BILL CALLS FOR CONSIDERING BRIDGE SUICIDE BARRIERS: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Suicide barriers could be included on more California bridges as a result of a bill advancing through the Legislature.
AB755 by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco would require planners to consider whether a suicide barrier is needed when designing or refurbishing bridges. If barriers are not considered, a bridge project would be ineligible for state or federal money.
Ammiano led the effort to install a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge, which was approved in 2008. The bridge has been the site of more than 1,400 confirmed deaths since it opened in 1937.
Ammiano says barriers would help prevent suicides by increasing the difficulty of what often appears to be an impulse decision.
EX-POLICE LAWYER SUES SFPD OVER FIRING: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former San Francisco Police attorney fired two years ago has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the department.
Kelly O'Haire's suit accuses Chief Greg Suhr of dismissing her in retaliation in 2011.
Two years earlier O'Haire had put together a case to fire then-Deputy Chief Suhr over an incident in which he did not immediately report a domestic violence claim involving a friend. The case was never heard. Suhr served a suspension.
In the suit, O'Haire alleges she was threatened by Suhr's attorney, who told her she was "going to be sorry" she filed the case against Suhr.
The department says she was terminated for budgetary reasons.
O'Haire is a civilian attorney hired by the department in 2006 to run internal affairs legal cases.
MOUNTAIN LION STUCK IN CALIF AQUEDUCT TRANQUILIZED: SANTA CRUZ (AP) — Police say a young mountain lion that was trapped in an aqueduct near downtown Santa Cruz has been tranquilized.
Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark says a member of the Puma Project at the University of California, Santa Cruz successfully drugged the untagged adolescent cat shortly after noon Thursday and planned to place it back in its habitat.
Authorities and officials with the Santa Cruz County Animal Control, state fish and wildlife, and animal rights groups spent hours trying to coax the lion from the aqueduct without injury after it was first spotted wandering the city around 4 a.m.
The lion became trapped after jumping into the concrete aqueduct on the San Lorenzo River. The cat was attempting to escape the aqueduct but could not scale its high wall.
REPORT: CALIF. SHORT ON KEY STATE WATER WORKERS: SACRAMENTO (AP) — California is losing key employees at the Department of Water Resources because it can't pay afford to pay them enough.
Water officials say that state pay for some jobs has fallen so far behind the industry's standard that trained workers are jumping ship for private utilities and other government entities.
The newspaper says the problem costs taxpayers extra tens of millions of dollars each year to move water around the state because facilities aren't managed efficiently.
The vacancy rate among 670 hydroelectric plant trades and crafts positions has run between 10 percent and 15 percent for the last two years. Currently 90 of those key positions aren't filled.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and government entities such as the federal Bureau of Reclamation routinely poach newly trained Water Resources employees.