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May 23-29, 2007

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News Briefs

By Patricia Lynn Henley

Fatal error

Maddison Riley Wesley, age 10 months, died May 18 after being left alone in a vehicle by her mother, Haley Wesley. There's no indication that alcohol, drugs, medication or mental illness played any role in the tragic incident, says Capt. Gene Lyerla of the Napa County Sheriff's Department. "The mother's normal routine is to take her child to daycare on the way to work at Pacific Union College in Angwin. This day she had to go to Napa prior to work. She took the baby with her to Napa, to show to friends she used to work with. She went back to Angwin, but instead of dropping the baby off at daycare, she went directly to work without realizing the baby was still in the car." The mother, who doesn't usually pick the child up after work, drove home still unaware that her baby was in the vehicle. About 4pm she rushed out to the car and started CPR. Deputies and firefighters responded immediately; the baby was pronounced dead at St. Helena Hospital. The average temperature in Napa Valley on May 18 was 80 degrees, Lyerla notes. According to Stanford University researchers, on a sunny day the interior of a parked car heats up an average of 40 degrees in one hour, even if it's relatively cool outside.

For the pastor

First Missionary Baptist Church held a candlelight vigil May 21, seeking "spiritual restoration" for its leader, the Rev. Derek Guyton, who was arrested May 8 in Novato on suspicion of being under the influence of narcotics and possessing drug paraphernalia. "He was seen walking down the street looking frantic, as if he was lost," explains Sgt. John McCarthy of the Novato Police Department. An officer stopped Guyton to see if he needed assistance and decided that Guyton was under the influence of drugs. A search revealed Guyton was carrying a small glass pipe. Guyton was booked into the Marin County Jail.

Not popular

Don't invite Sonoma State University's president Rubin Armiñana and its Academic Senate to the same party. A recent "no confidence" vote in Armiņana's leadership garnered 73.4 percent of the votes, with 68 percent of all eligible faculty members participating. The resolution charges Armiñana with favoring community interests (including the under-construction Green Music Center) to the detriment of teaching and learning. Armiñana issued a written statement that he will take the faculty's vote into consideration, but that poor funding of higher education is a problem statewide.

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