Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment

TONSILLECTOMY-BRAIN DEAD GIRL

Family of brain-dead Calif. girl weighs aid offers

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Relatives of a 13-year-old Northern California girl who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy are debating whether to accept offers from nursing homes and other groups that have proposed moving the child so she can be kept on life support.

The lawyer for Jahi McMath's family, Christopher Dolan, told the Oakland Tribune that a religious group with a facility in New York is among the organizations that have offered to care for the girl.

Dolan says the family is also discussing if it should accept the opinions of doctors who say Jahi has no chance of recovering, or if it should appeal a judge's decision that will allow Children's Hospital Oakland to remove her from the ventilator that is keeping her body functioning.

LAX SHOOTING

Suspect in LA airport shooting pleads not guilty

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) — The man authorities say killed a TSA screener and wounded three other people during a rampage at LAX last month has pleaded not guilty to murder and other felony charges in a case that could bring the death penalty.

Paul Ciancia (see-AHN'-see-uh), who was wounded before his arrest, occasionally touched a bandage on his neck and spoke in a hoarse voice during a three-minute arraignment on Thursday. He went before a federal magistrate at the West Valley Detention Center east of Los Angeles where there is a medical facility.

The diminutive defendant acknowledged his name in a near-whisper and that he had read his 11-count indictment.

Trial was set for Feb. 11 in a downtown Los Angeles federal court.

Authorities say the unemployed motorcycle mechanic arrived at the airport's Terminal 3 on Nov. 1 with the intention of killing TSA workers.

POLICE SHOOTING

Man fatally shot by police on Calif. school campus

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — Torrance police have fatally shot a man wanted for attempted murder after he was found on a middle school campus.

Sgt. Robert Watt says the man was pronounced dead at 1:35 p.m. Thursday after police found him on the campus of Madrona Middle School armed with a knife. School was not in session.

Watt says the man made threats over the phone to hurt and kill officers if he came into contact with them.

The man allegedly killed someone at 12:15 a.m. Thursday before he was located at 1:30 p.m.

The incident is under investigation.

OBIT-JEFFREY POLLACK

'Booty Call,' 'Above the Rim' director dies at 54

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A producer of TV's "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and writer-director of "Above the Rim" has died.

Police say Jeffrey Ian Pollack was found collapsed early Monday morning in the Greenbelt jogging area of Hermosa Beach, about 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles. Pollack was 54.

Authorities said Thursday they do not suspect foul play. Pollack was wearing jogging clothes and carrying an iPod when a passer-by discovered him and contacted police.

Pollack produced several seasons of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," as well as a Jennifer Lopez concert documentary. Besides "Above the Rim," Pollack directed the films "Booty Call" and "Lost & Found."

CALIFORNIA WATER

Interest payments boost Delta plans cost estimate

(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — New figures that factor in long-term financing costs have more than doubled the estimated $25 billion price tag of a plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

At the heart of the Delta plan are two underground tunnels that would replace the delta's current pumping system that endangers fish and other wildlife. State officials have pegged the entire project's cost, including the tunnels, at $25 billion.

But the San Jose Mercury News reports that when interest payments on bonds to finance the project are factored in, the estimated cost goes up to between $51 billion and $67 billion.

The figures were presented at a meeting of a Central Valley water district last month. The Mercury News says their accuracy was confirmed by the state Department of Water Resources.

TRANSGENDER STUDENT LAW

Calif. schools prepare for transgender rights law

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new law that spells out the rights of transgender students in kindergarten through 12th grade is set to take effect in California on Jan. 1. To get ready, school districts are reviewing locker room layouts, scheduling sensitivity training for staff and reconsidering senior portrait dress codes.

But educators also are watching and waiting. The first-of-its-kind statute could end up suspended within days of its launch if a referendum to repeal it qualifies for the November ballot.

To obtain a public vote on the law, a coalition of conservative groups has collected hundreds of thousands of signatures. Counties have until Jan. 8 to verify them through spot-checking.

The secretary of state can approve the referendum, determine that it failed or order a review of every signature.

JACK LONDON TREE

Jack London tree won't come down as scheduled

(Information in the following story is from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemocrat.com)

GLEN ELLEN, Calif. (AP) — A tree in Sonoma County that provided shade and inspiration to writer and adventurer Jack London is getting a reprieve from its scheduled removal.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley said this month that the oak tree, though suffering from a fungal disease, is healthy enough to continue standing for another two to 10 years. The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reports that it was scheduled to come down in November because of concerns that one of its branches could fall and damage London's nearby cottage or injure someone.

The 50-foot tall, 350- to 400-year-old tree sits on a ranch site in Glen Ellen that served as London's home from 1905 until his death in 1916. It is now a state park.