BC-CA--California News Digest, CA

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Associated Press

Posted on April 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM

The supervisor in Los Angeles is John Antczak. Andrew Dalton takes over at 3:30 p.m. If you have a news tip or questions about the report, call 213-626-1200. The supervisor in San Francisco is Sudhin Thanawala and can be reached at 415-495-1708. John Marshall takes over at 3 p.m.

Richard Vogel, Los Angeles Photos, can be reached at 213-626-2500. Stephanie Mullen, San Francisco Photos, can be reached 415-495-1192.

AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk at 877-836-9477 or your local AP bureau. All times are Pacific.

TOP STORIES:

GIRL KILLED-MANHUNT

VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. — This small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada is supposed to be a quiet, safe retreat for people tired of big city crime. Residents keep their doors open and let their kids play alone outside. But they are now being told to lock up, as authorities search for an intruder they say stabbed and killed an 8-year-old girl in her home. Sheriff's officials in Calaveras County have increased patrols around Leila Fowler's school and others in the area. By Tracie Cone.

AP Photos.

VALLEY FEVER-PRISONS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California prison officials and the court-appointed receiver overseeing inmate health care are at odds over how to respond to the long-term problem of valley fever in two Central Valley prisons. Over the past seven years, 62 California inmates have died from the airborne fungal infection, which originates in the region's soil. The medical receiver's office wants to move black, Filipino and Native American inmates out of the two prisons because they are more susceptible to the disease. The corrections department wants to try a number of other steps instead, including installing high-intensity air filters. By Don Thompson.

JACKSON-AEG SUIT

LOS ANGELES — Concert giant AEG Live failed in its duty to properly investigate the doctor who treated Michael Jackson because it was concerned about its own fortunes, an attorney for the singer's mother told a jury Monday. "His stirring voice, his musical genius, his creativity and his generosity and his huge heart was extinguished forever," attorney Brian Panish said in opening statements of a civil lawsuit filed over Jackson's June 2009 death. By Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney.

AP Photos.

CAPITAL:

HEALTH OVERHAUL-CALIFORNIA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers are expected to vote on a pair of consumer-protection bills that will prevent health insurance companies from discriminating and overcharging. The bills update California laws to match new rules under the federal Affordable Care Act and will give state agencies the power to enforce and regulate individual insurance rules. The bills were part of a special legislative session convened by Gov. Jerry Brown to implement health care reform in the state. By Judy Lin.

CALIFORNIA OIL DRILLING

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Bills seeking to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in California will receive their first hearing before a state Assembly committee. Three bills from Democratic lawmakers could halt the practice until 2019 or longer. The lawmakers want state officials to analyze the potential public health effects of the drilling technique, which uses high-pressured water mixed with sand, gravel or chemicals to extract oil and gas from rock. Oil companies want to use the fracking technique in California's Monterey Shale formation, which stretches from Kern County north through the San Joaquin Valley. It has been identified as one of the largest oil deposits in the nation. By Laura Olson.

Eds: Developing from 1:30 p.m. committee hearing.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA:

CALIFORNIA DIVER DEATHS

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Three abalone divers were killed in separate accidents in Northern California, where powerful rip currents were reported.

Also:

— NESTING SWALLOWS-BRIDGE — Transportation officials are so busy trying to prevent swarms of cliff swallows from nesting under the Petaluma River Bridge that they may be forced to delay work on an $82 million project to replace the span.

— AMBULANCE RESPONSE TIMES — Santa Clara County officials are threatening to terminate the contract of an ambulance company that they say has repeatedly responded too slowly to emergencies.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA:

SPACE TOURISM

MOJAVE — Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo made its first powered flight Monday, breaking the sound barrier in a test over the Mojave Desert that moves the company closer to its goal of flying paying passengers on brief hops into space. "It couldn't have gone more smoothly," said Sir Richard Branson, who owns the spaceline with Aabar Investments PJC of Abu Dhabi. By Raquel Maria Dillon.

AP Photo. AP Video.

SEVERED PENIS

SANTA ANA — A Southern California jury has convicted a woman who was accused of drugging her estranged husband before severing his penis and tossing it in the garbage disposal. Jurors found Catherine Kieu guilty Monday of charges of torture and aggravated mayhem for the July 11, 2011, attack. By Gillian Flaccus.

SEC-VICTORVILLE

VICTORVILLE, Calif. — The U.S. government has accused the Southern California city of Victorville, a city official and a local agency of misleading investors in municipal bonds in 2008 by inflating property values.

MEXICO-MIGRANTS ABANDONED

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican navy said Monday it has detected a disturbing trend of migrant smugglers abandoning boatloads of people at sea off the coast of Baja California. The Navy said that each month it has been finding an average of 10 to 12 boats, with a total of about out 150 migrants.

Also:

— HOSPITAL-GRENADE SCARE — Authorities say an object that appeared to be a grenade caused a partial evacuation of the Veterans Affairs hospital in West Los Angeles before experts confirmed it wasn't live.

— OBIT-FRIEMAN — Edward Frieman, a former head of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a national adviser on defense, energy and science policy, has died. He was 87.

— TANKER OVERTURNED — Authorities cleaning up a tanker truck spill that poured gasoline into a Southern California creek have removed tons of contaminated dirt and plan to reopen a closed road this week.

BUSINESS:

GOOGLE-APPLE-DUELING ASSISTANTS

SAN FRANCISCO — Google is trying to upstage Siri, the sometimes droll assistant that answers questions and helps people manage their lives on Apple's iPhone and iPad. The duel has begun with the release of a free iPhone and iPad app that features Google Now, a technology that performs many of the same functions as Siri. It's the first time that Google Now has been available on smartphones and tablet computers that aren't running on the latest version of Google's Android software. By Michael Liedtke.

FACEBOOK-EARNINGS PREVIEW

NEW YORK — Investors will likely focus on mobile advertising growth at Facebook Inc. when the social media company reports first-quarter results on Wednesday after the stock market closes.

EARNS-HEALTH NET

LOS ANGELES — Health insurer Health Net Inc. said Monday it was profitable in the first quarter and raised its forecast for the full year. Health Net said its commercial business is doing better because fewer people are seeing doctors or undergoing medical procedures, which keeps its spending down. The company's revenue fell 1 percent compared to a year ago, but health plan service expenses fell by about 3 percent.

SPORTS:

BKN--LAKERS WRAPUP

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — If you thought the Los Angeles Lakers' regular season was wild, just wait for summer. The Lakers must figure out what to do with the high-priced pieces of an aging, failed title contender, and Dwight Howard isn't likely to help them out by announcing his free agency decision before July. By Greg Beacham.

BKN--GRIZZLIES-CLIPPERS

LOS ANGELES — The Clippers return to Los Angeles looking for a way to regain control of their series against Memphis after losing two straight against the Grizzlies to even their playoff series.

BKN--WARRIORS-NUGGETS

DENVER — If this series stays to form, Stephen Curry's eye injury won't bother the Golden State Warriors just like his sprained left ankle made no difference and All-Star David Lee's season-ending hip injury hasn't mattered. The sixth-seeded Warriors are one win away from closing out the heavily favored Denver Nuggets, who won 20 of 23 games down the stretch but have been outcoached, outrebounded, outshot and outhustled throughout the playoffs. By Arnie Stapleton. AP Photos.

HKN--RED WINGS-DUCKS

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Ducks will find out quickly whether their outstanding regular season means anything in the playoffs. The second-seeded Pacific Division champions drew a first-round matchup with postseason-tested Detroit, which has given trouble to Teemu Selanne and his teammates for years. By Greg Beacham.

HKN--SHARKS-PLAYOFFS

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks prepare for their first-round series against the Vancouver Cancuks with hopes of avoiding another early exit after last year's opening round loss to St. Louis. By Josh Dubow.

HKN--KINGS-BLUES

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues were a speed bump on the Los Angeles Kings' Stanley Cup run, and got swept in the season series, too. But they were next to unbeatable down the stretch and carry that momentum into the first round. By R.B. Fallstrom.

HKN--NHL PLAYOFF PREVIEW

The NHL playoffs are wild and wide open, making seeding relatively irrelevant as the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings proved last year by hoisting the Stanley Cup. The Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins, the top teams in the Western and Eastern Conference, though, hope home ice does prove to be an advantage. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage.

HKN--PICK SIX-NHL PLAYOFFS

The NHL's sprint of a season is over and its grueling postseason is about to begin with some intriguing storylines to watch while 16 teams compete to be the one hoisting the Stanley Cup in two months. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. Eds: First moved for Monday PMs.

See also:

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, ADD, which moves weekdays at 4 p.m.

—NEVADA NEWS DIGEST, which moves daily at 1:30 p.m.

Technical problems may be reported to 213-626-5833 in Los Angeles or 415-495-1124 in San Francisco.

Send Southern California stories by electronic carbon, fax 213-346-0200 or e-mail losangeles(at)ap.org. Send Northern California stories by electronic carbon, fax 415-495-4967 or e-mail sanfrancisco(at)ap.org.

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