<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News - South Bay]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/localen-usMon, 18 Dec 2017 12:38:27 -0800Mon, 18 Dec 2017 12:38:27 -0800NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[CHP Continues Hunt For Freeway Arsonist in San Jose]]>Mon, 18 Dec 2017 05:50:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj_arson_fire_1217_1122085.JPG

The hunt continues for an arsonist who authorities believe has started more than 20 fires in the South Bay and appeared to have struck again early Sunday morning.

The latest blaze ignited near the southbound Interstate 680 onramp for Capital Expressway in San Jose. The site is next to a homeless encampment, and the fire appeared to have started in a shopping cart and spread to some of the surrounding vegetation.

The California Highway Patrol said it appears the small blaze was intentionally set and is likely connected to the recent string of fires in the same area.

For more than a week now, someone has been setting small fires near the freeway's onramps and offramps in San Jose. A team of CHP investigators has been canvassing the area, talking to witnesses and following up on multiple leads.

The agency said Sunday it is getting good information and cooperation from the public, especially the homeless who live along that stretch. Those investigators are also now working with other police agencies to help find who is responsible and to shut it down.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[3 Arrested in Connection to 2016 Killing, 1 Suspect at Large]]>Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:00:47 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12162017-suspects1.jpg

San Jose police said Friday that officers have arrested three people in connection with a 2016 fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man at a gas station. 

After investigating the homicide for nearly a year, detectives were able to identify the suspects involved in the Dec. 18, 2016 shooting in West San Jose, which killed 18-year-old Cesar Ponce Sanchez of San Jose.

On Wednesday, officers arrested San Jose residents Angel SantaCruz, 24, Jose Alcantar, 21, and Alicia Vallejo, 40. SantaCruz and Alcantar were both arrested on suspicion of murder, while Vallejo was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact, police said.

A fourth suspect has been identified as 24-year-old Joseph Duran of San Jose and a warrant has been issued for his arrest on suspicion of murder. Detectives believe Duran may have fled to Mexico.

The day of the shooting, officers responded at about 11:50 p.m. to the Mobil gas station at 1465 S. Winchester Blvd.

There, they found Sanchez suffering from one gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital, where he died soon afterward.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to contact Detective Sgt. John Barg or Detective Wayne Smith at (408) 277-5283. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can call (408) 947-7867.

Those who provide information leading to the suspect's arrest and conviction may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers, police said.

Photo Credit: San Jose Police Department
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<![CDATA[Swastika Found at University of California Santa Cruz]]>Fri, 15 Dec 2017 18:47:48 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12152017UCSantaCruz_1101374.JPG

A swastika found on the University of California, Santa Cruz has the campus taking new steps to stop the hate.

The university has seen dozens of hate incidents over the past year. The campus said hate crimes are unacceptable and is now offering a new way for students to report them.

University officials on Friday said they are aware of four dozen incidents of racism reported on campus this year.

"We recognize how disturbing it is," said Scott Hernandez, UC Santa Cruz director of media relations. "It was found just as Hanukkah was about to start, at a time students are already stressed about finals and the end of the quarter."

UC Santa Cruz has launched a website to make it easy for students to report hate. The effort is being called "Take a Stand Against Hate" and encourages students to pull out their phones, log in and report what they see.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[School Board Trustee Accused of Stealing Bond Measure Funds]]>Fri, 15 Dec 2017 18:45:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1215-2017-JohnLindner.jpg

A longtime San Jose school board member is accused of swindling nearly $30,000 from school bond measure funds, prosecutors said. 

John Lindner, a member of the Franklin-McKinley School District Board, allegedly spent $16,000 of campaign finances on airline tickets, lumber, and other personal items. He also let a relative borrow $12,000, but that amount was later returned, according to prosecutors.

The 55-year-old turned himself in around 12 p.m. Thursday. Charged with grand theft, perjury, and violations of the Political Reform Act, Lindner is out on $35,000 bail.

“Aggravating matters is that nearly all of the money donated in support of the school bond measure came from developers, contractors, and architects,” Deputy District Attorney John Chase said in a statement. “While at the same time the defendant, who kept much of this money for his own use, was a member of the school board that makes decisions about how the bond money will ultimately be spent.”

Lindner was the treasurer of a campaign fund behind a successful bond measure to improve the conditions of aging public schools in the district. However, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) found that he used the remaining funds once the measure was approved. 

"By July 2012, the trustee had bled the account almost dry," prosecutors said in a statement, noting that Lindner hid the embezzlement in campaign disclosure forms that said $13,000 were still in the fund.

The Registrar of Voters noticed in a 2016 report that Lindner claimed to have distributed the outstanding balance "in amounts less than $100 to 'Unnamed Civic Donation Recipients,'" the statement said. 

The "unusual" activity was reported to the FPPC, resulted in an investigation and Lindner's crimes were unearthed, prosecutors said.

Lindner could spend time in jail and be fined, if convicted. Each misdemeanor count is punishable by a fine of up to three times the amount he stole, which could surpass $250,000, according to prosecutors.

Lindner will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 19. 

<![CDATA[San Jose Shop is Among First in State Licensed to Sell Pot]]>Sat, 16 Dec 2017 22:28:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/DRJlgkwVwAATpxH.jpg

One of California’s first licenses to sell recreational marijuana was awarded to Buddy’s Cannabis in San Jose.

It currently operates as a marijuana collective but come Jan. 1, anyone 21 and older will be able to stroll in and buy pot.

“It's super exciting, honestly it's a milestone at this point,” said Buddy’s Cannabis owner Matt Lucero.

Lucero believes creating and regulating the projected multi-billion dollar cannabis market is the right move.

“It really does help legitimize this industry. We've been operating in the shadows for so many years, and now taking this next step to adult use really puts us as part of the community,” Lucero said.

Lucero was issued the first ‘microbusiness license’ in the state. It allows him to grow, cultivate, and sell marijuana out of the same building. He expects the added clientele looking to light up will boost business by 30-percent.

"We're hiring more employees. We're starting work to develop our upstairs grow,” he said.

Only 16 registered marijuana businesses are licensed to sell recreationally in San Jose on New Year's Day. But to actually operate, they have to get a state license too. Right now Buddy’s is the only one in the city that has both.

Alex Traverso, the Chief of Communications for the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), says that won’t be the case for long.

“We're going to keep issuing licenses and we'll see how the market does but I think we're going to have a lot of people waiting to get into the game,” Traverso said.

Traverso says 286 potential marijuana businesses have been given the green light by their local governments across the state, but are now awaiting approval from the BCC.

Photo Credit: Ian Cull / NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Low Humidity, Gusty Winds Trigger Bay Area Red Flag Warning ]]>Fri, 15 Dec 2017 23:59:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-482553290.jpg

Bay Area communities are on alert as low humidity and dry conditions increase fire danger.

Temperatures are low in the week leading up to Christmas, but, unfortunately, conditions are ripe for wildfires – in an area that was devastated by multiple wind-whipped blazes just two months ago.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect from 10 p.m. Friday through 10 a.m. Sunday in the Santa Cruz Mountains, East Bay and North Bay hills, and Diablo range. Gusty north to northeast winds are expected, especially at elevations above 1000 feet.

The National Weather Service recommends that people don’t burn anything outside.

The so-called Bear fire sparked in the Santa Cruz Mountains and was doused in mid-October. A few nights ago, however, it flared back up. Flames burned less than one acre before Cal Fire put it out. The flare up demonstrates how dry the weather conditions are.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Star Wars' Fans Swarm to Theaters For 'The Last Jedi']]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:51:36 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/star_wars2_1214_1094858.JPG

The highly anticipated blockbuster "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" opened late Thursday night, and as expected, fans were eager to be among the first to see it.

It’s the second film in the sequel trilogy. The first, "The Force Awakens," is the third-highest grossing movie of all time.

At the AMC Mercado 20 in Santa Clara, more than 200 people lined up to get the best spot to a showing. The person in front, Beejay Enriquez, took a vacation day so he could arrive by 9 a.m.

"It's always been a big part of my life and also because for this episode in particular, we're finally going to see what Luke (Skywalker) does and what color his light saber is going to be. So I've got to make sure I'm ready for that,” Enriquez said.

The color of his light saber will reveal whether Luke is still good or turns bad.

“Really hoping it's the green one from Episode 6, but if it turns red, I will cry very, very, very loudly,” Enriquez said.

Several fans turned out in costume.

"Being in an X-wing suit is something I've wanted since I was 5 years old,” said Erik Perez of Modesto. “So being able to come out here, do that, and see the movie is a dream come true."

The true Jedi may be the projectionist at the Tech Museum in San Jose. It’s screening the movie with 70 millimeter IMAX film. They say it's one of 11 reels in that format in the world, and the only one on the West Coast.

"It came in in 45 different reels,” said Michelle Duncan, the Tech Museum’s theater director. “He spent 12 hours putting it together and screening it to make sure it was ready for our audiences tonight."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Businesses Seek Licenses to Sell Recreational Weed on Jan. 1]]>Fri, 15 Dec 2017 06:04:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-73245285.jpg

Recreational marijuana use will become legal in California in about two weeks, and there's already a flurry of activity to get stores licensed in time.

So far, 200 businesses have applied for licenses to legally sell recreational week starting on New Year’s Day – and nearly half of those requests are from businesses in the Bay Area.

With 16 days to go before recreational pot can be sold legally in the state, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued the first 20 licenses. It expects more to be given out before Jan. 1.

Buddy’s Cannabis, of San Jose, picked up two licenses for medicinal and adult use. Kind Peoples in Santa Cruz got six licenses, including for medicinal and adult use, and licenses for distribution.

These are temporary licenses, good for 120 days.

California officials only launched the online licensing system last week. Since then, 1,900 users registered with the bureau of cannabis control.

The 200 who applied for licenses had to submit business plans, financial information and labor agreements. They also detailed how they planned to transport and inventory the marijuana as well as their plans for quality control and security.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara County Supervisors to Create Oversight for Jails]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:16:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scc_jail_1214_1092150.JPG

There will soon be more accountability at the beleaguered Santa Clara County jail.

On Thursday, the Board of Supervisors moved to establish an oversight committee to keep an eye on the policies and procedures at the jail. The move comes after multiple arrests and other discipline involving correctional deputies.

The troubles in the county corrections department have been well documented. They include three guards being convicted of murdering a mentally ill inmate as well as escapes by multiple inmates. Sheriff Laurie Smith, who oversees the jails, has been the target of most of the blame.

County leaders felt compelled to act.

"We’ve had 623 recommendations for reform," Supervisor Joe Simitian said. "I think that tells us that we had work to do. We’re doing that work now, but it really shouldn’t have come to this."

A county committee voted to appoint an inspector general of the jails and of the sheriff’s office. That person will report directly to the Board of Supervisors. The idea also is to appoint a civilian oversight committee to add muscle to jail reforms that critics say are badly needed.

"I think it’s important ... having the community directly involved and engaged," Simitian said.

Smith was not at Thursday's meeting, but several of her deputies were on hand. Also in attendance was John Hirokawa, the man who used to run the jails and has expressed interest in becoming sheriff.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Indictment Leads to More Charges in Death of 'Miss Flo']]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:25:18 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/miss+flo.jpg

A trial for the three men accused of beating an 88-year-old South Bay woman to death is now on track.

The victim, known in the community as "Miss Flo," was killed during a home-invasion robbery on Sept. 12, 2016. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office arrested two men on suspicion of murder, and a third man for being an accomplice.

On Thursday, a Grand Jury indictment handed down Thursday will lead to more severe charges against the men who are in custody. The men will also go to trial much faster.

The indictment means one young man arrested as an "accessory" will now join the other two in facing a felony murder charge.

The three accused men have already been making court appearances, but now the District Attorney's Office will charge Johnny Brown Junior, Zachary Cuen and Willie King with felony murder, robbery and elder abuse on the basis of the Grand Jury indictment and will skip the usual preliminary exam.

Sheriff's investigators said the victim, Floavis Douglas, was beaten during a home-invasion robbery and suspected Brown and Cuen attacked and robbed her, left and then returned and attacked her again.

But the Grand Jury indicted King for felony murder.

Prior to Thursday, King, then 19, was only charged as an "accessory" to the robbery.

"I can't discuss what happened with the Grand Jury, but Mr. King did live across the street from Miss Flo," prosecutor Lance Daugherty said. "And his role in what took place that day was more than simply an accomplice after the fact."

King was arrested Thursday and will be charged Friday.

Brown was in court and was arraigned before Judge Griffin M.J. Bonini. But Cuen refused to be transported from jail and in court the judge said he must show up in court Friday or be forcibly extracted from his cell Monday.

Whether it was a factor or not, Brown and Cuen face special circumstances of causing death or great bodily harm during the robbery.

If the special circumstances are found to be true for either Brown or Cuen, they will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to Daugherty.

King, since he is not charged with a special circumstance but faces a felony murder charge, would be sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison, Daugherty said.

Three other people, two girlfriends and Brown's mother, are also accused of assisting or harboring the suspects.

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<![CDATA[Man Fatally Struck By VTA Train in San Jose]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:11:28 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/1214-2017-VTA.jpg

A man was fatally struck by a Valley Transportation Authority light rail train late Thursday, officials said.

The collision was reported in the area of Component Drive and North First Street about 5:30 p.m., the VTA said. The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A passenger on the train also was taken to a hospital after complaining about chest pains, the VTA said. There were 25 to 30 people riding the train.

A bus bridge was operating between Bonaventura and Katrina stations while the accident was investigated.

Thursday's incident was the second of its kind in three days. A pedestrian was fatally struck Tuesday by a light rail train at Rosemary and North First streets.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara County to File Lawsuit Against FCC]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:22:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_NET_NEUTRALItY_UPDATE3-151327823710400002.jpg

Santa Clara County announced its intention to file a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission's vote Thursday to repeal regulations for net neutrality.

The decision from the FCC in a 3-2 vote in Washington, D.C., Thursday came down as the county held a news conference with members of the Board of Supervisors, county health officials and Sheriff Laurie Smith at the county building in San Jose.

Supervisor Joe Simitian said the county is seeking to keep net neutrality regulations intact so its residents can utilize the Internet without the potential of high-speed or low-speed "toll roads."

Opponents of Thursday's vote say the fear is that Internet service providers will throttle or slow speeds online for many to help those who are willing to pay a premium for the best speeds.

"We are here today that this issue remains a source of great concern to our county and to our county's 1.9 million residents," Simitian said. "This is a matter of economic vitality, it is a matter of democratic participation, and frankly, our concern is that it's a matter of our ability as a county to provide the residents of this county to be safe and secure."

County Counsel James Williams said the suit will move forward once the FCC officially repeals the regulations.

"The reversal of net neutrality is arbitrary and unjustified and therefore it is unlawful," Williams said. "Santa Clara County will not let the FCC's actions stand."

Smith said the sheriff's office depends on the Internet for communications purposes.

"Right now, our deputies have a tremendous amount of tools at their fingertips," she said. "They can know if someone is wanted or what crimes they've committed."

Smith admits there's a lot that remains to be seen but that is part of the problem.

"Because they can make different rules for different sectors for different rates, government doesn't have a lot of money to put into this and we want to make sure we're treated fairly and we can provide these functions," Smith said. "So much is unknown right now."

County Health Officer Sara Cody said the county relies on the Internet to take information in and release information out to the public.

"Any potential change or disruption in our ability to do that can both threaten public health as well as communication to provider and patient," Cody said.

She said it's hard to predict when the county will need to send out an advisory warning people about a health crisis and can't rely on potentially inconsistent speeds.

"Sometimes, something happens, and it's not as though you can give time to say, 'you know, could you turn it up on Tuesday?" Cody said. "We need it there all the time. It's a tool that we need to ensure we can communicate quickly and effectively with the public."

There were other responses by Bay Area politicians to today's net neutrality vote.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, announced that he plans to introduce legislation that would establish net neutrality protections in California once the state Legislature returns for session in Sacramento in January.

"If the FCC is going to destroy net neutrality and create a system that favors certain web sites just because they can pay more money, California must step in and ensure open Internet access," Wiener said.

San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell issued a statement saying the FCC's decision is another reason for why the city should create its own citywide fiber network.

"With San Francisco in control of our network, we can mandate net neutrality principles, provide more choice than the market offers, and higher quality Internet service for our residents and businesses," Farrell said.

Two local congresswomen, Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, also criticized the vote.

"Net neutrality is the backbone of a free and open Internet, and Congress must fight to ensure that every citizen -- not just those that can afford it -- has access to this fundamental right," Speier said.

Lee said, "The American people won't be silenced, censored or ignored. This fight is far from over."

<![CDATA[Firefighters Responding to Brush Fire in San Jose]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:30:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12142017SJFire_1089409.JPG

Firefighters are responding to a brush fire near Interstate 280 and McLaughlin Avenue in San Jose.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Volunteers in SJ Add Boost to Candidate's Alabama Win]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:58:45 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Volunteers_in_SJ_Add_Boost_to_Candidate_s_Alabama_Win.jpg

Volunteers in San Jose hunkered down at a phone bank, working mostly weekends for the past month, making thousands of calls at the request of Alabama Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones, and they were ecstatic to see their work pay off in Tuesday night's special election. Roz Plater reports.]]>
<![CDATA[New 2018 Law Requires More Time Off for Some New Parents]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 07:14:37 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BabyFile.JPG

Starting in 2018, moms and dads working at small companies will be able to spend more time with their new children thanks to a new bill.

Senate Bill 63, which focuses on parental leave, will allow for those parents working at companies with 20 to 49 employees to receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave while they bond with their new baby, adopted or fostered child. Parents working at companies with more than 50 employees are already protected under federal law.

The new bill will impact about 2.7 million California parents, but it only protects parents from losing their jobs. They will have to figure out if they can go 12 weeks without receiving a paycheck.

Some people still call the bill a win for families with new additions.

"As a mom that would mean so much," Gena Payne said. "The first six weeks isn't enough at all for any mom so 12 weeks, that would be really great.”

Pam Mathews of San Jose echoed that sentiment, applauding a rule that allows families with new members to stick together for a bit longer.

"I think that anything that can be done that makes it easier for a family to live a normal, good life, I think that’s great," she said.

The Chamber of Commerce opposed the bill, calling it a burden on employees.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wanted Felon Taken Into Custody After Lengthy SJ Standoff]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:51:15 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj_suspect_1213_1083208.JPG

A roughly 15-hour-long standoff in San Jose came to a dramatic end early Thursday with armed officers taking a wanted felon into custody.

The man was wanted for burglary and possible connections to other crimes, according to police.

The search and standoff started around 12:45 p.m. Wednesday when a San Jose police officer attempted to make contact with a suspicious man in the area of Pocatello Court and Hunken Drive, police said. The suspect then fled to a home in the area of Hunken and Lewis Road, where officers set up a perimeter.

A massive search ensued, and later in the evening officers believed they had the man surrounded inside a home, according to police.

Late Wednesday night, police appeared to deploy flash-bangs as a diversion so they could get an elderly man out of the house. Paramedics arrived at the scene a short time later. But police did not say whether the man or anyone else was injured.

The suspect, however, escaped through the rear of the house and was spotted jumping backyard fences, police said. Officers then surrounded him at Lewis and Durant Street, but at the time, it was not clear if he was inside another home or outdoors.

"Whether or not he actually lives there, what his status is, we believe he's got some kind of connection to that address," San Jose police Lt. Mike King said.

A SWAT team was brought in and was trying to negotiate with the suspect before the standoff came to a close around 3:45 a.m. Officers utilized non-lethal force to detain the man.

Footage from NBC Bay Area's Sky Ranger showed dozens of police cars lining the streets of the neighborhood near Los Lagos Golf Course to set up a perimeter, and several streets in the area were shut down during the standoff.

Resident Ivon Tovar lives inside the cordoned off area and had been waiting since 1 p.m. Wednesday to get home.

"Everyone was kind of worried," she said. "We're like, 'Are we safe here? Should we go?' They just told us we can't be inside our house.

"It's frustrating a bit," Tovar continued, "because we live in a calm neighborhood, and we don't really like seeing stuff like this because one, there's a lot of kids here. Two, it's not often that it happens."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Battle Blaze at Home in San Jose]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:32:00 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NBC+Bay+Area+Breaking+News+Image31.png

Firefighters on Wednesday battled a two-alarm blaze at a two-story residence in San Jose, according to fire officials.

The fire, which ignited around 10:45 a.m. at 288 Clearpark Circle, was eventually contained, and no injuries were reported, fire officials said. 

The blaze burned through the second floor of the residence so firefighters had to pull out of the structure and take a defensive position, fire officials said.

Debris and clutter inside the home made it difficult for firefighters to extinguish the flames, according to fire officials.

No one was inside at the time of the fire, according to fire officials.

It is not clear what sparked the blaze.

Further information was not available. 

<![CDATA[Mountain View to Add 10,000 Homes, New Offices]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:37:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mv_housing_1212_1070269.JPG

Mountain View city leaders late Tuesday unanimously approved a housing plan that would add nearly 10,000 new homes to the city's North Bayshore neighborhood.

The new plan has the support of tech behemoths, including Google, which is headquartered in North Bayshore. Looking to expand its footprint in Mountain View, Google wants housing as part of the future development.

Tuesday night's vote has paved the way for a massive redevelopment, including a campus of offices and roughly 2,000 affordable housing units.

Many community groups say this plan could serve as a blueprint for addressing the Bay Area’s housing crisis.

"It’s a precise plan, and it’s a land use policy change that is unlike almost anything that has ever been done before," Mountain View Mayor Ken Rosenberg said.

In 2015, Mountain View began to re-examine its land use policy in its North Bayshore neighborhood. The area may be home to some of tech’s global giants, like Google, but there was no mandate for actual housing.

The new project changes that.

"It will be more than, well, about 30 percent more housing in Mountain View," said Carl Guardino, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. "So, that’s another reason why it’s getting so much attention."

The group's report found that between 2010 and 2015 the region created about 367,000 jobs but added only 57,000 new homes. Guardino said California tax laws actually penalize cities for adding homes. 

Pilar Lorenzana, of Silicon Valley at Home, said Tuesday's vote was critical because it "shows that even our small to mid-size cities know that they have a responsibility and a role in helping our region address our collective housing crisis."

A broad coalition of private and community groups, even the school district, have advised the city on the plan. 

"It’s going to really be critical in offering a more affordable housing choice for people who work not just in Silicon Valley, but the Bay Area," Lorenzana added.

A lot has to hapen before any ground is broken, however.

Developers will now work with the city and Google to come up with a master plan, which may involve more public hearings.

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Delta Air to Add New Nonstop Flights Between SJC and JFK]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:11:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-53365301.jpg

Mineta San Jose International Airport officials announced Tuesday that new nonstop flights to and from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport will be available starting in June.

Delta Air Lines will start the daily nonstop service on June 8. JetBlue also offers daily nonstop flights between San Jose and JFK, while United Airlines and Alaska Airlines both offer daily nonstop flights to another airport in the area, the Newark Liberty International Airport.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo thanked Delta for adding the new service, saying in a statement that New York is "the most sought-after destination for Silicon Valley business and leisure travelers."

Mineta San Jose International Airport has flights to 53 nonstop destinations and serves 12 million passengers annually, airport officials said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Flare-Up Ignites Where Bear Fire Burned Near Boulder Creek]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:53:56 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BearFireBurnScar.JPG

A small fire ignited overnight within the containment lines of the Bear Fire that burned in the Santa Cruz Mountains back in October, Cal Fire officials said early Wednesday.

Cal Fire crews were able to keep the flames from spreading beyond one acre, according to the agency.

The blaze started near Rons Road near Boulder Creek, Cal Fire reported.

Even though it's mid-December, Cal Fire said people have to maintain a high level of fire awareness and preparedness until the region welcomes significant rain.

The Bear Fire, which started on Oct. 16, scorched 391 acres and wiped out six structures.

A man is accused of starting the October blaze, but the suspected arsonist's attorney entered not guilty pleas on his behalf.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['Layaway Angels' Pay Off Items For Toys R Us Customers in SJ]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:22:45 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj_toys_r_us_1212_1071524.JPG

A group of so-called "layaway angels" made the holidays a little brighter for customers at a San Jose toy store.

Three people wishing to remain anonymous went to the Toys R Us store on Blossom Hill Road in South San Jose and paid off 10 different orders customers had placed on layaway.

One of the customers was a man who was struggling to buy gifts for 20 kids in foster care. He said he was adopted and wanted to pay it forward. On Tuesday night, someone paid off a $320 bill he had for layaway items.

"There are people in this world who ask for nothing in return and just want to help people and make a difference in their lives," the man said. "And after tonight, this has restored my faith in people."

The store said the three anonymous gifters paid off about $2,000 worth of items over the past week.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[VTA Light Rail Train Hits, Kills Pedestrian in San Jose]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:09:43 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12122017VTAax_1070540.JPG

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a light rail train in San Jose late Tuesday, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

The collision involving a male pedestrian occurred at Rosemary and North First streets, officials said. The train was traveling on the Santa Teresa-to-Alum Rock route, officials said.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's investigators were at the scene to investigate. They were awaiting county coroner officials, the VTA said.

The train was carrying about 100 passengers, the VTA said. A bus bridge was operating between Civic Center and Karina stations.

No other injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigating Shooting Near Eastridge Mall in SJ]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:34:41 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/emergency-lights-generic-df.jpg

One person was shot Tuesday afternoon near Eastridge Mall in San Jose.

Police responded just after 12:50 p.m. to reports of a person shot in the area of Tully Road and Capitol Expressway. When officers arrived on scene they found a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound, police said.

The victim was transported to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

No suspects have been identified or apprehended. An investigation is ongoing.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Sierra LaMar's Killer Sentenced to Life Without Parole]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:08:57 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

Antolin Garcia Torres, the convicted killer of Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Garcia-Torres, 26, was convicted in May of first-degree murder in the 15-year-old girl's death and the attempted kidnappings of three women in 2009. On Tuesday, he was also ordered to register as a sex offender.

"There's a burden lifted, but we really just want Sierra back," Sierra's father, Steve LaMar said.

Steve LaMar during Tuesday's hearing looked directly at Garcia-Torres and said the following:

"The only thing we can hope for is that prison will be hell for him and thoughts of what he did to Sierra will eat away at him like a cancer until he rots in prison."

Sierra's mother, Marlene, also testified during the sentencing hearing. The parents said they have peace of mind knowing their daughter's killer cannot kill again, but Tuesday's sentence does not give them peace.

"Everyday is difficult for me and what has been taken from me as a mother," Marlene LaMar said.

The sentencing, which was originally scheduled to take place in September, was delayed as the court considered a challenge from the defense to remove Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Vanessa Zecher from the case.

Garcia-Torres and his attorneys claimed that a conflict existed between Zecher and lead investigator Herman Leon — a Santa Clara County Sheriff's sergeant — as she represented him as deputy county counsel in a previous civil lawsuit in 1991.

Zecher was the legal representative for Leon and other Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies in a suit 27 years ago that alleged Leon played a role in the death of Jeffrey Leonti, a mentally ill inmate, when he worked at the county's main jail as a guard.

A San Francisco Superior Court judge denied the motion to remove Zecher and a request for a new trial in November.

The penalty phase of the trial began May 16, a week after Garcia-Torres was found guilty of the missing teen's murder.

A jury decided not to hand Garcia-Torres the death penalty in June, sentencing him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Jurors deliberated for around eight hours before deciding on the sentence for Garcia-Torres.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Garcia-Torres while his defense attorneys presented sympathetic evidence about the abuse, poverty and neglect his family endured as he grew up in order to sway jurors to give him a life sentence.

Garcia-Torres' father, an alcoholic who sexually abused a female relative from age 5 to 14 while Garcia-Torres was growing up, is serving a life sentence at Salinas Valley State Prison.

Sierra's body has not been found since she missed her bus to Ann Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill on March 16, 2012.

Hundreds of community members searched for Sierra following her disappearance. Some attended almost every day of the trial and have continued search efforts in the South Bay.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara Man Arrested on Suspicion of Child Porn]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:19:02 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/reza-1211.jpg

A Santa Clara man was arrested last week on suspicion of child porn possession and other sex crimes, the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department said Monday.

Shahriyar Mohammed Reza, 26, was arrested Dec. 7 at his Santa Clara home on charges he possessed child pornography, arranged to meet a minor for sex acts and caused a minor to send harmful matter over the internet, police said.

Reza befriended the victim via social media communication, police said. He requested illicit images and attempted to meet with the victim to solicit lewd and lascivious conduct.

Officers with Los Gatos, Santa Clara and San Jose collaborated on the arrest in the 3700 block of Lillick Drive in Santa Clara. Reza was booked into County Jail on multiple charges.

Police believe there could be additional victims and are continuing to investigate. Anyone with information about the incident or Reza should contact the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department at 408-354-8600.

Photo Credit: Los Gatos PD]]>
<![CDATA[Sentencing For Sierra LaMar's Killer Set For Tuesday in SJ]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:10:25 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sierra-torres.jpg

The official sentencing for Antolin Garcia Torres, the convicted killer of Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar, is scheduled for Tuesday in San Jose.

Garcia-Torres, 26, was convicted in May of first-degree murder in the 15-year-old girl's death and the attempted kidnappings of three women in 2009.

The sentencing, which was originally scheduled to take place in September, was delayed as the court considered a challenge from the defense to remove Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Vanessa Zecher from the case.

Garcia-Torres and his attorneys claimed that a conflict existed between Zecher and lead investigator Herman Leon -- a Santa Clara County Sheriff's sergeant -- as she represented him as deputy county counsel in a previous civil lawsuit in 1991.

Zecher was the legal representative for Leon and other Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies in a suit 27 years ago that alleged Leon played a role in the death of Jeffrey Leonti, a mentally ill inmate, when he worked at the county's main jail as a guard.

A San Francisco Superior Court judge denied the motion to remove Zecher and a request for a new trial in November.

The penalty phase of the trial began May 16, a week after Garcia-Torres was found guilty of the missing teen's murder.

A jury decided not to hand Garcia-Torres the death penalty in June, sentencing him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Jurors deliberated for around eight hours before deciding on the sentence for Garcia-Torres.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Garcia-Torres while his defense attorneys presented sympathetic evidence about the abuse, poverty and neglect his family endured as he grew up in order to sway jurors to give him a life sentence.

Garcia-Torres' father, an alcoholic who sexually abused a female relative from age 5 to 14 while Garcia-Torres was growing up, is serving a life sentence at Salinas Valley State Prison.

Sierra's body has not been found since she missed her bus to Ann Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill on March 16, 2012.

Hundreds of community members searched for Sierra following her disappearance. Some attended almost every day of the trial and have continued search efforts in the South Bay.

Photo Credit: LaMar Family; NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[House Catches Fire in Sunnyvale]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:43:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/House_Catches_Fire_in_Sunnyvale.jpg

Firefighters on Monday were watching for hot spots after a garage went up in flames in Sunnyvale. The fire broke out along El Camino Real and Hollenbeck Avenue. There was concern that the fire was going to spread to nearby houses, but fire crews were able to contain the fire within 10 minutes of arriving on scene. Fire crews said they saved a dog. There were no reports of any injuries. Fire crews say a gas line helped fuel the fire.]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Transit Agencies Monitor Explosion in New York City]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:32:11 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/FDNY2.JPG

An explosion rocked an underground passageway in New York City Monday morning, prompting mass evacuations but appearing to only seriously injure the man who detonated the apparent improvised explosive device.

Bay Area transit agencies are monitoring the situation, but most are not making any significant security changes.

BART has instructed its officers to "maintain a high level of visibility and awareness," according to the transit agency.

There is no threat to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, but the agency indicated it has beefed up patrols, which it notes is a "standard protocol in these circumstances." The move is "purely precautionary," according to a spokesperson. 

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, which operates MUNI, is coordinating with the city's police department to "determine appropriate deployment strategies," according to a spokesperson. 

The San Francisco Police Department later indicated that there are no known threats to the city, but increased patrols will take place at tourist destinations across the city and across transit systems.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District indicated it will not be implementing any elevated security measures.

"Our security level is always high and is not being changed this morning," according to a spokesperson's statement.

Caltrain, which does not typically share security plans with the public, does not appear to be implementing any changes, according to a spokesperson.

AC Transit in the East Bay will also keep its same level of security, according to the agency.

Photo Credit: FDNY]]>
<![CDATA[Arson Suspected in Fires Along Interstate 680 in San Jose]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:45:10 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj_arson_fires_1210_1044468.JPG

An arson investigation is underway after fire crews have responded to several "spot" fires ignited along Interstates 680 and 280 in San Jose this week, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Yet another fire ignited Tuesday night in the area of the Highway 101-Interstate 280 interchange, CHP officials said. They believe it could be connected to a series blazes since Saturday evening.

"It appeared that some trash and a shopping cart was set on fire," CHP Officer Ross Lee said of the latest small blaze.

Investigators believe at least 13 separate fires along I-680 were the work of one arsonist, and they are searching for the suspect, the CHP said. One person in the area of the fires was detained early Monday and released later in the day. No arrests have been made.

CHP officials said three more fires ignited in the same area Monday evening. In all, they've seen at least 20 similar spot fires in a relatively small area since Saturday, they said.

No injuries were reported in any of the fires, the CHP said.

"All we can say definitively at this time is that one appears to be intentionally set," Lee said. "Possibly linked to the additional fires over the weekend."

First responders initially found three small fires burning Saturday evening along southbound Interstate 680 in the area around Landess Avenue and Hostetter Road, according to the CHP. They also found 10 other small fires burning in the northbound direction.

Witnesses told officials that they saw a person leaving the area on a bicycle, according to the CHP. The person was last seen on the Cropley Avenue overcrossing.

Residents and fire officials alike are concerned.

"When you have a fire on the side of the freeway, it seems pretty benign," San Jose fire Capt. Dan Vega said. "But people’s houses do come up to the freeway. You worry about it spreading to a home or hurting somebody."

Neighbors living along the freeway were on edge Sunday night. 

Resident Audrey Fernandez said she was stunned when she went out to her car Saturday night.

"There was a lot of smoke covering the sky," she said, adding that the flames came just a few feet from her backyard. "The fire burning our house does concern me."

Lee said investigators don’t have a suspect, but they say they are getting close.

"There are people who are able to provide some information about a potential or possible suspect and people who may know information about who is starting the fires," he said. "So these are things that are part of the active investigation."

If anyone has any information regarding the fires, they should contact CHP's San Jose office. 

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo, Thom Jensen and Anser Hassan contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fourth Consecutive Spare the Air Day Called for Monday]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 23:59:20 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/GettyImages-81708079.jpg

A Spare the Air alert is in effect for Monday, the fourth day in a row when wood-burning activities are banned, Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials said.

Air quality is expected to be unhealthy in the Bay Area Monday because of a high-pressure ridge clamping down on the area, trapping wood smoke pollution close to the ground, air district officials said.

"One burning fireplace can impact an entire neighborhood as well as pollute air inside the home," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district, in a statement.

Broadbent added, "During the recent Northern California wildfires, Bay Area residents experienced firsthand how quickly smoke can saturate the region."

However, air quality officials said in a news release that smoke from the wildfires raging in Southern California will remain aloft and will not impact air quality in the region Monday.

The Winter Spare the Air season's first three alerts were announced on Thursday. At that time, the air district issued alerts for Friday through Sunday.

During Spare the Air alerts, it is illegal for residents to use their fireplaces, wood stoves, outdoor fire pits or other wood-burning devices.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Meth, Replica Guns Found in Man's Vehicle in Santa Cruz]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 23:41:14 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SantaCruzArrest.PNG

A 61-year-old Felton resident on Friday was booked into jail on multiple charges after Santa Cruz police found him to be in possession of methamphetamine, about $1,000 in cash, two replica guns and other items, according to police.

Leo Beus was booked into the county jail for possession of methamphetamine for fales, a probation violation and other misdemeanor charges, according to Santa Cruz police.

Before the arrest, citizens had reported drug activity occurring in the eastern portion of Santa Cruz, according to police.

Dispatched officers eventually found a suspicious vehicle stationed along the 800 block of Water Street, and Beus was found inside, police said.

Police realized that Beus was on probation from another case tied to Santa Cruz County before searching his vehicle. They found more than one ounce of methamphetamine, a police scanner, cash, digital scales and the two replica firearms.

Santa Cruz police took to Facebook to thank the public for reporting the suspicious activity. 

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Law Firm Buys Plane to Dodge Bay Area's Living Costs]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 23:42:37 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-72304456.jpg

A Texas law firm had a novel approach to the Bay Area’s oppressive living costs: It shelled out $3 million on a private plane to ferry patent lawyers to clients based here.

Instead of hiring local lawyers, who would then have to live in a region marred by soaring rent and home prices, Houston-based Patterson and Sheridan bought a nine-seat Gulfstream G200 jet to bring their employees to Silicon Valley once a month, the Business Insider reported.

Though expensive, their approach is also cheaper than relocating Texas lawyers to this part of Northern California, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The median rent in San Francisco is $4,450, while the median home value comes in at a whopping $1.2 million, according to Zillow. Prices in San Jose are lower, but not less daunting. Zillow found that the median rent is $3,300 and median home value is $934,000.

Prices in both cities are forecast to rise in the coming year.

By contrast, the median price of Houston homes is $324,900 and median rent is $1,500, Zillow reports.

"The young people that we want to hire out there have high expectations that are hard to meet," Bruce Patterson, a partner at the firm, said to The New York Times. "Rent is so high they can't even afford a car."

Each flight costs the intellectual property law firm $1,900 per passenger and totals to $2,500 per hour in operating costs, the Houston Chronicle reported. Lawyers work while traveling so their hours are billable and help the company protect lawyer-client privilege, which is harder to do when arriving early at an airport, checking in bags and waiting in a security line.

The firm doesn’t view the plane as a luxury, and only flies it when it is full, partners said to the Chronicle. It also helps them recruit young lawyers who are eager to work with the world’s leading tech brands, but are put off by the Bay Area’s living costs.

Patterson and Sheridan is "still able to offer companies and inventors lower costs because most of the patent work is done in Houston, where commercial real estate is 43 percent cheaper, salaries 52 percent lower, and competition for technical talent far less fierce," according to the Chronicle.

In fact, the frequent flights to California helped the firm bring Intuit, Western Digital and Cavendish Kinetics on board as new clients. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Statewide Minimum Wage to Rise New Year's Day]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:50:30 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/10DollarGeneric.jpg

The minimum wage for workers in California is going up on New Year's Day, though wages in at least some cities in the San Francisco Bay Area are already above the new mandate, state officials said.

The minimum wage statewide will rise Jan. 1 to $11 per hour for businesses with 26 employees or more and $10.50 for businesses with 25 employees or less.

Workers that are not paid the minimum wage are urged to get in touch with the Labor Commissioner's Office in their area to file a claim.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in 2016 making California the first state in the country to commit to a $15 per hour minimum wage.

As long as the economy is good and the budget allows, the minimum wage will be $15 an hour in 2022 at large businesses and in 2023 at small businesses.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Coroner IDs Woman Found Dead in Bay in Sunnyvale]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 01:26:53 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sunnyvalebody_1016517.JPEG

The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office on Saturday identified a 23-year-old Mountain View woman whose body was found floating in the San Francisco Bay earlier this week.

The woman was identified as Chu Chu Ma of Mountain View according to the coroner's office. She was discovered off the Bay trail on the Sunnyvale-Moffett Field border on Thursday afternoon. A passing bicyclist came across her body and reported it to the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

A woman with the same name has a LinkedIn profile indicating that she is a software engineer at Google, a former intern at Yahoo and Telogis, and an alumna of the University of Texas at Austin. 

A Google spokesperson released a statement saying, "Chu Chu was an excellent software engineer in our developer product team. We are devastated to learn of her passing and our deepest condolences are with her family and friends."

A coworker of Chu Chu Ma said she constantly "glowed with cheer" and "always made others smile." 

NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger captured footage of several police cars, officers and divers at the scene. A woman's naked body was floating face down in the water.

Ma's body was recovered by a dive team from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. It's unknown what circumstances led to the woman's death, the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said on Twitter.

The medical examiner will investigate alongside the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sinkhole Opens Up in San Jose]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:11:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/12-8-17-sinkhole-san+jose.jpg

A sinkhole opened up on Tully Road in San Jose on Friday. 

Video from the scene near Kenesta Way and Brahms Avenue shows one lane closed and cars sporting damage. 

Public works crews are at the sinkhole, but it remains unclear how long they will be out there.

Further details were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Companies Hire Models to Attend Holiday Parties: Report]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:57:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/GettyImages-511604371.jpg

A report of Bay Area tech companies hiring models to act as guests at lavish holiday parties is raising concerns.

The Bloomberg report suggests that some Silicon Valley companies are hiring models from agencies like Cre8 Talent to act as guests. They’re paid up to $200 an hour to attend, and they'd have to sign non-disclosure agreements, the report said.

Some question if the trend is sending the wrong message, especially amid a national debate about sexual misconduct in the workplace that has brought to light the alleged abuse by men in positions of power in Hollywood, politics, businesses, news and elsewhere.

Female and male models are hired to liven up parties and help break the ice and encourage attendees out of their shells, according to a Cre8 Talent spokesperson. They aren’t paid to flirt, Cre8 told NBC Bay Area.

Cre8 Agency sent 25 women and 5 men, all good-looking, to hang out with "pretty much all men" who work for a large gaming company in San Francisco on Dec. 8, Cre8 President Farnaz Kermaani told Bloodberg.

Los Angeles-based Models in Tech, a company that allows people to hand select who they’d like to hire, usually get inquiries for hosts or presenters, CEO Olya Ischukova told NBC Bay Area.

Ischukova says her agency typically focuses on trade shows, including The International Consumer Electronics Show, where booths feature a type of brand ambassador and help with “check in, giveaways, raffles or some games.”

Models in her employ are not hired simply as guests at parties, but occasionally, Ischukova says the company receives some unusual requests.

"They required models to wear Pink Panther leather suits, so … we have to deny this request,” she said. "Because I politely explained this is not what we do."

Kym McNicholas, a journalist who has covered tech culture for 20 years, says she doesn’t think that hiring models for a party is anything new, but she believes it demonstrates impropriety.

"I know I shouldn't be shocked, but I am shocked simply because we've come a really long way this year in terms of really bringing to the forefront … the issues we have with diversity, acceptance and even sexual harassment," McNicholas said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Four Ex-Tech Executives Accused of Stealing Trade Secrets ]]>Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:38:30 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/computer+generic2.JPG

Four former tech executives were charged last week in an alleged scheme to steal trade secrets from a Silicon Valley semiconductor chip equipment manufacturer, federal prosecutors said.

Liang Chen, Donald Olgado, Wei-Yung Hsu and Robert Ewald were charged in an indictment handed down Nov. 30 for allegedly stealing secrets from Santa Clara-based Applied Materials.

The four men allegedly started conspiring in Sept. 2012, while they were employed by Applied Materials, to steal some of the company's trade secrets and use them in a new company, which would compete with Applied Materials.

The indictment says that the secrets the men allegedly stole were related to the high-volume manufacturing of semiconductor wafers.

The wafers would be used in lighting and electronics such as flat-screen TVs and smart phones.

The technology was developed through years of research and testing and the investment of millions of dollars, according to prosecutors.

According to the indictment, production of the wafers is sophisticated and must occur in "clean room" conditions in a fully automated process controlled by computers.

Prosecutors said the defendants allegedly downloaded information related to the secret technology from a confidential Applied Materials engineering database.

The information allegedly included more than 16,000 drawings. The four men allegedly shared emails describing their plans to use the technology in a startup company, which would operate in the U.S. and China.

Prosecutors said the men also allegedly tried to recruit investors to fund their new company.

Each of the men was charged with one count of conspiracy to steal trade secrets and eleven counts of possessing stolen trade secrets.

At Applied Materials, Chen, 52, a Saratoga resident, was corporate vice president and general manager of the alternative energy products division.

Olgado, 54, of Palo Alto, was managing director of engineering in the product business group, while Hsu, 57, of San Jose, was vice president and general manager in the semiconductor LED division and Ewald, 60, of Aptos, was a director of the energy and environmental systems in the alternative energy products division.

None of the men are still working at Applied Materials. Their arraignment is set for Dec. 15.

Attempts to reach the defendants were unsuccessful. A spokesman for Applied Materials was not immediately available for comment.

Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Robber Locks Store Workers in Bathroom, Says Merry Christmas]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:58:44 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gilroy_robbery_1207_1019875.JPG

A man posing as a UPS driver robbed a Gilroy outlet store Monday, but not without apologizing and wishing his victims a Merry Christmas, Gilroy police said.

The takeover robbery occurred at the back of the Lane Bryant outlet store, where the suspect called the store phone, saying their UPS delivery just arrived, police said.

When workers opened the door, they found a man not in a UPS uniform.

"He simulates the fact he has a gun by putting his hand in his waistband and demands all the money out of the register," Gilroy police Sgt. Jason Smith said.

Detectives said once he was done getting the cash, the suspect ordered the employees into the bathroom.

"He pushed a filing cabinet against the door, told them not to come out for 10 minutes, said he was sorry and said to have a Merry Christmas," Smith said.

Shoppers at the popular outlets weren't so cheery hearing about the crime.

"It's appalling, and I'm very sad that it happened," Hollister resident Alberta Astras said. "I feel for the employees that were in the store."

Martin Vargas works at another outlet shop.

"We normally don't hear that here in the outlets," he said. "There's usually some theft but nothing like that, holding people hostage or anything."

It wasn't the only holiday heist early Monday. Police are looking for seven suspects who smashed the front door of the Sunglasses Hut. The robbers grabbed products off the shelves and got away in less than a minute.

Detectives are checking surveillance cameras in the area and will increase patrols at the outlets during this busy shopping season.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Deputy Arrested For Sending Illicit Images: SJPD ]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:47:37 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/blaine+hopper-1207.jpg

A Santa Clara County correctional deputy was arrested Tuesday for sending illicit images of himself to a minor, according to the San Jose Police Department.

Deputy Blaine Hopper, 23, developed a friendship with a 17-year-old girl while the two participated in a youth program, police said. Over a five-month period, Hopper and the girl communicated with one another through social media, which included Hopper requesting illicit images from her as well as sending illicit images and videos of himself to the girl, investigators said.

Hopper was arrested on suspicion of distributing harmful matter to a minor over the internet and causing a minor to send harmful matter over the internet, both felonies, police said. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail.

Sheriff Laurie Smith released a statement Thursday, saying in part, "No one should have to be a victim of sexual coercion or harassment, and there is absolutely no tolerance in the Sheriff’s Office for anyone who engages in this type of conduct. We commend the victim for coming forward and telling her story, and we offer her our full support in grappling with this terrible situation.".

Persons with information about the incident are urged to contact Detective Sergeant Brain Spears of the San Jose Police Department's ICAC (Sexual Assaults) Unit at (408) 537-1397. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line, (408) 947-STOP (7867).

Photo Credit: San Jose PD]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Car Crashes Jump 43% From 2010 to 2016: Report]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 06:39:43 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-77356472.jpg

The number of car accidents in the Bay Area is on the rise.

The uptick began in 2010 and data shows that the 43 percent growth seen in 2016 is because there are more drivers on the road as the region is in the throes of economic prosperity, according to a Vital Signs report.

The North Bay counties of Napa, Sonoma and Solano have the highest fatality rates, Vital Signs found.

By contrast, San Francisco has the lowest fatality rate in the Bay Area, but, per mile driven, is also one of the most dangerous regions in the area. That explains why bicyclists and motorists account for a majority of the deaths in the city by the bay.

The six-year period investigated in this report marks the first sustained surge in road fatalities since the 1970s, which experienced similar conditions due to economic growth.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Body Found Off Bay Trail on Sunnyvale-Moffett Field Border ]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:43:53 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sunnyvalebody_1016517.JPEG

A woman's body was found off the Bay trail on the Sunnyvale-Moffett Field border on Thursday, authorities say.

NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger captured footage of several police cars, officers and divers at the scene.

The body was recovered by a dive team from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. It's unknown what circumstances led to the woman's death, the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said on Twitter.

The medical examiner will investigate alongside the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

Further details were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Found Shot to Death on School Campus in San Jose ID'd]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:09:27 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/224*120/12-05-2017-man-shot-dead.JPG

The name of a man who was found shot to death at Mount Pleasant High School before the start of classes on Tuesday morning has been identified by the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office as 28-year-old Andrew Ortiz.

Ortiz, a San Jose resident, was found dead with at least one gunshot wound to his body at Mount Pleasant High School around 6:45 a.m., before school started, according to East Side Union High School District Superintendent Chris Funk.

Funk said there were no students or staff involved in the case reported at the campus located at 1750 S. White Road. The school remained open and students were safe on campus Tuesday.

Police said there is no suspect information immediately available, and the circumstances of the homicide remain under investigation.

Ortiz's death is San Jose's 31st homicide in 2017, according to police. There were 47 homicides in 2016.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[First Three Spare the Air Alerts of Winter Issued]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:28:44 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12-24-2013-spare-the-air.jpg

The first three Spare the Air alerts of the winter season were announced Thursday for Friday through Sunday, Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials said.

The alert means residents are prohibited by law from burning wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel either indoors or outdoors through midnight Sunday.

Air district officials said air quality is expected to be unhealthy because of weather conditions, which are expected to trap pollution close to the ground.

The pollution is especially harmful to children, the elderly, and people with respiratory conditions. Exposure to wood smoke, like cigarette smoke, has been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, according to the air district.

During the alert, residents and visitors are prohibited from using fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits and any other wood-burning devices.

Exemptions exist for people whose only source of heat is a woodstove or fireplace, but people must use a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified or pellet-fueled device that is registered with the air district.

No longer does an open-hearth fireplace qualify for an exemption.

Violators have an option of taking a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 ticket the first time they violate the rule.

A second violation results in a $500 fine and fines are higher for subsequent violations.

Air district officials said Bay Area residents and visitors must check to see whether a Spare the Air alert has been issued during the Winter Spare the Air Season, which runs from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28.

Several ways are available to check including text alerts, websites, a toll-free phone number and phone alerts.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 People Win $750K Each After South Bay Lottery Purchases]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:53:19 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MysteryCrosswordCALottery.JPG

Santa Clara County appears to be an extra lucky spot these days.

That's because not one but two people playing the same California Lottery game each cashed in on a top prize of $750,000, according to the California Lottery.

Players Glenn Silveira and Tony Mai were both recently testing their lucky with the $10 Mystery Crossword contest, according to lottery officials. Mai snagged his winning ticket at San Jose's Lynda Sandwich/Blue Sky Corner Cafe, which is located at 999 Story Rd. About seven miles away, Silveira purchased his lucky scratcher at a Santa Clara 7-Eleven located at 1590 Franklin St.

Silveira, who told the California Lottery that his first reaction to hitting the jackpot was "Holy moly!" is on a hot streak as of late, according to lottery officials. He snagged $1,000 earlier this year playing the state lottery.

As for what Silveira plans to do with his new winnings, he said, "My wife's wheels are already turning," according to the California Lottery. Aside from meeting his wife's wishes, Silveria hopes to also tackle his mortgage payment.

It is not clear what Mai will do with his winnings.

Photo Credit: California Lottery]]>
<![CDATA[BART Discusses Tunnel Options for Downtown San Jose]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 06:48:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BARTGeneric.JPG

The city of San Jose on Thursday could learn more about BART's plans for building a tunnel under the South Bay city as the transportation agency continues its expansion project.

BART's Board of Directors is expected to discuss how to connect the yet-to-be-opened Berryessa Station with future stops planned in or near the downtown San Jose area.

From the Berryessa BART station, the transportation agency will extend another six or so miles with stops in Alum Rock, downtown San Jose, Diridon Station and Santa Clara.

The question at the table is how will BART tunnel underneath downtown San Jose. The transportation agency can either utilize a single-bore option — deeper underground tunnel with trains running above and below of each other — or go with a double-bore option — wider underground tunnel with trains running parallel to each other.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which is leading the project, favors the single-bore option.

According to the Mercury News, VTA is asking for another three months to finish its design for a single-bore tunnel, which would measure about 45 feet in diameter.

VTA prefers the single-bore option because it would only take three years and two months to complete, and it would be about $50 million cheaper than the double-bore option, which would take about four years to complete.

BART's extension into San Jose and Santa Clara is expected to be completed by 2026 at a cost of $4.7 billion.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Campbell Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Running Over Best Friend]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 20:58:59 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1262017delarosainjail_1005722.JPEG

A Campbell woman on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to mowing down her best friend and killing her after a June night of allegedly heavy drinking.

Elsie De La Rosa, 23, of San Jose, is accused of running over Sally Hernandez, also 23, of Santa Clara, and fleeing the scene, according to police. Hernandez's death marked the city's first homicide in two years.

Both women were childhood friends, and family members said they were stunned by the tragic turn of events. Hernandez’s parents were in court Wednesday, wearing T-shirts and sweatshirts adorned with her face. Hernandez’s mother Rachel Correa, who said the two women knew each other their entire lives, also sported a new tattoo in memory of her child.

“These girls were born two weeks apart,” Correa said. “They've literally known each other their entire lives ... It’s heartbreaking.”

De La Rosa pleaded not guilty to one count of murder in the death of a woman who was a familiar face in San Jose’s lowrider community. Even so, Sally Hernandez’s father, Benjamin Hernandez, said he is grateful the case is moving forward.

“I miss her so much,” he said. “And I just hope she gets her justice that and everything comes out.”

Hernandez and De La Rosa traveled to the Campbell neighborhood in the same car on June 27 and got into a fight, which prosecutors believe was fueled by alcohol.

Hernandez somehow ended up outside the vehicle at Leigh Avenue and Montemar Way. Police say De La Rosa intentionally rammed into her friend and left her lying there.

Campbell police responded to a report of an accident involving a car and a pedestrian around 7:15 a.m. Another person called 911 to report a disturbance at the same spot, police said.

Responding officers found a severely wounded woman on the road. Hernandez was taken to Valley Medical Center where she died, according to police.

Witnesses told police that they saw a woman fleeing the scene behind the wheel of a gray four-door car.

Police were able to locate and arrest De La Rosa near MacArthur Avenue and Pfeffer Lane around 11:50 a.m. on June 28 because she had been contacting local hospitals, looking for her friend. In a chilling twist, investigators said that De La Rosa called Hernandez's father and told him that she hit Hernandez with her car but couldn't remember where the collision happened.

De La Rosa, who at the time of her arrest was driving around in the same car she allegedly used to run Hernandez down, was booked into the Elmwood Correctional Facility.

Investigators also revealed that two men were with the women Tuesday night. One of the men is De La Rosa's boyfriend, and the other is her brother. Both ran from the scene.

Benjamin Hernandez assigned blame to the men for not reporting the collision to police.

De La Rosa will be back in court in February for a preliminary hearing

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

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Apparent Threat Prompts Evacuation of Alaska Plane at SJC]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:01:42 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/SJC+Bomb+Threat.JPG

An Alaska Airlines plane at San Jose International Airport on Wednesday was evacuated due to an apparent security threat, according to an airport spokesperson.

The spokesperson said an apparent WiFi message indicated that there was some sort of bomb threat declared, but officials later determined that the threat was "non-credible." 

After being escorted off the plane, passengers were forced to re-screen before boarding again.

The plane is scheduled to fly to Hawaii.

Further information was not available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Crews Rescue 2 From Stuck Vessel Near Alviso]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:40:41 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CoastGuardAlvisoRescue.JPG

Coast Guard crews rescued two boaters Sunday after their vessel ran aground in San Francisco Bay near Alviso.

At 4:45 p.m., a good Samaritan contacted Coast Guard officials to report an 18-foot vessel with three people aboard that ran aground near the entrance to Alivso Slough.

Coast Guard watchstanders contacted the owner of the vessel onboard with a cellphone number obtained from the Foster City Police Department. The vessel owner told watchstanders that he planned to wait for high tide to refloat the boat, Coast Guard officials said.

At 7 p.m., however, the owner reported that his two passengers were cold, wet and concerned about hypothermia, Coast Guard officials said.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew from San Francisco was launched.

When it arrived at the scene, crews hoisted the two passengers up to the helicopter and flew them to a Coast Guard air station in San Francisco. They did not have any injuries, Coast Guard officials said.

The vessel's owner remained onboard. At high tide he refloated the boat and moored at Alviso Marina, Coast Guard officials said.

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard]]>
<![CDATA[Campbell Carport Fire Destroys Several Vehicles]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:47:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12-6-17-campbell+fire.jpg

Several vehicles were destroyed in a fire Tuesday night at an apartment building in Campbell, fire officials said.

At 9:54 p.m., Santa Clara County fire officials received a report of a fire in a carport at an apartment building in the 1800 block of South Bascom Avenue.

According to Santa Clara County fire Capt. Bill Murphy, seven vehicles in the carport were completely destroyed and another 10 vehicles in another carport were damaged. One apartment also sustained light smoke damage.

Crews knocked down the fire just after 10:30 p.m. and no one was hurt, Murphy said.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Kris Sanchez/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[SJSU Professor Accused of Sexual Harassment Resigns]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 23:38:18 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjsu_rally_1205_998278.JPG

As the list of sexual misconduct scandals grows nationwide, students at San Jose State on Tuesday night celebrated a professor's resignation.

Lewis Aptekar was accused of sexual harassment in 2015 but only stepped down this semester. Now, students with a group called Students Against Sexual Harassment are pushing for more change on campus.

About 50 students were on campus Tuesday night, celebrating the end of one chapter with the departure of Aptekar, a counseling education professor.

"Because we took action, he did resign, and he's not coming back," student Yvette Jones of Students Against Sexual Harassment said. "So that's one professor we won't have to be worried about in the classroom."

A university investigation concluded Aptekar sexually harassed a student when he asked multiple times if she was single and wanted to date him. Documents show Aptekar later filed a claim against the university, saying it had violated his right to due process.

He received $75,000 in a settlement, in exchange for resigning.

The students say they gathered Tuesday to support the victims.

"With the news, we've also seen it's happening at other universities, so we want to bring the universities together," student Guadalupe Zaragoza said.

Professor Jason Laker works in the same department as Aptekar did. He showed up wearing a shirt saying "Do not sexually or racially harass the students."

"Frankly, I ordered the shirt and had every intention of wearing it at the department meetings and let him look at it until he was gone," Laker said. "Because of (the students') efforts, the university folded and dealt with him."

The students want more sexual harassment training for faculty.

In a statement, SJSU said the Cal State University contract already mandates all employees complete a two and a half hours of sexual harassment training every year.

Aptekar's attorney was not available for comment late Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Overturned Truck Blocks Lanes of Traffic in San Jose]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:54:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BascomCrash.JPG

A truck carrying supplies spilled its load after becoming entangled in a wreck with two other vehicles in San Jose on Tuesday, according to fire officials.

The crash was reported in the area of S. Bascom and Fruitdale avenues.

It is not clear if anyone was injured.

The overturned truck appeared to be carrying roofing supplies.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Found Shot Dead Near San Jose School: Police]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 23:52:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1252018bodysanjoseschool_992877.JPEG

A man was found shot dead early Tuesday in a Mt. Pleasant High School parking lot, prompting a homicide investigation, San Jose police said. 

Officers received a call about the body on the 1700 block of South White Road around 7 a.m. 

Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators combed the East San Jose scene, and went door-to-door, talking to neighbors and looking for witnesses.

Yvonne Sawyer said she heard, "Two bangs: Pow! Pow!"

She was extremely upset upon learning that a young man had been shot just a few yards from her house. Police said he had at least one gunshot wound. Sawyer described the situation as "scary" and "really upsetting."

Superintendent Chris Funk told NBC Bay Area that the grisly discovery was made near the athletic fields on the northeast corner of campus, but does not involve any students or staff members.

Some students who saw the body as they headed to class Tuesday morning shared graphic images of the victim with dozens of other students on Snapchat.

Rose Vasquez said her two daughters who attend Mt. pleasant High School saw the video.

"That had me very worried," she said. "You can't unsee something like that. I saw it and I am still shaken over it."

Some parents were upset because school administrators only informed them of a medical emergency. If they had known about the shooting, they would have kept their children home, they said.

A school-goer described being afraid because classes went on as usual. "What if the gunman came back?" the student asked.

Police are still looking for a suspect and have not yet released the name of the victim, according to spokeswoman Gina Tepoorten. 

Tuesday's death marks San Jose's 30th homicide of 2017 as compared to 47 at the same time last year, police said.

NBC Bay Area's Kris Sanchez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Traffic Fatalities Sharply Up Across Bay Area Since 2010]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 10:00:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/CarCrashGeneric.JPG

Since 2010 the number of traffic fatalities each year has gone up in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to data from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Last year 455 people died on Bay Area roadways, up from 318 in 2010 and 422 in 2013.

Officials with the commission said the number of fatalities has grown faster than vehicle miles traveled and population growth.

The officials also said that pedestrians and bicyclists are a growing share of the traffic fatalities.

In 2016, 154 or 34 percent of all collisions ended in the death of a pedestrian or bicyclist, up from 95 or 30 percent in 2010.

According to commission officials, improved vehicle safety has reduced fatalities among occupants of vehicles while deaths among non-motorized travelers have gone up.

San Francisco is taking steps to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities.

City officials have launched the Vision Zero project to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024.

Injuries from crashes and collisions have also risen since 2010 in the Bay Area. Last year 2,089 injuries occurred on Bay Area roads, up 25 percent from 2010.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Push to Name San Jose Street After Former President Obama]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:28:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/ObamaNameSanJoseStreet.JPG

A petition with the goal of renaming a San Jose roadway after former President Barack Obama is starting to gain some traction.

Alex Shoor is helping to orchestrate the name change effort in hopes of celebrating the 44th president's legacy and inspiring the next generation of leaders. 

"Now maybe more people in this country can truly believe that anyone can be president, and we want that hope to live on," Shoor said. "We want that hope to live on across the country and we want that hope to live on here in San Jose."

Almaden Boulevard in the heart of downtown San Jose is one of the roadways that could be swapped for the former commander in chief's name. That's because four streets in the South Bay city already feature the word "Almaden" in some capacity.

Actually swapping a street name takes time, public input, 1,000 support signatures and about $7,000 to cover the application for the name change.

Supporters of the movement hope the public pitches in to help, saying the effort does not represent a political showing but is more of a testament to history. 

"He was a U.S. president," Marissa Harris said. "Plenty of boulevards named after U.S. presidents, so why not him?"

At least 10 roadways across the country and one in Tanzania already feature Obama's name.

The campaign is accepting donations on the African-American Community Service Agency website. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mail Truck Thefts More Than Triple in San Jose]]>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 21:27:06 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj_mail_truck_1204_981766.JPG

U.S. Postal Service inspectors are warning people about a spike in mail thefts from postal trucks in San Jose.

There was a string of break-ins last summer, but the problem has escalated, officials say.

The latest theft occurred on Impala Drive in San Jose last Thursday. Postal inspectors say the number of postal truck break-ins in San Jose has tripled compared to last year.

As resident Reed Kappen checked the mailbox at his home, he's more concerned about what didn't arrive than what did. Kappen lives just a few blocks away from where someone broke into a mail truck on Nov. 21.

"I have my property tax bill; that's important," Kappen said. "And I'm expecting credit card applications, and I'm watching for bills."

The U.S. Postal Service recently sent out 150 letters to customers notifying them that their mail may have been stolen from a postal truck parked on Fifth Street, near downtown.

Inspector Jeff Fitch says the number of postal truck break-ins in San Jose jumped from five last year to 16 so far this year. Many of the crimes happened withn a 1-mile radius of the station near Saint James Park in downtown.

"Check your credit card for any activity you did not make, and contact us," Fitch said. "If we know where the suspect purchased something, that information we can use to help identify who these individuals are."

The thieves are breaking into the back of the trucks while the carrier is out delivering mail, Fitch said.

Postal officials are looking at security upgrades that make it harder to break into the trucks. Some people, however, have said they've seen some postal trucks left open while deliveries were made.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Leaders Present Possible Tiny Homes Designs, Plans]]>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 18:17:04 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj_tiny_homes_1204_982400.JPG

San Jose city leaders and a design firm unveiled design plans Monday for building tiny homes for the homeless.

During a news conference at City Hall, officials from design firm Gensler showed sketches and renderings of different designs and said the small homes can be built quickly as emergency, or "bridge," housing while permanent housing is developed.

The tiny homes would range from 80 to 140 square feet, would have no plumbing and just basic electricity. They'd be clustered around a central dining and showering area, officials said.

Mayor Sam Liccardo said asking where the homes will be built is the wrong question because the homeless are already in city parks and neighborhoods. He said the question is will we house them?

"We're going to need to have a lot of public conversation, informally as well as community meetings and of course public meetings at City Hall," Liccardo said. "And we know this process is not going to be simple or straightforward. We're going to hear plenty of our neighbors tell us the homeless should not be housed in their neighborhood.

"What Gensler is offering us," he continued, "is a vision to restoring dignity to many of our brothers and sisters struggling out there on the street."

The homesless say what they want most is safety and privacy.

The first public hearing on the tiny homes proposal is next week.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Far From Top of Safest Cities List: Report]]>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:03:00 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fremont26.JPG

When it comes to safe cities, the Bay Area does not have much to brag about, according to a new report.

A grand total of 47 U.S. cities beat out Fremont, the only Bay Area city to be named in the top 50 on WalletHub's "2017's Safest Cities in America" list.

WalletHub examined 182 U.S. cities, including the top 150 cities with the largest populations, during its study. Analysts primarily took a look at home and community safety factors, financial safety factors, and natural disaster risk factors.

Fremont came in at No. 48 on the list, according to the report. Santa Rosa followed at No. 79, San Francisco came in at No. 114, San Jose checked in at No. 120 and Oakland settled for No. 163.

The first California city to appear on the list was Irvine at No. 44, according to WalletHub.

For those eying the safest neighborhoods in the nation, Nashua, New Hamphshire appears to be the place to settle down, followed by South Burlington, Vermont, and Warwick, Rhode Island, respectively, according to the report.

When compiling its list, WalletHub specifically took a peak at factors such as the number of traffic fatalies, assaults, hate crimes and natural disaster risks in a given city.

Another factor analyzed was the number of law enforcement employees per capita. San Jose (No. 163) and Fremont (No. 165) were among five cities to have the fewest amount of law enforcement officials patrolling neighborhoods, according to WalletHub.

Photo Credit: Fremont Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Mull Closing Some South SJ Elementary Schools]]>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 23:40:53 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SJPossibleSchoolClosures.JPG

More than 600 parents, teachers, and staff met with officials Monday night in South San Jose, to fight for their schools. The Oak Grove School District expects to close between three and five elementary schools at the end of the school year.

“All these kids want is structure, and that's what Oak Ridge is to them,” one woman said.

“Baldwin is our hidden gem,” another said to a cheering crowd.

The schools on the list for possible closure include Del Roble Elementary, Miner Elementary, Frost Elementary, Anderson Elementary, Oak Ridge Elementary, Glider Elementary, Baldwin Elementary and Santa Teresa Elementary.

Officials say closures may be necessary due to decreasing enrollment. Officials have said that despite growing construction in the Bay Area, there has been limited housing growth for families with children in the South San Jose area. The superintendent, Jose Manzo, says more than 1,000 students have left the district over the last four years. Those departures amount to $50 million in lost revenue, he said.

“We've seen the majority of our students that have left, have left out of the area,” Manzo said.

The focus of Monday’s discussion was around the future of Baldwin, Frost, Glider, Oak Ridge and Santa Teresa elementary schools.

Gilbert Lemos’ son has autism and attends Oak Ridge for the special education services. He says change is extremely difficult for him.

“It'd be rough for us to relocate, relocate him, whatever it has to be because this is one of the best schools for children with special needs,” Lemos said.

Another community forum is slated for Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Leonard Herman Intermediate School. The public will be allowed to offer their insights about the fate of Anderson, Del Roble and Miner elementary schools.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story inaccurately described Santa Teresa Elementary School.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Breakthrough Prizes Awards $22 million to Top Scientists]]>Sun, 03 Dec 2017 20:47:34 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bt+awards-1203.jpg

The red carpet rolled out Sunday night in Silicon Valley, and while there were plenty of celebrities on hand, the real stars were scientists.

The sixth annual Breakthrough Prizes, known as "the Oscars of science," took place at NASA Ames in Mountain View, celebrating achievements in math, science and medicine.

Morgan Freeman hosted the ceremony, and he was joined by many other stars, including Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Wiz Khalifa and Kerry Washington.

Twelve men and women were honored for their work with a total of $22 million in prize money.

Co-founder of the ceremony, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said the goal is to bring awareness to scientific and innovative achievements, which "shape our future."

“The world needs their inspiration and their reminder that, even though it doesn’t always feel that way, we are making steady progress toward building a better future for everyone," he said.

Each Breakthrough Prize came with a $3 million check, and the New Horizon winners took home $100,000 each.

More than 11,000 entries from 178 countries were received in the 2017 installment of the global competition.

The awards show aired live on the National Geographic channel.

The 2018 Breakthrough Prizes winners:

  • Life Sciences: Joanne Chory, Don W. Cleveland, Kazutoshi Mori, Kim Nasmyth, and Peter Walter
  • Fundamental Physics: Charles L. Bennett, Gary Hinshaw, Norman Jarosik, Lyman Page Jr., David N. Spergel, and the WMAP Science Team
  • Mathematics: Christopher Hacon and James McKernan
  • New Horizons in Physics: Christopher Hirata, Douglas Stanford, and Andrea Young
  • New Horizons in Mathematics: Aaron Naber, Maryna Viazovska, Zhiwei Yun, and Wei Zhang
  • Third Annual International Breakthrough Junior Challenge: Hillary Diane Andales

Photo Credit: National Geographic channel]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Police Investigate Man's Shooting Death as Homicide]]>Sat, 02 Dec 2017 17:38:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-07-2017-sjpd.jpg

San Jose police are investigating a man’s shooting death Saturday as a homicide.

The crime occurred outside a restaurant on the 1200 block of East Santa Clara Street around 3:36 a.m., police said. Responding police officers and fire crews found a man suffering from a gunshot wound.

The victim, who was found near a tanning salon called Blockers, was treated at the scene and rushed to a nearby trauma center, according to police. He is believed to be in his 40s.

Sources told NBC Bay Area around 3:30 p.m. that the man died.

Police have not provided information on circumstances leading up to the shooting, a motive or any suspects. 

The investigation forced police to temporarily shut down East Santa Clara Street between North 25th and North 27th streets.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Two Men Arrested on Suspicion of Fatal Stabbing in October]]>Sat, 02 Dec 2017 13:02:33 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1222017-fabian-deven-sj-homicide.jpg

A second suspect wanted in an October homicide in San Jose was arrested Thursday in Gilroy, police said.

Fabian Rodriguez, 20, of San Jose was arrested on suspicion of killing 21-year-old San Jose resident Lucas Gutierrez in the early morning hours of Oct. 18 in the 300 block of Branham Lane East.

Police arrived on the scene just after midnight and found Gutierrez suffering from at least one stab wound. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

Already in custody is 20-year-old San Jose resident Deven Bargas.

Police said U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers arrested Bargas at the U.S.-Mexico border nine days after the slaying.

Bargas was booked into the San Diego County Jail and was going to be transported to San Jose and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail.

Photo Credit: San Jose Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Lost WWII-Era Photo Album Reunited With Its Owners]]>Sat, 02 Dec 2017 15:01:00 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12012017WWIIAlbum_956356.JPG

If police are meant to protect and serve, Mountain View officers took service to a whole new level on Friday.

Sgt. Magee emerged from police headquarters with an object wrapped in a cloth fabric, tied with a bow. Inside was a photo album.

He found that album back in August under a bridge at a homeless camp. He thought it looked special, so he and the department tried to track down its owners. Their posts on social media asking for help were shared thousands of times. Officers cross referenced names on the back of the photos and even used ancestry.com. Finally, they found a match.

“You see [the people in the photos] when they’re young, and now you're going to see them later in life," Sgt. Magee said.

Their investigation landed them at a Los Gatos retirement home.

Two sisters, both in their 90s, came through a door to greet Sgt. Magee, Officer Mike Taber and community Service Officer Jodie Pierce.

Magee presented the album. The sisters smiled. It’s the first time they’ve seen it in more than 35 years.

"I'm amazed at the shape it's in," said Janice Anne Duncan. "It's like meeting an old friend." She and her sister Nancy Rose made the album in their 20s. They can't recall how it was lost. Friday, they were just happy to have it back.

Community Service Officer Jodie Pierce was instrumental in tracking them down. She said it was difficult because the sisters’ maiden name was Jacobs in the pictures.

The officers spent three months searching for this moment.

"We all sort of became part of their history, by looking at the photos and just became more and more intrigued, by who they were and what was going on in their life in that time," Pierce said.

Janine recalls one man who appears in many of the photos as Chuck, a navy sailor. Chuck was Janice’s love back when she made the album.

"Chuck and I were fast friends," Duncan said. "He used to go to the cocktail parties at Mills College."

The stories continue with each turn of the page, as if they’re seeing their past for the first time. There was the vacation to Yosemite. A possible high school reunion.

"It’s all yours now," Magee said to the sisters.

It was never just a photo album found under a bridge. It's a piece of their family history, now back in their hands.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA['Amnesty Season' Kicks Off in South Bay]]>Fri, 01 Dec 2017 17:49:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Anniversary_of_Deadly_Oakland_Fire_Brings_Heartache.jpg

December 1 isn't just when the holiday season ramps up. It's also the start of so-called "Amnesty Season" in the South Bay. Robert Handa reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Senior Living Center in San Jose Gets Eviction Notice]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 21:54:26 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1130-2017-Atria.jpg

Dozens of seniors in the South Bay say they are being sent out in the cold. The landlord at their residence has issued an eviction notice for everyone and many say they have nowhere else to go.

The letter arrived Wednesday, saying the 80 residents at a senior living center in San Jose's Willow Glen community had 60 days to pack up. They say the landlord is not renewing the facility's long-term lease.

Family members were scrambling Thursday to come up with a Plan B for their elderly parents.

"I'm very irritated because my family lives here and he has nowhere to go now," said Renee Ralph.

The Atria Chateau Gardens tells NBC Bay Area the landlord, Westlake Realty out of San Mateo, told them everyone must go.

In a statement, Atria said the landlord is unwilling to continue to allow the building to be run as a senior living community and instead intends to redevelop or re-purpose the property for another use.

The center says they now have until February to help find a new home for the 80 seniors.

Residents and their families are upset.

"There just aren't that many available in the San Jose area," said Lynn Law, a family member for a resident being evicted. "The other choice was going to Walnut Creek, which would be really far."

The Westlake Realty Group did not return calls seeking  comment.

"I'm not happy about it. It's Christmas time and you're putting my dad out on the street," Ralph said. "I'm not happy."

Photo Credit: Damian Trujillo/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Spike in Car and Home Break-Ins Causing a Glass Shortage]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 21:47:47 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/brokenglass_943689.JPG

The continuous spike of vehicle and residential break-ins is creating a familiar problem in the South Bay: A shortage of glass to replace lost windows and doors.

NBC Bay Area reported on the long delays in repairs in San Francisco caused by jumps in crime, and now the problem is spreading south.

For Bill Donovan, owner of Auto Glass Masters in San Jose, spike in business is not necessarily a bad thing. But the reason he's getting the the constant stream of customers is an issue.

"All break-ins. All vandals," Donovan said. "Locally it's widespread. It does not matter what area you live in. Phones go nuts on Monday morning."

Sometimes, he said, his shop doesn't have enough glass in stock to keep up.

Break-in victim Shaunn Cartwright was lucky. Donovan made an extra effort to get her window replaced in two days. Other places she called pleaded a "glass shortage."

"They said because there's a lot of break-ins lately, and there had been the most they've had in a long time," Cartwright said.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office confirmed it's a growing trend, and during the holidays, it will get worse.

"People, if they see valuables in view through the window, it only takes a second to break a window and run off with the valuables," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Richard Glennon said.

Auto Glass Masters and other businesses say as bad as things are right now, they can more or less keep up with the demand. But if the break-ins continue to spike, the situation is not so clear.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[32-Year-Old Man Fatally Shot Outside House in Gilroy: Police]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:40:45 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/generic+police+lights1.jpg

A 32-year-old man was found fatally shot outside of a home in Gilroy on Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

Officers responded at 4:34 p.m. to a report of a shooting in the 7500 block of Alexander Street and arrived to find the victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

The victim, whose name is not yet being released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses said he was in an argument with a male suspect prior to the shooting. No suspect information was immediately released by police.

The homicide, Gilroy's first of 2017, remains under investigation.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Eric Cryar at (408) 846-0335.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Colorful Hues Light Up Bay Area Sky Throughout November]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:32:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SunriseSunsetThumb.JPG

Photo Credit: Deborah Shapero]]>
<![CDATA[11 Minors Arrested Following String of Crimes Across SJ: PD]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 23:52:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjpd-generic-2015-2.jpg

Nearly one dozen minors between the ages of 11 and 17 have been arrested following three high-speed car chases that were linked to a number of recent carjackings, robberies and burglaries in San Jose, police announced Wednesday.

The 11 male and female juveniles are suspected of committing more than one dozen carjackings, robberies and burglaries last weekend, and many of the crimes involved a gun, police said.

"In the three different vehicle pursuits, a driver was 17, a driver in another pursuit was 14 and the driver in the third pursuit was 11-years old," said SJPD's Robbery Unit Lieutenant Paul Joseph. 

During the three pursuits, police suspect that an 11-year-old, 14-year-old and 17-year-old were behind the wheel.

At least 15 people were victimized during the spree, according to police. The crimes were carried out at various locations across the South Bay city.

The juveniles, who hail from either San Jose or Gilroy, have been booked into Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall on armed robbery, carjacking, stolen vehicle, evading and reckless driving, and resisting arrest charges, according to police.

Anyone with additional information about the cases is encouraged to contact Detective Mike White or Detective Katie Reyes with the San Jose Police Department's Robbery Unit at 408-277-4166.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 408-947-7867.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Suspected of Shooting at Elementary School in SJ ID'd]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 12:40:20 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11-29-17-mugshot-booksin-suspect-21+year+old.jpg

A 21-year-old man has been identified as the suspect who is believed to have fired a gun at an elementary school in San Jose early Tuesday, according to police.

Nicholas O'Connor was taken into custody at his home and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail, according to police. He was booked for possessing a firearm in a school zone, shooting a firearm in a school zone, discharging a firearm at an uninhabited building and vandalism.

Officers on Tuesday surrounded Booksin Elementary School, which is located at the corner of Booksin Avenue and Dry Creek Road, after receiving a report of a man firing a gun in the area of the school, according to police.

Police searched the school and the surrounding neighborhood, but they were unable to find the man. Despite coming up empty, officers said the school and the surrounding neighborhood were safe.

Officers later found gunfire damage to a security camera near the school's library as well as damage to a nearby wall. It appears the damage may have come from shotgun rounds.

Police later found a shotgun in a nearby backyard. It is not yet clear if that firearm discovered was the one used in the shooting.

Karen Scherrer, who lives across the street from the school, said she called 911 after waking up to the sound of one gunshot. She then ran toward the campus and saw the man shooting at the security camera.

As she crept closer toward the man, Scherrer said he pointed the gun in her direction. She said she dropped to the ground before moving to a new location on the campus.

While moving, Scherrer said she heard the man shooting again. She and her husband decided to chase after the man, but they were unable to find him.

"I just wanted to give a description," Scherrer said. "I want it to stop. I'm tired of this. My daughter goes here. It's not fair for the kids. It's not fair."

Scherrer said gunshots were also fired at the school about two weeks ago. School district officials believe the gunman who opened fire on Tuesday could be connected to that shooting.

"A lot of parents kept their kids home," Scherrer said. "It's instilling fear in the community. It's not fair for us. I just wanted it to stop."

Booksin Elementary School temporarily suspended outdoor recess on Tuesday, and teachers were asked to keep classroom doors closed throughout the day. 

The investigation is ongoing, police said, and anyone with information is asked to contact the San Jose Police Department's Assaults Unit at 408-277-4161.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story indicated, per sources, that the suspect was a minor. It was corrected when NBC Bay Area learned that the suspect is over 18. 

Photo Credit: San Jose Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Fallen Heroes to Be Honored in the South Bay]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 08:52:21 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/military+veteran+generic.JPG

South Bay law enforcement officers on Wednesday will once again honor fallen comrades with a unique memorial. The Silicon Valley chapter of The Fraternal Order of Police will light their holiday tree. The tree's custom-made ornaments show the names of each law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty over the past year. The event starts at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Teacher Files Grievance Over Student Discrimination]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 11:55:50 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fischer_school_1128_922061.JPG

A San Jose teacher says her students have been discriminating against her because of her religion, and her employer, the school district, isn't doing enough to stop it.

The teacher, who grew up in East San Jose, has filed a grievance with the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District, claiming she's been repeatedly harassed by Fischer Middle School students over the past seven months because she's Muslim.

The teacher, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons, has worked at the school for five years. She said on Sept. 11, the door of her classroom was spray painted with slurs.

"It was the only classroom that was targeted," she said. "Very hateful words associated with terrorism."

The incident followed six others since April. She said students have called her names because she's Muslim and wears a head scarf.

"I've been called a terrorist, working with ISIS, 'She's going to kill us all,'" the teacher said, describing the other discriminatory incidents.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has reached out to help her with her grievance.

"It can be a great learning experience for everyone, on how we can educate folks to better understand the Muslim community," said Brittney Rezaei, a civil rights attorney.

The school district responded with a statement, saying in part: "Today’s negative political climate at the national level continues to poison classrooms throughout our nation. We will never tolerate any behavior that makes either our students or team members feel marginalized."

The teacher said several students were identified and later suspended. Another was moved to a different school.

She hopes for more immediate action.

"It was very traumatic to be in a place, in a safe place, where I work, and a place where I have a deep love for what I do," she said.

A school district spokesman said he could not share what types of discipline the students received.

Here's the full statement from the school district:

"Today’s negative political climate at the national level continues to poison classrooms throughout our nation.

"As difficult as these moments may be for our educators, they also present us with the opportunity to engage with our students and utilize these teachable moments to educate our classrooms on the importance of respecting diversity.

"At the Alum Rock Union School District, we will never tolerate any behavior that makes either our students or team members feel marginalized. For that reason, we will always do everything in our power to protect the unity of our school communities."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SCU Program Allows Engineering Students to Operate Satellite]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 19:33:51 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scu_satellite_1128_920602.JPG

In an area famous for tech, students at one Bay Area university are getting a unique experience by working for America's space agency controlling satellites.

At Santa Clara University, when engineering students Kayleigh Dobson and Leland Taylor sit down to study, it goes way beyond books. They operate in a trailer and in the lab, working on Earth and in space, at the same time.

"We take over, and we do some science experiments," Taylor said about the Mobile Mission Control Lab (MMCL), a 28-foot trailer that also makes the rounds at local grade schools to spur younger students' interest in STEM careers.

Santa Clara University is the only school in the country with a student-centric program that operates government and industry satellites on a professional basis, according to the university.

"I'm a student by day, NASA satellite operator by night," Dobson said.

The satellite, launched from the International Space Station, is about 3 feet by 2 feet and is currently on a health mission, testing E-coli in space.

"When the satellite is overhead, we will send it commands to ask for specific data pages," Dobson said, describing how the students operate.

"All the ground controls, all the operations for the satellite, all visuals, all the programming for it," Taylor added. " We pretty much do everything we can."

And they're running with it, putting the satellite through its paces, gaining valuable health information to help future astronauts; and perhaps even preparing for a future career.

"The first time we got data down from the satellite, I don't think the smile came off my face for hours," Dobson said. "It was the coolest experience."

The program has been around for about a decade at SCU and has seen good results. So far, four former students have left to work for Space-X.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Goat Head Topper on Satanic Temple's Christmas Tree Is Gone]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 21:52:00 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11282017-stolen-tree-topper.jpg

The South Bay chapter of a religious and political activist group was the victim of an alleged theft.

The Satanic Temple of San Jose erected a tree as part of the city's annual Christmas in the Park. However, someone reportedly stole the group's tree-topper, a Baphomet's Head, which is a goat head on a human body, according to Satanism.

In response to inquiries on Facebook, officials with the Satanic Temple — a 4-year-old organization headquartered in Salem, Mass. — said, "Some Grinch stole it."

The theft from tree lot No. 802 indicates that "people needed to show us Satanists that they couldn't tolerate our holiday spirit," they added.

Police have taken a report on the incident. The Satanic Temple said police asked if they wanted to file the incident as a hate crime, but the group declined.

The Satanic Temple of San Jose's tree is located next to other trees from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and other religious groups. Christmas in the Park organizers said as long as the displayers are not profance, everyone is welcome to participate.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion. And as a public organization and a public event, it's our responsibility to make sure everybody has the ability to voice their beliefs, said Joseph Schumaker with Christmas in the Park.

The Satanic Temple San Jose Chapter also posted on its Facebook page the following statement:

"Thank you City of San Jose for hosting our holiday tree and welcoming us to our first year at San Jose's Christmas in the Park. Happy Holidays from The Satanic Temple-San Jose Chapter.

Members of The Satanic Temple- San Jose Chapter wished to be represented in our local community this holiday season. In the spirit of pluralism and with the intention of strengthening our community ties, we reached out to Christmas in the Park and secured a Holiday tree for 2017. We anticipated the possibility of vandalism and/or theft, and while have no desire to encourage such poor behavior, decided a proper representation of our religion was worth the risk and used a beautiful hand crafted Baphomet mask as our tree topper. We have been made aware that our tree topper has been stolen.

Understanding that this theft does not represent our community as a whole, TST-San Jose would like to move past this incident and continue to participate in the holiday festivities as part of the local community we value and love. We will be replacing our tree topper as we can, and hope you all enjoy our tree."

Further details were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: The Satanic Temple of San Jose via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara Medical Examiner Seeks to Identify Deceased Man]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:58:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/UnidentifiedManIII.png

The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office is seeking the public's help in identifying a man who died last month.

On Oct. 15, the man collapsed and died at a bus stop in the 200 block of South Seventh Street in San Jose. The cause of his death is under investigation and foul play is not suspected, according to the medical examiner's office.

The man is described as 50 to 60 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 280 pounds with short gray hair and brown eyes. He also has dentures and wore sunglasses.

The medical examiner's office has released sketches of the unidentified man. Anyone with information about his identity is asked to call the office at (408) 793-1900, ext. 3.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara Medical Examiner ]]>
<![CDATA[CA Senator Backs Bill to Extend Late Night Drinking Hours]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:03:54 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ScottWienerLateNightDrinking.jpg

A San Francisco city leader turned Senator is renewing an effort to extend the last call time in cities across California.

Scott Wiener on Tuesday will hold a news conference, pushing for a new bill to allow cities across California to extend alcohol sales from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Earlier this year, Wiener introduced the LOCAL Act, which stands for Let Our Communities Adjust Late-Night. The bill would have allowed, but not required, communities to extend alcohol sales to as late as 4 a.m. in bars, nightclubs and restaurants, but not liquor stores.

The bill passed in the state Senate with a two-thirds bipartisan vote and garnered significant support in the Assembly, Wiener said in a statement.

When the bill got to the Assembly Appropriations Committee however, it was stripped of all its provisions, rendering it meaningless, and not submitted for a vote, Wiener said.

The specifics of the new bill will be revealed at 11 a.m. at the San Francisco Eagle, an LGBT bar at 398 12th Street. Wiener will be joined by business leaders and community members who support nightlife.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Police Make Arrest Following Shooting at School in San Jose]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 05:35:28 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SJSchoolGunshotDamage.JPG

A suspect was arrested late Tuesday in connection to gunshots fired at an elementary school in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood, San Jose police said.

Police did not identify the suspect.

Police early Tuesday surrounded Booksin Elementary School, which is located at the corner of Booksin Avenue and Dry Creek Road, hours before school started, but they were unable to find the shooter. Despite coming up empty, officers said the school and the surrounding neighborhood were safe.

The incident began just before 4 a.m. when officers received a report of a person shooting a gun in the area of the school, according to police.

Officers later found gunfire damage to a security camera near the school's library as well as damage to a nearby wall. It appears the damage may have come from shotgun rounds.

Police later found a shotgun in a nearby backyard. It is not yet clear if that firearm discovered was the one used in the shooting.

Karen Scherrer, who lives across the street from the school, said she called 911 after waking up to the sound of one gunshot. She then ran toward the campus and saw the gunman shooting at the security camera.

As she crept closer toward the shooter, Scherrer said he pointed the gun in her direction. She said she dropped to the ground before moving to a new location on the campus.

While moving, Scherrer said she heard the gunman shooting again. She and her husband decided to chase after the shooter, but they were unable to find him.

"I just wanted to give a description," Scherrer said. "I want it to stop. I'm tired of this. My daughter goes here. It's not fair for the kids. It's not fair."

Scherrer said gunshots were also fired at the school about two weeks ago. School district officials believe the gunman who opened fire on Tuesday could be connected to that shooting.

"A lot of parents kept their kids home," Scherrer said. "It's instilling fear in the community. It's not fair for us. I just wanted it to stop."

Booksin Elementary School temporarily suspended outdoor recess on Tuesday, and teachers were asked to keep classroom doors closed throughout the day. 

The investigation is ongoing, police said, and anyone with information is asked to contact the San Jose Police Department's Assaults Unit at 408-277-4161.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Karen Scherrer's name and indicated that the suspect, per sources, was a minor. It was corrected when NBC Bay Area learned that the suspect is over 18. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, Bob Redell]]>
<![CDATA[Arraignment for Santa Cruz Girl's Alleged Killer Delayed]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:00:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gonzalezmaddy1024_544469.JPG

The second arraignment for a teen accused in the violent death of an 8-year-old Santa Cruz girl has been pushed back to February of next year.

Adrian Gonzalez, who is charged with raping and killing Madyson "Maddy" Middleton in July 2015, was set to be tried as an adult, but his defense attorney on Tuesday announced plans to appeal that decision.

"I believe the decision to send my client to adult court is not supported by the totality of the evidence, which clearly shows, in my opinion, that the minor, now the defendant, is compliant, motivated and amenable to treatment," defense attorney Larry Biggam said.

Gonzalez previously pleaded not guilty to murder before it was decided that he would be tried as an adult. He is slated to return to court on Feb. 20, 2018.

Bruce Jordan, Middleton's grandfather, said he wasn't surprised about the latest move in the case.

"That's the way our legal system in this country works," he said. "It goes round and round and round. But I think there's enough evidence. The justice will occur."

Middleton's family, who sat through two months of agonizing and stressful testimony, agreed in October that Gonzalez should be tried as an adult, which could mean life in prison if he is convicted.

During an October hearing, the prosecution painted Gonzalez as a cold, calculating killer. Gonzalez's confession to police was read during the hearing. In it, he said he lured Middleton into his apartment with ice cream before raping and killing her.

The defense portrayed Gonzalez as socially awkward and suicidal. Attorneys said he has autism and argued he can be rehabilitated.

Middleton's family said if Gonzalez is released, they believe he would kill again.

NBC Bay Area's Anser Hassan contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Police, Residents Concerned About Cat Attacks]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 23:37:07 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjcatattacks1127_908500.JPG

San Jose police on Monday were investigating a pair of bow-and-arrow attacks targeting cats in the city's Willow Glen neighborhood.

Both attacks occurred in the area of Alma Loop and Minnesota Avenue, according to police.

Investigators are concerned the attacks could escalate. They say many times people with violent tendencies start with attacks on animals.

One cat that was struck with an arrow was recovering Monday night after undergoing surgery last week.

"It is extremely alarming," said Capt. Jay Terrado of San Jose Animal Services. "When you have two incidents, for us, we are thinking it’s intentional and malicious."

The first of the two incidents reported involved a feral cat attacked in October. The second involved a pet cat in the same vicinity shot with an arrow on Nov. 21, Terrado said.

The cat's owner has put up signs warning residents to protect their pets.

"I honestly hope they find who did this and arrest that person," resident Linda Ryan said. "Because this is cruel, and there is no purpose to this. It is completely senseless."

Both cats survived and are recovering. Police don’t have a suspect, and for many of the residents, there is concern.

"I don’t know if it's a hatred of cats or just a disregard for living creatures," resident Robert Ryan said. "But somebody who does something like that has really got to be sick."

San Jose police said the suspect could face felony charges and jail time.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Stalking, Trying to Kidnap Woman: Police]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 23:41:37 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sunnyvale+stalker-1127.jpg

A 49-year-old Sunnyvale man has been arrested on suspicion of stalking a 46-year-old woman and attempting to kidnap and rape her, according to the city's Department of Public Safety.

The man, Christopher Oicles, an alleged co-worker of the victim, was arrested on Wednesday after the victim went to the department and said that Oicles had been stalking her and was becoming more aggressive, public safety officials said.

Officers set up a phone call between Oicles and the victim in which he allegedly admitted to his behavior and wanting to be with her. A meeting was then arranged between the pair and officers arrested him there without incident, public safety officials said.

Oicles allowed investigators to search his home, where they found tactical gear and several firearms, including an automatic weapon and an assault rifle, according to the department.

A search warrant was served at Oicles' home on Saturday after officers had spotted a possible methamphetamine lab during the prior search.

Public safety officials said they removed several containers of hazardous materials used to manufacture the drug and 1.2 grams of methamphetamine that was ready to use.

The lab wasn't in operation at the time, so the public wasn't in any danger, according to the department.

Photo Credit: Sunnyvale DPS]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Flying Drone Over Bay Area Stadiums]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 19:37:50 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/drone+flier+suspect-1127.jpg

A 55-year-old man was arrested Sunday after he flew a drone over both Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara and the Coliseum in Oakland and dropped fliers during NFL games, according to the Santa Clara Police Department.

The drone flew over the south end of Levi's Stadium during the second quarter of the San Francisco 49ers game against the Seattle Seahawks, police Lt. Dan Moreno said. The device dropped leaflets with some sort of message about free speech and "railing against television stations," he said.

Police on Monday identified the suspect as Tracy Mapes of Sacramento.

After the first reports came in, police launched an investigation, along with federal, state and local law enforcement, including the FBI, CHP and neighboring county and city agencies. They eventually caught up with Mapes in Oakland, where he was reported to have deployed the drone over the Raiders game against the Denver Broncos, also dropping leaflets.

Mapes illegally flew a drone near an airport with aircraft overhead and violated a Santa Clara city ordinance that prohibits flying a drone within 500 yards of Levi's Stadium, Moreno said.

Moreno said because of the wind, few fliers landed inside the stadium, and authorities did not provide copies of the fliers.

Oakland police may have recovered the drone, he said.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara PD]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies Following Shooting in San Jose: Police]]>Sun, 26 Nov 2017 08:16:59 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11-26-17-SJ-Homicide.PNG

One man was shot and killed in San Jose early Sunday, and officers have yet to locate any suspects, according to police.

The shooting happened around 4:30 a.m. behind a building along the 2100 block of Ringwood Avenue in the city's Berryessa neighborhood, police said.

Officers found the man suffering from at least one gunshot wound, according to police. He was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.

A motive or any other details regarding the shooting were not immediately available.

No suspects have been identified or taken into custody, according to police.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Storm: Rain and Gusty Winds Return]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:04:26 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RainBayArea.PNG

Winter-like conditions returned to the Bay Area on Sunday as another storm system packing moderate downpours and gusty winds made its way across the region.

The latest storm brought rain primarily to the North Bay during the morning hours, scattered showers for the rest of the Bay Area by the afternoon, and widespread downpours late in the day and around midnight. The wet and blustery conditions are slated to clear by Monday morning.

By the time the storm passes, Oakland is forecasted to have picked up 0.77 of an inch of rain. San Francisco is expected to net 0.44 of an inch, and San Jose will receive only about 0.21 of an inch.

The sub-tropical nature of the storm will wring out higher rainfall totals over coastal and inland hills with some spots receiving anywhere from one to 2 inches of rain, forecasters said.

To the east, windy conditions could make traveling through the Sierra Nevada a challenge. Winds are forecasted to reach anywhere from 30 to 40 mph, with gusts in excess of 50 mph, forecasters said.

Snowplows and chain teams were also kept busy early Monday as snow fell across Interstate 80.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Free Tipsy Tow Service From AAA Available on Thanksgiving ]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:56:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-467650191%282%29.jpg

A free towing service is available Thursday evening through early Friday morning in the Bay Area to get people home safely if they have been drinking, AAA officials said.

AAA's Tipsy Tow service begins at 6 p.m. today and continues until 6 a.m. Friday and is available to anyone, regardless of membership, Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California, said.

"If you are planning on getting tipsy this Thanksgiving, be sure you have a plan to get home safe," Blasky said in a statement. "If that plan falls through, give AAA a call and we'll get you home safely."

Drivers, passengers, bartenders, restaurant managers and party hosts interested in getting or helping someone get home safely should call (800) 222-4357 and say they need a Tipsy Tow to arrange for a tow.

They should also provide the driver's name, home address, phone number and vehicle or driver location.

AAA will provide a free tow of up to 10 miles for a vehicle and a driver and one passenger, according to AAA officials.

AAA does not take reservations for the service and the service does not include roadside assistance.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Flock to Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:39:53 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/webTurkeyTrot.jpg

Thousands of runners on Thursday flocked to downtown San Jose for the annual "Turkey Trot" race on Thanksgiving.

The 13th annual Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, which is hosted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, kicked off at 8:30 a.m. for most 5K and 10K runners. Some elite runners fired out a bit earlier.

Youngsters were able to enjoy a fun run and fun zone while the adults burned some calories.

The race snaked through the downtown area, leading to some road and highway ramp closures during the morning hours.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Knock Down 2-Alarm Structure Fire in East SJ]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:50:49 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj_fire_1122_862614.JPG

Firefighters responded to a two-alarm structure fire in San Jose late Wednesday night.

The fire ignited at a commercial building at 1661 Burdette Drive, near the intersection of Tully and King roads in East San Jose, fire officials said.

Two businesses were damaged in the blaze, a marijuana dispensary and a medical office. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

No further details were available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sunnyvale Woman Dies in 3-Vehicle Collision Thanksgiving Day]]>Sat, 25 Nov 2017 18:07:30 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Generic+Police+Lights+8.30.17.jpg

A Sunnyvale woman was killed in a collision Thursday night in Santa Clara, according to the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

Santa Clara firefighters and public safety officers responded at 8:40 p.m. to the intersection of the Lawrence Expressway and Monroe Street after someone called to report the collision.

Ratikanta Shah, 89, was injured and transported to a hospital but died of her injuries there, public safety officers and the medical examiner said.

The driver of one of the three vehicles involved in the collision was found to be under the influence. Public safety officials identified him as 21-year-old Oscar Pazarciga.

Pazarciga was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and DUI. He was taken to the county jail after he was treated for his injuries.

The collision is under investigation. Anyone who has information related to it is asked to call Major Accident Investigation Team supervisor Lt. Tracy Hern at (408) 730-7109.

<![CDATA[Rash of Car Break-Ins Reported at Valley Fair Mall in SJ]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 11:05:40 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/174*120/GettyImages-77547543.jpg

Police are reminding holiday shoppers to put away shopping bags and other valuables in a locked trunk after a rash of cars were broken into at Valley Fair Mall in San Jose.

The most recent incident happened Tuesday night in the mall parking lot just outside Nordstrom. Andrea, who did not provide her last name, returned to the lot after shopping and found her window shattered. Her vintage Louis Vuitton work bag was snatched from the back seat during the break-in.

Andrea then noticed more shoppers with the same shocking discovery in a packed parking lot. Four other cars were also broken into in the two hours she was shopping.

"It happened very quickly," she said. "They just went from one row to the next."

But there is much more than the five break-ins reported Tuesday.

NBC Bay Area examined 911 calls for help and found 21 other similar incidents -- car burglaries and thefts -- in the neighborhood in the past two weeks.

Andrea said she learned a valuable lesson.

"Now I know to be careful no matter where I park," she said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Students Discuss Alleged Misconduct at Presentation High]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:19:39 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1122-2017-PresentationHigh.jpg

Two former Presentation High students on Wednesday spoke publicly for the first time about allegations of sexual misconduct by a teacher at the prestigious all-girls Catholic school in San Jose.

Kathryn Leehane and Cheryl Hodgin Marshall, who graduated in 1991, were accompanied by attorney Robert Allard at a Wednesday press conference to discuss the accusations, which date back nearly three decades.

Leehane first recounted being groped and shown a pornographic photo by her high school Spanish teacher in a recent essay published in the Washington Post, but has not spoken publicly about the allegations until now. She said she’s doing so in an effort to make positive change at the school she still holds in high regard.

“Throughout all of this my biggest concern has been for the safety and welfare of those young women,” Leehane said. “I love Presentation. It’s a wonderful school and I want all of those women to thrive.”

Hodgin Marshall, also speaking publicly for the first time, said her close friend “Jane” was molested by that same teacher in 1990.

Both women say they reported the incidents of sexual misconduct to trusted school leaders: Then principal Marian Stuckey and current principal Mary Miller who was vice principal in 1990.

“I told a trusted teacher about the molestation who then spoke with Jane and in turn immediately reported it to the principal,” Hodgin Marshall said. “Jane was called in to speak with the principal and afterward came to me in tears saying she did not feel that the principal believed her and that the principal suggested that Jane must have been dreaming it. We were both in disbelief and we didn’t know what to think.”

Hodgin Marshall said she and Jane heard nothing for approximately a month, so they went to Vice Principal Mary Miller.

“Once again we were in disbelief and in tears at the outcome,” she said. “Not only did we not get any help, she dismissed both of us with stern warnings to be careful of what we say.”

Miller, now the principal of the $20,000 per year private school, denied those claims. Stuckey did not respond to requests for comment but Presentation spokesperson Samantha LoCurto responded “absolutely not” regarding Hodgin Marshall’s allegation that Stuckey told Jane she “must have been dreaming.”

The accused teacher, John Fernandez, continued to teach at Presentation High School until he retired in 2004. He recently died of cancer in 2015.

"One thing has become alarmingly clear," Leehane said. "My abuse did not have to happen. The administration had notice going back to the mid-1980's that the teacher who abused me was a problem. The school had numerous opportunities to deal with him. Tragically, I was not his first -- or his last -- victim."

School principal Mary Miller continues to decline interview requests from NBC Bay Area. In a written statement released after Wednesday’s press conference, Miller “strongly” disputed the claims made by Leehane, Hodgin Marshall, and Allard.

“For the attorney or others to suggest that at some point in the past PHS could have handled certain cases in a different manner is open to interpretation and is taken to heart,” Miller wrote. “However, for anyone to suggest that PHS has in any manner covered up or condoned any instance of sexual abuse is an outright lie.”

In the statement, Miller said the administration conducted an investigation into the allegations when they were first brought to the school’s attention.

"PHS conducted an investigation more than 25 years ago into this matter as well as other claims made today. There is no new information provided by this personal injury attorney or the former students," Miller said in the statement. "Due to privacy and confidentiality, we cannot disclose the details or outcomes of our investigations; we sincerely wish that we could reveal more information. Each case described today was investigated and action taken based upon the information provided to the school at the time."

But NBC Bay Area learned Wednesday that investigation did not include informing authorities.

In an email Wednesday, a spokesperson for the school confirmed what Leehane and Hodgin Marshall said they suspected all along: the allegations were never reported to police or Child Protective Services.

Leehane contacted the San Jose Police Department herself in 1996. Leehane said the officer did a thorough job investigating her accusations, but because years had passed since the alleged abuse, there wasn’t much the police could do.

“What we can tell you is that prior to the report that was made to law enforcement, Presentation has not been provided with sufficient information with which to form a reasonable suspicion of childhood sexual abuse,” PHS spokesperson Samantha LoCurto wrote. “The school did not report the matter to CPS or police.”

Last Wednesday, the Presentation High School board sent a letter to parents defending Miller. The board in the letter said the administration satisfied its due diligence in the investigative process.

Requests to speak with Miller were declined by Presentation High School.

“There were active attempts on behalf of this administration to suppress the sharing of information about crimes which were committed on this campus,” attorney Robert Allard said.

“If you have a reasonable suspicion that a sex crime has occurred, the law tells you you must call the police and report it. You're not to investigate it. You're not to ask the victim questions. You're not to ask the teacher questions. Your job is to report and apparently that message got lost in translation with this administration.”

At Wednesday's press conference, Leehane also shared responses to letters she wrote in college to Principal Miller. She says she decided to report Fernandez’s actions only after learning about her classmate’s alleged abuse by the same teacher.

Leehane said the administration never responded to her first letter, and only replied to a second letter after she sent copies to several other teachers.

In a response to Leehane, Miller wrote back, saying in part:

“As I said before, the welfare of the students is my number one concern. But I am also concerned with the welfare and reputation of our faculty members. John [Fernandez] needs to know what you are accusing him of so he has the opportunity to respond. I would appreciate that any further correspondence regarding this matter be directed to me only.”

In addition to holding Wednesday’s press conference, Allard said he recently sent a letter to the Presentation board demanding a public reckoning by the administration, an apology, and a commitment to train its staff.

However, after reading Miller’s Wednesday statement about the press conference, Allard wrote to NBC Bay Area saying his team may have to reconvene after the holiday to “develop alternative courses of action.

“Most regrettably, the current administration at Presentation has chosen, in response to our public comments made today, to engage in personal attacks and deflect attention away from the sole issue raised, specifically, the school’s repeated failure to appropriately address reported incidents of sexual misconduct involving its staff. Since the allegations as described are indefensible, the more appropriate response would have been to, as requested, acknowledge past failures, apologize and enthusiastically commit to making a safer child protection system so that all involved can move forward in a productive direction. The school’s response, however, make it clear that these demands will never be met and that it will continue to hide behind alleged “confidentiality” as opposed to making any attempt to justify its actions.”

Although Leehane and Hodgin Marshall were the only Presentation graduates to share their stories Wednesday, Allard said his team is in the process of investigating claims of sexual misconduct by other alums. He said the allegations go well beyond John Fernandez.

Earlier this month, Presentation put two current teachers on leave while the school and police conduct an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior against them.

Multiple sources who spoke to NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit say the allegations against one of those teachers occurred earlier this year.

NBC Bay Area obtained an email sent to Principal Miller by a Presentation staff member in March that stated the staff member witnessed “disturbing behavior” by a male teacher.

In that email, the staffer said she was concerned the teacher was acting inappropriately with a current student.

“Many of the girls came up to me during the tournament and told me various times that they found [him] creepy and didn’t like how he talked to them or treated them,” the staff member wrote. “A few of them mentioned times where he had inappropriately touched their hair or made them feel uncomfortable.”

That email was written in March of this year, more than seven months before he was eventually put on leave.

San Jose police say they are investigating accusations against various teachers, both past and present. They encourage any potential victims or anyone with information to come forward.

Photo Credit: Vicky Nguyen/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Home Values in San Jose Jump 12.3 Percent: Report]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 06:41:32 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/ForSale1.jpg

Home values are once again on the rise across the country, and San Jose is leading the way, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Compared to other cities across the nation, San Jose witnessed the highest jump — 12.3 percent — in home values over the past 12 months, according to Zillow. That 12.3 percent increase translates to a $118,200 surge in home values across the South Bay city.

On a national scale, the median value of a home is $12,500 more than last year, Zillow reported. The nationwide median value sits at $203,400, but in San Jose, the median value has soared to $1,076,400.

The limited number of available homes and overall demand is causing home prices to continue to climb, according to Zillow. Across the nation, there are 11.7 percent fewer homes up for grabs, and in San Jose, there are 60.4 percent fewer homes on the market compared to October 2016.

As for rent, prices remained about the same in San Jose, according to Zillow. Rents increased by a mere 0.1 percent to an average cost of $3,488.

Rent prices nationwide rose 2.2 percent from last October to this past October, marking the six-straight month of rent price appreciation across the country, Zillow reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Travel Rush in Full Swing]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 06:35:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/GettyImages-134002823.jpg

A record number of Americans are expected to travel by plane and on the road this Thanksgiving. Pete Suratos reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Best Black Friday Deals in the Bay Area]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:55:28 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/GettyImages-625641492.jpgIt's that time of year: after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, shoppers across the country are preparing to score great deals on Black Friday. If you're heading to the stores this weekend, here are some of the best sales that could save you hundreds on holiday gifts.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Helping the Homeless: SJ Police Hand Out Care Kits]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:36:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SJBackpackhomeless_861414.JPEG

San Jose police officers made several rounds at many homeless shelters on sidewalks on Wednesday as a part of an initiative they call “Operation Care” to hand out backpack care kits in the spirit of thanksgiving.

According to officers “Operation Care” is an effort to build relationships with the city’s homeless as well as a reminder that San Jose’s law enforcement cares.

“There is enforcement that takes place in some of these encampments but we want them to know that’s not the only thing we’re concerned about. We also care about them and are trying to help them get housed,” said San Jose police Sgt. Jason Dwyer.

The backpack kits assembled by the police cadet were filled with a long-sleeved t-shirt, socks, a list of homeless services and a flashlight with batteries.

The new initiative was launched in conjunction with Adobe, a non-profit housing agency.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Aims to Shutter Two Pot-Selling Churches]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:18:41 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjpotchurch1121_849784.JPG

Praying and pot? That's seems to be what two churches in San Jose are preaching. They say cannabis puts them closer to God.

Now, the city is trying to shut them down.

At Coachella Valley Church on The Alameda, people were in and out of the church all day and night Tuesday. But the city says it's not so much about praying inside as it is about marijuana transactions.

A YouTube video for the Rastafarian church makes no secret that cannabis is king.

"It's just medication," parishioner Luis Miranda, of Sunnyvale, said. "It's not doing anyone harm. It's not getting anyone in trouble."

Some of the people walking out of the church showed the marijuana they bought and saying all they had to do was show and ID and pay a $10 membership fee.

The city says what the church is doing is illegal. Code Enforcment officials obtained search warrants and said the church is a front for a pot shop.

San Jose currently allows 16 dispensaries to operate within the city limits. All have been vetted, pay taxes and have obtained proper permits. Coachella Valley Church isn't one of them.

Neighbors want them out, too.

"If a church wants to operate there, that's fine," resident Frederick Freeman said. "But it's a business that isn't licensed to do the business that it's doing."

Another church focused on pot is Onac South Bay. C.J. Beach, who bought a joint inside, says she's attended spiritual services.

"You light some incense and say your prayers, but you don't consume," Beach said.

On Monday, a judge signed a permanent injunction, forcing Onac to close in 10 days. The city is still working to shut down Coachella.

Neither of the churches responded to requests for comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Escaped Inmate Captured in Stockton, Other Still At Large]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 21:10:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/escaped+inmates-1106.jpg

A chase and shootout involving California Highway Patrol officers and two suspects in Stockton late Tuesday resulted in the arrest of one of two Santa Clara County escaped inmates, according to the CHP.

Tramel McClough, 46, was arrested late Tuesday night and is being housed at the San Joaquin County Jail, but the CHP said they are still searching for John Bivins, 47, who along with McClough, escaped from a Santa Clara County courthouse in Palo Alto two weeks ago.

Bivins is driving a green 1999 Ford Explorer with the California license plate 7TTY505, the CHP said.

At about 5:15 p.m., CHP units attempted a traffic stop of the vehicle on northbound Interstate 5 south of Eight Mile Road. A short chase ensued onto southbound Trinity Parkway, where McClough exited, ran into a Walmart store and was later apprehended, the CHP said.

The passenger, Bivins, fled in the vehicle on southbound Trinity Parkway, where an officer fired shots just south of McAuliffe Road, the CHP said.

Bivins continued to flee in the vehicle on northbound Trinity Parkway.

Santa Clara County sheriff's investigators tracked the two to Stockton.

"As for the specifics of why they were in Stockton, I don't have that information at this time," sheriff's Sgt. Richard Glennon said. "But based on the information they had, it was reliable."

Earlier this month, Bivins and McClough, who were being held without bail after robbing a Verizon store, were leaving a courtroom when they made a beeline for the exit, hopped in a getaway car, drove a few blocks and jumped into a van before fleeing the area, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department.

Bivins, 47, is described as being 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 180 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair, the sheriff's office said.

"Bivins, he escaped from custody, he evaded CHP, he's in a fleeing vehicle," Glennon said. "There was an officer-involved shooting, so he's dangerous. Definitely a dangerous individual; has a history of acquiring weapons."

The sheriff's office did not provide a timetable on when McClough will be brought back to Santa Clara County after his court date in San Joaquin County on Monday.

NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[South Bay Teacher Accused of Inappropriately Touching Girl]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 09:14:59 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1121-2017-ChadZitzner.jpg

A San Jose Unified School District teacher accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl at a summer camp was arrested Tuesday, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Chad Zitzner, a 45-year-old resident of San Jose, taught a class called Math Enrichment for a private summer math camp session in Saratoga, according to deputies.

After the camp's conclusion, the victim told her mother that Zitzner had allegedly touched her in an inappropriate fashion on multiple occasions at camp.

After presenting their case to prosecutors, investigators secured an arrest warrant for Zitzner and took him into custody around 1 p.m. Tuesday. He was booked into jail on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child.

District officials confirmed that Zitzner is an employee and said they're working closely with the sheriff's office, adding that Zitzner has been on leave during the investigation and has not been around students.

Anyone with additional information about Zitzner or the sex crime investigation is asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office at 408-808-4500.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Highest Salaries in U.S. Needed for Bay Area Home Buyers]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:05:30 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-97971921.jpg

People living in two Bay Area metros have to earn (really) big bucks to afford the most expensive homes in the nation.

San Jose and San Francisco took first and second place, respectively, in HSH's study on the salaries needed to buy homes in the United States' 50 largest metros. 

The median home price in the heart of Silicon Valley is $1,165,000 and the annual income needed to buy property at such a steep price is comparably high at $216,181. 

In the city by the bay, people must earn $171,330 to purchase homes with a median price of $900,000, the report found. 

This, despite a drop in the median price of homes sold in the third quarter of 2017 as compared to the second quarter. San Jose home prices fell by 1.55 percent and San Francisco's by 5.26 percent. 

Year-over-year, however, HSH found that 34 of the 50 markets in question experienced significant gains in their median prices.

San Jose topped that list with a 16.5 percent hike and was followed by Seattle at 13.36 percent and Los Angeles at 10.06 percent. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum are Cleveland, Ohio, with an annual median price of $146,000 and necessary salary of $36,462, and Pittsburgh, Pa., with an annual median home price of $146,000, which means people have to earn $35,205.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report Names Bay Area Traffic Hotspots During Thanksgiving]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:14:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dc+traffic+thx.jpg

Hitting the road for Thanksgiving? Expect delays across the Bay Area.

At the height of the Thanksgiving travel period, drivers across the region could see delays of roughly 250 percent compared to ideal driving times, according to AAA and INRIX.

AAA and INRIX —an analytics company — pinpointed 10 spots across the Bay Area where traffic headaches are likely:

1. Eastbound Interstate 80 at Pinole Valley Road in Pinole

2. Eastbound Interstate 580 at Santa Rita Road/Tassajara Road in Pleasanton

3. Westbound Interstate 80 at the San Francisco Bay Bridge

4. Northbound Interstate 680 at Calaveras Road in Milpitas

5. Eastbound Highway 37 at Wilson Avenue in Vallejo

6. Northbound Interstate 880 at 23rd Avenue in Oakland

7. Eastbound Highway 24 at Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek

8. Northbound Highway 101 at Petaluma Boulevard in Petaluma

9. Northbound Highway 1 at Highway 101 in San Francisco

10. Eastbound Interstate 80 at Interstate 80/Interstate 580 in Oakland

Photo Credit: Linda Davidson/The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Transit Leaders Mull BART's Options for Tunneling Under SJ]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 06:46:21 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/190*120/BART-Generic-Image.jpg

BART is heading to downtown San Jose, but it is not exactly clear how it will make its way beneath the South Bay city.

Officials are considering either a single-bore design — deeper underground tunnel with trains running above and below of each other — or a double-bore design —wider underground tunnel with trains running parallel to each other.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority favors the single bore option, arguing that it would be less disruptive to businesses during construction. The option is not used as often, and the costs are less predictable, according to the Mercury News.

VTA and BART have agreed to a peer review by agencies with rail operation, safety and maintenance experience. That panel did not favor VTA's single-bore option.

A final decision is expected in January.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SJSU Officer Attacked, 3 Suspects Taken Into Custody]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:34:25 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SJSU+Officer+Attack.JPG

A San Jose State University police officer on Tuesday was injured after being attacked by three suspects who have since been taken into custody, a university official said.

The officer, who was punched in the face several times, was transported to a local hospital and later released, according to SJSU spokesperson Pat Harris.

The attack occurred around 12:20 a.m. near The Hammer Theater, which is located one block away from the South Bay campus but is part of the university police's jurisdiction, according to Harris.

Two officers were patrolling the area near the theater when they heard about two separate disturbances involving a group of three suspects, Harris said.

As the officers responded to one of the disturbances, one of the officers was attacked by one of the suspects, Harris said.

The suspect was tased by additional officers who rushed to the scene and taken into custody, according to Harris. He was then transported to the hospital to be treated.

The suspect, who was on parole, is expected to face charges for assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest, challenging to fight in public and gang enhancements, Harris said.

The other two suspect were also taken into custody, according to Harris. They are being booked on resisting arrest, violating gang orders and challenging to fight in public. 

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call 408-924-2222.

Further information was not available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Thanksgiving Day Restaurant Guide]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:36:48 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/205*120/2015-11-23_16-18-13.jpg

Not in the mood to cook up a Thanksgiving feast this year? Would you rather dine out and have the meal prepared and served to you? You're in luck. There are plenty of restaurants all around the Bay Area open on everyone's favorite gluttonous holiday.

We ran a search over at OpenTable.com and found over 100 open eateries on turkey day. We compiled that list into an interactive Google Map (above) so that you can easily find the restaurant nearest you. 

Restaurants on the map with a knife and fork symbol have advertised special Thanksgiving options. All others will be open on Nov. 23 and are taking reservations.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Gilroy Gas Station Card Skimming Widens: Police]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:56:25 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gilroyskimmers1120_836454.JPG

A warning from police in Gilroy: Card skimmers have upped their game.

Thieves are ripping people off with credit-debit card skimmers at gas pumps at two locations in Gilroy. Last week, a skimmer was found on a pump at a Valero station at 1190 First St., and another skimmer was found at a Chevron station just down the road, at First and Westwood, police said.

One woman was out $900.

"At first I wasn’t sure. I only use this card for fuel, so I know it was a gas station in town or in Morgan Hill," Jennifer Barbailia said, adding that it could have been either the Valero or the Chevron. "This time of year, it’s hard to lose that much money."

Police said thieves are somehow unlocking gas pumps and placing card skimming devices inside, making them undetectable to customers. The devices allow thieves to get ahold of account and pin numbers. In Barbailia’s case, they got her account information and went to nearby ATMs withdrawing cash.

This month alone police are investigating upward of 200 cases.

Police are poring through footage from surveillance cameras. The Valero station is trying to make its pumps more secure by placing a seal near the lock, warning customers if it’s broken to pay for gas inside because the pump has been tampered with.

The biggest tip of all, police say, is not to use a debit card. It’s easier for the thieves to retrieve those numbers along with your PIN. Use a credit card if you have to use plastic, and of course, use cash when possible, police say.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SJPD Chief Makes Changes to 'Outdated' Grooming Policy]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:23:55 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/03-06-2017-sjpd.jpg

The San Jose Police Department policy has been around for as long as anyone can remember: beards, goatees or heavy facial hair on cops is forbidden.

The goal? Aim to "maintain public respect."

On Monday, the police chief made the first official changes to what he called an outdated policy. SJPD Chief Eddie Garcia also accommodated an officer who needed a beard for his religious wedding.

San Jose officer Simratpal Brar is about to get married in a traditional Sikh wedding, which requires the groom wear a full beard.

"The religion is very straightforward," Brar said. "My family is very traditional, and so is my wife's, my fiancee's family."

To accommodate the wedding requirements, Brar requested a transfer out of patrol to a unit where the policy forbidding beards and goatees and excessive facial hair would not apply. But Garcia said the department was already working on a religious experiment: to create a policy that encouraged diversity for the community image and recruiting.

"I don't know if there's a better policy to put out than something like this -- to show how inclusive we are as a police department," Garcia said.

Brar said he was reluctant to go public about his concerns, and is happy and relieved the department felt the same way as he did about the policy.

"I feel very proud. I take pride in my faith and I take great pride in my uniform and dispatch," Brar said. "So I'm very honored to be here talking to you about this and have it unfold the way it is."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Feds Investigate Small Plane Crash Into San Jose House]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:37:18 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjplanehouse21120_834428.JPG

Federal and local investigators on Monday were trying to piece together the events that ended with a small plane crashing into a San Jose home Sunday.

The crash sent three people to the hospital, one with major injuries, according to San Jose fire officials. No one on the ground was hurt.

Meanwhile, there were also renewed calls for closing the popular Reid-Hillview Airport, where the single-engine Cessna 172 had just departed before it experienced mechanical problems and went down.

The plane crashed into the Gonzalez family home on Evelyn Avenue at about 3 p.m. Sunday.

"It’s pretty crazy," homeowner Juan Gonzalez said. "I cant believe this happened to my house."

Gonzalez said his adult children ran out of the house and helped pull the victims out of the airplane. The pilot was a student pilot, but it’s unclear whether that student or the instructor was flying the plane at the time of the crash.

Former San Jose councilwoman and county Supervisor Blanca Alvarado told NBC Bay Area she may start rallying the community again to talk about the airport concerns. For decades, Alvarado tried to shut down Reid-Hillview, which was built in 1937 and is owned by Santa Clara County..

One county official, however, said there hasn’t been a neighborhood crash like this in decades.

"Very few accidents occur off airport property," county Airports Director Eric Peterson said. "The last one like this was almost 30 years ago today."

At the Gonzalez household, a building inspector was onsite, but the family was not sure when they’ll be able to return.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[New Housing, Schools Coming to San Jose]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:52:34 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-55313633.jpg

There soon will be room to move for cramped residents in North San Jose where 8,000 new housing units have been approved for construction. Those homes are going up at the old Agnews mental health facility. The city and Santa Clara Unified School District are in the process of taking it down and redeveloping that 80-acre plot of land. In its place, a new regional park complete with open space and athletic fields will take foor. Right next door, three new schools for elementary, middle and high school students will be built. The city and school district bought the site in 2014 for $96 million dollars. The city plans to finish demolishing its portion of the site by the middle of next year. Officials say to expect the new regional park within three to five years. The new elementary and middle schools could come in August 2020 and the new high school could open in 2021.]]>
<![CDATA[Sacred Heart Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway Gets Underway]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:46:42 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sacred_Heart_Thanksgiving_Dinner_Giveaway_Gets_Underway.jpg

Workers are getting ready for one of the Bay Area's largest holiday food giveaways. San Jose's Sacred Heart Community Service on Monday begins its three-day Thanksgiving dinner giveaway. This year, more than 4,000 families will receive holiday food boxes, each with more than 50 pounds of food. The event gets underway at 9 a.m.]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed, Suspect Taken Into Custody After Stabbing in SJ]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:50:48 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sanjosecountryclubstabbing_821628.JPEG

A 21-year-old man died and a suspect was taken into custody following a stabbing near a country club in San Jose late Sunday, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department.

The stabbing occurred around 11:30 p.m. along the 5400 block of Fairway Drive, which is located near the San Jose Country Club, according to the sheriff's office.

The victim was found inside a residence and eventually died as a result of his injuries, sheriff's officials said.

The suspect was taken into custody at the scene, according to the sheriff's office. No other suspects are believed to be connected to the stabbing.

The victim and suspect may have been roommates, but an investigation is ongoing, sheriff's officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Wins $1 Million on Lottery Scratcher Sold in San Jose]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:43:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Lottery+scratchers.JPG

A San Jose wine shop sold a lottery ticket that made one man $1 million richer, California Lottery officials said.

Someone at The Wine Rack at 5768 Santa Teresa Blvd. sold the winning Scratchers ticket to Vernon Hall on Sept. 27.

Hall went back to the store with his Winning Millions ticket Oct. 2.

No other information on Hall was available from lottery officials.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[3 Injured After Small Plane Crashes Into House in San Jose]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:53:22 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+plane+house-1119.jpg

Three people were injured Sunday after a small plane crashed into a house near Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, according to fire officials.

The crash occurred about 3 p.m. at 2156 Evelyn Ave., which is just across the street from the airport, San Jose fire officials said.

Two men and one woman were transported to a hospital. One person suffered a major injury, and the other two were lesser injuries, fire officials said.

The plane, a single-engine Cessna 172, crashed into the house's garage, but no one in the home was hurt. About 40 gallons of fuel spilled from the plane, and hazmat personnel were on the scene to clean up, fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort said.

The fixed-wing plane apparently experienced some sort of equipment failure shortly after takeoff, and the pilot attempted to return to the airport before the plane went down.

Witnesses said they saw the plane coming in low over the homes just before it went down.

Marie Calderon was at work, talking to her daughter on her cellphone when he daughter began describing the crash as it was happening.

"It went so fast and then crashed. That's what she said," Calderon said.

Fire officials said it could have been much worse.

"Quite honestly, we're thankful it hit where it did instead of people on the side of the road or in a car," Van Elgort said. "As bizarre as this was, the outcome is about as good as we can expect."

The plane is registered to McClelland Aviation Inc. of San Jose, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. Owner Mike McClleland said the plane was rented by the hour to two pilots who had rented from him in the past.

McClelland said he owns nine airplanes, and this is the first time he has had a crash.

The home's occupants were temporarily evacuated until the fuel was cleaned up, Van Elgort said. The Red Cross was on the scene to assist a total of six people with temporary housing, officials said.

The crash is being investigated by officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA.

Photo Credit: Thom Jensen/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Unemployment Rates Below 4 Percent in Most Bay Area Counties]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:02:24 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/GettyImages-147883234.jpg

The unemployment rate was below 4 percent in October in eight of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, officials with the California Employment Development Department said.

San Mateo County had the lowest rate at 2.5 percent followed by Marin County at 2.6 percent and San Francisco County at 2.7 percent.

The rates were between 3 and 3.5 percent in Santa Clara, Sonoma, Napa, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Solano County had the highest unemployment rate in the Bay Area at 4.3 percent.

The unemployment rate was 4.9 percent statewide compared with 4.1 percent nationwide in October.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Three Killed, One Critically Hurt in San Jose Apartment Fire]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:43:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11182017sjfiredaytimephoto_810181.JPEG

Three people, including a minor, died early Saturday when a three-alarm fire ripped through a San Jose home, critically wounding another person, according to the coroner.

Multiple people reported the blaze on the 500 block of South 9th Street around 5 a.m. near San Jose State University. Flames trapped occupants inside the two-story apartment, according to Joshua Padron, a spokesman for the San Jose Fire Department.

Responding crews immediately tried to save a family of four, who were on the second floor, Padron said. According to a report by the Mercury News, the couple's two children - a 14-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son - died at the scene. The parents were rushed to a hospital where the 48-year-old mother later died and the father was listed in critical condition, officials said. 

The Santa Clara County coroner's office has yet to release the victims identities but the young man was a student at San Jose State University studying mechanical engineering and the girl was a sophomore at Gunderson High School according to a report by the Mercury News.

It took nearly 45 minutes for firefighters to control the flames. Fifty-two firefighters responded to the fire, which was quickly upgraded from two to three alarms. 

Arson investigators are the scene of the fatal fire, looking into what might have sparked it and where.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Peak Fire Season to End in Parts of Bay Area]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:27:03 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-475770266.jpg

Peak fire season will end Monday in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa and the western ends of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, Cal Fire said Friday.

Recent rains and cooler temperatures across the region have lowered the threat of wildfires, so Cal Fire's Santa Clara unit will transition out of peak fire season as of 8 a.m. on Monday, the agency announced.

Regardless of this news, residents still have a responsibility to continue to be fire safe, Cal Fire Santa Clara Unit Chief Derek Witmer said.

Residents should service home heating systems, test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and clean chimneys and stove pipes, according to Witmer.

Cal Fire will continue to maintain staffing to meet any potential threat, the agency said, as well as maintaining the ability to move resources to areas with a higher level of threat.

Also effective Monday, burn permit suspensions will be lifted in the abovementioned five areas, Cal Fire said.

This means that people with current, valid agriculture and residential burn permits can resume burning on permissible burn days, according to Cal Fire.

Until the end of peak fire season, which is Monday, Cal Fire must inspect agriculture burns before burning.

Burn permit suspensions have been lifted in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties. Two of these counties, Sonoma and Napa, bore the brunt of the devastating North Bay wildfires in October.

However, many guidelines remain in effect for these six counties, according to Sonoma County's Fire and Emergency Services Department.

Those with current and valid agriculture and residential burn permits can resume burning on permissible burn days. However, Cal Fire must inspect any burns larger than 4-foot-by-4-foot piles, other than agricultural burns, before burning.

In light of the recent fires, residents are asked to use caution while conducting burns, follow all guidelines and maintain control of the fire at all times.

"Many area residents are faced with removing vegetation that was damaged during the fires," Sonoma County Fire Marshal James Williams said in a statement. "Please consult a professional before cutting trees, and make sure burning is done safely."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area and Safeway's Feed the Need Holiday Food Drive]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:46:19 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DO8GU1BUQAAkto5.jpg

NBC Bay Area and Safeway are joining forces for the annual Feed the Need food drive on Saturday, November 18, kicking off a month-long effort to fight hunger in the Bay Area. This year's food drive will take place at 167 Safeway stores throughout the Bay Area to benefit local food banks through December 26.
It is easy to help families in need this holiday season, visit one of the 167 participating Safeway stores and look for the bag display, grab a flyer from the tear pads and take it to the register for just $10. Your donations to your local food bank will include sustainable food items like: pasta and sauce, canned vegetables, soup, and important proteins like peanut butter, beans and canned chicken breast.
Last year, the food drive collected more than 360,000 bags across the Bay Area, nearly tripling the amount from the previous year and amounting to more than 2,880,000 pounds of food for those in need.
NBC Bay Area news reporters will volunteer at their neighborhood Safeway stores on Saturday, November 18, please see the list below.  
NBC Bay Area volunteer locations: 
Laura Garcia and Marcus Washington - 840 E Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill at 7 to 9:30 a.m. 
Robert Handa and Ian Cull - 235 Tennant St, Morgan Hill at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Janelle Wang and Chris Chmura - 160 First St, Los Altos at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Terry McSweeney, Sam Brock, and Mark Matthews - 110 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley at 2 to 4 p.m.  
Scott McGrew, Kari Hall, and Vianey Arana - 3970 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  
Mike Inouye and  Bob Redell - 4495 First St, Livermore at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
Damian Trujillo - 2980 East Capitol Expressway, San Jose at 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Kris Sanchez and Garvin Thomas -  1530 Hamilton Ave, San Jose at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Rob Mayeda - 3496 Camino Tassajara, Danville at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.  
Jodi Hernandez and Cheryl Hurd - 5051 Business Center Dr, Fairfield at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
A special thanks to our volunteers:
Junior League of San Jose
Girl Scouts of the Bay Area
Kiwanis Clubs
Alameda County 4-H
Second Harvest Food Banks
Contra Costa and Solano Food Banks

NBC Bay Area and Safeway are joining forces for the annual Feed the Need food drive on Saturday, November 18, kicking off a month-long effort to fight hunger in the Bay Area. This year's food drive will take place at 167 Safeway stores throughout the Bay Area to benefit local food banks through December 26.

It is easy to help families in need this holiday season, visit one of the 167 participating Safeway stores and look for the bag display, grab a flyer from the tear pads and take it to the register for just $10. Your donations to your local food bank will include sustainable food items like: pasta and sauce, canned vegetables, soup, and important proteins like peanut butter, beans and canned chicken breast.

Last year, the food drive collected more than 360,000 bags across the Bay Area, nearly tripling the amount from the previous year and amounting to more than 2,880,000 pounds of food for those in need.NBC Bay Area news reporters will volunteer at their neighborhood Safeway stores on Saturday, November 18, please see the list below.  

NBC Bay Area volunteer locations:

  • Laura Garcia and Marcus Washington - 840 E Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill at 7 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Robert Handa and Ian Cull - 235 Tennant St, Morgan Hill at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Janelle Wang and Chris Chmura - 160 First St, Los Altos at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Terry McSweeney - 1 Camino Alto, Mill Valley at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Sam Brock, and Mark Matthews - 110 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley at 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Scott McGrew, Kari Hall, and Vianey Arana - 3970 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Mike Inouye and  Bob Redell - 4495 First St, Livermore at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Damian Trujillo - 2980 East Capitol Expressway, San Jose at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Kris Sanchez and Garvin Thomas -  1530 Hamilton Ave, San Jose at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Rob Mayeda - 3496 Camino Tassajara, Danville at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Jodi Hernandez and Cheryl Hurd - 5051 Business Center Dr, Fairfield at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

A special thanks to our volunteers:

  • Junior League of San Jose
  • Girl Scouts of the Bay Area
  • Kiwanis Clubs
  • Alameda County 4-H
  • Second Harvest Food Banks
  • Contra Costa and Solano Food Banks

Photo Credit: Terry McSweeney/NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Chiropractor Arrested on Suspicion of Sexual Assault]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:22:24 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11162017-milpitas-chiropractor.jpg

A Milpitas chiropractor has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting one of his patients, police said.

The chiropractor, Dr. Gregory Alan Lind, 60, of San Jose, was taken into custody at his business, Family Chiropractic and Natural Healing at 1778 Clear Lake Ave., Milpitas, according to police.

Police said that a 44-year-old woman who was a patient reported that Lind touched her inappropriately during an appointment on Sept. 28.

Lind has been booked into jail and is being held on $200,000 bail, according to jail records.

Police are asking anyone who might have information on this case or similar cases with Lind to call them at Detective Sgt. Morris at (408) 586-2400.

Photo Credit: Milpitas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Claims Santa Clara Deputy Broke Her Hand]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:05:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/202*120/WEBWomanHandBroken_804108.JPG

A woman who was videotaping inside a family courthouse in San Jose is claiming that a Santa Clara Deputy broke her hand during a confrontation. 

In the video, a sheriff tells Susan Bassi to stop recording inside the courthouse and after four attempts at enforcing a no videotaping rule, the sheriff tries to grab her phone. 

According to Bassi, she started recording because deputies were surrounding one of the men she was with and started telling him not to take pictures of documents. 

"I was in the file room doing research," said Bassi. "I saw an incident happen and I thought it was police misconduct. I believed it was newsworthy, and I turned on my recorder." 

A sheriff's department spokesman declined to speak on camera but did tell NBC Bay Area that the deputies were only trying to enforce a standing order by the lead judge of the family court against taking pictures or video. 

According to the sheriff's department spokesperson, deputies told Bassi about the order before, but she says it was selectively enforced. 

"Today was adoption day and up in the eight floor there were people with their phones out recording all over," said Bassi. "So they're selective on who they apply the recording rule in the courthouse."

The sheriff's spokesman said they're still investigating if Bassi violated the judges order against pictures or video inside the courthouse. 

"The reality is, the sheriff broke my hand when I was trying to record what their sheriff was trying to do to a dad in their courthouse," said Bassi. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Remains of World War II Marine Returned to Gilroy Family ]]>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 15:35:50 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBGilroyMarine_804107.JPG

The remains of a World War II Marine who was killed in the South Pacific arrived at San Jose International Airport Friday to be returned to his family in Gilroy. 

The Masoni family has waited since 1943 for Frank Masoni to return home. 

Masoni was a Marine cook in the South Pacific but was sent into action and killed in the battle of Tarawa.

His family thought his body was never recovered until the military conducted a DNA test matching it to an unknown Marine buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Turns out, it was Masoni. 

"A moment that my dad never believed would ever happen in his lifetime," said Frank Masoni's niece, Lanna Sandoval.

On Friday, with full military honors, Masoni's casket was guided by the Patriot Motorcycle Club as firefighters manned every overpass from San Jose to Gilroy, saluting the fallen Marine. 

"It's nice to know our missing veterans are still being looked for and found and returned to their families," said Mike Cabael from the Patriots Motorcycle Club. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Five Men Sue San Jose Police, City For Gay Sting Operation]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 07:30:06 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-07-2017-sjpd.jpg

Five men who claim they were unfairly targeted by San Jose police in a gay sting operation have sued the city, Chief Edgardo Garcia and seven officers in federal court for allegedly violating their constitutional rights.

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose on Nov. 8, the five men were each arrested in or near the city's Columbus Park in 2014 and 2015 after undercover officers posing as gay men asked them to engage in sex in a public restroom.

They were charged in Santa Clara County Superior Court with the misdemeanor of loitering near a public restroom for the purpose of engaging in or soliciting lewd acts.

In 2016, the criminal charges were dismissed by Superior Court Judge Jose Franco, who said that targeting gay men and while ignoring similar conduct by heterosexuals was discriminatory.

The federal civil lawsuit alleges that police violated the men's constitutional Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable seizure and their Fourteenth Amendment right to equal treatment.

It asks for financial compensation as well as an injunction barring San Jose police from targeting, harassing or arresting men who seek "non-monetary intimate association with members of the same sex."

Representatives of the San Jose Police Department and City Attorney's Office were not immediately available for comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Rebuilding Burned Down Holy Cross Church ]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:47:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEBHOLYCROSSCHURCH_803083.JPEG

Friday marks a somber anniversary in San Jose. Three years ago, the century-old Holy Cross Church burned down, and, to this day, no one knows what caused the fire.

Today, the church, built near Japantown in 1906, is being rebuilt and plans to open its doors next Easter.

The new parish will have an old-world flavor with a lot of modern upgrades.

The church and the diocese hired the Topa Architectural Firm to bring their parish back to life.

“We had to be very sensitive,” said Ramiro Torres from Topa Architectural Firm. “A lot of people had very different opinions and in the end, we will do one design.”

Among all the rubble, one of the few things that survived the fire was a century-old, Italian wooden cross which appeared to be untouched by the flames.

As of now, the Bishop has signed off on a design and the new church will include a lot of steel to keep it from burning again.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Poptopia to Bring Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, More to San Jose]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:56:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/poptopia.jpg

Good news, music lovers!

With Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and the Chainsmokers on the star-studded lineup, Poptopia promises to be a fun night.

Sponsored by 99.7 NOW!, the event will be hosted at San Jose's SAP Center from 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2. 

Tickets, with which fans can also watch Dua Lipa, Niall Horan, Fifth Harmony and more, range from $146 to $884.

Separately, Swifties received more good news this week.

Having recently released "Reputation," the 10-time Grammy winner will kick off a nationwide stadium tour next May. Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara is one of the locations where she is expected to perform on May 12.

People keen to watch next year's concert can register online.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DOJ Warns 8 Bay Area Jurisdictions About Sanctuary Status]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:31:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/jeff+sessions+salvatrucha.jpg

The cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, Fremont and Watsonville and Contra Costa, Monterey, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties on Wednesday were among 29 jurisdictions nationwide to receive sanctuary warning letters from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The letters say the department is concerned that the cities' and counties' policies may violate a federal law that bars local governments from preventing their employees from communicating with federal immigration agents.

Compliance with the law, known as Section 1373, is a condition of Justice Department grants to local governments under a program known as the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Program.

The letters signed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson ask the cities and counties to submit a response by Dec. 8 explaining whether they have "laws, policies or practices" that violate the law.

The letters also ask the recipients to state whether they would comply with the law if they receive a Byrne grant in the current fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1.

"Jurisdictions that adopt so-called 'sanctuary policies' also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

He continued: "I urge all jurisdictions found to be potentially out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents."

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera strongly disagreed with the Justice Department's analysis.

"San Francisco is in full compliance with federal immigration law," he said in a statement.

Herrera said the administration of President Donald Trump is making "novel and shifting interpretations" of the Section 1373 law, "going far beyond its text."

"The law means what it says, and we follow it," he said.

Herrera said San Francisco restricts other cooperation with immigration officials, but maintained that such local restrictions don't violate federal laws.

"This letter is the latest salvo in the barrage of Trump administration threats to sanctuary cities," he said. "The law is on our side, and we intend to beat back this threat, just like all the others before it."

In the South Bay, Santa Clara County said there is one problem with the threat.

"The big joke on them is we never took any money from them in 2016," Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese said.

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Car Crashes Snarl Traffic as Rain Pounds Bay Area]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:33:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/111617HWY85CARS_786055.JPEG

A number of car crashes snarled traffic across the Bay Area during the Thursday morning commute as another round of rain soaked the region.

A big-rig around 5 a.m. slammed into a power pole in Fremont, knocking out power for roughly 3,000 customers in the area near Auto Mall Parkway and Boscell Road, according to police. The crash temporarily shut down both directions of Auto Mall Parkway.

The power pole was thrown across several lanes of traffic, but no one was hurt.

Full power in the area immediately surrounding the crash scene is expected to be restored by 5 p.m., according to PG&E.

In the South Bay, overturned vehicles briefly blocked all northbound lanes of Highway 85 near Winchester Boulevard in Los Gatos around 5 a.m., but only minor injuries were reported, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Despite the proximity, the crashes happened independently of each other. CHP officials said speed played a role in the wrecks.

Around the same time along the Peninsula, a collision blocked four lanes of southbound Highway 101 at Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View, according to the CHP.

Drivers are encouraged to slow down and keep a safe distance between the cars in front of them when rain is falling. 

Track the latest road conditions using NBC Bay Area's traffic map

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Slow-Moving Storm Pelts Bay Area With Rain]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:36:20 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/bus43.jpg

Heavy rain soaked the North Bay late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning and pushed south into the greater Bay Area in time for the morning commute, weather forecasters said.

After pelting Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties overnight, prompting a flash flood warning for those areas until 3 a.m. and a flood advisory in Solano County until 2:45 p.m., the storm slowly began making its way toward the Peninsula, East Bay and South Bay early Thursday. 

Temperatures will be in the 50s to start the morning, and by the afternoon, there's a chance the rain could linger over the South Bay, forecasters said.

Rain totals on average for lower elevations will be 0.50 to 1.25 inches and 1-3 inches above 1,000 feet. The heaviest rain will spread across the Santa Cruz Mountains and into the South Bay around sunrise, the National Weather Service said.

The South Bay, which usually misses out on the heavy rain, got hit hard with this storm as many places saw up to an inch of rain. In the Rock Springs neighborhood of San Jose, which was flooded earlier this year when Coyote Creek overflowed its banks during storms, residents were not ready for more rain. 

Flood victim Hao Nguyen and her visiting granddaughter, Trang Lieng, were back home, just in time.

"The owner fixed the house, and she's very glad we can move back in before the rain," Lieng said.

The storm also made life even more miserable for the homeless in San Jose, where CHAM Ministries handed out blankets, tents and water at a Felipe Road encampment.

"There are a lot of people, right here, struggling," pastor Scott Wagers said. "You know, the guys are desperate for tarps right now because they're trying to keep their stuff dry."

In the North Bay, rainfall rates over coastal Sonoma and Marin counties were up to half an inch per hour Wednesday evening, posing the possibility of mudslides, downed trees and flooding in the areas burned out by wildfires last month.

Twenty-four rainfall totals as of 4 a.m. Thursday had already exceeded two inches in Petaluma and Guerneville. Lafayette recorded 1.79 inches during that time frame, Santa Rosa registered 1.39 inches of rain, Pacifica recorded 1.31 inches and Oakland logged 1.26 inches. Those numbers will increase as the storm makes its way out of the region.

Deluges of rain also prompted the closures of some roadways in San Francisco.

The connector ramp to northbound Highway 101 was shut down due to flooding, according to the California Highway Patrol. Southbound lanes of the Great Highway were also forced to close as a result of flooding. 

On the road to the Sierra Nevada, about 1-2 feet of snow was expected above 7,000 feet, the weather service said. Chains were required on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit on the way to the Reno-Tahoe region. 

Drying weather returns Friday and Saturday, forecasters said.

NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Presentation High Board Breaks Silence on Alleged Misconduct]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:44:47 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sexual_Misconduct_Allegations_Grow_at_Presentation_High.jpg

Five days after placing two current teachers on administrative leave for allegations of sexual misconduct, the Board of Directors at Presentation High School sent a letter to the school community expressing confidence in the current principal and lamenting the spotlight causing “stress and confusion” for faculty, staff and students.

In the letter, the Board of Directors said it has been “deeply engaged with Principal Mary Miller, former Principal Marian Stuckey and legal counsel to review the allegations made in the media” and said it is “satisfied that Presentation Administration fulfilled its due diligence in the investigative process for these incidents.” The letter does not refer to any specific incidents but the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has learned of at least five cases where women say they reported allegations of sexual misconduct by male teachers to Miller.

The incidents range from the mid-1990’s to this year.

“We want our children to be in safe environment. We don't want predators on our campus,” Michael Leininger said. The retired San Jose police detective has 32 years of experience investigating sex abuse crimes against children. He is now working with a law firm representing two former Presentation High students.

He says school districts everywhere need to know that when they receive allegations of this nature, the law requires them to report immediately to police, or Child Protective Services, not to conduct their own internal investigations.

“We have heard from so many victims at this time, ranging from Congress to the Olympics to Hollywood it's time to take these victims credibly,” he said.

Leininger encouraged survivors of abuse to speak out and come forward, but he said they have to prepare for the backlash that can occur.

“It's going to be a very trying time for you, but know that you are believed. It’s time to make a change and it’s time to listen and quit blaming the victim or the messenger,” Leininger said.

All officials from Presentation High declined to comment for this story.

If you have a tip for the Investigative Unit email Vicky@nbcbayarea.com or theunit@nbcbayarea.com or call 888-996-TIPS. Follow Vicky Nguyen on Twitter @VickyNguyenTV and Facebookwww.facebook.com/VickyNguyenTV 

<![CDATA[Shooting, Vandalism Investigation at San Jose School]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:02:03 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11152017BooksinElementary_779380.JPG

Some parents are outraged after learning a gun was fired on an elementary school campus in San Jose.

The shooting occurred over the weekend at Booksin Elementary, according to San Jose Unified School District officials. No one was injured and nothing was stolen from the campus. Parents are upset because they were not informed of the shooting.

District officials said they wanted to have all the facts before telling parents what happened.

Photos obtained by NBC Bay Area show security cameras on campus vandalized and bullet holes in the roof.

The district is now working with police to investigate the incident. Investigators believe it is an isolated incident, but it is not enough to raise concerns over student safety.

Parent Sean Onderick said it is "absurd" school officials waited  this long to let them know about the incident.

"They don't need to know the what for, the wheres and the why. I need to know if a security camera was shot out with a gun at my kid's school. It's that simple," Onderick said.

The district said a newsletter will go out Thursday to parents to explain what happened.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Vans Warped Tour is Coming to an End in 2018]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:43:34 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/Vans-Warped-Tour-005.jpg

All good things must come to an end.

Vans Warped Tour has announced its final cross-country tour in 2018, bringing an end to the mostly pop-punk music festival.

Founder of the tour, Kevin Lyman, released an official statement on the Vans Warped Tour website on Wednesday morning, stating, “I have been a very lucky person to have traveled across the country and sometimes around the world as one of the founders and producers of the Vans Warped Tour.”

He continued on to say, “Today, with mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour.”

The music festival has been touring the country since 1995 and started with bands like Quicksand, Sublime, L7, No Use for a Name and No Doubt. The tour was the place to witness “the rise of pop punk,” according to Lyman, thanks to bands like Sum 41, Simple Plan, New Found Glory and Good Charlotte.

“Though the tour and the world have changed since ’95, the same feeling of having the ‘best summer ever’ will live on through the bands, the production teams and the fans that come through at every stop,” said Lyman.

Over the past 23 summers, the music festival has toured with more than 1,700 bands and was even dubbed one of the most diverse shows, where fans could find Eminem on the same stage as Sevendust. But the festival was more than just music; the Vans Warped Tour was also known for its community outreach and even partnered with 90 nonprofit organizations.

Vans Warped Tour will grace stages across the country for the last time starting in June 2018. Bay Area fans can catch the final tour on June 23 in Mountain View.

For fans feeling nostalgic, Lyman also said he is planning a 25th-anniversary celebration of the Warped Tour in 2019, but in an interview with Billboard, he also expressed his excitement at taking a break from the tour.

“The enduring spirit of the Vans Warped Tour remains as bright as ever, continuing to inspire creativity and ambition in new and exciting ways as we prepare for a 25th-anniversary celebration in 2019.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Paint Companies Must Remove Lead-Based Paint in Old Homes]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 08:53:50 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/paint+brush+image.jpg

A state appeals court in San Jose ruled Tuesday that three paint companies must pay for removing lead-based paint from the interiors of houses built before 1951 in ten populous cities and counties.

A three-judge Court of Appeal panel unanimously upheld a 2014 finding by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg that the companies created a public nuisance by promoting the use of lead-based paint while knowing that lead dust was harmful to children.

But the appeals court narrowed down the original $1.15 billion verdict ordered by Kleinberg after a non-jury trial.

Kleinberg ruled that the paint companies must pay $1.15 billion for abatement of interior lead-based paint in an estimated 3.5 million homes built in the 10 jurisdictions before 1980.

The appeals court said the mandate should apply only to houses built before 1951 because there is no evidence the companies advertised the use of lead-based paint, as opposed to paint in general, after 1951.

Unless the paint companies successfully appeal Tuesday's ruling to the California Supreme Court, the case will go back to Santa Clara County Superior Court to determine how much the abatement will cost for the pre-1951 houses.

The lawsuit was filed by Santa Clara County in 2000 and later joined by Alameda, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Mateo, Solano and Ventura counties, the city and county of San Francisco and the cities of Oakland and San Diego.

The three paint manufacturers are Sherwin-Williams Co.; NL Industries Inc., formerly known as National Lead Industries; and ConAgra Grocery Products Co., which took over the former Fuller paint company.

"NL, SWC, and Fuller, as leaders in the lead paint industry, were well aware in the early part of the 20th century that lead dust was poisonous," Justice Nathan Mihara wrote for the court.

"Defendants promoted lead paint for interior residential use knowing that such use would create a serious risk of harm to children," Mihara said in the court's 143-page decision.

Exposure to lead in deteriorated paint dust and chips can cause brain damage, learning disabilities, lowered IQ scores, slowed growth and kidney damage in children. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control concluded in 2012 that "no safe blood lead level in children has been identified."

Lead-based paint was banned in the United States in 1978.

Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera both issued statements saying the narrowed-down order will still result in the abatement of a majority of the lead-painted homes in their cities.

"Lead paint is prevalent in Oakland homes and disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income communities. In this case, the defendants knew they were selling a product that poisoned children, yet they continued to sell it and market it as safe," Parker said.

Parker said the ruling was not everything she'd hoped for, but said it, "requires that the defendants clean up the vast majority of Oakland homes that contain lead paint."

The decision "affirms that major companies cannot knowingly harm Californians and get away with it," Parker said.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said that about two-thirds of homes in San Francisco were built before 1950, and thus the paint companies "will still have to pay to clean up the vast majority of homes in San Francisco that contain this dangerous toxin."

"This case is about protecting future generations of children from the untold harm created by the dangerous products these companies peddled," Herrera said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Flash Flood Watch in Effect for North Bay Counties]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:56:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/srrain21115_782593.JPG

As another storm system walloped the Bay Area with rain on Wednesday, crews were keeping a close eye on the areas recently scorched by the devastating wildfires in the North Bay.

Teams spent the overnight hours trying to haul off as much of the charred debris as possible and block storm drains with straw waddles to prevent potentially toxic materials from flowing into creeks and streams.

"Can you imagine having to go into the entire city of San Francisco times three-and-a-half and make sure it was secure for a rainfall event?" Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt said. "That's what we're dealing with."

Even as rain arrived Wednesday, workers continued storm preparations, including ongoing drain pipe assessments using remote control video cameras. 

The latest round of rain, which will be heaviest in the North Bay, has prompted flash flood watches in Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties, according to the National Weather Service. Those watches went into effect 4 p.m. Wednesday and were set to expire at 3 a.m. Thursday.

Roughly 1 to 3 inches of rain in the region could cause debris flows and mudslides, especially in the burned out areas. About 300 Cal Fire firefighters on Wednesday were in the burn areas working on erosion control.

Rain returned by the evening, with the heaviest downpours pelting the North Bay. The slow-moving storm eventually made its way south and was expected to bring deluges to the South Bay overnight. 

In San Francisco, workers installed flood barriers along Folsom Street, near 17th Street, for a third straight year. But officials with the Public Utilities Commission said this year will be different, with a $2 million grant program allowing homes and businesses to retrofit.

In the East Bay, crews cleared storm drains and stocked up on sandbags as the rain approached. 

The rain is expected to clear out of the Bay Area by late Thursday morning.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[San Jose Leaders Pass Ordinance on Recreational Pot Sales]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:52:02 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/91997111-marijuana-generic.jpg

The San Jose City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that will allow 16 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city to sell marijuana for recreational purposes to adults 21 and older starting on Jan. 1.

The ordinance allows recreational marijuana sales in the city only for the dispensaries that are currently allowed to sell it for medicinal purposes. No zoning districts or exclusionary zones changed with the passage of the ordinance.

A handful of community members and city personnel spoke for and against the passage of the ordinance, including San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia, who was concerned that marijuana might fall into the hands of minors if recreational sales were allowed.

One community member, Sean Kalli-Rai, reminded the council members that every single district in San Jose voted in favor of Proposition 64 in last November's election.

Another community member, Kevin Kittlia, spoke strongly against the ordinance and the current dispensaries in the city, citing his born-again Christian beliefs.

"I've seen what this drug does to people," Kittlia said. "I have had friends that had their lives destroyed by this. ... Again, I ask you, please, please, please do away with the marijuana dispensaries just because this hurts people."

The passage of the ordinance will also allow the delivery of marijuana to non-medicinal customers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[SJSU’s Women’s Track and Field Team Lacks a Proper Facility]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:04:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/WEB-womens-tf-KM-001.JPG

San Jose State has a long and proud history when it comes to their track and field program, but since the re-establishment of the women's track and field team, athletes have been practicing in an unsafe facility. 

The field where the female athletes practice is not your traditional facility but rather the additional parking area for sports teams and even the tailgate zone during major sporting events. 

"People are like 'where is the track?' and we have to explain 'oh you know...it's not really a track, but we practice here,'" said long jump Moutain West Champion Kelsey Johnson-Upshaw in an interview with the Spear

Many students claim sexism is the reason the women's team practices in a field filled with potholes, strewn with shards of glass and bottle caps, but the university says they need money to make changes. 

Neither the school nor its athletic department would comment on camera about the field's conditions but claim that by 2018, when the men's track team is reformed, improvements will come. 

According to the San Jose State Athletic South Campus master plan, $5 million are needed to create a permanent and safe facility for the women's team, but plans for this have been delayed.

"We are currently discussing the location and the plan for a permanent track facility that must be privately funded," said Athletic Director Marie Tuite. "In the meantime, we are exploring possible temporary solutions under the funding that can be secured. 

San Jose State University's The Spear contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Kavin Mistry/ The Spear
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<![CDATA[Tesla Sued Over Alleged Use of N-Word Against Black Worker]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:01:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17207787639885-tesla.jpg

A former Tesla worker is suing the car company, alleging he was called the N-word and describing the Fremont, California, factory as a "hotbed for racist behavior."

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Marcus Vaughn filed the discrimination suit on Monday. He was fired last month.

The assembly line worker says supervisors and co-workers routinely used the racial slur against him and other black employees, but no investigation was conducted, even after he made a written report to Tesla human resources.

The suit also claims Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote a memo in May urging people to be "thick-skinned" about insults if an apology is delivered.

Three other black workers filed similar legal action earlier this year.

A message seeking comment from Tesla wasn't immediately returned.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Tesla Motors via AP file]]>
<![CDATA['Classic Serial Killer' Flees Hawaii, Heads to San Jose]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 06:40:13 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RandallSaito.jpg

Hawaii authorities were searching Tuesday for a man described by a prosecutor as fitting the profile of a serial killer who escaped from the state’s psychiatric hospital outside Honolulu, flew to Maui and then fled to San Jose.

Randall Saito, who was found not guilty of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity, left Hawaii State Hospital on Sunday. He walked out, climbed into a waiting taxi, and boarded a charter flight before the state Health Department even had a chance to alert authorities about his absence.

But it took hospital personnel eight hours to notify local law enforcement once they realized Saito was missing. 

Honolulu police said the 59-year-old Saito flew to Maui, and from there boarded a plane to San Jose. He arrived at Mineta San Jose International Airport around 7:30 p.m. local time Sunday. 

It remains unknown whether Saito remained in the Bay Area, but officials say some of his family members live in the area. United States Marshals and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are searching for him.

Late Tuesday night, the Hawaii Attorney General's office charged Saito with felony escape and issued a $500,000 bench warrant for his arrest. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said officers in all 50 states may enforce the arrest warrant.

Police have shared photos of Saito, who was last seen in a red jacket, pants and a buttoned aloha shirt.

“He is a very dangerous individual,” said Wayne Tashima, a Honolulu prosecutor who argued in 2015 against Saito receiving passes to leave the hospital grounds without an escort.

Tashima warned people not to approach Saito, saying there’s a concern he could commit the same “very heinous and violent offense” again. Authorities asked anyone with information on Saito to call police.

Saito, described by sources to Hawaii News Now as a "violent psychopath," was committed to the hospital in 1981 after being acquitted by reason of insanity of the murder of 29-year-old Sandra Yamashiro. The woman, selected at random, was shot in the face with a pellet gun and repeatedly stabbed. Her body was found in her car at a Honolulu shopping mall.

Defense attorneys sought to have Saito released in 2000. But Jeff Albert, a deputy city prosecutor, objected, saying Saito “fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer.”

In 1993, a court denied Saito’s request for conditional release, saying he continued to suffer from sexual sadism and necrophilia.

The state Department of Health operates the hospital, which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it’s investigating the escape.

Authorities said Saito is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached. Anyone who sees him or has information on his whereabouts should call the Honolulu Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, (808)723-3609, or Honolulu Crime Stoppers, (808)955-8300. The public may also contact their local law enforcement agency.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Crime Stoppers]]>
<![CDATA[Pile of Mulch Catches Fire in San Jose]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:34:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SJMulchFire.JPG

Firefighters on Tuesday battled flames that engulfed a large pile of mulch in San Jose.

The blaze broke out around 3:50 a.m. along the 600 block of Kings Row, officials said.

The flames were knocked down in about 45 minutes, according to officials.

Firefighters had to force their way onto the property and move equipment in order to fight the blaze.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Leaders to Mull Rent Control Options]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:35:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SJHousing.JPG

Santa Clara County and San Jose leaders on Tuesday will consider housing measures as the pressure to protect renters continues to swell.

The San Jose City Council at 1:30 p.m. will consider a number of rent control options, including one measure that would cap increases and another that would tie increases to the consumer price index. County leaders at 9:30 a.m. will mull using nearly $45 million in loans to help spur low income housing developments.

According to a recent report focusing on the Bay Area's high housing costs, nearly half of renters are struggling to pay for a place to live.

The report also found that 25 percent of renters spend half of their income on rent while 50 percent of renters spend a third of their income on rent.

If city and county leaders fail to take action, housing advocates say working families will end up homeless or experience fewer protections.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Cases of Credit, Debit Card Fraud Tied to Gas Pump Skimmer]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 23:44:31 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gilroyvalero1113_752984.JPG

Police on Monday said they are investigating several cases of credit card and ATM card fraud stemming from a card skimmer found within a gas pump at a Valero gas station in Gilroy.

Police said the department was inundated with fraud cases over the weekend, and the one common link was the use of their cards at the Valero at 1190 First St.

The department's Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team found the skimming device inside a gas pump Monday morning around 10 a.m. and removed it, police said. No other skimming devices were found at other pumps at the station.

Police said the skimmer had been there for at least a week, maybe longer.

Anyone who has purchased gas at the Valero location is asked to check their bank statements to make sure they aren't victims of fraud.

Police advise anyone who may have been a victim of credit card/ATM card fraud at the gas station to contact police at (408) 846-0350.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sheriff's Leadership Questioned After Latest Inmate Incident]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 20:00:23 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sccsheriff1113_751958.JPG

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office continues to search for two inmates who escaped from a Palo Alto courthouse last week, and one former official says this latest incident with jail inmates points to a leadership issue.

Inmates John Bivins and Tramel McClough remained on the loose Monday, a week after they used a key to unlock their shackles, overpowered a deputy and fled a Palo Alto courthouse, an escape that was orchestrated with the help of at least two accomplices who have since been arrested.

"Our detectives are working around the clock, 20 detectives, to solve this," sheriff's Sgt. Reggie Cooks said Monday.

Retired Judge Ladoris Cordell, who chaired the Blue Ribbon Commission charged with recommending reforms after three jail guards were found guilty of murdering a mentally ill inmate, said a change is needed at the top with Sheriff Laurie Smith.

"Here we go again," she said. "This to me is old news."

Smith, who oversees county jails, has been under fire for multiple lapses in the county corrections department, starting with the murder of Michael Tyree in his cell at the Main Jail in August 2015.

About a year ago, two inmates escaped the Main Jail in San Jose after sawing their way out of a cell and remained on the run for a couple of weeks. Smith gave out a $20,000 reward in that case after Laron Campbell and Rogelio Chavez were captured, thanks to community tips.

A $25,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the capture of Bivins and McClough.

Cordell said you can't throw money at the problem by doling out rewards after mistakes are made. She has endorsed Smith’s opponent in the next election, insisting it's time for change.

"She’s had plenty of time to be the leadership of the sheriff’s office, and what do we have for that? Murder," Cordell said about Smith. "So, the commission found so many things that need to be fixed just in the jail, not even talking about patrols.

"Let me tell you, good leadership basically says, 'I messed up, I take responsibility, I'm going to fix it.' That's not what this sheriff does," Cordell said. "She does not own up when there are mess-ups, and there have been quite a few of them."  

The sheriff’s office did not wish to respond to Cordell’s comments, saying its focus right now, is on capturing the fugitives.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Gilroy Considers Arming Residents with Radar Guns]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 19:54:33 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11132017GilroyRadar_752010.JPG

The City of Gilroy is considering arming residents with radar guns to help cut down on speeding drivers.

In the neighborhood around Mantelli Drive, near Santa Theresa Boulevard, city officials have set up speed monitors to curb speeding problems.

Many Gilroy residents in neighborhoods surrounding the area said the wide roadways and long stretches without stop signs encourage reckless speeding.

"You have to watch out when you're a pedestrian or bicyclist," resident Dan Callahan said. "You can't just assume people are going to do what they're supposed to."

The city in response started looking into providing residents with radar guns to catch speeders.

"Anything that can help people sort of reclaim the streets if they feel it's out of control, I think that would be OK as long as it's implemented properly," Callahan said.

Gilroy has been studying other communities that have equipped residents with radar guns, designed only to collect information for the police.

"Residents would be able to check out a radar gun and what they do is work in pairs to track the speed," Mayor Roland Velasco said. "And the other person would record that information from the vehicle."

The mayor and police emphasize in the proposal citizens would not issue citations or be involved in any enforcement.

"We're always encouraging neighborhoods to help," Gilroy Police Sgt. Jason Smith said. "Speeding is one of those violations where you have to be in the right place at the right time."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Magnitude 4.7 Earthquake Strikes in Monterey County]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 00:01:44 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/GonzalesEarthquake.JPG

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.7 rocked Monterey County Monday morning, according to the USGS. 

The quake, which struck at 11:31 a.m., was centered about 13 miles northeast of the city of Gonzales, according to the USGS.

People in Bay Area cities such as San Jose, San Mateo, Alameda and San Francisco reported feeling shaking.

The USGS recorded at least five aftershocks of magnitude 2.5 or stronger in the area around the epicenter later Monday, the strongest registering 2.8 at 8:17 p.m.

Track the latest earthquake information using NBC Bay Area's quake map.  

Photo Credit: USGS]]>
<![CDATA[Road Repairs Won't Strand Residents in Santa Cruz Mountains]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:29:23 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Highway35Roadwork.JPG

Roughly 175 households in the Santa Cruz Mountains will not be blocked out —or blocked in — while crews work to finish last-minute road repairs in advance of incoming storms.

Two repair projects by Caltrans and Santa Clara County were slated to close two main thoroughfares near Los Gatos, but the agencies involved managed to find a way to work around each other so that residents wouldn't be stuck during construction. 

Caltrans' work along Highway 35 — also known as Skyline Boulevard — will go on as planned because workers will be maneuvering along a vertical slope and they need daylight to safely finish the job. That means the stretch between Black Road and Bear Creek Road will be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. this week.

Santa Clara County's project on Black Road and Bear Creek Road has been moved to next week. 

The move opens up Black Road as an alternate route while Skyline Boulevard is closed.

The announcement comes as a welcome relief to resident Kim Owens, who was worried about how she would be able to leave in the event of an emergency.

"With the Bear Fire, when we were evacuating, we were afraid of how we were going to get out with one lane roads everywhere and the firetrucks going up," she said. "It's really frustrating when we have appointments like this with our animals or doctor's appointments and they won't let us out or won't let us back in."

Locals originally voiced frustration because the construction projects were slated to block two main thoroughfares in and out of the community. 

"It doesn't make sense," Daniel Follette of Los Gatos said before the resolution. "Why can't they work together and open this up and close this one or close this one and open, you know, vice versa?"

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Armed Woman Surrenders After Lengthy Standoff in San Jose]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 00:09:30 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/SJ+Standoff+1.JPG

An armed woman was taken into custody Monday following a standoff with San Jose police that initially started when the woman became upset over a parking situation, according to police.

Nearby residents were forced to evacuate, but the standoff finally came to a close several hours after it began when the woman surrendered, police said.

Officers first responded to calls about two people fighting along the 3300 block of Holly Drive just before 6 p.m. on Sunday, according to police. Neighbors told officers that the woman was upset over some type of parking issue.

At one point, the woman grabbed a gun, walked outside and waved it at neighbors, police said.

Following the lengthy standoff, the woman eventually surrendered, according to police. She was arrested for brandishing a weapon and being a felon in possession of a gun. She was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Soccer Fans in SJ React to Allegations Against FIFA Official]]>Sun, 12 Nov 2017 22:14:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/hope+solo-1112.jpg

The U.S. women's soccer team was in San Jose on Sunday night for a friendly against Canada, and there was a buzz around recent sexual harassment allegations by Team USA's former goalkeeper Hope Solo.

Solo has accused Sepp Blatter, former president of FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, of pinching her buttocks during an awards ceremony four years ago. She joined hundreds of women from across the country who are going public with accusations against their alleged attackers or harassers.

While Team USA took care of business on the field at Avaya Stadium, it's what Solo said happened off the field that had many fans talking.

Soccer fans Kristi and Mike Ward said they applaud Solo for coming forward.

"I thank them for paving the way and feeling confident enough to come out," Kristi Ward said.

Bravery, the Wards said, will help level the playing field for a new generation of young women in and out of sports.

"I think anyone who comes forward with any type of situation that has happened to them, has the right to be heard," Mike Ward said. "And not only the right to be heard, but the right to justice."

Solo is among hundreds of women in recent weeks who have gone public with accusations against actors, politicians and others positions of power. Fans see the surge of women bravely coming forward as progress that is long overdue.

"I'm excited that the world is willing to listen to it, at this point in time, and it's an exciting thing to finally be happening," women's soccer fan Alexis Heri said.

Blatter has denied Solo's allegations.

A spokesman for the U.S women's national team declined to comment on the allegations against Blatter or Solo's comments about it being a problem in the sport in general.

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Brawl at 49ers Game Injures Officer, Results in 3 Arrests]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 23:53:28 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_levis_stadium_sanfrancisco.jpg

Three people were arrested at Sunday's game between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara after refusing to leave their seats and getting into an altercation that left an officer with injuries, police said.

Patrick Flynn, a 29-year-old resident of Brighton, Massachusetts, was arrested on suspicion felony battery on a police officer resulting in injury and resisting arrest, Santa Clara police Capt. Wahid Kazem.

Flynn is also accused of two misdemeanor counts of battery on a police officer, Kazem said.

He is currently being held on $40,000 bail in the Santa Clara County Jail and has a court date for Wednesday in San Jose, according to county jail records.

In addition to Flynn, Kazem said two other people -- including a relative of Flynn's -- were arrested on misdemeanor offenses.

Kyle Flynn, 26, of Arlington, Virginia, was arrested on suspicion of one misdemeanor count each of being drunk in public and obstruction of justice.

Additionally, 29-year-old Lauren Alcatraz was arrested on suspicion of a misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice.

According to Kazem, the unruly fans had been given a warning about their behavior earlier in the game while in their seats, which were in the first and second rows of section 121 just above the Giants sideline. The fans were allegedly causing distractions to players and team personnel on the field.

"Their actions were determined to be in violation of the stadium's code of conduct policy," Kazem said.

When officers arrived to escort them off the field, Kazem said they refused to get out of their seats, and a scuffle ensued between one of the officers and Patrick Flynn, resulting in the officer and Flynn going over the railing.

After they went over the railing, Kazem said Patrick Flynn kept resisting arrest, and police used a Taser stun gun on him, after which he ultimately complied with the officers.

The officer who was injured suffered minor to moderate injuries and was treated at a hospital and then released a few hours later.

Kazem couldn't confirm what exactly the fans were doing that garnered a warning from stadium personnel earlier in the game.

A 49ers team spokesman declined to comment on the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead After Crash on Northbound Highway 101 in San Jose]]>Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:03:06 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-night.jpg

At least one person has died in a collision Sunday morning on northbound U.S. Highway 101 south of Tully Road in San Jose, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

At 6:51 a.m. CHP officials said on social media that the collision had closed all but one northbound lane on Highway 101.

Motorists in the area can expect delays, CHP officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Honors Veterans]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 19:00:47 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-132335266.jpg

People across the Bay Area offered thanks to all who have served, honoring their service and sacrifice in a number of ways.


San Jose Veterans Day Parade

10 a.m. Saturday: A ceremony will be held at Plaza de Cesar Chavez

11 a.m. Parade will start at West Santa Clara Street and Highway 87. Attendees will travel east to Market Street, where they will turn south toward the reviewing stand in front of the park. 

Honor on the Row in San Jose

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday: Santana Row will celebrate veterans with a gold star memorial to honor the fallen, a display of military vehicles and classic cars, and a collection booth for care packages.


We Are All Americans! Tribute to Nikkei Veterans

10 a.m. Saturday: A free public ceremony hosted by the National Japanese American Historical Society at 640 Old Mason Street.

11 a.m. Saturday: GO FOR BROKE! Anthony Brown's Asian American Orchestra

12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday: Luncheon reception

Veterans Day Service + Art at the Presidio

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday: Veterans and civilians can view service members' artwork on display at the Presidio Officers' Club and participate in community service for victims of the North Bay wildfires.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday: Family-friendly arts and crafts

Commemoration of 75th Anniversary of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday: The Naval History and Heritage Command, in partnership with the USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation and San Francisco Fleet Week Association, will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal at the USS San Francisco Memorial at 2400 El Camino Del Mar. The ceremony will honor the sailors and marines who were killed in action during the battle on Nov. 12 and 13.

Veterans Day Parade

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday: An estimated 20,000 people are expected to attend the annual Veterans Day parade that traditionally starts with motorcycle riders leading the way. It starts on the Embarcadero at North Point Street and heads to Fisherman's Wharf along Jefferson Street.


Veterans Day Celebration in Alameda

10 a.m. Saturday: The USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum at 707 West Hornet Avenue will offer a station for people who want to make thank-you cards for veterans.

11 a.m. Saturday: The USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum will hosts its annual ceremony on the ship’s hanger deck. Afterward, a wreath will be cast into San Francisco Bay in honor of U.S. veterans of all wars and branches of service.

Veterans Memorial Dedication in Union City

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday: Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle will dedicate a new monument at Veterans Memorial Park at 4525 Dyer Street. The memorial will feature a hexahedra granite monument — with each of the six sides representing a different branch of the military — and memorial bricks that can be individually dedicated to service members. The event will include the presentation and retiring of colors by the United States Army’s 91st Division, two ceremonial firings from a Howitzer cannon, a flyover and landing of Vietnam helicopters, and a BBQ Lunch served by local firefighters.

Sixth Annual Veterans Day Services in Castro Valley

11 a.m. Saturday: Sue Alverson of the Veterans of Foreign Wars' National Home for Children will address the crowd at Castro Valley Community Park at 3683 Quail Avenue, followed by a raffle of a Henry Salute to the Military Rifle with all the proceeds going to the VFW.


Veterans Day Parade in Petaluma

12 p.m. Saturday: Music will begin at Walnut Park

1 p.m. Saturday: The parade will begin and end at Walnut Park

2:45 p.m. Saturday: A prayer, pledge of allegiance and follow-up program will follow the parade in the gazebo.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Presentation High Teachers on Leave After Allegations]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 23:49:44 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PRESY+SIGN.png

Presentation High School administrators in a letter sent to parents said two teachers are on leave while authorities investigate allegations made by students.

Administrators at the San Jose Catholic high school for girls do not reveal what the allegations are in the e-mail letter, but the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has uncovered numerous accusations of improper sexual misconduct by at least four former and current teachers involving students dating back as far as 25 years.

The announcement states one allegation comes from a former student about an incident that happened more than five years ago after she had graduated from Presentation High. The administration said they have reported the allegation to police.

The second teacher is being investigated for an incident the school said happened 14 months ago. The incident was already being investigated, but now administrators said new questions have been raised.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Police to Push Back Against 'Jailing' Guidelines]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 11:32:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-07-2017-sjpd.jpg

Santa Clara County's biggest city is about to push back against a controversial new policy.

County officials are now asking that police not bring someone to jail unless their crime comes with a bail over $15,000.

On Friday, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said he is not ready to get on board the new guidelines.

"I can't control what other entities do," Garcia said. "I can only control what my department does."

Garcia is advising his officers to continue to arrest suspects if they see the need, breaking from the county's new "jailing" guidelines. Those guidelines call for law enforcement to issue a citation, instead of a jail booking.

For most crimes that may have a bail amount of $15,000 or less, including some theft, exposure and prostitution cases, the chief said crooks are not going to get off easy in his city.

"I want the residents and the officers and the individuals that might be thinking we're going to be easier on, that is not the case in the city of San Jose," Garcia said. "And these officers will go out and they will enforce the law."

The county made the change to keep jail cells from filling up with the low-level and mentally ill suspects. They also said a jail supervisor has the final call on who can be booked and who cannot.

The San Jose Police Department has modified its duty manual to officially reflect the county's new guidelines, but the chief said he will continue relying on the opinion of his officers -- not a number set by the county. 

"We are here to keep the city safe," Garcia said.

NBC Bay Area was unable to get comment from county officials because the Santa Clara County offices were closed Friday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[World War II Veterans Share Memories at Daily Lunch]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 19:35:30 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/198*120/1110-2017-veterans.jpg

Long past the days when they might’ve filed in to lunch with military precision, the three elderly men arrived by wheelchairs and a walker — pushing gingerly into their routine corner of the Sunrise Villa senior home lunchroom in San Jose.

For these three veterans of World War II, the daily call to lunch is a time to slip back more than seven decades — into memories of when their young lives were uprooted and they were dispatched far from home to fight against strangers.

Every day, they sit in their corner and remember the war — the sacrifices they made, the things they saw — the lives they returned to.

“The younger generation, they don’t know what went on,” said Tony Gelardi who at 93 years is the youngster of the group.

Across the table, one-hundred-and-one year old Joe Checke and Tony Cecchin,102, sipped coffee, straining to hear one another over the growing lunchtime din.

All three rode the seas during the war — Gelardi and Checke served in the Navy — Gelardi in the Philippines and Checke in the South Pacific.

“All we did was fight,” whispered Checke, who served 21 years in the Navy.

As a U.S. Marine, Cecchin experienced the brunt of combat on the island of Iwo Jima. His unit came under constant fire from enemy soldiers perched in the mountains above his position — he lost friends, commanders.

A bomb exploded just beyond his foxhole lodging shrapnel in his head. Not long after, a bullet through his shoulder during a jeep ride finally sent him home. A tiny scar on his forehead still marks the spot where shrapnel remains as a macabre souvenir.

“I was forced into the Marine Corps,” offered Cecchin, who had a wife and child during the time he was drafted. “I didn’t want to go. But I went.”

Some 16 million Americans answered the call during World War II. According the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, that population has dwindled to fewer than 600,000.

There are increasingly few who can sit and break bread together, sip coffee and take comfort in the shared experience of a war the world has not since seen.

Gelardi, who grew-up in San Francisco’s North Beach, recalled the moment when the war ended. He was aboard the USS Pocono when the captain’s voice bellowed over the loudspeaker.

“‘Alright mates, the war is over,’” Gelardi remembered hearing. “‘Japan has surrendered unconditionally.’”

Gelardi said his commanders fired fireworks off the ship as the U.S. flag raised, the National Anthem began to play and he fought back tears. Drinking wasn’t allowed on the ship but for the occasion, the captain opened the beer locker and instructed the crew to help themselves.

Cecchin remembered life after his war ended, arriving back in the Bay Area on Treasure Island.

“So after fighting a war,” Cecchin said, “we’re back here in the United States trying to pick up our lives.”

Even with hearing aids, the men sometimes had trouble hearing one another. Yet the bond of camaraderie seemed to rise above mere words. In a facility with dozens of seniors, the men somehow gravitated to each other as if their military background was a name tag.

At one point, Cecchin leaned over paternally to cut Checke’s lunch into bite-sized pieces as Checke’s right hand involuntarily clenched up. It’s become part of their daily routine.

“He’s been through an awful lot,” Gelardi said, looking over at Cecchin who earned a Purple Heart for his wounds.

Even though for most, World War II drifts further into memory, farther into the ephemera of history — it was as fresh as yesterday for these three men who had not only survived war — but also time. And along with memories of combat, came the first-hand lessons of war’s finality that only an eye-witness could validate.

“We were made to live as best we can, let’s do it, with everybody,” Cecchin said to his table mates. “No more wars for anybody.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Renters' Rights Advocates Protest at San Jose City Hall]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 22:06:21 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+tenant+protest.jpg

Protesters made up of a coalition of community groups supporting renters' rights gathered at San Jose City Hall Thursday to confront Mayor Sam Liccardo ahead of next Tuesday's City Council meeting where amendments to the city's Rent Control Ordinance will be discussed.

What was unknown to many of the 15 or so people who arrived to try to speak with Liccardo on the 18th floor of City Hall was that Liccardo is in Washington D.C. through Friday for the final meeting of the Federal

Communication Commission's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, his spokesman David Low confirmed.

The mayor's secretary said she received no warning of the protest prior to the group showing up in the lobby.

The group chanted, sang songs and asked to speak with the mayor as they waited to see him. Many in attendance chastised him for meeting in recent months with groups they said are lobbyists for property owners but ignoring at least 10 email requests to meet with tenants.

The protest comes in advance of next Tuesday's city council meeting, where a vote will take place to amend the city's Apartment Rent Ordinance with one of two options. The first option would cap rent increases

to 5 percent and to remove "banking", which allowed landlords to roll over percentage-point rent increases from one year to the next if they don't use the full 5 percent rent increase in one year.

The other option is to modify the annual rent increase maximum to 100 percent of the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, with a 2 percent floor and 8 percent ceiling and to allow what the city calls a "maximum allowable rate form of banking with a limit of 5 percent in one year."

During the protest, which lasted about 40 minutes, the mayor's Director of Policy Ragan Henninger met with the protesters in the lobby and offered to talk to them in a conference room at least twice, but protesters instead said they wanted to speak to Liccardo himself.

Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sexual Misconduct Allegations Grow at Presentation High ]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 23:29:27 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PRESY+SIGN.png

The group of teachers and staff accused of sexually assaulting or harassing students at a Catholic high school for girls in San Jose is growing after an explosive essay published in the Washington Post last month described the sexual assault of two students by a former Spanish teacher nearly three decades ago.

Since Presentation High School graduate Kathryn Leehane published that essay, NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit has learned of accusations against several other teachers or staff members, including at least one that’s still employed at the school.

Several sources who spoke with NBC Bay Area also described reporting incidents of sexual misconduct they witnessed or learned of to school Principal Mary Miller, but they question whether those incidents were ever reported to authorities.

San Jose attorney Robert Allard is now formally representing two women who say they were victimized as students at the private high school, but he says he’s been contacted by many more who have come forward with stories of abuse. Allard said he’s since hired a team of former San Jose police sergeants and a former Santa Clara County prosecutor to investigate.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and I’ve had many sex abuse cases against many school districts in the Bay Area,” Allard said. “I’ve never had a situation like this, where it goes back for such a long period of time, literally decades, involving a multitude of teachers within the same administration.”

Allard said his team is currently investigating sexual abuse allegations against at least seven different teachers or staff members at Presentation going all the way back to 1990. He says in many of those cases, the school’s administration failed students.

“There’s one common denominator, and that is Principal Mary Miller,” Allard said. “The same recurring theme is being brought up over and over again. Inappropriate sexual activity is being brought to her attention, as committed by (school staff). And not only does she not call the police, but there have been active acts on her behalf to intimidate and frankly bully these victims into not coming forward.”

Over the past several weeks, NBC Bay Area has spoken with many Presentation graduates concerned the administration swept accusations of sexual assault under the rug. At least four say they reported incidents of sexual misconduct by teachers to Miller ranging in time from 1990 to just last year.

One former student named Ellen, who graduated in 2005, spoke with NBC Bay Area on the condition her last name would not be reported.

In one incident, she describes witnessing a classmate leave the office of a teacher visibly upset.

“She was crying,” Ellen said. “She was really, really upset.”

Ellen said her underage classmate told her what happened in the office.

“(The teacher) told her he loved her and tried to touch her,” Ellen said. “I believe it was her leg.”

Ellen describes taking her classmate to the principal’s office to report the incident.

“I was disgusted,” she said. “This is somebody I had trusted implicitly.”

Ellen said the teacher was gone from campus soon after they reported the incident. But Ellen says weeks later, the teacher was back.

So she says she confronted him herself.

“I said I don’t want you here, and I don’t want you ever teaching again,” she said.

Looking back on the incident, Ellen says she doesn’t believe Miller ever reported the incident to authorities. She says she was never interviewed by police or Child Protective Services.

That same year, Ellen took her concerns about another teacher to Miller after seeing an email from a recent Presentation graduate warning students to avoid him.

“Don’t be alone with him, and don’t be around him,” Ellen says the email warned.

Ellen says she soon learned that teacher was accused of having sex with a student who had just graduated. She says she immediately brought those claims to Miller, and the teacher was soon gone.

Miller has so far declined to be interviewed for this story, but she released a statement regarding the accusations against those teachers.

“Because the law prohibits us from disclosing employee or student information, we cannot comment on personnel issues or decisions, but we can tell you neither of these men have been employed at Presentation High School for at least 12 years. As in all instances at PHS, the administration followed the appropriate protocols and procedures required by the law. Because of privacy laws affecting both students and staff, we cannot disclose additional information.”

Ellen says she’s somewhat conflicted about speaking out. Miller, she says, is someone always trusted and looked up to. In a time of need, Ellen says Miller personally helped her. She credits the principal with helping hundreds of young women who have gone through Presentation, including herself. But looking back, she says she doesn’t believe her principal did enough to protect students.

“I think the school was concerned about its reputation,” she says.

“What often happens in the school environment is the school administration thinks that they need to do some investigation before reporting," said Bill Grimm, senior attorney at the National Youth Law Center.

Grimm said laws passed in 1980 require school staff to immediately call police or Child Protective Services, not to interview victims or suspects themselves.

“The law requires as soon as you have a reasonable suspicion, you need to report it, and then leave it to the professionals or law enforcement to investigate,” Grimm said. “It’s important to report quickly and have the investigation conducted quickly so that all the other students in that same school environment are protected.”

In the social media firestorm that followed Leehane’s Washington Post essay, many Presentation graduates are defending Miller and the school.

In an email to NBC Bay Area, Presentation grad turned science department chair and physics teacher Diane Rosenthal said she believes Miller has handled these incidents with her best judgment.

“I have known Mary Miller for more than 30 years,” Rosenthal wrote. “Her whole life has been dedicated to educating women and I have 100 percent faith in the fact that she would never knowingly put a child in a danger.”

Although Leehane has so far not spoken publicly about the essay that’s focused a spotlight on the small San Jose high school, her older sister Maria Alderete, class of 1988, defended Leehane against critics that accuse her of dragging Presentation’s name through the mud.

“I believe my sister,” Alderete said. “I believe it happened, and I believe that Mr. Fernandez made several poor decisions. The impact of his actions have scarred women for decades.”

Alderete said letting these issues fester beneath the surface will only hurt the school and its students.

“If we create a culture of silence, we’re never going to be able to get better,” Alderete said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Los Gatos Road Closures Could Leave Residents Stranded]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 19:38:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RoadClosureLosGatos_726039.JPEG

Los Gatos residents are vacating their homes for fear of being stranded.

Caltrans and Santa Clara County have both scheduled repairs at the same time. Caltrans plans to close Highway 35 from Bear Creek Road to Black Road while the county is closing Black Road starting at Skyline Boulevard.

If done as scheduled, residents could find themselves stranded for more than a week.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Los Gatos resident, Daniel Follette. “Why can’t they work together and open this up and close this one, or close this one and open, you know, vice versa.”

Many homeowners are upset and have even called to complain to both agencies, but nothing has been resolved.

“If there was a big emergency, how are we going to ‘get out?’” said Los Gatos resident, Jennifer Whitaker.

A Caltrans spokesman said the agency will reevaluate the situation on Monday, emphasizing their concern for residents.

NBC Bay Area reached out to Santa Clara County and did not receive a response.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Family Plans Lawsuit Following Deadly Police Shooting]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 22:19:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11092017JesusGeney_714777.JPG

The Santa Clara County District Attorney ruled officers acted lawfully when they shot and killed a Santa Clara man, whom they believed was suicidal and armed.

The man's family said their fight for justice is not over following the March shooting.

Amanda Sommers said it was painful to watch her son's final moments. Body camera footage shows Santa Clara police pleading with Jesus Geney to surrender on March 9.

Geney was mentally ill and police had been called to the family home four other times that day. The final confrontation came during the fifth encounter. Police believed Geney was armed and pursued him through a field behind his home. Officers ultimately shot and killed him.

When investigators said he charged an officer, the DA ruled it was a justified shooting.

Sommers said the shooting has terrorized her. She disagrees with the DA's decision, insisting the officers were never in danger.

Family and friends held a silent protest outside the DA's office on Thursday.

Sommers is also upset that the first time she saw the police body cam video was when it was posted to Facebook.

"She was not informed. Her lawyer was not informed," said Laura Valdez, a family friend. "They just released it to the public for everyone to see."

The DA provided the following statement:

"Our hearts go out to the family. Every law enforcement contact that ends in a death is a tragedy. This is why we carefully and comprehensively review them and report our findings to the public."

Geney's family is moving forward with a federal civil rights lawsuit against Santa Clara police and several officers. The family also said every police officer needs better training to deal with the mentally ill in these types of situations.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Dead Body Found at Cisco Building in San Jose: Police]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 08:34:46 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj+body.jpg

San Jose police were investigating a dead body found at a Cisco building on Zanker Road on Thursday afternoon.

Police said employee safety was the primary concern, and the scene is contained.

No further details were available.

Photo Credit: Robert Handa/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Campbell PD Seeks Help to ID Teenage Home Burglary Suspects]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 13:17:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DONeGC9U8AAtuOd.jpg

Campbell police are asking for help in identifying a group of teenage suspects who they say burglarized two homes last month.

The crimes in question occurred around 10 a.m. on Oct. 30 on El Patio Court, police said. A witness saw four men walking out of a side yard of one of the houses. In one of their hands was a bag crammed with different items. 

People who returned to their homes later that day to find them ransacked with several things missing. In both cases, suspects had broken in via a side door connected to a garage.

Surveillance video shows seven teenagers in the vicinity of the houses after the burglaries. Some walked away from the houses that had been robbed, headed to a dead-end street and then doubled back, it shows.

According to police, all the suspects ranged from 15 to 17 years old.

The first one had short black hair and was clad in a gray hooded sweatshirt, gray pants and white shoes.

The second teen had short black hair and was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with white writing on the back, blue jeans and white shoes.

The third suspect had short black hair and was seen in a dark gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

The fourth had short dark hair, and donned a gray hooded sweatshirt with white writing, blue sweatpants with white writing, and black and white shoes.

The last three suspects were all wearing dark-colored clothing.

People with information about the suspects are asked to call the Campbell Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center 408-866-2101 or the Investigations Unit at 408-871-5190. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police department's mobile app.

Photo Credit: Campbell Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[DACA Rallies Slated Across the Bay Area]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 12:09:53 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DACA_Rallies_Slated_Across_the_Bay_Area.jpg

Thousands on Thursday are expected to rally in the Bay Area and across America for DACA recipients. Those participating are calling on Congress to pass new legislation and pressing for permanent protections for DACA recipients. Local rallies are being planned at San Francisco State University, San Jose City Hall and Richmond City Hall.]]>
<![CDATA[Sean Parker: Facebook Exploits Human 'Vulnerability']]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:47:41 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sn-prkr.jpg

Napster founder and former president of Facebook Sean Parker on Wednesday shared that he believes the social media giant was designed with potentially addictive features that he believes exploit "a vulnerability in human psychology."

While speaking with Axios, Parker said that the "thought process" held during the creation of Facebook was as follows: "How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?"

"And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever," Parker told Axios. "And that's going to get you to contribute more content, and that's going to get you, you know, more likes and comments."

Parker called that process a "social-validation feedlack loop."

"It's exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology," he told Axios.

Parker said he and other founders of the now-ubiquitous social media platform knew what they doing and "did it anyway."

NBC Bay Area has reached out to Facebook for comment.

Flashing back to when Facebook was just getting going, Parker also said that even if people were against signing up at the beginning because they valued genuine and in-person human interaction, they would eventually cave.

The shift to digital human interaction has most likely changed the way people operate, Parker believes.

"It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways," Parker told Axios. "God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains."

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara Co. Supes Approve Youth Psych Center Plan]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:25:24 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/SVCMed.JPG

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to construct an inpatient psychiatric facility for youth in crisis at Valley Medical Center in San Jose.

"This is about teens at risk of doing damage to themselves or others. This is about families struggling through the hardest thing they'll ever face and being torn apart at precisely the time they need to be together," said Board President and Supervisor Joe Simitian in a statement.

The county said more than "two dozen parents, educators, community members and health care professionals testified in support" of constructing the facility, which Simitian said has the potential to serve hundreds of families.

Simitian said on any given day that almost 20 Santa Clara County children are hospitalized for psychiatric emergencies outside the county as far away as San Francisco, Concord, Vallejo and Sacramento.

"It's better therapeutically for these kids to be close to their community when they're in crisis - close to their family, their friends and their own local mental health providers," Simitian said.

The board has directed the county to prepare detailed construction and operational plans for the new facility at Valley Medical Center, which is expected to have up to 36 beds.

The county says it plans to partner with several medical organizations in the area on the facility.

County Executive Jeffrey Smith said in the statement that more detailed plans for construction will come back to the board for consideration within an estimated six-month timeframe.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Battle Blaze at Townhouse Complex in San Jose]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:44:40 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sanjosetownhomefire_711600.JPEG

Twelve people were displaced after a fire broke out at a townhouse complex in South San Jose Thursday morning, according to a fire official.

The fire ignited just before 6 a.m. near Don Seville Court and Velasco Drive, which is located next to Highway 85, San Jose Fire Department Cap. Brad Cloutier said.

At least three units were damaged by the flames, which were seen by arriving firefighters driving on the adjacent highway, according to Cloutier.

No one was injured in the fire, but nine adults and three children were displaced, Cloutier said.

Residents in the complex were able to get out in time thanks in part to the quick thinking of Christopher Flores, who ditched his Starbucks run to knock on doors in hopes of alerting people to the blaze.

"The building was on fire and it's an apartment and I knew people were going to be living in there," Flores said. "I just wanted to help try and get them out if I could."

Residents told firefighters that the blaze may have started outside and spread inside and up into shared attic spaces via air vents, according to Cloutier.

The exact cause of the blaze is under investigation. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Flames Rip Through Townhouse Complex in South San Jose]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:49:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/TownhouseFireSouthSanJose.JPG

Photo Credit: San Jose Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA['Enormous Fireball' Guts Gilroy House]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 06:29:50 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gilroyhomefire_711089.JPEG

A firefighter was taken to a hospital as a precaution and two people were displaced after a house in Gilroy burst into flames early Thursday, according to fire officials.

The house, which is located at 401 Broadway in the South Bay, was gutted by the flames despite rain pouring down at the time of the blaze.

"It was a pretty significant fire," Chris Weber with the Gilroy Fire Department said. "The whole house is a total loss."

Nearby resident Forrest Coffman described hearing a loud bang before peering out of his window to see the blaze.

"It sounded like two cannon shots went off," Coffman said. "It almost like shook the ground."

Coffman said the house was consumed by a "complete, enormous fireball."

"The flames were at least 40 to 50 feet high off the top of the roof," he said.

Firefighters were forced to go on the defensive due to the amount of debris and other clutter in front of the house, according to Weber.

The firefighter who was transported to the hospital is believed to have been suffering from deydration, Weber said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[74 Years After Death, US Marine From Gilroy Identified]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:05:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gilroymarine1108_706917.JPG

For their entire lives, two sisters heard stories from the father about Uncle Frank.

"He's always told us he was a great big brother; he looked out for him growing up,” said Lanna Sandoval.

Frank Louis Masoni, raised in Gilroy, was the oldest of four boys who became a U.S. Marine. Masoni would be killed in the South Pacific during World War II in 1943. The family never knew what happened to his body.

"Just that he was missing in action,” said Sandoval, Frank Masoni's niece.

Last year, the family requested a DNA test from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. They did a cheek swab on their father, Richard Masoni, and sent it back.

In September, Richard Masoni received a phone call. The person on the other line told him his DNA matched a marine buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. It was his brother Frank, finally identified 74 years after he was killed.

“Our dad called and said, ‘You’re never going to believe this.’ He said, ‘I got a call from the Marines, they identified my brother.’ We said wow,” said Clorinda Sergi, Frank Masoni's niece.

The military sent the family service medals Frank earned, including a purple heart. They learned new information about how he died in the Battle of Tarawa on the Gilbert Islands. About 1,000 marines and sailors were killed. Masoni was working as a cook on a ship when he was sent in to fight.

“He was one of the ones that made it and lasted a day on the island. He died the second day,” Sandoval said.

“My grandmother had actually sent letters (to the Marines) after my Uncle Frank's death … every year, she wrote a letter saying, ‘Please if you find his body please, I want him brought home.'"

The sisters’ father, Richard Masoni, is 90 and still lives in Gilroy. When he was 16 years old, he dropped his brother off at the bus stop to leave for war. Frank’s body will soon be returned, 74 years after he died.

“I’m just glad it's happening in my dad's lifetime,” Sandoval said. “And he's able to see his brother make it back to Gilroy.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 1 Hurt When Speeding Car Crashes Into San Jose Tree]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 18:54:10 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjfatal1107_694967.JPG

A teenage boy died Tuesday night and his passenger, a teenage girl, was injured after speeding down an East San Jose road, crashing into a tree, police said.

Investigators say a white Honda Acura TSX was speeding northbound in the left lane of South White Road around 6:45 p.m. when it clipped the rear bumper of a black Hyundai Electra.

Upon impact, the Acura's 17-year-old driver careened off the road and rammed into a tree, just north of Norwood Avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

A 17-year-old girl was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries. Police expect her to survive.

The victim of San Jose's 41st traffic fatality of 2017 has not yet been identified.

People with information about the fatal crash are asked to call Officer Brian McMahon at 408-277-4654.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Campbell Car Fire Believed to Be Suspicious: Officials]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 08:02:56 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/campbellminivanfire_697645.JPEG

A stolen van parked in Campbell caught fire on Wednesday, and officials said the nature of the blaze appears to be suspicious.

The vehicle, which was found along the 600 block of Hamilton Avenue, was not in a parking spot and was partially blocking a driveway when crews arrived during the early morning hours, according to police.

Kiana Dickson, who lives nearby, said she was woken up to a loud boom around 2:40 a.m. She looked outside her home and saw the van engulfed in flames.

San Jose fire crews extinguished the blaze, according to police. 

The Santa Clara County Fire Department is handling the investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Rosa Coach Charged in DUI Crash That Killed Student]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:36:17 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SRJCmugshot.jpg

A Santa Rosa Junior College football coach was charged in Sonoma County Superior Court Monday afternoon with the murder of a Sonoma State University student in an alleged DUI vehicle collision Sunday night.

Logologoa Taumaloto Tevaseu, 35, of Santa Rosa, was driving a 2006 Dodge Ram south on Lakeville Highway east of Petaluma around 9:10 p.m. when he crossed double yellow lines and collided head-on with a 2015 Toyota Corolla.

Three other vehicles then collided with the Toyota or each other, causing minor to moderate injuries to the occupants.

The driver of the Toyota was pronounced dead at the scene. She has been identified as Paulette Geronimo Quiba, 21, of Oakley, according to the California Highway Patrol. Quiba was a business studies student at SSU.

Immediately after the collision, Tevaseu, a defensive line coach with the SRJC Bear Cubs football team, refused to take a blood draw, CHP officials said.

He is being held in the Sonoma County Jail and did not enter a plea Monday afternoon. Tevaseu will be back in court Wednesday morning.

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office charged Tevaseu with murder with malice and enhancements alleging he was previously convicted of DUI within the last 10 years and he caused great bodily injury to Quiba. He also is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two counts of felony DUI.

Tevaseu's previous DUI occurred on Oct. 20, 2011. He was convicted on Feb. 29, 2012 and was served 10 days in jail, according to court records.

The DUI allegations in the complaint filed Monday also allege he refused to take a chemical test after Sunday's collision, and his blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent and more.

The Sonoma State University Facebook page states Quiba began her studies in the fall of 2015. She was junior and was taking pre-business courses, a proud member of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, the Accounting Forum and the Filipino American Association.

Quiba also was a staff member of Join Us in Making Progress where she was the Days of Service coordinator and part of the Sustainability Coalition last year.

"She will be missed by her friends and classmates as well as by the faculty and staff who were lucky enough to know her," the SSU statement read.

Photo Credit: Sonoma County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[California NAACP Calls for Change to National Anthem]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 06:16:59 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd-49ers-GettyImages-856373702.jpg

It has been a staple of American culture throughout the nation's history, but the NAACP in California say it needs to go.

The organization says the "The Star-Spangled Banner" should no longer be used as the national anthem because the third stanza of the song, which is rarely sung, references slaves.

Alice Huffman, the president of the NAACP in California and Hawaii, brought up the idea at a recent NAACP state convention. She says the song is racist.

"We're not trying to protest the flag at all," she said. "We're just trying to get it removed so that whatever comes out in the future as a national anthem we can all stand proudly and sing it."

The specific stanza that Huffman has issue with reads, "Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave."

"And if you look at it, there's no way you can think it meant anything great for African Americans," Huffman said.

Huffman hopes for a new, more inclusive song that would better represent modern day America.

The NAACP will ask lawmakers for support of its campaign in January.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Solo Vehicle Crash in San Jose Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Injured]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 23:47:15 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjfatal1107_694967.JPG

Police were investigating a solo vehicle crash in San Jose that left one person dead and another injured, according to the San Jose Police Department.

A car with a driver and one passenger was traveling at a high rate of speed westbound on South White Road between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. when the driver lost control and struck a tree in the median, near Peppermint Drive, police said.

The driver was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene, and the passenger was injured and taken to a local hospital, police said.

The identities of the two victims were not provided.

No further details were available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Teacher Arrested, Accused of Sending Inappropriate Texts]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 05:14:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/evan+smith-1107.jpg

A Mountain View High School teacher was arrested Tuesday morning after school officials found out he had allegedly been sending inappropriate texts to a student, police said.

Evan Smith, a math teacher who has been teaching at the high school for 15 years, has been placed on paid administrative leave while the allegations are investigated, officials with the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District said.

A student allegedly came forward about the inappropriate messages. School officials then on Monday afternoon contacted police about the matter, and officers began an investigation.

Police said Smith was then arrested on suspicion of sending harmful matter to a minor.

Officers are concerned there may be other victims. Anyone who may have been victimized by the suspect or who has information about someone who may have been a victim is asked to call Detective Frank Rivas at (650) 903-6388 or Sgt. Dan Vicencio at (650) 903-6386.

Photo Credit: Mountain View PD]]>
<![CDATA[New VTA Fares and Extended Services to Begin in 2018]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:01:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vta-06.png

This New Year all Santa Clara VTA riders can expect to see some changes.

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, VTA will be implementing new increased fares for adults, free two-hour transfers, lower youth fares and expanded hours of services.

According to VTA, their new fare policy will change adult fare from $2 to $2.25 per ride and youth fares will drop from $1.75 to $1 per ride. Other fare changes include day passes increasing from $6 to $7, monthly passes increasing $70 to $80 and more.

The new fare structure comes with free transfers for two hours between VTA vehicles for riders using Clipper cards. The only exception to this new change applies to Express bus trips, where free transfers will only be valid between two Express buses.

As a part of the new Transit Service Redesign, VTA will be improving and expanding their hours of service. According to VTA, light rail 902 (Mountain View to Winchester) will increase from 30 minutes to every 15 minutes during the week.

VTA plans to have more changes to go into effect once VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension begins which is anticipated for June 2018. By then, commuters can expect to have new maps and time guides.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[South Bay Massage Therapist Convicted of Sexual Battery]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 18:49:33 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11-7-17-mugshot-south-bay-therapist.jpg

A South Bay massage therapist could face up to one year of jail time after being convicted of sexual battery, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Richard Wayne Slate, 28, of San Jose was accused of three alleged batteries at two different spas in the South Bay, according to the district attorney's office. A jury found him guilty of a misdemeanor charge.

Prosecutors are asking that Slate, who is now required to register as a sex offender, face a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Slate is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 2, 2018 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose, according to the district attorney's office.

The charge that led to Slate's conviction stems from an incident on March 1, 2016, in which Slate "sexually touched the victim without consent numerous times during the massage" at Elements Massage, according to the district attorney's office.

The 32-year-old woman did not say anything initially, but she eventually confronted Slate, according to the district attorney's office. Slate apologized.

The victim then told the receptionist, who then called police, according to the district attorney's office. Slate was later arrested.

Two of the three women involved in the case were clients of Slate at the Burke Williams Day Spa in San Jose, according to the district attorney's office.

If anyone else has been victimized by Slate, they are encouraged to contact Santa Clara County District Attorney Lt. Investigator Ray Hernandez at 408-792-2816.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara District Attorney's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Two Arrests in Palo Alto Escape; Inmates Still on the Loose]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:47:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kirk+hunt-1107.jpg

The two inmates who pulled off a brazen escape from a courthouse in Palo Alto on Monday remained at large Tuesday, but two alleged co-conspirators were arrested, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Marquita Kirk, 44, was taken into custody at a residence in Sunnyvale, sheriff's officials said, and 54-year-old Rene Hunt, of East Palo Alto, also was arrested for aiding in the escape of inmates Tramel McClough and John Bivins. 

Kirk rented a getaway U-Haul van and staged it near the courthouse, officials said. Witnesses observed the escapees fleeing in a U-Haul shortly after their escape.

It was not clear how Hunt was involved, but sources say he was associated with the getaway car parked outside the courthouse.

"Detectives told me that they did develop information that he was very involved in its planning and execution," said Carl Neusel, Santa Clara County undersheriff.

Kirk, who had a long-standing relationship with escapee McClough, was arrested on felony charges of conspiracy and accessory after the fact, sheriff's officials said.

McClough, 46, and Bivins, 47, were leaving a courtroom around 9:30 a.m. Monday when they made a beeline for an exit, hopped in a getaway car and drove two to three blocks before jumping into the U-Haul cargo van and fleeing again, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Reggie Cooks said.

"We believe that it was an orchestrated escape where the individuals had a car staged," Cooks said. 

Bivins is described as being 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 180 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair, the sheriff's office said. McClough is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 285 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. Both men are East Palo Alto residents, sheriff's officials said.

Sheriff Laurie Smith on Wednesday announced her office is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the fugitives' capture.

Sources told NBC Bay Area the suspects were with other inmates in a spiral staircase inside the jail, shackled and guarded by two deputies. Bivins and McClough then used a key to unlock their restraints and attacked one of the deputies before bolting out a front, unguarded door, the sources said.

The men fled the area wearing jail clothing consisting of orange and gray shirts, Cooks said. Later Monday, police found a handcuffs key outside the courthouse in the pair's path of escape.

The Sheriff’s Office said it is running a 24-hour investigation operation into locating the escapees. Deputies stopped the search in the city of Palo Alto on Monday, saying they believed the escapees fled the area.

Bivins and McClough were being held without bail after robbing a Verizon store of $64,000 in merchandise in February. Police have said they tied up the store employees, forced one to open a safe and were arrested a short time later after a car chase.

If anyone sees the men, they are asked to call 911 immediately. People should not approach or try to detain the men. It is not clear if they are armed.

"The level of sophistication and the brazenness that it takes for the individuals to (escape) is why we are calling on the public and other allied agencies to help," Cooks said.

The deputies union says there should be more guards on duty.

"Its just a matter of time before the bad things start to happen because of the understaffing," said Roger Winslow of the Deputy Sheriffs Association.

Neusel, however, said the courthouse actually was overstaffed Monday, with 15 on duty, instead of the usual 13.

"We're going to do a recause analysis of how the event happened and what lessons we've learned and what we can improve," he said.

NBC Bay Area's Ian Cull and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley's Great Wealth Bypasses Its Working Homeless]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 07:48:01 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17310777735151.jpg

In the same affluent, suburban city where Google built its headquarters, Tes Saldana lives in a crowded but tidy camper she parks on the street.

She concedes it's "not a very nice living situation," but it also is not unusual. Until authorities told them to move, more than a dozen other RVs filled with people who can't afford rent joined Saldana on a tree-lined street in Mountain View, parked between a Target and a luxury apartment complex.

Homeless advocates and city officials say it's outrageous that in the shadow of a booming tech economy - where young millionaires dine on $15 wood-grilled avocado and think nothing of paying $1,000 for an iPhone X - thousands of families can't afford a home. Many of the homeless work regular jobs, in some cases serving the very people whose sky-high net worth is the reason housing has become unaffordable for so many.

Across the street from Saldana's camper, for example, two-bedroom units in the apartment complex start at $3,840, including concierge service. That's more than she brings home, even in a good month.

Saldana and her three adult sons, who live with her, have looked for less rustic accommodations, but rents are $3,000 a month or more, and most of the available housing is distant. She said it makes more sense to stay in the camper near their jobs and try to save for a brighter future, even if a recent city crackdown chased them from their parking spot.

"We still need to eat," said Saldana, 51. "I still want to bring my kids, once in a while, to a movie, to eat out."

She cooks and serves food at two hotels in nearby Palo Alto, jobs that keep her going most days from 5 in the morning until 10 at night. Two of her sons, all in their 20s, work at a bakery and pay $700 toward the RV each month. They're all very much aware of the economic disparity in Silicon Valley.

"How about for us people who are serving these tech people?" Saldana said. "We don't get the same paycheck that they do."

It's all part of a growing crisis along the West Coast, where many cities and counties have seen a surge in the number of people living on the streets over the past two years. Counts taken earlier this year show 168,000 homeless people in California, Oregon and Washington - 20,000 more than were counted just two years ago.

The booming economy, fueled by the tech sector, and decades of under-building have led to an historic shortage of affordable housing. It has upended the stereotypical view of people out on the streets as unemployed: They are retail clerks, plumbers, janitors - even teachers - who go to work, sleep where they can and buy gym memberships for a place to shower.

The surge in homelessness has prompted at least 10 local governments along the West Coast to declare states of emergency, and cities from San Diego to Seattle are struggling to come up with immediate and long-range solutions.

San Francisco is well-known for homeless tent encampments. But the homeless problem has now spread throughout Silicon Valley, where the disparity between the rich and everyone else is glaring.

There is no firm estimate on the number of people who live in vehicles in Silicon Valley, but the problem is pervasive and apparent to anyone who sees RVs lining thoroughfares; not as visible are the cars tucked away at night in parking lots. Advocates for the homeless say it will only get worse unless more affordable housing is built.

The median rent in the San Jose metro area is $3,500 a month, yet the median wage is $12 an hour in food service and $19 an hour in health care support, an amount that won't even cover housing costs. The minimum annual salary needed to live comfortably in San Jose is $87,000, according to a study by personal finance website GoBankingRates.

So dilapidated RVs line the eastern edge of Stanford University in Palo Alto, and officials in neighboring Mountain View have mapped out more than a dozen areas where campers tend to cluster, some of them about a mile from Google headquarters.

On a recent evening, Benito Hernandez returned to a crammed RV in Mountain View after laying flagstones for a home in Atherton, where Zillow pegs the median value of a house at $6.5 million. He rents the RV for $1,000 a month and lives there with his pregnant wife and children.

The family was evicted two years ago from an apartment where the rent kept going up, nearing $3,000 a month.

"After that, I lost everything," said Hernandez, 33, who works as a landscaper and roofer.

He says his wife "is a little bit sad because she says, 'You're working very hard but don't have credit to get an apartment.' I tell her, 'Just wait, maybe a half-year more, and I'll get my credit back.'"

The plight of the Hernandez family points out one of the confounding problems of the homeless surge along the West Coast.

"This is not a crisis of unemployment that's leading to poverty around here," said Tom Myers, executive director of Community Services Agency, a nonprofit based in Mountain View. "People are working."

Mountain View, a city of 80,000 which also is home to Mozilla and 23andMe, has committed more than $1 million over two years for homeless services, including money for an outreach case manager and a police officer to help people who live in vehicles. At last count, there were people living in more than 330 vehicles throughout the city.

Mayor Ken Rosenberg is proud of the city's response to the crisis - focusing not on penalties but on providing services. Yet he's also worried that the peace won't last as RVs crowd into bike lanes and over-taxed streets.

Last week, Mountain View officials posted signs banning vehicles more than 6 feet high on some parts of the street where Saldana, Hernandez and others living in RVs were parked, saying they were creating a traffic hazard. The average RV is well over that height.

That follows similar moves over the summer by Palo Alto, which started cracking down on RVs and other vehicles that exceed the 72-hour limit on a busy stretch of El Camino Real.

In San Jose, officials recently approved an ordinance pushed by an interfaith group called the Winter Faith Collaborative to allow places of assembly - including gyms and churches - to shelter homeless people year-round.

Ellen Tara James-Penney, a 54-year-old lecturer at San Jose State University, parks her old Volvo at one of those safe haven churches, Grace Baptist Church, and eats in its dining hall. She is paid $28,000 a year to teach four English classes and is carrying $143,000 in student debt after earning two degrees.

She grades papers and prepares lessons in the Volvo. At night, she leans back the driver's seat and prepares for sleep, one of two dogs, Hank, by her side. Her husband, Jim, who is too tall for the car, sleeps outside in a tent cot with their other dog, Buddy.

The Bay Area native remembers the time a class was studying John Steinbeck, when another student said that she was sick of hearing about the homeless.

"And I said, 'Watch your mouth. You're looking at one.' Then you could have heard a pin drop," she said. "It's quite easy to judge when you have a house to live in or you have meds when you're depressed and health care."

In response to growing wealth inequities, unions, civil rights groups and community organizations formed Silicon Valley Rising about three years ago. They demand better pay and benefits for the low-income earners who make the region run.

SEIU United Service Workers West, for example, organized roughly 3,000 security guards who work for companies that contract with Facebook, Google and Caltrain, the mass transit system that connects Silicon Valley with San Francisco.

One of those workers is Albert Brown III, a 46-year-old security officer who recently signed a lease for half of a $3,400 two-bedroom unit in Half Moon Bay, about 13 miles from his job.

He can barely afford the rent on his $16-an-hour salary, even with overtime, but the car that doubled as his home needed a pricey repair and he found a landlord willing to overlook his lousy credit. Still, Brown worries he won't be able to keep up with his payments.

His feet have been hurting. What if a doctor tells him to rest for a few days or a week?

"I can't miss a minute. If I miss a minute or a shift? No way, man. A week? Forget it, it's over. It's all downhill from there," he said.

"It's a sad choice. I have to decide whether to be homeless or penniless, right?"

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain View Police to Host Crime Prevention Meeting]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 06:31:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/LockedVehicleSign.JPG

The Mountain View Police Department on Tuesday will offer an educational opportunity for residents plagued by an increase in the number of car and home burglaries.

The initiative is slated to teach residents about what burglars look for when they peek into homes and cars as well as inform residents about how they can do to prevent burglaries from occurring in the first place.

When it comes to car break-ins, folks are first warned not to leave anything valuable in their vehicles. Police say it would also be a good idea to not leave anything at all inside cars.

"Leaving gym bags and diaper bags and they say, 'Well, there's not really anything of value in there so I don't mind if it gets stolen,'" Det. Andrew Wong with Mountain View police said. "But what they don't realize is that thieves don't understand that, so they will break in thinking that there might be valuables in that gym bag or diaper bag. That makes you susceptible to becoming a victim."

Property crime across some Bay Area counties has actually been dropping over the past several years, according to data from the Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice.

Between 2010 and 2016, property crime fell 9.5 percent in Alameda County, 13 percent in Contra Costa County, 2 percent in Santa Clara County and 8 percent in San Mateo County.

San Francisco has not been so fortunate. The city by the bay has witnessed a 35 percent jump in property crime during that span.

Local communities such as Mountain View, Livermore and Los Alto have also seen spikes in property crime, but an analyst with the Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice says police departments can help reduce those numbers through community programs.

Mountain View police on Tuesday will host a question-and-answer event regarding auto and home burglaries at 7 p.m. at the police auditorium on Villa Street.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[ACLU Criticizes Swift for Legal Threats Against Blogger]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 19:29:11 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/tswift-blooger.JPG

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is getting involved in a dispute between a Bay Area blogger and Taylor Swift.

On Monday, the ACLU sent Swift and her lawyers a letter saying the singer had raised “meritless legal defamation threats” against a blogger who called on Swift to denounce white supremacy.

It all started in early September when Bay Area blogger, Meghan Hernings, posted an article on PopFront titled “Swiftly to the Alt-Right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation,” stating that Swift’s lyrics could give support to white nationalists.

In the post, Herning dissects the lyrics of Swift’s song, ‘Look What You Made Me Do,’ and compares the imagery in the singer’s music videos to that of Hitler’s. Herning continues on to criticize the singer for staying silent during the 2016 election and asks Swift to clarify her stance on white supremacy.

“My interpretation of the song was that the lyrics ‘I don’t like your kingdom keys, they once belonged to me’ have similar tones to the Charlottesville chants of ‘You will not replace us.’

The post quickly attracted the attention of Swift’s attorney, William J. Briggs II, of Venable LLP, who on Oct. 25, 2017, sent Herning a cease and desist letter, calling the post a malicious attack on the pop star and demanding the article be removed.

“The notion that Ms. Swift supports white supremacy is utterly fabricated and a reprehensible falsehood, and it attempts to portray Ms. Swift in a false light,” the letter states. “Let this letter stand as a yet another unequivocal denouncement by Ms. Swift of white supremacy and the alt-right.”

Herning described the letter to be ‘threatening and aggressive,’ so she decided to seek the help of the ACLU. Lawyers with the civil rights organization determined her writing was opinion-based and protected by the First Amendment, according to a press release.

Although the letter was sent on Oct. 25, 2017, the letter demands Herning’s retraction be printed by Oct. 24, 2017. It also demanded that PopFront ‘remove the story from all media sources’ and ‘cease and desist’ from the disseminating the post, adding that the letter itself was confidential and that publishing the letter in part or full would be a violation of the Copyright Act.

Representatives for Taylor Swift have declined to comment.

The ACLU is insisting that the post is not defamation and has requested Swift and her attorney respond by Nov. 13 to confirm they will not pursue legal actions.

“The press should not be bullied by high-paid lawyers or frightened into submission by legal jargon,” Herning said in the ACLU’s press release. “These scare tactics may have worked for Taylor in the past, but I am not backing down.”

NBC News contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Leaders to Mull Proposal for Youth Psych Facility]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 05:58:52 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/SVCMed.JPG

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will vote on a potential lifeline for troubled teens and children.

The leaders plan to mull a plan for a 36-bed inpatient psychiatric facility aimed just for youth at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. The project could cost anywhere from $50 to 60 million.

Santa Clara County currently houses 17 beds, but District 5 Supervisor Joe Simitian says those are not enough. When those beds fill up, children faced with psychiatric emergencies either travel out of the county for treatment or stay home.

"I'm not sure people realize just how widespread the need is," Simitian said. "We're talking about hundreds and hundreds of families every year who need this kind of help."

Resident and mother Terry Gallo of San Jose has been fighting for a psychiatric facility ever since her daughter started experiencing psychotic episodes.

"I truly feel that if my daughter Tessa had a medical psych facility to go to, she wouldn’t be brain damaged today," Gallo said. "A lot of it is money. The hospitals don't make as much money off of psych patients unfortunately compared to heart transplants or children with cancer unfortunately, but it is something I feel we desperately need."

Critics of the proposal point to the problems with the current expansion of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, which is years past due and $180 million over budget. Some wonder if the county can manage yet another project at the hospital location.

Simitian argues that the facility would pay for itself because Santa Clara County wouldn't have to send at-risk youth out of the county and the facility would be able to accept children from elsewhere.

"While 36 beds may not sound like a lot, the typical stay is about six or seven days so in any given year you could literally help several hundred if not more local families as well as a be a resource for the rest of the Bay Area," Simitian said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara County Targets Drug-Dropping Drones Over Jails]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 21:12:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/elmwooddrones1106_682175.JPG

Santa Clara County is looking to shut off a unique pipeline of illegal drugs to jail inmates.

The culprits: drones.

County supervisors on Tuesday will consider a new policy to restrict drones over correctional facilities due to drug drops.

The Elmwood jail in Milpitas, for example, is a sprawling property, and apparently drug smugglers see a lot of covert ways to deliver drugs there via drones.

A drone recently crashed on Elmwood's grounds, and investigators believe it was used to transport drugs to inmates.

A former Elmwood inmate said drug trafficking at the facility is heavy, including pot, meth and much more.

"I seen heroin, cocaine, pills. All narcotics," said the ex-inmate, who did not wish to be identified. "We can get them in jail."

Supervisor Cindy Chavez said during a tour of Elmwood, she learned that drones are a modern progression from the old method of tossing drugs over the fence at night. She and Supervisor Mike Wasserman want drones banned over many county sites, but especially over correctional facilities.

"I learned from the sheriff and correctional officers that drugs were getting into the jails through drones, being dropped, and the most common was methamphetamines," Chavez said.

The only current restriction is a Federal Aviation Administration rule between controlled airspace and its proximity to the airport. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, which operates county jails, agreed the issue is worth looking into.

"Anytime you're running a correctional facility, you're concerned about security," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Richard Glennon said. "And the direction that drones have gone, aerial surveillance, potentially dropping items ... I think it is something that has been growing and something that we're concerned about."

Chavez and other officials acknowledged an ordinance may not discourage all drug smugglers, but they say a ban would be a good first step in trying to control where drones can fly.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Marin County Man Arrested in Mountain View Stabbing: Police]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 11:50:16 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police+officer+dragged+sirens2.jpg

Police arrested a Marin County man Saturday evening in Mountain View after he allegedly attacked and seriously injured another man.

At 6:30 p.m. officers responded to the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts at 500 Castro St. for a report of a fight in the courtyard.

At the scene, officers saw a man, identified as 43-year-old Marin County resident Jan Neal, attacking a 55-year-old man. Officers ordered Neal to stop, but he did not respond to them, police said.

That's when an officer used a Taser to stop Neal, but the Taser was not effective and Neal continued his attack, police said.

Officers were eventually able to restrain Neal and provide aid to the victim, who suffered severe stab wounds. The victim was taken to a hospital where he is in serious, but stable condition, police said.

Neal was also taken to a hospital for treatment. He was later arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail, police said.

Police said they do not yet know what caused the altercation between the two men or if they knew each other. The case remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call police Detective Dan Garcia at (650) 903-6624.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Petition Seeks Details on Presentation High Teacher Assault]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 08:09:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PresentationHighSchool001_656174.JPEG

Graduates of Presentation High School have launched a petition demanding their alma mater to release more details on the sexual misconduct allegations made on a former teacher after an alumna published her story in the Washington Post.

The current principal at Presentation High, Mary Miller, explained in an e-mail shared with parents and alumna that the school acknowledged the allegations and that an investigation was conducted 25 years ago on the former teacher. According to Miller, due to privacy and confidentiality, she cannot disclose the details or the outcome of the investigation.

The teacher accused of sexual assault has been long retired from Presentation High School and died last October.

The petition started last month after Kathryn Leehane wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post entitled, “When the Legal System Fails Sexual Misconduct Victims – We Have to Find Our Own Closure.”

In the piece, Leehane shared a moment when the former teacher made her recite a poem, “’You must feel the longing here,’ He slid his hand down and lifted my hand to my left breast. ‘You must feel the desire in your heart.’”

According to Leehane, she wasn’t the only one to report the sexual misconduct on the same teacher.

The petition expressed concerns about the response students received from the administrators and are asking Principal Miller for the following:

• An independent investigation into all the allegations of abuse by the teacher in his 20-year tenure.
• A public apology in form of an open letter.
• Appropriate consequences against anyone who was aware of these accusations and nothing.
• A substantial monetary pledge towards charities that work with survivors of sexual assault.

The authors of the petition are hoping to receive a response within 90 days of when it was first posted.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to Principal Miller as well as spokespeople for Presentation High School and have yet to receive a response.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Brace for Rainy Season, Work to Prevent Flooding in SJ]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 18:02:03 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11032017SanJoseFloodPrevent_655104.JPG

The work continues to prevent a repeat of this year's catastrophic floods in San Jose. The affected neighborhoods are bracing for the return of the rainy season.

Local leaders hope a temporary berm will minimize the flood threat in the Rocksprings Community of San Jose. The berm is located in the same area where the Coyote Creek jumped its banks in February, sending flood waters into people's homes.

Hundreds of residents had to be rescued and the victims hope everything will be completed in time to ensure the floods do not happen again.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District  concedes the berm is only a band aid solution.

"The berm is a temporary fix. It's not a permanent fix," said John Varella, board chair for the water district. "The long-term fix would be a 100-year flood prevention project."

The long-term solution, however, is still years and hundreds of millions of dollars away. For now, the berm will have to do.

Crews also spent the summer clearing brush and debris from the Coyote Creek. The district is also working on better guidelines for releasing water from the Anderson Dam. The dam water is what caused Coyote Creek to swell.

"We know we have a lot of work to do," Mayor Sam Liccardo said. "We have a lot we need to fix. We're fixing the most immediate issues."

The city and water district on Friday agreed on a joint emergency-action plan to fight future floods. It includes a color coded alert system, with red symbolizing it is time to get out.

Along with the berm, crews are scheduled to install temporary flood wall to keep the creek from flooding streets.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Officials Take Steps to Avoid Coyote Creek Floods]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 06:22:44 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DNtRwbBU8AANP0X.jpg

South Bay officials are working hard to prevent a repeat of this past winter when Coyote Creek breached its banks, flooding San Jose neighborhoods.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District says temporary berms should be able to protect the Rock Springs neighborhood. The vinyl barrier will be as high as five feet in some spots and should get the area through the winter.

A big part of the catastrophe was that people didn’t know they needed to evacuate until it was too late. Many had to be rescued by boat.

Communication is critical, according to officials with the water district and Santa Clara County, who are boosting emergency systems. People are encouraged to sign up for AlertSCC and download the ReadySCC app. The county will share information on its Twitter and Facebook pages, while the water district will use its website.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Arrested on Suspicion of Using Taser on Teen]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 15:20:20 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Mug-Shot-Great-America-Mom.jpg

A 44-year-old East Bay woman arrested on suspicion of assaulting a minor with a deadly weapon at California's Great America Halloween Haunt last week was arraigned Friday.

Judge John Garibaldi ruled that East Bay resident Leticia Saxton will be held on $50,000 bail on charges that she assaulted a 16-year-old girl - who got in a physical confrontation with her daughter - with a stun gun at the Santa Clara theme park Saturday.

Pre-trial services said prior to the hearing Saxton shouldn't be released without bail due to the nature of the charges against her, but a matrix used to assess inmates and incoming suspects in the Santa Clara County Jail rated Saxton as suitable for release.

A defense attorney from the public defender's office for Saxton tried to argue against the pre-trial services ruling, saying that Saxton didn't have a history of not attending court dates and had an older criminal history, which included misdemeanor offenses. In addition, the defense attorney said Saxton is the caretaker of her grandmother, who wasn't present in court due to her condition, however, two other unidentified family members were.

Garibaldi, however, explained the case was unique in its facts and denied a release without bail.

"If the facts are proven, a defendant is aiding and abetting her daughter in an assault on a teenager," Garibaldi said.

The judge also mentioned the assault occurred on a night of multiple issues in the theme park, including numerous assaults that left patrons running for the exits scared.

As Saxton's defense attorney tried to make a case for her release, the judge said "I'm just mentioning the facts," as Garibaldi proceeded to explain how the police report states that Saxton allegedly, along with others, kicked and punched the victim.

In addition to the assault, Garibaldi said there have been ongoing social media threats being produced by the suspect and other "clients" in the case, but Garibaldi didn't clarify what exactly was said.

Two relatives of Saxton declined to comment after her arraignment.

It is not clear how Saxton got the stun gun into the theme park.

Repeated attempts for comment sent to park spokesman Roger Ross went unreturned and Santa Clara police Lt. Dan Moreno hasn't confirmed how the weapon was brought into the park.

Saxton's next court appearance is set for Dec. 7.

Moreno said earlier this week that more arrests are expected to be made from crimes that occurred that weekend.

Photo Credit: Santa Clara Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[SJ Suspect Arrested in Connection with Assault]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 15:43:57 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic24.jpg

Police in San Jose have arrested a man in connection with several crimes stemming from a traffic enforcement stop for reckless driving.

Arturo Huerta-Cabrera, 20, of San Jose, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and felony evading, according to the San Jose Police Department.

On Sunday around 10 p.m., a vehicle struck an officer during a traffic stop for reckless driving on Hostetter Road near Interstate Highway 680, police said.

The driver of the suspect vehicle fled the scene and was able to evade officers, but the officers were able to obtain a partial license plate of the vehicle.

The officer who was struck was treated at the hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Investigators were able to identify Huerta-Cabrera as the suspect involved in the incident, police said.

On Friday at 3:30 p.m., Huerta-Cabrera was taken into custody and arrested.

<![CDATA[Early Winter Storm to Dump Rain, Snow on Northern California]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 17:35:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-467299859.jpg

A storm moving in from the Gulf of Alaska arrived Friday in Northern California, soaking the state's Redwood Coast for several hours.

Rain increased from a light drizzle overnight to steady rain on Friday in the state's far north, forecasters with the National Weather Service said.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, overnight light rain made for slick roads ahead of the morning commute.

A mountain pass across the Sierra Nevada that runs through Yosemite National Park closed to traffic Thursday ahead of the storms expected to dump up to 2 feet of snow on the highest peaks, park officials said.

Officials are asking drivers to be safe and prepared for this Winter-like storm by having chains on their vehicles. Despite the dangers, the early snow is a welcome sign for several ski resorts who hope to get several hundred inches of snow for the season. 

Resorts like Boreal Ski will be the first to open their ski area in the California for the 2017-2018 season. 

"It's incredible when we're able to open early," said Tucker Norred. "There's some seasons when we only 73 inches and there's others that we've had 750 inches." 

In fire-scarred regions of Northern California's wine country, meanwhile, crews were working to stem the flow of ash, soil or hazardous substances into waterways in case the storms bring heavy rains there.

Tioga Road, the soaring eastern entry to Yosemite, was closed to traffic shortly before nightfall Thursday. Officials were also closing Glacier Point Road, which offers sweeping views of Yosemite Valley.

Both roads are to be shut through Monday, when the storms are expected to dissipate and road conditions can be assessed.

Two storm systems will be moving through Northern California over the weekend, bringing rain and snow to the region.

Most of the rain is expected overnight Friday into Saturday morning.

In Sonoma County north of San Francisco, crews have been working long days to prevent feared mudslides and water pollution in areas hit by last month's devastating wildfires, which killed at least 43 people and destroyed more than 8,900 homes and other structures.

The work includes placing sandbags and bundles of straw to block runoff into streams, and moving to capture some of the runoff in urban areas that burned. California has declared a public-health emergency in fire areas in part out of concern that household chemicals from burned areas could contaminate soil and water.

This weekend, up to 2 feet of snow are forecast to fall in elevations above 8,000 feet, and at least a foot of snow is expected in Donner and Tioga passes and other areas above 6,000 feet and up, forecasters said. The storms coming in from the Gulf of Alaska will also bring rain to the San Francisco Bay Area, including North Bay counties still recovering from last month's fires.

The first storm will clear by Sunday afternoon. But a second storm system is expected to hit the area Sunday night.

So far, the only Lake Tahoe-area ski resort open is Mt. Rose area on the Nevada side. But operators were pleased with the forecast.

"We are so excited for the coming storms," said Marcie Bradley, a spokeswoman with Northstar Ski Resort in Truckee, which is scheduled to open Nov. 17.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Arrest Man Accused of Photographing Women on VTA]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 22:33:09 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/manphotographswomen_656211.JPEG

Santa Clara Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a 70-year-old man who is being accused of riding on the VTA and taking unwanted photos of a 16-year-old girl on Friday.

Officials arrested Florencio Hernandez Palmo, who they believe has been photographing women over a three-year period. Now he faces a charge of annoying or molesting a minor.

“To be honest, I think it’s disgusting for guys to be doing that,” said San Jose resident, Relaine Jamorabon. “Especially older people on younger kids.”

Investigators are asking anyone who witnesses issues such as this one to call them immediately.

No further information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[New Art Installation Brightens Up Downtown San Jose]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 19:43:51 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Sonic-Runway-Neal-Waters-7.jpg A new public art piece called Sonic Runway unveiled in front of San Jose City Hall, along Santa Clara Street, on Friday night.

Photo Credit: Neal Waters]]>
<![CDATA[Some Criminals Won't Be Jailed Under New Warrant Limit]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:18:54 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11022017SantaClaraMainJail_642664.JPG

Santa Clara County is now advising police officers not to bring some criminal suspects to jail for holding, including some thieves and burglars.

A committee of county executives, the district attorney, the sheriff and the public defender came up with new guidelines meant to keep lower-level criminals from crowding the jail.

"We want the right people in and right people out," Deputy County Executive Gary Herceg said. "Looking at the treatment of mentally ill and substance abusers in our jail, one of the recommendations was to review current policies and practices with the county."

The new program raises the threshold needed to book a suspect into jail from a $5,000 arrest warrant to a $15,000 arrest warrant. That means many people accused of crimes like indecent exposure, child neglect and vandalism won't have to spend time behind bars as they wait for bail, or a court hearing.

"I don't like it," San Jose Police Officers Association President Sgt. Paul Kelly said. "I think it's ridiculous."

Police officers across the county are furious with the new guidelines, especially coming on the heels of Propositions 47 and 57, which decriminalized certain crimes across the state.

"If we can't arrest them for the crimes and can't book them into jail, what are we going to do?" Kelly asked. "Hug them and let them go? Because that's what it's getting to."

The county said the jail officials have the discretion to override the new guidelines when needed. Violent crimes are exempt from the new rules.

Police officers, however, said the added regulations are handcuffing their ability to keep the streets and homes safe.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Clara Officer Lawfully Shot, Killed Man: DA]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 22:54:21 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SantaClaraOISBodyCam.JPG

A Santa Clara police officer lawfully shot and killed a mentally ill and suicidal man during a standoff back in March, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office has announced.

Jesus Geney-Montes, who had previously stabbed himself in the chest and told police that he had a gun and would open fire either on himself or at officers, was shot and killed on March 9 when he moved toward veteran Officer Colin Stewart, according to the District Attorney's Office. Stewart tried to first use a stun gun when Geney-Montes "rushed toward him," but it "was not effective." Stewart resorted to firing his gun.

"Seeing Geney-Montes charging towards him and believing his life was in danger, Officer Stewart chose to defend himself by discharging his weapon," prosecutor Carolyn Powell wrote in a public report regarding the officer-involved shooting. "Under the facts, circumstances and applicable law in this matter, Officer Colin Stewart’s use of force was in response to an objectively reasonable belief that he was facing an immediate threat of great bodily injury or death."

Officers later learned that Geney-Montes was not armed when he was shot, according to the District Attorney's Office.

During the standoff, officers with guns drawn asked Geney-Montes to show his hands multiple times as he stood on an embankment behind a housing complex with his hand in his pocket. Officers could also be heard telling Geney-Montes, "You're not going to die today" and "Nobody wants to hurt you," according to body camera footage.

Officers continued to try to offer help to Geney-Montes as the standoff prolonged, but he remained on the embankment and later took off running. Stewart followed and when Geney-Montes moved in his direction, the officer opened fire.

Before the shooting, officers on March 9 had visited the home where Geney-Montes was four times, according to the DA's office. Geney-Montes barricaded himself in a bedroom, threatened his family members and told officers he had a gun and would shoot if law enforcement entered the room. Police determined that no crimes had been committed and decided to leave the scene each time.

Geney-Montes’ stepfather, Richard Sommers, said he and his wife called the police three times that day because the 24-year-old had been acting erratically.

"We were hoping either they crash the room, break a window, we don’t care. We wanted help," Sommers said. "What I saw was flat out murder. They said they Tased him. I never saw a Tasing. I never saw nothing. I saw him in the bushes getting shot. He was against a fence."

It was on the fifth call that police learned that Geney-Montes had stabbed himself and fled the home, according to the DA's office.

The family has filed a lawsuit against the city of Santa Clara.

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

Photo Credit: Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Cars, Trailer Charred After Fire Breaks Out in Morgan Hill]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 06:35:57 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/MorganHillFire.JPG

Several cars and a trailer were torched early Thursday after a fire broke out in a backyard in Morgan Hill, according to Cal Fire.

Fire crews responded to the blaze burning along the 200 block of Los Hermanos Court around 2:30 a.m. and found a column of smoke billowing from a field behind a home, according to Cal Fire.

Firefighters knocked down the blaze in about 20 minutes, but a number of vehicles were damaged by the flames, according to Cal Fire.

It is not clear how the fire started.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon Plans to Hire 800 People Across the Bay Area]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:46:12 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/amazon-warehouse.jpg

Looking for a job?

Amazon is holding job fairs across the Bay Area hoping to hire 800 people to fill their seasonal warehouse positions.

According to Amazon, these seasonal positions could even lead to a full-time job.

“Last year, thousands of holiday positions were transitioned to regular, full-time roles after the holidays, and the company expects to continue that trend this year,” said Amazon in a press release.

In January, the online retail company said it would add 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months, despite their attempt to make the switch to automated warehouses.

Amazon plans to hold the job fairs on Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 at the Hyatt House in San Jose at 9 a.m. Other dates include Nov. 4 at the Silliman Center in Newark, Nov. 9 at the Courtyard Marriot in Richmond and Nov. 10 at the Doubletree Fremont-Newark.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[BART Issues Plea to Commuters: Stop Jamming Train Doors]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 09:02:32 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BART_Issues_Plea_to_Commuters__Stop_Jamming_Train_Doors.jpg

BART is pleading its commuters to stop racing onto trains and jamming the doors because its slowing down service.

The plea comes after about 200 BART cars had to be taken out of service in August alone due to damaged doors.

Passengers rushing onto a train and getting stuck in a door can force the door off its track or dislocate the rubber seal. That problem can knock out the car or even the entire train and send it to the service yard for repairs.

Chris Filippi of BART understands that people are in a hurry, but he wants to make sure their impatience doesn't disrupt service for other commuters.

"What we’re hoping is that people keep in mind, if they’re stuck in our door or they force a door open, that that’s going to have a long term impact that literally is going to impact the time of thousands of people," he said. "It's going to take one of our cars out of service unnecessarily. It's going to create a more crowded environment. These are all bad things we're trying to avoid."

The doors on BART's soon-to-be-released cars won't pocket like the existing ones. That feature makes them more durable and soundproof.

The transportation agency hopes to have 20 of the next generation cars in service by the end of the year.

<![CDATA[Sunnyvale DPS Mourns Loss of K9 Officer]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 17:48:49 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1101-2017-Jax.jpg

The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said its K9 officer, Jax, was fatally stabbed while trying to help subdue a knife-wielding man before police shot and killed him.

Police on Wednesday said the man also stabbed his girlfriend, who is recovering at a hospital.

The incident was reported at 1 p.m. Tuesday on the 500 block East Weddell Drive. Arriving officers sent Jax after the suspect, which the suspect stabbed and killed, according to police. Police then shot the suspect.

"I was quite terrified," neighbor Kirby Tate said. "You hear about it all the time, but being so close to it -- literally five minutes earlier it could've been you."

Sunnyvale DPS Chief Phan Ngo said Lt. Emmett Larkin shot the suspect, Jesus Birekas-Contreras, after he threw his knife at the officer.

"Lt. Larkin fired his service weapon to defend himself," Ngo said.

Jax, a German Shepherd, had been a member of Sunnyvale DPS for two years and was involved in 26 arrests. Flags at public safety facilities are now at half staff.

"It's been a devastating loss," said Jeffrey Hunter, Sunnyvale DPS public information officer. "A lot of people within the department are very upset and members of the community as well."

Ngo said a memorial service is being planned for Jax. Lt. Larkin is on paid administrative leave while the district attorney investigates the officer involved shooting.

Photo Credit: Sunnyvale DPS]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Startups Rank High on LinkedIn's Top 50 List]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 10:29:45 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Laptop+Typing.jpg

LinkedIn on Wednesday revealed its first-ever list of the "most in-demand" startups in the United States and the Bay Area is home to seven of the top 10.

Surprised, anyone?

Uber landed in first place despite being in recent headlines for "sexual harassment claims, regulatory issues, a new CEO and loads of boardroom drama," according to LinkedIn. The untoward attention didn't stop the San Francisco-based ride-sharing giant from expanding and luring valuable employees away from behemoths like Google, JPMorgan and Facebook.

The "super-unicorn" employs 16,000 people globally, is valued at $68 billion and gives employees credit to use on personal rides or UberEATS. 

Airbnb, also headquartered in San Francisco, made second place. The company, which has a team of 6,500 people, is the David to the $550 billion hotel industry's Goliath. Valued at $29.25 billion, Airbnb is expected to exceed 100 million stays in 2017 — a 25 percent jump from just last year. 

The hospitality company has also teamed up with Newgard Development Group to launch co-branded apartments, which will be "optimized for home sharing and flexible sharing."

In third place is coworking startup WeWork, which is based in New York City, employs 3,000 people around the world and is valued at $20 billion.

Lyft, San Francisco's other quickly expanding ridesharing platform, is in fourth place, with a global headcount of 2,000 and an $11 billion valuation.

Slack, a popular workplace messaging service located in San Francisco, took fifth place. Forty-three companies from the Fortune 100 list use Slack, which has 890 workers and a $5.1 billion valuation. 

Companies had to meet certain criteria to make LinkedIn's inaugural list of the country's hottest upstarts: They had to be 10 years old or younger, employ at least 100 people, be independent and privately held, and have received at least one round of venture-backed funding.

LinkedIn also examined their "employee growth, job seeker interest via views and applications, member engagement with the company and its employees."

The ranking also takes into account "how well these startups pulled talent" from 50 businesses — including Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce, Tesla, Apple and Netflix — that made LinkedIn's top companies list

Automotive startup Nio, whose global headquarters are in Shanghai, China, but North American headquarters are in San Jose, came in sixth place. It is followed by Rubrik, of Palo Alto; Dropbox, of San Francisco; Houzz, of Palo Alto; and Convoy, of Seattle.

Here are LinkedIn's top 20 startups in the United States:

  1. Uber — San Francisco, Calif.
  2. Airbnb — San Francisco, Calif.
  3. WeWork — New York City, NY
  4. Lyft — San Francisco, Calif.
  5. Slack — San Francisco, Calif.
  6. Nio — Shanghai, China and San Jose, Calif.
  7. Rubrik — Palo Alto, Calif.
  8. Dropbox — San Francisco, Calif.
  9. Houzz — Palo Alto, Calif.
  10. Convoy — Seattle, Wash.
  11. General Assembly — New York City
  12. Stripe — San Francisco, Calif.
  13. Glossier — New York City, NY
  14. Flexport — San Francisco, Calif.
  15. Aryaka Networks — San Mateo, Calif.
  16. Pinterest — San Francisco, Calif.
  17. Grail — Menlo Park, Calif.
  18. Duo Security — Ann Arbor, Mich. 
  19. Udacity — Mountain View, Calif.
  20. G2 Crowd — Chicago, Ill.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area, File image]]>
<![CDATA[Partial Payments For Santa Clara County Property Taxes]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 07:12:48 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/propertytaxhome_623793.JPEG

Help is available for Santa Clara County homeowners whose property taxes are due.

While assessments are on the rise, taxpayers have the option of paying what they can, even if it’s not the entire amount owed.

Until now, the county could only accept full payments for property taxes, which are due twice a year. The bill averages 1 percent for Santa Clara County residents and is sometimes a family’s biggest expense, apart from the mortgage itself.

County officials estimate that one in 25 taxpayers struggle to pay the full amount as a lump sum, but could afford to pay it in installments. They believe that flexibility will make it possible for more property owners to make the tax deadlines with fewer penalties, which in turn will help the county collect at least some of the $29 million that people couldn’t pay last year.

“The notion that they’d get whacked with a 10 percent fee and an 18 percent annual interest on money they were prepared to pay,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian said, “is fundamentally unfair and that’s what we’re trying to address here.”

The Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association disagrees.

“If the Board of Supervisors really (wants) to help the taxpayers, how about reducing property taxes rather than making it ‘easier’ to pay the taxes,” the association’s Mark Hinkle argued.

County officials are hosting workshops at which people can learn more about the partial payment option. The first is from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Board Chambers at the County Government Center at 70 W. Hedding Street.

The second is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday in the Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium at the County Government Center at 70 W. Hedding Street.

More information can be found online.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Taco Bell Handing Out Free Treat Thanks to Stolen Base]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 14:39:27 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-846234500.jpg

The Bay Area may not be represented in this year’s World Series, but that won’t stop baseball fans from getting some free food on Wednesday.

Thanks to Houston Astros outfielder Cameron Maybin, who stole second base during Game 2 of the World Series, Taco Bells across the country will be giving away a free Doritos Locos Taco to customers from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

The annual "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion has been in effect over the last three years, and thanks to Maybin, fans will be able to cash in on Wednesday.

Fans who get free tacos will still be able to enjoy one last baseball game, as Game 7 of the World Series between the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers will take place on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 5:20 p.m. Pacific time. 

For a complete list of Taco Bell locations, hungry fans can visit the restaurant's website

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Union Pacific, Caltrain Train Trestle in SJ Catches Fire]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 05:32:08 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Web+SJ+Train+Trestle+Fire.JPG

A train trestle in San Jose used by Union Pacific and Caltrain caught fire early Wednesday, according to officials.

Roughly 200 feet of Union Pacific's wooden trestle located next to Mclellan Avenue was damaged after the fire ignited around 3 a.m., San Jose Fire Department Cpt. Tremaine Thierry said.

Trains were later cleared to single-track through the area after crews gained control of the flames, according to Caltrain.

Caltrain said delays would be minimal because its trains have recently been single-tracking in the area due to the Los Gatos Creek Bridge Replacement Project, according to the transportation agency.

Union Pacific crews plan to inspect the trestle and tracks throughout the morning. It is not clear when the trestle and rail line will reopen.

No injuries have been reported.

A cause for the fire was not immediately known, but Thierry noted that fire crews recently battled a brush fire in the same area.

"This has been a problem area for fire due to the high population of homeless people that live in this area," he said.

Further information was not available.

Stay tuned for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Open Enrollment Begins for Covered California]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 23:08:06 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-479421059.jpg

As the White House continues to debate the future of the Affordable Care Act, open enrollment for Covered California begins Wednesday.

The open enrollment process marks the one time of the year when those in need of health insurance can enroll without having to meet qualifying conditions.

Those wishing to enroll will have three months to do so, but people are encouraged to sign up by the middle of December to make sure their coverage kicks in by Jan. 1.

Interested enrollees are also encouraged to shop and compare due to the changes for 2018. Some insurance companies such as Anthem Blue Cross are withdrawing from parts of California while others, such as Blue Shield of California, will be expanding.

Subsidized consumers will see a decrease when it comes to paying for coverage, according to a study performed by Covered California. For the 1.1 million Californians who enroll and receive financial assistance, the average price for coverage will drop about 1.5 percent. That decline equates to a savings of about $9 per month and $108 per year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[One Person Injured in House Fire in Santa Clara]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 22:02:54 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scfire1031_620533.JPG

One person was injured in a house fire in Santa Clara late Tuesday, according to the Santa Clara Fire Department.

Firefighters responded a little after 7 p.m. to a home on Bonita Avenue, fire officials said.

One person suffered second-degree burns and another was treated for smoke inhalation, fire officials said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Stabbing Suspect, K9 Dead After Officer-Involved Shooting]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 20:34:05 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1031-2017-Sunnyvale.jpg

A stabbing suspect and police K-9 are dead following an officer-involved shooting in Sunnyvale, police said.

The incident was reported at 1 p.m. Tuesday on the 500 block East Weddell Drive. Police said the suspect wounded another person. Arriving officers sent a K-9 after the suspect, which the suspect stabbed and killed, according to police. Police then shot the suspect.

A woman who police said was stabbed by the suspect was transported to a hospital and is expected to recover.

An investigation is ongoing and no other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Woman Honors Family and Region With Murals]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 20:03:07 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/store+and+barn.jpg

Every family has a member who ends-up with the boxes of old family photos. San Jose’s Margaret Ma is that person in her family.

But unlike most keepers of hand-me-down nostalgia, Ma figured why let the family history just rot away in a dusty shoebox when there was a perfectly good stucco wall outside her home. So she hired an artist to turn the family photos into murals — for everyone to see.

“It was just the big white wall,” Ma said. “I saw — gosh — this looks like a canvas.”

In her Palm Haven neighborhood in San Jose’s Willow Glen, Ma hired artist Scott Willis to paint a series of murals on the exterior wall of her historic home — based on her family photos of the region.

“My great-great-grandparents came to Watsonville and Santa Clara in the 1850s,” Ma said, ticking off her family pedigree, which includes a past San Jose Mayor. “So I wanted to put up things that were both general historical interest and also have a family connection.”

On one mural Willis painted Ma’s great-grandfather’s Keystone wholesale grocery business in San Jose from around 1908. In another, a hunting party of men and women pose in nearby Watsonville. A colorful mural shows Ma’s grandmother and aunt standing in front of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk donning 50s bathing suits. There is a painting of nearby Lincoln High School with Ma’s relatives standing out front.

“Three generations of us went to it,” Ma said.

Another mural shows the strawberry fields once ubiquitous in Watsonville. Ma said the picture is a nod to her great-great grandfather Robert Eaton who she said was the first strawberry grower in the area to ship strawberries by train.

“Everybody knows about Silicon Valley,” said Willis, painting from his perch among the branches of an olive tree. “But few people know what was here before. It was a great agricultural center.”

Neighbors have closely followed Willis’ progress since the murals began to pop-up and take shape. They stop. They look. They occasionally weigh-in with their own artistic suggestions.

On a recent day, Ruben Villalpando paused during a stroll to take-in Willis’ labors, suggesting the homeowner cut down the two small olive trees in front of the wall to not impede the view of the murals.

“What she is doing to the neighborhood is very special,” Villalpando said, settling back into observer mode. “It gives you a lift because you’ll see that nowhere else.”

Ma and her brothers grew-up in the Palm Haven house her parents purchased in 1962. She and her husband eventually bought the home. It’s not hard to see how the neighborhood came by its name; its streets are lined with towering palm trees that make the neighborhood look as if it was plucked off a vintage Los Angeles post card and plunked down in San Jose.

The traffic on nearby Bird Avenue is noisier than it used to be, Ma said. But she thinks neighbors are more close-knit.

“You gotta take the good with the bad,” she said. “I don’t think it’s better or worse — it’s just different.”

Willis put the finishing touches on a painting based on a favorite picture of Ma’s, showing her and her brother standing with a go-cart at the end of the street in front of the home decades earlier.

Willis, who has painted other large outdoor murals in San Jose said he’s enjoyed working on the project — and appreciates that Ma is keeping a bit of family and area history alive — and visible.

“I think everybody has boxes of old photos,” Willis said. “For the most part they just sit there. And it’s too bad when the information is lost.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Man Suspected of Igniting Bear Fire Pleads Not Guilty]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 11:16:20 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/MarlonCoy1.JPG

An attorney for the man accused of igniting the 391-acre Bear Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains earlier this month entered not guilty pleas on behalf of the suspected arsonist Tuesday morning.

Multiple witnesses said they saw Marlon Coy, who is also accused of looting a home evacuated by the blaze, set the fire, which wiped out six structures and forced scores of people to flee their homes.

"Let's be honest, he lit a fire that caused an evacuation and burned 300-plus acres," Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell said. "That's not something that happens everyday in this county, and it's arson, it's not an accident."

While in the courtroom, Coy appeared to mouth the words "you're next" to Rosell, who later said "bring it on."

Coy's attorney on Monday entered not guilty pleas on the accused's behalf for three arson charges and a not guilty plea for allegedly being a felon in possession of a gun.

Coy had already entered not guilty pleas on seven other charges related to the same time period and same location where fire investigators believe the fire started.

Coy remains jailed, and his bail sits at $800,000.

Photo Credit: KSBW]]>
<![CDATA[Bicyclist Shot in Face Near San Jose VTA Station: Sheriff]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 20:47:02 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vtabicyclistshot_610741.JPEG

A man was shot in the face early Tuesday as he rode a bicycle near a VTA station in San Jose, sheriff’s deputies said.

According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the shooting was reported to the San Jose Fire Department at 1:17 a.m. from the Capitol light rail station at 600 West Capitol Expressway.

Responding paramedics located a middle-aged man with a facial injury, deputies said. The man, who was conscious at the time, told first-responders that a projectile had hit him.

He was taken to an area hospital for treatment where doctors realized that he had been shot, according to deputies. His injuries are considered non-life threatening.

Sheriff's deputies from the Transit Patrol division have since launched a criminal investigation.

The VTA station was closed till around noon while investigators canvassed the area and collected evidence. 

Deputies have not provided any suspect information.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New California Gas Tax to Go Into Effect on Nov. 1]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 23:04:58 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-97962752.jpg

The summer-driving season is over, but drivers across California will see an increase in prices at the pump starting on Nov. 1.

That's because a statewide gas tax will go into effect.

The new tax equates to a 12-cents-per-gallon increase for most drivers. Diesel users will have to pay 20 cents more per gallon.

Gas taxes, which will likely bring in an extra $5 billion, will be utilized for state and local projects.

By 2017, nearly 77 cents of every dollar drivers spend on gas will actually pay for some sort of tax, with California cashing in on 58 cents of that number.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wildfires Destroy Part of Hewlett-Packard Archives]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 22:50:39 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/hp-generic.jpg

California's deadly wildfires destroyed much of an archive from tech pioneers William Hewlett and David Packard, such as a decades-old memo in which Hewlett proposes designing a calculator that can fit in his pocket, authorities involved with the archives say.

The more than 100 boxes of letters and other materials from the early days of Hewlett-Packard, now called HP, were stored in two modular buildings at the Santa Rosa offices of Keysight Technologies, an electronics measurement company that acquired the historical trove through a series of spin-offs, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

The two modular buildings burned to the ground in this month's wildfires , which killed 43 people and destroyed more than 7,000 homes and other structures. The rest of Keysight's campus, including its permanent buildings, survived with minimal damage, Ron Nersesian, the company's chief executive, told the newspaper.

Packard and Hewlett pioneered California's tech industry when they started an electronics firm in a Palo Alto garage with $538 in cash.

The destroyed archives had been valued at nearly $2 million in 2005. Former HP staff archivist Karen Lewis called the collection irreplaceable.

When Lewis first began assembling the materials in the 1980s, "I realized, 'Oh, my God, this is the history of Silicon Valley ... This is the history of the electronics industry.'"

Lewis said the destroyed documents include the memo from Hewlett to engineers that led to the company's HP-35 pocket calculator in 1972. Another memo proposed an open-office floor plan, now a staple of valley companies, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

Lewis faulted the recent handling of the archives, saying previous owners had stored the collections in vaults within permanent facilities, safeguarded by foam fire retardant.

"This could easily have been prevented, and it's a huge loss," Lewis said.

Keysight Technologies spokesman Jeff Weber said his company had taken "appropriate and responsible steps" to protect the archives, "but the most destructive firestorm in state history prevented efforts to protect portions of the collection."

"This is a time to begin healing, not assigning blame," Weber said.

Another HP spokeswoman, Dana Lengkeek, told the Chronicle that other archive material survived elsewhere, including speeches and letters from the firm's founders.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Man Arrested in Multiple Robberies of Elderly Women]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 22:38:38 -0800https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lawrence+carter-1030.jpg

A 21-year-old San Jose man was arrested last week in a string of armed and strong-arm robberies, the San Jose Police Department said Monday.

Lawrence Carter was arrested Thursday and booked into Santa Clara County Jail on three counts of robbery, two counts of elderly abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and vandalism, police said.

Carter is suspected of at least seven robberies targeting elderly East Indian and Asian females between July and September, police said. The suspect would approach the victims and grab their gold chain from around their neck, and in one of the robberies, the suspect used a gun, police said.

Surveillance video shows one of the robberies in the middle of a street. The suspect is seen walking up to two older women, acting like he's asking for directions, before ripping the gold chain from an 85-year-old womwn's neck.

"I was shocked," said Sam Huynh, son of the victim. "Then my mom was trying to push back and grab the chain back, but (she's) lucky she didn't get hurt."

One of the items the thief dropped at the scene was a receipt. The victims gave it to police, and detectives tracked it to a store and then to Carter.

"He's probably done a lot to others in the neighborhood as well," Huynh said. "We don't want him around."

The investigation is ongoing, and police are asking for the public's help in identifying additional victims who may have not reported their robbery to police. Detectives believe there may be additional robberies that occurred in San Jose and other Bay Area cities.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Katie Reyes of the San Jose Police Department's Robbery Unit at (408) 277-4166. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (408) 947-STOP (7867).

Photo Credit: San Jose PD]]>