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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED April 8, 2014 7:43 p.m.

• SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA BIKE-SHARE COULD EXPAND: OAKLAND  (AP) — A bicycle sharing program popular in San Francisco and Silicon Valley could soon expand to the East Bay.

A program launched last summer allows riders in San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose to hop on one of more than 600 bikes parked at about 70 different stations.

Transportation planners are recommending the program be expanded into Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville by late 2015.

On Wednesday, a committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will consider whether to allocate $8.7 million in federal funds to continue the existing bike share program and expand to the East Bay.

To start out, planners recommend adding 60 bike stations and 750 bright blue bikes in the three cities.

 

• STUDENTS LINE LA STREET WITH DESKS IN PROTEST: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles students protesting neglect of poorer schools took to the streets, and they brought their desks with them.

Some 375 empty desks blocked a downtown street, stopping traffic for several hours Tuesday outside the Los Angeles Unified School District’s offices.

Organizers say the number represents how many students drop out of the district’s schools each week.

Protesters want a student voice on the school board, and more funding for English language learners, foster children and low-income students.

 

• OFFICER ACCUSED OF OBTAINING PAIN PILLS RESIGNS: CONCORD  (AP) — A Concord police officer accused of taking pain medication from senior citizens has resigned.

Matthew Switzer submitted his resignation to the department on Monday.

Switzer is scheduled to face charges of burglary and elder abuse in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Switzer was booked into jail Friday. He is accused of using his position as a police officer to enter a senior living center to illegally obtain prescription drugs from residents, including Norco, a powerful combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone.

Switzer, who was a member of the department’s K9 unit, had been on paid leave.

 

• SONOMA COUNTY HOSPITAL TO CLOSE CORE SERVICES: SEBASTOPOL  (AP) — The board of a financially strapped Sonoma County hospital voted 4-1 to shut down core services, hours after the medical center filed for bankruptcy protection.

Monday night’s vote could force the temporary closure of the entire Palm Drive Hospital by April 28.

At a public meeting the board approved a resolution that would cease acute inpatient services and close the emergency department by the end of the month.

During the meeting, hospital officials announced that they had filed for bankruptcy protection earlier in the day.

The vote came following dozens of emotional pleas from nurses, doctors and members of the public to keep the Sebastopol facility open.

 

• STUDENT PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN TEACHER FIGHT: SANTA MONICA  (AP) — A Santa Monica High School student has pleaded not guilty to charges resulting from a classroom fight with a teacher that was captured on a cellphone video that quickly went viral.

City News Service reports that 18-year-old Blair Moore pleaded not guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges of threatening a public official, using force against a school employee, carrying a weapon on campus and possession of marijuana.

Authorities say the weapon was a box cutter.

Moore was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court April 22.

A 16-year-old student has also been arrested but his name has not been disclosed because of his age.

The video, recorded Friday, shows science teacher Mark Black grappling with a student and eventually pinning him to the floor of a classroom.

 

• BATKID BACK IN SAN FRANCISCO, THROWS FIRST PITCH: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Batkid stole hearts in San Francisco once more, with thousands cheering the young boy at the ballpark for the Giants home opener.

Miles Scott, who has undergone treatment for leukemia and saved the city as his favorite superhero through Make-A-Wish Foundation in November, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Diamondbacks-Giants game Tuesday.

He helped steer the Batmobile into the stadium and raised his right hand into the air out the window, walked hand in hand to the mound with pitcher Matt Cain and even received a fist bump from left fielder Michael Morse from across the dugout rail.

His form wasn’t bad, either. The boy kicked his right leg back and fired an on-target fastball to Cain as thousands in the sellout crowd of 42,166 roared.

 

• POLICE ARREST 16-YEAR-OLD BOY IN CHICO STABBING: CHICO  (AP) — Police say a 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing a man three times on a Chico street following a fight.

Sgt. Rob Merrifield says seven people were detained after officers responded to reports of a stabbing early Sunday. A victim was found at the scene with serious injuries.

Merrifield says of the seven, the 16-year-old was identified as the suspect and taken into custody. His name was not released.

Investigators say the incident started with a verbal altercation, and then a fight broke out.

The male victim, who was not identified, was chased by the juvenile and stabbed three times in his back and right side.

 

• NBC SETS ONLINE TALENT SEARCH FOR COMEDY WRITERS: PASADENA  (AP) — NBC is launching a national talent search for comedy writers.

The initiative dubbed “NBC Comedy Playground” will give up to 10 finalists the chance to create pilots and a formal presentation.

NBC said Tuesday that two winners will be chosen to create half-hour comedies to air on the network in summer 2015.

NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke says the network wants to uncover original comedy minds who want an “express pass” into the TV industry.

The top two ideas will be picked by a celebrity advisory board including Eva Longoria, Sean Hayes, Mindy Kaling and Seth Meyers. Another prize, the chance to create an online comedy, will be decided by a public vote.

Application videos can be submitted online at http://www.nbccomedyplayground.com starting May 1.

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