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Source: MedleyStory

Plea deal reached in drunken brawl near AT&T Park

Two Sacramento men accused of knocking a woman unconscious in a drunken brawl outside of AT&T Park earlier this month have reached a plea deal, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

Anthony Rucker, 42, and Francisco Lopez, 32, pleaded guilty and no contest, respectively, to assault and battery charges connected with a fight that occurred around 5:50 p.m. on July 10 at Second and King streets.

The fight broke out near the stadium where, earlier that day, the San Francisco Giants had played the Oakland Athletics.

Both men had attended the game with their families.

Rucker pleaded guilty to felony assault. He faces three years' probation and one year in county jail, according to the district attorney's office.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 17.

Lopez, who was with Rucker at the incident, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault. He was sentenced to three years' probation.

The two men were arrested in Sacramento for their alleged involvement in the fight, which left a 27-year-old Oakland woman unconscious and injured a 28-year-old San Jose man.

The pair's attorneys had argued that the fight started after the woman and man thought Rucker's 13-year-old daughter was filming the woman vomiting on the sidewalk.

The daughter was only playing a video game, but the altercation escalated and Lopez got involved. Rucker allegedly swung and hit the woman, who was knocked unconscious, according to the attorneys.

The woman was taken to the hospital and released the next day. The man also suffered minor injures in the fight.

Lopez' attorney argued that Lopez had been punched by the San Jose man and his nose was broken in the drunken brawl.

Prosecutors said both Rucker and Lopez were on probation out of Sacramento County before their arrests.

Rucker was convicted of illegal possession of marijuana, while Lopez was convicted of negligent discharge of a firearm.

Rucker remains in custody on $200,000 bail.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:46:50 -0700

Man accused of bar hopping on lawnmower, charged with DUI

Police in Colorado claim 53-year-old Kenneth Welton used a lawnmower as his mode of transportation for a recent night on the town gone awry.

Police were alerted by concerned citizens who reported Welton was aboard a lawnmower going the wrong direction down a busy road in Garden City, Colorado.

According to this CBS4 report, Weld County Sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Standridge says that when police confronted Welton, he was unable to stand on his own and showed other signs of impairment.

Welton, interviewed by a news reporter while in jail, disputed the charges. He claimed he was using the lawnmower to trim weeds, not for bar-hopping. Welton was shocked by the DUI charge.

KOAA reports that Welton is a repeat traffic offender and his driver’s license had already been revoked at the time of the alleged lawnmower DUI.

It is not know if Welton has obtained legal representation.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:42:00 -0700

CHP helicopter rescues teens from Marin cliff

Two male teens were rescued Friday evening from a 75-foot cliff in the Golden Gate Recreation Area in Marin County by a cinch collar line lowered from a helicopter operated by the California Highway Patrol, a CHP officer said.

At about 6:30 p.m. Friday, the Southern Marin Fire Department contacted the CHP to send a helicopter from the Napa County Airport to help rescue two juveniles trapped on the side of a cliff over Rodeo Beach in the recreation area, Officer Al Romero said.

The teenaged boys had apparently climbed the face of the cliff and then "felt if they moved anymore, they were going to fall," Romero said.

The CHP'S Napa office sent an H-30 helicopter to the area, north of the Point Bonita Lighthouse, and the crew found the boys about 75 feet above the beach, clinging to the face of the cliff, the CHP said.

The boys, wearing only beachwear and no shoes, were unable to get off the cliff and were at a location that was too steep and not close to a roadway for a high-angle rope rescue, the CHP reported.

With directions provided by the Fire Department, the crew of the helicopter dangled a line with a cinch rescue collar down to the boys and lowered each of them to the beach.

"They just put up their arms around it and it cinched to them," said Romero, who was a member of the flight crew. "We lowered them one at a time."

A deputy of the Marin County Sheriff's Office was on the beach to greet the boys and take their statements, Romero said.

Both of the teens were also reunited with their families. Neither was injured.

As helicopter rescues using a harness go, this operation "wasn't one of the tense ones," compared to having to lower the rescue collar through trees, Romero said. "It was a pretty open area."

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:24:22 -0700

Caught on radar: Beer-loving bugs swarm in Midwest

Mayflies have begun emerging from the Mississippi River in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and leave behind slimy messes. They've already been blamed for at least one car crash this week in Wisconsin.

The flies hatch and then spend a year burrowed into the sediment on the bottom of the river that serves as a border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. They emerge the next summer to mate, lay eggs and die, all in less than 48 hours.

Mayflies, sensitive to oxygen levels and pollutants in the river, serve as "sentinels" for scientists and others concerned about water quality, said Mark Steingraeber, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. Mayflies disappeared from a 70-mile area south of the Twin Cities in the 1920s and didn't reappear in significant numbers again until 1978, when wastewater treatment and others actions taken under the Clean Water Act began to have an impact.

The National Weather Service captured a massive swarm on radar Sunday night as the flies came out of the river and drifted north on the wind. The radar system picks up energy reflected off the flies, with the image's intensity reflecting the density of the bugs.

A loop recorded Sunday shows yellow patches directly over the river that morph into a green band as the flies drift north. The bugs become blue dots as they disperse.

A second, smaller swarm recorded Thursday night starts as a green band before exploding like fireworks into blue dots.

"Almost every night in the summer, there's some sense on the radar that there's something coming off the river," said Dan Baumgardt, science and operations officer for the National Weather Service in La Crosse. "We don't know what kind of bug it is ... until we have people calling or saying, 'Oh my gosh, there's mayflies all in the La Crosse area.' "

The weather service typically records several swarms each year from June through August. Air and water temperatures have been usually cool this year, helping explain why Sunday's emergence was the first big one this summer, Steingraeber said.

Attracted by light, mayflies congregate on roads, bridges and other surfaces in piles that can be nearly 2 feet high. Cars crush the flies, releasing liquid in the females' eggs and making roads slick. Two people were injured Sunday in Trenton Township in western Wisconsin when a car slid on a road covered by flies, crashed into a second car and then struck a van.

Flies that aren't crushed spend 24 hours shedding exoskeletons in a final stage of development before taking to the air again to mate. The females then seek water to lay their eggs.

"If they happen to come across a cup of beer, they will deposit them in a cup of beer," said Steingraeber, who needs volunteers to help track the flies' appearance for his research.

Adult flies die after laying their eggs. Within hours, their offspring hatch in the river, and the cycle begins again.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:11:20 -0700

Saturday Weather Forecast: Warm inland

A drop in daytime highs is expected for today as the sea breeze picks up this afternoon. Patchy fog will linger along the coast. An Increase in high clouds is expected for the afternoon.

    Forecasted Highs:
  • Pacifica: 67
  • San Francisco: 74
  • San Mateo: 83
  • San Jose: 89
  • Fremont: 86
  • Oakland: 82
  • Livermore: 97
  • Antioch: 99
  • Santa Rosa: 92

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:05:39 -0700

Bryman College set to close Bay Area campuses

It's the end of the line for all four Bay Area locations of Bryman College.

Employees say administrators told them on Friday afternoon that the college was closing its campuses in San Jose, San Francisco, Hayward and Los Angeles.

The announcement didn't come as too much of a surprise for one a long-time staff member who told KTVU off camera that the school has been having trouble paying its employees during the past year.

When KTVU arrived at the San Jose location on North First Street, people were locking up and leaving. But when approached, the employees declined to talk on camera.

Meanwhile, the last graduating class for the San Jose campus was holding its commencement ceremony at a nearby church.

One new graduate proudly showed us her diploma, declaring she was the first in her family to graduate from college.

"I'm feeling great...just graduated," said Ashley Soto of Redwood City.

 

But she and others in the class of 2014 are also expressing sadness. This joyful occasion was marred by the news of the school's bankruptcy and closure.

"My instructor who prepared me to go get a career doesn't have a job anymore It's heartbreaking," said Angelina Aguilar of San Jose.

The graduates told KTVU they had paid $16,000 for an accelerated education of less than one year to qualify for a career in the medical field. Now, they're relieved they've completed their education before Bryman closed.

"It's really sad over the news that we heard," said Iniobong Udoffia, a new graduate.

The mother of two asys her heart goes out to other students who haven't finished their courses.

"Some of the students only have one month to finish...there's nothing you can do about it," said Udoffia.

On the California Department of consumer affairs website, officials have announced they will have staff at each of the school's locations to assist students on Monday morning.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:46:12 -0700

Woman calls police about her laced meth

The Enid Police Department received a different kind of call earlier this week.

They tell EnidNews.com, a 54-year-old woman called them claiming her meth was laced. 

Lynette Sampson wasn't having medical issues due to the laced meth.  Police say people just do really stupid things when they're high on meth.

When officers arrived at her home, she was more than happy to show them where all of her meth was located.  In fact, she had multiple hidden locations. 

Sampson had no idea she was not only admitting to crimes, but was also giving officers a lot of evidence.

Once the tour of Sampson's home was over, officers took her into custody.  She faces multiple drug counts. 

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:21:32 -0700

Man burned; San Jose firefighters battle 5-alarm warehouse fire

A man suffered severe burns early Saturday in a spectacular five-alarm fire that raced through a San Jose industrial area near Spartan Stadium, damaging several warehouses and storage units, authorities said.

San Jose fire Capt. Rob Brown said the blaze broke out in a warehouse at South Seventh Street and East Alma Ave. at around 3:30 a.m.

The fire quickly spread throughout the industrial area, growing to five alarms.

San Jose fire Capt. Cleo Doss said a man had suffered severe to critical burn injuries. He was taken to a local hospital. His condition was not known.

Doss said it would likely take hours before the fire was under control because some of the damaged structures were unstable and unsafe for firefighters to enter.

No further details were immediately available.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 08:23:13 -0700

Vallejo animal rescue effort in a race with time

Everyday Lynn Carvahlo opens the doors of her Wags and Whiskers thrift shop and hopes today will be the day they find a way to help the thousands of animals on the streets of Vallejo.

She founded the non-profit group S.N.I.P, the Spay Neuter Imperative Project.

Carvahlo says “the problem is horrendous” -- feral cat populations are in almost every neighborhood and shelters are at capacity. But she says the solution is just within reach and it comes in the form of a mobile spay and neuter van.

Part of the battle to make the mobile van a reality has already been won.

The City of Vallejo has already allocated $165,000 that would go specifically towards procedures. Petsmart Charities has also awarded $95,000 to the group.

There is only one problem the group still needs a mobile van to make it all happen. The van can cost $85,000-$100,000 and they are running out of time to get one.

Carvahlo told KTVU “we have until the end of August and then the money reverts back to the city.”

If that happens then the Petsmart money will be lost as well.

She is now working with Michelle Morris-Adams who founded the magazine Pet Lovers Guide and who spent 5 years working for rescue groups.

“I've personally trapped and neutered over 400 animals over the last five years I’ve rehomed almost two hundred,” Morris-Adams told KTVU.

Morris-Adams says the shelters do what they can but they are almost always full.

The Vallejo Humane Shelter is at capacity and so is the Fairfield Animal Shelter. Of the 10,000 animals the shelter takes in annually, 20 percent come from Vallejo.

When KTVU went by the shelter it was tough to find any empty space.

“We are extremely overcrowded today with a population of 356 animals,” Lt. Cathy Ramos told KTVU.

They normally house about 160 so staffers were asking other shelters to help shoulder the load. But not all the animals taken in will find homes.

“We actually have a live release rate of 60 percent so 40 percent of those animals do not make it out of here,” Ramos said.

Carvahlo says she’s not sure if they’ll raise the money in time.

She has started a Go Fund Me account and all the proceeds from the thrift store will go towards the effort.

But at this point they are not even close to their goal.

Still Morris-Adams says she doesn’t believe it’s a question of support but rather getting the word out. They are hoping the more people know, the more the money they will raise and insists they are not giving up.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:51:33 -0700

Pedestrian struck by CHP patrol car in San Jose

A man was in critical condition early Saturday after he dashed in front of a California Highway Patrol car on southbound Highway 101 in San Jose and was struck, authorities said.

CHP officer Ross Lee said the incident took place at around 1:50 a.m. as the patrol car with two officers inside was traveling south near Alum Rock Ave.

“A pedestrian ran across the freeway,” Lee told KTVU. “The officer applied the brakes and swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid the pedestrian…But the pedestrian was struck by the left side of the patrol vehicle. “

Ross said the officers did not have much time to react. The man – a Spanish-speaking male in his 20s – came into view when the patrol car was 10 feet away from him.

The officers regained control of the car, rolling to a stop on the shoulder and then raced back up the freeway to assist the man.

“He appeared to have suffered major injuries, but responded to treatment,” Lee said. “He was talking to the officers. “

The man was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery. Lee said the man was in critical condition.

All but one lane of the busy freeway was shut down for several hours while investigators were on the scene. The freeway was expected to be completely reopened by 9 a.m.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:41:52 -0700

Man allegedly punches pregnant cousin for not sharing toothpaste

A man remains in the Palm Beach County Jail after he allegedly punched his pregnant cousin after the woman refused to share her toothpaste, according to an arrest report.

Lucas J. Dendy faces a charge of aggravated battery against a pregnant victim and is being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

The woman, who is five months pregnant, told Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies that Dendy has been residing in her home for a month. The two got into an argument Thursday after the woman refused Dendy’s request for toothpaste, the report said.

When the woman tried to close the door to her bedroom, she said Dendy pushed the door open, striking her in the stomach. Dendy, 20, then allegedly punched her on the left eye. A deputy noted on the arrest report that the woman had an abrasion over her left eye.

While being questioned by deputies, Dendy allegedly admitting striking the woman then denied it, the report said.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 03:15:00 -0700

Solar flare could have wiped out Earth's electronics

We could have been living in the Stone Age!

That is, if Earth had been a few days earlier in its orbit around the sun two years ago. Scientists at NASA say in 2012, Earth narrowly avoided a direct hit from a coronal mass ejection, or, in other words, a solar flare.

NASA explains coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, occur when huge bursts of energy launch material from the surface of the sun. If Earth's orbit takes it into the path of the CME, the charged plasma can wreak complete havoc with electronics. That didn't happen in 2012 because the CME in question missed Earth by just a week. "If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces," said Daniel Baker, a physics professor at the University of Colorado.

The scientists say in July of 2012, two CMEs actually launched just minutes apart, and together they traveled a path cleared by another CME just days before. Their conclusions suggest we earthlings didn't just dodge a bullet, but an enormous, society-crippling space EMP.

A similarly disastrous instance in the 19th Century, the Carrington Event, caused outages along some telegraph lines.

>> More popular and trending stories

Had Earth been hit in 2012, the damage would be much more severe. NASA's scientists estimate the damage from the 2012 storm could have topped $2 trillion, or 20 times that caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Headlines like this one at ExtremeTech say it all, really — we don't have much of a backup plan. 

"You can't just magically replace dozens of giant transformers and substations. If a giant solar storm hit the Earth, large parts of society could be without power for months or years."

The best defense, in this case, appears to be vigilance. The scientists using fleets of satellites to monitor the sun say even hours of advance warning could be enough to help — even if it's just unplugging things around the house. (Via NASA)

In the meantime, the scientific community is gathering all the data it can. The 2012 CME was the subject of a paper published in the journal Nature Communications this March.

Published: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 02:22:59 -0700

Preps underway for bull run at Alameda County Fairgrounds

The Alameda County Fairgrounds race track is ready for a run unlike any other in the track's history. A Pamplona style event will have as many as 3,000 people running with bulls.

The event has drawn big crowds and controversy on its tour of eight cities so far around the U.S.

Rob Dickens the founder and Chief Operating Officer of the Great Bull Run event says the idea came to him after he wasn't able to book a trip to Pamplona himself.

"For most people here it's impossible to go to Pamplona to run with the bulls so why not bring something similar to the U.S.?" Dickens told KTVU Friday.

"You don't get many opportunities in our sedentary lives to experience true adrenaline, to experience to fear and to see how you'd react in those situations," Dickens said.

He has run in each of the eight events held so far and says there are some significant differences between his event and the ones in Spain.

For safety, there are points along the course where there are spaces to the side where people can run off the path. Dickens says only 750 people are allowed on the track, which is dirt or grass instead of hard pavement that is found in Spain which can cause injuries.

There are 20 bulls and 8 steers in the event, more than the half dozen or so used in Pamplona. Dickens also says the bulls are not whipped or prodded before running down the path.

He says the bulls do run fast, up to 30 miles an hour.

Russ Fields, President of Rowell Ranch Rodeo owns the ranch in Castro Valley where the bulls are staying during their West Coast tour.

"Some will hook you. There's a couple darn sure chase you up the side of the fence," Fields said as he showed KTVU the bulls that arrived from a ranch in Kentucky.

"It's crazy that something like that draws so many people," Fields told KTVU Friday.

As a longtime rancher, he had some advice for participants. "If you get in front of them, they might run you over, but I don't think they'll stop and camp on you," Fields said.

Opponents have raised questions about the safety of the event for the bulls and the people.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a lawsuit on March 13th to stop the event.

An online petition at Change.Org reportedly drew more than 1,700 signatures.

Dickens admits there are risks but says so far there have been no serious injuries.

"We usually have two-three per event. Not serious injuries, concussions, scrapes, bruises. I believe we've had two-three broken bones out of 40,000 participants total," said Dickens.

The bulls will run four times Saturday and organizers are expecting last minute walk-ins.

Tickets are $75 at the gate to participate in the bull run.

Organizers say given the events' success, they plan to hold more bull runs in the U.S. next year.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:15:04 -0700

Volunteer fire spotters stationed in lookout towers

With high fire danger this weekend, Marin County's fire spotters will be keeping an especially sharp eye out for smoke.

"It's wonderful being up here, I never get tired of the view," Larry Levy told KTVU, from his perch at the top of Mount Tamalpais, 2,600 feet up, in a lookout tower built 80 years ago.

"It's a secret but world class destination," Levy joked, referring to the panoramic views stretching out before him. "People would spend a lot of money to spend the night in a place like this!"

Sixty-seven-year-old Levy and a rotating crew of volunteers staff Mt. Tam's lookout and another on nearby Mt. Barnaby. "You have to like the quiet, and like the solitude," acknowledged Levy, "I like being on the mountain, it's very easy for me."

It would be easy to get lost in the views, with the bridges and hustle bustle of Bay Area life laid out in a panorama.

"You know there's so much going on, and you don't hear any of it," smiled Levy, "I'm the fool on the hill, I'm above it, I'm above it all."

Levy's mission is serious - scanning Marin’s ridgelines for the wisp of smoke that in the right conditions could become a devastating wildfire. 

“I'm watching most of the time.” He prefers the catwalk, because there's no window glare. He puts in about six days a month, rotating with other lookouts.

They're all volunteers, and they're not 100 percent staffed

“When I see smoke, I look through this end, and look through the crosshairs.” Levy has tools to map locations. He's seen smoke only once in his three seasons, but it doesn't ease his worry about the potential for a firestorm.

“A spark could set it off, and it's all fuel, all fuel, and there's nothing that could stop it,” he said.

After years of biking and hiking Mount Tam, the retired carpenter feels a personal connection. 

“I give back, I protect the mountain as a way of saying thank you after all the pleasure the mountain gave me over the years.”

The fire lookouts on Mount Tam and nearby Mount Barnaby can stay overnight, but don't have to.

Levy says in a full moon - or immersed in fog it's magical, but most nights he prefers to go home to his wife.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:47:38 -0700

Reports of entangled seals and sea lions on the rise

Workers at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito report receiving more entangled animals this year compared to the last few years.

According to rescuers, they’ve treated 16 entangled animals so far this year. Last year, they saw just 15 animals, mostly sea lions tangled in fishing line and other trash. The year before that, they saw just 11.

In 2009, the Center saw more than 100 entangled animals. A spokesperson said the spike in 2009 corresponds with the higher overall number of animals they rescued that year. 

“The animals are getting caught up in fishing gear or packing straps,” said Dr. Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at The Marine Mammal Center.  “They're coming in contact with all this fishing gear and ocean trash, and they're curious or they’re trying to catch fish in nets or something like that and they’re getting entangled.”

Folks at the center attribute the increase in part to new capture techniques they started using this spring – using a tranquilizer dart with a tracking device. They said that has helped them successfully rescue more entangled critters.

Earlier this week, rescuers captured a juvenile California sea lion from the Santa Cruz area that had become tangled in a large amount of fishing net.

“Over time, as she was growing and as she was eating, this gill net was not expanding.  It was cutting through her tissues right around her ears,” said Johnson.

Dr. Johnson said the entanglement likely damaged her hearing, but she is now recovering at the center, and is expected to be released back into the wild next week.

Another sea lion was rescued several weeks ago with a crab trap stuck on its snout. The animal recovered after surgery and several weeks of rehabilitation, and was released back into the ocean at Rodeo Beach Friday morning.

Last year, rescuers tended to an elephant seal, found with a toilet seat stuck around its neck.

“We all hate to see these animals who have been influenced negatively by human impact,” said Johnson.

Rescuers hope increased awareness will lead to a decrease in injured animals.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:35:23 -0700

Record breaking temperatures in some Bay Area cities

Temperatures in downtown San Francisco set a record high Friday, reaching 85 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

The previous high for July 25 was 82 degrees set in 1973.

Mountain View also set a record at 95 degrees. The previous high was 90 degrees set in 2005.

Lastly, Richmond hit 87 degrees, which tied a record set in 2005.

Friday was forecasted to be the hottest day this week as temperatures rose throughout the Bay Area.

Temperatures in the area are expected to begin cooling this weekend.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:47:04 -0700

Wildfire forces evacuation of rural Calif. homes

A fast-moving wildfire in Northern California has prompted the evacuation of homes along a rural road east of Sacramento.

CalFire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said the fire broke out Friday afternoon in a riverbed along the Amador and El Dorado county line, north of the town of Plymouth.

She said the fire crossed the river into more rugged terrain, hampering firefighters' efforts to corral the blaze. It has grown to about 600 acres.

Dry, thick brush and oak trees fueled the blaze, which sent a huge plume of smoke across the region.

Tolmachoff said an unknown number of homes on Sand Ridge Road off Highway 49 were evacuated.

The fire is about 45 miles east of Sacramento.

Tolmachoff said investigators were trying to determine whether a burned car ignited the fire.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:26:24 -0700

Structure fire burns in Lafayette

A structure fire was burning in Lafayette Friday.

Contra Costa fire officials tell KTVU the three-alarm fire was burning a home on Monticello Road near Glen Road.

The fire started in a garage of a one story wood frame house and spread to the vegetation around it.

The area is on the edge of Briones Regional Park. A neighbor told KTVU he heard crackling noises before seeing the flames.

A second home also suffered damage.

At this point additional details have not been released.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:13:45 -0700

Vallejo group works to start mobile spay and neuter van

Everyday Lynn Carvahlo opens the doors of her Wags and Whiskers thrift shop and hopes today will be the day they find a way to help the thousands of animals on the streets of Vallejo. 

She founded the non-profit group S.N.I.P, the Spay Neuter Imperative Project. Carvahlo says, "the problem is horrendous." She says there are feral cat populations in almost every neighborhood and shelters are at capacity. But she says the solution is just within reach and it comes in the form of a mobile spay and neuter van.

Part of the battle to make the mobile van a reality has already been won. The City of Vallejo has already allocated $165,000 that would go specifically towards procedures. Petsmart Charities has also awarded $95,000 for the group.  

There is only one problem - the group still needs a mobile van to make it all happen. The van can cost $85,000 to 100,000 and they are running out of time to get one.

Carvahlo told KTVU, "we have until the end of August and then the money reverts back to the city." If that happens then the Petsmart money will be lost as well.

She is now working with Michelle Morris-Adams who founded the magazine Pet Lovers Guide and who spent five years working for rescue groups. She still spends a lot of her time and her own money trying to help strays on the streets.

Morris-Adams told KTVU, "I've personally trapped and neutered over 400 animals over the last five years I've rehomed almost two hundred."

Morris-Adams says the shelters do what they can but they are almost always full. The Vallejo Humane Shelter is at capacity and so is the Fairfield Animal Shelter.

Of the 10,000 animals the shelter takes in annually, 20 percent come from Vallejo. When KTVU went by the shelter it was tough to find any empty space. Lt. Cathy Ramos told KTVU, "we are extremely overcrowded today with a population of 356 animals."

They normally house about 160 so staffers were asking other shelters to help shoulder the load.  Not all the animals taken in will find homes.  

Ramos told KTVU "we actually have a live release rate of 60 percent so 40 percent of those animals do not make it out of here."

Carvahlo says she's not sure if they'll raise the money in time. She has started a Go Fund Me account and all the proceeds from the thrift store will go towards the effort.  

But at this point they are not even close to their goal.  Still Morris-Adams says she doesn't believe it's a question of support but rather getting the word out. They are hoping the more people know, the more the money they will raise and insists they are not giving up.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:49:39 -0700

$17.4 million grant to enhance security of BART's critical infrastructure

It's one of the most important parts of the Bay Area transit network.

Tens of thousands of people take BART's transbay tube between San Francisco and the East Bay every day. That's why a big chunk of homeland security money is now headed this way.

"Jumping on the tube, it's like, you're there in a split second," said rider Guy Dechalus.

It's a quick, albeit noisy, ride through the transbay tube that riders need. "Oh quite a bit. Tonight I'll be taking it back into the city to go out with friends," said commuter Lauren Wilkerson.

That's why on Friday, East Bay Congressman Eric Swalwell announced a new $17.4 million federal grant is coming to BART. He said, "This... grant is a smart investment that will enable BART to enhance the security of its critical infrastructure against a potential terrorist attack. The failure to do so could cripple the Bay Area's economy."

"I live in Fremont and that's my means of transportation to get back and forth from San Francisco," said Daniel Beal.

BART officials are being vague about how the money will help. "We're not going to go into the level of details of what the money is for, because it's a very high risk situation," explained spokeswoman, Alicia Trost.

But Trost specified the funding is not for additional police. "The money's going to be used for critical infrastructure needs, for the transbay tube to make sure it's safe and secure."

Because the tube runs under the bay, officials say riders won't notice any work being done. That could mean the structure's shell will be hardened to protect it from any underwater explosives.

"Given all that's been happening around the world, I think every security measure is important," said commuter Michelle Boifort.

BART officials wouldn't even say when the work will begin, again, for security reasons. But now that the funding is secure, the project will soon go out for bids.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:19:26 -0700