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POSTED April 13, 2012 9:19 p.m.

Officials scramble to keep Lucas studio

SAN RAFAEL . (AP) — Marin County officials are scrambling to convince filmmaker George Lucas not to abandon plans to build a sprawling movie studio north of San Francisco, but the company says it's too late.

Lucasfilm Ltd. shocked the community Tuesday when it announced it was scrapping the Grady Ranch project, citing regulatory delays and bitter opposition from homeowners.

The company behind the "Star Wars" movies said it would build the digital media studio elsewhere and sell the Lucas Valley property to a developer interested in building low-income housing.

The Marin Independent Journal reports that county supervisors are offering to help remove regulatory barriers and fight possible lawsuits.

But company spokeswoman Lynne Hale says it's "too late" for Lucasfilm to reconsider the decision because it is already behind in its production schedule.

PG&E pays $70M for deadly pipeline blast

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has paid $70 million in restitution for the California pipeline explosion that killed eight people in a San Francisco suburb in 2010.

San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane announced the city received the payment on Friday in a statement.

Ruane says the money will be managed by a nonprofit organization that will use the funds to help the community recover from the Sept. 9, 2010, blast, but that process could take a year.

The San Francisco-based utility previously set up a $100 million fund to support emergency needs in the aftermath of the explosion, which also destroyed 38 homes in the bedroom community.

Sonoma County boy helps nap home burglary suspect

SANTA ROSA (AP) — Police are thanking a 12-year-old Sonoma County boy for his help in catching a would-be burglar.

The sixth-grader, Branden Jones, was home sick from school on Wednesday when he heard a knock at the door. He ran to his room to hide because he thought the stranger looked suspicious, and then heard her enter the house near Santa Rosa. But when he saw her leave carrying his laptop, he jotted down the license plate of the car she was driving and called 911.

Deputies ran the plate number and found it belonged to 41-year-old Karen Holman of Santa Rosa, who pleaded guilty to burglary in 2009.

A deputy spotted the car later that day and arrested Holman on suspicion of burglary and receipt of stolen property. She is being held at the Sonoma County Jail in lieu of $40,000 bail.

Lighthouse north of SF to reopen

SAUSALITO . (AP) — A vintage lighthouse north of San Francisco is reopening after the suspension bridge leading to it was rebuilt.

The Point Bonita lighthouse west of the Golden Gate Bridge will reopen to the public at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The  lighthouse closed two years ago after the old bridge leading to it was deemed unsafe.

That bridge was replaced at a cost of a little more than $1 million.

The Point Bonita lighthouse became the third on the West Coast when it was completed in 1855. It sits at the Pacific Ocean entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

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