<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - East Bay]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usSat, 21 Oct 2017 00:00:10 -0700Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:00:10 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Minor Critically Injured in Oakland Hit-and-Run Crash]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:19:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10202017OakHitRun_497725.JPEG

A minor is in critical condition following a hit-and-run collision in Oakland, police said.

The incident was reported just before 1:30 p.m. Friday in the 800 block of E. 15th Street. When officers arrived on scene they located the victim, who was suffering from major injuries.

The victim was transported to a hospital.

Police said another crash was reported around the same time in the 400 block of Foothill Boulevard. The incident appeared to be related to the hit-and-run incident involving the suspect vehicle, according to police.

Information from a preliminary investigation led officer to locate and arrest a woman in connection to the hit-and-run crash.

Police said it is unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision. Police added speed appears to be a factor in the crash.

No other information was immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 Hayward Students Expelled For Racist Slurs]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:58:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Bedford+High+School+Generic+School+Hallway.JPG

Two Hayward students have been expelled after one created a list of racist slurs that the other then read out in class, a school spokesperson said.

A statement issued on behalf of Moreau Catholic High School, said in part: "The harm caused by the actions of these two students is immeasurable."

A Facebook post by the Samuel Merritt University's Office of Diversity and Inclusion included a photograph of a sheet of lined paper, titled "The ABCs of Slurs." Below it is a list of slurs — one for each letter in the alphabet.

A parent's comment said that a group of minority students who overheard the list being read aloud felt "abandoned" and "silenced" by not only their peer's actions, but also school administrators' response.

The school community is still reeling from the students' offensive actions, which occurred earlier in the week, according to spokeswoman Donna Cumming.

Cumming also acknowledged that a "delay in the decision-making process" caused "hurt, anxiety, and stress," and apologized for the pain inflicted on students, faculity members and families. 

"Our administration recognizes that this process could have and should have been conducted in a more timely manner, and with better communication to our students and parents," Cumming continued. "There is nothing more important than all of our students feeling heard, valued, and above all, safe, every day they walk through the doors of our school."

On Friday, classes were replaced by opportunities for students to process and communicate their feelings and hear from others. 

Cumming assured the Moreau Catholic High School community that this is only a first step in an ongoing conversation and effort to "continue to build a positive school climate and culture."



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[PG&E Fixes Gas Leak in Oakland's Jack London Square]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:01:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/102017okgasleak_495583.JPEG

A gas leak reported in Oakland's Jack London Square Friday morning was fixed in under 20 minutes, a PG&E spokeswoman said.

PG&E was notified at 9:33 a.m. that a construction crew not associated with PG&E had struck a half-inch service line in a building in the 300 block of Second Street near Webster Street, according to Tamar Sarkissian, a spokeswoman for the utility company.

There were no injuries, Sarkissian said.

PG&E workers went to the scene and stopped the flow of gas at 9:52 a.m., Sarkissian said. The utility has cut off service to the building, which is not being used, she said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Gets New Fire Chief in Wake of Fatal Warehouse Blaze]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 19:33:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10202017-darin-white.jpg

Nearly a year after a deadly warehouse fire, Oakland has announced a permanent fire chief.

The Northern California city announced Thursday that interim Chief Darin White has been appointed to the post.

He succeeds Teresa Deloach-Reed, who retired in May after coming under pressure from a fire last December at the Ghost Ship warehouse that killed 36 people.

The Fire Department was criticized for failing to conduct annual inspections of the warehouse, which had been illegally converted to living space.

White has 30 years in fire service, including 20 in the local department.

A city statement says that during his nine months as interim chief, White has demonstrated effective management "during some very difficult incidents."

Those included a shooting that killed an off-duty firefighter and wounded another and a massive fire at an unfinished housing project.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Oakland Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies in East Bay After Carjacking Suspect Runs Him Over]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 00:02:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/slcarjack1019_492034.JPG

A 46-year-old father of two died Thursday evening after a suspect carjacked his pickup truck and used it to run him over in San Lorenzo, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said that at about 5:30 a.m., the victim, identified as James Figueroa of San Lorenzo, started his pickup in the 15000 block of Via Del Sol but briefly left the truck unattended while it was still running.

When Figueroa returned to his pickup, the suspect had gotten into the driver's seat, and the victim tried to stop the suspect, Kelly said.

Figueroa was thrown to the ground, and the suspect allegedly ran him over with the pickup and drove away, Kelly said.

Figueroa was taken to a local trauma center, where he later died, Kelly said.

Authorities don't have information about the suspect and did not release a description of Figueroa's truck.

Figueroa's family is "devastated," Kelly said.

"This is a disturbing case," he said.

Late Thursday night, police arrested two suspects they believe may be connected.  

Detectives continued to investigate late Thursday night and asked residents in the neighborhood to check their surveillance videos.

During their follow-up investigation, they saw a vehicle of interest and two suspects in the vehicle, police said. The suspects fled, and a pursuit began. The suspects eventually crashed and were taken into custody.

The suspects were arrested in connection with the pursuit, police said. Investigators were looking into the possibility that the car they were in was connected to the earlier crime scene.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office at (510) 667-7721. Callers have the option of remaining anonymous.

NBC Bay Area's Sergio Quintana contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[2 Male Juveniles Arrested in East Bay Sex Assault Case]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:11:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-dallas.jpg

Two male juveniles have been arrested in connection to a sexual assault investigation involving a female juvenile victim, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

The victim of the alleged sexual assault is a student at the all-girls Carondelet High School in Concord. One of the juveniles accused of attacking her is a student at the all-boys De La Salle High School across the street.

Detectives were notified about the alleged sexual assault earlier this week. The reported incident occurred late September in unincorporated Walnut Creek, authorities said.

Sheriff's Office officials said detectives launched an investigation and confirmed the allegations. The two male juvenile suspects were arrested late Wednesday and booked into Juvenile Hall in Martinez.

Authorities are not releasing the names of the suspects or victim. No further information was immediately available.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the Sexual Assault Unit of the Investigation Division at 925-313-2625. You can also e-mail tips@so.cccounty.us or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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<![CDATA[Woman Punched, Robbed of Laptop in Berkeley]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:25:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ucberkeleycampus_482983.JPEG

UC Berkeley police are investigating a violent laptop robbery. The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at the Crossroads Student Dining Hall near People's Park. Police say two robbers took a laptop from a young woman and punched her in the face as she tried to fight back. The robbers ran toward the park and police never found them.]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Gets New Fire Chief in Wake of Lengthy Search]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 19:32:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Oakland_Gets_New_Fire_Chief.jpg

Nearly a year after a deadly warehouse fire, Oakland has announced a permanent fire chief. Laura Malpert reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Cal Police Investigate Alleged Sexual Assault in Dorm Room]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:02:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/uc+berkeley1.jpg

Police at the University of California, Berkeley are investigating a sexual assault that occurred over the weekend, police said Wednesday.

At 2:07 a.m. Monday, a female victim reported to campus police that she was sexually assaulted on Saturday in a dorm room in Unit 1, police said.

According to police, the victim met the male suspect at a fraternity party.

Further details were not immediately available and the case remains under investigation.

Anyone with information about the case or any recent and similar crimes can contact UC Berkeley police at 510-642-0472 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 510-642-6760 at all other times.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Ranks High Among Hardest-Working Cities in US]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:02:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Computer+generic+responde.jpg

One Bay Area city cracked the top 10 list of 2017's hardest-working places in the United States: San Francisco.

In a recent study, WalletHub's analysts compared a number of metrics, including average weekly work hours, labor-force participation rate, average commute time and average leisure time per day, from across the nation's 116 largest cities. 

With a total score of 90.76, Anchorage, Alaska reigned supreme. It was followed by Plano, Texas with 81.49 points, Cheyenne, Wyo. with 81.17, Virgina Beach, Va. with 79.91 and Irving, Texas with 79.71.

San Francisco came in seventh place with a score of 77.82.

The rest of the Bay Area also fared well.

Fremont — ranked 52nd — is the next Bay Area city that hard workers call home, WalletHub found. San Jose is 61st and Oakland is 85th. 

Here are 2017's top 10 hardest-working cities:

  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  2. Plano, Texas
  3. Cheyenne, Wyoming
  4. Virginia Beach, Virgina
  5. Irving, Texas
  6. Scottsdale, Arizona
  7. San Francisco, California
  8. Corpus Christi, Texas
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Sioux Falls, South Dakota



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Deputy's Wife in DUI Crash That Killed Boy Appears in Court]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:31:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dui+crash-0525.jpg

It’s been more than a year since the tragic death of a 3-year old boy from the East Bay, killed after a drunk driver slammed into the vehicle he was in on the shoulder of a freeway.

The Pleasanton woman convicted of felony gross vehicular manslaughter appeared in court for a preliminary hearing, which was continued for a later date.

The family of Elijah Dunn wanted Yarenit Malihan, the wife of an Alameda County deputy, to be charged with second-degree murder.

"I don’t think she’s sorry about it at all," said Chuck Manoiki, the boy's grandfather.

Malihan was behind the wheel of her car that crashed into another vehicle on the shoulder of Interstate 680 in San Ramon last year. Elijah died, and his mother and siblings were hurt. Malihan was driving while under the influence and driving with a suspended license, authorities say.

Manoiki doesn't believe Malihan is sorry because she had two DUI crashes in a three-month period. He believes the fact that she’s the wife of a law enforcement officer is the reason she didn’t get a second-degree murder charge.

"In my heart, this is my opinion. That’s why I feel she didn’t get convicted of it," Maniki said. "Now, it’s hurting us in the long run because she killed my grandson."

Legal analyst Steven Clark disagrees, saying he doesn't think the District Attorney’s Office gave her preferential treatment.

"She’s looking a significant prison sentence as a result of her conduct," Clark said.

Clark said it would have been difficult for the DA to charge Malihan with second-degree murder because her first DUI case was pending at the time of the fatal crash.

Manoiki said he just wants justice.

"Anything we say, anything we do is not going to bring him back," he said of his grandson. "We need the system to get better."

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said Malihan was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday. The story has been revised to reflect Thursday's court appearance was a preliminary hearing.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Californians Prepare for Annual 'ShakeOut' Earthquake Drill]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:34:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/EarthquakeFile.jpg

Millions of Californians and many others around the world plan to drop, cover and hold on in an annual drill aimed at keeping them safe during the violent shaking of earthquakes.

Organizers say 10.2 million people are registered to take part in the "Great California ShakeOut" at 10:19 a.m. Thursday.

Participants include more than 6 million K-12 students and nearly 2 million people at colleges and universities as well as governments, businesses, faith-based organizations and individuals.

An additional 42 million people have registered for other ShakeOut drills across the United States and its territories as well as in British Columbia to Japan, Italy and New Zealand.

The ShakeOut drills originated in California in 2008.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Search for Suspected Flasher in San Ramon]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:25:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10182017DoughertyValley_475056.JPEG

Parents and students in San Ramon are on alert after police say a man exposed himself to school children as they walked home from school.

There are at least two reported incidents of the suspect exposing himself to kids, according to police.

"I definitely don't want it to happen to me or anyone else," said Desiree, a 16-year-old student in San Ramon.

Police say the man drove up next to middle school students and exposed himself to a 12-year-old girl as she walked home from Gale Ranch Middle School two weeks ago. He even tried to grab her, according to police.

The suspect struck again on Monday when he victimized a Dougherty Valley High School student who was walking across a footbridge after school. He first asked to take a photo with her, police say.

"At the conclusion of that picture he exposed himself and began masturbating and asked if she could take a picture of that," said Mike Boehrer with the San Ramon Police Department.

The school district is warning parents and students about the danger. Police said they will increase patrols and their presence in the area.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Represented on Happiest Places in U.S. List: Report]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:23:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Boardwalk1.jpg

Beach living appears to be treating those along the Monterey coast very well.

That's because a report from National Geographic ranks the Santa Cruz-Watsonville area as the second happiest place in the entire country. Boulder, Colorado locked up the top spot with Charlottesville, Virginia nabbing the third slot.

Not to be left out, three other Bay Area regions checked in on the top-25 list. The region of San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara checked in at No. 6, Salinas grabbed the No. 13 spot, and the combination of San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward settled in at No. 17, according to the report.

National Geographic, author Dan Buettner and research-based company Gallup examined a number of factors — financial stability, amount of time spent vacationing, civic engagement and healthy eating habits — when compiling the list.

"In happier places, according to Buettner, locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals," the report reads.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Rat Infestation in SF, Oakland Among Worst in US: Report]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:40:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/RatGeneric1.JPG

If the thought of a rat scampering across the ground makes your skin crawl, San Francisco or Oakland might not be the place for you.

The two Bay Area cities are ranked No. 4 on Orkin's top-50 "rattiest" regions list.

Orkin compiled the list by tallying the amount of times company workers responded to a rodent treatment call in a given city between September 2016 and September 2017. Chicago topped that list, followed by New York and Los Angeles, respectively.

Fall marks the beginning of rodent season, according to Orkin. The cooler temperatures prompt rats and mice to scurry indoors as they seek shelter from the elements.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jail Inmate Back in Custody After Mistakenly Released]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:49:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RodneyJefferson.jpg

A jail inmate in Alameda County who was released by mistake before he was about to be transferred to San Mateo County Jail turned himself in to authorities Tuesday afternoon, San Mateo County sheriff's officials said.

Rodney Jefferson, 27, of San Francisco, was released in error on Oct. 9 from a jail facility in Alameda County. He was being held on federal charges for an auto burglary, sheriff's officials said.

Sheriff's officials said there was no threat to the public, but a warrant was issued for his arrest.

At about 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jefferson turned himself in to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in Oakland. Sheriff's deputies then took him to the Maguire Correctional Facility in San Mateo County without further incident, sheriff's officials said.

Jefferson was released because of a technical error and a miscommunication on the part of records staff in San Mateo County.

San Mateo County sheriff's officials said they have added additional steps in their procedures to prevent this situation from happening again.

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<![CDATA[Napa Resident's Hayward Business Robbed as He Fights Flames]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:29:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tattoothieves1017_467616.JPG

One Napa resident managed to save his home from getting swallowed up by wildfire, but he still suffered loss hundreds of miles away.

Dane Simms said as he was battling flames at his Napa home Sunday night, thieves broke into this tattoo parlor in Hayward and stole money and other valuables.

Simms spent the last week fighting fire advancing on his home.

"My neighbor's house goes down in flames; we physically saved our property," he said. "Got evacuated but didn't leave."

Meanwhile, security cameras were capturing the suspects breaking into Simms Inc. Tattoos. Simms said the money they made off with was intended to help people. He had his wife take his treasured "Star Wars" collection from Napa to his business, so he could hold fundraisers for fire victims. He posted updates on Facebook, and it seems crooks were paying attention.

"I've never felt devistation like this," he said.

The security cameras caught three men breaking into the tattoo parlor and stealing thousands of dollars meant for fire victims as well as a large portion of the "Star Wars" collectibles.

"It's tough; I thought I was doing the right thing," Simms said. "Wake up Monday morning, I haven't seen my family, haven't been off my hill, and I get robbed. It's heartbreaking."

One of the suspects has a tattoo, and Simms said it feels to him like the burglars knew their way around his shop. He said they didn't just take money and valuables; they also stole the trust he had in people.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft.

]]>
<![CDATA[2-Alarm Fire Prompts Evacuations in Dublin]]>Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:49:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/Dublin-wildfire.JPG

Firefighters late Tuesday were working to fully contain a two-alarm brush fire that prompted shelter-in-place and evacuation orders in Dublin.

The fire erupted earlier in the afternoon in the area of Tassajara and Fallon roads. Heavy smoke from the blaze, which officials said charred at least 118 acres, triggered a shelter-in-place order for the Dublin Ranch (east side of Fallon) and Positano communities.

Evacuation orders were also issued, but later lifted for nearby neighborhoods.

The fire late Tuesday was 75 percent contained, officials said.

No other information was immediately available.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[3 Former Tesla Factory Workers Allege Racial Discrimination]]>Tue, 17 Oct 2017 00:25:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10162017Tesla_448174.JPEG

In a lawsuit filed Monday, three former Tesla workers, all African American men, claim coworkers – and in some cases supervisors – routinely called them the N-word.

Owen Diaz, a former elevator operator inside the car maker’s Fremont factory, says coworkers began to harass him shortly after he started in June of 2015. He says they called him the N-word and told him to “go back to Africa.” He says he even found drawings depicting derogatory images of African Americans placed around the factory.

Diaz tried to ignore it, but says what happened to his son nearly broke him. Demetric Diaz, just 19 years old at the time, worked on the production line.

“I was turning the corner, I was coming out to give my son his lunch, and his supervisor started calling him a [expletive] [n-word],” he said.

Both men say they complained to the staffing agencies that placed them at Tesla. Owen Diaz sent an email to his boss, a Tesla employee, saying he didn’t feel safe around a coworker who he says harassed him. But they say nothing changed, until Demetric was let go a few months after he started, and Owen quit not even a year into the job.

“Couldn’t take it anymore,” he said.

A third complainant is also named in the lawsuit against Tesla and the staffing agencies. They’re not the first workers to make allegations of racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

In March, a production associate filed a suit against the iconic car maker, alleging the company failed to protect him from ongoing racial harassment despite making repeated complaints. One instance was captured on video. Coworkers filmed themselves calling the man the N-word and threatening to cut him up.

Tesla’s managing counsel says the company started an investigation, but failed to see it through after the representative handling the investigation left the company. Tesla took action against the men in the video more than six months later when the company reopened the case.

The company declined an interview request to discuss the most recent accusations. In a statement, a Tesla spokesperson said the company “takes any and every form of discrimination or harassment extremely seriously.”

The company says it doesn’t seek to avoid responsibility in instances where it’s at fault, but says that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Tesla says it’s found no evidence the men made complaints about racist language or behavior and says none of the workers ever brought a claim against the company until now.

The company is questioning why the men didn’t first make discrimination allegations to regulators, which is normally what happens in these sort of cases, and claims the lawsuit is the result of a negative media campaign by one lawyer.

Larry Organ of the California Civil Rights Law Group, also filed the lawsuit on behalf of Dewitt Lambert – the man at the center of racist threats captured on video. Tesla won the motion directing the case to arbitration. Organ then brought the case to federal court under the Civil Rights Act – a move Tesla says shows he’s shopping for a more favorable forum. The company claims he is preparing a negative media campaign against Tesla.

But Organ says the legal action is a way to force the company to educate workers about acceptable workplace conduct.

“This conduct is illegal,” he said.

Tesla says it now requires all employees to complete anti-harassment training, and recently created a team to investigate workplace concerns and recommend disciplinary action to improve employee behavior.

“We will never be able to stop every single person in the factory from engaging in inappropriate conduct,” a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement, “but we will continue to do everything that we can to encourage the right behavior and to take action whenever something bad happens.”

If you have a tip for the Investigative Unit, email theunit@nbcbayarea.com. Like Liz on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Fire Crews Join Fight Against North Bay Blazes]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:54:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/BerkeleyFire.PNG

Video recorded by a Berkeley Fire Department strike team responding to the North Bay wildfires shows firsthand how quickly the fire moved and how intense the flames were.

At 5 a.m. last Monday, firefighter Mike Shuken was on Berkeley Fire Department Engine 6 and racing for Santa Rosa. The crew was headed for what they thought was a grass fire. But as they hit the city limit, reality started to set in.

"It was one of those, 'I can't believe this is happening,'" Shuken said.

The Berkeley firefighters were told to stage at a Kmart store and wait for assignment. When they arrived the building was engulfed in flames.

Fire then beat the crew to their second spot, a neighboring gas station.

"The different areas that we arrived at were being eliminated as safe areas for staging, so we kept pushing forward," Shuken said.

The firefighters then found themselves in Santa Rosa's Coffey Park neighborhood, already unrecognizable, as fire had wiped out entire blocks.

"We weren't even sure what we were looking at," Shuken said. "Hundreds and hundreds of homes that burned down."

With fire burning all around them, they were finally able to make a stand on the 1800 block of Towhee Street.

Shuken thinks they managed to save roughly 30 homes, but also learned that one of the hundreds lost belonged to a fellow Berkeley firefighter.

Shuken said the video he recorded will not only help other agencies in their response to a natural disaster, but also show the rest of us what it was like on the frontlines of the devastating fire.



Photo Credit: Berkeley Firefighters]]>
<![CDATA[Smoke Advisory, Spare the Air Alert Issued for Bay Area]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 00:36:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17285575204007.jpg

A smoke advisory and Spare the Air alert have been issued for Monday in the Bay Area, air quality officials said Sunday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District recommended that people, especially in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties, stay inside when possible in buildings with filtered air such as public libraries and shopping malls; or people in the fire-impacted areas should leave the area for areas less impacted by wildfire smoke until the smoke levels subside.

People who must stay in the fire-impacted areas should wear an N95 mask to minimize breathing harmful particles in smoke.

Air district officials urge people to protect themselves and their family from heavy smoke.

Residents who see or smell smoke in their immediate area should stay indoors, if possible, with the windows and doors closed and air conditioning units on recirculate.

Air district officials are asking residents and visitors to avoid adding pollution to the air by cutting back on activities such as wood burning, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, driving and barbecuing.



Photo Credit: Eric Risberg/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Breaks Out Near Oakland Zoo]]>Sun, 15 Oct 2017 07:13:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/WEBCARFIREOAKLANDZOO_432338.JPEG

Firefighters battled a blaze that broke out near the Oakland Zoo Sunday morning.

The fire, which is believed to have started after a car caught fire, was burning along Golf Links Road.

Further information was not available.

Stay tuned for details.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Girl at Center of East Bay Amber Alert Found Safe: Sheriff]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 12:15:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/amberalertsplit.jpg

A 6-year-old girl at the center of an East Bay Amber Alert has been found safe, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday morning.

The girl's mother, 34-year-old Laquita Davis, was placed under arrest, according to the sheriff's office. 


Issued by the California Highway Patrol on behalf of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, the alert was in place in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. 

The girl was kidnapped around 6 p.m. Monday by Davis, sheriff's officials said.

Davis fled on foot, officials said.

Further details were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
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<![CDATA[North Bay Fires: Health Officials Issue Smoke Advisory]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 15:06:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/air-qualty.jpg

Bay Area health officials issued a smoke advisory due to the North Bay fires and advise residents to stay inside.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[North Bay Fires Prompt Smoke Advisory for Bay Area]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 15:45:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/AP_17282592183596.jpg

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory Monday as a result of multiple fires burning in Napa and Sonoma counties.

Smoke from the fires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres, wafted across the Bay Area due to high winds late Sunday and early Monday, air district officials said.

According to AIRNow, air conditions across the Bay Area are ranging between unhealthy and hazardous. Cities near or in Napa and Sonoma County are advised to take proper precautions. The air quality in these counties are very unhealthy and the population can be affected. 

Residents are advised to limit outdoor activities and to set air conditioning and car ventilation systems to the "recirculate" option to prevent outside air from entering.

If indoors, keep your windows and doors closed unless it is extremely hot outside. According to air district officials, if the home lacks air conditioning, staying inside with the windows closed may be dangerous in hot weather. It is advised that people in these circumstances seek alternative shelter. 

It is important to keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent additional smoke from coming in. 

Elderly people, children and those with respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible to the smoky conditions and should take extra precautions, air district officials said.




Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Walnut Creek Oktoberfest Canceled Due To North Bay Fires ]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 10:45:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AftermathWednesday4.jpg

Organizers announced Thursday that they were canceling Walnut Creek's annual Oktoberfest, citing air quality concerns caused by the deadly North Bay Area fires and guidance from health officials.

Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, Walnut Creek Downtown, and Labadie Productions, the city's iteration of Oktoberfest was slated to take place this coming Saturday. It's unclear if the festival will be rescheduled. 

"Our hearts go out to the victims of our neighbors who have suffered such loss and devastation," the three hosts said in a joint statement announcing the cancellation.

They encouraged would-be attendees to donate instead to fire relief through the Safeway Foundation, which usually partners with Oktoberfest and is now matching customer donations up to $500,000. The grocery chain's fundraiser is just one of many active campaigns dedicated to fire relief and providing aid to victims. 

An homage to the festivals that take place each year in Germany, Oktoberfest is an annual tradition in Walnut Creek and other parts of the Bay Area. Attendees typically wear costumes and dine on festive foods. In recent years, Bay Area festivals have become a hybrid celebration of both German food and drink — especially beer — and Halloween. 

Most of the other Bay Area Oktoberfest celebrations took place in late September this year. The Peninsula Oktoberfest, also slated for this weekend, has not announced a cancellation. 

The air quality in the Bay Area has been especially poor since Sunday, with little sign of letting up as the fires continue to ravage the region's wine country.

That air has been blowing into the East Bay, masking the sky in a noxious opaque haze. Walnut Creek's decision comes on the heels of schools across Contra Costa County shuttering classes. The National Weather Service has issued "Red Flag" warnings for large swaths of the Bay Area, advising people to keep indoors and refrain from burning materials. 

Find extensive wildfire coverage here

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Big Rig Engine Bursts Into Flames in Caldecott Tunnel]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 05:14:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/101317BIGRIGFIREAXAM_404790.JPEG

A dump truck’s engine caught fire while it was inside the Caldecott Tunnel early Friday.

Reported around 12:30 a.m., the fire caused major damage to the big rig and a wall of the East Bay tunnell.

It prompted the closure of two bores, which have since been reopened, officials say.

The driver, who stepped out of the vehicle to inspect the flames, was not hurt. No one else was injured.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Freeway Shooting on Highway-880 Causes Lane Closures]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 23:11:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NBC+Bay+Area+Breaking+News+Image31.png

A freeway shooting on Northbound Interstate-880 in Hayward has caused a traffic back up as police officials search for bullet casings and other evidence.

According to officials, drivers heading Northbound should seek alternate routes. 

The victim vehicle that was shot at approximately 7 p.m. was able to pull off the freeway and call 9-1-1.

Officials still have no suspect information. Victims were taken to a local hospital, according to CHP.

No other information was available.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Search for Stabbing Suspect Closes Lafayette BART Station]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:47:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/LafayetteBARTStabbing.PNG

Three people people on the platform at the Lafayette BART station on Sunday suffered non-life threatening injuries after a suspect pulled out a knife, according to BART.

The incident prompted BART to close the station for multiple hours while officers tried to track down the suspect.

The suspect is described as being in his 30s or 40s with short, blonde hair, unshaven and wearing a green army jacket along with a black backpack, according to BART. He fled the station on foot.

Around 9:45 a.m., the suspect approached someone on the platform and tried to rob them of their backpack, according to BART. The person refused, prompting the suspect to pull out a knife.

One victim, a 20-year-old male, suffered a minor injury to his head, according to BART. Another victim, a 19-year-old male, sustained an injury to his hand. Both victims were transported to the hospital, but their injuries were considered non-life threatening. 

Witnesses said a third person was also injured, but they left the station before officers arrived, according to BART.

It is not clear if the suspect knew the victims or if the victims knew each other, according to BART.

If anyone sees the suspect, they are asked to call 911. 

The station was closed right after the incident unfolded, but trains were still allowed to run through the station in both directions, according to BART. The station reopened just before 2 p.m.

Stay tuned for details.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA['Targeted Attack' Injures Uber Driver, 2 Men on I-880: CHP]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 01:55:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-night.jpg

An Uber driver and two men were injured early Sunday in a "targeted" freeway shooting that temporarily blocked all southbound lanes of Interstate 880 in Oakland, according to the CHP.

The three victims suffered undisclosed injuries, and all southbound lanes reopened by 8:30 a.m. after being closed for multiple hours, according to the CHP.

Before the shooting, a group of partygoers hopped into an Uber and started traveling southbound along Interstate 880, according to the CHP. As the group approached the area of 23rd Avenue, someone from another vehicle opened fire in what CHP officials said was a "targeted attack."

Three men, including the Uber driver, were hit by the bullets and taken to the hospital, according to the CHP.

Southbound lanes were temporarily closed so officers could collect evidence.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 707-551-4100.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Affordable Housing to Be Built at BART’s Coliseum Station]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:36:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oaklandcoliseumconstruction_326608.JPG

Ground was broken Friday on a $53 million, 110-unit affordable and market-rate housing development at Oakland's Coliseum BART station in a buoyant ceremony marked by cheers and three standing ovations.

Coliseum Connections, a transit-oriented development, is being built just a stone's throw from the station, on the grounds of its former parking lot. The development is expected to be completed in Dec. 2018, according to Michael Johnson of UrbanCore Development, the project's developer.

The project will include 55 units that will be affordable to households whose incomes fall between 50 and 60 percent of the area's median income. These rents will fall between $980 and $1,400 per month. The other 55 units will be market rate housing, renting for $1,800 to $2,200 a month.

As BART trains whizzed past on tracks only about 100 feet away, a crowd of about 200 celebrated the development, a coup for the long-maligned neighborhood of the Coliseum known as "deep East Oakland."

"The Bay Area is in a cost of living crisis," Mayor Libby Schaaf told the lively audience, which included Councilmembers Lynette Gibson McElhaney and Rebecca Kaplan, among other luminaries.

"We need to build housing like this, not only to give people a great place to live but to get them off the freeways," Schaaf said, occasionally speaking over the sound of tooting BART horns.

The star of the show was undoubtedly City Council President Larry Reid, who spearheaded the project, which is in his district, District 7. When he took the podium, Reid got a standing ovation, the first of three.

In an interview, Reid said the project, which will be either town homes or flats with one or two bedrooms, is close to several modes of public transit.

"This is a crown jewel," Reid said. "Amtrak, BART, AC Transit and (BART's) Airport Connector (to Oakland International Airport) all converge in one location."

When Reid was first elected to the council in the 1990s, "it was known as the killing fields for African American youth," he told the audience.

Now, Reid said, "aside from downtown Oakland and the Army base in West Oakland, the greatest opportunity for development is in my council district."

Before construction began on the project, located on the site of the station's former parking lot, there were 160 parking spaces at the station, said Larry Gallegos, manager of neighborhood investment for the city. Presently there are 20 spaces in a small spit of land next to the old lot that the city bought from Union Pacific, he said.

"When construction is completed, there will probably be 100 spaces" for BART riders, Gallegos said. Riders will follow the established procedure of paying for their spaces at the station, as they do at present.

UrbanCore Development secured a $29 million construction loan commitment from Chase Bank, the largest chunk of funding.

Additionally, $12 million in funding came from the City of Oakland, $1.25 million in subordinate debt from the Commonwealth Multi-Family Housing Corp., $10 million from the State Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, $9.7 million in tax credit equity from the Royal Bank of Canada and $2.5 million from Alameda County.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Considers Expansion in Fremont]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 18:35:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tesla_Considers_Expansion_in_Fremont.jpg

Electric car maker Tesla appears ready to expand its operations in Fremont.

The company is leasing two buildings in the 6000 block of Dumbarton Circle, which is roughly two miles from the Dumbarton Bridge. The move could bring up to 1,000 new jobs to the area, but that could also mean 1,000 more cars on already congested roads.

The two properties on Dumbarton Circle are about 11 miles from the Tesla factory off Interstate 880 in Fremont and about 20 miles from Tesla's Palo Alto headquarters.

John Goodwin with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission believes the root of the issue is a serious imbalance in jobs being located in areas where there is little affordable housing. The issue translates into longer commutes for drivers.

But Goodwin said if the city is looking ahead a few years, they could do a lot to smooth out future traffic concerns. Example of what could improve traffic conditions are signal light synchronizations and improved roads. There is already plans to convert parts of Highway 84 into express lanes and to encourage more carpool use.

In an e-mail to NBC Bay Area, the City of Fremont boasts about the new location and said "it's a reverse commute from the Peninsula." Read the full statement below. (Note references to Ardenwood indicate an area within Fremont)

City of Fremont statement:

Tesla can't be underestimated in terms of its importance to Fremont, the region, and the state. It's the largest manufacturer in California.

The ecosystem that supports Tesla through the supply chain is right here in Fremont and the rest of the region. The supply chain also has a broader reach and is being utilized by companies moving to our area.

The resurgence of manufacturing both here and across the United States, fueled by more advanced manufacturing processes, is very well represented by Tesla.

Ardenwood is perfectly positioned between the Peninsula and the greater East Bay talent pool. Not only does it sit in the right place, it takes advantage of open space amenities such as the Bay Trail and Coyote Hills Regional Park. We’ve seen a lot of new companies moving to Ardenwood such as EFI, Sportsvision, TE Connectivity, Boehringer Ingelheim, Asterias Biotherapeutics, Soraa, Ardelyx, and NEXTracker.

Another attraction for Ardenwood is it's a reverse commute from the Peninsula. Ardenwood provides a 7-minute ride across the Dumbarton Bridge and connects Fremont with its neighboring cities of Menlo Park and Palo Alto. For East Bay commuters, Ardenwood provides the opportunity to work closer to home.

]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Extinguish Brush Fire in Camp Parks]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:40:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10062017CampParksFire_310394.JPEG

Firefighters extinguished a small brush fire Friday afternoon at Camp Parks in Dublin.

No other information was immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Searching for Gunman Who Shot at Family's Car on Hwy 24]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 18:28:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1062017oaklandshooting_325895.JPEG

A family of four is reeling after someone shot at their car Friday on Highway 24 in Oakland.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the group was heading westbound near Interstate 580 when a grey sedan pulled up next to their car and fired shots in their direction.

It is unknown exactly how many shots were fired, but two bullets did manage to hit the vehicle, CHP officers said.

No one was hit. The suspect, who was driving a grey sedan, drove away after the shooting, the CHP said.

The family took the next exit and called 911 from a Valero gas station at Telegraph and West Grand avenues in Oakland to report the incident.

CHP officers did a quick traffic break to search for evidence, but officials say the highway is open and clear.

It is unknown why shots were fired at the family.

Officers are actively investigating the incident and searching for the suspect.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Data Breach Affects Eight Whole Foods Stores in Bay Area ]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 13:14:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-696617858.png

Heads up, Bay Area: If you shop at certain Whole Foods stores, your payment information may have been hacked.

Whole Foods officials said in September that the credit and debit card information of people who bought meals or drinks at its in-store restaurants or bars were exposed to hackers.

Eight of the 470 locations affected are in major cities in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara and Walnut Creek. 

The grocer, which was recently acquired by Seattle-based online retailer Amazon.com Inc., is investigating the hack, but says it did not affect its main checkout registers or any Amazon.com shoppers.

Below is a list of local stores where customer payment information may have been compromised:

Cupertino

20955 Stevens Creek Boulevard

Tap Room, Gengi Asian Venue

Dublin 

5200 Dublin Boulevard

Tap Room, Gengi Asian Venue

Mill Valley

731 East Blithedale Avenue

Tam Tam

San Francisco

Potrero Hill:

450 Rhode Island St

Burger Venue, Coffee Bar

SoMa:

399 4th Street

Tap Room, Gengi Asian Venue

San Jose

777 The Alameda

Pizza Venue, Sushi Venue, Tap Room

Santa Clara

2732 Augustine Drive, Suite 1600

Burrito Venue, Sandwich Venue, Tap Room

Walnut Creek

2941 Ygnacio Valley Road

Tap Room, Taqueria Venue

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[BART, VTA to Collaborate on Peer Review of Tunnel]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 19:19:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/BART-Generic-Image-3.jpg

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and BART are planning to collaborate, starting this month, on a peer review of single-bore and twin-bore tunnel methodologies for a five-mile span of tunnel planned for the Silicon Valley extension.

The peer review will be conducted by transit agencies currently operating railway subway systems. VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress said the transit system is also looking at particular agencies to coordinate within the coming weeks.

There are currently two proposals under consideration: one, a 45-foot diameter single-bore tunnel that will have the two tracks and the stations within it and the second is a twin-bore tunnel that has two 20-foot diameter tunnels with stations and a wide-center platform.

The Bart Phase II Silicon Valley extension is a long-term plan to extend BART from its original terminus point in Fremont into Silicon Valley, which was agreed upon by the VTA and BART in 2001.

The VTA said in a statement that the Phase II part of the project is currently in the state and federal environmental analysis process and is on track to receive the federal go-ahead in March 2018. Phase II, which has plans for three more stations south of the Berryessa station, is expected to be complete with an extension into downtown San Jose and Santa Clara by 2026.

The Warm Springs/South Fremont extension has been operational since March after years of delays, but it is not part of the BART Silicon Valley extension. Childress said one of the important factors in the Silicon Valley extension is eventually turning the Warm Springs/South Fremont station into a pass-through station as opposed to an end-of-line station.

The Milpitas station and the Berryessa station are the next two scheduled to open in 2018.

VTA is in charge of building and funding the extension and BART will operate it upon its completion.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[BART to Remove Asbestos From SF's Powell Street Station]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 12:00:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-184699709.jpg

BART is preparing to make some additions to one of its most popular stations in San Francisco, but, in the process, it will have to remove a material that has sparked concern among riders.

The agency needs to remove asbestos from three locations at the Powell Street station before installing new ceiling panels and lights. Starting Monday, the work will take place when the station is closed, but a protective enclosure will be visible during business hours.

BART says the asbestos has not been a hazard while it remained undisturbed. However, the new installations could cause dusting or flaking of the material so they are taking necessary precautions to inform the public about the construction.

Although BART says passengers have nothing to fear because it is common practice to remove asbestos from older buildings, some commuters can’t help but be worried that asbestos is dangerous and can, in some cases, lead to cancer.

Over the summer, BART removed asbestos as well as lead paint from eight other stations without running into any issues.

A special filtering system will be in place at the Powell Street station to ensure that the air in the station is clean. BART will also have safety monitors present during the work, which officials say could take two weeks.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UC Berkeley Vigil Honors Las Vegas Shooting Victims]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 23:36:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ucberkeleyvigil1005_301078.JPG

Dozens of students and educators stood shoulder to shoulder Thursday night at UC Berkeley during a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the Las Vegas massacre.

They shared their personal stories of losing friends and offered each other words of hope and strength for the future.

"It's times like this that it's important that we come together as a community," Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell said.

Some also told personal stories of grief, led by campus minister Rev. Daniel Curran.

"We all mourn because we all got hurt," he said.

Curran shared a personal experience about a 2014 attack near the UC Santa Barbara campus, where six people were killed. His daughter was a student at the school.

"There was that terrible 15 minutes where I didn't know where my daughter was," Curran said.

He reminded the group of about 40 students Thursday night that their lives matter and to not let what happened in Las Vegas diminish that.

"You're just as worthwhile. You're as valuable as you were before the weekend," he said.

A student advocate offered counsel to students who may need a shoulder to cry on or a voice of hope and encouragement.

"It can be hard when you're dealing with something so core-shaking," counselor Jillian Free said.

On a candlelit banner, students shared the names of people they lost and the true meaning of humanity.

"It's good that we're here," Curran said. "Keep going on."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART Police Focus Enforcement to Curb Fare Evasion ]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 17:01:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/182*120/BART-Fare-Evasion.jpg

BART police appeared in greater numbers at two stations and between the Coliseum and West Oakland stations Thursday as part of the new chief's strategy to cut fare evasion, police and a BART spokeswoman said Friday.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. two sergeants and eight officers conducted an operation between the Coliseum and West Oakland stations where they spoke with 27 people, issued 18 citations - most of which were for fare evasion - and arrested one person.

Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Daly City station one sergeant and four officers spoke with 16 people, cited eight for fare evasion and arrested one on an outstanding warrant.

Between 7:40 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. at the Richmond station, a sergeant and two officers spoke with 14 people and issued nine citations for fare evasion or possibly other offenses.

"We are cracking down on fare evasion and everyone needs to pay their fair share," BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.

BART has been doing this for the past month or two, Trost said. Fare evasion costs BART an estimated $15 to $25 million annually.

The increased enforcement is being done throughout the system, not at any specific stations.

BART officials are also making it harder to avoid paying a fare by installing such things as higher barriers around the paid areas, according to Trost.

Also, BART's board is considering hiring community service officers to check whether riders in the paid area of the system have paid.

The issue will be heard by the board on Oct. 26. Trost said the added police presence also deters crime.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Third Officer Case Dismissed in Sexual Misconduct Scandal]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 05:41:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/opdsexscandal1005_299782.JPG

A wide-reaching police officer sexual misconduct case involving an East Bay teenager is unraveling, according to one defense attorney.

Prosecutors on Thursday dropped the charges against Oakland police Officer Giovanni LoVerde, a day after a judge dismissed charges against another officer, Contra Costa sheriff's deputy Ricardo Perez, in the case alleging multiple East Bay law enforcement officers had sex with a teenager, some when she was underage.

Last month, a judge tossed out the case against police Officer Brian Bunton, citing a lack of evidence.

"I think it's politics at its very worst," said defense attorney Michael Cardoza, who is representing LoVerde. "Nothing but politics. These cops get accused, the DA bit and said we're filing without vetting all the evidence.

"Where's the proof? There's nothing," he said.

Of the seven officers charged in the sexual misconduct case involving teen Jasmin Abuslin, three have had their cases dropped or dismissed, and three have struck plea deals. None has received jail time. Civil rights attorney Pamela Price says that's an injustice.

"The community has the right to expect we're going to be able to hold police officers accountable when they're accused of engaging in misconduct, and that totally has not happened," Price said.

Abuslin never wanted the officers prosecuted and is satisfied they've faced discipline with their departments, according to her attorney. He said she wants to move on. But Cardoza said the officers have been unfairly dragged through the mud.

"People are going to remember people like LoVerde," he said. "They're not going to remember the case was dismissed because of no evidence."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART Police ID Robbery Suspect, Asks For Help Finding Him]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 16:24:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fredachi+stone-1005.jpg

BART officials have identified a man who robbed a woman on a train last month, and the transit agency is asking for the public's help in locating him.

The robbery occurred at about 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 11 on a

Fremont-bound train between the Hayward and South Hayward stations, and a day later BART police released photos of the suspect and asked for help in identifying him.

Police have since said an anonymous tip identified the suspect as Fredachi Stone, 37, who approached the victim, showed what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun and then grabbed her purse before getting off the train at South Hayward.

The victim was not injured in the robbery.

BART police described Stone as a black man who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 187 pounds. He does not have a known address but is known to frequent the area of 81st Avenue in Oakland.

Anyone with information about Stone or his whereabouts is asked to contact BART police at (510) 464-7040 or Detective Krehbiel at (510) 464-7053 or rkrehbi@bart.gov. People can also leave anonymous tips at (510) 464-7011.



Photo Credit: BART police]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Patriot Files Complaint About Free Speech Week]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 13:51:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-853148428.jpg

Attorneys representing a group of conservative students at the University of California at Berkeley have filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, claiming that university officials have violated their clients' First Amendment rights.

According to the law offices of Melo and Sarsfield, UC Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ indicated by email that her office was launching a hate crime investigation after students associated with the Berkeley Patriot publication distributed posters pertaining to last week's "free speech" events on campus.

In the email, which was sent to students and staff on Sept. 21, Christ called Berkeley Patriot's posters "hateful messaging" targeting specific student populations and staffers.

"I condemn these cowardly acts in the strongest possible terms," Christ wrote. "Our police department is investigating whether they constitute hate crimes and we will all do all we can to support those affected."

As a result of that statement, attorney Marguerite Melo said her clients canceled "Free Speech Week" because the students involved weren't willing to subject themselves to "a pre-textual criminal investigation."

"The message implied in her statements was clear -- conservative students will be subjected to a criminal police investigation (and implicitly a possible prosecution) for exercising their First Amendment Rights," Melo said in the complaint, which is dated Tuesday.

This complaint is a follow-up on an earlier one filed against university officials on Sept. 19.

The attorneys say that Christ's email, dated Sept. 21, and any subsequent hate-crime investigations that were opened up against their clients may have been a retaliatory response to that initial complaint.

University spokesman Dan Mogulof said in an email Thursday that Christ never called for an investigation into a crime, but rather announced that police were checking to see if a crime had been committed, and they later determined there had not. Christ also never suggested that Berkeley students were responsible for anything, according to Mogulof.

"These utterly unfounded allegations aimed at the Chancellor would be silly if they weren't so sad," Mogulof said.

He continued: "This is all part of an ongoing effort to blame others for an event that collapsed when it became evident that most, if not all of the speakers never had any intention of coming. The letter to the Justice Department reads like an assignment for a class in short-form fiction."

Mogulof compared the complaint to a lawsuit dismissed just last week by U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney in which the Berkeley College Republicans alleged that university officials had suppressed conservative speech back in April when an event with commentator Ann Coulter had to be canceled because the university could not guarantee it would be safe.

The cancellation prompted extensive protests and counter-demonstrations.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Law Offices of Melo and Sarsfield LLP, are located in Visalia. They specialize in civil and employment rights cases, according to the firm's website.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Interstate 680 Express Lanes to Open Monday]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 20:36:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/218*120/10-05-17-EXPRESS-LANE-SIGN.jpg

Drivers hoping to skirt traffic along Interstate 680 in the Tri-Valley only have a few more days before they will have to pay for it.

That's because high-occupancy toll lanes, or HOT lanes, between Dublin and Walnut Creek will officially open at 5 a.m. on Monday.

"It is expected to reduce congestion and to provide a more reliable trip for everybody in the corridor, but it is not going to eliminate congestion," John Goodwin from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

When it comes to pricing, that will depend on demand, according to the MTC. A minimum toll amount could only cost drivers 50 cents, but there is no official maximum. The charge will be priced in a way to try to guarantee that drivers will be traveling at a minimum of 45 mph speed in the toll lane.

The toll lane in the northbound direction will span roughly 11 miles between Alcosta Boulevard on the border of San Ramon and Dublin and Livorna Road on the northern edge of Alamo. The toll lane in the southbound direction will traverse 12 miles of roadway from Rudgear Road in Walnut Creek to Alcosta Boulevard.

Drivers interested in taking advantage of the new toll lanes will need a FasTrak device. Officials recommend that drivers use the FasTrak Flex device, which allows drivers to indicate how many people are in their car with the flip of a switch. Having two or more people in a car with the transponder or having a clean-air vehicle in general does away with any toll.

Future high-occupancy toll lanes are slated to come to Interstate 880 between Oakland and Santa Clara County by the end of 2019.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Las Vegas Shooting Victims With Bay Area Ties]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:47:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bay_Split_Vegas.jpg]]><![CDATA[Abandoned Boat Catches Fire in San Leandro Bay]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 12:21:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Abandoned_Boat_Catches_Fire_in_San_Leandro_Bay.jpg

A fire broke out on a boat in the San Leandro Bay around 12:45 a.m. on Thursday. Fire officials said no one was on the boat at the time of the fire. An investigation is underway.]]>
<![CDATA[Livermore Asks Community to Help With Downtown Design Plans]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 06:29:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/LivermoreProjectTool.JPG

Time to tap into your creativity, Livermore residents.

The East Bay city is asking residents to help them design plans for an urban living and work space that will eventually be built in the heart of downtown.

An empty eight-acre plot of land between First Street and Railroad Avenue is where the project will be built. What will be placed there is still unknown.

With the click of a mouse, residents have the chance to choose where to place housing, hotel, office, retail and conference center space in addition to parking spots and plaza areas.

"We’re looking to see, are there themes behind what people are saying?" Livermore's Community Development Director Paul Spence said. "Maybe everybody does want a little bit of open space in the heart of downtown. As people submit, we’ll begin to capture that we'll also be able to see where they want it, what kind of retail do they want, where do they want that retail. And maybe you're going to come up with an idea that we've never thought of."

Residents will have to keep in mind cost because the online building tool will let them know how much their project will cost the city.

The online tool has already sparked a number of citizens to submit their ideas. Residents who haven't taken part in the project have until the end of October to send their designs.

The hope is to have an exact plan in place by early 2018 with construction commencing in 2019.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Shelter in Place Order Lifted After Police Activity]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:32:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+lights+generic+picccc.jpg

Residents in downtown Berkeley were told to shelter in place late Wednesday due to police activity.

Police issued an alert on Nixle just before 7 p.m. to announce the shelter in place order and said "negotiations are in progress." During the response police told people to avoid the area of Bancroft Way and Roosevelt Avenue, near Berkeley High School.

Berkeley police at 7:36 p.m. tweeted the incident was safely resolved and rescinded the shelter in place order.

No other information was immediately available.

]]>
<![CDATA[Nerf Gun on Campus Prompts Lockdown at Los Positas College]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:39:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/suspectsandnerfgun_285294.JPEG

Las Positas College in Livermore was temporarily placed on lockdown Wednesday after a student brought a Nerf toy gun to school, police said.

Police indicated that the student had "no intent to cause harm or problems," but people on the campus were asked to shelter in place for just over an hour while officers investigated the incident.

Footage from the scene captured officers just before noon standing over two people while the lockdown was in place. Another officer nearby was seen holding the Nerf gun.

Police said a student located in a classroom was found to be in possession of the Nerf toy gun. Officers said the toy was mistaken for a rifle. After speaking to the student, police said the student brought the Nerf gun onto campus as a prop for an event unrelated to the school.

"The student had no intention of disrupting the school or causing fear," police said in a statement.

The 20-year-old student will not face any criminal charges, police said.

When the lockdown was lifted, classes and other school activities resumed immediately, according to the school.

Roughly 8,500 students attend Las Positas, according to the school.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Crash in Pittsburg Blocks Lanes of Highway 4]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:31:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1042017fatalpittsburgax_280765.JPG

A 22-year-old Discovery Bay woman died and four other people were injured in a crash involving several vehicles on westbound state Highway 4 in Pittsburg Wednesday morning, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

The fatal crash was reported at 8:01 a.m. on westbound Highway 4 just west of the Railroad Avenue overcrossing, CHP Officer Brandon Correia said.

Traffic had slowed down because of an earlier collision between a motorcycle and sedan, causing a Chevrolet Tahoe to rear-end a Nissan Sentra driven by the 22-year-old woman, Correia said.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene while her male passenger was taken to a hospital with injuries considered major but not life-threatening, he said.

The Tahoe had a mother, father and child inside and all three were also hospitalized. The child, believed to be between 10 and 13 years old, was taken as a precautionary measure while the mother and father had injuries considered major but not life-threatening, Correia said.

Five other vehicles collided behind the Sentra and Tahoe, but no other injuries were reported in those vehicles, he said.

The crash prompted the closure of the three right lanes of westbound Highway 4 for about three hours. The lanes reopened as of 11 a.m.

Editor's Note: The CHP previously reported that a motorcyclist was killed in the crash. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Alameda County Sued After Foster Girl Ingests Meth, Dies]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:53:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Courtroom-Generic.jpg

Attorneys for the family of a foster child who died after ingesting methamphetamine have sued Alameda County, saying the girl should have been removed from a Stockton home after she swallowed the drug for the first time.

The East Bay Times reports attorney Darren Kessler says county workers missed obvious signs that 3-year-old Mariah was in danger. Kessler is representing the girl's 5-year-old brother and his guardian.

Kessler says their foster mother took the girl to a hospital in 2015 because the child was "acting strange" and "talking to herself."

He says that less than two weeks later, on Oct. 16, Mariah died in the arms of her brother after ingesting methamphetamine for a second time. It is not clear how she came to ingest the drug.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Thieves Snatch Laptops at Alameda Starbucks]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:11:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Laptop+Typing.jpg

Alameda police are searching for ways to stop laptop thefts from happening after nearly a dozen laptop thefts at coffee shops have been reported in the last few months. 

The most recent theft occurred at local Peet’s coffee shop in Alameda where Mehrdad, a software engineer, was working on it with a friend. Mehrdad, says he noticed someone walking around him after a group of ten people came into the coffee shop and before he knew it, that person grabbed his laptop and ran away.

“We knew something was about to happen, but we were not prepared for this,” said Mehrdad. “I’ve never seen such a thing.”

According to officials, there have been eleven similar incidents at various coffee shops since mid-July, each with different suspect descriptions. Since these laptop thefts have occurred, only one arrest has been made.

Police are hoping to educate the public on the rise in laptop thefts by distributing fliers and have also posted surveillance video from a theft in September. In the video, two suspects, believed to be 18-20 attempt to take a laptop from a customer at a Starbucks on Blanding Avenue. Later the suspects are seen at another Starbucks on Park Street snatching laptops again. 

Officials are recommending people not to go after the thief, but rather keeping devices password protected and install tracking software. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Big-Rig Fire Blocks Lanes of I-580 Near Castro Valley]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:32:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BigRig580Fire.JPG

A big-rig fire temporarily blocked eastbound lanes of traffic along Interstate 580 near Castro Valley Wednesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The blaze, which blocked lanes just east of Eden Canyon Road, was reported at 5:36 a.m., according to the CHP.

A Sig-Alert was issued at 6:07 a.m. because at least three lanes were blocked, according to the CHP. Roughly one hour later, all lanes were cleared.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigating 3 Shootings in Oakland]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 00:00:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oaklandshooting1003_276144.JPG

Police are investigating three separate shootings that occurred around the same time span Tuesday in Oakland, leaving two people wounded and one person dead, police said.

The first shooting occurred at about 4:40 p.m. in the 1400 block of 74th Avenue. There, a male victim suffered gunshot wounds and was taken to a hospital, according to police.

At 4:58 p.m., officers learned that a male victim suffering from gunshot wounds was taken to a hospital from the area of 14th Avenue and International Boulevard.

A third shooting was then reported at 5:57 p.m. in the 2400 block of International Boulevard.

There, a male shooting victim was located suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Detectives are continuing to investigate all three shootings and do not know at this time whether they are related, according to police.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Surveillance Video of Suspects Released in Berkeley Assault]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 23:03:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/calassault1001_247400.JPG

Campus police released a video Monday of the suspects in an aggravated assault that left a University of California at Berkeley student unconscious early Sunday morning.

Police said officers got a call at 12:39 a.m. from witnesses regarding an alleged assault at Unit 3, a residence hall at 2400 Durant Ave.

The victim got into an argument with three other men and the men allegedly beat the victim, who lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital. He has since been released from the hospital, police said.

The suspects walked away on Durant Avenue and officers looked for them but were unsuccessful.

One suspect was dressed in all black. Police said another suspect was wearing a red hat, a white shirt and blue jeans.

A third suspect was wearing a plaid shirt and white shoes, according to police.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact campus police at (510) 642-0472 or (510) 642-6760.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Danville Police Investigating School Threat]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 16:52:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+lights+generic+picccc.jpg

Danville police are investigating a school threat set for Tuesday and are beefing up patrols in the area.

A jogger found a threatening message Sunday painted on a footbridge off Old Blackhawk Road. The message has been painted over, but police said it read "Shooting at MV and SRV 10/3," an apparent reference to Danville's two high schools Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley.

Police have been investigating, but said the threat does not appear credible.

Investigators said they do not have anything to corroborate the threat, but officers will still take precautions and be out in force Tuesday to make sure students feel safe.

Authorities said there was a very similar incident a few years ago, a threatening message left on a footbridge, but it targeted a different school. Nothing happened in that incident, police said.

]]>
<![CDATA[Car Flips in Collision Near San Lorenzo School: FD]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 10:49:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/10-02-17-san-lorenzo-school-crash.jpg

Two vehicles collided in a crash near an elementary school in San Lorenzo Monday morning, according to fire officials.

One of the cars involved overturned following the collision, which occurred after 8 a.m. along the 800 block of Grant Avenue near Grant Elementary School, fire officials said.

It is unclear if anyone was injured, according to fire officials.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: Susan Moser ]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Suffers Concussion in Hit-and-Run in Antioch: Police]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 22:47:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/antioch+bike-1001.jpg

A 10-year-old boy suffered a concussion Saturday afternoon when a vehicle hit him as he was riding his bike in front of his home in Antioch.

At about 2 p.m., the boy was riding his bike on Bart Avenue when someone drove up behind him and hit his bike with their vehicle before driving away toward Marie Avenue.

The vehicle dragged the boy's bike underneath it.

Police said that the boy was knocked off the bike and did not end up under the vehicle, but he suffered multiple injuries including the concussion.

Police said the boy was taken to a hospital.

The vehicle is described as an older gray sedan similar to a Honda Accord. Police said the vehicle may have tinted windows and may have damage to the front end or right side.

Anyone with information about the location of the vehicle or the identity of the driver is asked to call police at (925) 778-2441 and refer the information to Officer McElroy and to case No. 17-10545.



Photo Credit: Antioch PD]]>
<![CDATA[UC Berkeley Student Beaten Unconscious, Suspects Flee: PD]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 23:47:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/calassault1001_247400.JPG

A male student at UC Berkeley lost consciousness early Sunday after he was beaten by a group of males at a residence hall, and the suspects are still at large, according to police.

Police said the victim, who witnesses said is a Cal baseball player, became entangled in an altercation with the trio before being beaten at Unit 3, a complex that includes high-rise buildings for student housing.

The victim was transported to a hospital before being released hours later, police said.

The victim told police that the assault was unprovoked, but witnesses reported that there was an exchange of words before the beating.

The suspects were last seen walking away from the scene via Durant Avenue, according to police. Officers searched the area, but they did not find the suspects.

Students reacted Sunday with shock and concern for safety. One student said the victim went outside to make a call just before he was attacked.

"He got beat up in the back of the head and face and is hurt," student Sofia Sotomayor said. "It's pretty crazy it happened on the street."

Students who know the victim said he is a Cal baseball player and not a violent person.

"He's not a threatening kid; he is really nice," student Sloane Leipzig said. "He would never do anything to incite an incident like this."

One suspect was described as wearing all black clothing, according to police. The second suspect was said to be wearing a red hat, white shirt and blue jeans. The third suspect was believed to be wearing a plaid shirt and white shoes.

Anyone with information regarding the assault is asked to contact the University of California Police Department at 510-642-0472 during business hours or 510-642-6760 during all other times.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Make Arrest in Assault That Killed Oakland Man, 80]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 23:27:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/oaklandPD.jpg

A person has been arrested in connection with an Oakland homicide late Friday, police said.

Officers responded to a call about an assault in the 6000 block of Margarita Avenue at 11:38 p.m., police said. The officers found a 80-year-old Oakland resident with major head trauma.

The man received medical attention, but succumbed to his injuries, police said.

Reports indicate the 80-year-old man's son was arrested in connection with the killing. No further information was available.

An investigation is underway, and anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 510-238-3821 or the tip line at 510-238-7950.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Child Possibly Chasing Dog Is Hit by Car, Killed in Hayward]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 12:04:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic24.jpg

A four-year-old boy who might have been chasing a dog across the street on Fabian Way in Hayward died after being hit by a car Friday evening, police said.

The toddler was crossing Fabian Way northbound near Harvey Avenue when he was struck by an eastbound Jeep Wrangler around 6:45 p.m., according to police. The driver, a 48-year-old Hayward man, remained at the scene and is cooperating with investigators.

The child died at Eden Hospital shortly after he was taken there, police said.

Some witnesses have told investigators the boy was running after a dog when he was struck by the passing vehicle.

The Traffic Bureau Major Accident Investigation team is investigating the collision.

Any witnesses are encouraged to call Hayward police Sgt. Jason Corsolini at 510-293-7149.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Two Dead After Head-On Collision on Interstate 880]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 18:17:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBOaklandCollision_237285.JPEG

The California Highway Patrol is reporting that two women were killed during a fatal head-on collision on northbound Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland on Saturday morning.

The collision occurred at the Broadway off-ramp and was first reported at 4:18 a.m., according to the CHP.

According to witnesses, the collision happened after one of the women came on to the interstate southbound, against traffic, with her headlights off. 

Other vehicles sustained damage as drivers hit their brakes to avoid the vehicle traveling in the wrong direction. 

The CHP issued a Sig-alert due to the collision, closing three lanes. It has since been cancelled. 

The incident is still under investigation, including a possible DUI, but that's only conjecture since both drivers are dead. 




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders' Sean Smith Pleads Not Guilty to Assault in Pasadena]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 14:47:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-613637896+%281%29.jpg

Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith pleaded not guilty Friday to a pair of felony charges for allegedly assaulting his sister's boyfriend in Old Pasadena on the Fourth of July.

Smith, 30, is charged with one count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury.

Smith allegedly beat the victim and stomped on his head near the corner of Arroyo Parkway and Colorado Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

A date is scheduled to be set Nov. 6 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require Smith to stand trial.

He could face up to seven years in state prison if convicted as charged, prosecutors said.

Smith is a Pasadena native and attended William Blair High School. He is an eight-year NFL veteran, playing four years with the Miami Dolphins and three years with the Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Raiders last season. He played three seasons of college ball at the University of Utah, beginning as a wide receiver before moving to cornerback.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Stand for Anthem While Denver Nuggets Link Arms]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 23:26:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/Warriors-stand-nuggets.JPG

The Oakland Warriors pre-season opener had a lot of fans wondering if Steph Curry and his teammates would join in solidarity, like many sports teams have and take a knee, during the singing of the National Anthem.

Unfortunately for many fans, the Golden State Warriors decided against any kind of display, but the Denver Nuggets, and the team’s coaching staff, chose to link arms.

“No matter what we do, we’re going to take criticism, “said Warriors Coach Steve Kerr. “If our guys were to kneel, people would say, why are you kneeling? Tonight maybe they said, why weren’t you kneeling?”

President Donald Trump has been at the center of controversy after tweeting at NFL football players imploring them to stand during the National Anthem. In the last week, President Trump went after Steph Curry for saying he wouldn’t attend the White House celebration for the team’s championship. In response, President Trump rescinded the whole team’s invitation.

Many Warriors fans were surprised to see the Denver Nuggets linking arms and cheered them on for their solidarity.

“They didn’t do anything,” said Warriors fan, Bruce Nadler. “Denver did. I was kind of disappointed that they didn’t at least lock arms.”

Many members of the Warriors team, including Curry, have expressed their solidarity with former 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, the first athlete to kneel during the National Anthem.

It’s possible the Warriors chose not to kneel due to a specific NBA league rule that requires all athletes to stand for the National Anthem.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Arrested in Connection to Fremont Crash Killing Teen]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 19:51:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/shane-logan-hs.jpg

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a May crash in Fremont that killed a high school student who was returning home from her prom, police said Saturday.

Robert Carroll, 22, was arrested Sept. 22 and is now in the Santa Rita Jail, police said. He was arrested on suspicion of committing gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence causing injury, police said.

Carroll was intoxicated and driving 100 mph when he allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Fremont Boulevard and Darwin Drive, smashing into the Toyota Yaris in which Shane Marcelino, 18, was a passenger May 14, 2017, police said.

The crash killed Marcelino and sent her mother to a trauma center with serious injuries, according to police.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Demolishes Two Piers of Old Bay Bridge Foundation]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 09:12:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bbimplosiono_231573.JPG

Caltrans demolished two piers of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's old eastern span Saturday morning, officials said.

The implosions took place underwater and removed piers E9 and E10.

It was the third of this fall's six scheduled implosions for the demolition of the remaining 11 marine foundations of the original east span of the bridge. 

Traffic breaks were expected anytime between 9 and 11 a.m., when the implosions were planned to take place, according to Caltrans. 

The agency said it plans to finish the work by mid-November. Caltrans began demolishing the old eastern span in September 2013 after the new eastern span opened to traffic.

Pier E3, which was the largest pier and the closest to Yerba Buena and Treasure islands, was removed in 2015 and piers E4 and E5 were removed in 2016.

The remaining piers will be removed every other weekend through the second week in November, Caltrans officials said.

By combining the demolition of multiple piers, when possible, Caltrans says it is poised to save $10 million in taxpayer money.

Caltrans provided a livestream of the demolition online.



Photo Credit: Caltrans]]>
<![CDATA[Attorney Examines Oakland Police In-Custody Death]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 20:24:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/opd+study-0607.jpg

The family of a man who died while in Oakland police custody after being Tased has contacted a civil rights attorney.

Oakland-based lawyer John Burris said he wants to get to the bottom of what happened.

Meanwhile, the Oakland Police Department said the in-custody death is being investigated by both the homicide unit and internal affairs.

Paulo Couto witnessed Thursday's incident. He said after a traffic collision just outside his workplace on Oakland's Foothill Boulevard, a driver took off running and got combative with police officers who tried to put him in a patrol car.

Couto said the man was screaming "No, I don't want to go inside. Don't take me. Help me! Help me!"

The officers ended up using a Taser on the man, who later died at a hospital.

"All I know is a person is dead and a Taser was used," Burris said. "The question to me is was a Taser used properly and did it contribute to his death?"

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office also is conducting an independent investigation.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area file]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland PD Investigating In-Custody Death Involving Taser]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 23:46:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/opd+study-0607.jpg

The Oakland Police Department is investigating an in-custody death involving a Taser, the department said in a news release.

The incident occurred about 2:25 p.m. Thursday in the 4100 block of Foothill Boulevard, police said. They did not provide any details about the suspect or the crime, saying additional information would be provided at a later time.

The death is being investigated by the Oakland Police Department Homicide Section and Internal Affairs Division, per standard department protocol, polce said.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office also is conducting an independent investigation.

The cause of the suspect's death is being investigated.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area file]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Arrested on Suspicion of Richmond Hit-and-Run of Child]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 23:50:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/richmond-Suspect+Vehicle+2.jpg

A teenager was arrested Thursday in connection with a hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 3-year-old boy in Richmond one day prior, police said.

The 19-year-old suspect works as the receptionist at Friend's Auto Repair where the vehicle's owner had dropped off a red SMART car, investigators say. It's unclear why the woman was driving the car, but police believe she struck the toddler around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 2700 block of Macdonald Avenue.

"From what we understand, she's a receptionist for the auto shop and somehow she was able to obtain the keys and drove the customer's car," said Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan.

Investigators say the suspect then returned the vehicle to its owner, who drove away, unaware that the vehicle had been involved in a crime. Police said the damage to the car was minor so the owner didn't notice it.

The woman was was pulled over by El Cerrito police around 7:30 a.m. Thursday on the westbound Interstate 80 on-ramp from Potrero Avenue, Tan said.

"Right now, she's under arrest and booked for felony hit-and-run," he said.

Officers learned that the toddler, Geronimo Perez, was with his mother and was about to get into their car parked along the curb. But he escaped his mother's grasp and darted into the street where the car struck him, according to Tan.

The suspect fled.

"It wasn't responsible for the driver to take off like that," said Ivis Andrade. "We have to be responsible for what we do."

Andrade ran out of her office to see the toddler lying on the street. That's a scene she says she will never forget.

"I saw the mom how she was panicking and crying," Andrade said. "I don't think any mother should have to go through that."

The boy was described as being critically injured Wednesday and Tan said Thursday morning that his condition is now "critical but stable."

Geronimo's devastated father said he had surgery to reduce swelling in his brain and is now breathing with the help of a machine.

"It's not fair," he said in Spanish. "He is just a baby."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at (510) 233-1214.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: Richmond PD]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Reimburse Oakland Nearly $800K For Parade Expenses]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:59:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Steph+in+the+crowd.jpg

The Golden State Warriors made good on their word and have refunded the city of Oakland almost $800,000 spent to host the team's 2017 Championship parade, officials said Thursday.

The city said in an upbeat statement that it's grateful for the $786,998 payment, which offsets the taxpayer money used to pay for the police, fire and public works personnel who staffed the June parade.

But the Warriors had a different take on the reimbursement.

The team said it decided to refund the city despite the fact that the amount they paid is more than double the $300,000 estimate the city gave them before the parade. "We have made this decision despite our disappointment with the process and the large disparity between the two estimates," the Warriors said.

The Warriors are headed to San Francisco, where they broke ground this year on a new arena slated to open in 2019.

Despite that, tens of thousands of loyal fans lined Oakland streets along the parade route to get a glimpse of the team riding atop a double-decker.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Inmates Who Escaped From Dublin Prison Arrested in Mexico]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 14:33:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0906-2017-FedInmates.jpg

Two women who escaped from a federal minimum security facility in Dublin earlier this month have been arrested in Mexico, U.S. Marshals Service officials said Thursday.

Irene Michell, 37, and Anna Armstrong, 34, were serving time at FCI Dublin, a minimum-security prison camp for women, on federal narcotics charges when they escaped on the evening of Sept. 4.

Michell was serving 110 months in prison and her criminal record includes theft, assault, fraud and identity theft in Montana and Washington.

Armstrong was serving 63 months and has ties to Lancaster in Los Angeles County and Yuma, Arizona.

There were multiple public sightings of Michell reported after the escape, including in rural Livermore, but it was not until Tuesday that federal authorities tracked her down.

Michell was arrested Tuesday in an apartment complex in Tijuana less than 10 miles from the U.S. border. Armstrong was located and arrested in San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico on Wednesday.

Both have been returned to the United States and charged with escape in federal court.



Photo Credit: United States Marshals Service]]>
<![CDATA[Alleged Vehicle Thief Arrested in Hayward After Carjacking]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 13:17:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-28-17-suspect-captured-cops.jpg

A man accused of stealing a car in the East Bay was taken into custody Thursday after a police pursuit and dramatic carjacking. 

The metallic red Chevrolet Equinox was reported stolen in Alameda, police said. It was spotted in Lafayette, so police began to pursue the driver who headed to Danville. Officers stopped chasing the suspect when conditions became dangerous, they said. He was then monitored by air.

The man, speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road, headed to Hayward. There, at a traffic light, he proceeded to bail out of his SUV and jump into a white convertible. 

Within 90 seconds, the driver of the drop-top BMW, identified later only as Nathan, stopped on the side of the road, while the suspect yelled at him. Hayward police had arrived on the scene and aimed their guns at the pair. 

The suspect, who had cornrows and was dressed in jeans, a white T-shirt and a black hoodie, walked backwards with his hands in the air and was handcuffed. He was last seen being loaded into the back of a police car.

Nathan was taken into custody briefly, but was then freed and seen sitting on the road amid a heavy police presence.

Police said that when the man leaped into the BMW, they didn't know if the two were friends. It was only after the car was pulled over that officers learned that Nathan was a carjacking victim.

Nathan told NBC Bay Area that he works at a car dealership and was running an errand in his employee's convertible when he countered the suspect, who struck the BMW with his SUV, then jumped in it and ordered Nathan to drive.

"He was aggressive, screaming," he said. 

The man wasn't carrying a gun or knife, but Nathan said his behavior was threatening. "He tried to fight me physically," he recalled. 

The suspect was arrested quickly so "I don't know what happened to him after that," Nathan said.

Check back for updates. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed in I-80 Police Shootout Owned Napa Limo Company]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 13:49:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/atrincherado+emeryville.jpg

A man who died after exchanging gunfire with police officers on Interstate 80 in Emeryville on Wednesday has been identified as 45-year-old Demilo Trayuon Hodge.

Hodge grew up in the Bay Area and owned and managed the Executive Excursion Limousine Service, offering wine tours in the Napa area.

Police said he was officially listed as a San Leandro resident, but his Facebook profile says he lived in Napa.

Hodge was wanted in connection with the killing of 68-year-old William Freeman on the 800 block of Sunset Court in Fairfield on Dec. 10, 2015, according to police.

When Fairfield officers saw Hodge Wednesday and tried to conduct a traffic stop, he failed to yield. Instead, he led them on a pursuit around 9 a.m., Lt. Rob Lenke said.

In an attempt to flee from police, Hodge headed to westbound I-80. That's where California Highway Patrol officers from Contra Costa County, who were investigating a crash in the eastbound lanes, became involved in the effort to stop the suspect.

Since they were already at the scene, the officers were able to quickly deploy spike strips near University Avenue and stop the black SUV that Hodge was driving, Cmmdr. Dan Seaman said. 

"The vehicle collided with a concrete barrier ... lost a front wheel then came to a stop on westbound 80," said CHP officer Matthew Hamer. 


A standoff ensued near the Powell Street exit in Emeryville, with officers negotiating with Hodge via voice commands and by calling his cell phone, said Emeryville police Capt. Oliver Collins. Hodge refused to cooperate with demands to surrender and instead "exited the vehicle and started shooting at officers," Lenke said. 

"The end result was officers discharging firearms at the suspect," Collins said.

Footage from the scene shows roughly half a dozen police cars that stopped just short of the car. Officers disembarked, drew their guns and aimed their weapons in the Hodge's direction.

Shortly thereafter, Hodge poked his head and arms out of the driver's window before jumping out of the vehicle. He then shot in the police's direction before dropping to the ground after officers returned a volley of gunfire.

"In this incident, shots were being fired at officers so officers fearing for their lives had to engage," said Lt. Felix Tan with the Richmond Police Department.

A police K-9 ran toward Hodge, who was eventually placed in a vehicle and taken away from the scene. Hodge was transported to a hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries, police said.


According to Collins, officers from both Fairfield and Richmond shot at Hodge multiple times. Exactly how many police officers opened fire and how many rounds were fired remain unknown.

The officers involved have been "sequestered by their individual agencies," said Collins, adding that the Emeryville Police Department's only involvement in the case is its investigation into the "criminal aspect" of the officer-involved shooting. 

Hodge had a firearm, which he discharged near or at the officers, said Collins, who couldn't confirm who fired first. 

An investigation is ongoing, but it could take weeks or months to go through evidence, transcripts and videos, Collins said. After that, the case will be turned over to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

All lanes of I-80 were shut down while investigators canvassed the scene and combed the area for evidence. The eastbound lanes were reopened around 11:10 a.m., but no such luck for commuters stuck on the westbound lanes. They weren't allowed to move until 5 p.m.

"We're sincerely sorry for the major traffic delays" that were felt not only around the East Bay, but also in San Francisco, said Emeryville police Chief Jennifer Tejada.


A commuter, identified as Debbie Bhurtyao, was stopped very close to where she works.

"Never been in one of these situations," she said, "especially being 15 seconds away from work and now I will be two hours late."

Bhurtyao was among the first people to get stuck behind the police blockade and then interviewed by CHP officers. 

"I was shocked. I thought he was dead," said Bhurtyao, who described hearing about 20 to 30 shots being fired. "Unfortunately, I think that guy was on a suicide mission."

NBC Bay Area's Brendan Weber and Anser Hassan contributed to this report.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Missing At-Risk Teen Found in Vallejo :Police]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 17:29:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/elvina-daly-city.JPG

Police have located the at-risk teen that was reportedly missing and in possession of her father's handgun safely in Vallejo Thursday afternoon. 

Officers at the scene confirmed there was no gun involved in the incident. 

Daly City officers began their search for Elvina Lynn Guillory early Thursday morning which prompted a lockdown at Westmoor High School.

The 17-year-old teen was last seen wearing a black wool cap, a black t-shirt and blue jeans. 




Photo Credit: Daly City Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Gang Members Arrested on Suspicion of Homicide]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 16:15:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Homicide-gang-members.JPG

Two suspected gang members have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man Sept. 10 in San Pablo, police said.

Adrian Segoviano-Hernandez was shot to death Sept. 10 in the 1800 block of Powell Street. According to police, investigative leads led to a possible gang-related motive for the shooting.

Jose Maravilla, 22, of Richmond, was arrested at the Concord BART station Thursday with assistance from BART officers, police said. Ignacio Sanchez, 24, of San Pablo, was arrested later that afternoon in the area of Fourteenth and Willow streets in Oakland, according to police.

The two were booked into Contra Costa County Jail on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and participation in a criminal street gang, police said.



Photo Credit: San Pablo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Pedestrian Struck, Killed on Kirker Pass Road: Concord PD]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 07:54:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-crop.jpg

A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a vehicle on a thoroughfare in the East Bay Thursday morning, Concord police said.

The collision was reported just after 7 a.m. in the area of Kirker Pass Road near Olive Drive, police said.

Police indicated that the driver of the car stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Drivers were asked to avoid the area and take alternate routes because police said delays would likely last for two to three hours.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[2 Dead After San Leandro Mobile Home Catches Fire: FD]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 11:41:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-28-17-alameda-fire-home.jpg

Two people died in a mobile home fire in San Leandro early Thursday, officials said.

The blaze broke out at 285 Santa Susana in the East Bay city, according to fire officials.

Crews arrived at the scene just after 5:30 a.m. and saw smoke and flames bursting through the structure's windows. They were able to knock down the flames fairly quickly, but it appears as though the elderly couple inside the home was unable to get out in time.

Firefighters found their bodies when they entered the fully engulfed mobile home. 

A friend of the victims said the wife was a heavy smoker, but a neighbor said the woman never smoked inside her mobile home. The victims have not been identified, but a neighbor said the woman was known as the “San Lorenzo Hugger” because she hugged everyone she saw.

She lost her 9-year-old son to a mobile home fire several years ago, according to a family friend.

Fire crews do not know what triggered the blaze, but said it did not appear to be suspicious.

An investigation is underway.



Photo Credit: Alameda County Fire]]>
<![CDATA[Students Without Internet at Home Receive Help From Sprint]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 06:56:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/education+stock+latino+school+student+kid+computer+classroom.jpg

Completing homework that requires internet access can be a difficult task for some Bay Area students. Sprint is hoping to change that.

The major carrier on Thursday is slated to hand out free tablets, smartphones or other devices that will provide an estimated 3,200 Oakland high schoolers with hotspots that can link the students to the internet outside of school.

Oakland students are not the only ones benefiting. Rougly 4,000 East Side Union School District students, 600 West Contra Costa Unified School District students, 432 Campbell Union School District students and 242 San Jose Unified School District students also received devices this school year.

Sprint's donation is part of the company's 1Million Project, which strives to bring internet access to student who otherwise wouldn't have it when they leave the classroom. The company is working with Oakland nonprofit Tech Exchange to dish out the devices.

A report by the New York Times found that 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires students to jump on the internet.

Sprint is taking applications for the second year of the project, which will impact students next school year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[3-Year-Old in Critical Condition After Hit-Run in Richmond ]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 05:50:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/richmond-Suspect+Vehicle+2.jpg

A 3-year-old child was in critical condition Wednesday after a hit-and-run in Richmond, police said.

At about 11:30 a.m., officers responded to the 2800 block of Macdonald Avenue on a report of a vehicle collision involving a young child. Officers arrived to find a 3-year-old child suffering from major injuries, police said.

The suspect vehicle fled from the scene, and police were still searching for it late Wednesday. Police released a surveillance image of what appeared to be a red smart car with a black top.

The child was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition, police said.

No further details were immediately available.



Photo Credit: Richmond PD]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Arrested For Striking CHP Helicopter With Laser]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 00:14:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/sl+laser-0927.JPG

A suspect was arrested for allegedly striking a California Highway Patrol helicopter with a laser multiple times last week when it was helping San Leandro police search for a robbery suspect, CHP officials said.

The crew of Helicopter 30 was searching for the robbery suspect, who authorities described as violent, on Sept. 20 when the helicopter became illuminated by a green laser from a nearby neighborhood, according to the CHP.


Multiple laser strikes caused the helicopter's crew to stop searching for the robbery suspect because of the potential danger, CHP officials said.

However, the H-30 crew was able to direct ground officers to the laser suspect's location and the suspect was arrested for pointing a laser at an aircraft, according to the CHP.

If the suspect is convicted, he could face steep fines, imprisonment, and penalties from the Federal Aviation Administration, CHP officials said.

Laser strikes are extremely dangerous to aircrews and can cause blindness. CHP officials said it's fortunate that the crew of the H-30 was able to keep the helicopter airborne and take the laser suspect into custody.

The CHP and San Leandro police didn't return calls seeking the laser suspect's name.



Photo Credit: CHP Golden Gate
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<![CDATA[Defendants Plead Not Guilty in Oakland Warehouse Fire Suit]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 15:39:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ALMENA+AND+HARRIS1.png

Two men charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with a deadly Oakland warehouse fire pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Almena, 47, and Max Harris, the warehouse's 27-year-old creative director, have been in custody in lieu of $750,000 bail.

Almena and Harris are each charged for their roles in a deadly fire during a crowded dance party at the warehouse at 1309 31st Ave. in Oakland's Fruitvale district on Dec. 2 and could face 39 years in state prison if they're convicted.

The pair's pretrial hearing is slated for Nov. 7 and their preliminary hearing on Nov. 13.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said when she filed the charges against Almena and Harris on June 5 that their actions were "reckless" and created a high risk of death for the people who attended the dance party, for which Almena and Harris had failed to get permits from the city of Oakland.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman has denied motions by PG&E and warehouse owner Chor Ng to be removed from civil lawsuits that have been filed on behalf of families of 31 of the 36 fire victims. 

Among the other defendants who are named in the civil lawsuits are Almena, the city of Oakland, Alameda County and the state of California.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Among Best for Coffee: Report]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:02:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/coffee-generic-edit.jpg

Folks in Fremont love their coffee so much they spend more on cups of joe than any other city in the nation, according to a new report.

WalletHub found that Fremont — along with other spots across the Bay Area — is a hot hub for coffee lovers, according to its "2017's Best Coffee Cities in America" list, which only compared the most populated cities in the United States.

The report found that San Francisco is the third best coffee city in the nation, followed by Oakland (No. 13), San Jose (No. 24) and Fremont (No. 26).

What exactly makes a city qualify as the best coffee city? WalletHub says price of an average cappuccino, number of coffee shops in a city and even the presence of "coffee lovers" hangouts, among a host of other qualifications.

Behind Fremont, San Francisco households boast the third-highest average spending on coffee compared to other big cities across the nation, according to WalletHub. San Jose checked in at No. 5 on that specific list.

As the study suggests, Bay Area residents spend a lot on coffee. Specifically, they are forking over the most when it comes to purchasing bundles of the beverage, whether that be beans or coffee grounds.

Only Honolulu, Hawaii has a higher average price per pack of coffee than Fremont and San Francisco, according to the report.

Coffee might be expensive in San Francisco, but drinkers appear to be getting their money's worth — if they visit the right place. The city by bay is tied for first when it comes to be being home to the most affordable coffee shops with a rating of 4.5 or higher, according to WalletHub.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dumbarton Bridge Traffic Congestion Public Hearing]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:40:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dumbarton_Bridge_Traffic_Congestion_Public_Hearing.jpg

Officials are holding a meeting to discuss a new transbay bridge and possibly using old train trestles as a way to ease congestion along the Dumbarton Bridge.]]>
<![CDATA[Three Lanes of State Route 24 Closed After Woman Hit, Killed]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 13:11:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/9-27-17-lafayette-fatal-crash.jpg

A woman was hit by a vehicle and killed Wednesday on westbound State Route 24 in Lafayette, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision occurred around 11:05 a.m. near Pleasant Hill Road. Responding CHP officers and first-responders pronounced the pedestrian dead at the scene. 

The fatal crash prompted the closure of lanes 2, 3 and 4 because officers are now investigating the scene, the CHP said. There is no estimate for when the lanes will reopen.

Lane 1 and the connector to Pleasant Hill Road are open to allow cars to pass.

It remains unclear why the woman was on the freeway.

An investigation is ongoing.

Additional details were not immediately available.

People with information about the crash are asked to call the Contra Costa CHP in Martinez at 925-646-4980.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Zoo Welcomes Baby Baboon]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:57:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Kito-baby-baboon-oakland-zoo-3.jpg

There’s a new addition to the Oakland Zoo! 

A new baby baboon, Kito, was born on September 2, 2017, making him the eighth baboon birth in four years. Kito brings the total amount to sixteen baboons, officially making them one of the largest Hamadryas baboon troops in a U.S. Zoo. 

The troop’s leader Martijn, 16, and Krista, 21, are the parents to baby Kito – their fourth baby together. According to Oakland zookeepers, Kito is adjusting to his surroundings and integrating well with his siblings. 

The public can view the Oakland Zoo’s baboons daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Baboon Cliffs exhibit.




Photo Credit: Courtesy of Steven Gotz/Oakland Zoo
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<![CDATA['Why Are You Here?': Patriot Prayer Rallies at UC Berkeley]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 18:08:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/DKwf_9OVoAAXl8M.jpg

Many participants at UC Berkeley rallies on Wednesday chanted, “Why are you here?” as members of the conservative group Patriot Prayer joined in the free speech celebration. 

Patriot Prayer organizer, Joey Gibson, and several other members of the conservative group were on campus to protect freedom of speech. Wednesday’s calm demonstrations led Gibson to believe it could be an indication that confrontations between opposing groups could fade away.

"We're kind of proving to everyone 'you can come on campus, okay? You'll be protected and there won't be violence,” said Gibson. “So other groups can start coming in here and as long as Berkeley continues to respect the first amendment Patriot Prayer doesn't have to come down here." 

The calm atmosphere was quickly disrupted when police officials had to evacuate people from the southwest area of Sproul Plaza where a suspicious package was being investigated. 

Officials later revealed the package was unfounded and the area to be safe, not knowing whether the bogus threat was related to the political activity. 

“It’s probably someone who’s trying to stop us from happening and just call in a bomb threat,” said Gibson.




Photo Credit: Robert Handa
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<![CDATA[Oakland A's Plan to Move Headquarters to Jack London Square]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:04:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OaklandColiseumAs.png

Oakland Athletics executives have announced that they are moving the baseball team's headquarters to Jack London Square, effective in January.

The A's said they've signed a lease with the real estate firm CIM Group for about 40,000 square feet of office space at Jack London Square, the waterfront office and retail destination near downtown Oakland.

A's officials said the new front office headquarters will allow them to consolidate their operations by relocating from the current offices at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Oracle Arena about 6 miles away.

The A's have played at the Coliseum for 50 years.

The A's said the Jack London Square site offers them proximity to both the Coliseum and to the potential new ballpark that they hope to build near Laney College.

Jack London Square also provides the amenities of a mixed-use environment on San Francisco Bay, with dining, shopping, and entertainment options, similar to the A's vision for their new ballpark as a gathering place for bringing the community together.

"We are excited to put roots down in Jack London Square," Oakland A's president Dave Kaval said in a statement. "We continue to say we are 'Rooted in Oakland' and this move helps further strengthen our commitment to this community."

Shaul Kuba, the co-founder and principal of the CIM Group, said, "The Athletics add to the growing lineup of prominent tenants including eclectic dining options and destination activities that employees, residents, and visitors from the greater Bay Area can enjoy."

Chris Giles, the A's chief operating officer, said, "Our new offices will allow us to have our entire staff together in one location to create a dynamic and collaborative work environment."

Giles said, "Our staff will now have the opportunity to easily gather for formal meetings or informal exchanges as it takes advantage of the beautiful outdoor waterfront areas. We will also still keep our office space at the Coliseum for day-of-game responsibilities."

CIM's 2016 acquisition of Jack London Square included 234,000 square feet of office space across three buildings.

Port of Oakland officials said today that they applaud the A's decision to move their headquarters to Jack London Square.

"We're delighted that two symbols of Oakland are coming together," Port of Oakland commercial real estate director Pamela Kershaw said.

"The city takes great pride in its team and its port and we're proud that Jack London Square will be the A's new headquarters," Kershaw said.

Port officials said the A's will relocate to space in a six-story office building at the foot of Harrison Street that is also occupied by the administrative offices of Sunset Magazine.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[I-80 Reopens After Police Standoff, Deadly Shooting]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 05:47:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/atrincherado+emeryville.jpg

Traffic across the Bay Area felt the impact of a nearly eight-hour closure of westbound Interstate 80 in Emeryville after a police standoff Wednesday led to the fatal shooting of a homicide suspect.

The suspect, who has been identified as Demilo Trayuon Hodge, 45, of San Leandro, was sought by Fairfield police officers in connection with the 2015 homicide of William Freeman, according to Lt. Rob Lenke. News reports indicate that the 68-year-old man was gunned down on Dec. 10.

When Fairfield officers saw Hodge Wednesday and tried to conduct a traffic stop, he failed to yield. Instead, he led them on a pursuit around 9 a.m., Lenke said.

In an attempt to flee from police, Hodge headed to westbound I-80. That's where California Highway Patrol officers from Contra Costa County, who were investigating a crash in the eastbound lanes, became involved in the effort to stop the suspect. Since they were already at the scene, the officers were able to quickly deploy spike strips near University Avenue and stop the black SUV that Hodge was driving, Cmmdr. Dan Seaman said. 

"The vehicle collided with a concrete barrier ... lost a front wheel then came to a stop on westbound 80," said CHP officer Matthew Hamer. 

A standoff ensued near the Powell Street exit in Emeryville, with officers negotiating with Hodge via voice commands and by calling his cell phone, said Emeryville police Capt. Oliver Collins. Hodge refused to cooperate with demands to surrender and instead "exited the vehicle and started shooting at officers," Lenke said. 

"The end result was officers discharging firearms at the suspect," Collins said.

Footage from the scene shows roughly half a dozen police cars that stopped just short of the car. Officers disembarked, drew their guns and aimed their weapons in the Hodge's direction.

Shortly thereafter, Hodge poked his head and arms out of the driver's window before jumping out of the vehicle. He then shot in the police's direction before dropping to the ground after officers returned a volley of gunfire.

"In this incident, shots were being fired at officers so officers fearing for their lives had to engage," said Lt. Felix Tan with the Richmond Police Department.

A police K-9 ran toward Hodge, who was eventually placed in a vehicle and taken away from the scene. Hodge was transported to a hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries, police said.


According to Collins, officers from both Fairfield and Richmond shot at Hodge multiple times. Exactly how many police officers opened fire and how many rounds were fired remain unknown.

The officers involved have been "sequestered by their individual agencies," said Collins, adding that the Emeryville Police Department's only involvement in the case is its investigation into the "criminal aspect" of the officer-involved shooting. 

Hodge had a firearm, which he discharged near or at the officers, said Collins, who couldn't confirm who fired first. 

An investigation is ongoing, but it could take weeks or months to go through evidence, transcripts and videos, Collins said. After that, the case will be turned over to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.


All lanes of I-80 were shut down while investigators canvassed the scene and combed the area for evidence. The eastbound lanes were reopened around 11:10 a.m., but no such luck for commuters stuck on the westbound lanes. They weren't allowed to move until 5 p.m.

Nearby roadways also morphed into virtual parking lots. From NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger, cars could be seen exiting the freeway in the opposite direction as authorities tried to help people navigate around the incident.

"We're sincerely sorry for the major traffic delays" that were felt not only around the East Bay, but also in San Francisco, said Emeryville police Chief Jennifer Tejada.

A commuter told NBC Bay Area that he had opted to take I-80 to Sacramento because the alternative, State Route 24, was a "mess." He ended up spending three hours in the gridlock. Also on Wednesday morning, a woman was struck by a car and killed on SR 24, prompting westbound lane closures near Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette.

One woman missed a job interview, while another, identified as Debbie Bhurtyao, was stopped very close to where she works.

"Never been in one of these situations," she said, "especially being 15 seconds away from work and now I will be two hours late."

Bhurtyao was among the first people to get stuck behind the police blockade and then interviewed by CHP officers. 

"I was shocked. I thought he was dead," said Bhurtyao, who described hearing about 20 to 30 shots being fired. "Unfortunately, I think that guy was on a suicide mission."

Even after cars were allowed back on westbound I-80, officials said drivers should expect lengthy residual delays.

NBC Bay Area's Brendan Weber and Anser Hassan contributed to this report.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Dog on BART Tracks Near Coliseum Station Prompts Delays]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:31:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/DogBARTTracks.JPG

A dog somehow made its way on BART tracks near the Coliseum station Wednesday morning, prompting major delays systemwide, according to the transit agency.

The dog was safely recovered roughly 50 minutes after the incident was reported, according to BART.

BART initially notified the public at 8:09 a.m. that a dog was on a trackway and that the incident was triggering 10 minute delays. Roughly 10 minutes later, BART reported that the incident was causing major delays.

Trains in the area were forced to single-track while crews tried to capture the dog, according to BART.

Stay tuned for updates.



Photo Credit: OaktownMojo via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Scene Cleared After Suspicious Package at UC Berkeley]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 15:32:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/DKwcz4IUQAE2b4K.jpg

The suspicious package found at the UC Berkeley campus was unfounded according to the Alameda County Sherriff's office. 

The suspicious package, which prompted evacuations in the southwest area of Sproul Plaza, was investigated by bomb squad technicians. 

The package was first found during a conservative group rally in the area of Sproul Plaza.

More details were not immediately available. 




Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Overturned Big-Rig Blocks Lanes of EB I-80 in Berkeley]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:03:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-27-17-BIG-RIG-FLIPOVER.jpg

Two lanes are blocked on eastbound Interstate Highway 80 just west of Ashby Avenue in Berkeley due to an overturned big-rig, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

The overturned truck was first reported at 7:03 a.m.

A Sig-alert was issued at 7:11 a.m. because two lanes are blocked. Motorists can expect delays, CHP officials said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['Impeach' Trump Billboard Next to Bay Bridge to Stay Up]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 07:21:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ImpeachTrumpBillboardBayBridge.JPG

An electronic billboard next to the Bay Bridge calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment will stay up for the entirety of its contract, the company that owns the billboard space said Wednesday.

The announcement comes one day after Courage Campaign — the group behind the message — said Outfront Media was taking down the billboard after receiving "multiple complaints."

The billboard will continue to remain in place through Sunday.

The east-facing billboard, which calls for Congress to commence impeachment proceedings against the president, originally began its run on Monday.

Outfront Media on Tuesday wrote in an email to Courage Campaign that "we have taken down your billboard due to multiple complaints," according to Courage Campaign. 

Courage Campaign argues that Trump should be booted from the White House for "attempting to obstruct an investigation into potential wrongdoing by his presidential campaign, refusing to divest from his businesses, publicly supporting white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, and recent decisions to eliminate DACA protections for more than 800,000 young immigrants."

The San Francisco Republican Party on Monday responded to the billboard by calling it a "waste of money" and saying that "none of these accusations amount to constitutional violations."

Donations from Californians who support Courage Campaign helped make the billboard become a reality, according to billboard organizers.

In addition to the billboard, Courage Campaign has circulated an online petition calling for Trump's impeachment. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Hills Fire Possibly Sparked by Construction: FD]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 06:29:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/9-26-17_Oakland_Hills_Fire_131.jpg

Crews camped out in the Oakland Hills overnight to keep an eye on any potential hot spots after a grass fire broke out Tuesday afternoon, posing a threat to dozens of homes.

The so-called Edwards Fire torched 22 acres of hillside near Edwards Avenue and Mountain Boulevard, but its forward progress has been halted, according to fire officials. 

The fire triggered a four-alarm response and prompted the evacuation of more than 100 homes, fire officials said. All evacuations were lifted late Tuesday.

Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said Wednesday morning that the fire is 80 percent contained. She hopes it will be fully contained by 8 p.m. 

There are no active flames on the hillside but crews will be keeping watch all day and are also using a drone from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to look for hot spots, Drayton said.

One firefighter from a supporting agency was treated for dehydration and was then released Tuesday. No other injuries were reported.


Investigators have determined an area of origin for the fire, a site on Skyview Drive where construction was taking place Tuesday on a large home, according to Drayton.

She said potential witnesses are still being interviewed to determine the exact cause of the blaze.

A red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service for the East Bay hills remains in effect through this afternoon because of dry weather that poses a high risk of wildfires.

"We're just making sure we are putting the message out for everyone in the hills to be hyper vigilant today," Drayton said.

While the fire was at its peak, police did not allow residents to enter the upscale neighborhood to make sure their homes and pets were alright. Fire crews parked in driveways to protect the multi-million dollar homes. 

People who live on Bohansen Road and Ridgemont, Viewcrest, Bayview and Skyview drives were among those evacuated. Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is believed to be among those who were removed from their homes.

Merritt College was evacuated, while Community Day School was not. The Oakland Zoo was not among the structures that were evacuated, but officials, out of an abundance of caution, stopped admitting new guests on Tuesday afternoon. People inside the park were told that they could stay or leave at any time.

Edwards and Keller avenue offramps on I-580 were closed — creating a backup on the freeway — and people were asked to avoid the area.


The blaze quickly jumped from one to five to 10 and then 20 acres in under an hour and was upgraded from two to four alarms in the same time frame. 

NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger captured footage of a thick plume of smoke above the burn scar — visible from nearby I-580 — as well as planes dumping water and fire retardant to suffocate the flames.

Officials said that the steep terrain, rate of spread, flame length and wind conditions were among the challenges firefighters faced. 

More than 300 firefighters rushed in from the air and the ground as wind-driven flames moved toward townhomes in the Monte Vista Villas complex, White said. Oakland firefighters were joined by Cal Fire and Berkeley crews. The East Bay Regional Parks said it contributed a helicopter to help fight the flames. 

Tuesday's fire rattled people in the neighborhood. Roughly 26 years ago, a devastating fire in the same part of Oakland Hills killed 25 people and destroyed 3,500 homes.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Billboard Demanding Trump's Impeachment to Come Down]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 05:41:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-25-17-impeach-trump-billboard.jpg

A billboard that could be seen by motorists entering the Bay Bridge toll plaza in Oakland Monday is set to be taken down effective immediately, the group that paid for it said Tuesday, but the billboard could still be seen Wednesday morning.

The east-facing billboard displays a photo of President Donald Trump with the word "Impeach" next to his face.

The billboard went up Monday and was scheduled to remain up until Sunday. Following Tuesday's announcement, it is not yet clear when the billboard will actually be pulled.

According to the California-based Courage Campaign, which paid for the billboard, Outfront Media, the company that owns the space, decided to take it down because of complaints.

Outfront Media could not immediately be reached for comment.

Courage Campaign executive director Eddie Kurtz said, "I just think it's outrageous that they did this," adding that it makes no sense.

Kurtz said taking down the billboard will unfortunately squash any debate over what he called a critical issue.

Kurtz's group received an email from Outfront Media that said, "We have taken down your billboard due to multiple complaints."

The Courage Campaign is a group of about 1.4 million members who are working for a more progressive California, according to the group's website.

Members of the group each paid $17 for the billboard, Kurtz said.

President Trump could be impeached if he is convicted for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors, according to the U.S. Constitution.

Kurtz said the president has used his office to benefit himself and his family financially and obstructed justice, among other offenses. He said his group thinks there is a legal and moral case for impeaching the president.

The billboard was mainly part of the Courage Campaign's effort to mobilize voters on moral grounds since impeachment is a political process and politics is based on the will of the people, Kurtz said.

Courage Campaign officials were considering leaving the billboard up longer if traffic on the website DemandImpeachmentNow.com, which was also on the billboard, led them to believe it would be worth it.

The Courage Campaign in August launched a petition to impeach Trump. So far 90,000 people have signed it.

The petition can be found here



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Gallery: Latinx Tech Weekend Coming to Oakland]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 16:57:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Screen+Shot+2017-09-27+at+3.40.13+PM.pngCapping off Latino Heritage Month, a weekend-long tech festival highlighting the achievements of Latino entrepreneurs is slated to take place in Oakland from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. Scroll below to see pictures of last year’s event and to find out details about its upcoming return.


Photo Credit: Kapor Center ]]>
<![CDATA[RAW: Brush Fire Threatens Homes in Oakland Hills]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 14:01:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/9-26-17_Oakland_Hills_Fire_151.jpg

A four-alarm fire on Tuesday threatened dozens of homes in the Oakland Hills and prompted evacuations, Cal Fire officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Brush Fire Breaks Out in Oakland Hills]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:02:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/9-26-17_Oakland_Hills_Fire_131.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Evacuees Able to Return Home After Oakland Hills Fire]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 23:40:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OAKLAND+HILLS+BRUSH+FIRE+CHOP+-+13215429.jpg

A four-alarm fire on Tuesday threatened dozens of residences in the Oakland Hills and prompted the evacuation of more than 100 homes, Cal Fire officials said.

The fire burned 22 acres near Mountain Boulevard and Edwards Avenue. The blaze, first reported around 12:15 p.m., spread rapidly on a steep hill below Campus Drive and then slowed to a moderate rate, fire officials tweeted.

The Alameda County fire is 60 percent contained, interim fire Chief Darin White said at a news conference around 4:15 p.m. Crews, using defensible space, have also halted its forward march, officials said.

All evacuations were lifted late Tuesday, fire officials said.


While the fire was at its peak, police did not allow residents to enter the upscale neighborhood to make sure their homes and pets were alright. Fire crews parked in driveways to protect the multi-million dollar homes. 

"I'm just a little shaken up right now hoping my home is OK," said Steve Lovato. "We will see what happens."

People who live on Bohansen Road and Ridgemont, Viewcrest, Bayview and Skyview drives were evacuated. Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is believed to be among those who were removed from their homes.


The evacuation order for most of Campus Drive was lifted Tuesday evening, but a part of the street remains blocked. There are multiple fire crews still on scene and officials want to ensure they can easily access the fire and any hot spots. That leaves about 25 to 30 people still displaced.

Merritt College was evacuated, while Community Day School was not. The Oakland Zoo was not among the structures that were evacuated, but officials, out of an abundance of caution, stopped admitting new guests on Tuesday afternoon. People inside the park were told that they could stay or leave at any time.

Edwards and Keller avenue offramps on I-580 were closed — creating a backup on the freeway — and people were asked to avoid the area.

"Stay out of the area," Oakland fire Deputy Chief Melinda Drayton said. "We're trying to get a ton of resources in to help fight this fire."


The blaze quickly jumped from one to five to 10 and then 20 acres in under an hour and was upgraded from two to four alarms in the same time frame. 

NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger captured footage of a thick plume of smoke above the burn scar — visible from nearby I-580 — as well as planes dumping water and fire retardant to suffocate the flames.

Officials said that the steep terrain, rate of spread, flame length and wind conditions were among the challenges firefighters faced. Amid Tuesday's high temperatures, the National Weather Service had issued a Red Flag Warning, meaning the area was threatened by "critical fire weather," Cal Fire said.

More than 300 firefighters rushed in from the air and the ground as wind-driven flames moved toward townhomes in the Monte Vista Villas complex, White said.Oakland firefighters were joined by Cal Fire and Berkeley crews. The East Bay Regional Parks said it contributed a helicopter to help fight the flames. 


Nick Safir, among the people who were displaced Tuesday, said he saw a lot of smoke in the neighborhood and the fire got "really, really close" to some homes. 

Although he was very young at the time of the deadly Oakland Hills firestorm of 1991, Safer said his parents' house was located near the cut-off point and recalled that between 200 and 300 people had gathered on their street. Twenty-five people lost their lives between Oct. 19 and Oct. 20.

"My parents made pasta for everybody," Safir recounted. Having lived through the "really traumatic experience" nearly 28 years ago, "they're not excited to be going through this again," he said. 

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



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Oakland’s Pacific Coast Brewery to Close]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 11:00:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Oakland_s_Pacific_Coast_Brewery_to_Close.jpg

A popular East Bay brewery is closing its doors three decades after it first opened. The owners of the Pacific Coast Brewery in downtown Oakland said they will shut down in early November. It opened in 1988 as one of the Bay Area's first craft brewing companies. The beer has won numerous awards. The brewery owners said they wanted to announce the closure now in order to give staff members time to find new jobs.]]>
<![CDATA['Stay Out of the Area': Evacuations in Oakland Hills]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 15:20:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/_Stay_Out_of_the_Area___Evacuations_in_Oakland_Hills.jpg

Oakland Fire Department Deputy Chief Melinda Drayton provides an update on the four-alarm fire burning in the Oakland Hills.]]>
<![CDATA[Spare the Air Alert Issued for Bay Area ]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 15:44:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/spare-the-air-120.jpg

A Spare the Air alert has been issued for Wednesday in the Bay Area because of a forecast of unhealthy air quality in the region.

The alert, the 15th smog-related alert issued this year by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, is a result of hot temperatures and light winds forecasted in the region.

A fire burning in the Oakland hills this afternoon is also contributing to unhealthy conditions.

Air district officials say outdoor exercise should only be done in the early morning hours on Spare the Air days and that people are encouraged to avoid driving alone to work or school to limit smog.

People can find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect by visiting their website, calling (800) HELP-AIR, downloading the Spare the Air smartphone app or connecting with Spare the Air on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Confrontations Result in Arrests During Patriot Prayer March]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 23:48:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Patriot-Prayer-Arrests-Mug-Shots-3.jpg

Berkeley was the scene of yet another protest Tuesday afternoon and it was tense, as has been the case repeatedly.

A rally by Patriot Prayer started at Sproul Plaza and then snaked its way around Berkeley. Nearly 100 people showed up — some in support and others in opposition of the controversial conservative group — and three of them ended up in handcuffs.

Patriot Prayer's organizer, Joey Gibson, on Monday took to Facebook Live to talk about the march.

"It only takes one person to stand up for free speech," he said. "I am so excited to go to the birthplace of free speech and continue to protect free speech."

As people screamed at each other in Berkeley on Tuesday, the rally resembled a mosh pit more than a forum to discuss free speech. Under a so-called Tent of Empathy, a crowd of people tossed each other around like rag dolls.

Gibson said confrontrations run counter to his goal of respectful conversations.

Patriot Prayer wants to "have a dialogue," he said, "but we have people over here who, for whatever reason, refuse to let us talk. They refuse.”

However, dialogue did not rule the day. 


Berkely police moved in unison and with conviction, stepping in as soon as things got tense or violent. 

Ricky Joseph Monzon, 20, of Las Vegas, was arrested for carrying a banned weapon; Yvonne Felarca, 47, of Oakland, for resisting arrest and battery; Brandon Witte, 21, of Rocklin, for illegal possession of body armor and violating probation; and Eddy Robinson, 47, of Oakland, for participating in a riot and resisting arrest, Berkeley police wrote on Twitter.

Felarca, a Berkeley school teacher and member of By Any Means Necessary, was charged with assault, participating in a riot and inciting a riot after a faceoff between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Sacramento in 2016. Tuesday's charges were born after she stared down Kyle "Based Stickman" Chapman, who is tied to Nazism and violence. On Sept. 5, Chapman pleaded not guilty to a felony charge stemming from when he allegedly brandished a leaded stick at a rally in Berkeley in March.

Robinson was arrested for carrying banned weapons to right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro's speech in Berkeley on Sept. 14. 


From its initial meeting point, Patriot Prayer marched to the vicinity of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft and Channing ways. They were swarmed by police, who warned people to expect traffic delays, and were shouted down by counter protesters bellowing out chants of inclusion and anti-fascism.

"I don’t understand why people can just think that they’re better than other people based on the color of their skin or if they’re gay or whatever," said Katy Maloney, who works at UC Berkeley. "All of that doesn’t make sense."

Holden Valentine, a second-year student, echoed the sentiment.

“The rise of fascism and white supremacism in this country is something that we can’t turn a blind eye to, and we think it is our moral obligation and our civic obligation to peacefully protest it," Valentine said.

However, Ben Bergquam, who was badly injured during a Berkeley rally in April, had a different take.

"The problem is the violent, Marxist extremists that we have like BAMN and Antifa that do this," he said, pointing to his scar. "I got seven stitches here, six in my ear, (and) I got punched in the mouth.”

The upheavel surrounding UC Berkeley and its alleged take on free speech has also drawn mixed reactions from students.

People who live in Mari Wilson's dormitory are “over it and angry,” she said. “It’s our learning environment and it shouldn’t be disrupted like this.”

On the flip side, Andrew Santoso appreciated the exposure these protests are offering him.

"I really like it because I get to see both sides of the political spectrum and I'm able to base my political views off what other people are saying," he said.

Others on the streets Tuesday — entire film crews as well as students with cell phones — didn't have a stake in the issues at the heart of Patriot Prayer's rally and the ensuing counter protest, but simply showed up to document history.

Patriot Prayer was behind a controversial free speech rally that was slated to take place in San Francisco's Crissy Field in August, but the group called off the event, citing "fear brought on" by local leaders, including Mayor Ed Lee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Tuesday's Patriot Prayer march and rally comes as the four-day Free Speech Week was supposed to be in its third day at UC Berkeley. Those events were called off by student group Berkeley Patriot.

Despite the cancellation, right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos still made a brief, unsanctioned appearance on Sunday at the East Bay campus. He spoke to a small group of supporters without amplification, and signed autographs and snapped selfies before leaving. Hundreds of protesters were kept away from the group by police.

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani and Brendan Weber contributed to this report.




Photo Credit: Berkeley Police Department
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Road Conditions Improve Slightly in 2016: Report]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 14:31:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/Bay-Area-Traffic-Generic.jpg

San Francisco Bay Area road conditions improved slightly last year, according to data released Monday by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The average pavement condition index score for the region's 43,000 lane-miles of streets and roads was 67 out of a possible 100 points.

That's up one point from the average in 2015 and each of the previous six years, commission officials said.

The index is calculated as a three-year moving average.

In a statement, MTC Chair Jake Mackenzie said, "MTC's goal is to boost the average PCI score on local streets and roads to 75 points or higher." Mackenzie is also the mayor of Rohnert Park.

A score of 90 points or higher means a jurisdiction's roads are in "excellent" shape, which indicates the roads show little or no distress.

A score in the 80 to 89 range means the roads are in "very good" condition, while a score between 70 and 79 means the roads are in "good" condition.

A score between 60 and 69 means a jurisdiction's roads are in "fair" shape, which indicates that rehabilitation may be needed to stop rapid deterioration.

A score below 60 means the roads are "at-risk."

Mackenzie said, "What's really encouraging is that cities and counties will receive half of the new money from the gas tax increase and other elements of the Senate Bill 1 transportation package signed into law earlier this year; and that these funds will begin arriving this November."

Among the area's largest cities, San Jose's roads were given a score of 62 while San Francisco's roads were given a score of 68. The roads in Oakland were given a score of 56.

Dublin's roads were the best in the Bay Area with a score of 85.

The worst roads in the Bay Area were in the Marin County city of Larkspur.

The roads in Larkspur were given a score of 41, which indicates the roads are in "poor" shape.

The roads in East Palo Alto improved the most last year. The city's score rose 15 points to 72.

MTC officials will recognize the efforts of Dublin and East Palo Alto workers and officials later this year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Worker Hit by Vehicle at Bay Bridge Toll Plaza: CHP]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 06:13:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/9-26-17_Toll_Plaza.jpg

A Caltrans employee on Tuesday was struck by a vehicle in a parking lot near the Bay Bridge toll plaza, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The male employee was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the CHP.

A female Caltrans worker was driving in the parking lot around 5:15 a.m. when she struck her male co-worker, according to CHP. 

A CHP spokesperson indicated that the female employee did not see her co-worker crossing the parking lot.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Police Make $1 Million Drug Bust at Residence]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 10:38:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/berkeley+shrooms-0925.jpg

Police discovered a large-scale drug operation at a Berkeley home late Saturday night after responding to a domestic disturbance, according to the Berkeley Police Department.

At about 10 p.m., Berkeley police received a call regarding a domestic disturbance between boyfriend and girlfriend at a residence in the 1700 block of Alcatraz Avenue. When officers responded and made contact, the occupants initially refused to open the door, police said.

After a short time, the man and woman exited the house and were detained. Officers then entered the house to look for additional occupants and found a large-scale psychedelic mushroom processing operation, police said.

Officers found psilocybin mushrooms in various stages of cultivation as well as storage and distribution materials, police said.

Officers obtained a search warrant and seized 677 pounds of mushrooms with an estimated street value of more than $1 million, police said. They also recovered $3,000 in cash and additional evidence indicating a large-scale sales operation.

The 35-year-old man and 37-year-old woman, both Berkeley residents, were arrested and booked into the Alameda County Jail on narcotics related charges, police said.

The suspects' identities were not immediately released.



Photo Credit: Berkeley PD]]>
<![CDATA['Rally Against White Supremacy' in Berkeley]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:59:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/UC-Berkeley-Anti-Photos-Jodi-1.jpgDemonstrators converged at the UC Berkeley campus Monday afternoon for a "rally against white supremacy."]]><![CDATA[Off-Duty Cop's Guns Stolen in Oakland: Police]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 23:52:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-dallas.jpg

A police officer's two handguns were stolen during a vehicle break-in Monday in Oakland, authorities said.

Oakland Police Department spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson said the officer, who was off-duty and with the Taft Police Department in Kern County, parked an unmarked Taft city vehicle in the 400 block of Hegenberger Road, just off Interstate 880. The vehicle was broken into at 11:16 a.m., Watson said.

"It has been reported that two handguns have been taken. The Oakland Police Department understands the seriousness of the items that were taken in this auto burglary. Our patrol officers and investigators are working diligently to identify who is responsible for this crime, effecting an arrest and recovering the stolen property," Watson said in a statement.

Anyone with information on the crime may contact the Oakland Police Burglary Unit at 510-238-3951.

Monday's incident follows last week's announcement by the San Francisco Sheriff's Department a deputy's gun was stolen from a rental car parked in the city's Potrero Hill neighborhood.

Guns stolen from law enforcement have been used in several fatal shootings in recent years.

San Francisco police reported earlier this month a gun stolen from an officer's personal vehicle on Aug. 12 was used in an alleged crime spree over the next several days, including the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Abel Enrique Esquivel Jr., on Aug. 15 in the city's Mission District.

Three people have been arrested in connection with that shooting, which allegedly occurred during a robbery.

A gun stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management agent was also used in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Kate Steinle in July 2015 in San Francisco. Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate, 54, is expected to stand trial on a murder charge in that case later this fall.

A gun stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management agent was also used in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Kate Steinle in July 2015 in San Francisco. Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate, 54, is expected to stand trial on a murder charge in that case later this fall.

And in Oakland, 27-year-old Antonio Ramos was shot and killed on Sept. 29, 2015, with a gun that had been stolen from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent's car weeks earlier. Police arrested 20-year-old Marquise Holloway in connection with the shooting on Nov. 20.

In response to those and other incidents, a state law was signed last year requiring that law enforcement officers store guns in a locked trunk or safe box if they are kept in a vehicle. Civilians were already required to store their weapons securely but law enforcement had previously been exempt.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors also passed an ordinance in February 2016 requiring all weapons left in vehicles to be secured in a locked trunk or lock box, for both civilians and law enforcement.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

]]>
<![CDATA[School District Band Protests During Anthem at A's Game]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 00:00:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OUSDAnthem.jpg

Members of the Oakland Unified School District's Honor Band protested during their own rendition of the national anthem before Monday night's Oakland Athletics game at the Coliseum.

The protest, which saw most of the musicians drop to a knee during the anthem, came just days after President Donald Trump suggested that NFL players should be fired or suspended if they fail to stand for the anthem.


Those comments spurred hundreds of NFL players across the league to sit, hoist fists into the air, kneel or outright not show up for the national anthem during Sunday's slate of games.

The school band is made up of more than 100 students from at least five schools in the district. Some students said before the protest they planned to do more than kneel.

"I plan to put my fists in the air for black power, Black Lives Matter," student Qai S. said. "I plan to do that because I'm a black, young fellow. I want to support all the other black people in the world. It's not fair how they were shot and killed."

Other students said they wanted to kneel in solidarity with NFL players who locked arms or knelt Sunday at games across the nation.

Music Director Randy Porter said he told the students the school supports them, whether they decide to stand or kneel while playing the national anthem.

The band's protest won't be its first. Most of the members took a knee last year after they wrapped up "The Star-Spangled Banner" before an A's game.

That move by the band came weeks after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick initially refused to stand for the anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality — a decision that sparked other athletes across the sports world to also protest.

The band was not alone in protesting. A's catcher Bruce Maxwell on Saturday became the first MLB player to take a knee for the national anthem. He dropped down once again on Sunday and was expected to keep up with his protest moving forward.

NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Oakland Unified School District
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<![CDATA[Man Purchases Powerball Ticket Worth $810K in Antioch]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 10:41:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/POWERBALL_AP_16125444929602.jpg

A man in Antioch last month bought a Powerball lottery ticket that ended up being worth more than $810,000 but forgot to check if he won until days later, California Lottery officials said.

Jose Salazar purchased $10 worth of Quick Pick tickets at the Chevron gas station at 3400 Hillcrest Ave. in Antioch for the Aug. 12 Powerball drawing that had a jackpot of $371.1 million.

Salazar put the tickets in his car's glove compartment and forgot about them until days later when he was looking for some paperwork and stumbled across them, lottery officials said.

He took the tickets back to the gas station and scanned them to find he had matched five of the six winning numbers, making the ticket worth $810,840.

Lottery officials said Salazar has been considering retirement for a while so maybe will do so now.

California lottery officials urge customers to play responsibly and to call (800) GAMBLER if they feel that they or someone they know has a gambling problem.




Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Antioch Talks Bike Safety Project]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:07:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/women+bike+ib.PNG

Plans are in place to make roads safer for bicyclists in Antioch. That goal, according to the East Bay Times, is to make sure cyclists can safely access the new BART station set to open in the spring. The BART extension will link Pittsburg-Bay Point to Antioch along Highway 4's median. Right now the bike route runs between several lanes of traffic. Leaders with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority tell the newspaper they are not comfortable with the current configuration.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA['Rally Against White Supremacy' Takes to Berkeley Streets]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 23:58:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/9-24-17_Milo_Berkeley_13.jpg

Demonstrators converged at the UC Berkeley campus Monday afternoon for a "rally against white supremacy" two days after a four-day conservative political event was called off.

Monday's peaceful rally began around noon at the Crescent Lawn, which is located at Oxford and Addison streets, in the East Bay city. Nearly 300 people indicated on Facebook that they would be attending the event.

"We think it’s time to come together in a united front, celebrate our differences in solidarity, and speak out against the hateful currents on our campus while affirming our vision of a free, inclusive, and equitable society," event organizers wrote on the Facebook event page.

One of the demonstrators, Sheldon Smith, said "We're resisting hate."

UC Berkeley student Adam Jadhav added "We're not interested in fake framing. This is somehow about free speech. Free speech week was always about hate and harassment week."

The rally comes one day after right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos made a brief, unsanctioned visit to the East Bay campus. He spoke to a small crowd of supporters, snapped some selfies and signed some autographs all while hundreds of protesters, who were kept away by police, stood and chanted nearby.

Monday was supposed to be day two of a four-day event billed as Free Speech Week, but the student group Berkeley Patriot on Saturday informed UC Berkeley that the events had been canceled.

"As a student I'm sad. As someone who supports free speech, I'm sad," said Mike Wright, editor for the Berkeley Patriot.

Wright said calling off the Free Speech week featuring controversial speakers was a tough decision.

"It didn't feel safe," he said. "It didn't feel like we were going to get backed up by the university under possibly something going wrong the university implied we'd be liable."

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said the university likely spent $800,000 for security measures for events canceled by students.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Bridge Billboard Calls for President Trump's Impeachment]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 23:54:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-25-17-impeach-trump-billboard.jpg

Thousands of drivers crossing the Bay Bridge on Monday noticed something a bit different when they passed through the toll plaza area.

An east-facing, electronic billboard positioned next to the roadway reads "IMPEACH" and calls for Congress to commence impeachment proceedings in hopes of ousting President Donald Trump, according to those who commissioned the billboard.

The Courage Campaign, which spearheaded the billboard idea, argues that Trump should be booted from the White House for "attempting to obstruct an investigation into potential wrongdoing by his presidential campaign, refusing to divest from his businesses, publicly supporting white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, and recent decisions to eliminate DACA protections for more than 800,000 young immigrants."

"If the Republican Congress is not willing to take this step, then we will use it as a campaign issue in 2018," Eddie Kurtz from Courage Campaign said. "We will try to show that the Republicans that represent California in Congress are not on board with impeachment."

The San Francisco Republican Party responded to the billboard by calling it a "waste of money" and saying that "none of these accusations amount to constitutional violations."


Donations from Californians who support the Courage Campaign helped make the billboard become a reality, according to billboard organizers.

The billboard is slated to stay up through Sunday.

In addition to the billboard, the Courage Campaign has circulated an online petition calling for Trump's impeachment. That petition has more than 90,000 signatures, according to the group.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Collision in Oakland Injures 2 Officers, Civilian: Police]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 00:07:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-25-17-OPD-CAR-CRASH-SIDEVIEW.jpg

Two officers on Monday were injured in a mangled wreck that temporarily shut down International Boulevard at High Street in Oakland, according to police.

The officers injured in the crash, which occured just before 4 a.m., were responding to a call from another unit that stopped a suspect believed to be involved in a shooting incident, according to police. The police SUV was traveling westbound on International Boulevard when it crossed through an intersection and collided with another car moving southbound on High Street.

The injured officers were transported to the hospital in stable condition, according to police. A civilian involved in the crash was also injured and is in stable condition.

Footage from the scene captured the police SUV with serious damage to its front end and right side as well as a white sedan that had smashed into an unoccupied parked car.

The crash forced the closure of International Boulevard between 44th Avenue and 42nd Avenue as well as High Street between Bancroft Avenue and E. 12th Street, according to police. International Boulevard was reopened around 6:20 a.m.

Further information was not available. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Searches For 2 Suspects in Bridge Toll Booth Robberies]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 19:08:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bridge+robberies-0924.jpg

The California Highway Patrol is asking for the public's help in its search for two armed suspects who robbed toll booths at two Bay Area bridges Sunday, getting away with thousands of dollars.

At about 4 a.m., a booth at the Carquinez Bridge Toll Plaza was robbed by two African-American men wearing blue or purple latex gloves while traveling in a black Mercedes S550 sedan with paper plates, the CHP said.

At about 2 p.m., suspects matching the same description and traveling in a vehicle matching the same description robbed a toll booth at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the CHP said.

The CHP Golden Gate Division posted surveillance images of the suspects and the suspect vehicle on its Facebook page late Sunday. The suspects got away with more than $4,000, officials said.

Some toll booth operators were worried that they could be the next victim, and stunned drivers also are concerned for the toll workers.

"It's pretty scary," motorist Derek Trammel said. "They got nowhere to go; they're stuck in their booth."

There have been four toll plaza robberies so far this year, with no arrests, and there were five total in 2016, with one suspect arrested on an unrelated violation, the CHP said.

In 2015, there were 14 toll plaza robberies reported, and the CHP arrested one suspect they believe is responsible for 11 of those robberies.

Anyone who witnessed the incidents or has information about the suspects is asked to contact the CHP Golden Gate Division at 707-551-4100.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion Sighting Reported in Hills Above UC Berkeley]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:11:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-492765171.jpg

Two hikers on Grizzly Peak spotted a mountain lion Saturday, prompting warnings to individuals to keep a sharp eye out, University of California at Berkeley police said Sunday.

The two hikers saw what they believed was a mountain lion about 75 feet away, police said. In the past couple of years, several sightings of mountain lions have occurred in the hills above the Berkeley campus.

Police say people should avoid hiking or jogging alone, especially during dusk and dawn when lions normally do their hunting. They also suggest making plenty of noise to reduce the chances of surprising a lion.

Children and pets should be kept in sight when hiking, and within arm's reach. A good walking stick can help keep a lion at bay, police said.

Most lions will avoid confrontation, so hikers should not approach them, police said. If a hiker stumbles upon a mountain lion, instead of running, police suggest waving arms or throwing rocks.

If attacked, fight back, police said. People have successfully fought back with rocks, sticks or bare hands.



Photo Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Yiannopoulos Visits UC Berkeley, Pledges Return]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:50:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/MiloBerkeley.PNG

Free Speech Week at UC Berkeley was officially canceled, but that didn't stop right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos from making a quick, unsanctioned visit to the East Bay campus Sunday.

Flashing an American flag hoodie under a denim jacket, Yiannopoulos blew kisses to the crowd, posed for some selfies and addressed a couple dozen supporters without amplification while hundreds of protesters were kept away by police. Less than a half hour after appearing, Yiannopoulos was whisked away by an SUV.

It is not exactly clear what Yiannopoulos told a small crowd on the steps of Sproul Hall, but the conservative commentator could at one time be heard singing a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." He could also be seen hoisting signs into the air reading "Feminism is Cancer" and "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder," in part.

On his way out surrounded by members of his team, reporters and some hecklers, Yiannopoulos vowed to return to the birthplace of free speech.

"It was very important for us to show up today and let Berkeley know that we won't be deterred and let them know we'll be back as many times as it takes," he said.

Berkeley police reported 11 arrests for violating a number of Berkeley municipal codes and California Penal Codes. Police announced that the arrested were: Keith Sherman, 30, Oakland; Kyle McCoy, 28, Oakland; Drean Coxburnett, 23, Berkeley; Jonathan Cho, 27, Oakland; Imalda Starling, 32, Berkeley; David Johnson, 24, Oakland; Rane Stark-Buhl, 27, Oakland; William Orr, 29 Oakland; Kelsey James, 24, Reno, NV; Gautam Reddy, 22, San Ramon; and Syth Feil, 30, Redwood Valley.

Before Yiannopoulos' appearance, chanting and shouting demonstrators had already gathered in Berkeley, coming face-to-face with one another as police tried to separate them. 

An estimated $800,000 or more was spent on police personnel and extra support, according to University of California Police Department Chief Margo Bennett. Officers representing roughly eight to 10 agencies, among others, were on hand to keep the peace.

Six-figure spending on police was a "significant" cost, according to university spokesman Dan Mogulof, but it will not impact the university's budget or trigger any budget cuts. 

Mogulof also joked that the money spent on mobilizing police for the short appearance amounted to "probably the most expensive photo op in the university's history."

"We would much rather have spent those resources in a different way — on the academic mission, on improving the student experience, infrastructure — I mean, we have serious budgetary needs," Mogulof said. "But our compliance with the First Amendment is not discretionary. Where we do have discretion is in all that we do to provide for the safety and well-being of the campus community."

While the four-day long Free Speech Week has gone up in smoke, Bennett and Mogulof noted that university officials and police will be ready to handle any incidents that crop up over the coming days.

"We have to just be prepared for the unexpected I think this week," Mogulof said.

Demonstrators still remained in the vicinity of Sproul Plaza after Yiannopoulos left, at times clogging city streets and impacting traffic.

Yiannopoulos' visit came one day after he took to Facebook Live to say that he would join Pamela Geller, Mike Cernovich and other speakers at Sproul Plaza at noon for a March for Free Speech — with the full backing of the Berkeley Police Department — even though the student group Berkeley Patriot informed the university that Free Speech Week had been canceled.

"We are going to be hosting an event come hell or high water tomorrow," Yiannopoulos said, vowing to proceed with or without UC Berkeley's or the students' cooperation.

NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith and the Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Demonstrators Face Off at Yiannopoulos Event in Berkeley]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 12:05:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/9-24-17_Milo_Berkeley_4.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vendor Who Had Earnings Seized by UC Police Receives $87K]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 10:34:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-23-17_Beto_Check_1.jpg

An unlicensed street vendor in Berkeley who had his money seized by a University of California police officer received a check for more than $87,000 on Saturday after a viral GoFundMe campaign was launched in his favor.

The vendor, who asked to be identified only as "Beto," was captured on video earlier this month being ticketed for selling hot dogs on the UC Berkeley campus while fans poured out of Memorial Stadium following a football game. The video, which shows the officer confiscate earnings from the vendor's wallet, was posted online and quickly shared across social media with critics jumping in to denounce the officer for going too far.

UC Berkeley alumnus Martin Flores captured the video and kicked off the GoFundMe campaign in the vendor's name.

"Hardworkers should not be violated," Flores said Saturday. "Their money should not be taken from their wallets, watching it be snatched from their hands. They should be treated with dignity."

Nearly 5,600 people have since raised $87,948 for the vendor over the past two weeks. The vendor's check included a grand total of $87,921 when it was presented Saturday morning.

In an interview with NBC Bay Area’s sister station Telemundo, the vendor said he holds down a regular job in construction. He was selling hot dogs to earn a little extra money, he said.

"People saw I wasn’t doing anything wrong," the vendor said. "I wasn’t stealing or drinking. I was just working to sustain my family."

UCPD opened a complaint investigation into the incident, according to UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy. The officer involved was allowed to continue to work during the investigation.

While the officer remained on the job, a petition was created to remove him from the department. That petition has gained 57,067 supporters as of Saturday night.


The backlash from the video has reinvigorated existing debates about civil forfeiture, a controversial practice in which officers are allowed to seize assets, including cash, that they allege are involved in a crime. The money or sales from seized assets often funnels back into police departments, where it is used as a routine source of funding.

The tactic was originally meant to disrupt "large-scale criminal enterprises," but it has since been abused by small and large law enforcement agencies, according to the ACLU. Several reform efforts directed at changing civil forfeiture laws are already underway.

NBC Bay Area's Gillian Edevane contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Telemundo 48
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<![CDATA[Milo Yiannopoulos to March for Free Speech at UC Berkeley]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 08:29:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MILO+ON+UC+BERKELEY+-+115520171.jpg

Milo Yiannopoulos didn’t mince any words Saturday, saying he will speak at UC Berkeley "come hell or high water."

The self-proclaimed troll is in the Bay Area to headline Free Speech Week, organized by student group Berkeley Patriot and slated to run Sept. 24 and Sept. 27. That plan went up in smoke Saturday when the student group withdrew its sponsorship of the four-day conservative political event.

Yiannopoulos hosted a strongly-worded Facebook Live, flanked by political commentator Pamela Geller and Infowars host Mike Cernovich, saying he was "disappointed to have been completely blindsided" by Berkeley Patriot’s letter to the university’s Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton, detailing why the "mutated" Free Speech Week was being called off.

"I do understand their fears and they are right on all counts when they say UC Berkeley is threatening their educational futures," he said. "But we cannot host an official university event without a student sponsor."

Yiannopoulous blasted UC Berkeley for having "hypocritically named this academic year its ‘Year of Free Speech.’"

"The administration has done everything in its power to crush its own students’ aspirations," he said. "UC Berkeley may have a deservedly poor reputation for free speech, and its students will graduate knowing less than when they came in as freshmen, but you have to give the school credit: they are masters of bureaucratic dirty dealing."

Yiannopoulos lashed out at university officials, who he said "leaked" Free Speech Week's speaker list to "domestic terrorists" like Antifa.

He also decried the narratives that the "Berkeley Patriots were hopelessly disorganized" and that he "somehow knowingly allowed fans to spend money travelling to Berkeley" despite suspicions that the event would be axed. 

That said, Yiannopoulos said he was undeterred in his plan to express his First Amendment rights at the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. The former Breitbart News editor’s attempt to speak at UC Berkeley in February came to a screeching halt when masked rioters began vandalizing property and lighting fires.

In their capacity as citizens with the constitutional right to express their views, Yiannopoulos and other speakers will rally at Sproul Plaza at 12 p.m. Sunday at what has been dubbed a March for Free Speech. Over 140 people had expressed interest as of Saturday evening.

"We will proceed no matter what, in whatever format we can, to realize the promise of Free Speech Week and send a message that conservatives will not be bowed by pressure from academics, the media or anyone else," Yiannopoulos said.

Yiannopoulos said that the Berkeley Police Department knows of his plan and will be "out in full force," patrolling Sproul Plaza.

Despite being miffed at Berkeley Patriot for pulling the plug on Free Speech Week, Yiannopoulos said he plans to endow the group with $10,000 – dubbed the Mario Savio Free Speech Fund. Berkeley "needs a strong, populous, free-speech loving conservative publication," he said.

Yiannopoulos contined: "Free Speech is at risk on college campuses like never before in America’s history."

Yiannopoulos also asked people who bought plane tickets, reserved hotel rooms or spent money in any other form to attend Free Speech Week to send him their receipts and confirmation. "We will take care of you," he said, alluding to a surprise at Sunday's rally. 

"I deeply appreciate the efforts freedom-loving Americans have gone to in order to support this event and I am personally grateful to the fans who came in from all four corners of the earth," he wrote on Facebook. "I want you to know that I share your frustration with the administration and with the media, and that I will take care of you. Berkeley did this to you, but I’m going to fix it."

Ann Coulter was meant to be the recipient of the Mario Savio Award for Free Speech, Yiannopolous said, admitting that he considered smashing it on the steps to Sproul Plaza "to declare that free speech at Berkeley is dead." Instead, he will safeguard it.

"We will be back. I will get Ann Coulter here … I will get Uncle Steve back. I will get all of the people that you were looking forward to seeing here," Yiannopoulos promised.

He then invited UC Berkeley’s Chancellor Carol Christ and University of California President Janet Napolitano to debate with him or any conservative of their choice on the issue of free speech.

"It's high time that America had its big showdown free speech debate," Yiannopoulos said.

Anyone hoping the demise of Free Speech Week means they won’t have to hear about him anymore will be disappointed, Yiannopoulos added, since he is launching an international Troll Academy tour.

In California, he will speak at Cal State Bakersfield on Oct. 25, at San Diego State University on Oct. 29 and at Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 31.

Some universities welcome speakers with controversial points of view, while some don’t, Yiannopoulos said, but "the vast majority do not possess the resources, clout, and pure malevolent evil of UC Berkeley."

Yiannopoulos also revealed that he is launching a publishing house called "Dangerous Books," which will publish Geller’s next book, "Fatwa: Hunted in America."

Returning to the issue at hand, Yiannopoulos said: "We will go through this madness, and we will do it again and again and again, until conservative speakers are given the same rights and privileges as their left-wing counterparts at every college in the country," he said on Facebook. "I will not rest until every student in America feels able to share their politics openly and proudly without fear of being marked down on essays, laughed at in the classroom or punished for inviting their speaker of choice."

UC Berkeley issued a statement Saturday evening indicating that it was aware of Yiannopoulos' plans to speak and that the school was "putting measures in place to ensure the safety of the campus community." The university also advised people in attendance on Sunday to avoid violence.

"Our campus will not tolerate acts of violence or the destruction of property, and the UCPD will dutifully investigate, arrest, and prosecute anyone who commits crimes on our campus," a statement from the university read.



Photo Credit: Facebook Live
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<![CDATA[Milo Flouts Cancellation of UC Berkeley's Free Speech Week]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 07:18:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-810318908.jpg

The student group Berkeley Patriot on Saturday informed UC Berkeley that Free Speech Week has been canceled, but event headliner Milo Yiannopoulos doubled down on his plans to come to the campus.

Yiannopoulos said on Facebook Live that he will join Pamela Geller, Mike Cernovich and other speakers at Sproul Plaza at noon Sunday for a March for Free Speech — with the full backing of the Berkeley Police Department.

"We are going to be hosting an event come hell or high water tomorrow," Yiannopoulos said, vowing to proceed with or without UC Berkeley's or the students' cooperation.

He made his comments from a hotel room after canceling a news conference on San Francisco's Treasure Island.

"It is extremely unfortunate that this announcement was made at the last minute, even as the University was in the process of spending significant sums of money and preparing for substantial disruption of campus life in order to provide the needed security for these events," university spokesman Dan Mogulof said in a statement. 

Berkeley Patriot's decision comes one day before the four-day event kicked off and one day after the group's members and Yiannopoulos denied reports that Free Speech Week had been nixed.

Soon after UC Berkeley's announcement Saturday, British right-wing provocateur Yiannopoulos wrote on Facebook: "I've just been told that student group the Berkeley Patriot, under pressure from the administration, is withdrawing its sponsorship of Free Speech Week. The students may have pulled out of Free Speech Week, but I and my speakers have not."

Yiannopoulos said he was disapppinted by the chaotic turn of events but spurned the idea of backing down. 

He told NBC Bay Area: "They’re kids. I'm disappointed, but I understand. We, however, are not going to be deterred."

UC Berkeley issued a statement Saturday evening indicating that it was aware of Yiannopoulos' plans to speak and that the school was "putting measures in place to ensure the safety of the campus community." The university also advised people in attendance on Sunday to avoid violence.

"Our campus will not tolerate acts of violence or the destruction of property, and the UCPD will dutifully investigate, arrest, and prosecute anyone who commits crimes on our campus," a statement from the university read.

Yiannopoulos also said he plans to give Berkeley Patriot $10,000 because UC Berkeley could benefit from a "strong, populous, free-speech loving conservative publication." Yiannopoulos also encouraged people who booked flights to Berkeley and spent money in any form to attend Free Speech Week to send him their receipts so he can reimburse them.

For its part, Berkeley Patriot members told NBC Bay Area that they were refused access to a Treasure Island venue where they had planned a news conference Saturday. 

"They literally chained the building," Yiannopoulos revealed on Facebook.

In an email, the group accused the venue of a breach of contract because it had paid for the facility's use.

"We have not been able to secure an alternative venue large enough to accommodate the press on short notice, likely due to the Bay Area's commitment to free speech for everyone except Milo," Berkeley Patriot said.

Earlier this week, Berkeley Patriot enlisted the help of the Law Offices of Melo and Sarsfield LLP to push for a Department of Justice investigation into what they call "de facto viewpoint discrimination" on the part of UC Berkeley. 

On Saturday, the group's lawyer Marguerite Melo wrote a letter to the university's Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton, which said: "Since announcing their intent to host the event, the student group has been subjected to extraordinary pressure and resistance, if not outright hostility, by the UC Berkeley administration and your employees."

Among other things, she accused university officials of failing to communicate with Berkeley Patriot members, enforcing "arbitrary" and impossible to meet deadlines, and implying that the group "would be morally and legally responsible for any acts of violence committed against them, or members of the public."

Mogulof quashed the assertions, saying that "claims that this is somehow the outcome desired" by UC Berkeley are "without basis in fact." Also, accusations that university officials wanted to put the "speakers in harm's way are unfortunate," he wrote.

"The University was prepared to do whatever was necessary to support the First Amendment rights of the student organization," Mogulof stressed. "We're very concerned about verbal and physical assaults and we have gone to extensive efforts to provide them with protection and security."

Mogulof said that Berkeley Patriot had missed a number of deadlines to sign contracts and confirm venues with UC Berkeley. He also highlighted the confusion that had loomed over Free Speech Week's roster — all the way through Friday — with a number of speakers dropping out, while others said they had never planned to attend. 

In fact, UC Berkeley had been planning to pour over $1 million into stepping up security for Free Speech Week, which was scheduled to go from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27, according to Mogulof.

"We want to state unequivocally that campus leadership has complete faith in the UCPD, as well as the extraordinary number of allied law enforcement agencies who agreed to contribute additional officers for these events. We are confident that UCPD would have had the necessary resources in place to provide security for the events," he wrote.

UC Berkeley had also partnered with the Berkeley Police Department and would continue to do so, given the "uncertainty of what's happening tomorrow," Mogulof said.

Earlier this month, UC Berkeley spent $600,000 on ramping up security during a speech by political commentator Ben Shapiro. University officials, police and the community were wary of violence erupting during the former Breitbart News editor's visit.

NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Hundreds Flock to 'No Hate in the Bay' Rally in Berkeley]]>Sat, 23 Sep 2017 15:01:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DKcK_NRUQAAtkiP.jpg

Hundreds of people descended on Berkeley Saturday for a "No Hate in the Bay" rally in response to the now cancelled Free Speech Week at UC Berkeley.

Student group Berkeley Patriot called off the controversial Free Speech Week that many protesters said promotes hate speech and, by extension, violence, but right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has vowed to show up anyway.

Chants scattered across city streets on Saturday offered support for groups such as Black Lives Matter and those with LGBTQ affiliations. Signs hoisted into the air denounced those behind the so-called "alt-right" movement, calling them fascists and Nazis. Some of those signs read "Make Racists Afraid Again" and "Smash White Supremacy."

"We are resisting the Free Speech Week at Berkeley that is claiming to be free speech, but we know that it's hate speech and that the people coming onto campus are violent," Linda Ereikat from the Arab Resource and Organizing Center said.

Although Free Speech Week has been called off, Yiannopoulos and other speakers plan to gather at Sproul Plaza at 12 p.m. on Sunday, reportedly with the full backing of the Berkeley Police Department.

Ereikat hopes that those who are able will gather in Berkeley on Sunday to speak out against Yiannopoulos.

"We see that our communities right now are vulnerable and they are very scared and they're emotional," Ereikat said. "We need to fight back for them. The people that are really able need to fight back. We need to stand up."

A common view for those in attendance at the Berkeley march was that those associated with the so-called "alt-right" movement encourage acts of hateful violence. 

Isaac Levszmonko with the Catalyst Project, which works on issues related to race relations, hopes the community will stand united against that behavior.

"When Milo Yiannopoulos last came to campus, his goal there was to reveal the identities of undocumented students at Berkeley so that they would either be deported or be targeted for racist violence," Levszmonko said. "We think that's beyond the realm of free speech."



Photo Credit: Anser Hassan]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Bursts Into Flames on Residential Street in Oakland]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:06:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-22-17-car-fire-oakland1.jpg

People in an Oakland neighborhood rushed to douse flames that engulfed a truck on Friday morning.

The car was at the intersection of Lynde Street and Humboldt Avenue.

Oakland firefighters responded to the scene of the charred car from which a plume of smoke billowed into the air. 


A resident aimed a water hose at the car, while someone else sprayed it from a nearby house's window.

Further details were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Shipping Containers Knocked Off Port of Oakland, Into Bay]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:55:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9222017-portofoakland.jpg

Crews on Friday removed shipping containers from the San Francisco Bay where they landed after plunging off the Port of Oakland.

Divers went underwater Friday and attached cables to haul the containers out of the water and back onto the port. Officials said they were empty.

An investigation is ongoing into how the containers were knocked into the water in the first place.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Card Skimmers Found on 6 Pumps at Antioch Valero Gas Station]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:23:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DKVLUeJVAAAXJf5.jpg

East Bay drivers are urged to check their debit and credit cards because they might have been scammed.

Sophisticated card skimmers were unearthed on six pumps at a Valero gas station at 2101 Somersville Road in Antioch, police said. Investigators are still trying to find the suspects behind the crime.

The electronic devices can be illegally installed behind credit card slots.

People would insert their cards and pay for gas in a seemingly normal transaction. Only it wouldn’t be because the skimming device would have collected their card data.

The scammers can then use that information to make fraudulent purchases.

CNBC reports that this is a huge problem worldwide, costing about $2 billion a year in fraudulent charges.

People are urged to protect themselves by checking their bank statement regularly and file a report with police.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fire in Berkeley Building Doused]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 06:26:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/berkeleyfire1.jpg

A fire was reported early Friday at a building near the UC Berkeley, officials say.

No one was injured when flames sparked at a housing unit on 2636 Waring Street. The blaze has been doused.

Further details were not immediately available.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Earthquake Preparedness: 'It's Not a Question of If']]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:43:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/quake+prep-0921.jpg

Feeling recent minor tremors close to home and watching all the earthquake devastation in and near Mexico City is causing Bay Area residents to think about their own safety.

Are we prepared for a huge disaster?

Dozens of people are so concerned about disaster preparedness that they packed a senior center in Berkeley on Thursday night.

Many people learned that any type of plan for earthquakes has to be fluid. But a plan definitely is needed because, like it or not, we live in a seismically active zone.

"It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when," said Bijan Sartipi, District 4 director for Caltrans.

Ever since the since the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, Caltrans officials say they have been working very hard to get ready for the next disaster.

"We have retrofitted over 2,200 bridges across the state and a lot of them in the Bay Area," Sartipi said.

More work needs to be done, and a panel of experts stressed the basics Thursday night, such as having a family plan and an emergency kit.

It also became apparent that getting ready for a natural disaster is an ongoing process, and no one is ever 100 percent ready.

"So, Mexico has an earthquake early warning system already in place," said Jennifer Strauss, an expert from UC Berkeley. "The alarms went off before their earthquake. We’re working on one here."

The Bay Area's earthquake warning system will be tested in phases starting next year, officials said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Man Hits $3 Million Jackpot on Lottery Scratcher]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:52:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-eleven-lottery-0921.jpg

A Bay Area man is the state's latest new millionaire today after hitting the $3 million jackpot on a $5 Set For Life scratcher he bought from a 7-Eleven on Wednesday, according to the California Lottery.

Salvador Reyna purchased the winning ticket at the 7-Eleven store at 40820 Fremont Blvd. in Fremont.

He now has the option of receiving $10,000 a month for 25 years or he can take a lump-sum cash amount of $1.74 million, lottery officials said.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mexico Earthquake Highlights Need for Soft-Story Retrofits]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:18:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/TLMD-mexico-terremoto-perros-rescatistas-Frida-SEMAR--.jpg

While San Francisco and some other cities have required soft-story retrofit programs, not all Bay Area cities do.

In Oakland, City Councilman Dan Kalb says he plans to submit plans for a mandatory soft-story retrofit program next year.

This week's massive earthquake in Mexico brings the issue back into focus for the East Bay city to have an ordinance, targeting buildings that could be more vulnerable in a quake.

The Loma Prieta earthquake left a path of destruction.

San Francisco's Marina District is perhaps one of the most glaring examples of soft-story buildings unable to withstand an earthquake. San Francisco has a retrofit ordinance targeting such vulnerable buildings.

Michael Germeraad with the Association of Bay Area Governments says there are a number of jurisdictions that need to have a retrofit program.

Kalb is working on an ordinance and plans to bring it forward net year, requiring owners of soft-story apartment buildings to retrofit their buildings. He says Oakland has worked on inventory and reporting, and adds there should be an element to address cost.

Kalb also said there are grants to help subsidize a portion of the cost.



Photo Credit: SEMAR]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Jewish Temple Vandalized With Anti-Semitic Graffiti]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:23:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/9-21-17-anti-semitic-graffiti.jpg

Anti-Semitic graffiti was spray painted on an Oakland Jewish temple on Rosh Hashanah. 

Worshippers found the hate-filled obscenity — "F*** YOU JEWISH NAZIS" — and covered it with paper before the morning’s service, according to Temple Sinai Community’s Facebook page. City workers painted over the disturbing graffiti Thursday afternoon.

“While this is surely upsetting, this will not define our experience of coming together as a community today. Our strength and resilience will sound through our voices in song and prayer,” Temple Sinai posted on its Facebook page.


The Jewish community is celebrating its New Year and opted to respond to the slur with messages of love and friendship. One person drew a heart and wrote "Shalom" in it, while others scribbled "Take a stand," "I forgive you," "Love is better than hate," and more.

“May this be the year that peace come to our world,” Temple Sinai wrote on Facebook.

Oakland police have been informed of the vandalism and additional officers have been stationed at the temple. Patrols in the area will also be stepped up.

"Because this rises to the level of a hate crime, this is a felony," police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said. "This is very serious, with serious jail time." 

Police also are looking through nearby surveillance video hoping to find clues.

Last month, another synagogue, Temple Israel, was hit by vandals who threw rocks and shattered windows. A week later, Alameda residents found a number of hateful fliers left on the sidewalk.

"I think it's become permissible that suddenly people feel like it's an OK thing to do and to say," said Jackie Mates-Muchin, rabbi at Temple Sinai. "I think those of us who think (it's not OK) need to work together and make sure our voices are louder."




Photo Credit: Jodi Hernandez/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA['I Did It': Oakland Champion Andre Ward Retires From Boxing]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:27:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/andre+ward+sergei+kovalev.jpg

Light heavyweight world titleholder Andre Ward on Thursday announced plans to "walk away from the sport of boxing."

Oakland's pound-for-pound king said that he is retiring because his "body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport." That, in turn, has dimmed his "desire to fight," Ward said in a statement.

"If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting," he wrote.

Having defeated Sergey Kovalev in June, Ward retired with a 32-0 record.

Thanking God for helping him do all that he's done, for as long as he has, Ward also expressed gratitude for "wonderful people" he met along the way and who have become his "friends for life."

Ward continued: "To the sport of boxing – I love you. You’ve been by my side since I was (10 years old). You’ve taught me so much. You’ve humbled me. You’ve promoted me. I’ve sacrificed a lot for you, but you’ve given me more than I ever thought possible."

He credited the sport for providing him with a "platform" and transforming him into a "champion" who was able to take care of his family. 

"As I walk away from the sport of boxing today, I leave at the top of your glorious mountain, which was always my vision and my dream," Ward wrote.

"I did it. We did it."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Compete to Host Amazon's Second Headquarters]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:21:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/amazon+generic.jpg

There is a battle brewing among Bay Area cities vying to land Amazon’s second headquarters.

San Jose and Concord have announced that they are putting together proposals to woo the online retail giant.

Nationwide, it feels like a race to be the host of the Olympics as other cities are also competing to be home to Amazon’s new offices.

On the West Coast, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Portland have expressed interest. As you move east, there’s Denver, Chicago, Boston and even Toronto in Canada.

Amazon says that the winning city will get about 50,000 new jobs that pay on average over $100,000 a year. Plus there’s Amazons investment in the infrastructure that is expected to amount to about $5 billion.

The Seattle-based company has given few hints about where it might land, but said it is looking at metropolitan areas with mass transit, an international airport and populations of more than a million that have the potential to attract top tech talent.



Photo Credit: AP, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Missing 11-Year-Old Girl Located in Fremont]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:41:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-crop.jpg

An 11-year-old girl who went missing in Fremont Wednesday afternoon was located and was returned to her family, according to police.

The girl allegedly left her home at about 3:20 p.m. without telling her parents, police said.

As of 7:50 p.m., she had been located.

Police initially said they believed that the girl had gone to the Fremont Hub shopping center, located at 39100 Argonaut Way.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Police Searching for Peeping Tom in Alameda]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:42:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0920-2017-PeepingTom.jpg

Alameda police issued a warning and are seeking the public's help in identifying a peeping Tom who was caught on camera in the East Bay city.

The suspect was captured in surveillance video peering into windows at homes between the 1600 and 1800 blocks of Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda, police said. 

The incidents were reported over the course of Sept. 9-14, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. In all the incidents, residents were home and spotted the suspect, who then fled the area.

Police are actively investigating the case, saying it's a scary situation, and they want the suspect caught.

Resident Marie Latourelle said she is taking the police department's warning to heart.

It’s very concerning," she said. "I think that’s what we’re going to do after this is go review my few days of nighttime cameras to make sure it hasn’t happened at our house."

The suspect is described as a light-complexion male, between 20 and 30 years old, standing 5 feet, 8 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 160 to 180 pounds, with dark hair.

Anyone with information may contact the Alameda Police Department at 510-337-8340.

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



Photo Credit: Alameda Police Department
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Sailor to Set Out on First-of-its-Kind Adventure]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:37:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/Reeves+on+boat3+.jpg

A Bay Area sailor will set sail in October in an attempt to become the first person to sail around the Americas and Antarctica solo — all under a year. The trip will take Randall Reeves away from his wife and their East Bay home for the better part of a year - and into some of the world’s most notoriously storm oceans. 

“I overdid it one night and asked my wife ‘hey what do you think about this?’ Reeves said on the docks of Point Richmond where his 42 foot sailboat Moli is moored. “And she said ‘great you should do it.’ My wife is the enabler.”


Reeves didn’t need much enabling. As a lifelong sailor who learned to sail on the San Joaquin River near his native Stockton, he’s made increasingly longer forays out to sea for up to a month at a time. But his upcoming journey which he calls the Figure 8 Voyage for the shape of its path, will be by far his most ambitious. 

“It’s been a part of my dream since I was very young,” Reeves said. 

The trip will take Reeves through all the world’s oceans, around Cape Horn twice, through thick drifts of ice — coursing two dangerous routes through the Southern Ocean and the Arctic all in a single passage — which Reeves said no one has even attempted before. 


“I’m going to miss my lovely wife who I won’t see for a whole year. Miss sleeping in my own bed kind of stuff,” Reeves said. “The tradeoff is that you get to wake up every day in this amazingly rough and wild part of the world that almost nobody ever sees.” 

To prepare for his journey, Reeves spends his days cramming his vessel full of canned foods, instant coffee, Cliff Bars and a powdered food designed in the Silicon Valley called Soylent. He draws up maps just to be able to quickly find his supplies — especially in the midst of a storm when the choice of ‘what’s for dinner?’ drops down the list of vital decisions. 

“I eat mostly canned foods and dried foods,” Reeves said, “rice and stews, canned vegetables and canned meats.” 

He also plans to catch fish which he’ll have to consume quickly since his boat has no refrigeration. The other thing it doesn’t have — a shower. For those romanticizing Reeve’s trek, the idea of a year at sea without a shower, surviving mostly on canned food throws a big bucket of salt water on the envy. 

“All these guys who thought ‘wow that’s just the coolest thing,’ they begin to drop away a bit,” Reeves said. “They go back to mowing the front yard.” 

Reeve’s biggest supporter in his adventure is his wife Joanna Bloor who not only approves of her husband’s long, long trip, but is helping him prepare for it. Bloor said people in the sailing community have nicknamed her ‘best wife in the world,’ for encouraging her husband’s extreme bucket list expedition. 


“We spend most of our entire life trying to figure out what we’re supposed to do and what is our impact on the planet, and never find that,” Bloor said. “And Randall’s known since he was ten what he wanted to do and what his impact was.” 

But Bloor’s affinity for her husband’s adventure ends at the docks. The most common question she fields these days is whether she’s accompanying her husband on the trip. 

“To which my answer is generally ‘are you kidding?’” Bloor laughed. “The idea of not taking a shower for a year is kind of horrific.” 

Reeves said he will have plenty to do in place of the showering, like waking up every hour at night to check the course of the boat, navigating unfamiliar waters and performing constant maintenance on his craft. He plans to live-stream parts of his trip and eventually turn his experience into a book. And of course there will be plenty of time to take in the scenery. 

“I’m going to see animals who’ve never seen humans before,” Reeves said, “I’m going to see weather that most humans never experience.” 

Bloor said she understands the powerful spell the oceans have spun on her husband, drawing him further and farther, manifesting in this once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to the unknown. 

“It comes back to this idea again,” Bloor said, “if you know what it is you’re supposed to — do go do it — because you don’t want to have a regret at the end of the day.”



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
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<![CDATA[Oakland City Council Bans Sale of Flavored Tobacco]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:49:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Flavored-Tobacco.jpg

The Oakland City Council has voted unanimously to ban selling flavored tobacco products, including menthol-flavored cigarettes.

The council's move at its meeting on Tuesday night follows similar bans approved recently in San Francisco on June 20 and in unincorporated Contra Costa County on July 12.

Other Bay Area communities that previously banned the sale of flavored tobacco to youths include Berkeley, Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Santa Clara County, according to the American Cancer Society Action Network.

Supporters of the ban, which will go into effect in the middle of 2018, said it is needed because they believe the tobacco industry has historically targeted menthol cigarette advertisements to neighborhoods with high percentages of blacks and other minority groups.

The ban was backed by the "No More Flavored Tobacco" coalition, which comprises the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association in California, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, Breathe California and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund.

"We must do everything we can to protect young people from tobacco addiction," coalition members said in a statement.

They said, "Flavored tobacco products - including menthol cigarettes and candy-flavored e-cigarettes - are a key part of the industry's strategy to lure youth, particularly youth of color, into becoming tomorrow's addicted users."

Coalition members said, "That means ending the sale of flavored tobacco products - which will reduce teen use and ultimately save lives - is an issue of both health and social justice."

They said, "Young menthol cigarette smokers are disproportionately African-American, Asian-American, LGBT and from low-income communities already significantly impacted by tobacco-related disease."

Coalition members said menthol-flavored cigarettes are dangerous because the anesthetizing effect of menthol makes the smoke easier to inhale and masks the harsh taste of tobacco, making it more appealing to new users.

And they said a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that those who begin smoking menthol cigarettes are more likely to progress to a regular smoking habit and have a higher level of nicotine dependence than those who begin with non-menthol cigarettes.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Alleged Gang Member Sentenced in Police Officer Shooting]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:59:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_5628043314.jpg

Federal prosecutors say a Northern California man convicted of shooting a police officer has been sentenced to 33 years in prison. 

U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch says a federal judge on Wednesday sentenced 27-year-old Damion McDaniel in the 2013 shooting of an Oakland police officer. 

Stretch says the officer had gone to an apartment complex to investigate the shooting of an alleged gang member when McDaniel and two other gang members attacked him. The officer was struck in the head and after he refused to give up his weapon, McDaniel shot him in the forearm. 

Prosecutors say a day earlier McDaniel and three other gang members from Oakland’s Seminary neighborhood opened fire on a rival gang member standing at a bus stop. One of the gang members then ran up to the victim and shot him in the head. The man survived.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

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<![CDATA[Appeals Court Overturns Murder Conviction of Richmond Man]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:49:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/197*120/09+GettyImages-84611044+gavel.jpg

The murder conviction of a Richmond man in a fatal shooting near the University of California, Berkeley, in 2006 has been overturned by a federal appeals court in San Francisco.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 vote on Monday that Nicholas Beaudreaux, now 31, did not have a fair trial in Alameda County Superior Court in 2009 because his defense lawyer was incompetent in failing to object to a key witness.

Beaudreaux was convicted in that trial of first-degree murder and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison in the shooting death of Wayne Drummond, 23, shortly after midnight on Sept. 4, 2006.

Prosecutors said the incident began with a confrontation between Drummond and a third man, Brandon Crowder, then 21. Beaudreaux injected himself into the argument and shot Drummond in the torso, prosecutors said.

Friends who did not realize Drummond had been shot took him to a nearby sorority house, where he collapsed and died.

The key witness to identify Beaudreaux as the shooter was Dayo Esho.

The appeals court majority said that Esho's identification of Beaudreaux was based on "unduly suggestive procedures" that did not begin until 17 months after the incident.

Esho was shown two different photographic line-ups of suspects; Beaudreaux' image was the only one to appear in both line-ups. He did not positively identify Beaudreaux until the preliminary hearing.

The only other witness was Crowder, who according to the court was "likely not regarded as a credible witness" because he had reached a plea bargain in which he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

The court said that because "Esho's identification testimony was essential to the state's case," there was a reasonable probability that Beaudreaux would have received a more favorable verdict if his lawyer had sought to exclude Esho's testimony.

The panel ruled on a habeas corpus petition Esho filed in federal court after his conviction was upheld in the state court system.

Prosecutors could now either retry Beaudreaux or appeal to an expanded appeals court panel or the U.S. Supreme Court. A spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office had no immediate comment.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Search For Suspects in 'Senseless' SoMa Homicide]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:47:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/17-140+Tateo+2.png

Police and family members on Wednesday asked the public for help in identifying three persons of interest in the killing of Carlo Tateo, an Oakland teacher who was shot in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood in June, after he told two men to stop harassing women he was with.

Tateo, 31, was out with a group of friends around 2 a.m. on June 18 when he was shot in the 1500 block of Folsom Street, in an area near the Holy Cow and Calle 11 nightclubs, according to police.

Cmdr. Greg McEachern said two men in the area began to harass some women in the group, and Tateo asked them to stop. That's when one of the men pulled out a gun and shot Tateo.

McEachern said police do not believe Tateo knew the men. There was no attempted robbery before the shooting and there does not appear to have been any other response or interaction before one of the suspects opened fire.

"Every homicide is tragic, but this homicide is senseless," McEachern said.

Police have released surveillance video showing three people of interest — two men and a woman — in the area near the shooting. One of the men has facial hair who is wearing a watch cap and dark colored jacket, while another has long dreads and is wearing a brightly colored jacket and ball cap.

Police are hoping to learn whether other members of the public might have encountered the men or been harassed by them as they passed through the busy nightclub area.


Tateo was a physical education teacher at Skyline High School in Oakland, his alma mater, and was set to become the offensive coordinator for the school's football team this fall. He leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter, Lesieli, who was present at Wednesday's news conference along with her mother, Leiana Pahulu.

His uncle Don Apperson said today that Tateo worked at a center in East Oakland helping troubled teens "get their lives together."

"Carlo was a great kid, his life was about helping young kids in trouble," Apperson said.

Sonja Tateo, Carlo's mother, said she was more focused on trying to "hold my family together" than on what happened the night of the shooting, but urged anyone in the public with information to come forward.

"We don't want this to happen to another family," Sonja Tateo said.

She continued: "Carlo was deeply loved in the Oakland community. He was a mentor to teens in the community, he had a large circle of friends, he has lots of family that love him. We just want this resolved so that the community is a little more safe than it is right now."

The surveillance video can be seen online.

Anyone with information on the persons of interest seen in the video is asked to call police at (415) 575-4444 or to text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with "SFPD." Tips can be made anonymously.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department
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<![CDATA[Police Identify Man Who Allegedly Shot, Killed Stepfather]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:01:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Antioch-Shooter-Stepfather.jpg

A man who was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly shooting his stepfather and half-brother has been identified by Antioch police as 31-year-old Dominic Griffin.

According to Antioch police, Griffin was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and firearm enhancement on Tuesday after he remained on the scene after the shooting.

Police said that Griffin allegedly shot and killed his stepfather, Michael Goodwin Jr., during an argument at an apartment complex in the 300 block of Lawton Street around 9:50 a.m. Tuesday. Goodwin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prior to the shooting, callers reported to police that Griffin, Goodwin and the unidentified half-brother were arguing and one man - allegedly Griffin - was pointing a gun at another man.

Several other callers then contacted police to report shots had been fired and one person was on the ground and another was running away from the area of the shooting.

The half-brother was later found at a near-by convenience store with a gunshot wound to his upper body. He was taken to a hospital where police said as of Tuesday evening that he was in critical but stable condition.

The weapon Griffin allegedly used - a pistol - was recovered from the scene.



Photo Credit: Antioch Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[ACLU, Speakers Distance Themselves From Cal Free Speech Week]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:51:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/milo-coulter-bannon.jpg

With less than a week to go before kickoff, uncertainty is still looming over UC Berkeley's student-planned Free Speech Week. 

A rash of alleged speakers released statements this week denying involvement in the four-day conservative extravaganza, organized by right-wing student group Berkeley Patriot. 

Perhaps the strongest rebuttal came Tuesday, courtesy of the Northern California chapter of the ACLU, which was rumored to be helping the student group wage a legal battle against the university. 

"Make no mistake — the views expressed by Steve Bannon, Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos are about bigotry and racism," the regional branch of the ACLU said in a statement. "While the Constitution protects the expression of those views, let’s be clear that this event is about spreading hate and intolerance, not free speech." 

The rumors started last week after a spokesperson for Berkeley Patriot suggested in an interview with KQED that the ACLU was "ready to go to court" to defend the group.

Pranav Jandhyala, the student representative who initially made the remark, told NBC Bay Area that it was a “misunderstanding.” He said he was told the ACLU would be helping out by Yiannopoulos, and that he hadn’t heard it first hand. 

A lineup of speakers sent to news organizations last week included former White House chief strategist Bannon, commentator Coulter and former Breitbart editor Yiannopoulos, with only Yiannopoulos confirmed. Another list included Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, and InfoWars radio show host Mike Cernovich.

Several lists are currently circulating, many containing contradictory information. One released on Wednesday from UC Berkeley's press office confirms only a handful of speakers and refers to others only as "unconfirmed speaker." 

The events are supposed to take place from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27, with each day revolving around a theme. For example, "Feminism Awareness Day" on Sunday is supposed to feature Yiannopoulos, who once equated the women’s rights movement with "cancer." 

Berkeley Patriot missed a Friday deadline to sign a contract and submit a $60,000 payment to UC Berkeley so the events will now take place outdoors, if at all.

"We'd like to continue working together and cooperating," said Berkeley Patriot member, Mike Wright, who said the group wants to help "the university demonstrate they are the home of free speech."

Members of the student group, however, also failed to confirm their invitee list, apparently blind-sighting people who appeared on it. 

Dan Mogulof, a spokesperson for UC Berkeley, said he has fielded calls from speakers who say they had no idea how they were put on the roster.

Following the loss of venue, it appears Coulter and Bannon — media heavyweights who arguably attracted the most attention — have also backed out, according to reports. A list sent out by UC Berkeley's press office lists them as "unconfirmed."

Other speakers who have denied involvement include author Michael Malice, former Google employee James Damore, author Heather MacDonald, and libertarian speaker Charles Murray. The list is growing murkier by the day, as additional speakers email news outlets and the school to say they will not be there.

Jandhyala told NBC Bay Area that the group never reached out to all of the speakers directly, crediting Yiannopoulos’ team with creating the widely-circulated roster. The spokesperson said the project was a "big undertaking" that has become replete with "logistical falsities." 

"Milo had been communicating with those specific speakers and I’m not sure what happened there," the student said. "We ourselves should have made sure to have been in constant contact with all the potential speakers to avoid this." 

He continued: "I also know that some speakers started to get nervous about violence because of the venue issue and started dropping out." 

The Berkeley Patriot has accused UC Berkeley of engaging in "de facto viewpoint discrimination" by allegedly stymying the viewpoints of conservatives on campus.

The group's lawyer Marguerite Melo said, "As we get close (to Free Speech Week), it's clear the university is putting more and more requirements" on the event. UC Berkeley officials are getting in the way of Berkeley Patriot members and "doing everything they can to suppress their ability to exercise their rights," she said.

Through the Law Offices of Melo and Sarsfield LLP, Berkeley Patriot has elevated its objections to the U.S. Department of Justice and is pushing for an investigation into the matter.

"The students of the Berkeley Patriot believe that they have been subjected to a pattern and practice of suppression of their First Amendment rights, specifically Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association, and their Fourteen Amendment right to Equal Protection," Melo wrote in a complaint addressed to the Justice Department.

In a statement issued Wednesday, however, Mogulof said UC Berkeley remains "deeply committed to freedom of speech" and has devoted "extraordinary security and financial resources" to the group, regardless of political leanings.

The university has bent over backwards to work with Berkeley Patriot and will continue to do so, Mogulof said.

"We're going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to support this student group and the speakers coming to campus," he said, "and at this point we all need to work together so next week works well."

Read Berkeley Patriot's entire complaint below:

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



Photo Credit: AP Images (File)
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<![CDATA[Contra Costa County Implements $1M Immigrant Aid Program]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:26:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-675473914.jpg

A $1 million pilot program designed to provide legal assistance to undocumented immigrants grappling with threats of deportation was fast-tracked through the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, passing unanimously and with vocal community support. 

Called Stand Together Contra Costa, the program is the county’s most direct response to the climate of fear many undocumented immigrants say they have been living in since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, who rode a wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric into the White House. The program will provide immigration-based help for the county’s estimated 65,000 undocumented residents and their families. 

“The board has made many decisions that have been rapid,” Supervisor Federal Glover said, remarking on the expediency with which the expensive pilot program was pushed through. “Many times we live up in the world of the unknown, and that’s because our nation has put us in the position to be in the world of the unknown.” 

According to the Migration Policy Institute, 37 percent of Contra Costa County’s undocumented population has at least one minor in the household. The specter of families being torn apart by Trump-era immigration orders has created a dire need in the county for added services, advocates said Tuesday. 

Under the proposal, an estimated 2,000 residents will receive Know Your Rights presentations. Another 1,000 will receive free legal consultations, while an estimated 200 residents will have no-cost representation afforded to them.

Ali Saidi, an immigration attorney with the Public Defender’s Office, spearheaded the pilot program. In his presentation to the board, he talked about working with local schools and other organizations to get the word out about how the program can help families feel more secure. 

“There is a feeling of alienation from both our national and local governments,” Saidi said, imploring county leaders to approve funding. “There is mistrust and fear, and that’s compounded by a lack of access to resources and due process rights.” 

The program’s goals are myriad: In addition to providing no-cost legal assistance, Stand Together Contra Costa includes a rapid response network and emergency hotline designed to help confirm — or dispel — reports of immigration raids happening within county limits. In the past few months, false reports of raids circulating on social media have led people to avoid grocery stores and schools, fearing that ICE agents were conducting immigration sweeps at those locations. 

Saidi had already secured more than $500,000 in funding commitments from various organizations, including $100,000 from the California Endowment and another $100,000 from the San Francisco Foundation. Although the rest was originally going to come from the county’s general fund, it will now be administered through AB 109 funding, which the state earmarked for public safety and prison realignment in 2011.

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who introduced the proposal to the board, noted that she would like to see data showing the pilot program's efficacy if it is to continue past its first year. She described it as a temporary solution, one that is necessary because the U.S. has yet to work out a sustainable and holistic immigration reform plan. 

“In order to show the public that this money is well spent, we need to know how many people you’re serving and what kind of services were provided,” Mitchoff said. “This isn’t a program that is supposed to go on for 10 years.” 

The program will be re-evaluated next April, at which time the board will decide whether to approve another round of funding. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Ignites at Krispy Kreme Donuts in Union City]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:52:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-50850209.jpg

Alameda County fire crews extinguished a fire that started on the roof of a Krispy Kreme Donuts in Union City on Tuesday night, fire officials said.

Firefighters responded to the fire on the roof of the restaurant located at 32450 Dyer Street around 9:13 p.m. Fire officials said the fire was contained to a part of the wall on the roof.

All employees at the restaurant were able to exit safely before fire crews arrived on the scene.

A restaurant employee reported the fire. Nobody was injured in the blaze that caused moderate damage and didn't spread to other buildings, fire officials said. The cause is under investigation.

The Union City Krispy Kreme location will be closed temporarily.

The next closest Krispy Kreme Donuts location is in Fremont at 43835 Pacific Commons.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gas Leak Prompts Shelter-in-Place in Richmond]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:15:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEB-Gas-Leak-Chopper.jpg

Firefighters in Richmond have issued a shelter-in-place order Wednesday afternoon because of a natural gas leak and nearby residents are being asked to close their windows and turn off HVAC systems, according to a deputy fire chief.

The leak was first reported at 1:01 p.m. at the corner of Nevin Avenue and Harbour Way. 

A 3- to 4-inch commercial gas line was ruptured, although the cause of the leak is still under investigation, according to Deputy Fire Chief Emon Usher.

Firefighters shut down a nearby post office and the Hacienda Grill at 1000 Nevin Ave. They also issued a shelter-in-place order for Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center at 901 Nevin Ave. and a number of residences in the area.

Harbour Way is closed from Barrett Avenue to Macdonald Avenue and Nevin Avenue is closed from Ninth Street to 11th Street.

There are about 20 firefighters at the scene, and they're concerned about ignition. A safety hose line is in place to protect PG&E workers, nearby residents and buildings, according to Usher.

The wind is carrying the gas in a northeast direction, but it's dissipating quickly, Usher said.

"Natural gas tends to dissipate whereas propane tends to sit low and be more difficult to manage," he said. "But we certainly don't want anyone out and about in the direction that the gas is going."

PG&E did not immediately respond to a request for more details.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Alamo Man Dies After Skydiving Crash in Central Valley]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:05:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-475143923.jpg

A skydiver who crashed last week in Northern California after a parachute malfunction has died.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office says 54-year-old Brett Hawton, of Alamo, was jumping solo from a plane out of the Lodi Parachute Center in Ocampo.

The Sacramento Bee reports witnesses told Woodbridge Fire District officials that his chute tangled.

The Sheriff's office confirmed Hawton died Friday, a day after he crashed and was hospitalized in critical condition.

It's the second death this year of a skydiver who used the Lodi Parachute Center as a starting point. In May, 42-year-old Matthew Ciancio died when his chute failed to properly deploy at the end of a jump in a wingsuit, a specialized jumpsuit with two arm wings and a leg wing.



Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: Oliver Furrer/Getty Images/Cultura RF]]>
<![CDATA[Racist Words, Swastikas Scrawled on School Truck in East Bay]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:24:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CVHateSpeech.JPG

Authorities in Castro Valley opened a hate crime investigation after a school district truck was marred with racist graffiti and damaged, the Alameda County Sheriff's Department announced Tuesday.

The truck, which was housed at Canyon Middle School, was marked with words consisting of "disparaging and offensive racial remarks against members of our Jewish and African American Communities" in permanent black marker, according to sheriff's department spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly. Swastikas were also scrawled on the vehicle, and a window of the car was smashed.

The vandalism prompted parents to gather on a street corner on Wednesday and hoist signs reading "Castro Valley Stands UNITED Against Hate" into the air. 

"This community has spoken," Castro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi said. "This community has said we will not stand for hate."

Michael Kusiak doesn't have a student attending the school, but when he heard about the vandalism, he created the anti-hate signs and passed them out to families as they dropped off their children.

"Whoever is being targeted by it, they need to know that they're defended," he said.

No one witnessed the crime, but authorities are taking a look at surveillance footage as part of their ongoing investigation, according to Kelly.

"We take crimes of this nature seriously," Kelly wrote in a statement. "Racist and offensive vandalism will not be tolerated in our schools."

Kelly added that the vandalism has not morphed into any credible threats against students and school staff. Student Liliana Crawford said she felt comfortable coming to campus.

"The sheriff is here and everybody is here to protect the kids so, yeah, I feel safe," she said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, Alameda County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[One Killed After Blaze Breaks Out in Oakland Apartment]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:20:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-20-17_Oakland_Fatal_Fire.jpg

One person was killed after a fire ripped through an Oakland apartment early Wednesday, according to fire officials.

The blaze broke out just before 4 a.m. inside a four-story apartment building located along the 400 block of Fairmount Avenue, fire officials said.

Fire crews were able to contain the blaze to one apartment unit, but one person was killed, according to fire officials.

The unidentified victim, who neighbors say is a man in his late 60s, was found outside the unit that caught fire, fire officials said. One resident tried to save the victim, but the flames were too intense.

"I went and got my fire extinguisher, woke my mom up, told her to get up, and I tried to go spray it but it was too hot for me to get close so I just commit to getting my mom and my dogs out the house," the resident, who did not want to be identified, said.

Some residents said fire alarms did not go off after the blaze ignited. They were woken up by the smell of smoke and people yelling.

The blaze is under investigation.

Further information was not available.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hayward Retiming Traffic Lights to Slow Down Drivers]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:26:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/red-light-generic-stoplight-traffic.jpg

Too many drivers like to put the pedal a little bit too close to the metal when cutting through one town in the East Bay.

Starting Wednesday, drivers in Hayward are going to be seeing a lot more red.

The city has received a number of complaints from pedestrians, saying that it's too dangerous to cross the downtown areas of A Street, Foothill and Mission boulevards. The problem is especially known on Mission Boulevard, where traffic lights are timed such that drivers can catch most, if not all of the greens and blast through the 25 mph speed limit.

Add the fact that there are four lanes of traffic. It can be quite daunting for someone walking on the sidewalk or trying to use the crosswalk.

The city on Wednesday is retiming the traffic lights in the area so that drivers hit more reds and have less runway to speed. The city said there are about 20 traffic signals in question all located along the so-called downtown loop.

The city is tweaking the signals along A Street between Mission and Foothill boulevards. And on both Mission and Foothill, between A Street and Fletcher Lane.

The city is also hoping that these measure aimed at calming traffic will also discourage commuters from using downtown as a shortcut around Interstate 880 on their way to and from work.

"We've heard from those commuters who pass through already and they are like 'what are you doing? I like speeding through Hayward, I like going as fast as I can and not stopping.' We're not trying to accommodate those individuals," said Fred Kelley, Hayward's transportation manager.

The city is retiming the lights as part of a pilot program and will revise if necessary along the way. City officials will evaluate the program after three months.

The city is also looking at long-term solutions to calm the traffic in downtown, including converting some lanes to bike or transit only. The city is also looking for feedback and has set up a survey on its website: hayward-ca.gov/loop-traffic



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Antioch Man Kills Father, Shoots Brother: Witness]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:42:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-19-2017-antioch-shooting.jpg

An Antioch man allegedly shot and killed his father Tuesday and then opened fire at his brother, wounding him, a neighbor said.

Police confirmed that they are investigating a double shooting from around 10 a.m. on the 300 block of Lawton Street, but didn't specify the relationship between the suspect and two male victims. 

Three men got into an argument and one of them pointed a firearm at another when neighbors called 911, according to police. Shortly after, more calls came in about gunshots being fired. One man was on the ground, one had run away and the other had stayed at the scene, armed with what police say appeared to be a pistol, witnesses told dispatchers.

Patricia Bryden, who lives next door, said the men had been “arguing for quite a while.” When his father returned home, the son "ran downstairs, got in his car and got his gun, shot his father four times, kept shooting," she said.

One of the suspect's brother took off toward a liquor store and "he got shot," Bryden said.

"I lay down on my floor and called 911 because the gentleman was threatening to shoot anybody in the apartments," she said. "It was very scary."

Responding officers detained a suspect and administed CPR to the male victim on the ground, according to police. Paramedics took over life-saving measures, but the man succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead at the scene. 

"He sat there and taunted his dad … his dad that he shot dead," Bryden said. 

The man who had fled to a convenience store was contacted by police, and found to have a bullet wound in his upper torso. He was taken to an area hospital and rushed into surgery. Police said he is in stable but critical condition as of Tuesday evening.

Police also recovered a firearm at the scene, which was allegedly used in the shooting. 

Images from the scene show a bullet hole in a window as well as a wall. 

People with additional information about the case are asked to call the Antioch Police Department's non-emergency line at 925-778-2441. Tips can be texted to 274637 with the key word "Antioch."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Brush Fire Near Livermore Lab Contained to 100-150 Acres]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:29:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/firetruck-day-shutterstock_571403954.jpg

Alameda County firefighters have fully contained a vegetation fire at a test facility owned by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on the Alameda County border near Tracy, a laboratory spokeswoman said.

Alameda County firefighters responded at 1:55 p.m., according to fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles.

It occurred in a ravine off Corral Hollow Road near the Carnegie Vehicular Recreation Area, said Linda Seaver, a spokeswoman for the laboratory.

"We did have some employees who sheltered in place as a precaution, but there was never any threat to the public," Seaver said.

The fire was first reported at just 4 acres, but it quickly grew to 40 acres. It eventually grew to somewhere between 100 and 150 acres, according to Seaver.

Firefighters are in the final stages of putting the fire out, and they're not expecting it to grow any more, Seaver said.

Firefighters from the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and the Tracy Fire Department in San Joaquin County also responded, according to Knowles. Cal Fire is also involved.

The California Highway Patrol has closed a segment of Corral Hollow Road until further notice because of smoky conditions, Seaver said.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Contra Costa Repeals Fee Levied Against Incarcerated Youth]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:41:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/juvenile+hall.jpg

After mulling over the issue for almost a year, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted in favor of permanently repealing fees levied against the parents of juvenile offenders. 

Called the Juvenile Cost of Care Fee, the fine was imposed on parents whose child was incarcerated at Juvenile Hall in Martinez or Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron. Parents or legal guardians were billed up to $30 per day of lockup and $17 per day for an electronic monitoring system worn during probation, potentially totaling thousands of dollars by the time the minor completed punishment. 

The fee was halted in October, while the Board debated whether to continue it, lessen it, or repeal it completely.

Criminal justice reform advocates have long been pushing for a full repeal, citing studies that show the fines disproportionately burden people of color and low-income families. By voting unanimously to repeal it, Contra Costa follows in the footsteps of Alameda and Santa Clara counties. 

Earlier this month, The California State Legislature passed a bill to repeal all administrative fees for juvenile defendants under the age of 21. It was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 7 and is awaiting his signature.

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff was initially torn on the issue but was swayed to vote in favor of repeal after looking at research and hearing testimony from families. 

"The fee really didn't serve a purpose," Mitchoff said. "I do think parents have a responsibility for their child's welfare, even if they are in our custody. But my concern was that some parents would have to pay it, and others won't. So we just made it so nobody is going to have to pay it." 

Until the moratorium, Contra Costa County had some of the highest fees in the state. A UC Berkeley study found that more than 200 families were charged after receiving not-guilty verdicts or having charges dismissed. The total collected from exonerated youth was more than $58,000. 

Nancy Ybarra, who is one of six children, she said she vividly remembers her mother struggling to pay her brother’s probation fees. Ybarra said it felt wrong that the county had been profitting from young people and their families during stressful situations. 

“Although my brother made mistakes and did what he did, my mom didn’t have the money to pay for it,” Ybarra said. “It cost a lot, even to the point where my brother felt like he needed to go out and get the money just because it was so much.”

She’s glad the county is taking steps to fix what she described as a "broken system." Ybarra added that she would also be in favor of the county reimbursing all families for the fines, though there are no current plans within the county for that to occur. 

Richmond City Council member Melvin Willis, who is also a member of Richmond’s Racial Justice Coalition, came to speak in favor of the repeal. He agreed that there should be some form of remittance for families who paid the fees. 

“The county was charging families these fees before conviction,” Willis said. “Those families that were forced to pay need to be paid back by the county as well.” 

Like the moratorium, which was set to end in the coming months, the permanent ban will block the probation department from collecting on past due and outstanding fees, which grew to $8.55 million total since 1990. It does not alter juvenile restitution fees, which go toward the victim of a crime to compensate for economic loss.

The Probation Collections Unit, assigned to collect on current and past due fees, operated at a cost of $500,000 per year and brought the county $230,000 in revenue, a third of which was funneled back into youth services. Without the money coming in, that four-member unit will likely be disbanded and moved to other departments, the board said in October.



Photo Credit: Contra Costa Juvenile Hall]]>
<![CDATA[Student Arrested on Suspicion of Bringing Gun to Campus]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:39:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/09-19-2017-de-anza-high-school.jpg

A Contra Costa County high school student on Tuesday was arrested on suspicion of bringing a gun to campus, district officials said.

A student at Richmond-based De Anza High School noticed a fellow student with a gun and reported it to an adult, according to Marcus Walton, a spokesman for the West Contra Costa Unified School District. 

In response, the school was placed on lockdown, Walton said.

Students, who said they have always felt safe at De Anza, admitted to being scared on Tuesday as they hid under desks and monitored Snapchat for reports about a possible shooter on campus.

"I was afraid," said Ibraheem K. "I thought he had a gun."

The 15-year-old and some friends were about to go to lunch when the call came in.

"They told the students to get under the desks and close everything. Close the lights and get the curtains down," Ibraheem said.

Richmond police responded to the scene and the student was taken into custody without any problems, Walton said. Police said the gun was found near the 16-year-old suspect, not on him.

The student will be expelled from De Anza High, Walton said.

Walton said Tuesday is the first time he can remember a student being arrested for possessing a firearm at school.

"We've done a lot of work over the last few years, trying to create a culture where students feel safe," he said.

And students said the district's efforts are paying off. In fact, many initially thought the lockdown was a drill because no one expected such an incident to unfold at their school.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Allegedly Hitting Store Employee With Bread]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:32:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/FrenchBreadGeneric.jpg

Fremont police arrested a 39-year-old man on suspicion of battery after he allegedly hit a grocery store employee multiple times with a loaf of French bread late Sunday night.

Police said they received a call of a man pushing and hitting an employee at the store in the 39100 block of Argonaut Way. When officers arrived on the scene, the suspect was seen yelling at an employee.

According to police, the man was told to exit the store but he didn't comply. He was eventually arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Fremont police did not identify the suspect by name.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Freeway Traffic Continues to Worsen: MTC]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 06:04:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Traffic+Generic2.jpg

No surprise for Bay Area commuters: traffic is getting worse.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission found that weekday traffic congestion across the region jumped 80 percent between 2010 and 2016. Back in 2010, commuters on average spent 1.9 minutes daily driving at freeway speeds below 35 mph. Fast forward six years and that number climbed to 3.5 minutes per commuter, marking the fourth-straight year that the statistic has increased.

The top three busiest roadways in the Bay Area did not change between 2015 and 2016, according to the MTC, but significant shifts were recorded on several other freeway segments.

Here is the top 10 list for Bay Area freeway locations with the worst delays in 2016:

1. Northbound Highway 101/Eastbound Interstate 80 from San Francisco to Treasure Island during the evening commute hours (No. 1 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

2. Westbound Interstate 80 from Highway 4 through Berkeley and across the Bay Bridge at all times of day (No. 2 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

3. Southbound Highway 101 from Mountain View to San Jose during the evening commute hours (No. 3 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

4. Northbound Interstate 680 from Fremont to Sunol during the evening commute hours (No. 6 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

5. Northbound Interstate 880 from Fremont to Hayward during the evening commute hours (No. 8 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

6. Soutbound Interstate 280 from Cupertino to San Jose during the evening commute hours (No. 12 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

7. Eastbound Interstate 80 from Oakland to Berkeley during the evening commute hours (No. 4 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

8. Northbound Interstate 680 from San Ramon to Concord during the evening commute hours (No. 11 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

9. Eastbound Highway 24 from Oakland to Walnut Creek during the evening commute hours (No. 10 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)

10. Eastbound Highway 4 from Martinez to Concord during the evening commute hours (No. 16 worst traffic congestion area in 2015)



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Free BART Rides Up for Grabs]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:48:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Free_Bart_Rides_Up_for_Grabs.jpg

Ride BART for free. It's a new promotion to increase weekend ridership. Over the past two years there's been a decrease of passengers on Saturdays and Sundays, which costs BART about $15 million dollars. BART has handed out 25,000 tickets for free weekend rides. The tickets are being randomly given out at stations so may the odds be ever in your favor.]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Man Charged With Murdering Woman, 83, in San Lorenzo]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:58:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sl+homicide-0918.jpg

A Texas man has been charged with murder for allegedly killing an 83-year-old woman in San Lorenzo at an independent senior living facility in unincorporated Alameda County two months ago, sheriff's officials said Monday.

The victim, Ru Feng, was discovered conscious yet unresponsive on the lobby floor of the Kent Gardens facility on Kent Avenue in San Lorenzo at about 7:15 p.m. on July 16, according to sheriff's officials.

Authorities initially believed Feng had suffered a medical episode and fell to the ground because no one saw her fall and there were no reports of anything unusual, sheriff's officials said.

Feng was taken to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries but died two days later, according to sheriff's officials.

Investigators later reviewed video footage that depicted Feng being assaulted by Sean Wallace, 30, of Cedar Hill, Texas, sheriff's officials said.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office then filed murder charges against Wallace, who was arrested in Texas, according to sheriff's officials.

Wallace was extradited from Texas on Friday and is now in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, sheriff's officials said.

Jail records indicate that Wallace is scheduled to appear in Alameda County Superior Court in Dublin on Wednesday.

Sheriff's Detective Kenneth Gemmell wrote in a probable cause declaration that video surveillance shows Wallace entered the senior living facility's parking lot at about 7:15 p.m. on July 16, approached Feng and tapped her on her shoulder, apparently to ask a question or gain her attention.

Gemmell said Feng, who didn't speak English, brushed Wallace's arm away as she entered her code to open the facility's lobby doors but as the doors opened Wallace pushed her to the ground, causing her to strike her head on the lobby's tile floor.

Wallace left the area on foot and told another resident that it appeared that someone had fallen in the lobby, according to Gemmell.

The resident went to the lobby, where Kent Gardens officials found Feng, who was conscious but unresponsive, Gemmell wrote. Feng then died two days later.

Multiple Kent Gardens employees later identified Wallace as the suspect in double-blind, sequential photo lineups, according to Gemmell.

Sheriff's detectives interviewed Wallace at his home in Cedar Hills, Texas, on Aug. 7 but it was apparent that Wallace doesn't have the normal mental functions of a 30-year-old and his mother told the detectives that he's mentally retarded, Gemmell said.

Wallace gave investigators multiple versions of what happened with Feng but ultimately said it was an accident and he had made a mistake, Gemmell wrote.

However, Gemmell said, "Wallace knew the difference between the truth and a lie, and knew the difference between what is right and what is wrong."

Sheriff's officials said anyone with information about the case should call them at (510) 667-7721 or their anonymous tip line at (510) 667-3622.



Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley PD Warns Parents About Man Posing Potential Threat]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:50:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/william+turner-0918.jpg

Berkeley police on Monday issued a warning to families about a man who earlier this year allegedly tried to feed an unknown liquid to three young children at a playground.

William Turner, 36, of Berkeley, was arrested after allegedly trying to feed the liquid to children, including one as young a year old, on June 12 at a playground in the Ohlone Greenway near McGee and Hearst avenues, according to police.

"Since May, there’s been a total of four incidents; three are particularly troubling to us," said Berkeley police Sgt. Andrew Frankel.

Officers placed Turner on an emergency psychiatric hold, and he was later arrested on suspicion of annoying or harassing a child and possession of stolen property, police said.

He later pleaded guilty to a lesser offense and was placed on probation with a stay-away order from all parks and schools in Alameda County, but was arrested again on Sept. 1 after being spotted near Berkeley High School and Berkeley City College, police said.

"In one of the incidents, he was in front of a preschool at six in the morning, and he stripped down to his underwear," Frankel said. "The totality of the circumstances we find troubling."

Turner has since been released from custody again, and Berkeley police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel said the department wanted to notify the public about him so parents can remain vigilant when visiting parks with their children.

"Because we feel like he shows a propensity to annoy, molest small children, we felt we need to share his picture with the community," Frankel said.



Photo Credit: Berkeley PD
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<![CDATA[Suspect Who Allegedly Hit San Leandro Officers Arrested]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/san+leandro5.jpg

An Oakland man has been arrested for suspicion of attempted murder and evading police for allegedly striking two San Leandro police officers with his car in front of a grocery store on Sunday night, police said.

Terry Gordon, 57, was arrested in Oakland shortly after 9 a.m. Monday after officers spotted his black 1998 Lexus ES 300 sedan, according to police.

Officers tried to stop Gordon but he disobeyed their command to stop and led officers on a short pursuit before crashing into a parked vehicle, at which point he was then taken into custody without incident, police said.

Gordon's Lexus had damage consistent with Sunday night's incident, which occurred at about 8:30 p.m. In that incident, Gordon allegedly struck the two officers in front of a Safeway store, located at 699 Lewelling Blvd., according to police.

The officers were trying to detain Gordon because store employees alleged that he had just shoplifted items from the store, police said.

The officers tried to stop Gordon but he ran to his car and struck the officers as he was driving away, according to police.

The officers were transported to a hospital for treatment. One officer is still in the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, while the other was released some hours after being hit, police said.

The officers identified Gordon as the suspect who struck them and his car has also been identified as the vehicle that was used in the alleged assault, according to police.

"We are grateful that this subject has been located and arrested," San Leandro police spokesman Lt. Isaac Benabou said in a statement.

Benabou said, "We are also very thankful that both officers are doing well and we expect a full recovery. Thank you to everyone who extended their thoughts and prayers for our officers."

Detectives will present the case to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday for charging, Benabou said.



Photo Credit: TELEMUNDO 48 ]]>
<![CDATA[Pre-Trial Hearing as Jahi McMath Case Continues]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:51:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Pre-Trial_Hearing_as_Jahi_McMath_Case_Continues.jpg

A pre-trial hearing is in the works in the Jahi McMath case. Earlier this month an Alameda County judge allowed the family's malpractice lawsuit against Children's Hospital Oakland to move forward and to be decided by a jury. In 2013 the hospital declared the 13-year-old girl brain dead following an operation to remove her tonsils. McMath's family claims Jahi is still alive and wants the hospital to pay for her care. A trial date has not been set.]]>
<![CDATA[UC Berkeley Gets Ready for Milo and Free Speech Week]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:10:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17052755202000.jpg

The show will go on in Berkeley, according to far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, who took to YouTube and Facebook Monday, accusing UC Berkeley of trying to sabotage Free Speech Week.

It was Yiannopoulos who was on campus when violent protests broke out in February. He said the university didn't do enough to protect speakers and visitors, and his speech was canceled at the last minute.

Now, Yiannopoulos and a newly formed conservative student group are accusing UC Berkeley of trying to silence them once again.

In the YouTube video, Yiannopoulos and student journalists with the Berkeley Patriot say the university has not negotiated with them fairly, refusing to answer questions about refunding more than $65,000 in venue rental fees if they end up canceling.

"This was designed to force a cancellation," Yiannopoulos says in the video. "We are not going to cancel Free Speech Week."

The problem emerged Friday, according to the Berkeley Patriot's editor William Mike Wright.

"Right now, the way the contract is ... that we're going to be forced to sign ... we're on the hook for that money," Wright said.

The Berkeley Patriot has been promoting a Free Speech Week for months, saying big names like Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter also will be making appearances.

UC Berkeley said the event's organizers still have not provided confirmation from the speakers that they will appear, and university spokesman Dan Mogulof said they failed to meet critical deadlines over the past month to pay reservation fees on two large auditoriums.

"If they wanted this venue so badly, why did they miss three deadlines, and why did payment finally show up on our doorstep, days, weeks after these deadlines had passed?" Mogulof said.

Mogulof said the school answered all of the organizers' questions. The main disagreement was over the university's no-refund policy, something that he said is standard in every contract.

"Those questions had been answered weeks earlier," Mogulof said. "They didn't like the answers."

The Berkeley Patriot said it will hold a news conference Wednesday to update the list and schedule of speakers.

The university released the following schedule:

SUNDAY, Sept. 24

  • Savio steps, noon-12:55 p.m., speech by Miss Elaine
  • Savio steps, 5-6:45 p.m., speeches by Lucian Wintrich, Lisa DePasquale and Chadwick Moore

MONDAY, Sept. 25

  • Savio steps, noon-12:55 p.m., speech by Heather MacDonald
  • Savio steps, 5-7 p.m., speeches by Monica Crowley and SABO
  • Anna Head Hall, 7:30-9:30 p.m., speakers Jordan Peterson and James Damore. (Campus will not permit late changes to this event, per UCPD security requirements and campus policy.)

TUESDAY, Sept. 26

  • Lower Sproul Plaza, noon-12:55 p.m., speech by Michael Malice
  • Lower Sproul Plaza, 5-7 p.m., speech by Katie Hopkins; interviewer Milo Yiannopoulos to interview subjects Erik Prince, Pamela Geller and David Horowitz. (Campus has informed student organization that it may add speakers to this event if it chooses to do so, per campus policy.)

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27

  • Savio steps, noon-12:55 p.m., speech by Mike Cernovich
  • Savio steps, 5-6:55 p.m., speeches by Ariana Rowlands and Stellion Onufrei




Photo Credit: AP file]]>
<![CDATA[BART: Surveillance Video Shows Attempted Robbery With Note]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 05:51:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BART+robbery-0918.jpg

Surveillance video supports an Oakland woman's report last week that a would-be robber handed her a threatening note, according to BART police.

The woman, Julie Dragland, said she boarded a train in Daly City and was heading home to Dublin when a person in dark clothing climbed onto the train in downtown San Francisco and thrust a note at her. She said she faked a seizure to thwart the would-be robbery. 


The note read: “There are 2 guns pointed at you now. If you want to live, hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be descreet [sic]. Do not turn around until after you have left Civic Center + you will live.”

BART police Deputy Chief Lance Haight said Monday video from the train shows the suspect was seated behind the victim, who was sitting alone. The suspect, who was also alone, is then seen reaching over the victim’s shoulder, which is when the suspect may have dropped the note, Haight said.

 

Dragland immediately pretended she was having a seizure. In response, the alleged suspect disembarked at the Powell Street BART station.

There is no indication from the video the suspect was armed with any weapons.

The victim said she was shaken up and will no longer sit on a BART seat with its back to other chairs behind it. Dragland, however, won’t let the frightening encounter stop her from riding BART trains altogether.

Dragland doesn’t plan to press charges if the suspect is caught.

BART is investigating the alleged crime and poring over surveillance footage. Although there were roughly 15 people in the BART train car, no one else reported the incident, police say.



Photo Credit: BART PD
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<![CDATA[Oakland Leaders Support A's Plan to Build New Stadium]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:05:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-844506640.jpg

A coalition of community leaders, business and labor leaders and other Oakland city leaders are scheduled Monday to announce their support for the Oakland Athletics' plans to build a new downtown stadium.

The team last week announced plans to construct a new privately-financed stadium on a plot of land near Laney College in downtown Oakland.

The next step for the A's is evaluating the Peralta site, which consists of about 13 acres near Interstate 880, not far from Lake Merritt.

The stadium would be privately financed and close to BART, the A's said.

The A's have played at the Coliseum since 1968.

Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[BART Rider Fakes Seizure Upon Being Handed Menacing Note]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:12:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bartnoteonblue.jpg

An Oakland woman on Friday pretended to have a seizure after someone approached her on a BART train and handed her a threatening note, attempting to rob her.

Julie Dragland said she boarded a train in Daly City and was heading home to Dublin when a person in dark clothing climbed onto the train in downtown San Francisco and thrust a note at her.

It read: “There are 2 guns pointed at you now. If you want to live hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be descreet. Do not turn around until after you have left Civic Center + you will live.”


Dragland immediately faked a seizure. In response, the alleged suspect disembarked at the Powell Street BART station.

The victim said she was shaken up and will no longer sit on a BART seat with its back to other chairs behind it. Dragland, however, won’t let the frightening encounter stop her from riding BART trains altogether.

Dragland doesn’t plan to press charges if the suspect is caught.

BART is investigating the alleged crime and poring over surveillance footage. Although there were roughly 15 people in the BART train car, no one else reported the incident, police say.



Photo Credit: Julie Dragland
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Search Teams Return From Irma Relief Duty]]>Sun, 17 Sep 2017 14:34:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N7A+FIREFIGHTERS+RETURN+HOME+VO+-+00000627.jpg

Members of a Peninsula urban search and rescue team returned to their Menlo Park base today after journeying to Florida to help residents facing Hurricane Irma, fire officials said.

California Task Force 3 drove about 5,000 miles back and forth across the U.S. to Elgin Air Force Base in Florida with 11 vehicles, seven trailers and more than 60,000 pounds of search and rescue equipment.

The unit mobilized a new group of members to respond to Florida and Hurricane Irma 30 minutes after the water rescue team returned from Texas and Hurricane Harvey, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said.

"We've never had such a short turnaround before to get one group back in and deploy another," Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said in a statement.

Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys and again on Florida's west coast and did little damage in the northern area of Florida where the team was stationed. The team's specialized services weren't needed, fire officials said. 

Task Force 3 was one of two search and rescue teams from the San Francisco Bay Area, one of four from California and one of 14 from the nation deployed to Florida to respond to Hurricane Irma.

A day prior, the East Bay-based California Task Force 4 touched down in Oakland International Airport. The 50 members were greeted with an emotional hero's welcome. 

Harvey and Irma created a grueling pair of assignments for the unit, but that's what they signed up for, according to Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Lipp. 

In Texas, the team spent days on boats, going from home to home, looking for people who needed to be rescued amid torrential rain and widespread flooding. 

Then came Irma. Some California Task Force 3 members who were driving back from Texas were redirected to Florida, while others who had flown back to the Bay Area, were back in the air within 48 hours of getting home.

The unit spent four days in the Florida Keys and was among the first urban search and rescue teams to start looking for residents who stayed behind, determined to ride out the deadly hurricane.

"Everyone is just really proud and happy not only to have gone, but also now to be home and be able to share our stories and be able to learn from the experience of having been down there so that we’re even better able to protect our own communities here," Lipp said.

Another 26 members are driving Task Force 3's equipment back to the Bay Area and are expected to be here by Wednesday or Thursday. 

Meanwhile, humans are not the only ones returning from sodden Texas and Florida. 

A coalition of local rescue groups — including Mad Dog Rescue, Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, the Milo Foundation, San Francisco SPCA and Muttville Senior Dog Rescue — on Sunday brought 47 dogs and 26 cats from Houston to the Bay Area. 

“We have an incredible disaster relief team who have been deployed multiple times since the hurricane hit helping with the emergency evacuation of pets,” Ryan Darfler of Mad Dog Rescue said in a statement. “We will continue to do so until every animal is safe.”

Before flying to Hayward in style — aboard a private plane donated by philanthropists — the animals were removed from Texas shelters so hundreds of other displaced pets could be taken care of. All of them have been vaccinated and checked for medical issues, officials said.

The goal now is to "help find these animals good homes to go to," said Monica Stevens, co-founder of the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bomb Squad Called to Pleasanton Gas Station, No Bomb Found]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 15:16:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/204*120/pls+bomb+squad.JPG

Pleasanton police, investigating a suspicious object Sunday at a Chevron gas station, said the area was deemed safe. The object turned out to be an electronic anti-theft device.

Police first reported the incident on Twitter about 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Hopyard Road and Owens Drive. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office bomb squad was called to the scene to investigate, police said.

The bomb squad deployed a robot to check out the suspicious object, police said. It was deemed safe about 1:50 p.m.

No further details were available.





Photo Credit: Pleasanton PD
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<![CDATA[Immigration Activists Rally For DACA in Oakland]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 17:53:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DACA+rally-0916.jpg

Bay Area immigration activists rallied Saturday afternoon in Oakland to defend DACA and urge officials to make California a "sanctuary state," on the day Mexico celebrates its independence.

The rally, organized by By Any Means Necessary, began about 2 p.m. at Fruitvale Plaza, 34th Avenue and International Boulevard in Oakland.

A small but vocal group rallied and marched at the plaza. Cameron Bond came from Walnut Creek with his girlfriend over concerns about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"I would love to see it saved, see some type of action where the recipients of DACA keep their rights," Bond said.

As demonstrators hit the streets, people like Alejandra Basulto attended a DACA renewal workshop in the South Bay ahead of an anticipated deadline.

"I have been able to continue my education to work and be able to support family to have somewhat of a name and not be scared of being who I am, being from out of the country but living here all my life," she said.

Activists also urged several other actions on immigration and related issues such as halting Trump's travel ban from six mostly-Muslim nations, stopping ICE raids and deportations and removing President Donald Trump from office, according to organizers.

Earlier Saturday, the California Senate followed suit with the state Assembly and passed a "sanctuary state" bill. It is now headed for Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.



Photo Credit: Christie Smith/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Demolishes Part of Old Bay Bridge Foundation]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 18:18:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bay+bridge+implosion+3-0916.jpg

Caltrans demolished one of the marine foundations of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's old eastern span Saturday morning, Caltrans officials said.

Traffic breaks were expected anytime between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., when the implosions were planned to take place, according to Caltrans. The implosions took place underwater.

It was the second of this fall's six scheduled implosions for the demolition of the remaining 11 marine foundations of the original east span of the bridge. Pier E6 was scheduled for removal Sunday.

Caltrans said it plans to finish the work by the second weekend in November. The agency began demolishing the old eastern span in September 2013 after the new eastern span opened to traffic.

Pier E3, which was the largest pier and the closest to Yerba Buena and Treasure islands, was removed in 2015 and piers E4 and E5 were removed in 2016.

Piers 7 and 8, which are to the east of the piers that were previously removed, were removed Sept. 2. The remaining piers will be removed every other weekend through the second week in November, Caltrans officials said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Bracing for More Protests During Free Speech Week]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 23:52:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/9-15-2017-berkeley10.jpg

Planning for more protests. That's the position the City of Berkeley and University of California officials are finding themselves in.

"Free Speech Week" is scheduled for Sept. 24 at the Cal campus and no one knows what to expect with Milo Yiannopoulos and former White House strategist Steve Bannon on the list as speakers.

On Thursday, hundreds came to protest conservative commentator Ben Shapiro's speech at UC Berkeley.

On Friday, UC President Janet Napolitano reacted to his visit and said "there's a lesson learned on every one of these."

Napolitano said UC campuses are targets for provocateurs, but she is focused on upholding the free speech tradition as long as the speakers and their sponsors pay for security costs.

Keeping people safe during Thursday's rally cost about $600,000. More protests are planned during Free Speech Week.

If those planning it are able to do the necessary leg work to pull it off, Free Speech Week will cost them, the city and the university a lot of money.

The Berkeley Patriot Group is still working to get their paperwork together for Free Speech Week.

The editor-in-chief and head of the Berkeley Patriot, Mike Wright, spoke to NBC Bay Area about how the University is handling Yiannopoulos’ upcoming visit. According to Wright, the school was late in responding to specific questions regarding the contract for the event, making it difficult for

Yiannopoulos’ team to wire the necessary funds for the event in time for the deadline. 

“I’m saddened because I thought better of my University,” said Wright about the miscommunication. “I trusted them.” 

Wright said the event will continue, with or without the indoor venues. 

“Milo is going to come no matter what,” said Wright. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Popular Hello Kitty Truck Coming Back to Bay Area ]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:28:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hello-Kitty-Cafe-Eater.jpg

The Hello Kitty Cafe truck — a bright pink Mercedes van adorned with flowers and the feline Sanrio mascot — will be making several stops in the Bay Area in the next few weeks. 

According to its event page, the Instagram-famous truck is slated to appear in the following locations: 

    • Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 
    • Santana Row in San Jose at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23
    • Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.
    The truck will stay in each scheduled location until 8 p.m., or when supplies sell out.  

    The Hello Kitty truck tours different cities selling — you guessed it — Hello Kitty gear and sweet treats, including T-shirts, coffee mugs and undoubtedly cloying macarons and doughnuts. 

    Wherever it goes, a bounty of Instagram posts are sure to follow. Since making its debut at the annual Hello Kitty Con, a (surprisingly real) convention devoted to all things Hello Kitty, the truck and its retail items have attracted a rabid following on social media. 

    In Walnut Creek last Saturday, more than 900 people turned out to get some of the coveted limited-edition goodies. Despite 90 degree weather, some people waited more than four hours to get to the top of the line.

    Watch the video above to see some highlights from the last event. 




    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hello Kitty Cafe Truck
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    <![CDATA[A's Offense Goes Soggy in Philly]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 23:13:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/a%27s-philly-soggy.jpg

    Olson's homer not enough

    BOX SCORE 

    It was more of the same from Matt Olson on Saturday, as the A’s rookie continued his offensive tear with another home run. 

    Then the rain hit in Philadelphia, a nearly two-hour delay ensued at Citizens Bank Park, and the A’s offense went soggy in a 5-3 defeat to the Phillies. 

    Oakland fell to 2-3 on this nine-game road trip, but Olson’s emergence as a middle-of-the-order power bat continues to be a huge second-half bright spot for the A’s. He became the fifth Athletic this season to reach the 20-homer mark, the first time the A’s have had five players reach that milestone since 2004. 

    Olson is clearing the fence at a rate rarely seen from an A’s player in the infant stages of his career. His 20 homers have come in just 63 career games. Only Mark McGwire, with 22, has hit more over the same span of games to start his career. Olson has crammed 16 of his homers into the 34 games since he was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Aug. 8, and he’s gone deep nine times in his last 13 games alone. 

    What’s more, when you factor in the 23 homers Olson hit for Nashville, he joins Giancarlo Stanton as the only two players in the past 30 years to hit 20 homers in both the majors and minors in the same season. Stanton did it in 2010. 

    On Friday night, Olson swatted a tape-measure blast 483 feet into the second deck. He led off the second inning Saturday by turning on a 2-2 pitch from Ben Lively and hitting a low liner over the right field wall. 

    It wasn’t enough, as the Phillies came back after a third-inning rain delay and scored single runs to tie the game in the third and fourth. Then Jorge Alfaro’s two-run homer off Simon Castro in the sixth put the Phillies up for good.

    OFFENSE GOES COLD:

    Rain hit in Philadelphia, and the game was delayed 1 hour, 46 minutes in the bottom of the third. When play resumed, the A’s couldn’t get anything going. At one point, Phillies pitchers retired 16 in a row. Oakland got a ninth-inning homer from Jed Lowrie, but that was the A’s first hit since Matt Chapman’s one-out double in the second.

    SHORT NIGHT’S WORK:

    Kendall Graveman took the mound to start for the A’s and delivered two scoreless innings. But after the long delay, manager Bob Melvin wasn’t going to risk injury with his Opening Night starter after such a long layoff. Chris Smith took over after play resumed, and he was charged with each of Philadelphia’s first two runs in his 1 1/3 innings of work.

    LAST-INNING RALLY:

    After Lowrie homered, Mark Canha was hit by a pitch with two outs to bring the tying run to the plate. But Bruce Maxwell hit a comebacker for the final out.




    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Woman Arrested for Carrying Large Sign at Berkeley Protest]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:06:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0915-2017-SarahRoark.jpg

    A San Bruno woman was arrested for carrying a large sign outside conservative commentator Ben Shapiro's speech at UC Berkeley.

    The woman was one of nine people arrested for allegedly carrying banned weapons, police said.

    The large sign carried by Sarah Roark is about 5 feet by 3 and a half feet wide and made of cardboard and paper.

    Roark, 44, said she had no idea the sign violated demonstration rules set by the Berkeley Police Department. Her arrest was captured on video.

    "I wish that I could say that I was shocked," Roark said. "My heart doesn't want to believe what I have been seeing, but my eyes don't lie to me. So I wish I could say I was shocked. I was deeply disappointed."

    Roark is active in the Berkeley anti-facism movement, speaking out on the streets and on social media. But her husband said she is never violent.

    "She's a very big proponent of peaceful protesting and believes very strongly that is the way to effect change," husband Brett Roark said.

    But the large poster board does violate Berkeley police's list of banned items at Thursday's demonstrations.

    Among the more than 40 items, no signs larger than 30 inches by 30 inches are listed.

    Even though Roark's sign fit the construction material requirements because it was made with only cardboard and paper, it was too big.

    Roark said she plans to remain active in the movement and hold her head high doing it.

    "I'm proud of what I did and the rest is on video for all to see."



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Berkeley PD Squash Viral Rumor of Stabbing at Shapiro Speech]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 20:38:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fake+News+1.jpg

    Berkeley police shot down a viral rumor that a woman was stabbed in the neck during Thursday’s protest outside of Ben Shapiro’s speech at UC Berkeley. 

    The rumor started when Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman tweeted a photo of a young woman lying on the street during the protest, surrounded by police officers. The right-wing provocateur added the caption, “A Ben Shapiro supporter was stabbed in the neck by Antifa terrorists last night in Berkeley CA.” He also asked his followers to "pray4her." 

    Chapman, who is facing charges for allegedly assaulting a protester in March, shared the tweet with his 32,000 Twitter followers and also posted a similar message on his Facebook page, where it was shared close to 5,000 times. Citing Chapman’s tweet, several right-wing blogs — including one helmed by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos — ran the reported stabbing. 

    Berkeley police attempted to squash the rumor shortly before 10 a.m. Friday. 

    “Online accounts surrounding a stabbing at last night's protest are false,” the official BPD page tweeted. “She fell and wasn't pushed. No fight. That is what she told us at the scene. These are the actual facts.”

    NBC Bay Area reporters witnessed the photographed incident. It appeared that an argument broke out over the woman’s pro-Shapiro protest sign — which she had been holding while teetering on a light pole — and she fell backward onto the street.

    The fall happened at about 9:30 p.m, shortly after the Shapiro event ended. Emergency responders arrived at Bancroft and Telegraph by 9:40 p.m. and took the woman away on a stretcher. 

    As of Friday evening, Chapman’s original tweet was still up, though he did clarify in a subsequent message that he heard the story through a second-hand source, who hadn't seen the stabbing, either. 

    Scores of Chapman's followers remarked that the woman appeared to be lying in a pool of blood. In fact, the picture shows the woman's red hair fanned beneath her head. 

    All told, about 700 people came to see conservative commentator Ben Shapiro speak at UC Berkeley, while about 200 hundred people protested outside the event. 

    Berkeley police, clad in riot gear, made at least three arrests before the event started at 7 p.m. Officials later said a total of nine people were arrested. The university spent $600,000 to enhance security measures during the closely-watched speaking engagement.

    Police identified five of the people arrested. Sarah Roark, 44, of San Bruno; Hannah Benjamin, 20, of Fremont; Eddy Robinson, 44, of Oakland and Michael Paul Sullivan, 29, of Hayward were arrested for carrying banned weapons, police said. And Kerem Celik, 18, of Saratoga, was arrested for disturbing the peace. 

    Chapman is currently free on $135,000 bail in relation to the assault charge at a previous protest. He is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 12.



    Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[What Is the Cost of Free Speech at UC Berkeley? $600,000 ]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:05:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-847128682.jpg

    There is a price to pay for free speech, and the University of California, Berkeley forecasts inflation.

    It cost the famously liberal university an estimated $600,000 to put the campus on virtual lockdown as conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke Thursday night.

    That's on top of another $600,000 spent in April to secure the campus during the planned visit of right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, which was ultimately canceled.

    An additional $200,000 was spent on security for an event featuring former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, which was abruptly called off when left-wing anarchists rioted outside the event.

    "It's an incredible amount of money," campus spokesman Dan Mogulof said Friday, a day after the Shapiro event. "And while we don't regret that we spent it given the event was held peacefully, we certainly would have rather spent it on other purposes."

    The current tally of roughly $1.4 million is expected to multiply if an event organized by Yiannopoulos — billed as "Free Speech Week" — goes ahead later this month. Yiannopoulos says he has lined up 20 speakers including Coulter and Steve Bannon, ex-chief strategist for President Donald Trump, to speak on campus during a four-day event.

    UC Berkeley officials say that event is not yet confirmed but they will prepare security accordingly if it takes place.

    "We can't turn a blind eye to recent events in the city, around the campus and the country," Mogulof said. "So we accept that we will need to continue to do what is necessary to support our non-negotiable commitment to the First Amendment and safety of our campus."

    Berkeley's reputation as a liberal stronghold and the birthplace of the 1960s Free Speech Movement has made the city and campus flashpoints for the country's political divisions, drawing extremist groups from the left and right.

    Four political demonstrations, starting with the Yiannopoulos event, have turned violent since February, prompting officers to come up with new strategies to control rowdy and sometimes dangerous crowds.

    Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor, was invited by campus Republicans. His speech drew several hundred protesters who held a protest outside but there was no violence.

    Police sealed off the building where Shapiro was speaking and required attendees to pass through metal detectors and police barricades that kept protesters at a distance.

    Streets and nearby indoor parking lots were closed. A list of banned items Thursday included shields, masks, bandanas, poles and torches, and for the first time in two decades, the city council authorized city officers to use pepper spray to control violence.

    City police said nine people were arrested mainly for having banned items. There were no injuries or property damage.

    The university has declined to say how many officers were on hand but reinforcements were called in from all 10 UC campuses and from law enforcement agencies around the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

    The largest costs were for bringing in the reinforcements and paying their room, board, travel and overtime, as well as overtime costs for campus police and staff to work during the evening event, Mogulof said.

    The university has struggled financially in recent years, but Mogulof said the security expenses would not cut into academic spending.

    "Our operating budget is north of $2.6 billion a year. You're going to have allowances for unforeseen situations," he said.

    AP writer Sudhin Thanawala contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA['Do-Not-Drink' Alameda Water Advisory Lifted]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:30:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/232*120/Tap-water-generic.jpg

    The city of Alameda announced this Friday that the State Water Resources Board's Division of Drinking Water has lifted it's "do-not-drink" advisory for Alameda Point's drinking water distribution system, after residents had been advised not drink water earlier this week due to contamination.

    The city said in a statement that the residents and businesses in the Alameda Point area can now drink and cook with tap water. A second round of water test results from yesterday was clear of bacteria.

    Friday's tests of Alameda Point's water system tested negative for other harmful contaminants.

    The initial advisory urging residents not to drink, shower or bathe in, or cook with the area's water came out on Tuesday, affecting 268 residents and more than 60 businesses.

    The city said that the irrigation well that mixed with Alameda Point's drinking water, resulting in the contamination, remains disconnected from the drinking water system.

    Residents are advised to flush all water fixtures for 10 minutes before initial water use for drinking, cooking, bathing or showering.

    The city and the Red Cross will end its free bottled water and shower service for the affected residents effective Friday evening at 7 p.m.

    Those still concerned about the quality of Alameda Point's water taste or odor should call the East Bay Municipal Utility District at (866) 403-2683.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virues]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:46:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/mosquito-generic.jpg

    Three birds from separate Contra Costa County cities and a group of mosquitoes from another have tested positive for West Nile virus, the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District said Friday in a statement.

    "The mosquitoes and birds that have tested positive this week demonstrates West Nile virus does not end with Labor Day," said Steve Schutz, the district's Scientific Programs Manager, in a statement.

    The birds were discovered in Brentwood, Antioch and Pleasant Hill, while the mosquitoes were found in Oakley. The district said it is conducting extra surveillance and mosquito control in the areas where the infected birds and mosquitoes were found.

    The district reminds residents that they can reduce the risks of acquiring the disease by draining standing water, using bug repellent with DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, maintaining swimming pools. Resident should report dead birds to the state's hotline at (877) 968-2473.

    The district said that of the 56 people in the county who have been diagnosed with the disease since 2006, only two have died.

    For more information on the virus in the county visit www.contracostamosquito.com.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA['Free Speech is Not Hate Speech': Uproar Over #BenAtBerkeley]]>Sun, 17 Sep 2017 10:29:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-15-2017-berkeley-ambercummings.jpg

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Bay Area Transit Agencies Boost Security After London Attack]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 21:11:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DJxzaJeVoAAwFVX.jpg

    Bay Area transit agencies are stepping up security efforts Friday, hours after an improvised bomb exploded on a London subway, triggering a stampede and injuring at least 22 people.

    BART officials said in a statement that riders will encounter an "increased uniformed presence in our core area" of downtown San Francisco and Oakland. People were also asked to be the agency's "eyes and ears by being extra vigilant" and reporting anything unusual.

    "If something looks out of place, doesn't look normal, if somebody is out there and doesn't look normal in an area they shouldn't be, let us know," said BART Police Department Chief, Ed Alvarez. 

    The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to rely on its police department resources and fare inspectors to add an extra layer of security in busy areas like the subway. 

    Meanwhile, Caltrain told NBC Bay Area that although the agency doesn't have a concrete plan to boost security, transit police officers are "very diligent about patrolling our rail corridor on a daily basis."



    Photo Credit: SF BART via Twitter]]>
    <![CDATA[Warriors Players Welcome Pets Displaced by Hurricane Irma]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 16:00:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/173*120/dog-hurricane-irma.jpg

    Over 100 pets displaced by Hurricane Irma were welcomed to Oakland Friday by some Golden State Warriors players before going to area shelters who will put them up for adoption, shelter officials said.

    The cats and dogs arrived at Oakland International Airport. Some will be taken to Marin Humane in Novato in hopes of finding a new home in the Bay Area.

    "It's very exciting," Marin Humane spokeswoman Lisa Bloch said.

    Others will be taken to San Francisco Animal Care & Control, Hopalong Animal Rescue in Oakland and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Monterey County.

    Shelter officials said the animals were loaded onto a plane by players with the Miami Heat professional basketball team.

    Out of courtesy, Fedex is flying the animals to California in a cargo jet.

    The animals were waiting for adoption in Florida before Hurricane Irma ravaged the state. They're coming to the Bay Area to make room for animals that were lost in the hurricane.

    "Things are getting backed up fast," Bloch said, regarding the Miami-Dade Animals Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center and the Florida Keys SPCA.

    To make room for the dogs and cats coming to its shelter, Marin Humane will be waving adoption fees for one week for animals already in its shelter.

    Adoption fees for dogs and cats usually range from $100 to $250 dollars, Bloch said.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Video Shows Officer at 'Ghost Ship' Rave Months Before Fire]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:23:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ghost+ship.jpg

    A body camera video shows a police officer ordering the shutdown of a suspected illegal rave at an Oakland, California, warehouse nearly two years before a fire killed 36 partygoers in the ramshackle building.

    The video was obtained by the Bay Area News Group, which reported Thursday that there is no record of the officer following through on warnings that he would report the event to the city, although he did write a police report.

    The video shows the officer banging on the door at 1:30 a.m. on March 1, 2015, and then telling a promoter there were noise complaints and reports that people were paying $25 to get in and drugs were being sold.

    The deadly fire erupted on Dec. 2, 2016, during a dance party at the warehouse, an arts collective known as the "Ghost Ship" where some people were illegally living.

    Since then, it has come to light that city and state officials fielded years of complaints about dangerous conditions, drugs, neglected children, trash, thefts and squabbles at the warehouse.

    The March 2015 video is one of nine body camera recordings that the Bay Area News Group has been seeking from Oakland police.

    In the video, the officer stood in the doorway talking to the party promoter, who refused him entry. Eventually people began leaving.

    "If I come back, I'm gonna give you a fine. It's gonna be a very, very expensive fine," the officer said. "I'm still gonna make sure that the city knows about this place, and I'm gonna talk to the owner of this place as well. We'll figure out what you guys are doing."

    In February, now-retired Assistant Chief David Downing ordered officers to report unlicensed cabarets and unpermitted special events to the department's Special Event Unit and to their supervisors, and to report "obvious hazardous conditions" for "referral to the appropriate city or county agency."

    The Oakland Police Department released the following statement Thursday in response to the newspaper report:

    "An article published in the East Bay Times (EBT) today, September 14, 2017 at 6:00 a.m., inaccurately reported that the Oakland Police Department and the City Administration said “that they could not find a record of (Officer) Chavez sending a report to City Hall.” In fact, spokespersons for OPD and the City Administration informed the EBT that they were researching whether any documentation existed regarding follow-up to the officer’s visit to the warehouse. Due to the one-hour deadline provided by EBT, the City was unable to provide that information and advised reporters that they were still in the process of completing the research.

    "The following is a factual summary of the incident that occurred on March 1, 2015. On that day, at approximately 1:37 a.m., an Oakland police officer was flagged down in the 3000 block of International Boulevard on a report of an illegal rave involving alcohol sales, illegal drug use, loud music, and a cover charge at the door. The officer documented in his detailed report that he saw a large number of vehicles in the immediate area and several people loitering at the front door of 1305 31st Avenue.

    "The officer made contact with the event organizer and determined that the event was unpermitted. He advised him of the violation of the City’s cabaret ordinance (OMC 05.12.020). The officer delivered a verbal warning and documented the violations in his police report. He waited for participants to vacate the building and ensured that the event was shut down.

    "The officer was in compliance and followed proper report-writing and referral protocol. He completed and filed a detailed police report (See attached RD# 15-011215) documenting the incident, consistent with the video captured by his body worn camera (PDRD). The report was entered into the OPD’s records database and routed to the Vice Unit. The report was then forwarded to OPD’s Alcohol Beverage Action Team (ABAT), where it remains pending in the system. At the time, reports noting a potentially (or alleged) unlicensed cabaret were viewed as low-priority infractions. Since the Ghost Ship tragedy, those policies have changed."

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

    ]]>
    <![CDATA[Six Alleged Victims of BART Attacks Set to Sue Agency]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:24:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart+lawsuit+2-0914.jpg

    Six alleged victims of mob attacks at BART stations are now combining their anger into a single lawsuit against BART.

    One of the alleged victims, Rusty Stapp, along with his family, filed a $3 million lawsuit against BART in May after Stapp was reportedly beaten.

    On Thursday, Stapp said he is joining with other alleged victims to make BART take responsibility and action to protect riders.

    "I think we're all lucky that we haven't had a worse issue so far," said Stapp, who added that he's still recovering physically and emotionally from a severe beating by a mob on April 22 at the Oakland Coliseum BART station.

    With his attorney, Paul Justi, Stapp has joined five other alleged victims with similar stories. The plaintiffs are suing for damages and want BART to increase security as well as release surveillance video to help catch suspects.

    "We're hearing about people brandishing guns," Stapp said. "God forbid one of those people decides to use one; we're going to have a death on our hands."

    Tim Howk said he was attacked and robbed by a mob four days before Stapp. He said the pattern shows the crimes were predictable and preventable.

    "I'm not a police officer. I'm just a passenger,' Hawk said. "But it seems to me that they knew those incidents were taking place on the same train at the same station."

    BART's attorney, Dale Allen, points out that the agency deals with 400,000 passengers a day at 46 stations. He emphasized that it's "impossible" to prevent all crimes, which is why, he said, police agencies generally have immunity to these types of lawsuits.

    Allen also claimed BART officers responded within 3-to-5 minutes after being notified of each incident.

    The attorney for the alleged victims said BART will actually be served with the lawsuit Friday.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Nestle Buys Into High-End Coffee Buzz With Blue Bottle]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:57:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/blue+bottle+pour+over.jpg

    Nestle says it bought a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, a high-end coffee company.

    Big companies have been hot for premium coffee: Peet's Coffee & Tea bought Stumptown two years ago, and also took a majority stake in Intelligentsia weeks later. And coffee chain Starbucks has been opening high-end Reserve stores.

    Swiss-based Nestle, which already owns coffee brands Nescafe and Nespresso, says Oakland, California-based Blue Bottle will help it boost its coffee business in the United States. Blue Bottle has about 40 cafes in New York, San Francisco and other big cities.

    Nestle, which also makes Hot Pockets and Purina dog food, did not say how much it was paying for the stake.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



    Photo Credit: Clay McLachlan]]>
    <![CDATA[Lineup of Cal's Free Speech Week Prompts Push for Boycott]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 18:04:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/milo-coulter-bannon.jpg

    The University of Berkeley, California community is seething with tension.

    Organizers of a four-day parade of right-wing bigwigs on Thursday released the lineup of speakers for Free Speech Week, just hours before Ben Shapiro makes a closely-watched appearance on campus.

    From Sept. 24 to 27, Free Speech Week will feature about two dozen people, including provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, conservative commentator Ann Coulter, “alt-right” social media star Mike Cernovich, and former Google engineer James Damore, who was fired after penning a memo that criticized the tech giant’s diversity policy, according to the SF Gate.

    The first day has been dubbed “Feminism Awareness Day,” the second will be called “Zuck 2020,” the third “Islamic Peace and Tolerance Day” and the fourth “Mario Savio is Dead,” the SF Gate reported. Yiannopoulos is expected to speak on all four days.

    Although UC Berkeley is referred to as the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, the campus community is furious about the upcoming events. As of Thursday, a letter calling for a boycott of classes and other activities during Free Speech Week had garnered signatures from 132 faculty members from several departments, the Daily Californian reported.

    “As concerned faculty members, we cannot remain silent while students, staff, colleagues, and fellow community members are threatened,” says the letter, which was penned by seven faculty members, including those who chair the Gender and Women’s Studies, African American Studies and Ethnic Studies departments.

    The letter decries asking “students and staff to choose between risking their physical and mental safety” by attending classes amid “harassment, intimidation, violence, and militarized policing.”

    It also expressed concern that threats are not only physical, and people who don’t agree with the way of thinking of Free Speech Week invitees might be exposed to online threats.

    Acknowledging that UC Berkeley must provide a safe space for differing ideas and perspectives, “there are forms of speech that are not protected under the First Amendment,” the letter said.

    It continued: “Milo, Coulter and Bannon do not come to educate; they and their followers come to humiliate and incite. If the administration insists upon allowing the Alt-Right to occupy the center of our campus for four days … then faculty cannot teach, staff cannot work and students cannot learn.”

    The faculty members stressed that they will not provide people associated with the “alt-right” the attention they crave and a boycott is the “only responsible course of action.” The letter says classes should be canceled so students can stay home, and buildings and departments should be closed so staff can ensure their own safety. Further, it asks other faculty members to “not penalize” scared UC Berkeley students who are miss classes.

    “As faculty, we reject both the administration’s false rhetoric of false equivalency that all speech – including ‘hate speech’ – merits value and respect and also the impulse to see direct confrontation as the only strategy of resistance,” they concluded.

    For his part, UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told NBC Bay Area that there is no mistaking the university's legal responsibility.

    He wrote in an email: "The protections for free speech contained in the first amendment as interpreted by subsequent case law oblige us to allow any speaker who has been invited in accordance with our policies to speak without discrimination in regard to content. It is up to faculty to decide how they plan to cover the curriculum for their classes over the course of a semester."

    Here is the full lineup for Free Speech Week: 

    Sunday, Sept. 24: “Feminism Awareness Day”


    • Miss Elaine
    • Lucian Wintrich
    • Lisa DePasquale
    • Chadwick Moore
    • Milo Yiannopoulos


    Monday, Sept. 25: “Zuck 2020”


    • Heather Mac Donald
    • Monica Crowley
    • Sabo
    • Jordan Peterson
    • James Damore


    Tuesday, Sept. 26: “Islamic Peace and Tolerance Day”


    • Michael Malice
    • Raheem Kassam
    • Katie Hopkins
    • Erik Prince
    • Pamela Geller
    • David Horowitz
    • Milo Yiannopoulos


    Wednesday, Sept, 27: “Mario Savio is Dead”


    • Mike Cernovich
    • Charles Murray
    • Ariana Rowlands
    • Stelion Onufrei
    • Alex Marlow
    • Milo Yiannopoulos
    • Steve Bannon
    • Ann Coulter




    Photo Credit: AP Images (File)]]>
    <![CDATA[Deadly Crash Triggers Traffic Nightmare on I-580 in East Bay]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:01:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-14-17-castro-valley-crash-big-rig.jpgThe collision was first reported at 4:10 a.m. Thursday, just east of Eden Canyon Road near Castro Valley. The Alameda County Fire Department said 12 units, including three ambulances, were sent to the scene where a vehicle was sandwiched between the two trucks.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[9 Arrested at Cal's Shapiro Event Amid Heightened Security]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:03:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/shapiro+crowd-0914.jpg

    Watch NBC Bay Area's interview with Ben Shapiro.

    Hundreds of demonstrators from the left and the right gathered at UC Berkeley on Thursday night amid a heavy police presence as conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor, made a speech on campus.

    Berkeley police, clad in riot gear, made at least three arrests before the Shapiro event started at 7 p.m. More arrests were reported after the event. Later Thursday night, Berkeley police put the total number arrested at nine. The university spent $600,000 to enhance security measures during the closely-watched event.

    Police identified five of the people arrested. Sarah Roark, 44, of San Francisco; Hannah Benjamin, 20, of Fremont; Eddy Robinson, 44, of Oakland and Michael Paul Sullivan, 29, of Hayward were arrested for carrying banned weapons, police said. And Kerem Celik, 18, of Saratoga, was arrested for disturbing the peace.

    While Shapiro was still speaking inside Zellerbach Hall, demonstrators began marching down Bancroft Avenue, and tensions began to rise. Immediately after Shapiro finished his speech and a lengthy question-and-answer session, the crowd filling the street remained peaceful.

    Later, one woman was injured in a scuffle over a sign and had to be taken away by ambulance.

    The university had sealed off large parts of its campus like a fortress, with a closed perimeter and a "very large" visible police presence Thursday, when the birthplace of America's free speech movement faced its next potential clash.

    City and campus authorities anticipated the demonstrations and prepared for possible violence with a variety of new strategies and tightened security.

    For the first time in two decades, Berkeley officers were armed with pepper spray, after the City Council modified a 1997 ban at an emergency meeting this week.

    The tactics to boost security are the latest indication of growing frustrations in Berkeley and other liberal cities that have become targets of violent political protests since the election of President Donald Trump and battlegrounds for extremist groups that support and oppose him.

    "We have seen extremists on the left and right in our city," said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, a Democrat who backed the police request to use pepper spray. "We need to make sure violence is not allowed."

    Berkeley business owners, meanwhile, were preparing for the worst-case scenario by boarding up their properties to avoid a repeat of the damage caused when Milo Yannopoulis was scheduled to speak in February.

    “Today is really about free speech,” said Berkeley business owner, Luis Medina, who was boarding up several Bank of America ATM’s on Telegraph Avenue. “We’re just trying to protect the property as much as we can.”

    The university mandated stores that could be affected by protesters to close their doors by 3:30 p.m.

    Shapiro's event, organized by campus Republicans, was being watched as a warm-up act for later this month when provocative, right-wing speaker Yiannopoulos says he plans to hold a Free Speech Week on Berkeley's campus with a 20-person lineup that includes Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon, Trump's ex-chief strategist and head of Breitbart News. Campus officials say the event is not yet confirmed.

    It will be Yiannopoulos' second attempt to speak at Berkeley this year, after an event in February was abruptly canceled when masked, hooded left-wing anarchists dressed in black rioted outside the event, setting fires and smashing windows on campus and on nearby city streets.

    Police and UC Berkeley officials were criticized at the time for giving demonstrators wide latitude and standing aside as the masked anarchists hurled Molotov cocktails at officers and caused $100,000 worth of damage.

    Violence escalated at subsequent off-campus protests and authorities say they have learned hard lessons as they struggle to balance free speech rights with preventing violence.

    Yiannopoulos posted on his Facebook page that he intends to bring along 16 Navy SEALs to his Berkeley appearance later this month.

    UC Berkeley's Provost Paul Alivisatos sent a recent campus-wide message detailing security plans, saying no one wearing masks or carrying weapons of any sort will be allowed on campus.

    A similar event featuring Shapiro on campus in 2016 before Trump was elected and also hosted by Berkeley College Republicans had "basic security." It went off peacefully and made no major headlines.

    Berkeley's frustrations are shared by officials in other famously liberal cities such as Seattle and Portland, Oregon, where Trump supporters and left-wing protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets in supposed free speech demonstrations that have resulted in violence.

    At a protest last week in Portland, police said anti-fascist protesters threw smoke devices and other projectiles at officers trying to keep the peace between pro- and anti-Trump crowds. Seven people were arrested.

    Black-clad protesters have been a menacing presence at protests in the Pacific Northwest since before Trump was elected, often clashing with police at May Day marches, and they continue to show up at the many demonstrations.

    Greenwood, the Berkeley city police chief, sought permission for police to use pepper spray because he said it is preferable to batons and tear gas for crowd control. Tear gas when fired disperses much more widely than pepper spray, raising the risk of hurting peaceful protesters who may be near violent demonstrators, Greenwood said.

    "It is a request made of urgency," Greenwood told the City Council, calling protecting protesters and police amid continued violence in the city "a unique problem."

    He added: "The scope and scale of these demonstrations in our community is unprecedented."

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

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[Deadly Crash Involving Big Rigs, Car Snarls Traffic on I-580]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 19:23:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-14-17-CRASH-BIG-RIG.jpg

    A collision involving two big rigs and a sedan killed one person and triggered a traffic nightmare early Thursday on westbound Interstate 580 in unincorporated Alameda County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    The collision was first reported around 4:20 a.m. just east of Eden Canyon Road near Castro Valley. The Alameda County Fire Department said 12 units, including three ambulances, were sent to the scene where a vehicle was sandwiched between the two trucks. 


    Officials said the driver of a black sedan clipped a big rig, prompting the truck driver to lose control of his steering. The truck became disabled and got stuck in the middle of the roadway. Both drivers were OK at this point.

    Roughly five minutes later, however, another truck came down I-580 and smashed into the back of the trailer of the first rig. CHP officers said it appears that the driver might have pushed the brakes, but it wasn't enough.

    He was crushed in his cab and killed.

    A Sig-alert was issued at 4:24 a.m. because westbound I-580 was blocked.

    Before 5:30 a.m., the CHP was allowing drivers off the Eden Canyon Road off-ramp so they could get back onto I-580 at the next on-ramp. Cars were moving in a slow-moving single file.

    Lanes 3 and 4 were reopened later in the morning, but the other two are likely to remain closed till 2:30 p.m., the CHP said. The lanes eventually reopened just before 3 p.m.

    Caltrans spent hours cleaning up the mess created by the crash. One of the big rigs could not be moved until its cargo had been offloaded and hauled away. 

    Major delays were expected and drivers were advised to use alternate routes.


    A commuter told NBC Bay Area that he had spent four hours behind the wheel, trying to get from Tracy to Castro Valley. It took another driver five hours to travel from Livermore to Castro Valley. 

    The accident caused a hazmat situation, the details of which are unclear. It has since been contained. 

    The CHP is investigating the crash.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[East Bay Firefighters Rescue Stray Kitten From Car's Engine]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:00:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/straycat.JPG

    A kitten that was pulled from the engine of a vehicle Wednesday in Castro Valley came out covered in grease, but was ultimately unharmed, Alameda County fire officials said.

    On Wednesday afternoon, a resident on Stanton Avenue reported that a stray kitten had gotten stuck in the engine area of a vehicle that was not running.

    Firefighters responded to the scene and were eventually able to rescue the kitten. The kitten appeared to be tired but did not suffer any injuries, according to fire officials.

    The owner of the vehicle nicknamed the kitten Speed Racer.

    The stray animal was then handed over to Alameda County Sheriff's Office Animal Control, which then took it to a shelter, fire officials said.



    Photo Credit: Alameda County Fire Department via Instagram]]>
    <![CDATA[Arrest Made in Pittsburg Fatal Hit and Run: Police]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:01:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/spikes-0913.jpg

    Police have arrested a driver who fled after fatally striking a pedestrian in Pittsburg Wednesday morning, according to police.

    After investigating the fatal hit-and-run that killed 40-year-old Pittsburg resident Alana Willis, officers were able to locate the driver, identified as 29-year-old Angelia Spikes.

    Spikes was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and is now cooperating with the investigation, police said.

    The crash was reported at 5:50 a.m. on Railroad Avenue near Marks Boulevard. Upon arrival, responding officers found a woman, later identified as Willis, suffering from major injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pittsburg Police Department at (925) 252-4040.



    Photo Credit: Pittsburg PD]]>
    <![CDATA[60,000 Expected at California Coastal Cleanup Day]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:42:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-96195222.jpg

    Tens of thousands of Californians are expected to lend a helping hand Saturday at the 33rd annual Coastal Cleanup Day.

    Hailed as the largest statewide volunteer event, participants will sweep around 2,000 miles of coastal and inland shoreline for trash and other debris. The initiative even won the Guinness Book of World Records' "largest garbage collection" in 1993, according to the National Park Service.

    This year, there are already 902 cleanup sites set to host volunteers, including hundreds of locations in and around the Bay Area. For a complete list of places to volunteer Saturday, visit the California Coastal Cleanup Day web page.

    Here are areas hosting cleanups throughout the Bay Area:

    EAST BAY: Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Marshlands Rd., Fremont, Register at (510) 792-0222, ext. 362 or 361; Alameda Community Sailing Center, 2532 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda, Register at (510) 629-9282; Martinez Regional Shoreline, Ferry Street, Martinez, Register onsite or online.

    PENINSULA: Linda Mar State Beach, Register by email at jimfithian1234@yahoo.com or anamag123@gmail.com; Marina Lagoon 3, Virgo Lane, Foster City, and Pescadero State Beach, 18253 Cabrillo Hwy, Register online; Adobe Creek, East Bayshore at Adobe, Palo Alto, Register at joanna.tran@cityofpaloalto.org.

    NORTH BAY: Point Reyes National Seashore, Drake’s Beach, Register by email at gregory_purifoy@nps.gov or online; Bodega Head, located at tip of Bodega Bay, Register at (707) 829-6689 or by email at jo@coastwalk.org; Hamilton Wetlands, Parking lot off Hanger Ave., Novato, Register at 510-715-412 or by email at 1plantminded1@gmail.com.

    SAN FRANCISCO: Lands End Cleanup, 680 Point Lobos Ave., Register online; Ocean Beach Cleanup, various locations, Candlestick Park: Jackrabbit, Register at 415-831-6333 or by email at jadd.correia@sfgov.org; Crissy Field & Presidio Cleanup, Stilwell Hall, Old Mason Street, Register at (415) 561-3077 or by email at volunteer@parksconservancy.org.

    SOUTH BAY: Guadalupe Slough, Sunnyvale West Channel near Borregas or Java, Register at jdavison@sunnyvale.ca.gov; Uvas Creek, located in Christmas Hill Park, 7050 Miller Ave., Gilroy, Register by email at Susan.Voss@ci.gilroy.ca.us; Berryessa and Tularcitos Creeks, located behind Milpitas Town Center, Register by email at lesliestobbe@ci.milpitas.ca.gov.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Suspect Connected to 2011 Child Death Appears in Court]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:11:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0913-2017-HolliBarlow.jpg

    A suspect at the center of a child homicide investigation dating back to 2011 made her initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon in a courtroom packed with friends and family members.

    Holli Barlow, 29, faces a felony child abuse charge with a special allegation of willful harm or injury resulting in death. Prosecutors allege the Vallejo resident, who turned herself in to police Monday evening, failed to obtain medical care for 3-year-old Eden Lynch, who was in her sole care on August 31, 2011.

    Barlow, with tears in her eyes, made a brief appearance and waved at her mother. Her arraignment was pushed back two weeks and she did not enter a plea. The judge set bail at $150,000, which her attorney indicated she would pay.

    “Holli, her family, and her children are an intact unit that is dealing with the loss of Eden and moving forward with their lives,” defense attorney Randolph Daar said. “This will now be an opportunity to put to rest some of the issues that are still resolving.”

    Child Protective Services reports show Barlow called 911 after hearing a thud and finding Eden unresponsive next to her toddler table. Paramedics rushed the little girl to Children’s Hospital Oakland, but Eden never regained consciousness. She died three days later. The coroner ruled Eden’s death a homicide, caused by blunt-force trauma.

    The latest development in this nearly 6-year-old cold case comes after weeks of questions from the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit about the little girl’s death. The Alameda County DA declined to comment on the case.

    She is the second person to be charged in connection to Eden’s death. Prosecutors with the United States Coast Guard charged petty officer Jimmy Barlow, Eden’s father, with four counts of felony child endangerment last July. He faces a military court-martial scheduled to begin December 4.

    “I just hope the truth comes to light and we get to know more about what really happened,” Eden’s mother Erica Lynch said. “None of this would have happened if [NBC Bay Area] did not run your story.”

    After Jimmy was charged last year by the Coast Guard, Eden’s maternal grandparents contacted NBC Bay Area, frustrated the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office never filed charges against Holli.

    Jimmy Barlow’s attorney denied any wrongdoing by Eden's father and Holli Barlow. He told NBC Bay Area last month that Eden’s death was the result of an accident..

    Holli and Jimmy Barlow, now married, were dating when the father was awarded custody of Eden. Four months after she came to Alameda to live with her father and Holli Barlow, Eden was dead.

    According to medical records obtained by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit, Holli Barlow told doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland that Eden collapsed while playing at their Alameda apartment. Holli Barlow told medical staff Eden had fallen down a flight of “seven-to-eight concrete steps” nine days earlier.

    CPS reports show doctors didn’t believe Eden’s injuries matched Holli Barlow’s account of what happened. They alerted Child Protective Services and the Alameda Police Department.

    Now, just days after mourning the sixth anniversary of Eden’s death, her mother said she learned Holli Barlow was in custody when the Investigative Unit contacted her during a work meeting where her colleagues were discussing their faith.

    “It’s all in God’s time. We were talking about God and it happened.” Lynch said. “I just miss everything about Eden. I just hope truth comes to light, that we get to know more about what really happened.”

    If you have a tip for the Investigative Unit email Vicky Nguyen at vicky@nbcbayarea.com or you can email theunit@nbcbayarea.com or call 888-996-TIPS.

    Follow Vicky Nguyen on Twitter @vickydnguyen and Facebook www.facebook.com/VickyNguyenTV



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Deputies Arrest Person Suspected of Beating Pit Bull Puppy]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:55:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dublin+pit+bull-0913.jpg

    A 9-month-old pit bull is in serious condition and set to undergo surgery after she was beaten Monday, according to Alameda County sheriff's officials.

    On Monday, deputies were dispatched to the East County Animal Shelter in Dublin to investigate a report of animal cruelty.

    According to the sheriff's office, the female puppy named Allie was repeatedly beaten with a weapon but was able to get away. Concerned citizens found her in serious condition and brought her to an emergency veterinary hospital.

    The puppy suffered a fractured jaw, a missing tooth and extensive bruising on her back and hindquarters consistent with blunt trauma, sheriff's officials said.

    Deputies located and arrested the suspect on suspicion of felony animal cruelty. The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

    Sheriff's officials said Allie was taken into protective custody and is being cared for by county animal services. She was scheduled to undergo reconstructive facial surgery Wednesday.

    Anyone wishing to donate to Allie's treatment and recovery can do so by visiting Tri-Valley Animal Rescue online at TVAR.org and typing "ALLIE" in the notes section of the donation.



    Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office]]>
    <![CDATA[Berkeley Braces for Visit by Right-Wing Speaker Ben Shapiro]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 08:05:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/161*120/ben+shapiro-0913.jpg

    The University of California, Berkeley will seal off large parts of its campus like a fortress with a closed perimeter and a "very large" visible police presence Thursday, when the birthplace of America's free speech movement faces its next potential clashes.

    City and campus authorities anticipate demonstrations at a speech by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor and are preparing for possible violence with a variety of new strategies and tightened security.

    For the first time in two decades, officers will be armed with pepper spray after the City Council modified a 1997 ban at an emergency meeting this week.

    The tactics to boost security are the latest indication of growing frustrations in Berkeley and other liberal cities that have become targets of violent political protests since the election of President Donald Trump and battlegrounds for extremist groups that support and oppose him.

    "We have seen extremists on the left and right in our city," said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, a Democrat who backed the police request to use pepper spray. "We need to make sure violence is not allowed."

    Shapiro's event, organized by campus Republicans, is being watched as a warm-up act for later this month when provocative, right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos says he plans to hold a Free Speech Week on Berkeley's campus with a 20-person lineup that includes Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon, Trump's ex-chief strategist and head of Breitbart News. Campus officials say the event is not yet confirmed.

    It will be Yiannopoulos' second attempt to speak at Berkeley this year, after an event in February was abruptly canceled when masked, hooded left-wing anarchists dressed in black rioted outside the event, setting fires and smashing windows on campus and on nearby city streets.

    Police and UC Berkeley officials were criticized at the time for giving demonstrators wide latitude and standing aside as the masked anarchists hurled Molotov cocktails at officers and caused $100,000 worth of damage.

    Violence escalated at subsequent off-campus protests and authorities say they have learned hard lessons as they struggle to balance free speech rights with preventing violence.

    Yiannopoulos posted on his Facebook page that he intends to bring along 16 Navy SEALs to his Berkeley appearance later this month.

    UC Berkeley's Provost Paul Alivisatos sent a recent campus-wide message detailing security plans, saying no one wearing masks or carrying weapons of any sort will be allowed on campus.

    Police will block off the building where Shapiro is scheduled to speak and several other buildings hours before the event starts. Anyone entering the secure zone to pick up tickets must present a photo ID. Nearby parking lots will be closed.

    Berkeley police Chief Andrew Greenwood said police will make "very strong, rapid arrests" Thursday night if any protesters have weapons or wear masks.

    The security measures include closing Sproul Plaza, the campus' central hub that was the epicenter of the 1960s Free Speech Movement and site of its most historic protests, sit-ins and speeches.

    "Things have changed," UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said. "We're a quantum leap away from the sort of arrangements we needed to make in the past for events that have the potential to attract strong political support or opposition."

    In contrast, a similar event featuring Shapiro on campus in 2016 before Trump was elected and also hosted by Berkeley College Republicans had "basic security." It went off peacefully and made no major headlines.

    For Thursday's event, Mogulof said authorities are deploying "very, very large numbers of police officers" from campus, city and regional law enforcement agencies.

    Berkeley's frustrations are shared by officials in other famously liberal cities such as Seattle and Portland, Oregon, where Trump supporters and left-wing protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets in supposed free speech demonstrations that have resulted in violence.

    At a protest last week in Portland, police said anti-fascist protesters threw smoke devices and other projectiles at officers trying to keep the peace between pro- and anti-Trump crowds. Seven people were arrested.

    Black-clad protesters have been a menacing presence at protests in the Pacific Northwest since before Trump was elected, often clashing with police at May Day marches, and they continue to show up at the many demonstrations.

    Greenwood, the Berkeley city police chief, sought permission for police to use pepper spray because he said it is preferable to batons and tear gas for crowd control. Tear gas when fired disperses much more widely than pepper spray, raising the risk of hurting peaceful protesters who may be near violent demonstrators, Greenwood said.

    "It is a request made of urgency," Greenwood told the City Council, calling protecting protesters and police amid continued violence in the city "a unique problem."

    He added: "The scope and scale of these demonstrations in our community is unprecedented."

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



    Photo Credit: Getty Images for Politicon]]>
    <![CDATA[Almena's Bid For Dismissal Denied in Ghost Ship Fire Case]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 20:08:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GhostShip_Split.jpg

    A judge Wednesday denied a motion by Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Almena to have the charges against him dismissed or modified in the fire that killed 36 people at the Oakland warehouse last December.

    Almena's attorneys filed the motion on the grounds that the charges aren't specific enough.

    Tony Serra, one of several attorneys for Almena, 47, who's charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, argued that the charges against Almena and co-defendant Max Harris, 27, the warehouse's creative director, are "fatally ambiguous" because they say that the two men engaged in a lawful act in an unlawful way.

    Serra told Alameda County Superior Court Judge Yolanda Northridge, "We say to the court: Make them (the prosecution) specify what act was violated. We ask the court for fair play."

    Prosecutor David Lim didn't address the specifics of Serra's comments, saying only that his office followed the proper procedures in filing the charges against Almena and Harris.

    Northridge then denied Serra's motion without comment.

    Almena and Harris, who remain in custody in lieu of $750,000 bail, were scheduled to enter pleas Wednesday but they postponed doing so until Sept. 27.

    A preliminary hearing, where a judge will determine if there's enough evidence for them to stand trial, is scheduled to begin on Nov. 13. Serra said the hearing will last one or two weeks.

    Almena and Harris are each charged for their roles in the deadly blaze during a crowded dance party at the warehouse at 1309 31st Ave. in Oakland's Fruitvale district on Dec. 2 and could face 39 years in state prison if they're convicted.

    Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said when she filed the charges against Almena and Harris on June 5 that their actions were "reckless" and created a high risk of death for the people who attended the dance party, for which Almena and Harris had failed to get permits from the city of Oakland.

    Mary Alexander, the lead attorney in civil lawsuits that have been filed on behalf of the families of 31 of the 36 fire victims, attended the hearing for Almena and Harris Wednesday. She said afterward that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman on Tuesday denied a motion by PG&E to be removed from the civil case.

    Alexander said Seligman previously denied a similar motion by warehouse owner Chor Ng to be removed from the lawsuit.

    Among the other defendants who are named in the civil lawsuits are Almena, the city of Oakland, Alameda County and the state of California.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Ajesh Shah]]>
    <![CDATA[Naked Protest Ensues at Berkeley City Council Meeting]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:10:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0913-2017-BerkNudeProtester.jpg

    A piece of legislation that would have allowed women in Berkeley to bare their breasts in public stalled Tuesday night, angering a naked activist who protested by leaping onto a table and launching into an expletive-filled rant against city officials.

    “I don’t care who you are,” said Gypsy Taub, as officials filed out of the room. “My body belongs to me.”

    Taub, who describes herself as a “body-freedom activist,” also called city officials “oppressive” and said they were “a joke” during her 20-minute demonstration. At one point, she hopped onto the council dais, squatted low and waived the gavel repeatedly.

    The stalled ordinance would have amended Berkeley’s municipal code, which currently bans the public display of “any portion of the breast at or below the areola.” Like most nudity ordinances, the section applies only to females. 

    The activist directed most of her ire at absent Councilmember Sophie Hahn, who delivered the harshest criticism of the proposal earlier in the evening. 

    "We have a lot of fake news. I really question whether this might be a fake women’s movement,” Hahn said, describing herself as a lifelong feminist who is active in women's organizations. She said she found it disappointing that the proposal did not go through the city's Commission on the Status of Women, of which she is a former chair. 

    If it did go to the commission, “I think that it would not be ranked very highly,” Hahn added tartly, rattling off a list of issues — including human trafficking, sexual harassment, domestic violence and lack of access to safe abortions — that need tackling. 

    Taub protested shortly after 11 p.m, when only a handful of people were present. One man who stayed to watch the demonstration removed his shirt in an apparent show of solidarity. 

    In a phone interview with NBC Bay Area on Wednesday, Taub said she was surprised she wasn’t arrested. She has been detained before at other naked protests in the Bay Area. 

    The point of her demonstrations, she said, is to highlight the inherent oppressiveness of nudity bans.

    “I don’t feel that any part of us is disgusting or indecent or obscene,” Taub said. “It makes absolutely no sense to say the body that you were born with, and are going to die with, is something that you should hate or be ashamed of.”

    She also believes nudity bans are barriers to healthy relationships.

    “Sexual oppression is damaging because human sexuality is an expression of love,” Taub said. “When it’s contaminated with body shame, it destroys people’s intimacy and their ability to love, and give and receive pleasure.” 

    Toward the end of Taub’s demonstration, a Berkeley police officer asked her to leave. Taub said she didn’t mind. 

    “He was telling us very politely that he was closing out the chambers,” Taub said. "I'm sure it made (the city officials') day more interesting." 

    Introduced through the office of Councilmember Kriss Worthington, the proposal is heavily influenced by the #FreeTheNipple campaign. The online movement takes leading social media sites to task for banning photos of the naked female breast, including breastfeeding photos. 

    Simone Stevens, who wrote the proposal when she interned for Worthington over the summer, said she was disappointed with Hahn’s comments.

    “I respect her caution and her passion for doing what she thinks is right, but I don't respect the contempt she showed to the toplessness movement last night,” Stevens said via email. “Times are changing. Just because celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Rumer Willis support a movement, does not mean it is simply pop-culture hogwash.”

    The proposal written by Simons references the online campaign and also touts potential benefits to transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. 

    “It is nonsensical and sexist that Berkeley criminalizes the display of the female nipple while allowing the display of the male nipple,” the proposal read. “Berkeley has sought to uphold an equal standard of living for all its citizens, no matter what gender they may identify as.” 

    In an email to NBC Bay Area, Worthington said he considered the proposal to be “one small, additional step towards equality.” Now that it stalled, he is talking with community members about a potential ballot initiative. 

    “I will listen closely to what the activist women want before I take additional action,” he said. 

    ]]>
    <![CDATA[A's Plan to Build New Stadium Near Laney College in Oakland]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:53:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/melvin-kaval-ap.jpg

    The Oakland A's have picked their next home.

    The baseball team on Wednesday announced plans to construct a new privately-financed stadium on a plot of land near Laney College in downtown Oakland.

    "Our vision is to build a new ballpark for Oakland at the Peralta site," the team tweeted. The A's have also launched a new website, where people can read letters written to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and the City Council, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, and the Peralta Community College District. 

    According to the website, team officials believe a new ballpark can "advance the educational mission" of Laney College and the Peralta Community College District, while bolstering "the Athletics organization for the long-term both on and off the field."

    The next step for the A's is evaluating the Peralta site, which consists of about 13 acres near Interstate 880, not far from Lake Merritt.

    "I think adjacency and walkability to downtown is really a key success factor in any ballpark in baseball," team President Dave Kaval said.

    The stadium would be privately financed and close to BART, the A's said. The team released a promotional video Wednesday touting the ballpark's ability to bring new jobs, affordable housing and an economic boost.

    Schaaf said she’s pleased the A’s are staying and paying and willing to work to prevent displacement. But she admitted it wasn’t her first choice of location.

    "While it does have tremendous opportunities, it also has some threats," she said. "Of all three sites, it was the one with the most existing neighborhood in place that could be disrupted from a project like this."

    The foremost priority, the A's said, is "community input" so the new ballpark can be one "that respects and celebrates the unique culture and character of Oakland and its neighbors."

    The A's had been mulling over three potential sites: the land at Laney, the existing Coliseum site and Howard Terminal.

    Kaval and the A's made good on their promise to announce their future home before the end of the calendar year.

    The A's have played at the Coliseum since 1968.

    NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
    <![CDATA[Bay Area Schools Rank High on U.S. News College Rankings ]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 11:46:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/167*120/stanfordUniversity-1234.jpg

    Universities all over the Bay Area have been ranked in the highly coveted top ten lists of the 2018 edition of the U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

    UC Berkeley ranked No. 1 in the Top Public Schools in the nation category and Stanford University ranked fifth in the National Universities category.

    In the top ten Regional Universities of the West category, Santa Clara University came out at No. 2, Mills College and St Mary’s College of California tied at No. 9.

    Finally, San Jose State University ranked sixth in the Top Public Schools in the West Region category. Last year, SJSU was ranked eighth.

    Every year, U.S. News ranks colleges across the country in distinct lists to help students narrow down their college search. The lists are composed from data reports that most colleges send to U.S. News.

    Each ranking focuses on academic quality like graduation, first year retention rates, assessment by administrators at peer institutions, faculty resources, admissions selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance.

    Check out the complete lists online




    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Vallejo Woman Arrested in Connection to Child's Death ]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:21:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0912-2017-HolliBarlow.jpg

    A suspect at the center of a child homicide investigation turned herself in Monday evening, nearly a month after the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office filed a felony child abuse charge against her with a special allegation of willful harm or injury resulting in death. Prosecutors allege Vallejo-resident Holli Barlow, 29, failed to obtain medical care for 3-year-old Eden Lynch, who was in her sole care on August 31, 2011.

    Child Protective Services reports show Barlow called 911 after hearing a thud and finding Eden unresponsive next to her toddler table. Paramedics rushed the little girl to Children’s Hospital Oakland, but Eden never regained consciousness. She died three days later. The coroner ruled Eden’s death a homicide, caused by blunt-force trauma.

    The latest development in this nearly 6-year-old cold case comes after weeks of questions from the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit about the little girl’s death. The Alameda County DA declined to comment on the case.

    She is the second person to be charged in connection to Eden’s death. Prosecutors with the United States Coast Guard charged petty officer Jimmy Barlow, Eden’s father, with four counts of felony child endangerment last July. He faces a military court-martial scheduled to begin December 4.

    “I just hope the truth comes to light and we get to know more about what really happened,” Eden’s mother Erica Lynch said. “None of this would have happened if [NBC Bay Area] did not run your story.”

    After Jimmy was charged last year by the Coast Guard, Eden’s maternal grandparents contacted NBC Bay Area, frustrated the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office never filed charges against Holli.

    Jimmy Barlow’s attorney denied any wrongdoing by Eden's father and Holli Barlow. He told NBC Bay Area last month that Eden’s death was the result of an accident.

    A message to Holli Barlow’s attorney was not returned in time for this article.

    Holli and Jimmy Barlow, now married, were dating when the father was awarded custody of Eden. Four months after she came to Alameda to live with her father and Holli Barlow, Eden was dead.

    According to medical records obtained by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit, Holli Barlow told doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland that Eden collapsed while playing at their Alameda apartment. Holli Barlow told medical staff Eden had fallen down a flight of “seven-to-eight concrete steps” nine days earlier.

    CPS reports show doctors didn’t believe Eden’s injuries matched Holli Barlow’s account of what happened. They alerted Child Protective Services and the Alameda Police Department.

    Now, just days after mourning the sixth anniversary of Eden’s death, her mother said she learned Holli Barlow was in custody when the Investigative Unit contacted her during a work meeting where her colleagues were discussing their faith.

    “It’s all in God’s time. We were talking about God and it happened.” Lynch said. “I just miss everything about Eden. I just hope truth comes to light, that we get to know more about what really happened.”

    Holli Barlow’s arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin.

    If you have a tip for the Investigative Unit email Vicky Nguyen at vicky@nbcbayarea.com or you can email  theunit@nbcbayarea.com or call 888-996-TIPS.

    Follow Vicky Nguyen on Twitter @vickydnguyen and Facebook www.facebook.com/VickyNguyenTV

    ]]>
    <![CDATA[Alameda Point Residents Warned Not to Drink Tap Water]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:31:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/water-faucet-generic.jpg

    Residents in one Alameda neighborhood were advised to avoid drinking or using tap water for at least 48 hours, city officials said Tuesday night.

    The East Bay Municipal Utility District found evidence of non-drinkable water in the drinking water system for the Alameda Point area.

    According to city officials, residents there should not drink the tap water nor should they use it to brush their teeth, wash dishes or cook. Additionally, the water should not be given to animals.

    The warning affected 268 households and about 60 businesses. Water in other parts of the city wasn't affected, city officials said.

    Residents were advised to avoid drinking the tap water for the next 48 hours, or until city officials say otherwise.

    The city was offering bottled water to affected residents. The bottled water can be picked up at the Alameda Point Collaborative office at 677 W. Ranger Ave.

    The water will be left outside and can be picked up 24 hours a day and is only for the affected residents, city officials said.

    Resident Carolyn Clary picked up her second case of water Wednesday, saying she's not sure how much longer she won't be able to use her tap water.

    "It's definitely tough," Clary said.

    Kelly Kearney of Pacific Fine Food said she had to throw out lettuce that was washed with the tap water earlier, and she'll have to pay her employees overtime to wash dishes by hand.

    "This is where we make coffee and espresso directly with tap, and we also use tap water for the ice machine and dishwasher," Kearney said.

    The city of Alameda has made 10 portable showers available for affected residents, according to the Alameda Police Department. Two of the showers are ADA compliant. The showers are located at the Alameda Fire Department Training Facility at 431 Stardust Place in the parking lot.

    Meanwhile, crews were conducting flushing to restore the system's drinkable water. EBMUD was working to figure out what caused the problem. They said in a statement late Tuesday that the source likely is a cross connection between a potable drinking water line and a nonpotable irrigation line.

    The water quality alert will not be lifted until the state Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water deems the water safe for drinking and bodily contact, city officials said.

    For those wishing to contribute to affected residents, they are in need of baby wipes, disposable diapers and hand sanitizer. Items can be dropped off at the Alameda Point Collaborative, 677 W. Ranger Ave., and will be distributed by volunteers. The Red Cross is providing bottled water and paper goods.

    For more information about the water alert, the city has a dedicated hotline at (510) 747-7460.

    NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Road Rage Incident Leads to Deputy-Involved Shooting]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:46:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-13-17-antioch-off-duty-shooting.jpg

    Antioch police are investigating a shooting Tuesday night that involved an off-duty sheriff's deputy from another county, police said.

    At 9:56 p.m., Antioch police officers responded to a call from a female victim reporting a road rage incident that ended in a shooting.

    According to police, she and a man were in a vehicle and chased by the suspect in another vehicle from Delta Fair Boulevard to the 4200 block of Lone Tree Way. The suspect allegedly collided into their vehicle repeatedly, police said.

    When both vehicles stopped, the suspect exited his vehicle armed with a tire jack, police said.

    The man driving the other vehicle, who was an off-duty deputy from another county, fired a pistol at the suspect, striking him once. Both victims waited for officers to respond while the suspect fled the area, police said.

    Officers located the injured suspect at a different location in Antioch. He was taken to a hospital with a gunshot injury that was not considered life-threatening, police said.

    The suspect was later arrested and booked into the county jail on suspicion of several offenses, police said.

    Police determined that this was a domestic crime. They did not say what county the deputy was from.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Contra Costa County Makes History With DA Appointment]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:36:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/diana+becton-0912.jpg

    Amid a push for more progressive leadership, Contra Costa County’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed retired Superior Court Judge Diana Becton as interim district attorney.

    Becton, whose term begins next Monday, is the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position in the county’s 168-year history. She will be replacing Mark Petersen, who resigned in disgrace after being charged with perjury and grand theft for using $66,000 in campaign cash as a personal slush fund.

    Despite being one of two candidates who admitted to plagiarizing sections of their applications, Becton was able to maintain vocal community support in the weeks leading up to Tuesday's meeting. She lifted significant portions of her application from a variety of sources, including from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and an op-ed by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.

    Becton addressed the plagiarism charges at Tuesday's meeting, saying she drew “liberally” from sources in an attempt to “lift certain issues up.”

    “I recognize that I should have used quotation marks when I used the words of other people, and I didn’t do that,” she said. “I have owned that mistake; I don’t hide from it.”

    The vote was close, with supervisors Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff signing off on applicant Paul Graves, a senior deputy district attorney in the county who had the support of law enforcement. Supervisors John Gioia and Diane Burgis, meanwhile, threw their weight behind Becton, who stressed the need for bail reform and restorative justice.

    In breaking the tie, Supervisor Federal Glover said he recognized the need to restore "public trust" and "promote different voices."

    Becton, who has never been a prosecutor, told the supervisors that she was dedicated to changing the culture of the District Attorney’s Office and returning its focus to “just outcomes.” For too long, the office has been consumed with sentences and convictions and “getting cases out,” she said.

    “I’m here because I want to do what I’ve done for the last 22 years as a judge, and that is to stand for what is right,” Becton, who also holds a master’s degree in theology, said. “My mission is clear, and that is to make Contra Costa County a place that is safer for everyone while we’re promoting fairness and justice in our system.”

    The former judge received a bachelor’s degree in economics from San Francisco State University and a law degree from Golden Gate University. Before becoming a Contra Costa County judge in 1995, she worked for the City of Richmond and as a private attorney. Last year, she was elected president of the National Association of Women Judges.

    Sheriff David Livingston wrote a letter to the Board of Supervisors and appeared in person to oppose the potential appointment of Becton or Tom Kensok, the other candidate who plagiarized portions of his application. Livingston said any of the other three candidates — Graves, Santa Clara County deputy district attorney Patrick Vanier, and Judge Danielle Douglas — would be a better choice.

    Appointing either Kensok or Becton would be “offensive to law enforcement,” Livingston said. His remarks were met with hisses from the crowd of onlookers, many of whom spoke in support of Becton. 

    Richmond resident and Cease Fire coordinator Darnell Jones took to the podium to defend the former judge, lambasting Livingston for “railroading” his community "with gang enhancement charges.”

    “We should not look at a person’s writings, but a person’s work,” Jones said. “I’m not going to let someone who helped destroy our communities talk about one of my sisters.”

    Becton’s interim term will last until January 2019. If she chooses to run for election in 2018, she will face off against Graves and Vanier, who have already filed election paperwork.

    ]]>
    <![CDATA[Berkeley City Council OKs Police Use of Pepper Spray]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:17:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-668935940.jpg

    With Berkeley having become a political battleground for the far-left and far-right, its City Council on Tuesday approved the police chief's request to lift a 20-year-old ban on the department's use of pepper spray.

    The City Council during a special meeting voted 6-3 in favor of Chief Andrew Greenwood’s proposal. The decision comes just days before former Breitbart News editor Ben Shapiro is scheduled to make an appearance at UC Berkeley, and that event is expected to draw protests.

    Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin said the new rule will allow police officers to use pepper spray on violent people in a crowd — not for crowd control.

    "They understand that we are asking them for this tool for specific circumstances where we deal with potential where folks can use violence to possibly break through a police line," Greenwood said of the council's decision.

    Until Tuesday, officers had been prohibited from using pepper spray as a way to control crowds, Greenwood wrote in a memo to the City Council. However, it can be a mode of "effective intervention in violent crowd control situations involving direct coordinated attacks on police lines," he continued.

    Greenwood stressed the Berkeley Police Department’s commitment to upholding people’s First Amendment rights – no matter where on the political spectrum they may fall.

    In 2017, however, "Berkeley has been the focus of an unprecedented effort to be made a battleground for extremist groups," Greenwood wrote.

    The city has experienced a spike in "violence and criminal behavior" by these clusters of people "who have launched brutal and determined attacks against officers and people whom they have determined should not be allowed to speak or publicly assemble," he added.

    Greenwood listed chaotic and bloody riots that broke out at "March 4 Trump" and "Patriot’s Day" rallies. In both cases, hundreds of protesters descended on Berkeley, fights broke out, some people were injured and others were arrested, and property was destroyed. On Aug. 28 again, more than 100 black-clad Antifa members pushed their way past police barricades, and attacked right-wing protesters.

    To make his case, Greenwood on Tuesday displayed an arsenal of weapons that were wielded at the numerous protests. He also brought along photographs, one of which showed officers in riot gear responding to an explosion at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park.

    "We want you to see for yourself weapons brought to the fray," Greenwood said. 

    Protesters were also armed with shields, which rendered most of the police’s non-lethal weapons useless, Greenwood said.

    "Pepper spray is markedly more effective against those using shields, as shields do not give full protection against the effects of directed, focused applications of chemical irritant," Greenwood explained.

    Berkeley police officers have been permitted to use batons, projectiles and tear gas. However, tear gas emits "a cloud of chemical irritant" that has the potential to impact even peaceful demonstrators or witnesses, he wrote. Batons pose "an inherent risk of injury to both suspects and officers," he added. 

    By contrast, pepper spray makes it possible "to repel specific attackers," Greenwood said.

    "The availability of pepper spray as a force option to use against specific violent offenders in a crowd situation would allow for more safety for officers and the public, and increase the likelihood of apprehension and criminal prosecution of suspects, while reducing the potential for injuries to suspects and officers," according to Greenwood.

    Nearly all police departments across the United States use pepper spray as an "intermediary form of force as an alternative to tear gas and batons," Greenwood wrote.

    It is widely recognized that pepper spray’s benefits include "cessation of attack and creation of space between police and violent individuals and their targets, and opportunities to carry out focused arrest efforts on violent offenders," he wrote.

    The lack of that option has restricted Berkeley police officers so "unchecked violence can escalate, creating a need for more significant use of force," Greenwood said.

    Police officers are expected to submit "Use of Pepper Spray" reports to the City Council every time a pepper spray canister is used. It will also not be used against peaceful demonstrators or observers, and officers will make a concerted "attempt to limit collateral exposure to non-involved parties."

    Further, Greenwood wrote, "Where there is probable cause to arrest for a crime, officers shall prioritize where practical the arrest of individuals upon whom pepper spray has been deployed."

    The timing of Tuesday's meeting was determined by the fact that the University of California, Berkeley is preparing to host controversial speaker and former Breitbart News editor, Ben Shapiro, on Thursday.

    The city and campus reportedly amassed roughly $600,000 worth of damage in February when Milo Yiannopoulos, an "alt-right" speaker, who also worked at Breitbart News, was scheduled to speak on campus. Thousands rioted, starting at UC Berkeley and ending up in the streets of the city. Yiannopoulos’ speech was canceled, but that didn’t stop protesters from setting trash on fire, lighting fireworks, vandalizing businesses, and starting fights.

    Arreguin has called on UC Berkeley leaders to nix Shapiro’s speech. However, the university has demurred because registered student groups are permitted to invite speakers of their choice to campus, according to spokesman Dan Mogulof.

    Thursday’s event will unfold on campus, but Berkeley police officers could be asked for assistance, officials say. UC Berkeley is also preparing for Free Speech Week between Sept. 24 and 27, during which controversial speakers Milo Yiannopoulos, Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter are expected.

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

    Below is Chief Andrew Greenwood's entire report to the Berkeley City Council:




    Photo Credit: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images, File]]>
    <![CDATA[Commotion Over Conservative Speakers at UC Berkeley]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 16:27:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/milo-coulter-bannon.jpg

    Confusion is brewing at the University of California, Berkeley — once again about planned speeches by a number of controversial right-wing commentators.

    On Tuesday, a statement issued by MILO, Inc., a nonprofit headed by former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, began making the rounds on the Internet. It confirmed that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon will attend Free Speech Week, organized by student group, Berkeley Patriot, between Sept. 24 and 27. Ann Coulter has also been invited.

    “Berkeley Free Speech Week is attracting speakers of the highest caliber,” the statement said, noting that Bannon’s appearance is slated for the final day of the four-day event.

    University officials, however, had a different take on the invitations issued — and apparently confirmed — by Berkeley Patriot.

    “The University cannot yet confirm exactly when or if they will be here, nor can it confirm a list of speakers," spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

    Repeated requests for Berkeley Patriot to inform the university if and when contracts are signed with speakers and venues have gone unheeded, he added.

    Making matters worse, “the tentative information the student group has shared with us about the scheduling of the proposed speakers conflicts with information that has been shared publicly by Mr. Yiannopoulos,” Mogulof said.

    The events in question are expected to be held indoors with “specific security and procedural requirements,” and the deadlines to meet those stipulations are quickly approaching, Mogulof said.

    “Simply put, the University cannot provide the security and support the student organization has requested, and the campus wants to provide, if we do not receive the essential information,” he wrote. “Not a single speaker has connected with the campus or our police department to discuss security arrangements, as is required.”

    Mogulof also accused Berkeley Patriot of failing to pay fees and sign contracts with venues. While university officials are making every effort to support Berkeley Patriot, “the group’s failure to meet important deadlines is making it increasingly difficult to ensure a safe and secure program,” he concluded.

    But representatives with Berkeley Patriot, which describes itself as a nonpartisan student publication, say that they have been forthcoming with the campus and with UCPD officials.

    Pranav Jandhyala, a student representative for the group, said they were never told about the need to show certain information, including contracts with speakers, to the university officials. He conceded that a full list of speakers has been withheld from the university due to leaks in the past, but claims they have been complying with all requests for information from UCPD.

    When asked about the venue contracts, Jandhyala said they were working on it.

    “We are working diligently to answer any questions that the university might have,” he said. “We aren’t sure specifically what paperwork they are referring to, but we will work to get all of this clarified in a good-faith and collaborative manner.”

    Jandhyala also claimed that speakers, including Yiannopoulos, had tried to reach out the campus.

    “We’re making an effort,” Jandhyala said. “We’re already fighting a kind of losing battle here, with the campus that doesn’t support our efforts and an administration that doesn’t seem to support our efforts, either. We thought we had been complying with administrative policy to a T.”

    Jandhyala added that his group has yet to publicize the event and were instead hoping to wait until plans had been finalized. The confirmation that Bannon would be appearing on campus — an appearance that has been rumored for months — came from Yiannopoulos, who has been more forthcoming with details. 

    “If Milo wants to go ahead and jump the gun on promotion, that’s his prerogative,” Jandhyala said. 

    MILO, Inc.'s statement was released earlier Tuesday. It credited Bannon with being the “architect” of President Donald Trump’s policies. 

    “Uncle Steve was the force behind Trump’s election victory and much of his initial policymaking,” Yiannopoulos said in the statement. “Nothing could be better for the leftists who oppose Trump so vehemently than a lesson in the logic behind Trump’s actions, direct from the architect of his policies.” 

    More than 20 other speakers are slated to appear during Free Speech Week, although the full roster has yet to be unveiled. 

    Yiannopoulos, who weathered criticism earlier this year for seemingly condoning sexual relationships between minors and older men, also announced that he would be giving out a new award on the final day of the Free Speech Week.

    Called the Mario Savio Award for Free Speech, it is named after the student activist at UC Berkeley who helped the school secure its reputation as the birthplace of the free speech movement in the 1960s. 

    The award will be presented to a person who “best exemplifies courageous free expression in American public life," MILO, Inc. said. 

    Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro is expected to speak at UC Berkeley on Thursday. Counter protests to his appearance are also planned.



    Photo Credit: AP Images (File)]]>
    <![CDATA[Fremont Tackles Navigation Apps Clogging Residential Streets]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 06:11:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-12-17_Traffic_Apps.jpg

    Navigation apps are triggering traffic headaches in some Bay Area neighborhoods, prompting city officials to craft unique countermeasures in hopes of quelling the issue.

    Clogged residential streets in Fremont are making it almost impossible for homeowners to get out of their driveways during the busy afternoon commute, and the problem appears to also be cropping up in other cities such as Lafayette, Cupertino and Santa Cruz.

    City officials and frustrated neighbors blame popular navigation apps such as Waze and Google Maps for rerouting commuters onto typically quiet residential streets.

    "Literally we were hostages in our own homes," Steve Yakuma of Fremont said. "It's hard to leave the house cause the traffic can get so bad."

    NBC Bay Area has reached out to Waze and Google Maps for comment.

    Drone footage recently captured by the city of the Fremont discovered a long line of cars snaking their way along Via San Dimas, a small residential street that is believed to take about four to five minutes off the commute for people trying to navigate around a clogged Interstate 680.

    In order to prevent such an occurrence, Fremont has put up signs encouraging drivers to ignore their navigation apps, delayed timing at traffic lights at Mission Boulevard and Paseo Padre Parkway — the first major intersection for commuters exiting Interstate 680 — as well as installing turn restrictions at Vista Del Mar and Paseo Padre Parkway.

    Fremont city officials have alerted Wfaze of the countermeasures with hopes that the application's algorithm will keep drivers on the freeway.

    As for what else could mitigate the issue, Fremont's Principal Traffic Engineer Noe Veloso believes housing availability will ultimately yield a fix.

    "The long term solution to this for us to this really is creating more housing where the jobs are, you know, places like Cupertino, Sunnyvale," Veloso said. "They really have to provide the housing so that their employees no longer have to travel an hour, an hour and a half to their homes in the Central Valley."



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>