SUNBATHER FATALLY STRUCK
SF parks worker 'devastated' he ran over sunbather
(Information in the following story is from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco parks worker who ran over a woman as she lay with her baby and dog in a park says he thought he had hit something, but didn't realize it was a person until he was arrested.
An attorney for 57-year-old Thomas Burnoski told the San Francisco Chronicle his client was devastated by when he learned the mother was fatally struck.
Burnoski says in a statement that his actions caused the death of 35-year-old Christine Svanemyr, "and there is nothing I can do to bring her back." He called what happened in the Bernal Heights park "a tragic accident."
Burnoski was arrested on Sept. 5 on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run.
Prosecutors have not decided whether to file charges in the case.
'Wild Recon' host accused of selling rare lizards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former host of Animal Planet's "Wild Recon" show has been charged in Los Angeles with selling two endangered Iranian desert monitor lizards without a permit.
City News Service says Donald Schultz, a herpetologist based in Southern California, was charged Thursday with violating the federal Endangered Species Act. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.
A message left for Schultz on his Facebook page wasn't immediately returned Friday.
Authorities say Schultz sold the rare lizards for $2,500 to an undercover federal wildlife agent who answered his 2010 offer on Facebook.
On his now-canceled show, Schultz would parachute into remote locations to take biological samples from deadly snakes and other dangerous animals.
CALIF-CHINA CLIMATE AGREEMENT
CA, Chinese officials announce climate deal
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown and a China's top climate negotiator signed an agreement to boost cooperation between the state and China on clean energy technologies and climate change.
The governor said the memorandum of understanding signed Friday is the first climate agreement between China's National Development and Reform Commission and a subnational government.
Under the 2-year commitment, Chinese and California environment and energy officials will work together to find ways to share new low carbon technologies, as well as research and policy innovations meant to combat climate change.
Brown said the state's agreement with China is important in the absence of progress in national and international climate change negotiations.
LA deputy arrested for alleged sex with teen girl
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Medal of Valor-winning deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a teenage girl.
Forty-three-year-old John Rose was booked Thursday on suspicion of committing lewd acts on a child 14 or 15 years old. He remains jailed Friday on $320,000 bail and has been relieved of duty without pay.
Authorities suspect the deputy had sex with the girl between February and June while he was off duty. Authorities say they were alerted to the allegations by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Rose, a 22-year veteran, was awarded the Medal of Valor after he and another deputy rescued a woman who was trapped in a cabin by a raging 2002 wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Calif. deputy gets 2 ½ yrs for immigrant smuggling
EL CENTRO, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former Imperial County reserve sheriff's deputy has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison for smuggling three Mexican nationals including a child into the United States in her trunk.
A U.S. attorney's statement says 23-year-old Elizabeth Hernandez received the sentence Friday under a plea deal, and also agreed to forfeit the money she was paid for the smuggling. She had been eligible for 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Hernandez was wearing her uniform and department-issued weapon when she drove through a checkpoint in April, and was later arrested after border agents grew suspicious.
Court records say Hernandez earned at least $90,000 from such smuggling between October and her April arrest.
FATAL RETALIATION SHOOTING
Sacramento man gets prison in retaliation shooting
(Information in the following story is from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A gang member convicted of murdering a man he mistook for a rival has been sentenced to 94 years to life in prison.
The Sacramento Bee reports 23-year-old Elijah Dupree Goethe was sentenced Friday for killing 20-year-old Joseph Washington nearly five years ago.
During trial, prosecutors said Goethe and accomplice fired gunshots at the victim and his friend because they were looking to retaliate for being fired upon at a convenience store several hours earlier.
Authorities said the victims had nothing to do with the shooting at the convenience store.
Washington's friend was wounded by a bullet to the face.
Goethe's accomplice was never charged in the case due to a lack of evidence. He is serving a six-year prison term after being convicted in an unrelated shooting.
SCHOOL CUSTODIAN ATTACKED
Calif. school janitor uses cleaner to repel attack
(Information in the following story is from: The Press-Enterprise, http://www.pe.com)
TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a custodian used the tools of her trade to fight off an attacker in a Southern California high school restroom.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the woman was cleaning up graffiti in a restroom at Temecula High School on Tuesday night when two men came in.
Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Andy Woods says the woman told them the restroom was closed for cleaning and they had to leave but instead one grabbed her.
Woods says the woman fought back and fell down but she managed to grab an aerosol can of graffiti remover and spray it in the man's face.
Both men ran away and they haven't been found.
The woman wasn't seriously injured. Deputies are investigating the case as an attempted sexual assault.
NAVY DOCTOR OUSTED
Top doc on Navy ship ousted over fitness records
(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Navy says the top doctor on one of its two hospital ships has been relieved of command for falsifying his own physical fitness and weight records.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Capt. William Cogar was removed Friday as commanding officer of the San Diego-based hospital ship Mercy.
The Navy announced that in a non-judicial punishment procedure known as an admiral's mast, the 59-year-old Cogar was found to have failed to comply with the Navy's physical readiness program. He also failed to obey an order and committed conduct unbecoming an officer and gentlemen.
The Navy requires that all personnel meet certain fitness and weight standards.
Cogar has been reassigned to Navy Medical Center San Diego. Former Mercy commander Capt. Jeffrey Paulson will serve as interim commander.
Post to pay $2M for violations at CA cereal plant
MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — A Central California cereal plant will have to spend more than $2 million for violating federal air quality rules.
The Environmental Protection Agency says Friday that Post Holdings Inc. and Ralcorp Holdings Inc. will pay a $635,000 penalty for failing to install air pollution controls at its cereal plant in Modesto.
The cereal giant has already spent $1.4 million on required equipment to reduce emissions.
The penalty came after federal investigators found that certain types of equipment at the plant were emitting volatile organic compounds without required pollution-reducing controls. VOC emissions are considered a precursor to ozone and particulate pollution.
18 arrested, ton of pot seized in Santa Barbara
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Friday the 13th was certainly unlucky for some reputed drug smugglers.
Authorities arrested 18 people and seized more than a ton of marijuana brought ashore by boat in Santa Barbara.
Authorities say California National Guard members saw a small boat land at Arroyo Quemada (kay-MAH'-DUH) beach early Friday morning and watched people removing bales from it.
Officers and agents from local, state and federal agencies descended. Authorities say the smugglers scattered but 14 were found hiding in bushes.
Another four were arrested later.
Authorities seized some 2,000 pounds of pot from the boat and from a truck believed involved with the smuggling operation that was stopped in Camarillo.
Calif co. recalling lead-tainted candy from India
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California importer and distributor is recalling a candy from India because it is contaminated with lead.
The California Department of Public Health says tests that it conducted show the Santos Rewadi Sugar candy contained levels of lead that exceed the state's standards.
Santos Inc. of San Leandro is recalling the candy and health officials say they're working with the company to remove the candies from stores.
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-LA VERNE
Brush fire burns near SoCal foothill homes
LA VERNE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have reduced the acreage of a brushfire in eastern Los Angeles County and say they're close to containing it.
County fire Inspector Keith Mora says the blaze, originally estimated at 40 acres, is actually about 27 acres. He also says there's no active flame showing and crews are expecting to knock down the blaze shortly.
The blaze erupted shortly before 1 p.m. Friday near La Verne and swiftly grew in the brushy foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
The Sheriff's Department evacuated nearby homes and a children's center but the only damage was to an outbuilding.
More than 100 firefighters, two Super Scooper airplanes and three helicopters are fighting the blaze.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.