Bookmark and Share

rss logo Top San Francisco Area Local News Stories

Source: MedleyStory

1 person dead after train crashes with vehicle

One man is dead after an Amtrak train accident involving a vehicle.

It happened just after 10 p.m. Monday on the tracks running by High Street between Coliseum Way and Watling Street in Oakland.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Fire officials say it appears he was the only person in the car. About 200 passengers on the train at the time of the crash were not injured.

At this point, additional details have not been released.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:00:01 -0700

Crews search for missing swimmer at Drakes Estero

Crews are searching for a swimmer who went missing Monday afternoon.

The Coast Guard and Marin County agencies are assisting in the search.

Officials say a family walked from Drakes Beach to Drakes Estero and swam across the water.

A young adult male was missing from the group when the family returned.

At this point, additional details have not been released.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:18:48 -0700

Northbound I-280 in San Francisco reopens ahead of schedule

Northbound Interstate Highway 280 in San Francisco has reopened Monday night following a closure over the Labor Day holiday weekend for a construction project to strengthen the highway in the event of seismic activity, Caltrans officials said.

The seismic hinge replacements along a stretch of 280 were completed well ahead of schedule, opening about 9:35 p.m. Monday - ahead of the original deadline of Tuesday 5 a.m.

Labor Day was no picnic for the crews who were finishing up the work Monday, pouring concrete for the side guardrails in a race against the clock.

The safety upgrades involved replacing two seismic hinges along northbound 280 between the 101 junction and downtown San Francisco.

The hinges, which have a rubber bumper between the concrete parts will allow the bridge to absorb movement from a quake.

"They had been here since 1966 when they built this structure and they were just showing signs of wear and tear," said Steve Williams, a Caltrans spokesman, "This is something the department has been planning for a long time in an effort to keep this roadway safe."

Caltrans crews worked round the clock since Thursday. They were facing twice as much work than the previous closures on the Memorial Day and July Fourth holiday weekends, when only a single joint was replaced each time.

The shutdown closed ramps and caused detours for drivers between the 101 junction and downtown San Francisco.

By 7 p.m., Caltrans crews began to cleanup and clear out.

Evan Walters, a journeyman carpenter, is from Red Bluff, past Redding and told KTVU he was ready to get home and get some rest.

"We've just been plugging away at 12-hour days and just feels good to be done with it. Yeah, for sure tired," Walters told KTVU.

The project cost $4 million for the four hinges installed since Memorial Day.

Crews say the new hinges should last at least another 60 years or even longer.


Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:39:04 -0700

Price increase goes into effect for Muni fares

Beginning Monday, the price of a regular fare on a muni bus or light rail car is $2.25. The day before that, the same trip cost just $2.00.

Some commuters say they will feel the increase. "I'm kind of on a budget since I am still in college. It's kind of hard on us, mostly because I have to pay for student loans. So it kind of bugs me," said Yasmin Jimenez of San Francisco.

"It adds up a quarter every day. You have to get a pass to get there and back," said Claudia Martin also of San Francisco.

This is the first fare increase in five years. Muni monthly passes are increasing $2 this month to $68. And muni and BART monthly passes increased by $4. Fares for seniors, the disabled and youth remain the same.

Most commuters told KTVU they are taking the increase in stride. "Got to support city workers and have to support the service this provides. It's a service worth paying for," said Paula Baum.

The fare hike is based on a formula that combines the consumer price index in the Bay Area with labor costs. The increases were approved earlier this year as part of Muni's two-year budget.

"It was really meant to address labor costs, upcoming as well as operating costs for the next two years," said Muni spokesman Paul Rose.

"I'm kind of worried if it is going to happen again or not. Because if it keeps adding more I am probably not going to be able to afford it," said Jimenez.

Bus passengers are advised to have that extra quarter on them, since the drivers don't give change.

This new fare will stay in place for at least the next two years.

After that, Muni can consider another increase based on the formula.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:48:45 -0700

Forestville fire destroys home, injures man

This Labor Day, a fast moving fire jolted people on a beach in Forestville near the Russian River as they enjoyed the end of their summer vacation.

Captain Joe Fletcher with Calfire says the fire destroyed one home, severely damaged another and caused minor damage to two others along Summerhome Park Road.

"We were all at the beach. All of a sudden, we saw flames just start shooting up in the air," said Sue Miller-McCasey, who tells KTVU her home was among those fire crews were able to save.

Miller-McCasey and others were soaking up the last rays of the summer sun when the fire broke out at 3:20 p.m. Monday.

"It moved really fast. It seemed like the whole house was engulfed instantly. It busted loose and started going," said John Yost, who was driving by the area.

Dozens of residents were evacuated, including a woman in her eighties. A neighbor tells KTVU the home she and her son, who's in his fifties, live in was the only one destroyed by the fire. Firefighters say the woman’s son suffered non-life threatening burns and was taken to the hospital.

"It's surreal. We prepared for this all year round. We're in a fire zone, but you never know how it's going to affect you until it happens," said Miller-McCasey.

Miller-McCasey says she's grateful to the firefighters for saving her home and several others. The fire came close, just steps from her home. "You can see the fire right here, all the way up," as she pointed from a window inside her home.

Firefighters say Miller-McCasey's home and others that have defensible space, cleared of vegetation, was a factor in keeping the fire from spreading.

Miller McCasey's Nissan Pathfinder was burned in the back, but it was not among the four vehicles destroyed. But what mattered most, she says, is that her two dogs were rescued.

Firefighters say it took one hour to get the upper hand on this fire, saying the lack of wind really helped.

But hours after the fire, KTVU spotted embers burning in a tree near homes. Homeowners say they'll be keeping a close eye for hotspots.

Crews say it's too early to tell what caused the fire. Miller-McCasey says it may have started in the home that was destroyed.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:20:19 -0700

Pianos pop up in Santa Clara County parks

Is that a bird, or Beethoven? Visitors to some Santa Clara County parks are hearing more than the sounds of nature. They're hearing the sound of music from pianos in the park. The instruments were placed at four Santa Clara County parks as part of the Sunset Piano Project.

"It's like, so strange! There's a piano in the middle of the park," said visitor Lehett de la Cruz. "Wouldn't it be nice if someone would play the piano while we're eating?"

KTVU watched several people walk by and give the old Cabinet Howard Grand upright a double take. The piano sits under a large shade tree by a drying out lake.

It seemed to beckon some visitors on a hot Labor Day. "Some of the keys are in tune, but some are out of tune," said Chelsey Layung. "It's still fun to play...I'm just glad it's here." Chelsey's brother, Tyler stood at the keyboard, "I don't need a chair," he said as he started to play "Wedding Dress.”

"Kind of soothing, even though the keys are out of tune," Tyler said. "It's like, the breeze and clean air..."

The Sunset Project has placed pianos up and down the Bay Area over the last year to see how piano music in an unexpected public place changes the way people interact and think. "Music makes people change their mood," agreed church pianist Eric Faustino. "If you're sad, music makes you happy. Sometimes if you're happy, music makes you sad."

Faustino seemed to be a bit of a pied piper at the piano. The more time he spent tickling the 88 keys, the more people gathered around him. "I'm feeling happy because a lot of people are here," Faustino said laughing.

So no one expected to go to Ed Levin Park for a piano sing-a-long, but that's exactly what happened. Faustino had the crowd singing church gospel songs. "All together now," he shouted from the keyboard, and they sang louder.

The pianos will be at Ed Levin, Vasona, Sanborn, and Alvio Marina parks through September.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:13:33 -0700

Questions remain on Ray McDonald's status with 49ers following arrest

Will 49ers player Ray McDonald join his team Wednesday at Levi’s Stadium to prepare for Sunday's season opener? A lot of people are asking that following the defensive lineman’s arrest for domestic violence.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell isn't talking, the Niners issued a brief statement and police are remaining tight-lipped.

Police radio traffic leading up to 49ers player Ray McDonald's arrest at his San Jose home Sunday could be one of the only pieces of information made public that the 29-year-old allegedly abused his pregnant fiancé.

So far, San Jose police will only confirm the arrest.

Neighbors in McDonald's upscale neighborhood won't talk. His team will only say it’s aware of the incident.

McDonald told KTVU he didn’t know if he was going to play in Texas and called it a crazy situation upon his release from jail.

The NFL’s lack of response over Ravens running back Ray Rice caught on video dragging his now-wife out of a casino elevator in February drew outrage.

The incident prompted Commissioner Roger Goodell to enforce stronger penalties for anyone involved in domestic violence incidents. Yet, the commissioner has not said anything about McDonald’s arrest three days after the policy was put in effect.

“That's the shocking part of it,” said Kathleen Krenek who is a domestic violence victims advocate “This person knew and he had to know of the policy and still he did what he did or allegedly did what he did, that's dangerous.”

Krenek runs Nextdoor Solutions which is a San Jose based nonprofit that helps domestic violence victims. She said she’s afraid the level of 'celebrity' players have gives them a sense they won't be held accountable.

Krenek is calling for McDonald to be suspended until after the case is resolved. "My hunch is that even though it's a felony, which is serious, they are going to plead it down to a misdemeanor,” said Krenek. “It’s going to be quiet."

On Wednesday, the 49ers will have a run through to go over plays for the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday.

49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh has a scheduled radio interview in the morning where he may talk about McDonald’s arrest.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:03:59 -0700

CHP cracks down on drunk driving Labor Day weekend

Labor Day weekend isn't over yet, but early numbers from the California Highway Patrol show a slight increase in drunk driving incidents compared to last year.

While your eyes are on the road, CHP Officer Matthew Nelson's eyes are on you. When on patrol, he drives a little faster than the speed limit - on purpose.

It allows him to visually scan a higher volume of cars throughout the day. His work is part of the CHP’s effort to get drunk drivers off the road this Labor Day weekend.

“There are more people on the road who are traveling to and from parties and hanging out with friends,” Nelso said of the greater likelihood of finding a DUI driver on the road on Labor Day weekend.

.08 is the legal limit in California. Nelson said in his seven year career with the CHP, he’s “arrested people who were three times that amount.”

A look at the early numbers show a slight increase in suspected drunk driving incidents in the Bay Area this year compared to last.

From Friday at 6 p.m. through Monday at 6 a.m. there were no DUI-related deaths on CHP-patrolled roadways during the Labor Day weekend in 2013. This year, during the same period, there’ve been three people killed in suspected drunk driving crashes on CHP-patrolled roadways.

DUI arrests in the Bay Area are also slightly up. CHP officers arrested 140 people suspected of drunk driving during the Labor Day weekend in 2013, this year, 154 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:33:20 -0700

Equipment problem causes 20-minute BART delays

BART is running back on schedule after an equipment problem at the Bay Fair station resulted in delays of up to 20 minutes this afternoon.

BART issued a service advisory about the problem at 3:40 p.m. and an agency dispatcher said it was an issue with the routing system near the Bay Fair station at 15242 Hesperian Blvd. in San Leandro.

The Dublin/Pleasanton, Fremont, Richmond and Daly City lines were affected by the delays, according to BART.

BART reported delays of up to 10- to 15- minutes into the evening.

Trains were running back on schedule around 7 p.m., a BART employee said.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:59:52 -0700

Big-rig catches fire, backing up I-680 traffic

All lanes on southbound Interstate Highway 680 in unincorporated Martinez have reopened after a big-rig carrying vehicles caught on fire Monday afternoon and backed up traffic on the highway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The car fire was reported shortly before 2:15 p.m. on southbound Highway 680 near the South Pacheco Boulevard off-ramp and the flames spread to the nearby hillside, according to the CHP.

The response to the blaze shut down all but the far left southbound lane of the highway, CHP Officer Kevin Bartlett said.

The lanes reopened around 5:15 p.m., according to the CHP.


Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:51:28 -0700

FBI launches investigation following nude celebrity photo leaks

The FBI has launched an investigation after several female celebrities say nude photos of them were stolen and posted online.

Among the celebrities involved include Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton.

Nude photos of the celebrities started circulating online Sunday. Lawrence's publicist calls the action "a flagrant violation of privacy" and is threatening legal action to anyone who posts the images.

Cupertino-based Apple says it's investigating whether any customers' iCloud accounts may have been tampered with. "These were targeted attacks," said Rob Enderle, the principal analyst with The Enderle Group.

"These accounts were just protected by a password so someone went through a brute force attack which means they went through password after password after password until one works."

The tech analyst says the known security problem with Apple's iCloud service was fixed Sunday. It will instead lock someone out after five password login tries.

Another actress linked to the leaks, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, posted: "Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked."

Experts caution just deleting something from your phone won't delete it from the cloud service.

"The concern is you don't know when they're up in the cloud, whatever that means, you don't know who has access and how they go about getting access," said San Jose resident Felicia Brown.

To protect yourself, experts say users can turn off the automatic cloud sync in settings, use an obscure password, and rethink the answers to your security questions.

"Remember you don't have to put the real answer in there. If somebody asks you your mother's maiden name you can put in "blue" and no one will ever figure that out," said Enderle.

Experts advise anything you want private kept off a smart phone or out of a cloud service.

The FBI has investigated other leaks of nude images of Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis which resulted in criminal convictions.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:36:48 -0700

Obama: 'Revving' economy calls for higher wages

President Barack Obama renewed his push for Congress to raise the minimum wage Monday in a buoyant accounting of the economy's "revving" performance, delivered on behalf of Democrats opening their fall campaigns for the midterm congressional elections.

"America deserves a raise," he told a union crowd in Milwaukee, vowing to keep a hard sell on Congress in much the way he once courted his wife. "I just wore her down," he cracked.

Timing his push to Labor Day, the traditional start of the autumn campaign, Obama aggressively drew attention to recent economic gains, setting aside past caution on that subject.

"By almost every measure the American economy and American workers are better off than when I took office," he said, rattling off a string of improving economic indicators even while acknowledging not all people are benefiting. "The engines," he said, "are revving a little louder."

It was, at least indirectly, a pep talk for Democrats facing tough races in a nation still gripped with economic anxieties.

The emphasis on the minimum wage is designed to draw campaign contrasts with Republicans, many of whom maintain that an increase would hurt small businesses and slow down hiring. No one expects Congress to act on it before the November elections.

Despite the absence of a federal increase, 13 states raised their minimum wages at the beginning of this year. Those states have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not raise the wage, providing a counterpoint to a Congressional Budget Office report earlier this year that projected that a higher minimum wage of $10.10 an hour could cost the nation 500,000 jobs.

Until now, Obama and his White House aides had been reluctant to draw too much attention to positive economic trends, worried that some may prove illusory or that, even if they hold, many working Americans continue to live on the edge of poverty and take no comfort in the upswing.

But in Milwaukee, Obama dared to say of the job picture, "We're on a streak."

White House aides still insist they are not declaring full victory over the lingering effects of a recession that ended five years ago.

But White House officials believe it is time to highlight recent improvements, in part to strengthen a difficult political environment for Democrats and to counter public perceptions that are eroding the president's public approval. Officials say Obama's most compelling case is to compare the economy now to what he inherited in 2009 in the aftermath of a near Wall Street meltdown.

Obama, whose public approval is at about 40 percent, has also been cautious about making appearances in states with close midterm political contests and where his popularity might be even lower.

But in coming to Wisconsin, he brought his Labor Day message to the state that was the epicenter of a fight over the collective bargaining rights of public employees. Labor Secretary Tom Perez and several national labor leaders came with him.

In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who pushed through a law that stripped most public sector union members of their ability to collectively bargain, is now in a tight re-election campaign and has been mentioned as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016. Polls find that Walker and Democrat Mary Burke are deadlocked with the election just over two months away.

Walker was at General Mitchell International Airport to greet Obama upon his arrival in Milwaukee. Walker also greeted the labor leaders accompanying Obama, including Mary Kay Henry of the Services Employees International Union and Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers Union.

The White House is encouraging Democrats to draw attention to the recovery as they head into the November mid-term elections.

In an August memo to House and Senate Democrats, Obama's top two economic advisers underscored the positive news: more than 200,000 jobs created per month for six consecutive months, a six-year high in auto sales, second-quarter economic growth that exceeded expectations and an expanding manufacturing sector.

The unemployment rate stands at 6.2 percent, dropping 1.1 points over the past year, and the stock market has nearly tripled in five years.

Even so, there is still significant weakness in the labor market, underscored by the long-term unemployed. Labor participation has dropped. As well, real hourly wages fell from the first half of 2013 to the first half of 2014 for all income groups, except for a 2-cent increase for the lowest income level, according to the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

Americans seem caught between confidence and worry.

In July, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to its highest reading since October 2007, two months before the Great Recession began. But a new survey by Rutgers University found that Americans are more anxious about the economy now than they were right after the recession ended.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:27:41 -0700

Google's self-driving car still has many flaws

We've seen each version of Google's self-driving car. (Video via Google)

"There's no steering wheel in the way." (Video via Google)

And we're ready to give it a test drive. So where is it?

‚Äč‚Äč‚ÄčWell, a report out last week from MIT Technology Review outlines a number of obstacles Google needs to address before its cars can share the road.

For starters, they can't handle bad weather. Google has yet to test the vehicles in snow and heavy rain, making the car off-limits pretty much anywhere outside of California.

‚ÄčBack in May, Google told us, "We've taught the vehicle to recognize and navigate through construction zones."

That's true to an extent, but the director of Google's car team, Chris Urmson, told MIT, "I could construct a construction zone that could befuddle the car." (Video via Google)

Potentially more dangerous is how it treats pedestrians. The car reportedly recognizes them as moving, human-shaped pixels, but Urmson agreed with MIT, which said, "The car wouldn't be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop."

‚ÄčBut maybe the largest obstacle: mapping. So far, Google has only a few thousand miles of roadways and driveways mapped for its cars. And the vehicles require more information than a basic Google map.

Gizmodo adds it’s a bit unreasonable to expect robocars to drive uncharted roads. "But this presents a hyper-magnified version of the same problem that faces electric cars: The inability to just get out there and go wherever."

And that's perhaps the ultimate obstacle. Still, Google is taking this one challenge at a time.

Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt previously told The Wall Street Journal: "We have to find where the limits are. We have to actually use it. We have to create some test beds."

Business Insider adds: "Google is doing what it can to address these problems. When a Google car encounters new street signs and lights, it sends feedback to update the mapping software."

But let's not forget the vehicle's external challenges, like, you know, the law. (Video via Google)

In Google's home state of California, the DMV just introduced new safety regulations requiring every car to have a steering wheel.

Meaning the auto you see here likely won't be the exact version Californians will see someday.

And if it can't take the weather, it's probably not the one you'll see on the roads anywhere else, either.

This story includes images from Getty Images / Justin Sullivan.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:26:06 -0700

Can you train your brain to eat healthy?

If only kale tasted like Oreos, right? Well, new research says you might be able to train your brain to eventually crave the healthy foods you don't like. 

According to a study published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, a solution might be conditioning and an increased consumption of low-calorie, high-fiber foods. You could eventually be searching for more spinach and fewer sweets. (Video via Allrecipes)

Researchers looked at the brain activity of overweight individuals, some of whom underwent a diet program that included behavioral intervention. After six months, the researchers say those in the diet program responded more positively when shown photos of low caloric foods than those not in the program.

As the study's author explains in a news release: "We don't start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta. ... This conditioning happens over time in response to eating – repeatedly! - what is out there in the toxic food environment."

This idea of training your brain has been explored before. One other recent study suggests even portion control plays a large part in changing eating habits.

One medical expert equates junk food to drugs. She tells CBS the simple carbohydrates in processed foods trigger the same pleasure center in the brain as cocaine and heroine, causing you to come back for more.

The authors also say this conditioning would be more beneficial than, say, gastric bypass surgery, which causes people to eat less food in general rather than learn to love healthy food. (Video via Mayo Clinic)

So, the good news is, it seems you may be able to kick unhealthy cravings to the curb. But scientists warn this study is small — just 13 participants. They also don't know if the same effects would be observed in the long-term.

‚Äč‚ÄčThis video includes images from Getty Images / Sean Gallup‚Äč, Mauro Cateb / CC BY SA 3.0 and Media Cookery / CC BY NC ND 2.0.


Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:16:23 -0700

Distressed swimmer rescued in Ocean Beach

San Francisco fire crews helped rescue a swimmer reported in distress near the Cliff House restaurant Monday afternoon, a fire dispatcher said.

The report of the swimmer out in the water came in at 1:13 p.m. near the famed restaurant at 1090 Point Lobos Ave.

Crews from the fire department and the U.S. Coast Guard responded and the swimmer was assisted, the dispatcher said.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:17:04 -0700

Man arrested for DUI, hit-and-run after fleeing crash Sunday

A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, hit-and-run and other offenses after fleeing from a crash in Salinas late Sunday night and then becoming violent when police officers tried to arrest him.

The crash was reported at about 11:50 p.m. Sunday at Independence and Nantucket Boulevards, according to police.

Omar Munoz allegedly ran a stop sign in his 1987 Chevrolet truck traveling north on Independence and clipped a 2014 Chevy Silverado that was about to enter the intersection from Nantucket, police said.

The collision caused Munoz's truck to overturn and strike two trees. Witnesses reported seeing Munoz run from the truck and flee in a creek bed nearby, according to police.

Officers eventually located Munoz at a relative's home in the 700 block of Danbury Street. He had superficial injuries from the crash and was covered in mud from running in the creek, police said.

Munoz allegedly became violent when officers tried to arrest him, throwing one officer into a weightlifting set, causing minor abrasions. He was eventually taken into custody on suspicion of DUI, misdemeanor hit-and-run and threatening a police officer, according to police.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:19:04 -0700

More than arrests, citations in weekend DUI checkpoint

More than a dozen people were arrested or cited in a DUI checkpoint held over the weekend in Burlingame, police said.

The checkpoint was held between 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday in the 400 block of California Drive, where officers screened 744 vehicles.

The operation netted three arrests for people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs -- Gary Vangiersbergen, 67, of Pacifica, Jesus

Barajas, 20, of Millbrae, and Christopher Bucks, 29, of Millbrae, according to police.

Alejandro Diaz, 38, of Oakland, was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia, police said.

Officers also cited or arrested 12 drivers for operating a vehicle while unlicensed or with a suspended or revoked license.

The checkpoint was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:09:29 -0700

Melting ice shelves drive rapid Antarctic sea level rise

A study more than 20 years in the making reports a rapid rise in Antarctic sea levels. The cause? Melting ice shelves. 

That's an especially big deal for a continent covered in ice, and the scientists say the fact the glacial melt produces fresh water is significant. (Video via Discovery)

The study was published in the journal Nature and reports, "‚ÄčOn the basis of the model simulations, we conclude that this sea-level rise is almost entirely related to steric adjustment," or chemical changes, "rather than changes in local ocean mass."

Basically, because fresh water is less dense than salt water, when it pours into the ocean surrounding Antarctica, it produces a dramatic rise in the sea levels around the continent. The melting freshwater ice shelves are raising sea levels.

The study also discounted other possible explanations for the rising sea levels like wind pushing water against the ice shelves, as lead scientist Dr. Craig Rye told the BBC

"We can estimate the amount of water that wind is pushing on to the continental shelf, and show with some certainty that it is very unlikely that this wind forcing is causing the sea level rise."

As Deutsche Welle reports, another unrelated study on Antarctic ice published in mid-August forecasted Antarctic ice melt will soon become a big threat. A researcher told the outlet, "Ice loss in the Antarctic could become the biggest contributor much earlier than expected, raising global sea level further by up to [about 15 inches] by the end of this century."

And just a few months before that researchers found a separate cause of the increasing melt — wind currents pushing warm water underneath the ice.

ABC AUSTRALIA: "Warm water melts ice much faster than warm air, and the research reveals subsurface warming at twice the rate previously thought."

It didn't take long for at least one outlet to see the consequences, as Bloomberg highlighted the risk the rising water poses to megacities such as New York and Shanghai. 

The lead scientist on this latest study also told the BBC the next target for research is why, throughout all of this, sea ice around the Antarctic appears to be increasing. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:49:57 -0700

Why is Gov. Pat Quinn living off minimum wage for a week?

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is taking on a challenge of sorts just two months ahead of the midterm elections.

"He's challenging himself to spend no more than $79 on food and other recreational expenses this week."

He's living on Illinois' minimum wage, which is $8.25 an hour, and $79 is the amount he says someone living on minimum wage has left over after expenses such as taxes and housing. This is ahead of a November referendum that would increase the state's minimum wage to $10 per hour.

‚ÄčThe governor, who WFLD reports made $177,000 last year, has been supporting an increase in the minimum wage. Other Democrats who also support this cause include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama.

BARACK OBAMA: "In America today, no one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty."

But what's Quinn's true motivation? He announced his minimum wage experiment at a campaign event, and the politically skeptical might argue there's something more here than raising awareness. Just two months from now, Quinn is up for re-election in what's expected to be a tough fight.

The Chicago Sun-Times cited a recent poll that found about 38 percent of voters in Illinois support Quinn for re-election while nearly 51 percent of voters say they support his Republican challenger. Eleven percent of voters remain undecided.

And the headlines have been less than flattering for Quinn. Last year, The New York Times called Quinn one of the most unpopular governors in the country and said he was vulnerable for his re-election bid, while WMAQ described him as the state's "embattled" governor earlier this year.

Raising the minimum wage is a battle Democrats nationwide are waging against their GOP opponents.  

The federal minimum wage hasn't budged since 2009, so it's an issue that resonates with at least some voters.

Gallup's poll late last year found 76 percent would vote for a hike.

Quinn's Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner, says he also supports an increase in the state's minimum wage, but Rauner says it can only be done with "pro-business reforms." (Via WBBM)

The Chicago Tribune was there as Rauner said those reforms would include tort reform, worker's compensation reform and a cut in taxes for businesses. He hasn't specifically said how he'll vote on this November's referendum.

But critics say an increase in the minimum wage could force layoffs from employers that can't support a higher cost of doing business. If Quinn loses this November, it will mark the first time a Democrat has not lived at the governor's mansion in Springfield since 2003.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:49:24 -0700

2 bicyclists hospitalized after colliding near Hwy 84

Two bicyclists were hospitalized after colliding with each other near state Highway 84 in Woodside Monday morning, shutting down the highway for more than two hours, according to San Mateo County sheriff's officials.

The crash was reported at 10:48 a.m. near Highway 84 at Friars Lane, sheriff's spokeswoman Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt said.

The bicyclists, a man and woman in their 50s, were taken to a hospital and "are going to be OK" Rosenblatt said.

The investigation into the crash shut down Highway 84 in both directions in the area until about 1:20 p.m., when sheriff's officials said the roadway reopened.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:28:15 -0700