By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bay Area briefs
Placeholder Image

FACEBOOK TESTS $100 CHARGE TO MESSAGE ZUCKERBERG: MENLO PARK (AP) — Would you pay $100 to message Mark Zuckerberg? Facebook says it's testing some "extreme price points" to let users pay to have their messages seen by people who are not their friends.

The tech blog Mashable reported early Friday that some users trying to message Zuckerberg are offered the option to pay $100 to ensure that their missive reaches the Facebook CEO's inbox. Without paying, the message would likely end up in Zuckerberg's "other" message folder, an oft-overlooked purgatory between the spam folder and the inbox.

Facebook says it's testing the "extreme" prices to "see what works to filter spam. The company is also testing a service that lets people pay $1 per message to route communications to non-friends' inboxes.

Zuckerberg has more than 16 million followers on the site.

MAN GETS LIFE SENTENCE FOR MOLESTATION: SAN RAFAEL AP) — A Northern California man convicted of molesting and sodomizing his step-granddaughter will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet on Thursday sentenced 64-year-old Gary Albert Toti of Novato to 25 years to life in state prison.

The judge said the evidence and Toti's own statements overwhelmingly pointed to his guilt. The judge also rejected a motion for a new trial by Toti's defense attorney.

Toti was arrested in April 2011 and went to trial this summer on multiple charges of sexually abusing the girl from 2008 to 2010. The girl testified that Toti engaged in sexual acts with her in the shower, in the home and in a car.

FAMOUS SF TWIN VIVIAN BROWN DIES AT 85: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Vivian Brown, one of the San Francisco twins whose colorful matching outfits and infectious smiles helped make them local celebrities, has died.

Barbara Farber, director of the assisted care facility where Brown lived for the past year, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the 85-year-old Brown died in her sleep Wednesday.

Brown had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

The 5-foot-1-inch Vivian and her sister, Marian, were often seen walking arm-in-arm down San Francisco streets in carbon-copy outfits and eye-catching hats. They often stopped to pose for pictures with tourists and locals alike.

The pair for a time made money from appearing in advertisements, including spots for Dell Computer, Virgin Atlantic Airlines and Reebok.

Marian told the Chronicle she hoped to be buried in San Francisco next to her sister.

AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR ESCAPED  INMATE: OAKLAND. (AP) — Authorities say a Northern California prison inmate is on the loose after escaping while he was being taken to the hospital.

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said Friday that Anthony Hoskins escaped shortly after 10 a.m. as he was being transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland for a routine medical appointment.

Nelson says police and sheriff's deputies are extensively searching for Hoskins as they found his jail clothes in a backyard in a neighborhood adjacent to the hospital.

The 31-year-old Hoskins had been in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on multiple robbery charges.

Nelson say investigators believe that Hoskins somehow manipulated his leg irons as well as his waist and hand restraints which allowed him to flee after arriving at the hospital.

Nelson says Hoskins was unarmed during the time of his escape.