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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED May 6, 2014 8:50 p.m.

• SCHOOL CRACKS DOWN ON ‘PROM DRAFT’: NEWPORT BEACH (AP) — A principal at a Southern California high school is cracking down on a student tradition called “prom draft” that involves male students ranking female students and then selecting a date from the favored pool.

The Orange County Register reported Tuesday that Corona del Mar High principal Kathy Scott sent parents an email about the NFL-style draft over the weekend.

The long-standing tradition is not affiliated with the school and has operated mostly in secrecy.

Male students draw draft picks in a lottery but can pay to improve their draft number so they can pick the date of their choice.

Scott says it’s not acceptable to objectify students.

Students had been posting on Twitter about the draft for the June 7 prom, but the posts have been removed.

 

• LA COUNTY OFFICIALS OK $2 BILLION JAIL PLAN: LOS ANGELES (AP) — County supervisors have approved a nearly $2 billion plan to tear down and rebuild the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles and also build a new women’s facility.

City News Service says the Board of Supervisors approved the idea Tuesday. Staff was told to return in two months with a cost review and design specifications.

The plan calls for replacing the aging men’s jail with a new facility by 2024 and building a campus-like women’s jail at a now-vacant facility in Lancaster.

Supervisors said a modern facility would improve conditions for some of the estimated 3,000 mentally ill inmates in the jail system. Federal officials are investigating treatment of the jailed mentally ill.

Supervisors also directed staff to study alternatives to jail for some inmates, such as diversion programs.

 

• SAN FRANCISCO LEADER PROPOSES CITY KILL SWITCH LAW: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco supervisor is proposing legislation requiring smartphones and other mobile devices sold in the city to be equipped with a “kill switch” to render them inoperable if lost or stolen.

Supervisor London Breed’s local proposal on Tuesday comes two days before the California state Senate is set to reconsider a bill that would require the technology for all phones sold in California. Her ordinance will be modeled after proposed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco that fell two votes short of passing two weeks ago.

Authorities say nearly 70 percent of all robberies in San Francisco this year have involved smartphone theft. District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have spearheaded national efforts and given manufacturers a June deadline to find solutions to curb smartphone theft.

 

• STANFORD U. VOTES TO STOP COAL INVESTMENTS: STANFORD (AP) — Stanford University has become the largest school to say it won’t invest in coal mining companies because of climate change concerns.

Stanford’s Board of Trustees made the announcement Tuesday. The school says the move reflects the availability of alternate energy sources with lower greenhouse gas emissions and provides leadership on a critical issue for the world.

The resolution means that Stanford won’t use any of its $18.7 billion endowment to directly invest in about 100 publicly traded companies that primarily extract coal.

Jason Hayes of the American Coal Council calls the move a “big PR stunt” since Stanford students still use products that are produced with coal, such as steel. Hayes says other investors will buy the coal stocks that Stanford sells.

 

• FATHER OF MISSING OAKLAND TODDLER COMMITS SUICIDE: OAKLAND (AP) — The father of Daphne Webb, the Oakland toddler who vanished last summer, has committed suicide.

John Anthony Webb killed himself on Friday in the Oakland home where he once lived with Daphne and his mother.

Daphne’s maternal grandfather Kevin Davis says Webb didn’t leave a note or any explanation.

Daphne was 21 months old when she disappeared on July 10, 2013.

John Anthony Webb told police someone snatched the girl after he left her in his car while he visited a convenience store.

Webb was arrested the day after she disappeared for investigation of felony child endangerment, but prosecutors declined to file charges.

 

• CREWS HOPING TO REOPEN FREEWAY WHERE BRIDGE BURNED: HESPERIA (AP) — Crews hope soon to partially reopen a Southern California desert freeway blocked when a bridge caught fire.

A segment of Interstate 15 in the Mojave Desert was shut down Monday when a blowtorch being used to cut metal bars ignited wood supports on the uncompleted bridge. Traffic stalled for hours.

On Tuesday, officials said they have been dismantling the scorched, sagging wreckage and hope to reopen northbound lanes by around 6 p.m. for the evening rush hour.

However, it could take another day to reopen southbound lanes.

The bridge, 60 miles east of Los Angeles, is on a major route between California and Nevada.

 

• MEATBALLS WITH PILLS LEFT ON STREET: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police say several meatballs stuffed with pills have been found on the street in the Sunset district, raising fears that someone is once again trying to poison pets.

The pills and the meatballs are being tested to determine if they are poisonous.

Police say a dog walker found several of the meatballs on a paper plate in an area where walking paths wind around a reservoir.

In February some 34 tainted meatballs were found hidden in carports, behind stairwells, along curbs and in bushes in the Twin Peaks neighborhood.

Last July a 7-year-old dachshund named Oskar died after eating a meatball laced with strychnine in Twin Peaks. Another dog was sickened.

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