Calif. man pleads not guilty in terrorism case
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California man indicted on charges of attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida and lying on a passport application to facilitate terrorism has pleaded not guilty.
Orange County resident Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen entered the plea in federal court in Santa Ana on Friday.
A federal magistrate ordered the 24-year-old American citizen detained on grounds of danger and risk of flight.
A trial setting conference was scheduled for Oct. 18.
The FBI says Nguyen was arrested earlier Friday while waiting to board a bus to Mexico.
The indictment says Nguyen is also known as Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum and attempted to work under the direction of al-Qaida. No more details were immediately available about the alleged act of terrorism.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Heinz declined to comment on the case.
SF Bay Area transit agency, unions resume talks
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A San Francisco Bay Area transit agency and its unions are back at the bargaining table with the potential for a crippling train strike just days away.
Bay Area Rapid Transit and two of its largest unions resumed negotiations on Friday, just hours after a 60-day, state-mandated cooling-off period that prohibited a strike expired.
BART chief negotiator Thomas Hock says he will present the unions with a new proposal. BART General Manager Grace Crunican is also expected to join the discussion.
The unions are promising to strike if no deal is reached by midnight Sunday.
BART workers walked off the job for nearly five days in July.
CONSTRUCTION GAS LEAK
Workers try to cap gas leak in San Luis Obispo
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — Some businesses are being evacuated and two blocks of downtown San Luis Obispo are being blocked off because of a high-pressure gas leak at a construction site.
San Luis Obispo Capt. Keith A. Storton says police put up barricades Friday to keep cars and pedestrians out of the area. He doesn't know how many people have been evacuated from area businesses.
He says it's too soon to know what caused the leak, although there is heavy equipment in the area where construction is going on.
Storton says police officers, firefighters and public works officials are working to cap the leak.
For now, motorists are being asked to avoid the area around Marsh and Nipomo streets. The northbound U.S. 101 at Marsh is backed up because of the closures.
Brown vetoes bill banning semi-automatic rifles
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by state lawmakers in response to mass shootings in other states.
The governor announced signing other gun-related legislation on Friday but rejected the centerpiece bill, which would have imposed the nation's toughest restrictions on gun ownership.
Brown's veto message said it was too far-reaching. The bill by Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg would have outlawed future sales of an entire class of weapons that includes most assault rifles.
It was lawmakers' latest attempt to close loopholes that have let manufacturers work around previous assault weapon bans.
Gun-rights groups had threatened to sue if the semi-automatic weapons ban became law.
LEAD AMMO BAN
Calif. is first state to ban lead ammo for hunting
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that will make California the first state to ban lead bullets for all types of hunting.
The Democratic governor says in a signing message Friday that lead ammunition poses a threat to wildlife. He says the bill protects hunters by allowing the ban to be lifted if the federal government ever prohibits non-lead ammo.
Opponents of the bill argued that non-lead ammunition is more expensive and could be banned federally because it is technically considered to be armor-piercing.
Supporters of the new law say the use of lead bullets also endangers humans who eat game killed with the ammunition.
Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Rendon of Lakewood says the ban makes sense because lead has already been prohibited in paint, gasoline and toys.
CA commission allows Romney house expansion
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, have passed another hurdle in their plans to tear down their beachfront home in San Diego's affluent La Jolla (HOY'-uh) neighborhood and build an 11,000-square-foot mansion in its place.
California Coastal Commission legislative liaison Sarah Christie says the panel voted 7-4 on Friday to allow the city-approved permit for the project, ruling that it did not pose a significant issue under the California Coastal Act.
The Romneys bought the 3,000-square-foot home in 2008 for $12 million.
A former neighbor, Anthony Ciani, had challenged the city permit, saying it was granted because the Romneys exaggerated the size of the lot by claiming the beach in front.
The commission ruled the Romneys do own that portion of beach.
Calif principal suspends students over fight photo
PITTSBURG, Calif. (AP) — A photo that appears to show a San Francisco Bay Area high school principal placing a student in a chokehold has led to the suspensions of 10 students and allegations of excessive force.
The Contra Costa Times and KTVU-TV report that the photo was taken as Todd Whitmire, the principal of Pittsburg High School, was trying to break up a fight between a 15-year-old female student and a male student on Oct. 4. Whitmire said he was not choking the girl, but trying to restrain her.
The girl, Ashley Johnson, said Whitmire used too much force. Pittsburg police Lt. Ron Raman said there is no evidence any battery took place.
The news outlets report Whitmire suspended 10 students on Monday after they added comments to the picture and shared it on social media.
Ex-prison guard found guilty in friend's death
(Information in the following story is from: Lompoc Record, http://www.lompocrecord.com)
SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) — Jurors have convicted a former Central Coast prison guard of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a friend.
The Lompoc Record reports Timothy McNally buried his face in his hands after the verdict was read Thursday.
The defense claimed McNally was playing around with his 9 mm pistol last year and pointed it at his friend, Gary Bent, a Victorville correctional officer who was in town for riot-control training. The weapon discharged, killing Bent.
McNally's lawyer maintains the shooting was an accident.
Bent's widow, Bobbie, cried when the verdict was announced, saying justice was served for her five children.
The verdict comes after McNally's first trial earlier this year ended with a hung jury. The 33-year-old faces 25 years to life when he is sentenced in November.
Airborne pickup truck spurs fatal Calif. wreck
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Police say an eight-vehicle crash that killed one person and injured several others in Southern California began when a speeding pickup truck swerved to avoid oncoming traffic and went airborne.
Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart said the crash late Thursday afternoon happened when the driver of a pickup truck crossed a double yellow line and swerved into oncoming lanes to pass cars stopped at an intersection.
Deep, sideways skid marks indicate the driver tried to veer back into his own lane at the last minute, but he was going too fast and instead the truck flew into the air.
The truck driver, 57-year-old Adrian Davis of Brea, died in the crash. At least three others were injured.
Stuart said witnesses told police that Davis' car went "completely airborne," and one person said it went "as high as the telephone poles."
Police seize $4M in pot in SF Bay Area raids
HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — Thirteen people are facing possible charges after a major marijuana seizure in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hayward police say they confiscated more than 1,700 marijuana plants with a street value of $4 million during raids Thursday on homes in San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Hayward. Thirteen people were arrested on suspicion of marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and utility theft.
Sgt. Will Deplitch says the growers were stealing electricity.
Their names were not released.