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Bay Area news briefs
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USS Iowa to depart to Southern California Saturday

RICHMOND  (AP) — With sea conditions improving along the California coast, the USS Iowa is now scheduled to begin its final voyage on Saturday.

The historic battleship was due to be towed out of Richmond on its way to what will be its new home in Southern California last Sunday, but forecasts of high seas and strong winds held up its departure.

Now with better weather predicted, officials with Pacific Battleship Center, the nonprofit organization group that has been restoring the ship, say the Iowa's departure is now set for Saturday morning.

The group says the 887-foot long, 58,000-ton battlewagon is scheduled to leave the Port of Richmond at 11 a.m., with it expected to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge by 3 p.m.

After the Iowa arrives at its final destination at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro it will be transformed into an interactive naval museum.

San Francisco to spruce up and repair Coit Tower

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco officials have earmarked $1.7 million to spruce up and repair Coit Tower, one of the city's most visible landmarks.

Mayor Ed Lee's office said Thursday the money will be used to pay for preservation work on the tower's murals, which date back to 1934. The murals were painted by artists who were hired by the Public Works of Art Project during the Great Depression. They depict life in California during the depression.

The money will also be used for a new roof, restoring the lobby to its original 1933 color and renovating the tower's restrooms.

The 210-foot tower, sitting on top of Telegraph Hill, was a gift to the city from Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who died in 1929 at age 86.

Built for $115,000 in 1933, Coit Tower is a San Francisco icon and popular tourist attraction.

SF official says Ouija \board comment was joke

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco supervisor who said he consulted a Ouija board before a vote now says he was joking — and the only spirit he was summoning was the spirit of humor.

Supervisors on Tuesday approved a non-binding resolution urging the Navy to name a ship after slain supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Supervisor John Avalos told that before voting, he believes he made contact with Milk's spirit and that Milk spelled out letters indicating: "Good riddance to don't ask, don't tell."

The quip made national news as an example of San Francisco wackiness.

Vallejo settles with injured man for $4 million

VALLEJO  (AP) — The city of Vallejo has agreed to pay a 62-year-old man more than $4 million to settle a federal lawsuit after he claimed police severely injured his spine after entering his home without a warrant.

Lawyers for Macario Dagdagan say two Vallejo police officers investigating an alleged assault in June 2007 went into Dagdagan's apartment without a warrant, shocked him with a stun gun and put him into a chokehold that ruptured his spine and led to paralysis.

Police argued that Dagdagan was resisting arrest and uncooperative when he was tased. Dagdagan later had surgery to reverse his paralysis.