COLD SNAP-CALIFORNIA FATALITIES
4 die of hypothermia in SF Bay Area cold snap
(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Four people have died of hypothermia in the San Francisco Bay Area while the region is gripped by freezing temperatures.
Rosie Dominguez, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County coroner's office, confirmed the deaths and their cause but provided no further information. Dominguez referred questions to a county spokeswoman, who did not immediately return a phone call Friday afternoon.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that three of the victims died in homeless encampments while a fourth person died in a garage in the county on the south end of San Francisco Bay.
Temperatures dropped as low as 30 degrees at San Jose International Airport early Friday.
Woman leaves hospital after fatal Calif. home fire
MERCED, Calif. (AP) - Fire officials say a California woman who survived a blaze that killed her husband and two of her children has been released from the hospital.
Witnesses told the Merced Sun-Star that 31-year-old Ignacio Figueroa-Bautista died after taking the woman and an infant out of the burning Merced duplex then going back for two 5-year-old children who did not survive.
Merced fire Capt. Bill Alcorn said Friday that the infant was still in critical-but-stable condition at the Fresno Regional Medical Center burn unit. The mother was treated there and released Friday.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Alcorn says it apparently started in the living room.
Apple wants Samsung to pay $22M for legal bills
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Apple wants Samsung Electronics to pay $22 million of the legal bills that the iPhone and iPad maker has rung up so far defending its mobile device patents in a legal showdown with its rival.
The money sought in court documents filed Thursday would be in addition to the $930 million in damages that juries decided Samsung owes Apple Inc. after hearing evidence in two separate trials held in a San Jose, Calif., federal court.
Apple is asking U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to order Samsung to pay $15.7 million in attorney fees. That would cover less than one-third of the more than $60 million that Apple says it owes its lawyers in the case.
Apple also wants Samsung to reimburse its lawyers for $6.2 million in various expenses.
PLANE LANDS IN PARK
Small plane lands in Northern California park
FAIR OAKS, Calif. (AP) - Officials say the pilot of a small plane escaped with only minor injuries after he was forced to land at a Northern California park.
The single-engine Piper PA24 landed at a park in the Sacramento County city of Fair Oaks a little after 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
KCRA-TV reports the park was mostly empty at the time, and no one else was hurt.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane was heading from Salinas to Auburn when it experienced engine trouble.
The pilot tried to get to a nearby airport but didn't make it.
The aircraft lost power and glided into a hard landing, hitting the top of some trees and clipping a parked car before coming to a rest. Some debris from the damaged plane was scattered in the park.
The FAA plans to investigate.
BART TRAIN DISABLED-INVESTIGATION
Calif. PUC to join in BART disabled train probe
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit officials say a state agency is also looking into why a disabled train stranded hundreds of passengers in a tunnel that sent at least nine people to the hospital.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said Friday that the California Public Utilities Commission will be a part of the probe on why a train became stuck in the Berkeley hills tunnel due to an electrical short causing the emergency brakes to suddenly activate on Wednesday.
Trost says the CPUC initiates an investigation whenever more than two people require medical transport after a transit incident.
The 10-car train with around 700 passengers was traveling from Pittsburg to San Francisco came to a stop when the brakes activated and created a smoky dust that made several passengers ill.
RIM FIRE PROSECUTION
Feds decline comment on DA's Rim Fire assertion
SONORA, Calif. (AP) - Federal prosecutors have declined to address a district attorney's claim that they intend to prosecute the hunter who allegedly started the Rim Fire that raged through Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Foothills.
Tuolumne County District Attorney Michael Knowles said in a statement on Thursday that federal prosecutors have privately declared their intention to prosecute the hunter. The hunter has not been identified.
The statement went on to say that the people of Tuolumne County and county prosecutors were awaiting "just conclusion" in the federal system.
Mary Wenger, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento, said on Friday she could neither confirm nor deny Knowles's assertion.
The Rim Fire began on Aug. 17 and burned 400 square miles.
State officials have estimated damages exceeded $54 million.
WORLD CUP NOISEMAKERS
2014 World Cup noisemakers quieter than vuvuzelas
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Researchers say the official noisemakers for next year's World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil will be significantly quieter than the vuvuzela (voo-voo-ZEHL'-uh) horns that caused so many headaches in 2010.
The new instrument is a rattle called the caxirola (ka-SHE'-rah-luh), and it creates sound pressure levels similar to normal conversation.
Researchers from the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil said Thursday that it would take about 2,000 caxirolas to emit the same noise level as one vuvuzela.
In South Africa, throngs of fans playing vuvuzelas created a deafening roar during matches.
The incessant buzzing from the long, skinny horns was so loud that players on the field had a hard time communicating, and many TV viewers initially thought there were reception problems.
Stanford guard Aaron Bright out for season
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Stanford senior reserve guard Aaron Bright will miss the remainder of the season with a dislocated right shoulder.
Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said Friday that Bright will undergo season-ending surgery next month. Bright was injured during a practice last week.
Bright averaged 5.9 points in seven games off the bench this season. In 105 career games, he averaged 8.7 points and three assists while shooting 38.3 percent.
Bright also was the 2012 NIT MVP after helping the Cardinal capture the tournament title. The native of Bellevue, Wash., is expected to earn his undergraduate degree in science, technology and society in June.
Bright said in a statement that the injury is a "really tough blow" but he's grateful for his time with his coaches and teammates.
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