<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usTue, 27 Sep 2016 11:05:44 -0700Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:05:44 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Kaep Joins Protest at Oakland High School Football Game]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 05:55:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Castlemont+Football.jpg

High school students in the East Bay are following Colin Kaepernick’s lead and helping to shine a light on issues of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States — this time by lying down during the national anthem.

Since August, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has taken to kneeling before games – something he did alongside the Castlemont High School football team in Oakland on Friday.

When the first strains of the national anthem floated across the field and Kaepernick knelt, the Knights lay on the ground with their hands up in the air.

"It's basically showing our vulnerability ... them being the authority and the power, and us being the citizens," said protest organizer and senior player Jadan Starks.

Head coach Edward Washington supports his team's actions.

“Black men and brown men have been assassinated unarmed, hands on the ground,” he said. “We had to protest and stand against this because it's not right."

Friday’s protest came after nearly a week after the team knelt during the National Anthem before another game and tweeted a picture of it. Kaepernick retweeted the Twitter post and it went viral, sparking a conversation between him and the school.

“He had reached out through a fraternity brother and a mutual friend and he was like, ‘I want to come over and talk to the kids,’” Washington said.

And that's exactly what Kaepernick did, catching the players by surprise.

“This is your family, these are your brothers,” he told the team. “I look at all of you as brothers. I see your strength, I see your power, I see your courage, your confidence.”

Speaking to the athletes in their locker room before the game, Kaepernick said he attended their game to stand – or kneel as the case may be – in solidarity with them.

“The same way y'all took a stand and stood with me, I had to come out here and stand with you’ll,” he said.

Kaepernick also encouraged his rapt audience to “lift each other up” because “that’s what this is about.”

He assured the Castlemont students that their actions, thoughts and words have value – both on and off the football field.

“You are important. You make a difference. This matters. Everything you do matters,” Kaepernick stressed.

Earlier in the week, a school band of roughly 155 middle and high school students from the Oakland Unified School District knelt as they played "The Star Bangled Banner" before an Oakland A's game on Wednesday.

San Francisco’s Mission High School football team has also decided to take a knee at every game in the season when the national anthem is played. The Bears are slated to face Millbrae’s Mills High School Saturday.

According to Castlemont coach Bryan Parker, this is just the beginning of a movement among young students and athletes, and those who motivate them.

"We want to keep a dialogue going, getting rid of the dehumanization of black and brown people all around the country, but specifically in Oakland," he said.

School officials say they plan to continue working with community leaders, politicians and law enforcement, going forward.

Social unrest has rocked the U.S. this week. Police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte have spawned massive demonstrations and even riots. Amid this social landscape, Kaepernick’s ongoing protest has ignited a maelstrom of conflicting reactions.

His face will grace the cover of Time magazine next month, but he has also received death threats and a recent poll reflects his unenviable achievement of being the most disliked player in the National Football League.

Closer to home, the NFLer has had not only the 49ers head coach Chip Kelly in his corner, but even a muralist, who created artwork on the side of an Oakland wall to remind Kaepernick, “We got your back.”

Photo Credit: Castlemont Football
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<![CDATA[Tractor Trailer Fire on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:04:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bigrigfire1.jpg

All lanes were blocked on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge on Tuesday morning, after a tractor trailer was burning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Eastbound Interstate Highway 580 was affected en route to Richmond. However, the westbound lanes were open.

The CHP said that a big rig and a trailer collided, causing the trailer truck to catch on fire. The report also said that the trailer was carrying 24 tons of contaminated soil.

The CHP advised drivers to take eastbound Highway 37 to westbound Interstate Highway 80 as an alternate route.

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Photo Credit: CHP Marin
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<![CDATA[Loma Fire Forces Swedes to Evacuate Uvas Canyon]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:45:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sveadal.jpg

A group of Swedes are among the hundreds of residents forced to evacuate from the Santa Cruz Mountains because of the Loma Fire, which on Tuesday had charred more than 2,000 acres and burned two homes.

Members of the Swedish American Patriotic League, known as Sveadal, had to leave the area, too. For 90 years, the group has been renting quaint cabins and a small apartment building, most of them built in the early 1900s. Some cabins were used by the Swedish Relief Society in the 1930s, according to the Sveadal website.

Many other areas along the Loma Prieta ridgeline in Santa Clara County were also evacuated along Summit Road to the Ormsby Fire Station, including Uvas Canyon County Park and Croy Road. On Tuesday, the fire was burning in the Mount Loma Prieta, Mount Chual and Uvas Creek drainages, Cal Fire said.

Cal Fire officials did not immediately say which of the structures were destroyed in the fire, which broke out Monday afternoon. And the fire was threatening 300 more structures; possibly the ones in the Sveadal grounds – 110-acres of mountain property in the Uvas Canyon established in 1926. A Cal Fire spokesman on Tuesday was not immediately sure where the destroyed structures were. No one was immediately available from the Swedish organization to repond to emails and phone calls sent to some of the members.

For years, Swedish-American families have been summering at the cabins, and hiking in the trails and waterfalls behind them behind them. There is also a clubhouse, pool and basketball court on the property.

One of the special treasures on the property, the community points out, is The Janel redwood carving that looks like a troll named after Emil Janel, a Swedish woodcarver, who stayed on the property in 1948.

Photo Credit: Sveadal webiste]]>
<![CDATA['Toy Smuggler' Brings Smiles to Syria's Children]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:26:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/toysmuggler3-jgg-1.jpg

For children in war-torn Syria, Rami Adham is a welcome visitor. Since the beginning of the civil war, the Syrian native who lives in Finland has risked his life traveling to Syria more than two dozen times to deliver toys to children.

"I was very saddened by what was going on," Adham told NBC News. "As a Syrian, I wanted of course to do my part in helping people ... so I decided to go there myself."

According to Adham, his three-year-old daughter gave him toys before his first trip back to his homeland. From there, his charity, the Finland Syria Community Association, grew. It collects toys, sponsors orphans, and even builds schools for Syrian children.

Even with the growth of the charity, though, Adham still carries the toys himself.

Photo Credit: Ziad Jaber]]>
<![CDATA[Christie Aide: He Knew All About Bridge Closings]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:25:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/gwb+indictments.jpg

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about George Washington Bridge lane closings in Fort Lee as they were happening, longtime Christie aide David Wildstein testified publicly for the first time Tuesday.

Pictures of Christie, Wildstein and Bill Baroni were taken the morning of Sept. 11, 2013 at the World Trade Center memorial site. It was there that Wildstein claimed he and Baroni bragged to the governor about the traffic nightmare the lane closures caused - and their refusal to answer phone calls from Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich, who declined to endorse Christie's reelection.

Wildstein, testifying at the criminal trial of Baroni and Christie aide Bridget Kelly, claims the governor also told his Port Authority appointees not to communicate with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop - who also refused to endorse the governor.

Wildstein has pleaded guilty in the scheme to tie up traffic at the bridge.

Baroni was Wildstein's boss at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that operates the bridges, airports and other facilities including the World Trade Center. Kelly was Christie's deputy chief of staff and headed an office responsible for outreach to county and municipal officials.

They are accused of reducing access lanes to the bridge and face fraud, conspiracy and civil rights charges. They have pleaded not guilty and have said the government has twisted federal law to turn their actions into crimes. They also have said other people with more power and influence were involved in the lane closures but aren't being prosecuted.

Christie has denied knowing about the bridge scheme until well after it was carried out, and a taxpayer-funded report he commissioned absolved him of wrongdoing. He hasn't been charged.

Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wingsuit Athletes Test the Limits During World Cup Competition]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:19:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000019119570_1200x675_774093891812.jpg A Chinese team secured second place in the final competition of the ongoing Wingsuit Flying World Cup held in Zhaotong City in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. Each country nominated three extreme athletes to participate in the final, who each have only one jump. The competitors will receive a higher score if they arrive closer to the target landing area. The French team captured the overall crown, while teams from Australia and the United States took third and fourth place, respectively. The competition, which also combines skydiving with hang gliding, has attracted more than 50 top wingsuit fliers from 20 countries, including the United States, Germany, and South Africa.]]> <![CDATA[Clinton Holds Rally in North Carolina]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:21:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-610636870.jpg

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is holding rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday, a day after facing off with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the first presidential debate.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Pope Calls for Tolerance, Loving Gestures, in Final Mass]]> Sun, 27 Sep 2015 16:05:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-490326864.jpg

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered in the heart of Philadelphia to watch as Pope Francis culminates his historic visit to the United States by celebrating Mass and talking once again about the importance of the family — the theme of the World Meeting of Families event that brought him to the country for the first time.

Francis used the Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in downtown Philadelphia to stress tolerance, patience and the acceptance of others.

"To raise doubts about the working of the Spirit, to give the impression that it cannot take place in those who are not 'part of our group,' who are not 'like us,' is a dangerous temptation," he said in a homily. "Not only does it block conversion to the faith; it is a perversion of faith."

According to an "unofficial estimate" by people working the event, a crowd of 860,000 started making its way to security lines early in the day for a chance to get to see His Holiness up close. Even more watched on about 40 large TV screens that were set up in the city. Most of those screens were located about 25 blocks away from the Mass location.

Francis told the pilgrims that "our common house can no longer tolerate sterile divisions."

On family, he said love is shown by small daily signs which make people feel at home, and that faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love.

"That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches," he said. "They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith."

He added: "Anyone who wants to bring into this world a family which teaches children to be excited by every gesture aimed at overcoming evil -- a family which shows that the Spirit is alive and at work -- will encounter our gratitude and our appreciation. Whatever the family, people, region, or religion to which they belong."

Toward the end of his homily, he asked the audience a simple question.

"In my own home, do we shout? Or do we speak to each other in love and tenderness? That is a good way of measuring our love."

At the end of the Mass, Francis had one final message to those in attendance.

"Thank you very much for your participation and your love for the family," he said in English. "And I ask you to pray for me. Don't forget."

The Mass ends Francis' whirlwind six-day U.S. trip in which he has visited the White House, addressed a joint session of Congress, participated in a multi-religious service at Ground Zero, addressed world leaders at the United Nation's General Assembly and met privately with victims of clergy sex abuse at a seminary just outside of Philadelphia. The pontiff, who is known as the people's pope for his outward display of humility, also met with the homeless at a shelter and inmates at a jail.

The City of Brotherly Love opened its doors this weekend not only for Francis (Archbishop Charles Chaput even joked about renaming the city "Francisville"), but to the thousands of people who arrived in the city to catch a glimpse of him at one of his many city-wide events.

Among those in attendance at the final Mass was 61-year-old Junior Isaac, who arrived in Philadelphia without tickets.

"I wanted to be part of history," said Isaac, who was wearing a U.S. Army hat. "I came all the way from Rhode Island without tickets. Within two hours I had four. I think God is a miracle and a feast.”

Latonya Williams, a childcare provider from Philadelphia, attended the event with her three children.

“I think he’s the best," Williams said of Francis. "I love his humble spirit. I wasn’t that interested in the other popes, and I’m not Catholic."

A Grand Arrival

The "Popemobile," a white Jeep Wrangler, began carrying Francis toward the alter at about 3:15 p.m. to the roars of scores of people lining the streets of Philly. His motorcade stopped briefly to view the "Knotted Grotto," a public art installation at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The Grotto is a place anyone can go, write their intentions down, and tie them onto one side of the courtyard fence to be "undone" by another person. People leaving intentions tie their own and then untie someone else's to move it to the other side in homage to Francis' favorite image of the Blessed Mother as Mary Undoer of Knots.

Some 500 students from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, boarded buses Saturday night for their pilgrimage to the World Meeting of Families event.

The students, part of the university's campus ministry group, arrived in Philadelphia around 7 a.m.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Nicole Steiner, 19, a sophomore originally from Massachusetts. "It's cool we're able to see him in our own country. He's an inspiring figure."

The students will board buses back to Notre Dame Sunday night.

Courtney Morin, 19, also a sophomore, said she's excited to be part of something so big.

"He's such a huge figure in the world," said Morin, who is from Indiana. "For me, it's being part of a moment when so many things can happen."

The two young woman and several other students from Notre Dame stopped to pose for a photo at Philly's iconic LOVE sculpture before heading to the Parkway to find a spot to watch the Mass. They have tickets to get into the closer areas, they said.

Students from Notre Dame have been following the pope's movement throughout his historic visit to the United States.

"We had papal pancakes Thursday to watch his address to Congress," Morin said.

A flock of Father Thien Nguyen's pilgrims donned bright yellow shirts and waited eagerly in front of a Jumbotron outside Philadelphia's City Hall on Sunday morning.

Nguyen said the group of about 150 people from the Vietnamese Catholic community in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Canada traveled to Philly for Francis' public Mass. Nguyen heard confession from a woman as many of his older pilgrims hunked down by the bigscreen to watch the Mass.

"This group decided to stay here near the screen, food and bathrooms because they're older," Nguyen explained. "One group had tickets and went all the way up (the Parkway)."

Nguyen said the Vietnamese faithful love the pope because of his care for the poor and the way he "represents Christ in the world."

The group celebrated a Vietnamese Mass Sunday morning before the papal service later, he said.

"We pray the pope will continue to be a great leader," Nguyen said. "We love the pope."

Up Next

After the Mass the Pope will travel back to Rome. His exit also means the World Meeting of Families ends. It was announced at the Mass that the next chapter in the religious event will take place in Dublin, Ireland, in 2018.

Photo Credit: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Ferguson Grand Jury Records Not Approved for Release]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:37:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/459432416.jpg The prosecutor overseeing the Ferguson grand jury hearing the Michael Brown case took the rare step of recording and documenting the proceedings, but that doesn't mean they will be released to the public if police officer Darren Wilson isn't indicted, officials said Sunday, NBC News reported. The St. Louis County director of judicial administration, Paul Fox, released a statement Sunday saying that St. Louis Judge Carolyn Whittington has to analyze the records before she approves that they be released, and Whittington can't do that until the grand jury has finished hearing evidence. The grand jury's decision on whether to indict Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Brown in August, could come this week.
Get More at NBC News

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Man Saved From High Water by Firefighters]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:29:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000019118729_1200x675_774052931736.jpg Firefighters in San Antonio rescued a driver from the top of his car Monday morning after he became stranded in high water. The man tried to climb on to the firefighters' ladder, but he slipped off and clung to the ladder as his legs splashed in the swollen creek. The rescue crews lowered the ladder and the man was able to get on and walk back to dry land. The man told rescuers he just moved to San Antonio from out of state and his navigation system led him straight into the flooded area.]]> <![CDATA[Taliban: We Found Bergdahl Alone, Cursing Countrymen]]> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 16:52:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP185958732321.jpg Two former Taliban commanders told NBC News on Thursday that Bowe Bergdahl was walking alone and cursing his countrymen when the Taliban found and captured him in Afghanistan in 2009. “Our people at the time couldn’t understand his language, but it was after he was shifted to a safe location, he said he wasn’t happy with his countrymen, but he didn’t intend to convert to Islam or join mujahideen (holy warriors),” one of the commanders said. The commanders said that through 2010, he had not converted to Islam. Bergdahl's release has drawn outrage from some, especially Republicans, who say the Obama administration might have broken the law by failing to notify congress before it traded five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bergdahl.
Get More at NBCNews

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Charged After 2 Children Abducted in Indiana Found Dead]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:22:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pasztor+mug.jpg

Two children who were the subjects of an Indiana statewide Amber Alert Monday afternoon were found dead later that night, Elkhart police said.

Amber Pasztor, 29, of Fort Wayne, was charged with murder and is being held in Elkhart County Jail.

About 5:25 p.m. an officer walking out of the Elkhart Police Department on Marion Street, was stopped by Pasztor, the children's non-custodial mother, who was driving a vehicle matching the description of the one described in the Amber Alert, police said. Pasztor told the officer there were two dead children in the backseat of the car, police said.

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The statewide alert was issued for 7-year-old Liliana Hernandez and 6-year-old Rene Pasztor. 

The children were last seen at 6:21 a.m. ET in Fort Wayne and were believed to be "in extreme danger," police said. 

Fort Wayne is 125 miles north of Indianapolis. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Allen County Sheriff's office at (260) 449-7661. 

Photo Credit: Elkhart Police Department
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<![CDATA[Breeding Season in Full Swing for Penguins in Argentina]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:28:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000019118556_1200x675_774012995700.jpg Sunday, Sept. 26 marked the official beginning of breeding season for the Magellanic penguin on the Argentine peninsula of Punta Tombo. Hundreds of thousands of the flightless birds are expected to converge on the tiny inlet over the next couple of weeks. The penguins can be seen building their nests among the rough scrub in an area where the Atlantic shores meet the barren mountain ridges, before they hunt for their monogamous match. Punta Tombo represents the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world. They come on shore to nest and both the male and female take turns sitting on the egg and hunting for food. Around 20 inches tall and decked out with black and white plumage, the species are warm-weather flightless birds indigenous to the south of Brazil, but breed in large colonies in Southern Argentina and Chile. During the mating and breeding season, which runs for about three months, 150,000 visitors from all over the world visit the reserve annually.]]> <![CDATA[Gaza Cease-Fire Holds as Peace Talks Re-Open in Cairo]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 03:12:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP654242583915.jpg An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire halting the Gaza war held into Monday morning, allowing Palestinians to leave homes and shelters as negotiators agreed to resume talks in Cairo, The Associated Press reported. In Cairo, negotiators talks resumed at 11 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) Monday as people bought fuel for generators and communication workers struggled to fix cables damaged by the fighting. The truce took effect just after midnight (5 p.m. ET), preceded by heavy rocket fire toward Israel. The monthlong war has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority civilians. In Israel, 67 people have been killed, all but three of them soldiers.
Get More at NBC News

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Suspects Shoot, Pistol Whip Couple in Orinda]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:36:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Orinda3.jpg

Orinda police are looking for suspects in Halloween masks who shot an elderly woman twice during an armed robbery and pistol-whipped her husband, the chief said.

In a note to the community on Next Door, Police Chief Mark Nagel said that the couple's son called dispatch about 10 p.m. Monday to say that his mother had been shot in the left arm and lower hip during the robbery on Claremont Avenue. He also called to say his father had been pistol whipped. Both parents are in their 70s.

The couple had just been grocery shopping when they were approached by the suspects upon returning home, the chief said.

Both were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek; police said the woman was in stable condition.

Nagel did not say how many suspects there were, only that they had been wearing masks and were seen running away with a wallet and a purse.

Orinda is an affluent city in Contra Costa County that is routinely named one of the top 10 safest town in California.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Popular Japanese Mascot Kumamon Treated to Large Grass Cutout]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:12:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000019118414_1200x675_774007875516.jpg Kumamon, the official mascot of a Japanese prefecture, can now be seen on a lawn in the southwestern Japanese prefecture on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Gardeners mowed the lawn at Suizenji Ezu Lake Park in Kumamoto City to make it look like Kumamon from up above. The grass design is flanked by messages of thanks to everyone who provided support to Kumamoto after major earthquakes struck back in April and the local people's will to work hard toward recovery. Kumamon himself got on a lift to take in the view. The Kumamon on the lawn will be shown to the public starting Oct. 1.]]> <![CDATA[Police Use Trading Cards to Connect]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 07:41:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pleasanton+police1.jpg

Amidst nationwide polls showing a decline in public trust, police departments in the East Bay are finding new, and sometimes unique, ways to try and connect with their communities.

Perhaps one of the more trendy ideas comes from the Pleasanton Police Department, where a series of trading cards featuring the images of its officers will be made available to the city's youth.

The 41 collectible cards will be handed out at kid-friendly events sponsored by the department. In keeping with the theme of targeting younger residents, all card giveaways will be announced via the department’s social media accounts, according to Shannon Revel-Whitaker, a crime prevention officer.

The department tried using trading cards as a way to familiarize youth and police in the early aughts, but this is the first time they’ve incorporated a collection game, she said. 

“It came about because another officer here, a school resource officer, suggested the idea as we sat down to talk about furthering engagement,” she said.

When all the cards have been collected, kids can enter for a chance to ride along with an officer during the Hometown Holiday Parade, among other prizes. Collector's game boards, which resemble posters and show pictures of all 41 cards, can be picked up at the front desk of the department office. 

In other parts of the East Bay, programs that are designed to diminish adversarial relationships between police and community members have become routine.  

Typically, each program is geared towards placing officers in an approachable environment: Pittsburg has its upcoming “Chips and Dip with a Cop” event on Sept. 29; Martinez hosts sit-downs with police over coffee, and in Richmond, officers swapped their uniforms for chef’s aprons during a barbecue and voter drive earlier this month.

Pittsburg police captain Ron Raman noted that these events remove the high-stress contexts in which police and community members usually come together.

“If you’re going to a domestic violence call or a violent call, you’re not going to be able to have the same interaction you can when you’re in an environment like Chips with a Cop,” he said. “It changes the officer's focus, and it changes the focus of the people who are there.”

While these types of programs may not be new, more recent installments do come at a significant juncture: The Bay Area is still grappling from a sexual exploitation scandal that rocked several police departments, and debates over officers’ use of force has sparked numerous protests around the country.

Research has also shown levels of waning trust: A nationwide Gallup poll found that confidence in law enforcement is the lowest it has been in 22 years.

Public information officers from both the Pittsburg and Pleasanton police departments were quick to point out that their community programs were not designed in response to scandals or nationwide events. Instead, both said they were hopeful that these new programs would strengthen already existing ties within the community. 

“Whether or not police are in the media and are shown in a positive or negative light, we are always looking for opportunities to connect with our community,” Revel-Whitaker said.

Gillian Edevane covers Contra Costa County for the digtal team. Contact her at Gillian.Edevane@NBCuni.com or follow her on twitter @GillianNBC. 

Photo Credit: Pleasanton Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Jet Families Seek $5M Reward for Answers]]> Sun, 08 Jun 2014 08:09:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP7372611894241.jpg Relatives of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia jet said Sunday that they are seeking to raise $5 million for a reward and private investigation leading to discovery of what happened to the plane and the 239 people on board, NBC News reported. The Reward MH370 project aims “to encourage a whistle blower to come forward” with information about the jet’s fate, a statement issued by five family members said. Project leader Ethan Hunt said effort was being launched via fundraising website indiegogo.com.
Get More at NBC News

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Remember Jose Fernandez in 1st Home Game Since Tragedy]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:09:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/182*120/GettyImages-610610562.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Most Memorable Moments From 1st General Election Debate]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 07:51:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PL05Ma_1200x675_773938755547.jpg Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off in the first presidential debate on Monday night. The candidates traded barbs and accusations throughout the often-tense 90 minute event at New York's Hofstra University; Clinton accused Trump of "a long record of engaging in racist behavior," referencing a justice department lawsuit accusing him of not renting apartments to African Americans. Trump mocked Clinton for her absence from the campaign trail in recent days, to which Clinton shot back that she did indeed prepare for the debate just as she has prepared to be president.]]> <![CDATA[Soil Engineers Test Sinking Millennium Tower]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:47:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-14-16-milennium-tower-sf-sign.jpg

Crews began to bore the first of three test holes, each more than 200 feet deep, outside the Millennium Tower on Monday to better assess soil conditions in the areas where the building is sinking and tilting along Mission and Fremont streets.

The tests – conducted by a consultant who has evaluated sinking around hundreds of buildings worldwide – will help the owners learn the forces has caused the building to sink some 16 inches and lean to the north and west.

The chief engineer on the project, Pat Shires, says that based on early data, the building could sink as much as 31 inches. But, he said, no one will know for sure until the test holes are dug and the data is evaluated.

Shires said the holes will go as far as 260 feet down into bedrock, but the building’s foundation piles go to less than half that depth.

Crews on Monday began sinking the first hole along Mission; the second will be at the corner of Fremont and Mission and the third will be bored on the west side of the building on Fremont, he said.

He showed one device known as a “spider magnet” that has arms that spring out and grab into the soil at various depths. The magnet in the device allows its exact level to be measured.

“You pull a string, and it releases these legs,” Shires said. A second device, which resembles a microphone on a long wire, measures the pressure exerted by the water that fills the bay mud.

The current range of estimates for that sinking are 8 inches to some 30 inches.

“I certainly would’ve never bought here if I’d known that,” said Jerry Dodson, who bought his $2.1 million condo on the building’s 42 floor back in 2009.

Dodson has been leading the fight to learn more about the troubled building. He says it is now clear that the Millennium building developers knew back then that the building was sinking.

“The homeowners were not told this until May 10, 2016, and it was a gut check for all of us,” he said, adding that his current concern is that the building’s sewage system lines may break under the force of the leaning building.

Dodson showed NBC Bay Area one hallway in the building, where the floor slopes so badly that a dime rolls down the marble. From Dodson’s unit, there are no signs that the building is leaning. But, he says, owners simply cannot sell or decide their future as long as the foundation issues are unsettled.

“We’ve really relied on Millennium Partners, and they’ve failed to disclose anything that’s been going on here,” Dodson said.

Last week, the City Attorney’s Office levied subpoenas on Millennium seeking disclosure documents to see what, if anything, was told to prospective buyers.

Dodson, who is both a patent attorney and mechanical engineer, has put together a website for residents to review documents. On Tuesday, he said, there will be a vote on who will serve on the association board.

Dodson also wants the FBI to get involved to investigate what he believes to be fraud by the developers for failing to disclose the problem.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Firefighter Dead, 12 Hurt When Suspected Drug Den Explodes]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:23:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bronx-explosion-fahy-inset.jpg

An FDNY battalion chief was killed by falling debris when a suspected drug den exploded in the Bronx Tuesday, leveling a two-story home and injuring at least 12 other people.  

Battalion Chief Michael Fahy was a 17-year FDNY veteran and father of three. A convoy of uniformed and non-uniformed firefighters stood outside the hospital to pay their respects as he body was taken to a funeral home.

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"He was on the rise. He was a star," a visibly emotional FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro reporters, adding that he knew Fahy's father - a former fire chief himself - personally.

"It's a sad day. Thankfully, this doesn't happen every day, but when it does, it doesn't make it any easier. We lost a hero today," Nigro said.

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Multiple police, civilians and Con Ed workers were injured following the 7:30 a.m. blast at the private home on West 234th Street near Tibbett Avenue in Kingsbridge. About an hour before the explosion, firefighters had responded to a report of a gas smell at the location and found the drug lab, police say. 

A law enforcement source tells NBC 4 New York officials believe the home was a marijuana growing operation. Flammable materials like propane are used to manufacture the drug, but the alleged pot growhouse would be the first such drug lab to blow up in the city, the law enforcement source said. 

The NYPD had an ongoing investigation on that block over the last two weeks, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.

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After the FDNY found the suspected lab, it called the NYPD in to investigate but the house exploded before officers could assess the location, according to police. Correspondence on emergency radio revealed immediate concern.

"We got men down ... with an explosion," a firefighter told a dispatcher, requesting multiple ambulances on a rush. "We got a man down ... firefighter down ... bad shape."

Streets were shut down in the area as utility crews, firefighters and police cordoned off the site. Video from the scene shows the home completely demolished, the roof in shambles, partially collapsed over one of the building's sides. Piles of debris rained onto the street, covering the road and nearby parked cars. 

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One Instagram user said the blast "shook my whole neighborhood," adding it "felt like a bomb went off." Another neighbor said her windows shook. Still another said she felt as if there had been an earthquake.  

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A photo taken from the 238th Street subway platform showed a plume of smoke rising into the air. 

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The DEA was assisting the NYPD in the investigation. 

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<![CDATA[Taliban Watches Debate From Secret Afghanistan Location]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:58:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_743351664968.jpg

Taliban leaders were watching last night's debate between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from a secret location in Afghanistan, according to NBC News.

A spokesman for the group, Zabihullah Mujahid, told NBC that they were "very interested in watching," and they had hoped Afghanistan would have been a more prominent part of the debate.

He said that Trump is "non-serious," and said the candidate "[says] anything that comes to his tongue."

"There nothing of interest to us in the debate as both of them said little about Afghanistan and their future plans for the country," Mujahid added.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Mandatory Evacuations Ordered For Loma Fire]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:10:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2016-09-27_10-04-20.jpg

Mandatory evacuations were ordered Tuesday morning for Santa Cruz Mountain residents living near the Loma Fire, which had charred 2,000 acres and was 5 percent contained early in the morning.

The new evacuations include all of Croy Road, which includes the Swedish community of Sveadal near Uvas Canyon County Park and Little Uvas Road. Cal Fire officials worried the fire was headed that way. Mandatory evacuation orders were previously ordered on Monday for the Loma Prieta ridgeline area including all tributary roads along Summit Road from Soquel San Jose Road to Ormsby Fire Station. This includes Uvas Canyon County Park, Loma Chiquita, Casa Loma, Loma Prieta Way, Highland Road and Mount Bache Road.

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Cal Fire officials said Tuesday morning that two homes had burned, and 300 more remained threatened in the rugged terrain with little or no access roads.

This kind of "extreme" fire behavior is the "new norm," according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Mathiesen. "It's fall, we're coming off a four-day heat wave."

The Red Cross set up three evacuation centers Monday evening for those who needed food and shelter: Soquel High School, 401 Old San Jose Road in Soquel; the Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos; the Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, 16970 DeWitt Ave, Morgan Hill.

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The blaze is in the area of Loma Prieta and Loma Chiquita roads in Santa Clara County, west of Morgan Hill, and is spreading at a rapid rate in the southeast direction toward open space, Cal Fire said.

Fire officials do not know the cause of the fire. They expect the blaze to burn for a few days. It started on Monday about 3 p.m. By Tuesday morning, 350 crews were battling the fire; 500 firefighters were expected by afternoon.

Resident Fred Eggers lives on Summit Road.

"My basic plan is to protect my property and my family," he said on Monday night. "I will be the last one to leave if we have to."

For the latest updates on the fire, visit the Cal Fire website or a dedicated groups.io page.

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Photo Credit: Bob Redell/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Trump Didn't Talk Bill Clinton Because Chelsea in the Room]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:29:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-610601852.jpg

Donald Trump told reporters after last night's debate that he held back from talking about former President Bill Clinton's private indiscretions because the former president's daughter Chelsea Clinton was present, NBC News reported.

"I'm very glad that I didn't mention, because Chelsea was in the room, indiscretions by, I didn't think would be appropriate to do even though she's taken all these ads. I thought we did very well," Trump said.

Trump's daughter Ivanka is friends with Chelsea Clinton. 

Trump's running mate Mike Pence said on the "Today" show Tuesday morning that the Republican presidential candidate showed great restraint during the debate after an "avalanche of insults" from Clinton.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mosque, Conference Center Attacked in Germany ]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 04:22:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16271391188671.jpg

Two home-made bombs hit a mosque and a conference center in eastern Germany late Monday in what officials called a "xenophobic" attack, NBC News reported.

No one was injured by the blasts in Dresden, birthplace in 2014 of the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, whose name is an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West.

The city's police chief said officials were "now in crisis mode."

"Even though there has been no claim of responsibility, we have to assume that there is a xenophobic motive," Dresden police chief Horst Kretzschmar said in a statement.

A recent government report warned that xenophobia was rising in ex-communist eastern Germany.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[A's Waste Another Gem From Rookie Manaea in Loss to Angels]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:01:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/as-angels4.jpg

ANAHEIM — With the A’s having promoted so many fresh-faced rookies recently, it’s easy to forget how green Sean Manaea still is himself.

He earned his first call-up back in April, which makes the big lefty seem like a grizzled vet on a pitching staff that’s employed an Oakland record-tying 12 rookies total. But the 24-year-old Manaea has endured his share of bumps over the course of his 23 big league starts.

That’s what has to make his recent roll so gratifying for manager Bob Melvin and the Oakland front office. Manaea spun his third impressive start in a row Monday since coming back from a minor back ailment. But in truth, his stellar body of work extends back to before the All-Star break.

He’s showing signs of becoming the front-end starter that the A’s envisioned when they acquired him at last year’s trade deadline. And that’s a bright ray of optimism as the A’s (67-89) sputter to the finish line.

They fell 2-1 to the Angels on Monday when reliever Ryan Dull mishandled a tapper off the bat of Albert Pujols in the eighth with the bases loaded. But that didn’t diminish Manaea’s night, as he gave up just one run on four hits over seven innings.

“(He’s been) everything that we want him to be,” Melvin said. “Aside from maybe a few outings early on where he was just getting his feet wet here learning the league, he’s been borderline dominant at times ever since. Against good lineups too.

“Other than Calhoun, it’s an all right handed-hitting lineup (for the Angels). He goes through the lineup three times against them and does a great job. He did his job, and he’s been doing it for quite a while now.”

Manaea, 6-9 with a 3.89 ERA overall, acknowledged how far he’s come. The A’s planned on giving him more time to develop at Triple-A, but injuries prompted a late April promotion. His ERA was a bloated 6.02 over his first nine starts. In just four of those did he allow fewer than four earned runs. Trouble would find him quickly, before he knew how to steer clear.

But since returning from a strained forearm on June 29, Manaea has posted a 2.72 ERA with 79 strikeouts and just 20 walks in 89 1/3 innings.

“When I first came here I didn’t really know what I was doing,” Manaea said. “I didn’t have a routine. I just wasn’t really confident in myself. Going through all those ups and downs and struggles, having success, I’ve really learned a lot. And i’m just constantly trying to learn and learn from veterans and what they do.”

Dull was kicking himself for rushing on the Pujols play in the eighth, when Yunel Escobar scored the game-winning run from third. But he commented on the maturation he’s seen with Manaea.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Dull said. “This is the guy I remember watching in the spring — just go out there and dominate. Continue getting better with each start, learning how to adjust during games.”

Melvin said a key for Manaea has been the development of his slider. He threw a nasty one to Kole Calhoun to end the third.

“It was mostly fastball/changeup when he got here,” the manager said. “His changeup wasn't as good as it is right now, but the slider is the pitch that really has made him a complete pitcher at this point.”

One adjustment Manaea is still trying to make: How to handle Mike Trout, who is 3-for-4 with a homer and two walks off him. He went deep on a 3-2 pitch in the fourth Monday for the only run Manaea allowed.

“It seems like he just has my number,” Manaea said of the AL MVP candidate. “I try to throw him a changeup and he takes me deep, or a first-pitch fastball and he hits it for a single. I don’t know what to do against him. But it’s all about the learning process and it’s fun to … try to have those rivalries and just try to beat him next time.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Loma Fire: Not Many Staying at Soquel High Evac Center]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:14:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/evac-fire.jpg

About 18 miles south of the front line of the Loma Fire sits Soquel High School. It was the first of three evacuation centers opened Monday for those who needed food and shelter after fleeing their homes.

The center, at 401 Old San Jose Road in Soquel, had a steady stream of evacuees Monday evening, but not many of them stuck around. Instead, they headed back to the fire line to see if their homes were still around.

"We have about 10 people here right now," said Craig Jenni, of the Red Cross, which also set up evacuee centers at the Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley, 14855 Oka Road in Los Gatos and the Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, 16970 DeWitt Ave. in Morgan Hill.

Many of the estimated 300 evacuees stopped by the Soquel High campus, but the stay was short.

"I was just planning to have an early dinner, watch the debate, and it turned out to be different," evacuee Lisa Ryan said.

Some people checked into hotels, while others just decided to rest in their vehicles, as close to their homes as officials would allow.

Emergency pet and animal shelters saw a number of drop-offs.

"We are welcoming any animals if people are being evacuated from their homes," said Melanie Sobel of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.

Four animals were being kept there while their owner, whose house was threatened by the fire, looked for a more permanent family shelter.

"We will make it work," Sobel said.

Even with the low turnout of evacuees at the center, the giving remained high. Dozens of residents signed up to volunteer or donate.

"I brought all kinds of stuff like clothes, toothbrushes and things like that," said Leanna Nicholson.

The Loma Fire had burned more than 1,000 acres and was still threatening hundreds of structures by late Monday night.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Voters on Both Sides Not Swayed Much by Debate]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:50:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/debate-sf.jpg

After Monday night's debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Bay Area voters were essentially sticking to their guns.

Dozens of SF Young Republicans gathered for a watch party and cheered their hopeful.

Among them was Erin Page, of Redwood City, who had a favorite moment during the debate.

"When Trump said Hillary had 30 years to think about her policies, and she hasn't gotten them right," Page recalled.

The GOP hasn't won a presidential contest in California since 1988 and has only 8 percent of the registered voters in San Francisco.

"The more we get a chance to see Trump speaking Hillary speak, it will encourage people to vote and register with the Republican Party," said Hilary Hatenbuch of SF Young Republicans.

Another GOP group, the Log Cabin Republicans, also thought Trump did well in the debate.

"He's the one who has donated to LGBT organizations," said Juan Hernandez. "He is the one who has gone to same-sex weddings. He is the first person who owns a resort to open it up to same-sex couples."

A few blocks away, at a Starbucks in the city's Laurel Village, the opposite opinion dominated with praise for Clinton.

"She was more measured; her temperament was better," said Alex Nation, of Sunnyvale. "She had better answers to the questions."

Linda Law, of San Francisco, agreed Clinton was the more presidential debater.

"If he got in control of the button to push for the nuclear button, and he acted like he did tonight during the debate, it will be a disaster," Law said about Trump.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Locked Children in Cage]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:59:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Michael-and-Jennifer-Thalmann.jpg

Newington, Connecticut, police have arrested a couple accused of locking their children in dog cages as a form of punishment when they lived on Kirkham Street in Newington.

Michael Thalmann, 44, and Jennifer Thalmann, 48, of Audubon, Pennsylvania, turned themselves in to Newington police on active arrest warrants around 4 p.m. Sunday. They are each charged with cruelty to persons and risk of injury to a minor.

The couple is accused of striking their two adoptive children with paddles, failing to feed the children, and locking the children in dog cages.

They were each released on a $250,000 bond and appeared in court Monday, where they pleaded not guilty.

Photo Credit: Newington Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Another Busy Wildfire Season by the Numbers]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 22:22:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/092616-santa-cruz-fire4.jpg

It's been another busy and costly fire season throughout California, and the end doesn't seem near in the northern part of the state, with big wildfires igniting this week in Santa Clara (Loma Fire) and Sonoma (Sawmill Fire) counties and the costliest wildfire in state history still burning in Monterey County (Soberanes Fire).

Here are some statistics and historical data from Cal Fire:

  • Cal Fire is currently battling 20 wildfires across California – only 8 of them are contained.
  • So far this year, there have been 5,794 wildfires across California, that have burned 555,866 acres (includes Cal Fire and US Forest Service).
  • California has seen about 500 fewer fires so far this year compared to the same time period last year.
  • Cal Fire spends more than $200 million each year fighting wildfires.
  • The causes of most fires in the state actually go undetermined – about 20 percent each year.
  • Historically, California wildfires burn about 100,000 acres each year; the last spike we saw was back in 2008 - the number of acres burned across the state was more than 380,000.
  • Over the last decade, California has seen anywhere between 2,400 and 4,900 wildfires per year.
  • California averages close to 3,000 wildfires each year.
  • In recent history, Northern California has generally seen about double the amount of wildfires each year as Southern California.
  • Looking at historical data, the 3 p.m. hour is when California sees most of its wildfires.

See a map of the active wildfires burning across the state.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Obama's Hard Stance on Ketchup]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 04:05:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16145366840419.jpg

    In this uncertain election season with its scandals, attacks and bald-faced lies, it’s refreshing when a politician takes a hardline stance on the world stage’s most pressing issues.

    That’s exactly what President Barack Obama did when pressed by chef and television star Anthony Bourdain on how appropriate ketchup on a hot dog is.

    “Is ketchup on a hot dog ever acceptable?” Bourdain asked the president on the season premiere of his television show “Parts Unknown.”

    Obama’s response was a swift “No.”

    Well… “It's not acceptable past the age of 8,” the president relented.

    “My hot dog question might have been diplomatically problematic for a first-term president. He answered without hesitation -- like a Chicagoan,” Bourdain wrote of his recent bun cha meal with the president in Vietnam.

    Bourdain also recently rattled off his favorite places to eat in Chicago during a Reddit AMAA.

    Photo Credit: AP
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    <![CDATA[New Law Requires Officers to Lock Up Guns Left in Vehicles]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:34:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/katesteinle.jpg

    Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will require California law enforcement officers to lock away their handguns when left in an unattended vehicle, state officials announced.

    Senate Bill 869 was introduced by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo and Santa Clara counties) back in January.

    The bill will update an already existing state law, which requires civilians who leave their handguns in their car to store them securely in a lockbox attached to the vehicle or the vehicle's trunk, and out of plain view. Law enforcement officers had previously been exempt from the requirement, Hill's office said.

    A violation of the requirement will be met with a fine of up to $1,000, Hill's office said.

    The bill, however, would exempt peace officers carrying out official duties during circumstances that require immediate aid or action. Handguns being shipped legally though a carrier such as FedEx or UPS will also be exempt, according to Hill's office.

    "Senate Bill 869 closes a loophole so law enforcement officers - just like every other gun owner - must safely and securely store their handguns when leaving them in a car," Hill said in a statement. "This is a matter of basic public safety and common sense."

    A number of recent incidents involving handguns stolen from law enforcement vehicles and then used to commit crimes have occurred in the Bay Area.

    San Francisco resident Kate Steinle, 32, was fatally shot in July 2015 when a homeless man shot a gun near Pier 14. The gun was later confirmed to have been stolen from an off-duty federal agent who left it in a parked car.

    In August 2015, guns were also stolen from the vehicle of a Hayward police officer in Oakland, as well as from the vehicle of UC Berkeley's police chief while she was jogging.

    Then in September 2015, Emeryville resident Antonio Ramos, 27, was fatally shot as he was working on a mural in Oakland. The gun used in the shooting had been stolen from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in an auto burglary in San Francisco earlier that month.

    Additionally, two fatal shootings in October committed during robberies in San Francisco and Marin County by a trio of drifters were linked to a gun stolen from a vehicle in San Francisco just days earlier.

    Also, in February, a U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent reported losing his pistol in San Francisco.

    Both San Francisco and Oakland have put similar laws into effect earlier this year, requiring firearms to be locked in a lockbox or trunk of a vehicle.

    Hill said while the passing of SB 869 is a victory for gun safety, he plans on working on legislation that would help law enforcement agencies keep track of guns that are lost or stolen.

    "Building on SB 869, I plan on introducing legislation next year to tighten up these practices so that every enforcement agency is required to have a process in place to account for all the weapons they own or use," Hill said.

    SB 869 will take effect on Jan. 1, according to Hill's office.

    <![CDATA[Greg Hardy Arrested on Drug Charges]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:27:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Greg-Hardy-mug-shot.jpg

    Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy faces a felony drug charge after he was arrested Sunday night in Richardson, police say.

    Hardy, who is an NFL free agent after playing for the Cowboys in 2015, allegedly had 0.7 grams of cocaine in a wallet in his car. It was discovered after a traffic stop for failing to use a turn signal, a police affidavit states.

    Hardy was stopped about 11:22 p.m. after turning onto Midway Drive from the 300 block of North Glenville Drive. The officer gave Hardy a verbal warning for the traffic violation but asked for his consent to search his 2010 white Dodge Challenger, the police report says.

    He told the officer that he didn't know what the substance was and said he believed he got it while he was at a party Saturday night, according to police. Hardy said he passed his wallet around at the party because he was paying for everybody, and he said that must have been when someone put the substance in his wallet.

    Hardy was booked into the Richardson City Jail, where he remained Monday afternoon. Bond was set at $5,000.

    Hardy spent the first five years of his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, before joining the Cowboys in 2015.

    Hardy hasn't garnered much attention in free agency since he and the Cowboys parted ways after the 2015 season. He recorded six sacks in 12 games while playing for Dallas.

    The defensive end made news stemming from a 2014 arrest for assaulting an ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her. The charges were eventually expunged from Hardy's record.

    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Richardson Police Dept.]]>
    <![CDATA[Top Tweets on the 1st Presidential Debate]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 04:17:20 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP+-+Hofstra+Debate+16+sized.jpg

    Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump didn't hold back during the first debate of the 2016 general election. Because most viewers have a habit of watching through a second (and third) screen, Twitter feeds were equally intriguing. Here are some top reactions to Clinton and Trump’s grueling debate.

    Photo Credit: AP
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    <![CDATA[Clinton vs. Trump Debate: Social Media Reacts]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 03:48:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-610601290.jpg

    The presidential nominees sparred for 99 minutes in their first presidential debate held at Hofstra University Monday night.

    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton tackled the economy, ISIS, taxes and the president's birth status. They also took jabs at one another, and plenty of them.

    "I have a feeling by the end of this debate I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened," Clinton joked.

    Clinton noted that cyber security attacks were a concern, and the United States should be wary of Russia, and noted that "Donald is very praiseworthy of Vladimir Putin." 

    Trump said he'd release his tax returns once Clinton provided the 33,000 emails she deleted, and that his temperment was his best asset. 

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    "She doesn't have the stamina... I don't believe Hillary has the stamina" to be president, Trump said. 

    The top three issues posted to Facebook by 18- to 34 year-olds during the night were ISIS, racism and discrimination and crime and criminal justice, according to Facebook. 

    #TrumpSniffles began showing up on Twitter timelines in response to Trump appearing to sniffle throughout the debate. 

    Social media users shared a breadth of reaction as Lester Holt of NBC News moderated the debate. 

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    Photo Credit: Pool/Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Federal Grants Bolster Bay Area Law Enforcement Agencies ]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 19:28:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Body+Camera+Generic.png

    Alameda County won a $1 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department on Monday to enhance the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced.

    The county's award was one of 106 national, state and local grants, totaling more than $20 million, that were made by the department's Bureau of Justice Assistance to improve body-worn camera policy and use.

    The Foothill-De Anza Community College District was given a $27,194 award for its police force's use of the cameras.

    "When backed by sound policies and procedures, body-worn camera use has the potential to heighten transparency, reduce complaints, and improve evidence collection, leading to safer neighborhoods and greater respect for the law," Lynch said in a statement.

    In another set of Justice Department grants announced Monday, Contra Costa County was given nearly $400,000 for a Smart Defense Initiative aimed at making sure criminal defendants have effective lawyers.

    Contra Costa was also one of six counties nationwide to share in a $6 million Smart Reentry award to aid people released from prison in successfully reentering society.

    The county's two awards were among $34.5 million in grants to more than 40 agencies and research institutions in a department initiative to reduce crime by providing a science-based approach to criminal justice operations.

    Photo Credit: necn]]>
    <![CDATA['Pretty Good Fire' Breaks Out in Novato: Fire Official ]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:38:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Fire_Truck_Generic_NECN_Chris_Caesar.jpg

    Fire crews quickly knocked down a two-alarm fire in Novato on Monday night, according to the Marin County Fire Department.

    The Novato Fire District said it was working a "pretty good fire" about 7 p.m. at Sunset Parkway and Shon Court that was close to some homes. Sheriff's deputies evacuated about 15 homes, but no structures were burned, fire officials said.

    Marin County Fire said at about 7:30 p.m. the fire had burned about 4 to 5 acres and that the forward progress of the blaze had been stopped. The fire was about 40 percent contained at that time, fire officials said.

    One firefighter suffered minor burns to his legs. No other injuries were reported.

    Fire crews would remain at the scene overnight for overhaul. The cause of the fire was not known and is being investigated, fire officials said.

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