Articles by Paul Elias

California Transit Agency Fined $220K in Worker Deaths

A Northern California judge has fined the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency $220,000 for the deaths of two workers accidentally hit by a commuter train. The two workers were killed in 2013 while inspecting a track east of San Francisco. …

UPS Gunman in San Francisco Who Killed 3 Had Filed Grievance

A United Parcel Service driver who opened fire during a meeting with co-workers had filed a grievance that he was working excessive overtime and appeared to specifically go after the three drivers he killed before fatally shooting himself. Jimmy Lam, …

Lawyer Argues Deadly Oakland Fire Wrongly Blamed on Client

Lawyers for the operator of an Oakland warehouse charged in a fire that killed three dozen partygoers who were packed into the building aired possible defenses on Friday to a prosecution case that legal experts say appears to be strong. …

Families of Victims Pack Court to See Man Charged in Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire

Families of some of the dozens of people who were killed in an Oakland warehouse fire attended a court hearing for a man charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the fire. Victims lined up to see suspect Derick …

Utility Sued by Relatives of Oakland Warehouse Fire Victims

Relatives of 18 of the 36 people who died in the Oakland, Calif. “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire added Pacific Gas & Electric utility as a defendant in their wrongful death lawsuits. They claimed the company should have known the warehouse’s …

Oakland Fire Captain Recommended Building Be Shut Down in January

An Oakland fire captain recommended in January that a building that burned this week, killing four people, should be shut down immediately for safety reasons, but department officials opted to take less drastic measures, records released Friday show. In an …

The Similarities Between 2 Deadly Oakland Fires Are Striking

The similarities between two deadly Oakland, Calif. fires that occurred nearly four months apart are striking: Each involved a dangerously dilapidated building with an absentee landlord and renters desperate for affordable housing in the expensive San Francisco Bay Area. The …

California Lawmakers Grapple with Fatal Oakland Warehouse Fire

California state lawmakers said they are grappling with a growing public safety problem in cities where financially struggling artists are illegally converting warehouses into housing and entertainment venues. The Senate Governance and Finance Committee meeting this week in Sacramento was …

Officials Visited California Warehouse Before Deadly Fire, Records Show

Police officers responded to complaints of a raucous “rave” at a California warehouse illegally used as an entertainment venue and residence two years before a late-night fire at the venue killed 36 partygoers, documents released by the city showed. The …

Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Once Again in Front of California Voters

For the second time in six years, California voters will consider legalizing recreational use of marijuana. This time, supporters of the move have much more financial backing and professional campaign help than they did in 2010. And polls show Proposition …