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Bay Area briefs
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STATE GAS TAX RISES 3.5 CENTS: SANTA ROSA (AP) — Starting this week California drivers are spending more to fill up at the pump.

A 3.5-cents-per-gallon tax hike went into effect Monday.

The increase was approved by the state Board of Equalization in February, in order to make up for tax revenue shortfalls in past years.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat says it gives the Golden State the highest gas tax in the nation, at 71.9 cents per gallon.

The newspaper says the increase is calculated to add $26.25 more a year for a person who drives 15,000 miles and gets 20 miles per gallon.

Statewide, the average price of a gallon of gas on Saturday was $4.01.

SAN FRANCISCO PARKING FINES GO UP MONDAY:  SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Drivers who fail to heed the meters in San Francisco will now be hit with the priciest parking tickets in the country.

The San Francisco Chronicle says starting Monday parking citations are going up $2 — to $74 downtown and $64 outside the city's center.

The new fines put San Francisco ahead of New York City for the highest penalties in the U.S.

Paul Rose, a spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, tells the newspaper the increases are intended to keep pace with increased enforcement and administrative costs, which have gone up 3.5 percent.

Rose says new modern parking meters that take credit cards and allow parkers to pay by phone have made it easier for motorists to avoid getting tickets.

2 SHOT NEAR SF GAY PRIDE CELEBRATION: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police say two men were shot near the city's Gay Pride celebration.

The shooting occurred around 6:45 p.m. Sunday in the city's Civic Center area, as revelers were still celebrating.

Police tell the San Francisco Chronicle multiple gun shots were heard. The two victims — both men — were struck in the legs and taken to San Francisco General Hospital. They are expected to live.

Police say the unidentified suspect disappeared into the crowd.

2 SWEPT INTO WATER OFF COAST DIE: SANTA CRUZ  (AP) — Authorities say two women died and two men had to be rescued after a wave swept them into the water off a Central California beach.

The women and men were together at Bonny Doon Beach west of Santa Cruz when they were pulled in around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Mike Lutz says the two men were able to reach some rocks. They were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter.

The women were pulled from the water by lifeguards and the Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol.

SON ARRESTED IN PARENTS' SLAYINGS IN APTOS:  APTOS (AP) — Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a 39-year-old transient on suspicion of killing his mother and father.

Sheriff's deputy April Skalland says James Henderson was arrested on Sunday, hours after deputies received a 911 call of a family disturbance at an Aptos home.

They were told that James Henderson had hit his father with a car and attacked his mother.

Arriving deputies found 71-year-old Joseph Henderson and his wife, 68-year-old Edith, dead. The cause of death is under investigation.

James Henderson was found at a nearby property and arrested after a short struggle.

PILOT SUSPENDED 5 MONTHS AFTER BAY BRIDGE STRUCK: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State officials on Monday suspended the license of a pilot for five months after an oil tanker sideswiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Guy Kleess won't be paid during the suspension ordered by the Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun.

The cargo ship Overseas Reymar clipped the bridge on Jan. 7, causing about $3 million in damage. The bridge never closed and remained open to traffic.

Kleess will have to undergo further training and 30 "observation trips" before his license is restored. He will also be on two years of probation after he regains his license.

"The board has imposed one of the most stringent disciplinary orders in decades," board director Allen Garfinkle said.

It was the second time in six years that a large vessel controlled by a local pilot struck the bridge.

The cargo ship Cosco Busan operated by Capt. John Cota struck the bridge in November 2007, prompting a 53,000-gallon oil spill into San Francisco Bay. Cota was sentenced to 10 months in prison.