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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED May 28, 2014 9:06 p.m.

• COUPLE REPORTS 3,000 GALLONS OF WATER STOLEN: MENDOCINO  (AP) — Authorities in Mendocino County say some 3,000 gallons of water have been stolen from a couple’s above-ground storage tank.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Tuesday  that 87-year-old Kathy Dimaio discovered the loss over the weekend when she went outside to water her garden at her home in the Gualala area.

Dimaio says the tank had been full, storing water pumped from a well on their property for use in the yard.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Stefani says the tank is visible from the rural lane off which the couple lives.

The newspaper says the Dimaios’ home is about 15 miles from Horicon School in Sonoma County, where up to 13,000 gallons of water disappeared in late January, forcing the school to shut down for a day.

 

• MAN KILLED DURING STRUGGLE WITH BROTHER OVER GUN: OAKLAND  (AP) — Oakland police say a man struggling with his brother over a shotgun was killed when the weapon went off.

The shooting occurred Tuesday evening and the surviving brother was taken into custody.

Investigators say the brothers were arguing about the shotgun and, during a struggle for the weapon, one was shot and killed.

 

• 2 MEN ATTACKED BY ROAMING DOGS IN HEMET: HEMET  (AP) — Riverside County authorities say two men are recovering after being attacked by a pair of roaming dogs.

The separate attacks occurred late Monday in unincorporated Hemet.

Animal Services spokesman John Welsh says one man was at first able to scare the pit pulls away. When he went to look for the dogs’ owner, the animals ran back and charged him.

The victim was hospitalized with bites to his face, on his sides and on his ankle.

A second man was bitten in the buttocks earlier in the day. He suffered minor injuries.

The pit bulls are being held under quarantine because they do not have current rabies certificates.

Welsh says the dogs’ owner plans to surrender the animals to be euthanized.

 

• SACRAMENTO APPROVES NEW TAXI CAB REGULATIONS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Taxi drivers in Sacramento must dress properly and demonstrate basic English skills under new rules approved by the city.

The City Council voted 9-0 on Tuesday in favor of the regulations, which also require cabbies to accept credit cards and drive vehicles that are less than 8 years old.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the dress code requires professionally appropriate clothing. A test will gauge drivers’ English in addition to their ability to count change and navigate Sacramento.

Councilman Steve Hansen said the taxi industry will benefit from the regulations. The ordinance was written in response to reports of fistfights among drivers, rude exchanges with customers and speeding cabs.

Kazman Zaidi, the head of the Sacramento Taxi Cab Union, said the new regulations will create a burden on drivers who are already barely getting by.

 

• BILL WOULD PAY EXTRA $80 IN CALWORKS FOR DIAPERS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A bill making its way through the Legislature would provide an extra $80 a month for diaper purchases for families receiving money through CalWorks.

The state Assembly approved AB1516 by Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego on a 52-19 vote Wednesday, sending it to the Senate.

Gonzalez said diapers can cost as much as $100 a month and quoted rapper Eminem in urging lawmakers to support her bill, saying “food stamps don’t buy diapers. Well, neither does WIC.”

Assemblyman Mark Stone, a Democrat from Scotts Valley, said that without diapers families are not able to leave their children in child care and “go to work as we need them to under CalWorks.”

The payment will be available to qualifying families with children who are younger than 2.

 

• SENATE OKS BILL TO PUNISH FORMS OF COCAINE EQUALLY: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The state Senate has passed a bill that punishes users of crack and powder cocaine equally in an attempt to reduce racial bias in prison sentences.

On Wednesday, it approved SB1010 by Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles on a 21-12 vote.

The current punishment for possession for sale of powder cocaine is two to four years, while the same offense for crack cocaine is punishable by three to five years. The bill would make both punishable by two to four years.

While whites tend to use powder cocaine and blacks and Latinos tend to use crack, Mitchell says they are “two forms of the same drug.”

 

• BURBANK DAY CARE OWNER GETS PRISON FOR BABY DEATH: PASADENA  (AP) — The owner of a Southern California child care center is going to prison because a baby suffocated in her care.

Milena Nikodijevic (Nik-oh-DEE’-yuh-vich) was sentenced Wednesday to six years in state prison. She pleaded no contest this month to child endangerment causing death.

Nikodijevic owned an in-home day care center in Burbank.

Prosecutors say an 11-month-old boy died there in 2012 after an employee improperly strapped him in a car seat. The boy fell asleep and was asphyxiated by the chair strap.

A center employee, Wendy Oropeza, pleaded no contest in January to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a year in jail.

Authorities say the day care center had far too many children under the age of 2 — three times the number permitted by its license.

 

• SANTA BARBARA STUDENT ARRESTED FOR FIRING BULLET: GOLETA (AP) — Days after a gunman killed six people in Santa Barbara County, authorities seized seven guns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition from a man they say accidentally fired a bullet into his neighbor’s apartment.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Williams says the cases are unconnected.

Williams says a bullet came through an apartment wall in Isla Vista Tuesday afternoon, narrowly missing a resident.

He says a University of California, Santa Barbara student living next door told deputies he was playing with a Glock 17 handgun when it went off. Williams says the man legally possessed seven handguns and rifles, which were seized along with the ammo.

Twenty-one-year-old Kevin Tym was arrested on suspicion of negligently discharging a firearm and possessing high-capacity magazines. He was released on bail and had no public phone number.

 

• BILL BANS FUNDRAISING BY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A bill moving through the Legislature seeks to prevent elected school board members and community college trustees from using the administrators they oversee to raise money for their political campaigns.

AB1431 passed the Assembly Wednesday on a 56-11 vote.

Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego introduced the bill after an investigation by U-T San Diego exposed the practice. It found two superintendents and a college administrator in her district solicited campaign donations from school contractors.

Gonzalez’s bill would make that conduct illegal by prohibiting administrators from accepting or soliciting campaign cash for their elected employers. Federal law places similar restrictions on employees of the federal government.

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