• GOP MOVE TO EXPEL SENATOR FAILS TO GAIN TRACTION: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A Republican resolution seeking to expel from the California Legislature a Democratic state senator convicted of perjury and voter fraud is essentially dead, lawmakers said Wednesday after the issue failed to make a committee agenda.
Democrats, the majority party, sent the resolution to the Senate Rules Committee two weeks ago after three Republican lawmakers tried to bring it up on the Senate floor.
Democratic Sen. Rod Wright took a voluntary leave of absence last month after his conviction for lying about his legal residence in Los Angeles County. But Sen. Steve Knight of Palmdale and two other Republicans, Sens. Joel Anderson of Alpine and Andy Vidak of Hanford, introduced the resolution asking that he be expelled.
Knight, a member of the Rules Committee, sent a letter last week to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, asking that the resolution be discussed during Wednesday’s committee hearing. It was not included on the agenda, and Steinberg said it’s being held in the committee. That means it cannot face a vote or be sent to the full Senate for consideration. Knight said after the committee hearing that he had discussed the resolution privately with Steinberg, who is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.
“I said, ‘The ball’s in your court. You’re not going to agendize it,’” Knight said outside the committee’s hearing room.
He said he would not try to bring up the resolution again, adding, “We’re just expecting them to do what’s right.”
• KENNEDY DENIES REQUEST TO BLOCK GUN MAGAZINE LAW: WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has denied an emergency request by the National Rifle Association to block enforcement of a California city ordinance that bans gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets.
A court spokesman says Kennedy denied the request without comment.
The ban in Sunnyvale went into effect last week after 66 percent of voters approved it in November. The NRA challenged the law, but a federal judge ruled that it does not violate the Second Amendment right to own guns for self-defense.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied the NRA’s request for an emergency order to stop the ban from taking effect while it considers the appeal.
Kennedy oversees emergency appeals from California and other Western states.
• MAGNITUDE-4.4 QUAKE HITS RURAL CENTRAL CALIFORNIA: COSO JUNCTION (AP) — A magnitude-4.4 earthquake has struck a rural area in central California.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake struck at 7:11 p.m. about 34 miles south of the community of Lone Pine, near the south end of Sequoia National Forest. It hit at a depth of one-tenth of a mile.
USGS geophysicist Dale Grant says the quake was shallow enough to have caused damage if it were larger or in a more populated area. But he didn’t expect any damage, and authorities in Inyo County said there have been no reports of it or of injuries.
Several dozen people reported feeling the earthquake on the USGS website. The quake was followed soon after by several small aftershocks, including a magnitude-3.0 temblor about 25 minutes later.
• MAN STUCK WHILE TRYING TO HELP CRASHED PARAGLIDER: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Authorities say a Good Samaritan who tried to help a crashed paraglider pilot in San Diego wound up needing rescue himself.
Fire Department officials tell U-T San Diego that the paraglider crashed about 50 feet down some cliffs Wednesday afternoon near the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
Fire spokesman Lee Swanson says the parchute-like paraglider didn’t fully inflate after the pilot jumped from the clifftop.
Swanson says a man who saw the crash tried to climb down the cliff to help but got stuck.
A helicopter lifted the crash victim, and a rope was lowered to the other man.
The paraglider pilot was treated for minor injuries. The other man wasn’t hurt.