Oracle beats New Zealand to keep America's Cup
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Skipper Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA have won the America's Cup with one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.
Spithill steered Oracle's space-age, 72-foot catamaran to its eighth straight victory, speeding past Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand in the winner-take-all Race 19 on San Francisco Bay to keep the oldest trophy in international sports in the United States.
All but defeated a week ago, the 34-year-old Australian and his international crew twice rallied from seven-point deficits to win 9-8 Wednesday. Owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, Oracle Team USA was docked two points for illegally modifying boats in warmup regattas and had to win 11 races to keep the Auld Mug.
Oracle's showed its incredible speed when it reeled in the Kiwis while zigzagging toward the Golden Gate Bridge on the windward third leg.
USA's comeback renews interest in America's Cup
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Just a month ago, the America's Cup "village" along San Francisco's waterfront had few visitors.
Its trendy, temporary bars often had more staff than patrons and retail workers at souvenir shops stood behind silent cash registers as sailing's most prestigious competition got off to a desultory start with single-competitor "races" that drew little interest.
Then Oracle Team USA launched one of the greatest comebacks in the sport's history. On Wednesday, tens of thousands of fans are expected to line up along the city's waterfront and find vantage points from the city's many hills to watch the winner-take-all final race.
Economists say the event will still fall far short of the $1 billion economic boon first predicted, but that the America's Cup will still end up an economic success.
Officials unveil BART strike contingency plan
(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With another possible strike on the horizon, Bay Area Rapid Transit officials unveiled a transportation contingency plan that will provide commuters with a range of options.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that transportation officials on Tuesday released a $21 million plan to provide free charter buses, extra car pool lanes and even limited train service run by managers.
If no deal is reached, BART employees could strike as early as Oct. 11, when a cooling-off period ordered last month by Gov. Jerry Brown expires.
The contingency plan is more aggressive than the one used during a strike in July, primarily because BART ridership peaks in the fall.
The plan still needs approval by BART's board of directors; unions say the plan puts riders at risk.
SF police make arrest in light-rail shooting
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police have arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting another man in the back of the head in what police believe was a random attack.
Police say Nikhom Thephakaysone was taken into custody on Tuesday outside his home in the city's Oceanview District.
He is suspected of shooting the 20-year-old male victim on Monday night after the victim got off a light-rail car.
Police have told the San Francisco Chronicle the shooting appears to have been a random, unprovoked attack.
Thephakaysone's arrest came after police released surveillance footage of a suspect taken from the light-rail car and asked for the public's help in identifying him.
Police said they planned to release additional details about the case at a news conference scheduled for Thursday.
LONGTIME TEACHER-MOLEST CHARGES
Legal claim filed in SF Bay Area child abuse case
(Information in the following story is from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com)
CONCORD, Calif. (AP) — A new legal claim accuses officials at a San Francisco Bay Area school district of failing to report suspected child abuse by a teacher who is now charged with molesting numerous students.
The claim on behalf of seven alleged victims of Joseph Martin, an elementary school teacher in the Mt. Diablo School District in Contra Costa County, alleges a 2006 district report found Martin may have abused children. But the claim filed last week says district officials at the time did not report the findings to police.
Martin has been charged with over 100 felony counts involving 13 fifth-grade boys. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Contra Costa Times reports that the alleged victims in the claim say they were abused between 2009 and earlier this year.
A message for district officials was not immediately returned.
HUMBOLDT STATE PRESIDENT
Humboldt State president announces retirement
ARCATA, Calif. (AP) — Humboldt State University, the northernmost four-year public college in California, will soon be in the market for a new president.
Rollin Richmond, the Arcata campus' leader since July 2002, announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the school year.
Richmond, a geneticist by training, came to Humboldt from Iowa State University, where he served as provost.
The Times-Standard of Eureka reports that his accomplishments in California include diversifying the campus' student body and for making research a priority.
Like other Cal State presidents, his tenure in recent years has been marked by challenging budget cuts.
In 2009, the school's General Faculty Association issued a no-confidence vote in his leadership after Richmond appointed a professor to serve as campus provost instead of holding a national search for the post.