• CALIFORNIA REGULATOR: PG&E “TOO BIG” FOR SAFETY?: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s top utility regulator is asking if the state’s largest utility is too big for safety.
Michael Picker of the state Public Utilities Commission asked that question ahead of a commission meeting Thursday addressing safety at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Picker said it appeared the utility, with $1.6 billion in earnings in 2014, was able to shrug off financial penalties.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of Picker’s statement. The utilities commission president says he will ask commission staff to study the structure of PG&E. That includes looking at the current setup of one board and CEO for both gas and electric services.
PG&E responded by stressing its safety upgrades and training since a 2010 PG&E gas pipeline explosion. That blast killed eight people in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno.
• CANOE USED TO RESCUE 90-YEAR-OLD WOMAN FROM SINKING CAR: PITTSFIELD, N.H. (AP) — Police say quick-thinking good Samaritans grabbed a canoe from a neighbor’s yard and rescued a 90-year-old woman from her sinking car after she drove into a river in New Hampshire.
Eric Nilsson didn’t have an oar, so he started using his arms to paddle toward the woman in the Suncook River in Pittsfield on Sunday as she slipped out of her car window.
Deputy Fire Chief Peter Pszonowsky, who lives nearby, threw Nilsson a rope. He held it in one hand and the woman with the other while kneeling in the canoe. Pszonowsky pulled them ashore.
Nilsson, a town selectman, called her “one tough woman,” adding, “She was calm and did not panic one bit.”
• 5 ACCUSED IN LI HOME BURGLARIES, IMPERSONATING POLICE: CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Five men face charges that they impersonated plainclothes detectives to burglarize homes on Long Island.
A 29-count indictment charges the suspects with burglary, robbery, attempted robbery, conspiracy and criminal impersonation.
District Attorney Thomas Spota said the suspects donned business suits, wore fake police badges and identified themselves as detectives to occupants of homes they knew contained either cash, valuables or both.
Once inside, the defendants allegedly used handguns and restrained the occupants with zip ties and duct tape.
• LIZZIE BORDEN GRAVESITE DEFACED WITH GRAFFITI: FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — The final resting place of Lizzie Borden and the father and stepmother she was accused of killing has been vandalized.
The director of Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River says the Borden family burial monument was defaced with black and green paint.
Tony Eaton said the vandalism likely occurred Sunday night. It’s not the first time it has happened, but it irks him anytime a grave site in vandalized. Police have been notified.
Eaton says the graffiti may be related to increased fascination with Borden due to the Lifetime miniseries “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles.”
Borden was charged with killing her father and stepmother with an ax in 1892. Although she was acquitted, her innocence is questioned even today.
• TEXAS SCIENTISTS DIG UP DINOSAUR FOUND BY 5-YEAR-OLD AND DAD: DALLAS (AP) — Scientists from Southern Methodist University have helped a Dallas zookeeper and his 5-year-old son excavate a dinosaur fossil they found behind a grocery store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Tim Brys and his son Wylie worked at the excavation site Tuesday to dig up what paleontology professor Dale Winkler believes could be a nodosaur, a pony-sized dinosaur that dwelled on land.
Brys and his son discovered the fossil last September, but it took over seven months to obtain necessary permits to dig up the bones. Scientists started.