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

ELECTRONIC SNOW SURVEY BRINGS MORE BAD WATER NEWS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — State officials are bracing for more bad water news about the Sierra snowpack when surveyors go back into the field on Tuesday.

Electronic readings released Thursday show the water content in the snowpack at 30 percent of normal for this date. And it's just 25 percent of the average usually measured on April 1 when the snowpack is at its peak and the spring melt begins.

Because of dry weather this winter the Department of Water Resources reduced its estimate for deliveries through the State Water Project to 29 public agencies that it supplies. State officials warn that they will be able to deliver only half of the water that has been requested.

The good news is that last year's wet winter has left the state's reservoirs at 110 percent capacity.

INQUIRY AFTER OC JUVENILE HALL TEENS HAVE SEX: ORANGE  (AP) — Officials in Orange County are launching an internal investigation after two teens charged with violent crimes were found having sex in a juvenile detention hall.

The Orange County Register reports Thursday that probation officials are reviewing how the 17-year-old boy gained access to the girl's room.

Sheriff's Lt. Steven Doan says officials are also investigating whether the sex was consensual.

The 17-year-old girl faces charges of attempted murder, robbery and other crimes after two robberies in January.

Court papers show the youth, who is now 18, faces charges of murder and conspiracy to commit a crime related to a 2009 gang shooting.

The two were housed in a co-ed unit at the Orange County Juvenile Hall.

DISABLED MAN ARRESTED FOR BITING SO. CAL DEPUTY: SAN MARCOS  (AP) — A San Diego County man has been arrested after authorities say he climbed out of a wheelchair, crawled on a supermarket floor and bit a sheriff's deputy.

Lt. Jeff Maxin said reports of a man causing a scene sent deputies to an Albertson's supermarket in San Marcos Wednesday morning. Maxin says they arrived to find the disabled man crawling around on the floor and spent several minutes trying to help him before he bit a deputy on the leg.

The man was arrested on suspicion of battery on a peace officer and taken to a hospital for examination.

The deputy was treated for the bite.

JUDGE TENTATIVELY DISMISSES CALIF. BRAIN SUIT: SAN MATEO  (AP) — A judge has tentatively dismissed a New York couple's lawsuit against a Northern California coroner who turned their son's brain over to an ambulance company for dissection.

The judge said on Wednesday that the San Mateo County coroner was not required to notify Jerald and Sandy Wolkoff that pieces of their son's brain were given to American Medical Response. But he did give the couple the opportunity to amend their complaint and resubmit it.

The ambulance company had requested the brain parts to defend itself in a separate wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the Wolkoffs.

The couple claimed that a procedure paramedics used to help their son breathe after a 2008 car crash caused brain damage and contributed to his death.

An attorney for the couple said they planned to resubmit the lawsuit

EX-SCHOOLS CHIEF GETS JAIL FOR MISAPPROPRIATION: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Beverly Hills schools chief has been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay restitution for giving a former female employee more than $20,000 and increasing her car allowance without board approval.

A jury last month convicted 55-year-old Jeffrey Hubbard of two felony counts of misappropriation of public funds.

Hubbard was sentenced on Thursday to 60 days in jail, ordered to 280 hours of community service and placed on three years' probation. He must also pay a $6,000 fine and $23,500 restitution to the school district.

Hubbard was superintendent of the Beverly Hills Unified School District when he ordered $20,000 in two payments for then facilities director Karen Anne Christiansen hiked her $150-a-month car allowance to $500.

MAN SENTENCED FOR FRESNO PLAYER FOOD STAMP FRAUD: FRESNO  (AP) — A former Fresno County welfare worker accused in a food stamp scam that included Fresno State football players has been sentenced to three years in California prison.

A judge sentenced 52-year-old Michael Martin Wednesday after he pleaded no contest to embezzlement by a public officer, identity theft and possession of heroin.

Authorities say he and his wife, 45-year-old Dawn Griffin, applied for benefits under the name of a man in prison and redeemed them at Fresno markets.

Prosecutors say Martin also fraudulently applied for benefits for some members of the 2010 Fresno State University football team.

He was sentenced to five years of probation and 270 days in jail.

FIRTH, PORTMAN, BALE, LEO TO PRESENT AT OSCARS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — All four acting winners from last year's Academy Awards are returning to this weekend's Oscars as presenters.

Organizers say Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo will be there to hand out awards Sunday.

Last year's lead-acting prizes went to Firth for "The King's Speech" and Portman for "Black Swan." Bale and Leo won the supporting honors for "The Fighter."

Among this season's contenders are lead performers George Clooney for "The Descendants," Viola Davis for "The Help," Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady" and Jean Dujardin for "The Artist."

The supporting favorites are Octavia Spencer for "The Help" and Christopher Plummer for "Beginners."

POLL: CALIF. VOTERS INCLINED TO RE-ELECT OBAMA: SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A new Field Poll shows President Barack Obama is regaining his political footing in California.

The survey released Thursday shows that 51 percent of California's registered voters are inclined to re-elect him to a second term, up from 45 percent in November. The percentage of those who say they would not re-elect him has dropped from 44 percent to 41 percent.

For the first time since June, a majority of voters — 53 percent — say they approve of the job he is doing.

Obama also fares well against the Republican presidential contenders in theoretical matchups, leading each by at least 20 percentage points.

The random telephone survey of 1,003 registered voters was conducted Feb. 2-18. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

WOMAN GETS 18 YEARS FOR KILLING 4 IN DUI CRASH: VISTA  (AP) — A woman who killed four people in San Diego County while driving drunk and high on methamphetamine has been sentenced to 18 years in state prison.

Twenty-seven-year-old Deanna Fridley apologized for the crash during her sentencing Wednesday in Vista. She pleaded guilty last month to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and drunken driving causing injury. Her first trial in 2010 ended in a mistrial.

Her GMC Yukon Denali smashed head-on into a Toyota Camry in December of 2007 near the Pala Casino. Two couples in the other car died.

Fridley was pulled from the flaming wreckage and treated for broken bones. Her passenger also was hurt.