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.
"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.)
The Southern California-based maker of Sriracha has been told it can't ship any more of its popular hot sauce to food distributors until next month because the state Department of Public Health is enforcing stricter guidelines that require a 30-day hold on the product.
Huy Fong Foods began following those guidelines this week, operations manager Donna Lam told the Los Angeles Times. That means the latest batch of sauces won't arrive in stores and restaurants until mid-January.
Health department spokeswoman Anita Gore told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the 30-day hold is needed to "ensure an effective treatment of microorganisms present in the product."
"Holding products for a period of time at a specified pH level is one method of controlling those microorganisms," Gore said in an email. She added that Huy Fong got the order after state officials reviewed the way its sauces are produced. Companies using similar methods face the same requirements, she said.
The hold is the second setback for Huy Fong Foods in recent weeks.
The Los Angeles suburb of Irwindale is suing the company for filling its air with spicy odors that residents say make their eyes burn and take their breath away.
Last month, a judge ordered Huy Fong to stop producing the smells until air-quality experts can determine how to mitigate them.
The odors are only produced during pepper-grinding season, which extends from August until late October or early November.
Damon Chu of Asian food supplier Giant Union says the hold could prompt customers to switch to other brands of hot sauce. He also told the Times it could cost him as much as $300,000 in lost business, adding he has no supplies backlogged because Huy Fong ships the sauce as it's bottled.
"We have already received more than 30 angry phone calls today," he said. "It drives me crazy because this is the first time we have been in this situation."
Huy Fong's flaming hot Sriracha sauce, in its distinctive green-tipped squeeze bottle with a drawing of a rooster on the side, has become hugely popular in both Asia and the United States.
As demand increased, the company moved to a huge new production plant in Irwindale two years ago. As it ramped up pepper-grinding operations there this year, neighbors in the city of 1,400 people began to complain.
The city of Vallejo has seen an increase in violence and police say they need the community's help to get a handle on the problem.
There have been 24 homicides so far this year in Vallejo, compared to 17 in all of last year, according to police.
Flowers and candles marked the spot Wednesday of Vallejo's most recent homicide victim.
The family of Frank Gore II says the refinery worker, aspiring rap artist and father of a 2-year-old daughter was found shot to death at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night in the parking lot of a recording studio on Tuolumne Street.
“He loved his family more than anything. He put family first. He don't miss family functions,” said a man at the crime scene, who identified himself as the victim's cousin.
Gore's death came after another homicide just six hours before - in a Vallejo supermarket parking lot. The victim of that shooting hasn't been identified.
And on Friday evening a private party at the Dan Foley Cultural Center in Vallejo turned deadly when police say an innocent bystander was caught in the cross fire of a shoot-out in the parking lot.
Esohe Izevbigie, 34, died from her gunshot injuries. She was the owner of an Oakland beauty salon called “Rags 2 Riches” and her friends say she volunteered regularly at a group-home for at-risk girls in Oakland.
“It's like nobody have no heart anymore. Nobody cares,” said Gore's cousin, referring to the recent wave of violence.
The Vallejo Police Department has six detectives working these cases around the clock.
“Certainly it's critical. It's critical and it's a crisis,” said Vallejo Police Capt. Jim O'Connell.
In order to solve these cases investigators need more witnesses to come forward.
“In many of these homicides there were a lot of people there, so we know a lot of folks know what happened. We need them to be courageous, strong and come forward and help us,” said O'Connell.
Gore's cousin said Wednesday that he doesn't see that happening. He says fear and distrust of the police keep people quiet.
“Basically, you're snitching. Nobody wants to be a rat because they'll end up dead,” said Gore’s alleged cousin.
Vallejo Police told KTVU that they didn't know if the recent violence was fueled by some sort of gang feud or not, but the department is in the process of hiring five additional police officers by the end of this year.
Officers hope the extra resources along with more community involvement will help them deal with the recent crime wave.
Detectives in Livermore say calls are flooding in from concerned parents about a junior golf coach after it was announced that he had been charged with sexually abusing some of the boys in his program.
Livermore Police confirmed Wednesday that they will seek new charges against 31-year-old Andrew Nisbet after investigating reports of him sexually abusing a third boy who had enrolled in Nesbit’s golf school, the Grip Junior Golf Academy.
At the time of Nesbit’s arrest, about 175 kids were reported to be enrolled in the academy.
Nesbit was arrested Saturday morning at Livermore’s Las Positas Golf Course, where he worked as the course’s resident golf pro, and charged with 65 felony counts of child molestation, based on the testimonies of two boys who had come forward weeks before.
Police say the two boys are between the ages of 12 and 14 years old.
Since his arrest was announced, a third boy came forward alleging that he was sexually abused by Nesbit. A detective confirmed to KTVU Wednesday afternoon that Livermore Police do plan to ask the district attorney to file new charges against Nesbit based on the third victim’s testimony.
But investigators said Wednesday that they were concerned Nesbit’s case is even bigger than that.
Livermore Police say they now have three detectives working this case because they've been flooded with calls from parents, many of whom had kids enrolled in Nesbit’s golf academy.
News of Nisbet's arrest was getting attention in the Detroit area where he coached young golfers before coming out to California in 2006.
Police say they've also received calls from Mississippi, where Nisbet also worked as a golf instructor.
“I'm sure this is every parent's nightmare to know someone they trust has committed so many heinous sex acts,” said Ofc. Steve Goard of the Livermore Police Dept. “It’s very frightening and you can hear it in the parents voices.”
Goard said detectives were asking parents to handle the situation delicately when talking to their children about any contact they might have had with Nisbet.
“For any sexual abuse victim, to come forward is just a very scary event... especially when the suspect is a well renowned and well liked individual,” said Goard. “When a parent goes to ask these kinds of questions, you don't want to ask suggestive questions like ‘Has that person ever done anything that has made you feel uncomfortable?’”
On Wednesday night, the Professional Golfer's Association (PGA) told KTVU that it has expelled Nisbet from the PGA, effective immediately.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families impacted by these unspeakable acts. We are very concerned about this horrific situation and are supporting law enforcement agencies with their investigation,” the PGA wrote in a statement to KTVU.
Nesbit was fired from his position at municipality-owned Las Positas Golf Course Saturday, immediately after course officials learned of his arrest.
Police say that in the ongoing investigation, they are specifically looking into parties that Nesbit would reportedly throw at his home for some of his young golfers as well as special invitations to a select few to play golf with him at Pebble Beach.
As of Wednesday, Nisbet was still being held in Santa Rita jail after a judge denied him bail at his first hearing Tuesday. He could be brought up on new charges as early as next week.
PG&E continues to finish up repair work in the Oakland Hills neighborhood that saw its main intersection go up in a pool of flames Tuesday because of a leaking gas pipeline. Officials tell KTVU that the leak was caused by a broken gas line connector, known as the elbow.
Photos obtained by KTVU show the cracked pipe that caused the intersection of Golf Links Road and Fountaine Street to burst into a burning pool of fire.
"The pipe was cut out of the ground last night, It was sent to a third party to take a look at and we should have a report on what may have caused that crack and, further, what may have cause the ignition," says PG&E Spokeswoman Brittany Chord.
The broken elbow will be subjected to a battery of metallurgical and chemical tests to determine if it broke quickly or over time. The lab will try to determine the exact cause which could range from a shift in the earth, temperature expansion and contraction, underground impact, corrosion or a combination of things.
"We want to know exactly what happened. We want a better sense so we can prevent it from happening again on the system," says Chord.
There are tens of thousands of connectors throughout the PG&E system.
Initial indications from nearby residents suggest that the leak has been going on for some time.
"I was running over there on the corner of Fontaine and Golf Links and I did smell gas and I thought it was coming from the sewer. It was so strong and like I said, it was a couple of weeks ago," says Laura Cox an Oakland neighborhood resident.
PG&E says every odor call is important in light of what happen in San Bruno.
“We were one of last utilities in the country when it came to ranking for response to odor calls. But, today we're one of the first in terms of responding to odor calls," says Chord.
But, resident Cox counters, "I guess it wasn't a big surprise, but it definitely was eye opening. It's just one of those things that's a constant lesson in life.”
Ten homes here are still on compressed gas until all of the underground piping is repaired, which could not happen until Thursday.
On Wednesday the Alameda County District Attorney filed a lawsuit against a man who purchased 233 fictitious business names and then demanded those businesses to pay him in order to keep their names.
The lawsuit against Mark Smith and FBN Brokers alleges he made false, untrue and misleading statements to businesses he tried to collect money from as well as to the County of Alameda when he filed to register those business names.
The news comes as a relief to the nearly 300 businesses on Grand and Piedmont Avenues who received letters from FBN demanded they pay up or lose their names.
"Taking the time to go to court to pursue all the different legal angles is beyond the means of most of us doing this individually. So, when the District Attorney is able to do that, it takes the burden off of us and allows, I think, a more powerful argument against someone like that. He' committing extortion here," said Brian Goehry, Owner of Wine on Piedmont.
The D.A.'s Office wants an injunction and a penalty of at least a quarter million dollars.
Investigators for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on Wednesday evening were trying to determine the cause of the massive blaze inside a telecommunications warehouse and office building early Wednesday morning on Concord Avenue in Concord.
The four-alarm fire burned fast, bright and intense.
Firefighters received the call at around 12:30 a.m. and spent hours battling the fire at the All Phone Company on the 2300 block of Stanwell Drive near Buchanan Field. They officially decared it extinguished around 11 a.m., but stayed on site to douse any flare-ups.
The building stores and recycles old telecommunications equipment. One nearby business owner said what burned were items that had been piled up inside and around the warehouse.
"A lot of possibly valuable stuff -- metal, wood, phone equipment, things piled up out there," said Cory Nott, who told KTVU he spent the night in his office.
Firefighters could not go inside, fearing the roof would collapse. But for those who work in the area, it was not the fire that was the problem, but the smoke.
People could smell it from miles away. It had the strong scent of burnt plastic.
Down the street at a nearby print shop, office workers wore masks. Some employees went home.
"It was kind of scary at first. But when we found out it wasn't that bad for our health, it just smelled really bad. It scratched our throats and was burning our eyes," said Kari Wasson, a receiving clerk at the print shop.
Next door, a dialysis center closed at the urging of the fire department.
"We didn't want people with an aready compromised health situation to ne anywhere near this smoke., because it was pretty nasty.," said Capt. Robert Marshall of the Contra Costa County Fire Prevention District.
Because of the smoke, the Contra Costa County Health Department issued an advisory recommending that those with breathing problems should stay indoors. The advisory was lifted around at 11 a.m.
Fire investigators said they don't know yet how the fire started.
Officials say the owner of the All Phone Company had once owned the bulding, but the now destroyed structure has recently gone through foreclosure.
Because the fire ravaged building is so large, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been asked to assist in the investigation.