NORCAL RESIDENTS WARNED OF PHONE SCAM: AUBURN (AP) — Authorities in Northern California are warning of a phone scam promising a cash prize in exchange for pre-paid credit card numbers.
Victims receive a call from someone purporting to be with "Publisher's Clearing House," telling them that they have "just won."
The victims are instructed to go to a Walmart or Kmart to purchase two $500 pre-paid credit cards. They are told to then call back and provide the card numbers, to be used as verification.
Authorities say once the numbers are provided, the scammers are able to transfer the money to themselves.
Placer County Sheriff's officials have tracked the callers' number to Jamaica. They warn that it's hard for local detectives in the U.S. to pursue international cases, and victims of such scams are typically not able to recover their money.
HAZMAT CREWS CALLED AFTER SUICIDE-BY-RICIN ATTEMPT: NORTH LOGAN, Utah (AP) — More than a dozen members of the Utah National Guard were called to help with decontamination in North Logan after authorities say a 37-year-old woman tried to commit suicide there with highly toxic ricin.
North Park Police Chief Kim Hawkes says authorities responded about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, after the woman's out-of-state cousin reported receiving troubling texts and a call from her.
Police brought in a hazardous materials team that detected small amounts of ricin on a grinder, and they evacuated a family of four that was living upstairs from the woman's basement apartment.
Ricin is derived from castor beans. Hawkes says the woman apparently ordered 60 castor beans online, ground them up and ate half of them.
She was taken to the hospital, where she was conscious and speaking to police a day later.
TEEN ACCEPTS PLEA DEAL IN UNDERAGE SEX CASE: VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida teen accused of having sex with her underage girlfriend has accepted a plea deal that her attorney says is in her best interest.
Kaitlyn Hunt pleaded no contest on Thursday to battery, interference with child custody and contributing to the dependency of a child.
The 19-year-old Hunt was charged in February with having sex with a 14-year-old female schoolmate. Hunt was 18 at the time. A previous plea deal was withdrawn in August following allegations that Hunt exchanged thousands of texts with the girl and sent her nude photos. A judge revoked her bond, sending her to jail. Prosecutors added a charge of transmitting material harmful to a minor.
MADERA SETTLES SUIT OVER STUN GUN MISTAKE: MADERA (AP) — The city of Madera will pay $775,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of a man fatally shot by a police officer who grabbed her firearm instead of a Taser stun gun.
The settlement was reached Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fresno as lawyers prepared for jury selection in the trial of Officer Marcy Noriega.
Noriega accidentally shot and killed 24-year-old Everardo Torres in 2002 as he tried to kick out the windows of a police cruiser following his arrest for unruly behavior at a party. She had meant to grab her Taser but grabbed her gun instead.
PHOTOGRAPHER AT RFK ASSASSINATION DIES IN CONN.: DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — Photojournalist Bill Eppridge, whose career included capturing images of a mortally wounded Robert F. Kennedy, has died at age 75.
He died Thursday at a Danbury hospital after a brief illness, said his wife, Adrienne Aurichio.
Eppridge was at the scene on June 5, 1968, when Kennedy, then a U.S. senator who had just won California's Democratic presidential primary, had addressed campaign supporters at a Los Angeles hotel and was walking through its kitchen. He took some of the most well-known images after Kennedy was shot. One of those images, published in Life magazine, showed Kennedy lying on the floor in a pool of his blood, a hotel employee kneeling next to him.
Eppridge's career also included stints working for high-profile magazines such as Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. He photographed a wide range of subjects, including the Beatles, young people in what was then the Soviet Union, the Olympics, wars and Woodstock.
MIRAMAR AIR SHOW CANCELLED AMID GOV'T SHUTDOWN: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Marine Corps officials say the federal government shutdown has forced cancellation of the Miramar Air Show in San Diego this year.
Marine Corps officials in a statement Thursday apologized for the inconvenience the cancellation may have caused the sponsors and those planning to attend the event that was scheduled for this weekend.
The annual free, two-day show has been one of the nation's most popular, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Miramar officials had planned to still feature civilian planes and a static display of Marine Corps aircraft before the shutdown forced the cancellation.
NY MOM WHO KILLED 3 KIDS WANTS CUT OF THEIR ESTATE: MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A mentally disturbed woman who drowned her three young children in a bathtub is going to court to ask a judge for a cut of their $350,000 estate.
Leatrice Brewer will be taken from an upstate psychiatric facility to testify about her request next month, Nassau County Surrogate's Court Judge Edward McCarty ruled Thursday.
Brewer, 33, was found not guilty because of mental disease or defect in the deaths of her children, ages 1, 5 and 6, so her attorneys say she shouldn't be subject to laws that bar convicts from profiting from their crimes.
Brewer admitted she drowned the children in the bathtub of her apartment in New Cassel, on Long Island about 20 miles east of New York City, in February 2008. She later placed the children's bodies on a bed and tried to kill herself by swallowing a concoction of household cleaning chemicals. When that suicide bid failed, she jumped out her second-story window but again survived.