<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usFri, 01 Jul 2016 13:50:46 -0700Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:50:46 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[4 Trapped Dogs Rescued from Sinking Car in North Bay]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:05:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/generic+caution+tape+vg.jpg

A Solano County Animal Control officer rescued four dogs from a vehicle that drove into the water off state Highway 37 near Skaggs Island Thursday night, the Solano County Sheriff's Office said.

The sheriff's office was informed of the incident around 10 p.m., Deputy Christine Castillo said. The Vallejo Fire Department and the California Highway Patrol also responded.

The two occupants of the vehicle left the dogs behind when they were taken to a hospital, Castillo said. Animal Control Officer Mark Garcia rescued the four trapped dogs from the sinking vehicle, Castillo said.

Garcia did not have a pair of waders in his vehicle, but he took off his uniform and put on a pair of orange shorts, Castillo said.

Garcia tried to reach the dogs by climbing across a ladder from the shore to the vehicle but decided to jump into the water instead, Castillo said.

One of the dogs was a frightened female pit bull, and the others were a small male pit bull mix and two Chihuahuas, Castillo said.

The dogs calmed down once they were freed from the vehicle and were taken to the animal shelter, Castillo said.

Photo Credit: Valeria Gonzalez]]>
<![CDATA[California Governor Signs Stringent Gun Bills]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:36:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gov-jerry-brown-generic.jpg

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed six stringent gun-control measures, including a requirement that people turn in high-capacity magazines and regulations requiring background checks for ammunition sales.

The Democratic governor vetoed other gun bills Friday, including a requirement to register homemade firearms and report lost or stolen weapons to authorities.

Brown's action is consistent with his mixed record on gun control in a state that already has some of the most stringent laws in the nation. Some of the bills enacted duplicate provisions of a ballot measure by Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom that will appear on the November ballot.

He vetoed at least one saying voters will be deciding.

Democratic legislative leaders tried unsuccessfully to persuade Newsom to withdraw his initiative, worried it might drive conservatives to the polls.

Copyright Associated Press

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Community Reacts to Pentagon Lifting Trans Ban]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 21:03:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/1GettySFJune282015.jpg

On Thursday, San Francisco politicians and residents spoke out in support of the Pentagon and its decision to lift the ban that prevented transgender people from openly serving in the armed forces.

“Transgender Americans may serve openly,” Defense Attorney Ash Carter said of the ban lift. “They can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender.”

While making the historic announcement, Carter said the reality is that there are already transgender people serving, and that those brave people deserve respect. He also added that the policy would open the door to many highly qualified persons who did not feel welcomed in joining the armed forces. 

In San Francisco, the move was heralded as a landmark step that would help move the nation toward equality.

“I have to say, I was a little emotional because I think it’s a significant step for the federal government,” remarked Theresa Sparks, who serves as the senior advisor for transgender initiatives to San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. “I served in the military for 3 years during the navy during the Vietnam years…I can’t even imagine trying to serve as an open anything.”

Still, the military and the LGBT community have a storied relationship, and some voiced concern that the workplace culture still needs to do serious work towards becoming an inclusive environment. 

“I’m not sure it’s a place I would want most of my transgender friends to be working,” said Seth Ambrose of San Francisco.  “But government inclusion does signify something…”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Says He Expects Congress to Move on Zika Virus]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:41:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ZIKA_GettyImages-537671534.jpg

About $25 million was dispensed by federal health officials Friday to help states at risk from Zika defend against its spread — cash taken from other programs because Congress has not approved fresh funding to fight the virus, NBC News reported. 

New Zika funding has been deadlocked in Congress, despite demands from President Barack Obama for increased funding to the tune of $1.9 billion. 

"I expect Congress to get this funding done before they leave for vacation, before they adjourn. That's part of their basic responsibility," Obama said.         

Republicans in the Senate presented a $1.1 billion spending plan with provisions that Democrats said were unacceptable. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are 935 confirmed cases in at least 45 states and Washington D.C. Another 2,000 cases were reported in Puerto Rico, Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Raid Nets 600 Pounds of Illegal Fireworks]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 08:48:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/010216+fireworks+accident+opa-locka.jpg

Law enforcement officers seized 600 pounds of fireworks Thursday morning from an East Palo Alto man suspected of dealing them ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, police said.

East Palo Alto police served a search warrant at 3 Gardenia Court while investigating the sale of illegal fireworks, police said. The San Mateo County sheriff's bomb squad and narcotics task force helped them with the warrant.

The fireworks and explosive devices seized had a street value of over $12,000, police said. The resident had a small marijuana garden in the home's backyard as well.

Police arrested Michael Burt Fields, 54, for possession of the fireworks. He was booked into jail.

"The use of fireworks in our community causes a variety of public safety issues," police Chief Albert Pardini said in a statement. "If there was a fire in this residence, the explosion and fire would have destroyed the house and likely spread to the adjacent houses causing a significant damage and jeopardizing the lives of many people," Pardini said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Grand Arrival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up Next

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

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

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Superintendent on Leave After Ray McDonald Visit]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 12:34:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/super1.jpg

The Hayward school board has placed its superintendent on paid leave while it investigates his role in hosting former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ray McDonald, who has been accused of rape, at a school assembly designed to teach at-risk students self-discipline. 

Superintendent Stan Dobbs was placed on paid leave Wednesday at a Hayward Unified School District board meeting, the board’s president Lisa Brunner told NBC Bay Area via email. She said that Dobbs had to be removed in order to allow the investigation into McDonald’s visit to proceed.

Brunner also took the opportunity to clear the name of Tennyson High School Principal Lori Villanueva, who the superintendent had initially blamed for arranging McDonald’s February visit, according to Brenner. 

"The blame placed by the Superintendent’s office on Principal Lori Villanueva was unwarranted…the office owes Ms. Villanueva an apology," Brunner said, calling the need for the superintendent to take leave "prodigiously" apparent.

Dobbs has strong support within the Hayward community, despite previous reports that he shouted and made physical threats during board meetings.

In announcing the board’s decision, Brenner commended aspects of Dobbs’ performance as superintendent.

"The Superintendent has done many positives things with Board support and approval,"Brenner told NBC Bay Area. "It is the things that he has done without Board knowledge that concerns us."

The visit from McDonald, who is accused of meeting a woman at a San Jose bar, taking her home and raping her while she was intoxicated, sparked immediate outrage among some parents at the school after the East Bay Express published an in-depth story on the assembly.

McDonald, who also has been in court for domestic violence charges, could serve eight years if a jury convicts him. He is slated to appear before a judge in September.  

At the time of the visit, the school proudly displayed pictures on its Facebook page of McDonald and another 49ers player posing with students and smiling as part of a "Made in Hayward" event, focusing on "making the right decisions." Those pictures quickly went viral, throwing the school district into crisis mode.

Dobbs told the Mercury News on Thursday that he would pray for the board.

"I will always continue to put the Made In Hayward children first no matter what non-actions are taken against me in public,"Dobbs said. "I will just continue to pray for the board members and their decisions -- that is the best I can do."

Photo Credit: Hayward Unified School District ]]>
<![CDATA[Riders Stuck on Roller Coaster]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 12:57:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stuck-roller-coaster.jpg

About a dozen people were on a roller coaster that became stuck on the tracks at Six Flags Over Texas Friday morning.

The New Revolution Virtual Reality Coaster — formerly known as The Shockwave — stopped on the tracks during ride's initial ascent about 11 a.m.

Park officials said a sensor indicated a possible problem with the ride and stopped the train at a "safe place."

While the issue was investigated, crew members brought water to the stranded passengers. After a short wait, passengers were escorted down the emergency ramp at 11:25 a.m.

Sharon Parker, with the theme park, said the ride will be shut down for an inspection. Parker did not say when the park hoped to reopen the ride.

No further details have been released.

On Wednesday, eight people were escorted off a stuck roller coaster at Frontier City in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma riders, which included children aged 7 to 15, were stranded on the coaster for about an hour before they were safely removed.

NBC 5's Alice Barr contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Taliban: We Found Bergdahl Alone, Cursing Countrymen]]> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 16:52:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP185958732321.jpg Two former Taliban commanders told NBC News on Thursday that Bowe Bergdahl was walking alone and cursing his countrymen when the Taliban found and captured him in Afghanistan in 2009. “Our people at the time couldn’t understand his language, but it was after he was shifted to a safe location, he said he wasn’t happy with his countrymen, but he didn’t intend to convert to Islam or join mujahideen (holy warriors),” one of the commanders said. The commanders said that through 2010, he had not converted to Islam. Bergdahl's release has drawn outrage from some, especially Republicans, who say the Obama administration might have broken the law by failing to notify congress before it traded five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bergdahl.
Get More at NBCNews

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Maintains Edge in New NBC Battleground Map]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11:18:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/split2-trump-clinton-june7.jpg

With both parties now having their presumptive nominees and with new battleground-state polling and maneuvering to chew on, NBC News updated its battleground map. The result: Hillary Clinton maintains her advantage, having 255 electoral votes in her column to Donald Trump's 190; 93 are in Tossup. Back in May, it was Clinton 253, Trump 190, Tossup 95. The big changes from two months ago: We moved Florida from Tossup to Lean Dem; Nevada and Pennsylvania from Lean Dem to Tossup; Utah from Likely GOP to Lean GOP; Mississippi and Montana from Lean GOP to Likely GOP; and New Jersey from Lean Dem to Likely Dem.

Photo Credit: AP; Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gaza Cease-Fire Holds as Peace Talks Re-Open in Cairo]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 03:12:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP654242583915.jpg An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire halting the Gaza war held into Monday morning, allowing Palestinians to leave homes and shelters as negotiators agreed to resume talks in Cairo, The Associated Press reported. In Cairo, negotiators talks resumed at 11 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) Monday as people bought fuel for generators and communication workers struggled to fix cables damaged by the fighting. The truce took effect just after midnight (5 p.m. ET), preceded by heavy rocket fire toward Israel. The monthlong war has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority civilians. In Israel, 67 people have been killed, all but three of them soldiers.
Get More at NBC News

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[‘It’s Thundering’: The View From a NYC Fireworks Barge on July Fourth]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:26:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/weehawken.jpg

As crowds pack the banks of the East River Monday for the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display, a small group of trained professionals will be just feet from mortars as fireworks launch out of them and explode into the sky.

Pyrotechnicians dressed in life vests and wearing protective ear mufflers will be on each of the East River barges when the fireworks launch, said Gary Souza, the pyrotechnician who designed the show.

Souza, who has been on barges in the past, will be in a midtown command center this year, communicating with the barge-based pyrotechnicians via walkie-talkie as the show takes off.

The view from the barges is unique and stunning, according to Souza, a fifth-generation pyrotechnician who first worked the show from a barge when he was 18 in 1982.

"It’s very shocking; it’s thundering; it shakes your feet and rocks your head. It thumps your chest," Souza said about the barge-view of a show’s finale. "You really can’t feel it quite as well when you’re a thousand feet away."

For Souza, there are three parts of the show that are particularly striking from the barge.

The first is the beginning, when the first fireworks launch out of the strategically placed mortars, making a "thud" as they take off.

"It strikes your chest," Souza said of the first launch. "You reach a moment of euphoria because now we’re going. We’re gone."

The second is when the largest fireworks — up to 10 inches in diameter, weighing 50 pounds — blast off from the mortar.

"The barge sinks," he said.

The third is the finale, when the show reaches its crescendo and hundreds of fireworks launch from all five barges at the same time.

"It just rumbles," he said. "It echoes your ear. And to hear the crowd roar — it’s just what we do it for."

The view from the vantage point also gives a unique perspective of even the simple fireworks that make up the show.

"They wiz by. They fly right in front of you," Souza said. "They make a very crisp, sharp crackle. Even a simple red burst, you can hear each star etching its color in the sky."

And after they explode, he said, it looks like a colorful mushroom or flower in the sky directly above the river, until they "cascade down in an ephemeral waterfall type shape."

This year, Souza said, gazers will see fireworks from nine countries shoot out of the mortars. The show has it’s own soundtrack and one original song written specifically for the display.

Viewers will also see the fireworks change color 17 different times — a record number for a show designed by Souza, he said.

Kenny Chesney, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor, the Radio City Rockettes, Pitbull and DNCE are set to perform at this year's "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" on Monday. The show will air on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Driver Arrested on DUI Charge After Teen Killed]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11:01:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oakley-fatal2.jpg

A 50-year-old driver who struck two teenage girls -- killing one -- in Oakley Tuesday was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, police said Friday.

Kristina Salvitti, allegedly exhibited signs of being under the influence after a collision at about 2:45 p.m. on East Cypress Road near Bethel Island Road, police Lt. Eric Navarro said.

Salvitti was the driver of a station wagon that struck two girls, leaving both critically injured, Navarro said.

Fifteen-year-old Roshel Madlangbayan died at the scene. Her friend, 17, was flown to Children's Hospital in Oakland. An aunt said they were going to a park to hang out.

Navarro said the girls were walking along the shoulder of a rural road that has no sidewalks. It's often used by pedestrians but is not considered a safe route for walking, he added.

The girls were all the way on the road's shoulder and were only hit because Salvitti allegedly swerved right in her station wagon for a still undetermined reason, Navarro said.

The station wagon then went over a curb and traveled through a field before coming to rest roughly 150 yards away, Navarro said.

During initial contact with Salvitti, officers suspected that she was possibly intoxicated, Navarro said. She was also driving with an expired driver's license.

Although police arrested the woman, investigators and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office are awaiting the results of toxicology tests, which could take more than two weeks.

No formal charges have been filed against the woman as of Friday morning, according to the district attorney's office.

Salvitti, who Navarro said was living out of the station wagon involved in the collision, was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility but is no longer being held there, according to the jail's record system.

A roadside memorial has cropped up where Roshel was killed.

"She’s my best friend," Roshel's cousin King Madlangbayan said during a memorial this week. "She’s a very big part of my life, a special place in my heart, and she will never be forgotten."

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

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

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[5,000 'Rosies' Needed to Break Record]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:33:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rosieriveterworldrecord.jpg

Mark your calendars for Aug. 13 — a nonprofit in Richmond, California, is attempting to break the world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter.

Organizers at the Rosie the Riveter Trust are hoping for a crowd of 5,000 to join them at Craneway Pavillion to take back the coveted Guinness World Record prize they won in 2015.

Elizabeth Tucker, lead park ranger for the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, said the group is attempting to take back its winning title from a rival Rosie group in Michigan, who beat them in October 2015, with 2,096 dressed-up, WWII-era guests.

When they won first place, the Richmond Rosies drew a crowd of 1,084 Rosies, dressed in red bandanas, blue coveralls and embodying the spirit of the women who worked in the factories and shipyards during WWII.

Only people properly dressed like Rosie from head to toe will be counted as participants. The required uniform consists of a red bandana with polka dots, tied on the top of the head, “Rosie style,” a dark-blue collared shirt and dark blue pants or dark blue overalls, closed-toed black or brown shoes or boots and red socks. The event is open to anyone in costume, even men.

The surge of women in the WWII war-time workforce inspired songs and eventually paintings of the fictional “Rosie,” a line worker who works tirelessly to help the American war effort.

Artists J. Howard Miller and Norman Rockwell popularized that image as a muscular woman clad in denim and a red bandana with the headline “We Can Do It!” The image was originally used as on posters to boost worker morale, but has now become an icon for the modern empowered woman.

The Rosies will gather at Craneway Pavillion, Ford Assembly Plant, at 1414 Harbour Way South. Participants should arrive before 10:30 a.m. to be counted by the Guinness judges.

For more information about the event, visit www.rosietheriveter.org, "like" the Rosie Rally 2016 Facebook page or call the National Park’s Visitor Center at 510-232-5050 ext. 0.

Photo Credit: Rosie the Riveter Trust]]>
<![CDATA[BART Unveils Sleek New Cars for East Bay Extension]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:02:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/eBART.png

After months of trouble, some good news is finally coming from BART's East Bay line. 

The transit system on Thursday unveiled a new line of diesel cars that will travel on the soon-to-be finished 10-mile Antioch extension, which is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2017/2018.

The diesel trains sport a sleek blue design, allowing it to stand out from its white and boxy predecessors. Eight of the new cars are expected to arrive by December of next year, according to a news release. 

All told, the extension comes with an estimated price tag of $525 million. The new station will be located along Highway 4, near the Railroad Avenue exit in Pittsburg and Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch. 

BART staffers touted the unveiling as a milestone in its efforts to modernize its transportation services. 

“We’ve been working on the arrival of BART to this part of the Bay Area for years, so it’s both thrilling and a bit surreal to finally be here aboard these amazing new vehicles,” said BART Director Joel Keller.

The modernization plans also include the announcement of a "Fleet of the Future," which is supposed to roll out along all BART platforms. 

The new trains will be able to shuttle about 2,400 people per hour during commute hours, according to BART officials. BART expects daily ridership to start off around 5,600 and jump up to 10,100 by 2030. 

Photo Credit: Bay Area Rapid Transit]]>
<![CDATA[Wanted Woman Captured]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 09:16:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Shanika+Minor+Pics.jpg

The Milwaukee woman added to the FBI's "10 Most Wanted Fugitives" list for the killing of a pregnant woman was captured early Friday, authorities said.

Shanika Minor, 24, was taken into custody in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the FBI's Milwaukee bureau tweeted.

Minor is wanted in the March shooting death of 23-year-old Tamecca Perry. Perry's unborn child also died in the shooting.

According to NBC affiliate WTMB, Perry also had two children. 

Authorities say Minor shot Perry, who was within a week of giving birth, after a confrontation over loud music at the duplex where Minor's mother also lived.

Minor fled after the shooting and has not been found. She is described as African-American, 5-foot-6 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds, of medium build with black hair and brown eyes. She has a display of roses tattooed on her lower abdomen.

Officials said Minor might be receiving help from friends or extended family members in Missouri, Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee, Ohio and Georgia, NBC News reported. 

A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered.

Photo Credit: FBI]]>
<![CDATA[Renegade Biker Tackles SF with Traffic Cones ]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 20:37:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Stafford_Springs_Bike_Hit_062116.jpg

Following the preventable deaths of two San Francisco cyclists earlier this month, one man is taking a stand to protect future bike riders from dangerous drivers – and he seemingly doesn’t care if he has to break the law to do it.

The man, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Adam, has been raising money and buying orange traffic cones to act as a barricade along more treacherous stretches of road. He’s been placing them on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin, disregarding the law in the process.

He says the countless times he’s been hit by car doors and run off the road while riding his bike in San Francisco inspired his renegade crusade.

He also says his horn and helmet camera aren’t enough to protect him, making his action a necessary one. The cones that he put up in the Tenderloin come with a note attached that says, simply, “Bikes to the right” and “Cars to the left.”

Adam, who created a Twitter page for his undercover advocacy efforts, has been calling on other riders to share trouble spots, so he can add cones there as well. He said he’s tired of waiting for public policy to make locations a safer place for cyclists.

“This is a top down leadership failure,” he told NBC Bay Area. “We want to put pressure on those individuals to make rapid improvement.”

Perhaps surprisingly, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency didn’t seem too upset about the new street additions.

“It’s not legal but it is something we can appreciate,” said spokesperson Paul Rose of the SFMTA. He added that the city has been trying to improve safety measures, and noted that the city recently painted bike lanes along Golden Gate Avenue. Rose also said some permanent barriers will be installed.

But the cones? They're gonna have to go.

<![CDATA[Funds Set Up to Help Oldest Park Ranger]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:56:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-499826200.jpg

At least two groups are raising funds for Betty Reid Soskin, the nation’s oldest full-time park ranger, who was beaten and robbed while she slept at her Richmond, California apartment this week.

The Rosie the Riveter Trust, the nonprofit that supports the 94-year-old’s place of work, has set up a special fund to replace the jewelry, cell phone and computers stolen from her apartment on Monday night, when police said an intruder snuck in and punched Soskin several times, waking her from her sleep.

The thief also stole a coin given to her by President Obama, who honored her in December during the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Secretary of the Interior has since told Soskin that the president would replace the coin.

Soskin, who works at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, prefers that people donate to this fund, according to her boss, Park Supt. Tom Leatherman. That’s because she would like to donate any extra money that comes in to a documentary being produced that will encompass some of Soskin’s life, when she worked as a clerk for the all-black Boilermakers A-36 during World War II. 

In addition, a separate fund was created by a community member, Nicholas Arzio of El Sobrante, who met Soskin at an award’s dinner, where the two became friendly. As of Friday, Arzio’s GoFundMe fundraiser has raised nearly $9,000 of a $10,000 goal.

Leatherman said Arzio's fund is legitimate and was created before the formal Rosie trust donation site was founded.

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED:  Donations can be made to either the Rosie the Riveter Trust fund or the GoFundMe, which are both set up for Soskin.Checks can also be mailed to Rosie the Riveter Trust, PO Box 71126, Richmond CA 94807 and should be ear-marked Betty Fund. Cards can be mailed to the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center: Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Center, Attn: Betty Reid Soskin, 1414 Harbour Way South, Suite 3000 (Oil House), Richmond, CA 94804

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kenny Chesney, Meghan Trainor to Perform at 'Fireworks Spectacular']]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:42:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fireworks-479518210.jpg

Kenny Chesney, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor, the Radio City Rockettes, Pitbull and DNCE are set to perform at this year's "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" Monday on NBC. 

"Today" co-hosts Willie Geist and Tamron Hall will return to host the two-hour Monday broadcast featuring fireworks lighting up sky over New York City.

The 2016 display, which will include more than 56,000 pyrotechnic effects, will be fired from five locations on the East River in midtown and within the Seaport district. This year, the 25-minute display will introduce pyro-writing, which uses fireworks to spell out USA in the sky.


Amy Kule, the executive producer of the event, said in a press release that this is their biggest show since the millennial display in 2000, which included more than 60,000 firework shells launched from 13 barges surrounding New York City. The is the 40th year of the annual event. 

The fireworks celebration will be choreographed to an arrangement of patriotic musical selections, including "This Land is Your Land," "The Star-Spangled Banner," "God Bless America," among others. The show will culminate with a rendition of "America the Beautiful" performed by Jennifer Holliday and the United States Air Force Band. A bell will also chime 13 times during the display to pay homage to the original 13 colonies.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[July 4: How Americans Will Celebrate 240 Years of Independence]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:55:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/macys+fireworks1.jpg

Every year, Americans honor the country's independence on the Fourth of July by celebrating freedom with fireworks, barbecues and beach getaways. 

July Fourth has only been a federal holiday since 1941, but Americans have celebrated Independence Day since the 18th century. During the summer of 1776 some colonists held parades and fired canons to accompany reading of the newly signed Declaration of Independence.

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The following year Philadelphia hosted the first annual independence celebration on July 4. 

Here's what to know about the national holiday on the 240th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

$6.8 billion: The amount of money predicted to be spent celebrating the July 4 holiday this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

$71.34: The average amount of money Americans are expected to spend on food per household, according to the National Retail Federation.

15,000: The numbers of fireworks displays held to celebrate July 4 each year, according to Wallethub.

40: The number of years Macy's has been putting on their fireworks display in New York City. It's the biggest display in the country. This year, the viewers will see fireworks from nine countries and they will change colors 17 times.

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$311.7 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

150 million: The approximate number of hot dogs consumed each July 4, according to Wallethub.

69: The record number of hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Joey Chestnut set that world record in 2013. 

64: The percentage of Americans who will attend a July 4 barbecue or picnic, according to Wallethub.

$3.1 million: The value of U.S. flags exported in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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43 million: The estimated number of Americans who will be traveling this holiday weekend, according to AAA. Most will be driving. 

$2.29: The average price for a gallon of regular gas this weekend, according to AAA. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Boy, 6, Killed by Car at San Jose's Oakridge Mall]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 12:54:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-01-16-mall-crash-westfield-oakridge.jpg

A 6-year-old boy was struck and killed by a Mercedes driver in the parking lot of Westfield Oakridge shopping center in San Jose on Thursday evening, while he was walking in the parking lot with his mother and sister, police said.

He was identified Friday by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office as Aniket Gadre of San Jose.

“Westfield is deeply saddened by the events of last evening, our thoughts and prayers are with the family," mall spokeswoman Stephanie Ringer said in a statement.

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Sgt. Enrique Garcia said the boy's mother was holding his hand about 9:30 p.m. at the mall at 925 Blossom Hill Road, when a grey 2015 Mercedes struck him and his mom at a low speed.

He was taken to the hospital, Garcia said, where he was pronounced dead. The driver stayed on scene and cooperated. Garcia said neither drugs, nor alcohol are suspected at this time.

Aniket's death marks the city's 20th fatal collision and 21st victim of 2016.

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Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Boy Nearly Drowns on Cruise Ship]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 06:49:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/JacobTrippin.jpg

A Caribbean-bound cruise ship that departed New Jersey on Thursday returned to shore after a boy nearly drowned in one of the boat’s pools, officials said.

The 8-year-old boy from Maryland had "an accident" in one of the ship’s pools, Royal Caribbean Cruises tweeted at about 10 p.m.

Law enforcement officials said the Anthem of the Seas cruise ship departed from Bayonne at 4:30 p.m. and was returning at 9:30 p.m. because of the medical emergency. 

The Coast Guard retrieved the child from the ship by Medivac helicopter and he was taken to Staten Island University Hospital. His family was expected to meet him there. The ship was docked in Bayonne early Friday morning. 

The boy was in critical condition Friday, The Associated Press reported, citing the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard said the boy had been in the water for eight to 10 minutes before cruise officials found him. Police described the boy as the victim of a drowning or near-drowning. 

Royal Caribbean said on Twitter the boy was being treated at the hospital and the cruise line’s care team was providing support to his family.

This isn’t the first time Anthem of the Seas made headlines this year: It sailed into a storm in the Atlantic Ocean in February, tossing passengers and furniture around the vessel. Passengers described it as "a cruise from hell."

Photo Credit: @JacobTrippin/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Istanbul Victim Was Trying to Save Son From ISIS]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 18:04:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fathi-Bayoudh-istanbul-attack.jpg

One of the dozens of people killed in an attack on an Istanbul airport Tuesday was a doctor on a mission to save his son from the terror group ISIS, officials and friends said.

Fathi Bayoudh, a Tunisian military doctor and head of a pediatrics unit at a hospital in the country's capital, had traveled to Turkey about two months ago to retrieve his son, Anouar, from Syria, a family friend confirmed to NBC News.

Anouar, who was in his late 20s, left to join the terror group ISIS and traveled first to Iraq and then to Syria, the friend said.

Bayoudh was working with the Tunisian Embassy in Ankara to get his son from Syria, a friend of the son said. Bayoudh called his wife, who is also a doctor, to Turkey and went to the airport to pick her up when the attack occurred, according to reports.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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<![CDATA[Trump's Reddit Fan Club Faces Crackdown, Civil War]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 03:46:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trump-muslim-ban.jpg

Donald Trump's presidential campaign isn't the only thing being shaken up. His leading fan site on the online message board Reddit has been plagued by constant infighting among moderators, NBC News reported.

The subreddit r/the_donald, a user-created section of Reddit with no connection to Trump's actual campaign, became a grassroots sensation during the Republican primaries with more than 50 million monthly page views at its peak in March.

The subreddit, managed by a handful of mostly anonymous fans, is a breakout success. Along with the infighting, the board has suffered from infiltration by white supremacists and clashes with the site's administrators over complaints that its users game the system to make their content more visible.

Last week, its leaders announced they were kicking out moderator CisWhiteMaelstrom, widely credited with popularizing the subreddit, over allegations he planned to join forces with prominent white nationalists like Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer to coordinate support for Trump.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Blinded Coyote is Euthanized]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 01:19:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/coyote-split.jpg

A blind mother coyote rescued earlier this year after she was found shot in the head was euthanized Wednesday in Southern California.

Officials decided to euthanize Angel after a veterinarian determined she was suffering too much, said Andrew Hughan, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman. 

Rescuers pulled the coyote from an empty reservoir in February. She had been shot between the eyes and was also pregnant at the time. 

After a monthlong regimen of care, including intravenous fluids and vitamins, the coyote gave birth at an animal hospital to a litter of five healthy puppies. But she never recovered her sight. 

"She nursed her pups up to where they were healthy enough to live without her,"Hughan said. "But her health — I mean, she had a bullet through the brain and she couldn't see. Her life was not anything acceptable." 

Julia Di Sieno, of the Animal Rescue Team in Solvang, found the coyote in the reservoir after a call came into her hotline Feb. 11. The coyote, whom she named Angel, was bleeding and having trouble breathing.

Di Sieno climbed down 30 feet into the stone-and-mortar reservoir and loaded the wounded animal onto a gurney.

Examinations revealed Angel had been shot between the eyes, and the bullet blinded her. The coyote then likely wandered the Santa Ynez Valley north of Santa Barbara for days or weeks until she tumbled into the reservoir, Di Sieno said.

"What this animal endured is beyond comprehension," Di Sieno told the Los Angeles Times earlier this year. "When she had puppies, I didn't know whether to cry in sadness or for joy."

After persuading the state Department of Fish and Wildlife not to euthanize Angel, Di Sieno had hoped to keep her as a surrogate mother for young coyotes rescued by her nonprofit. In California, possession of a coyote is illegal unless permitted by the state.

But on Wednesday morning, she surrendered Angel to Fish and Wildlife for the coyote's health to be evaluated. 

"It was the right thing to do. She's out of her misery," Hughan said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Animal Rescue Team]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Highways Are Rampant With Roadkill: Study]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:15:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/roadkill1.jpg

Hitting a wild animal as you speed down the highway can be a horrifying moment.

A new report from the UC Davis Road Ecology Center says the Bay Area is rampant with wildlife danger zones.

According to the report, drivers are most likely to hit a deer on Interstate 280 along the Peninsula. It's the number one crash spot and hot spot for roadkill.

The study is crunching data provided by hundreds of volunteers who enter information into the California Road Kill Observation System, which has documented more that 450 species of animals killed over the past seven years.

Using a year of CHP and Caltrans data, UC Davis researchers say out of 700,000 crashes, 6,000 involved wildlife.

Volunteer Alicia Falsetto was aghast at one sighting of a dead animal on the side of the freeway.

"I was driving on 280 and saw half of a coyote on the shoulder, and I couldn't see the other half, and I thought that's enough," Falsetto said.

Falsetto is hoping the information in the study will help convince Caltrans to improve fencing and provide underpasses or overpasses to protect wildlife from deadly crossings.

"It's heart-wrenching; its horrible," Falsetto said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Rout A's, Avoid Sweep in Bay Bridge Series]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:52:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-544022984_594_screen.jpg

OAKLAND — The best part of Bruce Bochy’s decision to let Madison Bumgarner hit in an American League Park on Thursday was the fact that Bochy, with a straight face, insisted that he asked Bumgarner if he actually wanted to do it.

Of course Bumgarner wanted to hit. This is a guy who strapped his elbow guard and batting gloves back on in the second inning when his turn in the order was still four batters away. Bumgarner might like to hit even more than he likes to pitch, and his night as his own DH turned out to be a resounding success.

Bumgarner’s first at-bat produced a double that ignited a six-run Giants rally. They cruised to a 12-6 win over the A’s behind their ace/DH, who gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings and finished 1-for-4 in place of the DH, with the double and a run.

Bumgarner became the first pitcher to intentionally start in an AL park and get a base hit since Ferguson Jenkins in 1974. He strolled to the plate in a scoreless game in the third and lashed a liner to center that ticked off Billy Burns’ glove for a double. The rest of the Giants lined up behind their ace, with the next five hitters reaching base.

Brandon Belt made it 2-0 with a bases-loaded double and Buster Posey followed with a three-run shot. Before Posey could even settle back into the dugout, Brandon Crawford lined a solo shot to right. The inning lasted so long that Bumgarner came up again, this time popping up.

It was downhill skiing from there, with the Giants avoiding a four-game sweep. They joined the Cubs and Rangers as the only 50-game winners in the Majors.

Starting pitching report: With Clayton Kershaw (back) shelved indefinitely, Bumgarner has a shot at starting the All-Star Game. He was bolstering his credentials until the Alonso homer, which shot his ERA from 2.05 to 2.20.

Bullpen report: Two nights after he had an outing he termed “really unacceptable,” Cory Gearrin pitched a perfect eighth, striking out two.

At the plate: Grant Green missed nine days at Triple-A after he got hit by a bat that flew into the dugout. Green needed four stitches on his knee, and before he could get back into Sacramento’s lineup, the Giants called him up. He had a single in his first big league at-bat since last August 31, and later doubled.

In the field: In the fourth inning, Ruben Tejada and Green turned a double play behind Bumgarner, just as we all saw coming in spring training.

Attendance: The A’s announced a crowd of 36,067 human beings. One of them won a scoreboard game and was given the gift of concession stand jalapeño poppers. The A’s are apparently trying to kill their own fans.

Up next: Johnny Cueto, who flew to Phoenix ahead of the team on Thursday night, faces the Diamondbacks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stabbings in Santa Rosa May Be Connected: Police]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:49:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-tape-shutterstock_5628043317.jpg

Police believe one man may be responsible for two recent stabbings in Santa Rosa - the fatal stabbing of a homeless man Monday and the brutal attack on a man watching a movie inside the Roxy Theater on Wednesday night.

While both crimes are still under investigation, Santa Rosa police have in custody 23-year-old Delonte Hart, who they say is a person of interest in the stabbings.

On Monday, 32-year-old Cirak Tesfazgi was stabbed 50 times while sleeping in a doorway not too far from the movie theater. There is a makeshift memorial at the site where he was killed.

On Wednesday, 21-year-old Adam Lucero was stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife.

About 10 minutes into the movie, the suspect walked over to where Lucero was sitting, bent over and started stabbing Lucero several times in the front and upper area of his body, police said.

Lucero recently moved from Southern California. His friends on Facebook said he is recovering after undergoing surgery.

Meanwhile, people in the heighborhood are a bit apprehensive.

Fiona O’Reilly says she’s seen Hart in the area before, and she's a little paranoid now about going to the movies.

"It’s really awful, you’re totally vulnerable," she said. "You’re in the dark, you’ve given up your trust to the rest of the people that are in the theater."

Police said they will be retracing Hart’s movements in recent weeks and looking for surveillance video in the fatal stabbing.

<![CDATA[After Fatal Crash, New Rules Sought for Self-Driving Cars]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:47:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tesla-Factory-AP_924536002086.jpg

After a Tesla driver was killed last month while operating a Model S in "autopilot" mode, a watchdog group is now calling for tighter regulation on self-driving systems in automobiles.

Joshua Brown, who had posted YouTube videos demonstrating and praising the Model S autopilot, was killed when the system failed to avoid crashing into a big-rig on a Florida highway. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the incident, which marked the first death in the U.S. involving a self-driving car.

Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court wants carmakers to stop developing self-driving systems until the investigation is complete.

"When a car crashes because it can’t tell a truck is there, that’s a serious problem," Court said. "Everyone needs to stop, take a pause and put the technology on hold so we can figure out what went wrong."

Investigators say the Tesla didn't brake when the big-rig turned left in front of it – likely because the car couldn’t distinguish the white side of the truck from the bright sky behind it.

"It reaffirms concerns that this technology is not up to snuff," Court said.

Tesla Motors, headquartered in Palo Alto, released a statement saying its cars have driven an estimated 120 million miles on autopilot. But it also said the system is designed in such a way that drivers should remain in control of the vehicle at all times.

Autopilot "is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times," and "you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using it.

Tesla Motors' full statement is below:

A Tragic Loss

The Tesla Team June 30, 2016

We learned yesterday evening that NHTSA is opening a preliminary evaluation into the performance of Autopilot during a recent fatal crash that occurred in a Model S. This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated. Among all vehicles in the US, there is a fatality every 94 million miles. Worldwide, there is a fatality approximately every 60 million miles. It is important to emphasize that the NHTSA action is simply a preliminary evaluation to determine whether the system worked according to expectations.

Following our standard practice, Tesla informed NHTSA about the incident immediately after it occurred. What we know is that the vehicle was on a divided highway with Autopilot engaged when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied. The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S. Had the Model S impacted the front or rear of the trailer, even at high speed, its advanced crash safety system would likely have prevented serious injury as it has in numerous other similar incidents.

It is important to note that Tesla disables Autopilot by default and requires explicit acknowledgement that the system is new technology and still in a public beta phase before it can be enabled. When drivers activate Autopilot, the acknowledgment box explains, among other things, that Autopilot “is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times," and that "you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using it. Additionally, every time that Autopilot is engaged, the car reminds the driver to “Always keep your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to take over at any time.” The system also makes frequent checks to ensure that the driver's hands remain on the wheel and provides visual and audible alerts if hands-on is not detected. It then gradually slows down the car until hands-on is detected again.

We do this to ensure that every time the feature is used, it is used as safely as possible. As more real-world miles accumulate and the software logic accounts for increasingly rare events, the probability of injury will keep decreasing. Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert. Nonetheless, when used in conjunction with driver oversight, the data is unequivocal that Autopilot reduces driver workload and results in a statistically significant improvement in safety when compared to purely manual driving.

The customer who died in this crash had a loving family and we are beyond saddened by their loss. He was a friend to Tesla and the broader EV community, a person who spent his life focused on innovation and the promise of technology and who believed strongly in Tesla’s mission. We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.


Photo Credit: AP]]>