<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:50:01 -0800 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:50:01 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[17-Year-Old Student Arrested After Monrovia High Fire]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 08:01:41 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/MONROVIA+HS+FIRE.PNG

A 17-year-old student was arrested in connection to a fire that erupted in a building at Monrovia High School early Monday morning, officials confirmed.

The fire was reported just before 12:30 a.m. at the high school located in the 800 block of West Colorado Boulevard, according to the Monrovia Police Department.

Officials confirmed the male juveline was a senior at the school. He was arrested on suspicion of arson after admitting to starting the fire, Monrovia police said. 

"The blaring sirens of the fire trucks woke my whole family up," Robert Curry told NBC 4. "My daughter attends Monrovia High School but we haven't heard how it was going to affect school later today," Curry said.

School officials said the fire caused extensive damage to the counseling offices and also burned some classrooms.

School will resume as scheduled Monday and students will be relocated out of the main building into other classrooms on campus, officials said.

The bulk of the fire was out but crews remained on scene making sure the fire did not re-kindle, fire officials stated.

No Injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: RMG News]]>
<![CDATA[Funeral Held for Slain Downey Police Officer ]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:35:11 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/151130-officer-ricardo-galvez-funeral.jpg

Funeral services were being held Monday morning for slain Downey police Officer Ricardo Galvez, who was gunned down during an apparent botched robbery earlier this month.

A service began at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.

A gravesite salute with full police honors will be held at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier immediately following the funeral service.

Several streets will be closed to traffic near the cathedral beginning at 6 a.m. The closures include: Hill Street between First Street and the 101 Freeway, Temple Street between Grand Avenue and Broadway, and northbound Grand Avenue between First and Temple streets.

On Nov. 18, the 29-year-old former U.S. Marine was sitting in his parked outside the Downey police station after returning from a training program when he was shot, according to Downey police.

Galvez, joined the department in 2006 as a police aide. He was hired as a police officer with the department in March 2010.

Referring to Galvez as "Ricky," Downey police Chief Carl Charles described the officer as "a tremendous young man, who loved serving the residents of Downey."

Three suspects in connection to the shooting are now in custody, including a 16-year-old Abel Diaz who has been charged as an adult with one count of murder.

Steven Knott, 18, and Jeremy Anthony Alvarez, 21, were also arrested. Their arraignment has been postponed until Dec. 17.

A rosary and viewing for Galvez was held Sunday at the Downey Civic Theatre.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Toni Guinyard]]>
<![CDATA[Jury Selection in 1st Gray Case]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:20:13 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/william+porter.jpg

As many as 80 potential jurors filed into a Baltimore courtroom Monday morning as the first trial in the death of Freddie Gray got underway.

Jury selection for Officer William Porter's trial began Monday. When asked by Judge Barry Williams, every juror called said they knew about the Freddie Gray case, were aware of the curfew imposed following the protests and knew about the $6.4M settlement between the city and Gray's family. 

Gray, 25, suffered a mysterious injury in the back of a police transport van and died April 19, inspiring thousands to take to the streets to protest what they believed was the mistreatment by police of another young black man. On Monday, a handful of protesters could be heard chanting from inside the court building. 

In the weeks following the unrest, six police officers were indicted in Gray's death. Porter is the first to go on trial. 

The group of potential jurors was asked a number of questions to gauge their ability to be impartial. 

A dozen potential jurors said they were employed by a law enforcement agency while 26 said they had "strong feelings" about manslaughter or other misconduct by police. Nearly 40 potential jurors said they or a family member had been either a victim of a crime or been investigated, arrested, charged or convicted of a crime.

Two dozen potential jurors said they could not serve for reasons including a planned trip or medical proof they cannot sit for more than one hour.

A verdict will likely set the tone for the city: If Porter is acquitted there could be protests and possibly more unrest. A conviction could send shockwaves through the city's troubled police department.

"Everything is at stake. The future of the city is at stake,'' Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.

Porter faces charges of assault, manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. He is accused of checking on Gray during several stops the van made during its 45-minute trip from the Gilmor Homes in Sandtown-Winchester, where Gray was arrested, to the Western District station house, where officers found Gray unresponsive and he was taken to a hospital. He died a week later.

Gray was initially handcuffed. Later during his van ride, his legs were shackled and he was placed back in the van without a seatbelt, a violation of department policy, prosecutors have said.

The judge said a jury will be seated in the next day or two. 

Over 150 people are listed as witnesses for the trial, including dozens of police officers and other personnel.

The trial is expected to be complete by Dec. 17.

<![CDATA[Last Boeing C-17 Departs from Long Beach]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 20:40:27 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/boeing1.JPG

Marking the end of an era, the final Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military airlifter will fly one last time over the Long Beach facility where the aircrafts were made.

The pilots waved to a sea of people watching the C-17 Globemaster III roll out.

"We put our heart and soul in this," Jane Hampton said.

Hampton, a structure mechanic, joined hundreds of former Boeing employees reuniting near the company's Long Beach assembly plant, sharing memories of working on the military cargo plane.

According to a Boeing spokeswoman, the final C-17 prepared departed from the Long Beach airport Sunday around noon.

The aircraft's fly over marks the end of production at the Long Beach Boeing plant, and the end of Southern California's once thriving aircraft and aerospace industries, the spokeswoman said.

Jose Torres was just a teenager when he began working for Boeing. Now more than two decades later, he still remembers like it was yesterday.

"I still remember working in wings, unhooking and grabbing that air hose," Torres said.

Boeing announced the end of C-17 production in 2013 due to the loss of a U.S. Air force contract and declining international orders.

The C-17s have been integral in both military transport and humanitarian missions, according to Boeing.

Boeing's Long Beach facility is expected to close at the end of the year, leaving 2,200 people without their jobs at the facility.

The extended Boeing family watched as it left Long Beach Airport to San Antonio, arriving at its final destination in Qatar.

Seeing the plane leave brought Hampton to tears.

"It's gone. Yep, it's gone," Hampton said.

Photo Credit: Boeing]]>
<![CDATA['Dear Basketball': Kobe Bryant Announces Retirement]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 01:26:19 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kobe-Bryant-Madison-Square-Garden.jpg

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has decided to retire after this season.

The 37-year-old Bryant made the announcement in a post on The Players' Tribune on Sunday. The decision was not totally unexpected, given that Bryant has said many times in recent weeks that he was considering making his 20th NBA season his last.

There's no more wondering now.

After two decades, two Olympic gold medals, five championship rings, 17 All-Star selections, an 81-point game that ranks as the second-best in NBA history and more than 32,000 points, Bryant's career is officially winding down.

"This season is all I have left to give," Bryant said in what he called a letter entitled "Dear Basketball."

Bryant said in an interview on Sirius XM Radio just last week that "if something changes," he would come back and play next season. Only a few days later, that's apparently no longer an option.

"My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it's time to say goodbye," Bryant wrote in the post. "And that's OK. I'm ready to let you go. I want you to know now. So we both can savor every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have."

Bryant ranks third on the NBA's career scoring list, and only 13 players in league history played on more championship teams. Bryant helped the Lakers to titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

This season has been a struggle for the five-time champion, whose young and rebuilding Lakers are mired at the bottom of the Western Conference standings while he's shooting a career-worst 32 percent. Injuries have dogged him in recent years as well, limiting him to 41 of a possible 164 games in the previous two seasons. And even this season, back issues have kept him from playing as much as he would like.

"It's tough to see one of the absolute greatest competitors go through this," Miami guard Dwyane Wade told The Associated Press on Sunday, prior to Bryant making his announcement. "You can put a team around a guy to help a guy, especially late in his career. They're just not in position right now to do that. He's won five championships, so no one feels bad for him from that standpoint. But from a standpoint of seeing one of this era's greatest players go out in a rebuilding process, it's tough."

The Lakers have 66 games remaining after Sunday and it will likely turn into a adoration tour of sorts for Bryant, who has already gotten long ovations from normally hostile fans on road trips this season, particularly in places like New York and Miami where crowds sensed that they might be seeing him as an opponent for the final time.

The Lakers' next road game is, perhaps not coincidentally given the timing of Bryant's announcement, on Tuesday in Philadelphia -- his hometown.

"Philly is where I grew up," Bryant told AP in an interview in Miami earlier this month. "It's always a different emotion there than anywhere else."

Bryant came into the NBA straight out of high school, won the dunk contest at All-Star weekend as a rookie, played in the All-Star game for the first time the following year and a star was fast born. The 81 points he scored against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006, are second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in NBA history, and he's the only player to spend 20 consecutive seasons with the same team.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Woman's Body Found in Car in Whittier Area]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:05:31 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/bdoyfpundnew-112915.PNG

A woman's body was found "entombed" in a cooler inside a stolen car in Whittier Sunday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

"It's frightening, of course," said Josephine Madrid, a neighbor who lives nearby.

Deputies went to the 8600 block of Bradwell Avenue in unincorporated Whittier County around 1 p.m. to investigate an abandoned car.

A neighbor called 911 after noticing a smell coming from the car.

Arriving deputies found the red 1991 Toyota Celica hatchback.

The car was stolen before the suspected murder, deputies said.

They said they smelled a very strong odor of a decomposing body.

When they checked the car, they found the female Hispanic victim, about 20 to 25 years old, in the rear cargo area "entombed in a large container," which was later determined to be a cooler.

"We’ll have the coroner take the vehicle intact to the coroner’s office, and remove the body systematically and figure out what happened," Lt. David Coleman said.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner was working to determine the cause of death.

It was unclear how long the car had been there.

The area is right on the border of Whittier and Santa Fe Springs.

Neighbors told NBC4 that cars often get ditched along the isolated road.

"It’s been happening for at least the past year and it’s gotten progressively worse where we’re afraid to go down there," Madrid said. "It’s dark and secluded.”

Anyone who might have information is encouraged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

Photo Credit: RMG News]]>
<![CDATA[Southern California Images in the News]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 15:54:53 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/eastvale.JPG Southern California images in the news during 2015.

Photo Credit: Loudlabs News]]>
<![CDATA[Downey Police Officer Remembered at Funeral Service]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:49:33 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/Ricardo+Galvez+2.jpg Mourners gathered to pay respects to Downey police Officer Ricardo Galvez at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015.

Photo Credit: Downey Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Dwyane Wade Pays Tribute to Laquan McDonald on Shoes]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 04:21:26 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Dwyane+Wade.png

Laquan McDonald’s death has shaken the nation, and as hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Chicago Friday to rally in his name NBA star Dwyane Wade paid tribute in a different way.

The Miami Heat guard posted a photo of his shoes on Instagram ahead of the team's game against the New York Knicks Friday night and showed he was standing with in solidarity with protestors, having written “#LaquanMcDonald,” “#Chicago” and “#Justice” on the pair.

Wade grew up in Chicago’s South Side and went to high school at Harold L. Richards in Oak Lawn, just miles where the 17-year-old was shot and killed by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.

Van Dyke is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Obama: Climate Talks an 'Act of Defiance' After Paris Attacks]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 07:49:10 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_476960059291.jpg

About 150 world leaders joined U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday to kick off a two-week climate summit near Paris.

Each leader will speak about what their country is doing to reduce emissions and slow climate change, according to NBC News.

President Barack Obama on Monday called the global talks an "act of defiance" against terrorism, saluting the people of Paris for "insisting this crucial conference go on" just two weeks after attacks that killed 130.

He urged leaders to "rise to this moment" and fight the enemy of cynicism — "the notion we can't do anything" about the warming of the planet."  

All members of the G-20 submitted their own plans for addressing global warming. Activists expect the plan that emerges from the Paris summit will address a decrease in fossil fuel emissions.

Efforts to agree on a climate deal have been delayed by a disagreement on whether developing nations share the same burden as industrialized nations that have polluted a lot more. The U.S. and other nations have said hat all countries chip in under the new agreement.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Handmade Finds: A Trio of Holiday Markets]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:54:38 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/artisanlapasadenaholiday.jpg

There've been a few commercials that have used Christmas morning, or the first night of Hanukkah, as the central setting, at least three or four, we imagine. 

We jest, of course; gift-opening has long been a central emotional theme of our adverts, but rarely is the physical item the focus of the camera. Rather, the look on the person's face, the one opening the gift, is what hits us square in the heart.

But how does the gift giver draw out such a happy look from the gift receiver, apart from gifting a six-month trip around the world or a hilltop castle? Unique, of course, is the way to go, the funky, beautiful, odd, one-of-a-kind-y, bespoke-as-all-get-out gift. Craft and handmade fairs are awash in such touch-the-heart treasures, and a few are on their way in the days to come...

Artisanal LA: "150 local makers" shall make for Pasadena on Saturday, Dec. 5. The free-to-enter, you-stroll-it street fair -- it runs along Holly between Arroyo Parkway and Fair Oaks -- is the second holiday outing for the festival, which pops up a few times a year, festively, at spots around town. Find great baby togs at LA Dill's Clothing, fragrances via Sigil Scent, small succulents in wee pots at Lutume, and lovely stationery at Alabama Brown. Several Pasadena businesses'll show, too, and a few out-of-towners.

Renegade Craft Fair: There are few grander settings than Grand Park come the holiday season, what with the tree at Music Center Plaza and the general vibrancy in the air at our cultural venues. Adding to this is this robust maker gathering, which'll land at the City Hall-close park on Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13. Over 300 talented people and outfits who make cool clothes/soaps/jewelry/such by hand will be there, including Evelo Designs and Good Company Wares.

Abbot Kinney Marketplace: Venice, and the artists who work and live there, is vivacious most any day of the year, but the sparkliest season has a way of adding a little flavorful salt to the mixture. This recently introduced makers market, which kicked off over the summer, is hosting an extra holiday event on Saturday, Dec. 5. Candles, wearables, and other funky finds await. And, yes, we went with "salt" earlier because you'll stroll in that sweet briny air that's found just a few blocks from the beach.

Lucky you, if you have to find a unique present and aren't doing the whole trip-around-the-world or hilltop-castle gift this year. Maybe next?

Photo Credit: Julia Webb/Sauce LA]]>
<![CDATA[IMF Adds China's Yuan to Basket of Top Currencies ]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:43:26 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_449848205882.jpg

The International Monetary Fund says the Chinese yuan will join a basket of the world's leading currencies.

The IMF announced that the yuan "met all existing criteria" to be included with the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen and the British pound as one of the currencies used for the global organization's Special Drawing Rights, which is used as the standard for dealing with its 188 member governments.

China is the world's second largest economy. Currency traders and economists say the move should encourage the government in Beijing to deliver on promises to make the yuan "freely tradable" and to open up its financial system.

The IMF's decision is set to take effect in October 2016. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[China Chokes on Smog as World Leaders Talk Climate Change]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:13:20 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_484690709547.jpg

As world leaders discussed climate change at the U.N. conference in Paris on Monday, millions in China were choking on the most severe air pollution of the year, NBC News reported. 

The air-quality index exceeded 700 — well above the hazardous level — in Baoding, which as classified as China's most polluted, with residents struggling to see through the thick haze of smog on Monday.

Poor conditions were also reported in other parts of northern China, including the capital.

China is the world's biggest emitter of carbon pollutants. According to World Bank, China's emissions amounted to 11 billion tons in 2013, nearly twice as much as America's 5.8 billion tons. The two countries account for almost 40 percent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Embassy in Kabul Warns Americans of 'Imminent Attack']]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 08:57:55 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_392624796254.jpg

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned Americans in Afghanistan on Monday about "credible reports of an imminent attack" on the country's capital in the next 48 hours and urged that they "exercise extreme caution if moving around the city," NBC News reported. 

The embassy said in a statement entitled, "Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens," that it had "received credible reports of an imminent attack" but added there were "no further details regarding the targets, timing, or method."

However, a security source within the embassy said the attack "may involve multiple assailants and car bombs" and was "classified as credible."

The warning came two days after a suicide bomber unsuccessfully targeted a senior member of Afghanistan's election commission during the morning rush hour in Kabul, Reuters reported.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dog on Plane Goes Missing in Texas, Turns Up in Hawaii ]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 08:55:40 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bethany-thumb.jpg

A dog that went missing in North Texas during a trip from Seattle to Mississippi will be reunited with her owner after airline officials said they found her in Hawaii.

The dog, named Bethany, made a stop at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Nov. 28 on her way from Seattle to Jackson, Mississippi. But her owner, Paul Chen, said she never made it to Mississippi.

Chen reported the Pembroke Welsh Corgi missing Sunday afternoon.

"We are currently working with the owner to reunite him with his puppy as soon as possible," American Airlines officials stated in a news release. "We take the well-being of our four-legged passengers very seriously and we apologize for this mistake."

Chen said airline officials told him they found Bethany in Honolulu late Sunday afternoon. He said they would return her "in the next couple of days."

"Don't know how or why she got there, but I am glad she is safe and sound," he said in an email.

Photo Credit: Paul Chen]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Arsonist Arrested in Monrovia High School Fire]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 07:57:00 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Suspected_Arsonist_Arrested_in_Monrovia_High_School_Fire_1200x675_576290883708.jpg A juvenile was arrested in connection with a fire that erupted at Monrovia High School on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. ]]> <![CDATA[USC Hires Clay Helton as Head Football Coach]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:03:42 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-498202904-2.jpg

The University of Southern California announced Monday it has hired Clay Helton as permanent head coach of the football team.

The 24th-ranked Trojans (8-4, 5-3 Pac-12) beat archrival UCLA 40-21 to win the Pac-12 South title on Saturday, capping a seven-week surge under Helton, their interim head coach, with their first victory in the crosstown showdown since 2011.

USC advanced to the conference championship game against No. 7 Stanford and the chance to contend for a Rose Bowl berth — something that seemed highly improbable last month when athletic director Pat Haden fired Steve Sarkisian and promoted Helton to finish up a turbulent season for the second time in three years.

"After weeks of searching the collegiate and pro ranks, interviewing candidates, and speaking with head coaches, athletic directors, NFL executives, and very knowledgeable football people, and after observing Clay in action the past seven weeks, it became abundantly clear that what we were searching for in a coach was right here in front of us," USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. "Clay Helton is the right man at the right time for the USC football program."

Haden said Helton signed a multiyear deal.

Helton, 43, was named USC's interim head coach on Oct. 12 after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Helton has been at USC since 2010. Previously, he was an assistant coach at Memphis for 10 seasons.

Refresh this page for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Target Site Back Up After Cyber Monday Outage]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:38:50 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/221*120/Screen+Shot+2015-11-30+at+10.28.47+AM.png

Cyber Monday's digital door-busting sales broke more than purchasing forecasts, causing at least one of the country's biggest retailer's website to crash.

Target's website went down at 10:00 a.m. ET on Monday, website performance monitor Catchpoint Systems said, Reuters reported. The website was back up shortly after 11 a.m. EST.

"Please hold tight. So Sorry, but high traffic's causing delays. If you wouldn't mind holding, we'll refresh automatically and get things going ASAP (sic)," the message read.

According to one Twitter user, Target.com crashed just after 10 a.m. EST and  was "sold out of everything." 

Many others expressed their frustration on social media, chiding the company for not being better prepared to handle the traffic surge that was expected to come on one of the largest online shopping events of the year.


In a statement, Target spokeswoman Jamie Bastian said traffic and order volumes has surpassed its Thursday Black Friday sales event, "our biggest day ever for online sales."

"To help manage the volume, we have been metering traffic to the site. We have teams working diligently to restore Target.com to full functionality," Bastian's statement said.

The company kicked off its "Cyber Week" of sales Monday, calling it Target's "biggest and boldest yet."

"Target.com's site-wide 15 percent discount is pretty aggressive and likely the best offer we've seen," Keith Anderson, vice president of strategy and insight at Profitero, an e-commerce analytics firm, told NBC News

In addition to the site wide savings of 15 percent off, a first for the company, clothing is discounted at 30 percent, home goods at 40 percent, 30 percent off hundreds of toys. Target is also offering gift cards with certain big-ticket purchases and gave early-bird consumers nearly 75 percent off "e-door-buster" deals. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy Target.com
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<![CDATA[San Francisco 'Hot Cop' Arrested for Hit-and-Run]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:27:25 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/steven+weller.jpg

The San Francisco police officer who social media dubbed the "Hot Cop of Castro" last summer was arrested Sunday for a hit-and-run that seriously injured two men whom a family friend said had just left a musical performance.

According to a San Francisco Police Department news release, officer Christopher Kohrs, 38, rammed his Dodge Charger into two men who were crossing near Broadway and Montgomery streets in the city's North Beach neighborhood. Kohrs was off duty at the time, police said.

Authorities say Kohrs ditched the car and fled from the scene after the crash, which was reported at 2:20 a.m. Police, however, were able to identify Kohrs as the driver and later arrested him on two counts of felony hit-and-run. On Monday, he had been released from San Francisco County Jail. Efforts to immediately reach him were unsuccessful. NBC Bay Area left a voicemail at the San Francisco Police Officers Association seeking a comment early Monday morning.

Trey Bellomy saw some of the aftermath: "I looked out my window and there was a black and orange Dodge Charger right there. It looked like someone had pulled up and parked it. I didn't see anybody get out."

The two victims -- both men in their 40s -- were taken to the hospital and are expected to survive, according to police. Investigators are conducting interviews and talking to potential witnesses to get more information on the events leading up to the wreck.

Kevin Cochran, who works at a nearby club, saw the men hurt in the street and called 911.

"I heard the impact," he said. "From what I understand, they were crossing the crosswalk, and they ended up 20 yards away."

Americo Diaz, who said he is friends with one of the victims, said one of the men has a broken leg and jaw, and is suffering from severe bruising to his body and head.

"We all ask everyone to keep him in their prayers," he said.

The pair of men had just seen a musical performance, Diaz added.

Kohrs has been a popular officer whose "appreciation page" on Facebook had 52,371 likes as of Monday morning. His superiors said he has never even worked in the Castro, a traditionally gay neighborhood, but has always been assigned to the park district.

He became a local celebrity after amateur photographer Mark Abrabson snapped photos of him in the Castro neighborhood in July 2014, which later got posted them on social media, usually with the hashtag #HotCopofCastro.

Kohrs has since modeled in calendars and also performed the Ice Bucket Challenge shirtless for an Officer Down Memorial Fund.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez and Nanette Miranda contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Steven Kyle Weller via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Nearly a Dozen Car Windows Shattered in Chatsworth]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 15:06:56 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/194*120/window15.jpg

Windows of nearly a dozen cars were shattered in a string of vandalism cases overnight in Chatsworth, police said.

After alerting police, an NBC4 viewer called the newsroom early Sunday morning to report that a row of parked cars, including hers, had their windows shot out just after midnight.

When officers arrived, they found at least 9 different vehicles with windows shattered, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Lisa Ortiz was one of the residents to have her car vandalized.

"When we came out we saw all the cars just shot up," Ortiz said. According to Ortiz, while the neighborhood gets a lot of traffic, it is generally pretty quiet.

The incident concerned Ortiz, and she hoped it would not happen again in the future. Another resident in the area said he used his car for work, and that the vandalism would affect his livelihood.

Officials are investigating to find out how many vehicles were affected. They are also looking for homes or nearby businesses that may have surveillance cameras.

LAPD believes a BB or pellet gun was likely used to break the windows.

There is no suspect description at this time.

Photo Credit: Karen Winter]]>
<![CDATA[SF Home Seller Demands Culture Vow]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 05:08:27 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Mission+House+Zillow.jpg

A San Francisco woman fed up with the Mission District’s rapid gentrification sold her home for hundreds of thousands of dollars under market value – but with a caveat.

Prospective buyers went through an application process designed to weed out people who didn’t respect the neighborhood or its diverse culture.

Catherine Lee sold her two-bedroom, Edwardian condo with garage parking and a marble fireplace on 23rd and Alabama streets for a non-negotiable $650,000. That's a steal when you consider that a veritable shack sold for $408,000 in the Mission District just a month ago.

Comparable houses in the same area have sold for more than $1 million, according to real estate website Zillow. 

Lee, who is a filmmaking teacher living on a modest income, told San Francisco Magazine that she was flooded with potential buyers. None of them, however, seemed to understand that she was serious about the culture-centric application.

"I had a couple of real estate agents come by — you know, long, clicky nails and stiletto heels – who told me they had clients who would go way over asking price," she told the magazine. "I said, ‘OK, so what’s their cultural contribution?’ I never heard back."

That contribution, referred to as a "10-year cultural promissory note," asked prospective buyers to write about their ties to the city and enter a binding, decade-long commitment to provide something of cultural value to the community or to Lee herself.

The new owners also had to promise that they would abstain from griping about the the Mission District's Dia de los Muertos festival, the "Day of the Dead" holiday with roots in Mexico that celebrates the lives of friends and family members who have died. Out-of-area transplants had recently criticized the longstanding neighborhood event, much to Lee's dismay.

"The people showing up were maybe more professional," Lee told the magazine about her preference for the future owners. "I was really thinking, like, the doorman at Slim’s (music club)."

Still, solid offers poured in.

Applicants promised to create a local choir, donate to various foundations and give free legal help to immigrants.

One prospective buyer even met the cultural demands and offered an additional $100,000 on top of the asking price.

But no application seemed to beat that of writer Malena Watrous and her husband, composer Matt Shumaker, who eventually won the moneyless bidding war.

The couple offered free writing conferences, tickets to cultural events for Lee, and a generous donation to the Mission-based nonprofit La Cocina, among other culturally-sound gifts. It also didn’t hurt that the couple had strong ties to the neighborhood – both have lived in the city for a long time, and their son went to a nearby daycare.

"I knew then that they were a family who really lived in the Mission," Lee told the magazine.

Though her story has a happy ending, Lee admits that not everyone can afford to sell their house under market value. She told the magazine that the opportunity she had was one that ultimately worked well for her, and the unique goals she had for her former home.

As for the Shumaker-Wastrous clan, it appears the deal worked for them, too.

"That fear that we would be pushed out of the city was getting to us, even if we didn’t admit it," Wastrous told to the magazine. "Now we can’t wait to get home — and stay home."

Photo Credit: Zillow]]>
<![CDATA[Planned Parenthood Victim Tried to Save Others]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 04:02:07 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/StewartArmy-IMG_0259.jpg

The 29-year old Iraq War veteran killed in the Planned Parenthood attack ran back inside after being shot to warn others to take cover, his brother told NBC News.

Ke’Arre Stewart was hit after stepping outside the Colorado Springs clinic because he didn’t have cellphone service, brother Leyonte Chandler said.

Chandler said his brother tried to run back into the building and tell the others to take cover. Asked whether Stewart, a father of two, was a hero, Chandler said: “Definitely, definitely.”

Stewart was one of three people fatally shot by Robert Lewis Dear, who allegedly opened fire at the clinic Friday.

Photo Credit: Tony Fisher]]>
<![CDATA[Japan's Whaling Fleet Set to Embark on Hunt for 333 Minke Whales]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 03:17:58 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Whaling-AP_110324054359.jpg

Japan is sending a whaling fleet to the Antarctic on Tuesday for a three-month hunt, according to the country’s government.

Under its proposal, Japan plans on catching up to 333 minke whales each year for the next 12 years, according to a government statement.

The hunt will be the first since the hunts were deemed not truly scientific, forcing Tokyo to revise its whaling plans, according to The Associated Press.

The International Whaling Commission has banned whaling since 1986, but Japan can continue killing whales under an exemption for research.

<![CDATA[Family Apartment Burned Down on Thanksgiving]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 23:58:45 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/firewinnekta-112915.PNG

A Winnetka family came home on Thanksgiving to find their apartment had gone up in flames.

The Savoie family left their apartment to celebrate with their relatives Thursday.

When they returned, they found a fire had started in their apartment, killing their two cats.

The fire destroyed everything they owned, including Christmas presents for their 2-year-old.

"All his gifts were destroyed, and pretty much I'm just grateful that we're still alive, that's all that matters," Vicky Lara said.

The family is now staying with relatives.

They have set up a GoFundMe account to start rebuilding their lives, which can be found here.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed in Echo Park Shooting ]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 23:32:01 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/echopark-1112915.PNG

A fatal shooting broke out in Echo Park Sunday, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The shooting happened in the 1330 block of Allesandro Street around 10:45 p.m.
A man died at the scene, LAPD said.

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: OnScene.TV]]>
<![CDATA[Film Students Carry Prop Rifle on Overpass]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:02:28 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/218*120/studentoverpass-112915.jpg

Film students caused a panic on a California freeway Sunday after at least 10 drivers reported two men standing on a pedestrian overpass carrying assault-type rifles, which turned out to be props, authorities said.

The two students were arrested on suspicion of displaying replica firearms and causing a false emergency.

Around 5 p.m., drivers on the 101 Freeway began calling in to report that two men dressed in military fatigues were carrying rifles on the Chesebro Road pedestrian overpass.

At least 10 of the drivers called 911, saying they felt threatened that the pair were going to cause harm.

California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Station, including a helicopter, immediately responded to the 101 Freeway and found the two.

CHP shut down the freeway.

Over the loud speaker, officers instructed the pair to walk with their hands up toward the officers.

The two had a replica assault rifle, replica handgun, military uniforms, cameras and a gas mask.

The pair explained they were filming for a school project.

"While the intentions of these two individuals might have been harmless, the fact that anyone would appear in a public place displaying a replica firearm is troubling," Capt. Patrick S. Davoren of the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station, said in a statement. "These two men put themselves and our community at risk. This does reflect the fast actions of our community in notifying law enforcement and reminds everyone that if they see something, they should say something."

Photo Credit: Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station]]>
<![CDATA[1 Foot of Snow Forecast for Midwest]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 06:27:21 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/AP_487424761544.jpg

Another storm could mean more snow for areas recovering from a Thanksgiving weekend storm that’s blamed for 14 deaths so far.

The new storm began sweeping east Sunday out of the Rocky Mountains, heading for Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, with areas forecasted to get up to at least a foot of snow through Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

"It's going to be coming down at a pretty good clip," said Domenica Davis, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. "This could definitely cause some school closures or even shut down some businesses here."

A state of emergency has been called in Oklahoma, where more than 100,000 customers lost power. More floods are expected in hard-hit areas of Texas and Arkansas.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[First Trial in Freddie Gray Case Gets Underway]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 21:27:19 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WilliamPorter-AP_329640594936.jpg

The first of six trials of Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray begins on Monday.

The trial for William Porter, who is charged with manslaughter and misconduct, could serve as a bellwether for the other officers’ cases. Porter has pleaded not guilty, according to NBC News.

Porter was involved in Gray’s arrest after he was transported to a police station in a police van. Prosecutors say Gray asked Porter for a medic, but one was never called.

Gray, 25, died of apparent spinal injuries a week after an arrest by Baltimore police officers. His death sparked outcry against police brutality, and was a motivating factor for the Baltimore riots.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Tx. Crews Respond to Water Rescues]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 19:13:53 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Water_rescues_112915.jpg

Authorities in North Texas responded to dozens of high-water rescues as bands of torrential rain swept across the region through Thanksgiving weekend.

Between midnight Nov. 26 through 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, Dallas Fire-Rescue teams were dispatched to 38 water rescue calls.

One of the calls was considered a swift water rescue, and four others called for firefighters to deploy a boat.

Dallas firefighters were called to check on vehicles stuck in high water a total of 27 times over the Thanksgiving holiday period.

In total, Dallas first responders were called to 446 motor vehicle crashes in the same four-day period.

Four people in North Texas have died as a result of high water on the roads.

In Tarrant County, a sheriff's deputy was swept away by high water while trying to rescue a stranded driver early Friday morning. After about two hours, deputy Krystal Salazar was found clinging to a tree limb. She was later taken to a hospital for evaluation.

On Sunday, recovery teams were again forced to postpone efforts to recover the body of the woman inside the car. She was identified as Burleson resident Zenola Jenkins, 76.

West of Fort Worth, crews found the body of 33-year-old Sandra Jones Friday morning. Investigators believed her car was washed off the road in waters flowing 10 to 12 feet above the banks of Rock Creek.

Two people were pulled from a submerged car in Johnson County Friday. A third person in the car, 48-year-old Jose Vargas, was found dead near Mansfield.

Firefighters in Garland recovered the body of 29-year-old Benjamin Floyd of Wylie found inside a submerged Hyundai Elantra.

A total 55.23 inches of rain has been recorded at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport this year, topping the annual rainfall record of 53.54 inches set in 1991.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Bus Transporting Va. Students Overturns, 35 Injured]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 21:56:25 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/CVBr4PPWsAEauo4.jpg.jpg

A bus full of college students overturned Sunday night in Virginia, injuring 35 people, one of them critically, authorities said.

The nature of the critically wounded patient's injuries wasn't disclosed.

None of the 34 other injuries was believed to be life-threatening — mainly bumps, bruises and other injuries "that would be consistent with a vehicle accident" — Lt. Jason Elmore, a spokesman for Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Medical Services, told reporters Sunday night.

The bus was carrying 50 passengers — many of them students from Virginia Tech and Radford universities and the University of Virginia — when it flipped on Powhite Parkway near the city of Chesterfield, said Sgt. Steve Vick, a spokesman for the Virginia State Police.

The driver, Thomas B. Chidester, 58, was charged with reckless driving, Virginia State Police said.

Photo Credit: Mike Valerio/NBC12]]>
<![CDATA[Man Hid Roommate's Body in Suitcase]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 10:57:57 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/midlothian+suitcase.jpg

A man faces criminal charges after police were tipped off to a "foul odor" coming from the basement of an apartment building in Midlothian, Illinois, only to discover his roommate's body hidden in storage, according to police. 

On Friday night, Midlothian police were flagged down by a resident of an apartment building in the 14500 block of Keystone Ave. The resident reported a foul odor from the storage area and escorted police downstairs. 

There, the police found a suitcase inside a storage unit that contained the decomposing body, later identified as Kimberly Putterlik. Her official cause of death is pending the results of a toxicology report, but when officers interviewed her roommate, 23-year-old Alexander Acevedo, he stated that Putterlik died of an overdose on or around Nov. 13. 

Acevedo said he was afraid of calling the police and being kicked out of the apartment, so the following day he placed Putterlik in the suitcase downstairs where authorities found her. 

Acevedo has been charged with concealment of death and obstructing justice.

Photo Credit: Midlothian Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Bats Tied To Poles With Chains]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:31:05 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bat6.jpg

San Francisco police are investigating why a set of spiked baseball bats were chained to telephone poles around San Francisco on Thanksgiving, which a spokesman said was "very strange."

As many of 27 of these bats, some of which had nails protruding from them, were found in a number of locations around the city, Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

The bats were discovered throughout Thursday, beginning in the morning. The last one was found at around 4:45 p.m. at 19th Avenue and Buckingham Way, Andraychak said. Gerrie Burke snapped a photo of the odd sight -- a bat attached to a pole meter as if it were a sleeping dog.

"I thought it was someone trying to be sick, then I thought it's an art project," Burke said. "And then I thought maybe they are trying to freak people out."

Andraychak said there are no indications currently of who placed the bats or why. Police are investigating various aspects of what Andraychak described as a "very strange" episode.

Police said possession could be considered a probhibited deadly weapon with a felony charge.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Gerrie Burke]]>
<![CDATA[Threat Cancels Ill. College Classes]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 18:40:18 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/u+of+c+hyde+park.jpg

Classes at University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus are canceled Monday after an unknown individual posted an online threat of gun violence, according to the University.

President Robert Zimmer sent a letter to the campus community Sunday to announce the cancellation of all classes and activities on the Hyde Park campus through midnight on Monday.

In the letter, which was also posted online, Zimmer wrote that the University was informed by FBI counterterrorism officials that someone posted a threat of gun violence online. The individual reportedly mentioned specifically “the campus quad” on Monday morning at 10 a.m., according to the letter.

“Based on the FBI’s assessment of this threat and recent tragic events at other campuses across the country, we have decided in consultation with federal and local law enforcement officials, to exercise caution by canceling all classes and activities on the Hyde Park campus through midnight on Monday,” Zimmer wrote.

All non-medical faculty, students and non-essential staff are asked not to come to the Hyde Park campus on Monday. The letter also asked those who will be on campus to remain indoors as much as possible, including students in College Housing.

The University of Chicago will have an increased police presence on and around the campus, according to President Zimmer.

U of C security personnel are working closely with the FBI, which is continuing to investigate the threat.

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the University libraries, the Quadrangle Club, and other campus facilities will also be closed on Monday.

The University of Chicago Medical Center will remain with added security measures, according to the University.

The school expects to resume normal University operations on Tuesday.

Anyone who sees anything unusual should contact University of Chicago Police at 773-702-8181.

<![CDATA[4 People Dead in Apparent Louisiana Murder-Suicide]]> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 16:40:52 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

Four people, including boys ages 2 and 4, were found dead Sunday morning inside a home in Marrero, Louisiana, authorities said.

The bodies were discovered about 11 a.m. (noon ET) when an 18-year-old woman returned home from a hunting trip, Jefferson Parish sheriff's Col. John Fortunato said Sunday afternoon.

All of the victims had stab wounds, Fortunato said. They were identified as David Mata, 46; Kelli Mata, 40; Caden Mata, 4; and Liam Mata, 2.

The woman who found them wasn't immediately identified, and sheriff's officials wouldn't provide any further details early Sunday night. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>