Friday, August 22, 2014

Assembly approves greater disclosure for campaigns

SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers are sending legislation to Gov. Jerry Brown to force greater disclosure in political campaigns, passing two bills Thursday aimed at giving voters more information about who is paying for campaigns and appearing in commercials. The state Assembly approved AB400, which requires initiative, referendum or recall petitions being circulated for signatures to […]

California plans aid to immigrant minors

SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers will approve legislation supported by Gov. Jerry Brown to spend $3 million in state money to provide legal help for unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America, Democratic leaders announced Thursday. Making the money available is “the decent thing to do, and it’s consistent with the progressive spirit of California,” Brown said in a […]

California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

SAN FRANCISCO — California’s attorney general said Thursday she will appeal a federal court ruling that called the state’s death penalty unconstitutional. The announcement by Attorney General Kamala Harris came after U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Los Angeles ruled last month that the state’s death penalty takes too long to carry out, and that […]

Stunt blocks traffic on Golden Gate Bridge

SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities are trying to identify a driver who performed a stunt on the Golden Gate Bridge while other vehicles blocked traffic. Video that has surfaced online shows the driver doing doughnuts on the bridge in a sports car. California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Barclay tells the Marin Independent Journal ( the CHP […]

Bodies of 2 men found in adjacent California yards

MILL VALLEY — Authorities are investigating the deaths of two men in neighboring backyards in Northern California. Marin County Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Pittman says investigators believe the deaths in an unincorporated part of Mill Valley are related and are treating them as a double homicide. Detectives were looking into the shooting death of the first […]

Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

SOUTH PASADENA — Two teenagers suspected of plotting a mass shooting at a suburban Los Angeles high school denied charges Wednesday that they made criminal threats against another boy. The South Pasadena boys, ages 16 and 17, entered the plea in Pasadena Juvenile Court, Los Angeles County prosecutors said. Their names were withheld because of […]

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

SACRAMENTO — The son of a former California Supreme Court justice won approval Wednesday from a state Senate panel as the new state librarian after initial concerns that he had never worked in the field and had no formal training as a librarian when he was nominated. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown named Greg Lucas of […]

Sandy’s 101 Omlettes closes in Fairfield

FAIRFIELD — Sandy’s Original 101 Omelettes on North Texas Street closed after the lease on the breakfast restaurant ran out, an owner says. Ronald Konkle said Sandy’s, which opened at the current site in August 2011, had a good following in Fairfield before it closed at the start of this month. “A lot of them are […]

Solano courts to close around holidays to cut costs

FAIRFIELD — The management of the Solano County Superior Court announced Monday that in order to save money, they will be creating a five-day holiday weekend for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and a pair of four-day holiday weekends for the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day holidays. The court will be closed except for emergency rulings and […]

Man convicted of failing to register as sex offender

FAIRFIELD — A 60-year-old man was found guilty Monday of two felonies – for failing to register as a sex offender and providing false information – after telling law enforcement he was living along Green Valley Road in Fairfield when he was actually staying with a family member in Vacaville whose house is within a […]

DUI checkpoint nets arrests in Vacaville

VACAVILLE — Vacaville police made multiple arrests Friday at a DUI checkpoint on Mason Street, the city said. Police screened 1,072 vehicles, arrested two DUI suspects, arrested one suspect for illegal drugs and another for possessing a loaded firearm in public. Twelve drivers were cited or arrested for operating a vehicle without a license or […]

Ex-con accused of sexual assault on mentally disabled girl, to stand trial

FAIRFIELD — A 38-year-old ex-con with a lengthy local criminal record dating back 15 years was ordered Monday to stand trial on felony kidnap and child sodomy charges. Jimmy Lavalle Jr. has pleaded not guilty. Lavalle was arrested two weeks after a mentally disabled 13-year-old Dixon girl reported she had been grabbed by the hair, dragged into […]

Library’s teen board to meet next week

VACAVILLE — Teens are invited to attend a meeting next week of the Vacaville library’s teen advisory board to have their voices heard with regard to library programming. The board meets at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Vacaville Cultural Center Branch, 1020 Ulatis Drive. It’s open to those 12 to 18 years of age. […]

South Solano Dems schedule candidates meet, greet

VALLEJO — Area Democrats are planning a meet-and-greet for Democratic candidates for elected office early next month in Vallejo. The United Democrats of Southern Solano County will host their 32nd annual barbecue from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 7 at 316 Moorland St. in Vallejo. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, is scheduled to speak at […]

Liberia: Ebola fears rise as clinic is looted

MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital’s largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including bloody sheets and mattresses. The violence in the West Point slum occurred late Saturday and was led by residents angry that patients were brought to the holding center […]

Hip hop, graffiti in Lebanon tag a nation’s woes

BEIRUT — In a red-lit bar in Beirut, Nasser Shorbaji and Marwan Alameh try not to knock the microphones over while laughing during the broadcast of their weekly radio show. Moments later, they turn more somber as they introduce a segment on Palestinian hip hop, discussing the most recent outbreak of war on Gaza. Heads nod […]

2 dead, 2 hurt in Arkansas freight train collision

Two Union Pacific train crew members were killed and two others were injured when two freight trains collided head-on in northeast Arkansas early Sunday, Arkansas State Police said. The collision happened about 3 a.m. in Hoxie, a small town about 90 miles northwest of Memphis, Tennessee. A resulting fire took about seven hours to extinguish, […]

Woman cited for climbing into zoo’s giraffe pen

MADISON, Wis. — Police say a California woman was cited after climbing into the giraffe exhibit at a Madison zoo and getting kicked in the face. A police report says 24-year-old Amanda Hall, of San Luis Obispo, climbed over one fence and almost got over the second fence of the giraffe enclosure at the Henry […]

New US strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers

EDGARTOWN, Mass. — The U.S. has expanded its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces regain control of the strategic Mosul dam. The White House said President Barack Obama notified Congress Sunday that the widened mission would be limited in duration and scope. The administration’s letter to Congress said “the mission […]

More charges planned against Amish-kidnap suspects

CANTON, N.Y. — More charges are expected soon against a northern New York couple accused of kidnapping two young Amish sisters and sexually abusing them, a prosecutor said Sunday. Computer hard drives and other potential evidence are still being collected Sunday from the home of Stephen Howells Jr. and Nicole Vaisey, said Mary Rain, district […]

6 hurt in Salt Lake City nightclub shooting

SALT LAKE CITY — Police are looking for a gunman who opened fire at a crowded nightclub in downtown Salt Lake City, shooting six people. Hundreds of people fled the Inferno Cantina Night Club after the shots rang out about 11:45 p.m. Saturday. Some of the injuries are serious, but none appear to be life […]

Skateboarder attacks ranger at Philly’s Love Park

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia police are investigating a cellphone video that shows a skateboarder attacking a city park ranger while others stand by laughing after they were told to stop skateboarding in Love Park, an internationally renowned shredding spot. Witness Mariano Verrico of Essex Fells, New Jersey, told WCAU-TV he shot the video Friday. Verrico said […]

Relations sour between berry growers, university

DAVIS — Things are souring between California’s strawberry growers and the University of California, Davis. The Sacramento Bee reports that growers worry a university breeding program they have long relied on for new varieties will shut down. Not so, say university officials. That assurance that hasn’t stopped an association representing growers from filing a lawsuit. […]

California cemeteries work to cope with drought

ROSEMEAD — With their large lawns, cemeteries are figuring out new ways to conserve water amid California’s drought. Replacing grass with native plants or using recycled water are two ways to cope. With the state in the grip of its worst water crisis in a generation, state officials have asked everyone to cut use by […]

Spending in the water plan going before voters

SACRAMENTO — Details of the $7.5 billion bipartisan water package placed on the November ballot by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown ($7.1 billion will be new borrowing, and the total repayment cost is projected to be $14.7 billion over 30 years): • $2.7 billion for water storage projects, with criteria that are designed to […]

California water bond won’t be a drought-buster

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are expected to use the backdrop of California’s most severe drought in nearly four decades to sell voters on the $7.5 billion water plan they put on the ballot this week. Despite its size, the measure will not solve the problems created by the drought nor is it […]

State regulators approve PG&E rate hike

SAN FRANCISCO  — California regulators approved a nearly $2.4 billion rate hike for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers that will see the typical customer’s monthly bill increase by $7.50 starting in the fall and then even more in 2015 and again in 2016. The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously in favor of the […]

Critics: Police equipped like armies going too far

WASHINGTON — The Missouri police department at the center of an uproar over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager acquired two armored Humvees and other military gear for free through a Pentagon program that critics blame for “militarizing America’s Main Streets” and aggravating clashes between police and protesters. The Ferguson Police Department received the two Humvees […]

NY couple arrested in Amish girls’ kidnapping

ALBANY, N.Y. — A northern New York couple was arrested Friday in the kidnapping of two Amish sisters from their family’s roadside farm stand, a prosecutor says. St. Lawrence County’s District Attorney Mary Rain said 39-year-old Stephen Howells and 25-year-old Nicole Vaisey of Hermon were each charged Friday with two counts of first-degree kidnapping. She […]