• SIGNS AIM TO SAVE SOCAL DRIVERS FROM FLOODING: FONTANA (AP) — Southern California may be in a drought, but San Bernardino County is thinking about the safety of motorists who use roads prone to flash flooding.
Signs warning drivers to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” during floods were recently posted in the Lytle Creek Road area north of Fontana and on Deep Creek Road in Hesperia, flood-prone areas on both sides of the San Bernardino Mountains.
A Fire Department statement Wednesday notes that both locations have seen numerous rescues as a result of motorists trying to cross flooded roadways.
The signs were recently provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
• 1,000 W-2S FOR CA STATE WORKERS GO MISSING: CHICO (AP) — More than 1,000 employees at a Northern California state university have not received their federal tax forms from the state, even though the law requires that they be mailed by the end of January.
Chico State University public affairs coordinator Sarah Langford says the State Controller’s Office, which is responsible for issuing the wage and tax statements — or W-2s — is conducting an investigation into the matter.
The Chico Enterprise-Record reports that about 60 percent of Chico State’s employees and an unknown number at other state university campuses have not yet received their W-2s.
Langford says the forms were mailed Jan. 24 and that no one knows why they have not arrived.
• SAN JOSE COP CONVICTED OF WRITING BOGUS TICKETS: SAN JOSE (AP) — A San Jose police officer is facing possible prison time following his conviction on charges he wrote bogus tickets to two people involved in a lawsuit he filed.
Fifty-one-year-old George Chavez is scheduled to be sentenced in April after pleading no contest on Tuesday to false personation and filing a false report.
Authorities tell the San Jose Mercury News Chavez issued a phony traffic citation and parking tickets last October to a driver with whom he got into a crash and his own attorney in a subsequent lawsuit.
The victims’ signatures were allegedly forged.
Chavez is a 23-year veteran of the force. He was placed on administrative leave when the allegations surfaced.
The Mercury News reports that his status with the police department was not clear on Tuesday.
• REDDING EVACUATION GOES INTO 7TH DAY AFTER BOMBS FOUND: REDDING (AP) — An evacuation of 25 homes in Northern California continued into its seventh day on Wednesday after bomb technicians found 40 pounds of explosives last week at a Redding residence.
Lt. Dave Kent, a Shasta County sheriff’s spokesman, said local, state and federal agencies are continuing to combine their efforts to resolve the dangerous situation.
The evacuations remain in effect for houses within 1,000 feet of the home on Chaparral Drive.
Roving patrols have been monitoring the area 24 hours a day.
Officials discovered the cache Feb. 6 following an explosion and flash fire at the home of D. Ray East, 63, whose hand was blown off.
East is recovering from his injuries at a local hospital, the Redding Record Searchlight reported.
He told authorities that his hobby of building model rockets explained the explosives.
• MAN SENTENCED TO 22 YEARS IN SEX SLAVE CASE: MARTINEZ (AP) — A Northern California man has been sentenced to more than two decades in prison for holding a woman as his sex slave for 15 years.
The Contra Costa Times reports Raul Ochoa’s 22-year sentence was part of a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to lewd acts on a child and forcible rape.
He must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before being considered for parole.
The victim was not in court on Tuesday but an angry, defiant letter she wrote about her torment was read aloud.
Prosecutors say the victim was abused from 1998 to 2012. She was 27 years old when she escaped Ochoa’s North Richmond house and, three days later, showed up at the police department.