Friday, March 27, 2015

Governor awaits $1B drought relief bill

SACRAMENTO — A plan to pump $1 billion of water spending into drought-stricken California cleared the Legislature on Thursday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign the legislation. The California Assembly voted unanimously, 74-0, on AB91 a day after the Senate approved bills that would expedite infrastructure spending; offer aid […]

State to alter ban on where sex offenders can live

SACRAMENTO — California will alter its 8-year-old ban preventing all registered sex offenders from living near schools or parks, state officials announced Thursday, instead imposing the restriction only on pedophiles and others whose sex crimes involved children. The state corrections department said it is changing its policy in response to a state Supreme Court ruling […]

US drops graphic leaflet to possible Islamic State recruits

WASHINGTON — The United States military dropped 60,000 copies of a graphic leaflet near the northern Syrian city of Raqqah that depict potential Islamic State recruits being fed into a meat grinder. The leaflets, part of an information campaign to discourage people from joining the extremist group, were dropped in a canister by an F-15 […]

AP Exclusive: Special ops troops using flawed intel software

WASHINGTON — Special operations troops heading to war zones are asking for commercial intelligence analysis software they say will help their missions. But their requests are languishing, and they are being ordered to use a flawed, in-house system preferred by the Pentagon, according to government records and interviews. Over the last four months, six Army […]

China mustn’t make Greenspan’s mistake on stocks

Chinese investors are acting as giddy as Americans were on Dec. 5, 1996, the day Alan Greenspan made his infamous “irrational exuberance” dig at markets. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the country’s securities regulator said Friday, the day the Shanghai Composite Index rallied to its highest close since May 2008: “Investors should […]

March 26, 2015 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Why cut when you can find a way to spend?

What’s the political penalty for the Republican-led Congress, aided by some Democrats, using a gimmick to circumvent the defense spending cuts they had legislated? Probably none, because the public either doesn’t know or doesn’t care. In August 2011, Republicans agreed to raise the U.S. debt limit and avoid a default on the country’s obligations. The […]

We deserve freedom to choose our fate

This past January California state Sens. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and Bill Monning, D-Carmel, in January introduced Senate Bill 128, which would allow physicians to prescribe life-ending medication to the terminally ill. The law is modeled on Oregon’s 20-year-old death with dignity physician-assisted suicide law and it should become law. The controversial issue of physician-assisted suicide blasted […]

Police arrest man with concealed weapon near park

FAIRFIELD — A 26-year-old Vallejo man was arrested at about 8 a.m. Tuesday near a playground on the 1400 block of Utah Street. Michael Heath, who Fairfield police say is a convicted felon, was spotted by police as he walked out of the park and tried to hide behind a parked vehicle. Police said he became […]

Supervisors OK transition for Workforce Investment Board

FAIRFIELD — The Solano County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved taking initial steps toward transitioning the Workforce Investment Board of Solano County to meet requirements of the new federal Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act. With a unanimous vote, the board approved an application to the state designating Solano County as a service area and […]

Spring Fling event aims to unify Solano College students

FAIRFIELD — Lorenzo Hays-Phillips was doing a brisk business with the hot links and chicken dogs late Tuesday morning as students and staff made use of the barbecue grill set up in front of Building 1400. The all-volunteer event was the first Spring Fling, a collaborative effort between multiple student clubs, including the college’s Black […]

Teen suspect in pizza place robberies to be tried as adult

FAIRFIELD — A 17-year-old boy accused of a pair of armed robberies of Fairfield pizzerias pleaded not guilty Monday to multiple felony charges. Deshawn K. Johnson is being prosecuted as an adult and will remain locked up at juvenile hall either until he turns 18, resolves his case or posts $750,000 bail. Judge Robert Fracchia […]

Countywide emergency training to occur in Vacaville

VACAVILLE — Various emergency responder organization will take part in a countywide mutual aid training at the beginning of next month. The Vacaville Police Department, in partnership with the Vacaville Fire Department, Solano County Office of Emergency Services, the California Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will sponsor the 16-hour mandatory “First […]

Solano students witness agreement signing with historically black colleges

FAIRFIELD — A transfer agreement signed last week between the main governing body of California community colleges and nine historically black colleges and universities will allow students to be admitted as juniors with full transferable units. The participating colleges involved in the agreement with the California Community Colleges Board of Governors include Bennett College in North […]

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz to launch presidential bid

WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he will run for president, becoming the first high-profile Republican to enter the 2016 contest. Cruz has hinted openly for months about his intentions to seek the GOP nomination, and his plan to jump into the race formally was confirmed by a strategist for the […]

Calif. governor calls Ted Cruz ‘unfit’ to run for president

SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Jerry Brown says U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’ views on climate change make the Texas Republican unfit to run for president and that he would entertain making another bid for the White House himself if he were younger. Brown, a Democrat who turns 77 next month, made the remarks during an interview […]

US probes effectiveness of 2 Nissan air bag sensor recalls

DETROIT — U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that two Nissan recalls didn’t go far enough to fix a problem with front-seat air bag seat sensors. The probe covers nearly 990,000 vehicles in the U.S. that were recalled in 2013 and last year because computer software may not detect an adult in the passenger seat. […]

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gala honors students, businesses

FAIRFIELD — Five local students and five area businesses were honored Saturday during the eighth annual Solano Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s awards and recognition gala at the Hilton Garden Inn. Scholarship awards went to students who demonstrated a passion for education and a sincere hope for a bright future. Scholarships went to two high school […]

Bowl-a-thon boosts Boys and Girls Clubs

VACAVILLE — Cowboys and cowgirls came in force Saturday – some even with horses – to Stars Recreation Center for the Buckaroo Bowl-a-Thon to benefit the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys and Girls Clubs. The event drew the full house of participants dressed for fun to help out a good cause, although not with real horses. This year’s event saw 28 teams […]

Vintage-vehicle stockpile found at deceased man’s home

SANTA ANA — A Southern California man who died without an original will or legally recognized next of kin has left behind a unique estate — 69 vintage cars that will soon be auctioned off by Orange County. Gerald Willits died last year at age 76 in Buena Park. Little is known about him, though […]

Judge OKs punitive damages in California gender bias case

SAN FRANCISCO — A California trial judge has ruled that a woman suing a Silicon Valley venture capital firm in a high-profile gender bias case may seek punitive damages that could add tens of millions more to the $16 million in lost wages and bonuses she is pursuing. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn […]

Kids of man in Morgan accident to get $10M

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The children of comedian James McNair, who was killed in the New Jersey Turnpike crash that injured Tracy Morgan, are getting a $10 million settlement from Wal-Mart, court papers show. The documents also show that the children, Jamel McNair, 26, and Denita McNair, 19, are putting part of the payment toward […]

Grandmother convicted of running granddaughter to death

GADSDEN, Ala. — An Alabama jury convicted a woman of capital murder in the running death of her 9-year-old granddaughter on Friday. Joyce Hardin Garrard faces a penalty of death or life without parole for the February 2012 death of Savannah Hardin. Garrard showed no reaction when the verdict was read, but she hugged her […]

Border agents shoot, kill man wanted for murder

SUMAS, Wash. — A man fatally shot on the U.S.-Canada border about 100 miles north of Seattle apparently was in the country illegally, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said Friday. A preliminary investigation shows the man was also wanted for a murder outside Whatcom County, Washington, where Thursday’s shooting occurred, Sheriff Bill Elfo […]

Board releases initial findings in train-truck crash

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — A truck driver mistakenly turned onto the tracks of a commuter rail line and went about 80 feet before getting stuck, federal accident investigators wrote Thursday in their initial findings about a deadly train collision last month outside Los Angeles. The National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report reiterates much of what […]

Former employee files suit against Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO — A former Facebook employee is suing the company on allegations that she was discriminated against, harassed and belittled during her brief employment there. Chia Hong filed the lawsuit this week in a San Francisco Bay Area superior court, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. She is being represented by Lawless & Lawless, […]

Crackdown on fast food doesn’t curtail obesity rates, study finds

LOS ANGELES — A much-hailed law that restricted the opening of new stand-alone fast-food restaurants in one of the poorest sections of Los Angeles did not curb obesity or improve diets, a new study found. City lawmakers passed the zoning ordinance in 2008 that limited the opening or expansion of fast-food outlets in a 32-square-mile […]

‘Brockovich’ town getting smaller and smaller

HINKLEY — A Mojave Desert community whose toxic chromium contamination was portrayed in the movie “Erin Brockovich” is set to lose its post office, plus its only gas station and convenience store. Although postal officials say they will be looking for a new location, the Hinkley Post Office, which has been at the same location […]

Workers sue over harsh work conditions

LOS ANGELES — Eleven Filipino workers suing a bakery in Southern California allege they were forced to do laundry and yard work for the owners, paid meager wages at the business and threatened with massive debt for their trip to the U.S. when they complained. Current and former workers filed a labor trafficking lawsuit in […]

Napolitano apologizes for tuition comment

SAN FRANCISCO — Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California system and former U.S. Homeland Security secretary, publicly apologized Thursday for calling chants by students protesting tuition hikes “crap,” a remark overheard on an open microphone at a board of regents meeting. Napolitano, also a former Arizona governor, opened a regents meeting by […]

Fugitive cop fled to Texas

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal arrest warrant says a fugitive Los Angeles rookie police officer charged with murder for killing a man during an off-duty fight has fled to Texas with his father’s help. The warrant, filed Thursday, says that 27-year-old Henry Solis called his father, Victor Solis of Lancaster, for help after a […]