Brown OKs bill allowing more than 2 legal parents
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation making California the fifth state to allow judges to declare a child has more than two legal parents.
Current law allows courts to acknowledge only two people as parents, which advocates say does not give judges any leeway to exercise judgment.
The bill by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco allows a judge to legally recognize additional parents if failing to do so would be detrimental to a child.
Leno's bill was prompted by a 2011 court case involving a California girl whose legal parent could not care for her and whose biological father was deemed not a parent. She ended up in state custody when her birth mother was incarcerated and her other legal parent was hospitalized.
Brown vetoed similar legislation last year.
Texas' Rick Perry faults Obama for standoff
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry says President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are to blame for the standoff in Washington that has led to a partial government shutdown.
The Republican, who is considering a 2016 White House run, said Friday he was stunned that the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have "stood up and said we are not negotiating."
He says Obama is willing shut down the government to score political points.
Perry made his remarks to reporters at a California Republican Party convention in Anaheim.
Later, he said both parties must recognize that a long-term standoff could damage the nation's credit or lead to default.
Lawmakers in Washington appeared headed for a weekend of squabbling, as the focus shifted to a midmonth deadline for averting a threatened default.
Calif. man accused of killing, cooking wife dies
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego County man accused of killing his 73-year-old wife and then cooking her body parts has died of cancer while awaiting trial.
The district attorney's office announced Friday that 69-year-old Frederick Hengl of Oceanside died of prostate cancer Sept. 27 in the jail infirmary.
Hengl was arrested last November after neighbors complained of a foul odor coming from his home. Police found the head of his wife, Anna Faris, in a freezer and dismembered parts of her body cooking on a stove.
Hengl denied killing his wife, who reportedly suffered from Alzheimer's disease. The couple had been married 34 years.
His preliminary hearing was postponed recently because of his need for medical treatment. It had been set for Nov. 18.
Groups appeal dismissal of UC anti-Semitism claims
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Attorneys are appealing a federal decision to dismiss claims that alleged three University of California campuses failed to respond effectively to anti-Semitism displays during events at the schools.
The appeal filed Friday with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights concerns events at three campuses — UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine — spanning more than a decade.
The complaints alleged anti-Jewish comments were made at meetings in Berkeley to discuss a student senate bill calling on the university to divest from companies that support Israel's military in Palestinian territories.
In Santa Cruz, the complaints alleged the school didn't respond quickly enough to swastika graffiti on campus.
After an investigation, the government ruled the incidents that spurred the claims didn't constitute harassment of Jewish students.
Stockton bankruptcy exit plan clears city council
(Information in the following story is from: The Record, http://www.recordnet.com/)
STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — The city of Stockton's plan to emerge from bankruptcy has cleared the city council.
The Record of Stockton reports that the council voted 6-0 on Thursday to give City Manager Bob Deis authority to file the plan with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein. The plan could still face opposition from the city's creditors.
City officials have said the plan's success depends on voters approving a three-quarter-cent sales tax hike in November. The tax revenue would help close an $11 million deficit and allow for the hiring of 120 police officers.
Deis said that over the plan's life it would cut $2 billion in labor and other costs from the city's budget.
The city filed bankruptcy in June 2012 after three years of multimillion-dollar deficits. It has been working since then to restructure its debts.
Shutdown halts civil, immigration cases in courts
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The federal government shutdown is having an impact on the court system, with U.S. attorneys shelving most civil prosecutions and immigration courts closed except for the most pressing cases.
A Justice Department directive says U.S. attorneys will continue to handle criminal cases without interruption "to maintain the safety of human life and the protection of property."
The department says civil cases are to be "curtailed or postponed" to the extent that can be done without compromising to a significant degree the safety of human life or the protection of property.
Nationwide, U.S. attorneys' offices are operating at 63 percent of their normal staffing levels, counting non-lawyers and lawyers.
PENSION REFORM-TRANSIT MONEY
California sues to restore federal transit funds
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California officials are suing the U.S. Department of Labor for denying billions of dollars in mass transit money to the state after lawmakers approved pension reforms.
Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced the lawsuit Friday, saying he wants to defend last year's law requiring state employees to contribute more to their pensions to ensure the retirement system remains viable.
Federal labor officials determined the changes violate collective bargaining rights by forcing union members to pay more. The agency blocked at least $1.6 billion in U.S. Department of Transportation grants to California.
The state's lawsuit calls the decision "arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional."
Brown also announced signing legislation to keep the money flowing while the state challenges the federal ruling. The bill temporarily exempts local transit agency workers from the pension changes.
Tesla CEO says fire caused by impaled battery
SEATTLE (AP) — The CEO of electric car company Tesla says a battery that caught fire in a Tesla vehicle was apparently impaled by a metal object.
Elon Musk wrote in a blog post Friday that fires are more common in conventional gas-powered vehicles. It's safer to power a car with a battery, Musk wrote.
Musk says a curved metal component was apparently the culprit in causing a Tesla to catch on fire Tuesday. He says the object's shape led to a powerful hit on the underside of the vehicle, punching a 3-inch hole through an armor plate that protects the car's bottom.
Tesla says the car properly contained the blaze. The driver was able to exit the highway in the Seattle suburb of Kent before flames engulfed the front of the vehicle.
PEDESTRIAN ON FREEWAY
Teen struck on SF Bay Area freeway
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A teenager is in critical condition after he was struck by at least one car while running in pajama bottoms and a white shirt on a San Francisco Bay Area freeway.
The California Highway Patrol says the roughly 16 or 17-year-old boy was spotted on Interstate 580 in Oakland around 6:30 a.m. Friday. He was walking into lanes of traffic when he was struck.
The collision caused several other cars to crash and the freeway's eastbound lanes to close for about an hour.
Three people suffered minor injuries.
It's not clear why the teenager was on the freeway. Authorities say he did not have identification on him.
OLDEST NATIONAL PARK RANGER-FURLOUGHED
Nation's oldest full-time park ranger furloughed
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — A 92-year-old Northern California woman who is the nation's oldest full-time national park ranger has joined the ranks of those currently out of work due to the ongoing government shutdown.
Betty Reid Soskin, who works at the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, CA, says she is devastated after being furloughed earlier this week.
Soskin on Friday says her job at park and museum that honors the women who worked in factories during wartime is what keeps her going.
After a life in public service, Soskin became a park ranger seven years ago leading tours at the historical park.
She hopes the furlough will end before Oct. 12th. That's when the park is set to host its annual Home Front Festival which she has been working on for months.