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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED March 10, 2015 7:11 p.m.

• SHERIFF’S OFFICIALS CURB DEPUTY IN-CAR COMPUTER USE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A year after a deputy hit and killed a bicyclist while driving and typing on his in-car computer, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has implemented new rules governing the use of technology while driving.

The policy formalized last month stops short of banning all in-car computer use. The rules require that radios be used as “the primary tool of communication” while vehicles are moving and eliminates the use of in-car computers for administrative tasks.

Deputy Andrew Wood was not charged after fatally striking 65-year-old cyclist Milton Olin Jr. in Calabasas in December 2013.

Prosecutors said because Wood was acting within the course of his duties, criminal charges were not warranted.

Olin’s family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.

 

• PAYMENTS TO JUDGE CITED AS FOCUS OF ETHICS PROBE: MERCED  (AP) — State officials are investigating a Central California judge who allegedly was paid $250,000 by his former law partner for work he didn’t do.

The California Commission on Judicial Performance said Tuesday that Merced County Judge Marc A. Garcia is accused of violating the judicial code of ethics. The commission will hold a formal hearing to determine if the allegations are true. If so, the judge could be removed from the bench or subject to less severe discipline.

The commission is alleging that Garcia’s former partner paid him over five years from a county criminal defense fund. It says Garcia allowed the partner and others in the defense program to appear in his courtroom without revealing the payments.

 

• FISH COULD SNAG OLD SAN FRANCISCO BRIDGE TEAR-DOWN PLAN: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A tiny threatened 

Caltrans has touted the plan as the least expensive and the best for the environment.

Officials say November appears to be a good time to execute the work because salmon and most fish species aren’t likely to be swimming near the span then.

Most fish, that is.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates 1,775 longfin smelt could be at risk during the detonation.

The structure was replaced by a new span in September 2013. Officials are looking at way to alleviate the impacts on the longfin smelt.

 

• OBAMA TO MAKE FAST LOS ANGELES VISIT FOR TV SHOW, FUNDRAISER: LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Barack Obama will make a quick swing through the Los Angeles area this week for a TV appearance and fundraiser.

The White House announced Tuesday that the president will arrive in Los Angeles on Air Force One Thursday.

He’ll tape an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser before staying the night and departing Friday.

Obama has made a steady stream of visits to California throughout his time in office, often to raise money from Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

 

• OCULAR SYPHILIS CASES ON WEST COAST PROMPT LOS ANGELES ALERT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County health officials are warning doctors to be on the lookout for patients reporting unusual vision problems, after clusters of syphilis that cause blindness have been reported on the West Coast.

Since December there have been eight confirmed cases of ocular syphilis in San Francisco and six in Washington state.

Two possible cases are under investigation in Los Angeles County.

Officials say the sexually transmitted disease mostly occurs among men who have sex with men.

Symptoms of ocular syphili s include blurred vision, eye pain and seeing floating spots.

Dr. Stephanie Cohen, medical director for San Francisco City Clinic, says one patient in that city lost vision in one eye.

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