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Source: MedleyStory

Giants pride on full display in South Bay

By no means is San Francisco the only place where you'll find San Francisco Giants pride on display. Businesses in the South Bay are doing their part to root and support the team and it's proving to be quite profitable.

Rarely do you walk into a barbershop and get a bit nostalgic. Rob Whitsey's grandfather founded the Giant’s barbershop in 1966 and named it after the San Francisco Giants for his love of Willie Mays.

“I grew up watching Chili Davis, Atlee Hammaker and all the great Giants players back then,” said Whitsey.

Signed autographs from Mays, other Giants and World Series memorabilia adorn the walls. Giants camaraderie filled what the shop called its "own little dugout.”

“When I come over here that's all I hear about is Giants,” said Antonio Cuevas who is a customer.

“Every city in the Bay Area, everyone here is just feeling it,” said Whitsey. “The black and orange. They are just making songs and videos. It's a beautiful thing.”

On the other side of town is another story of giant success. Over at Cukui in North San Jose, the store is making t-shirts with an original “Giants” design.

“We are basically selling them as fast as we can make them,” said RJ Onaka of Cukui. “For a small mom and pop, this is definitely overwhelming.”

Since Friday, the store estimates its sold nearly 700 pieces proving it's not just San Franciscans with the heart of a giant. 

“They are the team right now,” said Onaka. “They are hot. They are going for the third. It’s exciting and it brings a lot buzz to the Bay Area. It brings up morale in the Bay Area.”

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:20:06 -0700

7 injured after car crashes into Dublin restaurant

Seven people were injured in Dublin Thursday evening when a woman drove her car into a busy restaurant, according to police.

The driver, a 56-year-old woman, was trying to park in front of Los Pericos in the 7400 block of Village Parkway around 6:15 p.m. when she accidentally accelerated, police said.

She crashed into the crowded restaurant, injuring six people inside, several of them seriously. All six were taken to local hospitals for treatment, but police said all are expected to survive their injuries.

The driver is also being treated for injuries sustained in the crash.

Police are investigating the collision.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:07:56 -0700

CHP officer investigated for sending himself nude photos from suspect's phone

A Dublin-area California Highway Patrol officer is under investigation for allegedly sending nude photos of a DUI suspect from her cellphone to his own phone while the young woman was in custody, court records show.

An investigator from the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office is recommending that 35-year-old CHP Officer Sean Harrington be charged with felony computer theft, according to the court records.

Investigators served a search warrant at the officer's Martinez home on Oct. 10 and seized his cellphone and laptop that contained nude or semi-nude photos, text messages and instant messages from the cellphone of a 23-year-old San Ramon woman arrested on suspicion of DUI, according to the search warrant.

The woman, whose name is not being released and is referred to in court documents as Jane Doe, was stopped by Harrington and his CHP partner for an unsafe lane change on Interstate Highway 680 in San Ramon just after midnight on Aug. 29.

Doe failed field sobriety tests and her blood alcohol level was measured at .29 percent, according to court records.

The officers took the woman to county jail in Martinez and she was later issued a notice to appear in court and released.

According to court records, the woman later noticed that six photos of her had been secretly forwarded from her cellphone to an unknown number in the 707 area code while she was in police custody.

Doe and her attorney, Rick Madsen, provided a statement to the district attorney's office on Oct. 7 and a judge later issued a search warrant for Harrington's home. Madsen said his client is humiliated and called the case a violation of public trust.

“She has no idea where the photographs are, who has seen them, who has retransmitted them, or when they will reappear for the rest of her life,” Madsen said. “The anxiety associated with it is unbearable.”

A CHP spokeswoman said they are cooperating with the criminal investigation while conducting their own administrative investigation. The officer has been placed on administrative duties and his peace officer powers have been taken away.

Barry Grove with the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office said investigators have known about the case for weeks. They are investigating multiple cases similar to this one.

“Police officers are human beings just like everybody else,” Grove said. “They’re sworn to do a job, they’re sworn to uphold the law, but sometimes, just like all human beings, they fall short of what they’re supposed to do.”

An announcement on whether or not charges will be filed is expected next week.



Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:57:46 -0700

AT&T Park activity underway, one day before Game 3

One day before Game 3 of the World Series is set to kick off; the activity at AT&T Park is already picking up steam.

The Royals wrapped up their off-day practice, and the Giants took the field afterwards.

"You want to gain home field advantage," said Giants Broadcaster Mike Krukow after arriving from the airport. He says the team is where it wants to be.

"When you split, as they did by winning the first one, they have that opportunity now to win at home, to have that home field advantage and now it's up to them to take advantage of it."

Fans stood outside waiting for the team buses, hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite players, perhaps even an autograph.

"Got off work, rushed down here and we said hopefully he can get at least one autograph, and he got Peavy. He's excited," said Nancy Heinicke of San Mateo.

The Kansas City Royals arrived at the park just after noon with a San Francisco Police escort. Three hours later, they were on the field working out and getting used to AT&T Park with its unusual layout.

"And really work on what the ball does coming off the wall and what it does in that big gap out there in right center field," said Royals Manager Ned Yost.

He grew up in the Bay Area and played baseball at Dublin High School and Chabot College in Hayward.

"I was a huge Giants fan growing up. I bet I went through 15 Giants hats as a kid. Willie Mays was my idol, my most favorite player, so to be able to come back to San Francisco and the Bay Area where I still got a lot of family and a lot of friends on this type of stage is really, really cool."

Someone who knows this stage well is MLB Network analyst and former Giant Mark DeRosa who was on the 2010 World Series Champion team.

"The Kansas City fans are in for a real treat. The ones who made the trek out here because this place is as loud and electric a stadium as there is in the big leagues," said DeRosa.

Wade Davis is a pitcher for Kansas City who is fired up to be in San Francisco.

"It's pretty cool to get out and see the city's alive, and everybody's out wearing their gear for their team. And just getting out here and taking a look at the stadium.”

The Giants had scheduled their practice from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, but they wrapped it up within about an hour.


Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:45:17 -0700

Businesses near AT&T Park stock up for World Series weekend

In a recent series of busy weekends in San Francisco, this weekend's World Series festivities will be the most closely watched globally as people come from all over the nation needing food, drink and lodging.

The population of good-sized town will flood the neighborhood south of the Bay Bridge to be at on or close to the World Series action. And businesses couldn't be happier.

The record attendance at AT&T Park of just over 44,000 per game came four years ago during the playoffs. That's roughly the entire population of the sprawling East Bay city of Dublin. It is a huge group of people to provide food, beverage and souvenirs to for three straight days. Add to that t

he bars and restaurants around the Park and you have what is known as a major logistics problem supplying them with goods ranging from t-shirts to tequila and pastries to popcorn.

At the center of it all, deep inside the ballpark, is Centerplate. The company that keeps the food and drink flowing at the Park is working nonstop.

"The mere movement of the amount of product throughout the stadium, to get things adequately stocked, to get things adequately staffed," said Centerplate Senior Vice-President Bill Greathouse.

Before the first fan arrives, it takes at least 1,200 people to make sure that the park is ready for play.

"The big change is probably merchandise within the building: the t-shirts, the hats, the commemorative items," added Greathouse.

Before the staff get any items to sell, it goes through security.

"All of our trucks that are making any kind of delivery are going through x-ray procedures in adjacent piers," said Greathouse, referring to screening being done by Homeland Security.

At the nearby Polo Club Lounge, it will also be standing room only this weekend.

"Oh, we're still stocking up. We are preparing around the clock and everybody is on schedule; all hands on deck," said Polo Grounds Bartender Jen Hawkins.

Next door at the tiny SBC Pizza Shop, Gabriel Colorado and his small staff expect a huge increase in orders.

"Yeah maybe like 40 percent; yes, a big increase." said Colorado.

"It's about to be amazing and crazy and have a lot of fun," said bartender Hawkins.

And, oh yes, pallet after pallet of toilet paper.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:40:29 -0700

Napalm Girl: A moving message over 40 years later

The auditorium at the Westridge School in Pasadena was packed. The dozens of usually giggly girls were so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. The very soft voice of Kim Phuc echoed from the podium, saying "peace is so important, horrible things happen during war."

She should know, she was 9-years-old when napalm bombs destroyed the Vietnam temple where she was hiding with her family. As she and her brothers ran for safety, a young AP photographer took their picture. As soon as he realized her skin was falling off, burned from the napalm, he put her and all the kids in his vehicle and rushed them to get help.

His name is Nick Ut, and his photograph of Kim running during the infamous Trangvang offensive became famous. The picture won the Pulitzer Prize and showed the world the very ugly face of civilian injuries.

Ut was also injured, trying to go back to the village where Kim lived. But they did catch up eventually, years later. He was instrumental in helping her flee from Vietnam with her husband and go to Canada, where she now lives.

She came to Westbridge as part of a program promoting peace and forgiveness. Her inspirational words moved several students to tears.

Kim has devoted her life to working for the rights of children in war zones, and inspiring everyone to realize that, even today, civilians are affected in military actions. Hers is not a political message, as she has done a lot of work with American veterans.

Nick Ut continues working for AP, and has earned awards for numerous other photos. He is an unassuming man, with a huge heart and incredible talent. 

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:04:27 -0700

NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola, 1st in city

An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus, becoming the first case in the city and the fourth in the nation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday urged residents not to be alarmed by the doctor's Ebola diagnosis, even as they described him riding the subway, taking a cab and bowling. De Blasio said all city officials followed "clear and strong" protocols in their handling and treatment of him.

"We want to state at the outset that New Yorkers have no reason to be alarmed," de Blasio said. "New Yorkers who have not been exposed are not at all at risk."

The doctor, Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders who had been working in Guinea, returned six days ago and reported Thursday morning coming down with a 103-degree fever and diarrhea. He was being treated in an isolation ward at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola center.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will do a further test to confirm the initial results, has dispatched an Ebola response team to New York, and the city's disease detectives have been tracing Spencer's contacts to identify anyone who may be at risk. The city's health commissioner, Mary Bassett, said Spencer's fiancee and two friends had been quarantined but showed no symptoms.

In the days before Spencer fell ill, he went on a 3-mile jog, went to the High Line park, rode the subway and, on Wednesday night, got a taxi to a Brooklyn bowling alley. Bassett said he felt fatigued Wednesday but not feverish until Thursday morning.

Health officials say the chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, are slim. Someone can't be infected just by being near someone who is sick with Ebola. Someone isn't contagious unless he is sick.

Bassett said the probability was "close to nil" that Spencer's subway ride would pose a risk. Still, the bowling alley was closed as a precaution, and Spencer's Harlem apartment was cordoned off. The Department of Health was on site across the street from the apartment building Thursday night, giving out information to area residents.

President Barack Obama had been briefed on the situation in New York, the White House said.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed about 4,800 people. In the United States, the first person diagnosed with the disease was a Liberian man, who fell ill days after arriving in Dallas and later died, becoming the only fatality. None of his relatives who had close contact with him got sick. Two nurses who treated him were infected and are hospitalized.

According to a rough timeline provided by city officials, Spencer felt fatigue Wednesday and when he felt worse Thursday he and his fiancee made a joint call to authorities to detail his symptoms and his travels. EMTs in full Ebola gear arrived and took him to Bellevue in an ambulance surrounded by police squad cars.

Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization, said per the guidelines it provides its staff members on their return from Ebola assignments, "the individual engaged in regular health monitoring and reported this development immediately." Travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone must report in with health officials daily and take their temperature twice a day, as Spencer did.

Spencer works at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. He had not seen any patients or been to the hospital since his return, the hospital said in a statement, calling him a "dedicated humanitarian" who "went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population."

Four American aid workers, including three doctors, were infected with Ebola while working in Africa and were transferred to the U.S. for treatment in recent months. All recovered.

Health care workers are vulnerable because of close contact with patients when they are their sickest and most contagious. In West Africa this year, more than 440 health workers have contracted Ebola and about half have died.

Spencer, 33, is from Michigan and attended Wayne State University School of Medicine and Columbia's University Mailman School of Public Health.

According to his Facebook page, he left for West Africa via Brussels in mid-September. A photo shows him in full protective gear. He returned to Brussels Oct. 16.

"Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders," he wrote. "Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history."

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:00:18 -0700

Stolen Napa puppy found

A puppy stolen in a Napa home burglary has been found according to police.

The puppy was taken from a Soscal Avenue residence during a burglary Thursday morning.

Police said the burglary in the 2100 block of Soscol Avenue happened between 7:45 and 11 a.m.

The burglar entered through an unlocked garage side door, police said.

The house was ransacked and the burglar took a black Coach purse, brown Coach wallet and a female puppy named "Bella."

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:30:26 -0700

Without more funding, Bay Lights may go dark

A local landmark may go dark if millions of dollars in donations don't come soon.

The Bay Lights on the San Francisco side of the Bay Bridge offer a stunning, computer-generated display each night. It's created by 25,000 twinkling, energy-efficient LED lights, its said to be the largest LED light sculpture in the world.

And it could soon be blinking out for good, according to Illuminate The Arts founder Ben Davis.

"It was a two-year design and a two-year run," said Davis, "and then ends in less than five months, on March 5, 2015. So the Bay Lights will be coming down. The question is, what happens next?"

It took $8 million in private funds to put the lights up for two years. ITA now hopes to raise another $4 million in donations for an improved design Davis said will last for at least 10 years and hopefully be in place for the 2016 Super Bowl in the Bay Area.

"This artwork has caused innovation around the world in how we deal with LEDs in harsh environments," said Davis. "The good news is though that when the eyes of the world are on the Bay Area during Super Bowl 50, this will come back as part of those festivities, being reflected around the world and then stay forever."

The Bay Area Toll Authority and Caltrans have tentatively said they’ll take over maintenance if the new lights are installed.

"It's really very inexpensive," said Bay Area Toll Authority spokesman John Goodwin. "It ranges anywhere from about $20 to $30 a night even on the most expensive nights for electricity."

All that remains is to convince people to give by December 31st. Iluminate The Arts is taking donations at

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:26:14 -0700

Woman fatally struck by tour bus outside San Francisco City Hall

A woman who was hit by a tour bus outside San Francisco City Hall Thursday morning has died as a result of her injuries.

The woman in her 60s who works at City Hall was struck by a cable car-style tour bus in a crosswalk at the corner of Polk and McAllister streets at about 11:30 a.m., according to police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza.

She was then taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries, according to the medical examiner's office.

Witnesses told KTVU the woman who was in the crosswalk had the right away when she was hit by the bus.

"Everybody is saddened because she passed away. It could have been any of us going to lunch. And sometimes the cars don't stop in front of city hall," said city worker Carmelita Harris.

The crosswalk is clearly marked with white stripes and neon signs are located in the middle of the street.

"I'd like to see a signal light because this is sad especially a city and county worker it's very sad it touched my heart," said Harris.

Mayor Ed Lee's said in a statement that said he was deeply saddened and offers his condolences to the woman's family. The statement also noted that she was a valued city employee.

According to Walk First, a city initiative supported by the Mayor and various city departments, that intersection is a high-injury area.

On Thursday afternoon, police stepped up patrol in the area enforcing the states pedestrian right away law. Several drivers and bicyclist were cited.

As for the incident itself, police are still working it.

"There have not been any arrest or citations issued in this case just yet as our investigators still have to interview witnesses aboard the bus," said San Francisco Police Officer Albie Esparza.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:19:16 -0700

Friday Weather Forecast: Weekend rain likely

Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected first thing Friday morning.  The clouds will gradually thin out during the afternoon hours with high temperatures likely ranging from the upper 60s to the upper 70s.

Friday Forecast Highs:

  • Santa Rosa: 74
  • Napa: 74
  • Concord: 78
  • San Rafael: 73
  • Oakland: 73
  • San Francisco: 73
  • Pacifica: 71
  • Redwood City: 74
  • Fremont: 75
  • San Jose: 76
  • Morgan Hill: 78

We are tracking another system that will produce Saturday rainfall, especially during the morning hours. The chance of showers will remain in place throughout the day. We have also introduced the chance of isolated thunder. Dry weather returns Sunday.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:14:03 -0700

Dallas man's Halloween decor inspired by Ebola

Taking inspiration from the fear of Ebola, a Dallas-area man has stacked up barrels marked "biohazard," surrounded his yard with yellow caution tape and crossed his door and windows with white tape marked "quarantine."

"There's negative people everywhere and they are going to give me grief about it but it's all in good fun," James Faulk told reporters Wednesday while standing outside his home wearing a face shield and white protective suit with the label "CDC Trainee" and d gripping a clipboard and red plastic bag marked "biohazard infectious waste."

The decorations re-enact a scene that's played out at three Dallas apartments following the first diagnosis in the U.S. of Ebola. After the diagnosis of Thomas Eric Duncan, who traveled here from West Africa, biohazard crews descended on the apartment where he was staying. Following his Oct. 8 death, two of his nurses were also diagnosed with the virus and the cleanup scene was repeated at their homes.

Faulk, who lives in a town house in the wealthy enclave of University Park, started putting up the decorations Sunday. He said he thought that by then "it was getting back to normal just a little bit."

"So the next step is: Let's have fun on Halloween and scare some people in the process," said Faulk, who on Wednesday added a banner reading "Happy Halloween."

The two nurses remain hospitalized and hundreds of Texans, including those who cared for the Ebola patients and who were on the same flights as one of the nurses, are still being monitored.

"It could be too soon," Faulk conceded. "It's a scary thing."

Jill Grover, whose children attend the high school across the street from Faulk's house, said she initially thought it might have been a real scene until she noticed no workers were around.

"It is Halloween, but it is scary because the Ebola was happening in Dallas," said Grover, who said she wasn't offended but could see how others would be.

University Park spokesman Steve Mace said police so far have gotten just one call out the house and an officer drove by to check out the situation. He said no laws were being broken.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:07:11 -0700

Multi-car injury crash blocking lanes on I-680 in Concord

A multi-car crash has caused multiple reported injuries and is blocking several lanes on northbound Interstate Highway 680 in Concord Thursday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash involving a truck carrying a trailer and up to four more vehicles was reported around 2:20 p.m. on northbound Highway 680 near Concord Avenue, according to the CHP.

Ambulances were called to the scene and there were reports of multiple injuries, according to the CHP and Contra Costa County Fire Protection District officials.

The collision is blocking three lanes along the roadway and the CHP has issued a Sig-alert.

There was no estimate for when the lanes would reopen.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:19:44 -0700

Suspect is charged with murdering 78-year-old man in Oakland crime spree

A 26-year-old man was charged Thursday with special circumstances murder for allegedly fatally stabbing a 78-year-old man in West Oakland on Sunday at the beginning of a crime spree that included three carjackings.

Bennie Deshawn Williams is accused of killing Warner Willis at Willis' home in the 1400 block of Chestnut Street sometime before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oakland police said. Willis was found dead inside his home at about 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, police said.

In addition to murder, Williams is charged with the special circumstances of committing a murder during a robbery and burglary for Willis' death.

Oakland police said they believe Williams carjacked a vehicle in the 1400 block of Chestnut Street outside Willis' home shortly after Willis was killed and then carjacking a second vehicle a few miles away a short time later.

Berkeley police said Williams then carjacked a third vehicle at gunpoint at the SeaBreeze Market at West Frontage and University Avenue in Berkeley at about 4:45 p.m. on Sunday.

After a car chase Williams crashed near Ashby Avenue and Interstate Highway 80 and tried to run away but was arrested, Berkeley police said.

Oakland police Officer Nick Calonge said in a probable cause statement that some of the items that police believe Williams stole were found in the car that he crashed in Berkeley.

Williams is charged with three counts of carjacking, attempted second-degree robbery, evading an officer with willful disregard for public safety and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury for attacking an officer while he was being booked in the Berkeley jail, authorities said.

Calonge said that when Oakland police interviewed Williams he "provided a full confession to the homicide as well as each of the subsequent three carjackings."

Williams was scheduled to be arraigned on the murder charge and the two Oakland carjacking counts in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland this afternoon.

He was arraigned earlier this week on the counts that stem from the Berkeley incidents.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:12:58 -0700

Marine says he's being evicted over service dog

A disabled Iraq War Veteran says he was served an eviction notice over his service dog.

Jessie Johnson is a Marine who suffers from a traumatic brain injury, PTSD and anxiety.

Last Friday he received a verbal eviction notice from his East Grand Fork, Minnesota apartment that he shares with his family.

On Tuesday the Johnson's were slapped with a paper notice stating they have three days to pack up and get out.

The family believes it's because they have a service dog.

Johnson says getting rid his dog, Phoenix, "is not an option."

"We gotta keep the attitude positive so my daughter doesn't have to worry about freaking out about what is going on because at four years old she doesn't deserve it," said Johnson.

He adds, "The dog is a comfort to me, it's helping me out. Even for being nine weeks old, at night time when she sleeps in the bed with me if I start having nightmares or sweats I wake up to her licking my face."

Civil attorney Sean Foss says, "State law says that people with physical and sensory disabilities get to have service animals and to the extent Mr. Johnson's dog is approved service animal, the state law would trump any provisions of the lease."

Johnson says he has all of the necessary documents for the dog and says the apartment complex allows animals. He plans on counter suing for discrimination against disabilities.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:49:48 -0700

Official: 3 dead, 2 hurt in Maryland midair crash

An airplane and a helicopter collided in the air near an airport in Maryland on Thursday, killing three people and injuring two.

A Cirrus SR22 plane was heading to the Frederick Municipal Airport and an R44 helicopter was involved in a training exercise when the collision occurred near the southwest corner of the airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The statement said the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

The collision happened at 3:40 p.m., said Capt. Kevin Fox of Frederick County Fire and Rescue. He said it was not yet clear how the collision occurred or which victims were aboard which aircraft.

According to the FlightAware aviation tracking website, the plane flew from Cleveland Regional Jetport in Cleveland, Tennessee.

A tail number visible in aerial footage from WJZ-TV in Baltimore is registered to Graeves Auto & Appliance in Olney, Maryland. A woman who answered the phone at the store about 4:30 p.m. said, "We can't give you any information" and hung up. According to the store's website, Scott Graeves is the owner of the business. No one immediately responded to a telephone message left at his home.

The injured victims were taken to Meritus Medical Center's trauma center in Hagerstown, Fox said. He did not know the extent of their injuries, and a hospital spokeswoman said the patients were still being evaluated.

The aerial footage showed the plane crashed into a stand of trees, and authorities are investigating the possibility that a shed was struck by one or both of the aircraft after the collision, a Maryland State Police spokeswoman said. The collision prompted road closures at rush hour around the airport near Interstate 70.

The airport opened in 1948. It has two runways.

Nurse Nina Pham arrived at the airport last week from Dallas on her way to treatment for Ebola at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:31:08 -0700

Man sentenced for random execution-style slaying of Castroville pedestrian

A judge in Monterey County Superior Court sentenced a 22-year-old gang member to 50 years to life in prison for the execution-style murder of a pedestrian in Castroville in 2011, a prosecutor said.

Judge Pamela Butler rendered the sentence on defendant Alberto "Trigger" Cortez, of Castroville, from his conviction on first-degree murder, street terrorism, firearm and gang enhancement charges, according to Deputy District Attorney Cristina Johnson.

On May 7, 2011, 24-year-old Jose Calderon Cisneros was walking down Haight Street in front of a residence in Castroville at about 5:45 p.m. when Cortez, a gang member who was a passenger in a vehicle, decided to kill the pedestrian, prosecutors said.

In a video taken from a security camera at the residence and used as evidence by sheriff's deputies, Cisneros is seen holding up his hands in surrender as Cortez shot him repeatedly and continued to fire bullets into Cisneros' head once the victim was on the ground, Johnson said.

Butler remarked during the sentencing hearing in Salinas that the killing was senseless as the victim was merely walking down the street when Cortez opted to shoot him, Johnson said.

Cisneros, found lying on the sidewalk near the intersection of Haight and Salinas streets, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies used the video of the shooting to identify the vehicle used by the suspects and eventually Cortez and his co-defendant Fernando Miranda, according to the district attorney's office.

Miranda, 26, of Castroville, a gang member with Cortez, drove Cortez to and from the crime scene and served as lookout for Cortez during the shooting, Johnson said.

He was on active parole for a gang-related conviction at the time and sheriff's deputies used records from the GPS bracelet he wore to place him at the scene of the homicide, she said.

Miranda pleaded guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon with gang enhancements and was sentenced by Butler last Friday to 42 years and four months in prison, according to prosecutors.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:24:31 -0700

Dying father leaves dozens of letters behind for family

A dying man's final gift to his family, came in the form of more than 30 letters.

Mitchell Whisenhunt lost his battle with Marfan's syndrome Saturday.

Shortly after his passing his wife discovered a collection of letters he left behind, along with notebooks of poetry.

She says reading his letters now that he's gone is surreal, and it's the letters Mitchell wrote to their one-year-old daughter that are the most special.

"If this is being read, I have passed. In this grieving period for my wife, the last thing I want her to worry about is the coming cost of my funeral," Ashley read.

"Her 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, birthday and on the 16th he wrote "Sweet 16" on the front, all the way up to her 18th birthday," Ashley explained of the letters to her daughter.

Whisenhunt's wife says she will honor her late husband's wishes ... And make sure their daughter opens a letter for each occasion her dad wrote one.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:16:57 -0700

4 big-rigs blocking traffic on I-880 in San Leandro

An accident involving four big-rigs is blocking traffic on northbound Interstate Highway 880 near the North Davis Street onramp in San Leandro, according to California Highway Patrol.

No injuries have been reported but two lanes are closed and CHP officers are on scene, said Officer Kevin Bartlett. Bartlett said a freeway service patrol tow truck first came upon the crash, but won't be able to tow the trucks.

Big-rig tow trucks are en route, he said, but there is no time estimate of how long it will take before the lanes are re-opened.

Bartlett said they do not yet know the cause of the crash.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:54:11 -0700

San Francisco tour guide goes on racist rant targeting Chinatown

A San Francisco tour bus guide went on a bizarre racist tirade on her last day on the job that was captured on cell phone video and later posted to YouTube.

In her rant she insulted people in Chinatown. In part of the rant the tour guide stated, "When you come to America you gotta assimilate a little bit, OK? And here in America we don't eat turtles and frogs." People on the bus could be heard clapping.

During the rant the tour guide took swigs from a brown bottle, presumably alcohol. She bashed just about everything in Chinatown from its noise, to its laundry and even its dragons.

The reaction KTVU received about her tirade was mixed. KTVU found one woman who agreed with the rant, while another said the tour guide's musings were out of line and ignorant.

"It's definitely hurtful. I'm of Filipino Asian descent and don't tolerate ignorance really and for people in a bus to clap for something like that - that's really unbelievable," said Nesha Hill of San Francisco. 

The supervisor of the district, David Chui, said he wanted an apology. He wanted the tourist bus company to come forward and the tour guide as well.

 City Sightseeing San Francisco later released the following statement:

"I deeply apologize to the residents of Chinatown and San Francisco, for the conduct of a former employee.

Comments made by this former employee on her last day of employment are absolutely not a representation of how much we love and support Chinatown, and every other community in San Francisco.

Due to this unfortunate incident, we have added additional training processes to ensure that each tour is up to our rigorous standard."

Warning: The video of the tour guide's rant contains graphic and offensive language. Watch the video here.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:29:54 -0700