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Bay Area news briefs
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POLICE: WOMAN'S BODY FOUND IN PLEASANTON TRASH CAN : PLEASANTON  (AP) — Police say a woman's body has been found in a trash can on a road near an upscale neighborhood in Pleasanton.

Lt. Jeff Bretzing says an alert resident noticed the trash can in some shrubbery Thursday morning on a road that runs parallel to Interstate 580 and not too far from the Stonebridge Mall.

When officers arrived, they discovered a woman's body inside a 45-gallon plastic container near an upscale development called The Preserve.

Bretzing says police are investigating the incident as a homicide as it is unknown how long the trash can had been in the area.

Police have not yet determined the woman's identity, age or ethnicity.

SF PLANNERS APPROVE NEW HIGH-RISE NEIGHBORHOOD: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco's Planning Commission has approved an environmental plan to create a neighborhood of skyscrapers in the heart of the city.

The commission on Thursday approved the plan involving construction of up to six office and residential towers in the new Transit Center District.

Each tower would be up to 850 feet tall.

The environmental approval followed five years of discussions. One concern is that the buildings would cast shadows over playgrounds and parks.

Planning officials assured the commissioners that the shadow issue can be dealt with when individual buildings come up for approval.

TERMINALLY ILL CONVICTED KILLER TO BE RELEASED: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man serving a life sentence for killing his roommate in 1986 will be released because he's terminally ill.

A state appeals court in San Francisco ruled last week that Carl Wade is entitled to compassionate release. State law allows such release for prisoners facing imminent death who pose no risk to the public.

Wade, who's 66, has severe heart and lung disease and uses a wheelchair. His attorney says he'll be freed within days from the Vacaville prison and will stay with his sister's family in Chico.

Wade was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting fellow woodcutter John Karns after a drunken fight in their Lake County trailer.

VALLEJO POLICE SHOOT AND KILL ROBBERY SUSPECT: VALLEJO  (AP) — Vallejo police say an attempted robber has been shot and killed after he allegedly pointed a weapon at officers that turned out to be a pellet gun.

Police say the shooting occurred shortly after midnight Friday when a taxi driver called police to report that a man had attempted to rob him. When two officers arrived at the scene they saw a man walking with a weapon in his hand.

Police say the officers shot the suspect after he pointed the weapon at them. He died at the scene.

Investigators later discovered the weapon the suspect had was a non-lethal airsoft pellet gun.

Police say shooting took place near an elementary school, but they believe the scene should be clear by the time classes begin.

CALIF. MAN CHARGED WITH SEEKING SEX WITH GIRL, 11: VACAVILLE. (AP) — Authorities say a California man offered to pay $150 to have sex with an 11-year-old girl in a Fort Wayne hotel.

Thirty-six-year-old Travis Wiley of Vacaville, Calif., was being held on $70,000 bail Thursday in the Allen County Lockup. The Journal Gazette reports ( ) he faces preliminary felony charges of child solicitation and attempted child molesting.

Court documents say police recorded a meeting between Wiley and a confidential informant during which he offered to pay the woman if her daughter would give him a "massage," which the woman understood to mean a sex act. Police arrested Wiley after he got out of the vehicle.

Records say the woman told police she had performed a sex act on Wiley for $60 about a month earlier.

VA FACILITIES CITED FOR SAFETY, HEALTH VIOLATIONS: MARTINEZ  (AP) — Four medical facilities for veterans in Northern California have been cited for more than two dozen safety and health violations.

Federal inspectors found the hazards at the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in November and January.

The U.S. Department of Labor this month announced the 25 violations, which range from exposed syringes to overflowing trash cans of biohazardous waste.

Officials say the VA hospital in Mather and the outpatient clinic in Martinez each had one minor violation and 10 "serious" violations, which are considered to potentially cause immediate harm or death.

There were two serious violations at the outpatient clinic in Oakland and one violation at the outpatient clinic at the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield.

ACTIVIST GUILTY IN ATTACK ON SINGER: SAN JOSE . (AP) — A California activist faces up to three years and eight months behind bars for spraying an irritant at a pop singer from Vietnam to protest communism.

A Santa Clara County jury found Ly Tong, of San Jose, guilty Thursday of misdemeanor assault and felony use of tear gas in connection with the July 2010 attack. He was acquitted of felony assault.

Authorities say Tong approached singer Dam Vinh Hung disguised as an old woman carrying a flower during a concert at the Santa Clara Convention Center. He sprayed Hung when Hung bent down.

Jurors could not agree on whether Tong used pepper spray or a combination of fish sauce and perfume.

The San Jose Mercury News reports ( that Tong is scheduled to be sentenced on June 22.

FEDS REJECT TRIBE'S PLAN FOR CASINO NEAR RICHMOND: RICHMOND  (AP) — Federal officials have rejected a Native American tribe's plans to build a casino near the San Francisco Bay area city of Richmond.

The U.S. Department of Interior said on Friday that the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians had not demonstrated a significant historical connection to the proposed casino site.

The tribe had its federal recognition restored in 1991. Although it is currently headquartered about 80 miles away in Lake County, the site near Richmond would have been its first reservation.

Tribal officials had argued that their ancestral lands included the Richmond site. But federal officials say they failed to demonstrate that.

The Department of Interior on Friday did approve the application of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians for a casino in Amador County.

SEWAGE DISTRICT AGREES TO SETTLEMENT OVER SPILLS: NOVATO  (AP) — A Marin County sewage disposal district has reached a six-figure settlement with state regulators over dozens of spills in recent years.

The state's Regional Water Quality Control Board said Thursday that the Novato Sanitary District has agreed to pay $354,000 for the spills between 2007 and 2010.

The settlement, which state officials must still approve, includes $140,000 reserved for two Marin County Audubon Society wetlands projects.

More than a half-million gallons of sewage altogether were spilled in the incidents, including overflows totaling nearly 300,000 gallons in January 2008.

The district blamed aging equipment for most of the problems. A new treatment plant opened in 2010 and a 15-year, $200 million project is under way to upgrade more than 200 miles of old pipes.