Monday, January 20
14 arrests after protest against So. Calif. police
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Police have arrested a 14th person following a protest against the acquittal of officers in the beating death of a homeless man.
The protest in the Orange County city of Fullerton turned violent when a few of the 200 participants attacked a television news camera operator yesterday afternoon.
Initially, one person was arrested for assault, two for vandalism and 10 for refusing to follow police orders to disperse.
Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart said today a 14th protester was arrested later, after trying to steal from a nearby supermarket. More arrests are possible.
The protesters objected to a verdict earlier this month that absolved two Fullerton police officers in the 2011 death of Kelly Thomas, whom police had kneed and jolted with an electric stun gun.
BOY'S BATMAN WISH
Philanthropists pay bills for SF 'Batkid' fantasy
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The city of San Francisco is being rescued from paying the cost of staging the "Batkid" fantasy that captured the nation's imagination.
Philanthropists John and Marcia Goldman are picking up the city's $105,000 tab for allowing Miles Scott, a 5-year-old Northern California boy with leukemia, to fight villains and rescue a damsel in distress as a caped crusader on Nov. 15.
Maria Kong of the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation confirmed a San Francisco Chronicle report about the couple's gift.
City officials say most of the $105,000 in public funds went toward renting a sound system, video screens and other equipment to accommodate the surprisingly large crowds that turned out to see "Batkid," who became a social media darling.
The elaborate fantasy was arranged by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
New Calif. law squeezes recyclable collectors
(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new California law that tightens the state's recycling redemption rules is squeezing people who cash in bottles and plastic to get by.
The Los Angeles Times reports that as of Nov. 1, recycling centers started paying much less for containers including wine bottles and milk jugs that do not have a specific redemption value.
An empty beer or soda bottle can still be turned in for a nickel or dime. But under the new law, recycling centers receive only the much-lower, scrap value for containers with no specific redemption value.
That means people who scour cities to collect recyclables get much less as well.
A load of recyclables that used to be worth $200 might now only fetch $50.
Man arrested in killing on Los Angeles subway
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man has been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of a Los Angeles subway rider.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy Jeff Gordon said that an anonymous tip led investigators to search the apartment of 25-year-old Angelo Correia.
Evidence they developed from that search Friday led to the arrest of Correia on suspicion of killing 34 year-old Los Angeles resident Jose Velasco-Alvarado.
Gordon said Correia was in custody on $1 million bail. No other details were immediately available.
Velasco-Alvarado was killed Jan. 13 after a brief verbal exchange with his assailant, an incident captured by a security camera on the Metro Red Line train as it traveled near Hollywood.
SILICON VALLEY ARSONS
San Jose officer praised for arson detective work
(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A San Jose police sergeant is being credited for investigative work that led to the arrest of a suspected arsonist who allegedly set off a string of fires that left the city on edge for days.
The San Jose Mercury News reports Sgt. Jason Kidwell played a key role in identifying Patrick Brennan, who was charged Friday with 10 counts of arson and three counts of attempted arson.
Kidwell's breakthrough came after a five-day stretch from Jan. 8 to Jan. 12 when firefighters were scrambling to fight a series of malicious fires near downtown San Jose.
Kidwell was coming off a graveyard shift when he decided to search police databases for convicted arsonists in the area. He zeroed in on Brennan, who was soon arrested and identified by witnesses.
DRIVER FATALLY SHOT
Vallejo man dies after being shot while driving
VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — Vallejo police say a 25-year-old man who was shot while driving near City Hall has died from his injuries.
The police department said Mica Williams of Vallejo died today after being shot in the chest around 2:30 p.m. yesterday.
Vallejo police arrived at the scene after receiving reports of shots fired about half a block from City Hall. When they arrived, they found Williams unconscious in a black Nissan Altima, which had crashed into a parked vehicle and a street sign. He was taken to a local hospital.
Police say witnesses saw a suspect shooting at Williams' vehicle before fleeing the area in a silver Chevrolet.
The Vallejo Times-Standard reports the slaying is Vallejo's first homicide this year, and the first in the city since Dec. 22.
SJ County arrest 2 men for alleged walnut theft
(Information in the following story is from: The Record, http://www.recordnet.com/)
ESCALON, Calif. (AP) — San Joaquin County authorities have arrested two men on suspicion of stealing more than $400,000 worth of walnuts from an Escalon orchard.
The Stockton Record reports that 36-year-old Pedro Becerra and 33-year-old Mario Oheda were arrested on suspicion of auto theft, grand theft and conspiracy to commit a crime. Authorities say Becerra is also suspected of stealing two tankers from Modesto.
Investigators believe the two men stole double semi-truck trailers containing more than 140,000 pounds of walnuts from Gold River Orchards in October.
In California's Central Valley, law enforcement agencies are reporting more thefts of nut crops, which have increased in value amid growing demand.
Growers and nut processors formed a taskforce in October to seek the advice of law enforcement and take steps to protect their products.