Friday's Briefing: Oakland Zoo's Benghazi, painter, TV star, giraffe, dies; Berkeley Unified hires new superintendent

Durant ruled out for Friday's pivotal playoff game due to calf injury

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News you don't want to miss for May 10-12:

1. BART officials are clearly worried about customer satisfaction, especially the perceived safety of its stations and cleanliness. But the San Francisco Chronicle reports after a third year of lower ridership, one remedy could be higher fares for already disgruntled customers.. $$

2. Obviously nothing energizes Democratic voters like a litany of attacks against President Trump. The New York Times reports that Sen. Kamala Harris, who has so far avoided a full-fledged attack on Trump, is beginning to change her tune, perhaps due to positive, but stagnant poll numbers in recent months. $$

3. Ghost Ship trial: A former Ghost Ship tenant testified Thursday that she moved out of the Oakland warehouse two years before the tragic December 2016 fire that killed 36 people out of fears the "place could burn down," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. The Oakland Zoo family is mourning the death of Benghazi the painting giraffe, the SFGate reports. The giraffe was euthanized after facing declining health recently following a back injury. He was 23.

5. Here's an idea that may foster increased participation in the local government and political process: Childcare at city meetings, Next City reports. A city council in Ithaca, N.Y. began offering childcare at government meetings this month. While East Bay cities like Oakland and Berkeley do not have council attendance problems, many others often feature sparse crowds.

6. The Berkeley Unified School District selected Brent Stephens as its next superintendent, Berkeleyside reports. Stephens, 48, was previously the chief academic officer at the San Francisco Unified School District.

7. If the Warriors advance to the Western Conference Finals, they will have to do it with star forward Kevin Durant. An MRI Thursday confirmed a strained right calf that will keep him out of Friday night's Game 6 in Houston and, if needed, Game 7 in Oakland on Sunday, CBS Sports reports.

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