A former Concord schoolteacher who was acquitted of 21 charges of child molestation and nearly acquitted of 95 other charges will be re-tried, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has announced.

Joseph Martin, 46, of Martinez, will again go to trial on charges that he molested multiple former students at Concord’s Woodside Elementary School, prosecutors said. The decision to re-try him comes two months after a jury hung over most of the charges against Martin, acquitting him of 21
charges and tilting heavily toward acquittal on 95 additional charges.

The jury voted 9-3 to acquit Martin of charges related to 10 victims and 11-1 to acquit him of charges related to the 11th victim.

However, Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts said, [CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE STORY....]


The organization that created a nightly light show illuminating the Bay Bridge said today it needs to raise $4 million by the end of the year
to make the public art project permanent.

The lights are scheduled to be removed from the bridge in March 2015 so that Caltrans can perform maintenance on the cables, said Ben Davis, founder, president and CEO of Illuminate the Arts (ITA), a non-profit organization that formed with the sole purpose of creating the Bay Bridge
light display.

After two years of fighting regulators uncertain of how to issue permits for a public art project of that magnitude and overcoming technical planning challenges, the lights flickered to life on March 5, 2013.

The public reaction was overwhelming, Davis said, and the constantly changing light display has since become known as “one of the leading public arts project in the world.”



Asian Psyllid2

State agriculture officials say they recently discovered the first incidence in the Bay Area of a small insect that can infect citrus trees with a deadly disease.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture says the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) was found Oct. 6 in Santa Clara County.  The 99-square-mile area where the pest has been found, just south of Alum Rock Park, has been quarantined.

Officials say much of the threat to the Bay Area is residential.  Most of the state’s citrus industry is found in other parts of California.

The CDFA is asking those in the quarantine area to avoid transporting citrus fruit or leaves, potted citrus trees and curry tree leaves from the quarantined area.

The pest was first found in the United States in 1998 in Palm Beach County, Florida.  It first showed up in California in August of 2008.

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Alameda County elected officials and transportation leaders are asking voters on Nov. 4 to approve a measure that would double the county’s transportation sales tax, two years after a similar measure failed by only a small number of votes.

Proponents say Measure BB, which needs a two-thirds majority for approval, would generate nearly $8 billion for important transportation improvements over the next 30 years, stimulate $20 billion of economic activity in the region and create nearly 150,000 jobs.

Alameda County voters approved a half-cent sales tax measure in 1986 that helps pay for transportation and transit projects in the county and in 2000 they approved extending the tax for another 20 years to 2022.


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Detectives with Fremont Police are asking for help locating a Hayward man suspected of armed robbery earlier this month.

Investigators say Deandre McLeod, 20, snatched an elderly woman’s gold chain near Maybird Circle and Platinum Terrace in the Ardenwood neighborhood on Oct. 5 around 5:30 p.m.

McLeod was reportedly chased by the woman’s husband before taking out a handgun and firing several shots.  He was picked up in a car by a male accomplice who had been waiting nearby.

Witnesses gave police descriptions of that vehicle leading to the arrest of the driver Dantay Freeman, 20, of Antioch on Oct. 15.

Fremont police SWAT teams found McLeod the next day at an E-Z 8 Motel in Newark a little before 8 p.m.  McLeod evaded officers by jumping a fence and running across all lanes of traffic on Interstate 880, prompting major freeway closures.

McLeod was eventually picked up by an unknown female at a Starbucks on Mowry Avenue near Farwell Drive.  A search of his hotel room turned up two loaded firearms.

McLeod is considered to be armed and dangerous and he may be staying in Oakland or Hayward.  Police advise not to approach McLeod if he is spotted, but instead to call them immediately at (510) 790-6900.

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City officials and Chinatown community leaders rallied today in response to an expletive-filled speech by a tour guide denigrating the neighborhood and its residents and called for better training and oversight by the tour industry.

A TouTube video of the tirade by an employee of City Sightseeing San Francisco went viral today, with 437,000 views by 8:36 p.m.
The tour guide on a double-decker bus, who has not been identified but who was reportedly working her last day on the job, used the f- word numerous times as she referred to people, places and things commonly associated with San Francisco’s Chinatown. The guide denigrated the neighborhood as a whole, its congestion, its gates and its residents.




Three men were rescued by helicopter after their boat capsized and they were stranded in the water off of Gualala Point, according to
the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s helicopter, Henry 1, along with Coast Life Support, Cal Fire, County Parks and the U.S. Coast Guard were dispatched
to the rescue.

The Henry 1 crew arrived at Gualala Point at 2:05 p.m. and found [CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE STORY....]



Napa police said a puppy was taken from a Soscal Avenue residence during a burglary this morning.

Police said the burglary in the 2100 block of Soscol Avenue happened between 7:45 and 11 a.m.

The burglar entered through an unlocked garage side door, police said.

The house was ransacked and the burglar took a black Coach purse, brown Coach wallet and a female puppy named “Bella.”

Police said Bella is slightly bigger than she appears in a photo they released.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call Napa police at (707) 257-9223 or text the word 707NPD and the tip information to 847411.



A woman who was hit by a tour bus outside San Francisco City Hall this morning has died as a result of her injuries.

The woman in her 60s was struck by a cable car-style tour bus in a crosswalk at the corner of Polk and McAllister streets at about 11:30 a.m., according to police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza.

She was then taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries, according to the medical examiner’s office.

According to Walk First, a city initiative supported by the Mayor and various city departments, that intersection is a high-injury area.

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A man and woman robbed a jewelry store in Palo Alto at gunpoint on Wednesday afternoon, escaping with several valuable wristwatches, according to police.

Police received a 911 call reporting the robbery at Gleim the Jeweler at the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real just before 4:30 p.m.

Officers responded immediately but could not locate the suspects.

Store employees told police the female suspect had entered the store and asked to see some wristwatches.


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The possibility of building a new football stadium for the Oakland Raiders adjacent to the current Coliseum remains alive after the last-minute addition of financial adviser Floyd Kephart to a group of investors who want to develop the site.

A planning team has been trying for two years to get Oakland’s Coliseum City project off the ground.


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A suspect shot a victim he was trying to rob in East Oakland on Tuesday night, according to police.

The shooting was reported at about 8:30 p.m. in the 2400 block of East 15th Street, police said,

The suspect shot the victim there after attempting to rob him, police said. He ran away without any of the victim’s property.

The victim took himself to a hospital and was in stable condition, police said.

The suspect remains at large this morning.


mayor ed lee

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee expressed his support for San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White to the Board of Supervisors following calls by the city’s firefighter unions for her to step down over the department’s alleged failure to provide timely emergency medical response to the public.

Supervisor London Breed, who has repeatedly conveyed her lack of confidence in the Fire Department’s administration, asked the mayor, “What are you doing to hold the leader of the fire department accountable?”

Breed expressed her view that no one should have to wait extended periods for services or an ambulance.

Firefighters unions have stated that Hayes-White’s lack of strategic planning has led to the department’s troubles.


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A man who allegedly killed a bicyclist while fleeing from police in a stolen van in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood in July is now facing murder charges in the case, prosecutors said.

Anthony Wisner, 25, is accused of fleeing in a stolen van from a traffic stop at Larkin and Post streets, then crashing into a taxi three blocks away near Post and Jones street on July 28, police said.

The impact from the crash sent both the van and the taxi onto the sidewalk, hitting a bicyclist and a pedestrian.



An investigation underway in Santa Clara County after a video was posted to YouTube a couple of days ago that shows a group of bikers ignoring and taunting a CHP motorcycle officer who is trying to pull them over.

The video, reportedly recorded earlier this month on Interstate 680 between Milpitas and San Jose, appears to be from the camera on the helmet of one of the bikers. It shows several bikers popping wheelies and doing tricks.

A CHP officer on a motorcycle is seen chasing after a couple of bikers and trying to pull them over.  They ignore him and continue doing tricks.  At one point, several of the bikers appear to wave the officer away from the group.  The officer eventually leaves.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, there were about 100 bikers in the group and the officer left out of concerns for safety.