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.)
Thirty-two-year-old Ronald Guinto is charged with molesting six of his former students on camping trips between December 2012 and October 2013, but KTVU has learned some parents' concerns go back a few years.
Guinto started a youth group called "Camp Epic" in 2010. Mother Kelleen Torres says she met Guinto at a youth workshop the same year. Torres says Guinto lit up the room, but after hearing about his arrest last week, her encounter with him did not add up.
"He lied about his age," said Torres. "He told me he was a 19 year old kid."
Torres says Guinto was eager to recruit her son to participate in his camp.
"He was all over me as soon as he found out I had a boy," said Torres. "He wanted my son (and) immediately gave me his card, gave me all of his contact information."
2 Investigates confirmed Guinto also passed out fliers for Camp Epic to fourth graders at Canyon Oaks Elementary School in American Canyon, but it's not clear how many students may have participated.
At the time, Guinto was a student teacher at Canyon Oaks while working on his masters in education at Touro University on Mare Island in Vallejo.
No one answered the phone number listed for Camp Epic, but an outgoing message promoted that the "potential to be a leader is found in every young person."
The message also directed callers to the group's website which now shows that it is down "for maintenance."
Guinto pleaded not guilty to 27 counts involving sexual abuse of boys and kidnapping.
His attorneys declined to comment, saying they are awaiting reports expected to deliver more information about the case.
Torres told KTVU she's speaking up now to encourage any other potential victims to come forward.
"I want them all to come forward and not be ashamed because it wasn't their fault," said Torres.
Two students are facing expulsion from Balboa High School after bringing a gun to campus, taking a photo with it and posting the image on Facebook.
San Francisco Police said two 16-year-old boys brought a loaded handgun to campus on Wednesday and took photos with the weapon inside a school bathroom. The boys posted a photo on Facebook, which was seen by a student who notified administrators.
San Francisco School District Communication Director Gentle Blythe said no threats were made and they do not believe any students were in danger.
“We have no reason to believe that they intended to do anything with the gun other than pose for photos with it,” said Blythe.
KTVU obtained the letter that was sent home to parents Friday explaining the “extremely serious incident.” Part of the letter written by the principal reads, “We are both shocked and deeply saddened by this incident, but remain committed to making sure this type of incident does not happen again.”
A student who knows one of the boys who posed with the gun said he didn’t expect his friend to make this kind of mistake.
“He was a good kid,” said the student. “I can’t believe he would do something like that.”
Parents said the situation calls into question the dangers and advantages of social media. D’Artanian Woodard has a son who attends Balboa High and said he talks to his son regularly about being cautious with what he shares online.
“I try to tell him the importance of once you post it it’s stuck with you for life,” said Woodard. “People look at it for jobs or for future employment. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.”
Police confiscated the loaded handgun, along with a rifle and pellet gun from the home of one of the boys. Both were cited for bringing a gun to school and Blythe said the boys will be expelled from the school.
Two more workers were injured by acid spray Monday morning at the Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery in Pacheco near Martinez.
It's the second such incident, which also injured two workers, in less than a month. It happened quick and was over quick, but the injuries raise even more self-inflicted doubts about Tesoro's ability to run a safe refinery.
At 10:49 a.m., Tesoro called the Contra Costa Hazardous Materials agency about yet another sulfuric acid spill incident contaminating another two contractor employees.
“My understanding is that one person has been released already and the other one is still in observation but in good spirits,” says Maria Duazo a County HAZMAT Specialist. In a statement Tesoro confirms the basic facts but then says this, “The cause of the incident is under investigation and is believed to be unrelated to the chemical release that occurred on Feb. 12.” Really?
“It's the same unit,” says Greg Karras, Senior Scientist for refinery watchdog Communities for a Better Environment (CBE).
“The state OSHA actually shut this down after the first incident and allowed it to reopen last week,” says CBE's Karras.
CalOSHA says Tesoro met all five conditions for reopening the unit.
After the February spill, Tesoro refused to allow the Federal Chemical Safety Board to enter the premises, saying it was a minor spill that gave the Board no jurisdiction.
Tesoro later let inspectors in after the Board wrote the CEO a threatening letter.
“When they were allowed back in, they reported that equipment has been replaced, which seems like a good thing if it was replaced correctly; we don't know that yet, but, certainly would have destroyed evidence that investigators would have needed to get fully to the bottom of it,” said CBE's Karras.
Now, more inspections are assured including county Hazmat.
“An inspection specific to the area of the refinery that's involved,” says HAZMAT Specialist Duazo.
Communities For A Better Environment says workers would not have been injured Monday had the unit been kept shut down for a more complete inspection and testing protocol that now seems would have been the wiser path to take.
The California Highway Patrol says it is still investigating the death of an Oakland woman who was killed when a tree came crashing down on her car as she was driving on Interstate 80 Sunday afternoon.
The coroner identified the victim as 22-year-old Kenneisha Dale.
Now the woman’s mother is left to make sense of something she says makes no sense.
"I'm just numb, trying to deal with it," Janicee Lewis-Hawkins, Dale’s mother told KTVU through tears.
Relatives told KTVU Dale had just visited her husband in Solano State Prison in Vacaville and was headed toward her Oakland home.
On Sunday Dale was driving westbound on Interstate 80 near the Chery Glen Road exit in Vacaville when a eucalyptus tree fell on top of her Toyota Camry, which her family says she had just purchased the week before.
The tree fatally crushed Dale.
Kenneisha's great-grandmother was driving just ahead of her and noticed the tree seconds before it toppled.
"It was leaning over like this, toward the freeway. And it was like a stick. Nothing on it. Old. Like it was rotten,“ described Johnnie Price, Kenneisha's great-grandmother.
A few minutes later Price looked in her rearview mirror and didn't see her great-granddaughter's car.
"She never did come through. And we went to Fairfield and turned around and went back down the freeway. Whew," said Price.
Her family says it is hard to believe something so out of the ordinary and tragic, a tree just happening to fall on the freeway at that precise moment, could actually happen.
"I'm thinking about how she felt, what went through her mind. Did she suffer," said Jeanette Bartholomew, Kenneisha's cousin
Her family says Kenneisha loved children and was considering working in child care.
"Anytime a family member needed her to help out, she was there," said Bartholomew.
CHP says it is still looking through land records to see who owns the toppled tree.
The CHP says it is unclear whether Caltrans is responsible, or one of two possible landowners.
Funeral arrangements for Kenneisha are pending.
The investigation into the Saturday shooting of a San Francisco Police officer expanded Monday as investigators said they hoped to interview the wounded officer after he underwent surgery.
Adam Shaw, 28 years old and a six-year veteran on the San Francisco Police force, suffered an arterial wound to his left bicep Saturday in the city's Mission district in a confrontation involving a driver stopped for SFPD Chief Greg Suhr called “malicious mischief.”
“He's recovering, he's in great spirits,” said Suhr Monday afternoon. “He's a young, strong guy and he should make a full recovery.”
Investigators said on Monday they were trying to get a complete picture of what happened and whether Shaw was wounded by 50 year-old Jeffrey Ruano of San Francisco -- the alleged driver -- or, by Shaw's own partner.
Mission district resident Jeanette Montarano described hearing a volley of shots from her home Saturday.
“Three quick shots and then a pause and then two or three more shots followed,” said Montarano. “The neighbors were really shocked that it was police officer that had gotten shot.”
Chief Suhr told KTVU he is not sure how many shots were fired after Ruano allegedly tried to back his car into the officers but said investigators so far have not found the bullet that wounded Shaw.
“One witness heard or thought she heard shots coming from the suspect vehicle. We do not have any evidence of there being another weapon at the scene other than the shots being fired by the passenger officer [Shaw's partner],” said Suhr.
San Francisco police rounds are typically 40 caliber. Investigators say Ruano was arrested in San Jose Sunday with .38 caliber rounds but no gun.
“As far as whether or not we will ever know if the shot came from his partner, until we can recover the round that went through his arm and match it ballistically to the partner's gun, we don't know that,” said Suhr. “And we have not eliminated the possibility that there may have been another firearm at the scene, possibly a revolver that doesn't eject casings.”
KTVU learned more Monday about Ruano's San Francisco criminal record. In 2007, he pleaded guilty in to misdemeanor hit and run and felony assault. He received two years in state prison. In 2009, Ruano pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and received one year in county jail.
Ruano declined interview requests Monday afternoon at San Francisco county jail, where he's being held without bail on felony charges including assault with a deadly weapon, which was his car.
Thousands of people, who took a popular but controversial form of birth control, had until Monday, March 10 to decide whether to take a cash payout from the drug company as part of a nationwide settlement.
But many want to know why this form of birth control is still on the market? 2 Investigates obtained records showing just how many complications from the product have been reported.
“The pictures we have are like the three of us. Always the three of us,” said Ashley Malone, as she looked though pictures in her sister’s room.
Ashley is the oldest of the three Malone sisters.
“We were each other's best friend and you know we spent every day together,” said Ashley.
Ashley, Brittany, and Morgan were close in age and close to the end.
“When I see pictures like this I can hear her. Hear her voice,” said Ashley looking at picture of Brittany laughing.
It’s a drastically different sound than the day the 23-year-old collapsed while sitting between her sisters.
“I held her head back and I was giving her mouth to mouth and I remember she would go [noise of drawing shallow breaths] and then I'd breathe, but at that point her lungs were filling with blood,” said Ashley describing the efforts to help her sister.
As Brittany's blood thinned naturally trying to pass the massive clot in her leg blood seeped into her lungs to the point where she went without oxygen and eventually became brain dead.
The Malones told KTVU that they blame NuvaRing for the clot that led to Brittany’s death.
All of the Malone girls used Nuvaring. It’s a vaginal form of birth control, which remains in the body for three weeks and then is removed for seven days before starting another ring. Thousands of users claim it has caused serious side effects and even death. The manufacturers, Merck, have offered a conditional settlement of $100 Million dollars to alleged victims. But, 95-percent of the people with claims must opt-in or the company can withdraw the offer. As part of the settlement Merck admits no wrongdoing or legal liability.
Hunter Shkolnik of the law firm Napoli, Bern, Ripka, and Shkolnik is lead counsel for the national settlement and has fought NuvaRing cases in court for the better part of a decade. Shkolnik thinks some 4,000 or so plaintiffs will accept the settlement.
“I suspect the vast majority will because it is the best opportunity and it's a very good deal for them,” said Shkolnik.
He couldn’t discuss the specifics of the settlement, but says the pay-out is a tiered system with higher amounts for death claims. The total settlement amount of $100 Million will be divided amongst the total number of qualifying claimants. So the amount each person will receive depends on how many people partake in the settlement. The Malone’s say they would receive somewhere around $75,000 (a death claim) if they chose to settle.
“It's just disgusting that they can buy their way out of accountability. It's hush money,” said Joe Malone, Brittany’s father.
He and his wife, Dana, refuse to settle, upset that Merck won't have to admit any wrongdoing and the product will remain on the market. NuvaRing’s warning label was updated in October of 2013, after Ashley’s death and as several cases were set to go to trial.
In a statement to KTVU a Merck spokesperson writes:
“Nothing is more important to Merck than safety of our medicines and vaccines and the people who use them. Merck employees, and our families, use Merck medicines too.”
“It's not right she was just being responsible and her life shouldn't have been taken. I'd like to know how many people at this manufacturer if their kids use it,” said Dana Malone, Brittany’s mother.
Pregnancy carries a risk of blood clots as do all hormonal birth controls, but Kaiser Permanente researchers found the blood clotting risk is up to 56-percent higher with NuvaRing compared to earlier birth control formulas, but still only in the range of eight to 10 women per 10,000 users.
“I don't care if it's one-percent or if it's a percentage of one-percent what I care about is how many women have died because of this product how many women have been hospitalized,” said Joe Malone.
2 Investigates found out by filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Food and Drug Administration. We asked for all Adverse Events Reports related to NuvaRing. The records show from the product’s release in 2001 to February of this year more than 10,000 reports were filed. The records included 224 deaths and nearly 3,000 hospitalizations. Adverse events are voluntarily reported by doctors, health care providers, and patients so the number of people negatively affected may actually be higher. If a manufacturer receives an adverse event report, it is required to send the report to the FDA as specified by regulations, according to an FDA spokesperson.
Merck reports more than 44 Million prescriptions have been filled in the US for NuvaRing since June of 2002. The surviving Malone sisters stopped filling their prescriptions after losing Brittany.
“Thinking about our family as the five of us and when we would take pictures or whatever… having it be four people [is] very weird,” said Ashley Malone.