<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area https://www.nbcbayarea.com en-usThu, 20 Sep 2018 08:39:38 -0700Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:39:38 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[People Rescued From Cliff, Water Near SF's Aquatic Park: FD]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:24:38 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AquaticParkRescueCMS.JPG

Two young adults were rescued from a cliff and another was pulled from the water near Aquatic Park in San Francisco Thursday morning, according to the city's fire department.

The man in the water was rescued by a fire department boat and transported to the hospital in critical condition, according to the fire department. Two women on the cliff were said to be in stable condition.

Further information was not available.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[City Inspectors Return to SF's Millennium Tower]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 20:49:13 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Inspectors_Return_to_Millennium_Tower_After_Window_Crack.jpg

The city had just declared the Millennium Tower safe from the very concern that is now a suspected cause in the sudden crack in a 36th floor window at the luxury high rise, NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit has learned.

Crews were back at the tower Wednesday as work there continues to determine why the window in unit 36B suddenly failed on Sept. 1, forcing the building to be surrounded by scaffolding to protect pedestrians.

A consultant’s preliminary report suggested the window failure could be the result of the tower’s tilting triggering separation of the outer façade, or curtain wall, from the concrete framework of the building. That problem was highlighted earlier this year, when NBC Bay Area reported how Paula Pretlow, who owns unit 31B, had learned that a consultant worried about the risk caused by gaps they found inside her walls – between the glass and steel façade of her unit and the concrete interior structure.

Those gaps, the consultant from Allana, Buick and Bers warned, pose “a life and safety threat to the occupants.”

The openings, experts warn, can allow fire to spread rapidly between floors. The city issued a violation notice against the building and ordered an investigation.

In a response to the Millennium Tower Homeowners Association’s lawyer in February, the same firm concluded that a check of five units – all on the southern side of the tower – showed gaps that were within normal expected range and not the apparent product of tilting.

In August, the city Department of Building Inspection issued a report citing that conclusion as proof the building was safe. It declared the investigation over. By then, the gaps in Pretlow’s unit had been sealed.

“It essentially said the building is still safe for occupancy from those basic life safety standards,” said William Strawn, spokesman for the Department of Building Inspection.

But City Supervisor Aaron Peskin questioned why city inspectors would accept a report that only evaluated units on the south side of the building – given the problem was discovered on its northwest side, where the building is tilting.

“They’ve looked on the wrong side of the building,” Peskin said, adding that the city accepting such incomplete findings was just one more reason it needs to enlist outside experts to get to the bottom of the problem.

“This is like saying there’s no dry rot on one side of the building, so there must not be dry rot on the other side of the building,” he told NBC Bay Area. “It’s absurd.”

Strawn said the department has to rely on outside experts, in this case hired by the building owners, not the city. In fact, the same consultants with Allana, Buick and Bers are evaluating what led to the window’s failure. “Clearly our engineers agreed that, according to this report, that there was no concern right now,” he said.

As to why they would sign off when only five units away from the problem were checked, Strawn said: “You know, I’d have to defer to our engineers on that. I was not aware that this was in a different stack for this particular purpose.”

Late Wednesday, Strawn issued an update, saying Allana, Buick and Bers couldn’t get into Pretlow’s unit after she had refused.

But, he said, the city believes they did actually assess unit 36B – the unit where the window cracked – as among the units where “the horizontal offsets between some curtain wall modules do not appear to be the result of building settlement, but are the result of standard erection tolerances.”

DBI believes, he said, the firm simply “erroneously omitted it [36B] from the report sent to DBI.” But he wasn’t able to verify that as of late Wednesday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[California Schools Recognized as Some of the Healthiest]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 03:49:08 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/laGettyImages-997126356.jpg

Several California elementary schools made it on the “America’s Healthiest Schools” this year, a victory that marks a move towards a healthier generation in the country.

The Alliance for a Healthy Generation is an organization that works with schools, companies and healthcare professionals to improve children’s health.

The organization released a list in which 461 schools around the country were recognized for healthy practices such as offering healthy breakfasts daily, implementing wellness policies and at least 60 minutes of physical education a week.

“The most important investments we can make are those that support kids’ health and education,” said Brian Weaver, Chief Program Officer for the organization.

According to the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health, one in three children in California is overweight or obese. This is more prevalent in areas with significant racial and ethnic disparities, which is seen across California with more than 38 percent of the residents being Hispanic or Latino.

Below are some of the California schools that made it on the “America’s Healthiest Schools” 2018 list:


  • Monterey Highlands Elementary School - Monterey Park
  • Loma Vista Middle School - Riverside
  • Valley View Elementary School - Riverside
  • Mabel L. Pendleton Elementary School - Buena Park
  • Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School - Indio
  • Maple Elementary School - Fullerton
  • El Cerrito Elementary School - La Habra
  • Woodlawn Elementary School - Bell
  • Carson Street Elementary School - Carson
  • Playa Del Rey Elementary School - Culver City
  • 186th Street Elementary School - Gardena
  • Normont Elementary School - Harbor City
  • Eshelman Avenue Elementary School - Lomita
  • 112th Street Elementary School - Los Angeles
  • Ramona Elementary School - Los Angeles
  • Union Elementary School - Los Angeles
  • Point Fermin Maring Science Magnet Elementary School - San Pedro
  • North Valley Military Institute College Prep Academy - Sun Valley
  • Halldale Avenue Elementary School - Torrance
  • Broad Avenue Elementary School - Wilmington
  • Alta Vista Elementary School - Redondo Beach
  • Emmerton Elementary School - San Bernardino

Photo Credit: Sophia Kembowski/picture alliance via Getty Images, File ]]>
<![CDATA[‘Multiple Victims’ After Shooting in a Business Area in Maryland]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:32:00 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/aberdeen+shooting.jpg

Multiple people were killed in a shooting in Harford County, Maryland, and a woman has been taken into custody in connection with the incident. 

The shooting was reported just after 9 a.m. Thursday in the area of Spesutia Road and Perryman Road in Perryman, just south of Aberdeen, Maryland. The intersection is near a church and a business park. The exact location of the shooting is not clear.

There are "multiple victims," the sheriff's office said. A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that multiple people have been killed. 

A woman believed to be the shooting suspect has been taken into custody, law enforcement officials told NBC News. 

Alexie Scharmann, an Aberdeen resident, told NBC affiliate WBAL in a phone interview that her mother was inside the building where the shooting took place. She said her mother sent her a text message saying there was a shooter in the building and that she was hiding. 

"That’s the last thing I heard from her," Scharmann told the station.

She added, "I have no idea what’s going on. That’s the only thing I can do is watch the news and pray."

Scharmann later said her sister had received a message from their mother saying she was "outside and safe. I love you."

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said he is "closely monitoring the horrific shooting."

"Our prayers are with all those impacted, including our first responders. The State stands ready to offer any support," Hogan said on Twitter.

The shooting comes a day after separate mass shootings in two states. Three people were wounded and a fourth grazed by a bullet when a gunman, who was killed by police, opened fire at a software company in Wisconsin. Hours later in western Pennsylvania, a gunman wounded four people at a court building before being killed by police. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Photo Credit: WBAL TV
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<![CDATA[Atherton Home Still Under Construction After 40 Years]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 20:47:01 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0919AthertonHome_4284239.JPG

Atherton residents are demanding answers for a home that has been under construction for the last 40 years.

City officials are also now getting involved because they say the building is not up to code and the owners do not have the right permits or plans.

Atherton Police Commander Joe Wade said the permit for the building was first issued in 1978 for a man who wanted to build a new family home.

An Atherton City Council staff report shows the permit was issued on Feb. 3, 1978. The report also said "construction work happened slowly, with inspections taking place sporadically and intermittently."

In 2014, the city's code enforcement department got involved and now the police department in in charge of enforcing the codes.

"Over the years we just started receiving complaints about the home," Wade said.

Neighbors reportedly started complaining about dead trees, trash and other construction debris in the area.

The owner died two years ago and the city said his family took over and cleaned up the property. But the city argues the family needs to decide once and for all whether they are going to finish building the house or demolish it.

NBC Bay Area was unable to reach the late owner's family members to ask them their plans for the property on 37 Walsh Road.

The owner's daughter wrote an e-mail to the city council in July, saying in part "for whatever reason, instead of building small my father decided to build this larger structure all on his own. Also, for whatever reason my father didn't finish the home. Only he and God knows why."

Also in the e-mail, the daughter said they would like demolition to be their last resort, but they need more time to bring in the right people and see what can and cannot be done with the property.

Meanwhile, the code enforcement officer will present his case to council members at a meeting Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest Made in Deadly Stabbing of DC Woman on Evening Run]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:38:04 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/091918+wendy+martinez+photo.jpg

A 23-year-old man was arrested and charged Thursday in the "unprovoked" fatal stabbing of a woman who was jogging through D.C.'s Logan Circle neighborhood, officials said.

Police say surveillance video and tips from the public helped them track down the suspect, Anthony Crawford of Northwest D.C., to a park near 14th and Girard streets Wednesday night. He was charged with first-degree murder while armed.

Authorities had no information to suggest that the suspect and victim knew each other or had any interactiong before the stabbing.

"It looks like it was an unprovoked attack," Police Chief Peter Newsham said.

Wendy Martinez of Northwest D.C. was out for a run just before 8 p.m. Tuesday when she was stabbed multiple times. The 35-year-old avid runner was jogging west on P Street NW and was attacked after arriving at the intersection with 11th Street.

Newsham said Crawford has a criminal history but did not immediately have details to provide. He said police will also look into whether he had mental health or substance abuse issues. 

"It's Pretty Terrifying"

The violent crime left neighbors stunned because of the area's popularity and perceived safety. 

"As a runner, it's pretty terrifying. You'd think running on lit streets, you would be safe, but that’s mind-boggling," one woman said. 

Another woman who jogs in the area brought flowers to the crime scene Wednesday morning, telling News4 that the victim easily could have been her.

By Thursday morning, the pile of flowers remembering Martinez had grown. A running shoe could be seen at the makeshift memorial.

The crime rate in the area near Logan Circle is relatively low, with few violent crimes reported, D.C. crime statistics show. A number of upscale homes and trendy restaurants are located near the scene of the crime.

"I think that it is unsettling for anyone who lives in this city to see something like this happen," Newsham said Thursday. "This is a very isolated instance. You don't see crimes much like this, even during the course of my career, so it's a very unlikely thing that occured here at this intersection. At the same time, I'm sure that doesn't bring any level of comfort to the Martinez family."

Police released surveillance video Wednesday afternoon showing the suspect walking along 11th Street NW. Footage from another camera shows him walking with a knife in his hand. The knife used in the stabbing was found nearby. 

Newsham said Thursday a combination of information from officers and tips from community members helped police identify Crawford as the suspect. 

Homicide detectives searched the surrounding areas and found Crawford at a park near 14th and Girard streets NW, Newsham said. 

Newsham said police do not have a motive yet, but the "unsettling" attack was likely random. 

Strangers Rushed to Help the Victim

After the stabbing, Martinez staggered into a nearby carryout restaurant. She collapsed a short time later. 

The manager of the restaurant said he heard someone scream and saw Martinez covered in blood. 

"I scared. I don’t know what happened, and I just try to call police," said the manager, who asked not to be identified. 

Strangers rushed to the woman's side to help her, and the manager called 911. Martinez died of her injuries a short time later. 

On Thursday, Newsham thanked members of community, including a nurse, for trying to provide medical help for Martinez on the scene and for providing tips that led to to the suspect.

"Wendy Karina Martinez Was the Light of Our Lives"

Martinez was an avid runner who lived in an upscale apartment just three blocks away. 

She and her boyfriend got engaged just last week, her family said in a statement. 

"Wendy Karina Martinez was the light of our lives. Not only was she an avid runner, but she was a devout Christian, a wonderful friend, and a driven professional. Everything you hope that a daughter and a friend could be," her family said Wednesday. "She was also excited to be planning her upcoming wedding to her fiancé, Daniel Hincapie. They were engaged just last week." 

"Simply put, Wendy was fearfully and wonderfully made! Now we know she has found the one whom her soul loved. (Song of Solomon 3:4)," the statement said.

Martinez's family asked for respect for their privacy as they grieve and urged anyone with information on her killing to contact police.

Martinez was chief of staff of the software and data company FiscalNote.

"The entire FiscalNote family is shocked and deeply saddened to learn that Wendy Martinez, our Chief of Staff, was killed last night," the company said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon. "Wendy was an invaluable member of our team and a vibrant member of the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy’s family and friends."

Martinez was a University of Florida and Georgetown University graduate who previously worked for the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Development Bank, according to her LinkedIn page.

Photo Credit: Metropolitan Police Department
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<![CDATA[Failed Attempt to Put Dead Whale in Dumpster 'Was a Mistake': PD]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 05:01:15 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DumpsterWhale1.JPG

A dead baby minke whale, too big for a transport container, flopped onto the concrete in a parking lot in Rye, New Hampshire, and the 4,000-pound mistake was all caught on camera.

"Oh, that's just terrible," gasped Sarah Rogers, a Stratham resident, as she watched the video.

The whale washed ashore on Jenness Beach Monday morning. Experts say it likely died after getting tangled in fishing lines and crews added insult to injury when they tried to move it.

"That was a mistake that shouldn't have happened and I take full responsibility for that," Rye Police Chief Kevin Walsh said.

Walsh says it was a coordinated effort to remove the dead animal from the public beach. The town called on the state to bring in the dumpster to help transport the whale for a necropsy.

"Our goal was removing the biohazard right away," Walsh said.

He says the problem was simple miscommunication.

"We said, 'baby whale,' so everyone thought it was a small whale," Walsh explained. "We should have measured the length of the animal so it was clear what size container we would need."

When asked why they still attempted to put the large animal in the too-small container, Walsh said they had a strategy. The operator of the front-end loader was trying to drop it into the dumpster diagonally to let the tail stick out.

"And then we had a way we were going to cover it up," Walsh said.

That didn't work.

So the 16-foot whale spent Monday night in the beach parking lot until a larger container was brought in on Tuesday to haul it away.

"It's heartbreaking, honestly," Rogers said.

"It's too bad they didn't manage it a little bit better," said Rye resident Jen Carney.

Chief Walsh says it was a lesson learned the hard way. On behalf of all the agencies involved, he promised to do a better job next time.

A necropsy on the whale was scheduled for Wednesday.

Biologists are hoping to learn more about the minke whale and what may be causing others to wash ashore from Florida to Maine.

Photo Credit: @SchreiberNews]]>
<![CDATA[SF Neighborhoods Among Most Trending for Millennials: Report]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:18:22 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP+San+Francisco+Edited.jpg

The city of San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist spots in the world.

Known for its famous spots like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge as well as its spunky vibe and cool aesthetic, it’s no surprise millennials are making their way to the most popular city in the Bay.

Apartment finder RENTCafé ranked zip codes in the 30 biggest cities in the United States by the highest increase in millennial population, its largest share of millennials and by the highest number of total millennials and a few SF neighborhoods appeared on their list.

On the top 20 zip codes with the highest increase in millennial share, the Castro District, with zip code 94114 and a 37.4 percent increase, was listed at No. 9 with a total of 12,500 millennials.

Glen Park, 94131, took the No. 14 spot with 9,000 millennials and a 35.5 percent increase.

San Francisco also made it on the list with the zip codes with the largest share of millennials. Mission Bay was placed at No. 10 with 63 percent share.

The Inner Mission neighborhood barely made the top 20 list of zip codes with the largest number of millennial population. With 30,500 millennials, 94110 capped off the list at No. 20.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jailhouse Interview With Man Convicted in Bizarre Kidnapping]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 23:48:09 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/muller_jailhouse_0919_4286258.JPG

The man convicted in the bizarre "Gone Girl" kidnapping and assault involving a Vallejo couple in 2015 told NBC Bay Area he's not guilty during an exclusive jailhouse interview Wednesday night.

Matthew Muller, a Harvard-educated lawyer, also is accused of raping Denise Huskins and assaulting her boyfriend Aaron Quinn. He is defending himself, acting as his own attorney, and on Wednesday night, he broke his silence.

"I want them to know I am and remain extremely sorry for their ordeal, and I have done what I can," he said.

Prosecutors say Muller entered the couple's Vallejo home as they slept, tied them up, drugged them then kidnapped and raped Huskins. Vallejo police initially deemed the crime a hoax plotted by the two victims, thus drawing comparisons to the 2014 thriller "Gone Girl."

Muller pleaded guilty in federal court last year to the kidnapping charge in exchange for a 40-year sentence. But on Wednesday, he said he plans to fight state charges he kidnapped and raped Huskins and falsely imprisoned her fiancé.

"It’s pretty simple. I’m not guilty," Muller said, adding that he wanted to help the couple in some way but was not mentally sound when he took the federal deal. "I fell in severe depression while at the Sacramento jail. I didn’t care what happened to me."

Muller is married now and has hopes of seeing freedom someday. He plans to use a mental illness defense as he fights the charges. He says there’s much more to the bizarre case that he plans to reveal.

"I'd really love to take the stand and be asked questions, and I don’t have to think about anything again, just telling the truth," he said. "It’s a very intricate story, but it also a true one. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes, but it will come out, and there’s evidence for exactly what happened."

Muller is scheduled to appear next week in a preliminary hearing, and he likely will directly question Huskins and Quinn. But he says he doesn’t want to cause them any more pain.

"I understand Huskins and Quinn’s wedding is coming up soon," Muller said. "I did not control the timing on this. To suggest somehow I’ve plotted to make this happen right before they got married is ridiculous."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Vallco Shopping Mall to Be Transformed Into Housing Units]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 23:34:35 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cupertino_Leaders_Weight_Vallco_Mall_Development_Plan.jpg

The Vallco Shopping Mall in Cupertino is going to be transformed into at least 2,400 housing units, half of them which will be affordable to low-income and very low-income people, officials confirmed Wednesday.

"Cupertino, like the entire Bay Area, is in desperate need of housing of all kinds," said Senator Scott Wiener. "The Vallco project includes historic amounts of market rate and affordable homes."

In addition to homes, the old mall, which is located in front of the Apple headquarters, will also have retail stores and office space. Construction to transform the old mall is set to begin soon and cost a total of $4 billion.

The project was at a halt for years due to local opposition, but after months of a heated debate, the Cupertino City Council sided with developers, saying it will be a big boost to the local economy.

"I want to thank the Cupertino City Council for working diligently to guarantee that housing will finally be built at the defunct Vallco Mall," Wiener said.

<![CDATA[SF County Agency Plans Toll For Treasure Island]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:18:41 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/treasure_island_0919_4286108.JPG

Spectacular views are a big draw for visitors to Treasure Island. But would you pay a toll for access?

Michael Bartell doesn't think so.

"Having to pay to get on the island, it's gonna deter people from coming where I work," Bartell said.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is planning to charge drivers a toll to get on and get off the island starting in 2021. People who call the island home say it's not fair.

"If you live here, I think it's crazy," resident Raymond Harden said. "You've gotta be considerate of the people here going back and forth."

The proposed tolls vary. The most expensive during weekday peak hours would be $3.50 to get on the island and $3.50 to get off. It drops to a dollar each way on the weekend.

Planners say island workers and residents would likely get a discount.

"We're offering one toll-free round trip per household per day for long term residents of Treasure Island as well as residents in below-market housing," said Eric Young, spokesman for the SFCTA.

Planners are hoping the tolls help prevent gridlock. As the island is built up and goes from 2,000 people to 25,000, they hope people will choose public transit.

The money from the tolls will help pay for more bus service and a ferry connecting to San Francisco.

Resident Werner Von Stein isn't buying it.

"This whole thing, they want to charge a tax," Von Stein said. "It's a fancy scheme to milk people, which they shouldn't do."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Proposition 10 a Key Issue in Bay Area Housing Crisis]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:20:52 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/prop_10_0919_4284623.JPG

As Election Day approaches, homelessness is one of the issues on the minds of many California voters, likely making Proposition 10 a contentious item on the ballot.

If Prop. 10 passes, cities and counties will be able to adopt stronger rent control laws.

But not everyone is on board. Opponents of the proposition say it will slow the production of new units for low-income families, the people hardest hit by the housing crisis.

Supporters of Prop. 10, on the other hand, say the state needs to protect overburdened renters who are not just being pushed out of their neighborhoods but out of the state.

"It’s almost like being a sharecropper," Oakland resident Merika Reagan said. "You work so hard just to have a roof over your head."

Reagan has lived in the Bay Area all her life. At first, she couldn’t afford San Francisco. Now, it seems she can’t afford Oakland either.

"The thought of having to shut my business down and move to another state and try to start up again is completely terrifying," she said.

Moving to Texas with her partner is Reagan's last resort if their landlord continues to raise the rent.

"They wanted to increase it to month to month $1,000 dollars," she said. "My pay is not increasing like that!"

Reagan in November is voting yes on Prop. 10, which repeals the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act. It would allow cities across California to adopt rent control on all types of housing, including new apartment buildings.

It’s an issue an analyst with UC Berkeley’s HAAS Institute isn’t just researching but also is living through.

"I am unable to afford a place in Berkeley, so I commute a pretty far distance to work every day," researcher Nicole Montojo said.

A recent report Montojo co-authored says rent control won’t solve California’s homeless crisis. But it will stabilize housing costs.

"It’s all about profit, dollars, and how can our shareholders make as much money as possible," Reagan said.

The report’s findings won’t convince everybody, including Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, who plans to vote no on Prop. 10. Opponents such as Butt argue rent control can have negative consequences like less tax revenue for cities.

"If the repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Housing Act passes, I don’t think you’ll ever see a new rental project built in Richmond," he said.

Whether or not Prop. 10 passes in November, researchers agree it’s not going to fix the Bay Area’s housing shortage.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Emergency Crews Hold Plane Crash Drill at SFO]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 17:49:26 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0919SFODrill_4284227.JPG

Two words you never want to hear coming from the control tower at San Francisco International Airport: alert three. It signals the most dangerous kind of crash or serious incident.

On Wednesday, emergency responders, airport personnel and volunteers rehearsed for just that kind of situation as part of SFO's annual exercise. Last year, the airport practiced for an active shooter response. This year's scenario was a plane crash in the Bay.

NBC Bay Area's Sam Brock has more in the video report above.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bomb Threat at Cunha Middle School Not Credible: Sheriff]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 15:13:26 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/new2016-breaker3.jpg

A middle school in Half Moon Bay was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat Wednesday morning, according to the Cabrillo Unified School District.

San Mateo County Sherriff's Office investigated the bomb threat to Manuel F. Cunha Intermediate, a public middle school that educates students from 6th to 8th grade, and concluded that it was not credible.

"#CunhaSchool has been searched. There is no threat to the public. We are working with School Officials and will provide more information shortly," the Sheriff's Office tweeted in the afternoon.

No other information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[Santa Clara Removes Chamber as Convention Center Manager]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 20:42:53 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sc_convention_0919_4284351.JPG

The city of Santa Clara on Wednesday fired the Chamber of Commerce as manager of the Santa Clara Convention Center after an audit revealed millions of dollars lost due to mismanagement and questionable deals.

Santa Clara calls its convention center and visitors bureau the city’s crown jewels, but some describe them now as money pits.

The city ordered the audit in February when the Chamber of Commerce requested an extra half-million dollars for operating costs. The audit revealed Santa Clara suffered more than $20 million in losses over seven years.

"So that’s a big number," city spokeswoman Lenka Wright said. "Think of what that could be spent on. This is taxpayer dollars."

The city sent a letter to the chamber Wednesday, essentially terminating its duties as operator of the convention center. City officials are upset over hundreds of unexplained free deals and discounts from "mismanagement" or "conflicts of interest," the letter explains.

"There was an event involving a religious organization that received $1.3 million in discounts, and that’s something we hope the chamber can explain to us," Wright said.

Chamber CEO Nicholas Kaspar says the agency is still reviewing how many customers would have booked at the convention center without a special deal.

"Sometimes it makes business sense to waive a $10,000 room rental if they’re going to spend $200,000 on food and beverage costs," he said.

The city will lay out its bidding process to find new operators on Oct. 9.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[One Dead in Head-On Crash in Rural South San Jose]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 22:09:22 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj_fatal_0919_4284470.JPG

San Jose police responded Wednesday to a fatal head-on crash on McKean Road south of Bailey Avenue, near the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club, police said.

A man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and the other driver had to be extricated from his vehicle, according to the San Jose Fire Department.

The second driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, police said. 

The crash occurred just after 2 p.m. when for unknown reasons a Toyota Corrolla traveling northbound on McKean crossed the center line and collided with a BMW, police said.

McKean Road, a two-lane road in a rural area of San Jose, was closed in both directions for hours as the crash scene was investigated, police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Garcia said. Drugs or alcohol were not believed to be factors in the crash.

The victim's name was not released Wednesday, police said. 

It was San Jose's 32nd fatal collision and 34th victim of 2018, Garcia said.

Anyone with information about the crash is urged to contact Detective Leanne Alfonzo of the San Jose Police Department's Traffic Investigations Unit at 408-277-4654.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['The Drug Llama' Indicted in Nationwide Fentanyl Case]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:36:15 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gavel-generic-courtroom-seal-san-diego.jpg

A San Diego woman was indicted on conspiracy to distribute fentanyl via the “dark web,” according to a complaint filed in Illinois.

Melissa Scanlan, 31, of San Diego uses the name "The Drug Llama" online. She appeared in court on Sept. 17 in San Diego to face charges of shipping more than 50,000 fentanyl pills across the U.S.

Federal prosecutors allege Scanlan conspired to distribute the misbranded fentanyl pills from at least Oct. 1, 2016, until Aug. 2, 2018. She’s also accused of money laundering. 

The charges carry a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful and deadly than morphine, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion Strolls Through San Mateo Neighborhood]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:15:44 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/09192018MtLion_4282524.JPG

Another mountain lion has been spotted in a San Mateo neighborhood, police said.

The latest sighting was reported around 2 a.m. Monday in the area of 37th Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas. Home surveillance video shows what appears to be an adult mountain lion walking through the residential neighborhood.

Monday's incident follows several other mountain lion sightings in San Mateo this year.

On Aug. 14, a small mountain lion was spotted in the area of Fernwood Street.

On Aug. 7, a mountain lion was caught on camera prowling in a backyard on Hobart Avenue.

On July 16, an 80-poung mountain lion was tranquilized after being spotted in the backyard of a home on Virginia Avenue.

On April 19, a mountain lion was spotted near two schools in San Mateo.

Police have provided the following safety tips regarding mountain lions:

It is rare for a mountain lion to approach humans, however you can follow a few simple rules to help keep you and your family safe:

  • Do not feed deer. It is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.
  • If you see a mountain lion DO NOT APPROACH IT, especially one that is feeding or with offspring. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation.
  • Avoid hiking or jogging through wooded areas when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, or at night.
  • Keep a close watch on small children when hiking or traveling in or near wooded areas.
  • If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.

<![CDATA[Temple Recruit Ineligible to Play HS Football Due to Homelessness]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:26:37 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/thumbnail+%285%296.png

Update: A homeless shelter has offered Jamal Speaks housing, and D.C. Public Schools said he can play for the Ballou football team again. Go here to see updates

A homeless student in Washington, D.C., who has an offer to play college football was kicked off his high school football team because he doesn't have a permanent address.

Jamal Speaks, a football player for the Ballou High School Knights, is being recruited by Temple University, the school confirmed in an email to NBC.

The senior said Temple coaches attended a Ballou game on Saturday to see him in action. But before the 18-year-old stepped onto the field, Speaks said he was sidelined because of concerns with his residency status. 

"It's a heartbreak," Speaks told News4. "I can't even practice right now."

D.C. Public Schools officials say the District of Columbia State Athletic Association determined that Speaks is eligible to play, but they say the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association ruled that he is ineligible because they could not verify his address.

Speaks said his father is deceased and he doesn't have a relationship with his mother. With no family support, the teen sleeps on friends' couches. 

He said he faced a similar problem two years ago, but thought the issue had been resolved.

"I already proved that I was a homeless resident," he said.

According to The Washington Post, Ballou Principal Willie Jackson pulled Speaks from Saturday's game and threatened to fire the football coach if he let him play.

"It was demeaning to the young man," said reporter Monet Anderson, who covers high school football games in the region for Top Sports.

Ward 8 Council Member Trayon White wrote a letter to the school system in support of Speaks.

"It’s incumbent upon me to get this boy support he needs to not only play football but to be successful in life and go to college," White said.

Speaks says he just hopes to practice with teammates, graduate and attend Temple University.

Asked if the DCIAA's decision will affect Speaks' eligibility to receive an athletic  scholarship, a spokesman for Temple University Athletics told NBC, "Due to NCAA regulations concerning high school student athletes, we are not permitted to comment further."

Photo Credit: News4]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Artist Travels the World to Make Models Disappear]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:59:03 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bodyartthumbnail.jpg

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Trina Merry]]>
<![CDATA[Body Painter Makes Her Models Disappear Into Landmarks]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:28:49 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Golden-Gate-Bridge_San-Francisco_Raphael_Three-Graces_Bodypaint_Camouflage_Body-Art_Trina-Merry-High-Res.jpg

Trina Merry is a fine arts painter. But rather than painting on a canvas or wood or any other inanimate material most artists turn to, she prefers something a little more… shall we say lifelike? As in — the human body.

The New York-by-way-of-the Bay Area artist has emerged as one of the leading body painting artists, known for her skill at camouflaging her models into their respective backgrounds.

“I love that my canvas is alive and has heartbeat and a twinkle in their eye,” Merry said during a painting excursion in the vineyards of Healdsburg’s Jordan Winery, where she painted model Kerstin Tuning to disappear into a row of grapevines. “It’s a really special experience between myself and the model and the environment.”

Merry has painted models into Egyptian pyramids, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Golden Gate Bridge. Her slight of hand is all in the body paints which she uses to blend her models into each setting. Afterward she photographs model and scene, creating a lasting art work of colorful optical illusion.

“I hope through a lot of my artwork people are able to accept their bodies a bit more,” Merry said, “and are maybe willing to think about the human body in a different way.”

Nestled into a row of grapevines, Merry brushed swaths of green paint onto the body and face of Tuning whom she’s worked with numerous times over the last nine years. She imitated the sprawling tentacles of the vines and the deep purple of cabernet grapes on Tuning’s torso — checking the shifting shadows for accuracy. Tuning stood stoically as the layers of paint formed a colorful second skin.

“It never stops getting exciting,” Tuning said. “You always know it’s going to turn out good especially working with Trina, but you don’t really understand her full vision until you see that final product.”

The final product is the photograph Merry snaps at the end of each session — gently manipulated by computer — but mostly a true capture of the final scene. A body is covered partially in the bricks of the Great Wall of China, or the stones of Egypt’s great pyramids or the beams of the Brooklyn Bridge.

“From my perspective of my camera where I’m standing at the exact perspective point,” Merry explained gesturing toward her model, “she will disappear.”

Merry’s foray into the world of body art painting began with a bolt of lighting. Actual lightning. She said she was driving her car in Los Angeles when she was struck by a lightning bolt. It seemed to alter her trajectory. Afterward she was sensitive to electricity so she moved to Yosemite.

While there she chanced upon a concert in which the band Red Paintings invited her on stage to be body painted. She ended-up on tour with the band and dove into the art. She attended art school in the Bay Area where she received some valuable wisdom.

“I went back home to California and took some art history classes,” Merry said, “and one of my professors said do you just want to make popular art or do you want to make great art?”

Merry rates some of her art as bad — some of it great. She said her drive for experimentation rips away the safety net beneath her artistic tightrope — leaving her to fail or succeed, but neither without extensive effort.

In the vineyard Tuning resembled a human grapevine; her stomach covered in grapes, a trunk climbing her leg and her torso mirroring even the white agricultural sunscreen sprayed onto the grapevines to protect the crop. Merry sat on a bench checking her phone and attending to her yipping dog as she patiently waited for the sun to turn a glowing orange before picking up her camera and clicking off several last shots.

“Actually that’s great,” she said reviewing the image.

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<![CDATA[Parents Rally Following Violent Threats at East Bay Schools]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:23:51 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PittsburgHSThumb_4281608.JPEG

Parents rallied outside an East Bay high school Wednesday morning after violent threats made over the weekend against the school led to arrests of four minors.

"These kids think they’re untouchable and can get away with anything. Thank you very much for posting it because if you didn’t post it, we couldn’t catch you," said one parent, Christina White, who gathered outside Pittsburg High School.

Four students, all minors and three of which attends Pittsburg, were arrested and held at Juvenile Hall for making violent threats towards the school on social media.

While police concluded that the messages were "not a credible threat nor was it intended to be any kind of threat," recent school shootings across the county concerns parents as well as other students.

One of the message posted online included a photo of a minor reportedly pointing a gun at the school. Police investigation found that the gun in the photo wasn't a gun and no weapons were located during the arrests.

A Pittsburg High School junior, Suleyma Luis, said she stayed home on Monday because she didn't feel safe coming to her own school.

"Unfortunately people thrive off of fear, that’s what this is. A form of terriorsim if you will," Pittsburg Police Chief Brian Addington said.

The threat at Pittsburg High School comes on the heels of similar incidents that occurred at at least two other East Bay high schools over the past few days, according to police.

Extra police officers patrolled Livermore High School this week after students found a note that "alleged a direct threat" to the school, according to police.

In nearby Concord, police on Monday investigated a possible threat of a shooting at Clayton Valley Charter High School, according to the city's police department. The possible threat was allegedly made on a social media post, and several students reported hearing about the rumored threat, but police were unable to find anyone who actually came across the post or could tell them about who may have created it.

"It is safe here. It’s unfortunate that we had some students that want to pull a prank that involves violence at schools," said Wolfgag Croskey, a Pittsburg High alumnus.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Body More Than 1,000 Feet Deep in Lake Tahoe Recovered]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:46:17 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/LakeTahoe1.JPG

In what's being called an "unprecedented" effort, a team on Monday recovered a body 1,062 feet below the surface of Lake Tahoe, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office. 

Crews utilized an underwater remote-operated vehicle to retrieve the body of 33-year-old Cameron Park resident Chaitanya Datla, who reportedly drowned roughly one week prior, according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office called the recovery "unprecedented" due to the technology that was needed in order to pull off the retrieval and the extreme depths of the alpine lake. Lake Tahoe is more than 1,600 feet deep at its deepest point.

A local resident recently donated the remote-operated vehicle used in the mission to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, according to an El Dorado sheriff's official. Douglas County deputies just so happened to recently complete remote-operated vehicle and sonar training.

Members of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and South Lake Tahoe Fire Department worked with a number of other agencies to pull off the recovery.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Willow Glen Residents, Authorities Tackle Recent Crime Wave]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:38:47 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/EddieGarcia.JPG

Residents living in one of San Jose's more upscale neighborhoods will meet with authorities Wednesday night to learn more about how to protect themselves as the area endures a spate of crimes, including home invasion robberies, burglaries and auto thefts — some happening in broad daylight.

Wednesday night's crime prevention meeting in Willow Glen marks the second such meeting in recent weeks.

More than 200 people filled the Willow Glen Community Center for the first meeting in which San Jose Police Department Chief Eddie Garcia received an earful from residents frustrated by criminals seemingly targeting their neighborhood.

Garcia announced the creation of a proactive burglary unit to bust rings of thieves and a soon-to-come street crimes unit. He also said that police will respond to alarms whether they're verified or not.

Since the meeting, some residents said they're not seeing much of a difference.

"All I read is in the neighborhood watch is that the police officers are slow in responding to crime," Leonard Marrufo said.

Some residents have argued that police should be increasing patrols in the neighborhood rather than putting crime prevention in the hands of ordinary citizens.

The latest crime prevention meeting is scheduled to take place between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Willow Glen Community Center located on Lincoln Avenue.

San Jose police and representatives from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will be in attendance talking about prevention methods, crime trends in the city and the judicial process for those who get busted.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Visit a National Park for Free on National Public Lands Day]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 03:11:09 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TRIPTYCH.jpg

Summer officially comes to a close this Saturday, but that doesn't mean summer lovers can't enjoy one last thrilling — and free — adventure.

Saturday marks National Public Lands Day, which means people can pay a visit to a national park without actually having to pay an entrance fee, according to the National Park Service.

National Public Lands Day "celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and general health," according to the NPS. This year, the event is focused on the restoration and resilience of public lands across the country.

Aside from trekking to a national park, folks can also celebrate National Public Lands Day by participating in a volunteer work project. Volunteers will be treated to a coupon that they can use to enter a national park free of charge on a future day.

National Public Lands Day occurs annually on the fourth Saturday of September, according to the NPS. Saturday will mark the 25th anniversary of the event.

After Saturday, the last entrance fee-free day this year at national parks is Veterans Day on Nov. 11, according to the NPS.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>