NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NATION
GRAFFITI FOUND IN 3 MORE NATIONAL PARKS IN WEST: SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The National Park Service says it has found more graffiti in some of the West’s most scenic locations in a case that sparked an uproar on social media last week.
Investigators also say they suspect 21-year-old Casey Nocket of New York state is responsible for the paintings and drawings on rocks in national parks, which could lead to felony charges.
A phone listing for Nocket was disconnected, and a message left Thursday for a possible relative was not immediately returned.
Rangers say they’ve now confirmed images in Joshua Tree in California and at two more Colorado locations, bringing the total number of tagged parks to eight. A drawing in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park was reported and removed last month.
The Highland, New York, woman allegedly used Instagram and Tumblr to document her works during a summer trip. The park service began investigating Oct. 20.
LA SCHOOL DISTRICT SUSPENDS TRAVEL FOR EMPLOYEES: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Unified School District has suspended all out-of-town travel for its employees and canceled the credit card of its former superintendent.
The new chief, Ramon Cortines, notified employees this week that travel to out-of-town conferences and off-campus training seminars is banned until Jan. 30.
Cortines said the nation’s second-largest school district has too many issues to resolve at home for people to be leaving town.
The former superintendent, John Deasy was under pressure over the rollout of a botched computer system and other problems when he resigned earlier this month.
HIGH COURT WON’T REVIEW GANG MOM’S MURDER APPEAL: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a woman who was convicted of murder for driving her teenage son and his friends to a Long Beach park where they stabbed a 13-year-old gang rival.
City News Service reported Wednesday that the state’s highest court has declined to review Eva Daley’s 2013 conviction. She’s serving 15 years to life.
Joe Cano was killed in 2007. Seven other people, including Daley’s son, were convicted or pleaded guilty in connection with the crime.
Prosecutors say Daley drove her 14-year-old son to the park for revenge against Cano, who’d stabbed the boy six months earlier.
Daley has said she used poor judgment in driving the teens to the confrontation but didn’t think it would end in Cano’s death.
Suspect arrested in taunting of California officer
MILPITAS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have arrested the motorcycle rider suspected of filming and waving off a California Highway Patrol officer who was trying to stop him and other riders doing stunts on a highway.
The CHP says 32-year-old Guruardas Singh Khalsa, of Brentwood was arrested Wednesday at his home on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact and delaying or obstructing an officer.
Video of the daytime confrontation earlier this month on Interstate 680 in Milpitas shows a rider approach a CHP officer and motion for him to go away.
The officer pulls ahead, and the motorcyclist waves goodbye as another rider puts a fist in the air.
CHP Officer Ross Lee says the video, online postings by Khalsa and tips from the public helped lead investigators to Khalsa. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
GUARD TROOPS SENT TO SITE OF HAWAII LAVA FLOW: PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — The Hawaii National Guard is deploying troops to a rural Hawaii town as lava makes a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to further isolate the community that got its start during the lumber and sugar-plantation heyday.
Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said the National Guard deployed 83 troops to Pahoa on Thursday to help provide security. The troops will help with a roadblock and with other safety issues.
Lava from a vent at Kilauea volcano has been sliding northeast toward the ocean since June. Last month, scientists said it was two weeks away from hitting the main road in Pahoa, a town of about 950 residents. The lava slowed but largely has remained on course.
Pahoa residents say the lava will reshape the community yard by yard as it creeps toward the ocean.
“She is so gentle but so unrelenting. She is just slow and steady,” said Jamila Dandini, a retiree who stopped at a coffee shop down the road from where scientists have forecast the lava likely will cross. Like many others, Dandini refers to the lava as Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess.
So far, the lava has burned a shed and a lot of vegetation. A finger of lava that branched off the main flow remained 100 feet from a house Thursday.
The front of the flow was “sluggish” Thursday, Oliveira said, moving less than 5 yards per hour.
JOHN DENVER BUST MISSING AFTER HEAVY-METAL BALL: DENVER (AP) — A Denver radio station that sponsored a heavy-metal Halloween ball is pleading for the return of a bust of John Denver that went missing during the party.
Someone at KBPI-FM’s Saints and Sinners ball Tuesday night pried the bronze bust off its base at the 1st Bank Center in the Denver suburb of Broomfield. The station is asking whoever took the bust to return it undamaged to its studios, no questions asked.
The statue belongs to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. It was donated by Denver’s family when he became its first inductee in 2011. Director G. Brown says concertgoers often pose with the bust or pat it on the head as they pass by.
SAN DIEGO ‘DEAD VOTER’ CASES TO GO UNPROSECUTED: SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego’s district attorney says she won’t prosecute two cases of possible voter fraud, including one in which 14 mail-in ballots were cast in the name of an aspiring opera singer who died in 1998.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Wednesday that there’s insufficient evidence to bring the cases to trial.