<![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 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:53:46 -0700 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:53:46 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Sentenced for Denying Woman Insulin: DA]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:51:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/diabetes.jpg

A Menlo Park man was sentenced to more than nine years in prison Friday for forging the name of a woman he was living with on loan applications and denying her necessary medication, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Darryl Phillips, 52, was living with a 66-year-old woman suffering from dementia, severe diabetes and high blood pressure in August 2012 when the woman's daughters called police and said they were concerned Phillips wasn't giving her medication, prosecutors said.

Police and adult protective service workers went to the home but Phillips refused to let them in and said he had her power of attorney.

Officers returned the next day with paramedics and found the woman suffering severe cognitive impairment, life-threatening blood sugar levels and high blood pressure, according to the district attorney's office.

She was hospitalized and survived but a police investigation showed that Phillips had not purchased insulin for her for months, prosecutors said.

The investigation also showed that he had forged her signature to take out loans of $57,000 and $30,000.

Phillips was charged with felony elder abuse, preparation of false evidence and misdemeanor obstruction of a police officer. A jury convicted him in May on all charges, prosecutors said.

He had three prior felony convictions in 1984 and was eligible for a sentence of 25 years to life under California's Three Strikes sentencing guidelines.

But San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Mark Forcum did not consider two of the prior convictions in his sentencing because of their age and the non-violent nature of his most recent crime, prosecutors said.

Forcum sentenced Phillips to nine years and four months in prison and ordered him to pay restitution to the victim.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PG&E Fined $1.4B for Deadly 2010 Gas Line Blast]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:52:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bruno5.jpg

PG&E was hit Tuesday with $1.4 billion in penalties by the California Public Utilities Commission  for safety violations related to the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

The new fines and penalties bring the total amount Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has been ordered to pay in the wake of the explosion -- which killed eight people and injured 66 others on Sept. 9, 2010 -- to more than $2 billion.

The CPUC said the figure reached by two administrative law judges over the San Bruno pipeline explosion reflected nearly 3,800 violations of state and federal law, regulations and standards by PG&E in the operation of its gas pipelines.

The penalty is meant to ``send a strong message to PG&E, and all other pipeline operators, that they must comply with mandated federal and state pipeline safety requirements, or face severe consequences,'' Timothy J. Sullivan, one of the two judges, wrote in the order.

The largest share -- $950 million -- of the penalty is a fine to be paid directly to the state. That amount drew objections from city officials in San Bruno, the utility and a private ratepayers-advocacy group that the overall penalty should be focused on spending for the safe operation of the aging pipeline network.

``We are accountable and fully accept that a penalty is appropriate,'' the utility said in a statement.

Asked whether PG&E would appeal, utility spokesman Greg Snapper said, ``We're reviewing the decision and believe that any penalty should go toward pipeline safety.''

The recommended penalty requires approval by members of the state utility board. PG&E and other parties in the case have 30 days to lodge an appeal.

The commission previously ordered PG&E to pay $635 million for pipeline modernization in the wake of the Sept. 9, 2010, blast in the suburb of San Francisco. The explosion destroyed more than three dozen homes and was California's deadliest utility disaster in decades.

The blast occurred when a 30-inch natural-gas transmission line installed in 1956 ruptured. At the time, survivors described the heat of the blast burning the back of their necks like a blowtorch as they ran away.

The $1.4 billion penalty also includes $400 million for pipeline improvements, and about $50 million to enhance pipeline safety. PG&E cannot recover any of the money from customers, including the earlier $635 million penalty, although a ratepayers' group called The Utility Reform Network maintained PG&E could raise rates in other rate cases to indirectly offset the penalty.

Sending $950 million to the state's general fund, with no strings attached, means it could be spent in any way the governor and Legislature see fit, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance.

The public utility commission staff recommended in July that the utility pay at least $300 million in fines.

San Bruno city officials were just beginning to study Tuesday's decision but on first read believed the overall judgment fell short of what was needed to ensure PG&E upgraded pipeline safety as much as necessary, city manager Connie Jackson said.

The penalty was historic in terms of financial charges levied against utilities on safety violations, said Britt Strottman, a lawyer for San Bruno. However, ``a lot of the utilities do not cause the same amount of devastation and destruction that was a result of the PG&E explosion in San Bruno,'' Strottman said.

A 2011 investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded the rupture occurred in a weak weld in a pipeline that PG&E records had shown as being smooth and unwelded. Among other safety failings, PG&E let 95 minutes go by before shutting off the natural gas that was fueling the fire, the federal investigators said.

That same 2011 federal investigation also faulted what it called the California Public Utilities Commission's weak oversight of the utility, which serves customers in the northern two-thirds of California.

The San Bruno blast prompted congressional hearings on pipeline safety and recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board and other government bodies that utilities intensify their oversight of decades-old natural gas lines.

This year, federal prosecutors separately indicted PG&E on 27 counts alleging the utility violated pipeline safety requirements.

PG&E faces additional fines of more than $1 billion if convicted of the federal charges, which are separate from the state financial penalties. PG&E has pleaded not guilty to the counts.

Separately, PG&E was hit with about 160 lawsuits from people who lost family members, suffered injuries or had property damage.   


Bay City News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Crashes Audi Into Home, Hits Gas Line]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:02:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/audi.jpg

An 18-year-old driver was arrested after a blue Audi crashed into a Danville home early Tuesday morning, hitting a 1-inch gas main and causing a free-flowing leak that led to the evacuation of 15 people in six nearby homes.

Danville Police Lt. Allan Shields said Shae Kapulica was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, after his Audi A4 veered off the road on Midland Way about 12:40 a.m. and drove into the side of a home, which caused a break in the gas line. Shields did not release a booking photo of the teen as per department policy.

Larry Scharg, who owns the home, saw some of the aftermath: The driver "looked like a young kid and – the car was locked I could not open the door but person was conscious motioning to them to leave the car so much gas coming out."

On camera, Kapulica could be seen taking a field sobriety test. He was taken into custody at the scene.

It took PG&E more than three hours to cap the leak. No one was injured in the crash.

Photo Credit: Allen Weddington]]>
<![CDATA[7-Year-Old Boy Struck in Chest During Target Practice]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:49:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/edt-target.jpg

A 7-year-old boy from the Bay Area was flown to the hospital after he was injured while target practicing with a .22-caliber rifle as his father stood nearby.

But the San Mateo County boy was released from UC Davis on Sunday - the day after the injury - according to El Dorado County Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Felton, who spoke to NBC Bay Area by phone on Tuesday.

Felton declined to say what city the boy lived in, or release many other details, including exactly how the boy received his chest injury. "The detectives just got the case,'' he said. "We don't know if it was a bullet fragment, or a piece of the target, or anything else."

The boy was wounded Saturday while out shooting with his dad at the wooded family property on Bottle Hill Road in Georgetown, near Auburn. At some point, the sheriff's department said the boy began to complain of chest pain. When his dad went to check, he saw his son had a hole in his T-shirt, the sheriff's department said, and he was bleeding.

"The parents were watching," Lt. Tim Becker told NBC affiliate KCRA in Sacramento. "His dad was right there."

Becker did not state who fired the bullet that struck the boy. Sources told KCRA it seemed like pieces of a bullet apparently ricocheted into his chest, but Felton did not confirm that. He added it was possible the sharp object that pierced the boy's chest was something altogether.

The boy's injury comes a week after another high-profile shooting involving a young child. On Aug. 25, a 9-year-old girl at a shooting range outside Las Vegas accidentally killed her instructor when she lost control of the Uzi he was showing her how to use. The sheriff in that case said no citations would be issued and no charges would be filed  because the shooting range is a licensed, legal operation.

The girl's accidental shooting reignited a debate for some about how old people should be when they pick up a firearm.

There are laws on the books that already dictate that.

In California, minors are allowed to use handguns or live ammunition, as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian and the child is "actively engaged in a lawful recreational sporting, ranching or hunting activity." The Attorney General's Office states it's even OK if the minor has written consent from an adult. Federal law states people can possess a handgun if they are younger than 18, as long as they are using the weapon for recreational shooting or target practice.

California, however, is one of 29 states that also has "child access prevention laws," where laws impose possible criminal liability on adults who give children unsupervised access to firearms, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 

There are 21 states, including Arizona, that have no laws restricting the access of guns to minors under 18, as long as there is adult supervision. And 14 states prohibit someone from "intentionally, knowingly, and/or recklessly providing some or all firearms to children," the center reports.

In both the Arizona and California, the children were supervised by either a guardian or a parent.

In El Dorado County, sheriff's deputies received a call from Cal-Fire that the boy had been injured while shooting targets at a range the family had constructed on their wooded property.

He and his dad were shooting targets positioned about 40 yards away, the sheriff's department said in a statement. Many relatives were watching father and son. The boy had a single shot .22 caliber bolt action youth rifle, and his father was shooting a "larger caliber rifle," the sheriff's statement said. There is no law that prohibits children from target practice, Felton said.

When the father saw his son bleeding from the chest, he immediately took his son to the Georgetown fire station, were he was picked up by a helicopter and transported to UC Davis Medical Center near Sacramento, the sheriff said.

Becker said that "preliminarily the deputies that went out there said that the guns weren't being pointed at anybody. There was plenty of supervision there. They had a pretty good range set up."

Still, Becker said that while it all looked "relatively safe, firearms are tools, just like any tools. People get hurt by tools and accidents happen."

NBC Bay Area's Shelby Hansen and Kinsey Kirakos contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KCRA]]>
<![CDATA[Man Breaks Window at Indonesian Consulate: Police]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:48:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/consulate3.jpg

A man suspected of being high on drugs smashed the glass door at the Consulate General of Indonesia in San Francisco early Tuesday before being taken into custody by police.

Tobias Spencer, 26, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was booked into San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of vandalism and trespassing, according to San Francisco Police Officer Gordan Shyy.

Police were called out to the building at 1111 Columbus Ave. about 3:30 a.m. after a security alarm was tripped.

Surveillance cameras spotted the man hopping a fence, and entering the building, running up to the second floor, police and consulate officials said.

Authorities told NBC Bay Area that it appeared Spencer might have been on drugs and that he thought he was being chased. He was arrested on scene and did not resist officers.

Nothing was taken from the building, and only the window was broken.

In January, the FBI arrested a 39-year-old Daly City Chinese national "who heard voices" after they said Yan Feng torched the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, less than two miles away from the Indonesian Consulate.

Surveillance video spotted Feng pouring two buckets of gasoline on the San Francisco building on Laguna Street.

Feng self-surrendered to Daly City police five days after the fire was set, and told the FBI in court documents (PDF) that when he called, he said in Mandarin: "I made the fire."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Home Depot Looking Into Credit Card Hack]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:01:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_home_depot_trabajos_disponibles.jpg

Home Depot may be the latest victim of a giant credit card hack.

The retail and home improvement giant admitted Tuesday morning that it's looking into a possible breach, first noticed by banks.

From the company: "Protecting our customers' information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers."

Thoughts instantly turn to the credit card breach that hit Target stores early this year, affecting as many as 100 million customers. In this case, it's not yet known which credit cards may have been compromised, or what specific data might have been taken.

Read More at NBC News.

Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Foto/AP]]>
<![CDATA[SF Castro to Unveil Rainbow Honor Walk]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:29:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0901-2014-Castro-rainbow-walk.jpg

LGBT history will come to life in San Francisco on Tuesday when a walk of fame is installed in the city's Castro District.

The Rainbow Honor Walk will showcase the story of more than a dozen prominent figures in the LGBT community with 20 bronze plaques placed on the streets of Castro.

"The folks who moved here in the 70s were really another generation of pioneers who took this neighborhood to a new place," said Geoff Dryvynsyde of the Castro Village Wine Company. "Celebrating them and their achievement in a physical way is truly special."

A plague honoring San Francisco-native Del Martin will be placed just outside of the wine company's front steps.

The plaques will be unveiled at a ceremony that starts at Harvey Milk Plaza at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Fundraising and a selection process for another 20 plaques are also in the works, officials said.

Photo Credit: Jean Elle]]>
<![CDATA[NB I-280 in SF Reopens Ahead of Schedule]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:55:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DetourGenericGetty_1121.jpg

Northbound Interstate Highway 280 in San Francisco reopened late Monday ahead of schedule.

The freeway, which Caltrans reopened at 9:40 p.m., was closed over the Labor Day weekend as replacement hinges were installed along the highway to strengthen the overpass in the event of more seismic activity.

The stretch of northbound I-280, from the U.S. Highway 101/I-280 interchange to San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood closed at 2 p.m. on Thursday and was scheduled to remain closed until 5 a.m. Tuesday.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Mourns Passing of Famous Drag Performer]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:23:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/230*120/arturo_galster.jpg

A popular San Francisco drag performer with a penchant for channeling Patsy Cline has died.

Arturo Galster, 55, died last week in a San Francisco hospital of unknown causes following an "incident" at Dolores Park that resulted in a head injury, according to The Advocate.

Details are scant, but no hate crime is suspected, according to the news source. His family described his death only as an "incident," and will hold a private memorial service in his hometown of Philadelphia.

Galster was hailed as a "drag pioneer" by the San Francisco Chronicle for his appearances as the country superstar, recorded on film as well as on the stage in clubs in Japan and in London.

Galster's renditions of Cline's work was captured in the 1999 film "Virtue," and took the act on the road with an outfit called the Memphis G-Spots, the newspaper reported.

The life of Arturo Galster will be celebrated Sept. 22 at the Castro Theatre.

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Enjoys Burning Man Break]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:01:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BURNING-MAN-VO---00000618.jpg

Something funny happened in the Mission District last week.

Tables could be had at restaurants without an hour wait, drinks could be ordered at bars without a five-person-deep wait, and reservations at yoga studios were few and far between, according to the New York Times.

It's the Burning Man exodus, and it ended Monday.

With the completion of the annual party on the playa in the Black Rock Desert, so too ends the annual time of year when, somehow, parking can be had on Valencia Street, the newspaper noted.

While hard science to support the long-held "pop wisdom" that a festival for 70,000 people somehow eases congestion in a tourist mecca of 837,000-plus has yet to be found, there's certainly something afoot.

Tech-types who favor the Mission District, with its hipness and many tech buses shuttling people to and from good jobs in Silicon Valley, told the newspaper that their neighborhood was a virtual ghost town.

Somehow, popular eatery Monk's Kettle had no people in it at 12:45 a.m. on a recent weekend, the newspaper reported.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Harbaugh's Goodwill Trip Featured in Documentary]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:02:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/harrrkoch.jpg

"Who's got it better than us?" Jim Harbaugh asks. Fairly typical, aside from the setting: the 49ers coach is speaking to a group of schoolchildren in Peru.

That scene and other displays of the fiery coach's "strange, restless energy" fill the documentary "Peruball: Jim Harbaugh in South America," which records the goodwill trip the passionate man in khaki pants made recently.

Harbaugh went to Peru for five straight years for a week-long trip from 2009 to 2013. There, he taught "poor children about their Catholic faith and American football," according to the Catholic News Agency.

He made trips to the impoverished area of Piura, where the coach felt "God's presence," he told CNA in 2013, and had some of "the best experiences of my life."

A film crew tagged along for at least one of the trips, and the result airs at 9 p.m. Tuesday on Comcast Sports Net Bay Area, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

While in Peru, Harbaugh has built houses as well as created a new game, called Peruball -- a sort of American football where soccer goals replace the end zones, Yahoo Sports reported.

He also displays a side of his character rarely-seen on TV.

The passionate, barely-hinged coach turns into a "surprisingly tender" man who relishes in the ability to "help people from the time you wake up here to the time you go to bed," the newspaper reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Domestic Violence Advocates Monitor Arrest of 49er]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:26:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/221*120/MCDONALD_leaves_jail.jpg

Domestic violence advocates said they plan to closely watch how San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald's case plays out in court, and how the National Football League will respond if the player is found guilty to a charge of felony domestic violence.

McDonald, 29, was taken into custody early Sunday after officers responded to a domestic violence incident at a home in an upscale neighborhood at the 2500 block of Bentley Ridge Drive, according to San Jose police. He faces a felony charge of domestic violence.

"I'm very disappointed, especially after two or three days ago the announcement from the NFL that this would not be tolerated," said Kathleen Krenek, a domestic violence advocate.

Krenek is the executive director of Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence and has worked with victims of domestic violence for 30 years. She was shocked it took only three days for a player to be arrested on charges of domestic violence after the NFL rolled out stiffer punishments for the crime.

The change comes after outrage over the light punishment given to Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice, who was caught on tape beating his then-fiance. Rice received a two-game suspension from the league.

"They came out with a strong message a little bit late," Krenek said of the NFL. "But they did come out with a strong message. Now they need to follow it up."

NFL players will be subject to a six-week game suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment from the league for a second, according to the new rules.

"This is your opportunity to say this is not acceptable, we don't accept it, we don't condone it, and we are asking all men to think differently if they are hurting their partner," Krenek said.

Meanwhile, McDonald is out of custody after posting $25,000 bail.

So far, McDonald is not saying much about the incident.

"It's a crazy situation," McDonald said Sunday as he walked out of the jail less than 10 hours after his arrest.

McDonald's alleged victim may have been pregnant, sources told NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo.

He was apparently involved in an altercation with his fiancee, who had bruises on her arms and neck, according to the Sacramento Bee. 49ers teammates Vernon Davis and Demarcus Dobbs were also reportedly present, the Bee reported.

But McDonald maintained his innocence.

"The truth will come out," he said. "Everybody knows what kind of person I am."

McDonald is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 15.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Apple "Actively Investigating" Celebrity Hack: Reports]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:25:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_a_mal_vestidos_jennifer_lawrence_portada.jpg

Apple said it was “actively investigating” the violation of several of its iCloud accounts, in which revealing photos and videos of prominent Hollywood actresses were taken and posted online.

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told Recode. A similar statement was given to Mashable and NBC News. An Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment to NBC Bay Area on Monday, either by phone or email.

The FBI also told NBC News that the agency was "aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter."

On Sunday night, images of many high profile stars, some real, some said to be fakes, are said to have been taken from the iCloud accounts of several celebrities, such as actress Jennifer Lawrence and about a dozen others.

Someone then posted them to the Web image-sharing community 4Chan and have since spread across the Web, showing up on social media sites like Twitter, Reddit and elsewhere. The Independent reported that anonymous users on 4Chan claimed to have taken them from iCloud, which automatically stores photos, emails and contacts, allowing users to sync this data between devices.

Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice, who was another victim of the online hacking, tweeted that her nude photo was not real.

"These so called nudes of me are FAKE people," she tweeted. "Let me nip this in the bud right now. *pun intended*"

Apple has not revealed how the accounts were hacked into.

Some experts, such as Mandiant, who spoke to Recode said according to what they've seen, it appears to have been was a fairly straightforward attack. The Independent noted that while Apple’s encryption on the data itself is considered robust, access could have been gained by guessing users' passwords or simply resetting their accounts by finding their email address and then answering traditional ‘security questions’.

And while there’s no direct evidence tying the program to the attack, Recode notes the timing of the hacking coincides with a talk given by security researchers on the subject of security on iCloud. A program called iBrute was created by security researchers in Russia as a proof of concept and demonstrated as part of a talk a security conference in St. Petersburg earlier this month.

In 2005, Paris Hilton was the target of a hacking attack in which pictures and text messages from her Sidekick smart phone were pilfered from a cloud storage account. A group of young men were prosecuted over that incident and another attack against the database giant LexisNexis, and most of them served time in federal prison or juvenile detention.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Diner Arrested for Allegedly Punching Restaurant Owner: Report]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:32:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/money_handcuffs_generic_nbc.jpg

Instead of dessert, one upset Sausalito diner opted for a course of police cars and incarceration.

Adam Culbreth, 37, was arrested and booked into Marin County Jail after allegedly punching the manager of Salito's restaurant over a $64 tab, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

Police visited the eatery last Wednesday after receiving a call that a "highly intoxicated" man was causing a ruckus, the newspaper reported.

On the scene, they discovered Culbreth, who had allegedly slugged the restaurant manager and was attempting to depart the scene without paying his bill, the newspaper reported.

He was arrested in the parking lot, the newspaper reported, and is out on bail pending charges from the district attorney.

<![CDATA[SF First in California to Offer Breaks for Urban Farmers]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:23:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/Gardener.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Owners who turn empty lots in San Francisco into farms could soon begin getting a break on their taxes.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the city is set to become the first in California to enact a state law intended to encourage lot owners to turn their parcels into gardens.

The measure lets municipalities lower the assessed value - and therefore the property taxes - if owners dedicate them to growing food for at least five years. Among its aims is reducing urban blight.

San Francisco will be the first to enact it beginning Sept. 8 because the Board of Supervisors already approved the necessary local ordinance. The Chronicle reports that other cities, including Fresno and Sacramento, are watching San Francisco.

<![CDATA[Bicycle Accident Shuts Highway 84 Temporarily]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:23:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/generic+bicycles+generic+bikes.jpg

A portion of Highway 84 in Woodside was shut down temporarily after two bicyclists ran into each other.

San Mateo County spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt said a man and a woman on their bicycles, both in their 50s, ran into each other on the highway at La Honda Road and Friars Lane just before 11 a.m. Monday. The highway shut down between Skywood Way and Portola Road and was expected to reopen sometime in the afternoon.

The bicyclists were taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

<![CDATA[Drone Captures Apple's "Spaceship" Under Construction]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:28:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/apple8.jpg

It looks like Stonehenge. A doughnut. A giant sand castle.

Those were just some of the comments a new drone video taken with a GoPro camera of the futuristic Apple Campus 2 was garnering after the eight-minute raw piece was posted to YouTube.

As of Monday, the aerial image of the campus under construction in Cupertino on Tantau Avenue had more than 1.3 million views and 500 comments. "Wow, this looks huge," Dustin W. Stout wrote in the comments section of the video. "I've seen mockups previously of what the site is going to look like, but seeing it like this will all the homes in close proximity gives a perfect idea of just how massive the construction site is."

That's what Jason McMinn, co-founder of LocusLabs,  wanted to find out when he set off his GoPro camera attached to a drone on Aug. 24. The 43-year-old techie told NBC Bay Area on Monday that he loves "artsy stuff and architecture" and was curious to see how the campus was shaping up.

"I've been watching it all unfold since the beginning," McMinn said, noting that the late Steve Jobs introduced this campus plan in 2006. "I'm a huge Apple fan."

His DJI Phantom 2 drone captured clear images of the circular site in Cupertino, revealing the silver tops of roofs and dry, tan dirt. He said he was especially pleased, since an earlier video he made of Oracle headquarters in Redwood City was very windy when he set his camera up in the sky.

McMinn said his remotely controlled quadcopter remained under 400 feet, per Federal Aviation Administration regulations, and did not enter any airport no-fly zones. Although the site is private property, airspace above 83 feet is not, according to a 1946 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, NBC News noted. The FAA allows for hobbyists to fly drones no higher than 400 feet.

Since the Campus 2 construction site in Cupertino, one mile from the official Apple headquarters, is fenced off, it’s hard for anyone to get a ground-level peek of construction.

Still, images have been taken. Even by air.

NBC Bay Area's chopper flew over the Spaceship in May, as did a drone camera owned by Dana Diederich, who lives in Mountain View and was feeling "contrarian" because of all the extra traffic caused by the campus construction. He went around the "armed guards" on campus, he said, to "see what they were doing" from the sky.

Another set of aerial photos were posted in July.

Apple, which had no immediate comment on the drone video, has said construction is expected to be completed in 2016.

Campus 2 will be home to more than 12,000 employees and an environmentally friendly complex with 7,000 trees, drought tolerant plants and about 80 percent of open space.

Photo Credit: Screengrab from YouTube of Apple Campus 2 posted by jmcminn]]>
<![CDATA[Magnitude 3.5 Quake Tips Pictures in Gilroy]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:35:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GONZALES1.JPG

A magnitude 3.5 earthquake hit Monday morning about six miles of Gilroy, the US Geological Survey reported, causing a few pictures to tip, but no major damage.

The earthquake was reported at 9:10 a.m.

Gena Gonzales was enjoying a lazy Labor Day and was just still in bed when the quake hit, tipping the family pictures on her wall.

At first, she thought it was the typical construction going on at the subdivision behind her Gilroy home. Then she realized the sounds and the rumblings were different.

"This was big, it was significant," she said in an interview. "I was almost about to go into the doorway and get the boys. But the kids were on the bottom floor and it didn't even phase them."

Gonzales said that the "several rolls" didn't last very long, and "the big shake never came." Nearby, her mother felt the rolling, too, but her dad, who was exercising on a machine didn't even realize an earthquake had moved through the south of Santa Clara County. A few others said on Facebook that they felt a "quick jolt" in the nearby Morgan Hill area.

This earthquake, about six miles from Gilroy, was much smaller and less damaging than the 6.0 magnitude quake that hit near Napa on Aug. 24, damaging at least 500 buildings and initially sending 209 people to the hospital. Gilroy sit along the Calaveras Fault and is about 112 miles south of Napa.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup reported no damage as a result of the Monday morning quake.

<![CDATA[Hot Temps For Unofficial End of Summer]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 08:44:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/plumb.JPG Meteorologist Christina Loren has your Bay Area weather forecast.]]> <![CDATA[Near-Miss Between Pedestrian, Driver Sparks Shooting: SFPD]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 06:55:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pedestrian_shot_golden_gate_Sf.jpg

A man is in critical condition Sunday night after a shooting in San Francisco involving a pedestrian getting into an argument with a driver, police said.

The shooting happened just after 2 p.m. near the intersection of Golden Gate Avenue and Broderick. Police said a near-miss between the pedestrian and motorist sparked an argument that resulted in the motorist shooting the pedestrian.

The two involved parties did not know each other, police said.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with critical injuries.

The suspect drove away from the scene.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Stanley Cup Comes to Napa Hotel For Public Viewing]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 06:38:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/napaquakestanelycup.jpg

Nearly one week since a 6.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Napa, the city is back up and running.

Wineries and businesses are hoping tourists continue to show up this Labor Day weekend, and one popular hotel is enlisting help from Southern California.

A chance to snap a picture with the Stanley Cup brought hockey fans out to the Westin Verasa hotel.

"It's just exciting for it to be hockey, and that's my the sport I love and being able to help Napa and my fellow citizens," Napa resident Evan Darlington said.

The hotel was yellow tagged after the quake but is now back open with a limited inventory of rooms.

The former San Jose Sharks general manager and current Los Angeles Kings GM owns a ranch in Sonoma.

He donated time with the cup as part of an earthquake relief effort.

"Since the earthquake, we turned it now into a little bit of a fundraiser," Westin Verasa Napa General Manager Don Shindle said. "So, we're asking people who are to take their picture with the cup to donate $5 at a minimum into the cup, and the actual LA Kings will match all of the donations and all of the money will go to the Napa earthquake relief fund."

Napa officials estimate that 95 percent of the restaurants are back open.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Aftershocks Strike Near Napa 1 Week After 6.0 Quake]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:47:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/richter1.jpg

A week after California's Napa Valley was struck by a magnitude-6.0 earthquake, the area was rattled by two aftershocks early on Sunday.

A magnitude-3.2 tremor struck four miles from Napa at 1:56 a.m. at a depth of 6.2 miles. It was followed by a 2.5 earthquake a few hours later, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"There are reports that the quake was felt but not of any damage," USGS's Geophysicist Jessica Turner told NBC News. "We'll probably not see any damage with this small a magnitude."

The 3.2 quake was initially listed as a 3.4 magnitude.

Napa's Sheriff's Office dispatch said there were no reports of damage or injuries from the temblor.

The USGS reported a second minor earthquake later in the morning near Napa. The magnitude-2.5 earthquake was recorded in Green Valley, about seven miles east southeast of Napa at 6:37 a.m.

The magnitude-6.0 earthquake was the largest quake to shake the Bay Area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake in 1989. It caused $362 million in damage, The Associated Press reported. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Congress Returns Tuesday After Five-Week Recess]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:33:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000008071662_1200x675_323894851677.jpg This Tuesday, Congress will return after a five-week recess. For what to expect in the weeks between now and the November election, NBC Area Political Analyst Larry Gerston reports from Washington, DC.]]> <![CDATA[75-Millionth Customer Expected at Great America]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 22:40:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/great_america_75mil_customer.jpg

One visitor to Santa Clara's Great America has a shot at theme park history.

Starting Saturday, anyone who passes through the park's gates may be the 75-millionth visitor to Great America.

That special visitor will be given VIP treatment and a key to the entire park.

In honor of the milestone, Great America is expected to have fireworks and lots of free prizes the entire weekend, as people hit the rides and take in the last days of summer.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Trans-Fat Labels on Food Deceiving: Study]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:03:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/transfat.jpg

You may be eating more bad fat than you think. Researchers at the New York Health Department checked 4,340 top-selling packaged foods, and found 9 percent of them contained trans-fats. Of those, 84 percent proclaimed themselves as trans-fat free.

SJSU Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Science Marjorie Freedman says labels can be deceiving.

"The FDA allowed anything with up to 0.5 grams of trans fat to be labeled as zero grams,” she said.

Freedman says the ingredients will show if there’s trans-fat in the food even if the label does not. She says people should look for hydrogenated oils.

As a nutritionist, she’s more concerned about people sitting down and eating a half box of cookies even if they’re fat free.

"To me the problem is not the trans-fats that they're getting in those cookies, it's all of the calories,” Freedman said.

She applauds the industry for efforts to cut trans-fats out of foods.

"Ten years ago, thousands of foods contained it so the industry has really made great progress,” Freedman said.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Turf Replacement Rebates Available Across California]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 18:09:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0714-2014-DroughtPond.jpg

Here are just some of the turf rebates available around California as water agencies try to encourage customers to replace grass with more drought-resistant plantings.
Atascadero Mutual Water Company
Turf conversion rebates of 25 cents per square foot available, up to $500 for single-family residences and up to $1,000 for multifamily residences and commercial properties. Convert existing areas of turf grass to drought‐tolerant plants, synthetic turf or permeable paving.  

Camrosa Water District

Turf removal rebates available for $2 or more per square foot removed.

City of American Canyon
Rebates of $2 per square foot of area that is replanted.

Crescenta Valley Water District

Rebates of up to $800 available for removing lawns and replacing turf grass with California native or drought-tolerant plants, mulch, synthetic turf or pervious hardscape. 

Desert Water Agency

Rebates available of $2 per square foot up to $3,000 for residential projects and $10,000 per project for commercial and public property.

Dublin San Ramon Services District

Rebates for single-family residences have been increased to a maximum $750 and for a non-residential or multi-family properties to a maximum $4,500.       

East Valley Water District

Rebates are available of up to $200, for water efficient landscaping that uses native plants, efficient irrigation systems and other landscaping elements that thrive using less water than traditional grass lawns.

El Toro Water District

Residential and small commercial customers are eligible for incentives of $2 or more per square foot of turf removed for qualifying projects.

Foothill Municipal Water District
Rebates available of up to $800 for removing lawns and replacing turf grass with California native or drought-tolerant plants, mulch, synthetic  turf, or pervious hardscape.

Irvine Ranch Water District

Rebates of $2 per square foot available for turf removal.  Synthetic turf is now eligible for funding.

Jurupa Community Services District
Rebates are available for $2 or more per square foot for turf removal. Synthetic turf is sometimes eligible.

Laguna Beach County Water District
Rebates of $3 per square foot available for turf removed for qualifying products.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Rebates to replace turf have been doubled from $1 to $2 per square foot.

Monte Vista Water District

Rebates of $3 available per square foot of turf removed.
Moulton Niguel Water District

Rebates of $2 or more per square foot are available for turf removed for qualifying projects.
Newhall County Water District
Rebates of $2 per square foot for the removal of 500 to 2,500 square foot of living grass.

Olivenhain Community Services District

The San Diego County Water Authority’s program offers $1.50 per square foot.
Otay Water District
Rebates of $1.50 per square foot available to replace existing irrigated grass with water-wise plants.

Rancho California Water District                                                                                                               Rebates available of $2 per square foot of area that is replanted.

Santa Margarita Water District

Rebates of up to $2 per square foot available for lawn removal.

Scotts Valley Water District
Replace an irrigated lawn with low-water plants, native grass, mulch or wood chips, pervious hardscape such as gravel or stepping stones, swales, rain gardens, infiltration basins or some artificial turf for a credit of 50 cents per square foot of area of lawn replaced. 

Soquel Creek Water District

Replace existing, irrigated lawn with drought-tolerant plants or synthetic turf. Fifty percent of materials cost up to $1 per square foot.

Valley of the Moon Water District
Rebate up to 50 cents per square foot available, up to $550 for single-family homes.

Vandenberg Village Community Services District

Rebate of up to $2 per square foot available to replace turf up to a maximum of $1,000.

Western Municipal Water District
Rebates of $2 available per square foot of area that is replanted. Specific commercial customers can receive $5 per square foot to encourage landscape conversions at locations that can help lower regional water demand.

Zone 7 Water Agency
The rebate for a single-family residence has been increased to a maximum $750, and the rebate for a non-residential property or multi-family property has been increased to a maximum $4,500.    

Source: Association of California Water Agencies

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Video at Napa Train Yard Shows Violent Shaking from Quake]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:05:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0829-2014-NapaTrain.jpg

New video taken from cameras at the yard that houses the Napa Valley Wine Train shows how strong the quake was felt in the area.

The video shows trains shaking violently on the tracks, while transformers explode in the background. The quake forced the popular tourist train to be shut down last Sunday and Monday.

The train, tracks, bridges and trestles all passed inspection and the service has since re-opened.

Photo Credit: Napa Valley Wine Train]]>
<![CDATA[NorCal's Best Pot Smuggled Out of State: Report]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:26:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Medical-Cannabis-Marijuana-.jpg

Humboldt and Mendocino counties are running out of marijuana.

How could this be? It's not the drought, according to VICE: it's profits.

Motherboard reports that most growers in California's famous marijuana-growing regions are "illegally diverting their product" to recreational markets in Colorado and Washington.

In those states, keep in mind, regular old adults can buy marijuana without a doctor's recommendation, which is still required for a cannabis purchase in California.

As a result, the famous "Emerald Triangle" is "nearly out of weed," according to Tim Blake, who runs the region's annual cannabis contest, the Emerald Cup.

Most cannabis is going to dispensaries in Colorado, where adults could buy pot over-the-counter beginning in January, VICE reports.