PG&E penalized $1.4B for deadly pipeline blast
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California regulatory judges have recommended a $1.4 billion penalty against the state's largest utility for a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that engulfed a suburban San Francisco neighborhood in fire, killing eight people and prompting national alerts about aging pipelines.
The California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday announced the figure reached by two administrative law judges against Pacific Gas & Electric Co., saying it would be the largest safety-related penalty it had ever imposed.
PG&E can appeal the fine.
The recommended penalty requires approval by members of the state utility board. PG&E and other parties in the case have 30 days to lodge an appeal.
The commission previously ordered PG&E to pay $635 million for pipeline modernization after the Sept. 9, 2010, blast in the suburban San Francisco community of San Bruno.
Rescuers search for missing swimmer in California
POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif. (AP) - Rescue crews are searching for a man who went missing while swimming in an estuary at a national seashore on the Northern California coast.
National Park Service spokesman John Dell'Osso says dive teams and water rescue specialists from Marin County as well as helicopters from the California Highway Patrol were assisting in the search effort Tuesday in Drakes Estero in the Point Reyes National Seashore.
The man vanished while trying to cross the mouth of Drakes Estero a day earlier.
Dell'Osso says the missing man's two companions, however, made it across during Monday's outing. Search efforts were suspended after about six hours due to dusk and resumed on Tuesday morning.
The missing man has not been identified, but Dell'Osso says he is in his early 20s.
Rifles, inert grenades found in California home
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have found dozens of rifles, inert hand grenades and materials that can be used to make homemade explosives during a search of an Orange County home.
Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock says deputies were called to the Laguna Niguel home shortly after midnight Tuesday to investigate a domestic disturbance. He says one man was arrested and a search warrant was issued.
Later that day, investigators found more than two dozen rifles, inert hand grenades and materials that can be combined to make explosives.
Hallock says 56-year-old Juan Martinez is being held for investigation of domestic violence and possession of substances with the intent to create a destructive or explosive device.
SERIAL STRANGLING TRIAL
Los Angeles jury convicts man of 3 serial murders
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles jury has convicted a career criminal in the serial killings of three women in the 1980s.
The jury on Tuesday found 74-year-old Samuel Little guilty of three counts of murder.
The victims were 41-year-old Carol Alford, whose body was found on July 13, 1987; 35-year-old Audrey Nelson, found on Aug. 14, 1989; and 46-year-old Guadalupe Apodaca, found on Sept. 3, 1989.
The prosecution was made possible by advances in DNA technology. Little was arrested in 2012 after detectives from Los Angeles found him living in Kentucky.
Prosecutor Beth Silverman has said Little is likely responsible for at least 40 killings nationwide dating back to 1980. Authorities in California, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio are scouring their cold-case files for possible ties to Little.
Stanford's O-line trying to live up to reputation
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Stanford's offensive line was in the middle of a meeting during spring practices earlier this year when a few large visitors walked into the room.
Current NFL linemen Jonathan Martin and David Yankey and former team captain Sam Schwartzstein popped in with a couple of other past players for a surprise history lesson. They educated the new crop of Cardinal linemen about the responsibility they were inheriting and issued a challenge to improve upon what had been established.
With four new starters next to returning left tackle Andrus Peat, the unit is in the early stages of another reconstruction. It will face its first major test Saturday when the 13th-ranked Cardinal host Leonard Williams and No. 14 Southern California in a much-anticipated Pac-12 tilt.
NFL star, boxer Charlie Powell dies in California
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Charlie Powell, the San Diego sports all-star who was one of the first black NFL players and who later became a boxer and fought Cassius Clay, has died. He was 82.
His brother Jerry tells U-T San Diego that Powell died early Monday at a San Diego hospital after being treated for dehydration following a collapse at a hotel on Friday.
After graduating San Diego High in 1952 with 12 varsity letters, Charlie Powell turned down an offer to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. He briefly played professional baseball before joining the NFL when he was 19 years old. He played for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.
After retiring he turned to boxing, climbing to fourth in the world with bouts against Clay and Floyd Patterson.
CHARGERS-HALL OF FAME
O'Neal newest member of Chargers Hall of Fame
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Leslie O'Neal, who is tied for 10th on the NFL's all-time sacks list with Lawrence Taylor, is the newest member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame.
O'Neal will be inducted on Oct. 19 at halftime of the Chargers' game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
A two-time All-American at Oklahoma State, O'Neal was drafted eighth overall in 1986 and went on to become the NFL's Defensive Rookie Player of the Year after amassing 12.5 sacks, including a team-record five in a game against the Dallas Cowboys.
He collected 105.5 sacks in 10 seasons in San Diego. The six-time Pro Bowler had accumulated 132.5 sacks by the time he retired in 1999 after also playing two seasons each with the St. Louis Rams and the Chiefs.
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