California farmers to get more water
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Officials say drought-stricken California farmers and cities are set to get more water as state and federal officials ease cutbacks due to recent rain and snow.
The Department of Water Resources said Friday it is increasing water allotments from the State Water Project from zero to 5 percent of what water districts have requested. The State Water Project supplies water to 29 public agencies serving more than 25 million Californians and irrigates nearly a million acres of farmland.
Also, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says it will supply 75 percent of the water requested by water agencies in the Sacramento Valley, up from the current 40 percent.
The state's increase to a 5 percent allocation will make a little more than 200,000 acre-feet available, an amount of water needed to sustain 400,000 families of four for about a year.
Federal and state officials say rain and snow in February and March allowed them to increase water allotments.
PG&E to be arraigned in fatal pipeline blast
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Pacific Gas and Electric Co. officials are set to appear in court on Monday to face federal felony charges involving safety violations tied to a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.
An indictment filed earlier this month charges the utility with 12 felony violations of federal pipeline safety laws, which could carry a total possible fine of $6 million, or more if the court decides it somehow benefited financially from the disaster.
Federal prosecutors allege that PG&E knowingly relied on erroneous and incomplete information when assessing the safety of the pipeline that eventually ruptured and sparked a fireball that destroyed 38 San Bruno homes.
Nearly four years later, the neighborhood where eight died and dozens injured is still recovering.
The company will be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. Monday in federal court in San Francisco.
RODENT REPTILE NEGLECT
Restitution ordered over dead, dying reptiles
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California exotic pet breeder who had 20,000 dead and dying rats and reptiles in a warehouse has avoided jail time but was ordered to pay more than $190,000 in restitution.
55-year-old Mitchell Steven Behm, of Coto de Caza, also was sentenced to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service at a hearing Wednesday.
He owned Global Captive Breeders in Lake Elsinore, 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, which sold exotic snakes and reptiles, along with rats for reptile food.
Behm and business manager David Delgado were arrested and initially charged with more than 100 counts each of felony animal cruelty. Behm negotiated a deal, pleading to a dozen misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Under its terms, Behm won't be able to own any animals or operate any animal-related businesses.
30-year-old Delgado, of Rialto, has pleaded guilty to a dozen felony counts and faces more than five years in prison. His sentencing hearing is in May.
DEADLY CAR CRASH
Girl, 3, killed in car crash
STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) - A 3-year-old girl was killed in Northern California after being ejected from a vehicle in a crash on Highway 99.
The California Highway Patrol says the crash, which occurred just before 1 p.m. Friday, involved two vehicles - one containing two adults and four children, the other containing two adults.
The CHP says one person was airlifted to the University of California, Davis, Medical Center.
The car that the dead toddler was riding in overturned several times, and all of the surviving passengers are hospitalized.
KCRA-TV reports that it's unclear what caused the accident.
SHOPPING CENTER SHOOTING
Man who opened fire outside OC mall sentenced
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A man who fired dozens of bullets outside an Orange County shopping mall the day after a deadly school shooting in Connecticut has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Mark Gurrola of Garden Grove was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to assault and shooting at an occupied building.
Gurrola drove to the Fashion Island parking lot in Newport Beach on Dec. 15, 2012. Authorities say he got out and fired 54 rounds from a Glock .40 handgun toward a building.
The gunfire didn't hit anything but it sent panicked shoppers running. A mother and 4-year-old daughter were knocked down and injured.
Gurrola surrendered to arriving police.
X-MEN DIRECTOR-SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT
Lawyer: Director not in Hawaii during alleged acts
HONOLULU (AP) - A defense attorney says credit card receipts, telephone records and production schedules show that "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer was not in Hawaii when a lawsuit claims he sexually abused a 17-year-old on the islands.
Defense attorney Marty Singer told The Associated Press on Friday that Singer was mainly in Toronto working on the first "X-Men" movie from August through October 1999.
A lawsuit filed by a former child model, Michael Egan III, says Singer abused him several times over those three months as well as earlier in California as part of a Hollywood sex ring led by another man convicted of luring minors across state lines for sex.
Egan said Thursday that he was abused by Bryan Singer and others starting when he was 15. He says he was given drugs and promises of a Hollywood career while being threatened and sexually abused in Los Angeles and Hawaii.
Tucson police: Suspect shot, was returning to bank
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a suspected bank robber was fatally shot by Tucson police after getting a box of ammunition from his vehicle.
Police also say the 35-year-old man was a fugitive wanted in California in connection with an assault on a peace officer.
His name was being withheld until relatives can be notified.
Police say they received a 911 call about a robbery in progress Thursday afternoon.
Officers saw a man matching the suspect's description walking out of the bank with a handgun.
Police say he ignored commands to stop and drop the gun.
He instead went to his SUV, got a box of ammunition and began walking back to the bank's front door when officers shot him.
Police say the man died in the parking lot.
PEANUT ALLERGY DEATH
Family sues Sacramento over peanut allergy death
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A Northern California couple has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Sacramento, alleging that officials at a city-operated camp were warned about their daughter's peanut allergy, and that the girl was conscientious about avoiding troublesome food.
The Sacramento Bee reports that 13-year-old Natalie Giorgi died after eating a Rice Krispie snack containing peanut butter on July 26 while her parents briefly stepped away. The lawsuit alleges that peanut butter was mixed into the snack and undetectable.
Louis Giorgi, who is a doctor, says he injected Natalie with epinephrine, but it was ineffective.
A city spokeswoman didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.
Man pleads not guilty to teen's kidnap-rape
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he kidnapped a 16-year-old Los Angeles girl as she walked home from school, raped her, then doused her with gas and tried to set her on fire.
Robert Ransom Jr. entered pleas last week to nine felony counts.
Prosecutors say Ransom forced the girl into a van at knifepoint on March 20, drove her to another location where she was raped and then drove her to an alley where she managed to run away.
City News Service says a witness reported seeing the teenager running naked down the alley with her mouth taped shut, her hands bound and her body dripping with gasoline.
Ransom's girlfriend, Juliana Tobar, pleaded not guilty last week to robbery.
Both remain jailed.
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