Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment


Flight makes emergency landing at Mo. airport

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An American Airlines flight has made an emergency landing at Kansas City International Airport after a flash drive was found in a bathroom.

Airport spokesman Joe McBride says the discovery was made Sunday afternoon as Flight 24 was headed from San Francisco International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

McBride says the Boeing 767 was taken to an area away from the terminal and was being searched. The 227 passengers and crew members were evacuated. McBride says it is "a new day and age since 9-11" and that officials take precautions if something is deemed suspicious.


Man arrested in 2010 German tourist shooting in SF

(Information in the following story is from: San Francisco Chronicle,

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities have arrested a seventh suspect wanted in the killing of a German tourist near San Francisco's Union Square in 2010.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that 21-year-old Devante Laws was arrested Friday in Hayward by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Investigators have been looking for the suspected gang member since the August 2010 killing of 50-year-old Mechthild Schroer, who was vacationing in San Francisco with her husband to celebrate her birthday and the couple's 25th wedding anniversary.

Six other suspected gang members have already been charged in the case. The fatal shots were fired outside a club during a brawl.

Schroer, an elementary school rector from Hanover, German, was killed while she and her husband, Stefan, were looking for a place to eat.


Woman arrested after 3 stabbed in Orange County

CYPRESS, Calif. (AP) — Police say a 22-year-old woman has been arrested for investigation of attempted murder after three people were stabbed at an Orange County home.

Cypress Lead Police Officer Michael Wintersole said officers responded to a 911 call at about 1 a.m. Sunday and found three adults had been stabbed.

He says the victims were taken from the Cypress home to the hospital and are in stable condition.

Police arrested Kassandra Duran for investigation of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. She is being held on $500,000 bail.

Wintersole says authorities are investigating whether a relationship exists between Duran and the victims.


Toll road popular with Baja tourists will reopen

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Mexican officials hope to reopen by summer a popular toll road that takes tourists through Baja California after a portion of the scenic corridor collapsed several weeks ago.

U-T San Diego reported Sunday that the closure of the Tijuana-to-Ensenada Scenic Road south of Rosarito Beach comes as tourism to the region is recovering.

State government official Mariano Escobedo says a 4.6 magnitude earthquake on Dec. 19 likely contributed to the collapse.

The area experiences frequent landslides and fixes to the road are common.

Rosarito Beach Hotel owner Hugo Torres told the newspaper some Ensenada hotels lost between 3 percent and 7 percent of guests during the recent holiday, likely due to the closure.

Torres says he thinks loyal customers will continue to drive down using alternate routes.


Calif. health exchange extends payment deadline

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The agency running California's health insurance exchange has extended the deadline for payments until January 15.

Covered California says on its website that health coverage will continue to take effect on Jan. 1 but the payment deadline has been extended to prevent consumers from feeling rushed to pay recently received invoices.

The agency says payments must be received by Jan. 15, not just postmarked before that date.

The nine-day payment extension comes after the number of consumers signing up for insurance on California's health insurance exchange surged late last year, overwhelming the agency's website and call centers.

In late December, Covered California said more than 400,000 people had signed up for policies through the exchange.


Calif. lawmakers return for election-year session

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers are returning to the Capitol this week for a pivotal election-year session.

Expect fights over billions of dollars in new tax revenue and leadership changes in both parties. Democrats will work to protect the supermajorities that give them command of state politics, as a federal corruption investigation hangs over one of their own in the Senate.

Meanwhile, freshmen lawmakers elected under California's newly extended term limits will come of age, a class that could dominate the lawmaking process for more than a decade.


Calif. officials bemoan failure to snag plane deal

(Information in the following story is from: The Orange County Register,

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Local officials say they are disappointed by Southern California's failure to snag a coveted Boeing plane contract and must now ramp up efforts to replace jobs being phased out by the company.

The Orange County Register reported Sunday that Long Beach area officials are concerned about the anticipated loss of local jobs when Boeing ends its C-17 military cargo jet production line in 2015.

Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske says the city needs to find ways to attract new businesses.

California is one of more than 20 states that moved to bid for work on Boeing's 777X commercial plane.

Boeing machinists on Saturday voted to approve a new labor contract, which secured a deal to build the 777X in the Seattle area.


Invasive mussels prompt boat inspections at lakes

(Information in the following story is from: Ventura County Star,

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — Officials are stepping up monitoring efforts to prevent an invasive mussel found in Ventura County's Lake Piru from spreading to other Southern California lakes.

The Ventura County Star reports that recreational boaters can no longer move easily from Lake Piru to nearby Castaic and Pyramic lakes and must now face inspection.

Two other area lakes have implemented temporary quarantines for boats seeking to enter the water.

Water agencies in California have worked to fight off the quagga mussel, a prolific breeder that can clog pipes and machinery.

Lake Piru provides irrigation to major county farms and drinking water to parts of Oxnard.

Eloise Tavares, an environmental scientist with the state Fish and Wildlife Department, says it's not clear how the lake became infested.


Celebs, others buy clicks for social media boost

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Celebrities, businesses and even the State Department have bought bogus Facebook likes, Twitter followers or YouTube viewers from techies who run offshore "click farms," where they tap, tap, tap the thumbs up button, view videos or retweet comments to artificially inflate social media numbers.

An Associated Press examination has found a growing global marketplace for fake clicks, by the billions, which tech companies struggle to police. Online records, industry studies and interviews show companies around the world are capitalizing on the opportunity to make millions of dollars by gaming the whole concept behind social media.

In cities including Jakarta, Indonesia, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, the AP found workers who click for cash. Hundreds of websites now market the clicks, which sell for as little as half a cent each.


Calif scientists use sea mammals to make toxic map

(Information in the following story is from: Santa Cruz Sentinel,

MOSS LANDING, Calif. (AP) — California marine scientists are collecting samples from sea mammals around the state to in an effort to create a map of toxic hot spots.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that Marine Mammal Center researchers plan to use 10 years of data collected from the stranded sea lions, seals and whales its saved to create a "disease map" of the coastal environment.

Stephanie Hughes, a marine scientist who studies disease in seals, says the creatures are "samplers for the environment."

Seals and other marine mammals live near humans and eat a lot of the same seafood. They store contaminants from the food in their blubber.

Blubber samples show different contaminants depending on the area -- agriculture pesticides in Monterey Bay or flame retardants in San Francisco Bay.


Susan Rasky, reporter and teacher, dies

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Susan Rasky, a University of California, Berkeley journalism professor and former New York Times political reporter, has died. She was 61.

The UC Berkeley School of Journalism said Rasky died Dec. 29 at her home in El Cerrito, Calif. following a long illness.

As a reporter, Rasky won a George Polk award for national reporting for her coverage of the congressional budget crisis in 1990.

She was known as a passionate teacher of political and government reporting, and students said she often helped them long after they left school.

John Myers, a former student of Rasky's who is now at ABC, says her students referred to themselves as "Rasky-ites" because she became a guiding force in their lives.

A memorial service was planned Sunday in Mill Valley.


Hanks, Bullock, Streep honored in Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — Sandra Bullock shared the painful results of Googling herself, Meryl Streep shadowboxed on-stage, and Tom Hanks braced for awards season's "celebrity mule train" at the year's first glitzy Hollywood gala.

Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper were among the stars who cracked jokes and praised one another Saturday night at the opening of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. It's a desert warmup of sorts for more closely-watched industry events in coming months.

Honors were announced well in advance and the ceremony wasn't televised, lessening pressure on winners and allowing for sometimes lengthy acceptance speeches.

Many of the Palm Springs honorees will reunite at the Golden Globes next weekend in Beverly Hills and the Screen Actors Guild awards the following weekend.