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Runaway light rail train travels more than a mile with no operator

A light rail train recently traveled for more than a mile without an operator due to a technician's error, the Sacramento Regional Transit District said Thursday.

The district said that on Feb. 17 the train traveled 1.5 miles at speeds up to 43 miles per hour from the RT light rail maintenance facility at 2700 Academy Way to the Arden/Del Paso light rail station.

"The light rail vehicle was out of service due to an intermittent electrical fault," the district said. "The light rail vehicle technician erred and bypassed key safety features designed to prevent the light rail vehicle from moving. These actions set the light rail vehicle in motion without an operator."

The train traveled from a storage track to the main track, where its middle wheels derailed for a period. The wheels went back on the rails when the train struck concrete edge of the platform at the the Swanston station.

Firefighters battle blaze in Arden


Sacramento Metro Fire crews extinguished a garage fire in the Arden-Arcade area of Sacramento Friday afternoon.

The fire department said the detached garage was fully involved in flames, while several arching power lines were on the ground.

"In a situation like this, there was no question what the priority had to be -- keep our firefighters away from the lines," Battalion Chief Chris Reed said in a news release. "Hold the fire in check, and protect the residence until the power can be shut down."

Woman injured in Arden hit-and-run crash

A woman was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash Friday night in the Arden-Arcade area.

Sacramento police officers found the woman on the roadway; she was taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries, Officer Traci Trapani said.

The woman was walking eastbound on Arcade Boulevard, near Palmer Street, around 11:35 p.m. when a car left the roadway and hit the victim. Trapani said the driver immediately drove away from the area, going westbound on Arcade Boulevard.

Police need the public's help to find the suspect vehicle. Trapani said it is described as a 2000 to 2004 dark gray Ford Taurus. The car is missing the passenger-side mirror and may have significant damage to the hood and windshield due to the collision.

Good Samaritans rescue pets from Carmichael duplex fire

Residents of a Carmichael neighborhood worked together to rescue pets from a duplex fire Friday afternoon.

Neighbors and strangers ran in and out of the burning homes trying to save five dogs, three cats and two snakes when firefighters arrived at the duplex on the 3800 block of Walnut Avenue, Sacramento Metro Fire Capt. Michelle Eidam said.

Neighbors were able to rescue all nine of the animals. One cat was given resuscitation by a neighbor and taken to a nearby veterinarian, where it later died.

"I would like to give a shout out to all the people who stopped yesterday, just good Samaritans that saw that the house was on fire," Cornette Property Management's Nancy Drikas said. "They kicked in doors, with bare hands broke windows, dragged all the animals to safety. We actually had two girls who put the cats on the ground and gave them CPR. "

New Sacramento Co. ordinance bans panhandling in certain areas

Sacramento County it's imposing new law to put a stop to panhandling at street corners and various other locations.

The ordinance will make it illegal to panhandle near ATMs, bus stops, gas stations, stop lights, stop signs and while standing on a traffic median. The new rules would also ban aggressive panhandling.

"I believe in the no aggressive panhandling. I feel for them. There's so many of them out there," motorist Carl Worthen said. "But yet, I hate driving up every time, coming to a stop and having to look away."

For the next 30 days, the sheriff's department said it's going to offer panhandlers fliers and a warning. Then, they could be fined or face jail time.

The ordinance is yielding mixed reactions.

"I think panhandling should be prohibited on the streets big time," Jason Edwards said.

Local 'child genius' competes in reality TV show

Local 'child genius' competes in reality TV show

Tanishq Abraham, 10, of Sacramento, was one of the youngest people to graduate high school.

His intelligence was ranked in the top 10th of a percent in the nation. Now at 11, the child prodigy was vying for the title of "Child Genius" through America Mensa's TV competition.

The Lifetime reality show featured 20 of the brightest young minds in the country as they competed for a shot at a $100,000 scholarship. "I know it's a very big prize but it's just for fun as well," said Tanishq Abraham, whose goal is to get a PhD by the time he's eligible for his driver's license.

The full time college student, who attends American River College, admitted he was a bit nervous going into the eight-week competition, but took it all in stride.

"I wasn't scared. I was having fun, playing with the other kids," said Tanishq.

Sacramento Co. deputy's car catches fire

A Sacramento County sheriff's deputy unit caught fire on Interstate 80 Tuesday afternoon.

The Sacramento Fire Department was able to knock down the flames around 3:30 p.m.

No one was injured in the fire.

Traffic was blocked in both directions of I-80 near Arden Way for more then 30 minutes after the fire started around 3:10 p.m.