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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED October 23, 2014 7:40 p.m.

VIDEO SHOWS BIKERS TAUNTING CHP OFFICER: MILPITAS (AP) — A group of motorcycle riders alternately taunted and ignored an officer trying to pull them over while they popped their front wheels in the air and weaved on a California highway, a recently posted video shows.

The daytime confrontation earlier this month on Interstate 680 in Milpitas was filmed by a rider who approaches the California Highway Patrol officer and motions for him to go away.

The officer pulls ahead, and the motorcyclist waves goodbye as another rider puts a fist in the air.

The officer in the video later pulled over and waited for backup to help him follow the motorcyclists until they left the highway, California Highway Patrol Officer Ross Lee told the San Jose Mercury News. No one was arrested or cited, KGO-TV reported.

“The riders were putting not only the public in harm’s way, they were putting themselves in harm’s way,” Lee told the Mercury News.

He said the officer did the right thing.

“He did what was safe. The riders had no intention of being compliant,” he said.

Officials are trying to identify the person who shot the video.

 

APARTMENT SMOKING BAN IN PARTS OF SAN MATEO COUNTY: SAN MATEO (AP) — Smoking either tobacco or electronic cigarettes will be banned in apartments, condominiums and townhouses in unincorporated areas of San Mateo County.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 for the ban.

The San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/1ovGjzS) reports Wednesday that Supervisors Carole Groome and Adrienne Tissier pushed for the ordinance, saying smoke that wafts between units is dangerous to those in the same building.

Supervisor Don Horsley cast the lone dissenting vote, siding with the county’s Association of Realtors who said condominiums should be exempted because they’re often the private property of residents.

The law will primarily affect the North Fair Oaks community and parts of Redwood City. It takes effect for new units 30 days after its formal adoption, and in 14 months for existing buildings.

Medical marijuana is exempted.

 

WOMAN WHO STABBED PENCILS IN EYES SUES OVER PHOTO: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman who stabbed pencils in her eyes during a suicide attempt is suing Los Angeles County, claiming her photo was snapped at a hospital and went viral online.

The suit was filed Monday by the guardian of the woman, who survived her suicide attempt but was blinded.

City News Service says the suit claims unauthorized disclosure of medical information.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, was admitted to County-USC Medical Center about 2 ½ years ago. The suit says someone, believed to be a nurse, took an unauthorized photo of her with pencils in her eyes and shared it with someone who posted it to the Internet, where it’s been viewed some 200,000 times.

Spokesman David Sommers says the county doesn’t commenting on pending lawsuits.

 

CALIFORNIA RESEARCHERS TRY TO SAVE MOJAVE RODENT: DAVIS (AP) — University of California, Davis researchers working to save an endangered Mojave Desert rodent have successfully bred some of the animals in captivity.

The subspecies concerned is the Amargosa vole, a gerbil-like creature that lives in dwindling marshes in the Mojave. The researchers removed ten females and ten males from the wild over the summer to make sure a breeding population remained.

Drought, climate change and habitat loss have brought the vole to near extinction. UC Davis veterinary medicine professor Janet Foley described the animal’s key habitat as now smaller than a football field.

California fish and wildlife officials announced Thursday that three of the captive vole pairs produced pups by October.

Researchers hope to start releasing the bred voles back to Mojave marshes by 2015.

 

DOCTOR ACCUSED OF PHOTOGRAPHING NUDE PATIENTS: EL CAJON (AP) — Court documents reveal a San Diego County doctor under investigation by the state Medical Board is suspected of taking nude and semi-clothed photos of women in exam rooms.

U-T San Diego cites records (http://bit.ly/10qHp5c) that show 67-year-old Jeffrey Joel Abrams was carrying his phone while he was working at the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in El Cajon. The clinic released a statement saying that Abrams has been placed on leave.

More than 1,300 photos were found, including many of women in an exam room who were either completely or partially nude.

One patient told investigators that while at the clinic in January Abrams took several pictures of her, at one point using his hands to push aside her hair to expose her breast.

 

JUDGE REJECTS LOS ANGELES’ BILLBOARD BAN: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge has struck down Los Angeles’ billboard ban, saying it conflicts with free-speech protections under the state constitution.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the decision is a victory for Lamar Central Outdoor, which sued the city to secure the right to erect 45 digital billboards across the city.

Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin concluded the city improperly restricted some types of advertising but not others.

Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, says the decision this month could open the floodgates for digital signs by an array of companies.

A spokesman for City Attorney Mike Feuer says the city would appeal.

 

OFFICER ACCUSED OF FORWARDING NUDE SUSPECT PHOTOS: MARTINEZ (AP) — Court documents show a California Highway Patrol officer is suspected of secretly sending nude photos of a DUI suspect from her cellphone to his own phone.

The Contra Costa Times cites records that reveal a Contra Costa District Attorney investigator has recommended felony computer theft charges against 35-year-old Sean Harrington.

The CHP says the five-year veteran based in Dublin has been assigned to desk duties during the probe.

Investigators say Harrington discovered and forwarded to himself six explicit photos while booking the 23-year-old San Ramon woman in August. The photos depict the woman, who is not being identified, in a bikini and in various states of undress.

Prosecutors said Wednesday they could decide any day whether or not to press charges.

 

AIR QUALITY OFFICIALS SUED OVER CRUDE OIL TRAINS: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A fuel distributor has agreed to stop unloading train shipments of crude oil at a Sacramento-area transfer station after the county’s top air quality official said his agency mistakenly skirted the state’s environmental rules by issuing a permit for the operation.

The Sacramento Bee reports InterState Oil Company said Wednesday that as of Nov. 7 it will no longer use McClellan Business Park as a transfer station for crude shipments to the Bay Area.

The move settles a lawsuit by the environmental group EarthJustice that contended the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality District Sacramento should not have granted InterState a permit without a full environmental impact review.

The suit said officials and InterState failed to review the potential hazards of running crude oil through neighborhoods.

Air district head Larry Greene conceded a full review should have been done.

 

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