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Daily News Roundup for Wednesday, March 9, 2016

San José Library, used under CC BY, croppped and resized.
Books at the San José Library Almaden Branch"

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:


Mudslide probably caused Bay Area commuter train derailment, railroad official says // LA Times

“A preliminary investigation shows that a mudslide triggered by days of rain probably caused a Bay Area commuter train to derail on Monday night, according to an official of Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks.

“The Altamont Corridor Express, also known as the ACE train, was traveling north between Fremont and Pleasanton shortly after 7:15 p.m. when it struck a tree that had fallen onto the tracks and derailed, said Steve Walker, an ACE spokesman.”


Zika outbreak unlikely in Bay Area, health experts say // San Jose Mercury News

“While Zika is a real potential threat worldwide, the threat of a Bay Area outbreak is very low, health experts stressed Monday.

“Top Bay Area health professionals gathered at a symposium to share information on the Zika virus, which may cause birth defects, including abnormally small heads and vision problems. Zika is most commonly spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.”


San Jose could be Super Bowl loser thanks to vacant hotel rooms // San Jose Mercury News

“Empty hotel rooms and overhyped projections could leave San Jose on the hook for several hundred thousand dollars and the bad fortune of being the only Bay Area city to lose money on the Super Bowl.

“Instead of selling out every single room during Super Bowl week, as the city projected, San Jose hotels actually welcomed fewer guests than the same week last year, preliminary figures released Monday show.”


65-year-old Oakland man arrested for killing he didn't commit, dies in jail // Bay Area News Group

“A 65-year-old Oakland man being held at Santa Rita Jail died on Sunday -- about 24 hours after he was arrested by Oakland police for a killing they now say he didn't commit.

“The jail initially refused to take custody of Melvin Stubbs, a diabetic with an amputated leg. The reason, according to Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly, was that Stubbs' blood-sugar level was sky high.

“Kelly said that Oakland police took Stubbs to a hospital, where his medical condition was stabilized. He was then returned to the jail, where he was found dead in the medical wing about an hour and a half after he arrived.”


SF looks to end relationship with oil wells that fund Golden Gate Park, Public Library // SF Examiner

“San Francisco’s city budget has benefited from oil drilling for decades through a little-known land bequest dating back to 1941.

“But for a city that prides itself as being an environmental leader, never missing a chance to extol its green image, the oil revenues that continue to fund the San Francisco Public Library and Golden Gate Park will likely come as a surprise to many.

“San Francisco has an agreement with Chevron — before, it partnered with Shell — for a royalty payment of 15.5 percent of the oil and gas extracted from an 800-acre city-owned parcel in Kern County that is part of Chevron’s Kern River oil field, the nation’s fifth-largest oil field.”


Unpaid library late fees in San Jose total $6.8 million // LA Times

“Patrons of the San Jose public library system have racked up $6.8 million in late fees for overdue materials. That's a lot of pennies.

“While it's not uncommon for libraries to have unpaid late fees reaching into the millions, the situation in San Jose is especially bad, according to Jill Bourne, the director of the library system. ‘It's not going in the right direction,’ she said. ‘We're not offering the right solutions.’