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California news briefs
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REPORT: CPUC BUDGET RIDDLED WITH ERRORS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An audit of the California Public Utilities Commission found that the agency routinely makes errors in its budget and gives bad fiscal forecasts that could affect fees paid by consumers.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the state Department of Finance audit found the utilities commission in 2011 erred when it told state officials that $422 million existed in seven funds. The money was not actually available.

The CPUC also made an $81 million typographical error, the report found.

The governor relies on the CPUC's budget and fiscal forecasts to make policy decisions.

The auditors blamed staff inexperience and understaffing for the mistakes.

In an official response, the CPUC agreed with most of the findings and said it is working on fixes.

TEACHER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY HAVING SEX WITH BOY: AUBURN  (AP) — Authorities say a teacher in Northern California is facing charges for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a former student.

The Placer County Sheriff's Department said Thursday that 35-year-old Jennifer Lynn Woods was arrested on Jan. 10 stemming from an apparent year-long relationship that happened while the boy was 16 and 17.

Woods was released from the county jail after posting $100,000 bail on the same day of her arrest. She is scheduled to make her first appearance in court on Feb. 4.

Authorities say that the boy was a former student of Woods. He has since transferred to another school.

Woods, who lives in Granite Bay, is listed on the Placer County Office of Education's website as being an employee with the district's Emotionally Disturbed Program.

BABY KILLED BY FALLING BRICK IN BACKYARD: LA PUENTE . (AP) — A Southern California baby is dead after a brick fell off a decorative arch in the backyard of his La Puente home.

One-year-old Joe Alexander Sotelo was playing beneath the brick arch with his 4-year-old sister Daisy on Tuesday when several loosened bricks fell.

The Pasadena Star-News says one of the bricks struck the boy and he died a short time later at Queen of the Valley Hospital.

MAN ARRESTED FOR RUNNING ONTO AIRPORT RUNWAY: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Authorities say a Marine recruit has been arrested after he allegedly dashed across a runway at a nearby San Diego airport.

U-T San Diego says a control tower employee at Lindbergh Field reported seeing a man running across a runway toward a gate shortly before 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

San Diego International Airport spokeswoman Diana Lucero says the man was seen getting into a janitor's van, apparently to hide, but police arrested him within minutes.

He had cuts and his uniform pants were snagged by razor wire topping the airport security fence. His name wasn't released.

Authorities say the man apparently bolted from the neighboring Marine Corps Recruit Depot. He was turned over to military police.

Lucero says airport operations weren't affected.

MAN KIDNAPPED AFTER RESPONDING TO CRAIGSLIST AD: SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego police say a man was kidnapped at gunpoint after responding to a Craigslist posting that advertised a camera lens for sale.

Police say the man went to a hotel room in the Ocean Beach neighborhood on Wednesday to buy the lens but instead a gunman kidnapped him and forced him to drive to his bank to take out some money.

However, police say the robber felt the transaction was taking too long so he ordered the victim to drive away and then fled without getting any cash.

No arrests have been made.

CENSUS SHOWS CALIFORNIA RISE IN ASIAN IMMIGRANTS: SACRAMENTO . (AP) — There's a California population shift with Asian immigrants replacing Latin America as the primary source of the state's immigrants.

Census figures show the flow of Asians coming to California is more than two times greater than the flow from Latin America.

Public Policy Institute co-director Hans Johnson said that the shift is astounding and could represent the end of an era.

Forty-two percent of immigrants coming to the state in 2001 were from Latin America, primarily Mexico, while 37 percent were from Asia. A decade later, 57 percent were from Asia and 22 percent were from Latin America.

New immigrants from Latin America plummeted from about 147,000 in 2001 to 60,000 in 2011.

California's faltering economy is apparently a major factor.

PACINO TO PLAY PATERNO IN UPCOMING MOVIE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Al Pacino will play Joe Paterno in a movie about the late Penn State football coach.

Producer Edward R. Pressman confirms Brian De Palma will direct "Happy Valley," the tentative title of the film, based on Joe Posnanski's best-seller "Paterno."

"'Happy Valley' reunites the 'Scarface' and 'Carlito's Way' team of De Palma and Pacino for the third time and I can't think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw," Pressman said in a statement. No start or release dates were given for the film.

While Pressman said the plot remains "under wraps," Posnanski's book followed Paterno's final years, as the winningest coach in college football history saw his career end in disgrace in 2011 with the sex abuse scandal involving assistant Jerry Sandusky.

PILOT OF SMALL PLANE LANDS ON CALIF. HIGHWAY: OROVILLE  (AP) — A 67-year-old pilot is OK after making an emergency landing on a Northern California highway.

The Enterprise-Record of Chico reports ( that John Schneider was en route from Susanville to Oroville on Thursday morning when his small plane began experiencing engine trouble about halfway through the trip.

Schneider told the newspaper the nearest airport was fogged in. He began to climb, but the engine soon died out completely.

Schneider said he continued in the direction of Oroville, bringing the plane down on Highway 70 around 8:30 a.m. after seeing it was clear. The plane has since been cleared from the two-lane highway.

He said he would have landed in an adjacent field if there had been any traffic on the highway.

TOYOTA SETTLES BELLWETHER WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. says it has settled what was to be the first of hundreds of lawsuits claiming that deaths and injuries were caused by problems of sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

A Toyota spokeswoman said Thursday that the company reached the agreement in the wrongful death case brought by the family of Paul Van Alfen and Charlene Jones Lloyd. They were killed when their Toyota Camry slammed into a wall in Utah in 2010. The spokeswoman would not disclose the financial terms.

Last month, Toyota agreed to a settlement worth more than $1 billion to resolve hundreds of lawsuits claiming economic losses suffered by Toyota owners, but hundreds more lawsuits over deaths and injuries remained.

The Van Alfen case was to be the first of those tried, and to serve as a bellwether for the rest.