Highlights of the demographic report released Thursday by the California Department of Finance:
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gasoline prices are getting an early start on their annual spring march higher.
BISHOP (AP) - Five rock carvings that were sheared off and stolen from a sacred American Indian site in California's Sierra Nevada have been recovered but no arrests have been made, authorities said Thursday.
WIFE DRIVES TRUCK INTO HOME OF HUBBY'S GIRLFRIEND: PIONEERTOWN (AP) - Investigators say a Southern California woman angry over her husband's love affair drove a truck into the other woman's desert home.
SANTA CRUZ (AP) - A decades-old needle exchange operation outside a Santa Cruz laundry has ended.
SF BAY NAMED AN 'WETLAND OF IMPORTANCE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The San Francisco Bay estuary has been added to a list of protected wetlands under a 1971 international treaty among 163 countries meant to limit damaging development along ecologically important waterways.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Californians are more optimistic about the future of the state than at any time since before the recession and are giving high marks to Gov. Jerry Brown's budgeting approach after voters approved higher taxes to help balance the state budget, according to a poll released Wednesday.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Sales of million-dollar homes in California hit a five-year high in 2012, with sales of multimillion-dollar homes showing even bigger gains, a research firm said Wednesday.
NEWPORT BEACH (AP) - A retired barber accused of fatally shooting a California urologist was a patient who had an appointment with the victim and brought the gun with him to the exam room, prosecutors said Wednesday.
TUSTIN (AP) - The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles.
HOTEL EXPLOSION INJURES 3 NEAR SEAWORLD SAN DIEGO: SAN DIEGO (AP) - A powerful explosion on Wednesday ripped through a hotel near SeaWorld San Diego from a room where authorities say a couple was believed to be extracting oil from hashish, sending guests fleeing for safety.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - It has been nearly 30 years since 10-year-old Kevin Collins disappeared while waiting for a bus after basketball practice. His mother, now 72, said she felt numb as she watched police search a San Francisco home in connection to the decades-old cold case.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A group of seven California Republican state legislators wants to allow school districts to use state funds to train staff to use guns to ward off campus attackers.
CHP WANTS PAYMENT FOR PATROLLING OAKLAND STREETS: OAKLAND (AP) - The California Highway Patrol's three-month deal to help Oakland's undermanned police force by patrolling the city's dangerous streets expires this week.
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.