- Nearly $20 million in PG&E fines OKd by state PUC (SF Chronicle)
The state Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a pair of fines Thursday totaling nearly $20 million against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for failing to check for gas-line leaks in seven East Bay communities and for missing a deadline to turn over pipeline safety records.
- California unemployment jumps to 11 percent (Sacramento Bee)
California unemployment increased to 11 percent last month, even though companies continued to pad their payrolls. The statewide unemployment rate went up a tenth of a point. But employers added 18,200 workers to their payrolls, according to the Employment Development Department.
- SF’s Only Locked Mental Health Facility For Youth Is Closing (Bay Citizen)
Fourteen San Francisco teenagers who have been living in a locked mental health treatment program — children with traumatic backgrounds who require so much care that most other programs turned them away — are being moved. The Seneca Center Community Treatment Facility at San Francisco General Hospital will close permanently by May 16, after the city cut $900,000, almost a third of its budget.
- Examiner publisher: Ex buying Bay Guardian story “not true” (SF Chronicle Politics Blog)
San Francisco Examiner President and Publisher Todd Vogt told The Chronicle Thursday evening that a story that the Ex is buying the San Francisco Bay Guardian is “not true.” The East Bay Express broke the news Thursday afternoon that, based on two unnamed sources, the Examiner had purchased the Bay Guardian, the 46-year-old progressive, alternative weekly. The Express soon backed off that a bit, saying the Ex was “clos(ing) in” on a deal.
- Oakland seeks to close motels over prostitution claims (Oakland Tribune)
Oakland city attorneys will head back to court Friday seeking to temporarily shut down the Economy Inn motel, which city officials say has long been a hub of prostitution and child sex trafficking. The city first sued the motel at 122 E. 12th Street near Lake Merritt in 2010 under a law requiring hotel owners to prevent prostitution at their properties. Similar charges were also filed against the National Lodge motel at International Boulevard and East 17th Street.
- Bay Area homes sales up, prices flat (SF Chronicle)
As the real estate market continues bouncing along the bottom, the Bay Area saw more homes change hands in March compared with a year ago, while the median price stayed flat, according to a real estate report released Thursday.
- Study: Marin County men have the highest life expectancy in the nation, women rank No. 2 (Marin Independent Journal)
The average life expectancy of men living in Marin County is higher than in any other county in the United States, and Marin women have the second-highest life expectancy in the nation, according to a study released Thursday.
- 49ers’ kick off move to Santa Clara with far-from-traditional groundbreaking (SJ Mercury News)
Striking a shovel into the heart of Silicon Valley, the San Francisco 49ers rolled out an entire football field Thursday — not to mention grandstands, vendors with Cracker Jack, cheerleaders and a giant inflatable football helmet. The storied NFL franchise kicked off its move to Santa Clara with a gold-and-crimson-filled groundbreaking for the team’s new $1.2 billion stadium that looked more like a Super Bowl halftime show than a traditional hardhat-and-shovel photo op.
- BART agent says he could be fired for gifting discarded tickets (Contra Costa Times)
A BART station agent who says he gave $300 in discarded tickets to a needful teen will defend himself at a BART hearing Friday, a friend said. The agent, Novato resident Jim Stanek, 65, told friends he faces the possibility of losing his job or being prosecuted.
- S.F. Chinatown home of ‘rudest waiter’ is closing (SF Chronicle)
…Sam Wo, Chinatown’s 100-year-old hole-in-the-wall, is closing, much to the chagrin of many locals who grew up on its gruff service, rich noodle soups and late-night chow fun.