FATAL HIT AND RUN
Woman killed after being hit by SF parks vehicle
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities say a woman who was lying with her daughter in a San Francisco park was run over by a maintenance vehicle and died later at a hospital.
The driver apparently fled the scene, but was later detained and questioned. Police found the green San Francisco Recreation and Parks' vehicle not too far from Holly Park in the city's Bernal Heights neighborhood.
Authorities say the woman and her daughter were under some trees when the vehicle struck her shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge says the woman was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead from her injuries.
The name of the woman hasn't been released. Her daughter was unharmed.
Police spokeswoman Tracy Turner says the department's hit-and-run unit is investigating the incident.
Historic downtown LA trolley derails; no injuries
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A historic Los Angeles trolley derailed Thursday after an electrical issue caused one of its two rail cars to come off the tracks.
No one was hurt, but six people were helped off the train. Only one was riding on the derailed car.
Angels Flight Railway President John H. Welborne said in a statement that a grounding brush for one of the cars had malfunctioned, depleting its batteries.
The lack of power triggered the trolley's safety system and shut down operations. A rail brake caused the rear wheels on the car to lift.
The railway will be running again once electrical issues are resolved and the California Public Utilities Commission approves.
The tiny funicular dubbed "the shortest railway in the world" has had a history of safety problems.
12 workers indicted in LA-area school book thefts
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors say 12 employees from four Southern California school districts have been indicted for stealing thousands of textbooks.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement Thursday that those arrested in a huge scheme set up by a book buyer include two librarians, a campus supervisor and a former warehouse manager.
Those indicted come from financially troubled school districts in Los Angeles, Inglewood, Lynwood and Bellflower.
The indictment alleges that the employees were recruited by 43-year-old Corey Frederick, operator of Doorkeeper Textz in Long Beach, who paid school employees anywhere from $600 to $47,000 per person for stolen books, then resold them between 2008 and 2010.
Twelve of the 13 indicted pleaded not guilty. The status of the 13th was unclear.
BIG-RIG FREEWAY CRASH
Rig hits overpass, closes side of I-10 east of LA
FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — A big-rig crashed into an under-construction overpass on Interstate 10 in Southern California, shutting down the entire westbound side during evening rush hour.
San Bernardino Associated Governments spokesman Tim Watkins says the tractor-trailer carrying a front-end loader with its bucket raised hit the supports of the bridge at Citrus Avenue in Fontana at about 5 p.m. Thursday The bridge is about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.
The California Highway Patrol says westbound traffic was backed up for miles afterward. All lanes were open again about four hours later.
Watkins says the crash shifted several steel I beams acting as temporary supports that were scheduled to be removed next week. They were instead removed Thursday and the rest of the overpass shored up.
Police arrest 21 people in LA Wal-Mart protest
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police have arrested 21 people protesting Wal-Mart's working conditions and firing practices, including seven company workers and 12 members of the clergy.
Police spokeswoman Officer Rosario Herrera says protesters were blocking an intersection shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday and were arrested for failing to disperse.
Rally organizers say the protest in the Chinatown district, where a Walmart store is planned, was one of 15 across the country. More than 1,000 current and former Wal-Mart workers and supporters marched through downtown calling on the company to reinstate illegally fired and disciplined workers and improve wages.
On Wednesday a Superior Court judge blocked construction of a Walmart in Burbank after residents filed suit.
A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. representative called the protests publicity stunts and not representative of the store's workers.
LA County deputies ID 3 in shooting of girl, 7
PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has identified three men arrested in connection with a car-to-car shooting that critically wounded a 7-year-old girl in Palmdale.
Officials said Thursday that detectives arrested 22-year-old Jesus Peralta of Palmdale, 19-year-old Carlos Peralta of Palmdale, and 20-year-old Eduardo Diaz of Littlerock. They were booked on suspicion of attempted murder and are being held on $1 million bail.
Detectives aren't looking for additional suspects.
Authorities said the incident occurred at about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday with an argument between occupants of two cars at a gas station in the high desert city.
When the girl and her family drove away, they were followed by the other car and multiple gunshots were fired in a chase through a residential neighborhood.
The shooting remains under investigation.
SAN DIEGO MAYOR
First-term councilman joins San Diego mayoral race
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A first-term city councilman considered a progressive Democrat has joined the crowded field of San Diego mayoral contenders.
Councilman David Alvarez announced Thursday that he plans to run in the upcoming special election that was called after former Mayor Bob Filner resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
Alvarez is a Democrat who draws support from working-class neighborhoods and shares many of the same political views as Filner.
City elections are nonpartisan, but party affiliation brings money and organizational muscle. Democrats have a 13-point lead in voter registration. Filner was the first Democrat to lead the city in 20 years and only the second in four decades.
The race has more than a dozen candidates so far.
If no candidate wins a majority, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff.
Atherton to pay costs related to Obama fundraisers
(Information in the following story is from: KPIX-TV.)
ATHERTON, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California town will pick up the tab for police services associated with two private fundraisers attended by President Obama earlier this year.
KPIX-TV reports Atherton officials got no response after sending an $8,000 bill to the White House, the Secret Service and the Democratic National Committee.
The city also hit up the owners of the homes that hosted the fundraisers, Levi Strauss heir John Goldman and venture capitalist Mark Heising.
"'No thanks' was the response," says City Attorney William Conners.
At a public hearing Wednesday it was determined the city would pay, since no one told the party hosts they were responsible.
Officials say in the future anyone who hosts an event that requires extra police security will be warned they'll have to pay up.
POLICE TASER SETTLEMENT
OC city paid $1.3M in police Taser death case
(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — The city of Garden Grove paid $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit over the death of an unarmed man who died after police used a Taser on him five years ago.
The Orange County Register reports Thursday that the settlement occurred last year and came to light after the newspaper filed a public records request for the city's financial records.
The incident began with 911 calls, including one from 32-year-old Andy Tran's father, reporting that Tran was acting crazy, had hit someone and needed to be hospitalized. The first officer who arrived found Tran compliant, but a second fired a Taser into Tran's leg. Tran fell to the ground and soon died.
An autopsy showed Tran died of a heart attack, and a pathologist said the Taser probably contributed.
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER MOLESTATION
Calif. school bus driver charged with molestation
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California school bus driver has been charged with molesting two boys more than a decade ago.
Santa Cruz County prosecutors say 47-year-old Ruben Ceballos Cobarruvias of Watsonville plead not guilty to two counts of child molestation during his arraignment on Thursday.
Sheriff's deputy Ryan Kennedy says Cobarruvias, a bus driver at the VHM Christian School in Live Oak, was taken into custody Tuesday after investigators determined he had made illegal contact with his alleged victims, who are now in their 20s, about 10 years ago.
Kennedy says Cobarruvias was a school janitor at the time of the alleged incidents.
Authorities believe that there may be potentially more victims.
Cobarruvias is being held on $50,000 bail and is due back in court on Sept. 16.
Ex-Calif police officer faces civil rights charges
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former San Bernardino police officer has been indicted on civil rights charges after authorities say he forced two prostitutes to have sex with him while he was on duty.
Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles said 46-year-old Jose Jesus Perez was arrested Thursday in Denton, Texas. He's expected to make his initial court appearance Friday.
Perez is accused of forcing sex on two women in 2011 who told investigators they consented only because they feared retribution because he was a police officer.
If convicted, Perez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Perez was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1997 where he worked for 11 years. He then went to work for San Bernardino, which fired him in December.
TRASH BIN SLAYING-VEGAS
2 arrested in Calif. in Vegas trash bin slaying
(Information in the following story is from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities in Las Vegas say two men have been arrested on felony murder and conspiracy charges in the beating death of a homeless man whose body was found last month in a suitcase in a trash bin.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that 43-year-old Emilio Evalio Arenas was arrested Aug. 28 in San Diego and 37-year-old Peyton Hemingway was arrested Aug. 30 in Santa Ana, Calif., in the death of 50-year-old Carl Renae Simon.
Records showed Arenas was returned Wednesday in custody to Las Vegas to face charges.
Hemingway is jailed in California pending his extradition to Nevada.
Police say Simon had been staying with Arenas and Hemingway and was killed in a dispute over drugs and money before his body was found Aug. 12 east of downtown.
STALLED AMTRAK TRAIN
Calif. Amtrak train moving again after breakdown
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California Amtrak train is on the move again after breaking down shortly after leaving Oakland, leaving passengers stalled for over three hours.
Amtrak spokesman Vernae Graham said Thursday that train 714's locomotive experienced mechanical trouble about 50 minutes after departing the Jack London Square station at 10:05 a.m.
Amtrak sent a backup locomotive and the train was moving again by about 2:30 p.m., on its way to its final destination in Bakersfield.
Graham says the 52 passengers on the train were never without power or air conditioning during the delay.
California man accused of mooning Alaska troopers
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 31-year-old Northern California man is accused of causing a disturbance at an Alaska airport, mooning state troopers and resisting arrest.
Charles F. Helzer of North Highlands, Calif., is under arrest on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Alaska State Troopers say they responded to a report Tuesday about an intoxicated man who was causing a disturbance at the Kodiak state airport.
Troopers say that while they were investigating, Helzer exposed his buttocks to them, challenged them to a fight and resisted arrest.
The Alaska Public Defender Agency has been assigned to represent Helzer. A representative of the agency says no particular attorney has been assigned to the case yet.