BC-CA--California News Digest, CA

The supervisor in Los Angeles will be John Antczak. If you have a news tip or questions about the report, call 213-626-1200. The supervisor in San Francisco will be Sudhin Thanawala. He can be reached at 415-495-1708.

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LOS ANGELES — As Santa Ana winds made moisture plunge, plant life wither and wildfire danger soar, Southern California firefighters pounced on several small blazes before they could surge, though another day of dryness and wariness awaited. The Santa Anas, generated by strong surface pressure anchored over the West, were predicted to strengthen Tuesday night and remain at advisory levels until noon Wednesday. Red-flag warnings for fire danger were expected to remain in effect until Wednesday evening. Tuesdays' wildfires also struck an unusually arid and windy Northern California, where a fire on the small Kimball Island between San Francisco and Sacramento engulfed at least one of the island's 20 buildings and was threatening others. SENT: 500 words.


CALABASAS, Calif. — Detectives searched Justin Bieber's home looking for surveillance footage that might serve as evidence the pop star was involved in an egg-tossing vandalism case that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a neighbor's home, an official said. Roughly a dozen investigators searched Bieber's home and arrested one member of the singer's entourage on suspicion of drug possession, Lt. David Thompson said. The drug, which was initially described as cocaine but was later being tested to determine its contents, was in plain sight when detectives searched Bieber's house, Thompson said. By Anthony McCartney. SENT: 500 words, photos, video.



SACRAMENTO — A committee led by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg appointed one of the Democrat's closest friends to a $128,000-a-year job on a board that has long been criticized as a plum position for termed-out lawmakers. Sacramento attorney John Adkisson was sworn in Tuesday to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, which oversees unemployment and disability disputes in the state. By Don Thompson. SENT: 483 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama intends to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles and a former California cabinet secretary, to be head of the Small Business Administration, according to a White House official. Obama will announce Contreras-Sweet's selection at an event Wednesday, the official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the nomination by name ahead of the announcement. By Jim Kuhnenn. SENT: 246 words.



SAN FRANCISCO — A Malaysian architecture professor won a legal challenge Tuesday that sought removal of her name from the U.S. government's no-fly list. A federal judge in San Francisco said Tuesday in a brief, two-page court filing that the government's inclusion of Rahinah Ibrahim on the list was a mistake. U.S. District Judge William Alsup ordered her name stricken from the list — if in fact it is still on the list. The judge kept his detailed ruling under seal until April 15 so the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can rule on the government's appeal to toss out the lawsuit. By Paul Elias. SENT: 600 words.


SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco city attorney and New York state attorney general have joined forces to investigate whether Monster Beverage Corp. is marketing its highly caffeinated drinks to children. The joint probe began last month just before a federal judge in California tossed out a lawsuit filed by Monster seeking to stop an investigation by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. By Terry Collins. SENT: 350 words, photos.


— OCEAN PLANE CRASH — A small plane has crashed in the ocean off of Central California, killing at least one person aboard.



LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was elected last spring after promising to fix the city's battered streets, but he acknowledged Tuesday that his administration has made little headway paving long-neglected roads and that significant improvements could be years away. Drivers in the nation's second-largest city have long been accustomed to cracked and cratered streets, a problem that only worsened during a recession that left City Hall starved for cash. In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, Garcetti, who took office July 1, said it could take a decade and up to $3 billion to do a good, if not complete, repair job on hundreds of miles of roadway. By Michael R. Blood. SENT: 724 words, photos.


— LA MAYOR CRASH — A Los Angeles Police Department vehicle carrying Mayor Eric Garcetti struck and injured a pedestrian in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, the mayor's office said in a statement. SENT: 154 words, photos.


LOS ANGELES — A Torrance police officer who rammed and shot up a pickup truck with the driver inside during a manhunt for cop-turned-killer Christopher Dorner won't face criminal charges, prosecutors said. A review determined that Officer Brian McGee was reasonable and justified in his use of force because he believed Dorner was in the truck and had shot at officers, according to a Jan. 6 report from prosecutors that was sent to the Torrance police chief. SENT: 368 words.


— COUNCILMAN-BRIBERY — A former Southern California city councilman has pleaded guilty to taking a $2.3 million bribe from an undercover FBI operative.

— LA JOLLA SHOOTINGS — A judge has ordered a trial for a biotechnology entrepreneur accused of shooting and wounding his former business partner and his brother-in-law.

— DOWNTOWN LA PROJECT — Los Angeles County supervisors approved and praised architect Frank Gehry's new design for a building project across from downtown LA's Walt Disney Concert Hall.

— MILITARY CONTRACTOR-FRAUD — Federal prosecutors say a San Diego-based Navy contractor has acknowledged bilking the government out of some $3.5 million with phony cost claims.



LOS ANGELES — Charter Communications executives labeled Time Warner Cable a "turnaround project" suffering from a failed strategy as they urged Time Warner Cable shareholders to prod management to begin talks with Charter on its buyout offer. The criticism was leveled Tuesday after Charter revealed details of its proposed bid for Time Warner Cable for around $132.50 a share, or $38 billion. The offer would create the third-largest pay TV provider in the country with 16 million video customers. By Ryan Nakashima. SENT: 500 words.



NEW YORK — Marvin Gaye's children have settled claims against a music company owned by Sony over Robin Thicke's Grammy-nominated hit song "Blurred Lines." The Gayes had accused EMI of not pursuing a copyright infringement case against Thicke because "Blurred Lines" has similarities to Gaye's "Got to Give It Up." A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday granted Nona Marvisa Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye's dismissal of their lawsuit against EMI, which is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Documents say the Gayes and Sony have an agreement and claims against Sony can't be brought again. By Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 315 words, photo.


PASADENA, Calif. — Walton Goggins says he relied on the memory of Elmore Leonard to help him through a tough day on the set of TV's "Justified." Goggins, who plays Boyd Crowder on the crime drama, described a chair left empty on the set after the author died in August. "Justified" has its roots in Leonard's colorful fiction. When he struggled with one scene, as Goggins described it Tuesday to the Television Critics Association, he decided, "'I'm just going to sit down in your chair, Leonard.' ... Without getting spiritual, it was very special, very comforting." By Lynn Elber. SENT: 228 words, photos.


PASADENA, Calif. — Billy Bob Thornton said actors who want to work on sophisticated projects are finding them in television and not film. He's proving the point with a starring role in the upcoming FX series "Fargo," inspired by the 1996 Joel and Ethan Coen movie. Thornton told a Television Critics Association meeting Tuesday that while Hollywood studios churn out action movies, broad comedies and "movies where apparently vampires are all models," TV offers the kind of insightful work once common in films. By Lynn Elber. SENT: 203 words, photo.


SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Opera will present the world premiere of Marco Tutinof's "La Ciociara (Two Women)" on June 13, 2015. The company said Tuesday that the opera based on Alberto Moravia's novel of the same name will star soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, tenor Stephen Costello and baritone Mark Delavan. Music director Nicola Luisotti conducts and Francesca Zambello directs in a co-production with the Teatro Regio of Turin, Italy. SENT: 200 words.


LOS ANGELES — The LA Opera will present the West Coast premiere of John Corigliano's "The Ghosts of Versailles" during its 2014-15 season as part of a "Figaro Trilogy." Corigliano's 1991 opera opens on Feb. 7, 2015, and stars Patti LuPone as the Turkish entertainer Samira and Patricia Racette, the LA Opera said Tuesday. SENT: 160 words.



SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jim Harbaugh pirouetted in frustration following a personal foul on Dan Skuta. He got hit with his own unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing following a catch by Vernon Davis that went to review before being ruled a touchdown. And that was just last Sunday. Harbaugh has been at his emotional best — or, to some, worst — with his cartoon-like faces and quirky sideline antics in leading San Francisco back to the NFC championship game for the third time in as many years since taking over as 49ers head coach in January 2011. On Davis' TD during Sunday's 23-10 win at Carolina, Harbaugh ran well onto the field during the play. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 756 words, photos.


SEATTLE — Mike Holmgren is now one of the intruders. After so many seasons of trying to insulate his teams from the noise on the outside and shield players from nosey media, he now finds himself on the other side. He may be a coach with Hall of Fame credentials, but he's simply a fan, observer and part-time member of the media when it comes to Sunday's NFC championship game between Seattle and San Francisco, two franchises he knows quite well. By Tim Booth. SENT: 700 words.


SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers promoted quarterbacks coach Frank Reich to offensive coordinator on Tuesday. He replaces Ken Whisenhunt, who was hired Monday as coach of the Tennessee Titans. The Chargers declined to make Reich available to the media. SENT: 250 words.


STANFORD, Calif. — Free safety Ed Reynolds and right tackle Cameron Fleming are the latest Stanford players to announce they are forgoing their final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Both announced their decisions through the school Tuesday. They had until Wednesday's deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft. Reynolds ranked third at Stanford with 87 tackles and also had one interception last season to earn Pac-12 first-team honors for the second straight year. Quarterbacks often threw away from Reynolds after he led the Cardinal with six interceptions in 2012. By Antonio Gonzalez. SENT: 394 words, photo.

See also:

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, which moves weekdays at 1 p.m.

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, ADD, which moves weekdays at 4 p.m.

—NEVADA NEWS DIGEST, which moves daily at 1:30 p.m.

Technical problems may be reported to 213-626-5833 in Los Angeles or 415-495-1124 in San Francisco.

Send Southern California stories by electronic carbon, fax 213-346-0200 or email losangeles@ap.org. Send Northern California stories by electronic carbon, fax 415-495-4967 or email sanfrancisco@ap.org.