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Source: MedleyStory

Time Warner cable service mostly restored after massive U.S. outage

According to reports service has largely been restored to a large number of Time Warner Cable customers after an early-morning outage Wednesday.

Business Insider reported the problem started around 3 a.m. ET, however a Time Warner spokesman, Bobby Amirshahi, told ABC the problem began at 4:30 a.m.

"As of 6 am ET services were largely restored as updates continue to bring all customers back online," he added.

https://twitter.com/mashable/status/504592683504246785

The website DownDetector.com posted a chart showing that outage reports spiked to more than 9,000 at its peak this morning as reports came in from large cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Tampa.

https://twitter.com/TWC_Help/status/504585139050250240

"During our routine network maintenance, an issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services," Amirshahi said in a statement.

Time Warner Cable is one of the largest cable providers in the U.S., serving about 14.5 million customers.

Published: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:32:38 -0700

Napa earthquake: Aftershocks could continue for two weeks

More than 80 aftershocks have rumbled through Napa Valley, California, since Sunday's earthquake, and a USGS scientist said gradually diminished shaking would likely continue for up to two weeks.

The U.S. Geological Survey has monitored at least 80 aftershocks since Sunday morning's 6.0-magnitude quake. Most have been too small to feel, but a handful have been strong enough to shake the surface and rattle nerves.

Annemarie Baltay of USGS released a list of significant aftershocks measuring 3.0 in magnitude or greater.

"We've had about 80 aftershocks that we've recorded, but we've had 4 large aftershocks," Baltay said.

>> Read more trending stories

The first major aftershock struck moments after the initial quake at 3:24 a.m. PDT Sunday and measured 3.5 in magnitude. The next struck that same morning at 5:47 a.m. and measured 3.6.

The largest aftershock so far measured 3.9 in magnitude and rumbled the Napa Valley on at 5:33 a.m. Tuesday. The latest significant aftershock rumbled through just over an hour later at 6:45 a.m. and measured magnitude 3.0.

"After the earthquake occurs, there's still some afterslip of that stress continuing to be released," Baltay said. "And so the aftershocks are just little tiny areas that are continuing to feel that same sense of motion."

Baltay said the aftershocks should continue for about two weeks after the initial quake, with diminishing intensity.

Scientists are studying the quake to see how much pressure it relieved along the fault line, and whether it makes a major quake on another Bay Area fault more or less likely.

"It does release some of that strain, but that's still a question that we're investigating to understand the details of," Baltay said.

Published: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:06:16 -0700

Kindergarten student brought loaded gun to Pa. school, police say

Police and school officials in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, said a kindergarten student brought a loaded gun to school Monday.

Aliquippa Police Chief Donald Couch Jr. said the loaded .22-caliber revolver was found Monday morning inside a backpack, but officials said the student meant no harm.

Superintendent David Wytiaz told parents that another student told a teacher about the weapon inside a backpack.

Administrators at Aliquippa Elementary School secured the firearm and turned it over to Aliquippa police.

“It's a very unique situation,” Police Chief Donald Couch Jr. said. “As far as the circumstances – how it got there – I can't go into that.”

>> Read more trending stories

Police have contacted the child's mother and her boyfriend to determine whether any criminal charges are warranted. The gun came from the boy's home and is registered to someone born in 1914 who police think is dead.

Tom Wolf, a Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor, visited the school about 2:15 p.m. that day.

“I can stress that at no time were any students in danger,” Couch said. “We are definitely sure there was no ill will by the student towards anyone.”

Wytiaz reiterated that point.

“We believe at this point, there was no threat made or anything like that,” Wytiaz said. “The gun was removed without anyone seeing it.”

WPXI-TV’s Gordon Loesch reported the child who had the gun is 5 or 6 years old.

The boy’s family told WPXI-TV that the boy wasn’t being aggressive. He simply was trying to protect his younger brothers.

“For them to say he’s aggressive, that’s a lie,” said his godmother, Nicole Lutle. “It’s not that this child was bad. It’s not that this child had a temper because all of that is a lie.”

According to Lutle and other family friends, the boy found the gun on a bed inside his apartment in the Linmar Terrace housing complex Sunday night.

“He picked it up because he didn’t want his little brother to get to it,” Lutle said. “He knew his little brother wouldn’t go through his book bag, so he put it in his book bag and forgot it was in there."

The boy’s younger brother is 3 years old.

“He’s a very sweet kid. He wasn’t taking the gun to school to hurt anyone,” Lutle said.               

Lutle doesn't condone what happened but said this kindergartener and his siblings need help.

“We have to show these kids more love because if we don’t show them, what do they think they have?" she said.

On Tuesday, several parents told WPXI-TV that they’re angry and fearful after the incident.

“My son, they all ride the bus together. I feel really scared for him,” said Darryce McCoy.

A letter was sent home to parents Tuesday, but some said they should have been notified sooner.

“That’s not good enough. We need to know when it happens,” Smith said.

– The Associated Press and WPXI-TV's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.

Published: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 04:23:12 -0700

Man and his 100-pound scrotum will soon separate

Dan Maurer has spent nearly two decades with a large mass on his groin that has now grown to weigh approximately 100 pounds.

The 39-year-old says it's physically and emotionally exhausting, since everywhere he goes, people stare.

"They don't know what it's like to live in my shoes," Maurer said. "I knew there was something else going on."

After living with his unusual condition for 10 years, Maurer is scheduled to have the mass removed this week.

Doctors say it's part of a condition called scrotal lymphedema, which Mauer helped identify after watching a TLC documentary about called, "The Man with the 132-Pound Scrotum."

Maurer's loved ones then started a campaign in his Michigan hometown, hoping to raise money for surgery. More than 1,000 people donated, raising over $27,000.

While Maurer has health insurance, the funds will help pay for the trip to California, where he will go under the knife with the same surgeon who performed a successful procedure on Wesley Warren Jr., the man with the 132-pound scrotum. (The man died about a year later from diabetes complications.)

"With the surgery, my life is on the line and losing my penis is on the line," he said. "I guarantee almost all men would go for the best (doctor)," he said.

One thing he's excited to do once the procedure is all said and done: Have sex with his wife, Mindy, for the first time in seven years. He also looks forward to traveling and jet-skiing.

Published: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:45:06 -0700

Napa busisnesses still booming despite quake damage

With the Labor Day holiday weekend just ahead, many in Napa Valley want people to know they're open for business.

In fact, approximately three-quarters of businesses in the city of Napa, including all of the Riverfront and Oxbow market businesses, were open by Tuesday, according to the Downtown Napa Association.

"It means you can still come up here and enjoy the full Napa experience," said Craig Smith, Executive Director of the Downtown Napa Association. "You obviously can't go to all the restaurants, but seventy percent of those are open right now, and again more will be coming on line this week."

Many business owners said the community came together after the quake, helping others get back on their feet.

At Cadet, a new wine and beer bar in Napa, owners said customers, friends and community members all pitched in to help mop up spilled wine and sweep up broken glassware over the past two days, helping them re-open Tuesday evening.

"The end goal was just to get open as soon as possible and just to let everyone know we're open," said Aubrey Bailey, Co-Owner, Cadet Wine & Beer Bar. "So (we were) putting Facebook posts up, putting the Instagram posts up."

Bailey estimated about a third of their wine inventory and half of the glassware were destroyed in the earthquake.

At Oenotri restaurant across the street, the kitchen was back to full steam, pushing out pizzas and serving up red wine despite the major cleanup needed after Sunday's 6.0 earthquake.

"We had pretty much all of our alcohol and all of our beer selections completely decimated," said Tyler Rodde, Chef-Owner, Oenotri Restaurant. "And we had between 30-50 percent of our wine inventory was just obliterated, which in Napa Valley that's kind of our deal."

Tuesday evening, a hostess was set up outside, letting customers know the restaurant was open. There were also signs in the windows saying the restaurant was open, and explaining that the "red tags" on the building only applied to the patio dining area.

Oenotri re-opened Monday, serving only a partial menu because gas service was not restored until late Monday night. The staff used cast iron pans to cook food in the wood fired oven, squeezing sea bass and sausages in the oven usually reserved for pizzas and roasted vegetables.

"You have to look at it as an opportunity to be creative rather than a burden upon yourself," said Rodde.

Many patrons walking in downtown Napa took photos of damaged buildings surrounded by yellow tape, then sat down for dinner at one of the local restaurants.

"We're glad we're here supporting local community," said David Zanze, who lives in Orange County, California.

According to the Downtown Napa Association, several hotels in the city of Napa are currently closed due to damage, including Andaz, the Napa Marriott and the Westin. Smith said that's about 650 of the city's 3000 rooms, but added that but other hotels are helping out and honoring previously quoted prices to accommodate as many visitors as possible.

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:00:05 -0700

Crumbling chimneys a concern for many after earthquake

As aftershocks continue to rattle the Napa after Sunday's earthquake, homeowners are becoming increasingly nervous as damaged chimneys are a common casualty.

The parents of 2-year-old Taylor Fleming usually allow him to play in the side yard of the family home.

But damage to their chimney which is located above their yard is making the couple nervous and concerned that the chimney may come tumbling down.

"Scary especially with him playing around beneath it, could be ugly," said Logan Fleming as he watched the toddler play.

The Flemings are scared for good reason; their chimney now shifts easily to the touch.

"One finger, if you push it, you can move it a good four inches," said Fleming.

The couple hired a chimney repair service for an inspection.

Kirk Hart, owner of Captain Kirk's Chimney Service, conducted a visual inspection on the roof and inside the home with a digital camera and monitor.

He recommends both types of inspections.

"With a closed circuit TV camera, I can get really close and look at the mortar joints," said Hart also added that he's looking for cracked flute tiles and missing mortar joints.

Hart says a camera place inside a chimney can more accurately gauge the damage, “Peace of mind, that's a big thing. Safety and peace of mind."

The Flemings were told the damage to their chimney is such that they'll have to replace it or get rid of it completely.

Whatever they decide, they'll need to take down their chimney as soon as possible.

"Just still taking it all in. Didn't expect it to happen. Now it's kind of juggle to get

everything put back together," said Logan Fleming.

Because chimney service companies are an unregulated industry, many companies KTVU spoke to caution customers to check with the Better Business Bureau and the Chimney Safety Institute of America before hiring a business.

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:52:43 -0700

Water main break leaves Noe Valley residents without water for 7 hours

A water main break in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood had people without water for seven hours Tuesday.

“It was gushing it was pouring down that whole side," says Alan Rosenzweig of San Francisco. 

From 3:30 p.m., until after 9 Tuesday night, crews from San Francisco Water Department worked efficiently to find out what caused the break that flooded 28th Street between Castro and Diamond. 

“At a time like this it's kind of unfortunate to have all of this water being wasted. So I actually grabbed some buckets and tried to capture as much as I could of it,” says Rosenzweig. 

“We are very conscious of how much water is in the system and we are in a drought. So our guys are very fast they come in and turn it off,” says Alison Kastana spokeswoman for San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.  

For hours crews pounded the street, digging up the asphalt which neighbors say is less than a year old.  

“They were trying to find out where was the water coming from. They saw it gushing out but they didn't know what was broken or where,” says Catherine Scosseria of San Francisco. 

Finally the crews found the cause, a four inch split in the bottom of a pipe that was installed in 1927. The break also caused a part of the street to buckle and water continued to flow.

“The pipes are under pressure so when they break they do cause some push. Sometimes that's a little up well in the pavement,” says Kastana.

The PUC said there are 12,000 miles of pipes running underneath San Francisco, some that date back to 1903.  Each year crews replace 15 miles of pipe, but with an aging infrastructure breaks aren't that uncommon.

“Right now there are still old pipes in the system and this is what happens. They last a long time but sooner or later they do actual fail due to age," says Kastana.  

The PUC says the pipe might have ruptured as a result of Sunday's earthquake. 

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:55:36 -0700

Woman killed in 880 crash

The driver of a Honda Civic was killed in a crash with a big-rig that has closed two lanes of southbound Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland Tuesday night, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

The accident involving a big-rig and red Honda on southbound Highway 880 north of 16th Avenue was reported shortly after 9 p.m., CHP Officer Sean Wilkenfeld said.

The female driver of the Honda was killed in the collision and a male passenger was transported to a hospital for major injuries, Wilkenfeld said.

The driver of the big-rig stopped at the scene and was cooperative with officers, according to Wilkenfeld.

Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be factors in the collision, he said.

The Alameda County coroner's bureau has been called to the scene.

A Sig-alert was issued at 9:22 p.m. and the lanes are estimated to reopen around 10:30 p.m., Wilkenfeld said.

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:40:59 -0700

Shooting near Powell BART station leaves one with life-threatening injuries

San Francisco police are investigating a shooting Tuesday night near the

Powell BART station that left one person with life-threatening injuries, a police spokesman said.

Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 900 block of Market Street around 7:50 p.m., police Officer Gordon Shyy said.

A preliminary investigation showed that two groups of people exchanged gunfire, Shyy said.

One person was hit by gunfire and transported to a hospital for treatment, according to Shyy.

Police have detained multiple people in the area in connection with the shooting, he said.

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:14:18 -0700

Mass gnome theft mystifies political party

In what is likely the biggest gnome-related political scandal in history, hundreds of gnomes in Austria's western Vorarlberg state have vanished. 

I know what you're thinking ..."But what do gnomes have to do with politics?" These were no ordinary gnomes, my friends, these were the Social Democratic Party of Austria's so-called "Coolmen" gnomes. 

(Video via SPOE-Vorarlberg)

These Coolmen gnomes are part of a unique political campaign by the Social Democratic Party in which, instead of using the traditional posters to advertise their platform, they've been using ... gnomes. (Video viaVorarlberg Online)

According to Vorarlberg Online, the party obtained about 20,000 gnomes to be distributed nationwide. Once they've been put up in a city, local residents are then encouraged to bring them home.

But the story of these nomadic gnomes took a sinister twist when 400 of them vanished Saturday. The BBC picked up on the Gnomegate story as it was developing and interviewed a member of Social Democratic Party.

That member says, "An interesting detail is that now ÖVP [the conservative People's Party] campaign posters are now hanging at the same height on many of these lampposts. It would be 'a major scandal' if the gnomes had been stolen by another political party."

The ÖVP flatly rejected the possibility that they did it in an interview with Austrian public broadcaster ORF, saying that making such an accusation puts the Social Democratic Party on the same morally questionable level as the gnome thieves.

With the ÖVP denying any involvement, one has to wonder ... where did these gnomes go? How deep in Austrian politics is the culprit behind the disappearance of these gnomes?

Perhaps it was an inside job — a disgruntled political lackey who was tired of the Social Democratic Party's reliance on the Coolmen's political clout. All we can do now is simply wait.  

‚ÄčThe Social Democratic Party is offering a $1,300 reward for any information leading to these gnomes. 

 

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:05:27 -0700

'Full House' reunion could be in the works

Everywhere you look, it seems reunion rumors are floating around for one old show or another. Now, TV execs apparently have their eyes on the Tanner family.

(Video via Nick at Nite)

TV Guide had the news first, reporting executives at Warner Bros. TV are hoping to get at least some of the original "Full House" cast back together for a new take on the show.

John Stamos, a.k.a. Uncle Jesse, is reportedly all on board for the effort, though no cast members have commented.

And maybe it's not such a stretch considering he, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier seemed happy to reunite for a Super Bowl yogurt commercial and for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" earlier this year.

SAGET: "And just like Uncle Jesse said, you're going to be the host of "The Tonight Show" on NBC."

And even if the Olsen twins, who've retired from acting, aren't in on the reunion, the makers of "Girl Meets World" made the transition from their '90s sitcom source material without the full cast. Maybe "Full House" could as well.

So, why bring the show back? Well, "Full House" still has a lot of fans. Nick at Nite pulls in 1.5 million viewers just for prime-time reruns of the show. And, although the Tanners went off the air in the mid-90s, they have a surprisingly healthy fan base among teenagers.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:58:48 -0700

Instagram's Hyperlapse brings pricy stabilization to phones

A new app came out Tuesday, and it’s got some folks pretty excited. Why? Because its doing away with the curse of all smartphone videos: shaky video shots.

This is Hyperlapse, Instagrams new brainchild. It lets your iPhone capture the kind of footage you'd normally only get with expensive video setups simply by stabilizing videos using your phone's gyroscope.

The social media company announced the app in a blog post, posting a video comparing normal hand-held shots with Hyperlapsed shots.

TechCrunch says, even though the app has a whopping three controls, it's actually pretty complicated.

"Image stabilization tech is processing-intensive to the point where it really isn't feasible on mobile. However, by using the gyroscopes in the phone itself, the Instagram team used algorithms to calculate the movements of the phone and correct it in the shot."

Wired even compared the app to a $15,000 tracking rig. The magazine spoke with Thomas Dimson of Instagram’s product team about what inspired him to create the app.

Turns out, it was 1992’s Baraka — a hybrid film/photo essay that features tracking shots of different parts of humanity.

Dimson told Wired: "It was my senior year, and my friend who was an architect said, 'You have to see it, it will blow you away.' Ever since, it's always been the back of my mind."

Hyperlapse marks the second stand-alone app released by Instagram — the first being Bolt, a Snapchat competitor released in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

As for why the app was released as a stand-alone instead of packaged with Instagram, the company’s co-founder told Wired they felt hyperlapse would be less noticeable hidden inside another app.

Hyperlapse won't be the only app offering time lapse functionality for long. Apple announced a similar feature that will be added to the standard camera app when iOS 8 is released this fall. (Video viaAppleInsider)

For now, it's probably best to heed the words of The Washington Post's Caitlin Dewey: "Most importantly, don’t go crazy. We all like a good timelapse, but could do without 500 in our Instagram feeds."

 

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:54:36 -0700

FAA investigates drone flown over NFL game

Police questioned a man who flew a drone over the Bank of America Stadium on Aug. 17 during the Carolina Panthers-Kansas City Chiefs game.

The unmanned aircraft system, or drone, had a camera mounted on it as it flew over the NFL game, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

The CMPD turned the investigation over to the Federal Aviation Administration that released a statement that said, “The FAA is investigating a report it received from local law enforcement about an unmanned aircraft operating over Bank of America Stadium during an NFL game on Aug. 17.”

It’s illegal to fly an unmanned aircraft system near the stadium because it’s close to Charlotte Douglas International Airport and is therefore in a Class-B airspace where drones are prohibited, according to the FAA.

Flying over the sporting event may also violate more regulations since the NFL is also involved.

“I think it’s crazy on the security part,” resident Fred Rose said.

“That’s really weird,” Kelley Vincent, a citizen, said. “They should tighten their security.”

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:41:55 -0700

Aftershocks from Napa earthquake could continue for two weeks

More than 80 aftershocks have rumbled through the Napa Valley since Sunday's earthquake, and a USGS scientist told KTVU Tuesday that gradually diminished shaking would likely continue for up to two weeks.

The U.S. Geological Survey has monitored at least 80 aftershocks since Sunday morning's 6.0 magnitude quake. Most have been too small to feel, but a handful have been strong enough to shake the surface and rattle nerves.

Annemarie Baltay from USGS released a list of significant aftershocks, measuring 3.0 in magnitude or greater.

"We've had about 80 aftershocks that we've recorded, but we've had 4 large aftershocks," said Baltay.

The first major aftershock struck moments after the initial quake at 3:24 a.m. on Sunday and measured 3.5 in magnitude. The next struck that same morning at 5:47 a.m. and measured 3.6.

The largest aftershock so far measured 3.9 in magnitude and rumbled the Napa Valley Tuesday morning at 5:33 a.m. The latest significant aftershock rumbled through just over an hour later at 6:45 a.m. and measured magnitude 3.0.

"After the earthquake occurs, there's still some afterslip of that stress continuing to be released," explained Baltay. "And so the aftershocks are just little tiny areas that are continuing to feel that same sense of motion."

Baltay said the aftershocks should continue for about two weeks after the initial quake, with diminishing intensity.

Scientists are studying the quake to see how much pressure it relieved along the fault line, and whether it makes a major quake on another Bay Area fault more or less likely.

"It does release some of that strain, but that's still a question that we're investigating to understand the details of," said Baltay.

 

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:00:41 -0700

Damaged clock tower removed from Vallejo church

A century old Vallejo church is now missing a part of history. Tuesday morning demolition crews finished removing the top four feet of the clock tower at First Baptist Church.

The clock tower cracked during Sunday's 6.0 earthquake, which prompted building inspectors to slap a red tag on the doors, declaring the building unsafe.

"I can remember there was a cross and a couple of the parapets up there," said Kevin Pfister gazing skyward. "It's a completely different skyline as I drove into town."

Pfister was in his native Vallejo volunteering with the Salvation Army. He helped pass out 200 meals to the needy in the church parking lot. The red tagged church was unable to do its usual free lunch program, so the Salvation Army stepped in to help.

"It's why I do what I do," said Pfister. "A sense of joy and fulfillment."

"There was a lot of concerned faces out there too," a woman named Ida said as she ate her spaghetti lunch. "I'm one of 'em!"

Ida said many worried whether the church would be able to provide the daily meal they've come to rely on.

"Nutrition and a meal, but it's healthy you know what I mean,” Ida said.

Downtown Vallejo a demolition crew is taking down a 1920's era building that was damaged in the quake. It's one of 12 red tagged buildings in the city so far. Building inspectors are still going block to block, taking a look at historical buildings to see if the past will be able to stand in the future.

On Tuesday evening, the city cleared all but the belfry portion of the First Baptist Church for service. That should be good news for people who need a free lunch. As Ida put it, "Times are a little hard!"

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:50:51 -0700

Napa sifting through hundreds of building inspection requests

Napa has accumulated a backlog of more than 800 requests for building inspections for earthquake damage following Sunday morning's earthquake and has identified hundreds of damaged buildings already, city officials said Tuesday.

So far, 103 buildings have been "red-tagged" as unsafe to enter at all as of Monday night with about 20 more expected to be added today and more than 500 have been "yellow-tagged" as safe to enter briefly to gather possessions and clean but too damaged to inhabit for prolonged periods, City Manager Mike Parness said this afternoon.

The city has been doing inspections of buildings non-stop since the quake and is expected to have its first round of inspections completed Tuesday. But a hotline number taking messages with requests for inspections has been overwhelmed with more than 800 requests, Parness said.

"We don't have the staff to support in a timely manner all of that," Parness said.

To deal with the deluge of requests, city employees are now performing "triage" on the backlog, he said, contacting each requester individually and determining the severity of the damage to their property.

Employees are asking whether there is visible structural damage such as a leaning chimney or large cracks, and are responding within a day or two to any requests where there could be a threat to health or safety. Many are requesting inspections for peace of mind without necessarily noticing damage, Parness said.

City officials are still taking requests at (707) 258-7817.

The large number of red-tagged buildings has raised concerns that some residents of Napa could face a period of prolonged displacement. Eighteen people stayed the night at an American Red Cross shelter established at the Crosswalk Community Church at 2590 First St., 10 more than Sunday night.

Many people are staying with friends or family or at hotels and the exact number of displaced residents remains unclear.

"It can't fall all on Red Cross," City Councilman Scott Sedgley said during Tuesday afternoon's meeting, where Parness briefed the City Council on the state of earthquake damage.

The City Council is asking for state and federal assistance to deal with the earthquake, today passing a resolution continuing the local state of emergency and asking for relief from the state and federal government.

But to qualify for federal relief funding, Parness said that the city would need to show that there has been $55 million in damage in Napa. He said that city officials will try to estimate the dollar value of the damage at a meeting tonight but had no estimate this afternoon.

Some residents have raised concerns that without federal funding, economic recovery in the city could be difficult as earthquake insurance is scarce in California.

Meanwhile, the city is still coping with water main leaks throughout the city. So far 120 have been identified, up from 90 Monday, and Parness said as the crews fix one leak, they find two or three more in the process.

In fixing the leaks, the crews turn off water to sections of nearby homes and businesses, and are advising those having water restored to not use the water for cooking or drinking unless boiling it until the city informs them it is safe as a precaution, Parness said.

The city is also asking residents to stop using debris drop-off sites that had been established at Napa public schools as the campuses will reopen on Wednesday. The city set up other sites closer to downtown.

Lists of damaged buildings, drop-off sites and other information is available at www.cityofnapa.org.

Another patient was admitted to the hospital for earthquake-related injuries Monday night, bringing the total number of patients to 209 with 18 admitted to the hospital. The patient had suffered a head injury from falling debris but didn't think it was serious until she suffered seizures on Monday and needed emergency surgery, Parness said.

Many downtown streets remain closed as red-tagged buildings pose a safety hazard, but Parness said that the city has ordered 1,000 feet of fencing to put around those buildings and reopen streets at least partially to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Mayor Jill Techel said that to draw visitors downtown to help with the recovery she wants to encourage people in the area to use Napa businesses. There may be announcements on the city's website for when restaurants reopen, and a "eat out, eat often, go downtown" campaign, she said.

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:41:19 -0700

Crews work to repair water main break in San Francisco's Noe Valley

Crews from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission are working to repair a water main break in the city's Noe Valley neighborhood Tuesday evening, a commission spokesman said.

The break was reported around 3:40 p.m. closing 28th Street between Castro and Diamond Streets, SFPUC spokesman Tyrone Jue said.

Crews have isolated the leak and water service in the area has been rerouted, Jue said

Customers in the direct vicinity of the main break may be without water service, he said.

The pipe is dated from 1927 and may have ruptured from a combination of old age and Sunday's 6.0-magnitude earthquake, Jue said.

There is no estimated time of when repairs will be completed.

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:15:06 -0700

Water main breaks, fires plague Vallejo in earthquake's wake

Another fire broke out in Mare Island Tuesday morning.

Firefighters received the familiar call around 8:30 a.m.

“This, I believe, is the fourth fire in a short amount of time,” said acting Battalion Chief Dan Sarna told KTVU.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s quake, firefighters are up against more challenges, making Tuesday’s fire a little different than the ones before it.

“Since the earthquake we've had a lot of water main breaks and actually as we responded to this and we came off the bridge, we saw water coming through the streets,” Sarna said.

They immediately called the city water department who sent a crew out.   That crew told KTVU its first priority was to get water to the firefighters.  

“They responded immediately and were able to isolate the main and boost water to this area and gave us more water and pressure than we actually needed,” Sarna said. 

Hydrants were also unaffected so the firefighters were well equipped to get the fire out.

But this was just another long day for the city of Vallejo.

According to the latest numbers released early Tuesday evening in Vallejo, 12 buildings have been red tagged, three of which are residential.  75 have been yellow tagged with 59 of those residential.  Assessments are still being done but total damage costs are believed to be at least $5.2 million.

There are also street closures and the water main breaks continue.  

There were 17 on Sunday, nine on Monday and four more Tuesday including the two on Mare Island.  One water official told KTVU that the drought has created very dry ground, both the city and Mare Island have very old pipes.    Add a lot of ground shaking and settling and you have constant problems.

 

 

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:11:35 -0700

40,000-year-old mammoth skeleton found on Texas farm

‚ÄčAn almost completely intact mammoth skeleton is being excavated after it was found buried on a Texas farm in May.

Wayne McEwen told the Dallas Morning News his son and grandson made the discovery while digging in a gravel pit on his property. They first unearthed one of the mammoth’s tusks, and then they just kept finding more and more bones.

WAYNE MCEWEN: "I believe it will be nearly 100 percent because there are two or three legs missing or leg bones. But I believe that when we get the bones that's there up, those other bones will be there."

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas was notified of the unearthing and sent specialists out to help with the digging.

And Monday the museum announced on Twitter the skeleton had been donated to the museum by the McEwen family.

The museum already has a mammoth skeleton on display in its T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall, which also showcases dinosaur skeletons.

KTVT spoke with Tom Vance, a Navarro College professor who says the animal found is a Columbian mammoth. The mammoth's skeleton is estimated to be about 40,000 years old.

‚ÄčAccording to the BBC, Columbian mammoths had incredible tusks that could grow to be 4.9 meters long, or a little more than 16 feet. The media outlet says these animals were probably less hairy than wooly mammoths and instead likely had some of their skin exposed.

Columbian mammoths were known to live in the southern half of North America.

Which might explain why Texas has its own museum dedicated to the animal, called the Waco Mammoth Site. It's built on the location where at least 22 Columbian mammoth skeletons were uncovered.

The long process of removing the mammoth bones from the gravel pit on the McEwen farm to a Perot Museum storage facility should begin sometime this week.

 

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:01:22 -0700

Cleanup begins after early morning gas station fire

A salvage crew Tuesday afternoon vacuumed up water from San Francisco's National Trophy Company, just hours after the floors were soaked by firefighters. It's one of at least four wooden buildings hit hard by an early morning gas station fire on Ocean Avenue near a City College of San Francisco campus.

"There was just wall to wall water from wall to wall on both sides of the showroom," said National Trophy Company owner Tom Pisani.  "This is an all wood building, so this is like lighting a match and it would go up in an hour or so."

No one was hurt, but 20 people were affected. Seven people, including a family of six, sought temporary housing through the Red Cross.

The owner of the Best Gasoline Mini-Mart declined to talk to KTVU Tuesday afternoon, but neighbors said they were terrified the pumps would explode and set the block on fire.

"It was just very scary to see that it was a gas station, know if all those tanks would've blown up in my neighborhood," said Victoria Saurs. "It was frightening."

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission says any oil or gas that might've made its way into the sewer system would've been collected at one of the treatment plants instead of making its way into the bay.

Published: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:47:39 -0700