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KSBR News Briefs on  Tuesday, April 25 2017


California further delays lethal injection regulations

State corrections officials are delaying their new lethal injection regulations by four months, pushing back this week's deadline until late August.

Corrections and Rehabilitation Department spokeswoman Terry Thornton says the Department needs more time to update the proposed rules after an initial version was rejected by state regulators in December.

The move drew immediate criticism from a legal foundation that sued to force the state to switch to a single drug to carry out the death penalty.

No inmates have been executed in our state since 2006. The state now has nearly 750 condemned inmates, the nation's largest death row by far.


State lawmakers send governor bill tied to gas tax hike

After a fast-tracked process state lawmakers have voted to send the governor a bill to authorize more than $900 million in transportation projects that helped secure key votes for a gas tax hike.

The Assembly heard the bill, SB132, in committee and on the floor in the same day, part of an expedited process to approve the legislation. The bill funds train and highway improvements in the Central Valley and Riverside County.

The bill now goes to Gov. Brown, who is expected to sign it into law along with SB1, the transportation funding bill.

Promises to fund projects in their districts won support from several lawmakers for the transportation funding bill the Legislature passed earlier this month. SB1 is expected to generate $5.2 billion a year through increased gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix crumbling roads.

Assembly Republicans criticized the projects linked to the tax increase as "backroom deals." Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen, from Huntington Beach, called it a "corrupt bargain."

Democrats have pushed back, saying the projects will bring needed transportation money to parts of the state that have historically not seen their fair share of such spending.


Tests find Samsung's S8 phones more prone to screen cracks

A company that sells gadget repair plans SquareTrade says its tests on Samsung's latest phones indicate they break more easily. The phones feature big wraparound screens and lots of glass.

SquareTrade says the nearly all-glass design of Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus makes them beautiful, but also "extremely susceptible to cracking when dropped from any angle."

Samsung had no comment. It did say that advanced orders for the S8 were 30 percent higher than that for the Galaxy S7 phones. The company didn't release specific figures. The S8 starts at $750, which is about $100 higher than the S7.


Mission Viejo

The Mission Viejo City Council tonight may take a position on Senate Bill 54, which is the Sanctuary State Bill and Senate Bill 1, which is the Gas and Car Tax increase Bill.

Senate Bill 54 would place our state law in conflict with Federal law and make our state a statewide sanctuary for people who are in the country illegally.

Senate Bill 1 would raise 52 billion dollars over ten years by raising gas taxes and vehicle licensing fees to help pay for infrastructure improvements to roads, bridges and highways.

Mayor Wendy Bucknum says the City is advocating for local control on both bills. 

In other business, the Council tonight may agree to explore the formation of a City and or Regional committee to address the opiate epidemic and drug misuse issues.

Tonight’s City Council meeting begins at six.


Laguna Hills

The Laguna Hills City Council tonight will issue a Certificate of Recognition to the family of a boy who has battled leukemia for three and a half years

Mayor Don Sedgwick says Nikolia Greco and his family have formed the non-profit organization Team Niko, whose mission is to provide help to organizations such as CHOC Hospital and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society to find a cure for childhood leukemia.

He says Team Niko has provided hundreds of backpacks to children that have been diagnosed with leukemia with the items they may need.

He says the City will issue a Proclamation declaring May 5 as “Cinco de Niko,” Day in celebration of Nikolai’s last chemo treatment.

Tonight’s City Council meeting begins at seven.


Dog Fair

Saddleback College hosts a Dog Fair Thursday in its Quad.

Organizer Alana Gates says between 7:30 in the morning and two in the afternoon, there will be all kinds of dog related events and activities such as competitions for Best Ears, Best Tail Wagger and Best Costume.

She says there will be two registration areas on campus. One will be in parking Lot 5-A, where free parking will be available and the other will be in the Quad.

The cost is five dollars and the proceeds will go to South County No-Kill Shelters & Rescues.

She says there are some rules for dog owners to follow, which include no aggressive dogs, or dogs in heat, dogs must wear in ID tag and no dogs under six months of age.

More information is available on-line at www.Saddleback.edu/dogfair