Good morning. Here’s what you need to know today:
Smoky Sacramento?: It’s a waiting game as to if Sacramento will get any smoke today from the King fire burning near Pollock Pines. Until now, the wind has been sending smoke cascading into areas around Lake Tahoe. However, the National Weather Service said winds shifting overnight could bring unhealthy air into the foothills and parts of the Sacramento Valley. More wind on Saturday could make smoke intrude even deeper into the valley.
Arson suspect arrested: Weary firefighters and relieved El Dorado County residents expressed elation Thursday at word that an arson suspect, Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, had been arrested and charged with starting the massive King fire, which has charred roughly 76,000 acres of forest in El Dorado and Placer counties since Saturday and threatens 12,000 homes. The fire’s rampage through the forestlands of El Dorado and Placer counties is threatening hydroelectric facilities and power lines that deliver water and electricity to the Sacramento region, as well as some of the Sierra Nevada’s most treasured recreation areas.
High-level soccer confabs: Sacramento Republic FC founder and president Warren Smith Smith said today’s meetings with Major League Soccer officials could be even more important than Thursday’s fact-finding gatherings. Today, Smith and fellow investors, led by Kevin Nagle and Larry Kelley and others, will provide a more detailed sketch of the team’s ownership structure, including potential new investors, and a financing plan for building a stadium at the downtown railyard that could cost $100 million or more. Benny Aziz of Think Big Sacramento, the mayor’s advisory committee, said the MLS delegation is expected to visit Elk Grove today. City officials there have launched their own bid for an MLS team and have purchased 100 acres of land for a possible stadium.
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Giant change: After 15 seasons as the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s, the Sacramento River Cats reached a deal Thursday to change their affiliation to the San Francisco Giants next year, citing the Giants’ popularity among area baseball fans as a key motivation. The River Cats signed a two-year player-development contract to become the top minor-league affiliate of the Giants beginning in 2015. The team will continue to be called the River Cats and play at Raley Field but will be composed of players and field personnel from the Giants’ organization rather than the A’s.
Security ‘inadequate’: Sacramento Regional Transit’s security force coverage on buses and light rail trains is “inadequate,” putting the agency at risk of not being able to respond quickly enough to emergency calls, especially during evenings hours, a review team has concluded.
Highway 50 drivers beware: Thousands of drivers got caught in a massive, hourlong backup on Highway 50 through downtown last weekend when construction crews closed several lanes for deck repairs. Get ready. Here it comes again. Caltrans will close two eastbound lanes of Highway 50 on the Pioneer Bridge over the Sacramento River for resurfacing at about 7 p.m. today, and will keep those lanes closed through the weekend. Read Tony Bizjak’s Back-seat Driver column.
Attention, north Sacramento motorists: The California Highway Patrol, North Sacramento area, plans a DUI sobriety checkpoint tonight in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County. The checkpoint will set up about 9:30 p.m., be operational at 10 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 3 a.m. Saturday, according to the CHP.
Local sports: Join The Bee’s Matt Barrows at 10 a.m. today to discuss the 49ers’ game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at sacbee.com/live.
High school football – Burbank at Folsom, 7 p.m. (Sacramento Access TV)
De La Salle at De Oro, 7:30 p.m. (KAHI 950)
Major league baseball – Philadelphia Phillies at Oakland A’s, 6:35 p.m. (CSNCA, KHTK 1140)
San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres, 7:10 p.m. (CSNBA, KNBR 680).