News in Brief

Nate Tabak covers crime. E-mail him at [email protected].

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Lecturer Union Rejects UC Settlement Offer

The UC lecturer union rejected a contract offer from the university yesterday that could have ended two years of stalemated negotiations.

Officials from the American Federation of Teachers said the university's proposal failed to meet key union demands.

"It doesn't adequately demonstrate that lecturers are considered an integral part of the UC community," said AFT spokesperson Fred Glass.

Though both parties said last week that a rejection of the proposal could lead to a bargaining impasse, both said yesterday they plan to return to the negotiating table.

Unions received the settlement offer last Wednesday, the day after a two-day round of bargaining.

UC spokesperson Paul Schwartz said AFT's decision was "disappointing" because UC's offer included many compromises, such as wage increases for some.

He added that future bargaining partially depends on union compromise.

"The substance of what the union offers and just how much they're willing to compromise will determine a great deal in terms of where we go from here," he said.

Emma Schwartz

'Bomb' in Front of Berkeley Bank a Hoax

A box labeled as a bomb turned out to contain nothing more than air after being found at a North Berkeley bank entrance yesterday morning, police said.

The area around the Mechanics Bank branch at Solano and Colusa avenues was evacuated for several hours after the assistant manager found the box about 8:30 a.m. with "BOMB with care open warning danger danger" scrawled upon it, said Berkeley police Officer Mary Kusmiss.

A police bomb squad technician x-rayed the box and determined it was empty.

The assistant manager, Vicky Martinez, found the box in front of the bank as she let employees inside. Martinez did not notice the box when she arrived 10 minutes before, Kusmiss said.

Berkeley police evidence technicians seized the box to look for fingerprints.

Police are also reviewing the bank's surveillance tapes with the hope that culprit was recorded.

Nate Tabak

UC Berkeley Student Robbed of Wallet

A UC Berkeley student was robbed on Southside Tuesday night after being tackled, police said.

The 22-year-old man's robbers took his wallet during the 6:25 p.m. encounter on the 2500 block of Hillegass Avenue, said Berkeley police Officer Mary Kusmiss.

The robbers approached the student on bikes, and one asked him if he had a cigarette.

When the student said no, the assailant dismounted his bike and tackled the student.

The robber punched the student in the head during a 30-40 second struggle. The second robber entered the mix, restrained the victim and "demanded to know where the weed was," Kusmiss said.

The robber took the victim's wallet after the victim said he did not have any of the substance.

The robbers fled on their bikes.

Anyone who has information on this crime can call the Berkeley Robbery Detail at 981-5742.

Nate Tabak


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