CALIFORNIA FIRE DANGER
SoCal under red-flag alert for fire danger
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighting operations in California will not be affected by the government shutdown if wildfires ignite this weekend in dry and windy conditions.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant says firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service are exempt from furloughs due to the shutdown.
Almost all of the Forest Service's firefighting air tankers are also in California now because fire season is winding down elsewhere in the West.
Hot, dry Santa Ana winds with gusts up to 50 mph are buffeting mountain and foothill areas of Southern California on Friday, raising fire danger in the parched region.
Los Angeles just had its sixth-driest year in 135 years of record-keeping.
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.
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.
Lawyer complains about ex-Bell official's plea
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An attorney in the Bell, Calif., municipal corruption case has complained bitterly in court about a judge's decision to allow the chief defendant to plead no contest in an unannounced hearing.
Attorney Harland Braun told Judge Kathleen Kennedy on Friday that she improperly injected herself into the case by brokering a plea deal with former city manager Robert Rizzo.
The judge said there were no negotiations before Rizzo walked into court and entered his plea to all 69 counts on Thursday. Rizzo was charged with stealing more than $5 million from the blue-collar Los Angeles suburb.
Braun represents Rizzo's former top assistant, Angela Spaccia, whose trial begins with jury selection next week.
The judge refused to recuse herself from the case.
LA coroner's office IDs jet crash passenger
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County coroner's office has identified the remains of one of the four people killed in a plane crash at the Santa Monica airport.
Twenty-eight-year-old Irvine resident Lauren Winkler was a passenger on the private jet, which crashed Sunday evening as it landed on a flight from Idaho.
Although the coroner's office said Friday it has not matched dental records of the other three, two have been identified as Mark and Luke Benjamin by the construction company where the father and son worked.
Mark Benjamin, the CEO of Morley Builders, frequently flew his Cessna Citation between Southern California and Idaho, where he had a second home.
Federal crash investigators have not publicly discussed what may have caused the plane to veer off the runway and into a hangar.
JOURNAL BROADCAST-STATION SALE
Journal Broadcast to sell 2 Calif. TV stations
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Journal Broadcast Group Inc. of Milwaukee has agreed to sell two California television stations.
Journal Broadcast said Friday it agreed to sell NBC affiliate KMIR-TV and MyNetwork affiliate KPSE-TV, both of Palm Springs, Calif., to Virginia-based OTA Broadcasting LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The sale requires approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
Journal Broadcast is a subsidiary of Journal Communications Inc. The Milwaukee-based media company owns and operates 15 TV stations and 35 radio stations in 12 states, and also publishes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and several community publications in Wisconsin.
MUSIC-RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
Chili Peppers, Neil Young to perform for charity
SILVERLAKE, Calif. (AP) — Neil Young will perform at a benefit for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music that Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea and Anthony Kiedis will host.
The organization announced Friday that the event will take place Oct. 30 in Silverlake, Calif. Red Hot Chili Peppers will also perform.
Flea founded the Silverlake Conservatory of Music in 2001. It facilitates music education and offers music lessons and scholarships.
The RHCP bassist says in a statement that he's "grateful" for all the help given to the organization. He adds that Young performing at the event "is the greatest blessing."
A silent auction will take place and will feature donations from Marc Jacobs, Tony Hawk, Pearl Jam, Gucci and others, and artwork donated by the likes of Gus Van Sant, Shepard Fairey and Justin Bua.
Poehler, Theron shed tears at Power of Women lunch
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Amy Poehler and Charlize Theron were moved to tears Friday, and it wasn't for a role.
The actresses got emotional while being recognized for their philanthropic efforts at Variety's Power of Women luncheon. Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Hudson and Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal were also honored at the fifth annual event, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Poehler cried while discussing Worldwide Orphans' outreach to needy children. "They have nothing," she said.
Theron shed tears while thanking her mother for "teaching me through your actions to be a strong and powerful woman."
Hudson almost cried while being recognized for creating the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, but left the stage before any tears fell.