Police: Calif. mother arrested in 2 kids' deaths
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Police say an apparently suicidal woman whose remarks sent authorities to a Southern California hotel room is the mother of two children found dead there.
Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna (burr-TAHN'-yuh) said Saturday night that the 42-year-old woman from Scottsdale, Ariz., has been released from a hospital and will soon be booked for investigation of two counts of murder.
Police say that earlier Saturday the woman deliberately drove her car into poles guarding an electrical box in a supermarket parking lot.
They say the woman made statements that led them to a Santa Ana hotel room where the two kids were found dead.
No names have been released, and the age and gender of the children were also being withheld while relatives are notified.
Yosemite highway reopened after long fire closure
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A key highway into Yosemite National Park that has been closed amid a massive wildfire for nearly three weeks is finally open again.
U.S. Forest Service officials said State Route 120, also known as Tioga Road, was reopened Saturday.
It has been closed by the so-called Rim Fire, which has burned nearly 400 square miles around Yosemite since it started nearly month ago.
The fire is now 81 percent contained, with full containment expected by Sept. 20.
Also Saturday, firefighters fully contained a wildfire that burned nearly 5 square miles in a San Francisco Bay Area wilderness park and forced the evacuation of 100 homes after it was sparked by target shooters.
The fire at Mount Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County cost about $4 million to fight.
CONTEST SURFER SAVED
Competition surfer revived by San Diego lifeguards
(Information in the following story is from: U-T San Diego, http://www.utsandiego.com)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego lifeguards had to restart the heart of a surfer who fell off his board in a contest at Pacific Beach.
U-T San Diego reports the unidentified 62-year-old surfer was taking part in the 20th annual longboard contest put on by the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club on Saturday afternoon.
Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum says the man was near Crystal Pier when he suffered some kind of distress and slipped off his board.
Other surfers helped lifeguards get the man to shore, but he wasn't breathing and his heart wasn't beating.
Lifeguards performed CPR and shocked the man with a defibrillator to revive him.
Officials say the man is in the hospital Saturday night. They described his condition only as stable.
Fire sets off live ammunition at LA building
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Firefighters say live ammunition began exploding as they battled a fire at a Los Angeles business that left the owner in serious condition.
The fire was reported shortly before 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Hollywood Engineering in Sun Valley. The business supplies live and dummy ammo for movie productions.
Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main says firefighters were forced out of the one-story building when rounds began going off. They fought the blaze from outside and knocked it down in about 30 minutes.
Main says the 86-year-old business owner was burned.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
HOSPITAL DEATH LAWSUIT
Clovis hospital fights lawsuit over patient death
(Information in the following story is from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com)
CLOVIS, Calif. (AP) — A Clovis hospital and doctor are defending themselves against a lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who bled to death after a common surgery.
The family of 40-year-old Nicole Caruso filed the medical-malpractice suit after she died following medical procedures at Clovis Community Medical Center on April 13, 2011.
The Fresno Bee reports that a wrongful death civil trial began Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court. Testimony is scheduled to continue Monday.
Caruso died at her Clovis home about 14 hours after she was discharged from the hospital where she underwent surgery to remove a birth control device and get a tubal ligation.
Attorneys for the hospital and Dr. Hoa Pham contend that their clients' actions were within the standard of care
HOTEL HOUSEKEEPER ASSAULTED
Rohnert Park police seek suspect in hotel assault
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (AP) — Rohnert Park police are searching for a man suspected of tying up a hotel housekeeper and sexually assaulting her at knifepoint.
Officials say the attack occurred at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park about 3:45 p.m. Friday, when the suspect grabbed the woman from behind and put a knife to her throat as she was cleaning a patio.
Police say the man forced the woman into a room, tied her up and began to sexually assault her before she fought him off and screamed, causing the man to flee.
Officials say the man was wearing a white button-down shirt, black dress pants and black gloves.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, was taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.
SEX CRIMES FUGITIVE
SF financier accused of sex crimes dies in Mexico
(Information in the following story is from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former San Francisco financier accused of molesting boys overseas has died in Mexico, where he had been fighting extradition to the United States.
Stuart Hanlon, an attorney for 77-year-old Thomas Frank White, said Friday the one-time philanthropist died Tuesday of pneumonia at a Mexican hospital.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that White had been imprisoned for eight years in Puerto Vallarta while he fought extradition on charges he had molested boys in Mexico and Thailand.
White had argued that he had been set up by con artists who paid boys to accuse the financier of assaulting them.
White moved to San Francisco and started his own financial firm in the late 1970s. He once donated $3.5 million to build an orphanage, school and hotel near Puerto Vallarta.
Walnut Creek man sentenced for killing pedestrian
(Information in the following story is from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com)
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (AP) — A Walnut Creek man has been sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison for running over two pedestrians after falling asleep at the wheel.
The Contra Costa Times reports Hossein Tabrizi pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the Sept. 8, 2012 accident that killed 52-year-old schoolteacher Sherry Hicks and badly injured her daughter-in-law Sheng Hahn.
In court, the 54-year-old Tabrizi told Hanh and her family he never should have tried driving that day when he was tired and high on the prescription anti-anxiety drug Ativan.
Tabrizi has a prior DUI conviction and arrests for suspicion of DUI and public intoxication.
His attorney says Tabrizi is a citizen of Iran who is in the U.S. on a green card and will likely be deported after his incarceration.
Soldier dies of injuries suffered in Afghanistan
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Department of Defense has announced that a soldier stationed in Texas has died from wounds suffered in a noncombat incident in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Robert E. Thomas Jr. of Fontana, Calif., died Friday from injuries he sustained in April while in Maiwand, Afghanistan, in the southern part of that country.
Thomas died at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bliss near El Paso, Texas.
A Fort Bliss spokesman said Saturday that Thomas was injured while at an Army base in Maiwand, but declined to provide any further details.
LA RIVER RESTORATION
Study recommends $453m LA River restoration
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal study recommends spending $453 million to restore part of the concrete-line Los Angeles River to nature — but critics say it doesn't go far enough.
The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday unveiled four options for restoring an 11-mile stretch of the river, a flood control channel that runs from the San Fernando Valley to the ocean in Long Beach. The options ranged in cost from $375 million to more than $1 billion.
The agency recommended an option that would strip the concrete from 588 acres of river between Griffith Park and downtown Los Angeles. It's one of the cheaper options.
Advocacy groups say it's not enough and they'll push for broader rehabilitation of the 51-mile-long channel. The LA City Council also backs a more extensive option.
Neighbors protest bid to house tigers in Malibu
(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)
MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — Neighbors are growling about a plan to bring tigers to an area near Malibu.
Two sisters are seeking Ventura County planning permission to build a fenced facility to house up to five tigers in unincorporated Deer Creek Canyon. So far, no decision has been made.
The Los Angeles Times says the sisters currently own two white Bengal tigers that have appeared in many ads, TV shows and even a video by rapper 50 Cent.
The area is zoned to allow the keeping of wild animals.
However, the Times say neighbors are worried that a tiger could get out and devour their livestock, pets, or them. In recent weeks they've brought in lawyers, organized a protest and even started a Facebook page called No Tigers in Malibu.
SIERRA CONSERVATION CONFERENCE
Author warns about climate change at CA conference
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Author Bill McKibben has opened a Sierra Nevada conservation conference with a call for a "coordinated, global" effort to deal with climate change.
McKibben, in a keynote address at the Sierra Nevada Alliance's annual conference in South Lake Tahoe, says change being made on the local level to combat climate change will do little good unless it's accompanied by change on a global level.
The activist is founder of 350.org, an international movement aimed at solving the climate crisis with representatives in some 190 countries.
The three-day conference, which began with McKibben's speech Friday, also will feature a session on the impact of climate change on Western wildfires as well as workshops and field trips.
The alliance consists of over 85 member conservation groups that work to protect the Sierra.