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POSTED March 5, 2012 8:40 p.m.


Magnitude-4.0 quake shakes SF Bay area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two small, back-to-back earthquakes shook San Francisco Bay area residents awake Monday morning but appeared to leave no serious damage or injury.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a magnitude-3.5 quake struck at 5:33 a.m. about eight miles northeast of San Francisco in the city of El Cerrito. It was followed eight seconds later by a magnitude-4.0 temblor, said geophysicist Paul Caruso. The USGS originally reported that the first quake had a magnitude of 2.9.

The shaking was felt within a 60-mile radius, from Santa Rosa in the north to Santa Cruz in the south.

Bay Area commuter trains were briefly delayed after the quake to inspect the tracks.

Seismologists said the quake appeared to occur on the Hayward Fault, a seismically active fault that runs along the eastern San Francisco Bay. A 2003 USGS report said the Hayward Fault had the highest chance — 27 percent — of producing a large earthquake of magnitude-6.7 or higher in the Bay Area within 30 years.

SF Sheriff's lawyer asks for change of venue

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Attorneys for San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi are seeking to move his upcoming domestic violence trial out of the city.

Mirkarimi's attorney, Lidia Stiglich, said Monday they are requesting a change of venue due to extensive pre-trial coverage they believe has made it difficult to seat a fair and impartial jury.

District Attorney George Gascon says his office has yet to take a position as jury selection began Monday.

Mirkarimi has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness for allegedly grabbing and bruising the arm of his wife, Venezuelan actress Eliana Lopez, in front of their toddler son on New Year's Eve.

Vandals hit 51 cars in tire-slashing spree

PALO ALTO  (AP) — Vandals have cut the tires on 51 cars during an overnight tire-slashing spree in Palo Alto.

Police Lt. Zach Perron says at least one tire on the cars were slashed between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday.

The damage was discovered hours later when residents went to the cars. There are no arrests.

The cars were parked on the street and in driveways and most of the damage was to tires closest to the sidewalk.

The lieutenant says the vandals used a knife or sharp tool to puncture the tires.

Group seeking recall for Oakland mayor gives up

OAKLAND  (AP) — A group that aimed to recall Oakland's mayor from office is suspending its effort.

The group, called Recall and Restore, announced Monday that it will no longer be collecting signatures to put a recall measure for Mayor Jean Quan on a future ballot. It says it doesn't have enough money to collect the 20,000 signatures needed by their May 14 deadline.

Quan's critics say she hasn't done enough to reduce crime and create jobs since taking office in 2011. She also faced criticism for her handling of last year's Occupy Oakland protests, some of which turned violent.

Another group is still working on a recall effort.

 

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