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.