California appeals teacher tenure ruling
LOS ANGELES (AP) - California Gov. Jerry Brown has filed an appeal of a court ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for the state's teachers.
Attorney General Kamala Harris filed the appeal late Friday on behalf of the governor and the state.
The move came a day after Superior Court Judge Rulf Treu finalized his June ruling that found five laws violated the California Constitution by depriving some of the state's 6.2 million students of a quality education.
The governor's brief appeal cites the need for the issues to be addressed by a higher court and says Treu's decision lacked details on the legal basis for his reasoning.
MIDTERM ELECTIONS-CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR
GOP challenger tries novel tactics against Brown
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Republicans finally have a young, socially moderate, minority candidate running for governor in overwhelmingly Democratic California, but getting voters to pay attention may be the real challenge.
Gov. Jerry Brown has amassed nearly $23 million and is expected to cruise to re-election.
Former U.S. Treasury official and Republican Neel Kashkari is fighting for attention and taking an unconventional approach to get it. The 41-year-old is highlighting persistent poverty in the state, an unusual campaign theme for a Republican.
Brown has said that governing is the best way to show voters what he'd do if re-elected. He recently brokered a $7.5 billion water package and a rainy day fund proposal.
For many, the 76-year-old Democrat is the only one to reign in the most liberal impulses of the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature.
TEACHER'S TROUBLING TWEETS
California teacher reprimanded for sending tweets
NEWARK, Calif. (AP) - A teacher in Northern California has been disciplined for making threatening and explicit remarks about students on her Twitter account.
The Newark Unified School District gave a written reprimand to Newark High School teacher Krista Hodges, who tweeted between April and June that she wanted to stab and pour coffee on some of her students, according to the Oakland Tribune.
In one tweet she said some students "make my trigger finger itchy."
Interim Superintendent Tim Irwin says he consulted state education law, the Newark school board's policy and the teacher's union contract before disciplining Hodges.
Newark police are also investigating.
Hodges, who continues to teach at the school, says she deeply regrets sending the tweets and never expected anybody would take her seriously.
She has since deleted her account.
DEATHS IN THE FAMILY
Man who killed son now charged in 1st wife's death
WATERLOO, N.Y. (AP) - A man imprisoned in New York for killing his son to collect on his life insurance is now charged with murdering his first wife in 1991 for the same reason.
The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that Karl Karlsen was charged in Calaveras County, California, Friday with first-degree murder in the death of Christina Karlsen.
Karl Karlsen pleaded guilty in Seneca County in November to a charge of second-degree murder. He admits he allowed a truck to fall off a jack and onto his 23-year-old son, Levi, who was working underneath it in the town of Romulus in 2008.
Karlsen collected $700,000 in insurance after his son's death. He'd received $200,000 after the 1991 fire that killed Christina Karlsen, Levi's mother.
His attorney wasn't available to comment.
HIV case proves false; porn moratorium called off
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The advocacy group for the adult film industry has called off a production moratorium after just a day because a performer's HIV test turned out to be a false positive.
The Free Speech Coalition said in a statement Friday that further testing showed that the porn performer does not have HIV, and tests of the person's private and on-screen partners also came back negative.
The group had called for the industry-wide moratorium on Thursday after the unidentified performer had a test return positive. Such moratoriums aren't binding but generally bring compliance within the industry.
With the negative test, the porn industry has yet to have a reported case of HIV in 2014, after three in 2013.
CALIFORNIA DROUGHT-GROUNDWATER REGULATION
Lawmakers pass California groundwater regulations
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The worst drought in a generation has pushed state lawmakers to overhaul California's longstanding "pump-as-you-please" groundwater policy.
The state would begin regulating its groundwater supply for the first time under a package of bills lawmakers sent Friday to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The state Assembly voted 44-27 to send the bill, AB1739, to Brown. Two companion bills, SB 1168 and SB1319, were passed on 24-10 votes in the Senate.
The bills by Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson of Sacramento and Democratic Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills would require some local governments to develop groundwater-management plans. The state would be allowed to intervene if necessary.
The issue is critical as the state deals with its third year of drought. The Brown administration was involved in shaping the legislation.
GUN VIOLENCE-RESTRAINING ORDER
Lawmakers send gun restraining order bill to Brown
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Judges would be able to temporarily take firearms from people who show signs that they could harm themselves or others under a bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The legislation was sparked by the deadly rampage earlier this year of a 22-year-old man near the University of California, Santa Barbara.
AB1014 by Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley would make California the first state to let family members and law enforcement officers petition a judge for a temporary restraining order to prevent someone from possessing a firearm when they pose a threat.
Supporters say it would give families another way to intervene when they are worried about a loved one's mental health.
The Assembly approved it on a 47-25 vote Friday, with Republican lawmakers opposed, sending it to Brown.
Lawmakers protect in-state tuition for veterans
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers have approved legislation to offer in-state college tuition for veterans who were stationed in California immediately before being discharged.
Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine thanked legislative leaders for the bipartisan compromise, which ensures that California complies with a new federal requirement allowing veterans to qualify for in-state tuition.
Without the change, more than 78,000 veterans in California would risk losing their GI Bill benefits.
AB13 by Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway of Tulare requires community colleges and the California State University to update their policies and requests the same of the University of California.
It provides in-state tuition for veterans who were stationed in California on active duty for more than one year before being discharged.
AB13 passed both houses unanimously Friday and heads to the governor.
Refinery-inspection bill protects trade secrets
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Assembly has advanced legislation that would allow government regulators to monitor oil refinery shutdowns in response to a fire at Chevron's Richmond refinery in 2012. It also would allow oil companies to designate the information as a "trade secret."
SB1300 by Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock of Berkeley would protect information submitted to state officials from disclosure under the California Public Records Act.
The Assembly approved the bill on a 55-4 vote late Friday, sending it to the Senate.
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, another Berkeley Democrat, told lawmakers the bill does not change existing public records laws.
But media groups that oppose it say SB1300 would allow an oil refinery to challenge the release of documents and take anyone requesting them to court and pay legal fees if they lose.
California lifts part of quarantine on grape pest
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - State and federal agricultural officials are partially lifting a quarantine imposed for a moth that's eating grapes in Northern California's wine country.
California Agriculture Secretary Karen Moss said Friday that authorities had lifted the quarantine for the European grape moth in about 240 square miles in Solano, Napa and Sonoma County. Another 446 square miles in Sonoma and Napa counties remain under quarantine.
The moth comes from Italy and eats grapes and some other crops. Agriculture authorities first spotted the bug in Northern California in 2010. They imposed the quarantine to help protect the state's roughly $7 billion grape crop.
MARIJUANA FARMERS MARKET
Injunction blocks Los Angeles marijuana market
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge has blocked a marijuana farmers market in Los Angeles and ordered organizers to shut down their business.
A preliminary injunction was issued Friday against operation of the outdoor medical pot market in the Boyle Heights area. It prevents the market from being held pending a trial at a later date.
The California Heritage Market was held over several weekends earlier this year and attracted big crowds.
But City Attorney Mike Feuer claims the market violates Proposition D, a voter-approved measure that limited the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.
The judge also ruled that the market's sponsor, West Coast Collective, violated the measure and ordered it to shut down.
A call to the collective's attorney, David Welch, wasn't immediately returned.
FATAL DOG MAULING
Man whose dogs mauled woman guilty of murder
LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) - A Los Angeles County jury has found a man whose pit bulls mauled a woman to death guilty of murder.
Jurors on Friday returned the second-degree murder verdict for 31-year-old Alex Donald Jackson.
Jackson owned four pit bulls that mauled 63-year-old Pamela Devitt, who was on a morning walk in May, 2013 when she was attacked.
The coroner says she died from blood loss after being bitten 200 times.
Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 3. He could get 24 years to life in prison.
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