By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Placeholder Image

FORMER DETROIT ZOO ELEPHANT EUTHANIZED AT SAN ANDREAS REFUGE: SAN ANDREAS  (AP) — A popular but ailing elephant named Wanda that lived in several zoos before being sent to a Northern California wildlife sanctuary has died.

The Performing Animal Welfare Society, or Paws, says the 57-year-old elephant was euthanized Wednesday because of arthritis and foot problems.

Wanda was one of two Asian elephants moved in 2005 to Paws’ sanctuary in the Sierra Nevada foothills of San Andreas, California from the Detroit Zoo.

The other elephant, named Winky, died in 2008.

Paws officials say Wanda was captured at a young age in the wild in Asia to be put on display in the United States.

She was moved from one location to another at least seven times, including a circus, several zoos in Texas, and then the Detroit Zoo in Michigan.


EMACIATED SEA LION RESCUED ON SAN FRANCISCO BOULEVARD: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Official say that an emaciated sea lion yearling that was probably looking for food was rescued along a major San Francisco boulevard, more than 1,000 feet from the ocean.

The young male pinniped had dragged himself uphill, through shrubbery and over the busy road before being discovered Wednesday by two motorists.

A park ranger driving through the area stopped to help and took the animal to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, where the ranger named him “Persevero,” which means to persevere in Latin.

Officials say the sea lion weighs 28 pounds instead of a normal 80 pounds.

Hundreds of sick and starving sea lion pups and yearlings are turning up on California beaches. But wildlife officials say it remains unclear what’s separating the animals, who should be nursing, from their mothers.



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The mysterious gray goo that killed 170 seabirds in the San Francisco Bay Area has been identified as a synthetic oil.

Scientists at state and federal laboratories have yet to determine where the sticky gunk that looked like rubber cement came from or exactly how it got into the bay.

Lab officials determined Thursday that the goo that first turned up on shorelines east of San Francisco in mid-January contained a mixture of non-petroleum-based fats or oils.

Non-petroleum oils include synthetic oils, such as silicone fluids, tung oils, and wood-derivative oils such as resin/rosin oils. Animal fats and oil, and edible and inedible seed oils from plants are included too.

The odorless substance sapped the seabird’s ability to stay warm, float or fly. More than 300 birds were also captured alive. Ninety-one birds remain at a rehabilitation center waiting for release.

LAKES FILLING, WATERFALLS FLOWING AFTER RAIN: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lake Mendocino in Northern California was near capacity following recent rains, and some California waterfalls are near-peak flow.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports ( that Lake Mendocino is at 97 percent storage capacity following last weekend’s deluge. Officials say the lake had gained 8,000 acre-feet of water since Friday and had a good chance of surpassing the threshold with continued runoff from recent storms.

California is now entering its fourth year of drought.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reports ( that the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley and the Big Basin Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains are flush. In the San Francisco Bay Area, a new lake-record rainbow trout was caught at Los Vaqueros Reservoir and all eight lakes in Marin County are topped out to their brims.


WIFE OF EX-OFFICER FOUND GUILTY IN METER THEFTS: SANTA ROSA . (AP) — A Northern California jury has convicted the wife of a former campus police officer for being an accessory to stealing more than $280,000 from campus parking meters at a community college in Santa Rosa.

Karen Holzworth wiped her eyes as the jury delivered the verdict Wednesday.

The 50-year-old woman faces up to 3 ½ years in prison when she is sentenced March 26.

Her husband, Jeff Holzworth, was sentenced to four years in prison last year for stealing the money from automated machines at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Prosecutors say Jeff Holzworth stole $287,000 over an eight-year period. They say his wife exchanged the bills and coins at banks and that the couple spent the money on vacations, at a casino and on living expenses.


EX-JUVENILE HALL OFFICER CHARGED WITH RUBBING SHOES IN URINE: SANTA ANA  (AP) — A former deputy correctional officer at Orange County’s Juvenile Hall has been charged with child abuse for allegedly rubbing the shoes of three teenage charges in their own urine.

Tamie Marie Bieker was charged Wednesday with three misdemeanor counts. She faces up to three years in jail if convicted.

A phone number for Bieker couldn’t be found Wednesday night and it wasn’t immediately clear whether she has an attorney.

Authorities say the 38-year-old woman rubbed the shoes of three boys, ages 13, 14, and 17, in urine last year as punishment after they went in their rooms.

She allegedly forced one of the boys to walk in the shoes.

Authorities say Bieker had refused two of the teens permission to use restrooms.


FOREST COUNCILMAN CHARGED WITH STEALING ELECTION SIGNS: LAKE FOREST  (AP) — A Lake Forest city councilman has been charged with violating a city ordinance against stealing election signs — a law that he toughened last year.

The Orange County district attorney’s office says Adam Nick was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor counts of petty theft and receiving stolen property.

Authorities say last October, Nick arranged to steal about a dozen campaign signs for fellow Councilman Scott Voigts, who was running for a second term. Voigts was reelected.

Nick also is charged with violating a city ordinance that he amended last year to allow harsher penalties for people who tamper with or remove campaign signs.

He could face a year in jail if convicted.