TRAVELERS TOLD TO MAKE TIME FOR CLOSED BAY BRIDGE: OAKLAND (AP) — State transportation officials are warning travelers to find alternate routes around the San Francisco Bay Area next week through Labor Day weekend while workers ready the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
The California Department of Transportation said in a statement Wednesday that travelers and commuters should also allow extra time however they choose to travel while the bridge is closed.
The closure is planned for Wednesday night Aug. 28 through early Tuesday morning Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day.
Federal officials gave their approval and local officials voted unanimously last week to approve a temporary fix for broken seismic safety bolts that have delayed the opening of the new, $6.4 billion eastern span.
The vote cleared the way for the span's reopening around Labor Day
RACCOON SKINNING LEADS TO ARREST OF SEX OFFENDER: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE . (AP) — Bloody hands and a skinned raccoon led to the arrest of a California sex offender and parole violator in South Lake Tahoe.
Police says 37-year-old Kevin Burroughs was arrested Monday after officers were called to an open lot on reports of a man with a large knife skinning an animal in broad daylight.
When officers arrived Burroughs took off running, leading them on a foot chase across busy U.S. 50. Police say he ran down several streets before jumping a fence at St. Theresa's School.
He made his way to the baseball fields at South Tahoe Middle School where he was cornered by officers and arrested.
Burroughs was booked on five charges, including being a parolee at large.
The raccoon carcass was recovered and destroyed.
PARENTS OF CA TEEN SHOT BY DEA AGENTS AWARDED $3M: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge has awarded $3 million to the parents of a Southern California teen who was fatally shot by plainclothes Drug Enforcement Administration agents three years ago.
The judge said Wednesday that the DEA agents had reason to believe they were in danger but it was unreasonable for them to fire at the moving car driven by Zachary Champommier.
In June 2010, the 18-year-old was driving by a Studio City parking lot where agents were discussing a search warrant they had just served. Authorities said the agents fired at the teen after he tried to run down a sheriff's deputy.
Champommier's parents claimed in a wrongful-death suit that the agents recklessly shot at their son, who had no way of knowing he was encountering law enforcement officers.
NASA RECYCLES SPACECRAFT TO SEARCH FOR ASTEROIDS: PASADENA (AP) — A NASA spacecraft currently in hibernation will be restarted to search for asteroids that astronauts could potentially explore.
The space agency said Wednesday it will awaken the Wise spacecraft next month to begin its new three-year mission to hunt for space rocks at an annual cost of about $5 million.
Launched in 2009, Wise scanned the sky for galaxies, stars, asteroids and other celestial objects. After its primary mission, it focused on surveying asteroids and comets and was placed in hibernation in 2011.
NASA wants to drag an asteroid closer to Earth so that spacewalking astronauts could visit it by 2025 as a stepping stone to flying to Mars. The new mission would seek out possible asteroids for humans to explore.
SURGEON PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN LIPO DEATH CASE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Southern California cosmetic surgeon has been pleaded not guilty to killing a 61-year-old patient by administering a toxic mixture of drugs during liposuction surgery.
City News Service reports 46-year-old Ehab Aly Mohamed was arraigned Wednesday on involuntary manslaughter charges.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says Mohamed will remain in jail where he's been since his July conviction for forgery and burglary.
Mohamed was charged in the 2010 death of Sharon Carpenter after a more than 10-hour liposuction operation in which Mohamed allegedly gave her a lethal combination of lidocaine, fentanyl and oxycodone. Mohamed was also charged with elder abuse of a 77-year-old woman who prosecutors say lost consciousness during liposuction and had ongoing health issues afterward.
If convicted, Mohamed faces up to 10 years in prison.
OC MAYOR SUES POLICE LABOR UNION FOR CONSPIRACY: COSTA MESA (AP) — The mayor of Costa Mesa is suing the police labor union, claiming it waged a campaign to intimidate and defame him during contract talks.
James Righeimer's suit, filed Tuesday in Orange County, accuses the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Association of privacy invasion, conspiracy, assault and civil rights violations. His wife and Councilman Steve Mensinger are also part of the suit.
The suit claims that last year, the union was involved in a failed effort to get the mayor arrested on trumped-up drunken driving allegations. It claims a private investigator working for a law firm hired by the union spied on Righeimer at a bar, where he had only a soft drink, then arranged for police to confront him at his home.
ARMY RESERVIST SUES OVER ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION: SANTA ANA . (AP) — An attorney with the County Counsel in Orange County is suing his own office, claiming he was denied promotions because he's an Army reservist.
The Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/1dqLaJE ) says Robert Ervais contends he faced discrimination because of the time he had to serve away from his job a probate attorney.
Ervais sued last year in federal court and county supervisors reviewed the case Tuesday.
Ervais contends in the past decade, 15 people have been promoted over him and that he was told he should give up the reserves if he wanted a better chance.
Workplace discrimination against military service members is barred by federal law.
The county has denied discrimination and said Ervais wouldn't have been promoted anyway — though it hasn't said why not.