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NEWS FROM ACROSS THE BAY AREA

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POSTED March 10, 2014 6:22 p.m.

• PHILLIPS 66 FINED $230K FOR SF BAY AIR VIOLATIONS: RODEO (AP) — Phillips 66 Company has been fined $230,900 by San Francisco Bay Area air quality officials for numerous air pollution violations.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District says the settlement covers 19 violations from 2008 and 2009.

Among the violations the company was cited for failing to take flare-gas samples, inadequate measurement of flare gas flows and inaccurate ground level monitoring of hydrogen sulfide.

Jack Broadbent, the air district’s executive officer, says the district has the responsibility to protect the health of residents around refineries. He says any violations, no matter how minor, are not tolerated.

 

• MAN FOUND GUILTY IN FREEWAY SHOOTING: OAKLAND (AP) — A Northern California man who authorities say wanted to start a right-wing revolution has been found guilty of attempted murder in a shootout with California Highway Patrol officers on an Oakland freeway.

An Alameda County jury convicted Byron Williams on Monday of four counts of attempted murder as well as multiple weapons charges.

Prosecutors say the 48-year-old Williams, of Tuolumne County, had an arsenal of weapons in his pickup truck on July 18, 2010 when he engaged at least eight California Highway Patrol officers in a nearly 20-minute gunbattle.

The CHP had stopped Williams for traffic violations on Interstate 580.

Authorities say Williams was on his way to San Francisco, where he planned to attack what he considered liberal organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

 

• MAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING FROM DISABLED: SANTA ROSA (AP) — Police say a Northern California man who worked at a nonprofit that serves disabled people has pleaded not guilty to embezzling $400,000 from dozens of clients.

Larry Gene Sark, 66, faces 35 counts of elder theft and other charges.

He was arrested last month. Police began investigating Sark in September after receiving a tip about him possibly having an inappropriate relationship with a client of the nonprofit.

Police accuse Sark of depositing numerous checks belonging to 51 clients at the nonprofit into his personal bank accounts.

 

• CALIFORNIA SENATOR PUSHES UTILITY SECURITY BILL: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sniper sabotage of a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. substation last year prompted a California lawmaker to introduce legislation on Monday that would require state utilities to beef up security.

State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, announced the proposed legislation at a press conference in San Francisco.

Hill said the April shooting attack at a substation near San Jose., exposed serious security holes. The sniper bullets knocked out 17 transformers powering parts of Silicon Valley and caused $15 million in damage.

Officials rerouted power to avoid a blackout, but it took PG&E workers nearly a month to repair the damage. No arrests have been made.

Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said the attack on the grid was an act of terrorism. The incident is under investigation by the FBI, which says it has found no indication of terrorism.

Hill’s bill would require utilities to assess security risks and make needed improvements. The bill would also require utilities to better coordinate responses to security breaches with law enforcement.

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