tv NBC Bay Area News at 6 NBC September 30, 2021 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
story. we're back in the orange tier, which means a substantial rate of spread. the only other state that's orange is connecticut. >> this comes as the country reaches another milestone in the pandemic. more than 700,000 americans have lost their lives to covid. nearly 68,000 more, more than 68,000 of them right here in california. >> the bay area, though, is the exception. we still appear to be moving forward. case rates dropping, and now some counties thinking about lifting their indoor mask mandate. >> santa cruz county told residents they could take off masks yesterday. >> reporter: well, here in santa clara county, the cdc standards and the vaccination rates are generally pretty similar to santa cruz county. but there are key differences. and those differences are enough to keep masks on inside. many people visiting indoor
businesses in santa cruz are not wearing masks anymore. those who are, are doing so voluntarily. the public health officer says she set up her masking order to automatically rescind when the transmission rate dropped to a moderate level versus high or substantial. that happened wednesday. >> i want our community to feel confident in their vaccines. but their vaccines offer a layer of protection. >> reporter: she says even though many bay area counties have a similar moderate ranking and similarly high vaccination rates, she doesn't want to suggest what other public health offices should do. >> we are much smaller than the other bay area counties. we have less international traffic moving through here for business purposes and tourism. >> reporter: bay area county attitudes are mixed. marin expects it will drop man date eventually. while others are not each considering it. the biggest, santa clara county,
says a high rate of booster shots would go a long way to determining when they'll ease mask requirements. >> i think it's one measure, and we're looking at all of those. having a high level of vaccination, and we have one of the highest the country, and we want to make sure that our case numbers are pretty low, and the hospitalization number are low. so we're looking at all that, but we don't about to do anything prematurely and keep everybody safe. >> reporter: there are mixed reactions but many said that's a good approach. >> yes, we still need to stay safe until a higher percentage. >> reporter: santa cruz may no longer have a mask mandate, but they are urging people to follow restrictions voluntarily. if the numbers go back up, so will the masks. robert handa, nbc bay area news. >> thank you, robert. how soon is too soon? health leaders are sticking to the data when making a decision.
santa cruz county lifted its mandate based on the cdc recommendations. the cdc says santa cruz county has a substantial transmission rate, down from high transmission rate in red. you can see that most of the bay area is in orange. doctors and scientists say the best way to combat the virus is through vaccines and masks. in fact, the cdc did a study on how effective masks are in stopping the spread of covid. it looked through two counties, maricopa and pima counties in arizona. and they found schools there that did not have a mask mandate were 3 1/2 times more likely to spread the virus. >> oakland did it, and so did beshgy and piedmont. tonight, the unified school district will decide on whether to require all students to be required to get the covid vaccine. we're live in richmond where
there is expected to be some passionate opinions on both sides, as the school board takes up the issue, just in less than 30 minutes, sharon. >> reporter: that's right, garvin. before today's meeting, i spoke to many parents who all said they want to see the students vaccinated here. but there's always opposition in these issues, and the superintendent has a message for them. >> we're encouraging our families to get vaccinated and to also stay in our schools. our students will be safe and our staff will be safe, as well. >> reporter: dr. chris hurst says their covid track record shows positive results so far. positive in a good way, with no school closures since school began. free covid testing and successful contact tracing. he says requiring students 12 and older to be fully vaccinated would be another step in the right direction. >> we know that if they're vaccinated, and if they're not showing any symptoms, if they're asymptomatic, they get to stay
in school. so that's huge for attendance issues. >> reporter: this mom supports covid vaccinations but understands why some are hesitant, saying she had an allergic reaction after the first shot. >> 20 minutes after, my chest got tight, my throat closed up, they had to give me a shot of epi and steroids. my fiance and dad got the shot, they were fine. if i could have got the second dose, i would have. >> reporter: and he says if the mandate passes, parents will have options. >> parents that are adamant about not vaccinating, there's independent tutoring and home school, as well. but the vaccination is safe. >> reporter: he hopes families will choose to keep students in school and keep the community safe. and the board will consider three vaccine mandates tonight, one involves the students who are eligible.
another for certain vendors, and the last one for employees and volunteers. reporting live in richmond, nbc bay area news. >> thank you, sharon. right now, our sister station is holding a phone bank with santa clara county health leaders to answer your questions about the covid-19 vaccine booster now through 7:00. so if you have a question, please give them a call at the number on your screen. you' it there, 408-970-2999. in other news, an armed carjacking, a highway pursuit and suspect locked in a hospital bedroom. at the end, a teenager arrested in the east bay. this started just before noon with a carjacking in oakland. police started the car on highway 4 and started chasing it. the 17-year-old suspect ended up at the john murrah hospital in brentwood. he ran inside and hid in a bathroom. hospital staff evacuated the area and told everyone else in the building to shelter in place.
police searched the hospital and arrested the teen. officers believe there was a passenger in the car with the teenager but haven't found that person yet. bags stuffed with cash. rolex watches, and literally tons, literally tons of high grade marijuana. that is what authorities discovered inside more than a dozen illegal grow sites. the sheriff's office says it's taken down one of the biggest illegal pot operations in bay area history. >> melissa colorado takes us inside one of those raided warehouses. >> reporter: the day was a win in the battle against the big business of black market marijuana in the bay area. >> they got so much cash, that they don't know what to do with it. >> reporter: in the last two days, the sheriff's office says they've taken down an elaborate criminal enterprise involving 18 illegal grow sites in the east
bay, including this warehouse. forensic accountants were brought in to follow the money and track how the cash from this operation was allegedly laundered. authorities arrested seven people so far, and more arrests could be on the way. >> we could continue on with this investigation, probably for several more months that the tentacles of this probably go throughout the country. >> reporter: the numbers speak for themselves. authorities said they found $10 million in cash. 12,000 pounds of finished product, with a street value of $42 million. final count, more than 37 tons of illegal marijuana. >> they're short cutting paying taxes, doing money laundering, and it's pure greed. >> reporter: authorities say there's an environmental impact to these illegal grows. at a time when california is suffering through a drought and power outages, these illegal grows are sucking up so much power and water, and on top of that, the water that trickles
out of here typically has fertilizer in it. >> there's water running out of here, all fertilized water. a lot of the chemicals are known to cause cancer. >> reporter: authorities aren't sharing yet who is behind b this massive operation, but the sheriff's office is hoping the feds will take the case and press stiff federal charges. >> it's making our community worse and these individuals are being greedy. so none of this money is going back into the community via taxes and regulation and like the law was designs to do. >> reporter: melissa colorado, nbc bay area news. they are an iconic piece of san francisco history, but they need a lot of work. we're talking about the san francisco cable cars. the needed renovations could run upwards of $600 million. that's a big price tag for a city struggling to recover from the pandemic. but some say whatever the price, it's worth it.
>> reporter: san francisco's cable cars, they're iconic. tony bennett sang about them. authors wrote about them. and tourists say they're the can't miss attraction. >> when we travel to san francisco, we always do this. we love it. i would say number one and the bridge. >> reporter: during the pandemic, they were halted for safety. when they did start up, they almost immediately had to be stopped briefly due to an electrical issue. now, they're aging and in need of big renovations. the agency outlined the challenges of operating the old system that hasn't been renovated since the '80s, estimating a complete renovation today would run about $625 million. >> it's just wonderful. it's worth it. whatever price it's worth it, because you can see the city. >> very important. on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 plus. >> reporter: travelers see it that way, and there's more to consider as the city recovers. >> it's really critical to see
the cable cars active. >> reporter: in a statement, they said in part they were fortunate to have had few major me can dal issues in recent years but -- >> reporter: over a year ago, they started planning a renovation. some question the price and whether the work is necessary now, noting there's no shortage of need as the city recovers from the pandemic. in san francisco, christy smith, nbc bay area news. up next, as crews work to stop san francisco's millennium tower from sinking even more, they have not ruled out one theory. our investigative unit has learned what's off the table and how contractors plan to zero in on the cost. plus, stopping police
misconduct. governor newsom signs into law new reform what officers in the field can no longer do. >> i'm chief meteorologist jeff ranieri. i'll continue our climate coverage and look at the drought, plus what the rain chances are as we move into next week. when we're joined by our viewers in the west, abortion rights in focus on capitol hill today in a way we've rarely seen. congresswomen sharing their own stories of abortions. and kilauea with a spectacular eruption. we have the pictures and the kerns when we see you tonight.
our investigative unit has learned one possible cause of the new sinking of san francisco's millennium tower has been ruled out. so one down, two to go. our reporter shows how engineers want to drive a new support pile 200 feet into the ground in the hope of saving their $100 million fix. >> reporter: here at the millennium tower, all work to stabilize the foundation is halted, while engineers try to figure out why the building sank an additional inch just in one corner. ron hamburger sent this letter to the homeowner's association, saying they ruled out that the soil was getting sucked out of the 33 holes being dug for steel piles that would anchor the
sinking sides to bedrock. leaving two other possibilities. that vibration from the drilling caused the soil to settle more, or oversized holes robbed the foundation of soil. he says they need to drif a new test pile to understand whether additional piles can be installed without causing tilting and settling. experts say the test also prove that too much soil was lost drilling holes that were too big. undermining the already weakened foundation. >> if they can demonstrate that they can proceed without closing the reactivation of the accelerated settlement rates, i guess that's the only goal out of doing these tests. >> reporter: deep foundations expert david williams says fix engineers should proceed with caution. >> i guess then they have to continue with the construction process, but be prepared to shut down immediately. >> i'm skeptical about the value
of the test. >> reporter: engineer robert pike oh questioned the viability of the fix back in 2019. he insists the sinking was preventable, if crews had just drilled the right-sized hole during pile installation. >> this is drilling 101. they should have known this from the beginning. the bigger lesson from this is that the design team in varying degrees is not competent to do this kind of work. >> reporter: he hopes the tests will help engineers get it right. grateful as governor newsom signs several bills addressing police conduct today. last september, the police called police reporting that he was paranoid. police leaned on his neck until he was unresponsive. he died three days later. today, the governor signed five policing laws, including banning restraints that impact
breathing. others include requiring officers to intervene if they see a colleague using excessive force. let's bring in chief meteorologist jeff ranieri now to talk about our weather. jeff, if you could just do a carbon copy of today for the next few days through the weekend, we'll be fine with that. >> i think you're good to go then. we are looking at beautiful weather. we do have some isleslated heat inland, some low 90s. but thankfully we have avoided a heat wave and hot 100s. and that brings me to something else here, that is our brought. as we continue our climate coverage tonight, i wanted to share just a little bit of good news about this, because of some rain in northern california this month, we have seen an improvement. a 24.19% improvement in the drought, exceptional drought, because of that rainfall. now, when it comes to the entire state, we're looking at 21.77% tegory of drought. right here in the bay area, we're seeing the driest conditions right over the north
bay and also for the east bay. we talked about how dry it is. we're all on the defensive until we get substantial rain in here. what about things that you can do at your house? not only can you plant plants, but there are fire resistant ones, as well. i didn't know that until i started gardening. so these are good ones to plant. you can put this one on a hillside and it creeps down and it works excellent. so these are all good things here. if you want more on our climate tips, go to nbcbayarea.com. let's get you ready to go for the friday forecast. just a little bit of cloud cover here, lots of 50s over the south bay peninsula and tri valley. north bay, 56. san francisco, 53. and the east bay, looking great at 55 degrees. starting the cool side through the afternoon, that isolated heat through the inland valleys.
91 in concord, 90 also in morgan hill. 80s oakland. at the coastline, 70s here from san francisco to half moon bay. so dry, similar weather like this all the way through monday's forecast. and thing next week, tracking a west coast storm system. we're going to get colder air from this. the rain chances at this point looks like the best chance would be to the north of us with some shower chances for us. forecast models are flip-flopping. more on this as we get closer. seven-day forecast in san francisco. 60s return as we roll into next week, and across the inland valleys, 75 next friday. so pumpkin spice latte weather coming in next week. >> thanks so much, jeff. coming up, cars on the golden gate bridge come to a screeching halt during the morning rush hour as immigration activists make their voices
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okay. take a look at the golden gate bridge. the evening commute looking really good right now. traffic is back to normal, but was grinded to a halt this morning. protestors brought cars to a stand still. no cars, this is around 7:00 a.m. immigration advocates dropped traffic to call on the u.s. senate to work on legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. at least five people were arrested and four cars towed. >> and immigration advocates also made their presence felt in san jose, demanding help for all 11 million undocumented immigrants. a group known as the bay area coalition for citizenship and economic rights urged congress to support a pathway. they say one way for that to be possible is for congress passing all provisions of joe biden's $3.5 trillion budget. >> if you are in the country in 1981, 40 years ago, or before,
you could apply for a green card. 40 years have passed, two generations of undocumented immigrants who have not been able to legally work, to legally join their family members. >> the group is made up of more than 50 organizations, including health care providers, unions, and small businesses. up next, how stanford is helping a smaller bay area school from closing its doors.
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notre dame in belmont is getting a much-needed lifeline, thanks to stanford. they were facing the possibility of having to close, but stanford has agreed to buy the campus. the small, private catholic university has been around since 1851, and the third oldest university in california. recently, the school has struggled with enrollment and money, forcing many layoffs, and the closure of its undergraduate school. it's the only health department in northern california that's doing it, allowing people to take off their masks indoors. tonight at 7:00, we talk to the deputy director of santa cruz county health about what prompted the county to make this move. and we have answers from the rest of the bay area health departments about where they stand on their mask mandates. that's coming up at 7:00. but first, on "nightly news" with lester holt, going indepth on the challenges of getting opioid addiction treatment for the latino community.
nationwide, opioid deaths among the latino community have surged since the pandemic. go inside one treatment sent they are's using a bicultural and bilingual approach to solve the problem, and hear one patient's powerful message to others looking for help. we'll see you back here at 7:00. but first, we'll join lester holt with "nightly news" starting right now. tonight, the make or break moment for president biden and his multi-trillion agenda with congress narrowly averting a shutdown hours before a midnight deadline, all eyes on the house. speaker nancy pelosi pushing
forward with a vote on the president's $1 trillion infrastructure plan. despite a vow from progressives to tank it unless a larger $3.5 trillion plan to expand the social safety net is passed first. negotiations coming down to the wire our late reporting from capitol hill also tonight the grim milestone. 700,000 deaths in the u.s. from covid. across the country, enforcement of vaccine mandates is being stepped up and just days before it takes effect, a new legal challenge to new york city's teacher mandate. powerful testimony. lawmakers sharing deeply personal stories about abortion the emotional moment one congresswoman broke down in tears. the new warning on the border why a potential record surge of migrants may be coming the stunning images, the new eruption in one of the world's most active volcanos. caught on camera, the airline passenger out on the wing and what happened next and just in, the nfl's big