Friday storm won't end the drought
Rain fell across the Bay Area on Friday, but the late April shower is not expected to ease drought conditions in the Bay Area, where most cities remain in a serious rainfall deficit.
Although some parts of the Bay Area received a good soaking Friday, the National Weather Service predicted between about one-tenth and two-tenths of an inch of rain for most areas.
"It's good to water your gardens but not enough to ease overall drought conditions," said Mark Strudley, a hydrologist with the weather service.
There were a few thunderstorms Friday afternoon, but even those showers did not boost Bay Area rainfall totals, which remain woefully low.
Oakland is at 48 percent of normal since July 1, with 9.45 inches of rain. Similarly, San Jose has had only 6.07 inches, which is 43 percent of normal.
San Francisco is at 54 percent of normal with 12.2 inches.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday asked Californians once again to conserve water amid a statewide drought.
The storm cleared the Bay Area on Friday afternoon and was expected to make way for sunny skies on Saturday afternoon. Another small storm system may pass through the Bay Area on Saturday night, bringing a 30 percent chance of rain Sunday morning, according to the weather service.
Warmer conditions are expected next week, with high temperatures soaring to the upper-70s to mid-80s by Tuesday.
-- Mark Gomez, Staff
Bay Area Bike Share service expanding
The Bay Area's bike-sharing program is rolling toward an expansion into Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Wednesday allocated $8.7 million that provides much of the funding to start the bike service in these three East Bay communities in late 2015.
The cost and startup date has yet to be determined.
The Bay Area Bike Share service allows participants to check out bikes for free for up to 30 minutes and then pay for extra minutes.
The program began last summer in San Francisco, San Jose, Redwood City, Palo Alto and Mountain View.
-- Denis Cuff, Staff
Motorcyclist killed ID'd as Oakland man
A motorcyclist, killed this week when a truck made an abrupt left turn in front of him was identified Friday, by the Alameda County Coroner's Office as Ricke Ortolf.
Ortolf, 58, of Oakland, died following the crash that took place just before 1:38 p.m. Wednesday, police said.
Officers said Ortolf was traveling south on Harrison Street and a pickup truck was driving to his right.
At Harrison and Pearl streets, the pickup driver made an abrupt left turn onto Pearl, police said.
To avoid getting hit, the motorcyclist swerved, hit a parked car, drove up onto the sidewalk and hit a wall and a fence.
Ortolf was ejected onto the pavement and suffered major injuries.
He was transported to Highland Hospital, where he later died.
The driver of the truck stayed at the crash site, was interviewed by traffic investigators and was released pending further investigation.
The driver, whose name and age were not released, was not cited or arrested.
-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Kristin J. Bender, Staff
Police looking for man lurking near school
Investigators are looking for an older man who was seen peering at a kindergarten class through a window and masturbating Wednesday afternoon, police said.
At 1:25 p.m. Wednesday, a guardian of a student at Dayton Elementary saw a "suspicious man" standing in the main hallway of the school at 1500 Dayton Ave., peering through a window into a patio area adjacent to a kindergarten classroom, police said.
The man had his hand tucked in his pants and appeared to be masturbating, police said. When the man saw the witness looking at him, he turned away and walked off campus, police said.
The man was described as Hispanic, between 58 and 65 years old, wearing a red Windbreaker with black sleeves, black pants with a thin white stripe on both sides and a black baseball cap. Police do not know if the man is a parent or guardian of a student at the school.
The witness immediately notified the principal. Criminal investigators were notified Thursday afternoon. Anyone with information should call the criminal investigations division at 510-577-3230 or the anonymous tip line at 510-577-3278.
-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff
Police wary of student Instagram inquiries
Pleasanton police are trying to track down a person who contacted local children earlier this year using Instagram and other social media sites to ask them for inappropriate photos of themselves.
Several students in the Pleasanton Unified School District were contacted by an adult user through Instagram in January and February of this year, according to Pleasanton police.
School administrators weren't aware of the problem until they heard students talking about it on campus, according to Parvin Ahmadi, the district superintendent.
The district contacted police, who are now working with Instagram to identify the user. Messages left for the police and Instagram were not immediately returned.
The district also sent a letter to all parents Thursday, notifying them about the incidents and encouraging families to discuss safe social media use with their children.
The district also sent out a link to tips for responsible use of social media sites, reminding young adults to never reveal their name, address, phone number or password to strangers or open messages from strangers.
Parents who suspect their children may have been contacted on social media sites are urged to call the Pleasanton Police Department at (925) 931-5100.
-- Karina Ioffee, Staff
Police: Oakland man fired shots in air
An Oakland man was arrested Wednesday night after shots were fired into the air in a Richmond neighborhood and the man led police on a chase, a police spokeswoman said.
An officer was near the intersection of A Street and Ripley Avenue around 8:45 p.m. when he saw a passenger in a passing car fire multiple gunshots out of the window, Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.
The officer tried to pull over the driver, who sped off but stopped a couple of blocks away. The suspect who police believe fired the gun ran from the scene. He was later found hiding in a nearby back yard with the help of a police dog, Abetkov said.
The suspect has been identified as 28-year-old Francisco Hernandez from Oakland. He was arrested on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm, resisting arrest and gun possession.
The driver was also located and identified as 31-year-old Felix Dominguez of San Leandro. He was arrested on suspicion of evading police. -- Karina Ioffee, Staff
Police arrest man who forced way into home
A man in his early 20s was arrested for assaulting an East Oakland man Wednesday morning after the suspect forced his way into the resident's home while fleeing officers, police said.
The 63-year-old man was hit over the head by the suspect with his own cane and required medical attention for a head wound but did not suffer life-threatening injuries, police said.
The incident started about 10 a.m. Wednesday when police attempted to stop the suspect's car in the 1400 block of 45th Avenue. Police did not say why they attempted to pull the car over.
The driver ran away and "forced" his way into a nearby home, police said.
The suspect was arrested for evading police, assault with a deadly weapon, and other charges. Police did not release his name, city of residence or his exact age.
-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff