• TRIBAL DISPUTE CLOSES INDIAN CASINO: COARSEGOLD (AP) — An Indian casino remained closed Friday after a clash between competing factions of the Central California Native American tribe that owns it, sheriff’s officials said.
The clash at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold started after someone cut power to the resort Thursday night and employees went home and patrons were evacuated, Madera County sheriff’s spokeswoman Erica Stuart told the Fresno Bee.
Monica Davis, a representative of one faction of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, said members of her group went into the casino in the Sierra foothills in an attempt to find two years of missing audits.
The National Indian Gaming Commission has informed the casino that it could be closed on Oct. 27 if the missing audits are not submitted. The commission says casino officials have not filed financial statements and audits dating back to 2012.
The tribe also faces fines of up to $100,000 per day dating back to April 30.
Sheriff’s deputies served as peacekeepers inside the casino, and the sheriff acted as mediator between the two sides throughout Thursday night, Stuart said.
• CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL INVESTIGATES REGULATOR: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A newspaper reports that California’s attorney general has opened an investigation into the state public utilities commission.
The Sacramento Bee, citing emails from Attorney General Kamala Harris’s office, says the attorney general has notified the utilities commission that it is under investigation in connection with the deadly 2010 explosion of a gas line belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The newspaper says state investigators are also looking into dealings between the commission and PG&E on rate-setting cases and other matters.
Nicholas Pacilio, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, declined comment Friday on the Sacramento Bee report.
PG&E said Monday that federal investigators were looking into what critics describe as the commission’s back-room handling of regulatory matters affecting PG&E. Commission president Michael Peevey announced Thursday he would not seek reappointment to the board.
• DROUGHT-SAPPED LAKE REVEALS LOST GUN: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Water in Los Angeles County’s Castaic Lake is so low amid California’s drought that a fisherman has recovered a handgun and a badge that a federal agent lost in the water decades ago.
Sheriff’s detectives say the shallow water exposed a backpack containing the items, and it was plucked out by the fisherman Thursday. The bag also contained a watch, ring and pager.
Detectives were able to track down the agent, who works with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The agent said he got grief from his co-workers after his backpack went overboard during a 1992 boat trip.
The water level at the lake in northern Los Angeles County is down about 150 feet.
• KNOWN COUGAR KILLED ON SAN FRANCISCO-AREA FREEWAY: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The large male cougar that rattled nerves when it spent much of a day behind a hedge in a Mountain View neighborhood earlier this year was struck and killed by a car on a San Francisco Bay Area freeway.
The mountain lion was hit Oct. 3 on Interstate 280 near Redwood City. The car’s driver was not hurt.
Paul Houghtaling, field project manager for the Santa Cruz Puma Project, identified the animal as the same big cat that spent about nine hours on a busy street in Mountain View in May.
After that incident the cougar was tranquilized and released into nearby hills.
Houghtaling says the accident occurred within a mile of the spot where a young female mountain lion was hit and killed a few months ago.
• AWOL soldier sentenced for Cypress motel attack: SANTA ANA (AP) — An Army deserter who wounded his father and killed a man at a Southern California motel has been sentenced to 101 years to life in prison.
Twenty-six-year-old Steven LeClaire Jr. was sentenced Friday. A jury convicted him of second-degree murder and other charges for a February 2011 attack in Orange County.
Prosecutors say LeClaire was AWOL from his Texas Army post and was drunk when opened fire at a Cypress motel where he’d been drinking with his father and two men.
Authorities say he fired 14 shots, killing 24-year-old Marques Murray and wounding Steven LeClaire Sr. and another man.
• BURBANK STUDENT ARRESTED OVER TWITTER THREATS: BURBANK (AP) — Authorities say a Burbank high school student has been arrested for allegedly making threats against classmates on Twitter.
Police Officer Joshua Kendrick tells City News Service that officials became aware of the threats Thursday evening.
Officers interviewed the John Burroughs High School student at his home with his family, and then took him into custody.
Kendrick did not elaborate about the nature of the threats or the charges the suspect may face. He says no students were in danger.