Bay Area Briefs

Monday September 09, 2002

Car chase ends in Oakland 

OAKLAND – Two burglary suspects were arrested Saturday evening in Oakland after a car chase that began in Marin County. 

The pursuit began when Twin Cities police attempted to stop the men's vehicle on East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard at about 7:20 p.m. The men were wanted in connection with the burglary of a Marshalls department store in Corte Madera. 

The chase reached speeds of 100 mph and covered about 20 miles. The suspects stopped on the 1000 block of Seventh Street in Oakland and fled on foot. The driver and one passenger were stopped after a short foot chase. 

Police arrested two Oakland men: 23-year-old Joshua James Richardson Jr. and 27-year-old Damian Grayson Britt. A third suspect was not found. 

Richardson and Britt were booked into the Marin County Jail on several charges including suspicion of burglary and possession of stolen property. 


Tobacco lobbyists pleased 

Tobacco lobbyists are proclaiming victory after the state Senate voted down a $2.13-per-pack cigarette tax increase in the recently passed state budget. 

“The proposed tax would have hurt people that are least able to pay it,” said John Singleton, the director of public affairs for R.J. Reynolds, who said the median income of Californian smokers is only $26,500. 

“It's picking on an unpopular minority to pay a disproportionate share of taxes,” he said. 

A 50-cent cigarette tax increase was first proposed by Gov. Gray Davis in his budget revision in May and then the state Senate upped it to a 63-cent tax, according to Krik Kleinschmidt of the American Heart Association. 

Assembly speaker Herb Wesson, D-Los Angeles, then proposed a $2.13-per-pack cigarette tax as a way to make up a budget shortfall, but the measure fell four votes short when Republicans stuck to a no-new-taxes pledge, Kleinschmidt said.