SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Bay Area commuters got a reprieve from a potential transit strike when a judge on Sunday granted California Gov. Jerry Brown's request for a 60-day cooling-off period in negotiations between the Bay Area Rapid Transit Agency and two of its largest unions.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow ordered the unions and BART not to threaten or engage in a strike through midnight Oct. 10. BART and the two unions are expected to continue negotiations while the injunction is in place.
The strike, or even the threat of one, will "endanger the public's health safety or welfare," Judge Karnow said in his order.
During an unusual Sunday morning court session before the order was issued, Judge Karnow said the hearing had nothing to do with the merits of the contract dispute between BART and the unions. Attorneys for the two sides did not object to the injunction although union leaders had said earlier that Mr. Brown's request reduced the pressure to reach a deal.
BART spokesman Rick Rice said in a statement that BART was grateful that Judge Karnow granted the governor's request. BART made a new contract offer on Saturday in hopes of reaching a deal before Sunday night, he said. Calls to union officials were not immediately returned.
The unions went on strike last month, stopping BART service for four days. The shutdown snarled traffic on roadways and left commuters facing long lines for buses and ferries.
BART, the nation's fifth largest rail system, serves more than 400,000 commuters each weekday.
Father kills son, himself
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A New Hampshire man used a handgun to shoot his 9-year-old son to death before taking his own life during supervised visitation at a YWCA office in the state's largest city, officials said Sunday.
An adult supervisor was present when Muni Savyon, 54, of Manchester, produced a handgun and shot 9-year-old Joshua Savyon of Amherst before shooting himself, the attorney general's office said. Reports of gunfire shortly after 10 a.m. brought a heavy response from police officers who set up a perimeter.
Law enforcement officials said the relationship between the man and the boy's mother had been contentious at times and Muni Savyon had previously threatened to kill himself, his son's mother and their son.
R.I. toddler found safe
JOHNSTON, R.I. -- A 2-year-old boy kidnapped from a Rhode Island home where police found two bodies was found wandering around a housing project in Providence late Sunday evening..
The boy, Isaiah Perez, appeared to be unharmed. Two men were arrested in the double homicide and Isaiah's abduction. Johnston Police Chief Richard S. Tamburini say the boy's mother is one of the homicide victims.
World's first pop-art satellite
LOS ANGELES -- If aliens ever target Earth, Jon Gibson and Amanda White are counting on them having an appreciation for pop art and a sense of humor.
The two artists have created an elaborate, Andy Warhol-like design that has been etched into a satellite's panel, transforming it into a replica of an oversized electrical charging device.
Craig Clark, CEO of Scotland-based Clyde Space, asked the two owners of LA's iam8bit gallery to decorate his satellite. He's decided it's time that spacecraft be both functional and aesthetic, and he hopes to start a trend.
Also in the nation ...
The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has fallen about 8 cents over the past two weeks to $3.60, according to the Lundberg Survey of gas prices released Sunday. ... Firefighters continued to make progress overnight Saturday battling Southern California's latest destructive wildfire, which burned 26 homes and threatened more than 500 others in the San Jacinto Mountains.
-- Compiled from news services