LATER, DAWG: RANDY JACKSON LEAVING 'AMERICAN IDOL' : LOS ANGELES (AP) — Randy Jackson out.
The original "American Idol" judge says he won't be returning to the Fox talent competition.
"To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on 'American Idol,' I have decided to leave after this season," Jackson said in a statement Thursday. "I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry."
The 56-year-old record producer and bassist called the experience a "life-changing opportunity." He said he's leaving "Idol" to focus on his record label and other business opportunities.
Jackson has served as a judge on all 12 seasons of "Idol." He first appeared on the panel alongside Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul when the competition debuted in 2002, becoming famous for his easygoing "yo, dawg" rapport with contestants.
Jackson currently judges the show with pop royalty Mariah Carey, R&B diva Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban. His exit comes amid reports the entire panel will be replaced next season. A spokeswoman for Fox and spokesman for "Idol" producer FremantleMedia declined to comment.
The current 12th season is set to conclude next week.
AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR PIT BULLS IN JOGGER DEATH: PALMDALE (AP) — Animal control authorities say a helicopter is being used to search for four pit bulls suspected of killing a 63-year-old jogger in rural Los Angeles County.
Spokeswoman Evelina Villa says the woman died of her wounds Thursday morning while she was in an ambulance on the way to a hospital near the high desert community of Littlerock.
Sheriff's officials have issued alerts to people in the area about 65 miles northeast of Los Angeles to be on the lookout for four tan-colored dogs.
Meanwhile, the woman's death is under investigation.
CALIF. GOVERNOR SIGNS HEALTH INSURANCE PROTECTIONS: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a pair of consumer protection bills that prevent health insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions and limit how much insurers can charge older residents as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Brown signed ABx1-2 by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento and SBx1-2 by Democratic Sen. Ed Hernandez of Covina. The Assembly bill makes changes to the insurance code that regulates insurers, while the Senate bill makes changes to the health and safety code that regulates health care service plans.
The legislation updates California's laws to match new rules under the federal health overhaul. The laws give state agencies the power to enforce and regulate individual insurance rules.
"This legislation helps Californians get a fair shake on the open health care market," said Brown, a Democrat, in a statement.
In addition to banning insurers and health plans from discriminating and overcharging customers, the bills require them to accept anyone who applies for health coverage.
BUMBLE BEE CITED IN DEATH AT CALIF. TUNA PLANT: SANTA FE SPRINGS (AP) — Bumble Bee Foods has been cited and fined following a state investigation into the death of a worker who was cooked to death at a Santa Fe Springs tuna processing plant.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued six citations carrying nearly $74,000 in fines. The agency cited five workplace safety violations deemed "serious" and one deemed "general."
The investigation stemmed from the October death of 62-year-old Jose Melena, whose body was found inside an industrial pressure cooker.
Cal/OSHA determined Bumble Bee failed to take proper safety precautions or properly assess the danger posed to its employees while working inside the large ovens.
San Diego-based Bumble Bee acknowledged receiving the citations and said it is cooperating with authorities.
NAVY OFFICER ARRESTED FOR PIMPING GIRL, 17: LEMOORE (AP) — A Navy petty officer from Kings County is under arrest for allegedly pimping a 17-year-old girl to several men.
The Fresno Bee says 32-year-old Charles Ray Benavidez met the girl on a social networking site.
Police say Benavidez met the girl for sex twice and on the third visit coerced her into having sex with another man. After that, police say, Benavidez took the victim to his home in Lemoore and coerced her into having sex with several men in separate encounters, which he videotaped.
He was arrested after police investigators and officers from the Department of Homeland Security served a search warrant at his home.
Police are trying to identify the other men who had sex with the girl.
Benavidez was stationed at Lemoore Naval Air Station.
CHP OFFICER INJURED FOLLOWING HIGH-SPEED CHASE: SAN BERNARDINO (AP) — A high-speed freeway chase of a vehicle sought in connection with a murder investigation has ended after a CHP officer was grazed by a bullet.
Two suspects were also injured.
A California Highway Patrol dispatcher says the chase ended around 12:20 p.m. Thursday in a San Bernardino parking lot near Interstate 10.
The CHP says the two suspects were injured before being taken into custody. Other details, including their conditions, were not immediately available.
The CHP officer was grazed by gunfire.
Authorities sought the vehicle after finding a body in Yucca Valley.
The chase began after officers spotted the car around noon.
Authorities say the pursuit continued for about 30 minutes before the suspects and officers engaged in a shootout.
ORANGE COUNTY MAY HAVE TO PAY STATE IN TAX DISPUTE: SANTA ANA, (AP) — Orange County could be forced to make layoffs after a judge ruled against it in a multimillion-dollar dispute with the state, officials said.
The tentative ruling issued Tuesday could force the county to turn over $73.5 million in annual revenue — that's more than 11 percent of this year's general funding — and it was unclear whether the county could prevent the immediate loss even if it appeals, the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/10rT8Js) reported.
The case involves a battle over how much property tax the county turns over to the state. It's been running for several years, meaning the county potentially might have to pay more than $219 million.
"I am just sick, this is so big," county Supervisor John Moorlach said. "We're talking $219 million. That will wipe us out. We've got to sit down and think about a lot of things. It may mean layoffs. It may mean a whole lot of things. Everything is on the table."
INJURED SACRAMENTO POLICE DOG BODIE RETIRES: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A Sacramento police dog shot and critically wounded by a suspected car thief last year is retiring from patrol duties.
The Sacramento Bee says (http://bit.ly/172sw9b) Bodie, a 5-year-old German shepherd, will continue to serve on the force by visiting schools and participating in community events.
The veterinarian who treated Bodie says the dog has made a remarkable recovery from his injuries. But spinal surgery for a herniated disc raised concerns that the demands of police work could result in permanent injury.
Bodie was presented with a reserve K-9 badge during a news conference Wednesday.
The newspaper says Bodie's story has drawn Facebook fans worldwide who eagerly await updates on his condition.