COLLEGE SEX-DEFINING CONSENT
California Legislature passes 'yes means yes' bill
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - State lawmakers have passed a bill that would make California the first state to define when "yes means yes" while investigating sexual assaults on college campuses.
The Senate unanimously passed SB967 on Thursday as states and universities across the U.S. are under pressure to change how they handle rape allegations. The bill now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Democratic Sen. Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles says his bill would begin a paradigm shift in how California campuses prevent and investigate sexual assault.
Rather than using the refrain "no means no," the definition of consent under the bill requires "an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision" by each party to engage in sexual activity.
It applies to all colleges and universities accepting state financial aid.
Teen's death leads to safeguards for some air guns
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Last year's fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy carrying a replica weapon has prompted state lawmakers to approve a bill requiring bright markings on certain air guns.
Democratic Sen. Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa said Thursday that she believes Andy Lopez would still be alive if SB199 had been law. The Santa Rosa boy was killed when a sheriff's deputy mistook his airsoft BB gun for a real AK-47.
The bill would apply to guns that fire pellets or BBs that are six millimeters or eight millimeters. They would have to have brightly colored surfaces or prominent fluorescent strips.
Several Republicans say criminals could simply paint real guns to confuse police.
The bill passed the Senate 22-12 Thursday and goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.
PLASTIC BAG BAN
Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Assembly has approved legislation that would impose the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.
SB270 passed on a 44-29 vote Thursday after failing to advance earlier in the week. It now heads to the Senate, where it must be approved by Sunday.
Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles says his bill will reduce the buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways that cost millions of dollars to cleanup.
SB270 also authorizes retailers to charge 10-cent fees for paper and reusable bags. Opponents of both parties say the fee unfairly punishes customers.
Plastic bag manufacturers have lobbied heavily against the bill, saying it will cost 2,000 manufacturing jobs in California. An influential grocer's union, which had withdrawn its support earlier, now backs the bill.
Feds to resume leasing for fracking in California
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Bureau of Land Management says it will resume oil and gas leasing for fracking on federal land in California next year.
The decision - announced on Thursday - comes after a new study commissioned by the BLM concluded that fracking as it's currently conducted in California isn't poisoning air or water or increasing the risks of earthquakes in the state.
The BLM stopped granting new oil and gas leases in California last year. A federal judge had found that the BLM failed to follow the law in approving fracking on public land in Monterey County.
The study commissioned by the BLM was conducted by the California Council for Science and Technology. The researchers acknowledged that the study was based on limited data.
Northern California wildfire forces evacuations
HAPPY CAMP, Calif. (AP) - A lightning-sparked wildfire in a Northern California forest has forced the evacuation of 200 to 250 scattered rural homes and other buildings.
Fire spokesman Ken Sandusky says mandatory evacuations were ordered Wednesday night because of concerns that the fire could quickly cover the 10 miles separating it from the community of Scott River Valley.
Officials say the blaze in the Klamath National Forest continues to grow Thursday, pushed by westerly winds sending embers far ahead of the main blaze.
The fire has grown to about 50 square miles and is 20 percent contained since starting two weeks ago.
An evacuation center has been set up in Yreka.
LA POLICE SHOOTING
LAPD releases names of officers in deadly shooting
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles police have released the names of two officers who shot and killed a black man two weeks ago.
The LAPD on Thursday identified them as veteran gang officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas.
Authorities say they wanted to make sure there were no threats to the officers' safety before identifying them.
Police say the officers killed 25-year-old Ezell Ford Aug. 11 in South Los Angeles. Police say Ford was not carrying a weapon, but had tackled one officer and tried to grab his gun.
The shooting prompted protests and calls for action from black community leaders in Southern California.
A family member has said that Ford had schizophrenia and other disorders.
Ford's autopsy results have been withheld at the LAPD's request. The department says it doesn't want potential shooting witnesses to read or hear about the details until investigators have interviewed them.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA STORM SURF
Southern California gets more big surf
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Big waves generated by a former hurricane in the eastern Pacific continue to roll onto Southern California beaches but the National Weather Service says the surf has peaked.
Breakers chewed away at beaches again Thursday and provided thrills for surfers and shoreline crowds, but meteorologists say high surf advisories should expire by Friday evening. They continue to warn of potential danger, however.
The National Hurricane Center says the source of the swells, Tropical Storm Marie, is expected to be further downgraded Thursday night as it moves northwestward, some 800 miles off Mexico's coast.
San Diego man accused of intentional spread of HIV
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The city attorney's office of San Diego has filed a complaint against a man accusing him of intentionally infecting at least one person with HIV.
Spokesman Michael Giorgino said the city's attorney's office presented the court a complaint Thursday alleging Thomas Miguel Guerra intentionally infected a man with the virus that can cause AIDS.
Guerra has pleaded not guilty to a previous count of violating the city's Health and Safety code.
Attorney James M. V. Fitzpatrick said his client maintains his innocence and will enter a not guilty plea again when he is arraigned Sept. 2 for the amended complaint that specifies HIV.
Fitzpatrick said the allegations were made by a boyfriend from a bad break-up and are baseless.
The misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail.
HIV case spurs call for porn production moratorium
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The advocacy group for the adult film industry has called for an industrywide production moratorium after a performer tested positive for HIV.
The Free Speech Coalition called for the moratorium Thursday.
The group's CEO, Diane Duke, says the performer is undergoing additional tests to confirm the diagnosis, but the coalition is calling for the production halt in an abundance of caution. Such moratoriums aren't binding but generally bring compliance within the industry.
The group didn't release the name or any details about the performer.
This is the industry's first reported case of HIV in 2014 after three in 2013.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which successfully fought to require condoms for porn actors in Los Angeles city and county, calls it "tragic" repeat of last year's cases and says it underscores the need for statewide action.
VICE PRINCIPAL-GUN ARREST
Police release Bakersfield vice principal with gun
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) - Bakersfield police say they arrested a vice principal for taking a gun on to the campus of his junior high school, but later released him after determining he broke no laws.
Sgt. Joe Grubbs says 51-year-old Kent Williams was released Thursday afternoon when police learned his concealed weapons permit allowed him to carry the gun on campus.
Grubbs says the district had contacted police, and when an officer approached Williams at Tevis Junior High he said the gun was in his backpack and was cooperative when he was booked.
Williams was placed on administrative leave by the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District.
Assistant Superintendent Gerrie Kincaid tells the Bakersfield Californian Williams still violated district policy by not getting permission to carry a concealed weapon on campus.
Williams could not immediately be reached for comment.
Woman charged in Los Angeles suburb church arsons
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) - A woman has been charged with setting seven fires - including two at churches - in a Los Angeles suburb.
Sixty-three-year-old Barbara Nania was charged Thursday with seven counts of arson and one count of terrorism. She's jailed and it wasn't immediately known whether she had a lawyer.
Prosecutors say Nania set the fires in El Segundo, where she lives.
The fires were set in or near stores and at least two churches. Authorities say in one case, Nania started a fire in the lobby of an Episcopal church during a service but parishioners put it out.
The fires didn't cause much damage and authorities haven't said what prompted the attacks.
If convicted, Nania faces up to 13 years and four months in state prison.
Los Angeles utility worker shocked by power line
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities say a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee is in critical condition after he was shocked by a 4,800-volt power line.
The agency says the employee was working on overhead electrical lines in Encino when he touched a wire shortly before 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
The agency says the man was rescued by co-workers and paramedics.
City News Service says he was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
About 460 customers were briefly left without power after the accident.
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