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State news briefs
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GOODWILL AGREES TO SETTLE SOCAL SEX BIAS CASE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Goodwill Industries of Southern California has agreed to settle federal allegations that it discriminated against men in hiring.

The Department of Labor says Goodwill on Thursday agreed to settle claims that it favored women for entry-level jobs at its donation centers, in part because of an impression that women have better customer service skills

Authorities claimed that 200 qualified male applicants were denied a chance to obtain jobs.

Goodwill agrees to pay nearly $132,000 to those men and to make 18 job offers to other qualified men as openings occur.

Goodwill didn't acknowledge any wrongdoing in making the settlement.

ROCK SLIDES TO BLAME FOR DEATH OF CALTRANS WORKERS: HAPPY CAMP  (AP) — Officials say rock slides are to blame for the deaths of two California Department of Transportation workers who were removing loose rocks above a highway in far Northern California.

Caltrans spokeswoman Denise Yergenson says the area 40-year-old Joseph Jones and 50-year-old Shawn Baker were working on above Highway 96 in Siskiyou County on Wednesday experienced two rock slides. She did not have details about how the men died, but said they were hooked to ropes and harnesses and were rappelling.

They were in a rugged and remote area in the Klamath National Forest just south of the Oregon-California border.

Yergenson said state workplace safety officials are investigating. Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol were conducting their own joint probe.

A third worker, 50-year-old Kevin Skillen, was injured. He was listed in stable condition.

MAN CHARGED WITH SLASHING HIS SON RULED INSANE: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A judge has found that a man charged with trying to kill his 8-year-old son during a bizarre ritual at a San Diego cemetery was insane at the time of the offense.

City News Service says the judge ruled Thursday that 32-year-old Joseph Ramirez was incapable of distinguishing right from wrong when he slashed his son's forearms with a broken candle holder and cut himself at Mount Hope Cemetery in April.

Ramirez will be sent to a mental health facility for up to 13 years.

Witnesses said Ramirez took his three kids and their mother to visit his uncle's grave.

Ramirez allegedly had the family drink sangria and eat energy bars, calling it "the last supper," before injuring his son.

Ramirez reportedly said he was sending the children to Jesus.

BILL SEEKS TO REOPEN CALIF. 9-11 SCHOLARSHIP FUND: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Three state lawmakers proposed legislation on Thursday to reopen a memorial scholarship program for the relatives of Californians who were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but did not know they were eligible for the program, which is funded by the state's sale of specialty license plates.

Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, introduced SB384 to reinstate the 9-11 Memorial Scholarship Program, after an investigation by The Associated Press and a subsequent review by the state auditor found it was poorly administered.

The state collected more than $15 million from selling specialty memorial license plates, but only a sliver of it went to the scholarships.

As the AP found, the auditor said the state did not meet its statutory deadline to notify the family members of Sept. 11 victims by the July 2003 deadline prescribed in the law. The state did so only in April 2005, just three months before the program ended.

SOCAL EDISON WORKER DIES IN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: MENIFEE  (AP) — A Southern California Edison worker was killed and three more were injured in an accident involving underground equipment in Riverside County.

County fire officials say firefighters called to perform a technical rescue in Menifee at 7:47 a.m. Thursday found one person dead at the scene.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports the worker who died was electrocuted while working in an underground vault containing equipment that supplied power to a water desalination plant.

Edison says three other employees were injured and were taken to hospitals. Fire officials say they had minor smoke inhalation.

The utility says the accident was not related to a Wednesday night outage that left 22,000 customers nearby without power.

3 ARRESTED IN DEADLY LA HIGH SCHOOL STABBING: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police have arrested three teenagers for a deadly stabbing at a San Fernando Valley high school.

Police on Thursday arrested 19-year-olds Michael Carpio and Michelle Pineda, and a 16-year-old boy for investigation of murder.

Police say social media helped them track down the suspects in Wednesday afternoon's attack that killed a handball player at Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda.

Witnesses say 18-year-old Kevin Orellano was at a handball court when two people got into an fight with him. One punched Orellano, and the other pulled a pocket knife and stabbed him.

Pineda is suspected of driving the getaway vehicle from the school.

Orellano died at a hospital.

Police say the male suspects are documented gang members, and the victim had no gang ties.

SENATORS OK $1.6M TO SPEED CALIF. BUSINESS FILINGS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A bill intended to end a two-month backlog in processing business filings in California was approved by the state Senate on Thursday.

The Secretary of State's Office blamed state budget cuts for creating the conditions that caused the backlog of 122,000 applications. The office must process the forms before businesses can hire employees.

The $1.6 million granted through AB113 would let the office hire temporary employees and pay for overtime to process thousands of business applications. Senators amended the bill to reduce it from the $2 million that was originally appropriated by the Assembly.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said the bill will reduce the 55 days it currently takes to process the filings to less than 10 days by November.


MENIFEE  (AP) — Copper thieves left 22,000 customers in the dark in Riverside County.

The theft and vandalism at a Southern California Edison substation knocked out power Wednesday afternoon to customers in Menifee, Perris and Canyon Lake.

Edison says the outage lasted about two hours.