GPS SERIAL KILLINGS-LAWMAKER
State Senate leader seeks review of GPS tracking
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The leader of the state Senate is seeking an independent review of how parole officers tracked a sex offender charged with four Southern California slayings.
A spokesman said Wednesday that Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will ask the corrections department's inspector general to review the monitoring of 27-year-old Franc Cano, but doubts that GPS tracking could have deterred the crimes.
Cano was wearing a GPS monitor when he and a co-defendant are charged with raping and killing four women in Orange County.
The inspector general previously found significant failures after investigating high-profile cases involving paroled sex offenders. Phillip Garrido was convicted of keeping Jaycee Dugard hidden at his Contra Costa County home for 18 years, while John Gardner is serving a life sentence for killing two San Diego teenagers.
FIRE TRUCK-RESTAURANT CRASH
Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) - Authorities now say 15 people are hurt after two firetrucks collided in a Los Angeles suburb, sending one careening across a sidewalk and into a restaurant.
At least five of those injured are firefighters.
A spokesman for Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park says six victims from Wednesday's crash are being treated there.
That's in addition to nine victims who were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. One of them is in critical condition but a hospital spokeswoman says it's not a firefighter.
Monterey Park Fire Chief Jim Birrell says trucks from his city and neighboring Alhambra were responding to a house fire when they slammed into each other and one truck then plowed into the restaurant.
LAPD REVENGE KILLINGS
Highway stretch will be dedicated to fallen deputy
YUCAIPA, Calif. (AP) - A stretch of Southern California mountain road will be named in honor of a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy who died in a shootout with cop-turned-killer Christopher Dorner.
The Redlands Daily Facts says two green and white signs will proclaim a stretch of Highway 38 as "Detective Jeremiah MacKay Memorial Highway."
One of the signs was unveiled at a ceremony Wednesday in Yucaipa.
MacKay was shot and killed on Feb. 12 of last year during a gun battle with Dorner in the San Bernardino Mountains. Dorner eventually shot himself in a burning cabin, ending a 10-day rampage during which the fired Los Angeles policeman killed three other people.
Jury weighs murder charge against Iraqi immigrant
EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California jury has ended its first full day of deliberations in the trial of an Iraqi immigrant charged with beating his wife to death - a killing that police at first suspected was a hate crime.
Jurors met for more than seven hours Wednesday in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, home to one of the nation's largest Iraqi immigrant communities.
Kassim Alhimidi of El Cajon is charged with killing Shaima Alawadi at their home in 2012. Their daughter found her in a pool of blood.
A note found near the woman read: "This is my country, go back to yours, you terrorist." However, lab tests determined it was a photocopy.
Alhimidi's lawyers say he loved his wife, but prosecutors say she wanted a divorce.
Alhimidi faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Hundreds evacuated over possible Solvang explosive
SOLVANG, Calif. (AP) - Hundreds of homes and businesses in the Central California town of Solvang have been evacuated following discovery of a potentially explosive device.
The Santa Maria Times says the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department began evacuating between 500 and 700 homes and businesses Wednesday following the afternoon discovery of some kind of military ordnance on Copenhagen Drive.
The evacuations cover anyone within a 1,500-foot radius of the device.
The Sheriff's Department bomb squad and a bomb disposal team from Vandenberg Air Force Base are on the scene Wednesday night.
The tiny town 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles is a tourist stop known for its Danish-themed shops and buildings.
HOT SAUCE CONTROVERSY
Relocation offers pour in for hot sauce maker
IRWINDALE, Calif. (AP) - A hot sauce company accused of stinking up the atmosphere around its Southern California plant is being peppered with offers to relocate.
The city of Irwindale is suing the maker of Sriracha hot sauce and last week the Los Angeles suburb tentatively voted to declare the bottling plant a public nuisance.
Sriracha's owner has said the company is working hard to reduce the spicy fumes.
Meantime, though, Huy Fong Foods has received offers to relocate its $40 million plant to Los Angeles, other California cities, Philadelphia and 11 states, including Texas and Ohio.
On Wednesday, CEO David Tran invited interested officials and business leaders to tour the plant.
Irwindale City Attorney Fred Galante says relocating seems extreme and the city only wants to see the smell issue addressed.
Police: Nearly 100 burglaries tied to theft ring
SEAL BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say they've broken up a theft ring that lifted safes and fancy booze from nearly 100 restaurants, liquor and grocery stores in Southern California.
Police in Seal Beach announced the arrests of 10 people on Wednesday.
Police say they're members of a Long Beach gang that committed burglaries at stores throughout the region beginning last year.
Authorities tell the Orange County Register that the men would enter the businesses and strip them of thousands of dollars' worth of liquor in minutes. They also allegedly broke into dozens of restaurants and stole safes.
On Wednesday, authorities displayed two safes and some 1,300 bottles of high-end alcohol that were valued at about $50,000.
Authorities say the liquor was stolen so it could be resold.
NEW LA NEWSPAPER
New Los Angeles newspaper hits the streets
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A new daily newspaper has hit the streets of Los Angeles.
Editors and staffers handed out free copies of the Los Angeles Register early Wednesday at downtown locations including City Hall and the Union Station rail and bus transit hub.
It's the latest expansion by Freedom Communications Inc., owner of the Orange County Register, and follows the introduction of the Long Beach Register and several other small papers in the last year or so.
The debut edition's front page offerings included a story on the amenities and prestige of downtown skyscraper rooftops, and an explanation of why the newspaper was launched, referring to itself as "the new voice of L.A."
It's the first direct challenge to the 132-year-old Los Angeles Times' home market since the Herald-Examiner folded in November 1989.
Badly burned man found on California freeway dies
INDUSTRY, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a badly burned man found on a Southern California freeway with his hands and feet bound has died.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says homicide detectives are investigating.
KABC-TV reports a passing motorist discovered the man Tuesday afternoon on the Interstate 605 connector to State Route 60 in the city of Industry.
The man's hands and feet were partially tied and he had severe burns over his entire body, including his face and head.
Los Angeles County sheriff's officials say the man appeared to have been assaulted, then lit on fire. He managed to crawl from a wash beneath to the freeway to the roadside.
The victim was not identified.
COLLEGE PARTY BRAWL
Sheriff seeks photos, video from Isla Vista bash
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities are seeking photos and video of a melee that erupted during an annual street party in the Isla Vista area near Santa Barbara earlier this month.
The April 5 brawl at the unsanctioned event known as Deltopia resulted in dozens of arrests and injuries to several law enforcement officers.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department is encouraging anyone with photographs or video of the unrest to share it with investigators on a website that allows the sender to remain anonymous.
Seventeen-year-old Desmond Edwards has been charged with assault and mayhem for allegedly hitting a University of California, Santa Barbara, police officer in the face with a backpack filled with glass liquor bottles.
Hundreds of people threw things at officers, tore down stop signs, rocked cars and smashed windows.
Man to plead guilty in Disney insider info case
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man will plead guilty to securities fraud and pay regulators around $801,000 for using insider information to profit from Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009.
According to the deal filed in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday, Toby Scammell learned from his then-girlfriend, a Disney corporate strategy employee, that Disney would acquire a well-known company she didn't name.
Scammell learned from his consulting company that Disney had previously wanted to acquire Marvel. He bought call options in Marvel stock for around $5,500, and later sold them for $192,000 in profit.
Last month, Scammell agreed to settle a parallel civil case and pay $801,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will be credited to his fine in the criminal case. He also faces prison time.
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