<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - East Bay]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usMon, 21 Aug 2017 09:36:05 -0700Mon, 21 Aug 2017 09:36:05 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Astronomical Excitement: Bay Area Welcomes Solar Eclipse]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 08:13:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Solar+Eclipse+Asia.jpg

  • LIVE VIDEO of Monday's total solar eclips from NASA Television and locations across the country will be available on NASA's website.

The time has finally come. Millions of people across the United States on Monday are halting the start of the workweek to glue their eyes to sky as the moon briefly takes the spotlight away from the sun.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, a solar eclipse is visible in the United States, sending astronomy enthusiasts and curious onlookers into a tizzy of astronomical excitement that has been brewing for weeks, months and even years.

The Bay Area is not in the path of totality this go around, but folks in the region will be able catch portions of the eclipse between 9:01 a.m and 11:37 a.m. with the peak of the eclipse occurring around 10:16 a.m. Roughly 75 percent of the sun will be hidden by the moon at that time.

Here are some facts about the upcoming eclipse:

What is a solar eclipse?

According to NASA, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves in front of the sun, creating a barrier between the two orbs. The eclipse this year will last no more than three minutes in its totality. Along with being able to see the sun completely covered, viewers will be exposed to a partial eclipse as well. This will display the moon’s movements as it blocks out the sun. 

Where can the solar eclipse be seen?

The total eclipse in America will be visible in 14 different states, according to NASA. Although California is omitted from this list (The last occurrence in California was 128 years ago), those wanting to experience have travelled to Oregon. Other states where the complete solar eclipse can be seen are Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana. The last location to be passed through is South Carolina.

People who reach some of the gatherings will need special glasses to view the solar eclipse. Only when the moon is completely covering the sun can spectators remove their glasses.

Can’t make it to the eclipse?

If you can't make the trek to other neighboring states for the eclipse, areas within the Bay will be hosting parties to celebrate.

Places like San Francisco's Exploritorium will have composer Wayne Grimm give a live performance of his composition accompanied by the Kronos Quartet during the solar eclipse. The composition will use homemade software that converts real-time data from the eclipse into soundscapes. 

"It'll look at the brightness, it'll look at the color," said Grim. "It'll look at the actual movement you see."  

Grim's performance will last the three-hour duration of the eclipse and is already sold out.

Here's a list of other Bay Area solar eclipse viewing parties. 

  • The Exploratorium in San Francisco will be broadcasting the total solar eclipse live and inviting guests to view the partial eclipse from their plaza.
  • The California Academy of Sciences will also be holding a similar event. Staff and volunteers will be answering any questions visitors may have about the phenomenon, guiding them to a viewing area.
  • Happy Hollow Park and Zoo will be handing out special viewing glasses for attendees who stop by. While there, spectators can watch the partial eclipse as well as enjoy the park's usual amenities. 
  • Oak Chabot Space and Science Center is inviting the community for free to view the partial eclipse from their center or watch a live feed in their theater. They will be selling eclipse glasses. 
  • NASA Ames Research Center will have a public eclipse viewing event at the center starting at 8 a.m. 
  • Sonoma Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sonoma County is inviting the community to view the solar eclipse with their solar telescopes and eclipse glasses. 
  • San Jose Astronomical Association will be holding a viewing event a Houge Park for the eclipse. The event is open to the public. 
  • GRPC Solar Eclipse Viewing in San Jose will host a solar eclipse party at the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy.
  • San Francisco Embarcadero will have Cupid's Span viewing party for free.
  • 21 Libraries in the Bay Area will host eclipse events and will be distributing over 2 million free eclipse glasses and 4,000 education kits to over 7,000 library locations.  

Where to buy solar glasses? 

Viewing the sun directly without proper solar glasses can cause injury to your eyes, here' s a list of stores currently selling them. 

If you're looking to stay home and throw your own party, NASA will be live streaming the event from locations across the country as well.

If looking to grab memorabilia of the event, the US Postal Service has released a stamp set of the total solar eclipse. The exclusive sheet holds 16 individual stamps that reveal the moon when a finger is placed on the image of the eclipse, heating up the stamp. The original photograph will reappear once the stamp has cooled. The reverse side holds the path of the eclipse across the United States. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Drug Bust Investigation in Richmond Comes to Close]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:05:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Two_Month_Investigation.jpg

Richmond police said they have made an arrest following a two-month-long investigation. Detectives said neighbors started reporting suspicious activities at a home in the city's northern district. Authorities said officials confirmed illegal activity and searched the place, eventually finding cocaine, cash and a gun.]]>
<![CDATA[Police Apprehend 3 Men After Chase on I-580 in Pleasanton]]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 16:07:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-080615.jpg

Three men who allegedly tried to burglarize cars in a Pleasanton fitness club parking lot tried to flee but were quickly caught early Sunday morning, police said.

Around 1:41 a.m., a resident called police and reported that he saw men attempting to burglarize cars in the Club Sport parking lot at 7090 Johnson Drive, according to police.

The resident said the men were driving a white 2003 Toyota 4-Runner and told police which direction they were going. Officers tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to stop, police said.

The driver of the 4-Runner committed several traffic violations as he tried to shake the police, then got on eastbound Interstate Highway 580, according to police. Officers pursued and the driver stopped on the right shoulder just west of the Hacienda Drive offramp, police said.

Richardo Velazquez, 31, of Hayward, allegedly got out of the driver's seat and ran, police said. Though the officers didn't pursue him, Velazquez jumped a three-foot-high cement wall and fell many feet to a dirt trail, according to police.

Velazquez was injured in the fall and was taken into custody, then brought to a hospital for treatment, police said.

The officers detained the other two passengers in the 4-Runner and searched them, according to police. The search yielded burglary tools, including shaved keys in the passengers' possession, police said.

The officers searched the vehicle and found methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe, according to police.

The two passengers, Dameon Phillips, 40, of Oakland, and Gregory Robinson, 41, also of Oakland, were arrested and booked at Santa Rita Jail, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Medical Emergency Causes Major Injury Crash in Antioch: CHP]]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 15:03:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-19-17_Antioch_Crash_2.jpg

The California Highway Patrol said a medical emergency caused a motorist on Saturday to speed down a highway off-ramp and crash into a vacant lot in Antioch.

A total of three people — one adult and two minors — were inside the car when the crash occurred near Contra Loma Boulevard and Fitzuren Road, Contra Costa County Fire Department Battalion Chief Bob Atlas said. They all suffered major injuries.

Officials said two of the patients flown to hospitals by helicopters are expected to survive following the crash. 

The CHP says a sedan hit another vehicle on eastbound State Route 4 before careening down the ramp. Investigators said due to the ongoing medical event, the driver was unable to control or stop the car.

The car went through an intersection, jumped a sidewalk, crashed through a fence and hit a utility box before coming to a stop.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Labor Market Strongest in SF, San Mateo, Marin Counties]]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 09:15:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/now-hiring1.jpg

The labor market in the San Francisco Bay Area is the strongest in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in San Francisco, 3.2 percent in San Mateo County and 3.4 percent in Marin County.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara and Napa counties was also below 4 percent while in Alameda and Contra Costa counties the rates were 4.3 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

The labor market was the weakest in Solano County where the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest Made in Officer-Involved Shooting: CoCo Co. Sheriff]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:13:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-19-17_Pacheco_OIS.jpg

A suspect has been arrested in an officer-involved non-injury shooting that happened Saturday night in unincorporated Martinez, a sheriff's office spokesman said Sunday.

Joey Carroll, 34, of Pittsburg, was arrested and booked this morning into the Martinez Detention Facility on suspicion of numerous crimes, said Jimmy Lee, spokesman for the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

Carroll was arrested on suspicion of stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, evading causing injury, evading while driving the wrong way, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting and probation violation, Lee said.

The case began around 8:22 p.m. Saturday when sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a possible burglary near Actriz Avenue and Arthur Road in unincorporated Martinez, Lee said.

Deputies did an area check of the residence but didn't find any evidence of a burglary. However, the deputies did find an allegedly stolen vehicle near the residence. When the vehicle started driving away, the deputies attempted a traffic stop, Lee said.

The vehicle led the deputies on a pursuit, pulling into a gas station on Arthur Road. When the deputies got out of their patrol cars to do a high-risk car stop, the suspect rammed one of the deputies' cars, according to Lee.

A deputy fired two rounds at the suspect, who drove toward Interstate Highway 680, Lee said. The suspect wasn't hit by the gunfire, according to Lee.

The suspect drove the wrong way on the freeway offramp and collided with another vehicle, Lee said. The suspect was taken into custody, according to Lee. The driver of the other vehicle and the suspect suffered minor injuries and were taken to local hospitals to be checked.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Synagogue Vandalized in Alameda]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:37:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEB-Vandalized-Synagogue.jpg

An Alameda synagogue was vandalized sometime between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, police said.

Officers went to Temple Israel of Alameda at 3183 Mecartney Road at about 2 p.m. Thursday to investigate.

The glass in the front doors of the building was broken by what appeared to be a rock, Sgt. Erik Klaus said.

Police believe one person is responsible for the vandalism but so far all they know is that the person was wearing all dark clothing.

Klaus did not say whether the attack was a hate crime. However, he said, anytime the property of a religious group is vandalized, "We want to make sure they're protected," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Firefighters Save 'Bride, Groom and Cake']]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 13:11:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DHkNBFwVYAA-9k91.jpg

Newlyweds who tied the knot Friday at a historic Sunol vineyard will never forget their wedding reception — but not for the reason you may think. 

The couple was hosting the event at Elliston Vineyards around 5:30 p.m. when an attic fire broke out.

The Alameda County Fire Department responded to the two-alarm blaze and firefighters managed to contain the flames to the mansion's attic and third story. 

The fire, although extinguished in under two hours, caused water damage at the well-known venue, officials wrote on Twitter.  

While crews stayed on scene all night to monitor hot spots and mop up the scorched mess, the wedding reception was relocated to nearby Casa Bella.

Alameda County firefighters saved the day in more ways than one because not only were the newlyweds and wedding party saved, but so was their cake. 

As of Saturday, weddings and events were back on schedule, according to Elliston Vineyards' Facebook page. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: Alameda County Fire Department via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters 2017 at Bark and Meow Street Fair]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 13:03:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/170819-Clear-The-Shelters-5.jpgDozens of Bay Area shelters participated in this years Clear the Shelters event in Berkeley. Since this year’s event was launched in the last month, more than 31,000 pets have already been adopted.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Gonzalez/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Procession Held for Oakland Firefighter Shot in San Jose]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:35:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0818-2017-Oakland-Firefighter-Procession-1.jpg

Family, friends and fellow firefighters gathered Friday to transport the body of Jake Walter from Santa Clara County back to Oakland.

Walter, 30, was one of the two off-duty firefighters shot late Thursday in San Jose, right across from a family friendly event at Gordon Biersch Brewery. The rookie firefighter succumbed to his injuries at a hospital and the other firefighter is hospitalized in stable condition.

"The result of this tragedy has left a somber cloud over the Oakland Fire Department and its members and (the) family members of those who were both injured and now deceased," said Darin White, Oakland Fire Department's interim chief. "We grieve for our lost colleague and we wish for a speedy recovery for the individual that’s injured right now."

A procession was held while family and firefighters transported Walter back to the East Bay. Fellow firefighters could be seen paying their respects and saluting along the procession route.

Friends said Walter was a baseball star at Skyline High School in Oakland and Cal State East Bay. He served as a paramedic before taking classes to become a firefighter. Walter joined the Oakland Fire Department this year.

"Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the families, the friends, the loved ones, our internal fire department family," White said.

The person accused of shooting the firefighters was identified by police as Oliver Juinio of San Jose. 

He fled after opening fire, but was located shortly after and arrested, police said. Juinio will be booked into the Santa Clara County Jail for murder and attempted murder.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Man Among 14 Killed in Spanish Terror Attacks]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:33:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0817-2017-BarcelonaCouplePic.jpg

What began as a vacation to celebrate a Bay Area couple's first wedding anniversary ended in tragedy, Jared Tucker’s family said, when the 42-year-old was killed in Thursday’s terror attack in Barcelona.

Tucker's father, Dan Tucker, who lives in Walnut Creek, told NBC Bay Area on Friday that his daughter-in-law, Heidi Nunes-Tucker, had identified her husband's remains at a Spanish morgue. 

The Lafayette couple visited Paris and Venice before arriving in Barcelona, Nunes-Tucker said Thursday. They were walking in the Catalan city's Las Ramblas shopping district when Nunes-Tucker decided to look at some jewelry while Tucker ducked into a restroom. 

Moments later, a van veered onto the promenade and barreled down the busy walkway in the city center Thursday, swerving back and forth as it mowed down pedestrians and turned a picturesque tourist destination into a bloody killing zone. Thirteen people were killed, along with another person in a separate attack hours later in Catalonia.

"Next thing I know there’s screaming, yelling," Nunes-Tucker told NBC News. "I got pushed inside the souvenir kiosk and stayed there hiding while everybody kept running by screaming, and then the police eventually made us evacuate."

Nunes-Tucker had said she hadn't seen or heard from Tucker since the deadly attack. She told NBC News Thursday that she was aware of a picture circulating online appearing to show her husband looking injured and being helped by a stranger.

In the photograph, Dan Tucker said Jared Tucker was wearing a blue shirt and tan pants. He had a head wound and there was "quite a lot of blood," he said. But Dan Tucker took solace in the fact that someone was kneeling in front of him.

"That's a good sign," he recalled thinking. "He's hurt, but it's not fatal." 

The family learned otherwise, Dan Tucker said, when officials at a consulate — it's unclear whether the officials were Spanish or American — showed Nunes-Tucker pictures of her husband and asked her to identify Jared Tucker.

Dan Tucker said he and his son, one of five children, owned a swimming pool construction business together.

"Jared was a neat, neat guy. Everybody loved him. He and I have worked together … ever since he’s been 16 years old," Dan Tucker said, adding that he had a "really nice relationship" with his child.

"I’ve just got so much respect for his organizational ability and all he's done. Everybody loves him and so it's going to be a really bitter pill to swallow," he said, choking up.

Jared Tucker, who has three teenage daughters from previous relationships, was visiting Europe for the first time and was booked on a flight back to the United States on Friday, his father said. The victim's sister is now traveling to Spain to support Heidi Nunes-Tucker and help bring Jared Tucker home. 

When asked how he was feeling, Dan Tucker paused, struggling to answer.

"I'm not angry necessarily ... It's just hard to understand how anything like that could happen," he said.

Tucker deemed it "really bizarre" that his son was the one American among the 13 people who were fatally struck by the terrorist. "What are the chances?" he wondered.

Friends, family and other supporters gathered Friday at El Sobrante Christian School, where Nunes-Tucker is a teacher, for a vigil prayer for the family.

"Heidi is a beloved teacher here and we hurt when she's hurting," El Sobrante Christian School principal Jeannine Manguit said.

GoFundMe account has been set up to help Jared Tucker's family. 

A State Department official told NBC News Friday morning that one American was killed and another was missing. The State Department have not confirmed Tucker is the American who died.

Spanish police intensified their manhunt for an unknown number of suspects still on the loose Friday. They shot and killed five people early Friday who were wearing fake bomb belts as they attacked the seaside resort of Cambrils with a speeding car. Police also arrested four others believed linked to the Cambrils attack and the carnage Thursday on the famous Barcelona promenade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Heidi Nunes]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Man in Barcelona Missing Following Attack]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:50:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0817-2017-BarcelonaCouplePic.jpg

UPDATE (Aug. 18, 2017): Jared Tucker was one of the 14 people killed in Thursday's terror attacks in Spain, his family said.

Here is an earlier story: 

A Bay Area woman is desperate to find her husband who went missing after a van plowed through the crowds in central Barcelona, killing at least 14 people —one from the United States — and injuring more than 100 others.

Heidi Nunes said she and her husband, Jared Tucker, were in Europe celebrating their first wedding anniversary, visiting Paris and Venice before arriving at the Catalan city. 

The couple, from Walnut Creek, California, was walking in Barcelona's Las Ramblas shopping district when Nunes decided to look at some jewelry while Tucker went to use the bathroom. 

Moments later, a van veered onto the promenade and barreled down the busy walkway in central Barcelona on Thursday, swerving back and forth as it mowed down pedestrians and turned a picturesque tourist destination into a bloody killing zone.

"Next thing I know there’s screaming, yelling," Nunes told NBC News. "I got pushed inside the souvenir kiosk and stayed there hiding while everybody kept running by screaming, and then the police eventually made us evacuate."

Nunes said she has not seen or heard from Tucker, a 34-year-old construction worker, since the deadly attack. She told NBC News that she's aware of a picture circulating online appearing to show her husband looking injured and being helped by a stranger. 

A picture taken moments shortly the attack depicts a happy couple enjoying sangrias on the promenade. Nunes said the clothes he was wearing in that photo "is what he’s wearing now," and hopes that detail provides a clue and helps someone to recognize him.  

She said she has reached out to the U.S. embassy in Spain for help and has called local hospitals searching for him.

"We’re waiting for a list at the emergency places we’re at but the lists don’t seem to be updated very rapidly," she told NBC News. "So we were going to start driving to hospitals to start looking."

One American was killed in the attack, while another sustained minor injuries, a State Department official told NBC News Friday. Neither was identified, and Spanish authorities say several casualties have yet to be identified.

A biographical page for Nunes on the El Sobrante Christian School website says the sixth-grade teacher grew up in Sacramento and "enjoys spending time with her son and attending his soccer and lacrosse games."  

San Jose resident Caroline Bet Adam, who is also in Spain on vacation, told NBC Bay Area she got off a bus moments after the attack and saw people screaming and running. Her family is shaken but safe.

Another Bay Area resident, Isaura Ochoa, is studying abroad in Europe and was just blocks away from the deadly scene.

"Everything seemed out of control," Ochoa said. "All of a sudden people started running in opposite directions of where everything was -- everyone ran into a store."

Early Friday morning, five people carrying fake bomb belts were killed in a shootout with police in Cambrils, a seaside resort town about 80 miles from Barcelona. Six people, including an officer, were injured in the attack. The government for Spain's Catalonia region said the back-to-back vehicle attacks were connected and the work of a large terrorist group.

Four people have been arrested, but the driver of the van in the Barcelona attack fled on foot and remained at large Friday morning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Heidi Nunes]]>
<![CDATA[Procession Held for Oakland Firefighter ]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:18:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Oakland-Firefighter-Procession-2.jpgFamily, friends and fellow firefighters gathered Friday for a procession that transported the body of Jake Walter from Santa Clara County back to Oakland.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Arrests in Death of Man Shot While Pushing Son in Stroller]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:33:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0817-2017-stroller-death.jpg

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man who was pushing his 3-month-old infant son in a stroller in unincorporated Hayward last month, Alameda County sheriff's officials said Thursday.

Hayward resident Daniel Deltoro was shot and killed while taking his son on a walk in the 200 block of Willow Avenue in the Cherryland neighborhood at about 2:45 p.m. on July 19, according to the sheriff's office.

Following nearly a month of investigation, deputies arrested 25-year-old Pablo Mendoza of Hayward, 26-year-old Brandon Follings of Hayward, and 26-year-old Valerie Boden of Alameda, sheriff's officials said.

Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said investigators believe the shooting was a result of gang activity and had "a specific targeted intent."

Deltoro "had left gang life behind and was moving forward in a positive direction with his life when this happened," Kelly said, calling the shooting "very unfortunate."

He said the fact that Deltoro was pushing an infant when he was shot was "pretty shocking to the community" and "our investigators worked very hard on this."

Jail records showed Mendoza was booked into jail Thursday and is due in court on Monday for arraignment, while Follings was booked into jail on Aug. 5 and is next due in court on Aug. 31 for a plea hearing.

Jail records did not show that Boden was currently in jail in Alameda County, but Kelly said she was arrested days after the shooting.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the sheriff's office at 510-667-7721 or an anonymous tip line at 510-667-3622.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two Children Killed in Grisly Two-Car Collision in Oakland]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:00:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OAKLAND+CRASH.jpg

Two children ages 11 and 6 died in a two-vehicle collision in East Oakland on Wednesday night, police said.

The crash was reported at 8:38 p.m. in the area of International Boulevard and 55th Avenue.

A Chrysler 300 was traveling west on International and collided with a Chevrolet HHR that was traveling east and was turning to northbound 55th Avenue, according to police.

Five people from the two vehicles were taken to hospitals, including the two children who were taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, where they were pronounced dead, police said. Their names are not yet being released.

The drivers and another passenger are listed in stable condition. Both drivers and all of the passengers were Oakland residents, according to police.

Investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the collision, which remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the department's traffic investigation unit at (510) 777-8570.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Livermore Police Shoot Allegedly Armed Man Who Set Home Fire]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:57:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N430A+NEW+LIVERMORE+OIS+VO+v2+-+00012205.jpg

Livemore police on Wednesday night shot and killed an allegedly armed and suicidal man who barricaded himself inside a mobile home before setting it on fire.

Officers responded to the 1300 block of Via Deste just before 9 p.m. on reports of a man acting erratically and confronting people. Seeing police, though, the man, who refused to obey commands, withdrew into a mobile home and armed himself.

Police tried to talk to the suspect, but he made suicidal comments and fired shots inside the residence. A crisis negotiator was called to the scene and attempted to calm the man. 

Nearly two hours later, the man set a fire inside the house and emerged clutching a shotgun, police said. He was shot by officers and fell to the ground.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Firefighters doused the fire and no one else, including the officers, was injured. 

The man has so far been unidentified.

The Livermore Police Department and Alameda County District Attorney's Office are investigating the shooting. 

The last officer-involved shooting in Livermore occurred in March 2016.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Clayton Man Releases Statement Over Attending Virginia Rally]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:03:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0816-2017-Charlottesville.jpg

An East Bay man who resigned from a Berkeley restaurant after attending a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, released a statement late Wednesday.

Clayton-resident Cole White said he has been mischaracterized and went to Charlottesville to meet with other conservatives, saying in part "I want to make it clear that I am not a white supremacist, nor was I ever...My portrayal over social and the mainstream media has been inaccurate, biased and completely unjustified."

Read White's full statement here.

White worked at Top Dog in Berkeley, but resigned this week after social media posts from the Twitter account @YesYoureRacist and others identified him as a participant of the "Unite the Right" rally.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[It's Kevin Durant Day! Hometown Hero Honored in Md.]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:16:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Kevin+Durant+Day+Parade+081717.jpg

One of the most famous people to come out of Prince George's County was back home Thursday to be celebrated with a parade. 

Kevin Durant Day officially kicked off at 10 a.m. with a parade in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. The day celebrates the accomplishments of the NBA All-Star, who was born in Suitland.

He rode in the parade in a silver Corvette, greeting fans of all ages and hoisting the NBA championship trophy and signing autographs. 

Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant said locals were honored to see Durant return. 

"We're very excited that Kevin has not forgotten from whence he's come," Grant said live on News4 early Thursday. 

One young fan said he sees Durant as a role model. 

"It just goes to show that people from your hometown can make it," he said. 

Durant's mother, Wanda Durant, said the children who went to see the star reminded her of her own son. 

"When I see these little kids and these teenagers, I see my sons, and I see Kevin," she said. "It's quite rewarding to be here and see them looking up to my son."

"I'm just excited because it's one thing for him to come to his hometown and bring the trophy that he one," Seat Pleasant resident Warren Johnson said. "It's so proud to a lot of people."

"I would tell him to ignore all the negative comments, and keep it moving, and praise God he's gotten as far as he's gotten. Amen," said Roslyn Wise, who took off work to be there.

More than 20,000 people were expected to attend. 

Durant has donated almost $1 million to the community, Grant said. The funds have gone toward basketball courts and the gym where Durant got his own training, the mayor said. 

"I think it was something that I instilled in my son," his mother said. "He's building his own legacy now, so yes, it's just important for him to give back."

Durant helped lead the Golden State Warriors to an NBA championship in June, defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

NBC4 sponsored the festivities.

The parade began at Goodwin Park. 

Photo Credit: Justin Finch, NBCWashington
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<![CDATA[Deported Oakland Nurse Says Goodbye to Family, United States]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:46:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0816-2017-MariaSanchez.jpg

It has been an emotional journey this week for the family of Oakland nurse Maria Mendoza Sanchez and her husband Eusebio, whose battle to legally remain with their children in the United States ended with the couple's deportation. 

The Sanchezes late Wednesday said goodbye to their three daughters. The couple, following an immigration deportation order, checked in at San Francisco International Airport with their young son — an American citizen — for a flight to Mexico.

"This is the moment I hoped would never come," Sanchez said before boarding her flight.

Sanchez, who served as a nurse at Highland Hospital providing care to cancer and heart patients, spent 15 years trying to get U.S. legal status, but was unsuccessful. 

Twenty-three years ago, Sanchez illegally crossed the border with her husband, a truck driver, and one of her daughters. They had two more girls and a boy. 

The 23-year-old daughter she brought with her to the U.S. can stay because of DACA. The 12-year-old son and two other daughters -- ages 16 and 21 -- are citizens, with one just a year away from graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in human biology, the San Jose Mercury News reported. 

"What scares me the most — I don't know when they're gonna be back," daughter Melin Sanchez said. "I want us to be together."

Maria said that her children "will always have my support even if I'm not here for them." 

She said she'll be available at all times for a phone call and "my heart is always here for them."

The Sanchezes case drew national headlines and was championed by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Maria's co-workers, among others. 

"Maria and Eusebio Sanchez have lived in this country for more than 20 years. They are hardworking parents raising four children, three citizens and one protected by DACA," Feinstein said before the deportation. "They have no criminal records. They pay taxes, own their home and contribute to this country. These are the kind of people we should welcome into the United States with open arms." 

The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement last week saying in part the courts long ago deemed the couple was in the U.S. illegally, and their case is not exempt from the law. 

In August, the Justice Department announced that 57,069 people have been ordered for removal from the country in the first six months of Trump’s presidency. That’s up nearly 31 percent since the same period in 2016 under former President Barack Obama. 

Sanchez does not blame President Donald Trump for the immigration laws that have been on the books for years. However, she said the president is "taking it personally against Mexicans. This law is affecting all immigrants, but I feel somehow Mexicans -- we've been targeted. I don't know why." 

Sanchez has said she will not be allowed to return to the U.S. for 10 years. They will continue to try to pursue efforts to try to be reunited with their family legally in the country. 

In the meantime, her three daughters will take care of each other in the family's home, the San Jose Mercury News reported. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Electrician in Va. Rally 'No Longer Employed']]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:21:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ramondettacms.PNG

Johnny "Monoxide" Ramondetta, a Berkeley resident and podcast host who was scheduled to speak at last weekend's "Unite the Right" rally in Virginia, is no longer employed by an electrical contractor with offices in San Francisco and San Jose.

Ramondetta was listed as a featured speaker on several fliers for the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which turned deadly Saturday when a man allegedly drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 other people.

Other speakers listed on the fliers were noted white nationalist Richard Spencer and "Baked Alaska," an internet commentator who appeared at a rally in Berkeley in April after the cancellation of a speaking event with conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

Ramondetta was also the subject of an extensive profile published by the hate group watchdog Southern Poverty Law Center, claiming that he's "developed a niche amongst conspiracy theorists and occult enthusiasts with neo-Nazi political and social views."

An employee at Rosendin Electric's San Francisco office confirmed on Tuesday that Ramondetta worked there, but a company spokesperson clarified on Wednesday that "John Ramondetta is no longer employed with Rosendin."

The spokesperson declined to comment any further but Ramondetta's union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 6, released a statement Monday saying the views and opinions expressed by Ramondetta do not represent the views of the union.

"IBEW Local Union No. 6 condemns the violence and murder that took place this past weekend in Charlottesvile, VA. To be perfectly clear, IBEW Local Union No. 6 also condemns white nationalism and white supremacy, as they are in stark conflict with the express goals of our organization," union business manager and financial secretary John Doherty said in a statement.

He continued: "The 'Unite the Right' event, and the actions that were perpetrated by those in attendance, are disgraceful examples of a small minority of bigots that seek to exploit the growing economic desperation of law abiding Americans."

The union hosted an immigrant justice workshop sponsored by the SF Electrical Workers Minority Caucus and the Labor Center for Immigrant Justice in their auditorium on Fillmore Street Tuesday evening.

A "name-and-shame" poster featuring a number of epithet-laced quotes that purportedly came from Ramondetta's podcasts was circulated in a public post in the Facebook group Brotherhood in the Bay, where he was broadly condemned by fellow union members.

Ramondetta did not respond to a Facebook message asking him to confirm his presence at Unite the Right or comment on the statement issued by his union.

He is the second Bay Area resident associated with the Charlottesville event to end up parting ways with his employer after last weekend.

Restaurant employee Cole White resigned from Top Dog, which has two locations in Berkeley and one in Oakland, after photos of him attending the rally surfaced on social media.

<![CDATA[Sheriff's Office Retweet of White Supremacist Sparks Protest]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:12:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0816-2017-SheriffProtest.jpg

Immigrant rights groups held a protest Wednesday in response to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office retweet Monday night of a video posted by white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Groups including the Asian Law Caucus and the California Immigrant Policy Center gathered at 5:30 p.m. at the sheriff's office at 1401 Lakeside Drive in Oakland.

The retweet is the latest in what the groups say is a string of racist comments and actions involving the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, including Sheriff Greg Ahern's signing of a letter on behalf of the California State Sheriffs' Association endorsing Jeff Session's nomination as U.S. attorney general. 

On Tuesday, Alameda County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly apologized for the retweet of the prominent white supremacist and said it was accidental.

Kelly said he was researching Spencer because he is a "focal point" of a right-wing rally planned in Berkeley on Aug. 27. He even requested the Sheriff's Office IT department to help him delete the retweet.

Protesters on Wednesday said they want to see the e-mails or call records to prove Kelly requested help.

During the demonstration, one of the organizers handed an envelope to a deputy who was standing guard on the front steps. Inside the envelope, a public records request about the controversial retweet.

"We want to find out how that happened, why it happened," said Saira Hussein with the Asian Law Caucus Attorney. "We need transparency and accountability from this department."

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office has 10 business days to respond to the public records request filed by organizers.

Before the retweet incident, protest organizers planned a demonstration calling Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern to task for his past support of United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"What kind of correspondence has the Sheriff's Department been having with the Trump administration?" asked Jon Rodney with the California Immigrant Policy Center. "And with anti-immigrant forces. So we want to uncover the truth."

The group is also pushing for Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act. If passed, it would restrict local law enforcement agencies from communicating with Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents.

Oakland is the county seat of Alameda County in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The county is one of the most diverse in the nation with no majority racial or ethnic group. 

Bay City News contributed to this story.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Contra Costa Religious Leaders Denounce Virginia Violence]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:44:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/charlottesville.jpg

More than 200 people gathered at a vigil in Walnut Creek on Monday to pay tribute to Heather Heyer and condemn the white supremacist beliefs held by the man who allegedly took her life in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.

The interfaith vigil, organized by religious leaders across Contra Costa County, lasted from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m at Civic Park. Groups sang "This land is Your Land," "We Shall Not Be Moved," and other songs with underlying themes of unity.

The peaceful event was just one of many vigils and protests that surfaced in the wake of the violent Unite the Right rally, a gathering of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and members of the 'alt-right,' that ended with three fatalities and scores of injuries last Saturday. 

The peaceful East Bay event was just one of many vigils and protests that surfaced in the aftermath of Saturday's violent Unite the Right rally, a gathering of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and members of the Ku Klux Klan, that ended with three fatalities and 19 injuries. 

Heyer, 32, had been walking with counter-demonstrators when a man with ties to the "alt-right" allegedly plowed into the group at roughly 40 mph. Two state troopers who were responding to the Charlottesville protests were also killed when their helicopter crashed in woods on the outskirts of town.

The attendees of Walnut Creek's vigil — a majority of whom were white — said they felt compelled to disavow those who promulgate white supremacist beliefs and confront it within their own families and neighborhoods.

Several children held signs that expressed hope for a future in which protesting against white nationalism would not be necessary. A man also handed out "Make America Smart Again" hats that he custom-ordered in bulk after the election. 

"I came today because it was such a shock, such a disgrace," said Helen Rowley, who attended the vigil with her daughter. "I wanted to show that we won't stand for that. We need to look into our own community and stand up against that hate." 

The interfaith vigil was organized by Leslie Takahasha, a lead minister at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, and fellow members of the governing board of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. 

Before moving to Contra Costa County, Takahasha lived in Charlottesville for seven years. Visibly shaken as she stood in the gazebo at Civic Park, she gave a fiery sermon that denounced white nationalism and hatred. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere, she said. 

"This could happen in any community today," Takahasha said. "We have unleashed a culture of hate that is so virulent that it is spreading like a virus throughout our nation."

"It's time for us to end that," she continued, "and stand for something else." 

Numerous politicians on both sides of the aisle have called Saturday's events a terrorist attack. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has been criticized for his lukewarm and non-committal denunciation of neo-Nazis, skinheads and other hate groups that, while rallying, professed their allegiance to him. 

A funeral for Heyer was held on Wednesday. While speaking to a teeming crowd, the woman's mother said that her daughter had long advocated for justice and equality.

"Somehow, I almost feel that this is what she was born to be, is a focal point for change," Susan Bro said.

"They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what? You just magnified her ... By golly, if I’ve got to give her up, we’re going to make it count."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ICE Agents Serving Warrant in Oakland Get Chilly Welcome]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:38:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8162017-iceraid.jpg

Community activists unleashed their fury on agents with Homeland Security Investigations — part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — who, police said, served a federal search warrant related to human trafficking in West Oakland on Wednesday morning.

The operation began around 6:30 a.m. on 27th Street, near West Street. Law enforcement officers were at the scene for hours.

"HSI is conducting a criminal investigation, not a civil immigration or deportation action," Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said in a statement.

Although ICE officials remained tight-lipped, Oakland police said they were looking for suspects in an alleged human trafficking ring that is targeting juveniles.

However, Laura Barrios, whose house was raided, claims investigators are looking into their family-owned janitorial business, and at least two undocumented family members from Guatemala were taken into custody.

A tense situation unfolded as agents, who filed out of a house with boxes of evidence, were confronted by an angry crowd. People yelled "Boo" and chanted "Shame."

Lucas Solorzano, with the Alameda County Immigration Legal and Education Partnership, said it's up to communities to protect their own. ICE agents are not welcome, he said.

"This is the political climate we're in right now," he said. "It shows how important community defense models are right now, how we need to be able to defend community members."

Near the house where the federal search warrant was served, messages scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk offered insight into the neighborhood's views on the city's police department and ICE.

"We (love) our neighbors," "Get ICE out," Don't talk to cops" and "OPD is a disgrace" warred with "Oakland is not a sanctuary."

In fact, Oakland is a sanctuary city, but police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick authorized officers to provide traffic control after HSI on Tuesday requested their assistance.

"Chief Kirkpatrick gave strict instructions to the commander and officers that they may not assist HSI with any enforcement efforts," Watson said. "The officers' only role was that of traffic control and neighborhood safety."

Last month, the Oakland City Council moved to terminate an agreement between the police department and ICE allowing some officers to be designated as customs task force officers, but Watson said the department may still "assist our local, state and federal agency agencies when requested as it pertains to traffic control, community safety and officer safety."

James Schwab, a spokesman for ICE in San Francisco, could not confirm what type of investigation was underway or whether any arrests had been made this morning. However, Schwab did explain the relationship between HSI and ICE.

"Under ICE there are two organizations," Schwab said. "One is Enforcement and Removal, that's deportation."

He continued: "And then there's Homeland Security Investigations. That's our criminal investigation side."

Additional information is unlikely to be released Wednesday, but more details might be available Thursday, according to Schwab.

"It's an ongoing investigation," he said. "They're going to have to go through everything."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cal Students Form Largest-Ever Human Letter: Guinness]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:55:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-15-17_Big_C_Berkeley.jpg

The newest class at the University of California, Berkeley has already made a massive impression as the new school year kicks off.

A grand total of 7,196 incoming students clad in dark blue on Tuesday gathered at the university's Memorial Stadium to form a massive "C" on the turf, earning a world record for the largest human letter ever formed, according to university spokeswoman Gretchen Kell.

Two judges with Guinness World Records authenticated the record-breaking accomplishment, according to Kell.

The university's record breaks the previous mark set in March by 4,223 students in Tennessee, Kell said.

In order to officially break the record, Berkeley students had to stand stil for five minutes, according to Kell.

Photo Credit: University of California, Berkeley]]>
<![CDATA[Later BART Start Time Could Come Sooner: Agency]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:59:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart+station-0706.jpg

A proposed 5 a.m. start time on BART may be coming sooner as opposed to later, according to the transportation agency.

BART may adjust its start time beginning late this year instead of sticking with a plan to roll out the change in 2018, according to the transportation agency. BART estimates the move would impact about 2,400 riders.

BART's Board of Directors indicated that the agency needs extra time to handle a system-wide rebuild to better serve commuters. An extra hour in the morning could more than double the time maintenance workers have to get on and off the tracks, according to BART.

Early morning commuters would need to take buses if the start time changes go into effect, according to BART. They could also drive.

A number of riders said their bosses would be flexible if they came in a bit later, but the late start could limit certain job opportunities.

"Maybe my boss could be flexible, but I'm sure it doesn't work like that for everybody," BART rider Elvis Gomez said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Police Investigate Second I-880 Shooting in Two Days]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:25:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-15-17_Hayward_880_Shooting.jpg

For the second time in as many days, authorities are investigating a freeway shooting in the East Bay.

The most recent shooting occurred around 10:10 p.m. on Tuesday along Interstate 880 just south of Highway 92, just about four miles from an early Monday shooting that left a man critically injured, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Witnesses to the Hayward shooting told officials that they saw a "person hanging out of a car window shooting at another vehicle," according to CHP Sgt. Ted Montez.

Two teenagers were riding in the car that was fired upon, according to Montez. The passenger in that vehicle suffered minor injuries after being cut by broken glass.

The suspect or suspects have yet to be located at this time.

Officers shut down northbound 880 temporarily to collect evidence, Montez said.

It is not clear what prompted the shooting.

Further information was not available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Father Vows to Find Men Who Killed Oakland Musician]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 23:40:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/19983320_10158696304695538_1696316676617230278_o.jpg

A grieving father is vowing to find the men who killed his son last week in Oakland.

On Aug. 9, David DePoris was killed in broad daylight near Telegraph Avenue. A thief grabbed his laptop. DePoris gave chase and was dragged and run over by the getaway car.

The 40-year-old man was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"I'm here for one reason and one reason alone: to see what I can do to find my son's killer," said Gene DePoris.

The father late Tuesday also said he wants people to remember his son's music and why he loved Oakland.

David DePoris wrote songs about nearly everything: love, plywood doors and even toilets.

"He had a hell of a sense of humor," Gene DePoris said.

But the musician also believed strongly in nonviolence, doing the right thing and he believed with all his might in the city where he lived and died.

"He loves Oakland, and to him embodied everything that he hoped America would stand for," Gene DePoris said.

The father plans to bring his son's ashes back to Florida with him, but said he will be scattering much of them in Oakland at a memorial service scheduled for Sept. 9 at Sol Gate Studios in Oakland.

CrimeStoppers is offering a $15,000 reward in the case. Gene DePoris said he has every reason to believe that this case will be solved by the Oakland Police Department.

People with information about the case are asked to call the Oakland Police Department's Homicide Section at 510-238-3821.

Photo Credit: Dave Deporis via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Dental Asst. Pleads Guilty to Molesting Underage Patients]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:20:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0407-2016-AlejandroSaro.jpg

A former Concord dental assistant pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to five counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, Contra Costa County prosecutors said.

Alejandro Saro of Antioch made his plea at 8:30 a.m. in a Martinez courtroom before Judge Patricia Scanlon. The guilty plea included an enhancement for having contact with more than one victim, Deputy District Attorney Aron DeFerrari said.

Saro will likely spend 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 22, prosecutors said.

Saro was arrested on April 2, 2016, on suspicion of molesting a sedated 8-year-old girl in the Concord dental office where he worked. Since then, police identified four other victims.

Saro worked at La Clinica Monument at 2000 Sierra Road where some of the victims were molested after Saro started there in March 2015.

Saro also worked at Patino Orthodontics at 2751 Concord Blvd. where at least one victim was molested, police said.

According to DeFerrari, the victims were courageous in coming forward and were able to prevent Saro from possibly abusing anyone else.

The first allegation was made by a girl who said that he touched and photographed her vaginal area as she was being sedated in an exam room.

DeFerrari also praised the Concord Police Department whose officers "used community outreach and compassion for the victims and their families that made it possible to achieve this result today."

Saro's attorney, Evan Kuluk with the county's Alternate Defender's Office, was not immediately available for comment.

Photo Credit: Concord Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[How to Safely Watch the Total Solar Eclipse in the Bay Area]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:42:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/looking+through+telescope.jpg

You’ve decided not to join a bazillion people clogging highways and small Oregon towns to watch the moon obscure the sun for about two and a half minutes.

What now? Miss out on this truly rare spectacle — subject yourself to an endless stream of Facebook photos from way cooler friends who actually jammed themselves somewhere beneath the “Path of Totality?” Or find an alternative?

Astronomer Gerald McKeegan of the Chabot Space & Science Center says there are plenty of gadgets that will make eclipse viewing in the Bay Area almost as cool — if you don’t mind settling for an “almost total” eclipse because the Bay Area will see about a 75 percent solar eclipse. For far, far less than grossly inflated hotel bills, you can experience the eclipse at home with as little as just a piece of paper.

“Take a piece of card stock and punch a hole in it,” McKeegan demonstrated, holding what looked like a regular postcard with a small nail hole in the middle. “Hold this over a piece of white paper.”

McKeegan said the wholly humble viewer will allow the eclipse to project through the hole and onto the paper — creating a mini eclipse you can enjoy anywhere under the sun. McKeegan also showed off a pair of popular paper eclipse glasses fetching $2.99 in the Chabot gift shop.

Outlets like Amazon have recalled some batches of eclipse glasses because they turned out to be fakes. McKeegan said the only protection for buyers is to get them from reputable outlets.

“They look like sunglasses,” McKeegan explained, “except when you look through them you won’t be able to see anything unless you’re looking at the sun.”

Another easy homemade gadget is to get No. 14 welder’s glass from a hardware store and mount it in a small frame, which makes for another safe eclipse viewer, according to McKeegan.

Next the astronomer demonstrated a small commercial Sun Spotter, a sort of deconstructed box with a mirror and a viewer that will project the eclipsed sun onto a piece of paper.

“During an eclipse,” McKeegan said, “it’s Mother Nature’s way of reminding us that there’s a lot of stuff going on out there in space.”

For budding astronomers interested in space, McKeegan said small telescopes can be modified with sun filters to make for safe viewing. You can also fork out for an actual solar telescope — made just for the occasion of looking at the sun.

With "a small telescope with a proper solar filter on it,” McKeegan said, ”you actually get as good or better (than) an image than you would with a big telescope.”

Chabot boasts some of the biggest and most advanced telescopes around. Yet McKeegan said the center’s large modern computer-operated telescope is unsuitable for looking at the eclipse since it would require a large solar filter for the job.

Instead, the center will employ its 134-year-old telescope for the eclipse viewing party the center is hosting next Monday. The event will begin around 9 a.m. and run until around 11:30 a.m.

However, there is a big caveat McKeegan noted, pointing up at the thick fog, which swallowed the center on a recent day.

“Unfortunately August is the foggiest month of the year for the Bay Area,” McKeegan said. “So if it’s foggy you’re going to be out of luck.”

McKeegan himself, isn’t leaving things to chance. He and members of the East Bay Astronomical Society will head to Mitchell, Oregon to watch the spectacle. They will double the small town's population of 130 people.

“This is the first time in my life I will be able to see a total eclipse,” McKeegan said. “For millions of people across the country, this will be their only time to see a total eclipse.”

So whether you go whole hog — or just partial hog — the eclipse, like the weather, will be something everyone is talking about.

And if nothing else, consider this: “Most people don’t deal with science that much,” McKeegan said. “But this is their chance to get a little science.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Couple Facing Deportation Denied Stay]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:58:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0814-2017-MariaSanchez.jpg

Last-ditch efforts to keep an Oakland woman and her husband from being deported failed on Tuesday evening.

Maria Mendoza Sanchez, a nurse at Highland Hospital, spent 15 years trying to get United States citizenship, but was unsuccessful.

The woman and her husband were granted a stay of deportation that expires at noon on Wednesday. The couple spent Tuesday hoping to receive an extension so they could stay in the U.S. for another year to take care of their children and attend their youngest daughter's graduation. 

Having been turned down, though, Sanchez, her husband and their son will be forced to leave on a flight at 11 p.m. Wednesday. The couple's friends will look after their girls.

Twenty-three years ago, Sanchez illegally crossed the border with her husband and one of her daughters. They had two more girls and a boy. 

The daughter she brought with her to the U.S. can stay here because of DACA. Their son and two other daughters are citizens, with one just a year away from graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in human biology.

Their youngest daughter has a learning disability so Sanchez, seeking to pay for a tutor, became a nurse in the oncology department at Oakland's Highland Hospital.

She recalled telling her child, "I work. You study."

However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said late Monday, "When we fail to enforce (immigration) laws, what message are we sending to the millions of people who respect that process and are waiting outside the US now for visas that will enable them to enter the country lawfully?"

Sanchez countered that she hadn't broken any laws, but was ensnared in the illegal immigration crackdown. ICE officials might've sent the "wrong message" if she was a criminal "but I'm not even taking jobs," she said. "There's a shortage of nurses."

Sanchez's coworkers rallied for her on Monday, calling for an end to the deportation, but the woman in question does not blame President Donald Trump.

That said, "this law is affecting all immigrants," she admitted, "but I feel somehow Mexicans -- we've been targeted. I don't know why."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[UC Berkeley Hires Social Worker for People’s Park]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:49:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/UC_Berkeley_Hires_Social_Worker_for_People_s_Park.jpg

The University of California, Berkeley has hired a social worker to assess the needs of the homeless population in People's Park. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the social worker started last month and is getting paid $92,000 a year. At least nine violent crimes were reported in the park last year. In June, a homeless woman was charged with putting meth in a little boy's mouth. UC Berkeley owns the park and is exploring the option of building student housing in the location.]]>
<![CDATA[Man Reportedly Operating Fork Lift Dies in East Bay: Sheriff]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:12:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-fire-lights-generic.jpg

A 35-year-old man died Monday afternoon in Lafayette during an incident that occurred while he was reportedly operating forklift, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

At about 3 p.m., officers with the Lafayette Police Department responded to the 800 block of Avalon Avenue for a report of an incident that occurred at an industrial worksite.

Officers learned that the incident involved a man who was driving a forklift and had somehow become trapped.

At the scene, responding emergency personnel pronounced the man dead.

Additional details about the fatal incident were not released.

The man's identity is being withheld, pending the notification of his family, according to sheriff's officials.

The incident remains under investigation by Lafayette police and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department at (925) 283-3680.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[SamTrans to Unveil Recommendations to Ease Traffic Headaches]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:47:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SamTrans_generic.jpg

SamTrans on Tuesday is expected to reveal its year-long study looking into the possibility of bringing back the Dumbarton rail line.

The rail system shuttered in the 1990s, but surges in population, public funding and private investment have reignited discussions.

The rail line could run parallel to the Dumbarton Bridge, linking Alameda County to San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

When it comes to funding the project, private investment could supplement funding from gas taxes and proposed bridge toll hikes.

The public can take a peek at the study beginning Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Union City Library. The study will also be on display Wednesday at the same time at East Palo Alto City Hall. On Thursday, folks can check out the study at San Mateo City Hall beginning at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Alameda Co. Sheriff’s Office Retweets White Nationalist]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:12:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/alameda-county-sheriff.jpg

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is in hot water after a spokesman on Monday retweeted a video about a "Unite the Right" news conference held by a prominent white supremacist — a move that he insists was accidental.

The original Tweet depicted a Periscope live stream on the account of Richard Spencer, a co-founder of the so-called alt-right movement and backer of the white nationalist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. The retweet was later taken down by the department.

A follow-up tweet by the department indicated that the retweet was "accidental" and "no way done intentionally." Another follow-up retweet revealed that the department was "working to take this accidental retweet down."

Sgt. Ray Kelly told NBC Bay Area that he was researching someone who is expected to attend an alt-right rally in Berkeley on Aug. 27 when he clicked on the link to the news conference. As he was trying to close the link, Kelly said he hit the wrong button, which resulted in the retweet.

He informed the higher-ups of the snafu and contacted the office's IT department for help in removing the erroneous retweet.

Some people, however, responded to the incident with criticism.

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights called foul, saying that the retweet was displayed for 45 minutes before it was pulled down.

In a statement, the organization's Executive Director Zachary Norris said: "The Sheriff’s Department’s actions on social media are only the latest in a long line of white supremacist actions they have taken. The Sheriff’s Department has a history of disproportionately criminalizing and incarcerating immigrants and people of color, profiting off of their incarceration, hosting militarized law enforcement trainings, and actively opposing community efforts to reinvest funding into much needed resources like job training, healthcare, and housing."

The center has demanded that the Alameda County Sheriff's Department end its partnership with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department and stop hosting Urban Shield, a controversial tactical training program accused of promoting violence. 

Norris stressed that it's not enough to simply delete a tweet.

"We cannot separate the terrorism in Charlottesville this weekend from the many institutional forms of white supremacy perpetrated by people in power," he wrote.

Immigrants rights groups, including the California Immigrant Policy Center, Asian Law Caucus, and others, plan to rally outside the Alameda County Sheriff's Office at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. They too are refusing to accept Kelly's apology.

Tuesday's "scandal is the most public eruption of a long-simmering pattern of racist incidents at the department," they claimed in a statement. 

The complaint also points to Sheriff Greg Ahern's endorsement of Jeff Sessions' nomination for Attorney General, and accuses him of alleged racial profiling.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Woman Set for Deportation Hoping for Miracle]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:35:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0814-2017-MariaSanchez.jpg

An Oakland woman and her husband are being deported after 15 years of trying to gain citizenship. The couple were granted reprieves time and again, but there is a new administration and on Tuesday will leave their family and home for Mexico City.

Maria Mendoza Sanchez late Monday packed her bags and spent her last hours saying goodbye to her three daughters and the country she has called home for 23 years. Sanchez has broken no other law, but she is caught up in the illegal immigration crackdown.

"I don't even want to think about it," Sanchez said of her deportation. "I know that it's going to be very difficult."

More than two decades ago, Sanchez illegally crossed the border with her husband and one of her daughters. They had two more girls and a boy. She became a nurse in the oncology department at Oakland's Highland Hospital.

Sanchez's coworkers rallied for her on Monday, calling for an end to the deportation. She is hoping for a last-second miracle.

"A stay of deportation I've been asking for one more year so we can be here for my daughter to graduate from college," Sanchez said.

The daughter she brought with her to the United States can stay because of DACA. The son and two other daughters are citizens, with one just a year away from graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in human biology.

Immigration and Customers Enforcement, or ICE, said late Monday, "When we fail to enforce (immigration) laws, what message are we sending to the millions of people who respect that process and are waiting outside the US now for visas that will enable them to enter the country lawfully."

Sanchez does not blame President Donald Trump for the immigration laws that have been on the books for years. However, she said the president is "taking it personally against Mexicans. This law is affecting all immigrants, but I feel somehow Mexicans -- we've been targeted. I don't know why."

Sanchez said she will not be allowed to return to the US for 10 years.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Shot in Head After Possible I-880 Road Rage Incident]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:05:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-14-17_San_Leandro_Shooting.jpg

A freeway shooting in the East Bay early Monday has left one driver hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

The shooting occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 880, near the Interstate 238 interchange in the San Leandro-San Lorenzo border. The California Highway Patrol said officers were responding to an initial call of a road rage incident.

The victim's car came to a stop on the fast lane of southbound I-880. Police are not sure if the confrontation began on Interstate 880 or on one of the side streets.

CHP said all they know is the passenger in a white car fired several rounds at the victim's car. The victim was shot in the head and the shooter remains outstanding, according to the CHP.

Three additional passengers were uninjured in the shooting, CHP said, adding the suspect's car also had three to four passengers.

CHP investigators said there are few witnesses with virtually no traffic on the road at the time of shooting.

The southbound lanes of I-880 were closed at 2:44 a.m. and a Sig-alert was issued a few minutes later, CHP officials said. Lanes didn't open until 9 a.m. due to the investigation.

The shooting comes on the heels of several other freeway shootings to take place across the East Bay over the past several months and years.

"Because of those incidents, we are taking this extremely seriously and with extra precaution, which is why we've had media so far back and this road closure for so long," CHP Officer Joe Fowler said while lanes were still blocked. "We want to collect every evidence that we can, all the pieces, all the information and get all the data that we can to help out this investigation."

The investigation is ongoing.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Employee Resigns After Attending Virginia Rally]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:40:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-830632144.jpg

Editors note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the Top Dog employee had been fired. Top Dog has issued a statement saying the employee had voluntarily resigned and was not fired.

A Berkeley restaurant employee who allegedly attended a white nationalist rally Friday in Charlottesville, Virginia, resigned from the restaurant Saturday, restaurant officials said Monday.

Cole White resigned from Top Dog, a business with two locations in Berkeley and one in Oakland, after social media posts from the Twitter account @YesYoureRacist and others identified him as a participant of the "Unite the Right" rally.

White's father late Monday at the family's Clayton home did not want to comment and said his attorney will be releasing a statement.

Neighbor Larry Pietrelli said he does not know the Whites, but added Cole White's views are not a reflection of the neighborhood and must be condemned.

"We are all people. We have to support each other and embrace diversity of who we are," Pietrelli said. "That's what makes America great -- diversity."

Others in the neighborhood late Monday said they are shocked because White's parents are Democrats.

Following White's resignation at Top Dog, Berkeley police received information about a credible threat made against the business, Sgt. Andrew Frankel said.

Police kept their eye on Top Dog's three locations overnight and officers will be making extra patrols when they can, Frankel said Monday.

Top Dog, which has been in business since 1966, said in a statement that on Saturday "we spoke with Cole White. During that conversation Cole chose to voluntarily resign his employment with Top Dog and we accepted his resignation."

The company said, "There have been reports that he was terminated. Those reports are false. There have been reports that Top Dog knowingly employs racists and promotes racist theology. That too is false."

"We pride ourselves on embracing and respecting all our differences and every individual's choice to do as that person wishes within the boundaries of the law," Top Dog officials said. "We do respect our employees' right to their opinions. They are free to make their own choices but must accept the responsibilities of those choices."

"Individual freedom and voluntary exchange are core to the philosophy of Top Dog," the company said. "We look forward to cooking the same great food for at least another 50 years."

Meanwhile, Bay Area electrician John Ramondetta, who was scheduled to speak at Charlottesville, was also outed online.

His union, IBEW Local 6, released a statement condemning white nationalism, but defending Ramondetta's right to free speech.

Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[At 'Rosie' Rally, Female Empowerment Takes Center Stage]]>Sat, 12 Aug 2017 09:53:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rosoe.jpg

Hundreds of red and white polka-dot bandanas decorated the Richmond skyline outside the Rosie the Riveter museum on Saturday morning, their wearers paying homage to the iconic but fictional World War II-era factory worker who drilled her way into history as a lasting symbol of female empowerment. 

Organizers estimate that 1,500 women, men and children braved the cutting waterfront chill for the annual event, which is at once a nod to the cartoon woman's legacy and that of her real-life peers. The "Rosies," as they are collectively known, challenged stereotypical notions of "men's work" when they stepped into roles at shipyards and factories, keeping assembly lines running while men fought overseas. 

On Saturday, organizers had hoped that the massive turnout would best last year's Guinness World Record for "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Rosie the Riveter," which the Richmond group snagged in 2016 with 2,229 attendees. Though they fell short of beating their own record, the mood was still celebratory as Rosie lookalikes danced and jived to classic songs from the 1940s and 1950s. 

Attendees and organizers said it wasn't about winning a title; it was about paying tribute to women whose role in the war effort is often marginalized.

"They were the feminists before feminism was a term people used," said Louise Berman, who came donning Rosie's trademark bandana and dark blue coveralls. "Rosie is one of many, many women who came before us." 

The story is well-worn, but it bears repeating, said Berman. When the men returned home from war, some of the Rosies refused to return to their cloistered domesticated spheres. It was too late; the trailblazers had already been allowed to actualize their economic power, and there was no turning back. Many of the 16 million women would go on to enmesh themselves in other career tracks, tenaciously braving explicit workplace sexism from men who thought they ought to go home.

"It was the start of something big," explained Ardel Robinson, speaking of the Rosies with unmistakable reverence. "They wanted to keep working....What they did helped make it more acceptable to society." 

Most of the original Rosies are now in their eighties and nineties. When a group of them walked to seats near the front of a makeshift stage at the Craneway Pavilion, women young and old reached out to shake their hands. 

"The funny thing is, if you ask the Rosies who are still with us, they don't realize how special — how truly groundbreaking — what they did was," said attendee Carla Raspuccio, whose mother was a factory worker during the war. "They did it because they had to. They weren't trying to make a statement, but their success paved the way for working women all over the the U.S." 

That influence isn't lost on the scores of young women who turned up on Saturday, several of whom cited the current political climate with amplifying their interest in Rosie and women-centered gatherings. With wounds from the 2016 election still smarting, college student Malica Hughes described feeling more empowered than ever to stand up for women's rights — and to pay homage to forbearers.

"Rosie is historical, but she's also something I think we really need right now," Hughes said. "When we have a president who literally brags about groping women, when we have giant companies that don't respect or hire women, something's wrong." 

Her friend, Sarah Burns, later added: "At the end of the day, Rosie pushed women forward. So, I guess, who better to pay tribute to when it seems like the whole country is going backward?"

Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane]]>
<![CDATA[Visit Larussa's Animal Rescue Foundation to Find Your Pet!]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 19:59:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/187*120/0814-2017-arf.jpg

This Saturday we're trying to Clear the Shelters! Last year, NBC helped more than 50,000 pets in the United States find a new home. This year, we're aiming for even more. NBC Bay Area Chief Meteorologist Jeff Ranieri features a sheleter participating in the East Bay.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Violence in Virginia Sparks Bay Area Demonstrations]]>Sun, 13 Aug 2017 12:22:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CharlottesvilleMemorial.jpg

People across the Bay Area on Sunday gathered at a number of rallies and anti-hate demonstrations in response to Saturday's deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Multiple protests took place along city streets in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose as demonstrators decried the recent rampage and clamored for changes from those leading the nation.

In San Francisco, demonstrators flocked to a 2 p.m. rally in the Mission District. The protest was billed as an anti-hate, anti-white supremacist and anti-fascist event.

Protesters said the resurgence of hate groups and violence has enticed them to take action.

"I thought this is a time when we have to stand up," Alexandra Saul of San Francisco said. "We have to say something."

In the South Bay, protesters were already outside San Jose City Hall before lunchtime taking part in an anti-hate demonstration. Soft patriotic music was followed by the loud echoes of megaphones calling for President Trump to condemn racist and facist groups.

Alan Caeser, who grew up in the southern portion of the United States and attended the demonstration in San Francisco, believes that the commander in chief has played a role in tension escalation.

"I definitely think they stirred the pot, and I think Trump was opportunistic in appealing to some of these hate groups," Caeser said.

North in Oakland, protesters stood in solidarity with Charlottesville during a 3:30 p.m. event in the area of 14th Street and Broadway, according to organizers.

Later Sunday, people are slated to attend a candlelight vigil scheduled for 7 p.m. outside city hall in San Jose.

The Bay Area events come on the heels of a white supremacist rally in the Virginia college town. Amid clashes between demonstrators, a car on Saturday rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring dozens more. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Car Plows Into Union City Duplex, 'Narrowly' Misses Family]]>Sun, 13 Aug 2017 10:49:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-13-17_Union_City_Car_Home.jpg

Two cars presumed to be racing through the streets of Union City early Sunday lost control, resulting in one car smashing through a duplex and "narrowly" missing a family of five watching television, according to Alameda County Fire Department Battalion Chief James Watkins.

A total of seven people belonging to two households living inside the duplex escaped injury, but they were displaced as a result of the damage, officials said.

"We are hypothesizing that two vehicles were racing at a high rate of speed and unfortunately they ended up in this house and they crashed," Union City Police Department Lt. Lisa Graetz said.

The wreck was reported just before 1 a.m. along the 3700 block of Horner Street, according to officials.

Nearby firefighters heard the sound of a crash and found that a black BMW plowed into one residence before smashing into the neighboring unit.

"We just hear a big noise and big boom and everything went dark," resident Pablo Mota said. "A car came through the garage wall, came through the living room and passed, and go through the other house's living rooms."

The family inside the first home that was hit "dodged a bullet," Watkins said.

"I think the car missed them by about a foot and a half, so very fortunate that no one was injured," Watkins said.

The people inside the other residence were not near the area where the BMW came to rest, Watkins said.

A man inside the BMW was taken into custody, according to Graetz. The people inside the pickup truck, which ended up in a mangled mess on a nearby lawn, had not been located as of Sunday afternoon.

Watkins estimates that the families could be without their homes for several weeks if not months while repairs are completed.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Virginia Violence Prompts Emergency Demonstration in Oakland]]>Sat, 12 Aug 2017 18:04:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/getty-marcha-nacionalista-02343.jpg

Demonstrators in the Bay Area are planning to gather in Oakland on Saturday in response to a violent and deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Bay Area event, which is billed as an emergency solidarity demonstration, is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, according to event organizers.

A flier for the event circulating on social media reads "Charlottesville, We Got Your Back" and "Bay Area United Against White Supremacy."

The event comes just hours after a car smashed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally in the Virginia college town, killing a 32-year-old woman and sending at least two dozen people to the hospital. 

Two Virginia State Police troopers were also killed a short time later when their helicopter crashed near Charlottesville. Officials said the crash was related to the rally.

The deadly incidents stemmed from clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters facing off in the streets, at times swinging fists and unleashing chemical sprays at each other. The group of white nationalists had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee while others arrived to protest the racism.

Later this month, alt-right groups are planning to hold two rallies in Berkeley and San Francisco. Counter-protesters say they will attend the events and "shut them down."

The scheduled rallies come on the heels of violent clashes that cropped up in Berkeley in April.

Some folks from the East Bay city hope extremists on both sides of the political spectrum end the rhetoric that has ignited recent violence.

"The visibility of racists really disturbs me, and the openness of the hate is a problem," Mark Goble said.

Haley Wilt encourages rally attendees to put down their weapons.

"I don't think violence is the correct way to voice your opinion," Haley Wilt said. "I think people need to be more peaceful."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland's Beloved Colonial Donuts to Close Saturday]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:56:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/colonial-doughnuts.jpg

A beloved Oakland eatery, Colonial Donuts, will serve its last doughnut Saturday after 28 years in the business.

The building that houses the shop was sold to a real estate firm that refuses to renew the shop's lease, according to the owner, Andy Ung.

Many local customers expressed their disappointment with closure notice, some pointing to the difficulty of family businesses being able to survive in Oakland.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies at Chabot Space and Science Center: Police]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:59:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-2431773.jpg

A man on Friday died at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, prompting officials to launch an investigation to figure out what caused his death.

Oakland police around 11:47 a.m. responded to a report of a man "behaving aggressively" inside a business along the 10000 block of Skyline Boulevard, according to police. When they arrived, officers found an unresponsive man on the ground.

The officers performed first aid on the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The Alameda County Coroner's Bureau is investigating the death, according to police.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cause of Oakland Construction Site Fire Undetermined]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 11:26:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-6-17-oakland-fire-3-alarm-7.jpg

Federal investigators have been unable to determine the cause of a four-alarm fire that destroyed a partially constructed building in Oakland on July 7, according to a statement released Friday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent a national response team to examine the fire site at 2302 Valdez St., which forced several hundred evacuations. They worked with the Oakland and Alameda County fire departments and an arson task force but could not confirm what sparked the blaze.

“ATF’s National Response Team ATF’s San Francisco Field Division and the Oakland Fire Department began investigating the scene and conducting interviews on July 10, 2017,” said Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder of the ATF's San Francisco Field Division said in the statement. “After examining all the evidence, ATF has determined the cause of the July 7th fire to be undetermined.”

The fire gutted what would have been a mixed-use complex expected to feature 196 homes and up to 31,500 square feet of retail space upon completion next spring.

No one was injured by the fire, but at least 700 people living and working in the area around the blaze were temporarily asked to leave their homes and businesses while crews battled the flames and worked to dismantle a structurally unstable crane marred by the fire. 

Neighbors in Oakland’s Uptown are angry and concerned.

"We're worried about the safety and about the people," said Lucretia Jernigan.

And local businesses also are feeling the fallout, with far fewer people shopping near this stretch of 23rd and Webster, where flames and smoke shot into the air. 

"This is bad for us," merchant Lydia Guan said.

The blaze comes on the heels of three separate fires at construction sites in the area between July 2016 and May 2017. The ATF is offering a $110,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for those blazes. The reward does not mention the most recent blaze.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Former East Bay Deputy Faces New Charge in Sex Abuse Scandal]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:22:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-27-2017-ricardo-perez1.jpg

Authorities say a former Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy faces an additional sex charge for his alleged involvement in a wide-ranging police sex scandal involving a teenager.

The East Bay Times reports that the Alameda County District Attorney's office filed the felony unlawful sex with a minor charge against 29-year-old Ricardo Perez on Monday.

He had already been charged with felony oral copulation with a minor and resigned from the sheriff's office.

Perez is the only former law enforcement officer so far to be charged with two felonies.

The teen, Jasmine Abuslin, formerly known as Celeste Guap, described herself as a prostitute said she had sex with about 30 law enforcement officials, including some when she was underage.

Perez's attorney, Joe Motta, did not immediately respond to a phone message Friday seeking comment.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Police Hunt For Suspects After 2 Violent Robberies]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:54:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2015-generic-bart.jpg

Police are searching for two suspects who allegedly attacked a man at the Ashby BART Station and may be connected to another robbery nearby.

Two men approached the victim from behind in the BART station parking lot around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, knocked him to ground, punched and kicked him and took his backpack, wallet and watch, Berkeley police said.

The victim was transported to the hospital with injuries including facial swelling, an abrasion on his head and pain in his fingers, according to police.

Police suspect that the pair is responsible for a similar robbery that occurred in the same timeframe at nearby Bancroft Way and Grant Street. That victim was treated for cuts and bruises, but there's no word yet on what was stolen.

The first suspect is described as a man in his 20s, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and wearing black clothing.

The second suspect is also described as a man in his 20s, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and wearing black clothing. He has shoulder length dreadlocks.

Thursday's robbery follows a string of attacks on BART riders across the Bay Area.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Surviving Brother of Concord Hit and Run Improving in ICU]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 23:32:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/baby-luciano-0810.jpg

A 3-month-old boy who survived a hit-and-run crash that left his two big brothers dead last month is doing much better as he recovers in the intensive care unit at Children's Hospital Oakland.

"Baby Luciano" was smiling in photographs shared by a family friend Thursday night.

His mother said, though he'll remain in ICU, he is breathing on his own.

Investigators said last month Lemuel Wilson crashed into a Dodge Durango in Concord, killing her 5- and 10-year-old sons.

Wilson faces two counts of murder and driving under the influence.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Reyes family]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Cancer Nurse, Husband Face Deportation]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 21:50:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nurse+deport-0810.jpg

An Oakland cancer nurse and her family are facing deportation after living a law-abiding, productive life in the United States for the past 23 years.

Maria Mendoza-Sanchez, a nurse at Highland Hospital in Oakland, and her husband Eusebio, who works nights so he can take care of their children by day, are facing deportation to Mexico next week.

The couple has three U.S.-citizen children and an adult Dreamer daughter who plan to attend medical school.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and a representative of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., visited the Mendoza-Sanchez home on Plymouth Street Thursday afternoon to meet with the family. 

The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement Thursday, saying in part the courts long ago deemed the couple was in the U.S. illegally, and their case is not exempt from the law.

"Over the last 15 years, this couple’s immigration case has undergone exhaustive review at multiple levels of the Department of Justice’s immigration court system," the ICE statement said. "The courts have consistently held that neither of these individuals has a legal basis to remain in the U.S."

Feinstein also released a statement Thursday before her meeting with the family. She said tearing the family apart doesn't make the U.S. safer, it merely creates a hardship for their three children who will be left behind.

"Maria and Eusebio Sanchez have lived in this country for more than 20 years. They are hardworking parents raising four children, three citizens and one protected by DACA," Feinstein said. "They have no criminal records. They pay taxes, own their home and contribute to this country. These are the kind of people we should welcome into the United States with open arms."

Feinstein added that the Sanchez family has tried for two decades to obtain legal status.

Mendoza-Sanchez worked as a housekeeper in a nursing home before earning her nursing degree. She now provides urgently needed care to cancer and heart patients at Highland Hospital.

The Justice Department said this week that 57,069 people have been ordered for removal from the country in the first six months of Trump’s presidency. That’s up nearly 31 percent since the same period in 2016 under former President Barack Obama.

Here is the full statement from ICE:

“Over the last 15 years, this couple’s immigration case has undergone exhaustive review at multiple levels of the Department of Justice’s immigration court system, which is administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The courts have consistently held that neither of these individuals has a legal basis to remain in the U.S.

"Since Mr. Sanchez’s court-issued removal order became final in 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has granted the couple two one-year stays of removal. In May of this year the agency granted them a third stay of removal, for a period of 90 days, to afford them additional time to get their personal affairs in order and make preparations for their departure.

"While ICE continues to prioritize its enforcement resources to focus on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security, the agency’s Acting Director has made it clear that ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of our nation’s immigration laws may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by the immigration courts, as this couple was, removal from the United States.

"This administration is committed to the rule of law and to enforcing the laws established by Congress. When we fail to enforce those laws, what message are we sending to the millions of people who respect that process and are waiting outside the U.S. now for visas that will enable them to enter the country lawfully."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Operation 'Cold Day' Sting Nets More Than 100 Arrests]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 23:47:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/feds+sting-0810.jpg

A two-year-long sting operation has netted scores of drugs, weapons and arrests of suspects who allegedly brought contraband to a non-descript Bay Area warehouse run by undercover agents, according to federal officials.

More than 100 suspects were ensnared in “Operation Cold Day.” Many are from Alameda, San Mateo and San Francisco counties, U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch said. Authorities were still making arrests Thursday.

"The objective of Operation Cold Day was very simply to get guns and drugs off the streets of our communities," Stretch said.

Many of the alleged thieves were involved in burglary and auto theft rings in San Francisco and Oakland, sources say. The operation involved law enforcement from San Mateo County, Daly City and San Francisco as well as federal ATF agents.

Investigators, including those from the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said they were able to interrupt supply chains of narcotics and illegal firearms.

"This Operation Cold Day resulted in the largest number of arrests in ATF history," said Jill Snyder, ATF special agent in charge.

Officials said they targeted home bases for gang members and other invididuals, some of whom played a role in violent crimes, including homicides.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Musician Dies After Being Robbed, Dragged By Car]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 23:44:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/19983320_10158696304695538_1696316676617230278_o.jpg

An Oakland musician was killed Wednesday when he was first robbed and then dragged about 200 yards by a vehicle, police said.

The incident was reported around 12:35 p.m. in the 400 block of Rich Street in the Temescal neighborhood, according to police. Responding officers found a man, since identified as David Deporis, with severe injuries. 

The 40-year-old man was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Police said the suspects stole Deporis' laptop and he chased after them to get it back. He was then caught underneath the suspects' vehicle and dragged down the narrow street.

Witnesses said Deporis was working on his laptop outside a cafe when a man grabbed his computer and took off running. The suspect then jumped into a waiting vehicle.

Nell Greenberg said she saw the getaway vehicle speed by her window. 

"Then I came outside after I heard a crash and saw this poor guy lying on the street," Greenberg said. "You wake up in the morning, and you take your laptop and you go to a coffee shop, and you just don't realize it's going to be the last day of your life."

Friend Danielle Garber and her children on Thursday visited a makeshift memorial for Deporis in Oakland to pay their respects.

"He is such a light. He was so lovely," Garber said. "He was just very connected with a lot of people."

Garber learned of Deporis' death on Facebook Wednesday.

The city's police department has launched a homicide investigation. Suspect information is not yet available.

"This is being investigated as a homicide," Councilman Dave Kalb said. "It’s not a simple hit and run or a robbery gone bad. This is a homicide."

An online search shows Deporis performing in multiple YouTube videos. His music was also found on SoundCloud. 

Musician Regina Spektor described the death of the "beautiful musician" as the "saddest news."

Singer-songwriter Adam Green echoed the sentiment.

"I'm still in shock," he wrote. "He was a powerful and imaginative folksinger and an exquisite person."

Deporis was also mourned by his friend, Seth Hebert-Faergolzia.

He wrote on Facebook: "Just found out my old friend Dave Deporis passed away. His music was so deeply heartfelt, his voice, strong and original, his performances lovely. The world just lost another great artist. Good luck in your next phase, Dave."

Many others who knew Deporis said they were "heartbroken" and expressed their condolences, prompting Hebert-Faergolzia to suggest creating a memorial album in their friend's honor. His idea was met with enthusiasm.

Condolences for Deporis poured in from fellow artists, music producers and others. According to social media, a memorial will be held on Sept. 9 at Sol Gate Studios in Oakland.

People with information about the case are asked to call the Oakland Police Department's Homicide Section at 510-238-3821.

Photo Credit: Dave Deporis via Facebook
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Reacts to Possibility of Nuclear Conflict]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:44:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bay_Area_Reacts_to_Possibility_of_Nuclear_Conflict.jpg

An East Bay congressman held a town hall and demonstrators in San Francisco held a protest Wednesday in reaction to something most people haven't thought of in decades: the threat of nuclear war. Sergio Quintana reports.]]>
<![CDATA[$10K Worth of Football Equipment Stolen From High School]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:47:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/football+gear+theft-0809.jpg

More than $10,000 worth of football equipment was stolen from a Fremont high school last month, and now the team can only hope it will have enough gear for all players to suit up for the season opener.

Police said the burglary at Washington High School only came to light Wednesday.

The team has begun practicing already. It has enough helmets and pads to go around at the moment, but if more students try out and make the team, those players may have to wait to suit up, the coach said.

"When someone takes away from the kids, what are we doing?" head coach Will Edwards said, referring to the thieves. "They wrecked the entire team room. We're missing 15 helmets and over 35 shoulder pads."

Football helmets are worth more than $300 apiece, and shoulder pads also are fairly expensive. Police said the door leading to the storage room inside the Washington gymnasium may have been left open for contract workers upgrading the school grounds.

"My first concern was I hope we have enough equipment to suit the kids up," Edwards said.

There are about 100 junior varsity and varsity players on the Washington High roster.

During the first practices, 71 have shown up. More may be reporting to the team once the summer vacation ends.

"If our numbers were at a normal level, we wouldn’t have enough equipment," Edwards said. "Since the levels are a little low, we have the equipment."

The coaching staff didn’t tell students about the burglary, for fear it would hurt morale. They were right

Player Franklin Agodi said he was hurt "just knowing someone took that from us, took an opportunity away from us."

Each year, the student-athletes hold fundraisers to pay for football equipment, and this year, it's money badly needed.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Shooters Plead Guilty in Baby Hiram Case]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:01:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0809-2017-BabyHiramSuspects.jpg

Two suspected shooters in the killing of a 23-month-old baby in Oakland pleaded guilty in the case Wednesday.

Houston Nathaniel, 28, and Dionte Houff, 35, admitted in court to shooting at a crowd in West Oakland nearly six years ago because they thought it was a group from a rival gang.

"They killed my son," said Brittany Houston, the mother of Baby Hiram.

The baby was shot and killed when prosecutors said a group of ACORN gang members opened fire on what they thought was a group from a rival gang, shooting a rap video in a West Oakland parking lot.

"My son didn't know anything about ACORN, Lower Bottoms, nothing," Houston said. 

Nathaniel and Houff admitted they shot at the crowd because they thought the video would disrespect their gang. In exchange, the prosecutor agreed to recommend a 38- to 43-year sentence for the men.

"Why are they getting a second chance?" said Roslynn Gilder, Baby Hiram's aunt. "My nephew didn't get a second chance."

Houston and her family are outraged, with relatives pleading with the judge not to accept the deal.

Nathaniel told the court he is terribly sorry for what happened while Houff called his participation in the shooting unfortunate. The baby's family does not buy it.

"They will never feel how I feel, and I can honestly say they don't care how I feel," Houston said.

<![CDATA[Police Pursuit Ends on Highway 4 in East Bay]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:46:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0809-2017-hwy4chase_720.jpg

Highway 4 is blocked in both directions near Discovery Bay, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Police say the incident began as a pursuit out of the Sacramento area and ended at the Old River Bridge on Highway 4.

The driver of the car pursued by police jumped out and into the river, police said. He was later taken into police custody.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters Worry About Nuclear War on A-Bomb Anniversary]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 11:42:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-9-17-peace-protests-livermore.jpg

Fears about a nuclear war are foremost on people’s minds amid escalating tension between the United States and North Korea.

Wednesday marks 72 years since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

A few dozen people honored the solemn day by marching toward the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a facility known for its role in the country’s nuclear arsenal.

While attendees gathered to remember the lives lost at the end of World War II in Japan, speaker after speaker condemned President Donald Trump’s recent remark that the U.S. would respond with “fire and fury” if North Korea were to make any nuclear threats.

“What is happening now is not a defense of the United States,” said Fred Norman, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. “What we’re doing now seems to be almost a deliberate attempt to draw us into war.”

Meanwhile Shirley Osgood said her thoughts were with her granddaughters, ages 4 and 5.

“I’ll be 70 soon, but they’re just little kids,” she said. “They deserve a planet. They deserve to live and have some happiness.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Concord Police Use K-9s to Nab Hit-and-Run Suspect]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 09:43:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/handcuffs15.jpg

K-9s on Tuesday helped Concord police arrest a hit-and-run suspect.

Police say the man was involved in a car crash near Diamond Boulevard and Concord Avenue around 8 p.m. He fled from the scene.

Investigators found that the car he had been driving was stolen from Pacheco.

Officers searched the area and found the man. They repeatedly ordered the suspect to surrender, but he refused so they sent K-9s in to help apprehend him.

The suspect is behind bars on felony hit-and-run and possession of stolen property charges.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[4 Suspects Sought in Multiple Cities Arrested in Hotel Bust]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 10:45:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/892017-milpitas-suspects.jpg

Four people – with outstanding warrants totaling over a million dollars – were arrested at a Milpitas hotel last month.

Police on July 22 spoke to a man parked near the Embassy Suites Hotel on East Calaveras Boulevard in a green 1996 Pontiac Bonneville sedan. He was identified as Anthony Dale Ehler, 24, of Ceres, said police, adding that he had three outstanding misdemeanor warrants from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the Ripon Police Department.

A visit to a hotel room linked to Ehler’s associate led police Mona Mohamed Navarro, a 35-year-old transient; Jessica Anne Garcia, a 28-year-old Hayward resident; and Shanese Danielle Bode, a 39-year-old Tracy resident.

Navarro had a million dollar felony warrant for burglary, conspiracy and false personation from the Mountain View Police Department. The Manteca Police Department had also issued a $25,000 misdemeanor warrant for her arrest. Milpitas also found that she had stolen identification and credit cards and more than 5 grams of methamphetamine.

Garcia had four misdemeanor warrants from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the Oakland Police Department and was in possession of roughly 6 grams of methamphetamine at the time of her arrest.

Ehler, Navarro, and Garcia were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail.

Meanwhile Bode was cited for a misdemeanor warrant from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and released.

Photo Credit: Milpitas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Dublin Residents Urged to Close Windows Amid Sewer Repairs]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:50:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Open+Window+Generic.jpg

Dublin residents are asked to keep their windows closed on Thursday to block out a plastic smell that is expected during sewer repair work along Village Parkway.

The Dublin San Ramon Services District said it is rehabilitating a sewer pipeline from Dublin to a wastewater treatment plant in Pleasanton. 

The district says the odor emanates from styrene resin in the pipe liner being installed in the sewer.

It is not considered hazardous so closing windows has more to do with preventing the smell, detectable at low concentrations, from taking over homes and businesses.

Work in residential areas will be completed during the day to reduce noise. In commercial parts of the city, however, crews will be working around the clock so as to complete the project as early as possible.

Work that will entail blocking intersections and driveways will be done at night to reduce traffic impacts, the district said.

More information can be found online

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Former Cal Chancellor Taking High-Paying Sabbatical]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:02:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Former_Cal_Chancellor_Taking_High_Paying_Sabbatical.jpg

Former UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, who stepped down earlier this year after several campus controversies, intends to return as a professor but will take a year off and collect more than $400,000.]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Man Unable to Get Pfizer Rebate]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:00:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/East_Bay_Man_Unable_to_Get_Pfizer_Rebate.jpg

NBC Bay Area Responds to an El Sobrante woman who says Pfizer wouldn't issue a promise $225 rebate. Consumer Investigator Chris Chmura reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Two People Arrested for Possession of Meth in Richmond]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 15:58:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/Richmond-Drug-Bust.jpg

Richmond police arrested two people, one of them out on bail for attempted homicide, Tuesday on suspicion of numerous drug and firearm offenses, police said.

According to Richmond police, detectives conducted an investigation into "suspicious activities" at a home in the 4300 block of Santa Rita Road.

On Tuesday, police detectives and a SWAT team served a search warrant at the home and found a loaded pistol, two pounds of crystal methamphetamine, packaged crystal methamphetamine for sale, heroin, cocaine, more than 50 ecstasy pills and more than $5,000 in cash.

According to police, they also found three stolen and "chopped" cars with obliterated or switched vehicle identification numbers.

Police arrested a 36-year-old man who lived at the home. He was out on bail for attempted homicide in Solano County, police said.

Police also arrested his companion, a 35-year-old woman. Both suspects were arrested and booked on suspicion of numerous offenses.

Photo Credit: Richmond Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[BART Police Stepping Up Patrols on Trains, at Stations]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:28:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart+police-0808.jpg

In an effort to regain the public's trust, BART will be stepping up police patrols aboard trains and at stations, agency officials said Tuesday.

In the wake of a string of recent high-profile crimes on the rails, riders will start seeing more officers in and around trains, BART police Chief Carlos Rojas said.

Rojas said it all comes down the staffing levels and priorities, and they are now prepared to beef up their presence on the trains.

Officers Carlos Dazhan and Julie Liu are part of BART's critical asset patrol team, or CAP.

"The public feels safer with us around, and it helps deter crime," Dazhan said.

The officers spend their shifts patroling train cars throughout the East Bay.

The CAP team is funded by the Department of Homeland Security, and for the first time since the team was implemented in 2011, it’s fully staffed with seven officers and one sergeant.

"It fluctuated from three to four and a supervisor," BART's deputy police chief Ed Alvarez said. "That was it. With vacation and time off, it didn’t provide us the staffing we needed that was adequate to ride the trains."

Alvarez said in the past year there’s been an increase in crime throughout the transit system. On Monday, police arrested Mario Washington on suspicion of using bolt cutters to assault a rider in the East Bay and assaulting another rider in San Francisco in what were deemed random attacks.

Oscar Rodriguez is a union representative for train agents and operators. He says they’ve been asking for increased patrols on trains for months, and he's glad to hear the CAP team is fully staffed.

"A lot of angry people out there," he said. "The station agents are having a lot more problems with violent behavior in the stations."

While CAP team is fully staffed after several officers from other teams were reassigned, officials say BART's police force still is understaffed and is looking to hire 50 officers.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Road Rage Suspect Charged With Arson in Oakland Hills Fire]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 21:36:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/892017-alfredobautista-cms.jpg

A 24-year-old road rage suspect, who was nabbed by police while allegedly trying to steal a car, has confessed to setting last week's Oakland Hills fire and seven other blazes with a cigarette lighter, University of California, Berkeley police say.

Alfredo Bautista was arrested on Aug. 2, according to two police complaints — one out of UC Berkeley and the other, Oakland. The Concord man pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday. His pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Oakland police said officers on Wednesday responded to a report of a car collision involving a rifle-toting suspect. The victims told police that an unknown man – identified later as Bautista – approached their vehicle and pointes his firearm at them. Afraid for their lives, they fled, officer Matthew Jung wrote in a complaint.

The suspect, however, proceeded to follow the victims and slammed his car into theirs several times. Finally, the victims’ car hit a parked vehicle on Fish Ranch Road, Jung said.

Bautista kept his rifle trained on the victims before taking off. He was arrested by University of California, Berkeley police on a separate crime, according to Jung.

The second incident began just after 2 p.m. when officer Ryan Miyamoto, with the university's police department, responded to a car theft in progress near the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Miyamoto wrote in a complaint that he found a shirtless Bautista near the stolen car and realized that he matched the description of the man sought by the Oakland Police Department in connection with the road rage case.

Bautista is also accused of leaping over a fence at the UC Berkeley Field Station for the Study of Behavior, Ecology and Reproduction.

According to Miyamoto, Bautista did not own the car or have permission to drive it. Witnesses told police that he had climbed into the vehicle, started it and begun to drive away when they stopped him.

Upon detaining Bautista, Miyamoto said he found a cigarette lighter in the suspect's pocket.

Bautista later confessed to police that he had used the lighter to start eight fires, including the five-alarm blaze that scorched 20 acres near Grizzly Peak in the East Bay Hills.

Miyamoto arrested Bautista on suspicion of vehicle theft, arson of a structure or forest land, and arson that causes great bodily injury. He was taken to the UC Berkeley jail before being transferred to the Oakland Police Department.

Upon being positively identified by the people who he aimed his rifle at earlier in the day, Bautista was also charged with brandishing a firearm and assault with a deadly weapon, which in this case is his vehicle, according to Jung.

Shannon Hernandez, who frequents the area where Bautista allegedly lit the five-alarm blaze, said, "It's definitely good they got him instead of him keeping on doing what he's doing."

Hernandez said she's grateful someone is in custody for the bizarre case of road rage that then escalated to arson.

"This could have been worse than it was," she said. "Thank God it wasn't."

NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.

Read the police complaints below:

Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Van Smashes Into Hayward Auto Shop, 1 Person Injured]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 11:43:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-8-17_Hayward_Van_Crash.jpg

The driver of a van lost control and plowed into an auto shop in Hayward Tuesday morning, sending one person to the hospital, according to a fire official.

The crash happened around 8 a.m. in the area of Mission Boulevard and Grove Way, the fire official said.

Two people were riding in the van when it smashed through a window at the shop, according to the fire official. One person riding in the van was transported to Eden Medical Center.

Footage from the scene revealed a large hole in the side of the building, resulting in moderate damage to the business, the fire official said. Police added that a vehicle inside the shop was also hit by the van.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Blaze Rips Through Under-Construction House in Oakland]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 06:38:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-8-17-oakland-fire.jpg

A fire engulfed an under-construction house in Oakland late Monday, according to fire officials.

The blaze ignited around 10 p.m. along the 2100 block of 57th Avenue, fire officials said.

The two-story house, which was surrounded by scaffolding and did not have any electricity, was supposed to be vacant, but neighbors told fire crews that people may have been living inside the structure at the time of the fire, officials said.

Two neighboring homes appeared to escape any damage.

The cause of the blaze is not known at this time, according to fire officials. An investigation is underway.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Crimes on BART Continue After Police Arrest Attacks Suspect]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 06:34:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BART+thefts-0424-2017.jpg

Less than 24 hours after arresting a man in connection with two violent and "unprovoked" attacks on BART, the transportation agency on Monday was alerted to a slew of others crimes across its system.

At least nine incidents, which ranged from bike thefts to laptops being stolen, were reported Monday night at stations across the Bay Area, according to the BART police log. A complete breakdown of the reported crimes is listed below.

Before the crimes were committed, BART police arrested Mario Washington for his suspected role in two separate attacks that left two men with non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Washington hit a man with bolt cutters in one attack and punched another man in the face in the second attack.

BART indicated that its police presence will remain heightened in response to the recent crimes.

Summary of Monday Crimes:

Report No. 1: Grand Theft — MacArthur Station

A female victim reported that her cell phone was stolen by a juvenile male who fled from the train with three other young men, according to BART police. The victim was not hurt, and her phone was eventually found. Two of the boys were detained while two escaped. The two detained boys were eventually handed over to their parents.

Report No. 2: Auto Theft — Pittsburg Station

A victim reported that their motor scooter was heisted from the area where motorcycles are parked, according to BART police.

Report No. 3: Robbery  Montgomery Station

A male victim reported that two juvenile males held him down on a train and stole his laptop, according to BART police. The suspects escaped from the train and have not been found.

Report No. 4: Auto Burglary  Coliseum Station

A male victim reported that someone managed to get into his car, open the hood and steal the car's battery, according to police. 

Report No. 5: Grand Theft  San Leandro Station

A male victim reported that a juvenile suspect snatched his laptop after he fell asleep on a train, according to BART police. The suspect, who was with a group of about five juveniles, fled from the train at the Coliseum Station. The suspect and the group have not been found. The man's laptop was also not recovered. He was not injured.

Report No. 6: Petty Theft  Pleasant Hill Station

Three victims reported that their bikes were stolen from bike racks, according to BART police. The three bikes were securely locked when they were taken.

Report No. 7: Petty Theft  South Hayward Station

A victim reported that he left his bike on the platform before hopping on a train, according to BART police. When he returned, the bike was nowhere to be seen.

Report No. 8: Petty Theft  West Oakland Station

A victim reported that their bike was stolen from bike racks, according to BART police. The bike was securely locked when it was taken.

Report No. 9: Auto Theft — El Cerrito Plaza Station

A 1998 Honda Accord was taken from the station's parking lot, according to BART police.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[OPD Searches For Possibly Armed Suspect in Abduction]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 22:54:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/oakland+abduct.jpg

Oakland police on Monday night were searching for a man, possibly armed, who they suspect abducted a woman, according to a Facebook post by the California Highway Patrol Golden Gate division.

Oakland police enlisted the help of other law enforcement agencies in the search for Ronald Armor, 32, who they believe abducted Erica Jones, a woman in her mid to late 20s, police said.

Armor was last seen driving a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu with a California license plate of 5RDZ344. He may be armed with a silver handgun, police said.

Anyone who sees the suspect or the suspect vehicle should call 911, police said.

No further details were available.

Photo Credit: Oakland PD]]>
<![CDATA[Police Identify Man Connected to Fatal Shooting in Belmont]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:20:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stewart-0807.jpg

Police have identified an East Bay man wanted in connection with the shooting death of a 24-year-old man in Belmont over the weekend.

Jovhon Alexander Stewart, 27, is wanted in connection with the fatal shooting, which occurred Saturday at about 5 a.m. at an apartment in the 500 block of Ralston Avenue, police said.

At the scene, responding officers found several people outside and located a victim suffering from a gunshot wound in one of the apartments, police said.

The victim, later identified as DeJohn Jones of Union City, was treated by paramedics but was pronounced dead at the scene.

A no bail arrest warrant has been issued for Stewart, who police say should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police have released a photograph of Stewart in hopes that the public can help locate him. Police said Stewart might have changed his hairstyle to short dreadlocks since the photo was taken.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Belmont police at (650) 290-6224.

Photo Credit: Belmont PD]]>
<![CDATA[True Crime Series Will Focus on Berkeley Man's Wine Scheme ]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:36:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/winechoctaw.jpg

White-collar crime show "American Greed" will shine its light on a Berkeley man who defrauded clients out of $45 million as part of an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Monday's episode of the CNBC show will examine John Fox, whose wine business — Premiere Cru — came crashing down when it was discovered he was collecting money from clients for wine futures without delivering the goods.

Berkeleyside was the first to report on the show's upcoming episode, and one of its editors will be featured on the show. 

According to the site, Fox spent close to $1 million on online dating and used his ill-gotten gains to pay for an elaborate lifestyle that included several cars, an Alamo mansion and club memberships. The man is currently serving six and a half years in federal prison. 

The Berkeley-centric episode airs at 7 p.m. on CNBC.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[7 Injured After Shooting in Oakland: Police]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 08:11:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/opd+study-0607.jpg

Seven people were injured in an apparent shooting Sunday afternoon in Oakland, and the suspect or suspects remain at large, according to police.

The shooting was reported at 4:43 p.m. in the 1000 block of 106th Avenue, police said.

According to police, six male victims were taken to a hospital in stable condition.

Police have not made any arrests or identified any suspects in the case, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[NASA Astronaut in Space to Hold Chat With East Bay Children]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 08:07:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JackFischerNASA.png

Youngsters in the East Bay will be treated to an out-of-this-world treat Monday morning.

A Cub Scout pack out of Lafayette, along with area Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, have been given the opportunity to chat with an astronaut currently stationed at the International Space Station, according to NASA.

The children will have 20 minutes to ask questions about Expedition 52 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer's current mission in space, according to NASA. Fischer has been cruising around earth since April and is slated to return next month.

The long distance call, which will air live on NASA Television and the NASA website, will take place on earth at 10:40 a.m. at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, according to NASA.

Photo Credit: NASA]]>
<![CDATA[BART Police Arrest Suspect Behind 'Unprovoked' Attacks ]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:18:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-7-17-suspect-bart-attacks.jpg

BART police on Monday arrested a 42-year-old Berkeley man accused of attacking two men during two separate assaults on trains over a recent three-day span, according to the transportation agency. 

The arrest following the "unprovoked" assaults, which left two victims with non-life threatening injuries, came just hours after BART released images of the wanted suspect to the public, according to BART Police Department Deputy Chief Ed Alvarez.

"It was a great collaborative effort from our media partners, just people watching the news and getting the description and the photo," Alvarez said. "Within 2.5 hours, we had somebody in the city of Oakland locate him and call it in to the police."

The suspect has been identified as Mario Washington.

An Oakland Fire Department investigator around 8:39 a.m. saw the suspect, who has yet to be named but is described as a man is his 30s out of Berkeley, walking around Oakland near 9th Street and Broadway, according to Alvarez. The investigator called in the location of the suspect and later flagged down a BART patrol sergeant, alerting the officer to the location of the suspect. BART officers eventually found and arrested Washington, who does have a criminal history, Alvarez said.

The first attack linked to Washington occurred on Thursday on a train travelling between the San Leandro and Bay Fair stations in the East Bay, according to BART police. Washington in that incident is suspected of hitting another man in the head with bolt cutters, leaving the victim with a laceration on his head. Washington also allegedly punched and kicked the man before running away from the station, police said.

Alvarez added that Washington was holding a can of beer before the attack. It is not clear if he was under the influence at the time.

Two days later, Washington was riding on a train headed for the Embarcadero Station in San Francisco when he allegedly hit a man in the face before fleeing the scene, according to BART police. The victim and suspect did not know each other.

"These attacks were unprovoked, which is pretty concerning for us that our patrons are out there getting assaulted by this individual," Alvarez said.

Washington on Monday was transported to the Alameda County Jail for booking. name.

No robberies occurred in either attack, according to BART police.

Commuters should expect to continue to see officers on BART trains amid the recent episodes of attacks and robberies.

Anyone with more information regarding the attacks is asked to call BART police at 510-464-7020.

Photo Credit: BART Police
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<![CDATA[Berkeley Apartment Fire Injures One, Prompts Evacuations]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 23:45:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/berkeley+fire-0806.jpg

Firefighters knocked down a two-alarm fire that prompted evacuations at a three-story apartment building in Berkeley on Sunday night, according to the Berkeley Fire Department.

The fire ignited about 7:30 p.m. at 1420 Addison St. There was one burn victim, fire Chief Gil Dong said in a Twitter post at about 8:10 p.m. He also said the fire was under control at that time.

No other injuries were reported.

Initially, about 40 people were displaced by the blaze, but several of those residents were allowed to return to their homes. Three units at the complex were damaged by the fire, officials said.

The Red Cross was on hand to provide aid to those displaced by the fire.

No further details were available.

Photo Credit: Berkeley FD]]>
<![CDATA[Man's Body Found at Estuary Park in Oakland: Police]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 19:10:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+tape+water.jpg

A body was found Sunday morning at Estuary Park on Embarcadero, according to Oakland police.

Oakland police said a man's body was found at 9:10 a.m. Sunday.

Police said that the Oakland Police Department's homicide division is currently investigating the "unexplained death".

No further details are available at this time.

<![CDATA[Officials to Make Final Sweep at Oakland Hills Brush Fire]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 19:11:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OAKLAND+HILLS+FIRE+-+13553327.jpg

Firefighters will make a final sweep Monday at the scene of the 20-acre East Bay Hills vegetation fire "to make sure we are at 100 percent containment," a battalion chief said Sunday.

The fire, which was reported at 1:05 p.m. near Grizzly Peak Boulevard and South Park Drive Wednesday, is presently 90 percent contained, Oakland fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said.

Firefighters from the Oakland Fire Department and the East Bay Regional Park District Fire Department were patrolling the area Sunday, Drayton said.

Half of the fire was on Oakland land in the hills and half of the fire was on land owned by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that's mostly in Contra Costa County, fire officials have said.

UC Berkeley police spokeswoman Sgt. Sabrina Reich said on Thursday that the fire is being considered as a possible arson but Drayton has declined to comment on that, saying that Cal Fire is the lead investigative agency looking into the cause and origin of the fire.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Martin said at the scene late Thursday afternoon that the only thing he can say is that there's an open investigation into the fire and the probe could take days, weeks or even months.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hayward Police Shoot at Suspect Who Allegedly Stole Truck ]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 19:11:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-080615.jpg

An officer in Hayward shot at a man who allegedly stole a truck from another man and also fired at the truck owner during a pursuit Saturday, according to police. 

One person was injured amid the chaotic string of events, and the 26-year-old suspect was eventually taken into custody, police said. 

The incident began around 5 p.m. when Stacy Jetton walked outside of his friend's house in Hayward and came across another man trying to steal his pickup truck, according to police.

The suspect managed to escape in the truck, prompting Jetton to hop in his friend's car and chase after the suspect, according to police. Jetton eventually came up close to the suspect and demanded that he turn over the vehicle.

"I pulled up right up to the back of him," Jetton said. "I said, 'Hey, that's my truck.' And he said, 'So and so, you' and pulled out a gun and shot. So then he took off and I didn't bother to follow after that."

Jetton was not hurt, and he called 911 to have officers take over in hopes of catching the suspect.

Officers eventually joined in the chase and witnessed the suspect smash into a number of other cars, leaving at least one person with minor injuries in the process, according to police.

The suspect then started driving in the direction of officers, according to police. One officer opened fire, but the suspect was not hit or injured.

A foot chase ensued, and the suspect was eventually found and apprehended, police said. 

Jetton's friend noted that Saturday's incident was not the first car theft to occur in the neighborhood in recent time.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Security Barriers Installed at Fremont Festival of the Arts]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 17:30:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-5-17_Fremont_Festival_Barriers.jpg

In the wake of deadly vehicle attacks in Europe, city officials and those protecting the Fremont Festival of the Arts installed large barriers designed to prevent such an attack from causing a catastrophe at the popular Bay Area event.

One dozen barriers, which are devised to halt a vehicle weighing in at 15,000 pounds and travelling at 40 mph from plowing into crowds, are blocking roads leading into the street festival expected to attract approximately 200,000 to 300,000 people this weekend.

"They're intended to be to be able to protect festivals just like this from vehicles that potentially try to come onto the festival grounds," Fremont Police Department Lt. Matt Snelson said.

Public works officials delivered the barriers to their intended locations using trailers, according to Snelton. The barriers were then detached from the trailers and set into place. Each barrier contains two steel plates checking in at two inches thick. One plate rests flat on the ground while the other is placed at an angle.

"It's at an angle so [a vehicle] won't move this unit, which weighs roughly 13,600 pounds, so if you had a big truck coming, it's going to catch the truck at the engine area and it's going to take the whole truck out basically," Jeff Edwards of Fremont Public Works said.

The 12 barriers, which are each 27 feet in length, cost the city of Fremont just over $500,000.

"We felt like this was the right decision, the right purchase to be able to protect our festivals that we have in town," Snelson said.

In the event that an emergency vehicle needs to enter the festival, the barriers can be lowered quickly to allow access.

For roads not lined with one of the new barriers, water-filled containers have been put in place.

The barriers will be used at upcoming festivals held in Fremont, according to Snelson.

Join NBC Bay Area at the Fremont Festival of the Arts on August 5 and 6 in Downtown Fremont.

Games & Prizes

  • Ball tosses - $1 donation benefits Fremont 4th of July Parade
  • Prizes - SF Giants hats, shirts and balls
  • Prizes - SF 49ers shirts and balls

Summer of Love Ball Toss

  • Prize - Summer of Love tie-dye shirt
  • Customizable “Summer of Love” dog tags for $1

Meet & Greet

  • NBC Bay Area Responds Chris Chmura will be available to meet/greet and answer consumer questions.
  • Today in the Bay’s traffic anchor Mike Inouye will join in on the fun and festivities.

Clear the Shelters

  • Featuring pets available for adoption at Tri City Animal Shelter.
  • Customizable pet tags, $1 donation benefits the Tri-City Animal Shelter.

Subaru Loves Pets Photo Booth

  • Take pictures with cats from Tri-City Animal Shelter.

For more information on the Fremont Festival of the Arts, click here.

When: Saturday & Sunday, August 5 & 6

Where: The Fremont Festival of the Arts - Downtown Fremont (The NBC Bay Area booth will be located north of Paseo Padre Pkwy on Walnut Ave)

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hunt for Two Chicago Homicide Suspects Ends in Bay Area]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 09:16:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WyndhamLathemAndrewWarren.jpg

Far from their prestigious campuses, a Northwestern University professor and a University of Oxford finance officer were jailed in the San Francisco area Saturday after eight days as fugitives sought in the death of a young hairdresser in Chicago stabbed repeatedly until the knife broke, police said.

The Northwestern microbiologist, Wyndham Lathem, had a personal relationship with the victim, although the nature of it wasn't clear, and had made a video apologizing for what he called "the worst mistake of my life," police said.

Lathem, 42, was being held without bail in Alameda County, and faced a court appearance in the town of Pleasanton. The other suspect, Andrew Warren, a treasury assistant at one of Oxford's residential colleges in England, was being held at the county jail in San Francisco. Both men surrendered separately and peacefully in the Bay Area on Friday evening.

They had been fugitives since the body of 26-year-old Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau was found in Lathem's Chicago apartment on July 27.

Police said Lathem had a relationship with Cornell-Duranleau, who moved to Chicago from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area after receiving his cosmetology license. They have not elaborated on how Cornell-Duranleau or Lathem knew Warren, or if Warren knew them before he arrived in the United States.

Chicago police said Warren was 56; he was booked into jail as age 49.

A deputy U.S. marshal said Lathem's surrender came after fast-paced negotiations through an attorney that led to the fugitive turning himself in at the federal courthouse in Oakland.

Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Frank Conroy told The Associated Press that the telephone negotiations began late Friday afternoon and by evening, Lathem arrived by car at the courthouse.

No guns were drawn, but Lathem was ordered to carefully step out of the vehicle and was taken into custody in a courtyard area, Conroy said.

According to Conroy, Lathem stated that he would not answer questions on the advice of a lawyer, and no questions were asked.

Police said Lathem had sent a video to friends and relatives apologizing for his involvement in the crime, which he called the "biggest mistake of my life." The video raised concern among investigators that Lathem might kill himself.

"We are also thankful both men are safely in custody and this did not end in further tragedy," a police statement said.

Warren arrived in the United States three days before Cornell-Duranleau's death. He and Lathem were seen in surveillance video leaving Lathem's high-rise apartment building the day of the stabbing.

In a bizarre twist, police said that on that same day, before the body had been discovered, Lathem and Warren drove about 80 miles (128 kilometers) northwest to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where one of them made a $1,000 cash donation to the public library there in Cornell-Duranleau's name. Lake Geneva police said the man making the donation did not give his name.

"I've never seen where suspects in a homicide would make a donation in the victim's name," said Lake Geneva police Lt. Edward Gritzner.

On the night of the slaying, police said the front desk of the building where Lathem lived in Chicago's trendy River North neighborhood received an anonymous call from a person who said that a crime had been committed in Lathem's 10th floor apartment. When police opened the door they found Cornell-Duranleau's body.

Police also said that by the time they found the body on the night of July 27, Cornell-Duranleau had been dead for 12-15 hours

Cornell-Duranleau's mother, Charlotte Cornell, didn't immediately reply to an email requesting comment on the arrests.

Associated Press writer John Antczak contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Chicago Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Hills Vegetation Fire is 90 Percent Contained ]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 08:46:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OAKLAND+HILLS+FIRE+CHOPPER+CONTINUED+-+15011715.jpg

The 20-acre East Bay hills vegetation fire that broke out Wednesday is 90 percent contained and has transitioned to patrol status, Oakland fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said Saturday morning.

Patrols are in place now and no fire crews are remaining on the scene, Drayton said in an email. 

Grizzly Peak Boulevard between Centennial and South Park drives is now open, Drayton said. The road was closed when firefighters were actively fighting the blaze.

Firefighters from the Oakland Fire Department and the East Bay Regional Park District Fire Department will patrol the area for the next few days to check for hot spots, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze was reported at 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday near Grizzly Peak Boulevard and South Park Drive.

Half of the fire was on Oakland land in the hills and half of the fire was on land owned by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that's mostly in Contra Costa County, fire officials have said.

University of California at Berkeley police spokeswoman Sgt. Sabrina Reich said on Thursday that the fire is being considered as a possible arson but Drayton has declined to comment on that, saying that Cal Fire is the lead investigative agency looking into the cause and origin of the fire.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Martin said at the scene late Thursday afternoon that the only thing he can say is that there's an open investigation into the fire and the probe could take days, weeks or even months.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Matt Joyce Suspended for Using Gay Slur Towards a Fan]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 06:27:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/matt-joyce-athletics.jpg

Oakland outfielder Matt Joyce received a two-game suspension without pay Saturday for directing a gay slur toward a fan in Anaheim and he will take part in a public outreach initiative with PFLAG, a family and ally organization supporting the LGBTQ community.

Major League Baseball made the announcement, saying Joyce's penalty was set to begin Saturday, when he also apologized through the team. Joyce said he is "beyond sorry," and the Athletics also made a statement insisting his language was unacceptable and wouldn't be tolerated.

The A's are donating more than $54,000 of Joyce's lost salary to PFLAG.

"First and foremost I'd like to start by apologizing to everyone, especially the fans, the Oakland A's, the Bay Area — they've been awesome to me — MLB, and obviously, the LGBTQ community, whom I have a lot of respect for," Joyce said before Saturday's game. "I'm deeply ashamed and embarrassed at my actions and the language that I did use. It's very uncharacteristic of me."

The exchange occurred in the eighth inning of Los Angeles' 8-6 win after Angels first baseman C.J. Cron made a diving stop of Joyce's hard-hit grounder.

As Joyce returned to the dugout, he uttered several profanities at the fan, called him a gay slur and challenged him to fight, according to Associated Press photographer Mark J. Terrill, who overheard the exchange. Terrill said he didn't hear the first part of the exchange.

Joyce acknowledged Saturday that at one point he did invite the fan to "meet me outside."

"The incident that kind of unfolded last night, in the eighth inning I obviously hit the ball hard and Cron made a diving play. We'd lost the lead and have obviously been struggling," Joyce said. "We haven't had the kind of year that we wanted. And coming back to the dugout there was a fan who came up and yelled some vulgar and obscene words about me and my family. I let the emotions and frustrations really get the better of me there. I obviously said some words that should never be said. There's no excuse, there's no good excuse for that kind of language to be said and ever used.

"I really hope the people out there can find it in their heart to forgive me and not to be too quick to judge me on one incident. It's very unfortunate. It's one of those things I'm obviously going to regret. I already do. It's a tough lesson to be learned. I can't apologize enough."

Around baseball, any discriminatory behavior is being taken extremely seriously — and MLB has been firm about its stance.

The Boston Red Sox in May permanently banned a male fan they said used a racial slur, a separate confrontation from insults directed at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones one night before. In June, the New York Mets fired their recognizable "Mr. Met" mascot — with the oversized costumed head with baseball seams— for flipping off a fan.

Joyce, 33, is in his first season with Oakland, his 10th in the majors overall and played with the Angels for one season in 2015. He was batting .227 with 14 home runs, 43 RBIs and 74 strikeouts in 98 games for the last-place A's.

"The Oakland Athletics are very disappointed by the comments Matt Joyce made to a fan during the eighth inning of last night's game," the A's statement said. "This language is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by our team. We pride ourselves on being inclusive and expect our entire organization to live up to higher standards. We appreciate that Matt is contrite about his conduct and know he will learn from this incident." 

Freelance writer Steve Dilbeck in Anaheim contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[After Recent Fires, Lightning Sparks Concern in East Bay]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 18:21:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-4-17-lightning-worries.jpg

In the Oakland Hills, the weather is bringing some tension and nerves. People living there don't want another scene like Wednesday, when a brush fire scorched an area of Grizzly Peak. Robert Handa reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cannabis Cooking Classes Aim to Pivot Pot to the Mainstream]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 09:33:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cannabis+butter1.jpg

When Sallie B. lectures her weekend class about marijuana, she likes to make her spiel as accessible as possible. The chef starts by explaining the effects of cannabis-infused butter, and then she demonstrates how to cook with it. 

"You want to make sure you're making it correctly so that you don't get sick," Sallie begins the lecture, hoisting up a jar of green-tinted butter for the class to see. "And it’s important that you know your dosage..."

Roughly 25 students soon start cooking in the Cannabis Creatives warehouse in Oakland, tossing generous pats of canna-butter into sizzling saucepans.

Meanwhile, Sallie, the proprietor of edibles company Slim’s Baked Goodies, bounces from table to table to answer a litany of questions. Heavy smoke floats in the air throughout the two-hour course, but most isn’t coming from the cooking stations; there are, at any given time, multiple joints, bongs and vape pens circulating around the room. 

So goes the structure of every Puff, Pass, and Pastry class, which is run by Colorado-based company Cannabis Tours. By the end, participants will have made a hodgepodge of cannabis-infused treats, including frittatas, sweet cakes and french toast. 

The Sunday cooking class is just one of many pot-centered workshops that have cropped up in the Bay Area following California’s legalization of the once-taboo plant in November. There are yoga, painting and pottery classes, even glass blowing classes, and they all aim to do something similar: combine the novelty of legally consuming cannabis in public spaces with traditional pay-to-play activities.

Heidi Keyes, the co-founder of Cannabis Tours, runs sister workshops in Oregon, Las Vegas and Colorado and advocated for pot's legalization in California. A longtime pot consumer, she said she entered the industry because she wanted to “normalize cannabis use” and stop it from being relegated to doctors offices and back-alley deals. 


"We want to encourage people to just relax in a way that they haven’t been able to before, especially before it was legal here and other places," Keyes said. "It's about providing a safe space for cannabis consumption, meeting new people, passing joints. Just being able to smoke weed if you want to.” 

Sallie, who began incorporating cannabis into her recipes after a cancer diagnosis, attached herself to the course in an attempt to educate others about the plant. 

“The biggest misconception about edibles is that people think, ‘if I eat an edible, I’m going to be asleep for days,” she said. “I think people don’t understand cannabis as much as they consume it, so this class gives me an opportunity to teach them about the different strains, and how to get a good effect." 

The business venture has been undeniably profitable for Keyes, Sallie and other so-called “cannapreneurs,” a portmanteau referring to the business owners who have capitalized on pot’s legalization. Tickets to the cooking class cost $69 each, and the painting and pottery classes aren’t much cheaper. All told, the profits help contribute to a booming California industry valued at over $7 billion. 

Keyes attributes the success of the courses to a previously-untapped niche market. In short, she believes that a group of people — mostly longtime pot enthusiasts — had been waiting for these types of communal spaces, and are now ready to open up their wallets for the experience.

"There hasn’t really been anything like this before,” she said. “I think people have really been looking for opportunities to consume legally and make friends at the same time. A lot of people who come to our classes aren't big drinkers, but they still want to go out and do something social. That’s where our classes come into play.” 

Nadia Ibanez, 32, said she falls into both categories. But the San Francisco woman chose to attend the cooking class in lieu of the alternatives because it advertised a learning opportunity. 

“I’ve never cooked with cannabis, never made edibles,” said Ibanez, who has been smoking pot for about a year. “So I wanted to come and see what skills I could take to my own kitchen.” 

But not everyone is on board with the idea of cannabis cooking classes, for that very reason. 

The specter of novices making edibles at home is what worries doctors such as Rachna Patel, who owns a medical practice in Walnut Creek and studies marijuana use. She’s seen the horror stories of people overdosing on edibles — and they’re not the comical situations that YouTube videos would lead one to believe. 

"Edibles are tricky," Patel said. "A part of me is very much in favor of patients making their own products because they know exactly what goes into them. But the downside of it is, it's going to be difficult to figure out how much is too much.”

Patel notes that the side effects can include extreme paranoia and impaired body movement. If someone wants to learn about edibles, they should see a doctor, not attend a cooking class, she quipped. 

But that warning doesn't discourage Keyes, who believes legalization signaled a cultural shift in the way cannabis is perceived by non-users. Making the plant palatable — or merely acceptable — will help make it safer, she opined. 

"People are beginning to realize that there is no typical stoner; there's no typical cannabis consumer," Keyes said. "A lot of people have had to hide their cannabis use their entire lives...so what we’re seeing now is people coming forward and being more open about it.”

“And I think, going forward, we’re going to be seeing more of that,” she continued. “It’s just not something people feel they have to hide anymore.”

Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane
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<![CDATA[20-Acre Oakland Hills Fire At 70 Percent Containment]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 17:19:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OAKLAND+HILLS+FIRE+CHOPPER+CONTINUED+-+15011715.jpg

The 20-acre East Bay hills vegetation fire that broke out early Wednesday afternoon is now 70 percent contained. Firefighters hope to have it 90 percent contained by the end of the day Friday, Oakland fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said.

Less than 50 firefighters from four agencies are still fighting the blaze, which was reported at 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday near Grizzly Peak Boulevard and South Park Drive, Drayton said.

That contrasts with the approximately 200 firefighters who were at the scene at the height of the fire on Wednesday afternoon.

"We're in the final mop up stages," Drayton said.

Half of the fire was on Oakland land in the hills and half of the fire was on land owned by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that's mostly in Contra Costa County, according to Drayton.

Firefighters will remain at the scene overnight and into Saturday to make sure that the blaze becomes completely extinguished, she said.

University of California at Berkeley police spokeswoman Sgt. Sabrina Reich said on Thursday that the fire is being considered as a possible arson but Drayton has declined to comment on that, saying that Cal Fire is the lead investigative agency looking into the cause and origin of the fire.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Martin said at the scene late Thursday afternoon that the only thing he can say is that there's an open investigation into the fire and the probe could take days, weeks or even months.

Also on Thursday, Oakland police said UC Berkeley officers

arrested a person who fled the scene of a collision on Grizzly Peak Boulevard that occurred Wednesday morning, near where the fire began. Police haven't said whether that incident is related to the blaze.

An Oakland police spokesman declined to release the suspect's name Friday, saying that there's still an active investigation into the matter and police aren't releasing any additional information at this time.

Fire officials said Grizzly Peak Boulevard between Centennial and South Park Drive is expected to remain closed until 8 p.m. Friday but it's possible that it could reopen earlier if conditions allow.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bail Lowered for Man Charged in Deadly Ghost Ship Fire]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 12:45:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ALMENA+AND+HARRIS1.png

An Alameda County judge on Friday declined to release, but reduced the bail for a man charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with an Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people.

Judge Kevin Murphy said he decided against releasing 47-year-old Derick Almena on his own recognizance because the former leader of the Ghost Ship artists' collective might not return to court if he were let out.  

Bail was reduced from $1.08 million to $750,000 for the master tenant of the illegally converted warehouse in the Fruitvale district that burned down during a concert on Dec. 2, 2016.

Almena’s wife, Micah Allison, was emotional before the Friday hearing, and his lawyers tried to paint an image of a family man and father of three children. This, despite the fact that Almena has previously dealt with Child Protective Services with regards his kids.

The suspect's defense team tried to assure Murphy that Almena would abide by any restrictions if he was granted release, but the prosecution argued that the Ghost Ship tragedy itself shows that the man is not adept at following rules.  

"What did we get? $750,000 bail? From our perspective, that’s outrageus. He’s not a flight risk at any level," said Almena's lawyer, Tony Serra.

Serra also mentioned the possibility of going after third parties, including PG&E, who he thinks were responsible for the fire.

Almena and 27-year-old Max Harris have each been charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fire. Almena rented the warehouse, which District Attorney Nancy O'Malley called a "death trap." Prosecutors say Harris helped him sublet living space in the building. Harris' bail was previously reduced to $750,000.

Both men were scheduled to enter pleas on Friday, but the hearings have been postponed to Sept. 13.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[5 Years After Fire, Chevron Refinery Still Being Cited]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 23:48:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/richmondrefinery.jpg

Michael Board had just left a job site in Marin and was crossing the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge when he saw smoke. 

“I looked over to my left and saw the plume starting,” he said. “It was pretty small at the time, from that angle.” 

It was 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2012. The crude unit No. 4 at Chevron’s giant refinery was on fire.

An investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board – the federal agency that probes industrial accidents – blamed Chevron managers’ decision to disregard warnings about the problem pipe. The agency also faulted the company for ordering workers to repair a corroded pipe while the plant was still running. As the workers tried to remove insulation, they jabbed the badly corroded pipe, releasing a vapor cloud.  

See the animation here

The cloud ignited, and 20 workers barely escaped. 

The fire sent a black cloud drifting over the Bay Area, loaded with heavy metals and toxic dioxins. Unaware of the danger, Board pulled over to watch before spending the night at his father-in-law’s house nearby.

“The next morning, lots of coughing and wheezing, a lot of fluid,” he said in a recent interview. “I went to the emergency room. They diagnosed me with chemical burns to my lungs.”

Five years and several surgeries later, Board, 54, still gets winded easily doing physical work and hasn’t been able to return to his old job – fixing and flipping houses. 

“The worst is at night,” he said, “when you’re gasping for air, waking up in the middle of the night.”

Some 15,000 people went to local hospitals. Many have sued over the fire.

At the time, Garrett Brown was senior safety official with Cal/OSHA, the agency that oversees worker safety throughout the state. He said the investigation made clear that Chevron had ignored a decade of warnings about corrosion in their pipes before the fire. He was also concerned that workers seeking a repair shutdown were overridden by management.

“That pipe had gone from a quarter-inch thick to no thicker than a Coke can,” he said. “Management was willing to endanger the lives of Chevron employees, contractor employees and the community at large in order to save a few dollars by not shutting down a unit so it could be properly repaired and maintained. And that's a decision they make for pure corporate profit reasons.”

Chevron declined to talk with us on camera but pointed to new efforts to protect the refinery against the kind of corrosion that triggered the fire.

The company provided a statement saying in part, “At Chevron, everything we do begins with our fundamental commitment to safety.” And, “everyone at Chevron has both the right and responsibility to exercise 'stop-work authority' – they can stop any operation without any repercussions if they believe people or the environment are in danger.

Although he is mindful that profit has driven Chevron’s decisions at the refinery, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said he is optimistic. “Through a combination of external regulation and internal commitment, Chevron is a much safer place than it was then,” he said, adding that he regularly meets with Chevron officials.  

Even Brown, the former Cal/OSHA official who has been critical of the company, sees progress.

 “I think actually the Chevron refinery saga turns out to be a happy story, turns out to be a good news story,” he said. “I think we're better prepared now in 2017 than we were in 2012 to prevent an accident like what happened at Chevron from taking place again.”

Much of that accident prevention will depend on Clyde Trombettas and the Cal/OSHA team of refinery safety inspectors he heads. After the fire, the agency was faulted for lax oversight of refineries. But today, Trombettas has the benefit of a larger staff, tougher regulations and unprecedented inspector access during shutdowns.   

“It’s a significant change," he said of the access his inspectors now have during shutdowns at the state’s 15 refineries. “It’s a very powerful tool when we’re looking at what refineries are doing and, more importantly, what they’re not doing.”

But NBC Bay Area has learned that state worker safety inspectors recently found still more safety problems at the plant. In a report issued last year, regulators issued citations against the refinery for not heeding industry standards governing pressure relief valves. Those valves are designed to prevent dangerous pressure buildup in the refinery process. 

See the citations here

The valves control the process in the refinery’s volatile Catalytic Cracking Unit, which uses extreme heat to break down crude oil into various fuels. Experts warn that misuse of those valves is the kind of lapse that can cause another fire.

Greg Karras, senior scientist at Communities for a Better Environment, points out yet another concern. The Chevron refinery has been shifting to a cheaper crude oil. It’s a kind of crude that has more sulfur, which is known to corrode pipes. 

“There's something like a thousand miles of process piping in that refinery, and the vast majority of it hasn't been replaced,” said Karras. “So we're stuck with a refinery that's going to blow up again as a result. This is what it's like to live in the shadow of the smokestacks. You know that it's going to happen again; you don't know when."

Meanwhile, five years after the fire, Board is still paying for his own medical expenses. While Chevron told us it has honored justifiable medical costs, it says it is still challenging what it considers “illegitimate” claims. Board is left wondering why it is taking so long for his case to get to court.

“It’s just frustrating,” he said, “ that so little concern is given to people, how it changed their lives and what happened to them.”

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Concord PD Releases Sketch of Attempted Kidnapping Suspect]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 22:56:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/concord+kidnap-0803.jpg

Police on Thursday released the sketch of a man suspected of trying to kidnap a teen girl as she was walking on a Concord street last month.

The attempted kidnapping happened on July 6 at about 2:45 p.m. on Laguna Street near Ellis Street, police said.

The girl, 16, was walking alone when a man in a car drove by, turned around and then parked. The driver then got out and approached her.

As he spoke to her, he grabbed her arm and then tried to forcefully pull her towards his car. The victim, however, fought back by kicking and punching the suspect, causing him to eventually let her go, according to police.

As the girl ran away, the man drove off, heading toward Detroit Avenue. The girl immediately told her parents and they called police.

The man was described as a Hispanic man, between 35 and 40 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds. He had an unshaven appearance and wore glasses along with a blue hat and buttoned up collard shirt.

His vehicle was described as a 4-door gold or beige American made sedan, similar to a 2000 Buick LeSabre, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident or a similar incident is asked to contact the police Special Victims Unit at (925) 671-3020.

Photo Credit: Concord PD]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Zoo Elephants Get a Cool Assist From Firefighters]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 03:57:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ofd+elephants-0803.jpg

It's been hard to keep cool in the Bay Area this week. Especially if you weigh 6 tons.

The Oakland Zoo's African elephants, however, got some help with a nice, cool shower Thursday, courtesy of the Oakland Fire Department.

The crew at Station 28 got a pretty cool assignment when it was called upon to turn its hoses on wildlife instead of a wildfire.

And zoo visitors got an entertaining show, as at least one of the elephants was enjoying the hose-down and the spotlight.

Temperatures in Oakland reached the mid-70s on Thursday, with unusually high humidity, while other areas of the East Bay reached the 90s and 100s.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One-Alarm Fire Destroys Empty Victorian House in Oakland]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 18:38:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/832017-oakland-fire.jpg

A single-alarm fire on Thursday gutted a vacant Victorian house in Oakland.

Flames broke out on the 1700 block of E. 19th Street around 5:05 p.m., Oakland fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said. The two-and-a-half story home is located near San Antonio Park.

Drayton said firefighters took a “defensive” stance, but the structure will be a complete loss.

NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger spotted heavy smoke billowing from the structure.

Heavy fire was reportedly coming from the building's second floor and flames had caused the building's front stairs to collapse, according to fire officials.

Crews are also protecting surrounding properties. So far, flames are not threatening any of then, Drayton said.

Further details were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Car Crashes Into House, Driver Flees in Castro Valley]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 22:57:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cv+car-house-0803.jpg

A car crashed into a home in Castro Valley on Thursday afternoon, and the driver fled the scene, according to fire officials.

The crash, which occurred on Redwood Road, near Interstate 580, also sheared a gas line, the Alameda County Fire Department said.

One person was inside the house at the time of the crash, but they were unhurt, fire officials said.

PG&E crews were at the scene repairing the gas line. Redwood Road was closed in both directions between Vegas and Lessley avenues, fire officials said.

Photo Credit: Alameda County Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Steph Curry Starts Slow, Heats Up in Pro Golf Debut]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 21:51:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steph-green-ap.jpg

HAYWARD - Stephen Curry pumped his right fist, raised his arms in the air with club in hand and gave a firm shoulder bump to caddie Jonnie West, his golf partner on road trips with the Golden State Warriors.

A birdie at last after he scored three bogeys over his initial five holes Thursday.

There was the animated, confident Steph that NBA fans know so well, the two-time league MVP finally feeling it and making the tough shots on the challenging course at TPC Stonebrae while playing in his highly anticipated professional golf debut. He finished at 4-over 74 with a bogey on the last hole.

"It was an amazing experience, I've been looking forward to this since I found out and to finally hit my first shot in tournament play was a really, really nervous moment but it was everything I hoped for," Curry said. "If you told me I was going to shoot 74 going into the first round I'd take that all day, every day. I'm pretty happy with it."

Curry drew quite a crowd to the Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic, where Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice has played a few times in the past.

The star point guard of the champion Warriors high-fived fans - some 300-plus at the picturesque course providing panoramic views overlooking San Francisco Bay - between some holes and chatted with the other two in his threesome, Sam Ryder and defending champion Stephan Jaeger.

Curry, who munched on a breakfast sandwich at the green of his first hole, missed badly on his initial ball of the day, landing his tee shot off a hill that kicked it perfectly into the cup holder of a golf cart. He then took a drop.

Not quite as spot-on as those signature pregame tunnel shots at Oracle Arena or the jaw-dropping, buzzer-beating 3-pointers from way, way back.

"That's probably a first on the tour. There was a golf cart just left of my target on hole No. 1 and it went right in the cup holder," Curry said. "Not an ideal way to start with calling a rules official over after your first tee shot. I kind of settled in after that."

On the 15th fairway, Curry leaned on West, a member of Golden State's front office and son of Hall of Famer Jerry West. Jonnie West also is a member at this course.

Then Curry finished the par-5 15th by sinking a 5-foot, downhill birdie putt. He made par on No. 16 then survived a tee shot to the bunker and a near stumble climbing out of the sand on the par-4 18th and made about an 8-footer to save par.

That prompted a triumphant club tap to his shoe and Curry then held up the ball sporting a big grin.

"It was awesome," West said. "He handled the nerves of this being his first time in this type of atmosphere pretty well."

Curry began his round on the back nine and was 2-over 37 at the turn, where he eagerly accepted a bag of fast food chicken for lunch.

He said that when his name was announced to begin his day "I could barely feel my hands, I had to try to take a deep breath."

The top 65 and any ties from the 156-player field will make the cut to compete on the weekend. Curry is a sponsor exemption and one of three amateurs in the event.

"I want to play better tomorrow. Now that I kind of got the jitters out hopefully that will happen and hit a couple more good shots and make a couple more putts," he said.

With so many cameras clicking, cheers and whistles moments after he struck the ball and hundreds of supporters in No. 30 shirts and Warriors gear, this was no doubt a "Strength In Numbers" kind of day.

There would be no balls lost, either. Wherever his shots landed, a big crowd quickly gathered to get an up-close glimpse of one of basketball's best. One of the biggest bargains in the NBA before, Curry was rewarded last month with a $201 million, five-year contract.

Playing his other sporting passion, Curry got plenty of help along the 7,024-yard, par-70 course. Those with homes along the course gathered in groups on decks to catch a hole.

On this day, it was Jaeger making a key assist down the stretch. Waiting at the tee box on their final hole, he took a basketball belonging to 14-year-old Erik Oswald from Southern California for Curry to sign and delivered it back to the giddy teen dressed in a chef's hat who had followed his hoops hero all day.

"Unbelievable gallery out here," Curry said, "hopefully that continues through the week."

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Police Arrest Suspect Who Led High-Speed Chase in Stolen BMW]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 22:57:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oakland+chase-0803.jpg

A suspect is in custody after a high-speed car chase from Pleasanton to Oakland on Thursday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

James Sims, 30, of Antioch, was taken into custody without injury around 2:30 p.m. near the MacArthur Maze and Interstate 580, the CHP said. A CHP vehicle performed a PIT maneuver, ramming the suspect vehicle to turn it sideways, to end the chase.

Sims had been driving the wong way on the freeway from Pleasanton and on Oakland surface streets before the CHP's maneuver, officials said.

Sims was booked into Santa Rita jail for felony evasion, driving the wrong way on the freeway, possession of stolen property, and driving with a suspended license, the CHP said.

Photo Credit: CHP Oakland]]>
<![CDATA[Family of Slain Oakland Muralist Tony Ramos Sues ICE]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 22:58:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/antonio-ramos-muralist.jpg

The family of a muralist who was killed by a gunman using a stolen federal officer's gun in Oakland two years ago is suing the U.S. government, according to the family's attorneys.

Antonio "Tonly" Ramos, a 27-year-old artist, was shot and killed with a stolen Immigration and Customs Enforcement firearm while voluntarily painting an anti-violence mural in downtown Oakland on Sept. 29, 2015.

The lawsuit, filed late Wednesday, blames Ramos' death on the government's failure to secure and protect their lethal firearms.

"From what we know, the gun was left in a bag in plain sight in a car parked in the SOMA neighborhood, which is a high-theft, high-crime area. It wasn’t in a lock box or secured or even put in the trunk of the car," said attorney Alison Cordova of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, the law firm representing the Ramos family. "These are all steps that could have been taken to keep a lethal firearm out of the hands of a known gang member and prior convicted felon."

The Ramos family filed the suit with the hope that ICE will be held accountable and change their policies to better safeguard the lethal weapons that are entrusted to their care, the attorneys said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fans Flock to Oakland Record Store for Green Day Pop-up Shop]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 17:24:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Green+Day2.jpg

Green Day fans showed up in force to 1-2-3-4! Go Records in Oakland on Thursday, hoping to get some exclusive merchandise ahead of the rock band’s homecoming concert at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Famous for songs such as “American Idiot” and “Good Riddance,” Green Day formed in 1986 and has been performing ever since. The pop up is part of a two-day celebratory event for the the latest album, titled Revolutionary Radio. It will be open until 8 p.m. Friday. 

Some fans drove for more than an hour to get to the shop, lured by the prospect of T-shirts and limited edition memorabilia, including notebooks and skateboards.

KG, who describes herself as a “superfan,” has seen Green Day in concert five times. She came to the pop-up shop with her mother, who is also a fan. The two will be attending the concert at the coliseum on Saturday. 

“We both love Green Day,” she said. “We go to concerts together; we listened to them on the way here.”

And the band has previously given private shows at the record shop. Inside, a wall behind the stage has small chunk taken out of it, from when lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong got carried away while performing. 

The record shop’s owner, Steve Stevenson, decided against repairing the damage, instead leaving the marking as a tribute.

Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Star Curry Makes Professional Golf Debut in Hayward]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:20:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17215696237243.jpg

Hundreds flocked to the upper reaches of the Hayward Hills Thursday to catch Warriors star and two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry make his professional golf debut.

No, the two-time NBA champion isn't giving up draining three-pointers on the hardwood. Curry received a sponsor exemptions to compete in the Ellie Mae Classic being held through the weekend at Hayward's TPC Stonebrae.

The minor league event on the PGA tour normally draws a huge crowd. But Curry's presence Thursday added to quite the gallery.

A couple of hundred Warriors fans watched Curry tee off just before 9 a.m. from the 10th hole.

Curry's drive looked good form the tee box, but veered left into the rough. He duffed his next shot right into the top of the birm. You could tell the NBA superstar was not pleased with that particular sequence.

Curry later chipped onto the backside of the green and followed with a beautiful chip and real close to the hole. He splashed, er putted, for bogey.

The golf tourney adds to an already eventful summer for Curry.

After helping the Dubs earn the team's second NBA title in three years, Curry headlined a China tour with Under Armour, made his acting debut with an appearance in the HBO series "Ballers," and even crashed a house party in Rhode Island.

And let's not forget the video of Curry doing rival Lebron James' dance that set social media on fire.

The Ellie Mae Classic runs through Sunday.

Photo Credit: Eric Risberg/AP
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<![CDATA[Benicia Man Shot Dead by Vallejo Police After Pursuit]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 22:00:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0801-2017-VallejoPD.jpg

Vallejo police on Thursday identified a Benicia man, who was well-respected as a psychology doctoral student, as the armed robbery suspect who was pursued and shot dead by officers Wednesday in Richmond.

The chase started around 5 p.m. Wednesday in Vallejo and ended in the 3400 block of Richmond Parkway. Jeffrey Barboa, 45, was killed in the ensuing officer-involved shooting, according to police.

Sgt. Andrew Frankel with the Berkeley Police Department said Barboa interned with the city's Mental Health Crisis team from fall 2013 to summer 2015. At the time, Barboa, a doctoral student of psychology, was "very well thought of" by staff members.

Barboa was wanted in connection with an armed robbery in El Cerrito on July 26, police said. When officers tried to pull him over in Vallejo, he failed to yield and instead fled at a high speed.

When the chase ended about 15 minutes later in Richmond, Barboa exited the car and advanced on officers with a machete raised overhead, police said. He refused numerous orders to drop the weapon before five officers opened fire.

Barboa was struck multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

No other injuries were reported.

Barboa was wanted in a robbery at an El Cerrito doughnut shop a week ago. Police said he picked up a cash register during lunchtime and ran from All Star Donuts with the cash register under his arm and the shop owners in pursuit.

"He just picked it up like a baby and just snapped it, and he just walked out the door," owner Cameron Sem said. "And customers were yelling, so I ran out. I just ran out with everybody else."

Sem and his dad chased Barboa across the parking lot before Barboa tossed the register into his car and then turned and confronted the two.

"When he turned around, after he dropped the cash register, he just kind of said, 'Oh you want to fight. I've got a gun and a knife.' I was like, 'Is this guy serious?' It's like in the middle of the day," Sem said.

The Sems walked away as did numerous witnesses. But not before they took down his license plate number.

"So we put that information on the license plate in the law enforcement database as a felony vehicle that was wanted," El Cerrito police Lt. Steve Bonini said.

Vallejo police spotted Barboa's vehicle Wednesday evening and tried to pull him over, but Barboa sped off and sparked the high-speed chase to Richmond.

Barboa's neighbors in Benicia said he had a wife and two small children. But on his Facebook page, he describes family problems in April and May and public pleas to help find his family.

"I didn't know he would be violent like that," neighbor Linda Wright said. "I guess his life was just tearing apart."

The shooting is being investigated by the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office in accordance with the County Fatal Incident Protocol, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Butcher Shop Makes a Deal With Animal Rights Group]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 12:10:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11P+NU+BERKELEY+BUTCHER+SHOP+SIGN+PKG++-+00001410.jpg

The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley has a cut a deal with a local animal rights group, in an unusual agreement to put an end to often graphic protests.

A summer special for a whole pig roast is advertised in the shop's front window. Tucked in the corner of a side window is another sign, courtesy of Direct Action Everywhere, that reads: "Attention: Animals' lives are their right. Killing them is violent and unjust, no matter how it's done."

The butcher shop has built a repuation for providing sustainably raised meats to the neighborhood. So why is it advocating for the lives of the animals their customers will be eating?

"The sign was the most palatable of all the options brought to the table. It was the least impactful to our business," said Monica Rocchino, co-owner of the Local Butcher Shop.

The alternative was noisy weekly protests complete with people drenched in fake blood, wrapped in plastic and lying on cardboard trays.

Tania Campos and other protest organizers with Direct Action Everywhere say they are working toward more than just getting stores to put up signs. They want all businesses in Berkeley, including super markets and restaurants, to go vegan.

Customers like Augie Kue say it’s unfair that the animal rights group is picking on a small business.

In the interim, though, the sign means the animal rights group can claim a victory, while the Local Butcher Shop can continue selling to customers, who are hungry for locally sourced meats.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Butcher Shop Makes a Deal With Animal Rights Group]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 23:55:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Berkeley_Butcher_Shop_Makes_a_Deal_With_Animal_Rights_Group.jpg

A butcher shop in Berkeley has a cut a deal with a local animal rights group. Its an unusual agreement to get the animal rights group to stop their often graphic protests. Sergio Quintana reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Police Search For Cyclist Who Shot Flare Gun at Driver]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:02:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/flare+gun+sketch.jpg

Concord police on Wednesday released a sketch of a bicyclist wanted for allegedly shooting a motorist with a flare gun in late June after an altercation on Willow Pass Road.

The shooting occurred around 4:10 p.m. on June 28 on Willow Pass in the area of the northbound Interstate 680 off-ramp, according to police.

The altercation ended when the bicyclist took out a flare gun and shot it at the motorist, causing a serious injury. The victim has since been treated at a hospital and released, police said.

The Police Department's major crimes unit released a sketch of the suspect, who is described as a white or Hispanic man who is about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs about 160 pounds, has brown hair and had a mustache.

After firing the flare gun, the suspect ran away and left behind his blue Specialized mountain bike, which police have also posted a photo of.

Anyone with information about the suspect's identity is asked to contact Detective Shawn Phalen at (925) 603-5858. People wishing to remain anonymous can contact the department's tip line at (925) 603-5836.

<![CDATA[Inmate Firefighter Injured At Oakland Hills Fire]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 22:01:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Inmate_Firefighter_Injured_At_Oakland_Hills_Fire.jpg

An inmate firefighter was injured after he fell about 50 feet down a steep hillside while battling a blaze in the Oakland hills, fire officials said Wednesday evening. He was rescued by other firefighters and transported to a hospital. Jodi Hernandez reports.]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Man Doesn't Receive Phone Trade-In Credit]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 19:53:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/East_Bay_Man_Doesnt_Receive_Phone_Trade_In_Credit.jpg

NBC Bay Area Responds to a San Ramon man who says he was promised a cellphone trade-in credit, but never got it. Consumer Investigator Chris Chmura reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Cracks Down on Immigration, Hurts Bay Area Businesses]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 19:59:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/825587464-Trump-Immigration-RAISE-Act.jpg

President Donald Trump’s proposed immigration overhaul is hurting business owners in the East Bay.


Car dealers say sales are dropping fast because potential customers fear they’ll be forced to leave the United States. 

Rick Batni, who owns Import Auto World, said that a substantial number of customers would stop by the Hayward business on a typical Wednesday evening. But today, it resembled a ghost town.

"We're heavy in Latino buyers," Batni said, adding that they comprise "around 30 to 40 percent" of his overall clientele.

But not any more.

And Batni's customers aren’t going to his competition, he said. They’ve simply stopped spending, awaiting the anvil of deportation. 

"They are hesitant of buying anything," Batni said, because they are worried about being "taken across the border and their investment (is) sitting here."

Trump is pushing for reform that would cut the number of legal immigrants allowed into the U.S. The President on Wednesday introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act, a system based more on skills than family ties. 

East Bay Congressman Eric Swalwell has dubbed the trend the "Trump Effect."

"We're just starting to see the collateral damage of the President's policies on immigration," he said.

For now, business owners like Batni say they're doing what they can to survive, but they have no idea how long they can keep the lights on.

When asked what he would do if the rumblings out of Washington D.C. continue, Batni replied, "Downsize."

Photo Credit: Zach Gibson - Pool/Getty Images)]]>
<![CDATA[Police Fatally Shoot Armed-Robbery Suspect After Pursuit]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 23:43:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0801-2017-VallejoPD.jpg

An armed-robbery suspect was fatally shot by Vallejo police Wednesday after a vehicle pursuit that ended in Richmond, according to the Vallejo Police Department.

The chase started around 5:05 p.m. in Vallejo and ended in the 3400 block of Richmond Parkway, where the officer-involved shooting occurred, police said.

The suspect, who was identified only as a 45-year-old Benicia resident, was wanted in connection with an armed robbery in El Cerrito on July 26, police said. When officers tried to pull him over in Vallejo, he failed to yield, and a high-speed chase ensued, police said.

When the chase ended about 15 minutes later in Richmond, the suspect exited the car and advanced on officers with a machete raised overhead, police said. He refused numerous orders to drop the weapon before five officers shot him.

The suspect was struck multiple times and was later pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

No other injuries were reported.

The shooting is being investigated by the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office in accordance with the County Fatal Incident Protocol, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Brush Fire in Oakland Hills Prompts Evacuations at Cal]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:11:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OAKLAND+HILLS+FIRE+-+13553327.jpg

A five-alarm brush fire burned in the Oakland Hills on Wednesday, prompting a power outage and evacuations at UC Berkeley, officials said.

The blaze, which was reported at about 1 p.m., grew from 3 to 10 and then 20 acres in the vicinity of Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Fish Ranch Road. About half of the fire was within the Oakland city limits in the hills, and the other half is on land owned by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oakland fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said.

Amid sweltering heat on Wednesday afternoon, flames lapped up the dry hillside and jumped a road before continuing their run. Firefighters tried desperately to contain the fire, but their main stumbling block is the northeast section of the fire area on Grizzly Peak.

"It's steep terrain and a lot of heavy vegetation so we're getting some spotting on the back side," Moraga-Orinda Fire District Fire Chief Stephen Healy said.

Some 200 firefighters from Oakland, Berkeley, the East Bay Regional Park District, Cal Fire, Moraga-Orinda and El Cerrito have been battling the blaze, both from the ground and the air. Choppers and planes have been pounding the blaze on the rugged hillside with water and retardant.

Firefighters will remain at the scene throughout the night and all day Thursday if necessary in order to monitor hot spots.

Drayton said weather conditions for firefighters are expected to improve late Wednesday because fog is forecasted to roll in around sunset and relative humidity will rise.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, and people have been asked to avoid the area where some roads are closed. 

No structures were threatened, but the Orinda Police Department urged residents to shelter in place.

An inmate firefighter was injured after he fell about 50 feet down a steep hillside, fire officials said. He was rescued by other firefighters and transported to a hospital. The extent of his injuries was unknown.

As the fire spread through the hills, PG&E shut down transformers at UC Berkeley, prompting a campus-wide power outage. Police advised people at the university to shut down all electronic devices by 2:40 p.m. and not to use elevators until power is restored.

University police said a number of roads east of the main campus have been shut down because of the fire as has the Botanical Garden at 200 Centennial Drive.

Authorities have also recommended evacuations at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and Space Sciences Laboratory.

Meanwhile, city officials said that although the flames are roughly a mile away from the Berkeley border and heading east, people who live in the hills should be on alert and remain prepared.

In addition, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at 1 Cyclotron Road, which is also off Centennial Road, advised its employees to leave work early because of the fire, lab spokesman Jon Weiner said.

According to Drayton, about 100 children who were at two camps on East Bay Regional Park District land were voluntarily evacuated by the district because smoke was entering their campgrounds.

People who live in the area were on pins and needles Wednesday. Tom Klatt, of Berkeley, said he was "extremely worried." 

Residents said they couldn't remember a blaze this big since a firestorm in 1991 killed 25 people and injured 150 others in the Oakland Hills.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Sweltering Temperatures Blanket Most of Bay Area]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 10:38:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/07-29-2015-heat-sun-weather-generic-1.JPG

Sizzling temperatures will return to several locations across the Bay Area Wednesday as the region welcomes an uncommon threat: thunderstorms.

An area of monsoonal moisture will move into the southern portion of the Bay Area by the end of Wednesday, packing a chance of thunderstorms and dry lightning strikes. The system will also make for above-average humidity.

Hot temperatures in the inland valleys and locations above 750 feet have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a heat advisory through 9 p.m. Thursday.

Livermore on Wednesday is expected to top the charts at 103 degrees, Concord is forecasted to settle around 102 degrees and Antioch should peak around 101 degrees.

Moving west, Oakland is slated to hover around 80 degrees while San Francisco will max out around 75 degrees.

Areas in and around San Jose as well as locations in the North Bay will flirt with temperatures in the mid-90s.

For those looking for heat relief, the coast is the place to be. Half Moon Bay will peak around 66 degrees while Santa Cruz will enjoy temperatures in the high-70s.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Congresswoman Barbara Lee to Talk ACA]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 08:09:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Congresswoman_Barbara_Lee_to_Talk_ACA.jpg

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is set to talk about the Affordable Care Act. She's scheduled to tour Highland Hospital's trauma center in Oakland and address the impact a repeal of the ACA would have on the Alameda County health system. Lee says the system would lose $94 million each year if the law is repealed.]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Domestic Dispute as Attempted Homicide]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 07:32:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-080615.jpg

Police in Pleasant Hill are investigating an attempted homicide involving a husband and wife who were both hospitalized following a domestic dispute Tuesday evening.

According to police, at 7:50 p.m. officers responded to the 500 block of Ryan Drive on a report of a woman bleeding and in need of medical attention.

At the scene, police located the woman with serious injuries stemming from a domestic violence dispute involving her husband. She was taken to a hospital for medical treatment, police said.

Police surrounded the apartment where the dispute occurred and attempted to make contact with the suspect inside, but there was no response.

Officers were able to see inside the apartment and identify the suspect, who had a self-inflicted injury, police said.

Officers entered the apartment and detained the suspect. He was taken to a hospital for medical treatment, police said.

According to police, there are no outstanding suspects, the scene has been secured and the case is being investigated as an attempted homicide.

The names of the two people involved are not being released at this time, police said.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Pleasant Hill police at (925) 288-4600.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Cars Slam Into Cow Along Highway 24 in Orinda]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 07:00:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-2-17-cow-vs-car-crash.jpg

Two cars crashed into a cow meandering along Highway 24 in Orinda early Wednesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision occurred shortly after 12:15 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of traffic near Fish Ranch Road, according to the CHP.

Both drivers involved in the collision suffered minor injuries, the CHP said. The cow was killed in the crash, police said.

Footage from the scene captured one car with a shattered windshield and busted front end. The other car smashed into the center divider.

Two lanes of traffic were closed until 1:30 a.m. while crews cleared the wreck, according to the CHP.

The crash is the second caused by a cow on the loose on Highway 24 in Orinda since late June.

On the afternoon of June 26, a two-vehicle collision was reported near the off-ramp to Camino Pablo and was apparently the result of a cow running across the roadway, according to the CHP.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Big-Rig Crash Shuts Down Interstate 238 Ramps in East Bay]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 05:33:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-2-17_Big_Rig_Crash_Hayward.jpg

A big-rig carrying 70,000 pounds of washers and dryers overturned in unincorporated Alameda County Wednesday morning, closing an on- and off-ramp to Interstate 238, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash, which occurred just before 2 a.m., happened when a big-rig driver travelling too fast lost control and tipped as it was exiting Interstate 238 at E. 14th Street, according to the CHP. The crash prompted officials to close the ramps in the immediate vicinity.

CHP expects the ramps to be closed until 6 or 7 a.m. while crews work to clear the wreck. Due to the location of the crash, CHP does not anticipate that the overturned big-rig will have a significant impact on the morning commute.

The driver of the big rig is OK, according to the CHP.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Paralyzed Cal Rugby Player Remains Focused on Future]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:57:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/paylor-0801.jpg

His life changed in an instant. UC Berkeley rugby player Robert Paylor walked out on the field during a championship match in May and was carried off paralyzed.

Since then, the 20-year-old has never looked back. He is too focused on his future. In June, Paylor transferred to Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, a world-renowned spinal cord injury rehabilitation facility.

In an exclusive interview he talked with NBC Bay Area about his progress. Paylor is recovering from what’s known as an incomplete spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.

"I’m not going to accept this as someplace I’m going to sit," Paylor said. "I’m going to fight tooth and nail to get out of this pit and get up."

Paylor said he clearly remembers what happened on the field May 6 during a match against Arkansas State.

"An opposing player came from the side and did what players are not supposed to do, wrapped his arm over my head in a headlock," he recalled. "He was pinning my chin to my chest. I’m driving, trying to fight it. He collapsed me and brought me to the ground and rode me all the way down so my neck was compromised, and when I fell, I rolled under it and immediately it was pins and needles everywhere. I couldn’t feel a thing."

Cal Bears rugby coach Jack Clark called Paylor’s injury the result of illegal foul play. Now, USA Rugby is investigating. Paylor, however, said he feels no anger toward the opposing player that put him in a headlock.

“No, no, no. I’m not angry. What’s in the past is in the past, and if I’m going to dwell on that and point fingers, then I’m not going to get anywhere," Paylor said. "I have to look into the future and see what I can do to change where I’m at."

Paylor spends eight hours a day doing physical therapy and rehabilitation to retrain his muscles. He’s also relearning how to do daily tasks most people take for granted. Simply getting into bed is challenging.

Paylor’s strength and stamina as an elite athlete are helping.

"I couldn’t be more proud of his character and the man he’s become," his father, Jeff Paylor, said.

"He is so positive, he is hardworking, he wants to sweat. In fact, he tells me, 'Make me sweat.' He just never gives up," said Adele Stadler, assistant supervisor of physical therapy at Craig Hospital.

Through it all Paylor is incredibly positive.

"Whenever I have trouble believing in myself, I have all these people who believe in me, and that allows me to have more courage, more bravery and fight," Paylor said.

He’s received support from hundreds of people in the Bay Area and around the world. Actor Bill Murray even visited him recently.

“He was a crack-up," Paylor said of Murray. "I couldn’t stop laughing."

Paylor also relies on his faith when his new journey feels daunting.

"I have a lot of down days. I wake up in a broken body," he said.

But Paylor's spirit is not broken despite dealing with frequent leg spasms. His shaking legs are actually a positive sign that he has an active spinal cord.

And his hard work is paying off. Paylor is now able to move his fingers, all his muscles in his upper body are firing, and his legs are showing a sign of healing.

"When my hamstring started moving, it was such a huge moment because now I have something to work with," he said. "There are signals all the way down there; there’s hope.

“I think I want to get on my feet, I want to do all these things," Paylor added. "If I give up, it won’t happen, so I have to push through that and do everything I possibly can to recover."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Paylor's medical expenses. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Advisory in Effect in Parts of Bay Area]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:51:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/072617+heat+generic+hot+weather+generic.jpg

Temperatures in the inland parts and higher elevations of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas will be much hotter than usual Tuesday and Wednesday, National Weather Service officials said.

A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday for higher elevations such as the North Bay mountains, mainly around Lake Berryessa, the East Bay hills and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Weather service officials may issue a heat advisory for inland locations in the two areas if forecasted temperatures rise slightly.

A heat advisory means dangerous temperatures are expected, potentially causing heat-related illnesses.

In inland areas and those at high elevations, temperatures are expected to reach 100 to 105 degrees with some areas approaching 110 degrees.

In Concord on Tuesday, De La Salle band members and football players had abbreviated practices in the sweltering heat as the school's athletic trainer closely monitored both groups.

"We have water coolers out here," trainer Doug Bauman said. "There's water on each field."

Band members took frequent breaks and moved much of their practice into the shade. The football team also made modifications.

"We won't have equipment on today," Bauman said. "Sometimes it's a matter of taking off equipment to allow bodies to cool a little better. Sometimes it's a matter of changing when (what time) practice is."

Meanwhile, weather service officials urge residents to look inside their cars before locking them to be sure no pets or children have been left behind.

Temperatures near the coast will be more seasonal and above-average elsewhere. While it may be cooler at the coast, visitors should check for any beach hazards that could make visiting beaches risky.

Weather service officials said prolonged exposure to high temperatures increases the chance that people, especially those with respiratory conditions, will suffer heat-related illnesses.

Also, pets and livestock may need extra care during the hot weather. The chance of wildfires is also higher, according to the weather service.

During the heat, residents and visitors are encouraged to drink enough fluids, stay in air conditioning, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.

On Tuesday, several community centers in San Jose offered extended hours to help residents beat the heat.

The community centers, spread across the city, will all be open until 9 p.m. City officials said that the centers act as cooling centers when temperatures reach or exceed 97 degrees.

The locations are Bascom Community Center at 1000 S. Bascom Ave., Camden Community Center at 3369 Union Ave., Mayfair Community Center at 2039 Kammerer Ave., Roosevelt Community Center at 901 E. Santa Clara St. and the Seventrees Community Center at 3590 Cas Drive.

The city of San Ramon also released locations and hours for cooling centers this week:

Tuesday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library noon-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Wednesday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-7 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library noon-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Thursday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-8 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5:30 pm; Dougherty Station Library 10 am-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Friday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-7 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library 10 am-5 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-5 pm.

NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Red-Tagged Lafayette Home on the Market]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 09:57:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Red-Tagged_Lafayette_Home_on_the_Market.jpg

A Lafayette couple is trying to sell their red-tagged home for about half the market value. The home is on a hillside that started to slide during this past winter's heavy rain. The realtor said it needs a retaining wall and significant repairs. The home is listed for $830,000. The agent said when the house is fixed up it may be worth about $1.5 million.]]>
<![CDATA[Burglary Suspects Fleeing From Police Crash Car Into Home]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:55:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scotthouse.jpg

An attempted burglary and police chase on Tuesday ended with the suspects' car barreling into a Fremont house.

Three suspects were taken into custody near a house on Isherwood Way and Nicolet Avenue, where a number of police cars and shocked neighbors were gathered.

"It was really bad," said neighbor Archana Sharma. "It was like a blast. That's (what I) thought: something really bad is happening on our street."

Fremont police said they got a call that three people might be robbing a nearby house. An officer arrived at the scene, but the suspects took off. 

"That officer attempted to make a traffic stop on the car," said Geneva Bosques with the Fremont Police Department. "The car failed to yield and a short pursuit occurred."

The chase ended when the driver drove onto the cul-de-sac and plowed into the house at nearly 70 mph.

Fortunately, no one was home at the time. The couple that owns the house said they have two children who were in summer camp at the time of the collision. No injuries were reported.

"We'll figure out something," said resident Silpa Jonnalagadda. "We don't know yet. It's just sinking in."

The house is located near Brookvale Elementary School and the homeowners are already working on remodeling the building. 

Photo Credit: Scott Budman/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fight Breaks Out in Stands at A's-Giants Game in Oakland]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 00:18:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-31-17_As_Giants_Fight.JPG

While the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics duked it out on the diamond Monday night, a security guard and a fan became entangled in a fight in the stands at the Oakland Coliseum.

Footage from the clash in the upper deck of the stadium appeared to show a security guard throwing punches at what appears to be a female fan before pulling her down by the hair. Several other security guards surrounding the melee then tried to pull the two apart.

"During tonight’s game, there was an incident involving a security guard," the team wrote in a statement following the incident. "We contract with a third-party security company and are currently investigating the situation. Violence in any form is not acceptable. We take this incident seriously."

The incident appeared to stem from a security guard's stolen backpack, according to the Oakland Police Department. The backpack, which was taken while the guard was on duty, was located by another security guard in possession of a fan in another section. When that security officer confronted the fan, a fight ensued, police said.

Security had escorted the fan out of stadium before Oakland police officers arrived on scene. The backpack was recovered, but some items were missing from it, police said.

A’s fans who hadn’t even seen the video were bothered by the reports of the fight.

"A security guard was throwing punches? That’s horrible," Vashti Gibson said. "You don’t treat people like that. You’re supposed to make sure that we’re safe, not fight us. We come to you for help as a security guard, not for us to defend ourselves against you."

Henry Aguilar agreed: "Someone who works here ends up fighting a fan? Pretty crazy."

Witnesses said the security guard had beer thrown at her during the confrontation, and at least one fan said the guard may have had a good reason to swing.

"Some people are very nasty and unruly nowadays, so she was probably defending herself," Khadijah Webb said.

The A's said Tuesday they have launched an investigation into the incident and will forward their findings to police.

The team also announced that the security guard involved in the altercation will no longer work at Oakland games moving forward. The team also will not use security subcontractor USSA for Tuesday night's game and is re-evaluating the company's contract. 

The Giants and A's return to the Oakland Coliseum Tuesday night for the second game of the four-game Bay Bridge Series split between the two clubs.

Photo Credit: Shane Siegrist via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Welcome National Night Out]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 06:07:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cms890.jpg

Neighborhoods are ready. It's National Night Out.

Police in cities and towns across the Bay Area are hosting National Night Out celebrations Tuesday evening to help residents become more aware of how they can prevent crime and drug use.

From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in San Jose, residents will gather with police in their neighborhoods to get to know each other.

A host of events are scheduled such as potlucks, barbeques and even large block parties.

San Francisco police will host several events around the city for National Night Out, with food, arts and crafts and entertainment. Times and locations of the events can be found online.

Also in San Francisco, the public defender's office is hosting two Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities events aimed at catching children before they fall through the social services gap, spokeswoman Tamara Barak Aparton said.

The public defender's office has formed MAGIC programs in the Bayview-Hunters Point and Western Addition neighborhoods, where many residents are underserved.

"Those are the two neighborhoods that we specifically set out to serve because they are the most underserved and most in need of resources," Aparton said.

"We recognize that the best way to prevent crime is to provide underserved communities and families with resources relating to health, education and recreation and that's why we formed our MAGIC programs," she said.

Elsewhere, local law enforcement agencies and neighbors in Martinez have organized a third annual Alhambra Valley National Night Out at the Alhambra Christmas Tree Farm at 2647 Reliez Valley Road from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Neighbors can dance to live rockabilly music, savor barbeque and indulge in ice cream from the Boy Scouts of America.

In Concord, National Night Out will be celebrated from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Concord Library at 2900 Salvio St., where there will be activities for children and adults such as K-9 demonstrations, face painting and a bike rodeo.

Rohnert Park public safety officers will host National Night Out activities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Center Plaza at 475 City Center Drive.

Residents can eat, get public safety information, see emergency vehicles and win prizes.

A detailed list of National Night Out events around the Bay Area is listed below: 

North Bay:

Sebastopol Fire Department BBQ: 220 S. Main St., Sebastopol

Rohnert Park City Center Plaza: 475 City Center Dr., Rohnert Park

Petaluma Target Parking Lot: 401 Kenilworth Dr., Petaluma

San Francisco:

Ella Hill Hutch Community Center: 1050 McCallister St., San Francisco

Bayview Opera House: 4705 Third St., San Francisco


Grundy Park: 586 Cherry Ave., San Bruno

East Bay:

Alhambra Christmas Tree Farm: 2647 Reliez Valley Rd., Martinez

Concord Library: 2900 Salvio St., Concord

Martinez Block Party: 600 block of Main Street, Martinez

St. John's Catholic Church: 264 E. Lewelling Blvd., San Lorenzo

South Bay:

Downtown Gilroy: Fifth Street between Eigleberry Street and Monterey Road, Gilroy

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Spare the Air Alert Issued For Bay Area Tuesday]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 05:52:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bay+smog-0622.jpg

A Spare the Air Alert has been issued for Tuesday in the Bay Area because of an excessive amount of smog expected in the region, air quality officials said.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert, the sixth for smog in 2017, because of a forecast of light winds and triple-digit inland temperatures.

A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday for higher elevations such as the North Bay mountains, mainly around Lake Berryessa, the East Bay hills and Santa Cruz Mountains.

In areas well inland and high elevations, temperatures are expected to reach 100 to 105 degrees with some areas approaching 110 degrees.

Air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement that more alerts are possible this week "due to tailpipe exhaust from the 5 million cars on Bay Area roads each day combined with hot temperatures."

During Spare the Air days, air quality officials advise people to limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day and to take public transit or carpool instead of driving alone. If possible, people are also asked to work from home.

Aside from trying to keep the air as clean as possible, officials are also asking people to reduce their energy usage.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company recommends that residents wash clothes in cold water, unplug electronics that are not in use, avoid using ovens, dim the brightness on televisions and use compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs in order to save energy. 

Temperatures near the coast will be more seasonal and above-average elsewhere. While it may be cooler at the coast, visitors should check for any beach hazards that could make visiting beaches risky.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area file]]>
<![CDATA[ICE Agents Detain Undocumented Men in Hayward]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 23:56:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0731-2017-ICEArrest.jpg

Immigration agents in Hayward detained two undocumented men with alleged criminal backgrounds just weeks after the city formally declared itself a sanctuary city.

The incident has left families and the community on edge.

Hayward city leaders said regardless of someone's background, it is important that all residents receive due process of the law. But critics said the undocumented immigrants broke the law to begin with and they should have been deported a long time ago.

Lourdes Olvera is left taking care of her two young grandchildren while their mother is away fighting to keep their father, Antonio Valenzuela, in the United States.

Olvera said Valenzuela was on his way to work last Thursday with his friend, Jose Salgado, when they were detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement agents. The agents were in the area looking for a suspect in an unrelated case.

Olvera said Valenzuela called her and said "take care of the children because immigration just got me."

Olvera said she feels bad for her grandson because he is especially close to his dad.

ICE tells NBC Bay Area neither man had ever been lawfully admitted to the United States. They said their database shows Valenzuela has been repatriated to his native Mexico three times and he previously served time for a DUI.

The second man, Salgado, has a previous felony charge for lewd acts with a minor.

Mayor Barbara Halliday, who successfully fought to declare Hayward a sanctuary city last month, is concerned.

"I just want to make sure that whatever the reasons they were taken away from their families their rights are protected," Halliday said.

But Juan Hernandez, a log cabin Republican, said the men lost their rights when they came into the country illegally.

"They're breaking the law. They should already be sent back, especially if they're criminals," Hernandez said.

ICE said both Valenzuela and Salgado will remain in their custody while the cases are reviewed.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[West Nile Virus Found in Contra Costa County]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 15:55:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Mosquitoes_Test_Positive_for_West_Nile_Virus.jpg

Two dead birds found in Walnut Creek and a group of mosquitoes from Discovery Bay are the first cases of West Nile virus detected in Contra Costa County this year.

The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District announced the findings Monday and also announced that crews will be fogging in Discovery Bay on Tuesday between 9:30 p.m. and midnight. The area to be treated is bordered by Lakeview Circle and Castle Rock Loop to the north, Wilde Drive and Wilde Court to the south, Bixler Road to the west and open fields to the east.

"Dead bird reports help us pinpoint virus activity in the county," district scientific programs manager Steve Schutz said in a statement. "Right now, we have very few reports. We really need the public to report dead birds to the state hotline so we can understand where else in the county the mosquitoes may be transmitting the virus and where we can focus our control efforts."

The district looks for mosquitoes in catch basins, neglected swimming pools and other water sources that may serve as breeding havens for the insects.

It also encourages residents to reduce their risk of contracting the disease by dumping standing water, using mosquito repellent, avoiding being outside when mosquitoes are out -- typically dawn and dusk -- and taking care of their swimming pools.

The district urges the public to report dead birds to the California Department of Public Health by calling (877) 968-2473 or by visiting the state agency's website at www.cdph.ca.gov.

<![CDATA[Man Accused of Videotaping, Threatening to Extort Couple]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 23:51:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-31-17-FREMONT-MUGSHOT.jpg

A 33-year-old man in Fremont was arrested Thursday for videotaping a couple engaging in sexual acts and threatening to blackmail them if they didn't pay him thousands of dollars, according to police.

Maninder Adama was booked into the Fremont Jail on multiple counts related to felony extortion as well as misdemeanor counts related to privacy invasion for his role in the scheme, according to police. 

"He sent a screen shot of video to the couple having sex and said 'If you don't pay $5,000 then I will post it online and send it to family members,'" Fremont police Detective Michael Gebhardt said.

The extortion attempt began sometime between mid-March and the end of April while the couple was living in a two-bedroom apartment along the 3500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, according to police. Multiple people, including Adama, lived in the residence. 

In June, the couple started receiving messages from an unknown email address, according to police. The person sending the emails, who has since been identified as Adama, told the couple that he had video footage of them engaging in sexual acts. Adama included screen shots of the video in his emails.

The following month, Adama threatened that he would post the video on Facebook if they didn't cough up $2,000, according to police. That price was later raised to $5,000, and Adama warned that he would share the footage on multiple websites as well as distribute it to family members if the couple didn't comply with his demands.

In July, police said Adama didn’t just want money. They said he had a crude and indecent proposal.

"The suspect changed course and said, 'If you don't have the $5,000, then spend the night with me, and I will return the video to you,'" Gebhardt said.

The couple eventually contacted police, and an investigation was triggered. Investigators were able to track down where the emails were coming from and determine that Adama was responsible. 

Officials on Thursday took Adama into custody while conducting a search warrant. His laptops and other electronic devices were also seized. A video of the victims was found on Adama's laptop, and the email account used to contact the couple was discovered on his phone.

Adama appeared in court Monday, but was not formally arraigned.

NBC Bay Area talked to Adama as he left the courthouse and the suspect denied video taping his roommates.

"No I didn't," Adama said when asked if he recorded his roommates. "There's a reason for the camera there."

When asked about the reason, Adama said he needed to talk with his attorney.

Adama is expected to return to court Tuesday to formally face extortion charges.

An investigation is still ongoing at this time. Anyone with information regarding Adama is encouraged to call Detective Gebhardt at 510-790-6954.

Photo Credit: Fremont Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Carnival Train, Trailer Found in Walnut Creek]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:12:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-31-17_Found_Train.JPG

A popular carnival train and its trailer recently stolen from a Pleasant Hill parking lot were found in Walnut Creek on Monday, according to the owners. 

The trailer and train, which is frequently rolled out at children's events around the Bay Area, were found intact, but the owners said they will have to replace a tire on the trailer.

The train was resting in its trailer parked in a parking lot at 3381 Vincent Road in Pleasant Hill when they were stolen sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The theft was reported Sunday morning by Eric Sossamon, owner of Fun & Games Experts in Pleasant Hill.

Come Monday, the trailer and train had been found at 2333 Boulevard Circle in Walnut Creek.

After Sossamon's daughter posted the story on Facebook, the search for the stolen trailer carrying the train took on a life of its own and leads starting barreling in.

"There was a hashtag about bring the train back," Sossamon said. "I don't know what that means exactly, but I know it was sweet."

Laura McCollum is among those who shared the train post on Facebook and when she showed up for yoga Monday morning she immediately recognized the stolen rig parked in the lot.

"It's magical I was just the one who happened to see it and find it," she said.

Sossamon said people all over the East Bay would know the train if they’ve been to any number of festivals, including the annual Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival. The train is usually put out to hire for community festivals, parades and picnics as well as other special events throughout the Bay Area much to the delight of youngsters.

"The kids just light up when they see it," Sossamon said. "We drive around in a circle and they have a big smile on their face the whole time. It's such simple fun. The kids just love it."

The train fits 16 to 20 people and has four cars towed by an engine that runs on electricity, Sossamon said. He said it's worth about $60,000.

Sossamon's company has been around for more than 25 years, he said.

"It just makes me and my family so incredibly happy," Amanda Sossamon said. "This weekend we don't have to disappoint thousands of kids."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Morgan Hill Man Arrested for Trying to Have Sex With Teen]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:28:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-31-17-toledo-suspect.jpg

Investigators on Thursday arrested a 42-year-old Morgan Hill man for attempting to have sex with a minor.

Officials with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force utilized an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl on the internet to nab Jose Francisco Toledo, who has since been booked on felony violations, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Nearly two weeks before the arrest, Toledo first made contact with the undercover officer, according to the district attorney's office. He requested that the girl send him nude images before later asking that she meet him for sex.

The two agreed to meet on Thursday at Hidden Lakes Park, which is located on the border of Martinez and Pleasant Hill, according to the district attorney's office. Toledo was promptly arrested.

A search of Toledo's car found candy that the man had promised the girl and condoms, according to the district attorney's office.

Toledo was booked for attempting to have lewd acts with a child under the age of 13 and enticing a minor to meet for sex, according to the district attorney's office. His bail has been set at $2.5 million.

Toledo is slated to make his first court appearance in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Monday.

Photo Credit: Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Oakley Crash]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:54:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Family_Files_Wrongful_Death_Lawsuit_in_Oakley_Crash.jpg

The family of a girl who was killed in a suspected DUI crash in the East Bay is filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Roshel Madlangbayan, 15, was walking with her friend in Oakley last June when they were hit by a car. Madlangbayan died at the scene. The East Bay Times reported that Madlangbayan's family filed a lawsuit against the driver, an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer who was following the driver and the city. The family says the city knew the road was dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.]]>
<![CDATA[Lawsuit Filed Against Union City School District]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:42:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Child_Molestation_Lawsuit.jpg

A lawsuit has been filed against a Union City school district after a third grade teacher was convicted of molesting students. Michael Howey, who taught at Alvarado Elementary School, was sent to prison in 2013 for molesting nine students. The East Bay Times is reporting that one of the victims is suing the New Haven Unified School District where the teacher worked. The suit argues the district knew about the teacher's behavior but did nothing about it.]]>
<![CDATA[Hazardous Weather Expected Across Bay Area]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:36:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Trees_Heat_Generic.jpg

The National Weather Service Sunday issued a hazardous weather outlook for early this week and midweek for portions of the Bay Area.

Weather officials said the threat of heat-related illnesses will increase today and especially Tuesday and Wednesday, with the danger greater for elderly and at-risk populations, as well as those engaging in outdoor activities.

Residents are urged not to leave people or pets in a parked vehicle for any reason, for any length of time, weather officials said.

The officials also noted that increased fire weather concerns are also likely as a result of hot and dry conditions.

Temperatures in the North Bay will range from the 90s to the low 100s in interior valleys and the 60s to the low 70s at the coast, weather officials said.

In the East Bay, temperatures in the valleys will range from the 90s to the low 100s, while temperatures will be in the 70s to the low 80s along the bay.

Temperatures will generally be in the upper 70s in San Francisco and in the 60s along the Peninsula coast.

In the South Bay, temperatures will be in the 90s in the valleys and in the 80s along the bay, weather officials said.

In the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas, temperatures will reach the 90s inland and the 60s and 70s on the coast.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Attempted Robbery, Assault at People's Park in Berkeley]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:51:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-tape-day-shutterstock_81281839.jpg

A man who tried to rob and stab another man Sunday morning at People's Park in Berkeley remained at large late Sunday night, police said.

At 7:58 a.m. a man with a cellphone was in the park when another man approached him, tried to take his cellphone and threatened him with a knife.

The suspect lunged at the victim with the knife and missed. Police said the victim held onto his phone, and the suspect then punched him twice in the face.

The suspect then ran west away from the park. Police said they searched the area and could not find the suspect.

The victim suffered a cut to his face but refused medical care.

Police are describing the suspect as a black man in his 30s or 40s, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with a thin build and short black hair.

The suspect was wearing a long-sleeve black shirt and black pants and was carrying a pair of red and blue shoes.

<![CDATA[Carnival Train Stolen From Parking Lot in Pleasant Hill]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 06:02:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stolen+train-0730.jpg

A popular train used at children's carnivals and the train's trailer were stolen overnight Sunday from a parking lot in the East Bay city of Pleasant Hill, according to police and the train's owner.

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the train and trailer, which was sitting in a parking lot at 3381 Vincent Road when it was stolen sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The theft was reported Sunday morning by Eric Sossamon, owner of Fun & Games Experts in Pleasant Hill.

Sossamon said people all over the East Bay would know the train if they’ve been to any number of festivals, including the annual Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival. The train is usually put out to hire for community festivals, parades and picnics, as well as other special events throughout the Bay Area, he said.

The train fits 16 to 20 people and has four cars towed by an engine that runs on electricity, Sossamon said. He said it's worth about $60,000.

Sossamon's company has been around for more than 25 years, he said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Eric Sossamon
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<![CDATA[Port Dockworkers Set to Approve Contract Extension: Union]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 22:01:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/183*120/463711706_master.jpg

Early returns indicate that dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports, including the Port of Oakland, will approve a three-year contract extension with shipping companies, union leaders said Sunday.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said the early results show that the proposed extension with the Pacific Maritime Association will be approved by 67 percent of its members in California, Oregon and Washington.

The workers' agreement, which was scheduled to expire on July 1, 2019, would be extended to July 1, 2022, if the agreement is ratified when the official results are announced on Aug. 4.

ILWU members voted on "the employer's unprecedented contract extension proposal after a year-long debate and democratic process" in which every worker had an opportunity to vote, the union said in a news release.

The union said the extension would raise wages, maintain health benefits and increase pensions.

"The ILWU was founded on the principles of democracy, and the rank-and-file have always had the last word on their contracts," ILWU international President Robert McEllrath said in the release.

Port of Oakland officials said they applauded word that dockworkers will likely approve the contract extension.

"This shows that the West Coast means business when it comes to moving cargo for our customers," Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Pointing Gun at Couple on Concord Road]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 15:55:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-30-17_Concord-Gun-Couple-Car.jpg

Officers arrested a man on suspicion of brandishing a firearm after he allegedly pointed a handgun at a Concord couple on their way to the store Saturday, police said.

A man driving a white Buick Regal in the area of Willow Pass Road and Farm Bureau Road pointed a gun at the couple as he drove past them, Concord police said. The couple were able to photograph the suspect, and police quickly found the Buick at a Concord home.

Clinton Kimbark, 33, was identified as the Buick's driver, and a loaded handgun was found in his car, police said. Kimbark was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a firearm and possession of a loaded firearm in public, according to police

Photo Credit: Concord Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Flight Bound for Oakland Delayed by Naked Passenger]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 21:56:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/GettyImages-680896050.jpg

Officials say a Spirit Airlines flight leaving Las Vegas was briefly delayed after a passenger removed all their clothes while boarding and approached a flight attendant.

The incident occurred Saturday on a plane bound for Oakland, California.

McCarran International Airport says police and medical responders took the passenger for observation.

Police Lt. Carlos Hank said the passenger received treatment after the medical episode.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Fall Short on Best Places to Rent List]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:40:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/GettyImages-678975.jpg

When it comes to renting a home, the Bay Area does not appear to be the ideal place to poke around.

That's because multiple Bay Area cities ended up ranked in the bottom half of WalletHub's "Best and Worst Places to Rent" list, which analyzed 150 of the largest rental markets in the United States.

The Bay Area city deemed to be the best place to purchase a rental was San Francisco, according to WalletHub. The city by the bay, which was ranked No. 70 on the list, was followed by San Jose (No. 73), Santa Rosa (No. 75), Fremont (No. 76) and Oakland (No. 148).

For those looking for the optimal location when it comes to renting, the desert seems to be the place to be. Four cities in Arizona — highlighted by Scottsdale, Ariz. at No. 1 — topped the charts as the best places to rent, according to WalletHub. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Cleveland, Ohio was determined to be the worst place to rent, according to WalletHub.

WalletHub's analysis examined rental market and affordability factors such as cost of living, size of rentals, historical changes in rental pricing and forecasted pricing changes, among several others. The study also took into account quality of life factors such as job opportunities in an area, weather and neighborhood safety.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend Temps Could Ail Those With Respiratory Conditions]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 08:36:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Heat_Generic_Hot_car.jpg

High temperatures predicted for this weekend could make breathing more difficult for people with respiratory issues, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said Friday.

Studies show that very high temperatures can make it harder to breathe for people with conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart problems, especially children and the elderly.

Officials have not issued a "Spare the Air" alert for poor air quality, but those with known respiratory conditions should try to stay in cooler locations, drink plenty of water, avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day and keep inhalers and medications handy at all times.

Residents who wish to be notified when a Spare the Air alert is in effect can sign up at www.sparetheair.org or call (800) HELP-AIR. Residents can also download a Spare the Air app or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[SUV 'Riddled' With Bullet Holes in Shooting That Hurt 1 Man]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 20:18:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DF8QQyRUIAEwMRo1.jpg

A man on Saturday was injured in a shooting that led to his SUV plunging into the Berkeley Marina.  

Officers responded to reports of gunshots on University Avenue near the Berkeley Pier around 3:40 a.m. They found the victim with multiple gunshot wounds and took him to Highland Hospital in Oakland.

Police did not specify the man's condition, but said that he is not a Berkeley resident.

The man's car had careened off the road and onto the San Francisco Bay seawall. 

A witness told NBC Bay Area that the white SUV had landed in the water and had been pulled to the shore by a couple of tow trucks.

No additional passengers were believed to be in the water, according to police.

Officers found numerous shell casings along Seawall Drive, forcing them to shut down the road while they processed the crime scene.

"Another group aparantly shot him out because that car was riddled," said witness John Vicars. "All of the windows were taken out, and there were bullet holes — at least 30 bullet holes to the car."

The investigation also led police to a man who is considered a person of interest in the shooting. This person is also not a Berkeley resident, and was arrested on unrelated charges.

Police kept the shooting scene cordoned off for a couple hours.

Anyone with information about the shooting are asked to call the Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5900.

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-East Bay District Attorney Suspended From Practicing Law]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 14:05:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0512-2017-MarkPeterson.jpg

The State Bar Court of California announced Friday it has temporarily suspended a former Contra Costa County district attorney who pleaded no contest to perjury over his personal use of campaign funds.

The association is also investigating whether Mark Peterson merits further punishment, including disbarment, the East Bay Times reported Friday.

Peterson resigned from office in June and pleaded no contest to perjury for filing a false campaign disclosure statement. He was placed on probation.

A county grand jury recommended in May that Peterson be removed from his post after he acknowledged spending more than $66,000 of campaign cash on movie tickets, clothes and other personal expenses while serving as treasurer of his re-election campaign.

Peterson has said he considered the withdrawals to be loans.

Peterson's attorney, Doron Weinberg, was not immediately available for comment Friday.

The California Supreme Court will have to sign off on any disciplinary action taken against Peterson.

The interim suspension takes effect next month.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Contra Costa County]]>
<![CDATA[Bat Found in East Bay Park Tests Positive For Rabies]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 23:40:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2Big+Brown+Bat-B.jpg

Contra Costa County officials are warning residents to avoid touching bats after one of them found in a park in Clayton earlier this month tested positive for rabies.

The bat was found in a play structure area at The Grove Park at 6100 Main St. in Clayton on July 16, and it was immediately removed from the park.

The animal was taken in for treatment but died several days later. A positive rabies test result came back Thursday afternoon.

Rabies spreads from animals to humans mainly through bites. The people who touched the bat when it was found are not considered to be at risk.

There is no indication that any children touched the bat, county officials said.

Residents are being urged to make sure pets are up to date on their rabies vaccines and avoid handling wildlife.

Any bats seen behaving unusually, doing things such as lying on the ground or being active during daylight hours, should be reported to local animal control officials.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Hurd/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Kidnapping, Molesting Autistic Fremont Woman]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 18:40:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7282917-fremont-sexassault-suspect.jpg

A 77-year-old registered sex offender has been charged with kidnapping and sexual battery for allegedly taking a developmentally-challenged woman from a McDonald's restaurant in Fremont and molesting her in his car, police and prosecutors said Friday.

Fremont police Officer Anita Silva wrote in a probable cause statement that she believes Cheuk Li planned his alleged abduction of the woman, whom she said suffers from severe autism and has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old.

The alleged abduction took place at the McDonald's in the 40700 block of Grimmer Road at about 11:45 a.m. on July 21. Silva wrote that Li went to the restaurant regularly and allegedly knew the victim went there every Friday at about the same time.

Silva said "Li had the opportunity to groom the victim" because he'd seen her at the fast food restaurant on several previous occasions but she had always been with other people. She said July 21 was the first time that Li saw the victim by herself and he took advantage of that situation.

Evidence indicates that Li approached the woman while she was sitting on a bar stool by herself drinking coffee, grabbed her by the arm and took her to his Subaru Outback, which was parked in the McDonald's parking lot, according to Silva.

Silva said Li then allegedly molested the woman in his car and witnesses allege they observed him with his pant zipper down, his belt unbuckled and the victim's hand on his lap.

Referring to the terms that she said Li used when he was interviewed by police, Silva said, "Li purposely took the victim to his car and locked the doors so he could get 'excited' and have 'sexy time' with her.

"Li's actions demonstrated his propensity for sexual gratification despite his age, which confirmed the need for Li to be a registered sex offender," Silva continued. "If Li's forced and manipulative actions in the back of his car would not have been stopped, I believe Li would have continued his sexual assault against the victim."

Fremont police said Li was convicted of sexual battery by restraint in 2001 but in 2013 he allegedly failed to comply with his sexual offender registration procedure and was arrested.

However, at the time of the July 21 alleged offense Li was in compliance with registration requirements, police said.

The kidnapping charge against Li has an enhancement clause alleging that the victim was developmentally disabled and her condition was known to him.

Photo Credit: Fremont Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Lowers Bail for 1 Charged in Oakland Warehouse Fire]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 12:26:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ghost_Ship_Warehouse_Fire_Investigation.jpg

A judge on Friday refused to free from jail on minimal bail one of two men charged with involuntary manslaughter for an Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people.

Alameda County Judge Kevin Murphy said he is concerned that Max Harris' ties to Northern California aren't deep enough to support him while he awaits trial on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Murphy set bail at $750,000. Harris' bail was previously set at $1.08 million.

"He is extremely disappointed," said Tyler Smith, one of Harris' three attorneys.

Smith had argued that involuntary manslaughter is "not a serious felony" and that Harris didn't pose a danger to the public. Smith also argued that Harris' lack of a criminal record made him eligible for release without having to post bail.

"We are not here because Max Harris is a horrible person," prosecutor Autrey James said. "A mistake was made that cost the lives of 36 people."

James also said relatives of two victims wrote letters opposing Harris' release on minimal bail. James didn't identify the families.

The judge said he had a legitimate concern that Harris, 27, has lived in Oakland for about four years without steady employment. Harris was arrested in June in Los Angeles.

Smith said it's doubtful Harris can post the reduced bail, but he said a fundraising effort among his friends in the artist community had started. Harris waved to two friends in the gallery, both of whom declined comment outside court.

Harris and Derick Almena, 47, are each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the Dec. 2 fire. Each face 60 years in prison if convicted. Neither man has entered a plea.

Almena's lawyers are scheduled to make the same argument for bail reduction on Aug. 4, when both men are also scheduled for an arraignment.

Almena rented the warehouse, and prosecutors say Harris helped him sublet living space in the building.

Alameda County district attorney Nancy O'Malley said the pair turned the warehouse into a "death trap" by illegally converting the building into an entertainment venue and housing for artists.

O'Malley argued that once the men rented living space to tenants, they were responsible for the installation of sprinklers and to ensure the building was safe. Instead, the men cluttered the warehouse with flammable materials, O'Malley said.

Lawyers for the two men argue that the fire should not have resulted in criminal charges. They say that Harris and Almena are being charged to distract from the region's lack of affordable housing.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[Terrorism Charges Against Oakland Man Don't 'Add Up': Uncle]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 13:23:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0725-2017-AmerAlhaggagi.jpg

Friends and relatives of Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, an Oakland man indicted on terrorism charges, are reeling from the accusations levied against him.

NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit first broke the news that the 22-year-old Alhaggagi was indicted late last week for attempting to provide support to the terrorist group ISIS.

The suspect's shocked family broke its silence when Alhaggagi's uncle, Hashem Awnallah, told NBC Bay Area that the charges are unbelievable.

"It doesn’t jibe, frankly," he said. "It doesn’t add up, OK, because that’s not the person we know." 

Federal prosecutors in a December detention hearing recounted in detail conversations dating back to last July that Alhaggagi had with FBI informants posing as ISIS sympathizers.

“I live close to San Francisco, that’s like the gay capital of the world,” Alhaggagi allegedly told an FBI informant during an online conversation. “I’m going to handle them right. LOL. I’m going to plant a bomb in a gay club. By god, I’m going to tear up the city. The whole Bay Area is going up in flames. My ideas are genius.”

Court records go further and said Alhaggagi had a goal to kill 10,000 people and target the UC Berkeley campus as well as San Francisco's Chinatown, downtown and Mission Street.

Awnallah, however, painted a very different picture of Alhaggagi.

Awnallah has been involved in humanitarian work for years, helping people in his birth country of Yemen escape the war that’s raging there. He said his nephew had carried on the family tradition of helping the community.

"His mother was known for cooking plenty of charitable food and Amer was well known for helping distribute that food," he said.

Awnallah, the brother of Alhaggagi’s mother, said Amer was born in the United States after his parents moved here from Yemen in search of opportunity and a better life for their children. He described them as a tight-knit, law-abiding family with close ties to the community. Amer’s younger sister, he said, was honored Friday for outstanding achievement in her summer school courses.

“He has never been known to be either violent, radicalized, or harmful to anyone,” Awnallah said.

Alhaggagi grew up in the East Bay, attending Berkeley’s Emerson Elementary before graduating from Berkeley High School in 2013. After graduating, Awnallah said Alhaggagi worked several jobs and enrolled in classes at Berkeley City College. 

Alhaggagi’s friends also said that the young man they knew was thoughtful and generous.

“Everybody that I know was completely like, baffled,” said Suhaib Ahmed. “Because this person, we know him to be an amazing, kind-hearted soul.”

Alhaggagi remains in custody. In addition to a terrorism-related charge, he's accused of identity theft and credit card fraud.

His defense team told NBC Bay Area that the charges against their client are overblown. He was naive and boasting about his plans, but never intended to actually follow through, they said.

Alhaggagi's family told NBC Bay Area that trips to Saudi Arabia and Yemen prosecutors say may have been connected to extremist activity were in fact far more innocent. The trip to Saudi Arabia, they said, was to attend his sister's wedding. The last time he was in Yemen, they said, was to visit family long before he even graduated from high school.

Alhaggagi’s family now awaits his day in court as they continue to cope with his arrest in shock and disbelief.

“We have faith in the American justice system and we look forward to due process,” Awnallah said.

Liz Wagner also contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Ray Martinez
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<![CDATA[Heavy Rainfall Leads to Wasp Infestation in Bay Area]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 20:07:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6P+WASPS+PKG+-+18051111.jpg

Wasps are out in big numbers across Contra Costa County and this year’s record rainfall and mild temperatures are to blame.

Wasps from last year lived through the winter along with larvae and queens, according to Deborah Bass with the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District.

“Right now, the nests are pretty big because they didn't die out, so some of these nests have about 5,000 yellow jackets in them,” Bass said.

In Contra Costa County, a growing number of people are calling for help to get rid of the insects, Bass said.

In 2015, the district received just 94 calls to remove wasp nests in the county. That number jumped to 230 in 2016. In the first seven months of 2017, the district has already fielded 376 calls for help – that’s a 60-plus percent increase.

It's a good idea to stay away from the insects because when one yellow jacket wasp gets alarmed, they all do, Bass said.

“They release a pheromone (that) tells all of the other yellow jackets that there's a problem so that would be hazardous and it's better to call a qualified pest control operator,” she explained.

Mosquito and Vector Control Districts across the Bay Area will get rid of ground wasp nests for free. They will not, however, spray nests in the trees or other above-ground places.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Prevent Blaze From Damaging Fremont Mobile Home]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 19:33:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Firefighters_Prevent_Blaze_From_Damaging_Fremont_Mobile_Home.jpg

A brush fire in Fremont came dangerously close to a mobile home park on Friday. Firefighters say flames sparked in a homeless encampment around 2:30 p.m. Neighbors say the homeless encampment has been there for years, but city officials help by cutting dry grass along nearby railroad tracks cut so a fire, like Friday’s, doesn’t get out of control. Chuck Coppola reports.]]>
<![CDATA[2 Shooting Suspects Arrested After Search in San Leandro]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 23:47:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sl+police+search-0727.jpg

Police arrested two suspects in a San Leandro drive-by shooting late Thursday after a massive manhunt that involved a shelter in place in a residential neighborhood.

Patrol officers, K-9 units, SWAT teams and a helicopter were in the area of Arthur Avenue, Jean Way, Midway Avenue and North Boulevard, as two suspects remained at large after shooting into an occupied vehicle, police said.

Police initially said they were searching for at least three suspects.

Earlier Thursday, the suspects drove up to an occupied vehicle and opened fire, police said. Two people in the occupied vehicle suffered non-life-threatening wounds, they said.

The suspect vehicle was pursued into the neighborhood, where the suspects bailed on foot, police said. The residential neighborhood is near the junction of state Highway 112 and Interstate 880.

The shooting occurred near Davis Street and Douglas Drive, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Wages War on Hazing Culture That Led to Son's Death]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:38:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Debbie+Smith+Lecutring1.jpg

It's been over 12 years since Chico State University student Matt Carrington died in a gruesome fraternity hazing ritual. 

It was a chilly February night during "Hell Week" — a 5-day hazing spree — when the 21-year-old pledge was ordered to do calisthenics in the sewage-soaked basement of the Chi Tau fraternity house.

For hours, fraternity brothers forced Carrington and another student to drink water from a five-gallon jug, which they repeatedly refilled. Large fans blasted the two pledges with icy cold air as they vomited and urinated on themselves. 

Later that night, Carrington collapsed, drained of life-sustaining electrolytes. It would be more than an hour before anyone would call for help. The water intoxication ritual — a 20-year tradition at the fraternity — caused swelling of his brain, seizures and, ultimately, heart failure.

Carrington's mother, Debbie Smith, relives that day over and over: a voice on the phone telling her that Carrington was critically ill, jumping in the car and racing to the Chico hospital only to arrive too late, identifying her son as he lay on a cold gurney.

It all amounts to a briar patch of painful memories and her only recourse has been to find purpose from within the thicket. 

"That was the instant that our lives changed ... it's separated into before that day and after that day," Smith said in a recent interview at her Pleasant Hill home, where framed pictures of Carrington and her youngest son, Travis, are perched on almost every surface in the living room. “And it took a while for us to get to this place, where we could talk about it.” 

Once hounded by the press, Smith is now courting it in hopes of raising awareness about her burgeoning advocacy group called the Anti-Hazing Awareness Movement or AHA! Movement for short. She successfully petitioned five Bay Area cities — Concord, Clayton, Martinez, Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg — to designate July as Anti-Hazing Awareness Month. And, on August 25, she is hosting what she hopes will be a massive fundraiser to sustain future advocacy work in middle schools.

To her credit, Smith has already made extraordinary strides. “Matt’s Law,” the famous piece of California legislation that allows for felony prosecution in hazing cases, was inspired by her son’s death. She lobbied hard for its passage in 2006. But that law only focuses on what happens after a hazing accident has occurred, and Smith is laser-focused on prevention. She has spent countless hours pouring over research about hazing, becoming a reluctant expert on a topic that, through her eldest son's absence, haunts her daily. 

“When it happened, I didn’t even know there was anything called a 'Hell Week,'” Smith said. “We didn’t know what they were talking about. So, right off the bat, I realized I was going to have to learn what hazing was so that I could educate others.” 

Friends and family describe Smith’s mission as unrelenting — if there’s a new case, a new study, she knows about it. Her son, Travis, said he admired her tenacity and unwavering dedication to both her family and her advocacy. 

“When it first happened, she wanted to make sure everyone else was good in the family,” Travis said. “That was her first priority. And then when she decided to tackle 'Matt’s Law,' she did all of that while still making sure that everyone else was OK.” 

Smith was careful to note that she will always be a mother first and an advocate second. It is the love for her youngest son that propelled her through the crippling grief.

“He is the reason I am still here,” Smith said. “If I wouldn't have had him when Matt was killed, I don't know if I could have gone on; the pain was too great. But I am hoping I set a good example by not letting my devastation destroy me and being able to always put him first, no matter what.”

Although universities across the country have imposed zero-tolerance policies on hazing, similar rituals have claimed 30 more lives since Carrington was killed.

On February 2, 2017 — the 12th anniversary of Carrington's death — a 19-year-old man pledging a Penn State fraternity sustained major head trauma after participating in a drinking challenge called "The Gauntlet." Eighteen people have been charged with felonies, including reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence, and involuntary manslaughter, in connection with the teen's death.

Smith believes such incidents are bound to follow unless the hazing culture is addressed early on in classrooms. By the time students arrive at university, they have already been conditioned to accept hazing as an integral part of the college experience, she said. 

“By that point, you’re so brainwashed into believing that it’s OK that you’re just like, 'I’m almost done, I’m almost done,'” she explained. “And that’s how you get into a situation like the one in the basement.” 

A University of Maine study found that 55 percent of college students involved in groups and organizations have experienced or witnessed hazing — and that's a more conservative estimate. Other studies say the number is as high as 65 or 70 percent.

To combat that normalization, Smith said that hazing should be confronted with the same severity and repetition that goes into an anti-bullying curriculum. Parents, too, need to be involved in the discussion.

When Smith speaks about her conversations with Carrington before he died, it’s clear she wishes she knew more. When she pushed her son to answer questions, he said he “didn’t want to talk about it.” The shame and secrecy associated with being hazed prevents constructive dialogue, she believes. 

“Hazing gets so confused with bullying that it often gets swept under everything,” Smith said. “But the biggest difference is that you bully the people you don’t like, and you haze the people you do. Hazing has a purpose. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s choreographed...and we need to teach our young people to recognize it.” 

And, even when a person recognizes its dangers, realizing that it’s OK to back out — to say “I’ve had enough” — is a difficult lesson in itself. The threat of ostracization from a social clique can be a powerful incentive, especially when someone has already weathered exhaustion and humiliation in order to belong, Smith said.

She describes her son as someone who always strived to do his best, a stalwart who overcame whatever hurdles crossed his path. Those same qualities that made Carrington a good student, a good friend, a good athlete, also made him a perfect victim for hazing. And there are others like him, who Smith is hell-bent on reaching.

“What’s really important to me is to not let another parent suffer the way we’re suffering, and have that worst day of their life to live over and over and over again,” she said. “We have to just move forward with this.”

You can find out more about the Anti-Hazing Awareness Movement on its website. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Ex-Deputy to Stand Trial in Teen Sex Abuse Scandal]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:07:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-27-2017-ricardo-perez1.jpg

A former Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy was ordered to stand trial Thursday on three charges in connection with a sexual exploitation scandal linked to several Bay Area law enforcement agencies.

Ricardo Perez, 29, will stand trial on a felony charge of oral copulation with a minor and misdemeanor charges of engaging in lewd conduct in public.

The victim, Jasmine Abuslin, former referred to as Celeste Guap, worked as a prostitute and was only 17 at the time of an encounter with Perez in July 2015. She testified at the preliminary hearing today in Dublin.

Abuslin says it all began on Facebook where the two privately messaged each other naked photos of themselves. Then they met for sex 6 or 7 times before her 18th birthday.

"He's clearly a person who took advantage of a very young woman," said Abuslin's attorney, John Burris.

Abuslin admitted under cross-examination from Perez's attorney that she lied about her age, saying she was in her 20s, and told the former deputy that she was married with four children.

But Alameda County prosecutor Sabrina Farrell said during arguments at the end of the hearing that it was unreasonable for Perez to believe that, based on his interactions with her.

"His only focus was on what she could do for him sexually," Farrell said.

Abuslin testified that she told Perez the truth about her age after she turn 18. She also told him she was a prostitute and was having sex with other officers.

"I like a man in uniform" Abuslin said she texted him. But she said that didn't seem matter to Perez, who replied, "No wonder you're so good."

Perez, who remains free from jail on his own recognizance, will return to court on Aug. 10.

"If I was his lawyer, I'd find a way to plead guilty so I wouldn't continue to embarrass my family and friends," Burris said.

Perez is one of several law enforcement officers, including many from the Oakland Police Department, who have been charged in connection with the wide-raning sex abuse scandal.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Family of Man Who Died in Police Custody Takes Legal Action]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:32:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/humberto+martinez-0726.jpg

The family of a man who died in Pittsburg police custody last year is taking legal action against the city, the police department and the officers involved.

Humberto Martinez, 32, died a year ago after Pittsburg officers Tased and beat him, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Oakland.

Police said that on July 26, 2016, they attempted a traffic stop on Martinez for an expired license plate registration. Martinez then led police on a short chase to a residence, where a violent struggle ensued. Police said at one point during the struggle, Martinez bit one of the officers.

Officers used a Taser on Martinez, but it was not effective, police said. They eventually got him handcuffed, and moments later, he was unresponsive, police said. Martinez was transported to a hospital, where he later died.

The incident was captured on video, which is currently in the possession of the Pittsburg Police Department.

According to an autopsy, officers broke nine ribs on Martinez’s left side, seven ribs on his right side and fractured his thyroid cartilage in his neck from a chokehold, among other severe injuries, according to the complaint.

Martinez had a criminal history, having served time in prison, and was on probation and had an outstanding arrest warrant, police said.

Photo Credit: Pittsburg PD]]>
<![CDATA[4 Suspects Rob Teenage Ice Cream Vendor at Gunpoint: Police]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:18:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-26-2017-ice-cream-truck-robbery.jpg

Concord police are searching for four men who last week allegedly robbed a teenage ice cream pushcart vendor at gunpoint.

The suspects approached a 15-year-old boy around 4:20 p.m. on July 20 near Sunshine Drive and Detroit Avenue, police said. One of them was armed with a small black handgun.

The group demanded that the victim empty his pockets so the teenager handed them his cell phone and around $100 that he had earned by selling ice cream.

The suspects, who did not injure the teen, then ran away toward Detroit Avenue. 

A nearby surveillance camera captured footage of the crime.

People with information about the case are asked to call 925-603-5817 or leave an anonymous tip at 925-671-5836.

Photo Credit: Concord Police Department]]>
<![CDATA['13 Reasons Why' Films Second Season in Martinez]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 11:34:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/13reasons_.jpg

Several streets in downtown Martinez closed on Wednesday to accommodate filming for the second season of Netflix's hit show "13 Reasons Why." 

The financial building at 625 Court St. and the Fightkore mixed martial arts business at 816 Main St. closed until 8 p.m. to accommodate the filming schedule.

Paramount Studios — which declined to comment for this article — sent a letter explaining the road closures to residents, tipping off young fans who showed up in force to watch the shoot.

Crew members asked that press and onlookers refrain from taking photographs that depict set pieces, fearing that sought-after spoilers would leak on the internet. Netflix has released few precious details about the show's much-anticipated second season. 

At around 1:30 p.m., crews and extras were seen gathering on the steps of the financial building. A group of young girls became excited when they saw an extra holding a sign that read "Justice for Hannah," a character who died in the first season of the teen drama.

"We're hoping to see if we can see any of the characters," said Kyra Togni, who came with her 10-year-old sister, Darby. "It just seems cool to watch them film in such a small town." 

Togni said she enjoyed the show because it had an "emotional" and "positive message." 

The show centers on the fictional town of Crestmont, where a 16-year-old girl — Hannah Baker — commits suicide after being sexually assaulted. The show's focus on suicide and depression has made it controversial among some parents, who fear that the show glorifies suicide and may be triggering to children grappling with trauma. Others have praised the series for its realistic approach to high school politics, and have said that its overarching anti-bullying theme is one of importance.  

Pivotal scenes from the first season of the show — including the exterior shots of Baker's Pharmacy and Monet's Coffee Shop — were filmed in Vallejo and parts of the North Bay. You can take a virtual tour of the filming locations here.

Photo Credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Leaders Focus on Sustainable Growth]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 05:58:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/Close5Header.jpg

Leaders from all nine Bay Area counties on Wednesday will meet to discuss a plan focused on improving housing, jobs and infrastructure in the region by 2040.

The concept, coined "Plan Bay Area 2040," hopes to pack 820,000 more housing units into the Bay Area and add 1.3 million more jobs between now and 23 years down the road. Most of those additions will be made in and around San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, but leaders will also look to expand in smaller cities such as Mountain View, Emeryville and Richmond.

Leaders will also tackle traffic concerns and formulate potential solutions, which could be paid for by $303 billion in expected revenue from federal and local levels over next 20-plus years.

Keeping an eye on the environment, the plan complies with Senate Bill 375, which aims to keep the state on track with sustainable strategies. The bill calls for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to transportation and makes sure to focus on creating adequate housing for the growing population.

The meeting slated to take place in San Francisco at 7 p.m. is expected to welcome representatives from more than 100 Bay Area cities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Friend in Disbelief Over Oakland Man's Terrorism Charges]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 23:19:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0725-2017-AmerAlhaggagi.jpg

A high school friend paints a different picture of Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, an Oakland man indicted by the feds for terrorism charges.

NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit first broke the news that the 22-year-old Alhaggagi, a Berkeley High School graduate, was indicted late last week for attempting to provide support to the terrorist group ISIS.

Ray Martinez, who was just 14 when he met Alhaggagi, spoke exclusively to NBC Bay Area on Tuesday. Martinez said he cannot believe his friend has been indicted for terrorism charges and does not know if he ever will.

Martinez first met Alhaggagi during a soccer class at Berkeley High when the two were freshmen.

"He was one of the first people I met at Berkeley High School," Martinez said. He added Alhaggagi was playful, friendly and not the person described by a federal agent during a December court recording.

Federal prosecutors in the December detention hearing recounted in detail conversations dating back to last July that Alhaggagi had with FBI informants posing as ISIS sympathizers.

“I live close to San Francisco, that’s like the gay capital of the world,” Alhaggagi allegedly told an FBI informant during an online conversation. “I’m going to handle them right. LOL. I’m going to plant a bomb in a gay club. By god, I’m going to tear up the city. The whole Bay Area is going up in flames. My ideas are genius.”

Court records go further and said Alhaggagi had a goal to kill 10,000 people and target San Francisco's Chinatown, downtown and Mission Street -- quite the opposite to the person Martinez remembers.

"It's shocking," Martinez said. "I wonder how much of that he meant, and how much he might have just said for wrong reasons."

Martinez also said Alhaggagi "always stood up against bullies." He wonders if his old high school friend began to see the United States as a bully.

"I think there has to be some degree of truth to what happened," Martinez said.

When asked if the boy he met on that soccer field eight years ago changed, Martinez said "it's hard to say to what extent. I have conflicting thoughts about it."

Alhaggagi's attorney told NBC Bay Area his client was coaxed into the conversation by undercover agents and that his client does not support any terrorist organization.

Liz Wagner and Michael Bott contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Ray Martinez]]>
<![CDATA[Man, Dog Rescued After Kayak Overturns Near Benicia Bridge]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:35:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CapsizeBenicia.jpg

U.S. Coast Guard officials rescued a man and his dog from the water after their kayak capsized Tuesday evening near Benicia.

At 5:44 p.m., Coast Guard officials received a call about an overturned kayak in the Carquinez Strait near the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.

A boat crew from the Coast Guard station in Vallejo located the man's kayak, which had live bait on board, and began searching for him.

The boat crew, with help from a Coast Guard helicopter crew, searched for nearly two hours until the crew on a nearby barge spotted the man. He was clinging to a piling near a Union Pacific Railroad bridge about seven miles from his kayak, Coast Guard officials said.

At 7:30 p.m., the Vallejo boat crew rescued the man, who was wearing a life jacket, as well as his dog.

The man was treated by Benicia Fire Department paramedics for mild hypothermia. He said he'd been in the water for three hours before he climbed onto the piling, Coast Guard officials said.

Petty Officer First Class Christopher Mullen of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco said in a statement that this case is a great example of how vital it is for boaters to wear life jackets.

"If the man hadn't been wearing his life jacket, the situation would have likely ended in tragedy," Mullen said.

Coast Guard officials said the water temperature at the time was 71 degrees.

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
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<![CDATA[Feds Say Oakland ISIS Sympathizer Wanted to Kill Thousands]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:11:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0725-2017-OaklandIndictment.jpg

A young Oakland man arrested last year on terrorism-related charges conspired to kill 10,000 people across the Bay Area by blowing up gay clubs in San Francisco, planting backpack bombs on the University of California, Berkeley campus, setting fire to the Berkeley Hills and selling cocaine laced with rat poison, according federal court records obtained by NBC Bay Area.

NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit first broke the news that Berkeley High School graduate Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 22, was indicted late last week for attempting to provide support to the terrorist group ISIS.

During a December detention hearing, federal prosecutors recounted in detail conversations dating back to last July that Alhaggagi had with FBI informants posing as ISIS sympathizers.

“I live close to San Francisco, that’s like the gay capital of the world,” Alhaggagi allegedly told an FBI informant during an online conversation. “I’m going to handle them right. LOL. I’m going to plant a bomb in a gay club. By god, I’m going to tear up the city. The whole Bay Area is going up in flames. My ideas are genius.”

But Alhaggagi’s attorney at the time argued his client never actually intended to commit those atrocities.

“The real ultimate issue is how much of these allegations are very stupid and very inappropriate and very disturbing puffery, and how much was intended to be acted out,” Federal defender Hanni Fakhoury said during the hearing.

Prosecutors say Alhaggagi’s actions went beyond “puffery.”

During the detention hearing, they said Alhaggagi met face-to-face with an undercover FBI agent posing as an ISIS sympathizer, taking him on a tour of the Bay Area and pointing out possible targets for an attack. He also provided three backpacks that could be used to carry bombs to the undercover agent, according to federal prosecutors.

When federal agents served a search warrant at Alhaggagi’s residence, prosecutors say they found a bomb making manual on the desktop of his computer.

At one point, prosecutors say Alhaggagi even asked an undercover agent if he should kill his own friends.

“Do you think I should kill my non-believer friends?” Alhaggagi allegedly said. “That’s like sending an all-out statement that no one is safe. I’ll just call them over and tie them up and execute them.”

According to prosecutors, Alhaggagi planned to flee to Mexico after carrying out those attacks. From there, prosecutors say he planned to join Islamic State fighters abroad.

Despite those disturbing conversations, Fakhoury said his client’s actions tell a different story.

When prosecutors brought up a trip to Saudi Arabia they found concerning, Fakhoury said Alhaggagi was merely attending his sister’s wedding. Prosecutors alleged Alhaggagi told an undercover agent he’d purchased rat poison using stolen credit cards, but Fakhoury said federal agents never found evidence that actually took place. When prosecutors claimed Alhaggagi intended to use stolen credit cards to purchase materials for terror attacks, Fakhoury said the only items his client actually bought with those stolen cards were clothing from an online retailer.

“There’s a disconnect between his words and actions,” Fakhoury said.

During the hearing, federal prosecutors discussed how they were able to track the disturbing online comments to Alhaggagi.

Initially, undercover agents in communication with Alhaggagi were unaware of his true identity or where he lived. However, remarks about wanting to set fire to the Berkeley Hills gave investigators their first clue Alhaggagi lived in the Bay Area. When Alhaggagi allegedly claimed he would join a local police department to steal weapons if he couldn’t make bombs himself, investigators began contacting Bay Area law enforcement agencies. They eventually found an application Alhaggagi submitted to the Oakland Police Department. When an undercover agent met with Alhaggagi for the first time, they confirmed he was their suspect.

But a few months later, prosecutors say Alhaggagi cut off communication with those undercover agents. Agents ultimately arrested him on identity theft and fraud charges relating to the online clothing purchase he made using a stolen credit card. They eventually added the charge of providing support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Alhaggagi’s family said in a written statement given to NBC Bay Area that he loved this country and never intended to carry out a violent attack.

“We were shocked to learn of the accusations involving Amer. Amer is not and has never been radicalized in any way. He grew up in this country and loves it here. He is peaceful and kind. He was very young and immature when he got involved in the online conversations that are the basis for these accusations. He did not think those conversations were serious and he never had any intent to harm anyone. We love him and continue to fully support him.”

Alhaggagi’s arraignment has not yet been scheduled. NBC Bay Area will continue to follow the story and provide updates as more information becomes public.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hopes Grow on Berkeley 'Wishing' Tree]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:08:20 -0700 This Berkeley tree is located on public sidewalk, giving the neighborhood free reign to add to the tree's many messages. A quick perusal on Pinterest will show you that private Wishing Trees are also popular. (Apartment dwellers need not fret; Wishing shrubs work just as well.)]]> This Berkeley tree is located on public sidewalk, giving the neighborhood free reign to add to the tree's many messages. A quick perusal on Pinterest will show you that private Wishing Trees are also popular. (Apartment dwellers need not fret; Wishing shrubs work just as well.)]]>http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wishingtreethumb.jpg

Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Among Best Big Cities to Live In: Report]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 08:40:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-76380713.jpg

The latest "Best Big Cities to Live In" list has been released, and one Bay Area city was good enough to crack the top 10.

San Jose, dubbed as the capital of Silicon Valley, was named as the tenth-best big city in the nation to call home, according to a report published by WalletHub. The report examined a slew of factors including affordability, income growth, average working hours, crime rates and even walkability.

San Francisco followed by locking up the No. 16 spot on the list of 62 large cities while Oakland settling in at No. 50, according to the report.

Virginia Beach, Virginia was crowned as the No. 1 big city in the country, edging out Seattle and Pittsburgh, respectively.

As for the rest of the Golden State, San Diego topped the charts by nabbing the No. 4 spot on the list, according to the report. Sacramento checked in at No. 21, and Los Angeles earned the No. 29 selection.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wanted Man Spits Feces at Richmond Police Officers]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:43:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/20374569_1771336166215342_7266640664413104237_n.jpg

A wanted man who was arrested last week in Richmond allegedly became combative and then defecated, ate his feces and spat it at officers in a police car while being transported to a county jail, forcing authorities to shut down a highway, police said.

According to Richmond police in a Facebook post Monday, officers responded to the North Richmond area around 6:30 p.m. on July 17 on a report of a possible wanted person.

When officers arrived and detained the suspect, he allegedly gave a false name. When the suspect learned there was an arrest warrant for that person, he gave officers his real name, police said.

Officers learned he also had a warrant out for his arrest. Police took him into custody for that warrant and also false impersonation. At the Richmond Police Department, officers learned the suspect was also on parole.

According to police, the suspect allegedly became "uncooperative and combative with officers" during the booking process. As a result, police decided to drive him to the county jail in Martinez.

While in the back seat of a police car, heading eastbound on Interstate 80, the suspect allegedly slipped his cuffed hands from behind him to his front. He then removed his clothing and dropped them through a window and onto the highway.

The suspect then allegedly defecated and began to eat his feces, which he spat at the officers, police said.

The officers immediately pulled the vehicle over on I-80 and called for assistance. Additional officers arrived to help place the suspect into a compliance safety device, police said.

California Highway Patrol officers helped shut down the freeway to ensure safety of the officers and the suspect. Once the suspect was safely secured, he was taken to the county jail, police said. His name was not immediately released.

No one was injured and the officers involved were cleared of any biohazards, police said.

Photo Credit: Richmond Police Department via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Cal/OSHA, Chevron Reach Settlement Over 2012 Refinery Fire]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:21:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP697454442021.jpg

Chevron and the state Department of Occupational Safety and Health on Monday announced a settlement that calls for equipment and safety upgrades worth around $20 million following a 2012 fire at the oil giant's Richmond refinery.

The settlement was reached after Chevron appealed citations issued by Cal/OSHA for 17 workplace safety and health citations in connection with the fire at its Richmond refinery on Aug. 6, 2012.

Six of those alleged violations were considered serious and nine willful in nature, according to Cal/OSHA.

State regulators have now agreed to drop nine violations and downgrade five others in return for Chevron's agreement to a set of safety measures.

Those measures include the replacement of all carbon-steel piping used to transport corrosive liquids with chrome-alloy piping, which is more corrosion-resistant, and the development and implementation of procedures to monitor equipment and alert operators when it should be replaced.

The new piping is in excess of current standards for refineries, and the monitoring procedures are considered a new and innovative practice, regulators said Monday.

In addition, Chevron has agreed to provide specialized training to fire department personnel working at the refinery on incident command and hazard recognition and emergency response, as well as eight additional hours of process safety management to refinery operators.

The refinery will also donate $200,000 to the Regional Occupational Program in Richmond, a job readiness program intended to help prepare students for jobs in the petrochemical and related industries, and pay citation penalties of more than $100,000.

The fire, which triggered a widespread shelter-in-place order, injured three Chevron employees and caused hundreds of residents to complain of respiratory problems.

Photo Credit: AP file]]>
<![CDATA[Niles Canyon Road in Fremont Closed Due to Fatal Crash]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:35:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/niles+crash-0724.jpg

A fatal car crash Monday afternoon has forced the closure of Niles Canyon Road from Interstate Highway 680 to Mission Boulevard in Fremont for several hours, police said.

Fremont police weren't immediately available to provide details about the crash, which was reported at 12:34 p.m. Monday.

Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said drivers are being asked to avoid northbound Highway 680 because the last time Niles Canyon Road was closed during the commute period, traffic on the highway "was an absolute nightmare."

Bosques said people who are driving from the South Bay or the Peninsula toward eastern Alameda County should get on northbound Interstate Highway 880 to eastbound state Highway 238 to Interstate Highway 580 and "avoid 680 at all costs."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Investigating Freeway Shooting in Concord]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:16:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0724-2017-ConcordFreewayShooting.jpg

California Highway Patrol officers are seeking a suspect who shot at a car on state Highway 242 on Saturday night, shattering a rear window of the victim's vehicle.

The shooting was reported at 9:13 p.m. on northbound Highway 242 at Concord Avenue.

Officers found the victim at a Chevron gas station on Willow Pass Road off of state Highway 4 with his Toyota Prius, which had a single bullet go through the rear right window, according to the CHP.

The victim, who was not injured, said he had been driving north on Interstate Highway 680 and saw a white Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 speeding and driving in and out of traffic behind him, CHP officials said.

Once the Mercedes passed the victim, he decided to call 911 to report it and both vehicles continued onto Highway 242, where the Mercedes came to a stop on the right shoulder south of Clayton Road, according to the CHP.

The victim began to slowly drive by the Mercedes to get a good description of it and the suspect when he heard a single shot and saw his window shattered. The Mercedes then drove away and possibly exited onto Concord Avenue, CHP officials said.

The victim described the suspect as a white man in his late 20s or early 30s with light or dirty brown hair, and said the Mercedes had only paper plates.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the CHP's Contra Costa office at 925-646-4980.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Family of Brain-Dead California Girl Fights to Reverse Death]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:31:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/01-08-2014-jahi-mcmath.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO - More than three years after a coroner declared a teen girl dead, a Northern California judge is deciding whether to revoke her death certificate.

In court documents filed last month, retired neurologist Dr. Alan Shewmon says videos recorded by Jahi McMath's family from 2014 to 2016 show McMath is still alive.

Shewmon is a longtime critic of how brain death is defined and has filed similar court papers supporting efforts by McMath's family to undo the death certificate.

Doctors declared Jahi brain dead in December 2013 after a routine tonsillectomy went awry. Her family moved her to New Jersey because of that state's different laws.

A judge heard arguments July 13 and will issue a decision later.

The case rekindles debate over parents' right to choose childrens' medical treatment.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing at Hayward Airport]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:12:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0724-2017-HaywardLanding.jpg

A small plane with landing gear problems made an emergency landing in Hayward Monday afternoon, firefighters said.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Another Fire at Oakland Homeless Encampment]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:55:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0724-2017-OaklandFire.jpg

Homeless encampments popping up in Oakland have triggered healthy and safety concerns.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to a fire Monday morning at a homeless encampment at West Grand Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way near Interstate 980 in West Oakland. The blaze followed a Sunday fire just a few blocks away at another homeless encampment at Fifth and Market streets.

Since January, firefighters said they have responded to at least 60 similar fires in Oakland.

"I do know a majority of them are accidental in nature," said Melinda Drayton with the Oakland Fire Department. "Whether or not propane candles or open flame, the majority are accidental."

City officials said they are dealing with a crisis situation. The number of homeless camps in Oakland has grown 30 percent in the past two years. City officials in response has assembled a special encampment management team.

"Encampments are not safe places to live on any number of levels," Oakland Assistant City Administrator Joe Devries said.

Those who live and work next to the camps said it has become a serious health and safety hazard. They add the city is not doing enough.

"Do your job and take care of us. You're here to govern," business owner Ray Mazur said. "These people are breaking the law."

Photo Credit: Paul Paz y Miño
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<![CDATA[Dozens of Cars Burglarized in Livermore, Brentwood]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:12:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fairmount+Broken+Car+Window+Car+Vandal.JPG

Police are looking for suspects who burglarized dozens of vehicles in Livermore and Brentwood last week.

Officers responded to the 1900 block of Hawk Street in Livermore at 4:28 a.m. Friday on reports of multiple vehicle alarms sounding, according to police.

They arrived to find several vehicles with broken windows.

Officers searched the area, including Tiger Lily Commonand Tiffany Common, and found 34 vehicles that had been burglarized or vandalized, police said.

A resident later reported seeing a white Lexus in the area when the alarms sounded, and investigators located surveillance showing the vehicle coming into the area shortly after 4 a.m., according to police.

Four suspects smashed out windows during the burglaries and then fled when the vehicle alarms sounded, police said.

Investigators later learned that Brentwood recently had a similar string of vehicle burglaries in which the suspects stole the white Lexus.

Police from both cities are still working to identify the suspects, who remain at large.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Hiker Finds Body in Anthony Chabot Regional Park]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 07:38:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hiking-generic-pic-san-diego.jpg

A body was found Sunday evening in Anthony Chabot Regional Park, an East Bay Regional Park District police sergeant said.

According to Sgt. Tyrone Davis, at 6:32 p.m. police received a call from a park visitor who was hiking and found a body.

East Bay Regional Park District police and Alameda County Fire Department officials arrived and located the body, which paramedics pronounced deceased, Davis said.

According to Davis, the body appeared to be that of a white male in his 20s.

Police are currently investigating this case. The identity of the body will not be released until the Alameda County Coroner's Office has confirmed the death, Davis said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[95-Year-Old Woman Dies in Collision Near Brentwood]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:35:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance_generic2shotTele.jpg

A 95-year-old woman died at a hospital following a collision Sunday afternoon in unincorporated Contra Costa County near Brentwood, California Highway Patrol officials said.

CHP officers were called at 4:11 p.m. and told of a collision involving three vehicles at Vasco and Marsh Creek roads.

According to a preliminary investigation, a red Cadillac was traveling south on Vasco Road approaching Marsh Creek Road when a white Hyundai made a left turn in front of the Cadillac.

The Cadillac struck the Hyundai, which careened through the intersection and hit a light pole, CHP Officials said.

The Cadillac then hit a black Honda that was stopped on the other side of the intersection.

CHP officials said two people in the Cadillac were taken to Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch with minor injuries.

The driver of the Honda escaped injury.

The driver of the Hyundai and his 95-year-old female passenger were injured and taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

The woman died there at 7:13 p.m. The driver is in stable condition.

Neither alcohol nor drugs played a part in the collision, CHP officials said. But the cause and how the traffic signals may have played a part in it are under investigation.

Anyone who saw the collision or the events leading up to it is asked to call CHP Officer Smith at (925) 646-4980.

<![CDATA[Oldest Man in U.S., an Oakland Native, Dies at 111]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:56:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oldest+man-0723.jpg

The oldest man in the United States, a Bay Area native, died Saturday at 111 years old at his Southern California home.

Clarence "Larry" Matthews was born in Oakland in 1906. A neighbor told KMIR in Palm Springs that Matthews, who had been living in Indian Wells, California, died peacefully in his sleep with his family by his side.

Matthews moved to Indian Wells in the 1970s and starting a successful construction business in Huntington Beach.

Matthews lived through both world wars and supported his family through the Great Depression.

Photo Credit: KMIR]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Breaks Out at Apartment Building in Berkeley]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 10:00:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SD-Fire-Engine-Generic.jpg

Firefighters quickly contained a fire in a Berkeley apartment building in the 2300 block of Durant Avenue Sunday morning, a battalion chief said.

Durant Avenue is now open and residents have been allowed back inside the building, Berkeley Fire Department Battalion Chief Paul Cavagnaro said.

The department got a report of the fire at the Metropolitan apartment building at 9:18 a.m. and got the fire under control in 15 minutes, Cavagnaro said. The fire broke out on the roof, damaging planter boxes and furniture there, he said.

Residents of the building smoke on the roof and put the cigarettes out in the planter boxes, Cavagnaro said, and this might have sparked the blaze. The cause is still being investigated, he said.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies After Being Ejected From Car in Pleasant Hill]]>Sat, 22 Jul 2017 16:44:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+line+generic+with+sirens.jpg

A man was partially ejected from a car and died in a two-car crash in Pleasant Hill Saturday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Around 10:14 a.m., the CHP got a call about a collision on southbound Taylor Boulevard just north of Withers Avenue, police said. Officers learned that a Toyota minivan had collided with a Lexus sedan.

In an initial investigation, it appeared that the only occupant of the minivan, a woman, was driving southbound on Taylor Boulevard and veered to the left out of her lane, hitting the Lexus sedan, police said.

The Lexus overturned and a man in the right front passenger seat of the Lexus was partially ejected and died at the scene, police said. The man hasn't been identified yet.

The driver and another passenger of the Lexus were injured and were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek with injuries that weren't deemed life-threatening, police said.

The driver of the minivan wasn't injured, according to police. Neither alcohol nor drugs were a factor in the collision, police said.

Anyone who saw the crash or events leading up to it is asked to contact the CHP office in Martinez at (925) 646-4980.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Man Scores $1 Million After Buying Lottery Ticket in Antioch]]>Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:39:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ca-lottery.jpg

One man's $10 lottery ticket purchased in Antioch is now worth a cool $1 million.

Kenny Krivanek recently snagged the lucky Golden Ticket Scratcher from a 7-Eleven store located at 3629 E. 18th St. in the East Bay city, California Lottery officials said Friday.

"I’m going to walk around with a smile every day," Krivanek told the California Lottery after scratching his way to life-changing fortune.

Krivanek didn't wait long to test his luck after making the purchase. He scratched the ticket right away before utter disbelief overcame him.

"I was shocked," he told the California Lottery. "I freaked out and called my wife."

As for the future, Krivanek plans to dedicate his newfound winnings to bills and maybe a new home.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens of Animals Removed From Two Residences in Antioch]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 16:49:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cat-generic-103131833.jpg

Police in Antioch this week responded to two incidents involving welfare checks on animals and ended up facilitating the removal of more than 70 animals from two residences.

On Monday around 6:30 p.m., officers with the Antioch Police Department responded to a residence in the 1800 block of Terrace Drive for an animal welfare check.

Animal control officers also responded to the residence and ended up collecting 46 cats from inside the house, police said. As of Friday, animal control officers returned to the property three times in an attempt to collect the remaining four cats in the area.

On Thursday at 3:29 p.m., police officers responded to a residence in the 900 block of Barnsley Court for an animal welfare check and discovered there were numerous cats, dogs, ducks, rabbits, doves and a rooster in the home.

Animal control officers responded to the residence and helped collect 29 animals over two days.

Police said there were still 12 cats at the residence as of Friday.

Police said both incidents are under investigation.

The animals are currently being housed at Antioch Animal Services at 300 L Street in Antioch.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vandals Targeting Brentwood Homes with Eggs, M80s: Police]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 09:40:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0721-2017-BrentwoodVandalism.jpg

A Brentwood community is being victimized by what they believe is a group of juveniles egging their homes.

In one case the vandals threw illegal fireworks at a front door. The incidents have left residents angry and in some cases frightened.

Surveillance video taken from one victim's home shows what appears to be a large group of teenagers throwing raw eggs at a Brentwood house.

Another video taken July 3 shows someone tossing what appears to be an M80 illegal firework toward a home. One homeowner is feeling harassed with his home targeted three times this month. In those incidents eggs where thrown on resident's home and cars.

Police report about 16 incidents of vandalism over the past three weeks. An investigator is looking into all of the incidents to see if they are all related, police said.

One homeowner concerned about the safety of his children is fed up and cannot wait for the vandals to get caught.

Meanwhile, surveillance video taken from several different sources is giving police some valuable leads.

Police said if they catch the suspects and they turn out to be juveniles, their parents could be held liable.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police ID Suspect in Fatal Shooting Outside Ice Cream Shop]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:55:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/neal-0720.jpg

Pittsburg police are looking for a 19-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting another man outside a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop Wednesday.

Detectives say that Larry Daryl Neal Jr. allegedly shot the victim, a 43-year-old Bethel Island man, several times in front of the store at 4493 Century Blvd. at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Officers found the victim, whose name has not been released, and performed CPR on him before he was taken to Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, where he died from his injuries a short while later.

Police say Neal is considered to be armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Pittsburg police at (925) 252-4040.

Photo Credit: Pittsburg PD]]>
<![CDATA[Man Beaten By Mob of Teens at Richmond BART Station]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:47:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0721-LandonSimms.jpg

Police said a man was savagely beaten by a mob of teenagers at the Richmond BART station.

BART police responded at 11:26 a.m. Thursday to several 911 calls reporting five or six juveniles were assaulting a man and kicking him in the head. Richmond Mayor Tom Butt was at the station and witnessed the attack.

"His whole face was bloody covered in blood," Butt said of the victim, identified as Landon Simms.

The mayor saw the tail end of the attack and said about 20 teenagers were recording the beating with their phones.

Butt called police and said he was shocked nobody from BART was there to help. The station agent was also nowhere to be seen, the mayor said.

"It's a big problem," Butt said. "There should be some responsible security person there at all times."

Responding officers searched the area, but were unable to locate the teens. 

Simms said he has to have stitches inside and outside of his scalp.

Meanwhile, his family is outraged.

"This has got to stop," said Mary Green, Simms' victim's mother-in-law. "They got to do more foot patrol."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Teacher Charged in 2016 Protest at State Capitol]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:29:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/felarca+arrest-0720.jpg

Veteran activist and Berkeley school teacher Yvette Felarca has been charged with assault, participating in a riot and inciting a riot for her actions in a faceoff between white nationalist groups and counter-protesters in Sacramento last year, prosecutors said Thursday.

Felarca, 47, who teaches at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley and is also known as Yvonne Felarca, was arrested in Southern California on Tuesday night, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office said.

Authorities said that Felarca, a longtime organizer for the activist group By Any Means Necessary, was captured on video hitting a member of the Traditionalist Worker's Party, a white nationalist group that had taken out permits for a rally on the west steps of the state Capitol on June 26, 2016.

Felarca and other counter-protesters blocked the rally by chasing and hitting and even stabbing members of the Traditional Worker's Party.

The Sacramento County DA's Office said the California Highway Patrol conducted an extensive investigation of the rally and counter-protest and requested arrest warrants for 101 people on 85 counts of unlawful assembly, 55 counts of conspiracy to unlawfully assemble and 32 counts related to the possession of illegal signs and banners.

Prosecutors said in a statement, "In several other cases, there was clear evidence of felonious conduct but the identity of the perpetrators could not be established. Unfortunately, included in this category were all of the stabbings and the attack on a local television reporter."

The Sacramento County DA said that at this point only Felarca and three other people have been arrested for their actions in the rally and counter-protest, and there are no other outstanding warrants in connection with the incident.

The Berkeley Unified School District placed Felarca on paid administrative leave after the rally but reinstated her last fall.

School district spokesman Charles Burress said Thursday that the district is still gathering information about Felarca's case and has no comment on it at this time. He said, at this point, Felarca is still employed by the district.

BAMN officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the charges that have been filed against Felarca.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[UC Berkeley Offers to Waive Venue Fee For Ben Shapiro]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:21:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/BEN+SHAPIRO+DC.jpg

Berkeley College Republicans planned speaking engagement at UC Berkeley featuring conservative author Ben Shapiro is back on, after a number of scheduling issues that have played out in the public. 

University officials wrote in an email to the Berkeley College Republicans that after "extensive efforts," they had been unable to lock down a campus venue where Shapiro could appear for the Sept. 14 talk — a move the student group had interpreted as "anti-free speech" and "unconstitutional" in a press release.

But, on Thursday, campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof told KQED that other venues were, in fact, available on the requested date, and that UC Berkeley would underwrite the additional fee for those venues. 

"We decided not to wait for (Berkeley College Republicans') response (to the email), so we went ahead and checked on those venues regardless,” Mogulof said in the interview. “And we’ve determined that there are other venues available."

The difficulty, according to the original email from campus officials to the student group, was finding a room that is large enough to fit 500 people at 7 p.m on the requested date on campus. 

In an email to NBC Bay Area, Mogulof called rumors that the Shapiro talk had been canceled by the campus "categorically false." 

But Berkeley College Republicans and Young America's Foundation — a right-wing organization that arranges college speaking tours — claimed that the scheduling issue is a long-running pretext for blocking conservative viewpoints, saying it amounted to censorship. 

"An endless stream of liberal speakers continue to be granted opportunities to speak, unobstructed by time, place or manner restrictions while conservatives are continually treated unequally and repeatedly relegated to the margins of campus activity," the groups said in a joint statement.

Special attention has been paid to UC Berkeley speaking engagements since Milo Yiannopoulos' appearance sparked protests in February. Following the fracas, President Donald Trump floated the idea of yanking federal funding from the university.

Berkeley College Republicans and Young America's Foundation also filed suit against the school earlier this year for failing to accommodate Ann Coulter back in April. 

Upon finding out that the speaking engagement was back on, Shapiro tweeted that he hopes "Berkeley keeps their word." 

Shapiro uses his web-based “The Ben Shapiro Show” and online columns to support President Donald Trump’s policies and criticize the “self-righteous media.”

“UC Berkeley’s pattern of suppressing conservative events and speakers through viewpoint-discriminatory restrictions is the basis for the lawsuit,” Berkeley College Republicans vice president Naweed Tahmas said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons ]]>
<![CDATA[AG to Block Sale of Martinez Petroleum Terminal to Valero]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:53:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/refinery6.jpg

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today said he plans to seek an injunction blocking the proposed sale of a Martinez petroleum terminal to Valero Energy Corp.

Becerra said the Plains All American Pipeline terminal is the last independently owned terminal in Northern California not controlled by a refinery.

The proposed sale would reduce competition and give refineries too much power to raise California's gas prices, which are already higher than the national average because of taxes and stricter environmental regulations, he said.

"If all the terminals are owned by refineries, they could manipulate how much gas flows," Becerra said today at an event in San Francisco. "Anti-competitive behavior is never good for consumers."

The motion for an injunction will be filed Monday in a federal anti-trust lawsuit initially filed by the state on June 30 challenging Valero's acquisition of two petroleum storage and distribution terminals owned by Plains in Martinez and Richmond. A state motion for a temporary restraining order was denied earlier this month.

Valero CEO Joe Gorder and Plains CEO Greg Armstrong issued a joint statement last week saying they are disappointed by the attorney general's actions in challenging the sale.

The companies argued that they do not compete in California and that the Federal Trade Commission has chosen to allow the sale to proceed.

"As the FTC and California Attorney General know, Valero plans to meaningfully expand capacity at both the Martinez and Richmond Terminals, which will benefit customers as well as California consumers," the statement said. "Valero and Plains All American will continue to vigorously defend the planned transaction in federal court."

A court hearing on the motion for an injunction is scheduled for mid-August, according to the attorney general's office.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[7 People Displaced, Dog Killed in Oakland Apartment Fire]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:23:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oakland+fire-0720.jpg

Firefighters extinguished a blaze that displaced seven people and killed a dog in a small apartment building in East Oakland Thursday morning, according to an Oakland Fire Department battalion chief.

Fire crews first responded to the fire in the 7800 block of Ney Avenue at about 10:50 a.m., Battalion Chief Tracey Chin said.

When firefighters arrived, they found flames coming from one of the second-floor units of the two-story, four-unit building.

Crews comprised of about 20 firefighters were able to get the blaze under control within about 45 minutes, Chin said.

One unit was heavily damaged by fire, another by smoke and six adults and one child were displaced.

Although a dog died, no one was injured in the fire. However, two neighbors got into a fight during the effort to put it out and one was sent to the hospital with a cut to his face, Chin said.

Photo Credit: @oaklandfirelive/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Coroner IDs Man Shot Dead While Pushing Baby in Stroller]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:03:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/STROLLERDEATH.jpg

Alameda County sheriff's deputies on Thursday identified a man who was gunned down while pushing a stroller with his 3-month-old child in it, and continue to search for the alleged shooter.

The victim, who was killed Wednesday, was 29-year-old Daniel Deltoro of Hayward, the sheriff's department posted on Twitter. Police said the shooter walked up to Deltoro and shot him dead in the street.

Deltoro's widow, Cheyenne, said he just got out of prison last year and had started turning his life around.

"We had a son in May, and he just wanted to live a normal life," she said. "He used to be in a gang, and he dropped out of it to start a new life, to have his family together."

Cheyenne said she didn't know who wanted her husband dead. She said they were making plans to move out of the Bay Area.

A makeshift memorial emerged Thursday on the street where Deltoro was killed.

At about 3 p.m. Wednesday, deputies received a report that shots had been fired in the 200 block of Willow Avenue, sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said.

Deputies who responded to the shooting found Deltoro on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Kelly said. The child was unharmed.

Kelly described it as "a very disturbing scene."

Investigators canvassed the area to gather information about the shooting.

"We are in the process of reuniting the child with the mother and are providing support to the family and community," Kelly said.

Deltoro’s sisters arrived in the neighborhood just hours after the shooting. One of his friends said he was happy spending time with his baby.

Sheriff’s deputies said they are not ruling out the possibility this is a gang-related shooting. 

"We believe there’s an associated vehicle, we believe there are suspects related to a vehicle," Kelly said. "Whether they got out on foot or shot from the vehicle, those are things we’re working out right now."

Kelly said there's no suspect information being released at this time. He described the area, which is near Cherryland Park, as a middle-class residential neighborhood that's not typically a high-crime area.

Anyone who has information about the shooting should call the sheriff's office at (510) 667-7721.

NBC Bay Area's Sharon Katsuda contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Alameda County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Police Issue Warning After Mountain Lion Spotted Near Cal]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:10:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-492765171.jpg

A mountain lion was spotted late Wednesday morning in the vicinity of the University of California, Berkeley campus, according to university police.

The sighting was reported at 11:57 a.m. east of the Clark Kerr Campus track on Sport Lane near 2601 Warring St. The track is at the western edge of the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve.

Deer are edible and are a major source of food for big cats. Police said that several mountain lions have been reported in the hills near the campus, as well as the carcasses of animals suspected to be their prey.

People in the area are advised to avoid hiking or jogging alone, especially at night, and to make plenty of noise while hiking so as not to surprise the lion. People should keep children and small pets close and consider carrying a stick, which can be used to "ward off" a lion attack, police said.

In the event of a lion encounter, people can avoid being attacked by giving the cat a path of escape and should not approach it or run away.

Police advise to fight back if attacked and to remain standing if possible. Other victims have fought back successfully using rocks, sticks or even their bare hands, according to police.

Photo Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Actor Bill Murray Pays Visit to Paralyzed Cal Rugby Player]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 23:55:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/murray-paylor-0719.jpg

Actor and comedian Bill Murray made a surprise visit to an injured Cal rugby player last weekend.

Murray showed up at a Colorado hospital where partially paralyzed Cal athlete Robert Paylor is undergoing rehab. Murray was photographed holding a stethoscope up to Paylor's head.

Paylor was paralyzed during a national championship rugby match at Santa Clara University on May 6. The sophomore is paralyzed below the chest and has limited motion in his arms due to a spinal injury.

Murray is currently in Napa to perform a music project Thursday at Festival Napa Valley.

<![CDATA[Search for Missing Tomales Bay Oyster Co. Owner Suspended]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:34:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0718-2017-MissingBoaterSearch.jpg

The search for Tomales Bay Oyster Co. owner Charles "Tod" Friend, who disappeared from his boat in Tomales Bay, was suspended Wednesday, a Marin County sheriff's spokesman said.

Friend, 70, of Oakland, was last seen around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. An employee of Marshall-based Hog Island Oyster Co. saw Friend's boat going in a circle with no sign of Friend aboard it, according to the sheriff's office.

"After conducting thorough searches by literally land, sea and air, no clues or information was developed to aid us in our search efforts," sheriff's Lt. Doug Pittman said. "Should any new clues or information come forward, we will reevaluate the need for whatever appropriate action will then be taken."

Investigators believe Friend was not wearing a life vest and fell off his boat.

The U.S. Coast Guard, National Park Service, the Marin County Search and Rescue team and the sheriff's dive team searched for Friend Tuesday and Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Marin County Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Reality Show Camera Crew Robbed at Gunpoint in Oakland]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:06:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/165*120/TV+camera.jpg

Four members of a reality show camera crew were robbed in Oakland by thieves who put guns to their heads and took $50,000 in equipment.

The head of the crew, 37-year-old Chris Burns, told the East Bay Times Wednesday that he and three women were filming the show "This is Summer" for AwesomenessTV that follows 17-year-olds growing up in the Bay Area.

They were wrapping up next to a pizza place late Monday night when two men put guns to their heads and said they would be hurt if they did not cooperate. The robbers took cameras, lenses, a cellphone, a laptop and more.

Oakland police have offered a $15,000 reward for information that might lead them to the suspects.

AwesomenessTV is a venture run by Dreamworks Animation that produces shows for a YouTube channel and television.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images, file]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gunned Down Outside Ice Cream Store in Pittsburg: Police]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:07:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+tape+generic1.jpg

A 43-year-old man who was shot several times outside of a Pittsburg ice cream store Wednesday afternoon succumbed to his injuries a short while later at a hospital, police said.

The shooting occurred at about 3 p.m. at the Baskin-Robbins ice cream store at 4493 Century Boulevard.

At the scene, officers found the victim suffering from several gunshot wounds. Officers performed CPR on him before he was taken to Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, where he died.

The victim, a resident of Bethel Island, has not been identified. Based on a preliminary investigation, officers believe the victim knew the shooter.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Pittsburg police at (925) 252-4040.

<![CDATA[Six Gang Members Arrested in Richmond Crackdown on Crime]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:07:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/richmond+gang-0719.jpg

Six members of a gang in Richmond were arrested Wednesday as part of a crackdown on violent crime in the East Bay city.

A task force teaming Richmond police with the FBI also seized a host of guns during the arrests. Investigators said the gang known as the Manor Boys has been linked to more than a dozen violent crimes throughout the Bay Area in the past year, including three homicide investigations.

The most recent homicide connected to the gang is the shooting death of 20-year-old Allie Sweitzer. She was shot and killed in Richmond in May. Police said it occurred during a drug deal with members of the Manor Boys.

On Monday, a teenager was arrested in that case and one other suspect is still wanted.

In addition to murder, police said the gang is involved in human trafficking, drug trafficking, armed robbery and credit card fraud.

"I give a warning to the other ones out there that you better start looking over your shoulder because they’re coming," FBI Special Agent in Charge John Bennett said. "It’s not going to be something that we are going to announce. It's going to be slowly taking apart all these gangs as we find them."

Investigators are now asking for help to track down two brothers, Teari and Josha Watts, who have been linked to violent crimes.

Police said the Manor Boys have been known in the area for decades, and their crimes have become more violent and more frequent.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Father Pushing Stroller Fatally Shot in Street Near Hayward]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:06:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hayward-shooting2-0719.jpg

A father pushing a stroller with a 3-month-old child in it was killed in a shooting in unincorporated Hayward Wednesday afternoon, an Alameda County sheriff's spokesman said.

At about 3 p.m., deputies received a report that shots had been fired in the 200 block of Willow Avenue, sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said.

Deputies who responded to the shooting found a man on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Kelly said. The child was unharmed.

Kelly described it as "a very disturbing scene."

Investigators were canvassing the area to gather information about the shooting, and residents were advised to avoid the area, he said.

"We are in the process of reuniting the child with the mother and are providing support to the family and community," Kelly said. "At this time, the neighborhood remains an active crime scene, and people are encouraged to avoid the area."

The victim’s sisters arrived in the neighborhood just hours after the shooting. While his name has not been released, sheriff’s deputies say he was 30 years old. A man who says he was a friend of the victim said he was happy spending time with his new child.

Sheriff’s deputies said they are not ruling out the possibility this is a gang-related shooting. 

They are still trying to determine if it was a drive by shooting.

"We believe there’s an associated vehicle, we believe there are suspects related to a vehicle," Kelly said. "Whether they got out on foot or shot from the vehicle, those are things we’re working out right now."

Kelly said there's no suspect information being released at this time. He described the area, which is near Cherryland Park, as a middle-class residential neighborhood that's not typically a high-crime area.

Kelly said anyone who has information about the shooting should call the sheriff's office at (510) 667-7721.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Police Department Severs Ties With ICE ]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:56:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/oaklandPD.jpg

In a push to protect undocumented residents from the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration, Oakland City Council on Tuesday revoked an agreement that allowed the city's police department to collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

The ordinance, which passed unanimously, also requires the police chief to submit an annual report on surveillance activities in Oakland with federal agencies.

Under the abolished agreement, Homeland Security was able to deputize Oakland officers as "task force officers," allowing them to help solve crimes and aid in investigations. Similar partnerships exist in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. 

Oakland's Privacy Advisory Commission discovered the agreement during a fact-finding mission into joint operations between the city and federal law enforcement. According to a report from the East Bay Express, the agreement was signed the day before disgraced Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent resigned last year amid a far-reaching sex exploitation scandal.

At a July 11 Public Safety Committee meeting, Oakland's Deputy Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said the agreement aided the department on human trafficking and gang investigations.

"We do use them as a force multiplier within the parameters of (Oakland Police Department) policy, and it’s also to focus on cases where we could charge federally," she said, advocating for keeping the agreement. 

That argument did little to sway city council members. 

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan noted that the agreement was forged under the Obama administration, when fewer people were concerned about ICE activities. 

“Under the new presidential administration, we've seen increased use of ICE to target non-criminals, including arresting people dropping their kids off at school, including arresting people coming out of church, and including arresting a woman in court who was there to testify against the man who had raped her," Kaplan said, referencing several highly-publicized incidents outside the Bay Area.

Kaplan added that the ordinance would be a "further step to take" to protect Oakland residents and ensure that undocumented residents feel safe reporting crimes to local law enforcement. 

Brian Hofer, the chair of the Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission, noted that the commission spent more than three months trying to determine what partnerships exist between local law enforcement and the federal immigration agency. He concluded that the city's police department had not violated Oakland's sanctuary city ordinances, but it was "inadvertently putting data in the hands of ICE." 

"There is a chilling effect going right now — a dramatic decrease in the reporting of crime in the Hispanic communities," Hofer said. "Houston and Los Angeles police chiefs are already reporting that Hispanic communities will not report crimes because they're so scared of the data getting into the hands of the feds." 

Commenters overwhelmingly agreed, speaking about the rising fears in the community under a federal administration that has promised to "build a wall" and tried numerous times to enforce a travel ban.

"Aggressive racial profiling has absolutely terrorized this community..." said Christina Sinha, an attorney with Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an advocacy group. "While this problem is complicated, the solution — this ordinance — is actually very simple.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Suspects on Lam After Allegedly Robbing Antioch Jewelry Shop]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:57:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-19-2017-antioch-jewelry.jpg

Antioch police are investigating the robbery of a jewelry store on Wednesday morning at the Somersville Towne Center mall.

Officers responded at 11:20 a.m. to a report of a disturbance at the mall at 2550 Somersville Road and learned of a robbery that occurred at the Ron's Jewelers store, police said.

Four suspects entered the business inside the mall and smashed glass cases with metal tools, then fled with jewelry and drove away in a silver Infiniti sedan, according to police.

The four suspects all wore similar clothing and remain at large on Wednesday afternoon. Police declined to provide descriptions of the suspects.

An employee at the jewelry store was pepper-sprayed during the robbery and later went to a hospital for treatment, police said.

The value of the jewelry taken by the suspects has yet to be determined and the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Antioch police at (925) 778-2441.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Series of Fires in Antioch Believed to Be Arson]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 08:01:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-18-17_Antioch_fire.jpg

Investigators in Antioch are examining a series of fires in Antioch that have been considered to be the work of an arsonist.

All five fires cropped up within a one mile radius Tuesday night, scorching mostly grass and trees, according to fire officials.

"We've eliminated all natural causes so it's definitely considered arson at this point," Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Jim Huntze said.

The first fire occurred around 8:50 a.m. behind the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, Huntze said. Over the course of the next 50 minutes, four more blazes ignited.

An investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Residents Escape Condo Fire in Walnut Creek]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 05:18:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-19-17_Walnut_Creek_Fire.jpg

Shooting flames popped out of a condominium complex in Walnut Creek early Wednesday, but residents living inside the building were able to escape unharmed, according to Contra Costa County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Quesada.

The blaze, which ignited at the Ygnacio Gardens Condominiums located at 1919 Ygnacio Valley Rd., was called in around 12:20 a.m., according to Quesada.

Arriving firefighters witnessed flames flowing from a second floor window, Quesada said.

A total of seven fire units and 30 firefighters were able to knock down the blaze, according to Quesada.

No injuries or rescues were reported, but two families were displaced, according to Quesada and the Red Cross.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Remains Found by Hiker Belong to Man Missing Since 1998]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:44:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/richard+saimons-0718.jpg

Skeletal remains found by a hiker in Moraga earlier this year have been confirmed as belonging to a man who was reported missing nearly 20 years ago, police said Tuesday.

The remains were identified as Richard Allen Saimons, after a DNA sample from the remains was analyzed by the California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory in Richmond.

Saimons, a Lafayette resident, was reported missing on Aug. 2, 1998, after he left his home and never returned. He was 37 years old at the time.

Moraga police Chief Jon King said when the discovery was made March 16, detectives first thought of the two-decade-old case.

"That was a case we were looking at from the very beginning," King said. "(Saimons) was at home and decided he needed to go for a walk and left his home, which is actually within a mile of where he was found."

An autopsy conducted on Saimons' remains was unable to determine a cause of death, however, a forensic pathologist did not find any signs of foul play, according to police.

"He may have become overcome by the heat or had a medical condition; we don’t really know at this point," King said.

The skeletal human remains were found in a secluded area between Rheem Boulevard and South Lucille Lane. Police said at the time that the remains appeared to have been in the area for some time.

The hiker said he had been in the area, which is accessible only on foot or by a 4-wheel drive vehicle, when he found the bones near a creek.

After officers accompanied the hiker to the location, crime scene technicians, along with search and rescue personnel equipped with dogs and metal detectors, recovered the bones and also searched the area, police said.

The remains were then taken to the Contra Costa County coroner's bureau, according to police.

A person inside the Saimons home had no comment Tuesday night.

"I hope that we’re able to bring them some closure, so they can move forward also," King said.

Photo Credit: Moraga PD]]>
<![CDATA[BART Chief Says Rapes Increased, But Questions Connection]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:39:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart+station-0706.jpg

BART is under growing pressure to beef up security on the heels of a crime surge that includes mob attacks, sex assaults and robberies. To make matters worse, the number of people applying to join the BART police force is near an all-time low.

The agency's board of directors on Tuesday wrestled with safety concerns just hours after yet another violent attack.

A passenger at San Leandro's Bay Fair Station late Monday was assaulted by three or four men who punched and kicked him and also snatched his iPhone and laptop, according to BART. The victim was transported to a hospital for treatment of facial cuts and swelling, and the suspects managed to get away.

New numbers from BART indicate that there has recently been a 41 percent increase in violent crimes this year. The troubling trend was highlighted by an April mob attack during which dozens of youth stormed a train at Oakland's Coliseum Station to rob passengers.  

Rusty Stapp and his family were aboard the train during the attack three months ago.

"I think it's sad, it's scary and I think if we don't all stand up and start making a change, it's just going to get worse," he said at the meeting Tuesday.

Stapp urged the agency's Board of Directors to take crime seriously and release surveillance video of attacks to the public.

"You have a disease going on right now and you either get out and start preventing the disease or the disease is going to proliferate," he said.

BART police Chief Carlos Rojas said Tuesday that an increase in rapes and other sexual crimes on the transit system so far this year is troubling but shouldn't be blown out of proportion.

Rojas said FBI statistics show that there were seven rapes reported on BART property from January through the end of June, compared to four in 2016, three in 2015 and two in 2014.

He said there has also been an increase in the number of reported sexual assaults, with 28 in the first six months of the year, which is the same number of sexual assaults reported during all of 2016, which was already up 75 percent from 2015 when only 16 sexual assault cases were reported.

Rojas said that although all of the reported rapes involved sexual violence, not all involved forced sexual intercourse, which is the traditional definition of rape.

Under federal crime reporting standards, sexual assaults with the intent to commit rape are reported as rapes, he said.

"One rape or sexual assault is too many," Rojas said.

He noted there's no indication that the crimes, most of which occurred at East Bay stations, are connected and said arrests have been made in some but not all of the rape cases.

A report that Rojas presented to BART's Operations, Safety and Workforce Committee today indicates that at a time when concerns are growing about crime at the transit system, BART is having a hard time recruiting and retaining enough police officers.

That said, the chief said he is working on recruitment and other strategies to make BART safer.

"We do cover four counties so it's an expansive system, but nevertheless crime is up and (we're) looking at ways to mitigate that and hopefully eliminate it," Rojas said.

Director Debora Allen, who represents Walnut Creek and surrounding cities in Contra Costa County, said after the meeting that 40 of the police officer positions that BART has budgeted for are unfilled.

"We should have more officers" because the transit system opened the new Warm Springs station in Fremont earlier this year and plans to open other new stations in the near future, Allen said.

"Not only do we have 40 vacant positions that are already budgeted for," she continued, but BART "should have a lot more police officers than we have budgeted for."

Speaking about a related topic, Allen said she's glad that BART will resume sending out daily reports for felony crimes and will issue monthly crime reports to BART directors.

Rojas, who became chief on May 25, discontinued the daily logs in early June, opting instead to send crime data to the free online tool CrimeMapping.com to inform riders about safety threats at or near BART stations.

"We have to have facts in order to identify the (crime) problem and to identify solutions," Allen said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[California's Highest Home Prices Found in Bay Area]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:30:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-79425812.jpg

Supply and demand economics are escalating housing prices across California, particularly in the Bay Area.

In June, the state’s median home price was $555,150, representing a 0.9 percent increase from May and a whopping 7 percent jump from June 2016, according to a new report by the California Association of Realtors.

In the Bay Area, meanwhile, housing supply cannot keep pace with job growth, hiking up prices.

The local median home price climbed to $908,740, a 1 percent bump from May’s $899,730. But, at just shy of a million dollars, that price tag is 7.9 percent higher than June 2016’s $841,960, outpacing the statewide cost increase.

A closer look at the report's year-over-year sales growth reveals that Santa Clara County’s median home price jumped 12.6 percent to $1,182,500 while Alameda County’s rose 12.1 percent to $900,000. It increased 9.8 percent to $1,433,750 in San Mateo County, 8.8 percent to $1,469,000 in San Francisco County and 5.6 percent to $660,000 in Contra Costa County.

In June, the Inland Empire saw California’s largest year-over-year sales increase at 10.4 percent to $346,380, and was followed by the Los Angeles metro area at 8.3 percent to $500,240, which demonstrates the marked difference between home prices in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the state.

“A lack of available homes for sale continues to be the largest single factor influencing California’s housing market,” said Geoff McIntosh, president of the California Association of Realtors.

In June, San Francisco County also came in first in terms of average price per square foot: $909. It was followed by San Mateo County at $848 and Santa Clara County at $662 per square foot. In comparison, California’s average was much lower at $270, the report said.

The report further shows that the median amount of time a property spends on the market has fallen to 22.4 days in June. One year ago, that was 27.1 days. Last month’s gains come second only to May 2004 when a house was sold after spending 21.9 days on the market, the report said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Family Robbed at Gunpoint Inside Their Walnut Creek Home]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 23:44:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wc+robbery-0717.jpg

A family was robbed at gunpoint Monday morning in Walnut Creek when two suspects waving handguns got away with some of their cash and belongings, police said.

At 8:50 a.m., two male suspects entered a home in the 2800 block of Oak Grove Road where they waved guns at a husband, wife and child before taking the property and running from the home, according to police.

The robbery was not far from Foothill Middle School.

Police said the suspects ran south toward Cedro Lane and may have gotten into a tan or gold van, possibly a Honda Odyssey, which was last seen traveling out of the area.

The family escaped injury in the robbery, according to police.

Officers arrived minutes after the robbery was reported but they could not find the suspects themselves or with a K-9.

Police said the suspects entered the home through an unlocked back door. Neighbors said they're stunned.

"This is a rarity anywhere for Walnut Creek," polic Lt. Jay Hill said. "Home invasion robberies, it's just not something we deal with on a regular basis. The family cooperated with the demands of the suspects, and no one was hurt, fortunately."

One neighbor said the gunmen's escape was caught on home surveillance cameras. Another said the man who'd been robbed chased after the criminals, and a neighbor helped him out.

"She actually was driving by and stopped and gave him her phone so he could call the cops," Keith Craven said.

On Monday night, police were looking at the surveillance video of the suspects running toward their vehicle. 

One neighbor who loves down the street, said he's going to keep his doors locked.

"I've been thinking about getting security cameras, and I haven't done it yet. I think we're probably going to do it in the near future."

Police are describing one suspect as a man about 20 to 30 years old who was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. The other suspect wore a mask over his face, according to police.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects or anyone with more information about the robbery is asked to call Detective Bill Jeha at (925) 256-3518 or Sgt. David Rangel at (925) 256-3573.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Suspects Arrested in Burglary of Benicia Home For Sale]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 20:38:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/benicia+burglary-0717.jpg

A Benicia home for sale was broken into and burglarized over the weekend, and police are saying it's a growing trend in the East Bay city.

Dzung Worthington said her house had been on the market for just one day when it was targeted by burglars. Freshly painted and staged with furniture, burglars broke into the vacant house and helped themselves to Worthington's belongings.

"I don't believe it happened to my house," she said. "It's a very safe street. It never happened. I've been here 30 years, and nothing's happened."

Christine, a Coldwell Banker real estate agent, said she saw the suspects leaving the house when she went to show it to clients Sunday morning. She took a photo of them from inside and called police.

"At the time, it seemed like they're not supposed to be here, what do I do next," Christine said. "I snapped a photo; it was easier to remember what they look like that way."

Benicia police arrested the men a short time later.

Police Chief Erik Upson said the case is part of an alarming trend in the city. Nine houses for sale have been burglarized in the past two months, he said. But police and realtors are on to them.

"They're taking anything they can resell without being traced back to them," Upson said. "In this case, a lot of it was furniture, things like that they could sell at flea markets and such."

Worthington's glad the suspects who targeted her place are behind bars. She hopes she can clean it and sell it soon.

"Quick as I can, so nobody can come in and sleep there again," she said.

Photo Credit: Jodi Hernandez/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Start Process of Fixing Moraga Sinkhole]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:19:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-17-17_Moraga_Sinkhole.jpg

Crews on Monday kicked off repair work at the site of a gaping sinkhole in Moraga roughly 16 months after the crater opened.

The process of filling the 20-foot-long, 15-foot-deep hole, which ruptured a gas line back in March 2016, has been delayed as a result of red tape and funding issues. The repair work is expected to be completed in October.

Aside from the filling the hole itself, engineers have to remove and replace a large section of culvert that was damaged. That culvert is 8 feet tall and nearly 50 yards in length.

Rheem Boulevard will be closed Tuesday and remain closed through October while the repair work is completed.

More than $3 million in federal funding is being used for the project. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Serious Concerns About Building Inspections in Oakland]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 07:40:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Serious_Concerns_About_Fire_Safety_in_Oakland.jpg

A reported published by the Bay Area News Group found serious issues with building inspections and fire safety for Oakland buildings. Thom Jensen reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Crews Douse Two Brush Fires In East Bay]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 23:52:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/ant-fire.jpg

Firefighters battled two fires in East Contra Costa County late Sunday, both of which threatened structures, fire officials said.

The first fire started a little after 7 p.m. at the Highway 4-Highway 160 interchange in Antioch after a disabled vehicle pulled over and sparked nearby brush, officials said.

The blaze quickly spread to 20 acres and three alarms as it burned up the side of the freeway, threatening about 100 homes and other structures, fire officials said.

Bull dozers were dispatched to the scene to keep the fire from reaching those structures, officials said.

As crews were mopping up the Antioch fire about 8 p.m., they could see a fire in nearby Brentwood. Crews cut loose from the Antioch fire rushed over to Brentwood to help battle that blaze, which reportedly was threatening at least 10 homes and a shopping center.

"We have a new neighborhood going in there, and some of the houses there are in the framing phase," East Contra Costa Fire District Battalion Chief Ross Macumber said. "So we took that very seriously and sent one of our units there first to go protect those structures and make sure we didn't burn those new houses down."

The cause of the Brentwood fire was unknown and being investigated.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[9 Hospitalized After Head-On Crash in Brentwood]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 23:04:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-15-17_Brentwood_Crash1.jpg

The driver of a stolen vehicle traveling in the wrong direction on Highway 4 in Brentwood Saturday evening smashed head-on into a van, sending nine people — including two children — to the hospital, according the California Highway Patrol. 

The two-car crash occurred just after 8 p.m. along westbound Highway 4 between Lone Tree Way and Sand Creek Road, CHP officials said.

A stolen Honda Accord out of Concord started driving in the wrong direction "at a high rate of speed" before slamming into a Honda Odyssey van carrying seven people, according to the CHP. 

Those riding in the van ranged in age from a 1-year-old girl to a 72-year-old woman, according to the CHP. Most of the victims suffered minor injuries, but a 61-year-old female suffered major injuries. She was listed in stable condition.

Two people riding in the stolen vehicle also sustained injuries, according to the CHP. The car's driver, who has been identified as Rafael Duarte, 24, of Oakley, was transported to the hospital after suffering minor injuries. He was later arrested on a multitude of charges including felony driving under the influence, possession and driving of a stolen vehicle, unlicensed driver's license, no vehicle insurance, and driving wrong way on a highway causing injury.

A 22-year-old passenger in the stolen vehicle suffered major injuries, but was listed in stable condition, according to the CHP.

Helicopters were called in to transport some of the victims. As a result, Highway 4 was temporarily shut down.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing. Anyone with more information is asked to contact the CHP Contra Costa office.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sizzling Temps Prompt Heat Advisory, Red Flag Warning]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 13:28:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Heat_Generic_Hot_car.jpg

A scorching Sunday furthered a heat advisory and prompted a red flag warning for several Bay Area locations as the region swelters during another summer heat wave.

A heat advisory implemented Saturday morning for the Diablo Range, Santa Cruz Mountains, Big Sur region, East Bay valleys and North Bay mountains will remain in effect until Sunday at 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures in those regions could reach 105 degrees or more.

Due to blistering temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity, a red flag warning is also in effect for spots above 1,000 feet where wildfires could ignite and spread quickly. Those areas include North Bay hills, East Bay hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Heat sensitive residents are at moderate to high risk of heat-related illnesses and the danger of wildfires will rise with the rising temperatures, according to weather officials.

Cooler temperatures are forecast for early next week.

The hottest temperatures for inland valleys and ridges will be in the North Bay, East Bay, South Bay and in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

In the North Bay, interior valleys could reach the low 100s, according to weather officials.

On East Bay ridges temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s.

The inland areas of the South Bay are forecast to reach the 90s while ridges will be near 100. San Jose will open several cooling centers Sunday across the city.

Inland valleys of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties are expected to be in the 90s. The ridges could reach the low 100s.

Coastal temperatures from the North Bay to Monterey Bay will be lower, weather officials said.

Across the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, temperatures in the hilly and mountainous regions could stay above 70 degrees during the night and early morning hours.

Weather officials said pets and livestock may require extra care during the heat.

The officials suggest residents drink plenty of fluids, stay in air conditioning and out of the sun and check up on neighbors and relatives.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[K-9 Teams Show Off Skills to Raise Money for Police Dogs]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 21:38:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-15-17_K9_Fundraiser.jpg

K-9 teams across California are showing off their skills as part of an annual fundraiser designed to benefit police dogs.

The "Cover Your K-9 Fundraiser" takes place at 61 Pet Food Express locations around the state this weekend.

While the well-trained dogs demonstrate their unique abilities and training, officials collect money to pay for K-9 bulletproof vests, emergency veterinarian care and other services needed to take care of the police pups.

The fundraiser continues through Sunday. 

Photo Credit: Cover Your K-9]]>
<![CDATA[Car Slams Into Family Members Walking in Oakland Crosswalk]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 15:29:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-15-17_Oakland_Crosswalk.jpg

A surveillance camera captured footage of a car mowing down three young Oakland family members, one of whom is a 5-year-old boy who is now lying paralyzed in a hospital bed.

The horrific collision occurred late July 5 at Fruitvale and Brookdale Avenues after the trio visited a park and stopped for ice cream. The family members were a block away from home, but they never made it there. Instead, they were rushed to a hospital.

"Why must it happen to us?" Jackie Velasquez, 20, said. "But then again I just have to say at least we are alive."

The security footage, which is difficult to watch, shows the two older girls look up in shock at the oncoming car and brace for impact. In a split second, though, they were airborne, while the boy was dragged by the vehicle.

“I guess also my cousin assumed that it should have stopped," Jackie Velasquez said. The third-year UC Riverside student underwent surgery after sustaining fractured ribs and damage to her internal organs, according to a GoFundMe page that has been set up for the victims' families.

An 18-year-old girl, who was on the verge of starting college courses, suffered a broken ankle, torn knee ligaments and a fractured right hip, for which she will need multiple surgeries.

The youngest child was found under the vehicle with a broken right pelvis and spine. His sister, Wuendy Calmo, who created the GoFundMe page, said the boy will need daily physical therapy to regain any sensation in his legs. It remains to be seen, though, if he will be able to walk again.

"These are very serious physical injuries but there were also many mental injuries as they are having nightmares from that night," Calmo wrote. "As it may take years to be fixed for all the family. They will need 24/7 care from everyone in our family."

While the three recover, Velasquez wonders if she could have done something different.

"I don't why he wouldn't stop," she said. "Sometimes I feel like I'm the one at fault for saying the car will stop."

This collision isn't the first at the intersection, according to Jun Anabo, the co-owner of neighboring restaurant Lucky Three Seven.

"We gotta put some lights up or something," Anabo said. " It's a main thoroughfare, and it just needs to be updated." 

Preparations are in place to repave the street where the crash took place. Councilman Noel Gallo is also calling for safety improvements, such as a flashing crosswalk sign. Gallo is planning to talk with the East Bay city's transportation office Monday.

"When it comes to public safety, it has to be a No. 1 issue in Oakland," Gallo said.

The driver stayed on scene following the collision, and its unclear if there were any charges.

As of Sunday afternoon, 85 people have raised over $3,000 of a $10,000 goal on the GoFundMe page. The money will help the family pay utility bills and medical expenses, and even buy gas, according to Calmo.

All three victims come from low-income families so "missing work is not always option but may have to be the only option," Calmo wrote.

Photo Credit: Lucky Three Seven]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cafe Gets $63,000 Grant to Expand Refugee Program]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:42:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/refugee+barista.jpg

A Berkeley-based coffee shop was awarded a $63,000 "Opportunity For All" grant by the Starbucks Foundation this week, allowing the small cafe to expand its barista training program that aids refugees. 

1951 Coffee Company, which opened in January, is a nonprofit coffee store that supports refugees, asylees, and Special Immigrant Visa holders by training them to be baristas. Located less than a mile from UC Berkeley's campus, the quaint cafe has helped train more than 50 immigrants who are new arrivals to the U.S., the company said in a statement announcing the grant. 

The nonprofit is one of 41 companies that have been awarded the grant from the megalith coffee chain, according to the Starbucks Foundation website. Businesses that specialize in youth, veteran and refugee training were among the other recipients. 

At 1951 Coffee Company, the funds will help the burgeoning cafe expand its program to other cities, including San Diego, and train an estimated 85 new baristas. It will also allow the company’s two-week training program in Oakland, which currently runs every other month, to increase its services to a monthly-basis.

Due to language barriers, culture shock, and discrimination, it's often difficult for refugees to find work after coming to the United States. Federal and state grants given to resettlement charities don't stretch far enough to cover a lengthy adjustment period, so finding work — and finding it quickly — is often crucial to the refugee or asylee's success in the U.S, according to Catholic Charities of the East Bay, which helps with refugee resettlement. 

"Refugees possess exceptional qualities and determination in creating a new life, but there are few options for immediate placement when they don't have local references," 1951 Coffee Company co-founder Doug Hewitt said. “The specified training connects refugees to countless career opportunities, and it also welcomes them into the local coffee shop.” 

Eighteen-year-old Batool Rawoas, a Syrian refugee who was one of eight immigrants working at 1951 Coffee Company in January, told NBC Bay Area that the store was helping her navigate and become more comfortable in the Bay Area community. 

"I didn't learn only how to make coffee, but I'm learning how to communicate better with these people," the young woman said. "I'm learning more about this culture, even more English." 

In an interview with NBC Bay Area when the store cafe first opened, Hewitt said that the pressure of work can add stress to an already arduous resettlement process — especially as anti-immigrant rhetoric pours out of the federal administration. Finding a company that is accommodating and understanding can make all the difference, he said. 

"We try and do different things, but sometimes it's just monitoring what's happening at the time, and talking to them, giving them an extra break if they need it," Hewitt said. "...It's important that they have a place where they can talk to one another and share their experiences." 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Elon Musk Hints at Mystery Website, Internet Goes Wild]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 20:09:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479833756-Musk.jpg

Another day, another tweet from Elon Musk has the Internet in a tizzy.

The chief executive officer of Tesla Motors and SpaceX revealed on social media on Friday that he’s "excited to announce the launch" of a new website called x.com.

“It’s a little verbose right now, but that will be fixed tomorrow,” he continued.

Musk’s tweet picked up 5,740 retweets and 26,235 likes. More than 2,000 comments poured in, some of which he replied to.

Federico Cingolani pointed out that Musk could offer users a more “streamlined experience” by paring down the HTML that initially popped up on the screen.

“Good point,” Musk replied.

“May I change my bio to 'http://x.com UX Advisor?'" Cingolani asked.

“It is true, so fine by me” was Musk’s response.

Another Twitter user, Stan Schroeder, asked Musk if wrote the “very clean code” himself. Musk said he did.

Amused by the back and forth, AJ Joshi wondered if x.com could "possibly be the most valuable domain in the world?"

Musk stayed mum on that.

A visit to the site now reveals a blank white screen with a lower case “x” in the upper left hand side corner.

One Twitter user deemed the latest design “impressive,” while another inquired about Musk’s apparent love for the alphabet X as demonstrated by the Tesla Model X, Space X and now x.com.

Still another said the X is symbolic. “X Marks the Spot”: he is reserving the site until he reveals his true plans for x.com,” Evelyn Janeidy wrote.

“It’s what you don’t say,” Musk tweeted coyly.

Musk and the domain name share history, though.

He started x.com in 1999 as the co-founder of PayPal, but lost the domain when the company went public and he departed, according to Gizmodo.

A few days ago, Musk reacquired x.com from PayPal for an undisclosed amount. Rumors abound, with some speculating that he shelled out an eight-figure sum. No word on Musk about that.

Stay tuned.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Missing Girl, 5, Found in Pittsburg; Mother in Custody]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:35:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-14-2017-missing-berkeley-child.jpg

A 5-year-old Berkeley girl and her mother, who police believe took the child a day prior, were found safe in Pittsburg on Saturday.

Berkeley police said Mayalyia Booker was last seen with her mother, 34-year-old Laquita Davis, in the 1500 block of Prince Street at 3:14 p.m. Friday.

The police department announced Saturday that Pittsburg officers had located the pair and taken Davis into custody around 11:30 a.m. No additional details were immediately available.

The Bay Area-wide hunt began Friday when Davis unexpectedly picked up her daughter who was visiting her grandmother at that time.

Mayalyia's father has custody of the child. Davis, who is homeless, does not have any visitation rights, police said.

Berkeley police worked with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, who brought in a K-9 unit to help with the search. The K-9 unit tracked the mother and child to the Ashby BART station in Berkeley. Police believed the pair could be in Oakland.

The child's grandmother said Davis had taken away the toddler once before, but brought her back. Officers are unsure when that happened and how long the woman kept her daughter with her. 

Photo Credit: Berkeley Police Department]]>