Oakland

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Old Refrigerator May Be Source of Oakland Fire

'Disaster waiting to happen'

(Newser) - Investigators searching for the cause of America's deadliest building fire in 13 years are focusing on appliances at the rear of the first floor of the "Ghost Ship" warehouse. "On that back wall, there was a 45-degree-angle burn, and they need to look at that area very... More »

Oakland Failed to Act on 'Death Trap' Warnings

Some of the 36 fire victims were able to text goodbyes

(Newser) - The death toll from Friday's horrific warehouse fire has risen to 36, making it California's deadliest building fire since the devastation of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. As recovery efforts at the "Ghost Ship" warehouse continue, many are wondering why inspectors failed to act despite repeated complaints... More »

Oakland Blaze Was One of Worst US Fires in 50 Years

Criminal investigation team looking into disaster

(Newser) - The blaze that ripped through a converted warehouse in Oakland, Calif., during a party on Friday has now been confirmed as America's deadliest fire in more than a decade—and authorities say more than half the wreckage of the "Ghost Ship" warehouse hasn't been searched yet. Oakland... More »

'Walls Were Moving:' 30 Dead in Oakland Fire, More Expected

Building is extremely unstable, making search efforts painstaking

(Newser) - Officials in Oakland, Calif., say the death toll has risen to 30 from a fire that ripped through a converted warehouse , reports the AP . Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly says crews are starting to get deeper into the building and that as they advance they expect to find... More »

Dance Party Turns Deadly in Massive Warehouse Fire

At least 9 are dead, but death toll may hit 40

(Newser) - At least nine people are dead but officials say that number may eventually reach 40 after what could be the deadliest structure fire in Oakland history, the East Bay Times reports. According to KTVU , the massive blaze broke out at a two-story warehouse late Friday night during a dance party.... More »

Teen Sues Oakland for $66M in Police Sex Scandal

As first 2 cops are charged in mess involving cops having sex with underage sex worker

(Newser) - The latest salvo in the ongoing sex scandal involving multiple Bay Area police officers was a one-two punch on Friday, reports NBC News . Just hours after two cops became the first to be charged in the scandal, the 19-year-old woman who says that she had sexual contact with dozens of... More »

4 Fired After Cops Allegedly Had Sex With Teen Sex Worker

Teen sex worker claimed to have had sex with more than a dozen officers

(Newser) - Four Oakland police officers are being fired and another seven suspended without pay after a teenage sex worker claimed she had sex with more than a dozen officers , some while she was underage and occasionally for tips about future prostitution raids, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to CNN , the... More »

10 Unfriendliest Cities in the US

Who knew Delaware was so mean?

(Newser) - Planning an end-of-summer vacation? Better stay away from these US cities, apparently the kinds of places where locals will give you bad directions, then steal your wallet. Condé Nast Traveler asked travelers to rate the "friendliness" of US cities for its 2015 Readers' Choice Awards and received 128,000... More »

Oakland Bans Coal Shipments

Vote kills plan to ship Utah coal to Asia

(Newser) - Oakland city officials have unanimously voted to ban the shipment of coal, sidelining a plan to transport Utah coal to Asia through a proposed marine terminal on an old army base, the AP reports. The proposed terminal is in West Oakland, a historically black neighborhood that's among the poorest... More »

Oakland Loses 3rd Top Cop in 8 Days

'I am here to run a police department, not a frat house,' mayor says

(Newser) - Oakland has gone through three top cops in nine days and the revolving door at police headquarters is now closed. When Acting Chief Paul Figueroa stepped down on Friday after just two days in the job, Mayor Libby Schaff said the department is going to be put under civilian control... More »

Oakland Mayor Cans Top Cop After 6 Days

Woman now claims she had sexual contact with dozens of officers

(Newser) - Ben Fairow's reign as Oakland's top cop was, in a word, brief. Fairow—who replaced resigning police chief Sean Whent on Friday amid an investigation into possible underage sex and murder —was removed from his post Wednesday after just six days, reports the Los Angeles Times . During... More »

Animal Rights Activists Storm Sanders Stage

'We don't get intimidated easily,' he tells Oakland crowd

(Newser) - Bernie Sanders may be the preferred candidate of birds , but his stance on animal rights wasn't good enough for at least five protesters who rushed the stage at a rally in Oakland, Calif., Monday evening. The protesters were intercepted and taken away by several Secret Service agents before they... More »

Alleged Underage Sex, Suicide, Possible Murder Inside Oakland Police

'The only officer I ever messed with underage is sadly gone'

(Newser) - A scandal involving alleged underage sex, suicide, and possible murder is exploding within the Oakland Police Department. The San Jose Mercury News reports it all started when Irma Huerta Lopez killed herself with a gun belonging to her husband, officer Brendan O'Brien, in 2014. Huerta Lopez's family believes... More »

Gunmen Shoot Up Party Bus on Calif. Freeway

Then one of the victims allegedly attacked an officer

(Newser) - Two men in a red SUV opened fire on a party bus full of people on a California freeway early Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bus was leaving San Francisco and entering Oakland sometime before 2:30am when the SUV pulled up alongside it and shots were fired.... More »

Teen Dupes Airbnb Hosts to Throw Birthday Rager

Oakland couple says they are Airbinb hosts no more

(Newser) - "He seemed very mature and was very polite," Airbnb host Reshma Vasanwala says of the man from Chicago who rented her Oakland home on New Year's Eve. Or, the "man" from "Chicago." It turns out that the renter was a teenage Berkeley resident, who,... More »

Mystery Donor Gives Oakland Massive Boost

He donated $34M to 'underserved' residents

(Newser) - What to do with a spare $34 million? You could buy a private jet, a good-sized Caribbean island —or you could help countless people in one of California's most troubled cities. An anonymous donor went for the latter option, offering the San Francisco Foundation the cash to help... More »

Jahi McMath Suit Tells Brutal Tale of Surgery Gone Wrong

Mother was pushed to donate McMath's organs while she prayed

(Newser) - As Jahi McMath , declared brain-dead in 2013, remains hooked up to machines in New Jersey, her family is filing suit against the Oakland hospital where her surgery for sleep apnea went terribly wrong, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The suit against UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland and surgeon... More »

Mother of 4 Killed in Road-Rage Shooting

Oakland man says 'coward with a gun' killed his wife

(Newser) - Luis Lopez Gallegos says he is now a widower with four children to raise—just because someone didn't like the way he drove. In what police are probing as a road-rage attack, 30-year-old Perla Avina was shot dead Sunday afternoon as the couple was driving to their East Oakland,... More »

'Alpacino' of Capone Street Charged With Murder

What are the odds?

(Newser) - Was this guy fated to show up on the police blotter in a bad way? An Oakland man named Alpacino McDaniels—yeah, go back over that first name again—has been charged with murder in the 2013 slaying of another man, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . The 29-year-old's parents... More »

Oakland to Drop 80-Year-Old Pinball Ban

Machines were once considered moral menace

(Newser) - The California city of Oakland is about to finally scrap an anti-pinball law nobody has paid much attention to since World War II. The game was outlawed in Oakland and many other cities in the 1930s, when the machines didn't have flippers and were considered gambling devices, the San ... More »

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