<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - Peninsula]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usWed, 24 May 2017 07:38:08 -0700Wed, 24 May 2017 07:38:08 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[South San Francisco Police Shoot, Kill Allegedly Armed Man]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 06:20:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-24-17-south-sf-shooting-investigation.jpg

South San Francisco police officers early Wednesday shot and killed a man who they say was armed with a shotgun.

A resident on the 3700 block of Cork Place called police around 11:50 p.m., reporting a disturbance involving a gun.

Responding officers encountered a man who was standing on the street, and disobeyed repeated orders to drop his weapon, according to police.

Shots were fired, police said, and the man was killed. It's under investigation if the man pointed his gun at officers or fired shots beforehand.

One officer sustained minor injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Police are not searching for any outstanding suspects and the neighborhood has been deemed safe. Officers are expected to be in the area for several hours due to the ongoing investigation. 

The South San Francisco Police Department and San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office are jointly investigating the officer-involved shooting.

Further details were not immediately available.

People with more information are asked to call police at 650-877-8900 or the anonymous tip line at 650-952-2244.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fedex Driver Arrested in Connection With 3 Home Burglaries]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 07:20:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/GettyImages-164141536.jpg

A convicted felon, who worked as a contract driver for FedEx, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of burglarizing three San Mateo County homes while on the job.

Kevin Baker, 57, of Hayward, is accused of first burglarizing an Atherton home on Orchard Hills Street around 1:30 p.m. on May 3. His second crime was on the 200 block of Park Lane, also in Atherton, at 1:20 p.m. on May 5, according to police.

Police said Baker also burglarized a Menlo Park home on the 1100 block of Trinity Drive at 7 p.m. on May 17.

Baker’s criminal history includes various theft-related offenses, police said.

The suspect is expected in the San Mateo County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Supervisors to Determine Fate of Delivery Robots]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 18:32:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/robot_thumbnail.jpg

A slew of Bay Area cities, including Redwood City, San Carlos and Sunnyvale, have signed on to host delivery robots from Starship Technologies, but San Francisco is approaching the new service with a measure of hesitation.

City Supervisor Norman Yee, who represents District 7, proposed legislation last week to ban delivery robots, citing safety and privacy concerns.

"For me it's all about safety," Lee explained. "Our public sidewalks are for people, not robots. It’s all about trying to get ahead of the curve before it gets out of hand."

While some applauded the lawmaker's preemptive approach, others said it was counterproductive.

"We should be working with tech to figure out the future together ― not wasting time on legislation to shut it down," Ennis Olson wrote back to the supervisor

While there are currently no existing laws mandating the use of autonomous deliveries in San Francisco, the proposed ban would affect a few companies already testing their delivery robots in the area.

Dispatch, a South San Francisco startup, raised more than $2 million just last year in seed funding to develop a new robot called Carry. Another company, Marble, announced its use of autonomous robots last month.

Robot creators have reasoned that the autonomous machines help get rid of the short-distance deliveries that are less profitable for human workers, while also easing traffic congestion downtown.

The proposed legislation will be considered by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June. If passed, autonomous robots found on city sidewalks would carry a penalty of up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $1,000.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Unemployment in Bay Area Counties Below 5 Percent in April]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 10:02:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/165*120/141970054.jpg

Unemployment in all nine Bay Area counties was below five percent last month, officials with California's Employment Development Department said Friday.

Unemployment in San Mateo County was the lowest in the Bay Area at 2.5 percent. In Marin and San Francisco counties the unemployment rate was 2.7 percent.

Except for Solano County, unemployment in the other Bay Area counties was between 3.1 and 3.6 percent.

In Solano County the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spare the Air Alert Issued For Monday]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 14:02:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12-24-2013-spare-the-air.jpg

A Spare the Air alert for smog in the San Francisco Bay Area has been issued for Monday, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said Sunday.

Smog is expected in parts of the East Bay and the Santa Clara Valley because of light winds and a weak and delayed afternoon sea breeze, according to air district officials.

This is the second Spare the Air alert for smog in 2017.

Commuters who drive to work alone are encouraged to use other ways to get to work.

Smog is especially harmful to children, seniors and people with respiratory and heart conditions, air district officials said.

People who decide to exercise outdoors should do so in the early morning hours when smog levels are lower.

Transit will not be free on Monday and air district officials have not issued a wood-burning ban.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Feds to Approve Funding for Caltrain Electrification Project]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 14:35:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/223*120/caltrain.jpg

Federal funding that was in limbo earlier this year for a Caltrain electrification project will be approved after all, federal transportation officials announced Monday.

A $647 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration had been approved in the final days of President Barack Obama's administration and was set to be sent in February, but Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, appointed by President Donald Trump, initially declined to sign off on the funds.

Members of the Republican congressional delegation had complained that the project also draws funds from a high-speed rail project they oppose, but Bay Area Democrats in Congress pushed for Chao to sign off on the funding, saying thousands of jobs were at stake.

The money will come after all, with federal transportation officials saying in a statement Monday that the FTA "intends to sign" off on the funding, known as the San Carlos Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project Full Funding Grant Agreement.

The nearly $2 billion electrification project is expected to reduce emissions, save fuel and reduce traffic by increasing capacity on the overcrowded Caltrain system that currently carries about 65,000 people per day.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, issued statements following today's announcement.

"Secretary Chao has done the right thing and committed the federal government to fulfill its obligation to see this project through completion," Harris said.

Speier said the project is "shovel-ready" once the funding is approved and called Monday "a great day for jobs, clean air and decongestion of traffic in the Bay Area."

<![CDATA[Innovators Show Off Creations at Maker Faire ]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 18:44:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO4_MAKERFAIRE.jpgStudents on field trips, work conference groups and Maker Faire VIP holders packed in to the San Mateo County Event Center to take a peek at this year's creations at the annual Bay Area Maker Faire event. The yearly gathering of do-it-yourself enthusiasts showcases ingenuity from over 1,300 makers from all over the world.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Man's Body Plucked From San Francisco Bay]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 19:20:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

The body of a 20-something man was pulled from the San Francisco Bay in Brisbane Saturday morning, according to the Brisbane Police Department.

There were no signs of trauma, and an initial investigation indicates that the San Francisco man may have drown, according to police.

A kayaker in the area originally spotted the body and alerted the U.S. Coast Guard, according to Brisbane police. After determining that the body was in the Brisbane area, Brisbane police took over.

Identification on the man helped police identify his age and location, police said.

Further information was not available at the time.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Companies Lead 'Best Places to Work' Ranking]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 16:57:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/New+Image20.JPG

The Bay Area is well represented on a recent LinkedIn list of the United States' best places to work. 

Top Companies Where the World Wants to Work Now” ranks 50 of the country's biggest businesses. Collectively, they span 21 industries and employ over three million workers, according to LinkedIn. The list is based on employee retention and interest in not only a company's available jobs, but also its overall brand.

With 72,000 employees globally, Alphabet, the parent company of Mountain View-based Google, came in first place. The tech behemoth set out in 2012 to rely only on renewable energy, and is on track to do exactly that this year.  

In second place was Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle. The company boasts over 340,000 employees across the world and has picked up three Oscars in the last 12 months, LinkedIn said.

Local companies earned the next five spots on LinkedIn's list. Facebook, of Menlo Park, came in third and was followed by Salesforce and Uber, both of San Francisco; Tesla, which is headquartered in Palo Alto; and Apple, a tech giant located in Cupertino. 

Three media organizations — Time Warner, the Walt Disney Company and Comcast NBCUniversal — rounded out the top 10 positions on the list. 

Other familiar names that made the cut include Airbnb, Netflix and Twitter.

LinkedIn, which is also based in Mountain View, excluded itself from the list.

Here are this year's top 20 companies in the U.S.:

  1. Alphabet
  2. Amazon
  3. Facebook
  4. Salesforce
  5. Uber
  6. Tesla
  7. Apple
  8. Time Warner
  9. The Walt Disney Company
  10. Comcast NBCUniversal
  11. Airbnb
  12. Netflix
  13. McKinsey & Company
  14. Dell Technologies
  15. Workday
  16. Under Armour
  17. Twitter
  18. CBRE
  19. Visa
  20. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Habitat for Humanity, Residents Fight Over Housing Complex]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 19:24:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-19-17_RWC_Construction.jpg

Habitat for Humanity is in the works of constructing an apartment complex for low-income families in Redwood City, but some neighbors aren't too happy about the plan.

The complex located along Jefferson Avenue will house 20 units in a six-story building with one story designated for parking.

Geoff Car, speaking on behalf of several neighbors who filed a complaint with the city's planning commission, is upset that the proposed building will sit between historical buildings as well as increase congestion in the area.

"I hate putting a six-story pole in the middle of two to three historical buildings," Car said. "It's not what we consider appropriate respect for the historical status that we have."

A one bedroom pad in downtown Redwood City currently goes for roughly $2,800 per month. Habitat For Humanity hopes to offer a cheaper option with its complex, and Maureen Sedonaen from the nonprofit expects hundreds of people in need to apply for the affordable housing. She also argues that the building's residents will benefit the community.

"They are working families often who are often our emergency responders, our teachers, our ibrarians, and they’re trying to raise their families and plant their roots," she said.

Redwood City officials on Monday will consider Car's complaint and a request to cap the building at three stories. Following through with a limit would negatively impact Habitat for Humanity's goal.

"If we had to cut out units, we'd have to cut out the three and two bedroom units, which basically limits the number of families that we can do because then they're in the one bedroom unit," Sedonaen said.

If the city moves forward with construction, Car plans to sue the city and Habitat for Humanity.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Mateo County Allocates $44M to Affordable Housing]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 15:56:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/207*120/dark2.jpg

The Measure A sales tax, extended for two additional decades under Measure K, is expected to generate $160 million in revenue for San Mateo County over the next two years. Roughly $44 million of those funds were approved Tuesday by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for affordable housing projects.

Here is how the budget breaks down:

  • $35.75 million is budgeted to more than double previously allocated funds to the Affordable Development and Preservation Fund
  • $5 million is budgeted for the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust
  • $1.6 million is budgeted for ongoing programming and staffing
  • $1.4 million is budgeted for tenant assistance programs

"Many of the people in the county were asking (San Mateo County) to do more," Kenneth Cole, the director of San Mateo County's Department of Housing, said in response to the budget approval.

Following a decrease in revenue for redevelopment initiatives at the state level, the county asked voters to extend the sales tax with promises to soften the budget shortfall on projects such as affordable housing.

"This county has stepped up to replace (the missing funds)," Cole said.

He expects the new allocations to sustain efforts at the same level as they have in previous years.

However, the pipeline of moving public funds into housing projects is slow moving because of pending land sales and fluctuating markets, according to Cole. As a result, the $43.5 million approved for fiscal years 2017 through 2019 will not likely be spent immediately.

So far, roughly one quarter of the $20 million working budget for 2015-2016 has been expended on housing projects. Almost $3.8 million was spent in the prior two fiscal years combined. 

While affordable housing projects remain tied up in a slow-moving process, a recent survey found low-income residents shouldering hefty rent increases and a spike in evictions locally.

According to a recent survey, there was a 59 percent increase in renters evicted after failing to pay their monthly rent and three times more no-cause evictions reported. The practice of no-cause evictions refers to when landlords give no reason for a tenant's eviction.

The survey also estimated that about 44 percent of non-subsidized affordable housing dissolved from the market since 2012. The housing department is studying that finding.

The county said Tuesday it has created 268 finished affordable housing units in the last few years with hundreds more in pre-construction phases.

However, those efforts are dwarfed by an estimated shortage of about 25,882 affordable rental units, a rise of 14 percent from the previous year.

"We need a lot more (units), but at least we’re getting the pipeline flowing," Cole said. "We're all in this together."

“We need a lot more than that – but at least we’re getting the pipeline flowing.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[County Announces $40M Deal to Acquire Mobile Home Park]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 18:19:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/buena+vista-0518.jpg

After four months of negotiations, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority on Thursday announced an agreement to acquire a Palo Alto mobile home park for more than $40 million, allowing roughly 400 low-income residents to stay in their homes.

If formally approved by the housing authority's board of commissioners during their meeting on May 23, the $43,375,000 purchase will be funded by a three-way partnership between Santa Clara County, the city of Palo Alto and the housing authority.

According to the housing authority, the city and county have committed $29 million in affordable housing funds and the housing commission will use U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to close the gap.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to preserve affordable housing for low-income residents, including at least 100 children, in a city where it is desperately needed," Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff said in a statement. "Palo Alto's commitment of affordable housing funds to this project are well spent."

The deal is expected to go through by early fall, after part of the parcel is sub-divided for commercial use. That piece of land will be retained by the current owner.

"From the beginning of this effort we've had three goals: to preserve over 100 units of desperately needed affordable housing; to prevent the eviction of 400 low-income residents, folks who truly have nowhere else to go; and to ensure that the current property owner receives full and fair market value for the property," Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian said.

"With today's announcement we can celebrate the realization of all three goals," Simitian said. "All of this happened because so many good folks had the grit, the determination, and the decency to make it happen."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sex Offender on Campus? Palo Alto High Parents Want Answers]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 06:13:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pa+sex+assault-0516.jpg

Parents at Palo Alto High School are outraged after being told a student who had been convicted of one sexual assault and accused of another was allowed to remain on campus.

On Tuesday night, parents demanded answers, and the school board moved to make immediate changes in its reporting and disciplinary policies.

While the school district said it cannot divulge information about a minor, NBC Bay Area learned Tuesday that the student in question left the school voluntarily.

District officials still weren't clear about why the student wasn't moved to another campus.

"We need to know when we have an active predator around so they can be aware of this, of course," parent Saundra Zenger said.

Parents just found out about the assault that happened off campus in 2015. The assailant, a junior at Palo Alto High, was convicted in December of forced oral copulation.

"My daughter has two classes with the person in question," parent Rhyme Adzema said. "He has acted inappropriately towards her, and I don't know what's going on."

The Palo Alto Unified District school board met in closed session Tuesday evening to evaluate the way Superintendent Max McGee handled the matter.

"We can't disclose anything about minors," a district spokesperson said. "We can't disclose anything regarding contact with the police, with the juvenile justice system. I can't even tell you if they're in school today."

The student's attorney released a statement, saying, "Although the District Attorney's Office has declined to file anything against the student, other than consensual underage sexual activity as a result of the conduct on campus, the student has elected not to complete the school year on campus."

Meanwhile, parents clamored for changes.

"I want to know that this administration is dealing with these types of issues with this or others in a serious manner," Chris Cummings said.

The school board announced changes in the way it handles reporting of sexual assaults or harassment, is adding a new administrative position and is renewing its educational efforts for staff and students.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pacifica Man Arrested After Child Porn Images Found in Home]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:47:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Jail-Generic-Photo1.jpg

Police and FBI agents arrested a 28-year-old man Tuesday morning after a search of his Pacifica home allegedly led to the discovery of roughly 14,000 images of child pornography on his computers and other electronic devices.

Officials served a warrant at Marlon Ramirez's home on Eastridge Circle around 7 a.m., according to police.

The warrant was part of an investigation launched earlier this year when detectives found out about a Pacifica resident downloading child porn online.

Ramirez allegedly provided a statement to investigators, and was arrested on suspicion of possessing and circulating child pornography, police said.

Further details about the case were not immediately available.

<![CDATA[Veteran's Family Sues VA Department After Death in Hospital]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 23:33:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/douglas+ross-0515-2017.jpg

A Navy veteran who died while being treated at a Palo Alto veterans' hospital was the victim of neglect, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by his family.

The suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs accuses VA Palo Alto of elder abuse and neglect after Vietnam War veteran Douglas Wayne Ross died May 5, 2016, from a traumatic head injury after a fall in his hospital room. Ross's family said he was in need of continuous care and was left alone for too long.

Ross, 72, was admitted to VA Palo Alto last spring for surgery to restore blood flow to his lower body. The lawsuit alleges VA Palo Alto left him "unattended" and "unrestrained."

"What you can't do is take someone who's essentially helpless, in a frail condition, and put him in a chair and walk away," said attorney Niall McCarthy, who is representing the family.

According to the lawsuit, Ross suffered a heart attack after his first surgery. After recovering, he continued to require care, including dialysis and blood thinners and was designated a high risk for falling down, the lawsuit says.

McCarthy said that in March of this year, in a response to the family's claim for damages, the Department of Veterans Affairs said it conducted its own investigation and declared no breach of care led to harm. It also concluded there was no wrongful act by any employee and denied the claim for compensation.

"Well the family ... the most important thing they want is change," McCarthy said. "There's certainly going to be a component which is compensation, but that's not why they brought this suit."

The lawsuit comes as VA Palo Alto already is trying to repair damage to its reputation from previous highly publicized problems.

VA Palo Alto did not respond to calls or emails requesting comment on the lawsuit.

Photo Credit: Ross family]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Popular Bay Area Bike Rides During Bike Month]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 14:31:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/Thumbnail46.jpg

Whether you want to discover a new part of the Bay Area or just get some exercise, these bike trails are great for beginners and experienced bikers alike. You'll even get gorgeous views along the route!

San Francisco Bay Trail: The 500-mile trail loops around the Bay Area's bayfront cities and has several route options on its website. From the six-mile Bay Farm Island Loop in Alameda to the nearly 15-mile route through Baylands Park in the South Bay, each trail is sure to provide spectacular views.

Coastal Trail: Views of the ocean are a given on this beautiful stretch of trails and you’ll have a flat path most of the way. If you feel like an extra challenge, stop at one of Pacifica’s bike paths or nearby Montara Mountain if you feel like really breaking a sweat.

Golden Gate Park: San Francisco’s Route 30, called the Wiggle, is marked with green signs labeled "SF Bicycle Route 30" and loops around downtown for a city tour before taking you straight into Golden Gate Park through Fell Street. The park boasts miles of paths through the greenery, waterfalls, and gardens around Stow Lake. If you want a slice of city riding with a view of the ocean as well as a picnic in the park, try this four-mile route from Haight-Ashbury to Ocean Beach. The last one to dip their feet in the ocean buys dinner!

The Silverado Trail: A relatively flat ride, this trail through Napa Valley isn't one to miss. The scenic trip through wine country is maintained through the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition and is great for families. 

Golden Gate Bridge: Choose a bike path with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Use Google to route yourself to Black Sands Beach, which includes a steep incline at Conzelman Road, or take your bike to Sausalito, which includes a ride on the ferry. Another popular option is riding through the Presidio’s trails and along the shoreline

Tennessee Valley: There’s plenty to do on this route in Marin County, offering a stop at Muir Beach, sightseeing and lounging on the beach at Tennessee Cove. Watch for horses as it is also a trail for horseback riders.

Angel Island: Perimeter Road, which loops around Angel Island, is an easy ride with loads of views to take in. Get to the island through the ferry service and head around the island on your bike. If you don’t have a bike to bring along, you can rent one on the island during certain seasons.

Crystal Springs and Cañada Road: Starting south of San Bruno into Woodside, the nearly 18-mile route on the Peninsula has restrooms and picnic areas at the Sawyer Camp and includes Woodside’s popular Cañada Road. Cañada Road even closes its road to traffic on Bicycle Sundays

Haul Road: This roughly 10-mile round trip takes bicyclists through picturesque redwoods in Portola Redwoods State Park until reaching Pescadero Creek. The thick forest provides a contrast to the ocean and bayfront bike trails in other Bay Area cities.

Lake Chabot: A ride along the lakeshore is perfect for families and provides great views of Lake Chabot. If you want a challenge, the area boasts some popular mountain biking routes in the East Bay. The lake is also a popular kayaking spot, so if you need to cool off, just head over to the boat rental and lounge on the water.

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<![CDATA[Foster City Leaders Advance Levee Raising Project]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 23:48:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/foster+city+levee.jpg

Foster City leaders on Monday night moved forward with a massive plan to raise the city's levee two to three feet to protect the city from potential flooding caused by sea level rise.

The City Council approved an environmental impact report and design to upgrade the 8-mile levee around the city. The $90 million project would protect the city from projected sea level rise through 2050.

Supporters say the project will maintain property values and save people from paying flood insurance because they'd no longer live in a flood zone.

"It's one of the biggest projects we've done since the city's been built, and it's important to maintain the quality of life and the value of life here in Foster City," Mayor Charlie Bronitsky said.

The project initially would be paid for by property owners through a bond that is expected to appear on the November ballot.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[More Than 100,000 Expected to Bike to Work Day Thursday]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 06:03:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Biking_SiliconValley.jpg

The 23rd annual Bike to Work day kicks off with a weeklong commute challenge as well as events planned throughout the week to commemorate May as National Bike Month.

Official Bike to Work Day throughout the Bay Area is Thursday.

Tech companies including Google and Facebook, as well as cities and nonprofit organizations, have collaborated to host more than 150 stops around Bay Area communities including 26 stops in San Francisco.

According to San Mateo County's commuting report, its booming economy and low unemployment rates mean more commuters clogging up the roads.

"San Mateo County commuters are experiencing longer commutes, extended peak-hour traffic and crowded trains," the report stated. 

In response, organizers are hoping the event will bring more newcomers out to the streets to give commuting by bicycle a try.

Last year's weeklong commuter challenge on the Peninsula had a combined 789,000 miles logged from 1,306 participants and an additional 12,000 bicycle riders counted at the annual Bike to Work Day stations in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. 

National Bike to Work Day follows the local event on May 19.

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<![CDATA[2017 Mother's Day Events in the Bay Area ]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 16:10:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mothersdaygen.jpg

If you forgot to make Mother's Day plans this year, don't fret. It's not too late to plan a memorable day for the mom in your life. 

Here are some of NBC Bay Area's favorite events happening this weekend: 

Free Day at the Exploratorium:

Families are invited to celebrate Mother's Day at the Exploratorium in San Francisco for free on Sunday. Spend the morning making crafty flowers, or immerse yourself in some of the interactive activities the museum offers. The area is packed with brunch places nearby, too. Visit the Exploratorium's website for more details. Free tickets are first come, first served. 

Mother's Day at the Zoo:

Mom and her cubs might enjoy a docent-led cycling tour through the San Francisco Zoo. You have to bring your own bike, and pre-registration is required. But there's a free continental breakfast at the end of the tour, so there's no need to make additional lunch plans. Visit the San Francisco Zoo website for more details. Tickets are $35 for non-members. 

Downtown Alameda's annual Spring Festival:

One of Alameda's most popular hubs will transform into a large-scale festival, complete with live music, arts and crafts booths, bounce houses, and more. A lot of pop-up shops will be selling artisanal goods, so this activity could also double as a leisurely shopping trip. Visit the Spring Festival's website for more information: 

Stanford Powwow:

The 46th annual Mother's Day Weekend Powow will bring Native American music, dancing and cuisine to the prestigious university's scenic campus. The event runs Friday through Sunday, and families are invited to camp overnight. The event is free, but donations are accepted. Check the Powwow's website for more information. 

Urban Tilth's Festival of Flowers:

The community farm in Richmond on Saturday will host its inaugural Annual Festival of Flowers, complete with live music, a brunch buffet and a raffle. Prizes include tickets to the Oakland symphony, a professional manicure and pedicure, and gift baskets. Families will also have the opportunity to make unique flower arrangements, flower crowns and Mother's Day cards. The best part? The event is completely free! Check out the website for more information. 

Wine and painting: 

If you and mom are looking for something more low-key, consider one of the many Paint-and-Sip classes that have popped up in recent years. There are dozens of shops scattered around the Bay Area that offer attendees the chance to sip wine, listen to relaxing music and get a painting lesson straight from the professionals! Check out the Canvas and Cabernet website to see what the classes entail and find price information. 

Plan your own adventure: 

Visit one of the Bay Area's many beaches, or scour parts of your neighborhood that you've never been to before — maybe start a new tradition. Ultimately, you can't go wrong on Mother's Day so long as you and mom have quality time together. 

Is there an event missing from this list? Email Gillian.Edevane@nbcuni.com with details for possible inclusion. 

<![CDATA[New Paved Path to Replace Stanford's 'Scary Path']]>Mon, 08 May 2017 20:47:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scary+path-0508-2017.jpg

A poorly lit trail between residence buildings at Stanford University that's been dubbed the "scary path" is being replaced by a new paved path.

The uneven dirt path not far from where former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner sexually assaulted a woman in January 2015, is a highly used route for those on campus. The new path, which is being named the Knoll Path, will be paved and have much better lighting, campus officials said.

Stanford officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, and construction on the new path began. Those who frequented the "scary path" said they're relieved.

"I mean, I've definitely walked on the path at night, and it has been frightening, especially as a female on campus," student Alexis Kallen said. "I think it's a great idea."

Stanford officials said they want the area to feel safer.

"We're gonna be paving and lighting it, so we hope students use that path instead of this one over here," said Greg Boardman, vice provost for Student Affairs.

The new path comes after years of student lobbying for something safer. The university said the path work will continue through the summer, and it should be open by the time students arrive for the new school year in the fall.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Rising Sea Level Discussion in Foster City]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 08:23:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-3-17-brush-fire.jpg

A special meeting to discuss the threat of rising sea levels is scheduled to take place Monday in Foster City. Scientists predict the issue will threaten billions of dollars worth of infrastructure, and some lawmakers have called San Mateo County "ground zero" for the impact because of how many of the county's assets are located at sea level.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[High Surf Advisory in Effect For Bay Area Beaches]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 11:29:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Waves-generic-san-diego-091715.jpg

A high-surf advisory is in effect until Sunday afternoon for all of the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Bay Area coastlines, according to National Weather Service officials.

The advisory is in effect until 2 p.m. for the coastline from northern Sonoma County to southern Monterey County and the Big Sur coast.

Forecasters are expecting a northwest swell of 15 to 18 feet with 11-second swell periods.

Large waves will be capable of sweeping people into the water, which is cold and turbulent. The high surf will also produce rip currents, weather officials said.

People are urged to avoid coastline beaches, rocks, jetties and piers until the high surf subsides.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Companies Hiring, But Not From Ivy Leagues]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 06:59:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-73909596.jpg

Considering shelling out big bucks on an Ivy League education? You may want to reconsider that – at least if you're eyeing a job in Silicon Valley.

The list of top 10 universities big-name Bay Area companies hire from doesn't feature any of the Ivy League universities in the country, according to artifical intelligence company HiringSolved. The analysis was based on 10,000 profiles of tech workers who were hired or promoted into new roles in 2016 as well as January and February 2017, according to the San Francisco Business Times

Leading the list were two local schools: University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

The others, however, included well-known engineering schools, such as Georgia Institute of Technology, and large public universities, including San Jose State University, UC San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, University of Texas at Austin. 

Of the Ivy League schools, Cornell University made it to rank 15.

“Our research suggests that in addition to specific skills and educational backgrounds, Silicon Valley is looking for a strong fundamental understanding of the basics of technology in their new hires” HiringSolved CEO Shon Burton said in a statement. “Often what separates say, a good engineer from a great one, is a knack for understanding the baseline ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of how things work – the physics of the technology.”

Applicants looking to stand out must demonstrate familiarity with a number of softwares, including Python, C++, Java, Linux and Matlab, the analysis shows. 

Here are the top 10 schools favored in the past year by recruiters at top Silicon Valley companies:

  1. University of California, Berkeley
  2. Stanford University
  3. Carnegie Mellon University
  4. University of Southern California
  5. The University of Texas at Austin
  6. Georgia Institute of Technology
  7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  8. San Jose State University
  9. University of California, San Diego
  10. Arizona State University

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reports of Burglary Attempt, Battery Put Stanford on Alert]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 06:43:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stanford-campus-generic.jpg

A case involving battery and an attempted burglary were reported at Stanford University student on Saturday morning, police said.

The battery occurred at about 1 a.m. on the east side of campus. Police are describing the suspect as an unshaven man about 20 years old and about 6 feet 1 inch tall. He was wearing a red and white Cleveland Cavaliers jersey.

Also, police said the university's department of public safety was told of an attempted burglary that occurred Saturday on the first floor of Roble Hall.

The student heard noises at his window. The student went to the window and saw a person holding the window screen open.

The suspect ran away when he was spotted. Police are describing the suspect as a man in his 30s with short dark hair and a heavy build. The man was about 5 feet 9 inches tall.

Police are encouraging students and visitors to be alert and protect themselves. They also urged students and visitors to keep doors and windows locked and to report suspicious and criminal activity to police as soon as possible.

Anyone with more information is asked to call Stanford police at (650) 329-2413.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pimping, Prostitution Arrests in San Bruno]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 20:52:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SMCsuspects1.jpg

Two men and two women were arrested Friday on suspicion of prostitution and pimping, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Jin Deng, 31, and Jin Zhen, 26, both of San Francisco, are accused of pimping, sheriff's officials said. Wenyan Ma, 33, of San Gabriel, and Liuyng Zhang, 50, of Los Angeles, are suspected of committing acts of prostitution. 

Law enforcement officials from the San Mateo County sheriff's office, and Redwood City and San Bruno police departments investigated the suspects for a month, according to a statement.

They then served a search and arrest warrant at a house on the 1100 block of Herman Street in San Bruno around 2 p.m. Friday. 

It remains unknown what officials found during their investigation and what led to the arrests. It is also unclear how long the business was in operation.

Neighbor Gloria Mendoza was taken aback to learn about about the month-long investigation and arrests.

"I'm surprised for this neighborhood being pretty quiet," she said.

The suspects have been booked into the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City. An investigation is ongoing.

People with information about this case are asked to call the sheriff's office at 650-363-4911. Anonymous tips can be left at 1-800-547-2700.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Priced Out Bay Area Shelter Sends Final Plea to Save 45 Cats]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 20:53:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Resized1_Kitten.jpg

A no-kill shelter in Redwood City known for taking in abused, sick or unadoptable cats was priced out of its current location two months ago. But thanks to a bit of luck — and a vacant laundromat around the block — the Nine Lives Foundation is relocating. 

Carol Skola, a volunteer since 2008, said all of the cats will need to be relocated while they renovate its new location. 

"We try and take cats and place them in a forever home, but those that don’t have one, have one here with us," Skola said.

However, that home is all but packed up.

After receiving the news that they could not afford to renew the lease, volunteers and staff began seeking foster homes for hundreds of cats. And they are down to just 45 remaining cats.

"Some of them are perfect — but some are a bit harder to place," Skola said.

Those harder-to-adopt cats include those that are sick, missing legs or eyes or too shy to meet potential new families. 

The nonprofit is half of the way to completing its renovatation budget for the new location.

"This place here served its purpose for the last nine years and we appreciate having had it, but its time for us to move," Skola said.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Heiress Changed Millbrae Man's Life Then Plotted His Death]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 05:10:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0505-2016-KeithGreen.jpg

Keith Green was a popular but troubled Bay Area high school football star who had recently washed out of college when he met Tiffany Li.

Li was a pretty, jet-setting daughter of a rich and powerful Chinese family who was born in Beijing and grew up in Silicon Valley.

She changed his life.

Then, according to prosecutors, she orchestrated his murder last year when she fell in love with another man after more than six years with Green.

That man, his "bodyguard" and Li have all been charged with first-degree murder. The men are jailed pending a September trial.

Li, however, called on her wealthy family and friends to post $4 million in cash and put up more than $60 million in real estate to secure bail and set her free before trial. The district attorney called the amount unprecedented in the region.

Her release on bail shocked Green's family and friends and underscored just how wealthy and influential her family is.

Li's attorney Geoff Carr says she had nothing to do with the murder and that's why her family and friends took the financial risk they did to post her bail. Li and the two men have pleaded not guilty.

Court records show her mother and stepfather amassed a fortune through real estate investments and construction projects in China, including two Beijing skyscrapers. The documents show the family has properties in the Cayman Islands and St. Kitts, Caribbean island nations known for their lush beaches and strict financial privacy laws.

The couple's story began around 2009. Li and Green met when he was 21 and she was 23 and quickly decided to live together. They first moved into an apartment owned by her mother, who disapprovingly told homicide detectives that Green grew marijuana in one of the bedrooms.

They soon moved into a newly built $7 million mansion in the exclusive San Francisco suburb of Hillsborough owned by her mother. Li gave birth to a daughter in 2012 and to a second daughter two years later, and the home was staffed with nannies, housekeepers and landscapers. The couple had their pick of exotic sports cars and SUVs to drive.

He liked tattoos. She talked about plastic surgery, according to court records.

Li held a master's degree in business from the University of San Francisco, and her mother paid her $100,000 a year to help manage the family's real estate holdings. Green had trouble finding work after convictions for theft and fraud as a minor, court records show.

Li's mother told police she disapproved of Green because he drank and smoked marijuana, and he lost a construction job. She called him a "black hole" in the family. Still, she picked up the $40,000 annual tab for Green to attend Cordon Bleu Culinary School in San Francisco.

Those who knew him previously remember someone different.

Green grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in San Mateo, a high-tech, San Francisco Bay Area enclave. His parents divorced when he was young, and he was raised by his mother, family friend Angela Dunn said.

He ran into legal troubles, including a fraud case involving Macy's gift cards, when he was a juvenile, according to court records.

Nonetheless, he was a popular high school athlete, and he had many friends when he died. Dunn said about 50 people attended an April 28 vigil marking the one-year anniversary of his death.

Steve Sell, Green's high school football coach, said Green led the team to an undefeated season and a playoff win in 2005, earning a half-scholarship to Eastern Washington University. But he dropped out after a year and drifted from temporary job to unemployment.

"Tremendous athlete," said Sell, who noted Green also played baseball and basketball. "Popular and funny."

Li, meanwhile, was born in Beijing, and court records indicate her grandparents served in China's army. She moved to Silicon Valley in 1992 with her younger brother, mother and stepfather and became a U.S. citizen in 2000. She attended six different private schools, including the prestigious Santa Catalina boarding school in Monterey.

Sometime after they met, Green introduced Li to his friend and that's when the trouble began. Li and Kaveh Bayat soon began an affair.

Prosecutors say Li kicked Green out of the mansion in October 2015, closed their joint bank accounts and turned off his phone. Green went to live in the one-bedroom apartment of a family friend. Bayat moved into the mansion.

Green and Li began a legal battle over custody of their young daughters, eventually agreeing Green could gradually retain 50 percent, starting with unsupervised weekend visits.

The first weekend visit was to take place April 30, 2016, but Green disappeared two days before.

Prosecutors say Green agreed to meet Li in a restaurant parking lot in Millbrae, near San Mateo, the night of April 28, 2016.

Li told detectives they sat in her car for about an hour, discussing their children, then Green left after an amicable talk. But court records show investigators tracked both of their cellphones back to her mansion.

A walker found Green's body nearly two weeks later 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

A few days after that, using phone records, police arrested Olivier Adella, a 6-foot-5 (2-meter) French-born mixed martial arts professional who describes himself as Bayat's bodyguard. He has since opted to cooperate with police.

He said Li and Bayat showed up at his apartment the night of the restaurant meeting with Green's body in the front passenger seat of Li's SUV, blood coming from his mouth and ears.

Olivier told detectives Bayat showed him a handgun stuffed in his waistband and handed him gloves.

"I need you to take out the trash," Olivier says Bayat told him.

Geoff Carr, Li's attorney, says Olivier is lying about Li's involvement. Charles Smith and John Halley, lawyers for Bayat and Olivier, did not return phone calls from The Associated Press.

Bayat and Li were arrested at the mansion the day after Adella's arrest.

"This is all so stupid and sad, and all these lives are ruined," said Mitri Hanania, an attorney who once represented Green, after Li accused him of stealing a Range Rover. Those charges were dropped.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Parents Brave the Elements in Name of Affordable Day Care]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 06:42:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ssf-childcare-0504.jpg

Taking time off work and spending the night out in the cold. That's how far some parents in South San Francisco were willing to go Thursday to secure affordable child care.

Parents starting pitching tents at 3:30 Thursday morning, forming a line of around the city building. They were braving the elements in the name of affordable child care.

"A lot of parents like me work until 5 or 6, so it's imperative after-school care is provided," parent Espie Santiago said.

South San Francisco Parks and Recreation offers that care for $399 a month. The line that formed early Thursday and grew throughout the day is for 40 remaining spots at six locatons for next school year.

"They only have 10 spots for the facility we want to get into," Santiago said. "We got here at 7, and we have to stay through the night to get on the list."

The director of parks and recreation said the line is longer than last year's. She's concerned demand is on the rise at a time when federal grants that help fund the programs are in jeopardy.

"We need more quality care for children, not just school-age kids but preschool," Director Sharon Ranals said. "We're concerned about the current budget trend."

The department's doors open at 7 a.m. Friday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[East Palo Alto PD Search for Driver in Apparent Hit-and-Run]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 20:33:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/epa-hit-run.jpg

Investigators in East Palo Alto on Thursday continued searching for a driver who struck two teens and fled the scene in an apparent hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon.

The two teen boys were taken to the hospital after being the victims of an apparent hit-and-run in East Palo Alto. They are expected to survive, police said.

The boys, both 15, were hit near the intersection of Cooley Avenue and Runnymede Street at a little before 4 p.m. as they were crossing the street. They were both taken to Stanford Medical Center, one with significant injuries and one with serious injuries.

Police said they were struck by a green Ford Ranger pickup that appeared to have failed to stop at a stop sign and then drove off after hitting the boys, officials said.

"Right now, we're trying to piece together whether this was intentional or if it was some kind of accident, and the person just fled the scene because he was scared," Sgt. Angel Sanchez said.

Police did not release the names of the victims.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Company 'Upcycles' Human Waste to Fertilizer]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 15:57:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bio_Thumbnail.jpg

Some Bay Area offices boast gourmet cafes and nap pods, but one in Redwood City looks — and smells — dramatically different.

Sewage water from some Peninsula cities is collected and treated at Silicon Valley Clean Water in Redwood City. And whiffs of thousands of tons of sewage sludge are unmistakable from the lunch patio at Bioforcetech Corporation, located just steps from its new plant.

"Its smell – you kind of get used to it," said Dario Presezzi, the chief executive officer at Bioforcetech. "We’ve been giving almost 12 hours a day, every day – night times sometimes – because it’s been extremely challenging."

Presezzi and his team of Italian-born engineers and specialists came to Silicon Valley to turn waste to energy in a process he says is not yet allowed in their home country.

"It was just the biggest challenge that was out there, to make energy," Presezzi says.

Since solar panels and wind turbines didn't interest him, Presezzi and his team began working with the out-of-sight, out-of-mind tons of sewage sludge running through tunnel systems underground.

Sewage sludge is the human urine and feces that drain from people's toilets. Through this process, it is dried and processed into biosolids, which is the name given for recycled and processed sewage.

After it is drained of about 70 percent of its water weight, Bioforcetech runs the biosolids through a flameless burner to create biochar, a charcoal-based fertilizer.

While human waste has been stored, dumped in oceans, soaked in lagoons or piled up in landfills, this process will allow the sewage sludge of about 100,000 people to be sold as fertilizer early next year.

That’s larger than Redwood City’s population.

"Upcycling," Presezzi calls it. "We’re taking a waste that has no value and we’re actually creating value from that waste."

Built to run on human waste, the process not only creates energy but runs on itself.

"Thanks to all of the bacteria already present in the sewage, we don’t have to use any gas or any other sources of energy," Presezzi said. ”That is the idea that gave us the boost to go against our competitors and win.”

Through its self-sustaining process, the use of biosolids has become a cheap alternative to waste disposal.

Presezzi has offered quotes to approximately 20 other plants, offering to lower costs to as low as $20 per ton for the disposal. Other processes may cost $50 to as much as hundreds of dollars per ton to dispose of the waste.

However, the use of biosolids as fertilizer is more than a bit stinky, it has an added hurdle of gaining public approval.

Baked with chemicals, bacteria, hormones and medications, critics say current Environmental Protection Agency regulations aren't enough.

Just outside of Los Angeles, voters in Kern County voted overwhelmingly to ban the use of Los Angeles human waste as fertilizer at the Los Angeles Green Acres Farm. The city sued — and won.

More than a decade later, the courts sided with biosolids ruling that a ban violates the Integrated Waste Management Act, which requires jurisdictions to promote and maximize recycling of waste, including for land application. 

"There is a lot environmental communities that want to stop this because there is pharmaceutical products and other bad bacteria inside of it that gets spread into the soil," Presezzi said.

However, he says the soil undergoing the drying and heating process at his Silicon Valley plant is clean and doesn't use additives, fossil fuels or chemicals in its process.

"This system just get rid of that, it collects the good parts," Presezzi said.

Presezzi says the new plant is on track to complete its first full-scale process of 7,000 tons of human waste over the next year.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Boys Hospitalized After Hit-and-Run in East Palo Alto]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 19:54:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ER-emergency-generic.jpg

Two teen boys were taken to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after being the victims of an apparent hit-and-run in East Palo Alto, according to a Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

The boys, both 15, were hit near the intersection of Cooley Avenue and Runnymede Street at a little before 4 p.m. as they were crossing the street.

They were both taken to Stanford Medical Center, one with significant injuries and one with serious injuries.

They were struck by a vehicle that appears to have failed to stop at a stop sign and then drove off after hitting the boys, Schapelhouman said.

The response time by fire crews and paramedics was under two minutes because the incident was close to a firehouse, according to Schapelhouman.

A description of the suspect vehicle was not immediately available.

<![CDATA[Warming Temps May Help Spread Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Study]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 19:11:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/206*120/mosquitoes7.JPG

Experts warn the upcoming summer months may be an active one for mosquitoes.

Stanford researchers this week released a report focusing on mosquitoes that carry and transmit the Zika virus. The analysis found at 84 degrees, mosquitoes live long enough to rapidly spread the virus to birds and humans.

The new information may help scientists predict where Zika or other viruses may breakout.

"Anytime there's a lot of rain, and there's really nice warm temperatures like we're having right now, you have to be on the look out for mosquitoes," said Erin Mordecai, an assistant professor of biology at Stanford.

Mordecai said the type of mosquitoes she studied do not usually live in California. But experts at the Santa Clara County Vector Control District said Stanford's findings are relevant for local mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus.

Vector control officials said the mosquito population so far this year is substantially higher than in years past.

So far this year no birds in Santa Clara County have tested positive for West Nile. Vector control officials expect that to change following this warm snap.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook to Hire 3,000 to Monitor Live Crime, Suicide Videos]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 17:54:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Facebook+Generic+Photo+logo+on+window.jpg

Facebook plans to hire 3,000 more people to review videos and other posts after getting criticized for not responding quickly enough to murders shown on its service.

The hires over the next year will be on top of the 4,500 people Facebook already has to identify crime and other questionable content for removal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote Wednesday that the company is "working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that's responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down."

Videos and posts that glorify violence are against Facebook's rules, but Facebook has been criticized for being slow in responding to such content, including videos of a murder in Cleveland and the killing of a baby in Thailand that was live-streamed. The Thailand video was up for 24 hours before it was removed.

In most cases, content is reviewed and possibly removed only if users complain. News reports and posts that condemn violence are allowed. This makes for a tricky balancing act for the company. Facebook does not want to act as a censor, as videos of violence, such as those documenting police brutality or the horrors of war, can serve an important purpose.

Policing live video streams is especially difficult, as viewers don't know what will happen. This rawness is part of their appeal.

While the negative videos make headlines, they are just a tiny fraction of what users post every day. The good? Families documenting a toddler's first steps for faraway relatives, journalists documenting news events, musicians performing for their fans and people raising money for charities.

"We don't want to get rid of the positive aspects and benefits of live streaming," said Benjamin Burroughs, professor of emerging media at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Burroughs said that Facebook clearly knew live streams would help the company make money, as they keep users on Facebook longer, making advertisers happy. If Facebook hadn't also considered the possibility that live streams of crime or violence would inevitably appear alongside the positive stuff, "they weren't doing a good enough job researching implications for societal harm," Burroughs said.

With a quarter of the world's population on it, Facebook can serve as a mirror for humanity, amplifying both the good and the bad — the local fundraiser for a needy family and the murder-suicide in a faraway corner of the planet. But lately, it has gotten outsized attention for its role in the latter, whether that means allowing the spread of false news and government propaganda or videos of horrific crimes.

Videos livestreaming murder or depicting kidnapping and torture have made international headlines even when the crimes themselves wouldn't have, simply because they were on Facebook, visible to people who wouldn't have seen them otherwise.

As the company introduces even more new features, it will continue to have to grapple with the reality that they will not always be used for positive, or even mundane things. From his interviews and Facebook posts, it appears that Zuckerberg is aware of this, even if he is not always as quick to respond as some would hope.

"It's heartbreaking, and I've been reflecting on how we can do better for our community," Zuckerberg wrote on Wednesday about the recent videos.

It's a learning curve for Facebook. In November, for example, Zuckerberg called the idea that false news on Facebook influenced the U.S. election "crazy." A month later, the company introduced a slew of initiatives aimed at combating false news and supporting journalism. And just last week, it acknowledged that governments or others are using its social network to influence political sentiment in ways that could affect national elections.

Zuckerberg said Facebook workers review "millions of reports" every week. In addition to removing videos of crime or getting help for someone who might hurt themselves, he said the reviewers will "also help us get better at removing things we don't allow on Facebook like hate speech and child exploitation."

Wednesday's announcement is a clear sign that Facebook continues to need human reviewers to monitor content, even as it tries to outsource some of the work to software due in part to its sheer size and the volume of stuff people post.

It's not all up to Facebook, though. Burroughs said users themselves need to decide how close they want to be to violence — do they want to look at the videos that are posted, and even circulate them, for example. And news organizations should themselves decide whether each Facebook live-streamed murder is a story.

"We have to be careful that it doesn't become a kind of voyeurism," he said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Former Female Employee Accuses Facebook of Gender Bias]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 11:07:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MZF8.png

A former Facebook engineer claims her old employer disproportionately favored code written by men compared to woman, but the social networking giant is refuting the basis of that allegation.

The female employee, who reportedly spent several years with the Menlo Park-based company, conducted a data analysis and found that code created by female employees was "rejected much more frequently than code written by their male colleagues," the Wall Street Journal reported.

The analysis, which examined five years of data and was posted in September, specifically indicated that when female engineers submitted potential code, they were denied 35 percent more than male employees, according to the newspaper.

A Facebook spokesperson countered the reliability of the claim.

"As we have explained, the Wall Street Journal is relying on analysis that is incomplete and inaccurate – performed by a former Facebook engineer with an incomplete data set," a Facebook spokesperson said. "Any meaningful discrepancy based on the complete data is clearly attributable not to gender but to seniority of the employee. In fact, the discrepancy simply reaffirms a challenge we have previously highlighted – the current representation of senior female engineers both at Facebook and across the industry is nowhere near where it needs to be.”

Following the release of the employee's analysis, Facebook conducted its own report and subsequently "attributed any gap in rejection rates to an engineer's rank, not gender," the newspaper reported.

Experts and former employees examined both reports submitted by Facebook and the female engineer. They found that both had flaws, according to the newspaper.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Portola Valley Man Accused of Exposing Himself to Children]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 16:13:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0501-2017-ChristianItule.jpg

Los Altos police said Monday that a man was arrested last week on suspicion of exposing himself to two children and annoying five more.

Christian Itule, 25, of Portola Valley, was arrested Wednesday following a report of suspicious activity at about 5 p.m. near Morton Court and Jardin Drive.

Police responded and found Itule, who matched the description of the suspect.

Itule was in a vehicle and allegedly exposed himself to a child riding a bicycle at about 3:40 p.m. on April 21 near South Gordon Way and Hawthorne Avenue.

A second suspicious incident occurred the same day at 4:16 p.m. in front of a home in the 400 block of Valencia Drive near Los Altos High School.

Itule allegedly drove up next to two children and talked to them. The children became scared and ran home, police said.

Police said the victims in both cases described the suspect as a white man who is about 18 to 20 years old with long wavy blonde and red hair pulled back in a ponytail.

Police said the suspect was wearing a black beanie and dark clothing.

On the day Itule was arrested, the victim also described the suspect as a white man wearing a black beanie. The victim said the suspect was driving a tan sedan.

Itule was booked into the county jail. The victims are all between 11 and 16 years old.

Detectives continue to investigate the cases and are asking anyone who was contacted by Itule or has more information to get in touch with the Police Department's investigative services division at 650-947-2770 or leave a message on a tip line at 650-947-2774.

Photo Credit: Los Altos Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Employee Accused of Recording Inside Jersey Joe's Restroom]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 18:02:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0501-2017-Pedro-Jeronimogonzalez.jpg

A man was arrested Saturday following a discovery of a cellphone that was allegedly recording women and children inside a restroom at Jersey Joe's Coastside in Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County sheriff's officials said.

Deputies went to the restaurant at 40 Stone Pine Road at 6:15 p.m. and arrested 27-year-old Pedro Jeronimogonzalez, a part-time employee who had been working at the restaurant for about six months.

"I think we're all in shock here," Jersey Joe's Coastside owner Don Godshall said. "We're just devastated."

The business is known as a family place where kids go after soccer practice, according to Godshall.

Police were called as soon as the discovery of the phone was made, he said.

Sheriff's officials allege that the cellphone was placed in the restroom intentionally and belonged to Jeronimogonzalez.

Investigators allege the cellphone captured six people, two women and four children, on video. No other details about the case are being released yet, according to the sheriff's office.

Jeronimogonzalez was taken to the county jail. The allegations against him include disorderly conduct, child exploitation and wiretapping, according to the sheriff's office.

Detectives are asking customers who visited Jersey Joe's Coastside on Saturday between 5:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. to get in touch with them. Anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact Detective Pat Carey at 650-259-2321 or pcarey@smcgov.org.

Information can also be left anonymously on the sheriff's tip line at 800-547-2700.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Fight for Rights: Thousands March in May Day Rallies]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 17:41:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-1-17_May_Day_SF.jpg

Joining hundreds of thousands around the world, droves of demonstrators on Monday are gathering across the Bay Area for May Day rallies, which are drawing special attention to immigrants' rights in the wake of the Trump administration's controversial executive orders and promises.

Traditional May Day demonstrations were originally designed to propagate workers' rights and combat exploitative working conditions. But, in recent years, the annual day of action has been highlighted by a range of social issues, particularly the need for immigration reform and a living wage.  

The jam-packed day of activity started with people blocking off an intersection near the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco. Standing in the street in front of cars, demonstrators overtook crosswalks and hoisted signs reading "Sanctuary For All" and "Resist Hate, Racism, Corporate Greed" into the air. Others grabbed chalk and paint to decorate the concrete with phrases such as "Resist" and "No Ban, No Wall" in large red and white letters.

Roughly 20 protesters stamped with white pieces of paper on their shirts reading "#ResistUniteProtect" or "#SanctuaryForAll" also linked arms, formed a human wall and planted themselves in front of the entrance and exit point for deportation buses at the ICE building. The move was designed to promote solidarity with immigrants, according to protester Dalia Yedidia.

"So we know that there are workers, immigrants, and immigrant workers, and we're here in solidarity with them denouncing the intense escalation of anti-immigrant racist policies coming out of the Trump administration," she said.

Demonstrators blocks away at Justin Herman Plaza waved politically-themed signs and shouted in support of immigrants' rights while simultaneously chastising the Trump administration's border wall proposals and commitment — despite a blocked executive order — to defund sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.

"Folks are feeling a lot of fear right now in both with the executive orders and with we don't know what's going to come down the pipe," demonstrator My Trinh said. "I think they're feeling unsupported. There are folks who are being pushed into the shadows."

Across the Bay Bridge, motionless people — outlined by chalked silhouettes — rested on the ground outside the Alameda County Administration building while demonstrators stood over them chanting for an end to police violence, mass incarceration and immigration raids.

At least four people attending that rally were arrested for trespassing, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

Shops and restaurants across the Bay Area joined the movement behind the May Day rallies by closing their doors, students engineered school walkouts, and even major tech hubs like Facebook and Uber allowed their employees to participate in workers’ strikes without penalization.

Work at the Port of Oakland temporarily came to a halt, but it wasn't a walkout, a spokesman for the longshoremen's union told NBC Bay Area. He said it's a negotiated day off in the port workers' contract because typically hundreds of dock workers participate in May Day demonstrations. Only the day shift at the port was affected, he said.

Check below for a list of protests, rallies and demonstrations:

San Francisco: Rally and festival at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office at 8 a.m.; Chinatown community rally at Portsmouth Square from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Rally at Justin Herman Plaza with a march to Civic Center Plaza at 11 a.m.; Montgomery Bart Station rally from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mountain View: March at Rengstorff Park Community Center at 4 p.m. A rally will follow at 5:45 p.m. at City Hall.

San Jose: Rally at Mexican Heritage Plaza at 1 p.m.; March to Arena Greens at Autumn and Santa Clara Streets at 3 p.m.; May Day rally and march at Story and King Roads from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Morgan Hill: March from Galvan Park to ICE office on Vineyard Court at 4 p.m. 

Oakland: People's Climate Movement contingent march on 12th street near Citibank at 2 p.m.*; Hotel Workers contingent march at Mandela Parkway and Yerba Buena at 1:30 p.m.*; May Day Restaurant Industry contingent march on 1419 34th Avenue at 2 p.m.*; Rally at Fruitvale Plaza at 3 p.m. 

*These marches will likely feed into the rally at Fruitvale Plaza. 

Berkeley: Workers’ Day Rally at UC Berkeley at noon. 

Concord: Rally at Meadow Homes Park at 4 p.m.; Rally at Todos Santos Plaza at 6 p.m. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Cal Fire Requires Permits for Open Burning at Residences]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 12:38:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-1-17-cal-fire-dead+vegetation.jpg

Beginning Monday, Cal Fire requires a permit for open burning in certain areas. The agency says during times of the year with high fire danger that burning dead vegetation at homes isn't safe. The permits will be needed in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Sonoma and Napa Counties.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Alleged Flasher Targets Three Victims on Stanford Campus]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 08:30:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stanford-campus-generic.jpg

A reported flasher exposed himself to three victims on the Stanford University campus early Sunday, according to campus police.

The alleged perpetrator was next to his parked car when he flashed the victims on the east side of campus around 1:55 a.m., according to campus police.

The reported flasher then fled the scene in a white sedan, according to campus police. The man is described as being between 30 and 50 years of age, about 6 feet tall, and heavy set. He has short dark hair, a short beard and was wearing glasses. He also seen wearing a dark polo shirt and dark tracksuit jacket.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the campus police department.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[UC Berkeley Named 'America's Best Value College': Forbes]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 11:09:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/UCBerkeleyGeneric.jpg

Tuition might be expensive, but attending the University of California, Berkeley provides the most bang for your buck, according to a new Forbes report.

The East Bay university topped the list of Forbes' "America's Best Value Colleges" list, which calculates what schools are worth the financial investment. Southern California's University of California, Los Angeles and the East Coast's Princeton University rounded out the top three, respectively.

UC Berkeley wasn't the only institution in the area labeled as a school worth the investment. Stanford University checked in at No. 7 on the list while University of California, Davis grabbed the No. 9 spot.

Not to be left out, Santa Clara University (No. 63), San Jose State University (No. 140), University of San Francisco (No. 176), San Francisco State University (No. 210), Saint Mary's College (No. 234), California State University, East Bay (No. 240) and Sonoma State University (No. 300) also nabbed a spot on the list.

The annual list takes into account "tuition costs, school quality, post-grad earnings, student debt and graduation success," according to Forbes.

An interesting trend noted in the report indicates that roughly 70 percent of the schools listed in the top 100 are research universities, meaning that the education is centered around science, technology and engineering. A STEM-oriented education is defined by Forbes as being increasingly valuable because that's where the jobs are in this day and age.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Expected to Show at Bay Area May Day Rallies]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 23:36:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/may+day-0430-2017.jpg

Hundreds of thousands of protesters on Monday are expected to gather across the country for International Workers' Day, a May 1 tradition that has gained renewed momentum as strident immigration rhetoric continues to seep out of the Trump administration.

The demonstrations, which originated with the labor movement, are marked by employee strikes against exploitative working conditions. But, in recent years, the annual day of action has highlighted a range of social issues, particularly the need for immigration reform and a living wage.  

Given that President Donald Trump's campaign platform — and a slew of his executive orders — have targeted undocumented immigrants, this year's protests are expected to be yet another pointed rebuke of the business mogul's presidency.

Shops and restaurants across the Bay Area are expected to shutter on Monday. Students are planning school walkouts. Even major tech hubs like Facebook and Uber have allowed their employees to participate in workers’ strikes without penalization.

Work at the Port of Oakland will come to a halt, but it won't be a walkout, a spokesman for the longshoremen's union told NBC Bay Area. He said it's a negotiated day off in the port workers' contract because typically hundreds of dock workers participate in May Day demonstrations. Only the day shift at the port will be affected, he said.

Also in Oakland, volunteers prepared signs for Monday's march. Among them was a high school student who helped organize hundreds of fellow Oakland students joining the march along its route.

"When you really talk to the youth, they really care about it and want to know how they can help," student organizer Reyna Jauregui said.

Another high schooler helped energize a movement at St. Elizabeth Church in Oakland, where people of faith and workers' groups will also meet to join the march.

"I think it's incredible," said Jocelyn Medina of Oakland Community Organizations. "Love of everyone."

Migrant worker rights groups are among some of the most energized. Organizers estimate more than 70 groups are involved so far. Their goal on May Day is connecting with a Latino community, which they say is living in fear of the Trump administration's new immigration policies.  

In San Jose, busy Mendoza’s restaurant is one of several businesses that plan to close Monday. Workers there will instead join thousands of others in a march through downtown.

"The workers that want to participate, we made T-shirts with our logo: 'No one is illegal' or 'Black Lives Matter or 'Love is love,'" Adilene Mendoza said.

On Sunday, faith and community leaders talked about showing solidarity in a peaceful event.

"We march because we feel that we need to stand together," said the Rev. Jon Pedigo of the Diocese of San Jose. "We have been placed together in a difficult situation with undocumented persons, with Muslim persons, with LGBTQ persons. ... We are telling Trump we are here to stay, we are here to fight and be truly represented by our government."

Check below for a list of protests, rallies and demonstrations:

San Francisco: Rally and festival at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office at 8 a.m.; Chinatown community rally at Portsmouth Square from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Rally at Justin Herman Plaza with a march to Civic Center Plaza at 11 a.m.; Montgomery Bart Station rally from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mountain View: March at Rengstorff Park Community Center at 4 p.m. A rally will follow at 5:45 p.m. at City Hall.

San Jose: Rally at Mexican Heritage Plaza at 1 p.m.; March to Arena Greens at Autumn and Santa Clara Streets at 3 p.m.; May Day rally and march at Story and King Roads from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Morgan Hill: March from Galvan Park to ICE office on Vineyard Court at 4 p.m. 

Oakland: People's Climate Movement contingent march on 12th street near Citibank at 2 p.m.*; Hotel Workers contingent march at Mandela Parkway and Yerba Buena at 1:30 p.m.*; May Day Restaurant Industry contingent march on 1419 34th Avenue at 2 p.m.*; Rally at Fruitvale Plaza at 3 p.m. 

*These marches will likely feed into the rally at Fruitvale Plaza. 


Rally at Lovonya Dejean Middle School in Richmond with RYSE youth center, the Richmond progressive alliance and United Teachers of Richmond at 4 p.m. 

Berkeley: Workers’ Day Rally at UC Berkeley at noon. 

Concord: Rally at Meadow Homes Park at 4 p.m.; Rally at Todos Santos Plaza at 6 p.m. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Strikes, Kills Bicyclist in Half Moon Bay]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:35:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bike+Lane+Generic+Camden.jpg

A driver was arrested Saturday morning near Half Moon Bay after a bicycle lodged underneath his car linked him to a fatal hit-and-run crash earlier in the day, police said.

First responders received a call just after 7 a.m. about a collision involving a bicyclist and driver of a Ford vehicle near Furtado Lane along Highway 1, police said.

The bicyclist, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was found on the right shoulder with bicycle debris scattered around the pavement, according to police.

Authorities were able to trace the evidence from the scene to a nearby address where they found an adult man. A further investigation revealed that the man struck the bicyclist with his Ford SUV before fleeing the scene with the bike stuck underneath his car, police said.

The northbound lane of Highway 1 was closed for more than three hours while investigators combed the scene, according to police.

A complete investigation into the collision is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Cesar Perez at 650-369-6261.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Pacifica Man Pleads Not Guilty to Drugging, Raping Men]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 12:25:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/josephcourtney.jpg

A man accused of drugging and raping multiple men over a seven-year period starting in 2007 pleaded not guilty on Friday to 41 felony counts related to the accusations, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say that Joseph Paul Courtney, 31, of Pacifica, met three different men for consensual sex and allegedly ended up drugging them into unconsciousness before raping them.

Courtney allegedly raped the men along with "unidentified male associates," according to prosecutors.

On at least one occasion, after regaining consciousness, the victim was allegedly shown a video recording of multiple men engaged in sex with him while he was passed out, prosecutors said.

One of the men who saw such a recording of himself reported the alleged rape to Pacifica police, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

At least 14 additional victims then came forward after media reports of the crimes, Wagstaffe said.

Additionally, Courtney allegedly raped the men in full knowledge that he has AIDS, according to Wagstaffe.

Courtney's attorney, Steve Chase, said all of the sex his client had was consensual and that he denies ever having sex while any of the men were unconscious.

The alleged victims in the case met Courtney on a gay dating website or via a smart phone app and they expected to take drugs and have sex, Chase said.

"This case is so beyond the pale of the normal criminal case," Chase said. "It is a different world that these men are in."

Courtney has been charged with 41 counts of sodomy by force, sodomy of an unconscious person, continuous sexual assault and drugging his alleged victims.

Because of a "multiple victim" enhancement to the charges, Courtney faces either 15 or 20 years to life in prison for each count, Wagstaffe said.

Courtney is scheduled to appear in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City on July 31 for the start of his jury trail.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County District Attorney's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Assaulting Officer, Trespassing, Battery]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 12:01:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+line+generic+with+sirens.jpg

Police in Menlo Park on Friday arrested a man in connection with several crimes after he reportedly trespassed at a school, caused a lockdown and spat on the school's faculty.

Andrew Gullow, 29, was arrested on suspicion of battery, assault on an officer, battery on hospital staff and trespassing, according to the Menlo Park Police Department.

On Friday at 11:07 a.m., a Menlo Park police officer observed a shirtless man acting erratically.

The man then walked onto the campus of Alto International School in the 400 block of Pope Street.

Police said the school was in session, and children were present on the playground during the incident.

At the same time, a woman reported a man matching the subject's description had confronted her and had spat in her face, police said.

The officer attempted to detain the man, but he ran onto the school campus and into a classroom.

He started yelling at faculty, confronted a teacher and spat in her face, police said.

The school initiated a lockdown, and the officer used a Taser to take the suspect, later identified as Gullow, into custody.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock, File ]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Officers Fatally Shot Armed Carjacking Suspect on 101]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 11:03:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-28-17_San_Mateo_101_Shooting_Investigation.jpg

California Highway Patrol officers on Friday responded to reports of a traffic collision on Highway 101 in San Mateo, only to encounter an armed carjacking suspect who they shot and killed after he refused to drop his weapon.

The encounter began around 5:30 p.m. – at the peak of the evening commute – near Highway 92. The shooting, however, forced the CHP to close all northbound lanes through nearly 1 a.m. Saturday, snarling traffic for miles.

The investigation lasted nearly seven hours because it was "a very complex crime scene," San Mateo Police Capt. Dave Norris said. "Evidence was all across the highway."

Police said in a statement on Saturday that the officers on scene found the man “brandishing” a gun, interrupting his attempt to carjack a vehicle that he had collided with.

Witness Betsy Steadham said that officers tried repeatedly, but unsuccessfully to deescalate the situation and negotiate with the man.

"The cops [were] telling the person to put their gun down ... over and over again," she said.

Steadham recalled the officers giving the instructions on a loudspeaker and also yelling at the man. "Then a loud 'boom' — twice!" she said.

Fearful for their own lives and the safety of commuters, three CHP officers opened fire, striking the man. Officers from the CHP and San Mateo Police Department rendered first aid and paramedics rushed to the scene, but the man died, police said. None of the CHP officers involved were hurt.

The woman driving the second car involved in the collision is a 55-year-old East Bay resident who complained of pain, but was otherwise unhurt. The San Mateo County Coroner’s Office has not yet identified the suspect.

The CHP, San Mateo Police Department and San Mateo County District Attorney's office will be conducting independent, but simultaneous investigations, according to the statement.

Friday's incident adds to a growing number of freeway shootings in the Bay Area. Last month, police responded to a deadly shooting on Interstate 80 in Richmond and a shooting on Highway 101 in San Jose.

The CHP reports at least 85 shootings on Bay Area freeways since November 2015.

NBC Bay Area's Kris Noceda contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Shooting Triggers Traffic Gridlock on Hwy. 101 in San Mateo]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:33:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0428-2017-101backup.jpgAn officer-involved shooting investigation at the height of Friday's evening commute shut down northbound lanes on Highway 101 in San Mateo.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Deadly Police Shooting Shuts Down Hwy. 101 in San Mateo]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:59:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0428-2017-101shooting_720.jpg

Northbound lanes of Highway 101 near Highway 92 in San Mateo remain closed Friday evening while authorities investigate an officer-involved shooting, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Police said one suspect died in the shooting involving three CHP officers, who were not injured. The shooting was reported at around 5:30 p.m. when officers were involved in a confrontation with an armed suspect, police said.

It is unclear what led up to the shooting, but the three officers were driving in separate patrol cars before they all fired their weapons.

Estimates for when the roadway will be reopened have been continuously pushed back since the closure. The latest estimate suggests that lanes could open around midnight, but that time could change.

Drivers headed in the northbound direction are being escorted off the roadway at Hillsdale Boulevard. The northbound ramp onto Highway 101 at Hillsdale is also closed.

The CHP, San Mateo Police Department and San Mateo County District Attorney's office will be working together during the investigation.

Friday's incident adds to a growing number of freeway shootings in the Bay Area. Last month, police responded to a deadly shooting on Interstate 80 in Richmond and a shooting on Highway 101 in San Jose.

The CHP reports at least 85 shootings on Bay Area freeways since November 2015.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Police Investigating String of Car Break-Ins in Belmont]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:45:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0428-2017-CarBreakin.jpg

A string of more than a dozen car break-ins in Belmont has some drivers changing their ways.

Police said in all 17 cases the thieves did not have to break any windows because the doors or windows were left open.

Mihai Nedelcu said he saw an alert from his neighbor on the social media site NextDoor about a string of car break-ins Thursday night. He is now planning to install surveillance cameras at his home.

Police said a thief or thieves have canvassed the neighborhood near Notre Dame de Namur University and broke into 17 cars. They took a couple laptops and a GPS device.

But in most of the cases police said the suspects just rummaged through the car looking for valuables. Some neighbors speculate the thieves target the area because of the easy access to Highway 101 and Interstate 280.

Police said they do not know if the suspects were on foot or driving through the area. An investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Teacher Accused of Taking Lewd Photos of Young Girls]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:02:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/satriano.jpg

San Mateo police last week arrested an elementary school teacher suspected of taking and possessing photos of children in lewd poses.

On April 21, officers arrested 33-year-old Anthony Satriano at his home in San Francisco after a roughly two-week investigation into his alleged behavior involving multiple victims, according to San Mateo police officials.

School offiicials called a meeting with parents Thursday night they dubbed a "healing session."

"Student safety is our top priority. When we learned a teacher may have engaged in inappropriate conduct, we proactively notified the San Mateo Police Department and removed the teacher from school," school officials said in a written statement earlier Thursday. "Charges of child pornography have been filed against the former teacher. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement."

St. Mathew's Episcopal Day School placed Satriano on administrative leave as soon as they learned of the allegations against him, and a school official said Thursday that he is no longer employed there.

The school requires extensive background checks of all its employees, and Satriano's check revealed no prior record, school officials said.

The investigation started on April 6, when Satriano's employer, St. Mathew's, contacted police about his alleged inappropriate interaction with one of his students, said San Mateo police Lt. Ryan Monaghan.

The student told police that Satriano made inappropriate comments to her and asked her to wear a pair of tights.

Investigators contacted Satriano and found photos of young girls on his phone that Satriano allegedly said he used for "sexual purposes," according to police.

None of the children in the photos was naked, but the nature of the poses "constituted criminal violations," according to police.

"Things like this we ... take very seriously, and when we were alerted to this, we immediately started investigating" and found additional victims, Monaghan said.

"The investigation is active and ongoing," Monaghan said. "We have not received any information or discovered any evidence to indicate there was any inappropriate physical contact."

During his three years at the school, Satriano worked with children from ages 5 to 8 in the before- and after-school programs, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

He was booked into the San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of child annoyance and possession of inappropriate photos of juveniles.

Satriano appeared in court Thursday for an arraignment, which was postponed until May 3. His bail was set at $2 million and he remains in custody, according to prosecutors.

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

Photo Credit: San Mateo PD]]>
<![CDATA[Two Workers Lucky to Be Alive After Accident at Facebook HQ]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:24:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FB+building.jpg

Two iron workers were injured Wednesday evening after a catastrophic equipment failure caused part of a Facebook building under construction to collapse, according to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

At 5:21 p.m., firefighters responded to Facebook’s new Building 21 on reports that two workers had fallen and were injured, officials said. Both men, one in his late 20s and the other in his early 30s, were complaining of significant lower extremity pain and puncture wounds and were transported to a hospital, fire officials said. 

According to other workers at the site, the victims had been working at an estimated height of 40 feet assembling the structure's steel framing when the steel beam they were standing on dropped nearly 20 feet, catching on a lower floor assembly and propelling them toward the ground, fire officials said.

The pair's safety harnesses broke their fall, likely saving their lives. Chief Harold Schapelhouman said that it's a miracle the workers survived.

As of Thursday morning, work had paused on the site until Cal-OSHA gets to the bottom of the accident. 

Sunnyvale-based Level 10 Construction is the contractor for the site, but it remains unclear whether the two injured workers were employed by the company. 

Local 377, the union that represents the workers at the job site, declined to comment Thursday.

Photo Credit: Menlo Park FD]]>
<![CDATA[Orcas Stage Unprecedented Killing Spree in Monterey Bay]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 23:23:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-23-17_Monterey_Killer_Whale_Drone.JPG

Killer whales are on an unprecedented killing spree in California's Monterey Bay, attacking and feeding on gray whale calves, a marine biologist said.

Since April 20, orcas have killed four gray whale calves in eight days, Nancy Black said Friday.

Black, who co-owns Monterey Bay Whale Watch, says a family of nine killer whales has taken part in all of the attacks, but the first killing involved 33 orcas.

It's not uncommon for orcas to prey on gray whale calves, says Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at California's Marine Mammal Center. He hadn't heard about the latest killings.

Black called their frequency unprecedented.

"Usually the killer whales come in and out. They aren't here every single day," she told the Monterey Herald. "We see them more often in April than May by far, but they just seem to be hanging around and waiting for more gray whales to come through."

The calves and their mothers are migrating up the California coast from Mexico. The arrival in Northern California was a few weeks later than usual this year, so a lot of hungry killer whales were waiting, Black said.

Adults in the orca family pod also might be teaching the youngsters how to hunt.

"They (killer whales) learn different methods of hunting from different areas so it's passed on through the generations," she said. "And this particular group ... is very good at it."

The nine-member pod, dubbed Emma's group, includes a matriarch, her daughter Emma and a granddaughter, along with some juveniles, including one dubbed Little B who is less than 6 months old.

"They learn early because it's pretty dangerous for the killer whales to hunt a gray whale because the mother gray whale can slam them with their fluke," Black said.

Orcas share their prey with the rest of the group, including members that didn't take part in the hunt, Black said.

She noted the orcas in the latest attacks also killed with unusual speed. A Wednesday attack took just 20 minutes, compared with the several hours it usually takes a pod of orcas to separate a calf from its mother and drown it.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Whale Watch]]>
<![CDATA[Two Iron Workers Injured at Facebook Construction Site]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:22:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FB+building.jpg

Two iron workers were injured Wednesday evening after part of a Facebook building under construction collapsed, according to the Menlo Park Fire District.

At 5:21 p.m., Menlo Park firefighters responded to Facebook’s new Building 21 on reports of two workers had fallen and were injured, fire officials said.

Both men, one in his late 20s and the other in his early 30s, were complaining of significant lower extremity pain and puncture wounds and were transported to a hospital, fire officials said.

Fire crews said their safety harnesses likely saved their lives.

According to other workers at the site, the victims had been working at an estimated height of 40 feet assembling the structure's steel framing when a catastrophic failure occurred, and the steel beam they were standing on dropped an estimated 20 feet, catching on a lower floor assembly and catapulting them toward the ground, fire officials said.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

Photo Credit: Menlo Park FD]]>
<![CDATA[Student Tackles Digital Divide with Refurbished Computers]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:00:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/PHOTO2_Refurbished.jpg

Growing up in the shadows of Google, Facebook and other technology giants, 16-year-old Terence Lee, has spent his life surrounded by the latest gadgets the industry has to offer.

However, the junior at Los Altos High School knows that even in Silicon Valley, a digital divide persists for less privileged students.

"Because much of the work is done outside of the classroom, it puts people without a computer at a disadvantage," Lee said.

Between an increasingly integrated curriculum, group projects and coding classes beginning as early as elementary school, Lee said he wanted to find a way to get low-income students their own laptops to take home. 

An avid recycler, he also wanted to work with what was already available and would be financially sustainable.

"In the heart of Silicon Valley, there’s a lot of technology," Lee said.

Individuals, school districts, companies all update their computers as often as every few years, Lee explained, "because of the constant need to have the latest [technology] so that they can continue to work."

With the help of his parents, classmates and the community, he launched Los Altos-nonprofit EqOpTech, which not only refurbishes laptops, but teaches STEM classes.

The organization was inspired by a refurbishing drive Lee had held two years ago for his Eagle Scout Service Project, which even earned a nod from former President Barack Obama.

Before his term ended, Obama designated Lee and other Bay Area students who helped him, a President's Volunteer Service Award for their earlier work benefiting disadvantaged students — and they hope EpOpTech will help even more students in need.

For the last six months at Egan Junior High School, Los Altos High School freshman, Daniel Lim, Lee and their former computer science teacher, Peter Swenson, have been leading a Computer-in-a-Box program to mentor younger students on computer software.

Together, the group works on refurbishing the donated machines. And after Los Altos School District donated roughly 200 laptops to the group — they've been pretty busy. 

"Instead of scrapping them, [the school district] donated [the laptops] to us and we found a new life for them," Lee said.

Fueled by pizza, juice boxes and dedication to their cause, the group gets about eight to 10 laptops upgraded every Monday after school. However, they found refurbishing hundreds of circa 2006 laptops would require not only tech-savvy skills —  but patience.

"Students are learning the difficulty of working with older technology. It's a little slower than they're used to," Swenson said. "It's interesting watching them work with the older machine, teaching them a bit of patience."

But after each has been restored, those laptops find their next home.

"It's always in our best interest to get everything fully functioning [and] fully capable for each kid," Lee said. 

That's because they go directly to families that need the machines. Nearby school teachers give Lee the number of students that don't have easy access to computer at home, and he disperses them directly to the school for the students to take back home.

The effort comes as a particular relief to school districts with high percentages of low-income students, which has now been acknowledged at the state level as well.

Sen. Jerry Hill presented the students with a Congressional Award Gold Medal for volunteerism in April and commended the group on their achievement in the Inspire Mountain View challenge so far, which would grant his nonprofit $25,000 to continue their refurbishing work. The group is currently a finalist in the competition. 

"Technology is always something I've been really passionate about," Lee said. "And I give them a new life because I’m able to install the necessary software."

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<![CDATA[San Carlos Becomes 3rd City in Nation to Host Delivery Bots]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 21:30:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thumbnail_robot.jpg

While some cities are not quite ready for drone deliveries, it appears two on the Peninsula have reached a compromise.

And it tops out at just 4 mph.

San Carlos jumped on board Tuesday as the third city in the nation to host Starship Technologies’ new delivery robots, just behind Redwood City and Washington D.C., which launched pilot programs in November.

"We’re just helping to be a pilot city and welcome [Starship robots] into our streets," said Martin Romo, the city’s economic development coordinator.

Romo and his colleague were the recipients of the city's first robot delivery, several sweets from the downtown bakery, Susie Cakes.

"This is definitely the first step into this arena of delivery services, and we’ll see where it goes," Romo said.

San Carlos caught the attention of Starship and its delivery partner, Postmates, because of its close proximity to the neighboring pilot program in Redwood City. 

"We were looking for a combination of cities where the local governments were very receptive to this, where our partner, Starship Technologies, already is and where we have a strong presence," said Vivek Patel, vice president of business operations at Postmates.

Starship said the delivery bots are here to complement rather than replace human dashers and will help get rid of the "start and stop" orders in the downtown area that are less profitable for workers.

How it works:

1. Upon receiving an order, DoorDash says it will first use its existing algorithm to determine whether a delivery should be completed by bike, scooter, car or robot.

2. While customers wait, they will receive an email that lets them know who — or what — their dasher will be.

3. In the case of a robot delivery, a code will be sent allowing customers to both track the delivery and unlock their order when it arrives.

The service is currently available to customers ordering pickups within 2 miles of the downtown area that weigh less than 40 pounds.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Caltrain's Rail Grinding Project to Reduce Noise]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:20:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/223*120/caltrain.jpg

Caltrain’s ultimate goal is to reduce noise levels near stations like the one in San Carlos.

But it could be a noisy process – at least in the short term.

Starting Wednesday night, Caltrain will begin a rail-grinding project, using a rail-mounted industrial-sized grinder, to smooth out any defects along the rail. Officials hope this will cut down on noise in the area and offer passengers a smoother ride.

The grinder will look like a rail car, but it will sound a lot louder. People living along the tracks are in for some long nights.

Some said they get accustomed to the noise.

"I'm getting used to it, but it's still a bother," San Francisco resident Zain Hussain said. "Not to me so much as the dog."

Smoothing out the tracks has to be done overnight, official said. It will start at midnight and go until about 4:30 a.m. so as not to interrupt service for commuters.

"In order to get work done, it takes hours of uninterrupted effort," said Dan Lieberman of the San Mateo County Transit District. "It has to be done when train service is not running. We do apologize to residents nearby. They are going to have some noise."

The work starts at the San Francisco Caltrain station and crews will make their way down the Peninsula, ending up in the South Bay.

This project is expected to take up to three weeks, wrapping up on May 19.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Troublesome Turkey Traipses Through Taboo Territory]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:46:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-25-2017-turkey-ssf-police-garage.jpg

A wayward turkey may be guilty of vandalism and trespassing.

The avian perpetrator somehow got into a South San Francisco police garage, police said Tuesday. The possible charges against the bird stem from it “marking its territory on some of the vehicles” before the SPCA removed it from the premises, they quipped on Facebook.

Amused Facebook followers suggested that police officers exchange their service weapons for shotguns, and serve up a nice meal. Others mused that the turkey could be a great sidekick for the k-9 unit.

“Maybe one day,” police joked.

Photo Credit: South San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Suspected of Trying to Lure Girls Near Los Altos High]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:37:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0424-2017-LosAltosHigh.jpg

A pair of troubling incidents have Los Altos police asking for help.

Officers say a man tried at least twice to lure young girls into his car just behind Los Altos High School.

"They need to catch him," parent Lucia Guh-Sisel said of the suspect. "He cannot be out on the streets."

Guh-Sisel is on edge after a man approached her 11-year-old daughter and a friend Friday afternoon as the girls walked along Valencia Drive near the high school.

The man waved, motioned for the girls to get inside the car and opened the passenger side door, Guh-Sisel said.

The students reported it to Los Altos police who notified the family the next day a second girl had also been approached on Friday. In the second incident, the man exposed himself.

"Once she turned to look she recognized that he was exposing himself," Sgt. Brian Jeffrey said.

What is most alarming, police said, is when the girls ran to a neighbors house for help the man waited to see if they made it to safety.

The suspect is described as a man between 18 and 20 years old, with long, wavy blone or reddish hair pulled into a short ponytail, police said. He was last seen driving a gold- or beige-colored sedan, according to police.

Police are asking residents who may have seen anyone in the area matching the description to come forward.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Six-Figure Salary in Some Bay Area Spots Dubbed Low Income]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:11:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MoneyBayAreaIncome.jpg

It's no secret. The Bay Area grows increasingly expensive by the day.

What may come as a surprise — or not really at this point anymore — is that six-figure salaries in some Bay Area locations classify families as being low income.

That's right. In Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, a family of four earning $105,350 is considered to be living at the low income limit, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That's because the median income in those regions has soared to $115,300.

A "very low" income mark in those three counties equates to a family of four earning $65,800, according to the data. "Extremely low" income means that same family is only bringing in $39,500.

Folks living in the Bay Area's six other counties aren't experiencing much of a financial break either. A family of four living in Alameda and Contra Costa counties tallying $80,400 per year is labeled as low income, according to the data. In those spots, the median income for a family of four has jumped to $97,400. A family of four in Santa Clara County is considered to be low income if they bring in $84,750. The median income in the South Bay currently sits at $113,300.

The low income line for a family of four drops slightly for those in Napa ($74,500), Solano ($64,300) and Sonoma ($70,500) counties, according to the data.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Goodbye: High Number of Residents Ditching Bay Area]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:19:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*160/1493076386-housing-afford.png

The Bay Area has higher numbers of people migrating elsewhere than any other region in the nation, according to a new study. New York finished in second place while Los Angeles settled in at No. 3 on the list. The study compared Redfin users in the nation's 75 largest metro areas.]]>
<![CDATA[Sheryl Sandberg on How ‘Option B’ Helped Her Heal]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:09:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/sheloshim.jpeg

Hear more from Sandberg — including what she has to say about the “Lean In“ debate and girls and geeks and workplace in equality – on the next “Bay Area Revelations.” Our Emmy-award winning documentary series on the untold stories of the bay area. “Women Game Changers” airs Saturday, May 13 at 10 p.m. after Saturday Night Live.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is no stranger to obstacles. The 47-year-old self-made billionaire shares her personal journey of coping with her husband David Goldberg’s sudden death in a new book that came out Monday.

“Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy,” was Sandberg’s way of dealing with her grief — and healing. The book focuses on how Sandberg coped after Goldberg died suddenly while on vacation with her at the Four Seasons Hotel in Punta Mita, Mexico in May 2015.

“No one's life is perfect,” Sandberg said, during an interview at the Facebook headquarters. “Some of the traumas are big like losing a husband suddenly and some of the traumas are small, but we all face them and Option B is about what we do for ourselves and what we do for other people to build our resilience and find the path forward.”

Sandberg was forced to find a new path after her husband’s death. Suddenly, she was raising two kids on her own, while serving as one of the world’s most powerful executives.

Sandberg says many things have changed for her over the last two years, including her gratitude.

“It's so ironic to go through something as traumatic as losing a husband and find a greater appreciation for basic things than I had before,” she said. “But, until Dave died, it never occurred to me that they could die. Which means it never occurred to me that I could die, or my kids could die, now as much as I miss Dave and the grief still comes and goes – I appreciate every year in a way I didn't before.”

Overcoming hardship also comes with the help of others. In her book, Sandberg says instead of offering to do “anything,” offer to do “something.”

“My friend was in the hospital with a sick child and a friend texted him and said, ‘What do you not want on a burger?’ or ‘I'm in the lobby for a hug for the next hour, whether you can come down.’ Doing something to help people who are facing adversity can be so helpful and making that something specific.”

Sandberg says rebuilding her self-confidence was difficult. Her co-author, Adam Grant, gave her some simple advice.

“At the end of every day, write down three things you did well,” she said. “I was like ‘three things I did well:’ made tea, had less soda, right?’ But, writing down three things I did well actually forced me at the end of every day to focus on things that went well.”

“Option B” follows Sandberg’s best-selling “Lean in” book about women in the workplace., which launched a worldwide debate on the topic of women’s leadership.

NBC Bay Area’s Revelations team was the only local television crew to talk to Sheryl Sandberg a few weeks ago about her latest book project: “Option B.” Excerpts from the interview can be found online.

Photo Credit: Sheryl Sandberg/Facebook
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<![CDATA[Hospital Fined For Mistakenly Removing Patient's Ovaries]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:18:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/dieta-mediterranea-10.jpg

California health officials are fining Redwood City-based Sequoia Hospital $47,452 for erroneously removing a patient’s ovaries last year.

The Peninsula facility is one of 14 hospitals facing 17 penalties issued by the California Department of Public Health on Thursday. Accused of not complying with “licensing requirements that caused, or were likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients,” the hospitals are being made to shell out a total fine of $1,135,980.

Including Sequoia, the Bay Area houses four of these hospitals: California Pacific Medical Center-St. Luke’s Campus Hospital and Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco; and Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa.

According to the CDPH, doctors at Sequoia were supposed to surgically remove the patient’s uterus, fallopian tubes and appendix. But the procedure was entered incorrectly in the hospital's surgery log, leading to the removal of her ovaries. The report does not specify whether the woman’s ovaries were taken out instead of or along with the uterus, fallopian tubes and appendix, but says the patient will require lifelong estrogen replacement therapy as a result of the misstep.

Meanwhile, a St. Luke’s patient felt dizzy and fell off her bed, but was not put through hourly neurological checks as prescribed, the CDPH found. The woman hit her head and died despite undergoing emergency brain surgery, and the hospital is facing a $47,452 penalty.

Kaiser is being fined $147,025 for two separate incidents, both of which led to the deaths of patients in 2015 and 2016.

In the first, a dialysis patient suffered “massive blood less and cardiac arrest” when his femoral catheter got disconnected from his bloodline, both of which were under a blanket. In the second, the patient experienced “acute respiratory failure” after a tracheostomy tube cuff valve was mistakenly left inflated. The mismanagement of the tracheostomy – described by the CDPH as “a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea” – led to the patient dying.

At Queen of the Valley, three separate incidents in 2013 in which hospital staff didn’t track patients’ symptoms and administered incorrect treatment, resulted in two deaths while the third patient is left in a vegetative state. The CDPH has levied a $225,000 fine on the Napa hospital for its mistakes.

Other hospitals on the CDPH list are LAC/Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance; Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara; Bakersfield Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield; Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs; and Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis.

The CDPH says regulations adopted in 2014 allow the agency to issue up to $75,000 in fines for a hospital's first administrative penalty, up to $100,000 for the second, and up to $125,000 for the third and every following violation within three years. Penalized hospitals are required to put forth a plan of correction, and have 10 days to appeal the fine. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Appears to be at Full Employment: Analyst]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:00:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/205*120/now+hiring1.jpg

Unemployment rates in the Bay Area were among the lowest in the state in March indicating the region is at full employment, according to a state labor market analyst and labor market data.

In San Mateo County, unemployment was at 2.7 percent, the lowest in the state, while in Marin County and in the City and County of San Francisco unemployment was at 3 percent, the second lowest level in the state.

The unemployment rate in all other counties except Solano County was below 4 percent last month.

"Many consider we are at full employment," Janice Shriver, a state labor market analyst based in the Bay Area, said.

Full employment is typically considered 4 percent unemployment, Shriver said. Four percent unemployment is considered full employment because at any time people are changing jobs while others are entering or leaving the workforce.

Full employment means that virtually everyone who is willing and able to work is working.

But Shriver cautioned that for individuals still looking for work, the numbers have less meaning. "If one person is unemployed, he's 100 percent unemployed," she said.

Employment growth in the East Bay has been particularly strong.

Last month in Alameda County unemployment was 3.9 percent while in Contra Costa County unemployment was 4.1 percent.

In March 2016, the unemployment rate in Alameda County was 4.3 percent and in Contra Costa County 4.5 percent.

The February unemployment rate in Alameda and Contra Costa counties was the same as last month.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Labor Dept. Awards $1.66M to Aid Laid Off Tech Workers]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:37:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/hp-generic.jpg

The U.S. Labor Department on Wednesday awarded an incremental National Dislocated Worker grant of $1.66 million to continue employment services for Silicon Valley workers affected by layoffs.

The award was granted to the Sunnyvale-based NOVA Workforce Board, a nonprofit agency that runs job centers in Sunnyvale, Menlo Park and San Mateo.

It will continue the efforts funded by an initial $1.54 million grant awarded last year, making a total of $3.2 million to provide re-employment and training services to about 920 workers who lost their jobs because of layoffs or closures at 70 companies in San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County.

The funding was provided under the terms of the U.S. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. The purpose of the grant program is to provide funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.

The Labor Department noted in a statement that Silicon Valley "is experiencing rapid job growth - particularly in the technology sector - while also incurring significant layoffs in this same industry."

"In this rapidly evolving industry, workers with outdated skills lose their jobs to those with recent education and training," the department said.

The project will aid workers with skills training, career advising and on-the-job training, the department said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area in Top 10 for Worst Air Pollution Nationwide]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:03:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-19-17-state-of-the-air-report.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area ranks among the top 10 most polluted regions in the country, according to a report issued Wednesday by the American Lung Association.

State of the Air 2017 is based on air quality monitoring from 2013 to 2015, and includes San Benito and San Joaquin counties in the greater Bay Area.

San Joaquin County has the highest level of year-round particle pollution levels in the region. The county suffered its worst period ever for pollution from diesel exhaust, wood burning devices, wildfires and other sources of soot, a situation exacerbated by climate change and recent drought conditions, according to the American Lung Association.

Overall, the Bay Area's particle pollution ranked sixth nationwide for the number of unhealthy days and fourth nationwide for year-round levels. This puts area residents at risk for health problems like asthma and lung cancer.

"I run cross-country and compete in track and field, so I always need to be aware of my surroundings," Jaxin Woodward, a 15-year-old high school athlete from Vacaville, said in a statement. "Exhaust from cars triggers asthma attacks a lot for me."

There was a reduction in the number of days with unhealthy levels of ozone. San Francisco, Marin, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties all had zero unhealthy ozone days during the period monitored.

The report also indicates that the number of unhealthy ozone days have dropped throughout the state and nationwide, which the American Lung Association attributes to the federal Clean Air Act.

Air quality laws and policies to combat climate change save lives, according to the American Lung Association, and need to be protected in Congress.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Is Working on Letting You Type With Your Brain]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:43:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17108732801091.jpg

Facebook on Wednesday unveiled a research project that will allow people to type using their thoughts, or hear through their skin, NBC News reported.

Such a product could allow the deaf and blind to communicate more easily — or allow everyone else "to type five times faster than you can on a smartphone," according to Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook's Building 8 research.

These efforts raise hard questions related to patient privacy, as any brain-to-text system will essentially read a person's unspoken thoughts.

Dugan, speaking at the company's annual developer conference in San Jose, California, acknowledged some of these issues in her talk, which was laced with terms more akin to a science fiction movie or a conversation among physicists.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Noah Berger]]>
<![CDATA[Laid-Off Workers in Silicon Valley Get $1.66 Million Grant]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:42:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/173*120/GettyImages-475868178.jpg

The U.S. Labor Department on Wednesday awarded an incremental National Dislocated Worker grant of $1.66 million to continue employment services for Silicon Valley workers affected by layoffs.

The award was granted to the Sunnyvale-based NOVA Workforce Board, a nonprofit agency that runs job centers in Sunnyvale, Menlo Park and San Mateo.

It will continue the efforts funded by an initial $1.54 million grant awarded last year, making a total of $3.2 million to provide reemployment and training services to about 920 workers who lost their jobs because of layoffs or closures at 70 companies in San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County.

The funding was provided under the terms of the U.S. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. The purpose of the grant program is to provide funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.

The Labor Department noted in a statement that Silicon Valley "is experiencing rapid job growth - particularly in the technology sector - while also incurring significant layoffs in this same industry."

It continued: "In this rapidly evolving industry, workers with outdated skills lose their jobs to those with recent education and training."

The project will aid workers with skills training, career advising and on-the-job training, the department said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook's F8 Points to the Future, With Some Sadness]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 20:22:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17108638984534-Zuckerberg-Facebook-F8-Developer-Conference.jpg

Facebook wants to show you a way to communicate with virtual reality and its new Spaces.

But first, the social network's CEO paused to show respect for a tragedy.

Mark Zuckerberg started his F8 conference keynote with a sad note, saying, “Our hearts go out to the family of Robert Godwin Sr.”

Godwin is the man killed by Steve Stephens, who uploaded a video of the killing to Facebook.

"We will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening," Zuckerberg said.

Once the elephant in the room was addressed, the annual developer conference, the first that Facebook brought to San Jose, went on smoothly, with lots of Oculus goggles and augmented phone cameras.

The idea of taking your social network beyond your web feed is an attractive one and lots of techies are buying in.

We met Facebook user Elizabeth Flores as she shook off her Oculus Rift.

What did she think?

“It was amazing, I was really engaged," Flores said.

Is she ready to buy?

“Yeah," she replied.

Scott reports on tech on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Noah Berger]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion Snatches Small Dog from Pescadero Home]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:59:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0417-2017-PescaderoMtLionHome.jpg

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents on the Peninsula to lock and secure their homes after a women reported that a mountain lion attacked her dog in Pescadero, California.

Deputies responded early Monday morning to a report of a mountain lion entering a home and snatching a small dog. Vickie Fought told deputies she and her 12-year-old daughter were sleeping in a bedroom with their small dog at the foot of their bed and the back door open a crack.

Fought said they woke up in the middle of the night when their dog, Lenore, started barking.

"That's when I saw what I thought was our bigger dog walking in," Fought said.

Seconds later, Fought said Lenore, a 15-pound Portuguese Podengo, went silent.

Fought said she thought Lenore finally recognized the bigger dog. That was until, Fought added, "I saw the lion walk back out the door."

Fought's bed is about a foot away from the back door. Fought said she did not see the lion's head. However, by the animal's size and walk, she knew exactly why Lenore went silent.

"As it walked down our path, I thought, 'That looks a lot like a lion,'" she said.

Then she saw evidence that confirmed her fears. "Wet, very clear, large paw prints walking in," Fought said, adding that she also saw drops of blood.

The Foughts live in the hills of Pescadero, an area where it is not uncommon to see a mountain lion in the fields near their house. But Fought never expected a mountain lion to walk into their house.

"It's hard to fathom," she said. "It's beyond what we thought."

The Department of Fish and Wildlife were notified of the incident, the sheriff's office said.

On Monday, a state wildlife warden looked for paw prints or any sign of the mountain lion near the property but did not appear to find any evidence other than the blood on the bedroom door.

For mountain lion safety tips, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Lion.

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Menlo Park Welcomes New Fire Station]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:26:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-17-17-menlo+park-fire-station.jpg

A new fire station in Menlo Park is in the works. The station, which is located on Oak Grove Avenue in downtown Menlo Park, is still on track to be completed by the end of the year despite construction being delayed due to rain. Station 6 is set to serve portions of Menlo Park and Atherton.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area Chopper]]>
<![CDATA[Computer Pioneer Robert W. Taylor Dies at 85]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 10:21:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/189*120/roberttaylor.PNG

Robert W. Taylor, who was instrumental in creating the internet and the modern personal computer, died Thursday. He was 85.

Taylor, who had Parkinson's disease, died Thursday at his home in the San Francisco Peninsula community of Woodside, his son, Kurt Taylor, told the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

In 1961, Taylor was a project manager for NASA when he directed funding to Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute, who helped develop the modern computer mouse.

Taylor was working for the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1966 when he shepherded the creation of a single computer network to link ARPA-sponsored researchers at companies and institutions around the country.

Taylor was frustrated that he had to use three separate terminals to communicate with the researchers through their computer systems.

ARPANET, as it was known, evolved into the internet. As Taylor predicted, the limited communications tool morphed into a system that supplies people with fingertip access to everything from encyclopedias to investment advice.

A few years later, Taylor went on to work at the Xerox Corp.'s famous Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, where he was oversaw a team that helped create the Alto, a pioneering personal computer.

The Alto supplied each researcher with an individual workstation instead of sharing time on a room-sized mainframe. It was designed to use a graphical user interface, which enabled the user to command the device through icons, windows and menus instead of typing text commands in computer language.

The technology inspired Microsoft's Windows software and the Apple computers.

Taylor's engineering team also helped develop the Ethernet and a word processing program that became Microsoft Word.

"Any way you look at it, from kick-starting the internet to launching the personal computer revolution, Bob Taylor was a key architect of our modern world," Leslie Berlin, a historian at the Stanford University Silicon Valley Archives project, told the New York Times.

In 1999, Taylor was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. In 2004, he and other PARC researchers were awarded the Draper Prize from the National Academy of Engineering for development of "the first practical networked personal computers."

In the 1990s, Taylor ran the Systems Research Center in Palo Alto for Digital Equipment Corporation. The lab helped create AltaVista, one of the first internet search engines.

Taylor retired in 1996.

In addition to Kurt, he is survived by his sons Erik and Derek and three grandchildren.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Gardner Campbell/Wikipedia Creative Commons]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies in RV Fire Near Menlo Park: Fire Officials]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 05:58:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mp+rvfire-0416-2017.jpg

A 52-year-old man died Sunday morning after a recreational vehicle caught fire in an unincorporated area of San Mateo County known as North Fair Oaks, according to the Menlo Park Fire District.

Fire crews from Menlo Park and Redwood City responded to a report of smoke at 3190 Park Lane about 5:55 a.m. When they arrived, firefighters found the smoke was coming from an RV parked next to the garage behind a gate at the address, fire officials said. The fire was quickly extinguished, and when crews gained access to the RV, they found a man unconscious and in full cardiac arrest in the back of the vehicle, fire officials said.

Firefighter paramedics performed CPR and advanced life-saving techniques at the scene. The man was transported by ambulance to Stanford Hospital, where he later died, fire officials said.

Menlo Park fire investigators determined that an electrical extension cord that was run for power through the driver's door was severely pinched and damaged from constant use and was the likely cause of the fire.

Photo Credit: Menlo Park Fire District]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Injured After Solo-Vehicle Crash in Menlo Park]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 14:47:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-16-17_Menlo_Park_Crash.jpg

A driver suffered major injuries in a solo-vehicle crash Sunday morning in Menlo Park, a police sergeant said.

Someone called 911 at 4:34 a.m. to report the crash in the 2500 block of Sand Hill Road, Sgt. Scott Mackdanz said.

No one else was inside the vehicle. The cause of the crash is under investigation, Mackdanz said.

Westbound Sand Hill Road between Branner Drive and Saga Way was closed for several hours but as of 10 a.m. it was open.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Extensive Damage Following House Fire in Los Altos]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 22:16:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-15-17_Los_Altos_Fire_2.jpg

A house in Los Altos on Saturday suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage after a two-alarm fire ripped through the single-family home, according to fire officials.

The blaze, which ignited just before 4:15 p.m. at 615 Casita Way, did not injure the one resident who was inside at the time, but it did cause roughly $300,000 to $400,000 in damage to the garage and other parts of the home, according to fire officials.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time, according to fire officials. The blaze, which likely started in the garage, does not appear to be suspicious.

Neighboring homes were briefly in danger of also catching fire, but fire crews were able to corral the flames.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Once-Extinguished Fire Reignites, Guts Redwood City Home]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 10:40:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4152017-rwc-fire.jpg

A fire that was knocked down Friday and continued to smolder through the night, reignited early Saturday morning and wrecked a Redwood City home.

Resident Cassie Quinlivan said a fire broke out around 4 p.m. Friday at her in-laws' house at Hyde Street and Avondale Avenue. The flames melted a plastic shed where her clothes were stored, but there was no electrical source to or in the shed, Quinlivan said, seemingly at a loss about the cause of the blaze.

Firefighters returned every hour till about midnight to check the house. Determining that "everything was good," they stopped the hourly inspections, she said.

But around 3 a.m. Saturday, the fire department received reports of another fire, Quinlivan said. 

"So they came back — to that," she said, indicating toward the scorched home. "I'm traumatized right now. I don't know what to feel."

Quinlivan said she was glad her mother- and father-in-law spent the night in their motor home due to damage from the Friday evening fire. The rest of the family stayed in a hotel, thanks to help from the Red Cross. 

It's "too hot to go back there," Quinlivan said Saturday morning, adding that the family's next steps will focus on "damage control."

No one was injured, officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Pickup Truck to Debut in September]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 06:03:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/elonmusk3.jpg

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the company was planning to introduce a new semi-truck in September, with an electric pickup truck to follow in about 18 to 24 months, NBC News reported.

The big truck was first hinted at last July, when Musk unveiled his "Master Plan, Part Deux." He had previously expressed interest in a pickup several years ago, about the same time Tesla began searching for a site for its Gigafactory battery plant.

"Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September," Musk said on Thursday, the tweet adding, "Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level."

Exactly how big the truck will be is unclear. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed there would be no additional information beyond what was in the Musk tweets.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Tax Day Marches Scheduled Across Bay Area Saturday]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 11:09:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/tax+day.jpg

Five tax day marches are scheduled across the Bay Area Saturday in protest of President Donald Trump refusing to release his tax returns.

Marchers will gather in the cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek and Santa Cruz.

“Every president since FDR has released his taxes,” said Valerie Cohn Ormeno, co-organizer of Tax March San Jose. “We’re concerned that he is not only hiding his taxes but his financial ties, collusion, conflicts of interests, and evades paying his fair share given his massive fortune. That’s really the bottom line.”

Sixty percent of Americans believe Trump has a responsibility to release his tax records, according to a January Pew Research Center poll.

The White House confirmed in March that Trump paid $38 million in federal income tax on more than $150 million in income for 2005.

Trump has repeatedly said an Internal Revenue Service audit prevents him from releasing his records. The IRS has released a statement declaring an audit would not preclude anyone from releasing their own tax information.

Local marches will coincide with the Tax March on Washington the same day. Thousands are expected to attend the Washington D.C. march.

South Bay resident Cohn Ormeno decided to organize a San Jose march when she realized one had yet to be organized in the area. Dissatisfied with who she calls an “arrogant, misogynistic, and incoherent” president, Cohn Ormeno wanted a space for herself and others to be an active resistance against the federal administration.

“I’m just an average Joe,” Ormeno said. “Before I was opinionated. Now I’m political.”

Dozens from the political group South Bay Indivisible will attend marches in both Palo Alto and San Francisco.

“For us as a group, Donald Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns is extremely troubling,” said Lisa Ferino, co-director of Indivisible South Bay. “He’s probably covering up something and we want to know what that is.”

Visit Taxmarch.org for more information about local marches.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Instagram Account Parodies Tesla's Office Parking Lot Woes ]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 18:47:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4132017carstesla.jpg

If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, these photographs convey an absolute mess.

Auto manufacturer Tesla routinely makes headlines for its cutting-edge technology. Last week, it even surpassed General Motors as the United States’ most valuable car company.

But on Tuesday the company got some unflattering attention for its overcrowded employee parking lots in Fremont and Palo Alto.

Tesla employs 6,000 people, according to the Daily Mail, but they have to squeeze their cars into 4,500 spaces – often with rather alarming results, as documented by its employees on social media.

The parking nightmare has sparked its own Instagram account: @teslaparkinglot.

Followed by more than 10,000 people, its 134 posts chronicle Tesla employees’ desperate efforts to park. Any space is game, and traffic laws have been relegated to myths, with cars parked diagonally in straight parking spaces and occupying spots reserved for motorcycles and drivers with disabilities.

One image – titled “smart mini collaboration. pun intended” – shows two compact cars jammed into a single parking space. Vehicles have also been photographed hanging over curbs and medians.

Other pictures exhibit rows upon rows of cars, all of which are squashed tightly together, begging the question: How does anyone get out?

Many drivers have parked their cars just a few inches away from neighboring ones, but some appear to have gotten into fender benders trying to force themselves into unavailable spots.

Even bicycle riders don’t seem to fare better. Photographs show they have been mounted on top of one another due to a shortage of space.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is aware of the problem and is said to be working on a solution.

A Tesla spokesperson said the company offers alternative transportation options to decrease the number of cars that need to be parked. Toward that end, it offers shuttles, subsidizes public transit expenses, partners with ridesharing and car-pooling companies, and incentivizes biking to work. 

Photo Credit: @teslaparkinglot via Instagram
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<![CDATA[Man Walking on Highway 92 Hit by Car, Killed]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:06:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-night.jpg

A man walking in the westbound lanes of Highway 92 in San Mateo was struck and killed by a car late Wednesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was first reported at 10:10 p.m. on the highway, just west of El Camino Real, CHP officials said.

A preliminary report indicated that an SUV struck a pedestrian. 

At a news conference on Thursday morning, CHP officers said they are trying to identify the man who died and figure out why he was walking on the freeway to start with. 

The victim was described as a man in his 50s, who was wearing a Stanford hat, black pants and a black sweatshirt. 

A Sig-alert was issued following the accident, closing the highway's westbound lanes in the area. All lanes were reopened about 10:50 p.m., the CHP said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[BART Officials Explore Service Cuts, Lower Discounts]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 06:48:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/bart38.jpg

Faced with a dwindling ridership, BART directors on Thursday mulled service cuts, reduced discounts and other ways to make up a multi-million dollar budget deficit.

BART fares are already slated to go up 2.7 percent in January. 

However, officials rejected the idea of trimming discounted prices for seniors, children and people with disabilities from 62.5 percent to 50 percent. They also scrapped a proposal to offer service starting at 5 a.m. instead of 4 a.m.

Officials left on the table the option to enact a 50 cent surcharge on magstripe tickets, in the hope of encouraging commuters to purchase clipper cards, which generate more revenue.

The transportation agency had been enjoying six years of consecutive growth, but during the first half of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, BART reported a roughly 4 percent drop in the number of weekday riders. Weekend ridership slumped by approximately 9 percent.

That drop in ridership could mean that BART will finish this year $15 to $25 million below budget. The agency could face a $25 to $35 million shortcoming as it prepares its future budget.

To prevent the agency from hemorrhaging money, BART has asked every department to cut back on spending and officials have eliminated overtime costs. 

A final decision is expected in June.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Crash in San Mateo Closes Westbound Highway 92]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 05:47:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-night.jpg

A fatal crash Wednesday night, possibly involving a pedestrian, temporarily closed all westbound lanes of Highway 92 in San Mateo, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The incident was first reported at 10:10 p.m. on the highway, just west of El Camino Real, CHP officials said.

A preliminary report indicated that an SUV struck a pedestrian. Emergency crews, however, were reportedly having a hard time finding the victim who was struck.

A Sig-alert was issued, closing the highway's westbound lanes in the area. Westbound traffic was being diverted off of the highway and onto El Camino Real, according to the CHP.

All lanes were reopened about 10:50 p.m., the CHP said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Killing, Dismembering of Elderly Man Over a Space Heater: DA]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 23:48:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0407-2017-DavidStubblefield.jpg

The killing and dismembering of an elderly man in San Bruno last week was sparked by a dispute over the sale of a space heater, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Police arrested 50-year-old David Stubblefield, who appeared in court Monday on charges that he murdered his elderly neighbor, 70-year-old Benjamin "Benny" Roybal.

Stubblefield and Roybal were friends, assistant district attorney Albert Serrato said.

"A dispute arose on March 11 involving the sale of a space heater, and during that dispute the defendent used pepper spray and eventually shot the victim in the chest, killing him," Serrato said.

After Roybal was reported missing, police investigated his disappearance which led them to Stubblefield's San Bruno home. When Stubblefield opened the door, police were overcome by a strong odor of a decaying body. Upon further investigation, dismembered body parts were found on the property in buckets full of chemicals, Serrato said.

Stubblefield is being held at San Mateo County jail on $10 million bail.

Photo Credit: San Bruno Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Three Northbound Hwy 101 Lanes Closed After Crash]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:56:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Road-Closed-Generic.jpg

Three lanes were blocked Wednesday on southbound U.S. Highway 101 just north of East Poplar Avenue in San Mateo, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision occurred around 4:40 a.m. and involved a vehicle that crashed into the center median.

A Sig-alert was issued at 5:29 a.m. There is no estimated time of reopening the lanes, according to the CHP.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[$35,000 Pours in to Fix Roof on Koko's Storm-Ravaged Playpen]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 16:17:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GorillaThumbnail.jpg

Winter storms brought down trees, triggered mudslides and damaged homes across the Bay Area, and local sensations – of the ape kind – were among those affected by the relentless rain

Community members, however, jumped to the aid of beloved gorilla, Koko, who is famous for being able to communicate using American Sign Language, and her friend, Ndume.

The duo live in enclosures on the Redwood City premises of the Gorilla Foundation, but tragedy struck during a particularly wet winter season.

"After many weeks of rain and hail storms in Northern California (and the anticipation of more to come), the roof to Koko and Ndume’s play yard and sleeping quarters needs replacing, as it has sustained damage from the very heavy water flow," Lauren Russ, one of the gorillas' caregivers wrote on a GoFundMe page created to help the duo

Strong gusts of wind had blown off shingles from the roof, Russ said.

Russ put out a call for funds on March 6, and in just a month, more than 700 people had donated $35,000. Of that, roughly $27,000 came via GoFundMe, while the rest was contributed directly to the Gorilla Foundation’s website, an elated Russ wrote in an update.

Koko, born in 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo, has lived on the Peninsula since she was 8 years old. Ndume joined her in 1991.

Koko is part of the Gorilla Foundation's research-based Project Koko, which launched at Stanford University, and explores ways to communicate with gorillas. 

Fluent in sign language, Koko befriended late actor Robin Williams. When she learned of Williams' death in 2014, Koko expressed sadness, the Gorilla Foundation said. 

The Gorilla Foundation team plans to replace the damaged roof in April, and promises to post updates on their social media pages.

Photo Credit: GoFundMe/Lauren Russ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Proclaimed Masseuse Accused of Sexual Assault]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:26:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jose-plascencia.jpg

A self-proclaimed masseuse was arrested Thursday in East Palo Alto on suspicion of sexually assaulting clients at a business he had at his home, police said Monday.

Jose Plascencia, 55, was allegedly operating from his home in the 2400 block of Illinois Street without a business license, according to police. He was arrested at 12:25 p.m. Thursday at a police station.

Cmdr. Jeff Liu said three victims have come forward but police are concerned that others might still be out there.

Anyone who believes Plascencia assaulted them, anyone who witnessed an assault or anyone with information about Plascencia is urged to call Detective Steve Ong or Detective Sean Harper at (650) 853-3160.

Photo Credit: East Palo Alto PD]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Crews Rescue 2 Kite Boarders from SF Bay]]>Sun, 09 Apr 2017 09:33:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/KiteSurfingGeneric.jpg

Coast Guard boat crews rescued two distressed kite boarders in two separate locations Saturday in San Francisco Bay.

According to U.S. Coast Guard officials, around 4:30 p.m. they received a report of a downed kite boarder near Coyote Point in San Mateo.

At about 5 p.m., a boat crew arrived and recovered the kite boarder from the water and returned the man and his gear to Coyote Point with no reported medical concerns.

At 5:50 p.m., onlookers at Crissy Field in San Francisco notified Coast Guard officials of a downed kite boarder located about 400 yards west of Anita Rock.

According to Coast Guard officials, a boat crew arrived at 6:10 p.m. and rescued the man and his equipment. He was transported to Pier 45 with no reported medical concerns.

According to Petty Officer Second Class Jacob Hamburg, these cases are common in the San Francisco Bay.

"We advise kite boarders to keep a marine band radio with them, as that is the quickest way to contact rescue service," Hamburg said.

In addition to wearing wetsuits, Coast Guard officials advise kite boarders to wear a life jacket, as wetsuits provide limited buoyancy.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Women at Stanford Groped Within Minutes of Each Other]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 19:38:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/StanfordFile.jpg

Two women meandering around the Stanford campus Friday night were groped just 20 minutes apart from each other, according to the university.

The first instance of sexual battery occurred around 10:40 p.m. along the 600 block of Escondido Road, which is located near freshmen dorms and upperclassmen housing, when a woman was inappropriately touched by a man who approached her from behind, according to the university. The male suspect was described as being bald, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and wearing a blue jacket and beige pants.

The second assault happened nearby along the 800 block of Escondido Road around 11:00 p.m. when a man groped a woman while she was jogging, according to the university. The victim described the male suspect as being short, bald and wearing a dark track suit. Similar to the first subject described, he also fled east along Escondido Road.

It is unclear at this time if the suspect in both cases was the same man.

Some Stanford students are now on heightened alert after being alerted to the alarming news.

"It was pretty disturbing to hear that it happened so close to where we live especially because I usually walk these streets around that time," Madison Coots said. "I usually feel pretty safe, but now, I sort of have to rethink that."

Fellow student Peter Lu said he changed his Friday night plans after receiving a text message regarding the assaults.

"I was at a friend's dorm just across this street from where it happened so I just kind of stayed there for awhile," he said. " I wasn't sure what was going on outside.

Public safety officers at Stanford increased patrols around the area in response to the assaults. They also conducted more interviews with witnesses in hopes of identifying and locating the suspect(s).

Both assaults come on the heels of the highly-publicized sexual assault case involving Brock Turner. Last year, the ex-Stanford swimmer was charged with sexually assaulting an unconscious woman and forced to register as a sex offender, but he ended up only serving three months behind bars. That decision sparked waves of protests across the country.

Anyone with information regarding Friday night's assaults is asked to contact the Stanford University Department of Public Safety at 650-329-2413.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warrant Issued for Drone Pilot Who Interfered with Rescue]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 16:48:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/drone-file1.jpg

A warrant was issued for a man who failed to come to court Friday to face charges that his drone interfered with the rescue of person who fell from a Pacifica cliff in January, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Gerald Destremps, 55, was cited at around 10:15 p.m. on Jan. 27 after police allegedly tied him to a drone hovering near a cliff by 320 Esplanade Ave.

First responders were using a California Highway Patrol helicopter to perform a long-line rescue when police allegedly saw a drone hovering between the helicopter and the victim, prosecutors said.

The helicopter pilot increased altitude to avoid a collision because a collision could have caused the helicopter to crash, according to prosecutors.

A warrant of $10,000 was issued for Destremps. That means that either officers will be looking for him or he could be arrested if he is stopped by officers for another reason, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.

The charge against Destremps was a misdemeanor. A person convicted of a misdemeanor offense typically spends six months or less in jail, Guidotti said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Once Extinguished Fire Reignites, Guts Redwood City Home]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 10:40:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4152017-rwc-fire.jpg

A fire that was knocked down Friday and continued to smolder through the night, reignited early Saturday morning and destroyed a Redwood City home.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Alleged Road Rage Incident in San Bruno]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 16:28:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-080615.jpg

Officers arrested a San Bruno man after a fistfight in what they described as a road rage incident Tuesday evening, police said.

Joshua Ibarra, 41, was arrested and booked into San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, threatening a peace officer and possession of controlled substances, according to police.

Police responded to the intersection of Skyline Boulevard and College Drive at 5:57 p.m. after a report of a fight stemming from a crash.

Responding officers learned that Ibarra had intentionally backed his vehicle into another person's vehicle. The victim then followed Ibarra in hopes of photographing his license plate, police said.

Ibarra pulled over and punched and kicked the victim repeatedly. The victim's injuries were "significant" but not life-threatening, according to police.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the San Bruno Police Department at (650) 616-7100 or sbpdtipline@sanbruno.ca.gov. Information can be left anonymously.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Families Unable to Return to Muddy Oakland Hills Homes]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 14:43:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11P+EAST+BAY+STORM+DAMAGE+PKG+-+00000704.jpg

A storm that battered Northern California, endangering homes and leaving thousands in the dark, dumped only a drizzle of rain in the south and was beginning to roll out of the state Saturday.

But first, the rain softened soil already saturated by months of previous storms, causing a landslide in the Oakland hills. Five families were displaced late Thursday and four homes had been red-tagged by Friday. Some houses were filled with nearly five feet of mud and officials said the hillside is unstable. 

Being red-tagged means no one can live in those specific homes, at least for the time being. Also, all work to clean up the fallen hillside and repair the homes has to stop until city officials gives the the go-ahead.

There were also reports of several downed trees in the area. Part of Thornhill Drive was closed through Saturday after a tree slammed into a house and blocked the road. 

Neighbor Suzanne Quick said the tree came crashing down around 3:50 a.m., and she said the damage to the home resulted in a total loss. Fortunately for the residents, they were able to walk away.

"The tree apparently fell on a stud, and that's the only thing that kept from everybody being wiped out," Quick said.

Earlier in the week, Diane Henderson recalled a wall of mud coming through her home's roof and down the hallway on Thursday. Even a tree made its way into her house.

"Hillsides are full of trees and brush and plants, and you feel they are holding the hillsides up," she said. 

But that was not the case on Thursday night.

Barbara Stone, who is now forbidden from reentering her house, was given 10 minutes to evacuate.

“I don’t know what to expect next," she said. "Two minutes from now, we may have to run, to get out." 

Buckets caught rain water, but that's about all the women could do Friday to mitigate the damage as a less-severe system passed through the Bay Area.

Homeowners are also concerned about who will pay for the repairs.

"They called me back and said that we're not covered for mudslides," Stone said about her insurance provider. 

Jonathan Aragon felt like he was living in a war zone.

“We didn’t want to go to sleep last night," he admitted. "We were afraid the other tree back there was going to fall. We kept shifting through the house and everything.” 

The East Bay Municipal Utility District and PG&E temporarily cut water and power service to 23 homes in the area. 

Homeowners on Friday night hoped that a crumbling road above their properties wouldn't slide down and bring with it a lot more mud. They wondered too if a section of a water main that crews have isolated for restoration broke beneath the road, causing a lot of the damage. District officials said the scenario is unlikely, but that the pipe will be preserved as part of an investigation.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Dismembered Body Found in His Backyard]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 18:06:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0407-2017-DavidStubblefield.jpg

A San Bruno man arrested after investigators found a dismembered human corpse in his backyard faces charges of murder, robbery, burglary and unlawful possession and use of tear gas, police said Friday.

David Stubblefield was booked into San Mateo County Jail Thursday. He also faces a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Police detectives were investigating a report of a missing person when they contacted Stubblefield at his home, located at 3781 Pacific Heights Boulevard.

Stubblefield, 50, is an acquaintance and neighbor of the missing person, police said.

Authorities have not confirmed the remains found at Stubblefield's backyard belong to the missing person. Police also said the missing person case filed with the department is still an open investigation.

"It's very scary," neighbor Loida Magat said. "This is a peaceful neighborhood. We've been here 40 years and nothing like this has ever happened before."

Neighbors describe the missing person as a man named "Ben," who is about 70 years old.

Neighbor Jose Aguirre said Ben lives up the block across from him and immediately recognized Stubblefield's mug shot. Aguirre said Stubblefield told him he was helping Ben.

"He walked across the street and told me he was taking care of Ben's business while Ben was in Santa Cruz taking are of a sick friend," Aguirre said.

But Ben has not been seen since.

"At this time, the human remains cannot be identified," San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said Friday. "Positive identification will be made by the Coroner's Office."

Police on Friday were also seen walking out of Stubblefield's garage with bags of evidence.

Anyone with more information about the case is asked to contact investigators at 650-616-7100 or by e-mail: sbpdtipline@sanbruno.ca.gov.

Photo Credit: San Bruno Police Department
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<![CDATA[4 Oakland Hills Homes Red-Tagged After Storm-Fueled Mudslide]]>Fri, 07 Apr 2017 20:07:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-7-2017-oakland-hills-damage1.jpg

Heavy rains softened already saturated grounds and caused a landslide in the Oakland hills, which left five families displaced and four homes red-tagged, while high gusts of wind Friday morning left thousands without power in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Gusts up to 48 mph ripped across San Francisco and blasts of up to 62 mph hit the Oakland area, National Weather Service meteorologist Anna Schneider said.

In Oakland, residents of at least five homes were forced to evacuate Thursday night following a landslide that in some cases dumped about five feet of mud in their houses. Of those, four were red-tagged by Friday. Officials say the hillside is unstable. 

Being red-tagged means no one can live in those specific homes, at least for the time being. Also, all work to clean up the fallen hillside and repair the homes has to stop until city officials gives the the go-ahead.

Diane Henderson recalled a wall of mud coming through her home's roof and down the hallway. Even a tree made its way into her house.

"Hillsides are full of trees and brush and plants, and you feel they are holding the hillsides up," she said. 

But that was not the case on Thursday night.

Barbara Stone, who is now forbidden from reentering her house, was given 10 minutes to evacuate.

“I don’t know what to expect next," she said. "Two minutes from now, we may have to run, to get out." 

Buckets caught rain water, but that's about all the women could do Friday to mitigate the damage as a less-severe system passed through the Bay Area.

Homeowners are also concerned about who will pay for the repairs.

"They called me back and said that we're not covered for mudslides," Stone said about her insurance provider. 

There were also reports of several downed trees in the area. Jonathan Aragon felt like he was living in a war zone.

“We didn’t want to go to sleep last night," he admitted. "We were afraid the other tree back there was going to fall. We kept shifting through the house and everything.” 

The East Bay Municipal Utility District and PG&E temporarily cut water and power service to 23 homes in the area. 

Homeowners on Friday night hoped that a crumbling road above their properties wouldn't slide down and bring with it a lot more mud. They wondered too if a section of a water main that crews have isolated for restoration broke beneath the road, causing a lot of the damage. District officials said the scenario is unlikely, but that the pipe will be preserved as part of an investigation.

Meanwhile, more than 40,000 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in the San Francisco Bay Area were without power Friday morning because of the stormy weather that started Thursday and lasted into Friday. But late Friday, that number hovered just above 7,400.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, residents paid close attention to erosion and downed power lines on the fire-weary Santa Cruz Mountains. Parts of the hillsides have been washed away due to the series of heavy rains this winter season.

"We did experience significantly heavy winds in the South Bay — up to 52 mph in San Jose," said Mayra Tostada with PG&E. "That’s where trees are toppling. Power lines and power poles have been coming down."

PG&E set up a base camp in Scotts Valley from where they monitored the storm and dispatched repair crews. The agency brought in additional crews from the Central Valley to help. 

“We’re prepared for this storm," Tostada said.

David Navarro said he woke up to sparking power lines after a small tree came crashing down. Now, he is worried about two nearly 150-foot trees that have roots exposed.

He complained that he’s been calling county officials for weeks, hoping someone would remove the danger above his home. PG&E restored power to Navarro’s home, but not his sense of security.

"I was scared because I have a little daughter and I’m more concerned about my family," Navarro said.

By Friday, though, it appeared that the Santa Cruz Mountains had been spared from the latest storm's wrath. Crews in fact had been sent from higher elevation areas to cities like Cupertino and Los Altos to bolster repair efforts. 

Scattered showers will continue through Saturday afternoon when things will dry out until another small storm system hits on Wednesday, Schneider said.

Forecasters warned of significant travel disruptions Friday in the Sierra Nevada passes, around the town of Mammoth Lakes and along U.S. 395.

"Avoid travel if possible, you could be stuck in your vehicle for many hours," the weather service warned.

Forecasters upgraded a winter storm watch to a warning for heavy, wet snow, effective from midnight Thursday to 5 a.m. Saturday along the eastern Sierra, west of U.S. 395.

The Mammoth Mountain ski resort in the eastern Sierra Nevada reported early Friday that up to 26 inches of snow fell overnight, with more expected over the next day or two.

That raised the season total to 562 inches or nearly 47 feet 

Advisories for small watercraft and gale warnings were in effect along about a third of the California coast.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Bruno Man Arrested After Police Find Dismembered Body]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 18:06:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0406-2017-SanBruno.jpg

San Bruno police detectives investigating a report of a missing person Thursday discovered what appears to be a human body that had been dismembered.

The remains located inside a home on the 3000 block of Pacific Heights Boulevard have not been confirmed to be those of the missing person, officials said. Police are not releasing the identity of the missing person pending further investigation and contact with family members.

Police have arrested San Bruno-resident David Stubblefield, 50, in connection to the homicide.

No other information was immediately available.

Anyone with more information about the case is asked to contact investigators at 650-616-7100 or by e-mail: sbpdtipline@sanbruno.ca.gov.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Carlos Thrift Store Fosters Community for Half a Century]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:11:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO5_THRIFT.jpg

It started in a garage in the 1960s with a group of women who wanted to give back.

Nearly half a century and a million dollars later, the Family Tree, a nonprofit thrift store in San Carlos, is bursting at the seams with clothing, shoes and home goods. 

Three long-time volunteers, Nina, Josephine and Patricia, can be overheard as they discuss neighborhood happenings, family, and business while they unpack the day’s donations.

"It forms a lot of friendships. You can hear the girls back there. They’re chatting away," said Trudy Somrak, president of the Red-Car-Bel Auxiliary, a nonprofit in Redwood City, San Carlos and Belmont. "They look forward to coming together every Wednesday. It’s so nice to hear them."

Red-Car-Bel Auxiliary is one of three auxiliaries supporting Peninsula Family Service to raise funds for and increase awareness about local at-risk populations. The Family Tree is Red-Car-Bel's primary funding source.

"Each one has its own unique way to assist Peninsula Family Service and this is the only resale shop," said Deborah Miller, the director of advancement at Peninsula Family Service.

The Hillsborough and Foothill auxilliaries each hold pop-up events, including luncheons, auctions and a spring gala, throughout the year, but the Peninsula Family Service said the thrift shop's consistent financial support is crucial to its work.

"I think one of the most important aspects of Red-Car-Bel is that stability of funding that they provide – the quarterly funding is so, so helpful, particularly … when our resources from grants or …individual support kind of tend to dry up a little bit because we’re nearing the end of our fiscal year," said Rachel Monaco, annual giving manager at the Peninsula Family Service.

Somrak said a woman who has been volunteering at the store for decades is now celebrating her 100th birthday with her colleagues.

"She has a following," Somrak said. "She has a group of people that come in to see her every Saturday and if she’s not here, there’s always people asking, ‘Where’s Helen today? Where’s Helen?’"

The 70-member team attracts and retains volunteers because of its friendly atmosphere, Somrak said. But the Family Tree fills more than just social calendars.

The thrift shop says it has donated more than $1 million to the Peninsula Family Services over the last 49 years and continues to contribute between $60,000 and $70,000 annually to the organization.

"There's a lot of people that need help," said Nina Denton, a volunteer with the Family Tree. "That's basically why we're here."

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Hillsborough Murder Suspect Posts Eye-Popping $35M Bail]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 18:28:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tiffany+Li.jpg

A Hillsborough, California woman accused of killing the father of her two children was released from jail Thursday after posting an unprecedented $35 million bail raised by friends, family and business associates with ties to China.

Tiffany Li, wearing a baseball cap pulled low over eyes and a hood wrapped tightly around her head, declined to answer questions shouted by reporters as a bodyguard ushered her out of jail and into an SUV.

Li, 31, is backed by a group that raised $4 million in cash and pledged the remainder in San Francisco Bay Area property worth $62 million. California courts require twice the bail amount if property is used instead of cash. She is required to turn over her passports, wear an electronic monitor and remain under house arrest.

Li and her mother were born in China, where the mother was financially successful in the construction industry, said Li's attorney, Geoff Carr. Li and her mother are naturalized U.S. citizens, Carr said.

Carr said all defendants except those accused of death penalty-eligible crimes are entitled to "reasonable bail." The $35 million bail his client faced is the highest ever in San Mateo County's history, a county official said.

Li has pleaded not guilty to charges she directed her boyfriend and another man to kill Keith Green, 27, and dispose of his body last year. Prosecutors say she feared losing custody of her young children to Green.

A friend of Green's said Thursday that she was disappointed and shocked that Li was able to pay for her freedom pending her murder trial in September.

"Nothing about this seems right," said Angela Dunn, adding that Green stayed at her house for six months after he and Li split up. "It's very difficult for all of us, especially Keith's mom."

San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he's concerned Li is a flight risk and is disappointed the judge didn't set the bail even higher. His office asked for it to be $100 million.

"If convicted, she faces the rest of her life in prison," Wagstaffe said. "That's plenty enough incentive to flee back to her native China."

Green's body was found May 11 in Sonoma County, about 80 miles north of where he was supposed to meet Li.

Li was arrested several days later in the multimillion-dollar home she shared with her children in Hillsborough, a suburb of mansions and large houses 20 miles south of San Francisco.

The two men also were arrested in May and were jailed without bail. Their lawyers didn't ask for bail because they don't have the resources to post a multimillion-dollar bond like Li did, her attorney said.

Carr says the people who posted Li's bail believe she is innocent and will not flee. If she does go on the lam, the court can confiscate the property and cash.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Hillsborough Woman Accused of Murder Set to Post $35M Bail]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 18:36:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0405-2017-TiffanyLi.jpg

A Hillsborough woman accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend is expected to post $35 million in bail Thursday.

The massive bail is an unprecedented amount for San Mateo County and will be the eighth highest bail ever paid in United States history.

District attorneys have expressed concern Tiffany Li is a flight risk, but said after imposing restrictions on her bail there is nothing more they can do.

"She is surrendering her passport, which would certainly make it more difficult for her to leave the county," San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said. "She is being monitored."

Li has been in jail for the past year on suspicion of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Keith Green, who is also the father of their two young daughters.

Li will have to wear an ankle bracelet, which monitors her location once a minute.

Attorneys said if Li does flee the country, the bail money goes to the county.

Another concern for prosecutors is Li reportedly has Chinese citizenship.

A pretrial is set for this summer, with the jury trial scheduled in September.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Student Plasters #BlackLivesMatter 100 Times on College App]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 16:42:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ziad.jpg

One hashtag repeated 100 times on a college application was good enough to help an East Coast student earn an acceptance letter from Stanford University.

When confronted with the question "What matters to you, and why?" Ziad Ahmed of New Jersey responded by writing "#BlackLivesMatter" exactly 100 times. He took to Twitter on Saturday to announce his acceptance to the Peninsula-based university.

Ahmed, a practicing Muslim and self-proclaimed "unapologetic progressive activist," was proud of his academic prowess and extracurricular accolades heading into the essay process, but he was concerned about not being able to highlight his voice and passion.

"It was important to me that the admissions officers literally hear my impatience for justice and the significance of this issue," he wrote in an email.

Repeating three words several times on a college application to a prestigious institution was an admittedly risky choice for Ahmed, but he was willing to take a shot in order to fight for justice first as opposed to his academic future.

"I wanted to convey not only my passion by taking the unconventional risk but also by demonstrating how my words represent my willingness to stand in solidarity with the courageous women of color leading this vital movement and those resisting everyday," he wrote.

Ahmed's answer clearly got to the point, but it also lacked a response to the question of "why." He responded to that deficiency.

"When I thought about why, I realized that the insistence on explaining the meaning of the hashtag is inherently problematic and the 'why' is embodied in the words themselves," Ahmed wrote. "Declaring the humanity and value of black lives is necessitated by the painful reality that the collective humanity is denied every time perpetrators of violence enjoy impunity by a system of justice that prevents accountability."

What the future holds for the high school student is up in the air. He has been accepted to Yale, Princeton and others. Regardless of his final school of choice, Ahmed wishes that his spot in the limelight sparks change.

"It is my hope that this attention encourages and motivates people to confront the impunity and inequity that we see today," he wrote.

Stanford did not comment about the case because the university does not comment on student applications.

Photo Credit: Ziad Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Crash on I-280 in Menlo Park: CHP]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 13:36:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/0405-2017-280Crash.jpg

A fatal crash occurred Wednesday afternoon on northbound Interstate Highway 280 in Menlo Park, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The solo-vehicle crash was reported shortly before 12:30 p.m. on northbound Highway 280 in the area of the Sand Hill Road off-ramp.

CHP Officer Eric Anderson said one person was killed and one person was injured in the crash, in which the vehicle overturned.

No other information about the crash was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[#EqualPayDay: Businesses Rally Behind Wage Gap Fight]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 06:59:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/161*120/EqualPay.jpg

Roughly two dozen businesses across the Bay Area and several more around the nation on Tuesday are fighting to close the pay gap between men and women.

Some of those establishments plan to offer a 20 percent discount to illustrate the roughly 20 percent pay difference between working men and women across the United States.

Women on average earn about 80 cents for every dollar that men tally, according to LeanIn.org. In California, women make about 86 cents for every dollar collected by men, according to an analysis conducted by the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Aside from smaller local businesses around the Bay Area, Lyft and Salesforce are some of the bigger names rallying behind the wage gap effort. For example, Lyft plans to donate 20 percent of its proceeds gathered from Tuesday rides completed across 240 cities to groups that fight for women and families.

Closing the wage gap could add $513 billion to the American economy, according to research from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Individually, women could pocket $530,000 more during their careers if equal pay is achieved, according to LeanIn.org. Those funds could push 3.1 families above the poverty line and reduce hunger concerns for struggling women and their children, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

Companies Participating in #EqualPayDay in San Francisco:

California Cowboy Apparel, CookieLove, Craftsman and Wolves, Dev Bootcamp, Flora Arte, Hackbright Academy, Honeycomb Salon, Kara's Cupcakes, Margaret Elizabeth, Nick's Crispy Tacos, Terra Mia Ceramic Studio LLC, The Little Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant

Companies Participating in #EqualPayDay in Silicon Valley:

Books Inc., Boutique 4, Budget Blinds, Kepler's Books & Magazines, Life in Play Company LLC, Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, Passion Fit, St. Stevens Green, The Striped Pig, Tin Pot Creamery, Title Boxing

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[House Arrest for Granite Company Owner After Worker Deaths]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 07:25:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/handcuffs14.jpg

The owner of a San Francisco granite company has been sentenced to house arrest and probation in connection to the death of two workers who were crushed by a large slab of granite while on the job.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Meng Peng, the owner of the now-closed Galaxy Granite, was sentenced Tuesday to one year of house arrest, three years of probation and ordered to pay unspecified restitution.

He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of felony involuntary manslaughter and three labor code violations.

Peng and his employees 46-year-old Hector Vazquez, of Oakland, and 53-year-old Philip Marich, of South San Francisco, were unloading the slab from a container truck on Feb. 7, 2014, when it fell and killed Marich and Vazquez.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Peninsula School District Sends Warning About Netflix Show]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:04:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/netflix-warning-0403-2017.jpg

It can be tough for parents to keep tabs on everything their teens are watching on television, which is why school officials along the Peninsula are raising a warning about a popular new show that could have serious impacts on their kids.

On Friday, the San Mateo-Foster City School District sent out a letter to parents informing them about a popular new show on Netflix called "Thirteen Reasons Why." The series tells the story of a teenage girl's suicide and the events that lead up to her death. It's based on a popular novel and is rated for mature audiences only.

"I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically why my life ended," the show begins.

School officials say they wanted to make sure their warning got out to parents before spring break, when students might be watching more TV than usual. The letter also offers some tips from suicide prevention experts about how to deal with the content.

A couple of the talking points include reminding children that the main character’s death is meant to be a tragedy, not a heroic action, and encouraging teens to seek help from loved ones if they experience suicidal thoughts.

Parents welcomed the school district's initiative to encourage families to have thoughtful conversations about a serious issues.

"Being a parent, you don’t get a handbook on how to deal with things, so I think any information that you’re given and any guidance that you can talk to your kids about is a good thing," Lousie Bennett said.

Another parent, Lisa Ley, said, "I think it’s a good warning for the parents ahead of time that this show may appear on their child’s TV screen. It’s good to discuss it beforehand.

"Obviously screening what my child is watching is important, and if it’s a topic that is really heavy, she may not understand it."

Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide is advised to text "START" to 741741 or call 800-273-TALK.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[President Trump OKs Disaster Declaration for Calif. Counties]]>Sun, 02 Apr 2017 18:29:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-1-17_Trump_Disaster_Declaration_CA.jpg

President Donald Trump on Sunday approved a disaster declaration for several California counties ransacked by powerful winter storms.

A total of eight of the Bay Area's nine counties overwhelmed by flooding and mudslides between Feb. 1 and Feb. 23 are eligible for federal funding, according to the White House. The counties listed include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Jurisdictions may also request money for hazard mitigation measures, according to the White House.

A drought-stricken Bay Area benefited from the record amounts of winter rainfall, but the much-needed water also triggered hillsides to crash into homes, roads to crumble and water to overwhelm neighborhoods. One of the hardest hit locations was neighborhoods along Coyote Creek in San Jose. Thousands of homes and cars were filled with flood waters when the swollen Coyote Creek breached its banks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mixed Reactions as Bay Area Braces for Sales Tax Jump]]>Sat, 01 Apr 2017 00:24:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/120916+cash+money+generic.jpg

Bay Area residents will be expected to shell out more money starting Saturday as a sales tax increase, approved by voters in November, goes into effect.

Parts of Santa Clara County, including Cupertino, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and more, will experience a jump from 8.5 percent to 9 percent. East Palo Alto and Belmont, both of which are in San Mateo County, are also in for a half-cent sales tax hike – from 8.75 percent to 9.25 percent.

Newark in Alameda County, however, will pay the most sales tax at 9.75 percent.

The additional resources will go toward transportation upgrades and road construction.

But not everyone's happy.

“I just don’t like paying more money,” said Heidi Castle of Newark.

Other shoppers at Newpark Mall were similarly disgruntled.

Rosan Casuat said it’s “not too much of a big change, but I don’t see why they’re doing it in Newark. I just don’t know why.”

The extra money in Newark will potentially be spent on upgrades to City Hall.

Buying a car is also going to get more pricey: For every $1,000 you spend, you'll pay an extra $5 in sales tax.

"We're a Dodge product, so $50,000 a vehicle is about our average,” said David Duarte of DGDG Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. “You're talking about a $250 increase, which is a quarter percentage. It may be a small amount of money, but it's money that's going to taxes rather than the purchase of their own vehicle."

Consumers say the tax hike will add up, but they hope it helps.

“If it goes to public transportation, like which it's supposed to, I’m for it,” said Joseph Khouri of Santa Clara.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Confidence in Bay Area Economy Drops: Study]]>Sat, 01 Apr 2017 20:26:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/120916+cash+money+generic.jpg

Economic confidence in the Bay Area has slipped to its lowest point in four years, according to a report published by the Bay Area Council.

Only 31 percent of people polled stated that the economy was "was doing better" compared to the last six months, according to the study. Compare that mark to the 53 percent of people who said the economy was on the upswing back in 2014.

The economic outlook for 2017 moving forward doesn't appear to be as cheery either. Just 24 percent of people polled this year believe that the economy will improve over the course of the next six months, according to the report. Roughly 50 percent of people back in 2014 thought the economy would be better in that same amount of time.

Millennials are much more pessimistic compared to older crowds when it comes to fears about the future of the economy, according to the report.

A traffic "crisis" and the high cost of the living are two of the main factors causing the economic concerns.

Overall, just 42 percent of people in the Bay Area think the region is "headed in the right direction," compared to 57 percent of folks back in 2014, according to the study.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Peninsula Artist Creates Portraits to Spotlight Female Icons]]>Sat, 01 Apr 2017 14:16:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thumbnailarticle.jpg

Filling an empty wall can be a challenge, but inspiration struck a Peninsula artist when she stumbled upon an online call to honor a female trailblazer every day in January.

"I knew I had this show and I had to do about 25 pieces, which is more than I’ve ever had to do," said Lisa Chu, whose work is exhibited as part of an artist-in-residence program at Bamboo Hair and Body in Half Moon Bay. "I was really just percolating in my mind for inspiration and surfing on Instagram and saw this thing called the 'Badass Women Challenge.'"

The artists, Sarah Pearson and Sam Zabell, specialize in hand-lettering and calligraphy, and urged their followers to tip their hats at pioneering actresses, politicians, writers, activists, and more. The list includes Gloria Steinem, JK Rowling, Malala Yousafzai, Rosa Parks, Michelle Obama, Jane Austen and Shonda Rhimes.

"As soon as I saw the list, I said, 'That’s it! I’m going to draw portraits of these women, one a day, every day, during the month of January,'" Chu recalled.

An added challenge: she has never drawn faces before.

Chu, who is admittedly still learning the strokes of her brush, said she also knew that she was embarking on a history lesson.

"What I noticed is that before the project started, probably half of these people I knew very little to nothing about, so I knew I had to go do research," she said of women she learned along the way were "bold" and "daring."

While familiar with some of the humanitarians, she said she needed to brush up on some current female role models, including Emma Watson. 

"I had to get to know her, I didn’t know who she was!" Chu said. "I didn’t know who Emma Watson was!"

Chu started and completed one piece on each day of the challenge.

"I was just experimenting and throwing a bunch of ink on the page," Chu recounted. "I was surprised by what I considered just a really quick sketch or something to get myself to be less afraid of doing something, can end up having resonance with people."

Chu's work will appear through May at Hair and Body, where four local artists are invited each year to sell their artwork. Chu will also be hosting a workshop on painting "Bold, Audacious, Daring Women Portraits" on Sunday.

"I’m asking people to choose a 'badass' woman that inspires them," Chu said. "Bring an image and maybe a sentence that you know about them and we’ll use that to inspire our painting."

Chu surprised herself by participating in the month-long challenge, but the experience taught her how to be a little more "badass" herself, she said.

"I wasn’t someone that grew up drawing or painting or ever thinking I could do it," Chu said. "I’ve always found that some kind of a daily challenge, to make something every day, I always grow."

Photo Credit: Lisa Chu
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<![CDATA[Burnt Home in San Mateo Sells for $799K]]>Fri, 31 Mar 2017 17:26:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ThumbnailRSZD1.jpg

Forget curb appeal.

A badly damaged home in San Mateo is off the market, despite its appearance.

A 1950s-era, two-bedroom and one bath bungalow red-tagged due to recent fires has sold for just under $800,000.

Located just off of Highway 101, the 820 square-foot home was being sold as-is and currently has a chain-link fence around it. Police are still investigating the cause of the two fires at the home.

"Opportunity Knocks!!" the posting reads for the nearly 8,000 square foot corner lot. "Complete fixer upper, damaged by fire but great corner lot, and lots of potential to rebuild a beautiful home."

The damaged home received an offer of $799,000 just days after being listed on the market.

With homes in San Mateo County rising to a nearly $1.2 million median listing price, it can be a task to find a centrally located home selling for under a million dollars on the Peninsula.

Realtor David Azimi with Intero Real Estate Services is handling the sale of this lot.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Indecent Exposure Incidents in Daly City]]>Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:20:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-31-17-indecent-exposure+man-daly+city.jpg

Police in Daly City are looking for the public's help in identifying a suspect involved in two recent indecent exposure incidents.

On Monday at 6:10 p.m., a 19-year-old woman was the victim of an indecent exposure incident as she walked at Westmoor Park, according to the Daly City Police Department.

Police said a second incident occurred on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

In that incident, a 12-year-old girl was the victim of an indecent exposure as she was walking in the 100 block of Mariposa Avenue.

The suspect in both cases in described as a Hispanic or white man and about 6 feet tall.

The suspect's vehicle is described as similar to a silver or gold 2003 Toyota Camry. The vehicle appears to have a sticker on the driver's sid bumper.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the Daly City Police Department at (650) 992-1225.

Photo Credit: Daly City Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[East Palo Alto Residents Protest Near Future Amazon Office]]>Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:01:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/amazon+protest-0330-2017.jpg

People gathered in East Palo Alto on Thursday evening for a protest in the form of a vigil over Amazon's planned office in the Peninsula city.

The office is set to open later this year, but residents are not happy given that locals aren't being hired by the retail giant.

East Palo Alto policy states that new companies moving in are required to at least try to hire 30 percent of their employees from the city.

Critics say Amazon isn't doing enough to meet that requirement.

City Manager Carlos Martinez said the policy has worked for retail jobs. But it's unlikely to work for Amazon because the company is looking for high-tech workers, and just 16 percent of locals have the college education needed to fill those jobs.

Amazon will devote a specialist to help people in the community find jobs.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Person Burned in Redwood City Elementary School Fire]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:38:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rwc+fire.jpg

One person was burned Thursday when a fire broke out in a Redwood City elementary school.

The blaze at Sandpiper Elementary at 801 Redwood Shores Parkway was a cooking fire, according to the Redwood City Fire Department.

One patient suffered burns, while a school's janitor sustained smoke inhalation, officials said. No students were injured.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

No further details were immediately available.

Check back for updates. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[DoorDash Rolls Out Delivery Robots in Redwood City]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 19:05:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Thumbnail_Robots.jpg

A new fleet of "dashers" hit Peninsula streets this week with DoorDash's introduction of delivery robots.

The on-demand food delivery company was in talks last year with Starship Technologies after Redwood City approved a nine-month pilot program to monitor its autonomous delivery robots on city sidewalks. 

"DoorDash is all about making deliveries faster and easier for customers," said Eitan Bencuya, a spokesman for DoorDash.

Passersby have dubbed the seven robots modern yet "friendly" looking. Several people have even expressed the desire to name the machine.

Starship Technologies said that design was intentional. The company chose a look they thought people would feel comfortable sharing the sidewalk with.

"They’re really adorable. They’re really cute — almost like a pet," Bencuya said.

In response to the robots' cute quotient, Bencuya said DoorDash will happily take suggestions from customers on names, but will just call them Starship robots for now.

Regarding concerns of thefts, Starship officials said that no burglaries had been reported in its more than 10,000 miles logged in the United Kingdom and Germany. However, each robot comes equipped with security features to capture its surroundings and alert a nearby operator in case a problem arises.

And, unlike drone delivery previously discussed by the Redwood City Council, the robots move at only 4 mph so they are less of a safety concern for residents, said the city's Economic Manager Catherine Ralston.

How it works:

  1. Upon receiving an order, DoorDash says it will first use its existing algorithm to determine whether a delivery should be completed by bike, scooter, car or robot.
  2. While customers wait, they will receive an email that lets them know who — or what — their dasher will be.
  3. In the case of a robot delivery, a code will be sent allowing customers to both track the delivery and unlock their order when it arrives.

For now, customers living within two miles of the downtown square, with orders that weigh less than 40 pounds, will be eligible to have them delivered by robot.

However, Bencuya said DoorDash will be trying out a variety of ways to use the new tool in the coming months, such as for picking up orders from downtown restaurants.

In this test phase, the company will experiment with robots collecting orders from restaurants and then droping off the food at a central location. Then a human dasher will collect the orders and complete the deliveries for customers who live further away.

Bencuya said that because human dashers make less on downtown deliveries and pick-ups, he sees this as an opportunity to replace an undesired route for human dashers and serve as an overall complement to the existing order, rather than a replacement. 

"First and foremost, DoorDash is a technology company and we're aways looking for more ways to be efficient," Bencuya said.

Among the first cities in the United States to test this technology, Redwood City caught Starship's eye not only due to its proximity to Silicon Valley tech companies, but also its downtown residents' affinity for home delivery services.

"This is something totally new for Redwood City," said Ralston. "We are a technology hub and we are willing to accept new technologies."

Ralston said she hopes this move will help put Redwood City on the radar of more technology companies looking to pilot their products.

Bencuya says the partnership is being implemented in Washington D.C. as well, as it is the only other city in the country piloting these self-driving delivery robots.

Photo Credit: Starship Technologies]]>
<![CDATA['Its a Hoot': Community Gathers at San Carlos Thrift Shop]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:11:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PHOTO8_THRIFT.jpgThe Family Tree, run by the Red-Car-Bel Auxiliary, has donated more than a million dollars to Peninsula Family Service over nearly half a century.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Greenhouses Gutted After One-Alarm Blaze in Half Moon Bay]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:13:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-29-17-HMB-NURSERY3.jpg

Firefighters in Half Moon Bay late Tuesday battled a large blaze at a nursery facility, fire officials said.

The one-alarm fire broke out along Highway 92, and fire crews struggled to access the blaze based on the facility's location, according to Ari Delay, a battalion chief for Coastside Fire Protection District and Cal Fire in Half Moon Bay.

"This was a difficult fire to fight," he said.

Several greenhouses were desroyed, but no one was injured, according to Delay.

The blaze was contained roughly one hour after crews arrived, Delay said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[East Palo Alto Man Accused of Running Illegal Cockfights]]>Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:47:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0330-2017-EPAHome.jpg

East Palo Alto police have identified Aldenni de Jesus Trujillo Santiago as the suspect arrested in connection with a cockfighting operation that was uncovered last week.

According to police, officers were dispatched at 3:50 p.m. on March 23 to the 1200 block of Cypress Street after a neighbor called to report an aggressive dog in the neighborhood. The dog was determined not to be aggressive toward people, but was trying to attack roosters and hens in the rear yard.

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA spokeswoman Buffy Martin Tarbox said that PHS/SPCA investigator Christina Hanley was already en route to the residence to investigate reports of cockfighting when she received a call from East Palo Alto police notifying her of the aggressive dog.

Two illegal outbuildings, illegal wiring, and a potentially illegal addition to the house were also discovered at the residence, police said.

According to Hanley, most of the roosters had been "dubbed," a painful process consistent with cockfighting in which their combs, wattles, and earlobes are cut off.

The PHS/SPCA reported that the suspect surrendered 56 roosters, many of which had wounds three to four weeks old. All of the surrendered birds had to be euthanized since many were suffering from

cockfighting-related injuries or were considered too aggressive for adoption.

Trujillo Santiago was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, cockfighting, and possession of cockfighting materials.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Dead in Crash at Dumbarton Bridge Entrance Near Fremont]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:54:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fremont+Fire+pic.jpg

One person died in a rollover crash on the westbound entrance to the Dumbarton Bridge on Wednesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was first reported at 11:43 a.m. on westbound state Highway 84 west of the bridge's toll plaza, CHP officials said.

Two lanes were closed as a result of the crash but reopened by 12:50 p.m.

No other information about the crash was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Fremont Fire Department via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Wildlife 'Babies' Take Over Peninsula Recovery Center]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:57:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thumbnailresized.jpg

Chirps, squawks and other wildlife cries can be heard at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s Wildlife Care Center as staff treats a variety of injured or abandoned animals.

"Right now is the time that we're actually getting very busy with them," said Manager Patrick Hogan. "[Residents] should know that if they see any sick, injured or orphaned animals, they should definitely call us right away. People shouldn't care for the animals themselves."

Coined as "baby season" for the wildlife species currently nesting newborns, the Burlingame-based center put out a list of tips for Peninsula residents who might come across baby animals that have chosen their yards or nearby trails as their temporary homes.

"This is an especially vulnerable time for area wildlife," said Director Laura Hawkins.

In a statement, the center recommended not leaving pet food outside and securing trashcans, crawl spaces, chimneys and air vents. People are also encouraged to check for rabbit holes and bird nests before mowing lawns or removing trees and bushes.

"To keep animals from establishing nests or dens in basements or garages, it’s best to make homes and properties less attractive to wildlife," according to the statement.

The center also wants dog owners to be on high alert as coyotes can be particularly aggressive to wandering dogs.

To prevent injuries, officials suggest keeping dogs on leashes and not allowing them into areas that could be coyote or animal dens.

For more information, the PHS/SPCA Wildlife Care Center can be reached at 650-340-7022 ext. 314.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[San Mateo County Healthiest in California: Report]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:18:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/doctor-health-generic-1200-01.jpg

San Mateo County has taken the top spot in a newly released report that investigates — and ranks — people’s health based on the conditions amid which they work, live and play.

Education, jobs, housing, physical environment and access to care are among the factors that went in favor of California’s healthiest county, according to the study done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Marin and Santa Clara counties occupy ranks two and three respectively. Sonoma, Napa, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Santa Cruz counties all made it to the top 20 of nearly 60 counties, the report shows.

Lake, Modoc and Alpine counties occupy the last three slots.

Despite the rosy news for many Bay Area counties, researchers found a dark cloud hanging over California. An alarming number of people are falling through the cracks or dying too soon.

“Our country continues to experience an epidemic of drug overdose deaths,” said Abbey Cofsky of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. “It’s by far the leading cause of death among those between 25-44 years old. Nearly five million between the ages of 16 and 24 are not in school, and don’t have jobs.

The researchers urged people to use the county health rankings to see where they can make changes personally and in their communities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[PG&E to Pay $86.5M for Backdoor Lobbying of Regulator]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:39:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PGE-EMAIL-MON-ok---00000000.jpg

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has agreed to pay $86.5 million over 164 allegedly improper backdoor communications it had with state regulators over a five year period that critics seized on as proof of an overly cozy relationship.

Under the deal, PG&E ratepayers get $73.5 million in bill credits and other offsets between now and 2019.

The settlement – which has to be approved by the commission -- is the final chapter in the email scandal that broke back in 2014.

That was when San Bruno won the right to obtain emails between Public Utilities Commission officials and PG&E related to the 2010 gas pipeline disaster that left eight dead. Some of the 7,000 pages of emails revealed questionable communications. Under pressure, PG&E soon agreed to release 65,000 emails sent between 2010 and 2014.

In them, commission critics found proof of an overly cozy relationship between PG&E top officials and regulators both before and after the gas explosion.

“‘This is the final chapter for San Bruno – we’re pleased that PG&E has accepted responsibility for its past misconduct and backdoor dealings” with the commission, said Britt Strottman, attorney for the city of San Bruno. “This hopefully means that this won’t happen again.”

The city of San Bruno was joined in the case by city of San Carlos, whose officials were angered at PG&E’s secret lobbying to maintain the pressure on a problem gas pipeline in 2013. Both cities will get $6 million in the settlement.

The deal does not cover a key revelation of the scandal: the backdoor effort waged by a now ousted top PG&E executive to secure the utility’s regulator judge of choice to rule on a key rate case arising out of the San Bruno disaster. PG&E has already paid more than $1 million in fines in that case.

The scandal led to a management shakeup at PG&E. While a few commission staffers were given warning letters, only one left in the fallout of the scandal.

State and local officials pressed the state attorney general’s office to intervene. In early 2015, agents searched the home of former Commission President Michael Peevey, who had already left the commission amid the scandal.

Investigators uncovered notes of a secret deal that Peevey allegedly reached in Warsaw, Poland with Southern California Edison over the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California. The investigation into that matter has yet to result in charges.

As part of the deal reached with PG&E, the utility admitted that a dozen emails clearly violated commission rules. It also agreed that some – but not all – of another 152 other mails were improper. All involve communications between utility officials and members of the commission and their staff, many involving regulatory cases where parties were forbidden from contacting state officials.

Under the settlement, PG&E will face stringent reporting of its communications with regulators along with the “substantial financial remedy” divided among the various parties.

PG&E spokesman Greg Snapper provided the following statement Tuesday:

"PG&E is committed to interacting with our regulators in a completely transparent and ethical manner. For more than a year we’ve been working cooperatively and constructively with the other parties in this proceeding and we’re pleased to say we’ve come to a settlement agreement that was filed today. We have implemented enhanced procedures and protocols that will continue to foster compliance with the requirements of this agreement and the new ex parte communications regulations as they are implemented by the CPUC."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Mateo City Leaders Mull Proposed Sewer Rate Increases]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:56:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/SewerGeneric.jpg

Customers in San Mateo may soon be faced with a higher sewage bill, according to the city and the Daily Journal.

City leaders on Tuesday will host the first of two community meetings to discuss the proposed hike, according to the city. The hope among city leaders is to raise rates by as much as 36 percent in order to improve the city's sewer system and wastewater treatment plant, according to the Daily Journal.

The additional money accumulated will be used to fund the city's $900 million Clean Water Program, which is expected to be rolled out across a 10-year period, according to the city and the Daily Journal.

Tuesday's meeting is slated to take place at 6:30 p.m. at the King Center located at 725 Monte Diablo Ave., according to the city. The second meeting is scheduled for the same time Thursday night at San Mateo City Hall located at 330 West 20th Ave.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Librarians Use Prom-Inspired Event to Attract Nearby Teens]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:29:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/DSC_02053.jpg

The general hush at the South San Francisco library was recently met with the sound of music, hot curling irons and laughter thanks to a teen "prom" party.

Librarians, volunteers and local cosmetology students partnered to host a prom dress drive with free make-overs to attract teens to the library’s doors.

"We just wanted to do something fun and we had make-up donations so we were just trying to think of something creative and out of the box," said Katie Donner, a library assistant at South San Francisco Library said.

The event also served as a way to stay relevant to teens in the area, according to Donner.

"We’ve been trying to get more teens into the library and just try and figure out things they would like," Donner said. "They’re the hardest demographic to get here."

Donner, a former student from Skyline College in San Bruno, knew about the school's cosmetology program and reached out to see if some local stylists could help.

Rather than just an added perk of the dress drive - the stylists became the main attraction for girls' attending.

Eight stylists curled, flat-ironed and pinned away, helping the girls create their dream "prom-look" at the all-day event.

Lyndsey Hemstreet, an instructor with Skyline College, said the stylists wanted to "support girls to look and feel their best."

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds March For Women's Equal Rights in Palo Alto]]>Sun, 26 Mar 2017 17:48:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/era+march-0326-2017.jpg

Hundreds of people marched in Palo Alto on Sunday to highlight equal rights for women.

The group called Feminist Majority organized the rally, which included speeches from Congresswoman Jackie Speier, State Controller Betty Yee, and Feminist Majority Executive Director Kathy Spillar.

Feminist Majority is a national organization whose mission is to empower feminists and win equality for women.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Latest Winter Storm Soaks Bay Area]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:07:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Rain-Bay-Area-109249602.jpg

Forecasters say rain and cold temperatures will continue most of Friday in the San Francisco Bay Area before drying out and warming up on Saturday.

A cold front system moved south from the Gulf of Alaska early Friday with forecasters predicting up to 3 inches of rain in the coastal mountains with less rain in the lower elevations.

By early Friday, moderate to heavy rainfall had been reported in Vallejo and Sausalito in the North Bay; Lafayette, Concord and Moraga in the East Bay; and Tiburon and San Francisco, to name a few places.

Ponding was spotted on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, while slick roads made for treacherous driving conditions.

Forecasters say the storm is expected to move into the South Bay later Friday with winds picking up.

The rain is returning to the Bay Area after a wet winter season that caused damage worth millions of dollars and forced state and local leaders to declare emergencies to secure funding for storm repairs. Last month, thousands of people in San Jose were displaced from their homes after Coyote Creek overflowed. 

In the Sierra Nevada, snow levels will start out above 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) on Friday, then lower to around 7,000 feet (2,133 meters) Friday night and Saturday.

Snow accumulations above 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) could range up to 12 inches (30.5 centimeters), impacting travel through the mountain range.

Saturday should bring a mostly sunny respite.

The front is expected to move slowly south down the Central Coast, bringing rain late in the day and overnight to San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Forecasters say there's a chance it could reach Los Angeles County, but will wash out on Saturday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found on High School Campus]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:36:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/anti-semitic-0323-2017.jpg

A couple of anti-Semitic drawings recently discovered at a Peninsula high school has students and the Jewish community on edge.

School officials said at least two incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti were found at Carlmont High School in Belmont within the past two weeks. Principal Ralph Crame said graffiti and hate words had been written in chalk on school property and have since been removed. He said it's not what the school stands for, and it's absolutely not tolerated.

"I think it's horrible that students would think that it was OK to have any type of vandalism or graffiti, especially anything that was demeaning towards another group, another student," Crame said.

Crame said one of the drawings contained a swastika.

The students responsible have been identified and disciplined according to district policy, Crame said, but he couldn't provide details.

"They had some education involved in the consequences, and we also sent the message out that it is against our school respect policy," he said.

The principal sent emails to and even met with several parents, who have expressed concern.

"It's definitely worrisome," parent Ryan Flores said. "It's just not right; got to teach them right."

Seth Brysk of the Anti-Defamation League, said the incidents are just two of many that have occurred recently at Bay Area schools.

"When somebody is targeted like this, it not only affects the person who was the specific target; it also has an impact across the entire community," Brysk said.

He said it's part of a broader trend of an uptick of anti-Semitic incidents across the community and across the country, and added that it's important to turn these incidents into a lesson.

"Hate is something that has to be learned. Nobody is born hating," Brysk said. "So if you have to learn how to hate, you can also learn how to unhate. You can also unlearn that hatred."

Crame said students have been warned that if something like this happens again, it could be considered harassment, bullying or even a hate crime.

"The message I would like to get out is that is not what Carlmont is all about," Crame said. "Our student body is an accepting community."

Belmont police said they have opened an investigation into the incidents to see if any crimes were committed.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Garage Arcade Helps Palo Alto Boys Donate to Charity]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:15:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/ARCADE3.jpg

Two Palo Alto pre-teens are introducing new-school gamers to old-school games at their garage arcade, all while contributing to the community.

Eleven-year-old neighbors Owen Yeh-Lee and Jacob Prabhu have operated OJ Arcade since February 2016.

Neighbors and friends are invited to play 1972 Williams Superstar pinball, 1980s Donkey Kong multi-cade, 1980s Atari RoadBlasters, and other games that both boys created by hand.

“A lot of the games here are vintage and probably only adults have ever seen them before,” Owen said.

The idea for the arcade sparked after a trip to a museum. That’s where Jacob saw a pin ball machine for the first time and decided he wanted to build one.

Soon after, a neighbor gave him a pin ball machine for free. He began playing the games with Owen, and the duo decided to open the garage for business.

While most of their friends play video games on a console inside their homes, Jacob says the experience doesn’t compare to playing the traditional way.

“Although you could probably play Pac-Man online, it’s just not the same experience without the joystick or the wheel to steer,” he said.

The first customers at OJ Arcade were the boys’ siblings. Now they can serve up to a dozen players on busy days.

“Saturdays we open up the garage door and the boys bring the arcade out to the driveway and open it up for anybody who wishes to come,” said Cathy Prabhu, Jacob’s mother.

All games are 25 cents and a ride on a wooden go-cart costs 50 cents.

With the help of their parents and siblings, the boys decided to donate all arcade revenue to the Brentwood Academy School Library in East Palo Alto. So far, the duo has given the library $300.

“We didn’t really know what to do with the money so we decided, ‘Hey, let’s help out some people who aren’t as lucky as us,’” Jacob said.

The arcade is open most Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Check the arcade website for more details. 

Photo Credit: Ryann Vargas/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Highly-Anticipated Warm Springs BART Station Unveiled]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:57:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-24-2017-warm-springs.jpg

It's a day Bay Area commuters have been waiting on for years: the Warm Springs BART station is hours away from being open for service.

The station, which marks the first extension on the Fremont line since BART started service in 1972, was unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. When service starts Saturday, the train schedule on the Fremont-Daly City and Fremont-Richmond lines will be altered by a few minutes to accommodate the new station.

It's been over seven years since BART broke ground on the $790 million Warm Springs station in Fremont. It was completed $100 million under budget, officials say.

However, it opened late.

Warm Springs was supposed to up and running in 2014, but that date got pushed back for a number of reasons. BART officials reported an electrical power issue as well as a problem syncing the new train control software with BART’s aging network.

With a glass rotunda out front, colored glass panels and open air design throughout, the station has a very distinct look compared to other BART stations.

The new station adds another 5.4 miles to the BART system, bringing it closer to the South Bay and saving riders a roughly 15-minute drive north to the Fremont station, which used to be the end of the line. 

The station is located right near the Tesla auto factory in the heart of the Warm Springs Innovation District. City officials say 4,000 new homes are already slated to be built nearby. They also project that 20,000 new jobs will open up when companies move in to the area.

Anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 people are expected to use this station on a typical weekday, officials say. The Warm Springs station offers more than 2,000 parking spots, including 42 electric car charging stations and connections to AC transit and VTA bus lines.

Meanwhile, some residents are not looking forward to the increase in traffic to the area.

"We can't enjoy our backyard," said Mariselva Barlow, who has lived in a nearby historic home since 1988. "The noise is very loud."

Former Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison spent 16 years in city government, fighting for funding and making sure residents could live with the inevitable progress. Harrison said he knew the BART extension was not going to make everyone happy.

"There's tens of thousands of people moving to the Bay Area every month," Harrison said. "We need a place to house them and public transit is the best way to do it."

BART is supposed to extend another 10 miles south to San Jose, but that construction is on hold. The $1.5 billion set aside for BART and VTA was cut from President Donald Trump’s recently released budget.

San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo says that he plans to try and convince members of Congress to reinstate that money by reminding them that many components of the BART system are manufactured in their districts.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[SFO Travelers To and From London React to Terror Attack]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfo-london-0322-2017.jpg

People traveling to and from London at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday were talking about the terrorist attack that killed four people and injured 40. And while no one spoke about changing their travel plans, several did say they would be more cautious.

Using a car as a weapon, a man plowed into people on a crowded sidewalk on Westminster Bridge in London before crashing. The suspect then ran through the Parliament gates and

stabbed a police officer to death before police shot and killed him.

Sean Baker was flying to SFO when the attack happened. He said his friends were checking in on Facebook, saying they were safe. For Baker, the attack hits close to home.

"It's scary," he said. "That could have been me or anyone of my friends and family on that bridge."

Stanford student Sonia Doshi said family in London called to let her know they are OK.

"It was sad to hear," she said.

On spring break, Doshi was set to take off for London on Wednesday night. She said canceling didn't cross her mind.

"It was a bit nerve-racking, I think. I feel OK, especially after being able to talk about it with my family," she said. "It is scary it's happening a bit more."

Parliament was locked down during the attack but will meet Thursday in a show of defiance against terrorism.

Meanwhile, adminstrators at SFO say they are increasing police patrols.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Security Ramps Up Following Attacks in London]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:40:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/TLMD--londres-ataque-GettyImages-656468102.jpg

Authorities in the Bay Area on Wednesday boosted security in response to the possible "terrorist incident" in London.

Folks passing through San Francisco International Airport will notice "a heightened level of vigilance," according to airport spokesperson Doug Yakel. An increased amount of uniformed police officers will be patrolling the grounds, but normal travel procedures are not expected to change.

Commuters crossing the Golden Gate Bridge should not notice any significant changes to security.

Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation district spokesperson said authorities are "always on high alert at the bridge to keep it safe from threats."

The San Francisco Police Department is monitoring the situation in London and will be ready to respond in the event that a local threat presents itself, according to police spokesperson Giselle Talkoff.

BART reported that no additional security measures have been set in place, but the agency's Critical Asset Protection team is on patrol as part of its regular schedule.

In response to the attacks, Facebook implemented its "Safety Check" feature to allow users to notifiy loved ones of their status.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heavy Downpours Trigger Slick Roads, Flooding Concerns]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 06:19:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-22-17_Rain_Orinda.jpg

Another round of rain early Wednesday lashed portions of the Bay Area, triggering headaches on the roadways and more flooding concerns.

A fatal crash on Interstate 580 near Harrison Street in Oakland temporarily blocked all lanes of westbound traffic during the early morning commute hours, California Highway Patrol officers said on Twitter.

At least three lanes of traffic re-opened just after 5:30 a.m., according to the CHP. All lanes were opened just before 6:30 a.m.

In nearby Orinda, flash flooding near Highway 24 reignited fears for residents trying to dry out after a soaking wet winter. Sandbags were put in place near Camino Pablo and Camino Sobrante in advance of the recent storm, but fast-moving water skirted right around the barriers. As dawn approached, most of the flooding had subsided.

Crews along the Peninsula Wednesday morning were busy removing a fallen tree that crashed on top of PG&E wires in Menlo Park. The tree toppled near Marcussen Drive and Oak Grove Avenue, according to police. Authorities were forced to close the entire road while they removed it from the pavement.

Wednesday's storm, which could pack wind speeds ranging from 15 to 30 mph and isolated lightning, will not generate any major river flooding concerns. Showers are expected to taper off by the afternoon hours with clearing expected by the evening.

A stronger storm on Friday and early Saturday could douse the Bay Area with one to two inches of rainfall before clearing out by late Saturday morning.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound in Redwood City: PD]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 23:54:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CHOPPER+RWC+SHOOTINGS+1645+PDT+-+16475520.jpg

A domestic dispute and ensuing police pursuit ended with a man fatally shooting himself in Redwood City on Tuesday, police said.

An armed domestic violence suspect showed up at his ex-wife's place of work at around 2:20 p.m., even though she had been granted a restraining order against him, police said. 

The woman immediately called police when she saw the suspect arrive at her work at a business park off Seaport Boulevard. After she refused to talk to him, the man grabbed a gun from his truck and chased her through the parking lot, police said.

Dispatchers said they heard a gunshot while they were on the phone with the woman, who was not hit.

When officers arrived, they were able to confront the man about a block away. Police said after a brief negotiation, an officer fired one shot, and then the man shot himself.

"I'm told during the exchange he pointed at officers," Redwood City police Chief Gary Kirby said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and it was not immediately known if the shot fired by the officer hit him.

Police said the suspect was arrested less than two weeks ago in a domestic dispute and tried to break into his ex-wife's home the day after. They said he was not allowed to carry a gun.

"They knew that they were basically working with an individual who was not of his right mindset because he was confronting his ex-wife in a volatile manner," Kirby said about responding officers.

Several workers in the area said they were put on lockdown during and after the chase and shooting. No other injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Ex Firefighter Accused of Stealing From Toy Drive Program]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:08:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+generic3.jpg

A 53-year-old woman who formerly worked as a San Bruno firefighter has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $25,000 from a toy drive program run by the department's firefighters' union, police said Tuesday.

Holly Kaye Nelson, a Cloverdale resident, was arrested Monday on suspicion of two felony counts of grand theft following an investigation that started in December into the theft of money from the San Bruno Professional Firefighters Association.

Police were looking into the stealing of funds from the union's toy drive program between January and October of last year, and eventually learned that someone took more than $25,000 from a bank account belonging to the firefighters' union over a two-year period.

Detectives identified the suspect as Nelson, who had ended her employment with the fire department in October, and she was taken into custody Monday, police said.

Police called the annual toy drive "an extremely worthwhile program that serves disadvantaged youth in the community" and thanked the firefighters' union for their cooperation and transparency in the investigation.

Nelson's LinkedIn profile says she worked for the San Bruno Fire Department from 2001 until this past October and is currently working as a firefighting and EMS skills instructor at the Santa Rosa Junior College Public Safety Training Center.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Trees Topple as Rain Soaks Saturated Bay Area]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:48:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-21-17_Vallejo_Tree_House1.jpg

Widespread rain and gusty winds across the Bay Area on Tuesday once again triggered a slew of problems for an already saturated and battered Bay Area.

A roughly 100-year-old oak tree in Vallejo came crashing down on a home near Capitol and Glenn Streets. The tree, which fell just after 2 a.m., dented portions of the home, causing PG&E officials to red tag the residence. No one was injured, but homeowner Veronica McElroy said the ordeal was "really stressful."

"We thought we were having an earthquake," she said.

In the South Bay, crews were busy early Tuesday removing another fallen tree from Highway 17 in Los Gatos.

Winter-like conditions during the morning hours prompted San Francisco International to delay some arriving flights by nearly one hour.

As of late Tuesday morning, Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains had already accumulated 3.27 inches of rain since the recent storms arrived. Mill Valley in the North Bay topped out at 2.27 inches while San Francisco's Noe Valley reached 1.59 inches of rainfall. Oakland recorded 0.88 inches of rain while San Jose received 0.44 inches.

Scattered showers across the Bay Area will linger into the Tuesday afternoon hours with isolated thunderstorms possible. A chance of rain and thunderstorms will remain into Wednesday with a stronger storm possible for the end of the week.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Another Round of Rain Lashes the Bay Area]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:28:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-21-17-los-gatos-trees2.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Committing Look-Alike Crimes in San Mateo County]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:24:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/smc-look-a-like-0320-2017.jpg

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office detectives are working to identify a woman who has been targeting other women who look similar to her to steal their wallets while they are shopping.

The woman then almost immediately uses the stolen credit cards to obtain thousands of dollars in cash or goods from various banks and stores, sheriff's officials said.

The woman has been committing these crimes in several states and has recently been seen in the Bay Area, sheriff's officials said.

Anyone with information should email Detective Jerri Cosens at JCosens@smcgov.org or call the Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at 800-547-2700.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Library Attracts Teens With Prom Makeovers and Dresses]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:17:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/DSC_02053.jpg

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Welcomes Spring with Even More Rain]]>Sun, 19 Mar 2017 22:54:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/rain-generic-umbrella-raindrops.jpg

Spring arrives on Monday, but the Bay Area won't be soaking in sunshine and warmer temperatures. Folks will be soaking in more rain.

A string of storm systems this week will once again douse portions of the Bay Area, bringing even more precipitation to a region that has been saturated with much-needed rainfall after five years of devastating drought.

During this year's rainy season, Bay Area rainfall totals have topped out anywhere from 120 to 173 percent of average. As of Sunday, Santa Rosa had accumulated 52.71 inches of rain this winter in comparison to the average mark of 30.52 inches of precipitation.

San Francisco had received 27.75 inches of rain compared to the average standard of 19.93 inches. Oakland had welcomed 24.29 inches of rainfall, a mark that is more than seven inches above its average. Livermore's 22.10 inches of rainfall this winter is 9.06 inches above its average mark. Portions of the South Bay such as Mountain View and San Jose have only collected roughly 15 inches of rain this winter season as of Sunday, but those marks are still above the average standard by more than two inches.

Scattered showers and even periods of heavy downpours early this week could bring up to threes inches of rain to the North Bay mountains and the Santa Cruz Mountains by Tuesday afternoon. Most parts of the Bay Area will receive less than one inch of rain after the early systems pass through the area.

A chance of rain will linger into Wednesday before subsiding by Thursday, but another storm on Friday could pack even heavier pockets of moisture.

The expected spring showers could also deepen the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which is already well above seasonal averages. Snow levels across the Golden State are 166 percent of average as of Sunday.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm House Fire in Palo Alto]]>Sun, 19 Mar 2017 11:56:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-19-17_Palo_Alto_Fire.jpg

Firefighters on Sunday battled a two-alarm fire at a home in Palo Alto, according to the Palo Alto Fire Department.

The blaze, which was reported just after 11:30 a.m. at 335 Seale Ave., consumed the first story of the home and the attic, according to Deputy Fire Chief Catherine Capriles. The fire was under control less than one hour after being reported.

No one was home at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported, Capriles said.

Smoke and fire damage to the home will likely force the owner to rebuild, Capriles said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Identify Suspects Involved in Palo Alto Hit-and-Run ]]>Sat, 18 Mar 2017 17:20:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Suspects17.jpg

Police have identified the five people who allegedly evaded police and seriously injured a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash Friday in Palo Alto.

At 3:28 p.m., a patrol officer tried to stop a black 2008 Volkswagon Touareg in the 700 block of Emerson Street. When the patrol car's emergency lights lit up, the suspect vehicle immediately fled. The vehicle turned left on the next street, heading east in the 200 block of Homer Avenue, which is a one-way, westbound roadway.

When the officers turned the corner, the vehicle was out of sight, but they did find a bicyclist down in the roadway. The cyclist, a woman in her 40s, suffered major injuries and received first aid on the scene. She was later taken to a hospital and treated for major injures, which she will survive, police said.

A minute later, officers found the suspect vehicle abandoned in the 700 block of Ramona Street. Witnesses said they saw several people flee the vehicle on foot.

At 3:40 p.m., officers detained 18-year-old D'Marco Aaron Hal of Oakland, and 18-year-old Daniel Lamar Lesley of Lathrop, in the 300 block of Forest Avenue. Detectives recognized Hal as one of the outstanding suspects from the December burglary of the Apple store in downtown Palo Alto.

With the help of other local law enforcement agencies, officers searched the area for the other suspects. At 6:05 p.m., a canine team led officers to a shed in the backyard of a residence in the 700 block of Waverley Street. There, officers found one man and two women who refused commands to surrender, and were taken into custody.

Police arrested Johnquaeja Dupreshamichelle Carpenter and Johntaeja Carpenter, both 18 from Stockton, as well as 20-year-old Jonah Theallo Johnson of Oakland. Johnson was on active parole for robbery and had a no-bail felony warrant for a parole violation out for his arrest, police said.

Police learned that Johntaeja Carpenter was driving the vehicle when it fled the officer and struck the bicyclist.

All five suspects were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail just after 2 a.m. this morning. The suspects were booked on suspicion of numerous offenses including evading arrest, powling, burglary, vandalism and hit and run.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413, or email anonymous tips to paloalto@tipnow.org.

Photo Credit: Palo Alto Police Department
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<![CDATA[Emergency Funds for Rain-Ravaged San Mateo, Napa Counties]]>Sat, 18 Mar 2017 16:25:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/192*120/AP_17019735293789.jpg

San Mateo and Napa are among 15 counties statewide that are in line to receive additional federal aid to help repair damage caused by flooding, mudslides and erosion during a wet winter season. 

FEMA announced Thursday that the additional emergency funds would be available to repair damage from storms between Jan. 18 and 23.

This is in addition to relief funds approved by President Donald Trump for storm repair in 34 California counties, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa and Santa Clara counties. His assistance applies to needs that may have arisen due to heavy rain from Jan. 3 to 12.

Gov. Jerry Brown had issued emergency proclamations for 48 of California’s 56 counties on Jan. 23 to secure funding from the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program and Office of Emergency Services. His goal was to help communities rebuild wind- and rain-ravaged homes, roads and infrastructure.

Following Brown's announcement, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors announced a separate emergency proclamation following the discovery of a sewage pipe that broke in a mudslide. Early estimates of repair costs for the broken pipe alone were up to $3 million.

The storm, which filled the San Francisquito Creek to the sixth highest level since 1998, also resulted in damage to coastal properties in San Mateo County.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[1,600 Bay Area Teens Treated to Free Prom Dresses]]>Sat, 18 Mar 2017 16:56:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FREE+PROM+DRESS.jpg

Hundreds of girls received royal treatment Saturday in preparation for a big school dance.

Princess Project Silicon Valley donated prom dresses to girls who otherwise might not have been able to afford a fancy gown.

More than 3,000 dresses were donated this year. More than half are brand new thanks to partnerships with local dress shops.

An estimated 1,600 teens will receive a dress the year — the most in the chapter’s 12-year history.

“We really strive to make it all about the teens and create a very positive environment that makes them feel very beautiful and confident in their own skin,” said Starr Rey, president of Princess Project Silicon Valley.

Saturday was day one of a four-day giveaway. Dresses will be donated on March 19, 25 and 26 at a pop-up shop in Mountain View.

Each girl receives her own personal shopper — a volunteer — who helps her search among thousands of dresses. Teens can leave not only with a dress, but also shoes, jewelry and other accessories.

Princess Project partners with Peninsula, South Bay and East Bay schools to identify students who could benefit financially from a free gown.

Hayward High School junior Mya Fuentes said she is more excited about prom now that she is sure she can wear a dress of her own.

“I would have gotten a hand-me-down from one of my cousins and that’s not really what I would wear. It’s what they would wear,” Fuentes said.  "So it was just really nice.”

Some of the teens who will receive free dresses this year are victims of the San Jose floods. Their families are among those who lost everything.

“One girl wrote in to us and said, 'My budget for prom was $20 and I’m sitting around a table hearing my fellow classmates talking about $200 and $300 budgets and I don’t feel worthy of going to prom,’” Rey said.

Princess Project Silicon Valley’s total operating budget is roughly $10,000. While a majority of the dresses are donated, the organization will purchase dresses when inventory in a certain size or color is low. Storage costs are also included in the budget as hundreds of dresses are put away until the next prom season.

Visit the organization’s website to help a girl find a dress, to donate or to volunteer.

Photo Credit: Ryann Vargas/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Palo Alto Hit-and-Run Suspects in Custody: Police]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 17:12:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0317-2017-PAHitRUn.jpg

A bicyclist is hospitalized with major injuries following a hit-and-run collision Friday in Palo Alto, police said.

Suspects involved in the crash reported in the 200 block of Homer Street fled the area, prompting a police search.

A total of five suspects are in custody following the search, with three of them found hiding in a shed, police said.

No other information was immeidately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Palo Alto to Rename 2 Middle Schools]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:26:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/PAUSD+SCHOOL+RENAME.jpg

The Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously Friday to rename Jordan and Terman middle schools.

Each campus was named after David Starr Jordan and Lewis Terman, respectively, who were leaders in the eugenics movement. The movement sought to improve human genetics through sterilization and by discouraging reproduction by people with undesirable traits, such as race and class.

"Jordan died 85 years ago. But unconscious bias didn't," trustee Jennifer DiBrienza. "The rights of a marginalized body should not be put up for a popular vote."

The room inside the district office was completely filled by community members as the board verbalized the vote. Roughly 20 students sat on the floor in front of the board during their lunch break to listen to the discussion before returning to class.

“Although it may seem many adults in the community may air on the side of not changing the name, current students are overwhelmingly in favor of changing the names of the schools,” said Ankit Ranian, Gunn High School student board member.

He said while students were concerned about cost, majority are more concerned about the message these names communicate.

“I know many students felt that if this didn’t happen that it would be an implicit endorsement of the racist and unfair policies that these people after whom the schools got their name endorsed.”

All five board members acknowledged the overwhelming community input they have received via emails, calls and meeting attendance from people feel passionately about both changing the names and keeping them the same. Members said “nostalgia” would penetrate the hearts of many school alumni and community members because of the name change.

Board member Todd Collins said the board received over 400 emails from community members about the issue. Roughly two thirds of the emails were in favor of a name change.

Family members of Lewis Terman attended the meeting and are not fully supportive of the name change.

“I think it’s fundamentally unnecessary,” said Jim Terman, Lewis Terman’s great-grandson. "He didn't spend 100 percent of his time promoting eugenics. This has more to do with current climate than anything else."

Terry Terman, grandson of Lewis Terman, said the school should keep the Terman name. Instead of being named after Lewis, it should be named for his son Frederick Terman, who is widely credited as the “father of Silicon Valley” and is not associated with eugenics.

“I’m cool with them renaming as long as it has been renamed to Frederick Terman Middle School,” Terry Terman said. Terry is the middle son of Frederick Terman.

The Renaming Schools Advisory Committee mentioned in its official report to the board that Frederick Terman’s legacy is often tangled with the legacy of his father Lewis. The committee, which recommended the board change the school names, wrote “Frederick does not appear to have disavowed his father’s eugenics doctrines and activities, neither does he appear to have publicly advanced them.”

Board members Collins, Dauber and Godfrey all expressed Frederick Terman’s legacy seemed to be unfairly associated with his father’s, and they would support making Frederick a namesake.

The Renaming Committee estimates a cost of over $200,000 for new signs, repainting gym floors, team uniforms and other expenses.

District Superintendent Max McGee said the Strong Schools bond funds, which has already been passed, includes language that allows for changing of signage and other costs that could be applied.

“I want to make it very clear that any cost involved would not be a trade-off between programs and services we have. We would not be taking away existing personnel because of any cost associated with the renaming of schools,” said McGee. “This is not a zero sum game.”

Palo Alto resident Lars Johnsson started a petition to rename the schools in 2015 after his son completed a report about David Starr Jordan, who was Stanford University's first president.

The board will design a plan to move forward with renaming at a later meeting.

Photo Credit: Ryann Vargas/NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Posed as Dentist Arrested for Illegal Drugs: Police]]>Thu, 16 Mar 2017 17:38:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0315-2017-JosephHirsch.jpg

A Redwood City man was arrested Tuesday in San Carlos on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs but may have been operating as a dentist without a license, state and county authorities said.

Joseph Hirsch, 59, was arrested at about 7 a.m. at Thermo Dental at 663 Old County Road when task force agents served a search warrant at the business, according to the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force.

An investigation started in January and on Tuesday investigators searched the business and allegedly found drugs and equipment typically used to manufacture drugs.

Investigators said they also allegedly found a crude dental office consisting of a dentist's chair, x-ray machine and dental tools.

It appears Hirsch has a denture manufacturing business but was allegedly operating as a dentist as well, California Department of Consumer Affairs Detective Ryan Blonien said.

According to Blonien, Hirsch never had a dentist's license, but was allegedly acting as a dentist in fitting patients for dentures.

Hirsch was taken to the county jail on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, manufacturing a controlled substance, being a felon in possession of ammunition and possessing metal knuckles, according to jail records.

Hirsch has not been arrested for allegedly working as a dentist without a license but an investigation hasn't been completed, Blonien said.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[PG&E to Pay $90M to Shareholders Over San Bruno Failures]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 23:38:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/sanbruno.jpg

PG&E agreed Wednesday to pay shareholders $90 million to settle lawsuits that blamed the 2010 San Bruno pipeline disaster on corporate mismanagement.

It marks the apparent end to seven years of legal battles over the explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Through it all, the company’s management was repeatedly accused of valuing profits over safety.

In a statement, one of the attorneys suing the company’s management said the shareholder settlement resolves all claims against both current and former corporate officers "on favorable terms for PG&E and its shareholders."

The suits – which started a month after the blast -- had been on hold pending the federal criminal trial in which the company was ultimately found guilty of pipeline safety violations and a lone count of obstructing the federal investigation of the disaster that left eight dead and destroyed the Crestmoor neighborhood.

The company did not appeal the jury’s verdict and said the $3 million federal penalty. The judge ordered the company’s executives to perform community service, develop a mea culpa advertising campaign and submit to review by a federally appointed safety monitor for five years.

The shareholder deal comes two years after state regulators imposed a record $1.6 billion regulatory penalty against the company for regulatory violations arising out of the San Bruno blast.

That was on top of the $565 million the company paid to settle civil claims arising out of the explosion, bringing the total payout to more than $2.2 billion.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, shareholder attorney Frank Pitre said the deal was preferable to waging a risky court fight over whether the corporate officers breached their duties to the company.

“While the San Bruno explosion was a tragic incident, PG&E has undertaken many new compliance and governance reforms-since then,” Pitre said in a statement. “PG&E has agreed to undertake additional important reforms as part of this settlement, including changes to its corporate governance policies and practices that will benefit PG&E and its customers.”

Pitre said the $90 million settlement “represents a significant amount for this type of derivative litigation” and the company now must “spend a significant amount of cash on reforms that have been negotiated.”

PG&E touted the deal as a step forward to improving safety.

“Just as our decision not to appeal the verdict in the criminal trial has allowed us to move forward, we believe settling this case is another step in the right direction,” the company said in a statement.

“It’s also important to recognize our progress as a company since 2010 and that we’ve embraced an all-in commitment to continuous improvement.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Mateo Police Investigate Alleged Pipe Bomb]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:48:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-15-17_San_Mateo_Pipebomb.jpg

San Mateo police officers on Wednesday afternoon investigated a report of an alleged pipe bomb, but said within minutes of their initial announcement that the area was safe.

Officers tweeted just before 12:30 p.m. about police activity in the vicinity of the 2600 block of South El Camino Real. 

Drivers were urged to avoid the area as roads were shut down. Once the bomb threat was investigated, roads were reopened but police warned drivers that traffic delays could be expected while they cleared the scene.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: San Mateo Police Department via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Penngrove Woman's Death Investigated as Homicide]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 23:49:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AnnieBailly.jpg

Foul play is suspected in the death of a missing Penngrove woman and detectives are now investigating the case as a homicide, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

The body of Annie Bailly was found at the Point Reyes National Seashore last month. Bailly, was 63 at the time she went missing on Dec. 7, 2014. She was reported missing by her husband, Kerry Bailly. The couple was going through a divorce at the time.

Annie Bailly's disappearance was previously considered suspicious, and the family issued a $10,000 reward to help locate her.

On Tuesday, Kerry Bailly spoke out about the latest findings, which include sheriff's deputies treating him as a person of interest in his wife's death.

"They are not accusing me of anything; they think I murdered my wife," he said, adding that he and his wife "had some very, very good years together and some very bad years together."

"I couldn’t stand her lifestyle," Kerry Bailly said. "I couldn’t live with her marijuana and antidepressants; they do not go together."

On Feb. 27, motorists involved in a crash just outside the Point Reyes Station discovered Annie Bailly's body over an embankment, sheriff's officials said. That discovery gave sheriff’s investigators enough information to seek a search warrant of the Bailly home.

"This is the last known place where she was known to be alive," Sgt. Spencer Crum said. "We want to go back and collect any evidence left behind."

Kerry Bailly said his home was turned upside down by detectives Tuesday. They even searched his garage.

He said his wife has a history of attempting to take her life. But detectives said suicide is not an option in Annie’s death.

"Suicide is ruled out. Accident is ruled out," Crum said. "This is definitely a homicide."

A cause of death has yet to be released.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Sheriff's Investigations at 707-565-2185.

Photo Credit: Sonoma County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Heavy Winter Rain a Bounty for Bay Area's Vernal Pools]]>Thu, 16 Mar 2017 19:52:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/walking+in+pool.jpg

The shimmering blue ponds of water laid out between the San Francisco Bay and Fremont’s Auto Mall Parkway looked as if they’d been permanently etched into the landscape.

Geese stepped along the edge of one pond as ducks glided across the tranquil waters of another.

But U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Aidona Kakouros knew better.

She’d been there plenty of times in the late spring and summer, long after the pools had evaporated, revealing some of these watery fields as cow pastures.

“In fact if you come here in summer,” Kakouros said, “you will not recognize the landscape — it’s so dry.”

After a winter of heavy rains, the Bay Area’s systems of vernal pools are glorious — putting on an impressive display of these seasonal bodies of water that appear temporarily each year, while hosting their own eco-systems.

The Fremont pools are part of the federally protected Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Kakouros said these ephemeral pools have returned for thousands of years — minus recent years when California was gripped by a historic drought.

“For one year,” Kakouros said, “there were no pools at all.”

On a recent day, Kakouros lead a team armed with nets to scour the pools for their native wildlife. The pools are home to some of nature’s most tenuous creatures, including endangered Vernal pool tadpole shrimp, threatened fairy shrimp and federally threatened California tiger salamanders.

Kakouros said the continued winter deluges have most likely given a boost to the struggling species after years of choking drought.

“You become nervous because many of these species, they can not breed during these years,” Kakouros said.

Kakouros and her team waded waist-high into the pools, twisting nets into the water as one would churn butter. With each burst of frenetic spinning, they would inspect the nets for any sign of the tiny creatures. A group of nearby cows munched grass and took in the scene.

The nets emerged with tiny salamanders and tadpoles, which make their homes in the pools during the winter, and lay eggs and retreat into the land when the water dries up. Kakouros said many of the species look exactly as they did during the age of dinosaurs.

“Every single species living here has adapted to live in this extreme conditions,” Kakouros said, emptying a fairy shrimp into a plastic container where she measured it and then poured it back into the pool.

Kakouros said in normal years the fields are dotted with numerous independent pools. But with this year's heavy rainfall, the pools have merged, forming long strands of rippling water.

“It’s a good year,” Kakouros said. “We like this year.”

Kakouros said later in the spring the spectacular pools will give way to their second act as they dry up and are filled in by wildflowers. She said that although the federal lands are restricted to visitors, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service schedules occasional public tours.

Kakouros treaded through the water — her hip-high rubber waders generating a wake as she dipped her net into the water and spun it like a propeller.

“It’s a unique place,” she said. "It’s a place you can discover things every single day.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Workers Walk Out on 'Pi Day' for Anti-Trump Protest]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 17:36:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/234*120/0314-2017-TechRally1.jpg

Hundreds of Bay Area tech workers walked out Tuesday in protest of President Donald Trump.

A rally organized by the "Tech Stands Up To Trump" group started at 2 p.m. at King Plaza in Palo Alto. The demonstration focused on immigration, equality, fair wages and after the president announced a revised travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim nations.

"The first time we heard about the executive order it felt like America is no longer the same," said Chandana Suggale of Marketo. "The values we attribute to the United States -- they are not good anymore.

Business and tech reporter Scott Budman has more in the video report above.

Photo Credit: Scott Budman/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Caltrain Sexual Assault Suspect Turns Himself Into Police]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:26:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/George+Moubarak.jpg

A 26-year-old man who allegedly attacked two separate women in Palo Alto earlier in March turned himself in after seeing a photo of himself on the news and social media, a San Mateo County sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday.

South San Francisco resident George Moubarak is in custody following the two attacks, the first of which occurred between 10:45 p.m. and 11:10 p.m. on March 1 at a bus kiosk at the Palo Alto Caltrain station, according to sheriff's Detective Sal Zuno.

The victim was uninjured after fighting off the suspect, who sexually assaulted her and then ran away toward University Avenue, sheriff's officials said.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office handles any cases on Caltrain property and on Thursday they released a sketch of the suspect, Zuno said.

On Friday, Palo Alto police released a surveillance photo of a suspect who they believed was involved in a sexual battery on the 200 block of Alma Street around 9:15 p.m. last Wednesday.

After seeing the surveillance photo, Moubarak turned himself in to Palo Alto police on Friday and investigators arrested him in connection with both cases, Zuno said. He remains in custody in Santa Clara County Jail.

Anyone with information about the cases are encouraged to call Detective Mike Baron at (650) 622-8053 or email him at mbaron@smcgov.org. People wishing to remain anonymous can call a tip line at (800) 547-2700.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[SF Teacher Yearns to Bring Surfing to Every City High School]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 22:46:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sharon+rides+a+wave+.jpg

On a crisp, almost sunny morning on a Pacifica beach, high school student Kevin Guzman wrestled with the arm of his wetsuit, tugging at it until it surrendered and slipped over his shoulder.

A lifelong resident of San Francisco’s landlocked Mission District, Kevin would be the first to admit his young life has not been filled with the unquenchable thirst to surf.

“I’m not a really a big ocean person — looking at the ocean scares me,” he said, warily eyeing a pack of nearby surfers bobbing in the waves. “Seeing the big waves, it gives me goosebumps.”

But on this day, Kevin would brave the churning Pacific Ocean to repeatedly mount a surfboard as part of the City Surf Project, a program that preaches the love of surfing to high school students in San Francisco. The new program launched at Mission High School where he is a student.

In just his third time on the waves, Kevin somehow harnessed his terror of the ocean to get in a few respectable rides.

“Not as bad as I thought it would be,” he said. “Being able to surf made me notice there’s other things I can do that I never knew I could do.”

Kevin's spiritual transformation was exactly what former high school teacher and lifelong surfer Johnny Irwin envisioned when he founded the City Surf Project a couple of years ago.

The native San Franciscan started surfing when he was eight years old at the nudging of his surfer father. He never looked back.

Following five years teaching high school, he was struck by the idea of combining his two loves — resulting in City Surf Project.

“Many of the students live close by the ocean — maybe a mile from the ocean — and have never been there before, don’t even know that surfing is a possibility,” Irwin said.

Every Monday, Irwin visits the schools to lead classroom discussions covering surfing, the environment and conservation. Twice a week, he loads a van with nearly a dozen students and heads to Pacifica where the surf lessons meet the actual surf. The lessons begin with Irwin reciting what could be considered the surfer’s anthem.

“Any time you can get to the beach, into the water,” Irwin said, “that’s a good day.”

The students are paired up with instructors who who guide them out into the water, offering prompts to “paddle” to “get lower” to “shoot up from their feet.”

The amateur wave riding is peppered with fleeting hints of actual standing before the rider is awkwardly flipped backward into the foamy waves, emerging with a grin. Occasionally, someone will find their footing, pumping a fist in the air while gliding over a wave toward the shore.

“You feel like you’re flying,” said student Sharon Padilla. “When I’m there and I go catch a wave, I see it as a life problem.”

Sharon said there are no surfers in her family. Surfing was never something she or her friends ever considered. But by her second session, she was one of the students who regularly found her balance and rode long meandering waves until they snubbed out in the sand.

“If I fall from the board I always get back up,” she said, “I want to reach my goal which is to stand on the board and get better.”

Irwin said the surface goal of the project is to expand interest in surfing. But ultimately he sees a surf board as a vehicle to deliver a deeper sweeping appreciation for the outdoors.

“If nothing less, if they don’t take a liking to surfing, at least they have this experience of this connection to nature," Irwin said.

Irwin hopes to ride the crest of his own enthusiasm — to expand his project to every high school in San Francisco. He said a city surrounded by water should hold more passion for the surfing life, though he remembers growing up as one of a handful of surfers in his high school. He dreams of a day when taking up a board is as natural as picking up a basketball or swinging a bat.

“Not just a far off idea for kids growing up in San Francisco,” Irwin said. “I think surfing provides a really positive outlet as an extra curricular activity.”

Irwin stood among waist-high waves — a centrifuge to the frenetic scene around him — kids on boards paddling through the rush of water, bouncing to their knees, maybe even climbing to their feet before plunging into the chilly ocean water.

Irwin knew just what they were experiencing.

“The thrill of surfing, that feeling of riding a wave,” he said, “It’s a magical feeling.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Former Fire Chief Pleads No Contest in Credit Card Scheme]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 12:55:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/credit+cards+generic.jpg

A former Central County Fire Department chief has pleaded no contest to felony grand theft, tax evasion and filing a false tax return in what has been described as an elaborate credit card scheme, San Mateo County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Mark Steven Ladas and his wife Peta Ladas opened a number of credit cards under false names, then used them to make purchases totaling $34,980 from a fake business using a point of sale machine, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Wagstaffe said the couple also failed to claim those transactions as income for tax purposes in 2011 and 2012.

Peta Ladas remains at large in Canada with their daughter despite a warrant out for her arrest, but Canada has declined to extradite her, Wagstaffe said.

Mark Steven Ladas visited her while out on bail using income from the credit card scheme, according to Wagstaffe.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of three years and eight months in state prison, but as a result of a plea agreement with the judge, he has agreed to pay full restitution and now faces no more than 90 days in county jail when he is sentenced on May 5.

His defense attorney Eric Hove did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Redwood City Mom Leaves Kids in Bathtub While Having Sex]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:51:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/courtroom+generic+722.jpg

A Redwood City mother who pleaded no contest to leaving her two children unsupervised in a hotel bathtub while she had sex in another room.

Mindy Trinh, 21, on Monday pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment, the East Bay Times reports. She could get up to one year in jail when she is sentenced in May.

Prosecutors say the Fresno mother was staying at a Comfort Suites in South San Francisco on Sept. 3 when she left her 10-month-old and 3-year-old children unsupervised in a bathtub while she had sex in another room. At some point, the 3-year-old called out to Trinh and the 10-month-old was found unconscious in the water.

The baby was resuscitated.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[San Mateo County Considers Curfews to Curb Plane Noise]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 20:29:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0313-2017-SanCarlosAirport.jpg

San Mateo County is considering curfews and restrictions on pilots and airlines that use the San Carlos airport due to rising noise complaints from residents.

A Federal Aviation Administration proposal in response to the complaints is still in the planning stages. The county proposal calls for aircrafts rated as "loud" be restricted to only one flight in and one flight out between the hours of 6 and 9 a.m., and 6 and 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Oliver Coolidge, who flew over major airlines for 38 years, said living near the airport and in the busy Bay Area means planes overhead are part of the landscape.

The county said it will be putting together focus groups and town hall meetings before the Board of Supervisors consider the issue in July.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Teens Swarm Computer Science Career Fair]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 16:58:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/collegefair_4.jpg

More than 650 Bay Area teens are getting a head start on lining up career choices.

Students on Friday met with representatives from companies and college programs at a computer science fair in San Francisco to get an idea of their next steps after high school.

"I really enjoyed the tech companies that were able to come out and talk to us about their careers and opportunities they have," said Renee Labutay, a senior at Hillsdale High School.

Labutay is looking for a four-year college program in computer science. She's not alone.

Each of the students have been taking computer science classes through Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS), a Microsoft-funded partnership with Bay Area campuses.

The program also features coding sessions to build video games and lectures on both the traditional and nontraditional careers students can choose from in computer science.

"It kind of opened my eyes a bit to learn that computer science is not just about coding," Hillsdale High student Kathy Li said. "We learned a lot about other careers that we can choose from." 

Electronic Arts, Twitter, Carnegie Mellon University, and Google were among the 14 companies and college programs in attendance at the Mission Bay Conference Center at the University of California, San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Well-Represented on 'Happiest Places to Live' List]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 06:27:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf-san-francisco-145371452.jpg

The Bay Area may be one of the most expensive places in the country to settle in, but your investment could be paying off.

Five cities in the Bay Area made WalletHub's "Happiest Places to Live" list.

Fremont topped the charts as the happiest place to live, followed by San Jose, according to the report. San Francisco settled in at the No. 4 spot while Oakland and Santa Rosa finished in the eighth and ninth spot, respectively.

Not to be outdone, large Golden State cities such as San Diego (No. 7), Los Angeles (No. 36) and Sacramento (No. 78) also made the cut.

WalletHub examined a number of factors when putting together its list, including depression rates, suicide rates, separation and divorce rates, income values, and amount of time spent working.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Large Potholes on Highway 101 in Palo Alto Damage Vehicles]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 06:08:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-13-17_Palo_Alto_Pothole.jpg

A cluster of potholes on northbound Highway 101 in Palo Alto caused damage to at least one dozen vehicles Sunday night and early Monday, prompting the California Highway Patrol to shut down lanes near Embarcadero for a brief time, according to the California Highway Patrol.

About 9:15 p.m., the CHP received reports of a pothole in the far left lane causing flat tires on multiple vehicles, according to the CHP. Police later found several other potholes in the area ranging from four to six feet in length, two to three feet in width and six to eight inches in depth, CHP officer Sgt. Chris Cavner added.

The CHP issued a Sig-alert a little after 10 p.m. in order to repair the pothole in the far left lane before blocking another lane to patch up the other hazards. All lanes except the far left lane were reopened about 10:25 p.m., the CHP said. By 3:15 a.m., all lanes were completely open, according to the CHP.

Drivers with damaged vehicles can file a claim on the Caltrans website.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[CalTrain Electrification Hits a Road Block]]>Sun, 12 Mar 2017 12:40:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-caltrain.jpg

NBC Bay Area political analyst Larry Gerston describes new political obstacles to the badly needed project.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Search Crews Find Missing Hiker, Dog After Nearly Two Days]]>Sat, 11 Mar 2017 12:18:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-11-17_Missing_Hiker_Found.jpg

A 56-year-old woman and her dog, who were missing for almost two days after setting off on a hike in unincorporated Woodside, were found Saturday morning, San Mateo County sheriff's officials said.

Bethnee Haury, who was last seen Thursday on Skyline Boulevard, was located alive and conscious in a deep ravine at 10:30 a.m. Saturday along with her Australian Shepherd named Camaro, sheriff's officials said. The dog not only stayed by Haury's side while she was lost, but also helped lead rescuers to her.

"When we called out for her, we heard her yell back and then a couple seconds later, we heard the dog bark very clearly so Camaro did his job," volunteer searcher Mike McKimmie said.

Haury's four-legged friend received some high praise for his valiant efforts, but Bethnee Haury's husband, Ed, wasn't too surprised.

"He's a big hero," he said. "He stayed with her the whole time. She had him on the leash. He's just very loyal. He senses trouble and stuff like that, so that was good."

Haury was airlifted to a hospital, officials said. She is expected to be OK.

"This is phenomenal," Ed Haury, said. "We weren't sure what was going to happen, but this is incredible."

Despite her condition, Bethnee Haury wasn't in the best of shape when she was spotted.

"She was sitting up, shivering, very dehydrated," McKimmie said. "She wanted water. So the first thing we did was get jackets over her, tried to warm her up."

Bethnee Haury, her husband and son, who are Bay Area residents, were staying at an Airbnb when Bethnee Haury left and went on a hike at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday with Camaro.

The family was on vacation and was not "familiar with the area," Det. Salvador Zuno said. At about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Haury's husband called the sheriff's office to report that his wife had not returned.

Bethnee Haury suffers from early onset dementia and has Type-2 diabetes and requires insulin injections. 

"She has to have food constantly," Ed Haury said. "She has to have a lot of water; insulin once or twice a day."

The San Mateo County Search and Rescue team and the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit, professional volunteer search teams, had been searching for Bethnee Haury around-the-clock since she was reported missing, according to Zuno. 

More than 70 searchers with trained dogs, teams on horseback, along with off-road vehicles from 16-different Bay Area agencies scoured the trails about seven miles northwest of Woodside. They triple-checked more than a dozen trails within a two-and-a-half mile radius, Zuno said.

An overnight search, which was too dangerous for trained search teams on the ground, continued into early Saturday morning with the help of a specially-equipped sheriff’s office aircraft, officials said. An army of volunteers began combing through the mountains above Woodside on foot after sunrise.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Laura Malpert
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<![CDATA[Three-Alarm Fire in Stanford Room With Bio-Hazardous Waste ]]>Sat, 11 Mar 2017 09:29:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/C6p0OoOU8AAFCia.jpg

Firefighters knocked down a three-alarm fire that broke out early Saturday in a room with bio-hazardous waste, triggering a hazmat situation at the Stanford Medical School, Palo Alto fire officials said.

The blaze broke out in a third-floor room of the Edwards Building at 300 Pasteur Drive before 8 a.m. Hazmat and decontamination crews were on hand, officials said, and roads in the vicinity of Welch Drive and Pasteur Road were shut down.

Although the area surrounding the room on fire was evacuated, a sprinkler system contained the flames to a single unit, which firefighters then extinguished, according to officials. The fire did not impact patient care at Stanford Hospital, and no injuries have been reported, they said.

Sixty firefighters from departments across San Mateo and Santa Clara counties responded to the fire, according to Palo Alto fire officials. Nine engines, five trucks, one hazmat team, two ambulances and five command chiefs were also at the scene.

Crews began cleaning up around 10:20 a.m., fire officials said on Twitter. 

Firefighters are still working to determine what caught fire and whether any hazardous materials were affected by heat or smoke, Deputy Chief Catherine Capriles said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Palo Alto Fire Department via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Justice Sotomayor's Speech Galvanizes Stanford Students]]>Sun, 12 Mar 2017 22:10:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-9-2017-sotomayor-stanford.jpg

When Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks, people listen – and many did exactly that at Stanford University on Friday.

Sotomayor wrapped up her Bay Area tour by telling students that people can work together even in divided times. Her message was met with enthusiasm as she spoke about overcoming challenges, both personal and those the United States is facing.

Then-President Barack Obama in 2009 nominated Sotomayor for the highest court in the nation.

“We can't denigrate the other culture, we can't denigrate our culture. I take great pride in the Latina I am,” said Sotomayor, who walked among audience members, answered questions and even accepted a "Fear the Nerds" T-shirt.

Stanford student Emily Walck left the auditorium energized.

"I think she's amazing and her perspective, being a woman of color and overcoming the difficult things she's had to overcome to get to the places she's been, is really inspiring,” Walck said.

Aliyah Chavez echoed the same sentiment.

"It was one of the most incredible talks I’ve seen, and I've seen President Obama, I've seen Oprah, and she was hands down the best one,” she gushed.

Sotomoyar, who on Thursday spoke to law students at the University of California, Berkeley offered some advice to the next generation — likely to face political conflicts — on how to reach compromises.

"What they're afraid of, what they think they need to give them comfort, to get them closer to your point of view, if you can address those things, you can persuade those people," she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Search Continues for Missing Hiker in San Mateo County]]>Sat, 11 Mar 2017 00:36:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0310-2017-BethneeHaury.jpg

Deputies are asking for help finding a missing hiker last seen Thursday afternoon in unincorporated Woodside, San Mateo County sheriff's officials said Friday.

Bethnee Haury was last seen at about 4 p.m. on Skyline Boulevard.

Search teams spent Friday looking for Haury in the Kings Mountain area of unincorporated San Mateo County, according to sheriff's officials. The search, which was too dangerous even for trained search teams on the ground, will continue overnight with the help of a specially-equipped sheriff’s office aircraft.

"Our airplane has infrared capabilities that can search" and detect body heat, said Det. Salvador Zuno.

An army of volunteers will again comb through the mountains above Woodside, starting Saturday morning, according to officials.

Haury is 56 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, about 140 pounds with red hair and blue eyes.

Haury, her husband and son, who are Bay Area residents, were staying at a bed and breakfast when Haury left and went on a hike at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday with her brown and white Aussie or Australian Shepherd.

The family had been traveling on vacation, sheriff's spokesman Detective Salvador Zuno said.

At about 7:30 p.m., her husband called the sheriff's office to report that his wife had not returned.

"They are not familiar with the area," Zuno said.

Haury suffers from early onset dementia and has Type-2 diabetes and requires insulin injections. 

A resident or business owner in the area said they saw Haury and her dog at about 4 p.m. and she looked okay.

But Zuno said Haury may have become disoriented.

The incident has been "very difficult" Haury's husband, Zuno said, adding, "We just hope we [can] hurry up and locate Mrs. Haury.'

The San Mateo County Search and Rescue team and the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit, professional volunteer search teams, have been searching for Haury round-the-clock since last night, according to Zuno. 

More than 70 searchers with trained dogs, teams on horseback, along with off-road vehicles from 16-different Bay Area agencies have been scouring the trails about seven miles northwest of Woodside. They have triple-checked more than a dozen trails within a two-and-a-half mile radius, Zuno said.

Zuno said the area is wooded and steep.

Anyone who sees someone who looks like Haury or anything that would help rescuers find her is asked to call 911 and say "I believe I saw a missing person."

Zuno said there is nothing now to suggest foul play.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[BART Officials Mull Fare Increase, Service Cuts]]>Thu, 09 Mar 2017 09:08:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/bart38.jpg

Faced with a dwindling ridership and multi-million dollar budget deficit, BART officials are considering service cuts and a fare increase.

The board on Thursday will consider raising the minimum fare to $2.25. That's a 25 cent jump from the already approved nickel increase. Officials will even explore reducing discounted prices for seniors, children and people with disabilities from 62.5 percent to 50 percent.

Also on the table is the option to enact a surcharge on magstripe tickets, in the hope of encouraging commuters to purchase clipper cards, which generate more revenue.

When asked what he thought of BART’s proposal, Joe Syracuse said, “I’m still going to ride [it] because it’s better than driving … I can’t stand the traffic.”

Joe Frisz was also in favor.

“If it’s going help with keeping the trains on time,” he said, the ideas “make sense.”

The transportation agency had been enjoying six years of consecutive growth, but during the first half of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, BART reported a roughly 4 percent drop in the number of weekday riders. Weekend ridership slumped by approximately 9 percent.

That drop in ridership could mean that BART will finish this year $15 to $25 million below budget. The agency could face a $25 to $35 million shortcoming as it prepares its future budget.

In order to make up for that loss, BART officials may also start service at 5 a.m. instead of 4 a.m., cut positions — amid a hiring freeze, and offer paid advertising opportunities on the train cars as well as kiosks and video screens at stations.

To prevent the agency from hemorrhaging money, BART has also asked every department to cut back on spending and officials have eliminated overtime costs. 

NBC Bay Area's Kris Sanchez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['We Will Not Be Taken For Granted': Bay Area Women on Strike]]>Thu, 09 Mar 2017 00:43:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-8-17-WOMAN%27SDAY2.JPG

Hundreds of Bay Area women stayed home from work, joined rallies or wore red to demonstrate their economic clout and solidarity as part of a multitude of International Women's Day events held around the globe on Wednesday.

"A Day Without a Woman" protests in the U.S. were put together by organizers of the vast women's marches that drew more than one million people into the streets the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration.

In San Francisco, a large crowd gathered on the steps of City Hall, waving flags, posters and banners. "We will not be taken for granted!" they chanted.

"It’s important for me to be out because it’s important to just show support in things I believe in," said Daphne Duong, who attended the strike with her manager. "Obviously with the whole political atmosphere, it’s important to come out and be active in your local community."

On the flip side, Miwenn Rengault participated with her employees. 

"Eighty percent of our task force are women so when we heard about it, we were like, 'Yeah, that’s obvious. We need to do something. We need to go. We need to show support.'"

Spokeswoman Cassady Findlay said organizers for "A Day Without a Woman" were inspired by the recent "Day Without an Immigrant" protests held last month. She said the action is aimed at highlighting the effect of women on the country's socio-economic system and demonstrating how the paid and unpaid work of women keeps households, communities and economies running.

To that end, Eshelle Young decided that her daughter could miss school to be part of history.

"I thought it was important to bring her out of school so she can just realize how important it is to have ... gender equality, how women really work hard and we should be treated the same as men as far as getting paid equally," she said.

Hundreds also met at Justin Herman Plaza and marched to San Francisco's Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.

"We need to remind people that women cannot be taken for granted, and we have a huge impact on what goes on in our world," said Grace Lee, of Oakland.

Others said that such events allow them to celebrate the power of women in the business world — something they believe is necessary, especially in the divisive environment that people are finding themselves in. 

"I think it's important for women to leverage their collective power," said a San Francisco woman, identified only as Angie.

Many also said that they were not participating just for themselves.

"I wanted to stand up for my daughter and my daughters' daughters and for my sisters ... in spirit," said Caroline Cappelli, of San Francisco.

In San Jose too, a crowd gathered outside City Hall, while the Louden Nelson Community Center in Santa Cruz hosted a rally to commemorate “A Day Without A Woman.”

By 5 p.m. Wednesday, upwards of 300 people had flocked to Oakland City Hall to march alongside their female counterparts. Drums provided a beat, and just about everyone was represented at the march.

"We’re teachers from San Francisco," said Mary Ladalais. "We just know the importance of standing together."

"I am a mother," marcher Kim Nelson said. "I’ve worked with lots of kids who are incarcerated. I have a small business."

Meanwhile, Richmond eatery Salute E Vita said it was donating 10 percent of its sales on Wednesday to the city's Family Justice Center, an organization that works with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, sex trafficking and elder abuse. The owner, Menbere Aklilu, is widely known in the community for being a frequent contributor to women’s causes and community nonprofits.

NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd and Gillian Edevane and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Scott Budman/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[ Round Up: International Women’s Day Marches and Movements]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 13:58:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WomenProtesting.jpg

Bay Area advocates on Wednesday are joining forces with women across the country to flex their economic muscle as part of International Women's Day.

"On March 8, we propose a feminist strike which will not be content to pinkwash the bombs on Bagdad, or to knit crowns honoring biology as our destiny," the Gender Strike! Bay Area states. "Instead, we propose a different strike, a strike against all forms of gender domination."

Whether it's a call for a moment of silence at 12 p.m., or a #GrabYourWallet strike and mass walk out at workplaces, a variety of strategies have been proposed for International Women’s Day, a day chalk-full of strikes held annually in countries around the world.

"Every day throughout [Santa Clara County] and the world, women play a vital social, economic and political role in society," Cindy Chavez, a Santa Clara County Supervisor, said at a joint press conference with other local female officials Tuesday. "Yet, we continue to face the wage gap, vulnerability to discrimination and other gender and economic injustices."

From San Francisco to San Jose, here is a quick look at some of the 'Day Without A Woman' Rallies and 'International Women’s Day Strikes' planned for tomorrow:

San Francisco, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- In the morning, a ‘Day Without a Woman’ rally will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. outside of San Francisco City Hall, while an ‘International Women’s Day’ strike will immediately proceed through the afternoon from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Justin Herman Plaza located at 1 Market St. Organizers state that the organizers of both actions 'are in solidarity' with each other and will be present at both.

Berkeley, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- On the University of California, Berkeley campus, another 'International Women’s Day’ strike will occur around the lunch hour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lower Sproul Plaza.

San Jose, Noon to 2 p.m. -- Outside of the San Jose City Hall located at 200 East Santa Clara St., there will be a ‘Day Without A Woman’ rally from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Santa Cruz, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. -- In the early afternoon, there will be a ‘Day Without A Woman’ rally in the Louden Nelson Community Center located at 301 Center St. in Santa Cruz from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Oakland, 5 to 9 p.m. -- Later that evening outside of the Oakland City Hall, an 'International Women’s Day’ strike will occur from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Pacifica 6 to 7 p.m. -- Over on the coast side, organizers are hosting a candlelight walk at sunset from Linda Mar Beach to Rockaway Beach and back starting from 5000 Pacific Coast Highway in Pacifica. 

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Gov. Brown Requests Federal Aid, Declares Emergency ]]>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 18:10:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/AP_17019018687288.jpg

Gov. Jerry Brown is asking for federal assistance with the infrastructure damage from late January storms that caused flooding, mudslides and power outages.

Tuesday's request follows two other petitions for federal help that President Donald Trump's administration granted last month to assist with earlier storm damages and the emergency at Oroville Dam.

Brown's office said Tuesday the governor also declared a state of emergency for 53 of the state's 58 counties due to late January storms. All nine Bay Area counties were among the 58 counties listed.

The request says February storms' damage, including the crippling of Oroville Dam's two spillways, is being assessed.

After five years of drought, California saw record-breaking precipitation this year that led rivers and creeks to break their banks.

The governor's office says six people died in the state during the January and February storms.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Troubling Legacies': 2 Palo Alto Schools Could Be Renamed]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 19:50:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Jordan+Middle+School.jpg

A group of Palo Alto community members on Tuesday is expected to recommend that two middle schools with "troubling legacies" be renamed.

The Renaming Schools Advisory Committee in a majority vote decided the Palo Alto Unified School District should rename Jordan Middle School and Terman Middle School. The committee also suggested renaming the former Cubberley High School if it is ever re-opened as a school facility.

All three schools were named after individuals who were prominent in the eugenics movement — which sought to improve human genetics through sterilization and by discouraging reproduction by people with undesirable traits, such as race and class. Lewis Terman, Ellwood Cubberley and David Starr Jordan are all namesakes.

Palo Alto resident Lars Johnsson started a petition to rename the schools in 2015 after his son completed a report about David Starr Jordan, who was Stanford University's first president.

“I feel very grateful there was enough momentum in the committee to take this issue for what it was,” Johnsson said. “People had the same reaction I had, which was it’s just not right.”

Johnsson was one of 13 committee members. The committee convened for nine months, hosted a town hall and gathered community input before voting and publishing a report.

The group voted eight to five to rename Jordan Middle, and seven to five to rename Terman with one abstaining vote.

“The names we use to identify the places our children are educated in have meaning. They are symbols,” the committee wrote in the report.

The report continued: “When we honor a person by naming a school after them, we are judging them worthy of our praise. We are holding them up as role models for our children. The legacies of three school namesakes, Jordan, Terman and Cubberley, are incredibly challenging to reconcile with our shared values.”

The report also acknowledges, however, that many in the community are unaware of the schools’ namesakes and have developed unique connections with each school.

Committee members who oppose the renaming wrote in the report that the school names also "connote very positive images. Yes, symbols do matter, and the images these names evoke are not of an ugly racist ideology, but of shared memories, community, and growing up. As decades have passed, these names have been decreasingly associated with their namesakes and increasingly with the place … To change the names of these schools would sever the connection with the past.”

The committee will discuss the recommendations with the board and its 61-page final report during a special board meeting Tuesday at 6:30p.m. The school board is then scheduled to vote during a regular meeting next Tuesday on whether schools will be renamed.

A full copy of the report can be found here.

Photo Credit: Ryann Vargas]]>
<![CDATA[Barricaded Man Opens Fire at Officers in Redwood City]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 07:37:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-7-17_RWC_Police_Activity.jpg

A barricaded man inside a Redwood City home Tuesday morning prompted police to close several streets and temporarily postpone classes at both McKinley Middle School and North Star Academy, police said.

The standoff situation, which ended with 57-year-old Frank Leon being taken into custody just before 8 a.m., began at about 1:30 a.m. when Leon called 911 and said he consumed a "significant amount of prescription medication," police said in a statement. Leon then hung up the phone and 911 dispatchers were unable to reach him.

Responding officers arrived at Leon's home a short time later to check on him before he shot at them with a semi-automatic handgun, police said.

Police immediately set up a perimeter around Leon's apartment and evacuated nearby homes, police said.

Leon proceeded to tell a fleeing neighbor that he wanted to kill the police officers before firing more rounds in the direction of nearby law enforcement officials, police said. Leon also shot two neighboring homes where adults and children were sleeping at the time.

For the next several hours, Leon intermittently fired shots from his apartment, prompting the Redwood City Police Department's SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiation Unit to be called to the scene.

Leon was eventually coaxed out of his apartment, police said. He incited police to shoot him, claiming that he was carrying a concealed weapon. Police, thanks to negotiation officials, later took him into custody without having to use force.

Leon was taken to San Mateo General Hospital for a psychological evaluation, according to police. He is set to be charged with two felony counts for assault with a deadly weapon and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

A preliminary search of Leon's home yielded a loaded gun with a "significant store of ammunition," police said.

No injuries were reported, but four nearby families had to leave their homes for a number of hours while police dealt with the ordeal, according to police.

The public was asked to avoid area while police attempted to secure Leon, police said. The intersections of Harrison Avenue and Clinton Street, Duane Street and James Avenue, Jefferson Avenue and Clinton Street, and Jefferson Avenue and Cleveland Street were all shut down due to the heavy police presence.

Nearby North Star Academy and McKinley Middle School were closed until 10 a.m., police said. Sequoia High School remained open, but parents were advised to drop off their students via Broadway.

An active investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information regarding Leon is asked to call Detective Glenn Albin at 650-780-7141.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Film Director to Debut Work at Cinequest]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 16:42:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/228*120/Remembrance+Film.jpg

A 19-year-old filmmaker and San Jose native will make her directorial debut at a Silicon Valley film festival this week.

Madison Campione’s film Remembrance is one of dozens of movies featured at the Cinequest Film and VR Festival. The film will premiere Wednesday in Redwood City.

“I’m so excited to see it on a movie theater-sized screen,” Campione said. “I’m beyond excited to see the reaction of the audience.”

The University of Southern California student co-wrote the film with her father Dr. Troy Campione, who has owned Cineteller Productions in San Jose for more than four years.

The father-daughter duo decided in summer 2016 to create a narrative about government-developed memory mining technologies. “Remembrance” is a thriller about a young woman who uses new memory technology to solve the mystery of her twin sister’s disappearance.

Mr. Campione financed the movie for an estimated $20,000.

The entire 12-minute movie was shot in Morgan Hill. Months later the film was submitted to Cinequest for entry into the festival.

Now the movie will be on the big screen just miles away from the young director’s hometown.

“I’d been to Cinequest many times and it’s in my hometown and it’s played a big role in my life in San Jose,” Campione said. “I’m overjoyed.”

The college sophomore says finding the time to direct a film while pursuing a bachelor’s degree has been tough at times.

“I’m overwhelmed but in a good way,” Campione said. “Balancing school work with my career is definitely a challenge but I feel blessed to have the opportunity to create ‘Remembrance.’”

Campione wants to keep showing her movie on the big screen. She plans to submit the movie to the Cannes Film Festival and other big movie showcases. Campione and her father are also starting to raise money to turn the movie short into a feature film.

She was named a 2017 finalist for the Horizon Award for female directors.

“Remembrance” will be screened March 8, 10 and 11 at Century 20 Theater in Redwood City. For more information visit the Cinequest website.

Photo Credit: Ryann Vargas
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<![CDATA[Winter Wonderland! Snow Covers Bay Area Peaks, Roads]]>Mon, 06 Mar 2017 13:58:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/194*120/PicMonkey+Collage50.jpg

It's usually a rare surprise in the Bay Area, but snow on Monday once again returned to higher-elevation regions.

Resting slightly lower than the Bay Area's already snow-capped peaks, Highway 9 and Skyline Boulevard near Saratoga received a heavy dusting Monday morning. That location sits at about 2,000 feet in elevation.

Monday's snow comes on the heels of cold weather system on Sunday that covered several Bay Area peaks, including Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, Mount Hamilton just east of San Jose and Mount Tamalpais in Marin County with the wintry mix. Those chilly temperatures combined with scattered showers also caused hail in several areas too.

Mount Diablo, which is about 3,800 feet, saw a good amount of snow, and Mount Tam, which is just above 2,500 feet, received a significant dusting.

Mount Hamilton, the tallest peak in the Bay Area at nearly 4,400 feet, was blanketed with snow.

Despite temperatures dipping into the low 30s Sunday night, most people welcomed the change of scenery.

"I think that's wonderful; I love to see snow," said Michael Pliner, of Saratoga.

The combination of near-freezing temeratures and scattered showers offered the potential for more snow and possible sleet at lower elevations around the region on Monday morning, according to forecasters.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Grants Available for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations]]>Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:05:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/173*120/ev-charge.jpg

The 2017 funding cycle for a grant program aimed at helping to create a Bay Area-wide electric vehicle charging station network for the public was announced by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The Charge! Program is open to eligible businesses, nonprofits, and public agencies. Five million dollars is available, according to air district officials.

The Charge! Program helps offset the cost of purchasing, installing and operating new public charging stations. The money comes through the Air District's Transportation Fund for Clean Air.

All applicants must attend one online webinar before submitting a proposal. Applicants can register for the webinar at www.baaqmd.gov and can attend on either March 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. or on March 28 from 11 a.m. to noon.

The application deadline is 4 p.m. May 22. Grant money will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, air district officials said.

Larger amounts of money are available for projects that incorporate solar power generation, are located in transportation corridors and for multi-port Level 2 stations.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hail Causes Crashes, Hazardous Driving Along I-280]]>Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:41:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-night.jpg

Traffic on Interstate 280 along the Peninsula was brought to a standstill late Sunday night when a hail storm caused two accidents and created generally hazardous driving conditions, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The two collisions blocked the two left lanes in the southbound direction near Westborough for a brief time. The lanes were reopened at about 9:30 p.m., but CHP warned motorists to continue using caution through the area due to accumulation of hail.

Surface streets in South San Francisco such as Avalon Drive also were covered with hail and made for sloshy conditions. Some residents reported hearing thunder claps before they heard the hail begin pelting their homes and cars.

Photo Credit: NBC 7
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<![CDATA[Dog Left in Dumpster Recovers with Bay Area Rescue Group]]>Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:20:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-5--17_Dumpster_Dog.jpg

A Central California puppy left to die alone in a dumpster is living to tell another tale thanks to a number of human friends, including some from a Bay Area dog rescue group.

Bay Area resident Indrani Stangl came across a gut-wrenching Facebook post picturing the young pup named Ivy in dire need of medical attention.

"She had been found in a dumpster," Stangl, who volunteers for a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering dogs in need of forever homes, said. "It was pouring rain. Her eye was actually popped out of her face. She has a skull fracture and also a nasal fracture. The most critical thing was her temperature was about 10 degrees too cold."

Fortunately for Ivy, a veterinary hospital near Bakersfield took her in and patched her up. She then made her way to a local foster home before traveling north to recuperate with Pound Puppy Rescue, the organization that Stangl volunteers for.

Ivy still requires eye surgery, which is scheduled to take place in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, the pooch will recover and acclimate to a normal life before she's ready to find a permanent home and a loving family.

"While she is being fostered, she's going to be socialized with little kids, other dogs and by the time she is ready for adoption, she'll be very well adjusted and ready to fit into a family life," Stangl said.

Anyone interested in donating to help fund Ivy's medical care can visit the Pound Puppy Rescue website or the Pound Puppy Rescue Facebook page.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Weather Brings Rainbows, Hail, Snow to the Bay Area]]>Sun, 05 Mar 2017 20:06:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/HailSJ.png

Photo Credit: Yolette Nunez]]>
<![CDATA[Pacifica Police Discover 'Skimmer' Device in 7-11 ATM]]>Sat, 04 Mar 2017 21:48:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/atm+card+generic.jpg

Police discovered and removed a "skimmer" device from an automated teller machine at a convenience store in Pacifica Thursday afternoon.

According to police, a customer was using an ATM at a 7-11 located at 100 Clarendon Rd. around 1 p.m. when he noticed a piece of wire protruding from the top of the PIN pad.

Upon closer examination, the customer discovered a false bottom had been attached the ledge above the PIN pad, and he told a store clerk who contacted authorities.

Police said an investigation revealed that a pinhole camera connected to an illegal card reader device had been attached to the ATM.

According to police, when a bankcard in inserted into a "skimmer", account information is stored illegally on an attached electronic device where criminals can then use the information and commit fraud.

Police advised ATM users to be aware of suspicious looking equipment that seems loose, crooked, damaged or has an abundance of adhesive residue.

Additionally, police advised ATM users to always block their PIN numbers when entering them, and to contact their banks if a card is not immediately returned after the transaction, or hitting cancel.

Pacifica police continue to investigate this incident.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Residents Crowd Landlord's Doorstep, Demand Repairs]]>Sat, 04 Mar 2017 17:45:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-4-17_Concord_Slum.jpg

Residents from a Concord apartment building on Saturday traveled to Hillsborough demanding that their landlord fix their homes allegedly riddled with mold and cockroaches.

Folks claim the landlord has continued to raise rent prices by $300 on a monthly basis but failed to pay any attention to the laundry list of alleged transgressions, which also includes claims of water damage and mildew.

Members from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment joined the residents and stood outside of the landlord's Peninsula home flashing signs that read "No More Slum Conditions" and "Stop the Rent Increase."

Maria Valdarama, who has lived in the apartment complex for six years, says the lack of repairs to mold and water damage present health issues for her young children.

Someone inside of the landlord's home spoke with the residents and advocates through the door, but no one came outside to directly meet with the group.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to the landlord but has yet to receive a comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Killed When Cars Veers Off SR 84 in Menlo Park]]>Sat, 04 Mar 2017 12:21:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sr84pic.jpg

One person died early Saturday morning in a single-vehicle collision on State Route 84 in Menlo Park, according to police.

Police said officers responded to the eastbound lanes of Bayfront Expressway just east of Chilco Street at 3:14 a.m. on reports of a vehicle that drove off of the roadway into a drainage ditch.

According to police, the vehicle collided with a cement drainage outlet.

Upon arrival police found the driver suffering from major injuries and responding paramedics administered lifesaving techniques to no avail. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The identity of the victim is being withheld until next of kin is notified, and the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Eastbound lanes on Bayfront Expressway were temporarily closed for about four and a half hours as a result of the accident.

Meanwhile, the Menlo Park Fire Protection District expressed its condolences in a statement.

"We don't know exactly why this occurred, but this isn't the first time we have responded to a significant vehicle accident involving this unprotected drainage ditch. We'll be talking to Caltrans about that," Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman wrote.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is encouraged to contact Traffic Officer Brent Hughes at (650) 330-6300.

Photo Credit: Menlo Fire Battalion 1]]>
<![CDATA[High Suicide Rates in 3 Santa Clara County Cities: CDC]]>Fri, 03 Mar 2017 20:16:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/depression3.jpg

A year-long study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found a higher than normal youth suicide rates in three Santa Clara County cities.

The report found that the rate of teenage suicide in Palo Alto, Morgan Hill and Sunnyvale exceeds the rest of the county and state. It also said that nearly all the young people who died by suicide in Santa Clara County were struggling to cope with a recent crisis or a mental health issue.

In Palo Alto, Kathleen Blanchard was struck hard by the tragedy of teen suicide. Seven years ago, her only son JP took his own life.

“Like my son is not a number, he is not a death by suicide,” she said. “He was a boy who was loved, had friends, who might have been suffering from a mental health illness that was in need of some treatment.”

Blanchard, dressed in lime green — the color of mental health awareness, hopes the study will shine a light on the need for awareness and treatment, especially for young people.

“Seek to know, seek to understand and listen more,” Blanchard urged others.

The CDC report was requested by county officials in response to growing concern in Palo Alto where five Gunn High School students committed suicide in 2009 and 2010. The study involved examining the lives of young people and highlighting the complex issues surrounding suicide.

Now, health officials hope it will help to reduce the stigma associated with suicide.

“There are gaps,” confirmed Mary Gloner, the executive director of Project Safety Net. “How do we as a community address this?”

The Palo Alto organization was created to prevent teen suicides, and Gloner is hoping the CDC’s findings will shine a light on education efforts that are already in place in the community, and remind parents and teachers that suicide is preventable, with proper care and intervention.

“It’s a topic not to be afraid to talk about,” Gloner stressed.

For Blanchard, talking about JP can be painful, but she hopes the story of his life will help save others.

“There’s nothing that will bring my son back, but he was a sweet boy who always looked out for other people. He was kind, caring and compassionate. I see his spirit in this sort of work,” she said.

If you, or anyone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached online or by calling 1-800-273-8255.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New Legal Issue Surrounds Titans of Mavericks]]>Fri, 03 Mar 2017 16:59:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2016-02-12_7-39-02.jpg

A stormy legal situation is generating even more doubt about the future of the Mavericks surf contest.

NBC Bay Area first broke the news contest organizer, Cartel Management, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late January.

That move led many contest partners, including founder Jeff Clark, to publicly disavow Cartel and speculate the 2017 contest can't be reorganized in time.

Now NBC Bay Area has obtained court documents that show main sponsor, Red Bull, is objecting to Cartel hiring a legal team with money actually owed to Red Bull.

The sport drink giant claims Cartel is supposed to pay back $400,000 Red Bull paid in January for the rights to livestream this year's contest.

Red Bull maintains an amendment to its business agreement with Cartel stipulates contest organizers will "promptly refund all amounts paid by Red Bull (Red Bull Media House North America, Inc)" if the contest doesn't happen.

In bankruptcy proceeding documents, Red Bull accuses Cartel of "improperly diverting" $61,500 from the funds Red Bull paid to Cartel.

The Mavericks surf contest, called "Titans Of Mavericks" this year by Cartel, is an international competition called only when surf conditions along the San Mateo coastline are considered “optimal” for big surf. It’s an invitation-only event and all invited surfers must arrive within 48-hours of the contest being called.

At this point, Cartel has not officially called off the contest but the company's contest permit is now facing legal challenges from various groups.

San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan told NBC Bay Area, “this latest move by Red Bull, combined with the bankruptcy and legal fight over the contest permit and other necessary permits as well as other possible debts convinces me there is no way a contest can be held this year."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area chopper]]>
<![CDATA[Dump Truck Slams Into Overpass on 101 in Palo Alto]]>Fri, 03 Mar 2017 12:42:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-3-17-dump-truck-101-damage2.jpg

A dump truck slammed into an overpass on southbound Highway 101 in Palo Alto late Thursday night, damaging the structure and creating a traffic backup on the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 2017 Peterbilt dump truck hit the overpass at the Embarcadero Road exit, creating a 27-foot-long crack in the structure, according to the CHP. All lanes reopened before 6 p.m. Friday.

The impact of the crash was so severe that the dump truck's roughly 20-foot-long bed was completely severed from the 30-foot-long truck, according to the CHP.

CHP officials determined that the driver, who was later identified as 24-year-old Sukhpal Singh of Fremont, forgot to lower the dump bed after leaving a nearby construction site.

A Caltrans engineer from Sacramento was called in to assist local engineers with assessing the damage and formulating a solution.

Singh was transported to a nearby hospital after hitting his face on the steering wheel during the crash, according to the CHP. Alcohol or drugs did not play a role in the crash.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Gamers Flock to Bay Area Stores for Nintendo Switch Release]]>Fri, 03 Mar 2017 08:05:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NintendoSwitchRelease.jpg

Passionate gamers lined up outside Bay Area retailers early Friday all in the effort to get their hands on the new Nintendo Switch, a gaming system that allows folks to play at home and on-the-go.

The latest console from Nintendo, which hits the market at $299.99, features a docking station that houses a screen similar to that of a tablet. When a gamer is in the confines of their own home, they can hook up the docking station to their television and use the system's controller to play their favorite games in traditional fashion. When the user feels like taking the adventure outdoors, they can detach the screen from the docking station and attach the controller to it.

Jonathan Flores, protected from the cold by his "Super Mario Bros." blanket, posted up outside of a Fremont Target at 11 p.m. on Thursday in hopes of purchasing the coveted toy.

"I just really want one," he said. "I’ve just been a fan all my life. The whole culture has been a big part of my life ever since I was four years old."

Wes Ong from Fremont also unfurled his camping chair and braved the elements in anticipation of the gaming system's release.

The pediatric respiratory therapist for Stanford Medicine won't be the only one to enjoy the new source of entertainment.

"You can buy it, bring it over to the hospital, then you can play it with (the children) and bring it home," he said. "This is one of the only systems you can do that on. It’s pretty cool.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images, NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Butterflies Released Ahead of San Francisco Exhibit Opening]]>Thu, 02 Mar 2017 21:01:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Photo1_Butterflies.png

Glasses fogged and sweat droplets forming, visitors enter a tropical oasis where biologists are releasing some colorful new additions for a conservation exhibit open to the public Friday.

Above the aquarium, the cafe and current exhibits at the San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences, guests can now explore the undiscovered floor.

The new butterfly observation gallery features a living wall and a look at an array of butterflies and moths at various levels of metamorphosis.

"Butterflies are really special," Tim Wong, a biologist working in the butterfly exhibit said. "They're beautiful, they're diverse and they're also incredibly important.

The addition completes a sweeping four-level indoor rain forest with 1,600 live plants and animals.

Wong and another biologists released butterflies into the exhibit in preperation for the public opening and estimates they will continue to purchase new species in order to diversify their exhibit to around 500 butterflies. 

In the making for more than a year, scientists and curators have been paying special attention to the origin of the new butterflies as each purchase helps fund conservation efforts by farmers in tropical ecosystems, according to Wong.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Quick-Thinking Mother Saves Collpased Son on Soccer Field]]>Thu, 02 Mar 2017 12:00:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MOM+SAVES+SON.jpg

Jose Agredano was playing one of the biggest games of his life.

His soccer team, the San Benito High Haybalers, has gone undefeated this season, and he wasn’t going to let the Watsonville High Wildcats end their winning streak.

So when the ball landed between him and an opponent just 30 seconds before half time, Jose rushed to pass it with his chest.

That’s when the 16-year-old started to feel dizzy.

“I felt like the wind got knocked out of me and then usually when that happens you see clear still. But everything was blurry and I lost balance and I just collapsed,” Jose said of the mid-February incident.

His mother Gina Agredano was talking with another parent at the top of the stands and missed the play. But her husband immediately said, “Something is wrong with Jose.”

The Hollister couple sprinted to the field where their son was laying on his side. Agredano, a family medicine physician, was having a hard time looking at her unresponsive son. “My worst nightmare” is how she describes the experience.

She knew he needed help, but didn’t know what had caused his collapse. Was it a head injury? An underlying heart condition?

“He’s my son. There is obviously an emotional attachment to see him in that manner,” Agredano said. “He was unresponsive but he was breathing. So I just kept assessing him.”

After a few minutes, she started CPR. She performed chest compressions for two to three minutes while she directed the athletic trainer to grab an AED.

The AED arrived around the same time as the paramedics. Agredano quickly tore her son's jersey, slapped on the AED pads, and electrically shocked him.

He regained consciousness.

“I’m thankful she was there and I’m thankful she saved my life,” Jose said about his quick-thinking mother.

Jose suffered from Commotio Cordis—a condition created when an object hits the chest — typically on the left side near the heart — at just the right time in the electrical cardiac cycle that it creates a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm.

Doctors say the condition is most commonly seen in baseball and hockey players.

“Some people can collapse right away when they have the ventricular arrhythmia or the abnormal heart rhythm. Some people may be a little dizzy and groggy and able to take a few steps. But, ultimately, people will collapse on the ground,” said Dr. Kara Motonaga at Stanford Children’s Health.

Jose was examined at Watsonville Community Hospital before a Stanford physician, who happened to be there, suggested he be seen by experts at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto.

Doctors say the AED was critical to his recovery, and more schools and public spaces need to have the machines available.

“The AED is crucial. He essentially would have died without the AED,” Motonaga said.

Agredano's quick actions helped tremendously as well.

“It’s a surreal scene to see her doing CPR on him,” said her husband Jose Agredano, Sr. “She was so focused.”

Gina Agredano is still shocked by what happened — and how close she was to seeing her son for the last time.

“I’m still traumatized,” she said. “A little overwhelmed, but every time I look at him — it’s wonderful.”

The game Jose was unable to complete ended in a tie. He has now passed a stress test and is awaiting the results of an MRI scan so he can return to the soccer field.

Photo Credit: Ryann Vargas/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Butterflies Released for New Exhibit]]>Thu, 02 Mar 2017 21:02:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thumbnail_butterflies.jpgBeginning Friday, visitors will be allowed up to the very top of the indoor rain forest to see a project in the making for more than a year at the California Academy of Sciences.]]><![CDATA[Mountain Lion Spotted Roaming Around Pacifica Neighborhood]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:32:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/174443699_MountainLion.jpg

A mountain lion was spotted in a residential Pacifica neighborhood Monday evening, according to police.

At about 5:30 p.m., a person reported seeing what he believed was a mountain lion in the 1000 block of Grand Teton Drive, police said.

The person said he saw the animal crossing the street before going into an adjacent wooded area. The lion did not appear aggressive, according to police.

Officers responded to the scene but were unable to locate the animal.

During mountain lion sightings, residents are advised to never approach it, especially if it is with offspring.

Additionally, residents should avoid jogging or hiking during dawn, dusk or at night, times when mountain lions are most active.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prosecutors, PG&E Agree on Monitor For Pipeline Safety]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:38:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/brunoblazeH.jpg

Prosecutors and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. have selected a former acting attorney general to monitor the utility in the wake of its conviction on criminal charges stemming from a deadly natural gas explosion in San Bruno.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco announced Monday that Mark Filip would serve as compliance and ethics monitor. Filip served as acting attorney general during the early days of the Obama administration in 2009.

A judge last month ordered a monitor as a condition of PG&E's probation following its five felony convictions for gas pipeline safety violations. The company was also convicted of obstructing investigators in the wake of the 2010 blast in the city of San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[One Stabbed in Mountain View, Suspect Detained: Police]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:44:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-28-17-MTN-VIEW+STABBING.jpg

One person was transported to a hospital and another was detained after a stabbing in Mountain View Monday night, police said.

The stabbing happened just before 10 p.m. in the 1100 block of Phyllis Avenue.

The victim, who suffered at least gun stab wound, was taken to a nearby hospital. At least one suspect was detained and questioned by police.

Police blocked off Phyllis Avenue between Pamela Drive and Hans Avenue for several hours to investigate the scene.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Missing 72-Year-Old Man Ditches Redwood City Care Home]]>Sat, 25 Feb 2017 21:08:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Horace+Greely+Nash.jpg

Redwood City police are asking the public to help them Saturday evening to find a missing at-risk man.

Horace Greely Nash, 72, walked away from a care home in Redwood City Saturday morning without telling the home's staff members.

Nash is black, 6 feet 1 inch tall and 150 pounds. He was wearing a dark green jacket and gray pants.

He is probably on public transit or on foot because he does not own a vehicle, police said.

Anyone who sees Nash is asked to call the Police Department at (650) 780-7118.

Photo Credit: Redwood City Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Busy Swift Water Rescue Team Back Home to Menlo Park]]>Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:13:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MenloParkWaterRescueTeam.jpg

A Menlo Park-based swift water rescue team returned home on Friday following a deployment first to Sacramento and then to Los Gatos in case the recent rainstorms threatened people's lives, Menlo Park Fire Protection District officials said Saturday.

The team, which is made up of staff members of the fire protection district, was deployed Sunday after returning from Oroville the week before where a damaged auxiliary spillway threatened nearly 200,000 people.

The rescue team from Menlo Park is one of the state's original swift water rescue teams established in 1994. Its staff is a mix of new and veteran members, including some who responded to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

The team was ready to respond to San Jose if the city needed help, but that wasn't the case.

Menlo Park fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said the team will be ready should melting snow cause flooding and threaten people's lives later this year.

Photo Credit: Menlo Park Fire Protection District]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Trying to Rob Rite Aid Pharmacy at Gunpoint]]>Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:25:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pacifica+robber.jpg

Police are asking for the public's help to find a man who allegedly tried to rob a pharmacy at a Pacifica Rite Aid store at gunpoint Friday night.

At 9:58 p.m., officers responded to the Rite Aid at 200 Fairmont Shopping Center for a report of an armed robbery, police said.

Responding officers learned a man entered the store and jumped the counter of the store's pharmacy. The suspect then displayed a gun and demanded prescription drugs, according to police.

However, the pharmacist was able to distract the robber, who fled without taking anything.

The robber was last seen running toward Gateway Drive, police said.

The suspect was described as a man in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds and with a beard. He was wearing a black baseball cap with a light bill and logo on the front, sunglasses, a black hoodie sweatshirt with a basketball logo on the front, gloves, blue jeans and dark shoes, according to police.

A surveillance camera was able to capture images of the suspect.

Anyone with information about his identity is asked to contact Pacifica police at (650) 738-7314. Anonymous tips can be left at (650) 359-4444.

Photo Credit: Pacifica Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Number of Riders on BART Drops, Agency Examines Alternatives]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:59:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/bart38.jpg

It may be hard to believe for some commuters, but BART ridership is actually declining.

The transportation agency had been enjoying six years of consecutive growth, but during the first half of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, BART reported a roughly four percent drop in the number of weekday riders, as reported by the Mercury News. Weekend ridership slumped by approximately nine percent.

That drop in ridership could mean that BART will finish this year $15 to $25 million below budget, according to the Mercury News. Looking forward, BART could face a $25 to $35 million shortcoming as it prepares its future budget.

In order to make up for that loss, BART may consider chopping discounts for the elderly and young riders, starting service at 5 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. or scaling down service on some lines, the Mercury News reported. Base fare prices may also jump.

BART has also executed a hiring freeze and asked every department to cut back on spending as it works to prevent any further losses, according to the Mercury News.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[$50K Reward Offered in Shooting Death of Bay Area Pitcher]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:42:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0223-2017-CalvinRiley.jpg

Friends and family of a man killed at San Francisco's Aquatic Park six months ago gathered in San Mateo Thursday evening for a candlelight vigil.

Calvin Riley, 20, was shot on Aug. 6 last year shortly before 10 p.m. in the waterfront area near Ghirardelli Square. His father, Sean Riley, announced at the vigil a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

"I would do anything to hug Calvin again and tell him I love him," Sean Riley said.

Calvin Riley, a San Mateo resident and 2015 graduate of Serra High School, was playing Pokemon Go with friends at the time of his shooting. A Massachusetts native, he was attending San Joaquin Delta College, where he played for the school's baseball team.

Life for Sean Riley after his son's death has been a nightmare.

"You took away everything in my life. You ripped my heart out of my chest," he said at the vigil. "You took my best friend -- took everything from me that night."

Police have not reported any arrests in the case, but in September released a sketch of a man who was seen leaving the area shortly after the shooting.

Police were looking for the man and a white four-door 2013 to 2015 Toyota Avalon, as well as a female subject who was also seen with the vehicle.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Student Wins Ballet Grand Prix Semi-Final]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:58:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ballet_Photo6-1.jpg

Students from the Westlake School for the Performing Arts in Daly City claimed top ranking spots at one of Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) regional competitions, a high-stakes ballet competition with regional events in six countries and 14 cities nationwide.

"I dance around 20 hours a week," Juliana Bellissimo, 14, said at a practice with instructor Viktor Kabaniaev Wednesday. "It's something I don't think a lot of people understand, to devote a lot of time and sacrifice for it, but it's something I love doing." 

The aspiring dancer commutes two hours to the studio five days a week for her routine, a skill that earned her the title of a Youth Grand Prix regional winner.

"I would really like to be a professional dancer," Bellissimo said, adding that while she decided she won't travel to New York City for YAGP finals this year, she'd like to be picked up by a professional company in the next three to four years. 

She wasn’t the only one from Westlake School for the Performing Arts to be given a prestigious honor by the organization.

Fellow dancer, Michelle Lin, 11, also claimed the 'Hope Award,' a high honor for those too young to officially compete in the finals.

Dancers age 9 to 19 from around the region came to compete in San Francisco's multi-day regional competition with several winners coming from the Westlake School for the Performing Arts, one of three schools awarded the "Outstanding School Award." 

Alyssa Viray, Baylie Ruiz Elizabeth Nip, Emily Moeller, Ethan Rualo, Hailey Rozzano-KeefeKiera Dorman, Jonacy Montero, Mahalaya Tintiangco-Cubales, Mia Hall, Parker Rozzano-Keefe, Sabrina Yap, Summer Brown also receiving ranks. 

"It's really inspiring to be in a group like that because we all want the best for each other," Bellissimo said. "We all work super hard so it's a good environment."

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Cruz Police Chief Blasts ICE For Secret Raids]]>Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:55:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KevinVogel.jpg

Santa Cruz police and city leaders lambasted the Department of Homeland Security at a news conference Thursday, accusing them of conducting secret immigration raids earlier this month and lying to the police department while doing so.

However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials hit back within hours, deeming the allegations “completely false, reckless, and disturbing.”

Under question is an early morning raid on Feb. 13 that was the culmination of a five-year investigation and drew on more than 200 local police officers and federal agents.

Ten members of a "notorious transnational gang" were arrested across 11 locations in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Daly City on a host of charges, including drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit extortion by force, according to ICE spokesman James Schwab.

The suspects belonged to the Santa Cruz Salvatrucha Locos 13, a subset of the Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) gang, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. They were believed to be planning assassinations, which determined the timing of the raids, Deputy Police Chief Dan Flippo said during Thursday's news conference.

But police Chief Kevin Vogel said that federal officials have also admitted to detained some Santa Cruz residents who did not have a criminal history or any ties to gangs. They were singled out based on their immigration status, according to NBC-affiliate KSBW.

Schwab explained on Thursday that "authorities encountered 11 illegal aliens" at places where they served search and arrest warrants. Those people were "detained initially on administrative immigration violations due to their association with suspected members of a transnational street gang," he said.

Ten of them have been released, but one person is still in custody "due to his criminal history and possible ties to the ongoing investigation," Schwab continued.

Meanwhile, Flippo elaborated at the news conference that six people were taken to a Homeland Security facility. Five of them were released on GPS monitoring, while one was released with a USCIS interview notice, known as a G-56 form. Four others were detained and issued the G-56 form at their residences.

"I am outraged," Flippo said. "I am disgusted."

Vogel echoed the same sentiment. 

"This flies in the face of the values that our community holds very deeply. The community has an absolute right to be angry over this," he said.

Santa Cruz is a "sanctuary city," which bars police from cooperating with federal authorities investigating immigration violations. It remains unclear whether detentions were also carried out in Daly City and Watsonville.

For his part, Schwab countered Vogel's and Flippo's claims by saying that a special agent notified the police chief several days before the raid that "any non-targeted foreign nationals encountered during the enforcement actions ... would be held briefly until determinations could be made about their identities and case histories."

Vogel "acknowledged this possibility," Schwab said, and both groups "agreed that no foreign nationals would enter the Santa Cruz Police Department’s facility or their police vehicles."

Schwab also rejected the Vogel's claims that ICE "secretly planned an immigration enforcement action in hopes there would be new political leadership that would allow for an alleged 'secret' operation."

He further warded off the police department's claims by saying that law enforcement is "fluid" and officers are often forced to react to situations they were unprepared for. 

"All of the arrests were conducted in accordance with agency policies and consistent with the special agents’ authorities under federal law," Schwab emphasized.

However, Vogel insisted that he only agreed to work with federal officials because they repeatedly assured him that immigration detentions were not part of their plan. Had he known Santa Cruz police officers were helping with an immigration raid, they never would have participated, he said, issuing an apology to the community at large. 

The pre-dawn raid raised the hackles of Santa Cruz's immigrant community because the arrests followed ICE raids around the United States.

At the time, Santa Cruz police responded to the concerns by releasing a statement assuaging people's fears.

It read in part: "This operation was not associated with enforcement of federal immigration nor deportation investigations. The City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Police Department does not and will not participate in immigration enforcement or arrests."

It continued: "The men arrested during today's operation were all members of a violent criminal organization that has preyed upon and threatened the community."

However, on Feb. 14, more than 100 people showed up at a City Council meeting to voice their fears, KSBW reported, accusing ICE of uprooting families based on people's immigration statuses.  

Vogel and Flippo, who had also assured the Santa Cruz community that the raids were not led by ICE, were in attendance and grew worried.

"The information provided from our community sounded credible," Vogel said at the news conference.

Flippo walked out of the City Council meeting to call high-ranking Homeland Security officials to dig for answers, according to KSBW. No one has taken personal responsibility for the immigration detentions, but federal officials have acknowledged that they did, in fact, happen. But officials have denied the police department's request for the names of the immigrants who were taken into custody.

"I am very angry this occurred and I'm disgusted this was withheld from me," Flippo said.

Vogel added: "This has violated the trust of our community, and we cannot tell you how disappointed we are by the betrayal of the Department of Homeland Security." He also apologized to the immigrant community that calls Santa Cruz home.

Meanwhile, Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Mathews said she was "heartbroken" that families have been "torn apart," and demanded an investigation into the raids. 

Special Agent-in-Charge Ryan Spradlin retaliated by saying, "It’s unfortunate when politics get intertwined with a well planned and executed public safety operation. When politics undermine law and order, the only winners are the criminals."

Separately, Vogel stressed that the 10 gang members who were arrested, posed a genuine threat to the safety of Santa Cruz residents.

A federal grand jury has indicted seven of the men for conspiring to extort drug dealers and three for conspiring to traffic methamphetamine. The raid has led to the MS-13 gang's dismantlement, Vogel said on Thursday. 

Velarmino "Meduza" Escobar Ayala, Tomas "Profugo" or "Caballo" Rivera, Ismael "Casper" Alvarenga Rivera, Willfredo "Chino" Edgardo Ayala, Jose David "Largo" Abrego Galdamez, Melvin "Sharky" Lopez and Alexander "Pocar" Martinez Flores are facing extortion charges, prosecutors said.

According to the indictment, the seven men had conspired to threaten Santa Cruz drug dealers and those close to them with violence in order to take their property. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Gerber "Choco" Morales, Emilio "Diablo" Escobar Abarnga and Josue Alcedis "Penguino" Escobar Cerritos allegedly conspired to engage in drug trafficking, prosecutors said. Since March 2015, the three men conspired to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of meth.

If convicted, the defendants accusing of conspiring to commit extortion face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Those convicted of conspiracy to possess 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it face a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine, prosecutors said.

Photo Credit: Telemundo 48]]>
<![CDATA['Indivisible:' Three Snapshots of South Bay Anti-Trump Groups ]]>Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:45:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/CAMPBELL+INDIVISIBLE.jpg

Dozens of political action groups have popped up around the South Bay as residents are joining factions of a national group called Indivisible, an anti-Trump resistance group which organizes individuals to be politically engaged at local and regional levels.

More than 4,500 small political groups have popped up around the nation following the Inauguration of President Donald Trump.

While each group exists to “resist the Trump agenda,” members in various cities have designated focus areas organic to their area.

Below is a snapshot of the top agendas of three South Bay Indivisible groups.


Indivisible Milpitas is focused on connected with as many members of congress as possible.

In an email, administrators said the group will participate in Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-17) upcoming town hall and any other events where they can “show support to the good work they are doing, make issues that are important known to them, and maybe ask specific items that we would like more checks/balances on.”

While the group does meet in person, much of the interaction is online between its dozen Facebook group members.


The Orchard City Indivisible group includes members of Campbell and surrounding communities. Over 700 people have joined the Facebook group, and dozens have been attending meetings since January.

Administrator Celeste Walker said the group started with 12 individuals back in January. Their latest meeting had 130 people.

Walker says the group is now simply “stopping the bleeding” because topics vary week to week depending on actions being taken federally.

A top priority is encouraging the Campbell City Council to become a sanctuary city, as members are urging local government to draft a city proclamation.

Most recently, members attended the group’s first Orchard City Indivisible event on President’s Day called “Not My President’s Day.” Protesters rallied in front of San Jose city hall against President Trump and recent actions taken by his administration.

The next meeting will focus on action items including refocusing the Democratic National Committee and bridging the divide within the party.

Members are also forming subgroups around topics including divestment.

Orchard City Indivisible meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m.


The Indivisible Stanford group includes members of both the University and larger Palo Alto community. More than 460 people have joined the group’s Facebook page.

The main focus of the group, according to administrator Meghan Koushik, has been applying pressure on Representative Anna Eshoo (D-18). Members have organized stand-ins at her Palo Alto office, called for meetings and urged the congresswoman to advocate for bills that push their anti-Trump agenda.

“By having a direct relationship we can push her to do a lot more on issues she has a say in,” Koushik said.

Members have a meeting with Rep. Eshoo and her office staff March 6th.

In addition the group’s congressional focus, members are also cultivating relationships with Stanford law professors and other campus faculty to become educated on who they as citizens can be more active in state education, immigration and health care policy.

Photo Credit: Lam Nguyen]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Entrepreneurs From Cuba Visit Silicon Valley]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2017 20:20:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0221-2017-CubaTech.jpg

They say necessity is the mother of invention and nowhere is that more true than in Cuba, where tech startups are popping up across the island nation despite very low internet connectivity. That intrepidness is on display with the visit of some young high-tech entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley. Jessica Aguirre reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighter Arrested in Alleged Domestic Violence Incident]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2017 17:34:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0221-2017-SamRomero.jpg

A San Francisco firefighter has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence charges, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

While few details are available at this time, it appears that Battalion Chief Samuel Romero was arrested by Daly City police Monday night, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

He was booked into San Mateo County jail and has been released on bond, with a court date set for March 23.

The case was forwarded to prosecutors by Daly City police Tuesday afternoon, and Wagstaffe said he did not yet have details of the incident.

The San Francisco Fire Department released the following statement Tuesday: "SFFD has been made aware of an incident involving off duty members, we don't have any further details at this time."

Calls to Daly City police were not immediately returned.

Photo Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[I-280 Crash Leaves Driver Dead, CHP Officer Injured]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:11:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0220-2017-CHPcrash.jpg

Police are investigating a crash late Monday on Interstate 280 in the Los Altos Hills that left a driver dead and a California Highway Patrol officer injured.

CHP officials said an officer responded at 6:50 p.m. to reports of a car stuck in the mud on southbound I-280, near El Monte. A separate vehicle struck the CHP car while it on the side of the roadway, police said.

The driver of the SUV that struck the CHP vehicle was transported to Stanford Hospital, where they later died, police said.

The CHP officer was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[More Concern for Residents Near San Francisquito Creek]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:22:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-20-217-san-francisquito-creek.jpg

During the last big Bay Area storm, the San Francisquito Creek carried so much debris, it took Caltrans workers all night long to clear it as they rushed to keep the waterway open. On Monday, a new storm had neighbors peering over the bridge in concern -- again. Peggy Bunker reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Storm Debris Removed from Rising San Francisquito Creek]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:41:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-20-17_San_Francisquito_Debris.jpg

Logs, branches and other debris were removed from the San Francisquito Creek near East Palo Alto to reduce flooding concerns. Pete Suratos reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pedestrian Walking Outside of Crosswalk Struck, Killed]]>Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:35:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Pedestrian-Crossing-Generic-SD.JPG

A person died Saturday night in San Bruno after a car struck them as they were crossing the street, police said.

The incident occurred at about 8 p.m. in the 1100 block of El Camino Real, according to police.

Upon arrival, officers found the pedestrian lying in the roadway, on El Camino Real just south of Commodore Drive, across from The Shops at Tanforan mall.

Investigators determined the pedestrian was crossing El Camino Real outside of the crosswalk, when a vehicle struck them.

The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene, police said.

The victim was taken to a hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries. Their identity has not been released.

The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the San Bruno Police Department at (650) 616-7100 or sbpdtipline@sanbruno.ca.gov.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Flooding Concerns Ramp up as Powerful Storm Targets Bay Area]]>Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:19:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/flood-generic-file.jpg

Another powerful storm expected to douse the Bay Area Sunday night and Monday morning could pack threats of flooding, mudslides, toppled trees and power outages.

Scattered showers on Sunday will transform into widespread rain around 11 p.m. Heavy downpours will continue into the Monday morning commute hours and consistent rain will continue to pound the region throughout the day.

A flood warning was already in effect for Solano County as of Sunday evening to go along with flood watches for the rest of the Bay Area's eight other counties.

Sunday night and Monday's storm is expected dump anywhere from one to three inches of rain across the Bay Area. Coastal mountains are expected to receive the brunt of that moisture with some spots receiving three to six inches of rainfall.

This latest storm presents flooding concerns for areas already saturated by a wet winter. The San Lorenzo River near Felton, Alameda Creek along Niles Canyon Road and Coyote Creek near the San Jose neighborhood of Edenvale are all expected to reach flood stage by Monday afternoon. High flooding potential will also likely exist along the Uvas/Llagas Creek and San Francisquito Creek. Officials are also keeping a close eye on the Guadalupe River and creeks in the North Bay.

High wind warnings were also in effect for all nine Bay Area counties as of Sunday evening. Gusts could reach 15 to 50 mph at times late Sunday and Monday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford President Declines 'Sanctuary Campus' Status]]>Sat, 18 Feb 2017 18:41:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/StanfordFile.jpg

In a meeting Thursday with a coalition of students and campus workers, Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne declined to officially declare the university a "sanctuary campus," according to a campus spokesman.

Members of the student group Stanford Sanctuary Now, who also go by SSN, met with Tessier-Lavigne in his office to urge the university to not share student and staff citizenship information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI and to declare the school a "sanctuary campus."

According to university spokesman E.J. Miranda, Tessier-Lavigne explained to the group that the term sanctuary is not well-defined, and that it could be detrimental to students and employees to use such a label, putting them at risk of federal sanctions.

Additionally, Miranda said that Tessier-Lavigne noted that none of Stanford's peer institutions had declared themselves sanctuary campuses.

The term "sanctuary campus" is modeled after sanctuary city, which is any municipality that has adopted policies to protect undocumented immigrants.

Miranda said that Stanford is deeply concerned about the potential impact to individual members of the community, and to the academic mission of the university amidst the possibility of immigration restrictions under President Trump's ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

SSN member Emma Hartung said that while she was happy with Tessier-Lavigne for reaffirming shared values, she was really hoping for more concrete actions.

"Essentially, I think the president didn't express willingness to commit to specific further action, and we're really pushing for the university to be a leader in the campus movement to adopt sanctuary and extend that to students and anyone employed," Hartung said.

Frankie Preciado, executive director of SEIU Local 2007 said that he supports the efforts from SSN, and that a sanctuary campus is a priority for his union.

"We are committed to supporting workers and their families in the struggle for social justice, irrespective of immigration status," Preciado said.

University officials said Stanford would continue to actively engage in addressing questions and providing resources to the community.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>