Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment


Hospital won't aid transfer of girl on ventilator

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A California hospital is unwilling to allow an outside doctor to fit a 13-year-old declared brain dead after tonsil surgery with the breathing and feeding tubes that would allow her to be safely transferred to another facility.

Lawyer Douglas Straus said Tuesday that Children's Hospital Oakland would not permit the procedures on its premises because Jahi McMath is legally dead in the view of the doctors who have examined her.

But Straus reiterated in a letter to the lawyer representing McMath's mother that the hospital would release the girl's body as soon as her family provided a detailed plan about accomplishing the move.

Meanwhile, a state appeals court judge on Tuesday refused to order the hospital to insert the tubes, saying the issue has to go first to a lower court judge.


Authorities ID 4 killed in apparent murder-suicide

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have identified the couple and two children who are dead after a suspected murder-suicide at a Southern California home.

A posting on the San Bernardino County coroner's website identifies them as 38-year-old Ramon Miranda, 34-year-old Silvia Miranda, 10-year-old Rayna Miranda and 12-year-old Ramon Miranda Jr.

Police called to a home in Fontana on Monday night found the family of four shot to death. The woman and children had been shot several times and the man was shot once in the head.

Police say they suspect the man killed the others before turning the gun on himself.

There's no word on a motive.


HP confirms higher layoffs expected

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Personal computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. has confirmed that it expects layoffs at the upper end of a range that it outlined earlier this year, with 5,000 more workers than originally planned expected to lose jobs by October 2014.

The company said in a securities filing Monday that "continued market and business pressures" were behind the move. The cuts add to 29,000 positions it planned to cut in a May 2012 restructuring plan.

Hewlett-Packard said in March that its estimated cutbacks could vary by as much as 15 percent from its original estimate. At an October meeting with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak said the company planned to end up "near the high end" of that range.

HP shares rose 10 cents to $28.17 in midday trading Tuesday.


California marks 2013 as historically dry year

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a large swath of California, 2013 is closing out as the driest year on record, marked by above-normal temperatures and thirsty reservoirs.

While a drought has not been declared, some communities have urged residents to conserve water.

Dozens of cities from Sacramento to Los Angeles saw historically parched conditions that set new marks in record-keeping that in some cases dates back more than a century.

The lack of rainfall does not bode well for the winter's first snow survey that will be released on Friday.

Already, many of the state's major reservoirs are below average for the month.

December is typically one of the wettest months. Despite an arid month, forecasters say there's still hope for rain in the coming months.


Riverside police kill man armed with gun at park

(Information in the following story is from: The Press-Enterprise,

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Riverside police have shot and killed a man they say pulled a gun on them at a park.

The Los Angeles Times says two officers contacted the man at Arlington Park at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Authorities say that's when he pulled a handgun and was shot. He died at the scene.

His name hasn't been released.

The officers weren't injured.


11 treated after gas leak at LA refinery

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say a leak at a Los Angeles oil refinery sent nearly a dozen workers to the hospital after they were exposed to toxic sulfur dioxide gas.

The Los Angeles Fire Department says the leak was reported at about 10 a.m. at the Phillips 66 refinery in the Wilmington area.

City News Service says 11 people with possible breathing problems were examined at hospitals and released.

After about an hour, authorities reported there was no active leak and no danger to the community.

Phillips 66 spokesman Rich Johnson says other employees and contract workers were safe and the refinery is operating normally.


Fire guts vacant S. Calif. bowling alley

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — More than 100 firefighters have contained a suspicious fire that gutted a vacant Southern California bowling alley and sent pillars of smoke and flame into the sky.

The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in San Bernardino.

City fire spokesman Tom Rubio says 120 firefighters battled the blaze in the boarded-up, 20,000-square foot building.

He says the fire sent 50-foot flames through the roof, most of which collapsed. The intense heat forced fire crews to battle the flames from outside on ladders and with hoses on the ground.

At its peak, the building was a sea of flame and massive pillars of black and white smoke boiled into the sky.

It took about an hour to contain the blaze.

Authorities say the fire is considered suspicious.


West Sacramento company recalls cashew cheese

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California company is voluntarily recalling all flavors of its cashew cheese because it might be contaminated by salmonella.

The Cultured Kitchen of West Sacramento said the affected cheese includes all those with expiration dates until April 19, 2014. It was sold in 8-ounce round containers at natural food stores and farmers markets in the Sacramento Valley, San Francisco Bay Area and Reno, the company said Tuesday.

The Cultured Kitchen said the recall was initiated after it was suspected that raw materials used to make the cashew cheese could have been contaminated "with a specific strain of salmonella found almost exclusively in Southeast Asia, where the company's cashews are sourced."

The listed flavors are herb, smoked cheddar, pepper jack, habanero cilantro lime, pesto, basil pesto and white cheddar.

Consumers who purchased the affected products are advised to return them to their place of purchase or throw them away.


SF police fire at suspect during high-speed chase

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police in San Francisco say one officer was injured and a man is in custody after officers opened fire on the suspect during a wild high-speed chase across the city.

Police say the incident began shortly before 9 p.m. Monday in the Bayview District when officers attempted to pull over a man they suspected had a weapon in a rental car with Nevada license plates.

A chase ensued through the city before ending near Golden Gate Park.

Deputy Chief Lyn Tomioka says police shot at the suspect after he hit an officer on foot. The officer suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital and released.

The suspect, who tried to run away, was arrested and taken to the hospital after suffering non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.


Contempt motion tossed for Costa Mesa official

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — A judge in Orange County has refused to hold Costa Mesa's mayor pro tem in contempt of court for revealing confidential information that someone placed a tracking device on his truck during the 2012 election season.

The Los Angeles Times reports Judge David Hoffer denied a contempt motion by the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Association. Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger and Mayor Jim Righeimer have sued the police association, claiming they were harassed and intimidated so the organization could have leverage in contract negotiations.

The association asserts Mensinger and his lawyers violated a court order that sealed results of two search warrants served in an investigation involving the police association. Some of the information included the tracking device placed on Mensinger's truck.


Security beefed up for New Year's Day Rose Parade

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Police in Pasadena plan to beef up security measures for the 125th Rose Parade in the wake of bombings at the Boston Marathon.

The Pasadena Star-News reports police will use bomb-sniffing dogs and a wide range of video surveillance to detect any suspicious behavior during the New Year's Day parade, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of revelers.

Police Chief Phillip Sanchez also estimates there will be more than 1,100 officers that will patrol the parade route. Several protests are planned.

Many parade-goers will camp out overnight to secure prime viewing spots. The theme of the parade is "Dreams Come True." Temperatures are expected to reach to the mid-70s on Wednesday.


Gang member convicted as teen to be released early

(Information in the following story is from: Daily Breeze,

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — A gang member who was 13 years old when a Carson woman was killed is scheduled to be released from a juvenile facility two years earlier than expected, angering the victim's family.

The Daily Breeze reported Tuesday that 22-year-old Doheen Pratt was given a discharge by a juvenile parole board and could be released as early as this week. Pratt was convicted of murdering 19-year-old Nicole Williamson who was killed in 2003.

Pratt received a nearly 10-year sentence in 2006, the maximum term possible for a 13-year-old. Had Pratt been 14 years old, he could have been tried as an adult.

Williamson's family has repeatedly attended parole hearings, urging state authorities to keep Pratt locked up. They say Pratt has never expressed remorse or apologized to them.