LA DECLINES REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY TAKEOVER: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles officials won't be taking over the city's Community Redevelopment Agency as it undergoes its court-ordered liquidation.
City News Service says the council voted 9-3 Wednesday to not become the successor agency, leaving the city with little control over 86 major projects, including affordable housing developments.
The projects are worth about $4 billion in total development costs.
In December, the California Supreme Court upheld a state law that eliminated 400 redevelopment agencies.
If the council had voted to take over the agency, it would have had to absorb costs for its 192 employees, which could have topped $109 million along with administrative costs.
Councilwoman Jan Perry says the vote jeopardizes more than 900 units of low-income housing and 3,000 construction jobs in her district.
2 PLEAD NOT GUILTY IN DALY CITY. PARAGLIDER ATTACK: DALY CITY (AP) — Two men have pleaded not guilty to charges they shot at paragliders in the San Francisco Bay area with a high-caliber pellet gun.
Thirty-eight-year-old Alex Attard and 49-year-old Edward Amatori were arraigned Monday on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon.
Authorities say Attard and Amatori shot at paragliders who were getting ready to take off at Mussel Rock in Daly City on Saturday afternoon. The paragliders reported hearing one shot pass over their heads and seeing another hit the ground near them.
According to authorities, officers who arrived at the scene found Attard and Amatori in nearby brush shooting a .22 caliber pellet gun.
The San Mateo County Times reports that Amatori was previously convicted of shooting someone with a pellet gun in South San Francisco.
CITY CLARIFIES RECORD PURGE POLICY AFTER UPROAR: ANAHEIM (AP) — The city of Anaheim has clarified its record retention policies and assured workers they won't be disciplined for retaining old documents after an uproar over an email telling them to purge their files.
Planning Director Sheri Vander Dussen sent a memo on Jan. 4 clarifying the city's policies after a planning official sent an email saying old documents that turn up in response to records requests can damage the city's credibility.
The memo was forwarded to the public employees' union Tuesday.
The union has told workers not to destroy any records until prosecutors can determine whether the city's policy and practices are legal.
Union spokeswoman Jennifer Muir said Wednesday that directive has not changed.
LA SUPERVISORS CONSIDER LIMITS ON PUBLIC COMMENT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering limiting public comment at meetings despite criticism that the proposal would restrict constitutional rights.
The board on Tuesday sent the measure to county attorneys for further review.
It's aimed at streamlining meetings by curbing disruptive or crude public remarks, especially by gadflies who make repeated comments on multiple issues.
The proposal would allow the board chairman to restrict a speaker to one three-minute comment period instead of allowing the same person to speak several times.
The board already has informally begun requiring such consolidation of public remarks but the practice is being challenged by activists and civic leaders.
KUTCHER WANYTS TO STAY ON ‘TWO AND A HALF MEN’: PASADENA (AP) — A clean-cut Ashton Kutcher said Wednesday that he's interested in continuing with "Two and a Half Men" beyond this season — and CBS wants him, too.
Kutcher's addition to television's most popular comedy following star Charlie Sheen's implosion was a grand experiment that has worked out better than CBS or the producers could have dreamed.
The show is up 20 percent in viewers over Sheen's final season, the Nielsen ratings company said, and Kutcher has also brought in a younger crowd.
"I've had a blast," said Kutcher, who plays the heartbroken Walden Schmidt. "Since I stopped doing 'That '70s Show' I've always wanted to go back and do television."
Kutcher appeared at a news conference without the long hair and beard he has worn this season. It was cut as part of the plot in an episode of "Two and a Half Men" that airs Monday, he said.
LA DEPUTY STRIKES WOMAN IN BUS CONFRONTATION: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will review whether a deputy acted properly when he elbowed a screaming woman in the face on a Bellflower bus.
A cellphone video that aired on KNBC-TV shows the deputy suddenly hitting the woman Monday night.
Passenger Jermaine Green says the woman had cursed two deputies trying to remove her from the bus.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says deputies answered a 911 report that a violent woman had almost attacked an elderly passenger but Green says she seemed polite.
She was taken into custody on a 72-hour psychiatric hold.
JUDGE WON'T RELEASE MAN CONVICTED OF DISMEMBERMENT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge refuses to release a man convicted of a Southern California dismember killing, saying he questions the credibility of a key witness who recanted her testimony.
The judge on Tuesday rejected the habeas corpus petition brought by the California Innocence Project.
Forty-year-old Edward Contreras is one of two men serving life sentences for the 1995 chain saw and machete dismemberment killing of Frederick Walker during a Santa Clarita barbecue.
Lisa Garringer testified during trial that she was present at the murder scene and she implicated Contreras.
During a hearing in August, she recanted her testimony and said she had been coerced by sheriff's investigators.
Prosecutor Juan Mejia says there's no proof that Garringer was coerced or had lied to investigators.
OFFICER: SUSPECT IN SERIAL KILLINGS HAD RAPE DIARY: SAN RAFAEL (AP) — A probation officer testified Wednesday that he found a diary documenting rapes and sexual assaults of underage girls while he searched the home of a man suspected of being a serial killer.
Nevada Department of Public Safety probation officer David LeBaker made the disclosure during a preliminary hearing for Joseph Naso, who is accused in the "Double Initial" killings.
LeBaker said he found an aluminum clipboard containing the diary on Naso's dining room table in 2010. It detailed assaults of an underage girl on a Greyhound bus in Arkansas, a girl in Kansas and others, he said.
"I briefly went through it and read a few small paragraphs," LeBaker testified. "I then notified my supervisor and said, 'you should see this.'"
Naso, 78, is acting as his own lawyer in the case. The former photographer has pleaded not guilty to four murder charges involving slayings in the 1970s and 1990s.
White-haired and wearing leg shackles, he sat alone at the courtroom defense table.
During cross-examination, Naso questioned LeBaker's knowledge of sexual assault laws in those other states, noting the age of consent and other laws can differ.