SAN FRANCISCO FIRE
3-alarm fire burning in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco firefighters have prevented a major blaze from spreading from a condominium construction site to nearby buildings.
The five-alarm fire started burning at around 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood, a onetime industrial area that lies along the San Francisco Bay.
The fire sent an enormous plume of black smoke high into the sky and eventually caused a wall of the structure to collapse. Officials say fire-suppression systems had not yet been installed in the building, making the battle against the blaze more difficult.
Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White tells the San Francisco Chronicle that the fire is the city's largest in several years.
Mission Bay is home to a University of California, San Francisco medical campus and is close to AT&T Park, the San Francisco Giants stadium.
ASIANA CRASH-STOLEN LUGGAGE
Couple pleads no contest in luggage theft
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A United Airlines employee and his wife have pleaded no contest to stealing luggage in the aftermath of the Asiana Airlines crash.
The 44-year-old Sean Sharif Crudup of Richmond and his wife, 32-year-old Raychas Elizabeth Thomas, entered pleas Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court on charges of grand theft and possession of stolen property.
They each face up to a year in prison.
The couple is accused of stealing the luggage of passengers who were supposed to fly into the San Francisco International Airport but were diverted because of the Asiana Airlines crash on July 6, 2013.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the luggage contained valuable items including a large quantity of clothing that Thomas returned to the store for about $5,000, according to San Mateo County's chief deputy district attorney, Karen Guidotti.
California has nearly 870,000 health care sign-ups
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Nearly 870,000 Californians have signed up for an insurance policy through the state's health care exchange, as the state intensifies efforts to boost participation ahead of the March 31 enrollment deadline.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the latest federal Affordable Care Act data on Tuesday.
California leads the nation in enrollment, accounting for roughly 20 percent of all sign-ups across the country. Nationally, about 4.2 million people have enrolled in individual insurance plans under President Barack Obama's health care reforms.
The law also allowed states to expand Medicaid, which provides health insurance to lower-income people. In California, an additional 850,000 people have been determined to be eligible.
California's 869,000 sign-ups by Feb. 28 were 84 percent of the federal government's original target for that date.
FACEBOOK HEADQUARTERS THREAT
Facebook headquarters cleared after false threat
MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) - Police flooded Facebook's headquarters in Northern California to investigate a threat they later found wasn't credible.
Menlo Park police Commander Dave Bertini says Facebook's campus was locked down Tuesday night after San Francisco police passed on a report of a threat shortly after 7 p.m.
Bertini says the threat was found to be unsubstantiated and not credible, and would not give further details.
The area was declared safe, and employees were allowed to leave about 8:30 p.m.
More than 6,000 people work for the social media giant, but it wasn't clear how many were at the headquarters at that hour.
Feds accused of letting Stanford harm fish
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two environmental groups have sued the National Marine Fisheries Service over two water systems operated by Stanford University that they claim are harming threatened fish.
Our Children's Earth and Ecological Rights Foundation filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, claiming the service is not properly protecting steelhead trout in San Francisquito creek.
With the state in an historic drought, plaintiffs attorney Christopher Sproul said the government should not allow Stanford to take water out of the creek, which the school uses to irrigate a golf course and campus landscaping.
Sproul says the school's water diversions have reduced stream flows, harming fish by blocking upstream migration and warming the creek's waters.
Jim Milbury, a NMFS spokesman, said the service does not comment on pending litigation.
POLICE OFFICER-SEXUAL ASSAULT
Officer arrested in sexual assault case
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - A Northern California police officer has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, authorities announced Tuesday.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office filed one count of forcible rape against 38-year-old San Jose Police Officer Geoff Graves for an incident that occurred on Sept. 22, 2013.
Graves, who is a six-year veteran of the police force, surrendered to authorities on Monday, and he was booked into the county jail and placed on administrative leave.
KTVU-TV reports that he posed $100,000 bail and was released Tuesday.
Authorities said Graves raped a woman who had reported a domestic violence incident and whom he had transported to a hotel for the night.
Physical evidence supports the victim's allegations, investigators said.
Graves' arraignment is scheduled for March 24.
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