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Space Lightning Over China

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While photographing the Perseid meteor shower on August 13, a sky watcher in China captured rare images of a "gigantic jet" leaping out of a thundercloud. The luminous purple and red structure stretched its tentacles almost to the edge of space before vanishing in full view of dozens of onlookers. Visit http://spaceweather.com for photos and more information about this phenomenon.

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Ana Reepen Guilty of Manslaughter/Felony DUI

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Alan Wald: Questions

Alan Wald: Notes 2

Alan Wald: Notes 1

The People vs. Ana Reepen (case number NF437696): On July 27, the jury returned a guilty verdict. Sentencing is September 16. Stay tuned here for updates. (Thanks to Alan Wald for courtroom notes at the links above.) Reepen faced three felony charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, resulting from the Highway 1 head-on collision that killed Pacifican Bruce Ross Bernor. Reepen had pleaded not guilty and remained free on $250,000 bail, but upon conviction, bail was doubled to $500,000 and she was taken into custody. The two counts of felony DUI related to Reepen having a blood alcohol level of more than 0.15 and inflicting great bodily injury or death in the commission of the offense. Her blood alcohol level was reported to be 0.21. Turning the wrong way from Sea Bowl Lane, she drove southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 1 on July 25, 2015. Her car and Bernor's car collided there. (Follow this thread at the Comments link below. Join the conversation if you have constructive comments.)

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Beware Green Dot Card Phone Scam

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office warns the public about fraudulent phone calls claiming to represent the Sheriff’s Office. The unsolicited calls are from an individual who falsely claims to be a sworn member of the Sheriff’s Office. The fraudster tells people they must pay penalty fees for failing to appear for jury duty, and instructs them to pay the fees by purchasing a prepaid “green dot card” or be subject to arrest.

The truth is that neither the Sheriff’s Office nor any other law enforcement agency will ever contact you demanding that you pay fees and/or fines and be subject to arrest if you fail to comply. Be vigilant and never provide personal information over the phone, like Social Security numbers and credit card information, unless you initiated the phone call. If you believe you were the victim of this or a similar scam, contact your local law enforcement agency.