Oakland racks up year’s 42nd homicide
Oakland police have no suspects or witnesses in the city’s 41st and 42nd homicides, which took place Thursday evening, a result of two unrelated shootings.
Police are revealing few details on the killings, which left two people – described only as black men – dead. Both were shot numerous times, police spokeswoman Cynthia Perkins said.
Thursday’s first killing took place at about 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Harmon and 62nd Avenue in East Oakland.
Perkins said the victim, who died at Highland Hospital in Oakland, is approximately 22 years old. She added that his identity has not been released pending notification of the next of kin.
Available information is also scant about the second homicide, which was reported at about 9:30 p.m. at the West Oakland intersection of 10th and Center streets, Perkins said. Police are investigating.
BART riders can use buses
OAKLAND – There’s a lot of interest in late-night service on BART.
Rebecca Kaplan of the Bay Area Transportation and Land Use Coalition said BART must have time to maintain trains. But that doesn’t mean buses couldn’t fill the role of trains during the wee hours.
Kaplan said riders could take the train into San Francisco. When they are ready to go home, they could return to that same station to find buses outside to take them across the bay to the station they used earlier in the day.
The idea is to cut down on the number of cars being used.
Oakland to pay $50K to slain man’s family
OAKLAND – The city of Oakland has agreed to pay $50,000 to the family of a man who was shot to death by police after allegedly trying to run an officer down with his car.
The payment brings the total the city has paid this year to settle suits against the police to $1.6 million.
Nathan Hornes was shot once in the chest on Dec. 5, 1999, by Officer Steven Nowak after Hornes allegedly swung the wheel of his car to the left and stepped on the gas.
The Hornes family sued in federal court in Oakland, accusing Nowak of using excessive force and making up the story he was in danger to justify the shooting.
The City Council is expected to approve the settlement this month without admitting any wrongdoing by the officer.
Listeners donate $303,000 to mauled boy
SAN FRANCISCO – The family of the 10-year-old Richmond boy who was mauled by three pit bulls will receive a check for $303,000, donated by listeners to KGO radio.
Shawn Jones, who earlier this week spoke his first words since the June 18 attack, has had his condition upgraded from critical to serious.
The boy lost his ears and the muscles and skin on his face were shredded during the attack. He also suffered deep bite wounds on his arms. He was attacked as he was riding the bicycle his mother gave him for getting good grades.
Shortly after the mauling, Shawn’s family was forced to move from their home because the owner wished to move in.
Shawn still faces months of medical treatment, and plastic surgery that could go on for years.
Two of the pit bulls have been found and are in custody in Martinez.
The owner of the dogs, Benjamin Moore, faces trial on two misdemeanor counts of withholding evidence in the case. His trial has been postponed until July 30.
If found guilty, Moore could face up to two years in jail. He is free on $30,000 bail.
San Mateo Co. Supervisor gives karate lesson
SAN MATEO – A teen-ager got a lesson in the martial arts when he allegedly broke into San Mateo County Supervisor Jerry Hill’s garage.
It was like a scene from a Chuck Norris movie – and 18-year-old Mark Harvin was on the losing end.
Hill said he was walking out to his detached garage when he noticed a broken window and then spotted somebody inside rifling through a duffle bag.
Hill, who has earned a black belt in karate, grabbed Harvin, spun him around and held him in an armlock until police arrived.
Harvin was booked for investigation of burglary and vandalism after the Wednesday incident.
East Palo Alto school finances under scrutiny
PALO ALTO – The state superintendent of schools has ordered an investigation of an East Palo Alto school district’s finances.
The superintendent of the Ravenswood City School District, Charlie Mae Knight, is already facing 19 felony conflict-of-interest charges.
Prosecutors say that Knight stood to benefit when the school district gave loans to employees who rented from her or who owed her money.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that the district spent extravagantly for travel, submitted fraudulent claims after a school fire, and inadequately documented the spending of millions in federal and state aid.
Investigators are expected to begin in about a month.
Smog levels down a bit
SAN FRANCISCO – Smog levels in the San Francisco Bay area improved slightly over the first half of the year, despite being worse in California and the nation overall.
The number of smog violations in Bay Area fell from two to one, but went up 36 percent in California as a whole. Los Angeles had a 31 percent increase, and the San Joaquin Valley had a 60 percent increase.
A run of cooler weather helped the Bay Area keep its smog down.
Experts say the dirtier air nationwide is a combination of higher temperatures, increased coal use for electric power and numerous sport-utility vehicles on the roads.
The state Air Resources Control Board said smog in California exceeded federal limits for a one-hour period on 60 occasions, up from 16 for the same period last year.
Smog, formed when nitrogen oxides, mostly from car and power plant emissions, mix with organic compounds, such as gasoline fumes and are heated by the sun.