OFFICIAL: SHINY DOG BOWL SPARKS CALIF. HOUSE FIRE: SANTA ROSA (AP) — A Northern California couple might be able to blame this one on the dog.
Authorities say sun refracted off the dog's shiny water bowl and ignited a fire at Terry and Shay Weisbrich's Santa Rosa home on Wednesday afternoon.
The fire was quickly put out, but it left a hole in the siding.
The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reports that a fire department engineer helped discover the dog bowl's role in the fire.
Rene Torres returned the bowl to its original position during his investigation of the fire's cause. He found it concentrated light right on the area of the home that was charred.
The Press Democrat says the couple's dog, Toby, had a replacement bowl by the evening.
DEADHEADS OPPOSE RENAMING JERRY GARCIA VENUE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Deadheads are uniting in opposition to a proposal to rename a San Francisco venue named in honor of the Grateful Dead founder.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports more than 1,100 people have signed an online petition opposing any name change to Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in Excelsior, near where the late guitarist grew up.
The Recreation and Park Department says the little-used stage would gain new life under a public-private partnership with Los Angeles-based nonprofit Levitt Pavilions, which helps fund renovations for outdoor venues and puts on 50 free shows a year.
The proposed name is "Levitt Pavilion San Francisco at Jerry Garcia Meadows."
Critics say handing it over to Levitt would rob the venue of its independent spirit.
The 2,000-seat theater hosts fewer than 10 events every year.
TEACHER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY MOLESTING GIRLS: UNION CITY (AP) — A third-grade teacher at an Alameda County school has been arrested on charges that he molested a number of female pupils.
Union City Police Commander Ben Horner said that 47-year-old Michael William Howey was arrested at his Alameda home on Wednesday and remained jailed on Thursday with his bail set at $1.5 million.
Horner says officers started investigating on April 12 after another teacher at Alvarado Elementary School allegedly saw Howey behaving inappropriately with a student.
From interviews with other girls, investigators identified more alleged victims, although Horner would not say how many.
Howey has worked for the New Haven Unified School District for 15 years. He was placed on administrative leave after the first allegation.
WOMAN ACCUSED OF TAINTING OJ TO BE RELEASED: SAN JOSE, (AP) — Prosecutors say a Northern California woman who was arrested for allegedly trying to sneak orange juice bottles spiked with rubbing alcohol into a Starbucks in San Jose will be released from jail.
Authorities in Santa Clara County planned to free 50-year-old Ramineh Behbehanian on Thursday because prosecutors had not charged her with a crime within the required 48-hour window following her arrest.
Sean Webby, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, says investigators are waiting for lab test results from the tainted juice.
Behbehanian, a chemist, was arrested Monday after a Starbucks customer reported seeing her take two bottles of orange juice from her bag and place them in a refrigerated display case.
Firefighters tested the bottles and said they contained a lethal quantity of rubbing alcohol.
Behehanian's lawyer, Dennis Lempert, says his client is grateful that she's going home.