<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - East Bay]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usSat, 24 Jun 2017 13:57:42 -0700Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:57:42 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[102-Year-Old Woman's Death Investigated as Suspicious]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:04:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

The death of a 102-year-old woman whose body was found in her East Oakland home Sunday is being investigated as suspicious, according to Oakland police officials.

Mildred Williams was found unconscious in her residence in the 3000 block of 22nd Avenue after officers were sent to investigate at about 1:20 a.m., according to Oakland police spokesman Officer Marco Marquez.

Emergency medical personnel pronounced Williams dead at the scene.

Police detained one person at the time but they were "released pending further investigation," according to Marquez.

Williams' death is being described by police as a "suspicious circumstance" or "unexplained death."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Oakland police homicide section at (510) 238-3821 or the tip line at (510) 238-7950.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Raping Berkeley Woman While She Slept]]>Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:40:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Courtroom-Generic.jpg

A prosecutor asked jurors Friday to convict a man of raping an unconscious person for allegedly having sex with a female acquaintance while she was sleeping at his apartment near the University of California at Berkeley campus two years ago.

In her closing argument in William Joseph Ryan III's trial in Alameda County Superior Court, prosecutor Emily Tienken said jurors should "hold him responsible for what he did and took away from her [the alleged victim] with his actions."

Tienken said Ryan, 24, who's free on bail, "couldn't possibly think she was awake" when he had sex with her.

The interaction between Ryan and the young woman occurred in the early morning hours of April 8, 2015, after her car got locked inside a Berkeley parking garage and she accepted an offer from Ryan, who she knew as an acquaintance, to sleep at his apartment in the 1900 block of Oxford Street until the garage reopened.

The police report in the case indicates that the woman went to bed and Ryan curled up next to her and held her hand but at 6:30 a.m. she woke up to find him raping her.

Ryan's lawyers argued that the woman sent "mixed signals" and he interpreted their curling up together as a signal that she liked him and wanted to have sex with him.

But Tienken said the woman was asleep, wasn't aware of what Ryan was doing and didn't voluntarily take her clothes off.

Tienken said Ryan only pulled the woman's pants down enough to the point where he could have intercourse with her.

The prosecutor said that after the encounter the woman felt "violated and very upset."

Tienken said that after Ryan had sex with the woman "he attempted to blame the victim and say that she asked for it."

Jurors began deliberating Ryan's fate this afternoon.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Event to Reduce, Expunge Old Criminal Convictions]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:57:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jail_generic_bars.jpg

Former criminals can receive pro bono legal assistance with reducing or expunging their old criminal convictions at the Oakland Family Festival in East Oakland on Saturday afternoon.

The event from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Verdese Carter Park at 9600 Sunnyside St. is sponsored by the office of Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, Californians for Safety and Justice and the Justice Reinvestment Coalition.

It will also feature free health screenings, free bicycle repair, games for kids, including pony rides and a bouncy house, live entertainment, parenting information, a free food and clothing giveaway and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

Event organizers say that Proposition 47, which was passed by the state's voters in 2014, reduced the penalty for simple drug possession and five petty theft-related crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor and allows people with old felony convictions to reduce them to misdemeanors.

Lawyers from across the country will be at the event to help people with filling out and filing applications for relief under Prop 47 and other remedies available under the law for reducing or expunging old criminal convictions.

Organizers say that since Prop 47 was passed at least 250,000 felony convictions have been reduced to misdemeanors, but estimates suggest that close to 2 million Californians are eligible for those reductions.

The opportunity to reduce old felonies to misdemeanors under Prop 47 will expire in November 2022.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Teens Give Thousands to Junior Giants]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:47:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Headfirst+Leadership.jpg

On a blistering Wednesday, more than 50 young baseball players sought shade under a makeshift tent at the Olivera Field in Concord. As they took turns cooling off, they eyed the rows of tables next to them, on which a mass of expensive baseball equipment — valued at $4,000 — lie ready for the taking. Soon, it would be theirs, thanks to the generosity of two people not much older than them.

The equipment came courtesy of Nick Walker and Dawson Mann, two 16-year-old Monte Vista High School students who embarked on a philanthropic mission to make baseball fields a more equitable environment for underserved youth.

The two teammates, who play for the Headfirst Baseball Academy, recently launched a nonprofit arm called "Headfirst Leadership: Beyond The Field," which offers coaching to aspiring baseball players and holds equipment drives for local teams. Wednesday's giveaway, the product of a six-week long donation drive, was the first in what the two teens hope will be a recurring opportunity to level the playing field between the "haves" and "have-nots."

“We wanted to be able give back to the community, while also teaching leadership on and off the field,” Walker said. “It’s been a really good experience to go to these other places, and see how some people aren’t as fortunate and help them.”

“It’s expensive to play, and what we really wanted to do was give to kids who didn’t have the opportunity to play baseball,” Mann, who has been involved with the sport since he was four, said. "It also helps us realize how fortunate we are.” 

For low-income families, prohibitive costs loom large over extracurricular enrollment. In baseball, in particular, parents are often responsible for triple-digit enrollment fees combined with the cost of expensive equipment. It's not uncommon for parents of multiple children to spend thousands per year on sports, and, for families that can barely afford to pay eye-popping Bay Area rents, that expense can be hard to justify. Easing that burden, Mann and Walker said, was crucial to fostering the same love of baseball that they have had since they were small children.

“We had been volunteering and doing other sorts of community service...but we wanted to give back to the sport that we loved and find a way to sort of spread that,” explained Walker. 

It should come as no surprise to Bay Area baseball aficionados that Walker and Mann chose the Junior Giants Baseball League, a product of the San Francisco Giants Community Fund, as the recipient for their first big haul of donations. The two organizations — one behemoth, one nascent — share core philosophies, most notably making baseball more accessible and mentorship off the field. 

The Junior Giants league is a free, co-ed, and non-competitive league for kids between the ages of seven and 14. All told, the league has more than 25,000 players across California, Nevada, and Arizona. And, because it had a local chapter in Concord, the boys were able to hand out the equipment themselves. Walker and Mann, clad in brown and yellow Headfirst shirts and matching caps, took turns picking out the correct size bat for each of the junior leaguers. Then, they showed them the correct way to swing the bat, offering words of encouragement — and taking a few steps back, for safety — as the youngers swung the bats back and forth while flashing toothy grins.

Walker noted that the pair plan to incorporate coaching into their own organization.

“We try to teach leadership off the field, not just on it,” he said. 

Ana Villabos, the commissioner of the Concord Division, said she was taken aback by the truckload of equipment the teens had to offer and was pleasantly surprised that other items — like clothes, books, and toys — were also included in the donation. 

“It’s great because it’s not just about baseball,” Villabos said. “It’s about so much more than that. It’s about helping the kids read and be healthy and have confidence. What the boys are doing, it means so much to me, and it’s going to mean to so much to the children.” 

The estimated value of the donations also came as a surprise to Walker and Mann, who didn’t anticipate having quite so much community support for their project. The donation drive centers were overloaded with more than 780 items from people who heard about their project.

“People just kept bringing different sorts of things,” a proud Walker told a Concord police officer, who came by to take pictures with the teens. “Our boxes just filled up, and it all just went from there.” 

It felt, to use baseball parlance, like a home run. 

“We definitely don’t want this to be it,” Walker said. “We want to expand and continue working, and hopefully inspire other people to do the same.”



Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane]]>
<![CDATA[BART Recovering From Delay Caused by Fire]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:14:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2015-generic-bart.jpg

A major BART delay this evening was caused by burning debris underneath tracks inside the Transbay Tube, BART officials said.

The incident prompted BART officials to single-track trains through the tube, BART officials initially said at 6:15 p.m.

The delay stemmed from a blown insulator that apparently caused a small fire in the tube, BART spokesman Chris Filippi said.

Response crews arrived on scene and were able to extinguish flames caused by burning debris under the track, according to Filippi.

BART is beginning to recover from the incident and riders should expect residual delays.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Information Shows Brentwood Shooting Was Self-Defense]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:16:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-22-17-brentwood-double-homicide.jpg

Police say a preliminary investigation shows that a Wednesday shooting in Brentwood where two men died may be a case of self-defense.

Brentwood police Lt. Walter O'Grodnick told the East Bay Times Thursday that the shooter lived in the home that the two deceased men broke into. The shooter told police that he fired at the men after he saw one was carrying a gun.

O'Grodnick says the men presented a threat and the shooting was a result of self-defense.

The shooter has since been released from police custody.

Police have identified the deceased men as two Antioch residents in their thirties.

According to the report, it was the first slaying in Brentwood in over five years.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Four Woman Arrested For Robbing Two Victoria's Secret Stores]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:42:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WCrobbery.jpg

Four women were busted Thursday for grab-and-run robberies at two Victoria's Secret stores in Contra Costa County — and using a stolen vehicle in an effort to get away, police say.

Walnut Creek police officers said they were called to a robbery at a Broadway Plaza location of the lingerie company.

A patrol officer had tracked down the suspects in an SUV – which police discovered was stolen as well – and took them into custody.

“We love to have visitors shop and dine in our lovely town. We just appreciate it when people actually PAY for the items they want,” Walnut Creek police wrote on Facebook.

Pictures of the arrest, posted to social media, show clothes as well as Victoria's Secret bags and unopened boxes in the car.

That’s not all: Walnut Creek police linked the same suspects to an earlier robbery at a Victoria's Secret in Concord.

“Criminals be warned, we don't tolerate criminal behavior and if we catch you (which we will), you will go to jail,” they wrote on Facebook, signing off with #keepingwalnutcreeksafe and #crimedoesntpay.



Photo Credit: Walnut Creek Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Pair of Students Hit It Out of the Park for Youth Baseball ]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:43:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JR+GIANTS-0622.jpg

Two Bay Area high school students have hit home runs, stepping up to the plate to give back to their community.

Dawson Mann and Nick Walker, who attend Monte Vista High School in Danville, started an equipment drive last year to share their love of baseball with underprivileged youth.

The two students collected about $4,000 worth of items, which they delivered Wednesday to the Concord Junior Giants baseball team.

"It's really a great experience," Walker said. "We did it to teach leadership off the field, not just on it."

About a half-dozen teams from the Concord league will receive the equipment, which includes a pair of Stephen Curry's Under Armour shoes.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Alameda KFC Repainted After Residents Deem it an 'Eyesore']]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:16:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kfc+thumb.jpg

The new paint job at the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Encinal Avenue in Alameda is not what neighbors expected, and now city leaders are cracking down, demanding yet another facelift. 

The issue was brought up during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, when residents who live near the fast food eatery said that the new red-and-white striped building looked "garish," like a circus tent, and out of place in the otherwise quaint neighborhood.


After viewing photographs, the council agreed: the new paint job went against the city's chosen aesthetic and approved color palate. 

The old exterior was a neutral tan shade with red accents, allowing it to blend better with the posh homes that flank one of its sides.

But not everyone thinks the KFC needs changing. 

"I don't think it's a burden to the neighborhood," said Alameda resident Melissa Cunningham. "If anything, I think it makes it look a lot cleaner and friendlier." 

Do you think the colors should be changed?



Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane
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<![CDATA[BART Fare Goes Up to Help Close $31 Million Budget Deficit]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:27:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-25-17_BART_Warm_Springs.jpg

BART's board of directors at its Thursay meeting in Oakland passed a sanctuary resolution declaring the agency's commitment to being a secure and inclusive transit system for all passengers regardless of demographic or immigration status.

During public comment, numerous speakers urged the board to support the Safe Transit resolution.

"The Bay Area's success relies on the contributions of hard-working immigrants and refugees," said Linda Olvera with the California Sanctuary Campaign. "Many of these same people are now hiding and running scared."

Jane Martin with Service Employees International Union – United Service Workers West said people shouldn't have to be afraid when trying to go to work or school or to pick up their children.

"California has taken the lead to being part of the resistance," Martin said. "We're really excited that you're going to be a part of that resistance as well."

Just two speakers criticized the resolution, arguing that there may not be a demonstrated need for such a policy and asking how often people are detained in immigration-related cases on BART.

Director Debora Allen asked BART police Chief Carlos Rojas when the last time a BART rider was asked for immigration papers, and Rojas said he was not aware of any incidents of that nature.

Rojas said an individual was arrested on an immigration warrant, but said that arrest occurred more than five years ago.

Just before noon, the board voted 8-1 with Allen casting the sole dissenting vote.

"We will now be spending our resources keeping BART riders safe, not deporting them," said director Nick Josefowitz, who sponsored the bill along with director Lateefah Simon.

"Under Safe Transit, BART will focus its resources on our top priorities — transporting our riders with affordability, accessibility, and accountability — not harmful, wasteful anti-immigrant policies," Simon said. "I am proud that BART is the first transit system in the nation to pass a Safe Transit policy, and I hope other regions follow."

In an unrelated matter, the board passed an inflation-based fare increase of 2.7 percent as well as a 50-cent surcharge on fares paid for with paper tickets. They also reduced the discount for youth riders ages 5 to 12 from 62.5 percent to 50 percent, and established a new 50 percent discount for youth ages 13 to 18.

Those changes go into effect in January 2018.

"It's 2017, it's time to end the paper tickets," Allen said. "I'm happy to support that. This is a step in the right direction."

In a narrow 5-4 vote, the board also repealed the controversial "seat hog" ordinance, which would have prohibited riders from taking up more than one seat during commute hours with warnings for first-time offenders and a series of escalating fines of up to $500 for repeat violations.

Police had concerns the ordinance would cause delays, target the homeless and lead to unnecessary use of force incidents. It was never enforced.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Carr, Raiders Reach 5-Year, $125 Million Contract Extension]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:51:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/kahrpayydayye.jpg

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wanted to get his contract extension done before training camp next month.

He got his wish.

Carr and the team have reached what is reported to be a five-year, $125 million deal, according to a story by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com Thursday morning.

An excited Carr confirmed that report on social media.

“Now it’s done!” he wrote on Twitter. “From the jump I’ve wanted to be a Raider 4 life. One step closer to that! Blessed!!! Business done! Let’s just play now!!!”

The deal is expected to pay Carr about $25 million per season, which will make him the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback. He’s heading into the final year of his first deal, signed after he was taken in the second round of the 2014 draft. That deal will pay him about $5.4 million this season, with the new terms kicking in starting in 2018.

The Raiders have been built with salary-cap flexibility under general manager Reggie McKenzie and are a reported $31 million under the salary cap.

Earlier this offseason, the Raiders signed defensive end-linebacker Khalil Mack to a long-term extension. Still to be done is a deal for starting guard Gabe Jackson.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Swelters Amid Dangerously High Temperatures]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:45:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-53263722.jpg

The Bay Area is in the grips of a dangerous heat wave that was expected to peak Thursday. 

A National Weather Service excessive heat warning is in effect until 9 p.m. The National Weather Service says they expect daily records for the Central Valley and the rest of the interior.

High temperatures across the Bay Area are expected to range between 90 and 105 degrees across most inland areas with locally hotter temperatures possible, forecasters said.

Caltrain posted on Twitter around 1:45 p.m. Thursday that a Level 1 heat restriction was in place on all main tracks that connect San Mateo and San Jose. That means trains will be running at slower speeds than normal. The restriction expired about 6:40 p.m.


Two people died this week due to the extreme heat wave. A 72-year-old man and an 87-year-old woman died in San Jose Monday, when temperatures reached 94 degrees. A third person died Tuesday, but the Santa Clara County coroner has yet to confirm that it was caused by the heat.

The soaring temperatures and stagnant air are also likely to create unhealthy levels of ozone, prompting the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to issue a Spare the Air alert for Thursday


Another major concern during the scorching temperatures is a growing strain on the local power grid, which could prompt widespread outages. 

All week, PG&E has been ramping up for Thursday.

Crews have combed through neighborhoods on the hunt for vulnerable tree limbs, which were taken care of before they could fall and potentially take down light poles.

The utility is using smart meters to identify outages faster than relying on customers calling in. PG&E meteorologists are also using outage prediction models to pinpoint where the heat could trigger power outages before they happen so crews can preemptively get in place.

For a list of Cooling Centers and information on heat-related illnesses and prevention, visit the County of Santa Clara Office of Emergency Services website or call 211.

People are being urged to take every possible precaution in the heat. Here are some ways to beat the heat:

Additional tips for those who must work or exercise outdoors:

  • Ensure that cool drinking water is available.
  • Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often; do not wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
  • Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.

Older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions:

  • During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as cooling centers, shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.
  • Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water. If you’re on a special diet that limits liquids, check with your doctor for information on the amount of water to consume.
  • Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect against sun damage. And remember to use sun screen and to wear sunglasses.

Infants and Children:

  • It is illegal to leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle (California Vehicle Code Section 15620).
  • Infants and young children can get dehydrated very quickly. Make sure they are given plenty of cool water to drink.
  • Keep children indoors or shaded as much as possible.
  • Dress children in loose, lightweight, and light colored clothing.

Pets:

  • Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked or open.
  • Outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.
  • Do not leave pets outside in the sun.
  • Pets should not be left in a garage as garages can get very hot due to lack of ventilation and insulation. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Two Men Shot Dead in Brentwood]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:48:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-22-17-brentwood-double-homicide-day+shot.jpg

Brentwood police launched a double homicide investigation late Wednesday after two men were gunned down at a home.

Officers arrived in the 200 block of Birch Street around 11:15 p.m. to investigate a shooting. They found a pair of men who had been shot and were pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was hurt, police said.

Preliminary investigation shows the incident was a targeted home invasion robbery by two armed suspects, police said. When the suspects confronted the homeowner, who also was armed, the homeowner opened fire, killing both suspects, police said. The alleged shooter was unharmed and taken into custody.

The robbery suspects both were in their 30s but were not yet identified, police said.

The investigation was still in its preliminary stages late Thursday, but it did not look as if the homeowner would be facing any charges, police said.

Police secured the scene and do not believe there is an outstanding threat to the public.

Anyone with more information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective Eric Huesman at 925-809-7735.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Expulsion of Albany High Student Sets Stage for Legal Battle]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:50:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/albany+hs-0621.jpg

Free speech or civil rights violation? That's the debate swirling around the expulsion of an Albany High School student who posted racist images on a personal social media account.

The school board Tuesday night decided to expel the student that owned the account, and that may have set the stage for a court battle pitting fundamental free speech rights against the California Education Code.

"We feel that it is illegal, in violation of my client’s First Amendment rights and the California Education Code," attorney Cate Beekman said.

The education code protects students' free speech, giving them even more protection than the First Amendment does.

"Essentially what’s happening is the school’s trying to control what students think, say, do, privately among friends away from school," Beekman said.

Albany High was in the spotlight in March when a student discovered a social media account containing pictures of female students - most of them African-American, and some posted next to apes. One post showed the girls basketball coach with a noose drawn around his neck. He too was African-American.

Beekman says the postings were offensive, but they were private and not directed to do physical harm to students. That’s where the case takes a legal and unprecedented turn.

"Offensive speech is protected," Beekman said. "Our Supreme Court just two days ago issued a unanimous decision saying exactly that."

One parent whose child was shown in the racist memes was pleased with the school board's decision to expel the student. She didn’t want to be identified because, she said, parents have been targeted by hate groups online after speaking out.

While she wishes more students were expelled, she believes the move sets a precedent that Albany High is a zero-tolerance school in regards to hate speech.

"I know some people have characterized it as a hate crime, as discrimination; it’s neither of those things," Beekman said. "I understand people’s feelings are hurt or offended, but that’s precisely what the First Amendment exists to protect."

Nine students were suspended for their alleged actions in the case, and all of them are headed to court.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Postpones Horse Racing at Alameda County Fair]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:24:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fair+horses-0621.jpg

Triple-digit temperatures in the East Bay prompted the Alameda County Fair to postpone one of its most popular events Wednesday.

Thursday's opening day for horse racing at the fair was pushed back to Friday, officials said, to keep the horses safe.

For now, the horses are limited to training in the early morning.

"They're off the track by 10 a.m.," fair spokesperson Angel Moore said. "Now they're resting getting, ready for opening day. The forecast is 105 degrees. We're trying to make sure horses and jockeys are safe.

Organizers say they've had hot days at the fair in the past, but not on race days.

Fairgoers were feeling the heat too. There are misting stations and paramedics on hand, and they've treated 15 to 20 people each day so far, many for heat exhaustion.

"Heat-related illness will sneak up on you," said Jim Hoskins of the Alameda County Fire Department. "Stay covered, drink water, wear hats."

Fair organizers said everyone needs to make sure they're taking breaks from the heat.

"Especially children and elderly," Moore said. "They get here and want to keep going. But take a break for safety purposes."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters Clash With Berkeley Police Over Urban Shield Vote]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:16:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/urbanshield1.jpg

Berkeley city leaders on Tuesday voted in favor of extending the Police Department’s participation in Urban Shield — and their decision was an unwelcome one.

Attendees told NBC Bay Area that police officers, several of whom were present at the meeting, got rough with community members, when they expressed their displeasure with the controversial training program. Social media posts indicate that officers beat people and even made two arrests.

Urban Shield is a four-day training program for local law enforcement officials in the fall. It focuses on first-responder training and shows agencies how to work together to respond to threats in high-density urban areas. Opponents, however, say it’s a form of police militarization.

A statement issued by Oakland-based nonprofit, Critical Resistance, accused the police officers of a violent crackdown. 

A large crowd, including former Berkeley Mayor Gus Newport, packed the council meeting to urge the City Council to withdraw from Urban Shield. They shared "hours of community testimony about the harms, racism, and dangers of the program," the statement said.

Critical Resistance leaders accused current Mayor Jesse Arreguin of rushing a vote, prompting attendees to chant and hold up banners at the heated meeting.


A 73-year-old man claimed that he was amongst the group of protestors who police allegedly pushed back. The man alleged that a police officer hit him in the head with a baton as he was reaching for his glasses that fell to the ground. He sustained cuts on his head and blood was seen on his shirt.

Several people spoke out at a Wednesday morning news conference discussing the brush-up.

“It was kind of ironic because here we had been talking all night about the dangers of police militarization and the mindset of the police that treats community members as the problem,” said Ellen Brotsky, the wife of the man who was reportedly hit by Berkeley police.

Her husband is OK and showed no signs of having a concussion, but the Brotsky family plans to file a complaint against the Berkeley Police Department in connection with the explosive meeting, she said.

To that, Sagnictahe Salazar, who also opposes Urban Shield, added: “Can you guys imagine what happens in our homes? When we are in our communities? When we are not in front of cameras or hundreds of people? What happens to our folks? We know what happens.”

Speaking on behalf of the Berkeley Police Department, Sgt. Andrew Frankel said, “I can tell you first hand that the crowd was unwilling to let the officers allow those arrests to occur. Our officers tried to move the crowd out of the way and it’s hard to say what happened after that.” He added that he hadn’t the chance to review the level of force used.


Arreguin told NBC Bay Area that he shares concerns about the militarization of local police departments, but stressed that the choice to stay with Urban Shield — temporarily — was born from a desire to ensure the safety of Berkeley's residents and police officers.

"I believe we ultimately need to pull out of Urban Shield because of the hyper-militarized training it provides, but we cannot do it overnight," he said. "Cities throughout the Bay Area have chosen not to participate in this training and instead provide their police with other SWAT, emergency and disaster preparedness training.

"It would be irresponsible for the Berkeley City Council to pull out immediately from Urban Shield without providing our police the training they need to keep our community safe."

The council may have voted to participate in this year's Urban Shield exercises, Arreguin said, but it also created a subcomittee to work with residents as well as the police and fire departments to explore alternate sources of training for Berkeley's law enforcement agencies. 

"My goal is in six months, we will move towards leaving Urban Shield permanently," he said.

Acknowledging reports of police brutality across the United States, Arreguin agreed that "there is a great deal of fear and mistrust between police and communities of color and we need to improve the relationship between our police and our community."

He continued: "The Berkeley City Council is committed to ensuring that our police engage in a way that reflects our community’s values."



Photo Credit: Brooke Anderson Photogaphy]]>
<![CDATA[Magnitude-3.3 Earthquake Felt in East Bay on Hayward Fault]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:49:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/210*120/SFQUAKE.PNG

A magnitude-3.3 earthquake was reported at noon Wednesday in the East Bay, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake occurred on the Hayward fault, according to the USGS. It's point of origination was located one mile away from El Cerrito, Kensington and Albany, three miles from Berkeley and 12 miles from San Francisco.

More information can be found here.



Photo Credit: USGS]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Mayor, Ex-Police Chief Bungled Sex Misconduct Probe]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:49:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0531-2017-Jasmine.jpg

Oakland city leaders renewed their pledges to straighten out the troubled police department after a court-appointed investigator concluded they mishandled a teenager's allegations that she was sexually exploited by officers.

Mayor Libby Schaaf agreed Wednesday with the investigator's conclusions that she didn't pay enough attention to the investigation of the police department. She said her focus shifted in December and January to a warehouse fire that killed three dozen people and to finding a new police chief.

In a court filing, investigator Ed Swanson put most of the blame for the bungled probe on former Police Chief Sean Whent, who resigned under pressure last year.

Swanson said Whent appeared disinterested in the case from the start and his attitude set the tone for the rest of the department.

Whent told investigators he "misread" O'Brien's suicide note and a lieutenant's email message that the case was being sent to internal affairs. Whent said he did not grasp the importance of the note and email, an excuse Swanson called "not credible" in his report.

Whent failed to notify the mayor, district attorney and the federal judge about the suicide note and internal affairs investigation. Swanson said it is unclear why Whent downplayed the case.

The chief retired under pressure in June 2016 after news of the scandal emerged. His phone rang unanswered Wednesday after the report was released.

Swanson also said investigators dismissed the victim's claims because she worked as a prostitute.

"We agree that tone comes from the top," said Schaaf, who recently announced plans to seek a second 4-year term as mayor in 2018. "That's why we set out to find a new chief."

She swore in Chief Anne Kirkpatrick on March 1.

City administrator Sabrina Landreth said she agreed that investigation took too long to conclude, but she said city officials didn't want to interfere with the criminal prosecutions of the officers.

Four officers were fired and face criminal charges. Eight others were disciplined.

Swanson, the investigator, was appointed by a federal judge who oversees the troubled department as part of a 2002 settlement of a civil rights lawsuit. Swanson has no authority to order changes in the department, but the judge does. Swanson recommended a number of training reforms and policy changes, including involving the district attorney in internal investigations of officers under criminal suspicion and consulting the city attorney.

The department implemented many court-ordered reforms during Whent's three years as chief and was close to shedding the court oversight when officer Brendan O'Brien killed himself in 2015. O'Brien in his suicide note denied having sex with the victim despite her claims that he did. O'Brien also implicated several officers who he said had sex with the girl.

"It's a pretty devastating report," said lawyer John Burris, who represents the victim and is the lead attorney on the 2002 civil rights case that led to court oversight. "I thought the department was making real progress."

The court oversight began after the city settled with 119 plaintiffs, all but one African-American, who were paid $10.5 million after four rogue officers allegedly beat and planted evidence on them.

Criminal investigators initially closed their probe after a strained, two-hour interview with the victim, who gave muddled and conflicting accounts. During that interview, they watched her delete messages on her phone sent by officers.

Swanson's report also faulted police internal affairs investigators for lackluster work. The victim was interviewed once on the phone. And two officers implicated by the victim were considered witnesses, rather than targets.

One of those officers said he was mentoring the victim to get her out of prostitution, but then admitted he texted her a photograph of his penis.

The city paid the victim almost $1 million to settle her legal claims.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Wave Scorches Bay Area, Strains Power Grid]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:14:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-81651821.jpg

PG&E customers across California have been asked to conserve electricity through Wednesday before the statewide heat wave peaks.

The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the operation of the state's bulk electric system, transmission lines and electricity market, on Monday issued a statewide Flex Alert, asking people to voluntarily cut down on utility consumption.

The goal is to save 500 megawatts to avoid widespread blackouts, the agency said. And that means everyone must pitch in. Electric customers are urged to conserve electricity from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We find that 500 megawatts shaved off is enough to get us over the critical time," said Anne Gonzales, a CAISO spokeswoman. "If consumers can respond, that will take a lot of the stress off of the grid."

Conservation is especially recommended during the late afternoon, when air conditioners are typically at peak use, officials said.

According to CAISO officials, electric customers can help avoid power outages by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances before 2 p.m. or after 9 p.m., and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher.

Temperatures are expected to soar Thursday, forcing the National Weather Service for the Bay Area to upgrade a heat advisory to an excessive heat warning for some of the hotter inland areas of the North Bay mountains and the East Bay valleys and hills.

The heat advisory has also been extended until Thursday evening for most inland areas and expanded to the San Francisco Bay shoreline, including Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, Redwood City and San Mateo — but not San Francisco.

Coastal locations will be near normal, but inland weather is expected to be roughly 20 degrees hotter than usual.

Temperatures will rise an estimated two to five degrees from Tuesday to Wednesday, then another two to five degrees on Thursday — and some areas may exceed 110 degrees.

The weather will begin to cool off Friday, continuing into the weekend.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man in Critical Condition After Being Shot Multiple Times]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:39:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/antiochpolice.jpg

A 34-year-old man was critically injured in a shooting in Antioch on Tuesday night, according to police.

Officers responded at 8:15 p.m. to the 1000 block of Putnam Street on a report of a shooting and found the victim on the sidewalk suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

The victim, an Antioch resident, was taken to a hospital where he is listed in critical condition.

No arrest has been reported and police were not immediately releasing any suspect information in the shooting.

People with information can text a tip to 274637, using the key word "Antioch."



Photo Credit: Jodi Hernandez/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two Men Accused of Burglarizing Home with Marijuana Grow]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:19:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-20-17-fremont-day-shot-.jpg

Two Oakland men were arrested Tuesday after they allegedly broke into a Fremont home that housed a marijuana grow operation, police said.

At 2:23 a.m., a resident on Lake Mead Drive reported hearing a loud crash. They saw a neighbor's garage door had been pried open and two people inside the home, police said.

When officers arrived they saw flashlights coming from inside the home, but the suspects fled the scene.

Officers set up a perimeter and, with help from a California Highway Patrol helicopter, searched the area. At 3:52 a.m., they located and arrested one suspect at a nearby home, police said.

At 4:45 a.m., an officer located the second suspect at a home nearby on Lake Candlewood Drive. The suspect surrendered and was arrested, police said.

One suspect, a 32-year-old man from Oakland, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, burglary and auto theft. The second suspect, a 31-year-old man from Oakland, was arrested on suspicion of burglary, police said.

According to police, during an investigation, officers located a marijuana grow operation at the burglarized house on Lake Mead Drive. They also located a stolen vehicle nearby that was associated with the suspects, police said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Students, Athletes Mourn Oakland Teacher Killed in SF]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:55:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/skyline+coach-0620.jpg

A GoFundMe page has been set up for an Oakland physical education teacher who was shot and killed early Sunday in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood.

Carlo Tateo, a 31-year-old Oakland resident, was shot during an argument in the 1500 block of Folsom Street near 11th Street around 2 a.m. Sunday, according to police.

Tateo had just left a business in the area with a group of people when the argument occurred with a suspect described as a man in his late 20s. Police have not reported an arrest in the shooting.

Tateo was going to be the offensive coordinator for the Titans football team. They practiced Tuesday evening with heavy hearts.

"He was like a father figure," student Darnell Hardeman said. "It was a nightmare, a bad nightmare."

A GoFundMe page launched Tuesday by Michelle Del Toro had already surpassed its $10,000 goal as of late Tuesday evening.

According to Del Toro, Tateo was the father of a 2-year-old daughter and "an adviser, mentor and PE teacher at his alma mater, Skyline High School" in Oakland who worked for after school programs and coached high school football and soccer.

"All who knew him would agree his smile and personality lit up every room he was in," the page says. "You were immediately attracted to his infectious laughter and warm spirit, but were drawn in by his values and aspirations."

Oakland school officials Tuesday did not return calls seeking comment.

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



Photo Credit: Courtesy photo]]>
<![CDATA[Pit Bull Shot Dead After Attacking Concord Police Dog: PD]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:31:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/concord+police+dog.jpg

While serving a search and arrest warrant in Oakley on Saturday, Concord police say they shot and killed a pit bull after the dog lunged at an officer and bit one of the K-9s at the scene. 

The department announced in a Facebook post that Hancock, the German shepherd K-9, was recovering from bites to the neck and leg. Pictures showed the dog with visible bite marks and chunks of fur missing. 

The pit bull apparently had broken free from its collar when it charged at Hancock and officers, according to the post. 

"It is unfortunate, but one of our officers had to shoot the pit bull to prevent further injury or death to Hancock and possible injury to our officers," the post said.

While pit bulls have a tragic history of being bred for dog fighting, the ASPCA notes that not all are inherently dangerous.

"While a dog’s genetics may predispose it to behave in certain ways, genetics do not exist in a vacuum," a lengthy post on the ASPCA website reads. "Rather, behavior develops through a complex interaction between environment and genetics ... all dogs, including pit bulls, are individuals."




Photo Credit: Concord Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Officers Race To Raise Funds For Special Olympics]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:40:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/torch2.jpg

Braving the sweltering heat, dozens of Bay Area police officers took part in a relay race on Tuesday to raise awareness and funds for the Northern California Special Olympics. 

Officers traded their uniforms for T-shirts and jogging shorts to partake in the relay race. Officially dubbed the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the race has been a tradition since the early 1980s.

The summer games of the Northern California Special Olympics will take place at University of California, Davis this year, kicking off on June 23.

Officers from the Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville police departments all ran Tuesday, as did officers from the University of California Police Department, running at least 10 miles combined. In each group, an officer was tasked with escorting the Flame of Hope, the official symbol of the Special Olympics. It is meant to give light and, of course, hope to those who have none, according to organizers.

Officers who ran said that participating allowed them to give back to their communities. Law enforcement agencies in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties ran earlier this month. 

"The running of the torch, the symbolic flame, it's really an honor for me as a law enforcement officer, and for our agency, to be out here and participate," said UCPD Sgt. Sabrina Reich, who held the torch for her team on Tuesday. 

Emeryville police Chief Jennifer Tejada made the event a family affair, bringing her son along for the trip. Visibly drained after running 2.5 miles to hand off the torch at San Pablo Avenue and Burnett Street in Berkeley, the pair said the noble cause behind the run made it easier to complete.

 "It was hot, it was grueling, but when you're doing it for a good cause ..." Tejada said, trailing off.

"You just keep it moving," her son finished.



Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane ]]>
<![CDATA[New A's Ballpark Would Bring More Than $3B to Oakland: Study]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:43:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-578127306.jpg

The A's circulated results Tuesday of a study that claims a new ballpark in Oakland would generate $3.05 billion in economic impact over the first 10 years for the city's businesses and residents.

The study, conducted by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, also concluded that a new stadium would boost annual attendance by roughly one million, up from the 1.5 million or so that the A's drew in 2016. Building a new ballpark would also produce about 2,000 construction jobs.

"A new Athletics baseball stadium would be very, very good for Oakland," Dr. Micah Weinberg, president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, said in a team press release. "These types of signature projects come along only once every couple of generations. A new ballpark represents a significant and important investment in Oakland that will generate tremendous buzz and excitement, creating local jobs, supporting local businesses and spurring even more investment in the city."

A's president Dave Kaval and Jeff Bellisario, the report's author, will discuss the findings with media during a 2 p.m. news conference at the Coliseum.

This is the first concrete piece of information to come out in quite some time about the A's proposed new ballpark. Team officials have been analyzing potential spots to build in Oakland, with the three locations believed to be Howard Terminal, a plot of land next to Laney College and the current Coliseum complex itself. The study does not provide a recommendation for a site to build, but the A's say they will announce a location before the end of this calendar year.

The $3.05 billion in economic benefit is broken down into $768 million from construction and related spending, $1.54 billion from game-day spending and $742 million from ballpark operations.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Bridge Steel Returns as Public Art]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:25:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0620-2017-BayBridgeSteel.jpg

The old East span of the Bay Bridge may now live only in memory — but some 450 tons of its steel beams will carry on — as public art.

Over the last week, artists representing 14 art projects turned out at a Caltrans yard in Oakland — which sits in view of where the old span was replaced by a sleek new one — to claim their allotment of the bridge’s salvaged steel.

Artist Katy Boynton anxiously rocked on her heels, tipping back her hard hat to watch a crane lower large rust-colored beams onto a truck. Boynton was one of the artists awarded the steel through an application program administered through the Oakland Museum of California.

“I really take a lot of heartfelt pride in knowing that this metal has such historic value,” Boynton said above the din of the crane, “that so many people drove across.”

The program required artists receiving steel to build public projects — and provide their own trucks to haul it away. Boynton plans to build a metal wind chime for San Francisco’s Pier 3 that will pay tribute to the statue of Pacifica that stood at the Treasure Island World’s Fair.

Boynton has visited the stored steel numerous visits during the last year — anxiously awaiting the day when she would finally get to haul it home and start work.

“Every time i would come for a visit to look at the steel and make some decisions,” Boynton said, “I always felt like I was going to the adoption agency but couldn’t bring my babies home. So today is adoption day.”

The adoptions were occurring at a rampant pace on Friday. As one truck hauled off a load of steel, another took its place. Leslie Pritchett of the Oakland Museum of California barked into a radio summoning more trucks and directing workers to the segregated piles of materials.

“I assure you to the awardees this does not look like junk,” Pritchett said gesturing toward a pile of rusty beams. “It looks like gold.”

Pritchett said the beams getting distributed ranged in weight from a thousand pounds to twelve tons. Artist Tom Loughlin went for the top of the scale in picking out four twelve-ton pieces for the sound sculpture he plans to build for Treasure Island — which has allotted $50 million for public art. Each beam required its own big rig to haul it away.

“The way I’m wired I wanted the biggest, heaviest, most unwieldy pieces,” Loughlin said. “And I wanted to shape them into something I’d imagined.”

In addition to the large steel beams, the salvage included recognizable pieces such as the lights that sat atop the bridge’s towers. Pritchett said the various pieces would go to projects across the Bay Area and as far away as Truckee and Joshua Tree.

“The idea is just to carry the legacy of the bridge forward in new and really exciting and interesting ways,” Pritchett said.

Boynton hopped up and down and high-fived a friend as the last beam was loaded onto her truck and began its slow rumble toward her studio in the American Steel Building in West Oakland.

“It’s all packed up,” Boynton shouted. “Now the fun stuff begins.”



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Car Crashes Into 85°C Bakery Cafe in Berkeley]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:36:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DCyIreIUIAI71eo1.jpg

A vehicle crashed into a bakery in downtown Berkeley Tuesday morning, a police dispatcher said.

The incident was reported after 10 a.m. at 21 Shattuck Ave at an 85°C Bakery Cafe.

A witness said that the car swerved over the divider and collided with the building.

No one was injured. A man inside the cafe called himself "lucky" because he abandoned his spot near the window and decided to move upstairs just before the crash. 

Further details were not immediately available.




Photo Credit: Scott Budman/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Fremont Police Take Two Burglary Suspects Into Custody]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:41:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-20-17-fremont-day-shot-.jpg

Fremont police officers arrested a pair of burglary suspects accused of breaking into at least two homes early Tuesday.

Police said that a resident called 911 around 2:30 a.m. to report that someone was breaking into a neighboring house near the intersection of Lake Ontario Drive and Lake Candlewood Street.

Responding officers found two men fleeing via the roof of the house in question. Officers located one of them and took him into custody.

Unable to find the second men, officers put up a perimeter and used a chopper and K-9 units to search the area. The suspect was taken into custody around 5 a.m., police said, without disclosing where he was discovered.

Eight people, including four children ages 4 to 11 years old, were inside one of the houses that was burglarized, according to a family member. They are shaken up, but OK. 

Officers are still clearing the scene at the house. Police are still piecing together exactly how many houses may have been burglarized.

Further details were not immediately available. Police are expected to provide an update at 6:30 a.m.

An investigation is ongoing. 

Check back for updates.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Overturned Vehicle Snarls Traffic on I-580 in Oakland]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:06:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-night.jpg

All eastbound lanes were opened Tuesday morning on Interstate 580 at Golf Links Road in Oakland following a collision, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

The collision was first reported at 4:30 a.m. and involved an overturned vehicle.

A Sig-alert was issued at 5:17 a.m. because three eastbound lanes were blocked.

The Sig-alert was canceled and the scene was cleared by 6 a.m., according to CHP officials.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Power Outage Amid Heat Wave in Bay Area]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 22:06:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-20-17-heatwave-flex-alert.jpg

Thousands of PG&E customers in the Bay Area were plunged into darkness early Tuesday morning, but crews were making significant progress on repairs by Tuesday evening.

By 5:30 p.m., 2,500 PG&E customers were still without power, with a majority of the outages reported in the East Bay. That total was down from roughly 10,000 just 30 minutes earlier, according to PG&E.

The outages come as PG&E customers across California have been asked to conserve electricity through Wednesday because of the heat wave.

The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the operation of the state's bulk electric system, transmission lines and electricity market, on Monday issued a statewide Flex Alert, asking people to voluntarily conserve electricity.

The goal is to save 500 megawatts to avoid widespread blackouts, the agency said. And that means everyone must pitch in. Electric customers are urged to conserve electricity from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We find that 500 megawatts shaved off is enough to get us over the critical time," said Anne Gonzales, a CAISO spokeswoman. "If consumers can respond, that will take a lot of the stress off of the grid."

Conservation is especially recommended during the late afternoon, when air conditioners are typically at peak use, officials said.

According to CAISO officials, electric customers can help avoid power outages by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances before 2 p.m. or after 9 p.m., and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher.

Chaitali, who owns a South Bay Airbnb home, said she’s making adjustments to save power and still keep her house cool during the temporary flex alert.

"I've informed the guest a couple of times to make sure their lights are off when they leave the house," she said.

Chaitali also is making sure the blinds are closed and is managing the air conditioning via an app on her phone.

During times of higher temperatures, demand on the power grid can be strained as air conditioner use increases. Peak usage for Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to exceed 47,000 megawatts each day in the CAISO service territory, which serves roughly 80 percent of the state's electricity customers, officials said.

NBC Bay Area's Rick Boone contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Warehouse Fire Cause Not Determined: Report]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 23:50:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/ghost+ship1.jpg

Fire investigators say they were unable to determine what caused the blaze at the Oakland, California, warehouse that killed 36 people last December.

Investigators say they cannot rule out an electrical failure, candles, incense, smoking material or an open flame as possible causes.

According to a report posted late Monday on the city of Oakland's website, the fire originated on a back corner on the ground floor of the two-story building. But investigators say they couldn't determine a cause because of the extensive fire damage.

The report by federal and local officials says at first, firefighters had no idea how many people were inside the warehouse, or that it was the site of a concert that night or there so many flammable objects scattered throughout the two story building, that had been turned into a living compound.

The report says as firefighters arrived "nobody seemed excited or distraught."

Firefighters entering the building soon were blinded by smoke and had to follow their hoses to find their way out, the report says. They went back in awhile later, but the "fire flashed out the south side, and three windows blew out ... at this point they all pulled out and went defensive," the report says

Seven bodies were found on the second floor, 29 on the ground floor in clusters, some underneath the collapsed roof, the report says.

Jennifer Fiore, along with Mary Alexander, represents families of several of the deceased and five survivors.

"We are suing the owner, the master tenant, as well as producers and performers that evening and the others that had worked on the electrical equipment," Fiore said.

Earlier this month, prosecutors charged two people with 36 counts of manslaughter, saying Derick Almena rented out space in the illegally converted warehouse and Max Harris planned the unpermitted party held the night of the blaze.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bike Sharing Program Expands in Bay Area]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:43:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bicycle+generic.jpg

A Bay Area bike share program rolled out an expansion this month, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Brooklyn-based Motivate runs the program and is operating under a 10-year contract with the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission, according to the Chronicle.

The bike share program is currently available in San Francisco and San Jose.

Motions to expand have already begun, with the company moving into three more cities with a total of 7,000 bikes. The new areas in the expansion include Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.

With the increase of bikes and cities, here are some new paths to check out in each destination:

Emeryville

If looking for a scenic bike path, head to the Emeryville City Marina. This cove will give riders an opportunity to peddle a portion of the 500-mile San Francisco Bay Trail. The dock will provide paved roads and make for a great outing for the whole family.

Being in a marina, visitors will be able to take in the fresh Bay water as well as admire the boats inhabiting the harbor. Bikers can also pull over after their trip to shop or grab something to eat on Bay Street in Emeryville.

Oakland

While the marina will provide views of the ocean, Butters Canyon will lead your through untouched greenery. As reported by the East Bay Express, this bike route will temporarily alleviate city stress and replace it with nature’s serenity. To begin, cycle over to the Oakland Hills and enter from Mountain Boulevard.

Berkeley

Another route praised by the East Bay Express is the Layfayette-Moraga Regional Trail. Another ride great for families, this path takes cyclists for a tour of Bay Area neighborhoods. There are side paths as well, allowing riders to spice up the route with intermediate hills. East Bay Express warns enthusiast to head there early to beat the heat.

]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Contain 4-Alarm Brush Fire in Moraga]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:57:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/moraga+fire-0619.jpg

A four-alarm brush fire threatened structures in Moraga Monday afternoon.

The blaze burned on a hill behind Campolindo High School on Moraga Road.

Officials reported the fire burned at least 16 acres and was contained in the evening.

Residents on nearby Hansen Court were told to shelter-in-place while crews battled the fire.

No other information was immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Fire Crews Battle Two-Alarm Blaze at Home in Oakland]]>Sun, 18 Jun 2017 20:16:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oakland+fire-0618.jpg

Fire crews battled a two-alarm house fire in Oakland on Sunday evening, according to the Oakland fire officials.

The fire in the 7600 block of Spencer Street had spread to a second home, fire officials said, but the flames were knocked down quickly in one of the homes.

No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire was being investigated.

No other details were available.




Photo Credit: Sergio Quintana/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[George A. Wyman: Little Known Oakland Mechanic Made Famous]]>Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:22:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/waypoint+sign.jpg

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Triple-Digits Blanket Inland Locations, Set Records]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:41:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-18-17_Heat_Santa_Cruz.jpg

Triple-digit temperatures once again blanketed portions of the Bay Area Sunday, provoking some to flock to pools and ice cream shops in hopes of escaping the dangerous heat.

A heat advisory, which kicked into effect Saturday morning for most of the Bay Area, has been extended to Thursday night. Temperatures away from the coast and immediate locations surrounding the San Francisco Bay are expected to top out anywhere from the upper-90s to mid-100s during that time period, according to the National Weather Service.


Sunday, which is likely to be the hottest day during the lengthy heat wave, featured a slew of unofficial record-breaking high temperatures across the Bay Area.

Temperatures in San Francisco were forecasted to range anywhere between the high-70s to low-80s, but San Francisco by 12 p.m. reached 88 degrees, breaking a record previously set in 1993, according to the NWS. Nearby San Francisco International Airport reached 96 degrees, shattering the previous record-high of 88 degrees established in 1981.

The thermometer at the Oakland International Airport also eclipsed a new high of 96 degrees, breaking a previous high of 93 degrees set in 1962. In San Jose, the mercury rose to 100 degrees, breaking the previous high mark of 99 degrees cemented in 1945.

Other records broken Sunday were in San Rafael with a high of 105 degrees (previous record 98 in 1962); Livermore with 106 (previous record 105 in 1918); and Moffett Field with 100 (previous record 95 in 1993).

The coast, for the most part, is the spot for those looking to cool down. A light on-shore flow of air is bringing cool conditions to areas such as Half Moon Bay, which was only forecasted to reach a high of 67 degrees Sunday. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, was forecasted to top out at 88 degrees.

The sweltering heat is bringing even higher temperatures to Arizona, Nevada and California's Central Valley, which is under an excessive heat warning. Neighborhoods in and around areas such as Sacramento and Fresno are flirting with 110 degree temperatures. Death Valley on Sunday will check in just below a sizzling 120 degrees. 

High temperatures reach new records in nine Bay Area locations:

  • In San Rafael, the temperature reached 105 degrees, breaking the record of 98 degrees set in 1962.
  • At Moffett Field the temperature reached 100 degrees, which broke the record of 95 degrees set in 1993.
  • It was 106 degrees in Livermore where the previous record was 105 in 1918.
  • It was 103 degrees in Kentfield, one degree higher than the previous record set in 1945.
  • The temperature in Richmond reached 92 degrees, breaking the old record of 85 in 1957.
  • In San Francisco, the temperature rose to 88 degrees, which broke the record of 86 degrees set in 1993.
  • At San Francisco International Airport the temperature reached 97 degrees, breaking the previous record of 88 in 1981. At Oakland International Airport, the temperature also reached 97 degrees, breaking the record of 93 degrees set in 1962.
  • In San Jose, the temperature reached 103 degrees, breaking the old record of 99 in 1945.

Here are some tips on how to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar
  • Limit physical activity, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don't leave people or pets in closed, parked cars
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas, including malls, libraries, movie theaters and community centers
  • Cool off by taking a bath or shower.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Do not bundle babies or put them in blankets or heavy clothing.
  • Cover your head with wide-brimmed, vented hats or use umbrellas 
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Rest in shady areas
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland's Andre Ward Stops Kovalev in Rematch, Moves to 32-0]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:25:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-17-17_Andre_Ward.jpg

LAS VEGAS — Andre Ward vowed he would leave no doubt this time around and he didn't, stopping Sergey Kovalev in the eighth round Saturday night to win their light heavyweight title rematch.

The undefeated Ward turned the fight around with a big right hand that wobbled Kovalev, then swarmed all over him. Kovalev was in the neutral corner and Ward was landing shots to the body when Kovalev sat on the ring rope and referee Tony Weeks signaled an end to the bout at 2:29 of the eighth.

"I knew this time it was going to be different," Ward said.

The fight had been close until Ward (32-0) turned it around with the right hand, with Kovalev (30-2-1) winning the early rounds before Ward began making adjustments and Kovalev began tiring. Both fighters complained of dirty tactics and Weeks spent a lot of his time breaking up clinches.

Ward won the first fight in November, coming back from a second round knockdown to get a controversial decision. The rematch seemed just as close until Ward landed the right hand that caused Kovalev's legs to wobble.

"He's a great fighter," Ward said. "You've got to raise your game to the next level and thankfully that's what we did tonight."

Kovalev complained that Ward hit him with two low blows in the final exchange, forcing him to sit on the first rope.

"Why stop the fight?" he said. "I could have continued to fight."

The fight was rough and tumble from the beginning, much like when the two met the first time when both were unbeaten. But while Kovalev was supposed to be the puncher it was a big right hand by Ward that landed midway through the eighth.

"I could tell he was reacting to my body shots and I knew I had him then," Ward said. "I knew he was hurt."

Ward was up by a point on two scorecards and down three points on the third going into the eighth. But Kovalev was fading, just as he had in the first fight, and he picked up the pace. Kovalev was credited with throwing 407 punches to 238 for Ward, and outlanding him 95-80.

There was genuine dislike between the two fighters, born largely out of their first fight. Neither made any effort to touch gloves when given their final instructions, and once the bell rang, they both went after each other.

The fight itself played out early somewhat like the first one, with Kovalev starting out aggressively and Ward trying to find his rhythm. Weeks, meanwhile, was working hard to keep control as the two fighters clinched and hit each other behind the head, with Ward landing a low blow in the second round that doubled Kovalev over and caused Weeks to pause the bout.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brush Fire in Oakland Forces Partial Closure of Highway 13]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 16:02:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-17-17_Oakland_Brush_Fire.jpg

Fire crews on Saturday battled a two-alarm brush blaze near Holy Names University in Oakland.

The fire, which was called in just before 3:30 p.m., burned near Highway 13 and Park Boulevard, but it was knocked down as of 3:55 p.m. according to fire officials. Firefighters stayed on scene to fully contain the blaze, which scorched roughly 1.5 acres.

Northbound lanes of Highway 13 were closed at Redwood Road while crews battled and contained the fire, according to fire and California Highway Patrol officials. The impacted lanes were reopened roughly 2.5 hours after being closed.

The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: Sergio Quintana/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sweltering Heat Grips Bay Area]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 15:41:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-17-17_Santa_Cruz_Heat.jpg

Summer has not officially arrived, but summer-like temperatures sure did blanket most Bay Area cities with uncomfortable heat Saturday.

A heat advisory, which kicked into effect Saturday morning for most of the Bay Area, has been extended to Wednesday night. Temperatures away from the coast and immediate locations surrounding the San Francisco Bay are expected to top out anywhere from the upper-90s to mid-100s during that time period, according to the National Weather Service.


Sunday is likely to be the hottest day during the lengthy heat wave. Antioch is expected to top the charts as the hottest Bay Area spot with a high temperature of 105 degrees on tap. Tri-Valley locations will hover around the low-100s. In the South Bay, San Jose will top out at 95 degrees while Gilroy will reach 101 degrees.

Somewhat more comfortable Sunday temperatures will be found around the bay. Oakland is expected to reach 87 degrees and San Mateo will sit at 86 degrees. Along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, highs will stretch to 80 degrees while the Outer Sunset will enjoy 75 degree weather.

The coast, for the most part, will be the spot for those looking to cool down thanks to a light on-shore flow of air. Half Moon Bay will only approach a high of 67 degrees. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, will top out at 88 degrees.

Fire personnel in the East Bay stocked up on extra water in the event that they would have to help in an emergency related to the heat. PG&E crews also beefed up staffing just in case they would have to manage heat-related power outages.

Here are some tips on how to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar
  • Limit physical activity, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don't leave people or pets in closed, parked cars
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas, including malls, libraries, movie theaters and community centers
  • Cool off by taking a bath or shower.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Do not bundle babies or put them in blankets or heavy clothing.
  • Cover your head with wide-brimmed, vented hats or use umbrellas 
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Rest in shady areas
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest in Fatal Shooting Near Movie Theater in Concord]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:53:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ConcordPD.png

Concord police on Saturday arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with a deadly early morning shooting across the street from the Brenden Concord 14 movie theater.

Police were able to make the arrest after learning that the man, who had eluded police during an East Bay-wide search and "high-risk search warrant" attempt, crashed a car and ended up in a hospital.

The chaotic day began just before 2 a.m. when a 43-hour-man was gunned down outside the Nica Lounge located at 1907 Salvio St., police said.

Several witnesses interviewed by police identified the shooter as the 27-year-old suspect, according to police. A subsequent investigation determined that the suspect was most likely living in Oakley along the 1900 block of Teresa Lane.

Members of the Concord Police Department SWAT Team conducted a search warrant at the house, but the suspect was not found, according to police.

Concord police later learned from the California Highway Patrol that the suspect had wrecked a car and been transported to a local hospital, according to police. The suspect was arrested, but he remains in the hospital.

The identities of the victim and suspect have yet to be released.

People with information are asked to call Detective Greg Mahan at 925-603-5817 or the anonymous tip line at 925-603-5836.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: Concord Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Steel Leftovers of Dismantled Bay Bridge to Become Artwork]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 13:06:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0816-2016-steelbeams.jpg

Authorities have given away tons of steel from the dismantled San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to folks who'll turn it into art.

The San Francisco Chronicle says two artists showed up Friday in Oakland to collect around 35 tons each of rusty beams and struts left when the eastern span of the bridge was demolished and replaced.

Most of the steel was sold to Asian scrapyards but the California Department of Transportation kept about 450 tons with the idea of giving it to sculptors to make public art.

Katy Boynton of San Francisco says she'll use her steel to make a giant wind chime and a parking lot barrier at Pier 3 in San Francisco.

Tom Laughlin got 36 tons of steel trusses. He plans to create a Stonehenge-like construction.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Antioch Police Officer Shoots, Kills Man]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:34:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N7A+ANTIOCH+OIS+VO+-+000000001.jpg

A 37-year-old man was shot and killed Friday night in an officer-involved shooting in Antioch.

The shooting involved an Antioch police officer and occurred around 11:30 p.m. near the 2300 block of Manzanita Way.

The man shot and killed was an Antioch resident, police said. The officer was not injured during the incident.

It remains unclear what led to the shooting.

The Antioch Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office are investigating the shooting.

No other information on the shooting was immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Stealing Car, Eating Victim's Lunch: Police]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:32:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic24.jpg

Police on Friday captured an Antioch man they say not only stole a car in Pacifica but also ate the owner's lunch.

Pacifica police officers responded to Terra Nova Boulevard and Alicante Drive around 7:10 a.m. on the report of a stolen car. The car's owner told them he left it running for a few minutes to warm it up and when he returned, his car was gone, police said.

Shortly afterward, an officer saw what he believed to be the stolen vehicle on northbound Highway 1 at the Manor Drive offramp, police said. Officers soon found the parked and unoccupied vehicle in the area of Beaumont Boulevard and Coral Ridge Drive.

The police then tracked down the suspect in the 200 block of Clifton Road. The suspect was in possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as the victim's wallet, credit cards, driver's license and cell phone, according to police.

The suspect was also eating the victim's packed lunch that had been in the stolen car, police said.

Jose Herrera, 34, was arrested and booked into San Mateo County Jail for an alleged outstanding $200,000 felony warrant and on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, delaying/resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Lee Disappointed in Trump Canceling Obama's Deal With Cuba]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 22:12:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/revelations-barbara-lee11.jpg

It's being called a major rollback in United States policy toward Cuba.

President Donald Trump on Friday shifted from President Barack Obama's policies with the communist country.

"Effective immediately I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," Trump said Friday.

Bay Area Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said it puts the relations back decades.

The change will make it harder to travel to and do business with Cuba. Though it is not a complete reversal of Obama's policy, Lee said the change will hurt both countries.

"It doesn't make any sense," Lee said. "Why would you go back to a policy that has failed for 55 years?"

Lee is disappointed the president followed through with a campaign promise and rolled back policies she has fought hard for as a member of the Congressional Cuba Working Group.

"Given whatever difficulties we have and they have, we should be able to work it out through normal diplomatic dialogue and trade relations," Lee said.

Trump said his policy is designed to isolate the Cuban Castro regime.

"We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer," Trump said.

Tourists will still be able to travel to Cuba, but it will be harder and restricted compared to the Obama policies. Americans will be prohibited from spending money at businesses or hotels owned by the Cuban military, which are common in the country.

Lee said it will hurt American jobs created through eased restrictions and private Cuban businesses.

"We're pushing back, but we need the public to push back," Lee said. "As we say, 'stay woke,' this is a time to be vigilant, stay woke, and have your members of Congress sign onto our bills."

But Florida Senator Marco Rubio, applauding the changes, tweeted: "If Cuban people are hurt it will be because the Castro government doesn't allow them to own their own business, not because of the new policy."

The policies are not expected to take effect for three months, and could take longer. Lee said she will be working on legislation to block it, which may be difficult in a Republican-led Congress.

]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Braces For Heat Wave]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 19:39:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-71477253.jpg

It's about to get hot, hot, hot!

A potentially record-shattering heat wave has started enveloping the Southwest United States and is threatening to bring temperatures of more than 120 degrees to parts of Arizona and California next week. Strong high pressure building over Western states is behind the onslaught.

Officials warned of excessive heat throughout the 450-mile length of California's Central Valley. Almost the entire Golden State is predicted to simmer above normal temperatures.


In the Bay Area, temperatures are expected to hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coast will be much cooler.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for all of Northern California. Solano County will be under a heat warning. It will be in effect from 11 a.m. Saturday through 11 p.m. Monday.

Young children, elderly people, pregnant women, people with disabilities and animals are especially vulnerable to the heat.

Forecasters say prolonged heat will make snow melt faster in the Sierra Nevada, where massive winter storms coated towering peaks after years of drought. Waterways could flood, with vacationers warned to be cautious near water and avoid camping close to streams.

Camp counselor Sabrina Chu, 17, said she and others in San Francisco were having kids drink lots of water while playing outdoors. The city was expected to have a high of 82 Sunday, well above the normal upper 60s.

"Compared to other places in California, the Bay has pretty consistent weather, so this is unusually hot for the area," Chu said.

In Pleasanton, this weekend marks the start of the Alameda County Fair, and the threat of triple-digit temperatures doesn't seem to be scaring people away.

Even so, officials are urging people to be prepared.

"Drink plenty of water," said Angel Moore with the fair. "Make sure you wear your sunscreen, wear loose fitting clothing."

Fire and medical teams will also be scattered throughout the event as well as five misting stations. 

"We're expecting a lot of heat related emergencies," said Alameda County Fire Department Division Chief Eric Moore. "We're well prepared to deal with heat-related injuries."

Here are some tips on how to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar
  • Limit physical activity, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don't leave people or pets in closed, parked cars
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas, including malls, libraries, movie theaters and community centers
  • Cool off by taking a bath or shower.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Do not bundle babies or put them in blankets or heavy clothing.
  • Cover your head with wide-brimmed, vented hats or use umbrellas 
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Rest in shady areas

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Man First Crossed US on Motorcycle]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:24:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0616-2017-GeorgeWyman.jpg

Even before the Wright Brothers took to the skies, or a man named Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson became the first to drive a car across the U.S. — a little known Oakland mechanic took machines to a new frontier by driving across the country — on a rickety motorcycle.

Ever heard of him? Probably not.

“George A. Wyman is America’s forgotten trailblazer,” said Tim Masterson, who runs the George A. Wyman Memorial Project. “He was the first person to ride a motorized vehicle across the United States.”

Masterson and Wyman’s great-granddaughter, Marti Wyman Schein are trying to raise Wyman’s status in history by posting waypoint signs along his cross-country route. They also hope to install bronze plaques at significant points like Lotta’s Fountain in San Francisco where Wyman launched his trek on May 16th 1903 — arriving in New York City fifty days later.

“We’re trying to basically get this story out to people because it’s been lost in history,” Schein said.

Wyman was an Oakland native who worked as a mechanic in San Francisco. He developed an early love for two wheels, becoming a champion bicycle racer and even achieving the status of first American to circumnavigate Australia on a bicycle.

It was during a ride up the challenging Donner Pass that Wyman hatched a plan to ride a motorized version of his bike across the country.

He was 26 years old when he set out from Lotta’s Fountain at two-thirty in the afternoon, riding a San Francisco-made California brand motorbike. He caught a ferry to Vallejo where he stayed on a friend’s boat before setting off on his journey, following the path of the transcontinental railroad.

His motorcycle boasted a 200cc engine, wooden wheels and a small gas tank which he’d fill up at pharmacies — which were distributors of fuel. He wore a suit - but also carried overalls, a Colt pistol and some water.

“He ended up walking a lot of the way,” Schein said. “He got stuck in mud, he got thrown off his bike — like all the time.”

At one point when Wyman’s handlebars broke he replaced them with a tree branch. He logged his journey in a series of five articles he wrote for the budding Motorcycle Magazine which also featured photos Wyman took with his Kodak pocket camera. The articles were only recently discovered in the archives of the Yale library, adding detail to what was had been a murky story.

“When you’re reading it,” Schein said, “you just can’t believe that this person did this.”

Wyman landed in New York on July 6th to some fanfare, but afterward quietly returned to his job as an auto-mechanic. Twenty days later Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson usurped much of Wyman’s thunder when he completed the same trip in a car.

“It was the automobile that captured the imagination of the American public,” said Masterson, who has completed Wyman’s cross-country ride numerous times on a modern motorcycle. “At the time a motorcycle was just a novelty that young men would use to ride around town.”

Shortly after Wyman’s ride, his original motorcycle was stolen from Golden Gate Park where it was on display. Collector David Scoffone said what’s believed to be the original bike turned up in a San Francisco garage in the 1970s. He purchased the restored bike several years ago and keeps it in his South Bay home where it greets visitors near his front door.

“It’s basically a motorcycle with a very small engine on it,” Scoffone said, marveling at the journey Wyman made on the simple contraption. “I just think his free spirit just said ‘I’m going to go do this’ and he achieved it.”

Masterson hopes to place bronze plaques not only at Lotta’s Fountain, but in New York City and in Oakland’s Mountain View Cemetery where Wyman is buried. He hopes one day Wyman’s feat will be regarded in the same breath as Lindberg’s flights or even Sir Francis Drake’s expeditions.

Before recently mounting his burly GPS-guided motorcycle in San Francisco and setting off across the country, the Texas-based Masterson paused to ponder his forbearer who made the same journey on a much more humble vehicle.

“This guy did it on a motorcycle and it’s a testament to his determination and his guts and his courage,” Masterson said. “We want America to know who George A. Wyman is.”



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Pay $4 Million to Cover Parade Costs: Report]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 16:31:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lacob-joe-guber-peter-parade.jpg

The final bill is reportedly in.

The Warriors will pay the city of Oakland $4 million to cover the entire cost of the championship parade, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.

During the ceremony on Thursday, Joe Lacob declared:

"We recognize that times are hard and this city in particular has had its share of issues over the years ... there are a lot of fundamental needs -- police, schools -- we just like to say: this parade, this whole day, all the costs, every dollar is on us.

"It's our gift to the city of Oakland."

The Warriors will play at Oracle Arena for the next two seasons before moving into the Chase Center for the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller



Photo Credit: Drew Shiller]]>
<![CDATA[2 Charged in Oakland Warehouse Fire Says They're Scapegoats]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:27:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/DCdtcSPUQAE15EA.jpg

The attorneys of two men charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a fire last December that claimed 36 lives in an Oakland warehouse said on Friday that their clients are being made into scapegoats.

The Alameda County District Attorney's office says master tenant Derrick Almena, 47, and his second-in-command Max Harris, 27, created unsafe conditions at the Ghost Ship warehouse when they modified the interior to accommodate as many as 25 tenants. A complaint filed against the pair states that they did so without licenses and in violation of building and fire codes.

Thirty-six people died when a fire broke out during a Dec. 2 party that was allegedly hosted by Harris. 

Prosecutors argue that party-goers had to use a set of makeshift stairs in order to escape the fire because Almena and Harris had blocked access to one of the building's exits, turning the space into a fire hazard.

Harris questioned that allegation during a jailhouse interview with the East Bay Times on Thursday.

"Max ran toward the flames and tried to extinguish them. When it spread beyond control, he urged others to use their cell phones as guiding lights to safety," said Laura Lind, Harris' aunt.

Lind instead called her nephew a hero and a victim.

"He gave up trying to save others only when he was overwhelmed by the intense heat and smoke," she insisted. "Some would call that heroic."

Harris did not enter a plea Monday during his arraignment on 36 charges of involuntary manslaughter — one count for every person who was killed. 

Almena faces the same charges. His lawyer too blamed other factors, including an electrical utility and the fire department. The pair could face 39 years in state prison if they're convicted.

Both defendants appeared in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday. A judge has granted their lawyers' requests to push Almena and Harris' plea hearings by three weeks. 

They are scheduled to return to court on July 7 to possibly enter pleas and have their attorneys argue a motion to reduce their bails, which are $1.08 million each.

Harris' lawyer Curtis Briggs said that his client wasn't aware of the deficiencies of the warehouse. Briggs also claimed that the Alameda County District Attorney's Office needed someone to blame for the tragedy and unfairly singled out Harris as one of the responsible parties.

Almena's attorney, Tony Serra, agreed.

"Our client has been made a scapegoat and a shield, from our perspective, of the real responsible parties in this case," he said.

Briggs also shifted blame to the landlord, Chor Ng, who he called a slumlord who fled to China when the deadly fire broke out.

He accused Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley of giving "a free pass to a multi-millionaire, foreign landlord in an attempt to prosecute wrongly a fine member of Oakland's artistic community."

Meanwhile, Keith Bremer, Ng's attorney, said in a statement on Friday that reports of his client being in China are false. "Ms. Ng continues to reside in the Bay Area," he said.

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



Photo Credit: Vicki Behringer]]>
<![CDATA[As Crews Clean Up, Dub Nation Continues Celebration]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 23:59:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dubs+parade-0615.jpg

Cleaning up after more than a million people is quite the tall task, and city workers in Oakland were still at it late Thursday night after the Warriors championship parade and rally downtown.

Some in Dub Nation, however, didn't want the special day to end.

As crews were breaking down the stage near Lake Merritt, and nearby streets were gradually reopening, several fans were continuing the celebration of the Warriors' second NBA championship in three years.

"The whole week, man! Who knows, it might go for the whole week," said Warriors fan Anthony Fernandez, of San Francisco, who was partying with others on Telegraph Avenue.

"Everybody's just coming together because we all rock with the Warriors. And we've been doing this since they were paying us to go to the games."

Those who couldn't make the parade stopped by on their way home from work. And those who were there were reluctant to let go of the feeling.

"Very exciting," said Danielle Bond, of Oakland. "The energy was uplifting. ... It was so joyful."

A merchandiser from Florida was still selling. He said he's been to 12 championship parades across the country.

"It has its own place in terms of volume and amount of people," said Brelan Shoemo, of Jacksonville, referring to the Oakland celebration. "There were a lot of people here."

As for the cleanup, crews hauled 8 miles of barricades back to the warehouse and had a lot of confetti to sweep up. Oakland Public Works said it had 100 staff on the streets cleaning Thursday, including 12 street sweepers.

No word yet on how much the parade and rally cost overall, but the Warriors say they're picking up the tab.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Celebrate NBA Championship with Dub Nation]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 23:44:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-696388726_594_screen.jpg

Golden State Warriors fans are using the word dynasty to describe this year's championship team.

Tens of thousands of fans roused in the wee hours of Thursday and made the trek to downtown Oakland where a sea of blue and gold heralded the 2017 championship parade. Roughly 1.5 million people are believed to have attended the day's festivities.

Basketball enthusiasts began taking their places behind barriers set up along the route between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. One pregnant fan even painted the Warriors' logo on her stomach.

The parade, which kicked off around 10 a.m. with Klay Thompson and Matt Barnes atop a double decker bus, followed the same route as the one held in honor of the Warriors' 2015 NBA title. 


The team is called the Golden State Warriors, but they don't belong to all of California. Not if you ask Oakland.

The down-on-its-luck city that always seems to take a back seat to San Francisco on Thursday got to celebrate its beloved hometown team and its second NBA title in three years.

The Warriors made one of the great playoff runs of all time, ending with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

Residents of Oakland, which lost one of its other beloved teams, the Raiders, to Las Vegas, are still reeling from a police scandal and mourning a fatal warehouse fire.

But on Thursday the city made headlines for good news.


The excitement prevented Robert Lee of Livermore from sleeping. So he and a friend headed to Oakland and snagged a prime spot by 3 a.m. Others had the same idea and came prepared with mats, umbrellas, tents and blankets.

Parents drove their children to the parade as early as 2:30 a.m., while adults and pint-sized fans donned matching Warriors regalia. Dub Nation hooted and cheered for its favorite basketball players, toting signs like "We are the champions," "Gold blooded," "Splash bros are my heroes," "Draymond's got his game on" and "All hail JaVale." They also chanted, "Let's go, Warriors!" standing on a blanket of blue and gold confetti.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy as his family, including wife Ayesha and daughters Riley and Ryann, celebrated the NBA championship.

Curry hopped and shouted as he gave high-fives to the crowd after getting off a double-decker bus during the Thursday parade.

Finals MVP Kevin Durant was on a different bus with his mom. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson threw T-shirts to fans and waved from the top of an open, double-decker bus.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee also rode on floats in the parade, which was marked with a heavy police presence.  


Fans who gathered in Oakland for Thursday's parade said they expected more championships from the team in the years to come.

The Warriors won in 2015, but then blew a 3-1 lead in the finals last year and lost the title to the Cavaliers after posting the best regular-season record in NBA history.

The Warriors went 15-1 in this year's postseason, with sweeps in the first three rounds before beating LeBron James and the Cavaliers in five games in the finals.

BART officials at 6:30 a.m. reported that 35,724 people had climbed aboard trians and 17,710 had disembarked — a 7 percent jump from the same time in 2015. The Dublin/Pleasanton, Pittsburg/Bay Point and El Cerrito del Norte stations were the busiest, they said.

BART trains carried 548,076 riders during the 2015 victory parade, second only to the 586,061 who rode BART during the San Francisco Giants' 2012 World Series parade.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Sig-Alert Issued After Crash Shuts Down EB Lanes of I-80]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:28:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-15-2017-i80-accident.jpg

A crash early Thursday forced the California Highway Patrol to issue a Sig-alert and shut down all eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 for over an hour.

The collision occurred east of Gilman Street in Berkeley just before 7 a.m. and traffic was diverted to Interstate 580. Two lanes were reopened just after 8 a.m.

Further details were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Draymond Trolls Cavs With 'Quickie' Shirt]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:31:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/draymond-green.jpg

Last year, LeBron James exited the Cavs flight home to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy after defeating the Warriors in Game 7 while wearing an "Ultimate Warrior" shirt. This year, it's Draymond Green's turn.

Green celebrated with fans at the Warriors Championship Parade and Rally wearing a t-shirt that read "Quickie." The "Q" is identical to the "Q" logo for the Cavaliers home -- Quicken Loans Arena. With a blue a gold theme, the shirt also features the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Though many expected a long series like last year's seven-game battle, the Warriors defeated the Cavs 4-1 after jumping out to a 3-0 lead.

Green, 27, averaged 13.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.6 blocks and 34.9 minutes per game during the Warriors 16-1 playoff run.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors, Dub Nation Celebrate Another Championship]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:59:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-696326864.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Consider Ban on Flavored and Menthol Tobacco]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:26:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Getty12.jpg

In a push to prevent tobacco and e-cigarette companies from targeting youth and minorities, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is considering adopting a slew of provisions that restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products and electronic and menthol cigarettes. 

The board did not reach a consensus on several provisions presented to them by city staff during a lengthy public hearing on Tuesday, but supervisors unanimously agreed that more regulations in the county are needed. It is likely that the board will take steps to restrict sales in July. 

“This is about saving a generation from getting addicted to more advanced marketing and products that the tobacco industry has come up with,” Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond said. “As one of our speakers said, community health is not for sale.” 

Several cities in the Bay Area have already adopted or are considering bans on menthol and flavored tobacco products, which studies show disproportionately target communities of color and children. Oakland is currently considering one, as is San Francisco. A ban was considered in San Leandro earlier this month but ultimately rejected. 

The issue in Contra Costa is not whether the county should adopt a ban. Rather, it is how far an eventual ban should go in limiting sales.

The board considered banning sales of menthol cigarettes at stores located 500 feet or 1,000 feet from a school, playground, park or library. There was also discussion on whether vape products should be included in the eventual ban.

A point of contention presented itself when supervisors discussed the possibility of banning pharmacies in unincorporated areas from selling tobacco products, a provision that only Supervisor Karen Mitchoff opposed. A ban on flavored products, such as cigarillos that come in cherry and watermelon flavors, appeared to have unanimous support, though there was no official vote during the public hearing. 

“There are some things that I’m absolutely supportive of, and others where I think we need to take an incremental approach because we’re balancing the impact on youth versus the rights of adults to make decisions for themselves,” said Supervisor Candace Andersen. 

Mitchoff, especially, seemed reluctant to pass some of the more stringent provisions of the smoking ordinance — including outlawing vapor and hookah lounges and some dedicated smoke shops in the unincorporated county — until more research has been conducted. She said she feared that passing the weighty ordinance without additional studies would open the county up to litigation, a threat that was made to leaders several times from tobacco and electronic cigarette advocates.

“If you’re really serious about public health...you will send this (ordinance) back to committee for further review, especially considering the unintended consequences of your action,” warned Mark Block, the founder of Electronic Vaping Coalition of America. “The EVCA is prepared to file suit in case this ordinance is passed.”

Block and other tobacco proponents attempted to frame the ban as an infringement on personal freedom, and claimed that banning menthol and flavored tobacco would result in an underground black market and contribute to more crime.

A ban on menthols is not unprecedented in the Bay Area. The City of Berkeley already bans menthol cigarette sales within 600 feet from schools, a policy that was adopted after a nationwide study found that youth who smoke menthol-flavored cigarettes are significantly more likely to show signs of addiction. The same study also found that communities of color are targeted more aggressively with menthol cigarette advertisements than white counterparts. And, while smoking across the United States is on the decline, menthol cigarette sales have increased steadily, according to several reports.

“Menthol cigarettes lead to greater addictability and are disproportionately killing African Americans,” explained Dr. Phillip Gardiner, a UC Berkeley researcher and co-chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council. “We’re talking about a starter products that are harder to quit.”

The flavored tobacco ban stems from studies that show that the cheap and brightly-colored packages of some cigarillos attract children. Sales of Swisher Sweets and “blunt wraps,” which come in flavors like watermelon and cherry, have increased steadily in youth populations.

Cristina Rodriguez, who came to support the ban, was disappointed that the board did not adopt the ordinance on Tuesday. 

“I wish I could tell you that we’re going to win this, but we’re up against something big with a lot of money and a lot of power,” she said. “All we can do is hope.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Contra Costa County DA Pleads No Contest to Perjury, Resigns]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 21:34:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/da+charged-0613.jpg

Mark Peterson on Wednesday resigned from his position as the Contra Costa County District Attorney and pleaded no contest to felony perjury after being slapped with 13 felony charges.

The state attorney general's office filed 12 counts of felony perjury and one count of felony grand theft against Peterson. In exchange for his plea and resignation, the state agreed to dismiss the other charges.

Peterson was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and will be on probation for three years.

Pamela Price with the Coalition to Restore Public Trust says Peterson got a "sweet deal" compared to what anyone else might have gotten in the face of similar charges. His punishment is a "double standard once again," she said.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is now tasked with appointing a new district attorney to replace Peterson.

Patrick Vanier, the supervising deputy district attorney for the Narcotics Prosecution Team at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, announced last month that he plans to run for Peterson's position in 2018.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Vanier said Peterson's decision to resign was the "only logical" option.

He continued: “Voters can choose to close this chapter of dysfunctional leadership plaguing the DA’s office and our community by electing new, ethical leadership. I have the vision and fresh perspective needed to bring Contra Costa County’s criminal justice system into the 21st century. It is my hope that the Board of Supervisors appoints a caretaker — who will not be a candidate — to act as District Attorney until voters have an opportunity to decide who should be the new, elected District Attorney.”

The investigation into Peterson stemmed from his alleged use of $66,000 in campaign monies for personal expenses, according to an affidavit filed by the state attorney general's Office.

A search done last month of Peterson's bank accounts revealed campaign committee funds were used to pay for items at grocery and jewelry stores and other retailers such as Guitar Center, court documents show. Committee funds were also transferred multiple times into Peterson's personal bank accounts. 

According to a search warrant return, investigators last week detained Peterson in Antioch while they seized his iPhone, iPad and appointment calendar as evidence to support felony charges. 

"There's no doubt that what's happened to Mr. Peterson casts shadows over the employees at the office and the good work we do every day," deputy district attorney Kristen Busby said on Tuesday.  

Peterson, however, says he simply borrowed the money and had intended to pay it back. The affidavit says Peterson failed to disclose he'd borrowed any money. 

NBC Bay Area's Stephen Ellison contributed to this report.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Caged Birds Illegally Kept at Castro Valley Home]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 23:49:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cv+birds-0613.jpg

An East Bay woman may be facing criminal charges after hundreds of caged exotic birds were found in her backyard, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies responded to a bizarre scene Tuesday in Castro Valley, where neighbors had complained that their street sounds like a jungle. When deputies arrived at the home, they found an estimated 500 parrots and other exotic birds living in cages. The owner apparently sells the birds, sheriff's officials said.

The site is now a criminal investigation. Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said the operation violates a number of county and state laws. He said deputies would have confiscated the birds Tuesday but were not able to handle taking care of that many.

"We really want the homeowner to come forward and cooperate with us, so we can resolve this at the lowest level and make everybody happy," Kelly said.

The owner sells the birds for up to $2,000 apiece. For the time being, authorities want to make sure the birds are healthy.

"We need to assess: Are these parrots healthy? Do they have any diseases? Are those diseases a threat to our indigenous species? Kelly said.

The owner's daughter says the birds were a hobby for her mom and an escape after a divorce. Now she's trying to sell them on Craigslist.

"The birds are being taken care of gradually," said Yna Pham. "It's a bit hard to sell the big ones because they're pretty expensive."

Neighbor Joseph Langon said he started hearing the birds about two years ago. He said along with the noise, they bring bugs and a foul odor.

"Wow, this is just getting out of control," he said. "We rarely see anybody down there working or taking care of the birds."

Deputies said they'll meet with wildlife experts Wednesday with the hope they can resolve the issue.



Photo Credit: Ian Cull/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Chinese Eatery Owners Accused of Stealing Millions in Wages]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:20:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/courtroom+generic+722.jpg

Five people are set to be sentenced in wage theft case involving four Bay Area Chinese restaurants.

The East Bay Times reports state investigators say the owners stole $4.5 million in wages from employees they forced to work 12-hour days from 2009-2013.

Stage investigators say they also cheated California out of $2 million in taxes.

Authorities say the former owners and managers of Golden Dragon Buffet in Brentwood, New Dragon Buffet in San Leandro, Golden Wok Buffet in Roseville and Kokyo Sushi Buffet in Hayward committed the crimes.

A grand jury indicted eight owners and managers on 28 charges, including conspiracy, wage theft and workers compensation fraud. Authorities say three of the defendants are believed to have fled to China.

The other five have agreed to plead guilty to some of the charges. Sentencing is Friday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Crews Respond to Unknown Substance Released in Antioch]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:24:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/antioch+hazmat-0613.jpg

Fire crews responded to a JC Penney store in Antioch where an unknown substance was released and sickened nearly a dozen people, according to the Contra Costa Fire District.

Fire officials reported 11 people were affected by the release, and two were transported to a hospital. The initial call came at about 6:30 p.m. 

A hazmat team also was called to the scene, fire officials said. They said the release was confined to the JC Penney store, and hazmat crews were preparing to enter the building a little after 8 p.m.

The nature of victims' illnesses was not provided. One adult was transported immediately with breathing problems, fire officials said. The second transported patient was a minor, they said. All other victims declined to go to the hospital.

No further details were available.




Photo Credit: Contra Costa Fire District
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<![CDATA[Contra Costa DA Faces Possible Felony Charges]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:24:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/da+charged-0613.jpg

The state Attorney General's Office is considering filing felony embezzlement charges against a Bay Area district attorney for his alleged personal use of campaign funds, according to court documents obtained by NBC Bay Area on Tuesday. 

The investigation into Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson stems from his alleged use of $66,000 in campaign monies for personal expenses, according to an affidavit filed by the state AG's Office. A search done last month of Peterson's bank accounts revealed campaign committee funds were used to pay for items at grocery and jewelry stores and other retailers such as Guitar Center, court documents show. Committee funds were also transferred multiple times into Peterson's personal bank accounts. 

According to a search warrant return, investigators last week detained Peterson in Antioch while they seized his iPhone, iPad and appointment calendar as evidence to support felony charges. 

"There's no doubt that what's happened to Mr. Peterson casts shadows over the employees at the office and the good work we do every day," deputy district attorney Kristen Busby said.  

Peterson says he simply borrowed the money and had intended to pay it back. But the affidavit says Peterson failed to disclose he'd borrowed any money. Investigators are also considering possible felony perjury charges. 

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys said the criminal investigation is warranted.

"The appearance is horrifying. The appearance is somebody who's committing crimes is prosecuting other people," defense attorney Dan Russo said. "He's a bright guy, he's a good lawyer. What was he thinking?"

Peterson not only faces the possible criminal charges, but a civil grand jury also filed an accusation calling for his removal from office. He will appear before a judge on that matter Wednesday.

Peterson did not respond to repeated requests for comment Tuesday.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Here's Where You Can Fly Drones in the Bay Area]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:14:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NoDrones.jpg

Popular droning sites along the San Francisco Peninsula no longer allow the use of any unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) following a park superintendent order.

While drones are currently allowed in California State Parks, local district superintendents are allowed to ban them at any of its local sites. Christopher Spohrer, the Santa Cruz District Superintendent joined other regional park districts in May when he signed new restrictions on drone use at its parks.

Santa Cruz District's new order is not yet online, but a notice should be posted at all parks and beaches it is being enforced.

It includes restrictions on all use of model aircraft, UAS or gliders at any the state parks and beaches in its district, which encompasses the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as the parks along the coast from Watsonville to Half Moon Bay, including Half Moon Bay State Beach, New Brighton State BeachPescadero State Beach, Pomponio State Beach and San Gregorio State Beach.

The Bay Area District previously restricted model aircraft and UAS in September, which included Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, as well as all parks in the East Bay Regional Park District.

Where to Fly Your Drones in the Bay Area:

Know Before You Fly

Between the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) easing its unmanned aircraft guidelines last year and new drone models being released each year, more drones are in the air than ever. 

According to a FAA report, sales of consumer drones were expected to spike from 2.6 million drones in 2016 to 7 million in 2020 with some of the highest concentrated users in the Silicon Valley.

Here are some things to keep in mind before you fly:

  • NO NATIONAL PARKS: Currently, the National Park Service (NPS) prohibits drones at national parks which include the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin counties; Rosie the Riveter grounds in East Bay, Fort Point, Presidio, Alcatraz Island and the Maritime in San Francisco as well as Point Reyes and Muir Woods in North Bay. See all national park trails and parks where drone use is currently prohibited. National Park Service rangers may issue citations of $125 and additional fees to drone users who violate its policies.
  • SOME STATE PARKS: California State Parks allow drone use, with the exception of some regional districts have posted their own local rules. In the Bay Area, the local parks are currently prohibiting drone use at the majority of state parks. View some exceptions above.
  • SOME CITY AND COUNTY PARKS: There are currently no drones allowed at many local parks such as San Mateo County and Santa Clara County parks as well as the majority of city parks in the area. The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, which maintains parks throughout Santa Clara County as well as for the cities of Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell, San Jose and Morgan Hill also ban the use of drones unless granted a permit for use. The Port of San Francisco, which maintains Heron's Head Park, also bans all drones as part of its status as a wildlife protection area. Mission Bay Park, maintained by MJM Management Group, says they have added a park rule banning drone use as well. 
  • PRIVATE LAND Privately-owned fields, farms, and other spaces may be a good option with permission from the landowner. Santa Clara County Model Aircraft Skypark is a local nonprofit that allows its members to fly drones and aircraft if they follow Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) guidelines. 
    • REGISTER: Register your UAS online if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds or file a paper request for drones more than 55 pounds. Registration costs $5 and is valid for 3 years.
    • FLY SAFE: Fly at or below 400 feet and keep it in sight. Never fly over groups of people, stadiums, sports events or near emergency response efforts such as fires. The FAA also mandates UAS users never operate under the influence. The FAA outlines several safe flying practices here. 
    • RESPECT NO FLY ZONES: Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports, and be aware of airspace requirements. In the Bay Area, this includes no flying zones surrounding three large airports (SFO, OAK and SJC) and smaller airports. You can download the FAA "Know Before You Fly" application to verify if you’re in a safe fly zone. B4UFLY is available for free download in the App Store for iOS and Google Play store for Android.



Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Sideshows Take Over Oakland Streets, Arrests Made]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:48:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-13-17-sideshow-gsw-win-celebrates-oakland.jpg

While euphoric fans swarmed Bay Area streets Monday night following the Golden State Warriors' title-clinching victory, not everyone followed the law.

About a half-dozen people in Oakland and San Francisco were arrested for taking part in a range of illegal or violent behavior ranging from sideshows to throwing objects at officers, according to police.

An estimated 400 to 500 people participated in or watched sideshows take over east Oakland city streets, according to police. The activity, which also included people throwing rocks and bottles at police, prompted officers to detain about 100 vehicles. More than 40 citations were handed out and 30 cars were towed.

In the downtown Oakland area, approximately 1,000 fans danced with glee in city intersections as honking cars cruised by. The crowd remained fairly calm and orderly, but there was one report of a person's car, which was parked along the 1600 block of Telegraph Avenue, being damaged after fans jumped on top of it.

One officer was injured amid the hours-long celebrations in the East Bay city, according to police. A person reportedly driving under the influence of alcohol collided with the officer. The officer was transported to the hospital and listed in stable condition. The driver was arrested.

In total, less than six people were arrested by Oakland officers Monday night. Police are still trying to determine if they were related to the championship celebrations.

Police in Oakland also received scattered calls about fireworks and celebratory gunfire.

In San Francisco, police dealt with three separate celebration crowds, two of which featured dangerous activity, according to police.

Small fires were ignited outside the Alama Drafthouse Cinema-Mission Theatre, and officers reported being targeted by people throwing bottles. Police deployed bean bags against those throwing objects, and they arrested one person for breaking the window of a police car.

Another crowd near 16th and Valencia Streets was also reported to be throwing bottles at officers, according to police.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Investigates Fatal Crash on I-680 in Walnut Creek]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:18:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/680+crash+2.jpg

A crash reportedly involving a motorcycle on Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek resulted in one fatality Monday night, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision was first reported at 9:49 p.m. on northbound 680, near the Ygnacio Valley Road offramp, CHP officials said.

At 10:08 p.m., CHP officials called for a Sig-alert, closing the highway's northbound lanes at Olympic Boulevard. CHP officials estimate the highway should reopen by midnight.

Further information about the crash was not immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Championship Parade Set for 10 a.m. Thursday]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:22:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dubs+parade+route.jpg

The Golden State Warriors' championship parade will take place Thursday morning through downtown Oakland, following the same route as the team's parade to celebrate the 2015 NBA title.

The parade, celebrating the Warriors' 4-1 NBA Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, will start at 10 a.m. Thursday at Broadway and 11th Street, team and city officials said. The rally at the south end of Lake Merritt will start around 12:15 p.m.

The parade will go north on Broadway, turn right on Grand Avenue, then right on Harrison Street, turn left on 19th Street, continue on Lakeside Drive and end on Oak Street with a procession to the Henry J. Kaiser Convention center.

Fans are encouraged to line up for the parade and rally as soon as 5 a.m. Thursday.

Parking is expected to fill up early and several streets will be closed so fans are encouraged to use public transportation. BART officials issued 10 tips for Warriors fans visiting the parade, including using the 19th Street station and avoiding the much smaller Lake Merritt station, buying a Clipper card to avoid long lines at ticket machines, and avoiding the busiest hours of 8-10 a.m.

BART trains carried 548,076 riders during the 2015 victory parade, second only to the 586,061 who rode BART during the San Francisco Giants' 2012 World Series parade.

More information about Thursday's plans and how to get around on BART can be found at the BART website.


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<![CDATA[Warriors Fans Celebrate NBA Title in Streets of Oakland]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:05:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oracle+fworks.jpg

Fans poured out into the streets of Oakland on Monday night to celebrate the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA championship, the team's second in three years.

Oakland police shut down 14th and Broadway to allow the throng room to revel in the home victory. The crowd was celebrating peacefully moments after the big win, as fireworks were set off above Oracle Arena.


Elsewhere in Oakland police responded to sideshows. The illegal activity prompted officers to issue citations and tow cars, according to police.

Fans also took to the streets in San Francisco. Crowds were seen gathered at all corners of the intersection of 24th and Van Ness streets, at times bringing traffic to a standstill.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Antioch Man, Former NFL Player Makes Reality TV Debut]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 20:10:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/ANTHONY+TRUCKS.jpg

Anthony Trucks was 3 years old when his mother surrendered him to foster care. Shuffled from home to home, the Antioch resident and former NFL pro says he experienced years of mental and physical abuse in the system before being adopted at the age of 14.

“I spent six years years as the bad stinky kid in class, where I literally had teachers pull their hair out in frustration,” Trucks recalls. “Then I would go home to be abused by my first foster dad, who would also beat my foster mom. To say I was in a bad environment and felt minuscule as a person is an understatement.” 

But Trucks, now 33 and a father of three, never gave up. The self-described “stinky kid” in class would go on to earn a scholarship to the University of Oregon, where his football skills impressed NFL big-wigs. He was drafted as a linebacker, playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Washington Redskins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers until an injury robbed him of a chance to continue playing football professionally.


Once again, he found himself at a crossroads. Once again, he refused to give up. Instead, he developed a credo that he repeats to this day whenever he finds himself in an untenable situation: “Trust your hustle.” He carries the verbal cue like a talisman, a constant reminder of his own inner strength. 

“It was a lot of ups and downs. I went through a lot of craziness,” Trucks said. “But it taught me to be strong. ... I know that I won’t allow something to knock me off.” 

He says that determination frequently comes in handy, but it was especially salient when Trucks applied for the ninth season of NBC’s "American Ninja Warrior." The competition show, inspired by the Japanese original “Sasuke,” follows contestants as they attempt to complete rigorous obstacle courses. Videos of epic fails, such as participants falling off the infamous Salmon Ladder, have a tendency to go viral. 


The show, which kicks off 8 p.m. Monday, films in various cities over the course of about three months until only one hopeful is crowned the American Ninja Warrior. Trucks kept details about his progress on the series confidential, but he did describe it as a microcosm for the highs and lows he experienced during his youth. 

“The show is about doing things in the face of difficulties,” he said. “You come over obstacles — literally, that’s what it is — and that’s what my life has been about.” 

The former linebacker has stayed in shape after his tenure with the NFL, eventually opening a gym and embarking on creating a fitness empire — attributes that undoubtedly served him well during the competition. He now runs a consulting business and works as a life coach, often giving motivational speeches about the importance of physical, mental and emotional health.

Fittingly, he dubbed his program “Trust Your Hustle," believing that his message of internalized resiliency and determination is contagious.

Although he is hoping his appearance on "American Ninja Warrior" will help him expand the reach of his message, he says he will be satisfied so long as it resonates with a small audience of three: his children. The highlight of the experience has been showing them that there is another side to their father. 

“To be honest, I'm just hoping to do something for my kids, to show them their dad doing something cool,” Trucks said. “In my mind, kids should have a parent that they can be proud of, like a superhero. ... I want to give them what I didn't have." 



Photo Credit: Courtesy: Anthony Trucks
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Student-Army Reservist Gets His Graduation Ceremony]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 18:05:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/liberty+grad-0612.jpg

It was Graduation Day for one student at Liberty High School in Brentwood. Army reservist Harland Fletcher did not get to graduate with his class on Friday because he refused to cover up his Army uniform with a cap and gown. On Monday, the school district did an about-face. Robert Handa reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Defeat Cavs to Capture 2nd NBA Title in Three Years]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:21:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/warriors+trophy.jpg

OAKLAND -- They finished it off.

And they did it in style, with 19,596 souls at sold-out Oracle Arena spending the fourth quarter standing and staring and screaming.

The Warriors, considered by many as a Super Team, derided by some as Super Villains, are Super Champions.

With Kevin Durant scoring a team-high 39 points and Stephen Curry tossing in 34, the Warriors outlasted a resilient Cavaliers team 129-120 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals Monday night to win their second title in three years.

Andre Iguodala fired in 20 points off the bench, Klay Thompson had 11 and Draymond Green added 10, along with a team-high 11 rebounds as the Warriors concluded the postseason at 16-1, the highest postseason win percentage in NBA history.

The Warriors won despite giving away 25 points in turnovers, being outscored in the paint 62-52 and being outshot 53.4 percent to 51.1. Cleveland won the second-chance-points battle 20-15 and the fast-break points battle 25-18.

LeBron James poured in a game-high 41 points to lead Cleveland, while Kyrie Irving tossed in 26 -- 0 in the fourth quarter.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Iguodala was tremendous off the bench. Curry did plenty of damage. Green brought fire and hard-hat production. Durant punctuated a magnificent Finals performance with his best offensive show.

Durant’s line: 39 points (14-of-20 shooting from the field, including 5-of-7 beyond the arc, 6-of-6 from the line), seven rebounds and five assists. He played 40 minutes and finished plus-18.

TURNING POINT:

Trailing the Cavaliers 41-33 after a James dunk with 10:14 left in the second quarter, the Warriors reeled off a 21-2 run to go up 54-43 on a Curry floater with 4:40 left in the half.

The Cavs trailed by 11 (71-60) at the half, by five (98-93) after three quarters. They got as close as three (98-95) early in the fourth before the Warriors pulled away down the stretch, outscoring the 31-27 in the final quarter.

INJURY UPDATE:

Warriors: No injuries listed. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were placed on the inactive list.

Cavs: No injuries listed. G Kay Felder and C Edy Tavares were placed on the inactive list.

WHAT’S NEXT:

The victory parade is set for Thursday in Oakland.

Catching a potential title-clinching contest certainly carried a high price. One fan reportedly made NBA history by purchasing two courtside seats for a whopping $133,000, according to ESPN.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Warehouse Tenant Arraigned]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:06:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Oakland_Warehouse_Tenant_Arraigned.jpg

Max Harris, one of the men charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deadly Oakland warehouse fire, was arraigned Monday. Sharon Katsuda reports.]]>
<![CDATA[2 NBA Finals Tickets Up for Bid to Aid Young Entrepreneurs]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2017 23:57:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/warriors+flag.jpg

Two tickets to Monday's Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena in Oakland are up for auction, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Sunday.

Bidders can go online to bid on the tickets.

The money raised from the highest bidder will be used to help Oakland's underserved young entrepreneurs through Oakland's Emerging 100 initiative, according to the mayor.

Oakland's Emerging 100 initiative is a nonprofit whose mission is to prepare, launch and grow 100 or more new businesses by underrepresented young adult entrepreneurs each year.

The tickets are luxury mezzanine seats. Bids must be in by 10 a.m. Monday and an auction official will be in touch with the winning bidder at about 11 a.m.

The tickets can be picked up before 5 p.m. at City Hall.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hayward Man Goes Missing While Kayaking in Lake Tahoe]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2017 22:38:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dan+pham+mug.jpg

Family and friends of a missing Hayward man made a desperate plea for help Sunday as they searched for their loved one in the Lake Tahoe area.

Dan Pham, 41, was last seen climbing into a kayak at Lester Beach in D.L. Bliss State Park on the western shore of Lake Tahoe about 9:15 a.m. Thursday, according to a Bay Area News Group report. He was reportedly heading for a campground in Emerald Bay.

The newspaper reported Pham is the brother of an Alameda County Sheriff's Office employee.

Family members and friends traveled from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe to join the search in conjunction with the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office, according to Samuel Fuenzalida, a friend of Pham's since elementary school.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to aid in the search costs. It had registered nearly all of its $10,000 goal as of late Sunday night.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pham family]]>
<![CDATA[Good Samaritans Help Save Occupants of Car in Marina]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 18:52:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-day-shutterstock_1430470311.jpg

A car overturned and careened into San Leandro Marina on Sunday, and a pair of good Samaritans acted quickly to help the three occupants get back to land safely, according to San Leandro police.

About 2 p.m., police received reports of a solo vehicle crash into the water at the marina. The two good Samaritans jumped into the water and broke the car windows, allowing the occupants to get out, police said. The occupants made it back to land and fled the scene before officers arrived.

Police said if it hadn't been for the two Samaritans who jumped into action, "it would have been a different outcome."

The car was removed from the water about 4:15 p.m.

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<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Allegedly Shooting East Bay Church Statue]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2017 08:22:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-11-17_San_Leandro_Church_Statue.jpg

San Leandro police arrested a man suspected of shooting a church statue Saturday afternoon.

At about 2 p.m., officers were sent to the St. Felicitas Church at 1650 Manor Blvd. after someone reported shots being fired, according to San Leandro police officials.

Officers found the suspect near the church and attempted to arrest him but he struggled to get away.

During the scuffle, an officer forcibly removed a gun from the man's waistband, police said.

After the arrest, officers investigated and found that eight rounds had been fired into a statue.

Police are investigating the shooting as a hate crime and said there is no evidence to suggest that the church is in any additional danger.

Anyone with information is asked to call San Leandro police at (510) 577-2740.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Student Overcomes Homelessness to Graduate College]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2017 09:04:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Student_Battling_Homelessness_Graduates_College.jpg

Earning a college degree can be challenging under ordinary circumstances. Doing it without a place to live sounds nearly impossible.

Don't tell that to 55-year-old Brenda Brown. She graduated from Cal State East Bay Saturday with a degree in communication despite struggling to find a place to live as well as hunkering down in her car during her time in school.

"It's a dream realized," Brown said. "It just didn't come about the way I thought that it would."

With a degree in hand, Brown hopes to now nail down a job, and she also has thoughts about grad school.]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Shot by Police in Brentwood]]>Sat, 10 Jun 2017 11:08:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-9-17_Brentwood_OIS.jpg

Police shot a suspect Friday night in Brentwood, according to police.

The shooting occurred at 9:48 p.m. along the 500 block of Birchwood Road, Lt. Tim Herbert said.

Another suspect suffered injuries that were not gunshot wounds. Both suspects were taken to a hospital and both were still alive Saturday morning, according to Herbert. No police officers were injured.

Witnesses reported hearing at least five gunshots during the incident.

"There was lots of shooting," witness Jentry Meza said. That's the first thing that occurred. And then after that, I heard [a] screeching noise and the car [crashed] into the building. It was like a huge, huge crash."

Images from the scene captured a car that had smashed into the front of a home in the vicinity of where the shooting took place.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Large Fire Reported in Concord Area]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 15:50:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0609-2017-ConcordFire.jpg

A large fire appears to be burning in the Concord area. No other information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Ghost Ship Warehouse Operator Near Mental Breakdown: Lawyer]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 15:10:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1205-2016-DerickAlmena.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO - The operator of an Oakland warehouse where 36 people died in a massive fire is experiencing a near mental breakdown following his arrest on involuntary manslaughter charges, his attorneys said Friday.

Lawyer Tony Serra disclosed the details about his client, Derick Almena, at a news conference, using a photo of Almena and his family as a backdrop.

Serra said Almena is experiencing "almost total destruction of his mental stability." Jeffrey Krasnoff, another attorney for Almena, said Almena was "deeply distraught."

"People died in his house. He is definitely having mental problems processing this, like anyone would," Krasnoff said.

Serra claimed prosecutors charged Almena to shield the true culprits - public agencies that failed to ensure the warehouse was safe.

Authorities say Almena, 47, rented the warehouse and illegally converted it into low-cost housing for artists and an entertainment venue.

Almena and a second man, Max Harris, 27, were arrested Monday after a six-month investigation of the Dec. 2 fire that occurred during an unpermitted electronic music concert at the building known as the Ghost Ship.

Almena leased the building and Harris helped him sublet space to tenants and promoters, even though the warehouse was not licensed for housing or entertainment, prosecutors said.

They said the site was cluttered with highly flammable material and the suspects failed to provide adequate fire safety systems.

Almena appeared in court on Thursday but did not enter a plea. His arraignment on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter was continued until June 15.

Harris is also expected to be arraigned that day. He has no attorney on record.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Possible Hazmat Near Chevron Refinery Contained]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:15:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0609-2017-ChevronHazmat.jpg

A possible hazardous materials spill in the water Friday morning near the Chevron Refinery in Richmond has been contained, according to Chevron officials.

The spill was "quickly boomed by our emergency response team," according to a statement from Chevron.

"This morning around 6:30 a.m., a soot-like material was identified in the water between a berthed ship and our long wharf," Chevron officials said in a written statement. "The material is contained and we are investigating the source."

Chevron officials did not say how much of the material was spilled or what they think it is.

Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia first reported the spill of a "black solid substance" via Twitter at about 9:20 a.m.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Third Victim in Alameda Rollover Crash Has Died]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 18:37:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/230*120/05-29-2017-alameda-crash.JPG

A third victim in a rollover collision in Alameda 10 days ago has died, the Alameda County coroner's bureau said Thursday.

Sergio Garcia, 22, of Hayward, who had been in critical condition at a local hospital since the collision on May 29, was pronounced dead last Saturday, a coroner spokeswoman said.

Alameda police said the collision was reported at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue at 8:01 a.m. on May 29 and involved a minivan with a single occupant and a truck carrying seven people.

The woman who was driving the minivan survived her injuries but police said Briana Ortega, 17, of Hayward, died at the scene and Simon Sotelo of Union City, also 17, was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital in Oakland a short time after the collision.

Garcia and four other occupants of the truck were transported to a hospital with critical injuries.

Police said speed appeared to be a factor in the collision.

The New Haven Unified School District in Union City said Ortega was a senior at the Decoto School for Independent Study and Sotelo was a sophomore at James Logan High School.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fires at Emeryville Construction Site Ruled as Arson: ATF]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 23:40:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/emeryville-arson-0608.jpg

Two suspicious fires at the same East Bay construction site have been ruled as arson, and a six-figure reward is being offered to help find those responsible.

The apartment complex project in Emeryville burned for the second time last month. On Thursday agents from the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, along with local police officers, said the blazes were set intentionally.


Investigators also released images of a person they believe may have had something to do with starting the latest fire.

The May 13 fire destroyed Emeryville's plans for additional housing, but city leaders vow to rebuild.


"We believe we can make ourselves into a more livable city by increasing our population, and this incident will not call into question our overall direction," Mayor Scott Donahue said.

ATF officials said the previous fire at the site in July 2016 also was arson. No possible suspects have been identified in that blaze.

The agency is offering a $50,000 reward for information on the fires, an offer matched by the building's developer.

Anyone with information about how the fires started should contact the ATF or Emeryville Police Department.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Antioch Teen Dies in Accidental Pellet Gun Shooting: Police]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 23:50:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/antioch+pellet+1-0608.jpg

A 15-year-old boy died after being accidentally shot by a friend with a pellet rifle in Antioch Thursday morning, according to police.

Officers responded at 9:55 a.m. to the 4300 block of Palomar Drive on a report of someone accidentally shot with a BB gun.

They found the victim, Marcos Garcia, on the ground with what appeared to be a small wound to his chest. He was unresponsive and was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, police said.


Investigators learned the Garcia, a Deer Valley High School student, was shot once in the chest with a pellet rifle by a friend, also a 15-year-old boy, in what police said appears to be a tragic accident.

Neighbors said it all happened too fast to save the young man.

"As soon as I got in there, my mom was trying to see, like, get something out of him, but he wasn't responding," Jorge Duran said. "When I got there, I felt his pulse; he had a pulse, but he wasn't breathing. We couldn't do anything; we didn't know what to do."

Word of the freshman's death slowly got out to staff and students Thursday at Deer Valley High as the school's seniors prepared for graduation. 

Duran said he couldn't believe a neighbor and a friend is gone.

"He was a good kid, nice," Duran said. "He would come over and swim. We were neighbors, hung out all the time."

Antioch police said no arrests have been made in what they are calling an accidental shooting but added that the investigation is ongoing.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Garcia's family.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Police Department's non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. People can also send a tip by text message to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword ANTIOCH.

NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: eastcountytoday.net
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<![CDATA[Pleasanton Construction Firm Sued For Racial Discrimination]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:38:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ple-racism-0608.jpg

A former project manager for a Pleasanton construction company filed a lawsuit against the company and its owners Thursday accusing them of racial discrimination and harassment and subjecting her to unwanted racial commentary and differential treatment.

Filed in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of Tishay Wright, a black woman, by San Francisco attorney Christopher Dolan, the suit alleges that Southland Construction Management Inc. and its owners, Kenneth and Anita Hayden, decorated their office with photographs of President Donald Trump and Confederate flags saying, "The Southland shall rise again."


Dolan said in a statement that the Haydens appeared to be "proud of their handiwork" and had photographs taken of themselves in front of the Confederate flag, which he said is "the offensive symbol of slavery," with Kenneth dressed as Donald Trump and Anita appearing to be a Trump supporter with a Confederate flag purse strung over her shoulder.

Dolan said Kenneth Hayden later gave the purse to Wright as a Christmas gift at the company Christmas Party with the offensive photos of him and his wife inside.

Wright said in the statement that she filed the suit "because no one should be treated this way in America in the year 2017."

"This is not Alabama in the 1940s. This country is going backwards, and it has to stop," Wright said.

Her attorney Dolan said, "This is just a sign of how people feel empowered by our current president, and his racist and sexist statements about women and minorities, to blatantly harass and discriminate against others."

"The message couldn't be any clearer: 'I stand with Trump, and I'm racist. If you don't like it then get out of my business and out of my country,'" Dolan said.

The suit also accuses Kenneth Hayden of assault and battery, saying that on one occasion he threw a cellphone at Wright, which then ricocheted off of her desk and hit her in the arm.

The suit alleges Wright witnessed Kenneth and Anita Hayden making "racist comments" about other employees of different ethnicities at Southland, including Hispanic and Sikh employees.

The suit, which says Wright worked at the company from June 22, 2015, until March 9 of this year, seeks unspecified general and punitive damages.

Kenneth and Anita Hayden couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The company, which was founded in 2000, says on its website that, "Integrity and service are key for Southland Construction." The company says its mission is "to serve the construction needs of commercial, retail, and industrial businesses with integrity, quality and accountability, while meeting budgets and timelines in order to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and restore honesty to the marketplace."

The company says it "seeks to serve our customers, vendors and employees as we serve the Lord Jesus Christ" by displaying qualities such as "honesty, integrity, loyalty, respect for others and ourselves, perseverance, accountability and teamwork."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[State Board Approves Massive Plan to Expand Richmond Jail]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:40:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sb10062143p-001.jpg

Despite hearing pleas from community members and receiving hundreds of opposition letters, the Board of State and Community Corrections on Thursday approved a $70 million grant to pay for a massive expansion of the West County Jail in Richmond.

The vote was not without controversy: Several board members who ultimately approved the grant suggested that it should never have reached their desk given the amount of opposition to the project.

"I'm a little bit frustrated that your leaders have agreed to accept this funding," said BSCC member Jerry Powers, referring to the Contra Costa County's Board of Supervisors' February approval of the grant application. "Our hands are a little bit tied with respect to what you’re asking us to do."   

The BSCC was charged with evaluating the grant application on standards laid out by Senate Bill 844, which earmarks money for jail construction but does not take into account community opposition. 

The approved funds will go toward building a new 120,000-square-foot wing at the Richmond jail, including space for 400 beds, mental health facilities, and a child visitation center. For the first time, the Richmond facility will be authorized to house high-risk inmates, a move that will alleviate some of the chronic overcrowding at the dilapidated Martinez facility where they are currently held. 

In addition to money from the state, the project also requires $25 million from Contra Costa County's general fund and another $5 million per year to operate once completed — money that critics say should be funneled into existing programs that prevent incarceration.  

For those critics, Thursday's vote marked a disappointing end to months of organizing rallies, campaigns, and public forums against the project. The advocates, who hail from racial justice coalitions, Richmond City Council, and local unions, have long maintained that pouring money into the jail system exacerbates existing racial disparities and is a careless use of scarce county dollars. 

About 20 community members traveled from the Bay Area to Sacramento to reiterate their opposition on Thursday. 

"Time and time again, community members have consistently turned out in opposition to this," Richmond City Councilmember Melvin Willis told the BSCC. "We want to see those tax dollars go to other critical services." 

The critics also lambasted the Sheriff's Office for requesting an expansion grant when it currently receives money for renting out beds to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. If there are enough beds to rent out, then a massive expansion is not a critical need, they reasoned.

Upon hearing those complaints, the BSCC maintained that it was outside their purview. That job, they said, belongs to county leaders.

Powers, who offered the most stinging rebukes of county leadership, went on to say that it seemed as if county electeds were "ignoring" and going against "the will" of constituents by submitting the grant application to the board. He called the situation a "head scratcher." 

Other BSCC members echoed his remarks and said they felt it was their duty, as defined by SB-844, to approve the grant. Contra Costa County's application ranked first out of nine counties seeking funds from the same pool of money, leaving them no choice, they said. 

In a statement touting the BSCC vote, Sheriff David Livingston, whose office developed the expansion plan, said he looked forward to working with county leaders to move the process forward. The approval was a decisive victory in what has at times been a bitter battle royale between him and cities, such as Richmond and El Cerrito, that oppose the expansion plan.

"Our focus will continue to be on reentry services, mental health programs, education and family reunification services," he said.

Contra Costa County must now accept the grant, a formality that will likely occur at the next Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. Community members said they plan to attend and urge the electeds to vote down the grant and divert money into the community for a final time. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Appears in Court Over Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 23:46:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ALMENA+AND+HARRIS1.png

A man blamed for the nation's deadliest structure fire in more than 14 years at the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse in California appeared briefly in court Thursday to face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Derick Almena, 47, was scheduled to enter a plea in Alameda County Superior Court, but his attorney asked for the arraignment to be scheduled later. Almena was ordered back to court June 15 when his co-defendant in the case is expected to make his first appearance before a judge.

Almena and Max Harris, 27, were arrested Monday after a six-month investigation by prosecutors. The two are charged with illegally converting an Oakland warehouse into housing for artists and a cluttered party space, which caught fire the night of Dec. 2 during an electronic music concert and killed 36 people.

Almena leased the building in November 2013, and Harris is accused of helping Almena sublet space to promoters and tenants.

The warehouse was not licensed for housing or entertainment. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley charged Almena with cluttering the space with highly flammable material and failing to provide adequate fire safety systems to tenants and visitors.

Investigators say the maze-like interior had only one exit that night, and it was difficult to find when the lights went out.

Almena's attorney, Jeffrey Krasnoff, says his client plans to fight the charges and called him a "scapegoat." Krasnoff says Almena's arrest ``doesn't help the public good'' and distracts from the San Francisco Bay Area's affordable housing crisis.

Before his arrest, Almena said he was trying to create a collective where artists could live and work affordably.

Harris was arrested in Los Angeles on the same charges. He is being held in jail there until Alameda County sheriff's deputies can arrange his transfer north. Harris has no attorney on record.

Both men are jailed on bail of nearly $1.1 million each.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Lake County Jail/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Search For Suspect in Gas Station Clerk Shooting]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:04:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sl-shooting-0607.jpg

Police are asking for the public's help to find a man who allegedly shot a gas station clerk during an apparent robbery Sunday night in San Leandro, leaving the employee in critical condition.

Just after 8 p.m., officers responded to a report of a robbery at the Chevron gas station at 15201 Washington Ave., police said. Officers later learned that a man had entered the gas station's convenience store and approached the counter. The man appeared as if he wanted to buy something, but instead pulled out a gun and pointed it at the employee, demanding money, police said.

The employee complied with the suspect's demands and opened the cash register. For no apparent reason, the suspect then shot at the employee, before grabbing money from the register and fleeing the scene.

The wounded clerk lay in the store for several minutes until he was able to call for help, police said. The victim was hospitalized, where he remains in critical condition as of Wednesday evening.

Detectives were able to obtain surveillance video as well as other evidence, police said.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and his family for this senseless crime," San Leandro Lt. Isaac Benabou said in a statement. "Our detectives are working diligently to identify the suspect and bring him to justice."

The suspect is described as a black man, between 5 feet, 8 inches and 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighing between 175 and 200 pounds. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark colored pants and white shoes, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact San Leandro police at (510) 577-2740.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Direct Flights Available from Oakland to Rome for Only $229]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 19:26:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/107846315-airplane-generic.jpg

Pack your bags. Next February, you will be able to fly from Oakland to Rome for only $229.

Norwegian Air is pushing to expand its international travel from the United States with bargain priced flights, reported USA Today. People itching to take a vacation will be treated with cheap and direct trips from cities like Oakland, Los Angeles, and Newark. Rome is just one of the many destinations for Norwegian Air.

Other non-stop flights from Oakland include trips to London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. You can fly to each of these cities in July for less than $300.

The company has declared itself as “the world’s fastest growing airline” and seems to be holding to that claim. Along with flying out from the trio of cities listed, USA Today also reported that the company will go from 12 other U.S. locations to 13 different destinations spanning across Europe. Fifty-two of those flights will travel direct. This means no layovers or missed connections.

To make customers’ lives even easier, Norwegian Air has added price trackers when looking to book a flight. With this, flyers are able to compare costs of the airline’s trips. This can be accessed by choosing a destination and departure location. Other features will summarize a city’s attractions and culture. You may even be given a suggested reading about the vacation spot.

Those who travel may also get to board the new Boeng 737 Max, according to USA Today. The airline has confirmed that is has ordered 100 of these aircrafts, so travelers will be able to fly in the new Boeng plane as soon as this summer. Along with the contemporary interior of this plane, it will also be more eco-friendly, using less fuel than their previous models.

Flights can be booked online now at Norwegian Air’s website.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[OPD Interactions Differ With Blacks vs. Whites: Study]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 19:15:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/opd+study-0607.jpg

Oakland police have teamed with Stanford University researchers to gauge their interactions with a diverse community and ultimately improve the department's behavior and image.

The new partnership comes after the Stanford research team sifted through police body camera footage and found patrol officers appeared to give less respect to African-American drivers during routine stops.

The study looked at interactions between officers of all races and ages and black and white motorists. Researchers said some of the differences in conversations were like night and day.

"I think it's a learning opportunity," Deputy Chief LeRonne Armstrong said.

The Oakland Police Department said it's fixing a policing issue before it gets out of hand.

"If community members believe that if you talk to them less professional, if you talk to them in a certain way, we want to fix that," Armstrong said.

The 2014 study analyzed data from 981 traffic stops conducted by 245 Oakland officers.

The data showed officers often referred to white motorists as "Sir" or "Ma'am" and black motorists as "Bro" or by their first names.

"The language was respectful overall, but we found it was more respectful to white community members over black community members," Stanford researcher Jennifer Eberhardt said.

As part of the study, the Stanford team developed software that viewed the bodycam footage and flagged certain words. Researchers also sifted through hundreds of police reports to back up the video data.

"There was a difference people are picking up on as less respectful, even though the officer might have intended to connect with the public," Eberhardt said.

The Oakland Police Department is using the data as a training tool to ensure officers deliver equal respect to everyone.

"We want officers to be natural and comfortable out their doing their job," Armstrong said.

The Oakland Police Department insists its officers never intentionally treat people differently based on their race.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fremont Students Poked By Boy With Discarded Medical Device]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:11:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0607-CabrilloElementary1.jpg

More than a dozen elementary school children in Fremont are being tested and treated after they were poked by a boy who found a discarded medical device.

The students' families said they are angry after it took nearly two weeks to find out about the incident. Families are still waiting for test results after the children were tested for HIV and hepatitis.

The incident occurred at Cabrillo Elementary School, where a student found the device and told classmates it was a toy that made ink stamps. Parents previously said they believed the device the boy used was a EpiPen injector needle. School officials later said the device they destroyed was a diabetic lancet and not an EpiPen.

Bryan, 8, said he is still upset about the blood he saw after being poked by a schoolmate. The second grader is one of 14 students at the campus poked by the boy with a discarded medical device.

The medical device used by the boy was discarded and found by a curb.

When Bryan was rushed by his family to a doctor he had one thought: "I didn't want to die."

Bryan's grandfather, who also is the boy's legal guardian, is angry and got so upset his "blood pressure went through the roof."

"The fact that he was poked with a needle, and that from now until who knows when Bryan may come down with something," said Bud Lofton, the boy's grandfather. "It's scary."

The Fremont Unified School District said it regrets how long it took to inform parents, but point out at first the boy who had the medical device denied poking any students. It was not until some classmates told their parents that school officials were able to track down the victims.

The district responded late Wednesday to the parental backlash.

"The fact remains it wasn't reported to us until several days later, and as soon as we got those reports some students were poked and potentially at risk, we started an investigation," district spokesman Brian Killgore said. "The Alameda County Department of Public Health was contacted, and we began following their recommendations."

The district did not say whether the boy with the lancet was disciplined.



Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[1 Killed When Big Rig, Car Collide on I-680 in Fremont]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 22:22:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-7-17-fatal-ax-fremont.jpg

One person died in a collision Wednesday morning between a big-rig and a vehicle on northbound Interstate 680 in Fremont, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported at 8:21 a.m. on northbound I-680 south of Mission Boulevard.


A vehicle struck the back of a big-rig and someone inside the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, CHP officials said. Footage from the scene showed the mangled car had been crumpled beneath the vehicle and its contents were on the road. No children were involved in the crash, the CHP said. 

The far right lane of northbound Highway 680 was blocked following the crash but reopened around 9:30 a.m., the CHP said. Emergency personnel are still on scene and residual delays are likely, given the traffic that was backed up when the road was shut down.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Damages Oakland House, Threatens Others]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 11:19:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OAKLAND+HOUSE+FIRE+CHOPPER+-+11145926.jpg

Firefighters on Wednesday battled a one-alarm residential fire in Oakland that threatened nearby homes.

The house is located at MLK Jr. Way and 59th Street, said fire officials, who requested additional trucks and engines to fight the flames. The fire was reported around 10:30 a.m. and was under control before 11:10 a.m.

NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger showed firefighters atop a charred and partially caved in roof, while the house's blackened interior smoldered. 

Residences around the burning house were evacuated because officials were concerned they would ignite as well.

No further details were immediately available.

Check back for updates.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Arrested For Drugging Toddler Described as Violent]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 19:37:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thomas+mug.jpg

A woman who was arrested earlier this week after drugging a toddler with methamphetamines at a Berkeley park has a criminal history and was described as violent and mean-spirited by people acquainted with her.

Sayyadina Thomas, 36, was taken into custody Monday on suspicion of attempted homicide after she walked up to a 2-year-old boy at a playground at People's Park and placed something in his mouth, police said. She is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, according to court documents.

An eyewitness who did not wish to be identified came face to face with the potentially deadly situation.

"He was playing with the nanny in the play yard," the witness said. "She just walked up to him a grabbed him, and she stuck her hands in his mouth."

After the boy's nanny checked his mouth and found nothing, she called UC police to report the incident, and officers and paramedics responded. Thomas initially was taken into custody for a psychiatric evaluation, but while en route to the holding facility, she told the paramedics that she had given the child methamphetamines, police said.

The boy was taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, where it was determined that the boy had indeed ingested methamphetamines, police said. The boy was recovering in the hospital Tuesday.

Park visitors who know Thomas describe her as mean-spirited and violent.

"She has mental issues," one visitor said Wednesday. "She's highly aggressive; she beats up elderly people."

NBC Bay Area learned Wednesday that she's no stranger to police. Court records show Thomas has been arrested or cited more than 20 times since 2002, with convictions for resisting a police officer and battery with serious bodily injury.

Nanny Pam Valenzuela cares for a 2-year-old herself. She said the attack is a wake-up call for nannies and parents alike.

"You never know who you can trust," she said. "You have be careful everywhere you go. I never let him out of my eyesight."

Neighbor Matt McBryan said he walks his dog in the area daily, but he rarely sees children playing at the playground.

"I know this isn’t the cleanest place, not a good place to have your kids," he said.

Anyone with information about the crime should contact the University of California Police Department's Criminal Investigation Bureau at 510-642-0472 or 510-642-6760.



Photo Credit: UCPD]]>
<![CDATA[Man, Dog Struck and Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash in Bay Point]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 09:06:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/208*120/N5A+BAYPOINT+HIT+AND+RUN+VO+-+00001802.jpg

A man and his dog were struck and killed in a hit-and-run accident late Tuesday in Bay Point, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The deadly crash occurred along Port Chicago Highway near Lakeview Drive, the CHP said.

The victim is estimated to be roughly 40 years old. Footage from the scene showed CHP officers scouring the area, while a sole shoe lay on the road.

The CHP has not yet provided any suspect information or described the car that was involved.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Crews Contain 60-Acre Vegetation Blaze in Livermore]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:08:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cal-Fire-Badge-generic.jpg

A vegetation fire early Wednesday scorched nearly 60 acres off Interstate 580 in Livermore before it was contained.

The flames were reported off Patterson Pass Road, just west of the freeway. Cal Fire crews from Morgan Hill as well as firefighters from Alameda County and Tracy responded to the blaze. 

The fire was first reported around 2:40 a.m., but it took over an hour for crews to gain access to the fire, Cal Fire officials said.

The flames did not impact traffic, per Cal Fire.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Antioch Police Investigate Deadly Stabbing]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 08:18:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/foto+generica+de+police+line+tape.jpg

Police in Antioch are investigating a deadly stabbing late Tuesday night.

A man was stabbed in the torso just after 8 p.m. on West 19th Street, near Antioch High School. Investigators say he later died from his injuries.

Wednesday’s crime marks Antioch’s fifth homicide of the year.

No further details were immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Golden State Warriors Now Valued at $2.6 Billion: Forbes]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 19:26:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Game2_7.jpg

Talk about a return on your investment.

According to Forbes, the Golden State Warriors are now valued at $2.6 billion. That ranks as the third-most valuable NBA franchise behind the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.

In 2010, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber purchased the team for $450 million -- a record price at the time.

The team's 2015 championship, all-star lineup and upcoming move to a new arena in San Francisco are being credited for pushing the franchise's value to $2.6 billion.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Arrested After Giving Toddler Meth in Berkeley: Police]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 05:56:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thomas+mug.jpg

A woman was arrested Monday after giving a toddler methamphetamines, according to the UC Berkeley police.

Sayyadina Thomas, 36, was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide after she walked up to a 2-year-old boy at a playground at People's Park in Berkeley and placed something in his mouth, police said.

An eyewitness who did not wish to be identified came face to face with the potentially deadly situation.

"He was playing with the nanny in the play yard," the witness said. "She just walked up to him a grabbed him, and she stuck her hands in his mouth."

After the boy's nanny checked his mouth and found nothing, she called UC police to report the incident, and officers and paramedics responded. Thomas initially was taken into custody for a psychiatric evaluation, but while en route to the holding facility, she told the paramedics that she had given the child methamphetamines, police said.

The boy was taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, where it was determined that the boy had indeed ingested methamphetamines, police said. The boy was recovering in the hospital Tuesday.

Neighbor Matt McBryan said he walks his dog in the area daily, but he rarely sees children playing at the playground.

"I know this isn’t the cleanest place, not a good place to have your kids," he said.

Anyone with information about the crime should contact the University of California Police Department's Criminal Investigation Bureau at 510-642-0472 or 510-642-6760.



Photo Credit: UCPD]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Crash on I-880 in San Leandro]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 16:57:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0607-2017-SanLeandroCrash.jpg

All lanes of Interstate Highway 880 in San Leandro have reopened Tuesday evening after a fatal collision involving a motorcyclist and an SUV closed the roadway for roughly two hours, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported on northbound Highway 880 just south of Davis Street at 4:05 p.m.

All lanes of traffic were blocked, and the CHP issued a Sig-alert at 4:14 p.m.

The roadway has reopened and the Sig-alert was cancelled at 6:14 p.m. Motorists can expect residual delays, however.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[City of Hayward Apologizes for 'Taco Bout It' Tweet]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 22:33:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/205*120/hayward-twitter.JPG

The city of Hayward is apologizing for using a taco pun in an official tweet to promote a council meeting to discuss sanctuary protections.

The city issued a tweet with an illustration of a taco, urging the public "Let's Taco Bout It."


City spokesman Chuck Finnie said the meme was not related to the topic of sanctuary status. He says city officials are "upset and embarrassed" by the inappropriate tweet and tweeted an apology.

The meme was developed by the city's social media team to promote City Council meetings, which are held on Tuesdays, and is a play on the phrase "Taco Tuesdays."

The Hayward City Council will consider Tuesday whether to formally declare itself a "sanctuary city" for people in the country illegally. Many are from Mexico.




This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Esteemed Teacher in Pleasanton Dies One Day After Retiring]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:06:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-6-17_Thiel_Memorial_Eric.jpg

An East Bay school community is in mouring after learning about the death of a beloved biology teacher who died one day after retiring.

Eric Thiel, a longtime teacher at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, had just returned from a movie theater over the weekend when he passed away unexpectedly, according to The East Bay Times. He was 65.

News of Thiel's death prompted students and teachers to create a makeshift memorial — packed with flowers and notes — on the school's campus.

Thiel is being remembered as a kind, incredible teacher dedicated to mentoring young minds, according to Pleasanton Unified School District Communications Coordinator Patrick Gannon.

"An amazing person," Gannon said. "A mentor to his students. A lot of students have been reaching out saying that (Thiel) is the reason that they are where they are. They just credit a lot of their success to (Thiel)."

Among his accomplishments, Thiel helped create the AP Biology course in the district, Gannon said.

Thiel leaves behind a wife and four children, according to Gannon.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Thiel family. As of Tuesday, it had already surpassed its $18,000 goal.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area; Eric Thiel GoFundMe Page]]>
<![CDATA[Family of Ghost Ship Fire Victims React to Charges Filed]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 22:42:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Family_of_Ghost_Ship_Fire_Victims_React_to_Charges_Filed_Aga.jpg

Just minutes after Monday’s charges were announced, an attorney representing the family of those who lost their lives in the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire spoke out about the district attorney’s decision. Jodi Hernandez reports.

]]>
<![CDATA[Google Now Mapping Air Quality, Starting With Oakland]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 19:30:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oakland-google-0605.jpg

Google Maps camera cars are a common sight on Bay Area roads, but their functionality has now spread beyond mapping and imaging the region.

Their latest duty: checking the air we breathe.

The internet giant, in a joint effort with sensor company Aclima and the Environmental Defense Fund, deployed four specially equipped Google cars to measure air pollution in the city of Oakland, and the results of those assessments were made public Monday.

A video supplied by Google shows the cars driving through West Oakland, downtown and East Oakland for 150 days last year, the Aclima air sensors picking up and measuring the air from block to block.

Aclima scientist Melissa Lunden, Ph.D, showed off the equipment that pumps the samples into some very expensive instruments that cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000.

"It all starts at the front of the car," Lunden said.

The data is analyzed by University of Texas, Austin researcher Joshua Apte, PhD., who found big and consistent differences in air samples captured just within a few hundred yards of one another.

"There are blocks in Oakland where one end of the block can be eight times more polluted than the other end of the block," he said.

The team plans to roll out more cities in the coming months and intends to have hundreds more pollution-analyzing cars within the next couple of years.

Steven Hamburg, PhD., the chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, explained the more you know about where the air pollution is coming from, the easier it is to address it.

"And we need to find the sources of pollution," he said. "Not just the highways but the individual sources, the sub-block, the restaurants, the small factories or the small facilities. We really need to be able to see it and understand it. It’s not an abstraction; it's real, and it’s affecting us."

The pollution map created for Oakland can be found on the Environmental Defense Fund website



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two Arrested in Connection With Oakland Warehouse Fire]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 11:07:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GhostShip_Split.jpg

Two people were arrested Monday morning on charges connected to the deadly Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people in December, according to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.

Derick Almena, the warehouse's operator, and Max Harris, a warehouse tenant, were taken into custody. Almena was arrested in Lake County, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who assisted with the arrest. 

O'Malley said both Almena and Harris are charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the deadly blaze.

Almena was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin late Monday and was to be processed sometime after midnight, sheriff's officials said. He is scheduled to be in court Thursday, with bail set at $1 million. Sheriff’s deputies will travel to Southern California to pick up Harris this week.

One victim's mother reacted to the arrests Monday.

"That place was set up like a death trap," said Susan Slocum, whose daughter Donna Kellogg one of the first to be identified in the tragic fire. "Our daughters and sons didn’t have much of a chance."

Slocum said the arrest of two men facing involuntary manslaughter charges couldn’t come soon enough.

"You feel like you’re in a state of limbo, waiting to hear something," she said. "It feels better knowing there’s movement going on."

O’Malley explained the two men's arrests and charges during a news conference Monday.

"They knowingly created a fire trap, with inadequate escapes, and are now suffering the consequences of their actions," she said.

A massive fire ripped through the converted Ghost Ship warehouse building during a dance party on Dec. 2, engulfing the ground floor and sending smoke up twp staircases, trapping party-goers. Th structure was zoned as a warehouse but illegally converted into a living space.

Almena told NBC's "Today" show back in December that he was "incredibly sorry and that everything that I did was to make this a stronger and more beautiful community and to bring people together."

Almena, 46, who friends knew as Derick Ion, was convicted in January of receiving stolen property, specifically an Airstream trailer from his landlord in January 2015, court records show. He spent two days in jail then, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor, and had been on probation until 2019.

Almena survived the fire and posted to Facebook after hearing that the converted warehouse he managed was the site of a deadly fire. The post, which has since been deleted, got a lot of attention because of its insensitivity to what was already known to be a fatal scene.

The post read as follows: "Confirmed. Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah were at a hotel safe and sound ... it's as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope ... to be standing now in poverty of self worth."

The post prompted more than 2,000 comments, and many of them were critical of Almena's message. The commenters said he showed more concern for his material possessions than the people who were killed in the blaze.

Danielle Boudreaux said she became fast friends with Almena and his wife Micah Allison when they met eight years ago before a falling out about a year ago over conditions at the warehouse.

Access to the second floor, where there was a room for concerts and a home for the couple and their children, was a rickety, homemade staircase, she said.

"Calling it a staircase gives you the idea that it was a set of stairs. It was not," Boudreaux said. "It was random pieces of wood put together to create something that you could get up to the top floor on. But it was not what most people would consider a staircase. It was like a jimmy-rigged makeshift staircase. As soon as you stepped on it, it wobbled all over the place."

Other former tenants have said there were constant problems with the power and hot water. One, Shelly Mack, described "all kinds of electrical cords running through there illegally." She called it a "death trap."

Long before the fire killed 36 partygoers in Oakland’s Fruitvale district late Friday night, Oakland officials had been fighting the owners of that building over hazardous or substandard conditions at their properties.

City building inspectors never set foot inside the Ghost Ship warehouse in 30 years. But dozens of public documents obtained by the Investigative Unit reveal city officials had routinely accused the building’s owners of neglect in connection with the warehouse and other properties they own. Those records show the Ng family, who own the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse and at least a dozen other properties across the Bay Area, failed to clean up dangerous or shoddy conditions at properties over a period of more than 15 years despite code violations and complaints from neighbors.

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



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Ajesh Shah]]>
<![CDATA[Injured Mountain Biker Rescued From Mount Diablo]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 00:06:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/diablo+rescue-0604.jpg

An injured mountain biker was rescued Saturday from Mt. Diablo in unincorporated Contra Costa County by a Contra Costa County sheriff's helicopter, sheriff's officials said Sunday.

The helicopter crew overheard a call at 12:53 p.m. about an injured mountain biker near North Peak Trail. The helicopter crew responded and found the injured biker about 6 miles up on the trail.


Sheriff's officials said the crew landed the helicopter and sent a paramedic to evaluate the victim.

Because of the victim's injuries and the time it would take to get the victim out of the area on somewhat steep, unstable fire trails, the victim was flown to waiting medical units.

Sheriff's officials said an ambulance took the victim to a hospital. The victim may have suffered a broken leg.



Photo Credit: Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Warms Springs BART Station Returns to Normal Service]]>Sun, 04 Jun 2017 14:47:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-25-17_BART_Warm_Springs.jpg

The new Warm Springs BART Station in Fremont is back open Sunday after being temporarily closed due to construction efforts.

Service was halted so crews could continue installing and testing equipment in advance of the opening of the Milpitas and Berryessa BART stations, according to BART.

The Warm Springs Station will also be closed later this summer during an undetermined weekend for ongoing track work. When that closure takes affect, BART will provide a free bus service to transfer riders from the Warms Springs Station to the Fremont Station.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Injured Boy Airlifted From Campground Near Lake Chabot]]>Sun, 04 Jun 2017 10:20:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/Generic+Hospital+Chopper.jpg

An 11-year-old boy was airlifted from a campground at the Anthony Chabot Regional Park near Oakland Saturday after he took a bad fall and hit his head, according to an Oakland Fire Department official.

At about 11:30 a.m., Oakland fire crews responded to a report that a boy who was camping in the area fell and hit his head on an asphalt surface, according to Battalion Chief James Bowron.

The boy, who was camping with a group at the Anthony Chabot Family Campground off of Redwood Road, appeared to have suffered significant head trauma and was stabilized by paramedics before being airlifted to UCSF Benioff Oakland Children's Hospital, Bowron said.

The campground is in an unincorporated part of Alameda County east of Oakland and is usually served by county fire crews. However, a landslide that closed part of Redwood Road has prevented access to the area from the south, where the nearest county fire station is located, Bowron said.

Emergency response personnel from the East Bay Regional Park District also responded to the scene.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Vehicle Suspect Shot by Police in San Leandro]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 00:00:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-4-17_San_Leandro_Shooting.jpg

San Leandro police shot a 40-year-old man driving a stolen vehicle Sunday morning, according to police.

The shooting occurred at around 3 a.m. in the 800 block of St. Marys Street as officers tried to stop the man, police said.

The suspect is alert and stable at a hospital, according to police. Police said the person's injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Officers involved in the shooting were not injured, and they are cooperating with the investigation, according to police. When asked if the suspect was armed, police were not certain and had not yet found a weapon.

Police said they are not releasing information on how the shooting occurred until they investigate more. Investigators are reviewing body camera footage and looking for any video surveillance that may have captured the incident. They said they will likely know more details in the coming days.

The van was towed away from the scene about midday Sunday after investigators combed over it for hours.  

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact San Leandro Police at 510-577-2740.

NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Racist Graffiti Scrawled on Castro Valley High School Campus]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 23:44:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-2-17_Castro_Valley_HS.jpg

For the second time in roughly 48 hours, racist graffiti targeting African American students cropped up on the campus of Castro Valley High School Friday.

The N-word has been scrawled across the East Bay campus in at least three different locations recently, prompting students to condemn the act and a "deeply troubled" principal to speak out against the bigoted behavior.

"It is important that each of our students understand that using hate speech in any capacity is wrong," Principal Blaine C. Torpey wrote in a message to the school community. "Hate speech and racist language destroy the fabric of our community."

Seniors at the school say a small contingent of students is known for displaying racist symbols and using racist speech against people of color.

"There are kids here who are racist, for sure," senior Marco Macchiavello said. "It just makes me kind of sad to know that there's kids like this in our school."

Fellow senior Robert Terhell added that such behavior cannot be tolerated.

"I don't like that it's at my school," he said.

The school and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office are investigating the incident. Any student with information is asked to come forward.

School officials are also encouraging students to seek support from school counselors or administrators if need be.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Three Men Convicted of Bid-Rigging in Oakland Housing Scheme]]>Sat, 03 Jun 2017 17:31:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/197*120/GettyImages-84611044+gavel.jpg

Three men were convicted Friday of rigging bids at real estate auctions held in Northern California to snatch up hundreds of foreclosed properties during the housing crisis.

The jury found Michael Marr, Javier Sanchez and Gregory Casorso guilty of conspiracy following a three-week trial in federal court in Oakland.

Prosecutors said they worked together to suppress the prices of bids on foreclosed homes at courthouse auctions in Alameda County between June 2008 and January of 2011. Marr and Sanchez also were convicted of conspiracy to rig bids in Contra Costa County.

Authorities said the men decided who would win the bidding for certain properties by agreeing not to compete with each other before the public auction. They would then hold a private auction to determine who would get the properties. Prosecutors said payoffs were given to those who agreed not to compete with them.

Those practices cheated lenders, taxpayers and distressed homeowners, officials said.

Marr owns more than 300 properties and is considered the largest private landlord in Oakland, the East Bay Times reported. Some of his tenants protested outside the courthouse when his trial began. They alleged he is raising rents, sending eviction notices and collecting back rents at homes he purchased in the working-class neighborhoods of east Oakland.

Federal authorities continue to investigate bid-rigging in Northern California. So far, 68 people have been convicted or pleaded guilty, and indictments are pending against other real estate investors who participated in the conspiracy, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[165 Cars Stolen in Livermore So Far This Year: Police]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 21:48:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0702-2017-SurveillanceVid.jpg

Police are investigating an alarming rate of car thefts in Livermore.

Investigators say cars are being stolen across the East Bay city at an alarming rate: 165 so far this year. That's at least one car stolen a day.

"We're actively working enforcement efforts, but typically the best way to stop a crime is to prevent it from happening in the first place," Livermore Police Lt. John Hurd said.

Andrew Means is one of the city's many victims.

Early Tuesday morning thieves broke into Means' house while he and his family were asleep. Means says the thieves took a number of items, including car keys, then made off with two cars that were parked in the driveway.

"When the second car started, which is right outside my bedroom window, I woke up and realized that's my car," Means said.

Until this week, Means did not worry about safety at all in his neighborhood. He is now warning other and is determined not be victimized again.



Photo Credit: Livermore Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Fremont Teacher Gets 195 Years for Molesting Students]]>Sat, 03 Jun 2017 14:02:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/T10A+FBI+ARREST+CHILD+VO+-+00001510.jpg

A former Fremont elementary school teacher was sentenced Friday to 195 years to life in state prison for molesting two young students nearly 20 years ago.

Frank Montenegro, who's now 53, was convicted in March of two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor under 14 for his acts against one of the boys and seven counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor under 14 and four counts of aggravated sexual assault for his acts with the other victim.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy told Montenegro, "You committed atrocious and appalling crimes and took advantage of two young, vulnerable and fatherless boys."

Murphy said he and other parents trust teachers to protect and educate their children but told Montenegro, "You violated that trust in a horrible way."

Apparently noticing that Montenegro smirked throughout his trial and sentencing hearing, Murphy said, "You've surrounded yourself with a cloak of self-righteousness" and said he thinks that may be Montenegro's way of trying to deny what he did to the two boys on multiple occasions between August 1998 and June 2001.

Prosecutor Amanda Chavez alleged in her closing argument in Montenegro's trial that he was a sexual predator who "was motivated by sexual urges in children" and preyed on two vulnerable boys who came from troubled homes.

One of the victims testified that Montenegro began molesting him when he was an 8-year-old third grader at John Blacow Elementary School in Fremont in 1998 and the assaults continued until he was a 10-year-old fifth grader in 2001.

Chavez said that boy was assaulted at the school at nighttime, at Montenegro's home, at the home of Montenegro's friend and at a motel.

Chavez said the other victim, who had lived in a group home, was assaulted in an interior room at the school during recess periods.

Chavez said Montenegro, who had worked for the district since 1988, fled the Bay Area on July 19, 2001, when police were about to arrest him and went into hiding for 14 years by using a false name until FBI fugitive task force members found him and arrested him in the Los Angeles area on Aug. 15, 2015.

Defense attorney Todd Bequette said in his closing argument that Montenegro is "an innocent man" and the prosecution failed to produce any DNA evidence, medical records, hotel receipts or confessions to prove that Montenegro had molested the two boys.

In a strange twist on the case, Chavez alleged at a hearing outside the presence of jurors on Feb. 28 that Montenegro had been masturbating in court that day while Bequette was cross-examining one of the alleged victims.

Bequette then asked that a mistrial be declared because he thought jurors might not be able to give Montenegro a fair trial but Murphy denied the defense motion.

The victim who was assaulted multiple times at multiple locations, who is now 27, said that now that Montenegro has been convicted and sentenced, "I've finally gotten justice after all these years and finally feel free and like a burden has been lifted off my chest."

Fighting back tears, the victim told Montenegro, "You should be ashamed of yourself" and asked, "Why did you take advantage of me?"

The victim said, "You stole something from me that I can never get back and I will never forgive you."

The victim's mother said, "My life will never be the same because of how much my son suffered from this piece of trash."

Montenegro's sister, Genevieve Montenegro, who was the first person to report him to police after seeing the victim in the bedroom where Montenegro lived with his siblings, alleged that Montenegro sexually abused his younger siblings after their parents died.

Genevieve Montenegro said, "We were given to him (Montenegro) to take care of us but he didn't."

She told her brother that when he's in prison, "You will be with animals and the worst people in the world."

The victim who spoke in court Friday is still in custody because he's serving a sentence for a residential burglary conviction and for assault with a deadly weapon and resisting an officer in a jail incident.

But the victim is expected to be released soon and Murphy told him, "Your family is supporting you in finding a way to turn your life around and your future is bright. Go forward with your head up and do some good things."



Photo Credit: Northern California Regional Intelligence Center]]>
<![CDATA[Homeless Man Injured in Oakland Encampment Clean-Up]]>Sat, 03 Jun 2017 13:35:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Lawn+Tractor+Generic.jpg

A homeless man was injured when city of Oakland workers used a tractor-style vehicle called a "Dingo" to dismantle and clean up an encampment in West Oakland a month ago, a city official said Friday.

Assistant City Administrator Joe DeVries said the incident occurred at about 10 a.m. on May 5 when city workers were removing tents at an encampment in the vicinity of 35th and Peralta streets, under Interstate Highway 580, several days after a fire at the site burned 12 tents and a sanitation station.

DeVries said city workers had posted abandonment notices at the encampment and warned the people there to move away so they didn't think anyone was in one of the tents when the Dingo vehicle pushed it a few feet.

But he said a man, who was later identified as 51-year-old Daryll Barker, ran out of the tent, jumped over a barrier and fell over the side and injured his knee and had to be taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.

"It was a huge surprise that he was still there," DeVries said, describing the incident as "unfortunate."

Barker has hired attorney Jeff Wozniak to represent him and is seeking to be compensated for his injuries and medical expenses.

But DeVries said he believes Barker was injured by his fall, not by the "Dingo" moving his tent.

Wozniak couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

DeVries said the city is using "Dingos" and even larger vehicles to clean up trash at 25 to 30 major encampments in Oakland.

He said that on May 25 city workers removed "a mountain of garbage" from an encampment on Northgate Avenue underneath a highway underpass there.

DeVries said the city will conduct similar cleanutodp operations in the near future.

He said homeless people who are living at the encampments should take the 72-hour abandonment notices that the city posts "seriously" and leave before workers clean up the sites.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors, NBA Dedicate New Play Zone for Oakland Students]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:52:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06-03-2017-nba-cares.jpg

The Golden State Warriors visited Westlake Middle School in Oakland Friday for the dedication of a new play zone. The dedication was part of the NBA Cares program. Colin Resch reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Evasive Reckless Driving Suspect Shot by Vallejo Police]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:17:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-1-17-martinez-shooting1.jpg

Vallejo police officers on Wednesday night shot a 20-year-old man accused of driving recklessly and then ramming into patrol cars when trying to escape, who they had been trying to apprehend for the past week.

The man, identified as Kevin DeCarlo, was shot outside a house on the 4000 block of Ellis Road in Martinez. 

Last Thursday, members of the Vallejo Police Crime Reduction Team tried to arrest DeCarlo for allegedly driving recklessly. They pursued and identified the slippery suspect, even though they were unable to catch him at the time, they said.

On Saturday, Vallejo police located DeCarlo, but said he drove into a patrol car and then took off. 


Finally late Wednesday, police said they found DeCarlo in a Martinez home that they surrounded. Again, the suspect tried to escape by slamming his black Dodge Challenger into a squad car, police said. That's when officers opened fire.

DeCarlo was struck multiple times and taken to a hospital for treatment.

"We’re just sitting in the house, you know, doing normal people things and we just heard some gunshots and heard pops and screeching tires and then we freaked out, so we rushed over here," said witness Bobby Conklin. "By the time we got over here, the helicopters were flying around. There were about 13, 14 police cars.”

The suspect's father, Michael DeCarlo, lashed out at the Vallejo Police Department, claiming on Thursday that officers have ben targeting his son, with an intent to kill him. Kevin DeCarlo is in critical condition, he said.


"He's in fear for his life," Michael DeCarlo said. "They've been going around making comments about killing the kid. I mean ... would you stop?"

A Vallejo police officer sustained minor injuries and was treated and released.

Along with several evidence markers, footage from the scene showed a black Dodge Challenger that had veered off the road, crashed into a fence and had its windows shot out. 

"Explain to me why all the bullets here," Michael DeCarlo said. "I mean ... it looked like they had him apprehended in the ditch."

Kevin DeCarlo's friend, Justin Caldwell, agreed, describing the scene of the shooting as a "war zone." Kevin DeCarlo wasn't armed, so "it's just not right" that police shot him," Caldwell said. Vallejo police have yet to confirm whether the suspect was carrying a weapon.

According to Michael DeCarlo, Vallejo police had it out for his son.

Officers have raided a few residences in Vallejo in recent weeks, he said. A woman who lives at one those houses allegedly told Michael DeCarlo that officers, on their way out, said, "When we see Kevin, you let him know we're going to shoot his a**."

Vallejo police have not yet responded to that accusation.

The Vallejo Police Department is investigating the officer-involved shooting along with the Contra Costa County District Attorney and sheriff's offices.

"He may be going through some tough times, but he's my brother, he's a good dude," Caldwell insisted.

 



Photo Credit: Bob Redell/NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Police Investigate Double Homicide]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:56:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Police-GettyImages-187062332.jpg

Two people were shot dead in Oakland early Friday, police said.

A shooting was reported to police around 1:25 a.m. and officers responded to the 1400 block of 85th Avenue, near International Boulevard. Two victims suffering from gunshot wounds were treated by emergency responders, but were pronounced dead at the scene. 

Investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding the death. No suspect information or motive has been provided.

The victims have not yet been identified, pending notifiction of their next of kin.

People with information are asked to call the Oakland Police Department Homicide Section at 510-238-3821 or the tip line 510-238-7950.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[SpaceX Chases Spaceflight History With Reused Capsule]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:06:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/International-Space-Station.jpg

Southern California-based SpaceX will look to make more history Saturday when the company launches a supply mission to the International Space Station using a spacecraft that will be making its second visit to the outpost.

Stormy weather thwarted SpaceX's effort Thursday to launch its first recycled cargo ship to the International Space Station.

A lightning strike within 11 miles of the pad violated launch weather rules. Moments later, SpaceX halted the countdown at Florida's Kennedy Space Center with just 25 minutes remaining. The company will try again Saturday, but more storms are expected.

The Hawthorne company has already revolutionized the spaceflight industry by recovering the first stage of its Falcon 9 rockets multiple times for re-use. The company successfully re-used one of them during a March flight.

The scheduled launch will mark the first time SpaceX has re-used one of its Dragon spacecraft, albeit a heavily refurbished one. The craft previously traveled to the International Space Station in 2014.

The spacecraft will be launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and SpaceX will again attempt to recapture the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that boosts it into orbit, landing the rocket back at Cape Canaveral. If successful, it would be the fourth time SpaceX has piloted the rocket's first stage back to Cape Canaveral. The rockets have been recovered six times on a barge floating in the ocean.

The mission, dubbed CRS-11, will carry nearly 6,000 pounds of supplies and payloads, according to SpaceX.

The rescheduled launch window will open at 5:07 p.m ET (2:07 p.m. PT) Saturday.



Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Man Shot Dead in Antioch, Suspect Arrested: Police]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:21:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Police-GettyImages-187062332.jpg

Police are investigating a shooting Wednesday evening in Antioch that left one man dead, police said.

According to Antioch police, at 5:46 p.m. officers responded to the 2100 block of Lemontree Way on a report of gunshots.

Officers arrived and located evidence of a shooting, as well as an adult male shooting victim who fled the scene in a vehicle and collided with several uninvolved occupied vehicles as he fled, police said.

Police made contact with the victim a short distance away on L Street near the state Highway 4 overpass. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he died of his injuries, police said.

During an investigation, a suspect was identified and subsequently located at a home in the 2100 block of Lemontree Way.

According to police, the suspect initially refused to cooperate with police and would not exit the home. After a short standoff, the suspect exited and was peacefully taken into custody.

This homicide is currently under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Antioch police at (925) 778-2441 or send a text to 274637 using the keyword ANTIOCH.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Officer-Involved Shooting in Martinez]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 06:18:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/martinez+ois-0531.jpg

Multiple law enforcement officers and paramedics were at the scene of an officer-involved shooting involving Vallejo police in unicorporated Martinez, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

The shooting occurred near Pacheco Boulevard and Ellis Road, the sheriff's office said. Images show a vehicle off the side of the road at the scene, but it wasn't clear if it was involved in the shooting.

Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots.

Details on suspects and victims were not available.

The Vallejo Police Department was leading the investigation. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Popular Concord Restaurant Closed Due to Rat Infestation]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 23:43:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lins-rats-0531.jpg

A popular East Bay restaurant was shut down Wednesday night because of a rodent infestation.

Lin's Chinese Buffet on Willow Pass Road in Concord was closed by the Contra Costa County Health Department, and documents show the restaurant has a history of health violations.

Restaurant workers were upset and busy cleaning Wednesday as a sign across the doors marked the closure due to a rat infestation.

Customers were surprised to hear about the latest violation.

"It's decent, looked alright," customer Chris Lee said. "Didn't see too much of a problem."

The restaurant's history shows violations dating back to 2015, from hands clean and properly washed to proper hot and cold holding temperatures to thawing methods.

As employees were working to thoroughly clean the restaurant, they said they have yet to hear back from the owner.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mortgage Broker Raises Thousands for East Bay Schools]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 20:26:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Mortgage_Broker_Raises_Thousands_for_Schools_With_Bodybuildi.jpg

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Working out like a pro bodybuilder paid off for an East Bay mortgage broker in more ways than one. Jason Brown presented San Ramon and Danville schools with a check for $10,000 on Wednesday after a grueling journey. For nearly six months he trained for a men's bodybuilding competition held earlier this month. He worked out seven days a week, followed a strict diet and filmed it all to raise money for schools.

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<![CDATA[Vigil Held for Two Teens Killed in Alameda Crash]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 23:56:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/alameda+vigil-0531.jpg

A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at the scene of a crash that killed two East Bay teenagers in Alameda on Monday morning.

The New Haven Unified School District identified the teens, who were both 17, as Briana Ortega of Hayward, who was a senior at the Decoto School for Independent Study in Union City, and Simon Sotelo of Union City, who was a sophomore at Logan High School in Union City.

Alameda police said the collision was reported at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue at 8:01 a.m. Monday and involved a minivan with a single occupant and a truck carrying seven people.

Ortega and Sotelo were both in the truck. Ortega died at the scene, and Sotelo was transported to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Five other occupants of the truck were transported to a hospital with critical injuries.

A woman driving the minivan was also hospitalized with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.

Police said speed appeared to be a factor in the collision.

The candlelight vigil at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue was organized by Ortega's family, school district officials said.

Information about funeral services will be released when the details are finalized.

School district officials said grief and support services are available for students and staff members who've been impacted by the deaths of Ortega and Sotelo.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Overturned Big-Rig Spills Hazardous Material in San Leandro]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 23:53:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0531-2017-HazMat.jpg

A big-rig overturned on a connector ramp from Interstate 880 to Highway 238 in San Leandro Wednesday, spilling a hazardous material and causing evacuations of a nearby building, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was initially reported shortly after 11:20 a.m. on the ramp from northbound Highway 880 to southbound Highway 238.

A Caltrans building nearby was evacuated during the response, according to the CHP.

Minor injuries were reported to the driver of the big-rig. The vehicle was leaking acetic acid, CHP Officer Kevin Bartlett said. The acid also got into a storm drain, which emergency crews blocked off with an inflatable plug.

The roadway was closed for over 12 hours until crews cleaned up and cleared the scene just before midnight.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland OKs Nearly $1M Settlement in Police Sex Scandal]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 20:56:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0531-2017-Jasmine.jpg

The Oakland City Council early Wednesday morning approved a nearly $1 million settlement with a woman at the center of a sex abuse scandal that rocked the police department.

The 19-year-old woman known as "Jasmine," who went by the street name Celeste Guap, said she had sex with multiple officers from the Oakland Police Department as well as other law enforcement agencies across the Bay Area, some when she was underage.

"I feel happy that I can close this chapter and move on with my life," Jasmine said while holding back tears at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Jasmine added the scandal has "taken a toll on me."

Council members voted 7-1 around 2 a.m. in favor of a $989,000 settlement that comes in response to the teen's allegations that officers violated her constitutional rights.

"The settlement will occur with no admission of liability, but obviously if you pay $1 million, you figure you got some responsibility," said John Burris, Jasmine's attorney.

The woman, who is the daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher, accused four Oakland police officers of having sex with her when she was a minor.

The case broke in 2015 after Officer Brendan O'Brien killed himself, leaving behind a note detailing Jasmine's sexual encounters with officers.

"All the facts were talked about, the law was talked about, in terms of Jasmine, how she's doing, what does she think," Burris said. "So all the factors were taken into consideration."

Burris said the original claim asking for $66 million was made by a previous representative of Jasmine.

Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan issued a statement in which she acknowledged that "many are feeling dismay with this gross misconduct that was not only harmful to the then minor, Jasmine, but also that the misconduct will cost taxpayers as well."

However, Kaplan added that she viewed the settlement as a form of closure.

"It is time to pay the settlement agreement to let this young woman get on with her life and her healing, but also for Oakland to step up and change the culture in the police department and change how we recruit and train our officers," she said.

The settlement ends the city's financial liability, but some say it points to the need for a new culture in the Oakland Police Department.

"How did we create this culture where so many in the department either were willing to engage in or hide sexual misconduct?" Burris said. "It seems we need to rebuild the department with more women and more respect."

Burris said he's considering cases against law enforcement in Livermore, San Francisco, Richmond, Alameda County and Contra Costa County.

In addition to the potential civil cases, a number of law enforcement officers in the Bay Area lost their jobs and some have been criminally charged in connection with Jasmine.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Gender-Inclusive Locker Room Planned for UC Berkeley]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 13:44:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-73909596.jpg

The University of California, Berkeley plans to build a gender-inclusive locker room at its campus gym.

When the locker room opens next year it will include private changing rooms, showers, lockers and bathrooms stalls. It will also serve as a gender-neutral access point to the campus swim facility. Campus officials say men, women and gender-nonconforming individuals will all be able to use the facility.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the $2.7 million locker room is being funded from a new fee aimed at creating more equitable health services.

UC Berkeley is the latest university to create a gender-inclusive locker room. The University of Arizona recently broke ground on one and a national group that advocates for college gyms and health services is encouraging its member universities to follow suit.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Traffic Backs Up After Gravel Spill on I-580 in Pleasanton]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 08:37:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-pursuit-1.jpg

A gravel spill from a truck blocked multiple lanes of westbound Interstate Highway 580 in Pleasanton for nearly two hours on Wednesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The spill was reported shortly before 6:45 a.m. on westbound Highway 580 near the Hopyard Road off-ramp.

The gravel was about 2 inches deep on the highway and blocked the two right lanes and the off-ramp, CHP Officer Kevin Bartlett said.

Lanes were open before 8:30 a.m., but the CHP urged drivers to expect residual delays.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Growing California Pot Industry Offers Breaks to Minorities]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 14:07:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AP_17145686450615.jpg

Andre Shavers was sentenced to five years on felony probation after authorities burst into the house where he was living in one of Oakland's most heavily policed neighborhoods and found a quarter ounce of marijuana.

After the 2007 raid, Shavers couldn't leave the state without permission. He was subject to police searches at any time. He walked to the corner store one night for maple syrup and came back in a police car. Officers wanted to search his home again.

All the while, cannabis storefronts flourished elsewhere in a state where medical marijuana was authorized in 1996.

Now Oakland and other cities and states with legal pot are trying to make up for the toll marijuana enforcement took on minorities by giving them a better shot at joining the growing marijuana industry. African-Americans made up 83 percent of cannabis arrests in Oakland in the year Shavers was arrested.

"I was kind of robbed of a lot for five years," Shavers said. "It's almost like, what do they call that? Reparations. That's how I look at it. If this is what they're offering, I'm going to go ahead and use the services."

The efforts' supporters say legalization is enriching white people but not brown and black people who have been arrested for cannabis crimes at far greater rates than whites.

Recreational pot is legal in eight states and the nation's capital. California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada approved ballot questions in November. They join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, which acted earlier. Twenty-nine states permit medical marijuana.

Massachusetts' ballot initiative was the first to insert specific language encouraging participation in the industry by those "disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement." The law does not specify how that would be accomplished.

In Ohio, a 2016 medical pot law included setting aside 15 percent of marijuana-related licenses for minority businesses. In Pennsylvania, applicants for cultivation and dispensing permits must spell out how they will achieve racial equity.

Florida lawmakers agreed last year to reserve one of three future cultivation licenses for a member of the Florida Black Farmers and Agriculturists Association.

There have been setbacks as well. The Maryland General Assembly adjourned last month without acting on a bill to guarantee a place for minority-owned businesses that were not awarded any of the state's initial 15 medical marijuana cultivation licenses.

There's no solid data on how many minorities own U.S. cannabis businesses or how many seek a foothold in the industry. But diversity advocates say the industry is overwhelmingly white.

The lack of diversity, they say, can be traced to multiple factors: rules that disqualify people with prior convictions from operating legal cannabis businesses; lack of access to banking services and capital to finance startup costs; and state licensing systems that tend to favor established or politically connected applicants.

"It's a problem that has been recognized but has proven to be relatively intractable," said Sam Kamin, a professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law who studies marijuana regulation.

In 2010, blacks constituted 14 percent of the U.S. population but made up more than 36 percent of all arrests for pot possession, according to an American Civil Liberties Union study released in 2013. The report found African-Americans were nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis possession.

That study did not report Latino arrests because the FBI data on which it was based did not track Hispanics. But a 2016 study by the ACLU of California and the Drug Policy Alliance found Latinos were cited at 1.4 times the rate of white people for marijuana infractions in Los Angeles and 1.7 percent the rate in Fresno.

The Minority Cannabis Business Association has drafted model legislation for states considering new or revised marijuana laws, including language to expunge pot-related convictions and to encourage racial and gender diversity among cannabis businesses.

"The people who got locked up should not get locked out of this industry," said Tito Jackson, a Boston city councilman and mayoral candidate. He suggests Massachusetts give licensing preference to groups that include at least one person with a marijuana conviction.

The Oakland City Council in April voted to set aside half of medical cannabis licenses for people who have been convicted of a marijuana crime or who lived in one of 21 police districts with disproportionately high marijuana arrests. Candidates must meet income restrictions.

Complicating matters is that marijuana remains illegal under federal law — a fact seen as unlikely to change under President Donald Trump. That makes most banks reluctant to lend money to startup cannabis businesses, which often must rely instead on personal wealth.

An Oakland-based nonprofit known as The Hood Incubator provides training and mentoring to minority cannabis entrepreneurs.

"Maybe they lack the money to get into the industry or they might have, you know, gotten arrested in the past for oh, what do you know? Selling weed. And now they can't actually get into the legal industry," said Ebele Ifedigbo, one of the group's three co-founders.

Under Oakland's program, applicants who don't qualify for a so-called equity license can still get preference if they "incubate" a minority-owned business with free rent or other help.

Dan Grace, president of Dark Heart Nursery, is nervous about finding a partner but ready to make the program work. Debby Goldsberry, Magnolia Wellness dispensary's executive director, said the industry is primed to change and expand.

"Why? Because there's a prohibition that's been out there targeting people in our communities in Oakland, and it's very unfair," she said.

Oakland hosted a business mixer this month that attracted several hundred people, including retirees who have never smoked a joint and people who served time for marijuana offenses and established cannabis businesses.

That group included Shavers, who hopes his drug-related record helps him get office space and investors to grow his delivery service, The Medical Strain.

"It's a blessing in disguise," he said, "but not the blessing I would recommend."

Associated Press writers Brian Witte and Julie Carr Smyth contributed to this report. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg]]>
<![CDATA[Homicide Suspect at Large After Lengthy Standoff With OPD]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 05:51:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N5A+OAKLAND+STANDOFF+VO+-+000029281.jpg

Police on Wednesday morning came up empty after a lengthy standoff prompted by a deadly shooting in Oakland.

Officer responded to the 5100 block of International Boulevard about 3:40 p.m. Tuesday and located a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound, police said. He succumbed to his injuries.

The standoff started thereafter with police stationed outside an apartment unit where they believed the shooting suspect was barricaded.

Officers called off the standoff around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, saying the suspect is still at large.

No further details were immediately available.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Mulls Nearly-$1M Settlement in Police Sex Scandal]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 09:31:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oak+settle-0530.jpg

The Oakland City Council on Tuesday night was considering a nearly $1 million payment to a teen at the center of a police department sex scandal.

The council hadn't yet voted on the settlement late Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old woman known as "Jasmine," who went by the street name Celeste Guap, said she had sex with multiple officers from the Oakland Police Department as well as other law enforcement agencies around the Bay Area, some when she was underage.

The settlement comes in response to the teen's allegations that officers violated her constitutional rights.

"The settlement will occur with no admission of liability, but obviously if you pay $1 million, you figure you got some responsibility," said John Burris, Jasmine's attorney.

The woman, who is the daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher, accused four Oakland police officers of having sex with her when she was a minor.

The case broke in 2015 after Officer Brendan O'Brien killed himself in 2015, leaving behind a note detailing Jasmine's sexual encounters with officers.

"All the facts were talked about, the law was talked about, in terms of Jasmine, how she's doing, what does she think," Burris said. "So all the factors were taken into consideration."

Burris said the original claim asking for $66 million was made by a previous representative of Jasmine.

"I think it is worth settling the case because the amount of money and human pain that we would spend if we went to court and fight this would not be worth it," Council Member Rebecca Kaplan said.

The settlement ends the city's financial liability, but some say it points to the need for a new culture in the Police Department.

"How did we create this culture where so many in the department either were willing to engage in or hide sexual misconduct?" Kaplan said. "It seems we need to rebuild the department with more women and more respect."

Burris said he's considering cases against law enforcement in Livermore, San Francisco, Richmond, Alameda County and Contra Costa County.

In addition to the potential civil cases, a number of law enforcement officers in the Bay Area lost their jobs and some even have been criminally charged in connection with Jasmine.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Hospitalized After Collision Between Bike and Vehicle]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 00:23:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance_generic2shotTele.jpg

A collision between a boy on a bike and a vehicle Tuesday afternoon in Antioch sent the boy to a hospital, a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said.

The collision involving a boy about 11 years old was reported at 2:57 p.m. at East 18th and Wilson streets, fire district spokesman Steve Aubert said.

The boy was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

No further details were available.

]]>
<![CDATA[Man Fatally Shot in East Oakland: Police]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 17:19:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic24.jpg

A man was fatally shot in East Oakland on Tuesday, according to the Oakland Police Department.

Officer responded to the 5100 block of International Boulevard about 3:40 p.m. and located a male suffering from at least one gunshot wound, police said. The extent of his injury was not known.

Homicide investigators were at the scene.

No additional details were available.

]]>
<![CDATA[Puddling May Have Caused Boy to Hydroplane Off Dublin Slide]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 23:57:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-29-17_Water_Slide_Boy.jpg

A preliminary investigation into what caused a 10-year-old boy to be ejected from a water slide in Dublin over the weekend indicates that "puddling of water" in the slide's trough may have caused him to hydroplane, according to officials.

"We're reviewing appropriate water levels at bottom of the trough," said Erika Monterroza, who was speaking on behalf of Cal-OSHA. "We’re investigating the accident and the factors that led to that."


An investigation remains ongoing, and investigators are trying to determine how much water should have been in the slide's flat section, which is designed to slow riders down, according to Monterroza.

Cal-OSHA is not discussing any fines or citations at this point in time, Monterozza said.

Video captured by the Bay Area News Group shows the boy accelerate down the three-story slide. As he reaches the lower trough, his body glides across the slide's side wall before skidding across the concrete. He suffered some scratches, and his parents took to him a hospital, but he was later released.

A number of tests were conducted to test the slide's safety before the park's grand opening Saturday, according to city officials. Cal-OSHA on Friday gave the ride the green light to open.

Prior to being permitted, the ride was found to be in need of repairs and adjustments, according to documents provided by Cal-OSHA. Concerns raised by inspectors about the ride included missing documentation, sharp aluminum fencing, exposed bolts, questions about water quality maintenance and more. Those issues were subsequently addressed, and the ride was allowed to be opened to the public, according to Cal-OSHA.

The 31,000-square-foot, $43 million water park opened just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.



Photo Credit: East Bay Times]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Crash Victims ID'd as Teens From Hayward, Union City]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 19:49:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0529-2017-AlamedaFatalAx.JPG

The deaths of two 17-year-olds in a rollover crash in Alameda are weighing heavily on the minds of students and teachers at two East Bay schools.

The Alameda County coroner's bureau on Tuesday identified the teenagers as Briana Ortega of Hayward, a senior at Decoto School for Independent Study, and Simon Sotelo of Union City, a sophomore at James Logan High School.

"Everyone's just not as happy as they should be at the end of the school year," said James Logan High School senior Tabotha Nonog.

John Mattos of the New Haven Unified School District said that officials are doing their best to support students in their time of grief.

"We have a number of counselors, psychologists, social workers that are available if students feel like they need some kind of support processing what happened," Mattos said.

The two deaths have hit James Logan High School particularly hard because a car collision claimed the life of another student earlier this month. Shane Marcelino, an 18-year-old senior, was killed early May 15 after attending the school's prom.

"It's like one after another and it's all car crashes," Tabotha said.

Monday's collision was reported at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue at 8:01 a.m. It involved a minivan with a single occupant and a full-sized truck carrying seven people.

Briana and Simon were both in the truck. She died at the scene and he was transported to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Five other occupants of the truck were transported to a hospital with critical injuries. A woman driving the minivan was also hospitalized with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.

Police said speed appeared to be a factor in the collision.

"This might be something we're dealing with for the next few days, the remainder of the year," Mattos said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART Recovers After Disabled Train Triggers Major Delays]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 07:01:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart-generic.jpg

BART is recovering Tuesday morning after a disabled train temporarily blocked service between San Francisco and the East Bay, according to the transportation agency.

The train, which was stuck somewhere between the West Oakland and Embarcadero stations, was reported to be blocking train traffic just before 7 a.m., according to BART. Roughly 30 minutes later, the train was pushed out of the way and transbay service resumed.

Approximately 60 passengers on the disabled train were removed safely, according to BART.

Crews were dispatched to the scene of where the train stalled to make sure there was no damage, BART reported.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fallen Heroes Honored on USS Hornet in Alameda]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 18:41:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallen_Heroes_Honored_on_USS_Hornet_in_Alameda.jpg

A Memorial Day ceremony aboard the USS Hornet in Alameda included the casting of a wreath into the bay, a salute to military veterans and a tour of the ship after the event.]]>
<![CDATA['Best Cities for Young Professionals': SF, SJ and Oakland]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 18:20:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/-SF-OLYMPICS-BID-VO---00001914.jpg

The Bay Area is well represented in Forbes' annual list of America's best cities for young professionals.

Forbes ranked San Francisco No. 3 on the list, which was followed by San Jose, No. 9, and Oakland, No. 11. Salt Lake City topped the list and Boise, Idaho came in at No. 2.

The publication compiled the list by ranking the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas and divisions by "metrics crucial to recent graduates": salary, rent, employment prospects, networking opportunities and social outlook.

View the full report and list on Forbes.com.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fremont Police Officer Shoots, Injures Pipe-Wielding Man]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 05:54:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0529-2017-FremontOIS.jpg

Officers in Fremont shot and injured a man who was waving a metal pipe and threatening people in a shopping center parking lot Monday, marking the third police shooting in the Bay Area in a two-day span.

The shooting was reported around 4 p.m. in a shopping center near the intersection of Mowry Avenue and Blacow Road, police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said.


Shoppers flagged down a patrol officer and told him they had been threatened by the man, police said. 

"A citizen basically contacted (the officer), advising him a subject was waving a pipe and threatening people," Sgt. Ricardo Cortes said.

A foot chase ensued, and the suspect finally stopped. He was only 10 feet or so from the officer, still holding the 10-inch-long pipe in his hand, when the officer opened fire, police said.

"This quickly unfolded within one to two minutes," Cortes said.


A woman who witnessed the shooting told NBC Bay Area the officer fired three shots, and the suspect was hit in the shoulder and stomach. Police did not confirm the number of shots or the suspect's injuries.

The man was taken to a trauma center, police said, but his condition was not known.

The officer has been placed on temporary leave as a standard in an officer-involved shooting. A more detailed report of the incident is expected in two or three days after the officer and witnesses are interviewed, police said.

Monday's shooting came several hours after a man died in an officer-involved shooting in Vacaville and just one day after a man wielding an ax was shot by police in San Jose. The man shot in San Jose was later pronounced dead at the hospital.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[2 Dead, 5 Injured in Alameda Crash: Police]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 00:07:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0529-2017-AlamedaFatalAx.JPG

Two people are dead and five others injured following a rollover vehicle collision in Alameda Monday morning.

Alameda police and fire responded to a 911 call at 8:01 a.m. about a rollover vehicle collision at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue. When they arrived, they found two vehicles involved in an accident.

One of the vehicles, a minivan, suffered moderate damage. The female occupant of that vehicle was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The other vehicle, a full-size truck, had major damage and had seven occupants. A female occupant was pronounced deceased at the scene. Another man was transported to Highland Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The other five occupants were transported to nearby hospitals with critical injuries.

The Alameda Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team is investigating the incident. Based on eye-witness accounts, speed appears to be a contributing factor.

Park Street was closed between Pacific Avenue and Santa Clara Avenue to vehicle traffic during the investigation.

No other information was immediately available.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[93 Pleasanton Veterans Come Together to Share Untold Stories]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 16:34:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JIMLONGSHOT.jpg

Jim Suzuki was 19 when he signed up to fight in World War II. Enlisting provided an escape from internment camps where he, along with more than 120,000 other Japanese-Americans from the West Coast, had been ordered to live after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

The forced internment was a gross violation of his civil liberties, but incredibly the teen still felt proud to be an American. He still wanted desperately to serve his country. 

“I felt that it was the right thing to do,” the nonagenarian said, sitting in the library at the Stoneridge Creek retirement community in Pleasanton. 

He would return from war in 1945 after serving for two years as a Private First Class in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He had a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and three Bronze Service Stars, but no place to call home.

Suzuki's story is one of many personal accounts documented as part of Stoneridge Creek's legacy project, which serves as an ever-growing tribute to the more than 90 veterans who now reside there. Spearheaded by residents Kate and Kevin Kelly, the massive undertaking includes biographies, rare photographs, discharge papers, and other memorabilia that dates back to World War II. A growing collection of binders displayed in the community library houses the treasure trove of American history. 

Kate Kelly said she felt compelled to document personal histories after learning more about Stoneridge's large veteran population. During one community meeting, a speaker asked all the veterans to raise their hand. She was stunned at how many hands shot up into the air.

"Some of these stories have never been told, not even to their friends and family," Kate said. "I started realizing if we don't get this now, it'll be lost forever."

In fact, some of the veterans who shared their stories have since passed away, but their legacy lives on through the project. Others have demurred when asked to participate in the project; recounting wartime experiences is oftentimes painful, notes Kate, and the decision to be forthcoming is deeply personal. 

"Some of the veterans are hesitant to share, and I respect that," she said. "But some of them are so optimistic. They'll laugh with you, and they'll cry with you too." 

Scroll through the photo gallery for a glimpse at some of the veterans who have shared combat and service stories for the legacy project.



Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane]]>
<![CDATA[A Storied Legacy: The Veterans of Stoneridge Creek]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 16:57:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JIMLONGSHOT1.jpgBrowse through the photos below to get a glimpse of the veterans featured in Stoneridge Creek's legacy project, a massive undertaking that has united more than 93 veterans who live in the Pleasanton retirement community.

Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane]]>
<![CDATA[Water Slide Scare at Dublin's New Park Prompts Investigation]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 19:08:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-29-17_Water_Slide_Boy.jpg

Investigators on Monday returned to a brand new Dublin water park two days after a boy was thrown from the bottom of a three-story slide.

The boy only suffered some scratches after flying from the slide and skidding across the concrete below at The Wave water park, but investigators want to figure out what went wrong with The Emerald Plunge ride in hopes of preventing a similar incident from injuring any future parkgoers.


It is still unclear what caused the boy to eject from the slide, which had been tested several times before Saturday's grand opening and certified by Cal-OSHA the day before, according to city officials.

State investigators on Sunday began gathering information during an intial examination of the ride. Representatives from WhiteWater, the slide's manufacturer, and Cal-OSHA investigators were at the park Monday to further inspect the ride.

"We are thankful the 10-year-old involved in the incident walked away without any serious injury," a statement from WhiteWater read in part. "We are working closely with the team at (The) Wave, and both of their high speed slides have been shut down pending a full investigation from the WhiteWater team."

Video captured by the Bay Area News Group shows the boy shoot down the open slide, known as "The Emerald Plunge." As he reaches the flat section designed to slow riders down, his body glides across the slide's side wall before skimming across the concrete surface below.

The slide involved and one directly next to the one out of which the boy fell were closed following the incident.

A third slide at the park was also closed Sunday because of a faulty flow meter. That slide is scheduled to be reopened Monday.

The 31,000-square-foot, $43 million facility opened just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. The park features a 48-foot tall tower with a total of six water slides. There is also a smaller splash area for children and multiple swimming pools.

On The Wave's website, The Emerald Plunge ride is described as "a splash you'll never forget."

"This speed slide is an open waterslide that gives you a great view of the Tri-Valley landscape as it sends guests plunging straight down into the splashdown lane below," the ride's description reads.

Riders must be at least 48 inches tall to ride The Emerald Plunge.



Photo Credit: East Bay Times]]>
<![CDATA[Barricaded Man in Castro Valley Comes Out of House Safely]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 06:40:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-29-17_Castro_Valley_Barricade.jpg

An armed and suicidal man who barricaded himself in a Castro Valley home Monday morning surrendered to officers, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

The man, who was holed up in a home near Center Road and Veronica Avenue for multiple hours, came out of the house safely, according to sheriff's officials.

The man's girlfriend was also in the home, but she was safely released roughly 30 minutes before the man came out, according to sheriff's officials.

Further information was not available at the time.

Stay tuned for details.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Killed After Multi-Vehicle Wreck in Livermore]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 05:48:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-29-17_Livermore_Crash.jpg

All lanes are open on eastbound Interstate Highway 580 just west of First Street in Livermore following a fatal collision Monday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision was reported at 2:28 a.m. and involved at least three vehicles. At least one vehicle caught on fire, according to the CHP.

At least one person died in the collision.

A Sig-alert was issued at 2:51 a.m. because four lanes were blocked.

At 5:10 a.m. the Sig-alert was cancelled because all lanes were open.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Lost Family Rescued From East Bay Open Space]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 20:53:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/204*120/rescue+map.JPG

A rescue team with the East Bay Regional Park District used a helicopter to pluck a lost family from the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness in Contra Costa County on Sunday.

At about 10:45 a.m., a father, his two young daughters and their dog set out for a Sunday hike where Bollinger Canyon Road dead ends amidst the rolling hills and oak groves that dominate the regional park, which encompasses 5,340 acres of open space west of Danville.

The little troop hiked several miles, ending up on the Rocky Ridge Trail, and by about 11:30 a.m., the dad realized they were truly lost, according to EBRPD police Lt. Gretchen Rose.

He then led the girls, ages 6 and 8, and their dog around for a couple of more hours, trying to find his way back to the trail head.

"At that point his kids were exhausted and couldn't make it back," Rose said.

At about 1:30 p.m., the man used his cellphone to call for help, and the park district sent out a helicopter, which took another two hours to track them down.

Because of space limitations, the helicopter had to make two trips in order to ferry everyone back to its landing pad in Castro Valley.

The girls went first, followed by the dad and the dog.

"The girls acutely enjoyed the helicopter ride," Rose said. "They had a really good time. It was their first time on a helicopter."

After everyone was safely back on the ground, park staffers put them all in a car and drove them back to their own vehicle.



Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA['Momentary Release' at Benicia Valero Refinery]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 17:49:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/benicia+refinery.jpg

The Benicia Valero refinery notified the city Sunday that there was a “momentary release” that sent black smoke into the air.

The refinery said the release was part of normalizing operations after a power outage earlier this month caused significant flaring.

The city was working with health leaders to assess the situation Sunday. No evacuations or other warnings were issued.

The Benicia Fire Chief Jim Lydon said the intermittent releases of 15 to 45 seconds came from the refinery’s scrubber unit. Later Sunday, he said the situation appeared stabilized.

The power outage at the refinery on May 5 triggered flaring and smoke that prompted evacuations and a shelter-in-place order. Off-ramps were closed, traffic was diverted, and the community center was turned into an emergency shelter. The flaring could be seen from miles away, and some nearby residents complained that they were struggling to breathe.

Valero received at least four violation notices from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District as a result of the May 5 incident.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Search Called Off for Boater Who Jumped in Delta to Save Hat]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 23:40:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-27-17_Helo_Antioch_Search.jpg

The search for a man who went missing after jumping into the Delta to retrieve his hat was called off Sunday afternoon, according to Coast Guard officials.

The 53-year-old man was riding in a boat east of the Antioch Bridge Saturday evening when he leaped from the vessel without wearing a life jacket, according to officials. Another person in the boat turned around to pluck the man from the water, but the man couldn't be found.

The missing man was wearing a brown shirt and swim trunks when he dove in the water, according to officials.

Just last weekend, a father disappeared after rescuing his son from the water near the Pittsburg Marina.

"We’ve seen two different tragedies in the last two weeks up here," local harbor master Chris Lauritzen said.

While recovery teams combed the water for the latest missing man, the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department was reminding boaters about safe boating practices in hopes of preventing a similar incident from happening in the future. Wearing properly-fitting life jackets was a chief point of information passed along to the public.

The U.S. Coast Guard added that boaters should always operate their vessel while sober. Sheriff's officials said that all boaters should carry an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, warm clothing, cell phone, VHF radio and chart.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Events Honor U.S. Military Members]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 14:58:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/052515+memorial+day+flags+generic.jpg

Joining the rest of the nation Monday, folks in the Bay Area will take time to pay their respects to past, present and future U.S. military service men and women at a variety of Memorial Day events.

Here is a list of just some of the local events dedicated to veterans and their families:

San Francisco

San Francisco's 149th Memorial Day Commemoration: Event begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Presidio Officers' Club. A 21-gun salute and a grand march with veterans will highlight the event. Ret. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, and poet laureate Dana Gioia will also speak.

San Jose

Memorial Day Ceremony: Event begins at 11 a.m. at Oak Hill Memorial Park. Medal of Honor recipient James Livingston is slated to speak.

South San Francisco

Vietnam Veterans Procession & Memorial Day Ceremony: Event beings at 9:30 a.m. at Fire Station 61. Vietnam veterans will march from the fire station to the eternal flame sculpture at Orange Memorial Park.

Alameda

Memorial Day Ceremony Aboard the USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum: Events begins at 11 a.m. at the USS Horney Museum. A wreath casting ceremony will highlight the event.

San Rafael

Memorial Day Program: Event begins at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. A keynote address by Tom Tarantino, a Balkan and Middle Eastern conflict veteran, will highlight the event.

Danville

Memorial Day Ceremony: Event begins at 10:30 a.m. at Oak Hill Park. Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Maj. James Taylor will deliver a keynote address.

Livermore

"Wings of Freedom" Tour: Event begins at 10 a.m. at Livermore Airport. World War II aircraft will be on display.

Hillsborough

Memorial Day Parade and Music Festival: Event begins at 10:30 a.m. at town hall. The parade will continue to Hillsborough North School.

Aside from these events, members of the military and veterans are eligible for additional discounts at stores and restaurants.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Officials Urge Caution During Memorial Day Weekend]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 13:31:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-590713310_master.jpg

Cal Fire officials are urging the public to be cautious about the increased fire danger during Memorial Day weekend.

In a statement, Cal Fire officials said that while holiday weekends are a great time to gather and enjoy the outdoors, the public is asked to be aware of fire danger and risks posed in the outdoors.

"We urge safety and preparedness when in wildland areas," Cal Fire Director Chief Ken Pimlott said. "California's extremely dry conditions are primed for wildfires, and it takes diligence from everyone to avoid sparking a fire."

According to fire officials, despite heavy rainfall during the winter season, drought conditions continue across much of California and wildfires can spark easily if caution is not followed.

Anyone who is camping is asked to check local fire restrictions in their area, to clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire, and to completely extinguish it before leaving.

Campers are also reminded not to leave a barbecue grill unattended.

Anyone traveling by car is reminded to properly maintain their vehicles, make sure nothing is dragging on the ground and to never drive or pull over onto dry grass. When towing, drivers are urged to make sure trailer chains are properly secured.

According to fire officials, since Jan. 1, Cal Fire crews have responded to over 1,000 wildfires that have burned nearly 15,000 acres.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Slugging BART Operator]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 08:57:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/04-24-2017-bart-train.jpg

A man was detained Saturday evening after punching a BART train operator in the East Bay, according to the transportation agency.

An officer detained the man at the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station around 6:30 p.m. after the operator identified him as the suspect, according to BART.

The man was arrested for battery and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility, BART reported.

Further information was not available at the time.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Teams Scour Delta for Missing Boater]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 22:43:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-27-17_Missing_Boater_Antioch.jpg

A man jumped from his boat just east of Antioch Saturday evening to apparently retrieve his hat, but he hasn't been seen since, according to officials.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department are combing the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta for the missing man, who is described as being in his 50s and wearing a brown shirt, swim suit and no shoes.

Another person was on the boat when the man jumped off, but they were unable to find the man, according to officials.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Parents of Girl Filmed Urinating Scold Danville School]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 21:04:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0519-2017-SanRamonValleyHigh.jpg

The parents of a 16-year-old girl who was filmed urinating in a bathroom stall say officials at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville aren't doing enough to punish the perpetrator who received a three-day suspension after she admitted to posting the video on social media.

The 17-year-old girl, a star athlete at the high school, was arrested but allowed to return to school the next day, remain on her team and participate in a championship game back, the East Bay Times reported.

The victim's mom, Denise Lynch, accused school district officials of failing to properly respond to the incident by allowing the girl to stay in the school. She said her daughter has been "humiliated" and "violated." Her grades dropped and she has suffered emotionally by having to face her tormentor at school, the mother added.

"When it is reported to you, you do nothing, you minimize it, you sweep it under the rug," Lynch told board members at a meeting Tuesday.

"Had my daughter not told us, or God forbid killed herself, everyone would be asking themselves: 'What more could have been done?' Now is the time to do something," her husband Sean Lynch said.

The Lynches found out about the video when it was posted on Instagram in April, months after it was filmed in November by a cellphone from under a bathroom stall.

Court documents also accuse the perpetrator and friends of throwing candy on the victim's front lawn and posting a message calling the act a "hit."

A San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokeswoman declined to discuss the district's response to the bathroom incident, citing student privacy. She said police reported the incident to school officials, who investigated it and took disciplinary action.

In general, "the district uses progressive discipline, meaning that the type of discipline may in part depend on a student's past behavioral history. We are also increasingly using restorative practices when possible," Elizabeth Graswich said.

The girl was arrested and cited for invasion of privacy, which is a misdemeanor, Danville police spokesman Geoff Gillette said. Her case will be reviewed by the Contra Costa County Juvenile Probation Department, he said. The Lynches may consider taking legal action.

This incident comes as the school deals with another student's controversial video campaign that depicted Muslim terrorists with guns. The student was eventually reinstated, but that decision prompted a student rally.

NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Older Brother Rescues Sibling From House Fire Near Hayward]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 22:42:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-26-17_Hayward_Fire.jpg

An 18-year-old's quick-thinking helped save his younger brother from a house fire that erupted near Hayward Friday night, according to fire officials.

Without a way to escape the flames, Peter Finau jumped from his second story room to some grass below, managed to climb to another second story room and find his 13-year-old brother among the heavy smoke puffing from the house, according to fire officials. Finau plucked his brother from danger and the two escaped to safety thanks to a neighbor who rushed to the scene with a ladder in hand.

The 13-year-old boy was transported to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to fire officials.

The blaze, which ignited before 8:45 p.m. at the corner Cherry Way and Haviland Avenue, is under investigation, fire officials said.

Finau is set to join the U.S. Navy in less than two weeks, according to fire officials.



Photo Credit: Alameda County Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Senators Bet Brews on NBA Finals]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 20:11:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Brown_Harris.jpg

Bragging rights and craft beer are on the line in a bet between U.S. senators over the NBA finals, which once again features the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on Friday took to Twitter to challenge Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., to reprise a bet he made last year with former California senator Barbara Boxer.

Last year, of course, Boxer shelled out several selections from San Francisco's 21st Amendment Brewery and posted a photo of herself wearing a Cavs jersey after the Warriors gave up a 3-1 lead to lose a rematch of the 2015 NBA finals.

"I know the Bay Area is ready to settle the score in this rematch," Harris said Friday in a written statement. "I have full faith that Dub Nation will be celebrating a win."

This year, Harris is putting up beer from Anchor Brewing and Brown is risking beer from Ohio's Platform Brewing Company.

"As a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, I'm looking forward to seeing King James and the Cavs settle the score once and for all," Brown said.

This is the third year in a row that the same two teams will meet in the finals, a feat never before seen in the NBA.

Game 1 of the finals tips off on Thursday in Oakland.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[AAA to Offer Free Tows to Tipsy Drivers on Memorial Day]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 20:23:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Craft-Beer-Generic-Getty-1.jpg

AAA is offering free "Tipsy Tow" services to celebrants this Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

The service will run from 6 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday and is available to anyone, not just AAA members.

"If your plans involve alcohol, plan ahead for a safe ride home," AAA Northern California spokesman Mike Blasky said in a statement. "If those plans fall through, please don't get behind the wheel. Call AAA and we'll get you home safely."

Drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and restaurant managers can call (800) AAA-HELP (222-4357) and provide the driver's name, home address, phone number and their pick-up location.

AAA will send out a tow truck and give the driver, the driver's vehicle and one passenger a free 10-mile tow and ride home. For distances beyond 10 miles, a standard towing rate will apply.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Ejected From Slide at Dublin's New Water Park]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 07:36:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-27-17_The_Wave_Slide.jpg

A highly anticipated water park opening in Dublin, California, took a frightening turn Saturday when a boy was flung from the bottom of a three-story slide before skidding across the concrete.

The 10-year-old boy managed to walk away with only some scratches after being ejected from the Emerald Plunge ride at The Wave, which is the East Bay's newest water park

"We got him into first aid and they checked him out," said John Rodems, Dublin Director of Parks and Community Services. "He was in good spirits. He was smiling. I think he was a little stunned coming out of the transition area a little bit."

The boy's parents then took him to the hospital to be further examined, and he was later released, said Dublin Assistant City Manager Linda Smith. Officials originally said the boy wasn't taken to a hospital.

The slide involved in the incident was shut down immediately, and park officials also closed the slide next to the one out of which the boy fell. State inspectors on site Sunday investigated both. A third slide was also closed, although park officials said it was not related to the incident. 

On Monday, a team of state safety inspectors, city workers and representatives from the slide manufacturer are set to meet about what will be done to mitigate danger on the slide before it is approved to reopen.

"Hopefully by tomorrow – if not the next several days – we’ll understand what occurred, and we will work to make sure it doesn’t happen again," Smith said.

Video captured by the Bay Area News Group shows the boy accelerating down the open slide. As he reaches the flat section at the bottom of the slide, his body glides across the slide's side wall before skimming across the concrete surface below.

"I thought he was dead at first," witness Omarea Grigsby said. "He hit the ground pretty hard. You hear like a (pop)."

The slide in question could remain closed for a few days while officials investigate how the boy slipped out of it and formulate a plan to prevent such an incident from happening again.

"You know, it's safety first, everything that we do," Rodems said. "We've been testing that slide for a matter of a couple of weeks. Those slides were certified yesterday by the state of California."

Despite the accident and slide closures, the park remained busy Saturday, with more than 1,000 tickets sold, Smith said. Sunday's tallies were not yet available.

The 31,000-square-foot, $43 million facility features multiple pools, a 48-foot tall water slide tower with a total of six water slides, a splash area for youngsters and more accommodations for guests wishing to relax outside of the water.

Construction of the facility began in March 2015 at a time when California was suffering through a historic drought. Despite some grumblings about water use, park officials assured residents that the city was being "extremely water conscious" with the project.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Further Discipline Over Racist Instagram Posts Blocked]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 11:09:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05-04-2017-albany-hs-walkout.jpg

A federal judge has ordered the Albany Unified School District not to take any additional disciplinary action against four students over their responses to racist Instagram posts.

District officials suspended the four after they left comments on the Instagram account or indicated they "liked" a post. 

U.S. District Judge James Donato on Friday issued a temporary restraining order blocking the district from imposing any additional discipline against the students. One of them was facing an expulsion hearing in June.

Donato said the students' lawsuit challenging their suspensions raises serious First Amendment questions.

The racist posts included nooses drawn around the necks of a black student and coach. The district has said it intends to defend itself.

The students themselves have filed a lawsuit against the school district, accusing officials of infringing on their free speech rights.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Three-Alarm Blaze Damages Fremont Storage Unit Facility]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 23:41:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-26-17_Fremont_Storage_Fire.png

All 40 units at a storage unit facility in Fremont suffered some degree of damage after a three-alarm blaze ripped through the complex Friday night, according to officials.

The fire, which ignited around 8:45 p.m. at Fremont Mini Storage located at 45252 Industrial Drive, injured one person and resulted in a cat's death, according to Deputy Fire Chief Amiel Thurston from the Fremont Fire Department.

A total of 18 units suffered heavy damage as a direct result of the fire, according to fire officials. The other units were also damaged because firefighters had to forcibly enter them in order to fight the flames.

The cause of the blaze is not clear at this time, according to Thurston. A fire investigator was summoned to the scene, which is close to the Tesla factory.

The person who was injured left the scene before being treated or talking extensively with fire crews, Thurston said.

Firefighters plan to stay at the scene into the overnight hours to keep an eye on any hot spots.

Further information was not available at the time.



Photo Credit: Fremont Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Gang Founder Given Life Sentence, Congratulates Investigator]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 14:31:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/courtroom+generic+722.jpg

The founder of a Northern California street gang told a court "you win some, you lose some" and congratulated an investigator as he was sentenced to life for killing a drug dealer.

The East Bay Times says 43-year-old Coby Phillips was sentenced Friday in Martinez to 100 years to life in prison.

Authorities say Phillips founded an Irish-American gang and made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year selling methamphetamine.

Phillips was convicted of shooting Darryl Grockett, an Aryan Brotherhood drug dealer, in 2004. Authorities say Phillips believed Grockett planned to rob two men who supplied Phillips with meth.

One of those men was convicted in 2012 of murder in connection with the killing.

Phillips has denied killing Grockett.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Students Punished for Senior Prank That Left Mouse Dead]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 20:14:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0526-2017-CalHighPrank.jpg

More than a dozen students at San Ramon's California High School were punished for a senior prank that ended up killing a mouse.

Some students in response said the school's reaction was too harsh.

Students at California High shared cell phone video to NBC Bay Area of what they call an impromptu dance party on campus.

Student Andrew Desoto said the party was a great time until he noticed a handful of mice running around the crowd that soon turned into a small mosh pit in the quad.

"Mice are getting stepped on," Desoto said. "I threw away a dead mouse and I picked up a mice and put it in a cup and handed it to someone to get it away. I felt bad for the mice."

Three mice were rescued, but one was killed by someone in the crowd.

Desoto was in the quad when it happened and received a two-day suspension, including Friday's senior trip to Great America.

"Some of them had been warned related to previous incidents, so it was a cumulative repercussion," San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokesperson Elizabeth Graswich said.

A total of 15 students were punished for the incident and the student who brought the mice was punished more severely, Graswich said.

"All I did was run up, saw some friends and start dancing," student Spencer Keller said.

Keller said school officials have canceled his scheduled guitar performance on graduation day as punishment for dancing in the mosh pit. He believes his actions should not be compared to the student who brought the mice and put them in danger.

"The consequences, this severity doesn't match what I did," Keller said.

School district officials did not elaborate on how many students were suspended, but said that all of the students involved will be allowed to attend graduation.



Photo Credit: Courtesy]]>
<![CDATA[Small Plane Crashes Near Concord Airport]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 23:54:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/205*120/concord-planecrash1jpg.jpg

A pilot was injured after a single-engine airplane crashed near the Buchanan Field Airport in Concord Friday afternoon.

The small Glastar plane was returning to Concord due to a mechanical problem and crashed short of the runway outside the airport near Marsh Drive and Solano Way, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The pilot was the only person onboard the plane and was transported to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. The pilot's condition was not immediately known. No one on the ground was injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, Gregor said. That investigation could take six to nine months, according to airport spokesman Keith Freitas.

Officials added that a crash hasn't occurred at Buchanan Field Airport in the last two years.

No other information was immediately available.

Bay City News contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Frank Cabrera
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<![CDATA[Botulism Outbreak Seems Limited to 1 Nacho Cheese Sauce Bag]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 08:15:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/botulism+death-0522.jpg

A deadly botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese sauce confiscated from a California gas station appears to be limited to an opened bag of the sauce, state health officials said Thursday.

The state Department of Public Health said tests on the opened bag sold last month in Walnut Grove, a suburb of Sacramento, have already confirmed the presence of the botulism toxin. In addition, investigators found no traces of the toxin when they tested another unopened bag seized from Valley Oak Food and Fuel station, the department said Thursday.

The outbreak left one man dead and sent nine people the hospital.

A 33-year-old woman has sued the gas station and the maker of the sauce, alleging negligence in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of the product.

According to the suit filed Tuesday in Sacramento County Superior Court, Lavinia Kelly ate tortilla chips with nacho-cheese sauce bought from the station on April 21 and began to feel ill the next day. She was later admitted to a Sacramento hospital where she remains in intensive care. Her sister said she hasn't been able to move much, speak or breathe on her own and is facing a long recovery.

"She called me and told she was having double vision ... by the time she was admitted to the ER, she couldn't breathe and was struggling for air. She passed out a few times. It was scary for her," Theresa Kelly said.

"She was hungry and she stopped for a snack to hold her off until she got home, she never expected a hold-off to potentially kill her," the sister said.

A spokeswoman for Wisconsin-based Gehl Foods said she hasn't seen the lawsuit and couldn't comment on the allegations. A call to the gas station went unanswered.

Gehl has said it's working with federal, state and local health officials to determine what caused the contamination. The company says it retested samples from the lot of cheese linked to the outbreak and that it's clear of contamination.

Botulism, a comparatively rare kind of food poisoning, can lead to paralysis, breathing difficulty and sometimes death. Survivors often are forced to spend weeks or months on ventilators to help them breathe.

The family of the man who died in the outbreak, Martin Galindo-Larios Jr., 37, said on an online fundraising page that he suffered respiratory complications and became unresponsive.

A 16-year-old boy from Walnut Grove has been hospitalized since April 25 after eating nacho-cheese sauce from the gas station, said Laura Uslan, the principal of his high school. An online fundraising page for Johnny Villasenor said he is in critical condition and faces many weeks of recovery.

Kelly's attorney, Bill Marler, said he knows of two other people who fell ill after eating the nacho-cheese sauce but their cases have not been confirmed.

The health department said symptoms usually appear within a few days after ingestion. Since the sauce was removed from the gas station on May 5, it is unlikely there will be any new cases associated with the weeks-old outbreak, the department said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Galindo Family/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Family of 3-Year-Old Killed in Alleged DUI Crash Speaks Out]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 09:01:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dui+crash-0525.jpg

The family of a 3-year-old boy killed in a crash involving an alleged drunk driver is raising concerns about the way the case has been handled so far.

The woman accused in the crash, Yarenit Malihan of Pleasanton, turned herself in Monday and remains in custody. She’s the wife of an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy.

The crash that killed Elijah Dunn happened on Sept. 9 on the shoulder of Interstate 680 in San Ramon. The boy’s grandfather wants to know why it took so long for Malihan to be charged.


Chuck Manoiki says it’s been agonizing waiting for the gears of justice to kick into action. The crash that killed his grandson was not the only incident Malihan was involved in over the past year.

"The first one with her own 10-year-old daughter in the car, then she kills my grandson, and then she goes and gets arrested for public intoxication," Manoiki said. "I mean, what else is it going to take?"

Three months before Elijah was killed, Malihan was arrested for DUI and accused of reckless endangerment of her own child. Earlier this month, she was arrested wandering the streets in Pleasanton.

Malihan was arraigned Tuesday on gross vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI charges in the I-680 crash. But Manoiki believes she should face more serious charges.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor in the case said it’s taken time for them to put together evidence for the charges because they want to make sure they have a solid case.

"We are making sure that we are making the right charging decisions as we proceed," a spokesman for the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office said.

Manoiki says he remembers the last day he saw his grandson.

"I babysat him and my granddaughter the whole day," he recalled. "And when they went home, an hour later I get a phone call."

Malihan is being held on $3 million bond. Her next court date is June 16.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Ex-Professor Used Bike Lock as Weapon at Trump Rally: Police]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 18:08:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-26-17-diablo-prof-attack.jpg

A former East Bay college professor pleaded not guilty Friday to using a U-shaped bike lock to strike people at a Trump rally in Berkeley last month — even though police have video evidence to the contrary.

Bystanders filmed Eric Clanton, who previously taught philosophy at Pleasant Hill-based Diablo Valley College, hitting three victims' heads amid the April 15 melee at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. The 28-year-old Oakland resident's violent actions left the victims with "significant injuries," police said. 

The "severity of these felonious assaults" prompted the Berkeley Police Department's homicide unit to oversee the investigation. The videos, which were circulated widely on social media, helped police track down Clanton, they said. 

Officers on Wednesday served search and arrest warrants at San Leandro and Oakland addresses linked to Clanton. He was located at the latter and arrested without incident. 

Clanton, an anti-fascist activist who studied at San Francisco State University, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon at his arraignment Friday. Emotions ran high in the Oakland courtroom, with who support and oppose him shouting at each other.

"I think there are lots of issues in this case, including identity and what occurred at the demonstration in Berkeley," Clanton's attorney Dan Diegel said.

However, Kevin Yee, who backs President Donald Trump, disagreed.

"You can't keep doing this to us," he said. "You can't keep calling us Nazis, white supremacists. Obviously I'm not a white supremacist. You can't keep calling us that just to shut down dialogue."

Clanton was booked into Berkeley City Jail and bail is set at $100,000. He is due back in court on June 14.



Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Considers Near $1M Payment For Teen in Sex Scandal]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 23:43:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-14-16-jasmine-abuslin.jpg

Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker is recommending that the City Council pay nearly $1 million to settle a claim filed by a teenage woman at the heart of a sexual misconduct scandal, a spokesman for her office said Thursday.

Parker is proposing to settle the woman's case for $989,000, and the council will consider it at its meeting on Tuesday, the spokesman said.

The teenager, named "Jasmine," who formerly went by the street name Celeste Guap, is the daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher and is now 19. She filed a claim against the city alleging that Oakland officers exploited and victimized her in violation of her civil rights.

Criminal charges have been filed against four former and current Oakland police officers for allegedly knowing about her claims but failing to inform supervisors, having sex with her when she was underage and giving her confidential police information.

The woman also allegedly was exploited by officers from many other law enforcement agencies in the region.

Her original claim against the city of Oakland sought $66 million in damages.

John Burris, the woman's attorney, said he's recommending that "Jasmine" accept Parker's offer if it's approved by the City Council.

Burris said he doesn't want to comment on the proposed settlement until it's finalized.

The woman has also filed claims against other jurisdictions, including the cities of Richmond, Livermore and San Francisco, seeking millions of dollars in damages.

Burris said that so far he's focused primarily on the possible settlement with Oakland and will focus on the other claims once the Oakland case is finalized.



Photo Credit: WPTV ]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Soccer Coach Arrested on Suspicion of Molesting Girl, 11]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 23:47:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/juarez-0525.jpg

A former Union City soccer coach was arrested Thursday on suspicion of molesting an 11-year-old girl, police said.

Victor Jaime Juarez, 44, was arrested at his home in Union City and taken to jail on suspicion of lewd acts with a minor child and annoying or molesting a minor child, Union City police Sgt. Steven Mendez said.

Juarez worked as a private girl's youth soccer coach in Union City for several years until he moved to Alameda as a soccer league manager, Mendez said.

The allegations in this case relate to the suspect's tenure in Union City. The victim was 11 years old at the time of the alleged acts, according to Mendez. The charges include physical and emotional abuse of a minor, police said.

The case began May 3 when Union City police got a complaint of alleged misbehavior between the girl and her former soccer coach, Mendez said. After an investigation, the district attorney issued a felony arrest warrant for Juarez, the sergeant said.

Though Juarez has no prior criminal history and is not listed in any sex offender databases, detectives are trying to determine whether or not the alleged incident was isolated, Mendez said.

"Although to date we only have this one allegation of misconduct with this victim, he’s been around other children," Mendez said. "We just don’t know; it’s a sensitive matter."

Parents said Juarez was at one time the Union City Youth Soccer League director. He no longer holds that position. They said he loved coaching but noticed he wasn’t around much the last couple of months.

Parents who know him well were in disbelief Thursday. One of his neighbors refused to believe the allegations.

"I don’t think it’s true," Miriam Hernandez said. "I don’t believe it; they’re a really good family."

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Angela Fonseca at (510) 675-5283 or afonseca@unioncity.org.

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



Photo Credit: Union City PD]]>
<![CDATA[Video Shows Brazen Robbery of Display MacBooks at Walnut Creek Apple Store]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 06:16:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/apple-mac-generic.jpg

An Apple Store in Walnut Creek was hit Thursday by a group of brazen robbers who made off with several display laptops.

Police said four male suspects entered the store and grabbed five to seven laptops before running off.

Cellphone video captured by a customer in the store shows one of the men snatching several MacBooks before fleeing. An employee can be seen trying to detain another suspect by the store's exit door.

The incident marks the second time the store on Main Street has been robbed in the past two months.

Apple shoppers said even a twice-hit store is not enough to keep them away.

"I'm still going to shop here," shopper Mark Johnson said. "I hope they beef up security."

Within an hour of the robbery things were back to normal inside the store.

An investigation is ongoing and police said they are reviewing surveillance video.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Longshoremen Walk Out in Response to Nooses at Oakland Port]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 18:28:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/port+of+oakland.JPG

Longshoremen at one of the Port of Oakland's four active marine terminals walked off the job Thursday morning in response to nooses being found on the property in recent weeks, union officials said.

The walkout by longshoremen at the Oakland International Container Terminal, which is operated by SSA Marine at 1717 Middle Harbor Road, means that the terminal had to suspend its operations, Port of Oakland spokesman Mike Zampa said.

However, Zampa said SSA Marine and the port are working to re-start operations at the terminal before the end of the day.

He said there was some activity at the terminal as of early Thursday afternoon and the backup of trucks outside the terminal appeared to be decreasing.

Robert McEllrath, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, said in a statement, "The display of hangmen's nooses for the second time in two weeks at the worksite are inexcusable and expressly prohibited conduct under the terms of the collective bargaining unit."

"The union is committed to securing a non-discriminatory work environment for all individuals working at the ports," McEllrath said.

He said, "We reject in the strongest possible terms racism in all its forms" and "this matter is being vigorously investigated."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Skips Birthday Gifts to Raise Funds for Meals on Wheels]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 09:28:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Marcus6.jpg

If you ask kids what they want for their birthdays, requests for toys, stuffed animals, a bike, or the even latest craze, Fidget Spinners, are par for the course.

But not for Marcus Yakaitas. 

The Lafayette boy's recent charitable act is boosting morale for Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services in Contra Costa County. 

Marcus, who celebrated his seventh birthday on May 5, asked his parents and friends to help him collect donations for the nonprofit in lieu of giving him gifts. He surprised staff at the Walnut Creek location earlier this week with a donation of $250 in cash.

“It was really cool and I really liked it because it made me happy,” Marcus told NBC Bay Area, adding that he met some “nice people” at the donation center. 

Marcus went to the Meals on Wheels office toting a race car-inspired cardboard box that he used to collect donations. On it, Meals on Wheels is written in thick black ink, surrounded by orange flames. 


The boy’s mother Amy Yakaitis said Marcus felt compelled to donate after watching kids his age participate in a March For Meals event a few months ago. 

“He starts talking about what he wants to do for his birthday about usually six months before they happen,” she said with a laugh. “We talked to him about it, and he decided that’s what he wanted to do, that’s who he wanted to help.” 

Amy Yakaitis recalled her son being excited to stuff the wad of cash — mostly made up of small bills — in a thin check envelope at the Meals on Wheels office. It required considerable effort, which made him proud, she said. 

“He’s so happy that he went through with the donation,” she said. “It was a great thing for him. The staff was so sweet and amazing; they were giving him huge hugs, and just made him feel so good about it.” 

Elaine Clark, the chief executive officer of Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services, said the donation came as a huge, but welcome surprise. Not only did the help come at a time when the nonprofit is grappling with possible federal funding cuts, but, because Marcus’ actions were inspired by a previous march, it also validated the organization’s awareness efforts.

“We’ve been in kind of in a funk,” Clark said, referencing the federal budget proposal that was unveiled Monday, which includes cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels. “So for him to come in was really thrilling for us. He didn’t just see something and say ‘I want to do something,’ he actually did it, and that makes all the difference.’ 

“The world would be a better place if more people acted like he did,” she added. 



Photo Credit: Amy Yakaitis
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<![CDATA[Danville Bank Robbery Suspect is a Former LAPD Officer]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 23:51:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bank+robbery-0524.jpg

The suspect in an East Bay bank robbery is a former police officer, according to an online profile.

Police said 36-year-old Jennifer Rae McClary dressed in disguise and drew a beard on her face before allegedly robbing a Bank of the West branch in Danville on Tuesday.

As it turns out, it's a tactic she may have witnessed before.

McClary was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of bank robbery and possession of a controlled substance, police said.

McClary's LinkedIn profile shows she was an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department from 2006 to May 2008 then worked as a probationary police officer from 2008 to 2010 for the Placentia Police Department.

A spokesman said McClary completed a six-month training program, but did not meet all probationary requirements to become a full-time officer in the northern Orange County city, said Placentia Sgt. Bryce Angel.

"I saw the picture, and I was just as surprised as anybody else," Angel said. "It's kind of sad that anyone would fall to that level in life... She obviously had some issues she was dealing with. It's very unfortunate."

On Tuesday, McClary handed the Bank of the West teller a note demanding cash, and no weapon was used or shown, Danville police said. She then fled on foot before police tracked her down.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Carlos Rojas Sworn in as BART's New Chief of Police ]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 11:57:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/bart+chief.jpg

BART's board of directors on Thursday swore in Carlos Rojas as the new chief of the transit agency's police department.

"I just want to thank you for this opportunity and this privilege to be the chief of the BART police," Rojas said, shortly after posing for a photo with the board, during a meeting in Oakland.

"I really view it as an honor to serve as a police chief in this capacity," for the people who rely on BART for transportation, Rojas added.

Rojas served as chief of the Santa Ana Police Department for five years before coming to the Bay Area, and has 27 years of law enforcement experience as well as expertise in community-oriented policing practices and homeland security issues.

Rojas will be BART's first Latino police chief, according to the transit agency.

Grace Crunican, BART's general manager, announced the hire last month.

"The Police Department has been moving in the right direction, and I am confident that our new chief will accelerate our efforts to increase the visibility of police officers on our trains and in our stations," Crunican said in a statement back in April.

The new chief took a moment on Thursday morning to recognize the agency's civilian review board, thanking them for taking time to come in for the swearing-in ceremony.

Rojas is joining BART at a time when crime has been on an uptick and there's been a jump in the number of fare evaders.

Just last month, a group of about 40 to 60 juveniles stormed a train in Oakland and robbed several riders. And last night, a woman reported a case of sexual battery on a train between Richmond and north Berkeley.

NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: BART]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Boy, 9, Shot While Walking Dog on His Birthday]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 23:43:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oak+boy+shot-0524.jpg

A 9-year-old boy was recovering Wednesday night after being shot in East Oakland while out walking his dog with his family after they had celebrated his birthday Sunday.

The shooting was reported in the 2700 block of Fruitvale Avenue at 10:56 p.m., according to police. Isai Catalan was taken to a hospital after he suffered gunshot wounds to his leg and torso.

A GoFundMe page was set up by the family's church to help cover the cost of the boy's medical expenses. The campaign had exceeded its $5,000 goal as of Wednesday afternoon.

Isai was listed in stable condition at UCSF Benioff Oakland Children's Hospital as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a Facebook post from the Oakland F.C. Leopards, a youth soccer team Isai was a part of.

The Leopards coach on Wednesday huddled with the team to give them an update on Isai's condition and urge them to rally around their teammate.

"This is one of those moments it’s super important that we as a team help each other out," he said.

The soccer club took up a collection of donations and sent a giant card and signed soccer ball to Isai. 

Later Wednesday, with his pastor at his bedside, Isai sent out a message: "Thank you all for your support. God bless you."

Police said the boy was not the intended target of the shooting and that a suspect remains at large.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Oakland Police Department's felony assault investigators at (510) 238-3426.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Paralyzed Cal Rugby Player Focused on Recovery, Future]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 21:32:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jeff+paylor-0524.jpg

A Cal rugby player paralyzed during a match earlier this month is focused on fighting for his future, according to his father.

Robert Paylor, 20, is recovering at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center after being partially paralyzed from the chest down during the national championship match May 6.

On Wednesday, Paylor’s father and doctor talked about his prognosis.

"He's taking it like a warrior," Jeff Paylor said.

Robert Paylor's father said his son has never dwelled on what he's lost and instead is focused on his future. And now there's a sign of hope Robert could possibly regain feeling and mobility. His doctor said Robert has sensation in his toes, and he's expected to transfer from critical care to rehabilitation later this week.

"If Robert's strength is regained in both his hands and feet then the sky's the limit," said Dr. Steve McKenna, chief of the rehabilitation trauma center. "But we won't know until his rehabilitation."

Jeff Paylor said his son is also battling pneumonia but still gives his all to his recovery.

"He gives me hope," he said. "Whatever his challenges, he is facing them, and I just don’t know many people who could do that, let alone a 20-year-old kid."

Last weekend, Robert's former rugby team at Jesuit High School, near Sacramento won the national championship. They had dedicated the tournament to Robert before bringing home the trophy. Jeff Paylor said his son was blown away by the tribute.

"Jesuit's motto is be a man for others, and he saw that had come to life," Jeff said. "He was beaming."

Many of the Jesuit High players came down with the flu during the championship game. They said it was Robert's strength dealing with his injuries that motivated them to push through to victory. They called it being "Paylor Strong" and even wore wristbands donning that very phrase.

Doctors say Robert still has months of rehabilitation ahead.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cal Professor Accused of Sexual Harassment Dismissed]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 21:40:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wentworth-0524.jpg

Blake Wentworth, an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has been fired for allegedly sexually harassing four students, adding to the growing list of faculty and staff accused of sexual misconduct against students, employees or both.

Wentworth, a former member of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, was the subject of a Title IX investigation, which included a review by two faculty members and a hearing conducted by the Academic Senate's Committee on Privilege and Tenure, according to a statement issued by the university on Tuesday.

The investigation unearthed “clear and convincing evidence” of Wentworth’s wrongdoings, leading to his dismissal, which is effective immediately, the statement said. Wentworth had retained an untenured position so UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks didn’t need the UC Board of Regents’ approval before firing him. 

“These actions are part of the university's continuing effort to eradicate sexual misconduct from our campus,” Cal officials said in the statement. “The harassment of students by faculty represents an unacceptable breach of the teacher-student relationship and carries the potential for enormous harm.”

Wentworth obtained his B.A. at Dartmouth College and his Ph.D at the University of Chicago, the university website shows. 

He was put on leave in 2016 after two graduate students, Kathleen Gutierrez and Erin Bennett, and alumna Nicole Hemenway accused him of sexual harassment in April and June respectively, the Daily Californian reported. The identity of the fourth student who was allegedly harassed by Wentworth remains unknown. 

Wentworth, in response, sued Hemenway as well as Gutierrez, Bennett and their lawyer Michael Flynn for defamation and infliction of emotional distress. Flynn also represents Hemenway, according to the Daily Californian.

He also filed a lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents, claiming they discriminated and retaliated against him, the newspaper reported. 

In recent years, sexual assault and sexual harassment claims have plagued UC Berkeley in particular and the University of California system on the whole.

Documents released by UC Berkeley last April showed 19 employees, including six faculty members, had sexually harassed students, employees or both since 2011.

A look at 112 sexual misconduct allegations across the UC system – one of the United States’ largest university systems – also made it apparent that discipline has been meted out inconsistently. The cases in question were reported from January 2013 to April 2016 at nine campuses, excluding UC Berkeley.

Wentworth's attorneys provided the following statement on Wednseday:

Today’s distortion, ostensibly timed to shift news away from U.C.’s financial scandals and civil rights violations, will be addressed in Dr. Wentworth’s pending lawsuit, where the evidence will show that U.C.’s campaign to ruin his career began days after his hospitalization. Dr. Wentworth denies the false assertions, which are a pretext to discriminate and retaliate against him.

]]>
<![CDATA[Alameda School to Close Due to Earthquake Safety Concerns]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 10:22:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/LUM+SCHOOL+CLOSURE.jpg

Despite opposition from scores of parents, the Alameda Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday night voted to shutter Donald D. Lum Elementary School in June on grounds that the campus is ill-equipped to sustain earthquakes and poses an “enormous” danger to students.

Students currently attending the school will likely be scattered to nearby elementary schools next fall, although specific resettling plans have not been finalized. The school will be closed "indefinitely," according to the passed resolution.

Clad in red, the school’s color, parents and kids packed City Hall chambers at 6 p.m. for the vote. For more than three hours, they futilely demanded that the school board keep Lum open while additional engineers conduct reports on school’s the structural integrity. More than 1,200 people signed a petition and 46 people sent emails opposing the closure, according to city staff. 


The board members, some of whom have former ties to the campus, said closing the school weighed heavily on their minds since receiving the damning seismic report in April. At least a dozen elementary school students begged them to change course during public comment, testimony that Superintendent Sean McPhetridge said he took to heart. 

“This is a decision that is much bigger than any of us,” McPhetridge said, apologizing to the community. “This is not easy on you, and this is not easy on my colleagues. I wish things were different. I wish I did not know what I know, but it is my legal, moral and professional obligation to make the recommendation, and I stand by it.” 

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Rally for Lum Elementary at Alameda City Hall. Lum faces closure bc district says it&#39;s not earthquake safe. Parents want more research first <a href="https://t.co/ugwK53xFYn">pic.twitter.com/ugwK53xFYn</a></p>&mdash; Gillian Edevane (@GillianNBC) <a href="https://twitter.com/GillianNBC/status/867191515872755713">May 24, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script

He acknowledged that the closure was tantamount to “breaking up the community,” but said he felt that there was no other option.

The district administration had recommended closing the school in April after a 1-page seismic report found that Lum’s sand-packed soils would render the campus unsafe in the event of a major earthquake. Test samples of the soil revealed that classrooms would sink and settle if a quake were to hit due to a weakening process that engineers call liquefaction. 

Alameda schools risk liquefaction if their foundations are put under extreme stress, but Lum is especially susceptible to it, according to engineers who presented a report to the board. Board trustee Jennifer Williams recalled Alameda Unified School District architect Mark Quattrocchi telling them keeping the school open was tantamount to “gambling” with student safety. 

Parents have contested that report, conducted by ZFA Structural Engineers, and have produced their own experts.

Calin Smith, who works for a Berkeley-based engineering firm, told the board that there could be other options aside from closure, including extensive retrofitting. That process would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and could take years or months, depending on the circumstances of the repairs.

Crestfallen after the meeting, parents and students described feeling gutted by the vote. With only two weeks left before school lets out for summer vacation, parents are left wondering which school their child will attend in the fall. It is expected that students will be scattered among several nearby campuses, including Edison, Franklin, Haight, Maya Lin, Paden and Otis elementary schools, according to district plans.

Martin Stoufer, whose daughter attends Lum Elementary, said he would accept closure if there had been a consensus among several qualified experts. He feels the school board didn’t go through that process. 

“It all happened so quickly,” he said. “If there had been that consensus, we would be unhappy, but we’d accept it and everyone would understand. This isn’t that. It really feels like they’re trying to railroad this through.”

His daughter, Elinor, 10, doesn’t know where she will attend school for her final year in elementary. She said she hopes she can stay with her friends.

During public comment, several people reminded the trustees that they are elected officials and that the vote may hurt their chances at re-election. 

That did not appear to impact trustees' decision. 

“If something happened, I would not be able to live with myself if I could have moved students and I didn’t,” reasoned board Trustee Gray Harris, amid shouts from parents who condemned the school board’s decision. “It’s not an easy choice ... but it’s about their safety." 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that the vote occurred at an Alameda County Board of Education meeting. In fact, it was an Alameda Unified School District Board of Education meeting. 



Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane
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<![CDATA[Flighty Sheep Gives Fremont Police The Run-Around]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 13:06:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sheep2.JPG

Police in Northern California spend several hours searching for a sheep that escaped Monday night from a yard in Fremont.

The sheep led Fremont police officers on a chase and evaded capture until Tuesday afternoon when it was found at the Fremont Fire Training Center on Stevenson Boulevard and Blacow Road.

Officers posted a video of the animal merrily munching on grass at the Tri-City Animal Shelter.

Police tracked down the wayward sheep’s owner and reunited them.

In a case of mistaken identity, Fremont police first said they had found a goat.

They acknowledged the flub with a amended tweet and hashtag.



Photo Credit: Fremont Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Halted Train Blocks Roads, Snarls Commute in Fremont]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 09:20:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-71222591.jpg

A stopped Union Pacific Railroad train blocked traffic in Fremont for more than two hours on Wednesday morning, according to police.

The stopped train was first reported just before 7:30 a.m., blocking Stevenson Boulevard and Walnut Avenue, which run parallel to one another.

The blockage led to heavy traffic on Mission Boulevard between Las Palmas Avenue and Niles Boulevard.

Just after 9:45 a.m., police said the train was moving again.

Union Pacific did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Former De La Salle Football Player Guilty of Sexual Assault]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 19:48:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dls-assault-0523.jpg

A former football player at De La Salle High School in Concord was found guilty of felony sexual assault in Contra Costa County juvenile court.

The defendant was 15 years old when the assault occurred after a football game Nov. 18 on the De La Salle campus. He assaulted a female student from neighboring Carondelet High School in the school's parking lot.

The boy, whose identity is being withheld, will be confined to Juvenile Hall for the remainder of his youth.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Lobby For Oakland Coliseum Deal Through 2019]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 19:34:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raiders-coliseum.jpg

Raiders owner Mark Davis is asking Oakland and Alameda County officials for three more years at the Coliseum before he and his team bolt to Las Vegas.

That's one more year than the team's current lease.

On Tuesday, NFL owners approved the Raiders' 30-year lease at a planned $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

Davis is lobbying city and the county to work out a deal that would allow the Raiders to play the 2019 season at the Coliseum, if Oakland wants them. The team's lease in Oakland is slated to expire after the 2018 season.

The Coliseum board indicated in March that it likely would not house the team beyond 2018, saying it loses money when the Raiders play at the Coliseum, according to the Mercury News.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Robs Danville Bank While Wearing Painted-On Beard: PD]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 18:54:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0523-2017-DanvilleBankRobber1.jpg

Police have arrested a 36-year-old woman who allegedly robbed a bank in Danville Tuesday morning while wearing a painted-on beard.

The robbery occurred at the Bank of the West located at 307 Diablo Road around 9:10 a.m.

Danville resident Jennifer Rae McClary allegedly handed a note demanding money to the teller, then fled on foot and was last seen near the intersection of Diablo and West El Pintado roads. No weapons were displayed during the course of the robbery, however.

McClary was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of bank robbery and possession of a controlled substance, according to police.

Anyone with additional information about the incident is asked to call Danville police at 925-820-2144.



Photo Credit: Danville Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Deputy's Wife Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 13:03:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Malihan+mugshot.jpg

The wife of an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy, who is charged with the death of a 3-year-old boy in a DUI crash in San Ramon last year, faced a judge for the first time on Tuesday.

After turning herself in to the authorities on Monday, Yarenit Malihan of Pleasanton pleaded not guilty to a felony gross vehicular manslaughter charge. The 40-year-old woman's bail is set at $3 million and her next court hearing is scheduled for June 15.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office filed the vehicular manslaughter charge and a felony DUI charge in connection with a collision that killed Elijah Dunn on Interstate 680 near Bollinger Canyon Road at about 6:20 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2016.

Malihan was allegedly driving a 2008 Toyota Sequoia north on Highway 680 — while under the influence — when she crashed into a 2007 Toyota Camry that was parked on the shoulder of the highway, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

When asked about the lengthy process of filing the charges, Deputy District Attorney Allison Chandler said, "The case is still currently under investigation and we're making sure we are making the right charging decisions as we proceed."

Malihan was arrested earlier in 2016 on suspicion of a DUI in Pleasanton that involved endangering her own child, police said. Last week, in a separate case, the woman was arrested for public intoxication, also in Pleasanton.

Malihan is in custody at the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez. Prosecutors said she faces up to 11 years in state prison if she's convicted of all the charges and enhancements against her.



Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area on Heightened Alert Following Manchester Bombing]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 23:55:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-security-0523.jpg

In the wake of the deadly concert explosion in Manchester, England on Monday night, some security agencies around the Bay Area are stepping up enforcement.

Understanding that the blast occurred outside security checkpoints at a large social event, the Oakland Athletics added more police officers to keep an eye on areas outside of the ballpark during Tuesday night's home game. The security procedure will become standard for future games.

A’s season ticket holders Ami and Chris Low attend almost every game. On Tuesday night, they noticed a change at the gate.

"I see the effort of the security," Ami Low said. "The lines seem to be longer."

Vice President of Stadium Operations David Rinetti said earlier Tuesday that Oakland police officers would be patrolling the stadium as an additional layer of security, especially on the outskirts of the Coliseum, where they'll be looking for any suspicious activity and checking to make sure nothing dangerous is planted or brought inside.

Stadium workers also would be on extra alert, he said.

"We'll talk to our staff to be a little more observant about who's coming in," Rinetti said. "Tonight, we'll continue to do that with our screening and our metal detector, and in addition, we'll be adding some more officers to be roaming around the perimeter outside to ensure that things are going well.

"You have to adapt to what’s going on in society, and you got to do what you can to make the place safe," he added.

Most A's fans said they understand and don't mind the extra officers.

"That all has to be under control, and that's good if somebody's taking care of things and making sure we're all safe, we all feel better," said Ricky Ricardo, owner of Ricky's sports bar in San Leandro. "People should just learn that's the way life is, unfortunately, these days."

Public transporation agencies across the Bay Area such as BART, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Caltrain and SamTrans are not necessarily increasing the amount of security officers patrolling their systems, but they are reminding officers to maintain routine vigilance. Transporation agencies are also staying in contact with federal authorities to monitor any security threats. 

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



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[High-Speed Chase Ends in Oakland]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 12:48:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-23-17-high-speed-chase-oakland.jpg

A suspect in a stolen pickup truck took California Highway Patrol deputies on a high-speed chase from Marin County all the way to Oakland before crashing early Tuesday. The driver was injured. It took firefighters 30 minutes to get the driver out of the car. The driver was taken into custody.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Juvenile Leads Authorities on Pursuit in Stolen Vehicle]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 12:58:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-23-17-high-speed-chase-oakland1.jpg

A juvenile suspect was arrested Tuesday morning in Oakland after he allegedly led authorities on a pursuit in a stolen vehicle, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

The pursuit started in Marin County where sheriff's officials followed a stolen Chevy pickup truck, CHP spokesperson Sean Wilkenfeld said.

The suspect continued on to the East Bay and CHP officers took over the pursuit near Gilman Street in Berkeley. The pursuit continued south on Interstate 880.

According to Wilkenfeld, just before 4 a.m., the suspect exited the highway at the Fruitvale Avenue off-ramp in Oakland and crashed into a shipping container.

The driver, described only as a male juvenile, was arrested at the crash scene and taken to a local hospital with injuries sustained in the collision.

There are no other outstanding suspects, Wilkenfeld said.




Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol]]>
<![CDATA[Proposed High School Site Near Santa Rita Jail Rejected]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 00:14:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-23-17_Santa_Rita_Dublin_HS.jpg

A proposal to open a second high school in Dublin that has drawn the ire of parents because of the site's proximity to the Santa Rita Jail was rejected by school trustees late Tuesday night.

Under the proposal, the school would have been built at the property currently being leased by Carl Zeiss Meditec, located at the intersection of Hacienda Drive and Gleason Drive, which is less than half a mile from the jail where the majority of people arrested in Alameda County end up.

More than 400 parents and concerned residents showed up to Tuesday night's school board meeting to argue that the proposed site wouldn't be safe, with cell blocks a half-mile from classrooms and newly released inmates near campus daily.

"You would only need like one incident to happen, it goes down the drain," parent Piyush Shastri said. "So why would we even send our kids there?"

Jeff, another parent who did not want to provide his last name, agreed.

"Why would you put a high school across from a (jail) that's the fifth-largest (jail) in the United States releasing inmates throughout the day, dozens of inmates every week, people that are sex offenders, basically former criminals being released into the enviroment where are kids are," he said.

A Dublin Unified School District official said trustees have "heard those concerns." The district said it's the best location and the most affordable, more than $100 million cheaper than other properties they studied. And they said it's safe.

"We have an elementary school that's located about a tenth of a mile from ... the Carl Zeiss site where the high school would be," district spokeswoman Michelle McDonald said. "It's been there for 15 years. We've never had any issues at the elementary school.

"We are able to purchase this land with a building already on it," McDonald added. "Parking lots, infrastructure, streets and things at a price that allows us to stay within our budget of the bond measure this community passed."

Roughly 4,000 inmates are housed at the Santa Rita Jail, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. That number makes the jail the third-largest facility in the state and fifth-largest in the country.

The Zeiss site was chosen from a lengthy list of potential school locations because of its affordability and the fact that infrastructure is already available in the building. The expected cost to turn the office park into a high school was $110 million.

In partnership with the Dublin Police Department, district officials recently found that crime is actually low near the area around the jail.

"We've done our due diligence," McDonald said. "We've been in consultation with Alameda County sheriffs and we've done some crime data research and we're not finding that that area is a high crime area at all."

NBC Bay Area's Peggy Bunker contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Thief Shoots Burger Joint Employee in San Leandro, Escapes]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 06:31:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-23-17-san+leandro-shooting-sam+burgers.jpg

A burger joint employee suffered two gunshot wounds during an apparent armed robbery in San Leandro early Tuesday, police said.

The suspected thief and shooter busted out of Sam's Super Burger with cash and escaped into the darkness just as an officer arrived, according to Rick DeCosta from the San Leandro Police Department.

The officer happened to be in area of E. 14th Street and Dutton Avenue when "he heard something that just didn't sound right," DeCosta said. As the officer pulled up to the scene, a person wearing dark clothing exited the building and fled west.

Sensing that something might be wrong inside the establishment, the officer checked the business and found an employee suffering from two gunshot wounds to the leg, DeCosta said.

Other officers set up a perimeter in the area around the restaurant in hopes of finding the suspected shooter and thief, but their efforts were unsuccessful. K-9s were utilized in the roughly hour-long search before authorities called it off.

An investigation is ongoing.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Deputy's Wife Surrenders in Manslaughter Case]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 13:56:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Malihan+mugshot.jpg

The wife of an Alameda County sheriff's deputy has surrendered to authorities on a felony gross vehicular manslaughter charge for a collision in San Ramon last year that killed a 3-year-old boy, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

Yarenit Malihan, 40, surrendered to the CHP and is now in custody at the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez, according to the spokesman.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office filed the vehicular manslaughter charge and a felony DUI charge in connection with a collision that killed Elijah Dunn on Interstate Highway 680 near Bollinger Canyon Road at about 6:20 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2016.

Malihan was allegedly driving a 2008 Toyota Sequoia north on Highway 680 when she crashed into a 2007 Toyota Camry that was parked on the shoulder of the highway, CHP officials said.

Malihan is the wife of an Alameda County sheriff's deputy. She was arrested earlier in 2016 on suspicion of DUI, Pleasanton police said.

Prosecutors said Malihan's bail has been set at $3 million and she faces up to 11 years in state prison if she's convicted of all the charges and enhancements against her.



Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged For Trying to Light Diners in Denny's on Fire]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 19:23:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-21-17_Dennys_Fire.jpg

A Union City man has been charged with multiple counts for attempting to light diners on fire inside a Denny's restaurant in Hayward, according to police.

The man, identified as 43-year-old Victor Rubio, was eating at a Denny's on Industrial Parkway SW Wednesday morning when he whipped out a container similar to lighter fluid and doused several people, including a child, sitting inside the restaurant, police said.

Police reports show Rubio told them he read a bible verse about fire and said "He knew what he had to do."

Rubio also poured the flammable fluid on the ground near the establishment's entrance and was in the process of igniting it with a lighter when several people managed to physically stop him, according to police.

Rubio escaped temporarily before being arrested without incident by arriving officers, police said. He was placed on a psychiatric hold.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Rubio with seven counts of assault with caustic chemicals, one count of willful and malicious attempt to set fire and one count of child endangerment.

At a court appearance Monday, Rubio's lawyer requested a psychological evaluation for his client.

A Denny's spokesperson said in a statement Monday they were grateful for the heroic actions of the employees and guests.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, Hayward Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Battle Fire at Marijuana Grow House in Antioch]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 14:41:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-21-17_Antioch_House_Marijuana_Fire.jpg

A marijuana grow house in Antioch caught fire Sunday afternoon, according to fire officials.

The blaze was reported just after 2 p.m. along the 2000 block of Bugle Way, fire officials reported on Twitter. It was pronounced under control by 3 p.m.

An investigation conducted by Antioch police and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District is in the works.

Further information was not available at the time.



Photo Credit: Contra Costa County Fire Protection District]]>
<![CDATA[No Sign of Fairfield Father Who Disappeared While Saving Son]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 06:03:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-21-17_Pittsburg_Search_Water.jpg

One day after their search for a missing father came up empty, crews returned to the area near the Pittsburg Marina Sunday to scour the murky water for the Fairfield man last seen saving his son following a boating incident.

The 52-year-old father and 9-year-old son, along with at least one other man, were fishing without life jackets from a boat near Broad Slough and the Sacramento Deep River Channel when the son somehow went overboard, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The father jumped in after his son, and a man on the boat threw the father a rescue device to help successfully save the boy, according to the missing man's niece. The father, however, floated away from the boat and disappeared.


Crews from various agencies combed the water for several hours Saturday night before temporarily calling the search off due to darkness. A search resumed Sunday, and teams used sonar in hopes of finding the man.

A vast area has already been searched with no results, according to officials. If the man is not found Sunday, the search may be suspended.

The father and son, along with their family, were enjoying a fishing trip before the incident.

The boy was transported to a hospital and treated for hypothermia, according to officials.

Further information was not available at the time.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Spare the Air Alert Issued For Monday]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 14:02:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12-24-2013-spare-the-air.jpg

A Spare the Air alert for smog in the San Francisco Bay Area has been issued for Monday, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said Sunday.

Smog is expected in parts of the East Bay and the Santa Clara Valley because of light winds and a weak and delayed afternoon sea breeze, according to air district officials.

This is the second Spare the Air alert for smog in 2017.

Commuters who drive to work alone are encouraged to use other ways to get to work.

Smog is especially harmful to children, seniors and people with respiratory and heart conditions, air district officials said.

People who decide to exercise outdoors should do so in the early morning hours when smog levels are lower.

Transit will not be free on Monday and air district officials have not issued a wood-burning ban.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Unemployment in Bay Area Counties Below 5 Percent in April]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 10:02:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/165*120/141970054.jpg

Unemployment in all nine Bay Area counties was below five percent last month, officials with California's Employment Development Department said Friday.

Unemployment in San Mateo County was the lowest in the Bay Area at 2.5 percent. In Marin and San Francisco counties the unemployment rate was 2.7 percent.

Except for Solano County, unemployment in the other Bay Area counties was between 3.1 and 3.6 percent.

In Solano County the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Father Disappears After Rescuing Son From Delta]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 19:43:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-20-17_Boating_Pittsburg.jpg

A father went missing Saturday after jumping in the water near the Pittsburg Marina to save his son following a boating incident, according to officials.

Crews scoured the murky water for several hours, but they have yet to find the father. They were forced to temporarily call off the search because of darkness.

The father and son, along with at least one other man, were riding in a boat when the son somehow went overboard, according to Amy Nguyen, the missing man's niece. The father jumped in after his son, and a man on the boat threw the father a rescue device to help successfully save the boy. The father, however, floated away from the boat and began to sink.

"He's been gone ever since," Nguyen said.

Multiple agencies are assisting with the search, which is expected to resume Sunday morning.

The boy was treated for possible hypothermia, according to officials.

The father and son, along with their family, were enjoying a fishing trip before the incident.

Further information was not available at the time.



Photo Credit: Contra Costa County Fire Protection District]]>
<![CDATA[Man Pointing Gun at Police Shot, Killed by Officer]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 14:28:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-20-17_Pleasanton_OIS.jpg

A man who advanced toward Pleasanton officers Saturday with a gun in his hand was shot and killed by police, according to the Pleasanton Police Department.

Officers responded to a disturbance call at a house along Burgundy Drive just after 11:30 a.m. when they spotted the man, according to Lt. Maria Munayer. The garage door opened and the man walked out holding a gun pointed at the officers. One officer responded by shooting the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is not clear if the man fired at police, but none of the responding officers were injured, according to Munayer. The people inside the house were also not injured during the shooting, which comes as a surprise to police.

"This is very unusual for this neighborhood," Munayer said.

Specific details regarding what led up to the shooting and the man are not yet available at this time, according to Munayer. A parallel investigation is in the works by Pleasanton police and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

The officer who shot the man has been placed on routine administrative leave, according to Munayer.

Despite the shooting, Munayer insisted that this was an isolated incident.

"Pleasanton is a very safe community," she said. "We're not concerned about any other violence stemming from this incident or any other incidents.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Companies Lead 'Best Places to Work' Ranking]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 16:57:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/New+Image20.JPG

The Bay Area is well represented on a recent LinkedIn list of the United States' best places to work. 

Top Companies Where the World Wants to Work Now” ranks 50 of the country's biggest businesses. Collectively, they span 21 industries and employ over three million workers, according to LinkedIn. The list is based on employee retention and interest in not only a company's available jobs, but also its overall brand.

With 72,000 employees globally, Alphabet, the parent company of Mountain View-based Google, came in first place. The tech behemoth set out in 2012 to rely only on renewable energy, and is on track to do exactly that this year.  

In second place was Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle. The company boasts over 340,000 employees across the world and has picked up three Oscars in the last 12 months, LinkedIn said.

Local companies earned the next five spots on LinkedIn's list. Facebook, of Menlo Park, came in third and was followed by Salesforce and Uber, both of San Francisco; Tesla, which is headquartered in Palo Alto; and Apple, a tech giant located in Cupertino. 

Three media organizations — Time Warner, the Walt Disney Company and Comcast NBCUniversal — rounded out the top 10 positions on the list. 

Other familiar names that made the cut include Airbnb, Netflix and Twitter.

LinkedIn, which is also based in Mountain View, excluded itself from the list.

Here are this year's top 20 companies in the U.S.:

  1. Alphabet
  2. Amazon
  3. Facebook
  4. Salesforce
  5. Uber
  6. Tesla
  7. Apple
  8. Time Warner
  9. The Walt Disney Company
  10. Comcast NBCUniversal
  11. Airbnb
  12. Netflix
  13. McKinsey & Company
  14. Dell Technologies
  15. Workday
  16. Under Armour
  17. Twitter
  18. CBRE
  19. Visa
  20. JPMorgan Chase & Co.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Two-Car Derailment in Daly City Causes Major BART Delays]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 15:26:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-20-17_BART_Derail.jpg

Two BART cars belonging to a nine-car train derailed outside of the Daly City station Saturday afternoon, triggering systemwide delays, officials said.

The 24 people on board the train were not hurt and everyone was able to disembark safely, but the Daly City station was temporarily closed while crews investigated the incident.

Passengers said the train, which had just left the Daly City station, started bucking before coming to an abrupt stop. A photograph from a passenger on a train heading in the opposite direction and aerial footage showed the cars coming to rest about three feet off the tracks.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation but BART officials said it doesn't appear as if it was due to an error on the part of the train operator.

Officials warned commuters of delays on the San Francisco line in the Pittsburg/Bay Point, Dublin/Pleasanton, Warm Springs, Richmond, SFO, Millbrae and Daly City directions.

BART officials around 4:45 p.m. announced that service between the Balboa Park and Colma stations resumed, but officials still warned travelers about delays in the area around the derailment.

The incident is not expected to affect Sunday service for Bay to Breakers, according to BART officials.

Cal Train, Muni and Samtrans provided alternative service following the derailment, BART officials said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Charged Following Crash That Killed 3-Year-Old Boy]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 22:56:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Malihan+mugshot.jpg

A woman has been charged in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy following a crash on Interstate 680 in San Ramon back in September.

Yarenit Liliana Malihan, who had previously been arrested for a DUI that involved endangering her own child, faces gross vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence charges after her Toyota Sequoia slammed into a disabled Toyota Camry, killing Elijah Dunn and injuring three others, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Malihan, the wife of an Alameda County sheriff's deputy, was determined to be driving under the influence of drugs and arrested after the crash. She was later released on bail, according to the CHP and jail officials. 

Nine months after the fatal wreck, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office issued an arrest warrant for the two felony charges against Malihan, who was also found drunk in public in Pleasanton last week.

The charges, however, garnered mixed reactions from the victim's family.

"I think we should be happy that she's finally been arrested, and it's disappointing and saddening to the family that it took this long to get her charged," Jeff Hubins, the family's attorney, said.

Following the crash, Dunn's grandfather described the youngster as being a sweet child who would always "bring a smile to everybody's face no matter what."

An 11-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl along with their mother managed to survive the crash.



Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Student's Video Depicting Terrorists Sparks Controversy]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 19:33:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0519-2017-SanRamonValleyHigh.jpg

Some parents in the East Bay area up in arms over a student's campaign for student body president.

The San Ramon Valley High student produced and showed a campaign video depicting Muslim terrorists with guns. It was intended to be a joke with the student promising protection from ISIS if classmates vote for him.

"I think it was the work of a young guy, who was trying to do something funny and didn't really think through what he was doing," parent Karen Pearce said.

The school district initially stripped the boy of his presidency, but then reinstated him, according to parents, after the student's mother and father complained.

"As parents we work very hard to teach our kids the difference between right and wrong," Pearce said.

District spokesperson Elisabeth Graswich said it was determined the boy's video could be protected by the First Amendment's free speech rights.

"I can't share any more details other than to let you know the situation has been resolved," Graswich said.

Meanwhile, the district said the boy's parents have filed a writ, which means they do intend to sue the district.

The student's parents were unable to be reached for comment Friday.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Oakland Officer to Stand Trial in Police Sex Abuse Case]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 12:57:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6P+OPD+SEXUAL+MISCONDUCT+PKG+-+00000507.jpg

A judge has ordered a former Oakland police officer charged in a police-misconduct scandal to stand trial, saying the officer behaved "like a pimp" in his dealings with a teen prostitute.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Rogers on Thursday told former Officer Brian Bunton that he had compromised his job as an officer because the teen knew his position and could ask for favors in exchange for her keeping quiet.

The teen says she was sexually exploited by some 30 San Francisco Bay Area police officers.

The teen testified that Bunton coached her on how to be a better prostitute. Bunton's attorney declined comment. She vomited into a trash can on the witness stand after describing sex acts.

Prosecutors have charged six current and retired San Francisco Bay Area officers for their alleged involvement with the teen, including several from Oakland.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 Suspects on Lam After Person Shot Near Oakland Nursery]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 13:20:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/opd8.jpg

One person was shot near a nursery school Friday morning in East Oakland and two suspects are at large, police said.

The shooting was reported at about 10:40 a.m. in the 4400 block of Fleming Avenue near the Peter Pan Cooperative Nursery School and Maxwell Park.

The victim was taken to a hospital and is stable condition, according to police.

Officers are looking for two suspects.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Stabbed East Bay Boy Sentenced to 30 Years to Life]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 19:12:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-20-17-discovery+bay+.jpg

A man who fessed up to stabbing a 9-year-old boy as the third grader slept inside his Discovery Bay home back in 2015 was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison Friday.

William "Billy" Shultz, who was a friend of Jordan "Jordy" Almgren's older brother, was sleeping over at the Almgren family home in April 2015 when the then-teenager allegedly used a hunting knife to stab Almgren several times. Almgren was rushed to the hospital, but he later died.

Almgren's mother on Friday clutched a necklace her child made for her after the sentencing and said it's now time to move forward.

"There are no winners," Melissa Almgren said. "There aren't. Just healing for the defendant's family and our family."

Jordan Almgren's father added that the ruling offered mixed feelings.

"It's kind of bittersweet," Jon Almgren said. "We still don't have our son."

From the case's opening statements, Shultz's defense team argued that the then-18-year-old was in a chaotic mental state. They argued that he was obsessed with the thought that the world was ending, and when nuclear bombs did not detonate during the sleepover, Shultz was allegedly convinced that he had to kill someone in order to test his ability to survive an impending apocalypse.

In a jailhouse interview with the Bay Area News Group, Shultz said, "I wanted to see what it was like to take a life before someone tried to take mine."

Just one day before the stabbing, Shultz was briefly hospitalized after his family requested that officials evaluate the state of his mental health. Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department officials originally responded to the family's home before deciding that the teenager did not meet the criteria to be placed on an involuntary mental hold, according to the East Bay Times. Shultz still voluntarily went to the hospital, but a doctor later released him before the sleepover.

Shultz did not speak in court, but his mother said what her son did will haunt him forever. Shultz's attorney added that her client is sorry.

"He has told me that he is extremely remorseful for what he did to his second family," defense attorney Cynthia Scofield said.

The joy Jordan Almgren brought to his family has aided them since the killing, and Almgren's brother said that Friday's ruling gives them added satisfaction.

"We've been able to stay strong and keep our heads up, keep smiling, and so, in the end, (Shultz) didn't win," Evan Almgren said.

Scofield plans to appeal the sentencing ruling.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[OMCA Exhibit Explores Pioneering Work of Dorothea Lange]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 15:51:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dorothea+Lange.jpg

Oakland Museum of California's new exhibit focusing on the works of Dorothea Lange opens this month, giving attendees a rare opportunity to examine a treasure trove of photographs and memorabilia belonging to the preeminent documentary photographer.

Lange's haunting photographs of the Great Depression and Japanese internment during World War II pioneered photography as a potent medium for social activism in the United States. Some of her most iconic works — from the images of gaunt-faced men withering in bread lines to the children crammed together in internment camps — were taken in the Bay Area, where the artist lived until her death in 1965. 

OMCA's exhibition will include more than 100 photographs; some billed as "rarely seen," along with personal artifacts, memos, and unedited proofs. A media room will play rare film clips of the artist talking about her work and methodology. 

Lange gifted her work to the museum 50 years ago. The exhibit is timed to honor that donation, while also offering unfamiliar visitors a chance to discover one of the museum's most treasured collections in its archive. 

Lange's photographs are known for their unflinching look at poverty, racism and exclusion in 20th century America, but the exhibit is outfitted with a few modern flares that invite audiences to draw parallels between the past and present. 

An interactive space will explore ways in which photo manipulation can be used to amplify an image's intended meaning and persuade its audience. Participants are invited to use cropping and sequencing tools to test their own ability to create arresting and thought-provoking images, while also critically examining the power those tools have to shape leading interpretations of important works. 

“This exhibition will present Lange’s work through an activist’s lens in which she provoked social and political change through her powerful imagery," touted Drew Johnson, who is the curator of photography and visual culture at OCMA. "It will also provide museum visitors the opportunity to see Lange’s works in a different light that stretches beyond fine art, as well as mimic her technique through interactives included in the exhibition.” 

Contemporary artists whose work shares thematic parallels with Lange's are also included in the exhibit. Local artists Ken Light, Jason Jacks and Janet Delaney are expected to bear on income inequality, racism and immigration through different mediums. 

"Dorothea Lange: The Politics of Seeing" will run until August 13. For more details, visit OMCA's website.



Photo Credit: OMCA]]>
<![CDATA[Shots Fired During Smash-and-Grab Robbery at Danville Costco]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 23:54:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0519-2017-DanvilleCostco.jpg

Police are searching for suspects in a smash-and-grab robbery reported Friday at a Costco in Danville.

Shots were also fired during the incident at the store on Fostoria Way.

Officers at 12:15 p.m. responded to reports of an armed robbery at Costco. Witnesses said two suspects wearing masks and hoodies entered the store, with one of the suspects taking items after smashing a display case with a hammer.

When an employee attempted to stop the suspect, the other suspect fired a shot, police said. 

Both suspects fled the store and got into a newer model silver Camry, with a third suspect driving. A witness said another shot was fired when the suspects got into the car.

The store was temporarily closed while police investigated the shooting and robbery. No injuries were reported.

Friday's incident is the second smash-and-grab robbery reported this month at Costco.

On May 8, police reported one suspect was in custody and were seeking two others after a robbery at the store.

In that robbery, police said three suspects entered Costco just before 9 p.m. One of the suspects, wearing a ski mask, walked to a glass display case, broke the glass with a hammer and took items from the case, police said.

Store employees confronted the trio, tackling one and holding him to the ground, police said. The suspect with the ski mas ran into the parking lot, got into a vehicle and fled. The third suspect also got away, police said.

The suspect detained by employees was identified as Kesean Edwards, 21, of Oakland. Edwards was taken to the Martinez Detention Facility and booked on robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary charges.

Anyone who witnessed Friday's incident may contact Danville police at 925-820-2144.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Dog, 9 Puppies Found Inside Parked Hot Car]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 17:59:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/POLICE+GENERIC4.jpg

Warm temperatures in the East Bay prompted a Good Samaritan to flag-down a Concord police officer.]]>