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Bay Area news briefs
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Ruling near on California same-sex marriage ban


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court plans to announce whether it thinks California's same-sex marriage ban violates the civil rights of gays and lesbians, and if the trial judge who struck down the voter-approved measure should have revealed he was in a long-term relationship with another man.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a three-judge panel was ready to publish its long-awaited opinions Tuesday on the ban and on the possible conflict-of-interest by former Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled that Proposition 8 did not pass constitutional muster.

Walker presided over the first trial in federal court to examine if same-sex couples have a constitutional right to get married.

Even if the 9th Circuit panel agrees with him and overturns the ban approved by voters in November 2008, same-sex marriages are unlikely to resume in California any time soon. Supporters and opponents of Proposition 8 have said they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if they lose in the intermediate court.


Berkeley mulls pulling account out of Wells Fargo

BERKELEY. (AP) — Berkeley is considering taking its $350 million account out of Wells Fargo, saying the bank is partly to blame for the nation's financial crisis.

The council voted last week to study other options, including entrusting the money to "responsible financial institutions" such as a community bank or credit union.

Berkeley's contract with San Francisco-based Wells Fargo expires at the end of this year. Following last Tuesday's vote, the city manager will present a report in May on the feasibility of ending the contract.

Mayor Tom Bates cautioned during the meeting that Wells Fargo loans a lot of money to Berkeley nonprofits and gives to local charities.

Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido noted that while the bank did accept a $25 billion federal bailout in 2008, it repaid it with interest by the next year.

6 people wounded in Oakland shooting

OAKLAND. (AP) — Six people have been wounded during a shooting in Oakland.

Investigators say the wounds to a woman and five men are not life threatening.

The shootings occurred at about 3:52 p.m. Sunday on Adeline Street near Oakland's border with Emeryville.

Marin psychologist sentenced in child porn case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Attorney's office says a Marin psychologist is serving eight years in prison for possessing child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in San Francisco said Donald Tosti was sentenced last Thursday and ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution.

Tosti was convicted last September on two charges of possessing child pornography. During the trial, evidence showed Tosti was found with child pornography after taking his computer to CompUSA for repair. A search of Tosti's home and office revealed a large collection of child pornography, including depictions of the rape of very young children.

The 76-year-old Tosti of San Rafael was founder of the Independent Learning Schools and was ordered to pay the $50,000 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.