Thursday News Roundup
NEW BAY BRIDGE STEEL RODS BATTLE TESTED
Anchor rods in the tower of the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span are not broken and 99 percent can withstand a major earthquake, Caltrans officials announced Wednesday.
The roughly 25-foot-long steel rods prevent the span’s 525-foot-tall tower from sliding on its concrete and steel foundation during an earthquake.
The rods were tested over the last several weeks using a jacking device that grabs and yanks the rods to verify their integrity.
Only 408 of the 424 rods in the tower could be tested. Of those tested, 406 were found to be able to withstand a major earthquake. The two rods that didn’t pass the test were removed and sent to a laboratory for further testing, according to Caltrans.
Fourteen rods were inaccessible and couldn’t be tested.
Concerns were raised about the anchor rods earlier this year when it was discovered that steel tubes surrounding the rods had not been adequately grouted to prevent water from coming in contact with the rods. Early tests showed at least one of the rods was damaged by water.
Further testing will be done to determine what long-term impacts the exposure to water could have on the other rods, but for now they have been determined to not be broken.
“These anchor rods are just one of many seismic innovations on this bridge that can help ensure resiliency of the structure for decades to come,” Bay Bridge project chief engineer Brian Maroney said in a statement.
“The two rods that did not pass the test will be sent to a laboratory to determine exactly what happened to them.”
WOMEN ARRESTED ON CHILD ABUSE SUSPICION
A young girl seen screaming and struggling with a woman inside an SUV while going through the Bay Bridge toll plaza on Saturday night has been found safe, according to the California Highway Patrol.
San Francisco police arrested the woman she was struggling with on suspicion of a later incident involving domestic violence and child abuse,CHP officials said.
The woman had been fighting with the driver of a Chevrolet Blazer as it passed west through the Interstate Highway 80 toll plaza at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, according to the CHP.
The little girl was kneeling in the center console area trying to break up the fight.
After the CHP on Monday released a description of the SUV and occupants, the driver contacted them at about 11:30 p.m. Investigators went to his home, verified the girl was safe and that the woman had been arrested by San Francisco police, according to the CHP.
The occupants of the Blazer had committed no crime while in the toll plaza and the man was not arrested, according to the CHP.
MAN SENTENCED FOR TAX FRAUD SCHEME
A Pittsburg man has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in a false tax refund scheme, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced Tuesday.
Charles S. Moore was also ordered to pay restitution of $78,353 to the United States.
Moore pleaded guilty on Jan. 16 to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, prosecutors said.
He prepared and filed at least 242 tax returns for acquaintances and friends from 2007 to 2010, claiming refunds of $166,462, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Moore learned how to file false tax returns while he was a resident at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. He paid another resident with coffee and cigarettes for teaching Moore the false tax refund scheme.
NORTH BAY FIREFIGHTERS HOLDING ANNUAL BURN FOUNDATION RELAY TODAY
North Bay fire departments, emergency medical response agencies and the California Highway Patrol are participating today in the 18th annual North Bay Firefighter Burn Relay that benefits the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.
A parade of antique and modern emergency vehicles were scheduled to leave the Southern Marin Fire Station 1 in Sausalito this morning to collect donations raised by fire and public safety agencies in Marin and Sonoma counties. The relay will end at the Healdsburg Fire Department.
Twenty-two fire departments are participating in the relay, collecting funds raised for the foundation through golf tournaments, pancake breakfasts, spaghetti dinners and other community events.
The Alisa Ann Ruch Foundation was formed in 1971 after the 8-year-old Van Nuys girl died on June 28, 1970, of burns she suffered at a barbecue.
“Each year this event brings in approximately $50,000 to support the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s mission of enhancing the lives of burn survivors and promoting burn prevention awareness,” Jennifer Radics, executive director of the nonprofit, said in a statement.