AP-CA--California News Digest, CA

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown's administration on Friday petitioned the California Supreme Court to overturn two lower-court rulings that have stalled progress on the state's high-speed rail project, one of the nation's most expensive public works projects. The petition seeks an expedited review and asks the court to overturn two decisions that prevented the state from selling $8.6 billion in voter-approved bonds. The lower-court rulings also require the high-speed rail authority to write a new financing plan. The governor, the rail authority and the state treasurer argue that the rulings prevent California from quickly starting construction on the $68 billion project and could hurt the state's ability to finance other voter-approved projects in the future, a change of course for the officials, who previously said the rulings wouldn't significantly affect the project. By Juliet Williams. SENT: 666 words.


LOS ANGELES — A former banker and movie executive who said police beat him with batons in a bizarre street confrontation lost his $20 million excessive force claim on Friday against the Los Angeles Police Department. During the three-day trial, Brian Mulligan acknowledged that he had used a drug mixture known as bath salts in the weeks leading up to the May 2012 incident. Police officers said he appeared delusional, wandering the streets with crumpled $100 bills falling out of his pockets and made animal sounds when they confronted him. By Linda Deutsch. SENT: 647 words, photos.


SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco hospital where a patient was found dead in a stairwell more than two weeks after she went missing from her room says federal regulators have approved its plans to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. San Francisco General Hospital said Friday that inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed off this week on a series of corrective actions the hospital took after 57-year-old Lynne Spalding's death in the locked stairwell. The reforms include equipping stairwell doors with alarms that can only be shut off with a key and arranging for sheriff's deputies who provide security at the hospital to search the stairwells every day. SENT: 420 words.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento-based appeals court says state Controller John Chiang overstepped his constitutional powers in 2011 when he blocked state lawmakers' paychecks after he decided they had not passed a balanced budget. Democratic leaders sued, and a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled in 2012 that Chiang violated the separation of powers clause of the California Constitution. A three-judge panel of the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed that lower court ruling on Friday. SENT: 340 words.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The city clerk rejected a ballot measure Friday that would have let Sacramento voters decide whether public subsidies can help build a $448 million downtown arena intended as the future home of the NBA's Sacramento Kings. City Clerk Shirley Concolino cited multiple issues with the petitions that would have put the subsidies on the June ballot. SENT: 378 words.


PHOENIX — A California man will face more than two dozen felony charges after authorities say he attacked the driver of a moving Greyhound bus and caused it to careen from an Arizona highway, injuring 24 passengers. Maquel Morris, of Los Angeles, had an initial court appearance Friday from a Phoenix hospital on 25 counts of endangerment, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of aggravated assault involving temporary disfigurement, and one count of criminal damage, authorities said. SENT: 361 words, audio, video.


SANTA ANA, Calif. — A second woman was arrested Friday in the killing a woman who was beaten to death outside of an Orange County nightclub. Police Chief Carlos Rojas said a 27-year-old Santa Ana resident was arrested for investigation of murder in the weekend attack that left Annie "Kim" Pham unconscious on the sidewalk. He didn't release her name. SENT: 258 words.


— BIG WAVE CONTEST-PHOTO GALLERY — The Mavericks surf competition off the Northern California coast delivered massive waves, and in the end South Africa's Grant "Twiggy" Baker took home the crown.

— MARIJUANA ARREST-TEACHER — A Northern California elementary school teacher has been arrested for allegedly serving marijuana-laced food to her colleagues at a potluck dinner without their knowledge.

— INTERNATIONAL HACKING — Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have charged five people with selling or buying passwords for hacked email accounts.

— LA PUBLIC HEALTH — A judge has thrown out a ballot initiative that would have ordered Los Angeles to create its own public health department.

— PEDESTRIANS STRUCK — Authorities say five members of a family, including three children, were rushed to a hospital after being struck by a car driven by an elderly man near a Los Angeles elementary school.

— TRAIN COLLISION AVOIDANCE — Southern California's largest commuter train network is replacing the company that provides a key part of a new collision-avoidance system.

— COCAINE CAR — Border Patrol agents say they've found nearly 700 pounds of cocaine stuffed into the trunk and back seat of a compact car at a Southern California checkpoint.

— HALLOWEEN PARTY-PARENTS KILLED — Two Southern California teenagers have been sentenced for an ambush that killed the girl's mother and stepfather.

— DAMAGED PIER-CLOSURE — Most of the Ventura pier has been temporarily closed after a support beam gave way and one of its pilings was found to be damaged.

— SILICON VALLEY SAMARITAN — Officials, family and friends say a man killed this week by a commuter train was a Silicon Valley tech worker trying to save another victim who was critically injured.

— DEADLY FRUIT SELLING SCHEME — A woman convicted with her brother of killing a man after posing as fruit sellers to get into his Southern California home 14 years ago has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.



NEW YORK — The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court Friday to let a monitor continue reviewing Apple's antitrust policies over the company's objections. Government lawyers filed papers with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, saying Apple Inc.'s arguments are without merit as the company tries to stop the monitoring it complains is "a roving investigation." By Larry Neumeister. SENT: 360 words.



LOS ANGELES— A jury rejected a defamation case against Courtney Love over a Twitter post that suggested one of her attorneys had been "bought off" for not pursuing a lawsuit over her late husband's estate. The verdict came after roughly three hours of deliberation in a case that spanned eight days and focused on the Hole frontwoman's postings on the social networking site. The case centered on one 2010 post that suggested that San Diego attorney Rhonda Holmes had been "bought off" and that was why she wasn't representing the singer anymore. By Anthony McCartney. SENT: 538 words, photos.


LOS ANGELES — Kris Kristofferson is being given a lifetime achievement award during the Grammy Awards celebration, but he doesn't think that will be the highlight of the weekend. Kristofferson will be joined by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton for a performance during Sunday's Grammy Awards telecast, and any excuse the 77-year-old singer-songwriter and actor can find to get together with his lifelong friends is a good one. By Chris Talbott. SENT: 359 words, photos.


— TV-JAY LENO — Jay Leno says he doesn't plan to tackle another late-night show after leaving NBC's "Tonight" next month.



LOS ANGELES — Teemu Selanne skated off the ice and walked to the visitors' dugout at Dodger Stadium, rubbing the eye black on his cheekbones in disbelief beneath the Southern California sky. "If somebody would tell me 10 years ago that we were going to do this, I would have said they're crazy," Selanne said. "But we have the technology to do it now, and it's pretty great." Dodger Stadium isn't a field of dreams for many hockey players, but the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks are thrilled by the chance to play the NHL's most unlikely outdoor game on Saturday. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 774 words, photos.


SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks locked up two of their cornerstone players before they could hit the open market this summer, signing three-year extensions Friday with captain Joe Thornton and franchise leading goal-scorer Patrick Marleau. The contracts prevent the two stars from becoming unrestricted free agents this summer and keep them under contract with the Sharks through the 2016-17 season. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 642 words.


SAN DIEGO — The crowd was by far the largest at Torrey Pines, with eight-time champion Tiger Woods in the middle of the action. And if the fans could not be seen on this overcast afternoon, they could be heard after shots close to the flag, or putts that found the bottom of the hole. It was just like old times, with one very big exception. Woods wasn't the star attraction Friday. He was little more than a spectator. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 940 words, photos.


— TORREY PINES-MICKELSON — Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday night because of muscle pain in his back.

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.

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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.