<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:42:41 -0700 Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:42:41 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Carr Puts On a Show, Raiders Win 41-31]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:31:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/167*120/carrandmych.jpg

Even before Thursday night’s final exhibition game, reports indicated the Raiders believe Derek Carr is primed to play quarterback in the NFL.

Albert Breer of NFL.com reported this week that the coaching staff believes “Carr is ready to start, if needed,” with anointed No. 1 quarterback Matt Schaub on the sidelines with a sore throwing elbow.

Then Carr took the offensive reins Thursday night to blitz the Seahawks in what eventually was a 41-31 Oakland victory.

Carr was brilliant, completing 11-of-13 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns before giving way to Matt McGloin in the second quarter.

“A brilliant quarter and a half in the fourth preseason game doesn’t mean Carr is ready to be a quality NFL starting quarterback,” wrote NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal during Thursday night’s game. “But we’ve seen enough this preseason to know he’s a better option than Schaub, who simply doesn’t have arm strength or confidence.”

In fact, of the three Raiders QBs on the roster, Schaub has looked far worse than either Carr – the second-round pick from Fresno State – or McGloin, the second-year pro who is No. 3 on the depth chart.

Over his past two outings, Carr has shown a strong arm, accuracy, confidence and an ability to make plays when needed.

Early in Thursday’s game, on a third-and-10, Carr completed a 12-yarder to Brice Butler for a first down on a drive that ended with a Latavius Murray touchdown run. On the next possession, Carr hit Denarius Moore for a 36-yard TD to give Oakland a 14-7 lead. He followed that up with a 20-yard scoring pass to tight end Mychal Rivera. Even though the ball was deflected, Rivera was able to make the grab.

On his final drive of the night, Carr connected with Moore again on a 10-yard scoring throw after earlier connecting with Rivera on a 27-yard pass on a key third-down play.

Carr’s initial drives, too, came against the starting Seattle defense, the No. 1 unit in the NFL in 2013. For the night, he led four TD drives.

With the exhibition season now complete, the Raiders over the next few days face some difficult roster decisions to get down to 53 players this Saturday.

However, the decision to name Carr the starter for the regular-season opener Sept. 7 at the New York Jets seems like a no-brainer.

Carr is a rookie and there’s no telling how he’ll perform under the pressure of the regular season.

But Raiders coaches and their fans have seen enough of Schaub to know what to expect from him. And Carr certainly seems the better choice. Under Carr, the Raiders offense has come alive this month. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers Defeat Texans 40-13 in Preseason Finale]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:16:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/asanteTD.jpg

When the 49ers took the field Thursday night for their final exhibition game of the summer, the team’s primary goal was obvious:

Don’t let anybody important get hurt.

Most of San Francisco’s starters on offense and defense never took the field against the Texans in what eventually was a 40-13 49ers victory in Houston against a team that also sat most of its regulars.

Though head coach Jim Harbaugh had said quarterback Colin Kaepernick would play, he didn’t, so struggling backup Blaine Gabbert started – and struggled some more.

Gabbert completed just 4-of-11 passes for 60 yards, with one of those passes going for a 14-yard touchdown to long-shot tight end Asante Cleveland. Gabbert’s final summer performance gave him a summer stat line of 22-of-47 passes completed for 186 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a QB rating of 54.0.

But in a night where it was Backups vs. Backups and one final night for rookies and free agents to state their case before the final 53-man roster is set on Saturday, there were some highlights.

  • Running back LaMichael James, with his first extensive action after suffering an elbow injury that sidelined him early in training camp, carried the ball six times for 39 yards and had one 17-yard burst.
  • Speedy rookie wideout Bruce Ellington showed what kind of a threat he can be, catching three balls for 35 yards, including a 13-yard scoring pass from No. 3 QB Josh Johnson. He also returned a kickoff 26 yards and had a 44-yard punt return.
  • Rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland, locked in a battle with veteran Michael Wilhoite to replace NaVorro Bowman the first half of this coming season, returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown.

With the final preseason game out of the way, the real drama begins – first to determine the final cuts, and then the start of the regular season.

On Sept. 7 at Dallas, the 49ers will trot out their A Team again when the game actually means something.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Napa Says 822 Buildings Damaged, Not Safe After Quake]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:51:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0827-2014-napa.jpg

Napa city officials say 822 buildings have now been tagged unsafe after sustaining damage from Sunday's magnitude-6.0 earthquake. The city now estimates damage from the quake at $362.4 million.

Nearly every restaurant on Main Street was shut down by the city on Thursday after authorities examined and tagged the buildings.

"It's just a hard one to swallow," said Sam Badolato, a chef whose restaurant got red-tagged Thursday morning. "We're no good outside. I'm way better in the kitchen running the restaurant."

Badolato and other business owners are waiting for guidance from the city on what it will take to start serving customers again.

Damages from the quake also extend to the Napa County Jail.

"I'm holding onto my bunk thinking I'm about to get tossed out," says Victor Graham, who was in a small jail cell with two other cellmates when the temblor struck. "I'm looking at the ceiling, 'Please don't come down on me.'"

Graham says the quake left his cell with cracks in every corner. The jail's 203 inmates are still inside.

Some say the inmates should be relocated, despite county officials insisting inmates are not at risk and are safe.

"Everyone is the same in these situations," says attorney Abe Gardener, who is not being allowed inside the jail to visit his clients. "And just because you're behind bars doesn't make you any less human."



Photo Credit: (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Plans to Install Giant Sign Alongside I-880]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:08:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/08282014-tesla-plant-sign.jpg

Electric car maker Tesla wants to put up a giant sign near its Fremont factory that, if approved, would instantly become one of the Bay Area's biggest.

Fremont city leaders foresee heavy development in the area along Interstate 880 where Tesla is situated. In addition to a BART station, they want to add thousands of housing units and thousands of new jobs, too.

Tesla is an anchor of the plan – and the company has an idea to make sure its brand stands out: Tesla wants to put up a sign that’s 40-feet tall by 200-feet wide, as long as a hockey rink.

"We want people to know that they're in Fremont, Tesla's factory is in Fremont, and we're very proud of that,” said Bill Harrison, Fremont’s mayor.

That civic pride will, if approved, be on display, lit up and visible 24 hours a day along I-880, showing off one of the Bay Area's most successful companies.

California Highway Patrol officials said the agency isn’t concerned about the sign distracting drivers. Motorists NBC Bay Area spoke with agreed. Besides, San Jose driver Jim O'Brien said, “As long as it's not causing accidents, and it’s good for the company, it’s good for the Bay Area."

"They're a great company to have around,” Fremont resident Karen Kenaga said. “I have no problem with any kind of sign. We need the recognition."

Fremont has strict rules for the size of billboards, but the city says those don’t apply in this case because Tesla says it’s not a billboard, it’s a sign.

Harrison insists, it's not a sweetheart deal for Tesla, just good business for his city. “I think we'd be doing this if it wasn't Tesla,” Harrison said. “If there was a factory here producing something other than awesome cars, but employing over 4,000 people, I as mayor would make sure we're doing what we can to help them."

Tesla declined a request to comment on the sign, other than to say it will have more information available at Thursday night’s planning commission meeting, which was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Fremont City Hall.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Scott Budman]]>
<![CDATA[BART Unveils Smartphone App to Call Police]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:49:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart-app.jpg

Instead of calling police, and instead of texting police, BART passengers can now hail cops via an app.

Think of it as Uber for law enforcement officers, on BART.

BART unveiled "BART Watch" on Thursday, a "free app" that allows passengers to tell BART police of unlawful activity going on during their train rides, according to reports.

BART officials think that passengers will be more likely to take a photo of a crime in progress with a smartphone rather than dial 911 or use the emergency intercoms that are on train cars, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Text alerts are received anonymously, the newspaper reported. If a smartphone user is out of cellular range, the alert will be sent as soon as the phone has service again.

The app also lets users select the nature of the crime in progress they are trying to report.

The app is part of a $265,000 contract BART directors approved earlier this year, the newspaper reported.

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<![CDATA[PHOTOS: 49ers vs. Texans]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:20:20 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/200*120/454310608_8.jpg Photo highlights from the preseason matchup between the 49ers and Texans.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman's Body Found in San Jose Church Parking Lot]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:10:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj-car-body.jpg

San Jose police found a woman who was apparently stabbed to death inside a car parked in a church parking lot Thursday morning.

Sgt. Heather Randol said a passerby called police about 11 a.m. to report the body in the 2600 block of Aborn Road. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Police had previously reported the female victim appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound, but later said she had been stabbed at least once and had not been shot.

No arrests have been made.

NBC Bay Area cameras spotted the vehicle in the back of the parking lot of Grace Church of Evergreen at 2650 Aborn Road, a residential area in a normally quiet part of the city. The car appeared to be a late model gold-colored Honda.

The circumstances of the death "are unknown at this time," Randol tweeted. SJPD's Homicide Unit was called to the scene to investigate.

“There is some indication that the vehicle has been there for at least a few hours,” Randol said. “We don’t know anything more than that.”

Police haven’t released any details on a possible suspect or the identity of the victim.

The homicide is San Jose's 26th of 2014.

Kent Wilhoite contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Dog Found After Napa Quake]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:28:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chance1.jpg

When the earth moved during Sunday's Napa earthquake, scores of noise-sensitive pets took off from their comfortable digs. That included "Chance," a 1-year-old cattle dog mix, who bolted from his home at 3:20 a.m., jumping out the living room door, popping out a screen on his way out.

That set Chance's owner, Casey Myers, 31, and her boyfriend into a worried frenzy.

After Myers screamed then hugged her boyfriend, she immediately started looking for Chance, who typically sleeps by her bed.

But he wasn't there. And she had taken his tags off because they jingle at night. She and her boyfriend hopped in the car to look for their beloved pet.

Nothing.

So she posted Chance's picture on Facebook and posted about 400 flyers about town. She was one of many to advertise their lost post on the Missing Pets of Napa Quake Facebook page.

Then, on Thursday, she got a call from Napa Police Officer Rosa Calderon: "We think we have Chance."

Myers drove to Crosswalk Church, and indeed, Chance was there, sitting – hungry but OK – in the back of a truck.

"I opened the door," Myers said, "and Chance jumped out. I was overwhelmed. I just started bawling."



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Casey Myers]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Dies at Burning Man, Struck by Bus: Sheriff]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:19:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BURNING-MAN-VO---00000618.jpg

A woman died at Burning Man early Thursday morning after falling under a bus carrying attendees of the weeklong gathering in northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert, authorities said.

The Pershing County Sheriff's Department in Nevada confirmed the death, referring all other questions to Burning Man's promoter, who said the 29-year-old woman from Wyoming died just after midnight near the Central Camp Area.

Event organizers said Alicia Louise Cipicchio was killed afterapparently falling underneath a "large vehicle" at the festival.

The last time a person died at Burning Man was seven years ago when a woman died when she fell under a trailer being pulled by a bus, promoter Jim Graham said.

"This is a terrible accident," Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell said on the blog. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected."

According to her Facebook page, Cipicchio worked at a Jackson Hole art gallery and previously studied art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

At its peak, Burning Man had 68,000 "Burners" attend this year, Graham said.

The festival describes itself as a gathering of those who "dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance."

Bay City News contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raised Bikeway Coming to Valencia Street in SF]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:11:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*160/104130951495877380627404549844403n.jpg

Yes, bicyclists look down on other commuters. Hard not to, when you're looking down from a raised bikeway.

San Francisco is slated to receive its first raised bikeway -- an elevated patch of asphalt that's meant to keep cars and cyclists away from each other -- next year on Valencia Street between Cesar Chavez and Duncan, The Bold Italic reported.

This project is the S.F. Bicycle Coalition's idea, and part of the Mission Valencia Green Gateway series of bicycle improvements, the Web site noted.

In addition to safety, a raised bikeway is also a protectant against "flooding," the Web site noted. Can't be too careful with sea-level rise.

Work on the bikeway could begin early next year and should run until 2017.



Photo Credit: nbcphotog/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA["I'm Done With This": Mom Not Charged with Choking Boy]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:11:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/08282014-delia-bratcher.jpg

A North Bay mother arrested three months ago, accused of choking her daughter's so-called bully, won't be charged.

After the brief court hearing at the Sonoma County courthouse in Santa Rosa, Delia Garcia-Bratcher smiled as she turned away from the judge, fanning her hands in front of her face in nervous excitement.

She spoke to a crowd of reporters waiting for her in the hall.

"I was just really scared," the 30-year-old mother of six said in the hallway. "I'm really glad this is over and done with. I'm done with this. They put it over so long, I didn't know what to expect."

Garcia-Bratcher made national headlines in May when a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy arrested her on one felony charge of inflicting injury on a child. The deputy said Garcia-Bratcher came onto the campus of Olivet Elementary School and choked a 12-year-old boy, leaving red marks on his throat.

“The simple story is, I talked to the boy – I didn’t want to get him in trouble, I didn’t want to make it a big issue, and it backfired on me,” Garcia-Bratcher said outside the courtroom.

After court Thursday, Chief Deputy District Attorney Bill Brockley said he declined to charge Garcia-Bratcher because "I only file cases I feel I can prove." He said many of the 25 witnesses corroborated both the story of Garcia-Bratcher and her 9-year-old daughter, and with all the "diametrically opposed" testimony, he didn't feel he could prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had occurred.

In a previous interview with NBC Bay Area, Garcia-Bratcher's lawyer, Ben Adams, said the boy had been making "racial slurs" at his client's 10-year-old daughter, who is part Native American. “Everyone rushed to judgment that she was guilty,” Adams said Thursday, “and then they had to cover their tracks and try to come up with some sort of story that she actually was.”

Adams said he believes the investigation took three months because the district attorney was running for re-election and didn’t want to dismiss the case before Election Day.

Garcia-Bratcher has steadfastly claimed that she talked to the fifth grader about the alleged bullying and told him to stop, but never put her hands on the boy's throat. At the time, the sheriff's office stated they couldn't find evidence that Garcia-Bratcher's daughter was ever bullied. On Thursday, Brockley said his office never looked into the original bullying allegations, because that wasn't in the prosecutorial scope of the case.

After the arrest, Adams launched a zealous defense of his client. He hired a private investigator who wrote in a seven-page report that the boy actually choked himself and then blamed her for the red marks on his neck, which were photographed at school.

The investigator for Whitestar Group wrote that he interviewed another boy at school who imitated what he saw the 12-year-old do on the day in question by placing "both thumbs together on the center of his neck with his palms facing upwards and grabbing his owns cheek bones." This boy said he told a teacher and a deputy, but he didn't think the deputy believed him. Brockley said that his own investigation found this self-choking allegation to be "inconclusive."

Adams forwarded this report to the district attorney's office, where prosecutors reviewed it and conduction their own investigation.

While Adams said he's never seen a "simple assault case" take three months to investigate, he's ultimately glad "they made the right decision in not filing charges. A lot of people rushed to judgement that she was guilty."

In an interview, Brockely countered it wasn't a simple assault, and took so long because of the gravity of the charge on school grounds and the age of the boy. Also, his office added that it was hard to interview everything because many were on summer vacation.

Garcia-Bratcher, who lost the $3,000 bail money she had to put up, said she learned a grave lesson from this experience. "I talked to the boy. I didn't want to make it a big issue and it backfired on me. I'll never do that again. Next time, I'll just make complaints, complaints, complaints."

She said this entire ordeal has been awful for her – and her kids.

"My kids have been stressed out thinking their mother would be in jail," she said. "They're going to be happy when I get home." 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Scots Guards Cancel San Jose Show]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:55:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BAGpIPES-DELAYED-RAW-HD_002---01183818.jpg

No pipes and drums means no Scots Guards show in San Jose.

A noontime performance by the drumming-and-bagpiping Scots Guards planned for Thursday in San Jose had to be canceled after their instruments didn't show up on time, according to reports.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that the 1st Battalion pipes and drums Scots Guards were waiting for their instruments to arrive from London in time for the noontime show. That flight was delayed until Thursday afternoon.

That means no pipes at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez, but weekend performances at the 149th Scottish Highland Games at the Alameda County Fairgrounds should go on as planned, the newspaper reported.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

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<![CDATA[Tweets Land Newark Teacher in Hot Water]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:15:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/newark7.JPG

A Bay Area teacher has been reprimanded after she reportedly tweeted that she wanted to stab some students and that her "trigger finger is itchy."

The San Jose Mercury News reports Newark Memorial High School administrators disciplined teacher Krista Hodges with a written reprimand, but she remains in the classroom as the new school year begins. The tweets, which were sprinkled with obscene language, were posted before the end of the last school year, in June.

Some parents said they found the posts insulting. One tweet allegedly insinuated that Hodges wanted to dump hot coffee on some of her students.

“I have a student here. He was expelled when he was a freshman for saying something to a teacher. They kicked him out of school. So now this is going on with this teacher, and I don’t feel it’s acceptable," parent Angela Newell said. “I feel that she should be able to receive the same punishment he did – get expelled from the district.”

Hodges told the newspaper she has apologized, saying she was only kidding, and realizes she acted unprofessionally.

The district had no comment on the issue, but one parent told NBC Bay Area on Thursday that she plans to start a campaign to get the teacher fired.

"I know the kids love her, but I think she should be fired," parent Vanessa Chavez said. "She should not work in the school -- it's not OK, it's unacceptable."

On Twitter, fittingly, Hodges appeared Thursday to be getting some support from students, including one who wrote that the "tweets were blown up into a bigger deal than what it was. Everyone vents."

Meanwhile, the Newark Police Department is taking the incident seriously and investigating.

"I think the concern is safety of everybody -- the admin, students, teacher, faculty," Cmdr. Mike Carroll said. "Concerned about everybody's safety. It doesn't matter where the threat is coming from."

NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

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<![CDATA[Apple: Yes, We Have An Event Scheduled Sept. 9]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:08:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2014-08-28-apple-invitation-thumbnail.jpg

Apple has made it official: The next gadget event will be September 9th.

The Cupertino company sent out official invitations to the press Thursday morning, with a date (September 9th), time, and place (10am, Cupertino). The invitation also came with a brief message: 'Wish We Could Say More."

The tech press is already saying plenty about the event, speculating that we'll see a new iPhone, a new iPad (both reportedly larger), and maybe even the long-guessed about iWatch. Apple is not saying anything beyond its emailed invitation.

Investors like the drama, though; shares of Apple stock (AAPL), on a tear lately, hit a new all-time high this morning, as the invitations arrived in boxes.

A quick note about the venue: Cupertino's Flint Center is historic in Apple lore. It's the place where Steve Jobs first showed off the Mac computer back in 1984.

Scott will be at the event, with updates on Twitter: @scottbudman



Photo Credit: Apple]]>
<![CDATA[Napa Valley Food Bank Offers Food to those Hurt by the Napa Earthquake]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:25:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000008039534_1200x675_322828867832.jpg The Napa Valley Food Bank will begin handing out canned food to people who were hit hard by the Napa earthquake on Thursday. Nannette Miranda reports.]]> <![CDATA[Hats and Laughs: The Red Hat Society Takes Over San Francisco]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:34:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/166*120/danacarvey12.JPG

The ladies of the Red Hat Society were in town this past weekend, painting the town – you guessed it – red.

More than 1,200 red hatters from all over the world converged on San Francisco for their annual convention, the Golden Gate Gala, which drew big names such as Gladys Knight and Dana Carvey. Famed Detroit milliner Luke Song – who shot to fame after making the hat Aretha Franklin wore to President Obama's inauguration – and Kentucky Derby milliner Judy Sharpe also made a splash with their latest headgear.

The organization is the world’s largest women’s social network, with chapters run by “queens” with fun royal titles in 30 countries with 50,000 members. “Our mission is all about fun and friendship for women over 50 (“red hatters”) and also for those under 50 (“pink hatters”)," said event spokesperson Bella Lagmay-Funk (also known as the “Purple Princess of PR”).

The Red Hat Society has its own musical, several best-selling books, a huge online store and at one time it even had its own Platinum Master Card. Founded in 1998 in Fullerton, California, by Sue Ellen Cooper (“Exalted Queen Mother”), the grassroots group began when Cooper gave a thrift store red hat to her girlfriend Linda Murphy.

“She gave Linda a poem about turning 50 and deserving to do whatever she wanted – like wearing red and purple even though it didn’t match,” Lagmay-Funk said. “After a lifetime of taking care of others, it was now her time – she was giving herself permission to play.”

Red hatters grow old by doing things together: tea parties, birthdays, cruises, parades or simply going to the movies. Today, the sisterhood continues to live up to their founder’s ideals – greeting middle-age with verve, humor and, most important, fun.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

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<![CDATA[San Jose Police Arrest "Los Mocosos," or "Snot-Nosed Kids"]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:00:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/san-jose-police-sirens-generic.jpg

The streets of San Jose should be a little safer.

That's because police officers have taken down a total of 13 members of two violent gangs this summer that they say have been attacking innocent people. Police have arrested a group of juveniles they've dubbed "Los Mocosos," translated from Spanish slang into "snot-nosed kids "or "brats." Police said the youth were all between the ages of 11 and 17.

Police said the youth would flirt with women in downtown to try to distract them, while a female member of the crew would walk up to victims, punch them and rob them.

"They would just come from behind and (deal) vicious, vicious blows," Sgt. Brian Spears told NBC Bay Area Thursday morning. Once the victim was on the ground, Spears said one suspect would "continue the blows," while the others were "rummage through their pockets."

Officers on their regular beat arrested nine of the crew members in May.

But the violence didn't stop. The midnight shift kept keeping a closer eye on things. That's when they found four men and boys who called themselves the "Squad," walk up to unsuspecting victims and "cold-cock" them if they were walking downtown.

The suspects would take off with watches, purses and other items.

Police were able to arrest those four in June.

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<![CDATA[Parents File Lawsuit, Seek Soccer Rule Changes to Protect Players]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:35:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0827-2014-SOCCER.jpg

A lawsuit filed in San Francisco would require soccer organizations to do a better job protecting its players.

The class-action lawsuit against the sport's governing body, FIFA, was filed by a group of parents concerned about their children's safety. It claims FIFA has been negligent in monitoring head injuries in soccer players.

The suit asks for rule changes at all levels, including limiting the amount of headers for kids under 17.

"It's important that both the players, coaches, parents are all educated in regard to concussions," said David Eberle, a coach with Almaden FC.

Eberle said all of the club's players are taught proper heading technique.

The suit also asks for advanced leagues that only allow three substitutions per game to allow a temporary fourth substitute if a player needs to be examined for a head injury.

"I don't see that harming the game," Eberle said. "I only think it would benefit."

Parent Cheryl Vinje is in favor of the lawsuit.

"I'm a nurse so I know the damage it could do if you continue playing or don't take care of yourself if you re-injure it," she said. "So I'm all for it."

Another parent, Ray Baskett, whose son is a goalie, said he sometimes worries about the dangers of the position.

"If he did get more than one head injury -- to have some rules in play of subbing him out or maybe requiring head gear for goalies," Baskett said.



Photo Credit: Ian Cull]]>
<![CDATA[Vaccine Clinic for Pets at SJ Homeless Camp]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:41:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/0827-2014-sjhomelesspets3.jpg

Animal control workers visited San Jose's largest homeless camp on Wednesday and provided free vaccines and microchips to pets living in the area known as "The Jungle."

Volunteers recently found puppies who caught parvovirus and died -- many of the homeless did not have access to vets or medical supplies for their pets.

"For us, it's helping them maintain their bond with their pet," said Jon Cicirelli of San Jose Animal Control. "In many cases, this is their only companion, trusted companion in the world."

Workers said they had help funding the vaccine clinic thanks to their Facebook followers, who donated pet food, leashes and dog beds.

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<![CDATA[New Security Breach at Metcalf Substation]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:27:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0827-2014-Metcalf-substation.jpg

More than a year after a major sniper attack at an electrical substation near San Jose, a new security breach has PG&E asking the public for help.

PG&E officials said burglars stole construction equipment from the Metcalf Substation. The security breach happened at about 2 a.m. Wednesday along a fence line at the station, with burglars cutting through in three locations.

"We have certain pieces of the puzzle," Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said. "Not the whole puzzle we want to recreate what happened."

The station is currently undergoing upgrades to address security concerns triggered by the sniper attack last April.

The attack destroyed 17 transformers and caused $15 million worth of damage. Some have said it may have been a trial run for a terrorist attack on the country's electrical grid.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit recently reported that some Santa Clara Sheriff's Office insiders are now criticizing the initial police response to that attack:

The two deputies question why it took more than five hours before additional support arrived. They accuse the sheriff’s command staff of downplaying the significance of the attack and failing to quickly call out more deputies and extra resources such as the SWAT team, helicopter and K-9 units. They believe those delays contributed to a crime that remains unsolved 16 months later.

PG&E stressed that the latest security breach did not involve impact to the electrical grid or any electrical equipment. The company wrote, "the preliminary review suggests human error as the apparent cause of the security breach as fence detection alarms received in security operations were not appropriately addressed."

The utility company urged anyone with information regarding the recent theft to contact the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department’s 24 hour crime tip hotline at 408-808-4431.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Nearly All Homes on Small Napa Street Damaged]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:57:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0827-2014-NapaHome.jpg

Nearly every home on a small street in west Napa sustained damage from Sunday's earthquake.

State geologists spent Wednesday examining the damage at Tuscany Court, which sits on a hill in Napa's Browns Valley neighborhood.

"The whole front of the house has to come down," said Randy Brown, whose home was damaged by the quake. "It's tough, it's tough -- we'll figure it out."

Brown first noticed a gap on the street in front of his home. He followed the gap into his garage, around to the side yard and noticed his house moved -- in some areas a couple of inches -- during the temblor.

Brown and his neighbors are hoping the federal government will provide assistance to repair their homes.

"Absorbing the cost of $100,000 to $200,000 to fix something . . . I don't know where it's coming from you know," he said.

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<![CDATA[Crews Extinguish 5-Alarm Blaze in Vallejo]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:30:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vallejo-brush-fire.jpg

Crews on Wednesday extinguished a five-alarm brush fire near the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 37 in Vallejo.

The blaze, which was reported about 3:40 p.m., charred about 10 acres and was contained to brush. Vallejo Fire Department spokesman Bill Tweedy said no evacuations were ordered.

Two engine companies providing structure protection at nearby homes in case wind caused the fire to spread. Light to moderate winds were blowing in the area, which fueled the fire and made it difficult to contain.

Firefighters searched a homeless encampment, where the fire appears to have started. During the search crews were able to rescue a kitten from the flames.

The California Highway Patrol said the blaze did not impact Highway 37 and only one lane on southbound Highway 29 was affected.

Assistance was called from surrounding areas, including Crockett, American Canyon and Solano County. A Cal Fire helicopter was also seen making drops on the fire.

Bay City News contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Khanna Holds Rally at Honda's Office, Demands Debate]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:09:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0827-2014-RoKhanna.jpg

The battle for California's 17th congressional district is heating up after challenger Ro Khanna rallied at longtime South Bay incumbent Mike Honda's office.

Khanna at Wednesday's rally demanded a debate with Honda, who he accuses of ducking repeated calls for the challenge.

"The voters in this district deserve debates," Khanna said at the rally. "You're supposed to answer the questions and give answers . . . but don't duck from the debate that is the hallmark of democracy."

The rally comes after Honda beat Khanna in the open primary by 20 points.

Larry Gerston, a political science professor at San Jose State University, said Khanna needs the attention -- to a point.

"It's not so much a Hail Mary as an attempt to get attention," Gerston said. "It's a good time to make news. That said, when you go to your opponent's headquarters, some would look at that as rather sophomoric."

The latest polls show Khanna, once considered a front-runner, is now trailing significantly.

A spokesperson for Honda's campaign said they plan to have a debate with Khanna in early October.



Photo Credit: Scott Budman]]>
<![CDATA[Vintners Donate $10M for Quake Relief Efforts]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:47:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0827-2014-NapaVintners.jpg

The nonprofit Napa Valley Vintners trade association announced Wednesday it is donating $10 million to an earthquake disaster relief fund following Sunday's 6.0-magnitude quake.

The goal of the Community Disaster Relief Fund is to provide immediate financial support to the community, get resources to local businesses and families most in need, provide a repository for earthquake donations and augment government relief efforts that are still uncertain, NVV spokesperson Cate Conniff said.

Funding will be available to Napa County residents for one-time immediate needs and short-term assistance for temporary housing, basic needs such as food and water, medical care and counseling, and repairs for immediate concerns including replacement windows, debris removal and fallen chimneys.

The fund also will help get businesses back up and running, allow employees to return to work and continue local commerce.

Area nonprofits can use the funds to restore operations and apply for general support grants to help earthquake victims.

Money for the relief effort is from the NVV's annual Auction Napa Valley charity event.

"Hundreds of homes and businesses in the local community were damaged by this disaster," said Russ Wels, chairman of the NVV Board of Directors and general manager of Silverado Vineyards. "The Fund will provide resources and assistance to support the community as it rebuilds."

Napa Valley Vintners encourages other organizations and
individuals to contribute to the fund.



Photo Credit: Jodi Hernandez]]>
<![CDATA[Vaccination Clinic for Pets at SJ Homeless Camp]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:15:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/0827-2014-sjhomelesspets3.jpg A vaccination clinic was held for pets living in "The Jungle" -- a San Jose homeless camp.]]> <![CDATA[Dog Bludgeoned with Golf Club, Family Devastated]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 22:12:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sparky2.jpg

A San Jose family is grieving the loss of their Chihuahua mix, Sparky, who was brutally bludgeoned to death with a golf club after police say two boys broke into the home in an attempt to burglarize it.

Sgt. Heather Randol said on Wednesday that the boys, ages 13 and 14, were arrested and booked into juvenile hall on residential burglary charges. One boy was also charged with animal cruelty.

"We're devastated," homeowner Eric McKenzie told NBC Bay Area.

Family members found the 12-year-old family pet bleeding to death upstairs shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday at their home in the 6800 block of Eldridge Drive. They called police to report that their home had been ransacked, and Sparky had been bludgeoned with a golf club.

McKenzie said two his family's two other dogs, "Pokie" and "Moxie," were not hurt in the attack. “We were looking around for the third dog,” McKenzie said. “My daughter found him upstairs, laying on his side, whimpering, and pretty much unresponsive.” They took Sparky to the vet, but it was too late.

Police said they were able to link the Eldridge Drive case with another burglary, reported at 2:30 p.m. in the 7000 block of Burnside Drive. In that case, the boys were there when police showed up, and they were arrested on site, police said. The boys attend Leland High School in San Jose, according to sources familiar with the case.

Detectives later figured out that the boys were allegedly responsible for "several other residential burglaries in the area," Randol said, and officers connected them to Sparky's brutal death. Nothing was taken from the home where Sparky was killed.  “What was the purpose?” McKenzie asked. “To have fun?  They didn’t steal anything. I don’t understand.”

Tuesday also happened to be National Dog Day, a 24-hour-period when dog lovers across the globe honored their furry best friends, many posting pictures all over social media.

“Without Sparky around, there’ll be a hole in the house,” McKenzie said. “He was a member of the family. Very sad.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sparky's family]]>
<![CDATA[19th-Century Winery Hit Hard By Napa Earthquake]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:21:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP22521433321.jpg

The historic Napa earthquake, the worst temblor in the Bay Area for 25 years, has also damaged an historic wine country building.

At the Trefethen Family Vineyards, the Eschol Winery building -- which had survived both the 1906 earthquake and the Loma Prieta quake in 1989 -- has been badly damaged following Sunday's 6.0 shaker, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

The large, three-story "grand wooden building" had housed the winery's visitor center and tasting room, and has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

It's now leaning badly to one side and has been declared off-limits while structural engineers and others figure out what to do with it.

John and Janet Trefethen, who own the winery and the building, say they want to fix the building if it can be fixed.

The winery makes about 60,000 cases of wine a year, using grapes grown on the winery property, the newspaper reported.

The building was put on the national register in 1988.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[California Senate Has Arrest Rate Twice the State Average]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:08:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP588054204940.jpg

To find the most-arrested populace in California, look no further than the state capitol.

The state Senate has what could be the highest arrest rate in the state, according to the Sacramento Bee. With three of its 40 members arrested this year, the Senate's arrest rate is twice the state average and higher than any major California city.

The newspaper lays out the roll call of shame: Ron Calderon and bribes. Leland Yee and his bizarre litany of alleged crimes (bribes, and weapons trafficking). Add in state Sen. Ben Hueso's bust Friday on suspicion of drunk driving, and that's three senators scandalized.

Statewide arrest figures are 1.3 busts per 40 people, according to the newspaper. Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose all average less than one arrest per 40 people, or well below the Senate average.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dentist Snared In Leland Yee Case Dies ]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:17:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/03-27-2014-shrimp-boy-via-facebook.jpg

There is one less suspect in the Leland Yee-"Shrimp Boy" Chow scandal investigation. Dr. Wilson Lim is dead.

Lim, a Daly City dentist, died of "natural causes" at the age of 60 at a San Leandro hospital, his attorney told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lim, whose office on Mission Street in Daly City was "modest and well-kept," was a native of the Philippines and "had no criminal record," the newspaper reported.

People close to him suggested that being one of the several dozen people named in an indictment that included bribery and corruption charges against state Sen. Leland Yee and allegations of mob behavior against Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow made Lim ill.

The FBI says that Lim was introduced to an undercover agent by Yee as someone who had access to heavy weapons. Apparently, the charge was enough to encourage the Philippine government to investgate Lim as well, the newspaper reported.

Lim was admitted to the hospital in June 18. He was in intensive care over the summer with "heart failure, kidney failure and liver failure," his attorney said in court filings. He had also declared bankruptcy in 2012.



Photo Credit: Via Facebook: Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow]]>
<![CDATA[Man Robs, Drags, Kicks 87-Year-Old Woman: Police]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:21:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfsuspect.jpg

San Francisco police on Wednesday released images of a man they say robbed an 87-year-old woman, knocked her to the ground and dragged her so hard she suffered multiple broken bones.

The robbery was reported on Aug. 8 at 9 p.m. in the 500 block of Leavenworth Street in the Tenderloin District.

The man is described as being in his 40s or 50s, standing 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, with a "skinny face." He was last wearing a light knit cap and dark coat, possibly made of leather.

Police said the elderly woman is still recovering from bruises at a care facility.

Anyone with information should call Sgt. Michael Zhang of the Tenderloin Station Investigations Team at 415-345-7300. You may also report the information anonymously at Text-A-Tip at (TIP411). Begin the message with “SFPD” in the subject line or via the Police Department’s 24 hour anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444.



Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA["Full House" Revival? Uncle Jesse is on Board]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:20:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/full-house-cast.jpg

It's been too long. If a report from TV Guide is true, "Full House," the iconic family sitcom set in San Francisco, might be coming back – and what's more: It might even star some of the original cast.

The show – which aired on ABC from 1987 to 1995 – is still a huge ratings boon, thanks to reruns, and Warner Brothers wants to make the most of it, TV Guide reports. Actor John Stamos, "Uncle Jesse," is one of the main forces behind the revival, along with original executive producer Bob Boyett and creator Jeff Franklin, according to TV Guide.

Other names "actively involved" include Candace Cameron Bure ("D.J."), Jodie Sweetin ("Stephanie") and Andrea Barber ("Kimmy"), while Bob Saget ("Danny") and Dave Coulier ("Joey") are involved, albeit to a lesser extent, the report said.

The show's stars have hinted in the past they would like to see it return, and have appeared on other TV shows and commercials, often together.

In 2009, there was talk about a "Full House" movie. Right now, repeats are bringing in a primetime average of 1.5 million viewers, and some of its most loyal fans are teenagers, the TV Guide report said. Although it regularly made the Top 25 list when it originally aired, ABC canceled the show in 1995 because it became too expensive. Although, the cast reportedly offered to take a paycut, things didn't work out.

Full House fans took to Twitter immediately to weigh in on the latest rumors. Some called it "the best news ever" while others offered ideas.

"The full house reboot is gonna be me and @mmongkoll and @PierreMenard in a house in SF with a weight set in the living room and some dogs," one viewer commented.

Dave Coulier took to Twitter as well: "Full House is trending? #cutitout," the actor tweeted.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

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<![CDATA[Napa Private Property Damage Estimated at $300M]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:21:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0827-2014-napa.jpg

Sunday’s magnitude-6.0 earthquake caused an estimated $300 million in damages to homes and private buildings, according to Napa city leaders’ most recent assessment released Wednesday.

The dollar figure includes only private structures, and not the damage to public buildings or general economic loss, according to the city report.

City leaders also said 113 buildings have been added to the red-tag list of buildings deemed uninhabitable, and 83 water lines still need to be fixed.

In addition, 500 buildings were still on the yellow tag list of buildings that people could go inside, but at their own risk.

The numbers keep moving, and the city created a map to try to reflect the most current figures, showing where all the problems are, and when they're being fixed. As of Wednesday, PG&E reported all customers had their power back on, down from a peak of 70,000 customers who had no electricity.

And most all Napa students headed back to public school for the first time since the earthquake.

In terms of the human toll from the quake that struck at 3:20 a.m. Sunday, 209 patients were treated at Queen of the Valley Hospital, with 18 admitted for some period of time. Most injuries were orthopedic.

Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Dillon was one of those patients was airlifted to UC Davis Children's Hospital, and despite a pelvic fracture, he was feeling lucky that things were not worse.

No one died during the quake, the largest one to hit the Bay Area in 25 years.

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED: Napa is updating its numbers and providing phone numbers on who to call on the city website.



Photo Credit: (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)]]>
<![CDATA["That Day I Could Have Died": Napa Teen on Quake]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:20:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nicholas-dillon1.jpg

Nicholas Dillon has a broken pelvis and won’t play soccer again for months.

But the bed-ridden 13-year-old Napa boy still counts himself lucky. He was one of the most seriously injured among the 208 people hospitalized after Sunday’s 6.0-magnitude earthquake rattled the Bay Area.

"That day I could have died” he said.

A fireplace fell on top of Dillon's lower body when the quake hit at 3:20 a.m. He believes if he hadn't moved, he could have been crushed to death by the bricks.

Instead, the freckle-faced teen was giving interviews from his hospital bed at the University of California at Davis Children's Hospital in Sacramento Tuesday night, retelling the harrowing story of what happened when he first felt the earth move and the house shake.

"I started crawling trying to get to the door," he said, "and just as I was about to put my knee on the floor the chimney collapsed on my lower back."

Nicholas and his friend, Imanol Villanueva, were sleeping in the living room after a friend's birthday party Saturday night. Nicholas was sleeping on a mattress on the floor, directly under the brick fireplace. He had given Imanol the couch.

"He started yelling my name," Imanol said, still teary remembering what happened when the earth shook. "And then I yelled his and then I saw the bricks coming down on him."

The bricks ended up crushing Dillon's pelvis, but thankfully, his family says, not his spine.

"I didn't know what to think," Nicholas said. "For the first 30 seconds, I thought I was paralyzed. I didn't think I was going to be able to walk anymore. I was scared."

His mother called 911, but couldn't get an answer. His grandfather drove him to the nearest fire station, where he was taken to the hospital. He was airlifted to UC Davis, where he underwent a 10-hour surgery, his family said. Of the 208 patients first admitted to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, he was one of two critical cases.

Doctors say it will be at least four or five months before he can put pressure on his legs.

As a soccer player, that news is especially disappointing for the 9th grader at New Technology High.

"I'm hanging in there for the most part," he said.

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED:
Nicholas Dillon's family set up an account to help with medical costs. To help, contact Bank of America and reference an account in the name of Nicholas M. Dillon, No. 1641-0344-2511.
 

NBC News and NBC Bay Area's Ian Cull contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Stabbing in West San Jose]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:13:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/police_crime_tape_generic_640x480.jpg

A normally quiet South Bay neighborhood was painted with the flashing lights of police cars Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Investigators were called to a shopping center near Lawrence Expressway and Saratoga Avenue.

They say someone stabbed a person in the parking lot outside Lucky’s at about 9:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers spent much of the night and early Wednesday morning looking for a suspect, but didn’t arrest anyone.

They also don’t know what led to the stabbing.

Doctors say the victim should survive.
 

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<![CDATA[Raiders to Donate $50K to Napa Schools, Red Cross After Quake]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:30:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raiders-AP275899804638.jpg

As most Napa Unified students return to school on Wednesday following a significant earthquake over the weekend, their district is getting some financial support from Oakland Raiders legend and NFL Hall of Famer Willie Brown.

Brown delivered a check for $50,000 on behalf of the team to School District Supt. Patrick Sweeney Wednesday afternoon in Napa - a fitting spot, since the football team holds training camp in the city, about 45 miles north of Oakland. A spokesman said $25,000 will go toward Red Cross efforts in Napa and $25,000 will go directly toward the schools.

"We're excited," said Jennifer Stewart, executive director of the Napa Valley Education Foundation, where the annual operating budget is about $500,000. "We're going to immediately see what the teachers need."

The money is a donation and a sign of good will to students who haven't been to school since Sunday's 6.0 earthquake, which damaged more than 100 buildings. All but one of the Napa public schools are expected to re-open to students on Wednesday. Stonebridge Charter School will remain closed as engineers still need more time to investigate possible structural cracks.

According to the district, none of the schools suffered structural damage, though some need to have broken windows and cabinets replaced for fixed.

The former cornerback was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984, for his years when he played on the team between 1967 to 1978.

In a promotional video on the Raiders site, the team touts a beautiful train ride into wine country, saying the city is not "only optimal for grapes, but it's optimal for football."

In July, the Raiders completed the team's 19th training camp in Napa, using the Napa Valley Marriott and the adjacent Redwood Middle School as the team's summer base.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Red Cross, Salvation Army Helping Napa Quake Victims]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:39:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0826-2014-RedCrossNapa.jpg The Red Cross and Salvation Army have taken care of thousands of people impacted by the Napa Quake and are vowing to stay here until they're no longer needed. Terry McSweeney reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>