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KSBR News Briefs on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018


Man charged for alleged threat to attack California College

A man who allegedly made Facebook threats to attack a Southern California community college has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder after authorities found an AR-15 in his home — the same kind of rifle that was used in the Florida school shooting.

Twenty-seven-year-old Jacob McBain from Norco was arrested after police were told that McBain posted threats to shoot people at Norco College.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says a search of his home turned up a loaded AR-15 and two loaded handguns.

According to court records filed yesterday and cited by the Desert Sun of Palm Springs investigators also found more than 500 rounds of ammunition.

The records also alleged that McBain had at least one accomplice who hasn't been identified.


Car Rentals--NRA

Car rental company Enterprise has taken aim at the National Rifle Association — by no longer offering a discount to members of the group. Word of that comes in a tweet from Enterprise — and it affects the company's two other rental brands: Alamo and National. Enterprise took the step after people online started calling for an end to the discounts — part of the reaction to the Florida high school shooting last week that left 17 dead.


California couple charged with torture of kids due in court

A California couple charged with torturing their children by starving, beating and shackling them is due in court today.

David and Louse Turpin are scheduled to appear in a Riverside courtroom for a conference about their case.

They have pleaded not guilty to torture and other charges and each is held on $12 million bail.

The couple was arrested last month after their 17-year-old daughter escaped from the family's home in Perris, California, and called 911. Authorities said the home reeked of human waste and evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest sibling weighing only 82 pounds.

The case drew international media attention and shocked neighbors who said they rarely saw the couple's 13 children outside the home. Those who saw the children recalled them as skinny, pale and reserved.

Authorities said the abuse was so long-running the children's growth was stunted. They said the couple shackled the children to furniture as punishment and had them live a nocturnal lifestyle.

The courtroom conference is expected to focus on date-setting and other procedural issues.


California lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct resigns

A state senator accused of sexual misconduct resigned just ahead of a possible vote to expel him, delivering a scathing resignation letter that called the investigation process a farce.

Democratic Sen. Tony Mendoza from the Los Angeles area said he may still run for the seat this fall, putting his party in an uncomfortable spot. His resignation letter takes aim at the leader of the Senate, a fellow Democrat and Mendoza's former roommate in Sacramento who was leading the effort to expel him.

Mendoza wrote "It is clear that Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon won’t rest until he has my head on a platter to convince the MeToo movement of his 'sincerity' in supporting the MeToo cause.”

De Leon said the Legislature "won't tolerate the abuse of power and a pattern of behavior that violates our harassment standards."

Mendoza is the third state lawmaker to resign over sexual misconduct allegations since the #MeToo movement erupted nationally last fall, leading millions of women to share their experiences on social media.

Lawyers investigating complaints against Mendoza, who is 46 and married, found that he likely engaged in unwanted "flirtatious or sexually suggestive" behavior with six women, including four subordinates, a lobbyist and a young woman in a fellowship with another lawmaker.


Another former employee sues Google over issues of diversity

Another former Google employee is suing the tech company over issues of diversity.

Software developer Tim Chevalier, who is transgender, says he was fired for speaking up about online bullying he experienced at the company and complaining about discrimination, harassment and white supremacy on Google's internal messaging system.

The lawsuit comes after another former employee, James Damore, sued the company after he was fired for writing a memo criticizing Google for pushing mentoring and diversity programs. Damore's lawsuit alleged his ouster was driven by a corporate culture that discriminates against white men conservatives.

Chevalier's lawsuit was filed in San Francisco County Court.

In a statement, Google said it bans promoting harmful stereotypes based on race or gender and decides on termination, "without any regard to the employee's political views."


California Democrats meet with hopes Trump can unite them

California Democrats, united in their opposition to President Trump, are gathering to chart a path for 2018 success while seeking to shore up fissures over the party's direction that were exposed during the 2016 election.

The party's biggest names are among 3,400 activists meeting for three days in San Diego for an annual convention that's part pep rally and part political spectacle as candidates fight for the party's endorsement. It follows a postelection year that began with a blistering battle over the party's leadership and continued with bitter intra-party fights over single-payer health care, environmental policy and, now, sexual harassment.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will deliver speeches to generate excitement and encourage unity in a year when Democrats expect to keep their hold on all statewide elective offices and hope to unseat seven California Republicans in U.S. House races and, maybe, give the party a congressional majority.


Airbnb unveils new category of rentals rated by inspectors

Airbnb is dispatching inspectors to rate some of the properties listed on its home-rental service in an effort to reassure travelers they're booking nice places to stay.

The Plus program, is aimed at winning over travelers who aren't sure they can trust the computer-driven system that Airbnb uses to assess the quality of rentals. Airbnb believes travelers will be willing to pay more for inspector-certified properties, allowing homeowners and apartment dwellers to recoup a $149 fee to participate in Plus.

The program will initially cover only about 2,000 properties in 13 cities — a small fraction of the roughly 4.5 million properties listed on Airbnb in 81,000 cities worldwide. By the end of the year, Airbnb foresees verifying the quality of 75,000 homes in 50 cities.


San Clemente

San Clemente will celebrate its 90th Birthday tomorrow with activities at the San Clemente Pier, Ole Hanson Beach Club and other historical sites.

City Recreational Manager Samantha Thomas says she hopes when people visit the city, they will appreciate its rich history and heritage. The city’s motto is “The Spanish Village By the Sea.”

She says even with its 65-thousand residents, it still has a small-town vibe.

As part of the daylong celebration, the city’s trolley will stop off at various historical sites for tours including the San Clemente Pier, Ole Hanson Beach Club, and Las Palmas Elementary School, which was the city’s first school.

At the Ole Hanson Beach Club, there will be free recreational swim between noon and six in the evening.

More information is available on-line at www.San-Clemente.org