OAKLAND

Brothers identified in fatal argument

An argument between brothers outside their North Oakland home Tuesday night left one dead from a shotgun blast and the other under arrest, police said Wednesday.

Police identified the dead man as Eugene Chew, 37, and the man arrested as his 40-year-old brother Johnny Chew who was booked on suspicion of murder.

The shooting happened about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday outside the family house in the 900 block of Aileen Street.

Officer Robert Trevino said the older man had recently moved back into the house. He and his brother, who had lived there for years, were outside with some other people painting and doing other work.

Trevino said the brothers got into an argument -- it is still not clear over what -- and the younger man went inside the house and came back holding a shotgun.

The two men struggled over the gun for less than a minute before it went off, the round hitting Eugene Chew, Trevino said. Police would not say where on his body he was wounded. He was taken to Highland Hospital where he died at 7:15 p.m.

Johnny Chew remained at the scene until police arrived. Trevino said he was cooperative with investigators.

Autopsy results and other evidence will be presented to the district attorney's office to see what, if any, charges will be filed in the case, authorities said.

-- Harry Harris, Staff


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oakland

Highland Hospital reaches milestone

Highland Hospital has been verified a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.

"Highland Hospital's trauma center earned this designation following the most rigorous verification process in the country. This is a major milestone for the hospital and for Alameda Health System," said Dr. Gregory Victorino, head of trauma for Alameda Health System, in a release. Alameda Health System runs the hospital.

Hospitals voluntarily undergo the verification by the American College of Surgeons, which sends a team to analyze care before a patient is hospitalized through rehabilitation.

Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, which also has a Level II Trauma Center, is the only other hospital in Alameda County that has undergone the verification. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland has a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, but it has not undergone verification by the American College of Surgeons.

-- Rebecca Parr, Staff

HAYWARD

Firefighters to shave heads for research

Firefighters are going for that shaved head look, all for a good cause.

Money raised from shaving the firefighters' heads June 8 will go to St. Baldrick's Foundation, which supports research on childhood cancers.

The firefighters are seeking both donations and volunteers to have their locks shorn. The goal is to raise $10,000; all of the money goes directly to the foundation, fire Capt. Jared Matthews said.

To donate or register for a shave, go to www.stbaldricks.org/events/HaywardFD.

People are invited to stop by or watch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8 at the firefighters union hall, 22734 Main St., next to Fire Station No. 1 at C and Main streets.

"We want to make this a fun event, and it raises money for child cancer research," Matthews said. "I hope I can set up the barbecue. We'll have music on the speakers, and depending on the weather, we can set up the shavers outside."

The firefighters chose late spring to do the head shaving to get ready for the warm season.

"Some people don't like the look, but it's less hair to wash. And it doesn't get tangled under the helmet," Matthews said.

-- Rebecca Parr, Staff

Berkeley

Fire may have been fed by pot grow

An illegal marijuana grow and hashish production operation likely caused a North Berkeley fire that sent one man to a burn center Tuesday evening, authorities said Wednesday.

The call came in at 6:48 p.m. Tuesday reporting a fire at a makeshift deck above the Royal Robbins Clothing store at 841 Gilman St., according to Berkeley fire officials.

Berkeley police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said fuel used during the hashish conversion for the operation may have ignited the fire, but it remains under investigation and no arrests had been made Wednesday.

Firefighters found smoke and embers and one victim, a man who suffered burns severe enough to send him to the Bothin Burn Center at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. The man's name and age were not released, and it was not clear if he was connected to the business. His condition was not available Wednesday.

Officials did not provide a damage estimate.

-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff

rICHMOND

Dog bites man; man shoots dog

Police are looking for a man suspected of shooting a pit bull multiple times in the backyard of a Richmond home after the dog reportedly bit two people early Wednesday.

The suspected gunman was gone by the time police arrived in the 2600 block of McBryde Avenue at about 1 a.m., said Sgt. Nicole Abetkov. Officers found the dog with gunshot wounds and two men walking from the backyard, Abetkov said.

One of the men who was bitten on his left leg ran when he saw police, authorities said. The man -- identified as 41-year-old Sean Ginn -- was later found "laying on a hammock pretending to be asleep" at a home a block away, Abetkov said.

He was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest and on three outstanding felony warrants, she said. Witnesses told police the dog bit Ginn and a second man, who then shot the dog at least three times.

The dog's owner took the pit bull in for medical treatment, police said, and the dog was expected to survive the shooting.

-- David DeBolt, Staff

FREMONT

Husband charged in wife's death

A 42-year-old man was charged with murder Tuesday for the strangulation death of his wife in their Fremont home, prosecutors said.

Balvir Singh, who is being held in custody without bail, was arraigned on the charge in Alameda County Superior Court in Fremont on Tuesday afternoon.

His wife, 39-year-old Anita Sidhu, was found dead inside their home in the 3900 block of Royal Palm Drive at 9:57 a.m. on Sunday, Fremont police said.

Prosecutors didn't specify a time of death for Sidhu, saying only in their charging documents that they believe that Singh murdered her sometime between Saturday and Sunday.

Fremont police said investigators learned that Singh fled from the couple's home with his passport before other family members discovered his wife's body.

But detectives tracked down Singh and arrested him on Ethyl Street in Milpitas shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, police said.

Authorities said Singh confessed to murdering his wife and that physical and digital evidence along with witness statements linked him to his wife's death.

-- Bay City News

LIVERMORE

New director sought for Wheels bus system

The Wheels public bus system for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin is looking for a new executive director to succeed Paul Matsuoka, who retired after more than five years on the job.

Matsuoka retired May 1 from his $169,327-per-year job as the top executive at the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, which carries some 2 million bus passengers annually. He had been the boss there since September 2008.

The authority announced Wednesday it has hired Kathleen Kelly, a transportation and financial consultant, as its interim top executive. She will help conduct the search for the new executive director.

Kelly previously worked at AC Transit, BART, and San Francisco Muni before retiring in 2011 as AC Transit's chief financial officer.

The transit authority's board hopes to hire the permanent new executive director by September, said Jerry Thorne, Pleasanton mayor and chairman of the transit authority's board.

-- Denis Cuff, Staff