TBS Today, Jan. 16

This morning, we're down in Santa Cruz for the arraignment of the man accused of murdering Alyx Herrmann and hiding her body in Tilden park in December.

This case has a number of Berkeley ties and we plan to keep as close an eye on it as we can.

We did take some time off over the long weekend, but we also had the scoop on a couple of Berkeley crime reports.

Police investigate attempted rape of UC Berkeley student
According to dispatch traffic, the assailant came up from behind the woman and pushed her to the ground, covering her eyes and face.
Berkeley PD: Teen girls punch driver, arrested in carjacking
The suspects were identified as Maryah Bell, 18, and a 17-year-old girl, neither of whom live in Berkeley, police said.

We also shared footage online from a fire in West Berkeley that broke out early Saturday morning. We're seeking more information from BFD officials, who have not been available.

A Nixle that went out later on Saturday morning advised people to avoid Gilman between I-80 and Fourth Street / Eastshore Freeway, and Second Street between Gilman and Page streets for a "fire event."

We're told the fire broke out in the 1300 block of Second Street at about 2 a.m. Saturday. More details are forthcoming, but the video below shows dramatic flames billowing from the building that caught fire.

We also mentioned a recent incident at Almare Gelato in downtown Berkeley that left the popular shop struggling.

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In case you missed it

Berkeley crime trends in 2023: What you need to know
Which Berkeley crimes went up last year and which went down? We pored over the 2023 data to bring you the trends and highlights.
Berkeley police respond to report of woman in crisis
BPD said the woman reportedly had a stick and a knife but was not brandishing them.
Remembering Alyx Herrmann: ‘Her spirit was just very strong’
“She was fearless,” her brother Eric told The Scanner this week. “She would uplift everyone around her.”

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Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday

We'll be back in Berkeley this afternoon and may drop by Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

There's nothing scheduled on the action calendar that relates to Berkeley crime but, on the fire front, the city is seeking up to $3 million to help with wildfire prevention at its overnight camps (see Item 16).

We always review the City Council agendas and will always attend if there are major public safety items scheduled for a vote or a big discussion.

A lot of the items, such as traffic safety proposals, are often on the consent calendar as budget asks, which means whatever vote may happen is quite preliminary until the actual budget vote, which takes place each June.

Speaking of traffic safety, council is set to vote Tuesday on whether to "Direct the City Manager to install two additional stop signs at the intersection of Hopkins and McGee Streets, transforming the ‘T’ intersection into a 3-way stop, to be installed as soon as possible, and no later than July 31, 2024." See Item 23 for details.

In other news: Park rally, BPD checkpoint

People's Park supporters are planning to hold a rally Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. on Sproul Plaza. "Rebuild the Park!" they write. "Bring cardboard, markers & art supplies!"

The Berkeley Police Department is slated to conduct a DUI checkpoint from 8 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday near Ashby Avenue and Ninth Street.

Folks often see all the police cars and wonder what's going on — or get stuck in the traffic jam. You may want to make a note of it.

BPD's last checkpoint netted two DUI arrests and 21 tickets (related to operating a vehicle unlicensed or with a suspended/revoked license) from the nearly 800 vehicles that passed through it.

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