SF News

San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday News Roundup

Two Shot To Death In San Jose

Two people who were shot to death in San Jose over the weekend in a double homicide have been identified as Eric Kenzo Otokawa and Kristina Lynn Pandula, both former San Jose State University students.

Otokawa, 21, of San Jose, and Pandula, 20, of Sunnyvale, were found shot in the 800 block of South Third Street around 11 a.m. Saturday.    

Otokawa was pronounced dead at the scene and Pandula was taken to a hospital for treatment but died of her injuries on Sunday night, police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

The motive for the shootings has not yet been determined and the suspect remains at large, according to police.

Police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said Monday morning the case does not appear to be a murder-suicide.

University spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris Monday said that Pandula was a pre-nursing student who was last enrolled in classes over the summer. She was associated with the Delta Gamma sorority, Harris said.

Otokawa, who had not yet declared a major, was last enrolled in classes in the spring. He had listed his hometown as Atlanta, Ga., Harris said.

She said the school has been working with campus communities affected by the shooting, which occurred several blocks south of the campus.

SunEdison Relocating From Maryland To Silicon Valley

Gov. Jerry Brown was in San Mateo County Monday to mark the relocation of the country's largest solar energy company to Belmont.

The relocation of SunEdison, formerly based in Maryland, is projected to bring around 300 new jobs to Silicon Valley over the next five years, according to the company's president Carlos Domenech.

The company's move was facilitated by the passage of Assembly Bill X1 15, a bill benefiting solar companies that was authored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-South San Francisco, and signed into law by the governor in June.

The bill ensures similar tax benefits for solar companies who lease property as for those who own, according to the governor's office.

SunEdison has leased a formerly vacant property for its headquarters at 600 Clipper Drive.

"I'm thrilled that the collaborative efforts of state government and the city of Belmont resulted in SunEdison's relocation, which will create hundreds of local jobs," Hill said in a statement.

Brown said the company's relocation is part of his administration's goal to aggressively make California a world leader in the solar power industry.

"Not only are we going to make it the national leader, which it already is, but we're going to make it a world leader," Brown said.

The governor said that Fremont-based Solyndra, a federally funded solar company that declared bankruptcy over the summer, was a victim of the "capitalist process" and should not be taken as a symbol of the solar industry as a whole.

Occupy San Francisco Protest Combines With World Homeless Action Day

A group of homeless people and their advocates gathered at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza Monday to march and "occupy" vacant properties as part of World Homeless Action Day, organizers said.

"Homes Not Jails," a group that advocates using vacant and abandoned housing for the homeless, rally began at 5 p.m. at Civic Center and marched directly to vacant properties, "reclaiming them for homeless families and individuals," the group said in a press release.

Organizers said the group planned to occupy over 10 vacant buildings with more than 700 housing units.

Citing 2010 U.S. Census data, the group claims that more than 10,000 people are homeless in San Francisco on any given day and that the city has 30,000 vacant housing units.

World Homeless Action Day is a worldwide event held on Oct. 10 each year "to draw attention to homeless people's needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness," the World Homeless Day website states.

The nonprofit Food Not Bombs provided hot meals at Monday's event in San Francisco.

The action is in solidarity with fellow activist groups "OccupySF" and "Occupy Oakland," organizers said.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office Investigating Body Found In Aptos

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office is investigating the discovery of a woman's body in Aptos Monday afternoon.    

A worker with the California Conservation Corps found the body around 12:20 p.m. about 100 feet below a railroad trestle at Soquel and Spreckels drives, sheriff's Lt. Bob Pursley said.

He said detectives are investigating whether the woman, who appears to be in her 40s, fell from the trestle.

The case is being investigated as a suspicious death.

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Bill To Prohibit Californians From Openly Carrying Unloaded Guns

Hours after Gov. Jerry Brown announced he had signed a bill to prohibit Californians from openly carrying unloaded handguns, law enforcement officials and Bay Area activists on both sides of the issue were divided about the newly passed legislation.

AB 144 bans the open carrying of handguns in public places or in vehicles, and makes the act a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison or a maximum $1,000 fine.

Law enforcement officials throughout the state praised the governor's move Monday, saying the new law would promote public safety.    

Livermore police Officer David Blake said that while he respects constitutional gun rights, the open carrying of guns has had a negative impact on the community, prompting numerous concerned calls from citizens.      

Bay Area gun control advocates also commended the governor's decision on the open carry bill Monday.    

"We are elated that the governor had the courage to stand up to the NRA and stand with law enforcement and many victims of gun violence to pass AB 144," said Karen Arntzen, who works with the Contra Costa County chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Over the past two years, Arntzen has helped organize protests at Bay Area restaurants where open carry proponent groups have hosted armed meetings.

Those groups include statewide chapters of Responsible Citizens of California, an organization that advocates the right to open carry.

Yih-Chau Chang, the organization's press secretary, said the group was disappointed with the governor's approval of AB 144, but that "this certainly is not going to stop the open carry of handguns."

He said open carry proponents statewide are already planning to challenge the law in court.

$1,000 Reward For Safe Return Of Scottsdate Pond Bronze Pelican

Novato police have offered a $1,000 reward in connection with the theft of a 700-pound bronze pelican sculpture from a park at Scottsdale Pond.    

The bronze statue that was affixed to a stone was severed and stolen between Oct. 3 and Oct. 8, police said.    

The sculpture, called Omay, a Miwok word for pelican, depicts a pelican in flight, and is the work of Idaho artist David Clemons. It was commissioned by the city in 2007.

Novato police Sgt. Eric Riddell said the sculpture on the west side of Scottsdale Pond is not easily visible from Redwood and Rowland boulevards, west of U.S. Highway 101.

The thief or thieves might have stolen the bronze pelican to get cash for the metal that fetches $9 a pound, Riddell said.

Man Arrested In Oakland In Connection With 2007 Homocide Of Father And Baby

Authorities arrested a man in Oakland Monday morning in connection with a 2007 cold case homicide of a father and his baby in Sacramento, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said.

Donald Ortez-Lucero, 27, was arrested at his residence in Oakland and booked into Alameda County Jail without bail on suspicion of murder.

On Sept. 14, 2007, Sacramento County Sheriff deputies responded to a call of an injured baby at the corner of Country Greens Court and First Draw Way in Sacramento.

Eight-month-old Sean Aquitania, Jr. was found by deputies with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, sheriff's officials said.

Further investigation led deputies to a residence in the 8400 block of Country Greens Court where 21-year-old Sean Aquitania, the child's father. He suffered two gunshot wounds to his upper body and died at the scene, according to the sheriff's department.

New information led to the identification and arrest of Ortez-Lucero as a suspect involved in the shooting but his exact role is still under investigation, sheriff's officials said.

Authorities are still searching for at least two additional suspects in connection to the murders.

The first suspect was described as a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic male, approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall and between 180 and 200 pounds.

He wore an Oakland A's baseball cap and jersey and was clean-shaven with the exception of a thin moustache, authorities said.

The second suspect is described as a dark-skinned male with a round face and stocky build. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana or something covering his face, authorities said.

Investigators believe he sustained an injury, possibly a gunshot wound, to his lower body during the crime and may have sought treatment for the injury.

U.S. Army Spc. Ricardo Cerros, Jr. Killed In Afghanistan

U.S. Army Spc. Ricardo Cerros Jr., 24, of Salinas, was killed Saturday when insurgents attacked his unit in Afghanistan's Logar Province, the Department of Defense announced.

Cerros was killed during a heavy firefight against insurgents barricaded in a compound.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.    

Cerros attended Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas and received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Irvine. After graduating, he joined the Army in July 2010 and the 75th Ranger Regiment in March 2011.

He trained at Fort Benning, Ga., and this was his first deployment to Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. David Hodne, commander of the regiment, released a statement on the U.S. Army website conveying his condolences to Cerros' family.

"Spc. Ricardo Cerros was incredibly talented and a well respected member of this battalion," Hodne said. "He was a warrior who lost his life while fighting courageously alongside his fellow Rangers. We will honor his service to our country and never forget his sacrifice."

Cerros is survived by his father, Ricardo Cerros Sr.; stepmother, Deborah A. Cerros; and his mother, Maqueirte D. Cuevas of Gary, Ind. He is also survived by his brothers Nicholas and Marko, and sister Theresa.

Rave Organizers In Daly City's Cow Palace Required To Enforce Safety Guidelines

Organizers of raves or other large events held on state property like Daly City's Cow Palace will have to ensure that safety guidelines are met before hosting the event, according to legislation signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Assembly Bill 74, authored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, was formulated in response to deaths in 2010 at large raves at the Daly City venue as well as at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The legislation by Ma, whose district also includes Daly City, requires the governing board of a state fairground to perform a threat assessment prior to hosting an event with an expected attendance of 10,000 or more people.

If the board concludes that there is a strong possibility of loss of life or harm to an event's participants, its organizers must develop an event action plan that will address law enforcement on site, as well as adequate medical personnel and availability of water.

The legislation also requires the plan to determine whether age restrictions should be put in place for the event, and the potential need for educational pamphlets to help alleviate any risk the event might pose.    

The legislation is the product of months of collaboration between city and police officials, medical responders, event organizers and others, according to Ma's office.

In May 2010, two people died, several were hospitalized and more than 70 others were arrested on drug-related charges following the "etd.POP 2010" festival at the Cow Palace.

Last October, more than a dozen people were taken from Live 105's "Subsonic Spookfest" at the Cow Palace to hospitals with alcohol- and drug-related illnesses.

In June 2010, a 15-year-old girl also died at a rave at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The Cow Palace's board of directors voted last November to place a moratorium on raves at the venue.

Contra Costa Coroner's Office Identified Antioch Shooting Victim

The Contra Costa County coroner's office has identified an Antioch man who was shot and killed Saturday as 20-year-old Dimontai Glaspie.

Police found Glaspie suffering from gunshot wounds outside of a home in the 2300 block of Dogwood Way in Antioch around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

He was transported to a nearby medical center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said Sunday that they are searching for two suspects seen fleeing from the scene Saturday night.

One suspect is described as a black man in his early 20s with short hair, about 6 feet tall, and weighing approximately 170 pounds.

Police described the second suspect as a black man between 18 and 22 years old, about 5 feet 7 inches or 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighing about 150 pounds.

Glaspie's murder came just 24 hours after a 36-year-old Antioch man was shot in Parkgreen Circle. The man was listed in serious condition but was expected to survive.

Early Voting Begins For November Election In San Francisco

Today marks the first day of early voting in the November election in San Francisco, in which voters will decide the city's new mayor, district attorney and sheriff, as well as several propositions.

Starting today, San Francisco residents can vote by visiting the Department of Elections office at City Hall between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Those hours are for Monday through Friday, and there will also be an opportunity to vote at City Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the two weekends prior to the Nov. 8 election.

Today is also when vote-by-mail ballots will begin being sent, and is the deadline for when the Department of Elections is required to have sent voter information pamphlets to all currently registered voters.

San Francisco voters will have a lot of information to wade through, particularly in the mayor's race where there are 16 candidates on the ballot and voters are allowed to choose three candidates in the ranked-choice system.

There are also two dueling measures on the ballot, Propositions C and D, which propose differing ways to reform the pension benefits for city workers. Voters will also determine the fate of proposed bonds to provide funding for schools and to repair and upgrade city streets.

More information about early voting, voting by mail and the voter information pamphlet is available at www.sfelections.org/toolkit or by calling (415) 554-4375.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

Mostly cloudy skies are expected in the Bay Area this morning, with patchy fog and a slight chance of rain in the morning, and becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon. Highs are likely to be in the 60s.

Mostly clear skies are likely this evening. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.

Sunny skies are expected Wednesday. Highs in the 60s to mid 70s are expected.

 

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City, County Officials Unveil Potrero Hill Park's New Additions

City and county officials gathered last week to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Potrero Hill Playground, the newly renovated play area found in a corner of the Potrero Hill neighborhood park.

"We are thrilled to open the newly renovated and improved playground and play field that will serve as a community hub for the diverse families living on Potrero Hill," said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.

Construction on the $1.2 million renovation project began last fall, and was funded by a revenue bond.

Local residents can now enjoy improvements to the park's softball field, a 6,000-square-foot, fenced "tot lot" with play equipment, new picnic areas and updates to make the park more ADA compliant, officials said.

"I look forward to renovating and building many more new playgrounds in our district serving children and families in our vibrant neighborhoods," said San Francisco County Supervisor Malia Cohen, who attended the playground's ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.

 

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Man Who Rear-Ended Car Near USF Thursday Succumbs To Injuries Day Later

A man whose car rear-ended another vehicle near the University of San Francisco early Thursday morning succumbed to his injuries at the hospital the following day, according to the medical examiner's office.

Brandon Solem, 33, died on Friday, a day after the crash at 12:33 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Fulton and Stanyan streets, medical examiner's officials said.

Solem, a San Francisco resident, was driving west on Fulton Street when his vehicle smashed into the rear of a car stopped at a red light at Stanyan Street, police said.

The impact caused the car stopped at the light to overturn, according to police.

Both drivers were taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where Solem died.

According to his website, Solem was a web designer who also previously worked as a graphic designer for SF Weekly and East Bay Express.

The 27-year-old woman driving the car that was rear-ended is expected to survive, police said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

 

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Low Cloud Ceiling Causes Flight Delays

A low cloud ceiling is causing delays at San Francisco International Airport this afternoon, an airport duty manager said.

The arriving flights are the most affected, but some departing flights are behind schedule as well, the duty manager said.

The delays, which are averaging 80 minutes, are expected to continue through midnight.

 

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Homeless, Activists To Occupy Vacant Buildings

A group of homeless people and their advocates will gather at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza today to march and "occupy" vacant properties as part of World Homeless Action Day, organizers said.

"Homes Not Jails," a group that advocates using vacant and abandoned housing for the homeless, will rally beginning at 5 p.m. at Civic Center and march directly to vacant properties, "reclaiming them for homeless families and individuals," the group said in a press release.

Organizers said the group plans to occupy over 10 vacant buildings with more than 700 housing units. They did not specify which buildings will be targeted.

Citing 2010 U.S. Census data, the group claims that more than 10,000 people are homeless in San Francisco on any given day and that the city has 30,000 vacant housing units.

World Homeless Action Day is a worldwide event held on Oct. 10 each year "to draw attention to homeless people's needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness," the World Homeless Day website states.

The nonprofit Food Not Bombs will provide hot meals at today's event in San Francisco.

The action is in solidarity with fellow activist groups "OccupySF" and "Occupy Oakland," organizers said.

 

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Update: Suicide Suspected In Death Of Man Found Near Geary And Gough

A man found dead near the intersection of Geary Boulevard and Gough Street in San Francisco this morning appears to have died by suicide, a police spokesman said.

The man's body was found at about 7:30 a.m. by a passerby who called 911, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

Esparza said it appears the case is a suicide, but police are waiting for an official confirmation from the medical examiner's office.

 

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'Occupy SF' Protester Arrested This Morning

Police arrested a protester with "Occupy SF" in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco this morning.

Witnesses said two officers approached a man sitting at the corner of Spear and Market streets after smelling marijuana smoke. The man extinguished the marijuana before being asked for his medical marijuana card, they said.

A protester who identified himself as "Gypsy" said police confiscated the man's cannabis card and threatened him with arrest.

Gypsy, who told a couple of people to record the incident on video, said he approached the group and tried to explain medical marijuana laws, acting as an on-the-spot legal counsel, but was told to go away by police.

"I was told I was interfering with a police investigation and told to go away," Gypsy said. "Police were asking that legal counsel be denied."

Gypsy said the man jokingly tried to run away and stopped before the two officers tackled and arrested him.

A Federal Reserve police officer said the man was arrested for assault.

 

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Woman Kicks Officer After Being Arrested For Public Intoxication

An unruly taxi passenger was jailed in San Francisco after refusing to pay her fare and then kicking a police officer when she was arrested for public intoxication, police said.

At about 4:40 a.m. Saturday, a cab driver came into the Police Department's Ingleside Station at 1 John V. Young Lane near Balboa Park to report that a passenger was refusing to pay.

An officer went outside to talk to the passenger, who was under the influence of alcohol and rambling incoherently, according to police.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of being intoxicated in public, and when she was brought into the police station to be processed, she kicked the officer in the leg, police said.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was then arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer.

 

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Two Sought In Bernal Heights Gold Chain Robbery

Two suspects snatched a gold chain from around a victim's neck in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, police said.

The robbery was reported at about 4 p.m. Saturday in the 3700 block of Mission Street near Highland Avenue.

The male victim said he was standing on the sidewalk when two suspects approached. One grabbed his gold chain and yanked it so hard that it broke, according to police.

The suspects then fled with the necklace, police said.

The victim was not injured in the robbery.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

 

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Body Found Near Geary And Gough This Morning

The San Francisco medical examiner's office is responding to an area near Geary Boulevard and Gough Street, where a body was found this morning.

A medical examiner's official said the death is being investigated.

An employee at a nearby business who did not want to be identified said she saw a body with a tarp over it, as well as several police and coroner's officials at the scene.

A police spokesperson was not immediately available with more information about the case.

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Monday News Roundup

San Jose Shooting Leads To A Second Death

A second victim in a double shooting has died, according to San Jose police.

The victim, a woman, was found on the 800 block of South Third Street around 11 a.m. Saturday along with a man, who was dead at the scene. The woman was transported to the hospital for treatment but died Sunday evening of her injuries, Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

Police anticipate releasing the identity of both victims in the shooting today, Dwyer said. Detectives are working the case around the clock and looking for witnesses.

The double shooting occurred shortly before a deputy-involved shooting about a mile and a half away in the area of Park Aavenue and Sunol Street.

Police said a Sheriff's deputy on patrol came across a suspect in a stolen vehicle shortly after 11 a.m., and fired several rounds after the suspect behaved in an allegedly threatening manner.

The suspect fled to a nearby industrial yard at 255 S. Montgomery St. In a search of the area, officers found Omar Muhdi, 37, and arrested him on suspicion of auto theft, possession of stolen property and parole violation.

The deputy that shot at the suspect has been placed on routine paid administrative leave. Since the shooting happened in the San Jose Police Department's jurisdiction, the San Jose police Homicide Unit is investigating the incident.

San Jose police are investigating the incident, which involved deputies from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office but took place within the Police Department's jurisdiction.

Tens Of Thousands Enjoy Fleet Week In San Francisco

Tens of thousands of people from throughout the Bay Area and beyond descended on San Francisco Sunday to catch a glimpse of the choreographed clusters of naval jets thundering overhead.

A trio of air shows Sunday afternoon marked the middle of Fleet Week San Francisco - an annual, weeklong celebration commemorating America's military sea servicemen and women.

In the interest of safety and due to some approaching fog over the bay, Navy officials cut short the highly anticipated Blue Angels jet show around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

But for the many onlookers who packed the Embarcadero Sunday, armed with cameras and binoculars, the earlier afternoon aviation displays were well worth the wait.

"I think (the planes) are really cool," said seven-year-old Isaac Eda of San Jose, who had spent the afternoon watching the Fleet Week air shows at Pier 39 with his dad. "I like the formations."    

For others, the multi-colored aircraft catapulting over the city Sunday were unexpected.

"It was a great surprise - it was extraordinary," said Jean-Marc Pascaud, a Frenchman visiting San Francisco on the last leg of an organized tour Sunday.

The organizers of this year's event said they planned to focus on emergency preparedness while paying homage to the 100th anniversary of the birth of naval aviation.

San Mateo PetSmart Clerk Injured During Armed Robbery

A clerk at a PetSmart store in San Mateo was injured during an armed robbery of the store on Saturday night, police said.

San Mateo police responded to reports of an armed robbery at the PetSmart at 3520 S. El Camino Real shortly after 8 p.m.

Police said that a suspect armed with a handgun entered the PetSmart and approached one of the sales clerks. The suspect demanded cash and then fired several shots at the clerk and fled from the store, police said.

The clerk, a 34-year-old San Mateo man, suffered a gunshot wound and was transported to a nearby hospital. His injuries were not life threatening, police said.

There were about 15 customers in the store at the time of the robbery, and police interviewed witnesses at the scene. Part of South El Camino Real was closed for about an hour during the investigation.

Police said the suspect is described as a black man between 30 and 35 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He was wearing a black cap and sweatshirt, police said.

Man Struck By Amtrak Train Near Martinez

A man was struck and killed by a westbound Amtrak train Sunday afternoon, according to Martinez police.

The collision was reported around 1:15 p.m. Responding officers found the adult male victim dead at the scene.    

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, police said.

Man Arrested Following Gang-Related Half Moon Bay Shooting

One man has been arrested following a gang-related shooting in Half Moon Bay, the second such shooting seen by the small coastal city in recent months.

The shooting was reported on the 400 block of Willow Avenue just before 9 p.m. on Friday, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Officers arriving on the scene found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

A suspect, identified as Jose Casillas Monroy, had allegedly fled the area on a bicycle. Deputies searched the area and found Monroy, a 29-year-old Half Moon Bay resident, on the 400 block of Cypress Avenue. He was detained and later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder with a gang enhancement.

Monroy and the victim are known to each other, Sheriff's office officials said.

An Aug. 14 shooting in Half Moon Bay that injured two people is also thought to have been related to a gang dispute, according to investigators. Four people have been arrested in connection with that shooting, including three Half Moon Bay men and one juvenile from Moss Beach.

Fairfield Man Attempted Suicide

A despondent Fairfield man allegedly attempted to commit suicide Saturday morning by trying to get police to shoot him, police said.

An officer encountered the man shortly before noon while he was patrolling an alley behind the Country Corner shopping complex.

The man stepped out from behind a parked BMW, faced the approaching officer, and allegedly said "shoot me" and reached into his jacket as if to retrieve a gun, according to police.

The officer made verbal commands to the man, which he refused. However, other officers arrived quickly and the man was taken into custody after a brief standoff.

Police have since learned that the man, a 65-year-old Fairfield resident, has been despondent over being homeless and having health problems. Witnesses saw him parked near the alley for approximately 2 hours, and told police that he asked people in the area when police would come by.    

A suicide note was found in his car that referred to him waiting to be shot by the police.

The man was taken to North Bay Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.

Santa Rosa Police Officer Hit Boy On Skateboard

A Santa Rosa police officer hit a 6-year-old boy on a skateboard while driving Saturday, sending the boy to the hospital, police said.    

The collision happened in the 900 block of Beaver Street at around 6 p.m.

The boy was transported to a local hospital, but his injuries were not life threatening, police said.

The incident is being investigated by the police department's traffic bureau and fault has not yet been determined.

Man Shot And Killed In Antioch

A man died after he was shot in Antioch Saturday evening, the second shooting to hit the small city this weekend, police said.

Police responded to reports that a man had been shot at 2327 Dogwood Way at 6:33 p.m. Saturday. Officers found a 24-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds there, Antioch police officials said.

The man was transported to a local hospital and later pronounced dead.

Police are seeking two suspects in connection with the shooting, who were seen fleeing the scene, police said.

One suspect is described as a black man in his early 20s with short hair. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 170 pounds, police said.

The second suspect is a black man between 18 and 22 years old, his is five feet seven inches or five feet eight inches tall, and weighs about 150 pounds, police said.

Antioch police are also investigating a Friday evening shooting of a 36-year-old man.

Around 5:55 p.m. a resident reported hearing shots fired and that people with guns were in their rear yard in the 4900 block of Parkgreen Circle.

Officers arrived at the neighborhood and found the man -- later identified as a neighbor -- suffering from two gunshot wounds. No other people were at the scene.

The man was taken to a hospital where he was listed in serious condition but is expected to survive, police said.

The motive for the shooting is unknown, according to police. 

Solano County Experiences Magnitude 2.5 Earthquake

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.5 struck in Solano County Sunday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey.    

The quake struck at 8:59 a.m. and had a preliminary depth of 7.1 miles, according to the USGS.

The epicenter was about 4 miles north of Vallejo.

Oakland Police Have Shooting Suspect In Custody

Oakland police have a suspect in custody in connection with a Saturday afternoon shooting that left one person in critical condition, Oakland police said.

The shooting happened at 2:50 p.m. in the 5600 block of International Boulevard. The victim was taken to a local hospital and is in critical condition, according to an Oakland police officer.

Police said a suspect is in custody in connection with the shooting.

A second shooting on Saturday injured one person, who was taken to a local hospital and is in stable condition, police said.

The shooting happened in the 1200 block of 78th avenue at 8:11 p.m., according to an Oakland police officer.

Police are seeking one suspect armed with firearm in connection with that shooting.

Albany Man Arrested In Suspicion Of Hit-And-Run

An 18-year-old Albany man was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of a hit and run crash while driving under the influence.

Police responded at 2 a.m. to a report of a driver fleeing after crashing his vehicle into a fire hydrant near Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Broadmoor Avenue.

Officers spotted a stopped car with noticeable front and side damage nearby.

They conducted a DUI investigation and determined the 18-year-old was responsible for the hydrant collision before arresting him.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

Mostly cloudy skies are expected in the Bay Area today, with patchy fog in the morning and a chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs are likely to be in the lower 60s.

Mostly cloudy skies with a chance of rain are likely this evening, and possibly more showers after midnight. Lows are expected to be around 60.

Partly cloudy skies are expected Tuesday morning, becoming sunny in the afternoon. Highs in the 60s are expected.

 

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Bay Area Sunday News Roundup

Family of Cupertino Gunman Issues Statement

The family of the alleged gunman in Wednesday's shooting rampage at a Cupertino quarry released a statement Saturday morning, expressing "heartfelt condolences" to those impacted by the events.

"There are no words that can express how very sorry we are, or how badly we feel," the family of Shareef Allman said. "We don't understand why this happened, and we truly wish that we could change the tragic events of this week."

The shooting occurred at about 4:15 a.m. at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant at 24001 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Cupertino when Allman allegedly opened fire on other employees gathered at a meeting.

John Robert Vallejos, 51, and Mark Munoz, 59, both of San Jose, as well as Manuel Guadalupe Pinon, 48, of Newman, died from injuries sustained during the shooting, according to the Santa Clara County sheriff's office.

Allman allegedly fled the worksite and carjacked a woman at gunpoint shortly before 7 a.m. in a Hewlett-Packard company parking lot. When the woman refused, he allegedly shot her once and fled. She sustained injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.

A day after the shooting, sheriff's deputies on patrol during the massive manhunt for Allman shot and killed the 49-year-old San Jose man.

"We are completely shocked and struggle with the events (that) occurred, because the Shareef that we knew was a loving father and good man who lived his life helping others, volunteering and advocating for positive change for compelling social issues," Allman's family said. "He encouraged people to live and love life, and to love their children, as he did."

In the statement, the family also requested privacy as it mourns.

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the affected families and loved ones as they grieve and mourn," the family said.

San Jose Shooting Leaves One Dead

A shooting left one person dead and a second victim in the hospital in San Jose Saturday morning less than an hour after a separate deputy-involved shooting took place across town, a police spokesman said.

The shooting occurred at about 11 a.m. in the 800 block of South Third Street, Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

It was not known if the second victim's injuries were life-threatening, Dwyer said.

The shooting occurred shortly after a deputy-involved shooting about a mile and a half away near the intersection of South Montgomery Street and Park Avenue, Dwyer said.

San Jose police are investigating the incident, which involved deputies from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office but took place within the Police Department's jurisdiction. According to Dwyer, those deputies fired at a suspect who was later taken into custody.

A sheriff's spokesman said that the agency was not releasing information about the shooting.

Gov. Brown Signs California Dream Act

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday announced that he signed part of the California Dream Act, a bill that would allow undocumented students to receive public financial aid for higher education.

The bill, AB 131, is the second of two bills that make up the California Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act. In July, Brown signed AB 130, a bill allowing undocumented students to receive private scholarships.

"Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking," Brown said in a. "The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us."

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, undocumented students attending public higher educational institutions who qualify for the exemption from non-resident tuition will be eligible to receive financial aid at the state's public colleges and universities.

Currently, undocumented students cannot receive state or federal financial aid. According to the Immigration Policy Center, although some 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, only 5 to 10 percent continue onto college, with many unable to continue for financial reasons or because schools do not allow them to enroll.

The bill enables those students to become eligible to receive institutional financial aid at schools in the UC or California State University systems, have community college fees waived and to receive Cal Grants, which do not have to be repaid.

However, undocumented students would only become eligible for Cal Grants once all resident students have received such an award.

Analysis of the bill by the Assembly noted that the demand for the aid -- which can provide up to $12,192 a year to pay for college expenses at qualifying California academic institutions or trade schools -- far exceeds the amount of funding typically provided, making it unlikely that undocumented students would be considered.

Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis Dies At 82

The Oakland Raiders announced Saturday morning that team owner and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Al Davis has died. He was 82.

"Al Davis was unique -- a maverick, a giant among giants, a true legend among legends, the brightest start among stars, a hero, a mentor, a friend," a statement released by the team read.

Davis, who began his pro football career in 1954 as an a player personnel assistant for the Baltimore Colts, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 as a team and league administrator.

He worked his way up from being a personnel assistant to eventually became the owner and CEO of the Raiders. He was the only person in professional football history to have been a scout, assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner and owner.

"He was an innovator, a pioneer with a deep love and passion for the game of football," the team said.

In 1963, Davis, then 33, became the Raiders' head coach and general manager. At the time, the team struggled to win barely nine games in its first three seasons. In his first year as head coach, Davis turned the team around, leading the Raiders to a 10-4 record.   

The team transformation won Davis acclaim as the American Football League Coach of the Year in 1963.

Three years later, as AFL Commissioner, he quickly led the merger of that league with the National Football League before he returned to Oakland to become a managing general partner for the team.

The Raiders, under Davis' control, won 13 division champions, one AFL championship in 1967, and three Super Bowls -- XI, XV and XVIII.

Davis sold a minority stake in the team for $150 million in 2007, but he vowed to stay active with the team until it won two more Super Bowls. Although that wish never came true for Davis, he was remembered for his dedication by several members of the organization.

Bay Area Council Opposes Federal Legislation to Freeze High-Speed Rail Funding

A Bay Area public policy organization announced its opposition to federal legislation introduced Friday that would freeze federal funding for California's high-speed rail.

The legislation, sponsored by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and nine other California Republican congressmen, would freeze funding on the project while auditors gather evidence about the project's feasibility, according to McCarthy's office.

"With all the current examples of taxpayer money being squandered on politically correct projects that have little chance of success, we should absolutely not be wasting even more money on a very expensive high-speed train from nowhere to nowhere," co-sponsor Congressman John Campbell said in a statement.

The Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored public policy advocacy organization, opposed the proposed legislation, saying that building high-speed rail from Los Angeles to San Francisco would create jobs and provide a clean and efficient solution to manage growth.

"California has prospered and become a world leader across so many industries and disciplines because we have dared to look to the future, to be bold in our thinking and confident in our actions," council president Jim Wunderman said in a statement Friday.

"Many questions remain to be answered about how we will implement a project as large and complex as high-speed rail, but the Council believes that the question of whether it's the right thing to do for California's future has already been answered when voters approved almost $10 billion in bonds to build the system," he said.

Most Non-Essential Services Suspended Monday in Oakland

Oakland administrators are reminding residents that most non-essential city services will be suspended on Monday.

The business closure day is not in observance of Columbus Day but is unpaid time off taken by city employees as part of union-negotiated employee concessions to help balance the city's $58 million budget deficit, according to city officials.

Police, fire and emergency services will not be affected, as those personnel do not participate in the business closure days.

Of those personnel who do participate, employees agreed to contribute 9 percent of their compensation to reduce the deficit's impact on vital city services.

On Monday, all four city senior centers will be closed, and park gates and restrooms will be closed and parks will be unstaffed -- although visitors will still have access to parks.

No street sweeping will occur, but parking enforcement will.   

The animal shelter will be closed on Monday and will reopen Tuesday at 4 p.m. Anyone who finds an animal on Monday but cannot hold it until the shelter reopens should call (510) 777-3333 to reach a shelter representative.

Because branch libraries are already closed on Mondays, those libraries will be closed today. The Main Library will be open today but closed on Monday.

For the remainder of the fiscal year, there are nine scheduled business closure days: Nov. 10, Nov. 28, Dec. 27, Jan. 13, Feb. 10, March 30 and April 13.

In addition to the closure days, city employees also agreed to take additional unpaid days off to achieve the 9 percent reduction in compensation target. Those additional unpaid days will not result in citywide closures, according to city officials.

Man Found Suffering From Gunshots in Antioch

A 36-year-old man was found in an Antioch neighborhood suffering from two gunshot wounds Friday evening, police said.

Around 5:55 p.m. a resident reported hearing shots fired and that people with guns were in their rear yard in the 4900 block of Parkgreen Circle.

Officers arrived at the neighborhood and found the man -- later identified as a neighbor -- suffering from two gunshot wounds. No other people were at the scene.

The man was taken to a hospital where he was listed in serous condition but is expected to survive, police said.

The motive for the shooting is unknown, according to police.

Oakland Robbery, Shooting Victim Released from Hospital

The victim of a robbery and shooting in Oakland that led to the closure of a freeway for more than two hours Thursday was released from the hospital, a police spokeswoman said Friday.

Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said Friday that an arrest had been made after a woman was shot during a robbery in the 4000 block of MacArthur Boulevard around 2 p.m. Thursday.

The victim was taken to a hospital, where she was later released.

After the shooting, the suspect fled in a car toward 35th Avenue and crashed on the on-ramp to westbound Highway 580, where witnesses reported seeing him running away from the accident, according to police.

A search of the highway for the suspect prompted the California Highway Patrol to shut down all westbound lanes in the area from shortly after 3 p.m. until about 5:15 p.m., when the highway was reopened although the suspect had not been found at that time.

Pilot Flying From Monterey to Hawaii Ditches Plane in Ocean

A pilot flying from Monterey to Hawaii was forced to ditch his plane in the ocean when he ran out of fuel 13 miles from the Big Island Friday afternoon, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The 65-year-old man in his Cessna 310 ditched his airplane around 5:23 p.m. and climbed out the cockpit onto the wing, 13 miles northeast of the Big Island in Hawaii.

A Coast Guard rescue plane, helicopter and boat assisted the pilot. A rescue swimmer hoisted the pilot into the helicopter and aircrew transported him to Hilo Medical Center in Hilo, Coast Guard officials said.

The pilot was coherent with no significant injuries, the Coast Guard said.

The Federal Aviation Administration had contacted the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu at 12:30 p.m. about a pilot who was 500 miles away from land and running low on fuel.

The pilot had estimated he would run out of fuel 100 miles east of Hilo, the Coast Guard said.

San Rafael House Fire Started From Lamp Burning on Mattress, Bedding

A San Rafael house fire appears to have started when a lamp began burning on a mattress and bedding on Friday night, a San Rafael Fire Department battalion chief said.

Battalion Chief Jim Lydon said firefighters responded to the fire at 255 D St. around 9:35 p.m. The home had been divided into multiple living units, with the fire contained to a unit on the ground floor in the rear of the building.

Crews opened several walls on the main floor above the unit to ensure the fire did not spread, Lydon said.

A male resident noticed smoke and attempted to extinguish the mattress fire by smothering it before trying to remove the mattress from the building.

The mattress continued to burn as he was moving it, and it got stuck in the doorway. This was when the fire spread to other parts of the house and inside the house, according to Lydon.

The resident was treated at the scene for burn injuries and smoke inhalation. He was taken to the hospital for further treatment.

Fire crews believe there was not a functioning smoke detector in the room where the fire originated.

Crews remained at the scene Friday night to check for hotspots.

Bay Area Sunday Weather

Mostly cloudy skies in the morning are expected to become partly cloudy in the Bay Area today. Highs are likely to be in the upper 50s to mid 60s.

Partly cloudy skies are likely this evening becoming mostly cloudy later in the night. Lows are expected to be in the upper 50s.

Mostly cloudy skies are expected Monday morning, becoming partly cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are expected.

San Francisco Bay Area Saturday News Roundup

Man Suspected Of Stealing San Jose Officer's Gun Hospitalized

A man suspected of stealing an officer's gun in San Jose Friday morning was hospitalized after an officer struck him with a car, police said.    

The incident began at 10:37 a.m. in the 1100 block of Leigh Avenue when police received a call from a resident who said there were people acting suspiciously in the driveway of her apartment complex, police spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

An officer responded at 10:54 a.m., and three minutes later made a call on the police radio asking for help, Dwyer said.

The officer, William McMullen, an 18-year veteran, was allegedly attacked by one of the suspects and a fight ensued over the officer's gun, according to Dwyer, who said the gun was fired, although it remains unclear who fired it.

Neither man was shot during the struggle, police said.    

The suspect, Jason Evans, 27, allegedly struck McMullen several times and was able to get possession of the gun. He ran southbound on Leigh Avenue as two other police officers arrived at the scene, Dwyer said.    

Police said Evans raised the stolen gun in the direction of the officers and the officers fired multiple rounds at Evans but he was not hit, Dwyer said.

Evans, still armed with the officer's gun, continued to run southbound toward an elementary school that was in session, according to police.

McMullen returned to his patrol car and drove to the intersection of Leigh Avenue and Stokes Street, where he struck Evans with his car, police said.

Evans was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for treatment. When he is released, police said he will be booked on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

McMullen was also taken to a hospital and has been released.   

All three officers have been placed on routine paid administrative leave, police said.

Muni Service Continues Despite ANSWER Protest

San Francisco Municipal Railway trains and buses were still moving on Market Street despite a protest in the area of Seventh Street, officials said Friday evening.

The protest, organized by the ANSWER coalition, marked the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. It was scheduled to begin at the New Federal Building at Seventh and Mission streets at 4:30 p.m.

Contra Costa County Man Tested Positive For West Nile Virus

A 65-year-old Contra Costa County man tested positive for West Nile disease and is recovering from the disease, the county's Mosquito and Vector Control District said Friday.

In addition, 36 birds and one group of mosquitoes tested positive for the disease.

"The recent rains have created a vast and varied habitat for mosquitoes and coupled with the warmer weather, mosquitoes may flourish," said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the district. "It's still mosquito season in Contra Costa County."

The state health department announced the first two fatalities in California from West Nile this year, a 37-year-old man and an 86-year-old man from Kern County.

A total of 38 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile since 2005, including two deaths in 2006. Studies have shown that the majority of cases are undiagnosed, Bass said.    

The infected birds were collected in areas including Concord, Discovery Bay, Oakley, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek and the mosquitoes were collected in Concord.

Dead birds should be reported to the West Nile Virus state hotline at (877) 968-2473, or at www.westnile.ca.gov.

Morgan Hill Gardener Pleads Guilty To Kidnapping Girl

A 40-year-old gardener pleaded guilty Friday to kidnapping a young girl to molest her as she was playing hide-and-seek with her friends in Morgan Hill nearly four months ago.

During a preliminary hearing in Morgan Hill Friday, Fidel Gaytan, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping for sexual gratification and one count of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child.

The charges stem from an incident on June 28 in the neighborhood of Pine Avenue, according to police.

The girl was playing outside with her friends while Gaytan was across the street working in a yard, police said.

When he saw the girl standing alone next to a mailbox, he walked up to her and told her he would help her find her friends, according to police.

He then grabbed the victim's hand and walked her to an area between two homes covered by shrubs, where he allegedly pulled up her skirt. The victim pushed his hands away and was able to escape, police said.    

Gaytan was arrested after the little girl notified an adult who reported the incident to police.

He is currently being held without bail at Santa Clara County Jail.   

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Bill Banning Shark Fin Trade In California Signed Into Law On Friday

A bill banning the shark fin trade in California was signed into law Friday, marking a major victory for conservationists.

The California Shark Protection Act, AB 376, introduced by Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Cupertino, and Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, bans the sale, distribution and possession of shark fins in California.    

"Finning," the practice of removing shark fins for consumption, has led to substantial declines in shark populations worldwide, Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday after signing the bill.

"The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans," said Brown. "Researchers estimate that some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent, portending grave threats to our environment and commercial fishing."

The bill, sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance, marks a major victory because California is the largest market for shark fins outside of Asia, and a gateway for shark fins sold all over the United States, said Ken Peterson, communications director for the aquarium. Similar bans have been passed in Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Guam.

Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in many Asian cultures. Shark fins can be worth more than $600 per pound and are more sought after than shark meat, which is worth about $1 per pound. The fins are removed and often the shark's body is thrown back into the ocean where it slowly bleeds out and dies, according to Fong's office.

Marin Search And Rescue Teams Search For Missing Sacramento Man

Search and rescue teams and volunteers from Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties are looking for a Sacramento-area man who is believed to be missing in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville.

Anton Mutu, 30, was reported missing from Carmichael by his wife Tuesday morning, Sonoma County sheriff's Sgt. Jim Naugle said Friday afternoon.

Mutu's BMW SUV was found Wednesday in the parking lot of the 805-acre Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve adjoining the 5,683-acre Austin Creek State Recreation Area.

The third day of the search began at 7:30 a.m. Friday and will continue until darkness, Naugle said.

It's unknown if Mutu has a cellphone with him and has tried to use it because coverage in that area of west Sonoma County is poor, Naugle said.    

There is no evidence foul play is involved in Mutu's disappearance, Naugle said.

Two Men Arrested Near Watsonville For Carjacking

Two men were arrested in unincorporated Watsonville early Friday morning after they allegedly carjacked a couple, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.

The carjacking occurred at about 2:55 a.m. in the area of Holohan Drive and Lakeview Road, sheriff's officials said.

The victims, a 35-year-old woman and 40-year-old man, told deputies a man approached their truck as they were making a turn at a nearby berry field.

The male victim, who was already disabled from a previous car accident, said the man opened the driver's door and punched him repeatedly, according to the sheriff's office.

The suspect demanded his vehicle and wallet and pulled the victim from the truck. He allegedly took the man's wallet, sweatpants and car and then punched the female victim who was sitting in the passenger seat in the face as she grabbed her purse.

A second suspect got into the passenger side of the truck and the two drove off, leaving both victims stranded in the field.

Watsonville police officers later saw the car in the 400 block of Second Street and briefly pursued the suspects.

The driver eventually pulled over and started running away, but he was caught and arrested. He was identified as Saul Aldana, 20, of Watsonville.

The suspect sitting in the passenger seat was also arrested. He was identified as Edwin Gutierrez, 22, of Salinas.

Both were booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of carjacking and auto theft.

The victim's stolen property was recovered, sheriff's officials said.

Cardboard Police Officer Stolen From Oakland Pet Store

A police officer has been stolen from an Oakland pet store -- a cardboard officer.

The cardboard police officer was stolen from outside a Pet Food Express store in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood earlier this week, company officials and police said.

The theft, captured on the building's surveillance video, occurred around 12:50 p.m. Monday at the store located at 5144 Broadway in Oakland, according to police.

The 6-foot-tall display, which features a police officer holding a dog, was promoting a fundraiser being held at all Pet Food Express stores on Oct. 15 and 16 to provide safety equipment for police dogs.

The surveillance video, available at www.bit.ly/policethief, shows a male suspect walk up to the display. He looks around briefly, then picks it up and walks off.

The fundraiser, in its third year, has helped outfit about 100 police dogs with specially designed bulletproof vests for law enforcement agencies around Northern California.

For more information about the police dog safety program, or to donate, visit www.coveryourk9.org.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

Sunshine is expected in the Bay Area today. Highs likely to be in the 60s.

Clear skies are likely this evening becoming partly cloudy. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.

Mostly cloudy skies are expected Sunday becoming sunny. Highs in the 60s are expected.

 

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Servicemembers Kick Off Fleet Week With Pediatrics Unit Visit

The sound of the Navy's precision flight team, the Blue Angels, flying over San Francisco Thursday marked the beginning of Fleet Week and 21 servicemembers kicked off the festivities with a trip to the hospital.

Men and women from the Marine Corp, Navy, and Coast Guard took a trip to San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center's pediatrics unit to hand out books and hugs to the young patients, hospital officials said.

The servicemembers read stories to the patients, who ranged from toddlers to teens, in one of the many outreach programs planned for Fleet Week.

"It's fun to have the opportunity to interact with the patients," Navy Chaplain Jason DiPinto said in a statement. "It's as exciting for us as it is for the kids."

Fleet Week brings together the U.S. Navy, Marine Corp and Coast Guard to offer air shows, ship tours, a parade and festivals, according to event organizers.

Details about other events -- including performances by military bands and ship tours -- can be found at www.fleetweek.us.

 

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Bank Robbed In Financial District Thursday Morning

A bank in San Francisco's Financial District was robbed at gunpoint on Thursday morning, police said.

The robbery was reported at about 11:15 a.m. at a bank in the 500 block of Montgomery Street.

The suspect, a man in his 40s or 50s, walked into the bank, took out a handgun and demanded money from a 56-year-old employee, according to police.

The female employee handed over an undisclosed amount of cash to the suspect, who fled from the bank and had not been found as of this morning, police said.

No one was injured during the robbery.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

 

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Federal Prosecuters Announce Crackdown On Marijuana Industry

Federal prosecutors in California announced today a full-press crackdown on the state's commercial marijuana industry, saying they will not allow large-scale, for-profit enterprises in the name of medical marijuana.

The federal law enforcement effort was announced in a news conference in Sacramento by the four regional U.S. attorneys in the state, including Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for Northern California.

California's voter-approved Compassionate Use Act of 1996 allows seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor's permission, but federal laws criminalizing marijuana make no exception for state laws.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner of Sacramento said, "Large commercial operations cloak their money-making activities in the guise of helping sick people when they are in fact helping themselves."

Wagner said, "Our interest is in enforcing federal criminal law, not prosecuting seriously ill sick people and those who are caring for them."

The four U.S. attorneys said the enforcement actions will include civil forfeiture lawsuits against properties used in marijuana growing, warning letters to owners of property where marijuana is sold and criminal prosecutions.

Haag said, "Marijuana stores operating in proximity to schools, parks and other areas where children are present send the wrong message to those in our society who are the most impressionable."

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole said the Justice Department "will not focus our investigative and prosecutorial resources on individual patients with serious illnesses like cancer or their immediate caregivers."

Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, called the crackdown "a full frontal assault on medical cannabis."

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Blue Angels Soaring Over The City For Fleet Week

Are your windows rattling? Is your dog hiding under the bed? Are you finding it hard to make yourself heard over the roaring sounds coming from the sky?

It's Fleet Week in San Francisco and the famous Blue Angels, the Navy's precision flight demonstration team, are taking practice laps over the city in preparation for this weekend's air shows.

The flight team and other participating plans will be conducting an air show practice run this afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Organizers say the Canadian Snow Birds will be on view from 1:30 to 2 p.m. and the Blue Angels from 2 to 3 p.m.

Saturday's show will begin with the Parade of Ships at 11 a.m. Ships will arrive under the Golden Gate Bridge and berth along the city's waterfront for the remainder of their visit, which concludes Tuesday.

Air shows will take place Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The shows will be visible all along the city's waterfront, but tickets can be purchased for seats on the Marina Green.

Fleet Week brings together the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard to offer air shows, ship tours, a parade and festivals, according to event organizers.

Approximately 10,000 military servicemembers and nearly a million air-show spectators are expected to flock to San Francisco for this year's events, which mark the 30th anniversary of Fleet Week's current form.

According to the San Francisco Fleet Week Association, the nonprofit organization coordinating the festivities, this year's Fleet Week will also focus on disaster response preparations.

Details about other events -- including performances by military bands and ship tours -- can be found at www.fleetweek.us.

 

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HS Students Invited To Serve On Congressional Board

U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, has invited high school students to apply to serve on the 14th Congressional District Student Advisory Boards in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

The boards research public policy issues and make recommendations for federal legislation on a wide range of topics.

Students on the boards meet twice a month for most of the school year and present their policy recommendation to Eshoo in May.

High school students in the 14th Congressional district may apply. Students are invited to apply by Oct. 21.

For more information about the application, students can call Eshoo's office at (650) 323-2984, (408) 245-2339 or (831) 335-2020.

 

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Bank Robbed In Financial District Thursday Morning

A bank in San Francisco's Financial District was robbed at gunpoint on Thursday morning, police said.

The robbery was reported at about 11:15 a.m. at a bank in the 500 block of Montgomery Street.

The suspect, a man in his 40s or 50s, walked into the bank, took out a handgun and demanded money from a 56-year-old employee, according to police.

The female employee handed over an undisclosed amount of cash to the suspect, who fled from the bank and had not been found as of this morning, police said.

No one was injured during the robbery.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Friday News Roundup

Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office Confirmed Man Shot And Killed By Sunnydale Deputies

The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office has confirmed that the man who was shot and killed by deputies in Sunnyvale Thursday morning was Shareef Allman -- the alleged gunman in Wednesday's shooting rampage at a Cupertino quarry.

Three Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies were on patrol Thursday morning during a massive manhunt for Shareef Allman, a 49-year-old San Jose resident and employee at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Company's Permanente Plant who police say shot nine people there early Wednesday morning, killing three, Sheriff Laurie Smith said.

At about 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning, one of the three deputies spotted a man who resembled Allman "crouching behind a car" parked near 934 Lorne Way in Sunnyvale.

That deputy and two others approached the man and attempted to confront him. But when they saw that the man had a handgun -- possibly the same one used in the quarry shooting -- all three deputies fired and killed him on the spot, said Smith.

She said he displayed the handgun in a "threatening manner" at the deputies, though it hasn't been determined whether he fired the gun.

Sheriff's officials named Fabian Desantiago, Christopher Hilt, and Lindsay Crist as the deputies who were involved in Thursday morning's shooting on Lorne Way in Sunnyvale.

Each of the three deputies has less than five years of experience with the sheriff's office.

"They are exceptional, great deputies ... who did a great job at the scene," Smith said.

The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety is investigating Thursday morning's shooting because it occurred within the city's jurisdiction, department officials said.

Oakland Police Call Off Search For Robbery Suspect

Police in Oakland called off a search for a suspect in a robbery and shooting that left one person injured and led to a search that closed down a freeway Thursday afternoon.

The shooting occurred in the 4000 block of MacArthur Boulevard at around 2 p.m., police said.

No arrests have been made and the victim is being treated at a hospital, according to police.

A search for the suspect shut down westbound lanes of Interstate Highway 580 near the MacArthur Boulevard exit for more than two hours Thursday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.    

The roadway was closed shortly after 3 p.m., with traffic diverted at that location until the roadway reopened at 5:15 p.m., according to the CHP.

Oakland police asked for the CHP to close the freeway after the suspect abandoned a car on the road and fled on foot, Oakland-area CHP Officer Sam Morgan said.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Seeking Men Involved In Fatal Shooting

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office is seeking three men who left the scene of a fatal shooting Thursday afternoon on Todd Road south of Santa Rosa.

The body of a man was found in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Carniceria Contreras butcher shop at 1401 Todd Road, Assistant Sheriff Lorenzo Duenas said.

The three Hispanic men fled west on Todd Road in a black 1990s or 2000s-model Cadillac Catera, Duenas said.

The occupant of a white pickup truck that was also seen in the area might have witnessed the shooting that was reported around 2:18 p.m., Duenas said.

Occupy San Francisco Protestors Plan

Occupy San Francisco protesters are struggling to determine their next move but are receiving increased support after San Francisco police dismantled encampments outside San Francisco's Federal Reserve building early Thursday morning.

Protesters have been occupying the area in front of the U.S. Federal Reserve building at 101 Market St. for over a week to protest the growing disparity of wealth in the country, and had not had any major conflicts with police.

That changed when police issued written notices to Occupy San Francisco protesters at around 9 p.m. Wednesday, informing demonstrators that the continued encampment was in violation of several city ordinances, including open flames on a city street or sidewalk, lacking a permit for temporary occupancy of the street or sidewalk, and serving food without a permit.

Protesters were split on whether to comply with the orders of police and break down the encampment, or whether to defy the police and risk arrest. Eventually, a vote was called on whether to comply or not, said Occupy San Francisco protester Derk Pippin.

Around 1 a.m. Thursday morning, police loaded tents, stoves and other gear onto Department of Public Works trucks to remove them from the area. Some protesters tried to stop the trucks, some lying in the streets to prevent the trucks from leaving, while others aggressively confronted the police.

Pippin said that police surrounded the demonstrators as the trucks carrying their equipment backed away.

At some point during the confrontation, Kevin Hernandez, 26, was arrested, according to Officer Albie Esparza. Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer, threatening an officer and resisting arrest, Esparza said.

San Jose Police Investigating Body Found

Police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found near San Jose after she was reported missing on Sunday as a homicide.    

Valerie Calderon Casillas, 28, was found dead around 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday by a road worker in the area of Sierra Road and Skyview Drive in unincorporated Santa Clara County. 

Detectives believe Casillas was murdered, but have not yet determined the circumstances and motive for her death.     

She was last seen entering either a silver Pontiac Grand Prix or a blue Chevrolet Tahoe SUV around 3 a.m. Sunday near Waverly Avenue and Orlando Drive.

She was reported missing later that day at about 7:15 p.m., police said. Her disappearance was investigated as suspicious.

Bay Area Crack Cocaine Ring Leader Sentenced In Federal Court

The leader of a Bay Area crack cocaine ring has been sentenced in federal court in Oakland to nearly 20 years in prison.

Desean Gardner, 33, of East Palo Alto, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken to 19 years and seven months in prison.

Gardner pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiring to manufacture and sell crack cocaine. 

He admitted in a plea agreement to distributing more than 5 kilograms of the drug between March 2008 and the time of his arrest in March 2009, and to being the "organizer and leader" of the operation.

Prosecutors said in court papers that the cocaine sales spanned the cities of East Palo Alto, San Jose, Hayward, Oakland and Stockton.

Gardner bought powder cocaine and cooked it into crack cocaine for sale in quantities ranging from one-eighth of an ounce for $75 to one ounce for $600, according to his plea agreement.

The drug ring was dismantled as a result of court-approved wiretaps on two mobile phones Gardner used to conduct the cocaine sales, prosecutors said.

Gardner's lawyer, Assistant Federal Public Defender Jerome Matthews, said in a sentencing brief that Gardner had an abusive childhood, having been born to a crack-addicted mother who was pimped as a prostitute by his father.

Gardner has been in custody since his arrest and will begin serving his sentence immediately.

Man In UC San Francisco Car Accident On Life Support

A man whose car rear-ended another vehicle near the University of San Francisco early Thursday morning is on life support at a hospital Thursday afternoon, a police spokesman said.    

The crash was reported at 12:33 a.m. at the intersection of Fulton and Stanyan streets.

The 33-year-old victim was driving west on Fulton Street when his vehicle smashed into the back of a car that was stopped at a red light at Stanyan Street, police said.

The impact caused the car stopped at the light to overturn, according to police.

Both drivers were taken to San Francisco General Hospital. Police initially said the 33-year-old had succumbed to his injuries, but police Sgt. Mike Andraychak clarified Thursday afternoon that the man remains alive but is on life support.

The driver of the car that was rear-ended, a 27-year-old woman, was in stable condition as of Thursday morning, police said.

Suspects In Alleged Contra Costa Insurance Fraud Ring

A dozen suspects in an alleged Contra Costa County insurance fraud ring appeared in court in Martinez Thursday to face nearly 300 charges including insurance fraud, grand theft and commercial burglary.

Last month, a Contra Costa County grand jury indicted the fraud ring's 22 suspects following a two-year investigation that revealed the group cheated insurance companies out of about $350,000, authorities said.    

On Wednesday, 17 of those suspects were arrested -- including 13 Contra Costa County residents, some who are employed at Costco and Kaiser Permanente in Richmond, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Alison Chandler said.

Police continue to search for the five outstanding suspects involved in the case.

Most of the defendants were arrested in separate locations throughout the Bay Area on Wednesday, while others were apprehended as far away as Nebraska and New York.

Chandler said many of the suspects arrested Wednesday worked together at Richmond branches of Kaiser Permanente and Costco, while others are related.

Since 2001, the suspects allegedly submitted numerous fraudulent insurance claims affecting several large insurance companies.

During that time, they staged car crashes, residential burglaries and personal injuries before submitting false insurance claims and filing police reports for the incidents, according to the district attorney's office.

El Cerrito Residents Warned Of Recent Home Burglaries

Police are encouraging El Cerrito residents to be vigilant about securing their homes in light of a rash of home burglaries in recent weeks.    

Most of the crimes have shared similar characteristics -- they have mainly occurred during daylight hours in the hilly, residential parts of El Cerrito, police said.

Police have received just a few witness reports of possible suspects in the various burglaries. Witnesses have described the suspects as two to three young African American males with slim builds.    

After one of the crimes, a witness reported spotting possible suspects loading property into a green or blue station wagon.    

As police investigate the crimes, they are encouraging local residents to help prevent burglaries by using common sense and securing their homes.

That means making sure all doors and windows are locked before leaving home, not answering the door to unknown individuals, and installing burglar alarms, police said.

Woman Sexually Assaulted At SFSU Dormitory

A woman was sexually assaulted at a San Francisco State University dormitory last weekend, according to campus police.    

The attack occurred sometime between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. last Friday at the university's Towers at Centennial Square, police said.

The victim was visiting with her friends and went into the building to go to a party there. She waited in the lobby while her friends tried to find the resident who was hosting the party, according to police.    

While the woman was alone, a suspect approached her and said, "I know where you're going. You can come with me," police said.    

She followed the suspect into an elevator, and while the doors to the elevator were closing, she saw that her friends had returned and tried to get out, but the suspect grabbed her from behind and held her as the doors closed, according to police.

The victim, still believing that she was going to a party upstairs, was then led to a room on an unknown floor where the suspect sexually assaulted her, police said.

She was eventually able to escape and reunite with her friends and reported the attack to campus police.

The suspect is described as a mixed-race man between 18 and 22 years old who is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

Sunshine is expected in the Bay Area today. Highs likely to be in the 60s.

Clear skies are likely this evening. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.

Sunny skies are expected Saturday. Highs in the 60s to lower 70s are expected.

 

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Check out some of our newest Blogs:

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     Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid

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