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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — In this tolerant beach town where the mayor once hosted a marijuana giveaway and cars sport "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" bumper stickers, the killings of two police detectives this week has shocked residents and underscores growing concern about escalating violence. By Martha Mendoza.
AP File Photos. AP File Video.
ECHO SUMMIT, Calif. — It's official, and it's not good news for thirsty Californians: January and February have been the driest on record. Despite a few good dumps this season, Thursday's monthly snow survey showed the state hasn't received the kind of major storms needed to ease water managers' worries. By Tracie Cone and Rich Pedroncelli.
LOS ANGELES — A weeping juror was dismissed Thursday from the public corruption trial of six former officials of the suburban city of Bell after admitting she looked up information online and had her daughter search out a definition of what would constitute jury coercion. Deliberations were to resume anew with an alternate. By Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California counties are housing more than 1,100 inmates on long-term sentences in jails designed for stays of a year or less, according to the first report detailing the growth in that population under Gov. Jerry Brown's criminal justice realignment strategy. The oversight of so many long-term inmates is presenting challenges for county sheriffs, especially with the number expected to grow markedly in the years ahead. In addition to finding adequate space to house the new population, the sheriffs also must provide the inmates with education, treatment programs, rehabilitation services and recreation. Vehicle theft, drug trafficking, receiving stolen property, identity theft and commercial burglary were the most common crimes for jail inmates who were sentenced to 5 to 10 years in county jails, according to the report obtained by The Associated Press before its public release. The Los Angeles County Jail is holding 35 percent of all long-term inmates. By Don Thompson.
— CALIFORNIA PRISONS-GLANCE, a breakdown by county of the number of long-term inmates in each jail and their offenses.
SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers have taken their first step toward passing new consumer protections under the federal health care overhaul, such as guaranteeing coverage even with pre-existing conditions. Both houses of the Legislature passed bills dealing with individual insurance regulations that would prevent insurers from discriminating and overcharging customers. The bills also seek to ensure quality health coverage. The bills now switch houses while lawmakers work out the details with Gov. Jerry Brown. By Judy Lin.
NURSING HOMES-POOR CARE
SAN FRANCISCO — Medicare paid billions in taxpayer dollars to nursing homes nationwide that were not meeting basic requirements to look after their residents, government investigators have found. By Garance Burke.
SON KILLED WITH HATCHET
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento man accused of killing his 9-year-old son with a hatchet has served time in prison for domestic violence and had a bitter custody battle with the boy's mother.
WHAT'S ON YOUR WRIST
PALO ALTO, Calif. — On a sunny day at a picnic table in Silicon Valley, Eric Migicovsky glanced down at his wristwatch. He wasn't checking the time, he was checking his email. In this corner of a world obsessed with the latest tech gadget, Migicovsky is this week's hotshot as his start-up company rolls out its new, high-tech Pebble smart watches. The $150, postage stamp-sized computer on a band is tethered wirelessly to a wearer's Android or iPhone. By Martha Mendoza.
AP Photos. AP Video.
CALIFORNIA POLL-SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
SAN FRANCISCO — A record 61 percent of Californians now approve of allowing same-sex couples to marry, according to a new poll.
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
SAN FRANCISCO — California's first marine protected area established on the Central Coast appears to have benefited many fish species since it was established five years ago. State resource officials say data collected from the first in-depth study of these protected zones where fishing is banned or restricted is encouraging, and the number and size of struggling species have rebounded. By Jason Dearen.
— MAYOR-LOCK-PICKING CLASS — The mayor of a California city struggling with a spike in burglaries and other crimes is apologizing for promoting a class about how to pick locks in her newsletter.
— BAY BRIDGE-CELEBRATION COSTS — San Francisco Bay area transportation officials have agreed to spend up to $5.6 million to pay for part of the inaugural celebration for the new east span of the Bay Bridge.
— WOMAN-SEX ALLEGATIONS — Three juveniles have been arrested on suspicion of cyberbullying a boy who had a sex with a Northern California mother. The woman served prison time for having sex with two boys.
CALIF SCHOOL WAIVER
LOS ANGELES — Nine California school districts joined forces Thursday to request an exemption from stringent federal school standards, proposing an alternative method to measure performance. The superintendents of Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Santa Ana, and three Fresno County districts said they are seeking their own waiver from No Child Left Behind standards after the U.S. Department of Education rejected a waiver application by the state of California last year. By Christina Hoag.
SKID ROW APPEAL
LOS ANGELES — Citing health hazards, the city plans to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to overturn rulings that prevent the seizure and destruction of possessions homeless people leave on sidewalks.
LOS ANGELES — One of the driest spots on Earth — the Sahara desert — is increasingly responsible for snow and rain half a world away in the western U.S., a new study released Thursday found. By Science Writer Alicia Chang.
MAX FACTOR HEIR
VENTURA, Calif. — An heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune who was convicted of drugging and raping three women says he's a victim of bad legal advice and his 124-year sentence should be reduced.
— PREGNANT MURDER — A jury has recommended the death penalty for a man who raped and stabbed to death a pregnant Orange County newlywed nearly a quarter-century ago.
— GANG INJUNCTION — The Los Angeles city attorney's office says it is seeking an injunction against a gang that has engaged in murders, robberies and drug trafficking in the San Fernando Valley.
— METH-ADDLED INTRUDER — Investigators say a methamphetamine-addled home invasion robber held a woman for hours and forced her to cook a meal.
— SHIP HITS WHALE — Authorities say a dead whale has been found stuck to the bow of a cargo ship at the Port of Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES — Dietary supplements company Herbalife will add two new members to its board of directors at the request of billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who has backed the company in a public spat with hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. Herbalife said in a statement Thursday that its board will nominate two new directors chosen by Icahn. As part of the agreement, Icahn can increase an existing stake of 13.6 percent to as much as 25 percent.
SAN FRANCISCO — Google's chief financial officer says the company plans to cling to its steadily growing stash of cash to pay for potential acquisitions and other investments that could boost the Internet search leader's profits. By Michael Liedtke.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The International Space Station is about to get another commercial shipment. The California company known as SpaceX is set to launch its unmanned Falcon rocket on Friday morning, hoisting a Dragon capsule containing more than a ton of food, tools, computer hardware and science experiments. By Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn.
WASHINGTON — Federal regulators are investigating the relationship between financier Michael Milken and an investment firm of which he is a client. Guggenheim Partners confirmed Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been examining its dealings with Milken for two years.
— APPLE-DOWNLOADS — Apple says people have downloaded more than 1 billion items from iTunes U, which features free books, lectures and other information from schools, libraries and museums around the world.
— SUPERSTORM-FIRE ISLAND — Federal officials say a Burlingame, Calif., contractor will clear tons of Superstorm Sandy debris from New York's Fire Island before an endangered bird species makes removal more complicated.
— OBAMA-FTC — The White House says President Barack Obama intends to designate Los Angeles lawyer Edith Ramirez to be chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, the watchdog agency charged with protecting consumers from anti-competitive or deceptive business practices.
LOS ANGELES — The adventurous Princess Isabelle of "Jack the Giant Slayer" inspires this week's list of five bad-ass movie princesses. By Movie Critic Christy Lemire.
LOS ANGELES — Kristen Kish made winning the "Top Chef: Seattle" finale look easy. In reality, preparing her five-course meal on the fly as the Bravo cooking competition's judges and a crowd of diners spectated from the sidelines was a non-stop endeavor requiring several hours of preparation — and some phony silverware. By Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang.
BURBANK, Calif. — There isn't much "Hollywood" about Kevin Tsujihara. He spends most of his time in back-room meetings, away from the red carpets and spotlights for which the city is known. But, on Friday, the 48-year-old father of two, who grew up making deliveries as the son of egg distributors, will become the CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment. By Business Writer Ryan Nakashima.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — After a lengthy tenure in Minnesota, Ron Gardenhire enters the last year of his contract, and he's not the only manager under pressure to win this season. Don Mattingly of the Dodgers, Joe Girardi of the Yankees and Charlie Manuel of the Phillies could all be out of a job if their teams don't perform. By Noah Trister.
PEORIA, Ariz. — Trying to earn a job with the San Diego Padres, second baseman Jedd Gyorko had three homers and nine RBIs in his first five spring training games. "Jedd's talent is evident in everything he does," Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He's a quality hitter and has done well defensively. We believe he has a bright future ahead." By Scott Bair.
— UNIQUE UNIFORMS — Tradition-rich UCLA and Louisville are taking on an unconventional look for college basketball's postseason: sleeves.AP Photo NY153.
— GIANTS INJURIES — San Francisco outfielder Andres Torres won't play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and will be sidelined for at least a week because of a strained oblique.AP Photo AZMS110.
—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, ADD, which moves weekdays at 4 p.m.
—NEVADA NEWS DIGEST, which moves daily at 1:30 p.m.
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