<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - South Bay]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usTue, 22 Aug 2017 22:06:39 -0700Tue, 22 Aug 2017 22:06:39 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Still No Motive in Fatal Shooting of Oakland Firefighter]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:14:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+firefighter-0822.jpg

The suspect in a shooting that killed one Oakland firefighter and seriously injured another made his first court appearance Tuesday, and court documents show investigators still don't know why he opened fire.

Suspect Oliver Juinio and his public defender urged the judge to remove the shackles Juinio was wearing in a San Jose courtoom Monday. The judge’s response: "Not today."

Details of the shooting that killed 30-year-old Jake Walter were still sketchy and troubling. On Thursday night, Juinio approached a group of off-duty Oakland firefighters and shot two of them in the chest at close range, police said.

"Based on the initial investigation in this case, it does appear to be unprovoked," prosecutor Lance Daugherty said. "Both of these firefighters were shot without warning and without provocation."

Police were calling it a surprise attack.

Walter had just graduated from the fire academy and was leaving a music festival in San Jose's Japantown with other off-duty firefighters. Surveillance video appears to have caught the entire shooting, police said.

"What a horrible, tragic event this is for the Walter family as well as the people of Oakland and the Oakland Fire Department," Daugherty said.

Court security said the reason Juinio was in shackles is because he is considered "aggressive and an escape risk."

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said Juinio is a three-strikes candidate, and if convicted on all charges, he faces 170 years in prison.

Juinio is expected back in court on Sept. 14.

The Oakland Fire Department said a memorial service for Walter will take place 11 a.m. Saturday at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center at 1547 Lakeside Drive.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART South Bay Extension Pushed Back to Original Deadline]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 18:30:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart+milpitas-0822.jpg

BART's expansion into the South Bay is being pushed back to its original completion date, a delay of about six months, according to agency officials.

BART was optimistic that the 10-mile extension into East San Jose, including a station in Milpitas, could be complete by December. But contractors say that deadline was premature, and June 2018, the original timeline, is more likely.

"It'll start when all those elements are complete and everyone is absolutely satisfied that it is safe and reliable and ready for public service," project spokesman John Engstrom said.

The expansion project broke ground more than five years ago. Phase one of the track will extend to a Berryessa station in East San Jose and include a Milpitas stop, before phase two, which will see it go underground and into downtown San Jose.

Phase two is expected to be completed by 2026.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 Arrested for Alleged Sex Assault of Girl They Babysat: PD]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:01:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-22-17_Sunnyvale_Arrest.jpg

A man and woman were arrested last week for allegedly sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl they were babysitting in Sunnyvale, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

Blanca Torres and Hector Garcia, both 39, were arrested Thursday for the alleged assault of the young girl, according to Capt. Shawn Ahearn.

A search of Torres' cellphone also revealed browser searches for child pornography, public safety officials said.

Torres has previously shared residences with other families and may have offered babysitting services to other families in the region, but so far investigators have not found any other victims, Ahearn said.

Anyone who may have additional information about the case is asked to contact Detective DiGiovanna at (408) 730-7297.

Photo Credit: Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety]]>
<![CDATA[Apple’s ‘Spaceship’ Campus Draws Complaints From Neighbors]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:22:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Complaints_About_Apple_Campus.jpg

People living in the Birdland neighborhood of Sunnyvale have issued complaints regarding Apple’s new campus, as reported by the Mercury News. They say the new “spaceship” campus blocks their view of the Santa Cruz mountains. They call it a “prison wall” and say construction continues to disrupt their daily lives. Apple said the company sees all the complaints and is working to minimize the impact on people in the area.]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Offers Organizations Grants to Beautify the City]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 12:01:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/dtsj.jpg

The city of San Jose is encouraging neighborhood organizations looking to beautify the city to apply for a #BeautifySJ grant. 

The grants are intended to go to groups that want to reduce trash, graffiti and sources of "blight" in their neighborhood. The groups must have goals of organizing neighborhood beautification projects that build or strengthen their locale. 

The city says the grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to neighborhood associations, property owner associations or tenant associations that operate free of charge with a record of resident volunteer participation. 

"Through our #BeautifySJ initiative, we seek to unleash the collective energy and passion of our community to create a cleaner, safer and more vibrant city," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. "These grants will empower neighbors to get to know each other, build relationships and work together to improve their neighborhoods." 

The groups need to be based in the city of San Jose. They will need to have a bank account in the name of the association, provide a list of board members with home addresses and provide a copy of the bylaws or minutes of their last meeting. 

Organizations that apply for the grant must provide matching funds or volunteer time equivalent to 50 percent of the amount awarded to receive it.

A pre-proposal workshop will be held at the Hank Lopez Community Center at 1694 Adrian Way in San Jose on Aug. 24 from 6-7 p.m. Questions there will be answered at grants.sanjoseca.gov by Aug. 31. 

Any other questions must be emailed to Alex Niles at alex.niles@sanjoseca.gov by Sept. 1. 

Completed proposals for a grant must be submitted online by Sept. 21 via WebGrants at grants.sanjoseca.gov. 

Applications that are emailed, faxed, incomplete or late won't be accepted. Organizations that are awarded grants will be sent emails on Oct. 13.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Stabbing in San Jose]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:23:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-22-17-san-jose-stabbing.jpg

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the victim died following a stabbing in San Jose.

A suspect is in police custody in connection with a stabbing Tuesday in San Jose, police said.

The incident occurred near Story and King roads just before 10:30 a.m. The victim, a man, was taken to a nearby hospital with at least one stab wound.

The suspect was located nearby and taken into custody without incident, police said.

Circumstances leading up to the stabbing and a motive are under investigation.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[49ers Owe Santa Clara Nearly $2 Million: Audit]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:06:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/01-03-17+levis+stadium.jpg

A new audit released Monday found that the San Francisco 49ers owe the city of Santa Clara nearly $2 million, but the team's president said the report "has already been proven to be riddled with errors."

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor said starting Thursday she expects the stadium authority to put the organization on 30 days notice to fork over the money or face legal action.

The 178-page audit, which was commissioned by the South Bay city, found that the 49ers owe about $894,228 for public safety that was spent via a construction fund, roughly $718,803 for parking at the city-owned golf course across the street from the stadium and approximately $114,781 in unreimbursed costs for city staffers. Those expenses were found to be in violation of voter-approved Measure J, which prohibits taxpayer money from being used on stadium-related events.

49ers President Al Guido issued the following statement arguing that the city failed to bill them for the $115,000 charge and wasted $200,000 on the audit:

The Harvey M. Rose report issued today has already been proven to be riddled with errors. In fact, they were forced to admit major errors and make significant changes to the draft report they previously leaked in a failed attempt to embarrass the 49ers. In the end, they wasted over $200K in public funds to discover that the City of Santa Clara failed to bill $115K in expenses - something which was their responsibility.

This $115K in unreimbursed funds shows that the public must hold Mayor Gillmor accountable for her mismanagement of both city staff and city funds. The 49ers will continue to ask for any additional bills from the City and will continue to pay all bills that are due.

Mayor Gillmor chose to waste $200K of public funds with the intent of creating media headlines. That plan has backfired.

Santa Clara also wants the football franchise to release documents related to non-NFL stadium events, but the 49ers have refused. The organization argues that handing over that information would remove its negotiating power with those wishing to hold concerts or shows at the venue. City officials have argued that those documents can be kept confidential.

"Hopefully they'll cooperate and produce the documents," Gillmor said. "But if not, we're prepared to take legal action."

Gillmor on Tuesday added that the city must fix the way it is conducting business and managing the stadium. Those issues are expected to be addressed at a city council meeting set for Tuesday night.

"We're fixing things now," Gillmor said. "Santa Clara was ill-prepared to manage a stadium of this magnitude. We're changing things, and we're fixing it."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Say County Should Handle Judge Persky's Recall]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 18:27:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0607-2016-AaronPersky.jpg

Those behind the campaign striving to recall embattled Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky — the judge at the center of the controversial Brock Turner trial — say state election officials are siding with them in a legal dispute over the ballot.

Persky has been on the hot seat almost from the moment he sentenced Turner, a former Stanford University student-athlete, to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Critics blasted the sentence as being too lenient.

The recall effort was in full swing until recently when Persky filed a lawsuit arguing that superior court judges are state officers and that their recall should be handled by the state. Since that filing, the campaign has been barred from gathering signatures to put the issue on the ballot. 

Recall campaign leaders on Tuesday said that the secretary of state supports their position that the recall should be managed by Santa Clara County elections officials and not the state.

That jurisdiction decision must ultimately be handed down by a judge, and local judges have recused themselves from the case.

While the recall effort remains on hold, Michele Dauber and those behind the movement continue to remain committed to their goal.

"It’s not going to work. We’re going to collect our signatures," Dauber said. "He’s going to face the voters. He’s going to be recalled.

"Judge Persky has hired Donald Trump’s Arizona state director to manage his campaign and that tells you everything you need to know about Judge Persky’s bias against women and his views on sexual assault," Dauber added.

Judge Persky's attorney said his legal team will have further comment when a decision regarding the recall is reached. 

For now, they will wait for a judge to rule.

"Our role here today is to make sure Judge Persky is treated fairly during these recall proceedings," attorney Christine Peek said.

Those carrying out the recall effort said they need 90,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot. They hope to have those signatures in time for the June 2018 ballot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Jason Doiy/The Recorder via AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Public Hearing for San Jose 'Tiny Homes']]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:02:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tiny_Homes.jpg

When it comes to housing for the homeless in San Jose, a lot of neighborhoods are saying "not in my backyard." Robert Handa reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Charged in Shooting of Oakland Firefighters in SJ]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:59:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+firefighter+shot.jpg

A man accused of shooting two off-duty Oakland firefighters, killing one, in San Jose on Thursday has been charged with murder and attempted murder, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Oliver Juinio, 27, will make his first court appearance Tuesday in the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice in San Jose. He is accused of shooting the firefighters in the 300 block of East Taylor Street at 9:37 p.m. Thursday.

Oakland firefighter Jake Walter, 30, died of his injuries at a hospital. Another Oakland firefighter was taken to the hospital and was listed in stable condition on Friday.

The Oakland Firefighters IAFF Local 55 union said on Twitter on Friday that at least five firefighters had been out in San Jose when the shooting happened, and they described it as "unprovoked."

The firefighters who were not injured rendered aid to the two victims, union officials said.

Oakland city officials said both victims had been recent graduates of the fire academy, both graduating in the same class on April 22.

San Jose police spokesman Officer Albert Morales said last week their department stands strongly behind the victims.

Police ask anyone with information on the case to contact Detective Sgt. John Barg or Detective Wayne Smith (408) 277-5283. Those wishing to leave anonymous tips can call the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (408) 947-7867.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Traffic Stops for the Solar Eclipse]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 23:58:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Solar+Eclipse+Asia.jpg

Bay Area traffic briefly came to a stop Monday to witness the solar eclipse, as millions across the United States halted the start of the workweek to see the moon briefly take away the spotlight from the sun.

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

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

CHP Contra Costa tweeted out a picture of cars parked on the side of a freeway, with people getting out to snap a photo of the sun.

"We truly hope everybody enjoyed their solar eclipse today which was barely visible due to our micro climate herein our Bay Area. But hopefully you were at your home, on a mountaintop, or in a safe location and not one of these people behaving badly. Can you say "Unsafe stop along the freeway for a non-emergency reason," CHP wrote on Facebook. "Wow is all we can say. How many tickets would you have written?!"

Droves of people gathered at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View to soak in the spectacle.

Claire Dulsky, a youngster from San Carlos, had her protective glasses handy as she took a peek at the partial eclipse crossing over the sky.

"I see like a bite out of the sun," she said, staring upward. "It's like a divet in the sun."

Fellow onlooker Angela Wu of Los Altos noticed a similar site.

"I'm seeing some cheese getting bitten by somebody," she laughed.

In the coming weeks, scientists will be able to see how the atmosphere reacted to the solar eclipse, thanks to satellites, test balloons and other monitoring devices sent up by NASA and other agencies. 

Here are some facts about Monday's eclipse:

What is a solar eclipse?

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

Where could the solar eclipse be seen?

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

People who reached some of the gatherings needed special glasses to view the solar eclipse. Only when the moon was completely covering the sun could spectators remove their glasses.

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Solar Eclipse Brings Near Darkness to Bay Area]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:39:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/170819-Solar-Eclipse-NASA-AMES-11.jpgA rare solar eclipse crossed over the Bay Area on Monday, leaving droves of people staring at the sky hoping to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Gonzalez/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Killed After Car Careens Off Highway 17 Near Los Gatos]]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:01:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-20-17_Highway_17_Crash.jpg

One person was killed and another was injured after the car they were riding in plummeted down a steep embankment along Highway 17 near Los Gatos early Sunday, according to officials.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Daniel Hill said alcohol is believed to have been a "primary factor in this collsion," which occurred around 1 a.m. just north of Redwood Estates, according to Santa Clara County Fire Department Battallion Chief Mike Krisman.

"It seems to be that there was alcohol involved," Hill said. "Both parties seemed to have had consumed alcohol at some time tonight."

Two people were in the car at the time of the crash, according to Hill. It appears as though the passenger was the one who was killed.

Hill suspects that the car was travelling down the summit and may have been "driving at a speed too unsafe for conditions." The driver then lost control, smashed into trees and other debris before landing approximately several feet below the roadway.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Krisman. The other person was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, Hill said.

One lane of Highway 17 was blocked for multiple hours while crews investigated the crash and recovered the car.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds 'Stand Up for Equality and Diversity' in South Bay]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 13:55:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DHnktmLUwAAjHH-.jpg

Hundreds of people flocked to Mountain View’s City Hall on Saturday, standing up against hatred, sexism and a white nationalist movement that has dominated headlines since last week’s deadly riot in Charlottesville.

Originally, the Stand Up for Equality and Diversity Rally, which lasted from 1 to 3 p.m., was meant to counter an “alt-right” protest called March on Google to Charleston Park.

The controversial event was envisioned to protest the tech giant’s firing of James Damore, who wrote a controversial memo on gender rules at Google. However, it was canceled when leaders of the right-wing group cited “credible alt-left terrorist threats.”

Concerns about violence also forced the Make-a-Wish Foundation to nix its charity walk, originally scheduled for Saturday.

Even so, the counter-protesters decided to forge ahead with their rally.

On Saturday, they peacefully held up signs and chanted, “What do we want? Equality. When do we want it? Now!”

"I don’t support violence, and I certainly don’t support terrorism and people marching around with tiki torches," protester Elizabeth Beheler said. "So yes, I think that I am a suburban soccer mom here peacefully expressing myself."

Protester Natalia Price said part of her attendance at the rally was to challenge President Donald Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville. She said her family came to the United States to experience love, respect and diversity, but she finds that the current administration is not upholding those values.

"He keeps supporting things that are just completely counter to that," Price said. "And I think the American people want to stand up and say, 'This is enough. We’re done with it.'"

Among a slew of speakers, Mountain View Mayor Ken Rosenberg told the 400-strong crowd that he planned to go to Charleston Park himself and stare down neo-Nazis and people who promote fascism under the cloak of free speech.

Photo Credit: Sam Brock/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose State Students to Protest Professor's Return]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:08:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0818-2017-LewisAptekar.jpg

A student revolt is building after San Jose State University reinstated a professor who had been on leave after being found to have sexually harassed a student.

An internal SJSU memo obtained by NBC Bay Area says counselor education professor Lewis Aptekar is set to teach two courses when classes resume next week.

Some student said they are upset because Aptekar was not the instructor listed when they signed up for the class. In addition, dropping the class could cause students problems academically.

"Being who I am and feeling very uncomfortable being in his presence, being in his classroom," SJSU graduate student Celina Cesena said. "I feel like I have to drop that class so I don't have to put myself in that situation."

Cesena and other graduate students, Valerie Lamb and Diana Castro, said they were outraged to find out Aptekar will now teach the counselor education classes they signed up for when a different instructor was listed.

"If they're not going to do anything about, then I will," Lamb said.

A school investigation determined Aptekar sexually harassed a student by trying to date her. The college said before his leave, he was suspended for two weeks, demoted from department chair and had to take a diversity course.

Students said it is not enough.

"I wouldn't feel comfortable sitting in a one-on-one office in his office hours," Castro said.

The students said a sit-in demonstration is planned for Monday, Aug. 28, at Sweeney Hall to protest Aptekar's return.

"We don't want him back in the department," Lamb said.

NBC Bay Area has not been able to reach Aptekar for comment.

San Jose State University said it is listening to student concerns and thinking through its next steps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Comcast Program Helps Bridge the Digital Divide]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:06:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Comcast_Program_Helps_Bridge_the_Digital_Divide.jpg

Free computers to help educate voters and some necessary tools for kids. It's part of a community program from Comcast. Scott Budman reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Police in Stand-off Near Schallenberger Elementary ]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:22:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEB-SJ-Standoff-2.jpg

Police late Friday are in a standoff with a hit-and-run suspect who barricaded himself inside a home in San Jose.

The suspect earlier in the afternoon is believed to have fled from a stolen truck after hitting a man on the 1500 block of Scott Street, just of West San Carlos Street in the Buena Vista neighborhood.

Police initially responded to the area for a report of a shooting, but instead found a man suffering from a non-life threatening injury.

Officers said they were able to locate the driver a short time after talking to the victim, but he fled possibly into one of the backyards in the area of Marsha Way. Neighbors in the area also reported a suspicious person attempting to break into a home.

Nearby Schallenberger Elementary School on Koch Lane was placed on lockdown and later evacuated while police and a SWAT team responded.

No other injuries were reported and no other information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[Man Arrested on Suspicion of Shooting, Killing Firefighter]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:25:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjfiresuspect.jpg

Two off-duty Oakland firefighters were shot, one fatally, in San Jose's Japantown on Thursday night, and a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the crime, police say. 

Both men each sustained a single gunshot wound around 9:30 p.m. near 8th and Taylor streets, near Gordon Biersch Brewery, according to police. The person accused of shooting the pair was identified by police as Oliver Juinio of San Jose. 

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

Soon after the shooting, rookie firefighter Jake Walter, 30, was pronounced dead at a hospital. The second firefighter, 26, sustained non-life threatening injuries and is said to be in stable condition, Interim fire Chief Darin White said.

The victims were recent graduates of the Oakland Fire Department Academy. They were part of class 216 and had joined the fire service in April, he said.

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

Five off-duty firefighters attended the Taylor Street Night Market, which San Jose police described as a safe, family-friendly event. As they left, they were confronted by a group of men. It is unclear whether words were exchanged or what circumstances led up to the two gunshots that were fired, police said.

Residents in the area reported seeing someone running through their neighborhood, leading police to someone who was apprehended. It remains unclear whether that was Juinio. 

Police spokesman Albert Morales said that investigators were canvassing the neighborhood, talking to witnesses, pouring over surveillance footage and combing through evidenced. 

Morales didn't know if the suspected shooter had attended the event or "just happened to be in the area." A motive is also unknown, he said.

"This seems to be a random senseless act of violence," said Lisa Gannon with the San Jose Police Department. 

Marcelino Quiroz and his band, Mango Kingz, performed at Taylor Street Night Market Thursday night. They were tearing down gear when a vendor told them about the shooting. 

"It was pretty shocking," Quiroz said. "I saw two people laying down on the ground next to my car and there was a number of people around them. And then emergency personnel showed up pretty soon after that."

Joe Tershay, who was also at the market, described the event's atmosphere as "super mellow" with families and children present.

"It was totally surprising" because there were "no signs of altercations," he said. "The loss of life is always senseless."

Overnight, a procession of law enforcement officers from several Bay Area agencies escorted the fallen firefighter to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where they stayed all night. 

Many left the South Bay hospital early Friday morning because they had to report to duty at 8 a.m., Deputy Fire Chief Melinda Drayton said.

"Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the families, the friends, the loves one, our internal fire department family and those who were close to firefighter Jake Walter," White said.  

Earlier in the day, Oakland Firefighters IAFF Local 55 tweeted a confirmation of the "unprovoked incident" with a "heavy heart." Union officials said that other firefighters who were with the two who got shot "rendered aid to their fallen brothers on scene." They too expressed a "heartfelt thank you" to San Jose police and fire officials for "their help with this tragedy."

White too thanked the other firefighters for offering their peers the best possible medical aid they could on scene, given the circumstances. On behalf of himself and the Oakland Fire Department, White also thanked San Jose police and fire officials, mayors Sam Liccardo and Libby Schaaf, and the Oakland City Council for their outpouring of support.

Fire officials pay close attention to the safety of their crews when fighting blazes, but Walter's untimely death had caught them "completely off guard," White said.

"We don’t really think about the hazards or the chance encounters that you might have off-duty that could also” have tragic results, he said. 

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

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

Here is an earlier story: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Heidi Nunes]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 1 Hospitalized After Shooting Near Downtown San Jose]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:32:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0817-2017-SJPD-Shooting.jpg

One man is dead and another is hospitalized in stable condition following a shooting Thursday night near downtown San Jose, police said.

The shooting was reported at 9:37 p.m. Thursday near 8th and Taylor streets. The shooting appears to have happened outside the Taylor Street Night Market, across the street from Gordon Biersch Brewery.

Police said the suspect(s) fled the scene on foot and have not been identified.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Lawsuit Claims Alleged Sexual Misconduct at Gilroy PD]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:41:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0817-2017-GilroyPD.jpg

A lawsuit filed by a longtime police dispatcher paints a picture of the Gilroy Police Department involved in sex parties, harassment and even alleged sex with underage members of the youth explorer program.

Patricia Harrell, a 27-year veteran police dispatcher, is suing the City of Gilroy, its police department and the police union. She claims she was fired for speaking up about a department culture of alleged sexual misconduct, promiscuity and harassment.

"She was essentially black-balled and eventually pushed out," said Lori Costanzo, Harrell's attorney.

The 90-page lawsuit cites names and incidents, including officers having sex with underage members of the police explorers.

Legal analyst Steven Clark compares the situation to the underage prostitution scandal that rocked the Oakland Police Department in terms of public trust.

"It's something that the public now has recognized can happen," Clark said. "So I think the fact there is precedence in other public agencies like this suggests it's all the more important to get to the bottom of these allegations involving Gilroy PD."

Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco said the city is monitoring the situation and pointed out while the allegations are disturbing, they are still not proven and just one side of the story.

Officials have 30 days to respond to the lawsuit.

The District Attorney's Office said it is aware of the allegations, but has not received any report from the police department, which it needs to take any criminal action.

The City of Gilroy issued the following statement late Thursday:

Recently the City of Gilroy was served with a lawsuit from a former city employee of the Gilroy Police Department. The allegations mentioned in the lawsuit are simply allegations until fully addressed in a court of law. The City takes this lawsuit very seriously.

The Gilroy Police Department is a professional law enforcement department and holds itself to a high standard of integrity. We understand the public holds the Gilroy Police Department to this high standard as well.

“This matter has to be dealt with through the legal process in a court of law.” said Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco, “The City Council and I will continue to monitor this lawsuit closely. I have full confidence in the men and women of the Gilroy Police Department to continue to do their duty and serve the people of Gilroy as they always have”.

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee stated, “The Gilroy Police Department is full of caring and dedicated public servants. I am proud of our strong history of community service and keeping the public safe. We are determined to maintain our focus on serving the community in a professional and ethical manner.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Professor Punished for Sex Harassment Returning to SJSU]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:24:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/San_Jose_State_University_Student_Admits_to_Fabricating_Abdu.jpg

Classes will begin soon at San Jose State University and a professor who was punished by the school for sexually harassing a student is scheduled to return to teach.

As NBC Bay Area reported last September, Lewis Aptekar was placed on paid leave after college officials ruled he acted inappropriately with a student. But punishment did not happen until five months later after the college's investigation was revealed publicly by the San Jose Mercury News.

Aptekar's return is upsetting some on campus and dredging up painful memories of the original scandal.

An internal SJSU memo obtained by NBC Bay Area states Aptekar, a counselor education professor, will return in the fall. His return to teach two classes is causing a stir on campus.

Aptekar was on paid leave after a school investigation concluded he sexually harassed a student when he inquired if she was single and wanted to date. But the school did not take that action until after the Mercury News revealed Aptekar was still on the job five months later.

Dr. Jason Laker, a professor in the same department, is involved in various lawsuits with the college over his criticism of the school's response.

"I'm shocked, appalled, disgusted, scared, upset, worried for our students...embarrassed for my employer," Laker said.

Students interviewed Wednesday had mixed reactions, but some instructors told us they had to take a lot of extra training this summer on appropriate conduct.

"It does seem like they're stepping up the HR response to this with a lot of emphasis on student-teacher interactions," SJSU lecturer Kendall Sooter said.

Meanwhile, Laker is not swayed.

"I think any faculty member who has been found by their own investigation to have committed sexual harassment shouldn't be in a classroom at all or on campus," Laker said.

SJSU spokeswoman Pat Harris points out Aptekar was also suspended for two weeks, stepped down as department chair and was ordered to take diversity training. Harris said another allegation was investigated and had no merit.

<![CDATA[Many CA Drivers Getting Away With Distracted Driving: NTSB]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:43:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Texting-and-Driving-082113.jpg

You don’t have to look far and wide for someone texting or making calls while behind the wheel, but the National Transportation Safety Board found that a substantial number of people seem to be getting away with distracted driving.

The Department of Motor Vehicle says that California is home to an estimated 25 million licensed drivers. However, in 2015, fewer than 270,000 tickets were issued for illegal cell phone use, which is down from 2011’s 476,000 tickets, according to the NSTB.

Santa Clara County supervisor Joe Simitian, who as a state lawmaker authored California’s cell phone bill, says the fines are too low. At $20 for a first offense, it’s worth the risk to driver, but not worth the trouble for law enforcement.

And the fine is just one way distracted driving could cost you.

Such illegal behavior contributes to 10 percent of deadly crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes and 16 percent of all collision reported to police, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

Click here to read the full report by NBC Los Angeles' I-Team. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Companies Banishing Extremists After Charlottesville]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:49:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/techcologos_1200x675.jpg

It took bloodshed in Charlottesville to get tech companies to do what civil rights groups have been calling for for years: take a firmer stand against accounts used to promote hate and violence.

In the wake of the deadly clash at a white-nationalist rally last weekend in Virginia, major companies such as Google, Facebook and PayPal are banishing a growing cadre of extremist groups and individuals for violating service terms.

What took so long? For one thing, tech companies have long seen themselves as bastions of free expression.

But the Charlottesville rally seemed to have a sobering effect. It showed how easily technology can be used to organize and finance such events, and how extreme views online can translate into violence offline.

"There is a difference between freedom of speech and what happened in Charlottesville," said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, an online racial justice group. The battle of ideas is "different than people who show up with guns to terrorize communities."


Tech companies are in a bind. On one hand, they want to be open to as many people as possible so they can show them ads or provide rides, apartments or financial services. On the other hand, some of these users turn out to be white supremacists, terrorists or child molesters.

Keegan Hankes, analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center's intelligence project, said his group has been trying for more than a year to get Facebook and PayPal to shut down these accounts. Even now, he said, the two companies are taking action only in the most extreme cases.

"They have policies against violence, racism, harassment," said Hankes, whose center monitors hate groups and extremism. "The problem is that there has been no enforcement."

Case in point: The neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer has been around since 2013. But it wasn't effectively kicked off the internet until it mocked the woman killed while protesting the white nationalists in Charlottesville.


PayPal said groups that advocate racist views have no place on its service, but added that there is a "fine line" when it comes to balancing freedom of expression with taking a stand against violent extremism.

Other companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google struggle with the same balancing act. The fine line is constantly moving and being tested.

Ahead of the rally, Airbnb barred housing rentals to people it believed were traveling to participate. Before and after Charlottesville, PayPal cut off payments to groups that promote hate and violence. GoDaddy and Google yanked the domain name for Daily Stormer following the rally. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are removing known hate groups from their services, and the music streaming service Spotify dropped what it considers hate bands.

"Companies are trying to figure out what the right thing is to do and how to do it," said Steve Jones, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who focuses on communication technology. What happens from here is "partly going to depend on the individual leadership at these companies and company culture — and probably resources, too."


While traditional brands such as Tiki had no way of knowing that their torches were being bought for the rally, tech companies have tools to identify and ban people with extremist views.

That's thanks to the troves of data they store on people and to their ability to easily switch off access to users. Airbnb users can link to social media profiles, and the company said it used its existing background checks and "input from the community" to identify users who didn't align with its standards.

Yet these services also allow for anonymity, which makes their jobs more difficult. Banned people can sign up again with a different email address, something they can easily obtain anonymously.

Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja said hate groups also know the site's policies and try to keep things just benign enough to ensure they are not in violation.

For instance, the event page for the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville looked fairly innocuous. Budhraja said there was nothing on the page that would suggest it was created by a hate organization. It has since been removed.

Facebook's technology is designed to automatically flag posts that are on the absolute extreme and clearly violate the company's policies. They are sometimes removed before users can even see them. What Facebook can't leave to automation are posts, events and groups in that ever-growing gray area.


The First Amendment offers hate groups a lot of speech protection, but it applies only to government and public settings. A private company is typically free to set its own standards.

Christopher Cantwell, a self-described white nationalist who has been labeled an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, said he was banned from Facebook, Instagram and PayPal because the companies are trying to silence him for his views.

"Everybody is going through extraordinary lengths to make sure we are not heard," Cantwell told The Associated Press .

Even Cloudflare, a security company that prides itself on providing services regardless of their content, terminated Daily Stormer on Wednesday. This appears to be the site's final blow.

Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin said in an email to the AP that these private companies are "de factor monopolies and oligopolies" and should be regulated as "critical infrastructure."

The Daily Stormer and other banned groups could move to darker corners of the web, where extreme views are welcome. But this won't help with recruitment and won't allow them to disseminate their views as broadly as they could on Facebook or Twitter.

"These are the platforms everyone is using," Hankes said. "They don't want to be pushed to the margins because they want influence."

Because of that, the industry's efforts might just be a game of whack-a-mole, with extremist views returning, perhaps in different guises, once public outrage dies down.

Associated Press Writers Michael Casey in Concord, New Hampshire, and Michael Kunzelman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Community in Shock After Mobile Home Fire Kills Man, 2 Girls]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:12:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N5P+SJ+FATAL+MOBILE+HOME+FIRE+PKG+-+00002907.jpg

A community is in mourning after a fire ripped through a mobile home in San Jose on Tuesday, killing a man and two elementary school girls, who were best friends.

On Wednesday, people dropped off flowers at a growing memorial near the charred structure at Golden Wheel Park. Candles, plush toys and balloons honor the three victims and neighbors are seeking donations for their families.

The parents of 10-year-old Linda Van, who was in the trailer when it went up in flames, are grappling with the unthinkable. The child's older brother described her as a smart, funny girl who loved to ride her bike. She was supposed to start fifth grade on Thursday.

"They were very happy children, very happy," said neighbor Jennie Aldama. "They put a smile on my face every time I walked by."

A woman who said she was one of the daughters of the man who passed away at the scene was at the scene Wednesday afternoon, but declined to discuss the fire.

A relative visiting the next-door neighbor of the now-gutted mobile home said an explosion appeared to spark the midday inferno that killed three people, including two children.

Diep Vo was in the mobile home to the south of the trailer that caught on fire at the Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park at 900 Golden Wheel Park Drive, and was cooking when an explosion rocked the normally quiet neighborhood.

Vo was able to hear the explosion and see the subsequent fire from her position in the adjacent mobile home. She said — via her nephew who translated — that a man in the mobile home opened the front door, walked outside engulfed in flames, and collapsed.

Shocked by the explosion, she said she was frozen in place watching the fire unfold until a neighbor banged on her front door and told her to escape. She said she ran south towards the main office of the trailer park complex.

Another neighbor, Phouc Mai, said neighbors came together to spray water on the mobile home to the north of the fire. He felt if they hadn't done that, it could have gone up in flames as well.

Mai estimated that fire crews arrived on the scene 10 minutes after the initial blaze started.

Arson investigators on Wednesday were joined by representatives of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, all of whom were trying to determine what caused the deadly fire. An accelerant sniffing dog was also brought in to help.

"The construction of a mobile home includes lots of lightweight plastics and metals so the acceleration is fairly quick," said San Jose fire spokesman Joshua Padron. 

Mobile home residents are encouraged to always be very careful when cooking and to make sure they have working smoke detectors, San Jose fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort said. In the event of a fire, residents should immediately evacuate the home instead of trying to put out the blaze.

The Golden Wheel Park is no stranger to tragedy. Earlier this year, a winter storm-fueled flood tore through several mobile homes.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Circus Vargas Returns to the Bay Area]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:08:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Circus_Vargas_Returns_to_the_Bay_Area.jpg

The circus is in town in San Jose. Circus Vargas has returned for the first time since 2009. The circus now focuses on acrobats and elements of fantasy. It ended all of its animal acts seven years ago. The show runs through Sept. 18 at four different Bay Area locations. Circus Vargas will perform at Westfield Oakridge Mall through Monday before going to Milpitas, Hayward and Petaluma.]]>
<![CDATA[California's Great America Debuts Single Rail Steel Coaster]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:09:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/Railblazer01_11x17_600dpi.jpg

In celebration of National Roller Coaster Day Wednesday, California’s Great America debuted a first of its kind 1,800 foot single rail steel roller coaster for the 2018 season.

The new roller coaster, RailBlazer, will feature an eight-passenger single file train that will lift riders to approximately 106-ft above the ground and plunge down at a 90-degree angle. 

The theme park explained that the ride was crafted in homage of the scenic highway State Route 1. While the inspiration may stem from a breathtaking road along the California coast, California's Great America has ensured that their fifteenth rollarcoaster will satisify thrill seekers. 

The roller coaster will travel at a high speed of 52 miles per hour while going through steeply banked turns, three inversions and a twist through a zero gravity roll.

“RailBlazer is a revolutionary roller coaster concept that will be an intense and exhilarating experience for our guests,” said Raul Rehnborg, vice president and general manager, California’s Great America

The design of the roller coaster will require riders to straddle the rail to create an extremely low center of gravity to amplify every move, turn and rotation.

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor also spoke at RailBlazer's reveal, hinting at the park's plans to install, "coasters two and a half times larger than what currently exists, an expanded waterpark and an entertainment district in the front of the park to entertain our residents 365 days a year."

Roller coaster enthusiasts can purchase their 2018 Gold Season Pass between now and October 29. The pass will include unlimited park visits in 2017, unlimited access to RailBlazer, special events like The Great Pumpkin Fest, Halloween Haunt and Winterfest as well as other park discounts.[[

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[San Jose to Explore Affordable Housing Options for Teachers]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:15:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0808-2017-SJHomes.jpg

A possible breakthrough in the efforts to create more affordable housing for South Bay teachers: San Jose has reached out to Sarah Chaffin, a woman who asked the city council for permission to build affordable housing for teachers on her property on Lincoln Avenue.

The city council denied her request last week, saying the area is zoned for commercial development and not residential.

But now it appears the city and Chaffin are exploring alternatives.

"We are open to other opportunities and Sarah presents us with one that we should explore," Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

Chaffin, who is also with the Build Teacher Housing group, said "We really want to work in partnership with the city and the mayor's office to find a solution for affordable housing for teachers."

The program in Chaffin's proposal would charge teachers $2,000 a month. A half of the fees would be used to cover rent, with the other half held in an account and returned to them in three yeras for a down payment on a home.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[3 Dead in San Jose Mobile Home Park Fire]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 23:32:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0815-2017-MobileHomeFire.jpg

An adult and two children died in a fire Tuesday at a San Jose mobile home, firefighters said.

The blaze was first reported at about 12:30 p.m. at the Golden Wheel Park, located at 900 Golden Wheel Park Drive, Fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort.

Upon arrival, firefighters found that a mobile home was completely engulfed in flames and had partially collapsed.

Firefighters, however, were able to knock down the blaze about a half hour later.

Three victims were confirmed dead in the fire, a man and two kids.

"It's a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the family for their loss," Val Elgort said. "This is tough to handle for the fire department as well," Van Elgort said.

According to a neighbor, the adult victim was inside the mobile home when a loud noise was heard before the blaze broke out. The neighbor said it appeared as if the man himself also caught fire, according to Van Elgort.

Van Elgort said that mobile homes, because of their lightweight construction, tend to burn faster and more aggressively.

Witness Arlene Garcia said neighbors tried to use their garden hoses to put the fire out, but it didn't work.

"They were trying to break it open with rocks because we weren't sure anybody was home," witness Denise Farkas said.

Mobile home residents are encouraged to always be very careful when cooking and to make sure they have working smoke detectors. In the event of a fire, residents should immediately evacuate the home instead of trying to put out the blaze, according to Van Elgort.

NBC Bay Area's Ian Cull contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 SJPD Officers Justified in Shooting Suicidal Teen: DA]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:56:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-5-16-anthony-nunez-san-jose-police-shooting.jpg

Santa Clara County prosecutors announced on Tuesday that two San Jose police officers were justified in shooting a suicidal man outside his home last year.

One shot each by the officers ended in the death of 18-year-old Anthony Nunez outside a home at 994 Feller Ave. on July 4, 2016.

"Officer Michael Santos and Officer Anthony Vizzusi each actually and reasonably believed that they needed to use deadly force to protect themselves and others, when Nunez leveled a gun in the direction of police," Deputy District Attorney Bud Porter wrote in a report released Tuesday.

The report detailed an investigation by the district attorney's office, which investigates all fatal police encounters to determine whether deadly force was justified.

At 4:15 p.m. on July 4, 2016, Nunez tried to kill himself by shooting himself in the head, according to prosecutors. He failed when the bullets stopped at his skull.

A cousin called 911 and police officers were sent at 4:51 p.m. to Nunez's home where the shooting occurred.

Prosecutors said as officers approached the home to help Nunez, he appeared in the doorway with a revolver in his hand.

A crisis negotiator tried for 10 to 15 minutes to convince Nunez to drop the gun but he would not.

Prosecutors said a standoff ensued and at 5:27 p.m., when Nunez was outside his home, he twirled the revolver on his finger, gripped it and pointed it in the direction of officers.

Santos and Vizzusi were across the street and each fired a shot from their rifles, killing Nunez.

Prosecutors said investigators found a revolver near Nunez's body.

Photo Credit: Anthony Nunez Family ]]>
<![CDATA[Apartment Complex Demolition to Begin in San Jose]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:47:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Apartment_Complex_Demolition_to_Begin_in_San_Jose.jpg

Demolition is starting Tuesday at San Jose's "The Reserve" apartment complex, which has been at the center of a rent dispute. Hundreds of tenants previously took their fight to city hall when the owner evicted them to build luxury apartments. After the threat of several lawsuits, the city is now working on providing compensation for some of the tenants who were evicted.]]>
<![CDATA[Cupertino School’s Records Requested for Harvard Lawsuit]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:51:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cupertino_School_s_Records_Requested_in_Lawsuit_Against_Harv.jpg

Records from a South Bay high school are being requested in a civil case against Harvard University. The Ivy League school is accused of discriminating against Asians. The Mercury News reported that records of Monta Vista High School in Cupertino are being requested. The school is one of four high schools involved in the case.]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Composer Reimagines Steve Jobs' Life as an Opera]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:20:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/GettyImages-96210895%281%29.jpg

Steve Jobs' life story has been remade into Hollywood films, a TV-movie and now an opera. Rife with tension and contradictions, composer Mason Bates said the tech mogul's story was made for the stage.

In his latest piece, "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs," Bates fused traditional theatrics with the 21st century story to create the popular piece.

With nearly every seat sold out at its world premiere in Santa Fe, New Mexico, NBC Bay Area caught up with the Burlingame-based composer to find out what makes Jobs' life so riveting to audiences around the country. 

Questions and answers have been edited for brevity: 

What gave you the idea to make an opera about Steve Jobs?

"I looked at the life of Steve Jobs, and I found that it has all of these interesting tensions," Bates said. "Opera has to be full of tension because the tension release is the blood and guts of opera."

Jobs was adopted as a baby, refused to acknowledge his first child for many years and died young at the age of 56.

"He had passion, obsession and his story includes death," Bates said. "It includes love." 

However, he realizes some are hesitant to merge modern day characters with the opera stage.

"You think, Steve Jobs?" Bates said. "Wait a minute. How does he fit into the opera house, which usually tackles subjects like lovers' long past or that kind of thing, but when you look at Steve Jobs, his life really is the stuff of opera."

Why do you think the story of Steve Jobs resonates with people?

"I think what's happening is that so many people carry a little piece of Steve Jobs around in their pocket," Bates said. "They have a relationship to the subject in a very personal way."

Aside from Steve Jobs, what is the story about?

"His story is one that accumulates a challenge we all face: how do we take all of our beautiful messiness of human communication and cram it into these little devices?" Bates said. "That kind of tension between the beautiful minimalism of these devices and the beautiful messiness of human life is what this opera is all about."

Bates says the opera also focuses on Jobs' search for inner peace.

Major characters aside from Jobs, played by Edward Parks, is Steve Wozniak and Laurene Powell, the wife of Jobs.

What's next for the production?

After finishing at the Santa Fe Opera next year, the production will run in Seattle for the 2018-2019 season and finish at the San Francisco Opera during the 2019-2020 season.

"I think opera as a medium for this story is a really powerful idea, and the reception we’ve had has just been so gratifying," Bates said.

To learn more about the opera, visit the Santa Fe Opera website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SJC Commissioner Raises Concerns Following Security Incident]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:43:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/SJC+Airport+Still.jpg

A San Jose International Airport commissioner is bringing forward concerns about security days after passengers had to be re-screened in Terminal A because officials thought prohibited items made it through security.

Dan Connolly said he has been trying to raise these concerns for two years and they do not get any traction. He added that simple steps can be taken to secure SJC.

"We're reactionary at this airport instead of proactive," Connolly said.

Connolly said he thinks ram bars should be placed near access points to prevent trucks smashing through. The commissioner also said no airport workers should be able to skip TSA security lines.

"There are scores of individuals every day that are badged, that circumvent security," Connolly said. "We don't allow our airline pilots or flight attendants to circumvent TSA security."

SJC spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes added, "We go through a thorough background check of our history. We need to be badged at certain intervals."

Connolly's worries follow an incident Saturday when officials thought prohibitied items made it past security.

Passengers were re-screened and flights were delayed.

In 2014, someone made it into the wheelwell of a plane on the tarmac.

Since then, SJC has upgraded infrastructure.

"By adding additional surveillance equipment all throughout our perimeter, security fence line, as well as other means to try and detect anyone trying to scale that fence line," Barnes said of the SJC upgrades.

New one-way exit doors were just installed last week in Terminal B -- preventing someone from running through to the gates.

"Our No. 1 priority is their safety, their security and they should feel as such as they travel through here," Barnes said.

Connolly also wants the advisory commission to receive security briefings, but the city denied the request because they are appointed positions that do not have clearance.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Woman Recounts Witnessing Charlottesville Rally]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:12:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0814-2017-KristinSavini.jpg

A San Jose woman is back in the Bay Area after witnessing the violent rally in Charlottesville.

Kristin Savini and her husband were in Charlottesville to drop off their daughter at med school. But when they heard about a protest nearby they decided to check it out. And that's when they saw something they say they'll never forget.

On Saturday, Savini and her husband found police marching with shield and a tank roaring down streets. But it was protesters decked out in military gear and wearing assault rifles that she found most disturbing.

"That was shocking -- walking next to people with this artillery," Savini said.

Savini was just a block away when a driver plowed into a group of counter protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. She said she saw another car attack in the parking garage she was in.

"The woman, a white supremacist, hit the gas and started tearing through this group," Savini said.

No one was seriously hurt in that attack.

The "Unite the Right" protest was initially focused on denouncing plans to move a statue of confederate General Robert E. Lee, but Savini said it was clear to her much more was going on.

"This was pure hate. There was no sign saying save the General Lee statue," she said. "It was nothing like that."

After watching it first hand, Savini said she is even more disappointed by President Donald Trump's comments responding to the violence.

"I don't think I've ever seen him come down so softly on anything, so why this?" Savini said. "It was so horrendous."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[5 People Shot While Attending Vigil in East San Jose: Police]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 05:49:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-14-17_SJ_Shooting.jpg

A total of five people taking part in a vigil Sunday night were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries following a drive-by shooting in East San Jose, according to police.

The shooting occurred around 10:30 p.m. along the 1700 block of Vista Glen Drive, according to police.

Responding officers found two women and three men suffering from gunshot wounds, according to police. Police originally reported that one woman and four men were hurt.

No suspects have been located at this time, and a motive is not yet known, police said.

About 20 people were gathered at the vigil, which was being held for people previously killed in a traffic crash, when the shooting occurred, according to police.

A neighbor told NBC Bay Area he has seen a handful of people coming and going from a home believed to be the location of the shooting in the last week. The shooting sent his sibling diving for cover.

"I have a little 8-year-old sister, and when she heard the gunshots, she got really scared and her first instinct was to hide behind the couch," the neighbor said.

Fire officials previously reported that six people were transported to the hospital.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cupertino Family Escapes Unharmed After Garage Fire Ignites]]>Sun, 13 Aug 2017 13:55:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-13-17_Cupertino_Blaze.jpg

Firefighters in Cupertino on Sunday knocked down a garage fire before it could spread to the rest of a home, a fire official said.

The blaze broke out at a single-family home around 4:40 a.m. along Craig Court, Acting Santa Clara County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Shumate said.

A neighbor noticed the flames and knocked on the family's door, allowing two adults and three children to escape unharmed, Shumate said.

The blaze was knocked down in roughly 30 to 45 minutes, according to Shumate.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Shumate said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sunrise at Monterey Bay Aquarium]]>Sun, 13 Aug 2017 10:43:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sunrise-monterey-bay_d-medium-sd.jpg

WHAT'S AN OTTER DOING FIRST THING? How does a sardine yawn and blink and wake up? Does an octopus stretch each of his many arms, one by one, after a solid night's rest? Well... It can be easy to apply the activities we humans traditionally do when the day begins to those ocean animals we find particularly endearing (and, honest now, that's every last one of them). The fact is, of course, that the beasties of the glub-glub don't fry eggs or pour cereal everywhere in the A.M., nor do they hunt down a fresh tube of toothpaste, which they swore they bought on their last trip to the market. Rather, they're pursuing they're own otterly, sardine-ish, octo-awesome routines, and we understand that, no matter how many animated films we've seen. But the fact is that whatever happens at sunrise, the ocean itself is quite spectacular, as is the...

MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM, which just happens to be home to sardines and cephalapods and, yes, you betcha, those world-famous otters, too. And while the monthly free wallpaper provided by the Cannery Row aquarium — it's downloadable, in various sizes, from the web site — frequently depicts some sort of critter that calls the landmark home the August scene is a serene one, and totally about the new day, the spectacular sky, and the historical building itself (yes, it's the site of the former Hovden Cannery, which is well-depicted inside via an excellent display). If you need to soak up some morning beachiness, and Monterey marvelousness, each time you turn on your computer for the next few weeks, well, understood. Otters don't make waffles, and sardines don't shower, but we can all appreciate an ocean morning with a beloved aquarium in the foreground.

Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium]]>
<![CDATA[Car Fire Ignites Brush Blaze in San Jose]]>Sat, 12 Aug 2017 17:13:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DHEOxYeUQAQ3PQ4.jpg

Firefighters in San Jose on Saturday managed to control a vehicle fire that quickly spread to nearby brush and came within feet of burning hillside homes, according to fire officials.

The initial car fire ignited along northbound Highway 101 near Yerba Buena Road before spreading, according to fire officials.

The subsequent brush blaze is estimated to have charred roughly seven acres of hillside before firefighters corralled the flames. Footage from the scene captured burn areas directly behind a number of homes perched on top of a hill.

No injuries were reported, according to fire officials.

Photo Credit: San Jose Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA['Security Incident' Triggers Delays at SJC]]>Sat, 12 Aug 2017 22:08:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-12-17_SJC_Security_Incident_Delays.png

A "security incident" at San Jose International Airport on Saturday prompted departing and arriving flights operating out of several gates to be delayed up to two hours, according to an airport spokesperson.

Transportation Security Administration agents around 3 p.m. realized that some prohibited items might have made it into the Terminal A gate area, according to airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes. As a result, all travelers in the Terminal A area were asked to navigate through security once again for rescreening.

In addition to scanning travelers and their belongings, officials thoroughly checked other areas in the terminal to make sure no prohibited items were found, according to Barnes.

Approximately 200 passengers in total were asked to leave the terminal and go through security for a second time, according to Barnes. 

Airport officials announced just after 5:30 p.m. that the terminal was back to normal operating status.

Terminal B was not impacted by the incident, Barnes said.

Travelers were encouraged to check with their airline for flight status information.

Photo Credit: XiangYu Guo via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Community Group Hands Out Backpacks to South Bay Children]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:48:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Community_Group_Hands_Out_Backpacks_to_South_Bay_Children.jpg

Sacred Heart Community Service on Friday dished out 3,000 free backpacks stuffed with school supplies to children across the South Bay.]]>
<![CDATA[Anti-Google Ads Surface in SoCal Following Engineer's Firing]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:41:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Google-Bench-Ad.jpg

Fake advertisements are being spotted around Venice, Calif. offices Friday in response to Google’s recent decision to fire engineer, James Damore, for criticizing the company’s diversity initiatives.

The ads spotted at various public benches and the tech companies Los Angeles offices, illustrate Steve Jobs’ "Think Different" Apple ad from 1997 next to a photo of Google CEO Sundar Pichai with the words "Not So Much" below his company's logo.

A second version of the ad has been tweeted by several users showing the word Google refashioned to read "Goolag" with a search bar underneath stating, "Search for diversity of thought somewhere else," according to a report.

The word "Goolag" not only plays on the word "Google," it appears to reference the Soviet system of forced labor camps known as "Gulag."

An image of Damore recently surfaced on Twitter featuring him wearing a T-shirt with the words "Goolag."

It is unclear who is behind the advertisements.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to Google for comment.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Lucky Lotto Ticket Sold in Sunnyvale Wins $550K]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 23:31:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mega+millions+foto.JPG

Someone who purchased a Mega Millions lottery ticket in the Bay Area is about to cash in on $550,731. 

That's because a winning ticket sold at a liquor store in Sunnyvale featured five out of the six winning numbers in the recent Mega Millions drawing, according to lottery officials. The ticket missed only the Mega Ball number.

ticket sold in Illinois matched all six numbers, carrying a grand prize of $393 million.

More than 51.6 million prizes have won at all levels since April, including 55 prizes of $1 million or more. 

The jackpot will reset to $15 million for the next drawing on Tuesday. 

<![CDATA[SJ Relents on Flawed Fireworks Fines; Residents Celebrate]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:41:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-04-2017-illegal-fireworks.jpg

There’s a collective sigh of vindication on Garrison Circle in San Jose after residents there learned the city was dismissing questionable citations and fines for illegal fireworks.

“It’s awesome,” said resident Kelsey Doetsch.

Across the sidewalk, Amy Guzules shared the elation. “I feel relieved,” she said. “I feel really great.”

Residents of the small street exposed a large flaw in the city of San Jose’s new fireworks enforcement. On Thursday, the city relented and announced that it will dismiss all 45 fireworks fines it issued last month.

Several fines were sent to homes on Garrison Circle and other parts of San Jose without a single visit from law enforcement.

No police officers. No firefighters. No code enforcement officers. 

"None at all,” Garrison resident Sally Phan said.

The $500-plus citations came about when the city invited people to report illegal fireworks using an online form. NBC Bay Area found that those accusations rarely had video or photo evidence, sometimes included just one word, and in several cases didn’t even cite a specific address. Yet, the fire marshal still issued dozens of citations.

NBC Bay Area Responds challenged the city, as did the residents of Garrison Circle. On Thursday, city leaders conceded mistakes were made and the fines are unjust.

“We all apologize for anyone who was issued a citation unfairly,” said San Jose Assistant City Manager Dave Sykes.

Sykes said all 45 citations are being dismissed. In a statement issued earlier in the day, the city said the criteria for fireworks citations “had not been evenly applied.”

“There’s obviously room for improvement, so obviously, that’s why we decided to dismiss these citations," Sykes said.

The unfairness wasn’t always so obvious to the city.

“This has been going on for a month,” Doetsch said.

Garrison Circle residents said City Hall initially denied their contention that the system had flaws. So, Guzules led the charge to keep the pressure on. The Garrison group talked to NBC Bay Area three weeks ago; they met with their council member last Saturday; and Guzules on Tuesday confronted the City Council about the unfounded accusation against her.

“I did no such thing,” she told the council.

Guzules reflected on the frustrating journey Thursday.

“If we hadn’t made a big raucous, I’d be writing a check tomorrow,” she said.

Guzules is happy she spoke up. And even happier someone listened.

“NBC was the first to respond,” she said. “And you guys have really taken the reins and found out a lot of stuff I never would have been able to find out – nor the energy to continue to pursue, so I really appreciate that.”

The city says it’s now going to “review” its policy for issuing fines. It’s also set to re-examine the appeals process, because, as of now, you can only contest a fireworks citation if you pay the $500 fine first.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[No Homes Threatened by Morgan Hill Brush Blaze: Cal Fire]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:55:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-11-17_Morgan_Hill_Fire1.png

Firefighters are battling a 100-acre wildfire that sparked in Morgan Hill on Friday, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze was first reported at 2:45 p.m. in the area of Hale and Tilton avenues.

According to Cal Fire, as of 4 p.m. the fire is five percent contained. 

Officials said no one has been injured, no structures have been destroyed and no structures are threatened.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority suspended service on Hale Avenue between Live Oak Avenue to Llagas Road because of the fire. Line 68 is being rerouted in both directions.

Further information was not available.

Stay tuned for details on this developing story.

<![CDATA[6 People Charged with Selling Fake Pac-Man Games]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 19:38:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/165*120/GettyImages-162918010.jpg

The owner and five associates of CoinOpStore, a Santa Clara classic arcade machine company, have been charged with making and selling counterfeit video games that include Galaga, Tank Battalion and at least five iterations of Pac-Man, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Between 2014 and 2017, the company sold numerous consoles containing 60 to 3,000 counterfeit arcade games, county prosecutors said.

The owner Chun Chu Chang, 61, along with associates Kingsley Stewart Chang, 29, Bruce Michael Burton, 39, Kung Teh Chang, 59, Ryan Loesch, 45, and 67-year-old James Chian Chen have been charged with 14 counts each of felony counterfeiting. If convicted, they are expected to face prison time.

According to Deputy District Attorney Erica Engin, the proceeds from the illegal arcade machines netted more than $1.2 million in cash, a 2012 Mercedes-Benz, a 2015 BMW and five residential properties subject to forfeiture.

The defendants are scheduled to enter a plea at the Hall of Justice in San Jose on Aug. 21.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Professor Finds 13 Million Year Old Ape Skull]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:28:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/188*120/0809ape4.jpg

After an unsuccessful day of excavation in Northern Kenya, archeologist John Ekusi decided to roll a cigarette. Ekusi’s team shooed him ahead, leading him to stumble on an exceptional find: an ape skull dating back 13 million years.

The fossil was founded by a group led by De Anza College professor Isaiah Nengo. While the head is no larger than a lemon, the knowledge it holds is significant.

According to The Leakey Foundation, the skulls gives insight into what apes and humans may have looked like in the past.

Intense X-rays of the skull showed teeth, a brain cavity and inner ears similar to humans and primates today. Researchers were even able to determine that the ape was just over a year old during the time of its death.

The foundation also stated that, along with being able to assign an age, the teeth revealed that this is a new species.

The skull is the most complete extinct ape skull in the fossil record and named Alesi - based off of the local word for ancestor.

Dr. Nengo told The Leakey Foundation that, “the discovery of Alesi thus helps to confirm that the common ancestor of humans and apes evolved in Africa.”

The scientific journal Nature has published Dr. Nengo’s findings in detail.

<![CDATA[Generator at Marijuana Grow Sparked Loma Fire: Cal Fire]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:19:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16272739889665.jpg

Investigators have determined that the Loma Fire, which burned 28 structures and roughly 4,474 acres in southern Santa Clara County in 2016, was caused by a portable generator at a marijuana grow, according to Cal Fire.

The fire began in the Casa Loma Road area of the Santa Cruz Mountains on Sept. 26, 2016, north of the Santa Cruz County line.

The specific area of origin has been narrowed down, and fire officials said that one of three generators used in a marijuana cultivation operation caused the fire. Law enforcement officials are reportedly still investigating the legality of the grow, according to Cal Fire.

The Loma Fire burned for 16 days until it was contained Oct. 12. At its peak, there were more than 1,950 firefighters battling the blaze with 179 fire engines, 16 helicopters, 6 air tankers, 61 hand crews, 32 bulldozers and 34 water tenders.

Evacuation orders were issued in both Santa Clara and Monterey counties.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Google Continues Property Buying Spree in Downtown San Jose]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:59:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16132525649141-google-generic.jpg

Google is gobbling up properties, rapidly expanding its footprint in the South Bay.

The Mountain View tech giant's development partner, Trammell Crow, has picked up a plot of land behind San Jose's Diridon Station, the Mercury News reported. The latest purchase highlights the idea that the proposed Google village will be transit-oriented.

TC Agoge Associates, a Trammell Crow affiliate, shelled out $3.2 million on Aug. 8 for the parcel at 59 S. Autumn St., right next to the actively used tracks that bring light rails to the station, according to the Mercury News.

However, the land was valued at $88,000 in its most recent assessment, the newspaper said. That means Google handed out about 36 timesthe parcel's assessed price.

The purchase sheds light on the possibility that property values will skyrocket as Google continues to invest in land for Silicon Valley's latest tech campus, which is on track to be double the size of the company's Mountain View headquarters.

San Jose has entered into exclusive talks with Google to sell it about 250 acres of space near Diridon Station.

So far, the tech behemoth and Trammell Crow have spent more than $144 million, snatching up 19 plots of land in the vicinity of the SAP Center, the Mercury News found.

Google says the project will feature roughly eight million square feet of office space and bring as many as 20,000 new jobs to the area around San Jose's Diridon Station. The city hopes the Google village will propel the station toward becoming the Grand Central Station of the west.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Professor Finds 13 Million Year Old Ape Skull]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 08:59:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/161*120/0809ape1.jpgThe fossil was founded by a group led by De Anza College professor Isaiah Nengo

Photo Credit: Isaiah Nengo/ The Leakey Foundation]]>
<![CDATA[Google Cancels 'Town Hall' on Diversity at the Last Minute]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 03:57:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/182*120/GettyImages-474984752.jpg

Google canceled a company town hall on diversity at the last minute Thursday afternoon out of concerns about people's safety, worrying they may be publicly outed for asking a question, according to a Google spokesperson.

The questions that were planned by "Googlers" appeared externally this afternoon and some employees are being named on "some websites," CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email sent to employees.

The tech giant planned the town hall meeting for Thursday following days of scrutiny over a controversial memo on the company’s diversity initiatives written by engineer James Damore.

Pichai was expected to lead the town hall with other members of the company’s leadership.

After the anti-diversity memo was made public, Pichai released a memo of his own on Tuesday addressing the importance of self-expression in the workplace while being aware of the company’s code of conduct.

"To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Pichai said in his memo sent to Google employees.

In the controversial 3,000 word memo written by Damore, the 28-year-old engineer blamed the gender pay gap in the tech industry on biological differences between men and women. He also criticized what he called a politically correct bias in the Google culture.

"People get offended because it goes against the left’s ideology," Damore said during an interview on a conservative talk show on YouTube. “And then they just think, ‘OK, it offends people, therefore it’s wrong and there it’s an opinion."

After the canceled event, Pichai took the opportunity to make a surprise appearance at a women-in-tech awards event later Thursday. He talked directly to dozens of young female engineers from around the world and offered a short but poignant message. 

"There’s a place for you in this industry. There’s a place for you at Google," he said. "Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise."

The event is the culmination of a yearlong global competition for young women to use technology to address a problem. It’s one of several initiatives that Google helps fund in order to diversify its workforce.

It comes as the company conducts damage control over Damore's memo and firing.

"It’s definitely a defining moment for Google, for our culture," said Maggie Johnson, Google vice president of education. "It’s something that we’re working through."

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Two Workers Exposed to Carbon Monoxide at SJC]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:16:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SJC+Construction+Photo.jpg

Two workers at Mineta San Jose International Airport are recovering Thursday from exposure to carbon monoxide.

The pair was using a gas-powered saw in an "interior, lower-level area" of Terminal A, which is far from the boarding gates, airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes wrote in a news release.

They reported headaches, shortness of breath and lightheadedness and were taken to an area hospital as a precaution around 2:10 a.m. The men are expected to be OK, she said.

“San Jose Fire Department’s testing in the area revealed higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide,” Barnes wrote. “Airport staff ventilated the area with fans and fresh air through open doors monitored by security guards.”

The incident occurred when the terminal, used by Jet Blue, Air Canada, American, Delta, United and other airlines, was closed. Passengers will be unaffected, according to Barnes.

Photo Credit: Mineta San Jose International Airport]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Does About-Face on Illegal Fireworks Citations]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 01:01:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+fireworks-0809.jpg

The city of San Jose has done an about-face on its illegal fireworks crackdown after handing out fines that were found to be questionable.

The city came under fire last month for handing out $500 fines to purported violators with no more evidence to go on than a couple of complaints online.

On Wednesday night, NBC Bay Area learned a lawyer representing some of the accused violators received a letter from City Attorney Rick Doyle saying San Jose will dismiss all citations that were based solely on online complaints and will reimburse all $500 fines that already have been paid.

The move comes after two weeks of pressure from frustrated residents and attorney Jim McManis, who said the yellow citations that were issued with little or no investigation by the fire marshal were unfair.

A possible turning point came Tuesday when resident Amy Guzules challenged the City Council.

"Five hundred dollars is not easy to come by in my household," Guzules said during the council meeting.

Mayor Sam Liccardo responded: "Before you are required to pay a fine, I believe the city manager's office will be reaching out to you to resolve this."

The City of San Jose did not immediately respond to NBC Bay Area's requests for comment.

The office of Councilmember Sergio Jimenez confirmed the dismissal of fines.

Jimenez, who met with constituients including Guzules on Saturday morning, said unintended consequences had surfaced in the city's effort to combat rampant illegal fireworks use.

"I recognized that we needed to step back and thoroughly analyze the citation process," he said. "So I'm happy that we're able to dismiss the citation while we find better solutions."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Airplane Hero in Child Sex Abuse Arrests Shares Her Story]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:47:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/832017-sex-crimes-arrests-sjpd.jpg

The mystery airplane passenger who helped police arrest two people suspected of child sex abuse is being hailed as a hero, and now she's recounting the events that put her in a position to earn such praise.

A preschool teacher named Kristina witnessed a man exchanging some alarming text messages on a flight from Seattle to San Jose last week. She asked that her last name not be revealed, for fear of retribution.

Kristina said that when she saw what the couple was planning to do, she had to step in.

"I still get very choked up about it," she said. "It still hits hard."

The memory may still haunt her, but Kristina's teacher training and instincts kicked in on a Southwest flight to San Jose when a man leaned back in his chair and started texting.

The messages he sent, Kristina said, included plans to sexually abuse children.

"I don't know if it was divine intervention or what, but I just saw that, and what I saw unfold was horrifying and decided something had to be done," Kristina said.

Prosecutors say it was 56-year-old Michael Kellar texting with Gail Burnworth. Kristina tried to gather evidence.

"I just started taking pictures, zooming in and taking pictures," she said.

As the plane was about to land at Mineta San Jose International Airport, she made eye contact with a flight attendant.

"She asked if I was OK, and I leaned over and whispered, 'I think there is some sort of pedophile action going on,'" Kristina recalled. "She told me I would be the first off the plane to talk to their special ops person, and I showed him the first text, the second text, and that was enough for him to say we need to tell the authorities here.”

Kellar was taken into custody on the plane, before he could delete the messages. Detectives credit Kristina with being proactive and discreet.

"There's truth in 'If you see something, say something.' It's not a cliche," she said. "Within hours, they were able to get those kids out of that home, and that was the most impactful thing."

Burnworth would be arrested hours later in Tacoma, Washington. If convicted, Burnworth and Kellar each face 15 to 30 years in prison.

Photo Credit: San Jose Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Fired Google Engineer Speaks Out About Anti-Diversity Memo]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:47:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/google+damore-0809.jpg

The former Google employee who generated outrage among his co-workers for a memo criticizing the company's diversity efforts talked publicly about it Wednesday for the first time.

James Damore lost his job after his internal memo was leaked. In the memo, he blamed the gender gap in the tech industry on biological differences between men and women.

Damore, appearing on a conservative talk show on YouTube Wednesday, told host Stefan Molyneux his memo wasn't an opinion but rather based on scientific research. He added that the memo originally was 10 pages and was leaked with much of that scientific data supporting his gender views edited out.

Damore also criticized what he called a politically correct bias in the Google culture.

In his memo, he said among other things women are unsuited to be good engineers because they're more interested in people than ideas.

"People get offended because it goes against the left's ideology," Damore said on the talk show. "And then they just think, 'OK, it offends people, therefore it's wrong and therefore it's an 'opinion.'"

The CEO of Glint, a firm that helps companies increase employee engagement and boost business, disagreed.

"When an employee acts in a way that violates a code of conduct, in a way that creates a hostile environment for its employees, smart companies take action," said Jim Barnett. "And that's what happened here."

Damore has said he plans to sue Google, and he reportedly has received an offer from WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.

Google has called for a company town hall meeting on diversity Thursday.

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[60 Women Consider Suing Google for Sexism, Gender Pay Gap]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:44:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/google21.jpg

More trouble could be headed Google’s way.

Roughly 60 employees, both current and former, are mulling filing a class-action lawsuit, accusing the Mountain View-based tech behemoth of sexism and income inequality, according to the Guardian.

James Finberg, a civil rights attorney handling the possible legal action, said that the women claim to earn significantly less — in terms of salaries, bonuses and stock options — than their male counterparts despite comparable qualifications and jobs.

When men bring in a higher base salary and stock options, "the big initial disparity turns into a larger and larger disparity every year," Finberg said.

Other employees described a "culture that is hostile to women," which impedes their chances for career growth, he told the Guardian.

Google has found itself embroiled in a scandal ever since engineer, James Damore, wrote a memo criticizing the company for pushing mentoring and diversity programs and for "alienating conservatives." The parts that drew the most outrage made such assertions as women "prefer jobs in social and artistic areas" and have a "lower stress tolerance" and "harder time" leading, while more men "may like coding because it requires systemizing."

However, Google's code of conduct says workers "are expected to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias, and unlawful discrimination." CEO Sundar Pichai said Damore, who has since been fired, violated this code.

The fallout comes as Silicon Valley faces a watershed moment over gender and ethnic diversity.

Blamed for years for not hiring enough women and minorities — and not welcoming them once they are hired — tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Uber have promised big changes. These have included diversity and mentoring programs and coding classes for groups underrepresented among the companies' technical and leadership staff. Many tech companies also pledge to interview, though not necessarily hire, minority candidates.

These are the sorts of things Damore's memo railed against.

Initially shared on an internal Google network, the memo leaked out to the public over the weekend, first in bits and pieces and then in its 10-page entirety. It took a life of its own as outsiders weighed in. 

With its motto, "don't be evil," Google is broadly seen as a liberal-leaning company. However, the looming class-action gender lawsuit would add onto a U.S. Department of Labor case that also claims the company has a systemic problem of underpaying women. Labor officials have further criticized Google's strict confidentiality agreements, which they say deter women from reporting the prejudicial treatment they face.

Google denies the allegations, the Guardian reported.

After speaking to half of the 60 women who may be part of the lawsuit, Finberg said gender inequity is apparent at Google.

"They are concerned that women are channeled to levels and positions that pay less than men with similar education and experience," Finberg told the Guardian.

Several women describe earning tens of thousands of dollars less than male colleagues, who are doing the same work. One estimate puts the difference at $40,000, Finberg said.

A woman told Finberg that a man joined her team with a higher salary than what she was being paid — even though she was his supervisor, the Guardian reported.

Half of the women still work for Google while more than a dozen said the rampant discrimination forced them to question their value at the Silicon Valley giant and ultimately led to them resigning.

A woman described leaving Google after being subjected to inappropriate comments about her appearance, while being refused promotions despite her efforts and achievements.

In reference to the group of women who are thinking about the class-action, a Google spokesperson told the Guardian: "Sixty people is a really small sample size. There are always going to be differences in salary based on location, role and performance, but the process is blind to gender."

For his part, Finberg told the Guardian that such a class-action lawsuit could reverberate throughout the tech industry, if the women decide to file. 

"Google is not alone in Silicon Valley," he told the publication. "The goal of the case is to not only get Google to change its practices, but to encourage other Silicon Valley companies to change their pay practices as well."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[DA Dismisses Domestic Violence Case Against Ex-49er]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:37:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0407-2017-TramaineBrock.jpg

Former 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock will not face felony charges of domestic violence, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office said Wednesday.

The case against Brock was dismissed due to insufficient evidence, as the alleged victim declined to cooperate, public communications officer Sean Webby told NBC Sports Bay Area.

The 49ers released Brock on April 7, the day after his arrest. The 49ers are one of several teams that have expressed interest in Brock, according to a league source.

Brock, 28, has played all seven years of his NFL career with the 49ers. He was projected to be a starter again this season before his release. Brock remains a free agent and free to sign with any team. He could, however, still face NFL discipline under the league's policy on persona conduct.

Police responded to the alleged victim's report on April 6 that Brock assaulted her. She told officers that during an argument about what to watch on television, Brock punched her in the face and attempted to strangle her.

Brock also faced a charge of child endangerment and faced five years in prison before the DA's decision to drop the case.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Police Find Guardian of Toddler Found Roaming Alone]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:57:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-9-17-toddler-found-san+jose.jpg

After an hours-long search Wednesday, authorities located a guardian of a toddler who was found roaming alone, muddied and clad only in a diaper, in a San Jose apartment complex earlier in the morning.

A couple found the 2-year-old boy near 4300 The Woods Drive, near Snell Avenue, and called police around 3:30 a.m. They gave the child a sweater to keep warm, according to a security guard, who said that the boy was calling in Spanish for his mother and father. Overall, though, he appeared calm and was able to talk to the guard and couple, police said.

Responding officers took the toddler to a hospital for a medical evaluation. He was then turned over to Child Protective Services, and the police department's Family Violence Unit is investigating the case.

Police were interviewing someone they identified as the boy's guardian Wednesday, but the boy's parents had yet to be located.

San Jose police said they received a call around 9:20 a.m. about a missing child. They didn't confirm, however, the guardian's relationship to the boy. It also remained unclear why it took the guardian so long to realize the boy was missing. 

Police said the guardian does not live at the Woods apartment complex, which means the child may have walked quite a ways from his house.

The couple who found the boy were on their way to work during the overnight hours. They said when they found him, he appeared to be sick, breathing abnormally.

"He was just dirty. His hands were black, his feet were black, his arms were dirty," said Brandon Austin. "You could tell ... he had to have been out here for a while."

Austin's girlfriend, Amanda McGehee, said it appeared the boy wandered from a house in a neighborhood across the street from The Woods complex, which is accessed via Snell Avenue.

Meanwhile, other neighbors were stunned.

"I feel horrible," said Victoria Kirschner, a resident of the complex. "How could a 1- or 2-year-old child get out and the parents not know that the baby’s not with them?"

Lily Tejera was speechless when she heard about the incident.

"It’s scary," she said. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Milpitas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Woman's Idea to Build Affordable Housing for Teachers Denied]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 08:22:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0808-2017-SJHomes.jpg

A San Jose woman left Tuesday’s City Council meeting disappointed after leaders denied her proposal to create affordable housing for teachers.

Sarah Chaffin was willing to give up some of her own property — prime real estate in Willow Glen — to make that happen. But the city turned down the offer, she told NBC Bay Area.

More than 100 people showed up to the City Council meeting, but the hearing was delayed so late into the night that many had to leave before it began, Chaffin told NBC Bay Area. She said also that she was really upset by the outcome and how it was handled and that "City Hall is not open for an average person."

"My model is that the teachers would pay $1,000 a month for rent and $1,000 would go into a savings account and within three years," Chaffin told NBC Bay Area before the meeting. "The teachers would have enough to put down 5 percent on their new house."

If Chaffin's idea been approved, the housing would've been built on a third of an acre of vacant property that she owns. It was envisioned as a pilot project, which she had hoped would serve as a model others could follow to solve the teacher-housing crisis.

But that won't come to pass.

Why? Chaffin's property is not zoned for residential housing.

The San Jose City Council on Tuesday night declined to amend the city's general plan to change the property designation from commercial to residential. 

"That would be detrimental to the city's revenue stream," Counwilwoman Dev Davis said.

Stephanie Palmeri Farias, a principal at Washington Elementary, said she is already losing valuable teachers because they can't afford to live in the area.

"It is a crisis. I truly believe it is," Farias said.

Parents and students spent the Tuesday afternoon making signs for a march from Washington Elementary to City Hall, hoping to get support for teacher housing.

"Every year, more and more teachers are leaving," Chaffin said.

The city, meanwhile, said affordable housing remains one of its top priorities.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[PG&E, Cal/OSHA Investigating Crane Collapse in Campbell ]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:57:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-9-17-crane-lift1.jpg

Workers have pulled a massive crane off a Campbell house where it landed on Tuesday afternoon, leaving behind plenty of damage.

Crews from King Crane, contracted by PG&E, were replacing a power pole in a Sondra Way backyard when it toppled, landing on a residence's roof and a fence just before noon. The crane is a 2011 Link-Belt registered to Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., according to Department of Motor Vehicle records.

No injuries were reported, but PG&E and Cal/OSHA say they will investigate the crane contractor

The crane was extended by an estimated 200 feet when it tipped over. Crews spent more than 12 hours, using two other cranes to upright the one that had collapsed. It was loaded onto a large truck sometime after midnight. 

A number of people who live in surrounding houses had to be evacuated during that removal process. But the scene was close to being cleared Wednesday afternoon.

"Everything's getting back to normal," neighbor Jeff Harrison said. "I feel sorry for the folks across the street; they spent the night at a hotel."

Aerial footage of the scene showed substantial damage to at least one home's roof. PG&E initially said two homes were damaged.

Resident Betsy Perry said her shed was one of two hit by the crane. She heard it come crashing down.

"It didn’t hit the house, but it was a huge boom crashing noise like I had never heard before," she said. "Before it happened, I wasn't concerned at all because they said, 'We do this all the time.'"

PG&E said 26 customers went without power Tuesday afternoon. The power had been shut off before the repair work began, police said. PG&E crews were at the scene Wednesday repairing power lines and working to restore power.

The original job of replacing the power pole was completed Wednesday, PG&E said.

One neighbor who works in construction was puzzled by the move to extend a crane that large through a neighborhood for one power pole.

"It was overextended," resident John Franks said. "You can only reach so far with a crane, and if the weight shifted the wrong way, it's going to go down."

Police and investigators were uncertain of what caused the crane to topple and said the incident is being investigated. Cal/OSHA officials said Wednesday it could take 3-4 months to sort it all out.

King Crane, based in San Jose, did not respond to requests for comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Proposal Aims to Solve San Jose's Teacher-Housing Crisis]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:17:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0808-2017-SJHomes.jpg

How do you attract good teachers to a place where the cost of living makes it virtually impossible to find a home?

That's the question many school administrators in the Bay Area are faced with each day. A South Bay property owner said she has a solution and wants to build cheap housing for teachers on her own land in San Jose. But the city is saying no.

"My model is that the teachers would pay $1,000 a month for rent and $1,000 would go into a savings account and within three years," said Sarah Chaffin, the property owner with the proposal. 'The teachers would have enough to put down 5 percent on their new house."

But there's a catch. Right now the property is not zoned for residential housing.

The San Jose City Council on Tuesday night are scheduled to amend the city's general plan to change the property designation from commercial to residential. The vote is expected to be a resounding "no."

"That would be detrimental to the city's revenue stream," Counwilwoman Dev Davis said.

Stephanie Palmeri Farias, a principal at Washington Elementary, said she is already losing valuable teachers because they can't afford to live in the area.

"It is a crisis. I truly believe it is," Farias said.

Parents and students spent the Tuesday afternoon making signs for a march from Washington Elementary to City Hall, hoping to get support for teacher housing.

"Every year, more and more teachers are leaving," Chaffin said.

Chaffin said her proposal would be a pilot project. She hopes it could serve as a model others could follow to solve the teacher-housing crisis.

The city, meanwhile, said affordable housing remains one of its top priorities.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate 2 Deaths in Santa Clara as Murder-Suicide]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 23:36:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sc+murder-suicide-0808.jpg

Police on Tuesday responded to a home in Santa Clara where an elderly couple was found dead, according to the Santa Clara Police Department.

Officers responded to the 2200 block of Homestead Road around noon and saw what appeared to be two dead persons through the window of a home, police said. Officers made entry and confirmed the deaths.

The deaths, by fatal gunshot wounds, are being investigated as a murder-suicide, police said.

The initial report drew a heavy police response, including a SWAT team and armored vehicle, before police were able to determine the husband and wife were by themselves in the home and there was no danger to the public. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Crane Falls, Damaging Two Campbell Homes]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 23:46:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/892017-CRANECRASH.jpg

A crane being used to repair a power pole in Campbell fell on a house's roof and a fence on Sondra Way, police said Tuesday afternoon.

No injuries were reported when the crane came down just before noon. The crane was being used by a PG&E subcontractor making repairs to a power pole on Sondra Way, PG&E said. 

Aerial footage of the scene showed substantial damage to at least one home's roof. PG&E said two homes were damaged. It was not immediately known if anyone was inside the structures when the crane fell.

Resident Betsy Perry said her shed was one of two hit by the crane. She heard it come crashing down.

"It didn’t hit the house, but it was a huge boom crashing noise like I had never heard before," she said. "Before it happened, I wasn't concerned at all because they said we do this all the time."

PG&E said 26 customers went without power Tuesday afternoon. The power had been shut off before the repair work began, police said. PG&E crews were at the scene working to restore power.

Crews from King Crane, contracted by PG&E, were replacing a power pole in a backyard when the crane toppled. The crane is a 2011 Link-Belt registered to Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., according to Department of Motor Vehicle records.

One neighbor who works in construction was puzzled by the move to extend a crane that large through a neighborhood for one power pole.

"It was overextended," resident John Franks said. "You can only reach so far with a crane, and if the weight shifted the wrong way, it's going to go down."

Late Tuesday night, crews were still trying to remove the crane that's estimated to be about 200 feet long. They said it could take until midnight.

Police were uncertain of what caused the crane to topple and said the incident is being investigated. King Crane did not respond to requests for comment.

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

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

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

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

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

Summary of Monday Crimes:

Report No. 1: Grand Theft — MacArthur Station

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

Report No. 2: Auto Theft — Pittsburg Station

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

Report No. 3: Robbery  Montgomery Station

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

Report No. 4: Auto Burglary  Coliseum Station

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

Report No. 5: Grand Theft  San Leandro Station

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

Report No. 6: Petty Theft  Pleasant Hill Station

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

Report No. 7: Petty Theft  South Hayward Station

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

Report No. 8: Petty Theft  West Oakland Station

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

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

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Liquor Store Owner Killed During Apparent Robbery Attempt]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 09:06:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-8-17_SJ_Homicide1.jpg

A memorial is growing outside an East San Jose liquor store whose owner was shot dead by an apparent robbery suspect who is still at large, according to police and the victim's brother.

Hieu "Charlie" Ly, who is the father of four sons, was with his wife at the store located along the 2800 block of Quimby Road when he was confronted by the suspect and shot just before 11 p.m., according to police and the victim's brother, Hao Ly.

"He's a good man," Hao Ly said about his brother, holding back tears.

Hieu Ly had just finished eating dinner and was resting on the floor of the store, which he has owned for at least 10 years, when the gun-toting, mask-wearing suspect walked in and demanded money, according to the victim's brother. 

When Hieu Ly heard the suspect's demands, he stood up and refused to hand over any money, according to his brother. The suspect proceeded to shoot Hieu Ly in the chest, in front of his wife.

"My brother, he said, 'No," said Hao Ly. "He stand up and he said, 'No,' and the guy shot him in the chest."

Responding officers found Hieu Ly suffering from at least one gunshot wound, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbor Lesley Davis wasn't surprised to hear that Hieu Ly resisted. 

"(He was) not going to back down at all and when I heard he wasn't going to open the register, I said, 'Yep, that's Pops,'" Davis said. "That's the way he would be."

Pointing to a so-called "Wall of Shame" that Hieu Ly had created, Davis called the man "tough as nails" despite being the "littlest thing in the world." 

"When you stole out of the store, he would put your picture up here and you weren't allowed back into the store," Davis said.

Others in the neighborhood are also mourning Hieu Ly's death.

"It's a big loss for the community," said neighbor Sukh Ber Singh. "He was well known with a lot of people around here and he was a respected man."

Police said they have yet to locate the suspect at this time. A motive for the shooting is not yet known, according to police.

An investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, Hao Ly
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<![CDATA[Police Seek Additional Victims in San Jose Sexual Assault]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:10:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ezequiel+Dureo-Carvajal-0807.jpg

A man posing as a doctor who was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault last month may have victimized several more women, according to the San Jose Police Department's Sexual Assaults Investigation Unit.

Ezequiel Dureo-Carvajal represented himself as a doctor and conducted unlicensed medical examinations on a female victim on July 15, police said. He was arrested July 28 at his place of business, Iridologia Farmacia, on West Alma Avenue in San Jose.

Dureo-Carvajal was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on one felony count of sexual battery, one misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy and one misdemeanor count of unauthorized practice of medicine, police said.

Investigators on Monday said they believe Dureo-Carvajal may have victimized more women.

Anyone with information about the incident or similar incidents should contact Detective Jaime Alfaro of the San Jose Police Department's Sexual Assaults Investigation Unit at (408) 277-4102. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may either call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line, (408) 947-STOP (7867).

Photo Credit: San Jose PD]]>
<![CDATA[Dead Bird in Santa Clara County Tests Positive for West Nile]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 21:32:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Mosquitoes_Test_Positive_for_West_Nile_Virus.jpg

Santa Clara County Vector Control District officials said Monday that the first instance of West Nile virus in the county this year has been reported after a dead crow found in the city of Santa Clara tested positive for the virus.

According to the district, crews will begin trapping adult mosquitoes in the area where the virus was discovered and will have results early next week.

"This year, we're having a calm West Nile virus season," District Manager Nayer Zahiri said in a statement.

The county and state are enjoying a low-activity season with the virus, as statewide only 115 dead birds are confirmed to have the virus as opposed to 718 at the same time last year, according to the district.

West Nile virus causes mild to severe flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, neurological symptoms and death. The elderly and those with weak immune systems are the most vulnerable to the virus.

No human cases or positive mosquitoes have been discovered in Santa Clara County this year.

The district is asking residents who find fresh bird carcasses to contact the California West Nile virus hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD.

<![CDATA[SJ Continues Search for Solution to Growing Homeless Problem]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 18:44:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0807-2017-DelinaGarcia.jpg

The City of San Jose will soon start addressing a slew of proposals to deal with its growing homeless population.

City officials and community agencies are scrambling each day to find housing for moms and pregnant women, adding they are unable to keep up with the demand.

"I'm not in this situation because I'm not working or anything else, it's just because there's not enough laws to protect renters," San Jose-resident Delina Garcia said. "And there's not enough affordable housing."

Garcia has a job and a car. She also has a 5-year-old daughter, Sarah, and can't find a place to rent. The two on Monday visited City Hall to meet with housing officials to try to get help.

Many non-profit organizations said there is a waiting list for families growing by about 10 per week.

"I've been calling the shelters trying to get in for about three weeks," Garcia said. She was told the shelters have "limited resources."

Shaunn Cartwright with the South Bay Tenants Union said Garcia's experience is something that is becoming common.

"It's fairly typical because we have a lot of women who are not finding places in shelters, whether it's because they're pregnant or because they have children," Cartwright said. "There are not enough shelter beds and not enough vouchers."

The homeless advocacy group "In Their Shoes" recently found a place for Garcia and her daughter to stay for a few days.

Council members are scheduled to address homeless issues, including shelters, on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Cruz Welcomes New Police Chief]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:58:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+car+lights+night.jpg

Santa Cruz on Monday will welcome a new police chief. The city's new leader, Andrew Mills, comes from the Eureka Police Department. The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. at city hall.]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara County to Hire Transgender Services Manager]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 00:27:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-87182699-generic-rainbowflag.jpg

Santa Clara County officials on Friday announced the county is expanding services to the transgender community with the hiring of a Transgender Services Program Manager.

"While the current administration in Washington appears to be committed to turning back the clock for transgender people and the larger LGBTQ community, here in Santa Clara County, we are moving forward," Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager said in a statement.

The program manager will serve as a key trainer, mediator and facilitator for the transgender community in areas such as medical care, employment, mental health services and safety and inclusion in local schools, hospitals, housing and at the county's correctional facilities, officials said.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved funding for the position as part of the fiscal 2018 budget.

The county's Employee Services Agency will be accepting applications for the position until Aug. 30.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Uppercut RF file]]>
<![CDATA[Fireworks Trigger Brush Blaze Behind Homes in San Jose]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 23:02:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-5-17_SJ_Fire.jpg

Fireworks sparked a brush fire in San Jose's Evergreen neighborhood Saturday night, according to fire officials.

Initial calls about a fire burning along a hillside behind homes near Indigo Oak Lane and Astin Canyon Court were fielded just after 9 p.m., San Jose Fire Department Capt. Brad Cloutier said.

The blaze did ignite close to a number of homes, but it burned uphill away from those residences, Cloutier said. No structures were damaged, and no one was injured by the blaze.

The fire was knocked down roughly 45 minutes after fire crews arrived, Cloutier said.

The San Jose Police Department is investigating the people who were lighting off the fireworks, according to Cloutier.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Gilroy Officers Wobble, Win at National Night Out Dance-Off]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 13:54:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WOBBLE.PNG

Gilroy police officers wobbled their way to a dance-off victory Tuesday.

Community members called on law enforcement officers from Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies to display their moves at a National Night Out hosted in downtown Gilroy.

The friendly competition featured members of the sheriff, district attorney and probation offices.

Gilroy's officers initially weren't too keen on dancing, police admitted to NBC Bay Area, but then they decided to go for it.

Six officers — three men and three women — watched the video of V.I.C.'s hit song, "Wobble," on Monday and got together to practice for 15 minutes before Tuesday's event. And they won!

Their routine, which included some popular salsa moves, earned the loudest cheers from the community.

Gilroy police Chief Scot Smithee described how his officers practiced their dance in oppressive 100-degree weather.

"I see these guys out there jumping all around and I think, 'What the heck are they doing?'" Smithee said. "Anyway, now I know what they were doing and I thought they did a great job."

Police also stressed that the officers didn't use any taxpayer money for the time they spent practicing or performing. 

Gilroy's officers take the stage at about 4:24 in the video below:

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[All-Gender Restrooms Coming to SJUSD Schools]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 19:02:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0804-2017-AllGenderBathrrom.jpg

One of the largest school districts in California plans to put in all-gender bathrooms at all of its campuses.

The movement began San Jose Unified School District's Lincoln High School more than a year ago. The district now said it is time for the rest of its schools to catch up.

"I just hope that all school districts would be as open as San Jose Unified is in making sure they have gender neutral bathrooms for students to be able to use," said Ken Yeager, a Santa Clara County supervisor.

Yeager has been a champion of the LGBT community and he applauds the move.

Students said there have been no issues since all-gender restrooms went up at Lincoln High School.

"I go into the all-gender bathrooms and every time I go in there's boys and girls, sort of like it's always been happening," student Camillo Cervantes said.

A sign on every bathroom alerts students to text any complaints to the administration.

"If students see inappropriate behavior or bullying or harassing comments in any bathroom, they can report it via text," Lincoln High Principal Matt Hewitson said.

Hewitson said said there have been zero complaints so far.

The district's goal is to have gender-neutral restrooms on every campus by the end of the calendar year.

The only cost for the change is signage -- no remodeling is needed in the all-gender restrooms. Lincoln High also still has a few boys-only and girls-only facilities.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara County Fair Opens, Assures Safe Rides]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 23:37:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/08-03-2017-carnival-rides.jpg

It may not draw the big crowds it used to, but the Santa Clara County Fair is trying to make a comeback, luring peope of all ages to have a good time. Recent accidents at rides in Ohio and Ventura County may have some people nervous, but the fair assured people it's safe to come and ride. Scott Budman reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Acknowledges 'Problems' with $500 Fireworks Fine]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:42:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fireworks+Generic+County+of+San+Diego.JPG

The dispute is simple.

“I think the city really should back off,” San Jose-resident Amy Guzules said.

Several South San Jose residents are frustrated because they were each fined $500 for using fireworks even though they say no one in authority confronted them with the accusation.

No police officers, no code enforcement officers, and no one else from the city.

“Not one,” resident Daniel Alvord said.

So, why did the city mail these bright yellow citations here? Someone complained online -- perhaps anonymously.

The city collected fireworks complaints via an Internet form. By phone, Fire Marshal Ivan Lee told us he doesn’t have the manpower to investigate every online accusation, so if one address got more than one complaint he fined them – without any investigation.

“As Lee said, if there’s more than one complaint, they don’t need any evidence to make you guilty of the crime,” Alvord explained.


We reviewed the city’s full database of fireworks complaints. Some included video or photo evidence -- and triggered a fine. Others included detailed statements -- and triggered a fine. But several lacked detail -- yet still triggered a fine.

For example, five accusers didn’t give an address, just a block. The city issued a citation anyway. The city hasn't explained how it chose the address.

Two complaints included just one word, yet resulted in fines. In one the complaint simply said “fireworks.” The city says some accusers might have gotten follow-up phone calls, but it’s not clear how many.

The complaint that caused Guzules’ fine contains three words: “several high fireworks.”

We asked her when she last had set off fireworks.

“Oh gosh, I haven’t touched fireworks in probably 30 years,” she said – and chuckled.

Guzules’ citation doesn’t lay out any evidence against her. She says the fire marshal told her more than one report against an address triggered a $500 fine.

“I am automatically guilty and they keep the $500,” she said.

We found Guzules' address in the complaint database only once. So, we want to know why she was cited. But the city refused to address individual cases with us. It says people like Guzules will just have to pay the $500 fine and request a hearing to see the evidence.


David Levine, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law expressed concerns.  

“I think they ought to talk to some lawyers about the validity of that system,” he said.

Levine says limited city resources do not justify shortcuts like accepting two complaints as gospel and not contacting the accused.

“Make some attempt to talk to the person who was allegedly using the fireworks or was permitting fireworks to be on their premises,” he said. “At least do that. A few phone calls are not that expensive. They’re not time consuming.”


San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle acknowledged potential missteps. He told us over the phone that the city is re-evaluating how fireworks complaints are handled.

“There may be some problems with some of these citations,” he said.

Doyle said the issue is front and center, and “I think there are some lessons to be learned.”

We’re told a report is coming. But, in the meantime, residents are still required to pay the $500 fine before they can challenge the citation.

“You can’t prove a negative,” Guzules said, exasperated. “I can’t prove I didn’t set off any fireworks.”

This is not the first time the city of San Jose has faced scrutiny for streamlining law enforcement. Trial attorney Jim McManis filed a class-action lawsuit against the City of San Jose about 10 years ago after it deployed unmarked vans to snap photos of suspected speeders -- who later got tickets in the mail. The case did not go to trial, but the city did halt the program.

McManis seems similarities in the streamline fireworks fines.

“This is just another gimmick on the part of the city of San Jose to raise money,” he said. McManis sees similarities in today’s fireworks fines. “If you’re going to do this, you’ve got to do it right. You’ve got to respect the basic principles of our democracy, which is you should be able to know who your accusers are, what is the nature of the accusation, and be able to have a hearing in front of an impartial officer and not have to pay an arm and a leg for it.”  


The people who contacted us about their $500 fireworks fines are urging the San Jose city council to address their concerns at its next meeting, August 8. Guzules is especially eager. Her fine is due five days later.

Nothing is on the agenda as of yet.

One final note: the online form that started all this is no longer taking complaints. It’s closed. A city spokesperson says staff had previously planned to shut it down after the Fourth of July.

Photo Credit: County of San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Rash of Burglaries Has San Jose Neighborhood on Edge]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 21:56:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wg+burglaries-0803.jpg

People in what has long been considered one of San Jose’s safest neighborhoods say they’re now sleeping with one eye open.

Burglars have been descending on an area along the outskirts of Willow Glen, and in at least one case in the early morning hours, a homeowner said would-be thieves knocked on the window of his young daughter.

That family wasn't the only one victimized in the neighborhood. Others say it's been a couple of sleepless nights.

"I went to sleep, and my truck wasn’t there," resident Greg Baker said. "It was locked. I woke up about 4:30."

A jaguar also was stolen from the neighborhood around the same time.

Grainy surveillance video from Baker's neighbor shows what is believed to be a car driven by the suspects. Neighbors say they're looking out for each other, and the area is plastered with warning signs.

"We’re on Nextdoor, so everybody is conversing with each other, and a lot of people are home and just kind of watching out for each other," neighbor Kristin Calhoun said. "Best you can do."

Baker added: "It's scary to think that this neighborhood is like this. I’ve lived here 22 years, and the last 4-5 years, its been crazy."

Police responded almost immediately early Wednesday morning, and neighbors said they’ve noticed increased patrols. They said they’ll be ready in case the burglars return.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJPD Arrests Man For Allegedly Texting About Molesting Kids]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 23:03:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/832017-sex-crimes-arrests-sjpd.jpg

A sharp-eyed airline passenger spotted a Tacoma man texting about sexually assaulting children, leading officers in San Jose to arrest him and his partner and find two young victims, authorities said Thursday.

Police said they arrested Michael Kellar at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Monday after a flight from Seattle. 

The woman passenger was able to read and photograph what the 56-year-old suspect was writing because of how he was holding his smartphone on which he was using an enlarged font, according to the San Jose Police Department. The passenger notified the flight crew of Kellar's texts about sexually molesting children.

When the plane touched down, a crew member contacted a San Jose police officer stationed at the airport. Kellar was detained by the police department's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and agents with the San Francisco division of the FBI also responded.

"The conversations were very particular in regards to sex acts that were to be performed on ... children," San Jose police Sgt. Brian Spears said of the "disturbing" text messages.

He continued: "Some of the sex acts talked about not only molesting children, but performing beastiality."

An investigation led police to a female suspect, Gail Burnworth, of Tacoma, who was exchanging the illicit texts with Kellar. The 50-year-old was arrested by a Seattle-based Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and FBI division.

Police also located two children, ages 5 and 7, who were identified as victims and placed in protective custody. Burnworth, a childcare provider for the two kids, was involved in "some type of dating relationship" with Kellar, Spears said.

Spears described the female passenger as an "early childhood educator" in the Seattle area. "In my eyes, she is our hero," he said, because she prevented a "catastrophic" and "horrific" event, which had already been planned. 

"If it wasn't for that young lady's actions, another sexual assault would have occurred," Spears said.  

Kellar has been booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on two counts of felony attempted child molestation and two counts of felony solicitation of a sex crime.

Burnworth was booked into the Pierce County Jail in Washington state for felony sexual exploitation of a minor, felony rape of a child in the first degree and felony dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. 

People with information about the case are asked to call Detective Nick Jourdenais and Sgt. Brian Spears at 408-537-1397. Anonymous tips can be left at 408-947-7867.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: San Jose Police Department
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<![CDATA[Pedestrian at Bus Stop Severely Injured in San Jose Crash]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:16:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+crash-0802.jpg

A man was clinging to life late Wednesday night after he was struck by a vehicle while waiting at a bus stop in San Jose, police said.

The crash reportedly involved at least two vehicles, possibly three, traveling south on Merdian Avenue, near Curtner Avenue, during the evening commute. Witnesses say the white car and a black car, and possibly a third car, made contact. The white car hit the man at the bus stop and a tree before stopping, police said.

The pedestrian was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. The driver also was injured and taken to a hospital.

Resident Nicky Sawhny said he heard a big thud and came outside to find four men climbing out of the smashed vehicle.

"They all crawled out," he said. "I don't know how they got out of the car. Look at it from all sides. Impossible they came out."

People who live at the busy intersection said collisions are common there. Mike Morris said he has a brick wall around his front yard to keep cars out of it.

"The previous owner built the wall because of cars in the yard," he said. "We've twice had the wall damaged. It cost $15,000."

Police were still at the scene late Wednesday night, trying to piece together what happened. The intersection of Meridian and Curtner remained shut down late Wednesday night as police investigated.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Dispensary Becoming the Amazon of Pot Shopping]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:05:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/haze-sj-0802.jpg

The marijuana business is going high-tech, with online shopping and delivery straight to your home.

It works with food, books and electronics. So why not weed? One South Bay dispensary is about to flip the switch.

Haze dispensary in San Jose says it's launching both online orders and a delivery service, both of which, according to business experts, will go a long way toward legitimizing the business.

Pending police approval, Haze will soon be delivering marijuana to its customers by car. The company also just rolled out a way to shop online, with the goal of making shopping easier.

"If you're somebody with mobility issues, it can be a really big challenge to drive down here, park, get out of your wheelchair and then come in," said Robert Cortese, IT director for Haze.

Ben Larson, co-founder of Gateway, an Oakland-based cannabis incubator, said digitizing the business is a no-brainer.

"We're all used to a digital experience these days," Larson said. "For businesses, the key to success these days, especially in tech, is removing the barriers to entry for customers."

Haze says it has to get its delivery cars approved by the San Jose Police Department.

It expects that approval to come Thursday, and then they can start deliveries in a week.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cal/OSHA OKs Reopening 3 Fire Ball Rides After Ohio Crash]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 17:23:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-27-17-fireballride1.jpg

California officials on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to reopen three Fire Ball rides, including the one at California's Great America in Santa Clara, nearly a week after a deadly accident on the same ride at the Ohio state fair.

Fire Ball rides at six California amusement parks were voluntarily halted last week

As of this week, though, Delirium at California’s Great America, La Revolución at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park and Beach Blaster at Belmont Park in San Diego have successfully passed inspections. Three others, including the one in Santa Cruz, are still closed. It remains unclear when they will be back up and running.

Cal/OSHA released a statement, which said in part: "The Revolution type rides are similar to but designed differently than the ride that malfunctioned in Ohio. Cal/OSHA’s Amusement Ride and Tramway Unit reviewed non-destructive testing results conducted by the ride owners today and determined that the rides can open again and operate safely."

Last Wednesday, at least one person was killed and seven others injured after the swinging and spinning amusement park ride broke apart, hurling people through the air at the Ohio state fair.

The horrific accident prompted Cal/OSHA’s Amusement Ride and Tramway Unit to contact amusement park owners and ask them to close the rides, pending word from the manufacturers, KMG or Chance Morgan, Inc./ Chance Rides, Inc., or after a ride inspection by Cal/OSHA.

Dramatic video captured by a bystander shows the ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum and spinning in the air before part of it snaps, flinging riders to the ground.

In a statement, the Ohio State Fair said: "Our hearts are heavy for the families of those in last night's tragic accident." 

Officials with the Santa Cruz Boardwalk said they closed down the ride out of an abundance of caution.

However, there are key differences between the Santa Cruz ride and the one in Ohio, according to Boardwalk spokesman Kris Reyes. The Fire Ball at the Ohio State Fair is portable, which means it can be taken apart and moved from one event to the next.

"Our ride is a fixed ride, a permanent amusement ride," Reyes said. "It’s inspected daily as state mandated. California has some of the most stringent ride safety rules in the world."

On its website, Amusements of America says that since its debut in 2002, the Fire Ball has become "one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway." The company description of the ride says it swings riders 40 feet above the midway while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute.

Fire Ball rides are located at six parks across the state, including:

• Orange County Fair owned and operated by Ray Cammack Shows (portable ride)

• Cal Expo State Fair owned and operated by Butler Amusements (portable ride)

• Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

• California’s Great America in Santa Clara

• Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park

• Belmont Park in San Diego

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Bob Redell/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Art Studio Owner Attempted to Create Child Porn: Police]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 19:20:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/El_Verde_Nguyen.jpg

A San Jose art studio owner has been arrested for attempting to manufacture child pornography using hidden camera footage captured inside the facility's bathroom, according to police. 

El Verde Nguyen, 34, of San Jose has been booked into the Santa Clara County Jail after investigators found that a child under the age of 10 was photographed inside the bathroom of the Enlightenment Studio, which is listed as Nguyen's place of business, according to police.

The San Jose Police Department was initially notified about Nguyen's suspected acts on Sunday, according to police. The following day, detectives with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force examined the studio and found a "small recording device" in the studio's bathroom.

Police said an anonymous person turned in a digital card reportedly from the camera revealing at least one image of a child under 10 years old.

"Our biggest concern was to make sure we eliminate that particular threat to children," Sgt. Brian Spears said.

The FBI has been alerted to the case and will continued to examine the recording device, according to police.

Investigators said they are concerned about all the different activities conducted by Nguyen involving young children -- many posted on his Instagram account.

A message posted on the studio's website on Monday indicated that the police department was conducting an investigation "regarding activit(ies) that happened on the premises of the studio." The studio announced that it was cooperating with the investigation, according to the message.

The Enlightenment Studio, which is located at 438 Toyon Ave., is billed as a place where people can receive instruction and tutoring for academics, music, painting, drawing, graphic design and other art-related activities.

A neighboring store owner defended Nguyen and said his grandson has been tutored at the studio for years.

But one woman who inquired at the studio about music lessons was skeptical.

"I just got a weird feeling and I left right away," San Jose-resident Cruz Hernandez-Samaro said. "I just didn't feel really right."

Anyone with additional information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Christian Mendoza at 408-537-1397.

Photo Credit: San Jose Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Sweltering Temperatures Blanket Most of Bay Area]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 10:38:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/07-29-2015-heat-sun-weather-generic-1.JPG

Sizzling temperatures will return to several locations across the Bay Area Wednesday as the region welcomes an uncommon threat: thunderstorms.

An area of monsoonal moisture will move into the southern portion of the Bay Area by the end of Wednesday, packing a chance of thunderstorms and dry lightning strikes. The system will also make for above-average humidity.

Hot temperatures in the inland valleys and locations above 750 feet have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a heat advisory through 9 p.m. Thursday.

Livermore on Wednesday is expected to top the charts at 103 degrees, Concord is forecasted to settle around 102 degrees and Antioch should peak around 101 degrees.

Moving west, Oakland is slated to hover around 80 degrees while San Francisco will max out around 75 degrees.

Areas in and around San Jose as well as locations in the North Bay will flirt with temperatures in the mid-90s.

For those looking for heat relief, the coast is the place to be. Half Moon Bay will peak around 66 degrees while Santa Cruz will enjoy temperatures in the high-70s.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Los Gatos Town Council Approves North 40 Development Plan]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 08:28:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Los_Gatos_Town_Council_Approves_North_40_Development_Plan.jpg

A controversial development plan received the green light from the Los Gatos Town Council Tuesday night. Originally the town denied the plans for the North 40 development, but that decision was overruled by a superior court judge. Last night, phase one of the plan was approved. It proposes 320 homes and more than 66,000 square feet of commercial space. The Mercury News reported that a senior housing quality remains a hot topic issue.]]>
<![CDATA[Police Seek Woman in Attempted Murder, Robbery in San Jose]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:45:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+stabbing-0801.jpg

San Jose police released the photo of a woman suspected of attempted murder and armed robbery as they try to identify and locate her, police said Tuesday.

The woman allegedly stabbed a man at least once on July 21 at 2:26 a.m. at a home in the 800 block of Redbird Drive.

The victim, a Mercury News employee, suffered injuries not considered life-threatening, according to police.

Police are describing the woman as being between 18 and 26 years old, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds with a medium complexion and long dark hair. She was wearing a red tank top, gray sweater and black pants.

Police said the bicycle in the photo has been found.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call San Jose police Detective Chris Bielecki at (408) 277-4166. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-7867.

Photo Credit: San Jose PD]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion Sighting Reported in Los Gatos]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:51:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-492765171.jpg

A mountain lion sighting was reported in Los Gatos on Tuesday, according to the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department.

The sighting occurred on the west side of the Los Gatos Creek, north of Charter Oaks Circle, police said. A citizen reported the sighting, and responding officers saw a non-distressed mountain lion seated inside a large water drain culvert, along the east embankment of the creek, police said.

The animal was last seen running east inside the culvert pipe, which has numerous outlets at various drainage points in the county, police said.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife was notified and will work with the Police Department to help ensure the safety of the area, police said.

Police recommended that the public stay clear of the area.

Wildlife officials say mountain lion attacks on humans are rare, but there are steps people can take to ensure their safety:

  • Do not hike, bike or jog alone.
  • Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active – dawn, dusk and at night.
  • Keep a close watch on small children.
  • Do not approach a mountain lion.
  • If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.
  • If attacked, fight back.
  • If a mountain lion attacks a person, call 911. 

Photo Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Video Shows Cop Point Gun at Passenger During Traffic Stop]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:52:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0801-2017-CampbellVidStill.jpg

A viral video has Campbell police trying to explain the actions of one of their motorcycle officers.

The video posted on Facebook shows a police stop on Highway 101, where the officer kept his gun pointed at a car's passenger for more than five minutes. The passenger repeatedly shows him he has no weapon and berates the officer for pointing a gun at an unarmed man.

Police said the driver was pulled over for going 85 miles per hour. Police claim after the two in the car provided requested paperwork and the officer was walking back to his bike, the routine stop turned into a threat.

The officer said the passenger reached under his seat, which prompted him to draw his gun.

Campbell police said the exchange lasted nine minutes because back up officers were not close by and may have been delayed by heavy traffic.

Until back up arrives, officers are taught to keep their weapons drawn in threatening situation.

"It was out of the ordinary for the passenger to reach down there," said. "And based on training, the officer made the decision to pull out his gun and wait for back up.

Critics note that the incident happened on northbound 101 near the Bailey exit and outside of the officer's usual jurisdiction.

Several police watch dog groups said the video clearly shows an officer in the wrong, adding there was no clear reason to use such aggressive tactics for so long.

Campbell police have reviewed the officer's bodycam footage, which they said provides a much clearer story. Police refused to release the officer's bodycam footage on Tuesday.

Ultimately, no one was injured in the confrontation and the driver and passenger were released with a speeding citation.

NBC Bay Area on Tuesday was unable to reach the person who posted the video to Facebook.

<![CDATA[Hall & Oates, Tears For Fears Concert in SJ Rescheduled]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:28:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tears-hall-0801.jpg

A postponed concert featuring Daryl Hall and John Oates and Tears For Fears at SAP Center in San Jose has been rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 17, arena management said Tuesday.

The show, originally scheduled for July 25, was postponed in the eleventh hour due to a Tears For Fears family emergency. No details about the emergency were provided.

The bands also rescheduled dates in Los Angeles originally scheduled for July 28-29. Those shows will take place Sept. 14-15 at Staples Center.

The San Jose show will be the bands' U.S. tour finale.

All tickets for the original dates will be honored on the new dates, and those not able to attend on the new dates will be eligible for refunds, according to Sharks Sports and Entertainment, the operators of SAP Center.

Photo Credit: Getty Images photos]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Man to Spend Six Months Jail For Selling Unsafe Pesticide]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 12:19:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Jail-Generic-Photo1.jpg

A San Jose man was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail for selling a cockroach and bedbug pesticide he claimed to be safe to use inside homes, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.

According to the district attorney's office, Julio Pino Reyes, 46, sold a dangerous pesticide that he re-bottled and re-sold to people with a claim that it could kill cockroaches and bedbugs. Three people, including two small children, went to a hospital after being exposed to it.

"Pesticides are poisons with a purpose," Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Bud Porter said in a statement. "They should not be sold out of the back of a pickup truck."

Exposure to the pesticide can cause nausea, shaking, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and confusion.

The powder was sold at flea markets, through Facebook and OfferUp ads, in addition to print ads in a Spanish-language magazine. Prosecutors said that tests showed a high concentration of acephate, which isn't approved for in-door residential use.

The Santa Clara County Division of Agriculture alerted the district attorney's office to the sale of the powder.

In addition to the jail sentence, Reyes was also placed on three years' probation, ordered to pay $9,000 in lab costs and $4,000 in victim restitution.

Anyone with questions about the safe use of pesticides is asked to call the California Department of Pesticide Regulation at (916) 445-4300 or can email them at cdprweb@cdr.ca.gov.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Advisory in Effect in Parts of Bay Area]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:51:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/072617+heat+generic+hot+weather+generic.jpg

Temperatures in the inland parts and higher elevations of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas will be much hotter than usual Tuesday and Wednesday, National Weather Service officials said.

A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday for higher elevations such as the North Bay mountains, mainly around Lake Berryessa, the East Bay hills and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Weather service officials may issue a heat advisory for inland locations in the two areas if forecasted temperatures rise slightly.

A heat advisory means dangerous temperatures are expected, potentially causing heat-related illnesses.

In inland areas and those at high elevations, temperatures are expected to reach 100 to 105 degrees with some areas approaching 110 degrees.

In Concord on Tuesday, De La Salle band members and football players had abbreviated practices in the sweltering heat as the school's athletic trainer closely monitored both groups.

"We have water coolers out here," trainer Doug Bauman said. "There's water on each field."

Band members took frequent breaks and moved much of their practice into the shade. The football team also made modifications.

"We won't have equipment on today," Bauman said. "Sometimes it's a matter of taking off equipment to allow bodies to cool a little better. Sometimes it's a matter of changing when (what time) practice is."

Meanwhile, weather service officials urge residents to look inside their cars before locking them to be sure no pets or children have been left behind.

Temperatures near the coast will be more seasonal and above-average elsewhere. While it may be cooler at the coast, visitors should check for any beach hazards that could make visiting beaches risky.

Weather service officials said prolonged exposure to high temperatures increases the chance that people, especially those with respiratory conditions, will suffer heat-related illnesses.

Also, pets and livestock may need extra care during the hot weather. The chance of wildfires is also higher, according to the weather service.

During the heat, residents and visitors are encouraged to drink enough fluids, stay in air conditioning, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.

On Tuesday, several community centers in San Jose offered extended hours to help residents beat the heat.

The community centers, spread across the city, will all be open until 9 p.m. City officials said that the centers act as cooling centers when temperatures reach or exceed 97 degrees.

The locations are Bascom Community Center at 1000 S. Bascom Ave., Camden Community Center at 3369 Union Ave., Mayfair Community Center at 2039 Kammerer Ave., Roosevelt Community Center at 901 E. Santa Clara St. and the Seventrees Community Center at 3590 Cas Drive.

The city of San Ramon also released locations and hours for cooling centers this week:

Tuesday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library noon-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Wednesday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-7 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library noon-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Thursday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-8 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-9 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5:30 pm; Dougherty Station Library 10 am-8 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-8 pm.

Friday: San Ramon Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Alcosta Senior and Community Center 8:30 am-7 pm; Dougherty Station Community Center 8:30 am-5 pm; Dougherty Station Library 10 am-5 pm; San Ramon Library 10 am-5 pm.

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[San Pablo Woman Found Asleep With Baby in Hot Car]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:48:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-GettyImages-141810855.jpg

A 25-year-old San Pablo woman was arrested after she was found asleep in a hot car with her 2-month-old daughter inside on state Highway 17 in San Jose on Monday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Arianna Rolling was arrested after a Freeway Service Patrol tow truck operator found her asleep in a vehicle on the right shoulder of northbound Highway 17 south of Interstate Highway 280, according to the CHP.

The tow truck operator called the CHP and an officer arrived to find the infant asleep but "panting" in 90-plus degree heat, CHP officials said.

The baby was taken by ambulance to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and is currently doing well. Rolling was arrested at 4:39 p.m. and booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, obstructing a peace officer and child endangermentaccording to the CHP.

According to jail booking logs, she will be arraigned on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Crews Battle Brush Fire in South San Jose]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 23:33:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj-fire+2-0731.jpg

Fire crews knocked down a brush fire Monday evening on Communications Hill, near Curtner Avenue and Monterey Road in South San Jose, according to the San Jose Fire Department.

Firefighters were battling the blaze from the ground and air. It started a little before 7 p.m. and spread to 10 acres before crews had it contained, San Jose fire Chief Curtis Jacobson said. No structrures were threatened.

Cal Fire was on the scene assisting with the firefight with water and retardant drops, Jacobson said. 

It was not clear what caused the blaze to ignite, but Jacobson said it doesn't appear to be suspicious.

No further details were available.

Photo Credit: @ngphotog/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Welcome National Night Out]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 06:07:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cms890.jpg

Neighborhoods are ready. It's National Night Out.

Police in cities and towns across the Bay Area are hosting National Night Out celebrations Tuesday evening to help residents become more aware of how they can prevent crime and drug use.

From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in San Jose, residents will gather with police in their neighborhoods to get to know each other.

A host of events are scheduled such as potlucks, barbeques and even large block parties.

San Francisco police will host several events around the city for National Night Out, with food, arts and crafts and entertainment. Times and locations of the events can be found online.

Also in San Francisco, the public defender's office is hosting two Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities events aimed at catching children before they fall through the social services gap, spokeswoman Tamara Barak Aparton said.

The public defender's office has formed MAGIC programs in the Bayview-Hunters Point and Western Addition neighborhoods, where many residents are underserved.

"Those are the two neighborhoods that we specifically set out to serve because they are the most underserved and most in need of resources," Aparton said.

"We recognize that the best way to prevent crime is to provide underserved communities and families with resources relating to health, education and recreation and that's why we formed our MAGIC programs," she said.

Elsewhere, local law enforcement agencies and neighbors in Martinez have organized a third annual Alhambra Valley National Night Out at the Alhambra Christmas Tree Farm at 2647 Reliez Valley Road from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Neighbors can dance to live rockabilly music, savor barbeque and indulge in ice cream from the Boy Scouts of America.

In Concord, National Night Out will be celebrated from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Concord Library at 2900 Salvio St., where there will be activities for children and adults such as K-9 demonstrations, face painting and a bike rodeo.

Rohnert Park public safety officers will host National Night Out activities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Center Plaza at 475 City Center Drive.

Residents can eat, get public safety information, see emergency vehicles and win prizes.

A detailed list of National Night Out events around the Bay Area is listed below: 

North Bay:

Sebastopol Fire Department BBQ: 220 S. Main St., Sebastopol

Rohnert Park City Center Plaza: 475 City Center Dr., Rohnert Park

Petaluma Target Parking Lot: 401 Kenilworth Dr., Petaluma

San Francisco:

Ella Hill Hutch Community Center: 1050 McCallister St., San Francisco

Bayview Opera House: 4705 Third St., San Francisco


Grundy Park: 586 Cherry Ave., San Bruno

East Bay:

Alhambra Christmas Tree Farm: 2647 Reliez Valley Rd., Martinez

Concord Library: 2900 Salvio St., Concord

Martinez Block Party: 600 block of Main Street, Martinez

St. John's Catholic Church: 264 E. Lewelling Blvd., San Lorenzo

South Bay:

Downtown Gilroy: Fifth Street between Eigleberry Street and Monterey Road, Gilroy

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Spare the Air Alert Issued For Bay Area Tuesday]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 05:52:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bay+smog-0622.jpg

A Spare the Air Alert has been issued for Tuesday in the Bay Area because of an excessive amount of smog expected in the region, air quality officials said.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert, the sixth for smog in 2017, because of a forecast of light winds and triple-digit inland temperatures.

A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday for higher elevations such as the North Bay mountains, mainly around Lake Berryessa, the East Bay hills and Santa Cruz Mountains.

In areas well inland and high elevations, temperatures are expected to reach 100 to 105 degrees with some areas approaching 110 degrees.

Air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement that more alerts are possible this week "due to tailpipe exhaust from the 5 million cars on Bay Area roads each day combined with hot temperatures."

During Spare the Air days, air quality officials advise people to limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day and to take public transit or carpool instead of driving alone. If possible, people are also asked to work from home.

Aside from trying to keep the air as clean as possible, officials are also asking people to reduce their energy usage.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company recommends that residents wash clothes in cold water, unplug electronics that are not in use, avoid using ovens, dim the brightness on televisions and use compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs in order to save energy. 

Temperatures near the coast will be more seasonal and above-average elsewhere. While it may be cooler at the coast, visitors should check for any beach hazards that could make visiting beaches risky.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area file]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Police Department Begins Rebuilding Its Force]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 19:32:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjpd+rebuild-0731.jpg

After years of losing officers within the ranks because of low pay and pension benefits, the San Jose Police Department says it has turned the corner and is rebuilding its force.

Department officials point to large academy classes and the potential return of officers who previously walked away in frustration.

Officer Kyle Burchfiel, who came from the Palo Alto Police Department, was sworn in Monday by San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia. Burchfiel is one of several police veterans who are now saying they want to be a part of the San Jose force.

Surrounded by family and friends, Burchfiel made the jump official.

"Congratulations. You are a San Jose police officer," Garcia said after the swearing in ceremony at police headquarters.

The event marked a turning point for the department. For years, Garcia spent much of his time reading resignation letters, one after the other, as dozens of officers retired early or left the force because of pay and pension cuts. Now, he said, they’re starting to come back.

"We’re not a desperate department any more," Garcia said.

The two current SJPD academy classes are the largest in years, with 20 cadets in the first class, due to graduate in two weeks, and 54 in the second class. Plus, this year, 17 police officers applied to return or transfer to San Jose, compared to just one the past two years, Garcia said.

The chief credits those who stayed on the force when the future looked bleak.

"The officers who sacrificed and stayed here did not allow the department to crumble," he said. "I owe them. This community owes them everything."

Burchfiel said, in his eyes, the San Jose badge never lost its shine, even during tough times.

"It's still a great department, and I can’t wait to start working here," said Burchfiel, who hits the streets for his first shift Sunday morning.

San Jose officers received a 10 percent pay raise on July 1 and a bonus on Jan. 1. But Garcia said there's still a lot of work to do to get the department where it needs to be.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New Service Allows SJ Residents to Report, Track Complaints]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 18:03:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/city-view-with-phone.jpg

San Jose on Monday officially launched a new service that allows residents to use a few clicks to report cases of graffiti, potholes, illegal dumping, abandoned cars or streetlight outages to the city.

Using the app or an online form, residents can take advantage of the "My San Jose" service to report those specific problems to the city and track the status of their request, according to the city.

"With the launch of the My San Jose app, it’s now even easier for San Jose residents to serve as our eyes on the streets and help us build a cleaner and more vibrant city," Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. "This app not only provides the kind of on-demand, seamless customer experience that our residents have come to expect, it will help us deliver services more cost-effectively and serve as a building block for a more robust and sophisticated tool in the years to come."

Interested residents are encouraged to create an account in order to submit specific requests, according to the city. Residents are allowed to remain anonymous, but having an account allows for broader features and personalized service.

Once a request is submitted, it will be categorized and dished out to the appropriate city crew responsible for tackling such a task.

Requests are made visible on a map for all residents to see and keep track of. When a request is resolved, residents have the option of being alerted via a notification.

According to the request tracking platform, thousands of requests have already been made since the beginning of May. Roughly 4,600 requests have been closed, 1,600 are in progress of being fixed and 1,700 remain open.

As of Monday, only five specific requests can be made. There is a "General Request" feature for any other issues that concern residents. Additional types of requests will be made available down the road.

Photo Credit: SanJoseCa.gov]]>
<![CDATA[Morgan Hill Man Arrested for Trying to Have Sex With Teen]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:28:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-31-17-toledo-suspect.jpg

Investigators on Thursday arrested a 42-year-old Morgan Hill man for attempting to have sex with a minor.

Officials with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force utilized an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl on the internet to nab Jose Francisco Toledo, who has since been booked on felony violations, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Nearly two weeks before the arrest, Toledo first made contact with the undercover officer, according to the district attorney's office. He requested that the girl send him nude images before later asking that she meet him for sex.

The two agreed to meet on Thursday at Hidden Lakes Park, which is located on the border of Martinez and Pleasant Hill, according to the district attorney's office. Toledo was promptly arrested.

A search of Toledo's car found candy that the man had promised the girl and condoms, according to the district attorney's office.

Toledo was booked for attempting to have lewd acts with a child under the age of 13 and enticing a minor to meet for sex, according to the district attorney's office. His bail has been set at $2.5 million.

Toledo is slated to make his first court appearance in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Monday.

Photo Credit: Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Hazardous Weather Expected Across Bay Area]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:36:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Trees_Heat_Generic.jpg

The National Weather Service Sunday issued a hazardous weather outlook for early this week and midweek for portions of the Bay Area.

Weather officials said the threat of heat-related illnesses will increase today and especially Tuesday and Wednesday, with the danger greater for elderly and at-risk populations, as well as those engaging in outdoor activities.

Residents are urged not to leave people or pets in a parked vehicle for any reason, for any length of time, weather officials said.

The officials also noted that increased fire weather concerns are also likely as a result of hot and dry conditions.

Temperatures in the North Bay will range from the 90s to the low 100s in interior valleys and the 60s to the low 70s at the coast, weather officials said.

In the East Bay, temperatures in the valleys will range from the 90s to the low 100s, while temperatures will be in the 70s to the low 80s along the bay.

Temperatures will generally be in the upper 70s in San Francisco and in the 60s along the Peninsula coast.

In the South Bay, temperatures will be in the 90s in the valleys and in the 80s along the bay, weather officials said.

In the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas, temperatures will reach the 90s inland and the 60s and 70s on the coast.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Watchdog Group to File Complaint Against Google]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:43:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-4862340082.jpg

A watchdog group on Monday is expected to file a legal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Google over a new program that links customers' web activity to in-store purchases.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is asking for a full investigation into the tech giant's Store Sales Measurement program, which aims to show advertisers that clicks online do lead to purchases at brick-and-mortar stores.

According to EPIC's complaint, Google’s consumer profiling technology can allegedly track 70 percent of all credit and debit card transactions in the U.S. without revealing how they got the information.

The group alleges Google is also putting shoppers' personal information — including product searches, location searches and payment information — at risk of hacks by not revealing what encryption it's using to protect the data from breaches.

Critics worry that the personal information could end up in the wrong hands. But Google argues that the program helps prove the effectiveness of online ads. The Mountain View-based company adds that it does not share or give a third party company access to customers' information and that customers can opt out of the program.

The complaint accuses Google of failing to provide customers with a reasonable way to opt out, calling the process "burdensome, opaque and misleading."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Car Smashes Into Los Gatos Cafe's Downtown Location]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 21:52:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-30-17_Los_Gatos_Cafe_Crash.jpg

A car slammed into the Los Gatos Cafe's downtown location Sunday, busting the building's front door and forcing the popular establishment to close.

The collision occurred just after 2 a.m. in the front of the business, which is located at 340 N. Santa Cruz Avenue in the South Bay City.

Footage of the aftermath captured the restaurant's front door caved in, damage to the building's front facade and police conducting an investigation, which included examining a red SUV involved in the crash that suffered damage near its front right wheel.

Despite the damage, the owners of the cafe appear to have a sense of humor. A sign posted on the boarded-up front door read "Somebody mistook us for a 24-hour drive-thru restaurant." 

Los Gatos Cafe, which is a popular brunch spot, was forced to close following the crash, much to the chagrin of weekend regulars.

"Many people are disappointed when they come up and read the sign saying that they're closed," Richard Hanke, the co-owner of a business next door to Los Gatos Cafe, said. "Hopefully they will reopen shortly once they repair the damage."

The eatery is known for serving breakfast and lunch on a daily basis, and eager eaters sometimes wait more than one hour on weekends to grab a table. Hanke noted that the time of the crash likely saved lives.

"Everyone is really surprised and I guess all thankful that it didn't happen when normally there's 50 people standing out here," he said.

The driver was taken to the hospital, but it is not clear what were injuries were.

It is not clear at this time what caused the crash.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Cities Fall Short on Best Places to Rent List]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:40:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/GettyImages-678975.jpg

When it comes to renting a home, the Bay Area does not appear to be the ideal place to poke around.

That's because multiple Bay Area cities ended up ranked in the bottom half of WalletHub's "Best and Worst Places to Rent" list, which analyzed 150 of the largest rental markets in the United States.

The Bay Area city deemed to be the best place to purchase a rental was San Francisco, according to WalletHub. The city by the bay, which was ranked No. 70 on the list, was followed by San Jose (No. 73), Santa Rosa (No. 75), Fremont (No. 76) and Oakland (No. 148).

For those looking for the optimal location when it comes to renting, the desert seems to be the place to be. Four cities in Arizona — highlighted by Scottsdale, Ariz. at No. 1 — topped the charts as the best places to rent, according to WalletHub. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Cleveland, Ohio was determined to be the worst place to rent, according to WalletHub.

WalletHub's analysis examined rental market and affordability factors such as cost of living, size of rentals, historical changes in rental pricing and forecasted pricing changes, among several others. The study also took into account quality of life factors such as job opportunities in an area, weather and neighborhood safety.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Crash Blocks Lanes of Highway 101 in San Jose]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 09:19:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-30-17_SJ_Crash.jpg

All lanes of southbound U.S. Highway 101 at Metcalf Road in San Jose reopened late Sunday morning following a deadly crash, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

All but one lane had been closed as police investigated a collision in which at least one person died, according to CHP officials.

The collision was first reported at 5:48 a.m. near the PG&E transmission substation at 150 Metcalf Road.

The collision involved at least three vehicles, and one vehicle caught fire. At least one person has died, CHP officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend Temps Could Ail Those With Respiratory Conditions]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 08:36:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Heat_Generic_Hot_car.jpg

High temperatures predicted for this weekend could make breathing more difficult for people with respiratory issues, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said Friday.

Studies show that very high temperatures can make it harder to breathe for people with conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart problems, especially children and the elderly.

Officials have not issued a "Spare the Air" alert for poor air quality, but those with known respiratory conditions should try to stay in cooler locations, drink plenty of water, avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day and keep inhalers and medications handy at all times.

Residents who wish to be notified when a Spare the Air alert is in effect can sign up at www.sparetheair.org or call (800) HELP-AIR. Residents can also download a Spare the Air app or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Bicyclist Struck, Killed by VTA Train in San Jose]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 19:11:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vtaax.jpg

A bicyclist on Saturday was killed in a fatal crash with a VTA train in San Jose.

The collision occurred at 4:30 p.m. at Parkmoor Avenue and Race Street near Interstate 280, according to VTA spokeswoman, Brandi Childress.

The Santa Clara County coroner's office on Sunday identified the victim as 26-year-old Paul Candelaria. The victim's city of residence was not provided. 

VTA said in a statement that service on the Winchester - Mountain View light rail line had been disrupted. A bus bridge was set up to transport passengers between the Fruitdale and San Fernando stations.

Further details were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Companies Say Apple Removed Their Privacy Apps From China]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 16:59:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/generic_iphone_pic1200x675.jpg

China appears to have succeeded in eliminating software programs that enable its people to view an uncensored internet.

Companies that let people avoid the government filters said Saturday that their programs have been removed from Apple's app store in China.

ExpressVPN, one of the companies, posted on its corporate site a message from Apple saying that its program was illegal in China. The British Virgin Islands-based software company says that all major virtual-private network apps were removed from the Apple app store in China. ExpressVPN claimed Apple was "aiding China's censorship effort."

Star VPN, another company, said it also received notice of being removed.

Apple said in a statement that China began requiring this year that developers of virtual-private networks have a government license. The Califronia-based tech giant said it had removed apps "in China that do not meet the new regulations."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Sentenced to Federal Prison For Sick Heiress Con]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 09:54:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Courtroom-Generic.jpg

A California man who conned investors out of some $8 million by claiming they'd earn money by helping care for a terminally ill heiress has been sentenced to federal prison.

The Mercury News says 76-year-old Laurence Miles got a nine-year sentence Wednesday in a San Jose courtroom.

Authorities say the British expatriate told victims he was trustee for the estate of a terminally ill heiress named Shirley. Miles claimed Shirley would inherit billions if she survived through a probate proceeding and the investors would receive $1,000 for every dollar they contributed to her care.

But there was no heiress.

Prosecutors say Miles and four others spent the money on themselves.

Miles pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering. His co-defendants await sentencing.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image of a courtroom]]>
<![CDATA[Milpitas PD Launches Homicide Investigation After Body Found]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 20:19:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N5P+MILPITAS+BODY+FOUND+VO+-+000021271.jpg

Milpitas police are investigating the death of a man who was found early Saturday on Winsor Street.

Officers and fire personnel responding to medical aid call located the body just before 1 a.m. 

When asked if the man had been discovered inside or outside the building, Lt. Raj Maharaj said only that the police department is working on leads. Police have since revealed that the victim was a 54-year-old Milpitas resident, who has not yet been identified.

Chris Ayala, who lives in a trailer nearby and was questioned by police, told NBC Bay Area that someone called 911 and said they had come across a body. 

The man said he may have slept through a fight, but doubts that a gun was involved. The windows to his trailer were open, he said, and he heard nothing until officers arrived at the scene.

Although he said he didn't know anything about Saturday's death, Ayala wasn't surprised that there had been trouble.

"It honestly doesn't surprise me," he said. "There's always fights" outside bars in the area.

Further details were not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[The Proper Cup Offers Caffeine, Art and Charity in San Jose]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 23:55:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nbclogocoffeefoam.JPG

A San Jose cafe is doling out cups of coffee – with a twist – for charity.

The Proper Cup servces specialized art in the foam on top of its lattes. Customers can choose from a number of designs – or they can bring their own.

The fee for the art work is 75 cents and that money goes to charity.

“We’re aligning ourselves with different charities and making sure people know that as they’re supporting us, they’re supporting the community,” said the coffee shop’s owner, Dean Sherrell.

For now, the Proper Cup’s donations are benefiting the Palo Alto Firefighters Association.

Sherrell will choose another charity, once the cafe has reached a goal of $1,500.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Help NBC Bay Area, Telemundo 48 in Supporting our Schools]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 19:49:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bags11.jpg

All too often, children don’t have the school supplies — pens, paper, notebooks and more — that they need to succeed in school. Teachers struggle to fill the gap without the resources they need.

So this July, NBC Bay Area, Telemundo Area de la Bahia, and other NBC- and Telemundo-owned television stations across the country began an initiative called Supporting Our Schools.

We partnered with several nonprofits, including Family Giving Tree, Communities in Schools, DonorsChoose.org, United Way, and Boys & Girls Club, in an effort to help those in need with school supplies for the upcoming academic year.

Volunteers on Saturday helped to fill backpacks at the Family Giving Tree warehouse in Sunnyvale. 

"I think this is a pretty big production," said Emily Chang.

People began to file into the warehouse around sunrise. A generous spirit trumped sleep on Saturday and the event was soon packed.

"I’m here because I’m trying to help others in need," said Cee Cee Camper.

The charities involved have a lofty goal: to collect 40,000 backpacks, according to Larry Loper of the Family Giving Tree.

But as impressive as that number might sound, it represents only a fraction of the need.

"It’s probably about 10 percent of the need in the Bay Area," Loper said.

Nonetheless, the volunteers were confident that their contribution of stuffing pencils, paper and more into backpacks will make a difference when children return to school.

"We want to help them and we want to show that we care for them," Camper said.

Students on the assembly line seemed especially aware that the next person to touch these backpacks might be their very own classmates.

"I think they’re going to be really happy because they can’t afford this," Chang said. "(There) are a lot of school supplies, and they’re going to think someone else loves them."

Through Saturday, people were also able to drop off donations at select Boys & Girls Clubs in the Bay Area or make donations online at FamilyGivingTree.org.

Photo Credit: Sara Bueno/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[SJ Takes on Gang Violence as Trump Rails on MS-13 'Animals']]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 19:03:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-824003792.jpg

The violent MS-13 gang has kicked the tire in San Jose, in an effort to set up shop in the South Bay, but has so far been unsuccessful.

Leaders credit a slew of intervention programs for keeping one of the United States’ most ruthless gangs away from their city.

On Friday, in front of law enforcement officers in Long Island, President Donald Trump used blunt terms to describe how the MS-13 gang members, known for torturing victims to get their way, should be treated.

“These animals, and when you see them, they're thrown into the backs of paddy wagons,” Trump said. “Throw them in. I said, ‘Please don't be too nice.’”

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in El Salvador, talking about dismantling MS-13 in its home base.

“It’s extremely scary,” said Mario Maciel, who heads San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s Gang Task Force.

Maciel just returned from Central America, where he gave workshops on how his hometown is fighting gangs.

“Those young men are lacking a lot of hope for their futures and there's nothing more dangerous than individuals who have no hope for their future,” Maciel said. “They're willing to do the most atrocious things.”

To combat that trend, a group of San Jose teens on Friday graduated from a summer work program that aims to keep them off the streets.

“Anything you do on the streets can get you in trouble – even the smallest thing you can think of,” said one of the graduates, identified as Jarenny.

It is such efforts that can deter potential gang members from lives of crime, said Maciel.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Memorial Hockey Game Held For SJ Teen Killed 2 Years Ago]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/keil+death-0727.jpg

Family, friends and teammates of a young man killed two years ago outside his San Jose home gathered Thursday night for a memorial roller hockey game.

Christopher Keil, 19, was gunned down while standing in front of a neighbor's home on Sunbeam Circle on the night of July 25, 2015. Police said two men drove up, got out of a vehicle and opened fire.

Police on Wednesday released a suveillance photo of a white Honda sedan they say is a suspect vehicle. They’ve also released a sketch of the suspected shooter and a description of the driver. Both men are believed to be about 18 to 20 years old.

Keil was an avid hockey player, so Thursday night's game took on special significance.

CK Chippy is an adult roller hockey team named after Keil. The players are his high school friends.

"This was his favorite thing to do," said Mark Keil, Christopher's father. "So doing this with his friends makes me feel good. It would make him feel good."

Keil's family and friends hope someone recognizes the person in sketch and the car and calls police.

"Our neighborhood is very small, there’s only one entrance in, same exit out," said Julie Priest Keil, Christopher's mother. "So it’s pretty impossible for nobody to have seen an entrance or exit this vehicle."

<![CDATA[Violent Solo Crash in SJ Captured on Surveillance Video]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 23:44:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+crash+cam.jpg

Home surveillance video captured a horrific crash in San Jose, and residents are saying the type of street racing that caused it is a problem in the neighborhood.

In the video, a Ford Mustang is seen barreling around the corner then smashing into a power pole, the wires dangling onto the street below.

It happened just outside Shaneel Sharma's house, near Willard Avenue and Scott Street in late June, and his security camera captured it all.

"It seems like he was trying to drift around the corner and just lost control," Sharma said. "It happens quite often."

He and his neighbors say speeding and street racing happen far too frequently, especially at night and on the weekends. They're looking to police to do something about it.

"In terms of property damage, we've had quite a few cars damaged on this street," Sharma said. "We've had other signs taken out over the past few months; I've seen it myself."

The Mustang's driver appeared unharmed. It's unclear whether he was cited.

Neighbors say drivers typically ignore signs warning them not to use Scott as a shortcut.

"They come bursting down like 40 miles an hour, which is really bad," neighbor Armando Ledezma said. "There's kids in the park here."

Sharma wants more police presence in the area, "making sure people slow down" and hopefully preventing another crash like the one outside his home.

"We've had people hit in the streets," he said. "So we need to make sure everybody's safe."

Photo Credit: Shaneel Sharma]]>
<![CDATA[13-Year-Old Girl Hit and Killed by Car in Sunnyvale]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:17:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance_generic2shotTele.jpg

A 13-year-old girl died Thursday after a car struck her in Sunnyvale, according to Department of Public Safety officials.

At 12:14 p.m., someone flagged down an officer saying that a crash involving a pedestrian had just occurred on Fremont Avenue west of Manet Drive.

The pedestrian, a juvenile, was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her identity has not been released.

The driver of the car that struck her remained at the scene and was cooperating with the investigation. It does not appear as if drugs or alcohol were involved, public safety officials said.

The crash closed a portion of Fremont Avenue, but the street was reopened at about 3 p.m.

The crash remains under ingestion, and anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Investigator Dzanh Le at (408) 730-7109.

<![CDATA[Community Wins Fight Against San Jose's Homeless Site Plan]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 01:03:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+homeless-0727.jpg

A San Jose neighborhood that banded together in opposition of a city proposal to house the homeless at a nearby park has emerged victorious.

Neighbors of Thousand Oaks Park in South San Jose fought against a city proposal to locate a temporary homeless community in a vacant part of the park. Their loud protests were heard, and now they say they're relieved that the city has backed off the plan.

The move was part of a citywide effort to house the homeless in each council district.

Councilman Don Rocha, who represents the Thousand Oaks Park area, said when the city chose the site, it could have better handled communication with the surrounding community.

Now, city officials are adding new criteria to where they’ll locate the temporary homeless communities, requiring a 100-foot cushion from parks and residences.

"We’re still going to go forward, looking for sites for this particular use. But we’re learning as we go," Rocha said. "This is pretty new for the city of San Jose."

The sensitive issue also is affecting other San Jose neighborhoods and residents. Emily Reginelli just found out a small plot of land across the street from her home near Willow Glen is on the original list.

"I have four little kids, all under 6, and I think that’s a terrible idea because it makes me concerned for their safety," Reginelli said.

The new criteria, however, may have spared Reginelli and her neighbors a fight with City Hall because the plot of land is within 100 feet of homes.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose to Examine How Fireworks Fines Are Levied]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:44:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SJ+Fireworks+Folo+-+00011422.jpg

Several San Jose residents say the city's fire department too loosely hands out hefty fines for setting off fireworks.

They asked NBC Bay Area Responds to help them contest the system that issues fines — sometimes with little or no evidence.

The residents say they were mailed $500 citations without anyone visiting them to verify the allegation.

“Not a single one,” said Garrison Circle resident Daniel Alvord. “No one at all.”

These citations originated online. The city lets anyone report fireworks violations, anonymously, using an internet page.

By phone last week, Fire Marshal Ivan Lee told NBC Bay Area that some complaints might contain evidence like video or photos. But others can be pure hearsay.

Several Garrison Circle residents — who all received citations that they dispute — said the fire marshal told them the same thing.

“As Lee said, if there’s more than one complaint, they don’t need any evidence to make you guilty of the crime,” Alvord said.

We took the residents’ concerns to City Hall.

“I don’t like hearsay being used,” said councilmember Johnny Khamis.

Khamis said he voted to ratchet up San Jose’s fireworks enforcement because the city sometimes looks like “a war zone.” But said that he did not intend for people to be fined based on hearsay alone.

“The council intended to have evidence-based citations,” he said.

So, what happened? Gray area.

The city’s fireworks ordinance doesn’t specifically lay out how reports should be handled or standards for when the fire marshal should issue a $500 citation.

“It’s the way he interpreted what we said,” Khamis said.

We asked Khamis if the fire marshal properly interpreted the code.

“It’s difficult,” he said. “People may have different interpretations. What I would recommend in the future is that they look at more picture or video based evidence and then send it with the citation itself as proof.”

Lee declined NBC Bay Area's request for interview.

Instead, the city’s spokesperson told us each citation based on hearsay is “evaluated” by staff. We asked what that evaluation entails.

“I can’t really speak to that,” said spokesperson Cheryl Wessling.

We asked again: What did the city do in between receiving the complaint and sending the citation?

She replied, “I’m going to tell you one more time: I can’t exactly answer that question.”

But, last week, Lee did.

He told NBC Bay Area that all he needed to issue a $500 citation was more than one report — even if it’s just hearsay — pointing to one address.

“So, we’ll have to go back and verify that with the fire marshal,” Wessling said. "I can’t say how many times that happened or even if that happened at all.”

Wessling said that scenario was possible. We then asked if it was fair.

“We’re going to ask that question, certainly, as we evaluate the process,” she said.

NBC Bay Area has asked to see the full database of complaints.

For now, San Jose officials are only sharing that there were 1,055 online submissions and 45 citations issued. They did not specify how many were based on hearsay alone.

The residents of Garrison Circle are frustrated with the process. They’re now required to pay to $500 fine up front, then contest the citation at a hearing.

“It’s infuriating,” said resident Amy Guzules. “I’m trying to find out if anything can be done before I get down into the hearing and find myself guilty of something I that didn’t do, my $500 is gone, and I have no recourse."

Khamis said emergency relief for those $500 fines is possible.

That topic, as well as a discussion about how to tweak the fireworks law are expected during the City Council’s meeting on Aug. 8.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Ordered to Pay $506M in Wisconsin Patent Infringement]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:28:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/apple-mac-generic.jpg

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge has ordered computer-maker Apple Inc. to pay more than $506 million in a patent infringement case brought by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation after the two sides agreed on final damages.

A jury in 2015 found Apple infringed on a patent held by the foundation, which supports research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The patent involves chip technology developed at the university. The technology was used in processors installed by Apple in a number of products.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that last month, U.S. District Judge William Conley upheld a $234 million damage award made by the jury. He ordered the foundation and Apple to work on a final figure based on the number of units sold that contained the technology.

Cupertino, California-based Apple has appealed the jury’s findings.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP file]]>
<![CDATA[Google Doles Out $820 Million For 52 Sunnyvale Properties]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 23:59:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-508003271.jpg

Google has snatched up 52 Sunnyvale properties, shelling out a whopping $820 million on the acquisitions.

The buildings, which were bought from real estate company CBRE, are located roughly four miles south of the tech giant's Mountain View headquarters, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. A real estate brokerage silently collected the properties on Google's behalf, the report said.

In recent years, Google has leased or bought a slew of smaller campuses in Sunnyvale and the company's new properties fill in the gaps between them, the Business Journal said.

The company highlighted its need for room to grow by reporting on Monday that it has more than 72,000 employees, CNBC said.

Once the ongoing purchases have been buttoned up, Google's workforce will be scattered from San Francisco to San Jose. That sets the company apart from rivals, including Apple and Facebook, whose workers are clustered closer together.

In keeping with its plans for expansion, Google in June also won exclusive rights to negotiate with San Jose leaders about a new development that will span roughly 8 million square feet around the Diridon Station. Google partnered with real estate giant Trammell Crow for that project, and has already spent more than $100 million on land in the South Bay city. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Cruz Boardwalk Closes Ride After Deadly Ohio Incident]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:33:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/7-27-17-fireball+ride.jpg

The Fire Ball ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was shut down late Wednesday night hours after a deadly incident involving the same ride at the Ohio State Fair.

One person died and seven were injured Wednesday when the Fire Ball broke apart and hurled riders through the air on opening day of the Ohio State Fair.

Officials with the Santa Cruz Boardwalk said they closed down the ride out of an abundance of caution, and after a morning inpection, it likely will reopen Thursday.

Boardwalk spokesman Kris Reyes said officials were planning to inspect the ride Wednesday night, but darkness made it more difficult. So the park will inspect the ride Thursday morning in addition to the usual daily check. 

There are key differences between the Santa Cruz ride and the one in Ohio, according to Reyes. The Fire Ball at the Ohio State Fair is portable, which means it can be taken apart and moved from one event to the next.

"Our ride is a fixed ride, a permanent amusement ride," Reyes said. "It’s inspected daily as state mandated. California has some of the most stringent ride safety rules in the world."

Operators at the boardwalk also plan to talk with the manufacturer to see if there’s any special adjustments they need to make after the horrific accident in Ohio.

On its website, Amusements of America says that since its debut in 2002, the Fire Ball has become "one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway." The company description of the ride says it swings riders 40 feet above the midway while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute.

The man who was killed was one of several people who were thrown when the ride malfunctioned, a Columbus, Ohio, fire official said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Bob Redell/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2-Alarm Structure Fire in East San Jose]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 21:27:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NBC+Bay+Area+Breaking+News+Image27.png

Firefighters late Wednesday are battling a two-alarm structure fire on McKee Road, near Highway 101 in East San Jose.

No other information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[Sex Discrimination Cases at Silicon Valley Tech Companies]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:13:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ellen-Pao-Tech-Harassment-AP_998998012528.jpg

Add Binary Capital venture capital firm co-founder Justin Calbeck to a growing list of executives and companies in Silicon Valley faced with sexual discrimination charges. 

Caldbeck, who recently apologized for using his position for sexual gain, resigned shortly after six women came forward detailing explicit late-night text messages, groping and unwanted sexual advances.

The announcement came just after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned following an investigation into gender discrimination at his company as well.

Here are some other high-profile cases that attracted national attention and prompted changes at Silicon Valley tech companies:

Pao v. Byers, November of 2011 to February of 2015

In a three-year legal battle, Reddit CEO Ellen Pao sued her former employer and lost. The high-profile case drew national attention when Pao sought $16 million in damages against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Following her loss, Pao may have been on the hook for $1 million in legal costs if she didn’t drop the case.

Hong v. Facebook and Huang v. Twitter, March of 2015

Shortly after the Pao verdict, two other gender discrimination lawsuits followed. Chia Hong sued Facebook following a data analysis she did concluding that code created by female employees was rejected more frequently than code written by their male colleagues, but the company refuted the basis of Hong's allegation.

Twitter engineer Tina Huang also filed a lawsuit in March recounting a history of bypassing qualified women for promotions. Twitter denied the allegations and published new diversity initiatives shortly after.

Moussouris v. Microsoft, September of 2015

Katie Moussouris' suit on behalf of "all current and former female technical professionals employed by Microsoft in the U.S." argued that Microsoft's evaluation process discriminated against women, resulting in women being promoted less frequently and paid less than their male colleagues. Microsoft responded that it tried to maintain "a workplace where all employees have the chance to succeed." The court has dismissed Microsoft's request to dismiss the claims on two occasions last year, and the lawsuit is ongoing.

Ard  v. Yahoo and Anderson v. Yahoo, October of 2016

On the flip side, Yahoo's focus on elevating and hiring more women landed them in the hot seat for gender discrimination as well. The company was involved in two separate lawsuits by former male employees, Scott Ard and Greg Anderson. The pair argued that higher-ranking female executives showed bias to female employees in the annual review and hiring process.

Justice Dept. v. Oracle, January of 2017

At the start of 2017, the Department of Labor announced it would sue Oracle, because it found a pay gap by gender and race. Oracle called the lawsuit "politically motivated, based on false allegations and wholly without merit."

Essay: "Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber," February of 2017

While it wasn't a lawsuit, a blog post penned by Uber engineer Susan Fowler generated a massive audience and sparked an internal investigation by Uber and another by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Uber fired at least 20 people during the investigation into Fowler’s claims and CEO Travis Kalanick resigned in June.

Labor Department v. Google, April of 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor sued Google for "extreme" gender pay discrimination while the tech giant argued it found no gender pay gap in its own internal analysis.

Lai v. Binary Capital, June of 2017

The company came under public scrutiny following a lawsuit by Ann Lai and six accounts from women detailed sexual harassment by Justin Caldbeck, the co-founder of Binary Capital venture capital firm. Caldbeck apologized for using his position for sexual gain and resigned.

Photo Credit: File--AP
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<![CDATA[Bay Area Braces For More Jobs, But Where Will Techies Live?]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:21:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-79425812.jpg

The good news: More tech jobs are coming to the Bay Area, as companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and LinkedIn promise to grow in the years ahead.

The bad news: Traffic is already really bad here, and housing is at a premium.

Where will the techies live, and how long will it take us all to get to work?

Those two issues are being taken up by Bay Area politicians in an initiative that has been named Plan Bay Area 2040. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it aims to increase housing for all income levels, while somehow trimming our commute times.

“This is sort of a blueprint,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who admits Plan 2040 is a guess at what the future will bring.

“The one constant in the Bay Area is growth,” he added. “We need to focus on affordable housing.”

And, he adds, housing near public transportation.

Good news for young techies, who like to walk anyway.

For the rest of us? Hold on to what you have, and keep an eye out for more affordable housing.

Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Cruz Officers to Start Month-Long Body Camera Trial]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:35:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/sjpd-bodycam-0329-2017.jpg

The Santa Cruz Police Department announced today that it will start a one-month trial of body cameras on some of its officers.

"We are excited to finally bring this body-camera initiative to our department," Deputy Chief Rick Martinez in a statement.

Eleven officers volunteered to wear the cameras during the month-long trial, which will start on Friday after the officers train with them today and Thursday, Santa Cruz police spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke said.

The officers can activate the cameras during certain encounters while on patrol. Footage shot by the officers while on duty is subject to the same rules and regulations as police dashboard cameras. The footage can't be released if it's considered evidence, police said.

If the trial is considered a success, the cost to outfit the entire department with body cameras will be $390,000, according to police.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Milpitas Man Suspected of Exposing Himself to Three Teens]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:51:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-262-2017-mohammad-qais.jpg

A Milpitas man was arrested Monday on suspicion of exposing himself to three teenage girls, police said.

The suspect, identified as Mohammad Qais, 23, has been booked into Santa Clara County Jail on three counts of indecent exposure and annoying a child.

Police began to investigate the alleged crimes around 4:30 p.m. on July 20 based on a report of a man who showed children his genitals at Augustine Park. A witness confronted Qais, prompting him to run to his vehicle — a black four-door sedan — and flee. 

The suspect was described to officers as having a goatee and beard and wearing an orange shirt and green pants. Police searched the area but came up empty.

Another victim reported a similar incident at Burnett Elementary School around 9:45 a.m. Monday.

The teenager told police that she was walking her dog around 8:30 p.m. on July 19 when a man, who looked to be around 30 years old, flashed her. Upon seeing the suspect, who was wearing a reddish-pink shirt and green pants, the victim ran to her house and told her father what had transpired.

Later Monday, police were combing the area around Augustine Park, searching for witnesses and surveillance video, when they spotted Qais walking on Cortez Street. 

He matched the victims' description and so was taken into custody around 2:40 p.m., police said. Qais' victims were two 15-year-old girls and another girl who was 14 years old.

An investigation is ongoing and Milpitas police are on the lookout for any additional victims.

People with information about the case are asked to call the Milpitas Police Department at 408-586-2400. Anonymous tips can be left at 408-586-2500 or online.

Photo Credit: Milpitas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[No Homes Threatened by Fire Burning in Milpitas Foothills]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:21:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-26-17_Milpitas_Fire.jpg

Firefighters are battling a brush blaze in the foothills east of Milpitas Wednesday afternoon, according to fire officials.

The fire was reported at 11:40 a.m. and is burning off Weller Road near Calaveras Road, fire officials said.

The flames could spread and torch as many as 150 acres, but no homes or structures are threatened, according to fire officials.

Further information was not available. 

Stay tuned for details.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[More Arrests Made in Beating Death of SJ's 'Miss Flo']]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:27:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/santos-king-0726.jpg

Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the brutal murder of an 88-year-old woman at her unincorporated San Jose home last year, according to Santa Clara County sheriff's officials.

Johnny Brown, 19, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murder, elder abuse, burglary and robbery, sheriff's officials said.

On Wednesday, officials said Brown's mother, Sinica Santos, also was arrested Tuesday, and they released the name of another suspect, William King, who was arrested in June. Santos and King are accused of being accessories after the fact.

Sheriff's officials did not disclose details about Brown's arrest or about his involvement.

The arrests bring the total number of suspects to six in connection with the Sept. 12 murder of Floavis Douglas, also known as "Miss Flo" to her friends and family.

Douglas was beat and kicked during the alleged robbery at her home near San Jose's Alum Rock neighborhood, in which her jewelry and car were stolen. Douglas later died at a hospital on Oct. 8.

Days after the initial beating and robbery, investigators identified and arrested Zachary Cuen on suspicion of murder.

Months later, investigators arrested Cuen's then-girlfriend Jennifer Hernandez Jimenez on suspicion of concealing evidence in the alleged homicide, according to sheriff's officials.

In May, 20-year-old Perla Arreola also was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory in Douglas' killing.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Large Crowds Expected for Gold Cup Final in Santa Clara]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 06:37:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1117-2016-LevisLights.jpg

American soccer fans will have their eyes glued on Santa Clara Wednesday night as the United States takes on Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

While fans focus on the action on the pitch at Levi's Stadium, officials will be tasked with mitigating traffic congestion in the area.

Before the match kicks off at 6:30 p.m., Tasman Drive in front of the stadium will be closed at 9:30 a.m. Parking lots are set to open at 1:30 a.m. while gates will open three hours later.

Santa Clara police are warning drivers to expect heavy traffic on Highway 101, Interstate 880, State Route 237, Lawrence and San Tomas expressways and Great America Parkway.

Heavy traffic is also expected to clog the area after the game. Following San Francisco 49ers home games, officials usually turn all lanes of traffic in the area into one direction, allowing fans to get out of parking lots quickly. That won't happen Wednesday night because Great America and others local businesses are open. 

Those wishing to steer clear of the roads can use Caltrain, ACE Train and VTA to navigate to and from the game.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup is a 12-team tournament featuring men's national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The United States won Group B and is coming off two 2-0 victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Jamaica finished second in Group C before topping Canada and Mexico to reach the championship match.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Leaders Focus on Sustainable Growth]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 05:58:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/Close5Header.jpg

Leaders from all nine Bay Area counties on Wednesday will meet to discuss a plan focused on improving housing, jobs and infrastructure in the region by 2040.

The concept, coined "Plan Bay Area 2040," hopes to pack 820,000 more housing units into the Bay Area and add 1.3 million more jobs between now and 23 years down the road. Most of those additions will be made in and around San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, but leaders will also look to expand in smaller cities such as Mountain View, Emeryville and Richmond.

Leaders will also tackle traffic concerns and formulate potential solutions, which could be paid for by $303 billion in expected revenue from federal and local levels over next 20-plus years.

Keeping an eye on the environment, the plan complies with Senate Bill 375, which aims to keep the state on track with sustainable strategies. The bill calls for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to transportation and makes sure to focus on creating adequate housing for the growing population.

The meeting slated to take place in San Francisco at 7 p.m. is expected to welcome representatives from more than 100 Bay Area cities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Brush Fire at Almaden Hills in San Jose]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 23:45:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0725-2017-AlmadenFire.jpg

Firefighters late Tuesday responded to a grass fire in the Almaden Hills in San Jose.

At 10:15 p.m., the fire had burned at least 5 acres and was 70 percent contained, officials said. Firefighters said a barn was also destroyed in the fire.

The blaze burned just off Boulder Ridge Golf Course on Old Quarry Road. No homes were threatened and authorities were still investigating a cause.

Firefighters said the fire was first reported at 8:25 p.m.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Mohan Raswant
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<![CDATA[Passengers Rescued From Gilroy Gardens Monorail]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 23:39:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/196*120/0725-2017-Gilroy-monorail.jpg

Nine people were stuck on a monorail Tuesday for nearly two hours at the Gilroy Gardens.

Firefighters and staff at the gardens were able to safely remove all passengers, six adults and three children, from the train at 5:49 p.m. Officials said the train stopped at 4:12 p.m.

"The moment we entered the park the train stopped completely," said Preeti Madan, a passenger who was stuck on the monorail. "We had no idea what happened."

After waiting for 15 to 20 minutes, Madan said passengers got worried when no one showed up to tell them what was going on.

Gilroy Fire Department Chief Mary Gutierrez said crews were able to move the train backward so passengers could get off. No injuries were reported in the incident.

Gilroy Gardens officials said crews are running tests to figure out what caused the ride to stop. The ride will be closed until the investigation is completed.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Preeti Madan
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<![CDATA[San Jose Among Best Big Cities to Live In: Report]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 08:40:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-76380713.jpg

The latest "Best Big Cities to Live In" list has been released, and one Bay Area city was good enough to crack the top 10.

San Jose, dubbed as the capital of Silicon Valley, was named as the tenth-best big city in the nation to call home, according to a report published by WalletHub. The report examined a slew of factors including affordability, income growth, average working hours, crime rates and even walkability.

San Francisco followed by locking up the No. 16 spot on the list of 62 large cities while Oakland settling in at No. 50, according to the report.

Virginia Beach, Virginia was crowned as the No. 1 big city in the country, edging out Seattle and Pittsburgh, respectively.

As for the rest of the Golden State, San Diego topped the charts by nabbing the No. 4 spot on the list, according to the report. Sacramento checked in at No. 21, and Los Angeles earned the No. 29 selection.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Developmentally Disabled Woman Allegedly Raped by Life Coach]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:45:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-25-2017-anthony-valerio.jpg

A San Jose life coach was arrested Monday for raping a woman with developmental disabilities, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Anthony Valerio's alleged crime came to light last September after the then 21-year-old victim's parents reported to a deputy on patrol that their daughter had possibly been sexually assaulted. 

"It's extremely disturbing," said Lt. James Jensen. Developmentally disabled people "can't defend themselves, mentally or possibly physically, and it's our job as law enforcement to defend those that cant defend themselves."

For more than 20 years, 42-year-old Valerio also worked at Calero High School, where he helped adult students transition into jobs. The alleged rape did not occur at the school, sheriff's deputies said.

Chris Funk, the superintendent of the East Side High School District, said Valerio passed all background checks and annual evalutions as a school employee. He called the accusations horrendous.

Valerio was a job training technician for the district, getting adult students ready for the workforce if they faced problems in regular high schools, Funk said.

The superintendent said the program requires trust, but Valerio’s arrest has cast a shadow on the institution. Funk also said that Valerio left the country after the allegations first arose last year.

An investigation is ongoing and sheriff's deputies are working to determine if there are any other victims.

Valerio has been booked into Santa Clara County Jail.

People with information are asked to call 408-808-4500 or leave a tip at 408-808-4431. 

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Reward Offered in Unsolved Shooting Death of SJ Teen]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:36:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/viramontes-0328-2017.jpg

A grieving grandfather on Tuesday announced a monetary reward in the hopes of unearthing any information about the unsolved shooting death of his 19-year-old grandson.

Joseph Viramontes was found dead near Toyon Elementary School in East San Jose back in late March, but police have yet to identify a suspect or determine a motive.

Carlos Partida has offered $5,000 of his own money for any information regarding his grandson's death, which still pains him to this day.

"If you got any kids, you don't want to hear this from a detective or the police," Partida said Tuesday, choking back tears. "You don't want to hear this. It will tear you inside out. I got on my knees. I wanted my grandson back, but I couldn't bring him back. It still hurts."

Partida does not believe that the fatal shooting was a random crime. Rather, he thinks that whoever killed his grandson knew the teenager.

Partida and his daughter, Sara Partida, remained committed to finding closure.

"All I want is just justice to be done," Sara Partida said Tuesday. "Whoever did this to my son please come forward. That's all I ask."

Viramontes played for the San Jose 49ers football team and was known simply as "Smiley," according to his former coach Scott Silver.

"He was a great kid," Silver said following Viramontes' death. "The reason I called him that was because he was smiling all the time. He was very respectful and very pleasant to be around."

The teenager was raised by his grandfather since he was an infant. About a year before Viramontes' death, Silver received a call from the grandfather, who was worried about Viramontes.

"He just didn't want him to get involved with the people drinking and what young kids do and are not supposed to be doing," Silver said after Viramontes' death.

Silver added that "no matter what trouble [Viramontes has] ever been in, what he was doing, he was a good kid."

Anyone with information regarding Viramontes' death is encouraged to call the San Jose Police Department or contact the Partida family.

Photo Credit: San Jose 49ers/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Water District to Discuss South Bay Reservoir Proposal]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 06:40:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-25-17-Reservoir.jpg

The South Bay's largest water agency on Tuesday will discuss a new plan to store more water in the event of another drought, but the concept could feature a steep price tag.

The plan calls to expand a reservoir near Pacheco Pass, making it the largest in Santa Clara County and the first new one built in the area in 60 years.

If approved, the revamped reservoir, which would cost as much as $800 million to put together, would hold 130,000-acre feet of water and would provide water to roughly 650,000 people.

The district said it would seek funding and likely make some of it back through higher water rates.

Questions have been raised about why a new reservoir is needed at a time when the Anderson Reservoir in Santa Clara County spilled over this past winter and triggered Coyote Creek to flood. Due to earthquake concerns, the Anderson Reservoir can not stay at full capacity.

The water district on Tuesday will take the first step toward applying for Prop 1 funding. Prop 1, which sets aside money for water quality supply and infrastructure, was passed in 2014.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hall and Oates, Tears For Fears Show in San Jose Postponed]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:53:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/182*120/hall-oates.jpg

Due to a family emergency, Tuesday's concert featuring Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tears For Fears at SAP Center in San Jose has been postponed, according to a release from Sharks Sports and Entertainment, which manages the arena.

The release said the family emergency was connected to Tears For Fears but it did not provide further details.

The bands just played a show at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Sunday night.

The tour also postponed shows at Staples Center in Los Angeles scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, as well as a Tears For Fears headliner show scheduled for Wednesday at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

All dates will be rescheduled and tickets will be honored for those new dates, the release said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Coyotes Attack and Kill Pet Cat in Sunnyvale]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:38:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/coyote+attack-0724.jpg

A South Bay neighborhood is on edge and a family is mourning the loss of a beloved pet cat after a coyote attack early Monday morning.

The attack, which was captured on home surveillance video, occurred on Trumball Court in Sunnyvale, where neighbors said they've never seen coyotes wandering the streets before. People who've lived in the neighborhood for years said if it wasn't for the surveillance footage, they never would have believed it.

"It's really bizarre, and I think animal control needs to look at it because you see missing cats everywhere," neighbor James Allen said.

Lisa Callan on Monday buried the remains of Snowball, her 14-year-old cat that moved to the Bay Area with her family from the U.K.

"Snowball is a bit of a celebrity," Callan said. "He's an outdoor cat. Everybody who walks by strokes him. He's going to be really missed."

In the surveillance video, Snowball can be seen lying in the street with at least one coyote nearby. Moments later, the pack drags the cat's lifeless body across the street.

"Devastated," Callan said. "It's just a really horrible, horrible way to go. I just can't believe it really."

Peter Tira of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said, despite several recent reports in multiple Bay Area cities, the agency hasn't noticed a significant increase in coyote sightings or attacks. He said coyotes are common to the area.

"We have to understand that pretty much all of California is coyote habitat, so they're pretty much everywhere in the state," Tira said.

That means pet owners need to keep an eye on small pets every time they're outside and bring their food and water inside, Tira said.

Callan agreed, saying she hopes sharing her story will help keep other pets safe.

"For now people, you know, please keep your animals in as soon as it's dark till at least 7 or 7:30, I would advise," Callan said. "Keep them safe."

<![CDATA[Brush Fire Near San Jose's Eastridge Mall]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:25:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/eastridge+fire-0724.jpg

Firefighters are battling a small brush fire at an empty field near San Jose's Eastridge Mall.

The area was the scene of another grass fire firefighters contained on July 14.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Ponders Tiny Home Communities to House Homeless]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:39:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16258720191449.jpg

The city of San Jose is floating around a list of potential tiny home communities that could house the homeless population battered by the area's steep housing costs.

The list of locations includes sites for "bridge housing communities," which refer to tiny homes and temporary sleeping shelters, in the city's 10 districts, according to the Mercury News.

If the plan comes to fruition, the hope is to construct one temporary living community in each district, according to the newspaper. The homes will be roughly 70 square feet in size, and each community would feature up to 20 homes. No more than 25 people would be able to live at each location.

Those wishing to learn more about the project can visit the city's website.

The list of proposed tiny home communities can be viewed below:

Photo Credit: Tony Gutierrez/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Contain Brush Blaze Near Gilroy]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:51:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-24-17_Gilroy_Fire.jpg

A fast-moving brush blaze that torched 125 acres south of Gilroy Sunday is 100 percent contained, Cal Fire announced Monday.

The so-called Castro Fire, which started about 4 p.m. Sunday, was burning off Castro Valley Road, west of Highway 101 in south Santa Clara County, near Gavilan College, and air support and other resources were helping with the firefight, fire officials said. 

The blaze spread to 50 acres within an hour, with no containment. Later Sunday, before the blaze was three hours old, it had spread to over 100 acres and was 20 percent contained, fire officials said.

By late Sunday night, Cal Fire said the fire's forward progress had been stopped, and it was 50 percent contained.

No structures were threatened and no evacuations were issued as of Sunday night, Cal Fire said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pepper Spray Prompts Evacuations at South San Jose Hotel]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:24:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-24-17_Pepper_Spray_Evac.jpg

Pepper spray floating in the air inside a hotel lobby in South San Jose prompted evacuations Monday morning, according to fire officials.

The incident was reported at the Extended Stay America along San Ignacio Avenue near Great Oaks Boulevard just before 5 a.m, fire officials said. 

It is not clear why, but someone sprayed pepper spray on a door inside the lobby, triggering a strong smell to fill the hotel's entrance, fire officials said. A hotel employee said the smell caused people to cough.

Guests staying on the first floor were asked to evacuate the hotel, fire officials said. Residents on the second and third floors were prompted to shelter in place.

One person was assessed by first responders, but that individual is OK, fire officials said.

Further information was not available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Shots Fired Inside Apartment at Santana Row in San Jose]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 05:13:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-24-17_Santana_Row_Shooting.jpg

San Jose police on Monday responded to the popular Santana Row shopping mall after gunshots rang out inside a luxury apartment complex.

The initial call at 12:45 a.m. alerted authorities to reports of shots being fired at the Misora apartment building located at 388 Santana Row, according to police.

Responding officers found that shots had been fired inside an apartment, according to police. At least one bullet traveled into a neighboring unit, but no one was hit.

One man inside the apartment where the shots were fired was arrested for possession of a firearm and shooting into another unit, according to police. Another man inside the apartment was briefly detained and questioned before being released.

The detained man said he was asleep at the time of the shooting and did not hear the shots when they were fired. 

Police are trying to determine what led up to the shooting. It is not clear if the shooting was accidental or if there was a motive behind it.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fast-Moving Brush Fire Spreads to 150 Acres South of Gilroy]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:54:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gilroy-fire-0723.jpg

A fast-moving brush fire south of Gilroy quickly spread to 150 acres Sunday afternoon before fire crews stopped its forward progress about five hours later, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze was burning off Castro Valley Road, west of Highway 101 in south Santa Clara County, near Gavilan College, and air support and other resources were helping with the firefight, fire officials said. 

The fire, dubbed the Castro Fire, started about 4 p.m. and spread to 50 acres within an hour, with no containment. Later Sunday, before the the blaze was three hours old, it had spread to 150 acres and was 20 percent contained, fire officials said.

By late Sunday night, Cal Fire said the fire's forward progress had been stopped, and it was 50 percent contained.

No structures were threatened and no evacuations were issued as of Sunday night, Cal Fire said.

Fire crews were expected to remain at the scene overnight, officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Small Plane Crashes at San Jose's Reid-Hillview Airport]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 22:48:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/194*120/7-23-17_SJ_Plane_crash.PNG

A pilot suffered minor injuries when a plane's nose wheel collapsed, and the plane crashed Sunday at San Jose's Reid-Hillview Airport, fire and Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

San Jose firefighters were called by air traffic controllers at 12:48 p.m., and when they arrived, the Piper PA-28's nose was on the runway, Capt. Brad Cloutier said.

The pilot was treated at the airport for minor injuries and released. No one else was on board the plane.

Cloutier said inbound and outbound traffic was halted for about 30 minutes.

The plane sustained significant damage, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.

Investigators with the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: Csmeadphotography via Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Injury Crash Blocks Lanes of Interstate 280 in San Jose]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 18:44:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-23-17_280_Crash.jpg

All lanes have reopened on northbound Interstate Highway 280 at McLaughlin Avenue in San Jose Sunday morning following a multi-vehicle traffic collision, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

The collision was first reported at 12:21 a.m. and involved at least four vehicles, CHP officials said. At least two people were transported to the hospital with major injuries.

A Sig-alert was issued at 12:32 a.m. because three lanes, and then later four lanes, were blocked.

At 1:37 a.m. the Sig-alert was canceled and all lanes had reopened, according to CHP officials.

An investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hit-and-Run Driver Injures 3 in Santa Clara]]>Sat, 22 Jul 2017 18:00:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hit_and_Run_Driver_Injures_3_in_Santa_Clara.jpg

Three people suffered various injuries after a hit-and-run crash in Santa Clara.]]>
<![CDATA[Odd Reason Postpones Shoreline Amphitheatre Concert ]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:56:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0721-2017-ShorelineAmphitheatre.jpg

Part of the loading area at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View collapsed, forcing organizers to postpone Friday's Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows concert.

Organizer Live Nation said part of the ramp from the road to the loading dock collapsed. It's about 15-feet wide and 5-feet deep. Officials also said a temporary fix like a bridge would not work, forcing the postponement.

"You want to give people as much time possible, but you also don't want to call the show too early if there's a chance that the show could happen," Live Nation Vice President Aaron Siuda said. "So we had to work with all parties involved."

Some fans did not know the show was called out until they showed up.

"We were like, 'Did we get the time right?'" San Jose resident Cheryl Jimenez said.

Jimenez and her daughter were told when they arrived the concert had to be pushed back.

"It really sucks this happened," Jimenez said. "I've been waiting for this concert."

The concert is now postponed until Tuesday, but the Counting Crows cannot reschedule. The band tweeted their displeasure Friday afternoon.

Fans who traveled about 85 miles from Modesto wish they had at least received an e-mail notification.

"There's no way we're making it back here Tuesday," Modesto resident Wendy Feese said.

Organizers said tickets can be refunded.

No shows are planned at the Shoreline Amphitheatre this weekend and organizers said repairs will be completed in time for Tuesday's rescheduled concert.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Nearly $2 Billion Caltrain Electrification Project Kicks Off]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:14:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/224*120/caltrain.PNG

California officials on Friday broke ground on Caltrain's nearly $2 billion electrification project.

California’s High Speed Rail Authority got clearance to proceed with a plan to electrify Caltrain tracks between San Francisco's 4th and King Station to San Jose's Tamien Station. The first electric train is expected to start running in late 2020 or 2021.

Friday's ceremony was attended by Gov. Jerry Brown, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other leaders. 

The state Department of Finance  approved the expenditure of $600 million in voter-approved bond money. The approval follows the Trump administration’s decision to fully fund a $650 million grant for the project.

The peninsula section is the northernmost piece of the $64 billion bullet train that will link San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Caltrain runs diesel locomotives that are more than 30 years old and need to be replaced, officials say.

An estimated 65,000 people ride Caltrain every day, which is more than double the number of commuters in 2005. With its new electric trains, Caltrain can increase capacity by adding up to six new trains in each direction during peak hours. The new cars will still top out at 79 mph, but will be quieter and less polluting.

High-speed rail opponents have filed a lawsuit challenging the electrification project. They argue that state legislation unconstitutionally allows high-speed rail bonds to be spent on Caltrain, violating promises made to voters in 2008.

A number of people with property along the tracks might be forced to give up some or all of their land to make way for the project. Some of them have also raised safety and health concerns about the electromagnetic field that this project will create.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[San Jose Woman Accused of Stabbing Mercury News Employee]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:12:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/183*120/kris.PNG

San Jose police are searching for a woman who allegedly stabbed a Mercury News employee early Friday.

Officers responded around 2:30 a.m. to reports of a stabbing on the 800 block of Redbird Drive in Willow Glen. When they arrived, officers found a man suffering from at least one stab wound. 

The man was allegedly stabbed 13 times, police say.

The victim was transported to a local area hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Police say the victim and his attacker know each other, but haven’t confirmed yet what led to the stabbing.

The newspaper has not yet identified the victim because the suspect is at large.

The motive and circumstances surrounding the assault are under investigation. No other details are available at this time.

Photo Credit: kris Sanchez]]>
<![CDATA[SJSU Weather Lab Team Assisting With Wildfire Fight]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 07:55:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjsu+weather+truck-0720.jpg

A team of meteorologists from San Jose State is helping fight the massive Detwiler Fire near Yosemite, using their knowledge and technology.

Two men from the team just returned from the front lines in Mariposa County after spending the past 36 hours there. What they found not only helped firefighters battling the flames now, but could also be used to fight fires better in the future.

The massive Detwiler Fire spread to more than 70,000 acres Thursday and has destroyed 50 homes -- not exactly an ideal setting for study and research. But that's what the San Jose State Fire Weather Research Lab team just finished doing. Specifically, the researchers collected data using a Doppler lidar and fed it to firefighters to protect them and homes in real time.

"It can see through smoke plumes fantastically," graduate research assistant Chris Camacho said.

The reason it's important is wildfires can create their own weather, the team said. On Wednesday night, for instance, flames and smoke from the wildfire started swirling like a tornado.

"When columns rotate, they become a dangerous situation for firefighters," said Craig Clements of the SJSU meteorology team. "One thing with the Doppler lidar that we have is we can scan across the fire, and we can detect that circulation before it's visible."

Those dangerous plumes can be hard to detect in situations like the Detwiler Fire, where it's tough to see anything from the ground. Or when large banks of flames break out.

"So you can't really see the overall height that the smoke is being ejected to," Camacho said. "Although we are able to see that with lidar. We're able to see through the smoke."

The researchers say their tool is one of a kind in the United States and can help fight future fires by analyzing all the data they collect, showing how fires behave and how they can be controlled.

"I'm very fortunate to be able to take something I'm very passionate about and apply it in a real world manner that can actually help," Camacho said.

The scientists also say they're the only fire weather research team on the West Coast to have fire credentials, enabling them to get right up close with firefighters.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Water Customers Overbilled, Will Get Refunds]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:47:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/sj+water-0720.jpg

Tens of thousands of water customers in the South Bay will be getting refunds after an overbilling problem, water officials said Thursday.

Some homeowners, however, said the bumped-up rate was not a mistake. They believe it was intentional.

The overbilling, which affected about 250,000 customers, is being investigated, so its unclear when or if the refunds are coming.

"Right now, they're bilking us," said customer Rita Benton, who is a San Jose Water Co. customer and is fed up with what she says are unnecessary high rates and billing mistakes."They're not even acknowledging there's a double billing involved when you switch from billing in advance to billing in the rears."

San Jose Water, which provides water to San Jose and neighboring areas, admitted to a mistake in their January billing that overcharged customers to the tune of nearly $2 million.

"We believe we acted and continue to act in compliance with the rules and regulations that were operating," said John Tang, vice president of regulatory affairs and government relations for San Jose Water.

Tang said the average residential customer will receive a refund of $5.70. But some customers said that offer is low, and the company needs to pay up more, suggesting as much as $50 or more per customer.

"It wasn't a one-time, oops error," Benton said. "This was something they did in their billing system for decades."

The California's Public Utilities Commission is investigating the issue. Customers will have to wait for the results before seeing how much cash they'll get back.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Responding to Fire in Los Gatos]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:48:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/0720-2017-LosGatosFire.jpg

Firefighters are responding to a fire in Los Gatos.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Google Street View Takes You Out of This World, Into the ISS]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:25:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-20-2017-google-iss.jpg

We see it in the sky, but can’t climb aboard.

The International Space Station is home to a small number of elite astronauts, working on cool experiments in a gravity-free environment.

But now, thanks to Google’s Street View, you too can take a ride inside the ISS.

Street View has, for the time being, ditched the cars and backpacks in favor of a small camera and bungie cords.

Bungie cords?

“In space, with zero gravity, the astronaut sets up with a bungie cord.”

That’s Google’s Deanna Yick on how the astronaut on the ISS contorted himself to take more than 1,500 pictures Google eventually stitched together.

“He literally had to position the camera,” Yick says, “then float out of the way , take the picture, rotate the camera, and do it again.”

The result is a cool tour of every nook and cranny of ISS. You control it with your mouse. A chance to search, in space, from Earth’s biggest search engine.

Scott views on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC BAY Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Knock Down Brush Fire in Los Altos Hills]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:53:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/los+altos+fire-07201.jpg

Santa Clara County fire crews quickly knocked down a vegetation fire in Los Altos Hills Thursday afternoon, fire officials said.

The fire was reported at 3:25 p.m. in the area of Altamont and Black Mountain roads. Los Altos police said on Twitter the blaze was burning in the Byrne Preserve.

About 5 acres of brush burned before fire crews were able to get a handle on the blaze, according to the Santa Clara County Fire Department. No structures were involved. 

No other information about the blaze was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Inmates Who Overdosed Back at Santa Clara County Jail]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:44:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Santa-clara-county-jail.jpg

Investigators are trying to figure out how four inmates who overdosed Wednesday at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose got their hands on suspected opioids, according to a sheriff's spokesman.

At about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, four inmates being housed in the same area of the jail all experienced medical emergencies that were later determined to be overdoses, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Rich Glennon said.

Medical personnel treated the men with anti-opioid overdose drugs before transporting them to a hospital.

They were all released back into the jail after recovering at the hospital, Glennon said.

The jail was placed on lockdown until about 7:30 p.m. while investigators searched the men's cells and interviewed possible witnesses.

Deputies are still trying to determine how the men got the drugs, which they suspect were illegally brought into the jail from the outside.

All inmates are subjected to a body search prior to entering the jail, and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently earmarked funding for the jail to acquire body scan technology in an effort to make searches more effective, Glennon said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Police Dog Bites Toddler as Cops Search for Wanted Felon]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 23:46:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dog+bite-0719.jpg

A 22-month-old girl was bitten by a police dog inside her San Jose home last week as officers searched for a wanted felon.

In what police are calling an accident, Arabella has a bandaged wound after a San Jose police K-9 jumped on her and bit her during the course of an arrest warrant being served Friday, police said.

Officers were at the home on Bird Avenue to arrest a wanted felon, and they said several people in the home were not cooperating. Then they spotted the suspect running out of the house. When he wouldn’t surrender and went back inside, they brought in a K-9.

Police admitted the dog jumped up and bit the toddler while she was sitting on a couch.

"The dog came inside, and the first thing the dog did was he just bit my daughter," said Isamar Pena, Arabella's mother. "And I was just screaming, telling him, 'Oh my god, the dog just bit my daughter.' She was in a lot of pain. She was just screaming and crying and she kept calling for my name."

Police said it was an accident and unusual. The K-9 was tested in training again Wednesday.

The family filed a complaint with the San Jose Police Department and is considering a lawsuit.

"I'm seeking justice," Pena said. "I just want the officers to train their dogs right and to be able to control them."

Police don't know when the dog will return to service.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Residents Concerned by Uptick in Coyote Sightings]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:06:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-19-2017-coyote-sightings.jpg

Wildlife experts are warning South Bay residents not to leave trash and pet food outside their houses after two coyote sightings were reported last week in Los Gatos.

A larger number of coyotes are heading into populated areas in search for food, experts said, urging people to be cautious and stay at least 20 feet away, if they come across the animals.

“I think the main problem is humans,” said Ashley Kinney with the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley. “People leave their trash and pet food out and it's like a buffet for these animals."

Without access to easy meals, coyotes are more likely to move on from the area.

On Sunday, a coyote reportedly snatched a small dog off a San Francisco doorstep – something that Paul Garneau, of Los Gatos, has seen first-hand.

“My wife heard something on the side of the house and I woke to see a coyote with our neighbor’s cat in his jaw, running down the street,” he said.

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Four Inmates Overdose at Santa Clara County Jail]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 23:52:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Santa-clara-county-jail.jpg

Four Santa Clara County Main Jail inmates were rushed to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after an apparent drug overdose, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Rich Glennon said.

The jail was placed on lockdown while authorities investigated the incident. The lockdown was lifted late Wednesday night, and three of the inmates had returned to the jail late Wednesday night. All four were expected to recover.

Jail officials said it is unclear what drugs caused the overdose. Sources tell NBC Bay Area the drugs may have been heroin.

Retired Judge Ladoris Cordell chaired the Blue Ribbon Commission on improving jail operations in Santa Clara County. She said she is not shocked by the latest emergency to unfold behind bars.

"We've had suicides and murders and now drug overdoses," Cordell said.

The question now is how did the drugs get inside.

"There's a failure in the jail operations that results in this," Cordell said.

The sheriff's office said inmates often hide drugs in their bodies. It said it is in the process of buying body scanners to help deputies find the contraband.

But Cordell said incidents like the drug overdoses and the recent conviction of three correctional officers for the beating death of inmate Michael Tyree shine a light on a troubled culture.

The Blue Ribbon Commission made 101 recommendations to the Board of Supervisors last year. The top two are creating an office of inspector general and changing the operations leadership.

"There has to be new leadership to change the culture of the jail," Cordell said.

The sheriff's office said there are cameras on the floor where the inmates overdosed. Investigators did not say whether those cameras captured information about where the drugs came from.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara Valley Water District Considers New Reservoir]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:33:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/0719-2017-Reservoir.jpg

The South Bay's largest water agency is considering a plan to build a massive new reservoir in hopes of "drought-proofing" California's future.

If what the Santa Clara Valley Water District is considering happens, the plan will likely come with a big bill. The reservoir the district is discussing would be the county's largest and the first new one built in the area in 60 years.

The plan calls to expand a reservoir near Pacheco Pass to hold as much as 130,000-acre feet of water.

"We're looking at a facility here that would be probably greater than the sum of the existing water storage we have in the county today," Santa Clara County Water District COO Garth Hall said.

The district wants to buy the land and then spend as much as $800 million to eventually store enough water to serve 650,000 people for a year.

Mark Hinkle, president of the Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association, wants to know how the district plans to pay for the project. The district said it would seek funding and likely make some of it back through higher water rates.

Meanwhile, the district plans to do environmental studies of the area.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Woman Dies After Fall From Cliff in Santa Cruz]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:41:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance_generic2shotTele.jpg

A 20-year-old San Jose woman died Monday afternoon in a fall from a cliff on the Santa Cruz County coast, a sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday.

Jennifer Diaz-Ocampo died following a 100- to 150-foot fall from a cliff just north of the unincorporated Santa Cruz County community of Davenport, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Chris Clark said.

Deputies were called at 4:02 p.m. and told about Diaz-Ocampo's fall.

She and friends were looking off the cliff for access to the beach below, but the ground gave way underneath Diaz-Ocampo when she was a foot to a foot and a half from the edge, Clark said.

Rescuers could not get to her from land. Lifeguards swam to her and took her to the beach where a California Highway Patrol helicopter hoisted her up the cliff.

Rescuers hoped to transfer Diaz-Ocampo to a trauma helicopter and get her to a trauma hospital. She was alert and talking when lifeguards got to her, but she died before rescuers got her to the trauma helicopter, Clark said.

<![CDATA[Drone Owner Could Face Charges After Obstructing Firefight]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:01:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/drone-0718.jpg

The owner of a drone may face charges after the device forced a helicopter to be grounded Monday during a firefight in Saratoga.

Investigators say they tracked the small hobbyist drone that caused the problem from the fire area back to its owner and confiscated it.

A Cal Fire helicopter that had been helping battle a 10-acre fire in the Saratoga hills had to be turned away from dropping water on the flames for fear it would collide with the drone.

Flying a drone in a fire zone is a misdemeanor in California.

"So to keep our citizens safe, to keep our firefighters safe, to let us do our professional job, you've got to stay out of the area," said Ryan Cronin of the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

The fire is 75 percent contained, Cal Fire said. Firefighters remained at the scene overnight Wednesday continuing to put out hot spots.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County FD]]>
<![CDATA[An Inside Look at Future of Driverless Vehicles]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:37:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/An_Inside_Look_at_Future_of_Driverless_Vehicles.jpg

Driverless cars are coming, and Silicon Valley is leading the autonomous charge. Now a Chinese design company is making a move to the valley to build the interiors of these vehicles of the future. Scott Budman reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Google Bikes Taking a Dive in Stevens Creek]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:55:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-18-2017-googlebikes.jpg

Google has a platoon of colorful bikes for its employees to use to traverse the sprawling campus.

But recently the bikes have been turning up in an unusual spot: Stevens Creek.

The Mountain View-based tech giant has admitted that a growing number of its bikes are going missing. In the past, one or two would go missing every few months. Now, however, a local group says it has found more than a dozen bikes in the South Bay creek in less than two weeks.

“I pulled out six bikes Saturday and put them by the trail so Google could get access to them. I went back the next day and three of them had been thrown back down into the creek,” said Aaron Grossman of Friends of Stevens Creek Trail, a Cupertino community group that has been taking care of the waterway since the early 1990s.

A woman, who asked to not be identified, said she too has noticed a jump in the number of bikes ditched along Stevens Creek. 

Like her, Grossman has been calling Google often. He helps coordinate picking up the bikes after they have been fished out of the water.

Google wouldn't specify how many of its 1,000 or so bikes are missing. 

 "It's really sad because it's bad for the bikes, it's bad for the creek," said Grossman.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[California's Highest Home Prices Found in Bay Area]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:30:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-79425812.jpg

Supply and demand economics are escalating housing prices across California, particularly in the Bay Area.

In June, the state’s median home price was $555,150, representing a 0.9 percent increase from May and a whopping 7 percent jump from June 2016, according to a new report by the California Association of Realtors.

In the Bay Area, meanwhile, housing supply cannot keep pace with job growth, hiking up prices.

The local median home price climbed to $908,740, a 1 percent bump from May’s $899,730. But, at just shy of a million dollars, that price tag is 7.9 percent higher than June 2016’s $841,960, outpacing the statewide cost increase.

A closer look at the report's year-over-year sales growth reveals that Santa Clara County’s median home price jumped 12.6 percent to $1,182,500 while Alameda County’s rose 12.1 percent to $900,000. It increased 9.8 percent to $1,433,750 in San Mateo County, 8.8 percent to $1,469,000 in San Francisco County and 5.6 percent to $660,000 in Contra Costa County.

In June, the Inland Empire saw California’s largest year-over-year sales increase at 10.4 percent to $346,380, and was followed by the Los Angeles metro area at 8.3 percent to $500,240, which demonstrates the marked difference between home prices in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the state.

“A lack of available homes for sale continues to be the largest single factor influencing California’s housing market,” said Geoff McIntosh, president of the California Association of Realtors.

In June, San Francisco County also came in first in terms of average price per square foot: $909. It was followed by San Mateo County at $848 and Santa Clara County at $662 per square foot. In comparison, California’s average was much lower at $270, the report said.

The report further shows that the median amount of time a property spends on the market has fallen to 22.4 days in June. One year ago, that was 27.1 days. Last month’s gains come second only to May 2004 when a house was sold after spending 21.9 days on the market, the report said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mail Stolen From USPS Trucks in San Jose]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:59:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/usps-generic-truck.jpg

United States Postal Service officials say thieves broke into four mail trucks over the past two months in San Jose.

The post office is offering a $10,000 reward with information that might help them catch the person or persons responsible for the thefts.

The most recent incident occurred last week in the Willow Glen neighborhood. Officials said someone broke into a locked USPS truck and took off with a mail bag while a carrier was delivering mail.

"They're getting into locked vehicles," US Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch said. "They're getting in and taking some of the mail."

Dozens of residents have received a letter from the post office alerting them their mail was stolen.

"If there's any compromised information with accounts that's concerning," said Lisa Jenkins, a San Jose resident who received the alert from the post office.

Jenkins said the letter was short on details.

Willow Glen residents said any crime in the neighborhood is unexpected.

"I'm very surprised that someone would do something like this," San Jose-resident Lynn Kucera said. "I consider this neighborhood safe and we watch out for each other. So to hear about someone stealing mail from a postal truck is very disturbing."

Some neighbors said they plan to take their important mail directly to the post office to avoid the risk of it being stolen from a truck.

Fitch would not reveal where the other three truck break-ins were in San Jose. Mail theft is a federal crime.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Thieves Slice Into Cupertino Verizon Store, Steal 189 Items]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:42:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/verizon+robbery2-0718.jpg

In what could be imagined as a Hollywood-inspired theft, two thieves on Monday successfully sliced their way into a Cupertino Verizon store and made off with over $138,000 worth of retail products before being tracked down, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

The calculated robbery began sometime before 6 a.m. when two suspects, who have since been identified as Tan Nguyen, 40, of San Jose and Marc Tran, 38, of American Canyon, cut a hole in the store's roof, according to the sheriff's office. They then disabled the store's alarm, surveillance cameras and wiring before entering the main portion of the building.

Nguyen and Tran proceeded to saw their way through a door and open the store's stock room, the sheriff's office said.

The men scooped up 189 items ranging from iPhones and iPads to Samsung Galaxy phones, according to the sheriff's office.

The duo's successful heist took a turn when the burglary was reported to authorities, the sheriff's office said. Sheriff's deputies, who had been made aware of the crime, spotted a silver Lexus sedan parked on Meridian Avenue underneath Southwest Expressway in San Jose. During the enforcement stop, deputies caught a glimpse of the Apple products in the car's back seat.

Deputies arrested the men and and recovered all 189 items seized from the store, sheriff's officials said.

Nguyen and Tran were both arrested for burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and possession of burglary tools, sheriff's officials said.

Both men were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. Nguyen is being held on $120,000 bail. Tran is no longer behind bars.

Anyone with information regarding the burglary is encouraged to contact the sheriff's office at 408-808-4500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call 408-808-4431.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Wages Can't Keep Up With Housing Costs]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 09:16:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/120916+cash+money+generic.jpg

Wages in Silicon Valley are not keeping up with the Bay Area's housing costs, according to a new report.

Numbers crunched by the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies found that the median apartment rent price in Silicon Valley rose 45.2 percent between 2011 and 2016. During that same time period, the median wage increase was just 14 percent.

Housing opportunities as a whole are also coming up short in the areas surrounding the Bay Area's tech giants. A grand total of 80,285 housing units were added in Silicon Valley between 2007 and 2017, according to the report. In order to keep pace with the swelling population, 138,146 units need to be constructed.

The report also found that Silicon Valley job growth has tapered off. Through the midway point of 2015, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties were together adding approximately 100,000 jobs year over year, according to the report. The year over year gains by May of this year had dropped to 40,000 jobs.

On a positive note, unemployment in the area has steadily declined. The number of people without jobs in the San Francisco area has dropped from 5.2 percent in May 2013 to 2.6 percent in May 2017. Unemployment in San Jose has declined from 6.4 percent to three percent during that same time range.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Frontier Airlines Announces Service Out of SJC]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 07:31:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Frontier-Airlines-Airport-Terminal.jpg

Mineta San Jose International Airport is welcoming a new airline.

The Silicon Valley airport — the fastest-growing major airport in the nation in 2016 — on Tuesday announced that Frontier Airlines will become the 16th airline to operate out of San Jose, marking the seventh airline addition at SJC since 2015, according to the airport.

The new service will provide flights to Denver, San Antonio, Las Vegas and Austin, Texas. One-way fares will start as low as $29 to each of those four locations.

Service to Denver will kick off October 5. Flights to Las Vegas will start taking off on November 1. Austin and San Antonio service will begin next spring.

The flights to San Antonio will mark the first-ever nonstop service between San Jose and the Texas city.

SJC serves more than 11 million passengers on an annual basis, according to the airport. It was named the fastest-growing major airport last year based on percentage increase in passenger seat capacity.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Monitor Brush Blaze Burning in Saratoga]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 06:05:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-18-17_Saratoga_Fire.jpg

Fire crews on Tuesday continue to keep a watchful eye on a vegetation fire burning on the western edge of Saratoga near a popular winery.

The fire was reported on Mt. Eden Road west of Pierce Road, according to an alert sent out by fire officials at 3:51 p.m. By Tuesday morning, fire crews said the blaze had burned 10 acres and was 40 percent contained.

Firefighters late Monday were working to contain the flames, but they were delayed when a drone got in the way.

Officials conformed that a drone was spotted flying over the area where the firefight was taking place. That presented a major problem.

"We had a helicopter coming in and it had to be waved off because the drone was spotted," said Ryan Cronin, Santa Clara County arson investigator. "That investigation is ongoing.”

Flying drones in an emergency zone is a violation of FAA rules and California codes.

"It probably didn’t affect this fire that much, but if it would have impacted that helicopter, it could have caused it to crash," Cronin said.

Between February and September of 2015, there were 874 drone sightings and incidents nationwide, according to the FAA. During that same time period in 2016, there were 1,274 sightings and incidents

The fire burned uphill and away from homes, officials said. No structures were threatened, and no evacuations were ordered.

Initially it was reported that officials had asked residents in the Mt. Eden Road area to shelter in place so emergency heavy equipment can access the fire. But Cronin later said the road was open to residents and some through traffic.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART Chief Says Rapes Increased, But Questions Connection]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:39:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart+station-0706.jpg

BART is under growing pressure to beef up security on the heels of a crime surge that includes mob attacks, sex assaults and robberies. To make matters worse, the number of people applying to join the BART police force is near an all-time low.

The agency's board of directors on Tuesday wrestled with safety concerns just hours after yet another violent attack.

A passenger at San Leandro's Bay Fair Station late Monday was assaulted by three or four men who punched and kicked him and also snatched his iPhone and laptop, according to BART. The victim was transported to a hospital for treatment of facial cuts and swelling, and the suspects managed to get away.

New numbers from BART indicate that there has recently been a 41 percent increase in violent crimes this year. The troubling trend was highlighted by an April mob attack during which dozens of youth stormed a train at Oakland's Coliseum Station to rob passengers.  

Rusty Stapp and his family were aboard the train during the attack three months ago.

"I think it's sad, it's scary and I think if we don't all stand up and start making a change, it's just going to get worse," he said at the meeting Tuesday.

Stapp urged the agency's Board of Directors to take crime seriously and release surveillance video of attacks to the public.

"You have a disease going on right now and you either get out and start preventing the disease or the disease is going to proliferate," he said.

BART police Chief Carlos Rojas said Tuesday that an increase in rapes and other sexual crimes on the transit system so far this year is troubling but shouldn't be blown out of proportion.

Rojas said FBI statistics show that there were seven rapes reported on BART property from January through the end of June, compared to four in 2016, three in 2015 and two in 2014.

He said there has also been an increase in the number of reported sexual assaults, with 28 in the first six months of the year, which is the same number of sexual assaults reported during all of 2016, which was already up 75 percent from 2015 when only 16 sexual assault cases were reported.

Rojas said that although all of the reported rapes involved sexual violence, not all involved forced sexual intercourse, which is the traditional definition of rape.

Under federal crime reporting standards, sexual assaults with the intent to commit rape are reported as rapes, he said.

"One rape or sexual assault is too many," Rojas said.

He noted there's no indication that the crimes, most of which occurred at East Bay stations, are connected and said arrests have been made in some but not all of the rape cases.

A report that Rojas presented to BART's Operations, Safety and Workforce Committee today indicates that at a time when concerns are growing about crime at the transit system, BART is having a hard time recruiting and retaining enough police officers.

That said, the chief said he is working on recruitment and other strategies to make BART safer.

"We do cover four counties so it's an expansive system, but nevertheless crime is up and (we're) looking at ways to mitigate that and hopefully eliminate it," Rojas said.

Director Debora Allen, who represents Walnut Creek and surrounding cities in Contra Costa County, said after the meeting that 40 of the police officer positions that BART has budgeted for are unfilled.

"We should have more officers" because the transit system opened the new Warm Springs station in Fremont earlier this year and plans to open other new stations in the near future, Allen said.

"Not only do we have 40 vacant positions that are already budgeted for," she continued, but BART "should have a lot more police officers than we have budgeted for."

Speaking about a related topic, Allen said she's glad that BART will resume sending out daily reports for felony crimes and will issue monthly crime reports to BART directors.

Rojas, who became chief on May 25, discontinued the daily logs in early June, opting instead to send crime data to the free online tool CrimeMapping.com to inform riders about safety threats at or near BART stations.

"We have to have facts in order to identify the (crime) problem and to identify solutions," Allen said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Suicide Barriers Going Up Inside SJSU's King Library]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:39:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/library-suicide-0717.jpg

Officials with the city of San Jose and San Jose State University are planning to install suicide barriers inside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

After two suicides in just over a year, city and university leaders have decided to take action. The plan is to put up 7-foot glass railings on floors 2 through 7 in the library's atrium.

Officials say they want to keep people safe while also maintaing the library's famous glass architecture.

The railings should be completed by late August or early September, officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Controversial Dress Code Removed at South Bay Schools]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 20:05:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Generic+Lockers+Generic+School+Generic.JPG

Some South Bay schools are removing a controversial dress code.

The San Jose Unified School District agreed with students who raised concerns the dress code was unfair to female students. The dress code includes a ban on halter tops and certain shorts.

District officials are now revising the dress code to be clothing "suitable" for the classroom and leaving it up for families to decide.

NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman has more in the video report above.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Battling Brush Fire in Saratoga]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 23:54:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/saratoga+fire-0717.jpg

Firefighters late Monday were working to contain a vegetation fire on the western edge of Saratoga, Santa Clara County Fire Department officials said, but they were delayed when a drone got in the way.

The fire was reported on Mt. Eden Road west of Pierce Road, according to an alert sent out by fire officials at 3:51 p.m. By about 11 p.m., fire crews said the blaze had burned 10 acres and was 40 percent contained. A previous 75 percent containment number reported by fire officials was determined to be incorrect.

Officials conformed that a drone was spotted flying over the area where the firefight was taking place. That presented a major problem.

"We had a helicopter coming in and it had to be waved off because the drone was spotted," said Ryan Cronin, Santa Clara County arson investigator. "That investigation is ongoing.”

Flying drones in an emergency zone is a violation of FAA rules and California codes.

"It probably didn’t affect this fire that much, but if it would have impacted that helicopter, it could have caused it to crash," Cronin said.

The fire burned uphill and away from homes, official said. No structures were threatened, and no evacuations were ordered.

Initially it was reported that officials had asked residents in the Mt. Eden Road area to shelter in place so emergency heavy equipment can access the fire. But Cronin later said the road was open to residents and some through traffic.

The slow-moving fire worried some of the people living in the area.

"I loaded up the car with important paperwork, computer, family photos, just in case," resident Nicole Golko said.

Jan Garrod is the general manager of Cooper/Garrod Vineyards. A day camp for children was in session at the vineyard, putting parents on alert.

"It’s like school; parents were coming to pick up kids, and they shut the door," Garrod said. "They all had to stay here."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Drowns While Attempting to Rescue Son at Coyote Creek]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 23:55:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/emergency-lights-generic-df.jpg

A 35-year-old man drowned while trying to rescue his son at Coyote Creek in Morgan Hill, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Rich Glennon said.

Emergency crews were called around 2 p.m. Sunday to respond to the incident at a series of large ponds behind the Parkway Lakes RV Park off Ogier Avenue.

"A group of children and adults were enjoying the water when some of the kids had trouble swimming due to currents and depth of the water," Glennon said in a press release.

At least one of the kids was described by Glennon as in extreme distress when his father jumped in to save the boy.

The father is identified as Saul Garcia.

"He was unable to get himself to safety and went under the water and didn't rise back up," Glennon said.

A Sheriff's Office dive team located Garcia's body hour later about 15 feet underwater.

Garcia leaves behind his wife and two children. A GoFundMe account has been established for his family.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Tech Exec to be Sentenced for Gambling Investments]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 13:24:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/court-gavel-generic-law.jpg

A former tech executive is set to be sentenced to county jail Monday afternoon for defrauding his business partner and high school friends out of more than $400,000, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Narsimha Raju Sagiraju, 28, spent about $424,000 on blackjack trips to Las Vegas, Monte Carlo and Dubai that he had told his former Cupertino High School classmates he would invest.

Sagiraju pleaded no contest to three felony counts of securities fraud and three felony counts of grand theft, Deputy District Attorney Erica Engin said.

The former software startup director also admitted to excessive taking and white-collar crime enhancements.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Shelyna Brown is set to decide at 1:30 p.m. Monday whether to sentence Sagiraju to three or five years in jail for his crimes.

"The defendant stole millions of dollars from people who trusted him so that he could live the lavish lifestyle of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist," Engin said in a statement.

"His crimes have caused his victims to lose substantial amounts of money and trust," Engin said.

While a startup executive in 2012, Sagiraju solicited several former classmates to invest in Genwi, a commercial construction project, and pre-IPO shares of stock in Pinterest and Facebook, prosecutors said.

Three victims sued Sagiraju in civil court the following year, after he had gambled the money away, and he said he would repay them with interest.

In November 2014, one victim reported the fraud to the district attorney's office.

When Sagiraju was arrested upon his arrival in Las Vegas in February 2016, he had $155,000 in casino chips, prosecutors said.

At the time of his arrest in Las Vegas, Sagiraju was working for a new venture capital fund and a real estate investment company.

A few months later, Sagiraju's business partner at the two companies contacted the district attorney's office to report that the defendant had embezzled almost $2 million in the 10 months leading up to his arrest.

Prosecutors used the white-collar crime "Freeze and Seize" law to take custody of the casino chips and $121,000 in two of Sagiraju's casino accounts in Las Vegas.

Brown is set to decide how to distribute that money to the victims at a restitution hearing, prosecutors said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pros and Cons of Google's Proposed Campus in San Jose]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 06:50:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0706-2017-SJDiridonPlan.jpg

As Google moves forward with a plan to expand to San Jose, concerns about the tech giant's massive project are mounting.

The latest tech campus in Silicon Valley would feature roughly eight million square feet of office space and bring as many as 20,000 news jobs to the area around San Jose's Diridon Station. The city hopes the project will propel the station toward becoming the Grand Central Station of the west.

Last month, San Jose entered into exclusive talks with Google to sell about 250 acres of space near the station to the tech giant. An office project that size is more than double the size of Google's main campus in Mountain View.

Packing those new employees into one of the largest cities in the United States has increased concerns about roadway traffic, over-crowding on public transit, housing space and housing affordability.

Traffic concerns could be mitigated once BART and high-speed rail start operating out of the downtown San Jose area.

San Jose has also put conditions on the development agreement. Taxpayers will not foot the bill for the project and there has to be a community engagement process to hear questions about the plan.

Those community discussions will not begin before the 2017 holiday season.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two Fatally Shot Inside Home Off Highway 9 in Saratoga]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:08:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-17-17_Highway_9_Shooting.jpg

Two adults were found shot to death in their home in the southern part of Saratoga on Monday morning, according to Santa Clara County sheriff's officials.

The discovery was reported around 9:30 a.m. in the 19000 block of state Highway 9, near Glen Una Drive.

Homicide and crime scene investigators are speaking with family members, witnesses and neighbors of the pair, whose identities are not yet being released by the sheriff's office.

Based on the preliminary investigation, officials do not believe there is a risk to the community, sheriff's Sgt. Rich Glennon said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Baby at Center of Amber Alert Recovered Safely in San Jose]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:00:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-17-17_Amber_Alert_Soledad.jpg

An 8-month-old boy at the center of an Amber Alert out of Monterey County was found safe in San Jose Monday morning, according to officials.

The baby, who officials originally said was a year old, was sitting alone in the back seat of a running car in Soledad when a suspect hopped in the vehicle and drove off, according to Sgt. Juan Espinoza with the Soledad Police Department. Hours later, concerned citizens in San Jose came across the suspect, later identified as Raymond Randy Gutierrez, and managed to bring the baby to safety.

"Baby is perfectly safe and sound," Soledad Police Department Sgt. Juan Espinoza said. "Best possible result that we could have hoped for."

Gutierrez, a transient known as "Turtle," was spotted driving in a white Honda in Salinas later in the day and was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, child endangerment, auto theft and possession of stolen property, police said.

The child was resting in the car early Monday when his father ran inside their home to grab something, according to Espinoza. When the father came back, the car and his child were gone.

According to a source, the Gutierrez stole the car but supposedly didn't realize the child was in the back seat. 

Police in San Jose received a call around 7:15 a.m. about a man with a baby in the back seat of a car in the area of Seymour and Walnut Streets, according to police.

A woman by the name of Mamas Ramirez said Gutierrez, pounded on her trailer door and asked her and her husband to take the baby. After getting over the initial shock of the situation and realizing that the suspect did indeed have a baby, Ramirez said Gutierrez then started to break into a nearby van, which apparently belongs to the suspect's brother, to steal a scooter.

A worker at a nearby construction company heard the commotion and learned about the situation after talking with Ramirez. Together, the worker and Ramirez decided to pluck the baby from the car.

The suspect returned to the stolen car and fled the scene.

San Jose police eventually arrived at the scene and took control of the baby, according to police. Following a medical check, the baby was reunited with his parents at the San Jose Police Department.

Monday's abduction marks the second time in two years that a car theft in Soledad turned into a kidnapping, according to Espinoza. He used the incident as a reminder to parents to never leave their children alone in a car with the keys inside.

NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol
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<![CDATA[Woman Shot in San Jose; Suspect Remains at Large: Police]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 18:46:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-16-17_SJ_Shooting.jpg

A suspect remains at large Sunday following a Saturday night shooting in San Jose that left a woman wounded, police said.

The shooting happened just before midnight in the area of Eden and Payne avenues, which sits on the border of San Jose and Campbell.

The woman, who sustained at least one gunshot wound, was transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Neighbors said they have seen shootings in the area before and are not surprised by last night's violence.

"A woman victim, yes, but that someone was shot, no, because it happens often," resident Maria Perez said. "And if it's not here, it's on other streets back on Lexington."

The shooting suspect has yet to be identified or located, according to police.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Lengthy Standoff in Mountain View Ends With Arrests]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 21:28:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DE4DAmeVwAA1uzE.jpg

An hours-long standoff Sunday morning between police and two people refusing to come out of a home in Mountain view came to a peaceful end, according to police.

No one was injured during the domestic dispute and standoff, and the man and woman involved were arrested without incident, police said.

The incident started around 4 a.m. when police were alerted to reports of a fight inside a home along the 700 block of Hope Street, according to police. Responding officers could hear Samuel Rowles, 40, and Elideth Rodriguez, 33, screaming inside the residence. The pair refused to leave the home, and they did not want to speak with officers.

For the next several hours, a crisis negotiation team and SWAT team worked to diffuse the issue. A shelter-in-place order was also implemented for the surrounding neighborhood.

Rowles and Rodriguez, who were not allowed to be in the residence at the time of the incident, finally exited the home peacefully around 9:30 a.m., according to police. They were arrested, and charges are pending.

The shelter-in-place was lifted, and Hope Street between Church Street and Yosemite Avenue was reopened by 11 a.m.

Rowles and Rodriguez were arrested in April after police found guns, ammunition, meth and a stolen ATM inside their home.

Photo Credit: Mountain View Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Sizzling Temps Prompt Heat Advisory, Red Flag Warning]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 13:28:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sun_Heat_Generic_Hot_car.jpg

A scorching Sunday furthered a heat advisory and prompted a red flag warning for several Bay Area locations as the region swelters during another summer heat wave.

A heat advisory implemented Saturday morning for the Diablo Range, Santa Cruz Mountains, Big Sur region, East Bay valleys and North Bay mountains will remain in effect until Sunday at 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures in those regions could reach 105 degrees or more.

Due to blistering temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity, a red flag warning is also in effect for spots above 1,000 feet where wildfires could ignite and spread quickly. Those areas include North Bay hills, East Bay hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Heat sensitive residents are at moderate to high risk of heat-related illnesses and the danger of wildfires will rise with the rising temperatures, according to weather officials.

Cooler temperatures are forecast for early next week.

The hottest temperatures for inland valleys and ridges will be in the North Bay, East Bay, South Bay and in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

In the North Bay, interior valleys could reach the low 100s, according to weather officials.

On East Bay ridges temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s.

The inland areas of the South Bay are forecast to reach the 90s while ridges will be near 100. San Jose will open several cooling centers Sunday across the city.

Inland valleys of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties are expected to be in the 90s. The ridges could reach the low 100s.

Coastal temperatures from the North Bay to Monterey Bay will be lower, weather officials said.

Across the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, temperatures in the hilly and mountainous regions could stay above 70 degrees during the night and early morning hours.

Weather officials said pets and livestock may require extra care during the heat.

The officials suggest residents drink plenty of fluids, stay in air conditioning and out of the sun and check up on neighbors and relatives.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Car Fire in San Jose Ignites Nearby Brush]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 10:45:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-16-17_SJ_Car_Brush_Fire.jpg

Firefighters responded to a car fire that spread to brush Sunday morning in San Jose, fire officials said.

According to a San Jose Fire Department dispatcher, a car fire was reported at about 4 a.m. in the area of Sierra Road and Skyview Drive. The fire spread from the vehicle to some nearby brush.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and had the blaze under control at 5:11 a.m., the dispatcher said.

Further details were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Time Deli in San Jose Closes Its Doors After Lengthy Run]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 18:11:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-15-17_Time_Closing.jpg

An iconic sandwich shop operating out of the South Bay since 1950 closed its doors for the final time Saturday.

The owner of Time Deli and Catering, located at the intersection of South Bascom Avenue and Stevens Creek Boulevard in San Jose, shuttered the shop at 2 p.m. following a legal battle and an inability to pay for necessary renovations.

Droves of people came around one final time and packed the establishment to enjoy their favorite meals.

"It's a sad day that Time is closing because they were a great restaurant," longtime customer Chuck Mignosa said. "We're sad to see them go."

Time Deli and Catering has been dishing out meals to folks as far away as Fairfield and Monterey for 67 years, according to its website.

The establishment was recently sued by an attorney who targets businesses that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the owner. The lawsuit was settled, but without enough money to pay for renovations, the owner decided to close up shop.

As for what meal Mignosa is going to miss eating inside the shop, he didn't hesitate. Time's tri-tip sandwich was his go-to selection.

"Fantastic," he said. "Can't beat it."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Sunnyvale DPS Reopens After Ammunition, Grenade Scare]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 20:29:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DEzolBPUMAAxA5D.jpg

A Sunnyvale resident on Saturday dropped off ammunition and grenades in the Department of Public Safety's lobby, prompting the evacuation of the building.

The department is headquartered at 700 All America Way, which was closed around 12:30 p.m., officials said in a Nixle alert. 

A bomb squad from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office headed to the scene. People were urged to stay away.

Officials took to Twitter around 2:40 p.m. with a picture of the "inert explosives," which had been disassembled. "Everyone is safe," they wrote.

The building was reopened just before 3 p.m. once the crisis had been averted.

The department encouraged people avoid touching or transporting explosive devices. Instead, call 911. 

Photo Credit: Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety
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<![CDATA[Heat Advisory in Effect as Bay Area Boils]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 18:36:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-74094872.jpg

A heat advisory for the Diablo Range, Santa Cruz Mountains and Big Sur region has been expanded to the East Bay valleys and North Bay Mountains, National Weather Service officials said Friday.

The advisory is in effect from 8 a.m. Saturday to 9 p.m. Sunday for all five locations where temperatures could reach 105 degrees or more.

Heat sensitive residents are at moderate to high risk of heat-related illnesses and the danger of wildfires will rise with the rising temperatures, according to weather officials.

Cooler temperatures are forecast for early next week.

The hottest temperatures for inland valleys and ridges will be in the North Bay, East Bay, South Bay and in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

In the North Bay, interior valleys could reach the low 100s, according to weather officials.

On East Bay ridges temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s.

The inland areas of the South Bay are forecast to reach the 90s while ridges will be near 100. San Jose will open several cooling centers Sunday across the city.

Inland valleys of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties are expected to be in the 90s. The ridges could reach the low 100s.

Coastal temperatures from the North Bay to Monterey Bay will be lower, weather officials said.

Across the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, temperatures in the hilly and mountainous regions could stay above 70 degrees during the night and early morning hours.

Weather officials said pets and livestock may require extra care during the heat.

The officials suggest residents drink plenty of fluids, stay in air conditioning and out of the sun and check up on neighbors and relatives.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested on Suspicion of Shooting Into Santa Clara Home]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 10:16:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SantaClaraSuspect.jpg

Police in Santa Clara on Wednesday arrested a suspect in connection with shooting into a residence.

Victor Francis Cruz, 37, of Hayward, was arrested on suspicion of shooting at an inhabited or occupied dwelling, according to the Santa Clara Police Department.

Officers responded Wednesday at 10 a.m. to the 900 block of Las Palmas Drive on a victim's report a window in his residence was damaged by a bullet.

There were no reported injuries in the shooting.

Responding officers found shell casings on the street.

Detectives were able to identify Cruz as the suspect in the shooting and learned the shooting occurred around 3 a.m., police said.

Around 3 p.m., police located Cruz and arrested him.

Police said the shooting was an isolated incident, and the victim was the intended target.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Serial Cat Killer Sentenced to 16 Years in County Jail]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 16:45:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/robert-farmer-cat-guy.jpg

A South Bay man who plead guilty to stealing, torturing and killing more than a dozen cats in San Jose's Cambrian Park area was sentenced Friday to 16 years in county jail.

Each cat killed by San Jose-resident Robert Farmer had its name read aloud by a judge during the sentencing to remind him of each crime he committed.

Mirim Petrova's tabby "Go-Go" was one of Farmer's victims and the body has yet to be found.

Friday's sentencing helps Petrova heal.

"We finally can say goodbye to every cat that was involved in this tragedy," Petrova said. "That's finally saying goodbye to them."

Farmer pleaded guilty to killing 18 cats and wounding three more. The crimes all occurred in the fall of 2015, with one of the abductions caught on camera.

Numberous blood stains were also discovered in Farmer's car, along with a dead cat.

A necropsy showed at least one of the cats died of blunt force trauma and may have been sexually abused.

"The judge agreed with my analysis," Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis said. "She sentenced him to 16 years, we can only hope it is long enough."

Farmer will not be allowed back within 100 yards of the Cambrian Park neighborhood. He will also not be able to own or care for a pet for 10 years after his release.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Landlords Scramble to Repair Homes in Time for Incentives]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 16:36:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/aerial+flood+1.png

It’s been five months but dozens of San Jose residents uprooted by the disastrous Coyote Creek flood have been unable to return home.

Their apartments are still under repair, so the city is offering landlords money as an incentive to speed it up. In the flood-wrecked Rock Springs neighborhood, however, some homes are almost ready for move in, while others are still weeks, if not months, away.

Being able to hand apartment keys to tenants by July 31, means a landlord will be able to qualify for $2,000 for the first unit and a $1,000 each for every additional unit.

“That’s what the incentive program is for: to help encourage owners to move as quick as they can to get the work done,” said San Jose’s Deputy Housing Director Dave Bopf.

Hundreds of families had to be rescued in February when the Anderson Dam spilled over, prompting Coyote Creek to overflow its banks and flood water to rush into streets and homes in San Jose.

Now, 80 families remain displaced, living in motels and temporary homes until their apartments are ready.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Grass Fire Near Eastridge Mall in San Jose]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 15:16:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/0714-2017-EastridgeFire.jpg

A grass fire that burned at a field across Eastridge Mall in San Jose has been contained, firefighters said Friday afternoon.

The fire was reported on the 2200 block of Quimby Road, near the Capitol Expressway.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Ines Castillo
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<![CDATA[Gas Line Break Prompts Evacuations in Saratoga]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 14:00:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NBC+Bay+Area+Breaking+News+Image25.png

At least six home were evacuated in Saratoga Friday afternoon due to a severed gas line, firefighters said.

Construction crews remodeling a home on the 13000 block of Via Alto Court cut into a two-inch gas line, prompting evacuations and a hazardous materials response.

The scene was cleared by 3 p.m.

No other information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[Package Thieves Caught on Camera, Confronted by Victim in SJ]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 23:55:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+pkg+thief-0713.jpg

A woman trying to steal a package from the front porch of a San Jose home not only was caught on video, but also was confronted by the homeowner on the street.

The attempted robbery happened Wednesday afternoon in broad daylight. The resident, Heidi Burrows, is seen in surveillance footage driving up as the thieves put the package in their car and start pulling away. Burrows stops in front of the suspects' vehicle, and the thieves are seen throwing the box out the window before speeding away.

The security camera captures the entire theft, with the woman walking up to the front porch and bending over to pick up a box. She then trots down the front yard to a waiting Dodge SUV and tosses the box into the vehicle through the front passenger window. Just as she gets into the back seat, Burrows arrives home and sees what’s happening.

Burrows recalled saying to herself, "Wait a minute! They’re stealing my boxes!"

In the video, Burrows is seen stopping her SUV inches from the culprits' vehicle.

Burrows said she got out of her vehicle, shouted at the thieves and took pictures of their license plate to give to police.

"All of a sudden, I just see the box fly out of the window, and they go tearing off," Burrows said.

One neighbor says there have been a few minor incidents in the neighborhood over the years, but he was shocked when he saw the video.

"We had our spare change stolen out of our unlocked cars, but that’s about as far as any trouble in this neighborhood," said Richard Hahn.

Burrows said she's had a package stolen off her porch before and shared the picture of that thief. He made off with a box of shampoo.

The thieves Wednesday would have made off with packaging supplies, she said.

"It’s funny because I had three boxes of boxes on my porch, and as I was driving up and I rolled down my window, I heard them yell, 'Get the biggest box,'" Burrows said.

Burrows said she never intended to confront the attempted robbers. She only wanted to get a picture of their license plate. But she started shouting at the pair when she realized they looked like a normal, middle-aged couple.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Heidi Burrows]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Water Users Feel Betrayed by Rate Hike]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 19:24:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+water-0713.jpg

After many residents in the South Bay conserved water during the years-long drought, their reward is coming in the form of a higher water bill.

Santa Clara Valley Water District and San Jose Water Co. customers are not happy after learning their rates will be going up soon. The agencies say it's a matter of growth and dollars and cents.

But while water officials say it's a necessary business expense, some customers feel betrayed.

"It just keeps going up it seems like, and I thought the drought's over," one customer said. "I was hoping it would go down, not up."

The average bill, according to San Jose Water, will go up by $3.67, regardless of how much water customers saved.

"So they're basically reverse-incentivizing people," another customer said. "Next time the governor would like to see the water conserved, people are not gonna comply because they'll be penalized for it."

The water district says the rate hike, which will affect about 230,000 customers, is necessary because its wholesale water rate is going up and because of new infrastructure projects.

"We need to plan for that future, make sure we have a reliable water supply for the future," district spokesman Marty Grimes said. "Our existing infrastructure, like our dams and water treatment plant, are providing constant reliable service everyone depends on."

The water district says such plans focus on the long term, no matter how much water customers have or save each year.

The Anderson Dam retrofit project, for example, will cost somewhere around $450 million, according to the water district.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Restaurants Add Surcharges to Pay for Higher Min. Wage]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 23:32:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-8-16-santana-row-robbery.jpg

Several San Jose restaurants are adding a 4 percent surcharge now that minimum wage in the city went from $10.50 to $12 an hour on July 1.

Owners NBC Bay Area talked to said they had two options: raise all the prices on their menus or add a separate, distinct surcharge, which was easier to explain to customers.

Many customers interviewed Thursday said they are not particularly happy to see costs go up, but said it is literally the price to pay for the city's voter-approved hike in minimum wage.

"I think it's really important if you're going to have good service to take good care of your people," customer April Dedini said.

City officials overseeing compliance anticipate seeing virtually all restaurants raise prices or add a surcharge.

Meanwhile, some residents are worried that trying to keep up with the rising minimum wage will take its toll.

"Will it hurt businesses? I don't know, but definitely in the short term it'll hurt business owners," San Jose-resident Ian Siewierski said.

Minimum wage in San Jose is scheduled to reach $15 an hour by 2019.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Fire Officials Raise Possibility of One or More Arsonists]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 17:46:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+firefighters-0713.jpg

Fire crews in the South Bay have been busy all week and remain on high alert now that inspectors have raised the possibility that some fires have been set intentionally.

Firefighting crews have been stretched thin the past couple of weeks, with each shift going from one fire to the next.

At Station 2, one of the busiest fire stations in the South Bay, it’s been nonstop for the men and women inside. Two days after the fire at Alum Rock Park, crews were still on the scene, putting out any potential hot spots. The fire burned 101 acres and was 100 percent contained by Thursday afternoon.

At least 10 other fires have burned within a mile of the park over the past two weeks, and fire crews are feeling the heat.

"That’s just physically and emotionally exhausting for firefighters," firefighters union president Sean Kaldor said.

Kaldor said some of the fires could be the work of an arsonist in the East San Jose foothills, and he fears another arsonist is active in the area known as The Jungle, a former homeless encampment.

"We’ve had multiple fires in San Jose that are really taxing us," he said. "The Jungle area has had multiple fires in a single day. We can have three or four responses there. We’ve had so many fires like that."

Multiple suspicious fires in one area, some almost simultaneous, point to a high possibility of arson, Kaldor said. And that means more work for an already tired and understaffed fire department.

"The major events right now, they’re really strapping our thin resources," he said. "We’re understaffed to handle these events."

Kaldor said the fire season is just starting, and his men and women are already exhausted. Unlike other years, he said, they don’t even have the staff to go out and warn people in the hills about creating defensible space around their homes.

The firefighters union says they’re asking Cal Fire for help, and Cal Fire is asking them for help across the state. Cal Fire says 95 percent of fires in California are started by humans.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Water Rates to Rise for 229,000 San Jose Customers]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 07:36:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Water-generic2.jpg

Nearly a quarter million San Jose families and businesses will soon be asked to shell out extra for water.

With the blessing of the California Public Utilities Commission, the San Jose Water Company will raise water rates for 229,000 customers, even though they may have conserved water during the state’s historic drought.

On average, the affected customers will see a hike of $3.67 a month, the Mercury News reported.

The water company blames the price increase on higher wholesale water rates charged by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, in part to fund infrastructure repairs, including at the Anderson Dam, which spilled over this winter and prompted a historic flood in San Jose.

Higher water prices appear to be a trend across the Bay Area. Earlier this week, the East Bay Municipal Utility District raised rates for its 1.4 million customers.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Police Arrest Saratoga Man Suspcted of Shooting His Roommate]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 07:44:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-13-17-saratoga-shooting.jpg

Police arrested a Saratoga man on suspicion of shooting his roommate Thursday night.

Danny Deel was detained early Thursday by police after surrendering. Police then arrested him on murder charges.

Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies responded to a house on the 18600 block of Bucknall Road just after 7 a.m. 

The 57-year-old suspect called 911 and voluntarily surrendered, according to sheriff's deputies. He was being questioned but hadn't been arrested.

It remains unclear if that has changed since the 60-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries, making this a homicide case.

The public is not at risk, the sheriff's department said on its Twitter page. 

An investigation is ongoing.

People with information about the case are asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office at 408-808-4500. Anonymous tips can be left at 408-808-4431.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJPD Union Joins Call For Training on Handling Mentally Ill]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 19:26:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+ois-0712.jpg

A debate over the arrest of a New York police officer for the killing of a mentally ill suspect is about to erupt into a national controversy, with San Jose police right in the mix.

The NYPD officer faces a second-degree murder charge for fatally shooting a mentally ill woman wielding a bat. On Thursday, the New York police officers union says it will call for federal legislation to fund a national training program to teach officers how to better deal with the mentally ill.

And the president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, Paul Kelly, will be front and center at that announcement. Kelly said the SJPD union is getting involved because the officer arrest hit home.

In 2014, San Jose officers responded to a man with a history of mental illness threatening fellow residents at an apartment complex. The man threw knives at officers then retreated into his unit after being hit with rubber bullets. Officers decided not to arrest him, then hours later the man started a fire at the complex.

In another incident a month later, San Jose cops shot and killed a woman who charged at them with what appeared to be a gun. It turned out to be a painted drill.

"These officers do not want to go to these scenes and have to use deadly force," Kelly said.

New York police union officials are calling for the training because they say the New York officer, Sgt. Hugh Barry, followed standard protocol.

Kelly said that could easily happen to San Jose officers.

"If you look at what has happened in San Jose with our officer-involved shootings, we have six, if not more, that we had to deal with the mentally ill," Kelly said. "It hits home big time."

A controversial part of the proposed legislation calls for releasing more private medical information about a possible suspect as police are responding to a scene. Some police watchdog groups are wary.

"The problem is we’re still relying on them to be our mental health providers," said Shaunn Cartwright, member of Rise Up For Justice. "And they’re not mental health providers. They’re crisis responders."

Kelly had a different take.

"Law enforcement across the nation handles a lot of confidential information on a lot of different levels," he said. "I think we should be trusted to handle that professionally, as well as keep it in confidence."

The San Jose police union won’t be the only Bay Area agency represented. The San Francisco POA and a dozen other law enforcement agencies also will join the New York police union for the announcement Thursday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Companies Join Fight Against Net Neutrality Limits]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 23:46:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/net+neutrality+protest+open+net+utility+comcast+opposes+generic+pbj.jpg

Netflix, Google, and Facebook are on a mission: To fight the federal government.

Silicon Valley companies, both big and small, are battling for the future of net neutrality, the idea that Internet content should be open anytime, anywhere, at high speed.

The issue is front and center here in the valley, now that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is trying to repeal the current rule protecting net neutrality. It goes to a vote later this year.

So, tweets, posts, and promises of protection have been flying around the ‘net to protest Pai’s plan.

In the Menlo Park headquarters of AnchorFree, David Gorodyansky is working as well. The company's co-founder and CEO showed NBC Bay Area the Hotspot Shield, a download that will keep your surfing habits away from your internet service providers, so they can’t slow down your progress, which is the worry companies have about net neutrality going away.

“As a user,” Gorodyansky says, “your YouTube videos are gonna be slower, your Netflix movies are gonna be slower” without net neutrality. So his company is joining the fight, to protect your right to surf freely.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of this station, and is one of the internet service providers often mentioned as a supporter on limits to net neutrality.

Scott surfs on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>