Friday, Sept. 21, 2018

California police try podcast in fugitive millionaire hunt

The Newport Beach police department has written and produced a six-episode "true crime" podcast in hopes of intensifying a potentially global manhunt for a millionaire who allegedly murdered his wife in 2012 and vanished while free on $1 million bail.

The police this week announced "Countdown to Capture," which tells the story of how Peter Chadwick went from being a seemingly quiet family man to a suspect in his wife's slaying and then a fugitive who disappeared with millions of dollars.

Authorities say Chadwick and his wife disappeared on Oct. 10, 2012. Chadwick called 911 the next day and told authorities his wife was killed by a handyman who kidnapped him.

Chadwick quickly became the suspect, however, and the body was found a week later in suburban San Diego.


Computer outage knocks California DMV offices offline

More than a third of California's Department of Motor Vehicles offices were crippled by a computer outage that lasted for several hours yesterday.

Agency spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez says about 70 of 172 DMV offices were unable to process driver's license, identification card and vehicle registration matters. Driver tests and vehicle inspections weren’t affected. She blamed the outage on a router issue.

Gonzalez wrote in an email "we apologize for any inconvenience." The issue was discovered when offices opened at 7 or 8 in the morning and was resolved by 10:40.

The DMV has been under scrutiny in the midst of a rapid spike in wait times that's left customers standing in line for hours, prompting an angry response from some lawmakers.

The agency also botched about 23,000 voter registrations under a new state law that allows people to update their voter registration in conjunction with their driving records.

The computer outage came nearly two years after more than 100 DMV offices were knocked offline for several days, inconveniencing thousands of people who were unable to replace stolen licenses or renew vehicle registrations on the verge of expiring.

Officials blamed that outage on hard drive failures.


California Lottery employees demand executive resignations

Five California Lottery employees have demanded the resignation of senior department executives in the midst of an investigation into alleged misconduct on a work-related trip and an audit of expenses.

The five veteran employees asked for the resignations at the state Lottery Commission a month after an anonymous letter was sent to Gov. Brown's office with photos alleging that a senior leader had put his head under the front of a woman's shirt. The woman wasn’t identified.

The letter said the photos were taken at a piano bar following a sales conference two years ago, and alleged that Lottery officials used crude language, disparaged employees and showed favoritism.

Brown had asked the attorney general's office to review the allegations in the letter, and Lottery employees say agents are beginning to interview workers.


California governor blocks later school start time mandate

Gov. Brown has vetoed a bill requiring that California middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 in the morning saying the decision of when to start classes should be up to schools not the state.

Supporters of the bill cited research that says delaying school start times could result in better grades, attendance and graduation rates.

A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics said insufficient sleep for teens was "an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety" of adolescents.

State Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who carried SB328, cited that study and one by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that both suggested schools start at 8:30 in the morning or later to help students get the optimal amount of sleep of at least eight hours a night.

According to the CDC study middle and high schools in California start their school day on average at 8:07 in the morning. Critics of the La Canada-Flintridge Democrat's legislation say kids could just go to bed earlier.

The CDC study had indicated it’s not so simple, noting that as adolescents go through puberty their biological rhythms typically shift so they get sleepy later at night.

Opponents of the bill don't dispute the research but said school boards should decide how to run their schools, which Brown agreed with.


California makes people ask for straws, sodas with kid meals

In order to get a straw with a drink or a soda with a kids' meal at a California restaurant, you'll need to ask for them starting next year.

A law signed by Gov. Brown makes California the first state to bar full-service restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws. Another law he approved requires milk or water to be the default drink sold with kids' meals at fast-food and full-service restaurants.

Neither law is an outright ban on straws or sugary drinks in kids' meals. But some Republicans have called the measures government overreach by the heavily Democratic state.

California restaurants that don't comply with the straw law will get two warnings before being fined. Lawmakers changed the legislation to add a $300 annual fine limit. It will apply only to sit-down restaurants where customers are waited on by restaurant staff, not fast-food establishments.

Health inspectors will be responsible for enforcing the law.


Work & Music

A new survey indicates music may benefit work.

Professional Staffing Service Robert Half District President Cyndi Karapogosian says 1500 workers were polled. The first question was does your employer have a policy about employees listening to music at work. Around 90 percent indicated music is allowed at work.

And another question was “are you more or less productive at work when music is playing? The response was 71 percent answered “yes,” music makes them more productive at work.

Karapogosian says the most popular kinds of music that enabled workers to be the most productive was jazz, pop, rock, classic and blues.


Saddleback College 50th Celebration

Saddleback College in Mission Viejo will kick off its 50th year with an on-campus celebration Monday between ten in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Saddleback College 50th Celebration Co-chair Julie Lanthier Bandy says during the event there will be 40 booths set up by the various college departments and complimentary hotdogs and hamburgers will be available.

Co-Chair Penny Skaff says it will be a great day for those have been involved with the campus, past, present and future. She says current students, staff, alumni and retired staff are invited to attend along with future students.

Bandy says after Monday, there will be numerous 50th Celebration events, ending on graduation in May of next year.

She says the college would like to hear how Saddleback College impacted lives. It’s inviting people to share their stories by going on-line at www.Saddleback.edu/50th