Latest Northern California news, sports, business and entertainment


Teen ordered off life support; family can appeal

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A judge has ordered that a 13-year-old Northern California girl declared brain dead after suffering complications following a tonsillectomy be taken off life support.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo issued the order Tuesday but gave Jahi McMath's family until 5 p.m. Dec. 30 to file an appeal. She will stay on life support until then.

Grillo issued the order after a Stanford doctor testified that Jahi is brain dead. Dr. Paul Graham Fisher's evaluation was the second to reach that conclusion.

Children's Hospital of Oakland, where Jahi is hospitalized, has asked that the girl be taken off life support after doctors there also concluded she was brain dead. Her family wants to keep Jahi connected to a breathing machine.

The family has said it believes she is still alive and that the hospital should not remove her from the ventilator without its permission.


Evacuations lifted for Big Sur fire

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — Officials now say all of the 100 or so residents forced to evacuate during a wildfire in Central California's Big Sur region have now been allowed back into their homes.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Tyson Navarro confirms that the evacuations and road closures were lifted last night, though Pfeiffer Road and Sycamore Road will be open only to residents.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Mike Rivera said 34 homes were destroyed in the fire, 12 more than originally estimated.

The updated figure was the result of a more aggressive assessment of the damaged area. One property had more homes than originally thought.

The unusual late fall fire burned more than 1.4 square miles in the Los Padres National Forest.

About 180 firefighters remained on the scene.


Brown pardons mostly target drug offenders

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has issued 127 Christmas Eve pardons, the vast majority of them to people convicted of drug offenses.

Typical of the handful of crimes that were not directly drug-related is that committed in 1995 by a Humboldt County woman. She was convicted of burglary after she broke into a home to steal food so she could feed her children.

A statement from the governor's office on Tuesday says all those granted pardons had completed their sentences. They also have been released from custody for more than a decade without committing additional crimes.

The Democratic governor has granted 341 pardons since taking office in 2011.

A gubernatorial pardon does not erase a conviction but rather restores certain rights, such as allowing the person to serve on a jury.


30 arrests during 49ers game at Candlestick

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police say 30 people were arrested during the 49ers' final regular season game at Candlestick Park.

Sgt. Eric O'Neal says most of the arrests at Monday night's game were for public drunkenness, though one person was taken into custody on suspicion of trying to steal a seat from the stadium.

The 49ers clinched a playoff spot after beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-24. In addition to the arrests, police said 81 people were ejected and seven people were cited.

Police Chief Greg Suhr had said earlier that fans could expect 50 percent more officers at Monday's game than a regular night game.

The Niners began playing at The Stick in 1971. The team is moving to a new, $1.2 billion stadium next season.


Nevada gunman told patients to flee before killing

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Newly released 911 tapes paint a scene of panic and terror at a Nevada medical office where dozens of callers hid in bathrooms and exam rooms from a suicidal gunman who killed one doctor and shot another.

One said the gunman told patients to leave or he'd shoot them after he entered the Urology Nevada office in Reno last week. The caller said the man armed with a pistol-grip, 12-gauge shotgun told him he had a vasectomy at the office and it ruined his life.

Other terrified callers included a woman hiding under a desk in an exam room and another who whispered "Oh, my God" as apparent gunshots can be heard in the background.

Police on Tuesday confirmed that the shooter, 51-year-old Alan Oliver Frazier, had been a patient at the facility and had complained about a botched 2010 surgery.


'Grace period' for health insurance ends Friday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Friday will be the end of the grace period to get health insurance starting Jan. 1 for consumers who were frustrated in their attempts to sign up by Monday's deadline.

Santiago Lucero, spokesman for the agency running California's health exchange, says insurers need time to review policy applications so coverage can start in the new year.

The grace period was announced Monday after it became clear that thousands of people were unable to get coverage because the website and call centers were overwhelmed.

It applies to anyone who attempted to start an application Monday, although many people were not even able to get that far.

On Tuesday, Lucero encouraged people to keep trying to reach a call center, even if they could not prove their attempts to get coverage before the deadline.


SF man acquitted in 2012 stabbing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco man charged with murder in a 2012 stabbing has been acquitted of all charges after a jury found he acted in self-defense.

The San Francisco public defender's spokeswoman, Tamara Barak Aparton, says the jury determined that 47-year-old Howard Frazier was not guilty of murder because his attacker, 54-year-old Luther Robinson III, had previously bullied and threatened him before the fatal stabbing.

Six weeks before the confrontation, Barak Aparton says, Robinson had chased and assaulted Frazier with a club, threatening to kill him.

Frazier testified at trial that he tried to diffuse the conflict by talking to Robinson's brother, to no avail.

When Robinson grabbed Frazier by the vest on Feb. 15, 2012, Frazier stabbed him once with a pocket knife. Robinson died a short time later.


Tulare County Sheriff's deputy dies in crash

VISALIA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a Tulare County Sheriff's deputy died in a crash while transporting two inmates to the county jail in Visalia.

The single-vehicle crash occurred around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Sheriff's officials say the deputy, 31-year-old Jeremy Meyst, was ejected from a van after apparently hitting a cement guardrail on the road.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating what led to the crash. The two inmates suffered minor injuries.

Meyst, a correctional deputy, was transporting the inmates to the main jail from the department's Porterville substation. Sheriff's officials say there is no indication the inmates had any role in the crash.

In a statement, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said Meyst's death left him heartbroken. Meyst is survived by his wife and two young children.


4 arrested in gunshot that hit deputy's knife

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Fresno County Sheriff's officials say four men have been arrested in connection with a gunshot that hit a deputy's pocket knife, sparing him from a bullet wound.

The men — all in their 20s — were allegedly shooting rifles in the county's foothills on Sunday when a bullet flew toward Deputy John Capriola. Capriola was responding to a call of shots fired.

Instead of hitting the deputy, the bullet ricocheted off his knife, leaving him with just a bruise.

The men were booked on suspicion of felony negligent discharge of a firearm. They were identified as: Benjamin Speaker of San Luis Obispo; Gregory Ravy of Squaw Valley; Joshua Holt of Prescott, Ariz.; and Matthew Godde of Long Beach.

It was not immediately clear whether they had attorneys or had been charged.


3 wounded in Fresno apartment shooting

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

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Fresno police are investigating a shooting at an apartment that left three people wounded as possibly drug-related.

KFSN-TV reports that two unidentified men stepped into the apartment and opened fire on Sunday night after someone knocked on the door. A toddler was sleeping inside, but was not hurt.

Mark Salazar with the Fresno Police Department says the shooting appeared personal. The men did not ask for anything or take anything before opening fire.

Police say the victims had a small amount of marijuana in the apartment. All three were shot in the upper body and face, but were expected to survive.