State digest: Reward for info on stabbed SF dog nears $15,000

State digest: Reward for info on stabbed SF dog nears $15,000

The reward has reached nearly $15,000 for information leading to
the killer of a three-legged pit bull puppy that disappeared from a
San Francisco beach earlier this summer.
Reward for info on stabbed SF dog nears $15,000

SAN FRANCISCO

The reward has reached nearly $15,000 for information leading to the killer of a three-legged pit bull puppy that disappeared from a San Francisco beach earlier this summer.

City animal lovers have expressed outrage over the death of Pogo, a crippled 7-month-old dog found stabbed to death in July.

The stray had been brought to San Francisco Animal Care and Control with a birth defect that required amputating its back right leg.

The agency then gave the dog to an animal rescue group, which placed the animal in foster care. Pogo was last seen alive hobbling behind a sand dune while on a walk with its owner.

The dog’s body was found a week later on the other side of the city.

Oakland police may have break in robberies

OAKLAND

Oakland police may have caught a break in trying to bring an end to a series of robberies in the city.

After a nail salon in East Oakland was robbed Tuesday night by two men wearing ski masks, police stopped a car and took at least one man into custody.

Investigators are trying to determine if the robbers of the salon are also responsible for a recent series of heists in the city, including takeover robberies of restaurants and an another nail salon.

Recycling company may be fined for bay pollution

SAN FRANCISCO

Federal environmental regulators said they will fine one of the San Francisco Bay area’s largest waste companies up to $500,000 for allegedly polluting local waterways.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims three recycling facilities run by California Waste Solutions have allowed litter-strewn stormwater runoff to flow into the Oakland waterfront and a creek that feeds the San Francisco Bay since 2005.

“They need to be more vigilant and do better housekeeping at these sites,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Water Division Director for the Pacific Southwest region. Strauss added that the agency intended to fine each of the three facilities up to $157,500 within the next 10 days for repeatedly violating the Clean Water Act.

At a press conference Wednesday, Strauss was flanked by poster-sized photos of garbage piled around storm drains at the Oakland-based company’s recycling facilities. Strauss said she did not understand the company’s unwillingness to comply, saying the violations would be “pretty simple to solve.”

The EPA is particularly concerned about the pollutants the company allegedly leaked into Coyote Creek, a stream that meanders through suburban and industrial San Jose before flowing into the bay. The stream provides critical habitat to steelhead trout, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

California Waste Solutions, which has multimillion dollar contracts with the cities of San Jose and Oakland to pick up and sort curbside recycling, said in a statement that the company “has taken aggressive steps to improve its stormwater compliance” and that it is proud of its environmental leadership. Company officials did not return calls for further comment.

Sacramento doubles up cops to cut gasoline costs

SACRAMENTO

Sacramento police are doubling up officers in patrol cars to save on their gasoline budget.

That means at least a 35 percent cut in squad cars on the street at any one time.

Police say they’re keeping the same number of officers on patrol. They plan to see if crime rises during the monthlong experiment.

Department spokesman Sgt. Matt Young says at least 20 percent of officers rode in pairs before the trial began. He says 90 percent of emergency calls require two police officers to respond.

Officials said Tuesday they cannot predict how much they will save. The department budgeted $2.4 million for gas this year, up nearly $1 million from last year.

Doubling-up officers is one step the department is taking to absorb an 8 percent budget cut.

Missing woman, 71, found alive in Sierra

MADERA

A 71-year-old woman who disappeared after going on a walk with her dog in the Sierra National Forest has been found alive.

Madera County Sheriff’s officials say Ruth Elaine Terry was found Wednesday morning after her dog was spotted running down a hillside north of Wagner’s Mammoth Pool resort, where she had been staying.

More than seven dog teams and 65 people on foot had been looking for Terry since she failed to return Sunday from what was supposed to be a 400-yard walk.

Authorities say Terry took a new route and became disoriented. On Wednesday morning, she found a trail and ended up on her original path.

Authorities say Terry is in good condition but was taken to a hospital for a checkup.

Fresno County nonviolent inmate releases begin

FRESNO

Nearly two dozen inmates charged with nonviolent misdemeanors are the first to be released from Fresno County Jail as the sheriff’s department responds to budget cuts.

Sheriff Margaret Mims has said she needs to release 800 inmates, close two floors of the jail and lay off 50 correctional officers to meet a proposed $2.8 million budget cut.

Twenty-two male inmates were set free Tuesday in the first wave of releases.

Mims’ assistant sheriff says the department plans to release 40 inmates a day until September 22, when the floors will close.

Fresno city and county officials have criticized the releases, saying the sheriff could find other ways to save money. Previous releases have occurred because of crowding in the 3,478-bed jail.

$350 million high school finally opens in LA

LOS ANGELES

A decade behind schedule, a $350 million high school has finally opened in downtown Los Angeles after years of environmental, seismic and legal troubles.

More than 2,000 students streamed into the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center on Wednesday, years after it was planned as an education showplace to relieve overcrowded classrooms.

Much of what was then called the Belmont Learning Center was already constructed before fears grew about toxic gases rising from the old oil field upon which it was built, and an earthquake fault that crosses the site.

Lengthy investigations found no criminal wrongdoing, but in 2003 District Attorney Steve Cooley labeled the project “a public works disaster of biblical proportions.”

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