Bay Area News Briefs
By Mike Aldux
January 12, 2008
Two Travis Air Force Base airmen found dead
Police are investigating the deaths of two Travis Air Force Base
airmen whose bodies were found in their parked car Friday afternoon.
The victims, a husband and wife in their 20s, were found dead
in the front seats of their sport utility vehicle at around 12:45
p.m., according to Vacaville police.
Their car was parked outside an apartment complex where they
lived, which is located in the 1100 block of Farmington Drive,
There are no obvious signs of trauma or foul play, police said.
Investigators searched their vehicle and apartment for leads Friday
but could not definitively determine how they died.
Their vehicle was brought to the police department for inspection,
in part to see if a mechanical malfunction was responsible for
An autopsy is scheduled for early next week, according to the
Solano County Coroner.
Oakland boy struck by stray bullet could be permanently paralyzed
A 10-year-old boy who was hit by a stray bullet while he was
taking piano lessons could face permanent paralysis in his legs,
Oakland police said Friday.
However, doctors at Children's Hospital Oakland, where the boy
is being treated for his injuries, won't have a clear picture
of the boy's medical future for several days, police spokesman
Roland Holmgren said.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums expressed his sympathy for the boy
and his family as well as outrage about the incident.
In a statement, Dellums said, "I extend my deepest condolences
and prayers to the young man and his family. I am deeply troubled
when anyone in this city is harmed by violence, but this shooting
is especially tragic."
Dellums said, "This is yet another reminder why public safety
is on the hearts and minds of all Oakland residents and why it
is the top priority for my office. I have instructed the Police
Department to keep me apprised of the situation going forward."
Holmgren said the bullet that injured the boy was from one of
several shots fired during a robbery attempt at a Chevron gas
station at 4400 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley Road about 4:30
p.m. Thursday and traveled across the street and into the Harmony
Road Music School, where the boy was taking a lesson, according
to police spokesman Roland Holmgren.
CHP investigating accident that killed off-duty sheriff's
All lanes were cleared Friday afternoon on eastbound state Highway
4 just west of Bailey Road in unincorporated Contra Costa County
north of Pittsburg after an off-duty San Francisco County sheriff's
deputy was killed in an accident around 8 a.m.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the
three-vehicle accident that sent two others to the hospital, including
an off-duty Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy, said CHP spokesman
The accident involved a Saturn sedan driven by the 45-year-old
San Francisco County deputy who resided in Oakley, a Honda CR-V
driven by the 42-year-old Contra Costa County deputy and a GMC
pickup truck driven by a 52-year-old Antioch man, Yox said.
The San Francisco County deputy died on the scene, said Yox.
The Contra Costa County deputy who lives in Brentwood was transported
to John Muir Medical Center with moderate injuries. He lost consciousness
and received lacerations. The Antioch resident was also transported
to John Muir Medical with minor injuries after complaining about
pain in both legs, Yox added.
Olympic track star Marion Jones sentenced to six months
Former Olympic track star Marion Jones was sentenced in federal
court in New York Friday to six months in prison for lying about
her use of steroids to investigators in a probe centered on the
Burlingame-based Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, in
Jones, 32, was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth
Karas in White Plains, N.Y., to two concurrent months in prison
for a second count of lying in an unrelated counterfeit check
case in New York in 2006.
Jones pleaded guilty to the two counts before Karas in October
and soon afterwards returned the three gold and two bronze medals
she won during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
The steroids and check fraud investigations were carried out
separately by federal prosecutors in San Francisco and New York.
But when the plea agreement with Jones was reached, the two cases
were combined in a two-count prosecution in the federal court
in New York.
The San Francisco probe of Jones stemmed from agents' discovery
of receipts and other evidence implicating her during a search
of BALCO in Burlingame on Sept. 3, 2003.
In her guilty plea, Jones admitted to making a false statement
when she told U.S. Internal Revenue agents on Nov. 4, 2003, that
she had never taken a steroid derivative known as "the clear"
and that she had never received the drug from coach Trevor Graham.
Ten other people have been charged in federal court in San Francisco
in connection with the BALCO probe.
Seven, including BALCO founder Victor Conte, pleaded guilty to
various charges including distribution of performance-enhancing
Three others -- baseball star Barry Bonds, Graham and championship
cyclist Tammy Thomas -- are awaiting trial in the U.S. District
Court in San Francisco on charges of perjury.
Drowned surfer was on methamphetamine
The Monterey County Sheriff's Office announced Friday that a
surfer who drowned off of Pebble Beach in December was on methamphetamine
at the time of his death.
Peter Davi, 45, died Dec. 4 while surfing off of Stillwater Cove.
The Monterey County coroner listed the cause of death as asphyxia
due to drowning.
"Blunt force injuries to the top of the head and front of
the chest likely contributed to death. Acute methamphetamine intoxication
may also have played a contributing role. Toxicology tests revealed
that Mr. Davi presented acute methamphetamine intoxication,''
according to the sheriff's office announcement.
The blunt force injuries were consistent with Davi being thrown
against the rocks in the cove by the heavy surf that day, according
to the sheriff's office.
Environmentalists urge spectators to protect wildlife during
Mavericks Surf Competition
As surf competitors face 20 to 35 foot wave faces Saturday in
Half Moon Bay, environmentalists are urging spectators to protect
the delicate ecological region from where they will be viewing
the world-renowned Mavericks Surf Competition.
The competition started at 8 a.m. with 24 of the world's best
big wave surfers paddling out to sea. They come from as far as
Australia, South Africa and Brazil to catch the monster waves.
There will be four initial heats with six surfers, followed by
the semi-finals and finals.
The Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors
Bureau is expecting between 35,000 and 40,000 people to descend
on the region to watch the contest.
An unpleasant aspect to the contest is the lack of adequate viewing
areas, according to Chamber President and CEO Charise McHugh.
Spectators must park and walk to the bluffs. Unfortunately, the
bluff area is also home to a bird refuge so visitors must stay
in designated areas.
McHugh has said that if the refuge starts to get trampled there
may not be a surf contest anymore.
Officials from the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
have also issued restrictions for vessels and aircraft that are
taping or viewing the surf contest. In order not to disturb the
variety of federally protected marine mammals and sea birds in
the area, boats should stay at least a quarter mile from shore,
and aircrafts should maintain at least 2,000 feet in altitude.
Foster City middle school evacuated following bomb threat
A bomb threat evacuated a Foster City middle school Friday afternoon,
Someone called Bowditch Middle School at about 1:20 p.m. saying
he was going to blow up the campus, said Foster City police.
School administrators evacuated the campus, keeping students
and staff outside while a team of explosives experts and bomb
sniffing dogs searched the campus, police said.
No bomb was found.
The search for the bomb lasted longer than the school's dismissal
time so students were sent home, police said. Classes will resume
as usual Monday.
An investigation into the threat is ongoing.
Bowditch Middle School is located at 1450 Tarpon St.
Santa Clara County Department of Correction employee charged
with having sex with a female inmate
The Santa Clara County Department of Correction announced Friday
that a 41-year-old department employee has been arrested and charged
with having sex with a female inmate at the Elmwood Correctional
Complex in Milpitas.
Mario Palomo, a 19-year department employee, was arrested on
Tuesday. He is currently free on $50,000 bail and is on paid administrative
leave from the department pending the results of an internal investigation.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is conducting the criminal
The inmate Palomo allegedly had consensual sex with was released
on Tuesday after having been in custody since May 2007, according
to sheriff's Office spokesman Don Morrissey.
"As far as we know it was a one time thing,'' Morrissey
said about the sexual contact between Palomo and the inmate.
Cascade oil barge accident under investigation
Authorities are still trying to figure out why an oil barge carrying
nearly 3 million gallons of oil crashed into the Richmond-San
Rafael Bridge last night, Coast Guard Capt. John Long said Friday.
Speaking at a news conference at Coast Guard offices on Yerba
Buena Island, Long said it doesn't appear that fog was a factor,
as visibility was one to two miles at the time that the barge
Cascade crashed into the bridge about 6 p.m. Thursday and heavy
fog didn't come in until later.
In addition, the water in the area was fairly calm and mechanical
and equipment failure have been ruled out, Long said.
Alcohol tests on the crew members of the two tug boats that were
towing the Cascade were negative but results from drug tests are
still pending, he said.
Long said authorities will look at whether crew fatigue, crew
error or environmental factors played a role in the crash.
Long told reporters, "You see me smiling today" because
the good news is that no oil spilled into the bay, no one was
injured and it appears that the bridge wasn't harmed.
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