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Source: MedleyStory

Concord teacher to be retried on child molestation charges

A Concord teacher whose molestation trial ended with the jury deadlocked on almost a dozen charges will be retried in November, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney.

The distict attorney's office told KTVU that the next trial for accused molestor Joeseph Martin will begin jury selection on November 3.

The jury for Martin's last trial found the teacher not guilty of molesting three boys on August 14, but could not come to a verdict on charges relating to 11 others.

The jury returned their verdict after deliberating for five days. Jurors exonerated Martin on charges relating to John Doe 9, John Doe 10, and John Doe 14. Martin was found not guilty on 21 of the 116 charges he faced. 

Prosecutors said Martin had inappropriately touched all 14 boys. Martin's attorney, Pat Clancy, says the touching was misconstrued; that Martin only patted the boys on the chest to calm them.

"He would pat them here, and that's what got exaggerated," said Clancy. "And that would only be done with students that had, like, ADHD or were disturbance problems, and he would do it to calm them down."

Martin's attorney says prosecutors were overzealous, and didn't take time to verify the facts in the case. "This is probably the biggest false accusation case since the McMartin preschool case back in the 80's."

Martin's wife, Jennifer, has stood by his side since the allegations surfaced, wearing his wedding ring around her neck. "This is my husband's wedding ring. It's my way of showing my support for him, and that I believe in his innocence."

The judge set the next court date for September 8th, at that time prosecutors may have a decision on whether they will retry Martin on the outstanding 95 charges.

Martin's wife says they are ready to defend themselves if the District Attorney's Office decides to prosecute. "We are prepared to go to another trial, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to do a second round of fighting," said Jennifer Martin. "He is innocent and we will keep fighting until his name is cleared."

As for Martin's future as a teacher, his attorney is saying it's unlikely he will continue as an educator. "He's got to think about how vulnerable he is to false accusations at this time."

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:46:03 -0700

Big new iPhone brings Apple more profit

Apple's largest iPhone is selling for $100 more than its other new model, but an outside research firm estimated Tuesday that it costs Apple only $15.50 more to make the more expensive version.

Apple said it sold more than 10 million of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models in their first three days on sale. Both have larger screens than earlier iPhone models, and analysts say consumers like the new, bigger sizes. The Plus has a 5.5-inch screen, as measured diagonally, while the regular iPhone 6 is at 4.7 inches.

The new iPhones went on sale Friday and address a key advantage rival Android phones have long had: size. The iPhone has been Apple's main source of profits and is expected to remain so for at least the next year.

Apple will make more profit on the Plus version, according to a report from research firm IHS Technology. The full, no-contract price for the 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 is $650. IHS estimates it costs Apple $200.10 for materials and manufacturing. The iPhone 6 Plus retails for $750 without a contract, but IHS says it costs Apple $215.60.

With a two-year service contract with a wireless carrier, a 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 costs consumers $200. An iPhone 6 Plus costs $300 with a contract.

The Plus model also has a bigger battery and a slightly more expensive camera than the regular iPhone 6, according to IHS.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. The Cupertino, California, company usually doesn't disclose details of its manufacturing costs.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:38:34 -0700

Meatballs found at Santa Rosa dog park being tested for poison

Eight meatballs that were found Saturday near a dog park in west Santa Rosa have been sent to a lab at University of California at Davis to determine if they contain poison, Sonoma County Animal Services officials said Tuesday.

A citizen contacted Sonoma County Animal Services on Saturday about suspicious substances left in the dog park area of A Place to Play on West Third Street in Santa Rosa, according to Brian Whipple, interim director and supervising animal control officer of Sonoma County Animal Services.

Animal control officers collected eight meatballs from a fenced-in, off-leash dog park area and wooded trail, Whipple said. The meatballs were sent to the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory at UC Davis.

"The meatballs are being tested at this time and could take up to a week for results to come back. Up to this point we have had no reports of animals being affected by this incident," Whipple said.

The lab's director, Dr. Richard Breitmeyer, said this morning the lab isn't releasing the results of the tests and referred calls to Sonoma County Animal Services.

There were incidents of potentially poison-laced meatballs in the Twin Peaks and Richmond District neighborhoods of San Francisco this past February. In July 2013, a dachshund named Oskar died after eating a suspected poison meatball in the city's Twin Peaks neighborhood.

Sonoma County Animal Services officials are advising dog owners to be vigilant when visiting local parks. Dog owners should walk the off-leash areas and keep an eye out for suspicious treats, Whipple said.

Dogs that show signs of illness after being at a community park should be taken immediately to a veterinarian and owners should call Sonoma County Animal Services at (707) 565-7100, Whipple said.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:52:53 -0700

Real or hoax? Woman claims to have had a third breast implanted

A woman who goes by Jasmine Tridevil, said she recently underwent surgery to get a third breast, according to Buzzfeed News.

She reportedly paid $20,000 for a third breast, which she sought because she "wanted to turn off guys," according to an interview with 102.5 The Bone. (full interview).

Tridevil is a licensed massage therapist and saved up the money for two years, calling dozens of doctors. She would not reveal the name of the doctor who carried out the procedure.

Nilesh Sojitra, a plastic surgeon from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon, decried the doctor’s actions, saying that Tridevil may have needed psychological help rather than surgery.

“The actions of the surgeon are unethical and they have acted in a way where no reasonable plastic surgeon would,” Sojitra wrote.

Tridevil said she wants to pursue a career on reality TV.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:43:25 -0700

Los Angeles port fire prompts school evacuation

All container terminals at the Port of Los Angeles were shut down, a nearby school was evacuated, and area residents were advised to stay indoors as a precaution over concerns about air quality from a stubborn fire Tuesday at a Port of Los Angeles wharf.

The eight terminals likely will remain closed until the night shift begins at about 5 p.m., port spokesman Phillip Sanfield said. He estimated a few thousand employees, mostly longshore workers, were sent home. At the twin Port of Long Beach, three of six cargo terminals were shut down, City Manager Pat West told City News Service.

The blaze that started Monday night burned a warehouse and forced about 850 people to flee before firefighters brought the bulk of it under control.

However, the fire continued to smolder and send up smoke Tuesday, and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said it could take until afternoon or evening for crews to fully extinguish it. "This is a very, very difficult fire to fight," he said.

About 700 students and 30 faculty members at Wilmington's De La Torre Elementary School were taken by bus to Olguin High School, on the campus of San Pedro High School, said Monica Carazo of the LA Unified School District.

She said the move came after fire officials grew concerned when shifting winds sent smoke toward the school. Other schools remained open with all outdoor activities suspended.

Sanfield said the amount of smoke had diminished greatly since the early morning, as crews continued to dump water and fire-fighting foam onto hotspots.

The fire smoldered among the wooden pier timbers, which were coated with water-resistant, highly flammable creosote, a byproduct of the coal industry that is used to prevent erosion.

Thick smoke prompted the Los Angeles fire and police officials to advise residents in Wilmington, San Pedro and Long Beach to remain indoors and keep windows closed as a precaution.

Terrazas said hazardous air quality levels were reported "only in the immediate proximity of the fire."

The Port of Los Angeles, along with its twin port in Long Beach, handles 40 percent of America's import trade.

More than 150 firefighters had control of the fire about 2 ½ hours after it broke out Monday night, but stubborn flames underneath the docks proved hard to reach. The fire burned under a warehouse with large metal coils inside. It was contained to about 150 feet of the dock.

Crews attacked the blaze with helicopters and trucks, but fireboats were more effective, and divers in the water helped direct them, fire spokeswoman Katherine Main said late Monday.

Smoke reached two terminals, forcing the evacuation of about 850 workers. No injuries were reported.

Terrazas said investigators determined the blaze was started during a welding operation.

The wharf, which dates to before World War II, is in San Pedro Bay in the Wilmington neighborhood, approximately 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:04:53 -0700

Sheriff: San Jose race driver may have been distracted before fiery crash

A Bay Area racer may have been distracted for a moment before he crashed and died in a fireball close to the finish line of a high-speed highway road race in rural Nevada, the local sheriff said Tuesday.

Philip Bowser, 71, of San Jose, may have been driving more than 120 mph before his 1997 Porsche 993 missed a sweeping left turn, wobbled on the shoulder of State Route 318, and rolled down an embankment before bursting into flames, Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said.

Bowser's 44-year-old daughter, Amy Bowser, was in the passenger seat and escaped serious injury, Lee said. But she couldn't get her unconscious dad out of the wrecked before it burned.

"She kept saying: 'I couldn't get him out by myself,' " said Lee, who was the first emergency responder to the scene of the crash Sunday morning near Hiko, Nevada.

"The vehicle was completely involved," Lee said. "I tried to see in, but the heat was tremendous. I pulled her away from the vehicle. She was distraught."

The Bowsers were among 130 competitors taking part in the Silver State Classic Challenge, a last-of-its-kind race that uses a 90-mile stretch of public highway twice a year to allow racers to test their skills, their nerve and their vehicles.

Bowser's death was the fourth in 27 years for the race held twice a year on the same remote highway in the Nevada high desert, race spokesman Jimi Day said. A driver and navigator died in a crash in 2011, and a driver died in a wreck in 1992.

The road between Lund and Hiko is closed for the race, which allows racers to compete in speed classes up to an unlimited category. The top record speed is more than 217 mph.

"Phil was a friend," Day said. "He's done this before. We're all very sad for his family and friends. But we all recognize this is a possibility that can happen when we strap into the driver seat."

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:55:54 -0700

Contra Costa emergency communications center gets phone system upgrade

The communications center that handles emergency calls for Contra Costa County just got a major upgrade to its phone system that paves the way for new technology meant to improve the response to 911 calls.

The new telephone system was installed earlier this month at the Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center in Pleasant Hill, where dispatchers answer 911 calls for the majority of the county's 1.09 million residents, Kody Kerwin, the center's telecommunications manager, said today.

"As our population continues to grow and technologies advance, we need to ensure that when an emergency call is received we have the right tools in place to protect and serve the citizens of Contra Costa County," Kerwin said.

The upgraded phone system will allow the call center to more quickly incorporate future technologies, such as those that pinpoint a caller's location.

One technological upgrade the fire communications center is eyeing is a system that allows callers to text instead of calling 911 -- something that is available in some states but not yet in California, according to Kerwin.

As before, the upgraded phone system is configured so that callers can reach emergency communications personnel even if the communications center itself becomes flooded, damaged or inundated with calls.

The $400,000 phone system was funded by the state, Kerwin said.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:52:00 -0700

Free pot for veterans in Colorado

Hundreds of military veterans received free marijuana during a special giveaway in Denver designed to show that pot can help ease their pain.

Members of Operation Grow4Vets said the Saturday event aimed to offer veterans an alternative to prescription drugs to help with anxiety, pain and other problems. The organization also says it gave out 400 bags of marijuana-infused products at the Denver Cannabis Giveaway.

"We're really here to help them with their medical conditions," including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, the group's founder, Roger Martin, himself a veteran, told KDVR-TV. "There's a wide variety of ailments. Anything that involves pain."

Stephanie Burton, a veteran Army nurse, told KCNC-TV that she struggles with PTSD, and marijuana helps her sleep at night. Afghanistan veteran Brian Nance, 29, said he used marijuana to wean him off morphine after he fell 40 feet into a ravine and broke his back.

"I've been using cannabis, and it's been helping me," Nance said. "If I don't have to take a pill for four to five hours, for me, that's a big deal."

But pot critics questioned whether the event was safe. Colorado this year rejected marijuana as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, so the condition is not on the list of ailments for which doctors can recommend medical marijuana. But it is legal in the state to give away pot for free. And Colorado allows any adult over 21 to buy the drug in recreational stores.

Bob Doyle of the Colorado Smart Approaches to Marijuana Coalition said organizers of Saturday's event were reckless to give away a drug that can also cause paranoia and may have other unforeseen side effects.

"Obviously things that we would not want somebody with PTSD to be experiencing," he said.

Grow4Vets now says it is launching a new project called Save 1,000 Vets that aims to provide 1,000 veterans with a free lifetime supply of marijuana-infused goods.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:34:32 -0700

Luxury car thieves targeting Bay Area dealerships

Investigators were trying to find a connection between a series of brazen luxury vehicle heists from Bay Area dealerships over the last two weeks, authorities said Tuesday.

The latest dealership targeted was Autobahn Motors in Belmont where nine vehicles were stolen sometime between 1 and 3 a.m. on Sunday.

Belmont Police Captain Patrick Halleran said a crime organization of some type was behind the theft. “With at least nine people involved, it had to be some kind of (crime) organization,” he told KTVU. “It’s not a random event.”

Halleran said the suspects scaled a fence, broke into the dealership and then into a cabinet where the keys of owners who had dropped off their cars for servicing were being stored.

Then they brazenly walked through the lot, clicking on the keys to see which cars they opened up and started.

The thieves used another car as a battering ram to knock down the gate and escape.

Halleran said one of the vehicles was recovered in Oakland, but did not give details as to how it was discovered.

He said no suspects had been arrested and that the Belmont police were working with other Bay Area agencies investigating similar crimes.

Among the other dealerships targeted was Formula One Motors in San Jose.

Farzan Vassigh, the general sales manager, said a group of up to eight suspects broke into his business at 3:35 a.m. Friday, based on surveillance video of the robbery.

The video shows one of the suspects kicking in a glass door to gain entry. The thieves then rounded up the keys to the dealership’s entire inventory and meticulously went through them all to locate the vehicles they wanted to steal.

The suspects appeared to have a sophisticated plan that included casing the dealership while in two or three cars, Vassigh said.

"They broke the (alarm) system," he said.

The group of suspects used the keys to drive away in five new, high-end vehicles, each the highest priced models with the fewest miles on the odometer.  The makes of the stolen vehicles included two supercharged Range Rover SUVs, a BMW, Mercedes-Benz and a Porsche.

The suspects also left with keys to other vehicles still at the lot, leaving them vulnerable to future thefts, Vassigh said.

He estimated the loss for the business, including the stolen autos and keys, at $200,000 to $300,000.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:28:30 -0700

Count finds threatened otters holding steady

Officials say an annual review of California's threatened sea otters has found their population seems to be holding steady but remains low enough to remain on a federal watch list.

The U.S. Geological Survey on Monday put the sea otter count at 2,944 — down just five from the year before.

California's sea otters were presumed extinct in the 19th century. Only about 50 were discovered alive in the 1930s off Big Sur.

The otter count would have to exceed 3,090 for three straight years to come off the watch list.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the state's sea otters had a record number of pups this year. However, breeding-age females — - stressed by raising pups — continue to suffer a high mortality rate.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:33:38 -0700

Police: 3 people dead in shooting at UPS facility

A UPS employee opened fire Tuesday morning inside one of the company's warehouses in Alabama, killing two people before committing suicide, police said.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper told reporters that the gunman was wearing his uniform when he started shooting either in or near some offices inside the warehouse in an industrial area just north of the Birmingham airport. The sand-colored building sits on a hill and has UPS logos on the front and side. It has a parking lot surrounded by barbed wire.

The gunman had apparently shot himself by the time officers got inside the warehouse, Roper said.

Police Lt. Sean Edwards told The Associated Press on Tuesday morning that the gunman was a UPS employee, though he said later in the day that police had not yet met with company officials to confirm the gunman's current employment status. People who called 911 from their cellphones told dispatchers that the shooter was an employee, Edwards said.

No one else was hurt, Roper said.

"When these people came here to work, they had no idea this would be their last day on earth," Roper said.

Atlanta-based UPS said in a brief statement that the shooting happened around 9:40 a.m. CDT. The company added that it is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Employees who were at the warehouse when the shooting happened were being taken to another location so that they could be interviewed by investigators and provided with counseling, Roper said.

Late Tuesday morning, a long line of police cars with their lights flashing left the area as part of a motorcade with a white school bus. Also, a wrecker with a police escort left the scene towing a dark red Honda SUV.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:58:35 -0700

Sierra fire containment doubles; wind expected

Crews nearly doubled containment of a Northern California wildfire threatening thousands of homes ahead of a weather system expected to bring dry heat and erratic winds that could undo their progress.

Firefighters on Tuesday were focusing on expanding containment lines ahead of a red flag warning in the afternoon, when gusts of up to 35 mph were expected, fire officials said. That coupled with low humidity could stoke the flames and send embers flying ahead of the blaze.

"This could set up some potential fire growth similar to what we experienced when it grew exponentially last week," said state fire spokesman Capt. Tom Piranio. "We are working very aggressively to maintain the contingency lines."

The nearly 7,400 firefighters assigned to the blaze made progress against it over the past several days with the help of cooler, wetter conditions. The fire was 35 percent contained Tuesday, up from 18 percent the day before.

The blaze was threatening about 21,000 structures, more than half of them homes. It has destroyed 10 houses and 22 minor buildings in the White Meadows area of Pollock Pines since it began Sept. 13.

About 2,700 people remain under evacuation orders, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. The fire also continued to threaten a key University of California, Berkeley research station that is home to scores of experiments on trees, plants and other wildlife.

The blaze was spreading smoke beyond California, with the weather service on Monday issuing a "dense smoke advisory" about 50 miles away in Reno, Nevada, and around Lake Tahoe, which is about 15 miles from the fire. Shifting winds later pushed the worst of the smoke back west.

Those winds sent the air quality index into the "very unhealthy" level for general populations in Auburn northeast of Sacramento — where some schools closed — as well as the Roseville and Rockville areas.

A man charged with starting the fire, Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, pleaded not guilty to arson Friday. He remains in the El Dorado County jail on $10 million bail.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:47:30 -0700

Oakland reverses decision to dump Waste Management

People packed the Oakland City Council chambers Monday night, many of them angry over the city's handling of its trash contracts.

In August, the City Council voted to dump Texas-based Waste Management and awarded the contract to a family-run Oakland business -- California Waste Solutions (CWS), which proposed a lower rate.

But on Monday night, city officials reversed their decision in the face of a Waste Management lawsuit that claimed the bidding process had been unfair.

The council voted 6-0, with one abstention by Desley Brooks and one council member Larry Reid absent, to approve a compromise deal that will split the trash removal service between the two companies.

But that wasn't before there was a lengthy debate. Nearly 40 people signed up to speak.

"This really has been shocking in its lack of transparency," one woman told the council.

Under the compromise, city staff say residential rates will go up by about 24% according to the CWS proposal, compared to Waste Management's initial bid of a 50% increase.

"The rate stays the same that was proposed on August 13th, $36.82 and there are still some more enhancements to the program," said David Tucker, Waste Management's Alameda County spokesman.

David Duong, CEO, California Waste Solutions, says he's disappointed his company would lose the 10-year, $1 billion contract. With the Waste Management lawsuit, he said CWS was unable to get long-term funding to expand.

"We put in millions of dollars in a down payment non-refundable for all the equipment that is necessary to get us started July 1st," Duong said.

He added that CWS had also hired many people in anticipation of the July 1, 2015 start date.

"CWS needs to be reimbursed for all the expenses, their legal expenses and paying all these workers," said Gene Hazzard, an Oakland resident.

Under the compromise, CWS will get the city's entire recycling contract. Currently CWS handles just half the city's recycling.

Waste Management will handle the trash and compost services. It also has agreed to increase pickups for illegal dumping and agreed to assume several of the CWS proposals such as partnering with Civicorps to train at-risk community members and send organic waste to East Bay MUD for processing into methane.

That part of the plan drew anger from some West Oakland residents.

"EBMUD tried composting years back and it was so nauseating we finally got them to close it," said one opponent to the deal. "We couldn't even eat with our windows open without smelling poop."

"We still get odors without all the additional waste you are planning to send them," added one woman who lives in West Oakland.

As part of the compromise, Waste Management agrees to drop its lawsuit.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:17:34 -0700

Berkeley cyclist dies of accident injuries

A 62-year-old man died Monday afternoon after he was hit by a Volkswagen while riding his bicycle Sunday in the Berkeley hills, according to the Alameda County coroner's bureau.

Kurt Wehner of Berkeley was riding south on Spruce Street at about 8:15 a.m. Sunday when a man driving a black Volkswagen hatchback hit him while driving east on Eunice Street, police said.

Wehner was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland with life-threatening injuries and remained there until Monday afternoon, when he was pronounced dead at 4:08 p.m., officials said.

Wehner's cousin, John Lutterman of Anchorage, Alaska, wrote on Facebook that Wehner had been taken off life support.

"Kurt, and his brother Todd, turned me on to serious biking when I was a kid. I'll miss Kurt's endlessly good-natured Heyoka spirit," Lutterman wrote.

The Volkswagen's driver remained at the scene after the crash and cooperated with the investigation.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:15:15 -0700

Northbound lanes of I-680 reopen after wet concrete spill

All northbound lanes on Interstate Highway 680 in San Ramon have reopened after closing when a truck carrying barrels of wet concrete crashed earlier Tuesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported just before 8:30 a.m. between Bollinger Canyon and Alcosta Boulevard northbound Highway 680.

The barrels – carrying a wet cement mixture and weighing several hundred pounds each – flew from the back of truck and went bouncing down the freeway. 

A CHP sergeant told KTVU he was amazed no one was seriously hurt in the chain-reaction crash.

CHP said the construction truck was carrying nine of those barrels when the driver drifted into another car before slammed into the center divider. 

The barrels fell on both the northbound and southbound sides of the freeway and some cars slammed into them. 

At least eight cars were damaged, but incredibly there were just two people treated for minor injuries. 

KTVU talked to the man driving the work truck, who described the frightening situation. 

"It was all a shock," said truck driver Pablo Galindo. "It was my first accident like this."

The wet concrete mixture from the barrels spilled all over the freeway. Fire crews had to come in to spray down the road and sweepers were also brought in. 

The clean up after the crash left thousands of frustrated drivers stuck in a huge backup in both directions on 680.

CHP Sergeant Steve Creel told KTVU he was thankful a major traffic jam was the worst thing they had to deal with. 

"The potential for this turning from a traffic story to a tragedy story of injury, disability and death is just a matter of luck," said Creel.

Fire officials and Caltrans crews worked through the morning to clean up the spill and fully reopened the roadway as of about 11:30 a.m., CHP officials said.

The CHP's commercial vehicle inspection team will look at whether those barrels were properly secured by the construction company. At that point a decision will be made on whether anyone is cited for the crash. 

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:47:28 -0700

Dog jumps through glass window to attack another dog

An Oklahoma woman’s dog is in ICU after being attacked when another dog jumped through the window of a south Tulsa home.

Ann Wagner, the dog’s owner, told FOX23 that her dog was minding its business, looking out the front window of the house.

Wagner said that’s when a pit bull jumped through the glass window and attacked. She said as soon as the dog jumped through the glass, it latched on to her dachshund’s neck and would not let go.

She told FOX23 that she tried pulling the pit bull off by its collar, but she said it wasn’t budging.

There was blood and broken glass all over her porch and house. Her dog, Beau, was in surgery for three hours and went into shock. He’s expected to be in ICU for several days, but is expected to survive.

Wagner said she’s thankful for that. “I’m standing over the dog holding on to his collar trying to pull him off, did not realize, my gosh, had it turned around and attacked me we really would have been in trouble,” she said.

Wagner’s daughter reached out to FOX23 on Tuesday morning and said they realized the dog also bit Wagner on the foot during the struggle, and she’s being treated for that now.

Police don’t know where the pit bull is, but they believe they have some good leads on who the dog belongs to in the neighborhood. The dog’s owner is facing up to a $1,200 fine.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:02:04 -0700

Cat makes amazing escape from hotel being demolished

A fearless feline from Canada must have used at least a couple of its nine lives after making a miraculous escape from a disaster.

According to CBC News, a fire broke out in the middle of the night at the Towers Hotel in Manitoba, resulting in a total loss. The next day, a crew was sent out to demolish and clean up the charred remains.

The demolition was filmed by a bystander. As the building is being brought down, a tiny black and white figure can be seen fleeing from the collapsing debris. The cat runs across the street, where a bystander tries to approach it, but it runs off, appearing shaken and wet, but physically unharmed.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:29:03 -0700

Kris Jenner files for divorce; Is the timing too perfect?

Kris and Bruce Jenner are officially getting divorced.

And the timing is interesting. The "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" season finale aired about a month ago, at the end of August.

The pair legally separated in 2013. At the time, news hit that their relationship troubles would be a plot line in season nine, which was starting to film.

Indeed, the season premiere in January made headlines because it showed them announcing their separation to the family. 

Messages have been mixed since then. In April and May, ahead of the show's June return following a hiatus, Kris was seen wearing her wedding ring...

... and posted on Instagram celebrating the couple's 23rd wedding anniversary.

They were even seen holding hands ... spotted by paparazzi at the airport, where the Kardashians are frequently photographed. 

And E!, the show's home network, teased the season as a way to watch their relationship evolve.

On the show we saw the two live apart, but spend time together, never nailing down exactly what was going on. 

So, it seems like their divorce filing, just after the season finale, again raises a question we asked nearly a year ago: Were their relationship troubles just used as a plot line for the pair's "reality" show? A way to drum up publicity as the ratings faltered?

In fact, the announcement comes just a day after the show's finale in the U.K.

Yet according to various reports on the news, sources say the two had been working out the terms for months.

Ultimately, the divorce is said to be amicable. There is no word on how all this will factor into a plot line for season 10.

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 07:51:41 -0700

Firefighters union has ‘crisis in confidence’ with Chief Hayes-White

In a letter to be delivered to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Tuesday, the union representing the city’s firefighters has slammed the management style of Chief Joanne Hayes-White.

It follows San Francisco Supervisor London Breed’s harsh criticism of Hayes-White last week.

The angst centers on Breed and firefighters frustrations over ambulance response times in the city. Both claim understaffing has placed the public’s safety in jeopardy.

Firefighters do say adding 16 new medics to the streets two weeks ago has helped, but they say 90 percent of the wait times for life-threatening calls are still more than 12 minutes.

According to multiple sources, among the signatories on the letter is Local 798 which represents roughly 1,400 firefighters.

The same sources told KTVU that in the letter the signatories were “expressing a crisis in confidence in the leadership and direction of the San Francisco Fire Department.”

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 07:48:20 -0700

Man tells 911 operator 'I just shot my daughter' before shooting self in Bell killings

WFTV in Orlando, Florida, obtained a frightening 911 call Tuesday that a father made after he killed his daughter and six grandchildren in Bell last week.

The eerie phone call begins with Don Spirit telling the 911 dispatcher, "I just shot my daughter and shot all my grandkids, and I'm gonna be sitting on my step, and when you get here, I'm gonna shoot myself." Deputies identified the shooter as 51-year-old Spirit and his daughter as 28-year-old Sarah Spirit.  Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz released the names of the victims. In addition to Sarah Spirit, they were: Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11; Kylie Kuhlmann, 9; Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8; Destiny Stewart, 5; Brandon Stewart, 4; and Alanna Stewart, who was born in June.

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When deputies arrived at the home, which sits on a long dirt road on 29th Street, they said all seven victims were dead, and deputies confronted Spirit before he killed himself in front of the officers.

Investigators said the victims were found throughout the remote property.

Previous Story:  Small town of Bell shaken after man kills daughter, 6 grandchildren and self

Published: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:28:06 -0700