<![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-usMon, 26 Jun 2017 07:07:19 -0700Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:07:19 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Sea of Rainbows Bathes San Francisco for Annual Pride Parade]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 21:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-25-17_Pride_Parade_1_CMS.png

A weekend jam-packed with community events celebrating the LGBTQ community drew more than a million people and culminated Sunday with the wildly popular LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco.

The 47th annual event, which is one of the largest in the world, kicked off at 10:30 a.m. The parade traveled along Market Street beginning at Beale Street and ending at Eighth Street. After the parade, the celebration continued with a rally chock-full of inspirational speakers and performers at Civic Center Plaza from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While promoting identity and diversity was on the forefront of many parade participants' minds, there was also an added spotlight on legal protections for the gay community and staunch resistance to the policies flowing from the Trump administration.

Chanting while marching along Market Street, folks flashed signs reading "Drive Out Trump/Pence Fascist Regime!" and yelled "45 has got to go," which refers to President Donald Trump, the 45th commander in chief of the United States.

Political dignitaries were among those who appeared and spoke at the rally.

"This is love, and this is joy, and this is happiness," Rep. Jackie Speier said. "This is what America should be about, not hatred, which is spewing out of the White House right now."

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom added: "We're not about division. We're about inclusion, and we're about celebrating our differences."

And finally, Mayor Ed Lee chimed in: "Everybody is very mindful; they're ready to fight for their rights and be anti-discriminatory and be the beacon for the rest of the country. This is San Francisco. Everybody is proud to be here."

Some other partygoers celebrating gay pride held signs Sunday that read "No Ban, No Wall, Welcome Sisters and Brothers'' while they danced to electronic music at a stage near San Francisco's City Hall.

Frank Reyes and his husband Paul Brady said they decided to march for the first time in many years because they feel need to stand up for their rights.

Brady says things are changing quickly and "we need to be as visible as possible.''

With millions of people traveling to the city by the bay this weekend for Pride festivities, officials beefed up security to protect those celebrating. Law enforcement officials are reminding Pride participants to trust their intuition and report any suspicious behavior.

The number of uniform and plainclothes officers was high Sunday, and participants at the rally were screened at security checkpoints via metal detectors or wands. Large bags, alcohol, illegal substances, weapons, coolers and fireworks are just some of the many prohibited items.

The security efforts came on the heels of several recent terror-related attacks across Europe and the deadly 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Prior to Sunday's parade and rally, San Francisco Pride featured a Trans March Friday, the creation of the iconic Pink Triangle Saturday and the San Francisco Dyke March, which also occurred Saturday. There were also a host of parties across the city into the late-night hours, but the "Pink Saturday" event was called off for the second-straight year because of security concerns.

Pride attendees are strongly encouraged to utilize public transportation when it comes to heading to and leaving the parade. A number of roads will be blocked off during the weekend.

BART added more and longer trains to its service to accommodate the large crowds, according to the transportation agency. BART riders were asked to purchase round-trip tickets or use pre-loaded tickets to ease congestion inside stations.

For more information regarding the parade, visit the parade website.

The Associated Press contributed this report.

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[SF Pride Parade Guide: Where to Eat, Drink, and Party]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:47:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/castro12.jpg

San Francisco will be celebrating the LGBT community June 24- to 25. Events will run throughout the weekend, including the 47th annual Pride Parade. Thousands of LGBT community members and supporters will take to Market Street to join this procession on Sunday, June 25. If planning to be one of the many raising a rainbow flag, here are some places that will keep the fun going and your body fueled.

Parade Breakfast Preparation

Farm:Table: If looking for a locally sourced, wholesome meal, head over to Farm:Table on Post Street. This quaint spot has a selection of items that are simple yet satisfying. The restaurant also changes select menu items during each season, ensuring that the customer gets the freshest ingredients. Make sure to keep an eye out for the rainbow Rice Krispies as well, as Farm: Table is donating 100% of the sweet snack’s profits to the San Francisco LGBT Center.

Mazarine Coffee: Another spot that would make for a stylish start to the day is Mazarine Coffee. Located on Market Street, dwindlers will not have to have to venture far from the parade path to grab a coffee and some avocado toast. Other menu items include Fig and Ricotta Brioche as well as Yogurt Parfait. While a quick breakfast, the food is fit to satisfy both hangover hunger and social media snaps.

The Village: No Sunday morning would be complete without brunch and San Francisco’s Pride weekend promises the best. The Village at 969 Market Street is putting on a Bubbles and Brunch event. Parade-goers will be able to begin Sunday’s festivities at 9 a.m. The 21+ event will include a variety of food items as well as music.

Lunch and Bar Stops

The Sentinel: For those who want to grab a quick bite during the parade, check out The Sentinel. This sandwich shop is located a block over from the Montgomery Street BART station on Stevenson Street and New Montgomery. With menu choices for both vegetarians and meat lovers alike, it is sure to please any picky eater.

Zero Zero: No day of festivities is complete without a good slice of pizza. Zero Zero makes for an open and airy lunch time stop. Along with a menu packed with pizzas, there is a great drink selection to add that pep back into your step. Located three blocks south of the parade route, this Folsom Street pizzeria is worth the detour.

Mikkeller Bar: The perfect pit stop for a pint of beer, Mikkeller Bar is hidden away just off of the Powell Street BART station. The interior supplies a good helping of exposed brick along with a draft list that will impress any beer connoisseur. Groups can also opt to split for a hearty appetizer as well before heading back out on the LGBT pride path.

Post-Parade Events

The Cinch Saloon: After the parade is over, festivities will begin all over the city. The Cinch Saloon on Polk Street will recommence celebrations at 3 p.m. Guests will be transported back to a 1977 disco party that would leave ABBA amazed. Along with groovy music, attendees can participate in a best dressed contest and show off their bellbottoms.

Mezzanine: Also beginning at 3 p.m. is the Mezzanine’s Hard French Los Homos VII. This 7th annual pride party will be playing out across six different clubs until the late evening hours. Accompanying this party playground will be an outdoor block party as well as a performance by Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes.

The Chapel: The Chapel on Valencia Street will be continuing the party later on in the evening. Those who choose to dance the night away at this well-known venue will be able to do so free of charge as well. The event will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and will be hosted by DJ Rockaway.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Marines from Texas Unit Burned in Blast at Calif. Base]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:04:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MCAS-Miramar-20170430_104742.jpg

Two U.S. Marines were critically injured Sunday in what military officials describe as a ground flash fire on U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.

The blast occurred on base at 10:18 p.m. as the Marines were performing routine maintenance on an F/A 18 fighter jet, said Major Kurt Stahl, the director of public affairs for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS Miramar.

"Technically, this was a 'ground flash fire' rather than an 'explosion,'" Stahl added. "The cause is under investigation."

The two injured Marines suffered severe burns and were transported to UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.

They were identified as members of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 (VMDA-112), a reserve unit based out of Fort Worth, Texas.

No other information was available.

The National Fire Protection Association defines a ground flash fire as one involving fuel in the air and an ignition source. The fires tend to last just seconds but can reach intensely high temperatures.

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

Photo Credit: Becky Stickney]]>
<![CDATA[Bear and Cub Take Dip to Cool Off]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:02:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-06-23-10h45m26s94.jpg

A mama bear and her cub took a dip in a cool spring in Chico, California, to get some relief from the triple digit temperatures. The owner of the property, Marc Miller, set up the camera in hopes of spotting a mountain lion after seeing some big cat tracks nearby. Instead, video captured the bear family cooling off.

Photo Credit: Marc Miller]]>
<![CDATA[School Librarians Embrace Technology — If the Budget Allows]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:54:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/burlesonfeuerherd.JPG

In a profession most readily associated with the printed word, school librarians have embraced what may seem like an unlikely tool.

Librarians in public schools across the country are mixing new technologies like iPads and the internet with old to teach their students fundamental skills, while also preparing them for the digital age. But their progress is threatened by a familiar problem in education: funding.

“Librarians are really embracing technology and integrating tech tools into their teaching in very meaningful and effective ways. The issue for school librarians is budget,” said Kathy Ishizuka, executive editor of the publication School Library Journal.

Librarians in schools that have robust support have seized the opportunity.

Todd Burleson, the school librarian at Hubbard Woods Elementary School in suburban Winnetka, Illinois, is running with technological innovation. In his library, technology isn't just used to consume information on a screen, it's used to create it, he said.

On an average day, his elementary school students may be producing their first book on an iPad, complete with self-shot photos, digitally-produced drawings and audio tracking. Or they may be using a green-screen iPad app to layer-separate animated sequences to produce videos.

But Burleson hasn’t shelved the hardcover books.

Children’s books offer stories that are written specifically for their reading level, something a Google search does not do.

“Books are one of the most valuable pieces of information that we can get,” he said.

Navigating this mix of technology and traditional media – “books and bytes,” as Burleson calls it – is, for him, why school librarians are so essential in the 21st century, and other school library advocates agree.

“Just because the children have that device in their hand, or have access to that essential information, does not mean they can find it efficiently and evaluate once they’ve found it,” said Audrey Church, president of the American Association of School Librarians. “I think we need librarians in schools now more than ever because of that teacher role they play in the area of information literacy and digital literacy.”

It’s now part of librarians’ jobs to teach students to be effective users of technology. This includes showing them how to identify appropriate online sources, condensing search results — even sniffing out fake news.

But training kids in new technology is not possible if the funds are not there.

In many cases, sheer cost puts libraries on the chopping block, said Christie Kaaland, a school library advocate and director of the library education program at Antioch University.

“A library is expensive. Print material is expensive. Technology is expensive,” Kaaland said.

Library funding is not equal across the United States. Certain states require a certified librarian to be on staff at every public school. Others do not.

In wealthier districts, librarians can rely on parent-teacher organizations to provide funds. In others, librarians often rely on grants to supplement the money budgeted for the purpose.

In some districts, tightening funds simply means fewer school libraries and certified librarians on staff.

In New York City, the largest school district in the country, the number of school libraries more than halved from 2005 to 2014, from 1,500 to about 700. In Philadelphia, another of the largest districts in the country, just eight full-time librarians are employed. 

Librarian and advocate Tracey Wong saw the effects of funding cuts firsthand at public elementary schools in low-income neighborhoods of the Bronx, New York.

Wong’s first librarian job at P.S. 63 in the Bronx evaporated when her principal pulled funding and shut down the school’s library, she said.

After that, she went to work at another low-income public school in the Bronx, where she secured just under $1 million in about three years through private grants. With the funds, she brought in laptops, computers, iPads, a smartboard, and transformed the once-decrepit library into a bustling media center.

The new tools paid off: One of her students won an academic contest and was selected as one of five kids in the country to meet billionaire businessman Warren Buffet. Another won $500 in a separate contest and was taken to City Hall to meet the mayor of New York.

But despite her successes, Wong’s library eventually went the way of P.S. 63.

“A new principal came on board,” Wong said. “So by my third year being a librarian, she decided to shut down the library and was going to make me a fifth grade teacher.”

Instead, Wong left the New York City school system to work as a librarian in neighboring Westchester County.

Wong’s experience, while disheartening, came as no surprise, she said.

From the time she was studying to become a certified librarian, Wong was told to expect job loss and funding cuts.

The reality made Wong an advocate for libraries from the start. She secured grants to fund technology for her schools; lobbied principals to reopen libraries that had been shut; and now tracks her professional experiences on her website and frequently writes about how educators can secure grants for their schools.

“Advocacy is something you have to work on early, it’s the most important part of your job,” Wong recalled being told while earning her degree. “If you don’t start to do it, you’re going to realize you should’ve been doing it, and by that time it’s going to be too late because they’re always cutting jobs.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Todd Burleson]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Injured After Sedan Slams Into Semi-Truck in San Jose]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:52:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-26-17_SJ_Crash.jpg

A driver not wearing a seat belt suffered moderate injuries after slamming into a semi-truck along Highway 101 in San Jose early Monday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The injury crash occurred just before 4:30 a.m. on northbound Highway 101 just north of Blossom Hill Road, CHP Sgt. Daniel Hill said.

Initial reports to law enforcement indicated that the driver was trapped in a burning sedan after smashing into the truck, Hill said. When first reponders arrived, they pulled the driver from the car, but the car was not on fire.

The male driver likely suffered broken bones and a head injury, but "he's otherwise OK," according to Hill.

"Based on the extent and location of the damage, it's pretty impressive he came out with almost no injuries," Hill said.

The crash temporarily blocked the far right lane of the highway.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[The Cost of School Supplies Is Rising, Fast: Survey]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:02:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/Generic-kids.jpg

The cost of raising a child has decreased slightly, but it's a different story for their school supplies. They've gotten steadily more expensive since 2007.

In the last decade, the price of supplies and extracurricular activities increased by 88 percent for elementary school students, 81 percent for middle school students and 68 percent for high school students, according to the latest Huntington Backpack Index, an annual survey of the cost of school supplies and other expenses compiled by The Huntington National Bank and school support nonprofit Communities in Schools.

The index, now in its 10th year, tracks the costs of required classroom supplies and school fees that parents have to pay, in an effort to show that public school costs more than just what's assessed in taxes. It's one of the few figures that tracks the cost of school supplies.

(Disclosure: Communities in Schools is a partner of NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations' Supporting Our Schools campaign.)

The Backpack Index was just shy of $1,500 for high schoolers last year, the most recent year available. It was $957 for middle schoolers and $659 for elementary schoolers.

Meanwhile, raising a single child in the United States was projected to set parents back between between $12,350 and $13,900 annually, between food, housing, education and more. That figure is lower by several hundred dollars than two years before, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture "Cost of Raising a Child" reports.

Every school year, teachers send out a list of school supplies and fees that will cover the student for the year. Between 2007 and 2016, prices for school supplies rose by an estimated $10, according to the index. If a high school student plays more than one sport, that'll incur up to $375 in fees, an 87.5 percent leap from 2015.

One of every five school-age children was living below the federal poverty line in 2014, nearly 11 million children in all, according to U.S. Department of Education data. Many of the students struggle with the cost of basic school supplies, let alone the cost for school sports, clubs or activities.

"We need to be sure that every child in America comes to school equipped for success," said Dale Erquiaga, president and CEO of Communities In Schools, in an email. "That's why we are proud to be working with NBCUniversal and United Way on the Supporting Our Schools initiative. By encouraging back-to-school shoppers to add a few extra supplies to their shopping lists or to donate online, we can be sure that no student starts out behind on the very first day of school."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[As School Gardens Grow, So Do the Students Who Tend Them]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 14:03:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/IMG_03194.JPG

For Rebecca Lemos-Otero, the founder of a nonprofit that creates school gardens, plots of vegetables and flowers don't only offer new ways to teach science or math. And give kids opportunities to be outside and moving about. And show them that their neighborhoods can be green and beautiful.

School gardens also leave some students with a taste for much-maligned kale and other fruits and vegetables they've grown themselves, Lemos-Otero said.

"The expectation that kale is part of your meal, versus this exotic food that it felt like 10 years ago, it's amazing," Lemos-Otero said.

Some organizations gather school supplies like notebooks, pens and backpacks, but her organization, City Blossoms, works directly with a dozen schools, mostly in Washington D.C., to supply them with gardens and keep them going year after year.

The goal for the 10-year-old organization is to make gardening routine for the students, not a special event. Older students sell their produce at farmers markets or to their teachers in school-based community supported agriculture subscriptions.

"They become more comfortable with expecting to try different foods. They become much more comfortable with exploring the food that's put in front of them, especially if they have something to do with the preparation or the growing of it," Lemos-Otero said.

Edna Chirico of the nonprofit Real School Gardens said she has seen a similar change.

"It is amazing," she said. "If they grow it, if they take care of it, if someone shows them how to cook it, the students eat it 100 percent of the time."

Some of the gardens are quite elaborate.

Real School Gardens works with schools to develop deluxe gardens, which they call outdoor classrooms. In a three-year process, teachers, students and community members can submit design ideas for the space, which include things like whiteboards, student seating areas that are shaded from sun or protected from rain, a shed full of school supplies.

Those features are intended to eliminate the possibility that a teacher might say, "Well, we were going to go outside for class today, BUT..."

"Beyond just going outside and having fun, it's about learning. Every piece of that space is intentional and has a reason for being there," said April Martin, the group's Mid-Atlantic regional director.

Real School Gardens has partnered with schools across the country for these large-scale projects, which are available only to low-income schools that apply for the program and meet qualifying criteria. It also services schools that already have garden spaces or standing beds on their campuses but want to learn more about how to integrate garden projects into learning across subjects.

School gardens remain popular, despite all of the criticism of former first lady Michelle Obama's push for healthy school lunches and claims from school cafeterias of millions of dollars in food being discarding because students refused to eat. There were more than 7,000 across the country in 2015, according to a census done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The federal government — which built a "School Garden Army" during World War I and backed victory gardens at schools in World War II — encourages gardens through grants, guidance and support for food purchased from them, according to the USDA.

Today, City Blossoms and Real School Gardens are just two of many nonprofits working to get gardens up and running, in schools and elsewhere. Parents and others can contribute to the organizations or in some cases volunteer in the gardens. Groups also seek donations of plants and other supplies.

Even if the garden programs do not address school lunches directly, as Real School Gardens says, by transforming the outdoors into a space for structured open-air learning, students are able to spend more time outside, with dirt and earthworms, kale and potatoes, and to see how fresh foods grow.

That's important for children who know little about agriculture, especially those who live in cities. (Or adults for that matter: A recent survey by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy found that seven percent of American adults believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows.)

"We really want them to be able to connect with where their food comes from," said Jenny Schrum, director of youth programming at City Green, which works with 80 schools in New Jersey.

"There's many children who did not know that vegetables come from the ground, so it's very eye-opening," she said.

One thing that school gardens aren't necessarily doing is growing food that students, well, eat. Which is understandable, given various practical restraints like how much and what can be grown on a particular plot. Even a fairly large school garden couldn't provide food on the mini-industrial scale necessary to feed hundreds of kids daily.

But some schools are trying to get a taste of what they've grown into the schools.

The 14 schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, that are partnered with Real School Gardens all focus on the same "big six" vegetables: broccoli, carrots, peas, cabbage, spinach and cauliflower — plus, a bonus seventh vegetable, the sweet potato. Having students grow the same foods that they see on their lunch trays, even if not the produce from their gardens, gives them the chance to make connections between food production and food consumption, the group says.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of City Blossoms]]>
<![CDATA[Classroom Gadgets: Supplies Go From Old School to High Tech]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 13:26:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/armus-smartboard.jpg

The days of notebooks, chalkboards and flour sack babies in schools across the country may be ending. Many of today’s schools are incorporating Chromebooks, Smart Boards, and even high-tech infant simulators that are taking the classroom into a highly digitized 21st century.

As tablets, laptops and apps have taken hold with consumers in recent years, they have also gained a steady following within schools, said Ellen Meier, a professor at Teachers’ College at Columbia University.

One influential addition in many classrooms is the Chromebook, a low-cost, simplified laptop, loaded with Google apps like an internet browser and word processor, that can work offline. Last year, Chromebooks made up 5.4 million of the devices sold for U.S. classrooms, or just under half of the total, according to the Associated Press.

Chicago Public Schools has spent about $33.5 million to provide Chromebooks for more than a third of its 381,000 students, The New York Times Magazine reported. “In less than 10 seconds, a student can grab a Chromebook and be off and running,” Rajen Sheth, who oversees Google’s Chromebook business, told the magazine.

With these basic laptops or tablets like iPads, schools can create virtual classroom hubs that let students view assignments, submit homework and talk to teachers online on platforms like Moodle and Blackboard.

Meier, who directs Columbia’s Center for Technology and School Change, said that schools are facing a growing impetus to make sure that more students have experience using keyboards because tests are increasingly being administered online.

Cassettes or CDs in foreign language classes, meanwhile, are getting competition from interactive language lessons apps like DuoLingo. It's being used by tens of thousands of students, according to the company.

“More and more technology is being used in classrooms for practicing math and reading skills,” Eric Cayton, vice president of merchandising at Staples, said in an email. “In order to do this work independently, headphones now often appear on [back-to-school] shopping lists for students in elementary school.”

But the digital revolution in the classroom isn’t just tied to the arrival of laptops and tablets. High-tech reinventions of traditional school supplies are starting to make older models obsolete.

The same way that classic chalkboards were phased out in favor of dry-erase boards in the late 1990s, the Smart Board — an interactive whiteboard/projector combo — is now the board of choice in many classrooms. Texas Instruments, meanwhile, has kept its monopoly on calculators with the TI-Nspire, a modern version of the company’s bulky devices from the 80s and 90s.

More than three million classrooms now use Smart Boards, whose latest model of touch TVs can hook up to Chromebooks, according to a Smart Board representative.

Benjamin Glazer, an editor at consumer shopping website DealNews, said he predicts that many traditional items on back-to-school lists may also receive a digital update soon.

“There’s a strong possibility you might see things like smart binders or smart notebooks where you can access calendars and schedules from a touch screen inside the notebook,” he said.

But what’s often more important than the technology itself is how it ends up being used in the classroom, researchers say.

“The Smart Boards have become well-known for replacing blackboards, but they have so many things that we often don’t prepare our teachers to do,” Meier said. “There’s going to be an ongoing parade of new devices, but devices are not the answer in terms of how we can use these tools for more thoughtful teaching and learning.”

In any case, the most basic supplies — like paper, pencils and erasers — won’t be going away anytime soon.

“Every year, we see massive price loads on those items,” Glazer said. “Retailers continue to treat them as doorbuster deals that will bring in customers.”

Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Captain Asks Passengers to Pray During Shaky Air Asia Flight]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 02:08:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/173164274.jpg

Passengers of a Sunday morning Air Asia flight said their captain asked them to pray — twice — as the plane experienced engine trouble and shook like a "washing machine," NBC News reported.

Damien Stevens, who was on the flight from Perth, Australia, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, told NBC News the plane shook after a “huge bang” about 75 minutes into the flight.

"The rattling started straight away," Stevens said. "It was like being in a washing machine... The pilot asked us to pray twice and said he was scared too."

The exact cause of the incident remains unclear, but Stevens said the airline told him the trouble stemmed from one of the engines and that the pilot had 44 years of experience. The plane landed safely back in Perth and there were no reported injuries.

Photo Credit: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Manning Takes Part in 1st Pride March Since Prison Release]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 01:23:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-694226476.jpg

Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army Intelligence analyst who leaked information to WikiLeaks, took part on Sunday in her first Pride March since being released from prison last month, NBC News reported.

Manning rode in cars for the American Civil Liberties Union and said she was "honored to represent" the organization at the parade in New York City.

Manning, who came out publicly as transgender in 2013, rode alongside Gavin Grimm, the transgender teen who sued his school for denying him access to the boys' bathroom.

The 29-year-old was released from military prison in May after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking intelligence records. President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in January.

Photo Credit: Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Brawl, Police Response Shuts Down Westfield Mall in SF]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:30:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SF+MALL+BRAWL-0625.jpg

A large brawl erupted in the Westfield mall in San Francisco Sunday evening, forcing it to close its doors and leaving one officer injured as he tried to stop the violence, police said.

San Francisco police received multiple calls about 6:45 p.m. reporting fights at Westfield San Francisco Centre, police said. Dozens of officers swarmed the shopping mall in the Union Square area of the city and were seen in witness videos taking multiple suspects into custody.

The brawl started between about two dozen people in the food court and grew from there, police said.

Some officers were seen struggling to maintain order during the melee and even being attacked by suspects.

"It did complicate matters and that's why we did have to stop the situation as soon as possible and that's why you see us moving to multiple levels in order to stop and detain these individuals that were involved in this incident," San Francisco Police Department Officer Robert Rueca said.

One officer suffered minor injuries after being pepper-sprayed, police said.


Because of the level of violence and the number of innocent bystanders inside the mall, the center was closed early, police said.

There was no indication what caused the brawl or exactly how many people were involved. Police confirmed late Sunday that one arrest was made.

Officers were still at the scene late Sunday investigating the incident, police said.

The mall is expected to open on schedule Monday morning.

Photo Credit: @AntonPolishko / Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Diner Finds Dead Frog in Salad at LA Restaurant]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 19:57:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/frogsalad2.jpg

Officials with the BJ's Restaurants chain said they're investigating how a dead frog wound up in a diner's salad at one of the company's locations in West Covina, Los Angeles County.

Shawna Cepeda posted a picture of her salad with a frog that appeared to be the size of two croutons in a Yelp review on June 14. Cepeda couldn't be reached Saturday, but in her Yelp post, she said she ate at the restaurant the previous night and ordered a side salad.

"I was about four bites into it and I noticed it tasted a little different," she wrote. "I thought maybe the ranch dressing was a little bitter, and after mixing the salad around some more I found a dead baby frog."

The manager offered to comp her meal, which she declined.

She said corporate apologized and sent her a $50 gift card.

Krysteen Romero, the general manager at the restaurant, posted a comment on Cepeda's Yelp page more than a week later apologizing and offering to speak to her directly.

In a statement issued to NBC4, BJ's Chief Financial Officer Greg Levin said the company takes this seriously and they "have launched an internal investigation including discussions with our suppliers and distributors to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future."

Photo Credit: Shawna Cepeda]]>
<![CDATA[Disaster Loans Still Available for Firms in Bay Area]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 19:41:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-18-17_Sand_Bags.jpg

California business owners have received millions in loans to help them recover from the storms that occurred in February and more is available in some Bay Area counties, Small Business Administration officials said Friday.

Business owners in Alameda, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties in the Bay Area as well as owners in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties are eligible.

The deadline to apply is Dec. 20.

California business owners received $4.7 million for the storms that hit California between Feb. 1 and Feb. 25. California residents received $5.3 million to them recover from the storms during the same period.

The deadline for property damage loans has expired, according to federal officials. But loans for small businesses and most private nonprofits of any size can continue to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which helps owners meet working capital needs.

The interest rate on business loans is 3.15 percent and the interest rate is 2.5 percent on loans for private nonprofits. Federal officials said terms can be as long as 30 years.

The loans can be as much as $2 million to help meet debts and operating expenses which could have been met if there hadn't been a disaster. Business owners can use the money to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that couldn't be paid because of the storms.

Business owners can apply for disater loans online.

Information and applications can also be obtained by (800) 659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Visit the SBA website for more information or to download applications.

Completed applications can be mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Body Parts Found in Hayward May Belong to Missing SF Man]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:49:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chhay-kim-0517.jpg

A dismembered body found at a Hayward warehouse Saturday could belong to a missing Uber driver from San Francisco, the San Francisco Police Department confirmed Sunday.

In a story NBC Bay Area broke earlier Sunday, the body parts were discovered after police received a call of a strong smell coming from the warehouse, police said. SFPD and Alameda County Sheriff's K-9 units conducted a search of the building and discovered several bags filled with human remains, police said.

SFPD said Sunday that the Hayward warehouse is connected to Bob Tang, a person of interest in the disappearance of Piseth Chhay, who has been missing since Mother's Day. Chhay, a father of two, left home that day to meet a family friend and never returned, his wife Rattana Kim said. His car was found stripped in another part of the city days later.

San Francisco police said May 24 they suspected foul play in Chhay's disappearance and named Tang as a person of interest. Tang, 48, had agreed to come in for an interview with police that day but didn’t show, police said. The next day, they found Tang's 2004 Silver Toyota Sienna at San Francisco International Airport and believe he fled to Cambodia. 

The SFPD Special Victims Unit served search warrants in the cities of Hayward and San Francisco on May 25, but their findings had yet to be revealed.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office on Sunday took custody of the human remains. The identity of the deceased is unknown, pending identification by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, police said.

"I just hope and pray it's not my husband," a tearful Kim said Sunday. "I need all your prayer that the body part doesn't belong to my husband. He has to come home to these boys. He has to come home to these boys and to me."

Due to the condition of the remains, investigators will need to use DNA testing to identify the body, police said. Chhay's family agreed to provide DNA samples to police.

Anyone with information regarding the case should contact the San Francisco Police Department at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. Tips may be provided anonymously.

NBC Bay Area's Sergio Quintana contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Playground in Golden Gate Park Targeted by Vandals]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:51:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-25-17_GGP_Playground_Fire.png

Portions of the Koret Children's Playground in Golden Gate Park were burned early Sunday in what officials are calling "terrible acts of vandalism," according to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

Vandals appear to have set fire to the playground area, which is designed for older children, sometime before 12:30 a.m., according to Dennis Kern, the Director of Opertions for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Derpartment. Melted plastic slides and charred playground features are now roped off by yellow caution tape.

"It's very significant," Kern said. "Childrens' playgrounds are where kids and families bring their kids to play, to learn, to recreate, and to have somebody completely torch one of our premier playgrounds I think is an affront to the children and to the families of San Francisco."

Roughly 30 to 40 percent of the play area was damaged by the flames, Kern said. The damage could come to cost the city up to $1 million.

The fire is under investigation, according to the San Francisco Fire Department. No injuries have been reported.

The play area is closed for the day, but a nearby carousel will remain open.

The playground, which originally opened in 1888, is located in the southeast corner of Golden Gate Park, according to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. It was renovated and reopened in 2007.

Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to call 415-920-2933.

Photo Credit: Michael Horn/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Kevin Harvick Claims Victory at Sonoma]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 16:15:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-800820050.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Start Your Engines: NASCAR Takes the Track at Sonoma]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 09:52:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-800203344.jpg

Taking a break from a customary oval track, NASCAR drivers on Sunday will navigate the 12-turn road course at Sonoma Raceway.

The green starting flag for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will drop at 12 p.m. Racers will then zoom around the course 110 times in hopes of crossing the finish line first after 218.9 miles.

Points leader Kyle Larson, who won last week at Michigan, is on the pole for Sunday's race. Kyle Busch, a two-time winner at Sonoma, will start fourth. Martin Truex Jr., the 2013 victor, is in the third position just after Jamie McMurray.

Larson won't have to worry about fending fend off last year's Toyota/Save Mart winner Tony Stewart. The three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has retired from the NASCAR racing scene.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Chopper Captures Motorcycle Rider Smash Driver's Mirror]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:59:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-25-17_CHP_Motorcycle.jpg

A reckless motorcycle rider is facing pending charges this week after a California Highway Patrol helicopter captured him speeding and smashing a driver's side mirror, according to CHP Oakland.

The man riding on the green Kawasaki motorcycle could be seen on an East Bay highway come within inches of a white SUV and take a swing at the car's right side mirror.

He was followed to his home by the helicopter and met by officers on the ground at his residence, according to the CHP.

"The eye in the sky caught ya!" CHP Oakland wrote on Facebook.

The motorcycle rider is facing pending charges for reckless driving, vandalism and suspended registration. His motorcycle was also impounded.

"If you're one that thinks you can ride recklessly on the highways, smash people's side view mirrors, and drive at speeds well over 100 mph, think again," CHP Oakland wrote on Facebook.

The dangerous act caught on camera was one of many the man committed on a Bay Area roadway last week, according to the CHP.

Anyone who was victimized by the motorcycle rider is asked to contact the CHP at 925-646-4980.

Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol - Oakland]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Luminous in Rainbow Colors for Pride 2017]]> Sat, 24 Jun 2017 17:54:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6-24-2017-herbsttheatersfpride1.PNG

San Francisco Pride 2017 kicked off in a flurry of rainbows.

Millions of people are expected to trek to the City by the Bay through Sunday to celebrate and show support for the LGBTQ community.

The Pride colors were sprinkled liberally across social media — from brightly lit San Francisco City Hall, Coit Tower and Herbst Theater to a Pride flag that billowed boldly over the South San Francisco City Hall. 

"It's great," first time Pride participant Jamie Burns of Davis said. "It's really awesome. There's so much love and so many people."

Up first was the Trans March on Friday, which started from Mission Dolores Park. The event sparked controversy during theo week when people were briefly instructed not to talk to or thank police officers along the route. The online post has since been removed.

Early Saturday, nearly 200 volunteers made their way to the north hill of Twin Peaks, while it was still blanketed by Karl the Fog. They helped set up the iconic Pink Triangle, which every year honors gay people who were persecuted and slain in Nazi Germany during World War II. 

The brightly-colored symbol can be spotted from downtown San Francisco and the Castro district through Sunday. 

The San Francisco Dyke March was up next at 5 p.m., also at Mission Dolores Park. A rally began around 11 a.m. 

All the excitement builds up to the LGBT Pride Parade, one of the largest in the world, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The route runs along Market Street, starting at Beale Street and ending at Eighth Street.

Longtime Pride participant Holly Wallace of Kensingston is excited to see a city buzzing with energy and love for the LGBTQ community.

"I came out 50 years ago and to see all these young people living their lives and so many thousands of us, it's amazing," she said. "It's really special."

In addition to celebrating identity and diversity, Demie Chicos of Oakland has also turned her attention to focusing on the current political climate.

"We’ve gotta be out more than ever now, because we’re in difficult, challenging times," Chicos said.

Security was tight during San Francisco Pride in 2016 since it followed the shooting deaths of 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Luis Roldan, a survivor of the nightclub shooting, and Christine Leinonan, the mother of a Pulse victim, flew from Florida to San Francisco to celebrate with the LGBTQ community and show they aren't being defeated by hate crimes.

"It's not to stop my son's friends from living their lives," Leinonan said.

This year's Pride festivities follow terror attacks in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Somalia, Iraq, Thailand, Syria and even in Flint, Michigan.

So law enforcement officials are taking no chances with people's safety. That said, "there is no specific nor credible threat to any of the events this weekend," Craig Fair, an FBI counter-terrorism expert, assured Bay Area revelers.

Attendees should expect to be screened by walk-through metal detectors or handheld "wands," according to police.

No bags larger than 18 by 18 inches will be allowed, and all bags are subject to search. There will be no storage lockers for oversized bags.

No outside alcohol will be allowed inside and possession of open containers or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on city streets. Inside the event area, alcohol will be available for purchase with valid identification.

The San Francisco Police Department will increase the number of officers stationed at the event both in uniform and plainclothes. People are also asked to trust their intuition and report any suspicious behavior. 

Shootings and other violent incidents have occurred during a number of past Pride celebrations, including a fatal shooting at the 2010 "Pink Saturday" event in the Castro District. That event was canceled last year due to security concerns and will not be returning this year. Celebrations this year turned out to be a bit less organized as a result and there was a noticeable police presence on city streets.

"Regardless of all the violence and stuff, they want to make sure that everybody knows that the streets can still be safe," San Francisco resident Danny Osuna said.

Police this week advised those planning to attend festivities, to avoid accepting drinks from strangers or drinking and driving, to keep valuables with them rather than leaving them in the car and or elsewhere, and to stay with a group of friends when on the street or leaving bars and clubs.

Pride-goers are also strongly urged to take public transit to and from events wherever possible. Both Muni and Caltrain will provide additional service on Sunday for the parade. A slew of roads will closed during the weekend.

For more information on security screening, check out the San Francisco Pride website.

NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell, Thom Jensen and Sergio Quintana contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Gordon Mak via Instagram
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<![CDATA[A's Come Alive Late Finish Off Sweep of White Sox]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 22:39:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-800792090.jpg

The A’s sprung to life offensively in the late innings Sunday and polished off their first road sweep of 2017.

They scored all five of their runs over the final three innings to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3, continuing an odd stretch of streakiness. The A’s swept the New York Yankees in four at the Coliseum, then turned around and dropped four in a row to the Houston Astros before arriving in Chicago and taking all three from the Sox. It’s their first sweep on the road since they won four in Kansas City from Sept. 12-15 of last season.

The weekend’s events provided a morale boost for a team that began the series an American League-worst 9-25 away from home. The sweep also featured numerous contributions from a pack of recently promoted young players fresh from the minors.

The A’s had no answer for left-hander Derek Holland through six-plus innings, mustering just four hits off the veteran. But trailing 2-0, they got on the board with Jed Lowrie’s pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh. The next inning, Khris Davis singled home the tying run and Yonder Alonso followed with a go-ahead single down the left-field line to put the A’s up 3-2.

They tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back homers from Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce.

Sonny rebounds: Sonny Gray (3-3) avoided the early trouble that plagued his last start, working seven innings and being rewarded with a victory thanks to the A’s eighth-inning rally. He struck out seven and walked just one. That was a key as Gray had issued seven free passes combined in his previous two starts. Adam Engel hit a 2-1 fastball for a homer in the third, then Jose Abreu scored on a passed ball in the fourth to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. But Gray held the Sox to just four hits over his seven innings.

Sign of things to come? Franklin Barreto got a look as the No. 2 hitter in the order Sunday, a spot that some scouts feel he’ll be well suited for as his career unfolds. He singled to the opposite field in his first at-bat, then struck out looking in his next two trips to the plate. In the eighth, his broken-bat single to left jumpstarted Oakland’s two-run go-ahead rally. Barreto is 4-for-10 in his first two games with the big club.

Joyce provides a lift off the bench: Joyce entered as a pinch runner in the seventh and connected for his 10th homer, right after Rosales had gone deep himself. Joyce became the fourth Athletic to crack double figures in homers, and the A’s improved to 31-26 when they hit at least one home run (they’re 3-16 when they don’t).

Doo does it again: Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle continued to deal since coming off the disabled list. He threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts and has allowed just one hit over five innings in six appearances since his return.

An unwanted milestone: The Sox scored their second run on a passed ball by Josh Phegley, which accounted for Oakland’s 50th unearned run, most in the majors. They had just 43 unearned runs all of last season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Celebrates Pride]]> Sat, 24 Jun 2017 09:18:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*200/6-23-17-SF-PRIDE2017.jpg

Photo Credit: JC Liang (jc.liang via Instagram) ]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco to Blow Kisses to the World From Pink Triangle]]> Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:19:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-478828198.jpg

The Pink Triangle may be a byproduct of the Holocaust, but San Francisco on Saturday will light up its iconic installation with 150 rainbow-colored kisses, effectively turning its symbolism on its head.

“We’ve totally flipped the meaning of the Pink Triangle – it’s about love and not death,” said co-founder Patrick Carney.

Obscura Digital, known for projecting lights on the Conservatory of Flowers for Summer of Love and on the Empire State Building to raise awareness about animal extinction, will help give San Francisco’s beloved homage to the LGBTQ community a real smacker during Pride 2017.

“We’ve photographed hundreds of people blowing kisses so it’s going to be kisses to the world from the Pink Triangle,” said Carney, visibly excited about the project known as “Kisses from San Francisco.”

The much-awaited light show on the Pink Triangle will be visible from nightfall through 2 a.m., said Obscura Digital.

A week that was marked by a record-breaking heat wave gave way to an overcast and gloomy Saturday, but that didn’t stop nearly 200 volunteers from flocking to the north hill of Twin Peaks.

Blanketed by Karl the Fog, they helped set up the iconic Pink Triangle, which every year honors gay people who were persecuted and slain in Nazi Germany during World War II.

“They had a series of triangles for their undesirables and pink was for the gays,” Carney said.

The Rainbow Flag was created in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker when then-San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk asked his friend to use his skills to make banners for gay and anti-war street protests.

The bright colors have since become synonymous with the gay rights movement. Carney described the Rainbow Flag as “entirely new and beautiful and wonderful.”

In contrast, he said, “The Pink Triangle has a tragic history and part of acknowledging and celebrating where we are for 2017 is remembering where we’ve been.”

Seeking to add a pop of color to San Francisco’s Pride Parade, Carney remembered looking up at Twin Peaks over 22 years ago and seeing a “big, blank canvas.”

So Carney and a friend went out and bought tarp and paint. With the help of eight others, they painted it bright pink “in the dark of the night so we wouldn’t be arrested.”

Fast forward to 2017 and San Francisco police officers and elected officials were on hand to help construct the one-acre Pink Triangle, which features 175 pink tarps that are held in place with 5,000 12-inch long steel spikes.

Carney said that he didn’t expect his “renegade project” to last more than a year or two. However, after ealizing that people didn’t know the meaning or importance of the Pink Triangle, Carney came up with the idea of a yearly ceremony.

Educating people enabled the movement to pick up steam. Decades later, the Pink Triangle continues to resonate.

“Especially in this administration, we’re not sure what’s going to happen with our rights,” Carney admitted. “We’ve had a lot of gains in recent years, but in some states they’re trying to roll back or ignore those gains.”

This year, he said, the Pink Triangle symbolizes resistance from its perch on the highest point of San Francisco, which can be seen for 20 miles away on a clear day, according to Carney.

It’s “barrels of fun,” Carney said.

The Pink Triangle will overlook downtown San Francisco and the Castro district through Sunday evening. Volunteers are needed to break it down between 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Lets Not Rush This': Senators Urge Health Care Vote Delay]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 07:56:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ronjohnsonfeuerherd.jpg

Senators on both sides of the aisle can agree on at least one thing: rushing a vote on health care would be ill-advised, NBC News reported. 

Republican senators unveiled their version of the health bill on Thursday, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he wants to see a vote before the end of this week. 

Both Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who each have expressed serious reservations with the bill for very different reasons, said during exclusive interviews on Sunday's "Meet The Press" that rushing a vote before the July 4th recess would be unwise. 

Sanders said: "There is no way on God’s Earth that this bill should be passed this week. The people of Wisconsin don’t know what’s in it, the people of Vermont don’t know what’s in it. We need a serious discussion."

Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Marijuana Will Soon Be Legal in California, But at a Cost]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 11:01:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-592213300-marijuana-generic.jpg

NBC Bay Area political analyst Larry Gerston reveals a new tax accompanying the purchase of cannabis.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>