Good morning. Here’s what you need to know today:
Weather lead in: The sound of Sacramento this weekend is sizzle, splash and thwack. Weather over the weekend will be conducive to outdoor activities. Those could include the sizzle of steak on a barbecue, the splash into a pool and the thwack of a bat hitting a softball. The high temperature Friday through Sunday is predicted to be 89 degrees each day. As the late Sacramento broadcaster Bel Lange would say: “Take time to enjoy the great outdoors.”
Negative test: Sacramento residents can breathe easier knowing that the nation’s top public health experts have ruled out an Ebola viral infection in a patient quarantined this week at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Blood samples from the patient, who’d just returned from a trip to West African nations hard hit by the virus, were found to be negative for strains of the notoriously deadly Ebola virus, health officials announced Thursday night at the medical center.
I-80 crashes pile up: Traffic crashes have tripled on Interstate 80 in northern Sacramento since Caltrans made lane changes last month for major construction, according to California Highway Patrol data reviewed by The Sacramento Bee. Thirty-seven crashes and 20 injuries were reported on the 10-mile section in the month after crews moved and tightened the eastbound lanes.
Names released: After more than two years of legal battles, The Sacramento Bee has prevailed in a court fight to force the release of the names of police officers involved in the November 2011 pepper spray incident on the University of California, Davis, campus. The Sacramento Bee has obtained confidential interviews of the officers conducted as part of the internal affairs report that led to the dismissal of Lt. John Pike, the officer seen on video spraying the students. In their own words, officers described the incident.
Downtown demolition: With remarkable speed, the eastern half of Downtown Plaza is being reduced to a pile of rubble and recycling materials. A week after demolition began at the shopping mall, the plaza’s southernmost building, at Fifth and L streets, is completely gone. The building immediately to the north consists of a mere concrete shell, with stray pieces of insulation and copper wire dangling from the ceilings.
Festival blues: The Sacramento Music Festival has laid off its last paid employee, and its future remains in doubt as its parent organization scrambles to raise at least $80,000 by the end of the year. Society board president Ron Jones said the 41-year-old festival, formerly the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Jubilee, will likely be canceled in 2015 unless the group can raise $150,000.
Drivers beware: The Sacramento Police Department has scheduled a sobriety and driver license checkpoint beginning at 7:30 p.m. today on Meadowview Road near Amherst Street. The checkpoint is estimated to last from five to seven hours, according to police.
Local sports: San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals, 4:05 p.m. (CSNBA, KNBR 680)
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers (preseason), 5 p.m. (Channel 13, KHTK 1140)
Sacramento River Cats at Memphis Redbirds, 7 p.m. (taped: subject to change KSTE 650)
Los Angeles Angels at Oakland A’s, 7:05 p.m. (CSNCA, KAHI 950)