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tv   ABC7 News 500PM  ABC  February 8, 2022 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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announcer: building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions. this is abc7 news. >> if they hurt us, have a heart, and any humanity left, i feel like the comeubt -- community is right and pray they don't vote and at least extend the process. ama: tonight is the night the oakland school board is slated to vote on a controversial proposal to close 16 schools. good evening. i'm ama daetz. dan: i'm dan ashley. happening now that virtual meeting is just getting under way. but students and teachers are fighting back including several who are still on a hunger strike. and late today, one school board director says he plans to propose removing several of the schools from that list of closures. abc7 news reporter less less -- leslie brinkley has the story.
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>> how are you feeling? >> tired. a little shaky. in my body. but my spirits are really high. reporter: andre is on day eight of a hunger strike along with teacher moses amalati who spoke at this press conference on zoom from the hospital. he was admitted tuesday morning based on abnormal lab test results. >> our kids -- reporter: he said students from westlake middle school inspired him as they walked out of class to protest the closure and consolidation plans for 16 oakland schools. the hunger striking educators vowed to continue their strike unless sixds is met. >> our first demand at the state level, we want a meeting with governor gavin newsom in oakland. reporter: the district lank plans last week to shutter composes because of unpaid state loans and dropping enrollment. there are 15,000 fewer students in oakland unified than there were 20 years ago. the school board is facing a
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decision to close school sites some say or face fiscal madness and state intvenges. >> this week we had a lot of action and we hope they were listening. so 10 days is not enough to talk about any environmental impact. let alone a racial analysis. >> mower to the people. reporter: opponents to the closures hope the board will delay voting. but one board member now has floated a plan to remove seven schools from the closure list. >> they're going to vote to close some schools to try to divide us. reporter: the school board president laid it out last week. >> consolidated programs so that we have enough students in the school to provide the kind of resources that we know our kids need. reporter: ye told me the vote will be consequential for the district's long-term fiscal viability. the virtual school board meeting is expected to get emotional with more public comment and it could go well into the night. in oakland, i'm leslie brinkley, abc7 news.
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ama: also in oakland developing news in friday's shooting on 880 that killed a former cal basketball star. late this the suspect in the killing of 65-year-old gene ransom has been charngd. abc7 news reporter j.r. stone has been going through the charming documents and joins us from the newsroom. j.r. reporter: the suspect in gene ransom's killing is now facing felony charges including murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle. sources close to the investigation tell us road rage is likely to blame here. 25-year-old juan garcia was arrested saturday morning in connection with the shooting that left ransom dead. the police report says ransom was driving his honda northbound along i-880 in oakland in the fast lane and just south of oak street when garcia in a black lexus drove along the small shoulder next to ransom coming side-by-side with him. garcia then fired one shot at ransom, striking -- striking him in the head and proving to be fatal. last weekend we talked with
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ransom's best friend doug harris who spoke highly of gene saying he was a star basketball player at berkeley high school and cal in the 1970's. he was in the cal athletics hall of fame. harris said ransom was involved in athletics united for peace. that's a local nonprofit working to combat violence in berkeley, oakland, and richmond. others we talked with said he was a community leader and community icon. as for the motive of why this happened, sources only say it's likely road rage but they are not expanding on that after the shot was fired, detectives say garcia drove off. he was arrested the next day in san francisco and right now, garcia is behind bars. dan, ama, now back to you. dan: j.r., thank you. three suspects charged in the attempted murder of former oakland police captain ursi joyner pleaded not guilty today to multiple felony counts. joshua hales with marlin and canandre king are accused of
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robbing joyner at a gas station last october and a fourth suspect was shot and killed by joyner who told authorities he feared for his life. the surviving suspects have been charged with murder for gardner's death. ama: a first in the nation gun ordinance received final approval today from san jose city council. the measure requires gun owners to have liability insurance and pay an annual fee. city council decided to split the ordinance and hold separate votes today. one on the liability insurance and another on the annual fee. after some council members expressed concern about approving the fee. still, both passed. funds will go to non-profits aimed to reduce gun violence. dan: today prosecutors in sonoma county kicked off weeks of preliminary hearings against p&g. they pressed criminal charges blaming pg&e for -- it would add to languety criminal rap sheet that already includes 91 felonies. investigative reporter from the abc station in sacramento was in
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court today. reporter: pge got off criminal probation and already back in criminal court here in sonoma county facing 33 criminal charges. a mix of felonies and misdemeanors out of the 2019 kincaid fire that burned in october of that year, destroying more than 100 homes. nobody died but it came close. there were multiple firefighters injured in the kincaid fire and some. felony charges involved those injuries. p&ge also faces charges for environmental crimes for the smoke that was emitted by this fire. p&ge has been fighting those charges particularly forcefully and tried unsuccessfully to get the judge to toss out those charges before we ever got to the preliminary hearings which are all about establishing whether there's enough evidence for p&ge to go to trial. today was all about the lead cal fire investigator. his name is gary ubaldi and showed photographs to the court that showed a lot of detail about the broken jumper cable that is up on a big high voltage transmission tower which cal
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fire found was responsible for starting this fire. basically they say cable broke, hit the side of the metal tower and showered the ground in sparks that lit the kincaid fire. that's very similar to what happened in 2018 on the campfire. that destroyed the town of par dice and that involved a broken hooch instead of a broken cable. still the judge ruled that those fires were similar much that p&g e's past fires can come into this case. he allowed prosecutors to introduce evidence of p&ge fires that happened before 2019. before the kincaid fire burned. i should point out we asked to bring our camera into this courtroom so we could show you exactly what was said in there and we were denied by the judge who is supervising this case in sonoma county. and shasta county is watching this case very closely. they have similar charges out of the 2020 fire but also four counts of felony involuntary manslaughter because that fire did claim lives. in sonoma county abc7 news. dan: pg&e admits the power lines
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sparked the kincaid fire but the were good faith judgment calls and not crimes. the response stands in contrast to the 2018 campfire which led pg&e to plead guilty to 85 felonies. ama: to covid-19. the daily cases reported in the u.s. are below 300,000 for the first time this year. but experts warn that still much higher than previous surges. dan: the once dominant delta variant now accounts for zero percent of cases in the united states. omicron accounts for more than 96%. ama: and san francisco is once again declaring its non-essential worker return. according to the chronicle staff who can work remote lear won't be back in the office until at least march 7 rather than february 14. dan: and as we first reported to you yesterday, in just one week, california will remove the indoor mask mandate for vaccinated residents. so does this signal the end of all mandates? and how long will people wear
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masks? abc7 news lorter -- reporter dustin on that story. reporter: a sign many of us have been looking for an easing of covid has been dates as omicron numbers decline. in one week california will no longer require masks use in most indoor settings for people who are vaccinated. >> and people feeling happy that we are in the right direction. and moving in that way. but also a lot of nervousness. reporter: due to those nerves dr. peter chinhong thinks many will keep masks on at least for now and that might not be a bad thing. >> if we can be left with kin cultural relic from the pandemic, during times of bad colds and respiratory viruses going around that we pull on that mask to not only protect ourselves but to protect our neighbors. reporter: for now things are looking good. and it will be the first time californians haven't been required to wear masks since december. in recent weeks, california has seen a 65% drop in cases. >> right now, so far so good. crossing your fingers that this
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is it. but we never know with covid. reporter: and that's why some doctors believe mask mandates may return in the future to help protect the workforce and prevent stressing the health care system if covid flares up. dr. monica gandhi said she would like to see nationwide metrics set to help reinforce any future mandates. >> mandates, objective criteria, get us to points where it's not political and basically whether b-safety and makes us all understand and not think something is arbitrary. reporter: she suggests things like i.c.u. and hospital capacity. based on these same metrics now, dr. gandhi believes it's safe to remove the mandate and like when other countries change restrictions, she thinks this mandate reversal is a reward for decisions, residents made to get here. >> they said we would like to tell you that the vaccines work and in a way we're rewarding you for keeping -- for getting vaccinated. by showing that the openly coan wave -- omicron wave we got through better because we have a higher immunity and thank you,
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californians and here's your reward. go back to more normal life. reporter: who would normal life would sound so great? dustin dorsey, abc7 news. ama: an effort to ease the housing crisis by targeting property owners who are sitting on tens of thousands of vacant homes. the action being proposed by one san francisco official. dan: plus garnering support to provide a lifeline for struggling restaurants. the push to replenish a national fund to grant business owners the help that they need. the help that they need. abc to be a thriver with metastatic breast cancer means asking for what we want. and need. and we need more time. so, we want kisqali. women are living longer than ever before with kisqali when taken with an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant in postmenopausal women with hr+, her2- metastatic breast cancer. kisqali is a pill that's significantly more effective at delaying disease progression versus an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant alone. kisqali can cause lung problems, or an abnormal heartbeat, which can lead to death. it can cause serious skin reactions, liver problems,
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and low white blood cell counts that may result in severe infections. tell your doctor right away if you have new or worsening symptoms, including breathing problems, cough, chest pain, a change in your heartbeat, dizziness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, tiredness, loss of appetite, abdomen pain, bleeding, bruising, fever, chills or other symptoms of an infection, a severe or worsening rash, are or plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. avoid grapefruit during treatment. ask your doctor about living longer with kisqali.
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dan: today restaurant owners and congressional leaders hosted a press call and hopes of helping the struggling restaurant industry which has been so battered the last couple of years. abc7 news reporter karina nova what that money will do for restaurant owners and workers. >> ask the for more money is to help restaurants stay open since
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the start of the pandemic california lawmakers estimate nearly a third of the state's restaurants permanently closed. that's where the restaurant revitalization fund comes in. it's been providing grants that help restaurants get back on their feet and now there's a push to replenish the fund which was created as part of the american rescue plan. so far nationally, it has provided about $28 billion in grants to help business owners in the restaurant industry during the pandemic. but with the latest covid surge and a slowdown in business during the winter months, restaurant owners say there's still a need of a financial lifeline to stay open. bay area congressman eric swaylwell is behind the measure. today he held a virtual event to bring attention to the need. he hopes to help restaurant owners like bill ranedy out of fremont. >> for example, we have a patio, a makeshift patio that needs a lot of work and all beat up right now. and people -- people have complained that it's not very comfortable. but i don't have the funds to
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fix it. so having this grant would allow me to do that and allow us to compete and like i said, there's a lot of restaurants, and there are four large restaurants that have closed not going to reopen. >> it just breaks my heart to see a restaurant i know so well and the staff who work so hard being affected when we have a solution that's out there. reporter: some. restaurant owners who spoke today say they want to use the money to reinvent their business and hire new staff. and if more money is added to the fund, it would go to all existing grant applications. right now, the effort already has much support to pass in the house. but would need approval in the senate. dan? dan: thanks very much. and before you go, we want to welcome you to our abc news family. karina joins us from columbus, ohio. and is working on our new 24-7 live stream on the abc7 bay area app. karina, welcome aboard. >> thank you so much. and i'm honored to be here at abc7 with you.
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excited to be in the bay area and i'm looking forward to covering all kinds of local news on the streaming channel and of course on tv. dan: we're glad to have you. welcome, karina. ama: a push is under way to fill vacant housing units in san francisco by targeting the property owners. supporters today announced an effort to get an empty homes tax measure on the november ballot. the measure would create a tax on property owners who are sitting on vacant units and would be aimed at investors and real estate speculators. >> these are folks who are buying and selling housing in san francisco as if they're buying and selling stocks on the stock market. they couldn't care less about providing homes for anyone. and we're going to put an end to it. ama: to avoid the tax, owners in those cases would have to live in, rent or sell the vairkt unit. money raised would -- from the tax would support an affordable housing program and rental assistance for seniors and low income families. city data shows san francisco has more than 40,000 vacant homes in 2019.
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dan: four months ahead of california's june 7 primary and today, governor gavin newsom's first challenger officially your eyes. beautiful on the outside, but if you have diabetes, there can be some not-so-pretty stuff going on inside. it's true, if you have diabetes, you know high blood sugar is the root of the problem. but that excess sugar can cause the blood vessels to be seriously damaged. and when that happens, this could happen: vision loss or even blindness.
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that's right, diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness for adults in the u.s. but even though you can't see it, there is something you can do about it. remember this: now is the time to get your eyes checked. eye care is an incredibly important part of your long-term diabetes management. see a path forward with actions and treatments a retina specialist can provide that may help your eyes and protect against vision loss. just say to yourself, “now eye see.” then—go see an eye care specialist. visit to get the facts about diabetes, your eyes, and what you can do next— to take charge of your sight. brought to you by regeneron.
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ama: the first challenger to govern newsom announced his candidacy today and came out swinging. republican state senator brian doly criticized newsom and leaders for handling covid, crime and homelessness. the first elected as a state lawmaker in 2012 and heavily republican district that includes redding and grass valley. the gubernatorial primary is set for june 7. dan: let's move on to the weather. yesterday ama it was april. i think we're already in may. ama: i think you're right. mid may maybe. [laughter] sandhya. sandhya: it really feels like a beach day. in the springtime of the than winter. that's for sure. and guess what? the next several days is going to feel like it even more. so dan and ama i want to show you a live picture from our mount tam cam and you're looking at the coast there. a beautiful view of ocean beach.
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records are likely tomorrow. santa rosa, 77 is the forecast high. it will get close tomorrow. napa expected to tie old record of 76 set back in 2018. oakland, gilroy, likely will tie their records as well. and so be ready for unseasonably warm to hot weather for parts of the bay area. high pressure in control. and that's bringing us the offshore winds which is what's pushing those temperatures up well above average today. a good eight to even 16 degrees above average. look at mount diablo gusting out of the northeast to 44 miles an hour as we head into tomorrow afternoon, we're going to see those gusty offshore winds once again. and then that continues into thursday morning which will keep that warmth going. look at this stunning view from our emeryville camera. 64 in oakland. san francisco, san jose, 69, mountain view, you're at 71 degrees. from our san jose camera nothing but blue skies at this hour. and these temperatures are anywhere from the mid 60's to the low 70's. 66 in santa rosa. 70 in fairfield.
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69 livermore. with the stagnant air we do have pockets of moderate air quality around the bay shoreline and over the next four days the air district has updated this. we are expecting moderate air quality as that warmth is going to hang around the next few days. so here are the highlights. gusty in the hills. warmer the next two days. records likely through friday. and the warmth eases this weekend. not exactly warm tomorrow morning but definitely comfortable. fours -- 40's, 50's, clear skies, afternoon highs in the south bay on the warm side. 57 morgan hill. san jose 76. on the peninsula, 44 in redwood city, half moon bay, downtown san francisco 73. daly city 72. north bay temperatures, doesn't feel like winter that's for sure. mid 70's from san rafael to sonoma. 77 degrees in santa rosa and east bay 74 oakland, 73 fremont. some higher clouds, a little bit of hazy in the inland east bay. 74 concord. 73 degrees in livermore. now, we're going to be talking about winter heat especially for the super bowl down south.
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upper 80's there. they will likely see some records as you will notice redding from 79 to the low 80's thursday and friday. and those are going into record territory. we will see temperatures heading in that direction as well here in the bay area. accuweather seven day forecast warming continues the next couple of days. with records expected through friday and then the temperatures will begin to back off for the weekend. just in time for valentine's, cooler and breezier, isn't that better cuddling weather or something like that? dan: yes. ama: i suppose.
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dan: anyone heading over the golden state bridge during the midday hours can expect some delays tomorrow. today, crews began restriping the lanes. a process that will take two days to complete. work is scheduled to take place between the hours of 9:00 in the morning and 2:00 in the afternoon in order to avoid commute hours when it's busiest. the bridge will remain open both directions. but drivers should expect slow going and some possible delays. ama: oscar nominations are out and a film from netflix is leading the way. revisionist western "the power of the dog" received the most nominations with 12 including best picture, best director, and
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benedict cumberbatch in the best actor category. here are the other nine nominees in the best picture category. belfast. koda. don't look up. driver my car. dune. king rich sound. licorice pizza. nightmare alley and west side story. dan: and that film koda which is the acronym for child of a deaf adult is igniting excitement for the deaf and hard of hearing community. ama: not only nominated for best picture but also making history as one of the absenters is up for best supporting actor making him the first deaf male oscar nominee. dan: abc7 zach fuentes has more from him and how the local deaf community is reacting to this big news. reporter: 10 movies nominated for this year's academy awards taking its place at the top right column of the list revealed this morning is coda. it follows the life of a family of four, three are deaf. the daughter is a coda or child of a deaf adult and a
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predominantly deaf cast to be nominated for best picture and not the only history the film has helped make. >> i feel extremely blessed and been on such a long journey. reporter: the father in the movie is the first deaf male oscar nominee in a supporting role. abc news got to speak with him and his interpreter about that honor today. >> such a blessing that hollywood will begin to recognize deaf talent and increase their deaf awareness and change their perspective. we have our own language. and we have our own culture. reporter: that sentiment echoed by many right here in the bay area deaf community. i got to speak with the site superintendent of the california school for the deaf in fremont. >> i myself have two children, two boys who are both codas who live in my house and live with me. and our culture. >> his interpreter also a child of a deaf adult. >> i think it was great to see. as a coda myself, there's not a lot of representation of codas. we are like in the middle of
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both worlds. and sometimes it can be tough to understand where i belong. reporter: brook said one of the many important and inspiring things about the film is that it was not hearing people playing deaf characters. >> i think that hollywood is getting it right this time and has been for the plast few years. we have seen a surgeon having more deaf characters and that's -- a surge in more deaf characters and important to look up to role models and see i can achieve in this field, in this industry. reporter: zach fuentes, abc7 news. ama: and don't forget to stay with us to see who takes home the oscar during the 94th academy awards. we'll have it live march 27 right here on abc7. dan: going to be great. world news tonight with david muir is next. as always, we appreciate your time. i'm dan ashley. ama: i'm ama daetz. for sandhya patel and all of us here we thank you so much for inviting us into your homes. our next newscast is coming up at 6:00. we will see you then.
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tonight, several developing tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. the vice president's husband, the second gentleman, and the scare. pulled out of a school event by the secret service. and breaking news tonight on mask mandates. what the cdc director dr. rochelle walensky just said about masks in schools. the battle over masks tonight, as some governors say the mandates will go away, leaving it up to schools. tonight, parents in suburban chicago protesting over schools keeping the masks, after new jersey, delaware, oregon, connecticut are now moving to lift the mandates in schools in the coming weeks. when will we hear from new york's governor on masks? and tonight, what the cdc director just said. we'll have latest. also tonight, the security scare involving the second gentleman. vice president kamala harris's husband doug emhoff evacuated from a school


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