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KPAY News Archives for 2013-11

US jobless claims drop to 316,000, as layoffs slow


WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 316,000, a sign that workers are in less danger of being laid off. The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average fell 7,500 to 331,750. Both the weekly jobless claims and the average have returned to pre-recession levels. Weekly unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have fallen in six of the past seven weeks. As layoffs have dwindled, hiring has picked up. Employers added 204,000 jobs last month, indicating that companies were undeterred by the 16-day government shutdown. Private businesses added 212,000 new positions, the most since February. The economy has added an average of 202,000 jobs a month from August through October, up from 146,000 in May through July.


 

Who will pay for CA high-speed rail?


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Court rulings this week cast doubt over the future of California's $68 billion high-speed rail plan and serve as a reminder of the biggest question facing the project: Where will the money come from to complete it? So far, state and federal sources account for less than 20 percent of the total price. The current plan relies on vague funding from "federal, state, local and private sources."The plaintiffs in the case say the state has not identified the source of the $31 billion needed to complete the first full phase. In rulings issued Monday, a Sacramento County judge ordered a new funding plan from the rail authority. Jeff Morales, the authority's director, says a revised plan might fall short of identifying all funding sources, likely renewing the court fight.

Glenn County man stabbed several times


Glenn County investigators are looking for two suspects after a man was found stabbed several times Tuesday morning. The Sheriff's office says a realtive found 55-year-old John Arano bleeding on the floor of his Willows home and called 9-1-1. Arano was able to tell investigators before he went into surgery that two white men entered his unlocked home Monday night and beat and stabbed him. No motive has been released. Anyone with information about the attempted murder is asked to call the Sheriff's Office.

US home prices rose at slower pace in September


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose more slowly in September than in August, a sign that weaker sales are preventing the kinds of sharp price gains that occurred earlier this year. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 0.7 percent from August to September, down from a 1.3 percent gain from July to August. Year over year, prices jumped 13.3 percent from September 2012, the fastest such gain since February 2006. Monthly price gains slowed in 19 of the 20 cities tracked by the index. Charlotte, N.C., was only city to post a price decline from August to September. The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It isn't adjusted for seasonal variations, so the monthly changes partly reflect slower buying activity in the late summer and fall.


 

Elk Grove man killed in Glenn County racing accident


Glenn County officials have released the name of the man killed in a weekend racing accident. The Sheriff's Office says 50-year-old Kenneth Henry of Elk Grove died Sunday following the accident at Thunder Hill Race Track. A witness told deputies he was behind Henry who was racing at approximately 80 to 100 miles per hour on a Yamaha bike, when Henry abruptly let go of the handle bars and flew backwards off the bike. Medics attempted CPR, but Henry was pronounced dead at Glenn Medical Center.

Cantor on deal with Iran: 'Mistrust and verify'


WASHINGTON (AP) — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is assailing the new nuclear deal with Iran, saying he believes it "bodes very, very ominously for the region and U.S. security." The Virginia Republican calls the arrangement "dangerous" and says it brings Iran "closer to becoming a nuclear power." The accommodation announced Sunday gives Tehran six months to increase access to its nuclear sites in exchange for keeping the central elements of its uranium program. Cantor tells "CBS This Morning" Monday that the terms are softer than those already in several U.N. resolutions. In a twist on a famous Ronald Reagan statement about arms control, Cantor says the attitude toward Iran should be "mistrust and verify." Reagan famously said he favored arms pacts with the Soviet Union if there was a "trust-but-verify" standard.


 

Two CA lawmakers want to change the look of toy guns


SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Two California lawmakers want to ban the sale of imitation firearms like the one a 13-year-old boy was carrying when he was fatally shot by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy last month. Legislation announced Friday would require BB, pellet and airsoft guns to be translucent or brightly colored so they're not mistaken for real firearms. The bill is co-authored by Sen. Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa and Sen. Kevin de León of Los Angeles, both Democrats. In 2011, de León introduced similar legislation that was opposed by gun-rights advocates. State and local officials announced the new legislative effort one month after a deputy shot and killed Andy Lopez, who was carrying a BB gun that looked like an assault rifle.

Body found in Bidwell Park


A tragic ending to a missing persons case in Butte County. Search and Rescue located the body 40-year-old Michael Gundlach of Chico Sunday morning in upper Bidwell Park. Police had been searching for him since Friday when family members became concerned and asked Police to check on him. Park Rangers say his car had been parked at Horseshoe Lake since Wednesday. His body was found in Big Chico Creek. Officials say foul play isn't suspected.

Iran, six world powers clinch breakthrough nuclear deal


GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough agreement early on Sunday to curb Tehran's atomic ambitions in exchange for limited sanctions relief, in a first step towards resolving a dangerous decade-old standoff. The deal between the Islamic state and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia was nailed down after more than four days of negotiations. "We have reached an agreement," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on his Twitter feed. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also confirmed the deal.

No details of the agreement were immediately available. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of the five other world powers joined the talks with Iran early on Saturday as the two sides appeared to be edging closer to a long-sought preliminary agreement. more

 

Autopsy: TSA officer shot 12 times in LAX attack


LOS ANGELES (AP) — An autopsy shows a security officer killed by a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport had been shot 12 times. The report released Friday by the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez had 40 bullet fragments in his body that were sent to the FBI.

Coroner's officials said previously the 39-year-old Hernandez died between two and five minutes after being shot on Nov. 1 in Terminal 3. Authorities say 23-year-old Paul Ciancia was targeting TSA officers in a vendetta against the federal government when he pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot Hernandez. Two other TSA employees and an airline passenger were wounded before airport police shot Ciancia, who has been charged with murder.

Diplomats see progress on key sticking point in Iran nuclear talks


GENEVA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other top diplomats are heading into a tough round of negotiations in Geneva where six world powers are trying to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. Kerry and the others joined the talks today on a first-step agreement that would begin to roll back Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the easing of U.S. and international sanctions that are hurting Iran's economy. The latest round of talks began on Wednesday, but so far there is no deal. Before he left Washington, Kerry said he had no particular expectation that an agreement could be reached this week. But after talking with top European Union diplomat Catherine Ashton on Friday, he decided to travel to Geneva to help negotiators narrow their differences.

Egypt official: Muslim Brotherhood backs unrest


CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's interior minister says his forces have foiled several attempted terror attacks and arrested leading militants, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of mobilizing and financing some of the country's most violent groups to cause unrest. Minister Mohammed Ibrahim's comments Saturday were the first detailed examples offered by a senior Egyptian official to back claims that the Brotherhood, the group of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, is responsible for attacks against security, government institutions and the country's Coptic minority. The Brotherhood repeatedly has denied government claims that it uses or condones violence. Ibrahim told reporters that five senior militants were detained from two pro-Morsi sit-ins which authorities broke up violently in August. Ibrahim accused sit-in participants of stockpiling weapons. He said other militants arrested were released from prison by Morsi's government.

Stormy weather wallops West


LAS VEGAS (AP) — A powerful storm is being blamed for three deaths in California and one in Arizona. Forecasters said parts of both states could see more bad weather today. Winter storm warnings were posted for the mountains and the Antelope Valley foothills northeast of Los Angeles. And a flood watch was in effect in the Phoenix area, where several miles of the Loop 303 freeway in the western suburbs were closed due to flooding. The system iss expected to head east and reach the Atlantic coast by the middle of next week, but not before hitting the Southwest again with rain, snow and wind, forecasters said.

US panel: China's navy power growing in Pacific


WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional advisory panel is sounding a warning over China's military buildup, predicting that the rising Asian power may be able to field the largest fleet of modern submarine and combat ships in the western Pacific by 2020. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission says China's military modernization is altering the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific, challenging decades of U.S. preeminence.

The commission advises Congress on the national security implications of the relationship between the two world powers. Its annual report was released Wednesday. Its primary recommendation is for Congress to pay for navy shipbuilding and increased operational presence in the region and support the Defense Department's goal to base 60 percent of its warships in the Asia-Pacific by 2020, up from about 50 percent currently.


 

US retail sales rise solid 0.4 percent in October


WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers shrugged off the 16-day partial government shutdown and spent more on autos, clothing and furniture in October, pushing U.S. retail sales up by the largest amount in four months.

The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.4 percent in October, up from a flat reading in September. Sales were held back by a steep drop in gas prices. Excluding sales at gas stations, retail spending increased an even stronger 0.5 percent. And core sales, a category that excludes volatile spending on autos, building supplies and gas, also rose 0.5 percent, up from a 0.3 percent gain in September. The October retail sales indicate that consumers stepped up spending at the start of the October-December quarter. Their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.


 

US consumer prices drop 0.1 pct. on cheaper gas


WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheaper gasoline lowered overall U.S. consumer prices slightly in October. But outside the steep drop at the pump, inflation stayed mild. The Labor Department says the consumer price index fell 0.1 percent last month, down from a 0.2 percent gain in September. The October decrease was primarily due to a 2.9 percent drop in gasoline costs, the largest since April. Over the last 12 months, overall prices have increased 1 percent, well below the Federal Reserve's inflation target of two percent. Excluding volatile energy and food costs, so-called core prices rose 0.1 percent in October from September and just 1.7 percent over the past 12 months. The prices for new motor vehicles, clothing and medical care declined last month. But airfares rose a whopping 3.6 percent.


 

Oxford Dictionaries crowns 'selfie' word of the year for 2013, beating 'twerk,' 'Bitcoin'


LONDON (AP) — Michelle Obama shared one with her "first dog" Bo, Hillary Clinton tweeted one with her daughter Chelsea. Now "selfie" — the smartphone self-portrait — has been declared word of the year for 2013 by Britain's Oxford University Press. The publisher of the Oxford dictionaries says "selfie" saw a huge jump in usage in the past year, bursting from the confines of Instagram and Twitter to become mainstream shorthand for any self-taken photograph. Oxford usually assigns a separate word of the year to the U.S. and to the U.K., but it said "selfie" captured the imagination on both sides of the Atlantic this year. The term beat other buzzwords including "twerk," the sexually provocative dance move that got a huge boost in usage thanks to an attention-grabbing performance by pop star Miley Cyrus; "showrooming," the practice of visiting a shop to look at a product before buying it online at a lower price; and "Bitcoin," the digital currency that gained widespread media attention. Also making the shortlist was "binge-watch," a verb that describes watching many episodes of a TV show in rapid succession.


 

Farm bill takes aim at state animal welfare laws


WASHINGTON (AP) — The future of state laws that regulate everything from the size of a hen's cage to safe consumption of Gulf oysters may be at stake as farm bill negotiators work to resolve a long-simmering fight between agriculture and animal welfare interests. The House Agriculture Committee added language to its version of the farm bill that says a state cannot impose certain production standards on agricultural products sold in interstate commerce. The provision authored by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa is aimed at a California law that will require all eggs sold in the state to come from hens that inhabit cages in which they can spread their wings. Opponents say that depending on how it is interpreted, the provision could lead to challenges of dozens of other state laws.


 

Supreme Court rejects plea to look at NSA program


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is refusing to intervene in the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency, rejecting a call from a privacy group to stop NSA from collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers in the United States. While the justices on Monday declined to get involved in this issue, other lawsuits on the topic are making their way through the lower courts around the country. But in the case at hand, the Electronic Privacy Information Center bypassed lower courts and said that only the Supreme Court can overrule a decision by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose order allowing NSA to get the records cannot be reviewed by other federal courts.

Judge: DA can use evidence from Colorado shooter's apartment


DENVER (AP) — A judge says prosecutors in the Colorado theater shootings can use evidence found in defendant James Holmes' apartment, which includes homemade bombs and a calendar with the day of the shootings highlighted. In a ruling dated Friday, the judge rejected defense arguments that the apartment search was illegal because it began before police had a warrant. Prosecutors argued the search was legal because Holmes told them he had explosives at his apartment, and they didn't have time to wait for a warrant because of the danger.

The bombs didn't go off. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of murder and attempted murder in the July 20, 2012, attack. Twelve people were killed and 70 injured. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.


 

Death toll from Midwest storms rises to eight


DETROIT (AP) — Officials have confirmed two storm-related deaths in Michigan, raising to eight the toll from the heavy rain, powerful winds and tornadoes that formed across the region. Detroit police Officer Dan Donakowski says a 14-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a hospital after grabbing a downed power line Monday morning. He was walking home from a school that was closed due to power outages. Donakowski didn't provide the boy's name. Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says 21-year-old Ryan Allan Rickman of Leslie died when his vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree Sunday evening. A band of moved across the Midwest on Sunday, unleashing powerful winds that flattened homes and left cars, trees and belongings strewn across neighborhoods. Officials say the storms also killed six people in Illinois.


 

CA college system considers fee waiver plan


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California community college officials are considering a plan to tighten requirements for fee waivers. Paige Marlatt-Dorr, a spokeswoman for the chancellor's office, said the colleges' board of governors read the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday. It is expected to read it a second time and vote at its meeting in mid-January. The proposal would require students with fee waivers to maintain at least a C-average over two consecutive terms and to show adequate progress by taking at least half of their courses for credit. Students who are former or current foster youth would be exempt. School officials say as many as 48,000 recipients could lose their fee waivers under the plan. The 112-college system has 2.4 million students. It has some of the lowest fees in the country.


 

4 men killed in fatal Yuba City crash ID'ed


YUBA CITY, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have released the names of the men killed in a crash Tuesday at a Northern California highway intersection that left four people dead and four injured. The Sutter County Sheriff's Office has identified the dead as 54-year-old Alfonso Salazar, 42-year-old Reymundo Salazar, 40-year-old Genaro Salazar-Moctezuma and 40-year-old Melchor Inez-Zamacona, all of Yuba City. According to the California Highway Patrol, a 1997 Toyota Camry carrying the four men was approaching Highway 99 south of Yuba City around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when it entered the intersection and was broadsided by a Mercedes sedan heading south on the highway. The driver — Alfonso Salazar — and all three passengers died at the scene. The Mercedes driver, identified as 23-year-old Sonny Granados, suffered major injuries. Three passengers in the Mercedes had minor injuries.

CA asks health insurers to extend policies


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is asking health insurance companies to maintain their individual insurance policies through 2014 after President Barack Obama extended the deadline.

Jones said he asked the state's health insurance exchange, Covered California, on Thursday to release insurers from their contracts to terminate policies as of Dec. 31. Jones said he has opposed terminating more than 1 million insurance policies by the end of the year. He says the Affordable Care Act already did not require those policies to end until December 2014. Obama extended that deadline on Thursday, conceding problems with the rollout of the law. The California Association of Health Plans says California should stay on track with its current plan to get more people into the comprehensive policies required under the federal law.

US trade deficit widens 8 percent in September


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened in September as imports increased to the highest level in 10 months while exports slipped. The Commerce Department says the deficit increased to $41.8 billion, up 8 percent from August. It was the largest trade gap since May and marked the third straight month that the deficit has risen since hitting a four-year low in June. Exports, which hit a record high in June, slipped for the third straight month, dipping 0.2 percent to $188.9 billion, with sales of commercial aircraft and autos both down. Imports rose 1.2 percent to $230.7 billion, the highest level since November. The deficit with China hit an all-time high of $30.5 billion. So far this year, the deficit is running 11.7 percent below the pace of 2012.


 

Kerry: Any Iran nuclear deal will be 'failsafe'


WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says any deal negotiated with Iran will be "failsafe" and will guarantee that Tehran will not have the capacity to develop nuclear weapons. Kerry told MSNBC on Thursday that he respects Israel's deep concern about the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. He says he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday morning to assure him that the U.S. and Israel both agree that Iran should not be allowed to become a nuclear-armed nation. But he says that while the Obama administration wants Congress to hold off in imposing any new sanctions while negotiations continue, Israel wants to see more sanctions to force Tehran to surrender any nuclear weapons capabilities.


 

CA Assemblyman's father killed in Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say the father of California Assemblyman Mike Gatto has been fatally shot in his Los Angeles home. Lt. Richard Parks says 78-year-old Joseph Gatto was found late Wednesday at his home in Silver Lake. Police say a family member arrived at the home shortly after 8 p.m. and found Gatto shot at least one time. Police say the home had been ransacked. No arrests have been made. Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles was elected to represent California's 43rd District in a special election three years ago. Email messages for the assemblyman's spokesmen were not immediately returned Thursday.


 

DHS nominee would focus on leadership vacancies


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's pick to be the Homeland Security secretary says that filling key leadership vacancies and improving morale at the sprawling bureaucracy is a higher priority than the department's core counterterrorism mission. In prepared answers to questions leading up to his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Jeh (JAY) Johnson deviates from his predecessors' stated priorities by listing counterterrorism third instead of first. Some 40 percent of Homeland Security senior leadership positions are vacant. And it has long been ranked among the federal agencies with the lowest morale. Congress has raised concerns about both issues. Johnson is a long-time Obama supporter and former general counsel of the Defense Department. He is expected to win Senate confirmation. He is testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee.


 

Chico PD: Armed robber may have struck again


Chico Police think an armed robbery suspect may have struck again. Police say the latest robbery happened at the Fair Street Market Tuesday afternoon. The suspect entered the store with his face covered and a gun and demanded cash. He  got away on a yellow bike. Police say the suspect matches a robbery suspect on Monday at East Avenue Liquors. He's white, in his mid 20s, 5-10, with a large build. Anyone with information is urged to contact Chico Police.

Chico Police investigate fatal Skyway collision


Chico Police continue investigating an early morning fatal collision that shut down a stretch of the Skyway. It happened just after midnight near the intersection of Skyway and Bruce Road. Police say a 38-year-old man was hit by a vehicle and taken to Enloe Medical Center where he died. The driver of the vehicle was interviewed and released.

Chico Police search for armed robbery suspect


Chico Police are looking for an armed robbery suspect. Police say the East Avenue Liquors was robbed around 3 PM Monday. The suspect told the clerk he had a gun and demanded cash. He got away on a bike. The suspect is white, in his mid 20's, 5-10 with a large build. He was wearing a San Francisco Giants hat and a yellow backpack. Anyone with information is asked to call Chico Police.

Pope sends $150,000 to Philippines in typhoon aid


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has sent what the Vatican calls initial assistance to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines --$150,000 -- to help those left homeless. The money will be sent by the Holy See's charity organization to churches in the hardest hit areas, particularly Leyte and Samar islands. The Vatican described the cash donation as "a first and immediate concrete expression" of Francis' encouragement and spiritual closeness to Filipinos. On Sunday, Francis urged people to provide concrete help to those affected by the typhoon and led tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square in silent prayer for the storm's victims. The Philippines has Asia's largest Catholic population.

Obama faces worry at home, abroad over Iran talks


WASHINGTON (AP) — For President Barack Obama, the Iranian nuclear deal he covets now depends in part on his ability to keep a lid on hard-liners on Capitol Hill and an array of anxious allies abroad, including Israel, the Persian Gulf states and even France. Each of the wary parties is guided in some measure by their own domestic political interests. But they also share concerns that Obama may want a breakthrough with Iran so badly that he is willing to accept a bad deal. There is little question Obama desires a deal with Iran, which could give him a boost during a shaky stretch in his presidency. Successful negotiations with Iran could also validate Obama's long-held belief that the U.S. should be willing to talk to adversaries without preconditions.


 

Calif. company recalls prepackaged salad, sandwich


RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — More than 90 tons of prepackaged salads and sandwiches by a California catering company are being recalled because a bacterial strain of E. coli has been linked to its products. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service says Sunday that Richmond-based Glass Onion Catering recalled the salads and sandwich wraps containing cooked chicken and ham after 26 people in three states were sickened with a strand of E. coli. The products were produced between Sept. 23 and Nov. 6, and were shipped to distribution centers in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Texas. The Contra Costa Times reports the company has supplied food to Trader Joe's, Super Fresh Goods and Delish.

Survivors describe ordeal amid 20-foot surge from typhoon


TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Survivors of the typhoon that may have killed 10,000 people in the Philippines are describing being swept away by a 20-foot storm surge. A 19-year-old student in the hardest-hit city, Tacloban, says he tried to ride out the storm in his home with his ailing father, but the storm surge carried the building away. Marvin Daga says they clung to each other while the house floated, but it eventually crumbled and they fell into the churning waters. He says his father slipped out of his grasp and sank -- and that he's not expecting to find him alive.

Larry Womack and his wife Bobbie, American missionaries from Tennessee, have lived in Tacloban for a long time. Womack says he chose to stay at their beachside home, only to find the storm surge engulfing it. He survived by climbing onto a beam in the roof that stayed attached to a wall. Womack says, "There were actual waves going over my head." Even people who fled to evacuation shelters found that they weren't safe. A 21-year-old woman who was about to give birth was in an evacuation center that was devastated by the storm surge. She had to swim and cling to a post to survive -- eventually reaching safety at the airport, where she gave birth to a baby girl. The baby, Bea Joy Sagales, appeared to be in good health. Her arrival drew applause from others in the airport, and military medics who helped in the delivery.

Amazon, US Postal Service will deliver on Sundays


NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says it is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays. The Seattle company says Sunday delivery will be available to Amazon Prime members in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas at first. Amazon and the Postal Service plan to roll out service to "a large portion of the U.S. population" next year, including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix. Amazon Prime membership costs $79 a year. Members get free two-day shipping on millions of items on the site and access to Amazon's TV and movie streaming service. Amazon.com Inc. says members can add eligible items to their carts and will see Sunday delivery at checkout when it is available. Shares of Amazon slipped 81 cents to $349.50 in premarket trading.


 

US adds 204K jobs, unemployment rises to 7.3 pct.


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 204,000 jobs in October, an unexpected burst of hiring during a month in which the federal government was partially shut down for 16 days. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in September, likely because furloughed federal workers were counted as unemployed. The report noted that the shutdown did not affect total jobs. Employers also added 60,000 more jobs in the previous two months than earlier estimated. The figures suggest hiring has picked up in the fall. Employers added an average of 202,000 jobs from August through October, up from 146,000 from May through July. The percentage of Americans working or looking for work fell to a fresh 35-year low. But that figure was likely distorted by the shutdown, too.

US safety agency probes VW SUV lighting problem


DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating thousands of Volkswagen SUVs because the outside lights can go out unexpectedly. The probe affects 61,000 VW Tiguans from the 2009 through 2011 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 26 drivers have complained about headlights, tail lights and turn signals going dark. Many said they found an overheated and melted fuse under the hood. The agency says the fuse controls several exterior light circuits. The complaints say the problem gets worse over time. A VW spokesman says he's checking into the matter. The problem hasn't caused any crashes or injuries. Investigators will determine if it's bad enough to cause a recall.

Chico man stabbed during attempted robbery


A man was stabbed in his stomach during an attempted robbery on a Chico bike path. It happened Thursday evening. Police say the 22-year-old victim was able to make it to the Chico Courtyard Apartment complex on Pillsbury Road to call for help. He says he was walking on the path next to the complex when two suspects in their late teens allegedly demanded his cell phone. His stab wound isn't ife threatening. Anybody with information is asked to call Chico Police.

US economy grows at surprising 2.8 pct. rate in Q3


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate from July through September, a surprising sign of strength ahead of the 16-day partial government shutdown. Exports rose, businesses stocked up, home construction increased and state and local governments spent at the fastest pace in four years. The Commerce Department says growth increased from a 2.5 percent annual rate in the April-June period to the fastest pace in a year. Consumers stepped up spending on goods. But overall spending weakened from the second quarter because service spending was essentially flat, in part because of a cooler summer that lowered utility spending.

The third-quarter outcome was nearly a full percentage point stronger than most economists had predicted. Analysts expect the shutdown will slow growth in the October-December quarter.

FDA to ban artery-clogging trans fats


WASHINGTON (AP) — The FDA is announcing Thursday that it will require the food industry to gradually phase out trans fats, saying they are a threat to people's health. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says the move could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths. Hamburg says that while the amount of trans fats in the country's diet has declined dramatically in the last decade, they "remain an area of significant public health concern." The agency isn't yet setting a timeline for the phase-out, but will collect comments for two months before officials determine how long it will take. Trans fat is widely considered the worst kind of fat for your heart. They are often found in processed foods, including some microwave popcorns and frozen pizzas, refrigerated doughs and ready-to-use frostings.

Health law clock is ticking for sickest patients


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With federal and state online health care marketplaces experiencing glitches a month into implementation, concern is mounting for a vulnerable group of people who were supposed to be among the health law's earliest beneficiaries. Hundreds of thousands of people across the country with pre-existing chronic conditions who are covered through high risk-insurance pools will see their coverage dissolve by year's end. The Affordable Care Act will allow them to gain regular coverage. But many have had trouble signing up through the exchanges and could find themselves without insurance in January if they don't meet a Dec. 15 enrollment deadline. More than a dozen of the 35 state-run pools and the federal pools are set to close within a month and a half. Administration officials say the federal exchange won't be working probably until the end of November.


 

Report: 1.9M qualify for health care tax credit


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 1.9 million Californians could qualify for tax subsidies under the new federal health care law. The report released Tuesday estimates that 17.2 million people nationwide who do not have insurance or buy insurance on their own could be eligible. The Affordable Care Act allows people who do not have access to employer-based health insurance to buy it in marketplaces. It also offers tax credits for people whose incomes are between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The number of people in California who qualify for subsidies is second only to Texas, where Kaiser says more than 2 million could qualify. Tax credits are not available to people who are in the country illegally or are incarcerated.

AP Exclusive: Border Patrol rejects curbs on force


SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Border Patrol chief says agents can continue using deadly force against rock-throwers despite the recommendation of a government-commissioned review to end the practice. The recommendations to prohibit deadly force against rock-throwers and people in vehicles were part of a broader internal examination of use-of-force policies and practices. Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher says U.S. Customs and Border Protection considered the proposed curbs very restrictive. Under current policy, agents can use deadly force if they have a reasonable belief that their lives or the lives of others are in danger. Fisher tells The Associated Press that there shouldn't be exceptions — like rock attacks — in which agents are prohibited from using deadly force if they believe it's necessary.

Parents of teen killed by Calif. deputy sue


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The parents of a Northern California teen fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The parents of 13-year-old Andy Lopez alleged in their lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court on Monday that Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy Erick Gelhaus wrongfully shot the teen on Oct. 22 in a modest Santa Rosa neighborhood. The lawsuit says that Gelhaus and the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department deprived Lopez of his civil rights and seeks unspecified damages. Investigators have said the deputy opened fire after Lopez refused orders to drop a toy assault rifle he was carrying. The lawsuit and the parents' attorney called Gelhaus' actions "super reckless" and alleged that the teen was a victim of police abuse. Attorneys for Gelhaus and the county didn't return phone calls Monday.

$17.25M fine proposed for PG&E misleading records


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California public utilities commissioner is proposing that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. be fined $17.25 million for falsely claiming two old pipelines were safe and filing misleading records to downplay the misstep. The California Public Utilities Commission on Monday said it received the proposal from commissioner Mark Ferron; an earlier proposal called for 6.75 million in fines for the violations. Two judges found previously that PG&E ran an aged pipeline at too high a pressure and minimized the lapses as data "errata" in safety filings.

The pipelines are in the same system as one in San Bruno that exploded in 2010, killing eight people. PG&E spokeswoman Brittany Chord said PG&E's goal is transparency, and the company is disappointed its efforts fell short "in the eyes of the commission."

Feds urge students to check loan repayment plans


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Education Department says it will begin reaching out by email this month to about 3.5 million federal student loan borrowers. They will be encouraged to learn more about their repayment options, especially whether they qualify for an income-based repayment plan. The department says many borrowers will qualify if their federal student loan debt exceeds their annual income. For those who qualify, their initial payment could be as low as nothing a month. Under such a plan, loans are paid off over a longer period of time so the total amount increases, but the monthly payment amount is reduced. Borrowers working in public service may qualify to have their remaining loan balance forgiven after a decade of payments.


 

Chico driver faces charges in fatal accident


Another tragic accident leaves a Chico bicyclist dead. Chico police say 20-year-old Janee Nickerson was hit by a car Friday at the intersection of East First and Oleander avenues. Police arrested the driver, 21-year-old Amanda McClintock, for driving on a suspended license. She could face additional charges depending on the outcome of the investigation. Police say drugs and alcohol don't appear to be factors in the accident.

HCR could get a Hollywood rewrite


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The health care overhaul might get a Hollywood rewrite. The California Endowment, a private foundation that is spending millions to promote President Barack Obama's signature law, recently provided a $500,000 grant to ensure that TV writers and producers have information about the Affordable Care Act that can be stitched into plot lines watched by millions. The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that encourage Americans to enroll, especially the young and healthy, Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the overhaul a success.

Names and cause of death released in Shasta Co. homicide


Investigators have released the names of two victims in a Shasta County homicide case. The Shasta County Sheriff's office says 57-year-old Michael Forsyth and 65-year-old Thomas Burton were shot to death. Their bodies were found last week at an auto dismantling business. A fire at the property burned a home and a travel trailer. The cause of the fires hasn't been released.

Kerry: Some NSA surveillance reached 'too far'


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is acknowledging that some National Security Agency spying has reached too far and will be stopped. Kerry says that because of modern technology, some NSA activities have been happening on "automatic pilot" without Obama administration officials knowing. He says ongoing reviews of U.S. surveillance work will ensure that technology is not being abused and that the Obama administration is going to make sure activities that have, quote, "reached too far" do not happen in the future. Sweeping surveillance practices by the NSA have drawn the ire of other nations, who have called for investigations and have demanded the U.S. stop spying on allies. Kerry spoke Thursday via video link to an open government conference in London.


 

Chico PD: Halloween was busy but not violent


Chico Police say Halloween was busy with a number of drunken arrests and little violence. One person at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville claims he was stabbed in Chico, but was uncooperative with police. Police say 37 people were arrested between 6 PM Thursday and 4 AM Friday. The majority of arrests were for Drunk in Public and DUI. Police say nine of those arrested were from out-of-town.

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