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
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Ride-sharing companies Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are being threatened with legal action in San Francisco and Los Angeles over how they screen drivers and charge passengers, along with other business practices.
• WIFE OF RANDY JACKSON OF 'IDOL' FAME SEEKS DIVORCE: LOS ANGELES (AP) - The wife of former "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson has filed for divorce after nearly 19 years of marriage.
POLLOCK PINES (AP) - Nearly an inch of rain, with more wet weather forecast for the weekend, has helped firefighters gain the upper hand on a massive wildfire burning in the mountains east of Sacramento, officials said Friday.
BERKELEY (AP) - California will raise the academic requirements of incoming student-athletes as part of an effort to improve graduation rates for football players and other athletes.
SAN MATEO (AP) - Nail technician Vinh Nguyen says he just wants to be a normal man, but he's going to have a lot more to spend than most people after winning the $228.4 million Powerball ticket this week. California lottery officials said Friday that Nguyen bought the winning ticket at Dehoff's Key Market in San Mateo on Wednesday and showed up at their offices Thursday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A father and son have died after being pulled from storm-driven waves off a San Francisco beach, authorities said Friday.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The challenger in the unexpectedly tight race for California's elected schools chief said Thursday that if he wins in November he would immediately withdraw the state superintendent from an appeal of a landmark legal decision that struck down teacher-tenure laws and other job protections.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Officers shot and killed a man Thursday after he led them on a lengthy high-speed chase, crashed in downtown San Francisco and then fired a gun at good Samaritans who tried to help him, authorities said.
FRESNO (AP) - California farmers who spray a widely used insecticide on some of the state's most abundant crops may soon have to overcome the nation's steepest restrictions or find another pest killer, officials said Thursday.
PLACERVILLE (AP) - Firefighters are taking advantage of rainy weather to make progress on a massive wildfire threatening thousands of homes in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, authorities said Thursday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A woman punched repeatedly by a California Highway Patrol officer on the side of a freeway in an incident caught on video will receive $1.5 million under a settlement, and the officer has agreed to resign.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Authorities investigating a noxious odor that prompted evacuations in a San Francisco Bay Area city discovered two bodies inside a residence.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The leader of the union representing state prison guards is retiring, leaving an organization that had sparred with then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger before making peace with Gov. Jerry Brown.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation prohibiting California state government agencies from selling or display items displaying the Confederate flag.
PLACERVILLE (AP) - A massive blaze in California that threatens thousands of homes has become the second-most expensive blaze to fight in the state this year, officials said Wednesday.