GIRL, 14, FOUND DEAD INSIDE CAR AT MADERA SCHOOL: MADERA (AP) — Authorities say a 14-year-old girl was found dead inside a car in the parking lot of a high school in California's Central Valley.
The girl's brother told police he and his sister drove to Madera South High School together Wednesday morning.
She stayed in the car because her first class started an hour after his.
Police say when school let out around 3 p.m., the brother went back to the car and discovered her body. He drove to a hospital, where police were notified.
Investigators say the heat may have played a role in her death, but an autopsy may find an underlying medical condition.
Temperatures were near 90 Wednesday in Madera.
LONG BEACH POLICE ARREST 4 FOR 2 SEPARATE KILLINGS: LONG BEACH (AP) — Long Beach police have arrested four people in connection with two high-profile killings.
Police Thursday announced the arrests of a man and a 16-year-old girl for the July shooting of 23-year-old Jazzmine Wash.
Wash had dropped off her 3-year-old child with a relative and walked out to grab the child's diaper bag when she was shot. Police say she was killed because a Long Beach man thought she was going to report him for a probation violation.
Two arrests also were made for the 2009 stabbing of a 76-year-old woman in her home during a burglary. Leam Sovanasy was a Cambodian refugee who'd survived the Khmer Rouge genocide.
Authorities say arrests in that case came after a suspect called police to say a police sketch wasn't of him.
KERN COUNTY JURY FINDS FOR TOYOTA IN $25M LAWSUIT: BAKERSFIELD AP) — A jury has ruled against a California man whose family sued Toyota for $25 million, claiming he suffered brain injuries when his car seat collapsed.
A jury in Kern County found Thursday in favor of the car company and awarded nothing to the family of Thomas Gutcher.
The 55-year-old Bakersfield man was on Highway 99 in 2008 when he stopped because a tractor plowing a field threw blinding dust across the roadway. Another car rear-ended his 1999 Camry.
Toyota Motor Corporation spokeswoman Carly Schaffner says the firm is gratified that jurors found the accident wasn't the result of a design defect.
GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL TO ADDRESS PRISON COURT ORDER: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a compromise bill intended to ease the state's prison crowding crisis by asking federal judges to delay their year-end deadline for releasing thousands of inmates.
Brown announced his signing of SB105 without ceremony Thursday, a day after it was approved nearly unanimously by state lawmakers.
It authorizes the administration to spend a projected $315 million to lease cells in private prisons and county jails. Yet part of the money would instead go to rehabilitation programs if the court agrees to extend its deadline for reducing the prison population by about 9,600 inmates.
Brown and legislative leaders say they are hopeful, but there is no guarantee the court will agree. Inmates' attorneys say the proposal is vague and carries no guarantees of success.
ATTEMPTED MURDER CONVICTION IN CALIF K-9 SHOOTING: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A jury has returned an attempted murder conviction for a woman whose boyfriend shot and seriously wounded a Sacramento police dog before firing on the K-9's human partner.
The jury determined Wednesday that the woman, Leslie Marie McCully, was equally responsible for her boyfriend's actions in May of last year when they took off on a high-speed chase after an officer tried to pull them over.
Lucus Jerome Webb was fatally shot when he opened fire on Officer Randy Van Dusen and his K-9, Bodie. The German shepherd suffered gunshot wounds but has recovered. Officer Van Dusen was not hit.
Bodie's story drew Facebook fans worldwide who eagerly awaited updates on his condition.
BILLS AIM TO REINSTATE SMALL-BUSINESS TAX BREAK: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Lawmakers on Thursday approved legislation intended to undo a court decision that left 2,500 California small-business owners with unexpected tax bills at the end of last year.
Two separate bills that moved through the Legislature are aimed at retroactively reinstating a tax break for small businesses on capital gains from the sale of stocks. It was overturned by a court ruling last year, leading the Franchise Tax Board to send tax notices totaling $120 million for the years 2008 to 2012.
Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, said it was unfair to change the rules for small businesses that were complying with California law. His SB209 would reimburse the small business owners 75 percent of the tax they were charged. He said it was reduced from 100 percent over his objections.
"The first principle we need to adhere to is the rule of law, and Californians need to have confidence that when they follow California law that they will not be retroactively punished," Lieu said.
Separate legislation, AB1412 by Assemblymen Raul Bocanegra and Mike Gatto, who are both Los Angeles Democrats, would reimburse the small business owners for 100 percent of the retroactive tax bills.
CALIF. SUES WHOLE FOODS OVER SALE OF PESTICIDES: SACRAMENTO (AP) — California's pesticide regulator is suing Whole Foods Market, Inc. over four pesticide products the grocery retailer sells at stores in the state/
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation says the state has not determined the products are safe.
The suit was filed Monday in Sacramento Superior Court, and seeks a court order requiring the grocer to explain why it is selling pesticide products that do not comply with state safety laws.
The products are 365 Natural Pines Pellet Cat Litter; Purely Botanical Cat Flea Spray; Purely Botanical Dog Flea Spray and Enviroman Bugs R Done Bug spray.
Whole Foods said it cooperated fully with the department and looked forward to addressing the matter before a judge.