Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. PDT
After 100 years, California condor could return to northwest
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The endangered California condor could return to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in 100 years. The San Francisco Chronicle says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to allow the release of captive-bred giant vultures into Redwood National Park as early as this fall. The idea is to create an experimental population for California’s far north, Oregon and northwestern Nevada. The California condor was virtually wiped out by the 1970s because of poaching, lead poisoning and habitat loss. Thanks to a captive breeding program, more than 300 birds now live in central and Southern California, Arizona, Utah and Mexico.
California governor chooses progressive lawmaker as top cop
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has nominated a Filipino American state assemblyman as the state’s next attorney general. The progressive assemblyman, Rob Bonta, would ensure a push from the top on criminal justice reform. Bonta would also be the first Filipino to hold the role and his nomination comes at a time of rising violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Bonta says he hopes to stand up for marginalized communities and build bridges with law enforcement. The job offers one of the nation’s biggest bully pulpits and is often a stepping stone for higher office. Bonta is expected to be confirmed by the Democratic-led Legislature.
San Francisco school board’s latest crisis: Racist tweets
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The vice president of San Francisco’s school board is under fire for tweets she wrote in 2016 that said Asian Americans use “white supremacist” thinking to get ahead and are not concerned for Black students. The tweets are at the center of a new crisis facing the scandal-plagued Board of Education, which has been sued, criticized and mocked over the past few months. More than 1,000 callers tuned in to a board meeting Tuesday to call for the ouster of Alison Collins. She apologized, but some of the city’s top leaders are among those calling for her to step down.
SUPERMARKET SHOOTING-HOW THEY GOT THEIR GUNS
Mass shooters exploited gun laws, loopholes before carnage
The suspects in the most recent shooting sprees found it relatively easy to get their guns. The suspect in the shooting at a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket was convicted of assaulting a high school classmate but still got a gun. The man accused of opening fire on three massage businesses in the Atlanta area bought his gun just hours before the attack — no waiting required. They are just the latest suspected U.S. mass shooters to obtain guns because of limited firearms laws, background check lapses or law enforcement’s failure to heed warnings of concerning behavior.
Biden taps VP Harris to lead response to border challenges
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the White House effort to tackle the migration challenge at the U.S. southern border. She also is tasked with working with Central American nations to address root causes of the problem. Biden, in delegating the matter to Harris, is seeking to replicate a dynamic that played out when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice president. Obama turned to Biden early in his first term to lead the White House effort to draw down U.S. troops in the intractable war in Iraq. With the move, Biden hopes to show he’s taking the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border seriously.
HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT-FATAL CRASH
Police seek man who crashed into encampment, killing 1
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Police are searching for a man who crashed his vehicle into a homeless encampment in Santa Rosa, killing a woman and injuring a man before fleeing on foot. KPIX-TV reports Santa Rosa police said the incident began with calls Tuesday night reporting an argument, possible shooting and related vehicle collision. Firefighters extricated a woman who was trapped under the car. She died at the scene. Authorities say an injured man was rushed to the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, though his injuries were from a previous altercation with the driver. Officials haven’t released any information about the driver.
California power grid operators try to avert blackout replay
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The board overseeing the management of California’s power grid approved a plan aimed at averting blackouts that rolled across parts of the state in August during a punishing heat wave. The California Independent System Operator governing board voted Wednesday to approve a plan that would establish financial incentives to provide power when supplies are tight. The power grid operators ordered utilities to cut electricity to customers on a rotating basis for around an hour over two days last summer, cutting power to more than 800,000 homes and businesses. A report blamed outages on poor planning and market practices that allowed power to be exported out of state.
CEO says Harry hire is a natural fit, not a publicity stunt
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The CEO of a firm that provides companies with mental health services and coaching says it hired Prince Harry because of his years of work on the issues it addresses. BetterUp Inc. CEO Alexi Robichaux spoke to The Associated Press a day after announcing that Harry will play the specially created role of chief impact officer. He says Harry has been “one of the the fiercest advocates for mental wellness or mental fitness for many years.” Robichaux says he won’t turn away the publicity that comes from the hire, but he says that was not the motivating reason for it.
FILM-PRODUCERS GUILD AWARDS
‘Nomadland’ wins PGA Award, cementing front-runner status
NEW YORK (AP) — Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” cemented its Oscar front-runner status Wednesday, winning the top award at the 32nd annual Producers Guild of America Awards. “Nomadland,” Zhao’s intimate portrait of itinerant people in the American West, is only the second film directed by a woman to win the producers’ Darryl F. Zanuck Award for outstanding producer of a motion picture. The other was Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” in 2010. In a delayed, virtual and very long awards season that has marched along during the pandemic with little of the usual pomp, declaring a clear front-runner has been challenging. But if any film could claim that mantle, it’s “Nomadland,” winner of the Golden Globe best picture award for drama.
SACRAMENTO POLICE SHOOTING
Sacramento shooting wounds police officer and suspect
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Sacramento police officer and a suspect have been wounded after exchanging gunfire. Police say the shooting occurred Tuesday night as officers were responding to a report of shots fired in south Sacramento and encountered the armed suspect. Both the officer and the suspect are hospitalized in stable condition. Their identities haven’t been made public. Authorities say officers used an explosives robot to monitor and communicate with the man, and to move the firearm out of his reach. That allowed SWAT officers to safely approach him and take him into custody.