Police: Woman with fake baby cited for trespassing
MERCED, Calif. (AP) - Police say they're investigating why a woman tried to enter the maternity ward at a Central California hospital carrying a doll that looked like a living baby.
Capt. Tom Trindad of the Merced Police Department said Friday that 41-year-old Tonya Whitney has been cited with misdemeanor trespassing.
Trindad says Whitney and a man first went to the hospital Saturday, each carrying a doll, and security officials became suspicious, telling them to leave.
They returned Monday, and police say Whitney, wearing nurse's scrubs, tried again to enter the maternity ward.
Police say they were concerned that Whitney might have wanted to take a living baby. But Trindad said she told them she makes the dolls and only sought to ask nurses there if anybody wanted to buy one for training purposes.
Lawmakers pass firearm safety, ammunition bills
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers have acted on bills that tackle firearm safety and add rules for ammunition sales.
The Senate on Friday unanimously passed SB505 by Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara. It would require officers to search the state's database of gun purchases when checking on whether someone may be a danger to themselves or others.
Jackson says searching the gun database could help prevent tragedies such as the May shooting rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her bill now goes to the governor.
The Assembly approved a bill creating a way to better track ammunition. SB53 by Democratic Sen. Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles requires ammunition vendors to be licensed and people buying ammunition to pass background checks.
It passed 42-26 and returns to the Senate.
CALIFORNIA-SEPT 11 PLATES
9/11 relatives to get second shot at scholarships
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Relatives of Californians who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will get a second chance to apply for college scholarships under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown on Friday announced signing SB384 by Democratic Sen. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord and Republican Sen. Ted Gaines of Roseville. It gives relatives of California victims until July 2016 to apply for a scholarship program funded through the sale of specialty memorial license plates.
The legislation arose after an investigation by The Associated Press found that just $21,381 was distributed to the children and spouses of the victims, out of more than $2 million intended for the scholarships.
SB384 requires the state to renew efforts to notify eligible candidates. A state audit found that officials failed to notify many of them.
DEAD BODIES-ADJACENT HOMES
IDs of men found shot in adjacent yards released
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - Sheriff's officials say the shooting deaths of two men found in adjacent backyards in the San Francisco Bay Area appear to be a murder-suicide.
Marin County Sheriff's Lt. Doug Pittman tells the Marin Independent Journal all the evidence collected so far points to a murder-suicide, though he cautions that the investigation is far from over.
Detectives were looking into the shooting death of the first man - identified as 61-year-old Theodore Charles Rodden - in unincorporated Mill Valley late Wednesday. They discovered the body of a second man who was also shot the following morning.
Investigators also found a rifle alongside the second man, who was identified as 41-year-old Andreas Kreiden. The men's identities were released on Friday.
Sheriff's officials were looking into whether they were involved in a dispute.
FATAL CRASH-FOREIGN STUDENTS
College mourns 3 students killed in crash
OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) - The president of Palomar College says the San Diego-area campus is reeling from the deaths of three Japanese students in a car crash.
President Robert Deegan says Friday that five other Japanese students who were injured when the Honda Prelude hit a power pole late Thursday are hospitalized but expected to survive.
Deegan says he doesn't know the circumstances of the Oceanside crash but says it raises obvious questions about why so many people were in the car.
Deegan says the victims are among 135 Japanese students at the San Marcos campus and were staying with host families in the San Diego area. But he's not releasing their names and doesn't have any other personal information.
Deegan calls the deaths a terrible loss and says counselors are being made available to other students on campus.
MARIACHI RACE POSTPONED
Mariachi 5K postponed after receiving criticism
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Southern California mariachi-themed fun run scheduled for this weekend has been postponed indefinitely after facing backlash from those who say it makes a mockery of mariachi.
Organizers of the Mariachi 5K said Friday that they had received resistance from the Boyle Heights area and were unable to hold the race.
Promoter Carlos Gaspar told the Los Angeles Times that the pushback had more to do with politics than his theme. He says only people with power can hold events in the city.
The race was scheduled to begin and end at the historic Mariachi Plaza and organizers hoped to bring attention and business to the city.
Most of the criticism of the race has been from the mariachi musicians who perform at the plaza.
Sen. Boxer: Group behind beheading must be stopped
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Days after an Islamic extremist group beheaded an American journalist, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is calling the murder of James Foley barbaric and the Islamic State group a worldwide threat that must be stopped.
The California Democrat said Friday in Los Angeles that the U.S. will continue to not pay ransoms to rescue citizens held by militant groups because it encourages more hostage-taking.
Boxer, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says the U.S. must partner with the international community, including NATO and the U.N., to oppose the Islamic State group. She also has reaffirmed support for President Barack Obama's decision to authorize airstrikes in Iraq.
Boxer says deploying troops isn't an option and backed away from specifics on how the U.S. should counter Islamic State strongholds in Syria.
MEXICO PRESIDENT-CALIFORNIA VISIT
Mexico's president to visit California next week
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is coming to California at the invitation of Gov. Jerry Brown, less than a month after Brown visited his country.
The two will address hundreds of Mexican Americans on Monday in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, Brown will host a luncheon in the president's honor in Sacramento. Pena Nieto will then address the Legislature at the state Capitol.
There's no immediate word on what Pena Nieto plans to say, but Mexico and its northern neighbor share concerns about a host of issues, including immigration and pollution.
During the governor's trip to Mexico last month, Brown signed nonbinding agreements on trade, education and environmental cooperation. Brown also promised to work with the U.S. government to find a long-term solution to the immigration crisis.
FALLING SIGN INJURY
Man injured by falling 1,000-pound sign
CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a 1,000-pound sign fell on a worker at a Southern California gas station, leaving him with serious leg injuries.
City News Service says it happened shortly before 11 a.m. Friday at a Mobil station in Calabasas.
Los Angeles County fire Inspector Keith Mora says the worker was trapped for about 20 minutes before he was freed.
It's unclear why the sign fell.
Officer shot in San Bernardino is son of captain
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) - Police say an officer who was shot and gravely wounded during an early morning patrol in San Bernardino is a 6-year veteran whose father is a captain on the force.
Chief Jarrod Burguan said Friday that 31-year-old Gabriel Garcia remains in critical condition following surgery for gunshot wounds to the upper body.
Burguan says Garcia is an exemplary officer who has worked patrol for most of his career. His father is Ron Garcia.
Gabriel Garcia was shot when he and his partner stopped to talk to a group of people standing outside a home before 3 a.m.
His partner managed to shoot and kill 38-year-old Alex Alvarado during a protracted gunbattle.
Arrested senator says he will pursue 'innocence'
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso says he will try to prove his innocence hours after being arrested for drunken driving in the state capital.
Hueso emerged from Sacramento County Jail about 11:45 a.m. Friday and told reporters "the process isn't over."
He would not comment on what he was doing in the hours before his DUI arrest near midtown Sacramento at 2:39 a.m. Friday.
He wore black slacks, a red-and-white pinstriped dress shirt and black shoes as he walked from the jail to a waiting black van.
With a serious look and speaking softly, Hueso told reporters that he will "pursue my innocence."
Many without residency proof could lose Obamacare
LOS ANGELES (AP) - State officials say about 100,000 Californians who haven't yet proved their citizenship or legal residency in the U.S. face losing health care coverage this fall.
The Los Angeles Times reports Friday that the state will start sending notices to affected consumers early next month and follow up with more communication.
Covered California, the state-run insurance exchange, enrolled more than 1.2 million people during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act this year. The exchange said it could verify citizenship or immigration status of most consumers electronically through a federal data hub.
But Peter Lee, the exchange's executive director, tells the Times that about 100,000 people must still submit proof of eligibility or risk losing coverage in October.
He estimates that most of the people affected are legal residents.
CALIFORNIA DROUGHT-LAWN FINE
Lawn removal draws fine for California woman
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) - A California lawmaker is praising a San Francisco Bay Area woman as a hero after she replaced her lawn with low-water native plants, but was then hit with a fine by her homeowners association.
San Diego Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez says Fran Paxson's water-saving efforts during the state's drought should be hailed.
But Paxson tells the San Jose Mercury News her homeowners association in San Ramon sent her a letter in July saying it was fining her $50 a month until she puts some of the lawn back. According to Paxson, the association's board raised concerns her lawn-free look would reduce property values.
An association staff member said in an email on Friday the fine was for Paxson's failure to get proper approval for the work.
A bill authored by Gonzalez would prohibit homeowners associations from fining families for removing their lawns.
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