Car Dangles Over Edge Of Building As A Result Of Moscone Center Crash
A crash on the fourth floor of a parking garage at San Francisco's Moscone Center Thursday afternoon sent metal and glass falling onto the sidewalk below and left a car dangling over the edge of the building.
The crash was reported at about 1:10 p.m. at a garage on Third Street just north of Folsom Street.
An employee at the parking garage was moving a customer's vehicle, which apparently had some sort of mechanical issue, down a ramp on the fourth floor when the accident happened, police Sgt. Stephen Smalley said.
Something went wrong, and the employee was unable to stop the car before it crashed through a metal barrier and went partway out of the building, Smalley said.
Two pieces of the barrier fell, each about 5 feet long and weighing about 200 pounds, fire Battalion Chief Charles Crane said.
One of the pieces landed in a tree, and the other hit some exterior glass panels above the garage's payment center before landing on the sidewalk, Crane said.
One of the panels shattered, sending glass onto the sidewalk.
Considering the time of day when the crash happened, and the fact that Salesforce.com was holding a large convention across the street at Moscone Center, Crane said, "It's a miracle someone didn't get killed."
The car, a light blue Mazda 3 with Nevada plates, was left hanging partway out of the building, with its front wheels over the edge, Smalley said. The vehicle was towed back into the building and taken away shortly after 2 p.m.
The employee complained of a leg injury and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated, Crane said. He said the injury was minor.
Solano County Youth Pastor Arrested On Suspicion Of Lewd Acts With Underage Bible Study Student
A youth pastor at a Solano County church has been arrested onsuspicion of committing lewd acts with one of his underage female Bible study students, a Benicia police lieutenant said.
The Benicia girl is under 14 years old and, to protect her identity, police are not identifying the church, which is not located in Benicia, Lt. Mike Daley said.
John Edward Gamboa, 38, of American Canyon, was booked into Solano County Jail Tuesday for committing lewd acts with a child under age 14, contacting a minor to engage in lewd behavior, and burglary.
Gamboa and the girl knew each other before they allegedly began talking and texting each other in February and March, Daley said.
The girl's parents learned about the communication, mediated the issue through the church, and warned Gamboa to stop the inappropriate behavior, Daley said.
The two resumed texting in July, and in August Gamboa allegedly snuck into the girl's home where he and the girl allegedly engaged in kissing and inappropriate touching, Daley said.
The two met again five days later at an event at a Fairfield business where they allegedly engaged in kissing and inappropriate touching in a secluded area, Daley said.
The girl's mother found inappropriate text messages when she checked her daughter's phone, Daley said. When the girl admitted the behavior, the parents called police, Daley said.
Police contacted Gamboa, who Daley said admitted the allegations during a statement at police headquarters Tuesday evening. He was arrested without incident.
Challenge to California's Death Penalty Results In Executions Being Put On Hold For Five Years
A long-running challenge to California's death penalty procedures that has resulted in executions being put on hold for five years has been assigned to a new federal judge in San Francisco.
The reassignment to U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg was announced Thursday morning by the Northern California federal court's executive committee.
The 2006 lawsuit by several death row inmates was handled by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose for five years, but Fogel has taken a long-term leave from the court to head the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C.
The lawsuit claims the state's three-drug lethal injection procedure could cause extreme pain, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
A 2006 ruling by Fogel, who found that the procedure then in effect had numerous flaws, has resulted in a moratorium in executions at San Quentin State Prison.
State corrections officials have now revised the procedure and the revamped protocol is expected to undergo court scrutiny within the next few months.
There are more than 700 inmates on the state's death row, with cases in various stages of appeal.
Seeborg, who formerly worked as a federal prosecutor in San Jose, as a private lawyer and as a federal magistrate, was appointed as a trial judge by President Obama in 2009. His courtroom is in the San Francisco branch of the federal court.
San Jose Police Searching For Pickup Truck Driver Who Feld After Truck Overturned, Spilled Marijuana
San Jose police are looking for the driver of a pickup truck who fled after the truck overturned on its side and spilled bags of marijuana on the street early Wednesday.
Police said the incident occurred at about 12:50 a.m. at the intersection of Blossom Hill Road and Playa Del Rey.
It was not immediately apparent whether the truck, a white 1992 Toyota pickup, crashed into another car. When officers arrived they found the truck on its side with some bags filled with marijuana scattered about, police Officer Jose Garcia said.
He said before officers responded, there were reports of people picking up the bags from the streets.
Police took the remaining bags and a loaded handgun they found inside the vehicle, Garcia said.
The driver of the truck is at-large and has not yet been identified, he said.
Centerfield Partners LLC Proposing North American League Baseball Team In San Rafael
The next pitch for professional baseball in San Rafael is a change-up.
Centerfield Partners LLC, the Dublin-based partnership proposing a North American League professional baseball team in San Rafael, has recently downsized its plans to avoid costly and time-consuming studies and environmental review.
It revealed substantial changes a week ago to its ambitious application to field a team at Albert Park.
The initial proposal included expanded seating, renovated bathrooms, new netting and parking arrangements to accommodate the crowds during the 45-game season that was to start in spring 2012 at the 60-year-old park.
San Rafael City Council members and opponents of the proposal balked at the plans. The Council in August said it could not approve the proposal without environmental review.
"We essentially propose to use the park 'as is', with limited seating expansion and no change to existing perimeter fence lines," Centerfield Partners' Chief Executive Officer Brian Clark said in a letter to San Rafael Community Services Director Carlene McCart.
Brian Sobel, the Petaluma consultant representing Centerfield Partners, said Thursday the revised plans will "obviate the need for an environmental review" and treat Centerfield Partners just like any other applicant that wants to use the baseball field.
The revised proposal will be aired at the Sept. 19 San Rafael City Council meeting.
Man Attempted To Kidnap 8-Year-Old Girl In Dixon
A man tried to kidnap an 8-year-old girl at a park in Dixon Wednesday afternoon, a police sergeant said.
The girl was playing with her 12-year-old sister in a park in the 1300 block of Valley Glen Drive around 5:45 p.m., Sgt. Ronald Willingmyre said.
The girls said a man approached them and asked the 12-year-old girl a question, Willingmyre said.
As the girl started to answer, the man grabbed her by the waist and lifted up the front of her shirt, Willingmyre said.
The 8-year-old girl tried to pull her sister away. The man then let go of the older girl and grabbed the younger girl from behind, Willingmyre said.
The girl yelled and the man released the younger girl and ran toward Legion Avenue, Willingmyre said.
The girls were not injured and ran home to tell their mother.
As police responded to the incident, they received a description of the suspect.
He was described as a white man, 40 to 50 years old, approximately 5 feet 11 inches with blue eyes. He is either bald or has very short blond hair, police said.
The man was wearing a blue shirt, blue shorts and white shoes with an "S" on the side, police said.
Two Men Suspected Of Selling Lost iPhone 4 Prototype Pleaded Not Guilty
Two men suspected of selling an iPhone 4 prototype that was lost last year in a Redwood City bar pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges in San Mateo County Superior Court Thursday morning.
Brian John Hogan, 22, and Sage Robert Wallower, 28, are suspected of selling the leaked phone to a techonology blog, Gawker Media's Gizmodo, after it was found at the Gourmet Haus Staudt restaurant on March 18, 2010.
The men were each charged with one count of misappropriation of lost property after they allegedly arranged to sell the device for $5,000 to the blog, which then disassembled it and posted details about the prototype on its website.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said the two men did not appear in court Thursday morning but that Hogan's attorney, Jeffrey Bornstein, and Wallower's attorney, Elizabeth Grossman, entered not-guilty pleas on their clients' behalf.
At Thursday morning's court hearing, a pretrial conference was scheduled for Oct. 11 and a trial date was set for Nov. 28, Guidotti said.
No charges were filed against Gizmodo employees.
News reports surfaced Wednesday that an iPhone 5 prototype was recently lost by an Apple employee at a San Francisco bar.
According to a CNET report, the phone was lost in late July at Cava 22, a restaurant and bar in San Francisco's Mission District. The article goes on to say that San Francisco police and Apple employees visited a home in Bernal Heights where the phone had apparently been traced.
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said the company is declining to comment on the matter.
Dead Birds In Contra Costa County Tested Positive For West Nile Virus
More dead birds found in Contra Costa County have tested positive for West Nile virus, which shows that the virus is present and being transmitted, according to the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District.
A total of nine birds collected in Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Antioch, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Alamo and Knightsen have tested positive for the virus, according to Deborah Bass, spokeswoman for the district.
A mosquito sample collected in Oakley has also tested positive for the virus, Bass said.
While not all dead birds that are reported will be collected and tested, information from dead bird reports is entered into a database that helps the district identify clusters of dead birds.
Those clusters show areas where the virus is most active and help the mosquito district determine where to focus their efforts to control mosquito populations.
People can report dead birds by calling the state West Nile virus hotline at (877) 968-2473. Reports can also be made online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
While studies show that the majority of West Nile virus infections in humans go undiagnosed, 26 people in the county have been diagnosed with the illness since 2005, including two who died from it in 2006.
Caltrain's Board Of Directors Approved A Five-Year Contract With TransitAmerica
Caltrain's Board of Directors Thursday approved a five-year contract with TransitAmerica to run its train system, ending a 19-year partnership with Amtrak.
Caltrain officials said that after an extensive bidding process, TransitAmerica's bid was the highest ranking in its cost proposal, the qualifications of the company's staff, and its operations and maintenance plans.
"We made an important business decision to go to the marketplace and seek new ideas, new energy and new approaches to how the rail operations contract was administered and performed," Caltrain executive director Michael Scanlon said in a statement.
Amtrak will continue to run the train system during a five-month transition period, officials said.
For the first full year of the contract, Caltrain will pay TransitAmerica $59.5 million, according to Caltrain officials. Subsequent contract amounts will be subject to annual negotiations.
"While the contribution of Amtrak to the Caltrain service has been significant, today's decision was about the future of the system, and TransitAmerica provided the most effective plan for providing service to our riders," Caltrain board chairman Sean Elsbernd said in a statement.
Half Moon Bay Gang-Related Shooting
Three suspects were arrested Thursday morning in connection with a gang-related shooting in Half Moon Bay in early August, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
The three were arrested in connection with a gang-related shooting in the 200 block of Grove Street on Aug. 14 in which two people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds. The shooting may have stemmed from a dispute between the Norteno and Sureno street gangs, sheriff's officials said.
Investigators determined that Christian Serrano DeLeon, 21, of Half Moon Bay was the primary suspect and took him into custody after searching a residence in the 400 block of Metzgar Avenue at 7 a.m. Thursday morning, sheriff's officials said.
Probation searches at other homes over the next couple of hours led to the arrests of two additional suspects.
Marco Antonio Barajas, 18, of Half Moon Bay was located at a residence in the 400 block of Willow Street and taken into custody, according to the sheriff's office.
The third suspect, a 17-year-old male from Moss Beach, was arrested at a home in the 100 block of Corona Street. No weapons were found at the residences, sheriff's officials said.
DeLeon and Barajas were both booked into San Mateo County Jail and the 17-year-old was booked at San Mateo County Youth Services Center on suspicion of attempted murder with a criminal street gang enhancement.
The investigation in ongoing, according to the sheriff's office.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District Announced Today Is Spare The Air Day
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced Thursday that today would be the third Spare the Air day issued this year.
"A brief spike in temperatures tomorrow is expected to contribute to unhealthy air quality in the Bay Area," the district's executive director Jack Broadbent said in a press release.
The district encourages people to drive less and reduce their energy use, in effect reducing pollution levels and the need for health alerts when temperatures are high, officials said.
There will be a no wood-burning ban in place, and the district is encouraging people to take public transit, carpool, bike or walk to work to reduce energy consumption.
Motor vehicle exhaust and household chemicals are among the materials that contain volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides that combine with oxygen in the presence of heat and sunlight to form ground-level ozone, officials said.
Breathing ozone can cause a number of health problems, officials said, including throat irritation and chest pain, and it can trigger asthma and worsen bronchitis and emphysema.
People are also encouraged to avoid using gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers, aerosol spray cans or lighter fluid on a barbecue.
San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast
The Bay Area is expected to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog this morning before becoming mostly sunny. Highs in the 60s to lower 70s are anticipated.
Skies are expected to be mostly clear this evening before becoming partly cloudy with patchy fog after midnight. Lows in the upper 50s are anticipated.
Partly cloudy skies and patchy fog are likely Saturday morning before becoming mostly sunny. Highs in the 50s to upper 60s are anticipated.
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