By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State news briefs
Placeholder Image

• 3 Calif men indicted in terror plot case: RIVERSIDE (AP) — Three California men have been indicted on terrorism-related charges for allegedly plotting to kill Americans overseas.

An indictment filed Wednesday charges Ralph Deleon, Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales and Arifeen David Gojali with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. If convicted, they each could face up to 15 years in prison.

The three men were arrested earlier this month. Federal authorities say they planned to board a plane headed for Istanbul and eventually make their way to Afghanistan. Authorities allege the men were to meet up with a ringleader, 34-year-old American Sohiel Omar Kabir, who also is facing terrorism-related charges.

In a 77-page affidavit, which includes references to the group’s online video conversations and audio recordings, federal officials say the men planned attacks on military bases overseas.

• Milpitas woman wins $14 million in state lottery: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco Bay area woman is California’s newest millionaire after turning in her winning California lottery ticket.

Lottery officials said Wednesday that Thi Nguyen is $14 million richer after coming forward with a winning ticket from the SuperLotto Plus jackpot drawing on September 29th.

Nguyen, who lives in Milpitas, told lottery officials that she’s not sure what she’ll do with the money, but planned to help her family and donate to her temple.

Nguyen bought her ticket at a market in Milpitas, which will get a bonus of $70,000 for selling the winning ticket.

• Calif. auditor blasts childhood safety contract: SAN DIEGO (AP) — California public health officials illegally paid a foundation about $2 million to oversee a childhood safety program intended to provide grants for safety-seat, poison-control and other education, a state audit concluded.

The Department of Public Health contracted with the San Diego State University Research Foundation to administer the program in recent years, even though state law requires that state workers do the job, according to the report released Tuesday by Elaine Howle, the state auditor.

“The Legislature intended the funds to pay only for costs directly associated with preventing unintentional childhood injury,” the audit said.

The foundation was not aware that the Department of Public Health had violated procedures and operated in good faith, spokeswoman Debbie Brighton said in an email to U-T San Diego.

The foundation no longer has the contract.

The Department of Public Health responded to the audit by pledging to make changes to ensure that the law is followed.

The foundation was paid to administer the Kids’ Plates Program, using money from the sale of specialized license plates to provide grants to groups offering programs to prevent childhood injuries and deaths.

• County may sue bankrupt San Bernardino: SAN BERNARDINO (AP) — County supervisors have voted to join the long list of San Bernardino creditors and may sue the bankrupt city.

The city 60 miles east of Los Angeles filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in August after learning it faced a $46 million budget shortfall.

The county says San Bernardino owes $1.5 million in tipping fees from trash collected by the city’s waste department and taken to the county’s Rialto dump.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the supervisors voted in closed session Tuesday to seek bankruptcy court debt clarification and to sue to get the money if necessary.

The City Council approved an austerity plan earlier this week that slashes more than $26 million in spending and freezes debt payments.

The austerity plan is a requirement in the federal bankruptcy process.

• LA County task force to fight child sex traffic: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new task force will fight sex trafficking of children recruited from Los Angeles County foster care.

County supervisors on Tuesday directed the family services unit to work with probation and law enforcement agencies to find ways of combating the problem and report back in six months.

The Probation Department says out of 174 youngsters arrested for prostitution in 2010, 59 percent were in the foster care system.

Supervisor Mike Antonovich says children as young as 12 — many from broken or abusive homes — are recruited by pimps at group homes and emergency centers.

• Merced dentist accused of assaulting patient: MERCED, Calif. (AP) — Merced police have arrested a dentist on suspicion of sexually assaulting a patient who was under sedation.

The Merced Sun-Star reports that Sang Hyuk Park was arrested around 10 a.m. Tuesday after the patient told police about being assaulted while getting dental work under a local anesthetic.

Police have not released the alleged victim’s gender or age.

Police searched Park’s office in Merced after the arrest.

The dentist was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of sexual assault before being released on bail.

Park’s dental office did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

• Couple reported missing in desert found: JOSHUA TREE (AP) — A Southern California couple has been found safe after being stranded with three flat tires in the high desert’s Joshua Tree National Park.

KNX radio in Los Angeles says the couple was found early Wednesday.

The families of Helen Melnyk of Lakewood and Tony Nosow of Landers say the couple never returned from a backcountry drive in Nosow’s 4-wheel-drive Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.

An air and ground search Monday and Tuesday by rangers and the California Highway Patrol failed to find the couple or the pickup.

• 2 plead not guilty in beating of homeless man: SALINAS(AP) — Two downtown Salinas restaurant owners have pleaded not guilty to charges that they beat a homeless man nearly to death.

Authorities say Robert and James DeLeon — owners of the XL Grindhouse restaurant in Oldtown Salinas — attacked the 55-year-old man because he often loitered around their business.

The Salinas Californian reports that the 43-year-old Robert DeLeon and 32-year-old James DeLeon are both charged with attempted murder in the Oct. 11 attack.

They entered their pleas on Tuesday.

Their alleged victim, Raymond Anderson, slipped into a coma, but is now recovering.

Police say they learned Anderson had been attacked after someone who had contact with him called 911.

• Coach charged with molesting teen girl: PERRIS, Calif. (AP) — A volunteer high school basketball coach has been charged with dozens of felony sex counts for molesting a Southern California teenage girl.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says 49-year-old Dominic Leon Evans is charged with lewd acts with a child under 16 and possession of child pornography, among other things.

Court and jail records show Evans, who was a volunteer coach at Perris High School, pleaded not guilty and he remains in a Riverside County jail with bail set at $50,000.

A student told a school counselor last month that Evans had been molesting her at his home over a period of a year.

Evans was fired the same day and told to stay off school district property.

• LA judge rules in German architect case: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge has ruled that a German architect should be tried on an involuntary manslaughter charge for alleged poor construction of a house in which a firefighter died.

Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan held that Gerhard Becker engaged in deliberate deception in order to evade building codes. Becker’s lawyer argued that he did not intend harm to anyone.

Such a charge in connection with a construction violation is rare

Becker has pleaded not guilty.

The luxury home above Sunset Boulevard burned on Feb. 16, 2011.  A portion of the ceiling collapsed, killing one firefighter and injuring five others.

The home was to have been the location of a photo shoot for the reality TV show “Germany’s Next Top Model.”

Prosecutors say the fire was caused by an improperly installed fireplace.