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Lafayette, California

About Lafayette:

Lafayette is a city located in Contra Costa County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 23,908. (More Info and Source) Lafayette Real Estate

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NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal plane crash near Novato

A pilot who died when his plane crashed eight miles west of Novato last month reported partial restoration of the plane's engine before air traffic controllers lost contact with him, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Robert John Madge, 51, of Redwood City, left Brookings, Oregon, around 7:20 p.m. on Aug. 18 in a Beechcraft Bonanza single-engine aircraft bound for the San Carlos airport, NTSB officials said.

Madge told the Northern California Terminal Radar Approach Control facility he was having engine problems and was unable to maintain altitude in the plane, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Madge received vectors to Gnoss Field in Novato 14 miles to the east and while en route, he reported partial engine power was restored, according to the NTSB.

Madge then reported he was losing engine power again and was in the clouds at 1,000 feet. Air traffic controllers lost radar and radio contact when the plane was eight miles west of Novato, NTSB officials said.

The plane crashed in west Marin County north of Hicks Valley around 9:30 p.m. and started a 32-acre brush fire.

A witness about a mile southwest of the accident site reported hearing a plane with a loud engine flying low over his house. Another witness two miles southwest of the accident site also reported a low flying plane at the time of the accident, according to the NTSB.

The plane was found near the location of the last radar contact, NTSB officials said.

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:03:51 -0700

Police report: Girl said Uzi was too much for her

A 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an instructor with an Uzi at an Arizona shooting range said immediately after the shooting that she felt the gun was too much for her and had hurt her shoulder, according to police reports released Tuesday.

Her family members were focused on the girl because they thought she was injured by the gun's recoil and didn't immediately realize instructor Charles Vacca had been shot until one of his colleagues ran over to him.

The family, whose hometown hasn't been revealed by investigators, had taken a shuttle on Aug. 25 from Las Vegas about 60 miles south to the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona.

The report did not say why the family had gone to the range or why they let the girl handle the Uzi.

After arriving, the girl, her parents, sister and brother took a monster truck ride before heading out to the shooting range.

The girl's father was the first one in the party to handle a weapon. After he fired shots, Vacca instructed the girl on how to shoot the gun, showed her a shooting stance, and helped her fire a few rounds.

Then, he stepped back and let her hold the Uzi by herself. She fired the gun, and its recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, killing Vacca with a shot to the head, according to the report.

The girl dropped the Uzi, and Vacca fell to the ground. The girl ran toward her family, who huddled around her as she held her shoulder. Another instructor rushed over to help to Vacca. The other children were then taken away from the range, according to the report.

The report describes the family as shaken by the accident.

Prosecutors are not filing charges in the case. Arizona's workplace safety agency is investigating the shooting-range death.

County prosecutors say the instructor was probably the most criminally negligent person involved in the accident for having allowed the child to hold the gun without enough training. They also said the parents and child weren't criminally culpable.

The girl's mother had video-recorded the accident on her phone.

"All right, go ahead and give me one shot," Vacca tells the girl in the video. He then cheers when she fires one round at the target.

"All right full auto," Vacca says. The video, which does not show the actual incident, ends with a series of shots being heard.

The shooting set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun.

Sam Scarmardo, the range's operator, has said the parents had signed waivers saying they understood the rules and were standing nearby when the accident occurred. He also had said he never had a safety problem before at the range and said his policy of allowing children 8 and older to fire guns under adult supervision and an instructor's watchful eye is standard industry practice, though he noted his policies are under review.

Vacca's ex-wife and children said last week that they harbored no ill feelings toward the girl or her family. Instead, they feel sorry for the child and want to comfort her.

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:58:31 -0700

CEO for Centerplate resigns in wake of dog-kicking video

The embattled CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company that provides catering services at several Bay Area sports venues has resigned after the fallout from a hotel surveillance video surfaced showing him kicking a friend’s dog.

Centerplate's board of directors announced in a press release Tuesday morning that Desmond Hague had resigned from the company and that the decision came as a result of his personal misconduct involving the mistreatment of an animal in his care.

Centerplate's board of directors said that Chris Verros has been appointed to the role of acting president and chief executive officer effective immediately.

"We want to reiterate that we do not condone nor would we ever overlook the abuse of animals," said Centerplate board of directors chairman Joe O’Donnell in a statement. "Following an extended review of the incident involving Mr. Hague, I’d like to apologize for the distress that this situation has caused to so many; but also thank our employees, clients and guests who expressed their feelings about this incident. Their voices helped us to frame our deliberations during this very unusual and unfortunate set of circumstances."

Hague came under fire after video from a security camera in the elevator of a Vancouver hotel showed him kicking a friend's one-year-old Doberman Pinscher several times.

Hague offered a public apology saying he was ashamed and embarrassed by his actions. He said he let his frustrations with the dog get the best of him.

Both the San Francisco Giants and the 49ers issued statements last week  critical of Hague. Centerplate has contracts with the teams at AT&T Park and Levi’s Stadium.

"The San Francisco Giants do not condone any abuse of animals and we were deeply disturbed by the recent news regarding Centerplate CEO Des Hague," the team statement read. "Centerplate management continues to investigate the incident and has taken some immediate steps in response to his actions -- including contributing a portion of its sales to a foundation dedicated to the protection and safety of animals in the city of Vancouver, where the incident occurred."

"While we deplore Mr. Hague’s personal actions, it should in no way reflect upon the hundreds of dedicated Centerplate employees who admirably serve our fans at AT&T Park each and every day," the statement continued. "We will continue to closely monitor the situation and any further actions taken by Centerplate and the authorities in Vancouver."

The 49ers also condemned Hague but defended the company’s rank-and-file.

"The organization condemns the abuse of animals and was disturbed to learn of the recent news regarding Des Hague," the team said in a prepared statement. "We believe his actions are not reflective of the efforts and service provided by the hundreds of Centerplate employees working to present our fans with a tremendous experience at Levi’s Stadium."

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:38:33 -0700

News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories

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