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POSTED January 31, 2012 7:38 p.m.

 

CONTROLLER SEEKS MORE BORROWING TO AVOID SHORTFALL: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — State Controller John Chiang  is urging lawmakers to act on legislation that allows him to borrow money from other state accounts so California doesn't run out of cash.

In a letter to lawmakers Tuesday, Chiang asked them to approve SB95, which authorizes borrowing $865 million from existing accounts. The controller also wants to delay about $2.4 billion in payments to universities, counties and Medi-Cal.

California borrows each year to avoid a cash shortfall before personal income tax revenue comes in during April.

Chiang says revenue is $2.6 billion lower than projected this fiscal year while spending is higher by about the same amount, but he says there is no danger the state will need to issue IOUs or delay tax refunds.

 

PAULA ABDUL EXITS 'X FACTOR'; THIRD TO LEAVE SHOW: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Simon Cowell predicted "The X Factor" would be a TV hit and eclipse his ex-employer, "American Idol." He was wrong, and now his show has been gutted of three of its five stars, including Paula Abdul, putting its future in question.

Where does Fox's "X Factor" go from here in trying to replace them and compete in a crowded field of singing contests when it returns this year for season two?

Money is an issue: Aside from its talent contracts, the show's first season was expensively promoted and lavishly produced. Whether Cowell, others producers and the network will open sufficiently deep pockets when they go in search of stars to replace Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger is an open question.

SAN DIEGO WARNS BUSINESSES ABOUT DESIGNER DRUG: SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego County authorities are sending letters to nearly 100 local businesses warning them they could face fines and imprisonment under a new law outlawing synthetic drugs marketed as mood-altering potpourri or bath salts.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore announced the effort at a joint news conference Tuesday.

They said the first wave of letters would be mailed Tuesday to mini-marts, convenience stores and other businesses known to sell synthetic stimulants known as bath salts because they are a crystal-like substance. They can be smoked, snorted or injected.

WORKER'S BODY PULLED FROM COLLAPSED MILPITAS SITE: MILPITAS  (AP) — Authorities have recovered the body of a carpenter who was buried alive at a Milpitas construction site when a hillside collapsed.

The Santa Clara County coroner identified the man Tuesday as 39-year-old Raul Zapata of Hayward.

Zapata had been working on the construction of a 5,800-square-foot house on the hillside and was in a 12-foot ditch when it caved in Saturday.

The city had ordered work at the site halted three days before the accident because recent rains and an absence of shoring in the foundation hole had made it unsafe.

California workplace safety regulators are now investigating Fremont-based U.S.-Sino Investment, which apparently did not comply with the order.

Authorities weren't able to pull Zapata's body out of the soil until Monday night because of dangerous conditions.

COLLEGE ADMINISTRATOR RESIGNS OVER FAKE SAT SCORES: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A senior administrator at Claremont McKenna College resigned after acknowledging that he falsified college entrance exam scores for years to publications responsible for ranking the small school among universities, an official said.

An investigation was launched after inaccuracies were detected in the SAT scores reported for the class entering in fall 2011, college president Pamela B. Gann told staff members and students in an email message on Monday.

The senior admissions official took sole responsibility for falsifying scores sent since 2005 to publications such as U.S. News & World Report, she said. The name of the official was not released.

"As an institution of higher education with a deep and consistent commitment to the integrity of all our academic activities, and particularly our reporting of institutional data, we take this situation very seriously," Gann said.

CLEAR CHANNEL TO BREAK INTO TV WITH SEACREST: DANA POINT (AP) — Radio broadcasting giant Clear Channel is breaking into the TV production business.

The company announced Tuesday that it is taking a minority stake in the production company of "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.

Ryan Seacrest Media produces "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and other spin-offs involving the celebrity family. Its other shows include "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution."

In a separate deal, Clear Channel's majority investors, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital, are committing $300 million combined to work with Seacrest's company to identify, acquire and develop innovative media companies.

At an All Things D conference Tuesday, Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman said the new venture will aim to break into the TV production market and use Clear Channel's massive radio network to help promote the shows.

He said the same formula helped launch the Fox network in the late 1980s.

 

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