uSACRAMENTO (AP) — The California Senate has rejected a new tax on most residential water bills, opting instead to use existing tax dollars to improve drinking water in some of the state’s poorest areas.
State officials say in 2017, more than 450 public water systems did not comply with safety standards, affecting more than half a million people.
This year, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a 95-cent tax on most residential water bills. He wants to use the money to improve the drinking water systems.
Senate leaders rejected that proposal on Wednesday. Instead, they endorsed a plan that would use $150 million of existing taxpayer dollars to make the improvements.
The tax proposal is still alive in the state Assembly.
A spokesman for Newsom said the governor supports a permanent and sustained funding source.
uLIFEGUARDS DEVELOP ‘SWIMMER’S ITCH’ AFTER EXAM IN LA LAKE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Twenty-two Los Angeles lifeguards filed a grievance with the city for developing rashes and respiratory problems following a swim exam at a freshwater lake.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the lifeguards were treated for “swimmer’s itch” — a condition caused by an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites.
The grievance claims the parks department was warned of the possible risk of parasites, but instructed the lifeguards to take the exam anyway.
But parks officials say the water at Hansen Dam Recreation Lake had been tested and was deemed safe for public use. The department notes that 64 people took the test in total, including the 22 who developed a reaction.
The grievance asks that testing be stepped up at city lakes and pools.
uARMED FELON ARRESTED AFTER CRASH AT SOUTH LAKE TAHOE: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (AP) — A 44-year-old armed felon has been arrested at Lake Tahoe after he crashed his car and allegedly threatened two people with a knife and a gun.
Police say they responded to a report of a reckless driver in South Lake Tahoe, California, about 5 p.m. Tuesday before the speeding car hit another vehicle in a driveway a few blocks off U.S. Highway 50.
Witnesses say the suspect threatened them with the weapons before fleeing into the woods. Police later arrested him at his residence on Lake Tahoe Boulevard.
Michael Henson was booked into the El Dorado County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and felon in possession of a firearm.
uLOS ANGELES JAIL CLOSED BECAUSE OF BED BUG INFESTATION: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Police Department has temporarily shut down one of its jails because of a bed bug infestation.
The department says the Pacific Station jail on the city’s west side was closed Wednesday to allow exterminators to spray and vacuum the facility.
Officials say they hope to reopen the jail Friday evening if inspections turn up no more bed bugs.
The closure comes a week after the LAPD acknowledged three officers working out of the West Valley police station in Reseda had contracted a highly contagious staph infection after an encounter with a homeless person. The officers are on medical leave and are expected to make a full recovery.
uBALD EAGLES CHICKS IN CALIFORNIA MOUNTAINS ARE FINALLY NAMED: BIG BEAR LAKE (AP) — Two bald eagle chicks hatched last month in Southern California have names thanks to a vote by school children.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Tuesday that the kids from several schools settled on the name Simba for the older and larger chick, and Cookie for the younger one.
The hatchings came just days apart in April and were watched by nature lovers via an online live feed .
The feed on Wednesday shows an adult eagle watching over the fuzzy gray chicks as wind blows through the San Bernardino National Forest.
The Institute for Wildlife Studies web page has thousands of comments from people watching the feed. The camera was installed by the group Friends of Big Bear Valley.
Other names considered by the kids were Twinkie, Twiggy, Courage and Fuzzy Wuzzy.
MAN, WOMAN FOUND DEAD INSIDE SACRAMENTO HOME: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Sacramento police say they are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman found inside a home as possible homicide.
The Sacramento Police Department said police officers responding to a 911 hang-up call found the bodies Tuesday night inside a residence at a mobile home park.
The department released no other details and said detectives believe it is an isolated incident.
Relatives of the couple told the Sacramento Bee Wednesday they were a husband and wife who had gotten into an argument.
The newspaper reports the family members declined to give their names or comment further.