Latest Northern California news, sports, business and entertainment

CITY DUMP-PUPPY

Severely injured puppy found in San Francisco dump

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A puppy has been found severely injured at the city dump in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the 10-week-old Poodle was found Saturday on a recycling conveyor belt with bite marks on her neck, lameness in her hind legs and discharge from her ears. Animal control official Le Ellis Brown say the dog is expected to survive, and added that she has been named Gem "because she's like a diamond in the rough."

Investigators are working with trash collectors to determine what part of the city she may have come from. They believe she was unloaded from a collection truck at the dump and went down a conveyer belt carrying recyclables.

They're urging anyone with information to come forward.

TAHOE MUSIC FESTIVAL-DEATH

Tahoe music festival to stress safety after death

(Information in the following story is from: Tahoe Daily Tribune, http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Organizers of a popular outdoor Lake Tahoe music festival will stress safety at the event late this month after a participant's death last year.

Nineteen-year-old Alyssa Byrne of Petaluma, Calif., attended the 2012 SnowGlobe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe, but never reached her hotel a few miles away in Stateline, Nev.

Her body was found a few days after she went missing New Year's Eve, and an autopsy found she likely died of hypothermia and had drugs in her system.

Authorities speculated she tried to walk to the hotel to avoid long shuttle bus lines and became disoriented.

Organizers told the Tahoe Daily Tribune this year's three-day festival will feature double the number of buses and extended hours for a heated tent for those waiting for rides.

SOLDIER'S STOLEN CHRISTMAS

California city helps soldier replace stolen gifts

(Information in the following story is from: KCRA-TV.)

LODI, Calif. (AP) — An Army corporal on leave from his third tour in Afghanistan will be able to give his family the Christmas he wanted thanks to the generosity of a Northern California city.

KCRA-TV in Sacramento reports that residents, firefighters and police officers in Lodi gave gifts and cash Saturday to replace the thousands of dollars' worth of presents that robbers took from Cpl. Chris Petrossian's home.

Petrossian was still in Afghanistan when his frightened wife called last week to tell him about the break-in.

An iPad and digital camera were among the gifts he had ordered online and shipped home as a surprise.

He tells KCRA he has been able to replace most of the stolen gifts with the community's donations.

Lodi is about 35 miles south of Sacramento.

NEEDLE EXCHANGE UNNERVED

Sheriff keeps eye on park needle exchange program

(Information in the following story is from: The Modesto Bee, http://www.modbee.com)

The operators of a grassroots program that provides needles, syringes and condoms to drug users in Stanislaus County say the sheriff's department is unfairly scaring off and thereby endangering potential participants.

The Modesto Bee reports that in response to complaints from nearby residents, county sheriff's deputies have spent the past month monitoring the weekly Modesto Needle Exchange in Mono Park.

Program director Brian Robinson tells The Bee that only about one-third of the 100 people who usually show up did last week while deputies asked clients for their names and if they were on probation or parole.

Although Stanislaus lawmakers haven't endorsed the program, a California law that took effect last year authorizes needle exchanges operated under a doctor's supervision as a way to prevent the spread of disease.

Sheriff Adam Christianson says the park is the wrong place for needles and drug users.