<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:34:44 -0800 Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:34:44 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Popular "Cruffin" Recipe Stolen From San Francisco Bakery]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:37:03 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0227-2015-Cruffin.jpg

Binders containing hundreds of sweet recipes mysteriously disappeared overnight from Mr. Holmes Bakeshop, a three-month-old start-up in San Francisco's Tenderloin that's growing in popularity.

In fact, on a typical weekday 7 a.m. opening, most goods are sold by 11.

Word got out to the shop's loyal following, and customers were worried those famous "cruffins" -- a croissant and muffin hybrid -- were history.

Fortunately, the shop's recipes were all backed up on a computer.

"Some people were calling up through the day, like 'Hey, if they stole the cruffin recipe, are you going to have cruffins tomorrow? Because if not, we might not come!'" said Ry Stephen, a co-owner of the bakery.

Stephen suspects a copycat may be the culprit.

"There's a sense of competitiveness in pastry just like in a sport or in writing," Stephen said.

No equipment or cash were taken from the bakery. While there were no signs of forced entry, the owners insist this was not an inside job.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New Treatment May Prolong Lives of Breast Cancer Patients]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:44:18 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0227-2015-Patient.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO - A new therapy, developed here in the Bay Area, is said to prolong the lives of breast cancer patients by nearly 16 months. Doctors said it's unprecedented.

Michelle Avery was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2013. Doctors discovered she had cancer through her spine, and lesions on her liver. Her doctors elected for a treatment found to be successful in women with incurable HER2-positive breast cancer, which accounts for about 20 percent of breast cancer cases.

“And then to learn for the rest of your life, you're going to have to every three weeks do these infusions and I thought ‘oh my God, who could do that?’ But it's OK,” Avery said.

Doctors chose to treat Avery with Herceptin and Perjeta in addition to chemotherapy. When this method was tested in clinical trials, it expanded the patient's average life expectancy almost 16 months.

“This is a discovery that's unprecedented. We just don't see anything like this,” UCSF Professor of Medicine Dr. Hope S. Rugo said.

It’s uncommon because most breakthroughs in the past have only added a couple months to patient life expectancy, Rugo said.

The study also found patients given the cocktail of drugs lived nearly five years, compared to the usual lifespan of two to three years.

"There are women who will be treated for this therapy who will never relapse. Their
disease will be controlled forever. In other words, an incurable disease in some patients will become curable,” Rugo said.

Both Herceptin and Perjeta were developed at Bay Area based Genentech. Doctors point out the therapy isn’t new, but the clinical trial showing its effectiveness is new. The findings were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The study itself is the result of many years of research here at Genentech, in fact about 30 years, in really trying to understand what drives a subset of breast cancers,” Genentech Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sandra Horning said.

One of the drawbacks from the treatment is the price, which costs about $11,000 per month. Insurance companies cover some patients since it is FDA approved. Genentech also has a program to help people who can't afford it.

All of Michelle Avery’s tumors and lesions have disappeared. She'll continue the life-changing treatment for as long as she needs.

“It's been a year and a half, and so far it's been great,” she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Los Altos Dealing with "Wave" of Burglaries: Police]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:31:55 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0227-2015-ADT.jpg

Los Altos is dealing with a wave of burglaries, according to police, who in response have schedudled community meetings to warn residents.

The Massey family has been victims to two recent burglaries at their home. The family is now looking into installing cameras to help prevent more burglaries.

"We did see a spike in overall for burglaries, and it was a significant spike -- almost 50 percent from what we had the previous year," Police Chief Tuck Younis said.

Police are warning residents to be cautious of solicitors, who could be casing homes.

"We know that people who are acting like solicitors, or asking for directions, and this is the feedback that we are getting from people who answer the door and engage the suspects," Younis said.

Police said while you're talking to the potential burglar at the front door, their accomplice is going around the back.

"They'll determine that a person is home alone, and one person will engage the homeowner while another goes to the side or the back, enters the home while the primary homeowner is occupied," Younis said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Shelter-in-Place Lifted at SF's Mission District]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:47:29 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0227-2015-SF-JennyHouser.jpg

A shelter-in-place order has been lifted in San Francisco's Mission District after a suspicious package was deemed safe by police.

Police were called to the area of 23rd and Bartlett streets just before 8 p.m. Friday and located a package with pipes and wires visible.

A bomb squad was called to the scene and streets in the area were temporarily closed during the incident.

Photo Credit: Jenny Houser]]>
<![CDATA[SF Startup Chefs Feed Raises $4 Million]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:01:29 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/chefsfeed.jpg

San Francisco startup Chefs Feed has raised $4 million in early stage funding.

At the core of Chefs Feed is a free app that features dining recommendations from about 1,200 chefs around the company and a YouTube channel offering original video content. CEO Rich Maggiotto, whose resume includes work at AOL and Zinio, revealed to SF Gate that Chefs Feed content has a monthly reach of 50-75 million.

"Chefs Feed was born to create a dialogue between the world’s best chefs and tastemakers, and growing, mobile-savvy audiences — a new kind of eater exhausted with bored consensus, underserved by traditional media, and desperate for authenticity, relevance, and trust," co-founder Jared Rivera told NBC Bay Area. "We’re thrilled to have additional resources to increase our velocity as we move forward with building what we consider to be the future of food media."

According to a press release, the Series A round was led by ARTIS Ventures and also funded by Structure Capital, Haas Portman and Subtraction Capital and "notable individual investors" who aren't named. The funding will allow Chefs Feed to expand to more cities and release new products in 2015.

Rivera said the additional money will also allow Chefs Feed to create the ideal experience for their key users.

"For the chef and restaurateur, we’re improving our industry platform for them," he noted. "It will serve as a highly effective marketing tool to directly communicate with a captive, loyal audience. For the past decade, we’ve been working closely with chefs and restaurants to identify their pain points; these new funds will continue to allow us to build technology that will help in remedying them."


Photo Credit: Chef's Feed]]>
<![CDATA[9 Arrested in South Bay Gang Sweep]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:34:49 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0227-2015-GangSweep.jpg

Officials said nine people were arrested in a sweep held Friday by the Santa Clara County Gang Task Force.

The sweep comes ahead of Saturday's San Jose Gang Summit.

Most of Friday's arrests were for drug possession and probation violations, officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Thief Steals $15,000 Bike With Tap of Hand]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:33:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PicMonkey+Collage+final.jpg

A thief in Sausalito stole a bike valued at $15,000 from an Audi on Thursday, all with a tap of his hand.

The man made off with the Cervelo P5 bicycle and other valuables on Central Avenue in Sausalito during the afternoon on Feb. 19, much of which was captured on surveillance video.

As police described it, the man was on Central Avenue driving a black vehicle, possibly a a 2011-2014 Volkswagen Golf TDI Diesel, when he drove past the Audi. It was then when police say he reached out, tapping the Audi with his hand as he passed by. He parked his Volkswagen close to the Audi, walked up to it and touched the vehicle's door handles.

After he did that, somehow the doors unlocked. Police believe the thief unlocked the Audi using an electronic device or remote.

Sausalito police warn residents that even advanced, high tech locks and security systems can be outsmarted.

Police say the suspect in this crime appears to be about 25 to 35 years old and was wearing black clothing.

Anyone with information on the suspect or this crime should contact Detective Ryan McMahon at 415-289-4118.

Photo Credit: Sausalito Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Rolls Out Changes to Willow Glen Road to Improve Safety]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:17:44 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0212-2015-WillowGlen.jpg

San Jose city officials on Friday surprisingly put in effect road changes along Lincoln Avenue in the Willow Glen neighborhood.

The changes were scheduled to take place on Monday, but officials decided to put the so-called "road diet" in effect early due to weather concerns.

A stretch of Lincoln Avenue, between Minnesota and Coe avenues, will reduce be reduced from four-lanes to two lanes for cars, and two other lanes solely for bikes. The changes are part of a 90-day experiment to see if thinner lanes will reduce the number of commuters using the major thoroughfare as a short cut.

An estimated 20,000 people pass through the area using Lincoln Avenue every day.

Officials said the goal is to make Willow Glen's so-called downtown area more quaint, pedestrian friendly and safer.

"We walk here three to four days a week and I would love to see change and it be safer for the kids, the dogs, the family," Willow Glen-resident Tovie Louw said.

Slimming down Lincoln Avenue, which connects South San Jose with downtown, will cost $40,000 for a "test run" until May, City Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio said.

Oliverio said during the test run the city will monitor traffic, the impact on business and see if diverted commuters use the area's other 45 streets as an alternative.

Meanwhile, drivers said they are preparing for huge traffic back ups on Lincoln Avenue and other surrounding roads.

City officials have said if they receive overwhelming negative feedback during the trial this spring, the road will stay as is.

Michelle Roberts contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Security Breach May Expose 50,000 Names and License Numbers]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:54:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP943907754143.jpg

Uber says a database containing the names and drivers' license numbers of 50,000 of its drivers was breached in May.

The ride-sharing service says it has notified the drivers and hasn't received any reports of the information being misused. Uber says it will offer a one-year membership in Experian's ProtectMyID Alert identity theft protection service to the drivers involved.

The company said Friday the breach affects drivers in multiple states, but involves only a "small percentage" of its current and former drivers.

Uber says it discovered a potential breach in September. It announced the events in a statement posted on its blog and described them as a one-time occurrence. The San Francisco company says it has changed the access protocols for its database to prevent similar breaches.

Uber is the latest company to report a data breach in recent months. Others include retailer Home Depot, health insurer Anthem and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The problems can be costly as well as damaging to consumers' perception of a company.

Uber is privately-held and valued at $40 billion. It lets passengers summon cars through an app in more than 250 cities worldwide, but faces multiples legal and regulatory challenges as it expands in the United States and abroad. The company has been criticized over the thoroughness of the background checks it does on drivers and other safety issues as well as its method of raising prices when demand goes up.

Earlier this month Uber introduced new safety features for riders in India, include a "panic button" on its app that would let riders notify police in an emergency and a "safety net" that would let riders share trip details with others. The features were rolled out after a highly-publicized case where a passenger said she was raped by an Uber driver.

<![CDATA[Old San Francisco Emergency Pump House Resists Change ]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:01:38 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pump-house-exterior.jpg

At the foot of San Francisco’s Van Ness Avenue, where road meets bay, there's an antiquated building that looks like a relic out of a municipal architecture history book. Like most really old things in San Francisco, the building has a deep connection to the 1906 earthquake and fire.

In the wake of the great ‘quake, fire ripped through San Francisco with broken water pipes rendering fire crews dry and helpless. As the city reconstructed, planners devised an auxiliary system that would pump sea water to a pair of tanks - giving firefighters access to water if all else failed.

“When there’s an emergency you’ve got to go back to basics,” said Assistant San Francisco Fire Chief Ken Lombardi. “And although it’s basic, it’s very, very effective.”

In 1908, the city constructed Pump Station 2 at the edge of the bay and filled it with then-cutting edge pump technology that could siphon sea water from the nearby bay and fill emergency underground cisterns across the city.

One hundred and five years later, the building, and all its original antique systems remain intact and at the ready.

“I mean it really is amazing,” Brahhman Conci, facilities director for San Francisco’s Water Department, “they built stuff to last.”

Inside Pump Station 2, which was constructed from 1908 to 1913, massive, colorful pumps sit like turn-of-the-century industrial museum pieces. Old iron knobs and dials jut from the wall - massive steam boilers loom stoically like a scene from the bowels of the Titanic engine room. In fact, the technology is similar to the maritime engines that powered Liberty Ships turned out during World War II.

“Everything in here is a piece of art really,” said Conci, “the workmanship, the quality of materials.”

The steam boilers were replaced by diesel engines in the seventies, but other than that, the mechanisms are the same as they were when the place was built. And what’s more, they’ll be called into action if a disaster struck the city and other water systems failed.

“These are essentially the last line of defense for fire,” said Conci.

In the past few years, San Francisco voters passed a pair of bond measures valued at $150 million to update the city’s auxiliary water systems. A total of $15 million is earmarked for upgrades at Pump Station 2. The funny thing is — the money will be used to seismically upgrade the building but not the interior systems — which still function just fine.

“This old technology is based on gravity fed system,” said Assistant San Francisco Fire Chief Ken Lombardi. “There’s not a whole lot of things that will go wrong.”

Lomardi said planners from city’s around the world have visited the pump station - the only system of its kind in the United States.

It may seem a bit irresponsible to leave the city’s last line of defense to a century-plus warren of antique gizmos, except that a city that prizes new technology — also appreciates the philosophy of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

“The pumps and the essence of the pump station are still in good working order,” said Dave Briggs, Regional Facilities manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, “even though they’re over 100 years old.”

San Francisco may grapple with the fallout of technology; displacement, skyrocketing home prices and a techie backlash. But near the Northern end of the city, in a quiet old time building, the technology of yesteryear is patiently waiting for its turn as the savior of the city — no stock options required.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[BART Riders, Patrons Possibly Exposed to Measles]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:19:13 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/lamed2.jpg

A BART rider and restaurant patron who had the measles rode the train and dined out, possibly infecting more than 1,000 people.

The San Mateo County resident dined at La Mediterranee restaurant in Berkeley on Feb. 20, exposing hundreds of fellow diners to the infectious virus, a city health spokesman said.

The infected person visited the popular restaurant in the heart of the Elwood District on College Avenue between 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Health officials said the person had not developed the rash and was unaware of the infection.

On the same day, BART officials warned that more than 1,000 riders may have been exposed to measles when an infected person rode the train last week, getting on a Richmond-bound train at Millbrae and getting off at Civic Center. The person was also described as a San Mateo resident, although privacy laws make it impossible to know if it is the same one.

La Mediterranee is a popular resauraunt in Berkeley which, according to Berkeleyside, was one of the sites where filming for the Steve Jobs movie took place less than a month ago.

Health officials say the risk to the public is low and almost negligible for immunized people.

The measles virus can live for up to two hours on a surface or in the air where the infected person coughed or sneezed. Symptoms can develop between 7 and 21 days after exposure to the virus.

There was another measles scare on BART earlier this month. Contra Costa County public health officials reported earlier this month that a LinkedIn employee diagnosed with measles rode BART trains between Lafayette and San Francisco on Feb. 4, 5 and 6, possibly exposing 25,000 passengers.

Photo Credit: Jodi Hernandez]]>
<![CDATA[VTA Light Rail vs. Vehicle at San Jose Station]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:41:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/vta4.jpg

Light rail service on the Santa Teresa-Alum Rock Line is disrupted because of an accident that occurred at 10:54 a.m. between a VTA light rail train and vehicle near Penetencia Creek Station in San Jose, officials said.

Substitute bus service is serving all stations between Hostetter and Alum Rock stations.

There are no reports of injuries at this time. There were 15 people on board at the time, VTA officials said.

<![CDATA[Take a Peek Inside This Antique Pump House]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:02:09 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pump-house-1.jpg Old systems inside San Francisco's Pump House 2 were designed in the early 1900s and still function today.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Residents in High-Speed Chase Linked to Denver Robbery]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:30:44 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0227-2015-Crash.jpg

Federal officials announced Friday that five Bay Area residents arrested in a high-speed chase from Sacramento to Martinez were also wanted for a robbery at a Denver jewelry store earlier in the week.

According to Bay Area News Group and The Denver Post, California Highway Patrol has identified the suspects in this heist as Anthony Domino, 21, and Anthony Tyree, 23, both of San Francisco; Sharde Suwannabart, 24, and Sean McCullough, 23, both of Oakland and Summer Sawyer, 30, of San Mateo. If convicted of robbery affecting commerce, each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The United States Attorney’s Office said the crime spree began with a smash-and-grab robbery at the Williams Jewelry store in Denver on Feb. 24. Federal authorities said three men in black hoodies, black masks, and armed with guns robbed the jewelry store at gunpoint. Witnesses in Denver reported seeing a maroon Chevy Blazer fleeing the area after the robbery.

When police contacted the registered owner of the Chevy Blazer, the owner said he sold the vehicle the day before to two men and two women after placing an ad on Craigslist. The original owner of that Chevy Blazer revealed that the people who bought the car from him were driving a Cadillac SUV with California license plates. Law enforcement tracked down that Cadillac SUV and found it was a rental from San Francisco Airport’s Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Using data from OnStar GPS, FBI agents tracked down the Cadillac SUV on Interstate 80 in Roseville, California, 17 hours after the jewelry heist in Denver.

FBI Agents then contacted state and local officials to help catch the jewelry robbers.

“The raw violence used in the take-over robbery of a Denver jewelry store left no doubt of the urgent need to identify, locate and arrest the perpetrators,” U.S. Attorney John Walsh said.

CHP worked with the FBI to track down the Cadillac SUV, eventually leading to a 60-mile vehicle pursuit on Interstate 80. The SUV crashed into a fence during the chase on Wednesday morning and four of the people in the car tried to flee the scene. Twenty-four hours after the robbery in Denver, all five of the people in the SUV were ultimately taken into custody by the CHP and charged with federal robbery crimes.

Authorities found a handgun and Rolex watches in the Cadillac SUV once the high-speed chase was over; one of the watches had a serial number matching a Rolex watch stolen from the Denver jewelry store on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal Drivers Stunned by Gas Price Spike]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:56:08 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-27-2015-gas-price-guinyard-1.jpg

Drivers were surprised to find a serious spike in the price of gas, which soared overnight in Los Angeles County by the largest amount in a day in more than two years.

Search: Gas Prices by ZIP Code

An average gallon of self-serve regular rose Friday by 15 cents to $3.40, the biggest hike since Oct. 6, 2012. The last time gas was so expense was back in Oct. 28 last year. It rose by the same margin in Orange County to $3.39, and by 13 cents to $3.31 in the Inland Empire.

"The prices were down for quite some time," said Long Beach resident Maynard Martin. "It was too good to be true."

Prices have now risen for 28 consecutive days, though it is still far less than the highest average of $4.70 per gallon back in 2012.

Anthony Peres fueled up at a Santa Monica station Friday morning where the price for a gallon of regular was $4.75.

"The price went up and up and up," said Peres. "It's pretty outrageous."

Read: Why Prices Are Rising

It is the longest streak of increases since a 30-day run from Jan. 25 until February 23, 2013.

In Orange County the average price is 94.4 cents more than one month ago and is on a similar streak.

The Torrance refinery explosion last week, seasonal refinery maintenance and the switch from winter to summer fuel blends has been blamed for the spike. 

Photo Credit: Toni Guinyard, KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Doobie Brothers to Open Stern Grove Festival ]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:47:50 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/doobiebrothers+-+02.jpg

The Doobie Brothers are set to kick off this year's Stern Grove Festival season with on June 14.

The iconic American rock band, which is San Jose's own, will headline Stern Grove's 78th annual season kick-off and fundraiser, according to a press release. Oakland's The California Honeydrops will open.

Known for their funky sound, the Doobies still continue to push their own musical boundaries decades after their inception and more than 40 million albums sold around the world. Frontman Michael McDonald rejoined the group to release an album of country duets called Southbound in 2014, reports Rolling Stone.

Admission to the concert, which starts at 2 p.m., is free. A ticketed fundraiser called The Big Picnic Party begins at 11:30 a.m., which allows festivalgoers to snag reserved picnic table seating in time for the live music. Tickets and sponsorships to that range from $250 to $20,000.

Stern Grove's full season lineup is expected to be announced on May 1.

Photo Credit: John Hancock]]>
<![CDATA[Blogger Raises $180K for Mission Fire Victims]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:36:38 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11A-MISSION-FIRE-PKG---00000000.jpg

The people who lost their homes in the massive fire in San Francisco’s Mission District now have some help finding a new place to live.

Blogger Zack Crockett, 27, started a GoFundMe page for the mostly low-income victims of the fire on Jan. 28. He’s now raised more than $180,000.

On Thursday night, he presented checks to the families, most of whom have been staying in a shelter.

Crockett’s page says most of those checks ranged from $6,000 to $15,000.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Crash-And-Grab at Audio Store in Nob Hill]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:28:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/audiovisualsf.jpg

In yet another smash-and-grab, or rather, crash-and-grab, robbery in San Francisco, a four-door silver truck backed into a high-end audio visual store in Nob Hill, and the thief or thieves made off with about $100,000 of merchandise.

Audio Vision SF’s Randolph John said the truck backed into his store in the 1600 block of California about 4 a.m. and took a bunch of stereo equipment. The suspect or suspects fled the scene.

"Everyone was saying that this crew is out there," he said, standing outside his store, shattered glass littering the sidewalk. "You should be careful, you should look out."

But he said "this crew" is bold and didn't seem to care that they backed into his shop, which is in a highly trafficked spot. "That didn't stop 'em. They ripped up a bunch of things and got some products."

Police did not say what, if anything, was stolen. Police are reviewing video surveillance footage of the burglary. No arrests have been made and suspect description was not released.

Police were looking into whether the burglary was related to at least six similar crimes in the San Francisco Bay Area over the last year.

These types of thefts, where the burglars crash vehicles into store fronts, have been occurring throughout the Bay Area. There have been at least six since May 2014.

  • On Feb. 19, two burglars crashed their red minivan through a front plate glass window at a photography shop in Palo Alto, stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise before taking off.

  • On Feb. 13, a driver rammed a U-Haul truck into the Life Chiropractic College in Hayward, in an apparent break-in.

  • On Jan. 19, the Patagonia store near Fisherman's Wharf was the target of a smash and grab burglary in January after two men slammed a U-Haul van through its front door and took off with hundreds of dollars worth of jackets.

  • In November 2014, suspects crashed a vehicle into the Chanel boutique in San Francisco's Union Square.

  • In May 2014, a car rammed into the Apple store on Fourth Street in Berkeley where the suspect made off with laptops and iPhones.

NBC Bay Area's Ingrid Almaz and Stephen Wheelock contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Steve Wheelock
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Medical Helicopter Lands at Shopping Center]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:59:52 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/calstar.jpg

A CalStar helicopter pilot was forced to make an emergency landing near a Lucky’s parking lot in Vacaville Thursday night after experiencing mechanical issues.

Vacaville Police Sgt. David Spencer said the helicopter landed about 8 p.m. in a grassy area by the shopping center near Peabody Road and Alamo Drive.

"This doesn't happen a lot," Spencer said. "The pilot did a great job. He landed in a grassy field instead of a helipad. Yeah, in a shopping center."

The crew had been taking a hospital patient to San Francisco. That patient was transferred by ambulance.

Spencer said it is not confirmed that the helicopter’s troubles were because of a reported bird strike. The Vacaville Fire Department told the Daily Republic that the helicopter likely struck a bird.

The FAA issued a statement saying there were four people on board when the helicopter made the landing. .

No one was injured in the landing.

NBC Bay Area's Lauren Inderhees and Craig Cannon contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Craig Cannon]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Earthquakes Boast New Avaya Stadium]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:15:28 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/avaya-stadium.jpg

The San Jose Earthquakes held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday for their new Avaya stadium on Coleman Avenue.

The Quakes will hold an exhibition game on Saturday with limited seating. The first regular game is in three weeks.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Googleplex Expansion Causing Excitement, Worry]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:58:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/google22.jpg

New expansion plans for Google headquarters, known as the Googleplex, has the city of Mountain View in a tough position as city leaders try to accommodate their biggest corporate taxpayer as well as non-Google residents who feel the tech giant is swallowing their town.

“I think most of us in Mountain View are concerned about where are we going to house the employees that work there, the new employees. How will they get to work given the traffic bottlenecks that already exist?” asked Mountain View councilman Lenny Siegel.

Reportedly, the new plans highlight a campus focused on walking or biking to work, which means one thing to Siegel: Mountain View must build new housing.

“We’re expecting as we put housing in north Bayshore and near north Bayshore that we’ll reduce the amount of miles traveled by commuters,” he said.

A mobile home park in the shadow of Google headquarters is also in the cross hairs.

“There is a mobile home park in north Bayshore, about 360 units and a growing number of Google employees are moving in there,” he said. “Now it’s unfortunately displacing some of the residents, they’ve been bought out basically.”

Gregory Legg, who lives in Mountain View said many of his neighbors are Google employees and they’re doing wonders for property values

“It’s actually bringing it up, the property values, which is good. It’s real good,” Legg said. “I mean, before, it was pretty low. And now it’s brought it up quite a bit.”

But with the higher prices, Rosemary Dozie Antoine said she will probably have to move.

“We would like to get out of here because everything’s too expensive for what I do,” she said. “And for what my husband does. So we need to kinda’ need to get out of here.”

The higher real estate is benefiting some, but pushing out others.

“It’s the housing and transportation issues that make me question the value of all this high-tech growth,” she said.

Siegel said opening up Moffett Field for a type of park-and-ride plan that would help alleviate street congestion could be in the works. But his main focus is discussing new housing developments around Google, something the council said no to last year.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Father Helps Boy Battle Leukemia]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:50:57 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0227-2015-CadenHommer.jpg

 SAN FRANCISCO - A young boy is brightening up the staff at the UCSF-Mission Bay Hospital by simply being a patient there.

“Are you ready?” he asked us as we sat down to interview him on camera.

“Caden Hommer is here!” he shouted once the lights came on.

Caden Hommer is 6-years-old, has autism, and is battling leukemia. He’s spent more time in San Francisco since he was diagnosed in October, than his home in Lake County more than 100 miles away.

"We've been here every other week,” Caden’s father Casey Hommer said.

Casey has to stay with Caden every day. His other 5-year-old son is staying with family.

Back home, the community is rallying around Caden. His school bus driver Tamara Cyr is raising money for medical bills and traveling costs. She started a GoFundMe page, and is hoping others will chip in.

“I just want to ease the burden off the father…and with Caden he’s well worth the effort to pour money into their lives and help them,” Cyr said.

Doctors say Caden's prognosis is a good one, but he’ll still need a few more chemotherapy treatments. Caden’s Pediatric Oncologist says the staff is happy to have him around.

“A bright light to hang out with. When you're spending the whole day in the hospital it's great to see Caden because you know you're going to have a great time,” said Dr. Clay Gustafson.

After a few minutes with Caden, he couldn’t take his hands off the camera. So naturally when we left, he said he wants to be a camera man when he grows up.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Kill Suspected Bike Robber Armed With Knife: Chief]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:00:53 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0226-2015-SFPD.jpg

A person suspected of trying to rob a man of his bicycle while armed with a long-blade kitchen knife was fatally shot by plainclothes San Francisco police officers late Thursday night, police say.

Two plainclothes officers spotted the 20-something suspect, who they said was armed with a knife, about 9:45 p.m. near 24th and Folsom streets, and ordered the man to drop the knife, police said. They just happened to be in the area, according to Police Chief Greg Suhr, and spotted the suspect standing with the long knife.

The officers told the man to drop it, Suhr said, and "he refused." Suhr said at least eight witnesses have corroborated that.

Both officers fired at the man between four to six times, Suhr said. Police found six bullet casings on the ground. The suspect died at the scene.

Suhr said the officers "fired upon the suspect" only to defend themselves.

Police later learned the suspect had been trying to steal a man's bicycle. And the victim thanked police. Suhr said the man told a police captain he saved his life.

NBC Bay Area's Robbie Beasom contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Daniel Gifford]]>
<![CDATA[Federal Agents On The Hunt For Thousands Of Lost Depression-Era Paintings]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 06:49:24 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wpa+art+3.jpg

When someone is called a "history detective" rarely is that person an actual detective.

Michael Ramos is.

Mike is a Special Agent with the Inspector Generals Office at the US General Services Administration. What that means is Mike spends most of his time chasing down bad guys who waste taxpayers' money or steal government property.

"That's right," Mike says. "A vast majority of our work involves people with criminal intent."

But for the past three years Mike has had a case on his roster that hasn't involved hunting down thieves, but rather tracking down lost works of art. It is a change of pace that this detective has enjoyed.

"It's a pleasure to be a part of it," Mike says. "It's history."

The works of art Mike has been asked to locate were among the hundreds of thousands commissioned during the Great Depression as part of the Works Progress Administration, or WPA.

The WPA was a way the government came up with to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. While it is most well known for its large-scale projects like bridges, damns, and monuments, the WPA helped struggling artists as well.

An estimated 200,000 works of art were commissioned by the WPA. Many of the paintings created were then doled out for display in public buildings such as city halls, libraries, and schools.

And then, for the most part, the federal government lost track of them.

"Sometimes records were non-existent, facilities close, administrations change and they lose track of the artwork," Mike says.

Still, it is the GSA's responsibility to look after government property, which is why a few years ago administrators in Washington D.C. tasked their agents around the country with trying to track down what artwork they could.


Using modern-day technology, and old-fashioned shoe leather, Mike and his colleagues at the GSA's San Francisco office have successfully tracked down more than 150 pieces with an estimated $3 million value.

Among his finds were a dozen works of art at the Grand Avenue Branch of the South San Francisco Public Library. Mike found WPA paintings covering the walls of a staff workroom as well as stored in the basement. Two of the paintings, however, by artist Sophie Brannan were hiding in plain sight, hanging from the wall in the library's adult room.

"The first time I walked in and saw that I got the goose bumps," Mike says.

Following a tip, Mike also contacted the staff at the San Mateo County Library administrative building. "When I first got his email I just looked at his job title and wondered, 'What I did wrong?'," says library assistant Shannon Nottestad.

Once Mike explained his mission, though, Shannon was more than happy to point him in the direction of the building's attic, where more than 50 WPA works of art were being stored.

"A lot of people are passionate about the WPA," Mike says of people like Shannon,"and once you have them on your side it's like having another investigator."

Mike and the rest of the GSA will need that help. Of the hundreds of thousands of pieces commissioned, the GSA knows of the location of fewer than 30,000 of them.

The ones they do find, however, don't go anywhere. The GSA is not interested in taking possession of the paintings, it just wants to know where its property is after all these years.

Mike says should the public become aware of WPA artwork for sale or have knowledge of existing pieces in non-federal repositories (libraries, schools, hospitals, etc) they can contact him at 415-522-2756. They can also remain anonymous by contacting the GSA's hotline at 800-424-5210 or fraudnet@gsaig.gov.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[New 628 Area Code Causes Intercom Problems at SF Buildings]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:36:13 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0226-2015-Intercom.jpg

A new area code is creating a new problem in San Francisco.

Dozens of intercoms used to reach someone in an office or apartment building are not working after the new 628 area code changed dialing rules. Older intercoms in the city are not programmed to dial a "1" and the area code -- so they are unable to connect to the building.

Most intercoms are programmed to dial just a seven-digit number.

"We actually thought our system would allow for 11 digits -- it wouldn't," said Marcella Bartolini, an apartment manager.

Apartment building managers are posting notes letting residents know why the phone is not ringing and residents are handing out cell phone numbers to delivery people.

Warman Security technicians like Kevin Reed are now in high demand as buildings work to replace or re-program intercom systems.

"We've got five technicians and they're all booked every day," Reed said.

Technicians said replacing a system starts at $2,500.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Murder Due to Home Invasion, Robbery That Went "Terribly Wrong"]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:21:58 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-2015-MarkCarr.jpg

Hercules police have arrested a San Pablo man on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in connection with what they are calling a home-invasion robbery gone "terribly wrong."

Mark Anthony Carr, 27, was arrested Wednesday afternoon shortly after police responded to the area of Marigold Place and Buttercup Court around 2:45 p.m. on a report of a fight.

A resident told officers two men had been fighting in the driveway of a house at 100 Buttercup Court, and that one man had been on top of another and choking him.

Officers approached the house and did not see anyone outside, but did see a blood trail from a truck parked in the driveway to the closed garage door. The front door was ajar, and what appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol was lying near the front porch, according to Detective Connie Van Putten.

That weapon was later determined to be a bb gun, and it is thought to have been brought to the home by the suspect, Van Putten said.

Police called in additional help, and put out a description of the man seen choking the other male in the fight.

Officers in the area detained Carr a few blocks away while police entered and searched the home.

Inside, officers found an Asian female around 50 to 60 years old lying just inside the front door with clear plastic covering her face.

Officers removed the plastic and determined the woman was still conscious and breathing. She was taken to John Muir Medical Center where she remains in critical condition, probably as a result of asphyxiation, police said late Thursday.

A second victim, a Native American male around 50 to 60 years old, was found dead in the garage. He had clear plastic packing tape wrapped around his head and had suffered head trauma.

There were no gunshot or knife wounds on either victim, police said.

While the male victim's identity has not yet been released, police said he lived in the house. The female victim was a good friend of his.

Van Putten said today that an initial investigation indicates that the suspect entered the man's home through the front door armed with a very realistic-looking BB gun.

She said one of the windows that appeared askew when police first arrived at the scene was actually the suspect's exit route.

"At this point our investigation leads us to believe it was a home invasion robbery that went terribly wrong," Van Putten said.

There is no evidence that Carr knew either victim.

Police said Carr has two prior misdemeanor convictions dating to 2008 for burglary and petty theft.

Photo Credit: Hercules Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Allegedly Molested Child at Daycare: Police]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:27:40 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0226-2015-Bartolomucci.jpg

A 52-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of molesting a child at his girlfriend's daycare, according to the Hercules Police Department.

Officers arrested Carson Lane Bartolomucci at an apartment on the 100 block of Paradise Drive. The apartment also houses the daycare, police said.

Police started an investigation on Feb. 12 after a parent of a 13-year-old girl reporter her daughter had been the victim of a sexual assault.

Police said the victim often visited a daycare located at Bartolomucci's apartment. Bartolomucci is the boyfriend of the daycare provider and was known to the victim and her family, according to police.

The girl also spent the night and weekends at the daycare, police said

The alleged sexual assaults took place when Bartolomucci's girlfriend left the apartment, according to the police investigation.

Police said the girl did not tell anyone because she was afraid, but when she got older had the courage to come forward.

Bartolomucci is currently being held at the Martinez Detention Facility and faces the following charges:

  • lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14;
  • lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14 with force or fear;
  • oral copulation with a child under 14, 10 years younger than the suspect;
  • sexual penetration with a child under 14 with force or fear;
  • and sexual exploitation of a child.

Police said criminal charges will be filed with the District Attorney's Office on Friday.

Photo Credit: Hercules Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[FCC OKs Net Neutrality Rules]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:59:40 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000010388863_1200x675_405235267760.jpg The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday passed "net neutrality" rules, which allow the agency to prohibit Internet service providers from granting faster access to companies that pay for the privilege. Scott Budman reports.]]> <![CDATA[San Francisco Ferry Building Gets Exposition Centennial Lights]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:54:38 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/173*120/FERRYMAIN.JPG

The San Francisco Ferry Building is about to reflect a brighter outlook.

The terminal's tower will light up with bulbs spelling out the year 1915 for nine months to celebrate the Panama-Pacific International Exposition's 100th anniversary, running from Mar. 3 to Dec. 4, reports SFGate.

The duration of the light installation also reflects the amount of time the world fair was in San Francisco; the event ran from Feb. 20 to Dec. 4, 1915, according to historical site San Francisco Memories.

The Exposition's Centennial has a full calendar of events for the year throughout San Francisco, including exhibitions, film screenings, panel discussions and world music and dance performances.

<![CDATA[Modesto Couple's Family Believed Captured by ISIS]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:29:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0226-2015-Davids.jpg

A Modesto couple said their family members in Syria are believed to be among dozens ripped from their homes by ISIS this week.

Sharlet David and her husband, Romel, said that 12 family members, including Sharlet's brother, have gone missing from their village.

The United Nations said more than 100 Assyrian Christians were kidnapped by ISIS on Monday, as the militants clashed with Kurdish and Christian militiamen for control of villages in the northeastern province of Hassakeh.

"That happened Monday morning -- they attacked at 4 o'clock in the morning when they were all asleep," Sharlet David said. "And they took everybody, and we don't know if they're alive, where they are. We don't know. We haven't heard anything from them."

The Davids and their family in Syria identify as Assyrian Christians. Sharlet David said her 59-year-old brother had been living in Modesto but returned to Syria two years ago

Sharlet David said the waiting is hard and is praying that her brother, his wife and children and her aunts and uncles will be spared. She fears ISIS will use them as human shields or as victims for executions.

"We pray for mercy and we pray for intervention," Romel David said. "But we ultimately fear the absolute worst, the unthinkable."

Peninsula Congresswoman Anna Eshoo has sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for his help in providing aid to the Assyrians. Eshoo is the only member of Congress of Assyrian descent.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Friday at David's church in Modesto.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Survey: San Jose Dines Out More Than Any U.S. City]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:21:24 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/grouponpoll.jpg

San Jose likes to eat out — a lot.

A Groupon survey of customer purchasing habits has determined that San Jose citizens dine in restaurants more than any other city in the United States.

While Groupon determined that San Jose is the number one city in the United States, the Canadian city of Regina, Saskatchewan actually topped the poll for dining out.

Northern California landed three spots in the survey's top 10; Sacramento ranks fourth, while Santa Cruz and Monterey are combined in the sixth slot. San Francisco did not make the list. 

The survey, which appears to measure a San Jose citizen's propensity for picking up coupons, was conducted in honor of Thursday's Taste of Groupon promotion launch.

The company will donate a meal to Feeding America for every food and drink Groupon purchased over the next two weeks. A representative for Groupon stated that the goal is to donate half a million meals.

<![CDATA[Oakland's Classic Cars West Dealership Will Serve Beer]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:43:48 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/hupmobile.jpg

An Oakland dealership hopes to show how cars and alcohol go together.

Inside Scoop SF reports that Oakland's Classic Cars West dealership will add a limited service walk-up restaurant and outdoor beer garden to the property in hopes of drawing in customers beyond the store's monthly exhibits on display for Oakland Art Murmur. Owner Michael Sarcona is a vegetarian and has decided to make the menu meat-free, with some vegan options as well, all washed down with beer and wine. He is looking at a tentative opening of his food and drink choices in May.

Beer has been booming in San Francisco and the East Bay for the past two years in particular with the opening of several breweries, beer gardens, taprooms and craft beer bars. In 2013, Eater SF noted 27 new or forthcoming beer-centric spots popping up on both sides of the Bay.

"I think the beer garden trend is indicative of two larger aspects at play," said Allie Pape, Eater SF's editor and a Certified Cicerone in training, which is the beer equivalent to a wine sommelier. "One, obviously, is the explosive growth of craft beer as a category, which I don't see slowing down anytime soon. It's still less than 10 percent of the total U.S. beer market, so that's a lot of territory to potentially scoop up, which will only grow as millennials get more buying power.

"But I think another, more subtle aspect is that craft beer is both delicious and affordable. With wine by the glass and craft cocktails now starting at $10 and only rising from there, craft beer is a better alternative for people who want to have more than one drink, especially because it tends to be the preferred pairing with easygoing, inexpensive-to-produce food like fried items and burgers."

Pape doesn't think Oakland will hit maximum beer capacity in the near future.

"For an upstart brewery, the East Bay has become pretty much the only option," she explained. "SF is too expensive, and if you go further afield, you potentially lose access to a lot of that youthful market that loves craft beer so much."

Photo Credit: Classic Cars West]]>
<![CDATA[Hazmat Crews Respond to Explosion in Sunnyvale]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:16:31 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/194*120/FIRETRUCK11.JPG

Hazmat crews responded to an explosion in a building in Sunnyvale Thursday afternoon which resulted in two minor injuries.

Sunnyvale public safety officials said the two people injured in the explosion worked for Altex Technologies, which has offices in the building. The employees were doing research with "particular substances" when there was a reaction that led to the explosion, officials said.

According to the Sunnyvale police, fire and hazmat crews handled the incident that occurred in the 200 block of Sobrante around 2 p.m. The building was briefly evacuated.

According to Altex Technologies website, the company is an alternative fuels and combustion research company which develops and tests new thermal management and fuel processing.

Public safety officials said Altex deals with hazardous materials.

According to a grant request, Altex is working on a $347,933 project to develop a burner for a commercial-scale boiler that significantly reduces nitrogen and carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining energy efficiency. There are several toxic spill sites located within a quarter mile of the location.

Police units briefly blocked off the area of Sobrante. The incident did not pose a threat to the public, police said.

NBC Bay Area's Riya Bhattachajee and Stephen Stock contributed reporting.

<![CDATA[Dogs Were "Poisoned": Dog Owner Sues Purina]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:38:55 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/EllaRemo.JPG

It started with a phone call from his wife: We’re out of dog food.

So Frank Lucido of Discovery Bay went to the store and bought a bag of Purina’s Beneful kibble style dog foods around Christmas. His dogs loved it.

But three weeks after eating it, his eight-year-old English bulldog Dozer is dead. And his 11-year-old Labrador named Remo and 4-year-old German Shepherd named Nella are still recovering from kidney failure, lethargy and diarrhea.

“I feel very strongly there’s a definite situation with this dog food,” Lucido said Thursday in an interview. “The doctor said the dog had been poisoned. The dogs are part of the family. It’s been real rough.”

Lucido sued Nestle Purina PetCare Company Feb. 5 in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California alleging the dog food contains propylene glycol, which it says is an animal toxin used in automobile antifreeze, and mycotoxins, a group of toxins produced by fungus that occurs in grains. The suit asks for unspecified damages and to make sure Purina's products are "safe for dogs."

Lucido alleges that in the past four years there have been more than 3,000 complaints online about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful, having shown “consistent symptoms,” including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures and kidney failure. The complaints about Beneful report symptoms that are consistent with mycotoxin poisoning, according to the suit.

Since he filed the suit, which has gotten national media coverage, one of Lucido’s attorneys, Michael Ram of San Francisco, said at least 1,000 have come forward complaining about similar situations. The suit is seeking class-action status.

"I have never had a flood of calls and emails who said, 'The same thing happened to me.' The phone is literally ringing off the hook," Ram said.

Purina said in a statement regarding Lucido’s suit that “there are no quality issues with Beneful,” and said dog owners could continue feeding it to their dogs without any concern.

“Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation,” the company said in its statement. “On-line postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful customers.”

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of propylene glycol as an additive in human food and animal feed, and Purina screens its grain to prevent mycotoxins from getting into its products, spokesman Keith Schopp said.

The FDA has not issued any warnings about Beneful kibble-style dog food. In a statement, the FDA said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Jennifer Dooren, a spokeswoman, declined to comment to the Associated Press on whether the FDA were investigating the food.

The results of toxicology testing on Lucido’s English Bulldog, Dozer, who died, are pending, according to the lawsuit.

The suit asks the court to expand the case to include other dog owners whose dogs were sickened or died. It asks for unspecified damages and restitution, although it says the claims exceed $5 million.

In recent years, Beneful has faced two lawsuits that were dismissed by the courts, according to Purina’s statement.

However, in a lawsuit settled in May, Purina and Waggin’ Train LLC agreed to create a $6.5 million fund to compensate pet owners who claimed their pets were sickened after eating China-made jerky treats.

At the time, FDA officials said the pet treats were linked to more than 1,000 deaths in dogs and more than 4,800 complaints of animal illness. Three humans were sickened after eating the treats.

For now, Lucido just wants to stop this from happening to anyone else.

“I’ve been trusting Purina for a long time,” he said. “ Purina Puppy Chow is what you fed your dog. But this is a situation people should not have to go through.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Frank Lucido
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Hits Homeless Muni Rider With Baton]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:23:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bayHomelessStory.jpg

A San Francisco police officer was caught on Muni video striking a homeless man with a baton and pepper spraying him when the 36-year-old rider wouldn’t get off the bus at the end of the line.

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi released the roughly 4-minute video Thursday showing the Feb. 11 event at Cabrillo and La Playa streets near Ocean Beach.

Its release comes two days after a Fort Lauderdale police officer was suspended without pay after being caught on camera slapping a pushing a homeless ground to the ground.

Adachi, who has been releasing a string of proactive videos of police officer conduct, said this officer “dramatically” escalated his use of force and was “overreacting to a minor conflict.”

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr defended Officer Raymond Chu, basing his conclusion on the video, the police report and the bus driver's statements.

"I'm comfortable since it has been held over for trial and viewed by the District Attorney that they’re not seeing anything as shocking as Mr. Adachi would have anybody believe," Suhr said.

Suhr added that Chu, a 10-year veteran of the police department, was simply responding as he was trained.

The District Attorney's Office also did not immediately back down from Adachi's assertions.

“We are reviewing all the evidence to make sure the case was handled appropriately,” San Francisco District Attorney’s spokesman Max Szabo said. “The court has ordered the defendant to seek mental health treatment.”

It was nearly two weeks ago that Chu responded to a report of a person sleeping on a 5-Fulton about 11 p.m.

The video shows Chu trying to rouse 36-year-old Bernard Warren for more than 30 seconds before Warren awakens, disheveled and disoriented. At first, Chu is gentle. “Hey buddy,” Chu is heard saying several times.

When he finally wakes up, Warren appears to have trouble standing and walking. Chu begins pushing him toward the exit. On his way off the bus, Warren, who Adachi said has a slurred speech impediment, slowly mumbles over his shoulder to Chu, “Don’t touch me. I could beat your a--.”

Chu becomes enraged. He can be heard yelling: “Dude, f---king what did you say?” and shoves and kicks Warren off the bus, as the homeless man staggers in the street. At another point, he shouts at Warren, "Get off the f---ing bus."

As Warren walks away, Chu brandishes his police baton, yelling “We done here? We done here? Yeah, keep walking.”

Chu then follows Warren and strikes him with the baton as Warren continues to stumble in the street, all of which is captured on video.

Chu wrote in his police report that Warren approached him with clenched fists and that he hit Warren in the legs five times with a baton before deploying his pepper spray into Warren’s eye, which can be seen at minute 2:32 in the video.

Warren was arrested for threatening an executive officer. After two weeks in jail, Warren was released, said his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Andrea Lindsay.

A jury trial is scheduled for March 6. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

Adachi called Chu's response to Warren the second case of excessive police force this year. In January, a private citizen released footage of an officer trying to dump a paralyzed man from his wheelchair.


NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith and Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Muni video surveillance
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA["Spring Forward": Apple's Newest Mystery Unveiling]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:52:31 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/APPLE10.jpg

Could it be time for the Apple Watch's big debut?

In its typical mysterious style, Apple announced on Thursday it will hold a “special event” on March 9, in San Francisco. While the Cupertino company didn't mention the watch - it never publicly identifies the subjects of its much-ballyhooed unveilings - it did use a time pun in its sparsely written invitation, colored in pastels.

"Spring Forward," reads the text for the invitation-only event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, which kicks off at 10 a.m.

Bolstering the watch theory, the company bought 12 pages of ads in Vogue magazine to tout its new Apple Watch, which is set to be released in April. The ad features three versions of the new smartwatch: the leather standard model, the rubber Sport , and the high-end Edition, all in glossy print ads.

And keen industry observers, including TechRadar, MacRumors and the Wall Street Journal predict that soon most everyone who wants one will be walking around with a new Apple wearable on their wrist.

Photo Credit: Apple invitation]]>
<![CDATA[Albany Students Who Ingested Pills Are Back Home]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:39:23 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/166*120/PILLS10.JPG

Five Albany middle school students who were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after staff got wind that they ingested some pills, are back home with their families, district officials and firefighters said.

Albany Unified School District Superintendent Valerie Williams wrote in a statement on the district's website that the incident remains under investigation. District officials have not specified what pills were taken.

Williams wrote, "This is an opportunity for our entire school community to learn from this situation. We must speak openly, honestly and firmly with the students about the consequences of risky behaviors. I urge all parents to speak with their children about the dangers of taking someone else's prescription medication."

Albany Fire Department spokesman Dustin Wiggins said three ambulances were dispatched about 11:15 a.m. and five students were taken to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

Following Albany Unified School District protocol, administrators called police and parents of students.

Photo Credit: Jodi Hernandez]]>
<![CDATA[Congresswoman Cracks Down on Liquid Detergent Pods]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:02:15 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Consumer-Reports-Pods.jpg

Congresswoman Jackie Speier  is set to introduce the tougher laws surrounding the packaging of liquid laundry detergent pods after a child ended up in intensive care after biting into such a colorful, and dangerous, packet.

The Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety Act would direct the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission to require safer, child-resistant packaging for liquid detergent packets. She's trying to prevent more children from getting sick, and in some cases, from dying.

Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo counties) was moved to act after hearing the story of Jill Koziol  whose 8-month-old daughter, Cate, spent two days in the pediatric intensive care unit after swallowing a detergent pod her husband was using to do the laundry in September 2014. Koziol had moved from Menlo Park, Calif., to New York City, where her husband was about to do laundry in the apartment building, when the baby crawled into the hamper and took a bite of the packet.

And in one of the most egregious cases, 7-month-old Michael Williams of Florida died in 2013 after swallowing such a liquid laundry packet. His mother said that she was living at a shelter, where someone had placed the pods inside a laundry basket on the bed where her son was asleep. She stepped away only to return and find that her son had eaten two.

The American Cleaning Institute called the legislation "unnecessary" because "there are already comprehensive activities taking place addressing the safety of detergent packets."

Spokesman Brian Sansoni told NBC Bay Area that these products should be kept out of reach of children "no matter what color they are."

“In addition, ACI and its detergent manufacturer members are actively engaged in a process – administered by the standard-setting group ASTM International – to enhance and standardize laundry packet labeling and packaging," the statement read.

According to industry experts and studies, detergent packets are popular, convenient, and dangerous because they deliver powerful chemicals in colorful, bite-sized packages that look like candy.

From 2012 to 2013 the National Poison Data System received 17,230 calls involving children exposed to chemicals by the packets. Of those, 769 required hospitalization for issues including seizures, vomiting blood, fluid in the lungs, dangerously slow heartbeats, respiratory arrest, gastric burn, and comas. One 7-month-old boy has died.

Many household products such as medicine and cleaning agents already require child-resistant packaging. But Speier’s legislation proposes expanding those rules to cover liquid detergent packets. According to her office, the proposal advocates requiring stronger, safer policies that cover the design and color of the packets, so that they aren’t as attractive to children; the composition of the packets, so that the consequences of exposure aren’t so severe; and the adequacy of the warning labels, to properly inform consumers about the risk.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) is releasing companion legislation in the Senate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Stephen Curry Vists White House for Malaria Initiative]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:22:03 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Stephen-holds-a-baby-recovering-from-malaria-at-a-clinic-in-Tanzania.jpg Golden State Warriors Point Guard Stephen Curry has made fighting malaria one of his personal causes, recently visiting the White House to speak about the President's Malaria Initiative.

Photo Credit: Insider Images/Stuart Ramson for UN Foundation]]>
<![CDATA[No Bicycles on San Jose Downtown Sidewalks]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:09:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/bikes14.jpg

Effective Wednesday, there’s no more biking on San Jose sidewalks in the city’s downtown core.

The ban affects First, Second, Third and Fourth streets from St. John south to San Carlos.

The sidewalks on San Fernando Street are off-limits from the Diridon Station to 11th Street.

Violaters could be fined up to $1,000.

<![CDATA[Robin Williams' Daughter Zelda Speaks Out ]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:54:08 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP091109053180.jpg

Six months after the death of her father, beloved comedian Robin Williams, Zelda Williams is "taking it one step at a time."

Speaking publicly for the first time since her father's passing in August, Williams opens up to NBC's Kate Snow about honoring his legacy of charity works and trying to move forward with her own life.

Williams, 25, says she doesn't dwell on what led the "Mork & Mindy" and "Good Will Hunting" star to commit suicide. "I don’t think there’s a point," she said in the interview which aired Thursday on "Today." "It’s not important to ask."

On Friday Williams will honor her dad's legacy of giving back when she presents an award to her father and his teammates who joined him in a triathlon every year at the Challenged Athlete Foundation. The foundation helps to provide prosthetics to disabled athletes. "Dad was an extremely athletic person," says Williams. "People don't know about that."

According to Williams her father always enjoyed humanitarian work. "That was what his favorite thing other than comedy really was."

Of the public outpouring of love and grief for her dad in the wake of his passing, Williams says people will remember her father for "the characters that he had so much fun being, and that's what's important, and I do think that's what a lot of people will hold on to and that's not going anywhere."

In memory of her dad Williams got a tattoo of a hummingbird on her right hand, choosing the location because she says it's something she wants to see everyday. "Hummingbirds are fun and flighty and strange. It's hard to keep them in one place and Dad was a bit like that. Keeping a conversation in one moment was impossible with him."

Williams says life without her father is hard, but she continues to try and move forward. "It’s going to take a lot of work to allow myself to have the sort of fun, happy life that I had, but that's important. Anybody who has ever lost anyone works very hard to continue that memory in a positive way."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Warriors' Curry Talks Hoops, Malaria, Cauliflower]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:18:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Stephen-meets-Bo-and-Sunny-at-the-White-House.jpg

Hard to say who might have been more thrilled this week, Stephen Curry or the president of the United States, an avid hoops player himself who once called the Golden State Warriors guard the best shooter he had ever seen.

But Curry, who lives in Oakland, did not officially visit the White House on Wednesday to show Barack Obama how to make a three-pointer. He was there to speak about the president’s Malaria Initiative, something he became passionate about after visiting Tanzania in 2013 and seeing how children were affected by the disease.

"That hit home to me as we traveled through the camp to hear stories of how malaria impacted all those families," Curry told the Mercury News. A father himself, Curry said he was moved to act. He and his wife, Ayesha, have two children.

"Let's keep the fight going," he said after the meeting.

Curry for the past three seasons has donated three insecticide-treated mosquito nets for every 3-pointer he makes as part of the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign. Since he started in 2012, Curry has donated 1,599 bed nets, according to the organization.

The goal of the group is to find athletes who are willing to find “fun, creative ways” to raise awareness and money to buy a $10 bednet to combat the disease by protecting people from mosquito bites. Since 2006, Nothing But Nets has delivered more than nine million nets to families in 29 countries across Africa. Malaria kills more than 600,000 people worldwide each year.

But Curry’s charitable works don’t end with malaria. On Thursday, he and San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick are pushing the benefits of cauliflower as part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative, which has been nicknamed “FNV,” a supposedly catchier title for fruits and vegetables.”

NBC Universal's Jennifer Vasquez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Nothing But Nets
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