(Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)
Despite dangers, downtown Oakland still home for nesting birds

It would seem downtown Oakland is not for the birds, but try telling them that. This nesting season, the birds returned a few weeks early in February and quickly got to work on the next generation of seasonal downtown dwellers. If the birds don't care, bird watchers here increasingly do.  
The victim abducted at gunpoint Thursday night and held for ransom in another city was freed by police Friday morning and the two suspects arrested after a car chase and crash, authorities said.  
 
Garbage rates will go up 8.49 percent Aug. 1 for San Leandro customers served by Alameda County Industries.  
 
Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group
Michael Morgan gazed wistfully across the Calvin Simmons Theatre, the concert hall in the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center where the maestro for years skillfully guided ensembles.  
 
The 500-gallon tanker, which was half full with water, was discovered stolen Thursday morning from a landscaping site near the Caldecott Tunnel in the Oakland hills.  
 
A 48-year-old woman was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for smuggling 600 grams of cocaine into Oakland International Airport last year, federal authorities said.  
 
Laura A. Oda
Prosecutors on Thursday filed murder charges against a Livermore man they said was driving drunk at 99 mph when he killed a mother and toddler on a walking path.  
 
D. ROSS CAMERON
The federal judge overseeing the Oakland Police Department's 13-year reform efforts is narrowing the focus of his probe, signaling that the once-embattled police agency could soon regain control of its force.  
 
The 18-year-old man, who was also wounded, was released pending further investigation. He was initially arrested on suspicion of murder in the fatal shooting inside an SUV of a 17-year-old boy Tuesday night in East Oakland.  
 
JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO
San Francisco might soon steal the Golden State Warriors away to a fancy new house across the Bay, but one thing is certain -- if Stephen Curry's gang brings the city its first pro sports championship since the A's won the "Earthquake Series" in 1989, Oakland will have its parade.  
 
( Jeffrey R. Staab )
David Letterman set trashed; Dumpster divers move in

Hours after the 'Late Show' finished taping, the crew began dismantling and throwing away iconic parts of David Letterman's set.