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August 23, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
ECATEPEC, Mexico - At 14, Jessica Lucero had already lived a hard life. A stint in rehab, dropping out of school, making her way, day in, day out, in a terribly violent, desperately poor neighborhood. But things were looking up. She had stayed clean and was planning to resume studies. She dreamed of becoming a forensic pathologist. Then, in June, Jessica was raped by a man she later identified as a notorious neighbor, a known drug pusher. Jessica's reaction was to do something that few people twice her age have ever dared.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2013 | By Anthony York and Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Seeking to reclaim the state's identity as an innovator and engine of growth, Gov. Jerry Brown declared in a sweeping State of the State address that "California did the impossible" in emerging from financial crisis poised to lead again. Brown outlined a vision for the state Thursday in remarks that were equal parts history lesson, lecture and rhetorical flourish. It includes major investment in water and rail systems, more robust trade and an education structure free of regulations that crush creativity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — The state's ethics agency is investigating whether state Sen. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel) violated conflict-of-interest laws when her office placed phone calls to California prison officials about the status of a financial claim her husband's company had filed. The inquiry was disclosed in a written notice to Walters' attorney by Gary Winuk, chief of enforcement for the state Fair Political Practices Commission. He wrote that his office "will be pursuing an investigation regarding whether or not Sen. Walters violated the Political Reform Act's conflict-of-interest prohibitions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
Former state Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg can't get enough of Sacramento. Eleven years after he left the Assembly, Hertzberg said Wednesday that he has decided to run for a state Senate seat being vacated in 2014  by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) because of term limits. Hertzberg, a Democrat from the San Fernando Valley who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, has stayed active in state policy issues.  He has worked with groups including California Forward and the Think Long Committee for California to improve state government, supporting changes including open primary elections and allowing the budget to be approved by majority vote rather than a two-thirds tally.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2013 | By Paige St. John
Citing "significant and troubling evidence" that inmates are not receiving adequate mental health care, a federal judge Thursday expanded court oversight to include the Department of State Hospitals. Judge Lawrence Karlton said prisoners' lawyers said severe staffing shortages, wait lists and even "denial of basic necessities including clean underwear" may be harming mentally ill prisoners. His order requires a court-appointed monitor to report back in 75 on those conditions. The judge said he is holding off on issuing further orders until he receives that report.
BUSINESS
October 14, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Marc Lifsher
The California Assembly plans to hold a hearing as early as next month to probe the causes of a snafu at the Employment Development Department that caused tens of thousands of unemployment claim payments to be delayed. Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), who chairs the Assembly Insurance Committee, which oversees the unemployment insurance program, said Monday in an interview with The Times that his committee plans a postmortem on computer problems that have plagued the EDD. A hearing is tentatively set for November or December, Perea said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - With the state's finances in the black and a probable reelection bid to come, Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address Wednesday is expected to hew to a familiar theme: Stay the course. As with the budget blueprint that Brown introduced recently, his address to a joint session of the Legislature is likely to highlight the state's improving financial health and his accomplishments of the last three years. "That's his reelection message: progress," predicted Bill Whalen, a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution who was a speechwriter for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2013 | By Anthony York
With the field in the Los Angeles mayor's race now whittled down to two, more state legislators from Southern California are taking sides. Councilman Eric Garcetti announced a trio of endorsements Monday from state Sens. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) as well as former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. “These three legislative leaders will be powerful voices in this election and will help me build support in neighborhoods throughout our city," Garcetti said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
State Controller John Chiang will conduct an investigation into the administrative and internal controls of scandal-battered Cudahy after receiving several requests from city leaders. “This is a significant milestone for the city,” Mayor Jack Guerrero said. “I'm encouraged by the news.” For several months, Guerrero and the vice-mayor made multiple requests to state officials for an audit after a federal bribery investigation last June revealed widespread corruption at City Hall.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO--Secretary of State candidate Dan Schnur, denouncing lawmakers' response to the recent series of ethics scandals in the state Senate as "diffident and lackadaisical," cast his bid to be the state's top elections official as a campaign to be "California's reformer-in-chief. "  Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Schnur said "there has been almost no meaningful effort on the part of the state's political leaders to clean up the Capitol's culture of corruption. " "If you add up all the reforms that have been proposed over the last several weeks, they end up comprising almost a complete fig leaf," he added.
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