Teen girl reportedly robbed, kidnapped
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A teenage girl was robbed, kidnapped and later dropped off in a neighboring city after a possible sexual assault in the San Francisco Bay Area, authorities said.
Authorities received a call just after 5 a.m. Wednesday of a female yelling for help, said Berkeley Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Coats. When investigators located the victim in Berkeley, Calif., the girl told them the attack began in Oakland, Coats said.
The girl, whose age and identity were not released, was transported to a local hospital, and her condition was unknown.
The Oakland Police Department has now taken over the investigation, and spokeswoman Johnna Watson said in a statement the case may be associated with human sex trafficking.
No further details are being released in the case, she said.
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.
DEADLY APARTMENT FIRE
Toddler is among 2 dead in San Francisco fire
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Authorities say a toddler is among two people dead from an apartment fire in San Francisco.
Mindy Talmadge, a fire department spokeswoman, says a toddler died Wednesday from the blaze inside a two-story public housing building shortly before 10 a.m. in the city's Sunnydale neighborhood.
Talmadge says firefighters on the scene trying to rescue five adults and one child, saw one resident jump out of a window to escape the flames and heavy smoke coming from the first floor.
She says firefighters found one person dead inside the apartment. The child, who was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, died Wednesday afternoon.
Talmadge says she didn't know if the victims are related.
The blaze was put under control around 10:20 a.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Sacramento mayor to lead national mayoral group
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is the new leader of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a platform that will allow the former NBA All-Star to raise his national political profile.
Johnson was sworn-in Wednesday after the previous president, Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., resigned to run for governor of that state.
Johnson will lead the group's advocacy on local government issues until June 2015. The Democrat says he will push for economic development policies that include partnerships with businesses and private groups.
He is credited for keeping the Kings NBA franchise in Sacramento in exchange for a new downtown arena subsidized partly by the city. First elected in 2008, he told The Sacramento Bee he is strongly considering running for a third term in 2016.
LOST SEA LION
Lost sea lion in California found mile from water
MERCED, Calif. (AP) - Workers at a central California ranch could hardly believe their eyes when they spotted a sea lion pup hopping through an almond orchard, a mile from the San Joaquin River.
The Merced Sun-Star reported Tuesday that the ranch hands quickly got in touch with wildlife officials after discovering the confused animal last month at Mape's Ranch near Modesto.
A Marine Mammal Center volunteer eventually coaxed the lost sea lion into a cage, where it promptly fell asleep.
The newspaper reports the 36-pound sea lion, nicknamed Hoppie, is recovering at the center. Hoppie is undergoing treatment for sores and getting some nourishment in hopes of returning him to the wild.
Officials aren't sure why the sea lion left the river or hopped such a long way on the ground.
KNIFE IN ENCHILADA
Knife found in enchilada at California airport
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) - A woman is facing a possible fine after federal officials say they found a knife inside an enchilada in her bag during security screening at a Northern California airport.
Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez says the 8 and a-half inch long blade was found Monday at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.
The passenger, who has not been identified, said she made the enchilada over the weekend, and didn't know how the knife got into the bag. She was questioned by Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies, but then cleared to board her flight.
Melendez says the TSA will review the case, and the passenger could be issued a fine for carrying a concealed weapon.
California delays decision on protecting gray wolf
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A state board says it needs more time to hear from the public before deciding whether to list gray wolves as an endangered species in California.
The California Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to delay a decision by 90 days on whether to grant legal protections to the species that's showing signs of a comeback after being killed off in the 1920s.
State Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham says he doesn't support the listing because there haven't been wolves in California for decades and there's no scientific basis to consider them endangered. He supports other conservation efforts.
A renewed interest by advocates to protect the species started in 2011, when a lone wolf from Oregon was tracked crossing into California. Ranchers oppose protections, saying wolves threaten their livestock.
Court rules for environmentalists in water fight
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An appeals court says federal officials should have consulted wildlife agencies about potential harm to a tiny, threatened fish before issuing contracts for water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation violated the Endangered Species Act when it failed to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service in renewing 41 contracts a decade ago. The appeals court sent the case back to a trial judge for further proceedings.
The ruling arises from one of several lawsuits filed by environmentalists seeking to protect the Delta smelt. The ruling won't affect water flows since protections for the smelt were kept in place during the lawsuit.
CALIFORNIA-RAINY DAY FUND
Governor calls special session on rainy day fund
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown is calling a special session of the Legislature to make changes to California's rainy day fund.
Brown issued a proclamation Wednesday to replace a measure that's on the November ballot. The Democratic governor wants a new constitutional amendment that will set aside capital gains revenue, provide a reserve for schools and pay down debt faster.
Brown says California needs to strengthen its existing rainy day fund to stabilize its budget, especially in years when revenue dips.
Assembly Speaker John Perez says Brown's proposal will get the state "off the roller-coaster ride of revenue spikes and dips that has caused so much trouble in recent years."
Republicans have criticized Democrats for trying to weaken the current measure, which was pushed back from the November 2012 ballot.
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