GOVENORS’ LOVERS DUSTUP: A Sacramento artist whose exhibit of mistresses and girlfriends of California governors was censored before it opened will show the paintings after all. The S Gallery downtown will feature Maren Conrad’s oil-and-lacquered paintings of singer Linda Ronstadt, actress Piper Laurie, and actress Nancy Davis before she was a Reagan, among others. The gala opened Thursday night. The exhibit was supposed to be part of a permanent collection inside a new Capitol-area nightclub. But when one of the city’s top female lobbyists complained to the owners, the exhibit came down. The censorship ignited a debate in the city over what constitutes feminism and art.
NASA TO LAUNCH SUN SATELLITE: NASA on Thursday was poised to launch a satellite to observe a little-understood region just above the surface of the sun. Unlike a traditional liftoff, the Iris satellite was to cruise into Earth orbit on a Pegasus rocket dropped from an airplane after taking off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s central coast. The launch was scheduled to occur at approximately 7:27 p.m. PDT. About 100 miles off the coast and at an altitude of 39,000 feet, the rocket was to be released and ignite its engine for the climb to space. If all goes as planned, Iris will be boosted into orbit 400 miles above the Earth, unfurl its solar panels and begin its two-year mission after a checkout period. Previous sun-observing spacecraft have yielded a wealth of information about our nearest star and beamed back brilliant pictures of solar flares.
FELON ARRESTED WITH ASSAULT RIFLES: Agents from the state Bureau of Firearms have arrested a Sacramento ex-felon on suspicion of illegally possessing nine guns, including eight unregistered assault weapons and 20,000 rounds of ammunition. The state attorney general said Thursday that Britton Edward McFetridge is prohibited from owning firearms because of a 2010 conviction for felony battery with serious bodily injury. Agents found the illegally purchased military-style weapons in a raid on his home. They say the 37-year-old also had more than 100 high-capacity ammunition magazines.
POLICE BREAK UP ‘LATIN LOTTO’ SCAM: Grand theft charges have been filed against four people allegedly part of a fraud ring that targeted elderly Latino women in several Southern California counties. Police dubbed the scam "Latin Lotto." Victims were approached by people who said they had won the lottery but couldn’t collect because they entered the country illegally. Detective Marcello Raffi said Thursday the targets were asked to cash the tickets for a share of the winnings. But the suspects demanded cash or jewelry as a good faith deposit. He said some lost as much as $16,000.
WATER RULES LOOSENED FOR SALMON: State officials have relaxed water quality rules to help protect endangered salmon in the Sacramento River under threat following a dry winter, a newspaper reported. At issue is the temperature of the river water. Water that is too warm could kill the salmon, so officials typically release water from Shasta Lake to keep the river cool. But with the low amount of precipitation this year, there isn’t enough water available, The Sacramento Bee reported on Thursday. The State Water Resources Control Board responded by loosening water quality rules in May. One of the changes allows the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation — the owner of Shasta Lake — to maintain a 56-degree temperature standard at a spot farther upstream in the river than usual. The goal is to reduce the amount of cold water released from the lake through the summer, allowing the supply to stretch into the fall, the Bee reported.
DYING WOMAN NAMES ALLEGED KILLER: Authorities say a Northern California woman named her alleged killer as she lay dying. Police say 30-year-old Lorena Martinez of Fairfield was found bleeding from numerous stab wounds at a Suisun City apartment complex Tuesday night. Police say she told them a man named Victor Mejia stabbed her during an argument. She was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police say Mejia fled in Martinez’s car and then abandoned it. He remains at large. State law permits dying declarations by crime victims to be admitted as evidence in some trials.