<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usThu, 17 Aug 2017 22:31:27 -0700Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:31:27 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Police Investigate Second I-880 Shooting in Two Days]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:25:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/8-15-17_Hayward_880_Shooting.jpg

For the second time in as many days, authorities are investigating a freeway shooting in the East Bay.

The most recent shooting occurred around 10:10 p.m. on Tuesday along Interstate 880 just south of Highway 92, just about four miles from an early Monday shooting that left a man critically injured, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Witnesses to the Hayward shooting told officials that they saw a "person hanging out of a car window shooting at another vehicle," according to CHP Sgt. Ted Montez.

Two teenagers were riding in the car that was fired upon, according to Montez. The passenger in that vehicle suffered minor injuries after being cut by broken glass.

The suspect or suspects have yet to be located at this time.

Officers shut down northbound 880 temporarily to collect evidence, Montez said.

It is not clear what prompted the shooting.

Further information was not available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 Injured in Downtown San Jose Shooting: Police]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:23:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NBC+Bay+Area+Breaking+News+Image30.png

Police are investigating a shooting in downtown San Jose that has left two people with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

The shooting was reported at 9:37 p.m. Thursday in the 300 block of E. Taylor Street.

Police said the suspects fled the scene on foot and have not been identified.

No other information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[Defense in Kate Steinle Case Requests Unusual Change in Case]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:44:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Defense_in_Kate_Steinle_Case_Requests_Unusual_Change_in_Case.jpg

A critical new development in a case drawing national attention. The defense team representing the man accused of killing Kate Steinle is asking the judge to make an unusual change to the case. Sam Brock reports.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Officials have 30 days to respond to the lawsuit.

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

The City of Gilroy issued the following statement late Thursday:

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Player Sean Smith Charged With Assault in LA County]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:35:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sean-smith-us.jpg

Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

Smith allegedly beat his sister's boyfriend in Old Town Pasadena on July 4, prosecutors said. He's also accused of stomping on the victim's head in the alleged attack.

Smith faces one felony count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury, the District Attorney's Office said. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 29.

If convicted, Smith faces up to seven years in state prison, prosecutors said.

Smith was booked on Thursday and released after posting bail, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The case remains under investigation.

The Oakland Raiders have yet to return calls seeking comment. The team is scheduled to play a preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Charlottesville Victim's Mother: 'I've Had Death Threats']]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:13:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17226511112426.jpg

A day after burying her daughter, the mother of a woman killed during Saturday’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville said she has received death threats. She also criticized President Donald Trump’s claim that violence on "both sides" lead to her daughter's death.

"Whether there was violence on both sides or not is irrelevant," Bro told MSNBC's Katy Tur. "The guy mowed my daughter down and, sorry, that’s not excusable."

In the exclusive interview, Bro said that the White House has reached out to her three times since her daughter’s death, but that she hasn’t had a chance to speak to President Trump.

Despite the threats, Bro said she refuses to live in fear and has vowed to continue to carry on her daughter’s legacy by establishing a foundation in her name.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Joshua Replogle
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<![CDATA[Man's Grave Occupied By Stranger; Offered $15 Refund]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:25:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0816-2017-cemetery.jpg

John Wilson, 74, plans to be buried in Benicia's city cemetery, beside his parents.

“My dad said, ‘It’s got a really nice view of the Bay.’”

James and Madge Wilson bought two plots back in 1955. They’re buried together in plot 36a., leaving plot 36b for John.

Lately, John’s been thinking about the end of his life.

“The older we get, the more we think about death,” he said. So, he began

to get his affairs in order about a year ago. That’s when the city cemetery delivered unexpected news.

“I said, ‘There’s supposed to be an empty grave spot.’ And they said, ‘No, it’s not. There’s another James R. Wilson there.’ And I said, ‘Well, he’s not related to us. I don’t know who he is but he shouldn’t be there.”

John couldn’t believe it.

He says for nearly a year, the city insisted the unmarked grave next to his parents was occupied by a stranger who shared the same last name.   

 “I don’t think I even heard an apology,” he said.

John said the cemetery superintendent ultimately offered a refund for the blunder.

“He said, ‘John the best we can do for you is give you $15 back.’”

Yes, $15.

Benicia City Cemetery bylaws outline a “right to correct errors” with a refund.

John showed NBC Bay Area his parents’ receipt from 1955. They paid $30 for two plots. So, John is due $15.

“A $15 refund,” he scoffed. “I said, ‘what about inflation?’”

Prices have risen since 1955.

A haircut is no longer $1.42.

Gas is no longer 29 cents a gallon.

A visit to the doctor is no longer $3.41

And a new burial plot here is no longer $15 dollars.

It’s as much as $1,500 dollars.

“That’s why I called you,” he told NBC Bay Area. “Maybe if they’re on TV that might change their attitude a little bit.”  

We wrote the city.

And within days, john said he was offered a plot elsewhere in the cemetery at no charge.

But then, the following day, a cemetery supervisor called back to say john’s plot next to mom and dad was not occupied, after all.

“I’d like to be able to believe him,” Wilson said.” He told me the other day, ‘it’s just a big mistake there’s really an empty plot there for you. It’s yours when you want it.’ I said, ‘Well how come for a year I’ve heard that there’s someone buried there named James Wilson?’“

By e-mail, a city project manager confirmed the cemetery had made a mistake.  

He said, “We have resolved this issue.”

We asked the City of Benicia for an interview, but weren’t granted one.

“You make a mistake like that, you don’t want to talk about it,” Wilson said.

Funeral Planner Andrew Sparrer at Bay Area Mortuary Andrew Sparrer applauded Wilson for trying to put his funeral plans on paper early.

“It’s taboo to talk about death and dying,” Sparrer said. “Everyone should have a copy of [your plan], and keep it in a safe place.”

Today’s typical funeral costs between $7,000 and $10,000, according to Parting.com.

Sparrer says pre-planning your final wishes can cut expenses and reduce the stress families face when they are forced to guess the dearly departed’s desires.

“There are times when the whole family’s got to leave and have a little meeting and come back when they come to agreement,” Sparrer said.

As for John, he’s still not 100 percent sure if plot 36b is empty or occupied.

“If they’re willing, give me a shovel. I’ll dig it up,” he joked.

John’s final request of the cemetery superintendent is a letter saying plot 36b is empty.

“Put it on paper -- that it’s legally mine, then that might make me happy,” he said. “Maybe an apology, too.”

We got john that letter: two important sentences for his funeral file. But zero apology.

 “I appreciate you going through all the time to check everything out for me,” he said.

John’s story is proof: planning a funeral is no small undertaking. The Federal Trade Commission’s checklist for consumers includes about two dozen different decisions to make, ideally while you’re still alive.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['Fear on Their Faces': Witnesses Describe Barcelona Attack]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:46:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17229692406811.jpg

Witnesses to the Barcelona terror attack described terrified people screaming and running for their lives after a van plowed through a bustling pedestrian plaza.

The attack in the tourist district of Las Ramblas sparked mass panic, NBC News reported.

"There was this tidal wave of people screaming and running towards us," said Susan McLean, a cybersecurity expert from Australia who was in the area on vacation. "People just heaved around the corner, screaming in Spanish. We had no idea what was going on."

McLean, a former police officer, said she instantly knew what had happened: terrorism.

"The fear on their faces — I just knew," she told NBC News.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Modesto Pastor’s Message Goes Viral]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:17:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/257*120/Glen-Berteau-Stupid-White-People.JPG

A video of a Modesto pastor addressing the violent incidents that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia during a Sunday service is going viral on Facebook.

Pastor Glen Berteau was performing a baby dedication when he suddenly felt compelled to address the white nationalist rally.

“You’re going to use the word of God to hate somebody of a different color. You’ve got to be dumbest person on this Earth,” Berteau said in his speech. “There’s a bunch of stupid white people, I’m just telling you.”

The Facebook video was posted Monday and has over 4.8 million views since.

Thousands have commented, the majority thanking Berteau for his speech.

"Could I have chosen a better word? Possibly," Berteau told KCRA on Tuesday.

"What I said was very honest and I think it was something that needed to be shouted," he added.

Photo Credit: Glen Berteau Facebook
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<![CDATA[Trump Abandons Plans for Infrastructure Advisory Council]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:27:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17227767777003.jpg

President Donald Trump will not move forward with a plan to form an advisory council on infrastructure, NBC News reported.

"The President has announced the end of the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy & Policy Forum. In addition, the President's Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which was still being formed, will not move forward," a White House official said Thursday.

Infrastructure was one of the major priorities the White House hoped Congress would tackle after the August break.

The announcement comes just one day after his Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum ended following a spate of CEO resignations in the wake of Trump's response to a white nationalist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, that occurred last Saturday.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Cites 'Pants on Fire' Claim in Barcelona Response]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:05:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trump-genpershing-split.jpg

After a van plowed through a crowd of pedestrians in Barcelona on Thursday, killing at least 13 people and wounding scores more, President Donald Trump tweeted a reference to a discredited story about Gen. John Pershing halting Muslim attacks in the Philippines by shooting rebels with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.

“Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” Trump wrote on his personal account. “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years.”

It was at least Trump's second reference to a story already labeled false last year, this time coming days after the president justified his equivocal response in assigning blame for violence in Charlottesville by saying that before he makes a statement, "I need the facts." 

The Pershing story, which Trump also recounted at the end of a rally in South Carolina in February 2016, has been debunked by several fact-checking organizations, including Politifact and Snopes. Politfact labeled it Pants on Fire! false on its Truth-O-Meter and Snopes called it “false.”

The story — which according to Trump’s telling had Pershing shooting 50 Muslim terrorists with 50 bullets dipped in pigs blood — grew out of the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902. The United States had obtained the islands from Spain but faced armed opposition that continued after the war, when Pershing served as governor of the heavily Muslim Moro Province. Politifact found references to Muslim insurgents being buried with dead pigs but not being killed with bloodied bullets and not by Pershing.

Muslims are prohibited from eating pork. 

“This story is a fabrication and has long been discredited,” Brian McAllister Linn, a Texas A&M University historian and author of Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902-1940, told Politifact. “I am amazed it is still making the rounds.”

Even if the tale were true, Politifact wrote, it had no pacifying effect. The region remains in unrest today.

Snopes noted that Pershing thought the best approach was not to encourage religious fanaticism.

“Nonetheless, the ‘discouraging Muslim terrorists by burying them with pigs’ concept is still invoked in the modern era, even if the evidence of its use (or success) remains nebulous,” Snopes wrote.

Trump’s tweet Thursday came after Catalan officials had confirmed a terrorist attack but were still trying to identify the suspect they arrested.

That was in stark contrast to Trump's actions in the hours and days after an alleged white nationalist, James Allen Fields Jr., was accused of driving a car through a crowd in Charlottesville, North Carolina, over the weekend, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer.

Trump defended his delayed response in calling out white supremacists by name until two days after the attack by saying he didn’t “know all the facts.” 

“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump went on to say this week, doubling down on his initial take that “many sides" were to blame for violence in Charlottesville.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized Trump for tweeting false information soon after the Barcelona attack, while claiming he needed “facts” before responding to the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville.

“We condemn the terror attack in Barcelona, and we condemn President Trump's irresponsible and Islamophobic response to that attack,” said the group's executive director, Nihad Awad.

Trump's Pershing tweet Thursday followed an earlier, more restrained one, expressing sympathy for the people of Barcelona.

“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help,” Trump wrote. “Be tough & strong, we love you!”

Photo Credit: AP/Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Burned Retina During Eclipse Warns Others]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:11:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_eclipserisk0817_1500x845.jpg

An Oregon man who burned his retina while looking at a partial solar eclipse more than 50 years ago has some words of advice for people tempted to look at the sun without using protective glasses: Don’t do it.

Lou Tomososki was a high school teen in 1962 when his science teacher told the class about a solar eclipse that was going to take place that afternoon, NBC affiliate KGW reported.

Tomososki and a friend viewed the partial eclipse outside Marshall High School in Portland.

"The sun at that time, at 3:30 p.m., was in the one o’clock position," said Tomososki. "I said to Roger, 'If you stare at it long enough the brightness goes away.'"

By that night, both Tomososki and Roger were having vision problems. He said the vision problems never got any worse — but they also never got any better. A doctor later him that he had burned his retina during the eclipse.

Now, at 70, he says he and his friend both still have vision problems to this day.

"You know how the news people blur a license plate out," said Tomososki. "That’s what I have on the right eye, about the size of a pea, I can’t see around that."

Dr. Brandon Lujan of the Casey Eye Institute in Oregon tells KGW that looking at the solar eclipse for "even an instant" can damage the eyes.

As for Tomososki, he says he’s excited about the upcoming eclipse on Aug. 21, but this time, he’s not going to be looking at the sky.

"I’m going to go out and enjoy it. But I’ll stand and watch it get dark," he said.

Photo Credit: KGW]]>
<![CDATA[Why Cat Memes Flooded Twitter After the Barcelona Attack]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:45:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17229609068919.jpg

Authorities in Barcelona turned to social media in the wake of a terror attack in the northeastern Spanish city to request residents refrain from sharing images of the wounded out of respect for their families.

At least 13 people were killed and about 100 injured after a white van jumped onto a sidewalk and sped down a pedestrian zone in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district, authorities said. 

As the appeal went unheeded by some, social media users took it upon themselves to flood Twitter with cat memes urging restraint under the hashtag #Barcelona.

The move was reminiscent of a public appeal made by police in November 2015 as Brussels authorities asked for a social media blackout while they conducted a series of terror raids across the city.

As the raids were conducted and 16 were ultimately arrested, the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown began trending as police cast a net around the city. Instead of foiling police movements, residents instead posted photos of cats across the internet.

Following the Belgian raid police thanked those who helped out on social media, posting a tweet reading: "For the cats who helped us last night ... Help yourself!"

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Barcelona Attack: District Typically Packed With Tourists ]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:53:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lasramblastourists_1200x675.jpg

The Barcelona district where a vehicle fatally struck and injured dozens Thursday, La Ramblas, is always crowded with tourists from all across the world. 

Ramblas, which derives from the Arabic word for sand, caters to thousands of tourists with restaurants, shops and street performers. 

The district houses former monasteries and convents, art museums, the opera house Gran Teatre del Liceu and an indoor market.

Barcelona has began the first day for La Festa Major de Gracia, a public holiday that coincides with the Christian holy day, "Assumption Day."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/David Ramos]]>
<![CDATA[California's Great America Debuts Single Rail Steel Coaster]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:09:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/Railblazer01_11x17_600dpi.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: California's Great America
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<![CDATA[SF to Counter 'Alt-Right' Rallies With Dance, 'Dog Poop']]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:17:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-81969339.jpg

People around the United States have decried the white nationalist movement after three people lost their lives when violence erupted in Virginia over the weekend, and San Franciscans have also made it known that racism and hatred are unwelcome in their hometown.

And the City by the Bay isn't stopping there. Residents have begun organizing counter-protests with unusual themes. 

Up first is "Leave your dog poop on Crissy Field" from 12 p.m. Aug. 25 through 10 a.m. Aug. 26. 

Organizers wrote on Facebook that the idea behind the event is to "leave a gift for our Alt-Right friends."

They continued: "Take your dog to Crissy Field and let them do their business and be sure not to clean it up! Watch out for landmines, friends! We can get together Sunday and clean up the mess and hug each other!"

So far, 525 people have demonstrated interest in this gathering, which has piqued the interest of nearly 3,000 more.

Crissy Field has made headlines this week after right-wing group, Patriot Prayer, applied for a permit to host "Freedom Rally San Francisco" on Aug. 26.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Superintendent London Breed who have expressed outrage at the request and are urging the National Park Service, which has jurisdiction over the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, to deny the permit. 

National Park Service officials, however, said in a statement Thursday: "We are guided by the Constitution, the law, longstanding court precedent, and National Park Service policy, which tells us we must be deliberative and not preemptive in our decisions related to First Amendment gatherings."

They are said to be reviewing the permit application and are expected to make a decision in the coming week. 

In response, counter-protesters, in true San Francisco style, are encouraged to dance as "an alternative to hate, confrontation and aggression."

The "SF LovedUp Mobile Dance Counter-Rally" will last from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at Marina Green Park. Attendees will not interrupt the white supremacist rally, but will dress in their "amazing colorful fabulous best" and "groove to cheesy, party pop dance athems," organizers wrote on Facebook. 

More than 1,000 people have said they will be at the event and nearly 6,000 more are interested.

Meanwhile, community organizations, including Stop the Violence, Castro Community on Patrol, and Unafraid, have teamed up with the Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer for what is described on Facebook as "San Francisco Peacefully Unites Against White Nationalists."

Organizers have issued a special invite to "all drag performers and sparkly freaks" to counter "violent behaviors" from 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 26. 

They wrote: "Believing hate groups are coming to San Francisco to bait folk into helping them recruit others to their cause and to instigate violent behaviors so lawsuits can fund their hate work, we are uniting with diverse advocates and leaders around San Francisco who are urging safety, peace, and events that will help preserve the fragile diversity of Crissy Field."

However, this peaceful gathering will not occur at Crissy Field. It remains unclear where it will be hosted, but that hasn't stopped roughly 1,400 people from signing up and another 3,100 from expressing interest.

This story will be updated as other events are announced.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Two Children Killed in Grisly Two-Car Collision in Oakland]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:00:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OAKLAND+CRASH.jpg

Two children ages 11 and 6 died in a two-vehicle collision in East Oakland on Wednesday night, police said.

The crash was reported at 8:38 p.m. in the area of International Boulevard and 55th Avenue.

A Chrysler 300 was traveling west on International and collided with a Chevrolet HHR that was traveling east and was turning to northbound 55th Avenue, according to police.

Five people from the two vehicles were taken to hospitals, including the two children who were taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, where they were pronounced dead, police said. Their names are not yet being released.

The drivers and another passenger are listed in stable condition. Both drivers and all of the passengers were Oakland residents, according to police.

Investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the collision, which remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the department's traffic investigation unit at (510) 777-8570.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Who Are the Fascist-Fighting Coalition 'Antifa'?]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:53:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/antifaactivistsfeuerherd.jpg

During a combative press conference Tuesday, President Donald Trump dubbed the anti-racist protest groups the "alt-left" and blamed "both sides" for the violent clashes that resulted one death, and injured more than a dozen others, NBC News reported.

Who exactly are the protesters that violently clashed with white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia?

What is 'Antifa?'
Antifa is short for "anti-fascist." It is a loosely organized coalition of protesters, left-wing activists, and self-described anarchists who vow to physically confront "fascists" — meaning anyone who espouses bigoted or totalitarian views, NBC News reported.

How long have they been around?
Anti-government and anti-fascist protesters have disrupted protest movements in Europe for decades. Today, they are most frequently seen clashing with riot police during summits of major world leaders, as in last month's "Welcome to Hell" protest against G-20 leaders in Berlin.

What are they protesting?
In the wake of President Trump's election, Antifa organizations across the country issued rallying cries on social media to rise up and fight back against the wave of hate crimes and white nationalism that's spiked across the nation.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber, File]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Photographer Hit in Groin After Ceremonial 1st Pitch]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:06:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-520535618.jpg

The ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park missed its target Wednesday night and gave a nearby photographer something to remember.

Red Sox fan Jordan Leandre’s pitch went off course and struck photographer Tony Capobianco in the groin.

The photographer took the hit in stride and had a laugh about it on Twitter that night.

Leandre was also in good humor after the humiliating pitch seen all over the world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[California's Power Grid Braces For Solar Eclipse]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:59:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-2149215.jpg

Concerns are brewing that next week’s much-anticipated solar eclipse could impact the state’s power grid and the electricity in people’s homes.

Aug. 21 will be a challenge for utility agencies like PG&E and the California Independent System Operator because the solar eclipse will reduce solar energy production by 60 percent statewide – or 6000 megawatts, which is enough power for 6 million homes.

Solar energy is also expected to plummet by 75 percent in the Bay Area. 

CAISO, the California Public Utilities Commission and other local agencies have spent the past year planning how to make up for that lost energy production during the roughly three hours that the moon blocks out the sun. One way is by relying on hydropower, which is able to ramp up quickly.

The total solar eclipse itself will last about three minutes.

The Mercury News reports that the Palo Alto City Manager is asking residents to reduce electricity consumption during the eclipse to prevent an increase in production of greenhouse gases as power plants churn out more electricity to make up for the solar deficit.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Anti-Hate Groups Seize on Virginia as Teachable Moment]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:11:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/confederatebattleflagfeuerherd.jpg

Anti-hate groups in the United States are giving guidance on what individuals can do to combat hate-inspired violence in the wake of a deadly attack at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

To counter hate-inspired attacks in the U.S., Americans must join forces, speak out and educate themselves about the history and ideology of white nationalists and hate organizations, groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League argue.

The SPLC on Monday issued a step-by-step "community response guide" on how to fight hate after 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when a car plowed into counter-protesters at the rally. Her alleged killer, James Fields Jr., had been fascinated with Nazism and idolized Adolf Hitler, according to his high school teacher.

To show why the guide is needed now more than ever, the SPLC noted a number of recent U.S. hate crimes, including the 2015 Charleston church shooting and racist graffiti being found in a school in Stapleton, Colorado. 

The SPLC's 10-point blueprint includes guidance like "educate yourself," "speak up" and "join forces." 

"Others share your desire to stand against hate," the SPLC wrote in the guide, under the "join forces" section. "There is power in numbers. Asking for help and organizing a group reduces personal fear and vulnerability, spreads the workload, and increases creativity and impact." 

The guide adds, "A hate crime often creates an opportunity for a community’s first dialogue on race, gender identity, or religious intolerance. It can help bridge the gap between neighborhoods and law enforcement."

The ADL similarly published a curriculum for teachers on how the violence in Charlottesville is a "teachable moment." The curriculum noted it should be described in the correct historical context and could be used to further understanding of the First Amendment. 

"While freedom of speech means that you can share your opinions and exchange ideas freely without government control — even if it is hateful — there is some speech that is not protected by the First Amendment; this includes obscenity, defamation, true threats, and incitement to imminent lawless action," the curriculum stated. "Talk with students about the First Amendment and our freedoms and emphasize that condemning hatred, bias and white supremacy and vigorously protecting free speech are not mutually exclusive."

An NAACP leader told NBC that understanding the ideologies held by groups like the opposing sides that clashed in Charlottesville is instrumental in ending hate-inspired violence. 

"Understanding what the ideologies are, the arguments and the realities of the vision each side seeks, is crucial," said Hilary Shelton, the NAACP's Washington bureau director.

"On one side of the equation, you had those that believe in white supremacy, racial segregation and treating those leaders of the confederacy as heroes," Shelton said. "On the other side of the issue ... you had those that wanted to promote diversity, equal opportunity." 

To Shelton, if people truly grasp the difference between the two sides, hate groups will not thrive. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dave Martin]]>
<![CDATA[It's Kevin Durant Day! Hometown Hero Honored in Md.]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:16:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Kevin+Durant+Day+Parade+081717.jpg

One of the most famous people to come out of Prince George's County was back home Thursday to be celebrated with a parade. 

Kevin Durant Day officially kicked off at 10 a.m. with a parade in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. The day celebrates the accomplishments of the NBA All-Star, who was born in Suitland.

He rode in the parade in a silver Corvette, greeting fans of all ages and hoisting the NBA championship trophy and signing autographs. 

Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant said locals were honored to see Durant return. 

"We're very excited that Kevin has not forgotten from whence he's come," Grant said live on News4 early Thursday. 

One young fan said he sees Durant as a role model. 

"It just goes to show that people from your hometown can make it," he said. 

Durant's mother, Wanda Durant, said the children who went to see the star reminded her of her own son. 

"When I see these little kids and these teenagers, I see my sons, and I see Kevin," she said. "It's quite rewarding to be here and see them looking up to my son."

"I'm just excited because it's one thing for him to come to his hometown and bring the trophy that he one," Seat Pleasant resident Warren Johnson said. "It's so proud to a lot of people."

"I would tell him to ignore all the negative comments, and keep it moving, and praise God he's gotten as far as he's gotten. Amen," said Roslyn Wise, who took off work to be there.

More than 20,000 people were expected to attend. 

Durant has donated almost $1 million to the community, Grant said. The funds have gone toward basketball courts and the gym where Durant got his own training, the mayor said. 

"I think it was something that I instilled in my son," his mother said. "He's building his own legacy now, so yes, it's just important for him to give back."

Durant helped lead the Golden State Warriors to an NBA championship in June, defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

NBC4 sponsored the festivities.

The parade began at Goodwin Park. 

Photo Credit: Justin Finch, NBCWashington
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<![CDATA[Livermore Police Shoot Allegedly Armed Man Who Set Home Fire]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:57:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N430A+NEW+LIVERMORE+OIS+VO+v2+-+00012205.jpg

Livemore police on Wednesday night shot and killed an allegedly armed and suicidal man who barricaded himself inside a mobile home before setting it on fire.

Officers responded to the 1300 block of Via Deste just before 9 p.m. on reports of a man acting erratically and confronting people. Seeing police, though, the man, who refused to obey commands, withdrew into a mobile home and armed himself.

Police tried to talk to the suspect, but he made suicidal comments and fired shots inside the residence. A crisis negotiator was called to the scene and attempted to calm the man. 

Nearly two hours later, the man set a fire inside the house and emerged clutching a shotgun, police said. He was shot by officers and fell to the ground.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Firefighters doused the fire and no one else, including the officers, was injured. 

The man has so far been unidentified.

The Livermore Police Department and Alameda County District Attorney's Office are investigating the shooting. 

The last officer-involved shooting in Livermore occurred in March 2016.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Ben Carson Talks About Vandalism of Home, Charlottesville]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:41:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/081717+ben+carson+interview.jpg

The only African-American member of President Donald Trump's cabinet says his home in Northern Virginia was recently the target of anti-Trump vandals.

Ben Carson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, told News4 in an exclusive interview inside his home Wednesday night that he believes dialogue can help overcome hate and bigotry.

He pointed out that many Confederate statues were erected "during the civil rights movement, to make a statement," and resisted "pointing fingers" at Trump's response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Carson said his home was vandalized earlier this summer while he was away.

"We were out of town and our house was toilet papered," Carson told News4's Meagan Fitzgerald. "They had painted 'F Trump' on it as well."

He said neighbors cleaned up the mess, and he responded with grace. 

"That really is the message that I try to get out to people. You can't necessarily control the animosity and the hatred of someone else, but you can control how you react," he said.

A representative for the local police department said they did not receive a report of the incident. Carson said he did not report it because he believes in ignoring hate and "taking the high road." 

When asked about the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend and the removal of Confederate monuments, Carson said he believed education is key.

"We need to explain to people that many of the Confederate monuments that were put up were put up specifically during the Jim Crow era, specifically during the civil rights movement, to make a statement," he said.

Fitzgerald asked him several times if Trump's response to the deadly violence displayed the leadership the country needs.

"I want to push back and say it's not about pointing fingers about who should have done what and when they should have done it and when they should have said it," Carson said.

He added that strong leaders, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have the power to bring a nation together. But, he said, it's not up to Trump to bring the country together; it's up to the American people.

Carson first spoke about the vandalism of his home in a Facebook post published Wednesday afternoon. He said that several years ago, after he and his family bought a farm in rural Maryland, a neighbor immediately put up a Confederate flag. Other neighbors put up American flags to shame him, Carson said.

"Hatred and bigotry unfortunately still exists in our country and we must all continue to fight it, but let's use the right tools," he wrote. "By the way, that neighbor who put up the Confederate flag subsequently became friendly. That is the likely outcome if we just learn to be neighborly and to get to know each other."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Clayton Man Releases Statement Over Attending Virginia Rally]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:03:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0816-2017-Charlottesville.jpg

An East Bay man who resigned from a Berkeley restaurant after attending a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, released a statement late Wednesday.

Clayton-resident Cole White said he has been mischaracterized and went to Charlottesville to meet with other conservatives, saying in part "I want to make it clear that I am not a white supremacist, nor was I ever...My portrayal over social and the mainstream media has been inaccurate, biased and completely unjustified."

Read White's full statement here.

White worked at Top Dog in Berkeley, but resigned this week after social media posts from the Twitter account @YesYoureRacist and others identified him as a participant of the "Unite the Right" rally.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Deported Oakland Nurse Says Goodbye to Family, United States]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:46:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0816-2017-MariaSanchez.jpg

It has been an emotional journey this week for the family of Oakland nurse Maria Mendoza Sanchez and her husband Eusebio, whose battle to legally remain with their children in the United States ended with the couple's deportation. 

The Sanchezes late Wednesday said goodbye to their three daughters. The couple, following an immigration deportation order, checked in at San Francisco International Airport with their young son — an American citizen — for a flight to Mexico.

"This is the moment I hoped would never come," Sanchez said before boarding her flight.

Sanchez, who served as a nurse at Highland Hospital providing care to cancer and heart patients, spent 15 years trying to get U.S. legal status, but was unsuccessful. 

Twenty-three years ago, Sanchez illegally crossed the border with her husband, a truck driver, and one of her daughters. They had two more girls and a boy. 

The 23-year-old daughter she brought with her to the U.S. can stay because of DACA. The 12-year-old son and two other daughters -- ages 16 and 21 -- are citizens, with one just a year away from graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in human biology, the San Jose Mercury News reported. 

"What scares me the most — I don't know when they're gonna be back," daughter Melin Sanchez said. "I want us to be together."

Maria said that her children "will always have my support even if I'm not here for them." 

She said she'll be available at all times for a phone call and "my heart is always here for them."

The Sanchezes case drew national headlines and was championed by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Maria's co-workers, among others. 

"Maria and Eusebio Sanchez have lived in this country for more than 20 years. They are hardworking parents raising four children, three citizens and one protected by DACA," Feinstein said before the deportation. "They have no criminal records. They pay taxes, own their home and contribute to this country. These are the kind of people we should welcome into the United States with open arms." 

The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement last week saying in part the courts long ago deemed the couple was in the U.S. illegally, and their case is not exempt from the law. 

In August, the Justice Department announced that 57,069 people have been ordered for removal from the country in the first six months of Trump’s presidency. That’s up nearly 31 percent since the same period in 2016 under former President Barack Obama. 

Sanchez does not blame President Donald Trump for the immigration laws that have been on the books for years. However, she said the president is "taking it personally against Mexicans. This law is affecting all immigrants, but I feel somehow Mexicans -- we've been targeted. I don't know why." 

Sanchez has said she will not be allowed to return to the U.S. for 10 years. They will continue to try to pursue efforts to try to be reunited with their family legally in the country. 

In the meantime, her three daughters will take care of each other in the family's home, the San Jose Mercury News reported. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>