HEALTH OVERHAUL-CALIFORNIA POLL
Poll: Californians divided over Obama's health reforms as president's job approval declines
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Californians twice voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama, but they are split on his most important domestic policy achievement - health care reform.
A Public Policy Institute of California survey released Wednesday finds that just 44 percent of Californians favor Obama's Affordable Care Act, while the same percentage has an unfavorable opinion.
In better news for the new law, two-thirds of uninsured residents say they plan to get insurance by next year now that it is more available to them. Nearly a quarter said they would opt to remain without health insurance.
At the same time, Obama's job approval rating has taken a hit, with 51 percent of Californians approving. That matches a record low from two years ago and is down 10 points from last summer.
The survey was conducted the month after the Affordable Care Act's online marketplaces went live on Oct. 1, a disastrous rollout for the federal exchange that serves 36 states.
The Public Policy Institute survey interviewed 1,700 adults by telephone from Nov. 12-19 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
RARE IDENTICAL TRIPLETS
Calif. couple conceives rare identical triplets
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Doctors at a Northern California hospital say a couple has given birth to a rare set of naturally conceived identical triplets.
The Sacramento Bee reports Abby, Brin and Laurel Hepner were born Nov. 22 at Sutter Memorial Hospital to Hannah and Tom Hepner, of Quincy.
The triplets were produced when a single, fertilized egg split into three.
Dr. William Gilbert, director of Sutter Women's Services, says the odds of producing identical triplets without fertility drugs range from 1-in-1-million to 1-in-100-million.
He said the rarity makes it difficult to more accurately calculate the frequency of such births.
Abby weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces; Brin 3 pounds, 11 ounces; and Laurel 4 pounds.
The triplets are still in the hospital until they can maintain body temperature and eat properly.
GRANDMA MURDER PLOT
3 plead not guilty in S. Cal grandma murder plot
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) - A Northern California couple and their alleged hit man have pleaded not guilty to plotting the death of the woman's mother, who was beaten with a baseball bat in her Long Beach home.
City News Service says Holly Ramos, her husband Frank Haverly and Keith Phillips entered pleas Wednesday to attempted murder and other charges.
Prosecutors say Phillips tried to bludgeon, suffocate and strangle 62-year-old Elizabeth Wells in October.
Wells had sought to foster her young grandchildren after Ramos was arrested in Monterey County on narcotics and child endangerment charges. Wells also filed a fraud complaint against her daughter for allegedly forging checks on the mother's bank account.
Prosecutors say Phillips got into the mother's home by posing as a social worker wanting to talk about the children.
SolarCity to back up solar with Tesla batteries
NEW YORK (AP) -The solar panel installer SolarCity is beginning to address one of solar power's big drawbacks: The sun doesn't always shine.
The solution: big battery packs. The supplier: electric car maker Tesla Motors, whose CEO is also the chairman of SolarCity.
The battery packs will allow customers a way to provide backup power and lower electric bills.
The batteries will be offered first to commercial customers because of the way many commercial electric bills are calculated. SolarCity is also conducting a pilot program in California for homeowners, but because residential bills are calculated differently - and the batteries are expensive - it could be years before batteries make financial sense for homes.
SolarCity won't charge customers for the battery, but will instead offer it as a service for a monthly fee.
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