BC-CA--California News Digest, CA

The supervisor in Los Angeles will be John Antczak. If you have a news tip or questions about the report, call 213-626-1200. The supervisor in San Francisco will be Sudhin Thanawala. He can be reached at 415-495-1708.

Richard Vogel in Los Angeles photos can be reached at 213-626-2500. Stephanie Mullen in San Francisco photos can be reached at 415-495-1192.

AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk at 877-836-9477 or your local AP bureau. All times Pacific.



SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Deanna Kremis and her two teenage sons, ages 13 and 17, all share an inherited heart condition and all three have had life-saving heart transplants in the past few years. Matthew, 17 and Trevin, 13, were so weak with the disease they couldn't run, play or climb stairs when they had heart transplants within weeks of each other in 2007. Then, as their health improved, their mother's began to fail. Deanna, now 44, was diagnosed with the same condition as an adult and got her own transplant a few months ago - leaving the family with something big to celebrate this holiday season. By Gillian Flaccus. 1,100 words, photos, video.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The agency overseeing California's health insurance exchange offers a bit of breathing room for consumers who tried but failed to meet Monday's deadline for coverage starting in the new year, as its website and call centers were overwhelmed by last-minute demand. It did not formally extend the sign-up deadline beyond Monday, as the Obama administration did for the 36 states using the federal health insurance exchange. But as high volume threatened to undermine the deadline-day attempts of thousands of consumers, the agency offered help for people who were trying to enroll. Executive Director Peter Lee told reporters that Covered California will institute a "grace period" for those who attempted to get coverage Monday but were unable to sign up. By Tom Verdin. SENT: 800 words.


LOS ANGELES — It's the hottest, hardest, most grueling foot race in the world, says Shannon Farar-Griefer who has run the Badwater 135 ultramarathon through Death Valley in the summer five times. Which is exactly why she keeps coming back, Farar-Griefer says, and why every other ultra runner in the world has it on their bucket list to someday take on the challenge of running 135 miles through the hottest place on Earth in the middle of the summer. Next year, for the first time in 37 years, runners won't be able to do that. Death Valley National Park recently put a moratorium on foot and cycling races through the desert hot spot 200 miles east of Los Angeles while they study ways to make the events safer. By John Rogers. SENT: 675 words, photos.



OAKLAND, Calif. — An Oakland family whose 13-year-old daughter has been declared brain dead is hoping to celebrate Christmas in the hospital with her after a judge ordered hospital officials to keep her connected to a breathing machine. Jahi McMath was declared brain dead after experiencing complications following a tonsillectomy at Children's Hospital in Oakland. As her family sat stone-faced in the front row of the courtroom, an Alameda County judge on Monday called for Jahi to be independently examined by Paul Graham Fisher, the chief of child neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine. By Jason Dearen and Channing Joseph. SENT: 830 words, photos.


In a strong sign that the America's Cup could return to San Francisco in 2017, Mayor Ed Lee has proposed to organizers that the main venue and team bases be centralized on the Embarcadero and that the schedule be more consistent and condensed. Lee said in a letter to the America's Cup Event Authority that the city is making the proposal "with great enthusiasm, guided by the lessons learned and practical experience of the 34th America's Cup." The city and the America's Cup Event Authority must still agree to a host city agreement for the 35th America's Cup, with that agreement needing the approval of the Board of Supervisors. By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 900 words.


— SAN JOSE PENSIONS — A judge has ruled that San Jose cannot implement voter-approved cuts to employee pensions, but can cut salaries to meet the savings expected from the reduced pensions.



SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Zoo said Monday that a female Malayan tiger was fatally mauled by her intended mate during an attempt to breed. The female tiger, named Tiga Tahun, died Saturday of neck injuries and breathing difficulties, the zoo said. It was the first breeding encounter for either animal, the only Malayan tigers at the facility. No visitors saw the attack. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 320 words, photo.


PASADENA, Calif. — A NASA spacecraft has sent holiday greetings from the outer solar space. The space agency on Monday released dazzling new images of the ringed planet Saturn and its moons. The Cassini spacecraft took the pictures earlier this year. SENT: 115 words, photos.


— TUBERCULOSIS-HIGH SCHOOL — Health officials say test results have fallen within an expected range for a Southern California high school where a student was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

— CHRISTMAS TREE FIRE — A fire that started with a Christmas tree cost a Southern California family their home, two of their three vehicles, and all of their Christmas presents, but all seven family members safely escaped.

— INVASIVE MUSSELS — Water district managers say an invasive and potentially destructive mussel appears to have spread to Lake Piru (pye-ROO), marking its first appearance in Ventura County.

— WOMAN BURNED-TOLL ROAD — A 63-year-old woman was severely burned when a fire broke out in her vehicle on a Southern California toll road.



Disney CEO Bob Iger's pay package shrank 7 percent for 2013, despite the entertainment company's strong financial performance during the year. Iger received compensation valued at $34.3 million for the year, down from $37.1 million last year. SENT: 200 words.



SAN FRANCISCO — On a night they cheered "The Catch" and all the San Francisco greats of old, the current 49ers looked ready to move that success right into the future at a flashy new stadium. In one emphatic finish, NaVorro Bowman, Colin Kaepernick and the Niners sealed their postseason berth in a ceremonious regular-season farewell for Candlestick Park. Bowman returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown with 1:10 remaining, and the 49ers clinched a playoff spot with a wild 34-24 victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night in the likely final game at The Stick. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 900 words, photos.


SAN DIEGO — Chargers rookie coach Mike McCoy refused Monday to divulge any information about Ryan Mathews' injured left ankle but said he expects the running back to play in Sunday's regular-season finale against Kansas City. Mathews, who's having a career year, had a bandage on his left ankle after Sunday's 26-13 victory against Oakland that helped keep alive San Diego's long-shot playoff hopes. Mathews left the stadium wearing a protective boot. By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 475 words, photo.


ALAMEDA, Calif. — Terrelle Pryor will start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, replacing Matt McGloin for the final regular-season game against the Denver Broncos. Coach Dennis Allen made the announcement at the end of his news conference Monday, saying it was "part of the plan" that apparently took shape when Pryor recovered from an injury to his right knee in late November. By Michael Wagaman. SENT: 725 words, photos.

See also:

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, which moves weekdays at 1 p.m.

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, ADD, which moves weekdays at 4 p.m.

—NEVADA NEWS DIGEST, which moves daily at 1:30 p.m.

Technical problems may be reported to 213-626-5833 in Los Angeles or 415-495-1124 in San Francisco.

Send Southern California stories by electronic carbon, fax 213-346-0200 or email losangeles@ap.org. Send Northern California stories by electronic carbon, fax 415-495-4967 or email sanfrancisco@ap.org.