Bay Area

‘Next door to the devil’: Decades later, an arrest in Pillowcase Rapist attacks

BREVARD COUNTY, FL (WESH) — A Florida man has been arrested on suspicion of being the “Pillowcase Rapist,” who attacked at least 44 women in the 1980s. Robert Eugene Koehler, 60, was apprehended Saturday at his home in Palm Bay, 30 miles north of Vero Beach. Officials have not said what led them to arrest Koehler for the Pillowcase attacks, which took place from 1981 to 1986 on the Florida coast between South Miami and Deerfield Beach. The rapist in those cases broke into homes and would often cover his victim’s face with a pillowcase. (The cases are not related to Christopher Hubbart, also known as the Pillowcase Rapist, who attacked women from the early 1970s to 1993 in the Bay Area and Southern California. He was returned to Coalinga State Hospital in 2017 after violating the terms of his release in Los Angeles County.) The next-door neighbors of Robert Koehler told TV station WESH how uneasy  they felt around Koehler. They were aware that he was listed on the state’s sexual offender website because of a sexual battery conviction from 1991. “I just always read…

McConnell abruptly eases impeachment limits

By LISA MASCARO, ERIC TUCKER and ZEKE MILLER WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly changed his proposed rules for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial , backing off the condensed two-day schedule to add a third for opening arguments after protests from senators, including Republicans. The trial quickly burst into a partisan fight at the Capitol as the president’s lawyers opened arguments Tuesday in support of McConnell’s plan. Democrats objected loudly to McConnell’s initially proposed rules, and some Republicans made their concerns known in private. Without comment, the Republican leader quietly submitted an amended proposal for the record, after meeting behind closed doors with senators as the trial opened. He added the extra day and allowed House evidence to be included in the record. “It’s time to start with this trial,” said White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the president’s lead lawyer as the proceedings opened in public. “It’s a fair process,” he said. “There is absolutely no case.” Chief Justice John Roberts gaveled open the session, senators having taken an oath last week to do “impartial justice” as jurors. Senators were stunned by…

Heavenly ski resort employee third to die in Lake Tahoe area over the weekend

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE  — A member of the ski patrol at Heavenly Mountain Resort near South Lake Tahoe was working when he was found unconscious on a challenging ski run, authorities said. He later died at a hospital. The death of Christopher John Nicholson, 36, of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Saturday was one of three deaths over the weekend in the Lake Tahoe area, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported. Nicholson was injured on the expert trail in Mott Canyon on the Nevada side of the Heavenly Mountain resort and was pronounced dead at a hospital in Carson City, Nevada, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada said. Authorities did not say how he was injured. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the medical examiner’s office in Washoe County were investigating a cause of death. Related Articles Flatland drivers’ misguided scheme to circumvent chain controls: Roadshow Lake Tahoe ski resort employee dies after being injured on trail Avalanche at Lake Tahoe resort kills 1 skier, injures 1 Winter storm with 137 mph wind gust at Tahoe resort; chains on I-80 in Sierra required Nicholson was the…

Democrats decry McConnell’s impeachment rules as ‘cover-up’

By LISA MASCARO, ERIC TUCKER and ZEKE MILLER WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial quickly burst into a partisan fight Tuesday as proceedings began unfolding at the Capitol. Democrats objected strongly to rules proposed by the Republican leader for compressed a rguments and a speedy trial. Even before Chief Justice John Roberts gaveled in the session, Democrats warned that the rules package from Trump’s ally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, could force midnight sessions that would keep most Americans in the dark and create a sham proceeding. “This is not a process for a fair trial, this is the process for a rigged trial” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leading the prosecution, told reporters. He called it a “cover-up.” The first test was coming at midday as the senators begin to debate and vote on McConnell’s proposed rules. Republican senators are falling in line behind his plan. “Sure it will be a fair trial when you’ve got 24 hours of arguments on both sides,” Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa told state reporters on a conference call. Trump…

Missing teen Selina Not Afraid found dead near rest stop

(CNN) — The body of a Montana teen missing since New Year’s Day was found Monday less than a mile from where she was last seen. Selina Not Afraid. (Montana Department of Justice) Selina Not Afraid, a 16-year-old member of Crow Nation, was returning on January 1 to her home in Hardin, Montana, from a holiday party in Billings when the van in which she was traveling in broke down at a rest stop on Interstate 90, Big Horn County Sheriff Lawrence C. Big Hair told CNN after the teen disappeared. Her companions were four adults. Selina and a woman reportedly wandered away while the driver worked on the disabled van. When the vehicle restarted, the rest of the party — apparently worried about how long the engine would stay running — drove off without them. A relative who arrived at the rest stop 15 minutes later found the woman, but Selina did not show up. She was reported missing around 9:30 that night. Suspicions of foul play grew as weeks of searching failed to find the teen. Big Hair told the Billings Gazette that the…

Apple dropped plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained: sources

By Joseph Menn | Reuters SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Apple Inc dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations, six sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The tech giant’s reversal, about two years ago, has not previously been reported. It shows how much Apple has been willing to help U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, despite taking a harder line in high-profile legal disputes with the government and casting itself as a defender of its customers’ information. The long-running tug of war between investigators’ concerns about security and tech companies’ desire for user privacy moved back into the public spotlight last week, as U.S. Attorney General William Barr took the rare step of publicly calling on Apple to unlock two iPhones used by a Saudi Air Force officer who shot dead three Americans at a Pensacola, Florida naval base last month. U.S. President Donald Trump piled on, accusing Apple on Twitter of refusing to unlock phones used by “killers, drug dealers and other…

Sponsored: Super-spacious Pelican Bay home in Alameda

This super-spacious Pelican Bay home in Harbor Bay is unlike any other in the neighborhood. This five-bedroom, three-bathroom home boasts a gourmet kitchen and a big loft space.  This home was meticulously added on to, making it unique both in layout and space that create a comfortable living environment. There are five spacious bedrooms, one being an office with built-ins, and three full bathrooms. There is a bedroom with a full bathroom downstairs. The gourmet kitchen boasts Viking appliances: built-in refrigerator, gas range, microwave, dishwasher and exhaust hood. There is also a dining nook with built-in seating, a convenient island, counter bar and gorgeous stone countertops. The warm and inviting living room has some lovely built-in bookcases and shelving. The formal dining room is enhanced with a nicely designed wood trim. The wood floors provide a rich and elegant feel. The upstairs bedrooms are spacious with some office-type fixtures and shelving. There is a large loft space perfect for an upstairs TV/gaming space. This lovely property also includes a two-car garage with interior access, downstairs laundry space, spacious entry, backyard patio with wood deck and…

Sponsored: One of a Kind: Alamo’s desirable Bryan Ranch with guesthouse

The end of a cul-de-sac offers a premium location for this beautiful property in Alamo’s desirable Bryan Ranch. Known for its inspiring views of oak-studded hillsides and close proximity to hiking trails, this tranquil setting on the easterly end of Stone Valley Road is one of the Tri-Valley’s more coveted neighborhoods. Built by Harold Smith, this single-level home sits on more than a third of an acre and backs up to open space. Retreat to the tranquility of the private setting tucked in a beautifully wooded landscape with towering shade trees, evergreens and lush foliage. This home’s peaceful setting features views of oak-studded hills and access to trails.  A spacious main house and detached guest cottage offer more than 3,400 square feet of living space. An open floor plan is appointed with hardwood floors, plantation shutters, fresh paint and high ceilings. There are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, expansive formal rooms designed for gatherings of all sizes, an updated kitchen open to an inviting family room, and a fabulous backyard retreat certain to be everyone’s favorite outdoor destination. Connected by a breezeway is a guest cottage…

Man strangles coyote to death after it attacks his 2-year-old son

By Alec Snyder | CNN A New Hampshire man killed a coyote with his bare hands Monday after it grabbed his 2-year-old son by his jacket hood and dragged him to the ground. Ian O’Reilly told CNN he had “never harmed an animal so it was a weird experience.” After the coyote bit him twice while he tried fending it off, O’Reilly kicked it away and used his body weight to suffocate it while holding its snout shut, he said in an emailed statement. O’Reilly told CNN affiliate WCVB in an interview it took him about 10 minutes to kill the coyote. “I was able to get its head into the snow and get my hand around its snout, so it could no longer bite me,” he said. “And then, from there, I was able to suffocate it by using my body weight and scissor-locking it until basically expiring.” O’Reilly told CNN affiliate WMUR in a separate interview that he hadn’t quite processed what happened, even after the fact. “In the middle of the moment, you’re not really thinking or … recording a whole lot,”…

Editorial: Reelect Dev Davis to San Jose’s District 6 seat

When San Jose residents visit District 6, their thoughts turn to the tony areas of Willow Glen, the Rose Garden, The Alameda and Santana Row. It’s less understood that the district also includes lower-income neighborhoods in which income disparity, affordable housing, public safety and homelessness are critical issues that demand their representative’s attention. City Councilwoman Dev Davis has delivered in her first term on her promise to be attentive to the needs of all District 6 residents. She is conservative on fiscal issues, strong on social issues, a solid advocate for public safety and a consistent supporter of Mayor Sam Liccardo’s agenda. Her experience and knowledge of San Jose dwarfs that of her two challengers. District 6 voters should reelect her to the San Jose City Council. Davis, 41, has a bachelor’s degree in economics. She also holds master’s degrees in public policy and education policy, organization and leadership from Stanford University. Prior to being elected to the City Council, she was a education policy researcher from 2004-16 at Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes. Her analytical background shines through when she addresses complex…

Editorial: Contra Costa Judge Fenstermacher deserves a new term

Only one Contra Costa judge faces a challenge in the March 3 election – and even that challenge is meritless. Voters should elect Judge Susanne Fenstermacher to another term on the Superior Court bench. Appointed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to a vacancy in 2005, she was unopposed in 2008 and 2014 when she won full six-year terms. She has handled cases ranging from family court to felony criminal cases, from juvenile delinquency cases to probate. She’s endorsed by all the other Contra Costa judges. There are no signs of troubling rulings or poor judicial temperament, and no records of any problems with the state Commission on Judicial Performance. Indeed, she was selected as the 2019 Contra Costa trial judge of the year by the Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers’ Association. Click here for a complete list of our election recommendations. Get editorials, opinion columns, letters to the editor and more in your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up for the Bay Area Opinion newsletter. Attempts to unseat judges generally should be grounded in legitimate complaints about performance. Voters should reject attempts to politicize the judiciary. We want…

Letter: Restore Willow Glen trestle and use it as part of the new trail

Willow Glen trestle is worth time to restore Re: “Willow Glen’s historic trestle avoids demolition — for now” (Mercurynews.com, Aug. 6): The Willow Glen trestle needs to be restored and used as part of the new trail. This is our history, we should learn from other progressive cities around the world that have moved forward without destroying who they are, and folded their history into modern life. We can take a little extra time to preserve our history by restoring the trestle, rather than erase it in favor of in patience and convenience. The fact our city leaders have already spent our money on a new cookie-cutter metal bridge is no reason for destruction of our heritage. Related Articles Letter: Trump’s school prayer move raises concerns Letter: What if Moms 4 Housing backers find squatters in their home? Letter: Moms occupying home raise ethical questions Letter: Good idea for helping foster kids, especially in Silicon Valley Letter: Don’t judge scooters based on injuries tripling Let’s be true to our roots as a farming and canning community, and keep the little bit of that history we…

California regains its power to regulate internet service providers. Here’s why that’s good news for consumers

By Debra Gore-Mann and Paul Goodman, Special to CalMatters Eight years ago, major internet service providers convinced the California Legislature to deregulate their industry. It was a bad decision that, mercifully, came to an end Jan. 1 when this ill-conceived law sunsetted. The California Public Utilities Commission’s power to protect consumers has been restored. Let’s be honest: Communities of color suffer the most harm from un- or under-regulated industries. We could list examples all day, but here are a few: When we don’t regulate banks, they gouge borrowers and discriminate against communities of color, enough to light the whole economy on fire. When we don’t regulate greenhouse gas emissions, homes burn, cities flood and communities of color are disproportionately harmed by climate change. When we don’t regulate risk assessment software used to set bail, that software treats black defendants far more harshly than white defendants. For the past three decades, internet service providers, and their predecessors, phone companies, have successfully waged a war to deregulate their industry. Regulation, they argue, will stifle innovation. That may have been true 30 years ago. But now, the only…

Ask Amy: I met with 102 guys before I found Mr. Right

DEAR AMY: I am a 57-year-old woman. I want to encourage those interested in meeting a potential partner online not to give up. Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)  Four years ago, after a breakup, I posted profiles on a couple of free dating sites. I met different gentlemen for coffee two or three times a week for a year. This was not a date. It was a meeting in a public place to discover whether we had any interest in scheduling a date. I never felt unsafe or threatened. During that year, I met 103 different men. Eleven of those encounters ended with us making plans. (Ninety percent of the time I realized that I was not interested.) Related Articles Ask Amy: Online bully is embarrassing our family Ask Amy: She’s traveling hundreds of miles to have dinner with my boyfriend Ask Amy: Our neighbor is luring these uncute animals to our yard Ask Amy: My houseguests left in a huff. Was I wrong? Ask Amy: He shows me his ex’s seductive texts Ten of the men and I went on to have a…

Letter: What if Moms 4 Housing backers find squatters in their home?

If Moms 4 Housing backer find squatters in her home … Re: “Put kids’ needs over greed in Oakland housing case” (Letter to the editor, Eastbaytimes.com, Jan. 16): I wonder how the letter-writer’s opinion regarding Moms 4 Housing might differ were she and her family to come home from shopping or a vacation to find squatters living in their home. Homelessness is a sad state of being, to be sure. But my sympathy is strained when I see or read of people defecating in public, stealing, intimidation panhandling and, yes, squatting. Related Articles Letter: Moms occupying home raise ethical questions Letter: Good idea for helping foster kids, especially in Silicon Valley Letter: Don’t judge scooters based on injuries tripling Letter: Is MLK holiday for giving our best through our jobs? Letter: On Martin Luther King Day, let’s all come together and do this Squatting is stealing, regardless of who owns the property. Gene Stangel Benicia   Submit your letter to the editor via this form Read more Letters to the Editor

Harriette Cole: Yes, I’m old school — you must wear lotion

DEAR HARRIETTE: My children get mad at me because I’m old-school: I don’t care how old they are — I don’t want them leaving home without putting on lotion. I can’t stand looking at ashy skin. It looks bad, but what’s worse is that your skin can crack if you don’t keep it moisturized. They hate it when I remind them. As long as they live under my roof, I want them to do the basic things needed to care for their skin. How can I get this point across without fussing all the time? It’s winter. It should be obvious to them. Dry Skin Dilemma Harriette Cole  DEAR DRY SKIN DILEMMA: Some messages take forever to sink in. You should continue to remind them to moisturize their skin — and to drink enough water, especially during this cold-weather season. You might want to get creative, too. Put a bottle of lotion or body cream in their room in a location that makes it very noticeable. Put a bottle near the sink in the bathroom as a reminder to lotion up before getting dressed. Remind…

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