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Bay Area news briefs
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MAN WHO FELL OFF HIGHWAY FABRICATED CARJACK STORY: SAN MATEO  (AP) — A Northern California man seriously hurt when he plunged off an elevated freeway ramp fabricated a story about fleeing an armed carjacker.

The 47-year-old man, whose name is being withheld, may be arrested for filing a false report when he's released from the hospital.

San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris says a number of police and California Highway Patrol resources were used in the investigation.

The  man told officers he was carjacked by an armed man in San Mateo and driven onto Highway 92. He told investigators he jumped from an elevated ramp to escape.

CUBAN PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER TO MEET WITH GAY GROUPS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cuban first daughter Mariela Castro is planning to meet with San Francisco's lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community during a U.S. visit next week that is being opposed by some Cuban-American politicians.

The San Francisco LGBT Center said Friday that it would host the meeting Wednesday night, the day before Castro is scheduled to lead a panel at a conference organized by the Latin American Studies Association.

The 50-year-old daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro is a noted gay rights advocate in her country and head of Cuba's National Center for Sex Education.

.BERKELEY SPENDING $24K TO REVIEW MEDIA POLICY: BERKELEY  (AP) — The city is spending $24,000 for a review of Berkeley police media policies because of a sergeant's late-night trip to a news reporter's home to ask for changes to an online story.

Police Chief Michael Meehan ordered the sergeant to the home of Bay Area News Group reporter Doug Oakley before 1 a.m. on March 9 to ask that he change a story.

Oakley had covered a community meeting criticizing the alleged slow police response to the beating death of a 67-year-old man.

First Amendment experts criticized the chief, calling it an attempt at censorship by intimidation.

Meehan apologized.

Berkeley has hired Cornerstone Communications in Irvine to audit Police Department media procedures. The contract was signed on May 1.

SF MAYOR AGREES TO COVER HIV/AIDS FUNDING GAP: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says he will use city funds to cover nearly $7 million in federal cuts to AIDS and HIV funding in San Francisco in the upcoming fiscal year.

Lee made the announcement on Thursday. It came after lobbying from some city supervisors and service providers, who said the funding was vital.

Federal officials have also cut $8 million for AIDS and HIV care in San Francisco from the following fiscal year, 2013-14. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that that cut has not been filled in.

JANITOR AWARDED $812K FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A janitor has received an $812,000 jury award after saying she was raped by a supervisor while working in San Francisco's Ferry Building.

A jury on Thursday awarded the 44-year-old mother of five the money after finding managers at the company, ABM Janitorial Services, responsible for sexual harassment and retaliation.

The woman said that her supervisor made sexual comments and advances for months before raping her in a second-floor office in 2004.

She said she complained to the company, was told not to say anything about it and later fired.

SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER CHASE, FATAL CRASH: SAN JOSE  (AP) — A San Jose man is dead and a suspect authorities say was drunk and driving a stolen car is in custody after a police chase and fatal crash in San Jose.

Police say 23-year-old Dario Dwayne Taylor of Pittsburg was behind the wheel of the stolen car when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

The CHP says after pulling over, Taylor sped away. As Taylor tried to evade the CHP officer, he crashed into at least three parked cars and a fourth car head-on.

The car Taylor was driving burst into flames from the final impact.

The CHP officer pulled Taylor from the burning car. After Taylor was hospitalized, he was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony evasion and other charges.

A 59-year-old San Jose man died of injuries he suffered when he was pinned between two cars hit during the chase.

POT BUSINESS FOUNDER FACING GRAND THEFT CHARGES: OAKLAND  (AP) — The man behind a national chain of stores that provide supplies to medical marijuana growers is facing charges that he stole thousands of dollars from Oakland grant programs.

Alameda County prosecutors charged 27-year-old Dhar Mann on Thursday with four counts of grand theft, two counts of attempted grand theft and six counts of forgery.

He is accused of defrauding city redevelopment programs that covered some of the cost of renovating certain commercial buildings.

Investigators say Mann submitted fraudulent paperwork that inflated the amount of money he paid contractors for the renovations, earning him higher grant awards from the city. Mann is accused of actually paying the contractors much less.

Mann is the founder of weGrow, a chain of hydroponic supplies stores catering to medical marijuana growers.

BEAUTIFICATION GROUP SUES SF OVER BILLBOARD DEAL: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco beautification group is challenging a legal settlement between the city and an outdoor advertising company over billboards.

San Francisco Beautiful says the city's deal with Metro Fuel violates a 2002 proposition banning all new billboards in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle reports ( that it has sued the city.

Metro Fuel challenged the city's billboard restriction in 2007. The company agreed to get rid of 84 illegal panel signs as part of a settlement. But it was also allowed to put up more panel signs in exchange for removing its legal and much bigger billboards.

The city also knocked down its fine from more than $7 million to $1.75 million.