• FEDS LOOK FOR ESCAPED SUSPECTED MARIJUANA DEALER: FRESNO (AP) — Federal authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding a suspected marijuana dealer who remains on the loose after escaping custody while undergoing medical treatment at a Central Valley health care facility.
Thanousone Volarat was receiving treatment at Fresno’s Community Home Infusion Center last Monday when he was seen getting into a red, newer model Honda sedan that drove away from the facility, U.S. Marshal’s Deputy Tim Merrell said Sunday. He was wearing a red jumpsuit.
Volarat was being held in the Fresno County Jail and was escorted to the medical center for his treatments by Fresno County deputies. He walked out the back door of the facility.
Merrell would not say what sort of treatment the 32-year-old Volarat was receiving but said it was expected he would be seeking regular treatments at emergency rooms or medical clinics. The center’s website that Volarat walked away from says it provides intravenous infusions and therapeutic injections.
Authorities are also looking for an unknown male driver who was behind the wheel of the getaway car and for a woman who may have had a role in the escape.
• NAVAL SHIP CHRISTENED IN SAN DIEGO: SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Navy has christened a ship in honor of African Americans who served in segregated units in the Marine Corps during World War II.
The USNS Montford Point is the Navy’s first mobile landing platform ship. It was christened Saturday at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.
The name honors the 20,000 African Americans who trained at Camp Montford Point in North Carolina from 1942 to 1949 during an era of segregation within the military. The Times says 30 of the Montford Point Marines attended the christening.
The 785-foot ship provides 25,000 square feet of space for vehicles, equipment and 380,000 gallons of fuel.
• PANGA RAMS SD HARBOR POLICE BOAT, ESCAPES: IMPERIAL BEACH (AP) — Authorities say a San Diego Harbor Police boat was rammed by a panga boat that then fled into Mexican waters.
Sgt. Michael Rich tells UT San Diego no one on the police boat was injured in the collision off Imperial Beach Saturday night.
Rich says two officers were on routine patrol when they saw a small motor boat and tried to contact the operators. The panga bumped the patrol boat and turned south, escaping to Mexico.
The officers couldn’t tell what was on the boat or how many people. Rich says it appeared the collision was intentional.
Panga boats are often used for smuggling people or drugs into the United States from Mexico.
• NO DAMAGE AFTER 4.3 QUAKE HITS OFF NORCAL COAST: EUREKA (AP) — Authorities say they don’t have any reports of damage or injuries after an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 was recorded off the Northern California coast.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit about 46 miles southwest of Eureka at 9:46 a.m. Sunday.
• GUN SHOW ATTRACTS CROWD, PROTESTERS IN GLENDALE: GLENDALE (AP) — Supporters and protestors faced off outside the Civic Auditorium for what will likely be the last Glendale Gun Show.
The Glendale City Council is set to vote on an ordinance banning gun shows on city-owned property.
Dozens of gun-show advocates turned up Saturday hoisting banners and American flags to denounce the impending law. Inside the auditorium people lined up for ammunition, gun bags and other accessories.
Supporters of the law told the Times that by allowing the event on city-owned property, Glendale was endorsing gun sales.
Councilman Rafi Manoukian proposed the ban last month after the fatal shooting of 27 children and adults in Newtown, Conn.
Glendale Gun Show events have earned the city $158,000 in the past three years.
• INTERSTATE 405 IN LA REOPENED AHEAD OF SCHEDULE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Construction work on Los Angeles’ busiest freeway was finished ahead of schedule and transportation officials reopened all northbound lanes of Interstate 405 through the Sepulveda Pass early Sunday.
It wasn’t quite the “Carmageddon” of traffic jams, but the closure of three of five lanes on a 2.4 mile stretch between the Montana Avenue and Getty Center exits caused traffic to back up for miles Saturday in West Los Angeles.
All lanes were reopened just after midnight, some 29 hours ahead of schedule, according to Dave Sotero, spokesman for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The lanes were supposed to close through 5 a.m. Monday.
Contractor Kiewit Infrastructures West had workers on double shifts, making a third round of closures unnecessary, Sotero said.
Earlier 405 closures between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday resulted in slowed traffic and backups that also jammed Westside surface streets.
The freeway was shut so crews could move the center median, repave and restripe a 2.4-mile stretch of the 405. The improvements are part of a 10-mile widening and carpool project.
• 3 TEENS HURT, 1 CRITICALLY, IN DRIVE-BY SHOOTING: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three teenage boys were injured, one critically, in what authorities say was a drive-by shooting in South Los Angeles.
A a shooter opened fire Saturday night in the Vermont Square neighborhood.
The victims included two 15-year-olds and one 17-year-old.
The Times says one boy was taken to LA County-USC Medical Center, while the others were taken to California Hospital Medical Center.
• POLICY CHANGE PROPOSED IN MOUNTAIN LION ENCOUNTERS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An increase in the number of encounters between people and mountain lions has prompted state officials to consider giving game wardens more options besides shooting the animals.
A proposed new policy would give wardens more discretion to use non-lethal methods in handling the encounters, according to a story published Saturday in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The draft policy introduced Friday by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would also establish a team of experts from around the state for wardens to consult with in dealing with mountain lions.
The proposal comes after several encounters last year, including one incident in December that outraged residents of Half Moon Bay when rangers shot and killed two mountain lion cubs found under a deck of a home.