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Bay Area news briefs
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BART agrees to study extension to Livermore

OAKLAND  (AP) — The Bay Area Rapid Transit Agency has agreed to look into the possibility of extending train service about 5 miles to Livermore.

BART's Board of Directors on Thursday unanimously approved moving forward with environmental studies and a ridership plan for the $1.1 billion project.

But they also requested a closer look at express buses and other alternatives to extending BART and asked for information about how the extension could impact maintenance and improvements to the existing train system.

The extension would run from BART's current end point at the Dublin-Pleasanton station down the middle of Interstate 580 to a planned freeway interchange.

Supporters say the project would ease traffic congestion and pollution in the area. Critics say BART should focus on maintaining and improving its existing lines.

SF to honor legendary singer Tony Bennett

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The City of San Francisco is honoring legendary crooner Tony Bennett, whose famous song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," was recorded 50 years ago.

Mayor Ed Lee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi are among those expected to attend a ceremony for Bennett in the City Hall Rotunda at noon on Tuesday, Valentine's Day.

The event will include renditions of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by the San Francisco Boys and Girls Choruses and the San Francisco Symphony among others.

The song will also be broadcast at noon over the public address system in Union Square and Hallidie Plaza.

Occupy protesters again pitch tents at UC Berkeley

BERKELEY  (AP) — Occupy Cal protesters are back on the University of California, Berkeley campus.

School officials say students protesting rising tuition set up several tents on the steps of Sproul Plaza Thursday and remained there Friday.

Berkeley spokeswoman Claire Holmes says campus police told the protesters several times it's illegal to camp on campus. The demonstrators were asked to remove the tents but so far have refused.

Holmes says officials are monitoring the situation and have no immediate plans to forcibly remove the tents.

The students set up the encampment in the same area where officers dismantled an Occupy camp and clashed with protesters last fall, prompting accusations of police brutality.


Woman drives car into surf on San Francisco beach

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities have pulled a car out of the surf on San Francisco's Ocean Beach after a woman apparently drove it into the water.

Fire officials say they arrived around 6:30 a.m. Friday to find the woman sitting in her partially submerged Lexus. Rescuers waded into the water and pulled the unidentified woman out.

Fire Capt. Jeanne Seyfer says the woman used a ramp to get onto the beach and drove about 350 feet over sand before coming to a stop in the water. Seyfer says authorities don't know why she drove there or if she was intoxicated.

She suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.

The Lexus remained in the surf for hours, as authorities waited for low tide. They removed the car around 1:45 p.m.