YOSEMITE SMOKE FUELS AIR QUALITY ALERT IN RENO: RENO, Nev. (AP) — Heavy smoke from a wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park has triggered an air quality alert in Reno and surrounding areas more than 150 miles away.
Washoe County Health District spokesman Phil Ulibarri said Thursday the air quality index has risen into the unhealthy range for sensitive groups.
He says the pollution index was in the good range of 50 earlier in the day, but jumped to 130 by mid-afternoon. Between 100 and 150 is considered unhealthy for those with respiratory ailments, the elderly and young children.
Ulibarri says it's a fluid situation they will monitor into the night. If the index surpasses 150, the general population likely would experience some health effects.
The fire west of Yosemite more than tripled in size overnight to more than 84 square miles.
MOTHER, SON CHARGED WITH SEX TRAFFICKING: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California mother and her 22-year-old son have been indicted on sex trafficking charges for pimping out a teenage girl since the age of 15.
Federal authorities in Los Angeles say Joshua Jerome Davis and 45-year-old Sharilyn Kae Anderson were each charged Thursday with five counts, including child sex trafficking.
If convicted, the pair faces at least 15 years in prison.
Court documents show that Davis first began talking online with the girl in 2010 when she was 14. Authorities say the mother-son duo then put the girl to work as a prostitute at several hotels in Southern California as well Las Vegas casinos.
The girl, now 17, has been placed in a shelter. The indictment also says Anderson and Davis forced a second victim to work as a prostitute.
BILL REQUIRES DISCLOSURE WHEN WEBSITES TRACK USERS: SACRAMENTO (AP) — An Internet privacy bill sought by the attorney general was approved Thursday by the state Senate.
Operators of commercial websites or online services that collect personal information would be required to disclose on their sites whether they honor "do not track" signals from users.
Under AB370, they also would have to say whether other parties can collect personal information from consumers' use of that website.
The state attorney general's office says websites frequently install invisible tracking devices on users' computers, including some that reinstall themselves even after users try to delete them.
The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi of Torrance would require sites to disclose their policies. It applies to social networks such as Facebook and business websites such as those operated by airlines. Microsoft Corp. was the lone corporate supporter, according to the bill analysis.
It was approved 36-0 and returns to the Assembly for a final vote on amendments.
CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL MEMORIAL STONES TO BE REMOVED: GARDEN GROVE (AP) — A plan to remove memorial stones from the landmark Crystal Cathedral in Southern California is drawing opposition from donors who paid thousands of dollars to honor loved ones.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County announced plans last week to remove nearly 1,800 "Walk of Faith" stones surrounding the Garden Grove cathedral.
Cathedral founder Robert Schuller sold the diamond-shaped granite memorials for up to $3,000 each, promising they'd remain for centuries.
But the Catholic Church, which bought the bankrupt church last year, says it will remove the stones for renovation purposes. Purchasers can retrieve them and also view them in digital form on a website.
The Orange County Register reports some donors are heartbroken, including 88-year-old Judy De Clercq. The Anaheim woman says she'll beg officials not to remove her memorial to her late son.
STATE AUDITOR TO REVIEW STATE LIMO SAFETY REGS: SACRAMENTO (AP) — After a fire killed five women on a San Francisco Bay area bridge, California will examine the work of the state agency responsible for regulating limousine safety.
State officials on Wednesday granted an audit of the California Public Utilities Commission's enforcement of state limo safety rules.
State Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-Hayward, said the California State Auditor will review how limo safety funds are being spent and which safety rules are being enforced.
The May 4 fire killed five women as they rode to a wedding party, including 31-year-old Neriza Fojas, the bride.
A California Highway Patrol probe found that the fire started when the car's rear suspension failed, allowing the car's steel drive shaft to scrape against the limo's floorboards.
COUPLE CHARGED WITH KILLING MAN OVER FALSE MOLEST: BANNING (AP) — A Southern California couple has been charged with executing a neighbor they falsely believed had molested their 4-year-old daughter.
Brian Matheis and Amy Daniel of Banning were charged with murder last month and remain jailed.
Authorities say they became convinced that Joshua Lee Fredieu had molested their daughter last year during a sleepover with Fredieu's daughter at his home.
Prosecutors contend that they arranged for Matheis to shoot Fredieu in the back of the head.
The next day, a medical exam found no evidence that the girl had been molested.
Matheis later was sentenced to prison for domestic violence and prosecutors claim he confessed the killing to a fellow inmate. He was arrested in state prison. Daniel was arrested in Banning last week.
UC, CAL STATE CAMPUSES TO GET SEX ASSAULT AUDIT: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Lawmakers have ordered an audit of four state college campuses after complaints that sexual assault allegations were ignored.
An audit was authorized Wednesday for the University of California, Berkeley, another UC campus and two California State University campuses that will be chosen later.
The audit will examine how the campuses report sexual assaults and whether students are discouraged from reporting them.
Representatives of both systems told the Joint Legislative Audit Committee that they'll cooperate.
Students testified to the committee that they reported sexual assaults to campus authorities but either got no response or were met with skepticism.
Federal law requires specific steps be taken in cases of sexual assault. Nine current and former UC Berkeley students have filed a federal complaint about campus compliance.