<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - East Bay]]>Copyright 2019http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usThu, 20 Jun 2019 01:43:01 -0700Thu, 20 Jun 2019 01:43:01 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Oakland Boy on the Road to Recovery After Shooting Himself]]>Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:41:09 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBoaklandboy_7644994.JPEG

Almost three months after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a handgun found under a pillow, 4-year-old Na’vaun Jackson is back at his Oakland home.

Na’vaun left Benioff Children’s Hospital last Thursday, happy and smiling, something his mom thought would never happen, calling it a miracle.

"He loves dinosaurs, dragons, Paw Patrol," Brijanna Price said. "Loves to smile."

Back in March, Na’vaun found Price’s ex-boyfriend’s loaded handgun hidden underneath a pillow.

"When I found him sitting with him before the paramedics came he was responsive I said his name, he responded to me," Price said.

The bullet missed the main arteries in his brain. Doctors put him in an induced coma, hoping the swelling would go down, but they also didn’t know if he would live.

"I’m just blessed he’s alive, he’s just a miracle," said Price. "Everything, they said he wouldn’t walk, he got all contact with his limbs."

The 4-year-old is confined to a wheelchair and he doesn’t have use of his right arm, but he is doing much better than expected.

Price‘s ex was arrested and charged with possession of a gun by a felon. Price said she knows her ex should no have had the gun in the home with children in the house, but she said he’s not the only one to blame.

"Don’t blame him, it’s not just his fault it’s everybody fault," she said. "It was a tragic accident."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Deadly Bacteria Affecting Birds in Contra Costa County]]>Wed, 19 Jun 2019 19:05:40 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/coco_birds_0619_7640728.JPG

Wildlife officials in the East Bay said Wednesday a deadly bacteria is hitting birds in alarming numbers.

The disease is much like pink eye, but for birds, it’s deadly. Bird lovers are being asked to take precautions.

Wildlife experts at the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital say they’ve had more than 80 sick birds brought it with the bacterial disease.

"It starts out with them looking like they have squinty eyes then progresses to swelling and redness, and eventually the eyes will be swollen shut," expert Aiero Shipman said.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure, and once infected, the birds will end up dying, experts say. It’s also highly contagious, so anything a sick bird touches can spread the disease.

"We are asking people if you have bird feeders or bird baths, clean them at least weekly," Shipman said.

Beryl and Wally Clark say there’s nothing they love more than watching birds eat and play in their Concord backyard. The Clarks do all they can to care for their feathered friends. They have more than two dozen bird feeders and several bird baths; they want every bird to feel at home at their home.

"I hope all the birds feel healthy and safe and feel welcome here," Beryl said. "And eat to their heart's content."

The Clarks are doing all they can to keep the bird and themselves healthy. They don’t want any harm to hit their backyard bird sanctuary.

"We don’t want to lose one bird; every one is necessary," Beryl said. "We enjoy each one. It doesn’t matter what color feathers, they’re all welcome."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Decision 2018: Bay Area Election Results Tracker]]>Wed, 07 Nov 2018 02:00:22 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_181566006960731.jpg

Track California election results for federal, state and local elections — live.

Photo Credit: Richard Vogel/AP
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<![CDATA[Max Harris Now Says Ghost Ship's Back Stairs Weren't Blocked]]>Wed, 19 Jun 2019 14:24:50 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Max_Harris_Reluctantly_Admits_Lying_to_Cop_About_Ghost_Ship.jpg

Ghost Ship warehouse creative director Max Harris said Wednesday that he was mistaken when he told investigators that the Oakland building's back stairs were blocked during a fire in 2016 that killed 36 people.

In his third day on the witness stand in his trial on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the blaze at a music party at the warehouse in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue on the night of Dec. 2, 2016, Harris said, "I was trying to be helpful" when he spoke to two investigators with the Alameda County District Attorney's Office when he was arrested on June 5, 2017.

But Harris, 29, said, "I had some misinformation at that time" and he had "heard from various sources, including the news, that the stairs were blocked."

Harris said he now knows from listening to witness testimony at his trial, in which he and Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena, 49, face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, that people were in fact able to go up and down the back stairs of the 10,000-square-foot building.

Harris, who was at the building's front door, which was near the front stairs, and stamped the hands of the estimated 80 to 90 people who came to the party, said the back stairs "were on fire, but they weren't blocked."

When Alameda County prosecutor Autrey James pressed Harris by saying it was Harris' belief when he was interviewed in 2017 that the back stairs were blocked, Harris responded by saying, "I now know that was not accurate."

The question of whether people who were on the warehouse's second floor, where the party was being held, were able to get down both stairways is a key issue in the trial.

Prosecutors allege that Harris and Almena are criminally responsible for the fire because the partygoers didn't have the time or opportunity to escape the blaze since the warehouse didn't have important safeguards, such as fire sprinklers, smoke alarms and lighted exit signs.

Prosecutors also allege that Almena and Harris violated the terms of the warehouse's lease by turning it into a living space for up to 25 people and hosting underground music parties there.

But defense attorneys allege that the fire was an act of arson that the two defendants couldn't have prevented.

They also have attempted to assign blame to government officials, alleging that police, firefighters and child service workers all toured the warehouse before the fire and failed to report it for dangerous conditions.

<![CDATA[Fremont in the Center of a Homeless Shelter Debate]]>Tue, 18 Jun 2019 23:39:33 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBnilesCanyon_7634948.JPEG

The possibility of a navigation center in the East Bay has dozens of people in Niles Canyon struggling with wanting to help the homeless but not wanting the solution in their back yard.

Building a center that will house 45 people will take a while and the city council will consider dozens of sites including Niles Canyon, a neighborhood nestled between the hills in Fremont.

Paul Dobish has called the area home for about 14 years, living under the stars and struggling with alcohol. He said he heard about a possible navigation center for people like him.

"I would like to see something like that," he said.

However, a lot of people are against it and they packed a city council meeting Tuesday to speak their mind.

"They don’t allow drug use at the center where do you think they will be using their drugs take it out of residential area," said Niles Canyon resident Wilma Spillers.

One proposed sight is a lot next to Niles Discovery Church.

"They’ve been researching it for quite some time," said resident Jonathan Lee. "Nobody knew about it all of a sudden they throw it at our neighborhood, they’re putting a Navigation center in there, full force ahead."

That is the fear, but the reality is that the city is exploring multiple sites to help 45 people live and get needed services under one roof.

"These people aren’t going to try to hurt kids they just want to have a home," said Rebecca Boyea from Newark. "They want a place to help them get services."

Services people like Dobish need in a place the city and community can agree with.

"There’s no perfect site, there’s no perfect solution," said Hayes Shair from the Greenbelt Alliance.

The next meeting is scheduled for July 9 in Fremont.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Concord Massacre Plot Suspect Out of Jail]]>Tue, 18 Jun 2019 17:00:30 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Concord_Massacre_Plot_Foiled.jpg

A community is on edge after a man arrested last week for allegedly threatening to shoot up synagogues and attack police is released from jail on bail.

On Tuesday, NBC Bay Area got a closer look at what police found in the man's Concord house, including Nazi literature and weapons.

"The threat was real and we have to treat all these threats as if they are real," Concord Police Sgt. Carl Cruz said.

Police searched 23-year-old Ross Farca's home after the FBI got a cyber tip that he had allegedly posted messages in an online gaming platform under the name "Adolf Hitler."

Documents show the posts threatened to shoot up synagogues while live-streaming Nazi music and also kill police officers.

"He was threatening to commit a mass shooting similar to San Diego and New Zealand," Cruz said.

On Tuesday, the Anti Defamation League is applauding police and FBI for their quick action. They are also letting the community know Farca has been released on bail after pleading not guilty.

"With our partners at Jewish Community Federation we sent out a bulletin to Jewish institutions and organizations in Norther California apprising them of the situation and ways to contact law enforcement if need be," said Nancy Appel with the Anti Defamation League.

<![CDATA[Max Harris Reluctantly Admits Lying to Cop About Ghost Ship]]>Tue, 18 Jun 2019 19:49:56 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ghost+ship+max-sketch-0618.jpg

Ghost Ship warehouse creative director Max Harris reluctantly admitted on Tuesday that he lied to a police officer when he claimed that no one lived at the 10,000-square-foot building in Oakland where 36 people were killed in a fire in 2016.

In his second day on the witness stand in his own defense in his trial on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the blaze at a music party at the warehouse in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue on the night of Dec. 2, 2016, Harris at first said he was merely being evasive in his comments to Oakland police Officer Brian Kline several months before the fire.

But after Alameda County prosecutor Autrey James showed jurors, for the second time in the trial, Kline's body camera video of their conversation and asked Harris if his comments were a lie, Harris said, "If that's how you want to look at it, sure."

Harris, 29, said he was being evasive with Kline because he feared that if he told the officer that people were living at the warehouse, he and the others would be evicted.

When James asked Harris if he was afraid he would be evicted because the arrangement at the warehouse "wasn't a legal living situation," Harris described the situation as "an alternative living situation" and wasn't sure that the people who lived there would have the same legal protections as people who live in standard apartment buildings.

Prosecutors allege that Harris and Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena, 49, who faces the same charges, are criminally responsible for the fire because the people at the party didn't have the time or opportunity to escape the blaze since the warehouse didn't have important safeguards, such as fire sprinklers, smoke alarms and lighted exit signs.

Prosecutors also allege that Almena and Harris violated the terms of the warehouse's lease by turning it into a living space for up to 25 people and hosting underground music parties there.

But defense attorneys allege that the fire was an act of arson that the two defendants couldn't have prevented.

Harris has spent much of his two days on the witness stand trying to minimize his role in running the warehouse and organizing the party at which the fire occurred.

Harris told his lawyer Tyler Smith that the reason he described himself as the warehouse's "executive director" in an email to Kai Ng, one of the building's landlords, is "I was trying to sound officious" when he was asking if the people at the warehouse could expand into an adjacent space where the lease for an auto body repair shop was expiring.

In an email that was read aloud in court, Ng said he was denying Harris' request because the people at the warehouse hadn't "paid a cent on your electricity" for many months.

Ng also wrote, "In each visit (to the warehouse) in the last 12 months "I've found the site to have increasingly worse conditions."

<![CDATA[Deputy in Clash With Raptors Exec Has Concussion: Attorney]]>Tue, 18 Jun 2019 15:32:49 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ujiriusatsi.jpg

A deputy suffered a concussion and is on medical leave after an altercation with the president of the Toronto Raptors as he tried to join his team on the court to celebrate their NBA championship, a lawyer said Tuesday.

The 20-year-veteran of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office also has a serious jaw injury and is considering filing a lawsuit against Raptors President Masai Ujiri, attorney David Mastagni said.

“The officer is off work, disabled and wants to go back to work,” Mastagni said. The name of the deputy has not been released.

The clash between the deputy and Ujiri was first reported by NBC Bay Area late Thursday. The incident happened as the deputy checked court-access credentials after the game Thursday in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors.

Authorities say Ujiri tried to walk past the deputy but the deputy stopped him because he didn’t see Ujiri’s on-court credentials.

Ujiri pushed the deputy, who pushed him back before Ujiri “made a second, more significant shove and during that shove his arm struck our deputy in the side of the head,” sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said. He said Ujiri also shouted obscenities.

Several bystanders intervened and Ujiri got onto the court without displaying any credentials, Kelly said.

Investigators were questioning witnesses and the office hopes to file a report to prosecutors this week recommending a misdemeanor battery charge against Ujiri, Kelly said.

They are also reviewing footage from body cameras worn by the deputy along with footage from the arena surveillance system and cellphones.

The office does not plan to release the deputy’s body camera footage to the public during the investigation, Kelly said.

Kelly confirmed the officer is on medical leave.

The Raptors said last week the team was cooperating with the investigation and gathering information on its own. It had no further comment Tuesday.

Warriors fan Greg Wiener, who witnessed the altercation, said last week the incident began when the deputy put his hand on Ujiri’s chest and pushed him. Ujiri shoved him back before bystanders intervened, Wiener said.

He also said then that there was no conversation between the deputy and Ujiri. But on Tuesday, he said he remembered the officer shouting, “No one gets on the court without credentials.”

Wiener said he recalled that detail “after thinking about it all weekend.”

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Marcus White
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<![CDATA[Whale That Hung Around Alameda for Weeks Swims Into Bay]]>Tue, 18 Jun 2019 13:28:03 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AlamedaWhaleGIF.gif

A humpback whale that had been splashing around Alameda for more than three weeks seems to have moved into the harsher waters of the Bay, a Marine Mammal Center spokesman said Tuesday.

Scientists at the Marin Headlands-based center have been monitoring the whale since May 27, when they first received reports of its presence in the water off of Alameda, center spokesman Giancarlo Rulli said.

Though the adult female humpback, nicknamed Allie, short for Alameda, appeared sickly when it first arrived, it "showed more energetic behavior" as the weeks passed, Rulli said.

Allie entertained spectators by breaching and slapping its tail as it circled the Seaplane Lagoon beside the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

On Friday, scientists at the center saw Allie nearing the exit of the lagoon, then lost sight of it. The whale was spotted on Saturday near Islais Creek along the San Francisco waterfront, and then again four hours later leaving Alameda, Rulli said.

Experts at the center believe Allie braved the choppier waters of the Bay because the whale's condition improved over the course of its stay in the sheltered lagoon rich with food, according to Rulli.

They assume the animal remains in the Bay but are unsure because they did not attach a tracking device, and hope it will swim toward the Golden Gate.

Center officials have asked ferries and local shipping companies to notify them if they see the whale so that it can ascertain Allie's status and location, Rulli said.

Boaters who witness a whale in distress or suffering harassment are asked to call the Marine Mammal Center at (415) 289-SEAL.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Officer-Involved Shooting in Hayward]]>Tue, 18 Jun 2019 06:09:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/HaywardOIS1.jpg

Hayward police are investigating an officer-involved shooting Tuesday morning.

The shooting happened around 12:45 a.m. along the 2500 block of W. Winton Avenue, police said.

Officers pursued the suspects to Oakland and captured one of them, according to police. Officers are searching for other remaining suspects.

No officers were hurt in the shooting, police said.

Further information was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Milpitas Man Shot, Killed on Interstate 680]]>Tue, 18 Jun 2019 23:46:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MilpitasFreewayShooting.jpg

A Milpitas man shot and killed on Interstate 680 Monday night has been identified as 33-year-old Matthew Rios, according to the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office.

California Highway Patrol officers responded to northbound I-680 north of Landess Avenue at about 10 p.m. to find a vehicle in the center median.

Rios was inside the vehicle and appeared to have been shot, according to CHP Officer Ross Lee. Paramedics and firefighters attempted life-saving procedures but he died soon afterward.

No one else was in the vehicle, and lanes were closed for about four hours while the CHP investigated the shooting.

No information has been released regarding a possible suspect.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Family Remembers Loved One Lost in Unsolved Murder]]>Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:26:21 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cold_case_0617_7620714.JPG

A cold case murder out of Hayward has a former homicide detective hoping that new attention can breathe new life into it. A 44-year-old man died after receiving a shot to the heart.

Fourteen years later, Jason Stelachick's family is still grieving.

Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly was the one who got the call in 2005.

"There was not motive or reason for anyone to want to kill him," Kelly said.

Cheryl Hurd has the full story in the video above.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 Injured in Reported Explosion at Home in Union City: FD]]>Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:19:32 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Fire_Truck_Generic_NECN_Chris_Caesar.jpg

Two people were injured late Monday at the scene of a reported explosion in Union City, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.

No fire was burning when crews responded to the scene in the 32000 block of Elizabeth Way, but two people were taken to hospitals with burn injuries, fire officials said.

One of the injured persons was transported to Kaiser Fremont, and the second was taken to a Santa Clara burn unit, accompanied by two firefighters, officials said.

The Santa Clara hospital did not initially accept the patient due to hazardous materials exposure, fire officials said. The Santa Clara County Hazmat team responded to the hospital to meet the ambulance and patient.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

No further details were immediately available.

<![CDATA[ACSO Will Likely Recommend Charges Against Raptors President]]>Mon, 17 Jun 2019 21:15:19 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ujiriusatsi.jpg

An investigation into Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri allegedly pushing a deputy at the NBA Finals is expected to be handed over this week to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office said it is reviewing body camera footage and surveillance video of the incident that occurred moments after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the finals to give Canada its first-ever NBA championship.

NBC Bay Area broke the story Thursday night when Ujiri was involved in the courtside altercation with a deputy. The Raptors president was trying to get on the court to celebrate when a deputy stopped him to ask for his credential, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The deputy accuses Ujiri of shoving and hitting him in the face.

The Sheriff's Office will likely recommend charges against Ujiri. It will be up to the DA's Office whether Ujiri will be officially charged with misdemeanor battery.

Meanwhile, a Warriors season-ticket holder who said he witnessed the incident told the Associated Press Ujiri did not strike the deputy.

Greg Wiener, 61, told AP that the deputy first "put his hand on Ujiri's chest and pushed him," and that "Ujiri shoved him back before bystanders intervened."

"The thing about the cops saying the policeman asked for his credentials, that didn't happen," Wiener said. "There was no conversation at all. This part about striking him in the face, yeah that didn't happen."

In a statement issued Friday, the Raptors said: “The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation.”

NBA spokesman Mike Bass on Friday said the association is in contact with the Raptors and local authorities "and in the process of gathering more information."

NBC Sports Bay Area's Marcus White contributed to this story.

Photo Credit: Marcus White
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<![CDATA[Contra Costa County Conducts Fire Abatement Inspections]]>Mon, 17 Jun 2019 18:29:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/coco_fire_weeds_0617_7617814.JPG

Contra Costa County firefighters are on the hunt for properties that didn't clear out the dead brush that can be a fire magnet as the deadline to create that "defensible space" was last weekend.

The county ultimately will clean those properties, but the property owners will be footing the bill.

Resident Mike Nichols says living in a high-risk fire zone makes him feel very nervous, especially since the lot across the street is overgrown with weeds, perfect fuel for a fire.

"If the fire gets into these trees, it’s going to be like a bomb," Nichols said. "Things like this keep me up at night."

Fire prevention technician Kathy Woofter says the weed covered hillside is indeed a disaster waiting to happen.

"Fire is like the Cookie Monster," Woofter said. "If it has fuel, it’s going to eat, eat, eat."

Last month, the Contra Costa County Fire District ordered property owners in high-risk fire areas to clear out their weeds, brush and low lying limbs with a June 16 deadline. Now that the deadline is up, county technicians are out inspecting this week to make sure property owners complied. Some did not pass the test.

"If you don’t abate your property in time, and we have to do it for you, it will cost thousands of dollars," Woofter said.

The fire district will now notify property owners that they’re hiring someone to do the work at a much higher cost, and owners will have to pick up the tab.

Firefighters say those property owners have little choice.

"We are in for a high-risk fire season," said Steve Hill, of the Contra Costa County Fire District. "It’s critically important everyone take their responsibility seriously."

Nichols is relieved the district is cracking down on folks who aren’t doing their part and putting entire neighborhoods at risk. He prays his stays safe.

"Hopefully, we don’t get no fires happening, nothing happens this year," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Viral Video Shows Confrontation Over San Jose Bike Lane]]>Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:45:49 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06172019BikeLane_7617954.JPG

A confrontation over a San Jose bike lane has now gone viral.

The bike rider in the video demands the driver, identified as one-time Newark City Council candidate Cornelius Lopes, move his car of the lane. But it's the language and homophobic phrases that Lopes responds with that has people buzzing about the video.

Lopes has said he may consider a run for Newark mayor. Court documents show Lopes was tied to a confrontation with bicyclists before more than a decade ago. In that case there were accusations he intentionally ran into a cyclist, but he was never convicted of any crime.

On Monday, NBC Bay Area reached out to Lopes by phone. He told NBC Bay Area nothing happened in San Jose and declined a request to an interview "because I don't have to."

"It's dangerous," said Shiloh Ballard, who runs the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. The coalition fights for bicyclist rights and was instrumental in adding the new green bike lanes around the city.

"It really is an every day occurrence for bicyclists," Ballard said. "It's our No. 1 concern to get folks to be more respectful of the spaces that we're designing."

The bicyclist who recorded the video showing the interaction with Lopes did not return NBC Bay Area's requests for an interview on Monday.

<![CDATA[Max Harris Takes Witness Stand in Ghost Ship Fire Trial]]>Mon, 17 Jun 2019 14:32:47 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06172019MaxHarris_7610076.JPG

Ghost Ship warehouse creative director Max Harris said Monday that there weren't any hard and fast rules at the 10,000-square-foot building in Oakland where 36 people died in a fire during a music party in 2016.

Harris is taking the witness stand in his own defense in the trial on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the blaze at the warehouse in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue in Oakland's Fruitvale district on the night of Dec. 2, 2016.

He said of the arrangements at Ghost Ship, "It was more like an agreement where you would try to pick up after yourself and if something was bothering you, you could talk to your neighbor and friend about it."

Dressed in a suit with a large pocket square, a tie and an orange shirt and sporting large earrings, tattoos and a ponytail, Harris, 29, described the warehouse as "a very autonomous place where everyone brought their insights and contributions to the table."

He said, "There was a shared understanding about what was appropriate behavior and conduct."

Alameda County prosecutors allege that Harris and Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena, 49, who faces the same charges, are criminally responsible for the fire because the people at the party didn't have the time or opportunity to escape the blaze since the warehouse didn't have important safeguards, such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and lighted exit signs.

Prosecutors also allege that Almena and Harris violated the terms of the warehouse's lease by turning it into a living space for up to 25 people and hosting underground music parties there.

But defense attorneys allege that the fire was an act of arson that the two defendants couldn't have prevented.

Harris estimated that about nine to 12 people were living at the warehouse, which functioned as an artists' collective, when he moved there in late 2013 after he responded to an ad on Craigslist but said the number fluctuated.

Harris said he initially paid $750 a month in rent but later was able to live there rent-free in return for doing work there.

Harris said he grew up in Connecticut, earned a bachelor's of fine arts degree from the Massachusetts College of Arts and Design in Boston in 2012, works in various forms of art, including sculpture and jewelry, and is a practicing Buddhist.

But he added, "I wouldn't say I'm not a Christian and would say I'm a Christian, a Jew and a Buddhist."

Harris, who hasn't yet talked about the night of the fire, will resume his testimony after the lunch break on Monday.

Almena is expected to testify later in the trial.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 Injured in Shooting Inside Caldecott Tunnel]]>Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:49:03 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/082218+police+sirens.jpg

California Highway Patrol officials now say a second person suffered injuries in a shooting inside the Caldecott Tunnel between Oakland and Moraga on Sunday evening.

The driver of a vehicle heading west on state Highway 24 through the fourth bore of the tunnel was shot in the head by someone in another vehicle around 7:50 p.m., according to the CHP.

CHP officials initially said a passenger in the vehicle was not hit, but CHP Officer Kris Borer said Monday morning that the passenger suffered graze wounds but did not require hospitalization. An update on the driver's condition was not immediately available.

The shooter remains at large and CHP officers have not found the suspect vehicle, described only as possibly white in color.

The shooting prompted the closure of the fourth bore for nearly three hours. The lanes reopened by about 10:45 p.m. Sunday.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the CHP's help line at (707) 917-4491.

<![CDATA[Major-Injury Crash Blocks Multiple Lanes on I-80 in Berkeley]]>Sun, 16 Jun 2019 22:10:12 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+tape6.jpg

Four of five lanes of eastbound Interstate Highway 80 in Berkeley were blocked due to a multiple-vehicle, major-injury collision early Sunday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the four-vehicle collision was first reported at 12:08 a.m. just west of University Avenue. At least one person was seriously injured and only the No. 5 lane was open as of 12:38 a.m.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Kaiser Announces New $900M HQ to be Completed by 2023]]>Mon, 17 Jun 2019 17:14:55 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Empleados_de_Kaiser_comienzan_huelga.jpg

Kaiser Permanente on Monday morning unveiled plans for a new national headquarters to be constructed in downtown Oakland in the coming years.

The 1.7 million-square-foot office tower, which is expected to be 28 or 29 stories tall, will be sited at 2100 Telegraph Ave. - on a collection of five parcels near the Paramount Theater.

The project, which will break ground next year, is expected to cost $900 million by the time it's completed in 2023.

Kaiser officials say there will be space for more than 7,200 employees. There will be an estimated 60,000 feet of retail space at ground level. There are also plans for an onsite clinic and an estimated 20,000 square feet of public space for "community-inspired art."

Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson said his organization currently owns seven buildings in Oakland, and in recent years they've been looking to consolidate their holdings. Doing so will save Kaiser an estimated $60 million, which the health care provider plans to pass on in the form of better rates for membership.

"This is going to be the biggest office building in Oakland," Mayor Libby Schaaf said.

"It really will be a community asset for generations and generations of Oaklanders," Schaaf said.

Kaiser says 100 percent of the construction work will be done by union labor, and that once the office tower is completed, it should contribute more than $15 million annually in local tax revenues.

<![CDATA[Bad Gas at Newark Shell Station Causes Pricey Damages]]>Sun, 16 Jun 2019 01:43:11 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBbadgas_7595883.JPEG

One island of gas pumps was closed Saturday night at the Shell station on the corner of Newark Boulevard and Jarvis Avenue after several drivers say they filled up and then broke down just minutes after pumping.

"As I’m sitting at the red light, the car just starts chugging, and it was unusual, and then the light turned green, I put my foot on the gas and got a little bit of acceleration and the engine just went," said Robin Mokry from Fremont.

Mokry said it happened to him just after 9 a.m. Saturday. As soon as he got out of his car, he was confronted by other drivers who also pumped regular unleaded gas at the Shell station and then experienced engine failure.

"I just got out of the car, and one of the guys comes up to me and goes, 'Did you just get gas across the street?' And I go 'yeah,'" he said.

The drivers began sharing notes, pictures and videos and even created a Facebook group.

Mokry said his mechanic tried to light the fuel he pulled out of the tank and it wouldn’t burn.

Another driver told NBC Bay Area the estimate for her repairs could top $13,000. She and Mokry said the gas station owner pledged to do the right thing and pay their mechanic bills.

"You can appreciate from the people that are all affected, that it’s an inconvenience, right? And, we just want to get our cars repaired and back as soon as we can," said Mokry.

The gas station owner told NBC Bay Area that he will stand by that promise, adding that one of the underground tanks may have been damaged, allowing the gasoline to get contaminated.

He hopes to know by Monday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[BNSF Train Strikes, Kills Person in Martinez]]>Sat, 15 Jun 2019 20:48:12 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/BNSF.jpg

One person was killed Saturday evening after being struck by a freight train in Martinez, authorities confirmed.

The accident occurred at about 6:20 p.m. on BNSF Railway tracks, company spokeswoman Lena Kent said. "It did not occur at a railroad crossing," she said.

Kent said all train traffic on this route, between Stockton and Richmond, was stopped as investigators converged on the scene. No passenger trains use this route.

Kent did not immediately have any information on the person killed. Martinez police referred all questions on the incident to BNSF.

In March 2014, a 14-year-old girl, Jenna Betti, was killed by a train near where the BNSF tracks cross Old Orchard Road in Martinez. A memorial near that spot continues to be maintained to this day.

<![CDATA[Antioch House Fire Caused by Fireworks: Firefighters]]>Sun, 16 Jun 2019 01:43:44 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Antioch+fire6.JPG

A fire Saturday afternoon in eastern Antioch firefighters believe was caused by illegal fireworks damaged one house and threatened others before firefighters contained the flames, two area agencies said on social media.

"We heard a big boom, some fireworks going off," said witness Joe Bass.

The two-alarm fire was reported about 2:15 p.m. Saturday in the 1300 block of Trembath Lane, just north of East 18th Street, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

"I kind of jumped, from the noise and then later on, we heard screams and we heard everyone running," said Bass' son Joseph.

It started out as a grass fire, but damaged one house and destroyed a shed and some wooden fences. But crews from Con Fire and from the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District saved six houses nearby from the fire.

The flames burned right up to one of Liz Carnero's walls. Firefighters tore through it to make sure the fire didn't get inside.

When she saw flames appraching, she scrambled to get everyone out to safety.

"I was going to get my husband out in a wheelchair so I kind of panicked because I was just nervous as I checked to make sure the kids were all out of the rooms," Carnero said.

All 10 people inside her house made it out safely but her backyard fence is destroyed. 

The biggest concern from residents is how fast the fire moved because of how dry everything is in the area.

"Everything is dead now," Bass said. "After all the rains, the vegetation has over grown. Hopefully California doesn’t burn like it did last year."

The fire was out by about 3 p.m. Saturday and no one was injured.

Firefighters said it does look as if fireworks were the cause, though they don't have any suspects. They reiterated that all fireworks are illegal in Contra Costa County.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[All Lanes Cleared on Hwy 24 After Truck Crash]]>Sat, 15 Jun 2019 18:21:09 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sig_Alert_Issued_After_Semi-Truck_Overturns_in_Oakland.jpg

All lanes reopened on westbound Highway 24 after a semi-truck crashed Saturday afternoon in Oakland and leaked diesel fuel.

The truck jackknifed and rolled on its side just after noon just west of Highway 13, prompting the CHP to close three lanes.

All lanes reopened shortly after 2 p.m.

No injuries were reported in the crash, and a small amount of fuel that leaked was contained, the CHP said.

Photo Credit: Brian Mick]]>
<![CDATA[2-Year-Old Boy Drowns in Swimming Pool in Antioch ]]>Sat, 15 Jun 2019 18:57:34 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pool+generic.jpg

A 2-year-old boy drowned Friday night in a swimming pool at an Antioch home, according to police.

Emergency crews and police responded about 7:30 p.m. to the 3000 block of N. Francisco Way and began life-saving measures on the boy. The child was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

The boy's name has not been released.

Investigators believe the drowning was an accident and did not release information on what led to the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC New York]]>
<![CDATA[Pittsburg Grass Fire Shows Conditions Ripe for Wildfires]]>Sat, 15 Jun 2019 02:55:25 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cal-Fire-generic-firefighte+%281%29.jpg

A grass fire in Pittsburg Friday evening shows that conditions are ripe for wildfires, a county fire spokesman said.

The fire was reported at 5:17 p.m. near Alta Vista Circle by about 20 people, said Steve Hill, a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

The first firefighters to respond saw a column of smoke when they were a quarter of a mile away, Hill said.

Fire officials deployed wild land fire engines to prepare to fight a wildfire and engines to protect structures.

Hill said the fire was burning behind two homes on Alta Vista Circle. Fire officials initially dispatched a bulldozer for firefighting and called Cal Fire for assistance, but county crews were able to contain the fire on their own, Hill said.

Crews contained it to one-quarter of an acre. Hill said some firefighters were going to remain at the scene for a while to make sure the fire didn't start again.

"A fire like that can rekindle," Hill said. He made reference to the area's dry, warm and windy weather Friday evening. He said it's too early to tell whether the fire was set.

Hill cautioned residents that the risk for wildfires is high.

"So it's important people exercise extreme caution," he said.

<![CDATA[Concord Massacre Plot Foiled ]]>Sat, 15 Jun 2019 23:03:21 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Concord_Massacre_Plot_Foiled.jpg

Concord police arrested a 23-year-old man Monday and charged him with threatening to kill indiscriminately people of the Jewish faith.

Police, along with the FBI, found out about Ross Anthony Farca’s plot through a tip from someone who saw him post threats on a popular gaming website.

According to the charging documents, Farca had a fascination with Hitler and a hatred for people of the Jewish faith. He’s been on the Concord police and FBI’s radar as a possible terrorist.

Neighbors said that they’ve been concerned with Farca’s behavior for many years and that they believe he had a propensity for violence and they’re glad he’s behind bars.

When officers searched the Concord home he lives in with his mother, they found an assault rifle with 13 magazines, a 3-foot sword, camouflage clothing, ammunition and books about Hitler Youth and Nazi life.

Authorities say Farca was planning a Poway Synagogue-type shooting but he preferred to wear a Nazi uniform. Police say in one of his posts he referred to the Christchurch mosque shooter as a hero.

Farca remains in the county jail in Martinez on a $125,000 bail.

<![CDATA[Saags Sausage Company Shutting Down in San Leandro]]>Fri, 14 Jun 2019 18:09:49 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Saags_Sausage_Company_Shutting_Down_in_San_Leandro.jpg

Shaming their employers. That was the idea behind a protest involving longtime workers offended by a severance packaged offered by their company. The Saags Sausage company is being shut down by its parent company. Many who have worked there for decades say the company is adding insult to injury. Robert Handa reports.]]>
<![CDATA[2-Year-Old Boy Found Wandering Alone Reunited With Family]]>Fri, 14 Jun 2019 11:59:44 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0614AntiochBoy_7577828.JPG

An Antioch man is being hailed as a hero after he found a toddler wandering alone on the sidewalk Friday morning.

The man did his best to find the boy's family before calling police and taking care of the baby until investigators arrived.

"All of a sudden I see a baby come out behind that car," Marcos Garcia said.

The 22-year-old Garcia shows us where he spotted a 2-year-old walking down the sidewalk by himself. Garcia said the boy was wearing nothing more than a shirt and a diaper.

"My first instinct I went to go pick up the baby," Garcia said. "I'm not going to leave a baby by himself walking in the street."

Garcia took cell phone video as he walked through the neighborhood trying to find the boy's family. He called police and fed the boy breakfast as he waited for help to arrive.

After posting the toddler's picture on social media and canvassing the neighborhood, Antioch police found the boy's family three hours later.

The boy's tearful mother says it was an accident, she said she was at work and her 22-year-old daughter was in charge. Police said the sister was sleeping when the boy walked out.

The boy's mother said she is grateful for her neighbor and Garcia is just glad the toddler is doing well.

"Antioch not a place to be keeping your baby wandering around the streets," Garcia said.

Photo Credit: Marcos Garcia]]>
<![CDATA[5 Men Sentenced in Oakland for Abduction During Weed Deal ]]>Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:59:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gavel+resized+1.jpg

Five South Carolina men were sentenced on Friday for their roles in the abduction of a man during a botched marijuana deal at a Berkeley motel last July in which they allegedly threatened to kill him unless they were paid a $30,000 ransom.

All five men were charged with kidnapping and second-degree robbery, but in the middle of their preliminary hearing on May 16 the Alameda County District Attorney's Office agreed to dismiss the kidnapping charges in return for their no contest pleas to second-degree robbery.

Defense attorney Darryl Stallworth, who represents Jamikaco Thompson, 25, of Greenville, S.C., said, "The overall scheme of their conduct was not as offensive as it first appeared."

The men could have faced life in prison if they'd been convicted of kidnapping, but Stallworth said, "This was not a textbook kidnapping considering the conduct of the alleged victim. The situation was not as bad as it looked at first."

Defense lawyer Richard Humphrey, who represents Antravious Evans, 20, of Fountain Inn, S.C., said the victim enticed the five men to come from South Carolina to Berkeley by posting an ad under a phony name on the Internet representing himself to be "the biggest dope dealer in the world" and saying he would sell them 10 pounds of marijuana.

But Humphrey said that when the men met the victim at the Knights Inn Motel at 1512 University Ave. at Sacramento Street at about 6:30 p.m. last July 28 he only had 1 pound of marijuana so the men got upset and "made threats for him to make it right."

Berkeley police Sgt. Frank Landrum wrote in a probable cause statement that the victim, who told investigators that he feared he would be killed, said Evans pointed a rifle at him and he was pushed onto the bed, had his hands tied together with rope and tape and was punched numerous times, Landrum wrote.

The victim said the five men demanded that they be brought nine pounds of marijuana and $30,000 in cash before he could be released, according to Landrum.

The men then put a blanket-like cloth over the victim's head, placed him in a rented 2009 Toyota Highlander with Florida license plates and drove off, Landrum said.

Berkeley patrol officers were able to get the cellphone number of one of the men and determined that the phone was in Patterson in Stanislaus County, about 68 miles from Berkeley, Landrum wrote.

Berkeley police contacted Patterson police and around midnight they were able to arrest the men and rescue the victim, according to Landrum.

An AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was found in the rental car's spare tire well along with a loaded magazine, Landrum said.

The victim had a swollen eye and other visible injuries to his face, police said.

Racal Thompson, 25, of Greenville, S.C., who also pleaded no contest to gun and great bodily injury enhancements and has a felony conviction in South Carolina for being an habitual traffic offender, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.

Evans and Jamikaco Thompson were sentenced to 5 years, Vacenta Rice, 28, of Fountain Inn, S.C., was sentenced to 2 years and Rodquavious Whitehurst, 21, of Greenville, S.C., was sentenced to 5 years' probation, which includes 1 year in the county jail.

<![CDATA[Oakland Man Accused of Impersonating Cop Due in Court]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:04:48 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Oakland_Man_Accused_of_Impersonating_Cop.jpg

Sergio Taylor once dreamed of becoming a police officer but actual police in the East Bay say the Oakland man’s dream has crossed into criminal behavior.

Taylor was back in court Thursday after an Oakland Police Officer claims he spotted him pulling someone over Sunday.

The officers said Taylor was driving a Chevy Impala that had a blue and red flashing light on the dashboard.

He said he wasn't able to catch up to Taylor who allegedly got in his car and raced towards the freeway, but Taylor said it wasn't him and says hr has an alibi to prove it.

"I never identified myself as a police officer. I’ve always identified myself as security, same thing as it says on my uniform," Taylor said. "I don’t know how someone would be able to identify themselves as police when it clearly states in broad daylight 'Security.'"

If you scroll through Taylor's social media however, you could mistake him for a sworn officer. He poses with what appears to be a badge, duty belt, body camera and even a canine officer.

Taylor said he works for a security company based in Oakland names All About Security.

NBC Bay Area reached out to them but have not heard back.

The judge increased Taylor's bail to $45,000 Thursday, he'll return to court Friday to prove he's made bail.

<![CDATA[Wildlife Center Creates First-Ever Prosthetic Leg for an Owl]]>Fri, 14 Jun 2019 02:41:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Wildlife_Center_Creates_First-Ever_Prosthetic_Leg_for_a.jpg

A Contra Costa County Wildlife Center is making history Thursday by creating what’s believed to be the first prosthetic leg for an owl.

The injured one-legged burrowing owl could soon be completely mobile again thanks to Walnut Creek’s creation.

"She’s a big spitfire," said Emma Molinare from the Lindsay Wildlife Experience. "She moves really well with one foot and she’s a really good patient."

The burrowing owl does her best to get around despite doing so on just one foot. She came to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in February after losing a limb in what the vets believe was an animal attack at a Southern California zoo.

"They contacted us and said, 'hey we have this bird she only has one leg do you want her?'" Molinare said.

The folks at Lindsay, who specialize in animals with disabilities, didn’t hesitate and began brainstorming right away on ways to help her.

"I thought we can do something really special here because that’s what we do," Molinare said. "We focus on these cases and I thought if you’re missing a leg let’s give a leg back."

With the help of some innovative and generous engineers, they came with what’s believed to be the first prosthetic leg ever made for a raptor.

The owl’s been trying out the first prototype, which isn’t quite perfect.

It’s a tad too long and not quite the right design and the team says it might take several more tries to perfect it, but their hopeful the 8-year-old owl will soon be on two feet again.

"I want to see her acting like a normal bird again, what can help this bird might be able to help many other birds in the future," Molinare said.

<![CDATA[Multiple RVs Burned in Blaze at Concord Storage Facility]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 13:29:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06132019CoFire_7565057.JPG

Multiple RVs were charred in a blaze Thursday afternoon at Solano RV Parking in Concord, officials said.

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said the fire was initially reported in a recreational vehicle near Buchanan Field Airport and state Highway 4.

A witness told NBC Bay Area they heard several explosions at the storage lot located at 1701 Solano Way.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Ghost Ship Fire Trial: Witness Thinks Harris is Truthful]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 13:01:11 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/MaxHarrisDerickAlmenaSketch.jpg

Attorneys for Ghost Ship warehouse creative director Max Harris on Thursday called another character witness to the stand to testify that he thinks Harris is truthful.

Artist Mike Funkhauser, who lived for a year at the warehouse in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue in Oakland's Fruitvale district where 36 people died during a music party on the night of Dec. 2, 2016, said, "Max is someone I knew I could always count on to tell me the truth."

Funkhauser said, "Max was one of the few people in that constantly changing community, one of the pillars of people who lived at the warehouse who were dependable."

Harris, 29, and Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena, 49, are charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each of the 36 people who died of smoke inhalation at the warehouse.

Prosecutors allege that Almena and Harris are criminally responsible for the fire because the people at the party didn't have the time or opportunity to escape the blaze since the warehouse didn't have important safeguards, such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and lighted exit signs.

Prosecutors also allege that Almena and Harris violated the terms of the warehouse's lease by turning it into a living space and hosting underground music parties there.

But defense attorneys allege that the fire was an act of arson that the two defendants couldn't have prevented.

Prosecutor Autrey James asked Funkhauser if he would change his opinion about Harris' truthfulness if he saw a video of Harris telling police that no one lived at the warehouse. Such a video was shown to jurors earlier in the trial.

Funkhauser said, "For me personally, I don't think Max would go around spewing lies if he altered the truth" on one occasion when he spoke to police.

Defense attorneys called three other character witnesses for Harris to the stand on Monday and Wednesday.

Nita Sturiale, a professor at the Massachusetts College of Arts and Design, which Harris attended until 2012, testified on Monday that Harris "tried very hard to be honest and was driven by that desire."

Russell Butler, a DJ and artist called to the stand by Harris' lawyers, testified on Thursday that when he hosted a music party at the warehouse in January 2016, he paid $1,000 to rent the space and he thinks he gave the money to Harris.

Butler estimated that 200 to 300 people attended that event, which he said lasted from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

There was less than a day and a half of testimony this week in the lengthy trial, as jurors were given the day off on Tuesday and Harris' lawyers ran out of witnesses in less than half an hour on Wednesday and in less than 90 minutes on Thursday.

Harris is expected to take the witness stand at some point this coming Monday, when the trial resumes.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson told Almena's lawyer Tony Serra to be ready to start calling witnesses on Tuesday afternoon, as she doesn't want to waste time because the courthouse will have to be closed on Wednesday if the Golden State Warriors win the NBA championship and there's a parade in Oakland that day.

Thompson also said there's so much interest in the trial, which began on April 30 with opening statements, that she and other court officials are setting up an overflow room to accommodate more spectators.

Photo Credit: Vicki Behringer]]>
<![CDATA[5-Year-Old Boy Survives Fall From Third-Story SF Apartment]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 10:33:26 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SFPDFileImage.jpg

A 5-year-old boy survived a fall from a third-story apartment in San Francisco's Mission District late Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The case was reported at 4:39 p.m. at a building in the 300 block of 14th Street.

The boy fell from an open window at the apartment onto the pavement, and medics were already treating him when officers arrived at the scene, San Francisco police spokesman Officer Robert Rueca said.

The injuries were initially considered life-threatening, but Rueca said Thursday morning that the boy is now expected to survive.

More details about the case were not immediately available from police.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wildfire Prevention Across Contra Costa County]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 06:16:22 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Wildfire_Prevention_Across_Contra_Costa_County.jpg

With wildfire season kicking into high gear, officials in the East Bay are reminding people to clear dry brush from around their homes. Sharon Katsuda reports.]]>
<![CDATA[ACE Train Service Canceled for Day Due to Gas Leak]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 06:05:48 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/STEPH+ACE+TRAIN+RESUMES+-+05252423.jpg

Altamont Corridor Express train service is shut down for all of Thursday because of a gas leak reported in Livermore overnight, authorities said.

Union Pacific Railroad was notified around midnight of the leak, which prompted all train traffic through the Altamont Pass to halt until the leak could be identified and repaired, Union Pacific spokesman Tim McMahan said.

PG&E spokeswoman Karly Hernandez said shortly after 8:30 a.m. that utility crews had responded and identified the leak near the trackway in the area of 4671 Las Positas Road.

Crews are "further investigating the source of the leak and will make any necessary repairs," Hernandez said.

No customers' gas service has been affected by the leak and no air quality issues are being reported, she said.

An ACE official said Union Pacific notified them around 4 a.m. that a 6-mile stretch of tracks was closed to rail traffic because of the leak. All service was then canceled for the day, according to the rail agency.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel]]>
<![CDATA[Last Oracle Arena Game is a Must-Win for the Warriors]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 04:43:22 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OracleArenaView.jpg

It all comes down to one final game at Oracle Arena as the Golden State Warriors take on the Toronto Raptors in a must-win Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

In order to extend the series and keep their three-peat hopes alive, the Warriors will have to win Game 6 without Kevin Durant. The superstar forward underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon after heroically returning from a calf injury Monday to play in Game 5.

All fans in attendance at Game 6 will receive a special "For Oakland" rally towel. On the towel, the letters "K" and "D" in the word "Oakland" are a different color in honor of Durant.

"Do it for Kevin," Warriors guard Klay Thompson said after Durant suffered his Achilles injury. "We do it for 'K.' I can tell you this, he wants us to compete at the highest level. We'll think of him every time we step on the hardwood."

Thursday's game will be the last game ever at Oracle Arena before the Warriors move to the new Chase Center in San Francisco next season.

With so many storylines on and off the court, it's expected to be an emotional and exciting night for players and fans alike.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf will donate her two tickets to Game 6 to raise proceeds for the Alameda County Food Bank. Fans can bid on the tickets by clicking here.

Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Warm Weather Brings Increased East Bay Rattlesnake Activity]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 02:33:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/With_the_Heat_Come_Rattlesnakes_in_Some_Bay_Area_Locales.jpg

Warm weather increases the likelihood of interactions between rattlesnakes and hikers or dogs, and the East Bay Regional Park District is warning outdoor enthusiasts to be careful as summer approaches.

People visiting the parks are advised to bring a friend so they can help each other in case of emergency. People are urged to watch the ground nearby before walking or sitting down and never put hands or feet in any place that can't be easily seen.

Anybody using a public barbecue, picnic table or campsite is urged to check for snakes first and notify park staff if any are found.

In the event of a rattlesnake bite, call 911 immediately. If alone and unable to make a phone call, walk slowly to the nearest area where someone can help make the call.

Lie down to help stay calm, and avoid elevating the affected limb.

Keep it below the heart. Sucking out the venom or using a tourniquet to keep it from circulating in the body is not recommended.

Rattlesnake bites are typically associated with two puncture wounds and intense burning pain. Other snakebites can be treated with soap and water, but patients should still seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

Officials say the snakes play an important ecological role in controlling pest populations and it's illegal to kill, collect or remove them.

<![CDATA[Residents Petition to Remove Swastika From East Bay Home]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 01:37:47 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Residents_Petition_to_Remove_Swastika_From_East_Bay_Hom.jpg

A symbol of hate has turned into a movement in the East Bay.

People are planning a protest in El Sobrante by a group called Not in Our Town. The organization dedicated to stopping hate said they’re angry over a swastika that’s recently been placed in a homeowner’s front lawn.

The protest will take place Thursday afternoon at Appian Way and San Pablo Dam Road.

Homeowner Steven Johnson was shocked when he found out about it. He said his intention was to get rid of the weeds in his front yard, not to spew hate.

"It’s no hate symbol to me, maybe it is to everybody else. I just put it there because I thought it would be cool," he said.

When the swastika — considered a universal symbol of hate — was put in his yard last week, the backlash began, and signs went up that say, "Not in Our Town."

"I don’t think he had any idea he’d get this kind of reaction," said neighbor Mallory Haggart. "I think he likes the symbol and likes to be the tough guy on the Harley."

About six million Jews were systematically killed in the Holocaust by Germany’s Nazi regime and its collaborators during World War II. Millions of others were also persecuted, among them Roma, people with mental or physical disabilities, gays and lesbians, Soviet prisoners, political opponents and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Johnson said he’s an American, "not a Nazi and I didn’t put it there as a display of Nazism."

Many residents, however, don’t believe him. Close to 4,000 people have signed a petition to try to force him to get rid of it.

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia is looking for laws to try and force Johnson to remove it, but there are none.

"I’ve checked with building and planning folks and they say there’s nothing we can do from a building and planning perspective," Gioia said. "He didn’t need a building permit for this."

Johnson said he isn’t sure if he’s going to keep the symbol.

"It’s sure getting a lot of attention I didn’t want," he said.

<![CDATA[Oakland Moves Closer in Attempt to Get Land for A's Ballpark]]>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 20:28:03 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Oakland_Moves_Closer_in_Attempt_to_Get_Land_for_A_s_Ballpark.jpg

Not a deal for the A's ballpark and not even a plan yet. But Oakland City Council members did throw their support behind state legislation Wednesday that would make it possible for the city to build a brand-new facility on the waterfront. NBC Bay Area's Sam Brock reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Body of Missing Boater Recovered at Lake Del Valle]]>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 20:06:34 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06122019LakeDelValle_7558881.JPG

Search teams have recovered the body of a young man who fell into the water Tuesday evening while boating at Lake Del Valle in unincorporated Alameda County south of Livermore, near where another man drowned last week.

Divers with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office search and rescue team and police and fire crews with the East Bay Regional Park District were called in at about 6 p.m. Tuesday to look for the man, who went missing near Swallow Bay, according to EBRPD spokesman Dave Mason.

"We were out there last night until just after midnight, then we fired back up again at six in the morning," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said Wednesday.

The victim, whose name was not released, is a man in his 20s who had rented a boat with a group of friends but it's not clear how he fell into the water, Mason said.

His body was recovered in the "late morning" on Wednesday, Mason said.

The other victim, who drowned Saturday, is 31-year-old Los Gatos resident Florencio Rodriguez Pureco, according to the Alameda County coroner's bureau.

Mason said Pureco also rented a boat with a group of friends or family and somehow fell overboard. Pureco's body was found on Sunday.

It didn't appear as if either man was wearing a life vest, Mason said.

The men drowned during the Bay Area's first heat wave, when temperatures spiked into the 100s in the hottest areas and people flocked to beaches and lakes seeking relief.

Mason said it's important for people to take water safety precautions when swimming or boating or engaging in other recreational activities on or around the region's waterways.

People should wear life vests and swim in lifeguard protected areas, Mason said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Shelter-in-Place Lifted, Customers Remain Without Power]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 01:33:47 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0612DownedPowerLines_7558560.JPG

A shelter-in-place order has been lifted for Lafayette residents in the area of Ameno Drive, Ameno Court and Regio Court as of early Thursday morning, according to Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office and PG&E.

Residents in that area had been told to shelter due to live power lines Wednesday evening, but sheriff's officials lifted the order at 10:05 p.m. Police had urged residents around 6:30 p.m. to go to the nearest place of safety because the power lines were still energized.

The outage began at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday after a tree fell on some power lines. As of 12:20 a.m., 34 customers remain without power, per PG&E's outage website.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Warrant Issued for Accused Police Impersonator in Oakland]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 21:35:20 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sergio-Taylor-BLT189_.jpg

A $20,000 arrest warrant has been issued for an Oakland man who allegedly impersonated a police officer in Oakland last Sunday, only a few days after he'd been released on bail in a recent case involving similar impersonation offenses in Berkeley and San Leandro.

Sergio Taylor, 20, who has a previous conviction for impersonating an officer, was charged on June 5 with two misdemeanor counts of impersonating a police officer for incidents in San Leandro on June 1 and Berkeley on May 12 but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Armando Cuellar released him on $30,000 bail when he was arraigned later on June 5.

Alameda County prosecutors filed a third misdemeanor impersonating an officer count against Taylor on Tuesday for an offense in Oakland last Sunday.

Oakland police Officer Gregory Palomo saw Taylor attempt to conduct a traffic stop on a citizen's vehicle last Sunday by using a forward-facing blue-and-red flashing light on his 2013 charcoal gray Chevrolet Impala, Officer Ryan Goodfellow wrote in a probable cause statement.

The citizen's vehicle yielded to Taylor's car but when Palomo made a U-turn to try to contact Taylor, the suspect fled onto the freeway and Palomo was unable to catch up to him, Goodfellow said.

Taylor is scheduled to appear in the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland on Thursday for an attorney-and-plea hearing for the San Leandro and Berkeley case but it's unclear if he will show up in court because court records indicate that he's still at large.

A court date hasn't yet been set for the Oakland case.

San Leandro police officers who were assigned to patrol their city's annual Cherry Festival arrested him on June 1 after they saw him wearing a K-9 unit police-style uniform with a duty belt, a Glock semi-automatic pistol replica, ammunition, a Taser stun gun and a German Shepherd dog, authorities said.

Authorities said officers recognized Taylor from an alert Berkeley police sent out to regional law enforcement agencies about his involvement in a May 12 incident at Kip's Bar and Grill at 2439 Durant Ave. in their city.

Before San Leandro officers could stop Taylor, he got into a 2013 Ford Taurus with security markings on it similar to police cars and drove away with 39-year-old John Payne, police said.

Officers then stopped the car and took Taylor into custody without incident, police said.

Berkeley police said that in the May 12 offense Taylor was wearing

an imitation police uniform and waved a gun at people during efforts to clear the bar after a large fight.

Berkeley officers discovered that Taylor was prohibited from having a Taser or firearm because he had been convicted and put on 3 years' probation in Alameda County following a December 2017 arrest in San Leandro.

In that case, Taylor impersonated a uniformed federal law enforcement officer while buying a used motorcycle from a man and paid with a fraudulent $10,000 check, according to court records.

<![CDATA[Antioch to Fly Rainbow Flag at City Hall for Pride Month]]>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 17:57:49 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CTTC110513135131_0512.jpg

After an emotional and heated debate, the Antioch City Council has given the green light to fly the Rainbow Flag. There were no shortage of opinions as a packed chamber debated the issue at Tuesday night's city council meeting. On Wednesday, there were signs the debate may not be over yet. Jodi Hernandez reports.

Photo Credit: Visit California/Bongo]]>
<![CDATA[Cavs Hire Former Cal Coach Lindsay Gottlieb as Assistant]]>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 11:03:23 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP0612.jpg

The Cavaliers have hired former California coach Lindsay Gottlieb as an assistant on John Beilein's staff.

Gottlieb spent the past eight years coaching the Golden Bears, leading them to seven NCAA Tournament appearances. While she's not the first female assistant coach in the NBA, she is the first to go from being a head college coach to the pro league.

Gottlieb went 179-89 at Cal and led the school to its first Final Four in 2013.

Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman says Gottlieb will "be a great addition" for Beilein, who is taking over a young Cleveland team. Altman says Gottlieb "brings a depth of basketball knowledge, leadership, perspective and approach to her craft that will fit very well with our team and staff alike."

The Cavaliers hired Beilein last month following his 12-year stint at Michigan, where he was the school's winningest coach.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Tony Gutierrez/AP]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Water Rates to Increase Nearly 13% Over 2 Years]]>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 03:16:32 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Generic+Water+Faucet.jpg

East Bay Municipal Utility District directors voted 5-1 on Tuesday to approve a water rate increase totaling nearly 13% over the next two years.

The board's vote means that the water agency's 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties will face a 6.5% rate hike on July 1 and another 6.25% hike on July 1, 2020.

The rate hikes follow an increase of nearly 20% over the past two years.

EBMUD officials said the average single-family residential

customer using 200 gallons of water a day will see their bill rise by $3.62 per month starting on July 1 and another $3.73 per month on July 1, 2020.

In addition, the average homeowner will see a 3% increase on July 1 and an additional 4% hike in 2020.

The board also voted 6-0 to approve a $2.3 billion budget for the next two fiscal years.

Director John Coleman was the only director to vote against the rate increase and director Doug Linney, who attended most of the meeting but had to leave early, was absent during the votes.

The water district says it needs to increase its water rates in order to upgrade its pipes and infrastructure.

EBMUD officials said their system encompasses more than 4,200 miles of pipes, five reservoirs, six water treatment plants, 164 water storage tanks and a large wastewater treatment plant at the foot of the Bay Bridge and the system's replacement cost is estimated at more than $15 billion.

"Our infrastructure would weaken without crucial repairs and upgrades," board President Marguerite Young said in a statement.

Young said, "Our focus is ensuring this system, the lifeblood of the East Bay, continues to operate for another 100 years. This budget will fund the high quality, reliable water delivery and wastewater treatment that the East Bay relies on for a vibrant economy, environment and quality of life."

Water district officials said infrastructure renewal is expensive but essential and it costs about $2.5 million to replace a typical mile of pipeline.

They said the budget funds more than $800 million of capital improvements over the next two years.

"Water may be free, but getting it to customers is not," General Manager Alexander Coate said.

Coate said, "Our rates cover the cost to store, treat and deliver water -- and those costs continue to rise."

<![CDATA[12-Year-Old Brentwood Skateboarder Hit by Vehicle ]]>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 02:09:08 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance-generic-ambulance-stock5.jpg

A skateboarder was airlifted to a hospital Tuesday night after a vehicle hit him in Brentwood, fire officials said.

The collision happened at about 8 p.m. at Sand Creek Road and Highland Way, officials with the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District said.

The skateboarder was a 12-year-old boy who was taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. The boy was apparently not wearing a helmet and suffered injuries to his head and left side of his body, fire officials said.

<![CDATA[Body of Young Man Recovered From Lake Del Valle]]>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 12:07:06 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/search+and+rescue.JPG

Rescue crews have recovered the body of a young man from Lake Del Valle Wednesday afternoon.

East Bay rescue crews were trying to find a man at Lake Del Valle about eight miles south of Livermore Tuesday night.

A young man was seen going under water at 6:23 p.m. on the north end of Del Valle. He was on a small, aluminum boat with friends when he either jumped off or fell off and never made it out, investigators said.

The East Bay Regional Park District Police and Fire responded to the scene as well as the Alameda County Fire Department. They sent out a helicopter to search the area from air and rescue boats went back and forth in the water looking for the man.

Crews continued their search as of 11 p.m., but they said the rescue gets more and more dangerous overnight.

"We have to make a constant assessment of the rescuers’ safety," said Terrence Cotcher from the East Bay Regional Park District Police. "We have to keep our people safe to make sure that they can help the person they’re here to help."

The boat the man was in had life jackets on board but it’s not clear if he was wearing one.

Police said this is the second accident in three days on the north end of the lake.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Leandro Police Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting]]>Tue, 11 Jun 2019 18:11:47 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06112019SanLeandroOIS_7543739.JPG

Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting in San Leandro.

The shooting was reported at 4:17 p.m. in the 600 block of Martin Boulevard, near Madison Park  Academy, a middle school and high school.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Crash Blocks Lanes on Highway 4 in Pittsburg: CHP]]>Tue, 11 Jun 2019 15:51:11 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-pursuit-1.jpg

A fatal collision prompted the closure of all lanes of westbound state Highway 4 in Pittsburg on Tuesday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported just before 2:20 p.m. on westbound Highway 4 between Loveridge and Somersville roads.

All lanes were closed as of shortly after 3 p.m., and the coroner's office has been requested at the scene.

<![CDATA[Woman Says She Heard Men Talk About Starting Ghost Ship Fire]]>Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:05:24 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0610GhostShipTrial_7527962.JPG

A woman testified on Monday that she overheard a group of men congratulate themselves on starting the fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland in 2016 blaze that killed 36 people.

Sharon Evans, the second defense witness in the trial of Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena and creative director Max Harris, said she overheard the group of 14 to 19 men talking because they cut in front of her when she went to a taco truck near the warehouse in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue in Oakland's heavily-Hispanic Fruitvale district late on the night of Dec. 2, 2016.

Evans, 67, said the men wore dark clothes and had hoodies over their faces and "looked like Spaniards," although they spoke English.

"The men in black were reporting to each other how happy they were about the fire and how out of hand it had gotten," Evans said.

She said, "They said no one is going to make it out of the building alive and congratulated themselves that no one was going to survive."

Almena, 49, and Harris, 29, are charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each of the 36 people who died of smoke inhalation at a music party at the warehouse.

Prosecutors, who finished presenting their case last week, allege that Almena and Harris are criminally responsible for the fire because the people at the party didn't have the time or opportunity to escape the blaze since the warehouse didn't have important safeguards, such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and lighted exit signs.

But defense attorneys allege that the fire was an act of arson that the two defendants couldn't have prevented.

However, fire investigators who testified as prosecution witnesses said they didn't find any evidence of arson.

Harris' lawyers called Evans to the witness stand to try to support their claim that the fire was an act of arson.

Prosecutors tried to block Evans from testifying about what she says she heard the group of men say, arguing that it was inadmissible hearsay.

But Harris' lawyers argued in court papers that the alleged statements by the group of men were spontaneous declarations and demonstrated their consciousness of guilt and "pride at the idea that they had just successfully committed a heinous crime."

Evans, who lives in East Oakland and had attended a church service earlier the night of the fire, said she was familiar with the Ghost Ship warehouse because she had attended several parties there on previous occasions.

Evans said she couldn't believe what the men were saying, testifying, "I can't rest at night knowing what I know that these people (the victims) died in a fire the way that they did."

But Evans said she didn't tell authorities what she had heard until several weeks after the fire, saying, "I feared getting involved because I feared for my life" because she thought the men might be gang members.

Even though Evans said she was concerned about what she had heard and described herself as being "extremely nosy," she claimed under cross-examination by prosecutor Casey Bates that she rarely watched television coverage about the fire, which was heavily publicized.

Evans said she was in a hurry to get food after she left church that night because she's a diabetic who needs to eat quickly when she's feeling weak but said she circled the block near the taco truck "at least 20 times" because there was so much commotion in the area after the fire broke out.

Testimony in the lengthy trial will resume on Wednesday after a one-day break.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Stop Spread of Brush Fire in Concord]]>Mon, 10 Jun 2019 10:32:19 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ConcordBrushFireUpdate.jpg

Firefighters on Monday halted the spread of a brush fire that burned near homes in Concord.

The so-called Willow Fire charred 25 acres of dry grass off of Willow Pass Road south of Highway 4, according to Cal Fire. The blaze was 75% contained as of 12:50 p.m.

Aerial footage from the scene captured aircraft dropping fire retardant and water on the blaze while other fire crews doused the flames from the ground.

Some people in the neighborhood right next to the fire line could be seen hosing down their property.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sweltering Temperatures Trigger Excessive Heat Warning]]>Mon, 10 Jun 2019 16:49:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/HotWeatherFile.jpg

The heat is on — again.

After sweating through sizzling temperates on Sunday, the Bay Area will once again roast Monday afternoon, with several spots expected to soar into the triple digits, weather officials say.

Monday's high heat prompted the National Weather Service to issue an excessive heat warning for the East Bay valleys, Santa Clara Valley and spots hugging the San Francisco Bay through the evening. All other Bay Area locations are under a heat advisory through the same time.

A number of spots across the Bay Area are expected to come close to or surpass daily high temperature records, according to the weather service.

Livermore and Concord are expected to bake at 105 degrees, the weather service said. Santa Rosa is slated to peak at 103 degrees. San Jose is forecast to sizzle at 101 degrees. San Francisco, which is typically covered by fog this time of year, is expecting a high of 92 degrees.

Weather officials are reminding people to stay hydrated, limit the amount of time they spend outside during the hottest time of the day, and keep a close eye on children and pets, making sure not to leave them in parked vehicles.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[One Person Dead in Two-Vehicle Accident on Hwy 4 in Concord]]>Mon, 10 Jun 2019 00:14:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/traffic+generic+12202018.jpg

One person was killed Sunday night in a two-vehicle traffic accident on westbound state Highway 4 just east of the Port Chicago Highway interchange, the California Highway Patrol said.

The accident was reported at 8:28 p.m. Sunday. One of the cars involved veered off the freeway and down an embankment near where the abandoned Concord Naval Weapons Station railroad tracks pass under the freeway.

The CHP couldn't provide details about the victim, or whether the person who died was in the car that went down the freeway embankment.

It appears that no one else was injured, the CHP said and all lanes were reopened by 10:50 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Teachers Ratify Contract, Set to Return to Class]]>Sun, 09 Jun 2019 22:49:19 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/New_Haven_Teachers_Vote_on_Tentative_Agreement.jpg

Members of the New Haven Teachers Association, by a 60 percent "yes" vote, on Sunday ratified a tentative contract agreement with the New Haven Unified School District, officially ending the 14-day strike, teachers' negotiators said Sunday night.

The district's approximately 585 teachers at its 11 schools in Union City and south Hayward, as well as the district's 11,000 students, are expected to be back in the classroom Monday morning, in time for the last week of school.

The final teachers' vote was 302 to ratify the agreement, and 200 who voted "no." Negotiators with the teachers association and the school district reached the agreement Friday night. The school board must still formally approve the agreement; its next scheduled meeting as of Sunday night is Tuesday, June 18.

The agreement gives members a 4 percent on-schedule pay increase over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, plus a 2.5 percent one-time bonus for this school year. The agreement also will give teachers up to a 1 percent additional on-schedule additional pay increase next year should the school district's revenues come in higher than projected. In addition, the agreement lets retiring teachers earn a complete year of service credit for this 2018-19 school year.

In a statement Sunday night, teachers association president Joe Ku'e Angeles vowed Sunday's vote is just the beginning.

"Our unity with each other on the picket lines was an incredible display of power that resulted in some real gains for our union," Ku'e Angeles said. "The strike brought us together and made us stronger as a union to fight for our students, connected us with parents in a way we have never seen before in Union City."

Angeles said the agreement isn't everything teachers wanted, but that the talks have convinced New Haven district managers to prioritize budgeting to attract and retain teachers and work to lower class sizes.

In a short statement Sunday night, New Haven district spokesman John Mattos said, "We are happy that all of the New Haven community will be able to participate in our students' end-of-the-year activities and celebrations."

While a welcome relief, going back to the classroom Monday won't be easy, Angeles said.

"New Haven educators are angry and feel betrayed by NHUSD administrators, especially by our retiring superintendent. Educators feel like district managers are profiting off of teachers and this strike," he said. "And once again, teachers feel they are helping district managers fix their financial problems."

These negotiations have been contentious, with negotiators from both sides publicly insulting each other over the past two weeks as the strike dragged on. It was the first teachers' strike in the district's history.

<![CDATA[Pilot, Plane That Crashed Into Delta Not Yet Found]]>Mon, 10 Jun 2019 00:12:10 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/breakingnews45.png

Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputies have not located the wreckage of a Piper Cherokee single-engine plane believed to have crashed into the Delta about two miles north of Pittsburg, a sheriff's spokesman said Sunday night.

Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol officers have, since about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, been using sonar to look for submerged evidence of the plane wreckage at the north end of Broad Slough, west of Kimball Island and north of Pittsburg and Antioch, said sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee. The search ended for the night at about 10 p.m.

Earlier Sunday night, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District boat crews found part of the tail of a small plane floating in the water in Broad Slough, along with a backpack and some flight charts.

A boater near Broad Slough reported to the sheriff's office about 5:30 p.m. Sunday that a plane had plunged into Broad Slough about two miles north of the shore. The plane, which had been rented from Sterling Aviation, based at Buchanan Field in Concord, is believed to have taken off from that airport about 5 p.m. Sunday, Lee said.

The identity of the pilot, believed to be the only person on the plane, had not been confirmed by late Sunday night, Lee said.

The Pittsburg Police Department, the Solano County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Coast Guard and the California Highway Patrol also helped with the search effort, Lee said. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have also been contacted. Any witnesses to the crash are asked to contact the NTSB by email at witness@NTSB.GOV.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Teachers Voting on Tentative Agreement]]>Sun, 09 Jun 2019 17:04:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/New_Haven_Teachers_Vote_on_Tentative_Agreement.jpg

There may be a break in the teachers strike in the New Haven Unified School District. A tentative agreement is on the table, and the teachers are voting on the agreement Sunday afternoon. Roz Plater reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Average US Price of Gas Drops 9 Cents Per Gallon to $2.84]]>Sun, 09 Jun 2019 13:36:57 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gas-prices5.jpg

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline dropped 9 cents per gallon over the past three weeks, to $2.84.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says Sunday that lower crude oil prices contributed to the drop at the pump.

The price is 17 cents lower than what it was a year ago.

The highest average price in the nation is $3.94 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The lowest average is $2.27 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The average price of diesel fell by 4 cents since May 17, to $3.12.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Driver in Deadly Brentwood Crash Arrested for Felony DUI]]>Sun, 09 Jun 2019 11:57:48 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBStillBrentwoodCrash_7509565.JPEG

The driver in a morning crash in Brentwood that left a passenger dead was arrested for suspicion of felony DUI, according to the Contra Costa office of the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP was contacted at 5:12 a.m. and determined that a Nissan Sentra had veered off the road and struck a utility pole.

A 23-year-old Vallejo woman who was a passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, Joseph John Martinez, 25, of Vallejo, was taken to John Muir Medical Center with minor injuries.

"In the initial investigation, it appears the male driver of the Nissan crossed over the solid double yellow lines and then veered back across the lane and drove the Nissan off the roadway to the right shoulder area where he crashed into a large utility pole, causing major damage, and killing his female girlfriend passenger," CHP Contra Costa said in an advisory.

The CHP is investigating the crash and asks anyone who witnessed it or the events leading up to it to contact the agency at (925) 646-4980.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Sunday Scorcher: High Heat Across the Bay Area]]>Sun, 09 Jun 2019 10:07:58 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BayAreaHotWeather.jpg

Much of the Bay Area faced 80s or 90s Sunday as hot weather gripped the region.

The high heat prompted the National Weather Service to issue a heat advisory for much of the Bay Area through 9 p.m. Sunday. The sizzling temperatures, coupled with gusty winds, also triggered a red flag warning for the North Bay mountains through Sunday afternoon.

Cities in the East Bay such as Concord and Livermore were slated to reach 99 degrees Sunday, according to the weather service. Santa Rosa and Napa were expected to soar to 96 degrees. In the South Bay, San Jose was expected to bake at 98 degrees while Gilroy was predicted to roast at 100 degrees. San Francisco, which is typically socked in by fog this time of year, was expected to check in at 88 degrees.

Weather officials reminded people to stay hydrated, limit the amount of time they spend outside during the hottest time of the day, and keep an eye on children and pets, making sure not to leave them in vehicles.

While people sought relief from the heat, fire officials were keeping a close eye on mountains across the North Bay as a red flag warning remained in place through Sunday afternoon. Any wildfires that ignite could spread rapidly, the weather service warned.

Spare the Air alerts have been issued for the Bay Area on Sunday and Monday.

"Hot inland temperatures, light winds and motor vehicle exhaust from millions of motor vehicles on Bay Area roads will continue to cause unhealthy ozone accumulation in the region," advised the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which encouraged the public to avoid driving if possible.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 1 Injured After I-80 Crash in Richmond]]>Sun, 09 Jun 2019 01:01:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/generic+police+tape+sd.jpg

One person was killed and a second one seriously injured in a two-vehicle collision Saturday on Interstate Highway 80 just west of the Central Avenue interchange, the California Highway Patrol said.

The driver of one of the two vehicles was subsequently arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence, the CHP said on a Facebook post.

The report of a gray Nissan Sentra on its side at the above location came at about 5:12 p.m. Saturday. The CHP said the Nissan was headed east on I-80, darting in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed. Near the Central Avenue exit, the Nissan sideswiped a white Mercedes-Benz SUV at about 50 mph. The collision caused the Nissan to lose control and overturn, ejecting two passengers in the car, the CHP said.

One passenger in the Nissan died at the scene, while a second one was airlifted to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for treatment of major injuries, the CHP said.

The driver of the Nissan was taken into custody.

Neither of the two people in the Mercedes was injured.

All lanes of the freeway remained closed for about 35 minutes after the accident was reported; all lanes were open by 7:50 p.m. Saturday, the CHP said.

<![CDATA[Missing Elderly Man Safely Located, Oakland Police Confirm]]>Sat, 08 Jun 2019 15:23:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/missing+man+final.JPG

Missing Oakland man, Men Tran, 79, has been safely located Saturday, Oakland police confirm.

Tran was first reported missing Friday walking eastbound on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.

Photo Credit: Bay City News]]>
<![CDATA[Mural Honoring Oscar Grant III Set to Unveil Saturday ]]>Sat, 08 Jun 2019 18:51:01 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Mural_Honoring_Oscar_Grant_III_Unveiled.jpg

A mural honoring Oscar Grant III, the 22-year-old African American man fatally shot by BART police in 2009, will be unveiled Saturday at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland.

The unveiling and a community celebration honoring Grant's life are scheduled for 12 p.m.

Local artist Senay "Refa One" Alkebulan was commissioned to create the mural on a west exterior wall by the bus area of the station.

The cost of the mural was #38,000, according to BART officials.

In addition to the mural unveiling, a previously unnamed street next to the station has been renamed Oscar Grant III Way. The new street name will also be unveiled on Saturday.

In February, the BART Board of Directors unanimously voted to name the street.

<![CDATA[Martinez Woman Left in Critical Condition in Hit-and-Run]]>Sat, 08 Jun 2019 02:08:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/generic+police+lights2.jpg

A woman was found in critical condition late Thursday night in Martinez after a vehicle struck her in a hit-and-run collision, police said.

Officers said they heard a crash in the 2500 block of Alhambra Avenue at 11:43 p.m. When officers arrived, they found a 55-year-old woman semi-conscious in the street. Police did not release her identity.

Police said she was transported to a trauma center for treatment.

Officers determined the woman had been struck while she was crossing the road. They searched the area, but did not find any suspects or witnesses.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage for possible leads.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to contact the Martinez Police Department at (925) 372-3440.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Teachers Reach Tentative Deal to End 14-Day Strike]]>Sat, 08 Jun 2019 02:02:28 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Teachers_Union_Makes_Counter-Offer_in_New_Haven_Strike.jpg

A tentative agreement was reached Friday between teachers and the New Haven Unified School District to end a strike in Union City that has lasted 14 days, both sides said.

As of about 8 p.m., the two sides had announced the agreement and said teachers could return to their classrooms as early as Monday if they ratify the pact.

The pact gives unionized teachers roughly a 1.5% salary increase and a 2.5% bonus this school year. Next year, teachers will get a 3% salary increase, John Mattos, the school district's spokesman said.

Teachers could get another 1% pay increase if school district revenue is higher than expected, Mattos said.

Both sides said teachers who are set to retire have the option of earning credit for teaching the entire year.

Mattos said, "We're really happy with the agreement."

Mattos said the school board also has to approve it, but teachers could be back in school Monday ahead of a school board decision.

Next week is the last week of the school year.

Officials with the union, the New Haven Teachers Association, said they also are pleased with the agreement.

Joe Ku'e Angeles, president of the teachers' union said in a statement, "It is the courage and determination of NHTA members on the picket lines and the thousands of supportive parents and community members that finally resulted in this tentative contract agreement."

Union members are scheduled to meet and vote on the agreement early Sunday afternoon. Union officials said members must be present to vote. Both sides spent almost 200 hours bargaining, according to district officials.

The pending agreement is expected to cost the school district $10.5 million over three years.

Below is the release provided by NHUSD:

"The agreement will give NHTA members a 3% on-the-schedule pay increase effective January 1, 2019. This is an effective 1.5% increase for this 18/19 school year and a 3% increase moving forward in 19/20. Teachers will also receive a one-time, off-the-schedule pay increase of 2.5% for 18/19. For 2019/20, members will receive an additional 1% on-the-schedule pay increase effective July 1, 2019.

Contingency language was also included that could add up to an additional 1% on-the-schedule salary increase should district revenues come in higher than projected in 19/20.

Finally, language was added that would allow teachers who were set to retire at the end of this school year to perform additional duties during the summer in order to earn a full year of service credit towards retirement.

Both teams put in almost 200 hours at the bargaining table during the strike to reach an agreement. We are thrilled that our teachers will be back with their students where they, the community, and the District want them to be.

Teachers will be back in their classrooms Monday, June 10, in time for the last week of school, pending ratification."

<![CDATA[3 Arrested After Brawl Erupts at Golden Corral in Concord]]>Fri, 07 Jun 2019 19:25:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0607GoldenCorralFight_7492156.JPG

A girl and young woman fought each other inside a Concord all-you-can-eat restaurant Thursday evening, according to police.

The 16-year-old and 19-year-old, both residents of Antioch, were arrested for battery, police said. Neither suspect was identified.

Police said they responded at 8:31 p.m. to a report of a fight at the Golden Corral Buffet & Grill located at 2050 Diamond Blvd.

When officers arrived, the fight had ended but a large crowd had gathered outside the restaurant.

Police determined by questioning multiple people including the two suspects that the fight broke out over a past conflict.

An 18-year-old man from Pittsburg was also arrested for an unrelated incident, according to police.

Anyone with additional information about the fight is asked to call Concord Police Department Detective Sgt. Mark Robison at (925) 671-5074.

<![CDATA[Police Arrest Suspect in at Least 3 Recent Bank Robberies]]>Fri, 07 Jun 2019 04:05:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/robber9.jpg

A man suspected in two Contra Costa County bank robberies and one in Solano County was apprehended early Thursday morning in Richmond, according to the Pleasant Hill Police Department.

Huey Jones Jr., a 55-year-old resident of Suisun City, allegedly passed a note demanding cash to a teller at the U.S. Bank branch located in the Safeway store at 707 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill last Friday.

Investigators said that Jones did not brandish any weapons, and he fled the scene when the teller declined to give him any money. But Jones has since become a suspect in two other bank robberies involving notes in Walnut Creek and Fairfield.

Jones has been booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on suspicion of robbery and attempted robbery.

The investigation remains open and police are asking anyone with additional information to call (925) 288-4630.

Photo Credit: Pleasant Hill Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Police Seek Help in Solving Fatal 2018 Shooting]]>Fri, 07 Jun 2019 03:14:40 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oakland+car+vid.jpg

Oakland police on Thursday asked for the public's help in solving the slaying of a man who was fatally shot while he was protecting his wife during a home invasion robbery a year ago.

Police said Hoan Lieu, 51, was at his home in the 4100 block of Carrington Street in East Oakland with his family at about 9:40 p.m. on May 22, 2018, when three masked suspects forced entry into the home and one of them fatally shot him.

No one else was injured in the shooting.

Male suspects between 5-foot-4 and 5-foot-6 with thin builds and who were wearing masks are thought to have shot Lieu, police said.

Officers said one of the suspects was armed with a handgun that hasn't been recovered.

The suspects' vehicle is described by police as a newer SUV or crossover, possibly silver in color.

The Oakland Police Department and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a reward up to a $15,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Police said in a statement, "Someone from the neighborhood or community may have seen the vehicle and or the suspects before, during or after the crime. No detail or piece of information is too small."

They said, "It may be the next step in solving this case and bringing closure to the family and community."

Oakland police said anyone with information about the case should call Sgt. Yun Zhou at (510) 774-5390 or the FBI's San Francisco office at (415) 553-7400.

Lieu's brother Chris Lieu wrote on a GoFundMe website last year that Lieu, who he said was known as "Harry" to his friends, had been single for a long time but finally got married to a woman named Kat several years ago and she was expecting a baby boy last August to be named Benjamin.

Chris Lieu said a detective told him that "my brother gave his life to protect Kat and their unborn baby from would-be robbers." He said, "Kat and Benjamin are unharmed because of him. Harry died a hero."

The website, seeks funds to support Hoan Lieu's family and had raised $60,913 of its $100,000 goal as of 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Photo Credit: Oakland Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Peninsula Fire Drill Designed to Put People to the Test]]>Thu, 06 Jun 2019 23:33:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBfiredrill_7480817.JPEG

The Redwood Fire Department is holding an evacuation drill Saturday, putting people and technology to the test.

All the trees and vegetation so close to homes makes San Carlos' Crestview neighborhood a high fire-risk area. Emergency officials picked the neighborhood to try a unique fire drill.

On Saturday morning, 50 people who signed up to participate, will get an emergency alert to evacuate.

"You can't count on any route to be open they'll get directions and use those directions we'll meet them at the end," said Geoff Balton from the Redwood City Fire Department.

Emergency planners aren’t telling people the evacuation route or the final meeting place beforehand, wanting to test the alert system and people’s response to it.

"We'll see what works and what doesn't work by actually putting people on the roads," Balton said.

Some residents expect evacuation routes will get jammed.

"Trying to get down Brittan it would be crazy if everyone was evacuating we'd have to go on foot," said San Carlos resident Martha D'amico.

The fire department is hoping the small-scale drill will help improve planning and response for the real thing.

"Sets us up for success in the future," Balton said.

People who are part of the drill will take a survey afterward and the fire department will take that feedback and its observations back to the planning table.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Family Rescued From Balcony After Intruder Enters Their Home]]>Thu, 06 Jun 2019 23:25:32 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBbalcony_7480800.JPEG

The Hayward Police Department rescued a family through the balcony of their home after an intruder entered their residence Wednesday.

Officers responded to reports about a man entering a home on Prospect Terrace while the home owner and his three children were inside.

When the father heard the intruder, he locked himself and the children in an upstairs room. Upon arrival, officers evacuated them from the balcony while the suspect remained inside, refusing to come out.

Police eventually entered the home and arrested the suspect.

The surrounding area was blocked off for about two hours.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New Protective Bike Lanes Creating a Stir in Emeryville]]>Thu, 06 Jun 2019 20:31:49 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/New_Protective_Bike_Lanes_Creating_a_Stir_in_Emeryville.jpg

A beef over bicycle lanes has emerged in Emeryville as the city has been testing out new protective bike lanes in a section of the city. But while the lanes may be making it safer to cycle, residents say their creating a slew of other problems. Jodi Hernandez reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Chars 15 Acres on Side of Highway 4 in Concord]]>Thu, 06 Jun 2019 17:37:53 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/con_fire_0606_7478614.JPG

Crews stopped forward progress on a 15-acre fire on the side of eastbound Highway 4 in Concord on Thursday afternoon, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

The blaze was reported at 1:09 p.m. alongside Highway 4 just east of Willow Pass Road.

The forward progress had been stopped about an hour later, but fire crews remain at the scene, and the blaze reportedly was 75% contained as of Thursday evening.

County fire officials wrote on Twitter that the blaze is the largest of the season to date and "an early indicator of what is to come with Red Flag conditions this weekend."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Swim Team Getting the Boot From Longtime Home Pool]]>Thu, 06 Jun 2019 22:17:59 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wc_swimteam_0606_7478381.JPG

A youth swim team in the East Bay that has been using the same home pool for more than 45 years has been told it no longer will be permitted access to the facility.

The Walnut Country Stingrays, which has 100 swimmers ranging in age from 4 to 18, is being kicked out of the Cowell Homeowners Association’s main pool in Concord because the team has members who are not residents of the neighborhood, the HOA said.

Swimmers and their parents were stunned, to say the least.

"It’s been pretty difficult for our daughter to understand it," parent Mike Kindorf said. "There have been a lot of tears, and she’s been pretty upset over it."

Swimmer Sarah Kindorf said the club is like a family to her.

"I’ve never been on another team. I’ve always been on this team," she said. "I learned how to swim on this team."

In a letter to the community, the homeowners association argued that because the swim team has members that aren’t residents in the neighborhood, they can’t be allowed to have exclusive access to the pool and take time away from the homeowners who do live in the neighborhood.

The Stingrays will not be permitted to use the pool after the end of their 2019 season, the HOA said.

"They say, 'You gotta get out.' What happens to the team?" Stingrays Director-elect Tony Washmera said. "We die. We’re done."

Washmera, who has been involved with the team since he was 7 years old, said the team pays to use the pool and has been a partner with the HOA for more than 45 years. So he wants to know: Why evict them now?

Washmera said the HOA hasn’t tried to communicate with the team directly and instead had lawyers send the letter last Tuesday.

The HOA denied that in a statement but did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

"We don’t have legal representation as of right now, and we are very uncomfortable walking into a meeting with lawyers," Washmera said. "It’s kind of like walking into a gunfight with a knife."

Meanwhile, the swimmers' parents are hoping the loss of the pool won't mean the end of the team.

"It would be a big loss for our family," parent Dana Sielman said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART Resumes Transbay Tube Service After Gas Pipeline Issue]]>Thu, 06 Jun 2019 22:22:31 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06062019BART_7477163.JPG

BART temporarily halted service through the Transbay Tube Thursday afternoon while crews responded to a damaged gas line, officials said.

The incident sparked major system-wide delays, BART said.

Service through the Transbay Tube resumed around 3:20 p.m.

Officials said a third-party contractor hit the PG&E gas line outside of the West Oakland BART station.

BART in a tweet provided the following update:

"Oakland Fire Dept. is reporting to us a construction company damaged a natural gas pipeline near the West Oakland Station. They have instructed us that trains are not to travel through the Tube. Service through the tube has been suspended until further notice."

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Seek Suspects Caught Stealing From T-Mobile Store]]>Thu, 06 Jun 2019 03:33:46 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/Tmobile1.JPG

The Vallejo Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying and locating two masked, armed suspects who stole multiple electronics from a T-Mobile store Sunday.

Surveillance footage caught two suspects, a man and a woman, entering the store located on 3587 Sonoma Boulevard at around 11:10 a.m. One is seen pointing handguns at employees and ordering them to go to the back of the store.

The suspects then reportedly placed multiple electronic devices in their backpacks before running out toward Sonoma Blvd.

One of the suspects left the handgun behind, it was later determined to be an airsoft gun.

One of the suspects was described as a black man standing 6 feet tall, wearing a 49ers hooded jacket and dark-colored pants with a red bandana covering his face.

The other was descrived as a black woman standing about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and was seen wearing a multicolored hooded sweatshirt, black pants and a black bandana covering her face.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vallejo Police Department Detective Division at 707-648-4524.

Photo Credit: Vallejo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Two Parents Begin Union City School Board Recall Effort]]>Thu, 06 Jun 2019 02:40:04 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Teachers_in_New_Haven_District_in_Union_City_on_Strike.jpg

Two parents of students in the strike-torn New Haven Unified School District filed paperwork on Wednesday to begin the process of trying to recall three of the district's five school board members.

Colleen Weaver, one of the parents, said, "Our teachers and students deserve better than they're getting at this time."

Weaver said, "The school board has not done its job because it's letting Superintendent Arlando Smith run the show."

Teachers in the school district, which consists of 12 schools in Union City and South Hayward, remained on strike for a 12th day on Wednesday and another bargaining session between the district and the teachers' union was held.

Weaver and Erica Viray Santos, whose husband Ivan Santos is a teacher at James Logan High School, want to recall school board members Sharan Kaur, Jeff Wang and Lance Nishihira.

Weaver said those three trustees were served with a notice of intent to recall them during the school board's meeting on Tuesday night.

But Weaver said that when she went to file the recall notice with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters on Tuesday she was told that she must make some minor corrections and then serve the three members with an updated notice.

Weaver said only 12 people need to sign the recall notice.

But she said proponents will need to get 7,847 signatures to put the recall on the ballot.

Weaver said once the three board members are served they have seven days to respond.

She said the board members could choose to resign but if they fight the recall effort an election on the matter might not be held until next March or April.

Weaver said the motivation for the recall effort is, "The voters of this community deserve stronger leaders who will do the right thing - and that is to make students and teachers a priority."

Parent Lisa Rodriguez told the school board at its meeting on Tuesday night that the community has lost confidence in them.

Rodriguez said, "This board of education has successfully driven a wedge between the district, and the teachers, parents and students of this community. This is not a playground disagreement -- the choices you have made are affecting the lives of our children."

<![CDATA[Air District Critical of School Built Near Concrete Plant]]>Wed, 05 Jun 2019 20:22:46 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Playground-1.jpg

The agency responsible for regulating air pollution across the nine-county Bay Area is criticizing the decision to open a new elementary and middle school adjacent to a longtime concrete plant in Silicon Valley.

Air District CEO Critical of School's Proximity to Concrete Plant

“I don’t want to sugarcoat this at all – this is not a good land-use decision that was made,” said Jack Broadbent, Bay Area Air Management Quality District CEO, as he addressed the district’s board of directors during a meeting in San Francisco on Wednesday. 

“This is not a good situation.”

Broadbent’s comments come in the wake of an NBC Bay Area investigation that revealed a chain of errors allowed Stratford, a private K-8 school, to build alongside the Tri City Rock concrete plant in Fremont. Last month's investigation exposed inaccurate permit applications submitted by the plant, poor communication between government agencies, and other bureaucratic blunders.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Broadbent voiced his dissatisfaction with Stratford and appeared to accuse the company of being uncooperative with the air district’s efforts to further monitor air quality at the school.

“It’s been a little frustrating because I think we want to be able to conduct some [air] monitoring on site,” he said. The school, so far, hasn’t been all that easy in terms of allowing such monitoring,” Broadbent said.  “So what we are going to do now is undertake a monitoring study where we do upwind of the school and the site itself and downwind, as well, to fully characterize some of the impacts. That will allow us to tailor make additional mitigation measures.”

Stratford School Criticized for Being Uncooperative

Stratford Founder Sherry Adams did not specifically respond to criticism from the air district, however, in a statement said months of testing, paid for by Stratford, revealed air quality at the school met California standards for a “majority of school days.”

“We remain committed to ongoing communications with members of our school community regarding this matter,” Adams wrote.  “We continue to collaborate with our neighbors, the City of Fremont, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).”

Tri City Rock, the family-operated concrete plant, has remained at its Fremont location along Osgood Road for more than 30 years. Stratford School, however, opened its classrooms last August. Now, hundreds of students are regularly next door to the plant.

“Relocating is not an option,” said Stefany Doukas, owner and CEO of Tri City Rock. 

“We've got customers and relationships in the city of Fremont that depend and rely on us. This business is everything to me,” Doukas said tearfully while speaking to the Investigative Unit in May.

The process of making concrete can send microscopic chemicals into the air, which can cause respiratory problems and heart disease, according to the federal government. Dozens of parents recently told NBC Bay Area that plumes of dust regularly float from the concrete facility to the Stratford School playground, which is adjacent to the plant.

Concrete Plant Owner 'Surprised' at School's Decision to Build Next Door

“Although, it's surprising that the school would select a site next door to our operation, I don't think there is any validity to the claims of a health risk,” Doukas said.

When she first heard of the school’s intentions to build next door, she said she expressed her own concerns to a top official at Stratford.

“He was very matter of fact and said, 'We know what we’re moving next to," Doukas said. “I was surprised that they would choose this location.”

BAAQMD is now considering whether to approve a request by the concrete plant to increase its annual production limit from 80,000 tons to 120,000 tons.  The air district argues that approving the increase could, ironically, lead to lower emission rates at the plant since the new permit would allow regulators to require additional safety measures and tools to lessen air pollution.

The air district is expected to hold a public meeting within the next few weeks to allow members of the community to provide input on the issue before BAAQMD officials make their final decision in the coming months.

“When [my kids] are going to school, they are there to learn, not to be fearful about the environment that they are in,” said Kewei Tang, who spoke at the air district meeting and has two children enrolled at Stratford School.

“We still witness a lot of dust storms [at school] and both of my kids need to run in doors.”

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<![CDATA[Police Arrest Man in Murder of Woman Found in Burned Garage]]>Wed, 05 Jun 2019 23:59:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/burnedwomansuspectarrested.jpg

Vallejo police on Tuesday arrested a man who is suspected of killing a missing woman who was found dead in a burned garage last week.

Kimberlon Janiene Benard, 37, was reported missing by her family on May 29. She had no contact with her family since the previous day, police said.

When detectives went to Benard's home at 156 Sawyer St. to investigate around 11 p.m. on May 29, they discovered the garage was on fire. Police found Benard's body in the garage after Vallejo fire crews extinguished the blaze, and her death was ruled a homicide, police said.

Police identified Sherwood Ruffin, 40, the father of Bernard's three children, as the homicide suspect. Ruffin shared the house on Sawyer Street with Benard. He was taken into custody Tuesday at Broadway and West MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland, police said.

Ruffin was booked under no bail in Solano County Jail on a murder warrant and is scheduled for arraignment Thursday afternoon in Solano County Superior Court.

Police believe Ruffin had been driving Benard's silver 2002 Honda Odyssey, which is still missing.

<![CDATA[Union Leaders Accuse Richmond City Manager of Unfair Labor]]>Wed, 05 Jun 2019 08:08:22 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/carlosmartinez.jpg

Unions representing Richmond city workers on Tuesday accused the new city manager Carlos Martinez of union busting and unfair labor practices in a demonstration outside City Hall.

City workers are seeking a cost of living adjustment, or COLA, to keep up with the Bay Area's rising cost of living. They say that in response to that effort, the city has targeted union leaders for retaliatory layoffs.

Union leaders accused Martinez of moving the goal posts on the city's cash reserve, from 8 percent to 15 percent, creating a deficit that would not otherwise exist.

Dee Karnes, of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21, demanded an end to retaliatory layoffs and accused the city of misrepresenting its financial situation.

Service Employees International Union Local 1021 President Gregory Everetts said they haven't had a COLA in four years, during a period in which comparable Bay Area cities have given their workers an average of 3 percent per year.

"To put it simply, Richmond is falling behind," Everetts said.

"We are dealing with a city manager who is an outsider to us, who doesn't know how to deal with labor or any kind of labor situation," Everetts said.

"His agenda is to bust the unions, raise the reserves to 15 percent overnight, pad his resume and do what most outsiders who come here to work do, and that is leave for a better job and leave us in shambles."

Police, firefighters and paramedics were also at the rally, saying an attack on one is an attack on all.

"Labor relations and financial transparency in the last year have been adverse at best and malicious at worst," said President Ben Therriault of the Richmond Police Officers Association.

"We won't sit back and let the city manager lead us into a manufactured crisis," Therriault said.

This afternoon's rally took place in advance of the Richmond City Council meeting, which began at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at 440 Civic Center Plaza.

Richmond City Manager Carlos Martinez, who was sworn-in last year, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on the rally. At the beginning of the meeting, however, he did indicate a willingness to discuss the matter at a later date.

Photo Credit: City of Richmond]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Becomes 2nd US City to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms]]>Wed, 05 Jun 2019 11:34:06 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/magic-mushrooms-AP_19155625048408.jpg

Oakland on Tuesday became the second U.S. city to decriminalize magic mushrooms after a string of people shared how psychedelics helped them overcome depression, drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize the adult use and possession of magic mushrooms and other entheogenic, or psychoactive, plants. Denver voters approved a similar measure for people 21 and older last month.

Speakers overwhelmingly supported the move, describing substances like peyote as traditional plant-based medicines. One man who described himself as a former heroin addict said such plants saved his life. Some offered mystical descriptions of the hallucinogens as providing spiritual healing.

The vote makes the investigation and arrest of adults who grow, possess, use or distribute entheogenic plants one of the lowest priorities for police. No city money could be used to enforce laws criminalizing the substances, and the Alameda County district attorney would stop prosecuting people who have been apprehended for use or possession.

Council member Noel Gallo, who introduced the resolution, had said decriminalizing such plants would enable Oakland police to focus on serious crime.

Amendments offered by Council member Loren Taylor added caveats that the substances "are not for everyone," recommending that people with PTSD or major depression seek professional help before using them and that people "don't go solo" but seek expert guidance and have a trusted friend present during the use.

The ordinance also directs the city administrator to come back within a year to provide the council with an assessment of the law's impact on the community.

"Entheogenic plants and fungi are tremendous for helping to enable healing, particularly for folks who have experienced trauma in their lives," Carlos Plazola, chairman of the advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Oakland, said before the council meeting. "These plants are being recommended pretty extensively undercover, underground, by doctors and therapists."

The Oakland Police Department did not respond to emailed messages from The Associated Press seeking comment before the meeting. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick declined to comment.

Magic mushrooms are still illegal under federal and state law. Entheogenic substances are considered Schedule 1 drugs under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which categorizes drugs that have potential for abuse and no medical value.

Skeptics had raised concerns about unsafe use, especially in schools.

To address such concerns, Gallo said, lawmakers would have to establish rules and regulations about the use of such substances, including what exactly can be used, how to use them and what the associated risks are.

Entheogenic plants have long been used in religious and cultural contexts. Gallo remembers his grandmother treating his family members with plants, including entheogenic ones, for a variety of ailments.

"Growing up in the Mexican community, this was our cure," Gallo said.

Hemp oils, mushrooms and yerba buenas — an aromatic plant known for its medicinal properties — "that was our Walgreens. We didn't have a Walgreens. We didn't have a way to pay for any drugs. These are plants we have known for thousands of years in our community and that we continue to use."


This story has been corrected to show in the headline that magic mushrooms are decriminalized, not legalized. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Richard Vogel/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Massive Landscaped Swastika Has East Bay Neighbors on Edge]]>Wed, 05 Jun 2019 17:42:44 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/swastika_eb_0604_7456531.JPG

A landscaping design in the East Bay had neighbors in an uproar Tuesday as an El Sobrante man carved a massive swastika into his front yard.

The Nazi symbol could be seen in aerial views of the home owned by Steven Johnson, who claimed it’s a Tibetan symbol from centuries ago.

"It doesn’t represent anything," Johnson said. "That represents me not having to pull weeds over in that part of my yard; that’s what it represents to me. What does it represent to you?"

Neighbors see it as a swastika, and they say it’s offensive.

About six million Jews were systematically killed in the Holocaust by Germany's Nazi regime and its collaborators during World War II. Millions of others were also persecuted, among them Roma, people with mental or physical disabilities, gays and lesbians, Soviet prisoners, political opponents and Jehovah's Witnesses.  

Renee Schultz, who is Jewish and has been a neighbor of Johnson‘s for 27 years, said he’s never done anything like this before.

"I was very clear with him about my feelings," she said. "I don’t agree with it; I think it’s wrong. I don’t like it, but it is his yard."

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia says the county doesn't have the ability to force Johnson to remove the symbol, but he urged people to speak out against what’s seen as a symbol of hate.

"This is an unacceptable thing because of what this stands for and how people perceive the symbol," Gioia said.

The yard also has a peace sign in it not far from other swastika-looking symbols around the doorbell.

Johnson at times expressed ignorance about the symbol associated with hatred and racism.

"What is a swastika?" he asked.

Another neighbor, Vince Poehnelt, who has known Johnson since childhood, said a lot of people are fearful, offended and afraid.

"I consider the guy harmless," Poehnelt said. "Maybe he’s a little too lazy to be a full-blown neo-Nazi."

Johnson also was asked about the swastika sticker on his motorcycle, at which point he ended the interview, telling reporters to get out of his yard.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Lafayette Plans Removal of BART Parking Spots For Roundabout]]>Tue, 04 Jun 2019 17:49:04 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Lafayette_Plans_Removal_of_BART_Parking_Spots_For_Roundabout.jpg

Parking at one of the busiest Contra Costa County BART stations is about to get even tougher. The city of Lafayette is planning to remove 19 very coveted parking spaces to build a new roundabout. Jodi Hernandez reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Respond to Multi-Vehicle Crash in Hayward]]>Tue, 04 Jun 2019 18:50:12 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hesperian_crash_0604_7454421.JPG

Police and emergency crews responded Tuesday to a multi-vehicle crash in Hayward in which one vehicle slammed into the front of a restaurant, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.

The crash, caused by an out-of-control vehicle, occurred about 3:35 p.m. in the 18000 block of Hesperian Boulevard and involved at least five vehicles, fire officials said.

One vehicle ended up inside London Fish N Chips, and aerial views of the scene showed workers cleaning up in front of the damaged storefront.

Two people suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital, the fire department said.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Impersonating an Officer at Cherry Festival]]>Tue, 04 Jun 2019 23:18:42 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/D8QE000VsAAT01v.jpg

San Leandro police arrested a man in uniform Saturday at the Cherry Festival for allegedly impersonating a police officer.

Videos posted on social media shows police officers taking the suspect, Sergio Taylor, into custody at the 110th annual event, leading spectators to believe officers were arresting a fellow cop.

Police recovered two replica handguns, real ammunition, at least one stun gun and an armored vest from the suspect. Taylor's fake police uniform has an embroidered "K-9 Unit" patch on the back, as well as a blue patch that signifies a sergeant rank.

The uniform also has Taylor's name embroided on the chest, reading "K-9 S. Taylor #13."

Taylor has committed similar criminal acts in at least two Bay Area cities, police said.

Police also said they were on the lookout for Taylor after a bar fight in Berkeley last month.

Investigators said Taylor has been posing as a police officer since at least 2017, when he was busted after getting caught using a fraudulent check to buy a motorcycle.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Weighs Decriminalizing Magic Mushrooms]]>Tue, 04 Jun 2019 14:56:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/magic-mushrooms.jpg

Oakland would become the second U.S. city to decriminalize magic mushrooms under a proposal before the City Council on Tuesday.

The resolution would decriminalize the adult use and possession of magic mushrooms and other entheogenic, or psychoactive, plants and fungi. Denver voters in May approved a similar measure for people 21 and older.

Supporters say entheogenic plants have been used to treat depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Entheogenic plants and fungi are tremendous for helping to enable healing, particularly for folks who have experienced trauma in their lives," said Carlos Plazola, chair of the advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Oakland. "These plants are being recommended pretty extensively undercover, underground, by doctors and therapists."

Oakland's proposed resolution would make the investigation and arrest of adults who grow, possess, use or distribute entheogenic plants, including magic mushrooms, ayahuasca and peyote, one of the lowest priorities for police. No city funds could be used to enforce laws criminalizing the substances, and the Alameda County District Attorney would stop prosecuting people who have been apprehended for use or possession.

Councilmember Noel Gallo, who introduced the resolution, said decriminalizing such plants would enable Oakland police to focus on serious crime.

The Oakland Police Department did not respond to emailed messages from the Associated Press seeking comment. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick declined to comment.

Still, magic mushrooms would remain illegal under both federal and state laws. Entheogenic substances are considered Schedule 1 drugs under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which categorizes drugs that have potential for abuse and no medical value.

Skeptics have expressed qualms about the resolution, including Councilmember Loren Taylor. The Mercury News reported that Taylor had raised concerns about unsafe use, especially in schools. In an emailed statement, Taylor said it's important that law enforcement and other community leaders are included in any talks to think through "all possible implications" of the resolution.

To address such concerns, Gallo said, lawmakers would have to establish rules and regulations about the use of such substances, including what exactly can be used, how to use them and what associated risks are.

Entheogenic plants have long been used in religious and cultural contexts. Gallo remembers his grandmother treating his family members with plants, including entheogenic ones, for a variety of ailments.

"Growing up in the Mexican community, this was our cure," Gallo said. Hemp oils, mushrooms and yerba buenas — an aromatic plant known for its medicinal properties — "that was our Walgreens. We didn't have a Walgreens. We didn't have a way to pay for any drugs. These are plants we have known for thousands of years in our community and that we continue to use."

Tuesday's vote would be the final on the measure. The council's public safety committee advanced it last week.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[23-Year-Old Man Killed by Walnut Creek Police Identified]]>Tue, 04 Jun 2019 12:21:32 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WC_OIS_0602_7421603.JPG

A 23-year-old man fatally shot by police on Sunday in Walnut Creek has been identified as Miles Hall, according to the Contra Costa County Coroner's Office.

The incident was first reported at 4:41 p.m. at a residence on Sandra Court. A woman called police saying that Hall, her grandson, had threatened her, according to police.

Hall's mother called police a short time later, saying he had also threatened her, had mental health issues, would be aggressive with officers, was in possession of a pointed metal pole and had already broken a sliding glass window.

A man on Sandra Court then contacted police at 4:53 p.m. saying the suspect was at his door with a red bandana over his head and face, and a crowbar in his hand.

Hall was found approaching a home on Arlene Lane and police said he refused to listen to commands to drop the crowbar and then charged at officers. Bean bag rounds were fired at Hall, but had little-to-no effect, which resulted in two officers firing their handguns at the suspect, according to police.

Hall, a resident of Walnut Creek, was taken to a hospital, where he died, police said. Police said they anticipate releasing bodycam footage of the shooting at a later date.

The five officers who were on the scene will be placed on administrative leave as Walnut Creek police and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office investigate the officer-involved shooting.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at (925) 935-6400 or Detective Greg Leonard at (925) 256-3523.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Near 100s Inland as Summer Heat Grips Bay Area]]>Tue, 04 Jun 2019 08:37:56 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WarmWeather1.jpg

Summer heat is back on in the Bay Area.

The National Weather Service said that Tuesday "will likely feature some of the hottest temperatures so far this summer."

The weather service said some inland spots could creep close to the 100-degree mark. Locations along the coast and near the San Francisco Bay are expected to be mild to warm.

Below is a breakdown of Tuesday's expected temperature spread for the Bay Area, according to the weather service:

Brentwood: 98 degrees

Concord: 96 degrees

Livermore: 94 degrees

Morgan Hill: 93 degrees

Gilroy: 91 degrees

Calistoga: 90 degrees

San Jose: 90 degrees

Napa: 89 degrees

Los Altos: 88 degrees

Santa Rosa: 87 degrees

Petaluma: 85 degrees

Fremont: 85 degrees

San Rafael: 82 degrees

Oakland: 80 degrees

San Francisco: 73 degrees

Half Moon Bay: 70 degrees

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dublin City Council Votes to Raise Pride Flag]]>Wed, 05 Jun 2019 03:13:15 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PrideFlag1.jpg

The city of Dublin agreed Tuesday night to fly the rainbow flag in honor of gay pride month.

Last month, the East Bay city voted down the idea, prompting more than 800 people to protest the decision, signing a petition demanding the city fly the flag.

"I think it's about time this country needs to come together with everybody," community member Renee Langon said.

The city council on Tuesday changed their mind, voting in favor of a flag pole policy that would allow flying a commemorative flag. It will be decided on a case by case basis, giving the pride flag a go.

Mayor David Haubert initially voted against flying the flag, saying he wanted a city policy established first.

Haubert also addressed one of the homophobic remarks made by a member of the public at last month's contentious meeting in which people spoke for and against flying the flag.

"A lot of people are making a big deal about the fact that there was a little rebuke of the horrible things he mentioned at the meeting," Haubert said in a statement. "Many of these things were said by people who don't even live in Dublin, but came from neighboring cities. Dublin is a very diverse and inclusive community, and nobody should tell you otherwise."

However, on Tuesday, Haubert said, "I wish we had not really voted at the last meeting, but rather given this item a little more time to talk about it."

He added that he gave members of the comunity time to think and let the idea sink in for about two weeks.

"I called a lot of friends, we had a lot of dialogue and we learned a lot," he said. "So we ended up in the right place but again, we weren’t so far off in the meeting we had on May 21, we all agreed we needed to do something, we couldn’t figure out exactly what to do, and it ended up right."

Photo Credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Oakland Catholic Diocese's List of Clergy Accused of Abuse]]>Mon, 03 Jun 2019 19:36:37 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/east_bay_priest_1011_4534222.JPG

The list of clergy in the East Bay accused of sex abuse keeps getting longer.

The Oakland Catholic Diocese added at least 18 names of priests, deacons and brothers credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

The new names come from a list released Friday by the Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara. A diocese spokesperson says they have all lived or served in the Oakland diocese in the past.

The diocese said they did not know of the accusations unil Friars released the new list.

  • The full list of credibly accused friars for the St. Barbara Province is here.
  • You can find the names of Franciscans who either lived in or served in the Diocese of Oakland who are on the Franciscans’ list of credibly accused on the diocesan website.
Here are the new names added to the list:
  • Melvin Bucher, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Phillip Colloty, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Berard Connolly, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Dennis Duffy, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Francis Ford, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Adrian Furman, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Rayner Harrington, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • David Johnson, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Steven Kain, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Conan Lee, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province Franciscans)
  • Mark Liening, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Jorge Lopez, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Martin McKeon, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Bede McKinnon, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Joaquin Moreno, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Robert Peguero, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Josef Prochnow, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Tom Thing, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)
  • Ramon Varela, Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province (Franciscans)

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Who Died at Tahoe Waterfall From East Bay]]>Mon, 03 Jun 2019 23:37:33 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dina-espinosa-0603.jpg

A Bay Area mother of three died Friday when she was swept away by a waterfall near South Lake Tahoe, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.

Dina Stephanie Espinosa, 35, was sitting in one of the pools of water at Eagle Falls just above Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay when she slipped while reaching for a tree branch and was carried away over the waterfall, according to the sheriff's office.

A search and rescue team and dive team recovered Espinosa's body shortly after deputies arrived on the scene.

Two of her children, Marissa and Ernesto, said their mother taught them all they know.

"We’re all outdoorsy; she instilled that in us, to love nature and care about animals and plants and the world really," Marissa Espinosa said. "I think of all the the places she could have gone, that was the place. She loved it there."

Her children plan to maintain the values their mom taught them. They say she will always be with them.

"We love her, and we’re going to get through it," Ernesto Espinosa said. "We’re going to give her a helluva show to watch."

A GoFundMe page created to raise money for Dina Espinosa's funeral and for her three children described her as someone who "gave everything for those she loved, she loved nature, being outdoors, and spending time with her kids."

The page, which had raised nearly $6,500 of a $20,000 goal as of Monday evening, noted that Eagle Falls was "a place she visited often and found serenity in."

Espionosa recently opened a business in Benicia.

Marissa and Ernesto Espinosa describe the mother they say taught them all they know....


S/Marissa Espinosa, Daughter

((1:57:27)) we’re all outdoorsy she instilled that in us to love nature and care about animals and plants and the world really.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Espinosa family]]>
<![CDATA[Unhealthy Whale Has Been Swimming Near Alameda for a Week]]>Mon, 03 Jun 2019 12:11:03 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBWHALEGIF2_7435753.gif

A humpback whale that has been circling the waters near Alameda for a week appears to be unhealthy, a Marine Mammal Center spokesman said Monday.

The Marin Headlands-based center has been monitoring the whale, which seems to be an adult female with poor skin condition, since May 27 when it first received reports of its presence in Alameda's Airport Lagoon, center spokesman Giancarlo Rulli said.

Rulli said experts at the center attributed the animal's unusually long stay in the Bay to its poor health, speculating it sought shelter from harsher open waters in the protective cove.

Scientists determined the whale has been feeding on fish in the cove, and said it has no plans to steward it out for fear of causing it stress.

Humpback whales have been spotted feeding on anchovies near the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz for the past three years, Rulli said, but are usually quick to return to the open ocean.

Scientists at the center do not know whether the whale's poor body condition is related to the high number of gray whale deaths this year since the species' migration patterns differ significantly.

Rulli said he could not estimate how long the whale would remain in the Bay searching for food, but said center officials are "hopeful that since it found its way in it would eventually find its way out."

The Marine Mammal Center has asked people not to approach or crowd the whale and to call (415) 298-SEAL to report updates or documentation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[23-Year-Old Man Dies After Police Shooting in Walnut Creek]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2019 23:30:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WC_OIS_0602_7421603.JPG

A suspect who charged at officers was shot and killed by police on Sunday afternoon in Walnut Creek, according to police.

The incident was first reported at 4:41 p.m. at a residence on Sandra Court, police said. A woman called police saying her grandson, only identified as a 23-year-old Walnut Creek man, had threatened her, according to police.

The suspect's mother then called police at 4:47 p.m. Police said she told them he also threatened her, had mental health issues, would be aggressive with officers, was in possession of a pointed metal pole and had already broken a sliding glass window.

Although officers arrived on the scene at 4:52 p.m., another man on Sandra Court contacted police at 4:53 p.m. saying the suspect was now at his door with a red bandana over his head and face, and a crowbar in his hand.

A search of the neighborhood found the suspect approaching a home on Arlene Lane. Police said the suspect refused to listen to commands to drop the crowbar and then charged at officers. Bean bag rounds were fired at the suspect, but had little-to-no effect, which resulted in two cops firing their handguns at the suspect.

The suspect was transported to a hospital, where he died, police said. His name wasn't released. Police said they anticipate releasing bodycam footage of the shooting at a later date.

One neighbor said the family had tried to manage the man's mental health issues, even sending out email communications to neighbors to discuss the situation.

"He's amazing; he's in his young 20s, grew up in the neighborhood," resident Lisa Angus said. "Knew him since he was four, and he's just, he's got a heart of gold, and he's just an amazing kid."

Orchard Lane was blocked off, and some residents who tried to return to their homes in vehicles were turned away.

The five officers who were on the scene will be placed on administrative leave as Walnut Creek police and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office investigate the officer-involved shooting.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at (925) 935-6400 or Detective Greg Leonard at (925) 256-3523.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Burns in Bay Marshlands Near Dumbarton Bridge]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2019 23:34:17 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trestle-fire-0602.jpg

Fremont fire crews responded to a brush fire Sunday in the bay marshlands that spread to an old train trestle near the Dumbarton Bridge.

The fire was reported about 5:12 p.m., and burned about three-quarters of an acre near Dumbarton Point, said Battalion Chief Kyle Adams. The fire then spread to the trestle, and as of 7:30 p.m. Sunday, about 100 yards of the old wooden structure was burning, including a stretch west into San Francisco Bay, Adams said.

Both the trestle and the grasslands proved hard to reach, Adams said, taking firefighters almost 30 minutes to reach it. Firefighters needed to use four-wheel-drive rigs to reach the fire.

Authorities at the scene were unsure who has responsibility over the trestle.

The old rail bridge, which connects Newark and East Palo Alto-Menlo Park, hasn't seen trains for decades. But Facebook, whose main campus is near that rail line in Menlo Park, is negotiating with the San Mateo County Transit District to improve the Dumbarton corridor, including reviving the rail bridge, for operation by a commuter rail agency.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: Marianne Favro/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Teachers Union Makes Counter-Offer in New Haven Strike]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2019 22:16:29 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/New_Haven_Teachers_Strike_Continues_Into_Second_Week.jpg

The teachers union made a counter-offer Sunday in the ongoing labor talks with the New Haven Unified School District, "in an effort to end this 10-day teacher strike," according to a Facebook post.

The counter-offer includes a 6% salary increase over two years, restoration for the days on strike and opportunities for retiring teachers to earn a full year of credit toward their retirement, the NHTA said.

"We want to end this strike, and this bargaining team has made considerable movement," NHTA President Joe Ku’e Angeles. "The proposal falls within the recommendation of the neutral fact-finding report, which was put together by an experienced, conservative fact-finder."

Both sides have moved from their original positions. Teachers originally asked for a 10% pay hike over two years then proposed cost-of-living adjustments of 3.7% for this year and 3.26% for next year.

The district originally countered with a 1% raise for 2019-2020 and a one-time 3% payment, along with an additional raise of up to 1% if it was able to add up to $2 million to its budget. The district's latest offer was a 3% increase for this year and a 2% pay hike in January 2020, according to district officials.

District officials say they cannot afford to meet the teachers' demands without needing to make significant cuts elsewhere in the district.

<![CDATA[Capitol Corridor Train Strikes Vehicle on Tracks in Oakland]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2019 12:15:25 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CapitolCorridorCrashOakland.jpg

A Capitol Corridor train struck a vehicle on the tracks in Oakland Sunday morning, according to officials.

It is unclear at this time if anyone was inside the vehicle at the time of the collision. No one on the train was hurt, but the train was evacuated, according to Amtrak, which operates Capitol Corridor.

The collision occurred at roughly 11:27 a.m. in the area of 85th and Railroad avenues, not far from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Oracle Arena.

Capitol Corridor tweeted that the collision resulted in the cancellation of Train 728's scheduled service. Passengers were provided with alternate transportation options, according to Amtrak.

Further information was not immediately available.

Refresh the page for more information on this developing news story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

Photo Credit: Ken Houston "Son of Oakland"]]>
<![CDATA[Tickets Available for Game 2 Watch Party at Oracle Arena]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2019 10:38:16 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OracleArenaWatchParty.jpg

Tickets are still available for Sunday night's watch party at Oracle Arena for Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.

Tickets for the watch party are $25 each, available exclusively at www.warriors.com. The watch parties will include performances from the Warriors Dance Team, Jr. Jam Squad, GSBreakers, Hardwood Classics and Flyin' Dubs, and there will be giveaways and other activities for attendees.

The Warriors are looking to tie the series at 1-1 after a 118-109 loss in Game 1 in Toronto on Thursday night. Stephen Curry led Golden State with 34 points and Draymond Green recorded a triple double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Kevin Durant will not play in Game 2. He is still mending from a strained calf, which has kept him out since the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets. DeMarcus Cousins, who played limited minutes in Game 1 after tearing his quad in the Warriors' opening round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, is expected to play.

The Warriors will return home for Game 3 on June 5 and Game 4 on June 7. The NBA Finals is the last playoff series the team will play in Oakland before moving across the Bay to the new Chase Center in San Francisco's Mission Bay for the 2019-20 season.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Shots Fired Into Parked Cars, Hotel Room in Pleasant Hill]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2019 22:39:59 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBStillPHShooting_7419154.JPEG

Police in Pleasant Hill are investigating a shooting that occurred early Sunday morning that didn't injure anyone, but caused a large commotion at a hotel.

The shooting was reported at 1 a.m. at the Residence Inn located at 700 Ellinwood Way, Sgt. Jaynayla Pierson said. Numerous calls reported the shots fired, and officers who arrived on scene discovered almost 50 shell casings from handgun ammunition. At least one round was fired into an occupied room and several cars were struck.

According to Pierson, a party was taking place inside at least one room of the hotel around the time the shots were fired, and when officers arrived, the partygoers appeared to be leaving the area.

Some witnesses remained at the scene and spoke to officers, but there are no suspects at this time. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at (925) 288-4600.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 Injured, 12 Displaced Following 1-Alarm Blaze in Oakland]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2019 00:53:18 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/firefighter-generic-san-die.jpg

Two people were transported with injuries not considered life-threatening and 12 others displaced after a one-alarm fire that ravaged through a four-unit complex in Oakland late Saturday, according to fire officials.

The blaze was reported at 11:11 p.m. at 1800 E. 24th St., Battalion Chief Dino Torres said. Crews were able to extinguish it around 11:50 p.m. Torres said the fire's behavior, in addition to what witnesses saw, have led to the determination that it started as a cooking fire.

Two dogs and a cat were also displaced. Crews are expected to be at the scene until at least 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Unified Teacher Contract Talks Set for Sunday]]>Sat, 01 Jun 2019 22:52:20 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Striking_New_Haven_Teachers_See_Progress_But_No_Deal_Yet.jpg

Teachers and administrators from the New Haven Unified School District are tentatively set to resume contract talks at 10 a.m. Sunday, a day after the two sides traded barbs about who should, and shouldn't, be part of the negotiations.

The district' teachers have been on strike for the past two weeks.

In a statement Saturday, school district Superintendent, Dr. Arlando Smith said he would leave the bargaining if New Haven Teachers Association president Joe Ku'e Angeles does the same.

"For the sake of the process, and the teachers, students and district that I love and care about, I will remove myself from the negotiating process if Mr. Angeles agrees to do the same and refrain from making any more incendiary comments, which seems to be his only contribution to the process thus far," Smith said in the Saturday statement.

In a statement from the teachers' union Saturday, Ku'e Angeles accused Smith of refusing to meet with state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who took part in the negotiations Friday.

"Arlando Smith told our state Superintendent of Public Instruction that it was not his place to be involved, and that he didn't want him here. I can't believe he disrespected the superintendent of public instruction," Ku'e Angeles said in the teachers' union statement Saturday. "This situation, and Arlando's behavior, is getting more and more outrageous."

Ku'e Angeles could not be reached for comment Saturday to say whether he plans to attend Sunday's bargaining session. Superintendent Smith could not be reached for comment as to whether he actively boycotted a prospective bargaining session Saturday, or plans to bow out Sunday.

On Twitter Saturday, Thurmond said, "My team will remain involved & work with all parties for as long as it takes to get this resolved."

California Teachers Association spokeswoman Cynthia Menzel said Saturday night that she plans to be at Sunday morning's scheduled bargaining session in Hayward, regardless of Saturday's public bickering and bargaining session that didn't happen.

"It's been one of the most confusing, unusual things I've ever seen in my life, and I've seen a lot" of these negotiations, she said. "I've never seen bargaining sessions like this."

Both sides have moved from their original positions. Teachers originally asked for a 10% pay hike over two years, but are now proposing cost-of-living adjustments of 3.7% for this year and 3.26% for next year, according to New Haven Teachers Association officials.

The district originally countered with a 1%raise for 2019-2020 and a one-time 3% payment, along with an additional raise of up to 1% if it was able to add up to $2 million to its budget. The district is now offering a 3% increase for this year and a 2% pay hike in January 2020, according to district officials.

District officials say they cannot afford to meet the teachers' demands without needing to make significant cuts elsewhere in the district.

The New Haven Unified School district employs approximately 585 teachers at its 11 schools in Union City and Hayward. Approximately 11,000 students attend those schools.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Detours as Caltrans Replaces Safety Cushions Near Bay Bridge]]>Sat, 01 Jun 2019 23:40:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/roadwork+bridge.PNG

Caltrans will close the westbound Interstate Highway 580 connector leading to the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge Saturday night for emergency replacement of an "attenuator" smart safety crash cushion there in the MacArthur Maze, starting at 10 p.m., with a planned reopening by 7 a.m. Sunday.

These "attenuator" devices, anchored to the roadside guard rails, are designed to stop out-of-control vehicles with the force and resistance needed - with smaller or slower vehicles, less resistance is provided than for larger vehicles or vehicles moving faster.

As part of this cushion replacement work, the connectors from westbound State Highway 24 to both the eastbound and westbound I-580 will be closed, as will the ramp from eastbound Interstate Highway 80 to West MacArthur Boulevard. Motorists will be able to access eastbound 24 from westbound I-580.

Here are some options to reach the Bay Bridge or other desired routes, depending on what roadway you're on:


  • From westbound I-580, take the eastbound Interstate Highway 80 ramp (Emeryville area leading to Berkeley) and exit at Powell Street; left turn onto Powell Street; sharp right onto West Frontage Road; turn right to enter the WB I-80 on ramp to continue on to the Bay Bridge.
  • From westbound West MacArthur Boulevard, continue to Hollis Street and turn right onto Hollis; make a left turn onto 40th Street, which will become Shellmound Street in Emeryville. Turn left onto Shellmound Way, then left onto Christie Avenue, then right onto Powell Street to enter eastbound I-80.
  • From westbound 24, continue to southbound Interstate Highway 980 and exit at 27th Street/West Grand Avenue exit. Enter Northgate Avenue, turn right on West Grand Avenue; proceed on Grand Avenue to enter the eastbound I-80 onramp to reach westbound I-580.


Photo Credit: Caltrans ]]>
<![CDATA[Dublin Residents Call to Have Rainbow Flag Fly at City Hall ]]>Sat, 01 Jun 2019 18:54:23 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dublin_Residents_Call_to_Have_Rainbow_Flag_Fly_at_City.jpg

Dozens of people met at Dublin City Hall Saturday to question why the rainbow flag was not being flown on the first of June which marks the beginning of Pride Month.

Residents said the decision made by the City Council to not fly the rainbow flag shows the city needs to be more inclusive.

"The city won’t do it officially, so we are going to raise our own flags," said resident Stephen Wright. "That is what we believe should be happening in Dublin City Hall."

On Tuesday,the city council will consider a new outdoor flag display policy and will hold a special meeting to address the request to fly the rainbow flag.

"This was absolute in no way as any type of suppression of the LGBT community," said Dublin Mayor David Haubert.

<![CDATA[Grocery Store Opens in West Oakland's Former Food Desert]]>Sat, 01 Jun 2019 15:03:18 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CommunityMarket06.01.19.jpg

West Oakland residents rolled, strolled, bused and biked Saturday to an opening celebration for the first full-fledged grocery store in their neighborhood in more than four decades.

The Community Foods Market, a group effort initially funded with $2.2 million in seed money from neighborhood residents who purchased stock in the store, opened Saturday at 3105 San Pablo Ave.

The site is centrally located to the McClymonds, Hoover-Foster and Clawson neighborhoods of West Oakland.

"We opened in response to community needs," Brahm Ahmadi, the store's founder and chief executive, said in an interview at the 14,000-square-foot store as shoppers poured inside Saturday morning. "This area has long been a food desert."

Ahmadi was alluding to the fact that the lone grocery in the area, a Safeway, closed in the mid-1970s, forcing the approximately 9,000 residents to travel elsewhere to shop for food or buy at liquor stores.

"I've lived here 21 years, and the whole time we have had to go out of the area to get fresh produce," said Janet Forehand, who lives four blocks away. Her cart was filled with lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, pears and cilantro.

"The health impact of food deserts includes diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity," Ahmadi said. He said one of his principal objectives was to bring more healthful food to the community.

With a pounding beat from Catch the Vibe Ensemble, a student group from the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, in the background, shoppers sampled free salami, juice and cake and visited booths from community agencies including Alameda County Diabetes Education and Advocates For Health.

Photo Credit: Bay City News]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Killed, Several Injured in Collision in Berkeley]]>Sat, 01 Jun 2019 18:09:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/berkeley_5086846.JPEG

A 36-year-old woman was killed and another was seriously injured Saturday following an accident involving five vehicles in Berkeley.

Berkeley Police say a five people in a Tesla were driving westbound just before  midnight Saturday on Haste Street when its 22-year-old San Leandro male driver struck a Ford Fiesta and a pick-up truck that were also traveling in the same direction. The impact of the initial collision forced the Fiesta to hit two parked cars and the sedan caught on fire.

Four people inside the Ford Fiesta were transported to a nearby hospital, where one of the two rear passengers died, police said.

The woman has been identified by the Alameda Coroner's Office as Luvette Monarque of North Hollywood. The other passenger, a 32-year-old woman, is currently in "critical condition." The two are believed to be sisters, according to Berkeley police spokesperson Byron White.

One of the passengers in the Tesla was also transported to hospital, police said. The condition of others' injuries weren't immediately known.

Officer White says the driver of the Tesla cooperated with investigators and he believes that no drugs were a factor in the collision.

"We do believe, however, that speed was a factor in this collision," White said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this vehicle misstated the time of day the accident occurred.

Photo Credit: TELEMUNDO 48 ]]>
<![CDATA[Man Enters Plea for Role in Fatal 2013 Hayward Shooting]]>Sat, 01 Jun 2019 02:57:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gavel+-+generic.png

A man pleaded no contest on Friday to an accessory charge for his role in the fatal gang-related shooting of a 16-year-old boy in Centennial Park in Hayward in 2013.

Daniel Nunez, who was 17 at the time and is now 22, entered his plea in connection with the fatal shooting of Kristopher Prasinos of Hayward at the park in the 2400 block of Amador Street at about 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2013.

Authorities believe that Josue Lupian, who was 16 at the time and is now 21, was the person who shot Prasinos.

Nunez, who was charged with murder, also pleaded no contest to an enhancement clause that he participated in the shooting in order to benefit a criminal street gang.

Nunez's plea agreement calls for him to get a 9-year prison term when he's sentenced on June 28 but he will be released from custody at that time because he's already been in jail for nearly six years and has accumulated extra credits.

Lupian is still awaiting a trial on a murder charge for the fatal shooting and is scheduled to return to court on June 7 for a pretrial hearing.

Nunez's attorney Alex Harper said the plea agreement "is a good resolution to the case and the accessory charge is appropriate."

Harper said Nunez "had no idea his friend (Lupian) was armed" and would carry out a shooting.

The confrontation that led toe the fatal shooting of Prasinos began when Lupian and Nunez approached a group of girls who were hanging around Centennial Park, as Nunez had gone to school with them, Hayward police Officer Robert Lampkin wrote in a probable cause statement.

Lupian and Nunez "began yelling terms of allegiance to their gang" at the girls, who at one time had associated with members of a rival gang, Lampkin said.

Lupian and Nunez left the park briefly but when they returned Prasinos and a male friend had arrived at the park, according to Lampkin.

Nunez pulled out a knife and brandished it at one of the girls and when Prasinos approached the girl in an effort to help her Lupian shot him, Lampkin wrote.

After Prasinos fell to the ground Lupian laughed at him and Nunez "said something to the effect of, 'Now you know who you're messing with,'" Lampkin said.

Prasinos died at a local hospital a short time after he was shot.

<![CDATA[Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm Fire in Oakland]]>Sat, 01 Jun 2019 04:52:55 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Oak+Fire.png

The Oakland Fire Department battled two separate fires on the 6700 block of Estates Drive early Saturday morning, firefighters said.

Photo Credit: @tracey_pooh/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[New Book Charts Skateboarding's Mainstream Leap in Bay Area]]>Fri, 31 May 2019 20:55:39 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vanessa3.jpg

Move over baseball and soccer. When it comes to sporting activities for young people, skateboarding is the new melting pot in bringing people together — so say a quartet of Cal State East Bay professors who’ve penned a new book on the rise of skateboarding’s appeal.

Once the sport of rebels and loners, the authors say skateparks have become central gathering places for communities — reaching across race, age and gender.

“There’s a lot of really positive social interactions that you find in places like skateparks,” said Matthew Atencio, one of the authors of the book Moving Boarders. “I think that’s why you see a lot of communities and corporations getting behind this idea.”

The authors visited skateparks across the Bay Area — from the East Bay to the Peninsula — studying the changing demographics and talking to skaters. A particular favorite was Town Park in West Oakland, a former parking lot at Fremery Park tucked in among industrial warehouses which locals transformed into a skatepark. On a recent day, diverse groups of skaters cycled through the concrete topography throughout the afternoon, riding the vividly graffitied ramps and gathering in corners to talk shop.

Town Park founder Keith K-Dub Williams said the park is a popular neighborhood center, drawing young people from the area and beyond.

“Everybody’s welcome here,” said Williams, who helped build the park with a donation from Levi’s. “The vibe here is always cool. Lot of these kids skating behind us, they’ve been skating here since they were like seven or eight years old.”

In Town Park, groups like Unity and Skate Like A Girl have popped-up to support women skaters who turn out at the park. Skateboarder Vanessa Vasquez said the ranks of women skaters have expanded around her in the years she’s been skating.

“A lot of more women have been here, parents,” Vasquez said. “So it’s been pretty amazing to see that.”

Vasquez said she was intimidated in her first visits to the park, but that began to thaw with each return.

“Once you get to know everybody,” Vasquez said, “as long as you’re not inside of a shell and you talk to everybody, I definitely started feeling more comfortable coming here.”

In its gender shift, Town Park mirrors the changing face of skateboarding. Missy Wright, one of the book’s authors, noted the rise of women taking up skateboards was a consistent trend across the Bay Area and the U.S.

“It’s great to come out here and see different girls skating,” Wright said. “That’s something that we didn’t see maybe five years ago.”

Atencio said skateboarding has become a sport that for many young people, has replaced traditional sports. The sport of skateboarding has exploded exponentially in recent decades thanks to events like the X-Games and will even be included in The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo for the first time.

“It’s really kind of cool to think about how skateparks in our urban local communities are changing the way we think about social interaction within sports,” Atencio said.

Williams stood in the middle of Town Park like the hub in a cacophony of whirring spokes. An eight-year old boy whipped his board up a ramp, as a woman in leopard pants flipped an ollie and an African-American teenager pulled a grinder along the lip of a pool. Williams said the skaters police the park — which mostly operates without issues.

“If you’re skating on concrete you don’t need to hear from an adult,” Williams said. “Concrete will let you know what’s popping.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[State Superintendent Steps In to Help End New Haven Strike]]>Fri, 31 May 2019 17:52:21 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tony+Thurmond+Interview+Still2.jpg

The state's highest-ranking school official stepped in Friday to help bring an end to the New Haven Unified School District's teacher strike, now in its ninth day.

With the end of the district's school year looming on June 13, a spokeswoman for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said he's eager to see the strike wrapped up.

"This is not typical of the superintendent of public instruction to be this involved (but) he was kind of feeling like it had gone on long enough," said spokeswoman Kindra Britt.

Thurmond has sat down with negotiation teams in three other teacher strikes this year, including the Oakland and Los Angeles strikes, both of which ended with contract offers that were ratified by the teachers unions.

The threat of students potentially not being able to participate in graduation ceremonies and other end-of-year activities "really struck a nerve with him," Britt said.

"I am happy to do what I can to help with this strike, but I want it known that my priority is to end it," Thurmond said in a news release.

"And I will do what I can to encourage all parties to stay at the table until a resolution is reached, preferably as soon as possible."

Teachers originally asked for a 10 percent pay hike over two years, but are now proposing cost of living adjustments of 3.7 percent for this year and 3.26 percent for next year, according to New Haven Teachers Association officials.

The district originally countered with a 1 percent raise for 2019-2020 and a one-time 3 percent payment, along with an additional raise of up to 1 percent if it was able to add up to $2 million to its budget.

The district is now offering a 3 percent increase for this year and a 2 percent pay hike in January 2020, according to district officials.

Meeting the teachers' current demands would force administrators to make budget cuts that "are not in the best interest of the students," district officials said in a written statement late Thursday night.

Teachers plan to meet at noon Friday in Birchfield Park in Hayward, near the Alameda County Office of Education, where the negotiations are taking place, to have a picnic and rally in support of their demands.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[State Superintendent to Sit In on NHUSD Strike Negotiations]]>Fri, 31 May 2019 06:52:29 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/State_Superintendent_to_Sit_In_on_NHSUD_Strike_Negotiations.jpg

After more than a week of strike, New Haven Unified School District teachers still have not been able to come to an agreement with the district managers. California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is expected to attend the negotiations sessions Friday.]]>
<![CDATA[Concord Teenager Stabbed While Playing Video Games]]>Fri, 31 May 2019 06:42:09 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/VideoGame_722x406.jpg

A teenager playing video games at the home of two brothers Thursday afternoon was stabbed several times by one of the siblings, who then fled before contacting authorities a short time later to turn himself in, Concord police said.

Police responded about 2 p.m. to the stabbing report at an apartment in the 1400 block of Bel Air Drive and called for a helicopter to take the victim to a trauma center for his injuries.

The suspect was taken into custody a few blocks away.

Police say the reason for the stabbing is undetermined.

<![CDATA[Goats at Work to Help Prep For Fire Season in Contra Costa]]>Thu, 30 May 2019 23:01:01 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/coc_goats_0530_7388767.JPG

Warnings of a historically dangerous fire season have prompted the use of thousands of hungry goats to help cut down fuel in Contra Costa County.

Firefighters say the clock is ticking to prepare for the wildland fire season, and the 3,500 goats are busy grazing the grass in the Oakland hills. The above-average rain over the winter helped ensure there's no shortage of growth for them to chew on.

In Contra Costa County, residents and business owners have until mid-June to clear vegetation from around their properties. After that, the county will step in and hire contractors to do the work and send a bill to the homeowners.

The work property owners -- and the goats -- are doing today to create defensible space could be the difference between life and death in a rapidly spreading fire, officials say.

Contra Costa County fire officials say the devastating fires that have hit Northern California the past two years should be all the motivation people need to be sure they're wildfire ready.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Arrested in Strong-Arm Robbery of Man in San Leandro]]>Thu, 30 May 2019 23:45:31 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oakland-robbery-0530.jpg

An Oakland woman suspected of robbing and assaulting a 93-year-old man Tuesday outside a San Leandro convenience store was arrested and faces felony charges, police said.

San Leandro police were able to obtain clear video and identify a suspect in the robbery, committed around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at the 7-Eleven store at 333 E14th St. in San Leandro, where the man and his wife had just purchased coffee.

The man told police he was holding his wallet when the couple exited the store and walked to their car, and that someone tried to wrest the wallet away from behind him, knocking him to the ground as his wife watched.

One of several bystanders outside the store helped the man up as a woman fled in a vehicle with the wallet.

Surveillance cameras captured clear video of the robbery and information about the vehicle used by the suspect and detectives on Wednesday morning located the occupied vehicle at the McDonald's on 98th Avenue in Oakland.

Police detained Carla Ashford, 48, of Oakland, and took her for questioning in San Leandro, where she admitted to taking the wallet after seeing the victim with cash in his hands.

"This is a disturbing video to watch," San Leandro police Lt. Isaac Benabou said in a news release. "It's heartbreaking to know that there are people out there that have no hesitation to commit such an act against a frail, defenseless person. We know that crimes happen, but with this suspect, there are no barriers."

Ashford was booked on felony charges that include robbery and elder abuse and is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, with the case to be presented to the Alameda County District Attorney's office Friday.

Photo Credit: Oakland PD
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Crews Preparing for Fire Season]]>Thu, 30 May 2019 19:01:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0530FireDefense_7387692.JPG

After an exceptionally wet winter, we could be looking at a historically dangerous fire season. Jodi Hernandez reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Wineries 'Held Hostage' in U.S., China Trade War]]>Fri, 31 May 2019 07:14:50 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0530Vineyards_7387686.JPG

The ongoing trade war between the United States and China will hit Bay Area wineries hard.

China is slapping new tariffs on U.S. goods, including wine.

In Livermore, Wente Vineyards said China has imposed tariffs three times now and this third tariff is really the nail in the coffin for their wine sales to the country.

Michael Parr of Wente Family Estates said the trade war feel like they are "being held hostage, we feel is unfair."

Vineyards like Wente say they have now stopped exporting wine to china after doing so for years.

The decision comes as China is raising tariffs on June 1 for $60 billion of U.S. Goods, including wine.

The new tax means Wente and many other U.S. brands just got a lot more expensive in China. And that means it is much harder to compete against rivals from Chile and Australia, who have free trade agreements with China.

"Short term, these retaliatory tariffs means we're not going to ship wine and we're not making any money," Parr said. "Lost revenues will be the biggest impact we feel right away. Long term impact, it's the fact that we have lost opportunities to ship wines."

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's tariffs on China are also making things more expensive for millions of American customers.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Teachers, NHUSD Return to Bargaining Table Thursday]]>Thu, 30 May 2019 07:39:14 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cuarto_dia_de_huelga_de_maestros_en_Union_City.jpg

Representatives from the New Haven Teachers Association and the New Haven Unified School District will return to the negotiating table Thursday to try to end a teacher's strike that started on May 20.

Officials with the teachers' union said that both sides were working towards a tentative agreement, but nothing has been announced as of Thursday morning.

Union officials reiterated that the district can afford the association-proposed 3.7 percent and 3.26 percent cost-of-living-allowance raises for the next two school years.

"In addition to the $26 million in unrestricted reserves, the NHUSD gets a COLA (cost of living adjustment) for the entire budget every year. That means the portion of the 'pie' for teacher compensation also gets a COLA," NHTA President Joe Ku'e Angeles said in a statement. "District managers, by not passing that on to teachers, are stealing from the teachers."

Negotiations between the two sides restarted at 1 p.m. Wednesday, but teachers association officials said no more updates would be sent until a counter-proposal from district officials is received.

Educators planned to return to picket lines starting at 7 a.m. Thursday and will be hosting a news conference at Conley-Caraballo High School at 541 Blanche St. in Hayward at 8:30 a.m.

Students will hold a community rally that will be attended by educators at 11 a.m. at Charles F. Kennedy Park at 1333 Decoto Road in Union City.

That will be following by block parties and neighborhood conversations near the following three schools in Union City: Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle at 31604 Alvarado Blvd., Cesar Chavez Middle School at 2801 Hop Ranch Road and the NHUSD Educational Services Center at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road.

<![CDATA[Normal BART Service Resumes After Equipment Problem]]>Thu, 30 May 2019 06:02:15 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart_generic_0529_7375713.JPG

Normal BART service resumed Thursday morning after an earlier problem with switching equipment on the tracks in downtown Oakland caused major delays, a transit agency spokesman said.

The problem was reported around 5:30 a.m. on a series of track switches. Four trains had to be turned back because of the problem, which forced crews to manually switch the equipment into its proper position, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.

The problem was eventually resolved to allow remote control of the switching equipment again, and regular service resumed shortly after 6 a.m. with residual delays for some trains, Allison said.

The problem comes a day after BART handled about 10,000 more riders than a normal weekday as a result of a fatal crash on the Bay Bridge that snarled the morning commute Wednesday.

BART ran longer trains past the normal morning and evening commute hours Wednesday to accommodate the extra passengers.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Woman Seriously Injured After Being Struck by SUV]]>Thu, 30 May 2019 01:33:38 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Generic+police+lights+5.jpg

A woman suffered serious injuries when she was struck by an SUV on Sacramento Street on Wednesday evening, Berkeley police said.

The accident was reported just after 9 p.m. to police, who closed the street to traffic. Initial reports said the woman was "breathing but not responding," said Lt. David Lindenau of the Berkeley Police Department.

She was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland.

The driver of the Chevy Yukon remained on the scene and was co-operating with investigators, Lindenau said.

<![CDATA[Caught on Camera? Tesla Snaps Pic of Berkeley Car Thief]]>Wed, 29 May 2019 23:33:18 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tesla_cam_0529_7376777.JPG

Berkeley police investigating a series of car burglaries got a break in the case because of an unexpected crime fighting tool: an external camera on a Tesla.

Derrick Conerly, a convicted rapist wearing a GPS ankle monitor, had no idea he was on camera. He quickly figured that out when police tracked him down and arrested him. Now, he's behind bars. Berkeley police explained how they caught him.

"On April 3 we had a reported auto burglary, where a suspect broke into a Tesla. That vehicle recorded the suspect’s image," the police said.

The Tesla, which was parked near Ashby and College avenues, had an external camera that recorded an image of Conerly. The Tesla's owner turned the picture over to police, and police were able to identify Conerly as a parolee with a GPS ankle monitor, which document’s his every move. With that, they were able to connect him to the auto burglary.

The camera's primary function is as a safety feature that Tesla owners such as Sandra Richardson rely on.

"We have so much technology today," Richardson said. "That’s definitely a plus to help out with what’s going on today."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dragged by Suspect Vehicle During Robbery in Berkeley]]>Wed, 29 May 2019 20:43:13 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/berkeley_5086846.JPEG

A 27-year-old Berkeley man was robbed and dragged by the suspect vehicle along a city street Tuesday evening, and the suspects were still at-large according to Berkeley police.

At about 8 p.m. Tuesday, the victim was walking on College Avenue and crossing Woolsey Street when a suspect grabbed the man by his throat and dragged him to the ground, police said. The suspect then started pulling the man’s laptop bag, dragging the victim along with the bag to a waiting vehicle.

The suspect got into the vehicle being driven by a second suspect, taking the laptop bag with him, and the vehicle drove off, dragging the victim down the street, police said.

The victim was dragged about 70-100 feet before breaking his grip on his laptop bag, police said.

Witnesses described one of the suspects as a black man in his late teens or early 20s, possibly wearing a green hooded top, police said.

Anyone with information about the suspects or the robbery should call the police department at 510-981-5900.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Antioch Puts Off Vote to Raise Gay Pride Rainbow Flag]]>Wed, 29 May 2019 17:45:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/antioch_prideflag_0529_7374481.JPG

Antioch city leaders postponed their vote on whether to raise the gay pride flag after Tuesday night's City Council meeting got heated.

The council decided instead to draft a resolution on the issue and take a vote in two weeks.

Gay Pride month starts Saturday.

Jack Rednour-Bruckman of Contra Costa County’s Rainbow Community Center says flying the rainbow flag over Antioch City Hall will send the message that "we embrace everyone, you are welcome here as a gay person."

"I see it as a symbol of hope and diversity and inclusion, and it’s been raised around the world to mean that," Rednour-Bruckman added.

Not everyone in Antioch agrees. A handful of very vocal people showed up to the council meeting, urging city leaders to vote against a proclamation that would allow the city to fly the rainbow flag during the month of June.

Lauren Posadas works and goes to church in Antioch. She says raising the gay pride flag would not be inclusive of her Christian beliefs.

"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman," she said.

The city of Dublin took heat last week after refusing the fly the flag. Leaders there are now reconsidering the move.

The Antioch City Council pushed its vote back two weeks, saying it needs time to draft a resolution before it can take action. Rednour-Bruckman has brand new flag ready to donate if the council gives the green light.

"It would be the right thing," Rednour-Bruckman said. "Just raise the flag. It says you accept everyone and support everyone."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Teachers Association, District to Resume Talks]]>Wed, 29 May 2019 07:56:02 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/New_Haven_Teachers_Strike_Continues_Into_Second_Week.jpg

Officials from the New Haven Teachers Association and the New Haven Unified School District will return to the bargaining table Wednesday afternoon looking to reach an agreement that would end a teacher's strike that started on May 20, according to teacher's association officials.

The 11,000-student district declined to continue negotiations until Wednesday, teachers association officials said, and educators responded by crashing Tuesday's evening school board meeting with rallying cries and protests, causing the meeting to end early.

"Parents, community members and teachers shut down the New Haven Unified School Board meeting, forcing members to leave without voting on the new board districts," union officials said.

Video on the association's Facebook page showed the school board meeting being shut down due to the protests.

"NHUSD managers' bad behavior and lack of movement devalues and disrespects teachers. All of these cuts are being made unilaterally without teacher input, and have never been brought up before," said NHTA President

Joe Ku'e Angeles in a statement. "Once again, NHUSD managers showed how little they care about our struggling teachers, who are on strike for professional pay and respect."

The teacher's association, which had previously sought a 10 percent pay increase over two academic years, instead requested a 3.7 percent for the current year and 3.26 percent for 2019-20.

"Our members pay all healthcare costs out-of-pocket," the teachers association said in a release Monday. "We know the district can afford to give their teachers COLA (cost of living allowance) to help us keep up with the rising cost of living in the Bay Area."

The district, however, says meeting that offer "would cost the school district approximately $17.7 million over three years and would increase the amount of cuts in 20/21 by $11.7 million more than the planned $4.6 million, totaling $16.3 million."

Hopes were raised Monday afternoon when the teachers association said there was progress in talks and that there was hope an agreement could be reached, but that hope fizzled with no deal late Monday.

<![CDATA[1 Killed, 3 Injured in Truck, Bus Crash on Bay Bridge]]>Wed, 29 May 2019 21:28:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DeadlyBayBridgeCrash.jpg

A box truck slammed into the back of a transit bus on the incline of the Bay Bridge early Wednesday morning, leaving one person dead and triggering a massive traffic backup for commuters trying to head into San Francisco, according to the California Highway Patrol.

One of the passengers in the box truck died at the scene, the CHP reported. Two other people in the truck suffered major injuries. Three people out of 20 in the Golden Gate Transit bus reportedly suffered minor injuries, but they appear to be OK.

The crash, which happened around 4:30 a.m., initially blocked three westbound lanes on the bridge. All lanes reopened about five hours later.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

"It sounds like the bus was going slower than the box truck," Robert Powers with the CHP said. "How much slower? I don't know."

Due to the log jam at the Bay Bridge, scores of commuters turned to BART to navigate their way into San Francisco. The transit agency said it shuttled more than 10,000 additional people through the Transbay Tube and into the city following the crash and during the duration of the backup.

Further information was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Richmond Man Sentenced for Fraudulent Income Tax Returns]]>Wed, 29 May 2019 03:19:08 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1040+tax+form+generic.jpg

Jeremy Orr of Richmond was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison for wire fraud connected with filing more than 200 fraudulent income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

Orr, 36, pleaded guilty to the charge on March 12, admitting in his plea agreement to devising "a scheme to defraud the IRS of hundreds of thousands of dollars by filing false federal income tax returns," according to a news release from United States Attorney David L. Anderson.

Orr electronically filed more than 200 returns in 2011 in the names of numerous people around the Bay Area after obtaining their personal identification information, claiming false wages and education expenses that resulted in tax refunds of more than $335,000.

A federal grand jury indicted Orr in January 2015, charging him with four counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

Orr pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and the remaining charges were dismissed.

Orr will also serve a three-year period of supervised release under the sentence by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White.

<![CDATA[Police, Fire Respond to Multiple Injury Crash in Oakland]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 16:19:38 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oak_ax_0528_7361233.JPG

Police and fire personnel responded to a multiple injury crash Tuesday afternoon in Oakland, according to the police department.

The crash occurred about 2:20 p.m. in the 9600 block of MacArthur Boulevard, police said.

Aerial views of the scene show at least two vehicles involved in the wreck. Multiple people were taken to local hospitals, all in stable condition, police said.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Nearly Drowns on School Trip to Antioch Water Park]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 17:35:41 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/AntiochDrowningStill.JPG

An 11-year-old boy was on a field trip with his class at the city of Antioch-owned water park when he ended face down at the bottom of a pool.

The boy, a student a Jack London Elementary School, was airlifted from the Antioch Water Park to Children's Hospital Oakland Tuesday morning, according to fire officials. He was conscious and breathing as he was taken away in the helicopter.

Authorities received a call at 11:22 a.m. stating that the boy was receiving CPR, fire officials said. He was transported to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

"The child needed to be revived, so our lifeguards provided immediate on deck emergency response," said Nancy Kaiser, the Antioch Parks and Recreation director.

The water park is normally closed weekdays until next week but it opened Tuesday for the field trip for kids from the elementary school and two other schools.

Kaiser said the facility has trained lifeguards that were ready for rescue, but it wasn't immediately clear how the child ended up in the bottom of the pool, which worries parents.

"My son does not go on field trips without me. Especially when it comes to water, pools, anything. Real tricky. Real tricky," said parent Luna Miller-Parker.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Rescued After Crash Off Cliff in Oakland]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 13:57:04 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBSTILLGrizzlyCarOverCliff_7359809.JPEG

Crews on Tuesday rescued a person from a vehicle that was reported along a steep hillside next to Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the East Bay, according to police.

It wasn't immediately clear how the white sedan ended up on the hillside. The driver was transported to nearby hospital for minor injuries, Oakland fire officials said.

Grizzly Peak Road is frequently populated with folks looking to capture a view of the East Bay, the San Francisco Bay and San Francisco.

Further information was not available.

<![CDATA[Pothole Blitz: Workers Race to Repair Oakland Streets]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 11:56:23 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Pothole_Blitz__Workers_Race_to_Repair_Oakland_Streets.jpg

Oakland is taking up a three-week pothole blitz to repair the city's damaged roads. Pete Suratos reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Tickets on Sale for NBA Finals Watch Parties at Oracle Arena]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 22:06:23 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WarriorsWatchParty.jpg

Tickets go on sale to the public at noon Tuesday for NBA Finals watch parties for the first two games of the Golden State Warriors' quest to win three straight championships.

The Warriors play on the road for Game 1 Thursday and Game 2 Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, and will host events at Oracle Arena in Oakland so fans can watch the games there. Tickets cost $25 per person and are available exclusively at www.warriors.com.

Presale tickets for Warriors season ticket holders are available at 10 a.m., and season ticket priority wait list members can buy them starting at 11 a.m. The tickets then go on sale to the general public at noon.

The watch parties will include performances from the Warriors Dance Team, Jr. Jam Squad, GS Breakers, Hardwood Classics and Flyin' Dubs, and there will be giveaways and other activities for attendees.

The Warriors will return home for Game 3 on June 5 and Game 4 on June 7. The NBA Finals is the last playoff series the team will play in Oakland before moving across the Bay to the new Chase Center in San Francisco's Mission Bay for the 2019-20 season.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crushed Cans Litter Northbound I-880 in the East Bay]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 17:39:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/880CanCleanup.jpg

Thousands of crushed aluminum cans scattered across lanes of northbound Interstate 880 in the Hayward-Union City area triggered a slowdown and distraction for motorists Tuesday morning and afternoon.

The California Highway Patrol reported at 9:30 a.m. that "millions of aluminum cans" were littered across the freeway "for about 2 miles" in the area of Whipple Road.  

Some people pulled over and tried to collect some of the cans, prompting a scolding from authorities.

"Please do not stop to pick up the cans," the CHP tweeted. "You could end up leaving with a ticket and no cans."

The source of the spill is not known at this time.

At least one street sweeper could be seen clearing the cans from the freeway.

Further information was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Panel Votes to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 23:27:29 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/magic-mushrooms.jpg

An Oakland City Council committee on Tuesday night voted to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and other such plant-based drugs.

The vote came a few weeks after voters narrowly made Denver the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in "magic mushrooms."

It now moves on to the full City Council for a discussion and vote.

The issue in Oakland focuses on decriminalizing the use of the mushrooms. The city is still far away from being home to "magic mushroom" dispensaries.

The plan would only apply to psychedelics coming from plants or fungi, not LSD or MDMA.

Advocates tout the mushrooms as being therapeutic for mental health issues such as PTSD and depression.

Some researchers warn against using the mushrooms outside of clinically researched trials.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office does not appear to be as concerned with mushrooms compared to other drugs. The department makes only about one dozen arrests a year when it comes to possession of psychedelic mushrooms. But there is always concern when to comes to driving under the influence.

The full City Council vote could take place as early as next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Climber Summits Mt. Everest, Avoids Deadly Backup]]>Mon, 27 May 2019 23:57:42 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Berkeley_Climber_Survives_Deadly_Mt._Everest_Backup.jpg

A climber from Berkeley just returned home after reaching the summit at Mount Everest. She was there the same day when hikers were stuck in a long backup during which 11 people died in 10 days. Ian Cull reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Antioch Man, 18, Arrested in Santa Cruz Teen's Stabbing]]>Mon, 27 May 2019 20:49:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jose-cantor-0527.jpg

Using surveillance video of a fight Sunday night, police in Santa Cruz arrested an Antioch man suspected in a stabbing that left a teen in critical condition, authorities said Monday.

Jose Cantor, 18, was taken into custody on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was arrested at a motel near the scene of the stabbing, which stemmed from a fight between two groups about 6:40 p.m. in area of Third and Kaye streets.

When officers arrived at the scene, everyone involved had already fled, police said.

A 17-year-old Santa Cruz boy suffering from several stab wounds to the arms and torso was taken to a hospital. He was later airlifted to a nearby trauma center for treatment and was in critical but stable condition Sunday night. The victim was uncooperative with investigators in the case.

Detectives recovered video surveillance of the fight, which was apparently started by a group of reported local gang members when they encountered four people visiting from Antioch who parked their car on Third Street.

The local group started displaying gang signs, shouting threats, and initiated the fight, which included the use of a skateboard and broken bottle, police said.

Detectives identified the suspect in the stabbing as Cantor, according to police.

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz PD]]>
<![CDATA[$3,000 Reward Offered in Stolen Puppy Case in Lafayette]]>Mon, 27 May 2019 18:56:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stolen_puppy_0527.jpg

A total of $3,000 in reward money is being offered for the return of a puppy stolen from a Lafayette pet store over the weekend.

A surveillance photo was released by Pet Food Express of a woman suspected of taking the female Chihuahua-mix puppy on Saturday afternoon.

It appears the thief may have also grabbed a leash from the store shelves before slipping out the back door.

"When I seen the video, it was shocking, I was scared for Iris. She was so sneaky about it," said Julie Bainbridge of Jelly’s Place Animal Rescue.

The woman is described as about 20 years old, with a tattoo on her right hand and a nose ring, according to a release from the store.

The puppy was taken between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday from the Pet Food Express in Lafayette on Mt. Diablo Boulevard. The store is offering a $2,500 reward, and the owner is offering $500, for the safe return of the puppy.

PetFood Express Founder and President Michael Levy says he’s angry and worried. The store prides itself on helping rescue groups find animals good homes.

"We want Iris found and back to the rescue and Iris in the right home," Levy said.

The folks at Jelly’s Place Animal Rescue desperately want Iris back with her puppy pals. They’re worried she’s not safe.

Jelly's Place, an organization that offers puppies for adoption at the store, said the puppy is 4-5 months old and very friendly.

<![CDATA[San Ramon Man Dies in I-680 Crash]]>Mon, 27 May 2019 21:28:38 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0527WalnutCreekCrash_7346577.JPG

A San Ramon man died in a two-car crash Monday on Interstate Highway 680 in Walnut Creek, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision involving a black 1974 Porsche and a black Jeep SUV was reported shortly before noon on northbound I-680, just north of the North Main Street off-ramp.

The Porsche's driver, a 63-year-old San Ramon resident, was unresponsive and taken to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, where he died from his injuries, the CHP said.

His name has not been released.

Two people in the Jeep sustained minor injuries and were not hospitalized.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

An alert for heavy traffic was issued after the crash and three lanes were closed. The lanes reopened about 2 p.m.

Alcohol or drugs were not involved in this collision. Anyone with information regarding the crash or the events leading up to it is asked to contact Contra Costa CHP at (925) 646-4980.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Striking New Haven Teachers See Progress But No Deal Yet]]>Mon, 27 May 2019 23:46:01 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05272019Teachers_7347541.JPG

Representatives for teachers on strike against the New Haven Unified School District indicated Monday evening that a settlement could be near, but talks ended Monday night with no deal reached.

The two sides are expected back at the bargaining table at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Second grade teacher Paul Strickland, a member of the executive board of the New Haven Teachers Association, was optimistic earlier Monday evening.

"We are hoping there is going to be some kind of agreement, hopefully maybe tonight," he said. 

Strickland, speaking through a megaphone during a briefing broadcast on the association's Facebook page, said that if an agreement is reached, there are two possibilities - that teachers could be back in the classroom as soon as Tuesday, or that teachers could remain out another day to consider the possible settlement.

"There's no agreement yet, but there is a conversation," Strickland said to pickets and supporters outside the Alameda County Office of Education in Hayward. 

Cynthia Menzel of the California Teachers Association said she is "pessimistically optimistic" about the progress made, adding, "It's a two-way conversation now, instead of one-way."

The walkout by teachers in the 11,000-student district started May 20.

Teachers have been seeking a 10% raise over the next two academic years, while the district has offered a 1% raise for next year and a one-time 3% payment.

The district is also offering a permanent 0.5% increase if it's able to secure an additional $1 million in revenue, and another 0.5% if it can add yet another $1 million, according to district officials.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New Dialing Process Coming for Consumers in 510 Area Code]]>Mon, 27 May 2019 08:58:24 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PeopleonPhones.jpg

Next month telephone customers in the 510 area code must dial 1 plus the area code and the number to make any call to the 510 or the new 341 area code, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

The new dialing procedure starts June 22 and paves the way for the addition of the 341 area code to the region served by the 510 code. The changes do not require anyone to change their phone number.

Consumers with a 341 area code must also dial 1 plus the area and telephone number, CPUC officials said. Cellphones automatically recognize an out-of-area number and automatically add a 1 to the number during the dialing process.

The price of calls will remain unchanged. Calls that are in a consumer's local calling area will still be local calls.

Consumers must reprogram automatic dialing systems for such equipment as life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, internet dial-up numbers, fax machines, gates, alarm and security systems, speed dialers, voicemail, call forwarding systems and similar equipment.

CPUC officials said consumers can still dial just 911 for an emergency and calls to similar numbers like 211, 311, and 411 can be dialed just using those three numbers.

Beginning June 22, people requesting a new phone number will be assigned either a 510 or 341 number.

More information is available online or from the consumer's telephone service provider.

Photo Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Robbery, High-Speed Chase End in Crash in Antioch: Sheriff]]>Sun, 26 May 2019 23:32:10 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/antioch_chase2_0526_7333374.JPG

A robbery and high-speed chase in Contra Costa County led to a crash and multiple arrests late Sunday, according to the sheriff's office.

What started as a robbery in Moraga turned into a high-speed chase starting in Lafayette and traveling along Highway 4 until it ended with the suspect vehicle crashing into another vehicle in Antioch, Contra Costa County sheriff's officials said.

The crash occurred Tregallas Road and Hillcrest Drive after the car careened off Highway 4, officials said.

Three juvenile suspects were taken into custody after the wreck, the sheriff's office said.

Video from the crash scene showed what appeared to be a cash drawer and coins from a store. Authorities also recovered a gun and masks, sheriff's officials said.

Sheriff's officials later said there was a report of a robbery at a Moraga Arco station, and a Lafayette police officer spotted the suspect vehicle and intiated the chase.

The chase was said to have reached speeds of 125 mph, but sheriff's officials did not confirm that number.

It was unclear if anyone was injured in the crash.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Forecast: Scattered Showers, Possible Thunderstorms]]>Sun, 26 May 2019 17:49:24 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SanFranciscoRain2.jpg

Memorial Day Weekend marks the unoffical start of summer, but the weather in the Bay Area and the rest of Northern California certainly doesn't feel summer-like.

Scattered showers and possible thunderstorms will be in the mix for much of the Bay Area throughout the day Sunday, according to weather officials. The National Weather Service said there is a 10 to 15% chance of thunderstorms popping up across the region.

Over in the Sierra Nevada, snow is expected to fall through early Monday, according to the weather service. Snow levels could drop as low as 5,500 feet. At the pass levels, anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow could fall.

Motorists travelling through the mountains during the holiday weekend are encouraged to check road conditions before heading out into the elements.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Talks Stall, Pickets Continue in New Haven Teachers Strike]]>Sun, 26 May 2019 23:38:33 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/newhaven_strike_0519_72449001.JPG

New Haven Unified School District teachers and administrators left a 10-hour bargaining session Sunday night with no settlement agreement in sight, according to both camps.

This would suggest that the teachers' strike that began May 20 appears headed to continue. Classes are scheduled to resume Tuesday, after the Memorial Day holiday.

"We're probably going to be back on strike next week, but that's not what we want to do," said New Haven Teachers Association president Joe Ku'e Angeles said in a video posted Sunday night on the union's Facebook page.

The district administration's news release Sunday night made no mention as to when negotiations might pick up again. A district spokesman could not be reached immediately Sunday night for further comment.

In the teachers association video, Ku'e Angeles said board members - before they "walked out abruptly" Sunday night - said they would be back at the bargaining table at 9 a.m. Monday.

Ku'e Angeles said he wasn't so sure the talks will resume so soon.

"The conversation has not moved" over the weekend, he said.

The school district's "last, best, and final offer" is for a 1 percent raise for 2019-2020, as part of the teachers' salary schedule, and a one-time 3 percent payment. A new amendment to that added a 0.5 percent on-the-schedule pay raise for teachers for every additional $1 million in state funding for 2019/20, up to an additional 1 percent raise applied to the salary schedule.

The New Haven Teachers Association, meanwhile, are seeking a 10 percent raise over the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. The teachers say the district has plenty of money for the raises they seek, contending the district has a multi-million-dollar budget surplus. They also say district managers are set to receive pay hikes of up to 6 percent.

District officials assert that their current offer would cost the district about $5 million over three years, and would keep New Haven teachers as the highest paid teachers in Alameda County.

District administrators contend that declining enrollment and budgetary deficits will preclude the district from collecting the estimated $20 million over three years needed to meet the teachers' demands.

District administrators Sunday night released a list of potential cuts that could be made if "any increase beyond the district's last, best and final offer" is adopted. The cuts, ranging from eliminating 25 classified positions, trimming an undetermined number of teachers, eliminating some or all district assistant principals and closing a school, could cost as much as $7.8 million.

Ku'e Angeles had seen those numbers, he said in the video, and called them "a scare tactic note to the community."

He said it might be time to ask the current board members to resign, to recall them or call for a vote of "no confidence."

"You can't bring this thing to an end?" Ku'e Angeles said of district officials. "Something is very much wrong."

The New Haven Unified School district employs approximately 585 teachers at its 11 schools in Union City and Hayward. Approximately 11,000 students attend those schools.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Teachers, District to Resume Contract Talks Sunday]]>Sat, 25 May 2019 09:31:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0522NewHavenStrike_7287953.JPG

After a marathon session that ended after midnight Saturday, striking teachers and officials with the New Haven Unified School District are expected to resume contract negotiations on Sunday.

The talks overnight followed the fifth day of the strike, as members of the New Haven Teachers Association walked picket lines with parents and students.

Union members waited for hours outside the Alameda County Office of Education, as negotiations took place from 1:30 p.m. Friday until past midnight Saturday morning.

The teachers are asking for a 10 percent raise over the next two school years. The district has offered a 1 percent raise for next year and a one-time 3 percent payment.

The district is also offering a permanent 0.5 percent increase if it's able to secure an additional $1 million in revenue, and another 0.5 percent if it can add yet another $1 million, according to district officials.

The district maintains that declining enrollment and budgetary deficits prevent it from reaching the estimated $20 million over three years needed to meet the teachers' demands.

Negotiations are set to resume at 9 a.m. at the county education office, at 313 West Winton Ave. in Hayward.

The school district includes roughly 11,000 students at two high schools, two middle schools and seven elementary schools in Union City and parts of Hayward.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs at Center of Animal Abuse Case Looking for New Homes]]>Fri, 24 May 2019 23:51:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05242019ConcordDogs_7311016.JPG

Police say they were subjected to the worst kinds of conditions, dogs living in filth with no food, no water, and no room to move to around. Now the dogs at the center of a disturbing animal cruelty case are looking for new homes. Jodi Hernandez reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man in Animal Cruelty Case Agrees to Put Pups for Adoption]]>Fri, 24 May 2019 03:07:08 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/animal+cruelty+mug.jpg

A man charged with felony animal cruelty wept openly in a Martinez courtroom Thursday afternoon as he reluctantly agreed to let authorities put seven of his dogs up for adoption, rather than risk having them euthanized due to overcrowding at the shelter while his case is adjudicated.

Jeremiah Weberling, 43, was arrested by the Concord Police Department May 3 after officers allegedly found 10 brindle pitbulls inside his trailer parked on the street in the vicinity of Dover Way and Gary Drive.

One was already dead. Two more had to be euthanized. The dogs that survived all required veterinary attention.

According to defense attorney Julian Ross, with the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender, Weberling cares deeply for the dogs in question and believed he was providing adequately for them, but suffers from underlying mental health problems that may be responsible for their state of distress.

Sgt. Craig Hall, with Contra Costa County Animal Services, testified that he was overwhelmed by the scent of urine and feces as he entered the trailer. It was too hot inside, and though he could hear a dog barking and at least one of them whimpering, there was allegedly no food or water accessible to any of them.

"The inside of the trailer was packed with objects," Hall said.

"There was no physical way for me to get to the dogs."

As the trailer was cleared out, nearly a dozen dogs were located, and apparently most of them were confined to crates filled with urine and fecal matter.

Several allegedly had open, bleeding wounds and one dog, after being taken outside, began to urinate what appeared to be blood.

Jason Dombrosky, a veterinarian, later testified that was a symptom of heat stroke.

"It looked, from the onset, that they were suffering from heat stroke," Dombrosky said, when asked about the condition of the dogs when they were brought to his office.

All of the dogs apparently showed signs of dehydration.

"Did that have a detrimental effect on the dogs?" said Deputy District Attorney Jack McMahon.

"Absolutely," Dombrosky said. "Without question."

In addition to the dog that was euthanized that night, Dombrosky feared that two more might have to be put down. One of them pulled through, however.

Weberling's preliminary hearing is scheduled to resume Friday morning in the courtroom of Judge Anita Santos at the A.F. Bray Courthouse, 1020 Ward St., Martinez.

Photo Credit: Concord Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[5 Arrested in Thefts at Pleasant Hill Sporting Goods Store]]>Thu, 23 May 2019 23:24:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dicks-thefts-0523.jpg

Five teens were arrested Wednesday night after officers caught them in the act of a grab-and-run theft at a sporting goods store in Pleasant Hill, according to police.

Zahra McCockran, 18, of Oakland and four juveniles were taken into custody on suspicion of theft, police said. McCockran was booked into Contra Costa County jail on grand theft and conspiracy to commit theft. The juveniles were released to their parents or guardians.

At about 7:40 p.m., Pleasant Hill officers patrolling in the area of Dick's Sporting Goods saw a suspicious occupied vehicle backed into a parking stall near the store’s doors, police said.

As the officer checked on the vehicle, four people rushed from the store, carrying merchandise, police said. When they saw the officer, the suspects fled back through the store and were eventually detained.

A fifth person in the parked vehicle also fled, but was detained a short distance away, police said.

Representatives with Dick's believe the group may be involved in other organized thefts at Dick's locations in the Bay Area, police said.

Anyone with additional information about the case should contact the PHPD Investigations Division at 925-288-4630.

<![CDATA[New Hurdle For Tortured Fairfield Kids, Their Grandparents]]>Thu, 23 May 2019 19:17:48 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fairfield_kids_0523_7297634.JPG

A new struggle has emerged for more than half a dozen Bay Area children who have already lived through the unthinkable.

A Fairfield couple made national headlines last year when police arrested them on charges they were torturing their 10 children. Most of those kids are now thriving in an Antioch home with their grandparents. But their future is up in the air.

"I love my grandkids, and I want to see them be happy and get the life they never got with their parents," Wanda Rogers, who along with her husband Ernie has worked hard to give their grandchildren love and stability over the past year.

Police say they found the children living in squalor in their Fairfield home in 2018. Their parents, Ina Rogers and Jonathan Allen, were arrested and charged with child abuse. Investigators say the kids were punched strangled bitten and shot with weapons like crossbows and BB guns and even suffered water boarding.

Wanda Rogers said her 9-year-old granddaughter was made to live in a filthy bathroom.

"She said they kept her in the bathroom because Jonathan thought she had a demon in her," Wanda said, adding that her grandchildren are finally leading a healthy life. She says they’re thriving. "They’re very well behaved; they’re good kids."

But now the family faces new worries. Wanda Rogers was just diagnosed with cancer, and their lease is up in their Antioch home. They’re packing up to move but can’t find a new rental big enough for all of them.

"I need somebody who will trust us enough to rent their home to us but it has to be Section 8," Wanda said. "There’s no way I can give up on them. That’s my grandchildren, that’s my blood, and I love them."

A GoFundMe campaign was launched for the family Thursday with a goal of $3,800.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Surround Home in Oakland]]>Thu, 23 May 2019 15:01:53 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05232019OPD_7295618.JPG

At least two people were seen being detained by police after officers surrounded a home Thursday afternoon in Oakland.

The incident near MacArthur Boulevard and Interstate 580 included a heavy police response. Officers were seen with their guns drawn and the Oakland Police Department helicopter also responded to the scene.

Two people were later seen being taken into police custody.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Big Rig Crashes Into Home in Oakland]]>Thu, 23 May 2019 11:48:27 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/D7RX8_fUYAARxVe.jpg

A big rig crashed into a home in Oakland Thursday morning, according to firefighters.

The vehicle lost control at Colton Boulevard and Snake Road and slammed into the garage of a home, firefighters said. The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries.

No one was home at the time of the accident, according to officials.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

<![CDATA[New Richmond Shoreline Art Park to Showcase Burning Man Art]]>Thu, 23 May 2019 10:18:08 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/Michael+C%27s+art.jpg

The shoreline of the San Pablo Bay is a world away from Nevada's Black Rock Desert where the annual Burning Man festival goes down every year, yet the two lands now share a common link — the festival's large-scale art.

The new owners of the San Pablo Bay Harbor, a remote boat harbor at the tip of Point Molate north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, recently cleared a grass field strewn with trash and debris and turned it into a sculpture park where large-scale pieces from Burning Man can live. Its first installation includes a pair of large-scale art pieces that originally appeared at the festival.

"Being located in Richmond is a perfect place to open this beautiful experience," said Rob Fyfe, co-owner of the harbor.

When the purchase of the harbor was completed two years ago, Fyfe went about clearing trash and debris from an adjacent field covering 15 acres. As a Burning Man devotee, he saw the chance to use the space to display some of the festival's art pieces in a park setting.

"The idea is that we open the transformational and inspirational power of these pieces to a wider swath of the community," Fyfe said. "The inspiration you get from seeing a work of art that just makes you go, 'I can’t believe someone built this.'"

The remote location of the harbor, which is reached by a 20-minute drive down a pockmarked, winding road, seemed in-step with the underground nature of the annual festival which draws 80,000 revelers to a dry, inhospitable lakebed in the Nevada desert. In contrast, the harbor looks out on the San Pablo Bay with views of commercial ships lumbering past the Marin County shoreline.

For the Burning Man festival each year, artists devote massive amounts of time and resources to craft imagination-defying art pieces. While some pieces are burned at the culmination of the event, pieces coming back frequently return to a less glamorous existence once the party is over.

"Often times art comes back from the playa and ends up sitting in someone's warehouse collecting dust," said Will Chase, a former Burning Man employee who is now helping lead a public art organization called We Are From Dust.

Chase's nonprofit group, made up of former Burning Man organizers, is working toward the goal of creating public installations around the Bay Area and beyond featuring art created for the festival.

"Our initiative is to get that artwork out into the world so more people can experience it, whether or not they're able to go to Burning Man," Chase said.

The sculpture park is the group's first foray — displaying sculptures in the new park by Burning Man artist stalwarts Kate Raudenbush from New York and Berkeley's Michael Christian. Chase said the park will have some permanent installations with a rotation of other art works.

Raudenbush's piece, a large sculpture of a steel tree astride a black pyramid called Future's Past, was commissioned for 2010 Burning Man and has since appeared in an exhibit of the festival's art in the Smithsonian.

"This is a place that you come and you don't exactly know where you're going, and you all of a sudden end up in this magical place," said Raudenbush, flanked by her scupture as the wind whipped along the shore.

Over the last decade, the Bay Area has frequently displayed Burning Man art in public venues. Five Ton Crane's Raygun Gothic Rocketship sat on San Francisco's Embarcadero. Karen Cusolito's large metal flowers lived in San Francisco's U.N. Plaza. Michael Christian's 40-foot tall alien-like sculptures created for the 2001 Burning Man were displayed in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza.

"It's an opportunity to have work out in the world which is what you're doing it for in the first place," Christian said of the new sculpture park. "You're building it to share with people, so when an opportunity presents itself, it's a blessing. It doesn't happen nearly enough."

Since taking over the harbor, Fyfe's group has opened a restaurant and a club that features old-time music. On a recent Sunday, around a hundred people gathered in the harbor to christen the new park. Visitors explored the docks where some 10 houseboats make up a small residential community aside 200 boat slips. They walked out the dirt path wrapping around the harbor to see Christian's spindly orb-like sculpture he calls Asterpod and picnicked in front of Raudenbush's installation called Future's Past.

Electronic music carried on whipping winds as visitors stepped into the steel pyramid and marveled at the off-the-grid location — just a short drive from the cities of Richmond and San Rafael.

"What you find is with the art installations that are out here, you see people interacting with them — and not only interacting with the art but interacting with each other," Chase said, taking in the scene. "That's the power of what we're trying to create here."

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Proposed Housing Development in Brentwood Draws Debate]]>Thu, 23 May 2019 06:13:33 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BrentwoodDevelopment.jpg

A major housing development is one step closer to becoming a reality in Brentwood, but a number of residents aren't happy about it.

Opponents worry that the proposed Vineyards at Deer Creek development would increase traffic and stress the infrastructure in the Contra Costa County city.

Blackhawk Nunn Partners wants to build up to 2,400 homes — 80% of which would be for seniors — on an 800-acre parcel of empty land located north of Balfour Road and east of Deer Valley Road.

In order to accommodate the project, the developer needs to get voter approval to move Brentwood's urban limit line.

Earlier this week, the developer said he received more than the 3,500 petition signatures needed to put the measure on the November ballot.

Opponents of the project have formed a group called Alliance for a Better Brentwood, arguing that now is not the time to create the development.

Opposition members say Brentwood needs to first see how its infrastructure can handle the hundreds of other homes already approved and awaiting construction. They also worry about the noise and bad air quality brought on by the proposed 20-year construction project, added stress on the underfunded fire district, and increased traffic in the area.

"Our organization's goal is to make this parcel the community separator between Antioch and Brentwood, remain county, agricultural, dry-farmed land until such a time as we need to expand," Kathy Griffin from the Alliance for a Better Brentwood said.

Blackhawk Nunn, which has been developing in Brentwood for 30 years, says that of the 800 acres for the project, 225 would remain permanent open space. Blackhawk Nunn also says the project would send millions of dollars to the fire district, would build out American Avenue around Heritage High School and Adams Middle School, would widen Balfour Road, and could fund safety improvements along Deer Valley Road.

"This property will be developed either through Brentwood or through Antioch, either by us or someone else," Bob Nunn of Blackhawk Nunn Partners said. "With us and Brentwood, you have a history. You know what we've done here. You know what we're going to do there. If it's not us, it'll be somebody else and not sure what that will bring."

The city of Brentwood is tabulating the petition signatures. If the voters were to approve such a measure and the city gave its approval, Blackhawk Nunn believes it would still be another two to three years before construction would begin.

Photo Credit: Blackhawk Nunn Partners]]>
<![CDATA[Richmond Opposes Freight Trains Through Waterfront Park]]>Fri, 24 May 2019 10:01:52 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/Train+Tracks+Generic.JPG

The Richmond City Council moved to oppose a railroad company's plans to reactivate a length of track that runs through a popular waterfront park Tuesday evening at their regularly scheduled meeting in City Hall.

The Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline Park was established in the 1970s, according to Mayor Tom Butt's Chief of Staff Alex Knox. Over the decades it spread out around a right of way that served Ferry Point and Terminal 1.

BNSF Railroad Company maintains that the tracks are active, and that their easement through the park still allows for train traffic, but city officials have joined the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and the East Bay Regional Park District in opposing the reintroduction of rail traffic.

The railroad has offered to move the tracks to a different path through the park, but parks and county officials have stated publicly that it wouldn't make much of a difference.

District 1 Supervisor John Gioia was applauded by the crowd during public comment when he announced that the Board of Supervisors had passed a resolution opposing the railroad's plans earlier that day.

"This proposal is unsafe, it's unhealthy and it's unfair," Gioia said, citing air quality impacts for nearby residents.

"Whether this rail is on the coast, on the bay shoreline or in the middle, it's harmful from a health standpoint," Gioia said.

There are also concerns about the risk of injury or death if a person were to be struck by a train, as well as the visual impacts along an otherwise scenic waterfront.

The council voted unanimously to support the park district in fighting back - but Mayor Tom Butt expressed concerns over whether the park district could prevail against the railroad, citing a previous legal battle in which the city sued BNSF and lost in an appellate court.

As a result of Tuesday's votes the city and county will be sending letters to state and federal officials including Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, as well as regulatory bodies that oversee the railroad.

The city attorney and county counsel have both been directed to provide unspecified legal support the parks district in search of a remedy the courts.

When asked for comment Tuesday afternoon, BNSF spokesperson Lena Kent said in a statement that negotiations over the land in question and the tracks running through it date back roughly half a century, and have occasionally been difficult.

The railroad maintains, however, that the alternative they've proposed involving the relocation of the tracks through another part of the park and establishing a trail along the current right-of-way is a viable compromise.

"Moving the rail line away from the shore and providing a trail in the current rail line location makes practical sense and is a much better environmental outcome than the Park's present plan, which will face regulatory and environmental hurdles," Kent said. "We look forward to continuing to work in good faith with the Park District on a joint-use plan."

A copy of the letter sent to the district by BNSF's attorneys is available online, courtesy of Richmond city staff, here.

CORRECTION: The previous version of this story erroneously referred to the agency as East Bay Parks and Recreation District.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[1 Killed in East Oakland Shooting]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 23:50:15 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Oakland_Police_SUV_Stolen.jpg

A person was shot to death Wednesday evening in East Oakland, police said.

Someone called police at 6:55 p.m. to report a shooting in the 7800 block of Weld Street.

Officers responded and found a person suffering from a gunshot wound. Paramedics and firefighters also responded and tried to save the victim's life but the person died.

Separately, police Wednesday evening were investigating a possible barricaded suspect in the 2400 block of Foothill Boulevard.

Officers reported gunshots there at 6:11 p.m. Police did not release any other information Wednesday.

<![CDATA[Meeting Sparks Heated Debate Over Pride Flag in Dublin]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 23:29:45 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dublin_Pride_Flag_Backlash.jpg

A debate over flying the rainbow flag during Pride Month in Dublin at city council meeting Tuesday turned ugly when someone suggested adding the letter "p" for pedophile to the "LGBTQ" acronym.

A councilmember put forth a proposal to fly the rainbow flag on one of three flag poles in front of City Hall during gay price month in June.

Council voted for a proclamation celebrating gay pride but voted down flying the flag, and it was the public comments during the debate that got people talking.

"It’s the flag poles that are sacred for a lot of people in the city," said gun store owner Mike Grant. So sacred that council members voted against flying the rainbow flag on one of them.

"If there was a flag pole anywhere else in town and not city hall, I don’t think anyone would say too much," Grant said.

The people of Dublin had a lot to say about the proposal, put on the agenda by openly-gay councilman Shawn Kumagai.

"My ultimate goal here was to start a conversation about the LGBT community here and how to best serve them," he said.

"I believe at the end of the day there another letter that wants to be added to the end that is being propagated at our state capitol right now that is the letter 'P' for Pedophile," said a Dublin resident.

"The LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bi sexual Trans and Queer … there is no 'S' that would stand for straight which is not all inclusive," said another resident at the meeting.

Councilman Kumagai said this debate may not feel comfortable for everyone … he believes it will open the door to start a conversation about inclusiveness for all.

"I understand the importance of that symbol and the sacredness that is for some, that flag is not inclusive for them," Kumagai said.

<![CDATA[88-Year-Old Missing Woman Found Safe: Police]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 22:02:14 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/missing+elderly+woman.jpg

An 88-year-old, at-risk woman who went missing Wednesday evening from Pleasanton has been found safe, police said.

LaDonna Cloud was reported missing around 5:10 p.m. when she left her home on Minivet Court.

She was found at about 10 p.m.

<![CDATA[Antioch Man Arrested for Allegedly Stabbing Partner to Death]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 21:47:29 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/9-19-2017-antioch-shooting.jpg

A man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a woman he was in domestic relationship with in Antioch, police said Wednesday.

Hang Lin, 32, of Antioch, was arrested on suspicion of stabbing a 30-year-old woman to death on Sunday.

Police were called at about 2:50 a.m. Sunday to a house in the 4500 block of Big Horn Court where they found the woman dead under "suspicious" circumstances.

Lin was detained and later arrested for allegedly killing the victim. Police said Contra Costa County prosecutors Wednesday charged Lin with murder. Police said Lin is being held in the county jail.

Anyone with information related to the stabbing is asked to call the Police Department's non-emergency number at (925) 778-2441 or text a tip 274637 and use the keyword ANTIOCH.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Union City Teachers, District Hope to Continue Bargaining]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 20:16:33 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0522NewHavenStrike_7287953.JPG

New Haven Unified School District officials and teachers' union leaders met Wednesday morning in an effort to restart stalled contract talks on the third day of a district-wide strike.

With picket lines and a planned parent-led march to the school board offices occupying much of the day, New Haven Teachers Association President Joe Ku'e Angeles and California Teachers Association representatives met with Superintendent Arlando Smith and other district officials in order to see if the two sides could find a way to resume negotiations.

"The idea is that it will help kick start the negotiations and the bargaining," district spokesman John Mattos said.

The two sides last met on Sunday but talks broke down over differences between the teachers' salary demands and the district's counter offer.

The teachers want a 10 percent raise over the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. The district's offer is for a 1 percent raise for 2019-2020 and a one-time 3 percent payment.

The district is also offering a permanent 0.5 percent increase if it's able to secure an additional $1 million in revenue, and another 0.5 percent if it can add yet another $1 million, according to Mattos.

"We agree that our teachers deserve a significant pay increase, we do, we just don't have the money for it," Mattos said.

The district is dealing with declining enrollment, deficit spending and millions of dollars in budget cuts -- and the union's proposal would cost roughly $20 million over three years, according to Mattos.

"We just don't have that kind of money," Mattos said.

Teachers, however, say the district is sitting on a multi-million dollar budget surplus and that managers are set to receive pay hikes of up to 6 percent.

"The district can afford (teacher salary increases)," California Teachers Association spokeswoman Cynthia Menzel said. "They have $26 million in unrestricted reserves."

"I give the district a D-minus in their ability to do math," Menzel said.

Lisa Duncanson, a science teacher at Delaine Eastin Elementary School in Union City, said that in the past teachers have taken pay cuts and agreed to furloughs in order to help keep the district's budget afloat.

"I was happy to take those furlough days in the bad economy with the district's promise that when times are better they would make it right and yet here we are sitting on $26 million," said Duncanson, who has spent her entire 20-year career with the district.

While the strike has been a hardship on her and her fellow teachers, counselors, librarians, social workers, speech pathologists and nurses, Duncanson said they are determined to hold out until they get an offer they can live with.

"We definitely feel successful," Duncanson said. "There are very few scabs going in and the number drops every day. We're doing our best to stand outside and welcome those people to our picket line."

"It feels like we have a movement that is growing," she said. "We have more parents and more kids and less people inside the school buildings."

While updated student attendance numbers were unavailable Wednesday afternoon, on Tuesday the district said only 15 percent of students crossed the picket lines to attend classes.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Lost Heirloom Discovered After Nearly 20 Years in Oakland]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 18:50:42 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/D7MSPdXUYAE1l-y.jpg

Linda Safir had been searching for her lost sapphire ring, passed down from her mother, for nearly two decades. But all it took to recover the precious heirloom was a landscaper with a keen eye.

Safir says that before her mother, Dolores Fitzpatrick, married her father, she was married to Eddie Finnell who was killed in World War II. Her mom had used the money she received from the Survivors Pension to create a permanent reminder of her first husband: a beautiful sapphire ring with a diamond from her wedding ring embed in the middle.

After Fitzpatrick passed away seven years ago, Safir inherited the ring. "Her health was starting to go and she wanted me to have this ring," Safir said.

But little did she know that she would have the ring just for one week.

On one day, 18 years ago in Oakland, Safir was playing with a dog and chatting with a neighbor in her front yard. She threw a ball to the dog and the ring flew off her finger.

Safir swept her yard in search for the ring, but even a metal detector proved to be useless.

Nearly two decades later, one of Safir's landscapers was blowing leaves off a bush that's steps away from her front door, when he saw a sparkle. Alberto Hernandez had found the lost ring.

"She was almost crying, she was so happy. She gave me a hug," Hernandez said.

Safir's memory of her mother lives on and so does the small bright blue ring.

"I feel like my mom is with me, now that I have it, it’s great," she said.

Photo Credit: Melissa Colorado/NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Contra Costa County Homeless Population up 43% Since 2017]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 01:39:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/homeless_generic_cart.jpg

There were at least 2,295 homeless residents of Contra Costa County one day in January and most of them are unsheltered, according to data from Contra Costa Health Services' 2019 Point in Time count.

Each year volunteers and county staff canvas known encampments and other areas frequented by the homeless community over a 24-hour period to conduct surveys and gather information for planning purposes.

This year the homeless population grew slightly, by about 3%, but since 2017, the number is up 43%, the same as in Alameda County.

Homelessness in San Francisco jumped 17% from 2017. In San Jose, homelessness was up 42% since 2017 and in Santa Clara County 31%.

There were 1,627 unsheltered homeless in Contra Costa County on Jan. 29. Roughly 60% of them were sleeping in encampments, in parks or on sidewalks. Just over 30% were living in vehicles.

Roughly 10% of the unsheltered homeless had gone either to a warming shelter or sought refuge in an abandoned building, attic or garage.

Almost all of them were single adults. Three percent or 37 were families experiencing homelessness together.

Of the 668 sheltered homeless counted on Jan. 29, 11% or 62 of them were families. The county's limited shelter space can accommodate roughly 63% of the homeless families in Contra Costa, but for single adults there is a vast unmet need.

Only 28% of them can be served with the county's existing inventory of shelter beds.

The number of homeless veterans has increased 14% over last year's count to 114, although the number of homeless seniors 62 and older decreased 18% to 161.

Geographically, Contra Costa County's homeless population is evenly distributed, with 32% in west county, 38% in central county and 30% in east county.

The county has prepared a two-page flyer with this information and more available here. They're planning to release a more detailed report in June.

<![CDATA[Emeryville Considers a 'Pause' on Minimum Wage Hike]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 09:59:16 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/emeryville_minwage_0521_7275860.JPG

Emeryville city leaders on Tuesday night voted in favor of a "pause" ordinance on the city's scheduled minimum wage increase after the results of a study showed local restaurants struggling and threatening to leave.

Emeryville's minimum hourly wage is scheduled to rise from $15 to $16.30 effective July 1. The pause ordinance will have a second reading before taking effect.

Cheryl Hurd has the full report in the above video.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Owner Says Wag! Dog-Walker Left Injured Dog to Bleed]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 06:42:48 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dog_Owner_Says_Wag%21_Dog-Walker_Deserted_Injured_Dog.jpg

A popular dog-walking service is accused of hiring someone who deserted a badly-injured dog that required 50 stitches Monday then ignoring the owner's complaints.

Melissa Dauster has used the Wag! app for months with no problem until she got home to find blood on her fence and porch. When she opened the door, her worst fear came true.

"There was blood all over her dog bed, there was blood all over the window all over the floor," Dauster said.

Her beloved dog Squishy, a pit bull charpai mix, was in terrible shape and had been home alone, bleeding, for six hours between the 10 a.m. walk and Dauster’s return at 4 p.m.

"Her cheek was completely split open like a tooth had gone right through her cheek they feel she was attacked," Dauster said.

She had questions but was not getting answers from Wag!

"There was no communication, they asked for pictures we sent them pictures. They asked what had happened and then they went silent," she said.

Wag! had not responded until Tuesday after receiving a call from NBC Bay Area.

"They are now going to do their investigation," Dauster said, adding she’s not primarily concerned about the $900 veterinary bill for the 50 stitches for Squishy, but for the well-being of her dog.

"We’re trusting them to take care of our dog while we’re at work, that apparently didn’t happen this time and I want to know why," she said.

Wag! said in a statement, "We moved immediately to suspend the pet care provider from the platform while we investigate what happened. We'll be working with the pet parent to help ensure her dog has the appropriate care necessary for a swift recovery."

<![CDATA[No Sign of Molotov Cocktails in Ghost Ship Fire: Testimony]]>Tue, 21 May 2019 20:45:00 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ghost_Ship_Fire_Warehouse_May_Be_Demolished__Report.jpg

A former top Oakland Fire Department official said on Tuesday that investigators didn't find any evidence that Molotov cocktails or other explosives were thrown into the Ghost Ship warehouse at the time of a fire that killed 36 people in 2016.

The testimony by former Acting Assistant Fire Marshall Maria Sabatini, who retired last year, undercuts the allegation by defense attorneys for Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena, 49, and creative director Max Harris, 29, that the fire during a music party at the artists' collective in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue the night of Dec. 2, 2016, was an act of arson.

Defense lawyers have said witnesses say they heard sounds of glass breaking, such as from Molotov cocktails, and Almena and Harris, who face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, shouldn't be held criminally liable for an arson they couldn't have prevented.

But Alameda County prosecutors allege that Almena and Harris are criminally responsible for the fire because there was no time and no way for the people at the party to escape since the two-story, 10,000-square-foot warehouse didn't have important safeguards, such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and exit signs.

They also say Almena and Harris violated the terms of the warehouse's lease by turning it into a living space where up to 25 people stayed and hosting underground music parties.

Sabatini said that based on her investigation and witness statements she believes the fire started in a back area of the building's first floor near two refrigerators, a toaster oven and two trailers that were used as living spaces.

Sabatini testified that there was so much debris from the blaze, which she described as "probably the most complex fire" she's investigated in her 25-year career, that she and other investigators from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies weren't able to determine its cause.

Defense lawyers for Almena and Harris have said because the fire's cause wasn't determined means that arson can't be ruled out.

Sabatini wasn't asked on Tuesday to speculate about the possible cause of the fire.

But when she testified at the preliminary hearing for Almena and Harris on Dec. 13, 2017, she said she thinks it was caused by some type of an electrical problem.

Sabatini said, "It most likely started with a fault or failure in the electrical system."

At that hearing, Sabatini said, "There were a tremendous amount of items that were electrical in nature," such as cooking materials, extension cords and two refrigerators.

On Tuesday, Sabatini testified about a grim diagram of the warehouse showing where the bodies of each of the 36 fire victims were found.

She said 29 bodies were found on the first floor of the warehouse and 7 bodies were found on the second floor.

But Sabatini said she believes many of the people who were found on the first floor died on the second floor but wound up on the first floor when parts of the second floor collapsed.

Defense lawyers for Almena and Harris will cross-examine Sabatini on Wednesday.

<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Parents Fear Kids at Risk From Dangerous Dust]]>Tue, 21 May 2019 23:44:51 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Desk+in+classroom_retouched+-+Copy.png

The location of a new school in Silicon Valley is attracting heavy criticism from parents and air quality experts, who fear its close proximity to a concrete plant may pose serious and long-term health risks to students. 

An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals the approval process to build Stratford School, a private elementary and middle school, right next to the Tri City Rock concrete plant was the result of an unfortunate chain of events that included inaccurate permit applications, poor communication between government agencies, and other bureaucratic blunders.

'A Giant Dust Cloud Came'

“I was playing at recess, and then a giant dust cloud came,” said Charlotte Tsui, an 8 year-old-student at Stratford. “The first time, I had no clue what it was … some of the kids start breathing really fast and start whimpering.”

Tsui said plumes of dust occasionally blow onto the school playground from the adjacent concrete plant. 

“It makes me nervous,” said 5-year-old Glen Wong, who feels responsible for protecting his classmates. “I run to everybody and then I warn them.”

The process of making concrete can send microscopic chemicals into the air, which can cause respiratory problems and heart disease, according to the federal government.

Eric Meng, 11, had to go to the doctor when some of the dust lodged in his eye.

“I became worried that it may become infected, and maybe I could have the potential to become blind,” Meng said, recalling doctors saying the dust scratched his eye. But the fifth grader said he healed without any long-term effects after a course of antibiotics.

The National Institutes of Health and several other federal agencies, including OSHA, CDC and the EPA have reported on the health hazards of dust from concrete manufacturing facilities. Ultra-fine particles in the dust can lodge into the lungs, ultimately traveling to the heart. As a result, exposure can cause respiratory problems and even lead to cardiac arrest.

'Dangerous Situation'

“Wow. It’s like right against it,” said Dr. Anthony Wexler, head of the air quality research center at UC Davis, as he looked at photos of the concrete plant abutting the school.  “With it right up against next to it there … it's much more dangerous situation. The concentrations are going to be higher.”

While chronic exposure to concrete dust has been shown to be dangerous and even fatal for adults, Wexler said children are especially vulnerable.  

“The lungs of children are growing,” he said. And there's been a number of studies showing that children who were exposed to air pollution when they were young, their lungs did not grow properly and they do not ... fully function when they reach adulthood.”

Wexler notes that even if kids and teachers are inside the school, they could be exposed to the potentially toxic dust since the school’s air circulation system may suck in air from the concrete facility.

“That outside air is going to have dust from this facility in it,” he said.

More than 30 Parents Share Health Concerns with NBC Bay Area

Many parents said they initially didn’t realize their children’s new school would be next to the concrete plant. While the school was being built, the plant looked as if it was part of the construction site, parents have argued. It wasn’t until the multimillion-dollar school opened in August when parents realized the plant was next door.

“I could smell the diesel so much I had to close my nose,” said Shankar Suntararaju, a father of a second grader at Stratford. “Students are playing [at the playground] day in and day out.”

A group of 33 parents recently sat down with NBC Bay Area to share their health concerns.

“It’s really shocking to us,” said Bowen Liu, who transferred her two children to another school.

“We thought the school would stand with the parents and fight the pollution, but what they’re trying to do … is persuade everyone there’s no problem. Stay there and study and let it go. That’s really shocking to the parents.”

Stratford: Air Quality Meets State Standards on 'Majority of School Days'

The school, which declined repeated interview requests with NBC Bay Area, defended its location alongside the concrete plant.

“Stratford School prioritizes the safety and well-being of its students and staff,” school founder Sherry Adams said in a statement. “We remain committed to ongoing communications with members of our school community regarding this matter, as well as to actively working with our neighbors and local regulatory districts.”

Adams said the school paid for air quality testing over a 20-week period, which showed the results were in line with state standards for a “majority of school days.”

Citing parents’ concerns, the school also allowed students to opt out of recess.  In letters emailed to parents, the school asked families whether their children are “allowed to play in the playground.”  

Parents Pull Kids Out of Stratford

While many parents have already pulled their children out of the school, others remain reluctant because of the difficulty in finding open spots elsewhere, as well as the close ties their children share with teachers and fellow classmates.

“I tried to move my kid to another Stratford campus, and he started crying,” said Suntararaju. “He loves his friends.”

Some parents, however, remain skeptical of the school’s air quality studies since, they argue, the results suggest the air quality along the fence line, between the school and the plant, is somehow cleaner than the ambient air surrounding the area.

“it’s just scientifically impossible,” said Sean Wang, a father of two children at Stratford. “[The school] needs to deliver an updated report with an updated baseline.”

Wang said parents began seeking clarification from the school in March about what they describe as serious discrepancies in the data. Wang, however, said parents have yet to receive any answers from school officials.

Concrete Plant Owner 'Surprised' at School’s Decision to Build Next Door

While the Stratford School opened its doors less than a year ago, Tri City Rock has maintained the concrete plant at its location, next door to the school, since 1987.

“I was surprised that they would choose this location,” said Stefany Doukas, owner and CEO of Tri City Rock. The family-operated concrete plant rests along Osgood Road in Fremont.

Doukas said when she first heard of the school’s intentions to build next door, she expressed her own concerns to a top official at Stratford.

“He was very matter of fact and said, 'We know what we’re moving next to,'" Doukas said.  

The chain of blunders that led to the school’s construction begins with inaccurate permit application forms submitted by Tri City Rock. Doukas admits she and her family mistakenly underreported the plant’s production.   

'It was Never Brought to Our Attention'

“I feel like we just reported to the best of our knowledge and, unfortunately, that was not necessarily accurate,” she said.  

In filling out renewal forms for her company’s annual permit with the air quality regulators, Doukas noted that Tri City produced 268.8 tons of concrete in 2018. The plant’s actual production level, however, was hundreds of times larger – more than 98,000 tons. 

“We thought we were submitting the accurate data,” she said.  “It was never brought to our attention that we were reporting incorrectly.”

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), which regulates air pollution in the nine-county Bay Area, used Tri City Rock’s inaccurate emissions data to calculate a health risk assessment score for the area, which BAAQMD then posted on its website.

“The website is supposed to be for informational purposes, not for planning purposes,” said Wayne Kino, deputy air pollution control officer at BAAQMD.

While the information was made available to the public, Kino said data posted on his agency’s website should never be used to make official decisions relating to planning and zoning, adding that its standard practice for government agencies to phone his office to obtain more precise figures.

Incorrect Health Assesment Used to Approve School Site

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit, however, has learned that incorrect calculation was used as part of the decision-making process to allow the school to be built alongside the Tri City Rock concrete plant.

In hopes of scoring a permit with the city of Fremont to locate its school alongside the plant, Stratford School hired a contractor to analyze air quality in the area. That contractor, Illingworth & Rodkin, used the incorrect figure from the BAAQMD website as part of the school’s permit application. Illingworth & Rodkin did not contact air quality regulators to verify the data, according to BAAQMD, and did not respond to repeated requests for comment from NBC Bay Area.

Fremont’s Planning Department, which was ultimately in charge of approving the project, did not contact BAAQMD either. The agency ultimately greenlit the plan to locate the school alongside the concrete plant, even though the school’s permit application included a miscalculated health assessment, which underestimated the safety risk caused by air pollution emitting from the plant. 

“The city had no reason to believe that the data relied upon in the Illingworth & Rodkin assessment was incorrect,” said Kristie Wheeler, Fremont’s zoning administrator, who declined to be interviewed on camera but provided a statement to NBC Bay Area.

'We All Have Fault Here'

“These kinds of things are avoidable with better communication," said Kino.  "We all have fault here."

When asked if it is dangerous to make such information readily available to the public on his agency’s website even though the information is inaccurate, Kino said, "We're looking at that … and we're evaluating that at this point.”  

The agency is also considering including disclaimers on its website but has yet to update the incorrect health assessment score that is still listed online for the area surrounding Tri City Rock.

Kino said he was unsure when the figure would be corrected but added his office recently completed a more precise assessment of health risks at the plant and determined emissions fall under allowable limits.

That said, Kino still believes the school should not have been located alongside the concrete plant.

“There's some common sense factors that you have to apply to these things,” he said. “The school is located in an industrial area between railroad tracks.  Emission sources, truck traffic – just that alone says in your mind that the school shouldn't be there.”

Stratford School Built in Industrial Area

Doukas describes the misreporting as a "clerical error."  Her actions, however, ignited a chain of events that ultimately led to the controversial decision to approve the school's location, which parents now blame for threatening their children's safety. Families have even held protests along the concrete plant.

"I don't believe there's any merit to the health risk," Doukas said. "It's  been a long few months since the school opened up in what feels like constant harassment."

Neither the concrete plant nor the school has any plans to relocate.

“Closing the doors is not an option,” Doukas said. “Relocating is not an option. We've got customers and relationships in the city of Fremont that depend and rely on us. This business is everything to me,” Doukas said tearfully.

The concrete plant has yet to face any penalty for its misreporting; however, the plant was cited for producing about 20 percent more concrete last year than what its permit allowed. Tri City Rock has since requested an increase to its concrete production limit – from 80,000 tons to 120,000 tons.

In the coming months, BAAQMD is expected to weigh in on the permit request and what changes, if any, the concrete plant will have to make to reduce its air pollution. The agency has the power to shut down the plant and issue up to $10,000 per day in fines. The agency has done neither in this case. The penalty phase can take years, according to the agency.

“It’s lives. It's other people's lives,” said Charlotte Tsui, now in the third grade.  “I don't want anyone getting hurt at school."

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Counties Tackle Rise in Homelessness]]>Tue, 21 May 2019 19:19:10 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bay_Area_Counties_Tackling_Rise_in_Homelessness.jpg

As the Bay Area deals with a spike in homeless, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that help is on the way.

With a budget of nearly $1 billion, Newsom announced in Oakland that he is forming a special task force to help cities and counties with a growing population of homelessness.

For one county in the Bay Area, the numbers of those who are homeless are higher than ever.

"It’s not fun I have to find a place to sleep at night and it’s no fun," said homeless senior Judy Dodge. I have to sleep sometimes on the concrete." 

Dodge, 77 is just one of hundreds grappling with homelessness in Contra Costa County.

The county has seen a 43 percent increase of people lacking permanent homes since 2017, the county’s annual homeless count found.

"It’s very hard and I’m old and I probably shouldn’t be out here," said Dodge.

Those who work with the homeless said there is not enough low-income housing or shelters.

"I don’t think anybody has seen homelessness skyrocket at the rate at which it’s been happening in the last couple of years," Jaime Jenett from the Contra Costa Health Services.

The homeless count found that 2,300 people lack permanent housing.

Dodge hopes the task force implemented by governor Newsom can bring some relief to people in her situation. 

<![CDATA[Gov. Newsom Launches Task Force on Homelessness]]>Tue, 21 May 2019 11:14:45 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GavinNewsom2.jpg

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is creating a task force on homelessness as the state grapples with a housing crisis.

The Democratic governor made the announcement Tuesday in Oakland, where county officials reported last week that the number of people experiencing homelessness increased 43 percent over the last two years.

Newsom described homelessness as an epidemic of statewide concern but says it will be best addressed at the local level.

The governor says the task force will work with local governments to develop regional plans for addressing homelessness. He tapped Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to lead the group.

Newsom also is proposing the state increase spending on homelessness, calling for $1 billion in next year's budget to address the issue.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Westbound I-80 in Berkeley Reopens After Crash]]>Tue, 21 May 2019 06:26:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBStill80Crash_7263219.JPEG

All lanes of westbound Interstate Highway 80 have reopened following a multiple-vehicle traffic collision Tuesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the collision was first reported at 5:36 a.m. on the freeway at University Avenue.

No further information is immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Vandals Rip Out 2,000 Cherry Trees From Brentwood Orchard]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 12:11:38 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05172018JeremyNewberry_7221158.JPG

A former San Francisco 49ers player turned cherry farmer is bent on finding those responsible for vandalizing hundreds of cherry trees at his Brentwood farm, bumping up the reward money to $15,000.

Jeremy Newberry was set to start his first cherry harvest season, but instead he arrived last week to find thousands of his newly planted cherry trees ripped from the ground.

"Literally this whole area was ransacked," Newberry said. "I was sick to my stomach."

Newberry discovered Wednesday someone vandalized his orchard, ripping out 2,000 newly-planted cherry trees.

"They yanked them out of the ground at the root and snapped them in half so you can't replant them," he said.

Matt Foley, of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office said somebody definitely crossed the line.

Investigators say the remote area makes finding witnesses or clues a challenge. In what they described as a long shot, they said they’ll try to collect DNA samples from the orchard.

"We’re still going to try to get some some of those trees and see if we can take some swabs and just pull out the stops," Foley said.

Neighboring cherry farmers say they too want answers. Peter Wolfe of Wolfe Ranch Cherries said while competition is fierce, he can’t imagine a cherry farmer being behind it.

"It’s not something a cherry farmer would do," he said.

The Newberrys now have cameras at the entrances of their orchard. They want the cherry vandals to know they’re not going to be easy targets anymore.

Newberry, meanwhile, plans to sleep in a trailer on the property to keep watch over his new field of dreams.

"It won't happen again," he said. "I'll be out here."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One East Bay Student Benefits From Morehouse College Gift]]>Mon, 20 May 2019 19:27:21 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/One_East_Bay_Student_Benefits_From_Morehouse_College_Gift.jpg

Billionaire Robert Smith gave more than just a commencement speech at Morehouse College. He pledged to pay off the student loan debt for the entire class, and one of those lucky graduates is Jonathan Epps of Pleasanton, the class valedictorian. Melissa Colorado reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-49er Offers $10K Reward After Cherry Trees Vandalized]]>Mon, 20 May 2019 18:54:04 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05172018JeremyNewberry_7221158.JPG

Former 49ers player Jeremy Newberry has doubled the reward money for the person who tore up his cherry farm. Newberry has doubled the reward to $10,000 after 2,000 cherry trees were ripped from the ground at his Brentwood farm. Sheriff's officials are also stepping up its investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Teachers Set to Continue Striking in Union City]]>Tue, 21 May 2019 00:48:25 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0520UCTeacherStrike_7259152.JPG

New Haven Unified School District officials said only about 20 percent of students attended the district's schools Monday on the first day of a strike called for by the teachers' union.

The New Haven Teachers Association's roughly 600 teachers began striking Monday after bargaining teams between the district and union were not fruitful Sunday.

The school district said its last, best and final offer is a 3 percent one-time payment and a 1 percent permanent increase to the pay schedule for the 2019-20 year, with an improvement to the offer Sunday by adding language that would allocate salary increases if the district receives additional money from the state.

The teachers are seeking a 10 percent pay raise over the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

The district, which includes 12 schools in Union City and Hayward,is using substitute teachers and administrative staff to lead activities at the school for students still in attendance during the strike.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Judge: Parents of Dead West Point Cadet Can Use His Sperm]]>Tue, 21 May 2019 02:35:29 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/peter+zhu.jpg

The parents of a 21-year-old West Point cadet fatally injured in a skiing accident can use his frozen sperm to produce a child, a judge ruled while noting potential ethical considerations.

Supreme Court Justice John Colangelo's ruling, dated Thursday, gives Peter Zhu's parents the ability to attempt conception with a surrogate mother using their late son's sperm. The judge said Zhu's parents have not decided whether they will try to use it.

"At this time, the court will place no restrictions on the use to which Peter's parents may ultimately put their son's sperm, including its potential use for procreative purposes," Colangelo wrote.

Zhu, of Concord, California, died after a ski accident in February at West Point. His parents received court permission to have his sperm retrieved and frozen at the same time he underwent organ donation surgery, but the judge waited until last week to rule on whether they could attempt reproduction. The sperm is preserved at a sperm bank.

Colangelo said he found no restrictions in state or federal law. He noted that few courts have addressed the issue of posthumous reproduction, but those who have addressed it used the decedent's intent as a deciding factor. He cited a 2008 case where a court ordered destruction of a man's sperm according to his written request during his lifetime, despite his widow's claim to the sperm as her property.

He also cited a 1993 case where a court held that a dead man's estate representative didn't have the right to destroy his frozen sperm in light of his written intent that it be stored for possible future use by his longtime girlfriend.

Zhu left no written intention regarding the use of his genetic material for procreation after his death, Colangelo said. But he said Zhu's parents testified regarding conversations where he talked of his dream of having several children and the responsibility he felt to carry on his cultural and family legacy. Zhu's military advisor at West Point also testified that Zhu had stated a goal of having several children during mentoring sessions.

Monica Minzhi Yao, Zhu's mother, said Monday that the family wants privacy and will not comment on the case. "We are extremely devastated over this freak accident," she said. "Our pain is something that no words can describe."

And while Colangelo left the decision of what to do with Zhu's sperm up to his family, he noted there may be other obstacles including reluctance of some doctors to assist for ethical reasons.

Typically, court cases involving posthumous reproduction are filed by surviving spouses, not parents. But Zhu's case isn't unprecedented.

In 2007, a court in Iowa authorized recovery of a man's sperm by his parents to donate to his fiance for future procreative use. In 2009, a Texas woman got a judge's permission to have her 21-year-old son's sperm extracted after his death, with the intention of hiring a surrogate mother to bear her a grandchild.

In 2018, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued ethical guidelines for fertility centers on posthumous collection of reproductive tissue. The organization said it's justifiable if authorized in writing by the deceased. Otherwise, it said, programs should only consider requests from the surviving spouse or partner.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man With Sickle Arrested After Attack, Standoff in Berkeley]]>Mon, 20 May 2019 06:24:22 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BerkeleyStandoff1.jpg

Authorities on Monday arrested a man with a sickle who attacked two people and then hid in a house in Berkeley during a lengthy standoff.

Nathan Hohmann, 40, of Berkeley was taken into custody on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and felony battery, according to police.

One of the victims — a 70-year-old Oakland man who was cut with the farming tool during the attack — was taken to a hospital with what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, police said. It is not clear if the other victim was hurt.

The attack and standoff occurred along the 2300 block of Parker Street, police said. Around 5:50 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a report regarding a man who was waving a sickle.

Arriving officers learned that the man attacked the other man and another person inside a residence, according to police. The two victims managed to escape and call for help.

The suspect stayed in the residence and refused to come out, prompting a standoff with authorities. About two hours into Monday, authorities entered the residence and arrested the suspect.

Photo Credit: David Yee]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Killed Inside Antioch Home: Suspect Detained: Police]]>Sun, 19 May 2019 20:12:49 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Police+Lights29.JPG

A 30-year-old Antioch woman was found dead early Sunday morning in an Antioch house, and a 32-year-old man was being held Sunday in connection with the apparent homicide, Antioch police said.

Police were called at about 2:48 a.m. Sunday to a house on Big Horn Court in southeast Antioch, about a quarter mile northwest of Deer Valley High School. The body of the 30-year-old woman was found there, having suffered "suspicious injuries that appeared to be the cause of her death," police said in a statement.

A 32-year-old Antioch man was detained by police for questioning; it was unclear Sunday night what the relationship was, if any, between the man and the woman, or whether the man had been formally arrested.

Police said this appears to be an isolated incident, and that no threat to the public remains.

Anyone with information that could relate to this incident is asked to call the Antioch Police Department's non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Teachers in New Haven District in Union City on Strike]]>Sun, 19 May 2019 23:33:03 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/newhaven_strike_0519_72449001.JPG

Talks on Sunday between contract bargaining teams representing the New Haven Unified School District and its teachers union were not fruitful, representatives of both sides said Sunday.

The union's 575-600 teachers thus began a planned strike at 7 a.m. Monday, according to New Haven Teachers Association president Joe Ku'e Angeles.

"Unfortunately, today's negotiations did not yield useful progress," Ku'e Angeles said Sunday.

The school district's "last, best, and final offer" is for a 1 percent raise for 2019-2020, as part of the teachers' salary schedule, and a one-time 3 percent payment. A new amendment to that added a 0.5 percent on-the-schedule pay raise for teachers for every additional $1 million in state funding for 2019/20, up to an additional 1 percent raise applied to the salary schedule.

The teachers, meanwhile, are seeking a 10 percent raise over the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

The New Haven district includes 12 schools in Union City and Hayward, which the district vows to keep open, using substitute teachers and administrative staff to lead educational activities.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Average US Price of Gas Drops 3 Cents Per Gallon to $2.93]]>Sun, 19 May 2019 13:38:52 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-681579534.jpg

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline fell 3 cents a gallon over the past two weeks, to $2.93.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that it's the first price drop at the pump in four months.

Lundberg said the price is 6 cents lower than it was one year ago.

The highest average price in the nation is $4.08 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The lowest average is $2.35 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The average price of diesel fell a penny over the past two weeks, to $3.16.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Weather: Thunderstorms, Hail, Gusty Winds for Bay Area]]>Sun, 19 May 2019 23:44:28 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBGIFGGBLIGHTNING_7243119.gif

Buckle up, Bay Area.

Sunday has already featured and will continue to feature bouts of wild weather, including heavy rain, thunder, lightning, small hail and gusty winds, according to weather officials.

"Be prepared for rapidly changing conditions through the day," NBC Bay Area meteorologist Rob Mayeda said Sunday morning.

A lengthy line of showers and thunderstorms passed over the Bay Area around sunrise, dousing parts of the region with heavy rain and sending claps of thunder echoing across neighborhoods. A flash of lightning could be seen lighting up dark clouds hovering near the Golden Gate Bridge.

During the 11 a.m. hour, a band of heavy rain and small hail drenched the South Bay, prompting scores of people to take to social media and post footage of the rare mid-May weather scene.

Thunderstorms, hail and gusty winds will remain in the mix for the entire Bay Area throughout the day before tapering off during the evening hours. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[First of 24 'Oaktown Roots' Affordable Homes to be Occupied]]>Sun, 19 May 2019 01:33:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/house-generic-neighborhood.jpg

A public/private partnership is planning to build 24 three- and four-bedroom houses, to be sold at below-market rates, on vacant parcels either abandoned or in tax default.

This pilot program, called "Oaktown Roots," is a partnership of the City of Oakland, the Alameda County Tax Collector, the nonprofit Hello Housing of San Francisco and Walnut Creek-based Presidio Realty Advisors. The first four of these houses are now complete, and the first family is expected to move in before the end of May, according to a joint release from the four participating entities.

Two rental apartment buildings will also be part of the Oaktown Roots project, to be set aside for families earning a maximum of 80 percent of the area median income.

The single-family houses will be sold to low- and moderate-income homebuyers earning up to 120 percent of area median income in Oakland. The houses, in East and West Oakland, are priced between $475,000 and $550,000.

"Significant demand for affordable housing in the Bay Area and in the state of California persists, and we believe the 'Oaktown Roots' pilot can become a successful road map for Oakland and other communities that want to expand the availability of affordable housing options," said Jennifer Duffy, Hello Housing's vice president. She said more than 1,100 pre-applications were received for the first four homes.

To qualify, prospective buyers must submit an application to Hello Housing and are then entered in a lottery. The required down payment is 3 percent, and prospective buyers must be mortgage-ready. Those selected may also be eligible to apply for down payment help through Alameda County or the City of Oakland.

The benefits of the program include creating sorely needed affordable housing in a county in the midst of a housing crisis; returning abandoned properties to the tax rolls; cutting down on visual blight and garbage-dumping cleanup costs for those parcels; and enhancing the vitality of Oakland neighborhoods dealing with long-term blight these parcels have helped create.

The first Oaktown Roots residents figure to be Aurora Barajas and her family.

"Without this option, we may not have had an opportunity to become homeowners in the community we love, due to rising home costs," said Barajas, an Oakland native and 16-year educator. "I hope this program continues to help Oakland natives and people contributing in this city to be able to afford to stay in Oakland."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Rain Prompts 7-Hour Delay of Cal State East Bay Commencement]]>Sun, 19 May 2019 23:49:21 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBgrabpic_7234835.JPEG

Cal State East Bay's Hayward campus commencement ceremony, previously scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday, has been rescheduled for Sunday starting at 5 p.m., because of forecasts of inclement weather expected through mid-afternoon Sunday.

This seven-hour delay comes after commencement ceremonies set for Saturday evening at the Concord campus of Cal State University were rained out.

All graduates who planned to participate in the Concord ceremony are encouraged to participate in Sunday's Hayward commencement. Concord students will process with fellow graduates, and have their names read from the stage; graduates from all departments are welcome. Students who previously responded to attend the Concord ceremony will receive additional communication about the specifics of attending the Hayward ceremony.

A notice posted on the university's website stated that wet weather created unsafe conditions at the Daniel Boatwright Sports Complex Saturday, where the ceremony was set to take place.

Though not as planned, some students and their families decided to hold a ceremony of their own. 

A notice posted on the university's website stated that inclement weather had created unsafe conditions at the Daniel Boatwright Sports Complex, where the ceremony was set to take place.

"First I was heartbroken, then I was mad," said graduate Sherri Contant. "How could they disassociate themselves from 190 students."

As soon as the cancellation was announced, Contant and her family rallied friend, gathered a microphone and a PA system and decided to hold their own impromptu graduation ceremony.

Only three students participated, which they said was the best alternative to the cancellation.

"I wasn’t going to let her day get ruined," Contant’s husband Stephen Geiser said. "So me and her brother kind of sat and thought, well why don’t we come down here, get some pictures, let’s have our own ceremony."

With rain pouring through out the week, students wished the university would have addressed the weather concerns ahead of time.

"They’ve known that it was going to rain all week, so they should have had other things in place for us," Anderson said.

More information and updates can be found at the Cal State East website

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Arrested in Death of Homeless Woman in Modesto ]]>Sat, 18 May 2019 16:28:06 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-141810855+%281%29+resized+handcuffs+closeup.jpg

Police in central California say an anonymous tip has led them to identify and arrest a man wanted on suspicion of killing a homeless woman.

Modesto police said officers pulled over 37-year-old Joseph Chapman Friday night and took him into custody. He was booked into jail for investigation of murder.

Detectives released surveillance video earlier this week of a shirtless man with tattoos on his chest and arms and described him as a person-of-interest in the death of 47-year-old Christina Hill. The footage was taken at a liquor store Monday afternoon, an hour after Hill's body was found in the driveway of a downtown business.

The cause of Hill's death was not released. Police said investigators were still examining and processing medical evidence in the case.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cal State East Bay Cancels Graduation Ceremony Over Weather]]>Sat, 18 May 2019 18:38:55 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/calstateeastbay.JPG

Hours before students in cap and gowns were set to walk across the stage, Cal State East Bay cancelled its graduation ceremony over the unseasonable rain and thunderstorm hitting the area on Saturday, which upset many graduates who paid money to participate in the ceremony.

Cal State East Bay class of 2019 graduates and their families were supposed to gather at 6 p.m. in Concord to celebrate the milestone but they received an update from the school around 1 p.m. informing them that the graduation ceremony had been cancelled and it will not be rescheduled.

"The university regrets this cancelation, but the weather conditions have created an unsafe environment for graduates and guests," the school said on its website.

Ricardo Perez, 28, of Antioch who studied health and science at the university said he had paid around $250 to participate in the ceremony. 

"We had taken the day off and got ready. [Perez] called and he was so upset. He had been there for three years, worked his butt off and paid them a ton of money to get his degree," said Brandy Stewart, the mother of Perez's girlfriend.

Cal State East Bay has another ceremony set for Sunday for graduates of the College of Business & Economics and the College of Education & Allied Studies. It is expected to continue "unless weather conditions present safety issues," the school said.

The school told students in an email that they are invited to join the Sunday ceremony, but "However, we are continuing to watch weather for this ceremony too, for the safety of guests and graduates."

One student, Cheri Conet, told NBC Bay Area that she is organizing a mock commencement ceremony at the Oakley Pavilion near city hall on Main Street at 5 p.m.

UC Berkeley also held its commencement ceremony on the same day, but the event continued on with around 6,000 students holding umbrellas and wearing rain ponchos. 

Bay Area can expect widespread light to moderate rain through the weekend with isolated thundstorms, said NBC Bay Area meteorologist Rob Mayeda. The rain may get more intense on Sunday with potential hail or convective windgusts. 

Other outdoor events in the area like Bay to Breakers and San Jose's VivaCalle will be affected.

Download our NBC Bay Area app for the latest forecast videos, hour by hour forecast and alerts on when weather moves into the Bay Area.

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<![CDATA[Oakland's Galindo Street Renamed in Honor of Bicyclist]]>Sat, 18 May 2019 03:43:10 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bike+Lane+Generic+Camden.jpg

Family and friends of a fallen bicyclist gathered at a ceremony Friday with city officials to unveil a new street sign in memory of the bicyclist.

The event took place from 4-5 p.m. at the intersection of 35th Avenue and Galindo Street.

City transportation officials said Galindo Street would be renamed Deontae Bush Way in memory of Deontae Bush, who died in July 2018 after a collision with a car.

City councilmember Noel Gallo presented a commemorative street sign to the Bush family and acknowledged the advocacy for traffic safety by Deontae's loved ones in the aftermath of his death.

Director of Transportation director Ryan Russo said, "The family is really an inspiration to us."

City staff reportedly worked with the Bush family after Deontae's passing to hold a public meeting to generate suggestions for safety improvements. The department said the idea to commemorate Deontae's life with a street sign bearing his name emerged from that meeting.

Transportation department officials said traffic safety improvements to 35th Avenue will be completed over the next two years, including the installation of $2.7 million in traffic and pedestrian crossing signals.

Department spokesman Sean Maher said the emphasis is on reducing speed along 35th Avenue and shortening the distance it takes to cross the street on foot or on a bicycle.

Department officials said they were also developing a bicycle safety project on East 12th Street and 35th Avenue, with construction estimated to begin in 2020.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Cal High Increases Police Presence Following More Threats]]>Fri, 17 May 2019 17:41:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CaliforniaHighSchool.jpg

More security measures are being taken at California High School until the end of the school year following additional school threat discovered on Thursday.

In an email to Cal High staff and parents, Principal Christopher George said a copycat graffiti that said "School shooting, Thursday 5/27" and other "racist remarks" were found after San Ramon police had identified several students who made school shooting threats earlier this month.

Police are investigating the new threat but May 27 is a Monday and not a Thursday, George said. It's also Memorial Day and the school won't be in session.

In addition to more police presence around campus, the school will be adding additional security cameras, and staff and students will also receive safety training in August, according to George. Students who were found to be involved with the threats all faced disciplinary action, he said.

There have been at least four threats at Cal High in recent years, not including three from earlier this month.

Students reported seeing graffiti in a bathroom in the fine arts building that read, "Tomorrow, library will be shot up first, then courtyard and then myself" in addition to a racist comment directed at African Americans.

Last year, police arrested a freshman student for allegedly plotting to shoot six students they had on a hit list.

The district attorney's office reviewed the evidence and decided not to press charges.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bicyclist Killed in Traffic on Hwy. 24 in Oakland Identified]]>Fri, 17 May 2019 03:46:12 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hwy_24_fatal_0515_7197196.JPG

A bicyclist killed while riding into eastbound traffic on state Highway 24 in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon has been identified as 83-year-old Youxing Zhang, according to the Alameda County coroner's bureau.

The California Highway Patrol was notified of a bicyclist on the right shoulder of Highway 24 near Martin Luther King Jr. Way around 3:15 p.m. Officers responded to the scene but Zhang reportedly rode out into traffic, where he was struck by a Toyota Prius in the No. 2 lane, according to the CHP.

Investigators say the driver didn't have time to react and struck Zhang at roughly 60 mph. The driver was not injured, officers said.

Another fatal collision occurred on an Oakland freeway later Wednesday night when a vehicle rolled over on westbound Interstate Highway 80 around 10:40 p.m.

Emergency crews found it on the left-hand shoulder of the roadway west of Powell Street.

Three people were seriously injured and one was pronounced dead at the scene. That person's identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, according to the coroner's bureau.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Berkeley Public Works Employee Charged With 3 Homicides]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 22:24:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0426-ManhuntSuspect.jpg

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office on Thursday charged a 43-year-old ex-felon with three counts of murder for allegedly killing three people in Oakland, San Francisco and Berkeley in a period of less than five hours last month.

Prosecutors also charged Stefon Jefferson with the special circumstance of committing multiple murders.

Witnesses place Jefferson at the scene of all three homicides and he has confessed to killing all three victims, Oakland police Officer Kris McClain wrote in a probable cause statement.

The first alleged victim was 57-year-old Marcus Jackson of Oakland, who police said was fatally shot in the 4100 block of Market Street in Oakland at about 10:15 a.m. on April 26.

A spokesman for Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin said Jackson worked for the Berkeley Public Works Department.

The second alleged victim was 49-year-old Laron Davis of San Francisco, who police said was shot in the 1100 block of Donner Avenue in San Francisco at 1:27 p.m.

The third alleged victim was identified as 43-year-old Calvin Kelly of Berkeley, who police say was shot at People's Park in Berkeley at about 2:40 p.m.

Authorities say that after the three homicides, Jefferson went to the South Lake Tahoe area in Nevada, where he allegedly shot and wounded a Douglas County sheriff's deputy before being taken into custody.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson faces 13 felony counts, including attempted murder of a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, eluding a peace officer and numerous additional traffic-related offenses.

Jackson remains in custody in Nevada in lieu of $1 million bail.

Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson previously said that his county will prosecute Jefferson first because he's already in custody there.

Authorities have not revealed Jefferson's possible motives or how exactly he was connected to the victims.

According to court documents, Jefferson has a prior assault with a deadly weapon conviction in San Francisco in 2001 and a 1998 conviction in San Francisco for receiving stolen property.

Photo Credit: Oakland Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Sex Assault Suspect Punched, Bit Victims: Berkeley Police]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 19:09:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/user35596-1558027741-media1.jpg

Police in Berkeley have arrested a sexual assault suspect who allegedly attacked two victims in November 2017 and March 2019 by punching and biting them.

UC Berkeley student Finn Wolff, 20, was arrested Tuesday and charged with multiple felonies related to multiple reports of sexual assault, according to Berkeley Police Department. None of the reported assaults occurred on campus, police said.

Wolff is accused of physically injuring two people when he punched, grabbed or bit them, according to police. Investigators believe there may be additional victims who have not come forward to law enforcement.

Wolff was arraigned Thursday and his bail was set at $750,000.

Anyone with additional information or who was victimized by the suspect to contact BPD’s Sex Crimes Unit at (510) 981-5717.

<![CDATA[Cal Student Robbed at Knifepoint on Campus]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 09:39:26 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/UCBerkeleyCampus.jpg

A University of California at Berkeley student was robbed at knifepoint on campus late Wednesday night, according to police.

The armed robbery occurred at 10:05 p.m. in Observatory Hill, police said. A 20-year-old man was walking west on a path from North Gate and approaching Haviland Hall when two suspects approached him from behind, one with a knife.

According to police, the suspects took the victim's backpack, which had his laptop inside.

Police believe the suspects are connected to an earlier attempted armed robbery that occurred in Berkeley on Ellsworth Street between Durant Avenue and Channing Way.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call UC police at (510) 642-0472 or (510) 642-6760 after business hours.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jury Finds Oakland Man Guilty of Raping Sex Workers in SF]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 09:30:32 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jail+generic.jpg

A San Francisco jury on Wednesday found a man guilty of several felonies in connection with the sexual assault of two female sex workers more than five years ago in the city's Mission District, prosecutors said.

The jury found Oakland resident Edwin Rodriguez, 39, guilty of multiple counts of forcible rape as well as aggravated kidnapping, assault and criminal threats. Rodriguez now faces multiple life sentences, prosecutors said.

The first incident happened on March 16, 2014.

The victim was soliciting herself near 20th and Capp streets when a man driving a Cadillac Escalade pulled up and, after negotiations, she got inside. When the driver took her to a different location, he said he didn't intend on paying her.

The woman tried to escape, but the suspect pushed her into the seat and told her he had a gun.

The suspect then sexually assaulted her, as she cried and pleaded for her life. The suspect also hit her multiple times, prosecutors said.

The suspect then drove the victim back to the area where he initially picked her up. The victim was able to go to a hospital and also reported the assault to police, according to prosecutors.

At the hospital, during a sexual assault examination, medical experts were able to retrieve two condoms from the woman's body and they were submitted for DNA testing.

Weeks later, on May 4, 2014, the same suspect in the Escalade pulled up to a woman soliciting herself near Shotwell and 19th streets.

After negotiating a price, the woman entered the Escalade and the man drove her to the corner of 17th Street and San Bruno Avenue where they got in the back seat, prosecutors said.

When the woman asked for the driver to pay her, he pulled out a large kitchen knife and forced her to perform sex acts, according to prosecutors.

Afterward, the man said he didn't feel comfortable and wanted to move to another location. Prosecutors said he then demanded that the victim get back in the vehicle's front seat and told her, "don't try anything stupid," threatening to shoot and kill her if she didn't comply.

As the suspect drove, the victim opened her door and jumped out of the Escalade, landing on her ankle.

Although she tried to run away, she broke her ankle in the process and stumbled. A good Samaritan, however, saw her and helped her call 911.

Once at the hospital, officers assured the victim she wouldn't be prosecuted for soliciting herself and she was able to provide officers with a description of the suspect.

The victim was able to recall that the suspect had several distinct tattoos on his arm, neck and head. She was also able to provide several details about the suspect's vehicle.

Investigators were able to obtain video surveillance from the intersection where the second victim escaped the suspect. Video footage showed the incident as well as the suspect's distinguishable white Escalade SUV.

Two days later, an officer driving near Shotwell and 24th streets noticed an SUV matching that of the suspect's Escalade.

Officers were able to detain the driver and identified him as Rodriguez. They also noticed he matched the description of the suspect provided by both victims.

Investigators included a mugshot of Rodriguez in a photo lineup of suspects and showed them separately to the victims.

Both victims identified Rodriguez as a suspect.

Additionally, the city's crime lab determined the DNA on the two condoms retrieved from the first victim matched that of Rodriguez, according to prosecutors.

"This case underscores the importance of San Francisco's safety for sex worker policies," District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. "If we fail to prioritize this population's health and safety they will not come forward and work with law enforcement as witnesses and victims of violence. Ultimately, unreported crimes and criminals pose a threat to everyone's public safety."

According to Gascon's office, because many sex workers don't report crimes out of fear of being arrested, the California legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 233, which calls for a sex worker safety policy similar to San Francisco's, prohibiting the arrest of a sex worker reporting certain crimes like sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary.

<![CDATA[Kittens Found Stowed Away Inside Steel Column ]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 12:13:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/metal-kittens-cd-050119-%289%29.jpg

Meows coming from inside a steel column led to the discovery of a litter of kittens believed to have traveled hundreds of miles from Hayward to San Diego. 

Construction workers at the site of a new medical facility in Clairemont Mesa were unloading a 60-foot steel column when someone heard a strange sound coming from inside the column. 

“Sixty feet tall, 14,000 pounds and they were in there in this dark little hole,” said worker Evan McColl.

Employees of DPR Construction found five kittens on a truck that had traveled from Hayward, California. 

McColl estimates that the kittens had been in the column for at least two days without food or water. 

The approximately one-week old kittens were handed over to the San Diego Humane Society. 

The kittens, now four weeks old, have been in foster care. The three males and two females have been given names linking them to the construction site: Chisel, Crowbar, Jackhammer, Piper and Rebar.

Once they're eight weeks old they will be put up for adoption. 

For the construction crew, it was a truly memorable experience. 

“I got to go home and tell my daughter, 'Daddy got to rescue some kittens today,’” McColl said. "She was super stoked on it."

Photo Credit: San Diego Humane Society
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<![CDATA[Contra Costa County Fair Runs Through Sunday]]>Fri, 17 May 2019 07:04:27 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/196*120/cocofair.JPG

The 2019 Contra Costa County Fair will run through Sunday in Antioch with local livestock shows, a midway carnival and remote control car racing.

Dollar Days starts at noon on Thursday, with $1 admission and $1 rides until 5 p.m. Then on Senior Friday, anyone over age 62 gets in for $1 all day. Active duty military, law enforcement personnel and their families get in free on Friday.

Tickets cost $10 for adults, $7 for youth or seniors and can be purchased at the gate or online. There's also a wristband that costs $35 and includes unlimited carnival rides on any one day of the fair. Parking is an additional $7.

The fairgrounds are located at 1201 10th St. in Antioch. For more information or to buy tickets, people can go to https://contracostafair.com/contra-costa-county-fair-2019.

<![CDATA['Pothole Vigilantes' Hosting Meetup as Efforts Expand]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 08:56:07 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PotholeVigilantes1.jpg

The so-called "Pothole Vigilantes" are at it again, and this time they're reaching out for sidekicks.

The anonymous men made famous for fixing potholes across Oakland on their own dime and time are hosting a meetup Thursday night to help get others involved in the pothole-filling activity.

The meetup is scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. at Lowell Park in Oakland. The duo will hand out free tampers and bags of asphalt to anyone who is willing to help smooth out rough roads. The men also plan to teach people how to effectively cover craters in the pavement.

"We are just trying to inspire some sort of social movement, to inspire the community to fix the problems of their community on their own instead of waiting on people," one of the vigilantes said. "Ultimately, we would like to see all the potholes in Oakland filled. Hopefully that will happen soon, not only with our help but the community's help as well."

Over the past few weeks, the "Pothole Vigilantes" have filled about 30 potholes on their own and collected almost $5,000 in donations.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 3 Seriously Injured Following I-80 Crash in Oakland]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 04:00:35 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+tape6.jpg

At least one person has died and three others suffered major injuries in a vehicle collision on eastbound Interstate Highway 80 in Oakland late Wednesday night, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the collision was first reported at 10:43 p.m. on a MacArthur Maze curve that directs the eastbound freeway north towards Berkeley.

Multiple lanes were blocked as the CHP investigated and cleaned up the scene. It is not known if alcohol or drugs played a factor in the collision. There are currently no arrests.

The injured people were transported to a hospital. The Alameda County Coroner hasn't yet released the name of the person who died.

All lanes were reopened at 1:12 a.m.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[New Storm Brings More Rain, Possible Thunderstorms]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 03:54:37 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Rain-Generic-Photo.jpg

The unusually mid-May breezy weather continued Thursday with showers and even brought a chance of thunderstorms.

Highs were in the 50s. Southwest winds hit in the 10 to 20 mph range.

Rain Thursday evening is likely, then a slight chance of rain after midnight. Lows will be in the lower 50s. West winds will be 10 to 20 mph.

Friday will be cloudy in the morning, then becoming sunny. Highs will be in the mid 50s to lower 60s. West winds will be 10 to 20 mph.

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<![CDATA[Parents File Suit Against Concord School Claiming Abuse]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 23:43:01 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBschoolabuse_7200066.JPEG

Parents filed a class action lawsuit against a Concord school Wednesday, alleging their children endured being aggressively disciplined and in some cases, physically restrained.

"She explained to me it was like being hung up on a wall like a coat on a hook and her legs were spread open," said a parent who chose to remain anonymous.

She explained what happened to her daughter on more than one occasion at Marchus School in Concord.

"I witnessed with my own eye … my daughter being held around the back on the floor," she said. "His legs around my daughter with my daughter in his lap."

The mother’s 20-year-old daughter was placed in Marchus School because she has special needs, suffering from emotional disturbances, attention deficit disorder, anxiety and depression.

"The restraint is supposed to be the very last resort," she said.

Other parents named in the lawsuit have similar stories. One parent said their child was picked up and thrown against a wall for tossing a water bottle toward a staff member.

"We were taken aback … this school has an impeccable reputation," said Terry Koehne, spokesperson for the Contra Costa County Office of Education, one of three departments being sued.

Koehne said he can’t comment on the lawsuit but added the school’s staff is on the cutting edge when it comes to restraint training adding that because students at the school have special needs, there are times when they must be restrained.

"Sometimes students will be overly aggressive, but we only do it when a child or student is harm to themselves or others," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Richmond's Spike in Gun Violence Prompts More Police, FBI]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 22:05:10 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FBI-Generic2.jpg

An unusually violent 48 hours in the city of Richmond has police calling in the FBI and patrolling vulnerable neighborhoods to discourage retaliatory shootings this week, according to a message from Chief Allwyn Brown.

Investigators believe there may be a link between two shootings in Richmond on Monday and one of several that occurred on the previous day, Brown said in a letter to city officials that was shared with the public Wednesday morning by Mayor Tom Butt.

Around 4:15 p.m. Monday officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the 500 block of Duboce Avenue in which at least one person was injured, but none of the parties believed to be involved cooperated with the police investigation.

About an hour later another gunshot victim was found in the vicinity of South Sixth Street and Ohio Avenue. He was also uncooperative, but investigators found the alleged crime scene at Sixth Street and the Richmond Greenway.

Sunday, three separate shootings were reported between 10:10 p.m. and 11:25 p.m.

The first shooting appears to have occurred in the 2400 block of Esmond Avenue in connection with the robbery of a man and a woman in a minivan. The woman was shot while fleeing, and the man was shot several times where he was sitting in the vehicle.

Police say his injuries left him paralyzed.

Then around 10:35 p.m. another man was shot in the vicinity of Nevin Avenue and First Street.

The 29-year-old victim walked into an emergency room and later told investigators that he had been walking in the area when a dark-colored sedan rolled up and he saw a laser. He ran but was shot in the foot.

Then around 11:25 p.m. a citizen of Eritrea was shot as he was standing near an apartment building on Potrero Avenue. Police said that he was ambushed by two armed suspects who opened fire and fled to a waiting vehicle.

The victim, identified as 44-year-old Embaye Maekele Amariam, was transported to a hospital in grave condition and has since been declared brain dead. Brown said he's not likely to survive.

"While his shooting was obviously targeted, it is possible that he could have been mistaken for someone else (he was wearing a hood) or a target of opportunity meant to send a message to rivals," Brown said. "We are considering the possibility that this shooting could have sparked subsequent attacks that happened on Monday."

In a sixth and potentially unrelated shooting, 56-year-old Miguel Ramirez was killed outside his home Tuesday evening. Officers responded to the 1600 block of Chanslor Avenue and found him wounded. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Richmond police spokesman Lt. Matt Stonebraker said Wednesday morning there were no details about the suspect or motive that could be released to the public at that time.

The city of Richmond made great strides to reduce gun violence in recent years, and the sudden spike in shootings seen since Sunday night has prompted the police to seek assistance from the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.

Officers are keeping a visible presence in areas they fear may be subject to retaliatory violence while gang experts pursue other forms of intervention, Brown said.

<![CDATA[DA Declines to Charge Pittsburg Fatal Shooting Suspect]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 19:18:36 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pitt_hom_0422_6903797.JPG

A Contra Costa County family is demanding answers after a man they say shot and killed their loved one is allowed to walk free.

The District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against Jason Posey, 39, in the April 22 fatal shooting of 36-year-old Sam Vehikite, saying the evidence indicates it was self-defense.

Oni Vehikite said she and her family can’t understand why the man who shot and killed her brother is not facing any charges.

"It hurts me knowing he’s gone, the way he lost his life, and I want justice for him," Oni said.

Sam Vehikite was gunned down three weeks ago after an argument with Posey in front of a tire shop. It was all caught on camera.

"When he pulled out the gun the first time, it shows my brother backing up, and you see his hands open," Oni said. "He backed away, and he shot him anyway."

Once Vehikite was down, Posey is seen reaching in his backpack. Then, he appears to point the gun at him again.

"I don’t understand why this man is walking free," Vehikite's girlfriend Rose Maderos said. "It’s unreal, I can’t believe it."

Pittsburg police arrested Posey on murder charges and handed the case, including the surveillance video, over to the DA. But prosecutors say the evidence supports a claim of self-defense. Police said a knife was found near Vehikite’s body.

Vehikite’s family, including his two daughters, are now left without their sole supporter. They’re heartbroken and say they need justice.

"What more do they need if they have a whole video that shows everything that happened?" Oni said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[East Bay Deputy Accused of DUI Crash, Punching Retired Cop]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 23:26:05 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05152019GaelParedes_7198370.JPG

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office says one of its deputies was arrested in Livermore last week.

Gael Paredes, 27, is accused of DUI and battery after crashing his personal car on someone's property then attacking that homeowner.

The homeowner tells NBC Bay Area Paredes tried to run away after the crash and when he tried to stop him, the deputy punched him in the face. The victim, a retired police officer, said he suffered a minor concussion after the attack.

Paredes was booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

A spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff's Department said they were aware of Paredes' arrest and the deputy is currently on leave.

"The criminal allegations are serious and being handled appropriately by the judicial system," the spokesperson said. "This is a personnel matter and we will not comment further."

Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Ghost Ship Trial: Fire Battalion Chief Describes Response]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 16:02:43 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/D6o_AgRVsAAXt6V.jpg

An Oakland fire battalion chief said Wednesday that she knew immediately after she arrived at the Ghost Ship warehouse after 11 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2016, that the fire that was burning there was a major event.

Testifying in the trial of Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Almena, 49, and Ghost Ship creative director Max Harris, 29, Heather Mozdean, whose crew was the first to arrive at the scene, said, "There was enough smoke and volume and velocity to know that I had a significant fire."

Mozdean explained, "The greater the velocity, the angrier and bigger the fire is."

She said that when her crew arrived at the warehouse only about a minute after the fire was reported, "I could see it (dark gray smoke) pushing out of the windows."

Almena and Harris face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the fire during a music party at the warehouse at 1309 31st Ave., one count for each of the 36 people who were killed in the blaze.

Mozdean, who was a captain at the time, was based at a fire station at 1225 Derby Ave., which is only about a block away from the warehouse.

Mozdean said she and her crew were sleeping at the time the fire was reported, but had their fire clothes nearby and were able to get their fire engine out the door in about 30 seconds and got to the fire while a dispatcher was still notifying other crews about the blaze.

About a dozen family members of the victims who were in court on Wednesday morning quietly sobbed when Alameda County prosecutors played a 15-minute video of helmet camera footage of the blaze taken by firefighter paramedic Brian Hicks, who was on Mozdean's four-person crew.

The footage briefly showed smoke and flames at the warehouse but was black and eerily silent much of the time as Hicks made his way through the building and voices can be heard in the distance.

The beginning of the footage shows people yelling at crew members when they arrive at the warehouse and one of the firefighters asked, "Guys -- is anybody in there?"

Mozdean will continue her testimony on Wednesday afternoon.

Prosecutors allege that Almena and Harris are criminally liable for the fire because there was no time and no way for the people at the party to escape since the warehouse didn't have important safeguards, such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and exit signs.

Prosecutors also say Almena and Harris violated the terms of the warehouse's lease by turning it into a living space where up to 25 people stayed and hosting underground music parties there.

But defense attorneys for Almena and Harris allege that the fire was an act of arson that Harris and Almena couldn't have prevented.

<![CDATA[CHP Responds to Vehicle vs. Cyclist Fatal in Oakland]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 16:14:21 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hwy_24_fatal_0515_7197196.JPG

Fire crews and the California Highway Patrol responded Wednesday to the scene of a reported vehicle vs. cyclist fatal collision off Highway 24 in Oakland.

The collision reportedly occurred at about 3:20 p.m. on the Martin Luther King Jr. Way offramp of on eastbound Highway 24 at 51st Street, the CHP said.

Witnesses said a cyclist was riding along the shoulder of the roadway and headed toward the center divide when they were struck by a Toyota Prius, the CHP said.

All lanes of eastbound Highway 24 were closed at 51st Street, and there was no estimated time of reopening, the CHP said. 

No further details were imediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[DUI Driver Allegedly Strikes 14-Year-Old Boy in Brentwood]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 12:46:18 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PoliceFile5.jpg

A driver who struck a 14-year-old boy with a truck in Brentwood on Tuesday afternoon was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, police said Wednesday.

Officers responded to the intersection of Brentwood Boulevard and Fir Street just before 3:30 p.m. Investigators determined the boy had some kind of medical emergency as he was walking along the shoulder of Brentwood Boulevard and moved into the southbound lane.

Mark Maggiore, 58, was at the wheel of the Ford F-250 that struck the child. He was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and child endangerment.

The boy was transported to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. Police said Wednesday he was listed in stable condition.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Killed in Separate Shootings Overnight in Oakland]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 10:43:29 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/generic+police+car+lights+SDPD.jpg

Two people died in separate shootings Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning in Oakland, according to police.

A man was killed in a shooting reported at 11:41 p.m. Tuesday in the 700 block of 29th Street, police said.

Another shooting was then reported around 3:05 a.m. Wednesday in the 1700 block of East 17th Street near San Antonio Park.

Officers arrived to find a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

No arrest has been made in either homicide, police said.

<![CDATA[Tri-Valley to Discuss BART Extension Alternative]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 04:56:28 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Tri-Valley_Residents_Fight_for_BART_Extension_to_Liverm.jpg

The plan to extend BART into Livermore has been dead for almost a year. Now, the Tri-Valley is considering an alternative.

The San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority on Wednesday will discuss funding and scheduling for proposed Valley Link rail that would extend service from Dublin/Pleasanton BART into Livermore and the Central Valley.

The Valley Link would be similar to the 10-mile extension of BART service between Pittsburg/Bay Point and Antioch that went into effect last year, using the similar kind of diesel or electrical trains.

However, the link would travel much further with proposed stops at Isabel and Greenville in Livermore, Mountain House, Tracy, Lathrop and some day Stockton.

New tracks would have to be built along Interstate 580 to get through Livermore. The rest of the route would rely on existing right-of-way that used to be owned by Southern Pacific.

The goal is to match BART service during peak hours and have trains running every 12 minutes during the commutes.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Unseasonable Rain, Thunderstorms Hit the Bay Area This Week]]>Wed, 15 May 2019 23:48:09 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/GettyImages-57331666.jpg

A stretch of unseasonable weather has made its way into the Bay Area, and it's expected to linger through this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

The system is expected to spread across the region Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Wind gusts of up to 40 mph are possible Wednesday through Thursday. The highest gusts will be on the hills, mountains and on the coast, weather officials said.

One-half to one inch of rain is expected over much the area with up to two inches possible in the North Bay and on coastal mountains.

Rain may be lighter in some valleys.

A second system will arrive Thursday, bringing more rain and a threat of thunderstorms, weather officials said. Hail, lightning and brief heavy rain may accompany the thunderstorms.

More precipitation and gusty winds are possible on Saturday and Sunday.



  • The San Jose Giants and the Inland Empire 66ers game on Wednesday has been postponed due to inclement weather.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Police Brutality Protest at Vallejo City Council Meeting]]>Tue, 14 May 2019 23:30:08 -0700https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBvallejoCityCouncil_7188565.JPEG

A packed Vallejo City Council meeting ended abruptly Tuesday after family members of people who were shot and killed by Vallejo police officers demanded justice.

People asked city lawmakers to bring in the state attorney general to investigate the police department’s use of force policy.

"That’s all we ever hear is you fear for your safety fear for your life. These loved ones are being shot in the back as they run away or on the ground when they are no threat at all," said Jamilia Land from California Families United 4 Justice.

Many in the meeting used the police shooting of young rapper Willie McCoy as a reason to why the department needs help.

McCoy, 21, was shot and killed by Vallejo police in a Taco Bell on Feb. 9, where police has discovered him unresponsive with a gun in his lap.

Last week, city leaders hired former Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan as a consultant for the department.