- Caltrans is hosting a snowplow naming contest, inviting Californians to name the newest snowplows in the fleet — and participants can win up to $150 in gift cards. Some of last year’s winning names include “Scoop Dog,” “Snowbi Wan Kenobi,” and “Austin Plowers.” [CA DOT / Your Central Valley]
- In more transit news, Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo seems to be flipping his stance on the project to bring BART to downtown San Jose, citing its escalating costs to the tune of $12.2 billion. Despite previously being a strong supporter of the project, he’s now advocating for the section of the planned route between San Jose’s Diridon Station and Santa Clara to be nixed. [East Bay Times]
- An injured hiker on Mt. Diablo was rescued by Contra Costa Fire on Friday afternoon. Con Fire responded to a report of a hiker down at 1:30 p.m. and used a specialty all-terrain vehicle to get to the hiker, who was transported to a local area hospital. [KRON4]
Con Fire firefighters from Station 11, utilizing an all-terrain utility vehicle (UTV), rescued and transported an injured hiker off a Mt. Diablo trail. The injured hiker was transported to a local area hospital. https://t.co/RQz0BX0uP6 pic.twitter.com/Gyas3sdqVP— Con Fire PIO (@ContraCostaFire) January 19, 2024
- A Santa Clara man, Liren Chen, is facing murder charges for allegedly killing his wife. District Attorney Jeff Rosen said that this case represents a disturbing trend: the number of domestic violence-related 911 calls has been on the rise in the county recently. [Hoodline]
- Several valuable bonsai trees were stolen from the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt in Oakland on Wednesday. Thieves breached two fences to enter the garden and made off with eight trees worth about $20K, including a rare 100-year-old Hinoki cypress with an 8-inch girth, that were small enough to carry through the fence. [ABC7]
- The now 25-year-old Malia Obama made her film debut at the Sundance Film Festival with an 18-minute short film titled "The Heart” that she wrote and directed. In a pre-festival video, Obama described it as an "odd little story" aimed at making viewers feel less lonely and reminding them not to forget about others. [Vanity Fair]
Feature image via Unsplash/Chris Grafton.