SAN DIEGO (AP) - Four people have been charged in a scheme that used telemarketing tactics to shake down immigrants for ransom money under the guise that loved ones had been kidnapped, according to an indictment unsealed Friday.
NEWPORT BEACH (AP) - Four people were charged with kidnapping a California marijuana dispensary owner, torturing him with a blowtorch and cutting off his penis during a robbery because they thought he was burying piles of cash in the desert, authorities said Friday.
The AP's analysis finds that the total payout for bonus pay has been increasing even as the number of employees collecting it has shrunk:
$25M AWARDED FOR HIT-AND-RUN CRASH THAT HURT GIRL: RIVERSIDE (AP) - A Southern California jury has awarded $25 million to the family of a 4-year-old girl who was run over twice by a hit-and-run driver.
BERKELEY (AP) - The University of California, Berkeley, has formally inaugurated its 10th chancellor in a ceremony marked by pageantry and brief moments of protest.
SACRAMENTO . (AP) - Attorneys for the California High-Speed Rail Authority argued Friday that Central Valley residents who sued the state over its bullet train plan have no grounds to stop the project, despite a judge's ruling that the state violated the promises made to voters in a 2008 ballot proposition.
BERKELEY (AP) - Students and staff members at a small private high school in California wore skirts to class on Friday to show solidarity with an 18-year-old senior who suffered serious burns when his clothes were set on fire on a public bus.
HA NFORD (AP) - The board that oversees California's high-speed rail project endorsed a 114-mile route for the second segment of the bullet train from Fresno to Bakersfield during its meeting Thursday.
SONORA (AP) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied continued aid to a Northern California county struck hard by the Rim Fire that raged in August and September.
SF BAY BRIDGE BOLTS TO TAKE A MONTH LONGER TO FIX: OAKLAND (AP) - State transportation officials say it will take a month longer to complete the permanent fix for the giant steel bolts that snapped on the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
RICHMOND (AP) - A federal investigation of a Northern California school district revealed a widespread environment of sexual harassment and assaults by students that district officials failed to adequately address, the U.S. Department of Education said.
THERMAL (AP) - Attend a Coachella Valley High School football game, and you may be surprised to see belly dancers performing at halftime shows.
OAKLAND (AP) - A 16-year-old Northern California boy is being charged as an adult with hate crimes after authorities say he set another teenage boy wearing a skirt on fire on a public bus because of homophobia, authorities said Thursday.
ESCALON (AP) - Authorities in California are trying to crack the case of a nut thief who made off with 140,000 pounds of walnuts.
HIGH SCHOOL BULLY BRAGS ON VIDEO, ARRESTED
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Violent and property crimes dropped significantly across California last year, the state attorney general said.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and others on Thursday appealed a proposed $1.4 billion penalty against PG&E in a deadly 2010 gas-pipeline explosion, in a case that has raised repeated accusations of cozy relations between the utility and state regulators.
• COURT TELLS SCHOOL TRUSTEE TO AVOID SON'S SCHOOL: SAN JOSE (AP) - A Santa Clara County court has ordered a local school trustee to stay away from his son's school and the school's principal.
SACRAMENTO, (AP) - Citing broad exemptions under California's legislative records law, the state Senate is keeping secret a taxpayer-funded report about Capitol staff hiring friends and relatives despite calls by lawmakers, statewide candidates and public interest groups that it be released.
MADERA (AP) - A Native American tribe's plan for a Las Vegas-style casino in the Central Valley nearly 40 miles from its reservation has drawn opposition from other casino-owning tribes in the state.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The family of a California teenager who was declared brain-dead after suffering complications from sleep apnea surgery is seeking an unprecedented court order declaring her alive, the family's lawyer said Thursday.
SANTA ANA (AP) - Two sex offenders were indicted Thursday after authorities said they raped and killed four women while the men wore GPS tracking monitors.
REDDING (AP) - A former firefighter charged with setting a Northern California wildfire that left one person dead and destroyed hundreds of structures has been ordered to stand trial for homicide and other charges.
FRESNO (AP) - Deputies have arrested four young men - one adult and three juveniles - suspected of breaking into a Foster Farms chicken ranch and killing more than 900 birds with a golf club in California.
STOCKTON (AP) - Striking at the sanctity of public pensions in California, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that U.S. bankruptcy law allows the city of Stockton to treat pension fund obligations like other debts, meaning the city could trim benefits.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco will pay $15 million to the family of a woman who was fatally struck by a city pickup truck last year while she lay with her baby in a public park.
MONTEREY (AP) - People who sit or lie on sidewalks in Monterey's commercial areas can now face $100 fines.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco launched free Wi-Fi access at more than 30 public parks, plazas and recreation areas on Wednesday, thanks to a grant from Google.
OAKLAND (AP) - State officials say hundreds of steel rods on the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge have been exposed to water that could cause corrosion.
• 920 CHICKENS KILLED WITH GOLF CLUB: FRESNO (AP) - Authorities in central California are searching for one or more suspects who broke into a Foster Farms chicken ranch and killed more than 900 birds with a golf club.