San Francisco Bay Area Thursday Morning Round up

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Two Livermore Child Care Workers Facing Child Abuse Charges

Two sisters accused of binding babies to their beds with blankets during naptime at a Livermore child care facility were arrested Wednesday morning and are facing a slew of child abuse and neglect charges, a Livermore police spokesman said Wednesday.

Nazila Sharaf, 35, of Dublin, and Lida Sharaf, 33, of Mountain House, were arrested in their respective cities between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. without incident, Livermore Police spokesman Steve Goard said Wednesday.

They both invoked their right to an attorney and are being held at the Santa Rita Jail in lieu of $700,000 bail.

Both women face three counts of felony child neglect and abuse and four counts of misdemeanor child neglect and abuse charges, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Livermore police concluded their investigation on Friday, one month after they were asked to aid the California Department of Social Services in the closure of the Universal Preschool LCC, located at 1040 Florence Road in Livermore, formerly known as the Sunnyside Infant and Preschool.

According to Goard, an extensive investigation that involved interviews of more than 30 parents revealed that both Nazila Sharaf and Lida Sharaf were allegedly binding at least seven of the babies' upper torsos and legs with blankets and other cloth-type materials in order to restrict their movement during naps.

Using knots as fasteners, the suspects allegedly restricted the babies' ability to breathe comfortably and move their extremities, according to Goard.

Police also say the suspects threw blankets over the faces of the babies, and with the extremities tied down, prevented the babies' ability to remove the blanket from their face, Goard said.

The babies ranged in age from 7 months to 11 months old.

During the investigation, Goard said detectives learned that three of the victims suffered from upper respiratory conditions, of which the sisters were allegedly aware.

"Having knowledge of the respiratory conditions, the two suspects still tightly bound the victims' upper torso and legs," Goard said. "Tightly binding a child with an upper respiratory condition seriously compromises and child's ability to breathe, which could lead to death."

Oakland Firefighters Rescue Woman from 10th Floor Balcony in West Oakland

Firefighters in Oakland tonight rescued a woman from a 10th floor balcony as her West Oakland apartment burned while across town firefighters rescued a small dog from a burning house there, fire officials said.

The East Oakland fire was reported at 1730 35th Avenue at 6:08 p.m. and minutes later, at 6:16 p.m., a fire was reported at the City Tower of the Acorn public housing complex at 725 Market St. Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton responded to the fire at Acorn, and quickly found that a woman, who had apparently accidentally started a grease fire that spread to the rest of her apartment, was trapped on her balcony.

Firefighters used a ladder to get to the elderly woman on the 10th floor balcony, but rather than take her down the ladder, brought her through the apartment and downstairs where she was treated for smoke inhalation, Drayton said.

The fire was under control by 6:45 p.m. and contained to the single unit, but the apartment below sustained water damage.

A passing Oakland schools police officer also suffered smoke inhalation after he ran upstairs to try to assist the woman out of the building.

Meanwhile, Battalion Chief Jenny Ray was responding to the fire in a single-family home in the city's Fruitvale neighborhood.

The resident of the home was not home at the time, but a small dog was trapped inside after the fire started in a back office inside the house.

The fire was contained to the back room, but the dog was brought out suffering smoke inhalation and given oxygen, Ray said.

The dog's owner was not home at the time, but arrived quickly and was reunited with the recovering dog.

"It was pretty out of it when they got it out, and it was happy to see its owner," Ray said.

The fire was reported by a volunteer working with the Safety & Neighborhood Ambassador Program who spotted the smoke and dialed 911, Ray said.

It was under control at 6:27 p.m. No other injuries were reported.

Five People in San Jose Hospitalized After Two Car Accident Crashes into Home

Five people were hospitalized after a two-car accident sent one car crashing into a home in San Jose near Los Gatos, hitting two people inside the home, a San Jose fire captain said.

The San Jose Fire Department was dispatched at 3:56 p.m. to a house in the 5400 block of Leigh Avenue at Gregg Drive across from Leigh High School, fire department spokesman Capt. Cleo Doss said.

At the scene, they found a vehicle with three passengers "all the way in the structure," Doss said.

All three passengers and the two residents were transported to trauma units at local hospitals for treatment, although their conditions are not known, Doss said.

A second car involved in the accident landed on the sidewalk and injured one person who declined treatment, Doss said.

Antioch Unified School District Recieves Series of Hoax Bomb Threats

Antioch Unified School District's superintendent called a recent series of bomb threats at two district high schools "beyond frustrating" and said the district is working with police to apprehend a suspect.

"Our hunch is that it's a student," Superintendent Donald Gill said of the fake bomb threats targeted at Antioch high schools over the past three days.

Police said Wednesday's first threat was called in to Antioch High School, located at 700 W. 18th St., around 9:40 a.m.

Officers searched the campus and did not find any evidence of a bomb, police said.

The threats to Deer Valley High School, located at 4700 Lone Tree Way, came in at about 10:35 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. Wednesday.

The school has been the target of four bomb threats over the past three days, according to police.

Each of the threats has prompted the school to evacuate its roughly 2,200 students, according to police.

Police said all of the threats have been deemed hoaxes and are under investigation.

Gill said Wednesday that if the suspect is a student, he will recommend that the student be expelled from school in addition to facing a felony charge of making false threats and fines, he said.

"I would be most disturbed if it's a student that's threatening the well-being of our students," Gill said.

The superintendent said he met Wednesday with Antioch police Chief Allan Cantando, Capt. Leonard Orman and Capt. Steve McConnell to discuss the investigation.

Gill said the high school students would be provided with police tip sheets to help them report to police any evidence that a fellow student is making the bomb threats.

"We believe of all the students on the campus, there has to be a student or a group of students who have information about what's going on," he said.

"We want to put the resources in the hands of students to make that call."

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Antioch police Detective Koch at (925) 779-6895.

Firefighters Contain Two-Alarm Fire in Discovery Bay 

Firefighters contained a two-alarm fire that burned two houses in Discovery Bay Wednesday evening, a fire chief said.

The fire was reported at about 6:40 p.m. by an off-duty Contra Costa County battalion chief coming home from work who found a well-involved garage fire at 54 Edgeview Court, East Contra County Fire Protection District Chief Hugh Henderson said.

The battalion chief called a second alarm as the fire was spreading to a neighboring home at 50 Edgeview Court.

The fire destroyed the first house and caused moderate damage to a single-car garage at the second house and smoke damage throughout, Henderson said.

Firefighters also feared that the fire could spread to another adjacent house but managed to put the fire out before that could happen.

The fire was under control about an hour later.

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District provided mutual aid.

No one was injured.

Fatal Shooting in San Francisco's Bayview District

Police are investigating a fatal shooting in San Francisco's Bayview District Wednesday afternoon.

Officers responded at 3:43 p.m. to reports that a male victim had been shot in the 1100 block of Hudson Avenue, Officer Carlos Manfredi said.

The officers performed CPR on the victim until medics arrived and transported him to San Francisco General Hospital.

However, the victim succumbed to his injuries at the hospital, Manfredi said.

President Barack Obama Honors Fremont Student for Achievements in Science and Technology

A Fremont middle school student rubbed shoulders with President Barack Obama Monday in Washington, D.C., where she was honored for her achievements in science and technology.

Obama hosted 100 students from throughout the U.S. to the third White House Science Fair including Fremont eighth-grader Jessika Baral, according to White House officials.

Jessika, 13, was back in her classroom Tuesday at Hopkins Junior High School at 600 Driscoll Road where she said her classmates and teachers were proud of her visit to the nation's capital.

In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Jessika said she got to talk about her research on eye muscle weakness to a lot of famous people, such as one of Obama's science advisors, Dr. John P. Holdren, and TV science personality Bill Nye.

"I got to meet a lot of people who do great research," she said.

Jessika was a finalist in the 2012 Broadcom MASTERS competition for her eye fatigue research, which earned her the presidential visit.

Her father accompanied her to Washington, D.C., she said, however he was not able to come to the fair held in the East Wing where she exhibited her research.

As many as 40 students at the White House fair had earned other top science achievements, such as finalists in other Society for Science and the Public science and engineering competitions.

Jessika said other students presented projects about detecting cancer, working with bio-fuels and one student even made a robotic arm.

After determining tired eye problems suffered by her family and friends were connected with hours of staring at small digital screens she decided to design a device to strengthen eye muscles and improve peripheral vision.

Using a foam board, different colored LED lights, a vision disk to measure vision and other basic materials, she created a device that is worn like headgear and hovers over the face and trains the eyes to look in various directions and increase muscle endurance.

Hopkins Junior High School Principal Mary Miller said there was a PA announcement at the school Tuesday morning congratulating Jessika for her White House presentation.

"She is a lovely young lady," Miller said.

"She is humble and very eloquent explaining about the device and the science behind it."

Jessika wants to use her prize money to manufacture 200 of the devices to send to local schools, but she said she is first working on patenting her invention.

Big Rig collides with San Francisco Muni Train In Bayview District

A big rig collided with a San Francisco Municipal Railway light rail vehicle Wednesday evening in the city's Bayview District, causing minor injuries to three passengers, a Muni spokesman said.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said it appears the truck was making an illegal U-turn near the corner of Third Street and Burke Avenue and hit the train shortly before 6 p.m.

Three passengers aboard complained of minor injuries, but none were transported to the hospital, Rose said.

Regional Air Traffic Is Moving Despite FAA's Imposed Furlough

Regional air traffic is moving smoothly with minimal delays at the three Bay Area international airports Wednesday, despite the Federal Aviation Administration's imposed furlough on the nation's air traffic controllers, which began Sunday.

Forced to trim $637 million from its budget for the Fiscal Year 2013, the FAA has ordered each of its 47,000 air traffic controllers to furlough one day per pay period, or one day every two weeks, according to FAA reports.

In general, that's 10 percent of controllers at any facility will be on furlough every day, according to the FAA.

At Mineta San Jose International Airport, spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes said that she is only able to monitor delays during the airport's curfew system but that there have been six late operating flights related to air traffic control delays, specifically out of Los Angeles International Airport.

In Oakland, spokesman Scott Yamasaki said he has not noticed a significant number of delays due to the furloughs.

In fact, there have been three Southwest flights from LAX that arrived 10 minutes early, he said.

"In looking at the arrival boards this morning, everything is arriving on time and its business as usual here," Yamasaki said Wednesday.

General arrival and departure delays at San Francisco International Airport are 15 minutes or less, according to the FAA's website.

On Tuesday, according to the FAA, more than 1,025 delays in the system were attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough.

There were more than 975 delays due to inclement weather and other factors.

On Monday, there were 1,200 delays caused by the furlough and 1,400 delays caused by weather and other factors, according to the FAA.

In a statement Tuesday, the FAA said, "Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather related issues."

Delays could be worst where there are staffing challenges, specifically at the Miami and Los Angeles En Route Centers, the Tampa TRACON and Chicago and O'Hare and Tampa Towers, according to the FAA statement.

Due to these constraints, controllers will space planes farther apart so they can manage traffic with current staff, which will lead to delays at airports including Chicago O'Hare, Las Vegas and Tampa.

An FAA spokesman said Wednesday that delays are occurring because the FAA is slowing the system down, when necessary, to maintain the highest levels of safety overall.

Passengers are being advised to check their flight status and visit fly.faa.gov to see real time airport delay information. 

Mother and Son Lives Were Saved in San Jose by Smoke Detector

A mother and her son's lives were saved by a smoke detector after a fire started in the woman's bedroom in their San Jose home tonight, a fire captain said.

The fire was reported at 8:29 p.m. in the 5000 block of Sutcliff Avenue, Capt. Rob Brown said.

The fire was caused when the woman, who is unable to walk, set her bed on fire while smoking.

Her son was also in bed and heard the smoke detector go off.

He went into the hall and found the woman's bed on fire and the fire spreading, while the woman had rolled off the bed onto the floor.

The son managed to drag his mother out of the burning room and into the hallway, where neighbors who had rushed in after seeing smoke helped carry her from the house, Brown said.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the front of the house and the bed on fire.

They contained the fire to the bedroom.

The mother and son were transported to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns.

The Red Cross is helping the family with temporary accommodations.

FBI and Oakland PD Served Sixteen High-Risk Search Warrants Wednesday Night

The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Oakland Police Department served sixteen high-risk narcotics and weapons related search warrants Wednesday night, according to a police spokeswoman.

Of the 16 warrants served overnight, 13 warrants were served at various locations in Oakland, according to Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson.

The other three search warrants were served in Hayward, San Leandro and Antioch, Watson said.

The search warrants led to multiple arrests as well as the recovery of weapons and narcotics, according to Watson.

Helicopters circled overhead as portions of Seventh and Eighth streets were shut down for at least 90 minutes on Wednesday night.

The operation concluded shortly after 1:00 a.m. this morning with no injuries or use of force reported, Watson said.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Focast

Mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog are likely in the Bay Area this morning.

Highs are expected to be in the upper 50s, with southwest winds up to 15 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies are likely this evening. Lows are expected to be in the upper 40s, with westerly winds up to 15 mph.

Cloudy skies and patchy fog are expected Friday morning.

Highs are likely to be in the lower 60s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph.

 

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