LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Human remains found by hikers in a shallow grave in the desert east of Los Angeles have been identified as those of a Hollywood studio executive who vanished in 2012 and was believed murdered, police said on Thursday.
The hikers came across a skull and other bones in a shallow grave near Palmdale, 40 miles east of Los Angeles, Lieutenant Dave Dolson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told a news conference.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The University of California on Thursday proposed to hike tuition up to 5 percent annually over the next five years at its 10 campuses unless the state kicks in additional funding, part of what it called a “fee stability plan.”
The tuition raises would end what Janet Napolitano, the UC’s president, called a “boom and bust funding model” and allow the college system to enroll 5,000 more California students every year, add faculty and courses and boost graduation rates.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Republicans who rode a wave of voter anger to extend their political reach in Congress and in governors’ mansions have made modest gains in a decidedly blue state where they had taken a drubbing in recent years – California.
While California Democrats again swept the board in statewide offices, including a decisive re-election victory by popular Governor Jerry Brown, the party failed to regain two-thirds super-majorities in both houses of the state legislature.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A man who prosecutors say struck and killed three 13-year-old California girls as they were trick-or-treating on Halloween and then fled in his damaged sport utility vehicle was charged on Tuesday with vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run.
Jaquinn Ramone Bell was arrested on Sunday at a Motel 6 in Stanton, California, not far from where the girls were hit in a crosswalk. He was also charged with driving on a suspended license and fleeing the scene of a crime, Orange County prosecutors said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A suborbital passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company crashed during a test flight on Friday at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, killing one crew member and seriously injuring the other, officials said.
The crash of the vehicle, undergoing its first powered test flight since January over the Mojave Desert, 95 miles (150 km) north of Los Angeles, came days after another commercial space company, Orbital Sciences Inc, lost a rocket in an explosion in Virginia moments after liftoff.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Southern California mayor who made headlines leading a local backlash against a flood of Central American immigrants across the U.S. border, has been charged with felony drunk driving in connection with an accident that injured four teenage girls.
Alan Long, who resigned as mayor of Murrieta, California last week, days after his arrest, was formally charged on Thursday with one count of driving while under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, Riverside County prosecutors said.
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – Lawyers for eight gamblers charged with running an illegal sports book are challenging key evidence in the case, saying it was obtained by FBI agents who posed as Internet technicians to gain access to their Las Vegas hotel rooms without a warrant.
If defense attorneys succeed in getting a federal judge to throw out the evidence seized following a raid on the Caesar’s Palace hotel rooms, they say they will not only gut the prosecution’s case but also establish new limits on how far the government can go in such investigations.
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – A New Mexico sheriff’s deputy is accused of shooting a fellow officer to death at a Las Cruces hotel during an alcohol-fueled argument early on Tuesday morning and was expected to face charges in the case, police said.
The two Santa Fe County deputies were staying in Las Cruces on Monday night after transporting a prisoner to an Arizona jail and were believed to have argued at a pub, Las Cruces Police spokesman Dan Trujillo said in a written statement.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An actress, who accused Los Angeles police of violating her civil rights when they handcuffed her after responding to reports of indecent exposure, has been charged with lewd conduct, along with her boyfriend, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Danielle Watts, best known for her role in Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 slavery western “Django Unchained,” made headlines in September when she went public to charge that she had been accosted by police largely because she is black and her boyfriend is white.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A woman who was attacked by a 6-foot (1.8-meter) shark in her outrigger canoe off the California coast over the weekend managed to escape unharmed and paddle safely back to shore, the local harbor patrol said on Monday.
The woman, who was not identified, told authorities that she was paddling her canoe about 3 miles (5 km) offshore, when the shark began biting on the outrigger, Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol officer Larry Nufer said.