Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment


Police officers on trial in death of homeless man

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Opening statements are underway in the trial of two California police officers charged in the death of a homeless man whose family says was schizophrenic.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (ruh-KAW'-kuhs) said Monday that Fullerton officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are responsible for the death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas in July 2011.

Ramos has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Cicinelli has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

Thomas died five days after a violent confrontation with six officers who responded to a call about a man jiggling car door handles in a transit center parking lot.

The case fueled months of protests that led to the resignation of the police chief and a recall election in Fullerton.


Citrus growers brace for California cold snap

(Information in the following story is from: The Fresno Bee,

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Citrus farmers in California's Central Valley are bracing for a cold snap that could see temperatures drop below freezing.

The National Weather Service in Hanford has issued a freeze watch for the central and southern San Joaquin Valley starting late Wednesday and continuing through Saturday.

Meteorologist Jim Andersen tells the Fresno Bee temperatures are expected to fall into the high 20s and low 30s.

Anderson says the normal high temperature in Fresno this time of year is 59 degrees. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the high was 69 on Saturday.

Citrus growers are monitoring the weather to determine whether they should begin defensive procedures against the cold. But Bob Blakely of the California Citrus Mutual says it's still too early to tell yet what should be done.


No-fly lawsuit set for trial in California

(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News,

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal court in San Francisco is set to hear a legal challenge to the government's "no-fly" list from a former Stanford doctoral student who claims she was mistakenly put on it.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Rahinah Ibrahim's lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is scheduled to go to trial on Monday.

Ibrahim, who is now living in her home country of Malaysia, says she was preparing to board a Hawaii-bound plane at San Francisco International Airport in 2005 when she was arrested and told her name was on the terrorist watch list.

Ibrahim has denied any connection to terrorism.

Civil liberties advocates say they are hopeful the trial will shed light on how the government assembles the no-fly list.

A U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman declined comment to the Mercury News.


Man found shot to death in car parked in Norwalk

NORWALK, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles County authorities are investigating the death of a man found shot to death in a car.

City News Service reports the shooting occurred late Sunday behind an oil change and brake service station in Norwalk.

While searching the area, deputies found the man with a gunshot wound sitting in the driver's seat.

Deputy Kim Manatt says the victim was declared dead at the scene.

Sheriff's homicide detectives are investigating.


3.9 magnitude quake strikes near Gilroy

GILROY, Calif. (AP) — A moderate earthquake shook the southern end of the San Francisco Bay area overnight.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 3.9 quake was reported at 2:09 a.m. Monday four miles south of Gilroy in Santa Clara County.

A police dispatcher there says there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The USGS says the quake occurred at a depth of 3.7 miles. The epicenter was nine miles northwest of Hollister and 112 miles south of Sacramento.


Fire planned at Palmdale Lake to help blackbird

(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times,

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — A planned burn of vegetation around a lake in northern Los Angeles County is designed to improve the habitat of the tricolored blackbird.

The Los Angeles Times reports the burn around Palmdale Lake starts Monday and will last through Thursday.

Sheriff's officials say cattail vegetation surrounding the 300-acre Antelope Valley lake has been choking out the blackbird's nesting habitat.

The burn is being conducted by county fire officials with support by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The tricolored blackbird, known for its distinctive white stripes and red shoulder patches, is native to the Pacific coast.


California city on verge of reverse incorporation

(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times,

JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Jurupa Valley is California's newest city. It may also be the first city to disincorporate in decades.

Two days before Jurupa Valley became an official city in 2011, the state decided that money normally given to new cities should be spent on law enforcement instead.

The city has since shaved every possible expense. It meets in a rented western-wear shop, owns no property, has no police or fire departments and is run by a skeleton staff of contractors.

Jurupa Valley is located just west of Riverside and had 94,000 residents. The Los Angeles Times says the city is operating on $17 million a year after the state cut about $7 million.

A state lawmaker has been trying to fix things but says the money to help may not exist.


Jennifer Lopez to receive parenting honor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jennifer Lopez is being honored by the March of Dimes.

Lopez, the 44-year-old mother of 5-year-old twins, Maximilian and Emme, will receive the Grace Kelly Award at the eighth annual March of Dimes luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Friday. She's being recognized as a celebrity parent role model supporting women giving birth to healthy babies after full-term pregnancies.

The 75-year-old nonprofit organization aims to prevent birth defects, premature births and infant mortality.

A&E networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc and Dr. Balaji Govindaswami, chief of newborn medicine at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, will also be honored.

Lopez said in a statement: "As a mother myself, I am aware of the importance of healthful pregnancies and babies."

Reese Witherspoon was honored at last year's event.