Friday, January 10
GANG MEMBER SENTENCED
Calif. gang member sentenced in teen's slaying
(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — A gang member convicted of killing a popular Santa Monica High School student taunted the victim's mother before being sentenced to life in prison.
The Los Angeles Times reports a judge admonished Jose Zapien after he smirked and chuckled during a tearful courtroom statement Thursday by Armita Lopez, the mother of 15-year-old Eduardo Lopez.
Minutes later the judge sentenced the 25-year-old with tattoos on his head to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 95 years.
In November Zapien was found guilty of fatally shooting Eduardo Lopez in February 2006 as the teen walked in Santa Monica. Lopez was a standout outfielder on his high school's baseball team.
Police say Zapien is a member of a gang that operates on the Los Angeles area's Westside.
Rockslide closes PCH in Orange County
DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — The northbound and southbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County have been closed by a rockslide.
Sheriff's Lt. Andy Ferguson says a large boulder and other debris fell into lanes just before 4 a.m. near the intersection of Dana Point Harbor Drive.
City crews are on the scene trying to determine how to move the giant rock, which deputies estimate is about 10 feet by 20 feet.
A 13 mile stretch of PCH is closed from Dana Point Harbor Drive north to El Camino Real.
Ferguson says there's no immediate word when the lanes might reopen.
Unsafe conditions reported at Richmond mosque
(Information in the following story is from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com)
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — Richmond city inspectors say a mosque housed in a World War II-era former Kaiser field hospital is structurally unsound, violates several building codes and should be evacuated.
City Prosecutor Trisha Aljoe tells the Contra Costa Times that an inspection last month of the Islamic center Masjid Noor revealed potentially dangerous conditions including floors and ceilings that are collapsing. Aljoe says officials cited dozens of code violations.
Council member Corky Boozé questioned the inspectors' findings and says he will put the issue on the City Council's agenda to gather more information.
The mosque is housed in a former hospital, first built for shipyard workers and their families in the 1940s. The newspaper says it is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The building was sold to the mosque by Kaiser in the late 1990s.
PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR
Plane crash survivor Hatch scores in comeback
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two-time plane crash survivor Austin Hatch hit a 3-pointer on his first shot in his first basketball game in nearly three years.
Hatch scored in the fourth quarter Wednesday night for Los Angeles' Loyola High School, where he enrolled this season. Hatch is headed to the University of Michigan next season.
Hatch survived two crashes eight years apart, including a 2011 crash that severely injured him and killed his father and stepmother. Hatch's mother, brother and sister were killed in the first crash.
Hatch's teammates stormed the court after his basket at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, earning a technical foul. Loyola still won 87-59.
WATER CONSERVATION CALL
Water agency urges halt to outdoor watering
(Information in the following story is from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A large Northern California water agency is asking customers to stop all outdoor watering amid continuing drought conditions.
The Sacramento Bee reported Thursday that the San Juan Water District board of directors approved the move this week.
The district serves more than 265,000 people in the Sacramento suburbs, including the communities of Citrus Heights, Orangevale and Folsom.
Most of its water comes from Folsom Reservoir, which the newspaper says has shrunk perilously low amid one of the driest winters in California history.
District General Manager Shauna Lorance says the call for conservation is not mandatory, but it could become so next month if the area doesn't get rain soon.
The district also is extending a request for a 20 percent cut in all water use that has been in place for months.
Dog that bit boy in Murietta won't be euthanized
(Information in the following story is from: The Press-Enterprise, http://www.pe.com)
MURRIETA, Calif. (AP) — Animal control authorities say a dog that bit a 3-year-old boy on the face inside a Riverside County hardware store last month will not be euthanized because it was determined that its former owner was irresponsible.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Thursday that the Akita named Chester has been taken in by an Akita rescue facility.
Chester's former owner, 62-year-old Robert Steven Kahn, was arrested Jan. 2 on suspicion of criminal negligence and later released on $5,000 bail.
Police say Kahn left the scene after the dog bit the boy at a Lowe's store in Murietta Dec. 28. He was identified by surveillance video footage.
The young victim received 50 stitches at a local hospital and additional treatment at a children's hospital in San Diego County. His father says the boy is recovering.