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Bay Area briefs
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Prison in restaurant illegal worker case

OAKLAND  (AP) — The owner of a San Francisco Bay area restaurant chain has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for hiring illegal immigrants.

Besides the 41 months in prison, El Balazo restaurants owner Marino Sandoval must pay more than $2 million restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

His wife, Nicole Sandoval, was placed on five years' probation.

The couple pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring more than 100 illegal immigrants to work at their 11 taquerias, using phony Social Security numbers and filing false tax returns.

Drivers advised to avoid GG Bridge this weekend

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Drivers are being advised to avoid the Golden Gate Bridge this weekend, as a major approach to the bridge comes down.

Doyle Drive, which links the bridge to San Francisco, will close starting at 8 p.m. on Friday. Crews will then work through the weekend to demolish it and replace it with a temporary bypass.

That bypass is expected to be up and running at 5 a.m. on Monday.

Although the bridge will stay open during the construction work, traffic onto and off of it will be rerouted. That is expected to create major delays.

Transportation officials, instead, recommend that people traveling between the North Bay and San Francisco take the Golden Gate Ferry. Drivers should go to the East Bay and take the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Plans for new hospital in SF moving forward

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Pacific Medical Center's plan to build a new 555-bed hospital on San Francisco's Cathedral Hill has cleared a major hurdle.

The city's Planning Commission voted 5-1 on Thursday in favor of a final environmental impact report that includes the hospital project.

The commission also recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve a development agreement for the project negotiated by Mayor Ed Lee. According to the commission, that agreement would generate over a billion dollars in community benefits.

Some city officials, however, have expressed concerns that the project could lead to higher insurance premiums.

In addition to the new hospital, California Pacific's plans call for the renovation of existing facilities in San Francisco. The entire project is estimated at $2.5 billion and comes as the hospital network tries to meet state seismic safety requirements.

Women wage bitter custody battle over dog

SANTA ROSA. (AP) — Fur is flying between a Santa Rosa nail salon owner and a local masseuse who are locked in a bitter custody battle over a tiny dog.

A 4-pound teacup Pomeranian named Ashley has been at the center of a months-long dispute between Donna Parker and Sara Naredo..

Parker alleges that one of Naredo's friends snatched the 8-year-old dog when Parker took Ashley to a local bar and let a friend hold her.

She posted missing dog posters, only to find out a month later that Ashley was being kept down the street at the spa where Naredo works.

Naredo told the Press-Democrat she thought the dog was being mistreated. She has since hidden her in a secret location.

Parker and the dog's original owner sued Naredo in small claims court this month.