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Bay Area briefs
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GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE 75TH ANNIVERSARY PAVILION OPENS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A pavilion marking the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th anniversary has opened to the public, providing a place for visitors to learn more about the history of the famous span.

The 3,500-square-foot building opened its doors Tuesday, and is located at the southeast end of the bridge.

The official anniversary is May 27, 2012, and the pavilion is meant to celebrate the famous structure and provide insight into its design and engineering.

An 18-foot-tall bridge tower built in 1933 is the pavilion's centerpiece. It was made a Princeton University to determine stress loads the structure could endure.

About $5 million was spent on the pavilion and related improvements, including parking upgrades and trail improvements.

The money was raised privately by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the bridge district.

HANDCUFFED SUSPECT ESCAPES POLICE CAR: OAKLAND  (AP) — A handcuffed suspect has somehow slipped out of handcuffs and escaped from the back of an Oakland police car taking him to jail.

The San Francisco Chronicle says 19-year-old Christopher Moss jumped from the police car and ran away on Monday evening.

Moss was being taken to the downtown jail for investigation of attempted burglary and possession of stolen property.

The officer radioed that his prisoner broke out of his patrol car.

Another officer asked if the suspect was still handcuffed, and the officer said the cuffs were in the back seat of his squad car.

CORONER: VALIUM, ALCOHOL KILLED PAINTER KINKADE: SAN JOSE  (AP) — Officials are confirming that artist Thomas Kinkade died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription tranquilizers.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said Tuesday the self-described "Painter of Light" died April 6 due to a combination of ethanol and Diazepam intoxication, or in common terms, alcohol and the tranquilizer often marketed as Valium.

Before his death, the 54-year-old Kinkade produced sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes that he sold in a nationwide chain of galleries.

In recent years, however, he had run into personal difficulties, including a 2010 bankruptcy filing by one of his companies.

His brother Patrick Kinkade did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday, but has said the painter battled alcoholism and had relapsed before his death at his Monte Sereno home.


MOTHER, DAUGHTER SHOT TO DEATH IN BAY AREA HOME: PLEASANTON  (AP) — Authorities are investigating how a woman and her 13-year-old daughter were fatally shot in their Pleasanton home.

Authorities identified them Tuesday as 37-year-old Amy Freeman Burton and daughter Ainsly Freeman.

Police say Burton was found dead at the home Monday night. Ainsly was taken to the hospital, where she later died.

Police say a handgun was found near the victims, and there was no sign of forced entry.

Lt. Jeff Bretzing said investigators are questioning Christopher Burton, the husband and stepfather of the victims, but they don't consider him a suspect at this point.


POLICE: SANTA CRUZ BUSINESS OWNER SLAIN RANDOMLY: SANTA CRUZ  (AP) — Police are trying to figure out why a San Francisco man with a long criminal record fatally stabbed a downtown Santa Cruz business owner he didn't know in broad daylight.

Charles Anthony Edwards III has been jailed on suspicion of murder in the death Monday morning of 38-year-old Shannon Collins, who co-owned a lingerie and adult store called Camouflage with her husband.

Deputy Chief Steve Clark said that Collins was a completely innocent victim who was targeted randomly.

Friends told the newspaper that Collins was headed to a hair appointment when she was attacked. Police say Edwards had blood on him when he was arrested a few blocks away.

Fellow business owners say they are unnerved by unprovoked assault.

OCCUPY GROUP TOLD TO LEAVE FARM: BERKELEY  (AP) — University of California, Berkeley officials say they're prepared to take legal action if Occupy activists refuse to leave school-owned land where they have pitched tents and planted crops.

In a letter Tuesday, UC Berkeley administrators said they are evaluating civil and criminal legal actions to evict a group called Occupy the Farm from a 10-acre parcel in Albany.

The campus response comes a day after the activists said they would only leave if the university gives them continued access to the Gill Tract and meet other demands.

About 200 Occupy squatters broke into the property on April 22 to protest planned housing and commercial development nearby. The protesters want the land preserved as an urban farm.

Berkeley officials say university research on the tract must resume by mid-May.



JAPANESE OFFICIAL IN SF PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO ABUSE: REDWOOD CITY  (AP) — An official at Japan's consulate in San Francisco has pleaded not guilty to multiple domestic violence charges that include allegedly stabbing his wife with a screwdriver.

Yoshiaki Nagaya, who serves as vice counsel in the Consulate-General of Japan, entered his plea Monday in San Mateo County District Court to 13 counts of domestic violence and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon for the alleged abuse of Yuka Nagaya, his wife of 18 months.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said that Nagaya had repeatedly injured his wife starting in January 2011 and allegedly stabbed her, stomped on her, threw her out of their car and knocked out one of her teeth.

Nagaya is out on $350,000 bail and due back in court on June 14.