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• STUDENT, 16, ARRESTED FOR HANDING OUT POT BROWNIES : HAYWARD (AP) — A Northern California high school student has been arrested after several of her classmates became ill in school from eating marijuana-laced brownies that authorities say she gave them.

Hayward Police Sgt. Mark Ormsby says the 16-year-old Hayward High School student was arrested Thursday after giving brownies to five classmates on Wednesday morning while they were on their way to school.

The student is facing charges of distributing marijuana to minors.

The illl students received medical attention and were released to their parents, Ormsby says.

School officials alerted the police, Ormsby says, and a preliminary investigation showed that the students knew the brownies contained pot before eating them.


• BAY AREA MAN CHARGED WITH NATIONWIDE ATM SCAM: SAN JOSE. (AP) — A San Francisco Bay Area man has pleaded not guilty to charges he fleeced more than a hundred investors by promising them a percentage of user fees from ATMs across the country.

The San Jose Mercury News reports 44-year-old Michael Brendan Ferguson is charged with nine felonies, including securities fraud and grand theft.

Prosecutors say the Foster City resident sold investors the rights to a percentage of fees from a portfolio of ATMs located in shopping centers throughout the nation — or sold them ATMs plus a percentage of those fees. However, prosecutors allege, Ferguson did not own most of the machines and paid his clients with money from new investors.

San Jose resident Cheryl Palos says she lost nearly $770 thousand, her entire life savings.

Ferguson’s lawyer did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment.


• NEW PLAN AIMS TO HELP BIG BASIN’S ENDANGERED BIRDS: BOULDER CREEK (AP) — State parks officials and environmentalists have agreed on a plan to help protect endangered birds in Big Basin State Park on the Central California coast.

T he California Department of Parks and Recreation filed a plan Wednesday to reduce the number of ravens and blue jays at the park. The birds prey upon endangered marbled murrelet eggs.

The murrelets are rare seabirds that nest high in the park’s old-growth redwoods.

Ravens and jays in Big Basin are drawn in numbers ten to twenty times above normal by garbage and food left by visitors.

The new plan calls for food lockers, and continued trash pick-ups through the weekend, when trash bins often overflow.

The Center for Biological Diversity’s Shaye Wolf says the plan requires further action if improved trash management and visitor education do not produce results.


• BURGLARS TARGETING SONOMA COUNTY VACATION HOMES: SONOMA (AP) — Sonoma County sheriff’s officials say burglars have been targeting clusters of unoccupied vacation homes, making off with electronics and furniture.

Sgt. Mike Raasch said this week that detectives have received 52 reports of burglarized houses since September from Sonoma Valley to the Russian River and Bodega Bay.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Wednesday that in some cases, the same home has been hit twice or even three times.

Raasch would not say how the burglars might be finding the vacant vacation homes, citing the ongoing investigation.

But some managers of vacation homes say thieves may be following popular websites where owners advertise their properties. Such sites often list where homes are located and when they’re available.


• MAN TAKEN AWAY AFTER SAN FRANCISCO POLICE STANDOFF: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police say a shooting suspect was taken into custody after an hours-long standoff outside a recreational vehicle in the city’s Outer Mission neighborhood.

Television news footage showed the man being led away in handcuffs on Thursday morning. Sgt. Danielle Newman said he was not, however, immediately arrested.

The man is suspected of shooting another man on the street around 3 a.m. The victim — a man in his 30s — suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and was expected to survive.

Newman says he and a witness helped lead officers to the suspect, who had barricaded himself inside an RV.

A police SWAT team was called out, and the man eventually surrendered. It was not clear what prompted the shooting.