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POSTED January 8, 2013 9:03 p.m.

SMALL GROUP OF MOTORISTS CLOGGING SF AREA FREEWAYS: BERKELEY . (AP) — Researchers are blaming a small group of motorists for the San Francisco area's freeway traffic headaches.

A study by the University of California, Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows drivers from a few outlying neighborhoods travel long distances together in the same direction like schools of fish.

That results in traffic jam on area freeways.

The San Jose Mercury News says more than 350,000 motorists were tracked for three weeks using cellphone and GPS signals.

The California Department of Transportation and local transportation officials are examining the data and they plan to incorporate such measures as additional metering lights to spread out the traffic flow.

NO CHARGES FOR MAN OVER WATER HE GAVE GIRLFRIEND: SAN RAFAEL . (AP) — Prosecutors say they won't be filing charges against a 67-year-old Northern California man who was arrested in September on suspicion of attempting to kill his girlfriend by giving her water containing chlorine.

Robert Lochridge was arrested after the San Rafael nursing home where his 63-year-old girlfriend was staying reported he was bringing her water with a pungent odor. Police said tests showed the liquid had a high concentration of chlorine.

Lochridge said he bought the bottled water online, where it was advertised as an alternative health product.

At the time, Chief Deputy Public Defender Debra Leyva described the case as a misunderstanding.

The Marin Independent Journal reports that in announcing Monday that charges would not be filed, Marin County prosecutors said Lochridge's girlfriend appeared to have suffered no ill effects from the water.

LAWYER: MURDER CHARGES IN SF CRASH 'OVERREACHING': SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The attorney for a San Francisco man charged with killing two people while fleeing police says prosecutors are overreaching in charging his client with murder.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that 19-year-old David Morales pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to murder and attempted murder charges. Authorities say Morales fled after being pulled over by police on New Year's Day and slammed into a Toyota sedan. Police suspect Morales in an earlier shooting.

A woman in the sedan, 29-year-old Silvia Tuncun, died. A pedestrian, 26-year-old Francisco Gutierrez, was hit by the sedan and also died.

The driver of the Toyota suffered life-threatening injuries.

Morales's public defender, Stephen Olmo, said he has concerns about the murder charges. Olmo said Morales traveled a very short distance before the crash.

SF ZOO'S CHIMPANZEE MATRIARCH DIES: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Zoo's beloved chimpanzee matriarch Tallulah is dead.

She died Sunday from heart disease related to breast cancer.

Tallulah, a fixture at the zoo for nearly a half-century, was believed to be in her mid to late 50s.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel says she came to the zoo in 1967 after being raised privately as a pet. Tallulah was among the nation's oldest chimpanzees in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos.

The primate was seen as the matriarch of the three other members of her chimpanzee troop.

MAN ARRESTED FOR TORCHING GIRLFRIEND: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police have arrested a Northern California man for splashing gasoline on his girlfriend and setting her ablaze during an argument at a San Francisco coin laundry.

The San Francisco Chronicle says 22-year-old Dexter Oliver surrendered peacefully late Monday to San Francisco police officers and U.S. marshals at an Oakland hotel.

Police had been searching for Oliver since the woman was attacked on Sunday afternoon. Details on what led investigators to the Oakland hotel haven't been disclosed.

Witnesses told police they heard a screaming woman at the Bayview District laundry just after noon on Sunday.

Investigators say Oliver, who had dated the woman, threw gasoline on her and set her on fire.

 

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