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California controller to audit redevelopment agencies

SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) -- The state controller's office says it will examine how well tax dollars are being used by redevelopment agencies, which have emerged at the center of a debate over the California state budget.

Controller John Chiang announced Monday that his office will examine 18 of the state's more than 400 redevelopment agencies, including those in Sacramento, Los Angeles and Riverside.

The audit will review how well agencies are fighting urban blight, whether they are sending enough tax money to school districts and the compensation levels of their executives.

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a phase-out of redevelopment agencies as one way to help close California's $25 billion deficit.

City and county officials have criticized his plan, defending redevelopment agencies as one of their main tools to kick-start construction projects and create jobs.

Weather shot

Weather shot

Here's a South Sacramento weather picture sent to us by Angela Hall.

Thanks, Angela!

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Man wanted in fatal shootout only faces weapon charge

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The only suspect named in connection with a deadly barbershop shootout sat in the Sacramento County Jail Friday.  Deputies arrested Lonnie Mitchell last month on I-5 in Southern California, but they have yet to charge him with murder.

Mitchell agreed to do a jailhouse interview with News 10.  But just as the interview was about to begin he tried to back out. 

"I don't want to talk," Mitchell said. " I just wanted to see what you guys are up here for."

When pressed about the December 14th shooting that wounded five people and killed Marvion Barksdale and Monique Nelson, 30, Mitchell said, "I don't know nothing about that."

Deputies said the shooting started when an argument broke out inside a barbershop on Stockton Boulevard. Guns were pulled and the battle spilled into the parking where flying bullets hit Nelson, an innocent bystander, who was huddled over her two-year-old son to protect him.

Tomato defendant seeks $1.3M from overseas account

SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) - A former California food company owner indicted in a tomato price-fixing plot is seeking to tap a million-dollar overseas bank account to help pay for his defense.

A motion filed by Frederick Scott Salyer's attorney in federal court last week requests permission to transfer $1.3 million from an account in the European principality of Andorra.

A U.S. District Court judge in Sacramento postponed a Wednesday hearing on the motion and asked for a response from prosecutors.

The Monterey Herald reports that Andorran authorities won't release the money because of the criminal case.

Salyer was charged last year with racketeering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice in an alleged scheme to bribe purchasing managers to buy tomato products from his company, Monterey-based SK Foods.

Salyer has pleaded not guilty.





State jobless rate increases; Gov't jobs face biggest cuts

SACRAMENTO, CA -- California is still losing jobs with unemployment on the rise, while the national jobless rate dropped in December.

The state's jobless rate increased from 12.4 percent in November to 12.5 percent in December. The national unemployment rate decreased last month to 9.4 percent.

The Employment Development Development (EDD) released figures Friday which show job losses in four primary industries: government, mining and logging, construction and trade, and transportation and utilities.

State and local governments posted the largest decline in jobs last month, cutting 15,4000 jobs in December, according to EDD.

December 2010 jobless rate by county:

El Dorado County: 12.7 percent

Placer County: 11.2 percent

Sacramento County: 12.6 percent

San Joaquin County: 18 percent

Stanislaus County: 17.6 percent

Sutter County: 21.5 percent

Yolo County: 14.3 percent

Johnson asks for volunteers, contributions in speech

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In his annual state of the city address, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson asked for donations of time and money to help make sure every Sacramento third grader is able to read at grade level. 

Johnson said just 39% of third graders in Sacramento score "proficient" or better on the subject in standardized test.

"This is not just an inner city problem for black and latino kids," Johnson said. "There is not a single zip code in Sacramento where the majority of our third graders are proficient."

Speaking to the business leaders attending Thursday's speech before the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Johnson asked businesses to donate to schools in order to improve reading instruction. Johnson also asked for retirees to volunteer their time to neighborhood schools.

Josiah Turner moves to North Carolina

SACRAMENTO - Former Sacramento High basketball standout Josiah Turner is transferring to a national prep school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  The move ends the promising but troubled career of one of the most heavily recruited players in local history. 

Turner was considered the top local prospect in high school basketball entering this season.  The 6'3" senior guard has signed a letter of intent to play college basketball for Arizona. 

Earlier this month Turner missed a Dragons game for what was called "family reasons."  Following several unexcused absenses to both games and practices Sacramento head coach Derek Swafford said Turner would not be allowed back on the team. 

Brown says California politics too hostile

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Jerry Brown says the political atmosphere in the state Capitol and across the nation today is more hostile than when he was governor from 1975 to 1983.

He says "the attacks on President Obama go beyond what is usual."

The Democratic governor urged California and the nation to strike a less polarizing tone as the country celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday this week.

Brown, who sought the Democratic nomination for president three times, spoke Thursday to a gathering of black state lawmakers in Sacramento, where he said there is an imbalance against the common good.

He says the state should be focused not on handing out tax breaks to the wealthy but investing in schools and roads, investments that benefit society as a whole.

Fog, cold temps here to stay

Fog, cold temps here to stay

Northwest winds and patchy low clouds overnight lead to Thursday morning's foggy conditions during the commute. But skies cleared and the sun will be shining by afternoon as a high pressure ridge builds in across the state, according to News10 meteorologist Mellisa Paul.

Highs for Thursday will be near 60 and north winds will calm throughout the day leading to a foggy Friday forecast in the valley. But the fog should clear late in the day Friday for an afternoon of sunshine and highs remaining near 60.

Amber Alert System raises questions, receives praise

SACRAMENTO, CA - The latest Amber Alert catches the eye of many drivers thanks to highway signs and high tech digital billboards.

Exactly how helpful have amber alerts been though since 2002 when it was first activated?

"We've been tremendously successful. We've had 175 activations and recovered 213 children," Assistant Chief of the California Highway Patrol Ike Tani said.

Authorities also caught more than 100 suspects.

During the past three years, 24 Amber Alerts were sent out statewide each year, even more kids are found. In many cases, authorities catch the suspects.

The California Highway Patrol said it's been a great service, but not perfect. In fact, some people question why the CHP doesn't issue Amber Alerts sooner.

"Normally, that has to do with investigating agency, the investigating agency has to put the criteria together to make that determination," Tani said.