CALIFORNIA PRISONS-MENTAL HEALTH
California prisons change mental health treatment
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California prison officials are pledging to take a more gentle approach with mentally ill inmates after graphic images of prisoners being repeatedly doused with pepper spray in their cells were made public several months ago.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a federal court filing Friday that its move will create a system-wide culture change in how 33,000 mentally ill offenders are restrained and isolated.
U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled in April that California's treatment of mentally ill inmates violates their constitutional safeguards against cruel and unusual punishment.
He acted after the graphic video tapes made by correctional officers were released, showing guards throwing chemical grenades and pumping large amounts of pepper spray into the cells of mentally ill inmates. Some were screaming and delirious.
SAN FRANCISCO-TRANSIT CRASHES
San Francisco transit vehicles involved in crashes
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Fire officials say 20 people were taken to hospitals Friday, one with serious injuries, after two separate crashes involving San Francisco transit vehicles just minutes apart.
Crews were called to the city's Japantown neighborhood at 1:29 p.m. Friday when a bus collided with a dump truck, fire spokeswoman Jennifer Balestrieri said. Twenty people were assessed at the scene, 12 of whom were taken to hospitals. One of those injuries was considered serious, five moderate and six minor.
Balestrieri said crews were called to a light-rail crash in the Bayview neighborhood seven minutes later. Eight people were taken to hospitals with minor and moderate injuries after a light-rail train collided with a big rig.
Eleven people were assessed at the scene, but declined to be taken to a hospital.
WILLISTON TRAFFICKING ARREST
North Dakota town sees 1st human trafficking case
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - A convicted sex offender from California now living in the North Dakota oil patch town of Williston was charged Friday in what police say is their first human trafficking case.
Keith Graves faces several charges for acts that authorities allege happened over a few days in July. During a hearing Friday, Graves denied any wrongdoing and his bond was set at $2 million.
Graves is one of the main subjects in a documentary called "The Overnighters" that follows a local Lutheran pastor who opened up his church and its parking lot to workers arriving in Williston with no place to stay.
"The Overnighters" won the Special Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and is expected to be released more widely later this year. In the film, Graves is identified as a truck driver from California.
Graves was convicted in California in 1999 of a felony charge for lewd acts with a child under the age of 14.
California killer given additional death sentences
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Chester D. Turner is no stranger to murder or the punishment that comes with it. He squeezed the life out of more than a dozen women during a decade of terror, and two juries decided he should die for his crimes.
So it was merely a formality Friday that Turner, already on death row for 10 murders, was given four more death sentences for what a prosecutor called the city's most prolific serial killer.
Turner looked straight at Judge Robert Perry as he handed down the penalty for the series of inner-city killings during the crack cocaine epidemic.
Turner is one of at least three men blamed for a series of killings once thought to be the work of a solo killer dubbed the "Southside Slayer." More than 100 women in South Los Angeles were killed during the violent era when highly addictive crack made people desperate enough to turn to prostitution to support their habit or led to other crimes.
TESLA BATTERY FACTORY
Nevada no lock for Tesla plant despite groundwork
SPARKS, Nev. (AP) - A sprawling industrial park near Reno where wild mustangs roam among the sagebrush has become the focus of the secretive site selection process for Tesla's $5 billion battery factory. But the groundwork taking place is no guarantee the plant and its 6,500 jobs are coming.
Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk told investors in a webcast Thursday that the company plans similar site work in one or two other states "before we actually go to the next stage of pouring a lot of concrete." Officials for the other states -- Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona -- said Friday that they're still contenders.
California Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has refused to detail what it's offering, but legislation recently enacted to create a $420 million tax credit for Lockheed Martin also included language to help battery manufacturers, at his request.
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