County News

Apr 17, 2014 1:00pm
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District’s chief financial officer has been charged with embezzling over $500,000 from an Oakland church. He used the funds to pay for personal items such as private school tuition for his children, or a membership to a golf club. Lewis Clinton Jr. served as AC Transit’s chief financial officer since 2008 as well as a trustee on the agency’s retirement board. He pulled in $225,000 a year. The charges were not related to his AC Transit job, but instead stemmed from the Allen Temple Baptist Church, which has over 5,000 members, including Clinton himself. He served...
Apr 17, 2014 12:59pm
On Tuesday, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to oppose legislation that would ban SeaWorld San Diego from using orcas in their shows. The board will also oppose any future state or federal efforts to restrict shows that utilize killer whales.  Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, first introduced the ban on killer whale performances after a documentary named “Blackfish” explored the case of a SeaWorld Orlando trainer that was drowned by an orca in a show four years ago. Supervisor Ron Roberts said that while he understands the emotions behind the bill, he does...
Apr 17, 2014 12:58pm
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors recently approved a plan aiming at pushing the North County Jail project forward. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown called the board’s approval “a key milestone” in this project.  The current goal is to start construction on the Santa Maria jail in late 2015, and for the construction to be complete some time in 2018. This new jail is set to ease crowding in Santa Barbara’s main jail, which houses approximately 1,000 inmates on any given day. A staffing plan is also being set into motion, as the new jail will require 124 new employees,...
Apr 17, 2014 12:57pm
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will soon be revising its use-of-force policies in response to a California Supreme Court ruling issued last year. That ruling, which stemmed from a lawsuit over a 2006 shooting incident, held that officers could be deemed liable for events leading up to a shooting in addition to actions during the incident itself. “It’s so dramatic, it’s like an about-face from how this county has been doing it,” Supervisor Gloria Molina said of the decision.   Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald said the department was already altering the forms it uses...
Apr 17, 2014 12:54pm
The Yuba County Board of Supervisors has given the thumbs up to a plan which would create a 51st state spanning the rural area of Southern Oregon and Northern California.  The board joined with three other counties in endorsing the State of Jefferson Tuesday. The vote was 3 to 1 with Supervisor Mary Jane Griego absent and Supervisor Hal Stocker dissenting. Stocker had previously supported the idea, but has since changed his mind due to “input from constituents.” The Counties of Siskiyou, Modoc and Glenn have already signed on to the Jefferson Movement and Tehama County has placed the...
Apr 14, 2014 11:54am
California Department of Public Health Officials issued a warning on Thursday urging consumers to avoid certain seafood that has been locally caught. Officials have discovered dangerous levels of domoic acid in sardines, anchovies, and crab organs that have been commercially or recreationally caught in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.  No reported illnesses have been associated with the high toxin level in local seafood, but Monterey County’s health department’s spokesperson has urged anyone feeling ill or who is experiencing trouble breathing to contact a doctor immediately.  The...
Apr 14, 2014 11:52am
Many counties across California are the home to some kind of landmark, but Humboldt County’s vast redwood forests hold the distinction of having the world’s largest tree. Researches came across the tree in 2006, where they discovered was almost 10 feet taller than the tree previously considered to be the world’s tallest. The researchers named the tree “Hyperion,” and told reporters that it was very unlikely that another tree would be discovered that was even taller. And they were right, as Hyperion has held its title as the world’s tallest tree ever since then. Researchers also revealed that...
Apr 14, 2014 11:49am
Los Angeles County’s child abuse safety system is not only broken, but in a dire “state of emergency,” according to the latest report from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection. The report, which follows an 8-month investigation, criticizes the Board of Supervisors for a failure to reform the system and calls for a complete overhaul. “Nothing short of a complete rethinking about how the county ensures safe and supportive care for abused and at-risk children will lead to the seamless and comprehensive child welfare system that the county has needed for decades," the commissioners...
Apr 14, 2014 11:42am
Butte County is poised to become the first county in the nation to ban hydraulic fracturing. In a 4 to 1 vote last week, the Butte County Board of Supervisors directed staff to prepare an ordinance which would ban the controversial energy extraction method. The move came after the county’s Water Commission asked supervisors to adopt an ordinance requiring conditional use permits for fracking in the county.   Department of Water and Resource Conservation director Paul Gosselin said the procedure "has raised controversy and concern about environmental impacts, water, and seismic activity...
Apr 14, 2014 11:40am
The official who oversees nursing home inspections in Los Angeles County has been transferred to another job just days after the release of a scathing report which criticized his division.  Ernest Poolean will be reassigned to the Baldwin Park Headquarters, according to a memo sent to staff Thursday. There, he will conduct work on a “special assignment” under the direction of Terry Williams, deputy director of the department’s environmental health division. Williams will assume Poolean’s responsibilities in the meantime.  A recent report by the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller...
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