former employees of the agency responsible for protecting the Bay Area from air pollution say they were improperly fired for trying to prevent the illegal destruction of important records.

Michael Bachmann was an IT manager in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Information System Services Division and Sarah Steele was an analyst in his office when they say they brought the illegal document destruction to the attention of their superiors.

The pair spoke out during a news conference Wednesday at their lawyers' Oakland office, saying that instead of working with them to protect the documents, air district executives thwarted their efforts and ultimately drummed them out of the agency under false pretenses.

"It's really hard to think that this type of stuff is happening," a visibly upset Bachmann said today. "I felt I was retaliated against for doing my job."

In a whistleblower claim filed Tuesday with the state and the air district -- the first step to filing a lawsuit -- Bachmann and Steele allege that the district's lawyers Brian Bunger and Bill Guy, and Director of Enforcement Wayne Kino worked to prevent the documents from being preserved.

In one instance in January 2016, Bunger, Guy and Kino told Steele to take boxes of microfilm containing notices of violations, settlements with polluters, asbestos records and thousands of pollution complaints from citizen about different companies and place them in an unsecured storage room, according to the claim.

After inventorying as many as the records as possible, Steele discovered a few days later that the boxes were gone.

"My assumption is that they have disappeared," Steele said Wednesday.

That same month, Steele said she discovered that flare reports for Chevron, Tesoro, Shell and other East Bay refineries were being tossed into a dumpster.

She informed air district staff that she intended to inventory those documents but was told by Kino that she was not to collect or inventory any documents from the Enforcement Division.

At the time, Steele and Bachmann were tasked with collecting, inventorying and digitizing 60 years of physical documents in preparation of the air district moving its headquarters from one San Francisco building to another.

The district is required by law and its own guidelines to preserve the documents, in part, to create the historic context of what has happened at a particular refinery or at other companies that are monitored by the air district, according to Steele and Bachmann's lawyers.

The district is also required to keep records of what documents it does destroy, according to the claim.

Bachmann was eventually fired in August 2016 for alleged violations of the district's vehicle use policy, insubordination, assigning overtime to Steele and dishonesty on his employment application, which he filled out in 16 years ago when he was hired by the district, according to the claim.

Steele, who the air district calls a temporary employee, was let go after being told her project was complete.

Both dispute the district's characterization of their terminations, saying they were simply punished for trying to stop the destruction of the district's documents.

"It's about our health. It's about our kids. It's about our air," Steele said.

The air district said in a statement that the pair's allegations "were thoroughly investigated by an outside law firm" and found "to be false and without merit."

"The data that former employees of the Air District have accused the agency of destroying are in fact, all available in electronic format and available for public review," according to the district statement. "For nearly 30 years, the air district has retained information in an electronic database for all notices of violation, facility complaints, investigation documents and correspondence."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/File]]>
<![CDATA[Highway 101 Back Open After Flooding]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:53:23 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-22-17-chopper-hwy+101+closed.jpg

Highway 101 closed from both directions on Wednesday early morning. Pete Suratos reports.



Photo Credit: SkyRanger]]>
<![CDATA[14,000 Evacuated Because of Floods]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:46:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-22-17-san+jose-flood-chopper.jpg

Flooding exceeded 100 year levels. Kris Sanchez reports.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[People Forced From Homes in San Jose]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:50:45 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-21-17_SJ_Flooding.jpg

People forced from homes in San Jose's Rock Springs Neighborhood. Kris Sanchez reports.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>