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    Calif. Oranges Given Breathalyzer Tests

    Citrus farmers have recently begun using Breathalyzers in order to identify good fruit. The devices, normally used to test drivers’ blood alcohol levels, give growers and packinghouse managers a nonintrusive means to determine whether or not fruit should be sold.

    The method, developed by UC researchers, helps to find fruits that were damaged after January’s five-day freeze. Rather than cutting fruit open to decide if a grove should be harvested, the Breathalyzers will offer a cheaper and more efficient determination of marketability.

    “”Identifying damaged fruit is difficult and anything that helps us with accuracy and speed is a tremendous help,”” Phil LoBue of LoBue Bros. Packing in Lindsay, Calif., stated in a press release.

    The $800 alcohol detectors perform essentially the same function for people as they do for fruit. When placed in sealed bags, damaged citrus fruits will emit ethanol, detected by the modified Breathalyzers.

    A second detection method under development involves black-light fluorescence, which reveals the freeze-damaged peels of affected oranges.

    Twelve million 40-pound cartons of fruit still remain to be packed and shipped from this year’s harvest.

    Though no packinghouses have been shut down for the season, the industry is working harder at notably reduced levels of production.

    Rady School Founder Attacked in Robbery

    Ernest Rady, a principal founder of UCSD’s Rady School of Management, was attacked last week in a home robbery after a gunman posing as a delivery man broke into his home.

    The robber burst into the home of the local billionaire and bound Rady, his wife Evelyn and a maid with duct tape before ransacking the house.

    The intruder, who remained in Rady’s Prestwick Drive home for more than five hours, first used a stun gun to immoblize Rady.

    Evelyn Rady called police at approximately 10 p.m. on Feb. 6, saying the robber had left moments before, and that she and her husband were still trying to free themselves.

    Rady’s wife also said that the intruder, described as a Latino male in his 40s wearing a shiny black wig, dark shirt and light-colored pants, used a walkie-talkie to communicate with accomplices outside.

    Paramedics took Ernest Rady to the hospital, and the two women were unhurt.

    Rady, a financial services and real estate mogul, helped found the Rady School of Management in 2004 with a $30-million donation.

    He also serves as chairman of the Rady School’s dean’s advisory board and as a trustee of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences.

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