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 2 PENGUIN CHICKS HATCH AT CALIFORNIA ACADEMY: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two African penguin chicks have recently hatched at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, officials announced Tuesday.

The gray, fluffy chicks hatched just days apart on November 1 and November 4 and are nesting with their parents, the academy said.

The chicks the size of a tea cup will go through “fish school” where they will learn to become proficient swimmers and get comfortable with eating hand-fed fish. Once they are ready they will join the penguin colony on exhibit in late January.

The academy’s new chicks are the second and third to be hatched as part of its Species Survival Plan program. In January 2013, the academy hatched its first chick since moving into its new Golden Gate Park facility in 2008.

African penguins were classified as an endangered species in 2010 and are at very high risk of extinction in the wild.

“By engaging the public about why sustaining these and other threatened species is so critical, we hope to inspire people around the world to join us by supporting conservation efforts locally and internationally,” said Bart Shepherd, Director of the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium.


RING FLUSHED BY KID RETURNED TO FAMILY: UNION CITY  (AP) — Sanitation workers have returned an heirloom diamond and sapphire ring to a San Francisco Bay Area family whose 3-year-old son flushed it down the toilet.

After several attempts, Union Sanitary District crews found the ring last week, about a month and a half after it disappeared from Munazzar and Mehvish Tapal’s home in Union City.

Wastewater Collection Supervisor Shawn Nesgis said that the ring traveled about a third of a mile.

Crews flushed the sewer lines and discovered the ring after vacuuming up debris. Nesgis equated the discovery to finding a needle in a haystack.

Munazzar Tapal estimates the ring has been in his family for 60 years.


MURDER SUSPECT LET OUT OF JAIL RETURNS WILLINGLY: SALINAS  (AP) — A murder suspect released from a Northern California jail by mistake last week turned himself in voluntarily, authorities said.

Antonio Miranda Martinez, 36, was let out of a jail in Salinas on Thursday because of a paperwork error just hours after a court appearance, the Monterey Herald reported Tuesday.

Miranda Martinez showed up to the jail’s main lobby and turned himself in on Monday, Sheriff’s office spokesman Cmdr. John Thornburg said.

Thornburg says a possible reason for his return is that he knew he was wanted. Investigators had few leads on his location, but his mug shot was widely distributed to media outlets and border patrol authorities.

Miranda Martinez’s pending trial will be rescheduled. He is charged with killing a 47-year-old man in March.

At the time of Miranda Martinez’s accidental release, his bail had been set at $1.5 million. He will be jailed under the same terms before his release, which means he will be lodged in a maximum security cell.