Friday, August 14, 2015

Police release video of suspects in robbery of Examiner photographer

San Francisco police have released this video showing the black Pontiac Grand Prix that two robbers used as a getaway car after they robbed a San Francisco Examiner photographer of his camera on July 23.

The photographer was walking east on Bryant Street, near the Hall of Justice, when two robbers pushed him from behind.

As he fell, the robbers grabbed his Canon EOS-1D digital camera and dragged him 20 feet. The camera and lenses are worth more than $9,300.

The robbers fled south on Langton Street and a surveillance camera captured footage of them driving away in the Grand Prix. The video also appears to show a possible "Good Samaritan" chasing the suspect in a Toyota Tacoma pickup or a similar vehicle.

Police are asking the public to help identify the Good Samaritan in the pickup truck or the robbers. Anyone with information is asked to call (415) 575-6039 or the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444. Tips can also be sent by texting TIP411 and starting the message with SFPD.

Suspect jailed in robberies of TV news crews

Bay City News reports that a man suspected of robbing and assaulting two TV news crews covering a homicide at Pier 14 last month has been arrested and jailed.

Michael Anthony Jones, 23, was arrested on July 27 and booked into jail on suspicion of robbing and assaulting the news crews with the help of two accomplices who remain at large.

Jones pleaded innocent on July 30 and remains in jail with bail set at $250,000.

On July 2, a group of broadcast news reporters were robbed at gunpoint of their camera equipment as they were covering the shooting death of San Francisco resident Kathryn Steinle. At about 6 a.m., news crews had gathered on The Embarcadero, in front of Pier 14, when the suspects approached them. The suspects demanded camera equipment from NBC Bay Area and KTVU Fox-2, according to San Francisco police.

Police said there were two armed suspects and a third suspect who acted as a getaway driver. Part of the attack was caught on camera by one of the crews preparing for a live broadcast. One cameraman was struck in the head with a pistol and suffered a laceration to the head. The three other victims were not injured.

The suspects made off with camera equipment valued at over $100,000.

The three suspects fled in a black BMW 7 Series sedan, Gatpandan said. Investigators were able to locate the BMW used in the Pier 14 robbery and on July 27, San Francisco police investigators, with the assistance of the Oakland and Fremont Police Departments, identified Jones as a suspect and located him with the BMW at a Motel 6 in Fremont, police said.

Following a brief foot pursuit, Jones was arrested as he was leaving a room at the motel, police said.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Redwood City photojournalist Reg McGovern dead at 95

The Palo Alto Daily Post is reporting that well-known Redwood City photojournalist Reg McGovern has died after complications from a fall. He was 95. McGovern died Wednesday (Aug. 5) in Mountain View, said his wife Janet.

McGovern
The two met at the now-defunct Redwood City Tribune, where McGovern was a staff photographer for 36 years. She said he taught her a lot about journalism, and he was well-known because of his colorful personality and sense of humor.

He was not only a photographer, but a reporter too, and knew how to become friends to develop sources, said his wife. McGovern proclaimed that he had “telephonitis” when every evening he would call lots of his friends round robin style, she said.

“He was a maverick,” longtime friend and former co-worker George Gananian said of McGovern. “He always went against conventional wisdom.”

When on assignment for a San Francisco 49ers game at Kezar Stadium, Gananian remembers the herd of photographers huddled together in one section of the sidelines. But McGovern was at the other end of the field, waiting for the play to come toward him. At just the right moment, when the sun was behind the offensive team, McGovern snapped a photo that worked with the sun, highlighting the players.

The other photographers had to zoom in and then crop their photos while McGovern knew how to frame his photo without much editing, Gananian said. “He damn near always got the shot he wanted,” Gananian said. With tight deadlines at the Redwood City Tribune, McGovern invented shortcuts to make the photo editing process go faster.

This photo by Reg McGovern of a 1952 magnesium
fire in San Carlos won a top award for spot news
photography. 

Gananian recalled a car crash on the corner of Veterans Boulevard and Main Street at noon, close to the 12:30 p.m. deadline for the afternoon newspaper. McGovern had a special fast-acting chemical solution he called “Jungle Juice” that he invented during his years in the South Pacific. The developer converted the negatives in just one minute instead of three to make deadline.

McGovern was born in Redwood City, the son of San Mateo County Sheriff Thomas McGovern and his wife, Hilda, who became the first woman state traffic officers in San Mateo County in 1928, months after her husband’s death, said Janet McGovern.

McGovern lived in Redwood City for most of his life, and attended Sequoia High and San Mateo Junior College. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific aboard the ammunition ship the U.S.S. Murzim.

McGovern was first hired by the Tribune in 1945 as a staff photographer. His wife said he had a “natural nose for news and an eye for unusual angles.” He won numerous awards during his years at the Tribune, his wife said.

Years later, the McGoverns collaborated on the local history books “Redwood City,” “Redwood City Then & Now” and most recently “Menlo Park.” McGovern loved band music and in the early 1950s began his won record company, Fidelity Sound Recordings.

McGovern is survived by his wife, Janet; his two sons, Thomas of South San Francisco and James of Walnut Creek and his wife, Kim; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Plans for his memorial are being made, but donations can be made in his honor to the Salvation Army, Golden State Division, 832 Folsom St., San Francisco or Kainos Home & Training Center, 3621 Jefferson Ave., Redwood City.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Report: SFWeekly/Examiner publisher says there's no wall between editorial and ads

The new publisher of the SF Weekly and Examiner, Glenn Zuehls, declared in a staff meeting on Friday that there is no wall between advertising and news, according to Joe Eskenazi, who wrote for the SF Weekly for eight years. Eskenazi's report was carried by San Francisco Magazine.

Zuehles was upset that the Graton Casino in Rohnert Park pulled $68,496 worth of ads over a humorous story in the SF Weekly about the casino. Eskenazi said Zuehls ordered the newsroom to do a puff piece on the casino in the hopes of getting the ads back. When the newsroom staffers objected, Zuehles said the staff should dig into their own pockets to come up with the $68,496.

Eskenazi says three editorial employees have "parted ways" with the Examiner over the dust up.