Phone repairs taking time
SAN BRUNO – Pacific Bell officials said Wednesday they expect it will take at least two weeks to restore service to 25,000 phone lines affected by a fire which severed 27 cables in a San Bruno communications vault.
Spokesman Rodd Aubrey said damage from Monday’s fire was more extensive than originally thought, adding that the procedure for repairing the cut cables requires splicing and testing each line one by one. The small space surrounding the vault has further complicated matters. Only two workers could fit into the hole surrounding the vault until Tuesday, when the company brought out a backhoe to enlarge the work space. Seven splicers are now on the scene working around the clock to repair the lines, he said.
The fire was apparently caused by sparks from BART workers welding steel pillars at a nearby construction site for the agency’s airport extension project. BART spokesman Ron Rodriguez said the transit agency is still in the process of conducting an investigation into the fire’s origin.
Emergency 911 service has been restored to parts of the Peninsula that lost the service for more than five hours Monday evening as a result of the blaze.
Murder trail delayed
REDWOOD CITY – Attorneys agreed Wednesday to delay setting a trial date in the case of Mohammed Haroon Ali, accused of murdering his girlfriend, the daughter of former Oakland Raiders great Fred Biletnikoff.
The 24-year-old Ali is accused of strangling Tracey Biletnikoff in February 1999, then dumping the 20-year-old’s partially clad body near a parking lot at Canada College in Woodside. The pair had been dating for several months when the killing occurred.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe agreed to postpone the hearing until Sept. 22, which would allow Buenaventura to resolve matters in the other case. Ali is being held without bail at the San Mateo County Jail.
Child porn arrest made
HAYWARD – The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Alameda County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force have arrested a Hayward man on charges of possessing and transporting child pornography.
Postal Inspector Linda Joe said Chester Eric Gossett, 24, allegedly contacted an Internet bulletin board in February this year, advertising teen and preteen sex videos. Joe said Gossett allegedly corresponded with agents via e-mail, expressing interest in some videos. In exchange he sent, via U.S. Mail, computer diskettes with 149 images of minors in sexually explicit poses. During the arrest Tuesday, a search of Gossett’s residence resulted in the seizure of photographs, videotapes, a computer and computer equipment, according to Joe.
– Bay City News Service