Latest Northern California news, sports, business and entertainment


Girl is brain dead after surgery to remove tonsils

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A 13-year-old Northern California girl is brain dead after going into surgery to remove her tonsils.

KGO-TV reported Sunday that Jahi McMath's family is demanding Oakland Children's Hospital conduct an investigation after she went into cardiac arrest and died, before being brought back by hospital staff. Jahi is brain dead and on life support.

Doctors said the surgery would help with Jahi's sleep apnea, but there were complications during her recovery last week. Her mother Nailah Winkfield said Jahi had "actual clots" sliding out of her mouth, which her mother was told to catch in a cup for hospital staff to measure.

A hospital spokeswoman said in a statement that any surgery is risky and that the hospital would investigate what happened. She didn't provide details on the surgery.


Union reaches deal with UC system on contract

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A union representing nearly 15,000 researchers, technical employees and health care professionals for the University of California has reached a tentative deal on their contract with the system.

The University Professional & Technical Employees union called the deal historic in a statement released Sunday. Workers at UC's 10 campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will vote on it this week.

The proposed four-year contract includes cost-of-living increases of 11.5 to 13 percent, in addition to regular step increases.

Workers would contribute an additional 1 percent to the pension plan to maintain it as is.

UC spokeswoman Shelly Meron called the agreement fair and the result of two years of hard work.

Union workers include clinical lab scientists, social workers, pharmacists, staff research associates, computer resource specialists, editors and writers.


Report: Mental hospital sent patients out of state

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Bee has found that Nevada's primary hospital for mentally ill people has sent hundreds of patients out of Las Vegas on Greyhound buses in recent years.

The Bee reports in its Sunday editions that Greyhound bus receipts listed the names of more than 1,000 people who were given one-way tickets to cities across the country over the past three years.

The tickets were given to mentally ill men and women shortly after they arrived at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas. More than 325 of the patients boarded buses to California.

The newspaper's investigation found that crime and tragedy often followed the bus rides. Passenger names were found in criminal databases across the state and nation for arrests involving murder, assault, sex crimes and other violations.


Fire at pizza place spreads to nearby businesses

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

QUINCY, Calif. (AP) — A fire that began in a pizza place in Quincy spread, destroying four other businesses on the block.

KCRA-TV reports that the fire started at about 4 a.m. Sunday on the second floor of the Pizza Factory on Main Street.

Highway 70 was closed and power was shut off, but restored, as the Quincy Fire Department fought the blaze.

Firefighters tell the television station that apartments above the pizza place sustained smoke and water damage.

Arson investigators are trying to figure out the cause of the fire.

Quincy is about 80 miles from Reno, Nev.


Sacramento woman's ashes recovered from stolen car

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Sacramento County man whose car was stolen from a local car wash is praising the vehicle's return, but mostly because of what was inside: his late wife's ashes.

Television station KCRA in Sacramento reports that Port of Stockton police recovered 78-year-old Melvin Hayes' Ford Fusion when they arrested two people near the port's main entrance on Saturday morning.

Hayes and his son found the metallic blue urn containing Anne Marie Hayes' ashes wedged in the Fusion's trunk under bags belonging to the alleged auto thieves.

Hayes tells KCRA the car was stolen on Thursday when he stopped to get it washed on the way to his wife's burial service.

He says a woman there chatted him up while he was waiting and that an attendant mistakenly gave her his keys when the job was done.


Monument status eyed for former Santa Cruz dairy

(Information in the following story is from: Santa Cruz Sentinel,

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — California land preservationists are hoping to have a former dairy farm north of Santa Cruz crowned as a national monument.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that conservations are seeking the designation for Coast Dairies, a 7,000-acre tract of sloping hills dotted with redwood trees and beaches.

The land has been closed to the public for decades, but that is expected to change in the next few months when the Bureau of Land Management takes control of it.

Sam Goldman, California program director for the Conservation Lands Foundation, tells the Sentinel that being declared a monument could bring in more federal dollars for managing the property.

The foundation also is pursuing monument status for another slice of the California coast that once housed a dairy, the 1,100 Stornetta Public Lands in Mendocino County.


Sonoma fairgrounds plays host to pot contest

(Information in the following story is from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat,

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — In a sure sign of the sizable role marijuana plays in California's agricultural economy, a competition for pot farmers who grow their crops outdoors is being held this year at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reports that hundreds of people gathered there over the weekend for the 2013 Emerald Cup, which started a decade ago as an underground, end-of-harvest celebration for growers in Mendocino and Humboldt counties.

Only weed that has been grown organically in the sun and hashish cured without chemicals were eligible for the contest.

A panel of judges that includes buyers for medical marijuana dispensaries was expected to name the winners on Sunday from among more 150 entries.

A Field Poll released last week found that 55 percent of voters surveyed favor legalizing marijuana use for adults.


Joan Fontaine, Oscar-winner for 'Suspicion,' dies

CARMEL, Calif. (AP) — Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine has died at the age of 96.

Longtime friend Noel Beutel says she died in her sleep in her Carmel home Sunday morning.

Fontaine won an Academy Award as a naive wife in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller "Suspicion" and also starred in Hitchcock's "Rebecca," which won the Oscar for best picture. Her other films included "The Women," ''Jane Eyre" and "Born to be Bad."

Fontaine was the sister of fellow actress Olivia de Havilland.