<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - South Bay]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usWed, 24 May 2017 07:03:10 -0700Wed, 24 May 2017 07:03:10 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Emergency Repairs Needed on Hwy. 85 in San Jose]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 21:25:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0523-2017-Hwy85Dips.jpg

Drivers say a stretch of road along Highway 85 in South San Jose features a dangerous dip that has been getting progressively worse over the last few weeks.

Caltrans in response will be shutting the stretch of roadway overnight until mid-June to make emergency repairs.

"I'm more of a one-hand kind of girl," driver Bertha Valenzuela said of gripping her steering wheel. "But during that time I'm more of a two-hand kind of girl."

The dip drivers are referring to on Highway 85 is actually several dips along northbound and southbound directions of the freeway and near the Highway 101 interchange.

"It's something that's going to back up traffic more, and possibly more accidents," driver Wayne Richelle said.

Workers say the winter storms seem to be the cause of the dips, but Caltrans says it is unclear how the dips started to pop up on the highway.

Engineers will investigate this week to see if it's a construction issue or if it is weather related.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Closing Arguments Begin in Murder Trial of Jail Guards]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 16:42:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tyree+trial-0320-2017.jpg

A prosecutor seeking to convict three Santa Clara County correctional deputies for the beating death of a mentally ill inmate at San Jose's Main Jail in 2015 began his closing argument Tuesday morning, two months after the trial began.

Jereh Lubrin, 30, and Rafael Rodriguez and Matthew Farris, both 28, could face life in prison if convicted of murder for the beating of bipolar 31-year-old Michael Tyree on Aug. 26, 2015, the night before he was found dead in his cell with his spleen ruptured nearly in two.

The three are also charged with the assault under color of authority of 48-year-old Juan Villa, a second mentally ill inmate, the same night.

Villa, who suffers from schizophrenia and manic episodes, testified about the assault last month as well as about a prior assault on July 25, 2015, in which Lubrin is also charged.

The defense has claimed that Tyree's death was not a homicide, suggesting that he died by suicide by jumping onto the corner of the sink in his cell, rupturing his organs.

"Power and the abuse of power: that is what this case is about and that is why this happened," prosecutor Matt Braker began, echoing the opening statement he gave on March 21.

"These three defendants, they thrived on the power they had as guards over the inmates," Braker said.

The defendants are said to have targeted mentally ill inmates, known in jail as J-cats, an allegation supported by text messages shown to the jury earlier in the trial in which some of the deputies bragged about the assaults.

At 8:36 a.m. on Aug. 27, 2015, the morning Tyree's vomit- and feces-covered body was removed from his cell, Rodriguez's Google search history shows search queries of "can you die from punches to you," "can you die if someone punches you in the armpit" and "can you die if someone punches you in the rib."

According to witness testimony, the assault on Tyree began after he mouthed off to a nurse during "pill call," when medication is distributed to inmates.

"They treated Michael Tyree with complete contempt and disdain. But in this courtroom, in here, he is entitled to all of the same respect and dignity as any victim," Braker said.

Braker went over the testimony given by 11 current and former inmates who said they heard Tyree and Villa "begging and screaming" or the dull thud of Tyree's body.

Some said they saw all three deputies in Tyree's cell and that one of the deputies turned off the cell light when they left, which would have been unusual.

One witness, Joshua Mauricio, testified that he had heard Lubrin say, "I don't want to hear a word from you" when he left Tyree's cell.

The defense has attacked the inmates' testimony as inconsistent and accused some of them of being "professional witnesses" who believe their testimony could be rewarded with legal or immigration-related benefits, a claim that prosecutors have refuted.

"Of course there are discrepancies," Braker said. "Just because there's a discrepancy between two people's testimony doesn't mean it should be thrown out."

Jurors have heard recorded calls inmates made from the jail phone the morning after Tyree's death, telling alarmed girlfriends and mothers that the deputies had beaten an inmate to death.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area file]]>
<![CDATA[Saratoga High Student Arrested for Threatening Violence]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 23:45:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-23-2017-saratoga-hs-threats.jpg

A South Bay student is behind bars for allegedly making a criminal threat against his school, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Students at Saratoga High School are in the midst of final exams, but now, along with graduation and summer plans, a classmate's arrest is on everyone's minds. 

The suspect’s name will not be released because he is not yet 18 years old, sheriff's officials said. Students say he is a senior.

“I think he just wants attention,” said a student identified only as Matt.

Matt said he noticed that the student -- who has since been arrested -- began dressing differently about two weeks ago. His clothing resembled that of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, who gunned down their classmates and teachers at Columbine High School in 1999, Matt said.

A school resource officer on Monday arrested the student after several school-goers reported hearing him say he intended to cause violence on campus during finals week. School administrators suspended him, but the exact nature of his threats remains unknown.

"I was surprised. This school is not known at all for any violence," Matt said. 

In the meantime, security at Saratoga High School has been beefed up. Parents said they are happy to see Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies conducting extra patrols at the Herriman Avenue campus. Investigators are also trying to figure out whether the student really planned to people at the school.

“Students being safe is more important than anything else," parent Prashanthi Ravi said.

Principal Paul Robinson sent an email to parents, alerting them of the goings-on. He also praised students who brought their classmates’ alleged threats to a teacher’s attention.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to Robinson and Bob Mistele, the superintendent of the Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District, but have yet to hear back.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Fleeing Police Hops Center Divider, Struck by Car ]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 10:28:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-22-17_Sunnyvale_Fatal.jpg

A male driver being chased by authorities late Monday in Sunnyvale was struck by a car after he hopped out of his sedan, jumped the center-divider and ran into oncoming traffic, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department.

Officers administered first aid, but the driver, who has yet to be identified, was later pronounced dead at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, the sheriff's office said.

The pursuit originally began around 9:50 p.m. when sheriff's deputies spotted a suspicious vehicle at a gas station in San Jose, according to the sheriff's office. Officers approached the vehicle before the driver suddenly backed up, hit a cruiser and fled the scene.

A roughly 16-minute chase ensued, according to the sheriff's office. The driver, who managed to damage and flatten two of his tires during the pursuit, tried to hit a patrol car on multiple occasions. Deputies did not reciprocate. 

Just before CHP officers arrived to assist, the driver stopped his car next to the center divider near the Fair Oaks Avenue exit, according to the sheriff's office. He hopped the wall and ran across southbound lanes of traffic before being hit by a Toyota Prius driving in a slow lane.

The driver was pronounced dead at the hospital around 10:45 p.m., according to the sheriff's department. No one else was injured during the chase and collision.

An investigation is ongoing at this time. Authorities will not release the driver's name until his next of kin are notified.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area on Heightened Alert Following Manchester Bombing]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 23:55:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-security-0523.jpg

In the wake of the deadly concert explosion in Manchester, England on Monday night, some security agencies around the Bay Area are stepping up enforcement.

Understanding that the blast occurred outside security checkpoints at a large social event, the Oakland Athletics added more police officers to keep an eye on areas outside of the ballpark during Tuesday night's home game. The security procedure will become standard for future games.

A’s season ticket holders Ami and Chris Low attend almost every game. On Tuesday night, they noticed a change at the gate.

"I see the effort of the security," Ami Low said. "The lines seem to be longer."

Vice President of Stadium Operations David Rinetti said earlier Tuesday that Oakland police officers would be patrolling the stadium as an additional layer of security, especially on the outskirts of the Coliseum, where they'll be looking for any suspicious activity and checking to make sure nothing dangerous is planted or brought inside.

Stadium workers also would be on extra alert, he said.

"We'll talk to our staff to be a little more observant about who's coming in," Rinetti said. "Tonight, we'll continue to do that with our screening and our metal detector, and in addition, we'll be adding some more officers to be roaming around the perimeter outside to ensure that things are going well.

"You have to adapt to what’s going on in society, and you got to do what you can to make the place safe," he added.

Most A's fans said they understand and don't mind the extra officers.

"That all has to be under control, and that's good if somebody's taking care of things and making sure we're all safe, we all feel better," said Ricky Ricardo, owner of Ricky's sports bar in San Leandro. "People should just learn that's the way life is, unfortunately, these days."

Public transporation agencies across the Bay Area such as BART, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Caltrain and SamTrans are not necessarily increasing the amount of security officers patrolling their systems, but they are reminding officers to maintain routine vigilance. Transporation agencies are also staying in contact with federal authorities to monitor any security threats. 

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two-Alarm Commercial Fire Breaks Out in Sunnyvale]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 06:18:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-23-17_Sunnyvale_Fire_Commercial.jpg

A two-alarm commercial fire broke out in Sunnyvale early Tuesday, according to fire officials.

The blaze, which ignited just before 3:30 a.m., burned in the 500 block of Lakeside Drive and Titan Way, according to Battalion Chief Craig Anderson. Flames initially ignited inside one of the building's suites before spreading to the business next door.

The fire, which is believed to have started in an attic space, does not appear to be suspicious at this time, Anderson said.

Firefighters tried to fight the flames on the ground, but they forced to assume a defensive strategy and use suspended ladders, according to Anderson.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Mother of Sierra LaMar's Killer Testifies in Penalty Phase]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 19:43:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

The mother of convicted murderer Antolin Garcia Torres testified through tears in a San Jose courtroom Monday, describing through two Spanish-English interpreters the horrors of poverty, abuse and loss that have ravaged her family for decades.

Garcia Torres, 26, was convicted earlier this month of the first-degree murder of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar in 2012 and the attempted kidnappings of three women in 2009. The jury is set to decide in the coming weeks whether to impose the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Defense attorney Brian Matthews called Laura Torres as his team's first witness in the penalty phase, in which the defense will present sympathetic evidence about the myriad traumas and disadvantages Garcia Torres and his family faced prior to the murder of the missing teen.

Torres spoke of the physical and emotional abuse she endured from her alcoholic ex-husband Genaro Garcia Fernandez, who she married in a small Mexican town when she was just 13.

Showing photos of a younger Torres with a sheet of ankle-length brown hair, Matthews asked the woman about the time Garcia Fernandez wrapped her long braid around her neck and pulled.

"Were you very afraid?" Matthews asked.

"So much that I cut my hair," Torres, who now has shoulder-length black hair, said through an interpreter.

Garcia Fernandez sometimes drank an entire 12-pack of beer and called her names and hit her when he was drunk, including at least three times during her pregnancy with Garcia Torres.

During that pregnancy, Garcia Fernandez threatened to kill Torres and the children, she said, recalling an incident in which he lit a fire under the family car.

At night, Torres said, "He would tell us, 'You know you're going to bed but you don't know if you're going to get up.'"

During that pregnancy, Torres took her older children and moved in with Garcia Fernandez's parents in Saint Helena to escape her husband for a few months, she said.

When asked why she chose to stay with her in-laws and not her own family, Torres said, "Because I wanted to show everyone that it wasn't my fault."

Matthews made no mention of the fact that Garcia Fernandez is serving a life sentence for the sexual abuse of a female relative from age 5 to 14, while Garcia Torres was a child. He was convicted in 2012.

Describing Garcia Torres as a "loving, responsible" son who took on a protective role in the family after his older brother Benny was lost to drugs, jail, deportation and eventually death, Torres said, "Even now, as he is, he supports me."

"What the defense is trying to do is set the stage for a psychologist to come in and say this is the impact this kind of childhood can have on a person," legal analyst Steven Clark said. "This was also a mother's plea not to be ignored."

Torres brings Garcia Torres' two young daughters every time she visits him in San Jose's Main Jail, she said, describing the visits as "happy" and noting that the two talk to their father on the phone every weekend, which is as often as he is allowed.

"What they are saying through his mom's testimony is that he could still have a relevant impact on his children's lives if the jury decides not to execute him," Clark said.

Torres wept as Matthews repeatedly asked her whether she wanted Garcia Torres to be executed or to receive a life sentence.

"What mother would be asked if she wants her son to be killed or not?" Torres asked. "My other son has already died. He's my only son."

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

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Third Person Arrested in Connection With Death of 'Miss Flo']]>Mon, 22 May 2017 13:09:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PerlaArreola.jpg

A third person has been arrested in connection with the death of a beloved San Jose woman commonly known "Miss Flo," according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department.

Perla Arreola was arrested Friday as an accessory to murder and for conspiracy to obstruct justice following the violent home invasion and robbery in September that ultimately led to the death of 88-year-old Flo Douglas, according to the authorities.

Zachary Cuen has already been charged with murder, according to the sherrif's department. Jennifer Hernandez Jimenez has also been arrested for concealing the elderly woman's death.

Following the home invasion on Sept. 12, 2016, Cuen returned to Douglas' home with her car. He was carrying stolen possessions belonging to Douglas, and Arreola is accused of getting rid of those items, according to the sheriff's department.

Arreola then lied to investigators "in attempts to obstruct the discovery of evidence of the murder," according to the sheriff's department.

Arreola is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Stabbing Attack of Woman, 2 Kids and a Baby]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 06:05:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mh+stab+suspect.jpg

A man faces multiple charges for his alleged role in a Morgan Hill stabbing attack that injured a woman, two children under the age of 14 and a baby, according to police.

The suspect, who has been identified as 36-year-old Eduardo Ramirez, faces four counts of attempted murder, child endangerment, domestic violence and resisting/delaying arrest following the Saturday incident that occurred inside a residence on Bisceglia Way, according to police.

After receiving reports about a man and woman yelling at each other inside an apartment, an officer arrived to find Ramirez in the apartment complex's parking lot. Ramirez, who was holding a pocket knife, was spotted stabbing himself in the neck and shoulder area, police said.

The officer demanded that Ramirez put down the knife, but the man refused, according to police. The officer responded by using a taser to subdue Ramirez.

A search of the residence followed and four people were found to be suffering from "injuries consistent from being attacked with a knife," police said.

The victims, along with Ramirez, were transported to be treated for their injuries, according to police. The exent of the injuries was not clear.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detecive Fernando Del Moral of the Morgan Hill Police Department at 669-253-4964. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact 408-947-STOP.

Photo Credit: Morgan Hill PD]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose State Football Player Stabbed During Downtown Fight]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 23:37:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjsu7.jpg

A San Jose State University football player is expected to recover after suffering from a stab wound during a fight overnight Sunday, according to the university.

Chad Miller, a safety with the Spartans, was in downtown San Jose enjoying a night out with friends when the stabbing occurred, the university said. He was stabbed at least once during the altercation and taken to a hospital with major injuries.

The university confirmed Miller was injured during a fight on Post Street, where one business owner said the brawl involved at least 12 people. The merchant was not certain how the brawl started.

Some SJSU students said they weren't entirely shocked by the violence because they've seen people carrying weapons in downtown San Jose.

"To be honest, I'm not surprised," student Fadi B. said. "Downtown is not known for its safety. I've seen a lot of people carrying huge knives on their side, things of that nature."

Student Lauren Fisher said there was a shooting at one of the bars on Second Street recently. She and other students said they generally feel safe at San Jose State, but once they set foot off campus, they're not as confident.

"It's just dangerous," Fisher said. "You never know what's going to happen."

The stabbing is not the first time Miller has landed in the hospital after a fight. In 2015, he suffered injuries after a fight in a dorm with a teammate, who was later suspended.

Miller, a junior, is from Vallejo, where he played football at Bethel High School, according to his bio on the SJSU website.. 

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Unable to Find Possibly Barricaded Suspects in SJ]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 07:15:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-21-17_SJ_Search.jpg

Police in San Jose were unable to locate two suspects who were believed to be holed up in a house next to Oak Grove High School for several hours Saturday, according to police.

The search for the suspects, who were wanted for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, was called off early Sunday, according to police.

The hours-long search kicked off Saturday evening around 5:45 p.m. when police tried to pull the over near Senter Road and Seven Trees Boulevard, according to police. The suspects, who were riding in a stolen vehicle, refused to stop.

A pursuit followed before the suspects fled on foot in the area of Bodie Court and Blossom Hill Road, according to police. That is where police set up a perimeter to help locate the suspects, who were believed to be hiding in a home.

People living in the area were instructed to shelter in place.

"It's scary," resident Chris Alexander said. "I hope that no one is hurt. That's the first thing that I ever think about is like, you know, if any families are in (the house), hopefully they're not going to be like collateral damage or something."

It is unclear if the two suspects were still in a home in the area as of 11 p.m. Units cleared the area early Sunday, according to police.

Further information was not available at the time.

Photo Credit: Telemundo 48]]>
<![CDATA[Spare the Air Alert Issued For Monday]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 14:02:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12-24-2013-spare-the-air.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Solano County the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Two-Alarm Fire Breaks Out at Concrete Plant Near Gilroy]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 23:26:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-20-17_Gilroy_Fire.jpg

A two-alarm fire broke out a concrete plant in unincorporated Gilroy Saturday evening, according to CalFire officials.

No one was injured in the blaze, which was reported just after 9:30 p.m. near Monterey Highway and Buena Vista Avenue, according to officials.

The cause of the blaze, which was still burning as of 10:30 p.m., is still under investigation, according to CalFire.

Multiple agencies responded to battle the flames.

Further information was not available at the time.

Photo Credit: Abraham Berin/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Police Search For Possibly Barricaded Suspects in San Jose]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 21:27:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-20-17_SJ_Suspect_Search.jpg

Police in San Jose on Saturday are searching for two possibly barricaded suspects accused of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, according to police.

Officers originally tried to pull the suspects over near Senter Road and Seven Trees Boulevard just before 5:45 p.m., according to police. The suspects, who were riding in a stolen vehicle, refused to stop.

A pursuit followed before the suspects fled on foot in the area of Bodie Court and Blossom Hill Road, according to police. That is where police set up a perimeter to help locate the suspects, who are believed to be hiding in a home.

People living in the area were instructed to shelter in place.

"It's scary," resident Chris Alexander said. "I hope that no one is hurt. That's the first thing that I ever think about is like, you know, if any families are in (the house), hopefully they're not going to be like collateral damage or something."

It is unclear if the two suspects are still in a home in the area as of 11 p.m.

Further information was not available at the time.

Photo Credit: Telemundo 48/David Gonzalez]]>
<![CDATA[421 Students Sickened by Stomach Bug in San Jose]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 22:21:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Classroom-School-GettyImages-470622795.jpg

A stomach bug outbreak has continued to spread in elementary and middle schools as well as one high school in the San Jose Unified School District, district officials said Friday.

The bug is described as a relatively mild stomach virus similar to norovirus, featuring symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.

Most students recover within a day or two, but district officials are encouraging parents to keep students out of school until they have had no symptoms for at least 48 hours.

Since May 4, 421 cases have been reported at 17 schools in the district, including 53 new cases on Thursday.

Almost 100 students at Hacienda Environmental Science Magnet School had caught the bug by Thursday, up from 80 on Monday.

River Glen K-8 School and Reed and Almaden elementary schools saw their first cases on Thursday, with 13 cases suddenly cropping up at Almaden, according to district officials.

The district has no plans to close schools in response to the outbreak, though in some cases schools are canceling or postponing student performances and art shows.

Crews have been cleaning and sanitizing affected schools every day, including cafeterias, play structures, classrooms and computer labs and school nurses have been instructing students in every classroom on good hygiene practices.

At least 28 cases have been reported by children and staff at a camp in Boulder Creek, according to Santa Cruz County officials.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Blend Images RM]]>
<![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[SJPD Investigates Man's Shooting Death at Wienerschnitzel]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 08:10:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-19-17-SAN-JOSE+ACTIVITY-WEINERSCHINTZL.jpg

San Jose police are investigating a man's shooting death late Thursday at a Wienerschnitzel restaurant.

Police responded to the eatery on the 900 block of S. First Street around 10:10 p.m. A man believed to be in his 30s had sustained at least one gunshot wound, police said.

The victim was taken to Valley Medical Center, but was pronounced dead. He will not be identified until his next of kin have been notified of his death, according to police.

Further details about a motive or suspect information were not immediately available.

Thursday night's death marks San Jose's 12th homicide of 2017.

For more information, call the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit at 408-277-5283. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[School Evacuated After Bottle Labeled 'Nitroglycerin' Found]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 11:33:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DANI5_hUIAAIbCZ.jpg

Bridges Academy in San Jose was evacuated Friday after a backpack was found to contain a 750-milliliter bottle of liquid labeled "Nitroglycerin," police say.

School staff called police around 8:20 a.m. after making the scary discovery. A bomb squad and fire crews were also dispatched to the McLaughlin Avenue campus. People in the vicinity were urged to shelter in place. 

The bomb squad placed the bag in a safety container and will test the liquid before disposing of it. It remains unclear whether it is in fact the chemical, which is well known as an explosive material. 

Franklin-McKinley School District officials said on Twitter that police told them the bomb scare was a hoax. Police have yet to independently confirm that information.

Police officers finished a sweep of the middle school before clearing the scene around 11 a.m. Students went home and traffic was once again permitted on McLaughlin Avenue, which had been closed between Bacchus and Audubon drives to make room for emergency vehicles.

Police activity forced VTA line 72 to be rerouted in both directions.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Robert Handa
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<![CDATA[Caltrans Fixes Misspelled Sign on I-280 in San Jose]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 18:36:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fixed+280+sign-0518.jpg

A freeway sign along Interstate 280 in San Jose that inadvertently renamed Saratoga Avenue, making it "Saratogo Ave," has been fixed, Caltrans said.

Caltrans crews unveiled the corrected sign Thursday.

Caltrans said a contractor made the mistake and would be charged for the repair.

A similar situation made headlines back in 2013, when a Caltrans sign misspelled Milpitas. It's unclear if the mistake was made by the same contractor.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Firefighters Douse 2-Alarm Fire Threatening Pair of SJ Homes]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 12:06:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-19-17-house-fire-summer+street.jpg

San Jose firefighters on Friday doused a two-alarm fire that damaged a pair of homes.

Multiple people reported around 11 a.m. that they could see a column of smoke above Summer Street. Fire officials called for a second alarm while units were still en routem they said.

A shed was ablaze and the flames were beginning to spread to the nearby homes.

A water main break during crews' efforts to extinguish the fire, so people from the city's water department were called to the scene. There are some reports of flooding. 

The homeowner of one of the residences that is partially gutted said that no one was injured. 

Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire, which was put out by about 11:20 a.m.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Restaurateur Named in Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ ]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 17:58:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Profile1.jpg

A South Bay man recognized in Forbes' '30 Under 30 list' is behind the popular and growing Indian-fusion street food hitting cities around the Bay Area.

From Naughty Naan to Curry Up Now's signature tikka masala burrito, you wouldn't find co-founder Amir Hosseini's creations at most traditional Indian restaurants.

"What’s different about the Bay Area is the acceptance towards creativity," Hosseini said.

His originality — as well as a killer team according to Hosseini — has won him praise from fans that continue chowing down at his expanding chain of restaurants. 

"We might be opening one to two… to three more," he said with a smile. "It’s fun watching it grow. It’s exciting." 

But getting to this point wasn't always that easy.

The idea of starting just a single food truck came up in conversation over lunch with his former boss, Akash Kapoor, just eight years ago. Then 22-year-old Hosseini was a salesperson for a mortgage lender – with no culinary experience.

"That was like a lifetime ago," Hosseini recalls. "Two weeks later, we drove 120 miles to go pick up this truck not having any food experience or any idea of what to do."

Fondly speaking of 18 to 19-hour days, the young restaurateur laughs about his early days starting up the Indian-fusion chain with Kapoor.

"There's no money, obviously in the first year, and you’re just trying to figure out how to make it work."

However, taking that leap of faith eventually had a big payoff.

"I basically know all of San Francisco," Hosseini said. "From day one, I was always in this little food truck driving around and going from city to city, [but] my day-to-day now is very different than when I started this company."

Hosseini now spends a lot less time behind the wheel and much more time on his computer.

His original food truck has expanded to include several trucks driving around San Francisco, as well as restaurants in downtown San Mateo, Palo Alto, Santa Clara and most recently, Oakland.

And as for advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, Hosseini said if you have a good idea, a support system and you feel ready to "just go for it!"

It might just have a big payoff.

"My day to day now is very different than when I started this company," Hosseini said.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway]]>
<![CDATA[Six Injured in Fire During Google I/O Conference]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 20:30:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/shoreline-0518.jpg

A fire during the Google I/O Conference in Mountain View on Thursday sent three people to the hospital, one with critical injuries, according to fire officials.

Firefighters responded to Shoreline Amphitheatre on reports of a fire inside one of the venue's food service buildings that was contained to the one building, fire officials said.

A total of six people were injured in the blaze, fire officials said. Three were transported to a hospital, one with life-threatening injuries. The other three were treated at the scene.

The developer conference was interrupted only briefly and continued Thursday evening. No evacuations were ordered, and no other injuries were reported, fire officials said.

Fire officials said the flames were caused by a grease fire in the kitchen of one of the food service buildings.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Saratoga High Students Forced to Retake AP Tests]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 19:24:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/saratoga+hs-0518.jpg

Studying for and taking advanced placement tests is usually the last big hurdle for high school students before thinking about graduation or summer vacation.

But hundreds of students at Saratoga High School in the South Bay were being forced to retake the tests starting Thursday because of a crucial technical error by the school.

It's a mistake that has precedence in the Bay Area.

According to some upset parents, about 300 students found out last Friday they would have to retake the tests that help them garner early college credits. The Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District acknowledged the College Board invalidated the original tests because the school used 6-foot desks with partitions instead of the required 8-foot desks.

Some students who had taken the AP tests were sympathetic to those going through it again.

"Well it's probably one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I would probably not take it again," one student said. "If I had to take it over again, I would not."

The district and school issued statements. Principal Paul Robinson said, "We will continue to challenge the decision made by the College Board and sincerely apologize for the disruption this has caused our students."

Parents said they're upset but don't won't to speak negatively about the school since their children are still in class.

Marin Catholic High School had a similar situation involving tables the college board considered too short to prevent cheating.

In 2013, about 300 students at Mills High School in Millbrae also had to retake AP tests for using round tables.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Toxicologist May Testify Garcia Torres Exposed to Pesticides]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 17:49:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

Growing up in a shack in the middle of the San Martin strawberry fields where his Mexican-born parents picked fruit, convicted murderer Antolin Garcia Torres may have been exposed to harmful pesticides, perchlorates and "possibly" mercury, a toxicologist will likely testify in the coming weeks.

Garcia Torres, 26, was convicted May 9 of the 2012 murder of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar as well as the attempted kidnappings of three women in 2009.

Along with details of Garcia Torres' impoverished and domestic abuse-riddled upbringing, the testimony would likely be presented to the jury to elicit sympathy as his defense attorneys fight for a life sentence without parole, rather than the death penalty.

Prosecutors filed a motion Monday to preclude Florida-based toxicologist Andres Lugo's testimony on the grounds that it is "based upon speculative inferences" and runs the risk of misleading the jury or confusing the issues.

In a hearing outside the presence of the jury Thursday afternoon, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Vanessa Zecher did not issue a definitive ruling, but said she was inclined to allow the testimony.

Prosecutors asked that the defense exercise particular caution with any testimony about "possible" mercury exposure, citing a lack of evidence.

"[Lugo] can't even say, and the defense can't produce, anyone saying anything about mercury," prosecutor David Boyd said. "Not even Dr. Lugo can find the source in this... When he says 'possible,' what he's saying is 'I don't have it.'"

Zecher expressed doubt as to the issue's weight, considering that, as with testimony from a psychologist who met with the defendant last year, Lugo would testify "under the same parameters that there's no connection being made" between the alleged exposure and any particular impact on Garcia-Torres.

The Berkeley-based psychologist, Gretchen White, met with an uncooperative Garcia Torres in November and has interviewed his ex-girlfriend, his parents and dozens of other relatives to compile a "psychosocial history" of the murderer's life.

Boyd and defense attorney Brian Matthews questioned White at a hearing outside the presence of the jury on Wednesday morning about her conclusions, which she said were not based on anything Garcia-Torres said to her in their 40-minute meeting or on the statements made by any of Garcia Torres' friends or family members in a 34-page sealed report compiled by an investigator.

"It's common sense. That's common sense," Zecher said today of White's assessment that the poverty, violence, abuse, addiction, neglect and incest present in Garcia Torres' childhood home would have had an effect on him. "You may not need an expert for that."

The defense maintains Garcia-Torres' innocence, so any evidence about his background cannot be presented as an excuse or explanation for his crimes.

"This is really about humanizing [Matthews'] client, for lack of a better word," Zecher said.

The defense will call its first witness when the penalty phase of the trial resumes Monday morning.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two-Alarm Fire Damages Abandoned Building in East San Jose]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 10:46:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-18-17-san-jose-east-fire-commercial.jpg

Firefighters early Thursday battled a two-alarm blaze that damaged an abandoned building in East San Jose,  fire officials said.

Fire crews were dispatched to a commercial building at 1064 S. White Road around 3 a.m., according to San Jose fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort. The blaze burned for about two hours after a security guard reported it.

Van Elgort said the fire appears to have sparked in a dumpster outside the building, but doesn't look like arson. 

The damaged and now partially collapsed building is the former location of an O'Reilly Auto Parts store. However, it is now empty so fire officials are not concerned about chemicals, oil or any other flammable material that might have been inside otherwise. 

According to Van Elgort, the fire was fully involved with heavy flames when crews got to the scene. Firefighters are expected to stay at the building until later in the morning, monitoring hot spots.

The fire at the popular strip mall had been extinguished around 5:15 a.m., Van Elgort said. There were no reports of injuries and the cause is under investigation. 

VTA bus lines 25 and 71 were rerouted temporarily. Service has since returned to normal.

This is the site of a four-alarm fire that broke out last June. At that time, a vegetation fire behind the O'Reilly store spread to the building. 

Bystanders told NBC Bay Area that homeless people used to take shelter in the now scorched space, but it’s not clear whether squatters living there was a factor in Thursday’s or last year's fire.


Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[3 Arrests in Child Abuse Case Involving Neurosurgeon, Nurses]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 09:32:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KohutBrandon.jpg

The third suspect arrested in a Northern California child abuse case involving a brain surgeon and a nurse has been identified as a 29-year-old Arizona nurse.

Court documents show Emily Joy Stephens was arrested May 12 in Tucson, Arizona on six felony child sex abuse charges involving three children under the age of 10 and three children under 14, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Stephens is accused along with Dr. James Kohut, who was arrested Sunday at his home in Santa Cruz, and nurse Rashel Brandon, arrested May 9 in nearby Watsonville.

Court documents show the child abuse happened on May 9, 2017.

Stephens, who works as a nurse in Pima County, Arizona, and Brandon also face charges for allegedly capturing the abuse on video.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: KSBW]]>
<![CDATA[Women to Protest Tech Exec's Domestic Violence Sentencing]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 00:15:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tech+exec-0517.jpg

A high-profile domestic violence case involving a Silicon Valley tech executive has sparked outrage among women activists who say the alleged abuser is getting off too easy.

Papiha Nandy started a petition on Change.org in the criminal case of Abhishek Gattani, former CEO of startup Cuberon. Gattani initially was charged with felony domestic violence but plea bargained with prosecutors for a lesser charge. The resulting sentence - for his second offense - would be 15 days in jail and weekend community service for five months. Sentencing originally was scheduled for Thursday but has been pushed back to June.

Nandy believes Gattani's wife, engineer Neha Rastogi, like other victims, is suffering in silence,and the outcome of the case will send a message to victims everywhere.

"As a woman I'm gonna stand up raise my voice, speak up," Nandy said. "There will be pressure on judge. The community is together and following this case."

Nandy also is organizing a rally at noon Thursday outside the Santa Clara County courthouse in Palo Alto, where the sentencing will take place. She expects a large group to gather demanding justice.

For Nandy, it's personal.

"I will go and stand in front of court with sign," she said. "I will ask for justice for Neha Rastogi. Somehow inside me, I'm doing it for my mother."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Twist in Sierra LaMar Trial: Previous Overturned Murder Case]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 00:07:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

A new development in the Sierra LaMar murder trial was revealed Wednesday, and it could get convicted killer Antolin Garcia Torres a new trial or help him in appeal, a legal expert says.

A judge recently overturned a murder verdict in another case after determining the lead detective gave false testimony. That same detective was a key witness and investigator in the Sierra LaMar trial.

The previous murder case in question involved defendants David Pilipina and Eddie Rivera, who were convicted last year in the murder of Kristina Harris Perkins in San Jose.

Just last week, the judge in that case overturned the verdict, partially because it was determined that Santa Clara County Sheriff's detective Sgt. Herman Leon gave false statistical evidence.

Leon also testified in the Sierra LaMar trial.

The defense team for Garcia Torres pounced on the new information Wednesday, bringing it up before a judge during the penalty phase proceedings at the Hall of Justice in San Jose. They asked for more information on the overturned case.

"I think it will be a centerpiece of a motion for a new trial or on appeal," legal analyst Steven Clark said.

The defense attorneys declined to comment on the details of their request. The specifics of Leon's testimony will be key, Clark said.

"The fact the officer's testimony was the basis for overturning a murder conviction is significant," he said. "Now the question is what exactly did he testify in the Sierra LaMar case, and would the defense have tried it differently if they'd known of the credibility issue."

Sierra, 15, disappeared in March 2012 while walking to a school bus stop in Morgan Hill, and her body has not been found.

On Wednesday, during the penalty phase for Garcia Torres, the jury heard tearful testimony from two of Sierra's friends and her sister Danielle.

The same jury that convicted Garcia Torres of first-degree murder last week must decide whether he gets the death penalty or serves life in prison without parole.

Sierra's parents are expected to testify Thursday.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[U2's Concert at Levi's Stadium Ruffles Feathers]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 19:30:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/u2band.jpg

One of the world’s most popular bands is coming to Santa Clara on Wednesday, but the event is garnering mixed reactions due to traffic and logistical concerns.

U2 is scheduled to perform at Levi’s Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The performance is part of “The Joshua Tree Tour 2017” — named after the Irish rock band’s fifth album — and will feature Mumford and Sons. Roughly 50,000 fans are expected to pack the South Bay arena to watch the legendary musicians' live show.

Of the attendees, about 6,000 will turn to public transportation, VTA estimates. Toward that end, VTA trains will be running till later at night to accommodate concertgoers. But the additional service will cost about $50,000

"We kind of had to scramble a little bit to get our extra service going to make sure there wasn’t a public safety issue and people were left at the stadium stranded," VTA spokeswoman Stacey Hendler Ross said.

At a Santa Clara City Council meeting on Tuesday, incensed city leaders decided that the San Francisco 49ers, who manage the stadium, will have to shell out that money.

In January, the 49ers approached the City Council, asking for a curfew extension from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. A council majority denied the request.

“It’s asking too much of the community to support late-night events weeknights at the stadium,’’ Mayor Lisa Gillmore said at the time, according to the Mercury News.

Nonetheless, it appears that the show will go on – at least until its intended 11 p.m.

In response, the Santa Clara City Council – at the recommendation of Interim City Attorney Brian Doyle – approved a motion on Tuesday to have the Stadium Authority notify the 49ers of a potential breach of contract. The show lasting past the 10 p.m. curfew — despite the city’s clear instructions otherwise — is what they view as a violation.

To accommodate the influx of concertgoers, Tasman Drive will be closed all day from Convention Center Drive to Centennial/Marie P DeBartolo Way. Fairway Glen Drive and Eisenhower Drive will be closed on the east side of Lafayette Street. Bassett, Davis and Fillmore streets and Lake Santa Clara Drive will be closed to the west of Lafayette Street.

Checkpoints will also be set up at the intersections of Lafayette Street and Calle de Primavera; Bassett Street and Wyatt Drive; Agnew Road and Lafayette Street; and Agnew Road and Mission College Boulevard.

Caltrain will also run a single northbound train after the concern. It will leave either 75 minutes after the concert or when the train is full.

More information about the event can be found online.

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

Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[Norovirus Outbreak Sickens Over 350 South Bay Students]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 04:11:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DublinNorovirus.jpg

Santa Clara County health officials confirmed Wednesday that more than 350 South Bay students have contracted norovirus, adding to the thousands of cases reported at other Northern California schools this week.

Of the 13 San Jose schools that have been affected, Hacienda Environmental Science Magnet School seems to have been hit hardest, with between 80 and 90 students having called in sick so far.

No classes have been canceled, but the San Jose Unified School District has stopped all extracurricular activities, including after-school programs, this week. It remains unclear when the programs will resume.

District officials say they notified the Santa Clara County Public Health Department after the first case was reported on May 4. The department hasn't confirmed norovirus through lab testing, but officials are confident in their diagnosis since the children have specific symptoms of the viral gastroenteritis.

The most common norovirus symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus spreads through contact, such as eating food after an infected person, touching a contaminated surface and then putting your fingers in your mouth, or having direct contact with an infected person.

Anne Darling and Horace Mann Elementary schools each have reported 27 cases; Olinder Elementary has 26; Washington Elementary has 11; Grant Elementary has 10; Terrell Elementary has nine; Willow Glen Elementary has eight; Carson Elementary has four; John Muir Middle School has three; and Empire Gardens Elementary has an unknown number.

Health officials put the total number of affected San Jose students at 242.

Two other schools outside the San Jose Unified School District also were affected by norovirus, the health department said: Rosemary School in Campbell and Jackson Elementary School in Morgan Hill. Those two schools reported a combined 129 sick students, health officials said, the vast majority of which occurred in April.

The cases reported in Santa Clara County add to the cases reported in nearby Yolo County. In a Friday statement, the county said 952 students, teachers and staff from 32 schools contracted the virus. The statement said the number of sick people was "increasing every day at a very alarming rate."

A Yolo County spokeswoman then said Wednesday the number of sick cases had risen to at least 2,091, NBC affiliate KCRA reported.

Crews in San Jose on Wednesday used bleach to disinfect desks, chairs and countertops at several schools. Playground equipment, some of which is still off-limits, is also being wiped down. Officials in Yolo County advised that the same precautions be taken there.

Nurses went to Hacienda to teach students how to properly wash their hands. 

"We really encourage parents, if their kids are experiencing symptoms, to keep them home 48 hours symptom-free after they've stopped showing symptoms without medication that's sort of the baseline we're using on when it's safe to send their kids back to school,” said Peter Allen with the San Jose Unified School District.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Google Rolling Out Arsenal of Services, Gadgets ]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 12:25:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17137642949516.jpg

Google provided a look at its latest digital offerings, with a heavy focus on its efforts to extend artificial intelligence features into more of its apps and services.

CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled Google Lens, a set of vision-based computing capabilities that can understand what you are looking at. It will first be available as part of Google's voice-controlled digital assistant — which bears the straightforward name "Google Assistant" — and Photos app. In the real world, that means you could, for instance, point your phone camera at a restaurant and get reviews for it.

Pinterest has a similar tool. Also called Lens, it lets people point their cameras at real-world items and find out where to buy them, or find similar things online.

Another tool in Google Photos will prompt you to share photos you take with people you know. For instance, Photos will notice when you take a shot of a friend and nudge you to send it to her, so you don't forget. Google will also let you share whole photo libraries with others. Facebook has its own version of this feature in its Moments app.

One potentially unsettling new feature in Photos will let you automatically share some or all of your photos with other people. Google claims the feature will be smart enough so that you could auto-share only specific photos — say, of your kids — to your partner or a friend.

The company is also giving the crowd a look at new twists in its Android software for mobile devices, which powers more than 80 percent of the world's smartphones. The next version of Android, available to the mass market later this year, aims to gauge and control how much battery life your apps are using. A feature called Google Play Protect, meanwhile, will scan all your apps for malicious software.

As part of a years-old tradition, Google will name the next Android version after a dessert or sweet-tasting snack beginning with the letter "O." (The current version of Android is the N version, Nougat.) It often takes years for a new version of the software to make it to older phones, and never arrives at all for some.

Rival Apple plans to provide unveil changes to the operating system for its popular iPhone next month. Many of Google's products are also vying against similar offerings from other tech conglomerates like Amazon and Microsoft.

Google is also planning a slimmed down version of Android for low-end phones, primarily used in the developing world. Called Android Go, this software will automatically enable data-saving features and will steer users toward apps designed specifically for inexpensive hardware. Phones with less than one gigabyte of memory will automatically get Android Go.

The overview came Wednesday during Google's annual conference for thousands of computer programmers.

Wednesday's keynote took place at an outdoor theater near the company's Mountain View, California, headquarters.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg]]>
<![CDATA[Inmate Nearly Kills Cellmate at Elmwood Jail in Milpitas]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 20:14:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/joshua+carter-0516.jpg

A jail inmate in custody at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas on a misdemeanor offense nearly killed his cellmate early Tuesday morning, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said.

Deputies stopped an alleged assault at about 1:10 a.m. in the M-5 housing unit of the jail at 701 S. Abel St.

Before they stopped the alleged assault, deputies heard a disturbance in a lower-tier cell and responded immediately, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies allegedly saw 28-year-old San Jose resident Joshua Carter attacking his cellmate inside their cell and deputies stopped it.

Carter obeyed deputies' commands and was taken to another part of the jail, sheriff's officials said.

Inside the cell, deputies found Carter's cellmate unconscious but breathing. The cellmate was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries that are considered life-threatening.

Sheriff's officials said they are following standard procedures for an in-custody assault with great bodily injury.

Sheriff's investigators and lawyers with the District Attorney's Office are working together on the case.

Crime scene investigators are collecting evidence. Sheriff's officials said no weapons were used in the attack and it was not captured on video.

Carter was in the jail waiting to be transferred to another county on a misdemeanor DUI warrant.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Takes Some Heat for 'Saratogo Ave.' Sign on I-280 ]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:48:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/I-280-sign-0516.jpg

It appears everyone could benefit from spell check, including those who make road signs.

A freeway sign along Interstate 280 in San Jose inadvertently renamed Saratoga Avenue, making it "Saratogo Ave."

Caltrans says it was a mistake that might not be obvious to those who alreeady know their way around the area.

"I take 280 all the time," commuter Sophia Ramirez said. "It’s funny, I’m not even paying attention to that."

Thousands of drivers speed past the mileage sign every day. Those heading to Saratoga Avenue may have noticed the sign doesn't match the name in their GPS.

"Someone needs to learn how to spell Saratoga," said Tony Perez.

The mileage to the Saratoga Ave. exit is accurate.

Caltrans says the contractor made the mistake, and a fix is coming. The agency will add a plate to the sign to cover the "o" on Thursday night. The contractor will pay for the repair.

"No! No go, Saratogo," said Karen Pesher. "Sounds like a sandwich place, ha ha. Who didn’t catch that? It’s a city that’s not brand new. It absolutely should be spelled correctly and taken down and fixed."

A similar situation made headlines back in 2013, when a Caltrans sign misspelled Milpitas. It's unclear if the mistake was made by the same contractor.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain View Leaders Discuss 'Missing Middle Housing']]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:48:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mv-rvs-0516.jpg

Mountain View city leaders came together Tuesday to address what they called "missing middle housing," a growing problem in which people earning six figures still can't afford a place to live.

"New units coming online are asking for rents of $3,700 to $4,200," said Wayne Chen, the city's Housing and Neighborhood Services manager.

Skyrocketing rents are driving some of those people to dwell in cars, vans and recreational vehicles. They can be seen lining city streets.

City officials said they spent more than $1 million last year supporting vehicle dwellers, with two dedicated social workers, a mobile shower unit and other support services.

"The city has taken a humanitarian approach first, and we're trying to get help and services to the people who need it," Mayor Ken Rosenberg said.

But the mayor wants to be clear: He said many of the RV residents are service professionals who work full time.

"Many of the people are living in their vehicles by choice; many of them work," Rosenberg said. "We refer to them as the working homeless."

One of the solutions being considered is building micropads, 110-square-foot homes that can be stacked like Legos.

"Micropads and the developers that are looking at that could really address a wide range of needs," Chen said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Penalty Phase Kicks Off in Sierra LaMar Trial]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 18:14:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

One week since finding Antolin Garcia Torres guilty of killing 15-year-old Sierra LaMar, jurors returned to a South Bay courtroom Tuesday to contemplate the convicted killer's fate.

Life in prison or the death penalty is on the line, and both sides of the courtroom kicked off proceedings with an emphasis on playing at the jurors' emotions.

During a 21-minute opening statement, prosecutors pushed home the point that Garcia Torres deserves death for not showing any mercy for the teenager, who has yet to be found since disappearing on her way to a Morgan Hill bus stop back in 2012.

On the other hand, Garcia Torres' legal team stated that they were disappointed with the guilty verdict, but they do accept it and will do what they can to secure life without parole for their client. They stated that Garcia-Torres' life has value regardless of the verdict and should not be ended prematurely.

The defense also attempted to evoke sympathy for their client by addressing his tumultuous family history that includes instances of domestic violence and sexual abuse. For example, they stated that their client witnessed his alcoholic father abuse his mother while growing up.

Following opening statements, three of LaMar's friends wiped back tears as they took to the stand to deliver their recollections of the teenager. One girl described LaMar as "a bubbly ray of sunshine" while another read a letter stating that she, like the LaMar family, will never have closure.

The penalty phase began just after 8:30 a.m. A total of four documents were submitted to the court before Tuesday's session. One asked for a separate psychological evaluation of Garcia Torres to be conducted by the district attorney's office. A second document rebuked that request, stating that it violated the convicted killer's rights to stay silent during the trial. 

Another motion filed by the district attorney's office opposed a doctor's testimony regarding the impact that pesticides had on Garcia Torres during his childhood. The final motion made jurors aware that if they decide on a death sentence, that decision must be unanimous.

The penalty phase of the trial could last several days, if not weeks.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Homeless Woman Arrested on Suspicion of Burglarizing School]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 23:49:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/molina-0515-2017.jpg

Police have arrested a homeless woman suspected of burglarizing a South San Jose preschool last week, officials said Monday evening.

Leticia Tavares Molina, 34, was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of breaking a window at Tomorrow Montessori at 2466 Almaden Road around 6:10 a.m. on May 4.

Police believe Molina vandalized the property and stole items from inside, causing about $10,000 in damage and forcing the school to shut down for repairs.

Police arrested Molina around 1:10 a.m. Friday in the area of South First Street and East Alma Avenue. She was booked into the county jail on suspicion of burglary, felony vandalism and drug possession.

Molina is being held on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: San Jose PD]]>
<![CDATA[Doctor, Nurse in Santa Cruz Arrested For Child Molestation]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 23:37:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KohutBrandon.jpg

A total of three people, including a doctor and a nurse based out of the Santa Cruz area, have been arrested on suspicion of child molestation, according to officials.

Dr. James Joel Kohut was arrested Sunday morning and charged with three felony counts including lewd acts with a child under the age of 10 and 14 as well as forcible lewd acts with a child under the age of 10, according to the Santa Cruz District Attorney's Office. Rashel Melinda Brandon, a nurse who works with Kohut, was arrested last Tuesday, and she has since pleaded not guilty to eight felony counts.

The case, which has crossed state lines, has been investigated for "some time," according to Watsonsville Police Department Cap. George Zamora.

The FBI and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force are assisting with the investigation.

Authorities are expected to release more information regarding the case during a Thursday press conference.

Further information was not available at the time.

Photo Credit: Watsonville Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Amgen Tour of California Bike Race to Stop in San Jose]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 06:20:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/amgen-stage+1.jpg

The Amgen Tour of California, the nation’s largest pro cycling race, returns to San Jose for its Stage 2 finish Monday.

The seven-day race, which has trekked through San Jose in 11 of its 12 years, more than any other city, started on Sunday with a 104-mile round trip out of and back into Sacramento.

Stage 2 will start in Modesto a little after noon Monday and finish in South San Jose about four to five hours later, covering about 90 miles.

The racers will head south out of Modesto, ride through Patterson, cross Interstate 5 and take Highway 130 up the eastern slope of Mount Hamilton. Once they summit the 4,300-foot peak, the cyclists will descend quickly into East San Jose on Mount Hamilton Road before veering south on Quimby, Yerba Buena and San Felipe roads in the Evergreen Valley area of San Jose.

The stage finishes on Metcalf Road at Motorcycle County Park. (See a Stage 2 map from the official race website)

This year, the race will cover more than 575 miles of California’s most scenic roadways and coastlines. It will end Saturday in Pasadena.

The race features numerous Olympic, world and national champion cyclists.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Psychologists at Center of Garcia Torres' Sentencing Phase]]>Sun, 14 May 2017 23:44:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

Life in prison or death?

That's what Antolin Garcia Torres faces starting this week after he was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar.

Sierra disappeared in March 2012, and her body has never been found.

Garcia Torres' defense team is trying to spare him from execution during the sentencing phase of his first-degree murder conviction. Proceedings begin Monday, with both sides facing off in a special hearing in front of the same jury that brought the fateful verdict.

New court documents indicate it will be a battle of psychologists, with the defense bringing in a forensic psychologist to help make the case to spare Garcia Torres' life. The prosecution aims to counter with its own psychologist to interview and evaluate Garcia Torres to determine whether he has any known mental impairment from his childhood.

The psychologists will offer scientific data and insight but will not advocate for a certain penalty, documents show.

Garcia Torres' childhood inevitably will be discussed, and the subject likely will turn to a well-documented case of a father convicted on 17 counts of child molestation, the documents show.

On Sunday, volunteers who have helped search for Sierra over the past five years say that Garcia Torres' troubled past is no excuse for what what he did to the 15-year-old.

"Everybody has rough childhoods, but we are all still walking around, and we are still law-abiding citizens. We are not out committing crimes," said Renee Figueira, a search volunteer.

During the sentencing phase, legal experts say, Sierra's parents will be the primary witnesses for the prosecution and will be asked to talk about what it's like losing a child and not knowing where she is.

If the prosecution does get to have a psychological expert evaluate Garcia Torres, that evaluation could include eight hours of clinical interviews.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pedestrian With Walker Struck, Killed by Car in San Jose]]>Sat, 13 May 2017 18:17:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-12-17_SJ_Fatal.jpg

A pedestrian with a walker was struck and killed by a car in San Jose Friday night, but the victim "may have been at fault," according to the California Highway Patrol.

The fatal crash happened around 9:20 p.m. near South Bascom Avenue and Scott Street, and a preliminary investigation revealed that the pedestrian "may have been at fault in this situation for stepping into traffic and crossing at a place other than where it is safe for a pedestrian to cross," CHP Officer Daniel Hill said.

When officers responded to the scene, firefighters had already pronounced that the victim had died, but the driver was not present, according to Hill.

The driver eventually returned to the scene and admitted that he hit the pedestrian, Hill said. He was cooperative with authorities, but he was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and arrested.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART Tracks to Milpitas, Berryessa Electrified]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 22:30:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2015-generic-bart.jpg

Transit officials are going door to door this week warning residents who live along the 10-mile BART extension to Milpitas and Berryessa not to touch the tracks, now that lethal amounts of electricity are set to course through them.

Trespassing on the tracks has not been a major problem, but officials have launched an advisory campaign through mail, email, social media and radio in addition to knocking on doors, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority spokeswoman Stacey Hendler Ross said.

"Even though we have fences and warning signs protecting the whole corridor, we're taking every precaution," Ross said.

VTA workers spent three and a half hours knocking on dozens of doors in the Berryessa neighborhood Friday, starting at Hostetter Road and Silvertree Drive.

The door-to-door campaign is set to continue on Saturday, Ross said. Outreach workers are also distributing printed warnings to residents in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Hindi and Tagalog.

"Santa Clara County has never had a ground-based, electrified track before," Ross said, explaining that South Bay residents who may have safely stepped across Caltrain and VTA light-rail tracks in the past could underestimate the danger of an electrified third rail.

The traction power network will carry 1,000 volts of direct current to the contact rails. Contact with just 42 volts can be lethal, Ross said.

"You can't see the current, you can't smell the current, but if you touch the current, it will be too late," VTA's BART project manager John Engstrom said in a statement.

The tracks run parallel to, and in between, Interstate Highway 680 and Interstate Highway 880 from Warm Springs in Fremont through Milpitas to Berryessa in North San Jose.

Intermittent system testing and electrification started in September. Now that the 2018 deadline of opening the Milpitas and Berryessa stations to commuters looms closer, the tracks have been fully electrified.

"Now that we are in the system testing phase, the site becomes extremely dangerous," Engstrom said. "Every person in the public needs to understand that the BART right of way is not a shortcut. It is not accessible for a reason: for people's protection."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bones Identified Belong to Woman Who Went Missing in 2012]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 20:18:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Herum.jpg

Bones discovered last year have been identified as the remains of a woman who disappeared in 2012 after giving birth in a Santa Cruz maternity ward, Santa Cruz County sheriff's officials said Friday afternoon.

Santa Cruz resident Jeanette Susan Herum, who was 29 at the time, walked out of the Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center on Nov. 22, 2012, leaving her newborn son in the care of the hospital. Last year, a couple found Herum's bones while out on a walk and notified the sheriff's office, officials said.

Herum's disappearance and death have baffled authorities, and an investigation remains ongoing.

"Ms. Herum is 29 years old," Chris Clark with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department said. "29-year-old people generally don't just pass away."

Herum was not reported missing until 2014 because she had a history of going long periods without contacting her family, sheriff's officials said.

The woman did not have any medical conditions that would have placed her at risk and was classified by sheriff's investigators as a voluntarily missing adult, Santa Cruz County sheriff's Lt. Kelly Kent said.

Herum's son was living with his father's parents as of 2015. According to the sheriff's office, Herum's parents died before her remains were found.

Sheriff's officials are investigating the suspicious circumstances of her disappearance and death and have asked anyone with information about the case to call (831) 454-7635.

"We're hoping that someone may tell us, 'Hey, yeah, we saw Ms. Herum in and around this area,'" Clark said. "And we might be able to match that up with what information we know which could then tell us again whether or not this information is credible."

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Psychologist Expected in Sierra LaMar Murder Case: Documents]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 17:57:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

The man convicted of murdering Sierra LaMar is now battling to try and escape execution.

Antolin Garcia Torres on Tuesday was found guilty of first-degree murder. The legal fight has already started over whether he will get the death penalty.

Garcia Torres must now convince a jury that his life worth sparing. It is the same jury that already sees him as a murderer.

New court documents show the defense will bring in a forensic psychologist to help make Garcia Torres' case. And documents also show the prosecution wants its own psychologist to interview and evaluate Garcia Torres.

Santa Clara University professor Thomas Plante, an expert on psychologist testimony, said their role is to offer scientific data and insight, and not to advocate.

"No one is perfect in terms of predicting about future behavior or what was going on in the mind of the perpetrator in the moment, during the moments of this crime," Plante said. "But what they can do potentially is look at his psychological functioning in general and look at his background."

Legal analyst Steven Clark said that background could be helpful for Garcia Torres, who has a well-documented case of a father convicted on 17 counts of child molestation.

But Clark points out the prosecution has more than just Garcia Torres' psychological evaluation to use.

Many court observers are also watching if Garcia Torres will say where Sierra's body is to possibly avoid the death penalty.

A hearing is set for Monday to decide about the prosecution's psychologist. The sentencing phase is expected to follow on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Paralyzed Cal Rugby Player Makes Progress as Family Prays]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 23:36:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cal+Robert+Paylor.jpg

A Cal rugby player who was partially paralyzed last weekend during a match in Santa Clara, was making progress and was moved to the rehab trauma center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

A GoFundMe page for Robert Paylor posted the news of his transfer Thursday while about a hundred people gathered for a prayer service in Berkeley to show their support.

Paylor was injured early in the national championship match Saturday at Santa Clara University. The injury left him paralyzed from the chest down.

His Cal teammates on Thursday night huddled together outside the private prayer service, wearing their blue cardigans with gold stripes.

Those in attendance at the service talked about the sense of family inside.

"Our sons played rugby; we're a rugby family," team friend Bob Wilson said. "We know how the game goes. Some people get injured, but always have great support."

The GoFundMe page has raised about $400,000 for the Paylor family's medical expenses.

Cal students were still stunned by the news.

"I'm getting emotional," said Steve Burstin. "He's at the best school. He needs all the support he can get."

Even as UC Berkeley students remember the weekend's championship victory and deal with finals this week, their thoughts are with Paylor.

"I think everybody has hope," Wilson said. "With the grace of God, he'll come through."

Photo Credit: ABFlyer]]>
<![CDATA[Nurses Rally at Valley Medical Center for Higher Pay ]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 21:43:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0722-2016-TurnerVMC.jpg

Dozens of nurses rallied for more competitive wages and benefits packages outside Santa Clara Valley Medical Center on Thursday, claiming that too many newly graduated nurses use the county hospital as taxpayer-funded training before leaving for higher-paying private hospitals.

"We're spending a lot of money training these new grads, and after six months to a year, they're going to another hospital because they get a better package," said Holly Smith of the Registered Nurses Professional Association.

Comparing the "revolving door" issue to the staffing crisis experienced by the San Jose police over the last few years, Dustin DeRollo, a lobbyist contracting with the nurse union, asserted that the county has the funds to pay nurses more competitively.

A wage realignment study commissioned by the RNPA last year compared VMC nurses' salaries to those at private hospitals in the county, including El Camino, Stanford Children's, Stanford Health Care, Kaiser Permanente, Good Samaritan, Regional Medical Center and O'Connor.

That study found big differences among newer nurses, showing that nurses with four years of experience make as much as 17 percent less at VMC than they would at the private hospitals.

But the public-private wage gap shrinks among nurses with more seniority. Nurses with 15 to 25 years of experience make between 5 and 7 percent less at VMC than they would at private hospitals in the area, the study shows.

Russell Cobb said he was trained in a group of 13 new nurses six years ago. Today, only three of them remain at VMC, he said.

"What we have now is a reverse of a bell curve. We have all these nurses with a lot of experience, and we have all these nurses with a little bit of experience," Cobb said.

"Experienced nurses need to want to come to this hospital, and right now they're like, 'No way, I'm not going there,'" Smith said.

Smith said VMC not only pays less, but also is a more demanding job because of what she called a "hard population" in trauma, burn and pediatric units.

"As they retire, we're not replacing them with experienced nurses. It's only new grads coming in, which is creating a dangerous environment for our patients," Smith said.

Dylan Buckingham, who has worked as a registered nurse at VMC for a decade, said he sees safety issues resulting from high patient to nurse ratios "on a regular basis."

"During undesirable shifts like night shift, it can be almost the blind leading blind," Buckingham said. "We have nurses with two, three years' experience in charge, and all the nurses taking care of the patients have one to two years' experience."

Nurses at the county hospital did not receive a raise in 2011 or 2012 and had their benefits cut in 2013, according to DeRollo. In 2014, the county raised nurse wages by 3.75 percent.

"We know the valuable role that the nurses play," Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said, noting that the hospital would "continue to work" with the nurses' union, which is not currently in contract negotiations.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area file]]>
<![CDATA[Community Mourns Death of High School Basketball Player]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 19:33:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nuestro+death+1-0511.jpg

A South Bay community has been in mourning this week after a high school girls basketball player collapsed and died during a game last weekend.

Kimberly Nuestro, 16, was a rising star on the junior varsity team at Homestead High School in Cupertino. She collapsed while playing in a tournament in Santa Clara and later died at a hospital. The cause of her death is not yet known.

Kimberly was remembered as a huge Golden State Warriors fan, and a social media tribute to the teen included many students urging Warriors star Steph Curry to sign her shoes. On Monday, Homestead High students wore Warriors blue and gold, and Kim's father started the hashtag #SignForHer on Twitter. It quickly started trending, as thousands retweeted the plea.

Many students said having Curry sign her shoes would have been a dream come true for the teen.

"It was nice to see, even though it was a sad occasion," Homestead Principal Greg Giglio said. "It brought people some joy and comfort to know everyone was thinking about it and participating."

And it worked. On Tuesday, Kim's father Ramir shared a photo of his daughter's shoes and a Warriors jersey signed by Curry. In the caption, he thanked Curry and included a new hashtag: #WeCanDoAllThings.

Curry also spoke with a reporter from the campus newspaper.

"It’s a small token for her family to know there’s a lot of people thinking about them and what they’re going through," Curry told the newspaper. "Hopefully, (we) honor her life with those shoes."

The interview offered a little boost to the heartbroken Homestead community.

"He cares about people who love the game," said Lindsey Takahashi. "That’s what Kim loved."

Student Allison Hampton added: "It might have been a small thing for him, but it was a really big thing for her and her family. I thought that was really great."

Officials say they’re awaiting an autopsy to determine why Kim died. Students are planning a candlelight vigil for the teen sometime next week.

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<![CDATA[South Bay Residents Urged to Prepare for Fire Season]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 15:59:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16272739889665.jpg

The wet and windy winter may have brought California more water, but it is also creating new fire hazards.

Firefighters said defensible space played a critical role in protecting homes during last year's Loma Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Fire officials are urging residents to start clearing brush at least 30 feet away from their homes.

"Having defensible space around your home allows it to better withstand the embers flying through the air with the wind so they don't catch on dry leaves," Santa Clara County Fire Department Capt. Bill Murphy said.

Clearing brush and weeds may be even more critical after heavy winter rains.

"Some of the weeds are 8 feet tall," said Patty Ciesla with the Santa Clara County Fire Safety Council. "They used to be 3 feet, so when that dries out that's all fuel that will drive wildfires."

The wind that came with the heavy winter storms has also toppled trees, providing even more fuel.

Residents in Santa Clara County who cut away limbs and grass from around their homes can just leave it outside. A chipper service will chop it up and haul it off for free thanks to a PG&E grant the Santa Clara County Fire Safety Council received.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[DA May Offer Garcia Torres a Deal For Location of Sierra]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:01:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Antolin-Garcia-Torres-crop.jpg

The same jury that convicted Antolin Garcia Torres of murdering Sierra LaMar will decide whether he is sentenced to death or spends the rest of his life in prison without the benefit of parole.

The penalty phase for Garcia Torres, 26, begins May 16 after he was found guilty of first-degree murder, with a kidnapping enhancement. Sierra, 15, disappeared in March 2012 on her way to a school bus stop in Morgan Hill. Her body has never been found.

Dean Johnson, a defense attorney and former San Mateo County prosecutor, says the DA may offer the killer the following deal:

"Show us you still have some decency left inside of you and give these parents closure and tell us where Sierra LaMar is, and we'll take the death penalty off the table," Johnson predicted the DA would say to Garcia Torres.

Johnson said Garcia Torres will be told death row inmates have it very rough in prison, their movement and privileges greatly restricted.

"People who have life sentences are in the prison population with the prisoners with whom they are compatible," he said.

Johnson said the state and federal appeals in the case could take decades, but if the death penalty is imposed, the young convicted killer could live long enough to be put to death. 

<![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[Community Connected to Sierra LaMar Reacts With Relief]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:04:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mh+sierra+reax-0509.jpg

Relief, sadness and anger were a few of the emotions expressed Tuesday in Morgan Hill after those who knew Sierra LaMar and even those who didn't heard her accused killer was found guilty.

Five long years after the 15-year-old Sobrato High School student vanished on her way to a school bus stop, residents of the city connected to a case that made national headlines were able to see justice served.

"It shook our town; it still does," resident Sara Salinas said. "You still see the signs all around town."

A Santa Clara County jury on Tuesday morning found Antolin Garcia Torres guilty of first degree murder with a kidnapping enhancement in the death of Sierra, even though her body has never been found. He now faces the death penalty.

"Everything he gets coming to him he deserves," Salinas said.

At the Morgan Hill Safeway supermarket where Garcia Torres once worked and attempted to abduct other young women in 2009, neighbors said they remain angry.

"She was just a baby, just a baby, a beautiful girl," Elena Miranda, of San Martin, said. "Hanging him wouldn’t be enough because it’s not going to bring her back."

One neighbor who lived down the street from Sierra said he drives through the very intersection at Dougherty and Palm avenues where she was abducted. Each time, he said, he’s reminded of Sierra.

"Oh yeah. All the time," Matt Bonior said. "And if they would’ve given me 10 minutes in a cell with him, I would’ve found where the body was."

The penalty phase in the case, during which the jury will decide between the death penalty or life in prison without parole for Garcia Torres, begins next Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Ties the Knot in Dramatic Mount Everest Wedding]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 12:27:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Charleton_Churchill_Everest.jpgA shared love of adventure has transformed a Sacramento couple and their wedding photographer into viral sensations.

Photo Credit: Adventure wedding photographer Charleton Churchill]]>
<![CDATA[Sierra LaMar's Family Relieved Jury Found Killer Guilty]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 23:47:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

Parents of Sierra LaMar, the Morgan Hill teen who went missing while on her way to school more than five years ago, said they left the Santa Clara County Superior Court with a semblance of peace Tuesday after a jury unanimously found their daughter's killer guilty.

The jury will meet May 16 to consider whether to recommend the death penalty for Antolin Garcia-Torres for killing and kidnapping 15-year-old Sierra who disappeared March 16, 2012 on her way to the bus stop near her mother's Morgan Hill house. Her body was never found.

Pin-drop silence gave way to a collective gasp and then tears as the jury held Garcia-Torres responsible for Sierra's murder. "Justice has been served," a volunteer who searched for Sierra — one of the more than 750 who have spent hundreds of hours looking for any sign of her — whispered inside an emotionally-charged courtroom once the verdict was read. The jury also found Gracia-Torres guilty of attempting to kidnap and carjack three women in Safeway parking lots in 2009. 

“Nothing will take away the pain and the sorrow that we experience every day and we will continue to experience for the rest of our lives,” said Marlene LaMar, Sierra’s mother. “But truly we’ve been praying for the chapter to have this type of ending: justice.”

Marlene LaMar commended the 12-person jury for making the "right decision."

"It gives us peace as a family, knowing that this is not going to happen to another child and that they can't get away with something like this," she said. 

Marlene LaMar and her husband, Steve, wept in the Hall of Justice courtroom when the jury's decision was read aloud. Outside the court, flanked by a bevy of reporters, they fought back tears.

"This is a long time coming," Steve LaMar said. "It's bittersweet. We don’t have Sierra and that’s the bitter part."

When asked if the verdict provided the family closure, Sierra's father said it would help them heal, but "there's no closure."

Danielle LaMar, Sierra's sister, agreed.

"We'll obviously never get Sierra back so it's not closure, but it is a good first step," she said.

Friends, family, volunteers and curious San Jose residents lined up as early as 7 a.m. to get into the courtroom for the verdict to be read two hours later in Department 40. The courtroom in which Judge Vanessa Zecher presided was packed — with tissues being handed out to those who needed them — as was an overflow room.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen was in the courtroom alongside members of Garcia-Torres’ family and volunteers who helped search for Sierra, some of whom were strangers to the family when the teenager went missing, but have now become part of their support system.

“DNA is DNA and it’s everywhere, pointing at him," Kelli Wilkins said before the verdict was announced. "There is no doubt in my mind and I don’t believe in any of the other searchers’ minds that he’s guilty of this and he needs to pay the price."

The volunteers, who Steve LaMar thanked for investing "200 percent" in trying to find Sierra, said they don't plan to halt their efforts just because Garcia-Torres has been deemed guilty.

"Our purpose is to bring Sierra home," Douglas Tollis stressed.

The jury deliberated for about 10 hours before reaching a verdict, following a 13-week long trial.

Sierra's family and friends sobbed when Garcia-Torres was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder. 

For his part, Garcia-Torres — clad in a light blue dress shirt, pants, and a tie — displayed no emotion, briefly talking to his lawyer before the verdict was handed out. He sat calmly, a courtroom sketch artist noticed. A handful of bailiffs are typically present during such court proceedings, but on Tuesday, six were stationed throughout the room, with one standing right behind Garcia-Torres.

When the jury's decision was revealed, a member of Garcia-Torres' family shook his head, seemingly in disagreement. The group left the courthouse without offering any comment, even after being chased by reporters, while Sierra's family and friends hugged each other, prosecutors and volunteer searchers, and made public statements in front of dozens of cameras.

"It gives us some form of relief," Steve LaMar said. "It’ll never take away our grief. That’ll be with us forever. But today is what we wanted, and we’re happy."

LaMar's school books, purse and clothing were found near a shed in a field about two miles from her home a couple of days after her disappearance.

Police arrested Garcia-Torres, 26, two months later after investigators found his DNA — taken during a previous assault arrest — in her handbag. They also found Sierra's DNA in his red Volkswagen Jetta and one of her hairs on a rope found in the trunk of his car.

Prosecutors said they believe Garcia-Torres is a predator and that his kidnapping attempts of other women helped him prepare for Sierra's abduction and murder. Garcia-Torres pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to kidnap and carjack three women in 2009 as they returned to their cars late at night in Morgan Hill parking lots.

The jury on Tuesday unanimously found him guilty of trying to kidnap Annette Walters, Cynthia Lundy and Eva Orozco. 

Sheriff's officials have said Sierra and Garcia-Torres did not know each other and that they believe her abduction was a random act of violence. Garcia-Torres lived about 7 miles from LaMar in a trailer he shared with his mother, girlfriend and young daughter.

Investigators said surveillance cameras and witnesses put Garcia-Torres' car near the area where authorities believe Sierra disappeared.

At a news conference Tuesday, prosecutor David Boyd succinctly said: "We felt very confident about the evidence that we had."

Garcia-Torres' attorney, Alfonso Lopez, disagreed.

He didn't speak publicly on Tuesday, but argued in a closing statement last week that the prosecution's case was built on "shame evidence," and that without a body, prosecutors could not prove Sierra is even dead. Lopez suggested the teen is a runaway.

He also tried to cast doubt on the physical evidence, arguing that the DNA and hair may have been corrupted by investigators and crime laboratory technicians.

Reflecting on the trial, Marlene LaMar said, "We had to relive this nightmare. It was pretty bad. It was actually more detailed and difficult to hear the details. It was horrific to hear it."

Toward the start of the trial, prosecutors played a recording of a distraught Marlene LaMar's 911 call when she realized Sierra was missing. 

"That just helped me realize the pain, the angst is still there," she said.

On the heels of this long and painful journey, Marlene LaMar said her family will never be the same again. "I'm glad to hear that he won't be released into the streets ever again," she said of Gracia-Torres. When asked if she wants the death penalty for him, she said; "No comment."

Sierra's sister Danielle, especially, is unable to move on from the loss of her sibling, she said.

"She suffers everyday, every minute. There's reminders everywhere of Sierra. It's been a hardship for us," she said.

"It's not closure, it's something," Danielle said.

Tatiana and Barbara, who like Sierra went to Washington High School in Fremont, remembered their friend as a happy, funny "ray of sunshine," who had cool taste in music. "She knew about The Weekend, before any of us knew about The Weekend," they said.

In the aftermath of losing Sierra, all her friends grew closer, the pair said. They've become each others' family.

On the flip side, though, Tatiana accused Garcia-Torres of robbing them of the innocence of childhood and "sense of safety." Even now, five years later, she refuses to leave home without pepper spray, and her mother and sister always know where she is, thanks to the Find My Friends app. Having seen the underbelly of the "real world" so young, Tatiana said she is constantly "terrified of what could happen."

"I look behind my shoulder a lot more than I would've," she admitted. "I think he took a lot away from us — more than people understand."

Waiting for the verdict to be read on Tuesday was "nerve-wracking," she said, and kept her awake all night. "It was pretty horrifying." 

But even after learning that Garcia-Torres was guilty of murdering Sierra, Tatiana said she can't "wish death upon anyone."

"I think the death penalty is too easy," she said. "I hope he rots in jail, but I don't think he should die for what he did."

To that, Barbara simply added: "I just want him to say something."

Channah Foreman also mourned the death of her best friend, who, like her, would have been 20 years old this year.

"I'm almost graduating college and I didn’t even get a chance to graduate high school with her," she said. "It is very hard to see my life without her. It would be so much better if she were here."

NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell, Marianne Favro and Michelle Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Sierra Lamar's Family Speaks After Guilty Verdict]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 11:20:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000022269697_1200x675_939715651955.jpg

The parents of Sierra Lamar speak outside the courtroom Tuesday morning after a jury found Antolin Garcia Torres guilty in the murder of the Morgan Hill teen.]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Passes Urgency Ordinance For Renters Protection]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 23:51:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0509-2017-SJLandlords.jpg

The San Jose City Council on Tuesday night voted 9-2 to pass an urgency ordinance protecting renters in the city.

The vote means an ordinance against no-cause evictions recently passed by the council goes into effect immediately instead of next month, preventing landlords from scrambling to force no-cause evictions before the originally set June 22 implementation date. 

Landlords in San Jose rallied earlier Tuesday against the city's "just cause" eviction ordinance. A group of landlords who participated in a demonstration in San Jose said they do not want restrictions on evicting tenants.

Meanwhile, renters who were asking for immediate implementation of the tenant protection ordinance recently approved by the city council got their wish.

Supporters of the ordinance claim a delay could have given unscrupulous landlords the opening to rush the no-cause evictions. Lawyers that handle reports of evictions without cause said they have already seen an increase in complaints in the past three weeks.

Rents are rising so fast in San Jose, tenants say they’re getting evicted because landlords want to raise the rent more than the 5 percent per year that they’re allowed under the current rent control rules.

"Just because they want to increase the price of the rent on the property, they give you a no-cause notice, and then the next thing you know, you’re in the streets," said resident Salvador Bustamante, who is a member of a Renters Rights Coalition.

Mayor Sam Liccarado said earlier Tuesday he supported the emergency implementation, and he believed the council would too.

"I expect the council will strongly support moving forward to ensure that we can avoid the spike in evictions that could result if this law were about to be in effect," he said before the vote.

Photo Credit: Mark Matthews/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[ 'We Had to Relive This Nightmare': Sierra LaMar's Mother]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 10:57:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/050917-marlene-lamar.png

Sierra LaMar's mother, Marlene LaMar, talks to NBC Bay Area's Kris Sanchez following the guilty verdict against her daughter's killer.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tense, Emotional Moments During Garcia-Torres Verdict]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 11:01:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/050910-sierra-lamar-verdict-sketch.jpg

NBC Bay Area reporter Bob Redell describes the reaction in the courtroom as the guilty verdict iagainst Antolin Garcia-Torres was read.

Photo Credit: Courtroom sketch artist Vicki Behringer]]>
<![CDATA['Felt Very Confident About the Evidence We Had': Prosecutor]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 10:18:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/050917-david-boyd.jpg

Lead prosecutor David Boyd gives a brief statement and takes questions from reporters following the guilty verdict against Antolin Garcia-Torres for the murder of Sierra LaMar.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Penalty Phase in Sierra LaMar Case to Begin Tuesday]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 11:20:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/021314-Antolin-Garcia-Torres.jpg

Legal analyst Dean Johnson previews the penalty phase in the Sierra LaMar case, in which the court will decide whether Antolin Garcia-Torres will serve life in prison or get the death penalty.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Jury Reaches Verdict in Sierra LaMar Murder Trial]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 06:35:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

The jury in the Sierra LaMar murder trial has reached a verdict to be read at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Sierra, a 15-year-old from Morgan Hill, disappeared while walking to a school bus stop on March 16, 2012. Suspect Antolin Garcia Torres is charged with murdering the teen, even though her body has not been found.

Defense lawyers suggested the teen is a runaway and a missing person, while prosecutors have linked Garcia Torres to DNA evidence.

A Santa Clara County crime lab analyst testified in the trial that hair found on a rope recovered from the back of Garcia Torres' car contained Sierra's DNA.

Sierra's family and friends will be at the courthouse Tuesday, hooping they'll see justice for their loved one.

Channah Foreman has been waiting for a long time to see justice for her best friend. While she’s hoping for a guilty verdict, her ultimate wish is to find Sierra.

"It’s going to be that lingering question of what happened to her," Foreman said. "This could have happened, this possibility most likely did happen."

According to experts, the threshold question for the jury is whether Sierra possibly is still alive. In a homicide, if the jury felt she could still be out there, that could go in the defendant's favor, they said.

The trial started in January. The jury deliberated between 10 to 11 hours before reaching a verdict, a spokesperson for the Santa Clara County Court said.

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

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area
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<![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[Suspect Identified in Latest SJPD Officer-Involved Shooting]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 19:09:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kevin+riley1.jpg

Police have identified a 29-year-old man who allegedly exchanged gunfire with an officer in East San Jose on Sunday morning as Kevin Riley, of San Jose. It was the third officer-involved shooting by San Jose police in a week.

The 16-year veteran officer who shot at Riley, Thomas Barnard, was placed on paid administrative leave. No one was harmed in the incident, police said, but the number and frequency of such incidents are starting to take a toll on the department, according to police leaders.

Barnard was one of the officers who responded around 8 a.m. to a report of a suspicious person armed with a handgun in the 2200 block of Tully Road, near the Reid-Hillview Airport.

When police arrived and started giving Riley commands, the suspect allegedly pulled out a .45 caliber pistol and fired at the officers, so Barnard fired back, police said.

Riley allegedly ran away from the officers and hopped a fence into a nearby mobile home complex.

Police established a perimeter and found Riley and the gun, which was determined to have been stolen in 2013, shortly after.

Riley was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of possession of a stolen firearm and three counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

The suspect is being held without bail and is scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday afternoon.

The incident comes days after two fatal officer-involved shootings by San Jose police, one of which took place in East San Jose. Chief Eddie Garcia said the surge in violence is taking a toll on his officers and the understaffed department as a whole.

"We, our officers, have been attacked by individuals; this is another example,' Garcia said. "Absolutely, it's weighing on the psyche of our officers."

Police Officers Association President Paul Kelly agreed that each incident, especially happening so close together, raises the stress level for officers.

"There's definitely an effect on whether they're married and how it affects their spouse and children, mom and dad," Kelly said. "So it's not just the officers. It's the officer and the entire family.

"God forbid we get into a shooting and we have to hurt someone or kill someone in order to save someone else's life," he continued. "We know we have to do that, but again, you have to live with that, something you do not want to live with."

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will review the police homicide unit's criminal investigation once complete. The police internal affairs unit, the City Attorney's Office and the Office of the Independent Police Auditor are monitoring the case.

Anyone with information about Sunday's incident has been asked to call San Jose police Detective Sgt. John Barg or Detective Wayne Smith at (408) 277-5283. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (408) 947-7867.

Informants providing details that lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspect may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers.

Photo Credit: San Jose PD]]>
<![CDATA[Spike in No-Cause Evictions in SJ Ahead of New Ordinance]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 06:37:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0508-2017-EvictionsRally.jpg

The San Jose City Council has already approved a tenant protection ordinance, but now supporters of the new law said it needs to get on the books faster.

Supporters claim a delay could give unscrupulous landlords the opening to rush the so-called no-cause evictions. Lawyers that handle reports of evictions without cause said they have already seen an increase in complaints in the past the three weeks.

San Jose-resident Robert Aguirre, who has been living for the past two years at a Willow Glen condominium, was surprised when his landlord gave him an eviction notice, citing no cause.

"We have been paying rent on time and in full every month," Aguirre said.

Aguirre is not alone. The Law Foundation Silicon Valley said ever since San Jose's new tenant protection ordinance was approved they have seen an increase in no-cause evictions.

"I received 13 cases that were no-cause evictions," said Melissa Morris with Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.

Renters rights advocates at city hall Monday stressed the need to make the new law an urgency ordinance that would go into effect immediately. If the law stalls, landlords would have at least 37 days to unjustly evict tenants, according to advocates.

A spokesman for the California Apartment Association, which opposed the new ordinance, said declaring this an urgency ordinance would not give landlords enough lead time to learn the full details of the new law.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[No Cause Evictions Rally in San Jose]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 08:45:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-8-17-san+jose-homes.jpg

A major vote scheduled for Tuesday in San Jose is expected to decide the fate of "no cause evictions." The practice refers to allowing landlords to evict tenants without offering a reason.]]>
<![CDATA[Jury Mulls Fate of Man in Sierra LaMar Trial]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 11:44:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

Jurors on Monday returned to the Santa Clara Hall of Justice to continue deliberations in the trial that accuses a Morgan Hill man of killing 15-year-old Sierra LaMar five years ago.

A verdict could be decided as soon as Monday or weeks away, and, if found guilty, accused killer Antolin Garcia-Torres could face the death penalty. If the jury decides that Garcia-Torres is not guilty, he can not be retried even if new evidence appears.

LaMar disappeared back in 2012 as she journeyed to a nearby school bus stop. Garcia-Torres is accused of snatching her and killing her, but the teenager's body has not been found.

Prosecutors point to LaMar's DNA being found in Garcia-Torres' car and his DNA being found on the teenager's clothes as clear links that pin him to her disappearance and possible murder. The defense team claims LaMar was a runaway teen who may still be alive.

Following a three month trial, deliberations officially kicked off last Thursday and continued Friday with a half-day session. Monday marked the first full day of deliberation.

Full-day deliberation will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with breaks in between.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mangled Car Blocks Traffic in South San Jose]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 07:59:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-7-17_SJ_Crash.jpg

A grisly solo-vehicle crash on Monday blocked all lanes of westbound traffic of Branham Lane in San Jose, according to fire officials.

It is unclear when the crash occurred, but it was still blocking traffic as of 6:30 a.m. The crash is expected to block westbound lanes for several hours, according to fire officials.

The driver inside the mangled vehicle was transported to a local trauma center, fire officials said.

Photo Credit: San Jose Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Suspicious Fire at SJ Church Triggers Arson Investigation]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 22:56:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ACOE-Arson-San-Jose-CA.jpg

A portion of a church in San Jose went up in flames Sunday morning, and arson investigators are trying to figure out what triggered the blaze.

Flames ignited inside a plastic shed connected to the Assyrian Church of the East near Willow Glen around 1 a.m., but a neighbor caught a glimpse of the blaze and called it in to authorities before it could get out of hand, according to Alex Alexander, president of the volunteer church committee at the parish.

Surveillance footage from the scene showed a person wearing a hooded sweatshirt jump a fence and light the shed, which primarily contained tools, on fire, according to Alexander. The act was something Alexander never expected to see.

"We're all kind of surprised and perplexed because we've never had anything like this happen in this area, to the church," he said. "We don't know who would want to do something like that."

Aside from being surprised, Alexander noted that the fire was "scary," and he said the possibility that it may have been caused by an arsonist "was really, really disturbing."

"What's really scary is that whoever did this actually wanted to do damage," he said.

Fire crews were able to douse the flames before they spread into the sanctuary, according to Alexander.

"We're fairly fortunate," he said. "We're grateful for our neighbors that they called the fire department, and the fire department was able to get here in time to put out the fire."

An investigation with help from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Girl's Lemonade Stand Raises Funds For Diabetes Research]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 22:21:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-7-17_Lemonade_Stand_San_Jose.jpg

A traditional lemonade stand helps youngsters fill their piggy banks, but one such stand in the South Bay on Sunday helped raise funds to find a cure for a medical condition that hampers children across the world.

For the second straight year, Makoda Daszko of San Jose pitched together a booth, dished out cups of the sweet drink and collected dollars upon dollars all in the name of raising money to combat Type 1 diabetes, an ailment that she herself suffers from.

"We're celebrating the chance for a cure," Tim Daszko, Makoda's father, said.

Last year, Makoda Daszko raised roughly $5,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. That event wasn't publicized, but hundreds of lemonade drinkers took notice.

The goal Sunday was to surpass that number by leaps and bounds.

"Every little bit helps," Tim Daszko said. "We're just trying to focus on helping out JDRF the best that we can."

No word yet on much money the family was able to collect.

Anyone wishing to learn more about Type 1 diabetes or donating is encouraged to visit JDRF.org.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[How to Help San Jose Flood Victims]]>Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:32:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-643917340.jpg

Support for victims of the historic San Jose floods is being organized through the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund, which will support non-profit organizations providing immediate and long-term relief and recovery assistance to those in need.

Organizations that will benefit from the fund include: American Red Cross, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Sacred Heart Community Service and The Salvation Army.

>> Click here to donate directly to this fund

County officials are also offering a calamity property tax relief program. Property owners who have incurred damage that exceeds $10,000 have 12 months to file a claim with the County Assessor's office.

Once the applications are in, County Assessor Larry Stone's office may conduct assessments to determine the homes' condition.

"This tax relief is available for all properties including homes, commercial and industrial buildings, and mobile homes. However, damage to vehicles and the contents of a home such as personal effects and furniture are not eligible for this tax relief because they are not assessable property," Stone said.

Property owners interested in providing short- or intermediate-term housing options for flood victims should visit SCCHousingSearch.org or call 877-428-8844.

For more information on ways you can help flood victims, we’ve compiled some resources below:

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![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[Police Chief Condemns Man Who Shot at Officers in San Jose]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 05:49:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-7-17_SJ_Police_Activity.jpg

San Jose police on Sunday shot at a man who opened fire at three officers near the Eastridge Center, and then arrested him.

No one was hurt, but the weekend's shootout marks the third officer-involved shooting in the South Bay city in the last seven days, according to police.

At a news conference late Sunday, police Chief Eddie Garcia denounced the suspect's display of violence.

"I will say, the actions of this suspect were apalling, and the continued violence toward law enforcement officers is also equally apalling," he said. "We're very lucky we did not lose an officer today."

The still unidentified man has been booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail and will be charged with three counts of attempted murder of a police officer and possession of a stolen firearm. The .45 caliber gun he was carrying was stolen in a 2013 burglary, Garcia said.  

Police originally received reports around 8 a.m. about a suspicious person armed with a gun on the 2200 block of Tully Road near a Big 5 Sporting Goods store. Officers suspect he may have been casing the shop.

When officers initially made contact with the man, he seemed cooperative. That changed, however, when they began giving him commands, Garcia said.

The suspect then pulled a handgun out of his waistband and shot at them. At least one officer returned fire, but the man managed to run in the opposite direction, hop a fence and flee into a mobile home park, Garcia said.

Officers set up a perimeter and managed to find the man roughly two hours later, according to police. He was taken into custody. The motive and circumstances leading up to the shooting are being investigated. Police are also looking into whether the man was involved in the burglary during which the weapon he was carrying was stolen.

Local law enforcement agencies are familiar with the suspect, who may have been a transient, Garcia said. He has a history of mental illness and has priors of robbery, assault and narcotics. 

The officer who returned fire has been a policeman for 16 years. He will be placed on routine paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted, police said. All responding officers were wearing body-worn cameras, Garcia said.

Garcia commended San Jose police officers who "once again stood tall in the face of grave danger, maintained composure after their lives were threatened." They "did not back down and safely apprehended a violent individual who undoubtedly would have otherwise continued to terrorize our community," he stressed.

San Jose police on Wednesday night shot and killed a 24-year-old man after he gunned down his ex-girlfriend's parents in their Willow Glen home, and then pointed his firearm at officers through a window.

The night before, police shot and killed a man when responding to a family altercation in East San Jose. He charged toward officers clutching two kitchen knives, one of which was raised over his head.

It is mandatory for San Jose police officers to undergo crisis intervention training, but, Garcia noted, the program can't "really, truly assist in these types of situations where these individuals have immediately taken the fight to the officers."

"Absolutely, its weighing on the psyche of our officers,” he added. “Our officers have been attacked by individuals. This is another example."

The San Jose Police Department has long been plagued by understaffing. Recently, it began to bolster its numbers, but this is the third police officer who, due to his involvement in an officer-involved shooting, has been temporarily taken off the streets.

"We're stretched thin, there's no doubt about it," Garcia said. "This department is stablizing and we are growing again, but we are definitely not out of the woods with regards to staffing yet. So, yeah, we’re stretched thin."

Considering the hostility they are working amidst, it's imperative for police officers to remain vigilante and support each other, Garcia added.

"Incidents like this are an example to every police department in this country, quite frankly, that our officers need to be on watch," he stressed.

The San Jose Police Department will handle the investigation and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will review their findings once its complete. It is not a joint investigation because no one was hurt, Garcia said.

The case is being monitored by the San Jose Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit, the City Attorney’s Office, and the Office of the Independent Police Auditor.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus lines 12, 22, 26 and 70 between King and Quimby roads were rerouted to avoid the area during the incident, according to the transportation agency.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit at 408-277-5283. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Police Gear Up for Cinco de Mayo Celebrations]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 18:59:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05-05-2017-cinco-de-mayo.jpg

While folks in the South Bay celebrate Cinco de Mayo, police in San Jose are adding extra patrols to combat illegal side shows and other potentially dangerous behavior. Michelle Roberts reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![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[VTA Board Approves Redesign Plan]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 18:15:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0209-2016-VTA.jpg

Big changes are coming for passengers using Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority trains and buses.

The VTA board unanimously approved Thursday a service redesign plan.

The new plan is expected to go into effect at the end of the year and calls for more light rail trains running from the Winchester station to Mountain View.

When the new Berryessa BART station opens up, likely at the end of the year, VTA buses and trains will begin operating under a new coverage plan.

"The transit redesign offers service to higher ridership areas like downtown San Jose, but will decrease ridership to lower ridership areas," said Linh Hoang with VTA.

That means all express bus routes in Fremont will be discontinued, and a bus route in Gilroy will also be eliminated.

Some passengers are concerned how they will get around when their routes are canceled.

VTA is adding service in other in-demand regions, including a new orange light rail line that will run from Mountain View to Milpitas, and then on to the Alum Rock Transit Station.

VTA says its goal is to increase service to the areas where they see the most passengers.

The board on June 1 will consider a proposal on the table to increase fares as much as 50 cents by the end of 2018.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Movie About Winchester Mystery House Begins Filming]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 21:06:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/winchester-0315-2017.jpg

The Winchester Mystery House will soon be immortalized on celluloid.

The popular San Jose haunt doesn't look at all scary in the bright sunshine. But some Australian filmmakers are turning Sarah Winchester's eccentric story into a psychological thriller for the big screen.

CBS Films announced that production on "Winchester" began Wednesday in Melbourne, Australia. The movie crew will begin shooting scenes at the mansion starting Friday, the production company said.

The plot of "Winchester" follows a psychologist who studies firearm heiress Sarah Winchester and concludes her obsession with constructing her mansion wasn't so crazy after all. Winchester was convinced that she was haunted by the souls killed at the hands of the Winchester rifle. After the sudden deaths of her husband and child, she threw herself 24/7 into the construction of the enormous mansion designed to keep the evil spirits at bay, according to the Winchester Mystery House website.

The title character is being portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren. The film is written and directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Jury Deliberations Enter Second Day in Sierra LaMar Case]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 09:47:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

The fate of Antolin Garcia Torres, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Sierra LaMar, is now in the hands of a jury.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon. They could take days or weeks to reach a verdict. If they find Garcia Torres guilty, the jurors must then decide whether or not to sentence him to death. If he is deemed not guilty, the suspect can never again be tried in connection with LaMar's death — even if new evidence surfaces. 

Sierra's father, Steve LaMar, spoke Thursday publicly and reluctantly for the first time since the trial started in January. He acknowledged the pain of having his daughter disappear on her way to school in Morgan Hill in March 2012. He also discussed the long delay in getting Garcia Torres to court.

"It's been a long trial, but it's just a blink of an eye compared to how much time we had Sierra with us," Steve LaMar said.

The defense suggested Sierra is a runaway and a missing person since her body has not been found. Defense attorneys also ridiculed the prosecution's case as a "bucket of shame" filled with flimsy evidence.

Legal analyst Steven Clark said prosecutor David Boyd was effective in his rebuttal.

"He kept bringing the jury back to the DNA -- regardless of the defense argument to the contrary," Clark said. "He kept focusing and saying there's no explanation for the DNA other than Garcia Torres killed Sierra LaMar."

Santa Clara University law professor Ellen Kreitzberg, who trains attorneys in death penalty cases, thinks there will be lengthy deliberations.

"There's no crime scene, there's no weapon. The jury has to put a lot of pieces together," Kreitzberg said. "It could take at a minimum several days, but it could even take longer for them to work through the evidence. And some of it depends on if there's any disagreement in the jury room."

Some volunteers who searched for Sierra said they will not give up even with the trial over.

"We're just working hard to return Sierra back to her family," said Roger Nelson, who has coordinated searches for Sierra.

Meanwhile, Sierra's family has expressed gratitude and hope.

"Now we wait and we pray," Steve LaMar said. "And hope for justice for Sierra. Thank you."

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Vandals Cause Nearly $10K in Damage at San Jose Montessori]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 11:47:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-5-17-montessori-vandalized-san+jose.jpg

The owners of a San Jose Montessori were forced to cancel their Star Wars Day celebration after vandals broke into the school and caused nearly $10,000 in damage.

John and Joyce Brown are now doing clean-up and repair work after Tomorrow Montessori’s rooms were trashed and windows were shattered. The school's office was littered with paper and elsewhere, furniture, supplies, diapers and toys had been tossed on the ground. 

The damage was done late Wednesday or early Thursday, and the school is closed until further notice, according to the Browns.

Recalling having to turn away families who would have been at the Montessori Thursday, Joyce Brown teared up. "It breaks my heart to put them in this position. It’s still really hard for me, to be the person who had to make those calls, regardless of who did this."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to benefit Tomorrow Montessori. As of Friday morning, 65 people had raised $4,960 of a $10,000 goal.

“This was a huge event for the school with so much heart and time put into the planning – all of which was destroyed during this awful crime,” Robyn Janitz said on the GoFundMe page after the “May the 4th Be With You” party was canceled.

Others commented: “We can’t let the dark side prevail.”

Joyce Brown said she is "so, so thankful" to the community for rallying around her husband and her as they put their beloved school back together.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[San Jose Montessori School Vandalized ]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 12:51:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/5-5-17-MONTESSORI-WILLOW+GLEN2.jpg

Photo Credit: Kris Sanchez/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Jury Begins Deliberating in Sierra LaMar Murder Case]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 00:24:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

The fate of Antolin Garcia Torres, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Sierra LaMar, is now in the hands of a jury.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon.

Sierra's father, Steve LaMar, spoke Thursday publicly and reluctantly for the first time since the trial started in January. He acknowledged the pain of having his daughter disappear on her way to school in Morgan Hill in March 2012. He also discussed the long delay in getting Garcia Torres to court.

"It's been a long trial, but it's just a blink of an eye compared to how much time we had Sierra with us," Steve LaMar said.

The defense suggested Sierra is a runaway and a missing person since her body has not been found. Defense attorneys also ridiculed the prosecution's case as a "bucket of shame" filled with flimsy evidence.

Legal analyst Steven Clark said prosecutor David Boyd was effective in his rebuttal.

"He kept bringing the jury back to the DNA -- regardless of the defense argument to the contrary," Clark said. "He kept focusing and saying there's no explanation for the DNA other than Garcia Torres killed Sierra LaMar."

Santa Clara University law professor Ellen Kreitzberg, who trains attorneys in death penalty cases, thinks there will be lengthy deliberations.

"There's no crime scene, there's no weapon. The jury has to put a lot of pieces together," Kreitzberg said. "It could take at a minimum several days, but it could even take longer for them to work through the evidence. And some of it depends on if there's any disagreement in the jury room."

Some volunteers who searched for Sierra said they will not give up even with the trial over.

"We're just working hard to return Sierra back to her family," said Roger Nelson, who has coordinated searches for Sierra.

Meanwhile, Sierra's family has expressed gratitude and hope.

"Now we wait and we pray," Steve LaMar said. "And hope for justice for Sierra. Thank you."

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Fatally Shoot Man Who Gunned Down Ex's Parents]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 00:33:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjpd-activity-0502.jpg

San Jose police on Wednesday night shot and killed a 24-year-old man with a history of mental illness after he gunned down his ex-girlfriend's parents in their Willow Glen home.

Police said Mirza Tatlic shot and killed Naren Prabhu, a vice president of engineering at Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, and Prabhu's wife Wednesday night inside their home. 

Tatlic had once dated the couple's daughter, police said.

Officers responded to the 1000 block of Laura Ville Lane around 9 p.m. Wednesday after the homeowners' adult son reported that his parents had been shot, according to police Chief Eddie Garcia.

A heavy police presence, including the department's Mobile Emergency Response Group and Equipment, or SWAT team, descended on the house. 

Upon arrival, police saw that a man was dead near the front door, with at least one gunshot wound. They later learned the victim's wife was inside the house with the couple's 13-year-old son and the suspect.  

Soon thereafter, the suspect released the teenager. He was physically unharmed, Garcia said.

The police department's tactical negotiations team began a dialogue with Tatlic to "get him to surrender peacefully," Garcia said, but "he refused."

Neighbors heard them giving orders.

"We just heard over the bullhorn, 'Come out with your hands up!” Kim Vostermans said, noting that she heard "all this screaming."

Neighbor Holly Troche added, "We did hear the police say, 'Let the boy go.'"

Tatlic then appeared in a window and pointed his handgun at officers on the arrest team. Afraid for the lives of his fellow police officers and other victims in the house, at least one officer discharged his weapon, striking Tatlic, Garcia said. 

"The suspect had been in a dating relationship with the victims' adult daughter," Garcia said. The pair's relationship ended last year and the woman was not home at the time of the shooting, which "really surprised the victims for all intents and purposes."

Investigators are currently "drilling down on motive, drilling down on weapons used," Garcia added. Tatlic's gun was not registered to him, Garcia said, and police are still investigating how he was able to get his hands on it. 

Garcia said that Tatlic had priors of domestic violence and drinking under the influence. He also had a history of mental illness and his ex-girlfriend, the slain couple's daughter, had an active restraining order against him, the chief said. 

There also was a possible advance warning on Tatlic's Instagram page from a couple weeks ago. He wrote: "No mercy on the ones that love you most."

"One could infer that it is over a failed relationship, however the extent of how that really got to this individual still remains to be investigated and thoroughly vetted," Garcia said. "Obviously this relationship had something to do with his motive. We just don’t know the extent of it." 

No one else was injured, Garcia said. One of the couple's daughters lives in the area, but not necessarily in San Jose. Another was traveling back to the area on Thursday. Police are not searching for any outstanding suspects.

"It’s a horrible, horrible crime," Garcia said. "Again, dealing with someone who is mentally ill, who had choices, [but] he didn’t give this family choices, he didn't give my officer a choice. And it’s just a tragic, tragic incident perpatreted by evil. I don’t know how else to put it."

While police continue to investigate what led up to the tragic shooting, neighbors told NBC Bay Area they’re heartbroken for the victims' family.

"Wonderful people, and it’s very unfortunate to have that happen to anyone in this neighborhood of willow glen," neighbor Marcus Watson said.

The officer who opened fire, a 17-year veteran, has been placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit are conducting a joint criminal investigation.

The case is being monitored by the San Jose Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit, the City Attorney’s Office, and the Office of the Independent Police Auditor.

It was the San Jose Police Department's second officer-involved shooting in as many days. On Tuesday night, police shot and killed a man when responding to a family altercation in East San Jose. He charged toward officers clutching a large knife.

NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell and Michelle Roberts contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Prosecutors Deem 2015 Fatal SJPD Shooting Justifiable]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 12:20:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/arresto+san+jose+police.jpg

Two San Jose police officers who fatally shot a 22-year-old gang member in August 2015 will not face criminal charges, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced on Thursday.

Edrian Rivera, an alleged associate of the San Jose Crazy Crips gang who was on parole for attempted murder and armed with a large butcher's cleaver, was shot and killed by officers Timothy Faye and Adam Dorn just after 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2015, near 230 Packing Place.

The shooting took place roughly an hour after Rivera allegedly stabbed another man in the vicinity of Virginia Avenue and 34th Street around 6:20 p.m., according to police.

The stabbing suspect had fled the scene in a light blue Toyota sedan and the officers were conducting surveillance at 288 Preservation Drive, an address associated with that vehicle, when they spotted Rivera, who matched the suspect's description.

They attempted to stop Rivera, who fled around the corner to Packing Place.

When they confronted Rivera, he drew the cleaver from his waistband and said, "F--- this s---," raised the weapon over his head and advanced toward Dorn, who opened fire, according to a 24-page report released today on the officer-involved shooting.

Faye ran up to Rivera, who had fallen down, and ordered him to drop the cleaver. Rivera swung the weapon, forcing Faye to step back, and both officers opened fire, according to the report. Rivera was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dorn fired a total of four rounds while Faye fired six. All 10 rounds struck Rivera, wounding his scalp, back, abdomen, shoulder, chest and arms. Rivera also suffered possible incisions to his right hand. 

Neither officer was equipped with a body-worn camera.

"Officers Dorn and Faye were justified in using deadly force because they reasonably feared for their lives and the life of their fellow officer," prosecutor Jim Demertzis said in the report.

Specifically, Dorn believed his life was in danger because Rivera was brandishing the cleaver nearby in an aggressive fashion and his body armor might not stop a stabbing instrument, prosecutors said.

Faye believed his life was in danger because of Rivera's proximity and because the cleaver could inflict serious injury or death.

According to prosecutors, the killing was not only justified as part of the officers' official duties, but also as a lawful use of self-defense.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Extinguish Blaze at SJ Recycling Yard]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 07:11:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-4-17-SAN-JOSE-TRUCK-FIRE-WATER.jpg

A garbage truck caught on fire early Thursday at the Valley Recycling Yard in San Jose.

Firefighters around 4 a.m. responded to reports of a fire on the 1600 block of S. 7th Street.

Crews arrived on scene to find the truck was carrying recycling materials that were engulfed in flames.

The fire was knocked down by 4:15 a.m., but crews were then forced to comb through the debris to make sure nothing else sparked.

Twelve firefighters, two fire engines, one fire truck and a battalion chief were at the scene.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Arson Suspected in Series of Fires in Willow Glen]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 06:23:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-4-17-WILLOW-GLEN-ARSON-FIRES.jpg

Officials suspect arson in a series of fires that broke out overnight in the Willow Glen area of San Jose.

Three were trash fires, officials say. An auto body shop near Lincoln and Parkmoor avenue was also struck, leaving two vehicles torched and a third slightly burned.

While responding to the fires, the San Jose Fire Department had closed Lincoln Avenue between Lonus Street and Parkmoor Avenue to run a water hose across the road. No one was injured.

The San Jose fire dispatch said the fires were spread out, but didn't provide details about when they were set or extinguished. It's also unclear whether the alleged arsonist is in custody.

No further details were immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Police Surround Home in Willow Glen Area of San Jose: Source]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 23:55:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjpd-activity-0502.jpg

Heavy police activity was seen in the Willow Glen area of San Jose late Wednesday night, with officers surrounding an apartment near Lincoln Avenue and Willow Glen Way on reports of a shooting.

Sources said there was a gunman inside a home on Laura Ville Lane, and SWAT teams were called in to surround the home. Police were negotiating with the suspect to surrender.

Later, at least one gunshot was heard, and sources told NBC Bay Area the gunman shot himself after shooting two people inside the home. Police had not confirmed any fatalities late Wednesday night, but sources were saying at least three people were dead, including the gunman.  

No further details were available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Sprays Woman With Gas in Road Rage Incident: Police]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 21:42:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mceldowney-mug.jpg

Officers arrested a man who allegedly sprayed a woman with gasoline during a road rage incident at a Monterey gas station Tuesday evening, police said Wednesday.

At 5:33 p.m., officers learned about an assault with a caustic chemical at a Quick Stop gas station at 2407 Fremont Street, according to police.

A man allegedly sprayed a woman with gasoline as a result of road rage incident.

When officers arrived, the suspect had fled the scene, police said.

On Wednesday, officers were able to identify the suspect as 67-year-old Salinas resident Brian McEldowney.

Officers located McEldowney and arrested him on suspicion of assault with a chemical agent, false imprisonment and child endangerment, as well as a probation violation. Officers then booked him into the Monterey County jail with bail set at $50,000, according to police.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Monterey police at (831) 646-3831 or at the police's confidential tip line at (831) 646-3840.

Photo Credit: Monterey PD]]>
<![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[ Defense Attorney: Sierra LaMar is Just Missing, Not Dead]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 00:11:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

Sierra LaMar is just missing, not dead, defense attorneys told jurors Wednesday during their closing argument in the capital murder trial of the man accused of killing the Morgan Hill teenager five years ago.

The defense team for Antolin Garcia Torres, 26, said the evidence collected was compromised and then tried to make a point that if Sierra is dead, someone other than the defendant killed her.

In the San Jose courtroom, defense attorney Al Lopez hauled out what he called a "shame bucket," dropping a ball into it. He was trying to make a point that the prosecution had delivered unreliable evidence.

"The defense's use of the shame bucket is going after the character of the prosecutor and could backfire if he goes too far with it," legal analyst Steven Clark said.

Lopez went on to list his top 10 reasons that Garcia Torres is innocent, number one being Sierra's body has never been found. He also questioned why a strand of Sierra's hair found on a rope in Garcia Torres' car was not shown in an initial photograph but turned up later.

"It could come down to DNA," Clark said. "Can the defense raise doubts about the prosecution's handling of the DNA and show she was not in the defendant's car is an important point."

The defense team even went as far as to suggest to jurors that the driver of a brown car seen in the area where Sierra disappeared in March 2012 could be the real killer.

More than a dozen volunteers who spent years searching for the missing 15-year-old attended the trial. Some said they choose to ignore the defense team's theories and instead focus on Sierra.

"It's sad she's not here, and she should be," said Renee Figueira of San Jose.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Protesting Students Occupy UC Santa Cruz Building]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 18:01:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-3-17-UCSC-protests2.jpg

A large group of University of California, Santa Cruz students locked themselves inside a campus building and are threatening to stay there until their demands, centered mainly on a dire need for housing, are met.

Nearly 200 people, many of whom are members of the Afrikan Black Student Alliance, took over Clark Kerr Hall for a sit-in that started Tuesday. The demonstration kicked off with a march, after which students made a beeline for the university's main administrative building and blocked its entrance with chairs and tables.

"The Afrikan Black Caribbean identified students have spoken," the group said in a statement. "The issues on this campus far exceed anything easily fixed."

The alliance is demanding a four-bedroom low-income housing cooperative for the benefit of "historically disadvantaged students," the statement said, adding that the Afrikan Black Student Alliance wants to manage the property.

"Many [Afrikan Black Caribbean] identified students have been forced to take leaves of absences, withdrawals, or have not been able to attend UCSC at all due to limited, and unaffordable housing options," the statement said.

To that end, protesters also want a four-year housing agreement to live in the Rosa Parks African American Themed House. 

"Guaranteeing this would provide a viable living option to all [African Black Caribbean] identified students regardless of housing status and college affiliation," the statement said in part.

Further, the group is pushing for the exterior of the building to be painted red, green and black.

"These Pan-Afrikan colors represent Black liberation, and represent our diaspora, and the goals of our people," the alliance continued in its statement. 

UC Santa Cruz must also offer diversity training to its student body, demonstrators said.

Footage from the scene shows students sleeping and reading on the floor while others sat on chairs, using their laptops. The protesters have also stockpiled food to tide them over. 

Through social media, the group reached out to supporters, asking them to show up and volunteer. About 20 additional people arrived at the building Wednesday and were let in. A spokesperson for the group, who declined to be identified, said the alliance is growing in number and determination.

"The enthusiasm level is wonderful," the spokesperson said. "We're all doing good. We're good."

University Chancellor George Blumenthal plans to meet the group of students on Wednesday.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the university said, "We’ve taken some steps forward, including hiring a recruitment specialist and a retention specialist, and continue to discuss how we can make sure that all students feel supported and have a sense of belonging. The campus is sensitive to the needs being expressed by the students."

Protesters said they've shortened their list of demands that was already rejected by the chancellor last month.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJPD Officer Responding to Family Clash Shoots, Kills Man]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 12:45:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-3-17--sj-officer-shooting1.jpg

A San Jose police officer responding to a family disturbance late Tuesday night fatally shot a man who charged at him with two kitchen knives, police said.

Police were called to the 1500 block of Mt. Frazier Drive in the East Foothills around 11:35 p.m., after the man got into a fight with his father, according to a department statement. 

Two police officers arrived on scene and the man emerged almost immediately from a garage. He was carrying a knife in his left hand and another one in his right hand, which was raised over his head, according to police Chief Eddie Garcia.

In an effort to defend himself, the officer, a 15-year-veteran, retreated quickly, pulled out his gun and opened fire. At least one bullet struck the suspect, who was by that time only three or four feet away from the officer, Garcia said. 

The 28-year-old suspect was taken to Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday morning, Garcia said. No one else was hurt, according to police.

Garcia said that the suspect and his father had called 911 almost simultaneously to report the fracas. The suspect was known to officers because they had dealt with him in the past, Garcia said. He had been arrested for making criminal threats and had a history of drug abuse and mental illness. 

The officers "knew that there was a potential for violence," Garcia said, but "they did the best they could" after arriving on scene.

The only way the situation could have ended differently would have been if the man hadn't confronted the officers, he said.

"Had the suspect not attacked an officer with a knife, there wouild have been a different outcome," Garcia said. "We talk about less lethal [responses] and things of that nature and they are appropriate at times, but when an individual is charging at an officer with a knife over his head, there's not much that can be done at that point."

The police officer will be placed on paid administrative leave in keeping with department policy. 

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit are conducting a joint criminal investigation.

The officer-involved shooting is also being monitored by the San Jose Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit, the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Independent Police Auditor.

The man's family has been "very, very cooperative" during the ongoing investigation, according to Garcia.

"It’s a tragedy for the suspect's family," he said. "It’s also a tragedy for my officers who were involved."

People with information about the case are asked to call the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit at 408-277-5283.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Community Rallies Around Sierra LaMar's Parents in Court]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 23:55:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

Prosecutors on Tuesday delivered closing arguments in the trial of a man accused of killing Morgan Hill teen, Sierra LaMar.

If convicted, Antolin Garcia Torres faces the death penalty.

Taking jurors back to the start of the case, prosecutors played a recording of the emotional 911 call made by Sierra’s mother in March 2012, after she realized that her daughter was missing. Lead prosecutor David Boyd reminded jurors that Sierra’s hair was found on a rope in the suspect’s car.

Further, Garcia Torres spent five hours unaccounted for – plenty of time to hide the girl’s body, according to Boyd.

“It's very hard to come up with an innocent explanation of how Sierra’s hair ended up in Garcia Torres’ car,” said legal analyst Steven Clark. “What the DA has to deal with is no body, no murder weapon, no crime scene, so these small forensics are all she left behind.”

But in the absence such critical details, some question whether the evidence presented will be enough to convict Garcia Torres of killing the then 15-year-old.

Toward that end, prosecutors made a preemptive strike, poking holes in the defense’s claim that Sierra may have run away, which is why her body was never found. Boyd called the defense’s notion absurd and said that even though evidence collection may not have been perfect, whatever they have found has pointed to Garcia Torres being the killer.

“What the prosecution did very effectively is refute the defense theory before they have a chance to speak to the jury,” Clark said.

Sierra’s father, Steven LaMar, was in court on Tuesday, but declined to comment. He was flanked by more than dozen volunteers who once helped look for Sierra’s body in Morgan Hill.

Mary Doerning recalled hearing the tragic news five years ago that Sierra had disappeared.

“My heart just broke and I was so fearful of what had happened to this girl and her poor family,” she said.

As part of the trial, Garcia Torres is also accused of attacking three other women in Safeway parking lots in Morgan Hill. Prosecutors are using the evidence in those cases to establish a pattern of escalating violence.

“It makes it very clear how they were able to pick him as a perpetrator,” Doerning noted.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Investigators Find Stolen Race Car, Suspected Thief]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 18:13:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/201*120/race+car+after.jpg

Sheriff’s deputies in Santa Cruz County say they think they found the man responsible for stealing a race car and several other unique vehicles in early April.

On Tuesday, investigators followed up on a tip from a property manager in the Santa Cruz Mountains and found the modified Mazda race car stripped and hidden on a vacant property near Highway 17.

On the same property, deputies found a man sleeping in a trailer and took him into custody, sheriff's officials said.

It was not known if the car could be restored.

"For the work that they put into developing it and the care the folks took with it, yeah, a really sad situation," Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Clark said.

Investigators have been trying to track down the race car and several other vehicles for more than a month. Surveillance images on the Santa Cruz law enforcement Facebook page show someone hauling away the car and a white trailer it was stored in last month. They believe they found the white trailer as well, now repainted gray and black.

Asked if the theft was a one-man operation, Clark said they don't know yet.

The property where the race car was found is owned by a land trust, and when the property manager recently arrived for a checkup on the land, he found the stolen vehicles and called the sheriff's office.

Along with the race car, deputies found three RVs, two camper trailers and two pickup trucks.

Deputies did not yet release the identity of the man they’ve detained and were working to identify the owners of the other vehicles recovered.

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Santa Clara County Inmate Dies at Hospital: Sheriff]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 14:51:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Santa-clara-county-jail.jpg

A Santa Clara County inmate who was hospitalized for nearly a month died Tuesday at Valley Medical Center, officials said.

Authorities are not releasing the inmate's identity, but said he was booked into jail on a murder charge on Sept. 9, 2014. Sheriff's Office officials said the inmate last month was transported to the hospital. Medical staff was made aware the inmate had several pre-existing medical conditions during the booking process, according to officials.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Homicide Suspect Freed From Jail Due to Lack of Evidence]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 16:56:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Boardwalk1.jpg

A man arrested Sunday on suspicion of killing another man at Main Beach in Santa Cruz is out of jail because there isn't enough evidence to charge him, county prosecutors said Tuesday.

Kevin Callahan, 58, admitted to choking 52-year-old Steven Lee sometime Saturday but he also told prosecutors that Lee was alive when he left him.

Police arrested Callahan early in the morning Sunday when officers went to the beach at about 4:20 a.m. because someone called to report a death.

Officers saw Callahan sleeping about 100 feet from where Lee was lying near the volleyball courts on Main Beach, located at 108 Beach St.

Both men were allegedly homeless.

County prosecutors reviewed the evidence submitted by police officers and the autopsy findings by the coroner, however, found insufficient evidence to charge Callahan, according to prosecutors.

Early in the investigation, statements by witnesses and evidence collected at the beach led police to think that Callahan killed Lee in connection with an argument over alcohol.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Baseball Team's Snack Shack Destroyed by Suspicious Blaze]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 23:53:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-2-17_Branham_Snack_Shack_Fire.png

A snack shack next to a high school baseball field in San Jose was engulfed by flames early Tuesday, and school officials said the blaze was set intentionally.

The Branham High School baseball team's snack shack, which was revamped last year by an Eagle Scout, was stamped as a complete loss, according to fire officials. Two nearby baseball sheds were also damaged and broken into, and a special education classroom's windows were cracked during the apparent vandalism spree, Branham High School Principal Cheryl Lawton said.

Fire crews were dispatched to the high school around 2:30 a.m. and quickly doused the flames, but the damage to the shack was already done. Flames had already charred most of the building's interior and external walls, according to fire officials. It wasn't until daybreak when fire and school officials noticed that the school building and nearby sheds, which housed equipment for the baseball team and school's recycling club, had been damaged as well.

It is unclear how the blaze started, but officials originally said the fire was suspicious because it started at the base of the shack's door.

The fire and theft of baseball supplies from the sheds cost the team roughly $10,000, according to the squad. It is unclear exactly how much money in supplies the recycling club lost.

Someone broke into the snack shack last weekend before stealing candy and soda intended for a fundraiser, according to Dan Seoane, President of Branham Sports Boosters. An estimated $450 worth of goodies were stolen during that theft.

The snack shack each week typically generates a couple hundred dollars in revenue, which is used exclusively for the baseball program, Seoane said.

An investigation is ongoing, and authorities are reviewing surveillance that captured multiple suspects committing the offenses.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Kris Sanchez
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<![CDATA[Snack Shack, School Property Damaged at San Jose High School]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 19:59:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/BRANHAM-IMG_0501.JPG

Photo Credit: Matt Ulrich/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sierra LaMar Murder Trial: Closing Arguments Begin]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 12:28:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday morning in the trial of Antolin Garcia-Torres, the 26-year-old man who Santa Clara County prosecutors allege murdered 15-year-old Sierra LaMar in 2012.

The trial is wrapping up after almost three months of witness testimony, including discussion of the physical evidence key to the no-body case, including DNA found in Garcia-Torres' car and on her clothes, which were recovered in a field near her house outside Morgan Hill.

If convicted, the jury could impose the death penalty on Garcia-Torres, who has two children and has been in custody since May 21, 2012.

Garcia-Torres, who has not spoken throughout the trial, confirmed with Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Vanessa Zecher on Monday morning that he would not be testifying.

"Nothing has changed," Garcia-Torres said in court.

Prosecutor David Boyd and defense attorney Al Lopez both called Santa Clara County sheriff's Detective Doug Kubik, a digital evidence forensic examiner who investigated Sierra's disappearance, as the final witness in the case Monday morning.

In the days after Sierra disappeared, Kubik logged into Sierra's Gmail and Yahoo email accounts and social media profiles and investigated her final actions on her MacBook, including browsing on Tumblr and Twitter and snapping selfies in Photo Booth, on March 16, 2012.

Kubik found digital evidence that Sierra tweeted for the last time at 6:29 a.m., logged into Tumblr on her MacBook at 6:45 a.m. and last used her computer to take selfies at 7:12 a.m. She missed her school bus that morning and did not show up for school that day.

Lopez questioned Kubik about digital traces indicating that Sierra had deleted emails from her Gmail and Yahoo accounts.

"She did delete her emails," Kubik said.

But in response to the implied suggestion that the deleted emails had something to do with her disappearance, Boyd pointed out that a "prolific Twitterer" like Sierra would have been flooded with social media notifications, which people typically delete.

To make a point, Boyd asked Kubik whether he had ever deleted an email from his own account.

"Hundreds of times? Thousands?" Boyd asked.

"Maybe more," Kubik said.

On Jan. 30, prosecutors showed the jury surveillance footage of Garcia-Torres' distinctive 1998 red Volkswagen Jetta leaving the Maple Leaf RV Park where he lived 8 miles south of Sierra's bus stop at 7 a.m. the day she went missing.

Garcia-Torres has previously testified that he left to visit a Bank of America branch and then buy gas at the Valero station 3 miles north of his RV park on Monterey Road.

Kubik was unable to retrieve security footage from that gas station or from the Coyote Valley Resort and RV Park on Monterey Road about 1 mile north of Sierra's house because, he said in court Monday, both businesses' security cameras record over their footage every 10 days or so.

Boyd asked Kubik if he knew why the gas station footage would have been "remotely, possibly important to this investigation," to which the detective said he didn't know.

But the street-facing footage that Kubik did see from the Coyote Valley Resort and RV Park appeared that it would have been unusable even if he had extracted it in time, he said.

The quality of the footage was too poor to identify motorists on Monterey Road, Kubik said, though cars may have been identifiable in the daylight.

Kubik confirmed with Boyd that he was not aware of whether the camera had even been functioning on March 16, 2012.

Jurors received instruction on the next phase of the trial Monday afternoon. Closing arguments are scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Illegal Sideshows Force Businesses to Close Early in SJ]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 19:57:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+sideshow-0501-2017.jpg

A series of illegal sideshows in San Jose last weekend left behind far more than tire marks. At least one forced some businesses to shut down hours early.

One of the dangerous car stunts occurred in the parking lot of Grocery Outlet across the street from City Hall. A video show dozens of cars burning rubber, spinning donuts and revving engines in the downtown San Jose parking lot during an early Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Around the same time, a similar scene played out about 6 miles south near Tully and Senter roads.

Resident Amy Bedillo said she ran into another illegal sideshow at King and Story roads in East San Jose. She said it was so big, police wouldn't let her drive into the San Jose Plaza parking lot.

"They were having a sideshow, but it didn't last long because there were a lot of cops there," Bedillo said. "They closed the center and kicked us out because there were too many people doing donuts inside."

Araujo's Mexican Grill said the stunts ultimately forced the restaurant to shut down three hours early.

"A lot of cars and four-by-four trucks burning out," said Nathan Casper of Araujo's. "It was kind of scary because there were a lot of kids with families. Ended up police shut down the plaza, and we had to close for business."

Casper said it's not the first time sideshows have sidelined businesses.

"This is the fifth year it happened," he said.

San Jose police said they did not make any arrests in connection with the sideshows.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Take Part in Bay Area May Day Marches]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 23:38:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mainimage3.jpg

Thousands took part in peaceful yet passionate May Day marches and rallies across the Bay Area on Monday, joining demonstrations around the nation fighting for immigrants' and workers' rights.

In San Jose, a march included children who skipped school and business owners who closed up shop to show their solidarity. It began at Mexican Heritage Plaza about 3 p.m. and followed Santa Clara Street through downtown and finishing at SAP Center. Along the way, the marchers made four stops, each time knocking down a symbolic wall in the middle of the street.

Parents with schoolchildren were hoping the demonstration would be a teachable moment for their kids.

"I'm trying to bring her out here so she can learn a little bit, social stuff here that you don’t see too much in schools," parent Jamie Torres said.

The marchers walked by several businesses, many closed for the day. The owner of Mexico Bakery said he’ll lose thousands of dollars but added it’s a price he’s willing to pay to support the march. His 50 workers participated in the march.

Meanwhile, San Jose police kept a close eye on the marchers, getting an early head count so they were able to see how many officers they would need.

"Our officers have met with the organizers, and we have an operational plan in place," Sgt. Enrique Garcia said. "Our goal is to keep it a safe environment for all the participants as well as the community."

In San Francisco, the May Day march drew a bigger crowd than it has in previous years, and while it was peaceful, there was no lack of passion among the marchers, and the recurring message of resisting hate, racism and discrimination had a bit more punch.

"The people in this country support immigrants, we don’t hate," demonstrator Richard Goldstein, of San Francisco, said. "Immigrants made this country."

Fellow marcher Lisa Cassidy, of Dublin, agreed.

"We all come from immigrants," she said. "I mean all our families. And there shouldn’t be this huge ban on selective groups of people."

Among the marchers Sergio Rosales and his 14-year-old daughter Karina. He said he wanted his daughter to understand what is happening.

"I really want her to see and experience what other people are having," he said.

Twenty-seven years ago, Rosales ran across the border from Mexico. He has since become a U.S. citizen and started his own janitorial business, now with 11 employees.

"I’m not a criminal," he said. "I'm a father of two kids, you know, working hard. That’s the story of many people in here."

Karina said she got the message. It brought her to tears.

"I think that everyone should just take advantage of what they have right now because some people take that for granted," she said. "And people in a lot of countries really want what they have here."

Earlier in the day in San Francisco, roughly 20 protesters linked arms and formed a human wall in front of the entrance and exit point for deportation buses at the ICE building.

In Oakland, the latest in a series of May Day marches ended at San Antonio Park in the afternoon. At least 500 people marched down International Boulevard, some saying this year's demonstration felt a bit different because of the current political climate.

"It definitely feels different than last year," marcher Gloria Ramirez said. "I think last year was to promote workers' rights, but right now, it's to promote everybody's rights."

At an earlier rally at the Alameda County government building, four people were arrested after chaining themselves to the front doors, demanding changes in how the county deals with federal immigration officials.

"To break away from their reliance on militarized policing, break away from their ties with ICE and stop the explosion of cages," said Woods Ervin of Continual Resistance.

The Oakland rally was expected to last well into the evening.

No arrests were reported in San Jose or San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Gordon Mak]]>
<![CDATA[Man Pulled From Mangled Car After Collision With VTA Train]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 18:15:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-1-17_VTA_Car_San_Jose.jpg

Emergency crews on Monday spent more than two hours extricating a driver from a mangled car after he collided with a Valley Transportation Authority light-rail train in San Jose, according to officials.

It is unclear what led up to the violent crash, but first responders found the car pinned against a small concrete wall by the train near the Capitol Square Mall about 8 a.m., according to fire officials.

Trauma surgeons had to sedate the driver in order to extricate him from the disfigured car, fire officials said. At one point, emergency crews even considered amputation because of the driver's condition and the contorted status of the car.

"No matter how much we pried and pulled away the metal and plastics, he was still stuck inside that train," said Capt. Tim Miller, San Jose Fire Department paramedic team supervisor. "It was a very narrow space."

The driver, who was conscious and talking to emergency crews during the rescue, was eventually removed from the car and transported to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, police said.

All eight passengers riding inside the train were not hurt, VTA spokesperson Linh Hoang said.

For much of the day, a bus bridge was set up between the Penitencia Creek and Alum Rock stations to help commuters navigate around the scene, Hoang added. Full service was restored Monday evening.

NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Library Forgives Late Fees]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 10:03:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-1-17-library-books.jpg

The San Jose Public Library wants those long-lost books back and it's willing to forgive borrowers. The library announced that late fees will be waived starting Monday in a first-ever fine forgiveness program. The program runs for the entire month of May. Borrowers can return books, DVDs, CDs and any other materials regardless of how long they’ve had them.

Photo Credit: File Image ]]>
<![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[Father Turns Himself in After Abducting Baby From South Bay]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 22:09:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/218*120/4-5-17-MISSING+CHILD+PIC.jpg

A father accused of abducting his 4-month-old baby girl from Mountain View last month turned himself him in to police Sunday night, according to the Mountain View Police Department.

Madilyn Wallin originally went missing on April 4 when she was taken from outside a Residence Inn, according to police. The baby's mother and father, identified as Michael Lenard Wallin, got into an argument, and Michael Wallin drove off when the woman tried to reach into the car to take the girl, police said.

A massive Bay Area wide search ensued before Madilyn Wallin was found safe in Livermore less than 24 hours after being taken, according to police.

After turning himself in, Michael Wallin was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, maliciously withholding a child from their guardian and child endangerment, according to police.

Photo Credit: Mountain View Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Strike Averted: Employees Union, Sunnyvale Reach Agreement]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 06:23:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sunnyvale+strike-4030-2017.jpg

A scheduled strike in Sunnyvale has been called off after city leaders and the employees union reached a tentative agreement Monday morning following a contract dispute.

Some workers in Sunnyvale planned to walk off the job Monday after pay raise negotiations stalled late last week, but both sides came to terms early Monday, according to city officials. The specific terms of the agreement were not immediately available.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez was credited with crafting a resolution, according to the Sunnyvale Employees Association.

SEA officials on Friday rejected the city's last financial offer, effectively ending last-minute negotiations between the two sides. With no agreement in place, the employees union and its members planned to not return to their posts after 12:01 a.m. on Monday, sources said. 

On Sunday, Mayor Glenn Hendricks described what people could have expected had the strike prolonged.

"An impact will be on our planning department, people who are getting inspections if they are doing home remodeling, library services and parks," he said.

Sunnyvale city leaders said they offered workers a "10 percent raise, a continuation of paying a 30 percent pension contribution, and a $6,000 signing bonus to employees who make an average of more than $120,000 in salary and benefits." Union leaders rejected that proposal.

City officials said union members demanded a raise that would equate to Sunnyvale handing out an additional $82 million over the course of the next two decades.

The union had been pushing for what it called a long-delayed pay raise that stretched out over years.

Some members told NBC Bay Area that they agreed to not getting a raise to help the city through hard financial times and want compensation now that city is doing better.

During the scheduled strike, emergency services and garbage service would not have been impacted, according to city officials.

Residents wishing to learn more about the strike are encouraged to visit the city's website.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![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[Workers in Sunnyvale Slated to Strike Amid Contract Dispute]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 23:34:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sunnyvale+strike-4030-2017.jpg

Some workers in Sunnyvale will not return to their posts Monday morning after the employees union and the city failed to reach an agreement regarding pay raises late last week.

The Sunnyvale Employees Association on Friday rejected the city's last financial offer, effectively ending last-minute negotiations between the two sides. With no agreement in place, the employees union and its members will walk off their jobs at 12:01 a.m. Monday, sources say. 

On Sunday, Mayor Glenn Hendricks described what people can expect.

"An impact will be on our planning department, people who are getting inspections if they are doing home remodeling, library services and parks."

Sunnyvale city leaders say they offered workers a "10 percent raise, a continuation of paying a 30 percent pension contribution, and a $6,000 signing bonus to employees who make an average of more than $120,000 in salary and benefits." Union leaders rejected that proposal.

City officials say union members are demanding a raise that would equate to Sunnyvale handing out an additional $82 million over the course of the next two decades.

The union has been pushing for what it called a long-delayed pay raise that stretched out over years.

Some members told NBC Bay Area that they agreed to not getting a raise to help the city through hard financial times and want compensation now that city is doing better.

During the scheduled strike, emergency services will still be available, according to city officials. Garbage service will also not by hindered.

Hendricks said the city is reaching out to union leaders, requesting that the union come back to the bargaining table.

The city expects the stgrike to last at three days. Residents wishing to learn more about the strike are encouraged to visit the city's website.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Found Dead Near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 10:39:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Boardwalk1.jpg

A transient man was found dead Sunday morning on Main Beach in Santa Cruz, police said.

Officers went to the beach at 4:20 a.m. and found a 52-year-old man dead near the volleyball courts. The address of the beach is 108 Beach St.

Witnesses told officers that the victim had been in an argument with another person over alcohol in the earlier morning hours.

Deputy Police Chief Dan Flippo said the victim was not shot or stabbed. Police are still determining the cause of death, Flippo said.

Officers are interviewing people and collecting evidence. Police have no suspects right now but have been talking with at least one person of interest.

The beach near the volleyball courts will be closed until about noon Sunday, according to police.

The name of the victim will not be released until he has been identified and his family notified.

Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the argument or anyone who has information about the death to call Detective Martin at (831) 420-5833.

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[People's Climate March Draws Thousands Across Bay Area]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 14:54:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4292017-climate-change2.jpg

President Donald Trump on Saturday held a rally to mark his 100th day in the White House, but thousands of people around the United States marked the day by marching on behalf of climate change.

The largest People's Climate March was expected in Washington D.C., but the Bay Area refused to be left behind. 

In Oakland, crowds gathered at Lake Merritt, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Those in attendance, including more than 75 local organizations that work in the fields of environmental, social and economic justice, urged the Trump administration to take the threat of climate change seriously.

"I feel like the science is pretty clear and we have an entire planet that's in jeopardy in essence," David Menninger of Berkeley said. "We're going to be seeing a lot of the effects of that impacting people all over the world."

During his run on the campaign trail and time in the White House, Trump has called climate change a hoax. He has also pulled back restrictions for greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants and, among other controversial environment-related decisions, signed an executive order designed to expand oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

Attendees marching around the lake in Oakland hoisted a bevvy of signs directed at Trump's environmental stance. Some of those signs read "Make Mother Nature Great Again" and "The Future is Ours But We Have to Planet."

Meanwhile, people in the South Bay decided to march for climate, jobs and justice in San Jose. The group convened at City Hall and walked to Cesar Chavez Plaza.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cal Fire Rescues Man Who Fell Into Gilroy Well]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 15:01:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cal-Fire-Badge-generic.jpg

Crews on Saturday rescued an elderly man who fell into a well in Gilroy, according to Cal Fire.

The scene is off Pole Line Road near the Huckleberry Group Camping Site and H Miller Site Loop Trailhead.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Work to Protect SJ Residents After Historic Floods]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:40:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0428-2017-WATERMTG.jpg

A joint public meeting held by the San Jose City Council and the Santa Clara Valley Water District on Friday at times featured heated discussions over how to prevent future flooding along Coyote Creek.

While nobody is sure who is to blame for the lack of advanced warning for residents during February's historic floods, city and water leaders do agree the incident cannot happen again.

"It's not enough to say we're going to focus on the future," Mayor Sam Liccardo said. "We have to understand what broke so we can fix it."

The water district said it is focusing on preventing a future flood. Water officials said the feds have not approved a big flood control project for the area and crews are unable to dig into the creek to clear sediment because of protected steelhead in the creek.

"So the real balance is what's important -- fish of people?" Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Chairman Jon Varela said. "And it's a valid question we're constantly asked. And the answer is of course people are more important."

Meanwhile, district authorities have set up a joint emergency action plan with the city, saying they will work together on ways to temporarily protect residents while they fight the feds for a permanent fix along the creek.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sunnyvale, Employees Union Negotiations End in Stalemate]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:32:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/C-gynkmU0AETNd1.jpg

The Sunnyvale employees union on Friday rejected the city's last offer and its members will walk off their jobs at 12:01 a.m. Monday, sources say. 

The move culminates tense last-minute negotiations after the Sunnyvale Employees Association overwhelmingly authorized a strike earlier this week.

According to sources, the city essentially offered a signing bonus to workers, which union leaders rejected.

The union has been pushing for, what it called, a long-delayed pay raise that stretched out over years.

Some members told NBC Bay Area that they agreed to not getting a raise to help the city through hard financial times and want compensation now that city is doing better.

A neutral fact finders committee recently released a report that the union says supported their claim.

Sunnyvale officials have taken action that could lead to an injunction to prevent some workers from walking off their jobs for the sake of public safety.

Officials are trying to keep the city's water pollution control plant operating. They also want to ensure that workers will be available in the case of a disaster or emergency.

The union is expected to make the official strike announcement later Friday, possibly with a rally at City Hall.

Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Construction of New BART Milpitas Station Ahead of Schedule]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:02:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart+milpitas-0427-2017.jpg

Construction workers with Santa Clara County’s Valley Transportation Authority are on pace to open the first BART stations in the county six months ahead of schedule.

Despite the Bay Area’s historically wet winter, more than five years of drought before that gave construction crews more dry days to build, and they took advantage of the extra sunshine.

The Milpitas BART station at Montague Expressway and Capitol Avenue and another station farther south at Berryessa Avenue near King Road in San Jose will carry BART passengers 10 miles deeper into the South Bay’s growing population centers.

Steve Tran, who works as a restaurant chef, can’t wait.

"Is it faster than driving? Yes, it’s better," Tran said.

The VTA, which oversaw construction, said the drought helped construction crews work ahead of schedule.

"We had several years of dry weather in which we worked straight through," agency spokeswoman Stacey Hendler Ross said.

The Milpitas station will have 1,200 parking spaces and potentially 120 charging stations for electric vehicles. There will be room for 10 food trucks and retail space.

But the VTA cautions it is still possible that the scheduled late December opening could be delayed. The tracks and computers that run the trains still have to be tested.

"If there’s one tiny detail that isn’t right, we have to stop and fix it until everything is in sync," Hendler Ross said.

Approval of environmental reports to extend BART to Santa Clara could happen by the end of the year.

The VTA estimates BART will take as many as 20,000 commuters off roadways between the new Warm Springs station in Fremont and the Milpitas station and another 20,000 between the Milpitas and Berryessa stations.

<![CDATA[Woman Whose Wedding Ring Was Stolen in SF Just Wants It Back]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:18:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sf+ring+suspects.jpg

A South Bay woman whose wedding ring was stolen in a car-break-in in San Francisco is offering a reward to get it back.

Carrie Perez's cherished ring was stolen April 8 on Golden Gate Avenue while she and a friend participated in the Rock 'N' Roll Half-Marathon. The Morgan Hill woman has photographs of the ring and the people she believes stole it.

She said when she returned to her car that day, she knew right away what happened. Sure enough, when she checked the trunk, everything in it was gone.

"Duffle bags and my purse, and that was the worst thing because my engagement ring and wedding band, which I can't run with, were in my purse," Perez said. "I got really upset and tried not to tear up. The bags are just things, but we only got married seven months ago. Obviously, the ring is super sentimental; it means a lot."

The thieves quickly racked up hundreds of dollars on Perez's stolen credit cards. Surveillance video shows a man using one of the cards in San Francisco, a female companion with him. Perez is hoping someone recognizes them and calls police.

Her offer is simple.

"No questions asked. If you could just get my ring back to me, I would not say anything," Perez said. "I would even reward anyone who can give me information as to how I can get those rings back."

Anyone who may recognize the man or woman in the video footage is asked to call police; leave your name if you want the reward. As for the suspected thieves, Perez is hoping they'll anonymously mail the rings to police.

Photo Credit: SFPD/Courtesy of Carrie Perez]]>
<![CDATA[Campbell Voters Uphold Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 20:59:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/91997111-marijuana-generic.jpg

Campbell residents voted Tuesday to continue a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries and to impose a tax on marijuana-related businesses at an initial rate of 7 percent, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

Voters rejected a third measure, a citizen's initiative that would have allowed up to three medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

About 90 percent of ballots have been counted in the election as of this evening. Of the city's 22,537 registered voters, 6,560 cast votes in the special election, yielding a voter turnout of over 29 percent.

Measure A, which levies a business tax of up to 15 percent on any future marijuana businesses, passed with almost 85 percent of the vote.

Though marijuana businesses remain illegal in Campbell, medical marijuana dispensaries have been legally able to deliver to patients in the city since Feb. 16.

City officials estimate that Measure A funds will raise between $130,000 and $260,000 for general city services, including police, fire and code enforcement.

Almost 64 percent of voters rejected Measure B, the citizen's initiative that sought to allow a small number of dispensaries in the city.

Measure C, which passed with over 63 percent of the vote, was placed on the ballot to compete with Measure B and institutes a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city until April 1, 2019, at the earliest, and to allow City Council control over the city's marijuana policies afterward.

The measure requires any dispensaries that may be allowed in the city in the future to be at least 100 feet from homes and 600 feet from day cares, schools, parks, community centers and other dispensaries.

Measures B and C do not affect medical marijuana use in the city for qualified patients, who may continue to use it there.

Measure C was supported by former Campbell mayors Michael Kotowski, Elizabeth Gibbons and Dan Furtado. Kotowski and Furtado also voiced their support for Measure A.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Sunnyvale Files Injunction Day After Workers Vote to Strike]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:43:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sunnyvale-strike-0426-2017.jpg

A day after its employees voted in favor of a strike, the city of Sunnyvale filed an injunction to prevent the disruption of city services related to public health and safety, city officials said.

Union employees for the city voted Tuesday to go on strike after the city asked union leaders to return to the bargaining table, which they left last year, city officials said.

Employees represented by the Sunnyvale Employees Association have been working without an agreement since the last Memorandum of Understanding expired in 2015.

In June, the Sunnyvale Employees Association rejected the city's "last, best and final offer," including a 10 percent wage hike over the next 15 months and the continuation of a 30 percent employee pension contribution.

But SEA has demanded a 14 percent wage hike, including retroactive wage increases that the city budgeted for but is now refusing to pay, according to third-party fact-finder Barry Winograd, who was chosen by the city and the union to mediate the dispute.

"Our members have gone over five years without a net wage increase," SEA president John Simontacchi said in a statement. "At the same time, the cost to rent or own a home in Silicon Valley has exploded, forcing our members, in some cases, to drive over three hours a day just to be able to support their family."

Those wage hikes are slightly less than the city's cost of living, Winograd noted, recommending that the city pay for the retroactive increase.

Union members currently average more than $124,000 in wages and benefits, which places them at or above average compared with similar workers in the area.

The union represents about 485 of the city's more than 900 employees in both blue-collar and white-collar positions, including planners, engineers, maintenance workers for parks and public works, water pollution control operators, mechanics, clerks, accountants and other technicians.

With the injunction, the city asked the court to require water pollution control plant operators, environmental chemists responsible for maintaining water quality, water and sewer plant crew leaders, landfill technicians, public safety records specialists and fire department fleet mechanics to remain on the job.

"It's regretful that SEA has put the city in the position of having to go to court to make certain that essential employees don't walk off the job and put public health and safety in jeopardy," Sunnyvale Mayor Glenn Hendricks said in a statement.

"The city has a fair and reasonable offer on the table that balances fiscal responsibility and competitive wages, in the face of just absorbing $300 million in new CalPERS (California Public Employees' Retirement System) costs," Hendricks said.

Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Arrest in San Jose's Eastridge Mall Shooting: Source]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:23:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4252017-sj-shooting.jpg

One suspect is in custody after a man was shot Tuesday in front of a Chili's restaurant at the Eastridge mall in San Jose, a source close to the investigation said. 

Police said the shooting occurred around 3:30 p.m. and left the man with non-life threatening wounds.

"The victim right now is expected to survive," San Jose police spokesperson Elle Washburn said.

Police don't know who the suspects are, how many shots were fired or what led up to the shooting. They were hoping late Tuesday to find something of substance on surveillance video.

According to witnesses, four suspects were seen fleeing the scene. They also described hearing seven shots ring out. Diners were being forced to wait inside the Chili's.

One witness said there were between six and eight shots, "but the first two were like 'Pop! Pop!' then there was a pause, then you heard 'Pop! Pop! Pop!' like somebody was unloading."

Several bullets tore into the door of a nearby Toyota Prius. Another shot shattered a window at a Citibank branch.

The witness, who did not want to be identified, said he saw four young black men running from the scene, three in black hoodies, one in a red hoodie.

"One had a revolver pistol, long barrel and skinny, and they ran towards Fresco," the witness said. "They were in single file kind a looking back. One of them lost a shoe; he was running without a shoe."

Witnesses said the shooting occurred after a Craigslist sale reportedly went bad. Police have yet to confirm this.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Hit With Bottle in Altercation Near SJ Jack in the Box]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:12:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-26-17-woman-attacked-san-jose.jpg

A woman was injured and bloodied after being struck with a bottle during an altercation with a group of women outside a Jack in the Box near San Jose State University, police said.

Police said the clash occurred around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday on the 100 block of East San Carlos Street, a block away from San Jose State University.

Officers said the victim, who has been hospitalized, is possibly in her 20s. The suspects were roughly a half dozen women, also in their mid-20s, according to police.

A source close to the investigation told NBC Bay Area that the woman sustained a head injury, but is expected to survive.

Jack in the Box employees said they didn't see what happened.

The incident was captured on surveillance video from the nearby La Victoria Taqueria. Owner Nicandro Barrito installed the cameras a few months ago as an extra precaution following a shooting in the area.

Video shows the victim, which appears to be a woman wearing dark clothing, with several other woman throwing punches. About a minute into the attack, someone throws the woman to the ground behind a wall and several others start kicking her.

The victim was able to get up and walk into the Jack in the Box. Police showed up soon after, but the suspects had already taken off.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[HIV-Positive Asylum Seeker From San Jose Detained in Florida]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 21:30:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/davydov04.25.17.JPG

A San Jose man who is gay and HIV-positive has been detained at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Florida for more than a month since returning from a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Denis Davydov, 30, arrived in the U.S. legally in September 2014 and overstayed his visa. He has applied for political asylum, according to Sergey Piskunov with RUSA LGBT, a group for Russian-speaking members of the LGBT community.

"He's a gay man and HIV-positive," Piskunov said. "Russia is not the best place for either of those, and he's a combination of both."

Davydov was on his way home to the Bay Area in early March when he encountered federal agents in an airport, according to Piskunov.

"They checked his documents, and he said they were trying really hard to find something wrong," Piskunov said. "They put him on a plane to Miami and transported him to Florida."

Nestor Yglesias, a spokesman for ICE in Florida, confirmed Tuesday that Davydov was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and is currently in custody at the Krome Detention Center in Miami.

"They made the arrest," Yglesias said. "He's in our custody because they don't have detention space."

Yglesias referred further questions regarding Davydov's case to Customs and Border Protection.

After a request for information about exactly where and when Davydov was detained, as well as any deportation proceedings that may be taking place, CBP spokesman Keith Smith said he would look into the matter, but Department of Homeland Security privacy policies typically "preclude us from releasing information regarding individual travelers."

Davydov is receiving his HIV medications every day while in detention, but he needs to see a doctor and has been unable to access one, according to Piskunov. That claim could not be confirmed with federal agents.

"This is one of the reasons we really want to get him out of there," Piskunov said.

If he gets deported, however, Davydov could face dire circumstances and difficulty accessing health care in Russia.

"I believe he's not going to live too long," Piskunov said. "We have several friends in common who passed away because of HIV consequences."

"They have money for war in Ukraine, Crimea, Syria - they have money for all these military expenses but they don't have money for the medical system," Piskunov said. "And they don't care."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of RUSA LGBT]]>
<![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[Man Knocks Over Security Robot, Ends Up in Jail]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 21:31:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/robot+attack.jpg

In a man-vs.-robot confrontation in California last week, the robot did what it was designed to do, and the intoxicated man ended up in jail, according to Mountain View police.

On April 19 around 8:15 p.m., officers responded to Knightscope headquarters, in the 1000 block of Terra Bella Avenue, on reports of a prowler. Surveillance video provided by the robot maker shows 41-year-old Jason Sylvain moments before police say he intentionally knocked over a 300-pound security robot.

The robot was being tested outside the company offices when it sounded its alarm, and employees ran outside, Knightscope said.

"We found a guy who just knocked over our robot," said company spokesman Stacy Dean Stephens. "He tried to get away, but we detained him and then we got Mountain View police on the phone. The bad guy learned the robot does security. It did what it was designed to do."

When officers arrived, Sylvain appeared confused, had red, glassy eyes and a strong odor of alcohol, police said. He was arrested for prowling and being drunk in public.

Last year, a Knightscope robot made headlines after running over a toddler while working at Stanford Shopping Center. The child suffered minor scrapes and a sore foot.

This time, the robot ended up with a few scratches, but Stephens said, "Everything is fine, none the worse for wear."

Photo Credit: Mountain View PD]]>
<![CDATA[Hammer-Wielding Man Arrested in Milpitas]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 18:26:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Anthony+Silva.jpg

A 50-year-old man last week used a hammer to take out his anger on another driver in Milpitas, police said.

Officers said a fight was reported on West Calaveras Boulevard and North Abel Street around 7:50 a.m. on April 17.

Police believe the altercation may have sparked as a road rage incident when the suspect – Anthony Gerald Silva – got into an accident with the other driver near Interstate 680. After the collision, both drivers were stopped in traffic on the westbound side of the Calaveras Boulevard overpass near North Abel Street, according to police.

The pair is then suspected of taking their disagreement to a parking lot on West Calaveras Boulevard near Butler Street, police said. There, Silva climbed out of his white 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 pick-up truck armed with a hammer. He used the tool to smash the windows of the other driver’s gray 2000 Nissan Sentra and also punched the victim multiple times, police said.

Silva has been booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail and faces charges for vandalism and assault.

People who may have information about the incident are asked to call Milpitas Police Department at 408-586-2400. Information can also be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at 408-586-2500 or online.

Photo Credit: Milpitas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Injured in Shooting at Eastridge Mall in San Jose]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:19:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4252017-sj-shooting.jpg

A man was hospitalized Tuesday after shooting in front of a Chili's restaurant at the Eastridge mall in San Jose, police said.

Police said the shooting occurred around 3:30 p.m. and left the man with non-life threatening wounds.

"The victim right now is expected to survive," San Jose police spokesperson Elle Washburn said.

Police don't know who the suspects are, how many shots were fired or what led up to the shooting. They were hoping late Tuesday to find something of substance on surveillance video.

According to witnesses, four suspects were seen fleeing the scene. They also described hearing seven shots ring out. Diners were being forced to wait inside the Chili's.

One witness said there were between six and eight shots, "but the first two were like pop pop, then there was a pause, then you heard pop pop pop like somebody was unloading."

Several bullets tore into the door of a nearby Toyota Prius. Another shot shattered a window at a Citibank branch.

The witness, who did not want to be identified, said he saw four young black men running from the scene, three in black hoodies, one in a red hoodie.

"One had a revolver pistol, long barrel and skinny, and they ran towards Fresco," the witness said. "They were in single file kind a looking back. One of them lost a shoe; he was running without a shoe."

Witnesses said the shooting occurred after a Craigslist sale reportedly went bad. Police have yet to confirm this.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Deadline Looms to Request Assistance Following SJ Floods]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 06:26:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-643917340.jpg

Roughly two months after rising water inundated several neighborhoods and cars in San Jose, the deadline to request financial assistance has arrived.

In order to receive public assistance from the state of California, public agencies, local businesses, nonprofits and homeowners must file paperwork with the state by Tuesday in order to qualify for federal low interest loans designed for flood relief sustained between Feb. 1 and Feb. 23.

Homeowners can request up to $200,000 to repair and replace their buildings, according to the Small Business Administration. Along with homeowners, renters can also petition for up to $40,000 to replace personal property waterlogged or destroyed by the flood waters.

Local government agencies and nonprofits can ask for up to $2 million in low interest loans to help them replace tools and resources that were utilized in the days and weeks following the flooding, according to the Small Business Administration.

Interest rates for the loans will range anywhere from 1.875 to 3.15 percent with terms up to 30 years, according to the Small Business Administration. The rates vary for business owners, nonprofits and homeowners.

To this date, the Small Business Administration has approved more than $6 million in disaster relief for victims of the San Jose floods and others victimized by a soaking wet winter across the state.

The Small Business Administration announced that its San Jose Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be closing its doors Friday.

Those wishing to apply for financial assistance can visit the Small Business Administration's website.

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[Five Bay Area Schools Among Nation’s Top Public High Schools]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:52:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/school-class-generic-student-elementary.jpg

Five Bay Area public high schools are among the nation's top 100, according to a new annual listing. U.S. News and World Report ranks more than 22,000 public high schools each year. Coming in 23rd nationally was Kipp San Jose Collegiate, which is a South Bay charter school. San Francisco's Lowell High School ranked 59th. Another South Bay charter school, San Jose's University Preparatory Academy, ranked 72nd. Mission San Jose in Fremont was just behind that at 76th and Oakland Charter High School was 91st.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![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[SJ, County Remain at Odds Over Emergency Response Times]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:36:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/san_jose_fire_department_truck_generic.jpg

Millions of dollars are at stake as San Jose and Santa Clara County fight over how fast is fast enough for a medical emergency response.

The city and county on Monday conducted a rare joint public meeting to hash out their agreement on medical services. An agreement the county said San Jose failed to fulfill. In response, the county withheld millions of much-needed dollars owed to the city.

On Monday, a San Jose fire crew responded to a woman who collapsed downtown. Firefighters and paramedics arrived in less than five minutes, treated the patient then turned her over to the Rural Metro ambulance.

"I think my friend is doing OK thanks to the fire department showing up really quickly -- great response time," said Rosemary, the victim's friend.

According to the city, the fire department responded to 80,000 EMS calls last year. But in its contract with Santa Clara County the first responders must respond within seven minutes.

The county said San Jose has not been doing that consistently enough and wittheld payments.

Mayor Sam Liccardo said the city has improved and needs the money owed to keep improving.

"We've got $8 million right now sitting in a county fund that could be used to improve emergency response times and enable us to get to stroke and heart attack patients," Liccardo said.

Meanwhile, the county seemed skeptical.

"There's very strict standards as to where they're supposed to be and they're not there yet," Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese said. "I commend them on their progress, but the progress on that last half second, or last five seconds, or last minute could be a life."

Monday's meeting ended with no decision.

<![CDATA[Airbus Tests On-Board Exercise Pods at San Jose Airport]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:12:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/04-24-2017-airbus-exercise-pods.jpg

Aerospace giant Airbus is showing off what it calls the future of air travel inside Mineta San Jose International Airport: a workout pod, including exercise bikes and yoga classes, aboard a passenger plane. Scott Budman reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Dead After Two-Vehicle Crash in Morgan Hill: Police]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 23:15:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-0806151.jpg

One person was killed in a two-vehicle crash Sunday evening in Morgan Hill, according to the Morgan Hill Police Department.

The crash occurred on Santa Teresa Boulevard near Native Dancer Drive, police said. Investigators were still at the scene late Sunday night.

No further details were available.

<![CDATA[Brawl Breaks Out at Wedding in San Jose]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 22:49:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-23-17_San_Jose_Wedding_Brawl.jpg

A wedding celebration in San Jose Saturday night swiftly changed course when a bloody melee broke out, according to police.

Officers responded to the area of East Santa Clara and 27th streets just after 9 p.m. and found a large group of people entangled in a brawl.

Video depicting the fight's aftermath captured several police officers outside the wedding hall named S.F. Nova Alianca wielding batons in attempts to keep the peace while some guests dressed in wedding garb restrained one another. One wedding attendee was spotted with blood soaked into his dress shirt and vest.

At least one person was injured and transported to a local hospital. It is unclear if any arrests were made, but police continued Sunday to investigate the fight.

An employee with a nearby wedding planning company was shocked to hear about the chaos, and he added he has "never had any issues" with the venue or its guests.

"I've had several events there," Orlando Guzman said. "Always pretty calm. The owners are pretty calm. There's always police officers on site."

Events held at the hall where the fight broke out require an off-duty San Jose police officer to be on site and act as a security guard, according to Guzman. More officers are required if the event crowd exceeds 100 people.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Technical Problems Inhibit San Jose's 911 Call Center]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:13:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjpd-generic-2015-2.jpg

The San Jose Police Department's 911 call center experienced temporary technical problems Sunday afternoon, according to the department.

The issue was first reported just before 1 p.m., according to police. By 2:45 p.m., the system was "back up and receiving calls," but police did warn about potential delays.

Those attempting but failing to reach 911 during the disruption were instructed to call 408-277-8911.

Further information was not available at the time.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Unattended Candle Ignited Blaze in Sunnyvale Home: Officials]]>Sun, 23 Apr 2017 13:39:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-22-17_Sunnyvale_Fire1.jpg

An unattended candle started a two-alarm fire Saturday evening in a Sunnyvale home that caused major damage to the home, officials with the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said Sunday.

Firefighters responded at 7:26 p.m. to a report of a burning tree next to a two-story home in the 1300 block of Elsona Court.

The first firefighters to arrive saw flames coming out of a second-floor window. The fire was challenging to put out because solar panels and panels connected to a swimming pool were on the roof, according to public safety officials.

But crews were able to keep the fire from spreading beyond the home.

The occupant of the home got out before firefighters arrived. But she suffered a burn before she left as she tried to put out the fire.

She was treated outside by paramedics and decided not to go to a hospital, public safety officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Drone Footage Captures Killer Whales Feasting in Monterey]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 05:54:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-23-17_Monterey_Killer_Whale_Drone.JPG

A rare sighting in the animal kingdom continues to mesmerize marine biologists and whale watchers in the Monterey Bay.

For the fourth day in a row, whale watchers on Sunday spotted an abnormally large pod of killer whales feasting on the carcasses of two gray whales, according to Nancy Black from Monterey Bay Whale Watch.

Killer whales are famous for their violent attacks and relentless feeding practices, but to see this type of behavior and this amount of mammal-eating creatures just off the coast of Monterey is "pretty rare," Black said.

"This won't happen everyday," she said.

The first gray whale's carcass was originally discovered last Thursday followed by another carcass appearing Friday, according to Black.

Ever since Thursday, throngs of killer whale mothers and calves have taken turns taking bites out of the dead whales' blubber.

An array of whale species typically migrate to Monterey Bay during the spring months for feeding season, according to Black. Killer whales tend to hunt in groups of six to ten, but Black said the group this year is a "very large number."

Not to be outdone, Humpback whales also joined the mix. Black said Humpback whales tend to barge into the fold when killer whales feed.

Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Whale Watch
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<![CDATA[Two-Alarm House Fire Burns in Sunnyvale]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 20:57:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-22-17_Sunnyvale_Fire.jpg

Firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze at a house in a Sunnyvale neighborhood Saturday night, according to officials.

The fire, which pumped heavy smoke into the air, started burning at the home along Elsona Court near Astoria Drive around 7 p.m., officials said. As of 11 p.m., the fire had yet to be completely extinguished.

A family was inside the house when the blaze ignited, but they were able to escape. One person suffered minor injuries, fire officials said.

Firefighters were forced to fight the flames from extended ladders due to fears that the engulfed roof could collapse.

Residents in the area were advised to keep their windows closed due to the heavy smoke. Others were asked to avoid the area.

The blaze did not damage any surrounding homes, according to fire officials.

Photo Credit: Sunnyvale Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Large Reservoir Could Be Created in Santa Clara County]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 19:09:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0213-2017-AndersonReservoir.jpg

The Bay Area could soon welcome a new reservoir, and it could be one of the largest of its kind in the region.

Water officials in the South Bay are in the beginning stages of conjuring up a plan to build an $800 million dam and reservoir in eastern Santa Clara County roughly 10 miles west of the San Luis Reservoir along Highway 152, according to the Mercury News.

The new body of water could either be created in unison with the existing Pacheco Lake or just upstream, according to the newspaper. If constructed, the reservoir would be able to hold 130,000 acre-feet of water. One acre-foot is equivalent to 325,851 gallons of water. For comparisons sake, Anderson Reservoir in Santa Clara County houses 90,000 acre-feet of water.

Paid consultants are currently looking at the plan's feasibility, but financial headaches and geological issues could ultimately dismantle the effort, according to the newspaper.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Man Killed, Two Hurt in Shooting at San Jose Motel 6]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 09:56:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4222017-motel6-shooting1.jpg

One man was killed and two were injured in a shooting in a San Jose Motel 6 room early Saturday morning, police said. 

Officers were dispatched to the 1000 block of The Alameda around 3:25 a.m. on reports of shots fired. They found three men with at least one gunshot wound each. One man was declared dead at the scene and the other two were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening wounds, according to police.

The Motel 6 was not evacuated following the shooting, but people are choosing to leave, Lt. Mike King said. Officers are escorting these people out of the area so as not to disturb the crime scene. 

The Alameda in front of the motel will be closed for a few hours during the investigation, forcing VTA to reroute eastbound and westbound 22 and 522, and northbound and southbound 63, officials say.

San Jose police investigators are looking into a possible motive and circumstances leading up to the shooting. No suspect information has been provided.

As part of the investigation, police will be looking for surveillance cameras and combing through footage.

The victim will be identified by the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office, but his name will not be released until his family has been notified of his death, police said. 

People with information about the shooting are asked to call the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit at 408-277-5283. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area, Telemundo 48 Participate in Comcast Cares Day]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 09:19:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4222017-comcast-cares-day.jpg

NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48 employees rolled up their sleeves Saturday for the 16th annual Comcast Cares Day. 

From boxing donated food to mentoring youth, our employees volunteer year-round to make a difference in our shared communities, and Comcast Cares Day is our yearly celebration of this commitment to volunteerism.

"It was amazing just to see how many people showed up and they just descended on the projects," Stephanie Vose of Comcast said of what is now the largest single-day corporate effort in the United States.

In San Francisco on Saturday, familiar faces, including anchors Raj Mathai and Janelle Wang, were spotted at Sutro Elementary School at 235 12th Avenue. The school got some TLC in the form of a mural, an expanded learning garden, planters with fresh bark, and repainted safety lines around classroom doorways.

Myra Quadros, the principal of Sutro Elementary School, was captivated by the way Comcast employees, along with their friends and families, transformed the campus.

"It's really incredible," she said. "We were adopted through Comcast and this would never happen through the school district."

In San Jose, our team went to Glider Elementary School at 511 Cozy Drive. As part of our partnership with the school, bences were sanded, flowers were planted and a USA map was added to the playground. 

"This is a great event that's helping out the city, that's changing a school, that's helping our youth," artist Dave Young Kim said.

A slew of volunteering opportunities were also available in Oakland, Milpitas, Santa Cruz, Fremont and elsewhere. 

"The most important thing we can do is be involved locally and make positive change locally and be strong," said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. 

Comcast Cares Day has evolved from a modest service effort with 6,100 volunteers at the time of its founding. In 2016, nearly 108,000 volunteers participated, improving more than 930 project sites throughout 540 local communities.

"Kids are going to come back, their school is going to be transformed or a garden is going to be transformed and you don't understand the impact that this has on kids who sometimes wonder -- and families sometimes wonder -- if their country is ignoring them or they've been left behind," said David Cohen, senior executive vice president of Comcast Corporation.

More information can be found online.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Young Jeezy Hit with Lawsuit for Shooting Death at Shoreline]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:57:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/YoungJeezy.jpg

Rap artist Young Jeezy has been slapped with a lawsuit for his alleged role in the shooting death of a concert promoter at Mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheater in 2014.

Attorneys filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the rapper and presented court documents claiming witnesses can prove Young Jeezy was possibly behind the trigger when Eric Johnson was shot backstage following the rapper's performance with fellow rapper Wiz Khalifa.

A stagehand specifically told police on the night of the shooting that "the shooter looked like Young Jeezy," according to court documents. That witness later repeated that account at his deposition.

Another stagehand also helped police create a sketch of the shooting suspect. Court documents suggest that the "sketch eerily resembles Young Jeezy."

During a subsequent investigation following the shooting, police searched the Young Jeezy's tour bus before arresting the rapper and five others on suspicion of possessing an illegal assault weapon. Those charges were eventually dropped, according to court documents.

Officers never identified or arrested a shooting suspect, and the case seemed to fall apart.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to Live Nation Worldwide, Inc., which was also named on the lawsuit, for a comment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Tequila Avion]]>
<![CDATA[Deputy Who Shot, Killed 15-Year-Old Will Not Face Charges]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:08:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-080615.jpg

The Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a 15-year-old boy who had stabbed his father and uncle with a pocketknife while on LSD last year will not face criminal charges, District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell announced Friday morning.

An investigation by the District Attorney's Office found no legal wrongdoing on the part of Deputy Chris Vigil, who shot Luke Smith, an Aptos High School student, in a neighborhood north of Watsonville on Nov. 19.

Vigil has nine years of experience in law enforcement with the Santa Cruz and Atherton police and the sheriff's office.

Friday afternoon, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart announced the five findings and 15 recommendations submitted by his office's Serious Incident Review Board, which he announced he would form two days after Luke was killed.

The board, consisting of Chief Deputy Craig Wilson, sergeants Patrick Dimick, John Habermehl and Chris Shearer, and community members Rene Schlaepfer, Tye Watson and Javier Diaz met four times between Dec. 15 and

Feb. 21 before submitting its findings andrecommendations to Hart.

The board recommended that the sheriff's office improve supervision and coordination, use of police dogs, monitoring of patrol rifles, speed of first aid for injured suspects and training for critical incidents.

The shooting followed a 13-minute confrontation after sheriff's deputies and police officers from Watsonville and Capitola responded to a report of a suspect on LSD, armed with a knife after fleeing a house where he had stabbed two people.

According to the friend who had taken LSD with Luke in the hours before the shooting, Luke took a larger dose and seemed to have an adverse, hostile reaction to the drug.

About 15 minutes after his friend left Luke's father's house on Amesti Road, Luke began to argue with his father and then stabbed him and his uncle with a 4-inch pocketknife.

Deputies found Luke outside, chasing the fire engine that had responded to his father and uncle's separate 911 calls, during which one of them had fallen unconscious.

Officers and deputies found Luke around the corner on Pioneer Road, still armed with the pocketknife and unresponsive to commands to drop it.

Around 3:09 a.m., Luke started to approach the officers, so the officers fired three non-lethal rounds at him. Luke disappeared and officers issued a shelter-in-place alert for the neighborhood with a reverse 911 call.

When deputies found Luke behind a fence, he tossed the pocketknife over the fence, scaled the fence and picked the knife up again, holding it in his right hand with the blade pointed downward in a stabbing position.

Officers used a stun gun, deployed a police dog that bit his arm and shot him with a fourth non-lethal round.

Luke raised his right arm in a stabbing motion toward an officer and Vigil shot him with an AR-15 rifle at 3:15 a.m.

After Luke was shot, deputies fired a stun gun and two more non-lethal rounds and deployed the police dog again before administering first aid, Rosell said.

Responders did not administer first aid to Luke until the knife was out of his hand. He died around 4 a.m.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![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[Man Wielding Knife Shot, Injured by San Jose Police]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:12:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-21-17_SJ_OIS.jpg

A man carrying a knife was shot and injured by a San Jose Police Department officer Friday afternoon, according to police.

Police were alerted to the armed suspect threatening others in the area of Lewis Road and Senter Road around 12:35 p.m., police said. The first arriving officer gave the man commands, but the man ignored those orders.

Holding "the knife in his hand in (a) threatening manner," the man charged at the officer, according to police. The officer promptly fired his weapon, hitting the man at least once.

The suspect was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital to be treated for serious injuries, according to police.

The officer will be on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted, according to police.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit will be the primary parties in the investigation, according to police.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit at 408-277-5283. Callers are encouraged to speak with Sgt. Michael Montonye or Detective Jason Tanner.

Those callers wishing to be anonymous may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 408-947-7867.

Photo Credit: @ItsLuckyLulu via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Fans Flock to San Jose for Second Running of Comic Con]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:26:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-21-17_SVCC.jpg

Comic book fans in the Bay Area are rejoicing. That's because Silicon Valley Comic Con returned to San Jose the second-consecutive year Friday afternoon.

The three-day show will feature the latest in tech gadgets, video game developments, artistic displays, and comics, of course.

Folks on Friday were able to relieve science fiction memories in the form of recognizable vehicles used in famous movies such as "Batman," give a wave to R2-D2 from the legendary "Star Wars" series, and even catch a glimpse of Apple co-founder and Silicon Valley Comic Con organizer Steve Wozniak cruising by on a Segway, much to the delight of fans.

"I'm excited," Lindsay Platoshyn of San Jose said. "I call (Comic Con) a nerd frat party because all the nerds come together and you have so much fun. It's in the air."

Notable celebrity guests throughout the weekend include Steven Yuen from AMC's "The Walking Dead," Grant Gustin from CW's "The Flash," former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and actor William Shatner. Adam Savage, Tory Belleci and Kari Byron formerly of "Mythbusters" will also be in attendance.

Fans of superheroes, science fiction and fantasy across the Bay Area in the past had been forced to travel out of the area if they wished to attend to Comic Con shows, but Wozniak changed that last year. He finally managed to transform downtown San Jose into a geek paradise.

Silicon Valley Comic Con isn't the only high-profile event in San Jose over the weekend. The San Jose Sharks on Saturday will host a do-or-die Game 6 in their first round playoff series. The SoFa Street Fair on Sunday will also welcome thousands more for a bi-annual festival.

The busy weekend is expected to draw roughly 140,000 visitors to the south bay city.

Comic Con runs through the weekend at the San Jose Convention center. Tickets can be purchased online.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Teacher Arrested for Child Porn: Police]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:14:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0421-2017-Hayden.jpg

A special education teacher was arrested at South San Jose's Pioneer High School Thursday afternoon for alleged possession of child pornography, police said.

John Hayden, 41, was hired in August and taught resource, according to San Jose Unified School District spokesman Peter Allen.

Hayden taught in the Sunnyvale School District before being hired in San Jose.

The police department's Internet Crimes Against Children task force found child porn images at Hayden's home in San Jose while serving a search warrant on Thursday.

Police then removed Hayden from his classroom "right away," Allen said. He was booked into the county jail and is on paid leave, per SJUSD policy.

"The safety of our students, the safety of our campus, is top priority," Allen said.

Detectives have not uncovered any instances of criminal behavior at Pioneer, and are now looking into any unreported incidents at his prior jobs.

Anyone with information about this case has been asked to call San Jose police Detective Sgt. Spears or Detective Jourdenais at (408) 537-1397 or (408) 277-4102.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (408) 947-7867. Cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect may be available.

Photo Credit: SJPD]]>
<![CDATA[One Man Killed, Two Hurt in Shooting at San Jose Motel 6]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:12:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4222017-motel6-shooting1.jpg

One man was killed and two were injured in a shooting at a San Jose Motel 6 early Saturday morning, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Water in Anderson Reservoir Drops to Safer Level]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:22:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-19-17_Anderson_Dam.jpg

A major reservoir in the South Bay is now much less vulnerable to a major earthquake.

This week, the Anderson Reservoir in Morgan Hill fell below 68 percent capacity: the maximum allowed by the state and federal government because of seismic safety concerns.

This winter’s rainstorms sparked concerns as the reservoir filled to full capacity, gushed over the spillway and flooded downstream into San Jose. If there had been a magnitude 7.25 quake on the Calaveras Fault at the time, the damn, which was built in 1950, could have failed.

“It certainly feels good to us that we are down below that restricted level,” said Marty Grimes with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. “We are continuing to lower the level in the reservoir as an extra safety precaution.”

The Coyote Dam, located above the Anderson Reservoir, will also begin to reduce, Grimes said.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District, which operates the Anderson Dam, has been releasing water from the reservoir since the start of the year. Officials will continue to do so until mid to late May. By then, water district officials hope Anderson Reservoir is down to 58 percent and Coyote Reservoir to 50 percent.

In 2020, the district is expected to start a four-year $400-million seismic retrofit of the Anderson Dam. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Flees After Crashing SUV Into Side of SJ Hospital]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:35:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-21-17-SUV-CRASH-SAN+JOSE-MEDICAL.jpg

San Jose police on Friday are searching for a driver who plowed his SUV into the side of a hospital and then took off.

The crash occurred around 1 a.m. at the Regional Medical Center on North Jackson Avenue. The building that was struck sits on the edge of the campus and is not connected to the main tower.

When officers arrived on scene, the driver had already fled. 

Pictures from the scene showed a damaged facade.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Speed Safety Cameras Proposed in San Jose]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:04:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/night+traffic+generic.jpg

San Jose is considering a proposal to put cameras along certain corridors where drivers are known to speed.

The mayor and police chief said the proposal will improve safety for motorists and pedestrians, but drivers interviewed Thursday said the cameras are too intrusive.

Officials said the cameras would also cite drivers for speeding, which also does not sit well with some drivers.

"This is an effort to focus on the areas we think that are the highest risk to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists," Mayor Sam Liccardo said. "And see how we can eliminate risks in these corridors."

Those proposing the cameras said they would use collision data to put the cameras where the most accidents happen.

If approved, 14 areas will be chosen for the placing of the cameras, based on the number of accidents and speeding cars.

The camera proposal goes in front of the transportation committee on Monday.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Shells Out Big Bucks to Mend Storm-Battered Roads]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 07:03:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/potholes8.jpg

Anyone driving around the Bay Area knows our roads have taken a beating during this winter’s heavy rain. Now the question remains: How much will it cost to fix potholes and other pockmarks?

NBC Bay Area reached out to the public works departments in five major counties and found that four have experienced significant increases in the taxpayer dollars needed for road repairs. Moreover, their expenditure does not factor in money spent by individual cities and Caltrans, officials say.

Public works officials say Alameda County was forced to spend: $143,757 during the first quarter of 2017, which is a staggering 51.5 percent increase over the $69,585 spent in the same time frame in 2016.

Meanwhile, San Francisco city and county public works officials spent the most, shelling out $759,836 to fix over 10,000 potholes. Officials say that expense is 35.5 percent more than the $490,188 spent during 2016’s first quarter.

In Contra Costa County, the Public Works Department reported spending $124,215 to fix potholes in the 2017’s first quarter. That’s a 32.6 percent jump from last year’s $83,766, according to officials.

A similar situation unfurled in Santa Clara County where $217,715 was required to fix roads in the South Bay versus $168,248 in 2016. That’s a 22.7 percent increase, officials say.

Alternately, the San Mateo County public works officials say this year’s pothole-related expenses didn’t fluctuate much from 2016. Why? Because potholes took a backseat to their problem with mudslides.

California’s lawmakers recently approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s $5-billion-a-year plan to boost gas and vehicle taxes to pay for major road repairs.

It will raise gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon — a 43 percent increase — and diesel taxes from 16 cents per gallon to 36 cents. Drivers will also face a new annual fee to be paid with their vehicle registration, ranging from $25 to $175 depending on the value of their vehicle. The taxes and fees will rise each year with inflation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![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[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[1 Dead in Crash Involving Motorcycle Just Outside of Gilroy]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:19:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-night.jpg

A fatal collision involving a vehicle and a motorcycle occurred late Wednesday night just outside of Gilroy, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision was reported at 9:10 p.m. near Leavesley and Holsclaw roads.

According to a preliminary report, a white sedan collided with a motorcycle. The motorcyclist was reportedly found possibly injured in the roadway, CHP officials said.

Some roads in the area may be closed as the CHP investigates the collision, according to a CHP dispatcher.

The intersection is the same location where a different fatal crash occurred Sunday, also involving a motorcycle.

In that incident, a 2007 Harley-Davidson collided with a 2000 Ford, causing major injuries to the motorcyclist, later identified as 53-year-old Gilroy resident Richard Martinez. Martinez was taken to a hospital, where he died a short while later.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[County Cancels Easter Egg Hunt That Aids Veterans]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:51:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/egg+hunt-0419-2017.jpg

An Easter egg hunt near Gilroy that was supposed to raise money for veterans’ service dogs was canceled at the last minute over a permitting issue, and the organizer is blaming the county.

Operation Freedom Paws in San Martin, which trains canines to become service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other needs, prepared to host an Easter egg hunt last week to raise money and awareness. The funds were to go toward the costly training of the dogs, which runs upward of $15,000 for each pup but is provided at no cost to the eventual owner.

Founder Mary Cortani said the day before the event, the Santa Clara County planning department called to say the group didn’t have a permit to host an event.

“It was brought to our attention we needed a special day use permit,” Cortani said. “And that it could bring problems when we went before the planning commission should we receive any complaints.”

Cortani feared a complaint could jeopardize their pending permit to expand services at the center. She plans to host more classes and wants to increase the number of dogs allowed on the property at once above 70. Cortani took the call as a threat.

“As the conversation proceeded, I became concerned,” she said.

As a result, Cortani canceled the Easter egg hunt. She says she called 150 people who RSVP’d and refunded them.

The Santa Clara County associate planner who called Cortani told NBC Bay Area she reached out as a courtesy, and it was not a threat. She added the nonprofit did not have the required permit, which could result in a code violation if someone complained.

Cortani disputed they even needed a permit to host on their property.

“Nowhere (in our current operating permit) did we feel that for a two hour event like an Easter egg hunt, that we would need a permit," she said. "It’s no different than hosting an open house at a business.”

Cortani says the organization lost a few thousand dollars from the cancellation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Mountain View Girl Found in Woodland: Police]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 06:28:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+car+generic_seattle.jpg

A 13-year-old Mountain View girl reported missing late Wednesday has been found safe, police said.

Police on Thursday afternoon said Myra Renteria was found in Woodland.

Police and family members on Wednesday were frantically searching for the girl, a student at Crittenden Middle School.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![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[Man With Serious Injuries on Fishing Boat Airlifted to SJ]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:58:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance-generic-ambulance-stock5.jpg

A 30-year-old man with serious injuries on a commercial fishing boat was rescued 600 miles off the coast and transported by helicopter to the Regional Medical Center of San Jose on Tuesday, California National Guard officials said.

Early Tuesday morning two helicopter crews, a combat shadow aircraft and a four-man pararescue team rescued the man on a fishing vessel called the Gutsy Lady 4.

The man, who was 1,100 miles west of the Bay Area when his injuries were reported on Sunday, didn't arrive at the hospital until Tuesday evening, California National Guard Capt. Roderick Bersamina said.

On Sunday, a combat shadow crew dropped a medication bundle to the fishing boat.

"The 129th Rescue Wing saves lives by air, land and sea when others do not have the capabilities to respond. Whether at home or abroad, our citizen-airmen are always ready to execute," California National Guard Col. Taft Aujero said in a statement.

The 129th Rescue Wing crew that saved the man responds to emergencies in deserts, mountaintops and rural and urban settings, rescuing lost or injured hikers or isolated people on ships.

The crew also conducts combat search and rescue missions and has saved more than 1,000 people, Bersamina said.

"This was a high-risk mission today, mainly based off of the overall distance," California National Guard Major Nate Nowaski said in a statement Tuesday.

"Commanders weigh that risk based off the patient's overall medical status and urgency and we do our best to mitigate any additional risks to the patient, the fishing vessel crew and our own rescue crews," Nowaski said.

<![CDATA[DMV Cracks Down on Disabled Parking Placard Violators]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:22:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0419-2017-HandicapPlacard.jpg

The Department of Motor Vehicles is cracking down on people abusing disabled person parking placards.

DMV crews on Wednesday searched for violators in downtown San Jose. Several motorists had their placards seized during the crackdown.

A San Jose State University student was one of the motorists cited Wednesday. Investigators claim he used a placard registered to his father to park in a handicap spot. The student's father was not in the vehicle.

Investigators seized the placard and the student could face a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000. The student said he did not realize his father had to be present when using the placard.

"The reality is ignorance of a law does not excuse breaking the law," said Wendy Espinoza, a DMV investigator.

Espinoza said the DMV has done 270 similar operations.

"Those are our documents and we need to make sure they are used correctly," Espinoza said.

The enforcement effort comes at the same time a state auditor criticized the DMV for not making sure the people issued the placards should actually have them.

The audit found the agency has not canceled tens of thousands of permits issued to people who have died.

Auditors also looked at a sample of 96 placards applications and found 70 that did not provide enough medical information to demonstrate the applicant qualified.

DMV issued a response Wednesday saying it is working to implement 15 recommendations made by the state auditor, including collaborating with medical boards, additional training for staff and adding options for the public to report placard abuse.

During the last fiscal year, DMV investigators issued 738 citations for placard violations in California.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Renters Cheer New Protections, Now Tackle New Issue]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:27:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+renters-0419-2017.jpg

San Jose is ready to embark on a new era when renters will have more protection from unfair or no-cause evictions. But another issue could surface quickly.

A divided City Council on Tuesday passed a tenant protection ordinance on a 6-5 vote before a packed crowd at City Hall. But even as renters and advocates celebrated, there was new fear to consider: Until the ordinance goes into effect, upset landlords might take out their frustrations on innocent, law-abiding tenants.

It wasn't clear exactly when the new ordinance would take effect, but NBC Bay Area learned it would be at least two weeks if it is deemed an urgency ordinance and as long as two months if it isn't given urgency status. Either way, renters will be vulnerable.

Activists found out as much last year during a fight over rent control.

"Well, we're really concerned because last time that we had a lapse, landlords took advantage of that, and there was an increase in evictions and an increase in rent increases," said Shaunn Cartwright of the South Bay Tenants Union. "So that's what we're afraid is going to happen again."

City Housing Director Jacky Morales-Ferrand, who spearheaded the ordinance, agreed, saying tenants whose leases expire during this time are very vulnerable.

"We're doing the best we can, which is to try to come back with the urgency ordinance," she said.

Morales-Ferrand confirmed there no way to protect tenants during the down time "because the landlords are acting within their right to terminate a lease with no reason."

Activists who crashed the city's ComicCon announcement Tuesday said they'll do the same thing to landlords.

"We're going to raise our voices loud and strong and let them know that it's not OK," Cartwright said.

On Wednesday, activists appealed to the council's Rules Committee to try to get the urgency ordinance vote moved up a week earlier to next Tuesday. But the committee, made up of many members on the losing end of Tuesday night's vote, rejected it.

A vote on when the law will go into effect is set to take place May 9.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Attempted Battery at SJSU]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:05:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjsu-campus-generic.jpg

The San Jose State University is on alert after an alleged attempted battery on campus.

A suspect pounced on a woman and tried to grab her around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday while she was jogging near S. 7th and E. San Fernando streets, according to an alert sent to the SJSU community.

The woman ran away, but the man chased her until she was able to get into the car of a student who happened to be passing by, the alert said. 

The man was last spotted at the corner of E. San Fernando and S. 10th streets, but remains at large as of Wednesday, despite university police's attempts to find him, according to the alert.

The woman has described the suspect as a thin man in his 40s, standing about 6-feet 3-inches tall, with a mole on the left side of his face. He was wearing a grey watch cap, brown camouflage puffy jacket and dark blue jeans, the university said.

Tuesday's attempted battery follows "several" sexual batteries that were reported on the SJSU campus on April 8. In those cases, university police were able to find the suspect and take him into custody.

An investigation into the matter is still ongoing, according to the university. Anyone with information is asked to contact the University Police Department at 408-924-2000.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![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[Divided San Jose Council Votes For Policy Protecting Renters]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:17:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+renters.jpg

The San Jose City Council on Tuesday night voted 6-5 in favor of a policy against no-cause evictions, the culmination of a heated public debate over renters' rights issues that had been brewing for months.

The crowd inside the City Council chambers was very emotional as city leaders heard proposals on halting no-cause evictions and preventing landlords from kicking out rent-control tenants in favor of market-rate renters.

Renters rights activists started the day crashing a party at City Hall, where council members and city officials welcomed Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017. The spontaneous demonstration came as activists wound down a hunger strike that began Friday.

Activists said they needed to be heard.

"It was worth it. It's more than worth it. It's necessary," said Salvador Bustamante of Latinos United For A New America. "It's necessary that we take this action and we make this small sacrifice."

Robert Aguirre said he is one of many San Jose renters who received an eviction notice but no explanation from his landlady. And like many, he's outraged that the law allows such action.

"She doesn't have to give a reason for evicting us. She can evict us," he said. "As a matter of fact, on the form. there's absolutely no reason (given) for it."

One council member said before Tuesday's vote why he believes requiring just cause for all evictions won't work.

"Sounds great. But when you put it into action, it makes it very hard to get rid of people causing trouble in neighborhoods," Councilman Johnny Khamis said.

Landlord Peter Noonan agreed, saying he just kicked out a drug dealer tenant.

"The tenant moved out. We've had no drug dealing in the building since," Noonan said. "I've been running my buildings for years, taking good care of them."

Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Free Chance the Rapper Concert in San Jose]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:21:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17065779497714-sm.jpg

Facebook will wrap up the first day of F8, its annual conference for developers, with a concert from Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper.

The free show will be held Tuesday night at San Jose's City National Civic. Tickets were handed out earlier in the day at the Temple Bar and Lounge in downtown San Jose. Thousands of fans were seen lining up to get their hands on free tickets to see the 24-year-old rapper.

Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, made history at the Grammys by being the first to win with a stream-only album. In all, he took three wins out of seven nominations at the Grammys for "best new artist," "best rap album" and "best rap performance."

Bennett recently made headlines by donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago musician said the donation was a "call to action."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Garcia Torres Will Not Testify in Sierra LaMar Trial: Lawyer]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:09:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

There was a sense of anticipation in Santa Clara County Superior Court Tuesday morning at the trial of Antolin Garcia Torres, who is accused of murdering Sierra LaMar.

With closing arguments looming as early as next week, judge Vanessa A. Zecher asked Torres if he intended to take the stand.

With the alleged victim's father and other supporters looking on, Torres and his attorney Brian Matthews quietly talked before Torres declined to take the stand.

During a break, Matthews told me that Torres will not testify "at all" during the remaining proceedings.

There seemed to be obvious disappointment among the group supporting the LaMar family. though several said they didn't really expect Torres to talk.

Sierra's father, Steve LaMar, said he was "ambivalent" about Torres not testifying and emphasized he "still feels good about the prosecution" case.

The prosecution has focused much of its case on DNA evidence linking Torres to Sierra while the defense has tried to cast doubt on the evidence and consider her a "runaway."

Torres is facing the death penalty in the case, even though no one has been found since the 15-year-old disappeared on her way to school in Morgan Hill in 2012.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Round Two: Silicon Valley Comic Con Returns to San Jose]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:03:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/COMIC_AP_20979824733.jpg

Get ready, comic book fans.

Silicon Valley Comic Con is coming back to San Jose this weekend for the second-consecutive year.

The three-day show will feature the latest in tech gadgets, video game developments, artistic displays, and comics, of course.

Notable celebrity guests include Steven Yuen from AMC's "The Walking Dead," Grant Gustin from CW's "The Flash," former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and actor William Shatner. Adam Savage, Tory Belleci and Kari Byron formerly of "Mythbusters" will also be in attendance.

Fans of superheroes, science fiction and fantasy across the Bay Area in the past had been forced to travel out of the area if they wished to attend to Comic Con shows, but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak changed that last year. He finally managed to transform downtown San Jose into a geek paradise.

Comic Con runs through the weekend at the San Jose Convention center. Tickets can be purchased online.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Strikes Overpass on Highway 237 in Sunnyvale]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:19:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4182017-hwy237-ax.jpg

A truck on Tuesday struck an overcrossing on Highway 237 in Sunnyvale, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP was forced to close North Mathilda Avenue to westbound traffic because of the accident, according to officer Ross Lee. The overcrossing may be compromised, Lee added.

Caltrans crews are en route to the scene, officers said. All lanes were reopened by 1 p.m., officers said.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Alan Edelman]]>
<![CDATA[Hunger Strikers Take Aim at Eviction Practice in San Jose]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 06:18:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/HungerStrikeSJRenters.jpg

For the fifth-consecutive day, a collective of renters' rights backers passed up a meal to garner support for a potential city law that could protect tenants against what they say is an unfair eviction practice.

The strikers have vowed to go without food until Tuesday afternoon's City Council meeting, during which city leaders will contemplate a so-called "just-cause" ordinance regarding evictions. Currently in San Jose, landlords are allowed to evict tenants without offering a reason.

The new measure would also require landlords to make property repairs more expeditiously and respond faster to tenant complaints.

Since 2010, there have been more than 2,000 "no-cause" evictions in San Jose, city records show.

The California Apartment Association responded to the protest, saying laws already exist to protect renters.

"San Jose already has laws to prevent landlords from evicting tenants for financial gain," association spokesman Mike Nemeth said. "The city needs to enforce those laws rather than create new legislation, more regulations and additional layers of bureaucracy."

Three women have been fasting since Friday and sleeping on the steps outside City Hall. They were joined Easter Sunday by several supporters, and others followed suit.

The advocates have the support of the council, according to the Mercury News, which reported that council members Sylvia Arenas, Sergio Jimenez, Raul Peralez and Donald Rocha have expressed in writing their support, and Devora Davis and Lan Diep would recommend approval with some minor changes to the policy.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Stolen From East Bay Food Nonprofit Found in San Jose]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:10:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stolen+truck-0416-2017.jpg

A delivery truck that was stolen last week from a food nonprofit in Contra Costa County was recovered in San Jose on Monday, according to officials with White Pony Express.

Around 4 p.m. Monday, a private citizen spotted the stolen refrigeration truck parked near a Buddhist cultural center at Harris Way and Montague Expressway in San Jose, said Gary Conner, executive director with White Pony Express. WPE called the Pleasant Hill Police Department, which relayed the report to San Jose police, who then went to the location and confirmed the truck was there.

White Pony Express said Sunday that the truck was stolen from its headquarters at 3380 Vincent Road in Pleasant Hill on Friday. The nonprofit's largest delivery vehicle is used seven days a week to pick up rescued food from donors and deliver it to nonprofits who feed the hungry across the county, the nonprofit said.

The truck was towed Monday to a San Jose Police Department tow yard, and the nonprofit said it would be sending someone to pick it up Tuesday morning.

Photo Credit: White Pony Express]]>
<![CDATA[Family of Deputy Shooting Victim Sues Santa Clara County ]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 19:30:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/208*120/0417-2017-EugeneCraig.jpg

Questions first raised by an NBC Bay Area investigation into a fatal shooting at the hands of Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies are now at the center of a lawsuit filed in United States District court on Monday.

The lawsuit alleges Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies violated the constitution and used excessive force and violated due process rights when they entered the home of 86-year-old Eugene Craig and shot and killed him as he stood in his living room.

The lawsuit makes nine different assertions in its Complaint for Damages, including violation of the 4th and 14th Amendements, lack of due process, wrongful death from negligence, and wrongful death from battery.

According to the Sheriff’s Department news release sent out immediately after the September 12, 2016 shooting, deputies found Craig standing in the home with his 90-year-old wife. Deputies saw that Craig was armed with a .38 caliber revolver prompting Sgt. Douglas Ulrich to fire several rounds at the Navy veteran.

NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit obtained the autopsy report on Eugene Craig. It shows the retired veteran was hit by four bullets to the chest and pelvis and grazed once. Pictures obtained by NBC Bay Area of the scene after the shooting show two bullet holes in the door frame and wall. All shots appear to have been fired from the same direction.

Extensive reporting by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit uncovered questions about whether sheriff’s deputies created what legal experts call the “exigent circumstances” necessary to justify their entrance into the Craig home.

Several experts in police use of force tactics say that “exigent circumstances” are defined as exceptions to the general requirement of a warrant under the Fourth Amendment governing search and seizures. “Exigent circumstances” occur when a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe there exists an emergency or other situation that requires swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, and there is no sufficient time to secure a warrant before entering that location.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Craig’s widow, Harue Craig, further claims that the sheriff’s department failed to train, discipline and supervise the deputies involved in Craig’s death last September.

County attorneys told NBC Bay Area they will review the lawsuit, but that they cannot comment on pending litigation.

A spokesman for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said his department also could not comment on pending litigation.

The shooting incident took place when deputies responded to a “wellness” or “welfare check” at the home on the 1200 block of Titus Avenue. The official news release from the Sheriff’s Office said that responding deputies believed an elderly person inside the home had medical issues.

According to that same release, after knocking for about 50 minutes, deputies broke down two doors and forced their way into the home, where they confronted Eugene Craig with his wife.

In the days after the shooting, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman said deputies gave Craig several verbal commands to drop his firearm before he was ultimately shot by Ulrich.

Craig’s widow told her attorney that she was standing right behind her husband when the shooting occurred.

“From the perspective of the client and her husband, they thought that there were intruders coming into their home,” the family’s attorney Ara Jabagchourian told NBC Bay Area.

“They (deputies) went from window to window shining lights in,” said Ronnie Roberts, a Craig family friend who was on the scene during the event. Roberts told NBC Bay Area that he saw deputies milling around the house with flashlights when he arrived on scene approximately 15 to 20 minutes before the shooting.

“All they had to do was let me go in the house,” Roberts said. “I could have got in to the door. I could’ve called him. I could’ve done anything, but they wouldn’t let me do anything. [The deputies told me to] just stay there, stay back out of the way.”

Sheriff’s Office records show this wasn’t the first time deputies had gone to the Craig home in Saratoga. They’d been there six times since 2011 in response to medical issues, suspicious circumstances, vandalism and an abandoned vehicle call.

Jabagchourian says the call that ultimately ended Craig’s life should have been routine for the deputies and should never have resulted in the death of his client’s husband.

“What was supposed to be a welfare check ironically turned into the worst case scenario where the checkers become the intruders,” Jabagchourian said. “A home is a person’s castle. And nobody has consent to be sending other people into my home. Do everything else you have got to do before you knock that door down.”

Jabagchourian added that the situation “taken in its totality doesn’t smell right from the get go, and it should have been handled differently.”

He wants this lawsuit to bring change to the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office and its policies regarding “welfare checks.”

“I hope that there are some policy changes,” Jabagchourian said. “Before doors get knocked down, I hope that this policy—if this is the way they conduct welfare checks—is not the way that the next one is conducted.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara County Seeking to Return Unclaimed Money]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:20:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/120916+cash+money+generic.jpg

Santa Clara County wants to track down over 1,000 people to settle up fines, penalties and fees.

It’s not what you think, though.

Instead of owing, the people on this list are due money.

There is more than $460,000 in unclaimed money in the county. Officials said the money comes from a variety of sources such as fines, penalty assessments, fees and restitution due to victims of crime.

View the list of names at scgov.org under "Hot Topics."

Anyone who believes they may be due a refund or victim restitution payment based on their published names should fill out and return the claim form found on the county website: scgov.org/unclaimedmoney.

All claims should be filed by May 19.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay 9-Year-Old Saves Injured, Deserted Squirrels]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 12:41:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TravisLunaSavedSquirrels.jpg

A 9-year-old South Bay boy's mind was transfixed on his looming performance at his elementary school's talent show, but that all changed when he spotted a trio of injured squirrels and saved the day.

Travis Luna and his family on Thursday were strolling to the shy youngster's performance at San Jose's Anderson Elementary School when an unusual sight along the sidewalk caught the boy's eyes.

"Travis noticed this furry black thing on the sidewalk," Candice Vierra, Luna's cousin, said.

Luna ran over and discovered a baby squirrel, who was barely breathing, agonizing on the pavement. As he tended to the injured animal, he found two more young and deserted squirrels under a nearby bush.

Without hesitation, Travis grabbed a shoe box from his grandparents' house nearby and furnished the ailing animals with a cozy home. But Luna wasn't satisifed just yet.

"I don't want them to die," Luna told Vierra. "I don't want them to die."

The talent show had to go on and the 9-year-old nailed his singing performance, but he didn't want to waste anytime accepting applause.

"Once the talent show was done, he ran over to me and said we need to go now and save the squirrels," Vierra said.

The duo hopped in a car and meandered around town, frantically trying to find an animal clinic that would take in the animals without euthanizing them.

The first two stops failed. One shelter had relocated to a new spot and the second one didn't accept squirrels. A third clinic told the youngster they would accept the animals, but the squirrels would have to be euthanized. That answer didn't work for Luna.

"He was so anxious," Vierra said. "He just wanted these babies to be okay."

The final clinic eventually pointed Luna to an animal rescue program that could potentially provide care. A woman from the program took the animals in, worked her magic and was able to help the wounded squirrel regain control of its breathing.

Luna's action-packed adventure was complete, much to the applause of his proud cousin.

"He totally got out of his zone and went to nurturing the squirrels," Vierra said. "His main focus was those squirrels."

Photo Credit: Candice Vierra]]>
<![CDATA[Rep. Ro Khanna Urges Tech Leaders to Give Back to Community]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 11:16:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RoKhanna.png

Congressman Ro Khanna, California's 17th district representative, applauds Silicon Valley for their contributions to the tech space, but he believes they can serve more people, specifically those outside of Silicon Valley.

Khanna, who represents South Bay cities such as Sunnyvale, San Jose and Fremont, implored leaders of the tech industry to "answer the call to service" and do a better job at creating a day in which Americans everywhere benefit from the wealth overflowing from the prosperous tech companies in the Bay Area, according to the congressman's interview with Recode.

"Our country’s going through a profound transition from an industrial age to a digital age," Khanna told Recode. "The gains of that transition have gone to a few — people who are creative, brilliant, at the right place at the right time. But there are a lot of folks who have been left out in that transition."

Khanna went on to say that he dreams of a time when all Americans believe they "can be part of a technology future" that can "work for their families in an empowering way."

That can happen if Silicon Valley leaders share their wealth with the world, Khanna told Record.

Khanna also demanded that Silicon Valley companies not forget to take care of their own employees. He specifically addressed Uber and called for the ride-hailing giant to treat its workers as true employees, not just independent contractors.

"Most of the folks I’ve met are brilliant, hardworking, innovative — they’re doing great things and I think they're well-intentioned," Khanna told Recode. "But they’re creating so much wealth and success. (They should) be mindful and cognizant that everybody is succeeding from it. If you have to pay people a little bit more, if you have to bend over backwards and treat people as employees, if you have to say to contractors, 'Let’s make sure people are getting a decent wage,' let’s do that. We have the wealth.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Families Enjoy Easter at California's Great America]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 22:25:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ga+easter-0416-2017.jpg

California's Great America in Santa Clara embraced the Easter spirit Sunday as hundreds of families braved the weather to enjoy all the Easter staples: A Charlie Brown egg hunt, egg decorating, a petting zoo, and a special appearance by Snoopy the Easter Beagle.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Renters' Rights Advocates on Hunger Strike in San Jose]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 23:49:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+strike-0416-2017.jpg

A group of renters' rights advocates in San Jose has gone nearly two days without food and was prepared to stay hungry for two more days to bring attention to a proposed city ordinance protecting tenants against no-cause evictions.

Three women have been fasting since Friday and sleeping on the steps outside City Hall. They were joined Easter Sunday by several supporters, and more people were expected to participate in the hunger strike starting Sunday evening.

The strikers said they will go without food until Tuesday's City Council meeting, during which city leaders will consider a so-called "just-cause" ordinance regarding evictions. Currently in San Jose, landlords are allowed to evict tenants without providing a reason.

The new measure not only would protect renters, but it also would require landlords to make property repairs more expeditiously and respond faster to tenant complaints.

Since 2010, there have been more than 2,000 "no-cause" evictions in San Jose, city records show.

The California Apartment Association responded to the protest, saying laws already exist to protect renters.

"San Jose already has laws to prevent landlords from evicting tenants for financial gain," association spokesman Mike Nemeth said. "The city needs to enforce those laws rather than create new legislation, more regulations and additional layers of bureaucracy."

The advocates have the support of the council, according to the Mercury News, which reported that council members Sylvia Arenas, Sergio Jimenez, Raul Peralez and Donald Rocha have expressed in writing their support, and Devora Davis and Lan Diep would recommend approval with some minor changes to the policy.

Photo Credit: Rick Boone/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Rice Signed Football Returned After Being Stolen]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 09:48:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Patrick+Van+Lam.jpg

One person on Saturday was arrested and an autographed football signed by NFL legend Jerry Rice was handed over to police after being stolen from a charity event, according to Milpitas police.

Patrick Van Lam, a 45-year-old San Jose resident, turned himself in and returned the ball, which was purchased for $3,500 at a fundraising dinner for orphaned and special needs children in China, after his surveillance footage photo was plastered on television and social media by local news outlets, according to police.

The charity event for the Price of Peace Foundation was held last Sunday at the Koi Palace restaurant in Milpitas. Rice, the former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders star, was in attendance to auction off the signed football, one of the marquee items being offered at the fundraiser.

Amy Fu had the winning bid of $3,500. But the ball was swiped before she could take it home.

At the end of the evening, as Fu posed for a photograph, the thief struck. Surveillance video shows a man taking it from behind the counter.

Among others, the president of the foundation expressed disappointment with the theft.

"Sad to see these kind of things happen, especially when people are trying to show love for the support of the orphanage," Kenneth Yeung said earlier this week.

Fu wanted the personalized ball back, not just for herself.

"She was thinking about taking it back to China to show the kids about how people in the U.S. auction off things to raise money for their surgeries and other fees," Yeung said.

The event still raised a lot of money for the children. And Fu's generosity didn't waver: She said if the thief returned the ball, she wouldn't press charges.

When Lam turned himself in, police booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for burglary and grand theft, police said.

A second suspect remains at large, according to police. Investigators are also searching for three people of interest. They were sitting with Lam at the fundraiser and may have a connection to the crime, according to police.

Photo Credit: Milpitas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Explosion, Fire Injures Two at San Jose Motel]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 05:37:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-16-17_SJ_Motel_Explosion.jpg

Two people were in critical condition Sunday after an explosion triggered a fire inside a San Jose motel room, officials said.

The blast and subsequent fire were reported around 12:30 a.m. at the Casa Linda Motel, at 1669 Monterey Road, near San Jose Avenue, according to officials.

The two victims were transported to a local trauma center. Neither of them were firefighters, fire officials said.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. Arson investigators and PG&E officials responded to assist in the investigation, according to fire officials.

Firefighters were able to control the blaze quickly.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Downed Power Lines Close Highway 101 in Gilroy]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 16:05:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-15-17_Gilroy_101_Closed.jpg

Saturdays typically offer Bay Area commuters a break from frustrating traffic headaches, but that wasn't the case for drivers in South Bay this weekend.

A stretch of Highway 101 near Gilroy on Saturday was completely closed in both directions for several hours after power lines crashed down on the roadway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The power lines toppled just before 12 p.m. between Leavesley Road and Masten Avenue, triggering a makeshift parking lot to form on both sides of the highway, according to the CHP. Cars and trucks were forced to slowly squeeze off of the roadway using nearby off-ramps.

Both sides of Highway 101 were reopened during the early afternoon hours, according to the CHP.

PG&E phone lines were also strewn across the roadway, according to the company. Roughly 80 customers in the area were left without power as a result. That number has since dropped to 50 customers as of 4 p.m., according to PG&E.

The cause behind what caused the power lines to fall and block the highway is under investigation.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bright Future: Solar Industry Shining Across Golden State]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 20:13:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-14-17_Solar_Install.jpg

The future is bright for those harnessing the sun's energy to transmit power across California.

The booming solar industry, which hires more people in the Golden State than anywhere else in the nation and employs more folks than the coal industry, is receiving an extra boost from the San Jose Conservation Corps and Charter School.

The school educates the up-and-coming employees of the solar industry and prepares them for their respective futures in the growing industry.

"I would say it's the gateway to your foot in the door with a lot of good companies out there," student Jessika Perez said.

Solar equipment installation rose by more than 120 percent this past year, and roughly 26,000 people were hired to fill the employment need.

"When you install 125 kilowatt job like this is, you need six to 15 people on a job site to install that one job," Randy Zechman, CEO of Clean Solar, said. "We've got multiple crews out every day. It's certainly a growing space."

This past year, the amount of solar jobs increased by 67 percent. That number is expected to climb in the coming years.

"Right now, we're hiring," Zechman said. "I've got interviews this afternoon and Monday morning."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Housing Market Named Most Competitive: Report]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 20:08:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/for-sale-sign.jpg

The following may not come as a surprise to Bay Area residents. The region is home to the most competitive housing market in the nation, according to real estate company Redfin.

Of all the homes sold in San Jose during March, 69.6 percent of them sold above the asking price, according to Redfin. That mark established the South Bay city as the most competitive market in the United States.

Not to be left in the dust, San Francisco followed right behind with 66.7 percent of its housing sales finalizing above the listing price, according to the report. Oakland rounded out the top three with 65.9 percent of its home sales settling in higher than the asking price.

San Francisco still topped the charts as the location with the highest median sale price ($1,185,000) for a home, according to the report. San Jose's median sale price was $957,000 followed by Oakland's mark of $650,000.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Apple to Begin Testing Self-Driving Car Tech in California]]>Fri, 21 Apr 2017 06:02:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/apple-mac-generic.jpg

Apple will begin testing self-driving car technology in California, its first public move into a highly competitive field that could radically change transportation.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles awarded Apple a permit to test autonomous vehicles Friday and disclosed that information on its website.

The permit will cover three vehicles — all 2015 Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUVs — and six individual drivers, a spokesman for the department said. The state requires a human behind the wheel during such testing.

Apple confirmed that it will begin testing self-driving technology in the state, but provided no details. It pointed to a December statement it provided to federal regulators that stated Apple is investing heavily in "machine learning and autonomous systems" and noted "many potential applications" for these technologies.

Check back for updates.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Rice Signed Football Stolen From Charity Fundraiser]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:03:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rice+football-0413-20171.jpg

A thief made off with a football signed by Hall of Famer Jerry Rice during a charity fundraiser in Milpitas last weekend, and the theft was caught on camera.

The event for the Price of Peace Foundation, held at the Koi Palace restaurant, raised money to build a house for 140 orphans with special needs in China. Rice, the former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders star, was in attendance to auction off the signed football, one of the marquee items being offered at the fundraiser.

Amy Fu had the winning bid of $3,500. But the ball was swiped before she could take it home.

"A famous star like Jerry Rice would still have love and heart for young kids, so that's why she was touched," a translator for Fu said.

At the end of the evening, as Fu posed for a photograph, the thief struck. Surveillance video shows the man taking it from behind the counter.

"So suprising to her that still for a charity event people steal things," Fu's translator said.

Rice endorses one of the products made by Price of Peace. The president of the foundation also was disappointed.

"Sad to see these kind of things happen, especially when people are trying to show love for the support of the orphanage," Kenneth Yeung said.

Milpitas police are investigating the incident and asking for the public's help.

Fu wants the personalized ball back, not just for herself.

"She was thinking about taking it back to China to show the kids about how people in the U.S. auction off things to raise money for their surgeries and other fees," Yeung said,

The event still raised a lot of money for the children. And Fu's generosity didn't waver: She said if the thief returns the ball, she won't press charges.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[2 Women Leaving Church Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver: CHP]]>Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:44:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-crop.jpg

Two women who were returning from a church service at Our Lady of Peace were killed Thursday when a suspected drunk driver slammed into their car in Santa Clara, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP was notified around 11:30 p.m. of a two-car collision on Great America Parkway, near the on-ramp to southbound Highway 101, Officer Ross Lee said.

Investigators have found that the suspected drunk driver — since identified as Vinod Kumar Bonthu, 26, of Sunnyvale — exited northbound Highway 101 in a red Mercedes C-230 at between 40 and 60 mph.

However, Bonthu lost control of the car and rammed into a curb, before careening across the eastbound lanes of Great America Parkway. His car then lurched across a raised center median and the road's westbound lanes where it crashed into a white Subaru Forester, the CHP said.

The two women were in the Forester's rear seats and were killed on impact, according to the CHP. The victims have been identified as Carina Bontilao Kubow, 61, and Angela Vilbar Bontilao, 92, both of San Jose, Lee said. 

Both women were remembered during a church service Friday afternoon.

"The whole service was dedicated for them," church parishioner Yuda Shayo said. "And, for people like me, that was the first time we heard about it, which was quite shocking, because they come to the service here for the last supper, and then they go and get in an accident and die. It's really tragic."

The Forester's driver — 33-year-old Jeanique Dioso of San Jose — and still unidentified front passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries, and were taken to Regional Medical Center in San Jose for treatment, Lee said. 

Bonthu was taken to Valley Medical Center with a broken leg and neck, Lee said. He was arrested for felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. 

Family members of the two deceased women were not available to comment about the crash, but Shayo hopes they will eventually consider forgiveness, which happened to be the message pushed forward during Good Friday church services.

"It may be easier to accept because it happened on a very special day," Shayo said. "That way forgiveness may be easier from them to come by."

Two other people in the Mercedes were taken to Valley Medical Center. One person's sternum is broken, but they are expected to survive, the CHP reported. Their names are still unknown.

There were two additional people in the suspect vehicle. The extent of their injuries are unclear at this point, but one did suffer a broken sternum.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File]]>
<![CDATA[Pair Arrested on Suspicion of Armed Robbery at VTA Station]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 20:03:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Slone-Green.jpg

Two men were arrested Thursday in South San Jose on suspicion of committing an armed robbery at a light-rail station.

The robbery was reported just after 11 a.m. at the Blossom Hill Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority station.

The suspects, one armed with a gun, allegedly approached the victim and demanded her items before taking them and fleeing on foot.

Transit patrol deputies searching for the men spotted them in a residential neighborhood just north of the station and arrested one of them, 20-year-old Matthew Slone, without incident.

The other man, 18-year-old Lorenzo Green, ran off, jumping over residential fences toward the Kinderwood Children's Center.

Deputies requested that the center, as well as nearby Del Roble Elementary School, be locked down because they believed Green was armed.

After deputies found Green hiding in a garbage can, they lifted the lockdowns at both schools just before noon. With the help of a K-9 unit, deputies found the gun and other evidence nearby.

Both men are being held without bail and will be arraigned on Monday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Arrested in SJ Highway 101 Shooting That Injured Boy]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 18:51:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/101-shooting-0413-2017.jpg

The California Highway Patrol on Thursday arrested a suspect in a San Jose freeway shooting that injured a 17-year-old boy last month.

Jose Luis Blanco, 33, was arrested at his home in unincorporated San Jose on suspicion of attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance, according to the CHP.

Two firearms and methamphetamine were found in a search of his home.

Blanco was arrested in connection with a March 16 shooting on northbound Highway 101 that occurred around 6:45 p.m. near Story Road.

A 17-year-old boy in the front passenger seat of a car was struck by bullets in the face and back when shots were fired from another vehicle.

The shooting was investigated as gang-related, CHP officials said in March.

Anyone who witnesses a shooting or other crime on the freeway is asked to call 911. Anyone with information about this or other crimes is asked to call (800) TELL-CHP.

Photo Credit: CHP
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<![CDATA[Two-Alarm Fire Causes $1M Damage to Cupertino Home]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 18:05:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0413-2017-CupertinoFire1.jpg

A two-story house in Cupertino sustained $1 million in damage Thursday afternoon in a two-alarm house fire that firefighters were still working to extinguish into the evening, Santa Clara County fire officials said.

The fire was reported just before 4 p.m. in the 10000 block of Flora Vista Avenue, near Garden Gate Elementary School.

Flora Vista Avenue remained closed Thursday evening between Gardena and Greenleaf drives.

About 40 firefighters responded in five engines and two trucks.

One Hazmat unit, two rescue units and three chief officers along with personnel from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office also responded, according to fire officials.

Responding crews saw smoke en route to the fire and reported very windy conditions. No injuries have been reported.

At 5:30 p.m., fire officials reported that a family dog was missing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJSU Coach Discusses Past Life as MC Hammer's Backup Dancer]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 05:46:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0411-2017-AlonzoCarter.jpg

It’s the video running through everyone’s social media feeds these days: San Jose State University football running backs coach Alonzo Carter showing off his "Hammer Time" dance moves.

But who is the man behind the slick moves? And how did an SJSU coach work with 1990s legend MC Hammer?

Carter is one of the many coaches added to the SJSU football team this season after the squad did a complete revamp of its coaching staff.

Despite coaching for most of his career, his first job had nothing to do with football. Carter's first job was serving as a backup dancer for MC Hammer.

Both Carter and MC Hammer went to the same high school, but it wasn’t until after Carter finished college at then Cal State Hayward that he found out they were attended the same school.

MC Hammer held auditions for his first music video “Let’s Get It Started” in Oakland, and Carter took a shot by trying out.

“We decided that we wanted to be a part of the video because we would always hear Hammer’s songs in the local clubs,” Carter said to SJSU’s The Spear.

During his audition, MC Hammer stopped the music halfway through and told Carter and his group that he wanted them in the video.

From there, Carter was on tour with MC Hammer and served as one of the main choreographers to the 1990s hit “Can’t Touch This.”

In 1990, Carter had the chance to dance with Oprah Winfrey on her show and performed at the Grammy’s and MTV Awards.

“I’m blessed to say that I’m able to talk about it and stay true to myself,” Carter said to The Spear. “Some people when they get into the music business, they lose themselves and I didn’t want to be one of those people.”

View the full story on The Spear's website.

Photo Credit: San Jose State Football
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<![CDATA[Expired Food Being Sold at SJSU: Report]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 19:32:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-21-17-san+jose+state+university.jpg

San Jose State University is responding to a report exposing expired food being sold on campus.

The article, published Thursday morning students Sarah Kleevis and Ashli Lett who both report for the school's Update News, provides examples of expired food in popular on-campus stores like the Village Market, Just Below and the Student Union.

Students said they now will be checking expiration dates more closely when purchasing food on campus.

University officials said they will immediately begin checking inventory in on-campus stores for past-dated items and will offer refunds to anyone bringing back a past-dated item.

<![CDATA[Santa Clara County Touts New Report on Sanctuary Communities]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 23:48:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scc+sanctuary2-0413-2017.jpg

Sanctuary communities are safer and more prosperous than communities without that status, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress.

Santa Clara County officials are using the report to say it proves their sanctuary strategy is actually paying off.

County leaders gathered at the sheriff's office Thursday, where Sheriff Laurie Smith said the county feels vindicated by the report's findings. She vowed to keep protecting the residents of the county, no matter their legal status.

"It's good to see the validation by a very reputable study that there’s less crime with these kinds of policies," Smith said.

The report compared the numbers between sanctuary communities and those without that status. It suggests sanctuary communities have less crime, lower unemployment and a lower poverty rate.

On Friday morning, Santa Clara County will face off against a U.S. attorney in federal court. The judge will hear the county’s request for an injunction against the president’s executive order to defund communities with sanctuary status.

"You should be concerned that we have a president that is unilaterally trying to use federal funds to extort jurisdictions to make them do his bidding," Assistant County Executive David Campos said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly argued that sancutary policies actually endanger their communities.

While the county says it expects to win the legal battle Friday, it is preparing alternate funding just in case the president is allowed to defund sanctuary communities.

"This county is already working toward establishing reserves for contingencies that would help us backfill federal takeaways," county Supervisor Dave Cortese said.

Cortese told NBC Bay Area on Thursday that Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, second in command at the U.S. Department of Justice, is flying into the Bay Area to personally handle the government's case against Santa Clara County.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Driver Killed, Another Critically Injured in SJ Crash]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:44:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-13-17-san-jose-deadly-crash2.jpg

One driver was killed and another critically injured in a two-car crash in South San Jose late Wednesday night, according to the San Jose Fire Department.

About 9:40 p.m., fire crews responded to reports of a major injury crash at Highway 85 and Santa Teresa Boulevard, fire officials said.

Both drivers were taken to a hospital where one died. The other was severely injured. Neither car was carrying passengers, officials said.

One wrecked car could be seen on Santa Teresa Boulevard near Thornwood Drive behind the Westfield Oakridge Mall. Police had Santa Teresa blocked off to traffic, but expected roads to be reopened in time for the morning commute.

Wednesday's crash marks San Jose's 14th traffic-related fatality in 2017.

No further details were available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![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[County to Take 'Data-Driven Approach' to Fighting Crime]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:18:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scc+crime.jpg

Santa Clara County saw a jump in violent crime last year, according to the latest figures, and now the Disctrict Attorney's Office has announced a high-tech way to fight back.

The new plan, announced Wednesday afternoon, involves big data and the kind of data analysis typically used by Silicon Valley techies and a certain Oakland baseball team. The new program will be used to track crimes and criminals.

By analyzing crime data as it comes in, San Jose police officers will be able to more efficiently track crimes, the DA's office says. Hopefully, it will make for faster arrests even as San Jose's police department deals with issues of short-staffing.

"In an age where there's so much available information and data about criminals and crime, we in Silicon Valley can do a better job of harvesting that, in a unit designed to harness data, to solve crime in a collaborative and cross-jurisdictional way," said Marisa McKeown, supervising deputy district attorney for the county's Crime Strategies Unit.

In a news release, the Crime Strategies Unit outlined its two-pronged plan to address crime trends that it has identified within the county:

  • Focus on Gun Violence: The Weapon Initiative is aimed at blunting the widespread and devastating impact of gun crime. Through anticipated increased staffing at the DA's Crime Laboratory, the processing of guns and bullet casings will happen more quickly. This will lead to more arrests and more prosecutions. By solving more gun crimes, more quickly, the initiative can help stop violence by identifying shooters and bringing them to justice.
  • Targeting Burglary Crews: A small number of prolific burglars are responsible for many residential burglaries each year. The Crime Strategies Unit will partner with local law enforcement task forces on a new initiative to identify and prosecute burglary crews to bring safety and security back to targeted neighborhoods.

"Through a more data-driven approach to crime, our county law enforcement partners will be able to better utilize their limited resources for efficient and effective crime fighting," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. "This recommitment to fighting crime with the latest and most comprehensive data will strengthen our collaboration for years to come."

Meanwhile, the latest county crime stats show a decrease in property crime last year. Overall, Santa Clara County ranks low in terms of the number of crimes committed among counties of similar size.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Repairs Continue at San Jose Parks Damaged by Flooding]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:18:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hellyer-0412-2017.jpg

Experts are still assessing the damage from the February San Jose floods, and parts of some popular parks will remain closed while cleanup continues.

An access road at Hellyer Park remains underwater, which means many visitors will be looking elsewhere to celebrate the Easter weekend.

The city of San Jose and Santa Clara County have spent countless hours and dollars repairing and decontaminating damaged parks, but some sites were affected more than others.

"We've got a lot of work to do," maintenance worker Lou Trevino said of the Hellyer Park cleanup. "We have three sites that all the tables are gone. And they were anchored into the ground. And then we have a group site that had 30 tables, and those are all gone."

The access road to those picnic areas remains underwater.

The Silver Creek picnic area at Lake Cunningham Park also is still partly underwater. It will leave many families disappointed on Easter Sunday.

"Me and my family, we like to gather there, play volleyball," one resident named Jimmy said. "Kind of disappointed to see that. We were planning something big this weekend."

Workers spending time on flood repairs and cleanup means they’re not performing routine maintenance at other parks, all because of the storms that continue to leave their mark.

Meanwhile, the Santa Clara Valley Water District was set to hold a community meeting Wednesday night at the Franklin McKinley School District board room to provide an update to affected communities.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Protest March on Renters' Rights in San Jose]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:00:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0412-2017-SJRally.jpg

Many South Bay community groups gathered in San Jose Wednesday for a protest march on renters' rights.

The groups are joining forces to fight no-cause evictions and to push the city to protect renters with a controversial proposal.

The City of San Jose will be considering a proposal on April 18 to provide some protection for renters, including making it difficult for landlords to kick out tenants who have not done anything wrong.

Wednesday's protest kicked off with a small gathering of organizers and evicted tenants at San Jose City Hall.

Groups making up the Silicon Valley Renters Rights Coalition began trying to whip up public support for the march, as well as a proposal from the city's housing department to provide some guidelines for evictions.

For many of the rally participants, the focus is on no-cause evictions, which they call financially and emotionally devastating.

"With evictions now they can evict anybody at anytime, with no real reason," former tenant Danielle Pirslin said. "That's why I feel just-cause evictions are needed."

The group Working Partnerships USA is presenting a report that says, in essence, no-cause evictions have gone up 270 percent since 2010.

"Other reports shows that the majority of these no-cause evictions are not even reported to the city," said Jeffrey Buchanan, policy director for Working Partnerships USA.

Property owners have said the policy could make it difficult to get rid of so-called bad tenants.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Police Officer Survives Fiery Big Rig Crash]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:31:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-12-17-officer-rescued-big+rig+crash21.jpg

A San Jose police officer had a close shave early Wednesday morning when he rammed his SUV into the back of a big rig on Highway 84 in Livermore, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The officer was heading home around 12:10 a.m. when he collided with the back end of a big rig that was stopped in a construction zone at Ruby Hillm waiting for traffic to pass, CHP Dublin spokesman Derek Reed said.

The officer became trapped inside his vehicle, which caught fire after the crash. Two CHP officers from Dublin were nearby, one of whom used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, according to Reed.

The other called the fire department. Firefighters had to cut off the SUV's door to rescue the man from the wreckage, Reed said. 

The officer was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley with minor injuries, Reed said.

A San Jose police supervisor was sent to the hospital to assist and support his colleague, who was released just after 4 a.m., sources told NBC Bay Area.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Leaders OK New System to Aid Police, Fire Response]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:24:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+fire+dept-0411-2017.jpg

San Jose city leaders took a big step Tuesday to try to help emergency response vehicles get to critical situations in the midst of heavy Silicon Valley traffic.

The San Jose City Council unanimously approved spending $600,000 to upgrade its traffic system with the so-called emergency vehicle preemption system that uses new software that ensures traffic lights are green for crews on their path to an emergency.

"This technology allows us to change the signal in our favor to green and turn the other signals to red, and that would alert cars that they need to stop," San Jose deputy fire chief Mike Patterson said.

The new system will eventually be merged with the signal lights in about a third of the city that already are hooked up with sensors, the chief said. Mayor Sam Liccardo praised the fire department for coming up with the system because hooking up all of the city's lights with sensors would have cost $9 million.

The San Jose Fire Department has taken a lot of public criticism for not meeting required response times to emergencies. The department, in fact, has been penalized by the county for not making its contractually required response times of 8 minutes to emergencies.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[U Can't Touch This: SJSU Coach Shows Off 'Hammer Time' Moves]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 05:46:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0411-2017-AlonzoCarter.jpg

Please Coach Carter, don't hurt 'em!

San Jose State University's Alonzo Carter is taking social media by storm thanks to some sweet "Hammer Time" moves. Video posted by San Jose State Football online shows Carter performing an MC Hammer dance routine to the 1990s smash hit "U Can't Touch This."

It's no surprise Carter, a running backs coach for the university's football team, has the dance memorized like the Spartans playbook. He previously served as a backup dancer for MC Hammer, according to SJSU's The Spear.

View the video below.

Photo Credit: San Jose State Football
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<![CDATA[Sheriff's Deputies Start Using Body Cameras]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:02:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0411-2017-SCSO-BodyCam.jpg

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office are now training deputies on how to use newly-issued body cameras.

The cameras help show what happened during a traffic stop, an arrest, or even an officer-involved shooting. It is also a device law enforcement critics have been demanding from all departments.

Officials said eventually about 1,200 deputies will be equipped with uniform cameras.

Sheriff's Deputy Tyrone Monroe went out to patrol transit areas on Tuesday with K-9 partner Niner using his new body camera.

"When we are out in the field searching, whether it be for a suspect or a bomb, sometimes there is a lot of commotion and things going on," Monroe said. "And maybe (Niner) misses something or maybe I am missing something he does, and we can go back and learn from that."

The Taser International magnet-based camera mounts on the chest.

Deputy Joe Alvarado is also training with the new camera an said "it's just getting used to turning it on and off on a regular basis."

The pressure to record interactions is intense, especially after three deputies were arrested for allegedly beating Santa Clara County Main Jail inmate Michael Tyree in 2015.

While the Sheriff's Office acknowledge body cameras help prevent abuse by officers, it also said cameras can stop false allegations against officers.

"I know a lot of times people think maybe the cops are treating them unfairly or unfortunately, but we get that treatment as well, so I think it's good for both sides," said Fabian DeSantiago, the Sheriff Office's camera program coordinator.

Sheriff's Office officials said it expects to have all deputies equipped with body cameras by the end of the year. Community meetings are also scheduled to discuss the new cameras. The full program will be evaluated in six months.

Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Brazen Thief Accused of Stealing Van, Returning for Trailer]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:02:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/santacruztheft.jpg

Santa Cruz police are on the lookout for a thief who they say on Saturday first stole a van, and then returned to swipe a 32-foot trailer that contained a race car and nearly $35,000 worth of tools.

The crime was committed early Saturday morning on the 300 block of River Street, according to police.

Surveillance footage captured the suspect first driving away with the van. The thief then doubled back in a truck, before fleeing with the race car trailer, police said.

Police have since recovered the van, but say they “want to arrest the thief and return the trailer, race car and tools back [to] the rightful owner.”

People with information are asked to call the police department at 831- 420-5820. Anonymous tips can be left at 831-420-5995 or online.

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Police Department
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<![CDATA[Teenage Driver Plunges into Backyard Pool in Santa Clara]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:13:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-11-17_Pool_Car_Santa_Clara.jpg

A dozy driver mishandled a turn early Tuesday and plowed into a backyard pool in Santa Clara, according to fire officials.

The bizarre crash happened around 3 a.m. near Warburton Avenue and Calabazas Boulevard when the 19-year-old driver said he lost control of his sedan, smashed through metal and wooden fences and then plunged into the deep end of the backyard pool, Santa Clara fire officials said.

The teenage driver, who was administered a field sobriety test and passed, was not injured in the crash, but the car was completely submerged.

The panicked driver tried to save his waterlogged belongings, but his efforts were unsuccessful, according to witness Alex Costal-Levy.

"He seemed pretty worried, understandably, because his car was in a pool," Costal-Levy said.

In order to fish the car from the pool, a towing crew attached cables to the rear end of the car and slowly managed to pull it out of the water.

Sections of two fences were destroyed and some patio furniture was tossed into the water, but it appears the pool did not suffer major damage.

"That was one lucky pool," Costal-Levy said. "(The crash) could have caused more damage."

The homeowner was not inside of the house at the time of the crash, and it is unclear if they are even aware of what transpired in the backyard.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara Fire Department
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<![CDATA[Employee Arrested for Peeping at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:18:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fereja_Ali.jpg

A 25-year-old employee at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center on Monday was arrested for peeping, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department. Bob Redell reports.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Bacteria Killed Stranded Shark in Santa Cruz]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 11:02:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-11-17-sharks-dead+on+beaches.jpg

A pathogen that eventually caused brain lesions is the reason why a shark became stranded on a Santa Cruz beach and later died last weekend. Animal experts say the pathogen is unlike any kind of bacteria that has been seen in sharks before. The shark on Friday was spotted on a Santa Cruz beach before disappearing. It’s body later reappeared the following day in Capitola.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>