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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - State authorities Thursday imposed $40,000 in fines against Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) and two GOP committees after finding that the lawmaker laundered that amount of political money into his brother's 2008 Assembly campaign. The state Fair Political Practices Commission voted unanimously to uphold an administrative law judge's ruling that Berryhill committed a "serious and deliberate" violation of California's campaign finance laws. The commissioners decided in a 20-minute closed session to include in the fines the Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County Republican central committees for their role as conduits in passing $40,000 from Berryhill to his brother's successful campaign.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO -- State Treasurer Bill Lockyer announced the approval Thursday of $75.3 million in grants that aim to stabilize residents with severe mental illness before they land in jail or suffer multiple hospitalizations. The 20 grants will go to 28 counties for new or expanded services. They will add 827 residential mental health beds and crisis "stabilization" beds, and pay for more than three dozen vehicles and five dozen staff members for mobile support teams, which often accompany local law enforcement to defuse tense situations and direct those in need to care.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
The Los Angeles Unified School District does not need to release the names of teachers in connection with their performance ratings, according to a tentative court ruling issued Thursday. A three-judge state appellate court panel tentatively found a stronger public interest in keeping the names confidential than in publicly releasing them. Disclosure would not serve the public interest in monitoring the district's performance as much as it would affect the recruitment and retention of good instructors and other issues, the ruling said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A campaign finance watchdog panel decided Thursday to levy $40,000 in fines against state Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) and two GOP committees after concluding that the senator laundered a like amount of  political funds to his brother's 2008 Assembly campaign. The state Fair Political Practices Commission voted unanimously to uphold an administrative law judge's ruling that Berryhill committed a “serious and deliberate” violation of campaign finance laws. The FPPC decided after a 20-minute closed session to also fine the Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County Republican central committees for their role as conduits to pass $40,000 from  Berryhill to the Assembly campaign of Bill Berryhill.
SPORTS
April 24, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
OAKLAND -- The Clippers walked into an angry beehive, thousands of folks wearing bright yellow T-shirts and surrounding them with a roaring buzz. The Clippers walked into a building that is adjacent to the home of the Oakland Raiders and feels every bit like a Raiders end zone, the Black Hole, only deeper. In their first road game of this postseason Thursday night, the Clippers found themselves engulfed by screaming and booing and chanting Oracle Arena fans and a Golden State Warriors team that mirrored every bit of their desperation.
OPINION
April 24, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
Something stinks in Irwindale. In recent months, officials in the largely industrial San Gabriel Valley city have appeared to be on a crusade to shut down Huy Fong Foods, the company that makes a wildly popular Sriracha sauce, for emitting chili and garlic odors that bother some neighbors. While a city should protect residents from harmful and/or unpleasant fumes, Irwindale's aggressive and unreasonable tactics have threatened to drive a home-grown enterprise out of state and bolstered California's unfortunate reputation as a bad place to do business.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday appointed as head of California's political ethics agency a judge who has overseen the discipline of attorneys. Jodi Remke, presiding judge of the State Bar Court of California, is Brown's choice for chairwoman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Her appointment fills a void created six months ago when Chairwoman Ann Ravel moved to the Federal Elections Commission. Good-government activists including Robert Stern, a former general counsel for the California agency and a coauthor of the state Political Reform Act, said they knew nothing about Remke.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Members of the American Postal Workers Union are launching protests Thursday in 27 states to decry a partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and office supply company Staples Inc. to run postal counters at its retail stores.   The agreement between the Postal Service and Staples, announced in November, created a pilot program to operate 82 postal counters at Staples locations across the country. The quick-service counters will be staffed by Staples employees.  Organizers plan to demonstrate at a Staples location in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, one of four protests planned in California.
NATIONAL
April 24, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga and Maeve Reston
DURHAM, Ore. - Oregon officials will vote Friday on whether to become the first state to scrap its troubled insurance exchange and switch to the federal system, after spending an estimated $248 million on an ambitious exchange that failed in spectacular fashion. Not a single insurance seeker was able to enroll online in a private plan under the Affordable Care Act in this high-tech state, which has long prided itself on healthcare innovation and whose governor is a former emergency room doctor.
SPORTS
April 23, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Jordin Canada of L.A. Windward has been named the state player of the year in girls' basketball by CalHiSports.com. Here's the link to story. Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
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