abc7news

ABC7 Presents: More to Explore

ABC7 Presents: More to Explore

Host Dan Ashley provides an exclusive, behind-the-scenes sneak peek into San Francisco's new Exploratorium!
ABC7 and KaBOOM! build dream playgr...

ABC7 and KaBOOM! build dream playground in Oakland

ABC7 teamed up with a national non-profit called KaBOOM! to build a new playground for children in Oakland's Millsmont neighborhood today.
Michael Sam has tackle, QB hit in d...

Michael Sam has tackle, QB hit in debut as Rams fall to Saints

Mark Ingram had eight carries for 83 yards and a 22-yard touchdown in the first half, and the New Orleans Saints won their preseason opener without Drew Brees, beating the St. Louis Rams 26-24 on Friday night.
Bay Area weather forecast for Satur...

Bay Area weather forecast for Saturday

Coastal low clouds and fog will redevelop overnight then clear back to the coastline on Saturday.
Team USA adds Rudy Gay to roster

Team USA adds Rudy Gay to roster

The U.S. national basketball team has added Rudy Gay, who helped them win a gold medal four years ago and asked to rejoin the team following a series of player withdrawals.
Blake Bortles throws for 117 yards ...

Blake Bortles throws for 117 yards in preseason debut for Jaguars

Blake Bortles was solid in his preseason debut, throwing for 117 yards and leading a second-half drive for a field goal to help the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-10 on Friday night.

SFGate

San Francisco power outage affects ...

San Francisco power outage affects more than 36,000 PG&E customers

More than 36,000 PG&E customers were without power in San Francisco early Wednesday morning, according to PG&E officials. The outage, impacting 36,895 PG&E customers began late Tuesday night, according to PG&E officials.

No strike after AC Transit deal rea...

No strike after AC Transit deal reached

AC Transit and its bus drivers and other employees avoided a potential Wednesday strike when the two sides reached a tentative deal on a three-year contract. Officials with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 and the bus system agreed to the deal shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, less than two hours before 1,625 drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, clerical and other workers had said they would walk off the job. AC Transit also wanted workers to begin paying a portion of their health care premiums.
Blame in Oscar Grant BART death may...

Blame in Oscar Grant BART death may shift

Court questions decision to remove Grant from train [...] the courts and the public have placed the responsibility for Oscar Grant's death entirely on the BART police officer who shot the unarmed passenger on an Oakland train platform. [...] a federal appeals court ruling could shift some of the blame to the officer's supervisor and perhaps the transit system itself. Former Officer Johannes Mehserle, who fired the shot that killed Grant on Jan. 1, 2009, served 11 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter, and is also a defendant in the damage suit by Grant's father and four of his friends. [...] he said, an employer "shouldn't be responsible for the actions of a rogue employee, but for negligent supervision." BART has paid $2.8 million in settlements to Grant's mother and daughter, and could be assessed additional damages in the suits by Grant's father and the four friends, who spent hours in handcuffs at the transit agency's police station after the shooting.
Bay Area Citizens sues Plan Bay Are...

Bay Area Citizens sues Plan Bay Area

Critics of a regional plan to encourage development and growth in areas with easy access to mass transit filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court on Tuesday. The petitioner, a group called Bay Area Citizens that says the plan will hurt their property values, is being represented in court by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a Sacramento conservative organization. The lawsuit alleges that Plan Bay Area violates the California Environmental Quality Act by omitting alternatives to its plan to steer 77 percent of future growth near "priority development areas," including places like Mission Bay in San Francisco, Oakland's Jack London Square and downtown San Rafael, Walnut Creek and Fairfield.
AC Transit, union proposals move cl...

AC Transit, union proposals move closer

AC Transit also wants workers to begin paying a portion of their health care premiums. A bus operator's base salary is $55,000, but health and other benefits bring total compensation to about $103,000, Johnson said. The agency also originally wanted workers to contribute 10 percent to their health care premiums before switching to an agreement based on flat rates.
Car found, but Oakland woman still ...

Car found, but Oakland woman still missing

A car belonging to a missing Oakland woman has been found, but the whereabouts of the criminal defense investigator remain unknown, police said Tuesday. Coke, 50, who is a death penalty expert, works as an investigator for the federal public defender's office in Sacramento, helping government lawyers defend indigent clients accused of federal crimes. Family members are wondering whether she met with someone who purported to know where her dog was, or whether she met with foul play with someone connected to her work at the public defender's office.

CBS5

A?s Hold On Late, Defeat Twins For ...

A?s Hold On Late, Defeat Twins For 11th Straight Time

Twins v A'sScott Kazmir faced the minimum through six innings before running into trouble, Coco Crisp hit a bases-loaded triple, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Friday night for their 11th straight win in the series.
Supporters, Opponents Of Iraq Air S...

Supporters, Opponents Of Iraq Air Strikes Authorized By Obama Hold Dueling Protests In San Francisco

ProtestHundreds of protesters took to the streets in San Francisco Friday afternoon to speak out against an escalating situation in Iraq in which an Islamic militant group is taking over portions of the country and killing and displacing thousands of civilians.
Jump On Tomorrow: Harley Backpacks,...

Jump On Tomorrow: Harley Backpacks, Chabot Dogs, Six Flags, Spartan Race, Dribbling Geezers

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (credit: Ken James/Getty Images)Harley owners hand out school supplies in San Mateo; Feed the Kids day at Six Flags plus more events for your Saturday calendar.
San Francisco Pair Accused Of Growi...

San Francisco Pair Accused Of Growing Marijuana, Producing Hash Oil At Home

Alexander Lioulios (left) and Lauren Todd are accused of growing marijuana, producing hash oil and trafficking narcotics out of a San Francisco home. (San Francisco Police Department)A man and a woman were arrested Thursday on suspicion of growing marijuana, running a butane hash oil lab and trafficking narcotics out of a home in San Francisco?s Miraloma Park neighborhood.
Bumgarner Goes The Distance, But Gi...

Bumgarner Goes The Distance, But Giants Unable To Hold Off Surging Royals

Giants v RoyalsBilly Butler homered and drove in three runs and right fielder Nori Aoki threw out two runners in the same inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
Schaub Struggles, Raiders Lose To V...

Schaub Struggles, Raiders Lose To Vikings In Preseason Opener

Raiders v VikingsMatt Schaub's first time in silver and black wasn't exactly smooth. The latest attempt by the Raiders to stop the quarterback carousel from spinning, Schaub finished 3 for 7 for 21 yards.

KRON4

Update: Two Slain Santa Cruz Police...

Update: Two Slain Santa Cruz Police Officers Were Veteran Detectives

SANTA CRUZ (KRON) -- The citizens of Santa Cruz are mourning the murders of two veteran police detectives who were shot and killed while conducting an investigation at a home on Branciforte Avenue Tuesday afternoon. The 35-year old alleged shooter, Jeremy Goulet, was also shot and killed minutes after the initial attack, investigators say.

"I cannot begin to express the shock and sadness we feel this evening," Santa Cruz Mayor Hillary Bryant said. "Two of our most beloved officers were killed in the line of duty and this has rocked the community to our absolute foundation."

The two slain officers are identified as Detective Sergeant Loran "Butch" Baker, a 28-year veteran of the department and 10-year veteran Detective Elizabeth Butler. Police Chief Kevin Vogel describes Baker as a longtime friend and mentor. Detective Baker leaves behind a wife, two daughters, and a son who works as a Community Services Officer for Santa Cruz police. Detective Butler is survived by her partner and two young sons, Vogel says.

"It was with deep, deep sadness that I stand before you this evening to talk about the death of my two officers today," Chief Vogel said. "We at the Santa Cruz police department are like family. I've known both of these officers for a long, long time and there just aren't words to describe how I feel personally about this and about how my department is reacting to this horrific, horrific tragedy."

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak's department will lead the investigation. He says it appears the two plain clothes detectives went to Goulet's home on Banciforte as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. Based on physical evidence and witness accounts, Wowak says Goulet opened fire on the detectives. The two officers and witnesses called for help.

When authorities arrived on the scene they say they found the two detectives dead outside the home and Goulet missing. A multi-agency team then locked down the neighborhood which includes three schools and a busy Whole Foods supermarket.

Within minutes of setting up the search, Sheriff Wowak says officers encountered Goulet. A short chase ensued and then gunfire was exchanged, he says. Goulet was shot and killed at the scene.

Even after Goulet's death, officers continued a house by house, "closet-by-closet" search of the neighborhood to determine if there were additional suspects. Sheriff Wowak says it is his belief the public is now out of harm's way.

Students at the three schools were taken by bus to the nearby Government Center where they were re-united with their families.

Authorities are praising nearby law agencies including deputies from San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey County sheriffs departments and police officers from Scott's Valley, Capitola, and Watsonville who just showed up on the scene to offer their help.

Wowak says the California Department of Justice, the FBI, and the regional law agencies will all assist in the investigation. He says it could be weeks before we know all of the details of what happened and why.

Stay tuned to KRON 4 and KRON4.com for comprehensive coverage of the investigation into the shootings and the community's mourning of the two slain officers.

(Copyright 2013, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

Woman Cyclist Dies in San Jose Hit ...

Woman Cyclist Dies in San Jose Hit and Run Collision

SAN JOSE (BCN) -- Police are investigating the death of a pedestrian who was fatally struck in a hit-and-run collision in San  Jose early Tuesday morning, officers said.      Shortly after 1 a.m., police received a report of a traffic collision at the intersection of Monterey Road and Bellevue Avenue.      Upon arrival, police determined that a vehicle had struck a woman and the driver had fled before police arrived on scene.      The victim was transported to a local hospital and treated for life-threatening injuries. She succumbed to her injuries at 1:50 a.m., police said.      Preliminary police investigation into the incident revealed that the victim was crossing the street when a dark-colored vehicle struck her.  The vehicle did not stop and continued southbound on Monterey Road, police said.      Neither the driver nor the vehicle has been located and the incident remains under investigation, according to police.      The victim's identity is being withheld pending notification to next of kin, police said.      Anyone with information regarding the incident or about the suspect vehicle is asked to contact local authorities.(Copyright 2013, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)
UPDATE: Coast Guard Says Reports of...

UPDATE: Coast Guard Says Reports of Family Abandoning Boat Off Central Coast May Be a Hoax

(BCN) The U.S. Coast Guard has called off its search for a man, woman and two children who reportedly abandoned ship off the coast of Monterey County on Sunday afternoon saying that the report could have been a hoax.The search was suspended at about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday. Coast Guard boats and aircraft had been scouring the waters about 65 miles off the Monterey coast since about 4:20 p.m. Sunday, when the family made a distress call to Coast Guard Sector San Francisco.The caller said he was on a boat, possibly named "Charmblow," with his wife, their 4-year-old son and the boy's young cousin.The man told the Coast Guard that the vessel's electronics system was failing, and then said over a choppy radio connection that the family had decided to abandon ship, according to the Coast Guard. Chief Petty Officer Mike Lutz said it is not clear how many life rafts the family had with them, but that there was no life raft. In the last dispatch from the boat at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the man said the family was trying to string together a cooler and a life ring to cling to. Petty Officer 2nd Class Barry Bena said there have been no missing-persons reports that would help identify the family. Lutz said the Coast Guard has checked local marinas for information about a boat named "Charmblow" or something similar, to no avail.However, although the search has been called off, the Coast Guard is still treating the incident as a legitimate distress call, Lutz said.(Copyright 2013, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)
San Francisco Symphony Oboist Colla...

San Francisco Symphony Oboist Collapses During Performance

SAN FRANCISCO -- A longtime oboist with the San Francisco Symphony remains hospitalized Monday after collapsing on stage Saturday night during a  performance at Davies Symphony Hall, a symphony spokesman said.      William Bennett, 56, the principal oboist, was performing Richard  Strauss' Oboe Concerto during an 8 p.m. performance at the hall, located at  201 Van Ness Ave., when he fell to the stage, spokesman Oliver Theil said.      The show was stopped and he was taken to a hospital, where it was determined that he had suffered a brain hemorrhage, Theil said.      He was still at the hospital this morning and was listed in guarded condition, according to Theil.      "We all think the world of Bill, and our thoughts and best wishes are with him and his family," Theil said.      Bennett has been a member of the symphony since 1979 and has been  the principal oboist since 1987.      There has been an outpouring of support for Bennett over social media, including by the New York Philharmonic, which sent well wishes in a  tweet this morning.(Copyright 2013, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)
Oakland Couple Feared Missing on So...

Oakland Couple Feared Missing on South America Bike Trip

(BCN) -- Family members and friends are worried about an Oakland couple who may have disappeared during a bike trip in South America last month.Garrett Hand, 25, and his girlfriend, Jamie Neal, left on their bike trip in late November, and at the end of January all communication stopped, Hand's sister Larkin McGowan said today.She said there has been no financial activity on the couple's bank accounts or credit cards since Jan. 25. "That's the big alarm," said McGowan, who lives in Concord.The couple, who McGowan described as avid bicyclists and well-traveled, have been documenting their trip online. Social media posts dropped off around the same time the financial activity stopped, she said. The last post on Neal's Facebook was on Jan. 23, when the pair arrived in Cusco, Peru.Hand, a commercial fisherman in the Bay Area, posted in Spanish on his Facebook page from Cusco on Jan. 25 that the next stop of the trip would be Pucallpa, Peru, if the couple could find a bus.Neal, who is in her 20s and works at the Pedaler Bike Shop in El Sobrante, had been in touch with her coworkers through the end of January, shop mechanic Mark Lindgren said.The shop has pooled together a $3,000 reward for any information that will help locate the couple.Lindgren said Neal had taken time off work for the trip, and that regular customers and colleagues are concerned.Donations for the couple's families can be made at any Mechanics Bank by mentioning Hand or Neal, Lindgren said.On Feb. 13, the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, posted an emergency message warning of a potential kidnapping threat in the Cusco area."The Embassy has received information that members of a criminal organization may be planning to kidnap U.S. citizen tourists in the Cusco and Machu Picchu area," the message reads.The threat is listed as credible through the end of February.McGowan said the families are working with the U.S. Embassy and local authorities.Copyright 2013, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)
Third Suspect in 2010 San Jose Homi...

Third Suspect in 2010 San Jose Homicide Arrested

SAN JOSE (BCN) -- A third suspect in a 2010 homicide in San Jose is in custody after being arrested Friday afternoon as he was on his way to court, police said.       Carlos Ruiz Paz, 21, a San Jose resident, was arrested at about 1:30 p.m. as he was en route to an unrelated court case, police said.      The victim, 22-year-old Jose Antonio Vega Calderon, was found stabbed and shot at the corner of Willard Avenue and San Carlos Street at about 9:30 p.m. on April 21, 2010, police said.       He was taken to a hospital, where he died later that night.      The killing was later determined to be gang-related, according to police.      Jose Torres, 22, and Alvaro Ochoa, 22, were identified as suspects and arrested in connection with the murder. They have been in custody since their 2010 arrests, police said.(Copyright 2013, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)

KTVU

Obama's Iraq aim: contain, not dest...

Obama's Iraq aim: contain, not destroy, extremists

President Barack Obama's new military strategy in Iraq amounts to trying to contain — not destroy — the Islamic militant group that now controls much of the country's northern region. That leaves open the questions of how deeply the U.S. will be drawn into the sectarian conflict, and whether airstrikes alone can stop the militants' momentum.

Obama insists he will not send American ground troops back to Iraq after having withdrawn them in 2011, fulfilling a campaign promise. Still, even the limited airstrikes against the vicious insurgency show the president's conviction that the U.S. military cannot remain dormant after having fought an eight-year war that temporarily neutralized Sunni extremists but failed to produce lasting peace.

U.S. military jets launched several airstrikes Friday on isolated targets, including two mortar positions and a vehicle convoy in northeastern Iraq, near the country's Kurdish capital of Irbil. U.S. officials announced Friday night the second airdrop of food and water in as many days for imperiled refugees in northwestern Iraq.

The next move may be up to the Islamic State group, the al-Qaida inspired extremists who have chewed up Iraqi opposition so far.

About three dozen U.S. military trainers and a U.S. consulate are in Irbil, where Kurdish forces are fighting off a militant advance. That's no easy defense.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said of the Islamic State group, "They are well organized and they're armed and they are a significant threat to the stability of Iraq."

Will there be further airstrikes? State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said the Islamic State group must at least halt its advance on Irbil to prevent further strikes.

Iraq has been pleading for months, if not years, for additional U.S. military help to combat the extremists, but the U.S. pulled out of Iraq in part because it couldn't reach an agreement with the government on legal immunity for U.S. troops. Harf said the Obama administration acted now out of concern that "there was a crisis that had the potential to get much worse."

U.S. officials said the Islamic State extremists in recent days have shown military skill, including using artillery in sophisticated synchronization with other heavy weapons. Their force had overwhelmed not only Iraqi government troops but also the outgunned Kurdish militia.

The Obama administration steadfastly insists the airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops are not the start of an open-ended campaign to defeat the militants.

The president's critics say his approach is too narrow.

"A policy of containment will not work," Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement. They are among the chief critics of Obama's foreign policy in general, beginning with his decision to stick to the 2011 timetable set by President George W. Bush for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The Islamic militants are "inherently expansionist and must be stopped," the senators said. "The longer we wait to act, the worse this threat will become."

Beyond airstrikes, the administration has been asked to provide arms directly to the Kurdish forces defending Irbil. Until now, the U.S. has been willing to do that only through the central government in Baghdad, which has long feuded with the semi-autonomous Kurdish government in Iraq's north.

Michael Barbero, a retired Army general who ran the U.S. training mission in Iraq from 2009 to 2011, said Baghdad never delivered about $200 million worth of American weapons that were designated for the Kurds. Pentagon officials maintain they can provide arms only to the Iraqi government, although Harf said Friday the Kurdish forces play a critical role in the crisis.

"We understand their need for additional arms and equipment and are working to provide those as well so they are reinforced," she said.

The CIA could supply the Kurds under a covert operation. An agency spokesman declined comment when asked whether that was happening.

In announcing his decision to intervene militarily, Obama stated plainly that he would not allow the U.S. "to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq."

But Obama's limited use of air power leads some to ask whether that approach will make a lasting difference. It also raises questions about whether Obama underestimated the staying power of the extremists, who control an impressive stretch of territory from the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo to most Sunni-dominated areas of northern and western Iraq, up to the edges of Baghdad.

The insurgents frequently launch bombings and other attacks in Baghdad, mostly targeting Shiites and government officials, often within sight and hearing of the U.S. Embassy, which is located in the capital's heavily fortified Green Zone. In another sign of the region's instability, the State Department on Friday warned U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq and said those in the country were at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence.

"I think the administration realizes that we're dealing with that rarest of things in President Obama's world, which is a military situation that has to be resolved militarily," said James F. Jeffrey, who was the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad when American troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011. The basic problem, Jeffrey said, is "these guys have to be stopped. And it's not a matter of whether the U.S. should stop them — it's a matter of when."

Across the Mideast, the U.S. has deployed considerable military power, including warplanes and an air operations center in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. Additionally, the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush currently is located in the Persian Gulf and was the launching site for Friday's airstrikes.

The crisis appears to be falling to Washington to deal with — despite Obama's consultations with other nations and the U.N. — as the U.S. struggles with the parallel challenge of Islamic extremists' gains in neighboring Syria. Vice President Joe Biden, in a call Friday to Iraqi President Fuad Masum, emphasized the threat the extremists present to all Iraqis and affirmed U.S. support, the White House said.

The Islamic State fighters have been surprisingly successful in pursing their stated goal of creating a caliphate, or Islamic religious state, straddling Iraq and Syria. The extremists are a mix of Iraqis and Syrians as well as foreign fighters.

U.S. intelligence officials say some of the Islamic State's fighters have military training, and the group's recent seizure of the Iraqi army's American-supplied armored vehicles, weapons and ammunition has left it better armed than its Kurdish opponents.

Containing the fighters "will require a sustained ground effort," said Cedric Leighton, a retired Air Force colonel and intelligence specialist. "It should be a coalition effort" in concert with local Iraqi forces, he said.

Others, however, say even a small taste of American air power may be enough to tip the balance.

The Islamic State "may be good at beheading bound captives and threatening helpless civilians, but they have not yet undergone the kind of physical and psychological trauma that American airpower can impose upon them," said Charles Dunlap Jr., a former Air Force lawyer and now a Duke University law professor.

New 'fad' challenges teens to set t...

New 'fad' challenges teens to set themselves on fire, upload videos to YouTube

A new internet fad is causing some serious cause for concern.

Teens have been setting themselves on fire and then, posting the videos to YouTube.

The number and extent of the injuries reported across the country are startling, but so far none have been reported in Northern California.

Still, Santa Clara’s medical community, county fire and EMS put out a public warning to parents Friday, informing them of what’s become known as the “Fire Challenge.”

The challenge is a dare game where a young person voluntarily applies flammable liquids on the body and then sets them self on fire. The event is filmed and uploaded to multiple social media sites.

Often, the kids attempt the stunt while standing in a shower or near a pool. But dousing burning skin in water isn't enough to protect from serious burns. The use of accelerants like rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer or nail polish on the body means fires can hit temperatures of 500 degrees and up almost instantly.

"We really want to warn kids to not try this at all," said Jill Sproul, the nursing manager at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's Burn Trauma Unit.

Sproul is also suffered severe burns in an accident when she was a child and wants to spare other kids the agony she endured through years of surgery.

"To intentionally do this," Sproul told KTVU shaking her head, "it's mind-boggling."

Judge rules against NCAA in O'Banno...

Judge rules against NCAA in O'Bannon case

College football and basketball players could be in line for paydays worth thousands of dollars once they leave school after a landmark ruling Friday that may change the way the NCAA does business.

A federal judge ruled that the NCAA can't stop players from selling the rights to their names, images and likenesses, striking down NCAA regulations that prohibit them from getting anything other than scholarships and the cost of attendance at schools.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland, California, ruled in favor of former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon and 19 others in a lawsuit that challenged the NCAA's regulation of college athletics on antitrust grounds. The injunction she issued allows players at big schools to have money generated by television contracts put into a trust fund to pay them when they leave.

In a partial victory for the NCAA, though, Wilken said the body that governs college athletics could set a cap on the money paid to athletes, as long as it allows at least $5,000 per athlete per year of competition. Individual schools could offer less money, she said, but only if they don't unlawfully conspire among themselves to set those amounts.

That means FBS football players and Division I basketball players who are on rosters for four years could potentially get around $20,000 when they leave school. Wilken said she set the $5,000 annual threshold to balance the NCAA's fears about huge payments to players.

"The NCAA's witnesses stated that their concerns about student-athlete compensation would be minimized or negated if compensation was capped at a few thousand dollars per year," Wilken wrote.

The NCAA said it disagreed with the decision, but was still reviewing it.

But Sonny Vaccaro, the former athletic shoe representative who recruited O'Bannon to launch the suit, said it was a huge win for college athletes yet to come.

"The kids who are going to benefit from this are kids who don't even know what we did today," Vaccaro said. "It may only be $5,000 but it's $5,000 more than they get now."

O'Bannon issued a statement calling the decision "a game changer" and precisely what he was after when he joined the suit.

"I just wanted to right a wrong," O'Bannon said. "It is only fair that your own name, image and likeness belong to you, regardless of your definition of amateurism. Judge Wilken's ruling ensures that basic principle shall apply to all participants in college athletics."

The ruling comes after a five-year battle by O'Bannon and others on behalf of college athletes to receive a share of the billions of dollars generated by college athletics by huge television contracts. O'Bannon, who was MVP of the 1995 UCLA national championship basketball team, said he signed on as lead plaintiff after seeing his image in a video game authorized by the NCAA that he was not paid for.

Any payments to athletes would not be immediate. The ruling said regulations on pay will not take effect until the start of the next FBS football and Division I basketball recruiting cycle. Wilken said they will not affect any prospective recruits before July 1, 2016. The NCAA could also appeal, and has said previously that it would take the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.

Former athletes will not be paid, because they gave up their right to damages in a pre-trial move so the case would be heard by a judge, not a jury.

As part of her ruling, Wilken rejected both the NCAA's definition of amateurism and its justification for not paying players. But she did not prohibit the NCAA from enforcing all of its other rules and regulations and said that some restrictions on paying players may still serve a limited purpose if they are necessary to maintain the popularity of major college football and basketball.

"The big picture is the NCAA lost the definition of amateurism it has been pushing for years," said Michael Carrier, a Rutgers law professor and antitrust expert.

Wilken was not asked to rule on the fairness of a system that pays almost everyone but the athletes themselves. Instead, the case was centered on federal antitrust law and whether the prohibition against paying players promotes the game of college football and does not restrain competition in the marketplace.

During a three-week trial in June, attorneys for the NCAA said moving away from the concept of amateurism where players participated for the love of the game would drive spectators away from college sports and would upset the competitive balance among schools and conferences.

Several players testified during the trial that they viewed playing sports as their main occupation in college, saying the many hours they had to devote to the sport made it difficult — if not impossible — to function like regular students.

"I was an athlete masquerading as a student," O'Bannon said at trial. "I was there strictly to play basketball. I did basically the minimum to make sure I kept my eligibility academically so I could continue to play."

Witnesses called by the NCAA spoke of the education provided to athletes as payment for their services and said the college model has functioned well for more than a century. They contended that paying players would make college sports less popular and could force schools to cut other programs funded by the hundreds of millions of dollars taken in by big-time athletics.

The lawsuit was part of a tide of pressure on the NCAA to change the amateur model. Football players at Northwestern University have pushed to be allowed to unionize, and other lawsuits have claimed that athletes have a right to better compensation. This week, the NCAA's board voted to allow the five wealthiest conferences in the country to set their own rules, paving the way for the 65 schools in those conferences to potentially offer richer scholarships and health benefits to players.

Carrier said the outcome might not be scary at all because the money may not be huge and will be paid only after a player's career is over.

"We'll soon see that this isn't the end of the world as we know it," Carrier said.

"The irony of this is that a lot of the other changes in college sports going on were made because of this impending ruling."

'Chrome Revolver Bandit' sentenced ...

'Chrome Revolver Bandit' sentenced to more than 800 years in prison

A man who was dubbed the "Chrome Revolver Bandit" after a series of 14 armed robberies in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties was sentenced Friday to more than 800 years in prison, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Ricky Renee Sanders, 36, was sentenced to 834 years to life in prison Friday following his conviction in February on 44 felony charges including armed robbery, attempted robbery, assault with a firearm, and mayhem in connection with the robberies, Wagstaffe said.

He will be eligible for parole in approximately 780 years.The severe sentence, one of the highest of its kind recorded in the county, reflects the fact that Sanders had prior convictions, Wagstaffe said

"He is a poster boy for the three strikes law and a danger to the community," Wagstaffe said, referring to a state law that imposes stiffer penalties for criminals with prior felony convictions.

Sanders robbed stores including PetSmart, Beverages & More, PetCo and Gamestop in 2011 armed with a large shiny silver handgun that earned his nickname, according to prosecutors.

In one of the robberies at a San Mateo PetSmart on Oct. 8, 2011, Sanders shot a manager in the leg, according to prosecutors.

He was arrested after robbing a store in San Jose on Nov. 1, 2011.

Sander's defense attorney argued during the trial that the armed bandit was covered up during the robberies and witnesses may have incorrectly identified Sanders.

The defense also argued that the robberies were committed by Sanders' friend, Charlie Hustle, whom Sanders claimed to have often loaned his car, ATM PIN and both his cellphones.

Portable pizza oven comes loose, ca...

Portable pizza oven comes loose, causing deadly crash

CHP says a portable pizza oven came loose as it was being towed by a van causing a deadly accident southwest of Petaluma Friday.

The oven struck a sedan carrying a family of four on Lakeville Highway around 7:23 p.m. Friday. The force knocked the car on its inside, killing one adult in the car and seriously injuring the other three.

One of the injured children was airlifted to Oakland Children’s Hospital. The other adult and child were taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa.

A bus load of firefighters happened to come upon the crash scene and stopped to help.

CHP says it’s not yet clear how the pizza oven came loose.

Family looks to bring awareness to ...

Family looks to bring awareness to ovarian cancer after mother dies from disease

About 600 Bay Area women each year are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Sadly, most woman die from it, as did

Most die from it, as did Mill Valley's Karen Orofino. She passed away on May 24th, after 19 months of chemotherapy and surgery.

On Friday, her family took action.

"To be in 2014 and not have a test for ovarian cancer is crazy,” said her husband John Orofino.

He and their two children announced a research fund in Karen's honor. Walking for Karen is dedicated to finding a diagnostic test, hopefully a cure.

"To be able to spread awareness and let people know what ovarian cancer is all about," said 29-year-old daughter Elizabeth Pino.

"In that way my wife continues to live," said John Orofino.

Karen was 64 and worked in Bay Area TV. Her family said she exercised, ate right and saw her doctor regularly.

But after a routine pelvic exam two years ago, she was referred to oncologist John Chan, at the time with UCSF, now with Sutter Health.

"Despite this good care of herself she still was diagnosed in its advanced stages," said Dr. Chan.

Doctors say the sobering truth is, after diagnosis only about 40-percent of women will survive five years. The reason? Ovarian cancer is almost always discovered late.

Dr. Chan showed KTVU a CT scan and noted where tumors show up,

"Deep in the pelvis here on both sides," he said.

And that's key to the problem: ovarian tumors are rarely obvious. Symptoms are vague, usually bloating and soreness.

But, Doctor Chan says, new research is encouraging and closing in on the goal of identifying markers biomakers in the blood, and discovering a routine screening test.

Karen's son John, nicknamed 'Woody,' began hiking more than 200 miles of the John Muir Trail in the Sierra on July 31.  He's raising the first $50,000 for "Walking for Karen."

Her family hopes to make a Marin County fundraising hike next month an annual event.

"We don't want any other family to go through this hell and it is hell," said John Orofino.

The family's encouraging public donations to the Walking for Karen fund, 100 percent goes to UCSF ovarian cancer research.

 

 

 

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