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Week in Review: Lawyer Charged in Fatal Hit-And-Run in Court, Swalwell Named Assistant Whip, Postal Rate Hike

Some of the stories that made news this past week in Pleasanton. Check out our blog of the week.

Lawyer Charged in Fatal Hit-And-Run that Killed Bicyclist Due in Court

Spencer Freeman Smith, who is charged with felony hit-and-run in the death of a bicyclist struck and killed on Dougherty Valley Road in May, was due in court on Jan. 8. Smith's lawyer, gave a clue as to a possible approach to Smith's defense when he told Patch, "The question is did he [Smith] realize he hit a human being," William Gagen said. "He realized he hit something because there was a huge hole in the windshield. He called his insurance company the next day and left it parked in the garage." Read the full story here.

Swalwell Named As Assistant Democratic Whip

Congress newbie, Eric Swalwell, was named as assistant whip to Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) on Monday. Read about Congressman Swalwell's plans to co-sponsor as assault weapons ban.


Postal Rates Increase

The cost of stamps will be increasing to 46 cents on Jan. 27. (Penny-saving hint: Purchase a bunch of 45-cent Forever Stamps now.)

Flu Season Has Arrived


Feeling fluish? A strong flu strain known as H3N2 has been circulating on the East Coast, according to an article in the Contra Costa Times.  Kaiser has a fact sheet online about the flu.

Wild News From Cities Nearby

A car drove through Strings Italian Cafe in Livermore on Monday. Minor injures were reported from the accident. A bull caused a traffic jam in Danville near an elementary school. The bull was wandering in the road until he was shooed back home. A , was found guarding a large marijuana stash in Castro Valley. The animal died during the transport to the Oakland Zoo.

Other news you need to know:

  • Curious About What Cops Do? Sign Up for the Citizens' Academy
  • Pleasanton's Spring Activity Guide Out Now
  • Pleasanton Chamber Accepting Nominations for Community Service Awards
  • Protecting Pipes from Freezing 
  • Anne Frank's Stepsister Eva Schloss in Pleasanton
  • Governor Unveils Balanced Budget
  • BART Arrest Leads to Discovery of Stolen Bicycles
  • Local Boy Scout Leaders Endorse Eagle Badge for Andresen 
  • Check out this week's grocery specials on Patch.

Blog of the Week:  Weekend Watch: Mean Girl Movies

You tell us: Would You Report Your Neighbor for Burning Wood on a Spare the Air Day?

What do you think of this week's top stories?

Patch us your comments in the comments section below or in the comments section of a specific story.

Patch Associate Regional Editor David Mills contributed to this report.

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