Vigil held for woman found in bay

The family of a woman whose body was found inside a suitcase floating in the San Francisco Bay held a vigil for her Monday night in Berkeley, where she once lived, a friend of her family said.

Pearla Louis, 52, of San Francisco, was last heard from May 15 when she and her daughter had their daily phone call at 6 a.m., San Francisco police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said.

Two days later, her family reported her missing. The suitcase was found May 18 in the Bay near The Embarcadero and Folsom Street, police said.

Todd Walker of Richmond said Louis once lived in Berkeley and has an adult son who also lives there.

Police are investigating the slaying as a homicide, although investigators have not said how the woman was killed.

Louis was known to spend time in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, the area around Church and Deboce streets and around The Embarcadero. During the weekend her family went to those areas and talked to people, hoping to gain clues as to what happened to her.

Police have not made any arrests in the case.

The vigil took place at Strawberry Creek Park.

Running festival set for 2011

Registration for next year's Oakland Running Festival will open June 1, organizers announced Thursday. Corrigan Sports Enterprises again will put on a marathon, half-marathon, four-person relay, twilight 5K and kids fun run, race director Gene Brtalik said. The events will be held March 26 and 27.

Corrigan organized the first marathon in Oakland in more than 25 years in March with positive results all around. About 1,000 people ran in the main marathon, and more than 6,500 people ran in the different races offered, Brtalik said.

The inaugural event sold out all five races and pumped nearly $2 million into Oakland businesses, race officials said. Officials expect another sellout for the 2011 races. The running festival again will have a health and fitness expo before the races and will welcome runners of all ages and abilities, Brtalik said.

There will be some minor tweaks to the courses, and based on feedback from runners and community members, organizers also will work to improve traffic management and to communicate more effectively about the event to the neighborhood associations, Brtalik said. For details, go to www.oaklandmarathon.com.

Drunken Driving checkpoint tonight

The El Cerrito Police Department will be conducting a Sobriety / Driver's License Checkpoint on San Pablo Avenue from 8 p.m.-2:30 p. m. The checkpoint will be set up in the northbound direction of San Pablo Avenue between Hill Street and Cutting Boulevard. The checkpoint is part of the Traffic Safety Unit's on-going educational and enforcement campaign.

El Cerrito student wins film award

Maria Royo of El Cerrito, has been selected as a winner in the 2010 Student Academy Award competition for her documentary film "Rediscovering Pape," made at the City College of New York. Royo was one of 13 students selected for the honor from among 10 colleges.

The Student Academy Awards will be presented on June 12 during a ceremony at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. For more information visit www.oscars.org or phone 310-247-3600