State audits find spending abuse in LA-area city
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A state audit says Cudahy (CUD'-uh-hay) officials engaged in rampant credit card spending and the gritty Los Angeles suburb had virtually no controls to prevent misuse of taxpayer money.
State Controller John Chiang, who released audits on Cudahy Tuesday, also says two city entities must disgorge $23 million in redevelopment funds that were improperly transferred to them.
City officials requested the audits covering July 2010 to June 2012 after some of their predecessors were snagged in a federal corruption investigation.
Former Mayor David Silva, a former councilman and another official were convicted for their roles in the payment of cash bribes from a businessman in exchange for supporting a marijuana dispensary.
Cudahy is among a group of struggling cities near Los Angeles that have seen a string of corruption convictions.
Body of missing hiker found on Mount Tamalpais
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say the body of a missing hiker has been found on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County.
The Marin Independent-Journal reports that the body of 33-year-old Magdalena Glinkowski was found Sunday, weeks after she had last been seen.
Marin County sheriff's officials say there were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play.
Glinkowski was reported missing in early April after a California State Park ranger found an abandoned car rented in her name in a lot near the Pantoll Campground.
A search on April 5 and 6 found nothing.
Authorities in recent days received a tip from a man who said he saw Glinkowski alive when he was going for a run on March 30.
The information helped authorities better target their search in recent days.
SAN FRANCISCO FIRE
Officials: Huge San Francisco blaze was accidental
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A massive blaze that barreled through an apartment building construction site in San Francisco last month was accidental, not arson, fire investigators said Tuesday.
The five-alarm fire on March 11 in the Mission Bay neighborhood began when a hot or smoldering object ignited wood between the top floor and roof of the six-story building, investigators said in a report.
The fire gutted the building and damaged three other structures. The report estimated damage at about $40 million.
Fire officials said a day after the fire that they were looking into preliminary reports that workers at the block-long site were doing torch work.
A more detailed report that could explain what caused the blaze is expected in the next couple of weeks, fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.
The fire created a plume of black smoke that was visible for miles and led to the evacuation of nearby buildings. A wall of the burning building collapsed about an hour after the fire began.
City officials said a catastrophe was narrowly avoided in the neighborhood near AT&T Park, home of the Giants.
About 150 firefighters were called in to contain the blaze.
Youth baseball coach sentenced for molestation
(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com)
MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) - A judge has sentenced a longtime San Francisco Bay Area youth baseball coach convicted of molesting children to nearly 11 years in prison.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that 53-year-old Joel Kaufman was sentenced Monday after he pleaded guilty to four counts of felony child molestation.
Kaufman had coached at Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School and Palo Alto High School in addition to having led Little League and youth traveling teams.
The abuse for which Kaufman was convicted occurred from 2005-2012, though during the investigation numerous accusers came forward detailing abuse over a 30-year period.
At the time of his arrest, Kaufman was coaching an 18-and-under traveling team out of San Jose called the California Smoke.
SMARTPHONE KILL SWITCH-WIRELESS INDUSTRY
Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A trade group for wireless providers says the country's biggest smartphone makers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the devices to try to deter rampant theft.
CTIA-The Wireless Association announced Tuesday that under a "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment," the providers agree to install a free preloaded or downloadable anti-theft tool on smartphones sold in the U.S. after July 2015.
The wireless industry has said putting a permanent "kill switch" on phones has serious risks, including potential vulnerability to hackers.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have demanded that the wireless industry create kill switches. They say CTIA's plan still falls short of effectively ending smartphone theft because the measures will rely on consumers to seek out and turn on the technology.
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