LA IPAD BACKFIRE
LA students get iPads, start playing video games
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Education officials in the nation's second-largest school district are working to reboot a $1 billion plan to put an iPad in the hands of each of their 650,000 students after an embarrassing glitch emerged when the first round of tablets went out.
Instead of solving math problems or doing English homework, as administrators envisioned, more than 300 Los Angeles Unified School District students promptly cracked the security settings and started tweeting, posting to Facebook and playing video games.
Such problems have both critics and supporters questioning whether LAUSD officials were being hasty or overreaching in their attempt to distribute iPads throughout the district's more than 1,000 campuses by next year.
Brush fire briefly blocks LA-area freeways
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials have reopened a key freeway junction in the Los Angeles area that was shut down for 90 minutes by a brush fire.
City News Service reported Saturday that three fire agencies using bulldozers, air support and ground crews battled the afternoon blaze on a hillside north of the junction of Interstate 5 and state Route 14 in the Newhall Pass.
The news service says the flames had jumped to the west of the 5, blocking traffic on both freeways.
Winds gusting to 65 mph were reported at 1:30 p.m. five miles southeast of the fire. The freeways were reopened at 2:15 p.m.
Several small brush fires have been breaking out amid hot, dry Santa Ana winds in Southern California this weekend. But crews have been able to control them.
POT GARDEN SLAYING
Weed robbery near Red Bluff ends in death, arrests
(Information in the following story is from: Record Searchlight, http://redding.com)
RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in Northern California have arrested three men suspected of killing a 37-year-old man who was shot while harvesting marijuana at a home near Red Bluff.
The Record Searchlight in Redding, Calif. reports that authorities think Keo Oudone Vannarath, of Redding, was slain as he tried to flee during an attempted robbery of the weed on Thursday morning.
Tehama County sheriff's deputies identified the suspects as 26-year-old Alan Duane Doulphus Jr., 23-year-old Chase Alan Doulphus, and 31-year-old Roger Bounnhaseng, all of Fresno. A fourth suspect remained at large.
Alan and Chase Doulphus were arrested within hours of the shooting and a large amount of marijuana was found in the car they were driving.
The Record Searchlight says Vannarath had been scheduled to be tried on pot cultivation and possession charges a week before his death.
Hundreds march in Hollywood immigration rally
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hundreds of immigrants and supporters are marching through Hollywood as part of nationwide rallies to push for immigration reform.
The event called "March of the Stars" kicked off Saturday shortly after California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed a series of bills to protect immigrants.
Organizers in Los Angeles say they expect the march may draw thousands as it continues throughout the afternoon. It is among some 150 demonstrations billed as a "National Day for Dignity and Respect."
The mobilization is a prelude to a rally and free concert Tuesday on the National Mall in Washington.
Immigration has been a rare area of bipartisan cooperation and confidence was boosted earlier in the year on a sweeping overhaul of the system and a path to citizenship for millions.
Brown signs law limiting detention of immigrants
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that prohibits local law enforcement agencies from detaining people for deportation if they are arrested for a minor crime and otherwise eligible to be released from custody.
AB4 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, was one of eight immigration-related measures Brown signed on Saturday. The governor also approved a bill allowing lawyers to be admitted to the California bar even if they living in the U.S. illegally.
Ammiano's legislation creates a statewide standard for how local agencies comply with the federal Secure Communities program, which requires law enforcement to check the immigration status of any one who is arrested.
The governor vetoed a similar measure last year because it did not let officials detain those convicted of crimes such as child abuse and drug trafficking, exemptions that were removed from this year's version.
Long-suffering Calif GOP looks for fresh start
AHAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — California Republicans are searching for answers.
Delegates at a statewide convention Saturday pondered how to rebuild a party pushed to the margins in the nation's most populous state, while keeping the peace between often feuding conservative and centrist factions.
At issue is recruiting new GOP voters in a state where Democrats hold every statewide office and a commanding 2.7 million-voter edge in statewide registration.
Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel says the party needs a "new set of warriors" among Hispanics, Asians and other groups that have favored Democrats in recent elections.
It won't be easy.
Concern over the party's image was at issue when a committee debated a possible ballot question to rescind a law requiring public schools to let transgender students choose which restrooms they use.
CHEF'S STOLEN LAMBORGHINI
Marin teen on trial for theft of chef's sports car
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California teenager is on trial for the brazen theft of celebrity chef Guy Fieri's Lamborghini sports car from a San Francisco dealership.
Max Wade, who is 19 years old, has been charged with commercial burglary and auto theft in the 2011 heist that was pulled off by a burglar who rappelled into the British Motors dealership and drove off in Fieri's $200,000 convertible.
Marin County authorities who were investigating Wade in an unrelated drive-by shooting found the missing car last year when they followed him to a storage facility.
Wade also has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting, which involved a girl whom Wade allegedly liked and her boyfriend.
Defense lawyer Charles Dresow told jurors during opening statements in a San Rafael courtroom Friday that only circumstantial evidence links his client to either crime.
San Diego police standoff ends with suicide
(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Officials say a five-hour standoff outside an apartment in the San Diego County community of Bonita ended when sheriff's deputies discovered the suspected gunman had apparently killed himself.
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that the 45-year-old man was found Friday night with a self-inflicted wound and a rifle nearby after deputies sent a robotic device into the home.
Officials evacuated the apartment building around 5 p.m. Friday after neighbors reported hearing gunshots.
The newspaper says a man and women were taken to the hospital with wounds described as not life-threatening, and a second woman was injured while trying to escape the shooting through a window.
DYING FATHER'S WISH
Dying father's wish fulfilled with slaying charges
(Information in the following story is from: KTVU-TV.)
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A dying Oakland man who has spent almost two years mourning his son's slaying says his last wish in life has been fulfilled with the arrest of two suspects in the alleged murder.
Television station KTVU in Oakland reports that two men were charged Friday in the December 2011 shooting death of 23-year-old Charles Butler Jr. outside a convenience store.
Oakland police Investigator Phong Tran tells KTVU that Butler bumped another car while parallel parking before he was killed and detectives think that precipitated the shooting.
The charges came several weeks after KTVU aired a story featuring Butler's father, Charles Butler Sr., who said his dying wish was to see his son's attackers brought to justice.
Tran says the story promoted a key witness to come forward.
One of the suspects is in custody, while the other has a warrant out for his arrest.
Oxnard fire burns 9 buildings, displaces workers
(Information in the following story is from: Ventura County Star, http://venturacountystar.com)
OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — About 75 people have been left without a home after a fire destroyed nine buildings in Oxnard, including mobile homes and apartments.
The Ventura County Star reported Saturday that the fire was reported at 3:42 p.m. Friday when heavy winds were whipping across Southern California. No injuries were reported.
Fire Chief James Williams says the blaze was controlled by 5 p.m.
Officials say many of those displaced are children. The newspaper says the family spent the night at a gymnasium at Oxnard College.
Williams says strong Santa Ana winds fed the blaze.
Officials were investigating the cause of the fire. One firefighter suffered smoke inhalation, Williams said, but no other injuries were reported.
TSUNAMI WARNING CENTERS
US tsunami warning centers open despite shutdown
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Despite the partial government shutdown, Americans have a full team of scientists tracking every possibility for an earthquake-triggered tsunami.
The nation's two tsunami warning centers remain fully staffed and operating around the clock in Alaska and Hawaii.
Stuart Weinstein is the deputy director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii's Ewa Beach on Oahu. He says operations will remain active throughout the shutdown.
In Alaska, Paul Whitmore is the director of the warning center in Palmer north of Anchorage. Besides staying open, the center has a new name: The National Tsunami Warning Center, instead of the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.
Whitmore says the new name, effective Oct. 1, more accurately reflects its wider responsibility since the East Coast and Eastern Canada were added in 2005.
Shutdown halts border agents' training
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — U.S. Border Patrol trainees in New Mexico are heading home because their training center has been shut down because of the budget fight in Washington.
That means the Rio Grande Valley sector of the border, which saw an increase in arrests in the last fiscal year, will be waiting longer for the reinforcements it was expecting. How much longer depends on the duration of the federal government shutdown.
Shawn Moran, vice president of a Border Patrol labor union, said the agents in the Rio Grande area need the help but now there will be no reinforcements to send.
The full impact of a delay in additional agents was not immediately clear because Border Patrol's spokespeople were unavailable to comment due to the shutdown.