Crime

Local briefs: Motorist says she was shot at on Highway 99

A woman was injured Tuesday night and she told Fresno County sheriff's deputies her car was shot at on Highway 99.

The woman suffered minor injuries, and investigators do not know whether she was wounded by a bullet or by shards of glass from a shattered car window.

The incident occurred about 7:10 p.m. along Highway 99 near American Avenue. The woman, who was not identified, pulled to the highway's shoulder and stopped.

She said she was driving along the freeway when she saw a red or maroon Chevrolet or GMC pickup pull alongside her. She then heard shots fired and realized she had been struck.

She last saw the pickup being driven southbound on Highway 99.

Police call man's death at shooting range accidental

A man whose body was found at the Fresno County Peace Officers' Range is believed to have shot himself accidentally, the Fresno Police Department said Tuesday.

The body of Daniel Bonyhadi, 63, of Fresno was found Saturday morning at the range.

Evidence found by detectives indicated the death was accidental.

Motorists go to hospitals after three-vehicle crash

Two people were airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center following a head-on traffic accident Tuesday night, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The three-vehicle crash occurred about 8 p.m. along Robertson Avenue near Road 231/2 south of Chowchilla.

Those with less serious injuries were taken to Madera Community Hospital. Officer Jason Bettini said he did not know how many others were injured.

The crash shut down Robertson Boulevard for 45 minutes as the CHP investigated, Bettini said.

Fire

Arson blamed for $5,000 in damage at strip mall

An arsonist caused an estimated $5,000 in damage Tuesday morning at a strip mall in south-central Fresno.

The Fresno Fire Department received a call about 8:20 a.m. about a fire on the 1100 block of North First Street. Flames damaged a wall and electrical boxes. No one was injured.

Firefighters said the arsonist struck late Monday or early Tuesday.

Pure & Fresh Drinking Water, a company at that address, could not be reached to comment.

Also ...

PG&E worker dies after falling from power pole

A Pacific Gas & Electric Co. worker plunged to his death from a power pole Tuesday morning in Madera County.

Peter Tololi, 36, of Tracy fell from the pole about 9:15 a.m. on Road 6, a half-mile west of Avenue 71/2, said Erica Stuart, spokeswoman for the Madera County Sheriff's Department.

Tololi reportedly fell 30 to 50 feet. Workers were installing new poles and resetting lines when the accident occurred, Stuart said.

The fall was caused when Tololi apparently clipped a safety line onto his tool belt instead of onto the pole where he was working, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokesman Dean Fryer said.

"This was a very tragic accident," Fryer said. Tololi's safety equipment was new and in good working order, and no electricity was involved in the accident, Fryer said.

NTSB looks into plane crash

The National Transportation Safety Board was at the scene Tuesday of a plane crash near Firebaugh that occurred Monday night.

A Los Gatos doctor, Joan Oloff, piloted the plane into a plowed field. She was not injured.

Oloff's Sandpiper aircraft ran out of fuel as she was flying from Palm Springs to San Jose.

She attempted to land at the Firebaugh airport, but her plane was hit by a headwind and she landed about 500 feet from the airport's runway.

UC Board of Regents OKs new role for Dooley

The University of California Board of Regents has confirmed Daniel M. Dooley as senior vice president for external relations for the UC system.

Dooley left a Visalia law firm in early 2008 to work as UC's vice president for agriculture and natural resources. He will continue in that role while also leading the system's external communications. His salary is $370,000.

Tulare County auditor expects cash flow to improve

Tulare County's finances are sound given the economy, but managing the county's cash flow has been a challenge.

That is the message Rita Woodard, the county's auditor-controller, presented to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Some state funding has been deferred, forcing the county to front money for various state-mandated programs, which creates the cash-flow problem, Woodard said.

Nonetheless, Woodard said she expects a positive county cash flow in April.

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