Brown calls border crossings humanitarian issue
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown is calling the arrival of unaccompanied young migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border a humanitarian issue and says California will do its part.
But the Democratic governor offered no details Wednesday on what the state might do or what actions he might take.
Brown met with Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs at a lunch in Sacramento ahead of Brown's four-day trade mission to the neighboring country next week.
Both say they look forward to extending California's ties to Mexico by increasing trade, university exchanges and fighting climate change.
Among other goals, Brown says he wants to "deal with some issues on the refugees that are coming across the border." He added that "a lot of mutual investment" is needed in the long term to help Central American countries.
California seeks final ruling on teacher tenure
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California officials are asking a Los Angeles judge to finalize and justify his decision striking down tenure and other job protections for teachers, a precursor to a possible appeal.
Attorney General Kamala Harris filed papers on Monday seeking a formal ruling in the closely watched case from Judge Rolf Treu. In a tentative opinion issued six weeks ago, Treu found that a handful of laws governing the hiring and firing of the state's teachers deprive children of a quality education.
Gov. Jerry Brown declined to say Wednesday if he would appeal, but said this week's filing was designed to get clarification on the judge's legal reasoning.
Lawyers for the nine students who sued to overturn the law also have asked Treu to issue a final ruling in the case, known as Vergara v. California.
Southern California wildfire burns 78 acres
HEMET, Calif. (AP) - Firefighters are making progress against a wildfire that's burned 78 acres of brush in the inland region east of Los Angeles.
The Riverside County Fire Department says the fire broke out in small community of Aguanga shortly before 11 a.m. Wednesday.
It's 65 percent contained and full containment is expected Thursday morning.
No homes are threatened and there are no evacuations.
More than 200 firefighters are fighting the blaze in the community, which lies about 2,000 feet above sea level not far from Hemet and north of the Cleveland National Forest.
No injuries are reported and there's no word on what sparked the fire.
Jury gets case in Orange County nightclub death
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - An Orange County jury has begun deliberations as they decide whether two women are guilty of murder in the beating death of another woman outside a nightclub.
The jury got the case of the killing of 23-year-old Annie Kim Pham Wednesday afternoon and they'll continue deliberating Thursday.
Prosecutors in closing arguments said cellphone video and witness accounts prove Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala kicked the victim in the head during a fight outside the Santa Ana club in January.
Brito's attorney said prosecutors didn't prove what part of the chaotic fight killed Pham, and said she acted in fear and defense of a friend.
Jurors will consider second-degree murder or a lesser offense such as voluntary manslaughter.
Pham died after being taken off life support several days after the attack.
2nd ex-councilman sentenced for Bell corruption
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Another former Bell City Council member has been sentenced in the corruption scandal that engulfed the Los Angeles County community.
Prosecutors say 64-year-old George Cole was sentenced Wednesday to 180 days of home confinement, ordered to pay more than $77,000 in restitution and perform 1,000 hours of community service.
Prosecutors wanted a four-year prison sentence for Cole, who was convicted of two counts of misappropriation of public funds and pleaded no contest to one additional count.
He's the second of five former council members to be sentenced in the illegal pay scheme. Previously, George Mirabal was sentenced to a year in jail and $242,000 in restitution.
The scheme's mastermind, former City Manager Robert Rizzo, and his assistant have been sentenced to years in prison and repayment of millions of dollars.
HEAD COVER-HATE CRIME
Police: Man ripped head covering from Muslim woman
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Long Beach police say they're seeking a man who tore a formal head covering off a Muslim woman at a shopping center, an act being investigated as a hate crime.
Police released details of the incident Wednesday and a sketch and description of the man they say tore off the 32-year-old woman's hijab July 2 at a busy shopping center where there may have been witnesses.
Police say the woman was loading her car when he approached from behind and grabbed her head covering. They say he cursed and called it a "hijab," indicating he had some knowledge of Muslim culture.
They say he pulled and twisted it off her head, which choked the victim and scratched her neck. He walked away holding it in his hand.
The man is described as white and in his 30s with a thin build, brown hair and brown eyes.
Officials release sketch in peacock shooting death
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (AP) - Officials have released a sketch of a man suspected of shooting and killing a peacock from his Mercedes-Benz earlier this month in Southern California.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that witnesses told authorities they saw the suspect shooting the exotic bird with a pellet gun July 9 on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
Witnesses say the bird was standing in a driveway and the man fired from the driver's seat of the silver Mercedes sedan.
The newspaper reports more than 50 peafowl have been killed or injured in the past two years in the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Rolling Hills Estates areas.
Some of the killings were accidental, but a significant number apparently were intentional, prompting an investigation by animal control and law enforcement officials.
CHEF-WIFE'S BODY COOKED
Conviction upheld for chef in boiled-body case
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A state appeals court has upheld the second-degree murder conviction of a Southern California chef who claimed he cooked his wife's body in boiling water.
City News Service reports that a court panel on Wednesday rejected a claim that there was insufficient evidence to convict David Viens.
The chef is serving 15 years to life for the 2009 killing of his wife, Dawn.
Viens told investigators that during an argument, he bound and gagged his wife with duct tape, fell asleep and woke up to find her dead. Viens said he boiled her body for four days and dumped the remains in the trash. Her body was never found.
However, Viens later denied cooking his wife and said he'd just had surgery and was hallucinating when he spoke to detectives.
MORENO VALLEY SHOOTINGS
Police confirm dead man was suspect in 3 shootings
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - A sheriff's captain has confirmed that a man found dead in Riverside County is the lone suspect in the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of a deputy.
Capt. Joel Ontiveros said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that the man died from gunshot wounds that most likely came when the deputy returned fire.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that a police dog found the suspect's body in thick brush a few hundred yards from the house in Moreno Valley where authorities say he fired on the deputy.
Police say that he had already shot and killed a woman at a gas station and a man at a home several miles away a few hours earlier on Tuesday.
The suspect's name has not been released.
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