Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment


Lawmakers weigh action against embattled senator

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers are considering stripping committee assignments from a state senator targeted in a long-running FBI investigation.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is asking the Rules Committee to remove Democratic Sen. Ron Calderon Montebello from the committees. Calderon already has been taken off the state film commission.

The meeting planned for Tuesday comes after Al Jazeera America reported it had obtained a sealed FBI affidavit alleging Calderon accepted $88,000 in return for his help promoting bills.

No charges have been filed and Calderon denies wrongdoing.

Though nothing has been proven, Steinberg says the claims are serious enough to cloud Calderon's interactions with colleagues, advocates and the public.

Calderon's lawyer, Mark Geragos, has said the contents of the affidavit are "demonstrably false" and whoever leaked the document committed a crime.


New software tied to Calif. agency's work backlog

(Information in the following story is from: The Sacramento Bee,

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Workers at the California agency investigating discrimination claims say the speed and quality of their work has slowed because of flaws in a new state computer system that was designed to boost efficiency.

The Sacramento Bee reports Tuesday that investigators at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing say the new software doesn't fit the jobs they do and that computer glitches have led to delays in processing complaints.

The 15-month-old system, HoudiniEsq, was intended to automate the process for filing complaints for those who say they've been denied housing or jobs due to racial, gender, age or other types of discrimination.

Director Phyllis Cheng acknowledged that adapting her department to Houdini has been challenging, but she tells the newspaper her agency has turned its business around.


Police: 2 killed were daughter, wife of suspect

(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times,

HEMET, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say two people slain over the weekend in Riverside County were the 5-year-old daughter and estranged wife of the suspected killer.

The Los Angeles Times reports Johnny Lopez is accused of fatally shooting 36-year-old Joanna Barrientos and their daughter Mia Lopez inside their Hemet home.

Investigators say the 33-year-old Lopez is also suspected of slashing the throat of a woman at another home about a mile away from the shooting scene. The woman was in critical condition Monday.

Lopez was arrested late Saturday outside the stabbing scene following a struggle with deputies responding to reports of a blood-stained man.

The dead victims were found about an hour later.

Lopez was held without bail for investigation of murder and attempted murder.


Guilty plea likely in Miss Teen USA extortion case

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A computer science student is expected to plead guilty to hacking the computers of Miss Teen USA and other young women to force them to send nude photographs or undress on camera for him.

Attorney Alan Eisner says his client, Jared James Abrahams, will enter his plea Tuesday in an Orange County courtroom. Abrahams agreed last month to plead guilty to three counts of extortion and one count of unauthorized access of a computer. He faces up to 11 years in federal prison.

Authorities say Abrahams hacked into the computers of Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf and several other women. Authorities say he was then able to control the webcams and surreptitiously photograph them.

Prosecutors say Abrahams posted a naked photo of Wolf online after he tried to extort her.


Calif. couple in torture plot to be arraigned

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A couple charged in the brutal torture of a marijuana dispensary owner who was dumped in the desert and left for dead are scheduled to make their first appearance in an Orange County courtroom on Tuesday.

Ryan Kevorkian and his wife, Naomi Kevorkian, were arrested late last week and charged with kidnapping, torture and other counts stemming from the October 2012 incident. If convicted, they each face up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Authorities say the Kevorkians and two other men, who also face charges, mistakenly believed the victim had buried piles of cash in the desert. Ryan Kevorkian and two others allegedly kidnapped the victim, burned him with a blowtorch and cut off his penis.

The victim survived his injuries.


Shopper spots pipe bomb beneath her parked SUV

(Information in the following story is from: The Press-Enterprise,

REDLANDS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities safely exploded a pipe bomb discovered under an SUV parked at a San Bernardino County shopping center.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports the owner of the Ford Flex found the device after leaving the JCPenney store in Redlands Monday afternoon.

City spokesman Carl Baker says a few hundred people were evacuated from seven businesses as a bomb squad investigated.

A robot was used to detonate the pipe bomb in an area behind the stores that is bordered by an empty field.

No arrests have been made. A sheriff's bomb dog sniffed the parking lot for other devices but found nothing dangerous.

Baker declined to discuss what the woman may have told police about who she suspected may have planted the pipe bomb or the motive.


Photo of fast food order leads to burglary arrests

(Information in the following story is from: The Sacramento Bee,

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities arrested four burglary suspects after investigators found a photograph posted online of $120 worth of food from a fast food restaurant that was purchased with a stolen credit card.

The Sacramento Bee reports the four — three adults and a juvenile — allegedly broke into vehicles Sunday in Rocklin, swiping wallets and other items.

One of the burglary victims learned her credit card had been used at a nearby Carl's Jr. restaurant to pay for $120 worth of food at the drive-through window.

Police were led to the suspects after one of the suspects posted a photo to Instagram, of the large amount of food they had purchased.

A Carl's Jr. employee also posted a photo to Instagram, of the lengthy $120 receipt. Another employee grew suspicious and took down the suspects' license plate number.


2 charged with Sierra bear poaching

(Information in the following story is from: The Union,

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Nevada County prosecutors have filed criminal charges against two California men accused of illegally killing a black bear near the edge of the Eldorado National Forest about 30 miles southwest of Lake Tahoe.

Authorities say 43-year-old Jason Wilkinson of Grass Valley and 54-year-old Christopher Nunley of North San Juan have been the target of a five-month-long poaching investigation.

They've been charged with misdemeanor unlawful possession and killing of a bear as well as felony charges for unlawfully possessing firearms. They're accused of luring the bear with bait to a home near Grizzly Flat before they shot it in April.

California Fish & Wildlife warden Mark Michilizzi told The Grass Valley Union they apparently tried to butcher the bear and skin it before they decided to dispose of the carcass.