Offshore 4.9 quake gives N. Calif. a jolt
EUREKA, Calif. (AP) — A moderate offshore earthquake gave a jolt to cities in far Northern California, but there are no reports of damages or injuries.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-4.9 quake struck shortly after 4 p.m. about 33 miles northwest of the coastal city of Eureka at a depth of about 6 miles.
No tsunami warning was issued.
Eureka police Sgt. Rodrigo Sanchez says the quake gave the area a sharp jolt that felt like it lasted less than a second.
Sanchez and Humboldt Bay Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Goodlive (GOOD'-lihv) say their departments have received no calls about damages or injuries.
Eureka has a population of about 27,000 and neighboring Arcata has about 17,000 people.
Ariz., NY to reopen shut down national attractions
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Arizona and New York have reached deals with the Interior Department to reopen Grand Canyon National Park and Statue of Liberty National Monument using state funds until the federal government reopens.
A spokesman for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer confirmed the Grand Canyon deal late Friday afternoon, meaning the park should reopen Saturday.
The governor had wanted to only partially reopen the park, but the deal includes the entire park.
Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder says Arizona will pay less than the $112,000 a day the Interior Department wanted.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service announced that it has entered into an agreement with the state of New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) says the state will pay $61,600 a day to fully fund National Park Service personnel and keep the Statue of Liberty open.
Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has no plans to spend state money to reopen any of the national parks in California.
H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the governor's finance department, said the state's budget was balanced narrowly this year, with a small reserve, and there's no guarantee the state would be reimbursed.
It also does not want to be in the position of deciding which national parks would reopen and which would remain closed.
JOURNEY TO JUPITER
Jupiter-bound craft running normally again
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scientists say NASA's Jupiter-bound spacecraft that looped around Earth to catapult to the outer solar system, is operating normally again.
The Southwest Research Institute, which leads the mission's science operations, said Friday that Juno is out of "safe mode." That's a state a spacecraft is programmed to go into when it senses something is wrong.
Juno hit a snag earlier this week after it flew past Earth to increase its speed to barrel beyond the asteroid belt to Jupiter.
Despite the problem, scientists say Juno is on target to slip into orbit around Jupiter. It's expected to arrive in 2016.
Juno was launched in 2011 and flew beyond the orbit of Earth's closest planetary neighbor, Mars, before looping back toward our home planet for a quick visit.
Governor signs bills protecting Calif. workers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed several bills that seek to protect California workers who are immigrants or victims of domestic violence and other crimes.
SB400 from Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara prevents employers from firing an employee who has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
Under SB288, from Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance, employers cannot fire a worker who is the victim of certain crimes and takes time off for a court hearing. The Democratic governor announced Friday that he signed the bills.
He also signed AB263 from Democratic Assemblyman Roger Hernandez of West Covina, which prohibits employers from retaliating against immigrant workers who protest unfair conditions. Hernandez says immigrant workers are more likely to be victims of wage and work-hour violations.
WOMAN DEAD-HOSPITAL STAIRS
UCSF to review hospital where patient disappeared
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says he has asked officials from the state-run University of California, San Francisco Medical Center to conduct an independent review of safety and security at a city hospital where a patient disappeared and turned up dead in a stairwell more than two weeks later.
Mayor Ed Lee announced Friday that he'd chosen UCSF Medical Center to investigate San Francisco General Hospital, saying UCSF is a major urban hospital that faces many of the same issues, and has a unique security perspective because it operates its own police force.
The review is the result of the disappearance and death of 57-year-old Lynne Spalding, whose body was found in a rarely used fire exit stairwell on Tuesday, 17 days after she went missing from her hospital room.
CA wife pleads guilty to role in machete attack
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A 50-year-old Orange County woman has pleaded guilty to recruiting a man who tried to kill her husband with a machete.
Prosecutors say Mary Katheryn Sharpski entered her plea Friday to attempted murder and mayhem. She's scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 8.
The assailant, Antonio Cinco Ortega was sentenced in January to 25 years to life in prison for the 2009 attack on Frank Sharpski, who lost some of his fingers on one hand and had his nose broken.
Ortega was hired by his co-defendants Michael Calvin Shores and Sharpski to kill her husband. The mother of three children had an affair with Shores, and agreed to hire Ortega — a close friend of Shores and a butcher at a grocery store.
Chip reunites man with cat lost for a year
(Information in the following story is from: Kitsap Sun, http://www.kitsapsun.com/)
BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — Rescued from the streets of Naples, Italy, when a former Washington man was stationed there with the Navy, Odie the cat was James Raasch's companion for more than a decade until she vanished a year ago.
He searched for her unsuccessfully in Bremerton and a few months ago moved to Davis, Calif.
The Kitsap Sun reports that picture changed this week when the Kitsap Humane Society tracked Raasch down to tell him Odie had been found and identified by her microchip.
Turns out she had joined a feral cat colony in East Bremerton. A woman who monitors the colony noticed this cat was different.
As Humane Society cat expert Tara Trezona puts it, "She was a cuddler." And the cuddler proved to have a chip.
Raasch was headed back to Kitsap County for a visit this weekend, and the two were reunited Friday.
Calif. governor signs 1 limo safety bill, vetoes 1
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill requiring limousines that operate in California to have emergency exits, but vetoed another bill requiring annual Highway Patrol limo inspections.
The bills were introduced after a May limousine fire that killed five trapped women on a San Francisco Bay Area bridge.
Brown on Friday signed SB 109, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Ellen Corbett of San Leandro, requiring limos that carry fewer than 10 passengers to have two push-out windows and two rear doors.
But the governor vetoed SB338, requiring the CHP to conduct annual safety inspections for stretch limousines for a fee of $75.
Brown said in a statement that the price is insufficient to cover the CHP's costs, and urged the legislature to send him otherwise-identical legislation allowing for a higher fee.
Calif man charged with murdering ex-girlfriend
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Compton man could face the death penalty after being charged with the slayings of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend's grandmother.
Los Angeles County prosecutors say 19-year-old James Marquis Scott was charged Friday with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date.
Scott is accused of opening fire at three people at an Inglewood apartment complex Tuesday, killing 18-year-old Crystallyn Nguyen and 68-year-old Dora Lee Dawson. Nguyen's boyfriend and Dawson's grandson, 22-year-old Datwan Henderson, was badly injured.
Authorities believe Scott, who was Nguyen's ex-boyfriend, targeted the victims out of jealousy.
San Jose man who shot 2 in chase pleads guilty
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A San Jose man will spend the rest of his life in prison for his role in a chase that led to the killing of one man and the wounding of a police officer.
Santa Clara County prosecutors say 27-year-old Jonathan Wilbanks pleaded guilty Friday to 10 felonies including murder, attempted murder of a peace officer, robbery and carjacking.
Authorities say Wilbanks and 15-year-old Adonis Muldrow committed four armed robberies, fatally shot a 22-year-old man and wounded a San Jose officer during a gunfight with police last November.
Muldrow is being tried as an adult. He hasn't entered a plea.
Wilbanks is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 5 and faces a minimum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
With the plea deal he avoids the death penalty.
POLICE UNION EMBEZZLER
Calif office manager sentenced for embezzlement
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — An office manager for a police union in Orange County has been sentenced to four years in prison for embezzling more than $360,000 by changing the amount on her paycheck after her bosses had signed it.
Prosecutors said 47-year-old Cindy Ann Su'a was sentenced Wednesday in a Fullerton courtroom and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution, taxes and fines.
Su'a previously pleaded guilty more than 140 counts, including forgery and fraud.
Authorities say Su'a was the only paid employee of the Anaheim Police Association and was supposed to earn $65,000 each year. But prosecutors say she began increasing her paycheck in 2007 by thousands of dollars.
She also used the union's online bank accounts to pay her bills.
Arrest made in San Diego-area church arson
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Authorities have arrested a 45-year-old man in connection with an arson fire at a Roman Catholic church in the Spring Valley area of San Diego County.
San Diego sheriff's investigators say Eugene William Volk was arrested Thursday after seeing him less than a quarter mile from Santa Sophia Church. He was booked for investigation of arson and vandalizing a place of worship. Bail was set at $500,000.
The fire was reported just before 8 p.m. Tuesday and firefighters extinguished it in 10 minutes. Damage was estimated to be more than $200,000.
Investigators didn't elaborate about what evidence they have connecting Volk to the crime.