<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Wed, 05 Aug 2015 05:34:35 -0700 Wed, 05 Aug 2015 05:34:35 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Missing Teacher's Body Found in Wilderness]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 23:49:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MISSING+TEACHER+TZ+-+00000314.jpg

The body of a beloved San Francisco teacher who went missing more than two weeks ago in a Northern California national forest, was found Tuesday, officials said.

Ed Cavanaugh, 45, who taught at Downtown Continuation High School, disappeared on July 17 after taking off to ride his motorbike on the Rock Creek trail system in the Eldorado National Forest.

A member of the family's search party located a motorcycle matching the description of Cavanaugh's and a deceased person in a remote part of the forest, Lt. Tom Murdoch of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement

Murdoch described the location as a trail in the "rugged brush-filled terrain west of Slate Mountain," adding that the "decedent has yet to be positively identified."

Cavanaugh's sister Debbie Cavanaugh Schultz, however, took to Facebook not long after to express her grief.

"My family is heartbroken to share the news that Ed has been found but he is no longer with us," she wrote. 

The Cavanaugh family, upon learning of the discovery, also included their thoughts in the statement issued by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.

"Ed has touched so many lives in countless ways. We hope all who love Ed find comfort in knowing that his bright spirit is with us all during this heartbreaking time," they wrote.

Cavanaugh, who rented a cabin on Darling Ridge, was captured by surveillance cameras atop a blue Yamaha YZ 250 motorcycle along the Rock Creek trail area around 11 a.m. on July 17. He was dressed in Fox brand dirt biking clothing and a black helmet.

The teacher and a friend went to the area together but Cavanaugh left by himself after lunch. There was no sign of him returning, his sister said.

Along with being concerned by the sometimes treacherous landscape where he was last seen, the family also worried that Cavanaugh, a diabetic, would run out of insulin, water and food. 

But as word of Cavanaugh’s disappearance spread, family members, friends, colleagues, students and even strangers flocked to El Dorado County to help look for him. The teacher's family offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could find him. 

Along with creating social media slogans, including #FindEdToday and #BringEdHome, they joined search-and-rescue teams from Yolo, El Dorado and Stanislaus counties by walking the area on foot or riding dirt bikes and quad runners.  

The California National Guard also launched a drone in a bid to find Cavanaugh at the request of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

The Cavanaugh family also expressed their appreciation to all those who contributed to the days long effort.

"Our family would like to thank every single individual who has worked so hard to bring Ed home," they wrote. "We are overwhelmed with the kindness, generosity and support that has been shown by all in finding Ed. It truly is a testament to Ed’s extraordinary spirit and beautiful soul."

An online campaign established to raise funds to aid the search picked up $68,908 from 666 donors as of Tuesday.

No further details were immediately available.  


Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[GOP Candidates React to Being Excluded From Primetime Debate]]> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 03:53:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_457237193995.jpg

With the final lineup set for the first Republican presidential debate, the lowest polling candidates are reacting, some angrily, to being left out of the main event, NBC News reported.

"The idea that they have left out the runner-up for the 2012 nomination, the former four-term governor of Texas, the governor of Louisiana, the first female Fortune 50 CEO, and the 3-term Senator from South Carolina due to polling seven months before a single vote is cast is preposterous," Rick Santorum's communications manager Matt Beynon said in a statement Tuesday.

Debate host Fox News announced that Santorum, who won 11 states in the 2012 GOP primary, along with Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore and George Pataki, will square off ahead of the prime-time event Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio. The crowded field of 17 candidates prompted Fox to limit the main debate to the top ten highest polling candidates, as judged by five recent national polls.

Perry, Fiorina and Graham, however, had a more positive reaction than Santorum. The former Texas governor and Fiorina both said they were looking forward to the 5 p.m. debate while Graham tweeted an "Emoji Guide to Pregaming for the Trump Debacle."

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Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Zimbabwe Safari Operator: Cecil the Lion Was 'Murdered']]> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 05:01:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/stock-photo-portrait-of-cecil-116478045.jpg

Head of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe has has joined in the chorus of condemnation over the killing of Cecil the lion, telling NBC News the animal's killing was far from sport.

"We believe that the people who are the culprits lured Cecil outside the national park by…dragging that bait to an area where he was then murdered," Emmanuel Fundira said Tuesday.

"And I say 'murdered' because that was not hunting," Fundira added.

Zimbabwe said it is seeking the extradition of Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed the lion.

Meanwhile, Theo Bronkhorst, the hunting guide charged over the lion's killing told NBC News Wednesday he had never heard of the animal before the incident, and that there would have been no outrage had it been "any other lion." Bronkhorst has pleaded not guilty. 

Photo Credit: File
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<![CDATA[70 Yrs After Hiroshima: Nuke Bomb 'Should Never Be Used Again']]> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 04:23:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_853713755353.jpg

The Japanese city of Hiroshima will early Thursday (7 p.m. ET Wednesday) mark 70 years since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city, killing at least 60,000 people. Three days later, the second bomb killed around 40,000 others in Nagasaki.

The bombings are credited with ending World War II but they left two cities in ruins and generations suffering the effects of radiation poisoning. 

Dr. James Yamazaki, a medical researcher with U.S. Atomic Bomb Medical Team in Nagasaki, witnessed first-hand the devastation the bomb left and horrific effects of radiation sickness. Yamazaki, 99, never wants to see such horrors again. Though he will not say the decision to drop the bombs was wrong, Yamazaki continues to lecture and warn against nuclear warfare. 

"All humans should make every effort that this should never be used again," he said. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[First Israeli Jailed Without Trial in Sweep After West Bank Arson Attack]]> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 03:50:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Mideast+Israel+Palestinians.jpg

Israel jailed a suspected Jewish militant without trial on Tuesday, the first application of the controversial measure against a citizen in a government-ordered crackdown following the lethal torching of a Palestinian home, NBC News reported.

The suspect, Mordechai Meyer, a resident of a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, is accused of "involvment in violent activity and recent terrorist attacks as part of a Jewish terror group," Israel's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Meyers was arrested and placed under so-called "administrative detention" for six months.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[2 Special Ops Airmen Killed During Free-Fall Training]]> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 03:44:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/150805-fatally-injured-special-tactics-air-men-jpo-328a_4ee02a5cd70385590f57bec60da030ea.nbcnews-fp-320-280.jpg

Two special forces airmen were killed during military free-fall training in Florida, the Air Force announced late Tuesday. 

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Officer Jr., 32, and Tech. Sgt. Marty Bettelyoun, 35, were rushed to local hospitals after the accident at Eglin Air Force Base on Monday, NBC News reported. 

Both were Special Tactics Airmen, a force made up of specially-trained air traffic controllers, pararescuemen specializing in rescue operations, and military weathermen and forecasters.

Officer was a two-time recipient of the Bronze Star, according to the Air Force Times newspaper and served 14 years in the Air Force, during which he deployed several times in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 720th Operations Support Squadron.

Bettelyoun was a married father of five. He was a combat controller who was also with the 720th Operations Support Squadron. He also had several combat deployments during his 15-year career, the Air Force Times said.

Photo Credit: Air Force Special Operations Command]]>
<![CDATA[Video of Cop Pulling Gun on Man Sparks Controversy]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 23:28:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0804-2015-RohnertCop.jpg

An incident caught on video that shows a Rohnert Park police officer pulling his gun on a man who apparently did not commit a crime is under investigation, officials said.

The video posted by Don McComas on Facebook last week has gone viral.

"We're going to look into this incident and do a review of it to see if it matches the protocol, and look at protocols to make sure we are doing everything possible to keep our officers and community members safe," Rohnert Park City Manager Darrin Jenkins said.

Sources tell NBC Bay Area the officer was in the area because police received a complaint about parking. The situation escalates when McComas refuses to take his hand out of his pocket.

LaDoris Cordell, a former San Jose police auditor, said the video is troubling because the officer pulled out his weapon.

The message being sent, Cordell said, is "I will use this gun for you to comply with the order."

McComas did nothing wrong, according to Cordell.

"You can record anything you want in public and with respect to police as long as you don't interfere, you can record them," Cordell said.

But citizens should be careful, Cordell said.

"When an officer makes a lawful order you are supposed to follow," she said.

McComas declined to discuss the incident late Tuesday, but said he has hired an attorney.

Photo Credit: Don McComas
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<![CDATA[SF Tech Company Highlights Endangered Animals]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 23:37:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0804-2015-Obscura.jpg

Travis Threlkel didn’t hesitate Saturday before hightailing out of a rooftop party that his San Francisco tech company was hosting.

Instead, he followed whispers of a sort of magic occurring below, on the streets and in the parks of New York City. People were staring up at the Empire State Building, some open-mouthed in reverence and others with smiles plastered on their faces and cameras working overtime.

Why? Because the landmark 102-story skyscraper was lit with digital projections of the world’s endangered species.

“We had no idea that the result was going to be like this at all,” Threlkel said, adding that onlookers were calm – almost as if they were gathered in church.

“There were thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people on the streets,” he added. “It was an absolutely magical, remarkable thing to see. There was this tone of a New York minute.”

The live video projection, titled "Projecting Change," represented a partnership between Threlkel, co-founder of creative technology company Obscura Digital, and Louie Psihoyos, the filmmaker behind “The Cove,” a documentary that explores Japanese dolphin-hunting practices.

Billed as a first-of-its-kind art event, the looping projections – towering images of animals at risk of being lost forever – were over 350 feet tall and 186 feet wide, and covered 33 floors on the south façade of the Empire State Building. Threlkel said that people reported hearing about and watching the three-hour show on TVs even in Paris and Russia.

In all, the show comprised 160 photographs of species, including a snow leopard, golden lion tamarin, birds, snakes, manta rays, and various mammals and sea creatures, and 30 video clips whose length ranged from five to 20 seconds.

Veteran wildlife photographer Joel Sartore contributed the majority of images in “Projecting Change,” Threlkel said, adding that Louie Schwartzberg and Shawn Heinrichs were also showcased.

Obscura Digital members set up 40 computers on a rooftop atop Tower 31, a few blocks away from the Empire State Building. Each computer fed into a 20,000 lumen projector. Threlkel explained that one projector would be sufficient for an IMAX theater. But, due to the scale of “Projecting Change,” 40 were barely enough.

Threlkel and Psihoyos also teamed up with the Empire State Building’s own lighting team so the LED lights on the apex of the structure were synchronized with the projections.

According to Threlkel, the idea behind “Projecting Change” sparked four years ago.

He connected with Psihoyos over the idea of a so-called “reverse invasion.” Threlkel believes human beings typically infringe on other species’ natural habitats, so the pair thought of doing the opposite with bringing the “natural world into urban metropolises and environments.”

“Extinction is a profound idea because once these species are gone, they are gone forever,” Threlkel said. “Extinction is a natural process … but we’ve accelerated it … to a 1000 times greater than normal. So, by the end of the century, we are [on track] now to lose 50 percent of all life on the planet.”

For that reason, Threlkel stressed that people can no longer view the problem as disassociated from themselves. If anything, it’s “self-preservation,” he said.

“When we are asking people to care about endangered species and start to create a dialogue of mass extinction on our planet, which really represents shutting down our ecosystem, we are very much part of that – we are creatures on this planet as well,” Threlkel noted.

Toward that end, the duo has coined a “street-to-sky” style of visual technology that involves a robot projector, which pops out of the back of a Tesla Model S and can beam media content onto refineries, billboards and other locations. Last September, Threlkel and Psihoyos also projected images onto the United Nations headquarters building before the annual Climate Change Summit.

Thinking back to the inception phase of “Projecting Change,” Threlkel said the pair dreamed of projecting content onto 23 buildings and using the entire Midtown Manhattan skyline to raise awareness. But their naïveté gave way when faced with a complex approval process.

So they switched gears, raising money and obtaining permission from New York City’s housing department, mayor’s office and others, for a project involving the Empire State Building, which Threlkel highlighted has, despite its size, been successfully converted to a “green” or energy-efficient building.

That, he said, made the Empire State Building a “big domino piece” for the conversation-starter “Projecting Change” hopes to be, in addition to its “iconic reach and magnitude.”

When asked if “Projecting Change” had been able to “capture people’s attention and imagination,” as he’d set out to do, Threlkel replied with a resounding, “Yes.”

“It seems to have been a really, really great beginning to getting people to think … and talk about loss of life on our planet,” he said.

“Projecting Change” is slated to be part of an upcoming documentary called "Racing Extinction." Directed by Psihoyos, the movie will premiere on Discovery Network in December.

NBC Universal’s Adam Warner contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Obscura Digital]]>
<![CDATA[Sheriff: Pensacola Triple Murder May Be Tied to Blue Moon]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 21:20:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_548751447607.jpg

A triple homicide in Florida is suspected to be a "Wiccan ritual killing" related to last week's "blue" moon, police said Tuesday, NBC News reported.

Voncile Smith, 77, and her two sons, Richard, 49, and John, 47, were discovered Friday, July 31 during a welfare check, Escambia County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Andrew Hobbes said.

According to authorities, all three victims had their throats slit and Richard Smith, a Department of Homeland Security employee, was also shot in the head.

The positioning of the victims’ bodies and their injuries led investigators to believe the murders were part of a ritual. A person of interest in the case is also known to practice witchcraft.

A "blue" moon is what it's called when there are two full moons in the same calendar.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Lexus' Magnet-Powered Hoverboard Debuts]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 19:24:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Lexus-Slide-Hoverboard.jpg

Where this hoverboard is going, you won't need roads ... just a lot of intense magnets.

Lexus has revealed the inner workings of a hoverboard it teased in June, and while it may not be the "Back to the Future"-style transportation many were hoping for, it is a cool piece of technology, NBC News reports.

The "Slide," as the company calls it, works using an extreme version of the way two magnets repulse one another if they're aligned correctly. Lexus put together a special skate park in Barcelona, Spain, to show off the Slide — but hidden underneath the concrete are a number of pre-laid tracks that the hoverboard will travel along.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Lexus
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<![CDATA[Amazon Debuts Dash Buttons for Household Items]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:44:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/Amazon_com_Amazon_generic_640x480.jpg

Amazon is trying to leap off your computer and deeper into your home.

In hopes that customers will start relying on Amazon to purchase common household items such as laundry detergent and paper towels, the company has created “Dash Buttons” -- physical buttons that order single products with one push.

Dash Buttons cost $4.99 for Amazon Prime members and are currently available for items such as Huggies diapers, Gillette razors, and Kraft macaroni and cheese.

TechCrunch initially thought the product was an April Fools joke when it was announced on March 31. The publication has since had a chance to test the product out, finding prices to be high (“$30 for 12 paper towel rolls. . . I guess convenience is expensive?”) and the requirement to connect the Dash Button to your home WiFi network "annoying."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Robot Dance Party Returns to Dolores Park]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:12:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0804-2015-Robot.jpg

After being banned from Dolores Park in June, Robot Dance Party is back -- with a permit and the ability to stay.

Robot Dance Party, otherwise known as Chris Hirst, was told he could not keep performing at the park unless he got the correct city permits to play his loud music.

Hirst was able to obtain the required permit during a meeting with Supervisor Scott Wiener last month, according to Robot Dance Party’s Facebook page. The July 24 meeting also discussed how to protect the park.

“We just need to have real conversation, human to robot,” Hirst said in a statement on Facebook.

On July 31st, Hirst posted he received his permit and was ready to dance.

As of last Saturday, Robot Dance Party was back in action at Dolores Park.

Photo Credit: Robot Dance Party Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen Curry Shares Photo of Riley Kissing Ryan]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:06:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/riley5.JPG

The cuteness overload continues.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry took to Instagram Tuesday afternoon with a new photograph of his daughters — and five smiley faces. 

Shared with Curry's 4 million followers, the image shows a doting 3-year-old Riley — a bonafide Internet sensation — kissing her baby sister's cheek. A white floral headband sits atop one-month-old Ryan's head. 

Within an hour, the photograph picked up 320,000 likes and 12,000-plus comments.

The newest member of the Curry family was introduced to the world via social media three weeks ago when Stephen Curry posted a jubilant message and accompanying adorable photograph. 

He wrote: "I'm wayyyyy up I feel Blessed! God is Great. Thanks to the doctors and staff at Alta Bates for taking care of my girls, especially Dr. Poddatori. Healthy baby and @ayeshacurry is all I prayed for. #prouddaddy"

Photo Credit: Stephen Curry via Instagram
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<![CDATA[Caltrans Suspends Highway 1 Paving in Pacifica]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 19:07:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0804-2015-Traffic.jpg

A Caltrans paving project on a half-mile stretch on Highway 1 in Pacifica has been postponed following a traffic nightmare that caused delays until nearly 10 p.m. Monday.

The project was scheduled to be completed by 3 p.m., but Caltrans said the timeline was pushed back after a two-car accident sparked by a driver who went around the work zone and into the newly paved section of the road.

"We had to wait for the asphalt truck, which was caught in traffic, to make its way to the scene," said Bob Haus, Caltrans spokesperson. "And we had to remove all the asphalt we had put down earlier in the day."

Pacifica city leaders said they were unaware of the project and has now requested they be part of the planning process moving forward.

"We didn't get any prior notice about this," said Joe Spanheimer of the Pacifica Police Department. "We found out about it as it was happening."

When the city's police and fire departments learned that Highway 1 had become a parking lot due to the traffic mess, they had to make big changes. Crews moved equipment to ensure they could respond to emergencies while the main artery through Pacifica was cut off.

"The way the fire department works, they designate certain engines to stay south of the slow traffic. We had some assistance from daily city engines," Spanheimer said.

Caltrans officials said they will work with the city. Overnight is not an option due to temperature and safety issues on the stretch of road being worked on.

Caltrans also said all paving work is now suspended until the traffic issues can be analyzed.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says Call Me After Phone Number Goes Public]]> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 03:54:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-465788664.jpg

Republican billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump was unfazed when he got a taste of his own medicine Monday, using his leaked cell phone number to promote his Twitter account and campaign website, NBC News reported.

The move comes after Gawker tried to do unto Trump what Trump did to fellow candidate Lindsey Graham. The blog published Trump's phone number on Monday, suggesting readers call him to ask about his "important ideas" a few weeks after Trump gave out Graham's phone number at a campaign rally. 

While Graham destroyed his cell phone in a viral video, Trump embraced the leak. The new voicemail for the business mogul is a campaign message plugging his Twitter and campaign website. 

<![CDATA[Driver Rescued From Caltrain Tracks Arrested for DUI]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:38:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0803-2015-Caltrain2.jpg

The 20-year-old whose life was saved Monday night when deputies pulled him out of the path of an oncoming Caltrain train was later arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence, hit-and-run and driving without a license, authorities said Tuesday.

After Nelson Gomez was pulled to safety by San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies, he was soon placed in handcuffs, according to Sunnyvale Dept. of Safety Capt. Jeff Hunter. Gomez was also arrested on suspicion of driving in violation of his probation.

Authorities said Gomez was taken to Stanford hospital for evaluation, but it’s unclear if he remains there. Gomez was cited and released, and never booked into jail, police clarified Tuesday afternoon.

Hunter said Gomez had hit an unoccupied car and a bike before his car struck the crossing arm of the Caltrain tracks and set off the airbag inside his own car. Sheriff’s deputies Erik Rueppel and Lance Whitted were in the area doing traffic enforcement and noticed what was going on, Hunter said.

When they spotted Gomez’s car on the tracks, the deputies jumped into action, and were able to pull the 20-year-old out of his vehicle before the train hit., authorities said.

Karin Lizana, who was watching, took video of the encounter, and as of Tuesday, her YouTube post had more than 74,000 views.

“It was close,” Whitted said Monday night. “I’m glad we were here.”

NBC Bay Area's Kristofer Noceda and Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Karin Lizana/YouTube
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<![CDATA[Netflix Offers Unlimited Leave For New Parents]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:50:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NETFLIX-LOS-GATOS-HQ.jpg

Netflix is looking to make things easier for new moms and dads by offering employees unlimited time off during the first year of their child’s birth or adoption.

The Los Gatos-based company will keep paying employees normally during their maternity or paternity leave, with no need for state or disability pay.

“At Netflix, we work hard to foster a ‘freedom and responsibility’ culture that gives our employees context about our business and the freedom to make their own decisions along with the accompanying responsibility,” the company’s chief talent officer said in a statement released Tuesday.

Netflix already offers unlimited time off for all employees.

Netflix says these perks help attract and retain talented workers and allow its workers “to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[WATCH: Driver Pulled From Car Before Caltrain Crash]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 10:25:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0803-2015-Caltrain2.jpg

Editor's note: Some viewers may find the embedded video of the collision shocking.

A sheriff's deputy was able to pull a driver from a car moments before it was hit by a train in Northern California, officials said.

Commuter train tracks were shut down in both directions in Sunnyvale after two separate trains struck a vehicle at the Mary Avenue crossing, Caltrain tweeted Monday evening.

Video posted on YouTube shows a deputy pulling a driver out of a car stuck on the tracks. The pair is seen running away from the vehicle as a train can be heard fast approaching the area.

The driver then stumbles to the ground and the deputy is seen dragging him out of harm's way moments before the car is hit by a train.

"If it had not been for the deputies being at the right place at the right time, the driver would have been significantly injured," San Mateo County Sheriff's spokesman Salvador Zuno said.

Zuno said deputies Lance Whitted and Erik Rueppel were conducting enforcement in the area when they heard what sounded like a traffic collision. The deputies, who were just a few cars away, saw a vehicle had collided into the crossing guard.

Whitted and Rueppel ran to the collision and found major front-end damage to the vehicle and that a train was approaching the area. Zuno said one of the deputies ran on the tracks to notify the incoming train, while the other deputy removed the driver from the vehicle.

"I believe because of their actions this person is alive today." Zuno said.

The driver appeared to be under the influence, according to Zuno, who said the department was still investigating the incident.

Trains were temporarily forced to share the northbound tracks. Northbound train No. 385 and southbound train No. 274 hit the vehicle, Caltrain tweeted.

Photo Credit: Karin Lizana/YouTube
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<![CDATA[Suicides in Local Jails on the Rise: Report]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:00:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sb10062143p-001.jpg

On the day that Sandra Bland’s family filed a federal lawsuit over what officials say was her suicide in a Texas jail, a report released Tuesday shows the number of suicides continuing to rise in local jails.

The report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000 - 2013,” found that the number of suicides in local jails increased from 300 in 2012 to 327 in 2013.

Suicide was the leading cause of deaths in jails, up 12 percent since 2009 and accounting for 34 percent of deaths in 2013.

The report also found that overall the number of inmates who died in jails and state prisons rose for the third straight year — 4,446 in 2013, up 131 deaths from the year before. The total was the highest number reported since 2007.

Most jails, 80 percent, reported no deaths in 2013. Nearly a quarter of all deaths among jail inmates, 23 percent, occurred in Texas and California, which had the largest state and federal prison populations.

Paul Wright, the executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center in Lake Worth, Florida, which advocates on criminal justice topics, said there were no surprises in the numbers.

“Barring any change in our sentencing practices, and also in our medical and mental-health care, these numbers are only going to go up,” said Wright, a former prisoner himself.

Approximately 2.2 million people were incarcerated in jails and prisons in the United States in 2013, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Bland, 28, was found dead in her cell in Waller County on July 13 and officials say she hanged herself with a plastic trash can liner. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards criticized the Waller County Jail for insufficient training.

Bland’s family is suing the state trooper, Brian Encinia, who pulled her over, and others they say are responsible for her death. Encinia has been placed on administrative duties after he was found to have violated procedures regarding traffic stops.

Eric Balaban, senior staff counsel with the ACLU’s National Prison Project, said that to reduce suicides, jails must operate like a large emergency room, with a system to identify prisoners who are at risk, to monitor them and to provide them with adequate care.

“And all of these things must occur very quickly because the risk of suicide is higher at intake and during the first week of incarceration than later in incarceration in a jail setting,” he said.

Ayesha Delany-Brumsey, a senior research associate at the Vera Institute of Justice, said jails can take a number of steps to reduce the number of suicides — from screening prisoners throughout their stay using trained mental-health professionals to forming relationships with community-health providers who might already know the inmates.

“So that if someone’s on medication or someone’s known to be chronically suicidal that that information can get passed on quickly — of course with the person’s consent — but so that the jail staff knows when the person enters that they have someone who they need to pay attention to,” she said.

The number of deaths in jails as a result of drug or alcohol intoxication, accidents and homicides also rose. Homicides and accidental deaths were less common, accounting for 3 percent or less of deaths in jails in 2013, according to the report. Illness-related deaths declined.

The typical jail inmate who died was a white male 35 years old or older and in custody for fewer than seven days.

As far as deaths in state prisons, Texas and California again led with nearly a quarter. Every state department of corrections reported at least one death.

The number of deaths was up 122 from 2012 to 2013. About 90 percent were related to illness, with about half a result of cancer or heart diseases. The number from liver disease, the third leading cause, declined.

Suicides accounted for 6 percent of the deaths; homicides for 3 percent.

Also: the percentage of those who died who were 55 or older has increased by an average of 5 percent a year since 2001 and although the average mortality rate for men and women was nearly equal, the suicide mortality rate among males was 1.5 times the rate for females.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Report: SJ Apple Campus Could Employ Up to 15,000]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:40:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/apple42.jpg

Cupertino-based Apple is believed to be expanding its presence in San Jose.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal is reporting that Apple bought a 43-acre piece of what’s now an empty lot in the 2300-block of North First Street.

Apple reportedly bought the property for $138 million, but there is no official word yet on what the tech giant has planned.

Public records show the land could eventually become the site of an office and research campus that could have as many as 15,000 workers, the Mercury News reports.

This new purchase follows Apple’s acquisition of a 290,000-square-foot building also in North San Jose.

Apple hasn’t had an office in San Jose since the late 1980s.

In a statement Tuesday, a spokesperson for San Jose's Office of Economic Development said, "We're excited to welcome Apple to San Jose."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[San Jose Little League Team Makes Play For World Series]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 13:44:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/WEB+11A+REDELL+LITTLELEAGUE+-+00005122.jpg

A Little League team from the South Bay is poised to take a run at the Little League World Series.

The Cambrian Park Little League on Friday trounced the Fresno-based River Park Little League squad 11-0 at the Division 2 Northern California championship. The team was undefeated at the divisional championship, winning 14 games.

The victory landed the local all-stars at the Western Regionals, which start Saturday in San Bernardino. There, they will face off against teams from Southern California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, for a chance to advance to the 68th annual Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

The Moreland Little League all-stars won the championship in 1962. Now, 53 years later, another San Jose team has a chance to take the title. 

According to Tyler Pearson, pitcher for major division all-stars in the Cambrian Park Little League, the team doesn't perform well when "tight or nervous."

"So we always just try to have fun, goof off, like just make sure we’re always in a mood that we aren’t going to be tense out on the field and that we’ll just be able to make our plays smooth and correctly," he said. 

Coach Chris Bandanza said the Cambrian Park all-stars will go up against Arizona's players at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Local fans plan to watch the broadcast at the Grill Em Steak House and Sports Bar in Campbell.

"Oh my god, it feels amazing!" Pearson said. "I could have never dreamed that we would have made it this far."

The team has created an online fund, hoping to raise money to cover some of the travel expenses. 

The post states: "All this travel comes at a cost to each of the families. Your donation will go to help offset the cost to these families as they make the journey."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Rocky Fire Threatens Thousands of Homes]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 06:03:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rocky-fire-new-2015.jpg

The Rocky Fire racing across Northern California had burned 62,000 acres and was 12 percent contained as of Monday evening , according to Cal Fire

At least two dozen homes were destroyed over the past few days, and more than 13,000 people were urged to flee.

The wildfire swelled over the weekend, blazing through 26,000 additional acres since Saturday night, according to Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.  The fire broke out on July 29 and forced several evacuations and was threatening about 6,300 homes and structures.

Monday afternoon, the fire jumped Highway 20 at Walker Ridge, sparking another 50-acre brush fire.

The blaze, located southeast of Clearlake in Lake, Yolo and Colusa Counties, is one of 21 large fires – many sparked by lightning strikes – raging across California, and made much more challenging to fight because of the yearslong drought that has dried out the state.

According to Cal Fire, the Rocky Fire has gutted 24 homes and 26 outbuildings, and forced hundreds to evacuate the area.

"There's a lot of old growth-type vegetation and four years of drought to dry it all out,'' said Lynne Tolmachoff, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "It was ready to go.''

The fire was burning in the Lower Lake area, about 100 miles north of San Francisco and 10 miles from Clear Lake, the largest freshwater lake entirely within California and a popular spot for boaters and campers. Fire officials said no homes around the lake were threatened.

Evacuated residents were amazed at how quickly the flames spread.

"I'm overwhelmed,'' Donna McDonald, of Clear Lake, said at a high school that had been turned into a shelter. "I was very happy at one point when I saw no smoke at all. Then all of a sudden it just flared up real big again.''

Check here for evacuations and road closures.


Crews battled 20 other wildfires in California – some sparked by lightning – though none as big as the Rocky Fire.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty
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<![CDATA[Freezing in the Office? Temp Formula Was Devised for Men]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 08:47:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-525397795+%281%29.jpg

There is proof women aren't just complaining about freezing office temperatures. According to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, air conditioning systems are designed using a 1960s formula that assumed the average office worker was a 40-year-old, 154 pound man.

In addition to making life miserable for women, the cold air could be helping drive climate change, the research team at Maastricht University in the Netherlands said. 

Men, in general, have higher metabolic rates than women, according to the researchers, and they argue that the AC needs to be reset to reflect the true office population. Women prefer rooms at about 77 degrees, while men prefer a cooler 72 degrees, according to Boris Kingma of the Maastricht University Medical Center.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm]]>
<![CDATA[MAP: California Wildfires in 2015]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:06:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wildfire21.jpg

It’s challenging to keep up with all the wildfires raging in California.

But Esri, an interactive mapping company based in Redlands, Calif., is doing just that.

The company has created a 2015 California Wildfire Activity web page, culling information from Cal Fire, the US Geological Survey, the National Park Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and more, providing live updates about the 21 blazes ripping through the state. Most of the information is also being pulled into the National Interagency Fire Center.

Not only does the map show in real time where the fires are, but how much they are costing to put out, how many homes are threatened, how many acres they have charred, what agency is fighting them, when they started and links to the original source of information.

"We just want to inform people what's going on," Esri spokesman Robby Deming said.

Photo Credit: Esri
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<![CDATA[Teen Worker Found Dead After Silo Collapse in Virginia]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:12:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2015-08-04_0730.jpg

The worker killed after a silo collapsed early Monday at a quarry in Northern Virginia has been identified. 

Daniel Potter, 18, of Front Royal, Va., was killed, the Mine Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday evening. 

Potter was unloading mineral filler, a fine, dust-line substance used in asphalt, from a silo before 6:30 a.m. Monday when that silo broke open, sending tons of the material rushing down. 

Crews scrambled to find Potter for 24 hours, using vacuum trucks to clear debris. His body was finally found about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday under a collapsed steel structure. 

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A manager at Luck Stone Leesburg Quarry in Loudoun County said he knew the young man well.

"We're very close-knit; we work a lot of hours here together, and we're a family away from home," Lewis Murphy of Luck Stone said Monday.

The worker would have turned 19 next month. His family was at the scene. He had been on the job at the quarry for less than a year.

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By early Tuesday, before the missing worker's body was found, crews had removed all the filler and moved onto removing the metal decking that had collapsed inside the silo. Operations paused for several hours Monday so the structure could be assessed for instability and shored up.

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A full silo of mineral filler weighs 150 tons, but plant managers said they weren't sure whether it had been full. The silo gets emptied every morning.

"We typically will empty it by truck, and this morning, the side of the silo split open, ruptured, and the material discharged out onto the ground," Murphy said Monday.

The miner was with two or three other workers at the time of the collapse. Those workers were able to give search teams an idea of where he may have been.

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The search continued through the overnight hours, with suction trucks, special cameras, listening devices, K-9s, cranes and heavy equipment. Search teams refused to call it a recovery mission until the sad discovery Tuesday morning.

Multiple agencies were involved with the search, including Loudoun County Fire & Rescue and Fairfax Fire & Rescue.

Plant managers and Loudoun County Fire & Rescue said they do not know what caused the silo to collapse. 

MSHA, which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, will investigate and issue a report. That investigation could take several months, they said. 

Across the U.S., 18 people have been killed in mining-related incidents in 2015 thus far. Ten of these deaths were linked to metal mining; 8 were linked to coal mining.

Mining deaths fluctuate greatly from year to year and are often skewed by major coal-related incidents, including the 2006 Sago Mine disaster and the 2010 Upper Big Branch tragedy in West Virginia.

Photo Credit: Loudoun Co. Fire & Rescue]]>
<![CDATA[Sister of Suspect in Memphis Officer Killing: It Was Self-Defense]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 09:31:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Memphis15.jpg

The sister of Tremaine Wilbourn, the man accused of fatally shooting a Memphis police officer, said her brother "was defending himself."

Callie Watkins told NBC News, "Tremaine ain't no bad person. He was defending himself." 

"You know how they do, just trying to do you in," Watkins added, apparently referring to police.

Wilbourn, 29, is facing first-degree murder charges after allegedly shooting police officer Sean Bolton Saturday night. Bolton had interrupted a drug deal and approached a car Wilbourn was in, which contained 1.7 grams of marijuana. Bolton was shot multiple times.

Wilbourn turned himself in Monday evening, ending a nearly two-day manhunt and is being held on $9 million bond. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Teen Killed in Hayward Walking With Friend: PD]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 23:49:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/hayward11.jpg

A 17-year-old boy was shot and killed Tuesday morning in Hayward while walking with a friend.

According to Hayward Police Sgt. Ruben, the teen was walking with a female companion when they were confronted by a group of men.

During the course of an exchange, one of the suspects opened fire, fatally injuring the teen about 1 a.m. near Arf Avenue and Morningside Drive.

The suspects were last seen fleeing the scene in a silver SUV.

Pola said the boy had no known gang connections, had recently graduated from Mt. Eden High School and had hoped to join the Marines.

Anyone with information should call Hayward police at 510-293-7034.

NBC Bay Area's Gonzalo Rojas contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Caught on Camera: Customer Berated for Speaking Spanish at IHOP]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:13:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/08-04-2015-woman-rant-spanish-ihop.jpg

Norma Vasquez said she felt "awful" and "worthless" after she was berated by another customer for speaking Spanish in a confrontation caught on camera at a Southern California IHOP.

Her son, Carlos Vasquez, captured the three-minute rant on video Friday at the restaurant west of downtown Los Angeles. The clash began when a woman in large, dark sunglasses interrupted his mother, who was speaking Spanish, as they waited for a table, Vasquez said.

"We speak English in America," the woman can be heard saying.

"I speak English. Not good, but I speak English," Vasquez's mother responded.

The unidentified woman can be heard telling Vasquez's mother to "go back to Spain." Norma Vasquez came to the United States from El Salvador in 1984.

"Spanish is from Spain," the woman said. "I've been to Spain, so I know."

The IHOP visit was an early birthday present for Vasquez from his mother. Carlos Vasquez can be heard repeatedly telling the woman she should not tell his mother she must speak English.

"Inside, I wasn't upset," Vasquez said Monday. "I got more upset when my mom started to cry. It wasn't fair for my mom to cry to a stranger just because my mom was speaking Spanish."

The woman eventually turned her full attention to Carlos Vasquez and the fiery exchange continued with the woman asking, "Do you want the Russians over here telling you what to do? Do you want the Nazis telling you what to do?"

"That's what you're doing to my mom," he responded. "You're telling her what to do. She speaks English. She's not perfect, but she speaks English."

Vasquez, whose family lives in Highland Park, said he was surprised by the woman's furor.

"This is Los Angeles," he said. "Even the name of the city is in Spanish. She shouldn't be mad or interrupting families for whatever language they're speaking."

"I felt awful, as though I was worthless," Norma Vasquez, who works for an office cleaning service, told NBC4.

Vasquez shared the video on his Facebook page. As of Monday morning, the video had 14 million views and 423,000 shares.

NBC4 and Telemundo52 have attempted to contact IHOP management for comment, but have yet to receive a response.

Photo Credit: Carlos Vasquez]]>
<![CDATA[Cecil Hunter's Guide Feels He Did Nothing Wrong]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 06:10:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cecil-the-lion-Theo-Bronkhorst.jpg

The guide accused of helping an American kill Cecil the lion told NBC News on Tuesday that he felt he did nothing wrong.

Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer allegedly paid Theo Bronkhorst $50,000 to lure the lion out of a wildlife reserve so he could shoot it with a bow.

The animal was a tourist favorite and subject of an Oxford University research project. Its death has provoked global outrage.

"I do not feel I have done anything wrong," Bronkhorst said via telephone. "This has been a very stressful time for me and my family. We have been pulled into something we are not happy with."

Bronkhorst has pleaded not guilty last week to a charge of failing to prevent the unlawful killing of Cecil. He was released on $1,000 bail and was due back in court Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Photos courtesy Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority]]>
<![CDATA[Unprecedented: Rocky Fire Grows to 65K Acres]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:27:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/GettyImages-482897662_594_screen.jpg

The Rocky Fire raging in Northern California blazed through unprecedented territory as it grew by 3,000 acres overnight, jumping a highway and eating up wildland fuel that has never burned in recorded history.

"As far as we knew of, some of these fuel beds have not burned - there's no recorded history that is known," Cal Fire spokesman Steve Swindle said Tuesday. "That is why fire is burning so intensely, the brush is very thick and because of the drought, very dry."

By Tuesday morning, the fire had burned 65,000 acres — about 100 square miles — and was 12 percent contained, according to Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. A total of  3,200 firefighters were working to put out the blaze, hopefully by Aug. 10.  The drought wasn't helping efforts.

Throughout the state, 9,300 firefighters were trying to quell 21 fires in all, Cal Fire said. The Rocky Fire is currently the biggest blaze.

But it is still four times smaller than the Rim Fire, which overtook wildland near Yosemite in August 2013, burning more than 257,000 acres. That blaze was recorded as California's third largest wildfire in history.

More than 6,300 structures remained threatened because of the Rocky Fire, located southeast of Clear Lake in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties. And by Thursday, about 50 homes, outbuildings had been destroyed since the fire broke out on July 29. The cause is under investigation.

In addition, there were several mandatory evacuations ordered, and residents in the area were on edge.

"I'm overwhelmed,'' Donna McDonald, of Clear Lake, said at a high school that had been turned into a shelter. "I was very happy at one point when I saw no smoke at all. Then all of a sudden it just flared up real big again.''

Check here for evacuations and road closures.


Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[SF Tech Company Shines Light on Endangered Species]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:44:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_304150445524.jpg

The Bay Area-company helping raise awareness on endangered species said Saturday night's digital light projections on the Empire State Building is just the beginning.

Obscura, a creative technology company in San Francisco, also has an upcoming movie called "Racing Extinction."

"We're really trying to reach the world and get people to understand the critical timing of what we having going on with climate change and endangered species," said Chris Lejeune, Obscura co-founder. "They are connected to our survival as a human species."

Lejeune credits a film, "The Cove," for shaping his world view. The film examines dolphin hunting in Japan. Lejeune was able to meet the film director four yeas ago.

"The idea was to get worldwide movement around engaging civic action on change and animal extinction," Lejeune said.

Racing Extinction is expected to be released in December.

Filmmakers are hoping to reach 1 billion viewers around the world. Viewers they hope will demand change.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sandra Bland's Family Files Lawsuit]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:00:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/sandra_bland_5_0d94fc2cb66771514770db7b47a5bbab.nbcnews-fp-1200-800.jpg

The family of Sandra Bland filed a lawsuit against the trooper who arrested her and others they say are responsible for the suburban Chicago woman’s death in a Texas jail cell.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Houston against Trooper Brian Encinia and “others responsible for the death of Sandra Bland,” including the Waller County Sheriff's office and two guards at the jail, according to the family’s attorney.

"The reason we filed a lawsuit today is because candidly we were unable to get any of the answers that we have been asking for for weeks," said attorney Cannon Lambert. "We are looking to hold the people accountable for her being stopped, and mistreated and who are ultimately responsible for her death."

Bland, a 28-year-old Chicago-area woman, was found dead in her Waller County jail cell on July 13, three days after her arrest. Officials say she used a plastic bag to hang herself, a finding her family has questioned.

"I am still confident in the fact that [Sandra] knew enough about Jesus that she would not take herself out," said Bland's mother Geneva Reed-Veal. "Anything is possible, I wasn't there, but as a mother my inner is telling me that she did not do it. I am the first to tell you that if the facts show without a doubt that that was the case, I’ll have to be prepared to deal with that, but the bottom line is she never should have been inside of the jail."

Lambert said the family, despite their attempts to obtain information, has not yet received details like Bland's time of death or police reports that were filed.

"I don't think it's unreasonable that we be seeking these things," he said. "Those are the types of things that we need in order for our independent investigation to be complete."

Bland's family and others have criticized Encinia, who stopped Bland for failing to signal a lane change. The family on Tuesday called for him to be "relieved" of his duties.

"We know that this type of thing can be done, that he can be relieved," Lambert said. "We're asking for bold, decisive action and that has not happened."

Dashcam video released by officials showed a confrontation between Bland and Encinia swiftly escalated after she objected to being told to put out her cigarette. Encinia at one point is seen holding a stun gun as he says, "I will light you up!" after Bland refuses to get out of her car. Bland, who was black, eventually was arrested for allegedly assaulting the white trooper.

Texas authorities said that Encinia violated procedures and the department's courtesy policy during the traffic stop and was placed on administrative leave.

"I've watched the video once and I will not watch it again," said Reed-Veal. "Anger, disgust, disappointment and sadness-- those are my feelings. I have chosen to channel those feelings in another way... Justice is going to be served, if the justice system will do what it's supposed to."

Some Texas politicians, including state Sen. Royce West, have said that Bland should not have been arrested in the first place.

Bland's death came after nearly a year of heightened national scrutiny of police and their dealings with black suspects, especially those who have been killed by officers or die in police custody.

"I have many people around me who are very angry and it’s rightfully so but we’re going to channel this the right way," said Reed-Veal.

According to his personnel file, Encinia was selected for the Trooper Trainee Academy in December 2013, joined the Department of Public Safety in June 2014 as a probationary trooper and completed his probation in June 2015, becoming a Highway Patrol trooper.

An initial toxicology report was released for Bland that two experts said raised the possibility that she may have used marijuana while in custody. Prosecutor Warren Diepraam has said information on her marijuana use may be relevant to the case in determining her state of mind.

A committee of outside attorneys will assist Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis in investigating Bland's death.

"I don't know if we'll ever get an answer to all the questions," said attorney Lewis White of Sugar Land, one of the committee members. "But our job is to get answers. There are going to be answers some people don't like."

The Texas Rangers and the FBI are investigating the case.

"We have a young lady who was on her way to get groceries," said Bland's sister Sharon Cooper. "She ends up jailed, she ends up dying in police custody. We are three weeks out from her death, we are a week out from burying her and we still don't know what happened to her."

<![CDATA[PHOTO: ’Triple Washed’ Spinach Had Dead Frog, Woman Claims]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 08:03:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/knbc-frog-in-spinach.jpg

A woman claims she found a dead frog in a package of organic baby spinach she bought at a Southern California market over the weekend.

Donna Souza of Covina said she was making herself a salad for dinner when she noticed the frog's legs tucked between the leaves.

The spinach, packaged by Taylor Farms, was purchased at Sam's Club in Glendora, she said. The label on the package says the leaves are "triple washed & ready to enjoy."

A quality assurance director at Taylor Farms sent Souza a letter of apology.

Sam's Club did not immediately return a request for comment. Sam's Club managers told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that there weren't other reports of frogs appearing in spinach packages.

"I can't eat salad anymore for fear a dead animal will be inside," Souza wrote on Facebook.

The Taylor Farms quality control director explained that a malfunctioning laser scanner may have allowed the frog to pass through its screening process, according to a letter written by Kari Valdés, director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at Taylor Farms. Souza sent the letter to NBC Los Angeles.

The company is reviewing what went wrong in this instance, Valdés wrote. "I would like to personally extend my deepest apology for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Photo Credit: Donna Souza]]>
<![CDATA[MH370 Search: 3 Questions Experts Want Answered]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 05:33:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-482269752+%281%29.jpg

Investigators in Toulouse, France, who are analyzing a fragment of a jetliner found on the shores of Reunion Island in hopes of solving the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, will try to determine three things. 

Jean Paul Troadec — former head of the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis, France's counterpart to the National Transportation Safety Board said investigators will seek to pin down the origin of the flaperon. Experts are in agreement that the debris came from a Boeing 777 — and MH370 is the only such missing jetliner in the world.

Troadec said investigators also will be studying the debris to figure out how it detached from its aircraft.

The plane vanished without a trace on March 8, 2014 — and the debris discovered on Reunion was covered in barnacles. The investigators would also be on the lookout for other organisms that could also provide clues, according to The Associated Press.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>