A 99-square mile section of Santa Clara County is under quarantine after a potentially harmful bug was detected there. Now an effort is underway to kill it, before it could have fatal consequences for California’s citrus trees.
State and county officials are spraying every citrus tree in a San Jose neighborhood near Kelly Park, after an unwanted pest moved in.
The Asian Citrus Psyllid was found on a half dozen trees there, and as a result 99-square miles in Santa Clara County were been placed under quarantine.
"We're hoping to suppress it and kill any Citrus Psyllid that might be here and keep it from spreading," says Michelle Thom, Deputy Ag Commissioner with Santa Clara County Agriculture.
The bug itself isn't dangerous, but the disease it often carries can be.
It spreads something called Huanglongbing, or citrus greening.
The disease causes trees to produce bitter, misshapen fruit until their eventual death.
Citrus growers say they’re worried.
"We sort of figured it just was a matter of time before it started spreading throughout California," says John Fumia or Airdrome Orchards.
The disease has already hit Florida hard, decimating their fruit and forcing growers to pull out 200,000 acres of trees.
In recent years the state of California has set aside $25 million to try to keep the problem from coming here.
"The bug itself doesn't make us nervous but the bug carrying the disease makes us extremely nervous because like I said, it could wipe out the California citrus industry," says Fumia.
There is no cure for the disease. Thankfully, the actual disease hasn't been spotted here yet, just the bugs. Agriculture officials say they're often brought to a new area by accident.
"We want to try and get the word out to people please do not accept cuttings, trees, anything from anywhere outside the area," says Thom.
They believe with lots of spraying, and an abundance of caution, they can keep these citrus trees healthy.
The disease, citrus greening, has only been detected once in California back in 2012 on a residential property near LA and California growers are hoping to keep it that way.
A South San Francisco man pleaded not guilty in a Redwood City courtroom Friday to charges that he fatally beat a fellow gym member with a metal bar, according to prosecutors.
Police and prosecutors said Osako saw Galindo at the Bally Total Fitness gym at 180 El Camino Real in South San Francisco around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 17.
Wielding an 18-inch steel bar used to hold weights, the defendant approached Galindo from behind and struck him in the head with the bar several times before dropping the bar and fleeing, prosecutors said.
Galindo was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he died from his injuries the following day.
Officers arrested Osako the day after the slaying with the aid of a special agent from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Prosecutors said witnesses at the gym did not hear any exchange between Osako and Galindo before the attack. However, two days prior to the killing, the victim apparently jokingly asked the defendant's girlfriend to take a ride on his motorcycle, according to prosecutors.
The motive for the killing remains under investigation.
Osako is set to reappear in court on Nov. 21 to schedule a preliminary hearing date.
A dog was killed in a two-alarm house fire in Milpitas early Friday morning that injured four people.
Firefighters responded to a report of a fire in the 2200 block of Farmcrest Street east of Hillcrest Park shortly before 3 a.m., Milpitas emergency services coordinator Sean Simonson said.
The blaze at the two-story home was under control by about 4 a.m., Simonson said.
Fire crews extricated four people from the home, he said.
Of the four people injured in the fire, three of them were sent to a hospital for burns and significant injuries suffered when they were extricated from the home, Simonson said.
Simonson could not confirm if the fourth person was also transported to a hospital or treated on scene and released.
A battalion chief at the scene of the fire confirmed that a dog had perished in the fire, Simonson said.
The fire caused an estimated $375,000 in damage, he said.
San Jose firefighters also assisted crews in extinguishing the fire, according to Simonson.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District's Board of Directors Friday approved a financial plan to reduce its 5- and 10-year deficit projections, including a proposal to charge bicyclists and pedestrians for access to the bridge's sidewalk.
Board members voted 10-9 to keep the sidewalk fee in the plan and 14-5 to approve the entire plan that contains 45 initiatives to raise money or reduce expenses, District spokeswoman Priya David Clemens said.
"The staff has a couple of years to study the plan and present findings to the board," Clemens said.
The initiatives are part of the District's 2014 Strategic Financial Plan to eliminate its $33 million five-year deficit and significantly reduce a 10-year deficit projected to be $210 million.
Approving the 2014 proposed financial plan is not the approval of any one of the 45 initiatives, District official said. That approval will require further analysis and approval by the board's committee process before it goes to the full board for final approval.
Some of the initiatives will require public hearings, District officials said.
Charging pedestrians and bicyclists for sidewalk access are two separate initiatives in the financial plan that will be monitored and updated annually. The plan begins in fiscal year 2015-2016 and ends on June 30, 2025.
A shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday afternoon left one victim and the gunman himself dead. Four other victims were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
The student shooter was allegedly motivated by a spoiled romance.
Erick Cervantes is a student at the school who witnessed the shootings, from the events beforehand until the moment the gunman shot himself — after being confronted by a heroic woman, he told KIRO-TV.
Cervantes thought the woman was a "lunch lady" who worked at the school, but she was later identified as a first-year social studies teacher. Cevantes confirmed to Natasha Chen of KIRO-TV that teacher Megan Silberberger was the woman he saw in action.
“I believe she’s actuality the real hero. She’s the one that intercepted him with the gun. He tried either reloading or tried aiming at her. She tried moving his hand away and he tried shooting and shot himself in the neck,” Cervantes said.
He said the gunshots followed a verbal altercation.
“It started off with an argument, but then I looked back and there was just gunshots and just people falling down,” Cervantes recalled. And immediately after the gunshots, the (woman) intervened, he said.
“She heard the gunshots first and she came in running through the door, right next to it,” he recalled.
Cervantes said there was no prolonged struggle between Silberberger and the gunman.
“It wasn’t (a) wrestle. She just grabbed his arm, and it lasted like two seconds, and I heard another shot. He said it was the shot that killed the gunman with his own weapon.
Google executive Alan Eustace broke the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert early Friday after taking a big leap from the edge of space.
Eustace's supersonic jump was part of a project by Paragon Space Development Corp. and its Stratospheric Explorer team, which has been working secretly for years to develop a self-contained commercial spacesuit that would allow people to explore some 20 miles above the Earth's surface.
Friday's success marked a major step forward in that effort, company officials said.
"This has opened up endless possibilities for humans to explore previously seldom visited parts of our stratosphere," Grant Anderson, Paragon president and CEO, said in a statement.
After nearly three years of intense planning, development and training, Eustace began his ascent via a high-altitude, helium-filled balloon just as the sun was rising. It took more than two hours to hit a record altitude of 135,908 feet, from which he separated himself from the balloon and started plummeting back to Earth.
Wearing his specially designed spacesuit, Eustace hit a top velocity of 822 mph during a freefall that lasted 4 1/2 minutes.
Jim Hayhurst, director of competition at the United States Parachute Association, was the jump's official observer. He said Eustace deployed a drogue parachute that gave him incredible stability and control despite the massive Mach 1.23 speed reached during the freefall.
Eustace didn't feel it when he broke the sound barrier, but the ground crew certainly heard the resulting sonic boom, Hayhurst said.
"He just said it was a fabulous view. He was thrilled," Hayhurst said of his conversation with Eustace after he landed.
The supersonic skydive happened with little fanfare, out of the media spotlight, unlike the 2012 attempt by daredevil Felix Baumgartner and the RedBull Stratos team. Baumgartner, who was taken aloft in a capsule with the help of millions of dollars in sponsorships, had set the previous altitude record by jumping from 128,100 feet.
Watching Eustace and his team prepare was historic, said Hayhurst, likening the scene to what it must have been like to watch Ryan Airlines Corp. build the Spirit of St. Louis in the late 1920s.
"This was a bunch of quiet engineers doing the job," he said. "This is a scientific endeavor. This is a stepping stone to space."