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Bay Area briefs
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Solo drivers embracing SF South Bay toll lanes

MILPITAS . (AP) — Solo drivers are embracing new San Francisco south bay toll lanes, and motorists in regular lanes are benefiting, too.

Tthe first detailed report on the toll lanes at the Highway 237-Interstate 880 interchange in Milpitas has found many solo drivers are willing to pay the $1.50 to $4.50 FasTrak tolls.

There were 9,098 solo drivers who took advantage of the toll lanes the week of April 16, up from the 7,608 solo motorists who did so in the first full week of operation in late March.

They are shaving an average 12 minutes off the morning commute.

And drivers in non-toll lanes are benefiting. They are saving up to three minutes on the morning drive.


Families return after PG&E blast

SAN BRUNO (AP) — Officials are welcoming families back to a Northern California neighborhood destroyed by a 2010 gas pipeline explosion.

Two of 38 families who lost homes in San Bruno have returned, and that 26 others are in various stages of rebuilding.

City officials on Monday planned to mark the occasion with a 6:30 p.m. ceremony.

Eight people died on Sept. 9, 2010 when a fireball from a broken Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pipeline consumed homes and cars.

Napa cop shoots suspect after foot chase, struggle

NAPA (AP) — Authorities say a suspect who was shot in the face by a Napa police officer is in a medically induced coma, but expected to survive.

Police say the shooting happened around 11 p.m. Sunday in an east Napa neighborhood after the officer chased the man and got into a struggle with him in a backyard.

Sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart says it's still unclear what exactly led to the confrontation. She says Officer Thomas Keener radioed in a foot pursuit behind a convenience store shortly before the shooting.

Stuart identified the suspect Monday as 25-year-old Luis Armando Contreras.

Grower loses bid to avoid re-hiring fired worker

WATSONVILLE (AP) — A California raspberry grower has lost a court bid to avoid re-hiring a farm worker fired for union activity.

Watsonville Dutra Farms case is considered a test of a new state law designed to strengthen the rights of farm workers to organize.

The new unfair labor practices provision of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act went into effect on Jan. 1.

It was the first time in more than three decades that the Agricultural Labor Relations Board has won injunctive relief from a state trial court.